FOI North Cowichan OCP & Climate Caucus

FOI Request – Kate Marsh – Page 63

“Hello Alex, I am attaching a link to our new draft OCP process, including the OCP itself. It is based on Donut Economics a book by Kate Raworth. Nanaimo is the other Canadian City I am aware of that is using that work.”

On its own, discussing the Official Community Plan before it’s released isn’t overly taboo. In fact, councillors are part of many special interest groups that have the ability to influence policies before the public is even made aware they exist. In this situation, however, the October 2022 election was polarized by comments regarding the United Nations and the World Economic Forum, mostly quoting they have no influence over local politics. Kate Marsh was asked directly if she believes the World Economic Forum had any influence over North Cowichan’s OCP, to which she declined any involvement.

Who is Kate Raworth?

Kate Raworth is prominently featured on the WEF website as a contributor. In fact, her design of Donut Economics was featured in 2017 as a model that will help end inequality.

FOI Request – Kate Marsh – Page 19

“Here is a link to our new draft OCP. We have asked that everything be looked at through a climate lens. The draft is a couple of pages down.”

Kate discloses to Alex Lidstone, Executive Director of a group called climate caucus, that our OCP is being looked at through a climate lens. Roughly translated, this means climate comes first, and everything else somewhere after. With record inflation, out-of-reach home prices, and crushing rental markets, it’s easy to see everything has indeed come second to the climate lens as Kate mentioned.

Who is Climate Caucus?

Featured on their who-we-are page, is an outline of what the organization stands for.

“Climate Caucus is a non-partisan network of 500+ current and former local elected leaders and over 1000 allies, leading the transformation needed for communities to thrive within planetary boundaries.”

What are planetary boundaries?

Find a great run-through put together by Stockholm University.

The planetary boundaries are concepts aimed to define the environmental limits within which humanity can safely operate. This is what is meant by climate first, people second. This concept is under debate, as some claim this to be another doomsday scenario that governments are quick to jump on as an excuse to introduce more taxes.

These future events that claim our demise may not console families who are struggling today. With record amounts of visitors to food banks and wait lists years long for housing, some people may not see another few years let alone the end of the world. It might be time for local politicians to focus on their constituents and not get caught up in worldly affairs.


FOI Request – Rob Douglas – Page 13

“Subject: North Cowichan Official Community Plan – Seeking Public Input”

Throughout pages 13-17 in the FOI request, Rob Douglas outlined the need for public engagement for the draft version of the Official Community Plan. Oddly though, the request was sent to his private newsletter of subscribers to his Mailchimp campaign. In short, the survey went directly to his supporters.

When a member of the council seeks public engagement, you would assume it was directly from the public, not a private list of clients and supporters who would presumably vote in favour of what is in Rob’s best interests.

FOI Request – Rob Douglas – Page 1

“these scenarios include one scenario to contain sprawl (#2), while the other two (#1 and #3), from my perspective, would basically continue with the status quo”

This quote is simply to highlight a common point of interest for public officials. It’s an old quote stating what’s good for thee and not for me. While Rob Douglas expresses his concern about urban sprawl on the first page of the FOI document, it’s worth noting he and his family live well outside of town. In fact, he lives far enough outside of town public transit is almost non-existent and as you may guess, as of December 2022 he does not drive an electric car. Nor does he commute to the municipal office on a scooter.

Despite this, he is quick to assure North Cowichan residents packing together in 600+ unit condos and hopping on a chargeable scooter is the way of the future. This is his vision for you, even if he has another vision for his family.

View our FOI requests here

Our FOI documents are hosted on Google Drive, feel free to browse at your leisure.

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