ECO Depot vote meaningless for three

At least three south-end director candidates will oppose the proposed ECO Depot location if elected, no matter what the results of a non-binding Nov. 19 referendum.

Dara Quast in Cobble Hill, Bruce Fraser in Shawnigan Lake and Balu Tatachari in Mill Bay all answered with an emphatic “no” to the cowichannewsleader.com question “will your direction on the future of the project be determined by the referendum?”

“The fact is that the CVRD lacks the legal authority to proceed,” Quast writes. “It is an insulting deception and a denial of the process required by the Provincial Government through the Local Government Act.”

“It is a grievous misuse of a democratic referendum process… to use the population of a larger area with much less at stake to bury the interests of a highly impacted local group,” Fraser writes. “The Cameron-Taggart residents deserve much better consideration from their local government and from me if I become their representative.”

“ (I have) plenty of reasons,” Tatachari adds, “including: fiscally irresponsible; lack of accountability and transparency in process; farm land; and the community does not need to establish infrastructure (municipal hall) for a municipality that does not exist.”

Mill Bay candidate Mike Walker said that while he opposes the location personally, he would vote in favour of it, should the referendum indicate that’s what the public wants. Walker based his stance on the area’s official community plan.

“Poor capability and soil constraints should not be considered acceptable reasons to contemplate subdivision or removal of land from the agricultural designation,” he writes.

Cobble Hill candidate Gerry Giles was the lone candidate to support the location, but said she too would abide by what the vote directs.

“This location ranked highest in the triple bottom line analysis done by Chris Corps (an expert in the field) on five short listed properties in the south Cowichan area and it is also central to the three communities it is intended to serve.”

Mill Bay’s Angela Auchincloss and Shawnigan Lake’s Ken Cossey and Roy Davies have yet to respond to the question. However, Cossey and Davies indicated at last week’s all-candidates’ forum they intend to abide by the referendum.

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