Hear Jane Philpott interview on CBC radio

Hear Jane Philpott interview on CBC radio

FromWikipedia

By George Le Masurier

Jane Philpott, who was expelled from the federal Liberal Paty caucus this week, along with Jody Wilson-Raybould, spoke about the affair on CBC Radio this Morning. Asked by Anna Maria Tremonti on The Current why she chose to sacrifice her political career over this issue, Philpott said this:

“I chose the truth. I chose to act on principles that are so important to the future of our country. That’s more important than my political career. I got into politics to improve people’s lives, to be the very best member of parliament for Markham-Stouffville that I could possibly be, to stand up for truth to represent what I heard from my constituents. If that means that — in some way — I’ve been taken out of opportunities that I had before, it makes me very sad. I loved the work that I was able to do, but I have to be able to speak to my children and my mother and my husband and say I did the right thing. And to my constituents and say I did the right thing.”

You can read excerpts and hear the full interview here.

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Decision time looming for North Island Green Party

Decision time looming for North Island Green Party

From left, Blair Cusack and Mark de Bruijn  /  Pat Carl photo

By Pat Carl

North Island-Powell River (NIPR) Greens, Voters-all: The time has come. Drum roll, please.

On March 10, between the hours of 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Greens will file into the party’s nomination meetings to cast their votes for the candidate who will represent the NIPR riding in the 2019 federal election to be held some time in October.

Greens can attend the meeting either in the Powell River Public Library located at 100 – 6975 Alberni Street in Powell River or in the Black Creek Community Centre located at 2001 Black Creek Road in Black Creek.

Yes, through the miracle of modern technology, voting for the GPC NIPR riding candidate will be conducted simultaneously from two different locations as befits a riding that encompasses nearly 58,000 square kilometres. Greens have their fingers crossed that electronic wizardry is sufficient enough to pull this off without a hitch.

While non-Green observers are welcome, voters will need to verify their Green Party membership, snap up a ballot, and check the name of their preferred candidate.

If your GPC membership has expired within the last 12 months and you have the exorbitant $10.00 membership fee in one of your pockets or buried deep in your purse and you’re willing to part with such a lavish sum, then you can vote. Such an opportunity. Let your voice be heard.

And, here, direct from attending three separate meet-and-greets, are the two candidates:

Blair Cusack believes environmental half-measures are no longer feasible. “There was a time when it was possible for me and you to do green things and help our community on the one hand, but, on the other hand, vote for a party that appealed to other aspects of what we wanted or what we believed in. Those times are past.” Read more about Blair.

Mark de Bruijn believes the environmental and social issues affecting the NIPR riding are growing. “I want to work with the many concerned, motivated and inspired people in our communities to find fresh and innovative solutions to these challenges. It is work we can do together; everyone can play a part.” Read more about Mark.

Unlike other parties, GPC has opened its doors at three meet-and greets and allowed party members and the general public to observe, question, and provide feedback to the two candidates. And here’s a shocker: Although only one of the fine candidates can win the nomination, they have both pledged to actively work on the campaign of whichever candidate is chosen to run in the election.

Following the decision made by Greens at the nomination meeting, the Campaign Launch is set for March 23 with time and location to be announced. Joining the launch will be NIPR’s special guest, Green Party MP Elizabeth May. Watch the NIPR Facebook page and website for more information as it becomes available.

Pat Carl lives in Comox and contributes to the Comox Valley Civic Journalism Project

 

More News | Politics

Three new sewage conveyance routes short-listed for study by joint advisory committee

Less than a year after the Comox-Courtenay Sewer Commission abandoned its patchwork plan to prevent leakage from large pipes that run through the K’omoks estuary and along Point Holmes beaches, a new, comprehensive Liquid Waste Management Plan is emerging that considers climate change and moves the entire conveyance system onto an overland route.

Hear Jane Philpott interview on CBC radio

FromWikipedia By George Le Masurier ane Philpott, who was expelled from the federal Liberal Paty caucus this week, along with Jody Wilson-Raybould, spoke about the affair on CBC Radio this Morning. Asked by Anna...

The Week: bizarre backstory; great news on sewage planning

Good morning. We’re writing about the tragic backstory of a water valve, the state of happiness in Comox, new (and thankfully) long-term sewerage plans and the strength of women like Jody Wilson-Raybould speaking truth to power

Council vote sends Mack Laing Trust issue back to court

Comox Town Council voted 5-2 this week to continue designing a viewing platform to replace naturalist Mack Laing’s heritage home, rejecting any other proposals for the property, as it prepares to head back to the BC Supreme Court.

Comox Valley hears “Voices from the Sacrifice Zone’

By Gavin MacRae was a long rap sheet, but speakers from the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment detailed the dangers of fracking to people in the Peace region of BC, this Sunday at the Florence Filberg...

Regional District CAO responds to developer’s lawsuit

Regional District CAO responds to developer’s lawsuit

Photo Caption

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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Hear Jane Philpott interview on CBC radio

FromWikipedia By George Le Masurier ane Philpott, who was expelled from the federal Liberal Paty caucus this week, along with Jody Wilson-Raybould, spoke about the affair on CBC Radio this Morning. Asked by Anna...

Five anti-fracking activists speak at CV forum

Anti-fracking activists tell Comox Valley audience that the LNG life cycle is worse for the environment than coal, and that BC project serve only export markets that soon may not exist

MLHS issues letter of thanks to Comox Council

Mack Laing Heritage Society archive photo By George Le Masurier he Mack Laing Heritage Society this morning issued an open letter to the Town of Comox mayor and council. Here is their letter: We, the Mack Laing...

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City CAO David Allen focuses on sustainable asset management

City CAO David Allen focuses on sustainable asset management

Courtenay Chief Administration Officer David Allen at the city’s first ‘complete street’ project  |  Photo by George Le Masurier

By George Le Masurier

Wide-ranging urban expansion has left municipal taxpayers with growing unfunded long-term debt for the infrastructure required by water, sewer, stormwater and other services. But a relatively new framework for management of public assets hopes to change that.

Courtenay Chief Administration Officer David Allen was part of a small group in 2008 that developed this system for managing public assets that provides for service and financial sustainability. It is now used by almost every municipality in British Columbia.

“The goal is sustainable service delivery; to avoid service failures,” Allen told Decafnation. “By moving to a proactive rather than reactive approach to maintenance, we can keep the infrastructure in good shape based on what the community wants and can afford.”

The provincial and federal governments regulate water and sewer standards through statutory regulations. But other things that have value, like quality of life services and stormwater, have not been regulated and the standards are discretionary.

“Therefore, City Council and the public must agree on what services are provided and at what levels of service, compared to the price the public is willing to pay,” Allen said.

Green infrastructure, for example, reduces a municipalities’ dependence on hard engineering in the future, and it does not depreciate and requires less maintenance, he said.

“It also does not have to be replaced in the future,” Allen said. “So it also extends the life of existing infrastructure.”

The city has been working with the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI), which attempts to place a value on a municipalities’ natural assets. The Public Sector Accounting Board is working on a shift in official accounting methods to allow for this approach.

“We are using these methods to develop ways to use a combination of engineered assets and natural assets to replace our existing stormwater and flood management systems,” Allen said.

Infrastructure has no value by itself; its value is the service it provides, Allen says.

In 2009, the Public Sector Accounting Board required municipalities to record the value of their tangible assets, not including their natural assets, and only the original or historical costs. It did not consider replacement value in today’s dollars.

The whole Comox Valley has somewhere near $400 million in unfunded infrastructure liabilities, the backlog of foregone capital renewal and maintenance.

“Consequently, those numbers are not realistic and grossly undervalued,” Allen said.

It’s like owning a house or a car, according to Allen. Regular maintenance means no surprising big bills and inevitable down time later.

The Asset Management BC framework corrects this misunderstanding and allows for improved long-term financial planning by identifying what truly needs to be renewed, when that should happen and how much it will actually cost.

The infrastructure deficit is related to the municipal share of the property tax bill, which is about eight percent.

“It’s too low,” Allen said, “because the nature of the services that municipalities deliver are far more dependent on capital assets than other levels of government.”

“Those numbers are not realistic and grossly undervalued”

For example, in most western nations the national governments use capital assets to deliver their services that are valued at approximately the same amount as their total annual revenue. Provincial or state governments have capital assets worth approximately three times their total annual revenues.

But to deliver local government services, municipalities typically own capital assets worth 10 or more times their annual revenue.

Some communities — like Victoria and Richmond — have created new utility functions for stormwater to fund the maintenance and replacement of its infrastructure. In most communities, however, those bills are paid out of general taxation, and most years there hasn’t been enough.

But the Asset Management BC framework, which Courtenay has adopted, guides the city to undertake infrastructure conditions assessment, and to assess each asset’s risk of failure. This way, the city can prioritize its maintenance schedule and avoid a major service failure.

When city workers recently dug up a street in one of Courtenay’s oldest neighbourhoods, they found the stormwater pipe under the street they needed to repave was in good condition; it would last for another 30 years. Since pavement only lasts for 20 years, they left the pipe in the ground and plan to replace it the next time the street needs repaving.

Understanding the actual condition of stormwater pipes, Allen says, can prevent premature replacement, so available resources can be directed to those assets that need replacement or to reserves for future renewal when it’s necessary.

“We want to replace infrastructure only when necessary,” Allen said. “Otherwise, we’re wasting money.”

 

THE MUNICIPAL NATURAL ASSETS INITIATIVE

The Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI) provides scientific, economic and municipal expertise to support and guide local governments in identifying, valuing and accounting for natural assets in their financial planning and asset management programs, and in developing leading-edge, sustainable and climate resilient infrastructure.

Asset management—the process of inventorying a community’s existing assets, determining the current state of those assets, and preparing and implementing a plan to maintain or replace those assets—allows municipalities to make informed decisions regarding a community’s assets and finances.

Unfortunately, local governments lack policies to measure and manage one class of assets: natural assets. Natural assets are ecosystem features that provide, or could be restored to provide, services just like the other engineered assets, but historically have not been considered on equal footing or included in asset management plans.

Read more about MNAI

 

WHAT IS A NATURAL ASSET?

The term ‘Municipal Natural Assets’ refers to the stocks of natural resources or ecosystems that contribute to the provision of one or more services required for the health, well-being, and long-term sustainability of a community and its residents.

 

WHAT IS THE ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING PROCESS (EAP)?

Ecological Accounting Process — “The EAP approach begins by first recognizing the importance of a stream in a natural state and then asking: how can we maintain those ecological values while allowing the stream to be used for drainage,” says Jim Dumont, Engineering Applications Authority with the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC.

 

ASSET MANAGEMENT BC

Learn more about this organization here

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Hear Jane Philpott interview on CBC radio

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Five anti-fracking activists speak at CV forum

Anti-fracking activists tell Comox Valley audience that the LNG life cycle is worse for the environment than coal, and that BC project serve only export markets that soon may not exist

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41% of voters cast ballots as of this morning

41% of voters cast ballots as of this morning

BY GEORGE LE MASURIER

Update Friday morning, Dec. 7

Elections BC reported this morning that it has received 1,356,000 ballots in the electoral referendum as of 8.20 am this morning. That is a 41 percent turnout of BC registered voters.

More ballots should arrive throughout the day, until the cutoff at 4.30 pm this afternoon.

Saanich North and the Islands still lead all areas with a 52.4 percent turnout of ballot screens so far, with Parksville-Qualicum close behind at 51.4 percent. The Comox Valley isa 46.8 percent.

—-

Update Thursday morning, Dec. 6

Saanich North and the Islands and the Parksville-Qualicum area continued to lead British Columbians in electoral reform voting. 50.3 percent of Saanich North’s register voters have had their ballots screened by Elections BC, and 49.2 percent of Parksvile-Qualicum registered voters. So far, 45.5 percent of Comox Valley registered voters have returned ballots that have passed through the initial screening.

—–

As of 8.20 a.m. Wednesday morning, Elections BC had screened the ballots of 34.2 percent of registered voters in British Columbia. But they have received ballots from about 40 percent of voters.  

The rate of return has been high in some communities like Parksville-Qualicum, where 47.7 percent of voters have returned the ballot package. The top voting region so far is Saanich North and the Islands with a 48.8 percent return.

The Comox Valley also topped the 40 percent mark, at 43.9 percent this morning.

Other top voting communities include: Oak Bay-Gordon Head at 45.5 percent, Nelson-Creton at 42.7 percent, Powell River-Sunshine Coast at 43.5 percent and Saanich South at 42.1 percent.

The lowest number of returned ballots so far have come from the many Surrey ridings, with Surrey-Green Timbers ranking the lowest of the low at 20.2 percent.

Only ballots received by Elections BC by 4.30 pm on Friday, Dec. 7 will be counted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wells elected CVRD chair, Hamir vice-chair

Wells elected CVRD chair, Hamir vice-chair

George Le Masurier photo

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By George Le Masurier

Newly-elected Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells has been elected to chair the Comox Valley Regional District board. Wells represented the City of Courtenay on the CVRD for the past four years, along with former mayor Larry Jangula and Councillor Mano Theos.

At its inaugural meeting Tuesday, Nov. 20, directors also elected new Area B Director Arzeena Hamir as vice-chair. This is Hamir’s first time in public office.

There are seven new faces at the CVRD board table this year: Daniel Arbour, Area A; David Frisch, Courtenay; Hamir; Doug Hillian, Courtenay; Jesse Ketler, Cumberland; Wendy Morin, Courtenay; and, Maureen Swift, Comox.

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