Cowichan Bay Improvement District
The Cowichan Bay Improvement District (CBID) and the Cowichan Bay Volunteer Fire Rescue (CBVFR) are served entirely by volunteers. CBID is focused on providing local fire protection services through the CBVFR, rather than general governance or land use planning. These services are financed by taxation.
CBID is governed by a board of five elected trustees (elected by area property owners) one of whom acts as chair. The powers exercised by the trustees (to enact and enforce its regulations and charges, to assess and collect taxes, to acquire, hold and dispose of assets and to borrow money) flow from the improvement district's bylaws, the Local Government Act and other applicable provincial statutes.
CBID is located within the boundary of the Cowichan Valley Regional District, yet they are independent of each other. Overlaps in jurisdiction can and do occur, so co-ordination between the two is essential.
Improvement districts are local authorities responsible for providing local services for the benefit of the residents in a community. They vary considerably in size from small subdivisions to larger communities and are usually located in rural areas of the province.
The Local Government Department actively works with improvement district boards of trustees and staff to provide information and develop advisory materials, such as the Improvement District Manual, the Improvement District Conversion Guide and Improvement District Governance Policy and the Improvement District Trustee's Handbook. The Department also plays a role in reviewing improvement district bylaws, annual general meeting minutes, financial statements, and facilitating changes to improvement district boundaries.
The CBID meets at the Cowichan Bay Fire Hall on the third Tuesday of each month to review the operations of the Fire Department, review and approve spending and ensure that the Fire Department has the necessary equipment, tools, and personnel to fulfill their duties. The CBID holds an Annual General Meeting once a year at the Fire Hall where Annual Reports are presented, and Trustees are elected to a 3-year term. Every landowner in the CBID is encouraged to attend the AGM and allow their name to be nominated for a trustee’s position. A background in business is an asset, but there are no qualifications required for a landowner to become a trustee. The CBID is a great way for individuals to get involved in the Fire Department and their community, without becoming a Firefighter.
- Gord Fraser
- Marsha Stanley – CPA, CA, CGA, CBV MNP LLP
- Chris Duggan – Principal, Prime Engineering Ltd.
- Ron Mellson – Owner, CNS Cowichan Collision Ltd.
- Cam Ferguson – Captain, CFB Esquimalt Fire Department / Owner, CF Responder Training