Wednesday, February 29, 2012

B.C. changing coverage for #OxyContin

Feb. 29, 2012
Ministry of Health

VICTORIA - The Ministry of Health is changing PharmaCare coverage for OxyContin, a medication used to treat moderate to severe pain.

This follows the manufacturer's decision to discontinue production of OxyContin and market a new product called OxyNEO.

In line with several other provinces, beginning March 8, 2012, British Columbia is discontinuing PharmaCare coverage of OxyContin and will consider only exceptional case-by-case coverage requests for OxyNEO. OxyContin was previously a limited-coverage benefit through the PharmaCare's special authority program.

* For patients with current annual special authority approval for OxyContin, PharmaCare will continue coverage for OxyContin and OxyNEO until their special authority approval ends.

* Patients with current indefinite special authority approval will be granted 12-month transitional coverage until Feb. 28, 2013 for OxyContin and OxyNEO to allow time for them to work with their physician to assess
heir pain management treatment.

* Palliative care patients will continue to receive coverage for OxyContin and OxyNEO through PharmaCare.

The Ministry of Health supports appropriate pain management, but recognizes the risks associated with opioid addiction. OxyContin has been identified as a product targeted by those with opioid addiction. While the OxyNEO tablet is designed to be more difficult to crush, both products can be addictive and subject to abuse.

PharmaCare covers a number of other opioid medications for the treatment of chronic pain. Patients who currently take this medication for chronic pain are encouraged to work with their physician to assess their pain management treatment and switch to another treatment option if necessary.

With PharmaNet, physicians and pharmacists across B.C. have one of the best systems in the country for monitoring prescriptions and prescribing patterns for drugs, such as OxyContin. This includes registering patients in PharmaCare's Restricted Claimant Program, which reduces misuse by limiting certain patients to a single prescriber and/or a single pharmacy for medications with a potential for abuse.

The B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons' Duplicate Prescription Program and Prescription Review Program ensure that drugs like OxyContin are securely and appropriately prescribed.

Alternating Single Lane Traffic: Intersection of Braefoot Rd & Mckenzie Ave March 1 #yyjtraffic

On Thursday, March 1, 2012 there will be alternating single lane traffic at the intersection of Braefoot Road and Mckenzie Avenue. Work is scheduled to start at approximately 8:00 am and is expected to continue until 3:00 pm.

There will be traffic signs to help direct traffic.

Alternating Single Lane Traffic: 4030 Borden St March 1-2 #yyjtraffic

On Thursday, March 1, 2012 and Friday, March 2, 2012 there will be alternating single lane traffic at 4030 Borden Street. Work is scheduled to start at approximately 8:00 am and is expected to continue until 4:00 pm.

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

“Tap By Tap” Energy and Water Savings Program Turned On in Victoria #yyj @Cityofvictoria

Date: Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Victoria, BC- This spring owners of multi-unit residential buildings in Victoria can take advantage of the ‘Tap By Tap’ program that offers free energy and water saving kits, which translate into resource savings, lower water and energy costs and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

The City of Victoria is partnering with City Green Solutions and the CRD Climate Action Service to provide these kits that include low flow shower heads, kitchen and bathroom faucet aerators, thread seal tape and operating instructions.

“This program will help upgrade buildings, such as rental properties, that often aren’t as frequently renovated and may not qualify for other incentives,” said Roy Brooke, Director of Sustainability at the City of Victoria. “Working to improve efficiencies within our rental market is important for Victoria, as is partnering with innovative not-for-profits that are already doing great work to make our homes and offices more sustainable.”

City Green, a non-profit organization specializing in innovative building energy efficiency solutions delivers the new fixtures, picks up old fixtures, and gathers program information to measure results. Building managers install the new fixtures throughout their buildings and collect old fixtures for recycling.

Each individual housing unit in a multi-unit residential building can save up to 50,000 litres of water each year and reduce annual water heating bills by up to $100. The program has funding to provide up to 1000 kits which would result in total annual savings of 50,000,000 litres of water and a greenhouse gas reduction of 388 tonnes within our community.

To qualify for the free kits owners or managers of multi-unit residential buildings that are currently using older fixtures and that are located within the City of Victoria can contact Kobi Thomson at City Green at 250.381.9995 local 117 or Participants must be registered no later than Friday, March 23. Quantities are limited so early registration is recommended.

This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of the Environment. The City of Victoria has committed up to $12,000 towards this program for the installation of as many as 1000 kits. The City of Victoria will contribute $12 towards each kit, with approximately $16 per kit coming from the Government of Canada. The Capital Regional District is also providing in-kind support.

The City owned Queens Manor, a 36 unit supportive housing complex that is currently undergoing renovations, will also benefit from the Tap By Tap program. A similar Tap by Tap program is also now available in Esquimalt. For more information about this program please visit

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Celebration March 18 #yyj @FirstMetVic @ICAVictoria

A Celebration of Cultural Diversity

(in recognition of the International Day for the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination)

March 18

10:45am—9:00 pm

First Metropolitan United Church

Quadra Street at Balmoral Road

Featuring Cultural Groups, Interfaith Guests, Ethnic Food

A Celebration of Trees in story and song featuring cultural groups, the Victoria Storytellers’ Guild, Arbutus Singers , ChoirKids, Interfaith guests and ethnic food.

Thanks to the Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria for assistance.

COST: By donation

Victoria #Pride Society annual general meeting Feb 29 #yyj


Ambrosia Event Center

February 29th

Victoria Pride Society is hosting its annual general meeting on February 29th - 7pm at Ambrosia event center located at 638 Fisgard St.

All those who are paid members of the society are eligible to vote on those motions brought forth for pride year 2012.

If you are interested in becoming a member you may do so at our website; for a cost of $10.

TEDxVictoriaLive 2012 Feb 29 @BelfryTheatre #yyj @TEDxVictoria

Presenting TEDxVictoriaLive 2012

TEDxVictoria is pleased to announce TEDxVictoriaLive 2012 at the Belfry Arts Centre (1291 Gladstone Ave) on February 29th, 2012.

We’ll be live streaming a full day of the TED conference in real time, as it happens in Long Beach, California! There will be four separate sessions to attend, check out the schedule below or visit for more information.

Tickets for individual sessions are available FREE via the Belfry box office or on their website ( Although tickets are free, we urge attendees to book tickets only for sessions which they are certain they can attend. We’ll be seeking small donations at the door to help cover venue labour costs.

Ever wondered what actually goes on at a TED conference? Who MC’s? What happens when a speaker forgets their next line? What’s it like to be in the audience? Join us on February 29th and find out!

Speakers will include British Columbian anthropologist Wade Davis, Oil Tycoon turned renewable energy entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens, and a roboticist with an android twin.

Full Schedule
Wednesday February 29th 2012

Session 1: The Lab (8:30 AM – 10:15 AM PST)

• Henrik Schärfe, Roboticist
• Regina Dugan, Director of DARPA
• Jack Choi, Technologist
• Marco Tempest, Techno-illusionist
• Donald Sadoway, Materials engineer

Session 2: The Earth (11:00 AM – 12:45 PM PST)

• Sharon Beals, Photographer
• Wade Davis, Anthropologist, ethnobotanist
• James Hansen, Climatologist
• T. Boone Pickens, Entrepreneur, energy theorist
• The Civilians Investigative Theatre Co., Theater company

Session 3: The Crowd (2:15 PM – 4:00 PM PST)

• Reid Hoffman, Social entrepreneur
• Lior Zoref, Crowdsourcing advocate
• Reggie Watts, Vocalist, beatboxer, comedian
• Frank Warren, Secret keeper
• Cameron Carpenter, Organist

Session 4: TED Prize announcement – The City 2.0 (5:00 PM – 6:45 PM PST)

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED’s media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.

TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

For information about TED's upcoming conferences, visit

Follow TED on Twitter at @TEDTalks, or on Facebook at

All TEDxVictoria events are not for profit, independently organized and licensed by TED.

For more information TEDxVictoriaLive 2012 or information about other TEDxVictoria events, check out our website at

Follow TEDxVictoria on Twitter at @TEDxVictoria, or on Facebook at

Saanich Police seeking James "Cody" Patterson #yyj @Saanichpolice

Saanich Police are seeking the whereabouts of James "Cody" Patterson.

An outstanding warrant of arrest has been issued by the Victoria Courts for Cody James Patterson, a 22 year old Saanich resident.

The original incident took place on February 28th, 2009, in the 3200 block of Glasgow ave at about 4am.

Words exchanged between two groups of males in different suites in the same building. Later, two males burst into one of the suites, both armed with handguns. Threats were made and one male had a firearm placed to his head.

After a lengthy discussion between the two groups, the home invaders left. As they were leaving an offer to take the victims ‘…for breakfast,’ was made.

The Saanich Police Detectives led the investigation and conducted a search warrant at a separate unit in the building. Recovered during the search was a Beretta .22cal pistol and a replica pistol. This incident resulted in several charges, including:

• Break and enter with intent to commit an offence

• Assault with weapon

• Possess prohibited weapon

On February 23rd, 2012, Patterson was supposed to appear in court as part of a sentencing hearing into this matter. While on a break from court, Patterson proceeded to jump from a moving vehicle in the area of Douglas street and Broughton street. He then fled and police have been unable to locate him since.

If anybody knows the whereabouts of Cody Patterson, they are encouraged to contact the Saanich Police at 250-475-4321 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

City Seeks Feedback on Draft Plan for Improving Cook Street Playground March 7 #yyj @Cityofvictoria

Date: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
For Immediate Release

VICTORIA, BC – Kids and parents have showed the type of play equipment they’d like to see at Cook Street Playground, now it’s time to provide feedback on a draft illustrated plan based on this input. New equipment such as a zip line, climbing feature, and interactive sand area could make Cook Street Playground their new home this year.

Learn more and provide feedback at an open house on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club (located off Nursery Road in Beacon Hill Park). Registration is not required. Refreshments will be served.

Input from local children and the community has informed the development of a draft concept. Take the opportunity to participate in “Part II” of the planning process and view displays, meet Parks planners, ask questions, and complete a short survey.

Close to one hectare in size, the playground is located between Cook Street and Nursery Road, across from the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club in Beacon Hill Park. 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.

The playground improvements are expected to be underway this fall and will help celebrate Victoria's 150th anniversary. For more information, visit:

Canadian Olympic Team embraces Canada's multiculturalism through sport @CDNOlympicTeam

TORONTO - Yesterday evening, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), along with Canadian athletes, reached out to multicultural media at an event in Toronto to celebrate the importance of Canada's cultural diversity as we move closer to the 2012 London Olympic Games.

"As a volleyball athlete I enjoy travelling around the world and meeting people of all backgrounds. I also enjoy learning different languages and as a proud Canadian, I am able to do that right at home in such a rich and diverse country," said Canadian volleyball player Martin Reader.

"Growing up in a multicultural household in Montreal and Toronto, I enjoyed not only celebrating my own diverse background but also learning about other cultures at school and through my swimming team mates. Now, I am fluent in French and German and very proud to represent Canada on the world stage," said Olympic swimmer Tobias Oriwol.

"As an athlete of Canadian-Greek background, I understand the importance that diversity plays in being Canadian and a Canadian athlete. When I compete in Pentathlon it's a wonderful feeling to know that I have fans of all backgrounds back home in Canada cheering me on", said Canadian Pentathlon athlete Donna Vakalis.

"Canada's outstanding athletes demonstrate the great diversity we celebrate in Canada. It's our goal to have as many Canadians as possible engaged in the performance, and the successes of our athletes", said Canadian Olympic Committee CEO Chris Overholt.

"Sport is a common language spoken around the world. It brings us together and allows us to transcend cultural differences and understand each other. There is no better example of that unifying power than the Olympic Games", added Overholt.

"We look forward to building strong, lasting and meaningful relationship with Canada's multicultural media community which serves millions of viewers, readers and listeners from coast to coast to coast," said Canadian Olympic Committee Executive Director of Communications Dimitri Soudas.

The XXX Olympic Games will take place in London, England from July 27th to August 12th, 2012.

World leaders urge Canada to avoid mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana @StVBC

World leaders urge Canada to avoid mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson; former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia and Switzerland; and former Federal Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour call Bill C-10 a ‘grave mistake’

[Vancouver, BC – February 29, 2012]¬¬—World business, legal and political leaders with the influential Global Commission on Drug Policy are calling on Canada to reject the statute for mandatory minimum sentences for minor marijuana offenses proposed in Bill C-10, which is now before the Canadian Senate.

In addition, they are recommending Canadians evaluate possibilities around taxing and regulating marijuana as an alternative strategy to undermine organized crime and improve community health and safety.

In an open letter addressed to Canadian Senators, leaders such as Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso assert that the illegality of marijuana, coupled with huge demand for the drug in the U.S., has led to increased organized crime and violence in Canada and Mexico.

Commission members strongly argue that policies that adhere to the failed war on drugs – such as the mandatory minimum sentencing provisions included in the federal government’s Bill C-10 – will not address the issues of gang violence and organized crime. Instead, they favour a public health approach to cannabis policy, including considering a regime of regulation and taxation.

“Tougher drug law enforcement tactics such as mandatory minimum sentencing for minor drug law offences will put a huge strain on Canadian taxpayers,” the letter states. “[They] will not have the intended effect of creating safer communities, and will instead further entrench the marijuana industry in the hands of organized crime groups.”

“With the proposed implementation of mandatory prison sentences for minor cannabis-related offences under Bill C-10, Canada is at the threshold of continuing to repeat the same grave mistakes as other countries.”

The Commission, which includes leaders from countries such as Mexico and Colombia that are hard hit by the war on drugs, called on Canadian lawmakers to adopt an evidence-based approach to controlling cannabis. Commission members referred to the overwhelming evidence that stricter law enforcement policies for minor drug law offenses are destructive, expensive, and ineffective.

“Adopting the mandatory sentencing for minor cannabis offenses would send Canada down a tragic path, likely costing your taxpayers billions and doing nothing to tackle drug violence or drug dependency. Canada should explore policies that treat drugs as a health issue, not a criminal issue, and help lead the way to end the failed war on drugs,” said Mr. Branson.

The Commission further argues that Canada’s national law enforcement policies will have an international impact, with the unintended consequences of a ‘tough on crime’ approach reaching other countries. U.S. law enforcement, for instance, has already described how organized crime groups from British Columbia are active in Washington State.

“The U.S. war on drugs has only deepened the drug problem, with drug prohibition causing violence in countries across the Americas, including Canada,” said Mr. Cardoso, who is also Commission Chair. “Fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed. We should start by treating cannabis use as a health issue and undermine organized crime by legally regulating the drug’s use rather than promoting prohibition policies which actually fuel gang violence.”

Stricter sentencing fails to reduce crime

The Commission argues that increasing anti-cannabis law enforcement policies like those proposed in Bill C-10 fails to address root causes of organized crime and gang violence, which are natural consequences of drug prohibition. In Canada, such crime and violence are primarily driven by marijuana prohibition.

“The war on drugs, as it has been fought for decades, cannot be won,” said Louise Arbour, former Canadian Supreme Court Justice and current head of the International Crisis Group, which is committed to preventing and resolving conflict. “In countries of production, transit and consumption, it has done much more harm than good. We must implement policies that place community health and safety at the forefront of our efforts, and consider drug use a public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue.”

In their letter, the Commission endorses Stop the Violence BC (STVBC), a coalition of academic, legal, law enforcement and health experts, and its campaign to reform cannabis laws to reduce the harms associated with the illegal cannabis trade, including gang violence. The Commission joins a growing list of recent endorsements including four former mayors of Vancouver, the Health Officers Council of B.C., four former B.C. attorneys general, and a group of high-profile current and former law enforcement officials.

“The Global Commission supports Stop the Violence BC’s suggested approach of regulating marijuana under a public health framework,” said Ilona Szabo, spokesperson for the Secretariat of the Global Commission on Drug Policy. “Mandatory minimum sentences and further reinforcement of prohibition are not rational or prudent solutions.”

• For a copy of the Global Commission on Drug Policy letter, please visit:

• To join the STVBC conversation, please visit the STVBC Facebook page ( ).

• Updates on the campaign are publicly available on Twitter (

• To read the coalition’s two major reports, discover more about the coalition and upcoming events, and learn how to support the effort, please visit

• For a short video address from President Cardoso on the war on drugs, please visit

BC schools need an anti-transphobia and homophobia policy @scyofbc

FEBRUARY 29, 2012--The Society for Children and Youth of BC is adding its voice to the growing list of individuals and organizations expressing the need for a provincial, coordinated strategy to specifically address transphobia and homophobia in BC schools. SCY submitted a four page letter to Premier Christy Clark and Education Minister George Abbott outlining the need for a coordinated provincial strategy.

The Province of British Columbia formally endorsed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1991 cementing our shared responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of every child and youth in our province.

"It is a fundamental right for every child to feel safe in school and be spared the oppression and humiliation that defines bullying" says Christina Thiele, Communications and Child Rights Project Coordinator for the Society for Children and Youth of BC. "The UNCRC stipulates in articles 2 and 28 that every young person has the right to take part in their community without discrimination and have access to a quality education."

Currently there is a generic safe schools policy but evidence shows that this generic policy does not go far enough to address the targeted bullying that gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, and queer youth face in schools.

“Gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer kids experience bullying at a much higher rate than other students” says Jennifer Breakspear, Executive Director of QMUNITY, an organization providing services and programs for BC’s LGBTQ community, including Pridespeak workshops which confront homophobia and transphobia in schools.

“Two thirds of LGBTQ students report that they feel unsafe at school and more than 1 in 5 are physically assaulted or harassed due to their sexual orientation. LGBTQ students are 4 times more likely to commit suicide than straight students. Clearly, this is a problem that we must confront directly."

Creating an anti-bullying policy that specifically addresses homophobic and transphobic bullying will send a clear message that the Province of British Columbia stands by its obligation to protect the safety and well-being of youth in BC and is willing to take strong, decisive leadership when the rights of our citizens are being violated.

The Society for Children and Youth of BC is a unique provincial non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to improving the well-being of children and youth.

Since 1974, the Society has focused on providing a strong voice representing children and youth and advocating for their well-being in British Columbia. Using the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) as a foundation, SCY has a track record of creating and delivering programs that have motivated change in legislation, policy, and practice in Canada.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Alternating Single Lane Traffic: Braefoot Rd & Mckenzie Ave Feb 29 #yyjtraffic

On Wednesday, February 29, 2012 there will be alternating single lane traffic at the intersection of Braefoot Road & Mckenzie Avenue. Work is scheduled to start at approximately 8:00 am and is expected to continue until 3:00 pm.

There will be traffic signs to help direct traffic. Please contact Electrical Section at (250) 475-5437 for more information.

Act sets K-12 improvements, cooling off and mediation #bcpoli #education

Ministry of Education

VICTORIA - Government introduced Bill 22 today, the Education Improvement Act, that suspends the teachers' strike action and sets a "cooling off" period, appoints a mediator to facilitate bargaining, and implements a new $165-million Learning Improvement Fund and other enhancements to K-12 education.

Bill 22 imposes a cooling off period and suspends the teachers' union strike action while calling on the assistance of a mediator. The legislation does not impose a new contract. Rather, it extends the previous collective agreement to cover the mediation period, with the goal of reaching a negotiated agreement by the beginning of summer. If there is no agreement, then the mediator will issue a report by June 30, 2012 with non-binding recommendations.

The mediator will work to balance the interests of employers and employees and their mandate includes the ability to help find agreement on manner and consequences of class organization and the local-provincial split of bargaining issues. Their mandate also requires that any proposed solutions must not result in net new costs for school districts.

The Education Improvement Act also includes several initiatives that will benefit teachers, including the Learning Improvement Fund to help teachers meet complex needs in their classrooms and the restoration of class size and related matters to the scope of collective bargaining.

The legislation streamlines and sets the stage for more effective consultations between teachers and administrators on class organization matters and mandates additional compensation for teachers where class size exceeds 30 students. Collectively, the improvements serve as the government's response to last year's B.C. Supreme Court decision on Bills 27 and 28.

Minister of Education George Abbott -

"We're putting more money into the classroom, we're improving supports for students and teachers, we're providing additional teacher compensation where class size exceeds the student limit, and we're restoring the opportunity to bargain class size and related matters. Taken together, these are significant gains that recognize the important role and contribution of teachers."

"We are not prepared to see a school year pass without every parent in B.C. getting a full accounting of how their children are progressing in school. We are particularly concerned about the impact on vulnerable students. Using legislation to resolve stalled negotiations is never the preferred option, but we need to end the disruptive strike that's creating a strain in our schools and classrooms."

"We are hopeful that a mediator can help the parties achieve a negotiated agreement, in keeping with the more than 100 agreements already achieved under the government's bargaining mandate."

"The employers are prepared to talk about how to improve benefits for teachers, how to ensure the right teachers are matched to the right jobs and how to support good teachers so they can become great teachers. We hope that mediation can also re-engage the parties in a discussion of how we can make a great education system even better."

"We hope the teachers' union will take a constructive approach and respect the cooling off period. However, if they choose a different path, the legislation includes stiff financial consequences for illegal strike action."

Learn More:

You can find the Feb. 23 report on the status of BCTF and BCPSEA negotiations (the Hughes Report) at:

For more information related to K-12 teacher contract negotiations, visit:

To read about BC's Education Plan and get involved in the conversation, visit:

2011 Cost of Eating in BC Report Released: Nothing is Improving

Vancouver, BC, February 28, 2012 – Today, Dietitians of Canada – BC Region released the 2011 Cost of Eating in BC Report. The Cost of Eating in BC has been published for over a decade to detail how much it costs for individuals and families in BC to access an adequate amount of food, to relate this cost to income, and to consider the reasons why many people cannot meet this basic need.

In 2011, the provincial average cost to feed a family of four was $868.43 per month.

Those earning minimum wage, receiving income assistance, or facing other challenges (high rents, child care, or transportation costs, for example) struggle to find ways to purchase food as well as meet their other basic needs.

Nothing is improving. In the ten years that the Cost of Eating in BC Report has been published, the situation has only gotten worse for individuals and families earning low wages or receiving government assistance.

Not being able to afford healthy food has significant consequences for individuals and families such as poor pregnancy outcomes, poor growth and development in children, learning deficits, poor school performance, and mental anguish. The consequences ripple out to touch all British Columbians. We experience higher health care costs, lost economic activity, and increased crime and policing costs.

The solution rests in not just addressing the immediate need to feed hungry British Columbians, but addressing the underlying causes, specifically poverty and the food system. Recommendations for change include:

• Establish a provincial poverty reduction strategy
• Build affordable housing
• Update social assistance to reflect the cost of living
• Enact a living wage policy
• Work toward sustainable food systems that no longer require food banks

“Individuals, communities, and government need to be involved to create true change for British Columbians. There are so many ways that you can help, such as volunteering your time and skills at an organization that supports poverty reduction, getting involved in your local food policy council, and talking about these issues with family, friends and neighbours” says Kristen Yarker, Dietitian and BC Regional Executive Director for Dietitians of Canada.

About Dietitians of Canada

Dietitians of Canada (DC) is the national professional association representing almost 6,000 members at the local, provincial and national levels, including more than 650 members in BC.

Too much to drink and a life lesson #yyj @Saanichpolice

Saturday morning, a drunk male tried to enter the wrong house and broke a car window.

On Feb. 25th, at about 1:30am, the Saanich Police officers were dispatched to the 1800 block of San Juan avenue. A resident had contacted police when some unknown male was attempting to enter the home. Apparently, he was young, appeared drunk and was insistent that he be let in.

Upon arriving, two officers spotted the male between two vehicles in the driveway, immediately next to a smashed out window. A 21 year old Saanich resident was arrested. He was found to be intoxicated and had a scratch on his hand believed to have happened when he broke the window.

The young man fully confessed to breaking the window and immediately offered to pay for the damages. He stated that he had been downtown and had little memory of what had happened after that. This was unusual for him as he doesn’t ‘…usually drink that much.’

Although not typical of incidents like this, because he had no criminal record and appeared remorseful, a dayshift officer took the time to contact the victim. The victim agreed to an informal resolution and priced out the repair at $220.00 dollars at a local glass shop.

Immediately upon his release from jail, the young man went directly to the bank and returned with the money. He further asked for an email address so he could prepare a letter of apology.

“It is unusual that we see an offender take immediate responsibility for their actions, offer to pay for damages and then return with money in hand all in a matter of hours. I am sure there is a life lesson in there somewhere,” says Sergeant Dean Jantzen.

500lbs of 2” aluminum pipe missing from Glanford area #yyj @Saanichpolice

Another business compound was compromised in the Glanford area.

Yesterday afternoon, officers were called to a business in the 4200 block of Commerce Circle. Employees had noticed that some metal had gone missing from the outdoor yard.

Found to be missing was about 500lbs of 2” aluminum pipe. Thieves had cut a padlocked chain securing a gate to the yard. The break-in occurred sometime over the weekend between Friday, February 24th, and yesterday.

It appears only the shorter lengths that could easily be taken by hand were stolen, with much longer lengths being left behind.

Metal recyclers have been contacted to be on the watch for the stolen aluminum pipes.

Business owners in the community with outdoor yards are encouraged to review their security procedures. A higher degree of security can be achieved with the use of increased lighting, alarms and tamper proof locks.

Businesses with questions about security are encouraged to contact the Saanich Police Crime Prevention office at 250-475-4321.

Taggers Tagged by @Saanichpolice #yyj

Two taggers were arrested in the Tolmie laneway last evening.

At about 8pm, last evening, a witness who contacted Saanich Police had seen two males tagging in the area of Oak street and Cloverdale ave. The witness followed the two males and was able to see them enter the Tolmie lane and continue to tag.

Saanich Police patrol officers arrived at the lane and entered from both ends. When the officers confronted and surprised the two suspects who were upon on a business roof tagging, they both attempted to flee. Both youths were caught by officers after a brief foot chase.

Two male youths, 16 years and 14 years, both Saanich residents were arrested. Both were turned over to the custody of parents once released with a date to appear in court.

Three businesses in the area were painted with tags. A total of seven counts of mischief are being suggested.

Barra MacNeils join the Victoria Symphony for a Celtic Celebration #yyjmusic @VicSymphony

East meets west as the Barra MacNeils join the Victoria Symphony
for a Celtic Celebration

February 21, 2012

Victoria, BC – The Barra MacNeils join the Victoria Symphony for three rollicking performances of East Coast music on Thursday, March 1 at 2pm, Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3 at 8:00pm at The Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street, in Victoria. This is the first time that the Barra MacNeils have performed with the Victoria Symphony.

Originally from Cape Breton, the six MacNeil siblings are widely regarded as one of the greatest live concert acts in the Celtic world. Their 20-year career has included more than a dozen recordings and numerous tours across Canada, the US, the UK, and Europe. Their recent sold out concerts with Symphony Nova Scotia have resulted in a brand-new live concert album to be released this spring.

Conducted by the Victoria Symphony’s Conductor-in-Residence, Giuseppe (Joey) Pietraroia, the concerts will feature highlights from the Barras’ 20-year career. Tunes will run the gamut from original compositions to traditional reels and jigs – all featuring the Barras’ signature vocal harmonies, step-dancing and multi-instrumental prowess.

The full program includes:

The Lord of the Dance
Rattlin’ Roarin’ Willie
Coaltown Road
My Heart’s in the Highlands
Misty Moisty Morning
Puirt Beul
Welcome to Bunkers
Darlin’, Be Home Soon
Easter Snow
Pipe Jig
Last Tune of Dougie Mac
Molly on the Shore
The Girl I left Behind
The Longest Day
By Northern Light
Our Highland Queen Medley
Horses, Geese and One Old Man
The Maiden’s Complaint
Hanlon’s Tweed

Tickets for A Celtic Celebration with the Barra MacNeils start at $33 and are available from the Victoria Symphony Box Office at 250-385-6515. vsSOUNDCHECK tickets are available UNTIL 7 days prior to the show. VsSOUNDCHECK tickets are for 18 to 35 year olds who sign up for free and are then able to buy two $13 tickets ON LINE. Visit

The Victoria Symphony celebrates its 71st season this year offering audiences concerts in six series, a commitment to fostering new music and a dedication to community involvement through music education. Showcasing the outstanding talents of its musicians and guest artists, the Victoria Symphony’s 2011-2012 Season offers a diverse and exciting line-up of over 50 concerts led by its Music Director Tania Miller.

BCTS operations near Squamish pass audit #forestry #bcpoli

Feb. 28, 2012

Forest Practices Board

VICTORIA - An audit of BC Timber Sales and 15 timber sale licensees in the Squamish area found that forest planning, silviculture, fire protection, harvesting and road activities were mostly in compliance with legislation, according to a report released today.

"The audit found that a timber sale licence holder designed and built a bridge on a main forest service road that was inadequate to withstand significant rainfall or a flood, which is not in compliance with the legislation," said board chair Al Gorley. "The board was concerned because of the potential risk to public safety if the bridge was to wash out."

"Despite this non-compliance, the board recognizes that BCTS's operating area includes substantial First Nations interest, high recreational use and natural values that create significant challenges for industrial forestry activities in this area. Overall, the audit found that BCTS and the timber sale licensees did a good job at meeting these challenges and the board acknowledges their efforts.

The 1.1-million hectare Squamish district includes the communities of Lions Bay, Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton.

The board looked at harvesting, road construction and maintenance, silviculture, fire preparedness, environmental protection activities and associated planning done between August 2009 and August 2011.

The Forest Practices Board is B.C.'s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board audits forest and range practices on public lands and appropriateness of government enforcement. It can also make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.

Anne Schaefer - CD Release Concert March 1 #yyjconcerts @Larsen_Music @LylesPlace

Anne Schaefer - CD Release Concert

Thursday March 1st, 2012

Doors 7:30 pm - Show 8:00 pm

Alix Goolden Hall, 907 Pandora Avenue

Tickets $20/$18 VJS & UJAM $15 students/seniors

Available at Larsen Music and Lyle's Place

The Anne Schaefer’s CD Release Concert for “The Waiting Room” will feature a stellar group of musicians: Anne Schaefer: voice, piano, guitar; Sean Drabitt: upright bass, Kelby MacNayr : drums, Sara Marreiros: voice, Zavallennahh Huscroft: fiddola, Brooke Maxwell: voice, Adrian Dolan: violin, accordion.

“The Waiting Room” is the much anticipated sophomore album by Anne Schaefer. “It is a concept collection of songs which give voice to the internal dialogues and personal sound tracks of a number of colorful characters,” states Schaefer. Tom Hawthorn of the Globe and Mail writes “The Waiting Room” is “ Worth the Wait in Gold” referring to the time and efforts Schaefer endured to fund this release, following up her critically acclaimed debut album, Twelve Easy Pieces.

Nominated for Album of the Year, 2012 (VIMA) and generously funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, “The Waiting Room” was inspired by the CD’s cover art, a painting by Victoria artist James Gordaneer, which hung in Schaefer’s own waiting room where she taught music. Schaefer says she was inspired by the concept of writing songs that “portray characters who sit and wait for change, for love; all of whom are suffering from the human condition”.

Recorded with award-winning producer, Joby Baker (Alex Cuba, The Bills, The Cowboy Junkies, Mae Moore) and fleshed out with a stellar lineup of musicians including, Kevin Fox, Scott White, Kelby MacNayr and Adrian Dolan, “The Waiting Room” is a near theatrical ride that takes listeners through the absurdity, loneliness, passion and piss-off’s of life and everything in between.

“The Waiting Room” is full of the art of good musical storytelling. An independent Canadian musician, Anne Schaefer excels as a great media interviewee with her own pretty good stories about life as a single parent, a self employed artist and cautionary tales about the potholes involved in choosing the music industry as a lifestyle.

CRD Seeks Representatives for Public and Technical Advisory Committee #yyj

February 28, 2012

Victoria, BC –- The Capital Regional District (CRD) is seeking representatives for a Public and Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) to help facilitate the development of a new Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan.

The advisory committee will include representation from a wide range of stakeholder groups, including private sector waste management service providers, non-profit organizations, businesses focused on waste diversion, the environmental community and the general public. Participation is voluntary and members will be asked to commit to meeting for up to three years.

Interested parties are invited to review the committee composition list and submit an application through the CRD website at: The deadline for applications is March 12, 2012.

“Consultation is a key component of the Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan,” said CRD Board Chair Geoff Young. “The CRD has a strong commitment to open communications on this major initiative and will continue to be diligent in seeking opportunities for input from our stakeholders.”

The CRD has recently adopted a Liquid Waste Management Plan and the revised Solid Waste and Resource Management Plan will address opportunities for integration with liquid waste programs and resource and energy recovery.

Take a colourful journey throughout our waters with Barb Roy #yyj #photography @MaritimeMusBC

Take a Colourful Journey Throughout Our Waters
With Barb Roy, Underwater Photography Guru!

Explore our ocean with the Maritime Museum of BC through our What Lies Beneath Lecture Series. Every fourth Wednesday from 7-9pm, we will host a presentation on various topics that currently affect this underwater environment. These presentations will feature key-note speakers who are active every day in understanding, studying and monitoring our ocean. Doors open at 6:30pm. Cost is $12 for General Admission; $10 for Seniors and Students and free for MMBC Members and children 12 & under.

The month of March brings us below the surface once again as we join outdoor adventure Travel Writer/Photographer Barb Roy on Wednesday, March 28th. Relax as Barb takes you on a wonderful journey around British Columbia’s underwater paradise. Let her introduce you to six-gill sharks, giant Pacific octopus, friendly wolf-eels, colourful rockfish and an array of invertebrate life around coastal BC. The unusual microbialite formations of Pavilion Lake and the wild salmon of Adams Lake will stir your sense of exploration!

Barb Roy lives in British Columbia with her husband, Wayne Grant, and works as a freelance photojournalist for dive, travel and outdoor adventure magazines around the world. When not away on assignments, Barb works as the Marketing Director for the Dive Industry Association of British Columbia, a Not-For-Profit society representing BC’s dive industry, giving presentations and letting others know how nice the diving is in our beautiful Province.

Following in April, discover all of British Columbia’s sunken archeological treasures with Jacques Marc of the Underwater Archeological Society of BC. Learn of the thousands of ships which have sunk off our coast as well as thousands of years of First Nations history located in the water just off old village sites.

Spend the evening with Jacques as he guides you through the experiences and discoveries of the UASBC. Along the way he will introduce you to some of the technology used to search for wrecks and introduce you to some of the unique submerged cultural resources of BC.

For a full list of all the upcoming lectures, please visit our website at and search under Featured Exhibits, or call 250-385-4222. Children under 12 are now free at the Museum!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Weekend Collisions Keep Investigators Busy #yyj #video @Vicpdcanada

(12-6519, 6669, 6687)

VicPD was kept extremely busy this weekend with three serious collisions that resulted in numerous people going to hospital with injuries.

The first collision occurred early Saturday morning in the intersection of Roseberry Avenue and Haultain Street. A 32-year-old View Royal man and his passenger, a 24-year-old Saanich man were taken to hospital with undetermined injuries after their Volkswagen Jetta was hit from behind at a high rate of speed by a Nissan Versa. Both vehicles had major damage with airbags being deployed in the Versa.

After the collision, the suspect driver of the Nissan got out of the vehicle, locked the doors, and left the area stating that she lived nearby. An exhaustive search followed, including use of the K9 unit, but she was not located.

Later that day a 31 year-old Saanich woman came to the front counter claiming to be the driver of the offending vehicle. Officers are still investigating, but believe that speed and alcohol were factors in this collision.

The second collision occurred in the 800 block of Rockheights Avenue at approximately 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

A 30-year-old Langford man lost control of his early model Honda Prelude and careened into a parked car and retaining wall. The force of the collision was so extreme that the majority of the car was destroyed and Esquimalt Fire/Rescue had to extract the driver.

VicPD’s Crash team was called out to analyze the scene and the man was taken to hospital where he remains in intensive care.

Investigators are trying to determine if speed and alcohol were factors in this collision.

The final major collision occurred in the intersection of Quadra Street and Finlayson Street at approximately 7:15 a.m. on Sunday morning.

A 31-year-old Saanich woman suffered minor injuries when she struck a vehicle driven by a 26-year-old Kitimat man that blew through a red light at that intersection.

The woman’s Ford Explorer collided with the rear end of the small Mazda MX3 after he failed to stop for the red light. Both vehicles suffered major damage and the Mazda was tossed onto the curb. The driver was lucky to escape with no serious injuries.

The man was issued a ticket for Disobeying a Red Light at an Intersection ($167)

For more information on what VicPD’s CRASH team does, check out this video:

UPDATED: Police Seek Suspect in Jewelry Store Robbery #yyj #video @Vicpdcanada

UPDATE: Feb 27

VicPD Detectives are continuing to investigate a jewelry store robbery that occurred last Monday and police are releasing surveillance footage of the robbery in hopes that the public can help identify the suspect.

On February 20 just before 5 p.m., a man robbed the Old ‘N’ Gold jewelry store on Fort Street. As seen in the video, the man threatened the store employee with what appeared to be a firearm. He ordered the employee to unlock the display cabinets and loaded rings and other jewelry into a backpack.

He was in the store for approximately two minutes before fleeing across Fort Street into the courtyard of the Sussex building. He was last seen heading east on Broughton Street.

The suspect is described as between 5-foot-10 and 6-foot-2 with a medium build, and his face was covered with a balaclava.


File # 12-6035
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Victoria BC – VicPD are looking to identify a suspect in a jewelry store robbery that occurred yesterday afternoon just before 5 p.m.

The Old ‘N’ Gold jewelry store, located at 706 Fort Street, was robbed on Monday by a man brandishing what appeared to be a firearm. The man threatened the store employee and loaded rings and other jewelry into a dark-coloured backpack.

The suspect is described as between 5-foot-10 and 6-foot-2 with a medium build. His face was covered with a light-coloured balaclava and he was wearing a dark-coloured puffy jacket with the hood up.

He fled the store, running across Fort Street into the courtyard of the Sussex building, then heading east on Broughton Street.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to contact Det. Bill Trudeau at 250-995-7220, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

VIIMCU Assisting Coroner’s Office in Sudden Death Investigation @Vicpdcanada

UPDATE: VIIMCU Assisting Coroner’s Office in Sudden Death Investigation (12-6552)

The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crimes Unit and VicPD are continuing to assist the coroner’s service in the sudden death investigation that occurred early Saturday morning.

VIIMCU can now confirm the 40-year-old deceased man, was found around 6 a.m. on Saturday at the Sobering and Assessment Centre located at 1125 Pembroke St. An autopsy is set for tomorrow and investigators are hoping to have more information after that.

Investigators have been busy interviewing staff and clients and will be following up throughout the week.


Victoria BC – VicPD was called early Saturday morning to a VIHA facility where a 40-year-old man of no fixed address was found unresponsive.

At approximately 6 a.m. VicPD officers arrived with the paramedics at the facility but were unable to revive the man. Both VicPD and paramedics stayed on scene until the provincial coroners service could attend. VicPD and Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crimes Unit (VIIMCU) were called in to assist the coroner’s office in this sudden death investigation.

VIIMCU investigators are now liaising with VIHA and providing assistance to the coroner in any way possible.

BC Transit welcomes Meribeth Burton as new corporate spokesperson @BC_Transit

VICTORIA, B.C. – One of BC's well known and respected broadcasters is joining one of the province's most dynamic and future-forward companies - BC Transit. Meribeth Burton enjoyed a twenty year career in television journalism on Vancouver Island. Her reporting and anchoring at both CHEK TV and /A\ Vancouver Island were defined by sincerity, tenacity and credibility.

Meribeth's media insight, deep community roots, love of communication and passion for public transit come together in her new role at BC Transit. Look for Meribeth to champion transit initiatives in your community and to promote BC Transit's growing ridership and complex operations throughout the province.

“We are very pleased to have Meribeth Burton as a member of the BC Transit team. Meribeth’s loyal and established connection to the community will help improve transit awareness and increase our ability to attract new customers and promote transit benefits.” said Manuel Achadinha, President and CEO of BC Transit.

Meribeth adds "This is a dream position for me. I am eager to have a front seat as BC Transit navigates an exciting future, continues to provide world-class public transit and looks to enhance its presence as a powerful community leader in the over 50 communities it so proudly serves. Signing on as BC Transit's Corporate Spokesperson will also allow me to remain in constant contact with the world of journalism - a world that's filled with devoted professionals who toil tirelessly on behalf of their readers, listeners and viewers."

ICBC announces student winners of road safety ad contest @icbc

The scores are in and the votes have been tallied. ICBC is pleased to announce the winners of its annual road safety contest for high school students, Your Ad Here.

ICBC asked B.C. students to get creative and design ads that would encourage their peers to make smart driving decisions. Car crashes remain the number one preventable killer of youth in B.C with an average of over 7,600 youth injured and 49 youth killed in crashes each year.*

“The Your Ad Here contest is one way we reach out to high school students to help them get engaged in road safety,” said Fiona Temple, ICBC’s director of road safety. “The contest encourages students to talk to their peers about making smart choices as both passengers and drivers.”

More than 190 talented B.C. students in grades 8 to 12 entered the contest this year – 35 per cent more than last year.

Students from Vancouver, Burnaby and Summerland are the winners of Apple equipment prizes for the top entries. Langley Fundamental middle and secondary school had the highest percentage of student participation in B.C. and wins graphic design software.

“We were learning Photoshop at the time so I included their ad as one of their assignments for my class and the students really enjoyed this because it allowed them to be creative,” said Marc Bourget, head of the applied skills and arts department at Langley Fundamental School. “The contest is a good way to make young people more aware of these issues.”

“Thousands of people have lost their lives every year because of drunk driving,” said winner Ruth Baido, Eric Hamber Secondary student in Vancouver. “My ad will hopefully make people aware of the .05 blood alcohol limit.”

ICBC will also be featuring the winner’s artwork in approximately 160,000 high school agendas in September and in posters and ads for the next contest.

The winning ads can be viewed on the Your Ad Here website and Flickr. ICBC will be presenting the winners with their prizes in the coming weeks in their communities.

In addition to the Your Ad Here contest, ICBC educates youth on important road safety issues through the road safety speaker program, K-10 school curriculum and B.C.’s graduated licensing program.

*Five year average based on 2006 to 2010 data in B.C. Police reported statistics. Youth is defined as ages 16 to 21.

PACWEST Provincial Volleyball Championship Re-Cap February 23-25 #yyjsports @Camosunchargers @pacwestbc

PACWEST Provincial Volleyball Championship Re-Cap February 23-25

Despite their efforts and the unwavering support of numerous family and friends, the Camosun College Chargers volleyball teams returned home from the PACWEST Provincial Championships this weekend with no medals in tow.

Entering the Championship seeded fifth, the Chargers women were unable to make it past the first round on Thursday, losing their quarterfinal match to the No. 4 Columbia Bible College Bearcats. Despite an intense and close second set, the Chargers went down in three, 25-20, 28-26, 25-20. Second-year rightside Hilary Graham from Courtenay was named Camosun’s Player of the Game. The women complete the season with a fifth place conference finish.

In men’s quarter-final action, the fifth-seeded Chargers defeated the No. 4 Capilano University Blues in four sets (25-20, 20-25, 25-16, 27-25). The win advanced Camosun to Friday’s semi-final round where the team faced off against the top seeded and No. 2 Nationally ranked VIU Mariners. The Chargers put up a hard fight but fell in four (25-17, 20-25, 25-14, 25-19).

The loss shifted the Chargers to the Bronze medal match on Saturday against the third-seeded CBC Bearcats. Although they had a strong start, the Chargers dropped the match 3-1 (15-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-16) with the Bearcats capturing third place. Fourth-year leftside and Chargers team captain Garrett Marcellus earned Player of the Game honors in each of Camosun’s three matches and was awarded a Tournament All-Star. The Chargers men finish the 2011-12 PACWEST season fourth overall.

Find results, recaps, photos and more on the 2012 PACWEST Provincial Volleyball Championship website.


GOLD Vancouver Island University Douglas College
SILVER University of the Fraser Valley Vancouver Island University
BRONZE Capilano University Columbia Bible College

Upcoming Action – PACWEST Provincial Basketball Championships
March 1-3, 2012

This week, Camosun’S basketball squads head to the PACWEST Basketball Championships held at Capilano University (North Vancouver) March 1-3!

Quarter-final action starts on Thursday, March 1st with the Chargers women (#5) tipping off against the Quest Kermodes (#4) at 3pm. The third-seeded Camosun go up against the sixth-seeded Douglas College Royals at 6pm.

Find the complete schedule, results, LIVE video and more on the official 2012 PACWEST Provincial Basketball Championship website.

Call for Nominations for BBB 2012 Torch Awards

Join BBB in Celebrating Ethics in Business
Victoria, BC

The 2012 Torch Awards will be a celebration unlike any before. Join the Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island and help to celebrate businesses that go above and beyond in their commitment to ethics. Nominate a business for a 2012 Torch Award.

For details visit

Hunter Sones wins W.R. Bennett Award for Athlete Excellence at 2012 BC Winter Games

W.R. Bennett Award for Athlete Excellence goes to....

Biathlete Hunter Sones was presented the W.R. Bennett Award for Athletic Excellence by Vernon Monashee MLA Eric Foster at the Closing Ceremony of the Greater Vernon 2012 BC Winter Games.

Sones, 14, from Garibaldi Highlands, has been participating in biathlon since the age of five. He has medaled in over 90 percent of the 24 BC Cup events he has competed in. This weekend he won two BC Winter Games Bronze medals in the Junior Boys Sprint and individual events.

Besides a busy schedule of training and competing Hunter coaches public biathlon at Whistler Olympic Park and conducts biathlon lessons during the summer. At Christmas he volunteered as a cross country ski coach for beginner adults with the proceeds going to the local food bank. Hunter's strong desire, and his goal, is to become a National and International team member with an eye on competing in either the 2020 or 2024 Olympic Winter Games.

The W.R. Bennett Award for Athletic Excellence recognizes one BC Winter Games athlete for their achievement in sport. Nominees were evaluated on major sport accomplishments, future potential and ambition in sport, and leadership. Sones was nominated by Biathlon BC and chosen by a BC Games Society selection panel.

The W.R. Bennett Athlete Excellence Award was named in honour of the former Premier of British Columbia, William Bennett, who was instrumental in starting the BC Summer and BC Winter Games program in 1978. The award includes a $2,500 bursary to use towards future sport expenses or post secondary education.

"While the award recognizes excellence, the financial contribution will further support Hunter as he continues to train toward national representation. We hope this investment and the experience of the BC Summer Games will be a winning combination in the future for Hunter," said BC Games Society President and CEO, Kelly Mann.

McAbee fossil site to receive heritage designation

Feb. 25, 2012

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

VICTORIA - The future of the McAbee fossil site near Cache Creek is more secure than ever, with the Province announcing today that it will formally recognize the area as a Heritage Site.

The McAbee beds are known worldwide for their incredible abundance, diversity and quality of fossils. The fossil beds are unique for their exceptionally preserved fossils from the Eocene epoch (56 to 34 million years ago). Many fossils being discovered there are entirely new to science.

Today's decision will provide a much stronger protection and management regime of this important resource, situated on what was once the shore of an ancient lake. That ideal environment has left behind a fossil record that includes a variety of leaves, twigs, cones, nuts, flowers, pollen and spores, as well as insects, fish, crayfish and even a bird and feathers.

Formal notifications are going out to local government, stakeholders and First Nations within whose traditional territory the land to be designated lies. Formal notification is required under the Heritage Conservation Act, before the site can be legally designated. Feedback from the notification process will also help inform future management plans for the site.

Thomson also released the 2009 geological and paleontological survey report of the area to the public, which identifies the fossil beds' extent and provides a wealth of technical information of interest to amateur and professional palaeontologists alike.

Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations -

"Fossils play an important role in understanding B.C.'s resources and natural heritage. The McAbee site is a rich and diverse fossil deposit, providing an incredible window into prehistoric life. I am proud to start the formal process that will lead to designating McAbee as a Heritage Site."

Dr. Richard Hebda, curator of botany and earth history, Royal BC Museum -

"B.C.'s McAbee fossil beds contain diverse and exquisitely preserved plant and animal fossils that are changing our understanding of life in the Eocene epoch."

"The designation of the beds as a Provincial Heritage site will ensure that the world will learn more from these remarkable fossils for decades to come as British Columbians assume their vital stewardship role of this globally exceptional natural heritage."

Tom Cockburn, president, British Columbia Paleontological Alliance -

"The British Columbia Paleontological Alliance supports the conclusions of the Read and Hebda survey report and supports the Province's initiative for heritage designation over the Eocene epoch McAbee fossil beds near Cache Creek."

"This heritage designation recognizes the scientific, educational and natural heritage value of these sites to the public."

About the McAbee site -

* The fossil beds are 13 kilometres east of Cache Creek.

* The proposed heritage site will include the known extent of the beds and will also capture key ecological features.

* In October 2008, a voluntary Memorandum of Understanding was negotiated to accommodate scientific interests in the fossils while allowing ongoing commercial activities. The agreement has not proved sufficient for resolving long-term protection of the fossils at the site.

About fossil protection in B.C. -

* Fossils in B.C. are protected through the Fossil Management Framework,

which outlines the policy, procedures and guidelines for fossil collection, use and reporting.

* The framework sets out how existing legislative tools can be used to protect fossil sites, including the option for Heritage designation announced today.

Learn More:

To learn more about the McAbee site, visit:

To view the geological and paleontological survey report, visit:

Greater Victoria teachers to participate in province wide ‘Day of Action’ Feb 27 #yyj #education @gvta

Victoria teachers and teachers across the province are participating in a ‘Day of Action’ on Monday February 27th.

On Monday teachers will work ‘bell-to-bell’ and participate in demonstrative actions at Victoria schools and other prominent high traffic areas such as Shelbourne & McKenzie, Cadboro Bay Road in front of Oak Bay High School, highway 1 and McKenzie, the Bay Street Bridge and many others. The day will culminate with a rally in front of the BC Legislature at approximately 4:00 pm.

After almost a year at the bargaining table BCPSEA and the provincial government have not moved any closer to negotiating a fair contract with BC teachers. Just yesterday Trevor Hughes announced that it is very unlikely that the BCTF and BCPSEA will reach a voluntary settlement.

This news comes as no surprise to teachers. After 78 bargaining sessions the government has offered nothing but contract stripping and net zero.

Fake Address Leads to Arrests #yyj @Saanichpolice

Fake Address Leads to Arrests

February 27, 2012

Three 17 year old male youths were arrested by Saanich Police on Thursday night (Feb 23rd) for stealing a vehicle from the Sunnymead area and then heading out to the mall to do some shopping with the car owner's credit cards.

Between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m, the Honda CRV had been left unlocked within the homeowner's garage. The garage door was open and the CRV contained the owner's wallet with i.d. and credit cards.

Suspicious credit card purchases were being attempted at Mayfair Shopping Centre a short time later. Alert business staff and mall security helped police by providing video footage showing the three teens in the mall.

Police learned from one of the businesses that one of the teens had provided a fictitious street address, but the street name itself existed and was located close to the scene of the car theft.

Officers hurried back to the Sunnymead area and soon spotted three suspicious teens on foot. They matched the mall security video and were arrested without incident.

Police later learned that the stolen car owner's next-door neighbours also had some items stolen from from inside their parked vehicle.

The stolen CRV was later found parked at University Heights Shopping Centre and it was returned to the owner.

All three youths were released to their parents and are facing Youth Court charges related to theft, possession of stolen property and credit card fraud. They will be making their first appearances in Youth Court in late March.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Excessive speeder with a twist #yyj @Saanichpolice

A traffic officer spotted an excessively speeding vehicle on the Pat Bay highway yesterday afternoon.

At about 3:15pm yesterday, a Traffic Safety Unit officer on a motorcycle spotted a vehicle speeding on the Pat Bay highway in the 4600 block. He estimated the vehicle to be going 140kmh and confirmed that it was travelling at 135kmh with a laser.

The driver of the car, a 25 year old female Victoria resident, was issued a violation ticket for excessive speeding, costing her $368.00.

The officer then spoke to the passenger who identified himself as a local car dealership salesman who was out for a test drive with a potential customer.

As a result of the speed, the white Hyundai Genesis was impounded under provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act.

The employment status of the salesman is believed to be tenuous.

BC Jobs and Investment Board complete #bcpoli

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

VICTORIA - A full slate of BC Jobs and Investment Board members are in place to build on British Columbia's record setting exports in 2011 and the momentum of 'Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan'.

The BC Jobs and Investment Board includes experts from industry, policy and trade who will provide advice and direction to government on policies and programs to help attract sustainable investment and support job creation. It will focus on the eight key sectors in the BC Jobs Plan - forestry, mining, natural gas, agri-foods, technology, tourism, transportation and international education.

The board's major strategic objectives are to foster economic development by:

* Identifying issues and processes that are potentially limiting development, and proposing solutions.

* Identifying emerging opportunities for economic development and facilitating new investment.

* Providing expert advice on global issues and trends affecting the B.C. investment climate.

Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation -

"Each one of these people has unique and valuable experience in business and government. They understand the challenges that the world economy is going through, but most importantly, the tremendous opportunities that exist for the B.C. economy as we implement our Jobs Plan.

Quick Facts:

B.C.'s total exports grew 14.2 per cent to $32.8 billion in 2011.

* In 2011, for the first time ever, B.C.'s trade with the Pacific Rim outstripped that of the U.S.

* The top five markets for British Columbia's exports of goods in 2011 were:

o United States: $14 billion - 5.4 per cent increase
o China/Hong Kong: $5.1 billion - 24 per cent increase
o Japan: $4.7 billion - 11.7 per cent increase
o South Korea: $2.7 billion - 45 per cent increase
o European Union: $2.3 billion - 14.6 per cent increase

Learn more at

Alternating Single Lane Traffic: Blair Ave between Shelbourne St & Larchwood Dr Feb 27 to Mar 7 #yyjtraffic

On Monday, February 27, 2012 through to Wednesday, March 7, 2012 there will be alternating single lane traffic on Blair Avenue between Shelbourne Street and Larchwood Drive.

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

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