Affordable rental crisis responsible for homelessness, says advocate

Affordable rental crisis responsible for homelessness, says advocate

Campbell River’s recent homeless count lists 116 people, a 43 percent increase over the 2018 tally, but is only one aspect of  the Strathcona Regional District’s rental affordability crisis. “People who are paying 40, 50 or 60 percent of their income for a place to live, are usually a few paycheques away from joining the 116 people that we counted,” explained Sue Moen, the Salvation Army’s representative in the Campbell River & District Coalition to End Homelessness. Close to 30 percent of Campbell River’s population live in rental accommodations and almost half of these are spending a disproportionate amount of their income on rent. The Strathcona Needs Assessment states that 22% of the households on Quadra Island and 30% of the households on Cortes Island are in the same situation. When people are paying too much of their income rent, Moen said they are forced to make choices like spending money on medication or electricity?  Or nutrition? Or dental care? “It becomes an untenable choice for people to keep a roof over their heads,” she said. In addition, there is the problem of seasonal homelessness in rural tourist areas throughout the SRD. While there are no statistics, every year a significant number of Cortes Island’s population moves out into tents, couch surf or find other accommodation, while their winter homes are used as summer homes or vacation rentals. Moen knows people on Quadra Island who have to leave their homes every summer. With the arrival of Fall, RV Parks and smaller motels are once again advertising winter rates. Photo credit: For Rent sign by Erik Mclean on Unsplash “We see that year after year, from the Oyster River...
This Sunday: The Cortes Half Marathon

This Sunday: The Cortes Half Marathon

The Cortes Half Marathon starts at Smelt Bay this Sunday, September 19th, at 8:30 AM. The idea grew out of the runs that Peter Wrinch, CEO of Hollyhock, made during the pandemic. A friend suggested they organize a marathon. The Cortes Market and Cortes Natural Food Co-op partnered with Hollyhock to sponsor the event. Volunteers came forward from the community. There will be a 5k, 10k and 22K run. Runners pay a registration fee, which ranges from $5 to $25 depending on their route. The proceeds will be used to pay for event costs, but the organizers are also hoping to use this event as a fund raiser. “Any remaining money will go to the Last Stand for Forests in support of the Fairy Creek blockades,” said Wrinch. Want to register as a runner? volunteer to help run the event? Or learn more about it? - go to Cortes Half Marathon.ca. Credits: (top) One of the paths that will be taken by people running in the Cortes Half Marathon on Sunday Sept 19th - Photo courtesy Cortes Half Marathon (podcast) Getting ready to run by Malik Skydsgaard on Unsplash This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative...
Liberal climate plan is achievable, says Clean Energy Canada

Liberal climate plan is achievable, says Clean Energy Canada

After modelling the climate plans of the four major parties in this election, Clean Energy Canada announced the Liberals have the only plan they know is achievable. “We really found that the Liberal platform is both ambitious and has the plans, the details, the actions of how it is going to reduce emissions,“ explained Merran Smith, a former Cortes Island resident and executive director of Clean Energy Canada. Clean Energy Canada is a climate and clean energy program within the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University. Her team calculates that the Liberal could reduce emissions to 40 percent or more, from 2005 levels, by 2030. While the NDP and Green plans claim to be more ambitious, Smith said there wasn’t the detail on the policies and actions they plan to take. This makes it difficult to assess them. She added that while it is positive that the Conservatives produced a climate plan, it is weaker and contains caveats that mean some actions might not be taken. “It is actually taking us backward,” said Smith. One thing that Clean Energy Canada has noted over the past 18 months, is the degree other countries are integrating their climate and economic policies. “Our exports are going to be evaluated by the amount of carbon solutions in it, which means if we are going to be successful we need to reduce our carbon emissions,” said Smith. One of the areas where Smith saw the Liberals far ahead of the other parties was investing in the low carbon economy of the future. “We don’t see those kinds of details in the NDP or Green platforms....
Lane 8 Delivery gets new owners, ensuring an essential service continues

Lane 8 Delivery gets new owners, ensuring an essential service continues

After transporting goods between Cortes Island and the Campbell River area for the past eleven years, Andrew and Peggy Kirk are retiring from managing the Lane 8 Delivery. And they stumbled upon the perfect couple to take over: Arron Elliott and his wife Odette Auger have purchased the business. Elliott already had his class one license when he arrived on Cortes Island ten years ago, but there had not been an opportunity to use it. He had eyed some of the island’s driving jobs — the mail truck, school bus etc — but went to work at the Hollyhock Leadership Institute. He has been in Maintenance Department for almost 9 years, and worked his way up to Maintenance Manager for the past 3. “My job at Hollyhock was a great job. I put in my time there, but I was on call 24/7 pretty much and I just figured I’d give a shot at this. If I’m going to worry about something, and put that much focus into something, I would like it to be my own business,” said Elliott. The Kirks came into his life because of what has become a ten-year-long building project. They delivered the materials for the floor, countertops and deck of his home. Auger emailed that during the most recent delivery, she asked the Kirks if they were thinking of retiring or selling. She let them know that Elliott was interested. “They thought Arron would be a great fit, for the friendly customer service part, combined with his strong work ethic. So we started thinking seriously about it,” she wrote. “What’s been really sweet...
Election 2021: Activists gather for climate change event in Campbell River

Election 2021: Activists gather for climate change event in Campbell River

Twenty activists from Campbell River, Quadra Island and Comox turned out for “Canada is still on Fire – 350.org day of Action” in Campbell River on Wednesday Sept. 8. They were scheduled for the day before Canada’s only English-language federal leaders’ debate for the 2021 election, which will be televised from 6-8 PM PST today (Sept. 9).Similar events were held in Victoria, Nanaimo, Courtenay, Parksville, Port Alberni, Ucluelet, Duncan and Sooke on Vancouver Island, as well as numerous towns and cities across Canada — from Vancouver to St John’s Newfoundland. The 350 website outlined the organization’s main goals this election season: “Together, we will mobilize to ensure the climate emergency is a top issue in this election. And we will set the bar for ambitious climate action by demanding that all parties and candidates deliver: A moratorium on fossil fuel expansion, including stopping construction on existing expansion projects An urgent and robust just transition plan that leaves no one behind and moves us past fossil fuels.” Dr. Don Goodeve, one of the Campbell River event’s organizers, spoke with CKTZ News about the event. “People have been campaigning on these issues for a very long time an there has been a lot of asking nicely and doing the right thing, petitions etc,” Dr. Don Goodeve said. “Now it is not happening in a third world country, it is not islands that are sinking in the Pacific, it’s happening here. It is happening now: with the wildfires that we’ve seen, the situation in Saskatchewan where crops on the prairies are not being able to be harvested because there is nothing there because of the drought. “This...