Matthew Ellis, an Area C (Puntledge-Black Creek) candidate in the Oct. 15 election, was taken to task on social media about a past comment the public identified as being bigoted. His comment was as follows: ‘My dogs don’t like Muslims. The feeling’s mutual.’ In a Facebook page post, Ellis states in a “clarification, not an apology” that the comment was being shared by those who oppose his message of small, responsible and transparent government. “The quote was in response to a radical Muslim group attacking people’s dogs I’m (sic) an attempt to force them to get the dogs out of the neighbourhood…I condemn racism in all its forms.”
Courtenay council adopted a nuisance bylaw amendment intended to better regulate excessive wood smoke. The amendment says nuisance smoke visibly drifts onto a neighboring property, and interferes with the use and enjoyment of private or public property.
The city honoured Lawrence Burns at a dedication event at an east Courtenay park that bears his name.
“Over 90 years living in the city of Courtenay, he’s become a local institution,” Mayor Bob Wells said at council. “Lawrence has given back to our community in countless ways.”
Burns served the city for many years as its fire chief, and now chairs the Courtenay Heritage Advisory Commission. He is also a volunteer, a speaker, a spiritual advisor and a storyteller. Burns has been honoured with the Freedom of the City and the Distinguished Service Award from Heritage BC.
Jody Wilson-Raybould, a graduate of Highland Secondary who became one of the most recognizable women in Canadian politics, was inducted to the Comox Valley Walk of Achievement. Her personal convictions and commitment to ethics ultimately cost her the position of Attorney General of Canada.
The council of the Town of Comox conferred the Freedom of the Municipality — the highest honour that a municipality may bestow upon a person — to Mayor Russ Arnott. The ceremony took place at a special meeting of council Oct. 5. Arnott was elected mayor in 2018, and spent a total of 11 years on council volunteering his time and efforts towards the enhanced livability of the town of Comox.
Bob Wells retained his mayoral seat in Courtenay with 3,277 votes in the Oct. 15 election to earn his second term as the city’s mayor. Erik Eriksson was second in the mayoral race with 1,802 votes and Aaron Dowker was third with 751 votes. Former councillor Nicole Minions was acclaimed mayor of Comox, while Vickey Brown was elected mayor of Cumberland. Brown received 817 votes to Leslie Baird’s 599, giving the village a new mayor for the first time since 2011.
First Indigenous director
For the third straight term, Area B has a new director - the first-ever Indigenous director for the Comox Valley Regional District. Arzeena Hamir lost her seat to Richard Hardy by 23 votes - 766 to 743. A third candidate, Keith Stevens, garnered 89 votes. For Hardy, getting a First Nation voice on the board was a main motivating factor in his decision to run.
Penner joins telethon lineup
The Comox Valley Child Development Association announced that acclaimed family entertainer Fred Penner would be performing at its 47th telethon in November.
“Never underestimate your ability to make a difference in the life of a child,” Penner said in a keynote address at an early childhood education conference.
World champ mountain biker
In her first season of racing in Europe, 18-year-old Comox mountain biker Emmy Lan won the 2022 Under-21 world championship in France at the final race of the Enduro World Series.
Soccer player makes national team
Soccer Canada named Liam Mackenzie of Comox to the Under-17 national team for a domestic camp in Montreal as it prepares for the U17 World Cup in Peru next October. Liam, 15, is a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps U17 squad.