Friday, September 28, 2012

Tentative agreements with BCGEU, Residents #bcpoli

Sept. 28, 2012
Ministry of Finance

Tentative agreements with BCGEU, Residents

VICTORIA - A tentative agreement for a new contract for public service employees throughout British Columbia has been reached with the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today.

The settlement covers approximately 26,000 BCGEU members working in a wide range of occupations that provide British Columbians with the services they rely on, including health care, public safety, social services, education, environmental management and others.

The two-year agreement provides for modest wage increases, which are being funded from savings found within existing budgets, as required under government's Cooperative Gains Mandate.

As part of the agreement, the Negotiated Request for Proposal process for the privatization of liquor distribution was cancelled.

A memorandum of settlement was also reached between Professional Association of Residents of British Columbia (PAR-BC) and the Health Employers' Association of BC earlier in the month, closing out two years under the 2010 Net Zero mandate and settling a new two-year term with modest increases found within Cooperative Gains.

Further details about each agreement will be available following the ratification process by the respective members.

#Esquimalt Recognized as Age-Friendly Community

Esquimalt has been recognized by the Ministry of Health as an Age-friendly Community. The recognition goes to local governments that support older residents to remain healthy and active in their community. Esquimalt was one of nine municipalities province-wide that received the recognition.

“We are pleased to be recognized in this way and will continue in our efforts to make Esquimalt an accessible and healthy community for residents of all ages,” said Mayor Barbara Desjardins.

Examples of recent age-friendly improvements in the Township include Esquimalt Active Park, an outdoor fitness park for all ages and abilities, and accessibility improvements to its recreation facilities.

As part of the recognition, the Township received an award poster and a $1000 grant from the Ministry of Health to create a legacy project or a celebration.

Road Closure Torquay Dr from Brousson Dr to Barrie Rd Oct 1-19 #yyjtraffic

Traffic Advisory

From Monday Oct 1st to Friday Oct 19th there will be a temporary road closure on Torquay Drive from Brousson Drive north to Barrie Rd. There will be intermittent stoppages on Ash Rd at Torquay Drive.

We will be using traffic control people. It will be one lane alternating traffic.

BC Hydro will be working on site from Oct 1st- Oct 5th.

Saanich crews will work on site from Oct 9th- Oct 19th

Work is scheduled to start at 7:30 am until 3:30 pm.

Traffic Advisory: Delays at intersection of Royal Oak Da&d Falaise Dr Sept 30 #yyjtraffic

Traffic Advisory
On Sunday, September 30, 2012 there will be traffic delays at the intersection of Royal Oak Drive and Falaise Drive. Work is scheduled to start at approximately 7:00 am and is expected to continue until 12:00 pm.

The traffic signals will temporarily be turned off for repairs. 

Please obey all traffic signs and approach the intersection as four way stop.

All vehicles including emergency vehicles will have access.

Mill Hill Broom Sweep Sept 29 & Oct 20 #yyj

Get Swept Up in the Annual Mill Hill Broom Sweep

Victoria, BC– The Capital Regional District (CRD) is recruiting volunteers for the 11th annual broom sweep at Mill Hill Regional Park on Saturday, September 29 and October 20, 2012. This successful, science-based project brings community members together with Regional Parks’ staff under the common goals of restoring a valuable remnant Garry oak ecosystem and recovering rare and endangered plants.

“The Mill Hill broom sweep is the CRD Regional Parks largest volunteer initiative, with an increasing number of individuals and groups joining up every fall,” said CRD Parks and Community Services General Manager Lloyd Rushton. “We are very appreciative of the dedicated work of these volunteers, many of whom have been involved for years. Some are cultivating a great deal of knowledge of invasive species management so it is a very rewarding volunteer opportunity, which greatly benefits the region.”

Last year staff and more than 140 volunteers, including park neighbours, church groups, schools, youth and non-profit organizations, removed five metric tonnes of invasive plants from the park. Over the last ten years, almost 63 tonnes of Scotch broom, daphne, gorse, sweetbrier and common hawthorn have been removed. The biomass is then sent to a commercial facility for processing as biofuel.

Mill Hill Regional Park has one of the highest concentrations of plants at risk in the province. Central to the project is scientific monitoring of rare plants and other vegetation. The project also addresses recreational impacts to the park.

“We are seeing positive results,” says Rushton. “Before the project started, seven rare plant species were known to occur at 32 sites in the park. Today, 14 rare species have been found at almost 200 sites. There is an increase in common camas and other native species of Garry oak ecosystems, as well as a pronounced increase in rare white-top aster.”

The project is undertaken by CRD Regional Parks with the financial support from the Government of Canada provided through the Federal Department of the Environment.

September 29 & October 20, 2012
Mill Hill Regional Park, 490 Atkins Ave., Langford
Reasonably fit individuals and groups are welcome
Volunteers may register online at or by calling 250.360.3329. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

BC Civil Liberties Launches Patient Rights Resources on HIV Testing @bccla

September 27, 2012
For immediate release

Vancouver – Today the BC Civil Liberties Association is launching two new guides on patient rights in the context of HIV testing. The tremendous benefits of new treatment options for HIV have fostered a push for “routine” HIV testing, but information about patients’ rights has not kept pace.

Micheal Vonn, Policy Director of the BCCLA: “Everyone supports the goals of increased access to testing and treatment, but we can’t build a supportive culture for HIV testing by denying people essential information to make their own choices and exercise their rights. There’s been an unfortunate trend to minimizing information for patients that urgently needs to be reversed.”

The new guides cover issues such as informed consent, “non-nominal” (no-name) testing, how to safeguard your medical privacy and limit who can view your medical information, and information about the criminal law and non-disclosure to sexual partners.

“Medical information is less confidential than it used to be because of electronic health records. People living with HIV advocated very hard for some patient controls within these new systems, but patients can’t use those privacy tools if no one tells them about it. And there has been reluctance on the part of the government to tell people about their rights in this regard”, said Ken Buchanan, Chair of Positive Living BC.

Jesse Brown, Executive Director of YouthCO: “There is a huge need for these resources, which cover all the bases about HIV testing. We need to make sure that people are safe and comfortable accessing testing and confident that their consent is fully informed.”

The production of these HIV testing resources was made possible through a project grant from the MAC Aids Fund, as well as on-going operational funding from the Law Foundation of British Columbia” The HIV testing pocketbook and the HIV testing handbook can be viewed at:

HIV Pocketbook >>

HIV Handbook >>

#Saanich Police Respond To Report of a Stabbing @Saanichpolice

On Wednesday, September 26, 2012, at 9:17 pm, members of the Saanich Police Uniform Division responded to multiple 911 calls. Several callers phoned to report a man had been stabbed in the parking lot of 4420 West Saanich Rd.

A 22 year old man was transported to Victoria General Hospital with serious but non-threatening injuries. A number of employees and customers from the nearby Country Grocer store provided ‘first responder’ medical care to the young man.

Officers from the General Investigation Section and Forensic Identification Section were called to the scene to assist with the investigation.

Anyone with information about the assault on the male is asked to call the Saanich Police at 250-475-4321or the Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers.

Bulletproof Busts: Gunning for the Cure

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Victoria BC – Over 30 VicPD officers will be “gunning for a cure” this weekend at the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure event.

On Saturday, September 30, VicPD officers will be donning their bulletproof vests and “Bulletproof Busts” team jerseys as they join thousands running in this event. The team will be running in formation through the event and are set to be one of the top fundraising teams.

“We have several members of our department who have recently won, or are continuing to fight cancer,’ said Sgt. Kristi Ross. “This run is dedicated to their strength and determination.”

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure takes place at 9 a.m. this Saturday at the University of Victoria.

If you wish to donate to the ‘Bulletproof Busts’ you can do so online at:

BC Healthy Living Alliance: Local Food Production & Self-Sufficiency @bchealthyliving

Local or Organic? What about none at all?
Many British Columbians are still going hungry...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (September 27, 2012) - Seven dollars for a yellowing head of broccoli? 47% of your income on food? Sounds crazy, but for people living in small, rural communities or for families on Income Assistance this is the reality.

On Wednesday, September 26th the BC Healthy Living Alliance brought people from around the province together in an on-line forum to discuss the persistent issue of food security in BC, and some ‘in the box’ solutions that may be outside of the norm.

The high cost of housing and low wages squeeze the food budgets of low income British Columbians, according to Kristen Yarker, Executive Director of Dietitians of BC. “A provincial poverty reduction plan, more affordable housing and living wage policies are part of the solution that the government should be pursuing.”

Corine Singfield, Coordinator of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project in Bella Coola, explained that small markets, longer distances and higher shipping costs mean produce that makes it to small remote communities using conventional distribution is of poor quality at higher prices.

But those disadvantages can and have helped to stimulate local food production and self-sufficiency. Corine says with a small population, demand in Bella Coola can be met using small scale agriculture offering competitive prices for a higher quality product.

Across Northern BC, remote communities face similar challenges but with a shorter growing season. Greg Halseth and Marleen Morris from UNBC described what may be the future. Using waste heat from bio-energy projects to heat soil and extend the growing season or to power hydroponic systems in portable trailers.

Scott McDonald, BCHLA Chair and CEO of the BC Lung Association said, “Mom was right about eating your veggies. Diet plays a big role in decreasing risk for many chronic diseases. If we’re serious about disease prevention and reducing healthcare costs then we need to make it easier for more people to eat healthier.”

According to the latest Statistics Canada numbers, less than half of British Columbians (42.3%) reported eating fruit and vegetables at least five times daily. Just one extra serving of vegetable or fruit per day is linked to a 20% reduction in all causes of mortality.

The BC Healthy Living Alliance includes: BC Lung Association, BC Pediatric Society, BC Recreation and Parks Association, Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon Division, Canadian Diabetes Association, Dietitians of Canada, BC Region, Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and Yukon, Public Health Association of BC, and Union of BC Municipalities

Crack, Meth Seized after Ferry Terminal Arrest #yyj @Vicpdcanada

File # 12-32645
Thursday, September 27, 2012

Victoria BC – VicPD arrested two people at the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal yesterday afternoon with a suitcase loaded with almost $50,000 worth of crack cocaine and methamphetamine.

Police arrested a 23-year-old Victoria man and a 26-year-old Sooke woman around 2:45 p.m. with assistance from the Sidney RCMP and B.C. Ferries security staff. The two were returning to Victoria on the 1 p.m. sailing out of Tsawwassen.

The arrest came as part of a month-long Strikeforce and Street Crime Unit investigation, who had the well-known Victoria drug dealer under surveillance as he went to Vancouver to re-load his supply. Police believe that the re-load came in anticipation of capitalizing on the downtown drug market when social assistance cheques would be issued Wednesday.

“The drug dealers targeted in this investigation feed on the addictions of those suffering homelessness and addictions in our community,” said Cst. Harvey Stevenson of VicPD’s Street Crime Unit. “We are happy to have this person in custody and these drugs off the street.”

Police seized 24 ounces of crack cocaine and 12 ounces of meth. These quantities would be broken down and sold on the streets for as little as $10 a hit.

The man arrested has a history over 24 previous convictions and nearly 200 police contacts. He was held in custody overnight and is due in court today for charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking.

His female accomplice was released on a promise to appear for November 7th.

Chef Survival Challenge Event Sept 30 at Madrona Farm #yyj @ChefsurvivalCha

12 Noon to 5pm Sunday, September 30, 2012
Madrona Farm - 4317 Blenkinsop Rd. Victoria, BC
Gates open for parking at 11:30am


After 5 years of raising funds for farmland conservation, The Chef Survival Challenge Event organizers have made it official: this September 30, 2012 at The 5th Annual Chef Survival Challenge Event at Madrona Farm, will be the launch of “The Big Dream Farm Fund”. This fund will be available to organizations dedicated to farmland conservation and sustainable farming education and outreach. The fund will be filled with the proceeds from Chef Survival Challenge event, as well as Society Memberships and donations.

The Chef Survival Challenge was originally created by Nathalie Chambers as an awareness-building fundraiser for the successful “Protect Madrona Farm Forever Campaign".

“Since its inception in 2008, this event has raised thousands of dollars for farmland conservation and benefitted such organizations as: TLC, The Protect Madrona Farm Campaign, TLC's Native Pollinator Enhancement Project, The Island Chef Collaborative, The Pender Island Community Farm Project, Horse Lake Farm, LifeCycles, Reynolds School Salad Bar Program, VNHS, Food Roots and many more”.

The Chef Survival Challenge is over-the-top-hilarious. Watch the hottest chefs in Victoria participate in what has been coined a "culinary arts performance", as they prove their dedication to local, sustainable ingredients and the lengths they will go to protect the farmland that provides them. These chefs are going to hurdle, race, crawl, kayak to condiment island, zip-line and climb the wall to create an extraordinary feast in this most entertaining event.

Once they have completed the obstacle course they forage over the 24 acres of Madrona Farm to pick the vegetables they need to create their masterpiece meals using only camping gear. This is an up close and personal opportunity to observe your favourite chefs in action.

Some of this year's chefs include: last year's winning chef Stephan Drolet (Camille's), Ken Harper (VI University College), Chris Hammer (Royal Colwood Golf Course), Dan Hayes (The London Chef), Garrett Schack and Mike Dunlop (Vista 18), Cosmo Meens (The Hot and Cold Cafe), Mike Williams (Country Grocer), Robin Jackson (Sooke Harbour House), Amanda Chesley (Stages), and many more.

Entertainment will include award-winning Canadian musician Lester Quitzau as will as special guest appearances by Olympic Rower David Calder and Miss Canada Galaxy 2011!

Come celebrate with a community feast and see why Victoria is fact becoming a world-class culinary destination.

Youth in Parks Green Scene Event Sept 29 #yyj

Saturday September 29, 2012

Elk/Beaver Regional Park by Beaver Lake parking lot 

Join the Youth in Parks team for an exciting day outdoors! Check Out the Green Scene! Whether you’re an environmentally conscious teen who wants to make a difference, an adventure seeker who loves a challenge, or someone who simply wants to meet new people, this event is for you!

Meet new friends, gain practical skills (wilderness survival, herbalism and team building) and get into action (canoeing, scavenger hunt and invasive species removal). The relaxation station will provide snacks and prizes! Bring your friends and come by bus, bike or walk to win a reward (and help the environment along the way). See you there!

Presented by the Youth in Parks Team - a collaboration of the CRD, BC Parks and the Boys and Girls Club.

For more information:

Visit us on Facebook Youth in Parks

Visit the website

Contact Reed Osler at 250.360.3326 or email

Notice of Meetings Oct 1-5 #Saanich

OCTOBER 1 - 5, 2012


MONDAY, OCTOBER 1, 7:30 p.m., Council Chambers


9195: Sanitary Sewer Bylaw amendment – inclusion of 4763 Carloss Place in the Sewer Service Area.

Committee Items

1256 Hastings Street – rezoning to RD-1 (two family dwelling) for proposed two family dwelling.

4577 Leyns Road (a portion) – rezoning to RS-14 (single family dwelling) for proposed 2 lot residential subdivision.

5147 Del Monte Avenue – rezoning to RS-10 (single family dwelling) and P-4N (natural park) for proposed 4 lot residential subdivision and park dedication.

Permissive Tax Exemptions.


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 9:00 a.m., Committee Room No. 2


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 4:30 p.m., Committee Room No. 2

Nurses reach tentative deal with health employers @BCNursesUnion

September 26, 2012

Agreement improves nurse staffing for safe patient care. Details will be released after the union starts meeting with its members next week

Nurses’ negotiators have reached a tentative agreement with health employers on a new provincial contract that addresses their members’ main concerns – providing safe patient care through safe staffing, enhancing job security and improving compensation.

The Nurses’ Bargaining Association reached the agreement in a very tough fiscal climate, with the provincial government insisting on its cooperative gains mandate for public sector bargaining. If the agreement is ratified by members, it will cover more than 32,000 Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses across BC.

“We are pleased we were able to work constructively with health employers to address our members’ major concerns,” says Debra McPherson, president of the BC Nurses’ Union, the largest union in the bargaining group, which also include the Health Sciences Association and the Union of Psychiatric Nurses. “I’m looking forward to discussing the agreement with our members starting next week.”

Details of the agreement will be released after the union has an opportunity to present it to a province-wide group of regional executives and stewards on October 2.

Beauty Supply Theft: #Saanich PD Investigating @Saanichpolice

Beauty Supply Theft
File No. 12-20090

Saanich Police are investigating a theft of beauty supplies that occurred on Sept 24, 2012. A male and female have stolen over $6000 worth of barber/stylist scissors and hair extensions from Nova Beauty Supplies in the 600 block of Boleskine Road in Saanich. The thieves defeated the security lock, during store hours, on the display case and left the store after concealing items inside a bag.

The theft was discovered after the fact by video surveillance. The female culprit appears to have sustained a significant cut to her left hand as a result of this that may have required medical attention, or sought first aid nearby. Forensics officers have seized DNA samples to assist in identifying the culprits.

The male suspect is caucasian, slim and had dark hair to the collar. He was wearing blue jeans, a dark shirt and a black & grey winter coat.

The female suspect is caucasian, medium build with dark medium length hair. She was wearing dark pants, a dark shirt & a white zip up hoodie. She appeared to have a cut to her left hand.

Any persons with information are asked to contact the Saanich Police or Crimestoppers.

Downtown Plan Wins International Award

VICTORIA, BC — Last Saturday in Minneapolis, the City of Victoria was recognized by the International Downtown Association with a Downtown Merit Award for the development of the new Downtown Core Area Plan for Victoria, British Columbia’s Capital City.

Approved in 2011, the Downtown Core Area Plan provides guidance for growth and development over the next 30 years to foster an attractive, vibrant, pedestrian-friendly and economically resilient downtown and ensure that downtown remains the heart of the Capital Region.

“Victoria's downtown has a wonderful and unique character that is recognized throughout the world,” said Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin. “Our job is to ensure we have an effective and comprehensive map for future growth that protects our charm, support the region’s business centre, and encourages thoughtful development. This plan does just that.”

The Downtown Core Area Plan outlines a number of strategies to improve the vitality of the downtown, including:

· Development guidelines to support a rapid transit system along Douglas Street

· New density bonus system that balances increased density with the provision of public amenities

· Incentives to encourage the seismic upgrading and rehabilitation of heritage buildings

· Taller building heights within the Central Business District to support employment with a gradual building height transition to the lower-scale surrounding neighbourhoods

· New urban design guidelines that respond to the varying built form context within the Downtown Core Area

· Land use policies designed to strategically support mix of residential, commercial and industrial activity to support of economic development

“Each year the jury for the IDA Awards recognizes organizations that utilize best practices in our industry,” said David Downey, IDA President and CEO. “Victoria’s Downtown Core Area Plan is a shining example of excellent downtown management that delivers real results.”

Victoria's submission was among 10 qualified entries in the category of Planning. This category recognizes planning efforts that establish a strategic position for downtown with elements of the plan having already been approved, ratified, or implemented. Awards were presented at the annual conference, this year held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This award is the second time that the City of Victoria has been recognized by the International Downtown Association. In 2009, the City of Victoria was recognized with a Downtown Pinnacle Award for its work in addressing late night issues related to public urination, through a custom-designed urinal at the corner of Pandora Avenue and Government Street.

The Washington, DC, based International Downtown Association (IDA) is a champion for vital and livable urban centers and strives to inform, influence, and inspire downtown leaders and advocates.

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