Today we have a new instalment of our investigation into a local mortgage broker who is currently a fugitive while on trial over a $300M operation alleged to have been a Ponzi scheme.
Thank you to all who voted in yesterday’s poll on fall drinks. Check the bottom of this newsletter for a summary of the results.
Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes
“Bullying was part of his nature”
Former employees and secret tapes shed light on Greg Martel
Greg Martel. Photo: Facebook
Victoria broker Greg Martel, currently a wanted man in the US and Canada, stands accused of defrauding more than 800 investors of nearly $300M through his company My Mortgage Auction Corp. (MMAC).
Now, former employees from a separate venture accuse him of bullying and berating them, of mistreating and mismanaging them—and of not paying them for their work.
Capital Daily has obtained recordings of Martel cursing out staff of carSHAiR, his app that allowed users to rent out their vehicles, over the costs and problems of the app’s development.
Staff and associates from the time also spoke to Capital Daily about the app’s troubled development; Martel’s conduct; and the connections between this app, Martel’s own car collection, and the mortgage corp.
Boy, 17, drowns in Sproat Lake. The other two teens in the capsized boat survived. [RCMP]
Campus-wide reading break continues for UVic, though not for Camosun and Royal Roads.
Overnight closures near bridge this week, starting tomorrow. 7pm-7am for parts of Store and Pandora. [Victoria construction map]
UVic rowers win back-to-back national championships
The Vikes women’s second straight crown (and 13th all-time) further cements the South Island—home to the national rowing program and multiple Olympic medalists—as a rowing hub.
In last week’s races, Claremont grads Sophia Regosa and Paige Letham won a medal together and another in the 4+ boat. Similarly, Nicole Cusack and Mikaela Holthuis won silver together and gold with the 8+ team, which also featured solo medalist Maggie Hemphill. [Full results]
Jane Gumley wins third straight Coach of the Year award
Gumley graduated from UVic a decade ago and has rowed for the national team. She took over in difficult circumstances—replacing Olympian Barny Williams when he resigned after multiple accusations of abusive coaching—but has now won Coach of the Year every year since starting.
Giancarlo DiPompeo won an individual gold, and the 8+ boat won silver as the Vikes men finished third for a second straight year after winning it all in 2021.
Victoria couple’s metal band up for Grammy
Singer Courtney LaPlante and guitarist Mike Stringer began recording as Spiritbox shortly after getting married in 2016.
After building an online following, they had planned to tour in 2020. But the pandemic kept them from meeting audiences—and even their own bandmate—in person for over a year.
That did little to slow what has been one of the genre’s biggest recent rises, though.
Their 2021 album debuted at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the 2024 Grammy shortlist now has them competing with some of the biggest names in heavy rock: Metallica, Slipknot, Disturbed, and Ghost.
Band known for atmospheric vocals & genre-bending
The band has always mixed progressive metal and metalcore with touches of other other genres entirely, from pop to new wave to industrial to R&B.
But that eclectic genre mix hit a new level this fall when the band collaborated with star rapper Megan Thee Stallion on a remix of “Cobra” which seems likely to be among February’s Grammy live performances.
SPONSORED BY PACIFIC OPERA VICTORIA
Echo: Memories of the World
Immerse yourself in a transcendent new work by the Juno Award-winning Gryphon Trio.
On Sunday, December 3 at 2:30 pm, Pacific Opera Victoria and the Victoria Symphony co-present a captivating fusion of music, video, and spoken word. Explore submerged histories and celebrate visionary artists with performances by mezzo-soprano and host of CBC Radio’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, Marion Newman, and actor Aaron Wells.
Echo: Memories of the World presents resilient visions of the future from Canada, Norway, Mali, and Ukraine – a testament to artists as culture keepers. Sponsored by Farquhar at UVic and Voices in Circle, the afternoon features music by Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Valentin Silvestrov, Andrew Balfour, Eliot Britton, and Ry Moran. Do not miss this unforgettable musical journey!
🦫 The beavers of Beaver Lake are suspected to have created this lodge in the park. [Photo / Facebook]
📈 Join over 2000 subscribers getting the latest insights on our region's pressing economic issues like housing, healthcare and more from South Island Prosperity Partnership’s weekly newsletter.*
🎵 Celebrate local jazz with Hermann’s Jazz Club Keepin’ It Live! this Thursday – featuring over a dozen of your favourite performers from our deep pool of Victoria Jazz talent! Get your tickets.*
Victoria MLA puts forward bill on control-based abuse
Laurel Collins spoke last week on her sister’s experiences with coercive control: behaviour such as one partner controlling another’s keys, phone, other relationships, and mobility. Experts say it can presage eventual physical abuse. Collins’s bill to add it to Canada’s Criminal Code builds on one attempted by fellow local NDP MP Randall Garrison in 2021. [CP / MSN]
Spike in overdoses has increased Nanaimo fire rescue responses
The city’s fire services have responded to over 1,500 overdose incidents since January, more than doubling the 672 in 2022.
Municipalities are calling on the province to cover the cost of increased responses amid the toxic drug crisis. [Nanaimo News]
Don’t help “desperate scammers” circumvent rental rules, Housing Minister says
Ravi Kahlon was responding to a mainland ad from a company seeking people willing to falsely list its short-term suites as their primary residences. [CTV]
SPONSORED BY THE ROOT CELLAR
Those who love green sauce; and those who haven’t tried it yet
Which are you?! No sauce is as famous in the city of Victoria as this deliciousness from The Root Cellar.
Discover your love of green sauce at The Root Cellar website available exclusively at their flagship market on McKenzie Avenue at Blenkinsop, and their second location in Cook Street Village.
The Texas Trilogy at Royal Theatre: Ray Wylie Hubbard, Hayes Carll, and James McMurty will perform tonight at 8pm.
Rose Currie at Fortune Gallery: The painting and drawing exhibition Chimera runs today until Nov. 30. Opening reception Thu. 6-8pm.
Victorians among the stars: Two locals have just had asteroids named after them, joining a constellation of famous faces to receive the honour. [Capital Daily]
Royals tied for 6th in 22-team WHL after OT win over Kelowna.
See the alpaca that got out onto the highway near Nanaimo last week. [RCMP photo]
Sunday stories: Victoria during wartime. A new free food market in Victoria. Westshore football is Canada's runner-up. [Nov 12]
The results are in!
We asked yesterday about your favourite warm autumn drinks and, with 47% for coffee and another 28% for tea, it seems most respondents prefer the classics to specific seasonal fare such as cider or hot chocolate.
One popular write-in was the always reliable lemon, ginger, and honey combination. A few of you specified which coffees you like at this time of year—flavours such as tumeric and peppermint, and additions like plenty of frothy milk.
Thanks for voting, and check out this roundup of local fall drinks for a few more ideas—from apple butter lattes to the (in)famous pumpkin spice—to keep you warm this November