The study to look at governance at Union Bay will take place over the next six months. Record file photo.

Study on Union Bay governance runs next six months

Regional district releases itinerary of process, including public engagement

The Comox Valley Regional District has rolled out its itinerary for the governance study determining the future of Union Bay.

In a newsletter earlier this month, the CVRD released a schedule for the study. It is working with the Union Bay Improvement District (UBID), which oversees three services for residents in the community, and it has commissioned the consulting firm Urban Systems to undertake a “technical, unbiased review of the options” of Union Bay. Urban Systems’ mandate also includes engaging the community in the process this year. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is providing some of the funding for the study. UBID oversees water, fire protection and street light service in the community south of Courtenay.

The choices break down to maintaining the status quo while looking at ways to improve governance and service, or amalgamating all UBID services within the regional district. Incorporation as a municipality is not considered an option at this time.

RELATED STORY: Comox Valley Regional District agrees to Union Bay governance study

The CVRD newsletter includes a timeline for the process, starting with the background review and stakeholder engagement through March into April, followed by an analysis of governance options in April and May. A draft report is slated for June, with an open house and further engagement through June and July.

“The consultant has been really clear,” says CVRD general manager of corporate services James Warren. “They want to do a real apples-to-apples comparison.”

The final document is scheduled for release in August prior to the issue going before Union Bay voters to choose the option.

“With this information that Urban Systems will put together, and an open house and newsletters … the goal is that the public will be well-enough informed to then make a decision at a referendum, probably in the fall to convert to regional district services or stay as an improvement district,” says Warren.

Urban System was brought on board following a request for proposals in January, which outline some of the goals of what needs to be accomplished and the information gaps that need to be filled.

The Record contacted UBID board interim chair Hein Vandenberg to see if he had any comments about the process but had not heard back as of press time. On the UBID website, there is a Dec. 19, 2019 letter from Vandenberg to the Minister of Municipal Affairs Selina Robinson, saying the board supports the study on service conversion. However, he also asked if referendum results do not support service conversion that the minister consider supporting a similar study on incorporation for the community as a municipality.

In other board news, UBID has given public notice of its upcoming election for two board members to start three-year terms in May. The election date is April 25, if at least three candidates run. The deadline for filing nomination papers is April 7. For more information on the governance study, email

Comox Valley Regional District

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

Just Posted

Comox spring training cancelled for Snowbirds next month

The team announced that due to ongoing travel restrictions they will not be training in the Valley

442 squadron to perform fly-by over Comox Valley hospital to salute COVID-19 workers

Cormorant helicopter will fly over the hospital at 7 p.m.

Comox Valley Classic Cruisers hitting the road to bring the community together

Residences, hospital, on the list to drive by Thursday night

Comox Valley Art Gallery unveils new public artwork creation by Andy Everson

Stressing the importance of art in times like these, on Sunday K’omoks… Continue reading

Conservation: Two elk unlawfully shot in Northern Vancouver Island

‘The elk also did not have all of the edible portions of meat removed’

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Comox Valley grocers going extra mile during coronavirus

We have had numerous requests to post a fluid article directing consumers… Continue reading

Merville couple designs rat-proof, backyard composters

A Merville couple has designed a product that is encouraging people to… Continue reading

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Some Cowichan schools to reopen for children of essential-services workers

Cowichan Valley will open 8 elementary schools this week

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

Physiotherapists turn to technology to reach patients during COVID-19

Just because services, jobs, and socializing have been put on hold, it… Continue reading

Most Read