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  • April 3 - New Mount Doug tower details expected tomorrow

April 3 - New Mount Doug tower details expected tomorrow

Plus: A quick take on the latest price hikes to hit us

Good morning !

I see gas prices hit the $2 mark again yesterday, topping out at two dollars and two cents a litre before settling back down at a more modest $1.98.

A partial explanation is below. The rest of it is simple. The oil companies simply love taking our money.


Does the latest round of price increases have you worried and ready to revamp your budget?

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Today’s approx. read time: 6 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌦️ 9 / 4

Tomorrow:  12 / 5

Friday: ☀️ 13 / 2


PKOLS communications tower location expected to be revealed at open house

Doctored photo showing where the new tower (middle) may go. Photo: PKOLS-Mount Douglas Conservancy

People concerned about where a new communications tower will be erected on PKOLS (formerly Mount Douglas) hope to find out more tomorrow when Saanich hosts an open house to discuss the upcoming upgrade.

The current tower, which the district calls a “critical component of public safety and cellphone communications in the region,” has aged out and is being replaced to adhere to new federal regulations that come in next year.

But where to put it? While some are concerned for the preservation of the flora, the new tower will be heavier and larger which may mean it won’t be placed in the current location.

“Everything that I've seen says it's going to be located in the upper parking lot,” Darrell Wick of the PKOLS-Mount Douglas Conservancya non-profit that has been working to protect the natural element of the park since 1988tells Capital Daily.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Saanich open house to discuss PKOLS-Mount Doug tower. [Info]

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Here’s what’s going to co$t you more money this year

Photo: Pinterest

A series of price increases hit us as we flipped the calendar to April. Here’s a look at four big ones.

The federal excise tax will rise 2%, a reduction from the 4.7% originally planned. Local researcher Tim Stockwell of the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at UVic, has argued that governments should set alcohol prices even higher. He told Capital Daily last winter that higher prices would deter overconsumption and its often underestimated health effects. More so than an overall tax increase though, he recommended a rise in the government-set minimum price of one drink.

April 1 kicked off a new four-year term for BC Ferries, and rates rose 3.2%. On Island-to-Vancouver sailings it’ll be $4.10 more at the terminal for vehicles and $0.55 for adult passengers. The 2024-28 rates were approved last fall by the commissioner who oversees the corporation, at a rate much lower than the 9.2% requested last spring. The province had given ferries an extra $500M from the budget surplus partly to avoid large rate increases. 

Monthly costs will rise about $2 for the average customer due to a net increase of 2.3%. The actual annual increase is 6.4%, but it’s offset by two “rate riders” that reflect BC Hydro and its subsidiary Powerex (which sells electricity to other utilities) making more money than expected.

BC's charge on emissions-producing fuels rose this month, to the same amount as the federal tax. BC doesn’t participate in that one, having had its own carbon tax since 2008. Amounts vary by fuel type but reach consumers mainly as 3c/L more for gasoline (the tax is now 17c/L in total, up from 14). 

The carbon tax has been a source of national contention, with federal Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre frequently campaigning against it, including at a Nanaimo rally this week. He had called on BC to oppose the tax but Premier David Eby dismissed that as a “baloney factory” stunt proposal that would cost BC residents (who get rebates if their incomes are under $61K or $100K for a household). 

Despite all the furor, the bump may be only a drop in the barrel for Islanders. Fuel pump prices already have been rising an average of three cents each week for the past 10 weeks in Vic, per GasBuddy tracking


Check out the finalists for best bakery

Do you have a favourite bakery? Cocktail bar? Sushi spot? Vote for all your favourites in the 2024 Tasting Victoria Awards. Check out the finalists in all 18 categories here.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🧠 Mindfulness in Motion: April 13 at Ocean Point Resort. [Info]

🥕 Esquimalt Farmers Market Begins tomorrow: The market is back for its 10th season, happening at Memorial Park. It will run every Thursday until Sept. 26.

🤝 Now hiring: Board Member at South Island Prosperity Partnership

🗞️ In Other News

BCHL Victoria Grizzlies get a new owner 
Jim Hartshorne has purchased majority ownership of the BC Hockey League (BCHL) team from Rob Walchuk, who will remain a minority owner, effective June 1. Hartshorne, who owns the Western Lacrosse Association Shamrocks, says he wants to triple the team’s fan base which has been dwindling for several seasons. The Griz open the BCHL playoffs against the Nanaimo Clippers at the Q Centre on Friday. [Times Colonist]

Oak Bay says goodbye to leaning elderly Garry oak tree
Residents gathered around it Monday to read and leave books and notes of appreciation in the nook of the decades-old tree that will be taken down this week because it leans dangerously over the sidewalk, with its roots protruding the Beach Drive asphalt. Another Garry oak will replace the tree. [Oak Bay News]

Man charged in Sunday’s downtown stabbing death
Robert Travers, no age given, has been charged with aggravated assault in the early-morning homicide on Pandora near Blanshard. VicPD arrived at approximately 4am to find one man dead and a second injured. The manager of the Ocean Island Inn hostel told CHEK News the victim taken to hospital was one of its workers. [VicPD]

BC to ban some ‘personal use’ evictions and rent increases
Premier David Eby says landlords have taken advantage of these evictions to force out long-term tenants and raise rent prices. The province says it will clarify the criteria for evicting problematic tenants. These changes could help resolve rental disputes faster. [Yahoo / CP]

🗓️ Things to do

⛵ W̱SÁNEĆ fishing boat fundraiser: Purchase books, art, and clothes at this fundraiser. Sunday. Location and time to be announced

🎤 Asher Roth: The rapper will take the stage at Capital Ballroom. Tomorrow. 9pm. [Info]

👠 UVic Fashion Society: Join this evening of fashion, culture, and creativity at Wicket Hall. Tomorrow. 6:30pm. [Info

💄 FERN: A Drag Show: Catch the drag performance at the Fernwood Inn. Tomorrow. 7:30pm. [Info]

🎭 Marriage of Figaro: The opera classic will take place at the Royal Theatre. Today, Fri., Sun., Tues. 7:30pm. [Info]

🤝 Designers Connect: Share tips and tricks with fellow designers at this gathering at Kwench. Today. 4:30pm [Info]

⏳ UVic Cafe Historique: Explore the history of scandal at the Olympics at this educational talk. Hermann’s. Today. 7pm. [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: Cruise ships return to Victoria; BC Ferries survey shows top customer concerns; Rescuers look to AI to save orca calf. [April 2]

35 Island hikes are included in this newly released guide.

Silhouette of a bat in flight during the day. [Photos]

Famous seal returns to Greater Victoria beach to moult. [CHEK]

Kelp covered in large, hooded nudibranchs near Ucluelet. [Instagram]

That’s it!

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