2020 Year in Review: June

A large crowd gathered at Simms Park in Courtenay in June to hear speakers in support of Black Lives Matter as as well as indigenous people. Record file photoA large crowd gathered at Simms Park in Courtenay in June to hear speakers in support of Black Lives Matter as as well as indigenous people. Record file photo
Charlene Davis of Comox Rotary introduces the latest shipping container home at the Maple Pool Campground. Photo by Terry FarrellCharlene Davis of Comox Rotary introduces the latest shipping container home at the Maple Pool Campground. Photo by Terry Farrell

It was announced chief administrative officer of Courtenay David Allen would retire at the end of September after seven years of service with the City of Courtenay. Allen said he will miss the people with whom he has worked at the City, but welcomes more time to spend with his wife Paula and family.

Keeping it living

The Morrison Creek Streamkeepers and Comox Valley Land Trust were honoured as recipients of Project Watershed’s annual ‘Keeping it Living’ award. The award – an original painting by local artists Bev Byerley, is presented to an organization in the Comox Valley that has made a significant contribution to the restoration and protection of the K’ómoks Estuary and its watersheds.

Black Lives Matter

At Simms Park, about 250 people gathered to support the Black Lives Matter moment. The Comox Valley joined other communities across Canada, the U.S. and beyond to hold rallies in response to recent deaths of black people in the U.S. at the hands of law enforcement, most notably George Floyd who died May 25 in Minneapolis.

Two young women who were in the midst of organizing a Black Lives Matter protest at Simms Park in Courtenay were subjected to a racial slur two nights prior to the event. Daruna Nikii and Chai Sullivan were dining at the Cornerstone Taphouse in early June in downtown Courtenay when a man entered the premises. A message on Cornerstone’s Facebook page said the man was verbally abusive to both staff and customers.

Ferry fury

Four people, including Comox Valley Regional District Electoral Area A director Daniel Arbour, resigned from the Denman Island-Hornby Island Ferry Advisory Committee following cuts to ferry service. On June 5, Arbour, along with Hornby Island Fire Chief Doug Chinnery, Hornby Island trustee Grant Scott and Denman Island resident George McCrae, received notification from BC Ferries of cuts to ferry service for both the Hornby and Denman Island runs, respectively.

Homes for those in need

The Comox Rotary Club and Dawn to Dawn: Action on Homelessness Society unveiled the third shipping container home at Maple Pool Campground in Courtenay. Comox Rotary is responsible for the building of the units. Once they are completed, they are given directly to Dawn to Dawn.

MusicFest aid

Vancouver Island MusicFest was in line to receive $10,500 from the Comox Valley Regional District Grants-in-Aid program to help offset losses in planning for this year’s festival. The annual gathering, scheduled for July 10 to 12 at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds, was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Executive producer/artistic director Doug Cox said the festival was grateful to be receiving such generous support from the CVRD.

Charges laid

Police have laid charges against a person involved in a shooting that occurred the previous June at the Coffee Love Bug Shop in Courtenay and adjacent buildings. In the early morning hours of June 9, 2019, multiple shots were fired near the Love Bug at 950 Cumberland Rd. Several bullet holes were found in nearby buildings. Comox Valley RCMP Insp. Mike Jurors said at a presentation to Courtenay council there are 11 counts against an individual. Police were also preparing a report to Crown counsel about a machete attack against an 89-year-old man last summer in downtown Courtenay. In the early morning hours of July 31, 2019, Bob Plumb was inside his vehicle waiting for newspapers to deliver when he was approached by a man on a bicycle who asked for a cigarette. Plumb told him he didn’t have any and the man then assaulted him with a machete.

New ED

The Comox Valley Hospice Society introduced a new executive director. Jane Sterk joined the society, and her resume includes a long tenure in the public spotlight, most notably as the leader of the BC Green Party from 2007 to 2013. She was the executive director of the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society, from 2014 to 2018.

Winning students

A Comox student won $10,000 for Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North. Alice Hopkins, a student at École Robb Road in Comox, was a runner-up in the Grade 5 category of the national writing contest. The Meaning of Home is a national writing contest in support of Habitat for Humanity Canada that asks students in grades 4, 5 and 6 to share what home means to them. More than 10,200 students entered this year’s Meaning of Home contest.

Property push

A contentious development proposal on the property around Stotan Falls re-appeared before the Comox Valley Regional District. 3L Developments, which for the past 13 years has tried to rezone land in Area C that includes part of the Browns and Puntledge rivers, was proposing to build 780 housing units and a shopping complex, as well as dedicating 97 hectares of parkland on its property. To do so, the district would need to amend the Regional Growth Strategy. 3L was proposing a new settlement node, or ‘core settlement area’ – an electoral area designation that applies to Union Bay, Saratoga and Mount Washington.

Ferry reversals

BC Ferries routes that were slated to be cut from schedules – including those for Denman and Hornby islands – were being reinstated, thanks to an injection of cash to the corporation on behalf of the provincial government. On June 18, B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena announced the province will spend about $180,000 to temporarily avoid the cuts until September.

Business

A new pet care business opened at 30th St. in Courtenay – the former Pets In The City location. Jessica Termuende opened the doors to Far Fetched Grooming with many years of experience in the pet care industry.

Pub patio

The Town of Comox put its support behind a proposed patio for Land & Sea Brewing Company on Guthrie Road. Council unanimously approved providing support to permit a 38-person capacity outdoor patio at 2040 Guthrie Rd. to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.