ARCHIVE – Front Page Breaking News – June 2018

ARCHIVE – Front Page Breaking News [June 2018]


SD62, West Shore Voice

SD62 board meeting June 26 — last of the 2017-2018 academic year, and the last for Superintendent Jim Cambridge who retires July 31, 2018. [West Shore Voice News photo]

Saturday, June 30 ~ WEST SHORE. SD62 hears from 58% of their employees. [Read this article on its own page]

At their June 26 board meeting, the Sooke School District (SD62) board heard the preliminary results of a workforce engagement (employment satisfaction) survey done by the BC Government.

As reported out with stats and display graphics by Public Sector Research and Evaluation Manager Angela Matheson, it was shown that about 58% of SD62 employees participated.

Some key findings included — as might be expected within the teaching profession — that ‘organizational commitment’ was high, while overall organizational satisfaction showed a range of results.

A hybrid analysis found some things that appeared to be red flags for senior administration: 8% of respondents were pegged as ‘minimally engaged’, with another 6% as ‘disengaged’. Some interesting categories of ‘happily detached’ (8%) and also ‘unhappily dedicated’ (7%) were considered to be anomalies.

Generally speaking, job stability and pay levels were not contentious issues, as compared to the general base of public sector employees.

The survey was thought to be important at this time, as a significant number of new teachers have joined SD62 in the past year or two, and are therefore at the start of their employment curve with SD62 which is one of the largest employers in the west shore.

As might be expected, participation rates in the survey were lowest (23%) for teachers were are on-call (i.e. not full time). Those who work within SD62’s Westshore Centre for Learning and Training who work extensively with online technology and deal more directly with the workforce and a range of learning scenarios, showed the highest survey participation rate (90%).

The last survey of a similar nature was done by the school board back in 2003. Trustee Margot Swinburnson said she hoped this sort of information would be acquired more regularly. Trustee Denise Riley said the survey idea was initiated by senior administrative staff, to which Secretary-Treasurer Harold Cull responded with a comment that the “morale and health” of the organization required some quantification with a baseline. Superintendent Jim Cambridge said that “engaged, happy, satisfied employees” are the goal.

>> This article first published in the June 29, 2018 print/PDF issue of West Shore Voice News.


Friday, June 29 ~ NATIONAL. Consumer pain: tariffs on a range of products start July 1 in Canada

As released June 29, the final list of 10% tariffs that will be imposed as a countermeasure on products coming into Canada from the USA includes a wide range of consumer products.

Matching a $16.6 billion US “unjustified” set of tariffs on Canadian steel (25%) and aluminum (10%), the Canadian counter-tariff list is political in nature to assert pressure on US lawmakers in key states where their state economies normally gain by trade with Canada. It comes into effect July 1, 2018.

Some of the US products that Canadians may quickly find to be more expensive: culinary and household paper products; and other paper and cardboard products; sewing machine accessories; printed postcards; certain types of stoves, fridges and dishwashers, washer/dryers; lawnmowers; sailboats, motorboats; beauty supply products; packaged pizza and quiche; maple syrup, candies and chocolate products; fresh orange juice, gherkin pickles, strawberry jam, soya sauce, ketchup & mayo; dishwasher detergent, glues, adhesives.

After receiving public consultation about the first list released June 1, things like peanut butter were removed from the Canadian tariff list. Full list: https://www.fin.gc.ca/access/tt-it/cacsap-cmpcaa-1-eng.asp


The BC Government grad scholarship announcement at Royal Roads University (RRU) on Tuesday June 26 was hosted by Mitzi Dean, MLA (Esquimalt-Metchosin), with speeches by Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark, and RRU President and Vice Chancellor Allan Cahoon [West Shore Voice News photo]

Wednesday, June 27 ~ COLWOOD. Royal Roads grad scholarships topped up by $180,000. [View this article on its own page]

A good-sized crowd of Royal Roads University (RRU) staff and students gathered on the third floor of the Learning and Innovative Centre on Tuesday afternoon, June 26, to hear an announcement from the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark about $180,000 coming to RRU for more grad-level student scholarships.

It’s part of a $12 million investment announced last month by Premier John Horgan, providing $15,000 each for students pursuing graduate degrees in research-intensive or professional graduate-degree programs.

Mark addressed the crowd of about 80 people with motivational remarks about “pushing the envelope for change” and having “room in her canoe” for everyone who wants to paddle together toward advancements in social, economic and environmental justice. Minister Mark said she is “proud to be part of a progressive government that wants to lift people up”.

The upbeat formal announcement event was hosted by MLA Mitzi Dean (Esquimalt-Metchosin) who is also the Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. Dean remarked about women leaders being advocates for all and how the current NDP government is helping people who’ve been left behind.

Royal Roads University President and Vice-Chancellor Allan Cahoon [West Shore Voice News photo – June 2018]

RRU president and vice-chancellor Allan Cahoon said that 70% of students at the RRU campus are at the graduate level, with research focussed on applied and professional areas. He was pleased for Mark to be able to meet directly with recipients of grad-level scholarships that day. The additional scholarship funding support will provide further grad student accessibilty, he said.

Cahoon emphasized that RRU education is “different” in that it focusses on making a difference in the community. The university is pleased to attract professionals and experts in various fields who are “brought back in terms of learning and teaching”, notably through attentive assessment to the work-world background and life experience of applicants
in addition to academic training.

After the formal presentation, Cahoon said that a three-way conversation with local school board SD62 and the City of Langford is going well, bringing together shared interests and benefits to the community. One of the goals is to offer new post-secondary opportunities to west shore high school graduates as they transition into post-secondary. This could help SD62 bump up its below-provincial-average Grade 12 graduate transfer rate and Langford can pitch in with a business innovation support network and access to their nearby recreational facilities.

The west shore campus idea was not originally part of the RRU long-term plan, Cahoon told West Shore Voice News, but says RRU is responding to the labour market needs of BC and a call-out from Langford and the west shore. “This plan is not necessarily for our business development (at the campus) but to respond to the community,” Cahoon said.

A mid-July meeting will develop things further amongst the three parties along with BC government input. Discussions will include a review of preliminary results from a survey of SD62 parents and students about their post-secondary wants and needs and what some of the barriers to transferrability might be (survey done in schools and online in May and June, including some passive outreach to the broader community). Cahoon says there will be cooperation with UVic and Camosun. All undergrad courses at RRU will be transferable to other post-secondary institutions, he said.

Supporting grad-level education is part of an education continuum, Minister Mark told West Shore Voice News, noting the increase of the grad scholarship level from $10,000 to $15,000. She also spoke excitedly about STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering-the Arts-Mathematics) in which she emphasizes the ‘A’, beyond STEM. “We’re investing in students, we’re on their side.”


 

Friday, June 22 ~ BC. The upcoming referendum on electoral reform is the public’s opportunity to indicate how you would want to vote in future BC provincial elections. That would be either first-past-the-post (present system, where the winner by even one vote takes home the prize) or a form of proportional representation (you’ll get three options).

As announced late Friday afternoon, June 22, the referendum ballot questions have been amended by cabinet and government, based on recommendations from the chief electoral officer.

It’s going to take a bit public education by the provincial government to do a fair job of getting a valid sense of what people really want. Elections BC will administer and enforce referendum advertising rules and the activities of proponent and opponent groups during the referendum campaign period of July 1, 2018 to 4:30 pm on November 30, 2018.

The official questions for the referendum are:

  • Which system should British Columbia use for provincial elections? (Vote for only one): • The current first-past-the-post voting system • A proportional representation voting system.
  • If British Columbia adopts a proportional representation voting system, which of the following voting systems do you prefer? Rank in order of preference. You may choose to support one, two or all three of the systems: • Dual Member Proportional (DMP) • Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) • Rural-Urban Proportional (RUP).

Voting will be by mail-in ballot during the voting period of October 22, 2018 to 4:30 pm on November 30, 2018. This will be BC’s third referendum or plebiscite conducted by mail-in ballot. In order to vote in the referendum, eligible British Columbians must be registered to vote with Elections BC.

Electoral reform referendum regulation: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/271/2018/06/ReferendumRegulation2018.pdf
Attorney General’s report and recommendations for the 2018 referendum on electoral reform: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/271/2018/05/How-We-Vote-2018-Electoral-Reform-Referendum-Report-and-Recommendations-of-the-Attorney-General.pdf
Recent changes to the Election Act: https://news.gov.bc.ca/15423
Elections BC: www.elections.bc.ca


Friday, June 22 ~ BC. Families searching for quality, licensed child care in their communities will have hundreds more options through a new grant program. “Thousands of parents, providers and educators have told us that the availability of quality child care is the number one concern for them,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “This grant program will offer providers a new source of funding to become licensed, and it – along with other initiatives – will help to further enhance the quality of programs.”

Eligible unlicensed child care providers – who are currently limited to providing care to a maximum of two children unrelated to them, or a sibling group – can now apply for financial assistance to become licensed family or in-home multi-age (IHMA) child care providers. Becoming licensed allows child care providers to care for seven or eight children, depending on their licence.

To help providers switch over, the Province is investing $750,000 in the program per year, over the next three years.

“Families and providers have been clear: there are just not enough child care spaces out there to meet demand, which is why our Childcare BC plan puts a premium on the creation of new, quality, highly sought-after licensed spaces,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “This grant program is step one as we gear up to announce a major investment in, and overhaul of, our child care building plan in the coming weeks.”

Funds of up to $4,500 are available for providers pursuing an IHMA licence, and up to $4,000 for providers pursuing a family child care licence. Funds include a $500 up-front payment, in addition to $500 per space, which will be provided to cover the costs of becoming licensed, including but not limited to:
* training fees (i.e. Responsible Adult course, Mother Goose training, first aid);
* application fees (i.e. licensing, re-zoning);
* hiring replacement staff while taking a required course to become licensed; and
* buying equipment for a child care facility.

Under Childcare BC, the Province is investing more than $1 billion in child care over the next three years to lay the foundation for a universal child care system. Investments in licensed providers complement the Province’s Childcare BC goals of improving quality and building more licensed spaces for BC families.


 

Friday, June 22 ~ BC. A deadline of August 14, 2018 looms fast for parents who may wish to sign up for a grant that contributes to tax-free savings within a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).

The BC Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTESG) is $1,200 for each child born in 2006 or later. The deadline for those born in 2007 to 2009 is August 14, 2018, or the day before the child’s ninth birthday, whichever is later.

Almost 80% of job openings in BC over the next decade will require some form of post-secondary education.
The grant may be used for full or part-time studies at vocational schools, apprenticeships, trades training, college or university. The BCTESG is seen as one way to help ease transition from high school.

Even without any other funds to presently contribute to an RESP, this grant can get that process started at a financial institution.


Thursday, June 21 ~ Vancouver Island. There have been cases of shellfish-related illness on the south section of Vancouver Island in individuals who have self-harvested in closed areas in June. Island Health is reminding self-harvesters to be aware of shellfish closures during the harvest season. The best way to protect yourself and others is not to harvest shellfish from closed areas.

Toxic forms of algae often increase in ocean water in the summer with warming water temperatures. Concentrations of toxins can accumulate in filter-feeding shellfish. Shellfish that can be affected include: clams, oysters, whole scallops, mussels, cockles, geoducks, whelks, periwinkles, or the innards of crab (toxin can be in flesh if the crab is boiled before innards are removed).

Shellfish that have accumulated toxins will not appear to be ill or contaminated. Cooking does not render the shellfish safe from toxins though will reduce disease from bacteria and viruses. When contaminated shellfish are consumed, illness can result. Toxins, such as saxitoxin, can cause human illness including Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP). Saxitoxin and PSP are a frequent cause for shellfish closures.

There is no safe place to harvest shellfish without checking shellfish closures first. Environmental testing in June has shown very high environmental levels of toxins in the harvesting area where human illness occurred. The absence of an algae bloom is not an indicator of shellfish safety.

Symptoms of shellfish poisoning can occur within minutes and/or up to 24 hours after eating contaminated shellfish. In mild cases, symptoms may include tingling, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, dizziness, muscle weakness, disorientation, memory loss, loss of coordination, or difficulty swallowing. These symptoms disappear within several days. In serious cases, seizures, unstable blood pressure, paralysis, difficulty breathing, coma or death may occur.

At the first sign of symptoms, contact the Poison Control Centre at 1-800-567-8911 for first aid advice and seek medical attention immediately.

Shellfish harvested for sale are monitored and tested by the CFIA; shellfish from an approved source are considered safe for consumption in moderate amounts. Island Health, BCCDC and FNHA work with agencies to improve monitoring in areas not used for commercial harvesting and which may have greater use by self-harvesters.

• Closure information: http://maps.bccdc.org/shellfish/
http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fmgp/contamination/biotox/index-eng.html
• Marine toxins: http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthtopics/content.asp?hwid=ug2961
• Self-harvesting:
http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/food-your-health/fish-shellfish/shellfish-harvesting-control

For information please contact Island Health, Health Protection office: 250-519-3401.


 

Thursday, June 21 ~ BC.  The BC Government has received a report with 24 recommendations that aim to improve efficiency and outcomes in business interaction between government and BC’s liquor industry. The Business Technical Advisory Panel’s report was developed by Liquor policy advisor Mark Hicken.

The Ministry of Attorney General announced today that government will review the recommendations to analyze and consider the potential health, public safety, social, financial and labour impacts of the recommendations. Any actions will need to be compliant with British Columbia’s trade obligations.

Hicken is a long-time wine industry lawyer, who received the Liquor Policy Advisor appointment in November 2017.
Among other issues, the review found a wholesale monopoly in liquor sales in BC. As the BC Liquor Distribution Branch gets ready to add wholesale and retail marijuana sales to its network of liquor warehouses and stores, the BC government is being urged to deal with a conflict of interest in the system.

The LDB sets wholesale prices and supplies products for private liquor stores as well as government stores it operates in competition with the private stores, policy advisor Mark Hicken said in the report to government on June 20.

Hicken chaired a panel of industry representatives who met with stakeholders, read written submissions and deliberated over findings, to provide recommendations that reflect industry consensus. Health agencies and labour representatives provided input. Further engagement with these experts will be required at the analysis stage.

Panel members were from the BC Wine Institute, BC Craft Brewers Guild, Canada’s National Brewers, Craft Distillers Guild of BC, Restaurants Canada, BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association, Alliance of Beverage Licensees and Rural Agency Store Advisory Society.

This report will assist government in focusing limited resources on evaluating industry priorities, and reflects government’s interest in developing policy that makes life better for all British Columbians.


 

New LED directional arrows along Highway 14 near Gillespie Road, east of Sooke [West Shore Voice News photo – June 2018]

Wednesday, June 20 ~ SOOKE. If travelling on Highway 14 is part of your day for commuting, business or tourism, here’s your chance for public input on improvements to that long Corridor. It runs from Veterans Memorial Parkway in Langford, west through the communities of Sooke and Jordan River, all the way to Port Renfrew.

Yesterday evening in Sooke about 140 people attended a public open house regarding Highway 14 corridor improvements. Ministry staff felt the response of attendees was positive overall. About 20 feedback forms were handed in at the session. “We will assess the comments when the engagement period closes on July 15,” says MOTI.

The open house was an opportunity to present an update on previously announced projects that are underway for the corridor (including a major roadside announcement in Sooke by Premier John Horgan on January 19), and gather feedback from the community on future priorities for Highway 14. Materials from the open house, including the online feedback form, are available at www.gov.bc.ca/highway14

Public feedback is being considered along with technical, environmental and financial information. The resultant transportation improvements are intended to help ensure that Hwy 14 meets the needs of users in the short and long term. Public input can be provided up to July 15, 2018 online at gov.bc.ca/highway14 or by emailing comments to highway14@gov.bc.ca . Written feedback can be sent to MOTI, 3rd Floor, 2100 Labieux Road, Nanaimo, BC V9T 6E9

Various improvements already in the $10 million improvements plan include:

  • the installation of signalized lights at Sooke River Road (construction to begin Fall 2018).
  • a new eastbound lane added at Jacklin Road to allow transit to bypass the traffic queues at the signalized Jacklin Road intersection (construction to be completed by Fall 2018).
  • Bus pullouts have been installed (2 at West Shore Parkway, 2 at Laidlaw, 2 at Harbourview).
  • Arrows on the curve near Gillespie Road and the 17 Mile Pub have been installed, some of which are made more visible with LED. There is now also a flashing beacon at Kangaroo Rd.
  • Speed reader boards have been installed at Parkland Road.
  • Paving on Otter Point Road is being done this summer.
  • The Sombrio rest area design improvements are complete, with construction this summer. A slow vehicle pullout east of Muir Creek is being designed for construction this summer.

 


 

Recreation cannabis becomes legalized in Canada effective October 17, 2018 [photo credit: Shutterstock]

Wednesday, June 20 ~ BC. BC Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth has issued the following statement regarding the federal Cannabis Act:

“Today, the Government of Canada has made history by announcing the end of a 95-year prohibition on non-medical cannabis, and confirming the legalization date of October 17, 2018. Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, creates a new national framework that provides access to a regulated supply of cannabis, while implementing restrictions to minimize the harms associated with cannabis use.

“This federal legislation creates a corresponding need for provincial and territorial governments to establish cannabis-related laws and regulations. That’s why BC recently passed legislation to ensure we have a responsible regulatory framework in place for the safe implementation of legalized cannabis throughout our province.

“We’re now focused on developing the regulations and supporting policies for the implementation of our provincial regulatory regime. We are also working on provincial public awareness and education campaigns, to ensure British Columbians have the information they need regarding legalization and our provincial regulations when they come into force.

“It’s important to remember that the date set by the federal government for cannabis legalization will just be the beginning. The legalization of cannabis is complex, and the Province is committed to monitoring the implementation and making any adjustments necessary to meet our provincial goals. This includes continuing to engage local governments and Indigenous governments and organizations beyond legalization, to ensure specific interests and concerns are addressed.”


 

US President Donald Trump signs executive order June 20, 2018 so that children are not separated from their parents when arriving as illegal immigrants. [CNN / livestream]

Wednesday, June 20 ~ USA. Today June 20, President Donald Trump reversed his argument that he had no authority to stop separations of undocumented immigrant families at the border, signing an executive order to keep parents and kids together.

“We’re signing an executive order. I consider it to be a very important executive order. It’s about keeping families together, while at the same time being sure we have a very powerful, very strong border,” Trump said.  He said that First Lady Melania Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump ‘had strong feelings’ about the separation of children from their parents.

Trump’s reversal came after facing intense pressure from around the world and across the political spectrum as well as from religious leaders and protest groups seen through the USA in recent days. All of the pushback conveyed shock and outrage at separating children from their parents, and holding them in prison-like conditions, presumably indefinitely. Recent media coverage had presented TV and audio news reports of crying children — some of whom were kept in cage-like detention centers.

The President claimed he isn’t backing down.  At the White House (livestreamed) he said: “The border is just as tough. But we do want to keep families together.

Trump said that no previous White House has had the “courage” to deal with immigration problems for the past 60 years.  He also listed off having dealt with other things under his administration that have not dealt with by previous administrations, like nuclear issues in Iran and North Korea.


 

Wednesday, June 20 ~ BC. The Province is establishing a new, publicly accessible registry of who owns real estate in British Columbia. It will be the first registry of its kind in Canada.

The Ministry of Finance says it will improve transparency in the real estate market. It will provide tax auditors and law enforcement agencies, as well as federal and provincial regulators, with information that will assist with their investigations.

British Columbians are invited to provide feedback on the white paper proposal until August 19, 2018.
Read the white paper: www.fin.gov.bc.ca/pld/fcsp/consultLOTA.htm

To share your comments, email to the Ministry of Finance at: fcsp@gov.bc.ca

The BC Government’s 30-Point Plan for Housing Affordability is here: http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf


 

Wednesday, June 20 ~ BC. The Government of British Columbia will establish rigorous new rules and expectations for the renewal of salmon farm tenures in BC waters, it was announced today, June 20.

“The challenges facing our wild salmon have been ignored for far too long,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “That’s why we are putting in place a new approach to provide clarity and outline our expectations moving forward for a sustainable industry that protects wild salmon, embraces reconciliation, and provides good jobs.”

The new requirements provide clarity on the salmon farming tenure process, establishing key criteria for tenures past 2022.

“We need to take the necessary steps – steps that should have been taken years ago – to ensure that fish farm operations do not put wild salmon stocks in jeopardy,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “The thousands of British Columbians who rely on our clean ocean waters for jobs, culture and recreation expect no less.”

Effective June 2022, the Province will grant Land Act tenures only to fish farm operators who have satisfied Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) that their operations will not adversely impact wild salmon stocks, and who have negotiated agreements with the First Nation(s) in whose territory they propose to operate.

A key court ruling in 2009 clarified that the federal government has the exclusive jurisdiction for regulating fisheries, including fish farms.

“We will look to DFO to bring the best science to determining where and under what conditions open-pen fish farms can operate without threatening wild salmon and other species,” Popham said.

The year 2022 aligns with the current renewal date of the substantial majority of fish licences issued by DFO.


 

Wednesday, June 20 ~ NATIONAL. Cannabis will be legal to buy and consume in Canada by about mid-September. The Senate voted yesterday, June 19, to pass the Liberal government’s Bill C-45 to bring the previously prohibited substance into legal use.

UPDATE at 3:15 pm –  “Today, the Government of Canada has made history by announcing the end of a 95-year prohibition on non-medical cannabis, and confirming the legalization date of Oct. 17, 2018. Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, creates a new national framework that provides access to a regulated supply of cannabis, while implementing restrictions to minimize the harms associated with cannabis use,” said BC Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, in a statement to media.

After Royal Assent, it will take provinces and other jurisdictions about 8 to 12 weeks to be ready for regulations and law enforcement.

The Senate vote on June 19 was 52-29. Of the Senate’s nearly four dozen amendments, 27 were accepted last week by the government and others were tweaked.

But 13 amendments were not accepted, including giving provinces the right to limit home grown cultivation and the number of cannabis plants that can be grown at home. The number of allowable plants will be four in all provinces. There was some effort in the Senate to have that amendment reinstated, but senators voted 45-35 to not insist on that change.

Most of the votes in the Senate against legalization were by Conservative senators, under direction from their leader Andrew Scheer. Liberal and independent senators were open to vote as they saw fit.

One Conservative Senator (Leo Housakos) predicts those presently involved in peddling illegal cannabis are becoming large corporations that will make a lot of money at the expense of vulnerable people.

The Liberal government has said all along that it wants to take cannabis profiteering out of the hands of criminals, and to aim for better safety for youth away from the black market.

It’s still not clear how effective driving-while-impaired enforcement can be in detecting TCH-affected drivers.

Canada is the first industrialized country to legalize cannabis nationwide. Several states in the USA have in recent years forged ahead with legalization. The industry is flourishing. Business pundits are calling this a brand new consumer growth product, something that is not often seen on the scope.

The full Bill C-45 is online at http://www.parl.ca/Content/Bills/421/Government/C-45/C-45_3/C-45_3.PDF

The Liberal government has said all along that it wants to take cannabis profiteering out of the hands of criminals, and to aim for better safety for youth away from the black market.


 

Insulin pump helps Type 1 diabetes patients maintain constant blood sugar levels.

Saturday, June 16 ~ BC.  An expansion of insulin pump coverage takes effect July 3. Announced June 12, this expansion will ensure that any diabetic person in BC has access to an insulin pump under PharmaCare if needed. Previously, insulin pump coverage for youth extended only to the age of 25 (and when the program was first introduced in 2008 covered children only to age 18).

BC Minister of Health Adrian Dix explained that many people over 25 years of age “have been forced to make the difficult choice between purchasing this device for their health, or foregoing it due to cost. Going forward, they won’t be put in this position,” said Dix in a media announcement.

An insulin pump is a medical device that more closely mimics the body’s natural insulin production than insulin injections. The pump is worn on the body at all times and delivers insulin through a thin tube (cannula). It allows greater freedom and blood glucose control, thus reducing the likelihood of long-term complications.

For young patients with type 1 diabetes, insulin pump therapy is associated with lower risks of severe hypoglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis and better glycemic control than insulin injection therapy, according to a study published October 2017 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The cost of one pump runs from $6,000 to $7,000 and requires replacement every five years.

The pump system allows diagnosed diabetics to better manage their condition, improving quality of life and well-being, and preventing serious secondary conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease to nerve damage, said Dix.

“Insulin pumps can also help prevent eye disease, kidney disease, amputations and a number of other complications related to diabetes,” says Ramya Hosak, executive director and co-founder of Young and T1, a BC-based and volunteer-run organization for young adults living with Type 1 diabetes.

“Following through on a pledge made by Premier John Horgan, the provincial government is removing the age restriction for insulin pump coverage,” said Dix. About 485,000 people in BC live with diabetes. An estimated 830 adults will benefit from the expansion in the first year.

BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver made a statement of support for the decision. “Insulin pumps are not only an effective tool for patients to manage a very dangerous disease, they’re also a preventative and cost-effective measure for our healthcare,” said Weaver.

BC is the third province to cover the cost of insulin pumps for diabetics, regardless of age. To young Type 1 diabetics living in the province, it comes as a huge relief. “Diabetes Canada commends the provincial government for making this decision. Type 1 diabetes doesn’t stop at age 25, and we are so pleased that insulin pump coverage won’t also,” says Sheila Kern, regional director of BC and Yukon Diabetes Canada. “The burden of worrying about how to continue insulin therapy after the age of 25 can be very heavy, but this decision put through by the Horgan administration will help lessen it.”

Physicians in BC who provide continuous care to diabetic patients receive a diabetes management incentive payment. In 2017-18, more than 3,400 family doctors received that payment for over 208,300 patients.

Aging populations, increasing urbanisation, and widening social inequalities (including poverty) are contributing factors to the rapid rise in diabetes prevalence over the past 40 years, it was reported in The Lancet this week.


Friday, June 15 ~ SOOKE.  A survey about health services in Sooke is online at www.sooke.ca/health. Ongoing updates regarding Sooke Region Primary Care will also be posted at that site following this weekend’s open house on health planning in the region.

The survey focuses on use of the existing West Coast Family Medical Clinic. Questions include whether or not you already have a family doctor, and where you go for urgent care with the West Coast Family Medical Clinic is closed.

The open house on Saturday, June 16 will be hosted by the District of Sooke, South Island Division of Family Practice, and Island Health to present the Sooke Region Community Health Services Planning document. It runs from 1 to 4 pm, at Sooke Baptist Church, 7110 West Coast Road.

“Community Health Service planning has brought together multiple partners focused on developing local solutions for Sooke,” states the District of Sooke. They are providing the open house as an opportunity for the community to learn about the planning document, the priorities identified, and the proposed objectives to support improved access to health care in the region.

Financial resources and responsibility for public health care rest largely within the provincial government, making the role of local government one of advocacy.

Members of the community discussed target health service issues at the May 2016 Sooke Health Summit [West Shore Voice News photo]

In December of 2013, a Primary Health Care Services Working Group (PHCSWG) was formed, based on input from the community and an existing municipal initiative to address broad health and social needs.

The PHCSWG brings together local and regional health care professionals, and since 2013 the group has tackled a multitude of community health needs, including physician recruitment, improved medical imaging services (X-ray and ultrasound), Sooke X-Ray Briefing Document 2016 (In late 2017, West Coast Medical Imaging improved the X-Ray technology available in Sooke), collaborating on research and programming regarding the support needs of senior citizens, advocacy for continued support of existing health infrastructure, and hosting two community forums to collect input on community needs and share resources.

That was followed by a Health Summit in May 2016 at Sooke Community Hall, with break-out groups where discussion drilled down into specific issues.

The District of Sooke admits that the idea of a “one-stop shop” Health Care Centre has been discussed in Sooke for more than a decade, with several proposals coming forward during that time. Varying circumstances have halted each proposal, but the need for expanded primary care has not changed.

It was announced by the BC Government last week that this fall a full team-based primary care centre will open in Surrey, where a larger population is ideal for the initiative.

The focus of the PHCSWG in Sooke over the past year has been on further exploring improved Primary Health Care for the Sooke Region. A steering committee which includes representation from Island Health was tasked with moving this initiative forward, with a stakeholder engagement session held in November 2017. The Sooke Region Community Health Planning Document outlines the key themes and priorities from this session.


 

Friday, June 15 ~ SOOKE. Things are moving along with continued changes to commuter routes (highways and bus lanes).

Last week four of the six bus shelters along Hwy 14 (Sooke Rd) were seen to be in place; all to be finished soon and some clearly already in use. There are also some new LED large arrow signs along the curve near the 17-Mile pub.

For those who drive into Victoria from the west shore, note that the left turn from Hwy 1 onto Carey Road was closed as of June 10, making way for the new northbound bus lane.

Heading northbound on Hwy 1 out of Victoria, toward the west shore. [West Shore Voice News – June 2018]

This week construction crews began building a new two-lane bridge on Gillespie Road at Roche Cove, which is an important alternative route to Hwy 14 during those closures that cause considerable traffic delays when there’s a crash or bad weather conditions on the Hwy 14 corridor that is so essential for Sooke commuters.

  • The $3.66 million contract work by North Gate Pacific Contracting Ltd. of Maple Ridge includes a two-lane concrete bridge on an improved road alignment, with 1.5-metre paved shoulders for safer crossing by pedestrians and cyclists. It will replace the existing single-lane timber bridge, and is expected to open to traffic in fall 2018.
  • In the coming weeks and months, delays of up to 20 minutes may occur 9am to 3pm Monday to Saturday to accommodate rock blasting.
  • There will also be a small number of full-day closures which will be posted in advance on roadside message signs, with a detour via Kangaroo Rd and East Sooke Rd.

The Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure will be holding a public input opportunity in Sooke soon. Many Sooke-area businesses and residents have for years been calling for Hwy 14 to be a more reliable commuter route in and out of the town. Improvements to highway infrastructure and public transit are being seen as the response from the provincial government under Premier John Horgan, who is MLA for the region.

[Updated from the article that first ran in the June 8, 2018 West Shore Voice News print/PDF edition]


 

Friday June 15 ~ BC. Today June 15, 2018, changes to Rules under the Real Estate Services Act that dictate how REALTORS® work with consumers have come into effect. The Rules, mandated by the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) and finalized on April 27, 2018, have been amended to ensure that REALTORS® make adequate disclosures, so that consumers can make informed decisions. For many Realtors, the changes mean diminished financial returns in their overall sales income.

“BCREA, together with the Real Estate Council of British Columbia (RECBC), has been hard at work to update the Applied Practice Courses for new licensees. BCREA has also been updating its continuing education courses and nearly two dozen standard legal forms that have been impacted by the changes,” said British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) CEO Darlene Hyde. “The new rules governing real estate practices mark a significant shift in how REALTORS® in BC work with their clients. It’s important that consumers know what to expect when the changes come into effect.

”REALTORS®, consumers and conflicts of interest:  One of the changes is a ban on dual agency. Dual agency occurs when a REALTOR® represents more than one party in a real estate transaction. That can be a buyer and a seller, two or more buyers, or a landlord and a tenant. The ban was recommended by RECBC’s Independent Advisory Group in 2016. Exemptions will be possible in limited circumstances. Under the prohibition on dual agency a real estate agent cannot represent two clients with competing interests at the same time.

REALTORS®, consumers and compensation:  From June 15, REALTORS® are required to make more disclosures on the commissions they receive on transactions. Once the amendment comes into effect, a REALTOR® must give the seller a copy of the disclosure form before presenting each offer or counter-offer from potential buyers. This form explains how the commission will be shared with other brokerages involved in the transaction (the buyer’s brokerage) and any other payments the REALTOR® expects to receive as a result of the transaction.

BCREA has worked with its 11 member boards “to make these changes as seamless and as transparent as possible,” says BCREA. Despite that, the BC Green Party issued a statement one day ago (June 14) in response to “ongoing concerns expressed…by realtors across BC”. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver “is once more calling on the Minister of Finance and the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate to extend the timeline for the introduction of the real estate rule changes”. The changes had already been delayed once — they were to first come into effect March 15, 2018.

BCREA says they are actively working to educate REALTORS® on the implications of these changes so they can continue to serve consumers with integrity and professionalism when the Rule changes come into effect.

“These changes will profoundly alter for the foreseeable future the way consumers initially interact with their REALTOR® and the ban on limited dual agency will have a negative impact on consumer choice with respect to their selection of REALTOR® in some circumstances,” said Hyde. “BCREA has done its utmost to facilitate the transition to the new Rules and we stand behind a strong regulatory regime, informed and knowledgeable customers and professional REALTORS®.”

For more information on the Rule changes: https://knowledge.recbc.ca/


 

Five mayors of the West Shore Parks & Recreation Society owner municipalities at their June 14, 2018 AGM (far row from left): Ken Williams (Highlands), Carol Hamilton (Colwood), David Screech (View Royal); and (back to camera): Councillor Denise Blackwell (Langford), and John Ranns (Metchosin). [West Shore Voice News photo]

Thursday, June 14 ~ WEST SHORE. Tonight the five municipalities that own the West Shore Parks & Recreation facility disbanded their board. [View this article on its own page]

While mayors (or their reps) around the table for the 2018 Annual General Meeting gave assurances that the West Shore Parks & Recreation Society board and staff were not the problem, the boom came down.

Effective immediately, the five municipal owners (Langford, Colwood, View Royal, Metchosin and Highlands) will run the show. ‘Time to push the reset button’, was a phrase used often this evening, June 14. The five mayors will be represented by the Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) of their municipalities.

It’s a rather unique setup, an interim board to — in part — carry the WSPR entity relatively intact through the fall municipal election period (during which mayors will be otherwise occupied) and into the 2019 home stretch of the current agreement. The current West Shore Parks & Recreation ownership agreement expires in April 2019.

Rumblings for change began in the last few years and intensified this year, as Langford with its seven new recreational facilities in seven years began to feel as though its annual contribution to WSPR was becoming out of balance with the benefits gained for Langford residents. At tonight’s WSPR AGM Langford Councillor Denise Blackwell said: “Langford pays a great deal and we also fund our own facilities. We’ve felt an inequity in the amount that Langford is paying for recreation,” she said. And joining the chorus of similar statements around the table: “It’s not about the members of the board or staff – it’s owners with the most issues,” said Blackwell.

Outgoing chair of the West Shore Parks & Recreation Society board, Ed Watson (left) and Metchosin Mayor John Ranns, at the June 14 AGM [West Shore Voice News photo]

When WSPR began, there were few recreational amenities in Langford. After how long it took to get the Q Centre (behind the main Juan de Fuca Rec Centre building at 1767 Island Highway) up and running, Langford’s Mayor Stew Young took recreational initiatives in Langford under the control of his municipality. Langford now has sports fields, ice rink and arena, a bowling alley, and access to the pool within the Langford YM-YWCA.

The five mayors running this show are Stew Young (Langford), Carol Hamilton (Colwood), David Screech (View Royal), John Ranns (Metchosin), and Ken Williams (Highlands). Until last year the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area (JDFEA) was also a member, but JDFEA Mike Hicks managed to get his area out of the deal over evidence of minimal usage by JDFEA residents.

The current five mayors met mid-May to discuss the findings and recommendations in a report known as ‘the Huggett report’ (by consultant Jonathan Huggett) which was commissioned for $25,000 to review the terms of reference and find a way forward for recreation in the west shore that is presumably more equitably contributed to.

“The Huggett Report takes us one step forward,” said Metchosin Mayor John Ranns during the AGM. “It’s a preliminary report and we’re following the footsteps. It’s nothing against the board and good works that people have done.” Ranns said that the interim board is “the only means we could find” to break the current impasse of budget and funding issues.

In part, those issues are underscored by staff that may have been left rudderless for vision and direction – perhaps by a combination of ownership being one-step-removed (mayors were not members of the WSPR board), extended absence of a senior staff person away for health reasons, and perhaps a lack of organization around ‘moving forward’ in various levels of business development.

For Ranns to say this evening that “we fired ourselves” was a bit of humble pie, as mayors now fully hold the reins through their CAOs.

Highlands Mayor Ken Williams said “the board did the best they could do with the tools given to them”. He said the new arrangement was a way for achieving “maximum potential for this facility”.

At tonight’s WSPR AGM — held in the Fieldhouse behind the Juan de Fuca Rec Centre – board chair Ed Watson clearly stated that he felt that collapsing the current board was “about money”. Indeed, Langford in particular has been looking for a new formula for a couple of years now, one that will see its annual contribution (requisition) to WSPR be more representative of how much benefit Langford residents get from the facility. Now it sounds like all five member municipalities are on board for something equitable.

Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton tonight said “it’s about the ownership and productivity, and how we support this facility to see it thrive”, adding her support for CAOs to run the ship while mayors are busy during the election period.

The other aspect about money has been a revenue shortfall, which municipalities flagged as a problem and essentially (through objection by member councils) froze the WSPR budget at 2016 levels. Staffing costs have gone up, so have (or soon will be) some of the admission and facility fees. A little revenue burst was seen in the last year or so from adjusting the rental arrangements of the LED display sign at the roadside. But use of the curling rink and Q Centre and many of the field areas have been underutilized, perhaps through a lack of leadership, vision or operational know-how.

It now seems long ago (though it was only March 1) that Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton issued a surprisingly forthright statement including that “Colwood is fighting for West Shore Parks and Recreation’s survival by advocating for a sustainable financial plan. We risk losing West Shore Parks and Recreation if owner municipalities act in their own interests rather than honouring their contractual obligations.” Much of that seemed targeted toward Langford.

But at tonight’s WSPR AGM it was pretty much ‘smiles all around’, with all five municipalities on board – if not actually excited – to be going into a transitional phase in which they feel they will have an opportunity to rethink the financial model for delivery of recreation services in their five west shore areas.

Recreation is understood among most of the WSPR community leadership as well as users as more than just the facilities themselves. The rec centre, arenas, pool, golf course, seniors centre and other amenities are the ways and means for community groups, sports teams, and many sectors of the community to gather, be active, recreate and learn.

The Q Centre is owned and operated by the West Shore Parks & Recreation Society [West Shore Voice News photo – June 2018]

That the problems suffered by WSPR facilities and budget mishaps has been “about money” is the nugget of it all. With 2018 fee-based revenues being only about half of the expenditures lined out in the budget, for some municipalities it has felt as through their per-resident requisition payments have somehow been increasingly pitched into a black hole.

While disbanding of the WSPR volunteer board of 14 people (elected reps from each municipality plus non-elected appointees) was done as graciously as could be hoped for, it was a clear reclaiming of power by the top levels of municipal government. The CAOs (the most senior staff person of each municipalities) have already rolled up their sleeves and begun the necessary processes for discussions and moving forward. There’s no moss on this rolling stone that will see new decisions for recreation in the west shore being made by new councils after the October 2018 election.

While the faces of the five councils are likely to be refreshed in October 2018, few if any of the current five mayors as incumbents are expected to fail at re-election. So this period where senior municipal staff are effectively in charge of the region’s largest recreational facility for at least the next six months, it’s likely that the mayors chose this method of disbanding their volunteer board as a way to maintain control, until the agreement can be rewritten ahead of April 2019 with a rebalancing of the financial requirements that will be expected of each municipality after that.

At present, requisitions into WSPR are paid strictly on population count. Langford is growing fast but can likely profess that fewer uses of the Juan de Fuca Rec Centre and adjoining facilities are by Langford residents, many of whom are staying closer to home using newer and a different range of facilities. In the 2017 WSPR annual report it shows a total population for the five-municipality region being just under 70,000. Of that, Langford has 50.7% of that count, with Colwood at 24.2%, View Royal 14.9%, Metchosin 6.8% and Highlands 3.2% (JDFEA had 0.2% population count in that formula until leaving the arrangement). Population growth for that combined group of municipalities was 32.2% over 10 years (2006 to 2016).

The Juan de Fuca Parks & Rec fieldhouse, on the lower fields behind the main rec centre [West Shore Voice News photo – June 2018]

For 2018, the required requisitions (based on the 2016 “approved amounts”) is listed in the annual report as totalling $4,947,539. That is comprised of $2,511,736 from Langford, $1,110,077 from Colwood, $725,839 from View Royal, $422,583 from Metchosin, and $177,304 from Highlands. This makes up 48.1% of required revenues to keep things running.

Expenditures based on the 2016 (most recently approved) budget were $11,643,688. So that leaves a difference (after incoming municipal requisitions, and depending on which year’s figures are crunched) of about $6,696,149. That’s where fee-based services come in, to provide the rest.

The biggest fee-based revenue generators in terms of percentage contribution to the revenues, are aquatics (7.89%), food and beverage services (6.55%), licensed care (6.55%), fitness and wellness (5.84%), and the Q Centre mostly anchored by The Shamrocks and The Grizzlies sports teams (4.93%). That’s followed by sports and curling, JdF Arena, Preschool to Youth, Arts & Culture, golf, seniors centre, and community recreation/development.

Earlier this year a projected transfer of $721,455 was expected to be needed this year from the capital surplus (a fund generally used for larger maintenance projects and new initiatives). The WSPR sees value in continuing to subsidize areas of its operations, including a subsidy in 2018 of $347,135 to operate the JdF arena ($4.26 per user/year), $289,462 to operate the swimming pool ($2.07 per usage/year), the Q Centre with a subsidy of $164,974 ($2.10 per usage/year), and the curling rink ice with a subsidy of $103,866 ($20.61 per usage/year).

The meeting wrapped up with a relatively tense debate about whether one of the five CAOs would represent the WSPR Society at the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association (GVLRA) public sector employer’s bargaining agency. WSPR board chair Ed Watson did remind the gathered mayors that an elected official is to participate at GVLRA meetings. Mayor Ranns said “leave it to the CAOs to figure it out”, in that they would check with GVLRA to see if one of the interim reps (CAOs) could attend GVLRA meetings instead of one of the mayors. Mayor Screech said he felt it could be a conflict for a CAO (staff) to participate in labour negotiation discussions.


 

Wednesday, June 13 ~ BC.  Today Premier John Horgan announced an extension of the The Recovery Transition Program for periods of 30 days, up to 90 days. This is in partnership with the Red Cross, which will provide support and financial assistance to people who cannot return to their homes.

Speaking in a teleconference out of Grand Forks today June 13, Horgan said the funds are for living expenses and for people to get back into homes.

The Recovery Transition Program  will provide support and financial assistance to people who cannot return to their homes. The BC government will match donations made to the Canadian Red Cross, dollar for dollar. Donations can be made at https://donate.redcross.ca

“Throughout last year’s wildfires and floods, and during this year’s spring floods, the Canadian Red Cross stepped up to support our government and British Columbians in times of need,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “In a catastrophic emergency, the Red Cross’s experience, systems and technology will support our local government-managed emergency social services, to reach people as quickly as possible.”

Horgan said that the province has the responsibility to see that every citizen is safe and well cared for, with local government being responsible for ESS and decisions about rebuilding. One infrastructure direction might be the construction of dikes, which is being discussed in Grand Forks this evening.


 

BC Premier John Horgan [West Shore Voice News file photo – May 2018]

Wednesday, June 13 ~ BC. BC Premier John Horgan told media this afternoon that he is “not at all disappointed” with the coming of soccer to North America in 2026. “It’s good for soccer fans,” he said in a media teleconference.

Horgan added: “I do not regret the decision we made for support for the bid, based on a lack of a final number from FIFA.” He reiterated that BC is “not prepared to write a blank cheque”, itemizing that at the time there were no definitive answers on the numbers of games that would be played in Vancouver, or about the costs of closing of BC Place, nor a final dollar figure (which would have included a hefty security expense).

Keeping the provincial budget in mind, and soon now having to fund flood restoration in Grand Forks and the efforts required in the summer fire season, Horgan said “most taxpayers will be grateful for that decision”.

On the matter of Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog deciding to run for Mayor of Nanaimo this fall, Horgan told media: “Leonard Krog has thought long and hard about it” and that people have been urging Krog to bring stability to Nanaimo council with the longstanding local belief that Krog can bring stability to that municipal government. Horgan said Krog will stay on until the Fall 2018 municipal  election period, and “I wish him well”. Krog would stay on in the BC legislature if he does not win the Nanaimo mayoralty seat.


Announced in Moscow June 13,, a united bid by Canada, US & Mexico won for hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup. [screenshot]

Wednesday, June 13 ~ CANADA. Soccer is about to grow big in Canada!

Today June 13 it was announced at the FIFA tournament in Moscow that Canada will co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, along with the USA and Mexico. The United bid beat out Morocco which has bid on the World Cup opportunity five times.

Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal are Canadian candidate host cities for the men’s soccer showcase, expanded to 48 teams for the 2026 tournament. The current blueprint calls for Canada and Mexico to stage 10 games each, with the USA hosting 60.

Mexico has twice hosted the World Cup, in 1970 and 1986. The US hosted in 1994.

Building up teams toward 2026 will be a big boost to soccer in Canada. On the west shore of Vancouver Island, there is a BC team for new pro soccer Canadian Premier League, central to Victoria; the inaugural league season starts April 2019 with games at Westhills Stadium in Langford (as announced June 1). In Langford there is a soccer academy at local highschools in the SD62 school district, giving an opportunity for youth to learn the sport.

Vancouver will not be hosting any of the FIFA games, as the BC government was wary of what were seen as open-ended cost commitments expected by FIFA. “The FIFA bid agreement contained clauses, which government felt left taxpayers at unacceptable risk of additional costs,” said BC Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Lisa Beare today in a statement. “We tried very hard to get assurances that addressed our concerns. Unfortunately, those assurances were not forthcoming,” Beare added: “I am happy for Canadian soccer fans that some of the World Cup matches are coming to Canadian host cities.”


Former BC Premier Mike Harcourt and former Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall addressed a housing forum, June 12 in Victoria [West Shore Voice News photo]

Tuesday, June 12 ~ VICTORIA.  There is a housing problem in BC. [Read this article on its own page]

Today June 12 a lineup of politicians (past and present) and a spectrum of development-industry leaders not only agreed about that, but about the solution: increase supply. This was addressed to about 400 people over lunch at the Roundhouse at Bayview Place in Esquimalt. It was a diverse audience of political and business leaders, joined by a wide range of the business community, public, and media.

The event conveyed a clear message that the BC Speculation Tax would be harmful to the BC economy overall and the housing market specifically (especially renters), tagged with a further message that getting creative with growing the economy is more successful for all sectors than is additional and situation-specific taxation.

Former  BC NDP Premier Mike Harcourt clarified at the outset: “It’s not a housing crisis, it’s a permanent condition in BC.”  He expanded on that, saying that sustainability and housing affordability is a problem all over the world. Saying that the 21st century is “a century of cities”, Harcourt and other speakers really turned to local governments as part of the problem and much of the solution.

Cities have the power to change zoning, and handle the processes for development permits more promptly and efficiently. “City halls are causing a huge amount of the increase in the cost of housing,” Harcourt said. When developers hold onto property for lengthy periods, the cost of interest to wait for the development green light ultimately gets passed onto homebuyers.

At housing forum June 12 in Victoria: former BC Liberal cabinet ministers Peter Fassbender and Todd Stone, with Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps [West Shore Voice News photo]

Former BC Liberal cabinet minister for communities Peter Fassbender, and himself a former mayor (of Langley), said that municipalities need to “look at their community and decide what they want it to be”. He also said that the key for community development success is to “build the economy and let the economy become the driver of those things”.  He is worried that investment is “leaving the province, or not coming to BC, or stalling” because of the current government’s tax policy “that has not been well thought out”.

On the matter of what type of housing needs to be built in BC, Fassbender said that single family homes as the mainstay of the housing market is not going to change, it already has changed. He has listened, and hears that young people are “into living a different lifestyle” that would be served by higher density housing and more efficient transit systems for the target communities. That in turn allows for young talent to live in larger centres where the high-tech jobs of the future are located. People who are displaced from the city areas “have no place to go”, Fassbender said.

“To deal with affordability, you build the economy, then let the entrepreneurial spirit loose and let people build the economy,” said Fassbender.

Former Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall took a moment to ask everyone in the room – indeed, all Canadians – to show their support for the current federal government and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in their current battle of words and tariffs with the US President and White House team. Negative comments hurled at Trudeau by top White House officials following last weekend’s G-7 Summit have shocked many, including citizens across the United States and Canada.  Tweets, letters, emails… it all helps. “Trudeau deserves the support of every single Canadian,” said Wall, urging people in the room to keep this support “top of mind, front of mind”.

Wall questioned the likelihood of the BC Speculation Tax as being able to “address the goal of the tax”. If more rental vacancy is the goal, does this tax which starts at 0.5% this year (going up to 1% in 2019 for affected residents in BC and 2.0% for non-Canadians) serve to truly increase rental supply? Brad Wall suggests “this tax will affect mostly people of means”.  Indeed, some political opponents of the tax have called it an ‘envy tax’.

Langford Mayor Stew Young (second from left) discussing housing issues at forum in Victoria June 12 [West Shore Voice News photo]

There were many gems of wise counsel during today’s session. As one part of the solution it was suggested by one of the speakers that the provincial and federal governments essentially take a heavier hand with municipalities, and direct the local governments to make appropriate housing-related zoning changes. If the directive comes like that ‘from above’, this will relieve local politicians of the natural impediment to avoid doing something unpopular.

Langford’s success with zoning efficiencies was mentioned. Afterward Langford Mayor Stew Young said that zoning approvals are frequently achieved within three months, and that building permits can often be issued in about 48 hours.  This helps developers get on with the job of building homes.

Stew Young agrees with the idea of the capital gains tax being increased from 7% to 10%, an idea that was floated during the formal presentations. The increase could be directed toward development of affordable housing. He added that additional taxation “steals assets from hard working families”.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps addressed the crowd at the start of the lunch.  She summarized that Victoria’s economy has been prosperous “but it’s not going to stay that way until we crack the housing nut”. She pitched for the BC Government to find something “in place of the speculation tax”.

The crowd was served coffee, an appetizer, lunch and dessert during the 2-hour session of speeches, panel presentations, and questions from the audience. The day was hosted as the 6th Annual Kenneth W. and Patricia Mariash Global Issues Dialogue. Ken Mariash spoke highly of the zoning and permit efficiencies in Langford, and that a speculation tax only works when there is no supply issue.

Increasing housing supply was the main overall going-forward message of the day.  The BC Government’s 30-point plan does outline various programs and funding initiatives to increase housing supply – the promised 114,000 units over 10 years, but much of that is targeted to specific socioeconomic groups and not a direct support to the development industry that produces the housing units that are needed in BC. Recent research by the BC Non-profit Housing Association shows that 34,167 more housing units will be needed in the Greater Victoria area by 2038.


 

Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog

Tuesday, June 12 ~ VANCOUVER ISLAND.  What this will do for the fragile state of the BC NDP/Green balance of power in the BC Legislature is what grabs public attention over the expected announcement that long time NDP MLA Leonard Krog will run for mayor of Nanaimo in the October 20 municipal election. His announcement is expected at 5 pm tomorrow June 13 in Nanaimo.

The 41 NDP seats under John Horgan are propped up by three Green seats for a functioning minority government considered ‘progressive’, with the BC Liberals holding 42 seats. If Krog relinquishes his MLA seat, a by-election would need to be called within six months.

Krog was first elected to the BC Legislature in 1991 in the riding of Parksville-Qualicum. He lost in 1996, but regained a seat in 2005 in the Nanaimo constituency. In 2003 he ran for the leadership of the NDP but lost to Carole James who is now the province’s finance minister and who enjoys a degree of immunity from Horgan.

Krog won the Nanaimo riding again in 2017 but was not invited into the Horgan cabinet last year after the NDP formed government. But he is Government Caucus Chair. He previously served as the Official Opposition spokesperson for Justice (Attorney General).


 

Tuesday, June 12 ~ VICTORIA. Today in Victoria a think-tank over lunch will be held to discuss the broader issues of housing supply and demand.

The 6th Annual Kenneth W. and Patricia Mariash Global Issues Dialogue being held at the Roundhouse at Bayview Place in Esquimalt will feature some high profile speakers from a mix of political backgrounds and perspectives: former BC NDP premier Mike Harcourt, former Conservative Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall and the urban-progressive Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

Pegged as a ‘let’s talk’ session, the discussion of the BC housing crisis will include prices and supply, the BC speculation tax, urban growth and the cost of regulations, issues of zoning and permitting.

A discussion panel includes Focus Equities owner and Bayview Place developer Kenneth Mariash, president of Reliance Properties Jon Stovell, and former BC Liberal cabinet minister Peter Fassbender who held the portfolio of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and was Minister responsible for TransLink.

Sure to come up is the impact of the BC government’s speculation tax, that business experts say will cause more problems for housing supply in urban areas, not less. Overall, greater housing density seems to be the way forward for growing communities in BC, which includes efficiencies with transportation and public transit.

Langford is the fastest-growing community on south Vancouver Island, where issues of commuter congestion come second only to housing. “I hope this seminar will shed light on how damaging the speculation tax will be for Langford’s economy and jobs, especially at Bear Mountain which is our largest employer base and brings the most international and national sport events and tourist visits to Langford and region,” says Langford Mayor Stew Young.

The event today is coordinated by the United Nations Association in Canada, hosted by Ken Mariash and Kathryn White, President and CEO of UNA Canada, with moderator Peter Legge.


 

Bus shelter on Sooke Road (Hwy 14), newly installed June 2018 [West Shore Voice News photo]

Sunday, June 10 ~ WEST SHORE & SOOKE. Things are moving along with continued changes to commuter routes (highways and bus lanes).

  • This past week four of the six bus shelters along Hwy 14 (Sooke Rd) were seen to be in place; all to be finished soon.
  • For those who drive into Victoria from the west shore, note that the left turn from Hwy 1 onto Carey Road will be closed as of June 10, making way for the new northbound bus lane.
  • Construction crews will begin building a new two-lane bridge next week on Gillespie Road at Roche Cove, which is an important alternative route to Hwy 14 during those closures that cause considerable traffic delays when there’s a crash or bad weather conditions on the Hwy 14 corridor that is so essential for Sooke commuters. The $3.66 million contract work by North Gate Pacific Contracting Ltd. of Maple Ridge includes a two-lane concrete bridge on an improved road alignment, with 1.5-metre paved shoulders for safer crossing by pedestrians and cyclists. It will replace the existing single-lane timber bridge, and is expected to open to traffic in fall 2018. In the coming weeks and months, delays of up to 20 minutes may occur 9am to 3pm Monday to Saturday to accommodate rock blasting. There will also be a small number of full-day closures which will be posted in advance on roadside message signs, with a detour via Kangaroo Rd and East Sooke Rd.
  • The Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure is reportedly holding a public input opportunity in Sooke soon. Many Sooke-area businesses and residents have for years been calling for Hwy 14 to be a more reliable commuter route in and out of the town. Improvements to highway infrastructure and public transit are being seen as the response from the provincial government under Premier John Horgan, who is MLA for the region.

 

Traffic backed up after fatal crash on Hwy 1 about 3.5 km south of the summit, June 9. [Photo posted on Facebook]

Saturday, June 9 ~ MALAHAT.  A head-on collision of two vehicles on the Malahat section of Highway 1 on south Vancouver Island today Saturday June 9 has resulted in the death of a man, and two women injured. At 1 pm, West Shore RCMP, Malahat Fire Rescue and BC Ambulance Service responded to the vehicle incident.

West Shore RCMP this evening have reported that the man driving a southbound vehicle was pronounced deceased at the scene, and that a woman passenger in that vehicle was transported to hospital with serious injuries. A woman who was driving a northbound vehicle was also transported to hospital with injuries.

“The Coroner attended the collision scene and notification of next of kin is being completed with the family. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in this fatal collision and police investigators are gathering evidence as to the level of impairment of the female driver and any driving evidence observed by witnesses,” says Cpl. Chris Dovell.

The highway remained closed for several hours while the West Shore RCMP Traffic Unit and RCMP South Island Traffic Services Collision Analyst conducted the collision investigation. This highway closure was expected to cause delays for travellers and police are asking for patience while investigators complete their examination of the collision scene.


 

Saturday, June 9 ~ LANGFORD. Traffic delays on Highway 1 at Aspen Road (Malahat section), today Saturday June 9, due to a motor vehicle collision. One northbound lane now open around 2:30 pm. Expect delays.

Advisories continue from City of Langford Engineering and the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure.  www.drivebc.ca


Friday, June 8 ~ NATIONAL. The largest-ever Lotto Max jackpot at $60 million was won by a ticket holder in Quebec this evening. The June 8 draw numbers were 12 25 27 29 34 44 45 with bonus number 07.

There were 52 Maxmillion opportunities. On Vancouver Island, there are two winners of half a Maxmillion, i.e. $500,000 each. One of those winners purchased their ticket in Victoria, and the other in Ladysmith.

In Vancouver there is also a winner of $500,000 as a shared prize. In Burnaby there is a $1 Maxmillion winner.

 


June 8 at G7 in Quebec, from left to right: British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. [Photo from Web – Leah Millis/Reuters]

Friday, June 8 ~ NATIONAL. Today June 8, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed top world leaders at the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec.

Meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. The leaders discussed G7 cooperation on pressing global issues, including gender equality and preparing economies for jobs of the future. Prime Minister and Chancellor exchanged views on international peace and security issues, including those presented by Russia and North Korea. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor highlighted the importance of open, rules-based international trade to create economic growth that benefits everyone. The leaders also emphasized the importance of collective G7 action on oceans, including to reduce plastic waste, as well as the importance of contributing to education for girls and women, especially in fragile states and crisis settings.

Meeting with Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The prime ministers discussed G7 priorities, including economic growth and job creation, as well as global peace and security, including with regard to North Korea and Ukraine. They also exchanged views on promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, including through increasing financing for girls’ and women’s education, particularly in fragile states and conflict settings. Trudeau emphasized the importance of collective G7 action on oceans, including to reduce plastic waste. The prime ministers also discussed the benefits of open, rules-based trade, acknowledging the challenges of protectionism and barriers to trade.

Meeting with President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. The leaders discussed the diplomatic efforts to address the security threat posed by North Korea. This included the coordination of international efforts, as discussed at the Vancouver Conference, and the President’s upcoming summit with North Korea. They also discussed the close security and economic partnership between Canada and the United States. They exchanged views on energy exports from Canada. Furthermore, they agreed on the importance of bringing negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement to a successful and timely conclusion. Trudeau pressed the President to reconsider the U.S. tariffs imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum, and encouraged him to work with Canada to address unfair trade. The Prime Minister reiterated that it is unacceptable to include Canada in 232 national security tariffs.


 

Friday, June 8 ~ NATIONAL. Today Ontario is waking up to having a Progressive Conservative government. PC Leader Doug Ford handily defeated the Liberal party that had been in power for over 15 years.  Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne resigned as leader but retains a seat; her party did not achieve the minimum of eight seats required to maintain official party status.

There are 124 seats in the new Ontario Legislature (up from 107 at dissolution). The PC popular vote was 40.49%, winning them 76 seats (up from 27 seats ahead of the election). The NDP captured 33.57% of the popular vote, winning 40 seats (up from 18 before the election). The Liberals carried only 19.59% of the popular vote, with seven seats (a dramatic drop from 55 seats at dissolution). The Green Party elected its first-ever MPP, with 4.6% of the vote. Voter turnout was 58% (5,735,324 votes cast), that being the strongest voter turnout since 1999.

The main thrust of the PC campaign was fiscal responsibility, butwithout providing a fully-costed program as the NDP did. NDP leader Andrea Horwath did well in the campaign (her third campaign), substantially increasing the number of NDP seats around the province and carrying a stronghold in core areas of Toronto. The NDP will now be the Official Opposition in the Ontario legislature.

Ontario is considered the ‘economic engine’ of Canada, given its strong base in mining, manufacturing, innovation and commerce.


 

 

Langford firefighters rescued a dog from a house fire, June 7. [Langford FD photo]

Thursday, June 7 ~ LANGFORD. [View this article on its own page]

The Langford Fire Rescue Department responded at 5 am today, June 7, to a house fire on Kestrel Ridge. The fire was into the roof when crews arrived (it may have started in the garage). “We were concerned about it spreading to the neighbouring homes,” said Langford Fire Chief Chris Aubrey.

Eighteen firefighters from all three Langford stations were on scene, along with BCEHS, RCMP, BC Hydro and Langford Emergency Support Services.

The five occupants of the home in the area off Millstream Road and Treanor Avenue were alerted to the sound of the smoke alarm going off, discovered the fire and were able to leave the home without injury. “It is another example of working smoke alarms saving lives as this fire grew rapidly and the had seconds to get out, not minutes,” said Aubrey.

“The family pet was reported missing, however. Once we had knocked the fire down and were able to enter the home, we found the dog named Kona inside hiding beside a wall and bed downstairs. He was suffering from smoke inhalation, was sooty and wet and we removed him and gave him some oxygen,” the fire chief said. The dog was then taken to a vet by the RCMP. The dog is expected to make a full recovery.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation and the family is currently working with Langford ESS and friends for support until they can get long term aid through their insurance company.


 

SD62 Superintendent Jim Cambridge addressed media June 7 [West Shore Voice News photo]

Thursday, June 7 ~ LANGFORD. The drug-related death of a Grade 10 Belmont Secondary School student who died suddenly on Sunday evening, June 3, has sparked a round of reminders and supports to parents, schools, students and community about the dangers of using recreational drugs.

The student was identified as Dorrian Wright in a letter from Belmont Secondary School principal Jim Lamond, that was sent out to parents and guardians on June 4. The announcement was also read out to students.

Today at the Sooke School District (SD62) administration office, SD62 Superintendent Jim Cambridge was clearly impacted by the event, telling media that all 26 schools in the west shore district “feel the loss”.

“A significant number of students are affected, and the staff,” said Cambridge, who says this is particularly difficult in the year-end grad season when usually families and the school community is gathering to celebrate student achievements. For Cambridge himself, this comes just a few weeks ahead of his retirement from his 35-year career in education.

Information was sent out to parents today to help give parents what they need to help their kids, and help prevent this from happening again. “Talk to your son or daughter about drug use,” said Cambridge. He suggested that honest communication with children and teens can make “a significant difference”.

Here are some tips on how to start the conversation:
• Keep the lines of communication open and have honest and non-judgemental conversations with your teen—this will create trust and encourage openness
• Approach the conversation with curiosity and interest
• Ask for their opinions
• Focus on your concerns for their safety
• Know the facts about the drug
• Understand and address your own fears before starting the conversation

Cambridge issued a reminder in his comments to media that today the risk of drugs is much greater than in previous years, notably with the presence of fentanyl in many drugs that can be purchased on the street.

Belmont Secondary School [West Shore Voice News file photo – June 2018]

Even the smallest amount of fentanyl will kill. Naloxone can reverse a potential fatality if administered promptly. At the Royal Bay Secondary school in recent weeks a voluntary training session was offered to students on how to administer Naloxone.

Cambridge could not say whether anyone was available to help Dorrian at the time of the incident. The incident did not happen at school or at home.

Some links as provided by SD62:

  1. Let’s Talk – Speaking to our kids about substance use, Island Health
  2. Xanax among teens: what we need to know, Island Health
  3. Talking with teenagers about drugs, Health Canada

The BC Coroner has not released details yet.


Thursday, June 7 ~ BC.  Lotto Max offers another record-breaking opportunity to win big this week. There is an estimated $112 million in top prizes.

Last week, seven Lotto Max top prizes were won in BC including five Maxmillion prizes from the June 1, 2018 draw. Winning tickets were sold in Delta, Kitimat, Surrey, Richmond, Pitt Meadows and the Shuswap region.

Lotto Max fans across Canada have the chance to win this week’s estimated $60 million record-breaking main jackpot and an additional estimated 52 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million each.

Lotto Max draws are held every Friday night. A $5 ticket features three chances to win. To win the jackpot, players must match 7/7 numbers.

The BC Lottery Corporation says that the odds of winning a Lotto Max jackpot or Maxmillion prize are one in 28,633,528 per play. Odds of winning any prize are one in 6.6 per play. Maxmillions continue to grow after the jackpot reaches $50 million.  Players must match 7/7 numbers to win the corresponding Maxmillion prize.

Lotto Max customers in BC have until 7:30 pm (PDT) on Friday evenings to purchase a ticket for that night’s draw. Visit PlayNow.com or lottery retailers.

For the chance to win up to $500,000, say ‘Yes’ to the Extra. Extra is available with Daily Grand, Lotto 6/49, Lotto Max, and BC/49 at any BCLC lottery retailer or at PlayNow.com. Players can now check their lottery tickets anytime, anywhere on iOS or Android devices. Learn more about the BCLC Lotto! App here.


 

Thursday, June 7 ~ BC.  Shaw TV customers across much of Canada — from Ontario to BC — are without service this morning, Thursday, June 7. [Update 12 noon: 11:41 AM PT/2:21 PM ET: All channels now fully restored.]

Shaw reports that a coax cable to all TVs was cut. That’s a main line, and they’re calling it a national outage that is producing “black screens”.

An “accidental” outage, Shaw says the interruption of service occurred around 6 am Pacific Time (9 am Eastern Time) and was possibly caused by construction activity such as digging in a location before checking on the location of underground services.

TV news is not getting out to Shaw customers. Today there is a provincial election in Ontario; the polls there opened at 9 am.  There are also preparations for the G7 summit in Quebec City; world leaders and hundreds of international delegates are beginning to arrive in Quebec for the summit, which opens on Friday in La Malbaie (about 140 km outside Quebec City), but with protests expected to happen in the streets of the provincial capital.

Shaw says on their website at www.shaw.ca/updates that customers may be able to access some channels online directly through the broadcaster’s website by logging in with a Shaw ID, including for TSN, Global, CTV and CBC.

There is presently no estimated restoration time.


 

Ferry travel includes food service with a view! [West Shore Voice News photo – June 2018]

Tuesday, June 5 ~ COASTAL BC. The Spirit of British Columbia will return to service tomorrow, following its mid-life upgrade and conversion to operate on LNG. The ship services the Tsawwassen/Swartz Bay (Vancouver/Victoria) route.

The vessel is the first of two to be converted to operate on natural gas, which is much cleaner for the environment than marine diesel. The Spirit of Vancouver will undergo a mid-life upgrade from Fall 2018 to Spring 2019.

Other upgrades in the Spirit of British Columbia include the renewal of navigation equipment, propulsion equipment components including gearboxes, rudders, steering system, bow thrusters, propeller blades, LED lighting, more efficient air conditioning equipment to reduce energy consumption and four marine evacuation systems.

The vessel’s passenger areas have been upgraded with new carpeting, furniture upholstery, new table tops, refurbishment of all public washrooms, as well as additional washrooms on Deck 5. A new coffee bar has been added on Deck 6 and the size of the gift shop has been doubled.


 

Tuesday, June 5 ~ NATIONAL.  Canada continues to provide international leadership to address climate change, honour its Paris Agreement commitments, and transition to a low-carbon, clean-growth economy. We know our future prosperity and well-being depend on taking ambitious, coordinated action at home and as a global community.

Today, on World Environment Day, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced that Patricia Fuller has been appointed Canada’s new Ambassador for Climate Change, for a term of three years, effective immediately.

Ms. Fuller will advise both the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Foreign Affairs on how Canada can best advance its climate change priorities on the world stage and work closely with Canadian missions to put the Government of Canada’s environmental policies into practice. She will reinforce Canada’s work with other countries on innovative climate solutions and promote our clean technology sector to global investors.

Patricia Fuller. Canada’s Ambassador for Climate Change [2018]

Working together on climate change, oceans, and clean energy is one of the key themes of Canada’s 2018 G7 Presidency and will be at the centre of the discussions at the G7 Summit from June 8-9, 2018.

Fuller holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics and Political Studies from Queen’s University, and a Master of Science with distinction from the London School of Economics.

“Climate change is a global challenge that requires a global solution,” Trudeau said in a statement‎.” Everywhere, we are seeing the effects of climate change reminding us of the need to act now. Canada’s new Ambassador for Climate Change, Ms. Fuller, is here to lead Canada’s efforts and work in collaboration with the global community to tackle climate change and promote clean economic growth.”

“I’m very pleased to welcome Patricia Fuller as Canada’s new Ambassador for Climate Change,” said Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, in a statement.” Canada is proud to work with our international partners to advance climate solutions like phasing out coal, reducing risks from extreme weather and climate impacts, and supporting clean solutions and innovation. We’re all in this together, and international collaboration is essential to make sure we are leaving a healthy environment and a strong economy to our kids and grandkids.”

The Climate Change Ambassador has a key role in government-wide engagement on climate change and in the implementation of Canada’s clean growth and climate change priorities. Continued leadership and global cooperation are key to moving forward and meeting the Paris Agreement commitment to limit global temperature increases and to increase the ability to adapt to adverse impacts of climate change. To that effect, in December 2016, Canada released the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enable sustainable economic growth.

In 2014, Canada’s clean and sustainable technology industry employed over 55,600 people in almost 800 technology companies in all regions of the country. Most of these companies are small and medium-sized enterprises. Total revenues from this industry reached nearly $12 billion.

Canada has committed $2.65 billion to international climate finance to support a wide range of programs and initiatives that will help developing countries mitigate and build resilience to the impacts of climate change, deploy clean energy technology, and manage natural resources sustainably.


 

Intrauterine devices are being recommended as the contraceptive of choice for teens.

Monday, June 4 ~ NATIONAL.  Last week the Canadian Paediatric Society all of a sudden announced that they’re ‘catching up with the rest of the world’ by recommending the use of intrauterine devices (IUDs) for teenage girls as the contraceptive method of choice, ahead of the longstanding first choice, i.e. oral contraceptives (OCs).

In part this could be a way to avoid less politically-correct efforts to address contraception among low-income and immigrant population groups in Canada.

Health issues surrounding the long-standing use of OCs (including obesity, heart, stroke, and cancer) are not widely talked about.

Apparently half of Canadian young women age 17+ are sexually active. A spike in sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) could be expected if use of condoms is foregone in light of the 98%+ contraceptive assurances of using an IUD.

See full editorial on page 2 in the June 1, 2018 issue of West Shore Voice News.


Sunday, June 3 ~ SOOKE. Sooke tourism businesses look at destination marketing tax.

There was a Destination Marketing and tourism economy discussion in Sooke on Sunday afternoon, May 27. The afternoon event at Vancouver Island Lodge offered a detailed exploration of what it would take to establish the District of Sooke (possibly in combination with the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area) to become a government-approved as a Destination Marketing region and be able to collect an accommodation tax on recreational establishments of four or more rooms in the Sooke to Port Renfrew region.

Guest speakers were Peter Harrison from Destination BC; Calum Matthews from Tourism Vancouver Island; Brian White who is program head for the Master of Arts in Tourism Management program at Royal Roads University (RRU); and Kathleen Gilbert of the Vancouver Island South Film & Media Commission.

Intel contributions about the region were offered by Sooke Region Museum director Lee Boyko, and Mike Hicks who operates a small B&B. Also attending were District of Sooke Councillors Kevin Pearson, Rick Kasper and Brenda Parkinson.

Discussion was mainly about whether the Sooke region should sign up for the the Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) by which accommodation businesses could collect a per-night levy of 2% or 3% that goes to the BC government for payment back to the group that collected it. Or whether a business working group is preferable (less structure but possibly less transparent/accountable).

The underlying thrust for the event was to somehow increase revenues to be put toward marketing tourism in the full Sooke region. For many years that tourism marketing function was the municipality’s expectation of the Sooke Region Tourism Association (SRTA) which largely used an annual grant from the District of Sooke (and a matching grant from Tourism Vancouver Island) to maintain a well-paid web contract and for large ad buys in (Alberta, Washington state, and Oregon as opposed to to island and BC audiences.

District of Sooke Acting CAO Brent Blackhall said Sunday: “We almost got there” referring to discussions among local tourism leaders and the District. Apparently $30,000 “is not enough” said tourism operators that day.

A 2% levy could bring in much more, which a core group of tourism operators say would attract more visitors to the region. The 3% tax sees 20% of total collections retained by Destination BC for redistribution to groups for putting on special events.

RRU’s Brian White reminded proponents that a business plan comes first. Destination BC has strict guidelines and a strident application process.

Currently 56 communities around BC operate MRDT programs (19 of those at the 3% level), generating $60 million per year. Of those programs, about 70% are authorized through local governments who then hire a contractor, 15% are managed by tourism organizations, and 10% directly are handled directly by local government.
Langford recently signed on with MRDT; a 2% room tax starts Nov 1.

[This article was first published in the June 1, 2018 print/PDF edition of West Shore Voice News, page 5]


 

Hatley Castle on the Royal Roads University Campus in Colwood, BC [West Shore Voice News photo – May 2018]

Sunday, June 3 ~ WEST SHORE. Post-secondary options for the west shore: have your say. Does the west shore need post-secondary options for new high school grads, so they can remain in their home community and still continue with their education affordably?

This week a survey with that very line of questioning was sent out by email to parents of students in grades 9 to 12 in the SD62 school system. That’s secondary schools in Langford (Belmont Secondary), Colwood (Royal Bay Secondary) and Sooke (Edward Milne Community School), as well as the Westshore Centre for Learning & Training which serves the full region.

Students will also be asked to complete a survey too (in class time), ahead of departing for the summer.
And now the broader community has an opportunity for input. A survey has been posted on the SD62 website at www.sd62.bc.ca (scroll down to the “We want your opinion” section). Or visit: https://www.academicasurveys.com/c/a/6AMQ4bVZlgMFN4yXK2BBC8

The public input is sought from people in business and community, as students do interact with and are employed by the local community.

Another important target audience is parents of recent high school grads, and grads who’ve gone on to post-secondary. They’ve experienced the lack of post-secondary in the west shore and may have important observations on the barriers to post-secondary. The transfer rates of students from SD62 schools into post-secondary is below the provincial average.

Steve Grundy, VP Academic, RRU

“We’re a changemaker campus, committed to curriculum that causes social change,” says Royal Roads University’s VP Academic, Steve Grundy. If first and second-year courses were offered “we would do it differently (from other university styles),” Grundy told West Shore Voice News this week.

“If we do whatever the right thing is for the community, good things can come from that,” he said. “We have some ideas, Langford’s mayor Stew Young has some ideas, and there’s good collaboration with the SD62 school board. But so far we don’t have the data to make good decisions.” Hence the rush to catch students and parents with a questionnaire before school breaks for the summer. “So, when and if we do anything, we hit the target,” says Grundy.

The idea is that transition to university be “much cleaner and easier for everybody involved”. There have been massive changes in the K-12 curriculum in BC. “Changes in 9-12 curriculum are much more closely aligned with our teaching model at Royal Roads,” said Grundy. It’s a model of collaboration, active learning, and integrated learning.”

Having the city involved brings the possibility of access to recreational facilities in Langford. As well, there is an idea of putting together an ‘innovative city’ business incubator jointly with businesses in the community.

The three partners to the exploratory program have the same objectives to make education more accessible to local residents in the west shore area. RRU, City of Langford, and SD62 all expect that there are financial barriers to grads going on to post-secondary (not just tuition but also travel and accommodation costs). Also, smaller communities are close-knit, and heading off to a far-away university or college may not be a desired option for many students.
Having first- and second-year courses available at Royal Roads in Colwood could be a highly suitable alternative. Course transferability would be given careful attention, says Grundy, so that students can further their education at other post-secondary institutions as desired.

If anything develops out of this initial exploratory (funded with $250,000 from the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training back in April), the earliest course offerings could come by September 2020, says Grundy.
Having taught at RRU since 1995, Grundy is particularly interested in the directions of post-secondary education, the evolution and development of online learning, and new models of university governance and leadership.
Public survey about post-secondary in the west shore: www.sd62.bc.ca (or direct link)


7th Annual Goddess Run in Langford, June 2, 2018 [West Shore Voice News photo]

Saturday. June 2 ~ LANGFORD. A sold-out Goddess Run marathon of 950 runners took place in the Westhills area of Langford today, June 2.

The 5K and 10K distance were for runners of all skills level, walk or run. Women of all ages as well as children showed up for the event on a semi-cool Saturday.

The race event started and finished on the grounds of Belmont Secondary School. This year the route included a stretch along the new West Shore Parkway that opened in October 2017.

www.goddessrun.ca


 

Friday, June 1 ~ LANGFORD. Some roadways in the Westhills area of Langford will have interrupted access from 8 am to 12 noon on Saturday, June 2 for the 7th annual Goddess Run.

Impacted roads are Glen Lake Road, Parkdale Drive, West Shore Parkway, Humpback Road, Irwin Road, Meridian, and Constellation.

The 2018 Goddess Run is a women’s 5K and 10K run/walk for all racing abilities. The start is at 8:45am from alongside Belmont Secondary on Glen Lake Road, finishing up at that location by 11:20 am. See map.

The first Goddess Run was in 2012 and since then 12,500 goddesses have crossed the finish line. Over $170,000 has been raised for charity. @goddessrunbc  #goddessrun

On the traffic side of things: Glen Lake road westbound will be single lane alternating traffic from Belmont school 8:30 am to 12:00 pm. From 8:30 am to 9:30 am participants will be crossing West Shore Parkway at a marked crosswalk (and running along the sidewalk from 8:30 to 10 am). From 8:30 am to 11:00 am Humpback Road will be closed from Irwin to Sooke. From 8:30 am to 12:00 pm: Expect delays along Meridian and Constellation.  Traffic control will be on-site directing traffic.


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