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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On Merville groundwater extraction it’s deja vu all over again
Regional district staff recommend approving an amended application for groundwater extraction in Merville as a “home occupation,” but rural area directors want more clarity on its legal definition
Merville water bottling issue returns to the CVRD, highlights provincial water policies
The Comox Valley Electoral Areas Service Commission will consider on Monday an amended application for water bottling operations in Merville and draw attention to larger water policy issues in British Columbia
The Meaning of Life: Five notable Vancouver Islanders reflect on their life’s journey
Decafnation starts a new tradition this year by asking selected Comox Valley people to share their acquired knowledge that didn’t come from book-learning or academic studies. We begin today with the collective wisdom of five notable Vancouver Islanders rooted in the Comox Valley.
The Week: Give us full transparency when paid ‘volunteers’ work with CV students
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
What’s dire: the lack of Comox subdivisions or climate change and gradual deforestation?
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
Questions raised about prayer in schools, SD71 puts hold on faith-based volunteers
Comox Valley schools have put a hold on all faith-based community volunteer activities pending a review to determine if Youth For Christ workers have been violating SD71 policies and provincial laws
The Week: Ken Grant fined by Elections BC and Parksville confronted by development, water issues
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
THE WEEK: As Puntledge River goes lower, Colorado drinking recycled wastewater
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
THE WEEK: Let the people have a larger voice at Comox Valley council meetings
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
Courtenay Council announces its regional district line-up and other appointments
Courtenay City Council’s annual appointments announced after a short delay
Even more grating on the fountains – they are to commemorate the boards accomplishments. Gimme a break…
After reading the article on the herring fishery, I wrote to our two MPs, Ms Blaney and Mr. Johns. I sent them the Decaf article. Mr. Johns brought up the question in the house and was told by the fisheries Minister that “science” supported the continuation and expansion of the herring fishery locally as it had been cut back in other locations. Watching the video of the fisheries minister’s response, I was not convinced.