The three way contest for the next Mayor of North Cowichan is really a two way race as John Koury faces off against Rob Douglas and Rosalie Sawrie.
You will recall from the last election that both Douglas and Sawrie are really two sides of the same coin. Douglas had the backing of One Cowichan, the political shadow slate, as did Sawrie. In fact Sawrie was a Director/Volunteer/employee of One Cowichan preceding the election. Douglas, an NDP stalwart also had the backing of the left-labour movement, aka the unions. Both benefited from public and secret email-list endorsements. Sawrie, with no public profile, was in fact easily elected on the strength of the shadow-slate support.
One Cowichan and the municipal shadow-left NDP in the Cowichan Valley effectively campaigned for them and their supporters elected them, along with the rest of their slate quite handily.
Their political history and track record defines what they will do if elected. Sawrie tends to the green side and Douglas to the union labour side of that same left ticket. They have voted and supported all of the initiatives one would think they would have, and although they differed on a few minor issues, they were and are in ideological lock-step.
On the other hand stands John Koury, who was a conservative candidate in past federal elections. Koury is also no stranger to North Cowichan government, having served as a North Cowichan Councillor. His track record is clear and we know where he stands and his position this election is no different. He is campaigning on bringing North Cowichan local governance back to its essentials, focussing on breaking the log jam on housing, sound and sustainable economic development and keeping a lid on taxes.
With the last election Council took a hard left turn, with only Tek Manhas and Mayor Al Siebring as the quasi-middle ground. But it was always going to be five against two so there was little they could do as the majority surfed their way into uncharted territory, with taxpayers carrying the burden.
This election, John Koury, along with a handful of new candidates, represents change, change from quibbling about whether a new mobile home park is good or bad development, change from trying to save the planet and instead saving our Cowichan environment, change from approving $50 Million for a police station that initially was pitched to voters at $12 Million.
Koury, along with Joyce Behnsen, Mike Caljouw, Bruce Findlay and Charles Borg, will bring us reasonable development, pro-housing, pro-solution, focussed, and competent leadership. These candidates have real world experience, real world common sense.
What they lack is the hidden agenda and ideological zeal the left slate brings. They aren’t trying to save the world, aren’t trying to solve societies ills.
They want to run North Cowichan in a way that benefits everyone, left and right alike.