Our take: Good luck with the latest push to restructure
The News Leader Pictorial has long been fond of pointing out the inherent flaw in Cowichan’s current political boundaries: the political arrangement does not reflect the social reality.
So on that level we welcome Jennifer Woike’s attempt to resurrect the old question of amalgamation between North Cowichan and Duncan.
It’s just that we’ve seen this dance so many times before we’ve become skeptical that any effort, even the most well-intentioned, will fall prey to the turf-guarding and self-interest that has killed every other effort before.
Real communities are built around central commercial hubs that feed, and are fed by, surrounding nodes of residential, rural and industrial lands.
Duncan is not the tightly constrained commercial/residential square mile of 5,000 citizens represented by the City of Duncan. It is the more than 20,000 people and a wide variety of properties ranging from Herd Road to Koksilah Road to the Maple Bay Peninsula to Paldi.
The real Duncan could be planned and operated in a fashion much more beneficial to its residents if its decision-making, planning and services were handled by one single, democratically elected entity.
It’s just that to get there one has to navigate the political minefield of no less than four political entities (Duncan, North Cowichan, Area E and Area D) — five if you consider the northern half of North Cowichan is a socially independent entity.
And, inevitably, it is impossible to build the correct political coalition in order to make the correct restructure happen.
We’ve come to the conclusion the only way it will happen is by a provincial government decree, similar to the one that created the current health districts. In other words, good luck.