Special Meeting of Members
A Special Meeting of Members was called at the request of the Regional District of Nanaimo. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the CEO contract. A quorum was not met. Several members did attend so an informal discussion was held. At the ICF Board meeting the CEO contract was renewed.
Local Government Liaison Committee
The City of Duncan and the Municipality of North Cowichan have submitted their respective appointment to the liaison committee. Lantzville has declined to participate. The liaison committee will provide an opportunity for municipalities to discuss rail and trail issues and ideas with Southern Rail and ICF staff & directors.
The board has instructed the Treasurer to present a report on managing long term revenues. The solid financial position has allowed the board to contribute to improvements to the Alberni Subdivision and the Courtenay Station restoration project being undertaken by the Courtenay and Strathcona Rotaries.
Terms of reference for the First Nation Trust Fund are to be developed for consideration. ICF revenues are generated from land use rents. Local governments do not contribute to annual operations.
Langford Tax Notice
The City of Langford issued their tax notice to the ICF. This is offset against the land use fee charged for Langford’s use of corridor lands that include utilities, parking, roadways and trails. Local governments that grant permissive property tax exemption are not charged new land use fees.
Nanaimo Port Authority – Excursion Rail
The Nanaimo Port Authority, flush from the very successful recent docking of the Royal Caribbean ship, Explorer of the Seas, are eager to pursue the plan to provide the cruise ship excursion train, ‘Island Explorer‘ as an attraction to double the number of cruise ships to the Nanaimo Port. The ‘Island Explorer, the train used for the 130th Anniversary Celebrations in April, would operate between Nanaimo and Chemainus. Stakeholder meetings will be organized to determine community interest.
Commuter Rail – West Shore
An informal meeting with Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins and View Royal Mayor David Screech was arranged with Southern Rail President, Frank Butzelaar and Southern Rail of Vancouver Island project manager, Don McGregor to discuss the interest in commuter rail between Victoria and Langford. Several operational reports have been presented to West Shore communities in the past.
Comox Valley Regional District – ICF/SVI Report
A comprehensive report on the ICF operations and Southern Rail plans was made to the CVRD in May. This was the fifth presentation to local governments this spring. The CVRD is a strong supporter for the return of rail to Courtenay.
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of ICF Director Cyril Livingstone, hereditary chief of the Lake Cowichan First Nation.
The Cowichan Lake district is in mourning following the sudden death of Cyril Livingstone, hereditary chief of the Lake Cowichan First Nation. Livingstone died of natural causes on May 17.
“He will be sadly missed by all,” the LCFN stated in a written announcement prior to Livingstone’s funeral.
“He was very personable and highly respected by many which, combined with his other characteristics, led to him being a true role model.”
Livingstone had served as LCFN chief for the past 38 years, and dedicated much of his time and authority as chief to providing homes, employment and other services to his community and family.
“Cyril loved spending time with his family and could always be found telling stories, jokes, listening to music, singing, dancing or laughing heartily; especially with his grandchildren, whom he cherished,” the LCFN statement read.
“He was an avid hunter and fisherman for all of his life as he learned how to live off of the land at a very young age.”
Livingstone was also an accomplished log burler, winning several regional championships. He worked for Western Forest Industries for 14 years, and most enjoyed his time as a tug boat operator.
In recent years, Livingstone could frequently be found playing pool at James Street Billiards in Duncan, where he formed many close friendships.
In a recent episode of Our Community Cares, Radio Cowichan station director Mike Bishop interviewed Livingstone on camera about the recent protocol agreement signed between the LCFN and the Cowichan Valley Regional district.
In the video, which is available on Radio Cowichan’s Facebook page, Livingstone expresses pride in the way the local First Nation has worked constructively with the Town of Lake Cowichan and now the regional district.
“It just goes to show that working together and working as one, we can accomplish things,” he said. “I take pride and honour in working with everybody.”
During Heritage Days three years ago, Livingstone signed a protocol agreement with the Town of Lake Cowichan on behalf of the LCFN, which aimed to establish a new and ongoing relationship between the communities, founded on the basis of mutual respect and understanding. This was also the underpinning of the protocol agreement signed with the CVRD on April 29.
Mayor Ross Forrest described Livingstone’s death as a great loss for the Lake.
“I’ve known Cyril probably for 50 years, since we were kids. He really did like this community and he was a great steward for this community. He truly cared for the environment and he wanted to make this community a better place for his grandkids,” said Forrest.
“I think he had a very quiet influence, the way he did stuff. When Cyril would speak at a meeting or a function, he didn’t say a lot but he had a clear, simple message.”
Area F director Ian Morrison also spoke of Livingstone’s influence.
“Cyril’s leadership created a level of influence far greater than one would expect from a nation of Lake Cowichan’s size. That is a testament to Cyril’s commitment to his people and the skilled people he brought in to work and serve in his community,” he said.
Morrison reflected on his first opportunity to share a stage with Livingstone – at the grand re-opening of the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena – and said Livingstone’s blessing and kind words have stayed with him to this day.
“While Chief Livingstone may have been of small stature – he stood tall in they eyes of his nation and the wider community of Cowichan Lake and the broader Cowichan Valley region.”
by James Goldie – Cowichan Valley Citizen