Courtenay council denies delegation appeal
Courtenay Council defeated a motion by Ronna-Rae Leonard to allow a delegation of pipeline protesters to speak at its Aug. 5 meeting. Coun. Doug Hillian was absent for the vote.
At Monday’s meeting, the group appealed a decision to deny a request to appear as a delegation July 7 to discuss pipeline twinning proposals and tanker exports through coastal waters.
Council had decided the matter does not fall within its jurisdiction.
The delegation consisted of representatives from Leadnow.ca, Dogwood Initiative and the Council of Canadians.
In a letter to council, Jay Baker-French cited a number of precedents to explain why council should hear from the delegation. He noted the Union of B.C. Municipalities adopted two resolutions similar to that which the delegates wished to present to council. One opposes oil transport by pipeline in B.C., the other opposes tanker traffic in coastal waters.
“It is unclear to us how this issue is outside of Courtenay’s jurisdiction when UBCM, a group that includes municipalities that would not be as directly affected by tanker disasters or the negative effect of pipelines on our economy as Courtenay would be, has judged it within theirs,” stated Baker-French, a volunteer with Leadnow.ca.
In a 4-3 vote last week, Comox council defeated a motion to consider appealing a decision not to allow a delegation request from a citizen-led group concerned about the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project. The intent was to gather support from council regarding opposition to pipelines and tankers in B.C. Staff said the request did not fall within the town’s jurisdiction.
Cumberland council allowed a presentation from the delegation.
• Council gave second reading to a zoning amendment for a single family development northeast of Costco at Crown Isle Boulevard and Ryan Road. The applicant — Silver Sand Corp. — plans to construct 31 lots.
Four people attended a public information about the project.
“This development in this area makes great sense,” Coun. Jon Ambler said.
The subdivision plan includes a trail that will connect to the college and new hospital.
A public hearing will be held at the Aug. 5 meeting.
• The BC government has decided to exclude medical marijuana from eligibility for farm classification for property assessment and tax purposes. The province will continue to view medical marijuana production facilities as an allowable farm use on ALR lands.
Earlier in the year, council adopted a zoning amendment bylaw that permits the production of medicinal marijuana in a building but prohibits growing as a home occupation.
Council approved Bill Anglin’s motion to obtain legal advice on the issue.