Premier John Horgan announced a new long-term care home in Courtenay at 2900 Cliffe Ave., where Ocean Front Village will be located. The care home will cost $28.2 million to build. It’s expected to be complete in spring of 2021. Island Health will provide annual operational funding. Scott Stanfield photo

2019 Comox Valley Year in Review: November

Hornby Island gets an arts centre; Typo in Record ad goes viral

  • Dec. 31, 2019 6:00 a.m.

New water treatment plant

Construction of the new multi-million-dollar drinking water treatment plant got underway in the Comox Valley. The project has been mandated by Island Health because the current system was not complying with provincial surface water treatment guidelines. The new system will include intake infrastructure, pumping stations and pipelines, force mains, transmission mains and a filtration facility, and should be ready by fall 2021.

Poppy Fund thefts

Someone stole donations from the Poppy Fund boxes the Comox Legion Branch #160 uses. Several were taken from Tim Hortons, Quality Foods, the Pharmasave and the recycling depot on Anderton Road. The funds provide emergency support for veterans. “They seem to be targeting the higher-volume places,” says Wayne Tedder, co-chair of the branch’s Poppy Fund.

Fitzgerald bike lane upgrades

Work on the City of Courtenay’s Fitzgerald Corridor Cycling Expansion Project between Fifth and Eighth streets was largely complete, with the exception of new trees to be planted later. The project has filled in the missing link between the protected bike lanes on 5th and the painted bike lanes on Fitzgerald Avenue at Cumberland Road.

Hornby Arts Centre

The Hornby Island Arts Council announced firm plans to start the construction of a new arts centre in 2020. The main structure will be a 2,750-square foot, purpose-built space for exhibition and programming. The community has lined up funding from different levels of government as well as finding funds on its own. The Arts Centre is expected to cost approximately $1.375 million to construct.

Recycling depots closing?

Comox Strathcona Waste Management passed several motions concerning closure of unstaffed recycling bins, largely because of improperly discarded waste. The initial recommendation was to close two bins in the Comox Valley and two in Campbell River over the next two years. CSWM is taking a closer look at the two Valley sites and will reconsider the matter in 2020.

Schools address dress codes

Mark. R. Isfeld student Jaylene Kuo questioned the board of education over inconsistent dress codes within the district, sending them a follow-up letter from one in June. She asked them to make codes “respectful, modern and gender-neutral.” The district responded by having all schools bring the codes up to date.

Fatal assault

Comox Valley RCMP responded to a report of an assault that occurred on Sixth Street in Courtenay. There they found a 46-year-old man unconscious on the sidewalk. He later succumbed to injuries. Police did not believe the incident to be random and had identified a person of interest.

Devilish typo goes viral

A now-infamous ad that appeared in the Nov. 21 edition of the Record, promoting the Comox Valley Christmas Parade, and more specifically, “Pictures with Satan” (Santa typo), went viral, including coverage in the New York Post and Fox News. It even made it to late-night television. On the Nov. 27 edition of Late Night with Seth Meyers, Meyers worked the ad into his monologue.

UBID byelection

Ian Munro was picked the next member of the Union Bay Improvement District (UBID) board. He attracted 262 votes, Treasure Ducharme had 131 votes and a third person on the ballot, Teresa Knight, had eight votes, though she had tried to withdraw her name from the race. Munro fills the spot left by Paul Healey, who had served as chair after only joining the board in the spring.

New Cumberland CAO

The Village of Cumberland announced it had hired its new chief administrative officer to replace Sundance Topham. Clayton Postings will take over as CAO on Jan. 13, 2020 and comes to the community from Ladysmith, where he served as director of parks, recreation and culture for six years.

BUSINESS

Cannabis company opens

Coast Range Cannabis, owned by Comox residents Sheila and Chris Rivers, began operations at Church Street in Comox. It is open seven days a week in a completely renovated, architecturally designed space stocked with a wide variety of cannabis products, including dried flowers, oils, capsules and sprays.

ARTS

Pipe band at BC Place

Nine members of the Comox Valley Pipe Band Society joined other B.C. pipe bands in Vancouver to participate in the BC Lions Salute to veterans at their last home game of the season. The BC/Yukon Legion produced the 2019 Salute to Veterans and Military Valour half-time show. The event also included Legion members, first responders, multiple cadet units and several Second World War veterans.

SPORTS

Weightlifting champs

At worlds in Limerick, Ireland, Courtenay resident Sean Hayes won the overall and the deadlift-only portion in the 140-kilogram class of the open age division. Meanwhile, Comox resident Zara Nybo, 18, won the junior (15-19 years) and open divisions in the 82.5kg category at the same event.

Soccer finalists

The VIU Mariners men’s and women’s soccer teams both reached the gold medal match at the national collegiate championships and finished as runners-up. The teams featured several Comox Valley footballers: Chloe Gummer and Justine McMahon for the women, and Grayson Chalifoux, Travis Brown and Hans Haagerup for the men.

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Branch president John Paulin (left) and Poppy Fund co-chair Wayne Tedder display one of the collection boxes. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Kamal Singhania of Courtenay demonstrates his singing bowls from Nepal at the Fiesta World Craft Bazaar. Photo by Mike Chouinard

The Highland Raiders and the host Isfeld Ice, pictured during round-robin play at the AA North Island Senior Boys Volleyball Championship. Scott Stanfield photo

The Survival Drive Tent Event at Simms Park offered donated tents, tarps, sleeping bags, backpacks and winter wear to people in need. Scott Stanfield photo

Highland Secondary students undertook a project they hope will last for years to come to brighten the holidays within the Town of Comox. Photo by Erin Haluschak

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