4 TUG-OF-WAR OVER SCHOOL LANDS
Victoria’s affordable housing crisis puts the bullseye on public land in Fernwood.
12 AN INSURANCE POLICY AGAINST FAILURE OF CLIMATE ACTION PLANS
If history repeats itself, local plans to reduce GHG emissions will come up far short of targets. Shouldn’t there be a Plan B?
18 DENSITY ON TRIAL
Residents take the City of Victoria to court for overriding its Official Community Plan.
20 FIRST STOP THE DYING
Experts agree that bold moves are essential to reducing the deaths from opioid use.
24 THE VANISHING ANCIENT FORESTS OF VANCOUVER ISLAND
As they are logged, whole ecosystems disappear forever, along with their superior ability to sequester carbon.
30 LET THE HERRING LIVE
West Coast wildlife depends on herring—and there’s a model for bringing them back to the Salish Sea.
32 DON’T MENTION LNG!
Some elephants in the LNG-room.
34 DEMAND ANSWERS ABOUT THE DRUGS YOU’RE PRESCRIBED
What’s happening in the world of antipsychotics might keep you awake at night.
36 A MAGNET FOR TROUBLE
The Johnson Street Bridge undergoes one safety review after another.
38 DEBORAH TILBY, A PAINTER'S PAINTER
The artist’s finely-tuned palette and skillful brushwork capture the mood of a place.
45 THE LAST PICTURE SHOW: BERT VANDERGUGTEN
The building is for sale; performers and audiences are hoping for an arts-friendly buyer.
50 HERMANN’S MARCHES ONWARD–AND UPSTAIRS—ON VIEW STREET
The building is for sale; performers and audiences are hoping for an arts-friendly buyer.
54 PUENTE THEATRE 30 YEARS ON
Theatre by, for, and about immigrants, based in Victoria and touring the world.
Victoria society’s “service engine now” light is flashing with bright urgency.
60 WHY ARE WE IN TROUBLE?
A plea for action on this column’s fourth anniversary.
62 CLIMATE CHANGE IS NOW TOP-OF-MIND
But both the new federal government and citizens must dig deeper to face it.
Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic
AN AIRPORT IN OUR MIDST by Leslie Campbell
Victoria boasts one of the busiest water airports in the world—some think it’s too busy.
DID THE MAYORS OBSTRUCT THE ELSNER INVESTIGATION? by David Broadland
Records obtained by FOI leave little doubt that the two mayors hid allegations of sexual harassment raised against Police Chief Elsner.
MORE ENTERTAINMENT, LESS ART by Ross Crockford
The society running the Royal Theatre aims to make it the region’s hub for commercial live performance.
OLD GROWTH IN THE CROSSHAIRS by Judith Lavoie
Why is BC Timber Sales, a government agency, at the centre of so many contentious Vancouver Island logging disputes?
FUN AND LOAFING IN THE BC PUBLIC SERVICE by Russ Francis
Taxpayer dollars are wasted doing things that are unnecessary or wrong—while important records management tasks are routinely ignored.
IS OUR IMMINENT PERIL VIRTUALLY CERTAIN OR NOT? by Briony Penn
An appeal before the courts should spark debate about whether Trans Mountain is compatible with a stable climate.
NOT YOUR GRANDPA’S WILDFIRES by Stephen Hume
Climate change is exacerbating forest fires, including—perhaps especially—where the wild meets suburbia.
RARE BUT SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS OF “CIPRO” by Alan Cassels
“Floxxed” patients are calling for better consumer drug information.
DYLAN THOMAS AND HIS SACRED GEOMETRY GO SURFING by Kate Cino
This Coast Salish artist combines traditional training with self-directed studies in mathematics, Buddhism and Islamic art.
SUSANNAH ADAMS: JAZZ VOCALIST AND COMPOSER by Mollie Kaye
Pushing towards greater authenticity, Adams is determined to write more of her own songs.
WATER TORTURE by Gene Miller
Parsing the promo material for a new development near the Esquimalt Lagoon.
A PLACE OF REFUGE by Maleea Acker
A deep and abiding love for ȽÁU,WELNEW/John Dean Park is evident in the stewardship work of volunteer Jarrett Teague.
WANTED: REAL TALK IN PIVOTAL TIMES by Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic
There are lessons we need to learn about the meaning of “consultation.”
4 Leslie Campbell | MONEY STILL SKEWING LOCAL ELECTIONS
Holes in the new local elections financing act give an advantage to incumbents. That’s not necessarily in the public interest.
6 Focus Readers | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
14 David Broadland | ARE LOCAL "CLIMATE CRISIS" DECISION-MAKERS MAKING THINGS BETTER? OR WORSE?
Focus Magazine is undertaking a multi-year project to determine whether initiatives to move passenger cars off the streets are having any effect.
18 Ross Crockford | UNFINISHED BUSINESS
What has Victoria learned in the 10 years since it first discussed replacing the Johnson Street Bridge?
20 Judith Lavoie | GRANDSTANDING? OR GRAND GESTURE?
Victoria takes it up a notch with the push for a class action lawsuit against oil and gas companies.
22 Russ Francis | AT THE LEGISLATIVE TROUGH
Baseball games, $258,000 “retirement” allowances for the unretired, and truckloads of alcohol: How did it come to this?
26 Stephen Hume | THE CASE FOR ENDING THE HERRING FISHERY
The commercial herring roe fishery in the Salish Sea may be the final nail in the coffin of chinook, resident orca and some seabirds.
30 Kate Cino | UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL FLORAL PORTRAITS
Jeanette Sirois’ large-scale works are done with patience and precision in pencil crayon.
34 Leslie Campbell | VICTORIA ARTS COUNCIL CELEBRATES 50 YEARS
A new exhibit of works by Pat Martin Bates is just one of the events planned.
48 Mollie Kaye | STRING TENSION
In Syria, Sari Alesh was a professional violinist. War changed all that.
52 Monica Prendergast | THE POSITIVE FORCE OF THEATRE
Generosity and kindness on stage in selfish times.
54 Pauline Holdstock | ESI EDUYAN TALKS ABOUT WRITING FICTION
If writers write with empathy and authenticity, it allows them and their readers to cross all sorts of barriers.
58 Gene Miller | HEAVEN? PRESS 35
Will new Downtown buildings help our resiliency and community in the face of social upheaval?
60 Maleea Acker | FOR THE LOVE OF BATS
Combining creative work with research, Estraven Lupino-Smith collaborates with HAT to monitor and celebrate bats.
62 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | AS THE TIPPING POINT NEARS
There’s no end of dire news, so seek out the glimmers of progress.
IMMIGRANTS LIKE CRISTINA, JOEY AND C.J. ARE MAKING CANADA GREAT
We’re all immigrants, but the newest amongst us make great sacrifices to keep our country strong.
BRIDGE DESIGN FLAW HIDDEN FOR A YEAR, THEN GIVEN QUICK-AND-DIRTY REPAIR
The latest cover-up on the $115-million project raises the question: What needs to change at Victoria City Hall?
ON THE FRONTLINES OF THE OPIOID CRISIS
Leslie McBain advocates for those struggling with addictions and the families who love them.
WILL “SUNSHINE” FINALLY COME TO BC?
Exposing Big Pharma’s dark influence on doctors who diagnose and prescribe.
ONE LESS THING TO WORRY ABOUT FOR BC GRIZZLIES
The BC government has killed the grizzly hunt. But will Conservation Officers enforce the ban?
#METOO: WHAT NEXT?
Could a victim-centred approach be a better fit in cases of sexual harassment and assault?
VICTORIA’S NEW POLICY ON SHORT-TERM RENTALS
Unintended consequences of Airbnbs are leading to new measures to deal with the loss of housing stock.
IT’S WHAT’S INSIDE THAT COUNTS
Lynn Branson’s reverent connection to her medium brings her wood carvings to life.
A DECOLONIZING DANCE
The Dancers of Damelahamid confront us with the richness of Indigenous art, past and present.
Robin J Miller
STEPHEN FEARING: EVERY SOUL’S A SAILOR
One of Canada’s most acclaimed songwriters plays Victoria—his new home.
ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THEATRE AND MEMORY
A Belfry production looks at the grief and panic of losing one’s life partner to Alzheimer’s.
WHALE IN THE DOOR
Author Pauline Le Bel’s personal journey of losses, learning, and hope for Howe Sound.
BLOOD, SWEAT AND TAVISH CAMPBELL
One man’s graphic video evidence spawns new awareness of fish farming dangers—and a government review.
Could Victoria be a civilizational lifeboat in these crazy, conflict-prone times?
THE ART OF CONSERVATION: MARY SANSEVERINO
Photography gives this ardent naturalist an excuse to go to the wild places.
OLD WAYS FOR NEW DAYS
With a knack for making do, we can make ends meet and reduce our environmental footprint.
Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic
Nov-Dec 2017 Focus.pdf
4 David Broadland | DID CRD STAFF COMMIT FRAUD AND/OR A BREACH OF PUBLIC TRUST?
A shadowy group has launched complaints with the RCMP and several other public agencies.
12 David Broadland | THE ORCA FAMINE AND PUGET SOUND’S POISONED RIVERS
Recent studies show how resident orca populations are affected by diminishing chinook runs and why the chinook are disappearing.
20 Leslie Campbell | FIRST THINGS FIRST: MAKING EVERY VOTE COUNT
A referendum on electoral reform is coming next year. Terry Dance-Bennink of Fair Vote Canada explains why it’s important.
24 Alan Cassels | THE SWEET SMELL OF TRANSPARENCY
Can a new government remove the stench of Big Pharma’s lobbying at the BC Legislature?
26 Judith Lavoie | WILD SALMON MAY GET RELIEF FROM OPEN-NET FISH FARMS
Science and First Nations are stepping up the pressure to remove fish farms from BC coastal waters.
28 Ross Crockford | EMBRACE THE FIXCENTIVE
We want to repair our assets. Why don’t our governments do the same?
30 Pamela Roth | WOODWYNN FARMS AND THE OPIOID CRISIS
The organization appears to offer addicts a needed route to recovery while preserving farmland. What’s the hold up?
34 Aaren Madden | TRUE TO THE HEART
Bi Yuan Cheng creates internal and external landscapes of truth, feeling, and sense of place.
50 Mollie Kaye | CHRISTOPHER BUTTERFIELD
UVic’s music program turns 50 with one of its first grads at the helm.
52 Monica Prendergast | MURDER IN TWO OPERAS
Pacific Opera brings two completely unique operas about past and current chapters in the Canadian story.
54 Amy Reiswig | THE LARGER CONVERSATION: CONTEMPLATION AND PLACE
In his new book, award-winning writer Tim Lilburn begins the process of “personal decolonization.”
56 Briony Penn | BRUCE HILL: HIPPY EX-LOGGER AND WARRIOR FOR THE KITLOPE
A ceremonial trip into grizzly territory with the Kitlope’s elder watchmen.
58 Gene Miller | CAUTION…HISTORY AHEAD
Can Victoria survive its own bungling and folly?
60 Maleea Acker | FOR THE LOVE OF SALMON
Peter McCully and his volunteer team are passionate about their work with the Goldstream Hatchery.
62 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | ONE MAN’S TRASH: PART 2
We can recycle nearly everything. We still need to buy less stuff.
4 Leslie Campbell | ARE THE CRD’S CLIMATE CHANGE GOALS PIE-IN-THE-SKY?
One key policy, densification of the core, makes little sense
in the face of the CRD’s impotence in controlling sprawl.
14 David Broadland | DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS ON THE STEEP DESCENT AHEAD
To create a realistic pathway to a low-carbon regional transportation system,
science—not activism—needs to lead the way forward.
20 Leslie Campbell | BC BURNING
A forest and fire ecologist discusses her research on how to reduce
the damage being done to BC’s forests by fires.
24 Briony Penn | NEW GOVERNMENT WILL REVIEW “PROFESSIONAL RELIANCE”
The practice may have played a leading role
in creating some of BC’s most high-profile environmental blunders.
26 Alan Cassels | BETTER PROSPECTS FOR SUSTAINABLE HEALTHCARE?
Our new provincial government faces a litmus test
in how it deals with diabetes-mongering.
28 Judith Lavoie | TREES, AND THE CLIMATE FORECAST FOR VICTORIA
Expect hotter summers and winter deluges. Retaining trees could
reduce the worst impacts, including the cost of mitigation.
30 Briony Penn | BEACONS OF HOPE FOR THE SALISH SEA
Can a swimmer, First Nations and Thomas Berger, QC,
turn the tide on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline?
32 Aaren Madden | THERE IS TRUTH HERE
First Nations children’s art, created at residential and day schools,
opens pathways for healing and reconciliation.
50 Mollie Kaye | THE BILLS, DECADE THREE
The beloved Victoria-based Canadian roots band
continues to evolve and thrive.
54 Monica Prendergast | HOMEGROWN, CANADIAN THEATRE
Victorians can enjoy a wealth of made-in-Canada works
being staged locally this fall.
56 Amy Reiswig | REFUGIUM: POEMS FOR THE PACIFIC
Victoria poet laureate Yvonne Blomer combines literary forces
to appreciate and protect our large salty neighbour.
58 Gene Miller | EXIT, DREAMING
With David Butterfield’s passing, Victoria has lost
one of its major investors in social capital.
60 Maleea Acker | BRING SUSTAINABILITY HOME
A field trip to Northern Europe is “offset” by
the ripple effect of knowledge gained.
62 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | ONE MAN’S TRASH
Could “garbage” soon become obsolete?
4 Leslie Campbell | TAKE DOWN A PARKING LOT AND PUT UP A PARADISE Affordable housing—for low- and moderate-income people working Downtown—should be a City of Victoria priority.
14 David Broadland | MAYOR HELPS’ 1.5 PERCENT SOLUTION Local government’s response to reducing transportation emissionsmay be wishful thinking. Or foolish.
18 Judith Lavoie | TRANS MOUNTAIN: DONE DEAL OR DEAD IN THE WATER? The project faces stiff opposition from a new governmentand legal challenges by First Nations and others.
22 Ross Crockford | HOW TO LOSE AT BRIDGE, AND POOL Victoria’s council still needs to learn lessons for its next big project.
24 Alan Cassels | A POX ON THEIR HOUSE Confusion around chicken pox and shinglescould be costly to Victoria consumers.
26 David Broadland | DUMB QUESTIONS AND THEIR (POSSIBLY) PROFOUND CONSEQUENCES To not be misled by experts into making bad decisions, elected officialsneed to ask hard questions. Voters need to elect prosecutors, not patsies.
30 Aaren Madden | NAOMI CAIRNS Painterly techniques and lived experience imbue her marine landscapeswith a sense of place, time and abundance.
44 Mollie Kaye | GETTING NAKED WITH ARTIST NICOLE SLEETH Her paintings put female nudes in the “power position.”
50 Mollie Kaye | RESURRECTING MUSIC THAT GOT BURIED ALIVE Suzanne Snizek wields her flute as a weapon against bigotry and suppression.
52 Monica Prendergast | SHAKESPEARE SEASON “All the world’s a stage,” especially in the summer months.
54 Amy Reiswig | PAULO DA COSTA An out-of-the-box thinker, writer, editor and translator believesin daring to be different for the social good.
56 Bill Currie | DR TED ROSENBERG: GERIATRIC GAME-CHANGER Visiting seniors in their homes, Dr Rosenberg and his teamfocus on their quality of life.
58 Gene Miller | OH, GIVE ME A HOME Providing homes to those in need can be viewed as revolution insurance.
60 Maleea Acker | KIDS LEARNNING ABOUT THEIR LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS Monterey Middle School’s nature-focused programnurtures a sense of place and a caretaking ethic.
62 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | PUTTING OUR SENSES IN ORDER Time spent in nature is time well spent.
4 Leslie Campbell | CASH-FOR-ACCESS FLOURISHES IN BC POLITICS
Corporate donations and lobbying make meaningful climate action—and democracy—impossible.
14 David Broadland | DAZED AND CONFUSED ON THE JOHNSON STREET BRIDGE
The project seems to be a complete fiasco. But is that just a perception created by something in the air?
20 Ross Crockford | WOW, LOOK AT ALL THE ZEROS
How many big infrastructure projects can the City of Victoria tackle at once?
22 Judith Lavoie | A PERFECT STORM FOR VICTORIA RENTERS
Low supply, increasing demand, higher rents, and “renovictions” —is any relief in sight?
26 Alan Cassels | HEALTH MINISTRY FIRINGS: A STUNNING LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY
The Ombudsperson’s 500-page report delivers condemnation, but leaves us hungry for an answer to “Why?”
28 Briony Penn | AN ORWELLIAN PATH TO FRAUD IN BC’S FORESTS
Management of public forests by the forest industry isn’t in the public interest.
32 Aaren Madden | ALL TOGETHER NOW
Luke Ramsey’s multidisciplinary art practice is all about collaboration —with other artists, and with viewers.
48 Mollie Kaye | EINE KLEINE SUMMER MUSIC 30th ANNIVERSARY
The June concert series celebrates the natural power and intimacy of chamber music.
52 Aaron Stefik | A STORY OF QUEER JUSTICE, VICTORIA 1860
Site-specific theatre brings history to life in Bastion Square.
54 Monica Prendergast | WTF?
Be part of the change. Get off the couch and see live performances.
56 Amy Reiswig | EDEN ROBINSON: SON OF A TRICKSTER
A coming-of-age story invites us to step out of the comfortable.
58 Gene Miller | PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME, VICTORIA
As waves of newcomers arrive, opportunity and peril loom over our urban identity.
60 Maleea Acker | THE DEVASTATION AND RESTORATION OF TOD INLET
A century ago, Robert Butchart’s cement works used the inlet as a dump; help is finally on the way.
62 Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic | ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT
Are we hurting ourselves when we oppose mixed housing?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.