B.C. municipal election 2018: Lake Cowichan results

Rod Peters was elected as mayor of the Town of Lake Cowichan, dispatching incumbent Ross Forrest with 479 votes.

Incumbents Tim McGonigle, Lorna Vomacka and Carolyne Austin will return to council. Kristine Sandhu served prior to 2014.



Bob K Day

Ross Forrest (incumbent)

Rod E Peters – elected


Carolyne I Austin (incumbent) – elected

Janet M Kirk

Tim T McGonigle (incumbent) – elected

Beverly A North

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Loretta D Puckrin

Kristine M Sandhu – elected

Lorna D Vomacka (incumbent) – elected

Rocky M Wise

Referendum Questions

Are you in favour of the Cowichan Valley Regional District adopting “CVRD Bylaw No. 4201 – Cowichan Housing Association Annual Financial Contribution Service Establishment Bylaw, 2018” to provide regional programs and services related to affordable housing and homelessness prevention?

Are you in favour of the Cowichan Valley Regional District adopting “CVRD Bylaw No. 4202 – Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Service Establishment Bylaw, 2018” to support regional programs related to drinking water and watershed protection?


At the western edge of Lake Cowichan is where you’ll find the town that bears its name. It’s located about 30 kilometres from Duncan.

Population (2016)



Lake Cowichan itself is believed to have been used for fishing and hunting by Indigenous peoples before European contact, but otherwise doesn’t appear to have been settled permanently.

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William Forest came to Cowichan Bay in 1883.

A year later, he, James Tolmie and the Indigenous Ikilass brothers explored the lake. Forest called it “the most beautiful spot” he’d ever seen, and he lobbied the provincial government to build a road there.

That road was completed in 1886, and that’s when people started to settle in the area, creating what would later become the Town of Lake Cowichan, to be incorporated in 1944.

Settlers were attracted to the area for hunting, farming and logging, and the latter industry became the central economic driver.

The arrival of the E&N Railway would drive even more logging, starting in 1912. The Canadian National Railway also started building to the lake.

The logging industry would accelerate and decline over the years, but the community would remain.

Today, the very reasons why Lake Cowichan has a path in and out of it have all but disappeared. Mills that processed timber have closed.

Tourism has since become an economic driver in the region.

Median total income of couple economic families with children (2015)/B.C. median


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Political representation


Alistair MacGregor (NDP)


Sonia Furstenau (BC Green)