Union Bay Improvement District Cash Cow….We are paying $113,328.00 per year in interest alone

Why did UBID not tell taxpayers that we would be borrowing 3.5 million dollars at 3.49% for 25 years?

Read more from Union Bay News…

UBID AGM JUNE 3, Finally.

I encourage every land owner in Union Bay to attend that meeting, and bring your questions, don’t be shy.

The audited financial statements are on the UBID web site, if you see something you don’t understand, ASK A QUESTION????



Union Bay expect 10 min. traffic delays May 27th to May 31st

Union Bay expect 10 min. traffic delays May 27th to May 31st  ….

Union Bay Estates AKA KIP Kensington Island Properties, aka 34083 Yukon Inc. best guess removal of trees and or contaminated soil.

Thanks to a local resident for the heads up….

UNION BAY, B.C – Those travelling along highway 19A next week should expect delays as Mainroad crews will be replacing culverts.

Starting Monday, May 27th, Mainroad crews will be performing a culvert replacement on Highway 19A near Union Bay.

Work is scheduled to begin Monday, May 27th, and run through Friday, May 31st, between the
hours of 7:00 a.m and 5:00 p.m.

Single lane alternating traffic control will be implemented next Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with a full closure and detour expected on Tuesday.

Main road is asking motorists to slow down while crews work during the week.

For updates on the work and the expected delays, visit www.drivebc.ca.

Delays expected along highway 19A next week

Notice of Annual General & Inaugural Meetings
Annual General Meeting: Monday, June 3, 2019 7:00pm
Inaugural Meeting: Monday June 10, 2019 7:00pm
Main Hall, Union Bay Community Hall
5401 S. Island Highway, Union Bay
Landowners are encouraged to attend and learn more
about the 2018 audited financial statements presented by
MNP Assurance Services, staff reports from the Chief
Administrative Officer, Fire Chief, and Public Works


Union Bay Coal Piles – Most Contaminated Site on Vancouver Island

A Little history that I found on the Union Bay coal hills.

Union Bay coal hills on priority contaminated site list in B.C. https://youtu.be/_JJBM4eQNi8

The coal hills in Union Bay are among 13 priority contaminated sites in B.C. that have been identified by the Province.

  • Scott Stanfield
  • Aug. 30, 2012 2:00 p.m.
  • A Remedial Options Feasibility Report prepared for West Fraser Mills by Keystone Environmental considers various technologies to deal with the Union Bay coal hills. It suggests a soil cover option is the cheapest at $17 million. The costliest would be complete excavation and off-site disposal, estimated to run between $71 million and $95 million.
  • ·         According to the Environment Ministry, cleanup of the Union Bay coal hills involves the Province, West Fraser and Kensington Island Properties.
  • ·         Most of the site is on Crown land under lease to West Fraser until 2018. A smaller portion of the site is private land owned by KIP. The allocation of projected remediation costs has yet to be determined. https://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/news/union-bay-coal-hills-on-priority-contaminated-site-list-in-b-c/

Kensington Island Properties sells 28 acres of contaminated Union Bay land to the province

Kensington Island Properties sells 28 acres of contaminated Union Bay land to the province

In April, Kensington Island Properties (KIP) sold 28.32 acres of contaminated land in Union Bay to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. The land was sold for one dollar and “other valuable consideration.” The Land Titles and Survey Authority in Victoria registered the transaction on April 20.

Draft plan for Union Bay coal hills remediation to be submitted this spring

West Fraser Mills is paying for the installation of an engineered membrane

A draft plan for the remediation of the contaminated Union Bay coal hills should be submitted to the province this June, and the information could be public by the fall, according to a representative from West Fraser Mills.

Although most of the information contained in the agreement between West Fraser and the provincial government over the coal hills’ clean-up is still confidential, representatives from the two bodies presented an update on the issue at the Comox Valley Regional District’s April 24 board meeting.

Draft plan for Union Bay coal hills remediation to be submitted this spring

Well June 2019 around the corner stay tuned.

Union Bay Elementary School District 71 Comox Valley. WHATS HAPPENING???

Union Bay Elementary School


The Comox School district was formed July 30, 1870

Elementary School (built 1915), church (1906), post office (1913), and gaolhouse (1901). Together they form “Heritage Row while the area was still part of the Colony of Vancouver Island.

The property is an amalgamation of three parcels. The school district acquired about an acre plus the building through a Crown grant in 1949, and an adjacent one-acre lot from Canadian Collieries. In 1977, it added the third parcel in an exchange with a developer.

Closed due to dwindling number of students in the late 1990s or early 2000’s, and remaining students and faculty merged into Royston Elementary School.

The UBID purchased the land in 2007. It was assessed at about $1.3 million.

In a acticle by the Comox Valley Record March 5th 2013 the Union Bay Improvement District has taken legal action against the Comox Valley School District, from which it purchased land housing the old Union Bay Elementary school for $675,000. https://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/news/union-bay-improvement-district-suing-over-purchase-of-building/

After moving to Union Bay in June of 2014 the Union Bay Elementary School District SD71 Comox Valley was in Litigation with Union Bay Improvement District.

Early in 2015 the school was not occupied, and I had a chance to talk to SD71 maintenance staff that were replacing the outside main water shut off valve to the school. He was not aware of what was happening but jokingly said he heard the land was being sold off for a retirement complex.

Then in the spring of 2016 I noticed a backhoe and a group of workers digging up a series of holes in the playground field, I asked the backhoe operator what was going on and he said they were doing a series of percolation tests for the school board.

In 2016, 2018 and 2019 we noticed the fire department and many trucks and vehicles in the school for a full day.

One of my new neighbours had school age children and asked if and when the school was going to be opening in the near future.

I decided it was time to go get some answers.

I called School District SD71 and was directed to the person in charge Director of Operations Ian Heselgrave and got some answers.

  • The School Board did authorize percolation tests as they were thinking of selling off the land behind the school, that idea is no longer viable.
  • The Union Bay Fire Department has an agreement with SD71 that they could use the school for training, and they would “keep an eye” on the school in return.
  • The SD47 is presently having tours for prospective educators such as arts, specialized education etc…

Lastly Mr. Heselgrave said he is more than willing to share information related to the Union Bay Elementary School with Union Bay residence and gave me his contact numbers to share.



Director of Operations
Ian Heselgrave
 Phone: 250 334-5516.

Trains in Union Bay -Wellington Colliery Railway at Union Bay circa 1960 and the E&N Railway and now the Island Corridor Foundation

My wife and I moved to Union Bay in June of 2014 and in the back of the property were railway tracks. We asked, who owned the tracks and if trains were still being used. Did we ever get a variety of stories.  I decided to get some answers?

The wharf at Union Bay was the primary shipment point for the coal coming out of the Wellington coal mines. The mines remained in operation till 1966

In 1905, Robert Dunsmuir’s son James sold the E&N Railway to the Canadian Pacific Railway. The CPR built the railroad to Lake Cowichan, Port Alberni, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, and Courtenay. At its peak, the railroad had 45 stations on the main line, 36 stations on the Cowichan line, and 8 stations on the Port Alberni line.[16]

Between 1905 and 1999, the E&N Railway was owned and operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Via Rail took over operation of CPR’s passenger train service, called The Malahat, in 1978, while CPR demarketed its freight operation, claiming that freight traffic was declining. In 1996, CPR reorganized the E&N as an “internal short line” named E&N Railfreight while the railbarge operations were sold to Seaspan Intermodal. In early 1999, shortline operator RailAmerica purchased the route from Nanaimo to Port Alberni, and leased the balance of the line. At that time approximately 8,500 carloads of forest and paper products, minerals, and chemicals were transported by the Southern Vancouver Island Railway each year.

Names of island railroad

Until 1996, it was called the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway (which it is still called by people living on the Island). It then spent three years as E & N Railfreight, an internal short line within then owner Canadian Pacific Railway. Operations were then sold to RailAmerica. The RailAmerica subsidiary was named E&N Railway Co (1998) Ltd. (reporting mark ENR), thus maintaining the historic name associations for the Vancouver Island line.

Union Bay station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Union Bay station is located in the town of Union Bay, British Columbia. The station was a flag stop on Via Rail’s Victoria – Courtenay train service.[1] Service ended in 2011.

Island Corridor Foundation

A Via Rail RDC in Nanaimo

Tax gift

The not for profit Island Corridor Foundation is a partnership between the Cowichan Tribes and local governments along the SVI line. After years of work and negotiations, the ICF came to agreements with both the Canadian Pacific Railway and Rail Americia, to hand over its Island rail assets to the foundation for tax credits.

In February 2006, the Canadian Pacific Railway donated its 234 km (145 miles) portion of the SVI right-of-way, which averages 30.48 m (100 ft) in width between Victoria and Courtenay, to the Island Corridor Foundation. The donation tax credit exchange was estimated to be valued at $236(C) million and encompasses 6.51 km2 (2.51 sq mi) of land, six historic railway stations and a number of trestles. In addition, CPR also supplied $2.3-million in “seed money” to the Foundation. Lands were also given that produce non-rail revenue generated by property leases and encroachments on the line

On 22 March 2006, RailAmerica donated ownership of the Port Alberni to Nanaimo portion of the SVI to the Island Corridor Foundation.

No trespassing policy

More people are starting to walk, hike and use off-road vehicles on the right of way[21] Railway and ICF officials are asking people to stay off the tracks for their own safety.

Rail line closure and delayed re-openings

Alberni Pacific excursion train, June 2013

Beginning March 18, 2011 passenger service between Victoria and Courtenay was suspended indefinitely, due to safety concerns about the poor condition of the tracks. In April 2012 the Federal Government announced that it would match a $7.5 million grant offered by the BC Provincial Government, providing the required $15 million for basic repairs and upgrades to reopen the rail line. The line was expected to reopen, and rail services re-commence in 2013, as early the spring,[27] but was delayed due to failed negotiations between the Island Corridor Foundation and Via Rail.[28] In July 2014, an agreement was signed by Via Rail to resume operations with plans to have services resume in the summer of 2015,[29] but in April 2015, the ICF stated that the resumption of service has been put on hold while the BC Ministry of Transportation and provincial government review the funds for covering repair costs.[30] As of November 2018, passenger rail still has yet to reopen.


Daniel Arbour is the director for Area A of the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) One of Arbour’s proposals is a cycling/pedestrian trail along the rail line that would connect Union Bay with the community in Royston.

“I got appointed to the Island Corridor Foundation, and it’s been a while that we’ve been trying to get (rail service) back in (on the Island) but a lot of people, if we can’t put the rail back in, especially in our area (Area A), a lot of people would love to see some other use for the (rail) corridor,” he explained.

Island Corridor Foundation web site https://www.islandrail.ca/

While that certainly help to clear some things up, hope you enjoyed the information.


Pallet Board not just a pretty Face….

I have a passion for building and love using my “Tim the Toolman” power and hand tools and discovered multiple uses for pallet board wood.

Some projects are work benches, wood storage and machine stand, and garden planters.

pallet is the structural foundation of a unit load which allows handling and storage efficiencies. Goods or shipping containers are often placed on a pallet secured with strapping, stretch wrap or shrink wrap and shipped.

I found that pallets are free from local building suppliers, Courtenay Home Depot, Central Builders-Home Hardware Building Centre and Slegg Building Materials.

A great tool that I purchased from Amazon, a Pallet board removal tool and attached a video to show how the tool makes removing boards. There are also videos on Google that show how to make one.


Pallet Board Removal tool

Hand tools that I found useful are a Claw hammer, Cats Paw and a pry bar.
Hand Tools Pry Bar (Cats Paw) Mallet and a Claw hammer.

You Tube Video of projects

Union Bay Water connections, is it 670, 708, or ????

As I was watering my garden on an odd day as we are in stage one water restrictions, my neighbour asked how many property’s in Union Bay have water supplied and who regulates the water? I said depending on who you ask. I told him that was a great question and went out to get some answers.

Water source description;

The Langley Lake Water Supply Area, is within the Hart/Washer Creek Watershed, for a total of 395 hectares (976 acres), of which Langley Lake itself comprises approximately 31 hectares (76.6 acres)

Water supply system the distribution boundaries are Tsable River / Highway 19A in the south and the end of Kilmarnock in the north end. The distribution network has approximately 40 kilometers of pipeline.  A water license to extract from Langley Lake provides all the water for the system. The raw water is gravity fed to the reservoir where it is treated with chlorine gas prior to distribution.

The new treatment plant will have a treatment capacity of 14 litres (3.07 imperial gallons) per second compared to the current system with 708 connections that utilizes 4 Liters (.87 imperial gallons) to 10 litres (2.2 imperial gallons) per second depending on the season.

The Potable Water Servicing and Infrastructure Agreement between Union Bay Estates and the Union Bay Improvement District was signed December 2017. The Comox Valley Regional District approved the zoning application and some of the key elements are: 

The initial phase is for 60-100 single family residences – any further development requires that the developer provide third party hydrological studies that can prove that the quantity of water in Langley Lake will meet demand of the increased hook-ups or suggest a secondary source. 

• UBID is responsible for the provision of potable water including daily operations and billing. In addition, the UBID is to responsible for: 

1. Survey costs associated with land

2. Decommissioning of current reservoirs 

3. Remediation of current treatment plant 

Regulatory compliance Drinking water in BC is regulated under the Drinking Water Protection Act (Act) and the Drinking Water Protection Regulation (Regulation). Drinking Water Officers (DWOs) conduct inspections and work with water suppliers to meet the Act and Regulation. The primary goal is to work with suppliers so they can provide potable water that is safe to drink without further treatment. UBID’s water system is required to:

 • Comply with the Act and Regulation

• Obtain a construction permit or construction permit wavier prior to constructing or modifying the water system

• Obtain an operating permit

• Operate the system according to the legislation and any terms and conditions on the permit

• Have a trained water system operator

• Have an emergency response and contingency plan

• Monitor the quality of the water • Immediately notify the DWO of any threats to the drinking water

• Provide public notice of threats as required

• Make emergency response plans and annual reports public

• Conduct water source and system assessments

UBID holds Conditional Water Licences 112815 and 112817 that together authorize water storage in Langley Lake and water use for waterworks purpose along with the construction and operation of works within the boundaries of the Union Bay Improvement District.  The licences cumulatively authorize the use of 178 million gallons per year at a rate not to exceed 1,828,000 gallons a day. This equates to 809,204 cubic metres per year at a constant average draw of 25.7 litres(5.9 Imperial Gallons) per second.

Information from “Source to Tap” Prepared for the Union Bay Improvement District by Sonya Jenssen, MA Winter 2019 

Test results for UBID available here: Island Health test results – raw and distribution. https://www.healthspace.ca/Clients/VIHA/VIHA_Website.nsf/Water-Samples-Frameset?OpenPage

Union Bay Improvement Inspection Report




Who owns the Langley Lake Dam?

Had a neighbour ask who owned the Langley Lake Dam so I decided to get some answers


 LANGLEY LAKE DAM Points Code: PD31127 Regulated Code: Regulated

Type: Earthfill Height (m): 4

Next Audit Year: 0 Crest Length (m): 18

Dam File No.: D720116-00 Operation Code: Active

Crest Elevation (m): 1150.3 (Crest of Dam Elevation of the uppermost surface of a dam proper, not taking into account any camber allowed for settlement, curbs, parapets, guard rails or other structures that are not a part of the main water-retaining structure. This elevation may be roadway, walkway or the non-overflow section of a dam.)


Function: MAIN District-Precinct Name: NAN – COURTENAY

Dam Safety Officer: Baldwin, John ENV:EX



In 1960, the Union Bay Waterworks (newly formed from the Water Association) bought their water system for a $1.00 from the Canadian Collieries (Dunsmuir) Limited. They also bought the land under Langley Lake for $1,000, one of the few lakes in BC for which the bed is privately owned. The Union Bay Waterworks became the Union Bay Improvement District, which was incorporated by Letters Patent on March 18, 1960 as the authority responsible for providing waterworks to the residents and property owners of Union Bay. Fire Protection and Street Lighting were added to UBID responsibilities in 1972.
UBID is governed by an elected Board of Trustees who are chosen to serve overlapping terms at elections which are held as part of an Annual General Meeting. Trustees are paid a small stipend. Day to day business is managed by a full-time Administrator, who is supported by a part-time Administrative Assistant, along with a Public Works Superintendent and a Public Works Technician, both full time. Union Bay Fire Rescue is a volunteer fire department with a half-time paid Fire Chief. The fire crew are volunteers with modest stipends paid to a couple of senior officers and an annual honourarium paid to the department as a whole.

Hope you enjoyed some facts for clarification….

CVRD and Union Bay Estates and Zoning Bylaw Review

Background (from CVRD https://www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/projects-initiatives/past-current-projects/union-bay-estates)

Union Bay Estates, formerly known as Kensington Island Properties, is a comprehensive development area within the settlement node of Union Bay (Electoral Area A – Baynes Sound – Denman/Hornby Islands). The development will have a variety of land uses including residential, commercial, institutional, recreational and resort amenities. The Union Bay Estates lands are 309 hectares (764 acres) in size.

The residential component of the development will be a maximum of 2,889 units, including carriage houses, affordable housing and secondary suites. If the developer donates additional affordable housing lots, beyond what is required, they can build up to 60 more residential lots. Further details are available within the Master Development Agreement.

Zoning Bylaw

In 2010, the subject properties were rezoned to Kensington Comprehensive Development Zone (K-CD). The K-CD zone is divided into five Comprehensive Development Areas (CDAs). Please note, as part of the ongoing zoning bylaw review, the K-CD zone will be updated to reflect amendments to the Master Development Agreement.

Still time to get some answers…

Bylaw No. 2781 applies to all three electoral areas within the CVRD

  • May 6, 2019: Union Bay Community Club and Recreation Association (3:30 – 7 pm)
  • May 16, 2019: Oyster River Fire Hall (3:30 – 7 pm)
  • May 22, 2019: CVRD Boardroom (3:30 – 7pm)