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  • Feb 27 - Esquimalt considers new policing options

Feb 27 - Esquimalt considers new policing options

Plus: Wayde Compton on BC and Island Black writers, famous elk dies, Camosun hosts volleyball champs

Good morning !

Sadly, Youbou’s famous elk, Bob, was confirmed dead after he was struck by a car this weekend. For years the Roosevelt elk was a familiar and friendly face that locals looked forward to seeing.

While there are many different animals calling our Island home, some individual creatures can capture the hearts of a whole community (like the mischievous seal Emerson in Oak Bay or Takaya (Staqeya) the lone seawolf).

I’m wondering if there’s an animal in your community that brings joy to you and your neighbours.

Does your neighbourhood have a celebrity animal?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.


Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌧️ 7 / 7 

Tomorrow: 🌧️ 10 / 3

Thursday: 🌧️ 8 / 4


Wayde Compton and the Black Poets of BC

In an engaging Black History Month event at St. Ann’s Academy on Feb. 22, BC author Wayde Compton appeared in conversation with Megan Stuart, a member of the BC Black History Awareness Society board. Compton, a pivotal figure in BC's literary scene, co-founded Commodore Books in 2006, the first Black-oriented press in Western Canada. His contributions extend beyond literature; he's also co-founder of the Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project, dedicated to preserving Vancouver's Black history.

Throughout the evening, Compton delved into his life and craft, emphasizing his experience as a bi-racial creator in BC. He highlighted the challenges and nuances of Black identity, coining the term “Afroperipheralism” to encapsulate the fluidity of Black identity in Canada. Compton’s work, notably the anthology "Bluesprint," challenges the dominance of white perspectives in Canadian literature, showcasing the voices of Black British Columbian writers.

Compton's speaking to literary ancestors demands one revisit the work of Hopeton (Hope) Anderson, another Black author who significantly contributed to BC's literary community. Anderson's community-building initiatives, included the establishment of Octopus Island Books and Victoria’s first Sunfest festival, which not only fostered dialogue and community among Black authors but brought authors from across Canada together.

Compton and Anderson's writings not only enrich the Canadian literary landscape but also commemorate and celebrate a Black literary lineage, challenging established norms and narratives about its Canon.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Road closures: Check which streets are currently affected by construction.

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Esquimalt begins to weigh policing options 

Esquimalt has shared VicPD services since 2002. Photo: Robyn Bell / Capital Daily

Today Esquimalt council will start discussing options for the future of the township’s policing. Esquimalt and Victoria’s police forces were amalgamated in 2002, but the township has wanted out of the deal for more than a decade.

Council first began discussing alternatives in 2009, though the province rejected a proposed switch to the RCMP. In 2022, the council unanimously voted to not renew the agreement when it expired at the end of last year. It was renewed for one more year while consultations take place.

Right now, Esquimalt pays between $9.3-$9.9M a year for VicPD, a cost, its council says, does not reflect policing needs for the township.

Two years ago, Esquimalt refused to pay for the increased police budget, before being ordered by the province to pay their share. Esquimalt “should not bear that burden to help support downtown Victoria policing,” Mayor Barb Desjardins told Capital Daily at the time.

“This comes down to the challenge of having two very different communities with two very different levels of crime amalgamated,” she said.

Here are the options to be discussed today:

Option 1: Remain in the current agreement with VicPD, paying over $9M a year, or renegotiate yearly costs.

Option 2: Replace with RCMP service, costing $20M for a new building. This option is not likely to be selected.

Option 3: Contract deal with VicPD or Saanich PD. This model would look similar to the current one, with VicPD or Saanich PD providing all police services, but Esquimalt would not take part in the Victoria Police Board. Costs for this have not been estimated. 

Option 4: Create a municipal police force, costing around $7M a year, but with an additional startup cost of $1.5M, plus $190K in upgrades. The establishment of this force could take up to five years, according to a staff report, and could come with difficulties in attracting experienced officers.


You Are Not Alone

In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness. You don’t have to face it alone. Counselling uses established techniques to help you gain insight into existing challenges, develop new skills, and identify opportunities for growth. 

Tall Tree’s clinical counsellors work as part of a complete mental health team to help you reach your goals. And if you’re not sure where to start, their mental health intake team can talk with you about your concerns and suggest which services might be best suited for you. 

Get support with anxiety, depression, anger management, grief and loss, sleep problems, managing stressful life events, and more. Easy to access, evidence-based, and compassionate. Give Tall Tree a call or book online to get started.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🏐 Camosun to host men’s volleyball championship. [March 7-10]

👀 What big eyes you have: The washed-up mug of what appears to have been a cabezon. [Facebook photo]

💃 Dance Victoria presents: Nrityagram Dance Ensemble in collaboration with Chitrasena Dance Company at the Royal Theatre on March 8 + 9. Learn more here.*

🌿 Living art: See the details of Island mosses up close. [Facebook photo]

🤝 Now hiring: Inclusion Support Worker at Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group.

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

After decades, a View Towers neighbour will rise from empty lot
The 23-storey on Fort/View with 265 fully electric units (216 one-beds) will be downtown's first car-free tower and its most densely populated since its 1960s-built neighbour. Council approved it 7-2, with some conditions due to staff concerns. Some councillors were wary of small suites and no on-site parking, but not enough to reject a housing influx. [Citified]

Coldest Night of the Year raises more than $200k
The annual 2-5km walk to try to help people living outdoors and in shelters has raised $122k in Victoria, $57k in the Westshore, and $27k in Sooke. In 2022, 64 Islanders died while homeless. Victoria and BC signed a deal last week to add 30 local all-winter shelter spots and resume the 30-unit Tiny Town.

Youbou’s beloved elk ‘Bob’ dead after crash
The Island town is famous for its wandering elk and when one was killed by a car this weekend locals became worried it could be him. Yesterday, conservation officers confirmed Bob had been struck by a vehicle early Sunday morning. [Cowichan Valley Citizen]

Rolex Killer denied day parole from William Head
The parole board says the risk of Albert Johnson Walker accessing potential victims is too high, though he’s previously been granted escorted absences to attend church. The infamous conman who swindled $2.6M from friends and clients in the 1980s before relocating to the UK, stealing a man’s identity, and murdering him (his body was identified by his Rolex watch), has been in the Greater Victoria prison since 2017. [Times Colonist]

🗓️ Things to do

🎻 Pacific Baroque Festival: The festival will kick off with a performance at St. Barnabas Church tonight at 7:30pm. The fest runs through March 3 at various venues. 

🎭 Something Rotten: See the SMUS performance of the musical comedy at McPherson Playhouse, Thurs.-Sat. at 7:30pm.

👀 In Case You Missed It

Monday’s headlines: ‘Call Police’ sign on BC Transit bus was a false alarm; More local donations planned for Ukraine; Key budget takeaways; And more.  [Feb. 26]

Care for afternoon tea in Victoria? [Tasting Victoria]

Looks like a duck to me. [Breeding cormorant]

How to pursue a refund for Lynx flights. [City / CP]

Lily Gladstone just won the SAG award for best leading actress—here’s how she has inspired Indigenous actors and youth on the Island.

That’s it!

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