Angry email raises CVRD chair’s ire

Tempers have been flaring over the controversial South Cowichan ECO Depot for months, but an email sent to a CVRD staffer on Wednesday appears to be the final straw for Chairwoman Gerry Giles.

The Cobble Hill Director is riled about a message sent to the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s general manager of engineering and environmental services, Brian Dennison.

“You have no legal right to proceed with ANYTHING until you have a legal right. You are so silly. We know where you live,” the email from Wendy Davis reads.

“We know the creek you have polluted, etc. Do you really need to proceed unprecedented? Think before you jump in here, Brian. I will follow up with a letter to the press. Big mistake, my little man. Sorry for you.”

Dennison didn’t seemed too fussed about the email.

“In public service, people get angry — I’ve actually had death threats before, although not do with this,” he said. “I don’t take it too seriously.”

But Giles disagrees.

“I’m sorry, but this does not go with the territory of the job. I rarely disagree with staff, but I do not believe, in a civil society, that you issue or carry out threats against people in order to advance an argument,” she said. “It’s simply not tolerable.”

Davis, however, said there is no threat in the message, which was sent in response to the possibility of an ECO Depot information booth being set up at the Cameron-Taggart Road site.

“At the last meeting I attended, there was a draft of the communications plan that was put out by the spin doctors, and one of the things they’re suggesting doing is putting an information trailer on the site,” Davis said.

“Now, we’re still in court here. They have no right. They can’t be going ahead with this.”

Again, Giles disagrees.

She and Dennison confirmed the CVRD is considering tours and a temporary information booth brought onto the site from time to time. But that has nothing to do with construction.

“We are not constructing anything on site until after the referendum vote and the board then determines whether or not it will move forward,” she said.

She said the CVRD will be “following up” on the email.

“I personally have been the recipient of threats, including a death threat, and it is not something that we should tolerate in a democracy,” she said. “If you want to enter debate and put forward a point of view, that’s fine, but don’t threaten people.

“We will take whatever action necessary to ensure the safety of our employees.”

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