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  • July 10 - North Saanich pickleball battle stalls in council

July 10 - North Saanich pickleball battle stalls in council

Plus: BC Hydro is going to build big on the Island

Good morning !

We have pickleball for breakfast, although it didn’t look like councillors in North Saanich were biting on a presentation to reopen the courts in Wain Park.

Also, BC Hydro is about to drop $3B on an Island power grid. Electrifying.


Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: ☀️ 27 / 15

Tomorrow: ☀️ 24 / 13

Friday: ☀️ 25 / 13


North Saanich holds serve in latest pickleball noise salvo

Nets, poles, and windscreens have been removed from the closed Wain Park in North Saanich. Photo: Capital Daily

A presentation imploring the North Saanich council to reverse its decision to close the Wain Park pickleball courts didn’t score any points in the chamber, leaving players considering trading paddles for pickets.

“We are, of course, incredibly disappointed with last night’s decision,” said Brad Watson, president of the Saanich Peninsula Pickleball Association (SPPA), referring to the meeting held on Mon.

Watson said it leaves the pickleballers in protest mode in their attempt to revive their courts, which were ordered closed in May following noise complaints.

“Might be things like rallies and placards and old-style demonstrations at City Hall and maybe set up pickleball courts on the parking lot of municipal hall,” Watson tells Capital Daily.

The SPPA gave a 10-minute presentation on a series of tests conducted in May at Oak Bay’s Carnarvon Park courts, which have been equipped with sound mitigation panels. 

Speaker Frank Gee said sound measured from behind the mitigation panels fell in the 1200-hertz range, which is where that pickleball pop sound comes from. 

“We believe that it's possible to reduce that sound by approximately 50%,” he said.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Provincewide campfire ban to come into effect at noon on Fri. after a week of hot, dry weather. 

18 Great Value and Silk plant-based milk products are being recalled.

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


BC Hydro commits $3B to upgrade power grid on the Island

John Hart Dam near Campbell River. Photo: BC Hydro

The enhancement is part of BC Hydro’s 10-year, $36B Capital Plan. It will include seismic upgrades to three dams near Campbell River, replacing transmission cables that have run their course, and increasing power for fast-growing communities. 

According to a release from the province, electricity demand in BC is expected to increase by 15% or more in the next six years.

The Island is one of the most densely populated areas in the province, along with the Lower Mainland. As population increases in multiple communities—and government targets push municipalities to add new homes—the Island’s power grid has struggled to keep up with demand. 

Extreme weather events can test the limits of power grids, such as the 2021 Texas power crisis which killed an estimated 250 people during a rare frigid winter in the state, and the rolling blackouts experienced in Alberta this year as grid issues persisted. As heatwaves and winter storms become more frequent, ensuring the Island has a resilient grid will be essential to keeping the lights on.

The Island, which remains connected to the mainland’s power grid through submarine cables, saw these connections compromised after the heat dome hit in 2021. Three key cables began to swell from the heat, with one eventually bursting. The Island’s six BC Hydro stations only generate about 4% of the entire province’s electricity—with that mainland connection cut off, private power companies had to pick up the slack. 

Experts argue that the demand for power on the Island will only continue to grow. Climate change will bring more adverse weather events that will require a more robust system locally, they say.

⭐️ Capital Picks

📸 Throwback photo: Swartz Bay ferry terminal, 1965. [Photo]

💡 Darkest Light 2124: New project from Artist in Residence Kemi Craig launches today.  

🏨 Fairmont Empress is #2 Canadian city hotel in Travel + Leisure’s 2024 Worlds Best Awards.

🤝 Now hiring: Irrigation Trades Assistant at The Butchart Gardens.

🗞️ In Other News

105-year-old Victoria veteran who raised nearly $500K for charity dies
John Hillman served as a radio operator for the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War, signing up when he was 17 and earning multiple medals. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hillman was inspired by a fellow veteran in the UK who raised money by doing laps around his home. Hillman began to walk around Carlton House—where he was living—on his birthday, doing as many laps as he was years old. He did this for the past four years, raising $468K for Save the Children. [CHEK]

Search for man missing in Youbou ends, family to keep looking
Search and Rescue (SAR) were told to stand down after a week of exhaustive searching in the area where Nicholas Marion, 38, went missing while out for a walk. Marion’s wife Dory plans to continue searching and hopes to get more volunteers involved as they re-strategize. While the official search is over, SAR will continue to train in the area, keeping an eye out just in case. [Times Colonist]  

Orphaned otter named after Island town likely won’t return to the wild
Tofino the otter pup was rescued alone near the North Island last month. She’s been thriving in 24-hour care at the Vancouver Aquarium and is no longer in critical condition. But otter pups are extremely reliant on their mothers—without her guidance for hunting, swimming, and survival, Tofino is not considered a good candidate for re-release. Her fate will ultimately be decided by DOF, but she’ll likely remain in Vancouver. [Daily Hive]

🗓️ Things to do

🌛 Oak Bay Night Market: This market will take over Oak Bay Avenue with multiple local food, craft, and art vendors, plus live music. Today. 4-8pm. [Info]

🎵 Anise Russow & Friends: The teenage vocalist will perform an evening of classic jazz at Hermann’s. Tonight. 7pm. [Info]

🎭 Pico’s Puppet Palace: See this puppet show about adventures and friendships at the Cameron Bandshell. Today. 11am-12pm. [Info]

🧘 Free Yoga in the Park Colwood: Bring your mat for a stretch in the sun at Royal Bay Meadow Park Green in Colwood. Tomorrow. 6pm. [Info]

🎶 Songs of Warrior North: Indigenous musician Kym Gouchie brings storytelling and song to Charlie White Theatre. Tomorrow. 7:30pm. [Info]

🎷 Cole Ashley Quartet: The saxophonist will perform with his quartet at Hermann’s. Tomorrow. 7pm. [Info]

🦀 Crab Fest: Enjoy this traditional summer Dungeness crab boil, with local music and kids activities at Banfield Park. Sat. 12-7pm [Info]

💃 Festival Mexicano: Celebrate Mexican culture at Ship Point, with live music, dancing, and lots of yummy food. Sat-Sun. 11am-6pm. [Info]

Want more events? Subscribe to This Week In Vic and get our weekly events newsletter every Tuesday.

👀 In Case You Missed It

Tuesday’s headlines: Victoria Indigenous sports leader to be inducted in Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame; Langford City Hall back after floods; Cedars and firs hit hard by droughts; And more. [July 9]

Downtown sequoia to get the axe [Capital Daily]

2 new restos coming to the area. [Tasting Victoria]

Ontario mayor would ‘consider’ amending monument honouring Alice Munro. [CHEK / CP]

Split sea: See the colour difference where the Fraser River meets the Salish Sea. [Photos]

That’s it!

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