June 6 - Seniors struggle to afford rent in BC

The connection between wildfires and trauma, a peacock walks into a bar (patio), interests rates go down

Good morning !

Just ahead of a sunny weekend, Canadian border workers might be going on strike, starting Friday at 1pm (at the time of writing, no deal has been made). This unsurprisingly could cause some chaos at the border—if you’re planning to head south, you may want to prepare for potential delays upon your return.


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Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌤️ 19 / 8

Tomorrow: ☀️ 24 / 10

Saturday: ☀️ 21 / 12


Rent gap ‘just not sustainable’ BC seniors’ advocate says

Photo: Shutterstock

Two months ago, BC’s new seniors’ advocate Dan Levitt hit the road to meet the people he’s paid to protect and came back knowing some things don’t change. 

“The No. 1 issue that seniors are facing around the province is affordability,” Levitt tells Capital Daily.

“Seniors are paying a disproportionate amount of their income—because they have low income—on rent because we've seen rent prices and other costs go up at a faster rate than their fixed incomes do.”

Levitt said he met seniors who are paying as much as 76% of their income on rent. “And that’s just not sustainable,” he said.

In his report, Levitt—appointed in January to replace Isobel Mackenzie, Canada’s first seniors’ advocate—recommends the government:

  • Redesign the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) program so seniors’ rents comprise 30% or less of their income and rent ceilings reflect the housing shortage

  • Increase the amount of BC Seniors Supplement, and index the supplement to inflation 

  • Eliminate daily rate charges for home support 

One in four BC seniors earns less than $23K a year—that’s under the poverty line—and Levitt heard from many on fixed incomes how difficult it has been to keep up with the cost of living and recent surges in the costs of food, housing, medical equipment, mobility aids, and other necessities.

According to the BC government, almost one-quarter of BC adults (just shy of 24%) are 65 years or older, and by next year, some 1.2 million seniors will call BC home.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Road closures: Check out which Victoria streets are affected by construction here.

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


UVic researcher looks at the connection between wildfires and trauma

Photo: James MacDonald / Capital Daily

Ashley Berard wants to raise awareness of the unseen impacts of Canada’s wildfire crisis: the psychological and social harms that fire and threatening smoke leave behind.

Berard believes the social and mental-health impacts of climate catastrophes, such as wildfires and floods, deserve more attention. She sees the number of people affected across the country increasing, with no signs of the climate or wildfire crises slowing down.

“I think that there's a lot of opportunity here to focus more on how people are actually doing,” she said.

Berard interviewed residents from BC’s Interior who likened living under blankets of smoke to what it was like living through the pandemic—isolated inside, not knowing when the outdoors will be safe again.

Some who suffered through evacuations 10 years ago are still processing and navigating the experience, Berard’s interviews with survivors revealed. 

“That's grief—of loss of community, loss of home, loss of sense of place in a way, and changes in identity as well, because you become a climate survivor,” she said.

Later this month, the UVic researcher will present her work at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Montreal.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🦚 Peacock on the patio: “Marjory” the peahen made herself at home with a pint at a table at Spinnakers. [Photos]

▶️ Contribute to Victoria community playlist by 4pm June 7 to make your song picks part of the Family Dance next weekend. 

🏃 Royal Roads students’ Relay for Life today. [4:30-8pm]

🤝 Now hiring: Operations Coordinator at COAST (Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies)

🗞️ In Other News

CORRECTION: Our intro yesterday pointed to a story in this space erroneously referring to a chainsaw instead of a machete. Capital Daily regrets the error. 

UVic puts talks with protestors on hold following Starbucks shutdowns
The demonstrators have been camped out on campus for more than a month, demanding the university—among other things—divest from investing in companies they say supports the Israeli army. After two protests at the onsite coffee shop and another at a high school graduation ceremony, UVic said in a statement the protesters’ actions have made members of the university and the broader community feel unsafe. [CHEK]

Oak Bay man scammed out of $13,500
Oak Bay Police said someone claiming to be a “bank inspector” told the victim they needed to access his computer to identify sources of two fraudulent transactions. He was then told $7K had been deposited into his account and he was to buy $13,500 worth of gift cards, which he did before he called police. [Times Colonist]

Bank of Canada cuts its key interest rate, the first time in 2+ years
The central rate is now 4.75%, a drop of 25 basis points from the 5% rate in place since July. “We’ve come a long way in the fight against inflation”—which sat at 2.7% in April, down from 3.7% last Aug.—said Bank of Canada Gov. Tiff Macklem. Most financial observers anticipate more rate cuts. [Vancouver Sun]

Peninsula group fights invasive crabs
The South Island habitat restoration society is working to rid the area of invasive European green crabs, which have slowly taken over BC’s coastal waters. Known for an aggressive and varying appetite, these invasive crabs are highly resilient. The group will spend the summer monitoring key areas on the west Island—and wants to encourage anyone who spots one to contact the DFO. [Peninsula News Review]

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🗓️ Things to do

🧓 C.A.R.E. Fair for Seniors: Get info from multiple speakers, vendors, and organizations offering senior services at the Mary Winspear Centre today, 10am-5pm. [Info]

🎷 The Andrew Greenwood Quintet: The saxophonist and his crew will perform music by Stanley Turrentine at Hermann’s today, 7pm. [Info]

📽️ Super 8 Film Series: Head to Centennial Square today to see a screening of What Home Means to You, with eight short films shot on Super 8 with live music. 8:30-10pm. [Info]

🎭 Victoria One-Act Play Festival: A spotlight on local theatre with 13 new shows, all written and produced by locals at Belfry Theatre. Running until Sat. [Info]

⚰️ How to talk about death in a comfortable setting, with accurate information, food and drinks, and a fun atmosphere at Caffe Fantastico today, 7pm. [Info]

🌊 Ocean Week Victoria: Check out this week of educational ocean events—many of which are free—happening until Sun. throughout the CRD. [Info]

🎵 The Seaside Music Festival: This fest will take over Victoria, Sidney, and Salt Spring from tomorrow to Sun.—check out the schedule to catch a performance near you.

🎈 South Park Carnival: Head to this fundraising fair tomorrow for face painting, a bouncy castle, dunk tank, silent auction, book sale, and food. South Park Family School tomorrow, 3-7pm. [Info]

🍺 Beer and Hymns: Join this group sing-a-long and enjoy a beer or glass of wine at Christ Church Cathedral tomorrow, 7:30pm. [Info]

🥳 The Village Block Party: Head to Cook Street Village to shop local vendors, try some tasty food, listen to live music, and more! Sun., 10am-6pm. [Info]

🎨 Gathered Landscapes: See the group exhibition by Barbra Edwards, Diane MacDonald, and Dave Skilling at Fortune Gallery. Tomorrow-June 22. [Info]

👀 In Case You Missed It

Wednesday’s headlines: High levels of bacteria close 4 CRD beaches; Woman arrested after bizarre taxi takeover; What you need to know about a possible border guard strike; And more. [June 5]

Southern Resident killer whales get new protections. [Capital Daily]

TMX tanker traffic to grow on Juan de Fuca. [The Westshore]

Fun fungi: Check out this massive olive shaggy parasol mushroom in Metchosin. [Photos]

AFN criticizes all levels of government on the fifth anniversary of the MMIWG report. [CP24/CP

Fewer Canadians support LGBT+ people being open about their sexuality: poll findings. [CHEK

That’s it!

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