Grant Warkentin/Special to the Mirror New ferry stops in BC Ferries’ new Salish Class vessel, Salish Orca, stopped into Campbell River yesterday afternoon while conducting sea trials. The vessel was apparently testing ferry terminals along the coast and pulled into Campbell River’s before heading to Quathiaski Cove.

2017 Comox Valley Year In Review: May

Elections B.C. announce a win for Courtenay-Comox NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard.

The month began with a cougar roaming Courtenay’s urban jungle. An orphaned cougar cub that was seen throughout the area strolled into a BC Liquor Store on Cliffe Avenue. Conservation officers tracked the animal down. It was tranquilized and captured by officials. The cub was transferred to the Greater Vancouver Zoo.

Tofino tragedy

Two people died, and three others were treated and released from hospital after a fishing boat went down off the west coast of Vancouver Island near Tofino. Two men, aged 32 and 42, both from Alberta, were confirmed deceased by the BC Coroner Services.

Lucky lady

A Comox Valley woman won the Grand Prize in the BC Children’s Hospital Lottery. L. McKenzie of Comox had her winning ticket drawn during a newscast on Global TV.

Victorious NDP vote

Nine votes. That was the margin of victory for NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard, who topped the Courtenay-Comox polls in the provincial election with 37.5 per cent of the vote (10,058 votes), edging Jim Bennninger of the Liberals, who garnered 10,049.

Because of the slim margin which automatically triggers a judicial recount, neither the NDP nor the BC Liberals could confidently claim victory with the two parties near-deadlocked in the seat count.

High flying birthday

Comox Valley activist Ruth Masters celebrated her 97th birthday high in the sky. Her goddaughter Lorrainne Dixon arranged for a flight over the Comox Glacier in a two-person ultralight plane.

Setting sail

The Salish Orca, the newest vessel in BC Ferries’ fleet, set sail for service between Comox and Powell River.

Grant Warkentin/Special to the Mirror

Building open

The door to L’Arche Comox Valley’s I Belong Centre opened to the public for the first time at 1465 Grieve Ave. in Courtenay.

New group

A new group – the Equal Access Committee – emerged in the Comox Valley, speaking out about the contentious issues of long-term residential care and hospice beds, and how they are controlled in the community.

Senior housing

A major senior’s housing complex, Ocean Front Village, was being planned near the intersection of Cliffe Avenue and 29th Street. Courtenay council gave first and second reading to a zoning amendment bylaw as one of the first steps in allowing the project to proceed.

Comox chef

Thea VanHerwaarden of Comox was one of three semi-finalists vying to become Canada’s next MasterChef. The stockbroker, who lives in Vancouver, ultimately did not win, but was the only female in the semi-final competition.

Eyes on the Valley

At the end of the month – with the entire province watching the Courtenay-Comox riding – Elections B.C. announced a minority government win for the BC Liberals, with a win for NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard in the provincial elections.

More than two weeks after voting day, absentee ballots favoured a win for Leonard over Liberal candidate Jim Benninger, giving the NDP 41 seats in the 87-seat B.C. legislature.

ARTS

The Denman Pottery Studio Tour celebrated its 30th anniversary, and hosted a celebratory retrospective highlighting the diversity of pottery produced on Denman over the past three decades.

SPORTS

Courtenay golfer Graeme Nelson — who turned professional in January — participated in the PGA Tour Canada qualifying tournament at Crowne Isle.

• Nearly 300 runners took to the trails of Cumberland in the middle of the month for the second annual running of “The Cumby” trail race.

They raised more than $12,000 to help protect Cumberland’s forest.

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