Courtenay Council Meeting Highlights for September 27
October 3, 2023
This update covers highlights from the September 27, 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 Jolicoeur: This Saturday September 30, the City of Courtenay joins other regional governments across the Comox Valley in recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and encouraging staff and the wider community to wear orange on Saturday.
Councillor Morin: On behalf of the City of Courtenay, we send our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of RCMP Constable Rick O’Brien, who lost his life in the line of duty this past weekend in Coquitlam.
Councillor McCollum: October 2nd is Wrongful Conviction Day, a global movement dedicated to advocating for innocent individuals who have been wrongly convicted, and an opportunity to advocate, educate, and create awareness around miscarriages of justice to minimize the effects of wrongful conviction in the future.
Councillor Cole-Hamilton: October is Circular Economy Month, led by the Recycling Council of British Columbia. This is an opportunity for local governments to show their support for demonstrating commitment and recognition of preserving natural resources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting local economies.
- Walk With Me – Walking Together Report
Presentation by Christopher Hauschildt, Operations Coordinator and Sharon Karsten, Project Coordinator provided an overview of the Walking Together Policy report.
“Walking Together” is a research and community engagement initiative several years in the making, that investigates the network of services and supports available to People Who Use Substances (Peers) in the Comox Valley. The report includes a series of recommendations for the network of supports and services.
- Comox Valley Community Substance Use Strategy – Phase Two Report
Presentation by Betty Tate, Comox Valley Community Health Network and Kari Hackett, Coordinator, Comox Valley Substance Use Strategy.
The Substance Use Committee completed significant work during phase two including securing $140,000 in funding towards Phase two and three, establishing the Walk With Me partnership , community engagement and research, shared leadership with peers and an elder Strategy committee, establishment of the Substance Use Collaborative, initial engagement in the Collective Impact process and ongoing data collection and review.
The report identifies twenty-one recommendations. Council received the Comox Valley Substance Use Strategy – Phase Two Report for information.
- Parks Control Bylaw Modernization Project – Parks and Open Spaces Bylaw Guiding Document
Presentation by Nav Sidhu, Senior Associate, Cascadia Partners.
The City of Courtenay's Parks and Open Spaces Bylaw is essential to ensure that these public areas are accessible, safe, and enjoyable for everyone while protecting the environment and areas of cultural significance, and promoting healthy, active lifestyles.
Objectives and Principles
- Ensure that parks and open spaces are accessible, safe, and enjoyable for all members of the public.
- Encourage the use of parks and open spaces for healthy and active lifestyles.
- Regulate and manage commercial activities and events in parks and open spaces to minimize their impact on the environment and other park users.
- Protect and preserve natural areas and wildlife in parks and open spaces for future generations.
- Promote responsible and sustainable use of parks and open spaces to minimize environmental and natural resources damage.
- Foster a sense of community responsibility and pride in parks and open spaces among local residents and businesses.
- Permit diverse activities that promote vibrant and engaging spaces, including recreational, cultural, and community-building events.
- Ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations related to parks and open spaces.
Council approved the Parks and Open Spaces Bylaw Guiding Document and directed staff to work with external legal counsel to draft a new Parks and Open Spaces Control Bylaw; and,
Directed staff to report back to Council on any further amendments to B.C.’s current decriminalization policy and or at such time further guidance for local governments is provided by the Province.
- Audit Service Plan for Year Ending December 31, 2023
Council appointed MNP LLP as the City’s auditors for 2023 and approved the 2023 Audit Service Plan as presented for the year ending December 31, 2023.
- Resident Survey – Your Courtenay, Your Voice – Results
Presentation by Winsome Stec, Senior Research Director, Forum Research Inc. and Lorne Bozinoff, President, Forum Research Inc. The resident survey took place at the end of July and included a statistically-valid phone-based survey as well as a self-selected online survey. The target number of respondents for the phone-based survey was 300.
- Majority of residents surveyed (90%) rate the quality of life in the City of Courtenay as either good or very good, and about 4 in 5 (78%) think that the overall value that they receive for their tax dollars is either very good or good also.
- Nearly 4 in 5 (77%) say the City of Courtenay is a welcoming city, and around 7 in 19 (70%) believe that they have a strong sense of belongingness in the City of Courtenay.
- Results from the Gap Analysis indicate that the three primary areas of improvement for the City are: Land use and community planning, traffic management, and online services.
Council received the “Resident Survey, Your Courtenay, Your Voice – Results” briefing note.
- Communication Strategy Report – Research Strategy Update
Presentation by Presentation by Hilary Farson, Principal & Co-Founder, Spur Communication on the summary of project research for the upcoming Communication Strategy. Research included a communication audit, interviews and a staff workshop.
1. Develop a consistent approach to communication
2. Ensure clear roles, responsibilities & processes
1. Emphasize diverse communication options
2. Modernize the City’s communication approach through introducing new tools
1. Find opportunities to facilitate relationships with community partners
2. Reflect Courtenay’s diversity
The draft communication strategy will be presented to Mayor and Council in December 2023.
For First, Second and Third Readings
- Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3101 – 1410 Glen Urquhart Drive
Council gave first, second and third readings to "Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3101 to permit a detached secondary residence at the above noted property.”
- Management Reports
Council received the Public Works, Finance, Development Services, and Fire Department management reports as presented for information.
- Bylaw and Public Works Services, Service Initiative
Council received the “Bylaw and Public Works Services, Service Initiative” briefing note which outlined the following changes:
- Expanding Bylaw Services to seven-day and evening service
- Retention of seasonal employees in Public Works Services instead of using contracted services.
- BC Housing Update
BC Housing provided an update to Council on current activities and collaboration with BC Housing and City of Courtenay staff in relation to
a) permanent shelter
b) permanent supportive housing
c) proposed rental housing development properties for the Building BC Community Housing Fund within Courtenay
Council received the BC Housing Update Briefing Note for information.
- Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission (PRAC) Meeting Minutes - July 6, 2023
Council received the July 6, 2023 Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission minutes.
- Heritage Advisory Commission Meeting Minutes - May 24, 2023
Council received the May 24, 2023 Heritage Advisory Commission minutes.
- K’ómoks First Nation Flag - Councillor Will Cole-Hamilton
Council passed the following resolution:
WHEREAS the flying of flags is a way of showing acknowledgment and respect in many cultures; and
WHEREAS the City of Courtenay has committed to building a strong and respectful relationship with K’ómoks First Nation;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT staff 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.
Notice of Motion
- Refurbishment of Historic Clocks – Councillor Hillian
This motion will return on October 11 under Council Resolutions:
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.
- Toxic Drug Deaths – Councillor Morin
This motion will return on October 11 under Council Resolutions:
WHEREAS 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;
WHEREAS 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;
WHEREAS these lives matter and are valued, and we all must do more to reduce stigma and save lives;
WHEREAS Council would like to acknowledge and honour the lives lost in the Comox Valley to the unregulated toxic drug supply crisis;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council 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.
For First, Second and Third Readings
- Consideration of 2024 Permissive Property Tax Exemptions
Council gave first, second and third readings to Permissive Tax Exemption 2024, Bylaw No. 3091, 2023.
- Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Area Bylaw No. 3105
Council gave first, second and third readings to "Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Area Bylaw No. 3105”.
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.
The meeting adjourned at 9:25 p.m., the next meeting is Wednesday, October 11 and will be available on the City of Courtenay’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/CityofCourtenayBC/streams