These are the written comments made by Electoral Area A residents who participated in Decafnation’s Local Government Performance Review. Comments that breached our journalistic standards have been eliminated. All other comments appear as entered into the online survey platform. Click on each image to enlarge the view.
⇒ He seems committed to the work and is a very good speaker.
⇒ He has a good media presence so I see things he is trying to do. Shares information on Facebook. Connects with locals about rural concerns and get what’s it’s like to live rurally.
⇒ Has done a good job of reaching out to residents
⇒ I respect his stand with BCF although it did not really get us anywhere.
⇒ Daniel has made an effort to reach out and provide support and advocacy for a number of Denman Island community projects.
⇒ He’s accessible and sympathetic – this is great for us.
⇒ High profile, gets on with it. He is most approachable. Is sincere in what he says.
⇒ Seems smart and very involved which is great.
⇒ Although a Hornby Islander, Daniel Arbour is doing a good job of representing both the “Big Island” and “Little Islands” parts of Area A.
⇒ hard-working, clear communicator, approachable, makes things happen, engaged, ethical
⇒ Takes the area concerns seriously and is very good with keeping us informed.
⇒ He has done an exceptional job of keeping the community informed and obtaining feedback.
⇒ Good one you for speaking up! even when it makes them uncomfortable. Be the politician that speaks truth.
⇒ Who? Where is his media presence letting the public know how things are.
⇒ This guy is great! One of our very best area directors
⇒ Daniel reaches out to the community much more than our previous director. He works to keep us informed.
⇒ He’s good at communicating.
⇒ Any emails or short Meet Your Area Rep has always gone well. Daniel Arbour is a hard worker and wants to do his best.
⇒ Very approachable, helpful, accessible and informative.
⇒ Hard working director.
⇒ I appreciate that Daniel uses Facebook to communicate with constituents.
⇒ He has failed Union Bay with his Developer friendly attitude. The Developer is screwing with people’s lives.
Area A Comments on CVRD
⇒ Not familiar with enough of the issues to assess their work.
⇒ Not sure what they are responsible for, what they do.
⇒ Suggestion that the financial reports of tax funded committees on Denman Island should be more readily accessible to the residents. Thanks for the new stairs at Denman West, and other work on trails.
⇒ Other than Daniel A. , I’ve not yet had any dealings with any of them.
⇒ We Denman and Hornby Islanders used to have our own Regional District Area but have since been rolled back into Area A. Luckily Area A elected a Hornby Islander, Daniel Arbour.
⇒ Haven’t followed closely enough to offer a judgement.
⇒ Unsure of their performance, except Daniel Arbour is the only one I’ve followed, and he has a good lick of practicality and seems quite “real” about whats going on. Appreciate his efforts and hope he keeps speaking truth to power.
⇒ Have not heard anything from any one in the district during Covid.
⇒ Too much favourism among the Directors
⇒ They seem to be doing an okay job.
⇒ We have one person looking after CVRD A which encompasses a large area with a diverse population. I hope most of the residents are reasonable people and approach their elected official respectfully. I know some things take long to progress but we also need to remember it’s different levels of government who may have more power in doing things.
⇒ We’ll see as time goes on, Union Bay is in transition.
⇒ So far so good, from what I’ve been able to glean from Decafnation and Daniel’s Facebook page.
⇒ What do they do for Union Bay?
Area A Issues
⇒ Taxes on the Valley’s highest emitters could be redirected to support local decarbonization strategies. Anyone in the Valley driving an F350, towing a boat, and driving quads and Skidoos should pay steel registration fees. The collected revenue put into active transport infrastructure etc.
⇒ The Comox Valley is doing a great job at pushing the hard-working people in low-income jobs out. If you don’t deal with the disgusting rent and housing costs you will have no service people left.
⇒ Internet access: high speed (>25 Mbs), equally accessible and affordable.
⇒ Just get stuff done in a timely manner.
⇒ Never mind relations with first nations. And low-income housing ?? What spend the money and time on infrastructure that benefits the island. And make the complaint system disappear, please. Turning people against each other. Clean up the trailer, buses and shacks. Islands trust doesn’t fund low-income housing. The low-income housing application have both been on lands that have a better use. Alr and forestry. Application NEEDS to be on residential lands.
⇒ Please pay attention to the upcoming census as Denman is changing rapidly and this will reflect in needs of the Islanders.
⇒ Consistent application of bylaws to ensure the quality of life for all.
⇒ COVID recovery and response
⇒ Thanks for making this available. Thanks for asking.
⇒ Affordable housing is by far the biggest issue on Denman Island, especially since the ITC has decided to impose a crackdown on non-conforming dwellings that have existed here for nearly 50 years. The Regional District has jurisdiction over building permits, inspections, etc, but delegate this to the LTC even though the Island is not a municipality (which are customarily delegated such jurisdiction). The problem is, the LTC does not provide building inspection (the province provides septic and electrical inspection only) —I suppose as a sop to residents who objected to the imposition of the Islands Trust in 1974; as a result, non-conforming dwellings (and a large proportion of conforming ones) are substandard, potentially unhealthy and unsafe despite the BC Building Code being in effect on every square inch of the province. However, we need to house workers employed at the various businesses here or who provide many services our generally geriatric population needs. This issue is becoming extremely contentious as the new bylaw enforcement officer has been handing out eviction notices with zeal unlike we’ve ever seen before. The new Bylaw Enforcement Notification system is an attempt to insulate the IT from court costs —that is, it deprives —or claims to, at least—residents’ of their day in court to settle bylaw disputes (the BEN system apparently substitutes for a number of failed attempts to implement a municipal-style ticketing system which, because the ITC is not responsible to is electors, is unconstitutional—beyond the IT’s jurisdiction in the same way the IT may not levy taxes, requiring the CVRD to do it in its stead as per the English Bill of Rights 1688/89, its derivatives in Common Law enshrined in the British North America Act 1867 and, now, the Constitution Act 1982). Many residents feel the BEN system is unfair and imprudent, if not unconstitutional. Naturally, the IT is precisely that: a trusteeship like any other, meaning its Trustees represent the special mandate of Islands Trust Act to residents—residents are not represented to the IT. In other words, our two elected Trustees (the ITC chair is a Trustee elected by residents of Bowen Island) are responsible to the narrow mandate of the IT Act only, not to their electors. Thus, because the LTC has sole authority over land-use zoning, we Islanders have few democratic tools to solve the severe housing shortage here—even though, ironically, we have four jurisdictions to which we elect officials whereas most BC citizens have only two or three. This mounting problem is not the fault of any elected representatives but, rather, of conflict between the IT mandate and residents who also elect representatives to responsible governments which cannot respond to their electors because of the restrictive IT mandate. It is a systems problem that has been assiduously ignored since 1974–which is why non-conforming dwellings are so common here, a sort of detente because almost everybody either knows someone who lives in such a dwelling, lives in one themselves, or provides such for someone: if anybody makes an official (anonymous) complaint, it risks a storm of tit-for-tat retaliation, suspicion and unneighbourliness that would affect nearly everyone here. Apparently, the IT Council (which is not elected by residents) is willing to take that risk—at the expense of humanity, peace, happiness, neighbourliness and prosperity on our Island. The position of Islands Trustee on Denman Island (and, presumably, on other Islands in Trust too) is therefore fraught with difficulty and, often, rancour. That’s why many residents here vote for and are thankful to have an energetic Trustee in Laura Busheikin who works tirelessly with the utmost integrity to find compromises within this strange, restrictive kind of jurisdictional conundrum that is not responding to an urgent problem: the lack of affordable housing. This could be solved if secondary dwellings were generally permitted on all properties (save ALR, about 50% of our Island, which has its own restrictions in this regard that trump the IT)—a possibility only Trustee Busheikin has shown any interest in. This issue is getting very, very hot here. It hasn’t been a healthy situation for a long time but looks to get even less so if something isn’t done soon about how we residents are represented to responsible governments. We already have affordable housing, such as it is, we just need it to be legal, healthy and safe.
⇒ Climate change, sustainable economics, and affordable housing are at the top of my political agenda, but I don’t think local and regional representatives have the power to deal meaningfully with them. They all urgently require fast, decisive provincial, national, and international action.
⇒ Provide the needs of the citizens at a reasonable cost. Don’t waste money on pet projects. Unless infrastructure is addressed, that includes ferries and bridges, we do not need more growth.
⇒ Policing in rural areas
⇒ People are suffering, it is getting worse, and those of us who are trying to help by housing (illegally) those who lack housing are now being targeted by bylaw enforcement. We will have a tent city in no time if something doesn’t happen now.
⇒ Fix the problems. We need to repave roads, more help for mental health persons, we need to keep our green spaces and stick to the growth plan. Stop big developers from tearing down and destroying green space. Upgrade the run-down areas and increase density in pockets rather than urban sprawl that only helps the realtors and developers.
⇒ All of the above. I would like to see some more concrete action with the people who seem to need to heat their homes with wet wood. Dry wood is still bad for everyone regardless. The burning in the back yards is awful and spreads the smoke all over the neighbourhood. I know there is a committee/forum on it and incentives to switch to alternatives. Tougher laws are needed. Help those of us who have difficulty breathing and everyone else whose health is impacted whether they know it or not.
⇒ What about COVID?
⇒ Oh man, I wanted to tick everything. The global climate crisis is having a knock-on effect on so many other variables … We really need to be thoughtful about our growth strategy. The Weekender Effect has taken hold and it’s a crying shame. I keep saying that the barometer I use is how “dog friendly” our communities are. Can’t believe someone asked me to leash my dog when we were walking up Forbidden the other week – man oh man, it wasn’t so long ago that you could go up Becher with your pack of dogs, and not see a single other party on the trail. We have to be very mindful of the culture we develop as Vancouver moves in.