Comox Valley Record Year In Review: DECEMBER

Assisted living workers go on strike; Comox Valley woman found guilty on three charges

  • Dec. 31, 2018 6:00 a.m.

Christmas trucks return

The much loved Comox Valley Christmas Light Truck resumed after a brief law-enforced interruption. The tradition sees a small convoy of trucks decked out in lights roll through the Valley. It was halted in 2017 when Comox Valley RCMP issued a warning to two drivers, saying the Christmas lights could be distracting for drivers. In December, however, the trucks got the go-ahead from the RCMP and were back out on the streets spreading Christmas cheer.

The Cumberland Truck Parade rolled through the village Saturday night. Photo by Erin Haluschak

Work begins at supportive housing site

Cleanup began at the beginning of December at the site where 46 supportive housing units will be built. A number of people had set up camp on the empty lot, but were directed to local shelters while the modular housing units are completed. The units are expected to be ready for delivery in mid-January, while construction is expected to be completed by the end of March.

started job action in hopes of fair wages and benefits. The assisted living facilities are owned by Retirement Concepts, a company managed by Pacific Reach Seniors Housing Management. The facility is staffed by members of the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU). BCGEU president Stephanie Smith said the targeted job action was designed to ensure residents were still getting proper care.

A couple weeks after the beginning of rotating strikes, the workers were allegedly attacked on the picket lines. Smith said workers were picketing on an evening shift when arrows were shot at the line and gasoline was thrown in their direction.

Autism Centre opens its doors

The long-awaited Comox Valley Autism Centre officially opened at the beginning of December. The 2,000 square foot centre will house the Comox Valley Child Development Association’s autism programming and other services. Previously, the Autism Program was being held in the basement of the CVCDA. Parents, children and workers alike were excited for the change.

TCourtenay Mayor Bob Wells cuts the ribbon to mark the official opening of the Comox Valley Child Development Association’s Austism Centre. Photo by Jolene Rudisuela

The centre is equipped with a brand new kitchen and laundry where older kids can learn life skills. There are five smaller rooms for one-on-one therapy and other space for private meetings with families.

RCMP involved in highway crash

An RCMP member was involved in a three-vehicle collision on Highway 19 south of Courtenay on Dec. 8. The collision was caused when a BMW traveling southbound lost control as it was passing a Honda CRV. The BMW then spun into an unmarked police car sitting in the centre median. Two people in the BMW were sent to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

An unmarked police vehicle was sitting in the centre median of Highway 19 when it was struck. Photo courtesy of Marc Bedard.

Cumberland orders new fire engine

The new Cumberland fire engine is long-overdue, according to Cumberland’s fire chief, Mike Williamson. The pumper truck was finally ordered mid-December after delays due to the prospect of a new fire hall. The current fire hall truck bays were too small and required a $70,000 renovation so the new truck could fit inside. Williamson says they were forced to order the truck and renovate the current fire hall since plans for a new building aren’t even complete yet.

Woman found guilty on three charges

The woman involved in a trial for a multi-vehicle collision in which a pedestrian was killed two years ago in Courtenay was found guilty of three of nine charges. Serina Laliberte, 48, was found guilty of having a blood-alcohol content over 0.08 mg/100 ml of blood, causing an accident resulting in death, and two counts of causing an accident resulting in bodily harm.

Comox Valley RV receives bomb threat

Comox Valley RV was among hundreds of businesses throughout North America to receive emailed bomb threats on Dec. 13. The threat demanded a $20,000 payment by bitcoin from each business targeted and was determined to be a hoax.

Families receive keys to new homes

Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells presents Marla Ayre and her children Hunter, and Marissa, with the keys to their new home – the first of 10 units at the Habitat For Humanity Vancouver Island North’s Lake Trail Road project. The Ayres were one of two families presented with keys to their new homes Friday. Photo by Terry Farrell

Two homes were handed over to homeowners as a part of Habitat For Humanity Vancouver Island North’s Lake Trail Road build project. The next two homes in the Lake Trail Development are slated to be completed by the spring of 2019, and all 10 completed by 2020.


Woodland Gardens lights up for the Christmas season just like it has for the past 28 years. Christmas lights light up the property and hang on every tree and shrub, decorate pathways, and trim the entrance arbor and Santa’s barn. The lights are turned on every night from 5 to 9 p.m. until Jan. 2.


Three Comox Valley students were among eight outstanding youth athletes from Vancouver Island recognized by the Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. Knowlton Griffiths of the Selkirk First Nation, a Grade 10 at Highland, is a snowboarder on a community team. Fellow Highland student, Cameron Christison of the Beaver First Nation, a Grade 12 student, excels in volleyball, basketball, hockey, and track and field. She and Sierra Murphy of Métis Nation BC (also an award winner) were starters on B.C.’s U16 volleyball team that won a silver medal at the 2017 North American Indigenous Games in Toronto. Murphy is also part of the Mark Isfeld senior girls volleyball team.

• Brent Flahr, a Courtenay-raised hockey executive, was named the vice-president and assistant general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers. He had previously been with the Minnesota Wild for nearly a decade. In his new job, Flahr will supervise the Flyers’ scouting department, oversee development of club prospects and make decisions involving player personnel.

Brent Flahr Photo credit: Minnesota Wild/Bruce Kluckhohn

• The Swiss national junior hockey team began training at the Comox Valley Sports Centre to prepare for the IIHF World Junior Championship, Dec. 26 to Jan. 5. For the 10th year in a row, the Swiss are in the top bracket of the annual tourney.

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