at Murray Rd Valentine’s Breakfast Saturday, February 14 $8.95 pp Catering for Open daily 6am to 4pm local events 250-642-1460 Friday, February 6, 2015 Something of a trav elling road show is underway by Capital Regional District (CRD) Board Chair Nils Jensen and the CRD senior executive staff. For the past week or two, and in the weeks ahead, they are visiting each Council of the 13 municipalities in the CRD with a presentation about their Regional Sust ainabi lity Strat egy (RSS). Their RSS presentation to the District of Sooke Council was on Monday night, February 2 in Council chambers, formally a ddressing Sooke Mayor Maja Tait and Sooke Councillors Ebony Logins, Brenda Parkinson, Kevin Pearson, and Kerrie Reay (Councillors not in attendance: Bev Berger, Rick Kasper). Key points of the presentation included a projected population increase in the south island area of 100,000 people over 28 years (from 371,000 to 471,000 during 2013 to 2041) in search of our temperate climate and active outdoors lifestyle. This tips to concerns over adequate supply and service for water, housing, and transportation as well as wastewater management and solid waste management. Jensen described the Capital Regional District as "big and beautiful -it's large, it's diverse, and also complex". CRD provides over 200 services to the community that includes both urban and rural, "and some communities are a little bit of both". Jensen said that CRD owns about 900 properties or parcels of land. There are 750 km of pipes in the region that are maintained and services on an ongoing basis. Hazmat services are centralized for the CRD out of a Central Saanich location. Over 100,000 calls to 911 are handled annually. The CRD’s water conservation program has been successful, said Jensen. The “water scare” due to drought in 2001 prompted expansion of reservoir facilities in 2002-2003. And while the Greater Victoria area has grown 7%, water use has dropped 24% due to conservation measures across the region as well as use of lowflow fixtures and high-efficiency appliances. About 130 million litres of water are treated and delivered every day. “We thought we would need a greater water supply for 2023, but now we won’t need a new water source until 2050,” said Jensen who chaired the CRD Water Commission for 12 years. Sooke taxpayers are fortunate to have local wastewaster management already in place (with EPCOR). Says Jensen, when it comes to regional waste water management: “You The Sooke Voice News! Insightful & well-written independent SVN news coverage. Print & Call: 250-642-7729 Digital News and views for attentive, inquisitive readers! ~ 4 pages this issue Web Courtesy edition - Please subscribe - 250-642-7729 News about News about Vancouver Island’s West Shore & beyond, with a focus on wellness, learning & insightful living. of Vancouver Island Big turnout for foo d waste do-i t-yo urself i nfo .... .... .... . Small businesses are the lifeblood of Sooke [Editorial] ....... Higher assault count, more break-ins in Sooke in 2014 ... Questioning education in the 21st century [Event Profile] ....... Valentine’s all through February at Le Sooke Spa ........... Sooke & the West Shore Sooke,BC v3 1 2 3 3 4 Pineapple Express W E B V E R S I O N brings warm rain to west shore SOOKE VOICE NEWS on the beat CRD Chair Nils Jensen discovered the webcam during Sooke’s Committee of the Whole on February 2. Webcasted meetings have the camera set on Council from a considerable distance, leaving audio to be quite important for following the spoken details of the meeting. Formal agenda items are posted online for availability during the live transmission at www.sooke.ca . Archived video files are available online, within about 24 hours of Council and Committee of the Whole meetings. W E B V E R S I Ofolks Nare out of this game”, unlike the rest of the CRD that must grapple with find- Subscribe to at Shoppers Sooke Voice News French toast special with fresh fruit and whipped cream, with a fresh fruit sauce. CRD talks sustainability Colour print edition $1.75 ing a solution to sewage wastewater issues quite soon. Presently about 100 million litres of wastewater leaves outfalls into the ocean every day. About 400 tonnes of waste is delivered to Hartland landfill daily. A biogas facility at Hartland produces enough electricity to power 1,600 homes; the electricity is sold to BC Hydro via their grid. In 2013, about 7,700 tonnes of kitchen scraps were diverted from Hartland landfill. As of January 1, 2015 there is further diversion now that several municipalities (including Sooke, Colwood, Langford, Metchosin and Highlands) are now required to separate out scraps from their household garbage. The RSS pays attention to climate action, community health and well-being, emergency management and natural disasters, energy systems, and food and agriculture systems. Thursday, February 5 and Friday, February 6 were grey, foggy, rainy days in Sooke on this west side of Vancouver Island, but there seemed to be no complaints around town. In what meteorologists call the Pineapple Express -- rain brought to the Pacific west coast by warm winds from the Hawaiian Islands area -- the high reached at least 14°C and there was little to no wind. And although this is the middle of winter with snow for most of the rest of Canada, here we could go about the day with perhaps an umbrella in hand and with windshield wipers swishing quickly, but otherwise unencumbered. SVN 1. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 2. Be resilient 3. Manage growth 4. Foster wellbeing 5. Enhance our natural environment 6. Optimize infrastructure Adisplay about the sustainability strategy was available at the Sooke Library until February 5, then was relocated to the Juan de Fuca Library in Colwood fromFebruary 6 to 16. Apublic input survey is online to February 15 at www.crd.bc.ca/sustainability SVN Family Day in BC Mon Feb 9 Vol.5 No.3 ISSN 1925-2722 BC & national: @SookeVoiceNews Island west shore: @WestShoreVoice @SookeVoiceLOCAL Tweets also posted live at: www.sookevoicenews.com Insight news published weekly on Fridays (print & online) by Brookeline Publishing House Inc. Saturday Feb 14 Live Music 6 to 9pm Regular menu also available Dinner for 2 $124 1 Night’s Stay pp* (double occupancy) Breakfast for 2 4-Course $55 Romantic Dinner pp* Live music 6 to 9pm Reservations 778-425-0888 6929 West Coast Road, Sooke Big turnout for food waste do-it-yourself info There was a strong and steady turnout all day last Saturday at Sooke Home Hardware with dozens of customers coming in to learn more about food waste digester equipment. On the store floor from 10am to 4pm was Compost Education Centre executive director Marika Smith. She handily answered questions both basic and detailed about Green Cones, composting and other aspects of handling food waste. By mid-afternoon over 20 of the 50 Green Cones brought in at a special price for the event had been sold at $135 each. A wide range of other food digester equipment options were front and center for sale as well. CRD helped with event costs. SVN Jan.31 report W EB V ER S IO N WE B VERSI ON Where does Sooke fit into “Shift 2038” ? Drug Mart Sooke Compost Education Centre rep explains use of Green Cones to customers. Sooke Voice News Cathy’s Corner Cafe 6697 Sooke Rd Webcast screenshot www.sooke.ca AK WE B VERSI ON www.sookevoicenews.com Violence-Free BC launched with 10-yr plan BC Premier Christy Clark has announced initiatives and funding to work against violence against women. “The Violence Free BC (VFBC) strategy is our roadmap to creating a province where each of us does our part, working together, to keep women safe from harm," she said in a news release on February 6. Last year's throne speech promised a concrete plan toward ending domestic violence, and the VFBC strategy is delivering on that promise. It combines immediate actions with a long-termvision, and identifies five key priorities for moving toward a violence-free BC over the next decade. These include: Challenging beliefs and behaviours. Ensuring services are responsive, innovative and co-ordinated. Supporting women to rebuild their lives. Addressing violence against Aboriginal women. Fostering strong relationships and new partnerships. Up to $3 million in civil forfeiture proceeds is available this year to support anti-violence and prevention initiatives throughout the province. Funding streams focused on violence against women and identified in 2014-15 civil forfeiture grants include: training and education for service providers; school-based prevention programs; preventing the exploitation and human trafficking of women and girls; innovative partnerships; healing and rebuilding after violence for Aboriginal Women. Other funding streams include Serving Victims through Restorative Justice and Community/Youth Crime Prevention. Expanding the number of Domestic Violence Units (DVUs) in BC was one of 14 ministry-specific initiatives outlined in Attorney General Suzanne Anton's mandate letter from the Premier on June 10, 2013. The three-year, $5.5 million Provincial Domestic Violence Plan included a $1-million investment to assist the start-up and implementation of DVUs across the province. SVN WE B VERSI ON Building removal at Whiffin Spit DOG WALKERS During the week of Feb 9, work will occur on behalf of Fisheries & Oceans Canada to remove two small buildings adjacent to the lighthouse at the end of Whiffin Spit Park. The trail will remain open to the public. Trail users are asked to use caution on the trail and move well off to the side when vehicles are passing through, says the District of Sooke. SVN WE B VERSI ON Page 2 of 4 ::: Copy deadline: 5 pm Mon. Ad deadline: 5 pm Wed. Breaking news at: www.sookevoicenews.com EDITORIAL SVN editorials aim to explore broader issues of concern to the local community, economy and society as a whole. Small businesses are the lifeblood of Sooke: Council ingenuity could help For anyone who has observed the rise and fall of many a small business in this small town, not much of the rest of this editorial piece will be news to you. There are recurring factors that affect small business efforts and enterprises in Sooke. There is no primary industry here. Long gone are the days when forestry and fishing drove the local economy. Apart from the basic profile of essential retail (grocery, hardware, pharmacy), it is the small business realm (much of it home-based) that defines the Sooke economic horizon in these post-recession times: arts & crafts, development at the computer desktop, small-item manufacture, refuse handling and recycling, repairs, and professional consulting. And of course there is a plethora of thrift stores, gift shops and cafes. Plus yoga and fitness. And the community-service domain of museum and library. Tourism is ever-present -- some of it large (hotels) but most of it small (B&Bs, fishing charters, tours). Do small businesses want bigger spaces, and do home businesses want to fly from the nest for the 9 to 5 environment? Even if they did, there has, for years, been a dearth of right-size, right-budget commercial spaces. When a small business must follow the golden rule of commercial real estate, i.e. the tenant pays for most if not all improvements and leaves those costly investments behind if they move on, the effect is often crushing to the degree that it is difficult for small businesses impacted in that way to recover. Even in downtown Victoria there are storefront vacancies galore; commercial premises holders can afford to wait out the blight but departed retail businesses often end up crippled. So long as the winding Sooke Highway is the only road in-and-out, there won’t be big-box stores in Sooke. And so long as the economy in this town is bereft of enough jobs, most working adults leave daily beyond Sooke boundaries for gainful employment. Will Sooke’s municipal government really and truly put on its collective thinking cap and nurture the small businesses that are the town’s lifeblood? It will take more than seeking a wish list from a committee or abdicating powers to local associations. It will take WE B VERSI ON BC NEWS PLEASE SU BSCRIBE Friday, February 6, 2015 ::: SOOKE VOICE NEWS The Sooke Voice News Ask a Doctor of Optometry Published by Brookeline Publishing House Inc., Sooke, BC, Canada National Library Registration: ISSN 1925-2722 on Facebook Mailing: PO Box851,Sooke, BC, Canada V9Z 1H8 Phone: 250-642-7729 Dr. Joslin, Dr. Morin & Associates: Doctors of Optometry Text: 250-217-5821 Email:[email protected] Providing comprehensive eye health and optical services to the growing community of Sooke for over 20 years. #5-6726 West Coast Rd Phone: 250-642-4311 Email:[email protected] www.sookeoptometrists.ca Mon-Fri 9 to 5 [Thurs to 7pm] Saturdays ~ 8:30am to 3pm [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] Web: www.sookevoicenews.com Twitter: @SookeVoiceNews (BC / national); @WestShoreVoice; @SookeVoiceLOCAL Publisher, Editor, Writer, Layout, & Ad Sales: Mary P. Brooke, B.Sc., C ert PR Publishing Assistant: Jennifer Brooke. Delivery Support: Les Haddad. Contributors: Karam Barzekar, Ellen Lewers. Contributions some real ingenuity. It will take some cou- welc om e from the c om m unity. rageous policies on behalf of Mayor and W ebserver Management: Les Oberg. Printing: in-house. DeliverCouncil, who will hopefully seek and value ies: Bulk drop to various coffee shops, hotels, the input of experienced owners of truly banks, community areas; to some residential small-business (less than 5 employees) addresses, some weekends. Readership: Base of 3,500 print & online; includes print and home business business folk as deliverydirect to selected businesses weekly. Council gets into their strategic planning Retail: Colour print edition $1.75 at Shoppers Drug Mart (Sooke). Online: Print/PDF process next week. courtesyedition: www.sookevoicenews.com When a small business fails it is Digitalsubscription almost never for a lack of hard work. Usu(PDF by email): ally it comes down to unseen or external $28+GST for18 weeks factors that end up being too big to mount. Printsubscription (weekly Small towns need big vision for the reby 1st class postal mail): $35+GST for 20 issues in maining post-recession small busigrayscale, or 12 in colour. BC & National Twitter stream: @SookeVoiceNews nesses. Getting beyond “dog eat Letters published in Sooke dog” could happen with a vision by Voice News do not necessarily Council and a realistic understandrepresent the opinion of the publisher, editor or staff. ing of how small businesses -- that The publisher reserves will help lead to better health research, and evenlike being small, but must be resilthe right to decline any tually, improved treatments and outcomes for paarticle, ad or contribution. ient -- can be the engine of the local tients. Current edition (PDF), economy. The work to streamline the various health archives, breaking news: www.sookevoicenews.com information policies is part of the ministry's strategic priority Setting Priorities for the BC Health Councillors were elected to deal with System document which aims to: recognize the need to review health information legislation in infrastructure & planning [email protected] order to improve the overall health of the popula- Thank you Jeff Bateman for your version of events leading to tion; enhance the experience and outcomes of Sooke Council fielding its non-binding referendum on the vexing patients; and achieve the best outcomes for the question of possible increased oil tanker traffic in our coastal wahealthcare dollar. ters (Sooke Voice News, January 30, 2015). This topic has genThis work also aligns with the 2014 report erated strong viewpoints and I agree that citizens should have the from BC's Information and Privacy Commis- opportunity to declare their considered opinion on the matter. Howsioner, Elizabeth Denham, in which she called ever, we should remember that the impressive count of two to one for comprehensive health information standards, against really does not accurately reflect taxpayers stance on the with consistent rules for public bodies, such as issue since a mere 40% of the electorate voted in the November hospitals, and private ones, such as doctors' of- Municipal Election. fices. If I remember correctly, it took two tries to persuade Counwww2.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/index.page cil to float this question; then-Mayor Wendal Milne opposed this www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/publications/year/ proposal and it was shelved only to be resurrected at a Council 2014/Setting-priorities-BC-Health-Feb14.pdf SVN Meeting that he did not attend. Persistence and eloquence apparently won the day. This decision cost the taxpayers of Sooke around $6,000 in staff preparation time and in printing and publishing costs. Transition Sooke took a leading role in pushing its agenda and shrewdly let Council carry the cost. Personally, I think that it is quite undemocratic for Council The current BC Scholarship program for Grade to purportedly speak for all Sooke residents on this matter and I 12 grads heading further to post-secondary instifeel that Council should give priority to the good governance of tutions was created in 1987. At the time, the inour community and deal with the many infrastructure and plantent was to award student achievement, motivate ning issues that are before it. Councillors were elected to do this. high school students to graduate, and encourage ~ Errol Anderson, Sooke students to pursue further education through post- WE B VERSI ON BC seeks input on health info management The Ministry of Health says it wants to hear ideas from stakeholders and the public over the next year on how to improve management, protection and storage of health information, announced Health Minister Terry Lake this week. The ministry is creating a framework that it says will “establish clear and consistent rules for the use and protection of personal health information in the public and private sectors”. As part of this work, the ministry is interested in hearing different points of view on health information and privacy. "BC has at least nine separate pieces of legislation and many regulations dealing with managing health information," Lake said. "That's a confusing and complex system. As the ministry works to streamline health information management, it's essential that we hear from those most affected by any changes, and that certainly includes patients." Throughout this year, the ministry will hold engagement sessions with stakeholders interested in health information and privacy, such as Patients as Partners; Doctors of BC; the BC Nurse Practitioner Association; the BC Nurses Union; the BC Pharmacy Association; and various health profession regulatory colleges. The ministry will also hold engagement with the BC Civil Liberties Association; the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner; the Office of the Chief Information Officer; and health authorities, including the First Nations Health Authority. The public may join the conversation through GovTogether BC, the province's online engagement portal which will be ready later this year. “Creating a framework for health information would make it simpler for the ministry to create electronic health records. This would make it easier for patients and their health care providers to access a person's complete medical information, leading to better, more informed health care for patients,” the news release said. “Health researchers could also have faster access to more complete data, which Upcoming Public Meetings Regular Council Meeting Tuesday, February 10 at 7pm Schedule subject to change. Call 250-642-1634 to confirm meetings. Agendas: www.sooke.ca LETTERS WE B VERSI ON BC Scholarship program undergoing revision secondary institutions or job-training programs. Recent updates to scholarships and awards include: Graduation Program Examinations Scholarships were capped at 5,000. District/Authority Awards were increased from 3,000 to 5,500. Two new categories of achievement were added to the District/Authority Awards criteria: - community service - technical and trades training The Ministry begun phasing out the Passport to Education Program in 2013, the last allocation goes out this spring to Gr 12 grads only. Now the question is how to best recognize student achievement, especially since it is being redefined to include all facets of learning. The review will look at the current scholarships and awards program to find innovative approaches to recognize student learning and achievement, with an attention to skills training. The Student Certification Branch (SCB) is leading the consultation process with the advice of a Ministry steering committee. The consultation will target parents, students, employers and key stakeholders through multiple channels of communication. www.gov.bc.ca/bced SVN WE B VERSI ON BC Family Day dollars to big organizations 3rd Annual BC Family Day The BC government is providing significant funding to organizations that will likely attract large crowds on this third BC Family Day, coming up Monday, February 9. The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development announced this week that it has provided $300,000 to support Family Day events in these large venues: BC Recreation & Parks ($250,000); Royal BC Mus eum ($ 40,00 0); Friendly service! Bring in this and the Vancouver Art coupon for Gallery ($10,000). In Victoria, the Royal BC Museum is on your next 872 Langford Parkway offe ring s pecial BC 250-590-5678 oil change! Family Day activities i nc ludi ng a Bea ve r Open daily ~ in Langford Mount station where Mon-Sat 8-6 & Sun 10-5 families can pose with Like us on Facebook! a cute beaver for a BC VicGreatCanadianOilChange Family Day photo. SVN $8 off Drop-In Service! WE B VERSI ON THIS COUPON EXPIRES: March 6, 2015 PLEASE SU BSCRIBE SOOKE VOICE NEWS ::: Friday, February 6, 2015 West Coast Lifestyle WE B VERSI ON LOCAL NEWS: @SookeVoiceLOCAL & @WestShoreVoice Sooke, BC LOCAL NEWS www.sookevoicenews.com ::: Page 3 of 4 Daily news updates - Sooke & West Shore: www.sookevoicenews.com/SOOKE-LOCALbreakingnews.htm as in January 2014. This continues “Replacing wishbones EXAMINING EDUCATION Sooke HPI down 3,489 a mid-2013 trend with fewer listings in the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) market than in the same month of the year with backbones” MLS sales in January were up 2.6% in previous, said VREB on Feb2. WE B VERSI ON January, compared to the first month of The HPI value for a single family the year in 2014: 351 properties sold in home in the Victoria Core was $561,600 WE B VERSI ON the Greater Victoria area compared to in January, up from $548,500 a year ago. by Mary P. Brooke, B.Sc. Sooke Voice News Panel about the future of education, at UVic Alumni event on February 1. Panelists, from left: Mark Neufeld, Lorna Williams, Ralf St Clair, and Leslie Lee. Lee concluded the energetic session saying that she hopes educators will “replace wishbones with backbones” and effect real change for education in BC. In the Westshore HPI was up to $405,000 (from $403,500 Jan 2014) and the Peninsula HPI last month was $522,500 (up from $499,400 in Jan 2014). The overall condo HPI was $287,600 last month, with townhomes at $401,200 -- bothupover 2014. Fifteen single family homes sold in Sooke in January, at an average sale price of $368,637 (HPI was $338,700, down from $342,800 a year ago). SVN Homelessness, homefulness, and seniors on scooters COUNCIL Preview The BC Government has lately been rolling out the results of some obvious planning and hard work for restructuring K to 12 public school curriculum delivery, as well as processes for the transition to post-secondary, and fortifying certain areas of focus in post-secondary training (such as trades). Meanwhile, within the delivery mix of education policy and initiatives are the teachers, administrators and trainers of teachers who walk the walk and -- who last weekend -- talked the talk. Apanel of four education professionals debated various aspects of where the education of children and young adults has been in BC and where it now seems to be heading. The panel was organized by the UVic Alumni Association and chaired by Helen Raptis, PhD, Associate Dean, Faculty of Education. The gathering was held in one of the large theatre-style lecture halls in the center of campus on SuperBowl Sunday, February 1, which made the audience size of 75 people seem all the more impressive. The crowd included local educators, and several of whom had travelled from the mainland to take part in the 2-hour think-tank. Some of the comments from educators in the audience were thoughts held by many, finally spoken aloud: “Children who have strong academic ability have just been left to manage. The resources have not been there to develop their potential,” said an experienced female teacher. “Educators have the power to change the world. It takes time and energy to work with kids, to show that you care and share your own vulnerabilities. But the ability to provide that level of connection comes down to money in the system,” said a young male teacher who noted that the private education system is 50% funded by the BC government. Panelist Mark Neufield -- a teacher who launched the Institute for Global Solutions at Claremont Secondary School in Victoria -- said re the public vs private inequities: “If we do a good enough job that problem will right itself.” Neufeld was referring primarily to the introduction of personalized learning but also to “enable students by not being afraid (as teachers) to be who we are”. He said that teachers “get into teaching because we want to change kids’ lives” and “when are we going to get out of the way of our kids (and let them flourish)”. When one educator in the audience said that it was time for some “moral outrage” to effect change, panelist Ralf St Clair, Dean of the UVic Faculty of Education, piped up with this: “Moral outrage is what has got me to where I am now. If educators have no moral outrage, they have no right to be in the job.” He suggested that part of breaking the paralysis of today’s classroom environment is to “think of the classroomexperience as relationships instead of assessment”. He said: “Personalized learning will look really good when it gets here. It will recognize learning styles and equity.” He concluded that all educators can “agree on one thing -- that we want the system to change”. Panelist Leslie Lee, principal at George Jay Elementary in the urban core of Victoria, questioned how prepared new teachers are who come into the teaching system. She suggested that other teachers be brought in as sounding boards or mentors for new young teachers. Panelist Dr Lorna Williams, OBC, former Canada Research Chair, and scholar in Indigenous Language Revitalization said that education is the most powerful institution in any society. She made her mark on the entire gathering with a metaphor that seemed to leave an indelible impression on panelists and audience alike: that those who can manage to change the education system are like piano tuners ... the instruments itself seeks to be brought back into tune. As a First Nations educator, she said that for First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples there are two storylines in education: that of the power of education to destroy, and that of the power of education to revitalize and create. Other key issues that were surfaced during the discussion included: Mental health and anxiety are a number one issue -- how to deal with it, who deals with it, and what resources can be applied to it. How can teachers become experts in digital-based learning? We need to change the way we teach. The brick-and-mortar building environment is changing from being the only way, to being just one way. Educators are “thinkers, changers, and difference-makers,” was the slogan for the afternoon event. SVN The usual Monday-night meeting of District of Sooke Council will be on Tuesday next week, due to Monday being the BC Family Day statutory holiday. The February 10 agenda is online at www.sooke.ca f or view ing or download. The meeting starts at 7pm. There will be presentations by three delegations: Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness with a regional update; Creating Homefulness Society about t he Woodwyn Farm project; and the Sooke Elderly Citizens' Housing Society (SECHS) regarding the challenges of using mobility scooters in Sooke. Mayor Tait and Council will give verbal reports. The Sooke RCMP December 2014 year-end report will be presented by S/Sgt Jeff McArthur. There will be motions to extend existing maintenance service contracts for an additional year (beyond last January's one-year extension) to Arterra Landscaping (ornamental areas and public washrooms), Angela Sinclair (trails and walkways), Steve's Portable Sawmill and Tree Service (greenspace maintenance), and Drew Porter (John Phillips Memorial Park maintenance). A motion passed by Council in January 2014 included that Maintenance Service Contracts be open to tender or Request for Proposal at the end of one-year contracts. SVN WE B VERSI ON WE B VERSI ON Higher assault count & more break-ins in Sooke in 2014 The overall tally of assaults in Sooke was higher last year than in any of 2011, 2012 or 2013, according to statistics published in the February 10, 2015 District of Sooke council agenda. There were 61 assaults in Sooke in 2014, with a further six of those classified by Sooke RCMP as sexual assaults. Break-ins were also higher in 2014 than in the previous three years, seeing 37 break-ins to residences, 25 at businesses, and 13 others. There were 103 thefts from vehicles in Sooke in 2014 (down from a peak that was seen in 2013). A higher tally of incidents reported under the Mental Health Act occurred in 2014 (122) compared to previous years. Regardless of the source of an occurrence, each occurrence can only be recorded under one category, explained S/Sgt Jeff McArthur at last month's District of Sooke Council meeting. SVN SOOKE RCMP 2014 Sexual Assaults Assaults B&E Business B&E residence B&E other Theft of vehicle Theft from vehicle Theft over $5,000 Theft under $5,000 Mental Health Act Mischief/Damage 6 61 25 37 13 17 103 6 168 122 154 Total Calls 2011-2014: 16,695 2014 2013 2012 2011 4,246 4,425 4,098 3,926 BC predicts 2.6% GDP growth in 2015 The BC Ministry of Finance says that the Economic Forecast Council is forecasting 2.6% real GDP growth for BC in 2015, down from the 2.7% forecast in December. This is part of the annual pre-Budget update for BC's economic outlook. The Economic Forecast Council's revisions include lower forecasts for inflation, as low gasoline prices helped slow Canada's inflation rate to 1.5% in December from 2.0% in November. The council predicts BC's real GDP growth will increase to 2.8% in 2016, up 0.1 percentage points from their December 2014 estimates. The outlook for 2017-19 remains unchanged at 2.5%. The BC government's provincial forecast will be published with Budget 2015. Overall, the domestic and international market situation remains fluid, said a February 5 release from the finance ministry, adding that the effect of significantly lower oil prices on the BC economy is uncertain. ”While the reduction in crude prices is generally not expected to have a significant negative effect on the province, it has increased uncertainty as low oil prices are accompanied with downward pressure on other commodity prices, including natural gas.” SVN WE B VERSI ON WE B VERSI ON Bank stabilization at Jordan River W E B V E RKitchen S I scraps, ON @FoodScrapsSOOKE WE B VERSI ON composting, garbage pickup [email protected] www.KitchenScrapsSooke.ca CRD Parks Info News Updates Services Construction at Jordan River Regional Park was underway until February 4. Crews were conducting bank stabilization at The Point to shore up the area, which has been affected by recent super tides and storm surges, said the Capital Regional District (CRD) in a media release on January 29. The work is required to protect the day-use area parking lot. ParkJordan River Regional Park is a 187-hectare ing may be limited during construction. mixed coastal forest park along the Juan de Park visitors were to use caution around Fuca Strait, open to the public since 2010 (now the equipment and crews. SVN for day-use only). Sooke Voice News Questioning education in the 21st century 342 last year. “We don’t expect to see big numbers in January. It’s a slower month traditionally for real estate,” says VREB President Guy Crozier . “Even this slight increase after the 11.67% year-over-year increase in sales we saw in 2014 shows the continued stability of our market.” At January month-end there were 3,283 active property listings, down from Page 4 of 4 ::: Time to subscribe! @WestShoreVoice @SookeVoiceLOCAL WHAT’S GOING ON Semester 2 starts at Edward Milne Community School. Fri.Feb.6. Gr 9 to 12. emcs.sd62.bc.ca Regional Sustainability Strategy CRD display Fri. Feb 6 to Mon Feb 16 at Juan de Fuca Library in Colwood. Sooke Minor Fastball registration. Sat Feb 7. 10am to 12 noon. At SEAPARC. www.sookefastball.com [Also Feb 22, Mar 9, Mar 25 at various times] Family Fun Hike. Sat. Feb. 7. WithCRD parks naturalist at Thetis Lake. 1 to 2:30 pm Meet at main parking lot at Thetis Lake.All ages. www.crd.bc.caparks-events A Taste of BC. Sat. Feb.7. Fundraiser by Sooke Harbourside Lions. 7-9:30pm at EMCS. BC Family Day. Mon. Feb.9. Statutory holiday. Feb 14 Prize Draw! Value $100 Open Mon-Sat 6716 West Coast Rd Genacol: a collagen production contributor West Coast Natural Foods Drop off-pay by the bag: Household goods, kitchen scraps, wood, construction materials, tires & batteries, old paint, yard waste, electronics. 2049 Idlemore Rd in Sooke NEXT TO ARDENS SELF STORAGE Mon, Wed-Sat 8:30-5 | Sun 10-4 Free Scrap Metal Drop-Off Info: 250-642-5297 Friday, February 6, 2015 ::: SOOKE VOICE NEWS 250-642-2268 Free event postings courtesy as space permits. PRIORITY TO ADVERTISERS MORE EVENTS: www.sookevoicenews.com/Sooke-area-events.htm District of Sooke. Regular Council Meeting Tues. Feb.10 at 7 pm. SD62 Education Committee of the Whole. Tues. Feb.10 at Journey Middle School, 7 pm. www.sd62.bc.ca Sooke Voice News ~ deadline Wed.Feb.11 5pm for Feb13 Valentine’s edition. 10% off multi-week print/ online ads.250-642-7729 [email protected] Awareness Film Night. Wed.Feb.11. DamNation ~ damming of rivers. 7pm, EMCS, 6218 Sooke Rd. By donation. www.awarenessfilmnight.ca Sooke Midget A Raffle. Draw date: Fri. Feb.13. Prizes are tickets to Canucks games. Valentine’s Dinner Sat Feb 14 atWest Coast Grill, Prestige hotel. $55pp. Reservations: 778-425-0888 WE B VERSI ON Genacol Gift Pack [email protected] New to Sooke? New mom? Bride to be? www.sookevoicenews.com Supreme Court says yes to doctorassisted suicide The Supreme Court of Canada announced on February 6, 2015 their unanimous ruling that physicians may assist people with ending their life. The ruling only applies to competent adults with enduring, intolerable suffering who clearly consent to ending their lives. Federal and provincial governments have 12 months to develop legislation to respond to the ruling; the ban on do ctor-a ssiste d suic ide stands until then. If the government doesn't write a new law, the court's exemption for physicians will stand. The court also found an individual's response to "a grievous and irremediable medical condition" is a matter critical to their dignity and autonomy. The law already allows palliative sedation, refusing artificial nutrition and hydration, and refusing lifesustaining medical equipment. SVN Valentine’s spa all through February There are customized Valentine's specials for everyone at Le Sooke Spa for the full month of February. As well as couples and singles, there are gal-specials for girlfriends and mother-daughter. Spa and Dine is another feature, as well as Just for You & Her, and of course ‘just for him’ and ‘just for her’. “Valentine’s weekend fills up fast,” says Le Sooke Spa operator Michelle Glanfield-Bohn, “so we’re celebrating Valentine’s for the whole month of February!” The spa is located on the lo we r le ve l of t he Pre st ige Oceanfront Resort at 6929 West Coast Road in Sooke. www.lesookespa.com SVN ‘Purple Up’ Day An online ‘purple up’ day has been organized via social media this year encouraging members of the public to wear purple on Friday, February 6 to show support and break down the stigma surrounding eating disorders, says Island Health. Those who participate are asked to post their photos of themselves wearing purple on a locally organized Facebook page. One of the biggest myths about eating disorders is that it’s about being thin and driven by images in the media. Eating disorders are mental illnesses having little to do with looks, eating or beauty. In fact, most people will continue with the behaviour long after they reach REGISTER in the SEAPARC lobby: Sat Feb 7 [10 to 12 noon] Sun Feb 22 [1:30 to 3:30pm] Mon Mar 9 [4 to 6pm] Wed Mar 25 [6 to 8pm] Get the forms ahead of time at www.sookefastball.com and bring payment by cheques. Off to the bridal fair Local floral and gift shop owner Karen Bloom wares at a bridal fair on Sat. Feb 7 at the Bay Centre in downtown Victoria, 10am to 6 pm. She will have a display of wedding florals as well as some elegant place setting displays. SVN their “target” weight, said Island Health in a news release for Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Feb 1 to 7. Another myth around eating disorders is that it is a disease of teenage girls. Although the statistics for anorexia in males are not as well documented, it is estimated that up to one-quarter of people with anorexia are male. The disease can look different in males, where the focus could include eating foods to increase muscle mass and over-exercising. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa are two of the most common eating disorders with distinct signs and symptoms. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. SVN WE B VERSI ON This 2014/2015 flu season has seen only partial protection against the H3N2 flu virus from this year’s vaccine (about 23% effectiveness), as the H3N2 has mutated part-way through this year's flu season, says Island Health. On Vancouver Island there has been a high incidence of flu in 39 seniors care homes (down to eight as of the end of January), compared to rapid-spread in only one care home last year, says Island Health. Across Canada, as of January 31 there have been 4,079 hospitalizations for flu this season (up from 3,589 in just the past week) and 270 deaths (up from 236 at January 24). Over the last four flu seasons, the number of paediatric hospitalizations has been relatively stable, says the Public Health Agency of Canada. Help prevent the spread flu by frequently washing your hand, not sneezing toward other people, and staying home if you're not feeling well. SVN WE B VERSI ON Coast Capital awaits new ATMs Steaming soup Sooke Voice News WE B VERSI ON Be part of Sooke Minor Fastball’s rich heritage! 2015 Season! Kids 5-8 Learn To Play Ages 9-18 in organized league play W E B V E R S I O N Stones will be off to present her A Sea of H3N2 targets seniors in 2014/2015 Two ou tg oing ATMs were out of service on February 4 and 5 at the Sooke branch of Coast Capital Savings. The old ma chines had bee n moved to the opposite side of the lobby, pending installation of new machines. With the ATMs being unav ailable the re Bye-bye old Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) at the were long lineups at the Coast Capital Savings branch in Sooke. service counters. Installation of the new ATMs was expected either Thursday evening or Friday, February 6, according to branch management. Advance notice of the ATM downtime was not provided to customers. There was a sign on the door on the days that the service was unavailable. SVN Juan de Fuca NDP 7th Annual Valentine’s Fundraiser. Sat. Feb.14. Olympic View Golf Course. Dinner 7pm. $100 pp. [email protected] Victoria Cat Rescue Corps annual ‘spay/neuter blitz’ starting Mon Feb16 for a limited time. For cats of low-income pet owners. Stray/feral cats welcome. 250 656-1100 www.victoriacatrescue.com Sooke Region Tourism Association (SRTA) AGM. Wed. Feb.18. 7 to 9 pm at Sooke Harbour House. All who are interested in tourism are welcome. Tri-District Pro-D. Fri. Feb.20. Non-instructional day; all schools in Sooke & Greater Victoria area. Peoples Drug MartSooke ~ 25th Anniversary. Fri. Feb.20 & Sat Feb.21. Prizes, contests. The Sooke Fall Fair market on Sat Jan 31at Sooke Community Hall had a successful turnout, said organizer Ellen Lewers. “We had 11 vendors of many wonderful products and items. Great fun.” The Fall Fair will be holding another market on Feb 28 including plants, seeds and house- and garden-related items. “We will also be serving healthy steaming, organic leek, potato and kale soup, pumpkin soup, and organic turkey stew with the options of gluten-free or whole grain bread with a grilled cheese sandwich option.” The market runs 10am to 3pm. There will also be a healthy selection of muffins for breakfast or afternoon coffee. SVN BC Grants to arts & community More than $6.9 million is being provided to 277 artists, museums and arts organizations in 97 British Columbia communities as part of the latest round of successful BC Arts Council grant adjudications following BC Arts Council's independent peer-review process between Nov. 1, 2014 and Jan. 31, 2015. Sooke Community Arts Council has received $7,248 and the Sooke Region Historical Society was awarded $15,000 for operating assistance as a public museum. The West Shore Arts Council received $9,041 while the Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria received $23,842. Of the overall funding, $430,000 was awarded in total to 50 creative writers. The funding is part of the $24 million provided to the BC Arts Council by the BC Government to support the arts and culture sector in 2014-2015. SVN To S U B S C R I B E: [email protected] Throne Speech Feb. 10 Lt Gov Judith Gu ic ho n wi ll open the fourth session of the 40th Parliament of BC and read BC Lt Gov the speech from Judith Guichon the throne on Tuesday, February 10 at 2pm. Proceedings at the BC Parliament Buildings in Victoria will be webcast live st arti ng a t 1: 15 pm a t ThroneSpeechBC.ca SVN WE B VERSI ON Sooke Voice News 250.642.7729 Sooke & West Don’t miss a single issue! 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