West Shore
Gary Woodburn spent three hours at Royal Roads University near the creek and captured this stunning photo of an immature bald eagle. It’s our West Shore photo of the week. Thank you for sharing! Send your photos to shalu@thediscourse.ca
West Shore

West Shore This Week – Patience pays off

Shalu Mehta April 7, 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

  • As of April 6, people who are eligible to make a COVID-19 vaccination appointment can use B.C.’s new online system. You’re required to have a personal health number to register online. Those who don’t have one can still register by phone or at a Service BC office. People who are born in or before 1950, Indigenous people aged 18 and over and those deemed clinically extremely vulnerable are eligible to book appointments right now. For more information, visit the Island Health website.
  • There are two new COVID-19 exposures at schools on the West Shore. Island Health says there was an exposure at Belmont Secondary School on April 1. Dunsmuir Middle School is experiencing a cluster, meaning there have been two or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 within a 14-day period, with evidence of transmission occurring within the school. Public health is investigating the cases and is contact tracing.
  • Threshold Housing Society’s new Supportive Recovery Program aims to help youth struggling with substance use issues clear a new life path, The Discourse reports. The program is in partnership with Island Health and has a recovery-oriented and healing-focused approach.
  • The Sooke School District wants to hear your thoughts on what its goals and overall vision should look like for the next three to five years. From April 1 to 16, community members are invited to take a survey and learn more about the current strategic plan. Find the survey and more information at this link.
  • Nearly 3,000 moss balls that are suspected or confirmed to be contaminated with invasive zebra mussels have been seized or surrendered to conservation officers in B.C. The province says the zebra mussels have been found in aquarium and water-garden moss balls sold in pet stores and garden centres. Anyone who finds zebra mussels is asked to call the RAPP hotline at 1-877-952-7277.
  • Western Promotions Ltd. announced that the Western Speedway is being renamed to the Westshore Speedway and will continue to operate for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. The company says the name is being changed to “avoid litigation.” Starting in the fall of 2022, the speedway site and track will be decommissioned. The new property owners are working on a proposal for a mixed-use project in its place, the Times Colonist reports.
  • Sooke Mayor Maja Tait says the District of Sooke is waiting for replies for several grant applications, including the Otter Point Corridor Active Transportation Project. Recent applications for the Sooke Potholes and Bluffs Staircase projects were not successful and staff are reviewing alternative options to move those projects forward, she says. Read the full mayoral update here.
  • The District of Sooke is receiving $3,680 from the BC Hydro Tree Canada Community ReGreening Program. The district says the funds will be used to plant native trees in several parks throughout the community.
  • A court injunction was served to demonstrators at forestry blockades near Fairy Creek Tuesday morning, the Times Colonist reports. On April 1, the B.C. Supreme Court granted an injunction to logging company Teal Jones, ordering that protestors end the blockade. Those who continue to block access can be arrested by RCMP for contempt of court.
  • The City of Langford extended sidewalk use permits for up to three years. This means restaurants and retail businesses can expand onto sidewalks, boulevards and other common use areas for up to three years under a single sidewalk use permit, the City of Langford said in an emailed news release.
  • Transition Sooke is cautioning the District of Sooke to slow down its growth in order to meet climate emergency goals. In an emailed news release, the organization says it has developed a growth scenario that is different from those developed for the District as part of the Official Community Plan process. The group’s growth scenario has been submitted to Sooke’s OCP Advisory Committee as well as the Climate Change Action, Land Use and Development and Community Economic Development committees.
  • A COVID-19 cluster has been confirmed at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, the Goldstream News Gazette reports. The base will not specify how many cases there are due to security and privacy concerns.
  • The Wounded Warrior Run on Vancouver Island has been officially cancelled for 2021, the Goldstream News Gazette reports. The decision was made due to the latest provincial health orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The family of Andre Courtemanche, a Langford teen who died in Goldstream Provincial Park in January, has launched a 10-kilometre walk for mental health, the Goldstream News Gazette reports.
  • The District of Sooke has approved a food truck pilot program for some local parks, the Sooke News Mirror reports. The program begins on May 1 and runs through the summer.
  • Langford residents are raising concerns about fast-paced development and the City of Langford council, the Capital Daily reports. 

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Community events

  • Weekends until September: 🍦 Colwood Beach Food is back with food trucks at the Esquimalt Lagoon every weekend. Check out the City of Colwood’s website for dates and the vendor schedule.
  • Friday, April 9 to Sunday, April 11: 🛍 Shop from home at the YYJ Virtual Market, featuring a variety of local vendors.
  • Saturday, April 10, 17 and 24: 🚲 Get a free bike safety check and basic tune up at Colwood City Hall. Local community volunteers and members of the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition will be in the front parking lot between 9 a.m. and noon.
  • Saturday, April 10: 🍾 Bring your bottles to Hans Helgesen Elementary between 9 a.m. and noon for a drive-through bottle drive. Funds will go towards a new gaga ball court.
  • Sunday, April 11: 🚶‍♀️ Head to Mary Lake Nature Sanctuary between 1 and 4 p.m. for self-guided trail walks. The walks cost $5 and children under 12 are free.
  • Now until Sunday, May 2: 📸  Dive into the world of photograph-based art at Metchosin ArtPod’s latest exhibit: ReVision
  • Now until Sunday, April 11: 🌿 Metchosin ArtPod is looking for entries for Feathers, Fur & Fauna, a new show that will run in May and June. Submissions can be in any medium and all works must be for sale. The deadline for entries is April 11.
  • Tuesday, April 13: 🚗 The Citizens’ Environment Network in Colwood kicks off its speaker series with Drive Electric! There will be two speakers from the Victoria Electric Vehicle Association. The event runs from 7 to 8 p.m. and is hosted on Zoom. Register by email at ColwoodCENiC@gmail.com.

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

The Discourse has received so many responses to our survey on West Shore development with varying answers, input and concerns and I’ve been reading over them and making notes.

“These conversations tend to invite polarized input, but are vitally important to our community’s long term prosperity! Thanks!” one respondent wrote.

I should really be thanking you, and everyone else who is contributing to the conversation around development. I can’t wait to turn your input into stories.