All candidates were sent four questions from the Island WORD:

1. Do you support the Regional District approving the 3L Development project, or not, and why?
2. What is the role of local government in dealing with issues such as homelessness and climate change?
3. What do you think of the current level of property taxes in your area?
4. What is motivating you to run for public office?

Here are those who responded:

City of Courtenay:

Erik Eriksson- Courtenay Mayor
(Chose not to answer questions.)
After four years serving as City Councillor, I have decided to run for Mayor of Courtenay in the Municipal Election on October 20.
During these four years, I feel I have gained the experience and knowledge necessary to perform the duties of Mayor well.
This is in addition to all that I have learned through my service with many community groups in the Valley.
These include the Food Bank, the CV Community Foundation, Comox Valley Youth Music Centre, Comox Valley Economic Development Society and Courtenay Recreation Association.
Please read about my “Building Partnerships” platform on my Website – www.erikeriksson.ca. There you will also see an extensive biography.
I will be knocking on doors until election day in order to introduce myself to as many people as possible.
But if we don’t meet up, please contact me by one of the methods listed on the Contact Erik page.

Bob Wells- Courtenay Mayor

1. No

2. I am proud that we now fund the Comox Valley Homelessness Coalition to combat the full spectrum of homelessness. As Mayor creating our own municipal housing strategy to work with the Homeless Coalition will be one of my main focuses.
We need to install culverts along the bypass between the 17th St Bridge and Ryan Rd so that it does not act like a dam during floods.
3. Keeping taxes low at any cost has truly come back to bite us. From crumbling infrastructure, inadequate water treatment and lack of staff capacity; it has left us in a massive infrastructure deficit. I am proud that we are working on a water treatment system to provide safe drinking water, have started a paving program to repair our streets, and have implemented an Asset Management Program to create a roadmap for infrastructure renewal. And we were still able to keep the Courtenay tax increase to 2.83%. As Mayor I will continue to lobby the Provincial and Federal governments to create a more sustainable funding model. FMI on taxes to see how Courtenay compares https://www.pqbnews.com/news/taxing-vancouver-island/
4. I am running for Mayor as there is a need for proven effective leadership as our community transitions from a small town into a modern city. As Mayor I will create a culture of collaboration and cooperation which is required to bring us into the future.

Melanie McCollum- Courtenay Council
1. No. In my view, it’s not good long-term planning to place 1100 homes on a sensitive area far from infrastructure and our transportation network. I am also concerned that after the amendment to RGS is approved, the development proposal could change.
2. Local government has a direct responsibility to deal with climate change. Planning our future infrastructure needs is a key responsibility of council, and infrastructure will undoubtedly be impacted by sea-level rise and increased flood risk.
Local government’s role in addressing homelessness is first and foremost one of advocacy and leadership. Homelessness is a complex problem that needs attention from all levels of government.
3. Our current property taxes are in line with that of similar municipalities on Vancouver Island. Courtenay pays less than Campbell River or Nanaimo, and more than Comox. We need to prioritise higher density development, so we can continue to grow without increasing the tax burden on citizens.
4. There’s a need for people to put their names forward who have a good foundation for decision making and a dedication to community.I am committed to moving Courtenay in a positive direction, and I believe my skill set can make a good contribution.

Will Cole- Hamilton- Courtenay Council
1. I do not support a variation of the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) for this development. The RGS was developed by expert planners working with governments and the community to come up with a comprehensive long-term plan for growth.
We need to ensure that all residents and developers can rely upon a single clear and consistent plan which is why I support the Regional Growth Strategy.
2. Courtenay needs to continue to work with the provincial and federal government to secure funding for new affordable and supportive housing. The City also needs to implement the provisions of its Affordable Housing Policy as quickly and completely as possible.
Courtenay needs to ensure that it is protecting residents and their property from the increased risk of flooding brought on by climate change. Hydrologists understand that the more hard barriers we put up against water, the worse flooding will be when those barriers are breached. Kus-Kus-Sum is an excellent example of what we need to be doing – removing hard barriers, giving the river more room to spread when water flow is high.
3. Our property taxes are in line with other communities on Vancouver Island. We could reduce taxes if we focus more on higher density development (which allow City to spend less on infrastructure for each new dollar of taxes coming in).
4. I love this city and I see it growing quickly. Choosing to do development efficiently will strengthen downtown, support transit, reduce traffic and – bottom line – it’s the best deal for taxpayers.

Doug Hillian- Courtenay Council
1. I respect due process and am cautious about pre-judging an issue I may have to vote on later. However, I believe we must respect the principles and spirit of the Regional Growth Strategy, limiting such density to settlement nodes. I support smart growth, infill development utilizing existing infrastructure, am wary of private utility systems and value the importance of preserving our rural areas. As such, if voting today, I would say no to 3L.
2. Courtenay signed B.C.’s Climate Action Charter in 2007, recognizing the need for action on climate change and the important role local governments can play. Our Official Community Plan (OCP) states: “The potential threat associated with global changing climatic conditions has global, regional and local implications for ecosystems, infrastructure and people”. We are reducing greenhouse gas emissions in City operations, while collaborating with organizations like Project Watershed. We can do more.
Our OCP also addresses housing and we are challenged to meet the needs of seniors, youth, women in transition, families and businesses whose staff can’t find or afford a place to live. We are partnering with community agencies and senior governments, including provision of City land, and our downtown development initiative will encourage housing in our core. We must continue to build on these efforts.
3. Courtenay’s taxes pay for needed services and are within the range of comparable local governments, as per June 23, 2018 Black Press article: https://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/news/taxing-vancouver-island/
4. I remain motivated by a commitment to public service and a deep love for this community.

Wendy Morin- Courtenay Council
1. I do not support the proposed amendment to the Regional Growth Strategy. Comprehensive work went into the creation of the RGS with broad participation. The RGS is a long term planning document – visionary in scope, taking into account appropriate settlement designations. The RGS was up for a 5-year review; at that time the status quo was accepted. There is no compelling reason to create a new node in a designated rural area. Good planning has infill and densification in the city core and existing settlement nodes first. Amending the RGS could create a myriad of challenges, and financial strain on Courtenay taxpayers.
2. We need to work with provincial and federal governments to ensure they are stepping up to the plate with funding and policy decisions to support work at the local level. We know that housing for our citizens not only greatly improves their lives, but also positively impacts the community – socially and economically. We have an excellent Sustainability Strategy that provides recommendations to deal with impacts of climate change. Adopting ecological infrastructure, requiring green design and construction in new development, improving transit, and creating walkable/cycling friendly neighbourhoods create a healthier community and save us money.
3. When we have major expenses such as infrastructure repair and replacement, in addition to all the other services citizens need, tax increases are inevitable. We are playing catch up for costs that we had no contingency for. We can keep costs down by accessing provincial and federal grants and utilizing sustainability practices.

David Frisch- Courtenay Council
1. I believe that we must develop the Comox Valley following smart growth principles which favour using existing infrastructure to support growth and encourage active transportation (like walking and cycling), and create economic opportunity and tax savings.
2. On homelessness, our role is to work with the provincial government to create housing solutions for those that are homeless and at risk of becoming homeless. The Braidwood housing project and the 8th street supportive housing project are two examples. Furthermore, local government can encourage the building of rental housing, and other affordable housing options.
On Climate change, adaptation for sea level rise, storm water management, and drought resilience is necessary, but we must also learn to be more carbon neutral by using more renewable resources and consuming less non-renewable resources.
3. I think we must continue working to find efficiencies in our city to keep taxes reasonable and also continue to fund the services that we highly value. Water, sewer, garbage, transportation, police and fire are some of the most expensive services we provide to everyone in Courtenay, regardless of ones economic status. Based on this, I think we are getting good value for our taxes.

Judi Murakami- Courtenay Council
1. I don’t feel I have enough information at this time to comment. I attended one meeting, where the speaker said we had 2 options only. I would need to do more research to give an informed opinion.
2. The local government can provide land and/or tax breaks and work in partnership with groups such as the Coalition to End Homelessness and BC Housing. The 2014 referendum asked residents if they would be willing to pay $5 each for the homeless, and 42 homes were built for the homeless. Reducing our use of fossil fuels and increasing the use of alternative energy sources, i.e. solar panels and wind turbines, is a way for local government to deal with climate change.
3. The current rate of 8.2812 is the highest in the Comox Valley. I would like to see a review of Core Services before moving forward with further tax increases.
4. I have been volunteering in the Comox Valley for the past 10 years, and have learned a lot about community organizations, arts and culture, small businesses and our parks and recreation. I wanted to bring my skills and knowledge to serve the people of Courtenay

Brennan Day- Courtenay Council
1) I support the Regional District following the procedures in the RGS for this project. This project has the potential to place a large burden on Courtenay’s transportation infrastructure, and we need to make sure it is in our best interests before we proceed.
2) Homelessness and climate change present huge challenges to all levels of government, and we cannot solve these problems in a bubble. We need to coordinate our efforts with our surrounding municipalities if any action is going to have a meaningful impact on these complex issues.
3) While the City of Courtenay only raised property taxes by 1.5%, the average tax increase was closer to 6%. If this continues, our property taxes will double over the next 12 years; this is simply unsustainable for young families and those on fixed incomes which make up the majority of our population. We need to focus on efficiency of service delivery to ensure that we can avoid tax increases going forward.
4) As a long time resident of the Comox Valley, I have seen the it grow up to become the regional hub it is today. In that time, lack of foresight in planning is starting to catch up with us and is negatively effecting our quality of life. I want to address the big issues which will impact all of our residents to ensure that we can continue to live in the best place on earth.

Kiyoshi Kosky- Courtenay- Council
1. I am opposed to the 3L development. The development is in violation of the Regional Growth Strategy, Official Community Plan, Comox Valley Sustainability Strategy, and Climate Change.
2. Homelessness and climate change are issues at the core of society’s values. I value people and the Earth; therefore, we have a social responsibility to care and support each other. We have a social responsibility to care for the Earth that keeps us healthy as a species. A just society is one that cares for people who are homeless, or who are facing the possibility of becoming homeless. It is governments’ role to be involved in social justice and environmental justice, so communities stay healthy.
3. I will do my best to not support a tax increase. I will not make a promise I may not be able to keep. I understand how upsetting it is for residents when they cannot afford their home through municipal taxes. I will be collaborative and creative with budget restraints and solutions on council.
4. I deeply care about community and the land we live on. I was raised on Cortes Island, so how we are in community and how we take care of the land we live on are important to society’s well-being. Social justice, economic justice, and environmental justice are all interrelated in community decisions. These values define us and directly relate to who we are as a society. A just community tries to leave no one behind. It is mandated in the Community Charter, Chapter 26. Municipal purposes section of the Community Charter state: (d) fostering the economic, social, and environmental well-being of its community.  kosky.ca  @KiyoshiKoskyCourtenayCouncil.

Penny Marlow- Courtenay Council
1. I support the current Regional Growth Strategy. This development, as proposed, is not in the overall plan for the valley’s growth. A new Settlement Node in the rural area is not needed; instead should encourage higher density in the existing urban areas, preventing more urban sprawl.
2. Homelessness is a growing problem not only for youth, but our seniors as well. The Comox Valley Homeless Support Services has contributed $495,000 towards a solution. We must continue to find innovative solutions such as this.
Through land use, transportation, and building standards policies we can significantly reduce green house gases that contribute to climate change. We can reduce our carbon footprint, encourage recycling/composting, eliminate wood burning stoves. As your Councillor, I will work to implement policies for a sustainable environment.
3. The City of Courtenay’s taxation rate is too high. It has risen faster than citizens ability to pay. City can be more efficient and effective in the spending. As your Councillor, I will work to ensure that citizens get good value for their tax dollar and that each dollar is spent wisely.
4. I believe in my community. Courtenay has been my home for over 50 years. This is where I have been in business for 30 years. The Community has supported me and I want to give back. I am now in a position where I am able to contribute to the vision of improving and growing our community.

Manno Theos- Courtenay Council
2. I have supported donating two parcels of city owned land to assist in the affordable housing continuum. Finding new technologies in recycling, wind and solar energy is important moving forward.
3. I am concerned about the level of property taxes rising disproportionately to people’s incomes and inflation. Many Courtenay residents are on fixed incomes and struggling to pay the increases. An alternative to taxing would be to find efficiencies in how we deliver services. Also focusing on densification and attracting businesses to offset increased costs.
4. I care about the direction of our city. My daughters have grown up here. I would like to create conditions to offer young people opportunities to have quality employment and amenities that keep them in Courtenay. Thank you for the many years of friendship many of you have extended to me.

Jin Lin- Courtenay Council
(Chose not to answers questions.)
I am probably best known in Courtenay for my volunteer activities (CVMISS or the Comox Valley Multicultural and Immigrant Support Society, July 1st Committee and Advisory, Lantern Fest Committee, Evergreen Club Special Event Committee, Naswell Christmas Dinner, Elks Club, Comox Valley BC Senior Games, China Winter Olympic team attaché and more). I have humbly accepted awards including 2017 Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year as well as one of Courtenay Anniversary celebration’s Citizen of the Century. As an immigrant to Canada, I take great pleasure in promoting and sharing cultural friendships to help to enrich our community and give people from other cultures the opportunity to share their customs, foods and festivals with our friends and neighbors in the Comox Valley. I am especially proud to say that we have done this at no cost to the local government. I am much more than a passionate volunteer. My diverse business and volunteer experience has prepared me for budgeting and fiscal responsibility. Those who know me well say that my heart is on the left but my pocketbook is firmly on the right. This is the balanced approach I would take if elected. As a councillor, I would listen carefully, study extensively, discuss respectfully and serve selflessly. Some local issues that I feel strongly about: Fiscally responsible oversight; Spending within our means; Open and transparent government; Addressing housing affordability; Promoting senior-oriented amenities; Recycling education.

 

Village of Cumberland

Leslie Baird- Cumberland Mayor
1. I was a member of Cumberland Council working with the Regional District on the Regional Growth Strategy. I did not support 3L Development when it came to the Regional District the first time and I have not changed my mind. The RGS Plan was to develop the land in municipalities first. When making decisions about property outside of municipal boundaries it was important to listen to the Area director, I felt at that time I was supporting him.
2. It is easy to say that a municipality should not get involved in homelessness, I do not support that statement. We need to care for each other that is why I asked Council to support a Homeless and Affordable Housing Committee. The volunteer group continues to work to solve many of these issues for Cumberland. There is no easy fix but we will get there.
We are involved in Climate Change, we can not wait for the Federal and Provincial governments to initiate policy or mandate the Village. Climate Change was made a Strategic Priority last year during our workshop.
3. I have concerns with the level of taxes on Cumberland residents. That is why we have hired an Economic Development Coordinator and formed a steering committee to guide him. Part of his job is to bring light industry to the Bevan Lands (750 acres) to look for companies that would fit with Cumberland`s vision.
4. I am running to continue working for the residents of Cumberland. It is an honor and privilege.

Gwyn Sproule- Cumberland Council
1. I can not be too specific about 3L’s development because the public consultation process is just beginning. At Tuesday’s meeting October 2nd, there is a recommendation to give first reading to 3L’s Amendment to the RGS so that they can move towards building a fairly dense settlement in a rural area near Stotan Falls. Over a two year period, there was huge public consultation and the RGS document was crafted. All municipalities in the Como Valley signed on to it and the public was satisfied that an orderly pattern of growth for the CV had been layed out. At the time, 3L’s development was being considered for inclusion as a settlement node but it was deemed too far from infrastructure, services and transportation corridors. It was rejected for inclusion. Now 3L is back trying again to move ahead in spite of continuing opposition from the many people who rejected it 7 or so years ago. 3L will have to run through a full public consultation Process. I would suggest that this process could be a waste of time and money. People’s opinions do not seem to have changed.
The most disturbing thing about this process is that there is going to be a change in directors at the Board table after October 20th. It seems highly irregular to have one board start moving forward on a huge and controversial project as this, then another board picking up where the other left off. Its highly unusual for serious political business to move ahead so close to an election.
2. I think local government should be looking at homelessness and affordability and climate change as they affect everyone in our community
4. I’m running for office again because I have enjoyed Cumberland move from a have not village after the mines closed to a happening and thriving community for people of all ages. I especially enjoy seeing so many young families on the streets and in the playgrounds. I am satisfied there are agreements in place to keep the trail network growing even on private land. I am happy with the way Cumberland Community Forest society continues to acquire forest lands close to Cumberland using local donors’ donations. What I really want to see is a viable light industrial sector along the Bevan Road that is sustainable and innovative. I believe there is lots of that happening here already. It would be good to bring industries together for greater synergy. It would bring good paying jobs and help diversify our tax base which is mainly residential.

Jesse Ketler- Cumberland Council
2. I just heard a stat recently that municipal governments are responsible for 85% of government infrastructure in Canada now. So local governments play a huge role in climate change. Municipalities can be big producers of greenhouse gases. Cumberland has signed onto the BC Climate Action Charter and has achieved carbon neutrality for the last 5 years. I think that it is important for local governments to lead by example and continually look for new ways to reduce our environmental impact. Local governments are also at the forefront of climate adaptation as our infrastructure and residence bear the brunt of the effects of extreme weather events. Sustainable development planning, water conservation, energy efficiency and emergency preparedness are all important municipal actions to adapt to climate change.
3. I think Cumberland still has a reasonable tax rate. It is definitely hard to run the municipality and provide all the services that we do with our main source of revenue being from the property tax from only 1400 homes. We could really use another source of revenue, like a new industry using our industrial lands.
4. It is the fact that I still see a majority of elected officials voting against bike lanes, voting against holding oil companies accountable for their contributions to climate change (like this month at UBCM), voting to protect corporate interests over the interests of our communities and I can’t just sit and watch it happen. I know that the majority of people want these things changed but their voices are just not being heard. So that is why I am running, to try and be a voice of reason for the next generation who are being held down by the short-term thinking of this generation.

Roger Kishi- Cumberland Council
1. Any developer or individual is entitled to due process. 3L is entitled to have their amendment to the Regional Growth Strategy to be considered through the regular process. But I am a strong supporter of the Regional Growth Strategy, and do not support any amendment that would be outside of the established growth areas, nor enabling urban sprawl.
2. Local government has as an important role as senior levels of government. Each level has different tools/ resources, and it will take each of them working in partnership to deal with these pressing issues.
3. Local governments major source of generating revenue is through property taxes. Council does a lot of work to balance the fiscal needs of the Village with the amount of taxes levied. I believe that our taxes are duly considered and fair.
4. I am seeking support for re-election because there are issues that I strongly believe in that are still to be resolved. Council still has more work to be done on the issue of housing. I would support the establishment of a land trust to promote affordable housing, and the enhancement of an affordable housing fund where developments would provide affordable housing or contribute to the fund.
I would work to strengthen civic engagement and openness of the Village and Council through expanding presence on social media. (web casting meetings, FB…)
I am proud of my contributions to Council in my 2 terms of service, and hope to continue be re-elected for another term.

Sean Sullivan- Cumberland Council
1. No I do not support the 3L development. I support densification rather than continuing the urban sprawl of the Comox Valley. It’s time to build up, not out! I oppose just about everything involved with this development.
2. Local government is in place to protect and provide for its citizens. The Village is carbon neutral and we are using our eco-assets, such as the upcoming constructed treated wetland, to provide clean treated outflow from our lagoons, and we promote building to a LEED certification. Homelessness and affordable housing is also a huge issue, which local governments need to take a lead role in addressing. The Village has a Homelessness and Affordable housing committee that has worked very hard at trying to realize some avenues to improve the situation. I think it will be inevitable at some point for the Village to start to look at the possible regulation of Airbnbs within the Village.
3. I think the property tax level in Cumberland is just. Residents would be interested to know that a 1% tax hike only provides the Village with about $23,000. That makes pretty hard to save up for stuff! For the amount of amenities and the quality of life we enjoy here, I feel that the tax level is reasonable.
4. I am running for office because I love Cumberland, and I love the people in it. It was an honour to represent this community for the last four years and I would be proud to do it again.

 

Town of Comox

 

Ron Freeman- Comox Council
1. The 3L development is outside of the jurisdiction that I will be serving in but as a citizen of the CV I am not in favour of the development as it now stands. I believe that the Stotan Falls area should be preserved as it is or with limited development not on the scale currently advocated.
2. I believe local government has a crucial role to play in homelessness and climate change as they are the closest to the issues. While it is imperative that there is also Provincial and National initiatives there is much that can be done at the local level to begin to address these two particular issues.
3. Apparently you can’t escape death and taxes and if we want the level of services that we believe are our inherent right than we shouldn’t complain when taxes are raised to meet our demands. Currently I am satisfied with our level of taxation.
4. I am running for Comox council because I desire to see Comox become a Dynamic community filled with new businesses and young families.

Stephanie McGowan- Comox Council
1. Personally, I support a robust public consultation process and look forward to participating. I encourage all citizens to have their say on this incredibly spectacular land.
2. Local government is closest to home and many times has to come up with creative solutions. Partnerships with other levels of government to make solutions affordable can ease the burden on local taxpayers.
3. I appreciate that Comox, unlike many municipalities, is debt free. I will do my best to ensure that taxes remain affordable for seniors and families.
4. I’ve always felt passionately about Comox. I loved growing up here and I’m glad to raise our sons here. I want opportunities for them. A sustainable and affordable community with plenty of green-space and trails, and an environment where small business can survive.

Pat McKenna- Comox- Council
1. I am always advocating for more housing but the 3L development proposal is one that I cannot support at this time. Proposed changes to the Regional Growth strategy are inadequate and it is over allocated for single family housing. The lack of density on such a large amount of property leads me to believe that this is wrong plan at the wrong time.
2. Government must be listening to its citizens, developing strategy in consultation with subject matter experts and then taking action to solve these problems. Housing stock must be varied, with a strong mix of transitional, supportive, low rental and ownership. Services must be close for access and agencies such as the Comox Valley Homelessness Coalition must continue their great work to ensure connectivity to Federal, Provincial, Municipalities and Regional Districts.
3. Current Council has just completed a five-year detailed financial plan. The increases are between 2-3% annually to pay for infrastructure costs such as road work and cumulative projects. In reviewing the 5 year plan, there is considerable focus on road surfacing, parks, recreation and core services. I trust that council has done their due diligence in enacting a plan that is fair. Retiring the operational and capital debt is a worthy accomplishment and being able to put $300,000.00 per year towards infrastructure rather than interest is commendable. Considering that assessed property values are rising astronomically in comparison to the increase in taxation I would say the larger problem in Comox is affordability of housing for young families.

Don Davis- Comox Council
1. I have participated in Comox Council by attending as many meeting , public hearings , open houses etc., that I could. I have not found time to become conversant with this issue. I have however stayed in touch with Comox issues and it will be my goal to advance those that improve conditions in Comox.
2. The Town has many Environmental and Sustainable practice policies in place. I will continue to support and improve upon those that further those aims. There also is density and tax incentives to encourage affordable housing and those should continue. More should be done to encourage development to include rental space for lower income people . I think it is a shame that the new building at the mall did not include apartments , where the employees of the shops below could have lived.
3. Having been on Council before I am aware that the taxes are enough to run the Town, Some major projects could be done over a longer period to slow the pace of tax increase but otherwise we get good value for our money. Town staff, like most industries, are made up of a variety of talented , hard working people who for the most part go unrecognized, and they deserve to be compensated to the same standard as their peers in other jurisdictions.
4. I was raised to believe that you can stand on the sidelines and criticize or step up to the plate and try to make a difference. I choose the latter. I was devastated when I didn’t get returned to office and vowed to stay involved and hopefully get re-elected. I have continued to attend meetings and have tried to stay as informed as possible, so that should I be honoured to be returned to office I will be better able to serve the citizens of the Town of Comox.

Area “A”

Dan Arbour- Area A Rep
1.The 3L development does not align with the RGS zoning-wise. I am in support of hearing the developer and community make the case for amending the RGS. The argument would have to be convincing and broadly-supported. Process is important as the RGS is designed to allow for changes, and I would not want to scare away people with good ideas to propose them now and in the future.
2. We have to be a leader on issues that affect our communities. The two listed here are top priorities, so we need to back them with leadership, advocacy to other levels of government, and our own dollars. I am glad to see that the CVRD is at work on those fronts.
3. Typically people are not satisfied for the taxes they pay vs the services they get. On Hornby we have about 30% support, which is dismal. However once you start describing all the services and looking at detailed services budgets, generally I find people come around to realize we generally get great value.
4. Passion for the region and dealing with complex issues: I thrive in the challenge, and I love to see people and projects be successful.

Jim Elliot- Area A Rep
1. I believe any changes to the RGS to allow the 3L development needs careful consideration. The size of the development will have a major impact on not only the existing area residents but on the whole Comox Valley. We need to first consider the cost and feasibility of providing services to these outlying areas and the impact on traffic routes.
2. Communities everywhere need to be developing strategies to address these issues. We have to acknowledge the problem, consult with other agencies and look for ways to bring about change. Local government definitely has a role to play.
3. The current level of property taxes at this time is in line with other areas. What residents in Union Bay Improvement District will need to pay for new water infrastructure and operating costs is still unknown but will definitely require increases in the parcel taxes and water tolls to fund this important project. It is inevitable that as more services are needed to serve growing communities costs will likely rise.
4. Area A of the CVRD is slated for substantial growth in the near future. I have over 35 years experience in local government in dealing with infrastructure servicing and feel I have a lot knowledge to offer the community. I believe development should benefit the surrounding community, not burden it with costs to provide increased services. Good dialogue with all the stakeholders is key to find solutions that work for everyone. In my working career and more recently with UBID as a trustee, I have had successes in bringing opposing points of view together so progress can happen. The Comox Valley is truly a wonderful place to live and I want to help shape how we will grow as more and more people move to the area. I feel local government needs to connect with the citizens and if I’m elected I will endeavor to be more accessible through community meetings. The protection of community watersheds from logging and industrial activity is a high priority of mine and local government needs to do whatever it can to lobby the province for legislation to protect these irreplaceable resources.