West Shore This Week – Spring gratitude

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

How’s your week going? To be perfectly honest, mine had a bit of a rocky start. Whenever I feel a little down I remind myself to breathe and name five things in my immediate surroundings that I’m grateful for. Today, one of those things is my work. Thinking about the stories I’ve been able to tell and the ones I have planned makes me feel really excited and connects me to the community. It’s a privilege to be able to do this job.

And on that note, I want to offer a huge thank you to you, our readers, because we truly can’t do this work without you. The Discourse West Shore set a goal to reach 2,500 subscribers by the end of April and while we didn’t meet that goal, I’m happy to share that we got 72 per cent of the way there! These sign-ups are a tangible way for the community to show us they want to see more independent, in-depth journalism from The Discourse on the West Shore. I’d love to keep this momentum going so we can reach 2,500 sign-ups. Can you help out by sending this link to five people and encouraging them to subscribe to our newsletter

I also have some exciting news to share. The Discourse is hiring! We’re looking for two emerging journalists between the ages of 15 and 30 to join our team for paid summer internships. You can find out more about the job here. The deadline to apply is Friday, May 7 at 5 p.m.

Story highlights from The Discourse

‘Keep families together’: Moving beyond racist notions of neglect in child welfare
In this story from IndigiNews, reporter Brielle Morgan looks at how experts are coming together to discuss colonial failings in the child welfare system as well as how to support children, youth and families to keep them out of the system. Read more here.

During a time of social isolation, cohousing builds community
The Discourse Nanaimo explores what cohousing, and living together, really looks like. This story — part of a solutions series called Making Rent — focuses on Nanaimo’s only cohousing complex, Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community. You can read it here

Local restaurants change with the changing times
Last spring, The Discourse Cowichan reporter David Minkow reported on how four Cowichan restaurants were faring at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. One year later, he checked in with them again. Find more from this story here.

o.k. industries highlands mine quarry protest

In the Highlands, a community fights for agency
In part two of The Discourse West Shore’s story about the District of Highlands, we explore a years-long dispute between the Highlands community and mining company O.K. Industries Ltd. What we found is that this story goes deeper than a dispute over just one gravel quarry. This is the latest story in our Delving Into Development series. Read it 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.
  • Travel restrictions in B.C. are still in effect through May 25. The restrictions 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. 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.
  • Recent COVID-19 school exposures on the West Shore include exposures at Dunsmuir Middle School and Ruth King Elementary on April 27 and 28. Island Health says you will be contacted in case of any school exposure involving your child. Find the full list of school exposures here.

News and announcements

  • The B.C. Court of Appeal will hear from the Highlands District Community Association about its legal challenge of the O.K. Industries gravel quarry. The quarry is on a 65-acre site near the south entrance of the Highlands. The community association previously asked for a judicial review of the quarry permit granted to O.K. Industries by the province, arguing that there was a failure to consider climate change when issuing the permit. The judicial review was dismissed and now the community association is appealing that dismissal. The hearing takes place on Wednesday, May 5 at 10 a.m. and can be viewed online.
  • Meet the six Indigenous youth on Vancouver Island who were honoured for excellence in sports. Recipients of the Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sports include a soccer player, a war canoeist, a lacrosse player and others, IndigiNews reports.
  • The group of activists maintaining blockades at Fairy Creek have filed a notice to appeal a B.C. Supreme Court decision that granted an injunction against them, CBC News reports. Logging company Teal-Jones was granted an injunction against protesters, who have been blocking access to Fairy Creek since August with an aim to prevent old-growth logging.
  • Rugby players on the West Shore are taking a stand against what they say is toxic high-performance culture at Rugby Canada, the Capital Daily reports.
  • A Langford councillor travelled to Arizona in late April of this year, the Times Colonist reports. Langford Mayor Stew Young confirmed that Coun. Matt Sahlstrom travelled to his home in Phoenix, Arizona, despite a provincial warning to avoid non-essential travel.
  • Island Health’s recent overdose awareness campaign aims to reach men who are using drugs alone, according to a news release. Last year in the Island Health region, 263 people died from illicit drug toxicity. Of those, 225 were men and 126 were in a private residence, Island Health says.
  • The Highlands Broom Bash is back this month. Residents are encouraged to help rid roadsides and properties of invasive Scotch broom in the community. Cut broom can be dropped off behind the Highlands Community Gardens on Finlayson Arm Road near Millstream Road every Saturday in May between 8 a.m. and noon. FInd more information here.

Have your say

  • B.C. residents are invited to take the BC Centre for Disease Control’s second B.C. COVID-19 Speak survey. The first survey was launched last year as a way to understand impacts on the social, economic, physical health, mental wellness and resiliency of communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This second survey will explore the same topics and look at how things have changed since last year. Learn more and fill out the survey here.
  • The Victoria Foundation has launched this year’s Vital Signs survey, an annual check-up that measures the vitality of our region. It also identifies significant trends and assigns grades to areas that are critical to quality of life in the Capital Region. Fill out the survey here.
  • The District of Sooke wants to hear how you’re reducing your carbon footprint and what you think is difficult about lowering emissions. Join the conversation here.
  • Share your thoughts on parks, traffic calming and waterfront improvement in Colwood to help inform municipal decisions. You can have your say here.

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.
  • Wednesdays, May 5, 12, and 19, and Friday, May 28: 🎥 Join Threshold Housing Society for a virtual screening of the documentary 19 & Homeless. The film captures two years in the lives of a group of former foster youth as they age out of care and transition into adulthood.
  • Thursday, May 6: 📚 Hear from the esteemed Victoria-based author, Esi Edugyan, as part of Royal Roads University’s 25th Anniversary Changemakers Speakers Series. Edugyan’s book, Washington Black, earned her the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize. The talk will stream live on Facebook and YouTube.
  • Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9: 🏃‍♀️The Sarah Beckett Memorial Run goes virtual again this year. Registration is still open. 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.
  • Saturday, May 8: 🍎 Head to the Goldstream Farmers Market at Veterans Memorial Park for its opening day. The market runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 9: 🌿 The Mary Lake Nature Sanctuary property will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. for self-guided trail walks. Walks are a $5 donation and children under 12 are free.
  • Tuesday, May 11: 🏖 Check out the final talk in Colwood CENiC’s Earth Day speaker series. The topic will be Beaches and Shorelines. Register for the free online Zoom event by emailing ColwoodCENIC@gmail.com.
  • Saturday, May 15:📄 Soroptimist International of Victoria Westshore is holding a Shred-a-Thon to raise funds for programs to support women and girls in the community. The cost is $10 per archive-sized box. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Westshore Town Centre near the Cineplex Odeon theatre. Find more details 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

A new supporter of The Discourse West Shore wrote in last week thanking us for the work that we do:

“I wanted to say that Shalu is a fantastic reporter and writer and that The Discourse is badly needed on the West Shore,” they said.

Thank you so, so much for the kind words. They really made my day!

With gratitude,

Shalu [end]

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