West Shore This Week – Finding some joy

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.

News and announcements

  • How did The Discourse make its way to the West Shore? It had to do with timing, really, and serendipity. If you want to know more, check out this piece I wrote.
  • The Discourse Cowichan is up for two Canadian Online Publishing Awards, for Best News Coverage and Best Community News Website. Read more about the awards and some of our other wins (all thanks to the community) here.
  • Provincial health orders that restricted all gatherings and events both inside and outside the home have been extended to Jan. 8, 2021. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the extension on Monday. Henry says the province strongly recommends against non-essential travel as well. The new orders mean holidays will be smaller, Henry says, but she notes that people can still be festive with their immediate household. Details on the restrictions can be found online.
  • On Monday, Island Health updated its COVID-19 status dashboard, which says there were a total of 199 active cases on the Island with 67 in the South Island region. The health authority has also taken steps to winterize COVID-19 collection sites throughout the region, moving some sites to different locations. Mouth rinse-and-gargle tests are also now available for children (aged four and up) and adults.
  • On Tuesday, the B.C. government announced it has secured funding for about 3.7 million British Columbians to receive the tax-free B.C. Recovery Benefit. Residents should be able to apply for the benefit starting Dec. 18. How much a person will receive depends on income and family status.
  • The West Shore RCMP is investigating a report of an indecent act that took place on Bellamy Road near Gourman Place in Langford on Dec. 5. Police say an 18-year-old woman reported she was walking her dog in the area around 4:30 p.m. when a male suspect driving a black SUV slowed down and waved at her. He was reportedly masturbating and exposed himself to the woman before driving away. The suspect is described as a Caucasian man between 45 and 55 years old with dark hair. Police ask that anyone with home surveillance or dash camera footage from the area at the time review it and report anything suspicious to police. Anyone who thinks they know the suspect is asked to call West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
  • Police are investigating a single-vehicle crash that took place in Langford and led to the death of a 60-year-old man who was driving the vehicle. Police say the cause of the crash is under investigation and that police and the BC Coroners Service are working to determine all the facts.
  • On Tuesday morning, West Shore RCMP investigated a social media message that advised Belmont Secondary students to not go to school as well as further messages that alleged the possibility of a shooting. Later that morning, police confirmed there was no threat to the school and that a comment on social media was taken out of context.
  • Nearly 300 new affordable housing units are now open on the West Shore, according to the Capital Regional District. Units are available at West Park near Thetis Lake in View Royal and at Spencer Close in Langford. Residents began moving into the buildings on Dec. 1 under the management of the Capital Region Housing Corporation and tenancy applications for affordable units in both buildings are currently being accepted.
  • Last week, West Shore RCMP fined and arrested a man who refused to wear a mask during two separate occasions on the West Shore. Police say he caused a disturbance inside a Langford gas station after being asked to leave the store for refusing to wear a mask. He was arrested for causing a disturbance and fined $230 for not wearing a mask. Police say they were also alerted to a video of him verbally abusing staff at a View Royal Starbucks and refusing to wear a mask. He was issued another ticket for failing to wear a face covering. Police say businesses are encouraged to report these incidents right away.
  • Island Health confirmed that at least one person has died in relation to a COVID-19 outbreak at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital, Victoria News reports. The outbreak was announced on Dec. 1 and started with five patients and one staff member testing positive for the virus. As of Dec. 5, an additional six cases – two patients and four staff – have tested positive.
  • The City of Colwood says the Lagoon Bridge will be closed on Dec. 13 between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. to allow for the filming of a Hallmark Movie called Today is Not Your Day. The remainder of Ocean Boulevard and access to the beach will be open but there will be no access to the waterfront from the Fort Rodd Hill side during those hours.
  • The City of Langford is advising residents that the portion of the Ed Nixon Trail boardwalk located at the south end of Langford Lake is temporarily closed for structural repairs.
  • The District of Sooke is accepting applications from people interested in serving on council committees. The Climate Action, Community Economic Development, Land Use and Development and Sooke Program of the Arts Committees are seeking members. Applications will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. today.
  • The Town of View Royal advises that lane closures with single-lane alternating traffic will take place at 252 Island Highway on Dec. 10 and 11 between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The advisory says to expect delays and recommends using an alternate route. Drivers are asked to use caution and lower driving speeds when travelling through the work zone.


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Community events

  • Friday, Dec. 11: ⛰️ Dec. 11 is designated as International Mountain Day and raises awareness about opportunities and challenges facing mountain regions. Hear from Royal BC Museum researchers online about their work in mountain biodiversity in B.C.
  • Saturday, Dec. 12: 🎷 Victoria’s 42nd Annual Tuba Christmas event will go virtual this year and share some Christmas music while raising money for the Times Colonist Christmas Fund. Watch for the event link to be posted on Facebook. The fun starts at 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 12: 🎅 Santa Claus will be visiting the Highlands for the Highlands Fire Department annual Santa Run. The event has been adapted to meet COVID-19 guidelines and non-perishable food donations will still be accepted for the Goldstream Food Bank.
  • Sunday, Dec. 13: 🌿 Go for a guided walk at Mary Lake Nature Sanctuary and learn about its different ecosystems and the 13,000-year-old watershed that flows through it. Pre-register to allow for social distancing.
  • Now until Dec. 21: 🎄 Head to Luxton Hall for the Happy Holidays Christmas Tree Co. pop-up shop for Christmas trees and a maker’s market.  
  • Various dates: 🛍 With many craft markets cancelled this year, Bliston Creek Farm has transformed into a local craft shopping destination with vendors, seasonal treats, hot drinks and more. Tickets can be booked in advance to help reduce lineup and crowding and masks are mandatory.
  • This month: 🍅 Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual 10,000 Tonight food drive put on by Royal Bay Secondary, Belmont Secondary and Edward Milne Community School has gone virtual. Make donations, to go to local food banks, here.
  • Weekends until Jan. 10: 🖼 Check out the Metchosin ArtPod’s Mighty Fine Affordable Art and Craft Show and Sale to see local fine art and handcrafted artisanal pieces!
  • This month: The City of Langford shared a map with some Christmas Light displays in the community. Go for a drive with your household and take in the holiday spirit.

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

Photo of the week

Melanie McAuley shared this lovely photo of her three-year-old son, Linkon, enjoying one of Paul Lewis’s driftwood bird sculptures on display at Herm Williams Park in Colwood. Christmas is always so magical for kids, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing, Melanie!

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

James in Spirit Bay sent me an awesome note saying, “Thank you, Shalu, for this very informative local news and helpful guide to events in our area.”

You’re so welcome, James! I’m happy to be able to provide this information to our community. [end]

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