west shore
Megan MacDonald of Silver Lark Photography shared this awesome photo of seven-year-old Fiona MacDonald having a little party in the puddles at Goldstream Provincial Park. It’s our West Shore photo of the week! Send your photos to shalu@thediscourse.ca and we’ll consider them for a future newsletter.
West Shore

West Shore This Week – Party in nature

Shalu Mehta February 3, 2021

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

  • Results from an Ipsos poll conducted for the Nature Conservancy of Canada show that 94 per cent of Canadians surveyed say spending time in nature has helped them relieve stress and anxiety brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic’s second wave. More than 85 per cent of those surveyed say access to nature has been important to maintaining their mental health and three out of four Canadians say time spent outdoors is more important to them than ever before.
  • A new report from Statistics Canada says the state of youth mental health in Canada has declined over the past decade. The report also finds that Canadian youth (age 15 to 30) are less obese, more active and smoke less than older Canadians but are more obese, less active and eat fewer servings of fruit and vegetables compared to Canadian youth from 20 years ago.
  • Feb. 1 marked the start of Black History Month and classes in the Sooke School District will be celebrating and learning about the legacy of Black Canadians. Check out this post from SD62 that talks about the first group of Black settlers in B.C., who arrived on Vancouver Island in 1858. There are also links to resources where you can learn more.
  • Island Health says there was a COVID-19 exposure at View Royal Elementary on Jan. 27. Public Health is working directly with school staff to identify anyone who may have been exposed. If you have not been contacted by Public Health, Island Health says to be assured that your child did not have a high-risk exposure and should continue to attend school as long as they are not experiencing any symptoms.
  • The Land Conservancy of BC has acquired 27 acres of coastal Douglas fir ecosystem in the Millstream Creek watershed located in the District of Highlands. The organization raised more than $600,000 towards the acquisition of this site.
  • Colwood has been named one of Canada’s sexiest towns. Victoria Buzz reports that a survey from adult novelty company PinkCherry gave Colwood the title.
  • The District of Sooke has launched a website inviting residents to share their ideas for Sooke’s future and assist with the development of a new Official Community Plan.
  • An application has been made to the City of Langford to rezone the Western Speedway property, the Goldstream News Gazette reports. The application says the goal is to develop the property for business park, commercial and residential uses. On Jan. 30, the Western Speedway posted on Facebook saying it has been working with the prospective purchasers of the property since last fall and that while a confidentiality agreement has been signed, the Speedway can assure the public that they are “looking for a solution that works for everyone.”
  • Pacifica Housing is now accepting rental applications for its newest building in Langford. The affordable housing property was designed to create more housing options for low-income families, individuals and persons with disabilities and will also have a licensed daycare on site.
  • Almost 3,000 residents have signed a petition in opposition to a proposed development for residential apartment buildings that will border Havenwood Park in Colwood.

Community events

  • Thursday, Feb. 4 to Saturday, Feb. 6: 🗣Participate in Black History Month 2021 – The Symposium, a series of online conversations tackling various topics, including Black identities, media representation, immigration and inclusion and more. Register here.
  • Friday, Feb. 5: 👩‍💻Join Royal Roads University’s webinar, Building Global Resilience: The Role of Social Purpose Organizations. It’s the second session in the university’s Leading in Extraordinary Times 2021 webinar series. The event starts at 9:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 6: 🍾Drop off your empties at a bottle drive in support of The Farm Rescue Foundation, a non-profit animal rehabilitation and adoption centre for animals in need. The bottle drive takes place at Gordon United Church in Langford from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 7: 💻 Join Handel Kashope Wright, professor and director of the Centre for Culture, Identity and Education for an online talk on Putting Black British Columbia History to Work: Contemporary Implications of Historical Blackness. Register in advance for the event.
  • Friday, Feb. 12: 🚲 Commit to riding your bike on Feb. 12 for international Winter GoByBike Day. Participants can enter to win a $50 gift card to a bike shop of their choice, a bike helmet, locks, lights and more.
  • Weekends until Feb. 28: 🎨 Visit Metchosin ArtPod for its new exhibition, About Face: A Portrait Show. 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.
  • Saturday, Feb. 20: 👟 The Coldest Night of the Year, a family-friendly walk to raise money for charities serving people experiencing homelessness, will take place on Feb. 20 this year. Participants will self-organize their own walks due to COVID-19. Register online as an individual or a team.

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

Last week, The Discourse shared an update on what stories we plan to tell in 2021, based on your feedback. On Facebook, Cindy commented on the post saying:

“Loving what I read in your update. Thanks for lending your time and expertise to cover topics of interest to those of us on the West Shore!”

Thank you, Cindy. I’m so glad I can tell stories that are important to our community.