Thursday, August 30, 2012

ICBC’s tips for staying safe this Labour Day long weekend @icbc

August 29, 2012

Over the Labour Day long weekend, on average, four people are killed and 576 injured in 1,935 crashes across the province.* Whatever your plans are for the last long weekend of summer, ICBC is encouraging you to plan ahead so that you and your family get to where you’re going safely.

“With the long weekend upon us, we want to remind British Columbians to drive safely and take care behind the wheel,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General. “Those who drive while impaired, speed excessively, talk or text while driving can expect to face some of the most severe penalties in Canada. Make this Labour Day weekend a memorable one for the right reasons.”

“Police will be out in full force across the province this weekend and throughout the month of September checking for distracted drivers,” said Chief Constable Jamie Graham, Chair of the Traffic Safety Committee of the British Columbia Association of Chiefs of Police. “Plan ahead to avoid getting distracted – turn off your phone before you head out or better yet, put it in the trunk so you won’t be tempted if it rings while you’re driving.”

“We want you and your family to enjoy the last weekend of summer and stay safe,” said Fiona Temple, ICBC’s director of road safety. “With more traffic expected over the holiday weekend, expect delays and give yourself extra time to get to where you’re going safely. If you think you might be having drinks, plan a safe ride home before you start drinking.” 

Over the Labour Day long weekend, on average, 88 people are injured in 291 crashes every year on Vancouver Island. (ICBC data from 2007 to 2011). 

Here are ICBC’s tips to help you and your family stay safe this Labour Day long weekend:

Be realistic: With more vehicles on the road over the long weekend, allow extra time for possible delays.
Check road and weather conditions before you set off at

Slow down and keep your distance: This is vital during the summer months as we see more motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians on our roads. Their movements can be unpredictable so maintaining a safe distance will give you more time to react. Allow at least two seconds of following distance in good weather and road conditions, and at least three seconds on high-speed roads or if you’re behind a motorcycle.

Eliminate distractions: Distracted driving is now the third leading cause of car crash fatalities in B.C., with an average of 94 deaths every year due to driver distractions. These deaths are preventable and you can help keep your family and friends safe by not calling or talking to them if you know they’re behind the wheel. You can download a free ringtone developed by ICBC that will help remind you not to pick up every time you receive a call.

Plan ahead: If your plans involve alcohol, take all the necessary steps to make sure you get home safely – arrange a designated driver, take a taxi, public transit or call a friend or family member for a ride home.

School’s back: Don’t forget that kids head back to school on Tuesday so drivers will need to pay extra care and attention. Police will be closely monitoring speeds in school zones, making sure that drivers stick to the 30km/h limit. With the excitement of going back to school, road safety may not be top of mind for kids so it’s a good time for parents to remind them about the rules of the road and go over their route to school with them.

For more safe driving tips, visit

The Rockland Stroll: Sept 8th #yyjevents

Victoria, BC, Canada – The Rockland Neighborhood Association invites everyone to come explore this historic area during the Rockland Stroll. This fun and innovative neighborhood party celebrating the city’s 150th anniversary will celebrate and showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Rockland Neighborhood.

The party will feature special events at each of the key Rockland landmarks: Langham Court Theatre, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Craigdarroch Castle, and Government House along with support from the Victoria Vintage Car Club, The Hallmark Heritage Society and The City of Victoria 150. The entire community is invited to attend and experience Rockland from a pedestrian perspective. Guests will be encouraged to walk to each location for the various events, collecting stamps on their ‘passport’ to Rockland. Visitors with a full passport will be eligible to enter a draw for prizes.

Highlights of the day will include:

· Tradional Pole Raising Ceremony of Hosaqami, at Government House, 11AM

· A bouncy castle, family croquet and jazz at Craigdarroch Castle, 12 – 3 PM

· Passport Prize Draw and Birthday Cup Cakes at Craigdarroch Castle 3:30 PM

· Vintage Car display by the Victoria Vintage Car Club on Manor Road, 12 – 3:30 PM

· A public tour of the Silk Spendor exhibit at 2 PM and “The Spencer Mansion: A House, A Home, and an Art Gallery” book launch and signing by author Rob Taylor at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria,

· Architectural Display, self guided walking tours of Rockland by the Hallmark Heritage Society, 12 -3:30PM

· “Fashion throught the Ages” Show at 2;30 and silent movies at Langham Court Theatre, 12 -3:30 PM

· Light Refreshments at Goverment House Mews and Langham Court Theater

A wide variety of entertainment and activities for all ages will ensure that there is something for everyone to enjoy.

“Although Rockland is a well-known neighborhood in the greater Victoria community, this knowledge is largely piecemeal or purely conceptual,” explains Elisabeth Hazell, Manager of Operations and Development at Craigdarroch Castle. “For example, someone who does not live in the neighborhood may have visited the Art Gallery or Government House, but they likely drove there and didn’t walk around before or after. It may come as a surprise to some that it is only a 7 minute walk from the Art Gallery to either Craigdarroch or Government House.”

In conjunction with the Lieutenant Governor’s initiatives to welcome visitors to Government House, the ceremonial home of all British Columbians, the Rockland Neighbourhood Association hopes that Victoria residents will discover (or rediscover) this beautiful neighbourhood that represents an important part of the city’s history and culture.

New Project Manager for Johnson Street Bridge Project #yyj

City Welcomes New Project Manager
for Johnson Street Bridge Project

Thursday, August 30, 2012
For Immediate Release

VICTORIA, BC – The City is pleased to announce Ken Jarvela as the new Senior Project Manager for the Johnson Street Bridge Replacement Project. Mr. Jarvela will start in his position on Monday, September 17.

“This is an important and exciting transportation project,” said Ken Jarvela. “I am looking forward to joining the project team and to be a part of building a new bridge for Victoria.”

Mr. Jarvela is a professional engineer from Ontario with over 30 years of experience in civil engineering. He has worked on numerous municipal projects, including several bridges.

His most recent major project involved the Blue Water Bridge, which spans the St. Clair River between Point Edward, Ontario and Port Huron, Michigan. He was the Project Manager and Chief Engineer for the $160 million construction of the second span of the Blue Water Bridge and the rehabilitation of the original span.

Request for Proposal Update

The City has issued an addendum to change the closing date of the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the bridge contract to October 18, 2012.

With an objective to deliver a new bridge that meets the City’s budget and design criteria, the RFP process permits proponents to discuss potential design optimizations with the City in advance to help ensure the proposals are consistent with the City’s requirements. The additional time will allow for these discussions to continue. The proponents are aware of the funding deadlines and fishery work windows.

The three world-class bridge proponents participating in the RFP process, all of whom have experience in building movable bridges, are PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc., Peter Kiewit Infrastructure Co. (Kiewit) and WCC Construction Canada, ULC (Walsh).

Once the fixed-price proposals are received they will be evaluated and staff will prepare a report to Council with a recommendation. Council makes the final decision on the award of the contract.

BC Human Rights Tribunal approves #Smartmeter class action

On August 28, 2012, the BC Human Rights Tribunal (BCHRT) issued a decision approving a representative complaint (akin to a class action) against BC Hydro on behalf of “those persons allegedly diagnosed with electromagnetic hypersensitivity and who have been advised to avoid exposure to wireless technology.”

A copy of the Tribunal’s decision is available at:

The Tribunal approved the representation of that class by the Citizens for Safe Technology Society, which it found to have authority to bring the representative complaint. The Society may be contacted at by any person wishing to join in the complaint.

The Tribunal found that the complaint brought by the Citizens for Safe Technology Society properly alleges a breach of the Human Rights Code in that it alleges a disability, adverse treatment in respect of a service customarily available to the public, and a nexus or connection between the disability and the adverse treatment.

By way of the Complaint, the Citizens for Safe Technology Society seeks:

· A declaration that BC Hydro has discriminated against each person in the Class by failing to provide each person in the Class with an unconditional written commitment that BC Hydro will refrain from installing and/or operating a wireless smart meter at the individual’s place of residence and/or residential complex.

· An order that BC Hydro cease and desist forthwith from the said discrimination by offering to refrain from installing and/or operating a wireless smart meter at the individual’s place of residence and/or residential complex.

On May 31, 2011, the World Health Organization recognized that radiofrequency electromagnetic fields are a Class 2B possible human cancer risk. The emissions generated by the Microwave Device fall under this classification of emissions and risk.

The Citizens for Safe Technology Society is currently fundraising to bring a tort action against BC Hydro so as to prohibit the imposition of microwave emitting smart meters on BC residents regardless of whether they have electromagnetic hypersensitivity.

Camosun College Student Society voices Funding Concerns #yyj #education

Camosun Students: Health assistant program announcement does not address chronic underfunding at the College 

Victoria- While welcoming additional funding for the health care assistant program, students at Camosun College are disappointed that the government has not addressed chronic underfunding issues.

“College funding has been frozen for over three years,” said Madeline Keller-MacLeod, External Affairs Executive at the Camosun College Student Society. “Due to inflation this amounts to a two or three per cent cut per year. This has resulted in the elimination of the applied communication program (ACP) and has put our dental hygiene program at risk.”

“Today’s funding announcement is close to what it would have cost to save the ACP. Applied communications was an affordable program with high employability for graduates. We believe that all programs at the College should be fully funded.“

“In addition, this is only one-time funding. Employment needs in this field will continue to grow with an aging population. Sustainable funding should be guaranteed for these new seats.”

Fraud Prevention Workshop with @SaanichPolice Oct 3 #yyj

The Saanich Police Financial Crimes Division will be hosting a Fraud Prevention Workshop on October 3, 2012 from 1-2:30pm at the Saanich Police Department.

This workshop is free and open to the public.

Contact Cst Karen Phillips at 250-475-4377 to register. Space is limited.

Also see the Financial Crimes at:

Report on justice reform to guide system-wide change #bcpoli

Aug. 30, 2012
Ministry of Justice

VANCOUVER - An independent report that will guide system-wide reforms to the justice system to increase timeliness and accessibility for all British Columbians was released today by Justice Minister and Attorney General Shirley Bond.

In his report, A Criminal Justice System for the 21st Century, Geoffrey Cowper, QC, chair of the Justice Reform Initiative, offers recommendations to government and the judiciary on ways to achieve overall timeliness, improve court and judicial administration and improve the experiences of victims and the community.

Included in the review and also released today is a report from the Legal Services Society examining legal aid funding and a review of B.C.'s charge assessment process submitted by Gary McCuaig, QC.

The B.C. government is reviewing Cowper's report and its recommendations, and in response, will develop an action plan in the form of a white paper released this fall in two stages. The white paper will also consider other reviews and consultations that have taken place under the Justice Reform Initiative, including the Legal Services Society report, McCuaig's report, the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry report, the ongoing public engagement on policing and other current government reform projects.

Cowper's report is part of a justice reform process that began with an internal government audit and the release of a green paper in February 2012, Modernizing British Columbia's Justice System, which outlined some of the challenges with the system. In response to public concern, Premier Christy Clark asked Cowper to review the criminal justice system and to consult with the judiciary, Crown counsel, the legal profession, police and others.

In doing so, he consulted with stakeholder groups, travelled to communities throughout the province, and considered feedback from public submissions to his website:

Upcoming government action on justice reform will address the major challenges that affect public confidence in the justice system. For example, the crime rate is dropping yet there is an increase in the number of cases stayed and delayed, and provincial funding for policing and corrections is up from where it was 10 years ago.

The B.C. government's justice reform activities are a key commitment of the Families First Agenda, which strives to ensure that families have access to justice services and feel safe at home and in their communities. To read the agenda, share yourideas or provide feedback, visit:

BCCLA call on #RCMP to get out of the editorial and media policy business @bccla

The BC Civil Liberties Association is calling on the RCMP in Northern BC to get out of the editorial and media policy business. The BCCLA has received allegations that the Terrace RCMP are using RCMP letterhead to advance the business interests of a preferred local television news station, while cutting off their competition, a local news website, from press release distribution.

“The RCMP has a job to police impartially and to share public safety information with media outlets impartially, even if those outlets may be critical of some aspects of their work,” said Lindsay Lyster, President of the BCCLA. “Media are a check and balance on police, and their role is constitutionally protected from police interference. Interference can include police advancing the private business interests of one outlet while revoking privileges from the other.”

The editor of the news website Terrace Daily Online, a widely read online local news source in Terrace alleges that RCMP in Terrace advised him that an article which lampooned the local mayor and RCMP Inspector had offended the force. The editor also alleged that the RCMP in Terrace told him that would not receive news releases until they changed their editorial policies to give satirical stories that criticized the RCMP and local politicians lower prominence.

On August 16, 2012, media reported that the Inspector for the RCMP in Terrace had written a letter on RCMP letterhead in support of Astral Media merging with Bell Canada, stating that the RCMP “ask the Commission [CRTC] to approve the transfer of control of Astral [media] to BCE [Bell Canada].”

“The RCMP may well prefer the coverage of one media outlet to the other,” says Lyster, “but retaliation for negative coverage by withholding public information is not acceptable, nor is using an impartial public platform to advocate for the private interests of media outlets that provide favourable coverage. We are calling on the RCMP to review this situation, reinstate the Terrace Daily’s status as a media outlet that receives RCMP press releases, and to correct the record around the force’s apparent support of a private media merger.”

Click here to read more information about >>

Click here to read the Terrace RCMP letter in support of Astral media >>

Hear the Revolution - VillageNow Streaming

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Saanich Police receive report of livestock killed by cougar #yyj @saanichpolice

Report of Cougar Killing Livestock 
On August 29, 2012 at 10:15 a.m. Saanich Police received a report of livestock having been killed by a cougar in the 4000 block of Prospect Lake Road. The incident may have occurred overnight however it was not discovered until later in the morning. Two sheep and one goat were killed in the attack.

Saanich Pound and B.C. Conservation officers responded and conducted a search of the area however did not locate the animal.

Valuable information with respect to cougars and safety if encountering a cougar is contained in the provincial Ministry of Environment's Safety Guide to Cougars which is availble at:

BCCLA calls for rules around use of force experts @bccla

BCCLA calls on OPCC and IIO to establish rules around use of force “experts”

The BCCLA is calling on the bodies that investigate police misconduct in BC to establish standardized rules around independent “use of force experts” relied on in making decisions about police conduct. The use of force expert in the Paul Boyd shooting, Bill Lewinski, obtained his psychology degree from a correspondence school, runs a police officer training business, and has been reported as saying that although research he produces could be used to prosecute the police, he doesn’t have time for that. The BCCLA has been unable to find a case where he testified that use of force by a police officer was inappropriate.

“The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner and the Independent Investigation Office need to set up rules for themselves and police departments, so that they don’t hire pro-police ‘experts’ who rely on good relations with police for a living,” said Lindsay Lyster, President of the BCCLA. “We’re surprised we have to say it, but the OPCC and IIO should only be hiring experts who have a track record of credibly testifying for prosecution and defence – public and police confidence demands it.”

The OPCC has explained that it was aware of the background of Bill Lewinski, the expert in the Paul Boyd shooting, and that the price of his evidence was “a bargain”. Lewinski was originally hired by the Vancouver Police Department to review the shooting.

“These rules guiding who should be hired as a use of force expert should apply equally to police departments as to the oversight bodies that oversee them,” said Lyster. “Often police departments are as reliant on use of force experts as oversight bodies are, and there is no reason for British Columbia to retain experts around which there is public concern or controversy.”

The BCCLA has refrained from drafting a set of guidelines for the retention of experts, but says that basic principles that could be included are: professional and personal independence from police and police departments, qualifications from recognized educational institutions in areas the expert is asked to provide opinion on, and a demonstrated history of testimony for prosecution and defence on police use of force which has been accepted by courts.

Single Lane Traffic Garnet Rd between Shelbourne & Emerald Aug 30-31 #yyjtraffic

On Thursday, August 30, 2012 through to Friday, August 31, 2012 there will be single lane traffic on Garnet Road between Shelbourne Street and Emerald Place. Work is scheduled to start at approximately 8:00 am and is expected to continue until 4:00 pm.

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

Don't Fear the Reaper - @BobtownMusic covers Blue Oyster Cult

Bobtown just sent us this cover of an epic Blue Oyster Cult track, and we added it to the playlist ASAP :)

Statement From Premier on Kevin Falcon resignation decision #bcpoli

Aug. 29, 2012
Office of the Premier
Statement From Premier Christy Clark

VANCOUVER - Premier Christy Clark released the following statement on the decision by Kevin Falcon not to run again in next May's general election, and to resign from cabinet.

"This morning Kevin Falcon advised me that he would be stepping down as Finance Minister and Deputy Premier and that he will not seek re-election in the next provincial election in order to spend more time with his family.

"I have asked Shirley Bond, Attorney General and Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General to serve as Acting Finance Minister in the interim. Minister Bond already serves as Deputy Chair of Treasury Board and alternate Finance Minister.

"Kevin Falcon has been the hardest working Finance Minister in the country and I want to thank him for keeping us on strong fiscal footing, with a triple A credit rating despite the worst global recession in generations. He has made a remarkable contribution to our province and his public service is beyond distinction.

"I know how hard it can be to balance the needs and aspirations of family life while wanting to serve publically. I wish Kevin and his growing family continued success and happiness and thank him for his incredible tenure."

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