West Shore This Week – Bloom where you’re planted

Welcome to West Shore This Week, your cheat sheet to what’s up on the West Shore, by reporter Shalu Mehta. In this weekly newsletter you’ll find the latest news and events, highlights from The Discourse’s in-depth coverage and more. Sign up to get this in your inbox every Wednesday.

A note from your West Shore reporter

I’m so excited to see our Delving Into Development series and how it’s shaping up so far. If you haven’t had the chance to read it yet, I encourage you to check it out. I spent the weekend reflecting on responses to our first few stories and have been thinking about other ways to reach the West Shore community. Our work is only possible because of you and I want to make sure I keep taking your thoughts and questions into account as I continue my reporting. If you have any suggestions, don’t hesitate to reach out.

The Discourse West Shore is trying to reach 2,500 newsletter sign-ups this month to ensure our work can continue. Can you share this email with a friend or family member who would be interested in receiving our newsletters? We have three days left and are already at 70 per cent of our goal.

While I’m feeling energized by the exciting work we’re doing, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tired. I think, to some degree, we all are. This past year has been hard for people in so many different ways. It’s easy to feel bogged down but I’ve turned to things like books, meditation, morning dance parties at home, walks outside and video calls with family and friends to keep motivated. I was recently reminded of the phrase “bloom where you are planted” and I think that’s really relevant right now. No matter how you do it, I hope you’re able to find ways to bloom, even during these difficult times.

To those of you who have been supportive of The Discourse so far: thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m so grateful for this community.


Story highlights from The Discourse

‘We are here to be the voices of our loved ones’
Nuxalk Nation members gathered on the unceded territory of the Stz’uminus First Nation to hang red dresses in honour of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, Trans relatives and Two-Spirit folks. The dresses were hung in the same spot where people were recently caught on camera taking dresses down. Read more from IndigiNews here.

When it comes to the housing crunch, tiny homes have their place
More people on Vancouver Island are turning to tiny house living. The Discourse Nanaimo examines what’s needed and what’s next for tiny homes as well as whether or not they could be part of the solution to the housing crisis.

Cory Spencer Halthwhistle Cheese

Cowichan couple cultivates a passion for cheesemaking
How did a Vancouver software developer trade in his career for one in cheesemaking? Intern and contributor Zach Kiedaisch looks to answer this question in his latest for The Discourse Cowichan’s Food for Thought series. Read the full story about Haltwhistle Cheese Company here.

The Highlanders: A community unites against urban incursion
The District of Highlands was envisioned as a forested refuge away from urban bustle since its inception. In its latest for the Delving into Development series, The Discourse West Shore looks at how residents are fighting to preserve the Highlands. Read the full story here.

COVID-19 news

  • People who are 18-years-old and up can register to book a COVID-19 vaccine online, by phone or at a Service BC office. After registering, you will be contacted to book an appointment based on age and immunization plan phases. Learn more about registration, clinics and phases here.
  • The province’s minister of public safety and solicitor general Mike Farnworth announced new travel restrictions on Friday. The restrictions are already in place and limit non-essential travel in B.C. between three regional zones, using health authority boundaries. The zones are the Island Health region, Interior and Northern Health regions and Fraser and Coastal Health regions. This order is in effect through May 25. BC Ferries will also restrict non-essential vehicle passage, deter non-essential bookings and limit sailings. While travel is not restricted within health regions, people are being asked to stay local if it’s non-essential. You can learn more about these restrictions here.

News and announcements

  • Island Health is advising of an increase in overdoses across the region. The health authority is urging people to use strategies to stay safer when using drugs. Island Health says that due to a toxic drug supply, there is currently an increase in overdoses across the Island.
  • The District of Sooke launched a new online community engagement platform last week called Let’s Talk Sooke. Through the platform, residents can ask questions, stay up-to-date on community projects and initiatives and join conversations with neighbours.
  • Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 have caused a flood of cancellations for tourism operators, the Times Colonist reports.
  • The Capital Regional District voted to recommend advocating for a full West Shore ferry feasibility study last week, the City of Colwood says. In March, 2019, a pre-feasibility study was published supporting the viability of a passenger ferry from Royal Bay in Colwood to Ship Point in Victoria. The CRD’s recent recommendation will go to the May 12 CRD board meeting for consideration.
  • Residents in Colwood will soon notice temporary traffic calming measures, the city says. This spring, Colwood will install temporary pilot projects in various neighbourhoods to test and assess methods to manage vehicle traffic and increase comfort for the community. Feedback is being encouraged on the Let’s Talk Colwood page.
  • The Town of View Royal says major delays will occur on Six Mile Road between Island Highway and West Park Lane until April 30. Work is being done on Telus poles and flaggers will be on site to direct single-lane, alternating traffic between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Wild Wise Westshore is urging residents to secure garbage and report bear sightings as bear activity has increased in Colwood over the last few days.
  • Metchosin, Highlands, View Royal and Colwood councils voted to support a resolution that would ban wolf hunting on Vancouver Island, the Goldstream News Gazette reports. The ban would take place while a science- and consultation-based study of wolves is completed.
  • Students from the Greater Victoria School District took to major intersections across the region last week in protest of potential music cuts, the Goldstream News Gazette reports. In April, community members were made aware of budget cuts in the school district and a proposal to eliminate music programs as well as supports for elementary and middle school students requiring alternative education plans.
  • Metchosin residents and fire chief Stephanie Dunlop are urging the Ministry of Health and BC Emergency Health Services to reconsider its dispatching system, Capital Daily reports.

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.
  • Weekends through May 2: 📸  Dive into the world of photograph-based art at Metchosin ArtPod’s latest exhibit: ReVision
  • Wednesday, April 28:👨‍👩‍👦 Learn how to help middle school students navigate changing bodies, feelings and relationships with confidence and comfort in a joint talk with the Sooke School District and Island Sexual Health. Register online.
  • Tuesday, May 4:💡Join the Citizens’ Environment Network in Colwood for part four of its speaker series: Caring for Natural Ecosystems. The Zoom event takes place from 7 to 8 p.m. Register by emailing ColwoodCENiC@gmail.com.
  • Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9:🏃‍♀️The Sarah Beckett Memorial Run goes virtual again this year. Registration is open now. Find more details here.
  • Saturday, May 8: 🦌 Metchosin ArtPod’s next show, Feathers, Fur and Fauna opens on May 8. It is a celebration of the diversity of our natural world. There will be a Zoom opening on May 8 at 7 p.m.

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

Ryan sent me an email regarding the most recent story in our Delving Into Development series.

“The article was excellent! I didn’t know about the historical perspective of the current movement,” Ryan wrote.

Thanks for the kind words, Ryan. I learned a lot while digging into this story and can’t wait to bring you part two this week.

With gratitude,

Shalu [end]

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