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New weir is just the start in providing healthy ecosystems, Cowichan Tribes chief 

Premier David Eby was accompanied by the newly elected Cowichan Tribes chief Cindy Daniels as they officially announced funding for the new Cowichan Weir.  

The province announced they will be providing $14 million in the budget to build the weir, which is expected to take two years to finish from when they put the first shovel in the ground. 

Daniels says she is thankful for the province’s investment, and the $14 million combined with federal funding will go a long way to ensure water security and sustainability for the future. 

“The funding is essential to replace the Lake Cowichan weir,” she says. “The combined federal funding will support more suitable water flows for the river, salmon and wildlife, and our communities.” 

Daniels says the work is just the start and she will continue to work in collaboration with all levels of government to ensure its completion.  

“We are close, but our work is not done,” she says. “We will continue to work together with the province to develop the new and progressive protocols we need for our weir, and our river moving forward.” 

Minister of Indigenous relations and reconciliation Murray Rankin says protecting water and building water infrastructure is critically important and he is thankful for the combined efforts on this project. 

“First Nations have vast knowledge and expertise in ecosystem and watershed management,” he says. “I want to extend my gratitude to Cowichan Tribes, as well as the Cowichan Valley Regional District and Cowichan Water Board, for protecting the river and the communities that rely on it.” 

The existing weir was built in the 1950s with a capacity to store 97 cm of water, and designed to meet the industrial and environmental water needs of the time. 

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