Mon. May 1 - Local MP won't seek re-election

Plus: Parking fees rise. New History Mystery. 104th birthday fundraiser. New retro brewery.

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Good morning !

In today’s newsletter, the turning of April to May is bringing new beginnings and endings to the region. The start of a local centenarian’s famous annual fundraiser—and the start of higher downtown parking prices. The start of a new ‘70s- and ‘80s-themed waterfront brewery—and the end of a waterfront pub that was a mainstay since the early ‘90s. First up, though, is the news about the upcoming end of one local MP’s time representing the region in the House of Commons.

Cam Welch

Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke MP Randall Garrison will not seek re-election

Garrison, an NDP member of Parliament since 2011, announced the decision Thursday. His announcement alluded to a potential replacement, saying “there are already strong candidates, including the Mayor of Sooke, Maja Tait, and others, who are ready to step forward for the NDP nomination.”

His announcement touted work done to protect Southern resident orcas, fund Esquimalt harbour cleanup, and ban conversion therapy. Garrison’s decision comes a decade after another of his most prominent moves in Parliament: his 2013 private bill to add gender identity to the forms of discrimination banned by the Canadian Human Rights Act. The bill passed the House and then stalled out in the senate, but its change was made law by the federal government in 2017.

“As an out and proud member of the 2SLGBTQI+ community,” Garrison said in last week’s release, “I hope that I have demonstrated that diversity is one of our strengths as a nation and that more diverse parliaments make better laws.”

Garrison remains the NDP’s critic on sexual orientation and gender identity and on public safety, and deputy critic on national defence.

Four-time MP was first a local prof and city councillor

Nebraska-born Garrison was a Camosun professor for several decades and made close but unsuccessful runs at the Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca MP seat in the 2004 and 2006 elections. He then won a seat on Esquimalt city council in 2008 before becoming MP in 2011’s “orange wave” that brought the Jack-Layton-led NDP to 103 seats. Garrison beat the Conservatives by less than a percentage point in that race but was re-elected by eight points over Liberal and Green challengers in the redrawn, larger Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke riding in 2015 and 2019. In 2021 he cruised to a 20-point win over the now-mayor of Colwood Doug Kobayashi.

The only other Island MLAs and MPs with a decade-plus in their roles are Elizabeth May, Lana Popham, Doug Routley, and Rob Fleming.

Capital Bulletin

🌥️ Today’s weather: Mainly cloudy. High 14C / low 8C. UV index 6 (high).

🌤️ This week’s weather: Sun and cloud, with midweek heat dipping to clouds and rain next weekend.

🅿️ Victoria increases paid parking: As of today, paid hours are now 8am-8pm (except for free Sundays in parkades) rather than 9am-6pm. Prices also rise 50¢/hour for most spaces. [Details]

⛰️ Avalanche warning: The warning for much of the central and north Island remains in effect until the end of today.


History Mystery #12: Another reader submission

This week we’ve got another reader-submitted mystery location photo for you to identify and, if you can, take a present-day version of. We’ve blurred out the street sign, but have included an extra hint below with a photo from inside the main picture’s main building. A big thank-you to Gillian for providing this week’s mystery, and we’ll have some background on it from her next week when we reveal the answer.

Thanks for your guesses about last weekend’s photo—the location of which was a mystery even to the reader who submitted it. We’re still doing some diligence to try to confirm the location, and we should have that for you next weekend. You can still send in your guesses for that one, and since the weather’s gotten warmer lately we’d love to see you and a few friends re-create this one.


Retro-themed brewery coming to Victoria waterfront

There’s no shortage of retro camper vans in Victoria.

But there’s one particular tan Chevy with a rainbow design and a “Good Times in a Can” decal that has been riding around town lately. It’s signaling a good thing for craft beer lovers: a new brewery.

The van is promoting SWIFT, a brewery by the co-founders of CRAFT that will join that nightspot in the same waterfront building but have its own space and retro theme. Those owners have “sourced a lot of vintage pieces to make the space look like your crazy aunt’s ’70s kitchen and your Grandpa’s basement bar.”



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Capital Picks

Bystander intervention training: This free workshop breaks down how to step up when you see something wrong. It was organized in response to bystander apathy during an incident of racist antagonism on Douglas last Truth and Reconciliation Day. 6pm tonight at The Dock, with part two in two weeks.

🎨 See great Gulf Islands artwork—no ferry needed: Sidney’s ArtSea gallery presents a juried show exhibiting work from Galiano, Mayne, Pender, and Saturna. In person until May 11 and online until June 30.

🎤 Chris de Burgh at the Royal: As part of his Canadian tour, he’ll be performing songs from new album The Legend of Robin Hood plus Moonfleet, Into The Light, Spanish Train, and more. 7:30pm tomorrow.

🍴 Your digital pocket guide to the city’s must-try spots: From the best new restaurant to the best hidden gem, download your guide to the winners of this year’s Tasting Victoria Best Restaurant Awards, presented by Gordon Food Service.

🤝 Now hiring: Transit Operator at BC Transit.

In Other News

👴🏻 104-year-old veteran’s annual fundraiser begins
John Hillman is walking 104 laps of Carlton Place over the next 10 days to raise $104,000 for Save The Children. His three prior birthday walks have raised $333,000 altogether.

🏃 6,734 raced in Sunday’s Times Colonist 10K
The winners were Vancouver’s Thomas Nobbs and Ontario’s Dayna Pidhoresky, who has won the TC10K twice before. Pidhoresky also competed for Canada in the Tokyo Olympic marathon but finished last after having to quarantine with COVID rather than train.

Fifth among men was former Capital Daily writer Josh Kozelj, at 31 minutes on the dot. Congrats, Josh! [Results]

🏒 Local MLA’s fandom finally rewarded as Leafs win first series in two decades
Years before he represented Saanich North and the Islands, Adam Olsen once sold his car to buy Toronto Maple Leafs playoff tickets. His family has rooted for the Toronto team since the 1960s when the Victoria Maple Leafs were its farm team. More on the Victoria-Leafs connection at Capital Daily.

ELIZA at Royal Bay


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In Case You Missed It

🏥 Life inside “psychiatric jail”: We look at how and why the province’s mental health care system keeps failing to find the right situation for a young local—and how those failures have left him living in a hospital ward for years. [Capital Daily]

🪧 Possible Laurel Point Inn strike this week: Workers voted last week to strike, saying they aren’t getting a living wage despite the hotel recently spending $10M to renovate.

Meanwhile, PSAC has announced that the largest segment of the federal strike, which has included local pickets, is ending with a new tentative deal.

📩 Go beyond the headlines for an in-depth understanding of the stories that affect the Westshore, from View Royal to Sooke. Subscribe for free to The Westshore for the latest news and stories, in your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday.

🛥️ Sidney pub closes after 32 years: The Rumrunner closed up yesterday; its owner is sailing off into retirement. [Peninsula News Review]

Pacific FC 0, Forge FC 1: Langford’s pro soccer team is now perfectly even on the season: a win, a loss, and a tie, with two goals for and two against.

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