West Shore

West Shore This Week: Smoky skies blow through the region

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.


Welcome back from the long weekend! I hope everyone is settling into their fall routines now that school is back in session. Admittedly, the hotter-than-usual weather sure is making it tough for me to stay inside when a cool lake is calling my name.

I hope this newsletter finds you well and provides you with some information as well as a little break. What would you like to see in it? What questions do you have that you’d like us to answer in the newsletter or other stories moving forward? Send me an email, I’d love to chat!


News and announcements

  • Greater Victoria residents awoke to smoky skies and poor air quality Tuesday morning. Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan said the smoke is due to wildfires in Washington. At 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Environment Canada said the West Shore’s air quality health index was sitting at a 10, indicating a “very high” risk. By Tuesday evening, the index indicated a “moderate risk.” A special weather statement from Environment Canada also warned of hotter-than-usual temperatures this week. Wednesday and Thursday are forecasted to be five-to-10 degrees Celsius higher than typical seasonal temperatures. Residents are advised to drink plenty of water – even before feeling thirsty – and schedule outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day. While the smoke lingers, Environment Canada advises reducing or rescheduling strenuous outdoor activity, particularly for children, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions.
  • On Tuesday, the province ordered nightclubs and stand-alone banquet halls to close as B.C. reported 429 new cases of COVID-19 over a four-day period, CBC reports. Restaurants will not be able to sell liquor past 10 p.m. and bars and restaurants must close by 11 p.m., unless they are serving food.
  • The City of Colwood is offering its residents free flu shots this fall. Three days of flu shot clinics will be offered at the Juan de Fuca Fieldhouse on Oct. 25, Nov. 1 and Nov. 8. Register for your free flu shot online.
  • Police are investigating a robbery that took place near Belmont Road and Kuper Avenue in Colwood. West Shore RCMP says a victim told police he was walking when he was approached by a man riding a bike who brandished a knife and demanded the victim’s wallet. The victim called 911 and did not give his wallet to the suspect, who then rode away. Police are investigating this incident along with two similar reports that took place last week on the West Shore. Anyone with information about the robbery or previous ones is asked to contact West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264. More information about the robberies can be found here.
  • UPDATED: On Wednesday morning, West Shore RCMP said James Brumbach has been found and is “safe and sound.” Brumbach was reported missing on Aug. 23 and police had asked for the public’s help locating him.
  • The City of Langford says Island Health has closed Langford Lake due to blue-green algae blooms as of Sept. 1. Swimming is not allowed, for humans and pets.
  • A CREST tower upgrade in the Highlands has improved emergency communications, according to the municipality’s fire chief Dean Ford. Emergency services have historically struggled with radio communications in the district. But Ford says hands-on testing shows every area that previously had zero signal now has service thanks to a new tower commissioned in August.
  • The District of Highlands is encouraging residents to not use anticoagulant rodenticides as they post a risk to birds, pets and even children. The advisory comes after Highlands council received a “number of letters” from the public about the use of rat poison and its impacts.
  • A new hotel, restaurant and townhouses are coming to Langford, the Goldstream News Gazette reports. The city is selling just under two acres of property at 2855 Westshore Pkwy. and 1365 Goldstream Ave. to Canwest Hotels for $5 million.
  • The man who killed West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett in an April, 2016 car crash is not allowed to return to Vancouver Island, as reported by The Canadian Press and CTV. An Aug. 31 decision from the Parole Board of Canada says “the Correctional Service of Canada and RCMP opposed [Kenneth] Fenton’s proposal to return to an unspecified place on Vancouver Island.” He is scheduled to be released in March, 2021.
  • One person was taken to hospital after a fire at Big O Tires on Island Highway in View Royal Tuesday afternoon, CHEK News reports. View Royal acting fire chief Rob Marshall said the fire is believed to have started while workers were dropping a fuel tank out of a vehicle.

Community events

  • Sept. 9 to 11: 🎓 New University of Victoria students can partake in a welcome to campus and the school year with the UVSS Campus Kick Off 2020. The series features on-campus and online events.
  • Thursday, Sept. 10: 🎸 Enjoy some country tunes and dinner at the City Centre Grille’s outdoor patio with Wayne Montgomery & Montgomery County. The show takes place between 5 and 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 12: 🍖 While the Esquimalt Ribfest may not run the way it usually does this year, families can enjoy a drive-through virtual ribfest instead and support the Esquimalt Firefighters Charitable Foundation and the Esquimalt Ribfest Society. Pickup of supplies is from noon to 3 p.m. in the curling rink parking lot.
  • Ongoing to Sept. 12: 💖 Our Place Society’s Hungry Hearts Gala has gone virtual this year. For the first time, the auction is open to everyone to bid on local items ranging from restaurant certificates to hotel stays. The online auction takes place between Sept. 7 and 12 with the virtual gala and winners announced on the final day.
  • Sunday, Sept. 13: 🚶 Join in on the virtual 2020 Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope by registering online first and going on a walk where you live on Sunday.
  • Monday, Sept. 14: 🛍️ Make your way to Royal Beach to enjoy the final Sunset Market, which was postponed from Sept. 7 due to high winds.

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


Photo of the week

Gary Woodburn captured this photo of the sunrise at the Esquimalt Lagoon on Tuesday. Smoke filled the skies of Greater Victoria and air quality became very poor as wildfires burned in Washington. Thanks for sharing this striking photo, Gary!

west shore photo of the week

Have an awesome photo of life on the West Shore? Send it to shalu@thediscourse.ca. I’d love to see how you view your community!


In your words

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Thanks, Jesse. We work hard to stay independent and report on issues that matter to our community.

With gratitude,

Shalu