Tories pledged $5.3 million to boost armed forces

Every Friday we feature Valley history taken from our back issues.

Every Friday we feature Valley history taken from our back issues.

Five years ago

this week in the

Comox Valley Record:

A Conservative government would post 650 army troops at 19 Wing Comox, upgrade the aging Auroras that patrol the coast, and use unmanned drones in coastal surveillance, party leader Stephen Harper announced during a whistle stop speech at the Coast Westerly.

“After years of neglect by the federal Liberals, Canada does not have sufficient capacity to fulfil its regional responsibilities in B.C. and throughout western Canada,” Harper said, pledging to spend $5.3 billion to beef up the military and improve coastal defence.

The Conservatives also planned to create new territorial battalions with 100 regular and at least 400 reserve force personnel to deal with emergencies.

Ten years ago

this week in the

Comox Valley Record:

The goosebump gang shivered and quivered on the beach at Goose Spit as they endured the final countdown for the Boxing Day polar bear swim.

About 200 spectators watched and waited, then chanted as organizer Karen Troy counted off the last 10 seconds and blew her whistle, sending 87 hearty souls sprinting down the beach. Most swimmers returned to the beach after a quick dip, but a few hunkered down for the long, numb wait to see who would be last out of the water.

After 18 mind-numbing minutes, only three were still submerged.

Fifteen years ago

this week in the

Comox Valley Record:

A five-year lottery partnership paid off for a group of 10 welders at the Fletcher Challenge Mill in Campbell River.

Local winners included Dennis Webber of Courtenay, Don Black of Comox and Bob Windsor of Black Creek. Webber bought the winning ticket at the Driftwood Ticket Centre in Courtenay.

Group member Don Silvaggio cashed the winning 6/49 ticket in Victoria and received a cheque for $12,358.40.

Twenty years ago

this week in the

Comox Valley Record:

A new twist in technology is trapping more drinking drivers this holiday season.

That’s the early verdict on the ‘alcolmeter’ machine — a device small enough to fit into a shirt pocket — being used by Courtenay RCMP for roadside blood-alcohol testing.

Const. Glenn Smiley said it is nabbing the “moderately” impaired drivers who often escaped before. What used to happen, he said, is suspected impaired drivers were pulled over and asked to perform a sobriety test. Those who failed were taken to the detachment for the breathalyzer test. Those caught tended to be in the “grossly impaired” range between 140 and 300 milligrams.

With the alcolmeter, amounts can be precisely measured at roadside.