Duncan, North Cowichan and Cowichan Tribes Open Highway Corridor Safety Office

DUNCAN – Duncan, North Cowichan, and Cowichan Tribes are working together, in collaboration with community stakeholders, to implement the Safer Community Plan to address crime and public disorder along the Trans-Canada Highway corridor between Beverly Street and Boys Road. The Safer Community Plan coordinates enforcement resources from both municipalities, Cowichan Tribes, and the RCMP. The plan was developed in consultation with local business owners, Cowichan Valley School District, health and social service providers, RCMP and many others.

Immediately following approval of the plan in August, increased enforcement presence along the corridor began, including daytime patrols conducted by RCMP, Blackbird Security, and bylaw enforcement. The Corridor Safety Office at 490 Trans-Canada Highway will open in December to provide a central location from which to operate. A “Who to Call” document will soon be distributed to businesses and residents clarifying who to contact to respond to various concerns, to eliminate confusion and reduce call volume to the RCMP.

“Cowichan Tribes supports the work being done under the Safer Community Plan; it is something that needs to be done, as this is a big issue that requires more focus and efforts,” Chief Seymour says. “This issue is not the responsibility of one community, we all need to work together to address this challenge collaboratively.

“The RCMP has really stepped up to provide support for this initiative,” says Duncan’s Mayor Staples. “We really appreciate the ongoing commitment of local leadership working together. We know that leadership is made up of not just elected leaders, but many others including the RCMP, SD79, Island Health, local businesses, community members and community service providers. Each of us has a different role that we bring to finding solutions, different views and perspectives – all of which are necessary for us to create the changes required to move forward.”

North Cowichan’s Mayor Al Siebring states, “all of the governments in the region are working together to provide additional resources for housing and addiction treatment, as well as addressing crime and public disorder. The types of crises we are facing in the corridor are complex and are going to require a fulsome solution, not a Band-Aid fix.” Mayor Siebring acknowledged the cooperation and expressed “gratitude to Duncan and Cowichan Tribes for their support and commitment to making our collective community a safer place to live, work, and play.”

“We truly appreciate the efforts of the City of Duncan, Municipality of North Cowichan and Cowichan Tribes to bring the Safer Community Plan to fruition” advised detachment commander, Inspector Chris Bear, “We are always looking for new and cutting edge ways to address problems in the community and working together on the Safer Community Plan has been very effective.”

Danny Norris Jr. (Cowichan Tribes), Erin Stevenson (RCMP), David Elley (North Cowichan), Garry Kerr (Duncan), Mike Dunn (North Cowichan), Rachel Hastings (North Cowichan), Martin Drakeley (North Cowichan), Jason Seward (Cowichan Tribes), Adam Kowalewski (Blackbird Security), Mic Bourgeault (Blackbird Security)