Friday, March 30, 2012

Greater Victoria Animal Crusaders & Respect-A-Bull Bottle Drive for Local Animal Rescue March 31 #yyj #fundraiser

Join the Greater Victoria Animal Crusaders as they team up with Respect-A-Bull to help abused, neglected, and homeless pets, and provide medical care, foster homes and spay/neuter services to the community.

Please bring your refundable beverage containers to Glanford Auto Service at 4233 Glanford Ave on March 31, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

We are also accepting donations of gently used pet supplies, beds, blankets, crates, leashes and food etc.

Pickup of bottles is available by calling or texting 250-415-9335.

2nd Annual Westshore Business Show & Mixer Mar 31-April 1 Schedule of Events #yyjevents

Schedule of Events:

SaturdayMarch 31st:

12:45 PM Westshore Dance Studio Demonstration
1:00 PM Food For Thought Demonstration
1:30 PM Clark's Tae Kwon Do Demonstration
2: 00 PM Dr. Jenny Armstrong, Reflections Wellness Studio
2:15 PM Westshore Dance Studio
2:30 PM Vancity Presentation
3:00 PM Westshore Dance Studio
3:30 PM Music by April Reidie
4:00 PM Food For Thought Demonstration
4:30 PM Door Prizes
5:00 PM Top Dog Pizza Eating Contest
5:20 PM Music by Landen Shaw
5:30PM -6:30PM Commerce Mixer (Magic done by John Graham from Cobs Bread)
6:30PM -8:30PM Band Left Hook

SundayApril 1st:

11:00 AM Westshore Dance Studio
12:00PM Westshore Dance Studio
12:30 PM Clark's Tae Kwon Do Demonstration
1:00 PM Westshore Dance Studio
1:30 PM Stephen Johnson, Dwight International School

Raffi scores with new song on #hockey fun! #onhockeydays @Raffi_RC @HockeyCanada

“On Hockey Days”

For Immediate Release / March 30, 2012

Award-winning singer/songwriter Raffi has something brand new: a song celebrating hockey! A catchy toe-tapping tune, “On Hockey Days” comes from Raffi’s love of the sport and the fun of hockey outings.

This bright all-ages song in praise of hockey moms and dads who spend a good part of the winter with their girls and boys at the rink may be the first to celebrate grassroots hockey as a family experience.

“Hundreds of thousands of families are involved in amateur hockey—amateur means for the love of it,” Raffi says. “This song is about the fun of hockey, the winter game loved by young and old.”

“On Hockey Days” echoes the spirit of fun, safe and fair play in Respect In Sport, an online program already changing behaviour positively on and off the ice. “Music is our common language, and respect is our common goal,” says Co-Founder Wayne McNeil. “Thank you, Raffi, for such and upbeat and positive way of conveying the message!”

Hockey Canada is also delighted. “We love Raffi’s song – it’s a winner!” says CEO Bob Nicholson. “It helps remind everyone about respect in minor hockey. Congratulations Raffi for a catchy song with a great message!”

In recent months, Raffi has called for a ban on hockey violence: “I agree with hockey great Ken Dryden and Canada’s Governor General: fighting has no place in hockey. Hockey Canada and USA Hockey are set to ban fights, and that’s good news for kids and families.” Nonviolence is a key principle of the Covenant For Honouring Children that Raffi promotes in his current work with Centre For Child Honouring.

“On Hockey Days” —with its sing-along melody—is reminiscent of the Raffi classic, “Baby Beluga,” and his 1985 “Bowling Song” (for which he received an award from the Bowling Proprietors Association of America). Its country-pop sound was recorded in Calgary, Alberta, and features a dazzling guitar solo by guitar great Aaron Young.

Raffi’s second sports song and his first ever for hockey, “On Hockey Days” is now available on iTunes. (April 3 in USA). Proceeds will benefit Centre for Child Honouring.

To learn more, visit

The music video version of the song will be available on YouTube on April 1.

2012 B.C. Community Achievers Announced #bcpoli

March 30, 2012
Office of the Premier
B.C. Achievement Foundation

VANCOUVER - Premier Christy Clark and Keith Mitchell, chair of the British Columbia Achievement Foundation, today named this year's recipients of the B.C. Community Achievement Awards.

"I am pleased to recognize the outstanding contributions of this year's Community Achievement Awards recipients," said Premier Clark. "Charity begins at home, that's what I've always believed and I want to thank these remarkable British Columbians for giving their time, dedication and energy to make a positive difference in their communities and our province."

"The community achievement awards honour individuals who have made a significant contribution either as a volunteer or in the course of their work," said Mitchell. "Today's recipients contribute in many areas - health, education, multiculturalism, arts and culture, environment, philanthropy, and youth or seniors' leadership, among others."

The recipients of the 2012 awards are:

* Ron Antalek of Maple Ridge
* Dr. Roger H. Barnsley of Parksville
* Catherine Belleau of Alkali Lake
* Jerome Bouvier of Coquitlam
* Romi Chandra Herbert of Vancouver
* Michael Chiu of Richmond
* Russ & Ellen Cmolik of Surrey
* Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia & Sergio Cocchia of West Vancouver
* Dr. Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins of Victoria
* Ambo Dhaliwal of Kamloops
* David Dickson of Williams Lake
* Dr. Andrew Eisen of Vancouver
* Al Etmanski & Vickie Cammack of Surrey
* Joyce Fraser of Princeton
* Lorna Gibbs of Vancouver
* Anne Hebert of Trail
* Werner Heine of 100 Mile House
* Debra Hewson of West Vancouver
* Larry Jorgenson of Bella Bella
* David Sanghyuck Kim of Nanaimo
* Kelly Klein of North Vancouver
* Alan Markwart of Victoria
* Joe Martin of Tofino
* Mary McGhee of Harrison Mills
* Grace Nielsen of Nanaimo
* Virginia Russell of Prince George
* Glen Saunders of Prince Rupert
* Leonard Schein of Vancouver
* Trevis (Wes) Sissons of Quesnel
* Brad Skeats of Vancouver
* Daphne Solecki of Vancouver
* Donna Spencer of Vancouver
* Steve Wilson of West Vancouver
* Wolfgang Zimmermann of Port Alberni

An independent advisory council selects the recipients of the British Columbia Community Achievement Awards. This year's council members are Mayor Larry Cross of Sidney, Mayor Mary Sjostrom of Quesnel, and past recipients Marlene Grinnell of Langley (2006), Patrick Kelly of Victoria (2009) and Jane Frost of Vancouver(2006).

The recipients of the 2012 British Columbia Community Achievement Awards will be recognized in a formal presentation at Government House in Victoria on April 25, 2012. Each will receive a certificate and a medallion designed by B.C. artist Robert Davidson.

The British Columbia Community Achievement Awards are generously sponsored by Postmedia Network publishers of The Vancouver Sun and The Province.

The British Columbia Achievement Foundation is an independent foundation established and endowed by the Province of B.C. to celebrate excellence in the arts, humanities, enterprise and community service. Launched in 2003, the awards were the first initiative of the foundation, followed by the B.C. Creative Achievement Award for Applied Art and Design, B.C.'s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, the B.C. Creative Achievement Award for First Nations' Art, and the B.C. Aboriginal Business Awards.

PGT Releases Child and Youth Guardianship Services 2010/2011 Report

March 30, 2012
Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia

VANCOUVER – The Public Guardian Trustee of British Columbia (PGT) today released the third annual report on its child and youth Guardian of Estate services, detailing challenges and actions for improvements to Guardian of Estate services.

Continuing a commitment made by the PGT to report on Guardian of Estate services, the release of the Child and Youth Guardianship Services Report 2010/2011, describes the PGT’s role in BC’s child welfare system. As Guardian of Estate, the PGT is responsible for overseeing the legal and financial interests of children who have been placed in the custody of the Province.

“As the complexities of service delivery continue to evolve, the PGT remains committed to enabling the best outcomes for children in continuing care” said Catherine Romanko, Public Guardian and Trustee.

The report includes several actions for improvements to Guardian of Estate services such as continued collaboration with the Ministry of Children and Family Development and the Representative for Children and Youth to further improve the quality of critical incident reporting and the ongoing commitment of the PGT to continue to advocate for children under provincial alternative care arrangements who have no other party to protect their legal and financial interests.

“These children are unlikely to have a parent or private guardian who is able to act as Guardian of Estate and so the legal and financial interests of these children remain largely unattended.” said Romanko. “This gap in protective services available to vulnerable children in care continues to exist and must be addressed.”

The report also addresses other issues such as financial literacy support for children and youth in care and the related issue of the ongoing management of RDSPs and RESPs for these children.

The report examines 672 critical incident reports involving 487 children that were submitted to the PGT in 2010/11 and describes the type of incidents, persons alleged to have harmed the children and actions taken on their behalf.

City Encourages Community to Turn off Lights for EarthHour #yyj

Date: Friday, March 30, 2012
For Immediate Release

VICTORIA, BC — This Saturday evening, Victoria will join cities around the world to raise awareness about climate change and energy conservation. The City of Victoria is participating in Earth Hour, a global initiative organized by the World Wildlife Fund to demonstrate what is possible when individuals take action on global warming.

“For the fifth year in a row, the City of Victoria is a proud participant in Earth Hour,” said Mayor Dean Fortin. “I encourage the citizens of Victoria to turn off as many lights as safely possible at home and at work during Earth Hour to show the world how much we care.”

On Saturday, March 30, 2012 from 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., in addition to normal energy saving practices, staff will be turning off, or down, as many lights in municipal buildings as safely possible. As usual, staff will turn off any unnecessary lights as well as computers and monitors before leaving work for the weekend.

For information on what residents and businesses can do to take part in Earth Hour and to reduce their daily energy consumption, visit: or sign up to participate at

Community participation in Earth Hour is one step towards goal of reducing Victoria’s community-wide carbon footprint by 33% by 2020 (from 2007 levels) in accordance with Bill 27.

How You Can Participate in Earth Hour: Host a romantic candle-lit dinner or a Power-Down potluck challenging your guests to bring raw food delights, have a family or friends games night by candlelight or have a glow in the dark party.

Tips on Reducing Your Energy Use and Carbon Footprint: Walk more, ride a bike, unplug your unused appliances and your chargers when they are finished, wash your clothes in cold water and hang them to dry, install programmable thermostats, change out inefficient lighting, buy energy star appliances and compost, keeping organic waste out of the landfill.

The City of Victoria is also working towards the goal of becoming carbon neutral in our municipal operations by reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions through: smarter buildings, greening our fleet, using less energy in street and traffic lights, and reducing waste.

For more information about climate action in Victoria, visit

#Saanich Police launch new strategic plan #yyj @SaanichPolice

March 29, 2012

This afternoon, Saanich Police Chief Constable Mike Chadwick unveiled the new Saanich Police Strategic plan. The plan includes 15 key strategic priorities which will guide how the Saanich Police do business as we move forward in the coming years.

“We are very proud of the document you have before you. It represents a promise to the community that the Saanich Police will do all that is possible to ensure that those who live, work and play in Saanich can do so in safety,” says Chief Constable Mike Chadwick.

Read the 2012-2016 Saanich Police Strategic Plan:

2012-2016 Strategic Plan

Being released along with the strategic plan are the 2012 yearly initiatives. This year there are 106 initiatives undertaken by all the various divisions of the department. These initiatives, governed by the 15 key strategic priorities, will be supported with quarterly updates. The first update will be posted in April. Read the 2012 initiatives:

2012 Initiatives

The 2011 initiatives have been released with the updates as to the status of each initiative. Read the 2011 accomplishments:

2011 Accomplishments

All these documents will remain available on the web page under the ‘Public Information’ tab.

Application Deadline Approaching for Regional Deer Management Volunteers #yyj

Application Deadline Approaching for Regional Deer Management
Citizens Advisory Group Volunteers

March 26, 2012

The Capital Regional District (CRD) wants to hear from the public on deer management. The CRD is seeking additional representatives, in particular from the Westshore and Peninsula, for its Regional Deer Management Strategy Citizens Advisory Group. Members will prepare and recommend the management strategy options and action plan to address deer-human conflicts in the region. The Citizens Advisory Group will include representatives from Greater Victoria, including the Peninsula and West Shore, with at least three members from the commercial farming sector.

Interested parties are invited to review the Regional Deer Management Strategy and Citizens Advisory Group Terms of Reference and submit an application through the CRD website at:

The deadline for applications is Friday, March 30, 2012.

Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre wins Provincial Tourism Award @SLCCWhistler

Whistler, B.C. – The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) was recognized today by Aboriginal Tourism British Columbia (ATBC) as the recipient of the Cultural Centres and Attractions Award.

The First Nations museum, located in the spectacular mountain resort setting of Whistler, was honoured March 29 at the ATBC industry awards event held during the National Aboriginal Tourism Opportunities Conference at the Nk’Mip Resort in Osoyoos, B.C. The SLCC was recognized as the cultural/interpretive centre or attraction “committed to ensuring cultural authenticity in sharing their knowledge, histories, exhibits and traditions.” Nominees in the category included cultural centres, interpretive centres, galleries, museums and attractions.

“We greatly appreciate this recognition from Aboriginal Tourism BC,” said Casey Vanden Heuvel, SLCC Executive Director. “This award has been earned by our dedicated Guest Service Ambassadors who represent their Nations’ culture through their delivery of tours and sharing of their knowledge and local cultural traditions to the thousands of guests who visit us each year.”

The SLCC is a three-storey, 30,400-square foot complex located on a 1.76 hectare (4.35 acre) of forested land near Whistler and Blackcomb mountains in the Upper Village area of Whistler. The SLCC has established itself as a trademark Aboriginal cultural centre in British Columbia and has garnered significant media exposure since its opening in the summer of 2008. The SLCC has helped raise the awareness of aboriginal cultures and on a local level, has created meaningful employment opportunities for members of the First Nations’ communities. Through the work at the SLCC, and the representation of local First Nations’ peoples, cultural traditions have seen a revival. The SLCC continues to build upon its mission to inspire and educate guests about the depth and beauty of the distinct Skwxwu7mesh (Squamish) and Lil’wat7ul (Lil’wat) cultures.

Some of the highlights in 2010/ 2011 include:

• The addition of the Chief Mathias Joe pole, discovered on private property in the Lower Mainland and returned to the SLCC by the Jensen family. Currently on display at the SLCC
• The launch of the Squamish Nation photography exhibition (April 2011)
• National Aboriginal Day – Blessing of the Olympic Lightning Figure in Whistler Olympic Plaza (June 2011)
• Aboriginal Youth Ambassador Program celebrates 10-year anniversary (July 2011)
• The launch of the website, featuring a variety of work from local and regional artists for sale online. (August 2011)
• The addition of a second Chief Matthias Joe pole, also discovered and returned to the Squamish Nation. Currently on display at the SLCC
• The launch of the Weaving Wisdom exhibition and second pole blessing ceremony. (October 2011)
• SLCC winter gathering (December, 2011)

The SLCC was also the recipient of the National Cultural Tourism Award in 2010, presented by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada National Awards for Tourism Excellence.

Timber Hogs and Forest Kings opens April 14 in Cowichan @forestmuseum

COWICHAN –The BC Forest Discovery Centre is opening a new permanent exhibit this spring. The exhibit titled Timber Hogs and Forest Kings is a collection of chainsaws and falling equipment that illustrates the evolution of the equipment since the invention in the late 1930’s. The earliest Model on display is a 1936 Stihl.

“The evolution of the chainsaw has played a huge role in forest industry since the late 1930’s,” explained Vern Wellburn, Curator of the exhibit. “Canadian companies such as Industrial Engineering, Burnett Power Saws and Engineering and Canadien provided ingenious technology that eliminated the back-breaking work of cutting trees with handsaws.”

“This display also recognizes the many Vancouver Island loggers who experimented with and tested these new inventions,” says Wellburn, who, along with a dedicated group of volunteers spent the last year restoring the building and putting the exhibit together.

The official exhibit opening is schedule for Saturday, April 14th at 11 a.m. A ceremonial ribbon cutting with a twist, chainsaw carving, dragsaw demonstrations and a firewood auction are planned outdoor activities. Indoors, Mike Acres, chainsaw historian and collector will be sharing his enthusiasm for the saws as a highly utilitarian and collectable item.

The BC Forest Discovery Centre is a not for profit museum of forestry and logging history. Located on a 100 acre site the museum has both indoor and outdoor exhibits and artifacts. To find out more visit

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Single Lane Traffic: 970 Cloverdale Avenue March 29 #yyjtraffic

On Thursday, March 29, 2012 there will be single lane traffic at 970 Cloverdale Avenue. Work is scheduled to start at approximately 8:00 am and is expected to continue until 4:00 pm.

The westbound curb lane will be closed.

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

City Hall Construction Work Now Underway #yyj

Thursday, March 29, 2012
For Immediate Release

VICTORIA, BC – Planned construction to seismically upgrade the historic City Hall, upgrade the elevator to improve access to all areas of the building, and improve public service areas are now underway.

Acting on the recommendations in the City’s recently approved Economic Development Strategy, a new business centre will be introduced on the second floor, designed to improve information and services for businesses and developers doing business in the Capital City.

The work is expected to continue for approximately 12 months. All second floor City Hall functions will be moved to temporary locations while the work is being performed.

Impacts to the public include:

• A temporary Development Services and Permits and Inspections counter will be located across Centennial Square at 1689 Government Street (next to Starbucks in the CRD building)

• A temporary Engineering counter will be set up soon in the first floor foyer of City Hall at the Douglas Street entrance

• Access to City Hall will be limited to the Pandora Street and Centennial Square entrances

• Construction “hoarding” will be erected around large parts of City Hall

In an effort to minimize barriers to customers during this period of disruption, temporary “one hour free” parking spots will be created around City Hall, on Pandora Avenue between Douglas Street and the City Hall loading zone, as well as on Government Street, between the service access to the MacPherson Playhouse and Fisgard Street.

Residents are reminded that many services accessed at City Hall can be completed online at the recently redeveloped, including paying for and disputing parking tickets, paying utility bills, and accessing tender documents.

More information on City Hall construction can be found at

Relief measures take effect to help families buy new homes #bcpoli

March 29, 2012
Office of the Premier

BURNABY - British Columbia families buying a new home may take advantage of new housing relief measures that take effect on April 1, 2012.

"It's hard for young families to get ahead," said Premier Christy Clark. "We're helping them to do that by making the cost of new homes a little bit more affordable for young families just getting started, while at the same time protecting and creating stable jobs in the home construction industry."

Newly built homes purchased as a primary residence are eligible for a provincial rebate of 71.43 per cent of the provincial portion of the HST to a maximum amount. For new homes where the HST becomes payable on or after April 1, 2012, the maximum rebate amount will increase to $42,500. Before April 1, 2012, the maximum rebate amount was $26,250.

First-time homebuyers of newly built homes may also be eligible to receive the B.C. First-Time New Home Buyers' Bonus of up to $10,000.

"The $10,000 bonus for first time homebuyers will enable those buying

their first home to make that giant step," said Doug Wittal, president of the Canadian Home Builder's Association of B.C. and Kamloops builder. "Each new home built because of this bonus will create 3.8 person-years of employment and over $60,000 in spinoff spending, a true economic booster."

In addition, purchasers of newly constructed secondary vacation or recreational homes outside the Greater Vancouver and Capital regional districts may be eligible to claim a provincial grant of up to $42,500. The HST does not apply to resale housing.

The Province also announced the transition rules for returning to the PST. These can be found at the following website:

#RCMP Federal Commercial Crime Branch Assisting #VicPD Investigation into Fake Credit Cards #yyj @vicpdcanada

File # 12-9992
Date: Thursday, March 29, 2012

Victoria BC – The results of a VicPD search warrant executed at a Douglas Street hotel yielded a stash of drugs, stolen property, credit card skimmers, and other instruments used for falsifying credit cards.

The RCMP Federal Commercial Crime branch is assisting VicPD fraud investigators after police seized credit card skimming devices, tampered pin-pad devices, and fake identification in various stages of creation. VicPD executed the search warrant on Saturday at the Vacation Inn at 3020 Douglas Street.

Two people were arrested, a 29-year-old Victoria man and a 32-year-old Victoria woman, who were staying in the suite.

Geoffrey Agnew and Erin McCann face a range of charges, including possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of stolen property, breach of undertaking, possession of forged documents and possession of instruments to falsify credit cards.

Police also seized drugs, including crystal methamphetamine, heroin and ecstasy, an air soft rifle, and a wide range of stolen property, including cell phones, computers and hard drives, which were likely used to forge documents.

The two appeared in court on Monday and are schedule to make their next appearance today. Both are known to police.

Province launches Phase 2 of Integrated Case Management #bcpoli

March 29, 2012
Ministry of Social Development

VICTORIA - With the launch of Phase 2 of the Integrated Case Management (ICM) System on April 2, 2012, the Province is taking another important step in protecting and supporting B.C.'s most vulnerable citizens, said Minister of Social Development Stephanie Cadieux.

ICM is a modernized system that is needed to support critical social services, including child-protection services, child-care subsidies, income and disability assistance and the Employment Program of BC, that are vital to thousands of British Columbians.

This long-overdue technical upgrade will ensure that critical case information is safe, secure and accessible, thus protecting and supporting people's privacy. Using the upgraded system, staff will be better able to appropriately share and protect information and manage individual case files between ministries, which will result in better, faster service for individuals and families.

ICM is being implemented in five phases. Phase 1 of ICM was implemented in November 2010. Phase 2, which has been under development since then, is now ready to launch - on time and on budget.

Introducing Phase 2 requires a temporary suspension of existing information systems. As a result, all Ministry of Social Development employment and income assistance offices will be closed on Friday, March 30, 2012. Regular phone service and online application services (via the Self-Serve Assessment and Application) will also be unavailable.

Anyone with urgent needs, who cannot wait until offices reopen on Monday April 2, should contact Service BC at:

* Victoria: 250 387-6121
* Vancouver: 604 660-2421
* Elsewhere in BC: 1 800 663-7867

These numbers are also posted on the Ministry of Social Development's website at:

Implementation is expected to be successfully completed before ministry offices reopen on the morning of Monday, April 2. Ministry of Children and Family Development offices will maintain their regular hours of operation.

ICM is a partnership between the ministries of Social Development, Children and Family Development, and Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government.

For more information on ICM or to view an online demonstration of the system, please visit:

Profs Slam Government Over Bill 18

VANCOUVER – Legislative changes described by the provincial government as "good governance" have been slammed by the province's university professors as undermining democratic principles and stifling dissent.

"It doesn't matter how many times Advanced Education Minister Yamamoto says Bill 18 is about good governance, it doesn't make it true," said Robert Clift, Executive Director of the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC (CUFA BC). "Bill 18 is squarely aimed at bullying and intimidating the professors, students and staff members who serve on university and college boards of governors."

The professors' organization has been critical of Bill 18 since it was introduced last November. However, it attempted to work with the Ministry of Advanced Education to find ways to accomplish government's goals while preserving democratic principles and the tradition of shared university governance.

"We identified the weaknesses in the legislation and offered the government 'win-win' solutions," Clift explained. "But the government has instead chosen confrontation by proposing token amendments that are plainly insulting."

Bill 18 gives university and colleges boards of governors the ability to recommend the removal of a member of the board. The procedure is open to abuse since it effectively gives the power to the government appointees to oust elected students, professors and staff who don't toe the official line of the university or college.

"Bullying of students, professors and staff on boards of governors is nothing new," Clift said. "But it has been held in check by the fact that the elected board members were accountable to their constituents, not the government appointees."

"Bill 18 changes the rules of the game by giving the power to the government appointees to define what is in the best interests of the institution," Clift continued. "Under Bill 18, any elected board member who dissents from this party line can be given the boot without being given a fair hearing and with no right of appeal."

Government claims that it is proactively trying to prevent conflicts of interest. That explanation doesn't hold water according to the professors' group.

"Bill 18 focuses on potential conflicts of interest of professors and staff who, at most, comprise 20% of governing boards," Clift said. "The legislation does nothing to prevent conflicts of interest for the other 80% of board members."

"Moreover, it still remains possible for a senior university manager to get elected to a university board of governors as a faculty or staff representative, but then simply parrot the views of the president and vice presidents," Clift added. "If that's not a conflict of interest, I don't know what is."

The professors' organization vows to keep fighting Bill 18 even if it becomes law.

"Were not going to let government bully elected student, professor and staff representatives on boards of governors," Clift said. "We will support them and we will assemble dossiers on the government appointees in order to start rooting out their potential conflicts of interest."

"There is still time for government to defuse this situation," Clift added. "We hope that they will do so and revisit the 'win-win' solutions we proposed."

CUFA BC represents 4,600 university professors, instructors, academic librarians and other academic staff at UBC (Vancouver and Kelowna campuses), SFU (Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey campuses), UVic, UNBC (Prince George, Terrace, Fort St. John and Quesnel campuses) and Royal Roads University.

#UVic Responds to Privacy Commissioner's Report #yyj #bcpoli

The University of Victoria has reviewed the investigation report into the January 2012 privacy breach at the university which was released today by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of BC (OIPC) and accepts its findings and recommendations, says UVic President David Turpin.

“We appreciate the commissioner’s thorough and thoughtful report and recognize that it identifies areas in which the university can improve the protection of personal information,” says Turpin. “We will be implementing the commissioner’s recommendations and, in fact, in a number of areas we are already taking significant steps.”

Measures already taken or underway include:

• the B-wing of the Administrative Services Building containing Financial Services has been alarmed, and an assessment of the storage of personal information in other buildings and the adequacy of the physical security of those buildings has been initiated;

• technical safeguards are being put in place, encryption has been mandated for all new university computers, including laptops, and encryption standards are being developed for existing devices;

• policies, procedures and practices around personal information are being reviewed; tools are being developed to identify where personal data are being stored and assess the risk; and awareness and training programs will be enhanced.

As a result of the OIPC recommendations, the university has committed to reviewing its privacy and security policies every three years to ensure they stay up to date with technological developments and will establish an annual cycle of risk assessments on personal information data banks on campus with reporting to the president.

President Turpin has also commissioned an external review examining the security of sensitive personal information at the University of Victoria, carried out by Dr. David Flaherty, an internationally-recognized expert in privacy issues.

“We are expecting Dr. Flaherty’s report later this spring,” says Turpin, “and will no doubt be taking further action following his recommendations.”

“I would like to thank the OIPC again for its prompt and helpful recommendations and would also like to acknowledge again the hard work of our university community in mounting the response as well as the patience and support of all those affected,” says Turpin.

To date, there have been no confirmed cases of fraud or identity theft linked to the university privacy breach.

See also:

#UVic failed to protect personal information in privacy breach #bcpoli

Mar. 29, 2012
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia

VICTORIA - The University of Victoria failed to protect personal information as required by law in a significant privacy breach earlier this year, says a report released today by B.C.'s Information and Privacy Commissioner.

Commissioner Elizabeth Denham launched an investigation when a USB flash drive containing the names, SIN numbers and banking information of nearly 12,000 current and former University employees was stolen in January. The device has not been recovered. Police continue to investigate.

"This is a significant privacy breach affecting thousands of British Columbians. Since our investigation was launched, my office has heard from current and former University employees, who are deeply worried about their exposure to bank fraud, identity theft and other harms.

"What is very unfortunate is that this privacy breach was both foreseeable and preventable. Instead of a simple theft of a mobile device, the incident resulted in enormous costs and stress for those affected and for the University," said Denham.

While the University has established privacy and security policies in recent years, the institution failed to implement reasonable safeguards to protect data stored on the USB drive. Such safeguards are a legal requirement under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

"Encryption is the minimum standard for devices like laptops and USB drives. The University was aware of their obligation to safeguard sensitive personal information using a range of protective measures including readily available and widely used encryption solutions." Denham said.

The investigation also assessed the University's response to the privacy breach, and found that the University had satisfied its legal obligations under B.C. privacy law.

"The University took immediate steps to contain the breach following the discovery of the loss of employees' personal information. They quickly recognized the significant risk to employees, notified affected individuals and are developing short and long-term strategies to prevent this from happening again," said Denham.

The commissioner made ten findings and five recommendations. Three of the recommendations are aimed at improving the University's privacy management program.

Summary of recommendations

1. The University of Victoria should formally review their privacy and security policies at a minimum of every three years.

2. The University should re-assess the physical security of the Financial Services area to determine whether it is necessary to alarm the entire building, and to assess other buildings on campus where personal information is stored.

3. The University should develop a comprehensive policy, procedure, training and technical solution to ensure that personal information stored on laptops and other mobile security devices is protected as required by Section 30 of FIPPA. This policy and training program should include issues of data limitation, encryption, appropriate password maintenance, physical security, wireless security and proper disposal.

4. The University should develop a policy that requires the privacy manager to conduct risk assessments of personal information data banks on an annual basis and report to the University President on the result of these assessments.

5. The University should provide a copy of the report of the external consultant to my office for review and comment prior to its finalization.

See Also

Dining Out For Life March 29 #yyjevents @DineOut4Life @AIDSVanIsle #DiningOutForLife

March 29, 2011

On Thursday, March 29th, thousands of islanders will fill their plates to fight AIDS. 65 restaurants will donate 25% of your food bill to AIDS Vancouver Island.

Invite your friends, colleagues and family to join you to dine out and fight aids for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner!

Diners will have the chance to win a luxury cruise for two courtesy of Expedia CruiseShipCenters (Vancouver Island) and Azamara Club Cruises. As well, Stella Artois will donate $1 from every sale of their beer in participating restaurants on March 29th.

Facebook event:

Twitter: @AIDSVanIsle #DiningOutForLife

Victoria Rock for Tibet March 31 in #yyj #uvic #music @CanadaTibetComm

A series of benefit concerts for the Tibetan Resettlement Project. Sunrise and Good People starts the tour off in BC on March 28th in Vancouver and on March 31st at the Felicita's Pub in Victoria.

Saturday, March 31st

Doors open at 8:00 PM
Felicita's Campus pub
Student Union Building, University of Victoria

Tickets: $10 at door; students $5; $25 advance tickets come with
the CD “Rise Up”, by Sunrise and Good People

Proceeds from the concert tour will be donated to the Tibetan Resettlement Project, an initiative to resettle to Canada up to 1000 displaced Tibetans who reside in Arunachal Pradesh, a remote state in the far North East corner of India.

For information on Project Tibet Society and the Tibetan Resettlement Project:

VISL: The Stage Is Set #yyjsports #soccer @VISLinfo

Mar. 31 – April 1: Battle at RAP (Victoria, BC)
By Mark deFrias, VISL Director

Just eight weeks after the first kick of the Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) Cup tournaments, the stage is now set for a dramatic weekend of soccer at Royal Athletic Park. A weekend that will very much define a teams success or failure in the past season.

After the past weekend's semi-finals, the VISL organizers are now able to announce the complete list of participants. 8 teams in total, representing 5 clubs, and including 1 derby match. It should make for an exception soccer weekend in Victoria.

"The cream of the crop has risen to the top and these games on the weekend will be a great reflection of the season so far," stated VISL President Vince Greco. "If you look at the teams competing in the finals and their final league standings, we are in for some fantastic soccer that will be exciting to watch to even the average sports fan."

Tickets can be purchased at Royal Athletic Park for $3. Proceeds from the weekend finals will support those participating teams as they travel to represent Vancouver Island in the Provincial Cup. For more details visit

George Smith U21 Cup – March 31, 2012 (Noon)
Nanaimo United vs. Bays United Gunners
Competition: Teams compete from the U-21 Division

George Pearkes Challenge Cup – March 31, 2012 (3 PM) -
Cordova Bay Bobcats (Division 3A) vs. Gordon Head Active Earth Eng. (Division 3B)
Competition: Teams compete from Division 3 & Division 4

Note: Derby match between two clubs which are both a part of the newly formed Saanich Fusion.

Tony Grover Cup – April 1, 2012 (Noon)
Gorge FC vs. UVic Alumni
Competition: Masters Division

Note: Both teams in final compete in the Masters A division

Jackson Cup – April 1, 2012 (3 PM)
Bays United vs. Cowichan FC
Competition: Teams compete from Division 1 & Division 2

Note: Both teams in finals compete in Division 1

#Esquimalt Switches Off For #EarthHour #yyj

Earth Hour

On Saturday, March 31, 2012 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., take a stand against climate change by turning off your lights and any unnecessary equipment.

Earth Hour is an annual global event organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and supported provincially by BC Hydro. Earth Hour brings attention to the issue of climate change by asking individuals, businesses and governments to turn off their lights and unnecessary equipment for an hour. It began in 2007 in Sydney, Australia and in 2008 became a global sustainability movement.

In 2011, millions of people in more than 135 countries participated in the symbolic event. In Esquimalt alone, the community’s electricity consumption decreased by 2.25% during the hour long event.

What you can do:

1) Sign-up for Earth Hour! Let us add your voice to a collective of Canadians who want real solutions to climate change. Your voice will strengthen our voice as we engage business and policy leaders in implementing real change.

2) Show your love for the planet! Promote Earth Hour to your family, friends and colleagues. We need your help to get as many people on board as possible this year.

3) Go the extra mile! Put up and distribute posters and Earth Hour reminders around your community.

4) Go green with your energy choices! Learn what else can be done for the other 364 days of the year to help eliminate climate change, visit us at

For more information and tips on how you can participate in Earth Hour, please visit

Strike Force Seizes Drugs from Downtown Condo #yyj @Vicpdcanada

File # 12-10470
Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Victoria BC – VicPD’s Strike Force unit seized over $20,000 worth of crack cocaine and heroin from a downtown condo this afternoon and two people were arrested.

The Emergency Response Team executed the search warrant today just before 1 p.m. in the 700-block of Johnson Street. Police found a large amount of crack cocaine and heroin, in addition to $13,000 cash.

VicPD arrested a 31-year-old Victoria man and a 25-year-old Victoria woman. Police state that both were actively selling drugs in downtown Victoria and using their Johnson Street condominium as their base of operations.

“The targets in this investigation were trying to establish themselves as suppliers to the downtown core,” said Strike Force officer Jeff Lawson. “VicPD was able to execute this investigation quickly and put an end to their criminal behaviour.”

The woman has been released on a promise to appear for May 9th, while the man has been held in custody and will appear in court tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Capital Regional District Board Approves 2012 Financial Plan #yyj

Victoria, BC – The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board today approved its 2012 Financial Plan. The plan reaffirms the CRD’s commitment to serving public interest and building a liveable, sustainable region, while continuing to demonstrate prudent fiscal management during a time of transition and ongoing economic recovery.

The 2012 Financial Plan is principally a ‘hold the line’ budget with provisions for previously approved Board strategic priorities. The plan was developed within the following Board approved guidelines:

• No increase in service levels for existing services

• New services only as approved by the Board

• Staff continue to explore innovative practices to absorb inflationary costs, benefits and utility/fuel costs within existing budgets, as much as possible

• The plan includes a 1% increase in core service costs, despite salary and utility increases

• The draft budget recognizes provisions for new initiatives directly related to the Board’s strategic priorities.

The shared municipal and Electoral Area services increase in taxes is 2.55%, of which 1.44 % relates to Board approved strategic initiatives. Approved initiatives include: the continuation of the successful Regional Parks Land Acquisition Fund; Regional Transportation, including the development of a Regional Transportation Plan; updating the Regional Sustainability Strategy priorities, which will define where growth and development should happen in the region; development of the Regional Strategic Plan and Regional Deer Management.

The CRD is committed to open communications on major projects and will continue to be diligent in seeking opportunities for input from our stakeholders on regional issues. Funding has been set aside to consult with the public on a number of projects including the development of an Integrated Sold Waster Resource Management Plan and updating the Regional Sustainability Strategy priorities.

Funding has also been allotted to the development of a long-term vision for resource recovery and use in the region. The plan will address the CRD’s long-term goal of having a series of distinct energy systems along major residential water and sewer trunks that capture available thermal heat and displace use of natural gas in public buildings and facilities across the Capital Region.

Work also continues towards the implementation of a comprehensive kitchen scraps diversion strategy, aimed at extending the finite lifespan of Hartland Landfill.

“The strategic priorities identified in the 2012 Financial Plan were established as part of a collaborative decision making process that saw the CRD Board consulting and agreeing on future direction, while respecting local autonomy,” said CRD Board Chair Geoff Young.

“This working year we will continue to focus on ensuring that CRD policies and programs are delivered as efficiently and cost effectively as possible,” said CRD Vice Chair Hill, Chair of the CRD Finance Committee. Spearheading the fiscal review from the staff side is CRD Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Daniels, who will work with Chair Hill to promote fiscally responsible service delivery, while ensuring performance and value for money.

The overall increase in the CRD requisition of 3.4 % also includes improved local administration for Salt Spring Island and increased investment in electoral area infrastructure.

On the Hospital District side, the long range Financial Plan projected a 7.5% increase for 2012. This essential hospital requisition increase has been reduced to 2%.

Energy and Water Efficiency Act introduced #bcpoli

March 28, 2012
Ministry of Energy and Mines

VICTORIA - The Province today introduced Bill 32, the Energy and Water Efficiency Act, to help reduce consumers' energy bills and lower operating costs for B.C. businesses. The legislation replaces the Energy Efficiency Act and provides:

* Improved Standards: The bill expands the types of products to which energy-performance requirements can be applied. Standards are currently in place for electronics and some building components, like windows. With these changes, the provincial government will be able to enact guidelines for water products such as toilets and faucets, as well as energy systems like compressed-air and water-heating systems.

* Streamlined Enforcement: Administrative penalties will be put in place by regulation. These penalties will help to ensure manufacturers, distributors and retailers comply with energy-efficiency guidelines. As a result, British Columbians will be assured that products meet these requirements and help control and reduce energy costs.

* Better Energy Performance: Industrial energy consumption accounts for about 42 per cent of B.C.'s energy use. The bill will enable industry to compare energy-performance standards that can be used to drive cost savings. As a result of this change, it is anticipated large energy consumers in B.C., such as pulp-and-paper producers and mining companies, can lower their energy consumption by 10 to 20 per cent over five years.

The Province has consulted broadly on these changes. More than 40 organizations and 60 individuals representing large industrial energy consumers, utilities, governments, public interest advocates and academia participated and provided valuable input.

HPR Youth Triathlon Info Session April 7 #yyj

Human Powered Racing announces a new youth triathlon program in Victoria affiliated with our well-known and respected adult club. The youth club is open to boys and girls aged eight to sixteen who are interested in the sport of triathlon. It is open to everyone from first time triathletes looking for fun and encouragement to competitive athletes looking for expert coaching and a motivating training environment. All of our coaches are NCCP and Triathlon BC certified to work with young athletes.

The foundations of our program are based on fun, safety, respect, and personal achievement in a supportive team atmosphere. We believe that triathlon not only develops swimming, cycling, and running skills, but teaches life lessons in commitment, dedication, and healthy living. Our goal as coaches is to deliver these lessons in a safe, fun, and supportive environment.

There are two options available to join the club. The first option is a full membership that includes swim, bike and run coaching with the club. This option includes seven work-outs per week and is suitable for athletes who are not currently in a swim program. The second option is a bike and run only option with five work-outs per week for athletes who currently do swim with a club.

There is an information session for Athletes and Parents at 3 pm on April 7th, 2012 in the Community Room and Victoria Police station. This information session will give you a chance to meet some of our coaches, ask questions, and to hear more about our program and philosophy.

For further information please contact Rob at

Keep your credit cards safe from #fraud

March 28, 2012
Ministry of Justice
Consumer Protection BC

VICTORIA - Credit cards make our lives convenient, but fraudulent charges can be racked up if you do not use your credit card safely.

March is Fraud Prevention Month and the Province is teaming up with Consumer Protection BC to help you keep your credit cards safe from fraudulent activity.

This is one way that consumers can be tricked: Donald gets an email from what looks like his bank. It says he has an overdue payment on his credit card. He clicks on the email and a website opens up that seems to be legitimate. It asks for his name, address and credit card number. He is worried about his overdue bill, so he enters his personal information. Donald has just been scammed and his credit card information could be used fraudulently.

Here are some tips to help you keep your credit card safe from frauds and scams:

* Be safe with your credit card online. Do not click on email links from anyone pretending to be your bank, credit card company, or any other business - even if the email looks legitimate. These links are often 'phishing' scams and want to trick you into entering your login information on their fake website. Enter your credit card number only on secure websites that you are sure are 100 per cent legitimate. Be careful of what information data you share over Wi-Fi - especially your online banking.

* Keep your credit cards secure. Always confirm you have your credit card back in your possession before you leave a store or restaurant. Decrease your chances of credit card skimming at restaurants by paying at the terminal rather than giving your credit card to a server for processing. Do not sign blank credit card receipts.

* Shred, Shred, Shred! Shred anything with your credit card number on it. If you make a credit card purchase at a store or restaurant that keeps a copy of the receipt, be sure to scratch out your credit card number with a pen.

* Avoid giving out your credit card information. Only give out your credit card number or other sensitive information to your bank or financial institution when you have initiated the call using the number on the back of your card. Do not return calls to a phone number left on your answering machine and do not give your credit card number to anyone who calls you requesting the number.

* Report suspicious activity immediately. The sooner you report your missing or stolen card, the less likely fraudulent charges will be made on your card. Most credit card companies have 24-hour service for this reason. Always report credit card fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by visiting their website at or calling 1 888 495-8501.

* Review your billing statements each month. This is the best way to ensure that you notice strange charges and report them right away. Contact your credit card company to inquire about any strange transactions or incorrect charges.

March is Fraud Prevention Month - know your rights!

If you have questions about your rights and responsibilities as a consumer in British Columbia, please contact Consumer Protection BC toll free at 1 888 564-9963, or visit:

April Fools hijinks at the Royal BC Museum @RoyalBCMuseum #yyj #museumfool

Victoria – Unusual objects will be in odd places at the Royal BC Museum from Friday March 30 to Sunday April 1 in honour of April Fool’s Day. Pizza boxes in the old-fashioned parlour? Tiny flags next to the Grizzly Bear? Some items are obviously out of place, but others will be much harder to figure out. Test your observation skills with this scavenger hunt, included with museum admission or membership. Foolish fun locations will be mapped on a form available from the museum box office, or look for markers in the style of a jester’s hat. Having trouble finding a particular out-of-place item? Just send a tweet with your question to @RoyalBCMuseum #museumfool.

The popular April Fools Scavenger Hunt is not the only reason to visit the Royal BC Museum this weekend. This is one of the last weeks to visit Wildlife Photographer of the Year; the stunning feature exhibition from London’s Natural History Museum ends April 9. The wonders of nature – plants, animals and wild places – are captured through the lenses of prize-winning photographers from around the world. This exhibition showcases the best 108 photographs, chosen from more than 40,000 entries and 95 countries, in the annual competition organized by London’s Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine.

About the Royal BC Museum

As the provincial museum and archives, the Royal BC Museum preserves and shares the stories of British Columbia – on-site, off-site and online – through its research, collections, exhibitions, publications and educational programs. Its two-hectare cultural precinct in Victoria also includes a number of historically significant buildings and First Nations sites; and its seasonal satellite museum gallery in Vancouver showcases BC’s history in one of the oldest buildings in Chinatown – Wing Sang. For more information about the Royal BC Museum, visit or call 1-888-447-7977.

Brian Richmond Returns to Persephone @Blue_Bridge

Founder of Persephone Theatre and Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre returns to Saskatoon to direct while Victoria theatre launches its First Annual Membership Campaign

VICTORIA, B.C.: As the cherry blossoms fall in Victoria and the prairie crocus starts to push its way up through the soil in Saskatoon, the arrival of Spring 2012 will mark the beginning of a very special month for Canadian theatre director Brian Richmond. On April 20 he will open his fifth production of Maynard Collins hit Canadian musical Hank Williams – the show he never gave at Saskatoon’s Persephone Theatre (a 37 year old company which he both co-founded and for which he served as its first Artistic Director). He will then fly back out to Victoria to launch the fourth season of Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre - a company he founded in 2008 and where he is the Producing Artistic Director.

Hank Williams will mark the first time Richmond will direct at Persephone since the mid 1970’s. When the company’s current Artistic Director Del Surjic offered him the opportunity he immediately jumped at the chance. “There are very few moments in life which you immediately recognize as having great symbolic importance for you, but when Del offered me this opportunity I knew this was one of them.” said Richmond. “Persephone was the first major theatre initiative I undertook” said the veteran artistic director, who, in his forty-five career has led five major theatre companies across Canada as well as heading the Department of Theatre at the University of Victoria from 2001-08. “Persephone was conceived in what I would describe as the ‘angry young man’ phase of my life (although the Greek goddess he named the company after symbolizes a much gentler idea – i.e. renewal and the constant cycle of change that the shift from spring to summer to fall to winter holds for us); whereas, Blue Bridge has arisen in my more ‘mellow’ years. For me, this will be an opportunity to tie these two periods of my life and career together.”

And what is it that causes him to start these, always difficult, non-profit ventures even when faced with the added challenge doing so when the societies around them are experiencing a deep stage of recession? “I have been thinking a lot about this recently. I think that the roots of my desire to build companies from the ground up lies in the fact that my first childhood work experiences were spent with my carpenter step-father, Julian Grill, and my three brothers. I spent my early years in the late 1950’s and early 60’s helping them build houses in the areas surrounding my home city of Vancouver. There was something that was simply so pleasurable about walking onto a vacant piece of land and then, several months later, seeing a finished house that could be inhabited by a family. I took so many lessons and have so many memories of this phase in my life that I have applied to all my work in the theatre.”

What is one of these lessons? “Well, for me this is best described by recounting my memory of my first encounters with one of major popular music sensations in the late 1950’s - American songwriter Harry Belafonte.” (Belafonte is best known for introducing the sounds of Jamaican based Calypso music into the North American popular music mainstream.) “I remember one summer where we were pouring the cement for the foundation for a new house. With our ever-present transistor radio playing full blast Belafonte’s lyrics to his hit song Hossanna rung out and told us that a “House built on a weak foundation will not stand - Oh no.”; whereas a “House built on a rock foundation , it will stand- Oh yes.” It was the perfect reminder of the task we had at hand and made our work day easier.”

Certainly the lesson on the necessity of a strong foundation seems to have been applied in the case of Persephone Theatre. Although Richmond only stayed with the theatre for its first two seasons, Persephone has gone on to become one of Saskatchewan’s largest cultural institutions (primarily due to the efforts of Richmond’s several successors - especially those of the late Tibor Feheregazi, Richmond is quick to add.)

And what is the central ingredient in the strong foundation that he hopes to build for his newest venture Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre? “The audience.” says Richmond. “This is the key to success for all successful performing arts organizations. A theatre which is in touch with its audience will both thrive and survive – while a theatre which loses connection to its audience loses its connection to itself.”

To keep Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre in contact with ‘itself’, Richmond, the staff and Board of Directors, have just announced the launch of its First Annual Membership Campaign. Offering donors (largely drawn from its growing audience base) a wide range of benefits which ensures their participation and involvement in the day-to-day affairs of this dynamic three year old company, this new campaign invites participation from all levels of the community. “And that’s the key to building a successful arts organization’ Richmond added ‘- to always remember that it is not mine, nor yours, but ours. Connection and a commitment to a sense of community ownership – these are the key ingredients.”

Local Leaders More Confident about Local Economy #yyj

March 27, 2012 – The Conference Board of Canada released its spring 2012 forecast today, but local conditions should provide stronger than forecasted outcomes. The report doesn’t highlight our strong Technology Sector, significant growth in the Marine sector or continued positive performance in the Education sector. The growth in these sectors will likely outpace the forecasts in the report.

The Conference Board reports GDP growth of 1.4% in 2011 and forecasts growth of 1.6% in 2012. The report relies heavily upon residential construction numbers for that growth and recent changes to HST rules have reopened the new home construction sector.

“The continued growth in the Technology, Marine and Education sectors supported by stability in Tourism and Government work should result in exceeding the Conference Board’s forecast” said Mike Weston, chair of The Greater Victoria Development Agency and founder of Cube Global Storage. “We are very encouraged to see the Conference Board project economic growth accompanied by an increase in both employment and personal income levels for the next few years, and I am confident it will be better than they anticipated.”

The Greater Victoria Development Agency (GVDA) is an industry-led organization representing the major industries and academic stakeholders of the region. The GVDA seeks to ensure that Greater Victoria remains a vibrant place to live, work and invest. An important mandate of the Greater Victoria Development Agency is to further strengthen economic conditions throughout our region by encouraging new investment and business from across North America and around the world.

New Report Aims to Beat Kinder Morgan to the Punch: Wilderness Committee

For Immediate Release - March 28, 2012

VANCOUVER - “Ever since they took control of the Transmountain Pipeline and Westridge Terminal in 2005 Kinder Morgan has worked to quietly increase tar sands oil exports through their pipeline and onto to tankers in Vancouver Harbour” said Ben West, Healthy Community Campaigner with the Wilderness Committee. “Now that they are set to announce their plans to twin their pipeline we have decided to beat Kinder Morgan to the punch with our own report on the impacts of this expansion,” said West.

The Wilderness Committee has published a new report entitled ‘Do You Want To Help Stop An Oil Spill?’ (the full report is available here).

This report explores the Kinder Morgan proposal in the context of the high profile fights against the Keystone XL Pipeline, and the Enbridge Pipeline as well as other tar sands export proposals.

Kinder Morgan has publicly stated that by the end of March they will apply to the National Energy Board (NEB) of Canada to expand their Trans Mountain pipeline that runs from the Alberta tar sands to the Burnaby Westridge terminal on Burrard Inlet. This proposal would see the pipeline’s capacity increase from 300,000 barrels of oil/day to as much as 700,000 barrels/day. This would mean a potential increase from 22 tankers in Burrard Inlet when Kinder Morgan bought the pipeline, to 280 tankers if their plan is allowed to proceed.

"The export crude oil from the Alberta tar sands via new pipelines and oil tankers is meeting a rising wave of public opposition,” said West. On Monday, nearly 2,000 people join a daytime rally in downtown Vancouver against tar sands pipelines and tankers.

"Both of these pipeline proposals in BC are all about exporting crude oil from the tar sands, which means billions of dollars for Big Oil executives and unacceptable risks for our coast that no amount of money could replace" said West.

"Ultimately these pipelines would undermine our responsibilities to the global community to do what we can to stop global warming, and this alone should trump all other considerations,” said West.

Although an aggressive public relations effort is under way with the explicit support of Prime Minister Harper and his Ministers opposition to more pipelines and tankers off the BC coast is stronger than ever. Public opinion polls of residents in the vaccinates of the proposed pipelines have shown that a majority of residents oppose both of these proposals.

Over 130 First Nations chiefs have signed the historic Save the Fraser Declaration making it clear that they will not allow tar sands exports through their territory.

“There’s a unbroken wall of opposition to these oil pipeline and tanker schemes, and nothing is going to be able to change that,” said West. "We published this new report as an organizing tool for the thousands of Canadians opposed to these projects. It doesn't matter which pipeline proposal we face, we will not allow these projects to proceed" said West.

#UVic Report urges a coordinated approach to renewable energy development #yyj @PICSCanada

Mar. 28, 2012

Impending expansion of renewable energy projects in BC will require a concerted effort by the province to protect both ecosystems and public interests, according to a report from the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS).

In the PICS White Paper—Scaling-Up Renewable Electricity in BC: Tackling the Institutional and Political Challenges—co-authors Mark Jaccard, Noel Melton and John Nyboer warn that a major challenge faces the province. They examine the implications of BC’s goal to meet 93 per cent of future electricity demands from clean energy sources in order to mitigate climate change, a decision that will result in a rapid scale-up of renewable projects throughout the province, including multiple hydro initiatives.

The key decision facing the province is whether to combine a rapid increase in small-scale, run-of-river (RoR) projects with the concurrent development of the Site C megaproject, or to pursue an even more rapid scale-up of RoRs without Site C – the latter option of which will likely result in more significant cumulative effects.

“There’s a lot of inconsistency in the way costs and benefits of renewable projects are distributed,” states lead author Jaccard. “Decisions about how and where to site multiple hydro initiatives will be difficult, and choices controversial. No matter what, there will be individuals and interest groups who will be unhappy with the social or environmental implications of a given project or series of projects.”

However, Jaccard states, there will also be opportunities for BC to show leadership in establishing institutional arrangements and decision-making processes that could become models for other jurisdictions that face similar challenges as they scale-up their renewable energy sectors. “Policy-makers need to look at the big picture to meet the province’s goal of mitigating climate change and minimize harm to the BC environment.”

The report makes three recommendations:

1. Assess the cumulative effects of renewable electricity generation in BC, particularly run-of-river.

2. Develop a coordinated and integrated approach to environmental assessment and electricity planning and regulation in the province.

3. Communicate to the BC public about the related challenges of mitigating climate change and the effects of renewable electricity development.

The full report can be read at PICS is a collaboration of BC’s four-research intensive universities, and is hosted and led by the University of Victoria.

Victoria Book Prize Awards Call for Entries #yyj @Cityofvictoria

Call for Entries to Annual Victoria Book Prize Awards

Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2012
For Immediate Release

VICTORIA, BC – Authors and illustrators from Greater Victoria are invited to participate in the Victoria Book Prize Society’s annual awards consisting of the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize and the Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize.

In its ninth year, the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize honours members of the literary community. The $5,000 prize is awarded to a local author for the best book published in the preceding year in the categories of poetry, non-fiction and fiction. Established in 2004, the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize is a partnership between the City of Victoria and Brian Butler of Butler Brothers Supplies.

“We are pleased to continue our commitment to supporting arts and culture in the community,” said Mayor Dean Fortin. “For the ninth year, the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize will honour literary achievement and showcase the incredibly talented authors who contribute to our great city.”

The $5,000 Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize will be awarded to an author or illustrator of children’s literature. The prize was created in 2008 by Mel Bolen of Bolen Books to provide authors of children’s and youth literature an increased opportunity for recognition.

“The 2012 gala celebrating local writers and illustrators will take place, Wednesday, October 17th at the Union Club. We are looking forward to another wonderfully entertaining evening which showcases our wide range of talented writers,” said Lorna MacDonald, President of the Victoria Book Prize Society. "Our community is very fortunate to have so much talent and a supportive, appreciative audience.”

Books must have been published between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012 to be considered. Submissions can be made to the Victoria Book Prize Society, c/o Target Storage Ltd., #15 – 747 Princess Avenue, Victoria, BC V8T 1K5 between April 1 and May 31, 2012. Submissions may be delivered in person from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

The Society will appoint two independent juries comprised of representatives from the literary arts community to review and assess adult and children’s literature entries based on their literary merit.

Shortlisted nominees for both prizes will be announced in September, and authors will be showcased at a public reading and reception held at the Union Club of British Columbia on Wednesday, October 17, 2012.

This year’s awards competition and gala are sponsored by the City of Victoria, Brian Butler of Butler Brothers Supplies, Bolen Books, the Union Club of British Columbia, the Magnolia Hotel and Spa, the Marriott Hotel, CBC Radio, Island Blue Print and the Greater Victoria Public Library. The Victoria Book Prize Society establishes the policy and criteria for the prizes, appoints the juries and administers the competitions.

Previous City of Victoria Butler Book Prize winners include Kevin Patterson for Country of Cold in 2004, Terrence Young for After Goodlake’s in 2005, Mark Zuehlke for Holding Juno in 2006, Bill Gaston for Gargoyles in 2007, Arleen Paré for Paper Trail in 2008, Patrick Lane for Red Dog, Red Dog in 2009, Frances Backhouse for Children of the Klondike in 2010; and Jack Hodgins for The Master of Happy Endings in 2011.

Previous Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize winners include Chris Tougas for Mechanimals in 2008, Penny Draper for Graveyard of the Sea in 2009, Sylvia Olsen for Counting on Hope in 2010; and Kristi Bridgeman, Illustrator for Uirapurú (pronounced oor-a-pur-ú) in 2011.

For awards applications and submission guidelines, visit and click on Latest News.

Ministry data shows Greater Victoria has largest secondary class sizes in province @gvta #yyj

March 28, 2012

Ministry data shows Greater Victoria has largest secondary class sizes in province, 327 classes with 4 or more students with an IEP

The Ministry of Education released 2011/12 class size and class composition data this week. The release is months later than normal, and will be the last release to show class composition data due to the changes in Bill 22.

Greater Victoria has class size averages of 27.3 in grades 8 – 12, making it the District with largest secondary class size average in the province. This is almost ten percent higher than the provincial average of 25.

71 classes are over the limit of 30 with the support of the teacher. These are primarily leadership, music and performance classes. This consultation process will be eliminated under Bill 22 and there will be no reporting to show if teachers agreed or did not agree to a larger class for specific circumstances.

327 classes in grades 4 - 12 had four or more students with an individual education plan (IEP). This is 23 percent of all grade 4 – 12 classes.

The report does not show consultation information for the 327 classes with composition that exceeds the limit of three students with an IEP per class. Teachers in most cases do not agree with these class organizations. Class composition was identified by Victoria teachers as the single most important bargaining issue.

Bill 22 eliminates any restrictions on class composition and extends the ban on bargaining class size and composition to 2013, despite a court ruling showing the ban, originally enacted through Bill 28, is unconstitutional.

Victoria teacher Lise Tetrault describes the changes to class size and composition:

In the 12 years that I have been teaching in British Columbia I have seen classrooms go from being positive learning environments for students to being spaces where students are forced to compete for attention from their teachers. The overcrowding in the classrooms and the undeniable lack of support for students with learning challenges is taking its toll on students and on teachers.

There are far too many teachers being forced to take leaves of absence because they are burnt out from their efforts in trying to meet the growing needs of students in their classes. Bill 22 promises to make this situation worse than it already is! When will it end?

Ministry data available at:

Province testing #Emergency #Notification System Today @EmergencyInfoBC

March 28, 2012
Ministry of Justice
Emergency Management BC

Emergency Management BC is conducting a test of the B.C. Provincial Emergency Notification System (PENS) today. These tests are run on a regular basis to verify the system's ability to send timely tsunami bulletins to coastal communities, key stakeholders and the news media.

British Columbians can stay informed about emergency advisories by connecting to Emergency Management BC's Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube channels at:

Starting late this morning, notices are being provided through an automated computer-driven system that dials over 1,000 calls to all local governments, emergency officials, police and fire departments, federal and provincial ministries, First Nations, utilities, regional health authorities and the media.

Only one message is being sent, and it is clearly identified as "TEST".

California Man Arrested at Border for Child Porn @Vicpdcanada

File # 12-10278
Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Victoria BC – VicPD and Canada Border Services Agency partnered to arrest and charge a California man with possession of child pornography on Tuesday.

Benjamin Luber, a 25-year-old man from La Jolla, Calif., was examined by CBSA officers after attempting to land in Victoria via the Clipper ferry Monday afternoon.

During their examination, CBSA officers found suspected child pornography on Luber’s computer. They immediately arrested him and contacted VicPD. Major Crimes detectives took over the child porn investigation and seized Luber’s laptop, iPod, cell phone and digital camera for forensic investigation.

VicPD’s Special Victims Unit also liaised with the U.S. Internet Child Exploitation Unit who will continue to work with the investigators.

Luber has since departed Canada pending future court appearances.

Dr. Charles Jago to mediate teacher contract talks #bcpoli

March 28, 2012
Ministry of Education

VICTORIA - In line with the provisions of Bill 22 - the Education Improvement Act, government has appointed Dr. Charles Jago to mediate contract talks between the BC Teachers' Federation (BCTF) and the BC Public School Employers' Association (BCPSEA).

As mediator, Jago will be guided by the best interests of students and the pursuit of high-quality learning as he assists the parties in negotiations. The scope of mediation is broad and will seek to address all issues outstanding at the bargaining table, including:

* Manner and consequences of class size and composition.
* Local-provincial split of bargaining issues.
* Effective feedback and evaluation of teachers to promote improvements.
* Alignment of professional development with teaching needs.
* Scheduling and selection of teachers suited to student needs.

Jago can help the parties arrive at compensation improvements, whether to wages or benefits, by looking for trade-offs within the contract - just as other public sector unions have achieved under the net-zero mandate. However, contract proposals or agreements cannot impose net additional costs on the employer.

Jago will have the resources he needs to fulfil his mandate, including the ability to engage support staff and independent advisors. The mediation period will run to the end of June. If there is no agreement, Jago will issue a report with non-binding recommendations.

The existing collective agreement remains in effect during the mediation.

Dr. Charles Jago is the author of the 2006 report, Working Together to Improve Performance: preparing BC's Public Education System for the Future.

He is a former president of the University of Northern British Columbia and he has held academic appointments in Canadian universities for over 40 years, serving on the boards of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada as well as the Association of Commonwealth Universities. As UNBC president, he initiated the development of the Northern Medical Program.

His extensive involvement in major public issues includes service as a commissioner on the Nechako Environmental Enhancement Fund, chair of the Fraser Basin Council and co-chair of the Premier's Consultation on Northern British Columbia Cancer Care, which has led to the construction of the Northern Cancer Centre.

He is the recipient of the Queen's Jubilee Medal and the Order of Canada.

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