General Voting Day is Saturday, Oct. 15. See the sidebar on this page for advance voting dates.

The Week: One election is already over, candidates running in other towns and new shenanigans

Sep 12, 2022 | Commentary, Elections 2022, Latest Feature

By George Le Masurier

The official campaign period for this fall’s municipal election doesn’t begin until Saturday, Sept. 17, but one race is already over.

Meet Nicole Minions, the new mayor of Comox. When the clock ticked past 4 p.m. on Friday, the deadline for candidates to file their nomination papers, she was the only person to file for mayor of Comox. She will win the mayor’s chair by acclamation.

Minions becomes only the second woman since 1946 to serve as the town’s mayor. Alicia Burns served one term in the mayor’s chair from 1992-1995.

When incumbent mayor Russ Arnott publicly announced on Facebook Thursday evening that he was stepping down due to illness, many people speculated that 17-year council member Ken Grant would want the job. Instead, Grant filed for a sixth term as a councillor.

Maybe Grant didn’t think he could win against the bright, under-40 Minions, who has comported herself well over the last four years.

Minions, who is coming off her first term on council, was considering a challenge to Arnott and had actually dropped her filing papers at town hall before the incumbent’s announcement.

She expected a competitive race but now is happy to be relieved from the burden of campaigning. She plans to use the time before her first official council meeting in late October to get to know all the council candidates and preparing for her new role.

You can read Decafnation’s full profile of the soon-to-be-Mayor Minions tomorrow when we start publishing interviews with some of the candidates.



Elections: they bring out the best in us and the worst in us.

The local government election campaigns may have just gotten started, but the dirty tricks and other political shenanigans are well underway.

Brennan Day, a candidate for Courtenay City Council, made some rather large campaign signs that display the official logos of the City of Courtenay and the Province of BC making it appear he has the backing of the city and the provincial government.

That’s got to be a violation of campaign ethics, if not the law.

In fact, Kate O’Connell, the chief electoral officer and director of corporate services at the city, told Decafnation today they have ordered the Day campaign to change its signs.

“The City does not endorse any candidates and does not permit candidates to use the City logo,” she told Decafnation. “We have contacted the campaign to remove/cover the logo or remove the sign.”

Presumably, Day will take off the provincial logo at the same time. He ran unsuccessfully for council in 2018 and as a candidate for the BC Liberal Party in the last provincial election, which he lost to Ronna-Rae Leonard of the NDP.

And the sign vandals have been busy. They’ve knocked over Courtenay incumbent candidate Will Cole-Hamilton’s signs a couple of times. Decafnation also spotted another election sign hanging from the top of a street sign.



There are 45 people running for 28 local government positions this year, not counting the seven school board seats or the four positions on the Islands Trust. And about 15 percent of them are seeking office in jurisdictions where they do not live.

There is no prohibition in British Columbia election laws from living in Nanaimo and running for office in Courtenay, as Mano Theos is doing. You can live in Port Hardy and file for the office of the Mayor of Victoria if you’re crazy enough to do it.

It’s a curious law that doesn’t extend the exact same courtesy to voters, who can only vote in the jurisdictions where they live unless they own property in another jurisdiction. In that case, they can also vote in the jurisdiction where they own property. For example, Mano Theos can’t vote in Courtenay unless he owns property there, but he can hold public office whether he does or doesn’t. 

Here are some candidates who appear to be running out of their jurisdiction of residence, based on the addresses on their nomination papers:

Running in Courtenay – Brennan Day (lives in Area B), Phil Adams (lives in Area A), Lyndsey Northcott (lives in Area A) and Mano Theos (lives in Nanaimo).

Running in Comox – Ruby Sidhu (lives in Courtenay) and Peter Gibson (lives in Courtenay).

Running in Area B – Richard Hardy (lives in Comox).



We have never understood why some candidates, including incumbents, wait to file their nomination papers until the last minute. But it never fails that in every local government election the official list of candidates doubles or more in the last few hours before the deadline.

Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells, for example, announced he was running a couple of months ago, but didn’t file until the day before the last day. Comox Mayor Russ Arnott, who everyone knew was ill and could not run again, only announced the obvious the night before deadline day. These are just two high-profile examples, but many candidates do it.

Do they think they’re being clever or is it some political strategy? A chess match in their own minds? Or, are they just disorganized people who can’t get it together until they absolutely have to? It’s a mystery to us.











General Voting Day is Saturday, Oct. 15 for all local government positions.

Comox Valley Regional District

General Voting Day and advance voting take place at the CVRD building in Courtenay from 8 am to 8 pm.

Additional voting takes place on Oct. 6 from 9 am to 12 pm on Denman Island and on Oct. 6 from 2 pm to 5 pm on Hornby Island


Advance Voting begins on Wednesday October 5, 2022, 8 am to 8 pm at the Native Sons Hall, and again on Wednesday October 12, 2022, 8 am to 8 pm at the Florence Filberg Centre.

General Voting Day, Saturday, October 15, 2022, 8 am to 8 pm at the Queneesh Elementary School, and at the Florence Filberg Centre.


Advance voting begins Wednesday, October 5 from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. at the Comox Community Centre, and on Saturday, October 8 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Genoa Sail Building at Comox Marina, and again on Monday, October 10 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Genoa Sail Building at Comox Marina, and on Wednesday, October 12 from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. at the Comox Community Centre.

General Voting Day runs from 8 am to 8 pm on Oct. 15 at the Comox Community Centre.


All voting in the Village of Cumberland takes place from 8 am to 8 pm at the Cumberland Cultural Centre. Advance voting takes place on Oct. 5 and Oct. 12.



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More Commentary | Elections 2022 | Latest Feature

Here’s the latest Comox Valley local government election results

Mayor Bob Wells and all Courtenay incumbent councillors have been re-elected. Evan Jolicoeur has also been elected. Manno Theos has lost his seat.

Jonathan Kerr, Jenn Meilleur, Steve Blacklock, Chris Haslett, Ken Grant and Maureen Swift have been elected in Comox.

Vickey Brown has been elected mayor in Cumberland, defeating long-time mayor and councillor Leslie Baird.

Voting down -20.6% in Courtenay, -22.3% in Comox and -50.9% in Cumberland.

Full results with Electoral Areas A, B and C, school board and Islands Trust results in the morning.

Daniel Arbour in Area A and Edwin Grieve in Area C won by wide margins. Richard Hardy defeated Arzeena Hamir by 23 votes.

Shannon Aldinger topped the polls in races for SD71 school trustees.

Click the headline on this page for complete results and voter turnout.

Our recommendations in the 2022 Comox Valley local government elections

Decafnation announces its list of preferred candidates in this year’s local government elections and for the first time we identify candidates that we think show promise and provide our reasons for not endorsing the other candidates. Our endorsements fall on the first day of voting at advance polls

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