Friday, July 30, 2010

Sooke Farm & Food Garden Tour – August 8

Sooke Region Food CHI Society, with generous support from the District of Sooke, is proud to present our first annual Farm and Food Garden Tour on August 8 from 11am-5pm, rain or shine.
This self-guided tour features 12 beautiful, bountiful farms and gardens growing everything from fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers to traditional foods and indigenous plants, and raising heritage breeds of sheep, chickens, cows and pigs.

You’ll have a chance to admire a diverse range of farm buildings, including historical houses, yurts, cob buildings, earth ovens and greenhouses on new or historical properties, on small or large acreages lovingly worked by new or established growers.

Bring the family for a fun and educational event. Learn what you can grow and harvest in your own garden, check out demonstrations and purchase fresh produce right off the farm.

This event is a fundraiser for the 2010/2011 New Farmer Mentorship Program, helping new farmers succeed in their first season.

Tickets cost $10 and are available in Sooke at Shoppers Drug Mart, Double D Gardens, Westburn Garden Centre, and Sooke Country Market (Saturdays). In Victoria, tickets are available at Moss St Market (Saturdays). Free for ages 15 and under.

Tickets are also available in Sooke on the tour day at Sunriver Community Allotment Gardens on Phillips Road and Shoppers Drug Mart, Evergreen Mall.

For more information contact info@sookefoodchi.ca



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Supreme Court approves of extreme police tactics, rules Calgary police did not use unreasonable force

British Columbia Civil Liberties Association


July 30, 2010

Today the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in the case R. v. Cornell that the Calgary Police Department did not use unreasonable force when they broke down the door of Lorraine Cornell’s home in 2005 while executing a drug search warrant.

Without first announcing themselves, the Calgary Police Service’s armoured Tactical Enforcement Unit used a battering ram to break down Ms. Cornell’s door and then charged in with guns drawn and faces covered by ski masks.

The BCCLA was an intervener in the case and argued that the violent entry was dangerous and unwarranted, and that the police should have followed the centuries old ‘knock and announce’ rule.

Ryan Dalziel, counsel for the BCCLA: "The knock and announce rule is not only intended to protect the lives and safety of both police and civilians, it actually does so, according to a landmark report by Wallace Oppal. Surprise raids might be necessary in special circumstances, but violent raids should be the rare exception and not the rule.”

Grace Pastine, Litigation Director for the BCCLA: “The case sets a worrisome precedent. Nine masked men with loaded rifles broke down this family’s door and charged inside with guns drawn. Why were the police so afraid? There was no reason for the police to believe that Jason Cornell might be violent – he had no criminal record and no history of violence and neither did anyone else in the house. We’re concerned that the court sets a very low bar for the facts that the police need to establish to justify this type of dangerous raid – it seems that all the police need to say, is ‘trust us.’”

The court unanimously affirmed the principle that ordinarily the police must announce their presence and wait a reasonable time before forcing entry into a home. However, in a split 4-3 ruling, the majority of the court held that the police’s storm trooper-style tactics were justified because the police had concerns that the use of less intrusive methods would pose safety risks to the officers and would allow for the opportunity for evidence to be destroyed.

In dissent, three judges argued that the claim that the tactics were necessary to protect the safety of the officers was “entirely unsupported by the record” and concluded the search ran afoul of Charter prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures.

The appeal was brought by Jason Cornell. Mr. Cornell lived in his mother Lorraine’s home, along with his brother, Robert, and 17-year-old sister. Police suspected that Jason was involved in a dial-a-dope operation and executed a search warrant at his mother’s home. Instead of finding Jason, police came upon his mentally challenged brother Robert. Police handcuffed Robert, and left him terrified and lying prone while they continued to break down doors in the house. Paramedics had to be called to care for Robert. Police arrested Jason Cornell at his place of work later that evening.


The BCCLA was represented by Ryan Dalziel and Daniel Webster, Q.C. of Bull, Housser and Tupper LLP.

The judgment in the case is available here>>

The argument the BCCLA filed in the case is available here >>



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Road Closure: August 3rd to 6th - Violet Avenue between Grange Road and Interurban Road

DATE: July 30, 2010


Starting on Tuesday, August 3, 2010 through to Friday, August 6, 2010 there will be a full road closure on Violet Avenue between Grange Road and Interurban Road. Work is scheduled to start at approximately 7:00 am and is expected to continue until 4:00 pm. All vehicles including emergency vehicles are asked to please use alternate route.

There will be traffic control people on site to assist with traffic control. Please obey their directions and all traffic signs
 
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UN World Heritage Group Congratulates BC and Montana

July 30, 2010
Ministry of Environment

VICTORIA - British Columbia, the State of Montana and First Nations are jointly being congratulated today by a UN agency for their work toward protecting the Flathead River Basin by removing mining, and oil and gas development from that area.

Environment Minister Barry Penner says that a decision today from the World Heritage Committee (WHC) confirms the B.C. government is taking the right steps in the Flathead River Basin to ensure environmental protection of the adjacent Waterton-Glacier World Heritage Site.

"We welcome the acknowledgement from the UNESCO committee of the environmental leadership shown by our government in removing mining, and oil and gas development from the B.C. Flathead River Basin," said Penner. "These measures will protect the area's wildlife, habitat and ecosystems, and maintain the area as a world-class destination for traditional outdoor sport and recreation."

Contrary to the request of interest groups, the committee did not conclude that it was necessary to expand or establish a national park in the area to protect the heritage site or the environmental values in the region.

"The memorandum of understanding our government signed with Montana in February is already delivering co-operation on trans-boundary management of the Flathead River Basin as recognized today by the WHC," said Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations Naomi Yamamoto.

"We will continue to collaborate with our partners to protect the environmental values of the Flathead watershed," Yamamoto said.

In February 2010, B.C. signed the memorandum of understanding and co-operation with Montana that committed to remove mining, oil and gas and coal development as permissible land uses in the Flathead River Basin in both B.C. and Montana. The arrangement also included provisions to co-operate on environmental assessments, wildlife management, information sharing, climate action and energy. An order was signed in February by Penner prohibiting approval of mining projects, and the B.C. government has already moved to prohibit oil and gas development in the B.C. portion of the Flathead River Basin.

The MOU is available online at: http://www.gov.bc.ca/igrs/news/BCMTCleanEnergyEnvir.html


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Traffic Advisory - August 3 to 6th: Possible lane obstructions on the Northbound lane at 4525 West Saanich Road.

DATE: July 30, 2010


Starting On Tuesday, August 3, 2010 through to Friday, August 6, 2010 there will be possible lane obstructions on the Northbound lane at 4525 West Saanich Road. Work is scheduled to start at approximately 8:00 am and is expected to continue until 4:00 pm.

There will be traffic control people on site to assist with traffic control. Please obey their directions and all traffic signs.

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Single Lane Traffic Revised - August 4 & 5 Single lane traffic on Richmond Road between Poplar Avenue and Cedar Hill Cross Road

DATE: July 30, 2010


On Wednesday, August 4, 2010 and Thursday, August 5, 2010 there will be single lane traffic on Richmond Road between Poplar Avenue and Cedar Hill Cross Road. The Northbound lane on Richmond Road will be closed. Work is scheduled to start at approximately 8:00 am and is expected to continue until 4:00 pm.

All vehicles are asked to please use Poplar Avenue and Shelbourne Street as an alternate route.

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6th Annual James Bay Art Walk - September 11th and 12th

This September 11th and 12th, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., 18 painters, potters, photographers, and crafters of wood and plant material invite you to come and see what they do all year.

Take a self-guided tour of Victoria's historical James Bay neighbourhood and look for the brightly painted shoes that will dangle from the doorways of the artists' venues. Meet the artists, enjoy their art, and perhaps take home something beautiful, from original works to prints and cards. There's a lot to see, so plan for a full day – or two – and enjoy a lunch along the way.

Your full colour guide will be available at selected locations throughout the neighbourhood, and there will be a special Art Walk supplement in the September issue of the James Bay Beacon. There is also a map link on our website.

website: http://www.jamesbayartwalk.ca/




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Long Weekend Plans? Check www.firesafebc.ca before you go

July 30, 2010

Ministry of Forests and Range

VICTORIA - Before you head out head out camping or hiking in the backcountry this weekend, be sure to check for details on any significant wildfires, evacuation orders and alerts, road closures and air quality advisories, said Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell.

"We've developed a central, one-stop-website - FireSafeBC.ca - where people can check conditions before they head out into B.C.'s forests," said Bell. "Fire activity has increased dramatically this past week, especially in the Cariboo and Southern Interior regions, and this website makes it easier for people to find out what is happening in different areas when making travel plans."

Temperatures for the long weekend are expected to remain above normal for most areas, with more lightning concentrated in the north and southeast regions. As lightning storms become more frequent, it is critical that the Province's resources are not tied up responding to preventable, human-caused fires.

"Wildfires can start in an instant. As we move into the hotter, drier summer months, be prepared to leave in a moment's notice when camping, hiking or otherwise enjoying B.C.'s backcountry," said Bell. "The public needs to be extra vigilant and understand the risks when operating in or enjoying forested areas."

Campfire bans are now in effect over most of the province. For maps of the specific prohibition areas, visit http://www.firesafebc.ca/ and click on "Current Conditions & Bans."

There are currently 279 wildfires burning in the province, 175 of which started over the last three days. Since April 1, crews around the province have responded to 943 wildfires, of which 469 have been human-caused and 462 lightning-caused. These fires have burned a total of 38,821 hectares.

You can also follow the latest wildfire news on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo



To report a wildfire or unattended campfire call *5555 on your cell or toll-free 1 800 663-5555.



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Boating Safety during August Long Weekend

July 30, 2010


VANCOUVER — Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety is reminding recreational boaters to take extra care and caution during the August long weekend.

With summer upon us, thousands of people will be out enjoying the water. While no one wants to think that going out on the water with family and friends can result in an accident, it happens. Every year there are more than 100 boating-related casualties.

Much of Canada’s water is cold year-round, so always wear a life-jacket while boating. Most boating fatalities are caused by a combination of cold water shock and not wearing a life-jacket. The law requires boat operators to carry an approved life-jacket for each person on board that fits properly. Wear it! No longer bulky and ugly, today’s life-jackets are comfortable and slim-fitting.

Anything can happen on the water. That is why, before you leave shore:

• inspect all of your equipment;

• make sure you have the proper gear; required for your vessel size;

• check the weather forecast;

• leave a trip plan with a responsible person on shore; and

• bring along your marine charts.


Most pleasure boats must carry:

• life-jackets;

• a floating heaving line;

• flares and/or a flashlight;

• a manual bilge pump or bailer;

• navigation lights;

• paddles;

• an anchor;

• a fire extinguisher; and

• a whistle or horn.

Every powerboat operator must have proof of competency with a Pleasure Craft Operator Card, along with personal ID — or face a $250 fine.

Boaters are encouraged to do their part by observing a few simple safety rules to make this a safe, incident-free long weekend.

For information on boating safety, please call the Boating Safety Infoline at 1-800-267-6687 or visit the Office of Boating Safety website: http://www.boatingsafety.gc.ca/


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Cycling Infrastructure Builds Healthier Communities

July 30, 2010

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Ministry of Health Services

VICTORIA - The Province is supporting improvements to local cyclinginfrastructure by making $500,000 in funding available to B.C. communitiesthrough the BikeBC Cycling Infrastructure Partnerships Program, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Shirley Bond and Health Services Minister Kevin Falcon announced today.

"This funding is helping to support healthier communities by buildingnew infrastructure that will encourage cycling," said Bond. "In addition to the personal health benefits of cycling, these improvements to our bike networks improve a community's liveability by reducing traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions."

The BikeBC Cycling Infrastructure Partnerships Program is a cost-sharingprogram with local governments, with provincial funding available to matchmunicipal dollars for the construction of new cycling infrastructure.

"As an avid cyclist, I recognize the importance of investing in cyclinginfrastructure and we are pleased to support the BikeBC program in providingcyclists in communities across B.C. with access to dedicated bike paths andtrails," said Health Services Minister Kevin Falcon. "Bike BC supports ourcommitment to improving the health of British Columbians by ensuring the tools are in place to encourage active communities and increased physical activity levels."

Funding of up to $100,000 is available to individual municipalities for a wide range of projects, such as bike lanes, separated bike paths and multi-use trails. As part of the selection criteria, applicants must describe how a project will contribute to increased physical activity as part of a municipality's active community plan. The deadline for applications is Sept. 1, 2010. Applications and program details at: http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/BikeBC/CIPP.html

The Province has invested $128 million in cycling infrastructure since 2001. This investment has created over 200 kilometres of new bicycles lanes and trails throughout the province in over 50 different communities - more  than the distance between Vancouver and Hope. Part of this investment is  $50 million in cycling infrastructure as part of the Gateway Program - the largest cycling investment in B.C.'s history.



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39,000 Hectares Protected For Old Grown Conservation

July 30, 2010

Ministry of Forests and Range
Integrated Land Management Bureau

VICTORIA - The Province has identified an additional 38,779 hectares onVancouver Island to protect old-growth forests, Minister Responsible for the Integrated Land Management Bureau Pat Bell announced today.

"British Columbia's old growth forests are known and admired by peoplefrom around the world," said Bell. "Adding another 39,000 hectares nearlydoubles the old-growth management areas on Vancouver Island and demonstratesB.C.'s leadership in sustainable forest management."

On the Coast, old-growth trees are those 250 years or older. The 38,779hectares of old-growth management areas identified in the coastal temperaterainforest of northern and north-central Vancouver Island will be managed to help sustain old-growth forests for the benefit of many plants and animals that need old growth forest conditions to survive. These include species-at-risk such as the marbled murrelet, a seabird that builds its nests on large branches of old-growth trees near the ocean.

Setting aside old-growth management areas also provides certainty forforest companies, who are required to identify such areas in their foreststewardship plans. By designating areas that cannot be logged, forest companies can plan their timber harvesting and other operations in the remaining forested areas. Many of the areas now set aside were identified jointly by government, company foresters and biologists, a collaborative effort that will benefit British Columbia for generations to come.

With today's announcement, the amount of old-growth management areasestablished on Vancouver Island increases to 83,687 hectares. As well, there are about 438,000 hectares of parks and protected areas on VancouverIsland. Provincewide, there are approximately 25 million hectares of old-growth forests with around 3.7 million hectares fully protected - an area larger than Vancouver Island.

The old growth management areas are within the following eight landscapeunits: Tsitika, Naka, Adam-Eve, Salmon and White (all north of Campbell River and Sayward) within the Campbell River forest district - and Nahwitti,Tsulquate and Marble (located west of Port Hardy and Port McNeill) within the North Island-Central Coast forest district.


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Campfire Ban Enforcement Patrols All Weekend Long

July 30, 2010

Ministry of Forests and Range

CAMPFIRE BAN ENFORCEMENT PATROLS ALL WEEKEND LONG

VICTORIA -More than 150 of the Province's personnel will be on patrol enforcing the campfire ban over the long weekend, Minister of Forests and Range Pat Bell and Minister of Environment Barry Penner said today.

"With all the lightning-caused wildfire activity we're seeing, we can't afford to have our firefighting resources diverted by preventable fires," said Bell. "These patrols aim to protect British Columbians, our property and forest resources by targeting the people whose carelessness and risk-taking cost us all."

"British Columbians should know that conservation officers and park rangers will be enforcing the campfire ban in BC Parks this weekend," said Penner. "I encourage people to enjoy themselves, but given the prolonged period of hot weather and all that is at risk, we will be requiring 100 per cent public compliance."

As lightning becomes more common in the summer season, it is crucial that crews are available to respond to naturally occurring wildfires. Human-caused wildfires divert critical resources away from managing these lightning-caused fires.

Campfire bans went into effect around most of the province at noon on July 29. Anyone found in violation of the campfire ban may be issued a $345 ticket, and should a wildfire occur as a result of their actions, a person can be fined up to $1 million or spend three years in prison, and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

"It's not just the person who strikes the match who may be ticketed, it is anyone sitting around the campfire," said Bell. "People need to understand the dangers campfires pose in these hot and dry conditions, a campfire can become a forest fire in seconds."

The public is urged to exercise extreme caution on forested land with any activity that could lead to a wildfire. Make sure to extinguish cigarettes safely and avoid driving ATVs and motorcycles through tall grass and undergrowth.



To report a wildfire or unattended campfire call *5555 on your cellphone, or call toll-free to 1 800 663-5555.

For the latest information on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions, visit http://www.firesafebc.ca/



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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hot BC Day Weekend - Stay Cool Behind the Wheel

July 29, 2010

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

VICTORIA - With the B.C. day long weekend upon us and most of the province tinder-dry, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is encouraging drivers to make sure all cautionary steps are taken to avoid driver-caused fires, said Minister Shirley Bond.

"The majority of forest fires have been human-caused," said Bond. "This B.C. Day long weekend, I encourage drivers to take some simple precautions to ensure that they arrive safely at their destinations and avoid contributing to the wildfire situation we are facing in British Columbia."

* Do not throw cigarettes out the window or otherwise be careless when smoking, both during your trip and in roadside rest areas.

* Check fuel lines for cracks, splits, softness and deterioration.

* Keep engine compartments clean. An oil-soaked engine is a fuel source looking for a fire.

* Buy a fire extinguisher and carry it mounted where you can get to it quickly.

* Improper installation of aftermarket electronics, like stereos, can lead to fires.

* Where possible avoid driving or parking vehicles in tall, dry grass.

* Avoid handling fuels in grassy or forested areas, and douse any fuel spills with water or sands.

* Monitor the temperature of your vehicle. Pull over and let it cool when necessary and make sure it is topped up with coolant.

Motorists can report wildfires by calling *5555.

B.C. forest fire information, including updates on current campfire and burning bans, can be found at http://www.bcforestfireinfo.gov.bc.ca/

"Over B.C. Day long weekends, there are, on average, over 17 hundred crashes, over 500 injuries and three deaths on B.C. roadways," said Minister Bond. "We all play a role in making B.C. roads safer."


Smart driving tips for the B.C. Day long weekend include:

* Plan ahead if your activities are going to involve alcohol, arrange for a safe way home.

* Be realistic about your travel times and check the road situation before you leave.

* Check http://www.drivebc.com for possible highway closures beforeheading out.

* Slow down and keep your distance, and always follow the posted speed limits in construction and playground zones.

* Buckle up: If you do not wear your seatbelt, you are 25 times more likely to be killed in a crash if ejected from the vehicle.



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British Columbians living longer & Healthier

July 29, 2010
Ministry of Health Services
Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport


VICTORIA - The 2008 Vital Statistics Annual Report confirms that British Columbians are living longer and staying healthier than ever before, announced Minister of Health Services Kevin Falcon and Minister of Healthy Living and Sport Ida Chong.

"The average life expectancy of British Columbians exceeds all other provinces and we have one of the longest living populations in the world," said Falcon. "I want B.C. to continue to set the bar high for the rest of the country. If we exercise about 30 minutes a day, control our weight, eat reasonably well and don't smoke, we can reduce our risk factors for most chronic diseases by up to 80 per cent."

Based on calculations of life expectancy at birth, British Columbians are experiencing greater longevity, living to an average age of 81.1 years in 2008 compared to 78 years in 1991.

"Our efforts to encourage British Columbians to adopt healthier eating habits and increase exercise and physical activity in their lives are clearly getting results," said Chong. "B.C. boasts the healthiest population in the country, and this report shows our residents are taking more responsibility for their health and embracing a healthier overall lifestyle."

The latest numbers in the British Columbia Vital Statistics 137th Annual Report also show that, in addition to the continuing decline in the overall rates of death from cancer and heart disease, the province is starting to see what could be an encouraging trend in declining mortality from diabetes. This finding supports the current focus on the potential benefits of primary care, self care and health promotion in tackling these health care challenges.

"This decline in diabetes-caused deaths is certainly a positive indicator and a good reflection of the efforts British Columbians have made to improve their diets and restrict how much sugar they consume," said provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall. "As well, the chronic disease management guidelines developed by the Province and the BC Medical Association - which have been adopted by a majority of family doctors to manage their patients with diabetes - have resulted in better health outcomes for British Columbians."

The report also shows an upward trend in the number of women of all ages giving birth by caesarean sections since 1986, particularly women age 35 and over. The average age of a mother giving birth in B.C is 30.6 years. Increasing maternal age is also associated with increases in multiple pregnancies, low birth weight and prematurity.

The data from the annual report is used for official records, but is also utilized for various aspects of health planning, research and education.


The 2008 Vital Statistics Annual Report can be found online at
www.vs.gov.bc.ca/stats/annual/2008/index.html



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TimberWest concerned about extreme fire hazard

NANAIMO, BC, July 29 /CNW/ - Concern for public safety during this extended period of hot, dry weather has prompted TimberWest Forest Corp. to take extra steps to reduce the risk of wildfire on its private managed forest lands.

The company, which owns approximately 320,000 hectares of private land on Vancouver Island, has already responded to ten, person-caused wildfires on its property so far this year. "Much of our land base is in close proximity to neighboring communities and the last thing we want is an interface fire," says TimberWest Vice President Timberland Operations, Dave Whiteley.

While the fire danger rating is extreme, TimberWest harvesting operations have been curtailed to reduce the chance that activities could spark a fire. Public access is also being restricted with the help of signage and locked gates, and in some cases security guards are helping enforce the closure. The Comox Lake Main Road is one example where, except for cabin owners and operational traffic, access is closed.

In conjunction with the campfire ban recently issued by the Ministry of Forests, TimberWest has also banned campfires on its private lands, including at its designated campgrounds at Nanaimo Lakes and in the Lake Cowichan area.

In 2009, TimberWest responded to a total of 35 wildfires on its land, the majority of which were caused by people.

TimberWest appreciates the public's understanding of efforts to reduce the risk of wildfire while conditions remain very hot and dry.

To report a wildfire please call (*)5555 on your cellphone or toll-free to 1 800 663-5555.

 For more information about TimberWest please visit http://www.timberwest.com/ 



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Te Vaka Sold Out for tonight in Victoria!

What can we say? Just got word that tonight's Te Vaka concert is sold out. Thanks for your support!



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Supreme Court to rule on whether Calgary police used unreasonable force

British Columbia Civil Liberties Association

July 29, 2010

 Ottawa – On Friday, July 30, the Supreme Court of Canada will release its decision in R. v. Cornell. The Court will determine if the Calgary Police Department used unreasonable force when they broke down the door of Lorraine Cornell’s home in 2005 while executing a search warrant. The BCCLA was an intervener in the case.

The appeal was brought by Jason Cornell. Mr. Cornell lived in his mother Lorraine’s home, along with his brother, Robert, and 17-year-old sister. Police suspected that Jason was involved in a dial-a-dope operation and executed a search warrant at his mother’s home. Without first announcing themselves, the Calgary Police Service’s armoured Tactical Enforcement Unit used a battering ram to break down Ms. Cornell’s door and then charged in with guns drawn and faces covered by ski masks. Instead of finding Jason, police came upon his mentally challenged brother Robert. Police handcuffed Robert, and left him terrified and lying prone while they continued to break down doors in the house. Police arrested Jason Cornell at his place of work later that evening.

The BCCLA argued that the police’s storm trooper-style tactics ran afoul of Charter prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures and broke the centuries old ‘knock and announce’ rule. In order to protect the safety of the public and police alike, police should be required to announce their presence and wait a reasonable time before forcing entry into a citizen’s home, except in unusual cases. BCCLA was represented by Daniel Webster, Q.C. and Ryan Dalziel of Bull, Housser and Tupper LLP. The argument the BCCLA filed in the case is available here 


What: BCCLA comment on Supreme Court of Canada decision

When: Decision released Friday, July 30, 2010 at 9:45 (EST). Comment available before and after decision.

Where: The decision will be made available on the Supreme Court of Canada’s website after 9:45 a.m.(EST): http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/



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Lots to do in BC this long weekend!

July 29, 2010
Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts

VICTORIA - If you want to make a great escape this BC Day long weekend, you don't have to go far. Whether you are looking to enjoy the great outdoors or take in the sights and sounds of a holiday event in your own community, British Columbia has it all.

"Residents make up the single-largest group of travellers in the province and represent approximately 47 per cent of all visitor volume in B.C.," said Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts. "This BC Day long weekend we hope all British Columbianswill be able to enjoy much more of what our spectacular province has to offer."


Here are just a few ideas for the exploring B.C. this holiday weekend:

* Visit the new Klahowya Village in Stanley Park and learn about local Aboriginal history and early settlers to B.C.

* Go for a rainforest walk in Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park.

* Head to one of the many beaches in Vancouver, just named one of National Geographic's top 10 beach cities in the world.

* River raft down the Chilcotin River, near Williams Lake.

* Visit a potter to learn their craft. The Purple Banner Route on the Sunshine Coast is an excellent way to discover new artisans.

* Spot some locals, such as Bighorn sheep, moose, elk and bears, which are frequently spotted along the Alaska Highway in northern B.C.

* Drop your fishing line in any of the many lakes along the Fishing Highway (Highway 24) in the Cariboo.

* Enjoy a round of golf on a course with fabulous views of the Rocky Mountains in the Kootenay Rockies.

* Visit a winery or nearby farm in the sunny Okanagan - fruit stands are overflowing with fresh fruits and vegetables right now.

* Take in some outdoor live theatre in Armstrong, or one of the many festivals around the province. Stop by your local Visitor Centre (look for the blue and yellow "i" sign) for activities in your community.

On June 14, 2010, the Province launched a new B.C. summer tourism campaign designed to encourage B.C. residents to travel within the province this summer. In addition to television advertising, the campaign includes a contest, print ads and advertorials encouraging the public to visit http://www.hellobc.com/ Tourism British Columbia's consumer website.

HelloBC.com is a one stop website for all your B.C. travel planning. To learn more about accommodations and activities for this weekend and throughout the summer, visit http://www.hellobc.com/ 



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More People Camping in BC Parks This Year

July 29, 2010
Ministry of Environment

VICTORIA - Camping reservations in BC Parks are up almost 10 per cent compared to last year, which is good news for the provincial economy as British Columbians and visitors from out of province head out to our parks going into the BC Day long weekend, said Environment Minister Barry Penner.

"BC Parks offer a tremendous value for people of all ages who want to get outdoors and experience our great parks system," said Penner. "Since we launched the new and improved Discover Camping reservation service last April, people have noticed the improvements. The increased visits to our provincial parks help boost local economies across the province."

To date, BC Parks has taken 73,500 reservations, an increase of almost 10 per cent from last year at this time. All but nine campgrounds in the province have sold out of reservations for the upcoming long weekend, but many still have first-come, first-served sites available.

The new reservation service allows campers to book double sites in a single reservation to guarantee that families or friends can camp together, and is more user-friendly, with a step- by-step process on an easy-to-use website.

Also, with this new service, four additional parks are available for reservations, raising the total number of reservable parks from 68 to 72. This is one of the improvements being made as the "Parks 100" celebration approaches, marking the 100th birthday of BC Parks in 2011.


The Discover Camping telephone number and web address stay the same.

Visit https://secure.camis.com/Discovercamping/ or call 1 800 689-9025 to make campsite reservations. Overseas callers may call 519 826-6850.

Since 2001, the B.C. government has established 65 new parks, 144 conservancies, two ecological reserves and nine protected areas and expanded more than 60 parks and six ecological reserves - protecting over 1.9 million hectares of additional land.

Over the past five years, B.C. has invested approximately $107 million to improve park infrastructure and acquire additional parkland. Today in B.C., 13.5 million hectares or 14.27 per cent of the land base is protected, more than any other Canadian jurisdiction.

BC Parks will celebrate its 100th birthday on March 1, 2011. Leading up to the milestone date, a new Parks 100 initiative will be engaging communities, First Nations, youth and the arts, heritage and tourism sectors in events, competitions and conservation projects across the province. Parks 100 activities aim to promote accessible parks, healthy and green living, and strengthen shared stewardship of B.C.'s natural and cultural resources. To find out more about Parks 100, go to: http://www.bcparks100.ca/


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Single Lane Traffic: Richmond Road between Poplar Avenue and Cedar Hill Cross Road - Tuesday, August 3

July 29, 2010

On Tuesday, August 3, 2010 there will be single lane traffic on Richmond Road between Poplar Avenue and Cedar Hill Cross Road. The Northbound lane on Richmond Road will be closed. Work is scheduled to start at approximately 8:00 am and is expected to continue until 4:00 pm.


All vehicles are asked to please use Poplar Avenue and Shelbourne Street as an alternate route.

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Music in the Garden - Aug 14-15 Milner Gardens & Woodland, Qualicum Beach

Music in the Garden


Aug 14-15, 2010
Milner Gardens & Woodland, seaside garden in Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island, BC
2179 West Island Hwy., 40 minutes north of Nanaimo

What began as a one day music event "Jazz in the Garden" in 2004, has expanded into a two day music festival this year. With the music programming change to one day of classical music and the second day featuring jazz, the event has also undergone a name change to "Music in the Garden". The venue however remains the same: the stunning seaside historical site of Vancouver Island University's Milner Gardens & Woodland in Qualicum Beach, BC on Vancouver Island. Jazz saxophonist, and five time JUNO Award winner, Phil Dwyer, is the festival's Artistic director

The 70 acre Milner Gardens & Woodland site began in 1929 with the construction of the main house. Over the years a 10 acre garden was built around the house, mainly under the guidance of Ray Milner's's second wife, Veronica. In 1996, the property was donated to Nanaimo's Vancouver Island University in the Milners' memory. Supported by a non-profit society and open to the public since 2001, the botanical variety of the gardens provides a superb living laboratory for VIU’s horticultural students, a world class display of rare and unique plants for the public's delight and enjoyment, as well as management of the Douglas-fir forest. Director, Geoff Ball, staff and volunteers present a variety of fundraising events throughout the year including "Antiques in the Garden", "Art & Photography in the Garden", "Rhododendron Days", the "BC Day Picnic", "Christmas Magic" and more.



SATURDAY AUG 14 12:30-4pm CLASSICAL (gates open at 11:30am)

Touch of Brass
Rosemary Lindsay
The Music in The Garden Chamber Players including Mark Fewer, Joseph Elworthy, Terence Tam, Kenneth Broadway and Isabelle Rolland.

SUNDAY AUG 15 12:30-4pm JAZZ (gates open at 11:30am)

The Phil Dwyer Academy of Music student ensemble
The Bridge Quartet
Jillian Lebeck
Brad Turner with Strings


Tickets, all prices include taxes:

Weekend Pass: $55 / $45*

Single Day Admission: $30 / $25*

* under 19, Vancouver Island University students and Milner Gardens members

Children 6 and under Free

Tickets available at:

Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Nanoose Bay:
Milner Gardens & Woodlands 250-752-6153
Coastal Community Credit Union Branches

Nanaimo:
Vancouver Island University Bookstore
Turley's Florist

http://www.milnergardens.org/

http://www.phildwyer.com/

Music in the Garden Facebook Page

Music in the Garden Event on Facebook



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Johnson Street Bridge Survey Deadline Extended

July 28, 2010


VICTORIA, BC — An extensive effort is underway to make certain that every Victoria household has received a mail out package of information on the Johnson Street Bridge options. Packages include a detachable feedback form and postage paid envelope.

On August 12th, Victoria City Council will decide which bridge option to proceed with to address the 86 year old bridge.

With costs in mind, the City mailed out information packages through Canada Post by unaddressed mail. However some buildings, which have a no unsolicited mail policy, did not receive them. The City will make every effort to ensure that those residents also have access to the forms by direct mailing or hand delivering them.

The deadline for receiving the survey feedback forms has been extended to Tuesday, August 10, 2010.

Over 1,000 surveys have already been submitted and any Victoria household that has not received an information package can email johnsonstreetbridge@victoria.ca or call 250.361.0288.

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News headlines for the morning of July 29th

Here are some of the stories we are working on this morning. Tune in for the next news at 8:06, after the BBC world service news.
  • DNA tests have confirmed that a badly burned body found earlier this month was that of 42-year-old Karie Anne Stone.
  • An intense lightning storm that moved through the Okanagan Valley last night may have sparked a small wildfire in the hills above Kelowna's Joe Rich neighbourhood, east of the city.
  • The Lansdowne campus of Camosun College was evacuated yesterday morning because of a gas leak.
 
 
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Canada's toughest impaired driving penalties start Sept. 20

July 28, 2010

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

VICTORIA - Police across the province will be out in force in September armed with the toughest laws and penalties in the country to get impaired drivers off B.C.'s roads faster and for longer periods of time, Solicitor General Michael de Jong, QC, announced today.

"Unfortunately, impaired driving is on the increase in this province and that's alarming because it means some people still aren't getting the message," said de Jong. "The new penalties will be a wake-up call because when September comes, drinking drivers can lose their driver's licence, have their vehicle impounded, and pay costs that range from $600 to $3,750."

Drivers who provide a failing breath sample above 0.08 per cent blood-alcohol content (BAC) or refuse to provide a breath sample at the roadside will face an immediate, 90-day driving ban and a $500 fine. As well, they will have their vehicle impounded for 30 days. Criminal charges may also be laid.

"This summer, our officers are out on the streets, working strategically to identify and stop impaired drivers and, where appropriate, vigorously pursue criminal charges," said Deputy Chief Constable Clayton Pecknold, president of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police. "The new law will build on these efforts. In the long run, with tougher penalties and ongoing enforcement, we believe there will be fewer impaired drivers to catch and fewer devastating, completely preventable crashes for our police officers to attend."

Drivers caught once in the "warn" range (between 0.05 and 0.08 per cent BAC) in a five-year period will face an immediate, three-day driving ban and a $200 fine; a second time, a seven-day ban and a $300 fine; and a third time, a 30-day ban and a $400 fine. Research shows a BAC in that range means a driver is seven times more likely to be in a fatal crash than if they have no alcohol in their body.

In addition, drivers who blow once in the "fail" range, or three times within five years in the "warn" range, will be required to participate in the rehabilitative Responsible Driver Program. They must also use an ignition interlock device, which tests a driver's breath for alcohol every time they operate their vehicle, for one year.

In recent years, B.C. has seen a rise in impaired driving offences, which went up 18 per cent from 2008 to 2009, according to information released last week by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. On average, alcohol-related crashes cause 115 deaths and more than 3,000 injuries in B.C. each year.


More information on B.C.'s new impaired driving penalties is at

www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/osmv



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Bring Lawn Chairs to Splash, But Not Before Sunday Please

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

VICTORIA, BC — The City of Victoria and Greater Victoria Harbour Authority remind Victoria Symphony Splash concert goers that the chaining of lawn chairs is a safety concern and is prohibited on public property and the lower causeway.

“Victoria’s Inner Harbour will host thousands of people this August long weekend and we want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time,” said Katie Josephson, Director of Corporate Communications. “While we recognize the desire for reserved seating, the chaining of lawn chairs to fencing along the harbour interferes with walkways and prevents everyone from having the same access to prime seating for a tremendous, community event.”

To maintain pedestrian access along walkways on days leading up to the event, lawn chairs are not to be set up on the upper and lower causeway until Sunday, August 1, starting at 8 a.m. Areas where seating is permitted during the event will be marked with tape. Once lawn chairs are set up, people must remain with their seats until the concert begins. Through education efforts over the past two years, not one chair has had to be removed.

This year, the Victoria Symphony Splash salutes the Royal Canadian Navy’s Centennial. The event will begin at 1 p.m. and will feature live music, food vendors and children’s activities in the Splash Family Zone. The opening act will commence at 4 p.m., with Tania Miller and the Victoria Symphony featured at 7:30 p.m. on a floating stage in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. The concert’s grand finale at 9:30 p.m. will feature the 1812 Overture, accompanied by cannons and fireworks.

Lawn chairs affixed to public property on the upper causeway or on lower causeway property will be removed.

Signs will be posted in the area. Lawn chairs will be available for retrieval by calling the City of Victoria Parks, Recreation and Culture Department on Tuesday, August 3, 2010 at 250.361.0369.

A passenger drop-off zone will be available on Government Street, located across the road from the Fairmont Empress Hotel on Sunday, August 1, 2010, from 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

For more information about Victoria Symphony Splash, visit: http://www.victoriasymphony.ca/

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ICBC and Canadian Blood Services partner for summer challenge - Drive safe; donate blood over B.C. Day long weekend

VANCOUVER, July 28 /CNW/ - ICBC and Canadian Blood Services are encouraging British Columbians to think twice about their actions this B.C. Day long weekend.

According to ICBC statistics 2005 to 2009, there is an average of 1,780 crashes, resulting in 500 injuries and three fatalities during the B.C. Day long weekend. This can have an immediate and significant impact on Canada's blood supply.

"Victims of bad car crashes can sometimes need up to 50 units of blood to come out of the emergency room alive," said Britt Andersen, Regional Donor Services Manager for Canadian Blood Services, B.C. and Yukon Region. "That's why the need for blood never takes a vacation. We need to collect blood every day of the year so that the right blood products are available at the right time."

Historically, long weekends are a difficult time to collect blood across the province, so ICBC staff are rolling up their sleeves to do their part by holding their 2nd annual Summer Blood Donor Challenge from July 28th to September 8th.

"We're proud of the commitment of our employees - last year they exceeded the target by 250 per cent," said Jon Schubert, ICBC's President and CEO. "It's remarkable to see their dedication to making a difference again this summer and we'd like to encourage individuals and other businesses to follow suit."

As of this morning, Canadian Blood Services still needs to fill 345 appointment slots between July 30th and August 2nd. So do your part and make an appointment with Canadian Blood Services by calling 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283).

ICBC, along with the Community Against Preventable Injuries, also wants to remind drivers to make smart driving decisions this long weekend - plan ahead if your activities will involve alcohol, avoid using hand-held electronic devices while driving and stay within the posted speed limit.

"We never imagine that we'll end our long weekend with car damage, or even worse, in a hospital bed," says Dr. Ian Pike of the Community for Preventable Injuries. "But that is exactly what happens to hundreds of British Columbians every year. Please make smart driving decisions this long weekend."

Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/icbc 



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Gas line break at Camosun Lansdowne Campus this morning

July 28, 2010


(Victoria)

Camosun College had a gas line break at approximately 8:30am this morning. The Saanich Fire Chief gave the all-clear at approximately 9:45am, and classes have resumed.

The break happened at the Lansdowne campus during summer construction. All Lansdowne buildings were safely evacuated by the college’s Physical Resource staff until Terasen Gas arrived on-site, according to Mr. Marian Miszkiel, Director of Physical Resources.

Police and Emergency Services from Saanich, as well as Terasen Gas, responded immediately. Students and staff were all evacuated and the Saanich fire chief walked through the buildings prior to giving the all clear for re-occupancy. Neighbourhood traffic was limited while emergency services dealt with the break.


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BC Based Training Program To Be Used in U.K.

July 28, 2010

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts

VICTORIA - The United Kingdom will use a made-in-B.C. and world- renowned customer service training program to train people working in the tourism industry as they prepare to welcome visitors ahead of the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London, announced Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts today.

"WorldHost trained approximately 39,000 tourism industry volunteers and staff, from key sectors across B.C., to successfully 'Welcome the World' in preparation for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games," said Krueger. "Now it is London's turn to host the Games and B.C.'s WorldHost program has been chosen to give participants the essential customer-service skills required to host the world in 2012."

WorldHost Training Services, a program of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, was initially launched as SuperHost to prepare B.C. for the Expo 86. The program has now expanded, with over 20 international licenses granted and close to one million participants having completed SuperHost/WorldHost training worldwide. WorldHost is a global leader in customer service training solutions and is designed to upgrade customer-service standards in the tourism and hospitality industries.

People 1st is the Sector Skills Council for hospitality, leisure travel and tourism throughout England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. It was established to support the development of skills and training for the two million individuals who work in the U.K.'s tourism industry. The Province has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with People 1st to deliver the WorldHost training tools, materials and customer service delivery models to prepare the tourism workforce for the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games.

"Our golden decade of sporting events presents the U.K. with a superb opportunity to invest in raising customer-service skills and creating a  legacy for tourism," said People 1st's chief executive, Brian Wisdom.

"We have many great opportunities to shine on the world stage and WorldHost will play a significant role in ensuring that visitors to the U.K. get the warm and professional welcome they deserve."

WorldHost training has been delivered throughout B.C. and worldwide for more than 24 years. Delivery organizations are licensed to administer workshops and are trained by master trainers from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts.
Customized training solutions are also a key aspect of the program. For more information about WorldHost Training Services please visit: http://www.tca.gov.bc.ca/WorldHost/


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Recall update from Freybe Gourmet Foods Ltd. - Ham Suelze voluntarily recalled

Ham Suelze voluntarily recalled; all products manufactured by Brandt Meat Packers' facility for Freybe removed from distribution.



LANGLEY, BC, July 28 /CNW/ - Freybe Gourmet Foods Ltd. (Freybe) has been working in cooperation with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as Freybe-brand Ham Suelze may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. While no illnesses associated with the product have been reported, Freybe withdrew all Ham Suelze from stores on July 21 and is now voluntarily recalling all product while further testing continues. Consumers are advised not to consume and to discard all Ham Suelze purchased up to July 24 from over-the-counter delis. The product was distributed to Overwaitea Food Group (which includes Save-on-Foods, PriceSmart Foods, Urban Fare and Cooper's Foods), Thrifty Foods, IGA, Federated Co-op and Fairway stores, as well as other smaller delis in Western Canada and Ontario.

The Ham Suelze is manufactured for Freybe by Brandt Meat Packers (Establishment number 164) at the same facility in Mississauga, Ontario as the Headcheese that was recalled due to a salmonella contamination on July 14 (http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/July2010/14/c4335.html). The Headcheese and Ham Suelze are the only two Freybe-branded products manufactured at the facility. No other Freybe-branded products are affected by the voluntary recalls. Brandt Meat Packers is fully cooperating with both Freybe and the CFIA as tests continue to determine any potential links between the Listeria monocytogenes and salmonella contaminations.

"When we announced the Headcheese recall on July 14, we immediately halted the manufacturing and distribution of both Headcheese and Ham Suelze indefinitely to keep the products out of circulation while plant testing continued," said Sven Freybe, president and CEO of Freybe Gourmet Foods. "Our consumers' wellbeing is our top priority, so we're using extreme caution and voluntarily recalling all Ham Suelze product manufactured and distributed prior to the Headcheese recall. We will continue working with the CFIA and Brandt Meat Packers until we have a thorough and clear understanding of how these contaminations occurred."

Freybe will provide further information about the test results as they become available. In the meantime, the company is grateful to its customers for their decades of continued loyalty.



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Single Lane Alternating Traffic on Richmond Road between Cedar Hill Cross Road and Donnelly Road - July 28 to September 3

DATE: July 27, 2010


Staring on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 through to Friday, September 3, 2010 there will be alternating single lane traffic on Richmond Road between Cedar Hill Cross Road and Donnelly Road. Work is scheduled to start at approximately 8:00 am and is expected to continue until 4:00 pm.

There will be traffic control people on site to assist with traffic control. Please obey their directions and all traffic signs.
 

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Village900 top local news headlines for July 28th

Good Morning! Here are the stories we are following this morning. Listen weekdays between 7 and 9am for all your local news, sports and weather.

  • The two teen aged boys charged in the murder of of Kimberly Proctor had their second appearance in court yesterday morning by video link.

  • A crane operator was injured when the machine he was operating flipped during construction on Shelbourne St. yesterday.

  • The Victoria Seals won 12-6 over the Chico Outlaws last night before a record capacity crowd of over 4700 people.
 
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

BCCLA supports community call for coroner’s inquest into heat exposure death

British Columbia Civil Liberties Association

July 27, 2010

The BCCLA is supporting a community rally on the anniversary of the death of Curtis Brick and its call for a coroner’s inquest into the homeless aboriginal man’s death. Curtis Brick died of heat exposure in Grandview Park in Vancouver. Hyperthermia—heat exposure—is a cause of death whose symptoms are often mistaken and not appreciated in a timely way. At the time of his death, witnesses alleged that Brick was improperly treated by emergency personnel.

“Coroner’s inquests are held to improve public safety and prevent situations involving avoidable deaths from recurring. Lessons ought to be learned and mistakes not repeated. Doing so in a public process such as a coroner’s hearing helps, largely because coroners are in place for fact-finding, not fault-finding,” said Robert Holmes, President of the BCCLA. “Curtis Brick was a homeless aboriginal man whose death aroused intense community interest and concern. It is important that the coroner act to ensure that the circumstances of his passing are investigated. It is important to ensure that all service providers understand the dangers of heat exposure and the need for vigilance and caring in dealing with disadvantaged persons.”

The BCCLA met with the coroner’s office in early July and at that time was advised that the Brick file remains open and that no final determination has yet been made on whether or not to hold an inquest.

“Government should address publicly and prominently what it is doing to ensure that first responders, law enforcement, medical service providers and the public generally are suitably prepared to deal with events in hot weather,” said Holmes. “On this anniversary of his untimely passing, we’re hoping that the coroner acts to address the community’s demands for answers.”

Curtis Brick died on July 29, 2009 of heat exposure. The memorial rally is on Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. at Grandview Park and is being organized by the Indigenous Action Movement. In the wake of Curtis Brick’s death, the City of Vancouver has begun to phase in over a 2 year period, hot weather protocols for vulnerable populations to minimize the risk of similar deaths.



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Hot Dry Conditions Prompt More Campfire Bans in BC

July 26, 2010

Ministry of Forests and Range

VICTORIA - As of noon on Thursday, July 29, campfire bans will be in effect around most of the province, Minister of Forests and Range Pat Bell said today.

"We are heading into the peak fire season and the fire danger rating for most of the province is high to extreme," said Bell. "Rain isn't expected in the immediate future so we are implementing these bans to limit the chance of human-caused fires."

Fires of any size, including campfires, fires with a burn registration number and industrial burning, fireworks, tiki torches and burning barrels will be prohibited in the Kamloops, Northwest, Cariboo and Prince George Fire Centres. This is in addition to the ban already in effect in the Coastal Fire Centre. Maps of the specific prohibition areas will be available at www.firesafebc.ca by clicking on "Current Conditions & Bans."

"Many people feel that campfires are part and parcel with camping," said Bell. "But there is a wide array of activities that you can take part in while enjoying B.C.'s outdoors. Go for a hike, build a sandcastle with your kids or swim in the river. There is so much to enjoy out there."

The public is urged to exercise extreme caution on forested land with any activity that could lead to a wildfire. Make sure to extinguish cigarettes safely and avoid driving ATVs and motorcycles through tall grass and undergrowth.

"If you ignore a campfire ban, you will be fined $345. If your recklessness causes a wildfire, you could be fined up to $1 million or spend three years in prison and be held responsible for fire suppression costs," said Bell. "Compliance and enforcement officers, including the RCMP, will be out in full force during the August long weekend."

Also, as lightning becomes more common in the hot, dry summer months, it is crucial that crews are available to respond to naturally occurring wildfires. Person-caused wildfires divert critical resources away from managing these lightning-caused fires.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire call *5555 on your cell or toll-free 1 800 663-5555. For the latest information on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website at www.bcwildfire.ca. For Facebook and Twitter updates, as well as details about evacuation orders and alerts, road conditions and air quality advisories, go to http://www.firesafebc.ca/



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Allison Crowe Spiral Concert @ Fairfield United Church - Saturday, August 7, 8 pm

For the first time in years, vocalist-pianist-guitarist Allison Crowe is home on Pacific turf for concerts with, fingers crossed, no snow in the forecast. On a summery Saturday, August 7, at Fairfield United Church, she’ll deliver her all-season repertoire and perform songs from her newest CD, “Spiral” alongside all-time favourites.


“Canada’s finest songwriter” is how UK culture blog, ‘We Write Lists’, tagged Allison Crowe upon release of “Spiral” – an album which features distinctive contributions from West coast BC talent: engineering and electric guitar from Larry Anschell (of White Rock’s Turtle Recording studios); bass by Nanaimo’s big band and modern jazzer, grand funkster Dave Baird; and from a trio of Salt Spring Islanders - photography and acoustic guitar by Billie Rocha-Woods; sympatico percussion from Laurent Boucher; and production, string arrangements and orchestration from Kayla Schmah (now Hollywood-based).

Pioneering music blog Muruch, in recently celebrating its tenth anniversary, named Crowe its musical mascot, saying: “Her extraordinarily emotive way of singing and the subtle beauty of her songs stand out from just about any other artist ever.”

Crowe’s musical foundation in classical and jazz blends uniquely with rock, folk and soul to appeal to fans of classic singer-songwriters such as Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell, alongside rock/pop bands from The Beatles and Pearl Jam, to artists such as Ani DiFranco, Tori Amos, Aretha Franklin and Counting Crows.

While some are still bewildered by today’s digital environment, and fret the decline of the old-style record industry, years ago Allison Crowe set course for creative and commercial independence, and she’s navigated a true grassroots success. While steadily building an audience for her music, she’s garnered praise in the traditional media – print, radio and television – alongside widespread appreciation in the alternative media and in the global online community where Crowe’s especially active and progressive.

"Once famously described by the Vancouver Courier as possessing a style akin to 'Elton John meets Edith Piaf', the Canadian singer-songwriter Allison Crowe is renowned for her ability to blend control and melodrama,” comments MOJO magazine.

“When I listen to it, I think ‘This is real music, real singing’, it has the power, it's natural, not artificial and calculated like many songs nowadays,” says Lukasz Garbol, podcaster with Poland’s popular Radio Świdnik.

Born on Vancouver Island, Allison Crowe now tours Europe regularly, and has two bases in Canada – her birthplace, Nanaimo, and, her Atlantic home, Corner Brook. Jeffrey Pitcher, Artistic Director of Theatre Newfoundland notes: "No matter where she is in this world, that voice, that conviction, it crosses all borders. She's one of those rare artists that fits into any culture, any community because she is who she is - an incredible talent."

"I hear so much music these days, too much for one person really,” says Muruch. “I’m inundated with such a flood of sounds both good and bad that I sometimes forget what it feels like when a song literally produces chills on your arms. Then I hear Allison Crowe sing, and I remember the effect music is supposed to have on you.”

Doors: 7:30 pm Music: 8:00 pm
Location: Fairfield United Church, 1303 Fairfield Rd. (at Moss Street), Victoria
Concert tickets @ Lyle’s Place (770 Yates); Larsen Music (1833 Cook Street); Ivy’s Bookshop (2188 Oak Bay Ave.); & allisoncrowe.com
Advance: $20 General/$15 Students and Seniors (Door: $22/$17)

More info: http://www.allisoncrowe.com/  and 250-537-1286



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Carmanah/Sabik Solar LED Lanterns to Mark Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from Texas to Florida

VICTORIA, BC

1,000 Additional Carmanah/Sabik Solar LED Lanterns to Mark Pilings


Carmanah/Sabik has received an additional order for solar LED marine lanterns to mark intracoastal waterways as a result of the Gulf oil spill. The order, placed through American Fire & Safety, the Carmanah/Sabik authorized distributor in Louisiana, is for one thousand yellow Carmanah/Sabik M650 solar LED marine lanterns. The lights will be used to mark pilings along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from Texas to Florida and will help improve navigational safety in areas of increased inland waterway traffic.

In addition to improving safety along the Gulf region’s inland waterways, Carmanah/Sabik lanterns are also helping keep marine traffic safe along the Gulf Coast while oil spill containment and cleanup work continues there. Thousands of white and yellow Carmanah/Sabik Model 502 and M650 solar LED marine lanterns have been deployed to mark areas such as open bays and waterways where the presence of containment booms poses a risk to navigational safety.

Featuring a simple on-board programmable interface, convenient USB connection, replaceable battery pack and intelligent deployment capability, the self-contained, self-powered M650 solar LED marine lantern provides up to four nautical miles of visibility making it ideal for lighting ports, harbours and marinas; marking obstructions and nautical hazards; or illuminating aids to navigation in all types of environments.

Recently awarded standing offers by the Canadian Coast Guard for 1.5 and 2 nautical mile applications, the Carmanah/Sabik M650 has been enthusiastically received by the marine aids-to-navigation market since the product’s mid-2009 launch.

Incorporating an efficient optical design and a peak intensity of 44 candela the M650 solar LED marine lantern includes more than 256 flash patterns, and is available in all IALA marine aid-to-navigation light colours. With no bulbs to wear out and a replaceable/recyclable battery pack, the LED-equipped M650 can operate maintenance-free for up to five years.

Over a decade ago, Carmanah Technologies Corporation developed the very first solar LED lantern for the US Coast Guard and has continued to work with maritime authorities worldwide to develop best-in-class, self-contained solar LED aids-to-navigation lighting solutions that meet the technical specifications and quality standards of the marine industry.

A strategic partnership with Finland-based marine lighting pioneer Sabik Oy, announced in March of 2010 further strengthens both companies’ positions in this highly technical market and expands their ability to provide the performance, reliability and functionality demanded by customers such as the US and Canadian Coast Guards.

For more information on Carmanah/Sabik solar LED marine lanterns, please http://www.carmanah.com/Marine/Overview.aspx



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GOOD TIMBER: Songs and Stories of the Western Logger - July 2 to August 28, Royal BC Museum

July 2 to August 28, 2010
Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street, Victoria
Mondays through Saturdays at 8pm
Tickets $15 - $20 plus tax and service fee

Tickets available in person at the Royal BC Museum box office or by phone at 250.721.8480 or online at http://www.otherguystheatre.ca/

They called themselves tame apes, hookers and hi-riggers and they were the stuff of legend in the coastal forests. This summer The Other Guys Theatre Company, with the Royal BC Museum, presents an original musical revue featuring the songs and stories of the western logger. Inspired by "Rhymes of the Western Logger', a compilation of logging camp poetry by Robert E. Swanson, the show is a romp through the past set against a multi-media backdrop of rarely-seen imagery of BC's logging history.

"The show is a delight... some of the best musical talent in Victoria...a really, really great show!" - CBC Radio.

"Whether you're eight or 80, there's something here to love...a musical revue - and an expertly executed, top-notch one at that." - Monday Magazine


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Our top local news stories for July 27th

Here are the stories we are working on this morning. Tune in at 8:30 and 9:06 am for all your local news!

  • A Victoria man who asked to be banned from a local casino to control his gambling says he was still allowed to return whenever he wanted -- at least until he won a 42-thousand-dollar jackpot.

  • The building that has housed the Royal London Wax Museum for the past 40 years may have new tenants soon.

  • More than two years after poor markets force a Vancouver Island sawmill to close indefinitely, Western Forest Products says the facility is about to reopen.

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Traffic Advisory & Road Closure - Columbia Drive between Hawthorne Street and Longacre Drive

DATE: July 26, 2010


Traffic Advisory

On Monday, July 26, 2010 through to Friday, August 6, 2010 there will be possible lane obstructions on Columbia Drive between Hawthorne Street and Longacre Drive. Work is scheduled to start at approximately 8:00 am and is expected to continue until 4:30 pm.

All vehicles will have access.
 



Road Closure

The road closure on Columbia Drive between Hawthorne Street and Longacre Drive has been extended from Monday, July 12, 2010 through to Friday, July 30, 2010. Work is scheduled to start at approximately 8:00 am and is expected to continue until 4:30 pm.

Only emergency vehicles will have access and all other vehicles will need to use an alternate route.
 
 
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Victoria One of 15 Canadian Cities to Participate in Climate Change Adaptation Initiative

VICTORIA, BC — The City of Victoria will join forces with the respected International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives to participate in a two-year pilot program to design and implement local climate adaptation programs.
“With green transportation being one of the community’s top priorities, climate change is clearly top of mind,” noted Mayor Dean Fortin. “This pilot will help ensure we are taking progressive steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

In addition to supporting the pilot, today Council also approved funding for a temporary Climate Action Analyst to assist the development of the Climate Action Program, including a Climate Resiliency Plan for the community. These funds will be matched through BC Hydro’s Sustainable Communities Program.

Today’s Council approval builds on two ambitious environmental targets set earlier this year when the City committed to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 33 per cent by 2020, and targeting 2012 for municipal operations to be carbon neutral. Both targets will live in a Climate Action Plan to be developed by the municipality.

On top of targeting the reduction of community GHG emissions and energy consumption, the Climate Resiliency Plan will outline a strategy for how the community will adapt current activities that impact climate change. The plan will include prioritized actions for improved transportation choices, integrated land use and transportation, new building practices, and opportunities for district energy generation and distribution. Climate protection and energy use reduction will form a major part of Victoria’s new Official Community Plan, currently being developed through intensive community consultation.

Victoria has one of the lowest residential greenhouse gas emissions in the Capital Region due to our compact and connected urban design.

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Top local news stories for Monday, July 26th

Good morning! These are the headlines we are working on this morning. Tune in to Village 900am weekday mornings for all your local news, weather and sports.

  • Officials have now determined that a lightning strike was the cause of a forest fire near Lillooet that has kept the residents of the Yalakom Valley on evacuation alert. 

  • Victoria City Council may soon approve an initiative to allow residents to build garden suites in their backyards.

  • The City of Victoria has formally requested money from the CRD to bring railway tracks across the new Johnson Street bridge.

  • Victoria cyclist Ryder Hesjedal earns a top-ten finish in the Tour de France.
 


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Pacific Coach announces changes to their Victoria to Vancouver Schedule

Pacific Coach announces changes to their Victoria to Vancouver Schedule


Vancouver, BC - Pacific Coach has announced schedule changes on their direct bus service between Victoria and Vancouver via BC Ferries.

Several of the least popular departure times have been cancelled to reflect current ridership levels, however, the schedule still provides customers with service at regular intervals throughout the day.

“We have done our best to make this transition easy for our customers”, said Thomas Choe, vice president operations, Pacific Coach. “We have posted the new schedule on our website and advertised the changes as we know people rely on us for this important connecting service.”

Pacific Coach has been working with B.C. Ferries for 50 years and has a positive impact on the communities they serve. The company is the primary scheduled coach service provider between Victoria and Vancouver and Victoria and Vancouver International Airport (YVR). They are also the exclusive service provider between YVR and Whistler and operate the WhistlerExpress service between downtown Vancouver and Whistler.

“Like any business, when we experience changes in demand for our services we need to adjust our operations to reflect the change,” said Choe.

No further cuts are anticipated and the schedule change may not be permanent.

The current schedule is available at www.pacificcoach.com/

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Premier congratulates Hesjedal on Tour de France finish

July 25, 2010

Office of the Premier

VICTORIA - Premier Gordon Campbell made the following statement on B.C. athlete Ryder Hesjedal's remarkable finish in the Tour de France bicycle race:

"On behalf of all British Columbians I congratulate Victoria's Ryder Hesjedal on finishing the gruelling Tour de France in seventh place, the highest finish by a Canadian in over 20 years. Ryder's performance throughout the competition was incredible.

"The Tour de France is the pinnacle of cycling competition, attracting 170 participants this year, making Ryder's final placement a significant accomplishment, building on an already successful career. In 2009 Ryder was named Canadian cyclist of the decade and male Canadian cyclist of the year.

"Like many of British Columbia's international athletes, Ryder is an alumnus of the BC Games program, part of our province's integrated system to help support athletes as they develop their potential. He is also an Olympian, and Canadian sports fans look forward to watching his future success."


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Friday, July 23, 2010

BC's Legal Service Society members serve 72 hour strike notice

VANCOUVER, July 23 /CNW/ - The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union announced today that it is serving 72 hour strike notice to the Legal Services Society of B.C. on behalf of their members, to take effect at noon on Monday, July 26, 2010.
Employment security emerged as the main issue that produced the impasse. After several rounds of budget cuts and downsizing, the employer moved to lay off 58 staff and contract out their work to local agents in 2010.

The bargaining committee made several proposals to strengthen language around contracting out as part of a new collective agreement, but the employer has refused to negotiate this issue. Society members strongly supported a strike vote after the impasse was reached.

"Employees have a right to expect that their work is valued by their employer, and that their jobs won't be handed over to private contractors at the first opportunity," said Walker. "The workers have done their part. Now it's the employer's turn, to show that it respects and values its employees by negotiating a contract that provides protection from contracting out."

Since 2002, the BC Liberal government has cut more than 40 per cent from legal aid funding, forcing the society to close 12 branch offices and 5 regional offices, and cut dozens of staff.

"Our members at the Legal Services Society have been hard-hit by government funding cuts and office closures since 2002," said BCGEU president Darryl Walker. "The last round of cuts has severely affected their ability to serve the public, and they've said enough is enough."

The Legal Services Society currently employs 110 BCGEU members, in two regional offices located in Vancouver and Terrace. For more information on the history of cuts to legal aid services, visit: www.bcgeu.ca/campaigns_and_issues/justice_for_all 



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Free Course offers food safety training

July 23, 2010
Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport

FREE COURSE OFFERS INTERACTIVE FOOD SAFETY TRAINING

VICTORIA – The Province has launched a new self-guided online course on how to safely handle and prepare food so you can reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses caused by contamination, announced Ida Chong, Minister of Healthy Living and Sport.

Caring About Food Safety, an interactive tutorial available online at no cost for all British Columbians, includes six sections that show step-by-step how to safely buy, store, prepare and cook food, as well as clean up afterwards.

“We know that we can reduce the risk of salmonella, listeria, campylobacter and many other food-borne illnesses by better educating people on how to properly store, handle and prepare food,” said Chong. “Caring About Food Safety supports recommendations from the provincial health officer following the listeria outbreak in 2008, as well as our government’s commitment to healthy living.”

The web-based, interactive course will benefit people who prepare food in work, community and home environments, where it is not always necessary for them to hold a food training certificate. It’s available in multiple languages at www.foodsafety.gov.bc.ca, as well as on DVD.

Under the Health Act’s food premises regulation, every operator of a food service establishment must hold a certificate for completion of a food-handler training program such as FoodSafe, and must ensure that at least one certified employee is always present if the operator is absent. However, this does not apply where food is prepared and served in family child care, residential-care facilities for six or fewer persons, community groups and small business environments.

“Many people who prepare food are not always taking proper precautions or not aware of the foods most susceptible to contamination,” said Dr. Perry Kendall, provincial health officer. “By providing food safety information that’s readily available for anyone through an informative and interactive website, we can educate people who don’t hold a food safety certificate to better protect them, their family and friends from food-borne illnesses.”

The provincial health officer’s 2009 report, Listeria Outbreak: Review and Recommendations For Food Safety in Facilities, recommended that an appropriate short, self-learning program be developed in several languages and made readily available to all staff that prepare or handle food and are not otherwise required to have specific training.


The project cost $150,000 and was supported through a partnership with Open School BC for the production of the course.


A short video about the course led by Kendall is available at http://www.hls.gov.bc.ca/protect/ehp_foodsafetydemo.html 


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Greener Schools

July 23, 2010

Ministry of Education

VICTORIA - More northern and interior schools will benefit from energy-efficient mechanical upgrades as a part of a $20-million investment by the Province and school districts, announced Minister of Education Margaret MacDiarmid.

"These upgrades put student learning first while providing a more environmentally sound learning space with improved air quality and heating efficiency," said MacDiarmid. "School districts will be able to keep more funds focused on learning through the cost savings the upgrades will bring."

These projects will result in an estimated carbon footprint reduction of almost 1,200 tonnes per year, which is equivalent to taking 218 cars off the road. The overall cost savings for districts that result from this program will depend on the upgrade taking place at each school. For example, new condensing boilers can double fuel-to-heat conversion efficiency, and heat pumps typically triple the efficiency of existing heating systems.

"The Province is working with communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by helping them move towards using cleaner, more efficient heating systems," said John Yap, Minister of State for Climate Action. "Making our schools models for progressive environmental practices not only helps save on energy costs, but will help us reach our goal of being carbon- neutral in 2010."

The Province is funding up to $500,000 for specific projects. Qualifying interior and northern school districts are making a minimum matching investment of 50 per cent of the total project budget. Boards may invest additional funds to support local upgrades.

These projects are phase two of an investment by the Province and school districts to improve energy efficiency and air quality in interior and northern B.C. schools. This investment is part of a $20-million initiative that is expected to create up to 128 direct jobs as part of the Province's $14-billion public infrastructure program. Through Budget 2010, the Province is also providing $110 million to school districts across B.C. for annual facilities grants.

Since 2001, the Province has spent more than $1.7 billion to complete 80 new and replacement schools, 148 additions, 26 renovation projects and 22 site acquisitions across B.C. All new and replacement schools have been constructed to meet the latest seismic standards.

By the end of 2010-11, the Province will have committed more than $3.9 billion in school capital and maintenance projects across B.C.


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Communities Recieve $38.6 Million

July 23, 2010

Ministry of Community and Rural Development

VICTORIA - Public safety and other important municipal services will be getting a boost thanks to $38.6 million that the Province is providing to 188 of B.C.'s local governments in the latest instalment of the Strategic Community Investment Fund, Community and Rural Development Minister BenStewart announced today.

"Communities have shown real leadership in the way they use Strategic Community Investment funds during these tough economic times," said Stewart. "By putting these dollars in the hands of local governments, we're able to help them support vital public safety initiatives and other important community services."

This year's funding will be used for more police officers, new police equipment such as imaging cameras, identification equipment and police vehicles, and a variety of community safety and crime prevention initiatives. As well, the funding will be put to other local priorities such as new infrastructure, local planning, improvements to existing infrastructure and roadways, and local employment opportunities.

The Strategic Community Investment Fund is a restructuring of provincial grants, consisting of the Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing program and Small Community and Regional District Grants. This payment of $38.6 million is the third instalment of a total $227 million provided to local governments since 2009. A first instalment of $133 million was paid to communities in March 2009, and a second instalment of $55.5 million was paid in September 2009.

Since 2001, the Province has given communities $413 million in traffic fine revenues and $363 million in Small Community and Regional District Grants. The Small Community and Regional District Grant allocation is based on population and assessment, and since 2005 these grants have been doubled to approximately $54 million a year.

Since 2004, through the Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing program, 100 per cent of net traffic fine revenues have been returned to local governments. Traffic fine revenue comes from fines on violation tickets, with a municipality receiving an amount based on its contribution to total municipal policing costs.

To view this news release with a backgrounder showing the investment fund grants for individual local governments, visit: http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2009-2013/2010CD0028-000847.htm



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Funding Home Run for Canada's Tournament Capital

July 23, 2010

Ministry of Agriculture and Lands

KAMLOOPS - Twelve more brownfield renewal projects will be approved and receive a share of $800,000 from the B.C. Brownfield Renewal Fund, announced Agriculture and Lands Minister Steve Thomson today.

"The successful projects will span all regions of the province, and they all have tremendous potential for redevelopment, giving these areas a new lease on life," said Thomson. "Brownfield site remediation begins this process, and more importantly allows these sites to be returned to their community and active use, while at the same time promoting local economic activity and encouraging further land development."

The announcement was made from the former Rayleigh Correctional facility site owned by the City of Kamloops, which is one of two successful Kamloops-area locations. The site encompasses 120 ha on the west side of the Yellowhead Highway. Past activities on the site have included: acorrectional centre, munitions area, automobile maintenance shops, fuelstorage and waste disposal. The City has been awarded $96,070 toundertake environmental investigations for plans to remediate the site,supporting recreational, sporting and agricultural activities.

"This project and others made possible under the B.C. Brownfield Renewal Fund, leads to neighbourhood and community revitalization through the creation of new recreational and business opportunities," said Mayor Peter Milobar, City of Kamloops. "In this case, we want to clean up and utilize adjacent land to the new Rayleigh Slo-Pitch Park, which will ultimately help increase Kamloops' profile as Canada's Tournament Capital."

Funding of $44,000 has also been awarded to Tranquille on the Lake, the other successful Kamloops applicant, located alongside Kamloops Lake with a history that dates back to the early 1900s. The small community housed a sanatorium, tuberculosis facility, fire hall and had a strong agricultural base. Today, the site has derelict buildings, hazardous waste materials and other public safety hazards.

"The redevelopment of these brownfields gives new life to valuable land that can meet the needs of a growing community," said Terry Lake, MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson. "These projects exemplify the kind of collaboration we are encouraging to help spur brownfield redevelopment into action through the Brownfield Renewal Strategy."

Plans for Tranquille on the Lake involve designing a town of approximately 4,000 people around a state-of-the-art organic farm, including greenhouses and a vineyard. The town will include: lakeshore pathway systems, a public beach, a marina, a five-star hotel and a mix of single and multi-family housing.

"Brownfield remediation and renewal are foundational elements of the Tranquille vision, which is based on the integration of urban farming with the development of a new sustainable community, made possible through the B.C. Brownfield Renewal Fund," said Tim McLeod, development manager for the Tranquille Limited Parternship. "This new community will generate an enormous amount of economic activity and tourism opportunities for Kamloops and the Thompson Nicola Regional District."

The other ten successful projects for the third intake of funding will be announced over the coming weeks.

Brownfields are abandoned, vacant, derelict, or underutilized commercial and industrial properties, where past actions have resulted in actual or perceived contamination. These are sites that have great potential for redevelopment when the issue of contamination is addressed.
In March 2007, the Province announced its Brownfield Renewal Strategy, which included the multi-million-dollar Brownfield Renewal Funding Program. In April 2010, the Province announced the third intake for the program and applicants were invited to apply by May 19, 2010. Last year the program approved 17 projects totalling over $1.6 million.

The B.C. Brownfield Renewal Strategy is designed to encourage more brownfield redevelopment across British Columbia. The strategy helps reduce risk and uncertainty in brownfield redevelopment. The funding program supports the initial environmental work by providing up to $40,000 for preliminary site investigations and up to $125,000 for other types of environmental work. Eligible applicants include First Nations, local governments, non-profits, private companies and individuals.


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