Former Courtenay councillor dies in sleep

Mike Holland was a community-minded lawyer who ran in the 2011 federal election

Mike Holland, a community-minded lawyer and former politician, died in his sleep late in the night on Easter Monday, April 2. He was 64.

Holland had lived in the Comox Valley since kindergarten when his air force family moved to town, though he spent his intermediate school years in Halifax. He graduated from Vanier Secondary, studied at UBC and opened a law office in Comox in 1985. He later ventured into politics, at the local and federal level.

Holland’s wife Carol has been “deeply touched” by calls and comments she has received. Many people have stopped to chat and give her a hug.

“I didn’t realize, and he certainly didn’t realize, the connections that he had made in the community,” Carol said. “It’s really been so wonderful and heart-warming. He would have been so pleased. That’s the very sad part – that he doesn’t know the impact that he had.”

Holland served part of a term on Courtenay council in the 1990s, after which the local Liberal party asked him to run as a candidate. In the 2011 federal election, he placed a distant third in MP voting for Vancouver Island North behind Conservative incumbent John Duncan — who retained his seat — and then-NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard.

Carol said her husband’s proudest achievement, likely, was helping to lead a fight to save Glacier View Lodge and its complex care beds.

“He initially volunteered his time to find a way to stop the government of the day from taking over their assets without compensation, and attempting to get rid of the volunteers,” she said. “He just simply felt it was wrong. Because he took that step, that process was stopped, and they backed off.”

“He saved Glacier View,” said Starr Winchester, who was mayor of Courtenay when Holland served on council for part of a term in the ’90s. “Health care was the top of his list. He always felt we were not getting our fair share of the dollars, and he fought hard for that.

“He was such a kind person with a heart as big as a house,” Winchester added. “He demonstrated absolute integrity in all his dealings with people.”

She notes his “wicked sense of humour” could always make her laugh.

Carol recalls her husband taking daughters Laura and Rosemary door-to-door when he campaigned for Courtenay council.

In January, the couple became grandparents when Laura and husband Ian gave birth to a boy.

Holland’s involvement in the community was extensive. Along with council, he was active with the crisis centre, Rotary, Kinsmen, Glacier View Lodge and numerous boards. He received the George Muir award for courage, a citizenship award from the Town of Comox, a volunteer-of-the-year award from Glacier View, and a Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Vanier students have put together a new video about road safety. Image, screenshot
Too many driving infractions, say School District 71, Comox ValleyRCMP

G.P. Vanier students also put together a video about safe driving and school buses

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter. Photo supplied
Wanted man from Calgary may be in the Comox Valley

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter

The City of Courtenay has received an application for a cannabis retail store at the Crown Isle shopping centre. File photo
Cannabis retail proposal draws mixed reviews from Courtenay residents

Coast Range Cannabis has applied to the City of Courtenay to operate… Continue reading

The 5th Street Bridge will be repaired next year. File photo
Former Courtenay councillor suggests waiting a year to repair bridge

In the opinion of a former member of Courtenay council, a year’s… Continue reading

Rotary District 5020 president Rod McKenzie (in chair) agreed to test out the CVCDA ramp and experience it from the perspective of an individual who relies on a wheelchair to get around. McKenzie is being prepped by Comox Valley Wheelchair Sports Society president Stephane Roy. Submitted by CVCDA
Accessibility the focus of Comox Valley Child Development Association Telethon

The Comox Valley Child Development Association Telethon will look markedly different this… Continue reading

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Our Home on 8th, the Port Alberni Shelter that opened in March 2019, has 27 extra ‘extreme weather’ spaces for people who need a place to get out of the cold. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BC VOTES 2020: Mid-Island candidate plans occupation of shelter to protest homelessness

Graham Hughes says homeless situation a ‘crisis’ in Port Alberni

Parksville’s Jared Huggan won $75,000 playing BC/49. (BCLC/Photo submitted)
Vancouver Island man $75K richer after purchasing winning lottery ticket at Nanaimo Walmart

Parksville’s Huggan plans to purchase electric bike for partner

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Courtenay council
Subdivision proposal causes stir in Courtenay neighbourhood

Courtenay council approved second reading of a rezoning application to subdivide a… Continue reading

The Cowichan Steelheads’ Jesus Martinez (left) and the Cowichan 49ers’ Daryl Rodgers chase down the ball during Saturday night’s all-Cowichan clash at the Sherman Road turf. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan masters derby takes unexpected turn with broken leg

Soccer community comes together in midst of battle

Larry Whetstone is concerned about the condition of Jeffries Road, where he has lived for 30 years. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Poor condition of rural road in Cowichan has resident fed up

Transportation Ministry says repair plan under development

Most Read