Monday, April 30, 2012

Pay Parking Begins May 1 at Sooke Potholes & Thetis Lake #yyj


For Immediate Release
April 27, 2012

Victoria, BC–- Pay parking at Sooke Potholes and Thetis Lake regional parks is in effect for the summer season from May 1 to September 1, 2012. The cost of parking is $2.25 per day, or $20 for a season’s pass. Revenue collected from parking fees helps to offset the costs of park services for visitors.

A seasonal parking pass is valid at both parks and can be purchased from CRD Regional Parks’ headquarters (490 Atkins Avenue, Langford), Robbins Parking (1102 Fort Street, Victoria), the main ticket dispenser at Thetis Lake or the Parking Lot #2 dispenser at Sooke Potholes. Visitors purchasing a pass from CRD Regional Parks’ headquarters or Robbins Parking are also asked for a $10 refundable decal deposit.

CRD Regional Parks reminds visitors that Sooke Potholes and Thetis Lake regional parks are open sunrise to sunset.

For more information, please visit www.crd.bc.ca/parks


City Approached with Request to Consider Sale of Harbour Road Industrial Lands #yyj


Monday, April 30, 2012

VICTORIA, BC — Victoria City Council has indicated they are open to consider an offer from the Ralmax Group to purchase four City-owned industrial properties on Harbour Road upon which the Point Hope Shipyard is located.

The Ralmax Group recently approached City staff regarding potential purchase of the land. Staff cannot discuss sale of land without Council approval. Specific terms of any offer to purchase have not yet been received or considered by the City. Victoria City Council has expressed an openness to consider such an offer, as long as the offer provides fair market value to the City's taxpayers.

The lands in question comprise the street addresses of 203, 211, 327 and 345 Harbour Road. The City acquired these lands in 1989 when they were granted to the City by the Province of British Columbia for one dollar. The lands are designated under the City’s Official Community Plan and Harbour Plan as marine industrial sites, and are zoned for marine industrial uses. Under City ownership, the lands have continued to be leased to a number of marine industrial businesses, including the Point Hope Maritime Shipyard.

Ralmax holds long-term leases until 2045 on three of the four properties; namely, 211, 327 and 345 Harbour Road. Ralmax has invested about $17 million to date in upgrading their leased premises, including the construction of a marine turntable, new sheet pile docks and a wastewater treatment system. Ralmax is currently in negotiations with the City to lease the lands at 203 Harbour Road to enable further expansion of the shipyard.

Ralmax has plans to expand and modernize the Point Hope Maritime facilities, which will require significant private capital investment over the next 10 years. To provide certainty for their investment, Ralmax requested the City to consider an offer to purchase the City lands as an alternative to Ralmax tenure under long-term leases.

The proceeds of any sale of City lands must flow to the City’s reserve funds and cannot be transferred into the City’s annual operating budget. In accordance with City policy, 10 percent of the proceeds of any City land sale must flow to the Parks and Greenways Acquisition Reserve Fund, with the balance flowing to the Tax Sale Land Reserve Fund.


Government encouraging wider private-sector pension coverage #bcpoli

April 30, 2012
Ministry of Finance

VICTORIA - The Province has introduced legislation to modernize the Pension Benefits Standards Act and allow the private sector to offer a wider choice of pension-plan options so that more British Columbians can have access to pension income during their retirement years.

Bill 38 brings improvements to pension legislation by reducing administrative costs and will enhance the rights of pension plan members, including immediate entitlement to employer-paid contributions and more information about how a plan is operating. The bill will extend the same right to receive plan information to retired members.

In addition, it establishes a framework that will give former pension plan members the option of withdrawing "locked-in" funds in a Registered Retirement Savings Plan or life income fund in cases of financial hardship.

The changes permit innovative alternatives to existing plans, such as jointly sponsored cost-sharing pension plans and target benefit plans. Under the jointly sponsored cost-sharing plan model, similar to what currently exists in public-sector pension plans, employers and employees would contribute equally to all elements of the pension plan.

Other key amendments include requiring governance and funding policies for defined benefit and target benefit plans.

This bill provides the superintendent of pensions, the Province's pension regulator, with new tools, including the power to levy administrative penalties and appoint replacement administrators or actuaries.

Other key amendments include requiring governance and funding policies for defined benefit and target benefit plans.

The changes will also ensure that legislative support exists for the regulation of pension plans that have members located in more than one province.


15th Annual #UnoFest Rockets Into Town May 24-June 3 @IntrepidTheatre #yyjtheatre

15th Annual Uno Fest Rockets Into Town

May 24 – June 3, 2012
Metro Studio & Intrepid Theatre Club
Tickets $16-$25 or $65 for Festival 5-Show Pass

VICTORIA, BC - Uno Fest rockets into town in late May with performances by 14 independent theatre artists from around North America including Juno award winning musician Hawksley Workman, CBC Canada Reads 2012 winning author Carmen Aguirre (Vancouver) and Julia Mackey, returning for a 5th anniversary performance of Jake’s Gift, which premiered at Uno in 2007. Tickets for Canada’s longest running solo performance festival are now on sale and festival program guides are available at Intrepid Theatre (1609 Fisgard at Blanshard).

“We have an extraordinary lineup planned to mark Uno's 15th anniversary," says Intrepid Theatre's Janet Munsil, Artistic Director and festival curator, "Great live shows, a new work series, performance and writing workshops to help local artists develop new skills, and the launch of Press>Play, a series of four audioplays that we have commissioned as part of the Victoria 150 Anniversary Celebrations. Plus musician Hawksley Workman will be giving his Victoria fans an exclusive peek into his solo show in progress.”


Uno Fest 2012 Line Up:

 Carmen Aguirre/Nightswimming (Vancouver) - Blue Box. Author of the Canada Reads 2012 winning memoir, Something Fierce, Carmen Aguirre’s new show about her remarkable experiences as a brave daughter of the Chilean resistance.

 Hawksley Workman – The God That Comes. Get a first glimpse of Juno award-winning musician Hawksley Workman's new work-in-progress; part rock concert, part theatrical cabaret.

 Julia Mackey - Jake's Gift. 5th anniversary! This Jesse-nominated production premiered at Uno in 2007 and has since toured to every part of Canada.

 Deborah Dunn - Four Quartets. Deborah Dunn (Elegant Heathens) returns to the Metro with this dance piece based on T.S. Eliot's poem.

 Meagan O'Shea - The Atomic Weight of Happiness. Interdisciplinary dance artist Meagan O’Shea is an Uno Fest returnee and Dora Award nominee.

 Michael Delamont - God is a Scottish Drag Queen. Pick of the Fringe winner Best Solo Show, Victoria Fringe 2011.

 Trent Baumann - The Birdmann. Pick of the Fringe co-winner Best Comedy, Victoria Fringe 2011.

 Dave Morris - Photo Booth. Pick of the Fringe co-winner Best Comedy, Victoria Fringe 2011.

 Julian Cervello - Canterbury Cocktails. Pick of the Fringe winner Best Spoken Word, Victoria Fringe 2011.

 Erin Fleck - Those Who Can't Do... this provocative new play about the challenges facing a high school sex ed teacher was a hit this season at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto.

 Andrew Bailey - The Adversary. The latest show from the acclaimed monologist of Scrupulosity, Limbo, and Putz - imagine Woody Allen stuck in the Wire.


ABOUT UNO FEST

Established in 1997 by Intrepid Theatre, producers of the Victoria Fringe Festival, Uno Fest is North America's longest running solo theatre festival, and has presented the work of more than 280 creator/performers. See intrepidtheatre.com for further information.

Intrepid Theatre's Uno Fest is made possible with the support of CRD Arts Development, The Department of Canadian Heritage, BC Arts Council, The Province of British Columbia, The City of Victoria, the Canada Council for the Arts, CFAX radio, Kool FM, Sea Cider, Paul's Motor Inn, Metropol, Noodle Box, CFUV, + Phillips Brewing.

Driving on Cellphone Leads to Heavy Fines for Metchosin Woman #yyj


(12-14094)


A woman talking on her cellphone while driving caught officers’ attention early Saturday morning, and distracted driving was the first of several driving offences committed.

The 33-year-old Metchosin woman was spotted talking on her phone just before 2 a.m. When officers followed her down Douglas Street, she turned against a red light and then drove through a second red light.

Police pulled over her Ford Explorer and the woman smelled strongly of liquor. She admitted to having several drinks and was issued a 24-hour driving suspension and her car towed.

She was also issued tickets for use of an electronic device, disobey traffic control device, and for failing to display her “N” sign. The fines totaled $518.


House Party Ends with Arrests #yyj @Vicpdcanada


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A teenager who was being evicted from his apartment in the 300-block of Douglas Street was arrested Sunday evening after reports he was destroying the suite.

Police received several calls just after 6 p.m. that the man who lives in the suite, a 17-year-old, was having an “eviction party” to destroy the suite. He was alleged to have been throwing bottles outside the apartment window onto the street below. A passerby called police after being narrowly hit.

When police arrived they found four teenagers inside, and the suite was littered with garbage. One of the men, a 16-year-old Saanich teen, was found to be wanted on an outstanding warrant.

The resident of the suite was charged with mischief and released on a promise to appear for May 29. He was also given strict conditions not to return to the apartment unless accompanied by a police officer to remove his belongings.


Saanich Man Arrested After Violent Assault #yyj @Vicpdcanada


(12-14092)


A 23-year-old Saanich man was arrested in the early hours Saturday morning for an assault that occurred in the Fairfield neighbourhood.

The assault occurred earlier the previous night, when the assailant burst into a home in the 600-block of Linden Avenue and assaulted another man. He struck a 21-year-old Central Saanich man in the head with a piece of wood.

The assailant and victim were known to each other, and had been in some form of argument earlier in the evening.

The attacker fled the area, but was later arrested with assistance of Saanich Police, at a home in the 5200-block of Harold Green. He was held in custody for a charge of assault causing bodily harm.


Modernizing B.C.'s liquor distribution system #bcpoli

April 30, 2012
Ministry of Energy and Mines

VICTORIA - The Province has approached the private sector with the opportunity to provide a more modernized and cost-effective way to warehouse and distribute liquor in British Columbia.

A Negotiated Request for Proposal has been issued to the private sector for the delivery of services related to liquor warehousing and distribution.

Currently, liquor is distributed throughout B.C. by both public and private services. The two government-owned warehouses distribute approximately 43 per cent of the liquor volume in the province.

The Liquor Distribution Branch is responsible for the distribution, wholesaling and retailing of alcohol in B.C. and operates 195 government liquor stores and two warehouses. The two warehouses are not part of this process and will be handled separately as a real estate transaction. Government-operated liquor stores will not be affected by this Negotiated Request for Proposal.

The two warehouses employ about 500 British Columbia General Employees Union (BCGEU) staff between them. Recently, the provincial government and the BCGEU reached an agreement on a package of measures to accommodate these employees.

The Negotiated Request for Proposal document can be viewed online at BC Bid: http://www.bcbid.gov.bc.ca/open.dll/submitLogin?disID=21829215


#VicPD Win Chamber’s Innovation Award #yyj @Vicpdcanada


VicPD won the Innovation Award at Friday night’s Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.

The award came in recognition of VicPD’s Strategic Plan 2020 initiative. Its associated mixed media campaign featured an online video, a microsite, a publication, and social media efforts to communicate the department’s strategic plan and vision for Canada’s safest region.

“The Victoria Police Department has chosen to adopt innovative business practices and the strength of those practices were recognized by business leaders at the Annual Business Awards,” said The Chamber’s CEO Bruce Carter.

“I am so proud that VicPD is being recognized for our innovative strategic planning efforts,” said Chief Jamie Graham. “This award signals that the Greater Victoria business community has confidence in both the Victoria Police Department and the course that we have plotted for the future.”

Synergy Enterprises was the other finalist for the Innovation Award.

VicPD would like to congratulate the other award recipients and finalists for the Greater Victoria Business Awards. VicPD would also like to thank Media One Multimedia for their contributions to this award-winning campaign.

VicPD launched its strategic plan is November, which has been continually updated with more online video and content. To view VicPD’s Strategic Plan 2020, visit: www.vicpd.ca/stratplan2020


CBA says Bill C-31 lacks fairness and should be withdrawn @CBA_News

OTTAWA – The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) opposes Bill C-31, Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, on the grounds that it will offer neither faster processing and administrative efficiencies, nor ensure fairness and accuracy for refugees.

“The CBA recommends that the Bill be withdrawn,” says Peter Edelmann of Vancouver, a member of the CBA’s National Immigration Law Section. “However, should Parliament adopt the Bill, the CBA suggests several amendments to improve fairness and accuracy in determining applications by those in need of protection or humanitarian consideration.”

The CBA questions the fairness of several proposed changes to the refugee determination system. Bill C-31 would expand the use of investigative detention, exclude refugee claimants caught under an overly wide definition of "serious criminality," and restrict consideration of humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

“This approach casts too wide a net,” notes the CBA submission.

The CBA favours a reasonable timeline for refugee claims. The compressed schedule proposed in the legislation does not allow sufficient time for applicants to retain counsel and prepare their case. “Claimants must often obtain documents from their home country and have them translated. In many cases expert witnesses such as psychologists and doctors need to be retained,” says the CBA submission.

“These reduced timelines severely compromise fairness to gain minor efficiencies in the hearing process,” says Peter Edelmann.

The CBA notes that Bill C-31 will place limitations on the claimants who will have access to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD), on the evidence that will be eligible, and whether the procedures envisioned for the RAD are procedurally fair.

“The CBA has supported the creation of a RAD for many years and favours greater access to the appeal process,” says Peter Edelmann.

The CBA further recommends the government provide greater clarity on the collection, use, and storage of biometric data.

Peter Edelmann will appear before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 8:45 am in Room 110, 1 Wellington Street. The submission is available on the CBA website.

The CBA is dedicated to improvement in the law, the administration of justice, and support for the rule of law. Some 37,000 lawyers, law teachers, and law students from across Canada are members.


Single Lane Traffic: 3666 Saanich Road April 30-May 1st #yyjtraffic


On Monday, April 30, 2012 and Tuesday, May 1, 2012 there will be alternating single lane traffic at 3666 Saanich Road. Work is scheduled to start at approximately 9:00 am and is expected to continue until 3:00 pm.

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

Recommendations chart the course for social innovation #bcpoli

April 30, 2012
Ministry of Social Development
BC Social Innovation Council

VANCOUVER - On Friday April 27, the BC Social Innovation Council presented to government their Action Plan Recommendations to Maximize Social Innovation in British Columbia.

The plan charts out a course for government, businesses, non-profits and communities in British Columbia that sparks action now, while providing a strong foundation for the future.

The BC Social Innovation Council incorporated feedback from individuals and organizations in the community and non-profit sectors, as well as youth, academic, business and government stakeholders in its recommendations, which focus on five key areas:

* Supporting social enterprise.
* Legislative and regulatory environment.
* Social innovation labs and design processes.
* Engaging everyone.
* Learning and research.

The council was established in February 2011, to assist the Province in seeking new and innovative ways to help B.C. communities tackle some of their most pervasive social challenges. The council represents government, community and business agencies that are interested in social entrepreneurship, including credit unions, foundations, academics, local and provincial governments, along with business, investors, and social entrepreneurs and innovators. All council members have volunteered their time and expertise to move social innovation forward in B.C.

The Province has also established a Social Innovation Assistant Deputy Minister's (ADM) Committee, with the goal of maximizing social innovation within government and acting on the recommendations of the new council and previous committee recommendations. Both the BC Social Innovation Council and the ADM Committee report to Gordon Hogg, B.C.'s first parliamentary secretary for social innovation.

The council's work complements the Non-Profit Partnerships Summit: Collective Impact through Social Innovation, which was held in November 2011. The summit brought all sectors together for the first time to discuss innovation and create a made-in-B.C. model for social innovation, and fulfilled a throne speech commitment to host a summit on social innovation with non-profit organizations.


To read the BC Social Innovation Council's action plan or for more information on the BC Social Innovation Council, visit: http://www.socialinnovationbc.ca/

To get involved in social innovation discussions, visit: http://www.innovatebc.com/

For information on an upcoming social innovation challenge in the province - BC Ideas - visit http://www.bcideas.ca/

Bastion Square Public Market Returns This Week #yyj @Bastion_Square

Upcoming! The Bastion Square Public Market turns 17 this year! Stretching from Victoria’s waterfront on Wharf Street to Government Street, this diverse outdoor market brings liveliness to historic Bastion Square with its brilliant array of locally produced arts, crafts, and entertainment.

This weekly market opens for the season this Thursday, May 3rd, and is open every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11 am – 5:30 pm until the end of September.


Not to be missed Sunday Market at Bastion Square! The former Government Street Sunday Market has moved to Bastion Square and Langley Street on Sundays. This renowned market features an eclectic mix of arts, crafts, imports, and entertainment.

The Farmers’ Market will feature farmers selling their locally grown produce, fruits, homemade breads, pastries, tortillas, cheeses, preserves, eggs and much more. The Sunday Market at Bastion Square opens this Sunday, May 6, and will be open every Sunday but June 3rd, from 11am – 4:30pm

Entertainment:

Jazz Duo Ben Galambos & Theresa Pasaulko 11:00am-1:00pm

Slim Sandy 1:30pm-3:30pm


BBB Celebrates 50 Yrs of Accreditation at 2012 #VIBBBtorchawards #yyjevents @VIBBB


April 30, 2012

VICTORIA, BC – The BBB of Vancouver Island will dedicate a portion of the 2012 Torch Awards & Anniversary Celebration to a special recognition ceremony honouring businesses that have been Accredited for 50 years (since the BBB opened in 1962).

“These nine businesses have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to building an ethical marketplace on Vancouver Island,” says said Rosalind Scott, Executive Director of BBB Vancouver Island. “These companies essentially founded the BBB of Vancouver Island and their owners have made it a lifelong objective to build relationships based on trust within their community. We are so proud and honoured to be able to celebrate the BBB’s Golden Jubilee along side these businesses.”


The following businesses will be honoured for being BBB Accredited for 50 years:

Times Colonist - Victoria (Victoria)
McCall Bros Funeral Directors Ltd. (Victoria)
Lunds Auctioneers & Appraisers Ltd. (Victoria)
Island Asphalt Company (Saanichton)
Hourigan’s Carpet & Linos (Victoria)
Greaves Moving & Storage Ltd. (Victoria)
Stocker’s Security Storage & Warehouse Ltd. (Victoria)
E H Emery Electric Ltd. (Victoria)
Dave Wheaton Chevrolet Buick Cadillac GMC (Victoria)

Tickets are on sale now for the 2012 Torch Awards!

“At this year’s Torch Awards celebration you won’t just be a guest attending an event…you will become an interactive part of the experience” says Scott. “In celebration of 2012 being the BBB’s 50th anniversary locally and 100th anniversary internationally we’ve decided to take the BBB’s annual Torch Awards celebration to a whole other level.”

If you’ve been to a Torch Award celebration in the past three years, you will know that this event is not your typical awards ceremony. This year’s event is no exception. The 2012 Torch Awards will be an enchanting experience of the senses.


2012 Torch Award highlights include:

• Free limo service to and from event
• Special honorary recognition certificate for all attendees
• Amazing interactive food stations – cocktail party style (Don’t miss the chocolate fountain and cotton candy stations!)
• Live theatrical entertainment
• Interactive games and prizes
• Hands-on, technology rich themed stations
• Historical tour of BBB’s past 100 years of achievements
• Meet the experts station (Intimate interviews with Dan Gunn (VIATeC), Casey Edge (CHBA), Robert Gialloreto (Tourism Victoria), Jamie Graham (Victoria Police)
• Photo contest
• Live onsite video and photo posts to Youtube, Facebook and Twitter
• Speakers Corner (opportunity to promote your business and congratulate Torch Award nominees, finalists and winners)
• Mingling with other Accredited Businesses
• Torch Awards presentations (including honouring businesses that have been Accredited for 50 years!)

Get your tickets NOW! And invite a friend. This is a once in a lifetime celebration.


2012 Torch Awards & BBB Anniversary Celebration

Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa, Victoria

Friday May 25, 2012 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Price: $65 (+HST)

To reserve tickets contact Wendy at 250.286.6348 ext 109 / wendy@vi.bbb.org or Kathy at 250.386.6348 ext 105 / kathy@vi.bbb.org.

For more information on the 2012 Torch Awards visit www.vi.bbb.org/torch_awards


Province rolls out new #motorcycle #laws

April 30, 2012
Ministry of Justice

VICTORIA - To mark the beginning of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Province is announcing new safety regulations aimed at improving road safety and reducing motorcycle deaths, injuries and crashes.

Effective June 1, all motorcycle riders and their passengers must wear helmets that meet safety industry standards. This means motorcycle riders will no longer be able to wear novelty helmets, typically known as skid lids, skull caps or beanies, which do not meet the new requirements.

In addition, the new regulations:

* Will require passengers, including children, to place their feet on foot pegs or floorboards. Drivers can easily be thrown off balance and risk crashing if their passengers do not keep their feet fixed on foot rests. Children who are unable to reach foot rests will no longer be allowed to ride as passengers.

* Will improve visibility and enforcement for police. The font size on motorcycle licence plates has increased by 0.95 centimetres (3/8 of an inch). Since May 2011, all new motorcycle licence plates have been issued with the larger font.

In making the announcement, Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond said the provincial government intends to move forward with a graduated licensing program that includes power restrictions, following additional consultation to determine the best model. Feedback will be considered along with research and best practices to develop a model that improves rider safety and reduces motorcycle crashes especially for new riders.

The Office of Motor Vehicles and ICBC will also partner on an awareness campaign to ensure automobile drivers are aware of how to drive safely when they encounter motorcycles on the road.

The goal is to reduce fatalities and injuries from crashes involving motorcycles. While motorcycles are estimated to make up about three

per cent of insured vehicles in B.C., they account for approximately 10 per cent of road fatalities. In the lasfive years, 203 motorcyclists have lost their lives on B.C.'s roads and 5,172 have been injured. Motorcycle fatalities increased by about 57 per cent between 1996 and 2010.

The new rider safety regulations are the result of extensive consultations between the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, BC Coroners Service, ICBC, police and other road safety partners to develop a comprehensive approach to improve motorcycle safety within the motorcycling community and industry.

The month of May will allow for a transition period that will givegovernment time to move to the new laws by informing riders and thepublic about the upcoming changes. Starting June 1, police willbegin enforcing the new laws and issuing educational materials toriders found violating the helmet and seating regulations.

Fines for all new helmet-related offences are $138 and fines for seating requirements range from $109 to $121. In addition to fines, riders violating seating requirements will have their motorcycles impounded.


Fraser Institute's B.C. and Yukon secondary school rankings for 2012 now available @FraserInstitute



Fraser Institute's B.C. and Yukon secondary school
rankings for 2012 now available


VANCOUVER, BC--The Fraser Institute today published its annual rankings of B.C. and Yukon secondary schools, showing which schools are improving, or falling behind, in terms of academics.

"Our rankings are the No. 1 source for parents who want to find out how their child's school is doing compared to other schools in their community," said Peter Cowley, Fraser Institute director of school performance studies.

The Report Card on Secondary Schools in British Columbia and Yukon 2012 rates 280 public and independent secondary schools in B.C. and Yukon based on seven key indicators using data from the annual provincewide exams administered by the B.C. Ministry of Education. The full rankings are available in an interactive and searchable format or as a free PDF at http://britishcolumbia.compareschoolrankings.org/secondary/SchoolsByRankLocationName.aspx.

The report card displays individual school results for the past five years, showing whether schools have improved or fallen behind over time. It also includes information about each school's make up, including parents' average income, the percentage of ESL students, and the percentage of special needs students.

"When comparing school performance, it's important to consider all factors that affect learning. That's why our report card offers demographic data in addition to exam results," Cowley said.

According to the report, 14 of the fastest-improving secondary schools in B.C. are public schools. Of that total, 10 are below the provincial average in terms of parental incomes.

"Our rankings show that every school is capable of improvement, regardless of the personal and family characteristics of its student population," Cowley said.

The report card also points out that 10.2 per cent of secondary school exams written in 2011 received a failing grade, compared to 8.1 per cent in last year's edition.

Parents have shown great interest in the Fraser Institute's school rankings. Last year alone, 390,000 individual school reports and comparisons on B.C. and Yukon secondary schools were downloaded from www.compareschoolrankings.org. A 2008 COMPAS poll of more than 1,000 B.C. parents found overwhelming support for the B.C. Ministry of Education's provincewide testing policy and for the idea that parents should be able to use the results of those tests to compare schools.

"Clearly, parents want to know whether their local schools are meeting the provincial standard for learning," Cowley said.

"Whether it's schools, hospitals, or any public institution, governments need to measure performance and encourage improvement. Our annual school rankings help parents hold school boards accountable and push for better results."


Fastest-Improving B.C. Secondary Schools

- Lake Cowichan (Public), Lake Cowichan
- Selkirk (Public), Kimberley
- Heritage Park (Public), Mission
- Mark R. Isfeld (Public), Courtenay
- Edward Milne (Public), Sooke
- Elphinstone (Public), Gibsons
- David Thompson (Public), Invermere
- Langley Christian (Independent), Langley
- Walnut Grove (Public), Langley
- Dr. Charles Best (Public), Coquitlam
- Brentwood College (Independent), Mill Bay
- Fort Nelson (Public), Fort Nelson
- Guildford Park (Public), Surrey
- Clarence Fulton (Public), Vernon
- Crofton House (Independent), Vancouver
- Archbishop Carney (Independent), Port Coquitlam
- Rutland (Public), Kelowna
- Sir Charles Tupper (Public), Vancouver


Car Damage Arrest Saturday Night #yyj @SaanichPolice


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An 18 year old man from the Lake Cowichan area will be charged with criminal mischief after causing significant damage to a moviegoer's vehicle in Saanich late Saturday night.


The moviegoer and car owner was a 17 year old Prince George man. He had parked his brand new Honda Civic just outside the SilverCity cinemas. When he returned to his car he found that someone had thrown a large piece of cinderblock concrete through the rear windshield. The side mirrors were bent and there were running shoe impressions on another window from someone's unsuccessful attempts to kick the window out.

The car owner spotted a very intoxicated man who was passed out and lying on the front hood of a nearby vehicle. The drunk man stirred briefly and then moved himself into the back seat of the other vehicle - where he promptly passed out again.

Police arrived but were unable to rouse the drunk man. The doors were all locked therefore police had to break one of the windows in order to arrest him. His running shoe treads were a match to the impressions found on the Civic.

Police found that the drunk man's friends were all sober and had been watching a movie together. The 18 year old will be appearing in Victoria Provincial Court in early June charged with Mischief Under $5000.


Rites of Spring Ride with Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition May 6 #yyj #cycling @GVCC


Rites of Spring Ride

On Sunday, May 6, Join the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition (GVCC) for their Rites of Spring Ride Celebrate the coming of spring and the promise of flowers blooming and join the GVCC for an interesting bicycle tour of public gardens in the Greater Victoria area.

The ride begins at Selkirk Station (80 Regatta Landing) just off the Galloping Goose trail south of the Selkirk Trestle at 10 a.m. and ends there at around 2:00 p.m.

The ride is approximately 20 easy kilometres. Be sure to bring a lunch for the lunch stop. Call 250.592.3631 for further information.


Friday, April 27, 2012

The Prostate Centre & Six Mile Pub 2nd Annual Six Mile Pub Coveted Orca Ball Tournament Apr 28 #yyj @SixMilePub @TheProstateCent


The Prostate Centre & Six Mile Pub 2nd Annual Six Mile Pub
Coveted Orca Ball Tournament

Saturday, April 28th 2012, 12 – 5 pm
494 Old Island Highway

Victoria – April 26 2012 -- What do VR Firefighters, Extraordinary Seamen , Head Hunters and the Six Mile Pub have in common with prostate cancer? They are all focused on raising fun & funds for Vancouver Island men facing prostate cancer.

This Saturday, the Six Mile Pub will host its second annual Orca Ball Tournament, starting at 12:00 noon sharp, rain or shine. Players will be buffing their egos and tweaking their game play starting at 11:00 am.

Come enjoy the feisty and competitive games, cheer on your team, and make a donation to help eliminate prostate cancer. All funds raised stay on the island go to further research and provide programs and support for men and their families.

It’s a Guy Thing:

• 1 is 7 men will get prostate cancer
• Early detection + treatment = 95% survival rate
• Be a 95er by getting yours checked!

 

The Prostate Centre is a non profit organization that provides medical information and personalized support and counseling services to men diagnosed with prostate cancer, free of charge. The Centre relies entirely on community funds to advance local research and programming. All funds raised here, stay here.




Missing Senior Located: Diane Sophie Bates safe #yyj @Vicpdcanada



UPDATE: April 27, 2012

Missing senior Diane (Sophie) Bates has been located. The 74-year-old made contact with VicPD late last night and is safe and sound. She had been reported missing last Friday.


VicPD want to thank the public and the media for their assistance in locating Bates.



previous:

UPDATE: VicPD Seeks Public Assistance in Locating Missing Senior


Victoria BC – VicPD is continuing to request the public’s assistance in locating a missing 74-year-old Victoria woman who has not been seen in weeks.


Bates is described as being a white female, approximately 5-foot-4 with a slender build. She has collar length straight hair and often wears layered clothing.  Bates typically pushes a shopping cart with a purple cat carrier and may have two cats with her.

File # 12-13030
Monday, April 23, 2012

Victoria BC – VicPD is requesting the public’s assistance in locating a missing 74-year-old Victoria woman who has not been seen in weeks.

VicPD was notified on Friday that Diane Bates, who goes by the name of Sophie, had not been seen in almost three weeks. Officers have been attempting to locate her without success. Bates has no local contacts and has had a history of mental illness.

Bates is described as being a white female, approximately 5-foot-4 with a slender build. She has collar length straight hair and often wears layered clothing. Bates typically pushes a shopping cart with a purple cat carrier and may have two cats with her.

If you see Bates, or have information on her whereabouts, please contact VicPD on the non-emergency line at 250-995-7654


Wildflower Weekend at Swan Lake April 29 #yyjparks


Spring has sprung and Swan Lake and Christmas Hill have never looked better: Camas, Red Flowering Currant, Shooting Star, Satin Flower, Indian Plum, Fawn, Chocolate, and Glacier Lilies – the list goes on and on.

We celebrate the wonderful world of wildflowers with guided tours of our native plant garden, crafts for the kids, music at the Wildflower Revue, Wildflower Bingo, and hands-on information about our native wildflowers. Admission is by donation.

Sunday, April 29, 12 - 3 pm
Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary
3873 Swan Lake Road

For more information calll 250.479-0211, or visit: http://www.swanlake.bc.ca/


Emergency Management BC: Basement #flooding - What to do @EmergencyInfoBC

April 27, 2012
Ministry of Justice
Emergency Management BC

Basement flooding - What to do

VICTORIA - Cooler temperatures have created a high snowpack in many areas of the province.

For example, snowpacks in the Upper Fraser are at record levels and there are high snowpacks in the Skeena and Nass watersheds and in the Columbia, Kootenay, Vancouver Island and Peace regions.

Flooding occurs when these high snowpacks combine with higher temperatures and/or heavy rainfall. Beyond the cost, mess and inconvenience, basement flooding can present a number of health and safety hazards.


Health and safety should be your primary concern if your basement floods:

* Flooding can affect electrical and gas systems, creating the possibility for explosions or electrical shock.

* Flood water can be highly contaminated from raw sewage and other pollutants.

* Water damage may weaken walls and ceilings.

* Sludge may contain corrosive cleaning agents and irritants. Mould and mildew left behind after flooding can trigger problems for asthmatics.

Tips to minimize basement damage:

* If water is backing up from your building drain, do not flush the toilet, run the washing machine or dishwasher or turn on taps. Call a plumber immediately.

* To report severe flooding in our area, contact your local municipalgovernment. Listings can be found in the blue pages of the telephone book.

* If you have insurance coverage, you may want to call your insurancecompany and report any damage. Take photographs and keep receipts for work done.

Cleaning up:

* Open windows and let in fresh air.

* Wear protective clothing - overalls, gloves, protective eyewear, rubberboots and a face mask.

* Stay clear of electrical equipment and, if possible, shut off the power.

* Remove items of value that are in, or near, the source of water.

* Fans and/or dehumidifiers can speed drying and reduce dampness.


For more information:

www.pep.bc.ca/hazard_preparedness/flood_tips/Floodproof.pdf

For current information on flooding: http://emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/


UPDATE: Robbery Suspects to Appear in Court #yyj @Vicpdcanada


File # 12-13819
Date: Friday, April 27, 2012

Victoria BC – The three people arrested following yesterday’s daytime robbery of the Paul Mara Jewelry store are due in court this afternoon.

Two 27-year-old men from Vancouver, Michael Werner and Dominic Oyango, face charges of robbery with a weapon and multiple counts of breach of probation. Amanda Shier, a 21-year-old Vancouver woman, also faces charges for possession of property obtained by crime.

Detectives continue to investigate the robbery and more charges may be forthcoming.

Last night police executed a search warrant at their suite in the Bedford Hotel and recovered most of the stolen jewelry from the heist. Police also found a replica handgun, which was used in the robbery.



Supreme Court masters to help with pre-trial management #bcpoli

April 27, 2012
Ministry of Justice

VICTORIA - Supreme Court judges in B.C. can now get additional help with making trials more efficient.

Masters are now able to conduct trial management conferences, which help keep trials on schedule by dealing with procedural matters before a trial starts. The change, which took effect April 25, amends the July 2010 Supreme Court civil and family rules that made the formerly optional conferences mandatory and specified they should be conducted by the trial judge.

Masters are former practising lawyers appointed to assist the court by sitting in chambers and making decisions about pre-trial motions and procedural orders.

Trial management conferences devise a plan for how the trial should be conducted, including whether the parties agree on some facts, agreements on the use of documents, time limits for the parts of the trial, witness summaries and directions on how experts will be used.

Controlling costs and delays through efficient scheduling of court cases and use of judges' time are priorities for the Province. With many courtrooms at capacity, procedural delays that require court dates to be rescheduled can add weeks or months to a trial's length.

Proactively managing trials speeds up court hearings and gives more time for the aspects of criminal, civil and family matters that require a judge's involvement.


Single Lane Traffic: Royal Oak Dr between Amblewood & Royal Oak to April 27 #yyjtraffic


On Wednesday April 18, 2012 to Friday, April 27, 2012 there will be alternating single lane traffic on Royal Oak Drive between Amblewood Drive and Royal Oak Avenue. Work is scheduled to start at approximately 8:00 am and is expected to continue until 4:30 pm.

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

Overnight Stabbing Sends Man to Hospital #yyj @Vicpdcanada


File # 12-13931
Date: Friday, April 27, 2012

Victoria BC – The Regional Domestic Violence Unit will be taking over the investigation of a serious stabbing that occurred last night in the 2600-block of Prior Street.

A 24-year-old Victoria man was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery after being stabbed in the chest by a 30-year-old Victoria woman around 11:45 p.m. last night.

The victim phoned 911 stating that he had been stabbed, and when officers arrived the man had lost consciousness and was bleeding heavily. Officers administered first-aid and had stabilized him until paramedics arrived.

The man was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery. He is currently in stable but serious condition.

Major Crimes Detectives handled the preliminary investigation, but will now by turning the investigation over to the Regional Domestic Violence Unit.

The woman was arrested at the scene and will be facing charges of aggravated assault. She is being held in custody and will be subject to a telebail hearing sometime tonight.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Three in Custody Following Downtown Heist #yyj @Vicpdcanada


File # 12-13819
Date: Thursday, April 26, 2012

Victoria BC – A portion of Government Street was behind police tape Thursday afternoon while VicPD arrested three robbery suspects at the Bedford Hotel.

Emergency Response Team officers were on-site and a ladder from the Fire Department had to be used to arrest the two men hiding out on the rooftop of the hotel. The two men, both 27-years-old, were taken into custody around 1:30 p.m. A 21-year-old female was also taken into custody without incident. All three suspects came from the lower mainland.

Hours earlier, the two men committed a brazen daytime robbery of Paul Mara Jewelers on 657 Fort Street. The two men entered the jewelry store around 10:30 a.m. and sprayed staff with bear spray before making off with a stash of jewelry and other valuables.

There were reports of a firearm being used, which is why police took every precaution in arresting the two suspects. Government St. was closed between Trounce Alley and Fort Street, and a portion of Yates Street was closed.

Detectives credit the quick thinking and actions of numerous bystanders, and first responding officers, with enabling them to narrow their search for these suspects to the Bedford Hotel.

VicPD want to thank business owners and citizens in the area for their patience and understanding during this investigation.

#Saanich officers join Alexa's team 2012 #yyj @SaanichPolice


This morning, dozens of officers from across Vancouver Island dedicated to making our streets safer, were honoured. These officers who have gone above and beyond in removing impaired drivers from our streets, were inducted into Alexa’s Team.


Alexa’s Team is in honour of the tragic death of a 4 year old Delta girl. She was struck and killed by an impaired driver. In her honour, Alexa’s parents are fighting back against impaired driving and the tragic consequences it leaves behind.

Read more: http://alexasbus.com/

This year’s inductees to Alexa’s team from the Saanich Police include:

Cst. Bima Ribeiro
Cst. Jon Cawsey
Cst. Mark Kubitza
Cst. Mark Prill
Cst. Paul Cain
Cst. Richard Burdet
Cst. Mike Bainbridge

These officers represent hundreds of impaired drivers removed from our streets. Congratulations to them all.


Crime Crackdown at Douglas and View Streets #yyj #video @Vicpdcanada

File # 12-5404
Date: Thursday, April 26, 2012

Victoria BC – Highlighted by the arrest of several drug dealers, VicPD is trumpeting the success of an six-week targeted enforcement campaign at the Douglas and View Streets intersection.

Local business owners voiced their concerns to police that the area was becoming saturated with crime. Last November the intersection was the scene of a homicide, and there was also several stabbings.



Since the end of February, VicPD was aggressive in targeting drug dealers and cracking down on other offences to restore a safe and prosperous block for the public and businesses.

Deer Management Citizens Advisory Group appointed by CRD Board #yyj #deermanagement


For Immediate Release
April 25, 2012

The Capital Regional District Board has appointed an 11 member Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) to guide the development of a deer management strategy and action plan for the region. The applicants were recommended by the Planning, Transportation & Protective Services Committee.

“To ensure a balanced approach, the committee members were selected to represent a range of views, interests and geographical areas”, says Geoff Young, CRD Board Chair. The Board appointed five members from the Core municipalities, four from the Peninsula municipalities, and two from the West Shore. This includes representation from commercial farmers and First Nations.

The CAG will meet regularly until recommendations are made in July, 2012 and will be supported by an Expert Resource Working Group (EWRG) which will provide technical and scientific expertise. The group’s first priority will be to address agricultural-deer conflicts.

The appointees are: Richard Christiansen, Wendy Fox, Lisa Kadonaga, Sol Kinnis, Terry Mitchell, Robert Moody, Patrick O'Rourke, Jocelyn Skrlac, Philip Tom, Kerri Ward, Robin Bassett. A Chair for the group will be selected by the group at their first meeting.

For those interested in following the process, all information and minutes coming from the CAG and EWRG will be posted to http://www.crd.bc.ca/regionalplanning/deermanage.htm.

All submissions to the CAG will continue to be received through the deermanagement@crd.bc.ca email, or by mail to CRD Regional Planning.

Lobbyist Code of Conduct public consultation underway #bcpoli

April 26, 2012
Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists British Columbia

VICTORIA - Over the next three months, British Columbians will be asked for their opinions on the possible adoption of a provincial lobbyist code of conduct. The consultation is being facilitated by the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists ("ORL").

The British Columbia Lobbyists Registration Act (LRA) helps to minimize secret influencing of government by making lobbying activities transparent through mandatory declarations in a public registry. Through registration, key aspects of lobbying are made public: who is being lobbied, on what subject matter, on whose behalf and toward what outcome. The LRA does not, however, govern the manner in which lobbyists interact with public office-holders.

"The regulation of lobbying is challenging due to several factors," Registrar of Lobbyists Elizabeth Denham stated. "The lobbying community is large, diverse and dispersed. Effective oversight requires a multi-pronged approach, including incentives, education and investigation. A code of conduct could be an additional useful tool for enforcement and education," she stated.

While the Registrar is generally supportive of some form of a code of conduct, "the public and the lobbyist community must be engaged in the discussion," Registrar Denham stated. "Without hearing from them, the questions of whether we actually need a code, or how one might be developed and enforced remain unanswered."

A consultation paper on the issue is accessible on the ORL website. The paper reviews existing lobbyist codes of conduct in other jurisdictions and presents three options and a series of questions for discussion. "The purpose of the paper is to stimulate thought and discussion among stakeholder groups and the general public concerning the idea of adopting a code," the Registrar stated.

The paper will be distributed to a broad range of stakeholders, including registered lobbyists, industry associations, chambers of commerce, academics and other observers, B.C. MLAs and others.

Members of the general public are also invited to view the consultation paper and submit responses. Responses will be incorporated into a report to be presented by the Registrar to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, tabled in the British Columbia Legislative Assembly and published on the ORL website.

The paper can be found at www.lobbyistsregistrar.bc.ca. Submissions are requested by Friday, July 6, 2012. Submissions may be emailed to info@bcorl.ca, mailed to PO Box 9038 Stn Prov Govt, Victoria, BC V8W 9A4 or faxed to 250 387-1696.


BCTS operations near Mackenzie pass audit #bcpoli

April 26, 2012
Forest Practices Board

VICTORIA - An audit of BC Timber Sales and 24 timber sale licensees in the Mackenzie District north of Prince George found that forest planning, silviculture, fire protection, harvesting and road activities were mostly in compliance with legislation, according to a report released today.

"Auditors found that one bridge and a short section of road were constructed in a manner that could have an impact on fish habitat," said board chair Al Gorley. "However, BCTS made immediate remediation efforts, and the board is satisfied with that."

The six-million-hectare Mackenzie District includes the communities of Mackenzie, Fort Ware and Tsay Keh. The Mackenzie Land and Resource Management Plan covers the audit area and provides general direction for values such as water, wildlife and recreation.

The board's audit fieldwork took place from Sept. 26 to 30, 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.


Premier Announces Two New Hospitals for the North Island #bcpoli

April 26, 2012

Office of the Premier
Ministry of Health
Vancouver Island Health Authority

COURTENAY/CAMPBELL RIVER - Premier Christy Clark today gave the green light for the North Island Hospitals Project at an estimated cost of up to $600 million, which includes two new hospitals to benefit Vancouver Island patients living in the Comox Valley, Campbell River and surrounding communities, as a part of Budget 2012.

"Our government is proud to invest in these two new hospitals to ensure North Vancouver Island families have the best medical care when they need it and where they need it, in their communities," said Premier Clark. "These projects will also create construction jobs in the region and will provide long-term opportunities for health-care professionals and their families."

Both hospitals are expected to go to procurement this spring, with construction planned to begin in 2013 and completion estimated for 2017. The cost of the project is estimated at around $600 million, but is subject to change once the procurement process is complete. The project will create approximately 1,900 direct jobs and over 1,400 indirect jobs in industries supplying goods and services used in construction.

"Across British Columbia, we are committed to building patient care," said Health Minister Michael de Jong. "With these two new hospitals, we are meeting the challenge of ensuring that quality, cost-effective and timely health services are available to all British Columbian families in the years to come."

"The residents of the Comox Valley were very clear, the region needed improved health-care services for the growing population of the North Island," said Comox Valley MLA and Minister of Agriculture Don McRae. "This project has been my number-one priority since 2009, and I am pleased work is now underway to make it a reality. This project will provide an enhanced quality of life for the North Island residents for generations to come."

As one component of the two-hospital project, the new Comox Valley Hospital will have capacity for up to 153 beds and will replace the existing 116-bed St. Joseph's General Hospital. The plan is for the new hospital to be located at the intersection of Lerwick and Ryan roads in Courtenay, adjacent to North Island College. The design and location of the hospital will be finalized upon completion of the procurement process. VIHA has reached an agreement-in-principle with North Island College (NIC) to build the facility on land at Comox Valley campus. Steps are under way on consultation and final approvals required for the transfer of the land.

Locating the new hospital adjacent to NIC will support partnerships around the education of health-care professionals.

St Joseph's General Hospital in Comox was originally constructed in 1937, and is operated by the Archdiocese of Victoria through an affiliation agreement with Vancouver Island Health Authority.

The second component of the two-hospital project will see the new Campbell River and District General Hospital built at the existing hospital site on 2nd Avenue in Campbell River. The new hospital will have capacity for up to 95 beds, including mental-health and addictions beds. The new facility will replace Campbell River's aging 70-bed acute-care facility, which was built in 1956, with additions to the facility in 1966, 1972 and 1990. The final hospital design is subject to completion of the procurement process.

"It's absolutely great news that the North Island Hospitals Project is moving forward. The two new hospitals will provide a much-needed major benefit to health care on the North Island," said Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital District chair Claire Moglove. "Getting to this stage has been a long time coming. There has been an exhaustive amount of work done - by citizens' groups, Regional Hospital Board members, physicians and by the Vancouver Island Health Authority - all to bring the project to fruition."

"This is a wonderful day for residents of North Island, for VIHA and for the patients we serve," said Don Hubbard, VIHA board chair. "Residents of the Campbell River and the Comox Valley areas and northern Vancouver Island communities need and deserve these new acute-care facilities. These two new hospitals will improve safety, efficiency and clinical outcomes and assist VIHA in our goal to provide timely, accessible, high-quality care closer to home."

Since 2001, more than $7 billion has been spent on health capital projects in British Columbia. Over the next three years, British Columbia's health-care system will benefit from investments such as new medical equipment and modernized health facilities as part of a $2.3-billion health sector capital plan. This includes investments like the North Island Hospitals Project as well as other Vancouver Island projects such as the Royal Jubilee Hospital Patient Care Centre in Victoria as well as new emergency department and kidney dialysis centre at Nanaimo General Regional Hospital and a new emergency department Victoria General Hospital.


VicPD Officers Welcomed to ‘Alexa’s Team’ #yyj @Vicpdcanada


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Victoria BC – Today, nine members of VicPD will be added to the 2011 ‘Alexa’s Team’ for their diligence and hard work in removing impaired drivers from the CRD.

Officers from various ranks and sections have removed at least 12 impaired drivers each over the last year. These officers have shown an outstanding ability to instigate these criminal charges removed impaired drivers from our roads.

“The addition of nine of our members to ‘Alexa’s Team’ for 2011 is a great achievement for VicPD and the officers,” said, Inspector Andrew Lacon, Officer in charge of VicPD’s Traffic Section, “these officers consistently go above and beyond, making our streets safe for everyone.”


VicPD ‘Alexa’s Team’ award recipients for VicPD are as follows:

Cst. Paul Brookes Victoria Police Department
Sgt. Alex Yelovatz Victoria Police Department
Cst. Simon De Wit Victoria Police Department
Cst. Andy Dunstan Victoria Police Department
Cst. Dawndra Tolsma Victoria Police Department
Cst. Scott Buckler Seconded CRD IRSU
Cst. Brendon LeBlanc Seconded CRD IRSU
Sgt. Graeme LeBlanc Seconded CRD IRSU
Cst. Steve Twardy Seconded CRD IRSU

#Taxes cost Canadian families more than food, clothing, & shelter combined @FraserInstitute



VANCOUVER, BC--A Canadian family earning an average income spends more money each year on taxes than on the basic necessities of life, concludes a new report published by the Fraser Institute, Canada's leading public policy think-tank.

The Canadian Consumer Tax Index 2012 (download: http://www.fraserinstitute.org/research-news/news/display.aspx?id=18241) calculates that over the past 50 years, an average family's total tax bill has increased by a staggering 1,738 per cent, while over the same period the cost of shelter increased by 1,185 per cent, food by 518 per cent, and clothing by 500 per cent.

"Taxes from all levels of government make up the single largest expenditure facing Canadian families," said Charles Lammam, Fraser Institute associate director of tax and budget policy research.

"In fact, the total tax bill has grown more rapidly than any other major item in an average family's annual budget since 1961."

The 1,738 per cent increase in the average tax bill has also greatly outpaced the increase in Statistics Canada's Consumer Price Index (663 per cent), which measures the average price that consumers pay for goods and services including shelter, food, clothing, transportation, health and personal care, education, and many others.

Unlike the Consumer Price Index, the Fraser Institute's Canadian Consumer Tax Index 2012 measures the price of goods and services that governments buy on behalf of Canadians. It calculates the total tax bill of the typical Canadian family by adding up the various taxes that a family pays to federal, provincial, and local governments such as income taxes, sales taxes, Employment Insurance and Canadian Pension Plan contributions, and "hidden" taxes such as import duties, excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol, amusement taxes, and gas taxes.

This year's index shows that while the average family's income has increased significantly over the past five decades, the average tax bill has grown even more:

- In 2011, the average Canadian family (both attached and unattached individuals) earned income of $74,233 and paid $30,792 in taxes, for a total tax bill representing 41.5 per cent of family income.

- In 1961, the average Canadian family earned income of $5,000 and paid $1,675 in taxes, for a total tax bill representing 33.5 per cent of family income.

The report also notes that in 1961, the average family spent 56.5 per cent of its income to pay for shelter, food, and clothing; in the same year, 33.5 per cent of the family's income went to government taxes. By 1981, the spending demands had evened up: 40.8 per cent of an average family's income went to governments in the form of taxes, while 40.5 per cent was spent on shelter, food, and clothing. By 2011, the situation was reversed from 1961: the average family spent 33.6 of its income on the necessities of life while 41.5 per cent of its income went to taxes.


Government deficits a harbinger of higher taxes:

The report points out that the federal government and most provincial governments are running budget deficits, meaning that current taxes don't cover current spending levels.

"These deficits are essentially deferred taxes into the future since the shortfalls must ultimately be repaid by working Canadians," Lammam said.

"If we include government deficits in the calculations, the total tax bill for the average Canadian family is actually $33,455 in 2011, not $30,792. This means the average Canadian family faces a future tax bill of an extra $2,663."

When current government deficits are included, the report calculates that the tax bill of the average Canadian family has increased by 1,897 percent since 1961.

"This growth is bound to increase unless governments take serious steps to reduce spending and eliminate their deficits," Lammam said.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chinatown Night Market Returns for Second, More Festive Season #yyj

April 25, 2012: The Chinatown Night Market, which launched in July 2011 returns for a second year running over four nights in June, July, August and September. The market has expanded to four nights and has grown in scope to be four Asian cultural festivals with each evening celebrating a unique aspect of Asian culture.

"The night market was extremely well-received last year and we were encouraged by the merchants and the community to hold it again and make it even more festive and dynamic," says Tony Joe, Festival Co-chair. "People loved seeing the street full of people and activity. It was a good start and we knew we wanted to expand it in many ways."

The Chinatown Night Market opens June 20 with the Awakening of the Dragon which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month. This market celebrates the roots of the dragon boat festival and will feature performances celebrating the folklore about the origins of dragon boating and the Chinese dragon. The evening will feature the Dragon Dance and a dragon boat display and paddling demonstration. The Dragon Boat Festival Society will also be selling lanterns in support of the BC Cancer Foundation.

The evening will also feature an Egg of Li Chun contest. This is an egg balancing competition with origins in ancient China. It is believed it is easier to stand an egg on the broad end during Li Chun, the first day of spring. While June 20 is not the first day of spring, this lively contest fits with the awakening of the dragon and the first market of the season.

The July 18 night market is a festival of Karaoke Stars. In the weeks leading up to the July market, karaoke enthusiasts are invited to post their best karaoke video to YouTube to enter the karaoke contest. Of all the entries fifteen finalists will be chosen to compete live at the night market for an opportunity to win cash prizes. Contestants will be judged by local celebrities on vocal quality, presentation (including costume and creativity) and entertainment value. Full details are posted at www.chinatownnightmarket.ca. Over $1,000 in prizing will be awarded.

The third market, on Wednesday, August 22, is the Night of the Sevens, or Qixi, Festival. The Night of the Sevens is the equivalent of Chinese Valentine's Day - a day for lovers and best friends. It is based on folklore about a cowherd and a weaver girl, lovers who were forced apart by a goddess who allows them to come together once a year during the Night of Sevens. It is traditionally a time when women display their skills in the domestic arts, in particular melon carving. There will be a contest to float a needle on water, which traditionally is a testament to a woman's embroidery skills.

Couples and families will be able to create and display their Chinese Valentines at the market.

The final market of the season will celebrate the Autumn Moon Lantern Festival. The 500 block of Fisgard Street will be lit throughout with a variety of celebratory lanterns. There will be a lantern making station as well as a public lantern display area.

All markets will feature street vendors, Asian street food as well as traditional and contemporary music. Each evening will feature a family craft night.

The Chinatown Night Market, held one Wednesday a month in June, July, August and September, is organized by the Victoria Chinese Commerce Association and businesses and individuals in the community. The market aims to celebrate Chinatown heritage and culture through focusing on culturally relevant entertainment, food, artists and vendors to participate in the market, making it a showcase of Asian culture in Victoria. Information is posted at http://www.chinatownnightmarket.ca/.


Orkestar Slivovica - New CD arrives at VillageNow #newmusic #balkanbrass

Orkestar Slivovica - New CD arrives at VillageNow




youtube.com/user/anenad

Orkestar Slivovica | Myspace Music Videos

We'll be adding tracks from this disc very soon!

Chamber Gives A Big “Two Thumbs Up” for New Audit Council #yyj @Chambervictoria


April 25, 2012 – Victoria, BC – The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce applauds the BC provincial government for its announcement of an Audit Council as an important step in the development of the office of the Auditor General for Local Government.

“We are delighted with the provincial government’s progress on this important initiative,” said Bruce Carter, CEO at the Victoria Chamber. “Our members continue to express concern over the unsustainable rate of growth in municipal spending which has consistently eclipsed both wage and economic growth. It is our hope that this new office will reinforce a culture of sound fiscal decision making and ensure that taxpayers are getting the best value for their tax dollar.”

The creation of an Auditor General for local governments was a policy first developed by the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and was subsequently endorsed by Chambers across the province as a BC Chamber policy.

The Chamber’s ongoing “Our Vibrant Community” campaign launched during the recent municipal election focuses on the pillars of accountability, affordability, transparency and collaboration. These pillars resonated with voters and were endorsed by the majority of candidates. With the establishment of the new office of the Auditor General for Local Government, the Chamber welcomes an ongoing dialogue about how we build on these pillars.

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

see also: Province names Audit Council members

Province names Audit Council members #bcpoli

April 25, 2012
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development

VICTORIA - Five British Columbians have been named to the Audit Council overseeing the Auditor General for Local Government (AGLG), ensuring the independence of the office, announced Ida Chong, minister of Community, Sport and Culture.

The installation of the Audit Council is a crucial step toward establishing the autonomy of the AGLG. The Audit Council's first task will be to make a recommendation to the minister as to who should be appointed Auditor General for Local Government.

The Audit Council will also be responsible for monitoring the performance of the AGLG by reviewing and providing comments on performance audits, annual reports and service plans. It will also disseminate information about recommendations made by the AGLG.

The council is comprised of a broad mix of professionals from different parts of British Columbia with backgrounds in accounting, law, finance, business and local government. The five members appointed today are Anthony Ariganello (chair), J. Richard Heney, Donalda MacDonald, Lisa Payne and Timothy J. Wood.

see also: Chamber Gives A Big “Two Thumbs Up” for New Audit Council

Public engagement begins on new policing plan #bcpoli

April 25, 2013
Ministry of Justice

VICTORIA - The B.C. government wants to hear what you have to say about policing.

The Province is engaging with British Columbians online and in face-to-face sessions over the next three months, with feedback being used to support the development of a new 10-year policing strategic plan, announced Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond.

The engagement is part of the Premier's commitment to develop a policing strategy that will provide goals, targets and performance measures for police over the next three, five and ten years. Areas of focus will include community safety, crime prevention, and the best ways to respond to and prevent gang and gun violence.

The first community roundtable is being held in Victoria today, with additional sessions to be held in different regions in the coming months. Roundtables are planned for Nanaimo, Vancouver, Surrey, Cranbrook, Prince George, Prince Rupert and Kelowna. Through the roundtables, the Province is engaging subject matter experts from the social service sector, police, local governments and community leaders.

A blog will be launched in the next few weeks that will allow the public throughout the province to provide their thoughts and ideas. Dialogue sessions will be held on the blog with regular updates as the project progresses, so British Columbians have a transparent view of how the plan is being developed and how their feedback is being incorporated.

All of the feedback received through the blog and in meetings will inform the development of the plan. A draft will be posted on the blog in the fall, so British Columbians will have opportunities to shape it every step of the way, before it is implemented.

The Next 'Runaways'? Youth Rock Band #Auditions #yyjmusic


As part of its mandate to empower and provide artist development for aspiring youth musicians, Kasper Creative Media (Producer of the Vancouver Island Music Awards and Music & Laughter Festival) is happy to present a fun and valuable opportunity for Victoria youth musicians (ages 14 to 18) to audition for a rock band that will be professionally managed and promoted, with the goal of producing high-calibre recordings and live performances, maximizing Artist Development, and eventually launching the band as a high profile up-and-coming act.

The Saturday Apr.28 auditions (2-4pm at Lemon Tree Records, 1821 Cook St.) are for the 'Girl Band' incarnation of this project. The band is called White Hot Jet. (Auditions for the 'Boy Rock Group' version will be announced at a later date).

Auditions are for Vocalists, Guitarists, Bassists, Drummers. Being able to do more than one of these is an asset, but not required. There is no cost to audition. Youth auditioning will be informed of qualifying or not the day after the audition. Any participants not chosen for this project may still be chosen for future projects. If you would like an audition spot, call or email James Kasper at 250-885-5988 or info@jameskasper.com Parents/Guardians are encouraged to attend, but otherwise the auditions are not in front of an audience.

Youth auditioning are asked to learn one of the following songs and perform it at the audition (for those who do not sing, just being familiar with playing an instrument to one of these songs is fine).

• Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar
• We Got the Beat – The Gogos
• Don’t it Make You Feel Like Dancing – The Headpins
• Just One More Time – The Headpins
• Bad Reputation – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
• I Hate Myself for Loving You – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
• I Love Rock n Roll – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
• Victim of Circumstance – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
• Volcano Girls – Veruca Salt

Permission form to audition from parent or guardian must be signed prior to session.


Auditions for Youth (All-Girl) Rock Band, Ages 14 - 18.

Saturday April 28, 2012, 2pm to 4pm.
Lemon Tree Records, 1821 Cook St.
Cost: Free.

Info/To book an audition: 250-885-5988 or info@jameskasper.com

See Also: 2012 Vancouver Island Music Awards Winners List

and: Vancouver Island Music Awards: Images from Fairfield United

Art Display will Showcase Work of the Formerly Homeless May 10 #yyj @PacificaHousing


For Immediate Release:

April 25, 2012 (Victoria, BC) - A wide variety of artwork done by tenants living in Pacifica Housing's four supported complexes will be on display at Island Blue Art Store during the month of May.

"There are some truly talented artists flying under the radar in our community," said supported housing coordinator Angela McNulty Buell "We wanted to encourage participation in the art program and provide a public opportunity for those [tenants] interested to showcase their work".

Island Blue Art Store was happy to provide that opportunity "We are always pleased to support new and emerging artists by showcasing their work" said Island Blue's General Manager Merle Duffus.

Tenants in Pacifica's supported housing complexes face multiple barriers to accessing and retaining housing in the private market. Many have struggled with mental health and / or addictions issues and experienced an extended period of homelessness in their lives.

"The [art] show gives me the opportunity to show the desperation and the suffering of all those going through recovery in all its forms" said participating artist David Small "I'm nervous about showing my work because it's part of my life. It depicts how I am dealing with my recovery and meditation in finding that solace within me." David's piece is called Recovery Through Solace.

A special after hours exhibition and art sale will take place at Island Blue on May 10th from 5:30pm - 7:30pm. Tickets are $10 and 100 % of ticket proceeds will support Pacifica Housing's art program.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please contact Kristy Colpron at 250-385-2131 ext 103 or email kristyc@pacificahousing.ca. Tickets are limited and will not be sold at the door.


Linden Singers present A Spring Potpourri May 12 #yyjmusic @LindenSingers


A SPRING POTPOURRI

LINDEN SINGERS, under the direction of Dr. Garry Froese, will present choral music from two of the world's great musical cultures, Italy and Russia. Vivaldi's GLORIA, Russian sacred music, folksongs and operatic choruses will show many different styles and colours, from sweeping melodies to rhythmically dynamic folk tunes.

This concert will take place at the First Metropolitan United Church
Balmoral at Quadra on Saturday May 12th 2012 at 7:30 PM

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