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  • July 8 - Local literary icon didn’t act when told of abuse, daughter says

July 8 - Local literary icon didn’t act when told of abuse, daughter says

Old growth protections. Heat continues. New restaurants. Mascot's b-day.

Good morning !

Today we have news on more restaurants and more protected forest coming to the region. But first, a troubling addition to the story of a literary icon who lived on the Island for many years.


Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: ☀️ 29 / 14 

Tomorrow: ☀️ 29 / 14

Wednesday: ☀️ 26 / 13


Nobel winner Alice Munro looked past husband's abuses, daughter says

The local and national literary icon and Nobel laureate was celebrated internationally just two months ago after her death aged 92. But in a new essay in the Toronto Star, Munro’s daughter Andrea Skinner says the celebrated writer and part-time Islander's legacy was more complicated. She writes that for decades Munro supported her second husband Gerald Fremlin despite learning of his sexual abuse of her own child. 

Munro's Books downtown (founded, but no longer owned, by the Munro family) issued a statement supporting Skinner. The other Munro children also voiced their support for Skinner and asked that the bookstore owners and staff not be asked about the matter. 

In 1963, rural-Ontario-born Alice Munro co-founded Munro’s Books while living here with her first husband, Jim (1929-2016). They divorced in the early 1970s and Munro returned to Ontario. It was on a trip there that Skinner says she was first assaulted at age 9 by Fremlin while Munro was away. She told her father Jim afterward, but he did not step in or tell his ex-wife. 

Years spent estranged

After more than a decade of bulimia, insomnia, and other problems, Skinner told Munro in a letter after her mother mentioned a short story similar to her own experience. But, Skinner writes, Munro was not supportive, framed herself as the main victim, and ultimately stayed with Fremlin for two more decades.

After hearing Munro praise him in 2005, Skinner went to police and Fremlin was charged with indecent assault. Incriminated partly by admissions he made in threatening letters, he entered a guilty plea. Even with the record, though, Skinner says that family and professional contacts of Munro kept the secret to avoid a scandal and a stain on Munro's legacy. 

A shock through Canadian literary world and beyond

Her children say they want people to still appreciate Munro's art, but to be aware of the cost of her fame on others. As the new essay spread internationally, many readers have highlighted the painful irony that Munro's work was so often celebrated specifically for its thoughtful engagement with the lives of often-ignored girls and women, and young people betrayed by adults around them.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Heat alerts remain for East and Inland Island (highs above 30C and lows of 16+), though not Greater Victoria.

Pacific FC 1 Ottawa 0 on Sunday. 

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Enough restaurant closures—here are two that just opened

Elizabeth Grace Bryan outside of Emmaline’s with the artist who hand painted the restaurant name on the glass. Photo: @emmalineingreen / Instagram

This year has brought plenty of news of local restaurant closures. For some local spots, both long-running and recently launched, factors such as the pandemic and rising costs have spelled the end. But recent openings seek to fill that void and reverse that trend.

Emmaline’s replaces Bubby Rose’s Quadra Village location, and inherits a pizza oven from its predecessor. Saxe Point Pub aims to fill a role left empty after Tudor House Pub burnt down in 2013 and Gorge Point Pub closed its doors in 2021.

Have you lost favourite restaurants this season, or added new ones?

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150+ hectares of Island forest will be protected

Rocky coastline of East Sooke Regional Park. Photo: Michal Klajban / Wikimedia

On June 28, the province announced that eight different at-risk wildlife and critical old-growth habitat sites will be protected through the Old Growth Nature Fund, including parts of Saanich and East Sooke.

With around $7.9M coming from the Old Growth Nature Fund, and $8.2M coming from private donors and organizations, the BC government, the federal government, and seven land trust and conservancy organizations have collaborated to purchase and protect 316ha of old growth and habitat for species at risk. Environment and Climate Change Canada will also give BC with $50M over three years toward old-growth forest preservation.

The Island-region sites are:

  • Saanich: 2.2ha of Bear Hill ($2.54M)

  • East Sooke: 68.568.of mostly waterfront land near the park ($5.46M)

  • Galiano Island: 42ha of the Talking Trees Nature Reserve ($1.77M)

  • Comox: 32ha of Puntledge River ($2M)

  • Pender Island: 4.1ha of Osprey Ridge nature reserve ($621K) and 14.6ha of Vulture Ridge ($1.3M).


Visit The Butchart Gardens this summer

Visit The Butchart Garden in Brentwood Bay this summer to experience breathtaking floral splendor at every turn. The summer season offers an unparalleled display of colour and fragrance.

Grab a refreshing gelato in the Italian Garden, enjoy a casual meal in the Blue Poppy Restaurant, or join us for Afternoon Tea or dinner service in the Dining Room Restaurant.

Summer evenings offer subtle Night Illuminations, outdoor entertainment and spectacular firework shows on Saturday nights.

No visit is complete without a stop into our Seed & Gift store or ride on the Rose Carousel.

Visit our website for a full list of summer offering including entertainment schedule, dining menus and opening hours.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🦋 Yellow butterfly wings pair well with purple petals in Nanaimo. [Facebook]

🧍 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.*

🐕 Hounds of Love: Scenes from last week's Big Gay Dog Walk. [Colin Smith photos]

👩‍🎤 Stars of the stage: Shots of Orville Peck, Jessie Reyes, Flyana Boss, and other Phillips Backyard performers from the weekend. [Rocktograophers]

 🤝 Now hiring: Community Engagement Consultant at Sooke Region Museum & Visitor Centre.

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

Protest pauses Pride parade, but groups find some common ground
A protest supporting Palestine led to a detour and some conflicts but also many paraders joining the protest. Victoria Pride Society president Ace Mann said the interruption was “totally fine” and that 2SLGBTQ+ people will be political. Mann said the Society is already pursuing demands such as distancing Pride from big banks and police, supporting a ceasefire, and preventing pre-parade “sweeps” of unhoused people. [Times Colonist]

HarbourCats rack up 19 runs for mascot Harvey’s birthday
The baseball team celebrated “Victoria’s favourite 7ft feline” on Sunday by bringing in local kids, other mascots, and a season-high in runs. ‘Cats won 19-5 over Kelowna.

Photo by Christian J. Stewart via HarbourCats

Fire temporarily shuts Quazar's Arcade downtown
A pillar was lit on fire outside, leading to smoke filling the underground rooms, the arcade's statement says. The business credits firefighters with moving its games before spraying, leaving the collection “almost completely intact, albeit a little smoky.”

Photo via Quazar's [Facebook]

Former astronaut died doing flyby near friend's house, report downtown says
William Anders texted the friend beforehand, per the preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report into the death at age 90 of the man who took the iconic ‘“Earthrise” photo. The friend said his flybys were not uncommon, but also not acrobatic. [AP]

🗓️ Things to do

🕺Disco Fantastik: A party at VEC with art stations, installations, and dancing. Friday 10pm. [Tickets]

🎨 Art Gallery Paint-In in two weeks [Info]

🧺 Gower Park ceremony for fun new picnic table installation. [July 14, 11-1]

🏖 Parksville Beach Festival begins with sand sculpting this Friday. [Info]

📆 Looking for something to do? Subscribe to This Week In Vic for a full rundown of local events every Tuesday.

👀 In Case You Missed It

Pickleball courts could land locals in law courts. Author delves into Daring Decisions. [Sat. news]

This country star may have served you a burrito once: Phillips headliner Orville Peck speaks on his BC roots and his evolution as an artist. [Georgia Straight]

Elk Lake algae alert: Avoid the blue-green bloom, and don't let animals swim or drink. [CRD]

4 kittens from Port Alberni fire are recovering. [BC SPCA]

No strike by ship and dock foremen this week. [CTV]

Barred Owl in a broken tree. [VanIsleWildlife]

That’s it!

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