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Nov 9 - Record number of orca sightings in Island waters

How citizens will decide Saanich/Victoria amalgamation, sisters win lottery, spike in avian flu

Good morning !

Two sisters bought a winning lottery ticket in Sidney recently, making them $5.5M richer. I love reading these stories and imagining what I would do with a win, but I’ve never actually met someone who’s scored a golden ticket—and I’ve never managed to get more than $5 on scratch-and-wins. Let us know if you’ve had more luck.


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Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌧️ 11 / 7

Tomorrow: 🌧️ 10 / 8

Day after: 🌧️ 11 / 8


Citizens’ Assembly to play a key role in Victoria-Saanich amalgamation decision

Photo: James MacDonald

It was announced earlier this week that MASS LBP will run the citizens’ assembly process that will gather 48 locals from Saanich and Victoria to decide whether the two municipalities will merge—an ongoing contentious debate.

While the process comes with both skeptics and proponents, citizens’ assemblies (CA) are a long-standing approach in influencing policy decisions, like the 2018 CA that called for an amalgamation of Duncan and Cowichan (though voters rejected to move forward with this). 

Those chosen for the CA will hear from policy experts and guest speakers at assembly meetings to ensure they’re well informed of the decision.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.

No trespassing on/near Metchosin’s Bentinck Island and it could get loud. Canadian Forces personnel will be using the demolition range near Rocky Point today and tomorrow, 9am to 4pm.


2023 shows Bigg’s numbers of killer whale sightings

A killer whale dazzles observers on the Oak Bay shore this summer. Photo: Iwan Lewylle

If it seems like there have been more instances of people spotting killer whales over the last few months than usual, that’s exactly what’s happening.

We’ve hit a record number of sightings in the Salish Sea (and have had several close encounters), according to the Orca Behaviour Institute (OBI), which compiles whale sighting reports from professional whale watchers, regional sightings groups, and community scientists throughout the Salish Sea in both Canada and the US.

The good news is we’re seeing a resurgence in the number of transient—or Bigg’s—killer whales, whose numbers have reached 400, an increase of 100 over the last decade.

The bad news is not really news, rather more of the same, really, in that our Southern Resident killer whales aren’t doing so well. 

K34 or Cali, hasn’t been seen since July and is presumed dead, reducing the number of these majestic animals in our waters to just 74.


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⭐️ Capital Picks

🧑‍🎨 Call for youth artists: Saanich Mayor Dean Murdock needs help with the district’s holiday cards this year, and is calling on kids in Grades K-5 to submit their designs.

🏠 Want to age in place? Next Day Access delivers and installs mobility and accessibility products right to your home. Schedule your free in-home assessment today!*

🥑 THIS IS THE PLACE: The Root Cellar at Oxford Corner in Cook Street Village – your innovative destination market for fresh locally grown produce and extraordinary food experiences. Visit the website to learn more!*

📸 Photo: Double rainbow across the water in Comox.

Have questions, comments, or concerns about provincial policies, programs, and services in Oak Bay-Gordon Head? Contact BC NDP MLA Murray Rankin at [email protected] or 250-472-8528.*

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

Little Jumbo in a little trouble for serving minor
The popular restaurant was caught by a 17-year-old “minor agent” who went to the bar with two liquor agents, ordered a beer and was served without an ID check. The restaurant was fined $7K, a lower fine than the usual $10K as this was its first infraction. [Victoria News]

Sisters win $5M in lottery on ticket bought in Sidney
They’ll be using their winnings to travel Canada’s east coast, with one sister already handing in her resignation to her employer. They bought their golden ticket at Pharmasave in Sidney on Oct. 21 and collected their winnings on Nov. 6. [BCLC]

Island athletes add two more silvers to finish Pan Am games
Squash player Nicole Bunyan of Victoria scored her second silver and Alycia Butterworth of ­Parksville came second in the 3,000-metre steeplechase. There were 44 Island athletes at the games, taking home 17 medals in total. [Times Colonist]

Spike in avian flu in BC, one case on the Island
There have been 16 confirmed cases of H5N1 in BC since Oct. 20, including a backyard flock on the Island. This surge follows a fall-winter trend that led to the rise in avian flu in late 2022. [CHEK]

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🗓️ Things to do

Barns Courtney: The popular indie singer will take the stage at Capital Ballroom tonight at 8pm as part of his North American tour. [Info]

Glorious Sons: Hot off the release of their new single, the band will bring their rocking sound to Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, 7:30pm tonight. [Info]

Pacific Opera Victoria and the Victoria Symphony present Echo: Memories of the World - a fusion of music, video, and spoken word. December 3 at the Farquhar at UVic.*

Book Launch at Munro’s: Award-winning poets Arleen Pare and Barbara Pelman will debut their new books, Absence of Wings and A Brief and Endless Sea, respectively tonight at 7pm. [Info]

VOLO: The French song duo will perform at the Victoria Event Centre, tonight at 7pm. [Info]

Music of Herbie Hancock: The Brent Jarvis Quintet will take on the hits from the beloved jazz performer at Hermann’s, tonight at 7pm. [Info]

Jurassic Park in Concert: The Victoria Symphony will perform the score live alongside a screening of the classic film at Royal Theatre, today and tomorrow at 7:30pm. [Info]

*Sponsored Listing

👀 In Case You Missed It

Saanich dog leash bylaw finalized: Councillor says it’s likely not written in stone. [Capital Daily] 

Photo: A crow watches the sunrise at Turkey Head Point in Oak Bay. 

Blue/green algae advisory at Thetis: People and pets should  avoid swimming in the area

Car dealership appeals $5.5M court injury award, arguing they weren’t liable for the car after a woman was struck by impaired driver. [Times Colonist]

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