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  • Feb 23 - Provincial budget projects record $7.9B deficit

Feb 23 - Provincial budget projects record $7.9B deficit

Plus, Saanich moves farther down the road of safety

Good morning !

Earlier this week, I asked whether the government throne speech is something that draws your attention. A full 52% said, “Yes, I want to know my government’s gameplan.” The second-most popular response (“Not really. Politics is politics”), tied with total indifference (“Zzzzzzzz”) at 17%.


How much do you pay attention to the details of a provincial budget?

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Today’s approx. read time: 6 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌧️ 11 / 7

Tomorrow: 11 / 7

Sunday: 🌧️ 10 / 3


BC government in a giving mood despite deficit budget

Photo: James MacDonald / Capital Daily

The NDP is projecting a deficit of $7.9B for 2024/25—which would be the largest deficit in BC’s history—with similar shortfalls expected in the following two fiscal years. In her speech, Finance Minister Katrine Conroy said that while some may argue the government should make deeper spending cuts, it “would only weaken the services we all rely on,” leaving people to “fend for themselves.”

Key takeaways from yesterday’s provincial budget

Eight months ahead of a scheduled provincial election, the government is in spend mode, extending the BC Family Benefit to an additional 66K families, and offering a 25% bonus to thousands of others already receiving the monthly stipend. In an attempt to cut down on speculators using the real estate market as their own personal eBay, the government introduced a flipping tax. There’s also a one-time electricity credit to help people and businesses pay their BC Hydro bills. 

We’ve rounded up the top takeaways from the 2024 BC Budget.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

BC Ferries cancellations on multiple sailings between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen until Sun. due to mechanical issues with the Queen of New Westminster’s rudder.

Kids bike skill course: Sign up for the free course on Sun. Panorama Rec Centre.

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Saanich releases its proposed road safety plan

Protest attendee Phillip Marciniak gets a hug in this photo taken at a 2022 demonstration calling for safer streets. File Photo: Michael John Lo / Capital Daily

The photo above was taken in Oct. 2022, following a protest at a crosswalk on Shelbourne where an eight-year-old girl on her way to school was hit by a vehicle. The girl recovered, and the community had spoken, demanding safer intersections and streets.

Since then, Saanich has started to implement a series of changes designed to deliver just that. Last March, it began lowering speed limits on some roadways—with more to come. Last month, Saanich council approved its updated Active Transportation Plan, Moving Saanich Forward, which focuses on making streets safer, with the goal of Vision Zero: meaning there is a way to prevent deaths and injuries from occurring when cars and trucks interact with pedestrians and cyclists.

This week, the district released its Road Safety Action Plan (RSAP) which is designed to take steps to achieve zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries, based on crash data and best practices in other jurisdictions.

The RSAP contains more than 30 proposed methods of improving street safety. Now, Saanich wants residents to weigh in on a survey to help tweak the plan. 


Two shows left!

There are only two shows left for Pacific Opera Victoria's Ainadamar! See it on Feb. 25th or 27th live at The Royal Theatre.

Filled with the passion for flamenco and set in the heat of a civil war, Ainadamar is a delicious journey into the life of poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca through the eyes, and voice, of his muse Catalan actress Margarita Xirgu. Nuanced and spicy, this 80-minute tapa-sized tapestry of sound is both delicate and bold, with a masterful composition that transports you to the heart of Andalusia.

Tickets from $30, two-show combo with Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro (April 3-9) starts at $50.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🎨 SUPPLY Victoria reopening: Shop low-cost and used art, office, and school supplies beginning tomorrow at 707 Douglas.

🏀 Vikes advance to Canada West quarterfinals: UVic’s women’s basketball team beat the Lethbridge Pronghorns 54-43.

🎤 Ice Cube is coming to Victoria: The rapper and actor is bringing his Straight Into Canada tour to the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Apr. 23.

🤝 Now hiring: Finance Manager at Pacific Opera Victoria.

🗞️ In Other News

Sealand gets an electric plane for flight-training pilot project
The Pipistrel Velis Electro, a fully electric aircraft, arrived at the Campbell River flight school on Sunday. It came in several pieces to be assembled. Last month, the school announced it would become the first flight school in BC to offer training on a 100% electric plane.

Port Alberni man loses nursing licence for 5 years for sexual offences
Colin Hall pleaded guilty to multiple sexual offences and harassing his colleagues, leading to his licence suspension by the BC College of Nurses and Midwives. If he decides to apply again, he will need to undergo a college review of “fitness, competence, and good character.”

Salt Spring may merge government offices into one building 
The Local Community Commission told staff to look at consolidating into the CRD's own Multi Space building rather than having some departments keep paying increasingly high private commercial rent. This would affect nonprofit groups currently in the space. [Driftwood]

Asbestos concerns in UVic residence building
Students living in Richard Wilson residence said that after flooding and bathroom closures, they weren't given clear safety information despite seeing signage for contractors indicating asbestos removal. UVic said the work was “above WorkSafe safety standards” and ends this week. [Martlet]


Countdown is on for Rising Economy 2024

The transformative conference provides timely, actionable insights on business, the economy, innovation, and technology, plus leadership strategies for a rapidly changing world. Keynote speakers include Dan Pontefract, Linda Nazareth, and Ian Chisholm.

🗓️ Things to do

🎶 Spark to Flame 2024. The Victoria Conservatory of Music showcases its talented student soloists. Saturday. Alix Goolden Performance Hall. 7:30-9:30pm. [Info]

🎙️ Dominique Fils-Aimé: The Juno-winning soul singer and songwriter will perform at Wicket Hall. Tonight. 7pm.

🎸 Sam Roberts Band: The Canadian rock band will perform with support from Miina at Capital Ballroom. Tonight. Doors 7:30pm. Show 8pm. 

🚦Traffic Light Party: Dance and listen to live performances from local DJs at Hermann’s Upstairs. Tonight. 8pm-2am.

🎤 William Prince: The Juno-winning folk and country singer will perform at the McPherson Playhouse. Tonight. 8pm.

🎥 Oppenheimer at Cinecenta: The Oscar-nominated biopic will be shown at the UVic theatre. Tonight. 6:30pm.

👀 In Case You Missed It

Rifflandia Festival: RIP, RAP. Will rock in Rock Bay. [Capital Daily

Victoria’s walk-in clinic wait times second in Canada, only to North Van. [Capital Daily

Thursday’s headlines: Orca visits Ogden Point; Special Taylor Swift sailings; Hen hitchhikes from Campbell River to Nanaimo; And more. [Feb. 22

Neighbourhood building grants now open: Applications for Local Champions Program are open until Mar. 1. My Great Neighbourhood Grant applications are reviewed monthly until Oct. 31.

Former cop Robb Ferris says he’s VicPD’s ‘scapegoat’. [CHEK]

Itsy bitsy spider: See closeups of an ​​immature Cryphoeca exlineae in the Cowichan Valley. [Facebook photo]

That’s it!

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