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    Past editions in PDF format

    Click on the edition date to see the story index and a link to the PDF version

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    March-April 2017 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | HOW THE REFUGEE CRISIS IS PLAYING OUT IN VICTORIA
    America is slamming its door on refugees. Will Canada open its wider?
    14 Ross Crockford | A POOL OF MONEY, OLYMPIC-SIZED
    The City of Victoria wants to build a $70-million swimming pool but must
    first obtain consent from electors to borrow $60 million.
    14 Judith Lavoie | SHAWNIGAN WATER FEARS SPILL INTO ELECTION
    Environment Minister Polak cancelled South Island Aggregates’ wastewater discharge permit, but will the bad taste left behind impact the provincial election?  
    16 David Broadland | VICTORIA’S ICONIC, WORLD-CLASS BLUNDER
    Project promoters are still claiming the new bridge will be “world-class” and “iconic.” Unfortunately, they may be right.
    20 Judith Lavoie | BC’S CLIMATE DEBATE HEATS UP
    We analyzed the climate action strategies of BC’s political parties
    in the lead-up to May’s election.
    24 Alan Cassels | LETTER TO VICTORIA’S SOCCER MOMS
    The “selling sickness” model is in full display
    in pushing grade 6 boys towards a questionable vaccine.
    26 Briony Penn | WHALES OF THE SALISH SEA
    Despite all the noise, pollution and overfishing, the orca are still here.
    30 Ross Crockford | TALES OF TWO BOOKSELLERS
    Mel Bolen and Jim Munro built monuments to the written word.
    32 Aaren Madden | FULL CIRCLE
    Artist Susan Point has pushed boundaries for women and Coast Salish design.
    50 Robin J. Miller | ROBB BERESFORD IS BACK IN TOWN
    Former Ballet Victoria star returns to Victoria
    with renowned Alonzo King LINES Ballet of San Francisco.
    52 Amy Reiswig | SILKY SASS AND SECRET LIVES
    The Millies give voice to their daring, fun-loving, 
    theatrical selves in a benefit for Hospice.
    54 Monica Prendergast | ALICE MUNRO, WORD FOR WORD
    The Belfry gives us two stories from Canada’s beloved Nobel-winner.
    56 Amy Reiswig | SACRED HERB / DEVIL’S WEED
    Andrew Struthers takes readers on a long,
    strange—and fun—trip through marijuana and human culture.
    58 Gene Miller | COMMUNITY IS PERISHABLE
    And somebody should definitely do something about this sometime.
    60 Maleea Acker | LOUISE GOULET: PLANT SALVAGER AND CONSERVATIONIST
    Preserving the flora of the Garry Oak meadow ecosystem in the face of development.
    62 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | EULOGY VIRTUES
    What makes people truly good?
     
    admin
    Jan-Feb 2017 Focus.pdf
     
    4 David Broadland | HOW IS THE AMERICAN ELECTION LIKE ALBERTA’S OIL SANDS?
    North Americans are becoming increasingly innumerate and vulnerable to disinformation.
    6 Blaise Salmon | LIBERALS NOT PROTECTING DRINKING WATER
    Any quarry can apply for a permit to accept contaminated waste,
    regardless of where it is located.
    14 David Broadland | ALBERTA’S DEATH GRIP ON CANADA
    Trudeau linked approval of Trans Mountain to Alberta’s “cap”
    on oil sands emissions. Has that cap already been exceeded?
    18 Judith Lavoie | NDP AND LIBERALS WALK A TIGHTROPE ON TRANS MOUNTAIN
    The road to election success in BC is paved with pipeline pitfalls.
    20 Briony Penn | TRANS MOUNTAIN: WHEN THE BITUMEN HITS THE FAN
    British Columbians gear up with court challenges, protest plans,
    and voting campaigns to prevent the pipeline.
    22 Leslie Campbell | GETTING GROWTH RIGHT
    The Capital Region’s population is expected to grow to 442,000
    in the next 20 years. Where are we going to put everyone?
    28 Alan Cassels | HIGH ON DRUG INDUSTRY DONATIONS?
    Policies friendly to the manufacturers of prescription drugs
    bear a lot of responsibility for the current opioid crisis.
    30 Katherine Palmer Gordon | ON SHAKY GROUND
    Our correspondent was in Wellington, New Zealand when a M7.8 earthquake
    struck in November. Her experience illustrates what could be in store for Victoria.
    34 Aaren Madden | THE FULLNESS OF EMPTINESS
    Karel Doruyter’s forest landscapes contemplate
    the monumental presence that can be found in places of isolation.
    52 Mollie Kaye | DUBINSKY’S DELIGHT
    In honour of their 30th anniversary, the Lafayette String Quartet
    performs Shostakovich’s complete string quartet cycle.
    54 Monica Prendergast | WITHER THE CRITIC?
    What role does theatre criticism play in a post-truth world?
    56 Amy Reiswig | JAN ZWICKY: THE LONG WALK
    What do you really need on the long walk
    besides a humble, open mind and the courage to see?
    58 Gene Miller | DOUGIE
    Douglas Street, once fully invested with life and social purpose, now seems diminished.
    60 Maleea Acker | TOWARDS REWILDING A CITY CREEK
    Dorothy Field explains her passion for Rock Bay Creek,
    which once flowed from Fernwood to the Inner Harbour.
    62 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | STEWARDSHIP IS ITS OWN REWARD
    Musings on making the transition away from fossil fuels.
    admin
    November 2014 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | LEVELLING THE PLAYING FIELD
    In seeking a fairer election process, for starters, follow the money.
     
    10 Andrew Weaver | ON EMISSIONS, LNG, AND A NEW VISION FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
    The shift to reducing emission intensity from absolute reductions is an illusion of action. What’s needed is a shift
    in direction to develop clean tech industries.
     
    12 David Broadland | END-OF-TERM REPORT CARD 
    Key votes at City Hall raise questions about the judgment of some councillors seeking re-election. 
     
    14 Judith Lavoie | STEPHEN ANDREW: NO POLITICAL BAGGAGE
    Journalist Stephen Andrew’s candidacy was catalyzed by Mayor Fortin’s lack of answers about the Johnson Street Bridge.
     
    16 Katherine Gordon | LISA HELPS: WELCOMING YOUR IDEAS TO CITY HALL
    Helps wants the public more directly and meaningfully consulted before decisions are made by City Hall.
     
    18 Judith Lavoie | IDA CHONG: READY TO TAKE CHARGE
    An energetic downtown and fiscal restraint are among Ida Chong’s priorities.
     
    20 David Broadland | RICHARD ATWELL: CRITICAL THINKING ON COMMUNITY ISSUES
    Mayoral candidate would provide stronger leadership and open up Saanich and the CRD to greater public involvement.
     
    24 Aaren Madden | AS SHE SEES IT
    Artist Blythe Scott makes the familiar new again with personal impressions of place.
     
    38 Monica Prendergast | ON THE ART OF WATCHING
    Three productions in November illustrate how theatre helps us grow.
     
    40 Amy Reiswig | REFLECTIONS OF CANADA AND DEMOCRACY
    Elizabeth May’s new book is a call to take back Canada.
     
    42 Gene Miller | VOTE FOR MAYOR SQUISHY
    Who the hell thought up Ida Chong? And other insider tips...
     
    46 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | CREATING RESILIENCE
    The surest ways to safeguard our neighbourhoods.
    admin
    December 2014 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | FROM ONE ELECTION TO ANOTHER…
    Why do we spend more than twice as much on prisons as we spend on young children?
     
    10 David Broadland | LISA’S LANDSLIDE AND THE ATWELL ATTACK 
    Theories on why the region’s two most powerful mayors lost their jobs on November 15.
     
    14 Judith Lavoie | TRANS MOUNTAIN PIPELINE HEATS UP
    Critics complain the National Energy Board hearings are a farce; Kinder Morgan plays hardball and arrests begin.
     
    16 Briony Penn | WHEN VOTER SUPPRESSION COMES CALLING
    A new documentary and public forum in Victoria in January will shed light on election fraud in Canada.
     
    18 Aaren Madden | NOTHING IS MISSED
    A new book provides a glimpse into Godfrey Stephens’ remarkable life and art.
     
    32 Amy Reiswig | GARTH MARTENS: PROLOGUE TO THE AGE OF CONSEQUENCE
    A poet explores the oil sands through the eyes of its workers.
     
    34 Roszan Holmen | E&N: MORE RED LIGHTS AHEAD?
    Records recently obtained by FOI show that after explicit warnings about the condition of the E&N Railway tracks in 2009, the BC Safety Authority allowed 22 months of further deterioration before passenger service was finally terminated in 2011. Now, with $20 million in public money allocated to upgrade tracks and restart service, critics say the plan is under-funded, won’t provide long-term safety, and therefore isn’t worth pursuing. At the same time, impassioned advocates see rail as a low-carbon solution to the increasingly congested and accident-prone Island Highway—and a potential boon for tourism.
     
    42 Gene Miller | HOW TALL IS GOD?
    Belief in a Seven-Days-of-Creation God or any other fabulation bout beginnings is simply post-Paleolithic ooga-booga.
     
    44 Briony Penn | COMMUNITY INTERVENTION FOR LOCAL PARKS NEEDED
    Who knew? There are 42 provincial parks, from the southern Gulf Islands to Port Renfrew, that need your help.
     
    46 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | THE SOUL FELT ITS WORTH
    Tailoring Christmas celebrations to your own sense of meaning.
    admin
    January 2015 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | CAN WE TRUST OUR DEMOCRACY?
    The use of robocalls and other “voter suppression” tactics suggests we can’t.
     
    10 Sonia Théroux | HOW TO WIN AN ELECTION
    Bring disengaged citizens back to the polls.
     
    12 David Broadland | THE CASE AGAINST MCLOUGHLINISM 
    Will Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen and Victoria’s Dwayne Kalynchuk lead the region’s big issue back to a gunfight at McLoughlin Point?
     
    16 Katherine Palmer Gordon | UNCHARTED TERRITORY
    Failure to protect First Nations graves on Grace Islet may lead to the first aboriginal title claim on private property in BC.
     
    20 Judith Lavoie | KINDER MORGAN'S FAIRY TALE
    The Houston-based pipeline company says it’s a good corporate citizen but its record in Canada doesn’t support that claim.
     
    22 Briony Penn | THE GREAT BEAR: WORTH MORE ALIVE THAN DEAD
    Will adventure tourism and forest stewardship trump logging, pipelines and hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest?
     
    24 Aaren Madden THE SUM OF EXPERIENCES
    Jeremy Herndl’s landscape paintings push visual representation into a multisensory realm.
     
    36 Monica Prendergast | BEST ON STAGE
    The “Spotlight Critics Choice Awards.”
     
    38 Amy Reiswig | OF THE COAST AND ITS CREATURES
    Ian McAllister’s latest book immerses readers in the magic of the Great Bear Rainforest, as well as the threats to its health.
     
    44 Gene Miller | THE 90-MINUTE SOLUTION
    If we’re going to invest in a pricey new McKenzie Avenue intersection, let’s charge commuters for stop-reduced driving.
     
    46 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | HERE’S TO AN INNOVATIVE NEW YEAR
    Lucky for us there are folks taking initiative on some ingenious and beneficial ideas.
    admin
    February 2015 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | FIGHT? OR PLAY NICE TILL IT’S OVER?
    Green candidate Jo-Ann Roberts reflects on why a strong public broadcaster is important to democracy.
     
    10 David Broadland | THE TC’S COVERAGE OF RICHARD ATWELL 
    In their coverage of two stories, was the local daily concocting a case for an overturn of November’s election in Saanich?
     
    14 Judith Lavoie | PARTY AT THE PUMPS
    The low price of oil is raising big questions around pipeline proposals, BC’s carbon tax, emissions, and consumer behavior.
     
    16 Alan Cassels | VACCINATION INSURANCE
    A Victoria resident spearheads a national vaccine compensation movement.
     
    18 Katherine Palmer Gordon | PLUNDERING THE CARBON SINK
    The extraordinary potential of Vancouver Island forests to sequester carbon is being lost due to government inaction.
     
    22 Derry McDonell | THE EASTSIDE-WESTSIDE SPLIT
    Will breaking into two groups create a consensus solution on sewage treatment? Or new unresolvable problems?
     
    26 Aaren Madden | ENERGETIC UNIVERSE
    Using the fundamentals of gesture, line and colour, Gillian Redwood paints invisible energies into visible form.
     
    40 Monica Prendergast | ABSENT MOTHERS AND PRESENT SONS
    This month the Belfry helps us explore the bonds and tensions between mothers and sons (with both laughs and tears).
     
    42 Amy Reiswig | KNITTING STORIES
    In her most recent book, Sylvia Olsen tells stories of knitting relationships as well as wool.
     
    44 Gene Miller | VICKY GOT LUCKY
    This City has been managed by stewards, not visionaries…until now.
     
    46 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | ENOUGH WITH THE SELFIE CULTURE
    How about a bucket list for the Earth instead?
    admin
    March 2016 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | THE DEER QUESTION
    Living with wildlife can be a community-building project. Oak Bay chose a different path.
     
    14 David Broadland | PENNY-WISE, POUND-FOOLISH 
    The recommended level of seismic protection for the new bridge was secretly lowered as construction costs escalated.
     
    18 Judith Lavoie | DIVESTMENT COOLS TAR SANDS
    Divestment on its own won’t keep fossil fuel reserves in the ground—but it might help.
     
    20 Briony Penn | BC’S EXPENSIVE FISH FARMS
    The federal government seems intent on propping up corporate fish farming despite the high costs.
     
    24 David Broadland | McLOUGHLINISM IN RETREAT?
    In trying to save the McLoughlin Point plan, CRD staff instead shoot it in the foot.
     
    26 Aaren Madden | COLOURFUL HISTORIES
    Nancy Ruhl’s paintings offer vivid homage to domestic architecture while documenting a changing cityscape.
     
    40 Robin J Miller | FROM THE FAVELAS OF BRAZIL
    Dance Victoria brings Compagnie Käfig to the Royal Theatre, March 13 and 14.
     
    42 Amy Reiswig | THE ENEMY IS PINK LEGO
    Jordan Stratford’s feminist adventure story helps girls reboot their own reality.
     
    44 Gene Miller | WHEN I’M 164
    Past cultures were gone in a generational eye-blink. Strap in, brothers and sisters!
     
    46 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL
    A small house doesn’t have to be a compromise.
    admin
    April 2015 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | PEEKING BEHIND CAMPAIGN CURTAINS
    Campaign finance reforms are welcome but the Province refuses to restrict donations.
     
    10 Murray Rankin | AN EARTH DAY MESSAGE
    Stephen Harper’s indifference to climate change could mean Canada will lose the opportunity for clean energy investment and jobs.
     
    12 Leslie Campbell | AT A GLANCE  
    The sewage treatment and deer cull issues.
     
    14 David Broadland | THE FOX IS IN THE CHICKEN HOUSE  
    Victoria City Council has been fooled again on the Johnson Street Bridge project.
     
    18 Katherine Palmer Gordon | SAVING GRACE
    At a March longhouse ceremony, a cabinet minister promises change, but First Nations are still wary.
     
    20 Judith Lavoie | PETROSTATE CLAMPDOWN
    Critics of proposed “anti-terrorism” legislation see it as part of the Conservative’s push to quell opposition to petroleum-related projects.
     
    22 Derry McDonell | A-WORD CONVERSATION BEGINS
    Academics weigh in on the amalgamation question.
     
    26 Aaren Madden | A HAPPY NOTE
    Using light and shadow, technique and subject matter, Clement Kwan paints to bring joy to viewers.
     
    40 Monica Prendergast | PORTRAYING RACE ON STAGE
    An upcoming production of Madama Butterfly encourages discussion of how to represent race properly in theatre.
     
    42 Amy Reiswig | SUPER UNEQUAL BC
    Through statistics and personal stories, Andrew MacLeod delves into the realities and costs of poverty in BC.
     
    44 Gene Miller | VICTORIA: iCAPITAL OF CANADA?
    The task of positioning Victoria as a centre for innovation and investment demands, among other things, desire.
     
    46 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | GOOD NEWS FOR PLODDERS
    More is not better, and actually, more could be worse, says one cardiologist.
    admin

    By admin, in Past editions in PDF format,

    May 2015 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | CAUTIONARY TALES ON THE ROAD TO BOLD AND INNOVATIVE
    It’s political will—not ideas—that we’ve been missing in reducing homelessness.
     
    10 Elizabeth May | 2015: the year that must change everything. How we can make up for nine years of lost time?
     
    12 David Broadland | THE WHISTLE BLOWER’S TALE   
    Did Saanich staff conspire to spy on the newly-elected mayor?
     
    18 Judith Lavoie | SHAWNIGAN LAKE BATTLE ESCALATES
    With legal costs already over $1 million, the traumatized community continues its fight against a contaminated soil dump.
     
    20 Briony Penn | LORI AND GOLIATH
    A scientific communicator takes on big oil and its so-called regulator.
     
    24 Derry McDonell | A-WORD CONVERSATION CONTINUES
    Former BC Premier Mike Harcourt tells a pro-amalgamation crowd that citizens will have to lead the way.
     
    26 Aaren Madden | OYSTERCATCHER GIRL
    Anne Hansen paints joyful natural images as antidote to social injustices.
     
    40 Monica Prendergast | PLAYS WITH SOMETHING TO SAY
    Social commentary abounds in the upcoming UNO Fest.
     
    42 Amy Reiswig | THE MYSTERY
    The complexities of our relations with other animals are explored in a new anthology.
     
    44 Gene Miller | ENRIQUE’S FATAL ERROR
    There’s nothing like a crisis—even if it’s someone else’s—to remind us that the true meaning of life is survival itself.
     
    46 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | RATS!
    They love the Garden City too.
    admin
    June 2015 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | MEDIA AS WEAPONS OF MASS DISTRACTION
    Whistle blowers, citizen activists and persistent journalists are the antidote.
     
    10 David Broadland | THE WHISTLE BLOWER’S TALE: PART 2
    The spyware installed on Mayor-elect Richard Atwell’s computer was only one of three IT strategies that targeted him.
     
    14 Judith Lavoie | DRAFTING THE REGION’S FUTURE   
    While Mike Hicks fears the Regional Sustainability Strategy’s teeth will bite his community, others say they aren’t sharp enough.
     
    16 Katherine Palmer Gordon | MORTON VS DFO
    You’d think Fisheries and Oceans Canada would be on the side of wild salmon. Think again.
     
    18 Leslie Campbell | INGMAR’S WORRY
    Do articulated tug barges, each carrying millions of gallons of hydrocarbon fuels, pose a threat to our coast?
     
    20 David Broadland | KALYNCHUK’S LEGACY
    The CRD is fighting to prevent release of a record that could show how badly they estimated one of the costs of sewage treatment.
     
    22 Ray Grigg | THE FUTURE IS PLASTIC
    World Oceans Day on June 8 is a good time to ponder our use and abuse of plastic and how it impacts the environment.
     
    26 Aaren Madden | REVISITING THE SIXTIES SCENE
    Legacy’s new exhibition illustrates a formative time in Victoria’s modern art history.
     
    38 Mollie Kaye | IMMERSION IN THE SOUND
    Ensemble Laude presents two concerts in June, displaying the power of choral music.
     
    40 Amy Reiswig | A HEALING PLACE
    A visual and literary homage to Tod Inlet, its history, nature, and people.
     
    42 Gene Miller | SEDUCTION BY THE TECHNOCRATS
    Amalgamation may destroy that which makes this place meaningful.
     
    44 Briony Penn | POETIC JUSTICE
    A sense of humour and humility are essential as settlers wade into the rich intertidal zone of decolonization.
     
    46 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | OVERCOMING GODZILLA
    Despite federal neglect, local youth are taking meaningful action.
    admin
    July-August 2015 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | A LIFE-SAVER
    Will Victoria take responsibility to provide safe consumption services?
     
    10 Ray Grigg | CANADA’S SHAME
    If Vladimir Putin is politically “troublesome,”
    Stephan Harper is his environmental equivalent.
     
    12 David Broadland and Daniel Palmer | INVESTIGATIONS into INVESTIGATIONS
    News of a secret investigation involving Saanich’s interim CAO Andy Laidlaw may throw the District into more turmoil.
     
    18 Briony Penn | WAR IN THE WOODS II?
    Eight planned cutblocks in the Walbran are raising the temperature among those concerned about BC’s old-growth forests.
     
    22 Katherine Palmer Gordon | GETTING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY
    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report calls for a massive shift in how Canada conducts itself in relation to Aboriginal people.
     
    26 Aaren Madden | WHERE THE WHALES COME IN
    Marika Swan finds personal guidance and artistic inspiration in her people’s spiritual connection to whales.
     
    40 Monica Prendergast | A DELICIOUS SUMMER THEATRE MENU
    Shakespeare, queer, the Goose, the Fringe and more.
     
    42 Amy Reiswig | BUILDING A HOUSE TOGETHER
    Two books expand the conversation on how, together, indigenous and settler people can create a new story.
     
    44 Gene Miller | AGGRESSIVE RECYCLING BEATS AGGRESSIVE PANHANDLING
    Contemporary circumstances, including shrinking governments, demand that we, the human family, be socially innovative.
     
    46 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | THE AGE OF IRRESPONSIBILITY
    What’s happening on our roads is a microcosm of what seems to be ailing society in general.
    admin
    September 2015 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | SUMMER’S BOUNTY
    Animals, vegetables, and a thought-provoking book.
     
    8 Jo-Ann Roberts | STOP HARPER—AND BEYOND
    Victorians who want to stop Harper might also want to elect an MP who is free to speak the truth.
     
    10 David Broadland | THE $130-MILLION QUESTION
    The Johnson Street Bridge project director says the new bridge will be “somewhat less robust” than the existing bridge. Why?
     
    14 Judith Lavoie | AT ISSUE: KINDER MORGAN’S TRANS MOUNTAIN PIPELINE
    Where do the parties stand on allowing another 890,000 barrels of tar sands bitumen to be shipped past Victoria each day?
     
    16 Briony Penn | SONORA OLD-GROWTH FORESTS TO FEED PENSIONERS?
    Owned by government pension plans, TimberWest appears set to ignore a Forest Practices Board finding about its logging on the island.
     
    18 Aaren Madden | THE MIRACLE BEFORE US
    By re-presenting landscapes with views both intimate and monumental, Brent Lynch invokes the sanctity of the everyday.
     
    32 Monica Prendergast | GENDER EQUITY IN THEATRE
    A recent report suggests not enough has changed for women in theatre.
     
    34 Amy Reiswig | THE FIGHT FOR REAL FOOD
    From Madrona Farm in the Blenkinsop Valley, a new book explores a global vision rooted in the earth.
     
    36 Alan Cassels | THE ORTHOPAEDIC WAITING GAME
    Vancouver Island’s aging baby boomers, coupled with stretched budgets and operating rooms,have created a perfect storm for timely access to needed joint surgery.
     
    42 Gene Miller | WAR BETWEEN WORLDS
    Contemporary circumstances, including shrinking governments, demand that we, the human family, be socially innovative.
     
    44 Maleea Acker | MANY SWALLOWS MAKE A SUMMER
    Malcolm Rodin volunteers his time to nurture native (mosquito-eating) songbirds.
     
    46 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | IF I HAD A HAMMER…
    Provide a home and the rest follows.
    admin
    October 2015 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | WHEN SPIN DOCTORS MAKE POLICY
    The provincial LNG fiction-writing exercise has some lessons towards October 19.
     
    10 Cheryl Thomas | WHY YOUR VOTE COUNTS
    Halting the decay of our democracy isn’t difficult. It starts with valuing your vote.
     
    12 David Broadland | AN ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE
    There’s no scientific case for sewage treatment in Victoria, but the community faces a billion-dollar price tag anyway. Where do the candidates stand?
     
    16 Judith Lavoie | MURRAY RANKIN V. CANADA
    Rankin acted on behalf of an American mining corporation in its successful bid to sue Canada using NAFTA.
     
    18 Briony Penn | LEGISLATED VOTER SUPRESSION
    The Unfair Election Act is coming soon—very soon—to a polling station near you.
     
    20 Liz McArthur | CANNABIS COWBOYS
    Why are marijuana dispensaries the growth business in Victoria?
     
    22 Katherine Palmer Gordon | A CHANGE OF FOCUS
    As she leaves us, our correspondent reflects on a decade of First Nations treaty negotiations, court rulings and attempts at reconciliation.
     
    24 Aaren Madden | A SERIES OF SMALL ABSTRACTIONS
    Rod Charlesworth celebrates both place and paint.
     
    38 John Threlfall | THE VIEW FROM HERE
    Geographic and cultural history combine in a bold new play about one of Victoria’s most infamous locations.
     
    40 Amy Reiswig | THE REAL THING
    Briony Penn’s new biography of beloved BC conservation hero Ian McTaggart Cowan.
     
    42 Gene Miller | SPARE CHANGE
    That $90 extra million on the bridge could have transformed Victoria.
     
    44 Maleea Acker | SALMON RESURGENCE
    Thanks in part to volunteers like Dorothy Chambers, coho salmon are thriving in Colquitz River—but for how long?
     
    46 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | THE PROBLEM WITH SITTING ON YOUR BALLOT
    Low voter turnout in 2011 allowed a small minority of Canadians to elect a majority government.
    admin
    November 2015.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | THE LAST STRATEGIC VOTE
    Let’s make sure that next time we can vote our conscience and know it will count.
     
    10 Bill McKibben | EXXON’S CLIMATE LIE
    Decades ago the company’s scientists warned about climate change but Exxon executives chose to fund doubt.
     
    12 David Broadland | THE ORIGINS OF SPYYNICH
    Was the surveillance software installed on the newly-elected mayor’s  computer by Saanich staff a case of tit for tat?
     
    14 David Broadland | BRIDGE EXPENSE MOUNTS
    Would the new bridge survive a collision with common sense?
     
    16 Judith Lavoie | HOMELESSNESS INITIATIVE: GLIMMER OF HOPE OR “FART IN THE AIR”?
    “Housing First” is easier in theory than in practice, especially given multiple municipalities and lack of senior government support.
     
    18 Briony Penn | CERMAQ V. THE PEOPLE
    The rise and fall of fish farming in Ahousaht territory.
     
    20 Alan Cassels | THE SLIPPERY STATS ON FLU VACCINES
    Are flu shots 60 percent effective? Or are they 3 percent effective in a good year and 1 percent in a bad year? 
     
    22 Aaren Madden | PEN TO PAPER
    Amy Frank’s art practice encompasses creative expression, advocacy and powerful coping tools in her struggle with mental illness.
     
    36 Mollie Kaye | MUSIC FROM 1000 YEARS AGO
    An early music ensemble from France is expected to perform magic at Alix Goolden Hall this month.
     
    38 Monica Prendergast | SAYING BIG THINGS SMALL
    Ronnie Burkett returns to town this month with his puppets and improvisational-style theatre.
     
    40 Amy Reiswig | ON ORIGINS AND ENDINGS
    Arleen Paré explores tiny but sometimes momentous moments of intersection, where we connect unexpectedly.
     
    42 Gene Miller | GIMME SHELTER
    The homeless on Victoria’s downtown streets offer a full-colour snapshot of response failure.
     
    44 Maleea Acker | MALTBY LAKE'S ECOLOGICAL WONDERS
    Carmel and Woody Thomson show how love of place can keep it safe.
     
    46 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | THE MAN WHO FELL FROM THE SKY
    The story of a young soldier from Victoria helps us remember why we should strive for peace.
    admin
    December 2015.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | EMBRACING DECARBONIZATION
    It’s time for Christy Clark to wake up from her LNG dream before it becomes a nightmare for the rest of us.
     
    10 10 Marine Scientists | SCIENTISTS TO CRD: PETITION THE FEDS FOR RECLASSIFICATION
    Marine scientists plead for an evidence-based approach to developing sewage treatment for Victoria.
     
    12 David Broadland | THE CHINESE WELDING RUSE
    As the cost for a new bridge marches towards $150 million, explanations from City Hall seem designed to distract rather than inform.
     
    14 Judith Lavoie | PUTTING THE GAG WHERE IT BELONGS
    Scientists and policy experts on the Harper government’s well-loathed practice of replacing scientific evidence with PR spin.
     
    16 Briony Penn | 100 days OF DESTRUCTION
    BC Hydro accused of divide-and-conquer tactics among Peace River Valley First Nations.
     
    18 Rob Wipond | PROVINCE TO REIN IN POLICE CHIEF ASSOCIATIONS?
    A surprise government announcement could lead to the resolution of long-standing controversies about police secrecy.
     
    20 Alan Cassels | HEALTH VOICES CO-OPTED
    The Ministry of Health’s attempt to privatize the voice of patients does not have a promising prognosis. 
     
    22 Liz McArthur | NEW CANADIANS INCOMING
    Victoria prepares to help Syrian refugees make a new home.
     
    24 Aaren Madden | SELF PRESERVATION
    Joanne Thomson’s new paintings, inspired by her grandparents’ life, transforms the pain of family secrets.
     
    38 Monica Prendergast | SPIT DELANEY’S ISLAND
    Jack Hodgins’ novel has been reworked into a new play by Charles Tidler.
     
    40 Amy Reiswig | THE POWER IN YOUR HANDS
    45 Years of Fooling Around with A. Banana: a book and an exhibit.
     
    42 Gene Miller | TOMORROWLAND
    Let’s make Victoria a model for the new economy.
     
    44 Maleea Acker | JACQUES SIROIS’ BIOSPHERE DREAMS
    Nurturing herring would allow other species to rebound in the Salish Sea area.
     
    46 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | SHARING OUR BLESSINGS
    This Christmas season, let’s envision our city as an inn that truly has room for everyone.
    admin
    January 2016 Focus.pdf
     
    4 David Broadland | COMMISSIONER LOWE’S OPEN WINDOW
    The Commissioner’s report, by example, challenges other government officials to meet his high standard for transparency.
     
    10 Ken Wu | IN TERMS OF EMISSIONS, LOGGING THE WALBRAN MAKES NO SENSE
    If the BC government were serious about addressing climate change, it would protect old-growth forests.
     
    12 David Broadland | ENVIRONMENT CANADA’S BILLION-DOLLAR screw-up
    A study by DFO scientists found that secondary sewage treatment will have a negligible effect on environmental conditions in our waters.
     
    16 Leslie Campbell | INTENT CITY
    The encampment at the law courts grounds provides evidence of our collective failure to meet the need for housing.
     
    18 Judith Lavoie | SCIENTISTS: SPLIT DFO IN TWO
    Is the new government open to hearing scientists’ arguments that DFO cannot protect both industry and fish?
     
    20 Aaren Madden | THE SUM OF ITS PARTS
    With his unique medium, sculptor Roland Gatin fuses stone to build connections and explore ideas.
     
    34 Mollie Kaye | LORRAINE MIN COMES HOME
    Acclaimed pianist will perform Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.1 on January 23 at the Royal Theatre.
     
    36 Robin J Miller | MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
    Out Innerspace Dance Theatre premières its latest creation in Victoria, January 29 & 30.
     
    38 Amy Reiswig | FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE FUTURE
    Guy Dauncey’s new novel envisions an urban ecotopia.
     
    40 Gene Miller | THE PLUMBER’S DILEMMA
    The delusional desire for amalgamation.
     
    42 Maleea Acker | CARING FOR KWETAL IN MEEGAN
    Cheryl Bryce’s Community Tool Shed.
     
    44 Briony Penn | 100 PERCENT PURE WHAT?
    Most of New Zealand has been deforested due to agriculture, impacting biodiversity, water quality and the climate.
     
    46 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH ONE TREE
    2016: A good year for championing everything local.
    admin
    February 2016 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | OUR FOCUS IS CHANGING
    After 28 years as a monthly, we’re going to decarbonize a bit.
     
    12 David Broadland | OPTION 10: OUR best bet to avoid sewercide? Fisheries Act requirements for sewage treatment in Victoria could be met for less than $200 million.
     
    16 Judith Lavoie | STANDOFF AT POLAK SPRINGS
    Shawnigan Lake residents dig in for a long fight to protect their water from a controversial contaminated soil landfill.
     
    18 Alan Cassels | WHOSE SECRET INSTRUCTIONS WASTED $100 MILLION?
    The likely cost of the unjustified firing of eight Ministry of Health researchers is staggering, yet no one has been held accountable.
     
    20 Briony Penn | TRANS MOUNTAIN OPPONENTS GET BOOST FROM FEDS
    How the National Energy Board found itself under attack by everyone in January.
     
    22 Aaren Madden | ILLUMINATING THE EVERYDAY
    Barbara Callow uses light to bring life to the painted form.
     
    36 Mollie Kaye | CALLING YOUR INNER GYPSY
    Swain on swing: The 5th Annual Victoria Django Festival.
     
    38 Monica Prendergast | THE VALLEY
    Issues around policing and mental health lie at the heart of award-winning playwright Joan MacLeod’s work.
     
    40 Amy Reiswig | NATURE IS FORECLOSING
    The Climate Nexus calls for a transformative discussion on adapting our life-support systems to climate change.
     
    42 Gene Miller | SEWERCIDE
    Local politicians are bumbling toward a multi-billion-dollar sewage treatment plan the community doesn’t need.
     
    44 Maleea Acker | A BIRDING EVANGELIST’S BIG YEAR
    Knowing our fellow creatures inspires Ann Nightingale’s passion.
     
    46 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | SNUGGLE UP WITH KOSELIGHET
    The yarn that keeps us knitted together, especially through winter.
    admin
    March-April 2016 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | MOVING FROM THEM TO US
    A tent city on provincial land has pushed the Province a little closer toward a solution to homelessness in Victoria.
     
    12 Brian Burchill | GIVE US RESPONSIBLE, RATIONAL SEWAGE STEWARDSHIP
    Is it time to head to Ottawa to discuss Victoria’s mistaken and expensive risk classification for sewage treatment?
     
    14 David Broadland | CRAP AND CORRUPTION
    The sewage and bridge projects are wasting millions in public money, including the cost of hiding those costs.
     
    16 David Broadland | DEVIL’S MOUNTAIN FAULT: FRIGHTENING IMPLICATIONS
    Scientists recently confirmed an active seismic fault that could generate a large earthquake lies within 5 kilometres of downtown Victoria.
     
    22 Judith Lavoie | THE HOLY GRAIL OF LNG
    The quest of Christy Clark’s government for a BC LNG industry has taken on an increasingly mythical quality.
     
    24 Leslie Campbell | FEAR AND FUNDING IN Las VICTORIA
    Mayor Helps’ forceful push to a billion-dollar sewage facility at Rock Bay takes some twists and turns—and ain’t done yet.
     
    28 Lisa Cordasco | BANKRUPT IN BC
    New laws meant to protect BC consumers who are drowning in debt may not go far enough.
     
    32 Aaren Madden | IN HIS ELEMENT
    Wildlife artist and environmentalist Mark Hobson’s arrival at his beloved, secluded floating studio has been a lifelong journey.
     
    44 Mollie Kaye | PAYING HOMAGE TO THOSE WHO SHAPED JAZZ
    Last call for this season’s Sunday afternoon “tribute” concerts at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
     
    52 Monica Prendergast | MATTERS OF CLASS
    Some upcoming plays are designed to shake us down to our middle class roots.
     
    54 Amy Reiswig | TOWARDS A LIFE OF INTEGRITY
    Set in a US community in conflict over civil rights and the Viet Nam war, Tricia Dower’s novel explores the essential fight for self-expression.
     
    56 Gene Miller | PRACTICING HOPE AND BUYING TIME
    A meditation while picking litter in the perfected landscape of Beacon Hill Park.
     
    58 Maleea Acker | THE MISKELLYS’ PASSION
    Nurturing native species, young farmers and the land.
     
    60 Briony Penn | UNLIKELY ALLIES IN A COMPLEX ECOSYSTEM
    Reflections on the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement cannot leave out Chief Qwatsinas.
     
    62 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | THE JOYS OF SOUP
    When the world seems crazy, chopping and stewing conserve sanity and the Earth.
    admin
    May-June 2016 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | OUR LIMITED RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH
    BC’s defamation laws are downgrading our democracy.
     
    12 David Broadland | QUASHING THE PUBLIC INTEREST
    Mayor Helps and the CRD seem to have lost sight of whom they are serving.
     
    14 Judith Lavoie | THE CHILL IN SHAWNIGAN LAKE
    People who have publicly expressed concern about a contaminated soil dump
    are being threatened with defamation suits.
     
    18 Roszan Holmen | CRITICAL CROSSROADS FOR RAIL ON THE ISLAND
    Island politicians support rail—but not rail management.
     
    20 Briony Penn | FIGHTING FOR THE SALISH SEA
    With 18 large port expansion projects around the Salish Sea,
    how’s an ecosystem to survive the influx of tanker traffic?
     
    22 David Broadland | WASHINGTON’S PHONY SEWAGE WAR WITH VICTORIA
    Puget Sound is a mess of sewage and toxic chemical discharges.
    Should Victoria taxpayers have to pay for Seattle’s sins?
     
    30 Aaren Madden | WALKING IN THE GARDEN WITH ROBIN
    Robin Hopper’s legacy in ceramics encompasses production,
    education, publications, institutions—and a beautiful garden.
     
    42 Robin J. Miller | GIVING VOICE TO A GENERATION LOST TO AIDS
    Illustrating resilience, generosity and bravery,
    The Missing Generation opens our hearts.
     
    50 Monica Prendergast | IN AND OUTS AT INTREPID THEATRE
    Janet Munsil may be departing, but Intrepid is forging ahead.
     
    54 Amy Reiswig | WATER, TRUST AND TRUTH
    Andrew Nikiforuk writes about one woman’s battle
    to protect her water from fracking and our lives from corporate lies.
     
    58 Gene Miller | SOFTISM
    Maintaining Victoria’s soft edges may be worth a hard fight.
     
    60 Maleea Acker | BIG TREES, BIG DREAMS
    James Clowater’s urban arboreal vision.
     
    62 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | CHRISTY’S IMPOSSIBLE DREAM
    Realities like increased GHGs just get processed in the Premier’s political mix-master.
     
    admin
    July-Aug 2016 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | SEEKING REASON IN A SEA OF SOUND BITES
    Here’s to a summer of books, reason and love.
     
    10 David Broadland | VICTORIA’S SEWAGE FIASCO AND THE POLITICS OF CONTAMINATION
    Contamination of local politics by a false pretence and a toxic promise requires primary treatment at the ballot box.
     
    18 Leslie Campbell | SPEAKING UP FOR SENIORS
    BC’s Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie makes the case for more government intervention on behalf of seniors.
     
    22 Judith Lavoie | TRANS MOUNTAIN: EVIDENCE GROWS, TRUDEAU SHOULD SAY NO
    On the heels of the NEB’s approval of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline proposal, a raft of research points in the other direction.
     
    26 Alan Cassels | MORE NAILS IN THE COFFIN OF THE “CHOLESTEROL HYPOTHESIS”
    New studies provide further evidence that cholesterol-lowering statins and other new drugs may be a costly dead end.
     
    28 Briony Penn | NEW CALLS FOR A MORATORIUM ON OLD-GROWTH LOGGING
    Business interests, scientists, environmental groups and First Nations call for new policy on the Island’s remaining old growth.
     
    32 Roszan Holmen | E&N: DERAILMENT AHEAD?
    A First Nation’s claim to Vancouver Island’s rail corridor could spell the end of the E&N revival.
     
    34 Aaren Madden | DANA’S DANCING TREES
    Dana Irving’s background as a mural painter and her love of coastal forests have resulted in a grand, sweeping style.
     
    44 Mollie Kaye | 2016 VICTORIA SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL
    Six summer concerts offer a “less fearsome” way to start conversations about classical music.
     
    52 Monica Prendergast | RICH LESSONS IN A YEAR’S WORTH OF GOING TO THE THEATRE
    The past year’s theatrical highlights included ghosts, tears, music and silliness.
     
    56 Amy Reiswig | JAMES HOGGAN: I'M RIGHT AND YOU'RE AN IDIOT
    James Hoggan’s new book makes us look at our own communication practices, including our critical thinking, compassion and integrity.
     
    58 Gene Miller | TERROR MANAGEMENT
    How is a city like an older guy’s memory?
     
    60 Maleea Acker | (UN)SAFE PASSAGE: AMPHIBIANS ON THE MOVE
    Habitat Acquisition Trust volunteers help to save local frogs, salamanders and other amphibians.
     
    62 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | IS THERE NO END TO OUR FOOD MYOPIA?
    The brave new world of GMO salmon joins other absurdities like flooding the fertile Peace River Valley.
    admin
    Sept-Oct 2016 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | THE QUEST FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING
    The gap between incomes and housing costs has grown so wide that bold action is overdue.
     
    14 David Broadland | VICTORIA’S BIG SECRET
    The search for a solution to the sewage treatment issue has lost sight of what it should be looking for; here’s a reminder.
     
    20 Judith Lavoie | THE STRUGGLE TO PROTECT WILD SALMON RAGES ON
    The salmon farming battle heats up with the Sea Shepherd’s voyage and eviction notices served by First Nations on fish farms.
     
    22 Alan Cassels | THE DIABETES DIAGNOSIS
    The war on blood glucose is stupid, costly and bloody.
     
    24 Lisa Cordasco | NEW POT LAWS COULD BUST RURAL BC’S ECONOMY
    BC growers worry they will be cut out of the equation as governments move towards legalization.
     
    26 Stanley Tromp | DROP DEAD
    The use of fentanyl has exploded and more Victorians have died from overdoses in the first half of 2016 than all of 2015.
     
    28 Briony Penn | PROFESSIONAL RELIANCE EXPERIMENT A REGULATORY FAILURE?
    Tourism operators on the coast have been forced to watchdog forestry operations since government introduced self-monitoring.
     
    32 Katherine Palmer Gordon | BURIED PROMISES
    The Province’s failure on First Nations burial sites is leading to more Grace Islets and potentially another Gustafsen Lake.
     
    34 Aaren Madden | IN DEFIANCE: INDIGENOUS WOMEN DEFINE THEMSELVES
    Lindsay Delaronde’s collaborative photography project uses images to defy the language and attitudes that marginalize indigenous women.
     
    44 Mollie Kaye | RAISING THE ROOF FOR COAST COLLECTIVE
    An arts oasis faces challenges without CRD funding—so throws a dance party.
     
    54 Monica Prendergast | NEXT TO NORMAL
    Hard-hitting Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical about mental health and family opens the season at Langham Court Theatre.
     
    56 Amy Reiswig | THE TWO OF US: STORIES OF INTIMACY
    Kathy Page’s new collection of short stories explores the transformative power of one-to-one encounters.
     
    58 Gene Miller | ALL ONUS, NO BONUS
    What’s creating all that weird energy to our south?
     
    60 Maleea Acker | METCHOSIN BIOBLITZ
    Metchosin uses citizens and volunteer scientists to create a low-cost but impressive inventory of species.
     
    62 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | PANDORA’S BOX
    Victoria and the Province are blind to the real costs of gambling.
    admin
    Nov-Dec 2016 Focus.pdf
     
    4 Leslie Campbell | FOCUS ANNOUNCES THE DIANE CARR COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
    A community force for truth, beauty and justice.
     
    12 David Broadland | THE CRD HID MCLOUGHLIN POINT’S FATAL FLAW
    The choice of the controversial site over Rock Bay will lead to hundreds of millions in costs that could have been avoided.
     
    18 Judith Lavoie | WILL NO POLITICIANS STAND UP FOR GRIZZLIES?
    While most citizens oppose the bear trophy hunt, BC’s politicians seem reluctant to offend hunters.
     
    22 Alan Cassels | TACKLING THE OVERDIAGNOSIS TREND
    A local doctor helps wind back the harms of too much medicine.
     
    24 Briony Penn | INGMAR’S “WORRY” NOW A TRAGIC REALITY
    On the eve of the Kinder Morgan decision, an oil-carrying vessel tests marine disaster response—and finds it lacking.
     
    26 Katherine Palmer Gordon | UNFINISHED BUSINESS
    BC’s treaty process has taken a quarter-century of effort, with only four final agreements to show for it.
     
    28 Rob Wipond | ESCAPE FROM BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Some people say that our province’s strong mental health laws save lives. A constitutional court challenge says they lead to discrimination
    abuse, fear and the flight of psychiatric refugees.
     
    34 Aaren Madden | HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN
    While Blu Smith’s artistic expression has seen shifts both major and subtle, his fascination with light remains constant.
     
    44 Mollie Kaye | TALES OF A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
    Victoria Jazz Society presents the Jerry Granelli Trio and the Victoria Children’s Choir.
     
    52 Monica Prendergast | AH, THE MEMORIES!
    Phoenix Theatre at UVic celebrates 50 years of making theatrical waves.
     
    56 Amy Reiswig | NAVIGATING BELONGING
    Jennifer Manuel explores the complexity of belonging through the reflections of a nurse in a First Nations community.
     
    58 Gene Miller | DVS IN PARADISE
    Meditations on “why” while collecting trash in Beacon Hill Park.
     
    60 Maleea Acker | CONNECTING THROUGH OUR ROOTS
    Adolf and Oluna Ceska’s fungi and the coastal ecosystems they nurture.
     
    62 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | THE DARKER SIDE OF FLORA
    It’s not all sweetness and light in the garden.