Candidate for Lake Cowichan Town Council: Janet Kirk

Janet Kirk

  • Please tell us a bit about yourself and what made you decide to run in this election?

I am running for Lake Cowichan town Council to represent the needs of the town and its residents. This is about the town and what is in the best interest for both the short and long term. I want transparency from council to the townspeople in how we govern the town and how those decisions will influence their families. To make sure we get input from the residents, and that they feel they are part of the process and that their voices are heard. An educated and informed citizen helps in the process to drive growth.

  • Do you support the Drinking Water & Watersheds Protections Service bylaw referendum?  

I don’t have enough information at this time to make an informed decision.

  • Do you support the Cowichan Housing Association Service Establishment bylaw? 

No. The housing authority determines where the need in the valley is the greatest, and that is where they will decide the money will go. It could take 20 years for Lake Cowichan to see any of that. While I do understand that there is a housing shortage, I think there are other options we should look at. Instead of waiting 5 10 20 years down the road for some funds to arrive so that grants can be approved, we try look at more viable options to truly help the people in our community who are struggling now!

  • How do you plan to work with other governments within the region, including local First Nations as well as provincial and federal governments?

I think working with our First Nation neighbors is vital to our community and our growth. They are a valued people with a lot to offer and even more to bring to the table. I also believe that working cohesively and collaboratively with both provincial and federal governments will only build stronger relationships and will benefit our community in the long run.     

  • One Cowichan supporters have expressed concerns about climate change, especially local impacts on our water resources. What local climate change mitigation and/or adaptation strategies would you support if elected?  

 Great question, one that is near and dear to me. Some of the strategies that are in place are water metering I would love to see more discussions on rainwater collection and conservation, and what we can do to make that happen.

  • How do you propose managing growth sustainably in the Cowichan Region (e.g. transportation, environmental/agricultural protection, land-use, housing, cost of living)?

By properly planning out infrastructure and subdivisions to ensure that current and future water and sewer systems are not over taxed.

  • What do you consider the three most pressing issues facing local government and the one most important thing local government should do on each one?
  1. bylaw enforcement, and the local government needs to reevaluate the complaint driven system
  2. housing crisis, we need to look at more viable options for our lower income and seniors.
  3. transparency/availability. The council needs to be more open and transparent with the public. They need to be available to hear to public's needs.
  • Our citizen surveys indicate a desire for more consultation and accountability between elected officials and their constituents. If elected, what would your approach be to those issues?

My approach would be coffee with a councilor, so we could discuss the needs of the town people. Having all meetings on camera with microphones, so at anytime the meetings are accessible and transcribed.