Letter to the Editor from the Cowichan Leadership Group

We are writing to express our support for the letter “An urgent call for relief’ published in Sunday’s Times Colonist paper. The writers — representatives from non-profit organizations, business, and government in Victoria, BC — asked for the provincial government to offer rent relief to commercial tenants. We are asking for the same.

The Cowichan Valley is home to many small shopping centres: Duncan, Lake Cowichan, Chemainus, Ladysmith, Shawnigan Village, Crofton, Cowichan Bay, Cobble Hill, and Mill Bay. Each of these has its own charm and personality; each is the heart of that town. Shop owners in these small towns have worked hard and sacrificed much for their own enterprise while also supporting others to create a commercial environment that is productive and welcoming. Closing their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic was one of the hardest decisions some of these entrepreneurs had to make, and we know the long-term economic impacts could mean those doors won’t reopen.

We ask that the provincial government work with the business community to establish funds for a commercial rent relief program that supports both the tenant and the landlord through this closure period. We ask that they do so with urgency so that entrepreneurs can focus on rebuilding once the isolation restrictions have been lifted.



Chemainus and District Chamber of Commerce

Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce

Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce

Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce

Chemainus Business Improvement Association

Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area

Ladysmith Downtown Business Association

Chief William Seymour, Cowichan Tribes

Rod Peters, Mayor, Town of Lake Cowichan

Al Siebring, Mayor, North Cowichan

Michelle Staples, Mayor, City of Duncan

Aaron Stone, Mayor, Ladysmith; Chair, Cowichan Valley Regional District

Chris Bear, Inspector, RCMP

Candace Spilsbury, Chair, Cowichan Valley School District

Sonia Furstenau, MLA Cowichan Valley

Alistair MacGregor, MP Cowichan-Malahat-Langford