Working for a livable community since 2006

Counter Petition against the $3 million municipal hall expansion bylaw

July 19, 2011

To the Honourable Ida Chong – Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, Government of BC On behalf of many citizens and taxpayers of the: District of North Cowichan (DNC) as well as our neighbours at Penelakut Tribe and Halalt Nation, I would like to bring your attention to a matter that of concern about our municipal government. - read more here -

July 17
BIG week ahead for Echo Heights Forest
Strategy Session – 6:30 p.m. Monday, Chemainus Legion
Public Hearing – 7 p.m. Thursday, Council Chambers
details here
July 14

July 17
Robert Bateman says
Preserve Echo Heights Forest
read more here

A Crucial Month Ahead for Our Forest

The Residents Association is proud to support the Biodiversity Education Project and Friends of Echo Heights'  2011 Chemainus Camas Fest.

Echo Heights: Prime for development? from Holly Pattison on Vimeo.

Echo Heights Trail Map

The CRA logo 'Give A Hoot' was inspired by one of our earliest benefactors. Artist Robert Bateman, who lives on Salt Spring Island, generously donated a signed etching of the Barred owl – one of the inhabitants of Echo Heights Forest – in the early days of the organization.  More here


The Mayor answers – Mayor Tom Walker couldn't make it to our AGM, but he did take the time to answer a number of questions put forward at the meeting. Read his responses here.
There is a new (old) board of directors and new focus for the CRA in 2010-11 after the 4th annual AGM was held in March.Read the April newsletter here
CRA letter to mayor asks for partnership to explore other options for Echo Heights   details here
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Premier of Echo Heights Film
More than 30 people attended the first screening of the award-winning film about Echo Heights Forest by Victoria filmmaker Holly Pattison. If you missed it, she’s working on a full-length version for early in 2010.
    The screening was followed by a primer called Chemainus Planning… As If Residents Matter. One of the speakers was CRA board member Bernie Jones. The featured presenter was Chris Sholberg, a neighbourhood and heritage planner with the City of Nanaimo. The meeting ended with a small-group planning exercise looking at possible uses for a ‘new’ Neighbourhood House. Click Here to access a report.
Great Letter! – Lois Flach wrote this great letter which sums up the thinking of many of us in Chemainus

June 17 Town Hall Meeting Report…
It was a wonderful evening of dialogue and discussion about Echo Heights Forest with a real history lesson from Florence James of Penelakut First Nation (left).
Read more here

CRA and ELC from UVic team up again Echo Heights a park? Maybe it already is! More here

Back in June 2006, at the CRA's first AGM, a young law student from UVic spoke. This is what she said.

Chemainus Wells and the Aquifer
Read more here.

Saw 4 owls! EH Visitors Register

Visit the Echo Heights Forest web site here This was the original Friends of Echo Heights website from 2006. This is not an official CRA web site. It is maintained by one of our members and contains lots of useful info.

North Cowichan Council has a duty to protect Echo Heights

On Augu
st 19, 2009, Kyra Bell-Pasht, of the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Victoria and CRA representatives was to meet in camera with North Cowichan council. She presents a powerful argument that council has a duty to preserve Echo Heights as parkland.

Read the full Presentation
document and the supporting Appendix

The Economic Case for NOT Selling
Echo Heights Forest

In the August 14 edition of the Cowichan News-Leader, Kyra made another argument for preserving Echo Heights. But this one was based on the idea that selling the forest would be a poor decision from a business perspective. To read the full article, go here.

An Investment That Pays

OCP Review Community Feedback
A series of reports from North Cowichan are now available for you here. And more reports are on North Cow's website.Visit and follow the OCP Review links. Comments and questions should be sent to:

About the CRA
  Our Constitution  Our Purpose
A Short History The CRA was formed in 2006 with a simple mission: For a livable and healthy community. Our origins were in the on-going campaign to preserve the 52-acre Echo Heights Forest and save it from development. An Echo Heights trail map is here. Echo Heights is a practical matter, but it is also a symbol of the conflict between our community and often-distant 'powers that be'. True Community consultation is the answer.
$1 membership doesn't pay bills
New CRA executive elected at AGM
The CRA Archives
The Madrone Report on Echo Heights… Freedom of Information request… Community Surveys (2006 and 2008)… and much more
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Tide Predictions for Chemainus
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On Monday, Aug. 8, Sustainability is on the menu at our AGM
The guest speaker is Neil Dawe of The Qualicum Institute
-more here-

From Bernie Jones, CRA Chair, July 20, 2011 By a 5-1 margin, North Cowichan Council decided today to postpone indefinitely the public hearing on Echo Heights, which had been originally scheduled for July 21. What this means is that this Council will leave a final decision on Echo Heights to the next Council to be elected in November. - more here -

Supreme Court shuts down Chemainus wells project
The District of North Cowichan and the province have been embarrassed by a precedent-setting BC Supreme Court decision on July 13. It has implications for future developments such as the one on taxpayer-owned Echo Heights Forest. Read the press releases or download the 178-page decision by Justice Catherine Wedge here.

First Nation Court Challenge Warning
A First Nation lands analyst warns - in a new film - that subdividing Echo Heights Forest could bring a challenge in the courts. Read press release here or watch the video (at about 6:20)

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