Mon. May 29 - Broader logging limits proposed to protect rare bird
Plus: Bike week begins. Best local fine dining. Vacancy tax expands.
Good morning !
Today is the start of Go By Bike Week, a thrice-annual initiative intended to get more locals cycling to work, school, and other daily destinations.
Greater Victoria already has Canadian metro areas’ highest rate of people commuting to work by bike, and that rate has grown in recent years. Ridership is bolstered by local advantages such as a fairly climate-conscious population, multiple municipalities (which can each apply for bike infrastructure funding), and mild weather most of the year (shame about all the hills, though).
But it will take more to get the current rate of bike travel (about one in every 20 commuters) to where regional sustainability targets want it to be. That’s what initiatives such as the recent active transportation funding, the e-bike rebate that starts Thursday, and this bike-promoting week are intended to tackle.
Do you plan on cycling more this week?
Expanded logging limits proposed to protect rare bird in Fairy Creek area
Birders, citizen scientists, and experts are pushing for BC to protect the South Island’s marbled murrelets by more than doubling the size of the Wildlife Habitat Area currently protecting them. Companies are supposed to determine threatened species in an area before cutting, but aren’t required to do wildlife surveys. That prompted these researchers to document, in recent years, the presence of murrelets.
It’s a new wrinkle to the contentious Fairy Creek watershed, which saw mass protests and blockades leading to hundreds of charges, many of which are now being withdrawn, and a federal investigation into RCMP conduct. But this current campaign is by “birders, not blockaders” and is focused specifically on protecting the murrelets, which need very tall old-growth trees for fledglings to safely learn to fly.
Read Capital Daily’s 2021 article on murrelets here, and click below for the latest news on the proposal to expand protections.
☀️ Today’s weather: Mainly sunny. Wind becoming west 30km/h in afternoon and night (60 near Juan de Fuca Strait). High 20C (16 near the water) / low 9. UV index 8 (very high).
🌤️ This week’s weather: Highs around 20, lows around 10, and some clouds in the mix later in the week.
🔥 Fire risk level: The Island is currently a mix of Moderate and High ratings.
🚴 Go By Bike Week: Prizes, “celebration stations,” and free bus rides for cyclists during this local event encouraging active and public transportation.
Your picks for the best fine dining restaurants in Greater Victoria
Have you been meaning to indulge in a nice dinner but aren’t sure where exactly is worth spending the evening (and the dollars)? Several months ago we asked Capital Daily and Tasting Victoria readers to choose their favourite fine dining restaurants in the region, and we’ve rounded up the most popular choices.
Each of the three top finishers are quaint but renowned, unassuming yet impressive, and locally celebrated and internationally awarded. Here, the fine dining experience isn’t all about calling garçon!, or white tablecloths—it’s about dedication to inventive dinner experiences.
Speculation and vacancy tax now applies to Cowichan Valley areas
The province announced last week that, beginning in 2024, North Cowichan, Duncan, Ladysmith, and Lake Cowichan will be subject to the tax aimed at putting empty properties back into rental circulation. The tax is applied to houses that are not the owner’s principal residence and spend more than half the year not being rented out (in increments of at least a month at a time).
CRD municipalities are already subject to the tax, but many smaller and less-urban parts of the Island have also seen housing prices surge and vacancy rates plunge. Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples said in the province’s announcement that the area is “facing the same housing pressures of larger centres” and needs “to increase supply and ensure the housing we have is used as homes.”
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🦸Chip Zdarsky at Curious Comics: The acclaimed comic book writer and artist will stop at Curious Comics downtown tomorrow for his 2023 Canadian tour, where he’ll be doing signings for free. Event starts at 9pm.
🧘 On June 9, renowned spiritual teacher Dr. John Astin will take you on a journey to the miracle and mystery of the present moment. Presented by Tall Tree Health. Early bird ends soon.*
📚 Family Storytime in Mill Bay: This library-run recurring storytime will bring the whole family together for stories, songs, and fun. Free / 10:30-11am / Mill Bay Centre playground.
🚀 Join over 1,700 South Island Prosperity Partnership newsletter subscribers for empowering stories on Greater Victoria’s economic growth toward an innovative, sustainable, and inclusive future.*
🤝 Now hiring: Financial Analyst (22-month term) at BC Ferries.
In Other News
⛵ Dorothy, built in James Bay in 1890s, returns to sea
The Pacific Northwest’s oldest sailing yacht was launched on Saturday in Ladysmith after being restored by the Victoria-based Maritime Museum of BC and the Ladysmith Maritime Society. Dorothy, a decorated regatta-winner in the early 1900s, will be moved to the Inner Harbour when a berth opens up. [CBC]
⚓ Ship Point redevelopment may be back on table
The current council could revisit the unused late-2010s draft plans to refurbish the Inner Harbour parking lot that is often used for festivals. [CHEK]
Join Victoria Tech Journal this Friday!
On Friday, June 2, Victoria Tech Journal is headed to @VIATEC Discover Tectoria, an exposition of over 75 Greater Victoria tech companies, research projects, interactive displays, and community partners.
We’re presenting two all-star panels, moderated by Victoria Tech Journal writer Allison Gacad. Join us to:
✔️ Learn about Victoria’s Women in Tech
✔️ Dive into Victoria’s Blue Economy
👀 Will we see you there?
In Case You Missed It
💻 Sunday’s newsletter: June election date set for former Horgan seat. Giving up a Silicon Valley job to grow flowers in Saanich. School bus driver shortage. [May 28]
🌼 Victoria Tech Journal: Victoria venture capital fund Cindicates invests in local data-management company Intlabs. Marine-tech funding boost. Upcoming industry events. [May 24]
💧 Talk to Waterworks Irrigation for custom irrigation systems, water features or landscape lighting to enhance your outside living space. Waterworks is offering 20% off new installs this summer. Pre-book today!*
🏃 Record turnout for Oak Bay Half-Marathon, with 1,800 registered at yesterday’s event along with 200 volunteers. [Oak Bay News]
📩 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.