The fire at the Courtenay Travelodge on Oct. 19, 2021, destroyed several units. Photo courtesy Rachel Amaral.

The fire at the Courtenay Travelodge on Oct. 19, 2021, destroyed several units. Photo courtesy Rachel Amaral.

Busiest quarter in Courtenay fire department history

The final quarter of 2021 was the busiest ever for the Courtenay fire department.

In a Jan. 31 presentation to council, Chief Kurt MacDonald said firefighters responded to 332 incidents between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 — the highest number of responses in a three-month period in the department’s 107-year history. December produced a record-breaking 134 responses. Major fires of note included the Travelodge Courtenay, and seven other structure fires in the city and Fire Protection Districts. Wind events generated a number of calls involving hydro lines in October, while snow contributed to the 134 calls in December.

“Very happy to report no major injuries to any of our firefighters,” MacDonald said.

Food Policy Council

The Comox Valley Food Policy Council (CVFPC) aims to provide a forum to develop a sustainable, viable and socially just food system. Another objective is to provide ideas and policy recommendations to improve a local food system.

An initiative of LUSH Valley, CVFPC is a hybrid committee of organizations and government, but is not an official committee of the Comox Valley Regional District. Its priorities for 2021/22 are as follows:

•Create a local food aggregation and distribution hub, and related food procurement policies;

•Develop a policy for healthy school food access and food-systems education;

•Support policy development relating to food access and poverty.

“Food policy is multi-functional and multi-beneficial,” LUSH Valley executive director Maurita Prato said. “That policy has benefits on the human health level, the ecological health level, and it builds community and place, which is something that you are stressing in your OCP (Official Community Plan).”

The policy is funded through the regional district. It received $12,000 each of the first two years, and $15,000 this year.

“So we’re operating on a bit of a shoestring,” Prato said, noting other funding avenues are needed.

The group hopes to attract more members to better represent the region.


Poverty reduction grant application

Council approved a motion from Will Cole-Hamilton to support the Comox Valley Regional District to apply for, receive and manage the Stream Two Poverty Reduction grant. The Comox Valley Community Health Network has offered to lead the funding application and co-ordinate the ‘game changer implementation.’ Game changers include more childcare spaces, support for seniors and affordable housing.

Physician recruitment, retention

Council appointed Wendy Morin and Doug Hillian to the Comox Valley Family Physician Recruitment and Retention Task Force. Hillian noted that statistics indicate 700,000 to 800,000 British Columbians do not have a family doctor.

Umpire abuse

Council approved a Hillian resolution — stemming from a report from Erik Eriksson of the BC Baseball Umpires Association — for staff to consult with the Comox Valley Recreation Commission and other local recreation departments to consider actions such as proactive signage and requirements in facility rental agreements to help curb harassment of umpires and other sports officials.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter