North Cowichan and Duncan endorse a safer community plan for Trans-Canada corridor

WatchBusiness owners plagued with crime say it's a welcome first step

The Municipality of North Cowichan and the City of Duncan are teaming up to combat crime happening along the Trans-Canada Highway.

The initiative’s aim is to address crime and public disorder along the Trans-Canada Highway corridor between Beverly Street and Boys Road.

It comes as business owners have been buckling under increasing crime rates.

“I’d say it’s 200 per cent worse than it was four or five years ago,” said Don Hatton of the Cowichan Highway Corridor Business Council.

Hatton says they’re feeling the brunt of the region’s crime as many social services are offered in the area.

Duncan and North Cowichan have endorsed a joint safety plan.

Both have committed to opening a Corridor Safety Office soon along the Trans-Canada Highway where they will coordinate efforts by police, bylaw officers, social workers and private security officers.

“And hopefully make the corridor feel more safe for citizens and make the businesses feel not abandoned,” said Kate Marsh, North Cowichan’s Acting Mayor.

The plan was developed in consultation with local business owners, Cowichan Tribes, Cowichan Valley School District, health and social service providers, RCMP and others.

Businessman Will Arnold has been a driving force in trying to clean up the area.

He says the municipal effort is a great first step but the entire community needs to get involved to improve safety in the area.

“This community is really strong and I think if we all put our heads together and we all put our political views aside. I think we can come up with some creative solutions.”

Arnold says accountability is a crucial part in helping those suffering from addictions.

And he says more resources from the provincial and federal governments will be needed to help get the homeless and addicted off the streets.

An implementation plan will be back before both Councils for approval in August.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!