Comox Valley Record Year In Review: OCTOBER

Municipal election wraps up; Hornby Island trustee resigns amid scandal

  • Dec. 29, 2018 6:00 p.m.

The news in October was dominated with talk of the upcoming municipal election. The election, which happened on Oct. 20, saw shake-ups in each of the Comox Valley’s local governments.

In Courtenay, Bob Wells unseated incumbent Larry Jangula in a close mayoral race. Three newcomers won seats on council with Will Cole-Hamilton, Melanie McCollum and Wendy Morin getting voted in. David Frisch, Manno Theos and Doug Hillian were re-elected to council. Janice Caton and Kathleen Hawksby were acclaimed as the school trustees for the City.

In Comox, Russ Arnott, who has served two terms on council, took over the mayor’s seat from Paul Ives, who announced in summer he would not be running for re-election. Incumbent councillors Maureen Swift and Ken Grant were re-elected as well as four new faces: Alex Bissinger, Pat McKenna, Nicole Minions and Stephanie McGowan. Tonia Frawley was elected School District 71 trustee over Randi Baldwin.

Cumberland’s council is now largely made up of women with Leslie Baird once again at the helm as mayor. This is Baird’s third term as the mayor of Cumberland, though this was her first election running against an opponent, Eduardo Uranga. Newcomer Vickey Brown led the council race with the most votes, followed by incumbent councillors Jesse Ketler, Gwyn Sproule and Sean Sullivan. Sarah Jane Howe was acclaimed as the Village’s school trustee.

Leslie Baird (black jacket, grey shirt) and Gwyn Sproule (right) will return to Cumberland council as mayor and councillor, respectively. Sean Sullivan and Jesse Ketler also return as councillors. Newcomer Vickey Brown replaces Roger Kishi. Photo by Jolene Rudisuela

In the Comox Valley Regional District, Area B saw the biggest shake-up with first-time candidate Arzeena Hamir defeating incumbent Rod Nichol. In Area A, Daniel Arbour took over the seat from Bruce Jolliffe who chose not to seek re-election. In Area C, incumbent Edwin Grieve was re-elected over challenger Jay Oddleifson. Area A had the highest voter turnout in the CVRD with 37 per cent. School trustees for the CVRD are Sheila McDonnell, Michelle Waite and Ian Hargreaves.

Hornby trustee resigns

Long-time Hornby Islands Trust trustee Tony Law announced his resignation following allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards women.

After Law was re-elected to his eighth term as trustee, Wrena Holliday posted in a closed Facebook group that Law has made many young women uncomfortable, including herself. This post caused other women to step forward and share their own stories.

Law responded to the allegations in a Facebook post, saying it was not his intent to make people feel uncomfortable, but he takes full responsibility. A byelection is expected to be held in the new year.

CVRD denies 3L

The Comox Valley Regional District voted to deny 3L Developments’ application to amend the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) in order to create a new settlement node near Stotan Falls.

The proposal included about 1,100 homes and a 250-acre park. 3L president Dave Dutcyvich has owned the property for about 12 years.

At the end of the month, the CVRD was served with nine court orders that were filed by 3L Developments. The company has twice won court decisions after challenging the CVRD about due process.

Cannabis is legalized

After months of talk about impending legalization, on Oct. 17, cannabis was officially made legal in Canada. On legalization day, the only place in B.C. to buy cannabis legally was the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

People can grow up to four pot plants in their home, as long as it’s not being used as a daycare and the plants can’t be seen from outside. Though people can carry up to 30 grams of marijuana on their person in public, it is still forbidden to smoke it in most of the same places as tobacco, as well as playgrounds, sports fields and skate parks.

Man pinned under flipped car

A man was pinned under a car that flipped over the barrier at Saratoga Speedway. Jonathan Sedman sustained several broken ribs, a shattered pelvis, a broken left hip and a ruptured bladder. Shortly after the incident, Sedman’s wife gave birth to their first child while he was still under sedation.

Youtuber sealed in biodome

Kurtis Baute exited his homemade biodome at around 2 p.m. on Wednesday after being inside for 14 hours. Photo courtesy of Kurtis Baute

On Oct. 24, Kurtis Baute, a Vancouver-based Youtuber and scientist, sealed himself in a homemade greenhouse to raise awareness about the impacts of climate change. The 10 foot by 10 foot by 10 foot cube was filled with around 200 plants to produce oxygen. But a cloudy day resulted in carbon dioxide levels rising more quickly than expected, and Baute was forced to leave 14 hours after he sealed himself in.


• The Rainbow Youth Theatre turned 30-years-old in October and held a birthday party to celebrate.

• Helena Jung became the new conductor of the Strathcona Symphony Orchestra. With over 25 years of experience as a musician and teacher, she hopes to instruct and inspire the diverse musicians in the band.

• Renovations at the Rialto Theatre in Courtenay began mid-October to add reclining power seats. Renovations to the theatre’s lobby and concession will be completed in January.

• The Comox Valley Printmakers Association held their members’ exhibition and print fair at the end of October. The fair included demonstrations of printmaking techniques and 10 artists were on hand to sell their prints.


Cameron Levins of Black Creek set a new Canadian marathon record in his debut marathon. With a time of 2:09:25 at the Toronto Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon, he smashed the previous record by 44 seconds. The previous record (2:10:09) was set by Jerome Drayton in 1975. In addition to the $6,000 prize for winning the marathon, Levins collected $1,000 for every year the record stood, totalling $43,000

• Mount Washington announced the installation of a $3.5 million multi-stage ZipTour. The 2.3 kilometre, four-part attraction will be the longest zipline on Vancouver Island. The ZipTour is set to open in the summer of 2019.

• The Atmosphere Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race featured a 50 km enduro course and a 30 km sport course consisting of mountain biking, paddling, orienteering and trail running. Two of the 2017 overall race winners, Graham Cocksedge of Powell River and Nygil Goggins of Cumberland, came back to defend their title, topping the podium for the endura with a time of 4:41:12.

• Six outdoor pickleball courts opened at Highland Park in Comox. The courts are open to the public weekdays before 8:30 a.m. and after 5 p.m., and all day Saturday and Sunday. But the opening of the courts was not without its controversy. Some pickleball players were upset that the school district had control of the schedule.

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