The new mayor of North Cowichan hasn’t wasted any time in making changes, as Al Siebring has created two new standing committees.

The two committees are the Regulatory Review Committee and a First Nations Relations Committee, that focuses on relationship-building and reconciliation.

Siebring said the Regulatory Review Committee is overdue, to say the least.

“It’s been more than one hundred years since we had a comprehensive look at all the bylaws, rules, and regulations we have on the books here in North Cowichan and I thought this was long overdue,” said Siebring. “I look for to working with councillors (Christopher) Justice and (Tek) Manhas and with staff to see which bylaws no longer align with our central mission, which are outdated, and which ones might need some fine-tuning.”

Siebring has spoken of the importance of council to work with one another and with community partners.

To that end, the new mayor has established a First Nations Relations Committee, that will be chaired by Debra Toporowski, the first female North Cowichan councillor of First Nations descent.

Siebring said he consulted with Cowichan Tribes Chief William Seymour before implementing this standing committee.

“Before I decided to implement this, I had lunch with Chief Seymour to get his input and advice,” said Siebring. “He concurred that this could be a good vehicle to advance our relationships and the reconciliation process. For the past two terms, the councils of which I have been a part have identified that improving relations with neighbouring First Nations would be one of our top priorities.”

Councillor Kate Marsh and Mayor Al Siebring are also on this committee.

North Cowichan council is a diverse group, as it includes members of South Asian and First Nations descent, along with a member of the LGBTQ community.

Standing Committees:

Audit and Finance Standing Committee:

Chair: Al Siebring (includes all council members)

First Nations Relations Standing Committee:

Chair: Debra Toporowski (also includes Kate Marsh, Al Siebring)

Forestry Advisory Select Committee:

Chair: Rob Douglas

Joint Utilities Board:

Rosalie Sawrie and Tek Manhas

Parcel Tax Review Panel:

Chair: Rosalie Sawrie (includes Kate Marsh and Debra Toporowski)

Regulatory Review Standing Committee:

Chair: Al Siebring (also includes Christopher Justice and Tek Manhas)

Sports Wall of Fame Nomination Committee:

Chair: Tek Manhas