From The Chair: Governance petition more than halfway to its goal

Call for governance review has amassed 2,800 signatures

Andrew Gower

Special to The Record

 

In March of 2014, the Chamber of Commerce established a Governance Review Task Force. The Task Force has a single and simple goal: have an independent governance review study conducted of the local government of the Comox Valley. The provincial government has funds available for such studies, and when Task Force members asked several provincial ministers about the issue, they indicated that all they need to make the study happen is for all four local governments to ask for it.

So what is this “governance” thing you ask? In its essence, governance is the way in which we are governed. When discussing local government governance, it includes the structure (three municipalities and a regional district), the number of elected officials (22), how decisions are made, and how works and services are funded.

So why does the Chamber of Commerce care so much about local government governance? It’s really simple: businesses pay a large portion of local taxes directly through property taxes and indirectly through salaries that pay for employees’ property taxes. Local businesses also interact with, and can have their business success directly affected by local government. Therefore, it’s in the best interest of Comox Valley businesses to have the best local governance possible.

Sign the petition!

Since forming just over a year ago, the Task Force started a petition and has made presentations to each municipal council. The goal of the petition is to collect signatures from 10 per cent of the Comox Valley electorate (5,000 signatures) to show local governing bodies that the people of the Valley want this study. To date, more than 2,800 signatures have been collected.

As we ask people about the governance review study, 99 per cent are willing to sign, so getting the signatures is just a matter of time. We also used a recent business leader’s survey to our advantage by asking if local businesses supported having a governance review study done — 88 per cent surveyed supported the call for a study.

How will the study be conducted? If efforts on Saltspring Island are any indication, a local committee of citizens and select elected officials would be formed.

Of note, the elected officials do not have voting capacity in the model being used on Saltspring Island. The committee would work with provincial staff to create a terms of reference for the study, and to hire a consultant to conduct the study. The terms of reference for the study would be a key document that would need input from all of the existing local governments so we know the correct questions to ask. The study would be funded by the province, and the report, guided by the committee, would be presented to the province and each of the local governments for action. It is important to note that any recommendations of the study would be non-binding.

As we begin a fresh round of presentations to local councils, the petition is available for signature on the Chamber website or at the Chamber office. Have a say in how your community is governed – better yet, pick up a petition form and help us get even more signatures!

Andrew Gower is the Comox Valley Chamber of

Commerce chair

 

Just Posted

A siren bank near Stotan Falls. Photo supplied
BC Hydro to test sirens along Puntledge River in Courtenay this week

Public safety is very important to BC Hydro, and it’s one of… Continue reading

NIC’s new president Lisa Domae assumed the role of president on April 12. Domae has worked at NIC since 2000, most recently as the executive vice president, academic and chief operating officer. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
New North Island College president launches draft strategic plan

Lisa Domae assumed the role of president on April 12, 2021

Capt. Jenn Casey died in a crash just outside of Kamloops, B.C., on May 17, 2020. (CF Snowbirds)
Snowbirds to honour Capt. Casey, who died in B.C. crash, in 2021 tour

Tour will kick off in Ontario in June before heading west

Artist's drawing of the proposed 52-unit affordable seniors housing project in Comox. File photo
Comox Valley Affordable Housing Society receives federal grant money

The Comox Valley Affordable Housing Society (CVAHS) has received $25,000 in grant… Continue reading

Mark Henderson’s exhibit, “Bikes and Barbies,” is now showing at Artful : The Gallery on Cumberland Road in Courtenay. Photo supplied.
New exhibit at Courtenay art gallery

Artful : The Gallery is showing art by Mark Henderson until Saturday,… Continue reading

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

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

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

More “strings of lights” were seen on May 15, 2021, in night sky over Vancouver Island. (File photo)
Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Most Read