West Shore This Week – A change of seasons

Welcome to West Shore This Week, your source for the latest local news and events. Sign up to get this in your inbox every Wednesday.

It’s getting colder, but seeing snowy images from other parts of B.C. makes me feel really lucky to live here. We haven’t turned the heat on at home yet so I find I’m usually buried under some sweaters and blankets at night instead.

The change in weather also marks the beginning of flu season. Last week, a West Shore This Week reader reached out to me with some questions about the flu shot, like where to get one and how to book an appointment. In response, I’ve put together a guide to answer those questions and more. I hope you find it to be of use!

We’re also continuing to update our riding-specific election pages with answers to your questions. If you’re in the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding, you can find our stories plus other election information here. If you’re in the Langford-Juan de Fuca riding, you can find it here. Advance voting ends on Oct. 21 and election day is Oct. 24.

What community stories should I cover after the election? Send me an email with your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you!

News and announcements

  • A 7.5-magnitude earthquake that took place near Sand Point, Alaska had officials assessing the risk to B.C. on Monday. They concluded there was no tsunami risk to B.C. In the event of an emergency, those living in the Highlands, Langford, View Royal and Colwood can receive alerts to their phone and email. Sign up for West Shore Alert online.
  • There were 127 illicit drug toxicity deaths in B.C. in September. That’s more than double compared to the same month last year, according to a report from the BC Coroners Service. However there was a decrease from the number of deaths in August (150) and no deaths have been reported at supervised consumption or drug overdose prevention sites.
  • The City of Colwood is exploring grant opportunities to construct a pedestrian and cycling bridge over the Island Highway. This would connect the Galloping Goose Regional Trail and make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians. The project cost is estimated at $4.9 million with the majority covered by grants. The city would pay about $1.4 million.
  • Police are seeking to identify a sexual assault suspect. West Shore RCMP says they are investigating the assault, which took place on Sept. 17. The suspect is described as an Asian man who is approximately five-foot-three to five-foot-six inches tall and between 35 and 45 years of age. More details and a photo of the suspect can be found here. Anyone with information is asked to call West Shore RCMP Const. Hill at 250-474-2264. Reports can also be made anonymously through Crime Stoppers online or at 1-800-222-8477.
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and effects of smoke on respiratory illnesses, open burning for the fall season has been suspended in the City of Langford. A community cleanup day is planned for Nov. 21 for residents who have a lot that is larger than half an acre. More details on yard waste drop-off will be sent by mail to eligible properties soon.
  • The District of Highlands has moved to an online burn permitting process for all open burning, including campfires, hand piles under one metre, machine piles over one metre, incinerators and burn barrels. There is no longer an open season for burning. More information can be found online.
  • Work is underway to renovate the second floor of the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre to build new child care spaces, according to West Shore Parks and Recreation.
  • The Capital Regional District Board awarded three Regional Housing Trust Fund grants totalling $1,665,000 to assist M’akola Housing Society and the Capital Region Housing Corporation in constructing new affordable housing in Victoria and Sooke. The projects in Sooke are located on Drennan Road and Charters Road.
  • Restoration of Todd Creek Trestle near Sooke Potholes Regional Park is complete. The over-100-year-old landmark now has 35 to 50 more years of life in it thanks to the restoration. 
  • Metchosin ArtPod has put out an open call for vendors for its Mighty Fine Affordable Art and Craft Sale and Show, which will take place Dec. 3 to Jan. 10. Details can be found online.
  • The Sooke School District (SD62) has partnered with Pacific FC to power soccer academies at Royal Bay Secondary, Dunsmuir Middle and Edward Milne Community schools, according to a news release. Pacific FC has been contracted to provide a program for recreational and high performance soccer players.

Community events

  • Now until Nov. 6: 📸 Get your camera ready for Royal Beach’s photo contest, in celebration of the new Birds of Bark driftwood installation by Paul Lewis. Details about the contest can be found on the Royal Beach Seaside Village Facebook page.
  • Now until Oct. 25: ♻️ It’s waste reduction week in Canada and the Capital Regional District has created a fun, online game to celebrate. Visit the CRD Facebook or Instagram pages for a waste-reducing tip or trick and mark it off a Bingo card. There’s also a draw with $100 gift cards as prizes. More details here.
  • Friday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 24: 🎨 Join the Esquimalt Community Arts Hub for the Esquimalt Art Gallery Grand Opening weekend. The event is free. Masks are mandatory and only 12 guests are allowed in the space at a time.
  • Friday, Oct. 23: 🇮🇳 Partake in a Navratri and Diwali special dance class over Zoom. These two Indian holidays usually feature lively dancing and music in-person, so BollyX is inviting participants to dress up in colourful attire and join with friends and family online.
  • Friday, Oct. 23 to Sunday, Nov. 1: 🖼 The Metchosin ArtPod Plein Air Show continues on weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Nov. 1. Head on over to see art that has been painted by West Shore artists outdoors.
  • Saturday, Oct. 24 and Sunday, Oct. 25: 🐺 Celebrate the life and legacy of Takaya the lone wolf at the First Annual Takaya Lone Wolf International Arts Festival featuring artwork, live music and tea and a book signing with Cheryl Alexander, author of Takaya: Lone Wolf. Proceeds go to Pacific Wild and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
  • Saturday, Oct. 24: 🐶 Take your furry friend out for a community pack walk with Connected Canine. Head trainer Linda will offer guidance and training tips to those in attendance.
  • Saturday, Oct. 31: 👻 Join Metchosin Fire Department for a Drive-Thru Halloween this year, with free treats for every car.
  • Saturday, Oct. 31: 🎃 Head to the West Shore Town Centre for Langford Fire Rescue’s Drive-Thru Halloween event.

If you’re planning an event that I should consider for an upcoming list, reply to this email and let me know.

Photo of the week

Our West Shore photo of the week goes to Langford fire Capt. Paul Obersteller. It’s always great to see a rainbow light up the sky! 🌈 Thanks for sharing!


West Shore This Week

Have an awesome photo of life on the West Shore? Send it to shalu@thediscourse.ca. I’d love to see how you view your community!

In your words

The Discourse is supported by you, our community. Why?

Lydia sent me an email saying,  “Your Discourse is very informative and that helps me learn more about our great community.”

I’m so glad to hear that, Lydia. Thank you for the kind words!

With gratitude,

Shalu [end]

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