Happy Labour Day! Once again, we hope you’re having a happy and safe long weekend.
Today’s approx read time: 6 minutes
150+ fall surgeries postponed as Royal Jubilee closes another operating room
Royal Jubilee stock photo by Jimmy Thomson
From Tuesday until Oct. 27, the hospital will be down one more operating room (OR), reducing Jubilee to 9 of its total 12.
The summer slow-down already had local hospitals operating at less-than-max volumes, and though Vic General (VGH) will re-add one room for fall, it will still be one short of its max of 10.
Island Health CEO Kathy MacNeil told CHEK the problem is a lack of specialized nurses—she says they’re trying to recruit, but that Victoria’s high cost of living makes the pre-set BC-wide pay rates less appealing here than elsewhere.
Island Health also confirmed to CHEK that there will be 160 surgery postponements. The Times Colonist had initially projected as many as 312 postponed surgeries, based on the upper end of a typical weekly volume.
Surgical shortages were flagged last fall
Briefing notes, revealed this summer, from a closed Island Health meeting late last year showed that Jubilee and VGH were not on track to hit their early-2023 surgical targets, and had already had impromptu OR closures in fall 2022. The notes mainly blamed shortages on a loss of 19 staff to Island Health’s newly acquired South Island Surgical Centre.
Several Island hospitals have struggled with staffing this year, and some of the smaller facilities on the Island have had either impromptu overnight ER closures, pre-planned medium-term ER closures, or both.
Holiday schedule today on local bus routes.
Drivers on the Malahat encouraged to avoid peak times due to congestion.
Nanaimo-bound flight clipped on YVR tarmac by fellow Air Canada plane; passengers were put on a later flight. [Global]
Bus crashes into SUV on Bay; 2 hospitalized
Screenshot of video from ajs380/Reddit
Security footage from Saturday, posted to Reddit, shows the bus on Douglas striking a fast-moving car on Bay in the middle of the intersection. Based on the stopped vehicles on the near side of the street in the video, it appears that the SUV may have run the light.
It goes on to bump into another vehicle, and BC Transit says that the bus was involved with three vehicles in total.
BC Transit’s statements to media also said that two passengers were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, and that a BC Transit internal investigation and a police investigation are ongoing.
In May, there was another serious bus collision downtown when a bus hit a pedestrian in a wheelchair.
Victoria pilot project trying to protect trees from drought stress
Getting to the root of the matter
That is a portable water tank. Says right on it.
I spotted it near The Harrison Yacht Pond at Holland Point, off Dallas.
Didn’t know what it was, but it turns out the transportable tank is part of a pilot project to test the effectiveness of supplemental watering systems for mature trees experiencing drought stress.
The pilot is one of the city’s climate adaptation strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change to the urban forest.
Not all trees—any guesses how many trees there are in this city?—in Victoria have access to water through irrigation systems, so these tanks are taken right to the trees—kind of like a DoorDash or Uber Eats for flora, except there’s only water on the menu.
The tanks hold 1K litres of water, which travels through a small drip system to provide nourishment to the root zones of drought-stressed trees, the city told Capital Daily in an email.
The city has four of these mobile tanks, which have provided supplemental watering to a dozen mature trees.
Project is part of Victoria’s Urban Forest Master Plan
That Master Plan has four goals.
To develop and maintain strong community support for the urban forest
To protect, enhance, and expand Victoria’s urban forest
To maximize watershed health and biodiversity
To maximize the urban forest’s benefit in all neighbourhoods
The city says the urban forest not only plays a vital role in defining the character of Victoria and providing essential homes for insects, birds and other animals, provides shelter from the elements, helps mitigate and adapt to climate change and extreme weather, and lessens erosion.
Victoria has approximately 150K trees, per the city’s website. Each is estimated to be worth at least $2K, for a total of $80M+, the city said.
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To date, they have invested more than $313 million in people, projects, and non-profit organizations that strengthen communities in BC and throughout Canada.
🐝 The fascinating handiwork of leafcutter bees is on display in these photos, with perfect circles cut to make doors for leaf cocoons.
🌾 THIS IS THE PLACE: The Root Cellar at Oxford Corner in Cook Street Village – your innovative destination market for fresh locally grown produce and extraordinary food experiences. Visit the website to learn more.*
🏊 Fall aquatics at Crystal Pool: Register for swim lessons and aquatic fitness programs.
Saanich fair attendance high With long car lines, many attendees are opting to get dropped off, or to cycle there via the Lochside trail and use the new bike valet. [Times Colonist]
Hiker dies after falling near Qualicum Bay: Comox Valley Search and Rescue (CVSR) responded last Sunday to calls for urgent medical aid on the Nile Creek Trail. The since-deleted post from CVSR said crews helped her companions get out and back to waiting family. [CTV]
SPONSORED BY SPROUT HEALTH
Wonderful healthcare for families is here
Imagine a new kind of healthcare experience. Warm, welcoming, and designed for families. A specialized team focused on prevention, not just reactive illness care. In-person, over the phone, on call, and easy to access. The Sprout team will see you now.
🎨 Graffiti Jam’s big day: Multiple artists paint at once at the huge outdoor art space in Esquimalt where murals have been worked on for weeks. Begins 10am today. [Details]
🌳 Abkhazi Art Show opening day, showcasing work from the plein air Artists in the Garden program. 11am-4pm. [Info]
🥕 Esquimalt Arts Festival’s Gorge Park finale is today (4:30-7:30), with family fun and Mufaro Marimba’s music. Thursday markets continue this week and next.
🇬🇷 Second weekend of GreekFest (free) concludes today. [Info]
🎉 Saanich Fair: Western Canada’s oldest continuous agricultural fair continues today.
Pedestrian killed in Saanich crosswalk on Friday, in just the latest serious crosswalk crash in a district that has been trying to prevent them. [Sat. newsletter]
Dirty car contest by ICBC is encouraging people to save water. [Details]
Baby born in back of taxi with help from Nanaimo cab driver. [CTV]
Pacific FC alone in 2nd after weekend win. [Highlights]
The cat came back—3 years later—as Colwood’s Smokey finally returns home. [CHEK]
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