2020 Year in Review: April

Shelter Point Distillery near Oyster River had pivoted to produce hand sanitizer for Vancouver Island hospitals and first responders when a supply shortage loomed during the pandemic. (Shelter Point Distillery/Facebook)Shelter Point Distillery near Oyster River had pivoted to produce hand sanitizer for Vancouver Island hospitals and first responders when a supply shortage loomed during the pandemic. (Shelter Point Distillery/Facebook)
Residents of The Tides in Courtenay gathered, social distancing intact, to salute the frontline workers for all their selfless efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. The residents have been congregating every evening at 7 p.m. for a two-minute salute and are hopeful that the act catches on throughout the Comox Valley. Photo by Erica FarrellResidents of The Tides in Courtenay gathered, social distancing intact, to salute the frontline workers for all their selfless efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. The residents have been congregating every evening at 7 p.m. for a two-minute salute and are hopeful that the act catches on throughout the Comox Valley. Photo by Erica Farrell

Pilot ferry project suspended

Less than two months after it began, the Texada Island pilot ferry project was suspended because of the pandemic. The service started on Feb. 19, offering a link from Vancouver Island to Texada, which then runs to Powell River.

Farmers market goes digital

The Comox Valley Farmers’ Market decided to go virtual, giving shoppers an option to shop either in person or online. General manager Twila Skinner said the CVFM created an online store as a solution to help shoppers during the pandemic and serves as another tool for customers to access fresh, local food.

Food Shed opens

The Food Shed opened courtesy of Cumberland Schools Society as a way to provide support for individuals and families in the village facing food insecurity. The shed is located at 2688 Penrith Ave. and is available for people to donate or take non-perishable food any day, at any time.

Public showers

Courtenay council approved a plan to open public shower facilities and to extend public washroom hours in an effort to support vulnerable individuals during the pandemic. Washrooms have been open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Sid Williams Theatre Plaza and at Simms Park.

Snowbirds cancel

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds announced they were going to cancel their annual spring training in the Valley due to the ongoing travel restrictions related to COVID-19 and other training considerations. They were set to begin training in the area on May 6.

MLAs donate pay increase

Members of Parliament for the Comox Valley confirmed they donated the portion of a recent pay hike to help out people in need locally during the pandemic. MPs received a 2.1 per cent hike, which increased based salaries to $182,656. The annual hike has been in practice since Bill C-30, which was adopted 15 years ago to set annual salary and allowance increases. Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns donated his raise, and North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney said while she didn’t directly donate her raise, she stepped up donations beyond her regular level, including contributions to food bank throughout her riding in order to at least equal the amount of the pay increase.

Perseverance Creek purchase

The Cumberland Community Forest Society raised enough money to purchase a 91.4-hectare parcel along Perseverance Creek. The total costs of ‘Project Perseverance’ were $2.38 million including land appraisals, timber cruise and valuation, surveys, subdivision and legal work.

Fire destroys home

An early morning fire destroyed a home on Forbidden Plateau. Drouth Jakobsen, a fire information officer for the Coastal Fire Centre, said they received information about a house fire on Forbidden Plateau Road around 3 a.m. April 17. According to reports, there were people in the home who escaped as soon as the fire started. The home was located close to the former ski resort.

Business

New home for Goods Grocery

Goods Grocery has a new home and a new focus. The store, which was formerly situated on Ryan Road East, is now open at 140 Headquarters Rd. in Courtenay. Mark and Glenda Turner have owned the store since 2009. Whereas the old location had a mix of Canadian and international products, the Headquarters Road location was to be strictly an Asian/Mexican grocery.

Shelter Point makes sanitizer

Learning how to pivot quickly, Shelter Point Distillery in Oyster River temporarily suspended distilling operations to switch production capacity for the manufacture of medical-grade sanitizer to help medical professionals in their battle against COVID-19. The company is making sanitizer in 750-ml bottles and 20-litre containers.

Trousers closes

After 23 years in business, Trousers in downtown Courtenay closed. Owner Shelley Greenup said she had been thinking about closing because of the sudden downturn in the economy.



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