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  • Oct 4 - BC Ferries will face fines for cancelled sailings

Oct 4 - BC Ferries will face fines for cancelled sailings

Plus, the BC legislature's fall sitting kicks off and Oak Bay mansion prices fall again


Good morning !

Looks like the BC government is taking BC Ferries to task for its spate of sailing cancellations over the last couple of years.

It’s going to fine the ferry service each time it cancels a sailing because it is short-staffed.


Do you think imposing fines on BC Ferries will improve its ability to avoid cancellations?

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Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes

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BC Ferries soon will be penalized for cancelling core sailings due to crew shortages

Photo: BC Ferries

The province has renewed its contract with BC Ferries—and it has introduced new penalties the company will pay whenever its core service is interrupted because it doesn’t have enough staff.

Under the agreement, each time a core major route sailing is cancelled BC Ferries will pay the government $7K. The company will pay a fine of $1K for each core minor route sailing cancelled due to crew shortfall.

BC Ferries has struggled to keep its schedule over the two last years, mostly due to staffing shortages, and key vessels including the Coastal Renaissance and Coastal Celebration going in for repairs.

A company report released in the summer revealed 1,100 out of 2,800 (approximately 40%) cancelled sailings between April 2022 and March of this year were scrubbed due to staffing shortages.

Ferry fares will rise by only 3.2%, down from projected 9.2%

The renewed contract also upgrades 1,433 round-trip sailings on smaller routes to that core service designation, and it caps price increases for each year of the new four-year contract: April 1, 2024 to March 31, 2028.

The 3.2% per year price hike applies to the overall increase, so foot and vehicle passengers may not have the same bump.

Tori Marlan wrote a piece on the ferry industry’s endemic workers’ shortage. Read that Capital Daily story here.

See also: Abuse, threats force BC Ferries to cancel public meetings.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Douglas southbound lanes closed starting today from Hillside to Bay for 24/7 underground utility work. Northbound lanes will be open.

Winter tires are now mandatory if you plan to drive on the Malahat.

Missing person: William Hall, 36, has not been seen by his family since March and is believed to be in Nanaimo.


Saanich Council releases strategic plan

Saanich Council released its strategic plan. Photo: Saanich Council

Saanich Council has released its four-year strategic plan, and it responds to the multiple challenges municipalities up and down Vancouver Island are facing: the availability of affordable housing, infrastructure demands, and the new realities of climate change, which are pushing local leaders to redefine and design for a rapidly changing social, economic and environmental future.

“The strategic priorities outlined in this plan reflect the major priorities Saanich residents shared with us,” said Mayor Dean Murdock.

The plan rests on six values-based pillars: climate action and environmental leadership, community well-being, housing, transportation, economic development, and organizational excellence.

Some environmental highlights:

  • Improved water conservation and the 100K-trees-in-10-years initiative

  • Support for a multi-modal transportation network as well as the acceleration of active transportation in conjunction with road safety programs that will help reduce reliance on vehicles

The council says Saanich will invest in accountability measures, such as the creation of a new public engagement platform and an open data initiative that will keep both its short- and long-term goals on track.

Council took direction from the opinions of Saanichites, expressed through 1,400 surveys the council distributed in 2019.

Murdock says he’s particularly excited about initiatives such as Neighbourhood Homes Study which is designed to meet the current housing or "infill" gap between single family dwellings and apartments by increasing the number of duplexes, triplexes and townhouses being developed.

The council has removed barriers for future affordable housing builds, including streamlining the approval process and adjusting density limits to encouarge their development.

“These two significant policy changes will help to create more homes for people and their families that meet their needs and that are in their price range,” the mayor said.

“We can ensure Saanich is a community where people of all incomes and stages of life can find a home.”

Langford also recently released its strategic plan. Find details on that plan on The Westshore.

By Sidney Coles, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


Joni Mitchell musical returns to the Belfry

Created especially for the Belfry in 2016, this stirring musical is a tribute to Joni Mitchell, one of this country’s most exceptional musical treasures.

Using only her words and music—including such iconic songs as Both Sides Now, Big Yellow Taxi, Chelsea Morning, River, and A Case of You—the show weaves a romantic story of heartache and love.

It’s a celebration of the enduring legacy of Joni Mitchell, the poet and the composer, and a testament to her influence on generations of musicians, and a tonic for our times.

⭐️ Capital Picks

📹 Video: A Kia and a Honda burst into flames on Pacifica Avenue in Oak Bay. Watch here.

🛢 Rainwater harvesting helps save drinking water, reduces pressure on storm drain systems, feeds plants and protects fish habitat. CRD Webinar. Tonight. 7-8:30pm. Register here.

🏆 Magnolia Hotel honoured as it celebrates silver anniversary
The boutique hotel on Courtney in downtown Victoria was named #1 in the Best Small Cities category, in this, its 25th year. It also was named #11 best hotel in Western Canada with Fairmont Empress in #10, and Oak Bay Beach Hotel in #7.

📈 Stay up to date on Greater Victoria’s latest economic news, developments and insights in this weekly newsletter from economic development alliance South Island Prosperity Partnership.*

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

Jewelry store heist in Nanaimo ‘well-orchestrated’
RCMP say three thieves broke into the Peoples Jewellers in Woodgrove Centre shortly after 3am.on Sat. and made off with $100K worth of jewelry. [CTV]

Trail for Shawnigan Lake waterfront gets push back
The project has been years in the making, with a plan to connect four community parks near the waterfront. But residents are worried about the impacts on water quality, with concerns about algae blooms caused by tree removal and damage to the riparian zone. [Times Colonist]

Oak Bay mansion drops price by $1M
After a house sat on the market for 14 years and then sold thanks to a drop in price, other big-ticket mansions are following suit. Another huge house is now a bit cheaper to buy, dropping to $8.9M from $9.9M after being on the market for months. [Oak Bay News]

Liberal MP Greg Fergus elected new Speaker of House of Commons
The MP from the Quebec riding of Hull-Aylmer is Canada’s first Black Speaker of the House. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who represents Saanich-Gulf Islands, was one of the candidates. [CBC]

Conservatives off to ‘outrageous’ start as MLAs return to legislature
For the first time in almost three decades the BC government has three opposition parties to appease. BC United and the Greens were joined by the newly minted official party status Conservatives in the legislature yesterday for the start of the fall session. [CHEK]

🤝 Now Hiring

Thinking of making your next career move? Let us help!

Looking for more openings? See 40+ jobs open now on YYJobs.

Hiring? Post your job to have it featured here, and fill your opening fast!


For Sale: 2-bed/2-bath condo in Harris Green

Experience downtown living in this stunning 1,100 sqft. condo at Regents Park! With its spacious floorplan, sun-soaked south-facing orientation, and cleverly designed secondary bedroom featuring a built-in murphy bed and work station, this place is truly exceptional for roommates or a home office.

This unit has been immaculately cared for with tasteful updates in 2019. Includes underground parking, pet friendly (1 cat or dog up to 12" shoulder height), rentals allowed.

🗓️ Things to do

Terra Lightfoot: Catch the Canadian singer at Capital Ballroom. Show at 7:30pm.

Orion Lecture: Velcrow Ripper: The award-winning BC documentary filmmaker will speak in this virtual lecture, open to all. Streaming at 7pm.

White Buffalo: The band will showcase their new sound at Wicket Hall. Show at 8pm.

Undefeated Westshore Rebels end the football regular season by hosting Langley. 4pm Sat. Tickets here.

Pacific Opera Victoria presents Wagner’s Die Walküre - October 12 – 21 at The Royal Theatre. Tickets from $30. Don't miss it!*

*Sponsored Listing

👀 In Case You Missed It

Tuesday’s headlines: BC Ferries halts public meetings due to threats, seal vs. octopus caught on video, and best burgers around. [Capital Daily]

Whale vs. whale: Humpbacks and orcas chased each other in a skirmish near Nanaimo partly caught on video. [Times Colonist]

Memorable scenes from last weekend’s South Island Powwow in this slideshow from Colin Smith.

That’s it!

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