West Shore This Week – Soaring towards brighter days

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

  • The Discourse launched a survey asking what development-related issues and solutions matter most to you so that we can drive our reporting with your input. We want to hear from as many community members as possible so please, fill out the survey and share it with your friends and family. All input is greatly appreciated.
  • A Royal Roads University alumna and now-employee is recognizing and rewarding Black excellence at the school, and aims to help Black students feel more welcome and included, The Discourse reports.
  • Nearly two million calls were made to COVID-19 vaccine call centres on Monday, CTV News reports. Seniors 90 years old and over as well as Indigenous people 65 and over are able to make appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine over the phone this week, but a backlog led to many people receiving recorded messages asking them to call again. The province apologized, but also blamed Telus for “inadequate” call centre services. The Vancouver Island Health Authority partially used its own call centres and booked 2,456 appointments on Monday.
  • Island Health shared information about the 19 community clinics where eligible residents will receive their first COVID-19 vaccine over the next month. The locations span from Sooke to Port Hardy and can be found here. For more information on what number to call to book an appointment, whether or not you qualify yet and more, click here.
  • The District of Highlands received a $25,000 grant to develop advanced evacuation route planning in the case of a local emergency event. The district says the plan identifies all of the high risk areas of the Highlands and breaks them down into smaller groups to ensure residents can be safely evacuated.
  • A District of Metchosin public hearing will be held on March 15 at 7 p.m. in regards to the land use amendment bylaw for the Boys and Girls Club property in Metchosin. The purpose of the bylaw is to increase the minimum allowable lot area of a portion of the property from two hectares to 16 hectares. Currently, there is an application to create a single parcel on the property. Visit the District of Metchosin website for information on how to participate in the public hearing and to see the public hearing information package.
  • The City of Colwood is considering priority sidewalk and cycling routes for construction throughout the city over the next 10 years. The Committee of the Whole recommended on March 1 that sections of several streets get new sidewalks. The proposed projects vary when it comes to cost and complexity. Read more here.
  • The City of Colwood has awarded four groups with Create Places Colwood grants to allow for the reimagination of spaces in the city through art, gardens, movement and programming. Check out the award recipients and their projects here.
  • New and informative street name signs are being installed in Colwood neighbourhoods. The City of Colwood says the signs will help make people aware of walking and cycling connections, encourage active transportation and make it easier to navigate through the community.
  • Starting this year, B.C. homeowners can apply for the property tax grant program through the province, not their municipality. The province says annual tax notices will still be sent by municipalities but will include a link to the province’s online grant application. 
  • The West Shore RCMP ended a two-month-long drug trafficking investigation with three arrests and the seizure of a large quantity of drugs and weapons. Police say three search warrants were executed on Feb. 26 at homes in Colwood, Langford and Sooke. Investigators uncovered evidence of a drug trafficking network operating on the West Shore and in the Capital Regional District.
  • A shooting in Metchosin left one man dead this weekend. On Tuesday, West Shore RCMP confirmed the shooting victim is 37-year-old Shane Wilson. The shooting took place on March 5 just after 9 p.m. on the 4600-block of Sooke Road. Police are still investigating the incident and anyone with information is asked to contact the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit information line at 250-380-6211 or West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264. Police say investigators believe it was a targeted incident.
  • Police are asking for the public’s help to locate a missing Langford teen. Mackenzie Courchene was last seen on March 2 in Langford. She is described as a 16-year-old Indigenous female who is five feet, three inches tall and 123 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She is known to change her appearance and sometimes has blond hair. She is believed to be travelling between Vancouver Island and Edmonton. Police are very concerned for her health and wellbeing. Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call their local police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. A photo of Mackenzie can be found here.
  • View Royal homeowners will see a property tax hike of 4.5 per cent this year, the Goldstream News Gazette reports. The increase was reduced from a previous estimate of 7.3 per cent as the Town of View Royal looked for ways to make up for lost revenue.
  • Songhees Nation has secured funding for marine trail tours on Southern Vancouver Island, CBC News reports. The nation received $630,000 from the provincial government to develop an Indigenous marine trail with 12 cultural and recreational sites along the Greater Victoria shoreline. Tourists will travel in a vessel from Esquimalt up to Cadboro Bay.

Community events

  • Last day: 🌸The 46th annual Greater Victoria Flower Count takes place this week. Submit your flower count online and see which local community will be named the “Bloomingest Community” of Greater Victoria. 
  • Saturday, March 13: ⛺️Support Camp Barnard with a drive-through bottle drive at the Canadian Tire located at 1519 Admirals Road. From 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 16 to Sunday, March 21: 🎭The Belfry Theatre launches its spring season with the premiere of Being Here – The Refugee Project. It’s a documentary theatre play about refugees coming to Canada. The play will be streaming online.
  • Now until Tuesday, March 30: ❓Participate in Royal Bay Riddle Rocks, a free walking geocache event where you solve a riddle using clues and submit an answer for a chance to win prizes and gift certificates to local businesses.
  • Now until Sunday, May 2: 📸Dive into the world of photograph-based art at Metchosin ArtPod’s latest exhibit: ReVision
  • Deadline Saturday, May 15: ✏️The Vancouver Island Regional Library is launching a new literary and art magazine and is seeking submissions from writers and artists living on Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii, Bella Coola and the Gulf Islands. The deadline to apply for the summer issue is May 15. Full details are available here.

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

A note of gratitude

On Monday, The Discourse Cowichan, in partnership with Cowichan Valley International Women’s Day, hosted a virtual ceremony to mark International Women’s Day and honour essential workers. Audrey George, manager of the Ts’i’ts’uwatul’ Lelum assisted living facility in Duncan, was the keynote speaker and poets Délani Valin and Carla Stein read at the event. You can check out the livestream on our Facebook page (you can watch it even if you don’t have Facebook).

I wanted to take a moment to share some gratitude for the incredible women, trans women and non-binary folks in my life. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the unending support of womxn – be they friends, family or colleagues. I hope we can continue to lift each other up and work together to make the world a better place. [end]

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