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March 12 - Possible short-term reprieve for short-term rentals

Plus, taxes are going up no matter where you live in the CRD


Good morning !

A man who earlier this month stopped to help a traveller Up Island after her vehicle hit a pole, has died. The man, an octogenarian from Alberta, succumbed to the injuries he suffered when another vehicle slammed into him.


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Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌦️ 9 / 4

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Thursday: ☀️ 12 / 3


Vic council may pursue short-term rental rule reprieve to Nov. 1

Victoria City Hall chambers. Photo: Capital Daily

Concerned fewer and possibly more expensive hotel rooms may doom the city’s upcoming tourism season, Victoria’s city council on Thursday will hear a motion to delay implementing Bill 35, the province’s partial prohibition on short-term rentals (STRs).

Acknowledging the relative scarcity of hotel rooms in the city and plans for more hotel development, Mayor Marianne Alto tells Capital Daily “A tourism ‘high season’ is about to begin, so one suggestion is that STRs targeted to the visitor industry be given a last ‘high season’, and time to phase out use of these suites for visitors.”

The legislation, which received royal assent in Oct. and is to become law on May 1, restricts short-term (90 days or less) rentals to principal residences, in an attempt to increase the housing supply. The mayor along with Coun. Stephen Hammond back Thursday’s motion, which proposes postponing the ban to Nov. 1. They say implementing Bill 35 on May 1 “will adversely affect current STR hosts immediately before the summer high season, and challenge the city’s capacity to accommodate a booming tourist market.”

Fewer available short-term rentals complementing the number of hotel rooms make for fewer tourist options and inevitably lead to higher hotel room rates, which could lead travellers to spend their tourism dollars elsewhere.
To critics who may suggest delaying part of the legislation ignores its intention of freeing up housing, Alto said the city supports the province’s STR policies but “some STR owners need a little more time to transition to long-term housing.”

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

SD61 public budget meeting Thursday. [Registration]

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


You’re not alone: taxes are going up everywhere

Photo: Shutterstock

Residents across the CRD face property tax hikes this year, mostly because of rising inflation and increased operating costs. 

Municipalities such as Sidney and Saanich have reduced hikes from earlier budget drafts but still project significant increases. The pressures extend beyond traditional services to address emerging needs such as affordable housing and climate change. Residents are worried—especially pensioners whose limited budgets leave them wondering how they can meet the increase. 

Langford residents will see the region's highest hike at 15.6%. Interestingly, some in Langford prefer the drastic increase as a way to re-focus on the long-term financial health of the city.


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Connecting to nature is good for your mental health. If you’re ready to experience the benefits of nature therapy, book now at Tall Tree Health.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🖼️ Design Victoria returns from 9-12 May. Sign up for the newsletter to get early access to the mostly free, ticketed events including talks, workshops, film screenings, and parties.*

🔥Scarlet Wednesday: Chaharshanbe Soori marks the eve of Nowruz, the Persian new year. [In Langford]

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

Hero senior who likely saved life dies of crash injuries
Patrick Hare, an 80-year-old man visiting from Alberta, responded to a vehicle crash in Qualicum Beach on March 2, and likely saved a stranger’s life, Oceanside RCMP said. Hare was standing with a woman whose vehicle had struck a pole when another vehicle slammed into them. Police say Hare pushed the woman from danger and took the brunt of the impact. He died of his injuries. The woman is recovering from hers. [CTV]

Early-morning camper fire caused by candle 
The RV was parked on Balfour when the blaze broke out at approximately two in the morning yesterday. The van was occupied and nobody was hurt. Firefighters had to keep a distance in case the vehicle’s propane tanks blew. Flames shot high and at one point flickered onto an adjacent tree and telecom wires. [CHEK

Spectrum wins senior boys provincial basketball championship
Playing in their first provincial tourney since the 1990s, the Saanich-based high school squad took home the BC Schools Sports 4A boys title for the first time by defeating Tamanawis Wildcats 92-72 in Langley. Tyler Felt led the Thunder with 26 points, 12 boards, and four blocks, and was named tourney MVP. The Oak Bay Bays beat the West Van Highlanders 85-53 to finish third. [Victoria News]

Undersea eruption expected off Tofino coast after series of quakes
More than 200 earthquakes recently rumbled through the area in one hour, and scientists are predicting a deep-sea quake approximately 260km off the coast. Oceans Networks Canada says it could happen anytime—possibly years from now—and it likely won’t be big enough to cause concern onshore. Still, it should provide an opportunity for some good geological study. [CP24]

Premier to talk trees, jobs at Victoria forestry union summit
Unifor, the United Steelworkers, and Public and Private Workers of Canada, the three unions, will hold an unprecedented meeting here today. Mills on the Island have been shuttered and provincewide, 45% of the industry’s workforce has been cut, including 3,750 forestry jobs last year alone. [Times Colonist]

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Voting is open!

Best Indian restaurant? Best patio? Best bakery? Do you have a favourite spot in these categories? Make sure to place your votes for the city’s best restaurants!

🗓️ Things to do

🎤 Clown Fish: This one-man show premieres at the Belfry Theatre today, and runs until March 16. [Info]

🎸 Metchosin Bandwagon. Experience the eclectic rock stylings of Victoria's own Lovecats. Celebrate St. Patrick's Day (a couple of days early) with us. [Metchosin Golf Club

🌷 Greater Victoria Flower Count is on until tomorrow. [Petal power]

🚶 Hike for Hospice. Annual in-person walk for Victoria Hospice. The new start/finish location is Clover Point Park. Sunday, May 5. [Info]

🪑 Anything Goes Market. New. Old. Interesting items. Victoria Legion. Gorge East. March 24. [Map]

📽️ IMAX Film Festival: Fan-favourite documentaries are airing all day, all month at the museum’s theatre. [Info]

👀 In Case You Missed It

Monday’s headlines: James Bay man’s life lived well at 103; Oak Bay police chief calls it quits; So does West Coast Waffles; And more. [Mar. 11]

Unique brunch spots. [Tasting Victoria]

What’s next for McNeil Ave, still an Oak Bay debate. [Victoria News]

Nanaimo food bank project waiting for federal funding. [Nanaimo News Now]

Newly minted orca coin designed by Campbell River man. [CTV]

Hand-placed stone spirals in View Royal via photographer Doug Clement.

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