No, the sky is not falling on the Comox Valley nor are people being attacked by birds / George Le Masurier photo (undoctored, only tonal adjustments)
The Week: housing issues, sure, but this study is nonsense
So yet another ill-constructed study has maligned the poor Comox Valley. We can now add “Fifth Most Unaffordable Housing Market” to our designations as “Highest Crime Rate” and “Worst Air Quality.” Well, maybe there’s some truth to that last one.
The latest study — concocted by Wendell Cox on his website Demographia.com — compared median house prices to median household income in nine countries, and then ranked cities or regions for their housing affordability. The Comox Valley ranked fifth worst in B.C.
There’s no doubt the Comox Valley has a housing affordability problem. Prices have never been higher. Rental vacancy rates have almost never been lower. It’s a problem that affects almost every community on the BC coast.
But as Courtenay Councillor Melanie McCollum has pointed out, the study is flawed.
“There is no doubt we have serious affordability issues in our community – however that study is seriously flawed and written by a pro-greenfield expansion/urban sprawl think tank that uses some questionable methods for its data analysis,” McCollum wrote on social media.
Real Estate Wire has called the study “nonsense” for five important reasons, which you can read about here. Though we should mention that Mr. Cox is an urban planner who promotes private automobiles over public transportation.
But the Comox Valley’s housing issues are real. Prices are high and partly driven by out-of-town buyers from even more expensive markets. There’s little incentive for investors to build apartment buildings, but when they do local governments rarely use tools to require a percentage of the units to rent at below-market rates.
Courtenay has two affordable housing projects on the go. The Braidwood Housing Project (35 units) and a supportive housing project (46 units).
¶ Election polls aren’t any more reliable than flawed housing studies.
BC pollsters predicted a Liberal Party win in the Nanaimo provincial byelection, estimated that Liberal Tony Harris had an eight-point lead over NDP candidate, Sheila Malcolmson. The NDP won by a 10-point margin.
It appears not every NDPer is willing to throw Premier John Horgan to the wolves over the Site C Dam project.
¶ Who was it that said there was no danger from sewage pipes and pump lift stations near or in our foreshores? No one in Sechelt would believe them after a pump station failed and 10,000 litres of raw sewage dumped into the Salish Sea.
Fortunately, the Comox Valley Regional District is in the process of taking a long look at the best options for delivering and treating sewage. That could, and should, include moving sewage pipes out of the K’omoks Estuary and taking an overland route to the Brent Road treatment plant.
¶ Congratulations to the Comox Valley Regional District parks department for widening trails and improving access to Nymph Falls. We’re sure this isn’t a direct response to 3L Developments’ attempts to block public access to Stotan Falls, but it couldn’t come at a better time for those wanting a river swim this summer.
¶ Finally, a recent budget decision by the Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital Board might shed some light on why there were serious design flaws in the new Comox Valley and Campbell River hospitals. Board Chair Charlie Cornfield says the board plans to spend $100,000 on decorative water fountains.
If the hospitals really need some visual improvements, how about commissioning some of the north Island’s excellent sculptors for eye-catching entry features?
Better yet, forget the idea altogether — although we do support public art — because there are bigger problems at the hospitals, which the hospital board has done its best to deny and ignore.
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North Island medical professionals will explain how VIHA’s removal of onsite clinical pathologists’ services in Campbell River — and eventually the Comox Valley? — has affected patient care
Racecar testing will continue at Smit Field next to Nymph Falls Nature Park, at least for another season, after Comox Valley rural directors voted 2-1 in favour of a scaled-down temporary use permit
As the Vancouver Island Health Authority reduces health care services to north islanders and deflects accountability, the public looks to the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District board for advocacy
Detailed mapping by the Comox Valley Regional District will identify the coastal areas most vulnerable to sea level rise and provide richer data for engineers and future local government regulations and bylaw changes
The climate crisis will force us to produce more food on less land while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. For Bren Smith, director of the non-profit group Greenwave, this transition means expanding our definition of farming to include the ocean
The Comox Valley will march at 1 pm today for changes to slow down climate change. But are we really just giving lip service when bolder actions are needed to save the planet?
Should the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District board advocate for maintaining or upgrading health care services on the North Island? Some directors aren’t sure. But Discovery Islands Director Jim Abram says it’s a no-brainer
Does the Comox Valley want to allow the testing and tuning of drag racing cars in a rural residential neighborhood along Forbidden Plateau Road next to Nymph Falls Nature Park? Comox Valley Regional District’s rural directors will answer that question on Dec. 9
Has the BC Attorney General’s office may have changed its view of the Town of Comox’s desire to alter the Mack Laing Trust? How else to explain the last eight months of dead silence?
Who says historic Comox Valley buildings from the early 1900s can’t be fully restored and recommissioned for future generations? Not Craig Freeman, who points to the second relocation and recent restoration of St. Mary’s Church