Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells gets in on a robotics/electronics demo from high school students at Monday’s council meeting. District students have consistently placed high in world robotics/electronics competitions for several years. Anne Guillo photo

Courtenay council adopts bylaw to regulate plastics

Courtenay council adopted a bylaw to regulate the business use of single-use plastics.

A number of groups have urged council to ban single-use plastic bags at point of sale. Estimates indicate 15 per cent of waste in the region originates from plastic sources. Other B.C. municipalities have adopted similar bylaws.

A residents survey about the issue garnered 1,035 responses. Most said they would be inclined to switch to re-usable products if a bylaw was approved. The bylaw goes into effect July 1, but the regulations will be phased-in over nine months. Official implementation begins March 31, 2020.

•Narrow sidewalks, short walk signals and piles of snow are some of the daily obstacles faced by disabled residents.

The Comox Valley Accessibility Committee wants to help make Courtenay, and the entire Valley, more inclusive and barrier-free. The group hopes to improve accessible parking on 4th Street, and to restore two wheelchair parking spots that were removed between the Credit Union and the museum. The committee is also working with the art gallery and library to ensure an accessible washroom is available downtown.

“Many costly issues could have been prevented by consultation with our committee before changes were made,” CVAC member Judy Norbury said in a presentation to council. “Being able to move freely around the community reduces depression that can come from isolation.”

Council approved a motion from Doug Hillian to have staff work with the regional district to develop a regional accessibility strategy — something the committee is requesting.

•Council approved a motion from David Frisch to design a plan for the build-out of a core bicycle network over the next five years.

“We want to see safe cycling infrastructure for everyone,” Frisch said.

•Council will provide a letter to support the CVRD’s application for grant funding for the regional organics compost facility expansion project.

“It’s still a couple of years before land is acquired and the facility is built, and contracts made,” said Mayor Bob Wells, who chairs the CVRD board. “It’s a massive under-taking.”

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