West Shore This Week – Over the rainbow

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

  • BC Public Service’s first mobile workspace has opened on the West Shore, giving some employees an option to work a little closer to home. The Westhills ShareSpace is a 10,000 square foot co-working space. More than 2,000 B.C. government employees who work in Victoria live in the West Shore area, according to the news release.
  • Songhees Nation is one of the many nations reaffirming their children’s right to education under the BC Tripartite Education Agreement, IndigiNews reports. The agreement aims to improve education for First Nations students across the province. 
  • Many current and former staff at Island Health say there has been “a dismantling” of the Indigenous Health department’s cultural safety facilitation team, IndigiNews reports. Staff are alleging that during the province’s investigation into Indigenous-specific racism in health care, changes were made to the cultural safety facilitation team, including the firing of long-time cultural safety facilitator and then-acting South Island manager of Indigenous health, Yvette Ringham-Cowan.
  • BC Ferries is reporting a 42 per cent decrease of passengers and nearly 27 per cent decrease of vehicles in its third quarter update. Those numbers are compared to the same period in the year prior. The Crown corporation says the effects of COVID-19 have negatively impacted BC Ferries’ traffic and revenues over the current year and that the trend is expected to continue in the near term.
  • Two new housing projects coming to Sooke will provide 75 affordable rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes as well as 33 supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness in the community. The 75 units will be located at 2170 Charters Rd. and the building is estimated to open in 2022, a news release from BC Housing says. The Hope Centre at 6750 West Coast Rd. will undergo renovations to accommodate the 33 supportive homes.
  • A new housing relief fund and rent bank in Greater Victoria will provide short-term financial help for low- to moderate-income households at risk of losing their housing due to a temporary financial crisis. The fund and rent bank were launched by the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria and BC Rent Bank. To learn more, read this news release from the Capital Regional District.
  • On Feb. 24, the CRD Regional Parks Committee will consider a plan to implement paid parking at CRD parks as part of its revenue generation strategy. But the South Island Mountain Bike Society says charging for parking will “significantly decrease the accessibility to trails,” particularly at Mount Work Regional Park, where volunteers have spent time and money constructing mountain bike trails.
  • On Monday, Feb. 22, a group of anti-logging demonstrators surrounded Premier John Horgan’s Langford constituency office and called on him to end the practice of old-growth harvesting on Vancouver Island, CTV News reports. The group is demanding the end of old-growth cutting in the Fairy Creek area near Port Renfrew, in particular.
  • The District of Highlands will appeal the B.C. Supreme Court’s decision regarding the applicability of district bylaws to OK Industries Ltd.’s proposed quarry site. Protests against the quarry have been ongoing outside the site with support from the Highlands District Community Association.
  • The Wounded Warrior Run B.C. has been postponed due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns and current public health orders. The annual run, which takes place between Port Hardy and Victoria, was supposed to occur at the end of February but will now take place between April 11 and 18.
  • The City of Langford plans to connect two culs de sac: Massie Drive and Thomasset Place, the Goldstream News Gazette reports. The work will begin in May and aims to bolster connectivity in Langford’s downtown core. 
  • Ma Miller’s Pub in Langford closed its doors permanently at the end of January, according to the pub’s Facebook page. A message from the owner says they are “sad to say goodbye to what has been an exceptional journey.”
  • Residents opposed to a development proposal near Colwood’s Havenwood Park are “at odds” with the developer, the Goldstream News Gazette reports. Signs from residents opposing the development are popping up in the area and signs showcasing the development in a positive light were also erected on the property in question. B.C.-Alta Developments has been ordered by the city to take down signs other than basic ones that outline a development proposal.
  • A mass COVID-19 immunization clinic will be located at the Eagle Ridge Community Centre in Langford, the Times Colonist reports
  • An eventful Colwood Council meeting on Monday included highlights such as: the Transportation Master Plan Overview, COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant funding for West Shore Parks and Recreation, short-term traffic calming pilot projects, improvements to Lookout Lake Park and more. Find the agenda and meeting video here.
  • A graphic released by the Sooke School District says most but not all students in the district are doing well. The graphic reports on student wellness in relation to relationships and their environment, physical health, substance use, intellectual development and academic achievement, sexual health and social, emotional and mental health.

Community events

  • Thursday, Feb. 25: 🍎 West Shore community members in need can pick up a food hamper from the Salvation Army at the Juan de Fuca Library parking lot, drive-through style. Register online, in person or over the phone to secure a hamper. Details here.
  • Thursday, Feb. 25: 💜 Join Councillor Jibs Abitoye from the City of Fort Saskatchewan, AB, for an online Black History Month conversation about her experiences serving and giving back to a community just five years after immigrating from Nigeria.
  • Friday, Feb. 26: 🎹 Celebrate Black History Month and watch a livestream of Cuban pianist Pablo Cardenas performing pieces by the legendary Oscar Peterson.
  • Saturday, Feb. 27: 🎶 Watch Issamba Centre’s Black History Month finale and music showcase online.
  • Tuesday, March 2: 🖼 Learn about paintings, drawings and prints housed in the BC Archives as part of the Royal BC Museum At Home online series. 
  • Feb. 27 and 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.
  • Deadline March 8, 6 p.m.: 🎤CRD residents between the ages of 14 and 24 are invited to apply for Opening Act, an online series of songwriting and performance workshops facilitated by Victoria’s artist in residence, Kathryn Calder. For more details, click here.

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, I asked you to share some of your snowy photos with me. I got some awesome responses! Here’s what the snowfall looked like through your eyes. [end]

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Cindy Andrew shared this photo of dog Farley from a beautiful snow-filled forest near Royal Roads University.
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Izzy Honour sent us this awesome photo from View Royal that looks just like a painting!
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Molly Summerhayes from Metchosin posted some beautiful shots of horses Kali and Toby enjoying the snow. Here’s one of them.
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Monique Mobbs shared her view of a snowy Langford Lake connector trail.
Here’s sweet Shilo the dog out in the snow. Thanks to Monique Mobbs for this one too!
Sarah Sullivan captured some great winter shots from Billings Spit!
Sarah Sullivan captured some great winter shots from Billings Spit!

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