Good evening Crofton. Thank you for this opportunity. The over arching plan for Crofton is to encourage growth within the Urban Containment Boundary , to build up the numbers so that services can be supported locally – that means bringing back the doctor, the dentist, the bank – so that you don’t have to drive to another place for your basic needs. That will make this a more sustainable and efficient community. It will take time, decades possibly, and we need your support for it to happen. Part of that plan is having a viable water supply. We have been fortunate to have a reliable and inexpensive water supply for Crofton from the Mill. Recently we have been able to add a backup water line from the Southend Water System, along Osborne Bay Road to Crofton. There is potential for that line to become the water supply for Crofton and for Crofton to join the much bigger and more cost efficient Southend water system. That is an important discussion to have with our engineers and Council.
There are things that we need to work on to make progress in Crofton and North Cowichan. They will only happen if we are bold and determined. The most important next step for Crofton is the redevelopment of the ferry terminal and surrounding waterfront. BC Ferries have acknowledged that the Crofton Terminal must be rebuilt or replaced and I want you to consider what could be done because BC Ferries will be bringing a community consultation, on the future of the terminal, to you this fall.
Imagine a roundabout at York and Chaplin, with a new road to the north and then east with stacking lanes, to the ocean, taking all the traffic and parking off Chaplin and allowing us to own and redevelop the boat launch and park area from the skate park to the oceanfront, with places to sit and picnic , perhaps a fishing pier, all without the current congestion. We could accomplish that in partnership with Catalyst, Ministry of Highways, BC Ferries and you. I have met and talked about this with Mark Collins, CEO of BC Ferries, Ned Dwyer, CEO of Catalyst, and Minister Clair Trevena , Minister of Highways.
This can only happen as a partnership with those people and it will only happen with a lot of work and commitment from you, the community and the leadership of North Cowichan.
I want to work on this. I want us to be bold and determined. I don’t want to sit in a room at Municipal Hall and figure out how we can do nothing, simplify regulations and put a small amount of money back in your pocket. I don’t want to follow a path to mediocrity, I want us to be inspired. I want that skate park that the community pushed for and raised money for, and one of my opponents said was a waste of money, to be the start of great things, not the end. I want to make a difference that matters.
I want to invest in the community, I want to tackle the affordable housing crisis, bring millions in grant money from the Province and the Feds into our community to build the housing needed for those living on the street, for the working poor, for seniors, for single moms. When we provide Housing First for the least fortunate among us, we all benefit.
I want to monitor and protect our precious water resources. Climate change is a reality in our region – we have been dangerously close to having the Province shut down the Mill water supply because of low flow in the Cowichan River. We need to do the long term planning for our watersheds, to make sure we have sufficient, clean water in the future.
I want to work on these issues with you fully engaged and supportive, to build a better community.