Healthy Community, Healthy People, Healthy Environment

Thank you Comox

Dr. Kerr’s Recent Council Votes:

Click each heading to expand the text:

  • Voted YES to a new Affordable Housing Contribution policy focused on providing more affordable places to live for Comox residents. (Motion passed)
    • Listen to Dr. Kerr’s comments from the June 1, 2022 Council meeting (click here).
    • Listen to Dr. Kerr’s comments from the March 16th, 2022 Council meeting (click here)
    • Listen to Dr. Kerr’s comments from the Feb 16th, 2022 Council meeting (click here).
  • Voted YES to a hybrid approach to affordable housing, allowing for both the long-term acquisition of units by the Town, and partnerships with local non-profits. Units acquired over time will be used to provide affordable housing for Comox residents. (Motion passed)
  • Voted YES to give approval to the Comox Bay Sailing Club to build a float house at the marina to provide an indoor space to operate training courses. (June 1, 2022)
  • You can listen to Dr. Kerr’s motion and comments from the June 1, 2022 meeting (click here).
  • Voted YES to support the hosting of the 55+ BC Games jointly by the Comox Valley and Campbell River (June 1, 2022).
  • The 55+ BC Games were last hosted by the Comox Valley and Campbell River in 2010, providing 26 different sports/activities.
  • Voted YES to declare May 2022 “Community Resilience Month”. (May 18th, 2022)
  • All residents of Comox and the Valley are invited to attend the Community Listening Event on May 29th at the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park
  • Community Resilience is the sustained ability of a community to draw upon existing resources to adaptively respond, withstand, and recover from adverse and challenging experiences.
  • Community Resilience focuses on the enhancement of day-to-day health and wellbeing of its citizens, and promotes strong community connections, to reduce the harmful impact of adversity and challenges.
  • Made the motion and voted YES to provide a $5,000 contribution towards the K’ómoks Guardian Watchman Program. (May 4th, 2022)
  • Listen to Dr. Kerr’s comments by going to the 10:48 minute mark of the May 4th Council meeting (click here).
  • The K’ómoks Guardian Watchmen are they eyes and ears of the K’ómoks First Nation on the lands and waters within the Traditional Territory of the Nation. The Guardians not only protect these lands from those who would do them harm but actively engage in many activities to enhance or restore habitat and ecosystems.

  • Voted YES to support a $40,000 contribution towards the construction of 12 townhome units for families by Habitat for Humanity. (April 20, 2022)
  • This will add to the affordable housing options in the Comox Valley.
  • Voted YES to support the creation of a Regional Parks Service. (April 20, 2022) Motion passed.
  • Proposed an amendment in favour of prioritizing the connectivity of our trails and greenways with our neighbouring municipalities, to encourage active transportation and physical activity. Motion passed.
  • Voted YES to support the lowest tax rate increase in the Comox Valley (4.8%), despite the significant inflationary pressures. (April 20, 2022) Motion passed.
  • The Town of Comox tax rate continues to be in the lowest 25% of BC municipalities.
  • Dr. Kerr is a strong proponent of keeping taxes as low as possible, while at the same time providing high-quality services for residents and thinking long-term to prepare for the future needs of Comox residents.
  • Voted YES to support the City of Courtenay as the primary applicant, to apply for, receive, and manage the UBCM Strengthening Communities Services grant funding ($1.093 million dollars). 
  • Made a motion and voted YES to support a new bike pump track and skate park in Comox. (Motion passed.)
  • Listen to Dr. Kerr’s comments from the March 16th, 2022 Council meeting (click here).
  • Made a motion and voted YES to refer LUSH Valley’s request for grant-in-aid funding for their Good Food Box program to the budget process. (Motion defeated.)
  • Voted YES to writing a letter to the Federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions in support of MP Gord John’s private members bill C-126 aimed at addressing the toxic drug supply in B.C. (Motion passed.)
  • Voted YES for a new roundabout to be installed at Comox Avenue and Rodello Street, in order to increase safety (for pedestrians, bikers, and drivers) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from idling cars. (Motion passed)
  • After the Comox Youth Climate Council presented to Comox Council on Feb 2nd, Dr. Kerr made the following “notice of motion”:

    “That administration review the Comox Youth Climate Council’s proposed Green New Deal policies, provide recommendations to Council, and incorporate the analysis into the reporting of the Town’s green initiatives as part of the upcoming Green Open House.” (Motion was introduced on Feb 2nd and passed on Feb 16th.)

  • Listen to Dr. Kerr’s comments by going to the 1:00:10 mark of the Feb 2nd Council meeting (click here).
  • Made the motion and voted YES to a new Tree Retention policy. Jonathan also proposed amending the motion to increase tree retention from 25% to 30%. (Motion passed)
  • Listen to Dr. Kerr’s comments from the Feb 16th Council meeting (click here).
  • Voted YES in favour of the creation of a Heritage Registry policy which will allow for the acknowledgement and protection of significant heritage properties in the Town of Comox.  (Motion passed)
  • Voted YES to support the Comox Valley Regional District to apply for, receive, and manage the Stream Two Poverty Reduction grant funding behalf of the Comox Valley Community Health Network. (Motion passed)
  • You can listen to my reasons for voting AGAINST a pay increase for Council (click here). (Motion passed)
     
  • “I will be voting against this pay raise for Council… It is a real honour and privilege to serve on Council… It is an important part of community service for me… Given the financial hardships for many people in this community, especially given the housing crisis, it sends the wrong message to give Council a pay raise at this time.” Dr. Jonathan Kerr, Jan 19th, 2022
  • Voted YES to approve a $25,000 grant provided to support the 2022 Nautical Days Festival. (Motion passed)
  • Voted YES to support local Arts and Culture and the Sid Williams Theatre Society. (Motion passed)

Newsletters

About Dr. Jonathan Kerr

“I care deeply about the health of our community, the health of all Comox residents, the health of our local businesses, and the health of our beautiful natural environment. I will bring a community-wide health lens to every decision, and I will represent Comox residents with dedication, hard work, optimism, compassion, and integrity.” Dr. Jonathan Kerr, MD, CCFP, FCFP.

 

Jonathan brings a wealth of relevant experience to Comox Council, including senior management and organizational skills, running a small business, budget management, high level communication and public speaking, chairing and facilitating meetings, strong interpersonal skills, writing, researching and publishing experience, event management, coaching, volunteering with local non-profits, and caring for citizens from all walks of life. He is a dedicated husband and father to two kids, ages 12 and 13.

Click each heading to expand the text:

  • Lead Physician, Sea Cove Medical Clinic
  • Chair – Comox Valley Family Physician Recruitment and Retention Task Force
  • Councillor, Town of Comox (2021 – present)
    • Vancouver Island Regional Library Board
    • Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital Board
    • Comox Valley Regional District Board (Alternate Director)
    • Comox Nautical Days committee (Alternate member)
  • Chair, Comox Valley Family Physician Recruitment and Retention Task Force
  • Past-President, Ontario College of Family Physicians (representing 12,000+ physicians)
  • Advisory Committee member, Comox Valley Division of Family Practice
  • Past Primary Care Physician Lead, Southeast Local Health Integration Network
  • Past Chair, Primary Health Care Council of Southeastern Ontario
  • Masters Certificate, Physician Leadership Development Program
  • Vice President and Program Director, Vancouver Island Biathlon Club (current)
  • Citizen Scientist / Volunteer, Brooklyn Creek Watershed Society (current)
  • Event Organizer, Comox Valley Community Listening Event (2021 & 2022)
  • Board Member, Dawn to Dawn Action on Homelessness Society (2015-2017)
  • Member, Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness (2015-2018)
  • Treasurer, Parent Advisory Council, Navigate School (2015-2018)
  • Award of Excellence, College of Family Physicians of Canada
  • SpeakerTEDx Conference, “How many doctors does it take to change a light bulb”
  • Spirit Award – Comox Valley Division of Family Practice
  • Service Recognition Award, College of Family Physicians of Canada
  • Early Career Development Award, College of Family Physicians of Canada
  • Community Award, Gateway Community Health Centre
  • Murray Stalker Leadership Award and Lectureship – College of Family Physicians of Canada.
  • 70+ oral presentations
  • 40+ Peer-Reviewed Research Articles, Research Posters, and Policy Papers
  • Certified Competition Coach, Biathlon Canada
  • Competitive Youth Coach, Vancouver Island Biathlon Club


Jonathan also competes provincially and nationally in biathlon. 

Other hobbies include: playing sports with his two amazing kids, hiking, camping, running, cycling, and board games.

Issues

“Comox residents have been telling me that they are concerned about:

  • Housing affordability
  • The need for more family doctors
  • Tackling climate change
  • Supporting small businesses, and
  • Protecting our parks, forests, and shorelines”

 

“Listening to our citizens is important. I will work hard at realizing this list of issues and goals to ensure Comox is the best place in Canada to live, work, play, and retire.” Dr. Jonathan Kerr

 

 

Click the headings below to expand the text:

  • Comox should partner with both the province and local non-profits to build enough community-led housing units to ensure everyone in our Town has a place to live.
  • The Town should use the money it already collects from large development projects and purchase vacant lots in Town.

  • Comox must be a leader to ensure that the servers in our Town’s restaurants, baristas in our coffee shops, tellers in our stores, single-income parents, seniors on a fixed income, and everyone else, has place to call home.

    Seek out innovative housing solutions so that Comox is an affordable Town for our children and grandchildren.
  • Goal: All new development projects should include affordable units. We also need to re-examine the definition of affordable housing.
  • Create more high-quality housing for seniors.
  • Work closely with local non-profit organizations to find places to live for all Comox families.
  • Increasing housing density, particularly closer to downtown, including mixed use buildings (residential and commercial). 
  • Encourage more duplexes and triplexes in Comox, reducing the Town’s carbon footprint and allowing for more affordable homes to rent and to buy.
  • Enable Comox to be a leader in climate change and adaptation solutions. (Up to half of Canada’s carbon pollution is influenced by local policy decisions. Source: Federation of Canadian Municipalities)

  • Transition the Town’s vehicle fleet to 100% electric vehicles by 2030.

  • Increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations in Town, taking advantage of the CleanBC Communities Fund.

  • Planning, monitoring and constructing infrastructure that can resist local effects of climate change flooding, fire, and heat.

  • Work with local businesses to eliminate single-use plastics.

  • Strengthen policies and bylaws to promote clean air and reduce wood smoke.

  • Provide education and promote financial incentives to help people switch from wood to healthier forms of heat.

  • Promote urban agriculture and community gardens.

  • Champion active transportation (see section below).

  • Promote the transition of the Town’s gas-powered equipment (leaf blowers and lawn mowers) to electric-powered equipment, to reduce both noise and greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Continue alignment with the BC Energy Step Code efficiency standards for new developments and existing buildings.

  • Encourage existing house/apartment/condo owners to take advantage of BC Hydro rebates for energy efficiency upgrades.

  • Require that 100% of new homes and apartment/condo buildings have electric vehicle charging stations.

  • Consider starting a municipal rebate for home energy efficiency upgrades (similar to Powell River).

  • Actively support clean energy initiatives aimed at zero carbon emissions.

  • Create incentives for local businesses to recycle, reduce waste, and decrease our carbon footprint.

  • Continue to support the Comox Youth Climate Council and adopt the proposed Green New Deal.

  • Reduce pollution of our land, air, and water.

  • Conserve and enhance our parks, forests, shorelines, and wildlife.
  • Salmon come home to the Brooklyn Creek. They come home to Comox. I will work to ensure Comox is a salmon safe Town and will focus my attention on the places where our infrastructure impacts salmon.  
  • Protect our Town’s tree canopy to reduce street-level temperatures.
  • Recognize that “green spaces” are the places where we work, play, and come together as a community.
  • Develop volunteer initiatives and education programs to support environmental stewardship.
  • Make biodiversity conservation a common element in municipal decision-making.
  • One of my top priorities is ensuring every person in Comox has a family doctor.
  • Goals: Recruit 4 new family doctors to Comox in 2021, and 4 more in 2022.

  • Collaborate with local medical clinics and the Comox Valley Division of Family Practice to develop a family physician recruitment strategy.
  • Work with the UBC Strathcona Family Medicine Program to retain new doctors after completing their residency in the Comox Valley.
  • Support our local businesses to create and maintain a thriving local economy.
  • Be proactive and work hand-in-hand with the Comox Business Improvement Association (BIA) and Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce.
  • Encourage business innovation and increased economic activity.
  • Promote a diversified local economy, including technology and small manufacturing companies. This would provide more stable and diversified employment opportunities.
  • Continue the outdoor patio program for our restaurants.
  • Innovate to attract tourists and shoppers to our beautiful town.
  • Improve cycling connectivity both within the Town of Comox and to/from Courtenay and the Comox Valley Regional District.
  • Increase the number of bike racks downtown in strategic areas of the Town as recommended in the 2011 Bicycle Network Plan.
  • Ensure that sidewalks, intersections, and greenways are safe for people of all ages and mobilities.
  • Update the 2011 Bicycle Network Plan by adding more safe cycling infrastructure.
  • Recognize the regional bus system is an important component of active transportation.
  • Encourage more local arts and cultural activities, events, and festivals.
  • Support our community sports clubs and teams. (Community sports are key in preventing childhood obesity and depression.)
  • Optimize the use of existing sports and other recreational facilities.
  • Explore the need for additional or enhanced sports and recreational facilities in conjunction with community needs. For example, Comox is currently lacking an artificial surface field (with lights) to serve multiple user groups year-round.
  • Promote life-long participation in sports, community groups, and clubs.
  • Preserve our community parks and green spaces.
  • Champion sharing centres, tool lending libraries, and community-based repair hubs.
  • Foster individual and community resilience.
  • Invest in the Comox Marina and facilities for boaters.
  • Improve parking availability downtown and at the Marina.
  • Improve the accessibility of the marina for families with children, with an emphasis on self propelled watersports such as kayaking and paddleboarding.
  • Monitor and address road and traffic issues.
  • Repair high priority roads.
  • Monitor and address issues with our water, wastewater, and sewer systems.
  • Supporting Reconciliation and Indigenous Sovereignty are core to the work of climate action and to resilient and healthy communities.
  • I support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA), and full implementation of the calls for justice in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
  • If elected, I’ll support more initiatives like the recently announced land transfer agreement between the Town of Comox and the K’ómoks First Nation (KFN) for the area currently known as the Northeast Woods.
  • I am open to working closely with KFN, and I’ll also work with fellow local and regional Council members to continue to implement the actions recommended in the reports listed above.
  • I am committed to working together in a good way to understand how to advocate strongly for DRIPA implementation at a Provincial level while learning how to enact DRIPA locally.
  • Most importantly, I’m open to continuous learning and humility. My own learning journey has included participating in a Blanket Exercise with KFN, the San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training program (August 2021), and the Culturally Informed Team-Based Care Elders Opening Circle (Oct 23, 2021).
  • Ensure seniors have easy access to services and support when they need it.
  • Explore opportunities for more recreational facilities for seniors.
  • Create more high-quality affordable housing for seniors.
  • Focus on health and wellness for all Comox residents.
  • Improve accessibility of our roads, walkways, parks, and recreational facilities.
  • Encourage opportunities to volunteer and participate in local clubs, non-profits, and community groups.
  • Advocate for more childcare spaces in Comox.
  • Explore opportunities for more recreational facilities for children and teens. (See “Building Community” section above)
  • Ensure safe streets and parks in our community.
  • Support our local schools and educators.
  • Explore opportunities for more age-specific recreational facilities for our youth.
  • Work to increase student understanding of local government and democracy.
  • Provide mentorship opportunities for students curious about a potential career path.
  • Make efficient use of residential and business tax dollars.
  • Ensure the Town has a rainy-day fund and is prepared for unexpected events.
  • Budget long-term with respect to our roads, parks, infrastructure, and services.
  • Provide reliable roadside pickup of garbage, recycling, and organics.

  • Actively address pollution concerns.
  • Increase recycling depot options.
  • Advocate for more local mental health services, including for children/teens/seniors.
  • Facilitate coordination amongst mental health services.
  • Support local non-profits that are already addressing this issue.
  • Collaborate with the province and other municipalities on addressing the opioid crisis.

  • Work with local non-profits to improve the social conditions that are feeding this crisis.

  • Advocate for more rehabilitation and treatment options.

  • Partner with the Comox Valley Substance Use Strategy and the Walk with Me initiative to promote education and reduce stigmatization.
  • Make all decisions using a social justice and community health lens.

  • Improve accessibility of our downtown, sidewalks, and greenways.

  • Install a rainbow crosswalk in downtown Comox.
  • Act with compassion and respect towards all individuals in our society.

  • Utilize the Canadian Index of Wellbeing framework for strategic planning and tracking how well we are doing as a community.

  • Connect and consult with the K’ómoks First Nation.
  • I will approach municipal issues and politics with love, kindness, compassion, inclusion, optimism, and collaboration.
  • Ethical leadership.
  • Collaborative approach.
  • Focus on good governance and process.
  • Work closely with other municipalities and the Comox Valley Regional District.
  • Increase community engagement activities throughout the calendar year.
  • Hold zoom-based “office hours”, ensuring I am available and accessible to every resident and business owner in Comox.

Endorsements

“I have known Dr. Kerr for many years and he is the perfect person to fill my seat on Council. Jonathan is dedicated to the health and well-being of the residents of Comox and I know he has the listening skills, passion, intelligence, and decision-making ability needed for the role. I endorse Dr. Kerr for Comox Council 100%.” 
Pat McKenna, recent Councillor, Town of Comox

 

“I wholeheartedly endorse Dr. Jonathan Kerr for our Town of Comox Council in this by-election. His dedication to his work, family, and community shows up in everything he does. He is knowledgeable, hard-working, and holds a unique moral and ethical code that our community and world needs more of.”
Nicole Minions, Councillor, Town of Comox

 

“Jonathan is one of the brightest people I know. He is passionate, energetic, and gets things done. As a Councillor for the Town of Comox, I would see him contributing valuable input to our decision-making, especially with mitigating climate change and tackling the shortages of affordable housing.”
Alex Bissinger, Councillor, Town of Comox

 

“Dr. Kerr would contribute a compassionate, logical, caring, and science-based voice to the Council table. I believe he has a genuine commitment to the health and well-being of Comox residents and I would be excited to work with him.”
Stephanie McGowan, Councillor, Town of Comox

 

“We feel that Dr. Jonathan Kerr has the best platform for climate action in Comox. Jonathan has a clear platform for housing affordability, healthy environment, tackling climate change, parks, forests, shorelines, wildlife, active transportation, relationship with K’omoks First Nation, Garbage, Recycling, Inclusion, Diversity, Caring for all residents and more. Jonathan actively engages with the community and supports the CYCC’s Green New Deal.”
Comox Youth Climate Council

 

One candidate, Jonathan Kerr… answered ‘yes’ to the remaining questions, which indicates the greatest alignment with Breathe Clean Air’s approach to dealing with wood smoke in our towns.” 

Breathe Clean Air Comox Valley

 

“Jonathan Kerr has a deep understanding of key issues and how we should go about fighting climate change and help foster equity and fairness to all of our citizens.”
Joe Keithley, Burnaby City Councillor

How and Where can I Vote?

  • Saturday, October 15th – General Voting Day
    • 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. | Comox Community Centre (1855 Noel Avenue)
 

*** Listen to Jonathan’s answers at the 2021 All Candidates Forum (click here) 

  • 6:54 min – Jonathan’s introductory remarks
  • 15:40 – Addressing Climate Change
  • 26:48 – Efficient use of Taxes and Long-term planning
  • 32:25 – Family Doctor recruitment in Comox and support for local non-profits
  • 37:40 – Accessibility, Inclusion, and Diversity
  • 41:10 – Supporting local businesses and addressing the labour shortage
  • 54:22 – Focus on family, children, and youth
  • 59:45 – Infrastructure needs, the marina, and traffic safety
  • 1:12:36 – Affordable Housing
  • 1:19:01 – Listening to Comox residents and community engagement
  • 1:29:20 – Recreation and Active Transportation
  • 1:35:47 – Long term planning and asset management
  • 1:40:15 – Mental Health and the opioid crisis
  • 1:44:35 – Increasing housing density and the Town’s relationship with K’ómoks First Nation
  • 1:51:40 – Closing remarks

 

How can I request a Lawn Sign?

  • To request a lawn sign, send an email to healthycomox@gmail.com

 

News and Events

 

Watch Dr. Kerr’s TEDx Talk: “How many doctors does it take to change a lightbulb?”

 

Take the Community Health Check-up survey to share what is most important to you in creating a healthy community.

 

How can I make a Campaign Contribution?

  • To make a contribution to Jonathan’s campaign, you can send an e-transfer to healthycomox@gmail.com
  • Any resident of British Columbia who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident may make a campaign contribution up to a maximum of $1250.

Contact

Connect with Dr. Kerr at healthycomox@gmail.com