Westward Independent

Who Is the Municipality of North Cowichan Working For?

by Westward Independent
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In 2013 North Cowichan passed a motion to join the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) a Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) initiative in partnership with ICLEI, a UN creation to monitor and steer local policy.

The CVRD also became a paid member of ICLEI in 2016. We have written to the CVRD to ask if they are still a paid member, but a month later have not received an answer. We have confirmed North Cowichan is still a member of the PCP, and at level 4 standing now, which means they have been ‘reporting to’ an outside agency. Are they more beholden to all these types of groups than to local constituents?

What does this free membership entail? It reads like a municipality joining a Girl Guide, or Boy Scouts group, where they prove how great they are doing, and ‘get a badge’. It also reads like a bribe, as local municipalities become more and more dependent on grants, as they become less and less able to be self-sustainable – they must join these initiatives to be eligible for the handouts.

From the email to council in 2013: “Monitoring and verifying implementation progress is an ongoing process. It appears that with the adoption of the CAEP (Climate Action and Energy Plan) North Cowichan may have fulfilled and perhaps on the community level exceeded the minimum requirements of Milestone Three and is actively working towards Milestone Four. Actions required to achieve Milestone Five will be reviewed during progress toward Milestone Four.”


“Membership support: FCM recognizes municipalities that have achieved PCP milestones and reduced emissions through recognition letters to council, milestone recognition events, an annual measures report and webinars showcasing their successes. In addition to recognition for milestones achieved and access to funding assistance for neighbourhood planning, feasibility studies and carbon reduction capital projects and programs, the PCP program also offers other benefits to municipalities as follows: PCP members have access to free technical support through ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. FCM funding is made available through the Green Municipal Fund for the carbon reduction activities described above. Upon joining the PCP, North Cowichan will be eligible for awards such as the FCM Sustainable Communities’ Planning Award. Staff would also be eligible to apply for FCM funding for a ‘Sustainable Neighborhood Action Plan’ scope or component of the University Village planning process.”

The end of the letter from the PCP reads like some legal agreement, though it is not one with a line such as: “BE IT RESOLVED that the municipality of North Cowichan communicate to FCM its participation in the PCP program and its commitment to achieve the milestones set in the PCP five-milestone framework.”

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