Regional District CAO responds to developer’s lawsuit

Regional District CAO responds to developer’s lawsuit

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Regional District CAO responds to developer’s lawsuit

By George Le Masurier

Comox Valley Regional District Chief Administrative Officers Russell Dyson issued a statement today, Dec. 27, in response to a petition by 3L Developments Inc. to Supreme Court of British Columbia

Earlier this year, the CVRD board rejected an application by 3L to amend the Regional Growth Strategy to allow a large subdivision in the Puntledge Triangle. The development company then challenged that decision in a court filing, just days before the Oct. 20 municipal elections.

Today, Dyson issued the following statement:

“On October 17, 2018, 3L Developments Inc. filed a petition with the Supreme Court of British Columbia seeking court orders to set aside the Comox Valley Regional District’s (CVRD) denial of the 3L’s application to amend the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS).

“Our lawyer has advised us to limit our comments on this matter while it is before the court, but we do want to make it clear that the CVRD considered 3L’s application to amend the RGS in a fair, open and transparent process. We followed all requirements set out in Provincial legislation, CVRD bylaws and policies and met the Court’s expectations from previous decisions regarding 3L’s proposal.

“Amending the RGS is a serious undertaking.

“The RGS is a regional planning framework that guides growth and development and protects the environment, health and livability in the CVRD for all citizens.

“We fully consulted with the public and 3L during this process. We kept 3L informed and respected their interest, processing their application in a timely manner.

“The documents below are the same as those filed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia on December 21, 2018 and be found on our website at www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/3l

“· Response to Petition – filed

“· Affidavit #1 of James Andrew Warren – filed

“· Affidavit #2 of James Andrew Warren – filed

“· Affidavit of Russell Dyson – filed

“· Affidavit of Alana Mullaly – filed

“· Affidavit of Edwin Grieve – filed

“· Affidavit of Curtis Scoville – filed”

 

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Taking the Polar Bear plunge at Goose Spit on Boxing Day

Taking the Polar Bear plunge at Goose Spit on Boxing Day

Photo by George Le Masurier

Taking the Polar Bear plunge at Goose Spit on Boxing Day

By George Le Masurier

Brave souls dove into cold waters on the leeward side of Goose Spit Wednesday (Boxing Day) for the 42nd annual Polar Bear Swim. Several hundred joined in the fun. Fun? Apparently, according to the Comox Recreation Centre organizers. Here’s a gallery of photos to relive the event from the warmth of your living room.

 

POLAR BEARS HAVE TO SWIM LONGER, AND MORE OFTEN

Melting ice in the Beaufort Sea is forcing polar bears to swim long distances, without food or rest for days at a time, with increasing frequency, according to a five-year study that sheds light onto yet another consequence of climate change in the North.

A group of researchers at the University of Alberta monitored polar bears in the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska and the Yukon, and Hudson Bay from 2007 to 2012.

They found that as sea ice melted, female adult bears and younger bears of both genders were paddling distances greater than 30 miles more often in order to find pieces of ice large enough for them to rest on.

“If you went back in time, even to the 1980s, bears in the Beaufort Sea probably never saw 50 kilometers [30 miles] of open water, and that’s the low end of the analysis,” said researcher Andrew Derocher, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta.

-VICE News

 

HERE’S THE REALLY SCARY PLACES TO SWIM IN THE WORLD

Victoria Falls, Zambia — A natural swimming hole at the top of the falls, a 100-foot drop.

Hanakapiai Beach, Hawaii — High surfs, strong rip currents and high tides have claimed many lives here

Volusia County, Florida — New Smyrna Beach is known as the Shark Bite Capital of the World. Nuff said.

River Nile, Egypt — If water falls, rip currents and sharks aren’t scary enough for you, take a dip in the muddy waters of the Nile, where a half-million crocodiles lurk among the piranha-like Tiger Fish.

— Destinationtips.com

 

IF YOU DIDN’T THINK GOOSE SPIT WAS COLD, TRY THIS!

Plunge into water at near-freezing temperatures, and your body goes into extreme distress. Your skin screams signals of pain. You can’t breathe, because your chest is cramping up. Talking is nearly impossible. Your heart is pounding. Fear mounts — as it should. Without any protection, you may lose consciousness in under 15 minutes. You’ll be dead within an hour.

Or … you can start racing! That’s the idea behind the Open Scandinavian Championship in Winter Swimming, which takes place every year in a 25-meter pool cut out of a frozen lake in a small Swedish town only about 100 miles from the Arctic Circle. Nearly 400 swimmers traveled there in February for the privilege and thrill of competing in this unique sport with as many health benefits as risks, it seems.

It’s the health benefits of the cold — both physical and emotional — that inspired this winter swimming race in the first place.

Health benefits?

— KIMT.com

The Week: NDP defeats ProRep, the Comox beer drought is over

The Week: NDP defeats ProRep, the Comox beer drought is over

Get the bathing suits out, the Polar Bear Swim is just around the corner  |  George Le Masurier photo

The Week: NDP defeats ProRep, the Comox beer drought is over

By George Le Masurier

The NDP can breathe easy now that voters have rejected electoral reform again. Or can they? Depending on who you talk to Premier John Horgan either stacked the deck in favor of proportional representation or against it.

ProRep supporters say Horgan did little to promote electoral reform, and that he scheduled the timing of the vote to conflict with municipal elections when it would get little attention. First-past-the-post supporters say Horgan lowered the bar for approval to 50 percent-plus one, and rushed the vote before a specific version of ProRep could be chosen.

There’s truth in the complaints of both sides. The NDP showed no passion for reform. Was Ronna-Rae out knocking on doors? Did Gord Johns? It was a lacklustre campaign by a party that claimed to support ProRep.

And there’s no doubt voters were confused. ProRep supporters found themselves explaining the difference between three possible versions of reform. The basic premise of ProRep got lost in the details — that people should be represented in proportion to how they voted.

  Has there been a beer drought in Comox? Apparently. Social media channels lit up over the weekend about the grand opening of another brew pub in the town, this one on Lerwick Road. Jason and Hanna Walker opened Land and Sea Brewing Co. a week ago and their Facebook page went crazy.

There has been a long gap in Comox drinkeries since the Leeward Pub shut down and the Lorne Hotel and the Edgewater burned down. People wanting a taproom-barroom-public house experience had to travel out of town .. but, really, is Courtenay out-of-town?

So somebody flipped a switch and the “hey-Comox-needs-a-bar !” light went on. The Comox Bakery started serving beer and pizza, the Social Room opened and the Church Street Taphouse broke ground (coming next spring). Now Land and Sea has opened, soon to be followed by New Traditions Brewing Company in the Comox Mall.

And, silly us, we thought the hot market was going to be recreational pot stores.

  A couple of careless painters showed us again just how little people know about stormwater. We didn’t need the reminder.

The painters spilled latex paint at the intersection of Cumberland and Burgess roads this week, and then tried to clean up their mess by washing the paint down the nearest storm drain. They were apparently ignorant that drains lead to stormwater pipes that empty into one of Courtenay’s fish-bearing streams, probably Millard or Piercy creeks in this case.

Unfortunately, these guys aren’t alone. Decafnation readers have probably seen people pour used paint thinner, oil or some other toxic chemical into a street drain. It’s tragically all too common.

We know, it’s an extra effort to recycle this stuff, but it’s deadly to the environment.

  The draft transportation plan that caused airplane pilots and aircraft business owners to crash land in the Courtenay City Council chambers this summer has undergone a major revision.

Gone is a 21st Street bridge that would have eliminated several businesses, closed down the Courtenay Airpark by severing the runway and disrupted the K’omoks Estuary and the Kus-kus-sum restoration project.

Thank God.

The 21st Street bridge was a dumb idea and a non-starter from the get-go. But it did wake up a usually sedate Airpark Association, and turned it into an aggressive advocacy group. So, that’s a good thing.

The consultant who wrote the first report proposing the bridge, is now are telling City Council the bridge’s negative impact would exceed the benefits “by some margin.” Besides being an engineer, he’s also a master of understatement.

Instead, the new transportation plan will likely focus on methods to improve traffic flow on the roads approaching the 17th and Fifth street bridges.

  I wish the RCMP traffic division would take a tip from the Town of Comox: People driving over the speed limit? Eliminate speed limits! People disobeying a law to keep their dogs on a leash? Suspend that law!

New signage erected by the town doesn’t make the Northeast Woods trails an off-leash dog park, the signs just warn some people that some other people may not play by the rules. No doubt this reduces the town’s liability if someone decides to get litigious.

The whole unfortunate problem was created by a couple of misguided elderly vigilantes who started shooting unleashed dogs with bear spray. And they seem to have gotten off easy with only a verbal reprimand.

HOW WE VOTED FOR ELECTORAL REFORM

 

Courtenay-Comox

12,607 for First Past The Post, 55.16%

10,249 for Proportional Representation, 44.84%

 

Provincial results

61.3% for First Past The Post, 38.7% for Proportional Representation

42.6% of BC registered voters cast ballots

 

Cumberland leads Canada, uses existing purchasing to impact society

Around the world, the criteria for how to spend public money has shifted toward achieving a community’s social and economic values, in addition to getting the best value. The Village of Cumberland is leading the way for Canada, along with Comox resident Sandra Hamilton 

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Vancouver Island mayors are working together and with the construction industry to ease the transition to a new local government procurement process that includes the achievement of a community’s social and economic goals with a community benefit hub

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While Canada and Canadians have changed, our voting system hasn’t changed since first-past-the-post was adopted. First-past-the-post does not match what we value as a society because, dare I say it, it isn’t fair.

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Cumberland gets $5.7 million for sewage plant upgrade

Cumberland gets $5.7 million for sewage plant upgrade

Village of Cumberland sewage lagoons will soon get an upgrade  | Photo by George Le Masurier

Cumberland gets $5.7 million for sewage plant upgrade

By George Le Masurier

The Village of Cumberland is well on its way to completing an overdue upgrade to its wastewater treatment plant thanks to the passage of a referendum this fall and $5.7 million from the federal Green Municipal Fund.

The money comes as a grant of $750,000 and a low-interest loan of $5 million.

Cumberland has been out of compliance with BC Ministry of Environment treatment standards for years and has been threatened with heavy fines for continued non-compliance. But the village needed public approval to incur debt for the project, and government funding, in order to get the upgrade underway.

The Green Municipal Fund grant announced this week means the village can start the preliminary stages of the project.

Cumberland voters approved a referendum in the Oct. 20 municipal elections allowing the Village to borrow up to $4.4 million for the sewage project. The whole project was estimated to cost $9.7 million.

More News | sewage

Cumberland leads Canada, uses existing purchasing to impact society

Around the world, the criteria for how to spend public money has shifted toward achieving a community’s social and economic values, in addition to getting the best value. The Village of Cumberland is leading the way for Canada, along with Comox resident Sandra Hamilton 

Cumberland UBCM resolution set the stage for a social hub

Vancouver Island mayors are working together and with the construction industry to ease the transition to a new local government procurement process that includes the achievement of a community’s social and economic goals with a community benefit hub

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While Canada and Canadians have changed, our voting system hasn’t changed since first-past-the-post was adopted. First-past-the-post does not match what we value as a society because, dare I say it, it isn’t fair.

Bob Cain: Hornby Island’s photographer laureate

Photographer Bob Cain has documented life on Hornby Island for nearly 50 years, capturing the people, events and rituals of island living in black and white, and going mostly unnoticed. Now he’s sharing his voluminous archive with the world.

A caregiver’s hard decision: help wanted

Caring for her husband who suffers with dementia, Comox resident Delores Broten struggles with a hard decision. He’s falling now, but should she approve strapping him into a wheelchair? It seems inhumane, and she’s reaching out for help.

Which 2018 municipal candidates value sustainability?

Comox Valley governments agreed to follow the Sustainability Strategy in the Regional Growth Strategy, but some are doing better than others. Learn the pertinent questions to identify candidates that value sustainability at a public forum this Thursday, May 24 in...

Cumberland mayor encourages citizens to seek public office

The hours are long and the paycheck is short, but Cumberland Mayor told a crowd of about 65 in Comox that serving your community through local government can be a rewarding experience. The public forum was organized by Comox Tomorrow.

Public panel will help guide new sewerage plan

The new Comox Valley Sewer Conveyance Planning Process that will recommend rerouting the pipe carrying Courtenay and Comox sewage to the treatment plant will include public and technical panels, which will be formed this summer; plus, the treatment plant gets an upgrade to eliminate over-capacity at peak periods