Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns completed his Ride The Riding cycle tour Saturday in Courtenay, and described it as a cultural and informative experience.
While the underlying agenda of the “historic” 13-day excursion was bringing his National Cycling Strategy to the forefront in his own riding, it quickly became much more than that.
“We started up in Hesquiaht, which has two houses… It was the first time they had ever had a member of parliament in their [community] in the 150-year history of our country,” Johns said from The Broken Spoke in Courtenay, where he celebrated the end of his tour.
Island Health changes mind
Island Health reversed its stance on pay parking at the new hospital in Courtenay adjacent to North Island College. It chose not to charge the public or staff. The college later decided to offer free parking as of Oct. 1.
Cable ferry in the red
Despite a combined loss of more than $3.2 million in the past two years on the Buckley Bay-Denman Island Route, BC Ferries said the Baynes Sound Connector is performing well. The corporation posted a net loss of $1,647,000 in 2016, and $1,586,000 for 12 months which ended March 31, 2017. Early last year, the route was over-hauled with a $15 million, 78.5 metre cable ferry, capable of carrying 50 vehicles and 150 passengers. Higher-than-expected maintenance costs are among reasons for expense increases in the past two fiscal years.
Project Watershed and the K’ómoks First Nation reached an agreement with Interfor Corporation to purchase and restore the former Field sawmill site on the Courtenay River near the 17th Street bridge. Before settlement of the Comox Valley, the land sat across the river from a village called Kus-kus-sum, meaning tree burial, which was chosen as the new name for the property.
An imminent, long-overdue cleanup of the abandoned Forbidden Plateau Ski Hill was approved. Since being shut down nearly two decades ago, the hill formerly called Wood Mountain Park has housed dilapidated structures and a non-operable chairlift. The Forbidden Plateau Reclamation Society formed last year to lead the charge on the park’s remediation. The CVRD, BC Hydro and a few companies kicked in about $40,000 for the cleanup.
Plane struck by lightning
A lightning strike forced a plane originating from Comox to perform an emergency landing in Vancouver on Sept. 18. Pacific Coastal Airlines flight 713 was hit by lightning, about 20 minutes outside of Vancouver International Airport. Twenty-seven passengers and three crew members were aboard the flight.
The Comox Valley Glacier Kings opened the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League regular season Sept. 2 with a 5-0 loss at home to the Campbell River Storm, who were last year’s VIJHL champions and provincial silver medalists. A few nights later, the Kings again fell 5-0, this time to the Victoria Cougars.
• The Comox Valley Raiders bantam football team was 2-0 after winning the back end of a home-and-home series against Victoria to open the football season.
•Brenda Dean earned a 2017 Tennis BC Excellence Award, recognizing her efforts to develop and introduce the sport to a variety of age groups in the Comox Valley.
Singer/music theatre writer Leisa Way brought her Oh, Canada, We Sing For Thee production to the Sid Williams. Her tribute to Canadian music included songs by Gordon Lightfoot, Anne Murray, Céline Dion and Michael Bublé.