BREAKING NEWS – Langford, Colwood & Metchosin
West Side of Vancouver Island
Wednesday, June 21 ~ COASTAL BC. BC Ferries is doing their usual add-on of additional sailings for the busy summer travel season. Extra sailings will be on routes serving Vancouver-Victoria (Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay) and Vancouver-Sunshine Coast, as well as the inter-island routes.
Fare promotions this summer include a break on the rate for private passenger vehicles longer than 20 ft (that’s to Oct 1), and passenger vehicle and driver fares at $39, $49, and $59 on select morning/evening sailings (to Sept 15).
Saturday, June 17 ~ LANGFORD. EXCLUSIVE TO WEST SHORE VOICE NEWS. BC NDP Leader John Horgan stands behind Langford for getting a BC Hydro transmission line moved, facilitating community group.
Relocating one hydro pole in Langford could open up exponential growth for the City of Langford and the west shore region. As outlined in the June 2 issue of West Shore Voice News, a transmission tower with 230 kV lines presently stands in a spot where Langford wants to build more seating at Westhills Stadium.
Expanded stadium seating would facilitate a host of new opportunities including MLS soccer, football training camps and big concerts. It would be a powerful driver to bring people into the heart of Langford. Doubling the capacity of Westhills would make that venue really special to the community, is the Langford view. That’s the dream. And the work is underway to make it happen.
“We’re hoping that BC Hydro can donate half the cost of moving the pole and lines,” says Langford Mayor Stew Young. “It’s an important project for Langford,” he says. “Relocating the pole and expanding Westhills Stadium seating capacity would help ensure Women’s Rugby Sevens stays in Langford and allow for other types of sports teams and exciting events to happen, including the potential Commonwealth Games. To this end, “we’re looking to BC Hydro to be a community partner.”
Langford engineering staff explained this week that receiving an updated quote from BC Hydro that has accurate and realistic data is an important step to move the exciting project forward in a timely manner. The last quote was provided in 2014, and it requires fresh costing and possibly fresh eyes to the available technical options. In 2014, construction costs were at first outlined by BC Hydro as $1.5 to $3 million with actual constructions costs around $100,000 to 150,000 per pole, say Langford municipal engineers. Then $4,135,161 was provided in December 2014 as a high-level cost estimate (i.e. not every detail yet considered) to move the transmission tower. BC Hydro presented that cost as variable… could go up by 50% or be less by 35%.
BC Hydro staff have said that in order to provide a “confident cost estimate” they would need to perform a detailed engineering study to identify risks and impact and the need for geotechnical surveys. To produce what BC Hydro calls a “required conceptual study” would take about three to four months. That would push the construction phase quite a bit further along. Construction in the wet winter season is more challenging (and would possibly be avoided), and thus the spring-summer sports season looms for 2018 and 2019. Not to mention the time crunch if planning to include the Langford-based stadium in Victoria’s bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
For BC Hydro, the project to relocate a tower that carries a transmission line (necessitating adjustments to other in-sequence structures) would be a relatively large and complex undertaking, utilizing many areas of staffing, technical expertise and equipment, with scheduling around other work. BC Hydro wants $75,000 from the City of Langford to produce the required conceptual study, before anything can get going with the project.
So it’s just lucky for Langford and the west shore region that BC NDP Leader John Horgan — who within a few weeks is expected to be the new BC Premier after things shake down in setup of a new BC Government — is of Langford.
“I’ve spoken with Langford Mayor Young about the pole relocation for the past couple of years. I’ve also worked with him in approaching the Minister of Energy at the time, urging government to work with the city to get that done,” John Horgan told West Shore Voice News on June 16.
“But they’ve just been met with opposition. So that’s an issue. I want to pick up locally with BC Hydro right away. We have other issues around BC Hydro of course,” said Horgan. “Rates have gone up over the past number of years with the prospect of more increases going forward. We’re going to freeze those rate increases for a year while we get our heads around energy supply, including where the Site C hydroelectric project fits into that. That can only be paid for by taxpayers.”
Back to moving the pole in Langford: “That’s also going to be paid for by the taxypayers. How do we work with the City of Langford, who are anxious to do it – and how do it for as little as possible. It wouldn’t be as costly as Hydro is making it out to be,” says John Horgan. “Langford engineers have come up with solutions that are far less costly than the one Hydro is proposing,” Horgan says.
“I don’t want to get into this too deeply until I’ve had a briefing from BC Hydro. I want to hear the real reasons that BC Hydro is not moving on this. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t though. The public benefit is significant. It’s in the interest of Hydro to come up with a better reason… or at least itemize the costs of making this move in a way that the public can understand,” Horgan said on June 16.
“BC Hydro should have to defend their decisions, not just put them out there and say ‘if you want more information send me more money’. That’s outrageous,” said Horgan about the $75,000 price tag that would be required of Langford to get a freshly-costed conceptual report ahead of any detailed project planning or construction.
“We’re looking to BC Hydro to be a community partner by providing an updated quote that has accurate and realistic data,” says Mayor Young, calling that “an important step to move this exciting project forward in a timely manner”.
Langford has even come up with some other ideas, such as relocating the tower to the middle of road with a roundabout around it. That would reduce the transmission line span (instead of going further across the street), as explained by Langford engineers.
Langford has applied for a $6 million UBCM sport infrastructure strategic priorities grant to help with the cost of expanding stadium seating capacity and the costs surrounding that.
“And so ‘getting to yes’ is the way we need to go with this project,” Stew Young said this week, in his trademark style over 25 years of coming up with creative solutions and partnerships to achieve larger goals for his town.
Thursday, June 15 ~ VICTORIA/Vancouver Island. A recall of Island Farms milk products is open to all affected consumers. Products can be returned with or without a receipt. the recall also applies to products with the brand names Lucerne and Natrel.
Today June 15, the manufacturer — Agropur Dairy Cooperative — initiated a voluntary recall of numerous items in BC that were produced at the Victoria facility. The company said foreign material had been found in some of the products. No injuries or illnesses have been reported. The company said the recall is a precautionary measure.
Customers are advised not to drink the milk and are being asked to return the products to the store for a full refund.
The voluntary recall comes three days after Foremost-brand four-litre milk jugs from two Real Canadian Superstores on Vancouver Island were recalled due to sharp metal objects being found in the milk.
These are the affected Agropur products:
|Island Farms||1% Partly skimmed milk||2L||0 57726 00203 0||British Columbia|
|Island Farms||1% Partly skimmed milk||4L||0 57726 00139 2||Vancouver Island only|
|Island Farms||2% Partly skimmed milk||2L||0 57726 00202 3||British Columbia|
|Island Farms||2% Partly skimmed milk||4L||0 57726 00119 4||Vancouver Island only|
|Island Farms||1% Chocolate partly skimmed
|1L||0 57726 00166 8||British Columbia|
|Island Farms||3.25% Homogenized milk||2L||0 57726 00201 1||British Columbia|
|Island Farms||3.25% Homogenized milk||4L||0 57726 00109 5||Vancouver Island only|
|Island Farms||Skimmed milk||2L||0 57726 00204 7||British Columbia|
|Island Farms||Skimmed milk||4L||0 57726 00129 3||Vancouver Island only|
|Lucerne||Skimmed Milk||2L||8 21954 07890 3||British Columbia|
|Lucerne||1% Partly skimmed milk||2L||8 21954 07892 7||British Columbia|
|Lucerne||2% Partly skimmed milk||2L||8 21954 07894 1||British Columbia|
|Lucerne||1% Chocolate partly skimmed
|2L||8 21954 07898 9||British Columbia|
|Lucerne||3.25 % Homogenized milk||2L||8 21954 07896 5||British Columbia|
|Natrel||1% Partly skimmed milk||4L||0 64420 44115 7||Vancouver Island only|
|Natrel||2% Partly skimmed milk||4L||0 64420 44317 5||Vancouver Island only|
|Natrel||1% Chocolate partly skimmed
|1L||0 64420 00199 3||British Columbia|
|Natrel||3.25% Homogenized Milk||4L||0 64420 44117 1||Vancouver Island only|
|Natrel||Skimmed milk||4L||0 64420 44417 2||Vancouver Island only|
In the past three years, numbers have increased from just over 500 to an expected 800 participants this fall, says Wayne Kelly, Vice-Principal, Sport Academy Programs.
“Academies help keep students connected to their school,” says Kelly. “There is a high level of interest among students and parents. As the number of students in the district grows, so does demand.”
There are additional credits for graduation through the sport academies. Sometimes doors get opened to opportunities for post-secondary scholarships.
New this year is availability of the Golf Academy at all three highschools in SD62: Belmont, Royal Bay and Edward Milne. Click on ad for more details. Other details and online registration form at www.sd62.bc.ca/academies
As first published in the June 9, 2017 print/PDF issue of West Shore Voice News (page 4).
Monday, June 12 ~ LANGFORD. Expanding the Langford firefighting fleet. There were ample glowing comments for bringing the latest service vehicle into the Langford Fire Department fleet.
“It’s a perfect fit, a vehicle that allows us to move forward,” said outgoing Fire Chief Bob Beckett at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 8 at Langford Fire Hall No 1 on Peatt Road.
“We filled it really quickly,” said incoming Fire Chief Chris Aubrey, referring to all the equipment that has been packed into the heavy rescue truck that has no water tank, but lots of storage room.
“It’s a rolling toolbox,” said Langford Councillor Lillian Szpak who chairs Langford’s Protective Services committee.
Aubrey says the gear-packed truck means firefighters are not shuffling around between vehicles or amid layers within an engine vehicle for different items of gear or equipment during a live action scenario. It’s all well laid out for easy access.
Fire rescue personnel handle fires, motor vehicle incidents, hazardous material situations, terrain rescues, high-level incidents, and more. Langford Rescue 1 is a solid resource now for all those scenarios. “It’s perfect for a growing community,” said Aubrey.
The 2015 Spartan Metro Star Heavy Rescue vehicle was a demonstration unit rather than a custom build, saving the city and taxpayers approximately $100,000.
Langford Mayor Stew Young commended the fire department personnel for working to find a cost-effective solution. As a manufacturer’s demonstration vehicle, it had only 2,000 km on it from going to trade shows. The price was less than buying new, yet as a flagship piece of apparatus the vehicle has ‘all the bells and whistles’.
Council listened to what the fire department needed. “We always support Langford Fire Rescue with the equipment to do the job,” said Szpak.
The truck has been at the station for about a month, being equipped with radios and organized with all the equipment contents.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was an opportunity to celebrate good decision-making and service enhancement.
In addition to the new vehicle in the fleet there are four engines (with water tanks), two light trucks, one ladder truck, one brush truck and three utility vehicles.
The new Rescue 1 vehicle was officially unveiled with a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony at Langford Fire Hall No 1 on Thursday afternoon, June 8. Attending were Langford Mayor Stew Young, Councillor Lillian Szpak (chair, Protective Services Committee), Councillor Denise Blackwell, Councillor Winnie Sifert, incoming Fire Chief Chris Aubrey, Capt Steve Adams, and Capt Brian Bell.
Chris Aubrey will be the new Langford Fire Chief starting June 16, as appointed by Langford Council last month. Outgoing Fire Chief Bob Beckett will serve his last day June 16.
Locally, in Colwood there is a blood donor clinic coming up on Monday, June 12 at Church of the Advent, 510 Mount View Avenue, 12 noon to 7 pm. Book an appointment at www.blood.ca or just drop in.
Leading up to National Blood Donor Week, Canadian Blood Services (CBS) has launched what they say is a world’s first among national blood operators by introducing a chat bot to engage donors on Facebook Messenger. This new tool is an innovative effort to engage younger audiences in a lifetime of blood donation and to promote the constant need for blood.
“The chat bot is a fun interactive tool that will attract new, young, and lifelong donors, at a time when the blood supply needs a boost to prepare for summer,” said Mark Donnison, vice-president of donor relations.
The chat bot will help users on Facebook Messenger learn more about the donation process and the people who are helped by donations. It will also encourage appointment bookings online or through the National Contact Centre.
This lead in digital engagement was developed in partnership with the team at EY digital consultants. “The chat bot is one more example of our commitment to embrace new and innovative digital technologies to reach and engage donors, whether they are new or returning.” Donors can meet the chat bot by messaging the Canadian Blood Services Facebook page.
CBS manages the national supply of blood, blood products and stem cells, and related services for all Canadian provinces and territories (except Quebec).
Friday, June 9 ~ TRAFFIC ADVISORY. Expect minor traffic delays on Hwy 1 northbound at Leigh Road in Langford starting today. There will be barrier glare guard maintenance being done, 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, starting June 9 through June 16. Please use caution around the construction site says Mainroad South Island.
Thursday, June 8 ~ LANGFORD. Today around 12:15 pm West Shore RCMP responded to a motor vehicle collision involving a single vehicle and traffic flagger on Sooke Road and Luxton Avenue.
Initial reports from witnesses were that the flagger was attempting to stop a vehicle travelling in the east bound lane when she was struck by a small grey hatchback.
The impact of the collision sent both the vehicle and flagger into the ditch.
Emergency personnel including BC Ambulance Service and Langford Fire Department attended the scene and facilitated the rescue of the flagger who was transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries but which included a broken leg according to Langford rescue personnel.
This incident is a reminder to all motorists to take extra caution in construction zones and highway projects where flaggers and work crews are working, states Corporal Chris Dovell, spokesperson for the West Shore RCMP.
This collision remains under investigation by the West Shore RCMP Traffic Unit and Worksafe BC.
[Photo submitted by a West Shore Voice News reader, thank you!].
Between Monday June 12 and Friday June 16, travellers are advised of overnight closures, detours and delays on McKenzie Avenue and Highway 1 as part of the McKenzie interchange construction.
The following closures will allow crews to install the Galloping Goose Trail bridge over McKenzie Avenue and the temporary pedestrian/cyclist bridge over Highway 1:
> Monday, June 12, from 11 p.m. to Tuesday, June 13, at 5:30 a.m. McKenzie Avenue will be closed between Burnside Road W and Highway 1.
> Tuesday, June 13, from 11 p.m. to Wednesday, June 14, at 5:30 a.m. McKenzie Avenue will be closed between Burnside Road W and Highway 1.
> Friday, June 16, from midnight to 5:30 a.m. Highway 1 will be closed between McKenzie Avenue / Admirals Road and the Helmcken interchange.
MOTI says that every effort will be made to open these routes as quickly as possible, as soon as it is safe for both the construction crews and the travelling public. The work schedule may change due to weather and other conditions.
All travellers including drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are advised to plan alternative routes and to allow for extra time. Please also obey traffic control personnel and construction speed limits, and watch for workers and highway message boards. For up-to-date traffic advisories: www.drivebc.ca
The interchange, when complete, is expected to improve travel times between core areas, Saanich and the western communities of Colwood, Langford and beyond to Sooke.
Monday, June 5 ~ LANGFORD. Public input at Langford Planning meeting: “No gravel crushing in our backyard”. About 50 people attended the May 29 Planning, Zoning and Affordable Housing Committee meeting in Langford council chambers. An applicant was hoping for approval to do extraction, processing, storage and sale of aggregate at 1297 Glenshire Drive and 2929 Sooke Road.
After public concerns expressed about the noise, dust and traffic congestion aspects of such an operation in a residential area, the committee rejected the application for a temporary industrial use permit, with a suggestion that a rezoning application be submitted to indicate ultimate use of the property (which appeared to be housing development).
The committee had hoped to hear more solid details about the future housing development plans for the property which is currently zoned RR4 (Rural Residential). If the ultimate goal is to build housing, the temporary action of resourcing the rock and gravel might be better tolerated over a short time period.
Although a good number of people came to the meeting and spoke up, there was some commentary that notice of the meeting was short or spotty at best.
The planning committee is chaired by Councillor Denise Blackwell, with Councillor Roger Wade, co-chair.
Langford Council has designated all of Langford as an area where temporary use permits may be issued in accordance with Section 493 of the Local Government Act.
This article was first published on page 3 in the June 2, 2017 issue of West Shore Voice News.
That’s how things are for Langford when it comes their Westhills Stadium. It presently seats about 2,200 people at full capacity, in bleachers on the south side. Seating could be expanded by another 3,000 if another set of permanent bleachers can be installed on the north side of the stadium area.
Being able to attract over 5,000 people for sports events would be a boon not just to the City of Langford but to the entire Vancouver Island west side. People would come to see or take part in a pro-game or other field activity, then perhaps stay awhile to shop or travel about. Tourism benefits are a big plus for all communities in the south island (Greater Victoria) area, and an expanded stadium would be a further economic driver.
This positions the rapidly growing City of Langford on yet another growth cusp, which could be significantly boosted by one thing… moving a hydro pole in order to build that second set of bleachers. That’s for safety reasons. Transmission lines can’t run overtop of people sitting below, says BC Hydro. And Langford is quite aware of that. And thus the stalemate has lasted about four years now, mostly over the cost but with a twist. [Continued on page 1 in the June 2, 2017 issue of West Shore Voice News]
See the full article on page 1 in the June 2, 2017 issue of West Shore Voice News.
Wednesday, May 31 ~ LANGFORD. The 6th Annual Victoria Goddess Run is set for another year! “Hundreds of Goddesses will be celebrating the 6th Anniversary of The Victoria Goddess Run this weekend at Westhills Stadium in Langford,” say the race organizers.
All participants in the BMO 5K and Westhills 10K will receive a finisher’s medal presented to them by local Langford firefighters. Each participant also receives a technical shirt and racer bag.
New this year is an outdoor expo which will take place all day Saturday at Westhills Stadium and is open to the public, 10 am to 6pm. Over 25 exhibitors will be displaying everything from running attire to massage therapy. Runners can also pick up their packages that day, ahead of the Sunday race day. Saturday wraps up with Sunset Yoga at Bear Mountain.
“Since the first Goddess Run in 2012 thousands of women have participated, many of whom may not otherwise enter a race. For many it’s their first race, and we love seeing their sense of accomplishment coming across the finish line”, says Cathy Noel, Goddess Run founder. “Plus, the support from the community is always amazing, with people last year bringing out their hoses and sprinklers to keep our Goddesses cool.”
The race will once again have a focus on charity. In the first five years, $170,000 has been raised for local charities. This year the event is raising funds for the BC Cancer Foundation.
Victoria Goddess Run online registration closes at midnight, May 31. People can register in person June 3 at the Race Expo at Westhills Stadium. Registration for the VikesNation Kids Run is available on both June 3 and June 4.
EVENT SCHEDULE – SUNDAY June 4 – Westhills Stadium
8:30am – Westhills 10K and BMO 5K Start
8:30am – 12:00pm – Expo and Festival
10:30am – VikesNation Kids Run
11:00am – Goddesses have completed the races
Saturday, May 27 ~ LANGFORD. Millstream Overpass improvements have been deferred by the City of Langford. The civil construction component of the project had come in over budget, it was announced May 26. Originally scheduled for completion by September, the project will be re-tendered this fall, for construction to start spring 2018.
The planned improvements will provide a second southbound left-turn lane onto the Trans-Canada Highway (towards Victoria) to improve traffic flow during peak travel times and on weekends. Fully extended sidewalks, bike lanes and signalized pedestrian crossings will increase cyclist and pedestrian safety.
The revised construction schedule will ensure the project remains on budget, that North Langford businesses are not affected by construction during the busy summer and holiday seasons, and that nearby residents have alternative travel options during construction.
The pending West Shore Parkway will provide an alternate travel choice for vehicles using the Millstream Overpass to access Sooke Road (Hwy 14), while the pending completion of a second access through the Bear Mountain Parkway extension will provide an alternate access to both the Bear Mountain and South Skirt Mountain Development Areas.
Pretty exciting stuff, this world class sport featuring dedicated female athletes from around the world. Right here in Langford!
Ramping up to this tournament weekend, members of the Rugby Women’s Sevens competing nations gathered at the Dallas Road oceanfront in Victoria on May 25 for their traditional Captain’s Photo. Piling off their bus into the sunlight under clear blue skies, the 12 superfit captains were friendly and jovial with each other, keyed up for the weekend.
Women’s Sevens Rugby Team Captains (in photo from left): Luiza Campos (Brazil), Lucy Mulhall (Ireland), Fanny Horta (France), Marina Petrova (Russia), Sharni Williams (Australia), Ghislane Landry (Canada), Tyla Nathan-Wong (New Zealand), Ana Maria Roqica (Fiji), Alev Kelter (USA), Alica Richardson (England), Barbara Pla (Spain), Pleuni Kievit (Netherlands).
Elsewhere that day, various teams spent some time giving on-field tips to young women rugby players around the Greater Victoria area. At Belmont Secondary in Langford the Australia team was on-hand mid-morning at Goudy Field (West Shore Voice News photo).
Limited tickets are still available for the Women’s Sevens games being held at Westhills Stadium in Langford this weekend, May 27 and 28, at www.canadasevens.com . The entire weekend will be streamed live: www.worldrugby.org/womens-sevens-series
Friday, May 26 ~ WEST SHORE. As summer gets underway, municipalities in the west shore area are reminding property owners, residents and tourists about the various burning regulations.
COLWOOD: Colwood Fire Chief John Cassidy. The City of Colwood recognizes that improving air quality creates a healthier community for residents and protects our natural environment. Open burning is prohibited in Colwood at all times. This includes all beach fires, campfires, open yard fires, as well as land clearing and construction waste fires. Small wood-burning appliances such chimeneas are permitted on private property provided the hearth is fully enclosed. These appliances are prohibited when the fire danger rating is high or extreme. Propane or charcoal barbeques are not covered under the City of Colwood burning regulations. For further more detailed information, contact the Colwood Fire Department at 250-478-8321. www.colwood.ca/fire
LANGFORD: Assistant Fire Chief Chris Aubrey. The City of Langford only has two periods a year where open fires to burn yard waste (branches and leaves) are permitted: Nov 1-30 and Mar 15-Apr 15 and therefore there is currently no open burning permitted. Campfires are allowed and require a permit available free online at www.cityoflangford.ca . Campfires must be no larger than 2ft by 2ft in a non-combustible container and fueled with clean firewood only (no construction material, refuse or yard waste) and a means to extinguish the fire must be on hand. For all details on open burning and campfires: www.cityoflangford.ca
METCHOSIN: Fire Chief Stephanie Dunlop. Open Burning in the District of Metchosin is not permitted after 6pm on May 31, 2017. All open burning of yard waste, incinerators and land clearing burns will be prohibited. Cooking Camp Fires that are no larger than 2’ X 2’ are still allowed, but must be extinguished by midnight. As always, beach fires within the District of Metchosin are prohibited. Propane campfires and BBQ’s are allowed.For further information contact the Metchosin Fire Department at 250-478-1307. www.metchosinfire.ca
Thursday, May 25 ~ LANGFORD. The two new high schools in Sooke School District 62 (SD62) — Belmont and Royal Bay — are now LEED Gold Certified. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is determined by standards and third-party verification for structures that are considered to be ‘green’ or environmentally friendly.
The announcement of LEED status was proudly announced by SD62 Board Chair Bob Phillips at the May 23 SD62 board meeting.“LEED Gold Certification is a lengthy and stringent process. It reflects highly on our board,” said Phillips. The certification in part reflects SD62’s ability to have attracted quality architects and builders to the two school projects. “It bodes well for SD62 that we can build quality buildings,” said Phillips, in the context that more schools are needed in the growing western communities area that is served by SD62.
Belmont Secondary in Langford and Royal Bay Secondary in Colwood opened their doors to students for the first time in September 2015.
Due to growth in western communities population, the schools are already beyond capacity and will be installing portables to accommodate full student enrolment for Fall 2017. Belmont was built to accommodate 1,200 students and Royal Bay presently accommodates 800 students.
Wednesday, May 24 ~ METCHOSIN. Open Burning in the District of Metchosin is not permitted after 6pm on May 31, 2017. All open burning of yard waste, incinerators and land clearing burns will be prohibited.
Cooking Camp Fires that are no larger than 2’ X 2’ are still allowed, but must be extinguished by midnight, says Metchosin Fire Chief Stephanie Dunlop.
As always, beach fires within the District of Metchosin are prohibited. Propane campfires and BBQ’s are allowed.
For further information contact the Metchosin Fire Department at 250-478-1307. www.metchosinfire.ca
Wednesday, May 24 ~ West Shore/Sooke. Long-time Sooke School District (SD62) trustee board trustee Bob Phillips will be resigning from the position of board chair at the end of June 2017. He made that brief announcement at the May 23 SD62 public board meeting last night in Langford.
Phillips has told West Shore Voice News that the SD62 board is “a corporate board”, indicating his inclination for more direct involvement in politics. Phillips is long of the NDP party stripe and was a key organizer in the re-election of BC NDP incumbent John Horgan (Langford-Juan de Fuca) in the recent provincial election.
Most of the trustees on the SD62 board have served long a long time, some of them three or four terms, including Wendy Hobbs, Denise Riley, Dianna Seaton (currently serving as vice-chair). and Margot Swinburnson. Neil Poirier is serving his second term, and Ravi Parmar his first term.
In the important matters of education, the wisdom of life experience counts for sometimes as much as understanding the machinations of board interworkings.
A social worker (retired) by trade, Phillips has overseen a contrast of conditions for SD62 budget realities in the past two years. In 2015-2016, the SD62 board agonized over yet another round of cutbacks resulting from province-wide education battles with the BC Ministry of Education. In 2016-2017 came the shift point where more teachers could be hired (mostly heading into fall 2017).
More appropriate funding is also now being received for 2017-2018 to support schools with the underpinnings that come with increased classroom teacher numbers (e.g. custodial, utilities overhead). That accomplishment comes largely from behind-the-scenes work by SD62 Superintendent Jim Cambridge.
Over 200 new teachers will come onstream in SD62 for 2017-2018 as a result of the restored class size and composition clauses in the BC teachers agreement with the provincial government.
In the past few years, SD62 has seen rapid student population growth as families flock to relatively more affordable areas of Vancouver Island’s western communities. In the fall of 2015, SD62 opened two new highschools — Royal Bay in Colwood and Belmont in Langford. Both of those schools already need portable classrooms to keep up with demand. At least 25 portables will be shuffled around the broad SD62 footprint of the west shore, once enrollment numbers are firmed up for the start of the 2017-2018 academic year in September.
From a public perspective, SD62 serves families and students in the communities of Langford, Colwood, Sooke, Highlands, Metchosin and Port Renfrew. From the inside out, SD62 is a largely charged with managing the employment of thousands of teachers. Over 85% of the 2017-2018 budget will go to teacher salaries.
Follow education news ‘from the inside out’ each week in West Shore Voice News
[WEST SHORE VOICE NEWS PHOTO: Bob Phillips during the visit of the BC Lieutenant Governor at Edward Milne Community School, January 2017]
Monday, May 22 ~ WEST SHORE. Blood is of course needed year-round. In summer the supplies of donated blood can be lower than needed, due to donors being away on vacation. Blood supplies are always needed in hospitals for emergencies and surgeries, and for cancer patient support.
Here are some local BLOOD DONOR CLINICS that are coming up ahead of the full-on summer vacation period:
- Monday June 12 at Church of the Advent, 510 Mount View Ave, Colwood. 12 noon to 7pm
- Monday July 3 at Sooke Legion, 6726 Eustace Rd, Sooke. 11:30 am to 6:30 pm.
You can make donation appointments at www.blood.ca
Friday, May 19 ~ GREATER VICTORIA. The annual mid-year CRD reservoir decline has begun.
And as of May 1, the Capital Regional District (CRD) Stage 1 water conservation bylaw is in effect (to Sept 30). It’s part of an annual strategy to maintain water supplies for Greater Victoria through the drier months of the year.
In 2015 and 2016 in which warmer drier weather came earlier than it has this year, the level of water in the Sooke Lake Reservoir began its annual seasonal decline as of April 19 (99.8%) and April 10 (99.5%), respectively. This year, the first measurement below 100% was seen a bit further into spring, on May 7 (99.6%). The full pool level of Sooke Lake Reservoir is 186.75m, serving a CRD-region population of about 380,000.
According to weather forecasts, this Victoria Day long weekend will offer the first couple of sunny days in 2017 with temperatures in the high teens. In warmer weather, there tends to be more water usage.
Stage 1 conservation allows residential lawn watering twice a week (even addresses on Wed/Sat and odd addresses Thurs/Sun). Established plantings and vegetable gardens may be watered by a hand-held hose with shut-off or hand-held container, or micro/drip irrigation system, on any day at any time. Municipalities may water lawns and boulevards on Monday and Fridays [1am to 10am & 7pm to 10 pm]. www.crd.bc.ca/water
Photo: Sooke Lake Reservoir (at top of the dam’s spillway), May 15. | This article was first published in the May 19, 2017 issue of West Shore Voice News.
Friday, May 19 ~ LANGFORD. Rugby has long been supported in Langford, from grassroots to high-performance. In anticipation of the upcoming 2017 HSBC Canada Women’s Sevens tournament at Westhills Stadium on Saturday May 27 and Sunday May 28, this week Langford Mayor Stew Young declared May 27 as Rugby Day in Langford during a brief event at city hall.
The upcoming tournament will host the best 12 women’s sevens teams in the world. “We are honoured to have Rugby Canada call Langford home, and we are proud of the hard work, talent and dedication these elite athletes put forth,” said Mayor Young. “We recognize the support of the community, fans, and volunteers and we look forward to the HSBC Canada Women’s Sevens playing in our world class sporting facility.”
2017 HSBC Canada Women’s Sevens marks the third consecutive year that the Langford community has enthusiastically embraced a dynamic weekend of high performance sport. In addition to serving as an annual host to this international series, Langford is also the home of the Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre, which will serve as a critical component for the on-going development of high performance rugby in Canada.
“Rugby Day in Langford is a fitting initiative for a community that has played such an important role in supporting and inspiring our Canadian rugby athletes,” said Gareth Rees, Director Commercial and Program Relations, Rugby Canada. “We are grateful for the continued passion and leadership the City of Langford shows toward the development of rugby in Canada, and we look forward to hosting an exciting weekend where members of the community will have the chance to watch the best women’s sevens players in the world compete for the tournament and series title.”
The 2017 HSBC Canada Women’s Sevens will host 12 of the world’s best women’s sevens teams for the fifth stop on the six-event circuit of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series. Canadian women are currently third in the overall standings heading into Langford, coming off a recent silver medal performance in Japan. Previously, they finished sixth in Dubai, won in Sydney, and placed third in Las Vegas. They’re only 12 points back of 1st overall and two points away from claiming 2nd with two tournaments remaining.
Thousands of people have already bought tickets for the May 27-28 tournament, but there’s room for more. Rugby enthusiasts, families, and developing rugby athletes who aspire to represent Canada one day on the world stage come out each year for this event. The tournament will also be broadcast live on www.worldrugby.org and TSN GO. In-stadium tickets: www.canadasevens.com
Friday, May 19 ~ WEST SHORE. A drug trafficking investigation led by the West Shore RCMP Crime Reduction Unit resulted in the arrest or a 33-yea-old Langford man, said West Shore RCMP today. [RCMP File # 2017-6022]
On May 3, 2017, members of the West Shore RCMP Crime Reduction Unit arrested a man on Painter Rd in Colwood. The arrest was connected to an investigation into alleged drug trafficking in the West Shore.
A subsequent search of the man and his vehicle yielded over $1,000 in cash, several baggies containing suspected cocaine, some marijuana joints, and cellphones.
The man has been released on a Promise to Appear in court on August 17, 2017.
Anyone with information about crime activity is asked to contact West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or anonymously at Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-8477, or online www.victoriacrimestoppers.ca
On Saturday May 20 it’s Big O Tires Westshore Night at the Races at Western Speedway in Langford. Then on Monday May 20 the full-service auto repair company will have one of their trucks as a float in the Victoria Day Parade in Victoria.
Located at 1705 Island Highway in View Royal, Big O Tires Westshore is a new franchise… about a year ago owner Don Swindell decided to align with Big O Tires. “They are a trusted brand name in BC,” says Swindell.
The full automotive shop has been a thriving business for eight years in total. Success of the shop is due to “great service, great prices, and great products”, says Swindell. They do full auto repair and maintenance.
When it comes to vehicles, summer is a high-usage season. It’s always good to have your vehicle checked before taking it on a road trip.
Police were contacted after the dog’s owners found the animal had been injured. The Labrador Ozzy was taken to a veterinary clinic and was confirmed to have been shot at least 12 times.
This attack not only left the puppy injured, but shook a whole community for this senseless act, states Cst. John Varley of West Shore RCMP. Luckily, Ozzy is doing well now.
If you have any information about this investigation, please contact the West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, online www.victoriacrimestoppers.ca .
Tuesday, May 16 ~ BC. BC’s Official Opposition Leader John Horgan (MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca) met with media at 4pm today May 16.
When asked about his stand on the TransMountain pipeline, he said “we need to defend our coast from a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic” and that he would discuss the issue with Prime Minister Trudeau if the NDP becomes the majority government in BC after the BC Election recount (results expected May 24).
Horgan said he is eager to see the final election results involving over 170,000 absentee ballots after which “I can’t wait to get started”.
Meanwhile, Horgan aims to continue focussing on services that people in BC want such as improvements in health care and services for seniors. “My whole objective of my getting into politics was to make life better for people,” Horgan told media today. “I’m still involved and still want to do that.”
Regarding Premier Clark’s comments today about working to improve services for people in BC, Horgan said. “That message clearly has been lost on the liberals for the last 16 years.” He said there have been “no shortage of opportunities” for the government to work on behalf of the people.
Horgan said that almost 60% of those who voted were saying to the government they the people haven’t believed the government is working for them, that they were “more focussed on fundraising than on governing”.
“Almost 60% of the ballots were cast against the sitting government,” said Horgan, referring to the combined voting results of the BC NDP and the BC Greens.
And on proportional representation: “What we have is a real opportunity to demonstrate why proportional representation can work here in BC. We have an outcome that allows two parties with vast majorities to work together with opportunities for the people,” said Horgan today. “People satisfied with the election results and want to make sure this minority situation works.”
See post-election analysis “Part One” in the May 12, 2017 issue of West Shore Voice News.
Tuesday, May 16 ~ GREATER VICTORIA. BC Transit is looking for drivers — customer-focused and safety-conscious individuals who are passionate about serving the local community to join the Transit Operator team in Victoria.
A paid 9-week training program is provided for learning how to operate every kind of bus in the fleet. Trainees will be supported to earn a Class 2 commercial license with air brakes.
“Bring your passion for driving, and we’ll do the rest,” says one BC Transit rep. The career opportunity is considered to be challenging and rewarding, with competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits.
The six core values for employees are safety, customer service, sustainability, collaboration, integrity and innovation.
Monday, May 15 ~ WEST SHORE. About 2,500 students from 17 elementary schools throughout SD62 (Langford, Colwood, Sooke) will be converging on Belmont Secondary in Langford to hear the Victoria Symphony Orchestra live!
The event is on Thursday May 18 in the school gym. The special appearance by the symphony — in three concerts, taking up most of the day — was set in motion by SD62 Superintendent Jim Cambridge last year, says Belmont principal Ray Miller.
Events like this capture the interest of young students who might then become more involved with music during their middle school and high school years.
‘Musicians in Schools’ and ‘Symphony Story Time’ are just two of the programs by which the Victoria Symphony interacts in schools.
Unauthorized activities within the park can impact the social, economic, cultural and ecological sustainability of both the park and the local communities.
The 2.5-kilometre gravel access road off Highway 14 to the parking lot at the Sombrio Beach trailhead will be closed to vehicle traffic from 7 am on Friday, May 19 to 12 am (midnight) on Monday, May 22.
All locations within Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, including the designated campsites at Sombrio Beach and the Juan de Fuca Marina Trail, remain open to the public.
The three remaining trailheads to the Juan de Fuca Trail at China Beach, Parkinson Creek and Botanical Beach are still accessible by vehicles.
BC Parks wants all park users to peacefully and safely enjoy recreational activities that Sombrio Beach and Juan de Fuca Provincial Park are known for, such as hiking, camping and wildlife viewing.
Monday, May 15 ~ LANGFORD. West Shore RCMP have arrested a suspect after receiving reports of a man making offensive sexual advances to women in public.
At approximately 7:00 am on May 15, police say they received a report of “a First Nations male, wearing a grey sweat shirt and blue sweat pants with white stripes on its side”, who had approached a woman in the parking lot at 2700 Grainger Rd in Langford, pulled down his pants, exposing his genitals to her while making sexual advances. The woman walked away and so did the suspect.
At around 8:30 am, the same suspect, who had made his way to Goldstream Park, approached a lone woman who was at the park and made sexual advances to her before grabbing her buttocks. The woman was able to fight him off and call police right away.
Police responded to the area of Goldstream Park within minutes and were able to locate and arrest the suspect, a 27 year old man of no fixed address.
The detailed description that was provided and the timely report to police was key in locating and arresting this suspect, states Cst. Alex Bérubé, spokesperson for the West Shore RCMP. That prompt call to police likely prevented further harm to other women.
The suspect remains in police custody at this time as police continue their investigation.
If you have any information about criminal activity, please contact the West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, online www.victoriacrimestoppers.ca .
Thursday, May 11 ~ COASTAL BC. BC Ferries is adding over 85 extra sailings on the most popular routes for the Victoria Day long weekend: Thursday May 18 through Tuesday May 23.
That includes the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route (60 extra sailings), Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay, Horseshoe Bay-Langdale, Earls Cover-Saltery Bay.
The most popular travel times are expected to be Thursday and Friday afternoon, and Saturday morning. Monday is usually the busiest day for return trips.
Thursday, May 11 ~ LANGFORD. West Shore RCMP announced today that on May 6 they arrested several outlaw motorcycle gang members. The arrest took place after RCMP officers conducted a traffic stop on a limousine on Highway 1 near Leigh Rd in Langford.
“The traffic stop was initiated by West Shore RCMP after the limousine was observed committing an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act. During the traffic stop, police gathered evidence which led to the arrest of all occupants of the vehicle. A subsequent search of the vehicle yielded a loaded handgun with several loaded magazines and various suspected drugs such as cocaine, marijuana and other suspected controlled substance in tablet forms,” it was stated in an RCMP news release today.
The 10 occupants of the vehicle, four associates and six full-patch Hells Angels were arrested and later released. Three of those individuals were released on a Promise to Appear in court on August 10, 2017.
A detailed report to Crown Counsel will be forwarded for consideration of multiple criminal charges.
“Criminal activity will not be tolerated in the West Shore community and we will strive to keep it safe,” states Cst. Alex Bérubé, spokesperson for the West Shore RCMP. “We had significant resources, including the West Shore RCMP Crime Reduction Unit, Traffic Section, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) and air support to monitor this outlaw motorcycle ride.”
If you have any information about criminal activity, please contact the West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.victoriacrimestoppers.ca .
Wednesday, May 10 ~ BC. BC Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon has requested that Premier Clark continue to govern as Premier of British Columbia. Clark made the announcement at noon today from her Premier’s office in Vancouver.
The vote count from last night’s General Election tally sits at 43 BC Liberal, 41 BC NDP, and 3 Green until a final count is produced on May 23 (which will include the absentee ballot count from around the province and any BC military/residents abroad).
Many people didn’t realize that if they took advantage of the “28 days of voting” at District Electoral Offices and by other means, that their vote would not be included yet in election-night tallies. The preliminary count of certification envelopes containing absentee ballots province-wide is 176,104.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has congratulated Clark for being the first woman to be re-elected as a provincial premier.
The NDP and Greens could bring down the present BC Liberal government and form a new one when the legislature meets. Much of the punditry is enthused about Green Leader Andrew Weaver holding the power card. He could decide to go along with the BC Liberals and the existing setup or side with the NDP to consolidate the progressive vote. Either way, all this is a potential powder keg for seeing another BC election ahead of the usual four-year schedule.
Wednesday, May 10 ~ BC. While in a sense there can only be one winner, the leaders of BC’s three main political parties each delivered an acceptance speech after midnight on Wednesday May 10.
And technically speaking, at the moment, a minority government is what is presently the case with no one party in the May 9 BC General Provincial Election having the required 44 seats to form a majority. The BC Liberals have 43 seats, the BC NDP have 41, and the Greens have three.
The late hour was all about waiting for definitive results from the Tuesday night election. But that was not to be. With so many advance votes and absentee votes still to be counted (as well as an official recount required in Courtenay-Comox due to a very close results), final results won’t be known until May 23.
Under those circumstances, BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark is still Premier, and said in her speech that the voters asked for new considerations. BC NDP Leader John Horgan claimed the moral victory in his speech out of Vancouver, saying voters have asked for change. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver knows that he has a powerful hand to play, in that his new group of three MLAs in a sense hold the balance of power.
More to come.
Tuesday, May 9 ~ WEST SIDE of VANCOUVER ISLAND. Preliminary Voting Results (after 8 pm):
We are posting the results as they come in, with final results later tonight (and ultra-final after May 23, after all ‘absentee’ votes are counted):
There’s a tie at the moment (10:10 pm): BC Liberals 42 and NDP 42 ridings (with Greens 3), but the leading edge has flipped back and forth all night. A total of 44 or more is required to form a majority government.
Horgan’s home team in Langford-Juan de Fuca is excited about John “sweeping in” though “it’s kind of weird when he’s not around”, said one of the lead organizers, referring to John Horgan being in Vancouver on election night. “Provincially there’s a lot of excitement – so much better this time. We hope that the advance vote will come out in our favour.”
Campaign organizer Ravi Parmar said “we never took anything for granted”, adding that “John was able to join us by Skype and talk to volunteers”. “We’re honoured and thankful for those who supported him and glad he will be serving Langford-Juan de Fuca for another 4 years,” said Parmar.
Advance votes still being counted, which historically has been an NDP strong suit. “Numbers are still coming in from Sooke, and other ridings that are close will also have similar results. It shows our base came out,” said Parmar in a phone interview with West Shore Voice News this evening.
Horgan held on to most of the count that he had (54% in 2013).
BC Liberal candidate Cathy Noel with 26% of the vote says she is “very proud of the job I’ve done as well as the whole team. We didn’t win but I won,” she said on Tuesday evening. “This got me into the political arena. I met so many people. And I have learned so much. And there is so much to be done,” Noel said from her celebration party over the phone.
Will she do more with the BC Liberals? “I’m not sure yet. But I will assess my next step and what next door I walk through. I want to be involved. I believe in this community. Things have to be done. I’m looking at municipal or provincial,” said Noel.
“I’ve enjoyed getting to know Sooke—across the riding is huge. It’s diverse and unique, From knocking on the doors I learned that everyone wants something for their community and they just need a voice,” says Noel. “There’s Sunriver, and old and new Sooke. It’s a diverse population.”
It’s sad that it’s so close for the parties (tied at 42/42 as of 10:45 pm). “I don’t believe the NDP will deliver without causing huge tax increases. I haven’t met John Horgan, but I don’t believe that he’s telling the truth. To look into his eyes is important to me,” said Noel. She adds that she ran a clean campaign and didn’t over promise.
Green Candidate Brendan Ralfs will be back to his day job next week. But tonight he’s happy about winning 19% of the vote in Langford-Juan de Fuca.
“People came forward to volunteer and we should be able to get a strong Green Party riding association going in Langford-Juan de Fuca. We can build a network for next time, and that could be sooner than four years given the likely minority government,” Ralfs told West Shore Voice News tonight
Ralfs says that (as of 11:50 pm tonight), Andrew Weaver has not yet joined the main crowd of Green supporters in the ballroom at the Ocean Pointe Hotel yet “because the outcome remains uncertain” (as to which party he could be asked to support in a minority government).
At this point, the BC Liberals have 43 seats and the NDP have 41 (and the Greens 3). For a majority, 44 seats are required.
|CANDIDATE||PARTY||General Election Vote Tally confirmed at May 11, 2017||Final Vote Tally (will be updated after May 23)|
|John HORGAN||BC NDP (incumbent)||52.78%|
|Willie NELSON||Vancouver Island Party||0.96%|
|Cathy NOEL||BC Liberal||26.35%|
|Brendan RALFS||BC Green||18.87%|
The riding of Esquimalt-Metchosin has been handily won by Mitzi Dean, NDP with 46.22% of the vote. Clearly in a tied second place are BC Liberal Barb Desjardins (27.74%) and Green candidate Andy MacKinnon (24.76%).
Dean is new to politics but had a strong NDP team already in place, who had worked for retired MLA Maurine Karagianis.
“When I look at the whole election, it showed a lot of surprises,” Desjardins said in an interview by phone this evening after it was clear that NDP candidate Mitzi Dean had won in Esquimalt-Metchosin.
“There will be lots of analysis in the days ahead,” she said.
“There will be a number of factors. Around the province there was a sense of change that carried over to the riding for sure,” Desjardins said.
She feels good about ending up with “good strong numbers” in Metchosin, and good results in Colwood . “I hear that in Esquimalt people didn’t want to lose me as Mayor.”
|CANDIDATE||PARTY||General Election Vote Tally (confirmed at May 11, 2017)||Final Vote Tally May 9 (will be updated after May 23)|
|Mitzi DEAN||BC NDP||46.01%|
|Barb DESJARDINS||BC Liberal||27.96%|
|Andy MacKINNON||BC Green||24.76%|
|Tyson STRANDLUND||Communist Party||0.26%|
This morning BC-NDP Leader John Horgan’s home team in Langford-Juan de Fuca was intensely focussed on all the pieces of managing their candidate’s campaign through today’s the 12-hour voting period.
People have been dropping by to the campaign office today at 114-2801 Jacklin Road to find out where to vote, how to vote, and if they can get a ride to the nearest Voting Place.
Last night the Horgan team posted their group photo on Facebook, cheerfully gearing up for the big day. It’s been an unusual campaign for them, without their candidate in the riding much. But they’ve been promoting about how it’s important to send Horgan back with a majority, to be Premier. Vancouver Island would do well to have an islander as their next premier.
Tonight in Vancouver, BC NDP Leader John Horgan’s celebration party will be at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Horgan has spent the last few days of the 28-day campaign in Surrey and other “must-win” mainland ridings that are necessary if the NDP is to gain more seats than they had before.
To have a majority, the winning party must win in at least 44 ridings. The polls close at 8pm. Results are expected to be made available relatively quickly after that.
Horgan has held the (Langford)-Juan de Fuca riding since 2005 and can count on a lot of longtime ground support in Sooke, Langford and Juan de Fuca.
[Photo: John Horgan on Global TV, May 2 2017]
BC Liberal candidate Barb Desjardins was keeping busy at her campaign office in Colwood this morning, helping her team. The office was busy with chatter and planning, and a table already loaded up with snacks and food for the workers. Underlying it all, one could feel a little bit of ‘toe tapping’ in anticipation of big news tonight.
Desjardins is running with big name recognition against the NDP’s first-timer Mitzi Dean in Esquimalt-Metchosin. Both candidates are new to provincial politics. But Desjardins (as a three-term Esquimalt Mayor, and two years as CRD Chair) is not new to politics, though she says the party aspect of politics is new for her.
During the campaign, Desjardins has found Metchosin voters to be “diverse but engaged”. Voters are also “very engaged” in Colwood, she told West Shore Voice News today.
Tuesday, May 9 ~ BC. EDITORIAL [West Shore Voice News]. Too busy, too tired, too ‘principled’, or think that you’re too under-informed to vote? Forget all that. Barring the severest of personal circumstances, today there is no reason to sit out this election.
Not only is this province, this country and the world at a critical turning point in terms of doing what’s right for people and the planet, many people over the decades, years, and centuries have fought, suffered and died for your right to vote and live in a free society.
Yeah, yeah, the political system is less than perfect. But if you ‘protest’ by intentionally not voting, you’re not only naive you are letting the pros who work the system shine their best.YOU shine your best today. Be part of the collective force that ushers in the next phase of living in BC. A lot of drops in the bucket will fill the bucket to overflowing.
Voting Places are open 8am to 8pm throughout BC for this 41st General Provincial Election. Take your Voter ID card and two pieces of ID. Or just show up with what you’ve got, as you’re probably on the list anyways.
What you’ve got is RIGHTS. Non-voters waive their right to whine later.
[Pie chart shows the reasons that people didn’t vote in the 2008 US election. “Too busy” counted for 17.6%. 18.4% had some ‘other reason’, didn’t know or refused. And 26.4% were ‘not interested’ or did not like the candidates. Only 6% had registration problems, and 2.6% forgot. Don’t forget.]
Monday, May 8 ~ BC. This final day of the BC election campaign saw BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark and Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver campaigning on Vancouver Island. Both of those parties hope to pick up seats from what has for a long time been an NDP stronghold.
BC NDP Leader John Horgan was taking the same tack, over on the mainland where he’s working to see the NDP grab seats in Surrey, Richmond and Delta. NDP ground-teams were out and about on Vancouver Island, taking voting reminder cards door to door.
This evening, Christy Clark will be joined by BC Liberal Fraser Valley candidates Simon Gibson, Darryl Plecas, Mike de Jong, John Martin, Laurie Throness, Mary Polak and Rich Coleman for a rally in Abbotsford.
To achieve a majority, one party will need to win at least 44 seats. There are 87 ridings in BC. A minority government could be formed by either major party (BC Liberal or BC NDP) that achieves fewer than 44 votes but can convince the Lieutenant Governor that they have the confidence of the House. That would likely mean the support of Andrew Weaver and the BC Greens.
Voting in the 41st BC General Election on May 9 will be open 8am to 8pm at all Voting Places throughout the province.
Monday, May 8 ~ Full results are in from the six days of Advance Voting in the BC provincial election. During those Advance Voting days, 614,389 registered voters cast their ballots, as reported by Elections BC. That’s a turnout of 19.46% (round up to 19.5%) — almost double the advance turnout seen in 2013.
Advance voting for this 2017 Provincial Election was held April 29 & 30, plus May 3 to 6, throughout BC. The full BC General Election is tomorrow on Tuesday, May 9.
Drilling down into action on this west side of Vancouver Island:
- The advance voter turnout was 29.3% of registered voters in Esquimalt-Metchosin; in that riding BC Liberal candidate Barb Desjardins has name-factor recognition, up against the ground-game power of the BC NDP behind their candidate Mitzi Dean. The Greens are running a strong candidate in Andy MacKinnon.
- The turnout was 24.3% in Langford-Juan de Fuca where the incumbent is BC NDP Leader John Horgan. The BC Liberals are running a tough race against Horgan, trying to unseat the NDP party leader in his own riding; fronting that is BC Liberal candidate Cathy Noel. Also getting definitive local support — especially in the Sooke end of the riding — is BC Green Party Brendan Ralfs.
Leaders: The 24.3% advance vote draw in BC NDP Leader John Horgan’s riding (Langford-Juan de Fuca) was stronger than the 19% turnout in BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark’s riding of Kelowna West. Advance voter turnout was 24.7% in Andrew Weaver’s riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head.
Some other ridings to watch:
- On the mainland: In Vancouver-Point Grey where high-profile NDP candidate David Eby is running in Christy Clark’s previous riding, the advance turnout was almost 26%. In Kamloops-South Thompson where incumbent Todd Stone (Minister of Transportation & Infrastructure under Christy Clark) the advance turnout was just 16.8%. In Vancouver-Mount Pleasant where incumbent Melanie Mark (BC’s first First Nations MLA) is running for the NDP, the advance turnout was 16.9%.
- On Vancouver Island: Turnout was 26.7% in Saanich North and the Islands where one of the tightest three-way races is taking place (in 2013 it was in fact the tightest race in all of BC election records); Green Party candidate Adam Olsen is running there against NDP incumbent Gary Holman, with Stephen Roberts edging in for the BC Liberals. In Courtenay-Comox the turnout was high at almost 27%. The Comox Valley riding has been held by the BC Liberals since 2001, but Don McRae, the MLA since 2009, is not running for re-election, instead the Liberal candidate is Jim Benninger a former base commander at Canadian Forces Base Comox. The Greens are running Ernie Sellentin who operates an environmental restoration company. The NDP are running 3-term Courtenay city councillor Ronna-Rae Leonard. The Conservative candidate is Leah McCulloch, who has worked in health care.
Getting out to vote: So with that 19.5% advance turnout last week, still now 80.5% of registered voters could still make their way to the polls on General Election Day, May 9. Will that include you? Take along your Voter ID card. Or if you don’t have that card, be sure to take along two pieces of ID (with at least one showing your current home address).
Sunday, May 7 ~ WEST SHORE. Today Sunday May 7 there will be an Emergency Preparedness information fair, with displays, kids’ activities and prize draws. It runs from 11 am to 3 pm, at the Juan de Fuca Rec Centre’s Seniors Centre (behind the arena building) in Colwood.
Being prepared for major emergencies like floods, fire, wind storms, earthquakes and tsunamis is an important part of living in BC, particularly for those living in coastal areas and on Vancouver Island.
Sunday, May 7 ~ BC. With only two days left for active campaigning in this 41st BC General Election, party leaders are out and about in strategic areas for their goals.
BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark will be in Surrey and Maple Ridge today, promoting jobs. One of her appearances will be at a construction site.
BC NDP Leader John Horgan will be in battleground ridings in Vancouver, Coquitlam and Delta today. And likely the Lower Mainland tomorrow as well, says their campaign team. He’ll also be holding an evening Facebook Live event tomorrow (Monday May 8) from Delta North. The BC NDP captured the entire front page of the Times-Colonist newspaper on Saturday May 6, with a full page ad, pitching for not another four years of Christy Clark.
BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver will be on the mainland today in New Westminster, Creston and Nelson. One of the events will include another appearance with David Suzuki. On Monday, Weaver will be in Victoria, his home base. The BC Greens captured the entire front page of the Times-Colonist newspaper today Sunday May 7, with a full page ad asking people to read the Green Party platform.
Advance voting has been robust throughout BC over six available days, particularly in hotly contested ridings. Monday May 8 is the last active day of campaigning. The election is on Tuesday May 9. www.elections.bc.ca
Saturday, May 6 ~ VICTORIA. BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver (incumbent, Oak Bay-Gordon Head) didn’t really have to work the room at a Green Party rally tonight in Victoria at the Ocean Pointe Resort. The room already had his back. But for someone who says that politics is not his career choice, he has clearly learned the key moves. Humble introduction, rousing speech, thank-yous to people in the room.
Weaver was preceded to the podium by several other speakers including candidates Adam Olsen (Saanich North and the Islands), Sonia Furstenau (Cowichan Valley), Brendan Ralfs (Langford-Juan de Fuca), Kalen Harris (Victoria-Beacon Hill), and Chris Maxwell (Victoria-Swan Lake). Weaver’s speaking style is polished and relaxed at this point in the 28-day campaign with only two more days remaining to be out persuading voters to tip the desire for change to the direction of Green.
About 400 people filled the room for the Facebook-live event. Compared to other political rallies, this one was calm, with keen committed supporters who didn’t need wooing but didn’t mind it either. If the energy of a room can be described as clean and fresh, this crowd really did exude that.
Weaver told the crowd that support for the Greens “has been overwhelming in every town… I’ve never seen anything like it before,” he pitched. “People love the Green Party because they’re so sick of the status quo.” He repeated the campaign theme that the Green Party platform is “grounded in evidence”.While self-professed as quite new to politics, the most eloquent speech of the evening was delivered by candidate Brenda Ralfs (Langford-Juan de Fuca). After getting past the obligatory ‘rah rah’ stuff at the start of his speech, he obviously didn’t need notes. He described his background as a forest firefighter in BC as a backdrop to saying that BC’s natural areas are” not just beautiful, they’re sublime”. That natural wilderness interface for Ralfs created in him a “fierce desire to protect our home”.
Ralfs has quickly learned to justify his move into politics. When he first signed up, some of his friends told him “we didn’t know you were a politician!” Ralfs says that “politics matters in BC, and that politics can change lives”. He seems imprinted with the power to change things: “People in politics have an obligation to change lives for the better — not just for the few or the majority or many, but for all, for everyone.” To this there was a rousing cheer and more waving of Green Party signs throughout the comfortably carpeted ballroom.
“People are exhausted with politics in BC being divided and divisive,” said Ralfs, proposing to conclude that voters, therefore, have only a single choice, and that’s Green.
Adam Olsen, who was the interim leader of the party before Weaver stepped into that role as the only Green MLA in the BC Legislature after his win in 2013, said a few words too. He congratulated candidates for running “good clean local campaigns”. He was wearing a jersey with the number 17 on it, to help nudge along a victory in 2017. “It’s an honour to walk alongside Andrew Weaver,” said Olsen.The rally set for 6 pm had finally gotten underway around 6:40 pm (after people found parking once the hotel parking lot was full), and wrapped up just before 8pm on a bright spring evening. And the rain had stopped.
Weaver proposes that at least a handful of Greens will make it to the BC Legislature after the 41st BC Provincial Election on May 9, which he says will make a big difference for the people of BC. He’s spending Sunday and Monday in a few more towns, including one more visit to the Vancouver area and wrapping up on Monday in Victoria.
And so if you believe that life imitates art, check this out: a lone mallard duck (with a green head) was sitting outside the hotel after the rally, looking at the Green Party bus that was already revving up its engine to take Weaver to the next stop. Then the mallard took flight.
The rally was broadcast on Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/BCGreens/videos/10158698505335215/
Friday, May 5 ~ BC. In these last few days ahead of the May 9 general election, leaders of the three main parties are busy paying attention to any yet-unvisited sectors of their target voter base as well as visiting or re-visiting the ridings with tight races. And of course, finding precious-little time to romance the converted and keep them on track.
While every election is important, this one does plant BC at the precipice of a number of critical socioeconomic and environmental realities that require effective solutions.
The role of principled media during an election in an active democracy is to provide key insights from within the information overload, so that voters may be assisted in their voting choices.
We hereby present some thoughts about how things might work out, depending on which way you vote in the BC provincial election on May 9. Our three-part editorial starts with coverage on page 1, then splits out on page 2 this way:
- The BC Liberals have been in power for 16 years now. / …
- The BC NDP collective has been thirsting for ‘the top job’ for over 16 years now. / …
- The BC Green Party has — until now — been one and the same as the face of their party leader and standalone MLA Andrew Weaver. / …
Read the full coverage in the May 5, 2017 “Election Eve Edition” of West Shore Voice News.
Friday, May 5 ~ VANCOUVER ISLAND. Starting at 11 am on Saturday morning May 6, the BC Green Party campaign bus will start a long day with a stop in Campbell River, then heading to Courtenay-Comox, then by 1:10 pm to Parksville-Qualicum, and by 2 pm to Nanaimo. After that, the team will head on their bus to Shawnigan for 4pm in the south island area.
Then that evening to the Victoria Conference Centre for a Green Party Island Rally at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort which starts at 6pm.
The Greens have been promoting their “evidence-based and fully costed” 2017 election platform, at www.bcgreens.ca
Friday, May 5 ~ BC. This is the last weekend of BC election campaigning, coming up May 6 and 7. Then on Monday, May 8 will be the last day of campaigning before the BC General Election on May 9.
The Langford-Juan de Fuca race is one to watch, where BC NDP Party Leader John Horgan is the incumbent. The slate in that riding is: John Horgan (BC NDP Party Leader & incumbent); Cathy Noel (BC Liberal); Brendan Ralfs (BC Green); Willie Nelson (Vancouver Island Party); and Scott Burton (Libertarian). The area includes Highlands, Langford, Sooke and the Juan de Fuca area up to Port Renfrew. It’s the fast-growing area of BC (only Surrey on the mainland is growing faster), encompassing urban and rural.
The Esquimalt-Metchosin race is one to watch, this time without its long-time NDP incumbent and now a high-profile BC Liberal candidate. The slate in that riding is: Mitzi Dean (NDP); Barb Desjardins (BC Liberal); Andy MacKinnon (BC Green); Josh Steffler (Libertarian); Tyson Strandlund (Communist Party); and Delmar Martay (independent). The area has key transportation issues, as the area provides both employment and ‘bedroom community’ as well as rural lifestyles.
Wednesday, May 3. As advance voting in the BC Election gets underway again today (May 3 to 6, 8am to 8 pm in all ridings), we can take a look at the advance voting trends from the first round of advance voting on the weekend of April 29 & 30.
On this west side of Vancouver Island:
- Esquimalt-Metchosin brought in 4,226 votes last weekend (2,428 on Saturday and 1,798 on Sunday) out of a total number of 37,692 registered voters. That’s 11.2% of voters. Candidates in that riding are Mitzi Dean (BC NDP), Barb Desjardins (BC Liberal), Andy MacKinnon (BC Green), Josh Steffler (Libertarian), and Delmar Martay (independent).
- Langford-Juan de Fuca saw 3,722 votes last weekend (2,087 on Saturday and 1,635 on Sunday), out of a total of 39,176 registered voters. That’s a 9.5% advance poll turnout. Candidates in that riding are BC NDP Leader John Horgan, incumbent (NDP), Cathy Noel (BC Liberal), Brendan Ralfs (BC Green), and Willie Nelson (Vancouver Island Party).
The highest turnout on Vancouver Island April 29 & 30 was in Courtenay-Comox with 4,260 votes cast; Esquimalt-Metchosin came in a close second with 4,226; Parksville-Qualicum saw 4,018; Victoria-Beacon Hill logged in with 3,773 votes; and Langford-Juan de Fuca came in fifth with 3,722.
On the mainland, Vancouver-Fairview delivered 4,106 votes, Penticton delivered 4,029 advance votes, Vancouver-West End saw 4,007 votes cast, and Vancouver-Point Grey (where the NDP’s David Eby beat out Christy Clark in the 2013 election) logged in with 3,787 votes.
This is the first time that voting has been available on a Sunday, and in many ridings the turnout was strong on April 30, in some cases with most votes cast than on the Saturday. Most of the polling stations were open on those first two days; on the west shore only Gordon United Church (in the Langford-Juan de Fuca riding) wasn’t available due to the Sunday factor.
It would seem that the ridings where party leaders are running are getting voters out with relatively equal strength. Premier Clark (BC Liberal leader) is running in Kelowna West, where 3,749 advance votes were cast this past weekend. In John Horgan’s (BC NDP Leader) riding of Langford-Juan de Fuca there were 3,722 votes cast. BC Green Leader Andrew Weaver is running Oak Bay-Gordon Head where 3,264 advance votes were cast April 29-30.
Advance voting results will be updated daily during this May 3 to 6 advance voting period.
All advance votes will be counted on the night of the general election Tuesday May 9. Any advance votes that are cast over the 28-day campaign at District Electoral Offices will be counted on May 22 in the home ridings for those votes. Final vote results will be provided by Elections BC on May 23.
Tuesday, May 2 ~ LANGFORD. Two custom bus services launched by the City of Langford have been cancelled.
Soon to go is the in-town trolley that has been servicing local shoppers and residents in the commercial areas of Langford since 2007. BC Transit services to and around the Langford area have improved over the years (apparently up 76%), so the trolley is no longer needed.
Also wrapping up (as of June 30) is the Langtoria Greenline bus, launched last fall to help ease commuter traffic round trip between Langford and Victoria. Low ridership was the main reason there. People still like travelling in their own cars despite the time in commuter traffic and the cost of parking in Victoria. Some of those who have used the Langtoria bus service may now carpool.
The idea for the Greenline came up when construction of the McKenzie-Admirals Road Interchange was announced, with the advent of even more traffic slowdowns during the construction period. Operated by Wilson’s Transportation, it has been following a route that stops at 21 spots in the West Shore.
Langford Mayor Stew Young says he will now push for high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on Hwy 1 that would also accommodate buses, and continue to work with the province on getting to yes with transportation options along the E&N Rail corridor.
Tuesday, May 2 ~ WEST SIDE of Vancouver Island. Advance voting starts up again in the morning throughout BC! Advance voting Places will be open 8 am to 8 pm for the next four days: May 3, 4, 5 and 6.
On the west side of Vancouver Island:
- Advance Voting is available in Langford at Belmont Secondary School, Four Points Sheraton, and Gordon United Church.
- Advance Voting places in Sooke are at SEAPARC Leisure Complex and Sooke Community Hall.
- Advance Voting for Esquimalt-Metchosin is at Colwood Pentecostal Church, Esquimalt United Church, Metchosin Community Hall, Songhees Wellness Centre, View Royal Town Hall, and West Shore Parks & Rec.
Ballots cast during Advance Voting will be counted on election night, after the main ballot boxes are counted on general election night May 9.
In this 2017 election, Elections BC has been promoting “you have 28 days to vote”, without vigorously clarifying that votes cast at District Electoral Offices that are open daily for 28 days will be counted in their home ridings (on May 22) after the paper ballots are distributed to the 87 ridings around the province.
However, if you can’t make it to an Advance Voting Station during May 3-6, these DEO offices make it convenient to vote on May 7 and 8 (as well as on election day May 9):
- District Electoral Office for Langford-Juan de Fuca is at 111-2787 Jacklin Road in Langford. Inquiries: 250-952-5014.
- District Electoral Office for Esquimalt-Metchosin is at 3-1905 Sooke Road in Colwood. Inquiries: 250-952-4408.
Tuesday, May 2 ~ COLWOOD. The City of Colwood has issued a traffic advisory for tomorrow, Wednesday May 3. There will be single lane closures in the 1800-block of Island Highway near Wale Road.
TELUS will be servicing some of their lines in the area between 8:30 am to 3 pm. Traffic travelling in the curb lane in both directions will be merged into the inside lane.
Tuesday, May 2 ~ BC. Where you vote does count, for timing! Ballots cast at Advance Voting stations (April 29 & 30; May 3 to 6) will be counted on election night, after the main ballot boxes are counted, toward the May 9 general election night tally and results.
However, any votes cast at the District Electoral Office (one central office for each riding) will get counted on May 22, toward a final vote announcement on May 23.
Advance Voting is available in Langford May 3 to 6 at Belmont Secondary School, Four Points Sheraton, and Gordon United Church. Advance Voting is available for Esquimalt-Metchosin May 3 to 6 at Colwood Pentecostal Church, Esquimalt United Church, Metchosin Community Hall, Songhees Wellness Centre, View Royal Town Hall, and West Shore Parks & Rec.
In this 2017 election, Elections BC has been promoting “you have 28 days to vote”, without clarifying that votes cast at District Electoral Offices that are open daily for 28 days will be counted in their home ridings after the paper ballots are distributed to the 87 ridings around the province.
The District Electoral Office for Langford-Juan de Fuca is at 111-2787 Jacklin Road in Langford. Inquiries: 250-952-5014.
The District Electoral Office for Esquimalt-Metchosin is at 3-1905 Sooke Road in Colwood. Inquiries: 250-952-4408.
Monday, May 1 ~ SOUTH VANCOUVER ISLAND. Additional tech-related seats for the University of Victoria, Camosun College and Vancouver Island University were announced today. The goals is “to develop home grown talent to help British Columbia continue to be a leader in the innovation economy”, as announced by BC Liberal candidates David Calder, Alex Dutton and Paris Gaudet.
The BC Liberals say they have made a commitment to increase the number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) graduates by 1,000 per year by 2022. UVic will receive 80 new seats and both Camosun College and VIU will receive 30 to contribute to that goal.
Monday, May 1 ~ SOUTH VANCOUVER ISLAND. The BC Liberals today say the Capital Regional District (CRD) governance model needs modernizing to ensure decisions are being made effectively, residents are getting the services and accountability they deserve, and in the most efficient manner possible. The statement cam from Barb Desjardins, BC Liberal candidate for Esquimalt-Metchosin.
In the BC Liberals Island Platform, they are stating a commitment to a full review of Capital Regional District governance – and working with any community that is in support of possible service integration and amalgamation.
“The model hasn’t been reviewed in decades, and it doesn’t reflect how the region delivers services today, or the associated challenges in delivering those services in the most effective manner,” said Desjardins, a three-term Esquimalt Mayor and past CRD chair.
“One practical example is housing development – an issue that I hear about from builders and the general public. Under the current governance structure, each municipality within the CRD has its own development charges, each interprets the building code differently, and the time it takes to move an application through each municipality differs. As a result, there is no consistency for builders, it means additional costs, and those costs are ultimately borne by the home purchaser or renter.”
“The other reality is that we have communities on the West Shore that have different needs than those in Victoria and the current structure doesn’t always recognize those views or needs – because of the CRD model,” Desjardins said in a release.
In an interview with West Shore Voice News today, Desjardins said that the small business sector grows in a municipality that has good governance. She cited the City of Langford as a good example.
The BC Liberals say they’re been clear that any community not wishing to participate in amalgamation or other governance changes will not be forced to participate.
Sunday, April 30 ~ WEST SIDE of VANCOUVER ISLAND. People have been dropping by steadily to vote at District Electoral Offices (DEOs) for Langford-Juan de Fuca and Esquimalt-Metchosin in the past week, say staff at both locations.
Personnel hired specifically to execute all the many responsibilities of operating a Voting Station have taken training at each DEO. Being responsible for a ballot box during the Advance Voting days includes overseeing the whereabouts of that box when it’s not in active ballot-receiving mode, says David Garvey, Deputy District Electoral Officer for Langford-Juan de Fuca.
There is a step-by-step process to ensure secrecy of the ballots and their retention between the six advance voting days, explains Garvey.
Ballots that are cast at any DEO in BC are sent after 8pm on the General Election Day (May 9) to the riding where the vote belongs. Due to the time this takes, there is a final vote count on May 23, once all ballots have been received in their home ridings. Potentially this could swing a vote result in any given riding.
With the increased number of advance voting days (six days this election — April 29 & 30, May 3-6) and voting throughout the 28-day campaign period by any voter at any DEO in the province, that theoretically increases the number of ridings where final counts on May 23 could make a difference in the overall result.
The DEO for Langford-Juan de Fuca is at 111-2787 Jacklin Road in Langford. The DEO for Esquimalt-Metchosin is in Colwood at 3-1905 Sooke Road.
Visit the April 28, 2017 issue of West Shore Voice News to see photos of both DEO office locations plus hours and list of candidates, (page 6). List of all voting stations in both ridings, and open hours (page 8).
Saturday, April 29 ~ SOUTH VANCOUVER ISLAND. The BC NDP say they will announce strong measures to clean up and protect waterways, at an event tomorrow Sunday April 30 in Cadboro Bay at Gyro Park.
On hand will be BC NDP Candidates Gary Holman (Saanich North and the Islands) and Bryce Casavant (Oak Bay-Gordon Head) with special guest Sheila Malcolmson, Member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Ladysmith.
They will talk about how John Horgan and the BC NDP say they would be the only government committed to keeping waterways pristine in BC.
The event on Sunday will start at 3 pm. Gyro Park is at 2625 Sinclair Rd in the Cadboro Bay area of the Oak Bay-Gordon Head riding, which is home to BC Green Leader Andrew Weaver.
Friday, April 28 ~ Tonight incumbent NDP candidate John Horgan (leader of the BC NDP party) will be holding a rally in downtown Victoria at Alix Goolden Hall, 907 Pandora Ave, starting 6:30 pm. A full house is expected. Also participating is Nathan Cullen, MP, who is the electoral reform critic for the federal NDP.
Bright and early on Saturday morning, April 29, Horgan will be casting his advance vote at the Advance Voting Station at Belmont Secondary School in Langford. Then he will be heading to his local campaign office for a bit of a pep rally.
Advance voting is available in all ridings in BC on saturday April 29 and Sunday April 30, as well as on May 3, 4, 5, and 6. See the West Shore Voice EVENTS page for local details about advance voting locations, dates and times.
Friday, April 28 ~ The City of Langford is letting property owners know that this year they are offering electronic delivery of property tax notices beginning with this 2017 tax year. The deadline to register online is April 30, 2017.
If you are a property owner in Langford and you want this service, just email to email@example.com and include the following information:
The amount of your current year’s tax notice that is in box C No Grant
The deadline for registration for 2017 tax notices is April 30th. More info at www.langford.ca/propertytax
Tuesday, April 25 ~ BC. The BC NDP commitment to create urgent care centres across the province will benefit small communities, it was announced by the BC NDP today.
Representing BC NDP Leader John Horgan at an All Candidates debate in Sooke this evening, retired MLA Maurine Karagianis said Sooke would be one of the communities that could dearly use an urgent care clinic. There is a private medical clinic in Sooke town centre, and an old (analog) xray clinic open about 2 days a week; the nearest hospital is Victoria General Hospital about 30 minutes drive away along the winding Hwy 14.
“I am committed to taking real action to help families access the health care they need by opening Urgent Family Care centers in communities across the province,” said Horgan in a release.
Urgent care centres bring together doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, dieticians, pharmacists, mental health workers, midwives, occupational therapists and other health care providers to offer the right health services from the right provider at the right time. “We know that prevention and early interventions are the best way to protect people’s health and bring down health care costs,” it says in the NDP release tonight.
On Horgan’s behalf, Karagianis went to bat tonight for the hardest-hit sectors of BC society who have seen consistent erosion of services under the BC Liberals, including education, children and families, health care and seniors.
John Horgan is the incumbent NDP candidate in Langford-Juan de Fuca. He has held the riding since 2005.
Tuesday, April 25 ~ WEST SHORE.
Last night there was a sparse turnout for a mixer co-hosted by the West Shore Chamber of Commerce and Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce.
The idea was to provide a casual opportunity for the community to meet provincial election candidates of two west-side ridings.
Candidates, campaign personnel and displays of election materials were on hand: BC Liberals, BC NDP, BC Greens. and the Libertarian Party for Esquimalt-Metchosin, as well as NDP, Green and BC Liberal for Langford-Juan de Fuca.
Each candidate gave a short 3-minute speech:
- Andy MacKinnon (BC Green) said it’s important to recognize that environmental issues go hand in hand with economic and employment issues in BC. “We’re setting ourselves up badly for the future is we focus the economy on undiluted bitumen, LNG, and unprocessed raw log exports,” MacKinnon said. He promotes the need for fundamental change of how resources are managed. “For 40 years I’ve seen voting that is about voting against people or keeping people out of office. I joined the Greens as an opportunity for people to have something to vote for,” he told the small but engaged crowd.
- Mitzi Dean (BC NDP) spoke also on behalf of BC NDP Party Leader John Horgan who was busy on the provincial campaign trail. More than a stand-in for Horgan, she competently addressed various business issues including small business and job growth and pronounced that an NDP government would make a $13.5 billion investment in the BC private sector to “innovate and grow the economy” and match federal infrastructure funding “dollar for dollar”. Affordable housing, transportation and health care planks of the NDP platform were addressed.
- Barb Desjardins (BC Liberal) illustrated her sense of commitment and skills in advocacy and getting things done with a backdrop of her accomplishments as Mayor of Esquimalt and Chair of the CRD. “We need a government that has a plan, knows where it’s going, and takes measured steps,” said Desjardins. “Measured steps,” she emphasized, for lowering taxes, growing the economy, and taking BC to “a better environmental place”. “When you take jumps you can upset the boat. So maybe things wouldn’t be as fast as you want us to get there, but we’d get there,” she told the crowd.
- Josh Steffler (Libertarian) came out of the gate calling the Libertarians the fourth-largest party in BC. “We are socially liberal but fiscally conservative,” Steffler explained, adding that Libertarians believe in private property and individual liberty. He said the carbon tax should be eliminated and that monopolies such as BC Hydro should be opened to more competition.
Langford-Juan de Fuca:
- Cathy Noel (BC Liberal) brought the crowd up to speed on her background in sport and fitness organization, and highlighted the entrepreneurialism of her GoBid auction company, saying she helped raise millions for charities and helped community groups “be the best that they could be”. She believes in creating a vision and then a plan of how to get there. She lauded the track record of the BC Liberal government for five balanced budgets and a triple-A credit rating. “For jobs and education, we need a plan, and we need to work together to make that plan a reality” said Noel.
- Brendan Ralfs (BC Green) as a former forest firefighter and now an emergency programs manager says he started from a place of interest in environmental issues after seeing the impact of climate change up close in BC forests and now a wider array of climate driven problems. But he told the small gathering that he easily embraced the full spectrum of the BC Green party platform. He sees a need to change from” the divided status quo: of current politics in BC, with challenges to sustainability — both economic and making a region that is more livable. Getting involved as a Green candidate “felt like the right thing to do”.
Mingling and networking took place before and after the speeches which focussed on business interests and the economy in addition to overall party platforms.
Among those attending the mixer were Randall Garrison, MP (Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke), and City of Langford Councillors Lillian Szpak and Denise Blackwell. The event was held at the Royal Colwood Golf Club, from 5 to 6:30 pm.
And this is handy! You can also vote in person at any District Electoral Office, open daily:
Langford-Juan de Fuca: 111-2787 Jacklin Rd in Langford (just past Goldstream Ave). 250-952-5014. HOURS: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Advance Voting Days (April 29-30, May 3-6) 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. | General Voting Day (May 9) 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Candidates in Langford-Juan de Fuca: John Horgan, BC NDP Party Leader (NDP, incumbent); Cathy Noel (BC Liberal); Brendan Ralfs (BC Green), Willie Nelson, (Vancouver Island Party); Scott Burton (Libertarian).
Esquimalt-Metchosin: 3-1905 Sooke Rd in Colwood (in the London Drugs mall). 250-952-4408. HOURS: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Advance Voting Days (April 29-30, May 3-6) 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. | General Voting Day (May 9) 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Candidates in Esquimalt-Metchosin: Mitzi Dean (NDP); Barb Desjardins (BC Liberal); Andy MacKinnon (BC Green); Josh Steffler (Libertarian); Tyson Strandlund (Communist Party).
Monday April 24 ~ LANGFORD. Well, this will be a treat for students at Belmont Secondary School in Langford!
On Wednesday May 10 their guest visitor will be Dr Jay Cullen, professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria.
Cullen was recently shortlisted as one of NASA’s next astronaut candidates. He will be giving a presentation called “The Fukushima Disaster and Radiation in the Pacific Ocean: What Does it Mean for BC.”
Monday, April 24 ~ VICTORIA. The BC NDP are holding a “Rally the Vote Victoria” event in downtown Victoria this coming Friday, April 28 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. The event is expected to pack to overflowing the Alix Goolden Performance Hall at 907 Pandora Ave.
“Before British Columbians go to the early polls, we’re rallying the vote in Victoria. Come join John Horgan and special guest Nathan Cullen at Victoria’s iconic Alix Goolden Performance Hall.” It’s likely to be a high-powered, memorable event, now mid-way into the 28-day 2017 BC election campaign.
The BC NDP have been proposing various measures to boost affordability for families, seniors, and those on social assistance and other fixed incomes including a freeze on ferry fares, elimination of MSP premiums (blending it into the tax system), $10/day child care, and an increase in the minimum wage to $15.
Those wishing to attend are encouraged to RSVP, to assure a spot: https://www.bcndp.ca/rally-the-vote
Sunday, April 23 ~ BC. As the BC election campaign progresses, BC NDP Leader John Horgan has been issuing various policy announcements aimed at making BC more affordable for BC families, seniors and people on social assistance.
On April 20 surrounded by supporters, Horgan announced a plan to make seniors weekday passenger fares free on major BC Ferries sailing routes. “Life on Vancouver Island has been getting more expensive under Christy Clark. The increase in fees and hidden costs are hurting seniors on fixed incomes. We’re going to make life more affordable by bringing back free weekday ferry fares for seniors on major routes,” said Horgan on the shores of the Swartz Bay ferry terminal near Sidney, BC.
Under the BC Liberals, BC Ferries fares have increased by about 80% on the major ferry routes, and have more than doubled for the Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast and North Coast routes. An NDP government would also freeze ferry fares on major routes for all passengers and cut fares on the smaller routes by 15%.
“After 16 years of Christy Clark and the BC Liberals the cost of ferries has gone through the roof while sailings were cut for many communities. John Horgan will make life more affordable for island families, boost tourism, and grow the economy,” it was stated in a BC NDP news release.
Specifically for seniors, Horgan said the BC NDP will make life more affordable for seniors by:
• Bringing back free weekday ferry rides on major routes for seniors
• Cutting ferry fares on minor routes by 15 per cent
• Freezing ferry fares on major routes
• Providing a $400 renter’s rebate, while maintaining the existing Shelter Aid for Elder Renters (SAFER) supplement
• Eliminating unfair MSP premiums within our first term in office
Friday, April 21 ~ LANGFORD. Construction of a full-service Rugby Canada facility for high-performance athletes to train and receive levels of restorative care after injury is well underway in Langford.
The $7.9 million two-storey facility will include a 7,000 sqft gym, dressing rooms, recovery and stretching rooms, kitchen and lounge area, meeting and office rooms, six 1-bedroom studio units, a therapy clinic and the Canada Rugby Hall of Fame.
The facility will serve to support professional athletes from across Canada who will come to Langford to use the new 19,000 sqft facility on Glen Lake Road behind Westhills Stadium. National team athletes in other sports and the public will be able to use it too.
The facility is the single-largest investment Rugby Canada has made and is being funded by $3 million from the federal government’s Building Canada Fund, $1 million in land costs and a repayable $1.5 million loan from Langford, and the rest from private donations and fundraising.
“We worked with them to help make this happen,” says Langford Mayor Stew Young about his Council who he frequently praises at public events for being behind him all the way on various projects and strategies.
Wednesday, April 19 ~ BC. ‘Where to Vote’ cards are being delivered across British Columbia starting today. Elections BC is reminding voters to bring their card with them when they vote, to make the process faster and easier.
Chief Electoral Officer, Keith Archer says registered voters will receive a card that includes the dates, times and locations for advance voting in their electoral district. Each voter’s card also shows their assigned voting place for General Voting Day, May 9.
Elections BC will also be distributing the cards to addresses with no registered voters. These cards will inform eligible voters of the voting opportunities available to them and that they can register when they vote.
New for this election, is that the cards will be colour-coded to help election officials determine the electoral district in which a voter resides.
Over three million cards will be delivered up until advance voting starts on April 29. Advance voting takes place on April 29 and 30 and from May 3 to May 6. A complete listing of advance voting places is available at www.elections.bc.ca/2017-provincial-general-election/where-to-vote
Voters can also use Elections BC’s Where to Vote app to find voting places close to them and in their electoral district; it can be found at www.elections.bc.ca/wtv . Eligible voters can vote at any voting place in BC.
Wednesday, April 19 ~ BC. A BC NDP government under John Horgan would eliminate interest on BC student loans and offer a $1,000 completion grant to people who complete their studies.
“At a time when more and more people are struggling to get by, Christy Clark and the BC Liberals have made it harder than ever for people to upgrade their skills and get ahead in life,” said Horgan at a news event in Vancouver today.
“We’re going to fix that. We will ensure every British Columbian has the opportunity to pursue post-secondary education and skills training programs by eliminating interest on BC student loans and offering $1,000 in student loan relief for people who complete their studies.
“We have a growing tech sector that is already employing more than 100,000 British Columbians, and they need more skilled employees. We’ll help them grow and help British Columbians succeed by making post-secondary more accessible and affordable,” said Horgan.
John Horgan and the BC NDP will train skilled workers and create opportunities for people by:
- Making all current and future BC student loans interest free.
- Providing a $1,000 completion grant for graduates of college, university and skilled trades programs to help pay down debt when they finish their programs.
- Investing $100 million to expand technology-related post-secondary programs and investing in talent in information and communications, digital media and entertainment, life sciences and health, clean-tech, IT and engineering and more.
- Eliminating fees for Adult Basic Education and ESL and keeping a cap on tuition fees at colleges and universities.
- Introducing a new graduate student scholarship fund to encourage excellence in BC’s graduate programs.
Tuesday, April 18 ~ LANGFORD. West Shore RCMP credits an alert citizen who reported a suspicious vehicle which led to the arrest of two alleged thieves. Around 5 am on Easter Sunday April 16, a concerned citizen called police to report a white pickup truck parked against the back of the building at Kal Tire in 2600-block Sooke Rd in Langford.
Police attended to investigate and found a woman inside the pickup truck and a ma crawling on the ground next to the truck. Police also observed a quantity of tires in the back of the truck, believed to be recently stolen from the shop.
Both individuals were arrested at the scene and a representative of the shop was able to confirm that the tires belonged to their shop. It appeared the suspects were able to make their way into the fenced compound in order to steal the tires.
Both suspects, Andrew Trueman, 37, and Carol Poole, 45, of Sidney, have been released on bail following a Judicial Justice of the Peace hearing and are set to appear in court again on May 4.
Police would like to remind the public if suspicious activity is seen, to not hesitate to contact police. “Report suspicious activity while it is happening,” says West Shore RCMP Media Relations Officer Cst. Alex Bérubé. “Try to get a description of the suspects and their vehicle (including licence plate). Do not confront the suspects. Let the police determine if it’s a crime in progress,” he says.
Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 or www.victoriacrimestoppers.ca
Tuesday, April 18 ~ VICTORIA. Andrew Weaver, leader of the BC Green Party, released the party’s health platform today in Victoria. He unveiled the platform at the campaign office of Dr. Chris Maxwell, BC Greens candidate for Victoria-Swan Lake, where tonight Maxwell’s campaign office launch event will take place at 7 pm.
“BC’s demographics are shifting. Already, many British Columbians are not getting the health care services they need in a timely fashion,” said Weaver. “British Columbians need an integrated, fiscally sound plan that invests in their health at every stage of life.
Weaver says the Green Party healthcare strategy “supports British Columbians to live healthier lives, and transitions BC towards preventive care”. He also outlined the idea to make strategic investments to increase access to primary care and focus on addressing mental health and addictions.
In the face of stiff competition from BC Liberals and deep-rooted momentum from the BC NDP, It’s a long shot that the Greens will have any substantial wins for MLA seats in the upcoming May 9 BC provincial election. So platform ideas are just that (and not all of them are new, for example ‘create a Ministry responsible for health promotion’ already exists). But discussion about them can tip the discourse of election debate and provides an important service to pushing forward social progress.
Key components of the BC Greens health care platform include:
- Create a Ministry responsible for health promotion, disease prevention and active lifestyles.
- Invest $35 million in nutrition and physical activity programs to promote learning readiness and improve student health in the K-12 public education system.
Prioritizing prevention and primary care
- Establish a task force to develop a plan to transition the balance of resources between acute/chronic care and primary/preventative care.
- Allocate $100 million for the expansion of support for inter-professional, integrated primary care by healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists, nurse practitioners and midwives.
- Develop a proposal to implement an essential drugs program.
Providing effective and efficient acute care
- Invest $40 million in new long term care facilities to increase the availability of beds in acute care facilities.
- Establish an innovation task force to reduce surgery wait times across the province.
Addressing mental health and addictions
- Establish a Ministry responsible for mental health and addictions, which will be responsible for developing and implementing a Mental Health and Addiction strategy and a Youth Mental Health for early detection of mental health illness.
- Allocate $80 million to fund early intervention, youth mental health initiatives, supervised injection sites and community based centres for mental health and rehabilitation.
- Implement an Integrated Primary Care model specific to Youth and Mental Health.
- Develop an immediate response to the fentanyl crisis based on successful programs in Europe that invest in treatment on demand, drug substitution, early-winning monitoring systems and coordinated response.
Supporting seniors and providing end-of-life
- Invest $35 million over four years in home care to enable seniors and other people who need assistance to stay in their own homes.
- Ensure the staffing at public and private care homes meets government guidelines and provide $200 million over four years to address staffing levels at public facilities.
- Invest an additional $100 million over for years to enhance child protection services.
- Identify strategies to address child poverty in the province, including specific actions to address poverty affecting Aboriginal children and families.
- Work with stakeholders, including front line service delivery agencies, Indigenous people, local governments, educators, and community not-for-profit agencies to address recommendations made by the Representative for Children and Youth and the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth.
Bookings for the Easter Monday clinic were about 86% full as of last week. However, because many people book eight weeks in advance, appointments sometimes are forgotten, and some people won’t have known what their Easter plans are.
To book your spot at a clinic, use the form at www.blood.ca or call 1-888-2DONATE . However, walk-ins are welcome, to help make up for any no-shows that might happen on a Statutory holiday.
To check on your eligibility to donate there is a 1-minute quiz at https://blood.ca/en/blood/eligibility-quiz
Sunday, April 16 ~ EASTER SUNDAY. Many Canadians are making a 4-day long weekend out of the Easter weekend. Good Friday was on April 14.
There were many community activities including Easter egg hunts for kids, and stores were open and bustling on Saturday, April 15. Easter Monday is a Statutory holiday across Canada.
Ferry travel on the BC Coast is busy on Easter weekends. BC Ferries added 50 extra sailings on the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route carrying travelers between the Vancouver and Victoria areas.
For Easter Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement to Canada on Easter. For the full text, see the main page of this website (April 16).
Saturday, April 15 ~ ESQUIMALT-METCHOSIN. The BC Sustainable Energy Association is holding an all-candidates debate for the riding of Esquimalt-Metchosin. “Energy is a pivotal issue in the upcoming provincial election and deserves a strong public airing and meaningful debate,” the organization says. “Voters need to know which candidates and parties are presenting the most sustainable path for British Columbia’s future.”
The Esquimalt-Metchosin riding includes Esquimalt, View Royal, Colwood and Metchosin. BC NDP candidate is Mitzi Dean. BC Liberal candidate is Barb Desjardins. BC Green candidate is Andy MacKinnon.
The Esquimalt-Metchosin riding also includes Colwood and View Royal. Esquimalt is home to a large Department of National Defense base on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Also along this coast travel tankers carrying oil products. Marine wildlife in coastal waters is integral to the ecosystems of the west coast, as well as economy and lifestyle.
The All Candidates debate on BC’s energy future will be held on Tuesday April 18 from at 6:30pm to 9 pm at Esquimalt High School Theatre, 847 Colville Rd. www.bcsea.org/events/esquimalt-metchosin-all-candidates-debate
If you are a property owner in Langford and you want this service, just email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the following information:
The amount of your current year’s tax notice that is in box C No Grant
The deadline for registration for 2017 tax notices is April 30th. More info at www.langford.ca/propertytax
Tuesday, April 11 ~ West side of Vancouver Island. The 2017 BC provincial election campaign is on, officially as of today April 11. Party leaders were already slinging barbs and policy missives for the TV media to report out to the public.
As a policy of West Shore Voice News, we will *not* be reporting on election season polls. No matter how unbiased the pollsters try to be, there is no way of knowing the true attitudes of those being polled, and whether the methods of reaching poll participants are reliable (e.g. very few people have home phone lines anymore). The disastrous misjudgement of polls in the 2013 BC provincial election (predicting an easy win for the NDP, who ended up losing badly) should be lesson enough.
News coverage by West Shore Voice News will be focussing on the actual activities of the campaigns in two electoral areas on this west side of the island:
- Langford-Juan de Fuca (includes voters in Langford, Sooke, and Juan de Fuca area): John Horgan, NDP (incumbent); Cathy Noel, BC Liberal; Brendan Ralfs, BC Green; Willie Nelson, Vancouver Island Party.
- Esquimalt-Metchosin (includes voters in Esquimalt, View Royal, Colwood and Metchosin): Mitzi Dean, NDP; Barb Desjardins, BC Liberal; Andy MacKinnon, BC Green; Josh Steffler, Libertarian.
There will be two major All Candidates Forums for these two ridings. One is on Monday, April 24 at the Royal Colwood Golf Course, 5 pm (for candidates of both Langford-Juan de Fuca and Esquimalt-Metchosin). The other forum for Langford-Juan de Fuca is on Tuesday, April 25 at the Prestige Oceanfront Resort in Sooke at 7pm.
The election date is Tuesday, May 9. There will be a few Advance Voting dates ahead of May 9.
Tuesday, April 11 ~ COLWOOD. There’s a long weekend blood donor clinic coming up on Easter Monday April 17, at Church of the Advent, 510 Mount View Ave in Colwood. The clinic will be open from 12 noon to 7pm.
You can make an appointment at 1-888-236-6283 or www.blood.ca but walk-ins are also welcome.
As of a few days ago, bookings for the Easter Monday clinic were sitting at around 86% booked, with only 14 open spots. However, because many people book eight weeks in advance, appointments can get forgotten, and some people won’t have known what their Easter plans are.
Female donors must now book their next appointment 84 days out (instead of 56) to protect their iron levels. As of March 5, 2017, male donors are required to measure 130 g/L on the hemoglobin test (up from the previous 125 g/L). There is no upper age limit to be a blood donor in Canada.
Monday, April 10 ~ LANGFORD. Langford is on some Wounded Warrior jerseys, and this also puts Langford on the world map!
Today the City of Langford, and partners, including the West Shore Developers Association, Turner Lane Development Corporation, Seacliff Holdings Ltd, Westhills Land Corp, Alpine Group, Keycorp Consulting Ltd, and Southpoint Partners Ltd, announced their $10,000 donation to Wounded Warriors Canada to support their upcoming ride at Vimy in France. The event was held outside Langford City Hall at noon.
This donation will sponsor the cycling jerseys to be worn by the 140 Canadian cyclists who are taking part in the Wounded Warriors Canada Vimy 100 Battlefield Bike Ride (BBR17). Together, the group will cycle about 600 km over six days in lands where Canadian soldiers fought in World War I.
They will ride to honour and remember the countless thousands who were wounded and the nearly 61,000 Canadians who gave their lives; 3,598 Canadians were killed in one day alone in taking Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917.
The cycling event this month in June will conclude with a 100th anniversary commemorative service at the historic Vimy Ridge Memorial in France, on June 16.
Langford Mayor Stew Young proudly announced the swift and generous contribution of funds from the Langford business community, and was pleased that all of Langford Council was on side for the initiative to supply the Vancouver Island team with jerseys. The jerseys include the names of sponsors, including the City of Langford.
Scott Maxwell, executive director of Wounded Warriors Canada, reminded the crowd present for today’s announcement that the men who fought at Vimy and in World War I “returned home as different people” and also had to deal with “what wasn’t there when they got home”.
One of those large supersize promotional cheques was displayed by Mayor Young and Scott Maxwell. After the meeting, Mayor Young told Maxwell that the $10,000 would be repeated again in future years.
One of the groups involved in supporting Wounded Warriors is COPE (Couples Overcoming PTSD Everyday) … a service sprearheaded by
LCol (retired) Chris Linford. Linford and his wife Kathryn were at the news announcement in Langford today. “We’re very pleased about Langford’s support,” said Linford. He says there are now 13 programs offered by COPE in four provinces: BC, Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick. The program has recently also been translated into French.
Local community leader Shari Lukens was at today’s event. She has done several 50 km rides getting ready for the big ride in France. This week she will also do a 100 km ride (from downtown over to the ferry, out to Metchosin and back), to further build her stamina!
Monday, April 10 ~ LANGFORD. Today the City of Langford and community partners are announcing a $10,000 donation to Wounded Warriors Canada in support of their Vimy 100 Battlefield Bike Ride.
The donation will sponsor the cycling jerseys to be worn by the 140 Canadian participants, which include a team of riders from Vancouver Island.
City of Langford Mayor Stew Young will present the donation to Wounded Warrior Canada Executive Director Scott Maxwell.
Sunday, April 9. ‘Experience in politics’ is a proud moniker that Barb Desjardins wears as she heads deeper into her provincial election campaign in Esquimalt-Metchosin.
Mayor of Esquimalt since 2008 (on council since 2005 before that) and chair of the Capital Regional District (CRD) board now for two years, Desjardins looks to bring big-scope decision-making experience to the BC ballot box on May 9.
Her professional career as a physiotherapist brought her face-to-face with the impact of provincial health legislation in the 1990s. She feels the NDP government of that day made it tough for health practitioners to make a living, with fees capped per-visit regardless of time spent.
In Esquimalt she worked through the details of “some significant policing concerns” that eventually resulted in a policing amalgamation with Victoria. She is a big fan of shared services for this region: “Amalgamation would not serve the public well,” she insists.
And as Chair of the CRD she led representatives of 13 municipalities to a final solution for wastewater treatment in a somewhat unexpected way. Respecting the role of each municipality to defend their own interests at the CRD board table, Desjardins eventually found herself being directed by the BC government to accept a provincial Project Board proposal, along with the suggestion that the CRD pretty much had to accept it. It might have looked like weak politics, but it resulted in a long-awaited solution for a tertiary-treatment level wastewater system for most of Greater Victoria (Sooke and the Saanich peninsula communities have their own treatment facilities).
“The project ended up in a better place than when it started,” she told West Shore Voice News this week. Not only is the treatment level higher, but the Township of Esquimalt got $20 million in amenity funding (with five years to sort out the best use of it — public safety, waterfront parks and/or recreational facilities).
At the threshold of what could be a big turning point in her political life, in January Barb’s daughter Genevieve died of leukemia at age 33. It was a dramatic setback. A creative painter, Genevieve was an inspiration to Barb, and the love continues. About nine of Genevieve’s paintings were being hung in Barb’s campaign office this week. The first acrylic on canvas to go up on the wall has an ocean theme with playful imagery on a rich dark background.
Environmental issues are important to Desjardins. She is proud of the eventual outcome of the long drawn-out process of achieving wastewater treatment for Victoria’s core areas and west side. Which was in part why a lot of folks were surprised when she came out running as a BC Liberal candidate. Many thought she would have gone Green. On that: “I considered where I was the best fit,” Barb Desjardins said in an interview at her campaign office this week.
Desjardins argues that a $15 minimum wage — as proposed by the BC NDP — would be too difficult for small businesses, where a lot of job opportunities usually happen. She predicts a suddenly-higher minimum wage would create a sudden loss of jobs in BC. She supports the incremental approach to minimum wage increases that the BC Liberals have rolled out over the past few years.
She feels that the BC government’s approach to helping single parents with a combination of support for education, social assistance and child care is a winning package for helping one-parent families become more stable. “Social services should be about how we give a hand up, not a handout,” said Desjardins.
“Balanced, progressive improvement is the way to go,” says Desjardins about how politics should evolve a society and its economy.
Desjardins has also served on the BC Transit Commission. Getting good public transit out to the west shore she says is key to economic sustainability.
It seems not so much about ambition as natural evolution for this complex politician who mixes business acumen with political smarts and an eye to sustainability. To move forward with her goals of contributing to community, running provincially with a party that she admires for their financial acumen was a door that seemed naturally to open for her.
Desjardins’ spacious office at 1740 Island Highway in Colwood is open daily now through to the May 9 election date. Lots of parking, and on a direct bus route.
This article was first published in the April 7, 2017 print/PDF edition of West Shore Voice News.
Thursday, April 6. The highway route between Langford and Sooke will soon get some improvements. As “the one road in and out of Sooke” it’s an important stretch of roadway for the town of Sooke that in the recent census surpassed a population count of 13,000.
As stated in Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure news release, the Province has committed to “improving safety at the Parkland, Gillespie and Connie road intersections on Highway 14”.
“Highway 14 is a critical link on southern Vancouver Island serving a wide variety of people, and these safety improvements will benefit commuters, commercial drivers, tourists, pedestrians and cyclists,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone.
Over a period of five years (2012-2016), the Province says it has invested $7.28 million into improving Highway 14 “between Langford and Sooke”, though good chunks of it affects just Sooke (such as the Sooke town centre roundabout), not Langford. This is the list:
o a new digital overhead sign on Highway 14 located near Awsworth Road (Sooke-side of the West Shore Parkway, just west of the industrial park that is under construction), expected to be operational later this spring ($250,000);
o Highway 14 resurfacing, shoulder widening and roundabout ($6 million contributed by the Province);
o drainage improvements near Impala Road ($475,000);
o shoulder widening in the Metchosin/Sooke area ($355,000); and
o Highway 14 enhanced delineation ($200,000).
• The corridor is approximately 22 km in length between Langford and Sooke.
• It has a daily use of approximately 14,000 vehicles and average daily traffic volumes show an increase of about 900 vehicles per day over the last five years.
However, there is one section of Highway 14 work done in 2011 and again altered in 2015 that did not help the Sooke town centre, and that is at the corner of Highway 14 (Sooke Road) and Townsend Road. Installation of meridians and no-left-turns have been an impediment to businesses, residents and other services to the community was never resolved, though discussions may be ongoing. A crosswalk was moved into that intersection, which (since 2015) now passes through a cut-out in the meridian.
Says MOTI: “The newest set of safety improvements will include new intersection lighting and enhanced signing and new delineation at Parkland Road and Gillespie Road. Near Parkland Road, there will also be additional clearing and brushing to control vegetation, which will improve visibility and enhance safety for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.”
The estimated cost of these newest improvements is $800,000 and work is expected to be completed by fall 2017.
The ministry is also advancing engineering and design for intersection improvements and enhancements for transit users at Connie Road. This plan, along with an estimated cost for the work, is scheduled for completion in early 2018.
In addition to these intersection improvements, this spring, the ministry will be applying new higher-quality reflective glass bead to the paint lines to improve visibility at night. A new highway webcam has been installed at Kangaroo Road, which will go live before the end of April and can be viewed under the Vancouver Island tab here: http://www.drivebc.ca/#webcams
The ministry is implementing these interim improvements while the overall Highway 14 corridor study to identify both short- and long-term improvements for Highway 14 is being completed. The final report expected in late summer 2017.
BC on the Move is the BC government’s 10-year plan for the improvement of the province’s transportation network. Over the next three years, the ministry and its partners are investing over $4.6 billion in priority transportation investments as part of this plan.
Tuesday, April 4 ~ WEST SIDE OF VANCOUVER ISLAND. On Monday, April 24 there will be an All Candidates Meeting for an opportunity to hear the candidates from two BC provincial ridings on this west side of the island. That date is pending the availability and confirmation from one of the candidates, here is the list:
- Candidates for Langford-Juan de Fuca: John Horgan (BC NDP, incumbent), Cathy Noel (BC Liberal), Brendan Ralfs (BC Green), Scott Burton (BC Libertarian). This electoral area includes Langford, Sooke, Highlands and Juan de Fuca.
- Candidates for Esquimalt-Metchosin: Mitzi Dean (BC NDP), Barb Desjardins (BC Liberal), Andy MacKinnon (BC Green). This electoral area includes Esquimalt, View Royal, Colwood and Metchosin.
This will possibly the only full All Candidates Meeting for this side of the island during this 2017 BC election campaign, given that BC NDP Leader John Horgan is busy travelling the province.
The event on Monday April 24 will be held at the Royal Colwood Golf Club, in Colwood. Starting at 5pm (to 6:30 pm), as hosted by the West Shore Chamber of Commerce.
For regional campaign news during the campaign toward the May 9 BC provincial election, visit www.westshorevoicenews.com
Tuesday, April 4 ~ BC. BC NDP Leader John Horgan revealed his campaign bus that will carry his leader’s tour from now until the May 9 election day.
The campaign “for a better BC” kicked off in Vancouver this morning as Horgan was greeted by supporters and a team of Lower Mainland candidates at the BC NDP’s Vancouver regional campaign office. “This campaign is about building a province that works for real people, not just the wealthy and well-connected,” said Horgan.
“While Christy Clark spends her time with big donors and the people at the top, we’ll be travelling to communities across BC, meeting with real people and talking about our plan to make life better for families,” the leader said in a news release.
“After 16 years of BC Liberal neglect, families are paying more fees than ever for fewer services. Good jobs are harder to find. And they’re waiting longer for the services we all depend on, like health care and education. Throughout this campaign, you can count on us to be tough on Christy Clark’s record. We will remind voters of the choices she made that have hurt people, and we’ll contrast that with our vision for a better BC that works for you.”
“As we kick this election campaign into high gear, I’m looking forward to meeting people from all walks of life and sharing our vision for building a better BC,” said Horgan. Horgan is the incumbent running for the BC NDP in Langford-Juan de Fuca.
Friday, March 31. Anti-gang police on Vancouver Island say that up to 200 motorcycle riders will be taking part in a ride from Nanaimo to Langford on Saturday, April 1. The event is in honour of a Hell’s Angel prospect murdered earlier this month.
Michael Gregory Widner, 39, of Sooke went missing earlier this month, and his remains were discovered days later along the Pacific Marine route near Port Renfrew. RCMP later confirmed that Widner had known connections to the motorcycle gang. The death continues to be investigated by Vancouver Island’s Integrated Major Crime Unit as a homicide and anyone with information is asked to call 250-380-6211 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
BC’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit says the memorial ride is expected to take place Saturday afternoon.
Rides like this serve as a reminder about the presence of the gang while at the same time they are paying respects to the deceased, according to the BC Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit. RCMP and gang unit members will monitor the ride from start to finish, ensuring public safety. The ride is expected to wind up at a club house on Spencer Road in Langford.
Motorists travelling on the Island Highway on Saturday afternoon might find themselves delayed due to the ride, police said.
Wednesday, March 29 ~ South Vancouver Island. Competition bites! A popular south Vancouver-Island rock concert series called Rock the Shores is facing competition for suitable headline talent in this Canada 150 year. So they’ve announced they will take a year off, promising to return in 2018
The Atomique organizers for Rock the Shores (RTS) say they have enjoyed building the event to what it has become. “We are proud of every artist we have booked, and we are so grateful to everyone who has helped us along the way, first and foremost our ticket buyers!”
Atomique says their goal from the beginning was to “build *the* annual rock festival for Islanders”. This year apparently there are multiple challenges towards pulling off the weekend-long outdoor concert that has been held the past five years outside the Juan de Fuca Rec Centre in Colwood. The challenges apparently include limited availability of suitable headline talent coupled with increasing market saturation and competition in a year of national celebration.
Rock The Shores 2017 ticket holders may visit www.rocktheshores.com to view their options. Full refunds are available for all pass types already purchased, and for those that want to hold onto passes for 2018, Atomique is providing free, generous upgrades in all ticket classes.
Friday, March 24 ~ VANCOUVER ISLAND SOUTH COAST & MAINLAND. BC Ferries has advised has the Spirit of Vancouver Island vessel has been temporarily removed from service with modified schedules on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay <Vancouver-Victoria> route for Saturday March 25 and Sunday March 26.
The interruption is due to a hydraulic issue with the port side controllable pitch propeller. Engineers continue to troubleshoot the issue and will determine early next week the further status of the vessel. This removal from service means only three vessels are available
to operate on the route on Sunday as opposed to four. There is no change in number of vessels operating the route on Saturday.
Heavy traffic is expected on some sailings between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island this weekend. BC Ferries advises customers travelling on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay route this weekend with a set travel time in mind to make a reservation by calling 1-888-BCFERRY. Customers travelling on this route without reservations are advised to consider travelling via the Tsawwassen – Duke Point or Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay routes.
As a result of the mechanical issue, the following sailings have been cancelled on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay route:
- Saturday, March 25 – From Tsawwassen 2 pm | From Swartz Bay 12 noon
- Sunday, March 26 – From Tsawwassen 12 noon & 4 pm | From Swartz Bay 2 pm & 6pm
- Customers with reservations on the sailings above are being notified by BC Ferries’ Customer Care team and accommodated on the next scheduled sailing.
To assist customers travelling between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island and due to the reduced capacity, the Queen of New Westminster will perform additional sailings on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay route as follows:
- Saturday, March 25 – From Tsawwassen 12 noon & 4 pm | From Swartz Bay 2 pm & 6 pm
- Sunday, March 26 – From Tsawwassen 10 am | From Swartz Bay 8 pm & 11 pm* (* by Coastal Rennaissance)
There are additional sailings on the Tsawwassen-Duke Point route:
- Sunday, March 26 – From Tsawwassen 5:15 am & 7:45 am | From Duke Point 5:15 am & 7:45 am
BC Ferries says they appreciate customers’ patience and will provide an update when more information about the status of the Spirit of Vancouver Island is available.
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TRAFFIC ADVISORY – VICTORIA AREA. Highway 1 night-time single-lane closure: March 20 to 25. The west-bound slow lane (or curb lane) on Highway 1 will be closed nightly from Monday, March 20, to Saturday, March 25, inclusive, during the hours of 8 pm to 5:30 am.
This closure will allow crews to work safely alongside a section of the highway west of McKenzie Avenue as they prepare for and perform drilling operations.
Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are reminded to obey traffic-control personnel and construction signs, and to watch out for workers.
Friday, March 17, 2017 ~ VANCOUVER ISLAND. BC Ferries rates for commercial vehicles that are 13 feet wide (or wider) will more than double on April 1, 2017 from $6.50/ft to $13.24/ft, to reflect that they take up two lanes, said BC Ferries in a news release March 16.
Probably in short order, this increase in shipping overhead will spill over into higher costs of consumer goods that are being transported by truck to Vancouver Island. It will also impact the cost of shipping raw products from the island.
It’s yet another way that the cost of living on Vancouver Island is expensive in unique ways compared to other parts of BC and Canada.
Monday, March 13 ~ SOUTH VANCOUVER ISLAND. Another week on the BC provincial election campaign trail on this west side of the island.
BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver will be meeting with homeschool students at the BC Legislature (Wednesday). Then on Thursday evening March 16 Weaver will be at Andy MacKinnon’s campaign launch (Green Party candidate for Esquimalt-Metchosin) at the Royal Colwood Golf Club in Colwood.
Towards the May 9 provincial election, the Esquimalt-Metchosin electoral area sees a race between Mitzi Dean (NDP candidate), Barb Desjardins (BC Liberal candidate), and Andy MacKinnon (BC Green candidate). Dean is a social services administrator, Desjardins is currently the mayor of Esquimalt and CRD Chair, and MacKinnon is a nature-study author.
The current BC NDP MLA for the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding that covers a voter base in Esquimalt, Colwood and Metchosin is Maurine Karagianis — she is retiring from politics. Karagianis was given upbeat accolades this past weekend at John Horgan’s campaign launch in Langford. Karagianis will be campaigning alongside NDP candidate Mitzi Dean to toward maintaining that side of the south island as part of the NDP stronghold.
Saturday, March 11 ~ LANGFORD. BC NDP Leader John Horgan held his local Langford-Juan de Fuca campaign launch today, Saturday March 11, at the Langford Legion.
Over 400 people were there for the event including long-time supporters from throughout the riding, several MLAs (including Melanie Mark and Jodie Wickens who came over from the mainland), two local NDP MPs (Randall Garrison and Alistair MacGregor), some local municipal leaders, many campaign workers and some media.
Horgan cut into Christy Clark’s BC Liberals and chastised the current government for the hardship imposed on regular working British Columbians. Horgan urged teachers, health-care workers and seniors not to forget how the last 15 years in BC have been hard on them and most British Columbians who are not “wealthy or well-connected”.
Horgan promised to work on bringing in a $15 minimum wage if the NDP is elected to government, as one way to offer a bit of a break to struggling workers. He resurrected remembrance of the ground-breaking work of 1970s NDP premier Dave Barrett for having started ICBC as an affordable auto insurance entity, not as it is used today as a ‘cash cow’, said Horgan.
First Nations elder Shirley Alphonse gave her absolute support to “her friend Horgan”, as part of her opening blessing.
The upbeat event included Horgan’s 30-minute speech as well as remarks from NDP finance spokesperson Carole James and education spokesperson MLA Rob Fleming, along with NDP candidate for Esquimalt-Metchosin Mitzi Dean.
Horgan was invited to the podium by his nominator, SD62 School Board Trustee Ravi Parmar.
Friday, March 10 ~ LANGFORD. Four West Shore RCMP have fully recovered after being suffering from smoke inhalation.
At around 11 pm on Wednesday March 8 a member of the West Shore RCMP was on patrol when he was flagged down by a citizen and advised of a fire at an apartment building at 2792 Peatt Rd in Langford.
Langford Fire Department was requested and additional RCMP officers attended to help with the evacuation.
The fire was contained to one unit on the third floor, however heavy smoke spread out throughout the building. As a result, four RCMP members undertook steps to evacuate the building as soon as possible. All four officers had to be transported to hospital where they were administered oxygen for about two hours before being discharged.
The investigation revealed the fire was accidental, states Cst. Alex Bérubé, spokersperson for West Shore RCMP. The cause of the fire was determined to be as a result of cooking french fries. [Photo is representative of cooking fries, not from the fire scene.]
Friday, March 10 ~ VICTORIA – The regular passenger fare will be half price fleet-wide on over 2,000 BC Ferries sailings during March 11 to 30. Youth age 11 and younger will travel free during that promotion period.
The 50%-off promotional discount is applicable on regular passenger fares for adult, BC senior, student and persons with disabilities. The complimentary travel for children 11 and under is applicable on a child’s fare.
On the Tsawwassen-SwartzBay route that means an adult will travel on available sailings for $8.60 and seniors for $4.30.
- South Coast Routes: the promotion will be in effect Monday through Thursday, Saturdays and Sundays on select sailings March 11 – 30.
- North Coast Routes including Port Hardy – Prince Rupert, Prince Rupert – Haida Gwaii and Alliford Bay – Skidegate routes as well as the Discovery Coast Connector: the 50% discount and kids-travel-free applies on every sailing March 11 – 30.
Experience™ Card users who receive a year-round discount that is less than 50% will have their discount increased to match the promotional fare. “This promotion allows those customers who do not participate in the Experience™ Card program an opportunity to travel at a discounted rate,” says BC Ferries.
Space on the select promotional sailings is on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are recommended. The discount is also available on select BC Ferries Vacations packages for customers looking for a Spring Break getaway. www.bcferries.com
Thursday, March 9 ~ GREATER VICTORIA AREA. The government of BC is going to review options for commuter train services in the Capital Regional District (CRD). As announced this morning, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will look at options around using the E&N rail line for transit services between Langford and Victoria West. This move is based on support from communities across the CRD, including Langford, Victoria, Esquimalt and View Royal.
“There has been strong community support for establishing a commuter service from the West Shore,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone. “Previous referendums held in Langford and Colwood showed more than 90% of residents were in favour of the idea. We’re listening to what residents are telling us, and we are excited about the possibilities and want to engage further with the local governments as we work to turn this concept into reality.
“As with any major initiative, the first step is to ensure that this idea meets the criteria for safety, sustainability and affordability, and that it makes good business sense before moving forward,” said Minister Stone.
The proposal to use a portion of the E&N line for transit service on the 15-km stretch between Westhills in Langford and Vic West has been endorsed by the four communities. The proposal centres on how quickly the population is growing in the region and how the population growth is continuing to cause congestion along Highway 1 into Victoria.
“If feasible, transit service along the E&N corridor from the West Shore would complement the investments we’re making in transit infrastructure in Greater Victoria, including a $10 million extension to the Douglas Street northbound bus lane, from Tolmie Avenue to the McKenzie interchange project, and the investment in the McKenzie interchange project itself, to address traffic congestion in the region,” added Stone.
“The province is aware that Langford, Sooke and the western communities have been growing quickly and are projected to continue to grow significantly,” Stone said.
The E&N rail line is owned by the Island Corridor Foundation, which has been working for several years to resume passenger rail service.
Victoria council endorsed a motion in the fall of 2016 to look at the viability of a commuter train on the line. Langford has been notably vocal about the need for commuter rail, as that city has continued to grow rapidly.
A working group, including representatives from the ministry, local government, BC Transit, the Victoria Regional Transit Commission (VRTC) and BC Safety Authority, will be established to provide input on a corridor analysis the ministry will be undertaking, which will look at the options and potential opportunities for this part of the E&N rail corridor. The analysis is anticipated to be completed by the summer of 2017. As with all transit services in the region, any new service would be seamlessly integrated within the BC Transit system in Greater Victoria and overseen by VRTC.
“We look forward to participating in the study to examine transit opportunities on the corridor,” said BC Transit president and CEO Manuel Achadinha.
“New transportation options are critically important for the economy and social well-being of our growing region,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “It makes good sense to explore the potential of using the E&N rail line for moving people between the Westshore and downtown.”
“I thank the Province for taking on this initiative,” said View Royal Mayor David Screech. “I believe the use of the E&N corridor is essential in the transportation planning for this region.”
“I would like to acknowledge all the assistance the Province has provided to Langford in constructing the numerous infrastructure projects undertaken in our growing community,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young. “We welcome the Province’s active involvement in the E&N Commuter Rail project to ensure a currently inactive corridor can be used to provide a vital link between Victoria and the vibrant community of Langford.”
Langford as a growing community is the most significantly impacted by congested commuter traffic. Mayor Young has pushed for opening up the E&N as an active train line for several years now.
“There has been concerted effort over a number of years to get this corridor seriously looked at; we are closer than ever now with the support of the Province,” said Township of Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins. “The need for another corridor is illustrated every day when unfortunate incidents restrict traffic flow. Thanks to the Province for moving forward on this significant opportunity for improved transit in the region.”
The E&N rail line is owned by the Island Corridor Foundation, which has been working for several years to resume passenger rail service on the line. The foundation has expressed its support for the commuter train service proposal between Vic West and Langford.
Thursday, March 9. And so the race card is firming up! West Shore Voice News is covering two electoral areas (ridings) on the west side of Vancouver Island during the election campaign toward the May 9 BC provincial election.
The main slate for the key riding of Langford-Juan de Fuca (which now includes Langford, Sooke and Juan de Fuca up to Port Renfrew — but no longer Metchosin) includes three candidates. BC NDP Leader John Horgan has built and held a stronghold in the riding since 2005.
- Long-time MLA John Horgan is the BC NDP incumbent candidate for Langford-Juan de Fuca. Horgan is holding his local campaign launch this weekend on Saturday, March 11 in Langford (Langford Legion, 761 Station Ave, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm). As party leader, he will be travelling all over BC during the campaign toward the May 9 election.
- The BC Liberals are running Cathy Noel as their candidate in Langford-Juan de Fuca. Noel has a broad reach in the sport-fitness community.
- The BC Green candidate for Langford-Juan de Fuca is Brendan Ralfs, a provincial emergency manager on southern Vancouver Island.
Another electoral area on the west side of South Vancouver Island long held by the NDP is Esquimalt-Metchosin (which includes Colwood). The current NDP MLA Maurine Karagianis is retiring from politics.
- The BC NDP candidate is Mitzi Dean, a long-time advocate for well-funded social services through the Pacific Centre Family Services based in Colwood.
- The BC Liberal candidate is Barb Desjardins, who is presently serving as both Mayor of Esquimalt and Chair of the Capital Regional District (CRD) board.
- The BC Greens today announced Dr Andy MacKinnon as their candidate for Esquimalt-Metchosin. He is a Professional Forester and Professional Biologist in BC, and author of books about plants of western North America.
Wednesday, March 8 ~ LANGFORD. Several vacant positions have recently been filled by the City of Langford following job vacancies that came up after recent retirements and some departmental reorganization.
- Braden Hutchins is the new director of corporate services, the first to fill that newly created position. He was previously the manager of corporate office and lands with the City of Port Coquitlam. He has also worked for the federal government and the Village of Valemount and has done environmental consulting in the UK.
- Darren Kiedyk will be the City’s new deputy chief administrative officer, working under CAO Jim Bowden. Kiedyk has worked for the City of Nanaimo, the City of Campbell River and the Village of Sayward. He’s also worked in the private sector and for the provincial government.
- Alan Savjord is new to lead Langford’s information and technology department. He was previously the information systems technology manager for Cold Lake in Alberta.
- Alison Boyd is the new executive assistant, working with mayor and council as well as supporting daily operations and administrative functions at city hall. She has worked at the CRD and the Municipal Finance Authority of BC.
Upcoming vacancies yet to be filled include director of finance (Steve Ternent soon to retire) and fire chief (retirement of Bob Beckett to come).
Meanwhile, the City of Langford website — while available — appears to be under reconstruction.
Wednesday, March 8 ~ LANGFORD. Yesterday morning Tuesday March 7, around 3 am, at least nine vehicles were broken into in the 2900-block of Humpback Road in Langford.
West Shore RCMP attended the scene after reports of various items having been taken from vehicles parked in private driveways. The stolen items ranged from electronics to coffee cards. In several instances the vehicles had been left unlocked.
A homeowner reported seeing two people walking by at the time of the thefts, with one of the individuals reportedly carrying a duffel bag, says Cst John Varley of West Shore RCMP.
Anyone with information regarding these thefts is asked to contact West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 < www.victoriacrimestoppers.ca >
West Shore RCMP encourages residents to take the following steps to prevent auto crime:
> Ensure that your vehicle is securely locked at all times, and that all valuables are removed or out of sight.
> Do not leave any personal identification in an unattended vehicle.
> Invest in a good anti-theft device, such as a steering wheel lock.
> Take the garage door opener out of your vehicle, along with any identifying information that could lead suspects to your home.
> Do not keep spare keys in your vehicle.
> Record all serial numbers on any valuables that are regularly transported in your vehicle.
> If you see any suspicious persons or activities, call the police immediately.
Wednesday, March 8 ~ COLWOOD. This week the Colwood Creek Park playground has been getting a surface upgrade. The Colwood Parks team started working in the playground at Colwood Creek Park on Monday, for about three or four days depending on the weather.
The pea gravel in the playground will be removed and replaced with a new engineered wood fibre play surface. The new surface provides better fall protection, is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers, and is easier to keep clean and clear of hazardous litter.
All other areas of the park will remain open to the public while this safety upgrade takes place, says the City of Colwood.
Are you age 8 to 18 and feeling creative? Try the Canada Day Challenge by submitting a story, essay, poem, photo or drawing in celebration of Canada 150. Deadline Friday March 31, 2017.
Winners will have their work displayed as part of a special summer exhibit at the Canadian Museum of History.
Check it out! http://canada.pch.gc.ca/eng/1449088858795
Tuesday, March 7 ~ LANGFORD. Today West Shore RCMP responded at around 10:37 a.m. this morning March 7 to 4100-block Sooke Rd in Metchosin in response to a report of a black Dodge Ram which had flipped into the ditch.
Police responded with BC Ambulance and Metchosin Fire first responders located a single occupant, a 24-year-old man from Sooke, with significant injuries. The man was transported to hospital to be treated for serious but non-life threatening injuries.
The roads are wet from heavy rain, and with temperatures hovering just above zero the road the highway driving conditions can be slippery.
It is unknown at this time how long the vehicle has been off the road, says West Shore RCMP media relations officer Cst. Alex Bérubé. The cause of the collision remains under investigation and police are asking anyone with information regarding to this incident to contact the West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264.
Monday, March 6 ~ COLWOOD. Back to the west shore by popular demand, the TELUS Future Home is set up for free daily tours at the far end of the West Shore Recreation parking lot.
The first day for the Future Home in this location was Saturday, March 4. It’s open 11 am to 7 pm daily through Sunday, March 12.
You can digitally enter your name and address into a prize draw before entering the display home. Lots of TELUS staff are on hand to explain all the nifty gadgets.
TELUS has been expanding their highspeed Internet service in the west shore and Sooke areas for the last couple of years, with a big push in 2016 and more this year. More info: www.telus.com/westshore
The Future Home demonstrates how highspeed Internet supports the use of leading-edge digital home technology. The kitchen area includes a herb-growing unit, calorie-counting countop, and a fridge that will tell you what foods you’re low on before you go shopping. The entry way has facial recognition software. There’s an exercise bike that monitors heart rate. The living room offers virtual-reality visual headsets. A TV screen shows how cyber-appointments can be done with your family doctor or hospital.
Last fall the Future Home was on display at the Westshore Town Centre mall in Langford (with an opening attended by Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton and Sooke Mayor Maja Tait), and after that in North Saanich.
Monday, March 6 ~ South Vancouver Island. Well, Saturday March 11 is ramping up to be a politics-of-the-left sorta day on the south island.
- BC NDP Leader John Horgan will be holding his local campaign kickoff, in his home riding of Langford-Juan de Fuca. That’s at the Langford Legion from 10:30am to 12:30pm.
- BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver will be holding a BC Green Party rally at the Grand Pacific Hotel in downtown Victoria, from 2 to 4pm.
The official BC provincial election campaign period (i.e. when the Writ drops and the current session of the legislature is dissolved) is expected to start April 11. The election is on Tuesday, May 9 (with plenty of Advance Voting opportunities ahead of that).
Voter registration notices went into the postal mail on February 14, says Elections BC. Registering to vote can be done online at www.elections.bc.ca/ovr or by calling 1-800-661-8683.
Friday, March 3 ~ WEST SHORE. Housing prices continue to surge upward in Greater Victoria, showing a raw average sale price of $852,111 in February.
The low number of properties listed for sale in February at 1,537 (very low compared to 2,562 a year ago) is only one pressure on prices. Buyers also hope to ‘beat the clock’ before super-low interest rates someday go up.
The raw average sale price of homes in getaway-lifestyle-Sooke has almost reached the half-million dollar mark ($495,789 in February). That’s up over $100,000 in one year.
In an economy where it’s mostly part-time and non-benefits jobs on the rise, the financial stability required for ownership of a single family home is increasingly beyond the reach of many.
This month’s MLS stats at www.vreb.org
Thursday, March 2 ~ WEST SHORE. BC Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon apparently had so much fun when visiting three schools in Sooke in January, that she will be back to Sooke School District 62 (SD62) next month!
It was announced at the February 28 SD62 board meeting that Lt Gov Guichon will visit at Sangster Elementary, Spencer Middle School, and Royal Bay Secondary on Wednesday, April 26. Those schools are in the Langford and Colwood areas of SD62.
Representing the Queen, the appearances in assemblies at all three schools will serve to celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday. The Lieutenant Governor has been visiting schools around BC since the launch visit at schools in Sooke on January 18.
See the January 20, 2017 issue of West Shore Voice News for a page-1 article on Lt Gov Judith Guichon’s visit to Edward Milne Community School in January.
Thursday, March 2 ~ VICTORIA. [Posted at 5 pm]. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted out at 9:03 am this morning that he had arrived on the West Coast with Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan for a visit to Victoria today, March 2.
Trudeau and Sajjan started off the day with a jog from the Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt near Victoria, along with about 300 military personnel on their monthly timed 5K run. Trudeau reportedly achieved the five-kilometer jog in under 25 minutes.
He toured the HMCS Ottawa and HMCS Chicoutimi including a battle control room, calling those activities “a real treat”. There was a photo op meet-and-greet with military families. The HMCS Ottawa will soon be setting off for a 6-month tour in the Asia Pacific.
After 1 pm, Trudeau met with Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps at Victoria City Hall. Their discussion reportedly included aspects of affordable housing, innovative technology including green tech, and local opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, as well the opiate crisis and local infrastructure projects such as Crystal Pool and the Victoria fire hall. There was a large crowd – numbering in the hundreds – comprised of both anti-pipeline protesters as well as well-wishers. There was heavy police security.
Some of the protest signage included messages like “We Vote No” and “You Promised Us Change”. Trudeau said briefing to media that “the environment and economy need to work together”, emphasizing the need for economic growth “while protecting the extraordinary natural inheritance” in BC.
In the Greater Victoria area there are several shops selling marijuana products, ahead of changes to federal legislature that would make pot sales legal. Trudeau answered a media question about marijuana, saying the current law remains in place “until we have a framework to control and regulate marijuana”.
Mayor Lisa Helps said the meeting with Trudeau today was the beginning of a relationship. The last sitting Prime Minister to visit Victoria City Hall was Lester B Pearson in 1965. Trudeau was gifted with a pair of Converse runners, with orca images on one side, as a way to ‘take a walk in our shoes’.
After the brief meeting at Victoria City Hall, Trudeau headed by air to Vancouver to meet with BC Premier Christy Clark at the downtown Fairmont Hotel at 5:30 pm. They are expected to discuss the upcoming BC Election, the fentanyl crisis and softwood lumber issues.
On Friday (March 3), Trudeau will visit Vancouver’s Downtown East Side to get a firsthand look at the drug overdose situation.
Thursday, March 2 ~ WEST SHORE. Back by popular demand, the TELUS Future Home will be set up and open for tours at the West Shore Rec Centre (Juan de Fuca Rec, 1767 Island Highway, Colwood) for another round of daily interaction with West Shore residents. The display will be open on a drop-in basis from Saturday March 4 through to Sunday March 12.
The portable experience of how high-speed Internet by TELUS PureFibre combined with Samsung technology will service future homes (kitchen, living room, entry way, and more) will be open to the public daily from 11 am to 7 pm.
Features of high-speed Internet services to various appliances and gadgetry includes facial recognition at the door for security, a fridge that figures out what foods require resupply, a countertop that calculates the caloric values of the meal you’re about to prepare, and a virtual-reality setup in the living room area.
The TELUS Future Home was setup at the Westshore Town Centre in Langford last fall. It was a popular activity for individuals and families to explore where modern home technology is heading. And much of it is already here!
For more information about TELUS highspeed in the West Shore area, visit www.telus.com/westshore
Wednesday, March 1 ~ VICTORIA. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be in Victoria tomorrow, Thursday, March 2.
Trudeau and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will be at Canadian Forces Base in Esquimalt, BC. They will tour the base later in the morning and meet with sailors, and be available to media at 12:30 pm.
Around 1:20 pm Trudeau will meet with Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps at Victoria City Hall.
The Dogwood Initiative group has called an ‘Emergency Town Hall’ to “make sure he hears the voices of real British Columbians”. They will be assembling at Centennial Square outside Victoria City Hall for 12:30 pm. Dogwood members have for several years been protesting any increase in oil tanker traffic off the coast of BC.
Trudeau is scheduled to meet with BC Premier Christy Clark at 5:30pm on Thursday, at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in downtown Vancouver, to discuss the opioid crisis and softwood lumber. On Friday, Trudeau will take a first-hand look at the drug crisis in Vancouver.
Wednesday, March 1 ~ West side of Vancouver Island. The BC Green Party has announced their candidate for Langford-Juan de Fuca. Brendan Ralfs — a provincial emergency manager on southern Vancouver Island — will be running on the same ballot as BC NDP Leader John Horgan and BC Liberal candidate Cathy Noel.
“After spending 20 years as a forest firefighter in BC I am passionate about seeing our province protected for future generations,” Ralfs said today in BC Greens news release. Ralfs has helped communities respond to a broad array of weather-influenced emergencies, including floods, storms and drought.
“I am honoured to welcome Brendan to our team. His experience managing emergencies across the province means he has a firsthand understanding of the impacts of climate change,” says BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver.
Ralfs calls Weaver “a clear choice to lead us in working together to ensure our home is a place where social justice prevails, the natural environment is protected and everyone has the opportunity to pursue their dreams while leading safe, productive lives”.
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