Citizens Oversight & Accountability Project

Our mission is to establish ourselves as community stakeholders, ensuring that the underrepresented citizens have their values, vision, and voices heard for community planning. By establishing ourselves as community stakeholders we gain access to features and services that aren’t available to the general public. This allows us to influence and present concerns and feedback that would otherwise go unheard.


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Local Matters

C.O.A.P. inc. is a citizen-led group that will hold local governments, all across the Cowichan Valley, accountable for their governing, and spending of our tax dollars.

Umm... What is a COAP?

Okay… Okay. So you scrolled this far and you still aren’t quite sure what COAP even is, what we do, or why you should care. Let’s break it down!

COAP, the Citizens Oversight & Accountability Project is designed to keep local government officials accountable to the locals. There’s some media accountability in there also, but at the core, we’re focused on ensuring your local officials have the LOCALS best interest in mind.

There is a lot of pressure on local governments on the Provincial and Federal level. While that is tolerable on some level, at which level do the locals have their voices heard? At which level can just local citizens raise their concerns over things such as a sidewalk, forest path, that one fence you don’t like, that special tree everyone enjoys? The local elected officials should not be swayed or overpowered by a top-down government, they were elected by just a couple thousand locals who expect these officials to be their voice. However, we see more often Global, Federal, and Provincial mandates and agendas work their way into small-town councils.

When this happens, you start noticing your town shaping and changing in a way that might not quite make sense. Maybe your town has a unique layout, perhaps it’s farming-focused, maybe it’s housing-focused. There might be a certain landmark or feature, or an industry which is particularly important. Yet when you watch council videos, read the minutes, see the vote, it appears as though the focus doesn’t quite align with those things. When you catch the evening news you realize the international news, or federal news somehow aligns more with the direction of your local council, than the locals who voted them in. When that happens, you know your local council is out of touch with locals and likely have outside influences in their ear.

The issue with this, barely anyone notices. Council meetings have maybe 10-15 people present. Video views are less than 20-30, simply put it looks like no one is really paying any attention. We’ve found there are two reasons for this.
1, Some people like the top-down approach and have little regard for the local impact, as long as it seems like we’re ‘aligned’. These people don’t show up to the meetings because they don’t have to, council will vote the way the higher-ups want anyway so they don’t have to care.
2, People just don’t know better. Most folks are busy working, raising their families, trying to make ends meet. The last thing on their mind is the local council. These people just don’t realize the role local government has, as well as the power individual citizens have when it comes to gaining the ear of their local council.

Our mission is to reach the folks who are too busy with their families, businesses, the folks trying to make a go of it. Many people don’t realize the impact of these top-down policies on schools, business, homes, jobs, etc. It takes a lot of time to understand local politics and how they translate to your daily lives. We do our best to break down these policies and changes and make it easy to understand for everyone. If you follow us, support us, read the newspaper, you can obtain hours of information in minutes. If you feel inspired to learn more perhaps you’ll show up at council meetings, tell your friends, start a COAP in your town, or just get out and vote.

COAP is all about YOU, local matters most. We understand other agendas might be important too, and we’re more than happy to allow other people to own that and run that show. For us, we’re about families, locals, community, and just good old-fashioned small-town values. COAP is here for you, we want to be your voice, learn about what matters to you, and bring that to your local council so you don’t have to compete with stakeholders and other invested parties. Support us, and we’ll support you. Let’s go!

We're even bigger than we look!

Did you know that The Westward Independent (WWIND) and GibeNews are beneath the COAP umbrella? If not, you do now!

WWIND is in full swing, releasing a monthly newspaper packed full of local ongoing stories and articles.

GibeNews was the original creation, starting in 2021. It isn’t as updated as it once was, but we do have projects planned for it… As soon as we find the time!

While you're here, why not browse our YouTube content as well!