“I can’t believe what these newspapers are publishing!”  /  George Le Masurier photo

The Week: logging in the watershed, update on Comox parade ban and more

Aug 9, 2019 | Commentary, News

By George Le Masurier

One of Decafnation’s regular contributors, Pat Carl, struck a nerve with her report this week on a visit to TimberWest’s logging operations around the Cruickshank River. Her article reported on the devastation she observed in the Comox Valley’s source of drinking water.

And that set off long strings of comments on Decafnation and on various Facebook pages. Some defenders of logging in the Comox Lake Watershed wrote wearily long diatribes that included attacks on Carl and this website, and those spoke for themselves.

The fact remains that logging above Comox Lake is a major reason why taxpayers are funding a $120-plus million water treatment plant.

But it’s not the only factor.

In fact, the Comox Lake Watershed Plan highlights camping, swimming and hiking as activities just as hazardous to the watershed as timber harvesting.

And that raises the question of whether Comox Lake should be a no-go conservation area that prohibits ATVs, dogs and fossil-fuel spilling motorboats.

Short update to Comox Mayor Russ Arnott’s chilling attempt to stifle free speech by ordering the Nautical Days parade marshall to rescind her approval of a Mack Laing Heritage Society float. Arnott justified his dictate by referring to many complaints of “alarming and inappropriate behaviour” by Mack Laing supporters in the Courtenay Canada Day parade.

But checking with the Courtenay parade marshall, Scott Mossing, reveals a different story.

Mossing says, “I can confirm that I have not received nor have any complaints regarding Mack Laing Heritage Society’s involvement in the July 1st Parade.”

It makes you wonder where Arnott got his information.

The Courtenay-Comox Sewage Commission will reconsider on Tuesday a request from the Curtis Road Residents Association to add the Area B representation to their deliberations.

Odours from the sewage treatment plant have plagued Curtis Road homeowners for more than 30 years and, despite some improvements from new technology, still isn’t acceptable to them. Besides the loss of enjoyment of their homes at certain times, the strong odours have also significantly devalued their properties.

At its last meeting, the Comox Valley Regional District board pushed the CRRA’s request back to the sewage commission for reconsideration.

The commission previously couldn’t decide, with a vote to allow Area B representation ending in a tie because the CFB Comox delegate missed the meeting. Courtenay directors were in favour of allowing representation in some form, but Comox directors were not.

The CFB delegate may not show up again. The Department of Defense doesn’t like getting tangled in local politics, so it’s possible the military delegate will avoid this meeting, too.

But even with a deciding vote present, directors might choose to wait for the much-anticipated staff report and recommendations emanating from last year’s omnibus report on governance of the regional district’s water and sewage commissions.

The governance study was commissioned after CVRD engineers scrapped a plan about two years ago to patch the current sewerage system that included building a new pump station in the neighbourhood of Croteau Beach. There were serious technical problems with that plan and considerable public push-back.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report this week that blames agriculture for rising temperatures and the release of greenhouse gases. More specifically, the report says how we produce our food is a large part of the climate change problem.

And if we don’t change the way we eat, the report predicts the instability of our global food supply.

Short summary: eating less meat equals less heat. Agriculture generates 44 percent of all methane gas emissions and up to 37 percent of all human-caused greenhouse gases. Agriculture leads to deforestation.

The report recommends encouraging diets based on plants and grains, which take less land to produce than meat. And they have specific recommendations to improve food production’s negative effects on the environment.




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