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  • Feb 18 - Breaking up the winter with Family Day

Feb 18 - Breaking up the winter with Family Day

Plus, Oak Bay getting new sewer system, and our kelp gets some help

Good morning !

The Family Day long weekend is underway, with many events around the region and (of course) lots of long weekend traffic on the ferry.


What are you up to this weekend?

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Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌧️ 7 / 4

Tomorrow: 🌧️ 8 / 3

Tuesday: ☀️ 9 / 5


Family day events around the region

Family Day. Photo: District of Saanich

Tomorrow is Family Day, and throughout the CRD there are plenty of fun activities for all ages that you can enjoy with your loved ones. 

Get creative at the art gallery, check out a museum to learn something new, take a guided walk or historical tour, or head to your local rec centre for a free swim or craft workshop.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

🚗 Expect traffic delays downtown during the Lunar New Year parade.

⛴️ Busy ferries this long weekend: 350k passengers and 150k vehicles expected, but there are 26 Swartz Bay - Tsawwassen sailings. BC Ferries travel advice.

🌡️ This week's weather: Rain and cloud expected.

🚘️ Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Island kelp showing some resilience against rising heat

Photo Florian Graner / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Recent years have been hard on ocean and coastal life in Island waters. The 2022 heat wave alone killed billions of seashore animals and left local shorelines “smelling like death.”

But new research out of UVic suggests there are signs of hope. Some pockets of bull kelp in the Strait of Juan de Fuca are showing they can bounce back from stresses, including extreme heat.

We're used to seeing individual kelp bulbs washed up on Island beaches. But underwater, the large forests they grow in provide food and shelter for fish, urchins, otters, and many other creatures. Salmon that the kelp helps can in turn keep orcas fed. The research isn't all good news, though—unlike the Juan de Fuca success stories, parts of some Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia are showing a decline. 

Read the full story at Capital Daily to learn why some kelp patches are doing better than others.


50/50 raffle supports Island kids

50% to the winner, 50% to kids’ health, 100% worth it! Do you want to make a difference in the lives of Island kids? How about a chance to win a huge cash prize?

The Pot of Gold 50/50 raffle is a fundraiser for the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. All proceeds directly support programs that help children with complex health needs access the care they need – from specialized equipment to travel for medical appointments and stays at our Homes away from home.

Tickets are on sale now until midnight on March 14, so don’t miss this opportunity to win big and do good. The more tickets sold, the bigger the prize!

Know your limit, play within it. Must be 19+ to play. Licence #147901.


Oak Bay to overhaul its sewer system

The District will create separate stormwater and wastewater systems, using new federal ($3.5M) and BC ($3M) funding plus $2.4M of its own. The current antiquated combined system in the Uplands neighbourhood is susceptible to overflow, allowing effluent to enter streams and the ocean. [Oak Bay release]

In July 2022, Oak Bay increased its public works staffing in the knowledge that some $274M of the district’s water, sanitary sewer, storm, and road assets were past their useful life and that 25km of new pipe needed to be replaced. 

Years of grappling with infrastructure deficit 

Oak Bay is trying to replace all of its aging infrastructure within 25 years but despite the municipality’s wealth, it has contended with funding shortfalls for infrastructure projects. A 2021 staff report predicted these problems would compound over the next century [more on that in the Capital Daily podcast].

The municipality has tried to tackle the deficit in recent years through tax rates, and its 2021 long-term Sustainable Infrastructure Replacement Plan won an asset management award from the Union of BC Municipalities.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🍻 Island Craft Festival is back today at The Sticky Wicket. Taste craft beer, cider, wine, and spirits from more than 20 Island producers. Tickets available online and at Strath Liquor Merchants.

📸 A very cute visitor: This little pine marten came to see some Sayward residents.

💘 Valentine's daydream: A delusional love story plays out in local pop singer Cati Landry's new music video “Mind's Eye,” released Valentine's Day.

🤝 Now hiring: Early childhood educator at Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group.

🗞️ In Other News

Victoria teen charged with trying to open airplane door
A Vancouver-Toronto WestJet flight made an emergency stop in Winnipeg, where RCMP say an 18-year-old was arrested, charged, and released with a court date. [Canadian Press]

Victoria rental scammer gets 42 months in jail 
In 2022 Brandon Wildman, 43, used fake leases, tours, and key cards to get renters to pay advance rent and deposits for units he didn't own, including AirBnBs he booked. He stole nearly $10K, but after conviction on seven counts, he must pay restitution to victims once released. [VicPD]

Local MP brings rail petition to House of Commons
Cowichan-Malahat-Langford's Alistair MacGregor presented a petition seeking $1B for the Island Corridor Foundation. It cites a need for alternate routes to Alberni following last summer's road shutdowns. [Ha-Shilth-Sa]
Last March, Canada and BC returned rail land to the Snaw-Naw-As and allocated $18M to consultation about the line.

🗓️ Things to do

🎈Family Day Family Arts Festival in Saanich. Clay hand-building in the ceramics studio, stitching, mask-making, beading, storytelling, and playing with robotics. Live music and cultural performances. Cedar Hill Recreation and Arts Centre. Tomorrow. 11am-3pm. [Info]

🐉 Lunar New Year's Parade: The parade will feature a lion performance by the Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club, a dragon dance by the Victoria Chinese Public School, and traditional Chinese dances. Begins at the Gates of Harmonious Interest. Today. 11:30am. 

🎻 Medusa Quartet: The folk musicians will be joined by Pierre Schryer and Adam Dobres at Hermann’s Jazz Club. Today. Doors 6pm. Show 7:30pm. 

🎥 The Holdovers at Cinecenta: The Academy Award-nominated comedy drama set in the 1970s will be shown at the UVic theatre. Today. 2:30pm, 5pm, 7:30pm. 

🖼️ Winter Arts Fest Dialogue: This talk on themes of light and language will be given at the RBCM as part of the arts festival. Today. 6:30-8:30pm. 

❄ Winter Arts Fest events: Music, art, and more—all long weekend. Full details here

🧑‍✈️✈️ Open Cockpit Day. Three vintage airplanes and two helicopters are open to the public. Admission by donation. BC Aviation Museum. Today. 10am-4pm. [Info]

👀 In Case You Missed It

Friday’s headlines: Saanich sues Big Oil; major VicPD drug bust falls apart; cat returns after years; YYJ firings; and more. [Feb. 16]

Saturday’s headlines: A new arts festival; rainbow crosswalk targeted; 900 Island homes funded; tides return a lost wallet; and more. [Feb. 17]

Throwback photo: See Yates and Douglas in the 1950s.

Hair ice is a rare phenomenon, found in Cowichan Valley.

That’s it!

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