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  • March 1 - Questions abound after another child dies in BC foster care

March 1 - Questions abound after another child dies in BC foster care

Esquimalt apartment-dwellers breathe sigh of rental relief

Good morning !

He was a well-dressed, deep-voiced, polarizing figure who reshaped Canada-US relations, added tons of trade, battled acid rain, and left us a little something called the GST.

Brian Mulroney was an outstanding statesman. Canada’s 18th prime minister died yesterday at 84.


Today’s approx. read time: 6 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌦️ 8 / 3

Tomorrow:  🌧️ 8 / 2

Sunday: 🌦️ 7 / 3


‘Devastating’: 6-year-old boy dies in BC foster care

Grace Lore, minister for children and family development. Photo: Province of BC / Flickr

The Ministry of Children and Family Services (MCFS) confirms the death, calling it “absolutely devastating,” but confidentiality rules prevent its minister from naming the child or revealing any pertinent information.

“It's every parent's worst nightmare,” Grace Lore, minister for children and family development told Capital Daily. “I'm the parent of a seven- and a nine-year-old,” she said. “I can't imagine what that family is going through.”

CHEK News reports the boy was found unresponsive this week in a pond near the home of the foster family that took him and his sister in on Feb. 22. After two days on life-support, the boy was pronounced dead Wednesday.

“Our innocent, impulsive, cheerful explorer had been left alone with his sister to play completely unattended in a large yard with a pool,” Jade Ratchford, the boy’s mother, told CHEK. “How is this child protection? How is this right? How is this the government’s idea of what safety is?” Ratchford asked CHEK.

The MCFS has been under intense scrutiny following a series of concerning cases where children have been harmed, including an 11-year-old boy who was beaten to death. In Jan. Lore replaced Mitzi Dean as minister.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the child’s family.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Possible thunderstorm today with our afternoon rain.

Traffic disruptions and CCTV will be deployed for a planned downtown demonstration tomorrow from 1-3pm

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Native housing society buys Esquimalt apartment building, to tenants’ relief

Photo: Colliers Canada

With a $3-M boost from the province’s Rental Protection Fund (RPF)—part of BC’s Homes for People action plan—Lu’ma secured the 16-unit building for $5.3M, with plans to pay the remaining balance through low-income financing, sparing tenants from a potential eviction.

The building on Carrie, which runs between Craigflower and Ellery, was on the market for more than a year, with a listing highlighting its tenant turnover value, which led to concerns redevelopers could buy the building and kick residents out. But Lu’ma says tenants can stay and pay the same rent. Once a unit is vacated it will be available to Indigenous People, the Vancouver non-profit says. It also plans to renovate the 53-year-old building’s roof and exterior without displacing tenants.

The Lu’ma Native Housing Society works to create affordable housing options for urban Indigenous communities, which in Victoria, continue to be overrepresented among people experiencing homelessness. One-third of respondents to the city’s 2023 Point in Time Homeless Count survey identified themselves as Indigenous, even though the latest census pegs Indigenous representation at 5% of the city’s population.

“At Lu’ma, we envision a future where Indigenous People thrive through self-determination and are connected to their communities and traditions,” said Lu’ma CEO Dave Ward.


Live audio play, Clown Fish, opens March 12

Renowned Sound Designer & Record Producer Paul Tedeschini will premiere his live audio play at the Belfry Theatre from March 12-16.

Clown Fish is one man’s journey to realize his dreams. From country mouse to city rat. Into the world of clown and the thrill of success.

Along the way, a dark passenger from his past starts to take control, bringing him face to face with not only his grief and trauma but also the luminous power of love and humility.

Written and performed by Paul Tedeschini, Clown Fish is directed by the amazing actor/director TJ Dawe.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🍽️ 328 Taphouse + Grill in Colwood closes and will be replaced by Sawmill Taphouse & Grill as of today. The new restaurant will serve more than 40 kinds of craft beers, weekend brunch, shaft flights, and house smoked meats.

🧍Why get a body composition scan? A Dexa scan gives you a complete picture of your bone density, lean mass, and fat tissue and helps identify health risks. Now at Tall Tree Health.*

🍻 Victoria Beer Week kicks off today: Check out brewery tours, beer launches, and more during the craft beer festival until Mar. 9. 

🏡 Secure your invitation to GableCraft’s exclusive launch event for Rowhomes at Royal Bay and discover the advantages of buying at presale prices. Register today.*

🎭 Help shape a theatre show by giving Theatre SKAM some input about road trips. [Form]

🤝 Now hiring: Part-Time Brand Advocate / Farmer's Market Sales Staff at DEVINE Distillery.

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

Grade 12 Frances Kelsey Secondary School student dies in TCH crash
The two-vehicle collision occurred yesterday morning in the southbound lanes near Butterfield in the Mill Bay area. Two ambulances were dispatched to the scene but neither went to hospital. Names were not released, and there was no immediate word on the condition of the second driver. [Times Colonist]

Sooke pedestrian dies after being struck by driver 
The woman was hit just before 5:30am yesterday on Sooke Road. The driver remained at the scene and cooperated. Highway 14 was closed in both directions at Tominny for much of the day. The fatal crash comes the same week a teen was seriously injured in a Saanich crosswalk.  [Sooke RCMP]

General minimum wage will rise to $17.40 an hour in June
BC’s lowest-paid workers will get a 3.9% bump—2023’s average inflation rate—from $16.75 as of Jun. 1. Recipients of the alternate minimum rate for residential caretakers, live-in home-support workers, and camp leaders, will see the same increase. Fun fact: BC’s minimum wage in 2001 was $8 an hour. [BC Government]

Vic MP Laurel Collins asks Parliament why 35 were fired from YYJ
Twenty-six airport screeners and nine managers were let go on Feb. 6. A week later, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) said it found instances of incomplete screening. Additionally, Collins says she wants to know why the transport minister refuses to meet with the workers’ union. [CHEK]


It’s time to vote for your favourites

Do you love Victoria’s food scene? It’s time to give your favourite restaurants some love! Voting is now open for the Tasting Victoria Best Restaurant Awards. Click here to vote for your favourite restaurants in each of the 18 categories!

Categories range from best date night spot to best cocktails, to hidden gems 💎, and more. Voting will only be open for a couple of weeks, so get started now! Then stay tuned for when the Tasting Victoria team releases the full list of winners!

🗓️ Things to do

🏃Victoria Women’s Expo: Check out 100+ vendors at this women’s expo. Tomorrow and Sunday, 10am-5pm. [Info

🎞️ What’s Your Story 2: Radio host Gregor Craigie shares stories in person and introduces three new local short films. Star Cinema in Sidney. Sunday. 1pm and 3:30pm. [Info]

🎭 Something Rotten!: St. Michaels University School Students will perform the musical farce at McPherson Playhouse. Tonight. 7:30pm. Tomorrow. 2pm and 7:30pm.

🎹 Ashley Wey and The Blue Lights: The award-winning singer and pianist will be joined by bassist Louis Rudner, vocalist Big Hank Lionhart, guitarist Terry Meed, and drummer Damian Graham at Hermann’s Jazz Club. Today. Doors 5:30pm. Show 7pm. 

🎙️ Ocie Elliot: The Juno-nominated Victoria-based duo will perform at the Royal Theatre. Today and tomorrow. 8pm.

🐦 Birds of Spring & Summer: Learn about Island birds that will be arriving soon with a presentation from Rocky Point Bird Observatory’s Ann Nightingale at St. Michaels and All Angels. Today. 1:30-3pm. 

📝 Taras Shevchenko Celebration Concert: Celebrate the 210th birthday of Ukraine’s national bard with poetry, music, and dance at Christ Church Cathedral. Today. 7pm. 

👠 Kick up your heels at the Belfry's Fluevog Fun event on Thur., April 4. Please register for free here.*

*Sponsored Listing

👀 In Case You Missed It

Thursday’s headlines: BC targets UK doctors; ‘Grandparent scam’ swindles Saanichites out of $27K; Island fishers feted for daring sea rescue; and more. [Feb. 29

Protest closes Esquimalt’s Lockheed Martin office. [Capital Daily]

CRD says its much-criticized water plan holds water. [The Westshore]

Vic has lots of empty office space to rent. [Times Colonist]

Peninsula FC gets new green turf at Blue Heron Park. [Victoria News]

Battle at the shore: Orcas hunt sea lions near Qualicum Beach. [Facebook video

February flowers: See blossoms by the water in Oak Bay. [Facebook photo]

That’s it!

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