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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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. May 12, 2020 Photo: Homeless advocate Chrissy Brett Is COVID-19 the catalyst for bold changes around homelessness? Go to story
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. April 25, 2020 New pandemic guidelines giving medical professionals and pharmacists flexibility to prescribe and distribute drugs to those suffering from addiction need to be put into practice more quickly in order to keep everyone safe, say advocates. THE ALREADY-TOXIC STREET DRUG SUPPLY in BC is becoming increasingly poisonous and expensive as borders close and supplies from China and the US shrink. But, for most people suffering from addiction, quitting is not an immediate option and, although a growing amount of basement concoctions are being sold on the street, the u
  19. April 3, 2020 With an estimated 1,500 homeless people in Victoria, increasingly worried officials are trying to find enough facilities to house them in a way that allows physical distancing. THERE IS INCREASING URGENCY to move the jumble of tents on Pandora Avenue into the safer environments of Topaz Park and Royal Athletic Park, as health professionals and advocates watch anxiously for signs of COVID-19 spreading to Victoria’s homeless population. So far, no members of the group, many of whom have compromised immune systems, have tested positive, but the risk is obvious.
  20. March 5, 2020 Innovative programs are being put in place to help farmers address the high cost of farmland—but are they enough? IT’S AN EASY EQUATION IN MOST HOUSEHOLDS—if more people turn up for dinner, it means producing more food. But in the Capital Regional District, where the population is expected to increase 27 percent by 2038, only half of the region’s 16,000 hectares of Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) is growing food. In other words, as climate change makes food security and buying local increasingly important, much of southern Vancouver Island’s rich agri
  21. January 5, 2020 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.
  22. November 2016 While most citizens oppose the bear trophy hunt, BC’s politicians seem reluctant to offend hunters. IT'S AN INCREASINGLY POPULAR CAUSE that, in BC’s politically sensitive, pre-election months, should have the two major political parties tripping over each other in an effort to adopt it as their own. Instead, provincial Liberals are literally sticking to their guns in support of the controversial grizzly bear trophy hunt while the NDP has not yet settled on a position. Polls have consistently shown that British Columbians dislike trophy hunt
  23. Posted May 4, 2020 Photo: Rock Bay Landing shelter in Burnside-Gorge neighbourhood Hotel rooms for homeless raise concerns in Burnside-Gorge neighbourhood. Go to story
  24. 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
  25. October 2015 Rankin acted on behalf of an American mining corporation in its successful bid to sue Canada using NAFTA. A STARTLING RULING by a North American Free Trade Agreement tribunal last March could force the Canadian government to pay Delaware-based Bilcon more than $300 million because an environmental assessment review panel rejected a massive basalt quarry and ship-loading facility on the Bay of Fundy that scientists believed would threaten endangered right whales. At issue for Victorians in this case is the involvement of Murray Rankin, who acted as an expert w
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