Eco Depot site defeated during CVRD election referendum

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Cowichan region’s controversial Eco Depot site referendum was defeated during Saturday’s election, sending a new Shawnigan Lake director to the board — and a clear message to Cobble Hill’s re-elected chairwoman.

Results were unofficial numbers at press time Saturday night during the election carrying three-year terms for CVRD directors.

A recount will also be held in Youbou-Meade Creek (Area I) where Pat Weaver unofficially shaded incumbent Klaus Kuhn by just four votes, 177-173.

Chief election officer Kathleen Harrison said that recount would be done by 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Cowichan Valley Regional District’s non-binding Eco Depot referendum, held in Mill Bay, Shawnigan Lake, and Cobble Hill (Areas A, B and C), saw voters clearly nix the recycling centre site.

Unofficial counts tallied 2,669 votes to 1,451 against building the depot off Shawnigan’s Cameron-Taggart Road.

That’s where newcomer Bruce Fraser defeated Shawnigan’s incumbent Director Ken Cossey 1,020 votes to 379.

Cobble Hill Director Gerry Giles said she’d honour voters’ wishes shown in the rejecting the site.

“Whatever the final referendum vote, I’ll abide by it. That’s democracy,” Giles said, thrilled to return to the CVRD table for her third straight term.

Her victory came after sinking challenger Dara Quast 903 votes to 468.

CVRD’s other south–end referendum saw a 709-252 approval for the Mill Bay-Malahat Historical Society to receive up to $15,000 in annual regional funding for artifact preservation and more.

Other CVRD races saw Mike Walker regain his Mill Bay seat — after a one-term hiatus — with 564 votes compared to 329 for Angela Auchincloss, and 90 for Balu Tatachari.

Cowichan Bay Director Lori Iannidinardo kept her seat after trouncing Greg Hunt 627 votes to 275.

Other votes tallied in Shawnigan saw Roy Davies gain 280 votes, and Kelly Musselwhite finish with 54 ballots.

Harrison said voter turnout percentages were unavailable by press time.

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