Please sign, send and share our petition.
Duncan’s Mayor Michelle Staples said officials and front line workers have had enough and are demanding the provincial government to invest funds and resources into solving this crisis. The Cowichan Leadership Group has written to 10 separate provincial ministries, outlining the escalating problems in the Cowichan Valley that are arising from substance use and homelessness, and the associated increase in crime and pressure Cowichan’s public safety. They have requested urgent meetings with each of these ministers to see how their ministry can support our community’s need to fund solutions in treatment, housing, and safety. The Province declined and so, we are reaching out yet again, back to the Province, up to the Federal Government and out to all of You. Duncan’s community leaders were disappointed to see there was no money for the programs they’d appealed for in the current provincial budget.
The Cowichan Leadership Group formed in response to increasing need for leaders from different levels of government and organizations in the community to coordinate actions and communications on cross-jurisdictional issues. The group was established in June 2019. The group includes:
- William Seymour, Chief, Cowichan Tribes
- Michelle Staples, Mayor, City of Duncan
- Al Siebring, Mayor, Municipality of North Cowichan
- Rod Peters, Mayor, Lake Cowichan
- Aaron Stone, Chair, Cowichan Valley Regional District
- Sonia Fursteneau, MLA
- Alistair MacGregor, MP
- Candace Spilsbury, Chair, School District 79 School Board
- Dr. Shannon Waters, Medical Health Officer, Island Health
- Inspector Chris Bear, North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP
The Cowichan Leadership Group is asking the provincial government to re-consider the request for urgent funding and support for escalating addictions and housing challenges.
The full press release is available to read online here.