Posts Categorized: Sustainability

Housing Affordability in Oak Bay

Oak Bay Election 2018 CAIRINE’S COMMITMENTS Issue #4 Increases in housing prices and decreases in affordability have posed tough housing challenges here and across the region in recent years.  With Oak Bay’s land values at an all time high, housing demolitions of older, smaller character homes more commonplace, a real estate market driving an average home price in Oak Bay of $1million, and an average rent of $1,400 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, it’s no wonder that the issue…

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2016 Asset Management Report for Oak Bay

2016 Asset Management Report for the District of Oak Bay Opus International Consultants (Canada) Ltd.    Completed in 2016 but not released to the public until 2017, this is perhaps the most serious looming priority we have seen for Oak Bay in recent years.  Public assets are defined as sewer, water, storm drains, roads (incl. sidewalks, curbs and trails), buildings, street furniture (benches, street lights and signs), parks and recreation (facilities, trees, sports fields and parks) and the fleet (vehicles)….

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ODE TO THE SMALL OLDER CHARACTER HOME

  Perhaps it was the sight of the heavy excavator perched on the back of a big lumbering truck, slowly moving along our street early this morning, bound for another older smaller Oak Bay character home waiting to be demolished.  Or sounds of the excavator crunching, splintering and breaking apart, piece by piece, beautiful old growth lumber and oak hardwood flooring, grabbed and lifted by metal jaws and dumped unceremoniously into the ubiquitous yellow bin. Or the high-pitched whine of…

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A Site to C

We are fortunate.  We have traveled most of the southern half of our Province a number of times by motorcycle but I had never been north of Prince George.  So this year, we began talking a lot about heading north by car this summer, to the Peace River country to see the area known as Site C, a strip of low-lying treed and agricultural lands along the banks of the Peace River.  Slated for future flooding to accommodate a controversial…

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The Clive Re-Visited

Invited by owner and developer Ms. Nicole Roberts, I had the pleasure of touring the new Clive apartment building and I was not disappointed.  Ms. Roberts was true to her word — the Clive exceeds the first level of LEED standard for a green and energy-efficient building and is an asset to Oak Bay as the first building of its kind in our community.  The Clive also scores another first, the first time in over 40 years that new rental…

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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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FROM THE GROUND UP

On August 13, 2003, the Capital Regional District Board adopted a “landmark agreement,” the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS), cited in a report prepared in March 2003 titled The Capital Regional District Growth Strategy:  Herding Cats Onto the Road of Sustainability, prepared by the University of Waterloo’s Department of Environment and Resource Studies.   At the time, the RGS was a precedent-setting agreement, developed and approved by all member municipalities and the regional district, representing a partnership on social, economic and environmental…

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Going, Going, Gone…

I am re-posting this article because in the last few weeks, I have had many Oak Bay residents talk to me about their concerns at the rate of small house demolitions occurring in Oak Bay.  Even a well known mortgage broker friend of ours raised this issue in a conversation this week.   “Have you driven around the Uplands lately?” she asked.  “It’s unbelievable.”  Yes, the number of demolitions of smaller and older homes is worrying, threatening green space and accessible…

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“The Wisdom to Survive,” a Film

“Deeply moving and profoundly engaging…” (Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University) The film “The Wisdom to Survive:  Climate Change, Capitalism and Community,” is presented on Friday, February 27, 2015 at 7:00 PM, St. John’s United Church, in Deep Cove, across from Deep Cove Elementary School. Described as compelling and thought-provoking, the film examines “the scope and causes of a current ecological and societal malaise through art, science, economics and spirituality, suggesting how we might help a better world emerge.”  Thought leaders…

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C – Change

To change and shift an organization’s culture from “what was and is, to what can be,” may be one of the most challenging issues facing any new leader.  While new leadership can be exciting and promises positive opportunities, change can also be threatening.   Therefore, making change should always be approached as a process over time, and not as an abrupt event.  It’s unfortunate that many good leaders who could be great leaders, sometimes miss this important point.  Some leaders also…

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Managing Risk — My Overview of Local and Regional Government to 2018

As new and returning Mayors, Councillors and Regional Directors across the Capital Regional District (CRD) sign on to a four-year term, many will be welcoming opportunities for positive change, new ideas and improvements that make a difference to their communities.       After all, local government is about what’s possible, what’s new and what initiatives and projects will matter most to local residents.  However, just over three weeks into the new term, I sense the wider landscape is beginning to…

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Oil Tanker Expansion Huge Mistake

As Island dwellers, we know that we live in coastal communities located on a spectacularly beautiful West Coast.  But with the hurly burly of ordinary life, we sometimes take for granted the fragile balance between human activity and protection and sustainability of our marine environments.  Only when we take the time to reflect on how significant our marine landscape is to our quality of life, that we truly recognize and appreciate that it is within our collective power and control…

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