Thursday, June 30, 2011

Victoria Police on Canada Day #yyj #vicpd

Victoria BC – Victoria Police are expecting a large crowd for the Canada Day celebrations tomorrow at the Inner Harbour.

Victoria Police media spokesperson Cst. Mike Russell will be at the Inner Harbour beginning at 4 p.m.

VicPD will also be posting regular Twitter and Facebook updates, and also providing videos via the department’s YouTube channel.

VicPD Twitter:

VicPD Facebook:

VicPD YouTube:

Property Assessment Review Panel needs members #bcpoli

June 30, 2011

Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development

VICTORIA - Public-minded citizens knowledgeable about property appraisal and real estate values can serve their community by becoming a member of the B.C. Property Assessment Review Panel.

The Property Assessment Review Panel investigates and adjudicates citizens' complaints regarding the assessed value, classification and/or exemptions assigned to property by BC Assessment. Each panel consists of three members with one designated as chair. Panel members serve on a part-time basis and must be available to attend hearings scheduled during the annual assessment review period from Feb. 1 to March 15. Positions are paid, and initial appointments are typically for a two-year period. Some training is required and provided.

Panel members are needed for several communities, including: Clearwater, Dease Lake, Fort Nelson, Fort St. John, Golden-Invermere, Hagensborg, Haida Gwaii, Maple Ridge, North Vancouver, Penticton, Port Alberni-Tofino, Powell River, Princeton, Revelstoke, Saltspring Island, Sparwood-Fernie, Surrey, Trail-Castlegar and Williams Lake.

Information, including the full job description, application and indemnity forms, is available online at

British Columbians interested in applying can phone 250 356-7535 or email

Connect with the Province of B.C. at

Going camping? Current Provincial Campfire Reguations #camping #wildfires

June 30, 2011

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Going camping? Do it responsibly and don't get fined

VICTORIA - As British Columbians head out camping and hiking to celebrate Canada Day, it's extremely important the great outdoors are enjoyed responsibly. Compliance and enforcement officers, conservation officers and recreation officers will be on patrol this weekend, ensuring people are following campfire safety regulations.

The regulations, introduced last summer, state that campfires cannot be larger than 0.5 metres in height and 0.5 metres in diameter (approximately a foot-and-a-half by a foot-and-a-half) and a shovel or at least eight litres of water must be stored nearby to completely extinguish the fire. If a metal campfire ring is not available, a fireguard must be built by scraping down to the dirt and clearing away potentially flammable debris, such as twigs, leaves and needles.

Failure to comply can result in a $345 fine; an additional $345 fine can be levied if a campfire is lit during a ban. Anyone who causes a wildfire through arson or recklessness can be fined up to $1 million or spend three years in prison and be held responsible for suppression costs.

Quick Facts:

* Since April 1, crews around the province have responded to 176 wildfires, of which 147 have been human-caused and 25 lightning-caused. These fires have burned a total of 11,475 hectares.

* Over the May 24th long weekend there were 139 patrols in seven of the eight regions of the province. Five abandoned campfires were discovered and 12 tickets were issued by Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations compliance and enforcement officers.

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

* With more than 1,300 recreation sites and 800 trails to enjoy, recreation sites offer an affordable family experience - the vast majority are free and only about eight per cent have a small user fee.

* Pack-in, pack-out - what you bring to a recreation site should be taken home afterwards.

* Stay on authorized roads, trails and designated motorized vehicle areas.

Learn More:

* Check for information on wildfires, area restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories.

* You can follow us on Twitter at!/BCGovFireInfo and Facebook at

* Find a recreation site or trail near you:

* Join the backcountry community on Facebook:

Ucluelet Aquarium: Government of Canada Breaks Ground

UCLUELET, BRITISH COLUMBIA — Today, the Government of Canada announced support for the Ucluelet Aquarium Society to build a permanent aquarium in the community. The event also served as an opportunity to officially break ground on the project.

“Our Government is supporting B.C.’s coastal communities whose economies have relied heavily on the fishing industry,” said Dr. James Lunney, Member of Parliament for Nanaimo – Alberni, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “The Ucluelet Aquarium will provide opportunities for residents and visitors to learn about aquatic life while showcasing the community as a premier eco-tourism destination.”

The new facility will replace the current temporary aquarium, located in the heart of Ucluelet’s waterfront. Touch tanks, interactive exhibits, teaching stations, a marine observation area and a gift shop are just some of the features planned. Industry and researchers will also have access to a lecture and seminar room.

The Government of Canada is providing the $250,000 investment through the West Coast Community Adjustment Program (WestCCAP) to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the Ucluelet’s tourism industry.

“The Ucluelet Aquarium has seen increases in visitors and staffing needs during each of its six operating seasons and has outgrown its temporary facility”, said Bill Morrison, President of the Ucluelet Aquarium Society. “We are very grateful that West CCAP funding has allowed us to begin construction of a facility which will solidify our growing importance to the regional tourism and hospitality economy.”

“The new Ucluelet Aquarium is an exciting project for our community”, said Lori Camire, Manager Community Futures of Alberni Clayoquot. “We have already seen an increase of visitors to the Ucluelet area and we are very pleased to see this project to fruition.”

The West Coast Community Adjustment Program will provide more than $7 million to support economic growth, job creation and the future sustainability of B.C. coastal communities affected by challenges within the salmon fishery. The Fisheries Legacy Trust, comprised of the 13 west coast Community Futures, is delivering this initiative on behalf of Western Economic Diversification Canada. The Government of Canada supports initiatives that combat challenges facing traditional industries, protect resources in affected areas in order to support the long-term success of resource-dependent communities.

Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and represents the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.

HST Referendum Timeline Extended #hst #bcpoli


VICTORIA – Acting Chief Electoral Officer Craig James has extended the timelines of the 2011 HST Referendum calendar.

“Under the authority of section 280 of the Election Act, I am issuing an Order to extend the timelines of the HST Referendum to compensate for the effects of the Canada Post labour dispute” said James. “Two key dates have been extended: the deadline to request a voting package is extended to midnight (local time) July 22, 2011; and, the close of voting is extended to 4:30 p.m. August 5, 2011.”

Voters in the following 71 electoral districts should expect to receive their HST Referendum Voting Package between June 30 and July 7, 2011:

• Abbotsford South

• Abbotsford West

• Abbotsford-Mission

• Alberni-Pacific Rim

• Boundary-Similkameen

• Burnaby North

• Burnaby-Deer Lake

• Burnaby-Edmonds

• Burnaby-Lougheed

• Chilliwack

• Chilliwack-Hope

• Columbia River-Revelstoke

• Comox Valley

• Coquitlam-Burke Mountain

• Coquitlam-Maillardville

• Cowichan Valley

• Delta North

• Delta South

• Esquimalt-Royal Roads

• Fort Langley-Aldergrove

• Fraser-Nicola

• Juan de Fuca

• Kamloops-South Thompson

• Kelowna-Lake Country

• Kootenay East

• Langley

• Maple Ridge-Mission

• Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows

• Nanaimo

• Nanaimo-North Cowichan

• New Westminster

• North Island

• North Vancouver-Lonsdale

• North Vancouver-Seymour

• Oak Bay-Gordon Head

• Parksville-Qualicum

• Penticton

• Port Coquitlam

• Port Moody-Coquitlam

• Powell River-Sunshine Coast

• Richmond Centre

• Richmond East

• Richmond-Steveston

• Saanich North and the Islands

• Saanich South

• Shuswap

• Surrey-Cloverdale

• Surrey-Fleetwood

• Surrey-Green Timbers

• Surrey-Newton

• Surrey-Panorama

• Surrey-Tynehead

• Surrey-Whalley

• Surrey-White Rock

• Vancouver-Fairview

• Vancouver-False Creek

• Vancouver-Fraserview

• Vancouver-Hastings

• Vancouver-Kensington

• Vancouver-Kingsway

• Vancouver-Langara

• Vancouver-Mount Pleasant

• Vancouver-Point Grey

• Vancouver-Quilchena

• Vancouver-West End

• Victoria-Beacon Hill

• Victoria-Swan Lake

• West Vancouver-Capilano

• West Vancouver-Sea to Sky

• Westside-Kelowna

Voting packages were delivered to the remaining 14 electoral districts June 13 and 14, 2011.

Voters who do not receive a voting package may call Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683 (toll-free) to register to vote or update their voter record and request an HST Referendum Voting Package. The deadline to request a voting package is midnight (local time) Friday, July 22, 2011.

To be eligible to vote, you must be:

• a Canadian citizen

• 18 years of age or older, on or before July 22, 2011

• a resident of British Columbia for at least six months immediately before July 22, 2011

• registered as a British Columbia voter, and

• not disqualified by law from voting

Ballot packages must be received by Elections BC, a Service BC Centre, or an Elections BC Collection Centre before 4:30 p.m., Friday, August 5, 2011. Locations to deliver ballot packages are listed on the Elections BC website at The yellow return envelope is postage paid – no stamp is required if mailed in Canada.

HST Referendum Voting Packages are provided in English. Translations of the voting package materials in 16 languages are accessible through the Elections BC website at A “Completing Your HST Referendum Voting Package” video is available on the Elections BC website at

For more information about the referendum process and the HST Referendum Voting Package, call Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683.

Celebrate Canada's 144th Birthday in BC Parks #parks

June 30, 2011

Ministry of Environment

VICTORIA - Summer is here, school is out and the Canada Day long weekend is back again. It's a great time to get outdoors and visit a BC Park - and whether you stay close to home on a day-trip or explore around the province - there are more than 600 parks across British Columbia to choose from.

Adding a little adventure to provincial parks, visitors can find buried treasure this long weekend. BC Parks and the Geocaching Association of B.C. have placed 100 geocaches in parks around B.C., with prizes for those who find them first. A geocache is a hidden container found with the help of Global Positioning System technology. Learn more about geocaching - and get the coordinates for the 100 geocaches in B.C. parks at:

The BC Parks 100 passport program is in full swing, allowing children of all ages to collect stamps, win awards, and get information about events taking place in provincial parks. The passport program runs until Sept. 30, 2011.

The new Discover Camping Backcountry Registration System allows you to purchase your backcountry permit through the BC Parks website, and the elimination of parking fees at all BC Parks, visiting a provincial park, is an enjoyable and inexpensive way for families to explore the province. This year, BC Parks is celebrating its 100th birthday and is offering celebrations for everyone around the province. Please visit the BC Parks website

Park visitors can expect their summer season to really kick in because a high-pressure ridge over the province will bring dry and above-average temperatures for most areas of British Columbia during the long weekend.

Camping reservations in BC Parks are up two per cent compared to last year, and BC parks anticipates a busy weekend in all provincial parks. But there are some campsites still available for reservation, with an abundance of first-come, first-serve sites to accommodate campers.

If you're heading out on the water, Conservation Officers and the RCMP have launched their summer enforcement programs and boaters will be their focus over the long weekend and throughout July across the province. Officers will be checking vessels for required safety equipment such as PFDs and will be on the lookout for people boating recklessly or under the influence.

Carbon-neutral B.C: A first for North America #bcpoli #carbonneutral

June 30, 2011

Ministry of Environment

VICTORIA - B.C.'s public sector is officially carbon neutral, a first for any province or state in North America and an achievement that places British Columbia on the leading edge of climate action and growth in the clean-energy and clean-technology sectors.

To kick-start carbon-neutral efforts, B.C. launched a $75-million public-sector energy conservation capital fund in 2008. It has funded 247 energy projects in schools, hospitals, colleges, universities and other government buildings across the province. Once complete, those projects are expected to reduce carbon output by 36,500 tonnes, create 500 jobs and save organizations about $12.6 million in annual energy costs.

"From this point forward, every government building in our province will be carbon neutral, and that is spurring innovation in our growing clean-energy and clean-tech sectors and that's helping create jobs for British Columbians," said Environment Minister Terry Lake. "By providing capital funding for clean-energy and conservation projects upfront, organizations are realizing savings that can be reinvested in front-line services."

B.C.'s carbon-neutral regulation requires all public-sector organizations to measure, reduce and offset greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions from buildings, vehicle fleets and paper use. Provincial public-sector operations spent $18.2 million to offset 730,000 tonnes of GHGs in 2010, well within targets set when the carbon-neutral regulation was introduced in 2007.

"In this first chapter of our carbon-neutral success story we've shown cutting emissions creates savings and new jobs." said Lake. "Taking a leadership role on carbon emissions has meant change and, in some cases, challenges for some organizations. The next chapter will be about working with those organizations on ways to lower their offset costs and see greater savings."

Man Toting Rifle Forces Evacuation of Burnside Road Apartment #yyj #vicpd

File # 11-22797

Date: Thursday, June 30, 2011

Victoria BC – On Wednesday night Victoria Police were called to apartment building in the 3100-block of Harriet Road for reports of a man with a rifle on an apartment balcony.

The 911 call came at 10:45 p.m. to report a man with what appeared to be a rifle on a third-floor apartment balcony. He was pointing the rifle towards Burnside and Harriet Roads, and the apartment building had to be evacuated.

Shortly after police arrived he retreated inside the suite. The 43-year old resident was known to police and has a history of mental health-related calls.

The Integrated Mobile Crisis Response team and Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team stood by and provided assistance. However, the man ignored police direction and negotiators were unable to make contact with the man by any means.

After a period of not hearing from the man, officers became concerned for his safety. The GVERT entered the apartment and found the man in medical distress.

Paramedics worked on the man for some time before being rushed to hospital. The man currently remains in a coma at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Police will be conducting a search warrant on the apartment and charges will be assessed once that is completed.

Saanich Police assisted with traffic control in the area and a BC Transit bus was used to accommodate the displaced residents.

Victoria Police are grateful for the public’s patience and cooperation during this police incident.

7th Annual James Bay Art Walk Sept 7-8 #yyj #art #jamesbay

The 7th Annual James Bay Art Walk will be held the weekend of September 17 and 18, 2011, between 11am and 5pm. Nationally and locally-known artists will open their studios to the public, showcasing and selling their work and making themselves available to discuss their art with one and all.

Brochures and maps will be available to help the public find its way around favourite artists in locations that include Serious Coffee James Bay, Emily Carr House, James Bay Community Market, James Bay Community School Centre, and other locations. This event is free and is open to all ages.

Check for a MAP and more information.

Admirals Road Construction - Saanich Media Release #yyj #traffic

Saanich, BC, June 30, 2011 — Beginning Monday, July 4th through October, 2011 Admirals Road will be reduced to single lane traffic between Westing Road and Arundel Drive from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. weekdays, with the road re-opened to two lanes at the end of each work day.

Work will include the construction of concrete sidewalks, bikelanes and new asphalt pavement. In addition, there will be a marked crosswalk, pedestrian controlled flashing beacons, and a median and left-turn vehicle lane installed at Cowper Street. The work is consistent with the Admirals Corridor Concept Plan which was developed and approved many years ago.

Emergency vehicles and transit will be allowed access. Drivers are encouraged to obey the directions of the traffic control people who will be on-site to assist with the work.

If you have further questions, please contact Saanich Engineering at 250-475-5575.

Tattersall Drive Upgrade - Saanich Media Release #yyj #traffic

Saanich, BC, June 30, 2011 — The long awaited reconstruction of Tattersall Drive is scheduled from the second week of July 2011 to the end of November 2011. The work will require the full closure of Tattersall between Calumet Avenue and Savannah Avenue to all vehicle traffic for July and August while the underground storm and sewer pipes are replaced. Project Manager, Jamie Rose, said that “the infrastructure is more than six metres (20’) deep in places so it is not possible to keep the road open during that phase of the work.”

Access for residents, emergency services, pedestrians and cyclists will be accommodated through the construction site during the full closure. Following the full closure, Tattersall Drive will be open to alternating one way traffic. Drivers are encouraged to use alternate routes during the course of the construction. Rose said that a single detour route has not been defined because motorists have a number of alternatives available and the best route will depend upon their final destination. “We are expecting to see higher traffic volumes on several alternate routes and the network should be able to handle the change in patterns, but we will definitely keep an eye on things once we start work and make any necessary changes,” Rose said.

Drivers are encouraged to obey the directions of the traffic control people who will be on-site to assist with the work.

If you have further questions, please contact
Saanich Engineering at 250-475-5575.

Carbon tax, climate action tax credit both rise July 1 #bcpoli #carbontax #climateaction

June 30, 2011

Ministry of Finance

VICTORIA - British Columbia's Low Income Climate Action Tax Credit increases by 10 per cent on July 1 to help low income families and individuals offset the increasing rate of the revenue-neutral carbon tax, Finance Minister Kevin Falcon announced today.

Effective July 1, 2011, the carbon tax on gasoline rises by 1.11 cents per litre to 5.56 cents per litre. Other fuels see a similar increase.

Government provides the Low Income Climate Action Tax Credit, paid quarterly, to ensure low- and modest-income British Columbians are compensated for the tax they pay. The 10-per-cent increase brings the payment to $115.50 per adult and $34.50 per child annually.

Every dollar generated by the revenue-neutral carbon tax is returned to British Columbians through tax cuts. For the 2011/12 fiscal year, the tax cuts are expected to return $191 million more to taxpayers than the amount of carbon tax paid. In addition to the Low Income Climate Action Tax Credit, other measures to mitigate the carbon tax for families include the new up-to-$200 Northern and Rural Homeowner benefit and the ongoing benefit of the five-per-cent reduction in the first two personal income bracket rates introduced in 2008.

The carbon tax puts a price on emissions to encourage citizens to reduce their use of fossil fuels and promote more environmentally responsible choices.

Government passed legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent from 2007 levels by 2020 and 50 per cent by 2050. While the carbon tax makes polluting more expensive, it makes green technologies more affordable and creates new green jobs. As those technologies become cheaper, options such as more fuel-efficient vehicles and more efficient home heating will benefit all British Columbians regardless of where they live.

Quick Facts:

* On July 1, 2011, the carbon tax will rise to a rate equivalent to $25/tonne of CO2 equivalent emissions. This translates to an increase of 1.1 cents per litre for gasoline, 1.28 cents per litre for diesel and an increase of 0.95 cents per cubic metre for natural gas.

* In the first three years of the carbon tax, tax cuts returned an estimated $316 million more to taxpayers than the amount of carbon tax paid. Over the next three years, the tax cuts are expected to return $761 million more to taxpayers than the amount of carbon tax paid.

* It's estimated that by 2020 the carbon tax will save up to three million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually - equal to taking almost 800,000 cars off the road each year.

* There are many free and inexpensive ways to reduce emissions, use fuel more efficiently and reduce fuel and carbon tax costs, including:

o Walk, cycle, carpool or take transit whenever possible.

o Slow down while driving, maintain tire pressure, stop idling, combine trips, carry only the items you need for that trip, and get regular tune ups.

o Wash clothes in cold water, set your water heater to 49 degrees Celsius, take shorter showers, use low-flow shower heads and faucets.

o Unplug electronics when not in use, close drapes and blinds at night, improve insulation and weather stripping, regularly change furnace filters, and turn down the thermostat by three to five degrees at night and while on vacation.

o For more ideas on how to reduce emissions and save money, visit

Learn More:

* Information on the carbon tax is available at

* Ministry of Finance Tax Schedule - Carbon tax rates by fuel type:

* For information on how to make greener choices that save money at home, at work and on the road, visit LiveSmart BC at

BC strengthens dam safety, releases first Annual Report

BC strengthens dam safety, releases first Annual Report

June 30, 2011

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

VICTORIA - New rules around monitoring and reporting on the conditions of B.C.'s dams will improve dam safety, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced today as he released the first annual British Columbia Dam Safety Annual Report.

The new measures follow through on a commitment to strengthen safety requirements on monitoring, reporting and signage, recommended in the July 2010 Review of the Testalinden Dam Failure. They also bring B.C.'s dam classification system in line with the 2007 Canadian Dam Association Guidelines.

The new requirements include:

* Dam owners' submission of operations maintenance and surveillance manual and emergency preparedness plan to dam safety officers.

* Effective Nov. 30, 2011, signs for dams located partially or entirely on Crown land, except dams classified as low-risk under the new Regulation.

* Preparation and implementation of plans in response to the identification of any potential safety hazards.

* Keeping dam classifications accurate and up-to-date if a classification changes.

* Correcting any deficiencies identified by a dam safety officer in a document submitted by a dam owner.

The 2010/11 Dam Safety Annual Report released today is part of the Province's commitment to annual disclosure of information collected through B.C.'s dam safety program. The new annual report includes data on incidents and failures, dam construction, compliance monitoring, and program management highlights.

The report shows that during 2010/2011, dam safety officers completed 99 dam safety audits and the ministry achieved a 93 per cent return rate in compliance reporting by dam owners, up from 87 per cent last year. Major updating was done to the dam registry, including moving spatial data online, now visible on Google Earth. The report also highlights education and outreach programs, such as workshops for dam owners and stakeholder presentations.

Quick Facts:

* British Columbia is one of four provinces in Canada with a formal dam safety program.

* There are approximately 1,900 dams in the province including some of the largest structures in Canada.

* 1,200 of these dams are classified as low risk under the new Regulation.

Learn More:

The B.C. Dam Safety Report and Dam Safety Regulation are available at:

HMCS Vancouver to Deploy to Mediterranean Sea #yyj #esquimalt #unifiedprotector

Canadian Forces Frigate to deploy to the Mediterranean Sea in support of NATO Operations for Libya

NR 11.070 - June 29, 2011

Esquimalt, B.C. - Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver will depart in the coming days to the Mediterranean Sea to join NATO forces in support of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 to protect civilian populations in Libya. HMCS Vancouverwill replace HMCS Charlottetown, which has been on patrol with NATO forces in the region since the early spring with Operation Unified Protector, on a regular rotation of ship and crew.

“The deployment of HMCS Vancouver demonstrates that the Government of Canada is resolute in its determination to continue the enforcement of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to protect the Libyan people from threats of violence.”

The ship’s company of Vancouver will continue the exceptional work started by Charlottetown in protecting Libyan civilians. Along with NATO allies, Canadian sailors have helped open air and sea access for humanitarian assistance and have closed it to arms and mercenaries.

“Our ships and sailors are always ready to do the job asked of them by Canada. I am proud that Vancouver will soon continue the important work off the coast of Libya in helping save civilian lives,” said Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden, Chief of the Maritime Staff. “Operating in the congested air-sea environment off Libya is particularly challenging, but the crew of Vancouveris well trained to meet this challenge and make a real difference.”

HMCS Vancouver, a Halifax-class frigate, is commanded by Commander Brad Peats, and carries a ship's company of about 250 officers and crew, which includes a CH-124 Sea King helicopter and air detachment.

The Canadian contribution to Operation Unified Protector is known as Operation Mobile.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Would you brave ghosts at the MMBC? #yyj #paranormal

Would you brave ghosts at the MMBC?

June 29, 2011

Dare to step into the veil of the unexplained and experience the Maritime Museum of BC like never before. Open to skeptics and believers alike, this event will provide an opportunity to perhaps uncover the truth of what really wanders the halls of the old Courthouse past midnight.

Former UK based Dawn Kirkham, clairvoyant medium and member of PARAVI Victoria's Paranormal Research Society will use her many years of experience to facilitate the ghostly investigation. This will not be a guided tour; participants will use investigative devices to seek out the unknown that resides in the walls of the Museum. The investigation begins at 9:30pm on Saturday, July 30th and continues until 4am. Cost is $65 per person and includes light refreshments.

For more information on any of these programs or to preregister, please call 250-385- 4222, ext. 113 or visit our website at Preregistration is required. Book your spot early, as space is limited.

Public Comments Show Massive Opposition to Raven Coal @wildernews #ravencoal

Deluge of Public Comments Show Massive Opposition to Raven Coal

Victoria, BC - Nearly 2,000 people submitted comments about the proposed Raven Coal Mine project on Vancouver Island during the 30-day public comment period, an unprecedented number in terms of public participation in a provincial environmental assessment process. The volume of comments -- overwhelmingly in opposition to the mine -- is yet another demonstration of the public massive rejection of this proposed coal mine project.

"To the best of our knowledge only three times before has there been this level of public opposition during a provincial environmental assessment process -- with the Bute Inlet Hydro project, the Glacier Howser Power Project, and the Lodgepole Coal Mine -- and all three of those projects are dead in the water," said Tria Donaldson, Pacific Coast Campaigner for the Wilderness Committee.

“The provincial government needs to be paying very close attention to this process, and be prepared to do the right thing for local communities and for the environment,” said Donaldson. “The public has given a resounding ‘No’ to Raven Coal, now government has to act.”

Though the final count comments is not yet available because of a delay in posting comments, it is already clear that the Raven Coal Mine has set a new bench mark for public participation with almost 1900 comments posted by the assessment office to day. The Glacier Howser Private Power Project, which was the previous benchmark, had 1100 comments posted.

“The public sentiment is clear: we don’t want to risk clean water, the sustainable shellfish industry and quality of life for 16 years of a dirty coal mine,” said Tria Donaldson. “From the BC Shellfish Growers Association to the Port Alberni and District Labour Council to the K’omoks First Nations -- a diverse group of organizations and people are standing against this project.”

In its history, the BC environmental assessment process has only turned down two projects. The final decision about whether or not to approve the proposal rests with the Minister of the Environment, Terry Lake.

“We are looking for Minister Lake to take leadership on this file, and show that he will listen to the people of this province,” said Donaldson. “Ultimately, the provincial government has the power to stop this destructive project from going ahead.”

The Raven Coal Mine is currently at the midway point of the assessment process. It is expected that the next phase of public comments will happen 10 months to a year from now, with a final decision expected sometime after that.

New Regulations for Large Commercial Vehicles July 1st #transportation #trucking

Uniform rules to improve efficiency for trucking industry

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

Government of Alberta
Government of Saskatchewan

VICTORIA - Regulations are being streamlined for large commercial vehicles travelling across the boundaries of the three westernmost provinces.

Under the New West Partnership Trade Agreement, the governments of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan agreed to have consistent regulations and policies governing the operation of large transport trucks, without compromising safety. Uniform rules about the size and weights of vehicles and other aspects of trucking operations will come into effect July 1, allowing trucks to operate more efficiently between provinces.

The provinces will continue to work together on future changes to ensure that, as much as possible, one set of rules will apply from the eastern border of Saskatchewan and across Alberta to the coast of British Columbia.

During consultations with the trucking industry over the last year, other opportunities for streamlining the regulations were put forward, and the provinces will now work towards achieving these changes by July 2012.

"These changes will result in more flexibility, higher productivity and lower costs for the trucking industry while still keeping our roads safe for all travellers," said British Columbia Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Blair Lekstrom. "Together, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia are making it easier to do business in the west."

"Different standards, rules and regulations in each of our respective provinces create costly inefficiencies for shippers and, ultimately, their customers," said Luke Ouellette, Alberta's Minister of Transportation. "Harmonizing trucking regulations helps move people and goods more efficiently and contributes to continued economic growth and prosperity for our three provinces."

"Export goods produced in western Canada are being trucked on the highways between our provinces every day," said Saskatchewan Minister of Highways and Infrastructure Jim Reiter. "Through the New West Partnership our three provinces will now have consistent trucking regulations to allow for a more seamless flow of goods, with less red tape and lower costs for shippers, which ultimately leads to a more attractive investment climate."

The New West Partnership Trade Agreement is a commitment among the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan to eliminate barriers to trade, labour mobility and investment.

For more information, visit the New West Partnership at:

Langford couple charged with animal cruelty following BC SPCA investigation #yyj

Langford couple charged with animal cruelty
following BC SPCA investigation

June 29, 2011. For immediate release.

Two Langford area residents, Tyler Miskow and Andrea Mills, have been charged with animal cruelty. The pair is being charged with two counts of neglecting and failure to provide adequate care for an animal under the Criminal Code of Canada and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Miscow and Mills’ male cat, Romeo, was taken to the Victoria BC SPCA in January of this year after friends of the couple persuaded the two to turn Romeo over to them. The young cat had extensive injuries, including numerous fractures throughout his body, “consistent with high impact injury”, according to a veterinarian who examined the animal. One leg was so badly injured it had to be amputated. Romeo had been an indoor cat only. Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt military police initially investigated the case, after a complaint was filed with them alleging that Miskow was physically abusive to the animal. Neither Miscow nor Mills sought medical attention for Romeo, who suffered for many days with his injuries, according to numerous witnesses, and corroborated by the veterinarian’s findings, before he was turned in to the SPCA.

“It’s very disturbing that someone could treat a helpless animal with such violence,” says BC SPCA Animal Protection Officer Erika Paul. “It’s obvious the animal had suffered for some time. It’s fortunate that someone had enough compassion to take him to the SPCA so he could get immediate treatment for his injuries.” Romeo has since been adopted. Miscow and Mills will make their first court appearance June 30 at Western Communities Courthouse.

Public Invited to Celebrate Canada Day with Canadian Forces in #yyj #canadaday


ESQUIMALT, B.C. — The public is invited to celebrate Canada Day with the Canadian Forces (CF) by attending various events in Victoria, B.C. on July 1.

“We are delighted to participate once again in Canada Day celebrations and we look forward to connecting with our fellow Canadians on this important national holiday,” said Rear-Admiral Nigel Greenwood, Commander of Maritime Forces Pacific.

Local highlights will include a traditional 21-gun salute at Fort Rodd Hill by the 5th B.C. Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery at noon accompanied by musical performances by the Regiment’s band. Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Edmonton will be berthed alongside at Ship Point in the Inner Harbour and will be open to the general public for tours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Additionally, the ships of Canadian Fleet Pacific will be dressed overall from sunrise to sunset with signal flags from bow to stern and with the national flag at the masthead.

In Vancouver, B.C., the Canadian Forces will participate in numerous events near Canada Place to celebrate Canada Day. Various dynamic and interactive displays and demonstrations will be provided at the designated “CF Zone” located on Canada Place Way and Rear-Admiral Greenwood will attend a swearing-in ceremony for new Canadians. HMCS Algonquin will be berthed alongside at Canada Place during the festivities and the 15th B.C. Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery will fire the traditional 21-gun salute at Stanley Park.

In Prince Rupert, B.C., HMCS Whitehorse, Brandon and Nanaimo will celebrate Canada Day alongside at the Northland Cruise Terminal and will be available for public tours on July 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In the South Pacific, HMCS Ottawa will celebrate Canada Day at sea and will continue with her three-month operational training and goodwill deployment to a variety of ports in the Asia Pacific Region.

Elizabeth Denham: Social Networking Changing the Face of Privacy


June 29, 2011

Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner

Victoria-Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has a message for all British Columbians: think before you click. In her first Annual Report, released today, she stated that, contrary to earlier fears, internet users and social networkers are very concerned about "unknown eyes with hidden agendas" accessing their personal information.

"In addition to organizations' obligations under the law, it is still up to each one of us to draw a firm line regarding how much we share and to jealously guard personal information that might be vulnerable to abuse," Commissioner Denham stated. "This means not posting or emailing vital personal details and remembering that the Internet never forgets."

The Commissioner's approach to privacy challenges is to be proactive, and toward that end, she has created a separate unit to specifically review new policies and proposed electronic networks to ensure that citizen privacy is respected and protected, and to deter serious breaches.

Proactive release of government information without the need for a formal access to information request is a key priority of the Commissioner. "Openness is disarming", she stated, and "this is especially true for government's relationships with its citizens." Providing citizens with relevant and timely information through varied channels like government websites and social media is needed to promote public trust and equip citizens with the information they need to judge for themselves the performance of government.

"Proactive disclosure must become part of the culture," the Commissioner stated. "Public bodies that jealously guard innocuous information create opponents out of potential allies."

Another key strategy of the office is effective public education. "We are one of a privileged few societies that afford their citizen's strong
legal protection for both access to information and privacy rights," the Commissioner stated.

"We should not take these rights for granted, and we want to ensure the public clearly understands their rights and how they apply in the real world."

The annual workload of the OIPC remains high and comparable to last year. In fiscal 2010-2011, the OIPC closed 5971 files, and of those 1137 were formal access to information appeals, access and privacy complaints and Commissioner initiated investigations.

The full text of the report can be read at

HMCS Protecteur returning to Esquimalt #yyj


ESQUIMALT, B.C. - After spending 81 of the past 150 days at sea and nearly 100 days away from home, HMCS Protecteur returns to Esquimalt on Thursday at 9 a.m.

Protecteur sailed south on May 24 to provide re-fuelling services to ships attached to the Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-S). The ship, under the direction of Canada Command was operating in direct support to the ongoing U.S.-led, multi-national effort to interdict drug trafficking in the Caribbean Basin and the East Pacific. From April to June, JIATF-S ships contributed to 33 arrests and the interception of 12 Metric tons of cocaine with a street value of $235 million.

Under JIATF-S, based in Key West, Florida, Canada has worked alongside partner nations France, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, in multi-national drug surveillance and interdiction operations since November 2006. Since commencing, the operation has stopped over 400 metric tonnes of drugs from entering North America.

“The ship has represented Canada well at home and with our international partners in the mid-Pacific and in South and Central America” says Commanding Officer, Cmdr. John Tremblay. I am very proud of the entire ship’s company. Since February Protecteur has sailed nearly 22 thousand nautical miles and completed multiple replenishment at sea operations for 16 different ships, transferring almost 18 million litres of fuel.”

HMCS Protecteur left Esquimalt on Feb. 2 for the Hawaiian operating areas in the company of HMC ships Vancouver and Winnipeg. Together with ships from the US Navy, they helped to train prospective Submarine Commanding and Executive Officers. Before returning to Esquimalt in mid-March, Protecteur stayed on station as the mid-Pacific supply ship providing fuel and provisions to allied ships in the area. After a period of maintenance during April, Protecteur supported the multinational Canadian-led exercise “Trident Fury” off the West Coast of Vancouver Island May 2 to 13 before heading to South America.

Host A Breakfast Campaign for Cancer Families Aims for biggest Year Yet #childcancer

Province-Wide “Host A Breakfast” Fundraising Campaign For
Cancer Families Aims For Biggest Year Yet

“BC’s Biggest Breakfast” provides crucial financial support when children get cancer

Port Coquitlam, BC (June 29, 2011) - No two cases of children’s cancer are the same, but there is always one underlying constant – the stress and financial hardship endured by every family facing this crisis.

While doctors will work tirelessly for weeks, months or even years with the patient, there is little financial support available for the members of their families, who must often leave their homes and almost “live at the hospital”. More than 45% of the families which seek treatment at the lower mainland’s advance cancer treatment facilities come from elsewhere in British Columbia. Transportation and accommodation costs are a significant challenge for these families through long periods of treatment.

Childhood cancer knows no social or economic boundaries and can be financially devastating. That’s why a volunteer group of parents who have – or have had - a child with cancer formed the BC Childhood Cancer Parents’ Association (BCCCPA). As a registered charity, the BCCCPA raises money to help families which are struggling financially. BCCPA works alongside the pediatric oncology social workers at BC Children’s Hospital, Surrey Memorial and Victoria General who identify the families who are struggling the most.

Since 2009, its biggest fundraiser has been the BC’s Biggest Breakfast campaign in which people from the around the province host pancake breakfasts in their own homes, at their offices, or with their local organizations or sports teams, to help families from all corners of the province.

The recent BC's Biggest Breakfast kick-off for 2011 at Ricky's All Day Grill at Surrey Central City surpassed last year’s total and raised $4,500.

To host a breakfast

It’s easy and fun to take part. Invite a group of friends or colleagues to join you for breakfast, encourage them to make a donation. You’ll raise vital funds to help support families who are struggling while taking care of their child with cancer.

The breakfasts can be held at any time of the year. Register online at or call BCCCPA at 778-373-0199 and we will send you a Pancake Breakfast Fundraising Package complete with balloons, aprons, recipes and tips for hosting a successful breakfast.

Visit us on Facebook:

Esquimalt Unveils Plaque After Upgrades at Archie Browning Sports Centre #yyj #sports

Plaque Unveiled to Recognize Facility Upgrade on 50th Birthday of Archie Browning Sports Centre

June 29, 2011

A commemorative plaque was today unveiled at Archie Browning Sports Centre on its 50th birthday to mark the recent completion of a significant facility upgrade. Esquimalt’s Mayor Barbara Desjardins was on hand at the ceremony, along with Council members, staff and several dignitaries.

“Our Government is proud to have created jobs and economic activity here in Esquimalt,” said the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “Residents of all ages will be able to take full advantage of this upgraded and modernized sports centre.”

“Today is fifty years to the day since our Sports Centre was opened and we have much to celebrate,” said Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins. “We celebrate not only this historic milestone and all of the fond reflections that go with it, but also a facility renewal. With funding from the Canada-British Columbia Building Canada Fund, Archie Browning Sports Centre is a safer, more energy efficient facility, with updated equipment and improved access.”

Over the last 50 years the Archie Browning Sports Centre has been the venue for a number of notable events, including a performance by legendary Danish comedian, conductor and pianist Victor Borge in 1962, an autograph signing by “Mr. Hockey,” Gordie Howe in 1965, and the 1994 Commonwealth Games boxing events. More recently, the facility has also been the Skate Canada training facility for renowned athletes including Elvis Stojko, Josee Chouinard, Kris Wirtz and Sherry Ball, as well as the practice facility for the Olympic Chinese Curling team in 2010.

The centre was originally opened on June 29th, 1961, by Grace Patrick, widow of legendary hockey icon Lester Patrick. The centre is named in honour of Archie Browning, an excellent all-around athlete and an outstanding lacrosse player who was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1971.

The Canada-British Columbia Building Canada Fund – Communities Component is a federal-provincial program that addresses the unique infrastructure needs of both rural and urban communities with populations of less than 100,000. Program funding is contingent on the successful completion of a federal Environmental Assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

Through this unprecedented Building Canada infrastructure plan, the Federal Government is providing long-term, stable and predictable funding to help meet infrastructure needs across Canada. Building Canada supports a stronger, safer and better country.

Since October 2008, over $5.6 billion has been committed by the province to over 900 infrastructure projects in British Columbia, which are estimated to create more than 36,000 jobs over the life of the projects.

The Township plans to hold a community birthday party for the facility on September 10, 2011. The public is invited to attend this event and more details will be available shortly.

Summer CounterAttack reminds drivers to plan ahead @icbc

The Province, police and ICBC kicked off the summer CounterAttack campaign today with a reminder to plan ahead and choose a designated driver to get home safely.

"The summer CounterAttack campaign is designed to help remind people to take personal responsibility and think before they drink," said Solicitor General Shirley Bond. "Far too many lives are lost needlessly and families impacted forever as a result of impaired driving incidents in our province. Today we are urging everyone to make smart, safe choices and help us reduce injury and death on B.C. highways."

"Police will be out in full force looking for impaired drivers at roadchecks across the province this summer," said Chief Constable Jamie Graham, Traffic Committee Chair of British Columbia Association of Chiefs of Police (BCACP). "We see the consequences of impaired driving far too often. That’s why when you are out celebrating this summer we’ll be there too, doing our part to keep B.C. roads safe."

"We want everyone to enjoy their summer – so make the right choice and plan ahead to get home safe," said Fiona Temple, ICBC’s director of road safety. "Choose your designated driver before you head out. And if you have agreed to be a designated driver, be true to your commitment – your friends and family are counting on you."

ICBC and its road safety partners invest in combined enforcement and public awareness during the CounterAttack campaign as an effective way to change driver behaviour, save lives and prevent injuries. On average, 126 lives are lost each year on B.C. roads in crashes involving impaired driving.

Safety tips for reducing impaired driving:

After a couple isn’t the time to choose a designated driver.

If you're going to drink, make the smart choice: choose a designated driver before going out and plan to get home safe.

Set an example; refuse to ride with drivers who may be impaired. Your smart driving decisions can have a significant influence on others.

A true designated driver is the person who chooses not to drink so that they can drive others home safely.

If you see an impaired driver, call 911 and report it to your local police.

Learn about the effects of alcohol. It affects your judgment, reaction time and coordination, your ability to steer, track moving objects, brake, and control your speed and lane position.

No amount of coffee, cold showers or fresh air will make you sober. The only cure is time.

For more information about the summer CounterAttack campaign, visit

Cow Powered Dairy First in Canada #cowpower #biogas

Abbotsford home to Canada’s first on-farm cow-powered dairy

ABBOTSFORD – Energy and Mines Minister Rich Coleman today helped to commission B.C.’s first small-scale on-farm anaerobic digester at Abbotsford’s Bakerview EcoDairy. The technology converts cow manure into clean renewable energy and is now connected to B.C.’s electricity grid.

“This project is a first in Canada and is a good demonstration of the creativity and innovation of our province,” said Minister Coleman. “I congratulate Bakerview EcoDairy for their entrepreneurial spirit and leadership in sustainability. This is a good step forward for the energy and agricultural industries in B.C.”

The anaerobic digester will generate up to 60,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually – enough to power 20 electric vehicles a year. It will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, odour from manure and the amount of manure that can run-off into local water supplies.

“I am proud to see clean, on-site generation for our demonstration dairy,” said Bill Vanderkooi, president of Bakerview EcoDairy and CEO of Nutriva Group. “We pride ourselves on being a responsible and sustainable organization and I appreciate the opportunity we have to educate the public on environmentally and animal-friendly innovations in a fully-operational farm.”

The digester not only generates clean electricity but also creates heat, fertilizer and cow bedding for the farm. The system heats cow manure and captures the byproduct – biogas. The biogas is used by a generator to create electricity.

“We are pleased to support this project. It’s a great example of cost-effective, sustainable energy generation that adds to the growing bioenergy sector in B.C.,” said Michael Weedon, executive director of the BC Bioenergy Network.

“This is a ground-breaking project for our province and will demonstrate to other dairy farmers the environmental and economic benefits of on-site energy generation on a proportional scale,” said Garnet Etsell, Chair, BC Agriculture Council, on behalf of the Environmental Farm Plan Program.

The project was funded in part through a $240,000 grant from the BC Bioenergy Network, a $70,000 grant from the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) Program and an $80,000 grant from BC Hydro’s Power Smart Technology Demonstration Fund. The Power Smart fund is available for projects that demonstrate innovative and emerging technologies that can be used in “real life” situations to conserve electricity.

Other sustainable initiatives at the Bakerview EcoDairy include a natural ventilation system that uses the forces of wind and buoyancy to deliver fresh air into the building; an energy efficient lighting system; automated atmospheric controls that detect changes in the internal climate and automatically adjust windows, curtains and fans; and a water conservation system that collects fresh rainwater from the roof of one of the buildings to irrigate the grounds and the green roof on the barn.

Notice of Intent posted for telecommunications contract

Notice of Intent posted for telecommunications contract

Ministry of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government

VICTORIA - Following a three-year negotiated request for proposals (NRFP) process, the Ministry of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government posted a Notice of Intent today to award a 10-year strategic telecommunications services contract worth approximately $100 million per year to TELUS.

This contract will provide telecommunications and strategic services to government and its broader public sector partners, while expanding high-speed Internet connections for families and businesses in rural and remote B.C. and expanding cellular coverage along highways across the province.

When TELUS was the successful bidder on all nine individual bundles of services in the NRFP as well as on the total package of combined services, it became clear to government that, instead of awarding the bundles separately, a stronger partnership with TELUS could realize a greater overall benefit to families and businesses in B.C.

Currently, 93 per cent of British Columbians have access to broadband Internet. By combining all of the existing telecommunications spending done by government through this contract, the Province is committed to expanding high-speed connectivity to 97 per cent of British Columbians. This would ensure the province remains one of the most connected jurisdictions in the world.

Specifically, through this contract, 119 designated rural and remote communities across B.C. will have their Internet connection bandwidth increased up to ten times the current speed to enable broader access for families and businesses. As well, this contract will maintain affordable wholesale Internet access for regional service providers so they can continue to provide last-mile coverage for rural and remote British Columbians.

This contract covers long distance, conferencing, voice, data, cellular and strategic services for core government, the six regional health authorities, BC Hydro, WorkSafeBC, the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) and BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC).

The Notice of Intent can be viewed at

Make Your Mark Chalk Party July 1st at RBCM #yyj #Canadaday @RoyalBCMuseum

Make your mark on Canada Day at the Royal BC Museum

Victoria, BC – Families are invited to get inspired by Canada Day and make their mark at a free sidewalk chalk party at the Royal BC Museum. Local chalk artist Ian Morris will create a large artwork on the upper courtyard while families chalk their own messages, doodles and Canada-themed masterpieces on the lower courtyard between 10 am and 3 pm on Friday, July 1.

Museum volunteers will provide chalk and free youth passes to families participating in the event. Under the giant Canadian flag in the lobby, Royal BC Museum lanyards will be given out to the first 400 paid museum admissions, and special buttons to the first 1,500 paid museum visitors.

What: Family Sidewalk Chalk Party

When: Friday, July 1, Canada Day Celebration

10 am to 3 pm

Where: Royal BC Museum, Upper and Lower Courtyards

Belleville and Government, Victoria

Ian Morris begins at 9 am. Media are invited around 11 am to see his completed work, as well as some the art to be created by families. Time-lapse photography of artwork in progress will be available for media if requested in advance.

About the Royal BC Museum

As the provincial museum and archives, the Royal BC Museum preserves and shares the stories of British Columbia – on-site, off-site and online – through its research, collections, exhibitions and educational programs. Its two-hectare cultural precinct also includes a number of historically significant buildings and First Nations sites.

For more information about the Royal BC Museum, visit or call 1-888-447-7977.

Saanich Police increasing the usual number of officers for July 1st #yyj #Canadaday #saanichpd

Saanich Police are increasing the usual number of officers available for Friday night July 1st.

The usual number of patrol officers available has been tripled for Friday night. We are hoping for a quiet, safe, enjoyable Canada Day celebration, but are prepared for any problems.

Additional officers have been called out to augment the Integrated Road Safety Unit. These officers will support the road blocks going on throughout the region.

Saanich Police are also contributing 8 officers and 9 reserve officers to the downtown core area in support of the Victoria Police.

Throughout the evening, Saanich officers are going to focus on some of the following:

• Monitoring liquor sales outlets for any unlawful purchases or problems

• Conducting road blocks both early in the evening and later when the festivities end

• We will be coordinating with BC Transit to try and intercept drunken riders before they get to the downtown area

“We want everybody in our community to have a good time but we will not tolerate any drunken rowdy behaviour. We have many officers out for the evening and not all of them are wearing a uniform,” says Sgt. Dean Jantzen.

Don’t be that person caught with open liquor and get a fine up to $230!

Progress Made in Housing for Homeless but a Long Way To Go @homeforhope #yyj

Progress being made in housing for homeless but still a long way to go

VICTORIA, BC – Progress is being in Greater Victoria, as 435 new units of subsidized housing and rent supplements came online during 2010/11. These were for a variety of people, including seniors, families and people who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. These and other findings were released today by the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness (Coalition) in its report Hungry and Homeless in Greater Victoria: Fitting the Pieces Together.

During the same timeframe, 535 people were housed by outreach teams that specialize in working with people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. They were housed in a variety of units, including subsidized housing, market units and SROs (single room occupancies).

“We know what needs to happen to solve homelessness in our Region,” Mayor Dean Fortin, co-chair of the Coalition. “Although we are on the right track, we know we need to do more − and do it more quickly.”

Research shows higher shelter usage in Greater Victoria during 2010/11, with 1,958 unique individuals keeping shelters at an average 95% capacity throughout the year. On a single night in February, 1,143 people sought shelter in temporary accommodations.

“It is important to note this is not a homeless count,” says lead researcher Dr. Bernie Pauly of UVic’s Centre for Addictions Research of BC. “This is a point-in-time count that shows us how many people sought shelter on one night. It does not include those sleeping outdoors, couch surfing, or staying in inadequate shelters.”

Four Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams provide outreach to people who primarily have mental illness and/or substance use issues. At admission, 41% of clients were housed and 59% were homeless. After six months, 89% were housed and only 11% remained homeless.

Hungry and Homeless also reports that 18,500 households are experiencing hunger, while 18,305 live in core housing need. Core housing need is when a household lives in housing that requires major repair, is overcrowded, or required more than 30% of the household income for rent or mortgage.

“Progress is being made, but there is still much to do,” Fortin says. “With innovation, partnership, and dedicated funding to create more affordable housing, we can achieve our vision of ending homelessness.”

Both Hungry and Homeless in Greater Victoria: Fitting the Pieces Together and the Coalition’s 2010/11 Annual Report can be found on the Coalition website:

Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness is a partnership of local service providers, non-profit organizations, all levels of government, business and the faith community. The Coalition’s vision is to end homelessness in the Capital Region by 2018.

Centre for Addictions Research of BC is an official independent research center at the University of Victoria. CARBC is dedicated to research and knowledge exchange on substance use, harm reduction and addiction.

Chamber Calls for Rapid Transit Proposal Review and Referendum #yyj #rapidtransit

Chamber Calls for Peer Review and Referendum
on Rapid Transit Proposal

Victoria, BC – June 29, 2011 – The rapid transit system proposed by BC Transit requires a third party review and the endorsement of the voters in order to go forward.

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce gave BC Transit’s proposal a business review and concluded that the complexity is such that a third party review by experts is essential. The review would include analysis of construction and operating costs, including a sensitivity analysis. The review should also include analysis of the economic impact of the proposed system, and determination of cost sharing.

“Billion dollar expenditures require tremendous levels of due diligence,” said David Marshall, Chair of the Board of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. “We need to clearly understand the business case for improved transit and the associated potential economic benefits.”

Following the outcome of the review, a region wide referendum must be conducted. As a discretionary project, the views of the public must be determined, particularly as the region’s level of required investment is not clear.

“The experience with the Johnson St. Bridge has impressed upon us all the need to consult with the paying public on large borrowing projects. This is a project of choice which will shape the region’s future and as such, must be supported by those who will be footing the bill.” said Marshall.

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has over 1,500 members and is the hub for business communication and collaboration that facilitates the financial vitality of its members while respecting people, planet and profit. The Greater Victoria Chamber has received Accreditation with Distinction from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Canadian Forces Canada Day Celebration in Vancouver


ESQUIMALT, B.C. ― The public is invited to celebrate Canada Day with the Canadian Forces (CF) by attending a variety of events located near Canada Place in Vancouver B.C. on July 1.

The Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific will play “O Canada” and Rear-Admiral Nigel Greenwood, Commander of Maritime Forces Pacific, will be in attendance when new Canadians are sworn-in at a citizenship ceremony at 10 a.m. The ceremony will be held at the Mountain View Stage in Jack Poole Plaza located on the corner of Canada Place Way and Thurlow Street.

Other events will include dynamic and interactive displays featured in the designated “CF Zone” on Canada Place Way consisting of demonstrations by a naval boarding party, a CH-149 Cormorant Helicopter Search and Rescue team and Fleet Diving Unit (Pacific). The displays will include Explosive Ordnance Disposal vehicles and equipment, a 105mm Howitzer, a G-Wagon Light Utility Vehicle, an Army ambulance, various small arms displays and a replica cockpit of a CF-18 fighter jet. Additionally, the public can fire replica weapons used by the CF in a realistic and safe small arms simulator.

Alongside Canada Place, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Algonquin will be dressed overall from sunrise to sunset with signal flags from bow to stern and with the national flag at the masthead. The ship will not be open for public tours. Two ORCA Class Patrol Craft Training vessels will be berthed alongside at Harbour Green Park and will be open for public tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At 11 a.m., the 15th B.C. Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery will fire the traditional Canada Day 21-gun salute at Hallelujah Point in Stanley Park. At 7 p.m., the Naden Band will lead other contingents from the CF in the Canada Day Parade along Georgia St.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

British Columbia Golf Team Announced #sports #golf

British Columbia Golf Team Announced for
the Western Canada Summer Games

Golf will be included for the first time
in the Kamloops Games

Kamloops, BC - British Columbia Golf is pleased to announce the roster for the upcoming 2011 Western Canada Summer Games taking place August 5-14 in Kamloops, BC.

Golf will be included in the Games for the first time this year and the following eight junior golfers, four males and four females, will compete for Team BC: Curtis Chan, of Richmond; Grace Chua, Taylor Kim and Donald Qiu, of Surrey; Jisoo Keel, of Coquitlam; Alix Kong, of West Vancouver; Kevin Kwon, of Pitt Meadows; and Mark Valliere, of Nanaimo. Keanna Mason, of Maple Ridge, and Kevin Vigna, of Coquitlam, have been named team alternates.

Jody Jackson, British Columbia Golf's Technical Director of Golf, will be the head coach of Team BC and Executive Director Kris Jonasson will serve as team manager.

"We are very excited about the group of young men and women who have been selected to compete for Team BC," said Coach Jackson. "British Columbia swept gold when golf made its debut at the Canada Summer Games in 2009 and we're looking to repeat that feat in Kamloops."

Golf will take place in the second week of the Western Canada Summer Games at The Dunes at Kamloops, August 11-14. The format will be a 54 hole stroke play format for the individual competition, and the first 36 holes will also count towards the team championship.

The following athletes have been selected to Team BC for the 2011 Western Canada Summer Games:

Curtis Chan

Curtis Chan, 14, of Richmond, is the reigning BC Juvenile Boys' Champion. His other 2010 highlights include placing 5th in the Juvenile division at the Canadian Junior Boys' Championship, competing on the British Columbia team at the Aaron Baddeley International Junior Golf Championships in China, and receiving the Canadian Junior Golf Association's Mizuno All-Canadian Award which is annually given to two junior golfers who demonstrate a commitment to the game of golf, academics and community volunteerism.

Chan's future goals include obtaining a golf scholarship.

Grace Chua

Grace Chua, 14, of Surrey, was a member of the BC team which defeated Team USA to claim gold at the 2011 North Pacific Junior Ladies Team Matches. Recently she placed 3rd in the 2011 CN Future Links Pacific Championship.

Chua's future goals include playing NCAA Division I collegiate golf and make it on the LPGA tour.

Jisoo Keel

Jisoo Keel, 15, of Coquitlam, is a member of Team Canada's National Development Squad. She has already had an outstanding 2011 season which has seen her win the CN Future Links Pacific Championship, finish 3rd and place as the low amateur at the BC stop of the CN Canadian Women's Tour, and finish 8th at the CN Canadian Women's Tour event in Quebec. Keel was also a member of the BC team which claimed gold at this year's North Pacific Junior Ladies Team Matches.

Keel's future goals include earning a full scholarship to a NCAA Division I school.

Taylor Kim

Taylor Kim, 16, of Surrey, is a member of Team Canada's National Development Squad. She was a member of the BC team which defeated Team USA to claim gold at the 2011 North Pacific Junior Ladies Team Matches. Kim finished tied for 2nd at the 2010 Canadian Junior Girls' Championship and 5th in the 2010 BC Junior Girls' Championship.

Kim's future goals include being successful at the national level.

Alix Kong

Alix Kong, 14, of West Vancouver, was a member of the BC team which defeated Team USA to claim gold at the 2011 North Pacific Junior Ladies Team Matches. Kong finished tied for 2nd at the 2010 BC Junior Girls' Championship and 2nd at the 2010 BC Juvenile Girls' Championship. She is also a two-time BC Junior Girls' Bantam champion and represented Canada in the 2010 Royal and Ancient (R & A) Junior Open in Scotland.

Kong's future goals include playing college golf in the United States.

Kevin Kwon

Kevin Kwon, 16, of Pitt Meadows, won the gold individual medal at the 2010 BC Summer Games. He placed tied for 10th at both the 2010 BC Junior Boys' and Canadian Junior Boys' Championships. Kwon is also a past BC Juvenile Boys' champion and BC Bantam Boys' champion and representedCanada in the 2010 Royal and Ancient (R & A) Junior Open in Scotland.

Kwon's future goals include becoming a provincial and national champion, having a successful college career and becoming a professional tour player.

Donald Qiu

Donald Qiu, 14, of Surrey, competed on the British Columbia team at the Aaron Baddeley International Junior Golf Championships in China. He tied for 6th at the 2010 BC Juvenile Boys' Championship and placed 1st in the Boys 14 and under division at the 2010 Canadian Junior Golf Association Nike Golf Junior Championships.

Qiu's future goals include playing on the PGA TOUR.

Mark Valliere

Mark Valliere, 16, of Nanaimo, tied for 13th at last year's BC Juvenile Boys' Championship and tied for 24th at the BC Junior Boys' Championship.

Valliere's future goals include playing golf professionally.

The following athletes have been selected as Team BC alternates for the 2011 Western Canada Summer Games:

Keanna Mason

Keanna Mason, 14, of Maple Ridge, is the reigning BC Bantam Girls' champion. She was a member of the BC team which defeated Team USA to claim gold at the 2011 North Pacific Junior Ladies Team Matches.

Mason's future goals include playing golf in the Summer Olympics.

Kevin Vigna

Kevin Vigna, 15, of Coquitlam, was a member of the St. Thomas More team which won the 2011 BC High School AA Championship.
Vigna's future goals include playing university golf.


Every four years, the Province of British Columbia assembles a team of elite athletes, coaches, managers and mission staff to represent the province at Canada's premiere multi-sport and cultural events: the Canada Winter Games, Canada Summer Games and the Western Canada Summer Games. Team BC has won every Western Canada Summer Games title since its inception in 1975. For more information about Team BC visit


British Columbia Golf - a member-based organization governed by the British Columbia Golf Association (BCGA) - is the governing body of amateur golf in British Columbia and functions for the benefit of all golfers in the province. British Columbia Golf fosters and promotes the sport of golf, preserves the traditions and history of the game and provides a leadership role for the sport in British Columbia. Through its affiliation with Golf Canada, British Columbia Golf is also involved in National golf affairs. For more information about British Columbia Golf visit 

Keefe, Furlong to co-chair Vancouver riot review

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
City of Vancouver
Vancouver Police Board

VICTORIA -- Doug Keefe, former Nova Scotia deputy attorney general, and John Furlong, former head of VANOC, will co-chair the independent review of the planning and activities before Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Final, and the violence that followed.

Both co-chairs bring different but complementary sets of skills and experience. The combination of an out-of-province perspective and local knowledge will help ensure the review will achieve its terms of reference by Aug. 31.

Doug Keefe, QC, has led a number of high-profile commissions, investigations and task forces in Nova Scotia. Keefe established the inquiry into the 1992 Westray Mine disaster, in which 26 miners died as the result of a methane explosion, and oversaw the Nova Scotia government's participation in the inquiry and response. He also played a key role in support of Nova Scotia's chief medical examiner immediately following the Swissair Flight 111 crash of 1998, in which all 229 aboard died.

Keefe spent nearly 30 years with the Government of Nova Scotia, including seven years as deputy minister of justice and deputy attorney general and eight years as executive director of legal services and victim services. In these roles, he helped to lead consultations and negotiations with a wide range of stakeholders, with interests ranging from Aboriginal hunting to offshore petroleum agreements.

John Furlong, OC, OBC, led the Vancouver 2010 Bid Committee from 2001- 04, then served as president and CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC). This work required significant co-ordination of government agencies, including police forces and security agencies, to stage large, safe public events and celebrations. In 2010, Furlong became an Officer of the Order of Canada and received the Order of B.C.

The Province, City of Vancouver and Vancouver Police Department are committed to fully co-operating with Keefe and Furlong toward the timely completion of their review. As announced June 20, they will report out to the Province, City and Vancouver Police Board by Aug. 31, 2011. The report will be made public.

The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General is providing the review team with office space and administrative support. The ministry is also working to identify technical experts in police operations and crowd management that the co-chairs may wish to access in support of their review. The ministry has also begun to provide Keefe and Furlong with background materials to ensure they have all the tools and support necessary to begin work immediately.

Further to the general details of the review's scope released earlier, the Province, City and Police Board today released the full terms of reference for the review. These are attached.

Learn More:

* View the June 20 joint news release announcing the scope of the independent review:

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