The Lunar New Year celebrations at the Florence Filberg Centre Sunday included a traditional Lion Dance. Nearly 200 people attended the event, hosted by the Comox Valley Multicultural Society. 2019 was the Year of the Pig. Photo by Alex Clarke

2019 Comox Valley Year In Review: February

UBID trustee threatens legal action; local fossil gains provincial fame

  • Dec. 26, 2019 2:30 p.m.

New charitable foundation

A new charitable foundation was introduced to the Comox Valley this year. 100+ Women Who Care Comox Valley is one of 500 chapters across North America that brings women together to contribute and give back to their community.

Women within the community meet four times per year, and commit to making a $100 charitable donation to a chosen local organization each time they meet.

In the first year, the new foundation has presented cheques to Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society ($7,100), the Comox Valley Transition Society ($11,800), WeCanShelter ($14,400) and Project Watershed ($15,500).

Logging protest

A group of around 25 people gathered in front of MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard’s office in February with signs emblazoned with phrases like ‘Save Old-Growth Forests.’ The group of concerned citizens came together as part of a province-wide initiative by Sierra Club BC, a provincial environmental advocacy group.

Roe herring fishery approved

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans approved a spring roe herring fishery in the Strait of Georgia despite calls to shut it down.

“We were hoping that DFO would listen to the people and seriously restrict this fishery that just doesn’t make sense,” said Grant Scott, president of Conservancy Hornby Island (CHI). “Herring is the cornerstone species for many of the mammals, fish and seabirds who live in or migrate through the Strait of Georgia … To kill this many herring in the commercial fishery rather than leaving them to support these other species doesn’t make sense to us.”

Seiners fill the waters between Comox and Nanoose Bay during the 2019 roe herring fishery. Photo courtesy of Pacific Wild

CHI campaigned against the fishery, and in six weeks, had received more than 46,000 signatures on an online petition. The petition has been renewed to stop the fishery in 2020, addressed to the new Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard Bernadette Jordan. It has more than 109,000 signatures.

Kaljur fights back

Suspended Union Bay Improvement District trustee Susanna Kaljur threatened legal action against the other UBID trustees – Ted Haraldson, Rick Bitten, Glenn Loxam and Peter Jacques – claiming her January suspension from the board had no legal standing.

A Feb. 12 letter to the trustees, sent by Jason Gratl, legal counsel for Kaljur, stated the Jan. 10 decision to suspend Kaljur indefinitely was baseless.

“There is no provision of the Local Government Act or regulations thereunder, or even a District Bylaw that allows for the removal of an elected trustee,” Gratl said in the letter.

The letter insisted that each one of the aforementioned remaining trustees “publicly acknowledge that your purported removal is of no force and effect,” and demanded that the acknowledgement be mailed to every elector in the Union Bay Improvement District by Feb. 15 to avoid a lawsuit.

The demands were not met to Kaljur’s satisfaction, and she filed a claim on Feb. 25.

Famous fossil

The elasmosaur, an 80 million-year-old fossil discovered 30 years ago in the Puntledge River, was selected as the official fossil of the province, aster an online voting process conducted by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

The elasmosaur received 48 per cent of the votes; its nearest competitor was the ichthyosaur with 15 per cent.

Early morning shooting

RCMP attended a call of an early morning shooting at the Park Place apartment building in Courtenay, Feb. 21.

RCMP cordoned off an area around the Park Place apartment complex on Fitzgerald Avenue in Courtenay, after a shooting. Terry Farrell photo

The victim, a 32-year-old man known to police, was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries from a single gunshot wound.

SPORTS

Valley curlers represent B.C.

British Columbia’s team for the Canada Winter Games was announced, and there were some Comox Valley athletes selected. The Comox Valley rink of Keelie Duncan, Chanelle Meeres, Bryn Woloshyn and Gracelyn Richards represented the province in female curling. Nordic skier Tallon Noble, from the Comox Valley, was also named to the team. Freestyle skier Dillan Glennie, who was born and raised in Courtenay but now trains in Calgary, was selected to the Alberta team.

World Cup gold for Sharpe

Freestyle skier Cassie Sharpe of Comox won a World Cup halfpipe gold at a competition in Calgary in February. Earlier in February, she won a world championship silver medal in Utah. In January, Sharpe captured X Games gold in Aspen, Colo.

Towhees kings of the Island

For the first time in its 50-year history, the GP Vanier senior boys basketball team won the Island championship. Unfortunately, the team will not have a chance to defend its 3A boys’ championship, as it has moved up to the 4A division this year.

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Approximately 25 people stood outside MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard’s office to make a point to impose a moratorium on old-growth forest logging. Photo by Jolene Rudisuela

The Comox Valley elasmosaur recently celebrated its 80,000,030th birthday. Black Press file photo

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car for the day’s commute. This scene was played out in neighbourhoods throughout the Comox Valley the second week of February, as the area was hit with a massive snowfall. Photo by Erin Haluschak

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