Port Hardy former police officer Chris Voller has been nominated for a BC Reconciliation Award by his former boss, Sergeant Wes Olsen, the four local First Nations and the District of Port Hardy. Mr. Voller was frequently seen at community gatherings, developed friendships with First Nations leaders, and supported Indigenous-led initiatives such as the Managed Alcohol Program and the Indigenous Court.
The North Island College Foundation (NIC) Board of Directors has announced Garry Griffin as chair of the NIC Foundation board, Colleen Sawyer as vice chair, Donna Cloutier as treasurer, Brett Woodside re-elected as secretary and new board members Sandra Harrison and Arlo McCubbin.
The Island Voices Chamber Choir welcomes new conductor, Dr. John Hooper. Amongst the Edmonton-native’s many accolades, Dr. Hooper conducted the chamber and concert choirs at King’s University.
The provincial government will invest $5 million in projects spanning twenty-four provincial parks including the Loveland Bay Provincial Park in 2021, one of four West Coast parks that are getting funding. The park will receive an upgraded campground and improvements to the beach, campsites and service areas. The other coastal parks include Macmillan Provincial Park, Maquinna Marine Provincial Park and Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park.
Three donations have been made to Octopus Islands Marine Park located near Quadra Island, including a recent donation of $100,000 that has helped BC Parks purchase an additional twenty-hectare island to be added to the 862-hectare park.
Campbell River City Council has deferred a decision on whether or not to support a lease of Crown Land within the community by the Kwiakah First Nation to set up a community garden and urban farm near the old gun range on Argonaut Road. The proposed plan is for the Kwiakah First Nation to build a series of raised garden beds and small greenhouses on the property for its members to access. Council first wishes to confer with the other local bands that the project has their support as well before making a decision.
The Strathcona Regional District has awarded Port Coquitlam-based Baylink Networks the contract for the SRD and CityWest joint-project, Connected Coast, to build the largest undersea networks in Canada. The project will bring high-speed internet to rural and remote communities along the coast, from Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii, down the Sunshine Coast and around Vancouver Island.
The Campbell River and District Coalition to End Homelessness has hired Stefanie Hendrickson as new coordinator for the start of 2021.
Campbell River’s municipal CRadvantage internet service is partnering with iTel Networks to expand, providing internet connections to city facilities and other businesses in the community. The technology will help maintain affordable access for businesses.
Aquaculture company Grieg Seafood BC donated mooring gear to anchor a heavy 10,000-foot-long boom in place to the Canadian Coast Guard working to contain the oil spill near Nootka Sound. Grieg Seafood was approached by the company designated to tackle the spill, Diversified Marine, to see if they could assist in containing the active oil leak.
The Quadra-based Open Bay Society (OBS), a non-profit wilderness conservancy and research centre, is negotiating with Mosaic Forest Management to buy timber harvesting rights for 7,000 acres of forest at the centre of the island. The non-profit aims to protect biodiversity, enhance research and restoration in the area while respecting the We Wai Kai Nation’s social, cultural and ceremonial uses of the land falling within their traditional territory.
Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community at 399 Clubhouse Drive in Courtenay welcomes Jared Siminoff from the Point Grey Golf & Country Club as their next Head Professional starting in early February. They have also announced the addition of Christine Grant as their new Food and Beverage Manager.
The Wachiay Friendship Centre in Courtenay wishes to turn its parking lot at 17th and 1679 McPhee Avenue into a five-storey wood frame building with forty affordable living units. Pending the outcome of an application to BC Housing, the suites will be studio and one-bedroom units. The centre applied for assistance via a Community Housing Fund. M’akola Development Services has applied for rezoning at the location.
The provincial government is creating sixteen new seats in the health care assistant program at North Island College, between both Comox Valley and Campbell River campuses. These are some of the 600 seats being created at public post-secondary institutions across the province, as part of the Health Career Access Program, with a total investment of $8.4 million.
Courtenay council has adopted a bylaw allowing Habitat for Humanity to construct twelve homes at 1375 Piercy Avenue. The project will consist of three four-unit townhomes.
Inspired Cannabis Co. at 623 Cliffe Avenue in Courtenay is now open daily.
The City of Courtenay is partnering with the Community Land Trust Group of Societies to secure funding for a new model of housing in the community. They are applying to BC Housing’s Community Housing Fund program with proposals for three city-owned sites as potential locations for housing co-operatives (co-ops) at 152 1st Street, 645 – 725 Cliffe Avenue and 425 Duncan Avenue. Courtenay’s applications propose a mix of affordability levels and unit types for low and middle-incomes. To view their portfolio of projects in other communities, visit www.cltrust.ca.
Forestry companies Western Forest Products Inc. and Interfor Corporation have agreed to follow Indigenous protocols pertaining to large cultural cedars set by a council consisting of Mamalilikulla, Tlowitsis, Da’naxda’xw Awaetlala, Wei Wai Kum, and K’ómoks First Nations, with traditional territories on northern Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland. The Large Cultural Cedar (LCC) Operation Protocol outlines policies and procedures for those seeking to carry out forestry activities and secure permits to harvest timber in these Nations’ territories. It aims to protect culturally important large cedars, which are at risk from large scale logging, under traditional laws and jurisdiction.
The Strathcona Regional District has chosen McElhanney Consulting Ltd. to map the Salmon and White River floodplain encompassing Electoral Area A, the village of Sayward and the traditional territory of the K’omok’s First Nation. The mapping will help with the upcoming review of Sayward’s Official Community, future development, infrastructure and emergency planning.
The Comox Valley Economic Development Society and Tourism Vancouver Island have entered into a service agreement, with TVI managing the Vancouver Island (Comox Valley) Visitor Centre, as well as managing tourism marketing for the communities in the Comox Valley. This agreement is effective January 1, 2021 and will be in place for two years. For more information, visit www.tourismvi.ca.