Tuesday, January 31, 2012

#Camosun Chargers take on No. 1 Mariners in push for #PACWEST playoffs @CamosunChargers

Chargers basketball teams take on No. 1 Mariners in push for PACWEST playoffs

With only three weeks of league competition remaining before the PACWEST Provincial Championships, the Camosun College Chargers basketball teams are buckling down to secure their respective places in the playoffs.

For the Chargers women basketball team who is currently 6-6 and No. 5 in the standings, the next three weeks will be crucial as the squad prepares to take on the conference’s top teams.

"We need to get one more win in the next three weeks to guarantee us a spot in the playoffs, but where we are going to get that win is the tough question we need to answer,” said Chargers Head Coach Brett Westcott. “We have four league games left to play against the top four teams in the conference. We have been competitive with all of them, but in the end we have always managed to mess up at the end of games to lose. If we hope to make the playoffs we need to put together four quarters of quality basketball. Hopefully that goal gets achieved at some point during the next three weeks, but we have only ourselves to blame for being in this uncomfortable position."

The Chargers women could not have a tougher schedule heading into the playoffs and it all begins this Saturday as the team faces off against the No. 1 VIU Mariners in Nanaimo. But while Camosun may look like the underdog in the battle against the 11-1 conference leaders, the competition is not taking any chances.

“Camosun is always tough,” said Mariners Head Coach Bill McWhinnie in an interview with the Nanaimo Daily News. “The standings don’t matter, these games are close. They are very well coached and they play hard.”

Following their match up with VIU, the Chargers women are scheduled to face UNBC (#2), followed by Quest (#4) and Capilano (#3).

On the men’s side, the 9-3 Chargers are making steady progress and climbed up one spot in the PACWEST standings to No. 2 this week. And though the team does not have the pressure of taking on the league’s Top 4 in their final games approaching the playoffs, there is still a lot work to be done according to Chargers Head Coach Craig Price.

“Record-wise, we are doing very well,” commented Coach Price. “But there are a number of things we need to do to improve and continue to be successful against the best teams. In general, we need to stop bad habits and show more discipline both offensively and defensively. We also need to be tougher mentally and learn how to put opponents away when the opportunity arises.”

Like their female counterparts, the Chargers men will be taking on the PACWEST’s No. 1 team as they face off against the Mariners in Nanaimo this Saturday. With an 11-1 record and a fourth-place CCAA National ranking, the VIU men will not go down easily. But as the league has seen this year, anything can happen as it did earlier this season when the Douglas College Royals (currently ranked sixth) handed VIU their first and only loss of the season in a contest that went 84-68.

“I think playing at VIU will be very tough for us,” said Coach Price. “Many of the things I have mentioned are going to be put to the test this coming weekend!”

Catch the PACWEST basketball action on SportsCanadaTV this Saturday as Camosun takes on the No. 1 VIU Mariners! Women at 6pm; men at 8pm.

Free #Acupuncture Day & Documentary Screening Feb 5th #yyj @AIDSVanIsle

SUNDAY Feb. 5th

9:00am-1:00pm – FREE Community Acupuncture treatments (last appt 12:20pm)

BOOK ONLINE to reserve your spot (Select “Feb 5 FREE Acu” from the drop down menu & scroll to Feb. 5). Walk-ins are welcome!

2:00-3:00pm – Screening of “Community Acupuncture: the calmest revolution ever staged”, a film by Brian Lindstrom (Portland, OR), followed by Q&A.

4:00-5:00pm – Hatha/Flow yoga with Carly Lauder, by donation.

Space limited, please arrive early to avoid disappointment. A great opportunity to try out Heart & Hands yoga!

For all events, donations will be graciously accepted in support of our community partners, AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI) and Victoria Youth Homelessness Summit. Donations for cold weather items will also be accepted for AVI’s Street Outreach, read here for a detailed list of items.

Lane Closure westbound on Mckenzie between Gordon Head Rd & Fleet St Feb 6-27 #yyjtraffic

Lane Closure

Starting on Monday, February 6, 2012 through to Monday, February 27, 2012 there will be a westbound curb lane closure on McKenzie Avenue between Gordon Head Road and Fleet Street. The westbound curb lane will remain closed for the duration.

Please obey the direction of the signs. All vehicles will have access.

Driving 5kmh leads to a driver being arrested for impaired #yyj @Saanichpolice

At about 8pm on Friday evening, January 24th, the driving behaviour of a white Pontiac Grand Am, attracted the attention of witnesses who contacted the Victoria Police. Unable to locate the vehicle, the plate was shared with departments regionally.

Then just after 10pm, a 911 caller reported concerning driving behaviour to Saanich Police. Apparently the same car was honking and all over the road almost striking the curb.

When a Traffic Safety Unit officer caught up to the vehicle, it was found driving 5km per hour in the 4000 block of Quadra street.

The driver appeared intoxicated to officers, especially when her head appeared to fall forward like she was falling asleep. The driver provided breath samples which revealed almost 2 ½ times the legal limit!

The driver is a 27 year old Saanich resident. Suggested charges include

• Impaired Operation of a Vehicle, and

• Operation of a vehicle with Over 80mg of Alcohol.

Apparently she may have been the designated driver for some friends earlier in the evening…..

Renata Young Next Live Show in #yyj Feb 3 #yyjmusic

Renata Young & Heartfelt Folk

James Bay Coffee and Books
Friday, February 3rd.

Friday, February 3rd, 8pm @ JAMES BAY COFFEE AND BOOKS (143 MENZIES ST)


(Knox Presbyterian Church, 2964 Richmond Road)

Scam Artist Returned to Victoria to Stand Trial #yyj @Vicpdcanada

File # 11-30307
Date: Tuesday January 31, 2012

Victoria BC – Richard William Patterson, the man accused of bilking a 90-year-old Victoria senior out of hundreds of thousands of dollars will appear in court again today after being on the run from police earlier this year.

Patterson was the subject of a Canada Wide Warrant after he breached his court ordered conditions and left Vancouver Island in an attempt to avoid facing his charges in court.

Patterson was located on Monday, January 23rd in Norway House Manitoba, almost 950 Km North of Winnipeg, by the Manitoba Integrated Warrant Apprehension Unit after receiving information from VicPD. He was arrested later that week by the Norway House RCMP and transported back to Winnipeg to be escorted back to Victoria by the BC Sheriffs Fugitive Escort Team.

“A great deal of thanks goes to the efforts of the Winnipeg Police Service and the Manitoba Integrated Warrant Apprehension Unit for their cooperation and assistance in locating the suspect in less than 5 days from the time assistance was requested by us,” said Cst. Rick Anthony of VicPD, lead investigator, “Especially seeing that Patterson had tried to hide in such a remote town in Northern Manitoba.”

Patterson will appear in court today to answer to his new charges of breaching his court order.

Vancouver's Prairie Dance Club in #yyj Feb10 for Anti-Valentine's Triple Bill #yyjmusic

Prairie Dance Club, James Kasper & The Sound, Colin Craveiro.

Friday February 10, 2012. 8pm Doors.
Felicita's, University of Victoria Student Union Building.

Tickets: $7 at the door.

Info: Kasper Creative Media, Ph: 250-885-5988.

On Friday, February 10, on-the-rise roots rockers Prairie Dance Club will be in Victoria for a triple bill with two other roots-rock units from Victoria, James Kasper & The Sound and Colin Craveiro (who fronts 7-piece band Man Made Lake when he's not a solo act). The concert will take place at Felicita's Pub on the University of Victoria campus, and "Anti-Valentine's" will be the theme of the evening - a fun and light-hearted musical protest to the over-commercialism of Valentine's Day.

Prairie Dance Club is an alternative folk rock quartet which formed in the fall of 2007. Since that time they have completed a full length album as well as a 5-song EP which was released in the fall of 2010. In their short history, they have shared the stage with established and up-and-coming Canadian artists such as Tom Wilson, Lee Harvey Osmond, Matt Mays and El Torpedo, Arkells, Flash Lightnin and Armchair Cynics. The band has had their music in TV shows such as America's Next Top Model and MTV'S 16 and Pregnant. Their song "Spring" was also featured in the PBS series Road Trip Nation. They were also a top ten finalist in The Shore 104.3's Song Search competition for 2011.


Cook Street Playground Open House Tomorrow #yyjevents @Cityofvictoria

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

VICTORIA, BC — Tomorrow, children and their parents are invited to drop by an open house to learn more and “show and tell” City Parks planners the type of play equipment they would like to see included in the Cook Street Playground in Beacon Hill Park. The open house was rescheduled to February 1 due to snow earlier this month.

Close to one hectare in size, the playground is located between Cook Street and Nursery Road, across from the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club. This year, the City of Victoria will upgrade the aging playground equipment to meet national safety standards and to better meet the needs of the community.

RESCHEDULED OPEN HOUSE – Help Us Improve Cook Street Playground in Beacon Hill Park

Wednesday, February 1, 2012, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Victoria Lawn Bowling Club (located off Nursery Road in Beacon Hill Park)

Registration is not required. Refreshments will be served.

Parents and children will have the opportunity to view displays and place stickers next to their favourite play equipment; draw their vision for the play area; meet Parks planners and ask questions; suggest park improvements for the enjoyment of the community, and complete a short survey.

To view the information panels and participate in a survey online, visit: http://www.victoria.ca/ and click on What’s New? The survey will be open until Monday, February 13, 2012.

Public input will help inform an illustrated concept that will be presented to the community for feedback at an open house on March 7. The playground improvements are expected to be underway this fall and will help celebrate Victoria's 150th anniversary.

Traffic Advisory: Lane Obstructions in front of 4634 West Saanich Rd Jan 30-Feb 1 #yyjtraffic

Traffic Advisory

Starting on Monday, January 30, 2012 through to Wednesday, February 1, 2012 there will be lane obstructions in front of 4634 West Saanich Road.

Work is scheduled to start at approximately 9:00 am and is expected to continue until 4:30 pm. All vehicles will have access.

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

Anti-Bullying Charity Now Accepting Applications for National Scholarship @BullyingCanada

Kitchener, Ont- BullyingCanada, Canada's National Anti-Bullying Charity is now accepting applications for the organizations Scholarship Program.

The scholarship is open to students in their final year of high school who have worked to end bullying in their schools and communities to aid them with their post secondary education. The first round has 3 $100.00 scholarships, with more to follow in the months to come.

The deadline for applications is March 1st. For more information, please speak to your school, or contact BullyingCanada. Applications can be downloaded online at: http://www.bullyingcanada.ca/ or can be requested by telephone at: 1-877-352-4497

Victoria Cougars host Saanich Braves this Thursday #yyjsports #hockey @CougarsJuniorB


The Victoria Cougars face the Saanich Braves for the eighth and final time this Thursday.

Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 7:15 p.m.

Victoria leads the season series 5-2-0-0 after knocking off the Braves 6-1 on Dec. 22.

Thursday’s game will showcase the top two scorers in the VIJHL – Brody Coulter of the Cougars and Ty Jones of Saanich.

Coulter leads all scorers with 27 goals and 39 assists for 66 points. Jones, whose Braves tangle with the Peninsula Panthers on Wednesday, currently sits three points back with 30 goals and 33 assists.
Having recorded at least a point in 34 of his 37 contests, Coulter enters the game on a five game point streak. The Victoria captain has accumulated nine points during that span.

As of Monday, Jones has been left off the score sheet seven times this season which includes being held to without a point in his last two games. The Saanich captain has had five five-point games, two four-point games, four three-point games, seven two-point games, and four one-point games.

Both players have almost an identical scoring line. In seven games against the Braves, Coulter has five goals and five assists. Jones, who has also played seven games against the Cougars, has five goals and four assists.

Posing a threat to the scoring title is Victoria’s Steve Axford who sits six points back of Coulter and three points back of Jones.

The Cougars (31-5-0-1) shoot for their 12th straight victory on Thursday.

Mark Van Helvoirt and his troops made it 11 in a row last Friday following its 10-1 win over the Campbell River Storm.

Chris Bannister and Sam Rice led the way with two goals while Connor Stephens, Jacob Nixon, Colin Minardi, Robert Zadra, Wade Johnson, and Axford each added singles.

Making the start in net was Evan Roch who stopped 27-of-28 shots for his 12th win of the season.

Saanich (17-14-0-4) has been inconsistent as of late.

Since Jan. 6, the Braves roller coaster ride includes a 6-2 win over the Kerry Park Islanders, a 5-4 overtime loss to the Islanders, a 6-2 win over Campbell River, a 5-4 loss to the Storm, a 6-3 win over Peninsula, a 4-3 loss to the Comox Valley Glacier Kings, and most recently a 3-1 win over Kerry Park last Saturday.

Barring a victory Wednesday, the last time Saanich strung two wins together was from Nov. 18-25.

Tanner McGaw has been a workhorse for the Braves. The former Victoria Grizzlies goaltender has played a league leading 1,713 minutes.

STANDINGS: Victoria – 1st place, 63 points, South Island Division. Saanich – 2nd place, 38 points, South Island Division

TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Brody Coulter, 27 goals; Brody Coulter, 39 assists; Robert Zadra, 129 penalty minutes. Saanich – Ty Jones, 30 goals; Ty Jones, 33 assists; Nickolas Vanstone, 88 penalty minutes

GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Bryce Halverson (2.00 goals against average, .917 save percentage); Evan Roch (2.68 goals against average, .891 save percentage). Saanich – Tanner McGaw (3.57 goals against average, .900 save percentage); Bowman Rutledge (3.81 goals against average, .884 save percentage)

SEASON SERIES: Cougars lead, 5-2-0-0


September 29, 2011. Saanich Braves 2 @ Victoria Cougars 8
October 14, 2011. Victoria Cougars 3 @ Saanich Braves 2
October 27, 2011. Saanich Braves 2 @ Victoria Cougars 5
October 28, 2011. Victoria Cougars 3 @ Saanich Braves 5
November 25, 2011. Victoria Cougars 2 @ Saanich Braves 4
December 16, 2011. Victoria Cougars 8 @ Saanich Braves 3
December 22, 2011. Saanich Braves 1 @ Victoria Cougars 6

HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 16-1-0-1. Saanich – Away, 7-9-0-1

STREAKS: Victoria, 11-0-0-0. Saanich, 1-0-0-0
LAST TEN: Victoria, 10-0-0-0. Saanich, 4-5-0-1

Monday, January 30, 2012

CRD Announces Appointment of Senior Manager, Salt Spring Island

January 30, 2012

Victoria, BC – At its inaugural meeting on January 11, 2012, the Capital Regional District’s Board approved a Senior Manager and other staffing changes for Salt Spring Island. The senior position will oversee and support existing CRD services and functions on the island, including water and wastewater, transportation, economic development and parks and recreation. Other functions could be included in the longer term, subject to efficiencies and community needs.

“I am pleased to announce the staffing changes”, said Salt Spring CRD Director, Wayne McIntyre. “The new position and supporting staff will improve the coordination and support of services on the island, providing Salt Spring residents with an enhanced level of service and the CRD with a stronger local presence. This is an investment in our community that is expected to realize dividends.”

In the Salt Spring Electoral Area there are a number of CRD services including sewage, water, transportation, community parks and recreation that have become increasingly more demanding, particularly on off-island CRD resources. As well as more local support, the staffing changes will address this demand by providing additional coordination between CRD functions on the island. All commissions that currently oversee functions will remain as advisory to the CRD Director and the Senior Manager.

Kees Ruurs, presently Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Manager, will be assuming the Senior Management position on April 2, 2012 and will report to Kelly Daniels, the CRD Chief Administration Officer. A Senior Civil Engineer will be hired on a full time basis and will be responsible for local services utility and transportation initiatives on the island, as well as project management and other technical support services. Much of this work is presently provided by staff travelling to the island. In addition, a Parks and Recreation Manager will be hired to handle operational matters.

#Camosun Chargers on the Road February 3-4 #yyjsports @Camosunchargers

While the Camosun College Chargers volleyball teams took a bye from PACWEST action this past weekend, their basketball counterparts worked the boards hard at home on Friday and Saturday against the visiting Douglas College Royals and the Columbia Bible Bearcats.

Sweeping the weekend with four solid wins (Fri: Women 60-48; Men 84-76 and Sat: Women 93-40; Men 116-102), the Chargers remain in the conference’s Top 6 teams as the push for the PACWEST playoffs begins. With only three weeks of competition remaining in the season, the women are now 6-6 and in fifth place while the men move up a notch in the standings to No. 2 with 9 wins and 3 losses.

Find complete scores and team leaders on The Chargers Post.

Upcoming Action – Chargers on the Road February 3-4 2012

The Chargers volleyball squads face off against the Douglas College Royals in New Westminster this weekend while the Camosun basketball teams hit the hardwood in Nanaimo with Island rivals, the VIU Mariners, on Saturday.


Fri, Feb. 3 Women 6pm Camosun (#5) vs Douglas (#6)
Men 7:45pm Camosun (#5) vs Douglas (#2)

Sat, Feb. 4 Women 1pm Camosun vs Douglas
Men 2:45pm Camosun vs Douglas


Sat, Feb. 4 Women 6pm Camosun (#5) vs VIU (#1)
Men 8pm Camosun (#2) vs VIU (#1)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Great New #Video from @mowbrayandmills #yyjmusic

A great new video for Mowbray & Mills "After the Last Great War"

Thanks to Tracy & Paul for the links!

Follow them on Twitter: @mowbrayandmills

Forestry veteran recruited to help #BurnsLake recovery

Jan. 27, 2012
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation

BURNS LAKE - Forest industry veteran Bob Clark, vice-president of forestry consultants J B Clark and Co., has been recruited to lead the provincial government's on-the-ground Burns Lake economic response efforts, announced Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell.

Clark's appointment was announced after Bell, accompanied by Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad, met with municipal, First Nations and union leaders in Burns Lake. Bell travelled to the village to hear from the community about ways the Province can help the region's short- and long-term economic recovery efforts after the destruction of the Babine Forest Products mill.

The Province will also consult with and listen to local companies, industry representatives, and business associations about their thoughts on the economic recovery efforts.

Clark, who accompanied Bell and Rustad, will work out of Burns Lake and starts his role immediately. He will be the main point of contact for the Province and will help with the development of short- and long-term economic development strategies between the community and the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Innovation.

Clark has served as the district forest manager for the Vanderhoof Forest District, headed the Province's mountain pine beetle response, and chaired the Nechako-Kitimat Development Fund.

Young B.C. authors published for #FamilyLiteracyDay

Jan. 27, 2012

Ministry of Education
Ministry of Advanced Education

Young B.C. authors published for Family Literacy Day

CRANBROOK - Thirty children and their families are marking Family Literacy Day in British Columbia today by celebrating their success as published authors in a book being distributed to public and school libraries throughout the province.

While many B.C. children spent their summer playing with their friends, attending summer camps or travelling on a family vacation, more than 150 kids spent time writing their entries for a contest co-sponsored by the Ministry of Education and the British Columbia Library Association called Express Yourself: The B.C. Kids Writing Contest.

Thirty winning entries, ranging from poems and short stories to graphic novel submissions, were selected and have now been published in the book, Express Yourself! Each young writer and their school will receive a copy of the book, and all public libraries in B.C. will receive a copy for their community.

To celebrate Family Literacy Day, Minister of Education George Abbott and Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett spent their lunch-hour at Gordon Terrace Elementary school in Cranbrook, reading stories from Express Yourself! to a group of young students and their parents during a tour of the Southeast Kootenay school district.

* To learn more about the contest itself, you can visit: http://expressyourself.bclibraries.ca/

* For tips on how to incorporate family literacy into your life, visit: http://abclifeliteracy.ca/family-literacy

* For information on literacy initiatives in the province, visit Decoda Literacy Solutions: http://decoda.ca/

* To read about the Community Adult Literacy Program, visit: http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/literacy/calp.htm

* To find a public library near you, visit: http://www.bclibraries.ca/home/bc-libraries

* To learn about BC's Education Plan, visit: http://www.bcedplan.ca/

* For a visit with the class at the Central Gateway Family Literacy Program in Chilliwack: http://youtu.be/WcII93dKRYU

#GottaCon2012 Welcomes Beginners & Families Feb 3-5 #yyjevents @GottaCon @VCON


The GottaCon Game Convention to be held at the G R Pearkes Centre (by Tillicum Mall in Victoria) will provide games of all kinds for all ages and all skill levels. Starting at 5PM February 3 until 7PM February 5, skilled players, beginners and families can enjoy their favourite games and learn new games, all in the convention's fun atmosphere.

A board game library is available for groups to borrow and play; video game open play is available on local area networks of personal computers, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, subject to tournament use of equipment; and for younger children, the Lego children's area is available as well as face painting by Danger by Design. Michael Poplawski will present German-made games—German language not necessary—throughout the weekend. The Vancouver Convention of Science Fiction and Fantasy (VCON) will be opening their fun board games for all comers.

Board games being demonstrated for beginners include Dominion, Aagricola, Settlers of Catan, Battlestar Galatica, Arkham Horror, Small World, Ticket to Ride and many more. Steve Jackson Games will conduct the open board games Munchkin, Zombie Dice, and Revolution. Miniatures game demos will take place in Malifaux, Flames of War, Warmachine, Warhammer 40K and Fantasy. Role-play game demonstrations include Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, Otherworlds: The Ul-Zaorith-Airship Run, New World Order as well as others. In addition, the convention is offering an introduction to Dungeons & Dragons for ages 10 to 12, using the Third Edition.

Video game hosts will demonstrate Kinect on Xbox 360. Wii players will be able to challenge others at Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. Fans of the trading card game series Magic: the Gathering and World of Warcraft can take part in demonstrations, beginners events as well as the largest competitive events on the island.

Between games and tournaments, the family can pick up snacks and drinks at the refreshment booth, browse the exhibitor booths, or talk to gamers about joining a community like Vader’s Fist 501st Legion (Star Wars).

Many of the demonstrations will take place two or three times throughout the weekend. There are daily and weekend passes available, as well as rates for families please refer to the web site http://www.gottacon.com/ for details and full schedule of games.

Drug store robber photo #yyj @Saanichpolice

The Shoppers Drug Store on Burnside Road West was robbed late Tuesday afternoon January 24th by a masked man who ran away on foot.

At 5:45 p.m. a lone man entered the store wearing a toque and a bandana covering his head and face. He did not produce a weapon during the robbery.

The man demanded and received an undisclosed quantity of narcotics from one of the store employees. The employee was not injured.

The suspect was last seen on foot running west towards the area of Tillicum Mall.

A K9 team tracked into the surrounding neighbourhood but the trail ended suddenly. It is speculated that there may have been some form of transportation located nearby.

The suspect is described as follows:

- a white male in his early 20's to early 30's
- approximately 6' in height and quite heavy-set
- wearing a blue toque on his head and a blue and white bandana on his face
- navy blue pea style coat and blue jeans with black ski boots

Police are seeking the public's assistance to identify this robbery suspect. Please forward any information to Saanich Police at 475-4321 or to CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

McGregor Socks Generously Donates 10,000 Pairs to Homeless @yyj @Viccoolaid @Vicfoundation

In its most generous gift yet to the Capital Region, McGregor Socks has donated 10,000 pairs of new socks to start 2012, that will be given away to people who are homeless and at risk by dozens of local social service agencies (list enclosed). In total, the company has given over 40,000 pairs of socks to the community since 2005, thanks to a partnership begun by Avodah, the social action group of Congregation Emanu-El.

The first socks of this shipment will be shared at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, 231 Regina Avenue in Saanich, at 8:45 am on Monday, January 30. In attendance will be Bruce Parisian (Friendship Centre), Councillor Susan Brice (Saanich), Michael Bloomfield (Avodah, representing the donor), Rabbi Harry Brechner (Congregation Emanu-El), Mayor Dean Fortin (Victoria) and Don McTavish (Cool Aid).

Shipping of this gift was sponsored by Richard Hughes (VP, RBC Dominion Securities) and an anonymous donor acting through the Victoria Foundation.

Province seeks pine-beetle #reforestation partners #bcpoli

Jan. 27, 2012
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

VICTORIA - Private investors are being offered a chance to create forestry jobs, fight global warming and reduce their carbon footprint under an innovative silviculture partnership sponsored by the B.C. government, Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced today.

The ministry has issued a request for proposals from parties interested in replanting Crown land damaged by wildfires, pine beetle and other factors not related to commercial timber harvesting. The request for proposals is available at: http://www.bcbid.gov.bc.ca/. Interested parties haveuntil Thursday, March 8, 2012 to submit their proposals.

Program partners - for example, banks, carbon finance companies, silviculture firms and First Nations - can generate significant carbon credits, which they will be able to sell on the open market as the carbon storage value of these replanted areas increases over time.

For the 2012 planting season, the ministry is targeting between 500 and 2,000 hectares of Crown land, with plans to increases that to as much as 10,000 hectares annually by 2015. Investors will be responsible for the long-term maintenance and monitoring of their projects.

It's estimated that a 1,000-hectare forest carbon restoration project would cost $1 million to $1.5 million and store an additional 160,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide from enhanced tree growth over its 70-year life-span, creating 12 silviculture jobs in the near term and up to 100 forestry jobs in the long term.

As an incentive to investors, the Pacific Carbon Trust, a Crown corporation, has allocated space in its offset portfolio to purchase up to 100,000 tonnes of carbon credits generated from this request for proposals.

Forest companies are required by law to replant areas where logging has occurred, including beetle-damaged areas where trees have been commercially harvested. However, B.C. has approximately 600,000 to 800,000 hectares of wildfire burns and pine beetle-damaged timberlands that cannot be commercially harvested and have been deemed eligible for forest carbon restoration projects.

B.C. Privacy Commissioner launches video #surveillance education project #bcpoli #privacy

Jan. 27, 2012
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia

VICTORIA - British Columbia's Information and Privacy Commissioner has launched a public education initiative about video surveillance in the private sector.

"January 28 is Data Privacy Day, an international celebration to show that privacy matters in today's digital world," said Commissioner Elizabeth Denham. "To mark the occasion, we are educating British Columbians about a simple and widely used technology with significant implications for privacy."

The use of video surveillance by the private sector has exploded in recent years. Widely believed to be a security and crime prevention tool, advances in the technology provide opportunities for businesses to monitor consumer behaviour and identify people through facial recognition software.

"We're focusing on the private sector - and the retail sector in particular - because we believe many such businesses are unaware of the obligations created by their use of video surveillance, including their obligation to notify customers about surveillance and its purpose, and to minimize the impact on personal privacy."

"Just because the technology is available doesn't mean it's right for every business. Under the Personal Information Protection Act, companies must have a defined problem that the surveillance is designed to address, and customers must be notified before they are captured on camera," said Denham.

The first step of the OIPC's education initiative is a survey of B.C.-based retailers to uncover how many companies are aware of their obligations to protect personal information under provincial law. The survey results will inform future education, outreach and enforcement work in the sector.

"There is no question that technology has changed the face of our world. But it has not displaced the value of privacy. Citizens expect their personal information to be protected and their privacy rights respected. I will continue to raise public awareness about the right to privacy in the digital age, and provide organizations with practical tools to fulfill their obligation to protect privacy," said Denham.

For more information about Data Privacy Day, visit:


Esquimalt Adopts New False Alarm Bylaw #yyj #Esquimalt

The Township of Esquimalt has adopted a new false fire alarm bylaw that will assist the Esquimalt Fire Department in reducing its number of false alarm responses. The bylaw was adopted by Council on January 23rd, 2012.

The purpose of the new bylaw is to reduce the number of false alarm responses by the Esquimalt Fire Department. “These false alarms create unnecessary risks to responding crews and the general public and can potentially result in longer response times to actual emergencies,” said Chief Fire Prevention Officer George McGregor.

After three false fire alarms from the same property within a twelve month period, a letter will be sent to the owner or building manager soliciting their help in eliminating any further false alarms and notifying them that any additional false alarms would result in a fine being levied.

If in any 12 month period the Fire Department responds to four or more false alarms originating from the same property, a $200 fine will be levied on the owner of the property for the fourth and each subsequent false alarm.

The new bylaw also provides the Township with the ability to recover costs associated with crews and resources that are tied up at an incident for longer than 30 minutes while waiting for a property owner to appear on-site.

Alarm activation through testing and/or scheduled maintenance will not be considered a false alarm providing prior contact has been made with the department by the owner/manager or alarm company.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Strange twist in the #UVIC break-in case #yyj @SaanichPolice

On January 18th, items believed to be from the break-in at UVIC earlier this month, were found dumped in a letter box by a Canada Post employee. These were turned in to the Westshore RCMP and were provided to Saanich Police Detectives.

The items included laptops and flash drives, all of which had been rendered inoperable. A full forensic analysis was conducted, and there was no data recoverable from any of the devices.

A note was included in the materials, apparently from the person or persons responsible. The note had some altruistic statements and refers to ‘…criminals being human before they were criminals…’

The motive behind the note and the return of the items is not clear to investigators. Whether it is simply altruism or regret on the part of the suspects or whether it is something more sinister, is unclear to investigators.

Included in the items returned was a media storage device thought to contain the data taken from UVIC. It appears that it may have been a mock-up of the original and was clearly not the one that was stolen from UVIC.

The level of effort required to render the drives inoperable and the possibly sinister intentions of the thieves, has increased concerns for investigators. If you are an employee or past employee and have not done so already, you are encouraged to speak with your bank to avoid future frauds or identity related issues.

If anybody knows anything about this incident, or recognizes any of the phrases used in the note, call the Saanich Police at 250-475-4321. If you wish to remain anonymous you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Study shows Northwest B.C. to experience economic boom #bcpoli

Jan. 26, 2012

Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
BC Hydro

Study shows Northwest B.C. to experience economic boom
due to construction of new transmission line, other projects

Human resources strategy released
to address skilled labour shortage

TERRACE - Labour market research released today shows BC Hydro's Northwest Transmission Line will be an economic catalyst for the region - electrifying an area of the province currently not part of the grid and enabling the development of mines, power projects and other resource projects that will help fuel B.C.'s economy.

The Northwest Transmission Line alone will create up to an estimated 280 direct jobs per year of construction.

In total, projects in Northwest B.C. could create about 5,700 jobs between 2011 and 2021, according to labour market research conducted through the Northwest Transmission Line Labour Market Partnership Program. The program is funded by the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, and BC Hydro is a partner, providing services in kind.

Also released today was an action-oriented human resources strategy to ensure that Northwest communities and industries will be ready to attract the thousands of workers required for the projects. The strategy was produced by a steering committee made up of representatives from education, training, industry, community, government and First Nations.

The steering committee studied the gap between the existing labour force and the anticipated labour force requirements over the next 10 years, and recommended human resources strategies to ensure the Northwest is ready to take advantage of the employment opportunities that will become available, with many of its recommendations to be acted on this year.

To read the Labour Market Partnership Program's labour market analysis and HR strategy, please visit:


Special intake for community gaming grants now open #bcpoli

Jan. 26, 2012
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development

VICTORIA - Groups focusing on adult arts and sports, animal welfare and the environment are encouraged to take advantage of a special community gaming grant application intake, Ida Chong, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, announced today.

Earlier this month, Premier Christy Clark announced the Province was increasing its annual community gaming grant base budget to $135 million - $15 million more than originally budgeted for 2011-12. As a result, the Province is holding a special intake between Jan. 16 and Feb. 13 so that previously ineligible groups can apply for grants this fiscal year.

These groups include non-profit and charitable organizations that deliver services related to adult arts and culture, adult sports, the environment and animal welfare. Animal shelters, fish and wildlife associations, lake and stream stewardship societies, district arts councils, museum societies, theatres and other similar groups are now eligible to apply online.

To apply online for this special intake of community gaming grants, go to:


KISS in the CITY is back in Downtown Victoria! #yyj @myDVBA

For Immediate Release: January 26, 2012

KISS in the CITY returns to downtown Victoria this month with more prizes, more ways to enter and panel of expert judges to decide it all.

The popular Valentine's contest was first introduced by the Downtown Victoria Business Association in 2010. The contest asks Victoria's young and young at heart to photograph themselves, lips locked, somewhere in downtown Victoria and post the photo or video on the DVBA Facebook page to be judged by an expert panel.

Top prize for the winning kiss is a romantic night in the city featuring a one night stay at the Fairmont Empress, dinner for two at the Bengal Lounge and a 60-minute spa treatment for two. The package also includes a beautiful gold and pearl locket donated by Violette Boutique, flowers from Poppies Floral Art, movie tickets to the Cineplex Odeon topped off with delectable goodies from Roger's Chocolates. Two runners up will also receive dinner in downtown Victoria, chocolates and movie passes.

"The contest has proven so popular over the last two years that others have introduced it in their own cities," says Ken Kelly, DVBA General Manager. "Our counterparts in Moncton and Vernon are running their own version of the contest and we are excited to see their results."

Contest participants in downtown Victoria may have an easier time of it. The historical average high in February for Moncton hovers around -2 degrees centigrade and Vernon sits at 3 degrees. Victoria enjoys a comparatively balmy 7.2 degrees, much nicer for outdoor photography.

"Kiss in the City begins right at the time when everybody is about ready to break out of their winter hibernation," says Kelly. "It's the perfect time to get out there and explore our beautiful city again."

Kiss photos and videos (an added feature this year) must showcase downtown Victoria as the backdrop. With the beautiful Inner Harbour, countless examples of historical architecture and numerous unique businesses that support a fun-loving and vibrant population, Victoria is ripe for romance and ideal for unique and memorable photographs. Submissions will be judged by a panel of "romance experts" including Martin Leclerc (Fairmont Empress GM), Mary-Jane Posno (Poppies Floral Art), Erin Weir (Violette Boutique), Derek Ford (Derek Ford Photography) and Robin and Brian from the KOOL FM morning show. The judging panel will determine the winner based on location, creativity and, or course, romance.

Entering is easy. Simply upload your photo or short video (must be taken in 2012) to the DVBA Facebook page. Submissions will be accepted until midnight on Sunday, February 12 and the winners will be announced on Valentine's Day morning. For full details and complete contest rules visit www.downtownvictoria.ca/kissinthecity.

Pucker up Victoria!

The Mission of the Downtown Victoria Business Association is to help make Downtown Victoria the destination of choice for Greater Victoria residents and visitors - for shopping, dining, entertainment, and other services; and to act as catalyst for vibrancy and prosperity in the downtown core through advocacy, marketing, events, improvements, and co-operative measures.

CST Calls Upon Medical Experts in BC to Protect Their Patients #smartmeters

Citizens for Safe Technology Society (CST) has launched a Human Rights action against BC Hydro requesting accommodation of individuals refusing a wireless "smart meter" for health reasons. These are persons with a variety of health concerns ranging from cancer to heart problems, from seizures to electrosensitivity, and who have medical letters from their doctors requesting BC Hydro accommodate their health conditions by allowing an analogue meter to remain.

On January 19, 2012, The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) officially stated its opposition and request for an immediate moratorium on the installation of wireless "smart meters" based on a scientific assessment of the current medical literature. Their letter states "Chronic exposure to wireless radiofrequency radiation is a preventable environmental hazard that is sufficiently well documented to warrant immediate preventative public health action." The AAEM confirms that public health standards are inadequate and obsolete and cannot be used to protect the public from chronic, low intensity radiation exposures that raise credible questions about genetic and cellular effects, male fertility, blood/brain barrier damage and increase in certain types of cancers. The AAEM warn that children are at heightened risk for "altered brain development, and impaired learning and behaviour" from such wireless exposure.

Read the American Academy of Environmental Medicine letter HERE

CST agrees with the AAEM that physicians and medical experts have an obligation to urge precaution when sufficient scientific and medical evidence suggests health risks which may negatively impact the health of vulnerable individuals and groups, and can potentially affect large populations, as is the case with BC Hydro's wireless "Smart Meter Program".

CST calls upon physicians and medical experts in B.C. to support public health and the Human Rights action by recommending an immediate moratorium on wireless "smart meter" installation until these serious public health issues are resolved. We ask that they support patients seeking relief from involuntary and forced exposure to wireless "smart meter" emissions within their homes by requesting that BC Hydro accommodate them with an analogue meter, without additional cost or penalty.

Doctor's Information Package for Medical Professionals HERE

The emissions given off by wireless "smart meters" have been classified by the World Health Organization, International Research on Cancer (WHO/IARC) as a Possible Human Carcinogen.

Watch the Trailer for the Smart Meter Movie HERE

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lane Obstructions: 976 Mckenzie Ave Jan 25-27 #yyjtraffic

UPDATED: Lane Obstructions

On Wednesday, January 25, 2012 through to Friday, January 27, 2012 there will be lane obstructions in front of 976 Mckenzie Avenue. Work is scheduled to start at approximately 8:00 am and is expected to continue until 4:00 pm. All vehicles will have access.

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

Every Step Counts: #TC10K Running Team Info @VicFoundation @VicCoolAid #yyj

Looking for a great team to join for the TC 10K? Think about running to support Every Step Counts.

Every Step Counts is an innovative running program based at Cool Aid, which is designed for people experiencing barriers and challenges with housing, mental health, addiction and other issues.

Join the team at www.CoolAid.org/TC10K or call 250-882-5261. Prizes are available for those collecting pledges.

Deadline for at-the-curb large branch chipping Monday Feb 13 #yyj @CityofVictoria

Place Large Tree Branches at the Curb for Chipping
by 7 a.m. Monday, February 13

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

VICTORIA, BC — Monday, February 13, 2012 at 7a.m. is the deadline for Victoria residents to have large tree branches at the curb for chipping. The City of Victoria's Residential Branch Chipping program provides residents with an opportunity to remove large tree branches from their yard.

New this year – tree branches must be 5 centimetres (2 inches) or more in diameter and longer than 1.2 metres (4 feet) in length to be fed into the City’s chipping machines. In previous years, branches were to be smaller than 5 centimetres in diameter.

Small branches, shrubs, leaves and plants are not accepted as they jam the chipping machines, posing a safety concern for City crews and resulting in poor quality wood chips. The wood chips produced will be used on City park trails and mixed with leaf mulch at the Beacon Hill Park Maintenance Yard for use as a fertilizer and to suppress weeds in City garden beds. Invasive plants such as ivy clippings and blackberry canes make the wood chips unusable.

Below are tips to placing large tree branches at the curb for chipping:

· Only large tree branches please -- with a diameter of 5 centimetres (2 inches) or more and longer than1.2 metres (4 feet) in length.

· Loosely stack large branches into one pile with their cut ends together.

· Limit the branch pile to 1.2 metres x 1.2 metres x 1.8 metres (4 feet x 4 feet x 6 feet).

· Do not place branches in bags or boxes, or tie with string or wire.

· Have branches at the curb by 7 a.m. on Monday, February 13, 2012. City chipping vehicles make onlyone pass down a street. If a return trip is required, a $40 fee will be charged per household's request.

Material that cannot be chipped at the curb will be left behind for residents to remove as it cannot betransported by the chipping vehicles. Victoria residents can drop off their leaf and garden waste for free,year-round at the City of Victoria Public Works Yard at 417 Garbally Road on Saturdays, from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Residents must show proof of residency in the form of a valid BC driver’s licence. For more information, visit: www.victoria.ca/branchchipping

Cedar Hill Golf Course Deficit Reduction Public Meeting Jan 30 #yyj #Saanich

January 24, 2012

District of Saanich Parks and Recreation staff are holding a public meeting on Monday, January 30, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the Cedar Hill Golf Course Banquet Room to discuss ways the Municipality can reduce the projected 2012 golf course operations deficit.

Like all Saanich Departments, Parks and Recreation Services have held the line or reduced operating budgets for the past four years to maintain services and minimize tax increases.

Earlier this month, the Municipality announced the restructuring of golf course food and beverage services from a full service restaurant to licensed light food and beverage operation to address a projected $521,000 food services deficit in 2012. This restructuring resulted in the loss of six regular full time and part time jobs and a loss of work for another 14 auxiliary employees.

For the past four years, Saanich Departments have been directed to hold the line or reduce their operating budgets to maintain service levels while avoiding large tax increases.

The Golf Course operation alone has a projected $300,000 deficit for 2012. Municipal staff have discussed a number of golf course operation deficit reduction options with stakeholders including cost reduction, different management models, fee restructuring, fee increases, and continued tax subsidies. They will review these options at the public meeting and invite feedback.

Staff are tasked with bringing forward a recommendation for Council consideration at the February 7, 2012 Financial Plan meeting.

Shoppers Drug Store on Burnside Rd West Robbed late Tuesday #yyj @Saanichpolice

Drug Store Robbed

January 25, 2012

File No. 12-1550

The Shoppers Drug Store on Burnside Road West was robbed late Tuesday afternoon January 24th by a masked man who ran away on foot.

At 5:45 p.m. a lone man entered the store wearing a toque and a bandana covering his head and face. He did not produce a weapon during the robbery.

The man demanded and received an undisclosed quantity of narcotics from one of the store employees. The employee was not injured.

The suspect was last seen on foot running west towards the area of Tillicum Mall.

A K9 team tracked into the surrounding neighbourhood but the trail ended suddenly. It is speculated that there may have been some form of transportation located nearby.

The suspect is described as follows:

- a white male in his early 20's to early 30's
- approximately 6' in height and quite heavy-set
- wearing a blue toque on his head and a blue and white bandana on his face
- navy blue raincoat and blue jeans with black ski boots

Police are seeking the public's assistance to identify this robbery suspect. Please forward any information to Saanich Police at 475-4321 or to CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Staff Sergeant Scott Treble - Saanich Police

Province to focus on #BurnsLake economic recovery #bcpoli

Jan. 24, 2012
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation

BURNS LAKE - Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, will be leading the Province's efforts to help the community of Burns Lake recover economically from the devastating fire that destroyed the Babine Forest Products mill.

As an initial step, Bell will be in Burns Lake on Friday with Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad to meet with local community leaders and organizations.

The Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation will work closely with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources and other ministries on short- and long-term economic development planning.

A rapid response team from the Province has been formed to work on economic recovery efforts, and the ministry will announce shortly who will lead it.

The team will work with the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, the Village of Burns Lake, the Burns Lake Native Development Corp. and others to provide economic development and community transition expertise as part of the local response effort.

On Friday, Jan. 20, an explosion and fire at Babine Forest Products levelled the mill, killing two Burns Lake residents and injuring 18 others. The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General is co-ordinating emergency services for the community. WorkSafeBC is at the site - providing critical incident support for those affected - and investigating the incident.

Babine Forest Products is a joint venture between the Burns Lake Native Development Corp. and Oregon-based Hampton Lumber Mills. The mill employed about 250 people, making it the community's largest employer.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wilderness Committee: #KinderMorgan oil spill in #Abbottsford

Kinder Morgan oil spill in Abbottsford:
Timely reminder of pipeline expansion dangers

January 24, 2012

VANCOUVER – Kinder Morgan has confirmed there was an oil spill this morning at the Sumas Terminal and tank farm in Abbottsford, after nearby residents phoned 911 and reported headaches and nausea from a heavy smell of gas in the air.

“Here we are in the middle of high profile public hearings about the proposed Enbridge pipeline in northern BC, and yet Kinder Morgan has been allowed to move ahead with expansion plans without public consultation,” said West. On the first day of the Enbridge public hearings, earlier this month, a leak was reported on an Enbridge gas pipeline on the Gulf of Mexico.

“We have warned time and again that with oil pipelines there will be oil spills,” said Ben West, Healthy Communities Campaigner for the Wilderness Committee, which is one of a number of groups opposed to Kinder Morgan’s plans to expand the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline in order to increase exports of crude oil to Asia and other markets.

The Abbottsford terminal is part of the Kinder Morgan pipeline system which brings tar sands crude from Alberta via the Trans Mountain pipeline ending at terminals in Burnaby and Washington State. There was a spectacular oil spill in a Burnaby residential neighbourhood near the terminal back in 2007.

Today’s spill prompted nearby Auguston Traditional Elementary School to keep its students indoors all morning. Back in 2005, a spill at the same tank farm forced some local residents to relocate temporarily. “With expanded capacity will come expanded risk of spills,” said West.

“Residents from Burnaby to Abbottsford – and everywhere along the Kinder Morgan pipeline – deserve to have full public consultation about the risks to their health and the environment.”

Update: #Saanich Commonwealth Place Open and Fully Operational #yyj

For Immediate Release January 24, 2012

Commonwealth Place is open and fully operational! Regular hours are in effect 5:30 am to 10 pm. All drop-in's, programs and classes are operating too.

We would like to thank the public for their patience and understanding during the power failure and facility closure.


Saanich Commonwealth Place is temporarily shutdown due to an electrical malfunction. We anticipate that the facility will re-open later today.

An update will be sent out once the facility re-opens.

$700K research investment to boost B.C.'s bio-economy #bcpoli

Jan. 24, 2012
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation

VANCOUVER - A $700,000 investment to help forest companies create jobs by turning their waste wood into high-value bio-products will address many of the recommendations from government's Bio-Economy Committee, Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, said today.

The Bio-Economy Committee, chaired by John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Clean Technology, was formed in July to identify ways to expand B.C.'s bio-economy. Its report highlights the need for government to take a leading role in developing the bio-economy:


As part of that role, the Province has provided $700,000 to FPInnovations, the world's largest private, non-profit forest research institute, to gauge the extent of B.C.'s bio-economy today, and help industry identify cost-effective fibre available for new projects, including areas affected by the mountain pine beetle. This will help international investors identify opportunities in B.C., as well as give government the data it needs to develop programs and policies to help the province's bio-economy expand.

FPInnovations will also assess mills in the B.C. Interior for opportunities to add innovative bio-product streams to their current operations. These products could be a combination of energy, green chemicals and other bio-materials, which can reduce waste, create jobs and improve the mills' bottom lines.

Products being made from wood fibre today include renewable fuels, textiles, light-weight plastics, food additives, pharmaceuticals and oil. On the drawing board are things like bio-active paper products, including facial masks that deactivate viruses; composites for airplane structures; jet fuel additives; and a substitute for petroleum products used to manufacture rubber for tires.

FPInnovations will also examine how trucks used in the forest industry can reduce emissions and save energy, which may include using bio-fuels produced in B.C.

MLAs Yap (Richmond-Steveston), Bob Simpson (Cariboo North), Eric Foster (Vernon-Monashee), John Rustad (Nechako Lakes) and Ron Cantelon (Parksville-Qualicum) sat on the Bio-Economy Committee, which made five key recommendations in its report:

* Establish a clear, long-term bio-economy vision.
* Improve access to fibre and feedstock.
* Establish a technology development strategy.
* Develop markets for B.C. bioproducts and aggressively market B.C.'s advantages.
* Integrate the bio-economy's infrastructure needs into provincial initiatives.

The Province's investment, funded within its existing fiscal plan, adds to the $600,000 FPInnovations has received from the federal government under the Transformative Technologies Research Program of Natural Resources Canada. With that funding, FPInnovations has been undertaking a series of research projects aimed at developing emerging and breakthrough technologies.

Bio-economy Committee report: www.gov.bc.ca/jti/down/bio_economy_report_final.pdf

FPInnovations: http://www.fpinnovations.ca/

BC Bioenergy Network: http://www.bcbioenergy.com/  

ICE Fund: www.em.gov.bc.ca/EAED/ICEFund/Pages/About.aspx

LifeSciences BC: www.lifesciencesbc.ca/Sub-Sectors/BioProducts/

Major Route Consultation Missing from Ferry Commissioner’s Report @ChamberVictoria

January 24, 2012 – Victoria, BC – The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce is encouraged by the recommendations contained in the Ferry Commissioner’s report on BC Ferries, but is concerned about the lack of recommendations to implement major route consultation.

“The Ferry Commissioner spent months meeting with community groups and gathering feedback but had no scheduled meetings with communities served by the major routes,” said Bruce Carter, CEO at the Greater Victoria Chamber. “We were able to secure a meeting but as it was added after the completion of the planned meeting schedule. BC Ferries’ has thirteen advisory committees none of which relate to the major routes.”

The Chamber is concerned that while small communities have ferry advisory committees to help them maximize the value of service to their community, Victoria and Nanaimo do not. The recommendations contained in the Commissioner’s report do not include the formation of such advisory committees.

Click here for the most recent issue of Business Matters magazine which contains an article discussing the meeting between the Chamber and the Ferry Commissioner.

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has close to 1,500 members and is the voice of business for the Greater Victoria region. The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has received Accreditation with Distinction from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Facebook posting leads to confession about #ICBC claim @icbc

January 24, 2012

A Williams Lake man has been fined $2,000 and ordered to pay over $18,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to fraud and obstruction of justice in connection with an ICBC claim.

Corbin Joseph’s troubles began when he rolled his vehicle on a rural road near Springhouse, a small community west of Williams Lake.

At the time, he was prohibited from driving so in order to collect insurance on the vehicle, which was a total loss, he convinced a friend to tell ICBC that she was the driver. At the time of the crash, three other people were in the vehicle and fortunately, no one suffered serious injuries.

The story came apart after ICBC’s special investigation unit (SIU) became aware that Joseph was bragging on his Facebook page that he had rolled his truck after drinking at a New Year’s Eve party and subsequently got a big payout from ICBC.

When SIU officers interviewed his friends, they admitted that Joseph drove to and from the party, and had in fact put the vehicle in the ditch twice that night.

When Joseph learned that SIU officers were interviewing the woman who initially claimed she was driving, he sent her phone texts and Facebook messages offering her considerable sums of money and legal assistance if she stuck to the original lie. She refused and instead cooperated with the investigators by providing copies of those messages.

Joseph subsequently admitted to everything he’d lied about, and that he had been motivated by the $18,350 insurance payout for his truck. In addition to the fine and the restitution order, the Williams Lake Provincial Court judge handed down a three-month conditional sentence and put Joseph on probation for six months.

“Insurance fraud is a serious crime that steals hard-earned money from the overwhelming majority of our honest customers,” said Steve Tripp, manager of ICBC’s special investigation unit. “We will not sit back and simply pass the cost of fraud on to our customers.”

The public can help combat fraud. Anyone with information regarding a suspicious, exaggerated or fraudulent claim is encouraged to call ICBC’s fraud tips line at 604-661-6844 or 1-800-661-6844 toll free from anywhere in the province. Callers can remain anonymous

Report issues broad recommendations for ferry system #bcferries

Jan. 24, 2012

Ministry of Attorney General
British Columbia Ferry Commissioner

VICTORIA - BC Ferry Commissioner Gordon Macatee delivered his review of the Coastal Ferry Act to Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Blair Lekstrom today.

The report contains 24 major recommendations for government, BC Ferries, ferry users and other stakeholders, all intended to better balance the interests of ferry users with the long-term financial sustainability of BC Ferries and the broader interests of B.C. taxpayers.

BC Ferries is one the largest ferry corporations in the world and, while it has made significant improvements recently, it needs to continue with efforts to minimize costs and generate more revenue. The report identifies that the ferry system is currently facing challenges, which are only expected to get larger in the years ahead.

Declining ridership and financial losses in the current year, coupled with substantial capital investment requirements for fleet renewal and terminal upgrades, is putting strain on the financial sustainability of BC Ferries. Ferry users consider further large fare increases to be unaffordable and are concerned that the operator is not sufficiently accountable. The Coastal Ferry Act, and its guiding principles, is not perceived to be giving consideration to the interests of ferry users.

The review clearly indicates that all of the principle stakeholders will need to be part of the solution in order to achieve a ferry system which is both affordable and financially sustainable.

Specifically, ferry users will need to be receptive to changes in how services and levels of service are delivered; BC Ferries needs to accept additional oversight and accountability measures, and will have to focus even more on cost control and new sources of revenue; and the Province needs to define a vision for the future of ferry services and should consider additional financial support to ensure the system's sustainability.

To address this new direction for coastal ferry services, the review makes a number of key recommendations, including:

- Future price cap increases should be held to the rate of inflation.

- Capacity utilization of the ferry fleet should be improved.

- The commissioner should have more explicit authority to hold the operator accountable, and a new authority to conduct performance audits.

- There should be more oversight on capital plans and acquisitions.

- The Province should consider an increase in financial support for the ferry system and should further consider cushioning at least a portion of fuel price volatility, as is presently done on the northern routes.

- Municipal and regional governments should have the ability to play a role in keeping fares affordable and increasing ridership.

- BC Ferries should place a high priority on upgrading its reservation and point-of-sale systems.

- The commissioner should have additional tools when setting price caps to better consider the interests of ferry users and taxpayers.

In undertaking this review, Macatee and deputy commissioner Sheldon Stoilen conducted a comprehensive public consultation process, including 40 meetings in 27 communities, involving approximately 2,000 people. The public was also invited to comment on nine topics on the BC Ferry Commission's website, and meetings were held with BC Ferries, First Nations, municipal councils, chambers of commerce, tourism organizations, regional districts and other stakeholders.

As part of the larger review, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP researched relevant price cap regulation systems in other parts of the world and other ferry systems in order to compare operating and governance models and the efficiency of BC Ferries. This research found some unique differences in the BC model, and also indicated that BC Ferries appears to be relatively efficient and well run.

The commissioner's role includes regulating core ferry services provided by BC Ferries that are defined in a Coastal Ferry Services Contract between the ferry operator and the Province, establishing price caps for each performance term and monitoring compliance with price caps.

Macatee was appointed commissioner effective May 1, 2011. He is an independent officer of the legislature.

Learn More:

To view the report and its recommendations in their entirety, visit: www.bcferrycommission.com/reports-press/whats-new/

Victoria Film Festival's SpringBoard industry event lineup announced #yyjfilm @VicFilmFestival

Got that project you need to get off the ground? at The Victoria Film Festival's SpringBoard industry event, you’ll hear the current creative thinking that will leave you inspired and motivated to tackle your next project. Rub elbows with producers, directors, and creative talent from across the continent during 3 days of workshops, inspiring talks, a master class with the Documentary Doctor Fernanda Rossi, and industry parties.

Passes are available at https://boxoffice.victoriafilmfestival.com/passes.php

The Springboard Talks lineup has been announced:

To Succeed in New Media, Know Your Aristotle

Ross LaManna, writer Rush Hour; Titanic (TV)

iHistory : The Future of Pop Culture and Documentary Filmmaking in the Digital Age

Stuart Samuels, director RasTa: A Soul’s Journey, Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography

Filming in a Spectacular City

Laura Luchetti, director Hayfever, Climbing ‘Cold Mountain’

First In, Last Out – An Indie Filmmaker’s Journey

Casey Walker, director A Little Bit Zombie, creator of My Million Dollar Movie website

Ideas on Narrative and Aesthetic Sensibility

Katherine Walkiewicz, director A Brief Memory

Casting Canadian Comedy Films

Mike Peterson, director Lloyd the Conqueror; Eddies: The Documentary

To Right a Wrong

Judy Chaikin, The Girls in the Band; Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist

Master Class:

"Trailer Mechanics: Making Fundraising Demos" with the Documentary Doctor, Fernanda Rossi.

"Can you show me something?" usually means "can you show me a fundraising trailer?" Today, a short work-in-progress or demo is the essential tool every filmmaker needs to raise the funds needed to make a documentary, whether from grants, crowdfunding or private investors. Stop guessing what works and what doesn't work - and why - in this one-day, hands-on workshop for producers, directors, writers and editors. If you have already read or are about to read the book by the same name this workshop is a chance to see all that theory in action with real life examples. You will:

• learn the foundational story structures for fundraising trailers
• learn the most common mistakes filmmakers make
• analyze trailers before and after Fernanda's doctoring.
• analyze successful fundraising trailers.
• analyze demos from the audience.

Internationally renowned speaker and story consultant Fernanda Rossi has doctored over 300 films, including two nominated for the Academy Award®; as well as hundreds of trailers, many of which received funding from ITVS and NFB. She has given seminars at major world conferences such as HotDocs in Canada, Sheffield Doc/Fest in the UK and SilverDOCS in the US, among others. Her columns and articles have been published in trade publications like The Independent in the US and DOX in Europe. She is the author of the book that, according to industry professionals, is the bible on fundraising demos: Trailer Mechanics: A Guide to Making your Documentary Fundraising Demo.

There are limited seats available for Master Classes, so get your passes for SpringBoard now. Passes are available online at boxoffice.victoriafilmfestival.com/passes.php, in person at the Victoria Film Festival office, 1215 Blanshard St. (M-F 10am-4pm), or by calling (250)389-0444. SpringBoard passes are only available until January 16th.

The SpringBoard schedule can be found here: http://victoriafilmfestival.com/industry/springboard.html

BCCLA: Fed Government & RCMP complaints body must take off-duty police misconduct seriously

British Columbia Civil Liberties Association

January 24, 2012

Federal Government and RCMP complaints body must take off-duty police misconduct seriously

The BCCLA is calling for a shake-up at the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP after the second shocking revelation about the oversight agency in the last two months. The latest development comes via notice that the CPC refuses to accept so-called “off duty” complaints involving RCMP officers. Off-duty conduct is supposed to be regulated by the RCMP Code of Conduct and overseen by the CPC. Several RCMP officers have been in the spotlight in B.C. in relation to drunk driving, sexual harassment, and spousal assault incidents occurring while off duty.

“A short time ago, we learned that complaint investigation files were sitting for inordinate periods of time with the RCMP, holding up the work of the CPC without the CPC taking any action to demand their return so they could get on with their investigation,” noted Robert Holmes, Q.C. “Now we have discovered, coincidentally, that the CPC has adopted a policy of refusing to forward to the RCMP complaints about RCMP officer conduct that the CPC deems to be ‘off duty.’”

The BCCLA is calling for the replacement of part-time lawyer Ian McPhail, Q.C., who has been the “acting” head of the CPC since January 10, 2010. Mr. McPhail maintains a wills, estates and real estate law practice in Toronto in addition to leading the CPC. The BCCLA says that the CPC needs a full-time leader committed to police accountability and aggressive defence of its police accountability mandate.

“The CPC has developed a chronic problem of failing to do its job. It indulges delays. It avoids reaching conclusions. And now we learn that it fails to take off-duty conduct complaints notwithstanding that the RCMP Code of Conduct clearly addresses that. The CPC is in place so as to preserve public confidence in the police by investigating matters that would otherwise erode confidence. When it fails, it lets down complainants, the public and the police community,” noted Holmes.

Click here to read the correspondence where the CPC refuses “off duty” complaints >>

Click here to read the BCCLA letter to the federal Public Safety Minister >>

Click here to read the December release about RCMP delay in returning files to the CPC >>

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