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
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.
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
12,607 for First Past The Post, 55.16%
10,249 for Proportional Representation, 44.84%
61.3% for First Past The Post, 38.7% for Proportional Representation
42.6% of BC registered voters cast ballots
Faith-based volunteers can contribute positively to the educational experience in our public schools but everyone must be perfectly clear about who they are, what they can and cannot do and school administrators must monitor their activity closely and consistently
A Comox Valley developer is suing the Town of Comox because his permits to cut down trees and build more single-family homes haven’t been issued as fast as he’s wanted and because the town wants a wider walking trail through the property
Another Comox Councillor was fined by Elections BC for violating BC elections laws, plus Parksville’s water supply is unable to meet provincial requirements for summer water flow in the Englishman River let alone provide water for a proposed 800-unit development
A serious fall drought has reduced flows in the Puntledge River, shutting down hydroelectric power generation for the first time in 55 years. Meanwhile, many states eye sending treated wastewater to kitchen taps
Making it easier for citizens to speak directly to municipal councils might increase public interest in local government, which in turn might encourage more registered voters to actually cast a ballot
Cumberland and Comox municipal councils approve their mayor’s annual appointments, but Courtenay was a no show at its inaugural meeting. Is there conflict behind the scenes?
Dr. Jonathan Kerr topped the polls with voters, but will that resonate at the Comox Town Council as it is poised to approve new Mayor Nicole Minions’ appointments and assignments?
Despite the long drought this summer, Comox Valley water system supplies have not been threatened; the BC Wildfire Service has banned fireworks this year and clarifying Daniel Arbour’s place of residence
It was weird. But when the sun rose on Oct. 16, Comox Valley voters had made it clear they liked the direction charted by our local governments. In the municipalities, they elected all but two incumbents. In most races, the vote was a definite pat on the back for a job well done.
Long-time public official Bronco Moncrief dies, Manno Theos hangs out in Greece, and Daniel Arbour reacts to lies about his campaign finances