In 2008 the SRA approached the Provincial Government through the Ministry of Community and Rural Development and requested funding for a PHASE ONE GOVERNANCE STUDY. Funding was approved by the Provincial Government and the “South Cowichan Services and Governance Study Report” was contracted out to Sussex Consultants Ltd. and completed in June 2009.
This study although it began as a study for a stand alone Shawnigan Lake area, the study finished up by recommending a model for the 3 electoral districts in the south end of the Cowichan Valley regional district. The Board of the SRA does not feel that the recommendations coming out of Phase 1 are in the best interests of the residents of Shawnigan Lake area (or the other 2 electoral districts for that matter).
SRA Board Position
For some time the Board has felt that incorporation of the Shawnigan Lake watershed area separate from Cobble Hill and Mill bay is the best option for governance of the Shawnigan Lake area. We feel that living in a watershed presents a set of issues over which we, the residents of the watershed, should have complete control. Sharing governance with Cobble Hill and Mill Bay would be of no value to us. Nor would our being part of a combined municipality help Cobble Hill with its particular problems (agricultural taxation, water table) or Mill Bay with its (growth, commercial areas, industrialization). We have nothing to gain and lots to lose by being part of a single municipality.
Of course, having separate municipalities would not prevent us working together on issues of mutual interest. Shared services, where appropriate, should be a priority of any future organization.