Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells looks on as Bill Heidrick presents Premier John Horgan with a Project Watershed ball cap.

Premier visits Kus-kus-sum site during Comox Valley stop

Last month, when Premier John Horgan was in the Comox Valley to attend the ground-breaking of Ocean Front Village, the Comox Valley’s new long-term care facility in Courtenay, and to visit 19 Wing Comox, he also took the opportunity to visit Kus-kus-sum.

His desire to visit the site came about because he wanted to see what had ignited the enthusiasm in the community and hear first-hand the story, and history of this unique project.

Local MLA, Ronna-Rae Leonard also attended the site visit as did representatives from the three organizations that are involved in the Kus-kus-sum initiative, namely Project Watershed, the K’ómoks First Nation (KFN) and the City of Courtenay.

Tim Ennis, the Kus-kus-sum senior project manager, toured the attendees through the site and explained the plans for restoring the former sawmill site to natural habitat for conservation purposes. At the same time, KFN Coun. Richard Hardy spoke of the importance of the project as an act of reconciliation, as Kus-kus-sum holds important cultural significance for the nation.

The Province has made a significant financial contribution to Kus-kus-sum – providing $1 million in funding towards the purchase of the property.

RELATED: Kus-kus-sum received provincial funding

“What an amazing opportunity to thank the Province of BC for their continued support of the acquisition, and restoration of the K’ómoks Estuary,” said Ennis, of Horgan’s visit.

Project Watershed continues to raise funds to purchase the site from Interfor, the final payment being due in June of 2020. There are several ways that the community can contribute to the purchase and restoration of the property. The project’s next goal is to raise $35,000 by Dec. 31. For more information: www.projectwatershed.ca or 250-703-2871.

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From left to right: Don Castleden, Brian Storey, Doug Hillian, Tim Ennis , Premier John Horgan, Richard Hardy, Bill Heidrick, Rona-Rae Leonard, and Dan Bowen.

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