Courtenay Council Meeting Highlights for September 13
September 15, 2023
This update covers highlights from the September 13, 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.
- Councillor Cole-Hamilton: From September 17th to September 23rd the Courtenay Legion will be hosting numerous public events in honour of the first official National Legion Week. The week-long event is designed to educate communities on the work their local Branch does and reinforce the role the Legion plays in supporting Veterans.
- Councillor McCollum: United Way BC Day is on September 26th, celebrating their community work, initiatives, and programs focused on mental health. The Better at Home program supports the independence of seniors, and various School’s Out programs in Courtenay support children and youth.
- Welcoming Committees Coalition
A presentation by Julie Keumbehdjian, Coordinator, regarding the Welcoming Communities Coalition's current projects including Welcoming Week 2023 (September 8 - 17, 2023). The coalition is hosted and coordinated through the Immigrant Welcome Centre.
The Welcoming Communities Coalition’s primary purpose is to bring together local businesses, health and social service providers, institutions, and individuals to enhance current services and to build welcoming and inclusive communities in North Vancouver Island.
The Welcoming Communities Coalition requested that a representative of the City of Courtenay join the coalition.
- Immigrant Welcome Centre
A presentation was made on Immigrant Welcome Centre services by Shams Alibhai, Executive Director and Thuy Sin, Regional Settlement Manager. The vision of the Immigrant Welcome Centre is a North Island region that embraces diversity and inclusivity while actively engaging with the vibrant cultures in the region, and where newcomers feel welcome, safe and respected.
Services include help with forms and documents, employment support, housing information, health care information, settlement in schools, language instruction and more. Volunteers are an important part of the organization and contributed about 1,498 hours in Campbell River and the Comox Valley.
- Application for a Non-Farm Use in the Agricultural Land Reserve
This application is for proposed site improvements at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds properties. Presentation was made by Comox Valley Regional District staff:
• Trish Morgan, Assistant Senior Manager of Recreation Services;
• Mike Morrissey, Manager of Aquatic Centre & Exhibition Grounds Operations
• Doug Demarzo, General Manager of Community Services; and,
• Jennifer Zbinden, Senior Manager of Recreation Services
Council directed staff to forward this request to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), with a recommendation of support, the application for a non-farm use and associated fill placement application for the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds properties.
AND THAT Council request that the ALC consider the following items be addressed:
a. Traffic Impact Assessment
b. Capacity modelling for infrastructure
c. Coordination of parks plans, cycling network plan, and infrastructure plans into the proposed master plan
d. City land use and zoning items be addressed for 4875 Headquarters Road and consolidation of the parcels into one to address impacts of multiple property lines.
- Strategic Cultural Plan Update – What We Heard Report
A Presentation was made by Louisa Plant, Project Manager, Nordicity on the Strategic Cultural Plan and the What We Heard report. The purpose of the overall plan is to provide a framework and roadmap to support arts and culture in Courtenay over the next 10 years.
The What We Heard report shares community engagement research findings based on activities including a focus group, one-on-one interviews, public drop-in event and online survey completed May through July, 2023. The combined findings from engagement activities identified strengths, challenges and gaps when it comes to arts and culture in Courtenay, as outlined in the report.
Eight key priorities:
- Engaging K’ómoks First Nation and Urban Indigenous communities
- More cultural spaces/facilities
- More diverse and affordable cultural programming
- More promotion of community partnerships
- Increased municipal support
- Further development of cultural tourism
- Attraction and training of technical cultural workers
- Development of a public arts policy
View the report here: www.courtenay.ca/cultureplan. Council received the report for information.
- Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement (DCBIA) Area Bylaw Update
Delegates from the DCBIA provided a presentation to Council at the June 28, 2023, Regular Council Meeting and requested that Council update the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Area Bylaw No. 2264 to increase the maximum local area service property tax. Council directed staff to proceed with an update to bylaw to increase the maximum levy, as requested by the DCBIA.
- Courtenay Fire Protection District Agreement
Council directed staff to enter into an agreement renewal to provide rural fire protection for properties located outside the City boundaries in the Courtenay Fire Protection District for a term of up to 5 years. The agreement renewal features updates that will allow for better cost-sharing of the services to all who receive coverage.
- Strengthening Communities’ Grant Extension Briefing Note
Council received the briefing note which highlights that the City has received approval for a one-year extension of the grant and associated funds. With this approval, the City will continue to provide services through to June 30, 2024. Council asked staff to forward notification of grant extension to regional partners. For more information on the Strengthening Communities’ Grant visit courtenay.ca/scgrant
Notice of Motion
- K’ómoks First Nation Flag - Councillor Will Cole-Hamilton
Providing notice that a motion is coming on the September 27 Council Meeting (under Council Resolutions) for staff to engage with K’ómoks First Nation and report back to Council on options for displaying the K’ómoks First Nation flag at Courtenay City Hall.
- Temporary Borrowing Bylaw No.3104
Council adopted the "Temporary Borrowing Bylaw 3104, 2023.
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 or view spoken reports.