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  • Sat. April 8 - After years in limbo, Victoria will get shore power for cruise ships

Sat. April 8 - After years in limbo, Victoria will get shore power for cruise ships

Plus: Island bats at risk as fungus reaches BC

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Good morning !

And happy long weekend! It’s a holiday weekend that when I was young was often spent hunting down dozens of foil-wrapped chocolate Easter eggs, some of which only turned up months later after waiting patiently in plain sight on ledges and in cupboards.

If you’ve had a similar egg-hunting tradition, what is the most unexpected place you’ve found (or hidden) one—and how long did it last there? Reply to the email and tell us your story.

Cam Welch

📸 Canada’s first cruise ship since pre-COVID arriving in Victoria one year ago. Photo: James MacDonald / Capital Daily


After years in limbo, shore power is coming to Victoria cruise ship berths

Cruise ships at Ogden Point will in the near future be able to plug in to hydroelectric power at two berths, rather than burning through fuel to power themselves even while not sailing. BC is committing $9M to the project, which has been in the works for several years.

In Dec. 2020 the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority announced official plans to establish shore power. It said that 48% of visiting ships were capable of using shore power in 2018, rising to a projected 85% in 2030. But the GVHA also said that without income from ships during the two-year pandemic pause, it could not start construction unless it received other funding. So although the ship-less period would otherwise have been a good time to build, that opportunity went unused.

The GVHA reported $16.3M gross revenue in 2019 but had estimated the shore power project would take $23M+. No new budget estimate or specific timeline was announced this month, but money above this $9M would likely come from the GVHA, federal government, or both. The GVHA is now working with BC Hydro, the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, the cruise industry, and the City of Victoria to design and install the system.

Victoria confronted harbour authority over emissions in 2019

That 2020 plan to add shore power to reduce emissions had come after a late-2019 clash with the City of Victoria after council brought environmental concerns to the GVHA. Council threatened to not allow more ship arrivals (then around 260 per year) or new long-term contracts if greener steps were not taken by the industry. Capital Daily detailed that emissions dispute at the time.

A 2020 GVHA report calculated the ships’ 2018 GHG emissions to be “equivalent to 3,241 cars on the road per year.” Shore power would not address all of that (docked ships must still power down and back up, and not all ships can use shore power), and there are other pollution concerns such as sulfur and grey water. But shore power is an established way to cut emissions, and is already in place at major nearby ports such as Seattle and Vancouver.

This coming Tuesday will bring the first cruise ship of a 2023 Victoria season that is projected to welcome 320 vessels and 850,000 visitors.

Capital Bulletin

🌧️ Periods of rain today. Some wind. High 10C / low 7C. Cloudy night with 40% chance of showers.

⛴️ Easter weekend ferries: BC Ferries has advised that travellers sailing on one of its busiest weekends of the year should book in advance, arrive early, and plan for sailing waits and full parking lots.

🔎 Missing: Amy Pana, 32, was last seen at a Colwood Tim Hortons (1820 Island Hwy) on Tuesday, West Shore RCMP say. [Photo]

📦 Youth clinic moving: Foundry Victoria is setting up a new youth wellness centre at 546 Yates this fall and is fundraising to help with renovations.

📸 A bat afflicted with white nose syndrome. Photo: US Fish & Wildlife Service


Deadly fungus that could decimate Island bats has reached BC

The biggest threat to Island bats—such as the 1,500 that spend summer in the Metchosin Community Hall—is a fungus that wakes them up during hibernation. It takes so much energy to clean off that they run out before spring and die.

It’s killed millions in eastern Canada and the US but had not reached the Island, or BC, despite looming close by in Washington since 2016. That changed this week, though, when the province announced that the fungus had been found in bat guano in Grand Forks (just two months after it was confirmed for the first time in multiple parts of Alberta).

While Grand Forks is further away than the cases already in Everett, WA, the local risk has still increased. Every spring bats from different parts of BC fly to maternal colonies like the Metchosin hall’s attic, and bear pups there in the summer. If WNS is present in multiple parts of BC, it could soon be on its way here.

Read the full story at Capital Daily on WNS, local bats, and what can be done to protect them. 



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🔄 Levidrome: Which two words spell each other backwards and are described by this clue: Fuel prices fall. Answer on Facebook or Twitter and tag #levidrome and #capitaldaily. Last time: Better to have loved, right down = tis / sit

👚 Clothing and household item donations: Big Brothers Big Sisters will be collecting the donations at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, 10am-2pm today. [Details]

🎶 Chiaro:Scuro at Metro Studio: Produced by Broken Rhythms Dance Company, this work showcases rhythmical contemporary and complex choreography to unusual rhythms set to a film noir dark and jazzy soundscape. [Tickets]

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🪩 Rumpus at Capital Ballroom: A night of high energy house music featuring Canadian artists Rumpus, Thomas Anthony, Control Room, and I.M.Fast. [Tickets]

🛳️ Titanic at RBCM: The museum’s IMAX screens are now showing James Cameron’s Titanic, 3D remastered, for the 111th anniversary of the ship’s sinking. On now through April 27. [Tickets]

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In Other News

💵 $100k from province keeps Victoria’s Men’s Therapy Centre open

The centre has run for 20 years providing therapy to local men and boys over 16 who have survived physical, sexual, or psychological violence. Its programs were jeopardized by a budget deficit, following a leap in demand during the pandemic, but it received this new funding from the Ministry of Mental Health and is in talks with the ministry on long-term plans. [CHEK]

🏆 More awards for field hockey superstar Mollenhauer and hooper Maffia

At UVic’s in-house sports awards, Anna Mollenhauer received the top honour: the President’s Cup for athletics and academics. The Team Canada player led UVic to four straight national championships and is the only person to ever win U SPORTS Women's Field Hockey Player of the Year three times. She is UVic’s Athlete of the Year along with Diego Maffia, the Oak Bay basketball standout who was the Canada West player of the year and an All-Canadian while leading the country in scoring (24.9 points) and leading UVic to fourth place in Canada. Rookies of the Year were rugby player Carissa Norsten, who was also U SPORTS rugby rookie of the year, and runner Jaxon Kuchar, who set a new U20 Canadian 8km road record. [More awards]

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In Case You Missed It

🏥 BC COVID measures: The province rolled back restrictions on health facility masking and visitation on Thursday. More details at Capital Daily.

💰 ​​Same name, but 55 million differences: Scott Gurney of Victoria, who did not win the $55M Lotto Max, keeps getting mistaken for Scott Gurney of Sidney, who did. [CHEK]

🚰 Salt Spring temporary shelter will still get water—for now: The Kings Lane shelter holds former occupants (currently nine) of the Seabreeze Inne, which has begun renovations for health worker occupancy. Trustees voted to extend water month-to-month, pending lake levels. [Gulf Islands Driftwood] Salt Spring has often-conflicting water and housing crises.

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