March 23 - Province beefs up housing plans

Plus: Strange story out of Sooke involves 'explosives'

Good morning !

I hate to see BC wineries scramble to find grapes to make their wine, but that’s what’s happening after a prolonged cold snap a few weeks back. Might be a good idea to buy some BC wine to support the industry.

— Mark

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Today’s approx. read time: 6 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌧️ 10 / 5

Tomorrow: ☀️ 12 / 7

Monday: 🌧️ 10 / 4


Province to help build 765 new homes in Greater Victoria

Digital rendering of Luther Court Society intergenerational housing. Photo: BC Gov

The province has approved funding for eight new projects on the Island, with 867 mostly affordable rental units to be built shortly. 

With monies from the Community Housing Fund, a $3.3B reserve dedicated to adding 20K homes in BC, several Greater Victoria projects in the planning stages can now move forward. In adherence to the program’s guidelines, 70% of built units are geared toward household income; within that, 20% are for very low incomes (e.g. disability assistance). The remaining 30% will be priced at or below market rent. 

New intergenerational housing plan in Saanich

One such project began in 2016 and will add 97 units to the campus of Luther Court, a long-term care facility and medical treatment centre. Susan Bansgrove, board chair for Luther Court, says this will offer “opportunities for young people and seniors to interact and learn from one another in a residential setting.”

Another funded project, 77 units in Gorge View Society’s ongoing Chown Place redevelopment, will be family and seniors’ housing. 

CRHC redeveloping library and strip mall

The Capital Region Housing Corporation (CRHC) will use the financial backing to cover the costs of building 593 homes in the CRD across four projects:

  • 110 units - Brentwood Bay strip mall that the CRD recently purchased

  • 200 units - Nellie McClung Library in Saanich, which will also get a larger library space

  • 186 units - Location TBA

  • 97 units - Location TBA

102 homes further up Island

BC will partner with the Woodgrove Housing Society to build 62 in Nanaimo and with M'akola Housing Society for 40 in Port Alberni.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Expect holiday closures at municipal facilities next weekend.

Indigenous-led Walk for Ancient Forests set for tomorrow, postponed.

Ceasefire rally expected to shut some downtown streets beginning around 3pm.

Man, 87, missing, last seen in Nanaimo on St. Patrick’s Day. [Info/Photo]

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


43rd Paddle for Kids for Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan goes today

Members of VCKC. Photo: Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club

Late this afternoon paddlers in big canoes—similar to the type used to explore this area centuries ago—will tolerate the rain to scull their way through Victoria’s picturesque harbour, row under the bridges to the Tillicum Narrows, and head toward the Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club (VCKC) clubhouse on the Gorge.

On board will be VCKC members—some in their twenties, others in their nineties—completing a 75-km fundraising relay. It began this morning at sunrise in the Saanich Peninsula, and, it is hoped, will end with $15K raised to help children—and adults—with disabilities go to summer camp at Shawnigan Lake. 

95-year-old paddler Ken. Photo submitted / Pamela Carroll

“Easter Seals has been doing this ever since Camp Shawnigan was opened, they've been getting children who are disabled onto the water,” Pamela Carroll, a spokesperson for the event, tells Capital Daily.

It costs $3-5K to send a kid to camp: it’s that expensive because some of the children can’t travel light. “They come up with nurses—they have to come up with all their medical supports,” Carroll says. 

Since the first Paddle for the Kids event was held in 1982, VCKC has raised $410K+ in support of Camp Shawnigan. Caroll says it's “just one of the happiest times of the whole year that these kids get to have.”

Spectators can watch from the shoreline or Tillicum Bridge in the 3-5pm window, and the Easter Seals donate page will stay open for a few more weeks.


Photo: Michelle Proctor

Party with Design Victoria

Celebrate our creative community at Design Victoria. The festival kicks off with a launch party on May 9, featuring custom designer bars, installations, and free craft cocktails from the city's best mixologists. A limited number of early bird tickets are available—buy one now to join the party!

⭐️ Capital Picks

🏅 Hallmark Heritage Society Awards 2024 take place May 7.

🍔 Burger Crush opening new location in Colwood: The new burger joint at 1901 Sooke is anticipated to open in late April.

🐶 Vancouver Island Dogs Calendar Contest. [Until April 30]

💼 Sookarama 2024 business trade fair announced for April 20.

👷🏽 Plumbers and Pipefitters, reach your full potential with UA Local 324. Enjoy steady and stable employment, higher wages, health-care benefits, a pension plan, and more. Learn more*

🤝 Now hiring: Bus Driver at Victoria Seniors Travel and Social Group Society.

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

RCMP respond to Sooke car crash, find explosive device 
It started with a single-vehicle collision yesterday morning at Yates and East Sooke roads. Mounties say they found an injured woman, likely a passenger. The driver had fled. Police then discovered an explosive device “associated to the woman” and called the disposal unit to remove it. RCMP say they also learned of a truck that was driven down an embankment. They think the first driver stole it nearby after assaulting a security guard. That driver and the woman were both arrested.

View Royal approves $30K grant to recruit a doctor
The money will help GROW Health, a family practice and maternity clinic that has lost three family physicians in the last year and a half. It used to have nine physicians who served 7K+ patients. “It has become a regular occurrence that women are delivering babies with no prenatal care,” the president of the non-profit primary care centre said. [Victoria News]

Severe cold snap leaves BC wineries sipping survival plans
The Okanagan Valley’s grape harvest was almost wiped out thanks to the deep freeze in mid-Jan., and that has wineries looking at Plan B to produce the minimum 4,500 litres of wine required to follow the rules of their licence. Some wineries want the province to go off-menu by allowing them to use imported grapes. [Times Colonist]

🗓️ Things to do

🌸 Hanami Blossom Market. 40 local makers who love Hanami season, when the blossoms remind us to slow down and enjoy the impermanent beauty existing around us. Fernwood Community Centre. Tomorrow. 11am-4pm. [Info]

🎹 Bach’s St. John Passion. The choirs of Christ Church Cathedral and St John the Divine join Victoria Baroque for a performance of Bach’s legendary oratorio. Christ Church Cathedral. Tomorrow. 2:30pm. [Info]

🌍 Sankofa Moments. An exciting journey into the heart of African-descent cultures with Sankofa’s Moments, designed especially for kids and youth. Fillipino Community Centre. Today. 4-6:30pm. [Info

🎤 Sue Decker Release Party. The album will be launched, with a live performance by Decker. The Hallway on Douglas. Today. 6pm. [Info]

🍅 Pop-up dinner at Bear & Joey: The Australian brunch spot will have a five-course family style tasting menu. Today. 6pm. Reservations required. 

🍸 Cloakroom Bar at Clive’s Classic Lounge: The Montreal speakeasy bar is serving up cocktails. Today. 5:30-8:30pm.

🍽️ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: AACCCS - Issamba Centre is hosting a food celebration to bring people together at the Philippine Bayanihan Community Centre, with food from Mama Put Afro-Caribbean Pop-Up Eatery. Today. 11am-9pm. 

😂 Hot Flash Comedy: Comedian Syd Bosel will be joined by Patricia Ellen and Cathy Boyd for a night of laughter at McPherson Playhouse. Today. 7:30pm.

🎶 Sea Songs and Shanties: La Nef will be joined by the Victoria Symphony for a performance of maritime music at the Royal Theatre. Today 7:30pm. Tomorrow 2:30pm.

🎹 Sofiane Pamart: The award-winning French pianist will perform at Mary Winspear Centre. Today. 8pm.

🎷 The Music of Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley: Singer Angela Wilson, saxophonist Roy Styffe, pianist Brent Jarvis, bassist Ken Lister, and drummer Buff Allen will perform music from the jazz musicians’ collaboration at Hermann’s. Today. Doors 5:30pm. Show 7pm.

👀 In Case You Missed It

Island film industry enters new era, and more Friday news: Council pay raise reactions; Report on Pat Bay Hwy shooting; Herring spawn lights up lighthouse waters. [Mar. 22]

Refuge Tap Room pop-up lunch. [11:30-1:30pm]

Video: Violent, fiery crash on Wed. at Bay and Douglas. [Times Colonist]

What’s the best new restaurant in the city? Check out the top 8 finalists for the best restaurant that opened in the last year-ish. [Vote for your favourite]

That’s it!

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