2021 Comox Valley Year In Review: September

  • Dec. 28, 2021 5:30 a.m.
A marcher shows off her message along Cliffe Avenue during a climate strike by students through downtown Courtenay. Photo by Mike ChouinardA marcher shows off her message along Cliffe Avenue during a climate strike by students through downtown Courtenay. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Dogs again had their day in the pool at Lewis Park. Photo by Terry FarrellDogs again had their day in the pool at Lewis Park. Photo by Terry Farrell
Captain Caileb Berge (13) and his Glacier King teammates lined up for their official introductions to start the season. After some tough years, the Yetis were in the playoff picture at the Christmas break. Photo by Mike ChouinardCaptain Caileb Berge (13) and his Glacier King teammates lined up for their official introductions to start the season. After some tough years, the Yetis were in the playoff picture at the Christmas break. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Logger sports again featured at the Comox Valley Exhibition to close out the summer. Photo by Nicole FowlerLogger sports again featured at the Comox Valley Exhibition to close out the summer. Photo by Nicole Fowler
Visitors filled Dunsmuir Avenue for the fair Saturday. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Visitors filled Dunsmuir Avenue in Cumberland for the Foggy Mountain Fall Fair. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Sparks fly during a Crash to Pass race at Saratoga Speedway. Photo by Doug WallerVisitors filled Dunsmuir Avenue in Cumberland for the Foggy Mountain Fall Fair. Photo by Mike Chouinard Sparks fly during a Crash to Pass race at Saratoga Speedway. Photo by Doug Waller

LUSH lands new home

LUSH Valley announced it would have a permanent home come fall at Rosewall Crescent in Tin Town. The space consists of four separate areas: a warehouse space for storing and packing food, office spaces and meeting space, and a site for a future commercial kitchen. The organization had been using temporary spaces such as the Comox Valley Curling Club for its Good Food Box program and other work. Maurita Prato, executive director, noted the location is central in the Comox Valley and located near other non-profits.

Heart recipient boosts vaccine

Two-time heart transplant recipient Robbie Thompson urged COVOD-19 vaccine opponents to reconsider. As an organ transplant recipient, he is immuno-compromised because of the medication he takes. In response to vaccine protests on Sept. 1, he said, “The reason we commit to these vaccinations is not only to help ourselves, but also to help protect and better the lives of millions of other people across our community, the country, and the world at large.”

Property offences net 44 months

A Comox Valley man facing more than 60 charges, mostly related to property crimes, was given sentences equalling 44 months. Michael A. Leighton had been charged first in May 2020 in relation to multiple break-and-enters in the Comox Valley following a lengthy investigation in which police were able to trace many stolen items.

Bag ban reviewed

A Cumberland plan to ban single-use plastic bags got a second life. The move came as a response to changes by the provincial government that would permit local governments to bring in bans of certain plastic products. The village had attempted to bring in a bylaw two years earlier, as has other communities on Vancouver Island. Comox followed suit as its council also considered a bylaw to regulate single-use plastic bags.

NDP incumbents keep seats

In the Sept. 19 federal election, incumbent Gord Johns held on to the Courtenay-Alberni riding for the New Democrats, holding off the nearest rival, the Conservative Party of Canada’s Mary Lee, with a double-digit lead as election night ended. Liberal candidate Susan Farlinger was well back in third place. Johns’s neighbour, Rachel Blaney, also won for the NDP, holding North Island-Powell River. She held a smaller margin over the Conservatives’ Shelley Downey, who was followed in third by Liberal Jennifer Grenz.

Reconciliation Day

People in the Comox Valley and across Canada marked the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to remember Indigenous survivors and children who disappeared from the residential school system. After numerous unmarked graves of students were found at a former school site in Kamloops, the federal government announced the new statutory holiday in June. Locally, there were events such as a Spirit Walk in downtown Courtenay to mark the occasion.

Landlord pleads guilty

A landlord of so-called “problem properties” pleaded guilty to a half-dozen counts for bylaw infractions imposed by the Comox Valley Regional District. There had been three days set aside for the trial against Amandio Santos and his company, River Dam Holdings, relating to infractions at properties in Fanny Bay and Black Creek. “The three properties are in various states of non-compliance,” said Troy DeSouza, the lawyer representing the regional district. Penalties included fines adding up to $35,000, the CVRD’s legal fees and a couple of outstanding tickets.

New water plant opens

The regional district’s new water treatment plant opened on time and on budget, and staff stressed boil water advisories should become a thing of the past. They had broken ground on the $126-million system two years earlier. It will serve Courtenay, Comox, much of the surrounding electoral area and K’omoks First Nation. Following the ceremony, guests had tours of the facility. The new system is designed to handle up to 74 million litres a day, though the site has been built to permit expansion in the future.

Comox weighs chicken question

Comox council voted 4-2 in favour of having staff prepare bylaw amendments that would permit raising chickens on larger lots in town. In the spring, the town conducted an online survey about the idea. Of the more than 600 responses received, just over two-thirds supported the idea of raising hens, though many respondents expressed concerns about standard nuisance issues.

Special seminar with sensei

Courtenay karate club Tōshikan Traditional Karate and Kobudō hosted a seminar with the world chief instructor of the International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-do Federation (IOGKF), Tetsuji Nakamura Sensei. It was a special event as Nakamura Sensei is regarded as one of best traditional martial artists and teachers globally, and it marked the first in-person IOGKF Canada event since the pandemic started.

Teen’s mental health film

Already winning short film competitions, Will Thompson of Comox put together another short film, aimed at spreading awareness for mental health. The two-minute film, Lost & Found, discussed how he tackles his own mental health issues, using photography as a tool. Thompson said releasing the film, after working on it for six months, was not an easy decision. “I felt very vulnerable,” he said. “It’s such a look into my personal life.”

2021 Year in ReviewComox Valley