Oak Bay Housing Going South

This week, our local CBC radio show “On the Island,” with host Gregor Craigie, did an interview with a community leader who works for the San Juan Island Housing Trust in Washington State.   The Trust is committed to providing affordable and attainable housing by creating a neighbourhood of recycled homes that come from other communities. Always interested in hearing about new and innovative ideas for accessible housing, my ears really perked up when the guest described three recent additions…

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On the Margins?

The federal election campaign is in full swing, but with two more months until voting day, that “campaign swing” will probably be more of a “campaign stagger,” as hustings-weary candidates, parties and Canadian voters head to the finish line on October 19.       If we can believe all the pundits and non-stop media coverage, this election is becoming more of a three-way race between Conservatives, NDP and Liberals, with anticipated gains by the Greens on the West Coast,…

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“From the Seat of My Harley”

Normally, I write about local and regional issues in the Capital Regional District.  But I am departing from my norm and choosing instead to write about our recent motorcycle trip into the Chilcotin, Cariboo and Interior reaches of British Columbia.         Visiting small communities and talking to local residents provided me with new insights into their economic struggles playing out in rural B.C., especially in the Chilcotin. What struck us most was how remote and beautiful are the Chilcotin,…

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WHERE THERE’S SMOKE…

Maybe it’s because we suffered a house fire in 1998.  Or that we lived for 18 years on the edge of densely forested John Dean Park on Mt. Newton…  Or because I was part of a North Saanich Municipal Council that took proactive steps, through the use of Development Permits, to identify and designate lands and wooded areas of the municipality subject to interface wildfires, that I take so seriously this summer’s unusually dry weather, record-breaking temperatures and precedent-setting number…

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Meeting Packed

Overflowing a room at the Delta Ocean Pointe, the June 24th combined Westside Solutions and Eastside Select Committee groups welcomed a crowd of about 250.  The evening was warm and the temperature inside the room got warmer as people moved around, talked to each other and listened to Mayors Lisa Helps, Barb Desjardins and Carol Hamilton outline the public engagement process so far.  Flip charts showing current shortlisted sites formed an outer circle around the room that seemed small as…

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COMING DOWN THE PIPE

Please mark your calendars for this important Public Meeting on Regional Sewage Treatment On June 24, 2015, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., the Capital Regional District (CRD), through the Westside Solutions group and the Eastside Select Committee, will host a public meeting on regional sewage treatment and recovery, including further updates on site selection.  I believe that this meeting is one of the most important public meetings on this topic to occur since the last municipal election in November…

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Celebrating Ten Years

I was a real skeptic about the use of social media ten years ago, until my son, computer whiz and techno enthusiast, helped me out on my 2005 municipal election campaign.  He told me in no uncertain terms that I “had to get with the program.”  The “program” he was talking about was social media.  “Mother,” (he always calls me “mother” when he’s trying to make a point) “you love to write and communicate so why not take your passion…

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Saanich, Sewage and Scuttlebutt

In the last six months, some of the most interesting and complete investigative journalism into local and regional government has occurred in Focus Magazine by editors Leslie Campbell and David Broadland and on-air with journalist and reporter Ian Jessop of  CFAX 1070 Radio. SAANICH The ongoing situation in Saanich, reflected by an apparent disconnect between duly-elected Mayor Richard Atwell and some Saanich Council members and senior staff, continues to unfold according to this month’s Focus Magazine.  In a follow up…

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Seniors’ Advocate Puts Housing First

“Seniors’ Housing:  Affordability, Accessibility, Availability…We Can Do Better” puts the issue squarely at the forefront in this recently released report by B.C.’s Seniors’ Advocate Ms. Isobel Mackenzie.       Stating that she is “building on my commitment to evidence-based decision-making,” Ms. Mackenzie undertook research and gathered data from all over the Province that focused on income levels, rental housing and home ownership for seniors.  Her conclusion was unequivocal when she states “I found that for low and moderate [incomes]…

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Setting Our “Sites” on Sewage

Since the last municipal election in November 2014, a lot has changed in the Capital Regional District’s (CRD) ongoing debate about sewage treatment.  It appears that a definite shift has occurred as a result of a political shift in leadership around the CRD Board table.  New Mayors have brought new vision about how best to treat our waste-water and recover its by-products.  Two groups have formed, the Westside group of Colwood, Langford, Songhees and View Royal and the Eastside group…

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Cafe Victoria – CFAX1070

Cafe Victoria with Bruce Williams Imagine my surprise and delight when CFAX and Bruce Williams, host, got in touch with me last week and asked if I would participate in their Friday show, ‘Free For All’ – Cafe Victoria.  It’s a bit of a political pundit panel format, where local guests weigh in on local issues and other newsworthy topics.  I had fun and enjoyed the fast-moving conversation.  Such topics as marijuana dispensing in Victoria, regional policing and the recent…

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