Labour Day weekend events. RV explosion. Pic-a-Flic selling stock.
Capital Daily team August 31, 2023
Good morning !
Today is International Overdose Awareness Day and we’ll be looking at July’s toxic drug deaths in BC and on the Island—it’s an article filled with numbers, but today of all days it’s important to remember that those numbers represent friends, family, and neighbours lost to the ongoing health crisis.
We’ve also got some lighter content for you, including a sneak peek at this event-filled long weekend ahead—we hope you take the time to enjoy it!
Do you plan to go to the Saanich Fair this weekend?
Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe. Photo: Province of BC Flickr
Today is International Overdose Awareness Day, though most BC residents are well aware of the heartbreak associated with the opioid crisis since the province’s public health emergency was declared seven years ago.
Since then, at least 12,739 people in BC have died from toxic drugs—and the numbers continue to grow year over year.
While Greater Victoria had nine deaths in July, the lowest monthly toll in 2023, the city remained among the top three townships with the highest number of deaths this year, following Vancouver and Surrey, with 91.
Greater Campbell River and Greater Nanaimo were among the top five local health areas with the highest number of deaths.
The Island saw 31 deaths in July, down slightly from June’s 34, with a total of 260 in 2023.
BC is still on track to have the highest yearly number of such deaths in its history, with 1,455 recorded since the beginning of the year—a record-breaking toll within a seven-month period. It’s expected the province will exceed the 2,383 deaths recorded in 2022.
In July, the average concentration of fentanyl in Victoria was 9.9%, though it’s increased to 13.4%, according to the most recent findings from Substance UVic. A key reason why fentanyl is more deadly is the typically unpredictable concentrations found in unregulated drugs.
Carfentanil, an opioid of concern that’s similar to fentanyl, was at its lowest detection rate since recording began two years ago, with four deaths linked to the substance this month.
⚠️ Capital Bulletin
COVID variant BA. 2.86 found in Fraser Valley in Canada’s first confirmed case of the potentially more infectious variant.
Saanich reopens heat pump financing program, offering up to $12K to those who switch to an electric heat pump.
RV captured in video exploding near Juan de Fuca Rec Centre:
Events around Victoria this Labour Day long weekend
Saanich Fair. Photo: Central Saanich Website
Labour Day long weekend is commonly thought of as the end of the summer—but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of summer festivities. We’ve compiled some of the best events happening around the city this long weekend.
Saanich Fair The annual fair, which first took place in 1868, is this weekend from Saturday-Monday at the Saanich Fairground. This year’s theme is “Jammin’ at the Fair.” The fair hosts amusement rides, highland dancing, horse shows as well as competitions for farm animals, produce, and arts. Aaron Pritchett will perform Saturday, and Prism will perform Sunday.
Out There Art Festival This arts film festival hosted by Alter Arts Society at Jackson Park runs Friday-Sunday. Catch interactive art installations and aerial circus and flow arts workshops—plus live music, drag showcases, improv, dance, and magic.
Victoria Fringe Festival The 11-day-long indie performing arts festival hosted by Intrepid Theatre wraps up Sunday. Local, national, and international artists will perform dramas, musicals, standup comedy, spoken word, and more. The festival’s nightly Fringe Cabaret, pop-up programming hosted at Intrepid’s studio, continues until Saturday. Then on Sunday, the festival’s Pick of the Fringe Awards night takes place at the Victoria Event Centre.
Moon Fest Moon Under Water Brewery is hosting a party Saturday in its parking lot to celebrate the brewery’s 11th anniversary. Live music by Tom Morrissey Band and Cooler, 4-8pm. Check out the photo booth and dog station, and grab a dog beer for your pup. It will serve up pulled pork sandwiches and hot dosa—they’ll even have a beer Zamboni with three brews on tap.
Camosun union reaches tentative deal with college: The tentative agreement was reached under the province’s Shared Recovery Mandate and covers 800 faculty members at the college. Specifics of the agreement will be made publicly available once it is ratified.
Family of man murdered in Rockland wants more information on death: Two years after Jeremy Gordaneer was killed while staying at his mother’s home on a quiet street in Rockland, there has been no further information provided by VicPD or RCMP on what happened that night. Police were called to the home to find Gordaneer had suffered fatal injuries. The family has called on the federal and provincial government to allocate more resources to DNA testing and other investigative tools. [Times Colonist]
Arrest made in series of arson investigations: Edwin Singh, 42, was charged with four counts of arson in Victoria and Saanich, including cars set ablaze at a Mercedes dealership on Government in July, a car near a rental business in June and items on loading docks at separate locations on Government and Tolmie.
🗓️ Things to do
🎵 Music in the Bay: Brandy Moore will perform folk, pop, and soul tunes tonight at Cadboro-Gyro Park, 6-7pm.