West Shore This Week – Trotting towards new beginnings

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

  • On Monday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 2,211 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. between Dec. 31 and Jan. 4. She also reported 64 new cases in the Island Health region and 45 new COVID-19-related deaths in the province since Dec. 31. Henry is encouraging everyone to pay close attention to key COVID-19 symptoms and contact a health-care professional or call 811 to get tested right away if presenting them.
  • Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin and B.C.’s new minister for Children and Family Development (MCFD), is asking Indigenous youth in government care to “trust MCFD,” IndigiNews reports in an exclusive interview with Dean about her plans for serving Indigenous youth and families.
  • The 2021 property assessments for Vancouver Island are in the mail. BC Assessment says between 2020 and 2021, the typical assessed value of single-family residential properties increased by nine per cent in Colwood, eight per cent in Langford, 10 per cent in Metchosin, eight per cent in Sooke, five per cent in Highlands and six per cent in View Royal. 
  • Required safety upgrades for the dam at Lookout Lake are complete. Visitors to the popular Colwood swimming spot will see a gentler slope down to the water’s edge and more level ground to lay out a blanket. The City of Colwood says during 2021 budget deliberations Colwood council may consider additional amenities for the park, like seating or bench enhancements. 
  • The Sooke Potholes have reopened to the public. The popular park was closed on the weekend after rising water levels caused the Sooke Lake Reservoir to overflow. The District of Sooke will continue to monitor water levels in coordination with the BC River Forecast Centre and the Capital Regional District and will keep the community informed of any more temporary closures.
  • West Shore RCMP continues to search for 16-year-old Andre Courtemanche. Andre has been missing since 7 p.m. on Jan. 1 and was last seen walking near the 2900-block of Cressida Crescent in Langford. He is known to frequent parks and trails. Andre is described as Caucasian boy who stands approximately five feet 10 inches tall, weighs around 185 pounds and has six- to seven-inch-long light brown hair and a light neck beard. He was last seen wearing a blue and black plaid fleece coat, blue jogging pants, brown hiking boots and had a headlamp with him. Police say they are concerned for his safety and wellbeing. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is urged to contact their local police department or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
  • City of Langford council voted to approve a Statutory Right of Way Agreement that would allow for a Telus telecommunications tower to be built at Westhills Stadium. The tower would also have additional lighting for the stadium field so Pacific FC evening games could be better broadcasted. It would be a 45-metre-tall monopole with Telus radio equipment and a Langford-owned sports lights fixture. Find the council agenda with a staff report about the tower here.
  • Two employees at Mayfair Shopping Centre tested positive for COVID-19, Saanich News reports
  • City of Colwood Mayor Rob Martin has pitched that a 10-acre, city-owned lot along Metchosin Road be turned into a parking lot and gondola system, the Goldstream News Gazette reports. The proposal is dependent on the province’s approval for a commuter ferry in Colwood.
  • Langford residents living on Fairway Avenue are fighting against a proposal for a two-building condo development to be built on their street, CTV News reports. Langford’s planning and zoning committee will receive an updated plan on the buildings from developers and there will be opportunity for public hearing. Residents are asking the mayor and council to move the hearing back until live-streaming meetings at City Hall becomes an option but Mayor Stew Young says that’s not possible.
  • Kindergarten registration for the Sooke School District takes place this month with varying dates based on programs. Find more information about registration on the SD62 website.

Community events

  • Friday, Jan. 8 to Sunday, 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! Metchosin ArtPod is open Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Jan. 10: 💻 Epic Games & More is hosting an online Pokemon Team Challenge Tournament where players can face off against other locals for the chance to represent Epic Games & More in the Team Challenge Playoffs. Details can be found on the Facebook event page.
  • Sunday, Jan. 10: 🍾 The Esquimalt Lions Club is hosting a bottle drive at Archie Browning Sports Centre from 9 a.m. to noon with proceeds going to school meal programs and the community.
  • Weekends from Jan. 16 to Feb. 28: 🎨 Visit Metchosin ArtPod for its new exhibition, About Face: A Portrait Show. There will be a Zoom opening for the show on Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. The show’s feature artist and guest juror is Noah Layne, who will be exhibiting several of his pieces and will do two online drawing workshops. More information can be found on the Facebook event page.

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

In your words

A little while ago, we asked community members to share what makes you feel hopeful.

“The natural beauty of the west coast, my family and friends and my passions (music and photography),” says Lesley Preston.

Cheers to that, Lesley, and to the beauty that surrounds us. [end]

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