Group planning to endorse Comox Valley candidates

Comox Valley Common Sense envisions an economically vibrant Valley that provides jobs, goods and services, and recreation opportunities.

As the municipal elections approach, the group is advocating local governments to provide services efficiently and cost-effectively while pulling in the reins on spending and taxes.

It is in the process of talking to candidates in all jurisdictions before endorsing any of them, CVCS spokesperson John Davis said.

"We are in the process now of talking to all the candidates, or as many as are happy to talk to us," he said.

The group is a registered campaign organizer with a financial officer. It plans to take out full-page advertisements in local newspapers early next month, at which point it will decide on particular endorsements.

An ad was to appear in Friday's Comox Valley Record, "just letting people know that we're out there," Davis said.

"We won't be naming any candidates, but we will definitely be supporting candidates and we'll make that official announcement, again through a full-page ad, in both the local papers. We expect to do so on November the fourth."

Their objective is to have more than 50 per cent of the electorate show up at the polls Nov. 19.

CVCS has existed for about three years.

"We started a little bit of work with (former Courtenay mayor) Starr Winchester, and we've been poking around quietly since then, but I think we're going to become a little more visible now," Davis said.

Winchester is among 16 candidates vying for six seats on Courtenay council. There are 12 candidates competing for six seats in Comox while Cumberland has eight candidates vying for four seats.

Area directors Bruce Jolliffe, Jim Gillis and Edwin Grieve have retained their seats by acclamation, and Cumberland Coun. Leslie Baird was acclaimed village mayor for the next term. Courtenay Mayor Greg Phelps is being challenged by Coun. Larry Jangula and Bill Bate, and Comox Mayor Paul Ives faces a single challenger in Bernie Poole.

"They're (CVCS) a group of concerned citizens. They're a very legitimate organization," said Poole, president of the BC Liberal Association, who notes the polarization of politics in the Valley.

"There are lots of organized groups — labour groups, union groups — supporting politicians on the left at all levels of government," Poole said. "The problem is on the right, all of us are so busy working at our businesses and other endeavours that we don't seem to spend the time getting involved."

CVCS supports candidates who possess the qualities and principles to manage people’s business. It feels local government should focus on providing basic services and facilities, "and avoid becoming involved in too much," as stated on its website.

In terms of infrastructure, its priorities include a deep water intake in Comox Lake and sewage treatment facilities to service the entire Valley. It also advocates for a northern connector linking the Inland Island Highway to Veteran’s Memorial Parkway.

For more information visit www.votecommonsense.ca.


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