St. George’s United Church ministers Ingrid Brown and Ryan Slifka (right) were presented with an award for thoughtful, engaged and generous Christian practitioners at a recent ceremony at Vancouver School of Theology. Photo supplied

2019 Comox Valley Year in Review: June

Silenced busker; shots fired

The month started quietly – literally – as local accordion player Jon Cunningham was silenced by the Town of Comox after being turned down for a busking permit. According to the Town’s busking bylaw, enforcement is based on the number of complaints a musician receives. Accordion players aren’t allowed to busk in the Town because according to the bylaw, they make too much noise, explained deputy corporate administrator Shelly Russwurm.

Security breach

A Comox-bound WestJet flight departing the Edmonton International Airport was cancelled due to an incident involving an unruly passenger. The incident involved a security breach where a man did not wait for authorization to board his flight, and instead ran down the boarding ramp and onto the plane.

The 41-year-old man was taken into police custody.

Award winners

Two local ministers of St. George’s United Church in Courtenay were co-recipients of an award from the Vancouver School of Theology for thoughtful, engaged and generous Christian practitioners. Ingrid Brown and Ryan Slifka are the first-ever recipients of the award, given to ministers in their first 10 years of service.

Shots fired

Multiple shots were fired at a popular Courtenay coffee shop and adjacent building. Comox Valley RCMP was looking for clues as to the reason for the shootings. Multiple shots were fired on the 900-block of Cumberland Road, damaging the Coffee Love Bug, a second building and a vehicle. Police indicated the shooting was not a random incident. Less than 24 hours later, Comox Valley RCMP responded to a second incident of gunfire in an alleyway near 10th Street and Piercy Avenue.

Grave desecrated

Just days before the Miners Memorial weekend, Ginger Goodwin’s grave was desecrated. The red hammer and sickle on the head of the tombstone, symbolic of the socialist movement, had been completely covered with what appeared to be black spray paint.

Busy skies

Despite a tumultuous year for the airline industry with Boeing MAX 8 groundings affecting flights in Canada, the Comox Valley Airport surpassed its forecasted passenger numbers in the past year. Traffic at YQQ increased by 12.5 per cent in the 2018/2019 year (ending in March).


In business, the Comox Valley is home to Vancouver Island’s second Net Zero certified home. The home, which was built by J. Zsiros Contracting Ltd., cost under $400,000 to build. Net Zero homes produce as much clean energy as they consume through the use of clean energy sources.


In sports, Curl BC honoured Comox Valley Curling Club manager Keith Parry with its Ron Houston Award for Administrator of the Year for 2019. Each year, the organization celebrates those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport in B.C.

Keith Wakelin of Merville shattered a long-standing Canadian record at the Elk/Beaver Ultras. He ran the 50-mile ultra-marathon in a time of 7:43:57, shaving 22 minutes off the old Canadian record for 60-year-olds and over.

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The Coffee Love Bug shop at 950 Cumberland Rd. in Courtenay was the scene of a shooting. Photo by Terry Farrell

Ginger Goodwin’s grave has been vandalized. Someone covered the red hammer and sickle emblem with black paint. Photo supplied.

Manager Keith Parry initiated Friday and Sunday fun leagues at the Comox Valley Curling Club. Curl BC has honoured Parry with its Ron Houston Award for Administrator of the Year for 2019. Scott Stanfield photo

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