Oct 22 - Swartz Bay upgrades delayed

Ferry terminal changes back in limbo. Meet the trail guardians. Truck hits bowling alley. Soccer season ends.

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Today’s approx. read time: 6 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: ⛅ 15 / 6

Monday: 🌦️ 12 / 7

Tuesday: 🌧️ 10 / 7


BC Ferries pulls application for enhanced terminal upgrades

Disembarking at Swartz Bay. James MacDonald / Capital Daily

In a letter to BC Ferry Commissioner Eva Hage last week, BC Ferries VP James Tan wrote that the company needs to extend the “discovery phase” of the terminal upgrades project. The changes would create faster check-ins by adding subway-style fare gates, enhanced kiosks, electronic boarding pass verification, and express lanes for people with reservations.

BC Ferries initially applied in June for $25M+ in funding for this overhaul at five terminals, including Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen, Duke Point, Departure Bay, and Horseshoe Bay. The project would be spread over four years, with Tsawwassen foot travel changing as soon as next fall but Swartz Bay not reworked until 2027.

Project has not been cancelled
Tam said the company still believes the upgrades will help passengers and staff. But, he wrote, they require the extension to “understand all information technology complexities and how they should be managed” before re-filing the request at an unknown later date.

It’s not yet clear how much this will delay the terminal changes.

Hage recently approved 3.2% annual fare increases for the 2024-2028 term.

Earlier this year Capital Daily send photojournalist James MacDonald behind the scenes at Swartz Bay to document how the terminal works.


Underdog run falls short; Pacific FC finishes season in 3rd

The Langford-based pro soccer team lost in Calgary on Saturday, ending what could have been the most impressive playoff run in the Canadian Premier League’s short history. A late-season swoon dropped Pacific to the 4th seed, meaning that under the new playoff format it would need to beat all four other playoff teams to win the crown.

PFC got halfway there, knocking off York FC and the Halifax Wanderers. But longtime rival Cavalry FC prevailed yesterday, winning 1-2 in a reversal of the 2021 semifinal that PFC won on the way to its first and only title.

Cavalry’s strong push and savvy tactical plays earned a two-goal lead in the first hour. Pacific quickly struck back with a Kekuta Manneh goal [watch]—but couldn’t get a second one. Coach James Merriman of Nanaimo partly attributed the fatal first half to the toll of criss-crossing the country playing must-win games.

An up-and-down season

After starting the season on top, drooping off in the final months, and then rallying in the playoffs, PFC ends up third overall—still a consistently good team, but still not yet on the level of its biggest rival, the four-time champ Forge FC. Not making the finals also costs PFC a spot in the international CONCACAF tourney next year.

Player of the Year award still possible

The season on the field is over, but there’s still one more chance at glory: for the second straight year, Manny Aparicio is nominated for Player of the Year (to be unveiled this Thursday).

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Get ready for a chilly week as highs dip to 10-11C and lows fall to single digits (as low as 3C). Rain is expected, but so are patches of sun.

Saanich roadwork overnight on Wilkinson (Interurban to Santa Rosa). Single-lane-alternating, 7pm-5am until Nov. [Saanich traffic info]

This week’s downtown road closures and disruptions are listed here.

Victoria Royals have won 4 straight, including 2 in OT over Spokane this weekend.

A Legislature lawn rally for Palestine, with memorial for children killed in Gaza, is slated for 2-4pm today; downtown march expected afterward.

Orionid meteor shower peak tonight may be visible locally if skies are clear.

Truck crashing into bowling alley in Campbell River, after hitting another truck, caught on video. 


The trail and its guardians

File photos by Jolene Rudisuela

The West Coast Trail is now closed for the winter. That means the offseason has started for the West Coast Trail Guardians, the Indigenous teams that keep hikers safe, maintain the trail, and protect and share the history and culture of the region.

Last fall, Capital Daily profiled the guardians and the iconic, beautiful, dangerous 75km trail that they steward.

⭐️ Capital Picks

 🇬🇷 New Greek food in town: Gyros, shrimp skewers, and fries wrapped up in a pita are all on hand at Esquimalt newcomer Gyrosa. [Tasting Victoria]

🦉 This great horned owl is giving you a look in these striking shots caught near Nanaimo.

😁 Does wellness matter? Sure it does! Investing in your state of mind could change the course of your life. Book a free consultation with a counsellor at Intertidal Wellness today.*

🤠 New music video from country-bluegrass musician and part-time Victorian Bella White [via Western AF]

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

More calls for local MLA to resign as children’s minister
BC Green and BC United reps want Esquimalt-Metchosin’s Mitzi Dean out of Child and Family Development, adding to earlier resignation calls from multiple First Nations groups. A recent 2022 audit showed no evidence that mandatory social worker visits were done in 14 foster cases, while social worker compliance declined from 33% in 2020 to 11%. [The Tyee]

BC COVID stats dip slightly after Aug.-Sept. surge
The 7-day rolling average for new COVID cases in hospital remains higher than any point since Jan. 2023, but comparable to most of last fall and winter. [BC CDC stats] BC recently launched its fall flu & COVID booster rollout.

UVic rugby & field hockey face UBC for conference crown
Today field hockey aims to win a 5th straight Canada West final at 11am today [Tickets] while women’s rugby plays its 8th straight final at noon. Rugby (4-2, #8 in Canada) moved past U of Alberta on Thursday, winning 38-12 behind a strong second half and a four-try breakout performance from Lucie Romero.

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🗓️ Things to do

🧺 Laundry Room at Sidney Museum. See artists explore the personal aspects of laundry as women's work. Until Nov. 30. [Admission by donation]

📽️ The Tattooed Torah & more: A family afternoon of Jewish culture at the Vic Theatre with storyteller Shoshana Litman, kids’ music by Avram McCagherty, and an animated short narrated by actor Ed Asner. By donation / starts 1pm. Part of the Int’l Jewish Film Festival, which wraps up today.

👗 Fashion for Compassion: An elegant afternoon of fashion, food, and fun to support of end-of-life care at Victoria Hospice. Delta Pointe Resort, 11:30am-3pm.

🎃 Halloween Happenings: Our roundup of all the seasonal and spooky events this week and next. [Capital Daily]

 🎹 Moonlight on piano: UVic’s Dr. Milton Schlosser plays Beethoven, Debussy, Chopin, Bach, and even a touch of the blues. 3-5pm at the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall. Sliding scale tickets.

👀 In Case You Missed It

As weather cools, local shelters prepare, but some are saying that the region needs more spaces and earlier planning to grapple with severe weather and increased homelessness. [Capital Daily / LJI]

Top 10 local soups for some delicious comfort on chilly fall days. [Tasting Victoria]

Friday’s headlines: Contention over development at Royal Bay; Halloween events; a new fire chief. [Oct. 20]

Nanaimo Walmart diaper fire in March was allegedly the work of a man also charged with 4 summer arsons in Victoria, per new police charges.

Thursday’s headlines: Gaps in Island intercity travel, and a man who built 50 little libraries. [Oct. 19]

That’s it!

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