Courtenay mayoral candidate Jon Ambler discusses the issues with a table of voters. Courtenay mayoral and council candidates engaged in a 'speed campaigning' event with voters Wednesday at the Westerly. The Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted the event.

Courtenay mayoral candidate Jon Ambler discusses the issues with a table of voters. Courtenay mayoral and council candidates engaged in a 'speed campaigning' event with voters Wednesday at the Westerly. The Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted the event.

Up close and personal with the Courtenay candidates

"Speed campaigning" event a new spin on public forums

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

The Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce and Creative Employment Access Society hosted a ‘speed campaigning’ event that provided participants with a close-up look at the candidates vying for a seat on Courtenay council in Saturday’s election.

Wednesday at the Westerly, small groups had seven minutes to converse with candidates, who rotated from table to table at the sound of a bell.

“I thought the format was excellent,” said Mayor Larry Jangula, who credits the hosts for offering an event that was “uniquely different” from the usual all-candidate forums.

“There were almost no two tables that were alike as far as questions. It was a good experience for those running. And for the electorate, they had a first-hand opportunity to sit down face-to-face and see how the candidates handle questions, see how they think, see how they respond.”

To gain a better understanding of each person, Bill Jackson made notes during a preamble where candidates said a few words before the group sessions.

“I can certainly see the people who have good intentions, versus the people who have some concrete ideas, which we need,” Jackson said.

He put candidates to the test with questions about downtown revitalization, handling pressure from special interest groups, and the difference between commercial and residential taxes.

“I have a lot of respect for anybody running here for council,” Jackson said. “It’s quite a challenge. You have to be knowledgeable on so many topics.”

“I enjoyed the format,” said Helen Boyd, who attended as a member of the Comox Valley Network Association of Registered Nurses of B.C. (comoxvalleycares.com). “I thought it was really personal to be able to talk to the politicians individually, and to have our issue of homelessness addressed with each and every one of them.”

The association wants people to vote yes in a non-binding referendum question regarding a homelessness tax that will appear in a separate ballot Nov. 15. They fear a no vote would send the wrong message to politicians, indicating a lack of interest in the homelessness issue. Each politician Boyd quizzed said they would vote yes to this question.

Not surprisingly, Jangula fielded some big questions Wednesday — which he answered to the best of his ability.

“There’s some things I just can’t answer,” he said, noting the burning question concerned Maple Pool and how the dispute has reached this point. “That’s a real hard question to answer. It’s just not something you can answer with one line.”

The issue dates back to 2011 when the city initiated legal action against Dali and Jin Lin, seeking to shut down the campground. At issue is zoning, which does not allow the couple to house people on the property, which sits in a floodplain. Advocates fear most tenants would become homeless if evicted.

Dali Lin — who attended Wednesday — notes some candidates said to stop the legal action. But he is tired of hearing “non-answers” about the issue being “complicated” or in need of a mediator.

“Some candidates say we want to find a solution.”

Which Lin equates to writing a blank cheque.

“What does it really mean? ‘Want a solution’ — been saying that for four years. To say, ‘Find a solution,’ it doesn’t mean anything.”

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Just Posted

A WestJet flight on the runway leaving Comox. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Aviation company seeks contracted employees to fill former WestJet roles at YQQ

Menzies Aviation from Edinburgh Park, Scotland, operates in 34 countries across the world

A cougar was spotted Monday near Queneesh Elementary. (WildSafe BC photo)
Cougar sighted Monday near Courtenay school

Conservation officers are warning the public to avoid the wooded areas around… Continue reading

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
SD71 to address COVID-19 exposures with virtual town hall

The meeting is set for Thursday, March 4

Courtenay Elementary is the latest school on a growing list that has COVID-19 exposures. Google Maps photo
Courtenay Elementary latest school on growing list of COVID-19 exposures

Exposure dates at the school on McPhee Avenue are Feb. 22, 23 and 24

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Tofino Resort and Marina has temporarily shut down after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19. (Nora O’Malley photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at Tofino Resort and Marina

Resort apologizes to Hesquiaht First Nation for Valentine’s Day boating incident.

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Most Read