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Tuesday June 17, 2014
Volume 20, No. 48
Harbour Air Scenic Glacier Tours this weekend only The final weekend of the BC Shellfish and Seafood Festival boasts an amazing new addition to its line up; 30 minute scenic Glacier Tours aboard a Harbour Air float plane, and like the other Festival events, seats are selling fast. Depart from Comox Harbour this Saturday and Sunday, 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm.
Regular price $129 per flight pp, however, businesses and families can book the entire 12 seats on the plane, and get a bulk rate of $69 pp, or $99 pp for groups of 4 or more. Call the Vancouver Island Visitor Centre, 250-400-2882 or bcshellfishfestival.com
City Hall discloses details of top earners Confirmation contracts of two senior staff were severed By Philip Round Echo Staff
Fire fighters and emergency responders work carefully to extract a woman from a Chevy HHR. (Drew A. Penner photo)
Woman sent to hospital in pain following two-car collision By Drew A. Penner Echo Staff A Volvo with a canoe strapped to its roof collided with a Chevrolet multi-purpose crossover vehicle with a KAYAK sticker Thursday before 9 p.m., spraying debris along the Old Island Highway just north of Dingwall Road and sending a woman to hospital. Courtenay Fire Department members raced to the scene and worked to free a woman trapped in the Chevy HHR, stabi-
lizing the car and using a triangular among other tools. The male occupant had already gotten out by the time firefighters and paramedics helped the woman, who was conscious but in pain, out of the burnt orange multi-purpose vehicle. One of the first responders held her head steady to prevent any dangerous and unwanted movements. She was loaded into an ambulance and rushed to hospital. Traffic along the route was down to one lane, as RCMP officers allowed drivers
heading north and south to continue using the Old Island Highway, taking turns. Bits of plastic and other rubble stretched nearly the full distance between the cars, which had come to rest the distance of approximately two telephone poles apart. Dusk had begun to settle as police questioned the male driver of the Volvo extensively, although they declined to say whether they planned to press charges. By 9:30 p.m. both cars had been removed from the scene by tow-truck.
Twenty-eight people employed by the City of Courtenay received remuneration of more than $75,000 each last year, according to figures revealed by the authority last night. The information has been released in line with BC local government transparency laws, and at the same time details of more than $200,000 in payments and expenses to the City’s seven elected officials were also posted. Usually the top earner in any municipality is the chief administrative officer, but as that post changed hands during 2013, the remuneration in Courtenay’s case is split between outgoing CAO Sandy Gray ($89,261) and incoming CAO David Allen ($111,655). So 2013’s top earner at City Hall is listed as deputy CAO and director of financial services Tillie Manthey ($139,978), followed by the now-retired director of operational services, Kevin Lagan ($124,576), and the current director of planning services, Peter Crawford ($122,235). Others shown as having remuneration of more than $100,000 are fire chief Don Bardonnex ($103,220), manager of operations Keir Gervais ($104,293), senior manager of engineering Lesley Hatch ($101,351), director of community services Randy Wiwchar ($114,324) and director of legislative services John Ward ($100,004). A further 18 people are named online with remuneration of between $75,000 and $100,000 - mainly departmental managers or foremen. (Continued on page 2)
Better Beach Bus service to Goose Spit this summer By Philip Round Echo Staff Beach bums of all ages will be able to take the Beach Bus direct from Courtenay to Goose Spit this summer. For 11 weeks, a special summer bus service will run seven days a week from Saturday, June 21 to Sunday, September 7 so people can avoid the often-congested parking at the hugely popular seaside regional park.
And thanks to the cooperation of HMCS Quadra in allowing access to a turning area for larger vehicles, it will now be possible to extend some of the existing express bus services from Courtenay to Comox right out to the beach. The new direct Beach Bus from Courtenay downtown (Fourth and Cliffe) will see four return trips Monday to Friday, with extra runs on weekends. It will follow the Cliffe Avenue,
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17th Street Bridge, Comox Road and Comox Avenue route, picking up and setting down at stops along the way to maximize the number of riders. The same bus will continue on to Goose Spit before returning to Courtenay via Comox, avoiding the need for transfers. In addition, and only on Sundays, there will be an extra direct bus service to Goose Spit from the Aquatic Centre car park off Lerwick Road and picking up beside Thrifty Foods’
Crown Isle Shopping Centre on Lerwick and other stops along Lerwick, Guthrie and Torrence before arriving at Goose Spit and returning via the same route. That route will use a smaller bus than the one from Courtenay, but big enough to carry the anticipated number of passengers. Comox Valley MLA Don McRae is welcoming the improved summer services. (Continued on page 2)
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A2 Comox Valley Echo Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Comox Valley Weather
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Tuesday, 17 June Sunny. High 21Â°C.
Wednesday, 18 June Cloudy with 30% chance of showers. Low 13Â°C. High 17Â°C.
Thursday, 19 June Cloudy with 30% chance of showers. Low 13Â°C. High 17Â°C.
Friday, 20 June Cloudy. Low 13Â°C. High 19Â°C.
Saturday, 21 June Sunny. Low 12Â°C. High 22Â°C.
For the latest Comox Valley Weather visit: www.comoxvalleyecho.com
Suspected gang member charged with firearms violations Better beach bus service By Drew A. Penner Echo Staff A 32-year-old Courtenay man says heâ€™s confident heâ€™ll beat the 13 charges leveled against him by the Crown, the results of a month-long investigation by the provinceâ€™s anti-gang force. On June 16 the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit British Columbia announced charges against Bryce McDonald including careless storage of a firearm, possession of a restricted firearm and possession of a prohibited weapon. He was also charged with eight counts of possession of a firearm in an unauthorized place and one count of possession of a controlled substance. McDonald says while heâ€™s â€œoutragedâ€? by the charges heâ€™s confident his story will hold up in court. â€œItâ€™s going to be an open and shut case, I can tell you right now,â€? he said, calling the charges against him bogus. â€œItâ€™s all paperwork on their end theyâ€™ve screwed up.â€? Police say they seized restricted and prohibited weapons, six grams of crack cocaine, a machete, and equipment believed to be used for the sale of drugs as well as
Bryce McDonald thousands of rounds of ammunition, several firearms parts, a Taser, a metal baton, and brass knuckles in a series of three raids Dec. 19. CFSEU-BC spokesman Sgt. Lindsey Houghton says while McDonald is innocent until proven guilty, itâ€™s important for the RCMP to target gun crimes in their gangland battles because of how deadly the results can be. â€œThe bullets fly and you sometimes have
hundreds of people around,â€? he said. â€œThe bullets coming out of the muzzle donâ€™t discriminate.â€? In this case action was delayed until after the day the initial court date had passed. Police believe McDonald has links to at least one Vancouver Island organized crime group and that he was actively selling drugs. The Crown is not pursuing trafficking charges. McDonald says he was actually expecting to get his stuff back on Friday, June 13, as he was under the impression that was the last day the authorities could legally hold onto his property. Only then did he find out the Crown was moving forward with formal charges. â€œIâ€™m not too worried about the charges at all,â€? McDonald said. â€œItâ€™s a waste of government tax dollars and a waste of court time.â€? The Echo has verified the authenticity of McDonaldâ€™s Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL), and he says he has documentation to prove he is innocent. Houghton notes because of the indictable nature of the offences in question there is no statute of limitations involved, but confirmed the 13 charges were sworn June 13.
City Hall discloses details of top earners (Continued from page 1) The disclosure report also confirms long-standing rumours there were severance agreements ending the employment of two senior non-unionized staff during 2013. The individuals are not identified, but the disclosure statement notes â€œthese agreements represent from ten to 12 monthsâ€™ in salary and benefits.â€? In all, the 28 top earners had total remuneration of fractionally under $2.6 million and claimed just over $100,000 in out-ofpocket expenses in connection with their work. The Cityâ€™s total paybill amounted to $9,451,000 in 2013. As far as elected officials are concerned, Mayor Larry Jangula is listed as being paid $49,291 with $9,394 in out of pocket expenses for the year.
Five of the six councillors received $21,190 each in remuneration, plus expenses. They were Jon Ambler (plus $6,245 in expenses), Bill Anglin (plus $6,732), Doug Hillian (plus $2,897), Manno Theos (plus $3,591) and Starr Winchester (plus $4,481). Councillor Ronna-Rae Leonard had a marginally higher remuneration of $21,815 to recognize additional duties, plus $7,201 in expenses. At the same meeting last night, the Cityâ€™s draft annual report was presented, featuring highlights of the Cityâ€™s activities throughout the year, as well as audited financial statements. â€œThe annual report is an opportunity for our residents to learn about some of the many projects that occurred throughout our municipal operations,â€? explained Mayor Jangula. â€œ2013 was another busy
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â€œMy practice is about more than just tax. Itâ€™s about building your business, understanding the difficulties that youâ€™re facing and finding real solutions. Solutions that lead to growth. Iâ€™ve been part of the management team of a growing business for the last decade, and Iâ€™ve seen the challenges that business owners run into every day. If you own a business and find yourself thinking that there has to be a better way, we should talk. And of course, I do taxes too.â€?
year at the City, with several new initiatives and lots of ongoing activities.â€? Major projects in the year included the completion of the Lewis Centre expansion and renovation, as well as the start of a multi-year asset management process assessing the condition and remaining life of the Cityâ€™s capital assets such as roads, water, sewer, storm drains, buildings, and fleet vehicles. Annual Reports are a requirement of the Province of B.C.â€™s Community Charter. The draft report for Courtenay will be reviewed and adopted by City Council at the committee of the whole meeting on June 30. It can be read on the cityâ€™s website at http:// www.courtenay.ca/news/city-releases-2013-annual-report.aspx Council will also consider any submissions from the public at the meeting.
Bridging Employment Services Services Includes: t Individual sessions with empathetic, professional counselors t Practical help in overcoming the impacts of abuse or violence
(Continued from page 1) The service operated by BC Transit in partnership with Comox Valley Regional District. â€œNow itâ€™s more convenient than ever to enjoy the great recreation opportunities we have in the Comox Valley,â€? said McRae. â€œJust pack up sunscreen, water, towels, other necessities and board the Beach Bus.â€? The chair of the regional district board, rural Area C director Edwin Grieve, added: â€œTraffic and parking at Goose Spit on weekends in the summer can be pretty frustrating. â€œThe bus to the beach is a great alternative to those hassles, and a great option for anyone to just jump on board and get to the park to enjoy some time at the beach all summer long.â€? And BC Transit president and chief executive Manuel Achadinha commented: â€œWe are pleased to partner with the CVRD to deliver this popular seasonal service. We hope our customers enjoy summer with BC Transit by exploring the Comox Valley. Regular fares will apply - $1.75 for adults and $1.50 for seniors and youth.â€? In order to promote transit use year-round, Comox Valley residents are also being invited to enter a contest to win a monthly bus pass. The contest runs throughout Beach Bus season, with monthly draws from among those who have entered online at www.bctransit.com/regions/ com/contest For more information on Goose Spit Park Beach Bus or other transit schedules in the Comox Valley go to www. bctransit.com/regions/com or call 250-339-5453.
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Comox Valley Echo Tuesday, June 17, 2014 A3
Patrick Chenier, who is seeking the Conservative Party nomination for the new Courtenay-Alberni Riding
Duncan challenged for Conservative nomination in new riding John Duncan is not getting a free ride in his bid to be the Conservative Party’s candidate for the new Courtenay-Alberni riding in next year’s general election. A challenger has emerged for party members’ support just days ahead of the close of nominations set by the local association. Following the federal boundaries reshuffle, which split away part of the Vancouver Island North riding he currently represents, Duncan decided he would seek re-election in 2015 and had to choose in which redrawn riding to run. He selected the one that includes the City of Courtenay, the Village of Cumberland and parts of the Comox Valley to the south - including Denman and Hornby Islands, Union Bay and Fanny Bay - in addition to areas further south and west, including Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Port Alberni and Tofino. As nominations close on Thursday of this week, it looked as though he would be chosen by acclamation, but now Patrick Chenier of Errington, near Parksville, has stepped forward as an alternative choice.But Duncan told the Echo last night: “I’m in this to win it - I’m fully filed and ready to go, and I’ve got a good team together who are watching out for my best interests.” Chenier suggests that “mid-island constituents believe it is time for renewal - and I completely echo this sentiment. We need more than just the status quo because it is not increasing opportunities for mid-islanders. “This nomination is not just about the next election or another four year term, but about renewal for the next twenty years.” Chenier has been involved in municipal and provincial elections before, but this is his first run for a federal nomination. He urged as many supporters as possible to sign up as party members in Courtenay-Alberni before the June 26 cut-off to enable them to take part in the nomination voting process. “I have an excellent history throughout the community, grassroots initiatives, capital markets, the Aboriginal community and sport,” he said. And he claimed “hands-on, robust experience in community leadership and politics over the span of two decades.” Chenier said his priorities reflected those shared by many local people - a need to create jobs for young families to fulfill their dreams; to create security for people in their mid and late career stages; and to protect and improve the lifestyle of retirees. “We need to focus on a strong stable government that has a net positive effect on mid-islander lifestyle,” he added. Outside politics, Chenier is an active Rotarian and member of the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce. He has served as president of the Parksville Newcomers Club and as a member of Parksville and District Community Awards Committee. In the past, he has also been a board member of SportBC and BC Athletics, a trustee of the Greater Victoria Public Library, and president of the Saanich Community Legacy Foundation. In politics, he is a board member of the Conservative Party of Canada’s Courtenay-Alberni Electoral District Association and also first vice-president of the BC Liberals’ Alberni-Pacific Rim Riding Association. While there is still time for further candidates to emerge before Thursday’s nomination deadline, Chenier told the Echo that apart from John Duncan he had not heard of anyone else intending to throw their hat into the ring. Party supporters wanting more information about Chenier or his campaign to secure the nomination can contact him by email at patrick. firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-9272725.If both Chanier and Duncan are confirmed as accepted candidates after Thursday, the ballot of members is likely by mid-July. email@example.com
A bird’s eye view above Slegg Lumber of the participating motorcycles in the 2014 Ride for Dad that took place last Saturday.
Ride for Dad raises funds to fight prostate cancer By Michael Briones Echo Staff A little rain wasn’t enough to dampen the indomitable spirits of the close to 300 bikers that came out for the annual motorcycle Ride for Dad that took place over the weekend in Courtenay. The ride is a fundraiser for the fight against prostate cancer. The array of motorcycles with their
shining chrome and deafening roar converged at Slegg Lumber before thundering down the road en masse all the way to Home Depot on Ryan Road. Parade coordinator Wayne Virtue said “they were totally impressed with the turnout.” “A lot of armed forces people from Victoria showed up. We also had riders from Manitoba, Alberta and the United States. There were a lot of
cancer survivors.” Wayne said they have raised more than $20,000. However, the final tally won’t be available soon because money is still coming in until the end of June. Last year, the local organizers of the ride donated $20,000 to the BC Cancer Foundation. But this year, they will be using the money raised locally and on the Island to enhance awareness and
research. The top individual fundraiser was Grant Bestwick who led the list with $4,150. The other riders in the top five were Warren Orr ($1,525), Diane McCharles ($1,445), Terry Bennett ($600.00) and George Fulford ($582). Wayne said that next year is the fifth anniversary of the ride. They plan to have live bands and more events lined up.
Notice of Annual General Meeting St. Joseph’s General Hospital’s Annual General Meeting will be held on
Monday, June 23, 2014 at 1:00 pm in the Edith McNish Boardroom, 2137 Comox Avenue, Comox, BC
Interested members of the public are welcome to attend
Find your place in the sun! Great local destinations only minutes away. Transit Passes available at the following locations: Comox
t Town of Comox Municipal Ofﬁce
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t Rexall Pharmacy t CANEX, 19 Wing Comox
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A4 Comox Valley Echo Tuesday, June 17, 2014
TAME THE FIRES OF AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE NATURALLY By Dr. Deidre Macdonald, ND Autoimmune Disease is a major health problem in our society. One in twelve people in general, and one in nine women, will be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. There are over one hundred different autoimmune disorders, including multiple sclerosis, Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, Inflammatory Bowel diseases and Celiac disease. Together these conditions affect more people than cancer or heart disease and can rob patients of their quality of life, mobility and even take their lives. Scientists worldwide are puzzled over the alarming rise in the rates of autoimmune disease, particularly in the Western world. The rates have more than doubled in the last three decades. Genetics can no longer be blamed as the only cause of autoimmune disease since our genetics canâ€™t change that quickly. As a naturopathic physician, I have treated many patients with a variety of autoimmune
diseases in my years of practice. The path to living well or even recovering from autoimmune conditions focuses on correcting the underlying stress factors that may be driving the dysregulation of the immune system. The immune system has well developed mechanisms to attack foreign invaders. In autoimmune disease, the immune system loses its ability to differentiate our own normal tissues from foreign invaders, and provokes an inflammatory response. Exciting research was recently presented at a gastroenterology convention I attended in Victoria. That ability to temper the immune systemâ€™s inflammatory reactions to invaders is something our bodies must learn. And strangely enough, in fact, the teacher lives in our guts. The bacterial lining of the intestines (the intestinal microbiome) is responsible for educating our immune systems, letting them know when to attack and when to cease fire. Humans are created in a sterile womb, devoid of bacteria and we acquire our first dose of beneficial bacteria in the birth canal. Abundant research has shown that there are
increased rates of asthma and autoimmune disease in C-section born babies. Antibiotics are the other Western phenomenon that disturbs the intestinal microbiome and is linked to autoimmune disease. We know not what we do when we take an antibiotic for an infection without consideration of the trillions of beneficial bacteria that form an integral part of our digestive and immune systems. Naturopathic physicians have long emphasized the importance of correcting deficiencies in the intestinal microbiome. Programs to repair the intestinal mucosal lining, replenish probiotics and kill off harmful elements of the microbiome have long been a mainstay of the treatment of autoimmune disease. Identifying and eliminating food allergies can also help calm the immune system. For my patients with joint pain associated with autoimmune disease, cold laser therapy is an excellent way to manage pain, reduce joint destruction and improve joint function. A recent Canadian expert panel determined that this painless form of physical therapy is an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. I have been using a high tech laser
light treatment for my patients for five years. It is very effective for most patients with back and joint pain, osteoarthritis and is part of a comprehensive treatment plan for inflammatory arthritis too. Natural anti-inflammatory medicines may reduce the dependence on prescription drugs with potentially devastating side effects. A turmeric extract called Meriva, Fish oil, antioxidant nutrients and Vitamin D all have been shown to reduce the inflammatory symptoms of autoimmune disease. Adrenal support through meditation and herbal medicine helps to improve energy and reduce inflammation. Science is beginning to shed light on the complexities of the immune system and ways that we can influence the health of it. Take care of your immune system and if you have an autoimmune disease, learn ways to tame your inflammation - naturally. Dr. Deidre Macdonald is a naturopathic physician who has been practicing medicine for 16 years in downtown Courtenay. For more information contact the Macdonald Centre for Natural Medicine at 897-0235 or via www. getwellhere.com
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Highlights! Paris city tour including a visit to the top of the Eiffel Tower Versailles tour the palace and its Gardens Ile de la CitĂŠ walking tour including Notre Dame Cathedral Louvre tour the worldâ€™s finest museum Montmartre walking tour of the district and the SacrĂŠ-Coeur Basilica Reims see the cathedral Inclusions Roundtrip flight in Economy Class Roundtrip transfers between the airport and the hotel 7-day Paris Metro pass 7 cold buffet breakfasts (B), 2 lunches (L), 3 dinners (D), including 1 welcome dinner and 1 farewell dinner 7 nightsâ€™ double accommodation (European standards) with single beds or a double bed with private facilities
Flavours of Paris Wine class with six different wine tastings Chocolate-making class at the chocolate museumlunch cruise scenic luncheon cruise along the Seine Gourmet dinner in an Alsatian restaurant, sample choucroute, flammekueche or baeckeoffe Baking class learn the basics to make pastry, cake and dessert Parisian market & cooking class gather fresh ingredients to prepare a three-course lunch Champagne cellars tour two cellars in the famed Champagne region
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