Federal New Democrat Party leader Jagmeet Singh hosted a “Jagmeet & Greet” at the Filberg Centre in Courtenay, to a sold-out crowd.
And then there were three
The Courtenay mayoral race heated up in March, with two sitting councillors adding their names to the list of candidates. Bob Wells and David Frisch joined fellow councillor Erik Eriksson when they simultaneously announced their intentions to run for mayor. The battle race would evolve and change throughout the next six months, with Frisch ultimately backing down, in order to seek re-election as councillor, incumbent Larry Jangula eventually declaring his intention to seek re-election, and Harold Long adding his name to the list. Bob Wells ended up winning the election in October.
Ottawa announced a new National Missing Persons DNA Program, intended to assist missing persons and unidentified remains investigations. Legislative amendments dubbed ‘Lindsey’s Law’ enable police to expand the use of DNA analysis through a missing persons index, a human remains index, and a relatives of missing persons index. The legislation was the result of decades of work by Judy Peterson, the mother of a Comox Valley teen who went missing 25 years ago. Judy’s daughter, Lindsey Nicholls, was 14 when last seen on Royston Road on the BC Day long weekend in 1993.
“It’s almost unbelievable,” said Peterson, a Sidney resident. “This will give me the comfort of knowing that if she is found anywhere in Canada, I would know. Also, it’s a step for the investigation itself, and I feel that now I have done everything I can to help find answers.”
What happened to Lindsey remains a mystery, but the investigation into her disappearance is ongoing. She was last seen wearing blue jeans, a khaki tank top and white canvas shoes.
Anyone with information regarding her disappearance is asked to contact the Comox Valley RCMP at (250) 338-1321 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Shooting incident north of Courtenay
A shooting incident in the rural area north of Courtenay led to a 24-hour manhunt before RCMP arrested a suspect.
On March 14, a 30-year-old resident had encountered a male on his property and after a brief interaction, was shot. The victim was taken to a local hospital by ambulance for treatment with non-life threatening injuries.
On March 15, the Comox Valley RCMP took one man into custody without incident, after locating the suspect inside a residence on the 2200 block of Coleman Road.
Merville water saga heats up
A situation that would get headlines throughout the year really heated up in March, as the K’ómoks First Nation (KFN) came out in opposition to a Comox Valley family’s plan to extract groundwater in Merville for a proposed water bottling business.
Christopher MacKenzie and his wife Regula Heynck of Merville had received a tentative licence from the Province to extract and bottle up to 10,000 litres of water per day from their family well and sell it via home delivery throughout the Comox Valley.
“It is an insult to our Nation and people,” said Chief Nicole Rempel in a statement. “The KFN has watched as the resources in our territory have been stripped away and shipped away for far too long. In a time where both the prime minister and B.C. premier have given mandates to their staff to uphold and honour the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, it is quite angering to have to continue the struggle for the rights of our people.”
Later in the month, B.C.’s Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Doug Donaldson, showed up for a Q&A at the Griffin Pub, and was inundated with negative feedback from local residents.
Talented Courtenay golfer Abigail Rigsby won her first collegiate golf tournament in March, leading the field wire-to-wire at the Midwestern State Invitational at Wichita Falls Country Club in Texas.
Her final-round 4-over-par 76 gave the Oklahoma Christian University sophomore a two-day total of 149 over the 5,843-yard course.
“I had never led a tournament before, after the first day,” Rigsby told The Record. “I didn’t feel like there was a lot of pressure on me, and I didn’t put any on myself because I know I don’t perform when I do that. I just took it one shot at a time today and trusted my preparation.”