2020 Year in Review: October

  • Dec. 29, 2020 1:30 p.m.
Comox Valley newcomer Rick Larose, who recently moved to the area from Winnipeg, was up at the break of dawn Saturday to try his luck fly fishing for coho at Miracle Beach. Photo by Vic MarchielComox Valley newcomer Rick Larose, who recently moved to the area from Winnipeg, was up at the break of dawn Saturday to try his luck fly fishing for coho at Miracle Beach. Photo by Vic Marchiel
Search and Rescue personnel await the helicopter to extract some injured mountaineers. Photo courtesy Comox Valley Search and RescueSearch and Rescue personnel await the helicopter to extract some injured mountaineers. Photo courtesy Comox Valley Search and Rescue
Sean Hayes displays the trophy and pro circuit plaque after winning Strongman Nationals in Quebec City. At left is his girlfriend, Kayla Russman-Walberg. Photo suppliedSean Hayes displays the trophy and pro circuit plaque after winning Strongman Nationals in Quebec City. At left is his girlfriend, Kayla Russman-Walberg. Photo supplied
One lane on the Condensory Bridge remained closed to traffic until early December during utility installation. Scott Stanfield photoOne lane on the Condensory Bridge remained closed to traffic until early December during utility installation. Scott Stanfield photo
B.C. Premier-elect John Horgan and returning Courtenay-Comox NDP MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard, seen on the campaign trail together in Courtenay. Leonard held on to her seat. Photo by Riel McGuireB.C. Premier-elect John Horgan and returning Courtenay-Comox NDP MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard, seen on the campaign trail together in Courtenay. Leonard held on to her seat. Photo by Riel McGuire
Morrison Creek Streamkeepers put in an improved interpretive sign in Puntledge Park. Photo suppliedMorrison Creek Streamkeepers put in an improved interpretive sign in Puntledge Park. Photo supplied
Video footage shows a suspect breaking into the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Image suppliedVideo footage shows a suspect breaking into the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Image supplied
Mayor Bob Wells, left, Courtenay Legion president Gary Flath and Branch #17 service officer Bill Webb launched the annual Poppy Campaign. Scott Stanfield photoMayor Bob Wells, left, Courtenay Legion president Gary Flath and Branch #17 service officer Bill Webb launched the annual Poppy Campaign. Scott Stanfield photo
A group gathered for a guided story walk at the Comox Valley Art Gallery plaza as part of an art project looking at the OD crisis. Scott Stanfield photoA group gathered for a guided story walk at the Comox Valley Art Gallery plaza as part of an art project looking at the OD crisis. Scott Stanfield photo
The guest of honour, Earl Naswell himself, at the Earl Naswell Community Christmas Dinner on Dec. 25, 2019 at the Florence Filberg Centre in Courtenay. Photo by Terry FarrellThe guest of honour, Earl Naswell himself, at the Earl Naswell Community Christmas Dinner on Dec. 25, 2019 at the Florence Filberg Centre in Courtenay. Photo by Terry Farrell

BLM message response

A Grade 9 Comox Valley student was motivated to take action by a racial slur she overheard and in block letters wrote ‘Black Lives Matter’ in chalk on her driveway. However, someone took offence at her statement, as a neighbour banged on the family’s door on a Sunday morning to say the chalk writing was really offensive. The neighbour later returned at which point the family contacted the police. “We have to be prepared for backlash,” the girl’s mom told her.

Ferry out

Denman Island residents were stuck while the Baynes Sound Connector ferry connecting Denman to Vancouver Island had sailings cancelled for a day due to mechanical difficulties. BC Ferries later confirmed the issue involved the hydraulic system. A water taxi service shuttled between the Fanny Bay and Denman Island government docks to transport people, pets and bicycles. A shuttle bus was also set up between Fanny Bay and Courtenay.

Christmas dinner founder passes

The namesake for a large community Christmas dinner passed away on Oct. 6. Earl Naswell died at Cumberland Lodge at the age of 89. In 1982, he started going door to door to local businesses to get support for a Christmas dinner for himself and friends who were “a bit down on their luck.” Every year since, the Earl Naswell Community Christmas Dinner has taken place.

Distance ed boom

School District 71 saw an uptick in distance learning program admission in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While some growth was from local students choosing to study remotely, many signed up from outside the district. “They’re actually from all over the world. Look at a map and start putting tacks on every country,” assistant superintendent Geoff Manning told school trustees. In all, almost 1,000 new students had signed up with the district’s program.

CVRD takes landlord to court

The Comox Valley Regional District initiated legal action against a landlord whose rental properties have brought numerous complaints in various municipalities. The district said it was pursuing enforcement and compliance with all applicable bylaws against Amandio Santos concerning two properties in Fanny Bay and one in Black Creek. This followed an appeal by a delegation from Fanny Bay in the summer. Santos did not comment on the situation at press time.

Dead fish at the Puntledge

While fishing, a local man came across hundreds of dead salmon smolt near the Condensory Bridge on the Puntledge River. He and others also noticed a strange, caustic smell in the area. He contacted local, provincial and federal government officials, who came to inspect the case, but they could not provide any explanations as of press time.

NDP holds both local MLA seats

Even though it took a while to count all the votes, the NDP’s Ronna-Rae Leonard easily won the Courtenay-Comox race in the Oct. 24 provincial election. She got in front of her two competitors with a big lead early and held on until the final count. Her colleague, Josie Osborne, whose electoral district includes Cumberland and the area south of Courtenay, also easily won a seat. Osborne held off four other competitors to replace MLA Scott Fraser, who did not run. The two local wins helped Premier John Horgan form a majority government.

Warming Centre extension

Courtenay council approved a one-year lease extension and continued in-kind support for the Connect Warming Centre on Cliffe Avenue. The centre has provided services to vulnerable people who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless since its opening in January.

BUSINESS

New airport CEO

Former 19 Wing Commander Mike Atkins was picked as the incoming chief executive officer of the Comox Valley Airport. The Comox Valley Airport Commission (CVAC) announced he was to take over from Alex Robertson, who had been acting CEO since Fred Bigelow’s departure for medical leave in late 2019. The airport also expected some positive developments, such as increased flight service, in the last quarter of what has been a difficult year for the sector.

ARTS

Film fest goes virtual

The World Community Film Festival resumed its film series online with The Great Disconnect, a one-hour film available to stream, along with a pre-recorded panel discussion. “Even before COVID-19 emerged, many of us were isolating ourselves from one another, and because of this, facing another kind of health crisis that affects all of us,” said Janet Fairbanks, World Community board member. “This timely documentary invites us to reflect on the importance of relationships we have with those around us.”

SPORTS

Strongman turns pro

Strongman Sean Hayes entered the professional ranks by winning a competition in Quebec City. The Courtenay resident won the heavyweight division at Strongman Nationals, finishing well ahead of his more than 20 opponents. Hayes placed top three in each of six events. “The six events basically ran back-to-back-to-back, jumping right into the next without recovery or warm-up time,” said Hayes. As a result of the victory, he has been invited to the Professional Strongman Circuit for 2021 — a first for B.C. athletes on the circuit.

Comox ValleyYear in Review

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

30 years after becoming part of the YANA family, Angela Furlotte is all grown up and enjoys her three dogs while working and living in the Comox Valley.
YANA founder helps family in need: a historical account

Andrea Postal Special to The Record The first few months of Angela… Continue reading

B.C. overdose deaths still rising five years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

A man sustained burns to his body near this spot around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 13 in Courtenay. The fire was left of the pathway. The Station youth housing facility and city public works yard are to the right of the trail. Photo by Terry Farrell
Emergency personnel respond to man on fire in wooded area of Courtenay

A man was badly burned in the early morning hours Tuesday in… Continue reading

This 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 was stolen from Black Creek Motors at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, April 11. Photos via blackcreekmotors.com
VIDEO: Thieves steal truck from Black Creek car lot by towing it away

Have you seen a 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 in your neighbourhood in… Continue reading

Teresa Hedley and a copy of her book, “What’s Not Allowed? A Family Journey with Autism.” Photo supplied
Comox Library recognizes Autism Awareness Month with presentation by local author

April is World Autism Awareness Month, an annual opportunity to increase understanding… Continue reading

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Two men filmed removing red dresses from trees on highway near Ladysmith

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Vancouver Island’s Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

Comox Lake is the drinking water source for the CVRD. Photo supplied
Comox Valley Water Treatment Project nears completion

The Comox Valley Water Treatment Project is more than 85 per cent… Continue reading

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

RCMP on scene yesterday at the altercation at the trailer park. (Submitted photo)
Violent altercation at Port Hardy trailer park sends one to hospital

Police say man confronted another over airsoft shooting, then was attacked with a weapon

Comox council approved a change in fees for using the Comox Municipal Marina, extending the collection of fees from March 1 to Oct. 31 each year. Black Press file photo
Fee changes, increased costs coming to Comox Municipal Marina

The town will be extending the collection of fees from March 1 to Oct. 31

John Albert Buchanan was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2017 death of Richard Sitar. Pictured here, Buchanan walking to the court in Nanaimo last year. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Six years including time served for Nanaimo man in bludgeoning death

John Albert Buchanan sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for death of Richard Sitar

Most Read