(250) 650-5582 rebeccajlennox@gmail.com
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The Comox Valley Record recently had a feature where all those running in the municipal elections were asked a few questions and got their answers printed. Below are my answers to this local feature:

 

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Click on this image to view the full article, including the responses from all the candidates on the Comox Valley Record’s website at – http://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/municipalelection/281480181.html


 

Rebecca Lennox’s answers.

  1. As opposed to spending money on a lawsuit, would you approve of taxpayer dollars being spent helping to bring the Maple Pool Campground into compliance with zoning regulations?
    • Once again this question brings me back to the point that Maple Pool is over shadowing bigger issues, such as our need for affordable housing and an emergency shelter. Using taxpayers money to help an individual business is illegal. While the Lins offer a much needed service it is still a business. While I don’t think it should have gone to court, I believe that the citizens of Courtenay should not have to foot the bill should the emergency services have to be dispatched to Maple Pool a third time. The City of Courtenay has offered to start the rezoning process, if the Lins will sign a waiver claiming all responsibility of their private business and land. It is of the utmost importance to our community to have this issue resolved as soon as possible.
  2. Is Courtenay in need of a third crossing over the estuary?
    • I don’t think it should fall on Courtenay financially to build a bridge that would serve all of the Comox Valley and visitors, as this would be a huge cost. Our estuary is a highly sensitive ecological area, it is a First Nations heritage site, IBA (important bird area) and plays a huge part in the salmon runs. We need to protect it, not cause greater damage. Increasing public transport and supporting alternative means of travel will help avoid having to build expensive infrastructure. Alternative means of transportation also improve health and air quality, and sense of community.
  3. Would you be in favour of committing more of your municipality’s roadways to bike lanes?
    • Yes. For the cost involved it is a simple solution to help with traffic problems, safety concerns and the overall health of our city. As noted in question 2 it has many benefits of long term financial savings for the taxpayers, healthy city living and strong communities. 
  4. Would you support tax deferrals or other incentive to encourage densification via secondary suites?
    • There are currently some incentives in place, however rezoning is still a requirement. I would like the City to be exploring through local area planning, how to accommodate affordable housing within neighbourhoods.
  5. Are you in favour of the construction of the proposed Braidwood supportive housing project?
    • Yes. We need to support many kinds of housing solutions.
  6. Are you in favour of the city taking responsibility for the operating costs of such a project?
    • The tax that individuals pay (in income tax) to the provincial and federal government has not gone down, but services have been cut. Including funding for operating supportive housing. The more off loading that comes from the higher levels of government, the more pressure is put on Local Government to fill the void. I see a lot of support in the community for such a project and I think it is a matter for local Government to harness that energy to build new partnerships and innovative solutions.
  7. Tax incentives to businesses.
    • While it is hard to lose any money on our tax revenue, it is getting to a point where something must be done to help the downtown core. In the long run tax incentives could even out so I would be in favour. I would really like to see new, green businesses getting more support; the technology and eco tourism sectors can offer long term environmentally friendly jobs and we desperately need more of these types of opportunities.
  8. Do you support amalgamation of Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland?
    • If the citizens of the Comox Valley really want to start studying this again then as a councillor I would support opening the conversation. However from all the research I have done, I have not found an instance where it saves the taxpayer money. I also feel that each has it’s own direction and needs, but would like to see more support and camaraderie between all three.
  9. Should the board for the publicly funded Comox Valley Economic Development Society be elected by the public?
    • Yes.  I support any changes that bring more accountability to the public.
  10. Would you support an increase in property taxes in order to assist in the homelessness situation in the Comox Valley?
    • This is a question that is being put to the public on November 15th. Although it is unfortunate that is a very vague question it is one that has been decided will be on a ballot. The problem with homelessness will unfortunately probably continue to rise as the cost of living does. We are already paying more than $10 a year in regards to homelessness through costs such as policing, park maintenance, and bylaw enforcement. For the problem of homelessness to be helped it takes recognizing that many of them were people just like you and I.  The City budget has to be balanced in a way that serves all members our community.