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Judith Lavoie

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Focus Magazine Nov/Dec 2016

Sept/Oct 2016.2

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Everything posted by Judith Lavoie

  1. Photo: A typical image on the website of Guide Outfitters Association of BC makes it seem an unlikely ally of conservationists Habitat crisis sparks coalitions between trophy hunters and environmental groups despite tensions over wildlife management. Go to story...
  2. Habitat crisis sparks coalitions between trophy hunters and environmental groups despite tensions over wildlife management. ADVERSITY MAKES STRANGE BEDFELLOWS and few are stranger than two recently formed alliances between hunting and trapping organizations and environmental groups. Despite escalating battles over the ethics of trophy hunting, it seems the situation around diminishing habitats is desperate enough to have led to a couple of mergers around the topic. The Guide Outfitters Association of BC (GOABC), which is focused on big game hunting, has joined forces with Rain
  3. Image: Grey Wolfs on BC coast Many in the Sooke area are heartbroken that a wolf pack that no one was complaining about may have been wiped out. Go to story
  4. Many in the Sooke area are heartbroken that a wolf pack that no one was complaining about may have been wiped out. FOR MORE THAN A YEAR, naturalist and wildlife researcher Gary Schroyen followed the activities of five wolves that ranged around Metchosin and East Sooke. In many ways, images captured on Schroyen’s wildlife cameras demonstrated that the pack, which he named the Meteask wolf pack, could live harmoniously among humans. Most area residents were unaware of the proximity of the wolves, which lived on deer and small mammals, and Scott Norris of the BC Conservation
  5. Photo: Sea wolf photographed by Ian McAllister A growing number of British Columbians are pushing the provincial government to tighten rules around killing wolves. Go to story
  6. A growing number of British Columbians are pushing the provincial government to tighten rules around killing wolves. FORESTS, LANDS, NATURAL RESOURCE OPERATIONS AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT Minister Katrine Conroy said this month that she is looking at closing “loopholes” in wolf hunting and trapping rules. One of the few certainties is that Conroy will be walking an emotionally-charged tightrope. On one side, defenders of wolves point to the ethics of killing an animal with no intention of eating it. They also note the lack of reliable population figures and regulations that allow u
  7. More Langford citizens are expressing resentment over City Hall’s modus operandi. THE RAIN PAUSED AND, along a quiet side-street in Langford, residents are venturing out. There are no sidewalks, but a caregiver is pushing a wheelchair towards Veterans Memorial Park and a small dog strains at the leash, pulling a woman down the street. Fairway Avenue, the site of a contentious redevelopment proposal, is the latest Langford neighbourhood to mobilize against what residents see as out-of-scale development. In addition to complaints that two multi-storey towers are being shoe-hor
  8. On the eve of renewing aquaculture licences for farms in the Discovery Islands, it seems more of an absolute definite maybe, with a new plan…by 2025. Young wild salmon swim around a salmon farm’s open-net pen in the Discovery Islands (Photo by Tavish Campbell) IN THE POLITICAL WORLD, news releases are carefully crafted to offer leeway for government shifts. The evolution of statements on the future of BC’s salmon farms is a case-study in allowing wiggle room. Last year, during the election campaign, the federal Liberal Party’s campaign literature promised to “
  9. Posted November 24, 2020 Image: New Residuals Treatment Plant at Hartland Landfill Residents worry as Capital Regional District prepares to spread sewage biosolids at Hartland Landfill. Go to story
  10. Residents worry as Capital Regional District prepares to spread sewage biosolids at Hartland Landfill. THERE’S A GUT REACTION to the idea of spreading processed human poop on land, whether to grow bigger trees, better tomatoes, or cap off a landfill. Suspicions remain even after sewage sludge is treated to remove pathogens and pollutants. Following sewage treatment at the Capital Regional District’s new McLoughlin Point Wastewater Plant, “residual solids” in the form of sludge are piped to the new Residuals Treatment Facility at Hartland Landfill. There, the sludge is treated
  11. Posted October 12, 2020 Image: Kitchen scraps on the counter Seven years on, Victoria area kitchen scraps are still taking a long, costly journey to compost facilities. Go to story
  12. Seven years on, Victoria area kitchen scraps are still taking a long, costly journey to compost facilities. CHUCK THAT APPLE CORE into the kitchen container designated for organics, take the can outside and tip it into the green bin in time for garbage pickup, feeling satisfied knowing your household food waste is being turned into compost that will help grow more fruit and veggies. The routine is familiar to most Greater Victoria residents who, after 2015 when the Capital Regional District banned kitchen scraps from Hartland Road Landfill, slowly came to see the benefits of s
  13. Posted September 30, 2020 Photo: Founder of the Creating Homefulness Society, Richard Leblanc, at Woodwynn Farm in 2017. Despite the homelessness and opioid crises, BC Housing has failed to employ Woodwynn Farm during its 2 years of ownership. Go to story
  14. Despite the homelessness and opioid crises, BC Housing has failed to employ Woodwynn Farm during its 2 years of ownership. THE ROLLING MEADOWS and picturesque barns of Woodwynn Farm on West Saanich Road remain in a serene time-warp. There’s no outward sign of activity despite a two-year-old pledge by the provincial government to establish a therapeutic recovery community on the 193-acre site. While the acrimonious Central Saanich controversy that divided the community and occupied countless hours of council time has faded to a whisper, simultaneously, the opioid crisis has tig
  15. Pipeline opponents continue the battle from treetops and in insurance company boardrooms. LEGAL CHALLENGES to the Trans Mountain pipeline are at a standstill, following the July Supreme Court of Canada dismissal of an appeal by several First Nations. However, opponents vow the battle is not over and are mustering supporters to continue fighting as construction nears some of the most controversial portions of the route. Years of protests and legal skirmishes were instrumental in Kinder Morgan developing cold feet and pulling out of the project in 2018. The Trudeau government th
  16. Posted July 2, 2020 Some Metchosin residents feel plagued by neighbours who use their properties as dumping grounds for construction waste—and a council that takes little action. Go to story
  17. Some rural residents feel plagued by neighbours who use their properties as dumping grounds for construction waste—and a council that takes little action. DAY AFTER DAY, for almost a decade, dump trucks have rolled onto a rural property in Metchosin to drop off piles of fill, changing the topography and driving copious complaints from neighbours exasperated by the industrial intrusion. Now, next door neighbour Jo-Anne Cote is hoping that, instead of trying to survive another summer of noise and dust, an order from the Agricultural Land Commission (ALR) to stop the fill dumping
  18. January 2015 Residents are concerned about possible bias and the sacrifice of green space as Langford continues housing push. “ONE DAY A FOREST, the next day a clearcut,” shrugged a Costco shopper, staring at a denuded patch that seemed to have appeared overnight above Langford’s big-box stores. The 20-hectare patch, slated for a mixed commercial and residential development, went through the usual processes at Langford City Council—including a public hearing—but for many it is hard to keep up with the breakneck pace of development in one of BC’s fastest-growing cities.
  19. Posted June 9, 2020 Photo: First responders attend to a drug overdose. Victoria still has no residential treatment beds for those coming out of short-term detox—yet the new therapeutic recovery program is undersubscribed. Go to story
  20. Victoria still has no residential treatment beds for those coming out of short-term detox—yet the new therapeutic recovery program is undersubscribed. AS VICTORIA RESIDENTS ARE FACED WITH DAILY EVIDENCE of the ravages of addiction, especially when combined with homelessness or mental health problems, there are calls for more treatment beds in the community. Victoria’s grim tally of overdose deaths, combined with neighbourhood crime and confrontations as people move from the Pandora Avenue and Topaz Park camps into hotels, is forcing addiction and mental health problems into th
  21. May 12, 2020 Photo: Homeless advocate Chrissy Brett Is COVID-19 the catalyst for bold changes around homelessness? Go to story
  22. May 12, 2020 Or will pandemic-induced debt just make it worse? AS OUTREACH WORKERS tick names off lists of campers at Topaz Park and Pandora Avenue, trying to bring order to the hurried plan to move homeless people into hotels, others are drifting in to the area, hoping to be included in the relocation. Although Topaz and Pandora, with about 360 people, are the outward face of homelessness in Victoria, tents can be found scattered around Beacon Hill Park, along side-streets, and outside Rock Bay Landing shelter. The shifting numbers are among the complications faced
  23. July 2018 Indigenous communities in the path of the oil sands and its pipelines have been left with no good options. IN NORTHERN ALBERTA AND BC, anger at environmental damage and fears that traditional cultures are disappearing are competing with economic pragmatism as Indigenous leaders struggle to decide where the future lies. Is it more beneficial to fight, or take a place at the negotiating table in hopes of mitigating damage? It’s a complicated and sometimes soul-crushing balancing act. First Nations have little faith that their objections will have any effect on developm
  24. July 2017 The project faces stiff opposition from a new government and legal challenges by First Nations and others. KINDER MORGAN CANADA’S President Ian Anderson seems confident his company will soon break ground on the Trans Mountain pipeline running from Alberta’s oil sands to a coastal terminal in Burnaby. The federal government approved the pipeline following a National Energy Board recommendation. And Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is acting as if the pipeline’s a done deal and dismissing BC’s right to control its coasts. But is it a done deal? Many BC c
  25. May 3, 2020 ANXIETY IS RIPPLING THROUGH Victoria’s Burnside-Gorge neighbourhood as residents hear through the unofficial grapevine that about 80 percent of the more than 350 of those living in tents in Topaz Park and Pandora Avenue will be coming to hotels in their community. The area, which is home to many families with children, already has two shelters and several supportive housing complexes. Residents have, as a result, experienced fallout from mental health and addiction problems in the past. Recent incidents around Topaz Park, where crime spiked after the camp was set u
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