Courtenay Council Meeting Highlights for October 11
October 13, 2023
This update covers highlights from the October 11, 2023 Council meeting. If there’s something from the meeting that you’d like more detail on, the full agenda, video, and minutes (when available) of each meeting are posted on the City of Courtenay website at www.courtenay.ca/councilmeetings
Council respectfully acknowledged that the lands on which this meeting was conducted are the Unceded traditional territory of the K’ómoks First Nation.
Mayor Wells: Courtenay Council reiterates our strong and unwavering support of Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual communities (2SLGBTQIA+) in response to recent community protests. City of Courtenay facilities are safe and welcoming spaces for 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and their allies.
We are deeply troubled that harassment, discrimination, and bigotry related to gender identity or expression continue to cause harm in our community and elsewhere.
Courtenay is “a city for all people, created for and by residents with diverse identities, experiences and aspirations,” as enshrined in our official community plan. This vision guides the development of all policies, guidelines and actions of the City of Courtenay.
Council’s strategic priorities include the review of city operations with a social equity, reconciliation and anti-racism lens and developing corporate policy.
Council has also resolved for the City of Courtenay to become not just inclusive, but anti-racist, including condemning discrimination through our communications wherever possible, and enhancing access to safe and inclusive spaces in our community.
Everyone deserves to be free to express their gender identity and sexual orientation. We affirm our commitment to a safe and supportive community, with equity for all people.
Facing Discrimination, and Need Help?
If you or a friend have been experiencing discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity, here are ways you can get help: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/erase/help
- Wiseland Humanitarian Association
Presentation by Guenther, Executive Director of Wiseland Humanitarian Association, to provide an overview of Project Safe Park which is working to secure drug-free parking facilities for vehicular homeless individuals and a request that Council provide an agreement in principle to assist them with acquiring funding for the project.
- Comox Valley Nature (CVN) Garry Oaks Restoration Team
Presentation by Eloise Holland and Karen Cummins of CVN regarding the Vanier Nature Park’s Garry Oak Grove. The goals of the Vanier Forest Garry Oaks restoration team are to assess and gradually restore the rare and at-risk Garry Oak grove, monitor results and establish long-term community stewardship for the project.
The team requests that City provide funds for the removal of identified hazard trees and reduction of conifers, give permission for removal of invasive plants, and collaborate on outreach to the public.
- 2024 Council Meeting Calendar
Council approved the proposed 2024 meeting calendar with one change: the March 27th meeting has been removed.
- Comox Valley Accessibility Framework
Council approved the Comox Valley Accessibility Framework and directed staff to execute the Agreement with the Comox Valley Social Planning Society.
The purpose of the Comox Valley Accessibility Framework is to create systemic processes to invite the community to give feedback to Comox Valley local governments about ways to promote social and political equity in existing and proposed policies, bylaws and infrastructure. Further, the framework will apply an equity lens to ensure local government actions and investments are inclusive and accommodating to all residents.
- Committee Review
Council directed staff to schedule a Committee of the Whole meeting to discuss Council’s priorities for its committees, committee format and operations, committee communications, committee budgets, committee administration, and Council’s participation on external committees.
- Sports Field Strategy and Allocation Report Back
Council received information on the Comox Valley Regional District Sports Field Strategy, completed in 2022, and directed staff to initiate work on behalf of the region to develop a new sports field allocation policy and centralized booking function for the Comox Valley and to report back with recommendations.
- BC Housing Point-in-Time 2023 Comox Valley Homeless Count
Council received the letter from Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing and BC Housing announcing the results of the Point-in-Time 2023 Comox Valley Homelessness Count.
- CVRD Notice of Inaugural Meeting – November 7, 2023
Council received the September 25, 2023 correspondence providing notice of the CVRD's Inaugural Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, November 7, 2023 and provided notice that Council must make appointments the CVRD Board, CVRD Sewage Commission and Regional Parks and Trails Committee.
- Toxic Drug Deaths – Councillor Morin
Council passed the following resolution:
The lives of at least 12,264 British Columbians have been lost to unregulated drugs since the public health emergency was first declared on April 14, 2016, with 154 lives lost in the Comox Valley.
The unregulated drug toxicity is now the leading cause of death for those aged 10 to 59 in BC, numbering more than homicides, suicides, deaths from accident and natural disease combined;
These lives matter and are valued, and we all must do more to reduce stigma and save lives;
Council would like to acknowledge and honour the lives lost in the Comox Valley to the unregulated toxic drug supply crisis.
Council will read this statement following triannual updates from the BC Coroner’s Service: Courtenay Council would like to acknowledge the deaths of [number] Comox Valley community members in the period of [dates] due to the unregulated toxic drug supply crisis, for a total of [number] deaths of Comox Valley Community members since the public health emergency was first declared. Our hearts go out to their loved ones. We want you to know their lives matter, and Council will continue to push for action and effective policy to stop these preventable and unnecessary deaths.
- Refurbishment of Historic Clocks – Councillor Hillian
Council passed the following resolution:
WHEREAS the City of Courtenay Heritage Commission has requested clarity regarding the refurbishment of historic clocks;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT a staff report be prepared to address this request.
Notice of Motion
- Zero Carbon Step Code – Councillor Cole-Hamilton & Councillor McCollum
This motion will return on October 25 under Council Resolutions:
WHEREAS the City of Courtenay’s new Official Community Plan (OCP) has identified climate action goals and aims to reduce GHG emissions in our community by 45% below 2016 levels by 2030;
WHEREAS OCP policy BL 6 commits the City to “Advocate to and support the Province in amending the BC Building Code and other building related policies to: a) regulate carbon pollution for new buildings as soon as possible” and policy BL 7 commits the City to “Review and update immediately relevant building, zoning, and development permitting policies upon any new legislative authorities that support policies within BL 6;” and
WHEREAS the Province has responded to advocacy by the City and numerous other local governments by introducing the Zero Carbon Step Code which provides new authority to local governments to regulate carbon pollution from new buildings;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT pursuant to policies BL6 and BL7 of Courtenay’s OCP, staff prepare a report outlining options for implementing the Zero Carbon Step Code in order to meet the City's 2030 emissions reduction target.
For Final Adoption
- Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3101 – 1410 Glen Urquhart Drive
Council adopted "Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3101, 2023" for a detached secondary residence at this address.
Members of Council are given the opportunity to describe various meetings and events they have attended. See attachments in the agenda with submitted written reports.
Council closed the meeting to the public pursuant to the following subsections of the Community Charter:
90 (1) (a) personal information about an identifiable individual who holds or is being considered for a position as an officer, employee or agent of the municipality or another position appointed by the municipality; and
(c) labour relations or other employee relations.