Hospital location disappoints Cumberland

Council approved a letter outlining Mayor Fred Bates’ opinions about the new Valley hospital to be built at Ryan Road in Courtenay. The letter will be forwarded to the Vancouver Island Health Authority and copied to Health Services Minister Colin Hansen and local MLA Don McRae.

Council approved a letter outlining Mayor Fred Bates’ opinions about the new Valley hospital to be built at Ryan Road in Courtenay. The letter will be forwarded to the Vancouver Island Health Authority and copied to Health Services Minister Colin Hansen and local MLA Don McRae.

“We have always said it should be on the southwest side of the river and would support it being in Courtenay as long as it was on this side of the river,” Bates writes. “Quite frankly, it appears to council that strong lobbying won out over best patient care and we cannot support that.

“We are disappointed with the decision on so many different levels and request VIHA provide an answer as to why the Ryan Road site was selected over all other Comox Valley sites.”

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A draft plan for a regional sanitary sewer system includes a recommendation for a south regional system that includes Cumberland, Royston, Union Bay and, if deemed feasible, Kensington Properties and Sage Hills. The plan includes options to either include or exclude Cumberland.

Cumberland Council supports participating in a study — for which there is no financial commitment — to evaluate sewer servicing options for the southern region of the CVRD.

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Council does not support a CVRD plan to include in its financial plan contributions to a reserve fund under the emergency shelter and supportive housing land acquisition service.

Last year, the regional district purchased a trio of lots in the 800 block of Cliffe Avenue in Courtenay for $470,000 plus HST. The idea is to house a 24/7 emergency shelter for the homeless.

District staff recommends upwards of $251,000 per year to be placed into a reserve fund for the service for the next five years. Cumberland’s yearly share would be $11,805.

Coun. Leslie Baird, a member of the CVRD board, recommended not supporting an expansion of the service to include the reserve fund.

“In my opinion, this exceeds the initial approval that Cumberland Council gave.