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.
ELECTORAL AREA C: Candidates answer our three questions
Decafnation asked this year’s candidates for public office to respond to three questions. We are publishing their responses by the jurisdictions in which they are a candidate.
Electoral Area C
One representative to be elected
Incumbent – Edwin Grieve
Challenger – Matthew Ellis
1. In the event that a new dangerous variant of the COVID virus emerges or if a new pandemic arises would you use your position as a civic leader to support federal and provincial public health orders and encourage others to do likewise?
In cases regarding public health and safety, all power lies with the Public Health Authority. My understanding is that they are above the courts, above the government and certainty above your Regional District Board. We found this out when, during the days of boiled water notices and high turbidity in Comox Lake, our local Public Health Officer issued a “Drinking Water Abatement Order.” This gave her the arbitrary authority to levie $200,000.00 a day in fines and up to two years in jail for CVRD officials. No appeal, no review, no overturn by the Provincial Ministries. Luckily, we managed to build the new $129M water treatment plant thanks to building up reserves and obtaining Provincial and Federal Grants.
I heavily believe in the tenets of personal responsibility, and would not advocate for blanket measures from either the provincial or federal governments. I believe Canadians have the right to choose how best to protect their families. I would further refuse to support the denial of access to services that our residents own taxes paid for, due to private medical decisions, that I believe to be no business of the government.
2. Do you support the Regional Growth Strategy as it’s currently written? In particular, do you support its theme to funnel new growth into already defined urban boundaries, leaving the rural areas as rural as possible. And, do you support not adding any settlement nodes until the Union Bay Estates and K’omoks First Nations developments in the Union Bay area are well underway?
Well, the RGS was mandated as part of the terms for separating the Comox Valley from the Strathcona Regional Districts. As a newly elected Director, I had the privilege of sitting on the Board when the process took place. Countless public meetings, telephone surveys and written submissions culminated in not one but two hotly attended Public Hearings.
In the end it took two days with a Provincially appointed mediator to reach the final document. Broadly speaking it has been successful in keeping the rural rural and compact growth has saved millions of dollars in infrastructure.
I support the current regional growth strategy in its aims to preserve our rural areas, and I believe the Regional District and the Provincial Supreme Court made the right decision to deny 3L Developments their egregious request for urban sprawl development of the Stotan Falls area.
I also support the decision to not add new settlement nodes until both of the aforementioned projects are complete, at which time I believe in looking at new nodes on a case-by-case basis, ensuring we communicate with existing area residents, and ensuring their wants and needs are met; perhaps using referendums to allow their voices to be heard.
3. Do you believe it is the responsibility of local governments to take climate change-focused actions and to consider how to minimize carbon emissions from municipal operations and facilities in all of the council deliberations?
The CVRD’s “Corporate Energy and Emissions Plan” sets targets to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 50 percent of 2019 levels by 2030. Based on “Clean BC” Provincial directives, this ambitious plan will phase out corporate fossil fuel use by: Transitioning the fleet to electric or low carbon fuels; Renovate and retrofit public buildings, facilities and infrastructure; Reduce service levels and consider new business models; and, Recognise and utilize natural assets
While Senior Governments have the far greater taxation and regulatory authority, it falls to Local Government to set an example and do what we can … given we only receive seven cents out of every tax dollar.
I am opposed to all forms of new taxation on our citizens, including those aimed at reducing carbon. We can fight climate change, even at a local level, by utilizing new technologies and by enticing private sector investment in sustainable projects, that will bring well-paying, skilled jobs to our communities, without the need for increasing taxes, and further straining families who are already hurting due to the recent economic downturn; much of which can be attributed to reckless government spending and poor monetary policy.
WHERE AND WHEN TO VOTE
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.
Go to this link for General Voting Day locations in the three Electoral Areas.
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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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.
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