Sat. May 13 - Victoria's final budget released

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ELIZA at Royal Bay

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The Capital Daily Team

City of Victoria adopts 2023 budget, settling on 6.15% tax increase

📸 James MacDonald / Capital Daily

The City of Victoria has adopted its $300M operating budget for 2023, along with $180M in capital projects, after a process that had council attempting to balance its rising costs from inflation with its residents’ rising cost of living. The budget will see a 6.15% increase for residents and non-industrial businesses, down from what was originally about 9%.

“Budget 2023 focuses investment on what the community has told us matters to them,” said Mayor Marianne Alto in a release. “This year’s budget continues to support and boost a healthy economy, investing in communities across the city.”

This budget includes climate action improvements, with $3.9M allocated for new electric vehicle charging stations and $15.4M to replace aging service vehicles with fuel-efficient and electric options. Nearly $1M will be put toward improving downtown, including beautification, cleaning, and safety.

One source of contention was the VicPD budget, which initially sought a 9.6% increase from 2022 to $69.5M. The police board refused to trim that rise to 6.9%, in line with inflation, as Victoria and Esquimalt councils had asked municipal departments to do.

The councils then decided to fund no more than that 6.9% increase (around $68M total) and suggested certain line items to defer (such as building maintenance, a body cam pilot, and new archival/files positions). The province may still force the municipalities to fund some of those. Victoria also removed but then reinstated a $255,000 fund from a non-VicPD part of its overall budget to put toward extra police patrols downtown (particularly at night).

The 2023 budget includes:

  • $58.5M for Victoria portion of VicPD budget, plus the separate $255K

  • $22.1M for multi-modal corridor improvements to support road safety, walking, cycling, transit, liveability, and accessibility

  • $19.1M for fire services

  • $15.4M to replace aging service vehicles and heavy equipment to improve the city’s carbon footprint

  • $5.9M for arts and culture

  • $3.1M for community development, housing, and heritage restoration

  • $3.9M for EV chargers throughout the city

  • $1.8M to restart the Crystal Pool replacement project

  • Nearly $1M for the new Downtown Revitalization program

  • $200K for reconciliation efforts with Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations

Capital Bulletin

☀️ Today’s weather: Sunny. High 25C / low 14C.

⛴️ BC Ferries adds sailings for Victoria Day long weekend: Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay route will get 66 extra sailings May 19-23.

⚡ Record energy use expected: BC Hydro anticipates we may hit new May highs for BC’s peak hourly demand.


Your picks for the best brunches in Greater Victoria

📸 Tasting Victoria / The Village

Almost every weekend morning in downtown Victoria, lineups form outside more than a dozen brunch restaurants. It would be an understatement to say brunch is popular here. But which local brunches are the most popular?

Tasting Victoria and Capital Daily readers voted for their favourites, and we rounded up the top choices.

With a warm weekend and an especially brunch-friendly special occasion—Mother’s Day—it’ll undoubtedly be a busy weekend for brunch. So if you find somewhere to go, be sure to get there early.


RCMP shoot man in Duncan who allegedly drove into cruiser

This RCMP detachment was the site of Friday’s crash and shooting 📸 City of Duncan

An officer and suspect are in hospital with apparent non-life-threatening injuries, BC’s Independent Investigations office said, after a Friday incident around 6:30am. A second officer shot the suspect after his vehicle entered the detachment parking lot and drove into the first officer’s vehicle—injuring that officer—while it was being prepared for patrol, per the IIO.

It’s unclear how deliberate or targeted the crash was; RCMP say they are “unsure what the man’s intentions were at this time.” The North Cowichan/Duncan General Investigation Section is investigating that initial collision, while the IIO is now investigating the shooting and conduct by police.

Video shows shooting, but not initial crash
A nearby resident posted video that begins with the police cruiser partway down a ditch and the black SUV above and still in contact with it. Two officers move to flank a person in a grey hoodie who is accessing the back seat of the SUV. The person withdraws from the open door and is shot by an officer who has circled around the back of the vehicle.

Though the RCMP release says the officer “discharged his firearm at the vehicle striking the driver,” in the video the officer aims and fires at the driver while both are visibly to the right of the vehicle. The video later cuts to a different officer in the ditch being attended to.

Second Duncan-area police shooting in past two months
On March 28, Davin Cochrane, 32, was shot in the head by police while driving a skid-steer construction vehicle along residential Duncan streets without stopping. He had been in a car crash earlier that day; his wife said he left the hospital after receiving a narcotic. After weeks in an induced coma in Victoria, he regained consciousness and is now breathing on his own.

ELIZA at Royal Bay

The next phase is here

Are you ready for a simpler, low maintenance life? At ELIZA South, you’ll find just that!

The newest phase of condo living offers 1-bedroom + den, and 2-bedroom air-conditioned homes with up to 1,000 SqFt of living space—all within a short stroll to the Island’s stunning coastline.It’s an ideal setting for that low maintenance life you’ve always dreamed of.

Step outside to the beautiful greenways entwined with biking and walking trails that surround you. You will love the convenience of having the Commons retail village just steps away, where you will find Quality Foods, Cascadia Liquor, Pure Pharmacy, and more.

See for yourself why so many people have decided to call Eliza home. Register today!

Capital Picks

🔬 Science Rendezvous Victoria: UVic and Camosun Interurban are hosting a free all-ages STEM festival today (10am-3pm).

🌻 May plant sales: Shop seedlings and produce at Haegert Park today at the Compost Education Centre’s popular spring sale. The Sooke Garden Club is also having its annual Mother’s Day plant sale, at the Evergreen Shopping Centre in Sooke. Both run 10am-2pm.

🌷 Make Momma’s day: All the pretty and all the deliciousness is waiting for your momma at The Root Cellar. Pop in and pick up a beautiful bouquet and find all the brunch essentials you could wish for! Learn more at*

🎺 Tartan Parade: The parade leaves Centennial Square today at 11am as a part of the Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival.

🎨 Fairfield Artists Studio Tour: Shop and support local artists today and tomorrow 11am-4pm. [Details]

⏱️ Vitalize and extend your years with Tall Tree’s Longevity Medicine program. This is proactive, preventive medicine designed to help you fight disease before it starts.*

*Sponsored Listing

In Other News

🏢 Local Moose Hide Campaign Day march attended by hundreds
Since 2012 the Indigenous-led campaign has distributed four million moose hide pins, which symbolize wearers’ commitment to end gender-based violence. [CHEK]

🏨 New contract for Inn at Laurel Point workers, preventing strike
Workers received a 20% wage increase over four years, following a 98% in favour vote for the contract. A 72-hour strike notice had been issued by UNITE HERE Local 40 in April. Tipped workers will also have further protections.

🏢 Ceremony honours totem pole carved by incarcerated men
Master carver Tom LaFortune led the project, involving 90 men at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre, to create the 12.5m pole. The pole includes carvings of a frog and a wolf. [Times Colonist]


Discover the magic of the city’s finest in medical aesthetics

Celebrate the very best of Philosophy MD and help them ring in their first year of business with a bash worthy of this incredible community!

A tease of what’s to come: This special day will feature favourite skincare brands and physician-led treatments to keep your complexion healthy and vibrant. Join in to graze, toast, and shop, and allow the confidence experts at Philosophy to guide you with personalized recommendations.

Thursday, June 1st. Open house from 12-8pm.

RSVP to 250-889-1658 with your name, phone number, and email address.

In Case You Missed It

🌡️ Extreme weather effects less likely to strike Island: Flooding and wildfire risks are more significant on BC’s mainland. [Capital Daily]

🌸 Victoria’s Jimbo joins Drag Race All-Stars: Jimbo the Drag Clown is the first Canadian to compete for a spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame. [Friday Newsletter]

🏛️ Murray Rankin, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, offers in-person and virtual support with provincial government services for constituents. Contact his team at [email protected] or 250-472-8528.*

🎤 Lantzville man makes Canada’s Got Talent finale: Raymond Salgado will compete for $150K May 16. [Nanaimo News Now]

🚗 Driver charged for 163km/h in 80 zone: RCMP say the man arrested Apr. 27 on Sooke Rd. in Metchosin had prior dangerous driving convictions.

*Sponsored Listing

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