West Shore This Week – Hello, spring!

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

  • Starting in April, front line priority workers will be able to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments will be organized through employers, so there is no need to call the health authority. The list of priority workers includes first responders, educational staff, grocery store workers and more. Find the full list and more details here. Starting March 23, seniors born in or before 1944 can book a vaccine appointment. On March 25, seniors born in or before 1945 can call and starting March 27, those born in or before 1946 can book an appointment. Indigenous people born in or before 1966 can also call. Visit the Island Health website for more information.
  • Port Renfrew is one of 13 remote Vancouver Island communities that could see its adult population vaccinated at the same time starting March 24, the Sooke News Mirror reports.
  • People deemed clinically extremely vulnerable have been prioritized to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and can register beginning March 29. The province says nearly 200,000 people in B.C. aged 16 and older who are clinically extremely vulnerable will be eligible to receive their first vaccine.
  • Two new West Langford schools are on track to welcome students by September, 2022. The province says the construction projects for Pexsisen Elementary and Centre Mountain Lellum Middle schools is 25 per cent complete.
  • Non-food items will now be allowed to be sold at B.C. farmers markets. The province’s Minister of Agriculture announced the change in a Facebook post on Friday. Due to COVID-19, non-food items were not available at farmers markets as part of province-wide restrictions.
  • Royal Roads University is planning for a return to on-campus programming starting in September. The university says it will consult with community members when planning the return to campus and that all plans will align with vaccination coverage and public health guidelines.
  • Community members can enjoy a new playground in Colwood’s Royal Bay neighbourhood. The timber-structure playground, which also includes a double zip line, opened on March 13.
  • A report from YWCA Canada and Gender and the Economy says the COVID-19 pandemic has had disproportionate economic, health and social impacts on cis and trans women, Two-Spirit and gender-diverse people. The impacts are particularly affecting those who are low-income, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ communities, Black, Indigenous and racialized communities and refugees, immigrants and migrants. Read the full report here.
  • Former patients of Victoria Psychiatric Emergency Services are calling for changes to be made in the Royal Jubilee Hospital department, Victoria News reports. Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands says there is a culture of mental health stigma in the health care system. 
  • The historic Woodside Farm in Sooke has recently been sold to a local couple, the Sooke News Mirror reports. The Sooke Region Museum says it is the oldest continuously operated farm west of the Great Lakes. 
  • A lost three-month-old puppy was found and reunited with its owner after going missing near Goldstream Provincial Park for more than two days, CTV News reports. ROAM, a volunteer animal search group says the dog was found after volunteers and its owner set up scent trails and traps along the park’s trails.
  • West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help to locate wanted man, Aaron-Lee Campbell. Police say he is wanted province-wide for allegedly breaching his court-ordered conditions. He is described as a 25-year-old Caucasian man who is six feet tall and weighs 146 pounds. He has blue eyes and auburn hair. His photo can be found here. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the West Shore RCMP at 240-474-2264.
  • The Colwood council meeting on March 22 saw public hearings on a retail cannabis bylaw as well as the Royal Beach Sub Area Plan and zoning of Royal Beach. There was also an update on the West Shore Transit Priority Project, a report on management options for the growing rabbit population in Royal Bay, recommendations for Beach Food events this year and more. Find the meeting agenda and video here.

Community events

  • Now until Monday, April 5: 📚 Participate in Vancouver Island Regional Library’s Spring Break Teen Reading Club. Each book that is read earns the reader a draw slip for a chance to win fun prizes.
  • Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28: 🚚 Support the Goldstream Food Bank and help “Stuff the Truck” between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. outside Quality Foods West Shore. Non-perishable food donations are welcome.
  • 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.
  • Tuesday, March 30: 🗣 Join the City of Colwood’s Prosperity Roundtable event to talk about how the city can attract and support the success of businesses that benefit the community. The event takes place from noon to 1:30 p.m. The first 20 attendees will receive a $15 gift certificate to 328 Taphouse.
  • Now until Sunday, May 2: 📸 Dive into the world of photograph-based art at Metchosin ArtPod’s latest exhibit: ReVision

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

Linda and Harry sent a lovely note to my colleague, Jacqueline, in Cowichan.

“We moved during the pandemic from Salt Spring to Saltair and The Discourse has been a source of information about our new community at a time when we are unable to meet and chat with other local residents,” they said.

I’m so glad The Discourse is able to help people connect with the community and I hope we can do the same as we grow on the West Shore too! [end]

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