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  1. Community Meeting regarding the proposed McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant Submitted by Wayne Shillington The Dallas Bluffs are endangered by constructing the proposed wastewater pipeline from Clover Point to Ogden Point on land along Dallas Road. A study by the City of Victoria, (KWL Project No. 809.046, October 12, 2011) describes the geotechnical vulnerability of the Dallas Bluffs that will continue to erode and retreat in a natural unstoppable way. “Digging a trench to lay the 4’ diameter pipeline will destabilize adjacent soil leading to premature failure and possibly catastrophic loss of the bluffs leaving the pipeline exposed and vulnerable to rupture. This danger can be prevented by routing the pipeline along the seabed.” (John Gunton, PhD Geosciences). The more cost effective and more easily installed seabed route would not hasten the decline of the bluffs. The seabed route would also eliminate other negative impacts of the trenching route: drilling disturbance at Ogden Point, pipeline assembly along Niagara St. from Ogden to Government, damage to natural areas along Dallas Rd. The CRD Wastewater Project Team has consistently refused to give serious consideration to the seabed route alternative. Victoria’s prevailing westerly winds will carry any odour from the McLoughlin Point wastewater treatment plant through the harbour and into the City’s tourism area and residential communities. Verbal assurances from the CRD Wastewater Project Team and web-site statements promise an odour free plant; however, the contracted plant construction design specifications, and the Esquimalt Agreement, establish an odour emissions standard of 5 OU/m3. If the plant is to be odourless, why is it being built to an odour standard of 5 OU/m3? The relatively new Brightwater wastewater treatment plant in Seattle was constructed to a 1 OU/m3 standard. The Saskatchewan Environment Ministry in 2012 identified guidelines for allowable wastewater treatment plant odour emissions depending on location: 1 OU/m3 for urban residential areas, 2 OU/m3 for urban commercial zones, and 4 OU/m3 for industrial zones. Why is a wastewater treatment plant in the heart of Victoria being designed to an odour emissions standard that puts the City at such a serious risk to its livability and reputation? Concerned citizens of Victoria have donated $ to rent the Coast Victoria Hotel Ballroom, 146 Kingston St, for the evening of March 30 from 7:00 to 9:30 PM so other concerned citizens of Victoria can attend and learn more about the risks and problems associated with the CRD Wastewater Team’s plan as well as learn how those risks can be eliminated or managed in a much better way. Further information: Wayne Shillington wayneshillingtoncommunity@gmail.com 250-634-8109
  2. Submission from Dermod Travis, Executive Director of Integrity BC B.C. Liberals' electoral finance reform package doesn't amount to much Last week Premier Christy Clark heard the four letters that every politician dreads, particularly when it's hitting close to home: RCMP. Only five days after announcing its investigation into the Globe and Mail's report that some lobbyists may have had their personal donations to the B.C. Liberal party and NDP reimbursed by unknown third-parties, Elections B.C. called on the RCMP to take over. The Sensitive Investigations Unit – part of the Federal Serious & Organized Crime's Financial Integrity Group – has been tasked with investigating the possible 'cleansing' of political donations in the province. One gets a sense from their reaction that the Liberal party's initial damage control plan went out the window in favour of full-blown crisis management. Clark who has tried to ignore growing public anger over her fundraising practices – think $10,000 a plate cash-for-access dinners – may have finally blinked. The Liberals suddenly felt the need to do something. Anything. Clark skipped question period two days in a row last week, her traditional modus operandi when there's a political crisis. One can almost imagine the meetings that must have taken place in Vancouver with party strategists, maybe a few lobbyists, trying to come up with something they could announce that sounds good, but doesn't really mean much. Eureka. Word began to leak over the weekend that the Premier was preparing to go further than she had ever gone before on electoral finance reform. The Diva of Deflection, as Independent MLA Vicki Huntington likes to call the Premier, lived up to the billing on Monday. Using the B.C. government's proposed real-time disclosure of political donations bill as a prop, Clark announced that if re-elected her government will move to establish an independent panel to review B.C.'s Elections Act and come up with recommendations for the legislature's consideration. "What I'm proposing today is a process to take political parties and politicians out of the process," said Clark. "Regular review is important because there hasn't been significant changes since 1995." I guess that goes to how one defines “significant.” Clark didn't see the need to establish a comparable panel when the government passed legislation to muzzle third-parties in what was once called the pre-campaign period – a move later overturned by the B.C. Court of Appeal – or when it amended the Elections Act so that all political parties would be given an electronic copy of everyone who votes in the future. Making her announcement, Clark was clear that members of the panel would have to be accepted by a unanimous vote of the legislature, which everyone knows is a regular occurrence in Victoria (mild sarcasm). If that wasn't an insurmountable obstacle in and of itself, Clark added that any recommendations the panel might make four years later – or as the B.C. Liberal party prefers to say $60 million later – would have to be adopted unanimously as well. When pigs fly. Meanwhile in a remarkable display of decisiveness, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan can be marked down as squarely undecided on real-time disclosure, telling CKNW News “Take it as a yes or no, however you like it. We disclose annually, as does the Conservative party, the Marijuana Party, Libertarian Party, and the Liberal Party.” This to CKNW's softball question on whether the public can expect the NDP to report fundraising in real-time before voting day? Horgan and his party has had nearly a year to contemplate the idea. Since he brought up the Marijuana and Libertarian parties as a way to show his concern over how the proposed changes might effect them, it's worth noting that B.C.'s 35 fringe political parties have accepted a grand total of 801 donations in 11-years. Real-time disclosure is not a hill that any political party should die on. Clark's legislation came with a couple of unexpected and positive add-ons: the threshold for reporting political contributions will be lowered to $100 annually from $250. And we may get to find out who attends those elite cash-for-access dinners with the Premier after all, albeit not retroactively. Clark's office was quick to point out that she had misspoken on that retroactive thing. Call it the Premier's foxtrot week: one step forward, two steps back, then sidestep the real issue. Dermod Travis is the executive director of IntegrityBC.
  3. Submission from Marg Gardiner regarding impacts of the proposed wastewater treatment facility at McLoughlin Point on James Bay As City of Victoria Council heard and accepted the CRD Project Team report at the February 8 Committee of the Whole meeting, minutia such as the routing of the marathon were raised while major matters of the land vs sea-bed routing, and the impacts of the work in James Bay were downplayed as “only” construction-related. It was not until after that meeting, upon review of the Esquimalt agreements, that we became aware of the on-going post-construction impacts which could be felt by our [James Bay] community. It had never been disclosed to residents in James Bay. We had been told, generally and via the press, that the odour and noise of the plant itself would be leading edge. We were quite surprised to learn otherwise. A late February CRD meeting was once again revealing. The lack of competence of the CRD to manage such a project and the inability of the governance structure to respect residents, and our land base, was more than evident. When Dr John Gunton came to me last spring, explaining his concerns about the stability of the bluffs and the sea-bed routing, I suggested he raise the matter at a City of Victoria gathering and he did so in April—but came away realsiing he was not heard. When in October I asked City staff to ensure that Dr Gunton had a sit down with the CRD team technical people, I was given assurance the connect would be made. Nothing happened. On December 14 when I met Jane Bird and part of her team, I asked that a geoscientist or engineer, with a known solid reputation, be consulted and that the he/she publicly stand behind the decision with reputation. I fully expected some old report to be dredged up and tossed our way. But, no earlier assessment was mentioned and the commitment was made to meet with Dr Gunton and Tom Gallagher, geoscientist who is also a director of Ocean Newtworks Canada, and to involve a noted geoscientist/engineer with ocean credentials to assess a sea-bed routing. When Dr Gunton met with the project team, I understand that the outs provided were in the main the bird sanctuary and timing (timing pressure worsened by the Mayor’s two year lead of the project). And now, months AFTER the routing decision has been made. a report will be cobbled together. Truly incredible that a knowledgeable professional with sea-bed/ocean knowledge was not brought into the picture over the past many years. JBNA is not trying to stop the project, we all want it done-but with the most effective/efficient plan that respects quality of life of residents and our land base. Marg Gardiner, President, James Bay Neighbourhood Association
  4. Submission from Elizabeth Woodworth regarding the proposed sewage pipeline between Clover Point and McLoughlin Point THE SEWAGE PIPELINE vs The Legacy and Future of Beacon Hill Park Elizabeth Woodworth, Board Member, ARESST According to a little-known June 2010 CRD impact study, the massive trench required to adequately bury the 4-foot wastewater pipeline from Clover to Ogden Points will follow the Dallas Road right-of-way, which dissects Beacon Hill Park. (Figure 1) Figure 1. Conveyance: Clover Point pump station This was confirmed in a CRD September 27, 2012 procurement document. However carefully the work is done, it will have an enormous impact on the Park, whose lands were first set aside by James Douglas in 1858. Founded by the City of Victoria in 1882, the Park has been subject to 25 applications for major projects since 1882: all have been denied. Where in the Dallas Road right-of-way (rights-of-way are usually 66' wide) is there room for the pipeline? The pipeline, according to award-winning wastewater engineer John Motherwell, would need to be buried 12' deep to avoid existing underground services and achieve a one-foot underlying protective bed. However, WorkSafeBC requires that unless shored, a trench of this depth must be at least 40' wide to protect workers from collapse. There must also be room to deposit the huge mounds of excavated soil and the heavy equipment. Heavy equipment placed in the park will destroy the fragile vegetation, as shown in Figure 2. Figure 2: Truck damage caused in 2004 from soil compaction in late 2003. Then, along the inner side of the Dallas Road waterfront, homes are virtually on the curb (there is no boulevard) most of the way from Clover Point to Ogden Point (except between Cook St. and Douglas, location of the Park's huge "camas" field, native burial grounds, and tall totem pole.) Third, excavating the trench along the ocean side of Dallas Road would require the removal of many ancient trees and the distinctive seaward-slopes scrub close to the curb (Figures 3 and 4). Figure 3: Large trees in Beacon Hill Park, ocean-side curb Figure 4: Trees and scrub, ocean-side curb of Dallas Road, near the tall totem pole This permanent transformation of Victoria's scenic marine drive would be unacceptable if not intolerable to many residents. Fourth, tearing up the 36'-wide pavement of Dallas Road to accommodate the 40' trench for the 3.3 kilometres to Ogden Point would cost an estimated 35% more. (Installed asphalt now costs approx. $300 per square metre.) Now to the archaeology. These lands were for centuries the home of the Lekwungen (Songhees) people, who lived in a defensive village on Finlayson Point directly below Beacon Hill. Their burial cairns marked the hillside and the Park preserves this sacred Songhees area in perpetuity. Museum Curator of Archaeology Dr. Grant Keddie reports there was a second defense location at Holland Point near the southwest corner of the Park, and a third on the bluff at the northwest corner of Clover Point. Carbon dating of the midden at Finlayson Point shows that the site was first occupied about 1000 years ago. (Grant Keddie, “Native Indian Use of Beacon Hill Park,” RBCM Notes, Note #14/88, ISSN 0838-598x) Accordingly, Victoria's 165-acre jewel gained heritage status in 2009 and “is considered one of the most significant Canadian public parks of the nineteenth century, comparable to Mount Royal Park in Montreal.” According to Senior Heritage Planner Steve Barber.“The heritage designation will provide an appropriate level of protection and recognition and provide a mechanism for heritage values to be considered in future changes to the park.” (Planning Report, October 8, 2009). Seemingly oblivious to this, and lacking transparency, the land-based sewage planners have called for at least four registered archaeological sites to be intersected by the pipeline between Clover and Ogden Points; indeed the whole proposed route through the park is believed to have archaeological potential. (Figure 5) Figure 5: Archaeological sites along Dallas Road Then there is the flora and fauna. The park preserves much native flora: Friends of Beacon Hill Park lists 51 wildflowers, noting that these are vulnerable to soil compaction. In the giant field where the totem stands over a million blue camas bloom each May; present also are shooting stars, wild bleeding heart, and the rare yellow prairie violets. The park is home to 72 bird species (Christmas bird count 2010), and to raccoons, squirrels, river otters, and deer. The proposed noisy ongoing construction cannot fail to stress the Park's flora and fauna, perhaps driving species away, as indeed three eagles drove dozens of herons away from their nests in 2007. According to a CHEK-TV poll last week, over 80% of local residents believe that "brakes should be applied" to this project. CFAX polls have consistently shown that two-thirds of people are opposed, raising questions as to why there has been no referendum for the largest mega-project ever conceived for the capital region. The CRD plan is not the solution to a low-risk ocean problem. It is time to insist that the provincial and federal governments take a close look at the science and do comparative cost-benefit analyses and environmental impact studies on the existing vs the proposed sewage treatment project. Before one back hoe hits the ground. Before the CRD makes costly and irreparable mistakes. Elizabeth Woodworth
  5. Letter to the editor from Colin Nielsen in response to David Broadland's Victoria's iconic, world-class blunder The comparison on France’s Milau Viaduct, which came in on time and on budget, as compared to the disastrous Johnson Street bridge fiasco, was very interesting. Closer to home, the Tsable River Bridge, 15 kilometres south of Courtenay on the Inland Island Highway, is another excellent example of a well-designed bridge, designed to fit a unique river crossing that was completed in 27 months and within a budget of $15.3 million. The 400 meter long, four-lane bridge reaches a height of 60 meters above the valley floor. Construction of the bridge took place between 1996 and 1998. Several construction options were considered to meet Provincial specifications, which included protection of the Tsable River salmon spawning runs, a forest floor with trees up to 60 meters high and seismic strengthening requirements. A cast-in-place design was chosen over a heavier steel structure. Besides coming in on-time and on-budget, this bridge won a Association of Canadian Consulting Engineering Award of Excellence in 1999 for the Tsable River Bridge (See: http://pubx.annexmedia.ca/cce/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2014/12/Winners1989-1999_1.pdf). Properly managed, large bridge projects can be completed on time and on budget, as was the case with the case with the Tsable River Bridge. Colin Nielsen
  6. Letter to the editor from William Jesse in response to David Broadland's Victoria's iconic, world-class blunder In the Spring issue of This England magazine there is a small article about operating the Tower Bridge in England. Some statistics mentioned were that it was built 120 years ago, sees 40,000 people go over it every day: motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. The bridge is lifted on average 15 times a week and the lifting mechanism is much more complex than Victoria's blue bridge. Everyone can visit The Tower Bridge Exhibition and it has its own web site. It is a true icon of England. Will we say the same thing about our new bridge? William Jesse
  7. Letter to the editor from Victoria Adams in response to Gene Miller's Community is perishable Cities aren’t stamped with ‘best before dates’ Gene Miller’s rambling article “Community is Perishable” seems incoherent to me; his commentary on the declining phase of urban life lacked both substance and analysis. Without getting into heavy-duty philosophy, I think most can agree that the space and time continuum is a paradox, reflecting both a temporal and eternal state, a limited and fathomless quality. It seems to me that we’re living in a homo-sapien centered world—a modern technological age where there exist no limits to “growth” or “progress.” “Might makes right,” and the rule of law claims that “the rich are winners and entitled to get richer, whereas the poor are losers and deserve to become undeniably poorer.” Cities, hubs of humanity, are designed to facilitate economic production and distribution by providing a range of public and private services to inhabitants: jobs, housing, education, health care, transportation, justice, urban support and government services. The landscape is filled with settlements of all sizes, shapes, and structures. A precious few have survived for centuries with little change in form or function. Many have been decimated in wars or damaged as a result of natural disasters. Others serve a time-limited or single-industry purpose. When their environment becomes soiled or unable to serve their masters profitably, they are abandoned. Although the urban community as phenomenon has evolved differently over the globe, it survives the shifting tides of its life. It’s safe to say that not all tides lift all boats at the same time in each place. Some benefit from the rising tide—in protected harbours, where boats adapt to ebb and flow. Still others eschew the need to plan ahead and become overwhelmed, causing devastating consequences during the inevitable storms of change. To suggest that our City, unlike other man-made agglomerations around the planet, should be immune to problems of poverty, pain, and social turmoil—sounds naïve, like wishful thinking. If Victoria resembles a “zombie apocalypse,” that “we need to get our streets back,” it begs the question, what should be done? Would placing an authoritarian at the helm with a few hired henchmen to eradicate vermin and vagrants ensure a happy-ever-after life in paradise? Cities are not consumer products. Cities are not stamped with ‘best before dates” in order to be flogged to well-heeled tourists. Neither do they come with money-back guarantees demanded by affluent baby-boomers who purchase plots in downtown glass towers as a real estate investment to rent out on Airbnb. Yes, hotel room nights are perishable products, which is why they’re popular with the ‘home-sharing’ crowd who adore the fact they’re unregulated and untaxed money-machines. On the other hand, cities exist as complex living environments, home to students, young families, and working people as much as a place to gather for vulnerable and marginalized members of society, those with physical ailments and mental illness, those with no roof over their heads. No ticket to success is refundable should the urban experience not deliver anticipated consumer results or outcomes identified in the Official Community Plan. Risks and rewards are part of the community building-process. Anyone who tells you he or she can guarantee the outcome knows the odds and has rigged the game. So before you buy into the fairy tale of unintended consequences, ask what your “winning” ticket will really cost you. What’s the Mayor’s 21st century vision of Victoria? An exclusive enclave for wealthy home-owners and tourists flush with cash. Her recipe for success obliges us to ask—what really matters, who truly counts, and what is the full cost of building this playland for people of privilege? Is Victoria a diverse and inclusive place that recognizes, sustains and protects all members of society? Or is that just a figment of my imagination? Does this new picture of Victoria and its narrative include me? Do the actions and decisions of Mayor and Council advance the interests of only the chosen few—at the expense of the many? Every citizen has a right to participate actively in creating a common vision of the City, and contribute to turning a worthwhile dream into reality. It is up to us to think critically about key issues, not only what will be in the best interests of our present generation and our planet, but also what kind of legacy we leave the next generation. Our civic duty is to hold each other to account as much as we hold to account those whom we elect to govern our City. Unless we act with dignity and regard for each other, and take responsibility for our part in harming as well as healing our environment, we cannot ask others to do what we are unwilling to do for ourselves. It’s easy to blame a panhandler for disturbing one’s peace of mind while strolling down the street. But, before calling for a new government of billionaires, bullies, and blowhards to demand Victoria streets be paved in gold—without buskers or brouhaha—ask what premium you’re prepared to pay for the privilege. Remember. Every Faustian bargain comes with an expensive, and often unpalatable, price-tag. You don’t like the suffocating strings attached? Harumph! Shame on you! Victoria Adams See Gene Miller's response below...
  8. THIS IS FOCUS ON VICTORIA'S open forum for posts on any subject. Depending on requests and suggestions from the community, issue-specific forums will be initiated from this general forum. We welcome suggestions. Registered users can post their comment or information below. If you have not registered but want to submit some information, comment or suggestion, please sign up or use the Contact Us button.
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    Denman Island Home and Garden Tour June 10-11, 2017 Start planning now so you don't miss this enchanting Tour, deemed by the Globe & Mail "one of Canada's top six horticultural events." Every two years this idyllic island throws open its garden gates, inviting the pubic for a rare up-close look at the creativity, skill and passion Denman residents pour into their properties. This year's tour will be particularly compelling to anyone interested in permaculture, sustainability, and ornamental edibles. Highlights include a home built with reclaimed railroad timbers and telegraph poles, an example of a “tiny home”, and stunning examples of contemporary family farms. Bloom lovers will not be disappointed, either, as roses and lilies and a whole host of other blossoms will be found in abundance. This weekend event provides an unforgettable experience for lovers of gardens, homes and rural charm. Many people return year after year, and are never disappointed. Join them! Come for a day trip, or book into a cozy B&B and stay for the weekend. Early bird tickets are $18, and can be purchased online at http://www.denman-conservancy.org/home-and-garden-tour/. You can also find us (and Like us) on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DenmanIslandHomeAndGardenTour . Please help us spread the word about this great event.
  10. Denman Island Home and Garden Tour June 10-11, 2017 Start planning now so you don't miss this enchanting Tour, deemed by the Globe & Mail "one of Canada's top six horticultural events." Every two years this idyllic island throws open its garden gates, inviting the pubic for a rare up-close look at the creativity, skill and passion Denman residents pour into their properties. This year's tour will be particularly compelling to anyone interested in permaculture, sustainability, and ornamental edibles. Highlights include a home built with reclaimed railroad timbers and telegraph poles, an example of a “tiny home”, and stunning examples of contemporary family farms. Bloom lovers will not be disappointed, either, as roses and lilies and a whole host of other blossoms will be found in abundance. This weekend event provides an unforgettable experience for lovers of gardens, homes and rural charm. Many people return year after year, and are never disappointed. Join them! Come for a day trip, or book into a cozy B&B and stay for the weekend. Early bird tickets are $18, and can be purchased online at http://www.denman-conservancy.org/home-and-garden-tour/. You can also find us (and Like us) on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DenmanIslandHomeAndGardenTour . Please help us spread the word about this great event.
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    Open Space presents Awakening Memory, an exhibition featuring new artworks by Sonny Assu, lessLIE, and Marianne Nicolson. The exhibition is curated by France Trépanier. Awakening Memory has been designed through a collaborative process about remembering the role of art within Indigenous communities. It made use of a creative method for Indigenous people to engage with objects that ‘belong’ to them. In response to this process, each artist created new artworks, which are part of the exhibition. Awakening Memory focuses on both customary and contemporary stories to explore the history, agency and value of an art object from Indigenous perspectives. The exhibition also considers the dynamic relationships between historical Indigenous cultural objects and contemporary Indigenous art practices. Through the process of remembering, reclaiming and reactivating knowledge, memory-stories are awakened about how we–all of us here–inhabit this land. 510 Fort Street, noon-5pm, Tues-Sat www.openspace.caAwakening Memory | Exhibition: March 24-April 29 | Opening: March 24, 7:30 PM | Open Space | Visual Arts
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    Event: Diversity: a rolling national discussion - Audience Engagement Panelists: Juliet Palmer, Rachel Iwaasa, France Trépanier, moderated by Christopher Reiche Boucher. Genre: Discussion Date: Sunday, March 26, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. Venue: Open Space, 510 Fort St., 2nd Floor. Victoria, BC Admission: By donation Can't attend in person? Join via live stream at :https://www.facebook.com/CNMN.RCMN/ Victoria— On Sunday, March 26 at 2:30 p.m., Open Space hosts the second session of Canadian New Music Network’s National Rolling Conversation on diversity. This session is led jointly by France Trépanier (Aboriginal Curator, Open Space), Rachel Iwaasa (Director of Development, Pride in Art Society), Juliet Palmer (Artistic Director, Urbanvessel), and moderated by Christopher Reiche Boucher (New Music Coordinator, Open Space). All are welcome to attend regardless of background, experience, artistic discipline, or where you live (you can participate in person or catch the live stream online through Facebook Live at CNMN’s Facebook page). This conversation will be of particular interest to those seeking to engage with diverse audiences. It will be welcoming and inviting, and you’ll have opportunities to ask questions and be part of the discussion. This event is by donation. Light refreshments will be provided. About this session’s topic – Audience Engagement As new music practitioners we engage with audience, and potential audience, continuously -- from sending out the first notice, through our shared concert experience, to our continued relationship. While encouraging wide ranging discussion, the Victoria session of CNMN’s Rolling National Conversation on Diversity will delve particularly into the effort to deepen existing relationships, and to expand into communities presently untouched by our performances. We will examine current practices and how they tend to settle into methods and means that result in the same set of people coming out time after time. Do we justify this state of affairs by claiming that this is our “community”? If so, how might we define our community differently to encourage more inclusivity? And for the audience we do attract, how might we engage them more fully? Visit the Canadian New Music Network’s online hub for full project info and a full report on the January session in Halifax (Communicating) as well as information about the upcoming session in Montreal in May. (http://www.newmusicnetwork.ca/en/rolling2017/)
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    Oak Bay Artists Spring Studio Tour Saturday and Sunday, April 22 & 23, 12 - 4 pm Meet the artists of Oak Bay in their home studios! This free, self-guided tour visits 20+ local artists. From unique art cards to beautiful paintings, pottery, fabric art, jewelry and more, you will find something perfect for the art lover in you! www.oakbayartists.com --
  14. 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?