Comox still holding out on referendum participation

Town currently has its own fund for addressing homelessness

  • Aug. 24, 2015 11:00 a.m.

Erin Haluschak

Record staff

In hopes of having council reconsider the opportunity to join the homeless service (and subsequent  referendum), Betty Tate and Helen Boyd presented council with the initial draft of a five-year plan to end homelessness in the Comox Valley.

Earlier this month, Comox Valley Regional District directors unanimously approved a recommended date of Nov. 28 for a referendum to address homelessness.

The question will ask voters if they favour a bylaw to establish a service to provide funds to one or more non-government organizations, based on a plan to address homelessness.

During the last civic election, a non-binding question indicted 71 per cent of voters supported at least a $5 annual property tax.

Tate and Boyd noted under the current resolution, Comox could not participate in the referendum or service, as the town has established a fund (currently $30,000/year which comes from general revenue) for the function of addressing homelessness, and would instead partner with service providers on its own.

Participating jurisdictions would be Courtenay, Cumberland, Area A (excluding Denman and Hornby Islands) and Areas B and C.

Coun. Barbara Price (one of the town’s CVRD representatives) asked council to revisit the initial motion, as Boyd urged council that a change in their participation should ideally be made sooner than later, due to CVRD deadlines.

“There’s a whole bunch of stuff that we need answers to,” said Coun. Ken Grant, who added he would like to see a staff report of the implications of joining the CVRD’s homeless initiative.

Coun. Russ Arnott agreed.

“I feel a little uneasy. I kind of feel under the spotlight to make a decision; I think we’re rushing into something, and I’d like to have a little bit more information.”

Mayor Paul Ives reminded council under town bylaws, a decision by council would have to be unanimous, and noted if the motion passes, council would have very little say as to how the town’s money gets used.

The motion was defeated, and Ives suggested a new motion to direct staff to research the matter of participation in the RD’s initiative, and if necessary, council could call a special meeting to vote on a motion prior to the RD’s deadline.

The second motion was approved unanimously.

Rainbow sidewalk report presented

With an estimated cost of $14,000, Comox council accepted a report by staff for the possibility of a rainbow crosswalk and have forwarded the information to the Comox citizen who first brought the idea to council.

At the July 15 council meeting, Comox resident Wendell Hoyseth asked council to consider the possibility of installing a rainbow crosswalk on Beaufort Avenue at Church Street.

In his letter, Hoyseth said since it’s been 10 years since same-sex marriage was made legal nationwide, other cities have made statements of acceptance and support on their pavement, and asked the town to do the same.

He added if approved, he would be willing to organize and contribute to both labour and fundraising of the crosswalk.

In consultation with other jurisdictions such as Victoria and Vancouver, the estimated cost would consist of $9,000 for the paint and $5,000 of in-house costs to grind out the existing crosswalk, prepare the area and for associated traffic control.

In his report, Richard Kanigan, the town’s chief administrative officer, noted another issue to consider would be the ongoing maintenance of the product, as New Westminster indicated a recent graffiti incident on their crosswalk was dealt with easily as the paint was power washed without damage.

The City of Victoria on the other hand, he added, is dealing with skid marks only two months after installation, and staff is unsure how to deal with the damage.

 

Just Posted

Trail and parking upgrades beginning at Seal Bay Park

Park upgrade work is planned at the Comox Valley Regional District’s (CVRD)… Continue reading

More than 2 million salmon to be released into Puntledge River

Water flows will be higher than usual next week

Woman assaulted at Bill Moore Park in Courtenay

Female grabbed from behind Thursday morning

Comox presentation on cycling the Silk Road

Do you enjoy fascinating cycling stories? Interested in education in the developing… Continue reading

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Cyclists can choose round trip from Comox to Nanaimo, or Alberni-Nanaimo-Comox

The Boomer’s Legacy British Columbia Bike Ride is back. In a couple… Continue reading

Volunteers already rescuing fry from drying creekbeds around Cowichan Lake

It’s early but already salmon fry are being left high and dry

Prepare yourself for tick season, says Island Health official

2017 saw three reported cases of Lyme disease

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterey, Calif.

Most Read