Thursday, September 30, 2010

CN Tower Lights Up Orange in Honour of Literacy in Canada

National landmark illuminates Toronto skyline for life literacy cause October 6, 2010;

ABC Life Literacy Canada celebrates 20 years of literacy awareness

(Toronto, ON – September 30, 2010) – On Wednesday, October 6, 2010, the Toronto skyline will turn orange in honour of the life literacy cause and to commemorate ABC Life Literacy Canada’s 20th anniversary. Orange is ABC Life Literacy Canada’s official colour.

“To have such an iconic Canadian landmark show support for the literacy cause by illuminating the Toronto skyline in orange is a wonderful testament to the importance of literacy and life-long learning,” commented Margaret Eaton, President of ABC Life Literacy Canada. “We hope that all Canadians, young and old alike, will feel enlightened and inspired to continue improving their literacy skills.”

The CN Tower’s lighting program recognizes seasons, special holidays, citywide events and charitable causes, including World Diabetes Day, World Aids Day and Earth Hour.

Standing at 553.33 metres high, the CN Tower is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. An architectural triumph, the tower is a symbol of Canadian achievement recognized around the world, and a symbol of pride for all Canadians. Each night beginning at sunset, the CN Tower’s innovative programmable LED exterior lighting – which can produce up to 16.7 million colours - lights up the Toronto skyline, vividly illuminating the architectural integrity of the structure.

October 6 also marks Life Literacy Night, an event featuring three prestigious awards honouring excellence in life literacy. The awards ceremony will be streamed live online at ustream.tv/channel/life-literacy-live http://www.ustream.tv/channel/life-literacy-live starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.


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PCT Launches Small Business Engagement Fund

Sept. 30, 2010
Pacific Carbon Trust
Climate Smart

VICTORIA - Pacific Carbon Trust launched a pilot program designed to encourage small- and medium-sized businesses to reduce their carbon footprint, announced Pacific Carbon Trust CEO Scott MacDonald.

"Small- and medium-sized enterprises in B.C. represent 98 per cent of all businesses in the province," said MacDonald. "This program will help a number of small- and medium-sized businesses discover new ways to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. We hope the Small Business Engagement Fund will be a catalyst for climate action as local businesses see first-hand how it is possible to cut carbon and cut costs at the same time."

The Small Business Engagement Fund is available to up to 40 small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in communities across B.C. The fund will cover one-third of the cost of participation in a greenhouse gas (GHG) management program offered by Climate Smart, a Vancouver-based provider of carbon tracking training and tools.

"We have seen a great deal of innovation and creativity in the SME sector around climate action," said Climate Smart president Elizabeth Sheehan. "They have also proven there is a financial case for reducing emissions. We are excited to be working with Pacific Carbon Trust in enabling businesses across B.C. to become more resilient and emerge as climate leaders in their communities."

"I want to thank small businesses for the efforts they have made so far to fight climate change and I'm confident this new program will help them do even more," said John Yap, Minister of State for Climate Action. "Small- and medium-sized businesses are not huge emitters but combined they can really make a difference when it comes to achieving our climate action goals."

Five hundred dollars per business is available on a first-come, first-served basis. A maximum of 10 grants will awarded per community, to a total of 40 grants. The participating business and host community each cover the remaining two-thirds of the $1,500 total cost.

The three-day program helps SMEs establish a greenhouse gas emissions baseline for their company using an online carbon management tool. The program also helps participants develop carbon-reduction strategies to lower their emissions while improving operational efficiencies and cutting costs.

The District of Saanich has applied to be the first community to access the funding. The Small Business Engagement Fund expires Dec. 31, 2010. Results from this pilot phase will determine future phases of the program.

The Province has made significant commitments in its Climate Action Plan to reduce B.C.'s carbon footprint. These include the reduction of B.C.'s GHG emissions by at least 33 per cent below 2007 levels by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050.


About Climate Smart

Climate Smart is a Vancouver-based social enterprise launched by Ecotrust Canada in 2009. It is the leading provider of carbon management training, tools and technical support to small and medium-sized enterprises. For more information, please visit www.climatesmartbusiness.com.


About Pacific Carbon Trust

Pacific Carbon Trust is a Crown corporation established in 2008 to deliver B.C.-based greenhouse gas offsets, to help clients meet their carbon reduction goals and to support the growth of B.C.'s low-carbon economy.

For more information or to subscribe to our industry interest list, please visit http://www.pacificcarbontrust.com/


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Victoria Grizzlies rally to come back in 3rd, Win over Nanaimo Clippers in Double Overtime

NANAIMO — Desperation seems like a harsh word this early into the B.C. Hockey League season, but that was the pervading feeling around the dressing rooms at last night’s game between the Victoria Grizzlies and Nanaimo Clippers

Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/sports/Grizzlies+sink+Clippers+overtime/3600358/story.html#ixzz111wjOHnB

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Funding To Expand Solar Projects In BC Communities

Sept. 30, 2010
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

WHISTLER - Funding totalling $80,000 will allow 15 communities and one First Nation to develop and expand innovative solar power programs, making healthier communities for families across B.C., announced Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Bill Bennett.

The funding for B.C.'s newest Solar Communities will enable them to further develop solar hot-water programs and other solar projects in an effort to promote clean energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable communities.

"B.C. is at the forefront of clean energy development, and our Solar Communities are examples of how this technology will reduce pollution and promote healthier communities across the province," said Bennett.

"Ashcroft, one of the new Solar Communities, is improving the recreation and well-being of their community by installing a solar hot water system for their outdoor swimming pool."
The latest communities and First Nations selected are: the Village of Ashcroft, the Village of Alert Bay, the City of Castlegar, the City of Colwood, City of Duncan, the Township of Esquimalt, the City of Kimberley, the Town of Ladysmith, the Lasqueti Local Trust Committee, the Village of Midway, the District of Peachland, the City of Quesnel, the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee, the District of Sechelt, the City of Surrey and the Cowichan Tribes.

These communities were chosen through an RFP process, and each will receive $5,000. This brings the total number of Solar Communities to 32.

On July 17, 2008, the Province announced a $5-million investment in SolarBC to support six solar hot water programs, including installations in residences, local government buildings, First Nations homes, social housing, schools and the Solar Communities program.

"These Solar Communities will provide leadership by their innovative strategies and plans for the deployment of solar energy and will become role models for communities across B.C.," said Nitya Harris, executive director of SolarBC.

A solar hot water system can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one to two tonnes per year for a single-family home using natural gas for water heating. The increased use of solar energy technology is part of a broader sustainable energy strategy that will help the Province reach its goal of curbing greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020.

SolarBC supports the conservation and clean energy objectives of B.C.'s Clean Energy Act and the BC Energy Plan.

For more information on SolarBC, please visit http://www.solarbc.ca/

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Terasen Gas to develop renewable energy projects in Kelowna worth $38-million

City expected to save energy costs and produce fewer greenhouse gases

SURREY, B.C., Sept. 30 /CNW/ - Terasen Gas and the City of Kelowna have entered into an agreement in principle to develop two unique renewable energy systems in Kelowna valued at $22-million and $16-million respectively. Using Terasen-owned and operated district energy systems, the Kelowna City Centre Energy System and Kelowna South Pandosy Energy System will help the City reduce its energy use and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

"This is an important, innovative collaboration that will help to reduce our carbon footprint," said City of Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd. "District energy can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring businesses and residences have a secure source of energy. This is one more step towards our goal to build a safe, vibrant and sustainable city."

"An integrated energy solution, such as a district energy system, allows us to incorporate alternative energy sources, in this case waste heat and water, to help ensure British Columbia meets its energy and environmental goals," said Doug Stout, Vice President, Energy Solutions and External Relations, Terasen Gas and FortisBC. "The systems will provide many benefits, including energy savings, affordable cost for customers, and proven reliability."

The two district energy systems will use waste heat and water from the City's wastewater treatment plant and from Sun-Rype Products Ltd., with other project collaborators providing energy to heat or cool a number of buildings in Kelowna. The new infrastructure will be put in place over the next decade. According to the City of Kelowna's January 2010 pre-feasibility study, both projects combined could also have the potential to save 16,300 tonnes of CO2 per year - equivalent to removing approximately over 3,500 cars from the road annually.

"Sun-Rype is very pleased to collaborate in this important environmental initiative in Kelowna, and we look forward to working with Terasen and the City of Kelowna to make this project a success," said Dave McAnerney, CEO, Sun-Rype Products Ltd.

Before building the two district energy systems, Terasen Gas and the City of Kelowna will work to negotiate and conclude definitive agreements. With the successful conclusion of these agreements and the engineering work, approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission will be required to proceed with the projects.

In October 2009, the City of Kelowna began exploring the possibility of district energy systems with local businesses. The pre-feasibility study identified a potential for district energy systems in four key areas of Kelowna: City Centre, South Pandosy, Orchard Park / Highway Centre and Rutland Centre.

Terasen Gas builds, owns and operates district energy systems for large-scale developments and existing communities. Buildings connected to district energy systems have lower capital costs for their energy equipment as they can eliminate conventional boilers, chillers or air conditioners, saving valuable upfront dollars that can be invested elsewhere.

For more information on Terasen Gas' integrated energy solutions, please visit http://www.terasengas.com/ 

For more information on the district energy pre-feasibility study, see the energy management section at www.kelowna.ca/environment 


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Conflict between RCMP and aboriginal community in Williams Lake must be investigated and resolved, says BCCLA

September 30, 2010

Vancouver – The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is pointing to three videos of problematic encounters between aboriginal people and Williams Lake RCMP, a local business owner’s complaint about racism that was apparently never investigated, and the actions of the detachment head in cutting off a local media outlet that tried to tell a story about the issue as evidence of a major problem in the community.

“We’re seeing video of aboriginal people tied to a chair for hours, tackled when sitting on a bench by multiple RCMP officers, including the head of the detachment, and being punched for refusing to immediately respond to commands. We’re hearing that media outlets that try to report on RCMP and aboriginal relationships are being cut off from receiving press releases. A business owner said RCMP officers were harassing his aboriginal customers and apparently nobody investigated that allegation. Something is really, really wrong in Williams Lake,” says Robert Holmes, President of the BCCLA.

The BCCLA has written a letter to the Chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, the Solicitor General of B.C. and the head of the RCMP in B.C., Gary Bass to ask them to act immediately to replace the detachment head in Williams Lake and begin repairing community relations there. Williams Lake was the subject of a provincial inquiry called the Cariboo-Chilcotin Justice Inquiry in 1993 that made extensive recommendations around reforming policing and police/aboriginal relationships in the area.

“In 1993, Judge Anthony Sarich presented his final report of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Justice Inquiry. The Inquiry explored the relationship with Indigenous Peoples of the Cariboo-Chilcotin and the B.C. justice system. Judge Sarich noted that at the first meeting with Chiefs and community members, he was challenged with the question 'Why should we trust you?' All these years later, the question still resonates," said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. "When officers entrusted with the safety of all conduct themselves in the manner displayed in the Gilbert and Billy videos, the work of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Justice Inquiry did not change the justice system in Williams Lake. The Indigenous leadership will not stand idly by and watch justice be denied.”

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Mental Health in the Workplace: A Perfect Legal Storm

CALGARY, Sept. 30 /CNW/ - Financial rewards for damages caused by mental injury at work have increased over the past five years by as much as 700%, according to a report released today by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). The report warns that a perfect legal storm is brewing in the area of mental health protection at work, and points to emerging responsibilities for employers to provide a psychologically safe workplace. This is timely, since October is Canada's Healthy Workplace Month and next week is Mental Illness Awareness Week.

The Tracking the Perfect Legal Storm (2010) report has been prepared for the MHCC by Dr. Martin Shain (University of Toronto), an academic lawyer and leading expert in workplace mental health issues. It concludes that employers are confronted with a legal duty to maintain not only a physically safe workplace, but also a psychologically safe workplace.

According to Shain, the pressures of the modern workplace can lead to common mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety and burnout, which can sometimes be characterized as mental injury. Courts and tribunals are scrutinizing behavior that may cause mental injury to employees and legal actions are being taken in seven key areas of law, including human rights tribunals and Occupational Health and Safety Law. These factors are converging to form what Shain calls a perfect legal storm.

To read the report and summary, visit:

http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/Pages/Mentalhealthintheworkplace.aspx  



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Canadian Jazz Vocalist Jackée Guillou Announces B.C. Tour

For Immediate Release
Sept. 20th, 2010

VANCOUVER - Jackée Guillou, the Galaxie Rising Star Award winner from the 2009 Vancouver International Jazz Festival, is embarking on her first tour of British Columbia with her seasoned quartet, Seattle-based pianist Victor Noriega, Albuquerque-based drummer Julian MacDonough and Vancouver-based bassist Michael Rush.



The quartet will begin their tour with a show in Vancouver at the Cellar Jazz Club on Oct. 6th and will conclude on Oct. 15th with a performance in Courtenay at Joe’s Garage on Oct. 15th.

Guillou is making her mark as one of Canada's most original and exciting jazz vocalists. With previous credits under her belt as an actor/singer/dancer working with such companies like the Arts Club Theatre of Vancouver, Guillou has reinvented herself as a stunning jazz vocalist and composer.

“Some great things are happening with my career right now and I am eager to hit the road with my band. I can honestly say that I feel like I’ve been waiting to do this my whole life,” Guillou said.

On this tour she will be performing her most requested material, songs from her latest CD: Live @ The Firehall Centre For The Arts, and covers of Canadian singer/songwriter inspirations Joni Mitchell, Ron Sexsmith and Rufus Wainwright.

Guillou has been occupied in the recording studio working on her highly anticipated first full-length studio album. The album features top Canadian and American musicians from Portland, New York City and Toronto. She has recorded seven original songs as well as some jazz standards and covers.

For more information about the tour or interviews, contact info@jackee.ca or (604)928-4122

http://www.jackee.ca/

Oct.6 Cellar Jazz Club, Vancouver
Oct.7 St.Andrews on the Square, Kamloops
Oct.8 House Concert, Kelowna (new venue! email tinajustina@shaw.ca for tix)
Oct.9 Vernon Jazz Club, Vernon
Oct.10 Silverton Gallery, Slocan Valley
Oct.14 Hermann’s Jazz Club, Victoria
Oct.15 Joe’s Garage, Courtenay


Yes, we've requested her new CD!

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Victoria Cougars put 5 game winning streak on the line Thursday #yyj

The Victoria Cougars (5-1-0-0) look to extend their winning streak to six games when they host the Oceanside Generals (3-2-0-1) at the Archie Browning Sports Centre on Thursday, September 30.

Game time at the A.B.S.C., located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:15 p.m.

Thursday’s game marks the second of six meetings between the two clubs. Back on Sep. 11, the Cougars scored five unanswered goals en route to an 8-3 win. Josh Wyatt scored three times in that game while Brody Coulter netted two, and Trevor McNeil, Clark Anderson and Adam Steenbergen each chipped in with singles.

Special teams played a key role in the win as Victoria converted on four of eight powerplay opportunities.

Catlin McLeod, Brett Willsie, and Cam McCarrick replied for Oceanside.

Victoria made it five in a row last Thursday with a 4-1 win over the Campbell River Storm. Scoring for the Cougars were Anderson, Wyatt, Steenbergen, and McNeil, who leads the team in scoring with seven goals and three assists.

Corey Koop improved to 4-0-0-0 and leads all goaltenders in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League with a 1.75 goals against average.

Since their opening night loss, Victoria has outscored its opponents 26-11.

The Generals had their three game win streak stopped last Saturday. After beating the Saanich Braves 7-3, the Westshore Stingers 5-2, and the Peninsula Panthers 3-1, Oceanside fell 4-3 to the North Island Division leading Comox Valley Glacier Kings.

Tyler Auricchio, Ty Morton, and McLeod scored for the Generals, which had squandered leads of 2-1 and 3-2.

Oceanside is 3-1-0-0 against teams from the South Island Division.


STANDINGS: Victoria – 1st place, 10 points, South Island Division. Oceanside – 2nd place, 7 points, North Island Division

STREAKS: Victoria – 5 game winning streak. Oceanside – 1 game losing streak

TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Trevor McNeil, 7 goals; Justin Sotkowy, 7 assists; Mark Walton, 26 penalty minutes. Oceanside – Catlin McLeod, 5 goals; Travis Briggs, 3 assists; Cam McCarrick, 20 penalty minutes

GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Corey Koop (1.75 goals against average, .926 save percentage); Zach Wear (4.50 goals against average, .845 save percentage). Oceanside – Matthew Vorce (0.00 goals against average, 1.000 save percentage); Kolding Larson (4.29 goals against average, .822 save percentage)

HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 2-1-0. Oceanside – Away, 2-0-1


PAST RESULTS/FUTURE MEETINGS:

September 11, 2010. Victoria Cougars 8 @ Oceanside Generals 3

November 14, 2010. Victoria Cougars @ Oceanside Generals

November 18, 2010. Oceanside Generals @ Victoria Cougars

December 9, 2010. Oceanside Generals @ Victoria Cougars

February 12, 2011. Victoria Cougars @ Oceanside Generals

LAST TEN: Victoria, 5-1-0-0. Oceanside, 3-2-0-1


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Oil and Gas Commission Reaches Agreement with PEA

Sept. 29, 2010
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

VICTORIA - The BC Oil and Gas Commission and the Professional Employees' Association have reached a tentative agreement under the government's 2010 mandate, announced Finance Minister Colin Hansen.

"I'm pleased to hear that negotiators have reached a tentative agreement under the government's negotiating framework," said Hansen. "I want to thank all the parties for their commitment in working together. We are continuing to make progress in negotiating agreements that would have expired this year."

Over 1,200 PEA members work for the provincial government in numerous ministries, agencies and crown corporations across British Columbia. Government Licensed Professionals at the Oil and Gas Commission include engineers and geologists.

"This is good news, and I want to personally congratulate everyone involved for making this agreement happen," said Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Bill Bennett. "The BC Oil and Gas Commission plays a key role as the independent regulatory agency for our vibrant natural gas and petroleum sector, and this agreement will support the work they do for the benefit of all British Columbians."

Government has already announced its intention to control spending on wages during this round of bargaining. To protect jobs and preserve vital services British Columbians depend on, government does not have any funding for new wage increases as collective agreements are renewed.

"A lot of work went into this round of bargaining, but both the commission and union worked hard to come together to achieve this tentative agreement," said Alex Ferguson, commissioner and CEO of the BC Oil and Gas Commission. "Our staff are integral to the ongoing success of the work of the commission."

There are approximately 306,000 unionized workers in occupations throughout B.C.'s public sector, the great majority of which have agreements that expire between March 31, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2010.

Just over half of B.C.'s public sector employees have now renegotiated agreements that were set to expire in 2010, including major agreements in the health sector and the public service.

Updated bargaining information is available at: http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/psec/bargaining2010


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Michael Johnathan's Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour - After Grizzlies Hockey Tonight on Village 900


Join us for The Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour right after Victoria Grizzlies Hockey live from Frank Crane Arena in Nanaimo.

Tonight's episode Woodsongs will be rebroadcast at 10:00 am on Sunday Morning, and Woodsongs will return to it's regular programmed time next Wednesday.

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Camosun Chargers golf team makes steady climb

September 29, 2010

The Camosun Chargers golf team climbed one spot up to third-place on the BC Colleges’ Athletic Association rankings following the completion of the University of the Fraser Valley Invitational this past weekend. The tournament was the second of four that will determine the 2010 BCCAA Provincial Golf Champions.

On day one of the tournament, the Chargers came in seven strokes behind the Vancouver Island Mariners who shot the low score of 299 and two strokes behind the tournament hosts who ended the first round with 306. Day two proved better for the Camosun squad as they finished round two in a three-way tie with the leaders, each team scoring 288.

The third-place finish moves Camosun from fourth-place to third in the Provincial standings with the VIU Mariners in top spot and UFV in second. Notably, the BCCAA is one of the most competitive intercollegiate leagues in the nation with five teams ranked in the Canadian Colleges’ Athletic Association’s Top 15.

Up next for the Chargers is BCCAA Tournament #3 hosted by VIU at the Nanaimo Golf Club, October 2-3 and the team is focused on competing with the number one BCCAA team on their home turf.

“I am really happy with our progress so far this year,” said Camosun head coach John Randle. “Our big focus this weekend is limiting mental errors. Good strategy decisions will help eliminate bogeys and double bogeys. We are also really working on better accuracy off the tee and better speed control on the greens to eliminate three-putts.”

Following this weekend’s tournament, the Chargers head to the CCAA Nationals hosted by Thompson Rivers University, October 12-15 at the Dunes Golf Club in Kamloops.

Check the BCCAA website for team and individual results http://www.bccaa.ca/index.php/golf/2010-golf-standings

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BC Communities Applauded For Wildfire Planning

Sept. 29, 2010
Ministry of Forests and Range

WHISTLER - Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell recognized six B.C.communities for outstanding achievement in wildfire planning and prevention during the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention in Whistler today.

"It's my honour to acknowledge the leadership and commitment demonstrated by our six community wildfire protection planning champions," said Bell. "Wildfire preparation and prevention is a partnership. We won't be successful in protecting people and property unless we work together."

Recognized communities were selected from each of the province's six fire centre jurisdictions. The acknowledged local governments were: District of Logan Lake, Village of Valemount, Cariboo Regional District, Regional District Kitimat-Stikine, City of Kimberley and the Resort Municipality of Whistler.

Projects spearheaded by the honourees include a bylaw requiring FireSmart principles in new developments; removing potentially hazardous forest debris for bio-energy production; and using grazing cattle to remove grasses that are highly flammable by mid-summer.

"This type of planning and operational work has proven time and time again to diminish the interface fire risk and make it easier to battle wildfires when they do get close to towns," said Bell. "I encourage local governments and First Nations that haven't completed plans to take advantage of the program and work with us to keep B.C. residents, communities and our fire crews safe."

Since 2004, the Province has provided more than $37 million to local governments, through the UBCM, to help pay for interface fire preparation. Nearly 200 local governments and First Nations have either completed or are in the process of completing community wildfire protection plans.

During the 2010 wildfire season, crews responded to more than 110 interface fires out of a provincial total of approximately 1,600 fires.


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City of Victoria Receives International Awards for Annual Reporting

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

VICTORIA, BC — The City of Victoria was honoured once again with two international awards for its Annual Report at the International ARC Awards, the most prestigious, international design award for annual reporting.

The International ARC Awards competition is widely recognized as the most highly respected in the communications industry. Judging is carried out by a jury of peers in the profession, based not on budget, but on the values of creativity, clarity, effectiveness, and innovation. More than 1,900 entries from 27 countries around the globe were reviewed and evaluated by a distinguished panel of judges and advisors.

The City of Victoria won two awards; a Silver Award in the category of Interior Design: Government Agencies and Offices, and a Silver Award in the category of Non-Profit Organizations: Government Agencies and Offices.

The City of Victoria’s award-winning 2009 Annual Report can be viewed or downloaded in PDF format through the City’s website at www.victoria.ca and by clicking on the “City Hall” tab.

The City of Victoria’s Annual Report has also received the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officer’s Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada for five consecutive years.
 
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Eighth Annual Children’s Story Festival - Family Tradition in Esquimalt

Esquimalt, British Columbia — If you’ve got young children, Esquimalt Town Square is the place to be this Saturday. Join us on the hay bails under the big white tents and celebrate the wonder of storytelling in this free family event.

Children's Story Festival: Saturday, October 2nd, 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Location: Esquimalt Town Square (1231 Esquimalt Road - behind Municipal Hall)

Event includes:

Readings from children's authors and storytellers, featuring PUENTE Theatre Society
Free lunch (hot dogs & juice) provided by Country Grocer
Book giveaways
Craft table hosted by Esquimalt Neighbourhood House
The Tickle Trunk Players

Thank you to our sponsors: Greater Victoria Public Library, Esquimalt Branch; Country Grocer; the Esquimalt Kiwanis Club; and Island Tents and Events.
 
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Call for Nominations - BC Community Achievement Awards

VANCOUVER, Sept. 29 /CNW/ - The British Columbia Achievement Foundation is seeking nominations for the 2011 British Columbia Community Achievement Awards.
Consider an individual in your community who makes a difference and nominate them for this prestigious award. Any person or group may nominate a current or former long-term resident of British Columbia.

These awards recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution through a unique achievement or outstanding service - as a volunteer or in the course of their work - in any area that provides a benefit to the community. These include but are not limited to, arts and culture, sports and recreation, multiculturalism, environment, healthcare, education, civic duty, business innovation, community volunteerism and youth or senior's leadership.

To nominate an individual, a nomination form must be completed and accompanied by a letter giving the reasons for nomination, two letters of support and a brief biographical sketch of the nominee. Nomination forms can be found at http://www.bcachievement.com/community/info.php 

Two hundred and eighty-five British Columbians have been recognized since the award's inception in 2004. Recipients attend a formal ceremony in the spring in Victoria where they receive the British Columbia Creative Achievement Award medallion, designed by BC artist Robert Davidson.

An independent advisory council of community leaders reviews the nominations and selects the recipients of the awards based on the impact of the individuals' contribution as well as factors such as uniqueness, commitment, and length of service.

The BC Community Achievement Awards are generously sponsored by Postmedia Network and its British Columbia newspapers.

The BC Achievement Foundation is an independent foundation established and endowed by the Province of BC in 2003 to celebrate excellence in community service, arts, humanities and enterprise.

Deadline for Nominations November 15, 2009


For further information:

Information on the BC Community Achievement Awards can be found on the foundation's Web site at www.bcachievement.com or in their brochure, which can be obtained by calling 604 261-9777 or toll free at 1-866 882-6088 or visiting a government agent office or library.


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Progress on Bella Coola Supplies & Hwy 20 Repairs

Sept. 29, 2010
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

BELLA COOLA - Highway 20 will soon be open as far west as Anahim Lake, emergency BC Ferries service to Bella Coola has begun, Bella Coola and Anahim Lake airports are open, and work is well underway to restore Highway 20 through to Bella Coola, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Shirley Bond announced today.

"With ferry service and an operational airport, there is some much-needed relief for residents in Bella Coola," said Bond. "In addition, we are making great progress in restoring Highway 20. However, there is significant damage and the work to reopen the road will take a couple of weeks."

Where work has been deemed safe, the maintenance contractor has been on site putting water streams back in their original channels, clearing out culverts and protecting the main structures on Highway 20. The highway is now passable in seven of the 14 damaged areas, including:

* 30 km east of Anahim Lake, the Smoky Forest Service Road is being upgraded to bypass 4 km of damage around McClinchy Creek and will be open to light vehicle traffic this evening.

* 27 km west of Anahim Lake, the Louie Creek Bridge has been repaired, allowing crews to move heavy equipment further west.

* Near Hagensborg, the water has receded enough over an 8 km length of Highway 20 to allow access from Bella Coola to Firvale.

It's too early to provide a definitive time frame to restore the highway as some sections of highway are still under water and cannot be assessed and repaired until the water recedes. Geotechnical assessments will continue as water levels allow.

"The ministry is doing everything it can to reopen the highway as quickly as possible," said Bond. "Crews are working aggressively from each end of the closure and moving inward, and light plants are being utilized so work can take place around the clock."

The ministry's maintenance contractor, Interior Roads Limited (IRL), will barge heavy equipment and supplies to Bella Coola, arriving Saturday, to augment local equipment already on the ground. Included on the barge will be 23 pieces of equipment and food and supplies for the community.

BC Ferries is providing additional ferry service to transport stranded people and vehicles out of Bella Coola and bring emergency supplies, including food and other priority supplies, to the flood-stricken area.

The ministry and its maintenance contractor are working closely with the Provincial Emergency Program and the local Emergency Operations Centres to ensure a co-ordinated response.

Highway 20 leading to Bella Coola was closed due to washouts, rock falls and flooding caused by heavy rainfall on Sept. 25. Motorists are advised to check DriveBC ( http://www.drivebc.ca/ ) for updates.

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Landfill Offset Project to Provide Green Energy

Sept. 29, 2010
Pacific Carbon Trust
Columbia Shuswap Regional District

VICTORIA - Pacific Carbon Trust and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District have forged an agreement on a landfill offset project that will convert methane into energy for B.C. homes, announced Pacific Carbon Trust CEO Scott MacDonald.

"The revenues from this offset project will help the Columbia Shuswap Regional District achieve its maximum economic potential in addition to the key benefits of better air quality and a cleaner environment," said MacDonald. "This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how communities across B.C. can engage in the low-carbon economy."

"The planned capping of the first phase of the Salmon Arm landfill provided the opportunity to explore an active landfill gas collection and destruction system in advance of the regulation," said CSRD chair Ron Oszust. "The innovative partnerships formed between the CSRD, Terasen Gas and Pacific Carbon Trust allows for the maximization of environmental protection and economic returns."

The methane capture project is expected to generate 10,000 tonnes of offsets annually, equivalent to taking approximately 2,625 cars off the road for one year. Upgrading the landfill gas to pipeline-quality natural gas through infrastructure supplied by Terasen Gas will generate between 20,000 and 35,000 Gj of energy per year - enough energy to supply heat and hot water needs to over 300 homes in the area. This will be Terasen's first biomethane landfill project.

"The benefits of turning this potent greenhouse gas into cleaner energy instead of letting it leak into the environment are clear," said Minister of State for Climate Action John Yap. "This is a highly effective way for the regional district to meet a provincial requirement for all large landfills to have their methane gas collection systems in place by 2016."

"This is a creative agreement that will extract both energy and revenue from our locally produced waste," said Shuswap MLA George Abbott. "The conversion will cut down local air pollution and help B.C. to reduce its contribution to global emissions."

Under the project design, methane released from the landfill will be captured before it can enter the atmosphere. The methane will be cleaned and converted into natural gas, and then piped in to Terasen's transmission and distribution network.

"As one of the first utility companies in Canada to include alternative energy solutions as part of its regulated energy service offerings, we are committed to making long-term energy investments that will help address B.C.'s climate change goals," said Doug Stout, Vice President, Energy Solutions and External Relations at Terasen Gas and FortisBC. "Delivering biomethane through our distribution system makes good sense and is a natural extension of the energy services we've provided customers for more than a century."

Under the B.C. Landfill Gas Management Regulation, in 2016 all
B.C. landfills generating 1,000 tonnes or more of methane each year will be required to install a landfill gas management system. This requirement supports the Province's commitment to reduce provincial greenhouse gas emissions by at least 33 per cent below 2009 levels by 2020. Methane has 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.

By implementing this project in advance of the 2016 deadline, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is able to use offset revenues to help pay for the development and installation of the new capture and conversion system.

This is Pacific Carbon Trust's first landfill methane capture offset project. The new facility is expected to begin operation in November.

About Pacific Carbon Trust:

Pacific Carbon Trust is a Crown corporation established in 2008 to deliver B.C.-based greenhouse gas offsets, to help clients meet their carbon reduction goals and to support the growth of B.C.'s low-carbon economy.

For more information or to subscribe to our industry interest list, please visit: http://www.pacificcarbontrust.com/


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Chamber Brings Home Two Policy Victories from National AGM

September 29, 2010




Victoria, BC – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has supported the call of the Greater Victoria Chamber to restructure the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program (FCTIP) to increase tourism competiveness in Canada.

The policy points how the FCTIP, which replaces the former GST rebate program for travelers, is too cumbersome and restrictive and how it negatively impacts on the Canadian tourism. The Chamber has called for the elimination of the excessive administrative burden for tourism operators and the reintroduction of GST/HST rebates for individual travelers.

“Tourism is an industry that is sensitive to even small factors that affect its competitiveness,” says Bruce Carter, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber. “Tourism has been buffeted by so many challenges beyond the control of themselves or the government. We have put significant focus into trying to push forward on policies that are within our control that are can improve the business environment for the industry.”

Representatives from Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade representing business communities across Canada convened in Gatineau, Quebec over the weekend to vote on policy resolutions submitted by members of the Canadian Chamber network. A two-thirds majority of voting members of the CCC is required for resolutions to pass.

The Victoria Chamber also co-sponsored a resolution brought forward by the Burnaby Board of Trade calling on the federal government to develop a national housing strategy to deal with homelessness. The policy, which was an update of the Victoria policy brought to the CCC in 2007, was also supported by delegates. .

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has approximately 1500 members and is the voice of business for the Greater Victoria region. The Greater Victoria Chamber has received Accreditation with Distinction from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Should cyclists pay a road tax?" - Very cool article!

(An informative and fascinating article in GRIST about how it works south of the 49th...)

"Should cyclists pay a road tax?"

That was printed on the side of one of Portland, Ore.'s MAX light rail trains as it sailed back and forth across the region for six months in 2009.

The question was designed to provoke, and it did. "We already do!" I would grumble every time I saw it.

Read the rest >  http://www.grist.org/article/2010-09-27-why-an-additional-road-tax-for-bicyclists-would-be-unfair

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Victoria laces up for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure

Victoria, BC – Members of the media and the general public are invited to the 19th annual Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure on Sunday, October 3, at the University of Victoria.
More than 170,000 breast cancer survivors and supporters at 60 run sites across Canada will walk or run the 5 km or 1 km journey. The Run is Canada’s largest single day, volunteer-led fundraising event that raises funds for breast cancer research and community education and awareness programs.

In B.C., the Run is taking place in nine communities: Abbotsford – Fraser Valley, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Prince George, Vancouver, Vernon, Victoria, and West Kootenay (Castlegar). The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is pleased by the support it has received from national sponsors of this year’s event, which include CIBC, New Balance, East Side Mario’s The Running Room, Canpar and Revlon.

What: Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure in Victoria

When: Sunday, October 3, 2010

9:00 am – Run Start
10:00 am – Awards Celebration

Location: University of British Columbia, Victoria B.C.

More information: http://www.cbcf.org/

The BC/Yukon Region is one of four regional offices of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, the leading national volunteer-based organization dedicated to working toward a future without breast cancer by 2020.


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Province & Communities Parner for Raise-A-Reader Day

Sept. 28, 2010
Office of the Premier
Ministry of Education

VANCOUVER - Premier Gordon Campbell and Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid are challenging all British Columbians to support literacy by buying a newspaper on Sept. 29, National Raise-a-Reader Day.

The Province will match the fund-raising efforts to the 2010 Postmedia Raise-a-Reader Campaign up to $500,000, bringing the government's total campaign contributions to more than $4.2 million since 2004. Premier Campbell and MacDiarmid will join hundreds of volunteers, community leaders and celebrities who will hit the streets in 28 cities across Canada to exchange special editions of local newspapers for donations.

"Strong literary skills are critical for success in society and today's job market," said Premier Campbell. "That's why this campaign is so important, both in B.C. and across the country. The funds raised will help individuals address literacy challenges and learn the skills they need to be successful."

Research shows that more than 40 per cent of adults in Canada have low literacy skills. This marks the seventh consecutive year that the Province has participated in the campaign, which will run in nine B.C. communities: Vancouver, Victoria, Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton, Port Alberni, Prince George, Nanaimo and Tofino/Ucluelet.

"Literacy opens doors to success, and reading to our children helps to develop the literacy skills they need to become lifelong learners," said MacDiarmid. "The funds collected through Raise-a-Reader Day go to libraries and community literacy programs around the province that are working to build reading skills for children and adults so they can achieve their best in life."

All proceeds from the newspaper street sales stay in the community in which they were raised. The campaign has provided direct support for B.C. organizations, including public and school libraries and many community literacy programs, including the B.C. Council for Families, the Canucks for Kids fund and Aboriginal organizations.

"British Columbia is the national leader in Raise-a-Reader funding, thanks to the efforts of volunteers, local celebrities and government officials throughout the province who take time out of their busy schedules for this very important cause," said Kevin Bent, president and publisher of The Vancouver Sun. "Raise-a-Reader Day and other events during the year are helping people to reach their full potential through building key literacy skills."

Since 2001, the Province has invested more than $1.4 billion in literacy and literacy-related programs and resources to support preschool-aged children, K-12 students and adult learners. These programs and resources include more than 310 StrongStart BC early learning programs throughout the province, almost $18 million to operate the kindergarten-readiness program Ready, Set, Learn and $2.7 million for the LEAP BC resources that encourage literacy, physical activity and healthy eating in preschool-aged children.

Government has also committed $280 million over three years to implement full-day kindergarten for all five-year-olds in B.C. Full-day kindergarten programs have been associated with better social and communication skills, improved reading and math levels, and smoother transitions to Grade 1. Full-day kindergarten will be available for up to 50 per cent of kindergarten students in 2010 and for every eligible five-year-old starting school in 2011.


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Camosun hoopsters net $18K for Chargers basketball scholarships

The Camosun College Chargers men’s and women’s basketball teams held their 4th Annual Tip-Off Dinner and Auction last Friday at the Harbour Towers Hotel. The event netted over $18,000 – the proceeds of which will go towards student-athlete scholarships.
At the event, newly appointed CEO of the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE), Robert Bettauer, presented an entertaining and inspiring keynote address to an audience of over one hundred individuals before making the top bid on a framed Olympic hockey jersey signed by Nashville Predator’s defenceman and BC boy, Shea Weber.

Sports anchor Jordan Cunningham from “A” Vancouver Island News teamed up with Tony Carlson to emcee the event and provide their auctioneering acumen. Carlson is a long-time fan of the Chargers and is an uncle to Chargers 4th year alum, Kate Carlson and her younger sister Rachel who is playing her rookie year with Camosun this season.

On Saturday morning, the Chargers were up early to run their annual Coaches’ Clinic where 30 coaches who primarily coach in the community Night League at the U11, U13 and U15 levels gathered at PISE to receive FREE tips and training from three-time BCCAA Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year, Brett Westcott and his crew.

"We are happy to help the community with the growth of basketball in Victoria,” said Coach Westcott. “I think those with a little knowledge have an obligation to help those seeking help or just starting as a coach so we hope we were able to help some coaches with some ideas about how they can improve their teams this upcoming season."

Later that evening, the Chargers returned to PISE to welcome former Camosun players to the annual Chargers Basketball Alumni games. The women’s game went neck and neck with the Chargers pulling a slight lead in the fourth quarter and ending the score 57-52. Third-year wing/post Chelsea McMullen posted 17 points for the Chargers while high scorers Teresa Hartrick, Kendall Allen and Ashley Mackay put up 10 each for the Alum.

The men also had a close game with Camosun closing out the game six points ahead of the Alumni, 82-76. Putting up the majority of points for the Chargers was third-year guard Blake Mansbridge with 22 and Chargers Alum Greg Wallis who posted a whopping 28!

On Sunday morning, the Chargers held the first session of the Chargers Basketball Fundamentals Academy where 22 girls and 13 boys registered to improve their skills and develop their basketball knowledge.

"We have wide range of abilities among the athletes attending the academy this year,” commented Coach Westcott. “We hope to help them to improve their basic skills and to become better players when they start their school seasons later this winter. It is also good for our Camosun players to come out to help with the drills and to work with the younger players as they can act as role models for the next generation of players in Victoria."

The Chargers women begin their preseason competitive schedule in two weeks time starting with the Capilano Blues University Icebreaker tournament. The October 8-10 event is the first of three consecutive weekends of exhibition play for the women’s squad as they prepare for the regular season. On October 15-17, both Chargers basketball teams will head up Island to compete in the Vancouver Island University Mariners tournament. Camosun will host the final exhibition tournament of their preseason on the weekend of October 22-23.

For more on the Camosun Chargers, visit: http://camosun.ca/sports/chargers/



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Oppal to head inquiry into missing women

Sept. 28, 2010
Ministry of Attorney General

VANCOUVER - Wally Oppal, QC, has been named commissioner of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, Attorney General Michael de Jong, QC, announced today.

The hearing commission will consider the police investigations conducted between Jan. 23, 1997 and Feb. 5, 2002 into women reported missing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. It will also review the January 1998 decision by the Ministry of Attorney General's criminal justice branch to stay charges against Robert W. Pickton for the assault of a Downtown Eastside sex trade worker.

Oppal was attorney general for B.C. from 2005 to 2009. A Vancouver native, he served as a judge in the County Court of B.C. from 1981 to 1985 and in B.C. Supreme Court from 1985 to 2003, when he was appointed to the B.C. Court of Appeal. He was previously commissioner of an independent commission of inquiry into policing in British Columbia.

Hearing commissions investigate and make findings of fact in matters where there is the possibility of a finding of misconduct. Commissions are independent bodies under the Public Inquiry Act that provide advice and recommendations to government on specific topics of interest to the public. Under the act, release of inquiry reports is mandatory.

The attorney general is responsible for the Public Inquiry Act and receiving Oppal's report, to be submitted by or before Dec. 31, 2011. Public inquiry reports are tabled before the legislative assembly, following a review related to the applicable sections of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Oral hearings are open to the public, unless the inquiry commissioner determines that protection of a personal or public interest requires otherwise.


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UBCM to vote on a poverty reduction resolution

Sep 28, 2010

WHISTLER, BC, Sept. 28 /CNW/ - On Wednesday, September 29th at the Annual Convention of the Union of BC Municipalities, municipal leaders in BC will have an opportunity to send a message to the provincial government that municipalities can't be left on their own to deal with the impacts of high poverty levels. Resolution B51, brought forward by White Rock City Council, highlights "the need to provide adequate and accessible income support for the non-employed, improve the earnings and working conditions of those in the low-wage workforce and improve food security for low-income individuals and families."

Demonstrating the widespread concern about BC's high rate of poverty, UBCM resolutions were also submitted by city councils in Vancouver, Victoria, Nelson, Grand Forks, and Parksville. The devastating costs of poverty in our local communities, and the need for provincial leadership and coordination, was recognized by these councils who pointed to, "increased health care costs, higher crime, higher demand for community, social and charitable services, lack of school readiness, reduced school success, and lower economic productivity." (Resolutions C32-36)

Poverty reduction is a priority for British Columbians and their municipal representatives are hearing that. They're ready to make sure the province hears it too.

"Cities all over BC know that the number one way to fight poverty is to build affordable housing at all levels. The Province needs to start working with us now in a meaningful way, it's the only way we can tackle poverty once and for all." -- Councillor Ellen Woodsworth, Vancouver


BC Poverty Reduction Coalition http://www.bcpovertyreduction.ca/



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Creative Design Award Recipients Honoured

Office of the Premier
BC Achievement Foundation

VANCOUVER - Premier Gordon Campbell and Keith Mitchell, chair of the British Columbia Achievement Foundation, honoured the recipients of the 6TH Annual Carter Wosk BC Creative Achievement Awards for Applied Art and Design at a presentation event held today.

"Today we celebrate these B.C. artists whose talents and creativity bring design and beauty to functional items," said Premier Campbell. "Their work in the areas of kayaks, pottery, fashion, and furniture, demonstrates the diversity and vitality of the arts community that continues to grow and flourish in our province."

Doug Simpson of Feathercraft Folding Kayaks was named the recipient of the 2010 BC Creative Achievement Award of Distinction in recognition of his life-long contribution to applied art and design through the development of his world-renowned, foldable kayaks.

"These awards bring well-deserved profile to some of B.C's best and brightest in the area of applied art and design," said Keith Mitchell, chair of the BC Achievement Foundation. "By honouring our artists and designers, we can help ensure the continued vitality of our creative arts community."


The artists recognized as recipients of this year's juried awards are:

* Cathi Jefferson of Duncan, pottery

* Natalie Purschwitz of Vancouver, clothing and accessories

* Toby Barratt, Pamela Goddard and Nik Rust of Vancouver's Propellor Design, furniture and lighting


The presentation event, held at The Studios at the Shaw Tower in Vancouver, featured examples of the artists' work. The recipients each received a $2,500 prize and were granted the use of the BC Creative Achievement Award seal, signifying creative excellence.

An independent advisory panel, chaired by board member Dr. Robert Belton, dean of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC Okanagan, selected the 2010 recipients. Submissions were assessed based on creativity, originality, innovative approach and aesthetics.

Also on the jury was Sam Carter, artist, craft and design educator and associate professor at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design; Bob Campbell, curator, The Exploration Place, Prince George; Judson Beaumant, furniture designer, Straight Line Designs; and Joanna Staniszkis, past recipient of the BC Creative Achievement Award of Distinction for her textile and cloth design.

The Carter Wosk British Columbia Creative Achievement Awards are named in honour of B.C. philanthropist, academic and visionary Dr. Yosef Wosk, whose financial support makes them possible, and for Sam Carter, B.C. educator, designer and curator.

The British Columbia Achievement Foundation is an independent foundation established and endowed by the Province of B.C. in 2003 to celebrate community service, arts, humanities and enterprise.

For information on British Columbia Achievement Foundation, please visit: http://www.bcachievement.com/

For biographical information about the recipients, please visit: http://www.bcachievement.com/creative/recipients.php .


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Province Approves Financial Assistance

Office of the Premier

VICTORIA - The Province is approving Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) to help individuals impacted by recent flooding as a result of heavy rains in some areas of the Central Coast and North Vancouver Island, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today.

"Provincial staff continue to monitor the situation and assist local authorities in their response and recovery efforts," said Premier Campbell. "Anytime people's homes and property are put at jeopardy it is a stressful situation and our thoughts are certainly with those impacted at this time. As the flood waters recede, we want to ensure we get financial assistance to eligible individuals so they can get their lives back to normal as quickly as possible."

Currently, the following areas are eligible for DFA: parts of Northern Vancouver Island including Port Alice, Port Hardy and Zeballos and the Central Coast region, including the communities of Bella Coola, Kingcome, and the Highway 20 corridor between Bella Coola and Anahim Lake and surrounding area.

To be eligible for assistance, the damage must be from an uninsurable event such as overland flooding. Sewer backup and wind damage are examples of insurable damage and therefore not eligible for DFA assistance.

"In the communities of Bella Coola and Zeballos, where road washouts have effectively cut off access, we are working with authorities to address resupply of food and fuel as well as managing logistics around any medical needs," said Premier Campbell. "We're also supporting local governments in the other flood impacted areas and, if they request them, the Province has a number of resources available to support these local authorities including sandbags, sandbagging machines, gabion diking and water technical experts from the Ministry of Environment."

The DFA program helps eligible homeowners, residential tenants, farms, small businesses and charitable organizations when property is damaged by uninsurable disasters, including certain floods and mudslides.

For acceptable claims, the program covers up to 80 per cent of the portion of a claim exceeding $1,000, to a maximum of $300,000. Local governments are also eligible for DFA.

DFA costs for local governments includes 100 per cent of incremental response costs (e.g.: Emergency Operations Centre, extraordinary costs related to making the community safe - staff paid overtime, road clearance, debris removal, temporary bridges, sandbagging, etc.), 80 per cent of costs to operate a Community Resilience Centre and 80 per cent of eligible costs to repair damaged infrastructure.

DFA claim forms and more information about the program are available at http://www.pep.bc.ca/ or by calling 1 888 257-4777.

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Legal Services Society & BCGEU Ratify Agreement

Sept. 28, 2010
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Attorney General

VICTORIA - The Legal Services Society (LSS) and the BC Government Employees' Union have ratified their agreement reached under the Province's 2010 mandate, announced Finance Minister Colin Hansen.

"I'm happy to hear that negotiators have ratified this agreement under the Province's 2010 mandate," said Hansen. "We remain committed to ensuring we provide the best services for taxpayers' dollars."

LSS employs approximately 106 BCGEU members, including legal secretaries, intake legal assistants (who process client legal aid applications/referrals and provide legal information), IT, and administrative roles at locations on the Lower Mainland and in Terrace.

Government has already announced its intention to control spending on wages during this round of bargaining. To protect jobs and preserve vital services British Columbians depend on, government does not have any funding for new wage increases as collective agreements are renewed.

There are approximately 306,000 unionized workers in occupations throughout B.C.'s public sector, the great majority of which have agreements that expire between March 31, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2010. Just over half of B.C.'s public sector employees have now renegotiated agreements that were set to expire in 2010, including major agreements in the health sector and the public service.

Updated bargaining information is available at: http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/psec/bargaining2010


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Monday, September 27, 2010

PET/CT Program Gets Major Boost

Ministry of Health Services
Provincial Health Services Authority
BC Cancer Agency

VANCOUVER - The official opening of a new $15-million radiopharmaceutical facility brings the production of radiotracers used in PET/CT scans to the BC Cancer Agency's Vancouver Centre.

The 557-square-metre (6,000-square-foot) radiopharmaceutical facility - with the most advanced cyclotron at its core - has the capacity to provide radiotracers for up to six PET/CT scanners. The new facility is home to the province's first publicly funded PET/CT scanner.

"The radiopharmaceutical facility establishes a safe and independent source of radiotracer, which is critical to perform PET/CT scans and allows our health-care professionals to plan cancer treatment effectively," said Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development Dr. Moira Stilwell on behalf of Minister of Health Services, Kevin Falcon. "Our province is well-known for providing the highest level of cancer care in the country and this latest technology is another move towards enhancing that reputation."

The current PET/CT scanner is a whole-body imaging tool that allows physicians to more accurately diagnose and manage disease, particularly cancer. It can scan more than 3,000 patients annually.

"Having the best diagnostic tools available provides health professionals with the information needed to deliver high-quality health care to all British Columbians," said Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister of Education and MLA for Vancouver-Fairview. "As a physician and former cancer patient, I know the importance of having an accurate diagnosis in battling this disease."

"This is a significant investment on behalf of the provincial government to ensure cancer patients receive the best care possible," said Wynne Powell, Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) board chair. "Itrepresents the commitment of PHSA and the government to support evidence-based care which will ultimately improve patient outcomes."

The radiotracer used for PET/CT is a combination of a special type of sugar combined with a safe radioactive component, which is injected into a patient. The radiotracer - called FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose) - is absorbed by malignant or cancerous cells in the body. Malignant cells are metabolically active, while benign cells are not, and use sugar as an energy source. The increased activity allows physicians to identify where abnormal metabolic activity is occurring in the body.

"The announcement today is not only a major step forward in securing a long-term, stable source of radiotracer for clinical patient use, but it also sets the stage for a robust provincial research program for the discovery, development and application of new radiotracers," said Dr. David Levy, president, BC Cancer Agency.

"PET/CT is highly effective in staging, diagnosing, and managing cancer," said Dr. Don Wilson, medical director, Centre of Excellence for Functional Cancer Imaging, BC Cancer Agency. "The information provided by PET/CT enables physicians to avoid unnecessary surgeries and avoid treatments unlikely to benefit patients. For lung cancer, PET/CT has had a major impact on treatment, by decreasing the need for surgery in about 50 per cent of all cases."

The addition of the radiopharmaceutical lab gives the BC Cancer Agency the unique opportunity to not only produce the FDG radiotracer on site, but also conduct research and translate discoveries as quickly as possible into better clinical care.

"With the opening of the radiopharmaceutical facility, there is a great opportunity for the BC Cancer Agency and its partners to contribute to the development of new, targeted radiotracers," said Dr. Francois Benard, scientific director, Centre of Excellence for Functional Cancer Imaging, BC Cancer Agency. "Depending on the sensitivity of the tracer, a PET/CT scan can tell a physician the location and size of the tumour as well as how well a patient is responding to treatment, which enables the treatment to be tailored accordingly."

The new facility includes three clean rooms to manufacture radiotracers for clinical use and conduct research for new agents. In addition to housing the cyclotron, the facility includes a specially constructed chamber for a second PET/CT scanner, which will double the current scanning output while enhancing the agency's research program. The second scanner is expected to be operational in 2011.

The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia by working with community partners to deliver a range of oncology services, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care.

The BC Cancer Foundation raises funds to support research and enhancements to patient care at the BC Cancer Agency. For more information, visit http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/


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BC Celebrates Right to Know Week

Minister of Citizens' Services
Sept. 27, 2010

VICTORIA - This week in British Columbia, we are celebrating your right to access information through Right to Know Week. From Sept. 27 to Oct. 1, Right to Know Week is recognized throughout the province and across the country as a way to promote freedom of information worldwide. I would like to use this week as an opportunity to bring awareness to the Freedom of Information and Protect of Privacy Act that provides all citizens with the right to access to information and engage in the democratic process.

In 1992, the province passed the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act that we have today. The act gives people the legal right of access to records in the custody of public bodies, while at the same time protecting the privacy of citizens' personal information.

Government has taken action to improve the handling of requests for information across government. A new, centralized structure has led to an improvement in service and faster response times. Since 2001, information request response times have gone from an average of 71 to 24 business days. In fact, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner's latest report on response times noted a 90-per cent compliance rate in responding to FOI requests. Much of the credit for this is due to the efforts of our staff who have worked hard to reach this benchmark while dealing with a 16-per cent increase in information requests, many of which are increasingly complex.

Recently we have been investigating new approaches and technologies that will allow us to serve citizens better. This summer, we had great success in our use of social media to provide up to the minute information on B.C.'s wildfires. Over 12 thousand people joined the conservation on

Facebook and connected with other residents to find out about forest fires, air quality, campfire bans and driving conditions. People shared photographs, stories and sent their thanks to our firefighters.

Over and above using social media tools for sharing public safety information, we also want to use these tools to engage people in the transformation of government services, policies and practices. Although moving in this direction is not easy, our Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act did not anticipate today's technology. Existing legislation to protect personal privacy was not necessarily designed to accommodate social media.

Finding the balance, while achieving freedom of information and privacy protection is a challenging task. As a government, how do we find this balance in the world of social media and the increasingly open access to information? How do we make data more open and accessible while addressing issues around protection of privacy?

Such complex questions require careful consideration. I have already met with B.C.'s new Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham. I'm looking forward to an ongoing dialogue with commissioner on information access and privacy. So in this week that celebrates your right to know I encourage everyone to find out how you can access information and participate in the democratic process.


Visit the Office of the Chief Information Officer website at www.cio.gov.bc.ca for more information and to exercise your right to know.

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City of Castlegar to Install Smart Street Lights

Victoria, British Columbia, September 27, 2010 - Streetlight Intelligence Inc. ("SLQ" or "the Company") is pleased to report that it has received a purchase order from the City of Castlegar, British Columbia ("Castlegar"), for the Company's Lumen IQ(tm) Adaptive Street Light Management System for use in all of its street lights.
The Castlegar order includes approximately 910 Lumen IQ(tm) lamp controllers for retrofit into substantially all of the City's existing high-pressure sodium ("HPS") street light fixtures.

Installation of SLQ's technology is scheduled to begin in October 2010 with completion expected before winter.

This purchase order is a result of a 9-month co-operative effort between Castlegar and its electrical utility, FortisBC, which began with the installation of a demonstration system as part of the Company's National Demonstration Program. The pilot successfully validated the Lumen IQ(tm) system's ability to deliver on Castlegar's goals of reducing its energy consumption and carbon footprint with no impact on the public.

"The City of Castlegar is pleased to be the first city in Canada to totally commit to a complete transformation of all of its streetlights to the Adaptive Street Light Management System and moving ahead with its strategy for energy efficiency and green house gas reduction," stated Castelgar's Mayor Chernoff. "We also anticipate that the new lights will have a 6 to 7 year payback on investment and also be dark sky friendly."

"The City of Castlegar is committed to reducing its energy consumption by adopting innovative and energy-efficient technologies," states Michael Mulcahy, Executive Vice President, Customer and Corporate Services, FortisBC. "Through FortisBC's PowerSense program, we are committed to helping our customers conserve energy and get the most out of their energy dollar."

Maintenance efficiency savings is an important secondary benefit Castlegar will receive from the project, as staff will no longer be required to patrol streets to determine street light outages.

Castlegar joins a growing number of communities that are dramatically reducing their street light operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions by installing SLQ's Lumen IQ(tm) adaptive lighting controls.

About the City of Castlegar

The City of Castlegar is centrally located in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. The City is 600 kilometres from both Vancouver, British Columbia and Calgary, Alberta, and 233 kilometres north of Spokane, Washington. The three industries employing the most people are manufacturing (forestry), retail trade and educational services. Approximately 7,600 people reside within the City of Castlegar.

About FortisBC

FortisBC is a Canadian-owned electric utility headquartered in Kelowna, British Columbia that serves approximately 111,000 customers directly in communities throughout south central British Columbia, including Kelowna, Osoyoos, Trail, Castlegar, Princeton and Rossland and approximately 48,000 customers through the wholesale supply of power to municipal distributors in the communities of Summerland, Penticton, Kelowna, Grand Forks and Nelson.

About Streetlight Intelligence Inc.

Streetlight Intelligence Inc. develops advanced, award-winning adaptive street light management systems. Trademarked as Lumen IQ™, SLQ's technologies can be used with existing or new street lighting fixtures, including LED-based fixtures, to provide improved lamp performance, adaptive lighting control, and system-wide communications for centralized street light management. SLQ's systems enable street light operators to significantly reduce their community's energy consumption, maintenance costs and environmental impact. SLQ is a public company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "SLQ". For more information contact 1-888-563-8833 or visit http://www.streetlightiq.com/

VIDEO: Describing Streetlight Intelligence Technology: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVBPik5Rp48



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BC Bolsters Funding for Elk Lake Boathouse

Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport

VICTORIA - A $100,000 commitment from the Province towards the Elk Lake Boathouse renewal project will help support Canadians row for health and sport excellence, announced Healthy Living and Sport Minister Ida Chong.

Chong made the announcement today on behalf of Premier Gordon Campbell as over 300 people gathered for the 2010 National Rowing Championships, taking place for the first time at Elk Lake.

"B.C. and Canadian rowers have a strong tradition of excellence, and their success has inspired tremendous growth in the sport," said Chong. "The re-development of the Elk Lake Boathouse will give athletes who row on Elk Lake a state-of-the-art facility that will help them build on their achievements, and support the larger rowing community."

Improvements for the project include two new bays for boat shells and equipment, a boat repair bay, safety boat dock, an indoor fitness training facility and general improvements to both the indoor and outdoor space.

"We are thrilled to be supporting the boathouse as the central hub of activity at Elk Lake for rowers, regatta organizers, rowing staff and spectators and the community at large," said Chong. "We want to support rowers and their organizations at Elk Lake - and in the spirit of the Olympics that lives on in our Province, give athletes the best resources to succeed."

In addition to provincial funding, other contributors include the Western Economic Diversification Office, $550,000 from the Recreation Infrastructure Canada program, $25,000 from the University of Victoria, and $50,000 from Rowing Canada Aviron. More than 50 current and former Olympians and their families have also contributed to the project.

"It's great that B.C. is continuing to support rowing, which is a healthy activity that engages people of all different age groups," said Adam Kreek, an ActNow BC Athlete Ambassador and 2008 Olympic gold medallist in the men's eight competition. "The Elk Lake Boathouse renewal project supports our community and brings together everyone who shares a passion for the sport of rowing, while providing a place where people can interact."

The boathouse project builds on annual provincial funding of more than $600,000 for rowing clubs and organizations across B.C.

The Victoria Rowing Society owns and operates the boathouse which is used by members, including the Victoria Rowing Society, Rowing Canada, University of Victoria, Greater Victoria Youth Rowing Society and the Victoria Rowing Club. The boathouse was built in 1986.


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B.C.'s housing affordability tests the limits

TORONTO, Sept. 27 /CNW/ - Housing affordability deteriorated further in British Columbia in the second quarter of this year and the very high cost of homeownership in the province tested the limits of household budgets, according to the latest housing report released today by RBC Economics Research.

"While home prices in B.C. have come under downward pressure recently with housing market activity sinking since the start of this year, higher mortgage rates in the second quarter boosted monthly mortgage servicing charges," said Robert Hogue, senior economist, RBC. "The province's elevated property values relative to income amplified the effects that movements in mortgage rates have on affordability."

The report found that rapid increases in B.C.'s homeownership costs are quickly nearing the all-time highs that prevailed in early 2008. RBC notes that in the second quarter, affordability measures rose between 1.1 and 2.5 percentage points, representing some of the most significant deterioration in Canada. Poor affordability is likely to restrain demand for housing in the period ahead.

The RBC Housing Affordability Measures for B.C., which capture the province's proportion of pre-tax household income needed to service the costs of owning a home, rose across all housing types in the second quarter of 2010. The measure for the benchmark detached bungalow moved up to 63.8 per cent (a rise of 1.7 percentage points over the previous quarter), the standard townhouse to 47.7 per cent (up 1.1 of a percentage point), the standard condominium to 34.6 per cent (up 1.1 percentage points) and the standard two-storey home to 71.2 per cent (up 2.5 percentage points).

"While we generally dismiss talk of a Canadian housing bubble, the high-flying Vancouver market is probably the closest area to one in the country with very poor affordability likely playing a role in the steep drop in the resale market since the start for the year," said Hogue. "Nonetheless, even though the Vancouver market is clearly vulnerable to a price correction, this does not imply that a collapse is imminent because existing and new home supply is well contained at this point."

According to the report, already extremely poor affordability in Vancouver deteriorated once more in the second quarter. RBC measures climbed 1.7 to 2.9 percentage points and have reached levels that are rapidly closing in on all-time highs.

Ontario and B.C. saw the most significant deterioration in affordability in the second quarter; however, some improvements in specific housing types occurred in Alberta (condominiums) and Saskatchewan (townhouses). All other provinces showed modest erosion, with the exception of two-storey homes in Manitoba where the rise in the RBC measure was quite substantial.

RBC's Housing Affordability Measure for a detached bungalow in Canada's largest cities is as follows: Vancouver 74.0 per cent (up 1.7 percentage points from the last quarter), Toronto 50.2 per cent (up 2.4 percentage points), Montreal 43.2 per cent (up 1.8 percentage points), Ottawa 41.2 per cent (up 3.6 percentage points), Calgary 39.2 per cent (up 0.9 percentage point) and Edmonton 34.7 (up 2.5 percentage points).

The RBC Housing Affordability Measure, which has been compiled since 1985, is based on the costs of owning a detached bungalow, a reasonable property benchmark for the housing market. Alternative housing types are also presented including a standard two-storey home, a standard townhouse and a standard condominium. The higher the reading, the more costly it is to afford a home. For example, an affordability reading of 50 per cent means that homeownership costs, including mortgage payments, utilities and property taxes, take up 50 per cent of a typical household's monthly pre-tax income.


Highlights from across Canada:

• Alberta: Affordability measures have improved in Alberta since early 2008 as a result of lacklustre housing market conditions. The second quarter saw a mixed picture with prices easing slightly for condominiums but rising in all other categories. RBC notes that affordability measures are at or below their long-term averages, implying little downside risk to the market and boding well for a strengthening in housing demand once the provincial job market shows more substantial gains.

• Saskatchewan: Rising mortgage rates during the quarter caused further deterioration in affordability for most housing types in the province. With the sole exception of townhouses edging lower, increases in affordability measures pushed levels further above long-term averages, indicating that some tensions may be building. RBC expects a strong rebound in the provincial economy this year and next which is likely to help ease such tensions.

• Manitoba: Sellers kept a firm hand on pricing by reducing the supply of homes available for sale in the province, resulting in home prices continuing to appreciate, particularly for two-storey homes, which is translating into further deterioration of housing affordability. Homebuyers are feeling more pressure with affordability measures standing close to long-term averages.

• Ontario: After setting new record highs this past winter, home resales in the province have since fallen precipitously due to a number of factors including the HST, changes in mortgage lending rules and the rush of first-time homebuyers to lock in low mortgage rates. Housing affordability in Ontario continues to reverse the considerable improvements achieved in late-2008 and early-2009 with measures increasing for a fourth consecutive time in the second quarter, representing some of the largest increases among the provinces.

• Quebec: Quebec's record-breaking housing market rally proved to be unsustainable in the second quarter with resale activity settling to a pace comparable to levels witnessed in 2006-2007, which were considered to be fairly vigorous at the time. Affordability was hampered by home prices trending upward with RBC affordability measures now at or very close to the pre-downturn peaks and exceeding their long-term averages. Further increases in homeownership costs could have a more visibly adverse effect on housing demand.

• Atlantic Canada: The East Coast housing market was not immune to the significant downturn in activity that swept across the country since spring with housing resales falling back across the region to the lows reached during late-2008 and early-2009. Cooling demand loosened up market conditions, restraining home price increases and limiting the rise in affordability measures which remain very close to long-term averages. Overall, housing affordability in Atlantic Canada remains attractive and signals little undue stress at this point.

The full RBC Housing Affordability report is available online, as of 8 a.m. E.D.T. today at www.rbc.com/economics/market/pdf/house.pdf 


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Friday, September 24, 2010

Five new judges have been appointed to the British Columbia Provincial Court

Sept. 24, 2010
Ministry of Attorney General

VICTORIA - Five new judges have been appointed to the British Columbia Provincial Court, Attorney General Michael de Jong, QC, announced today.

The office of the chief judge has confirmed these appointees have been assigned to the following districts: Sheri Ann Mark has been appointed to the Kamloops district, Roy Couper Dickey will serve in South Fraser, Steven Myles Merrick in Coast district, James Parker MacCarthy, QC, on North Vancouver Island and Supreme Court master Marguerite Elizabeth Shaw in the Okanagan.

"The appointment and assignments of these judges will ensure the timely management of court cases," said de Jong. "All of the judges appointed today have extensive legal experience and I'm confident their leadership will serve the public well."

The process to appoint judges involves several steps. Interested lawyers (typically with at least 10 years experience) apply and the B.C. Judicial Council, a committee made up of the chief judge, other judges, lawyers and lay people, then reviews the candidates.

The council recommends potential judges to the attorney general, with the final appointment made through a cabinet order-in-council. More information about the appointment process can be found at: http://www.provincialcourt.bc.ca/


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Commissioner Elizabeth Denham Highlights Importance of Right To Know Week

September 24, 2010

VICTORIA--Right to Know Week is being celebrated across Canada and internationally from September 27 to October 1 this year. In British Columbia, the provincial government and numerous municipalities have proclaimed Right to Know Week in recognition of the principles of open and transparent government. Access to information ensures B.C. citizens have an opportunity to participate meaningfully in the democratic process.

Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has a number of special events planned to highlight the importance of access to information. In particular, she will be promoting Open Government and routine pro-active disclosure as the optimal means to ensure efficient and cost-effective access.


Among the special events and activities for Right to Know Week are:

* Commissioner Denham is giving the keynote address at the BC Information Summit in Vancouver on Wednesday, September 29.

* Commissioner Denham is participating in a panel discussion about access issues at the Greater Victoria Public Library in downtown Victoria on Thursday, September 30th from 1 to 2:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

* An online Right to Know Quiz is posted on the website of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. The public is encouraged to participate and the winner will receive an Apple iPod Touch.

* Portfolio officers at the Commissioner's Office are speaking to a number of groups about access issues during Right to Know Week.

More information about Right to Know Week activities can be found on the website of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner at http://www.oipc.bc.ca/


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Alternating single lane traffic on Grandview Drive from Ferndale Road to Pomana Way Continuing to Oct 1st

Extended Single Lane Traffic Continuing on September 27, 2010 through to October 1, 2010 there will be alternating single lane traffic on Grandview Drive from Ferndale Road to Pomana Way.

Work is scheduled to start at approximately 8:00am and is expected to continue until 4:30pm.

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

All vehicles including emergency vehicles will have access.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Local Team Awarded Contract to Take Cook Street Village Project to Market

September 23rd, 2010, Victoria, BC - When the Cook Street Village project Essencia Verde hits the market next month, a team of three local Realtors will be leading the charge.

The Vancouver-based Bowra Group, who had been appointed receiver of the project in May, awarded the sales and marketing contract for the residential units to local Realtors Sylvia Therrien, Marijane Smith and Toby Trembath of Newport Realty.

With a combined 40 years of experience in selling local Real Estate, the team is looking forward to seeing this project move forward.

“We anticipate the first release of homes to be available for purchase once the occupancy permit has been issued sometime in mid-October,” comments Therrien.

Pricing and floorplans for the homes available in the first release are currently being finalized.

“Interest in the project has been high, and opportunities to own in Cook Street Village are limited,” noted Smith, “so we expect the first release of homes to sell quickly.”

The grand opening is planned for late October, but as noted by Trembath, “Registered buyers will have an early opportunity to purchase as soon as pricing is finalized and the occupancy permit has been issued.”

Information about the project can be found at http://www.essenciaverde.com/



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