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  • March 9 - CRD's ambitious $2 billion water plan

March 9 - CRD's ambitious $2 billion water plan

Saanich looks into 'noise cameras.' Rat bites woman. Big cigarette bust. Royals reach playoffs.


Good morning !

Smokers may not like it but the police just did a lot of them a big medical favour—a couple of huge busts have taken millions of cheap cigarettes off the streets.

I say this as an ex-smoker. So glad I quit.


Do you or any of your contemporaries smoke cigarettes?

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Today’s approx. read time: 6 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌧️ 10 / 5 

Tomorrow: 🌧️ 10 / 5

Monday:  🌧️ 8 / 6


Island Health on $2 billion CRD water plan: Go for it

Photo: CRD

Island Health is recommending the Capital Regional District go ahead with its plans to build a $1.1B water filtration plant that will keep the region’s water supply safe well into the future. However, a special information meeting of the region’s water commissioners raised questions about the true scope and cost of the plan. 

The proposition, to be developed over 30 years, suggests $2B in infrastructure investments, with the $1B Goldstream Water Filtration Plant as its centrepiece. It aims to address anticipated challenges such as population growth, climate change impacts, and water treatment requirements. Key to the plan is the integration of the Leech River into the Greater Victoria Water Supply System (GVWSS).

However, there are concerns about increased turbidity resulting from this integration, which could compromise water quality. That’s where the filtration plant comes in. But critics argue the expensive plan hasn’t marshalled enough empirical evidence or properly considered alternatives.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Heavy rain and wind continue on west and north Island.

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Saanich to hear all about a ‘noise camera’ pilot program

‘Noise cameras’ have a similar appearance to speed cameras. Photo: Shutterstock

On Monday, Saanich Coun. Teale Phelps-Bondaroff plans to push a pilot program to install noise cameras on local roads. He’s expected to ask staff to explore feasibility, from the municipality’s legal power to employ such cameras, to what noise recording devices could be used to catch excessively loud vehicles, particularly those modified with after-market mufflers.

Staff will look at two kinds of devices

The first is similar to red light cameras—if a vehicle is excessively noisy, the camera will snap a photo, record audio, and deploy a ticket to the driver. The second is a recording device that collects data on the overall vehicle noise level to determine whether it exceeds the allowable amount under the district’s noise ordinance.
Both devices are triggered if a vehicle’s sound exceeds the allowable 83 dBA for light-duty vehicles. Diesel-powered vehicles can reach volumes of 93 dBA, which is the loudest legally allowed. The sound of normal conversation is approximately 60 dBA.

In a TikTok video, Phelps-Bondaroff said the audio devices are relatively low-cost—“a couple thousand dollars, maybe a couple hundred dollars.” The camera option could cost between $60K and $120K, he said, similar to the cost of red light or speed cameras.

Phelps-Bondaroff said Saanich’s current noise enforcement procedure relies on complaints to the police—which can be ineffective, especially when people can’t determine where a noise is coming from.

Growing volume of research

Noise cameras have been successfully tested in the UK and in New York, where they’re being implemented more widely. However, Edmonton’s pilot program had some problems. Emergency vehicle sirens set off the cameras, creating unnecessary footage that had to be manually deleted. The footage it captured of loud vehicles was also not seen as strong evidence in court. 
Loud traffic noise has been linked to health concerns, such as high blood pressure and cognitive issues.


Full-bodied flirtation

See Pacific Opera Victoria's The Marriage of Figaro April 3-7 at The Royal Theatre.
Rich and satisfying, with lush orchestration and complex love stories, this opera is as tender and temperamental as a soufflé, as a clever servant aims to outwit his masters in a game of love and deception. The Marriage of Figaro is a must-see opera that will leave you nourished and enriched. 

Book your tickets before they sell out! Visit the website or call 250.385.0222. 

⭐️ Capital Picks

Join us on a journey of Indigenous empowerment and growth. Sign up for the Indigenous Prosperity Centre newsletter today and be part of positive change.*

🕶️ Heron in a tree watches the sunrise in Oak Bay.

🤝 Now hiring: Payroll Clerk at The Butchart Gardens.

🗞️ In Other News

VicPD smokes out $130K in cash and $500K in contraband cigarettes
Police say they surveilled a suspect they say was selling smokes in cartons and packs on Pandora on Feb. 22. Two days later, they went to the suspect’s Esquimalt home where they say they found the money along with 3K+ cartons of smokes. Cigarette packs must have tax payment confirmation stamps or they’re considered contraband. [VicPD]
Butt there’s more. Much more. RCMP in Surrey yesterday announced what may be the forces’ largest seizure ever: 27+ tonnes of illegal cigarettes, worth $24M+. [City / CP]

Island woman with rat bite fever faces surgery
Three days after her pet rat bit her, the Port Alberni woman became extremely ill and had to be taken to hospital in Victoria. She now needs two new heart valves—a risky but necessary surgery to extend her life. Despite what she’s been through, the woman says rats make great pets. [CHEK]

Break-ins in Comox Valley likely targeted Asian business owners
The break-ins occurred while the victims were at work and the RCMP says there’s significant information to believe the homes were targeted. Investigators think the burglars placed GPS tracking devices on the victims’ vehicles to follow their whereabouts. The RCMP says it’s not investigating the thefts as race-related crimes. [Times Colonist]

Royals clinch playoff spot for the first time since 2020
The team is fifth in the WHL’s Western Conference, with a 28-25-5-4 record. Victoria has won 13 out of its last 20 games, with 6 more to go before the playoffs. Last year the Royals fell 16 points shy of the last playoff spot. [Victoria News]


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This is precision testing at its finest. Book now at Tall Tree Health.

🗓️ Things to do

🎺 Russ Macklem West Coast Quintet. The Detroit trumpeter player/composer performs music from his Juno-nominated album The South Detroit Connection. Opening set by the U-Jam young all-stars. The Mint. Tomorrow. 7-10 pm. [Info]

🥖 Gluten-free sourdough workshop: Learn how to make vegan and gluten-free breads at The Art of Slow Food Bakery. Today. 4-6pm.

⭐ Ghana Independence Day Celebration: This potluck-style event celebrating Ghana’s 67th independence anniversary will include music, cultural displays, dance, and Ghanaian cuisine at James Bay Community Centre. Today. 3-7pm. 

📺 Friends-themed trivia night: The one about you testing your knowledge on the hit television show at The Mint. Today. 7pm.

🎧 Stickybuds: The electronic musician will be joined by special guest Defunk at Capital Ballroom. Today. Doors 9pm. Show 9:30pm.

🍸 Salmon Guru at Clive’s Classic Lounge: Oscar and Vicente from the award-winning cocktail bar in Madrid will create amazing cocktails at Victoria’s award-winning bar in Chateau Victoria. Today. 5:30-8:30pm. 

🎹 Attila Fias Quartet: The pianist will be joined by bassist Louis Rudner, drummer Damian Graham, and guitarist Wes Carroll at Hermann’s Jazz Club. Today. Doors 5:30pm. Show 7pm.

🎶 Requiem - Maurice Durufle: Peter Butterfield will conduct the Victoria Philharmonic Choir in this choral performance at Christ Church Cathedral. Today. 7:30pm.

👀 In Case You Missed It

Friday’s headlines: Investigation reopens into teen’s 2021 date-rape drug overdose; More lawsuits fly over Vic condo; Van. Island has talent; And more. [Mar 8]

Cancelled play ‘about white culture, not Indigenous culture,’ director says. [Capital Daily] 

Is your favourite restaurant nominated? Voting is now open for the 2024 Tasting Victoria Best Restaurant Awards. Vote for your favourites here!

Dry ramen bar opens: Otaki, the new ramen bar and geekware shop, is at 551 Johnson.

Greater Victoria Flower Count is on until Wed. [Petal power]

Rough-Skinned Newt: City of Langford warns that amphibians that contain harmful toxins have been spotted in Westhills Park.

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