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Leslie Campbell

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Focus Magazine Nov/Dec 2016

Sept/Oct 2016.2

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Everything posted by Leslie Campbell

  1. Posted July 7, 2020 Image: Cruise ships have been visiting Victoria since the 1990s. The coronavirus crashed our growth-dependant economy just as the global community was figuring out how to shift to an economy that doesn't destabilize climate or threaten biodiversity. How will Victoria respond? Go to story
  2. July 7, 2020 Given travel’s role in the pandemic and its large carbon footprint, “staycations” look like the best path to recovery of human health and ecological stability. READING THROUGH THE CITY OF VICTORIA’S recent economic action plan, Victoria 3.0, one might easily get the impression that tourism is not important to the City’s economy. There is barely a mention of it. It crops up exactly twice. Once in a short highlight of the organization Destination Greater Victoria, and again in reference to the Victoria Conference Centre. In the Destination Greater Victoria
  3. July 7, 2020 The coronavirus crashed our growth-dependent economy just as the global community was figuring out how to shift to an economy that doesn't destabilize climate or threaten biodiversity. How will Victoria respond? THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC has dramatically reduced economic activity. Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux, for instance, estimates real GDP will fall by 12 percent this year, close to four times the steepest drop on record. Stats Canada reports that “from February to May, total employment has fallen by over 2.7 million, as the unemployment rate r
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    AARON PRITCHETT EXCLUSIVE CONCERT SERIES 4 NIGHTS • 50 PEOPLE JULY 16-19 - 7:30 PM Aaron Pritchett retains his title as one of Canada’s most electrifying entertainers, with the release of his 8th studio album - “Out On The Town, Pritchett scored a #1 single at country radio with ‘Better When I Do”. With 14 career top ten singles, a gold selling smash hit, a recent string of top 10 songs, and a massive headlining national tour, Pritchett continue
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    Collector's Choice: Jean-Paul Riopelle & Jean McEwen Winchester Galleries, June 16- July 7, 2020. The Collector’s Choice exhibition includes stellar historic works by Jean-Paul Riopelle and Jean McEwen, Quebec abstract artists. Of note are two oval 1978 Riopelle oils; three Riopelle works on paper published in the Catalogue raisonné de Jean-Paul Riopelle Tome 3, 1960-1965, pages 278 - 332 – 377; a 1958 McEwen abstract. Collector's Choice Jean-Paul Riopelle- Untitled (PM15), 1978, oil on canvas, 18 x 15
  6. May 2020 Women Talking (Vintage Canada, 2019) is a mesmerizing, fast-moving, powerful little book. Yet it’s almost entirely based on conversation—eight women talking—in a barn’s hayloft, over the course of two clandestine meetings. Like many women’s conversations, this one meanders, often going off on tangents, but it all helps them understand their dilemma and what to do about it. That dilemma is whether to stay in or leave the small, ultra-conservative Mennonite settlement in Bolivia that they’ve lived in all their lives. Will they acquiesce in their complete do
  7. May 2020 Resistance Women (2019, William Morrow) by Jennifer Chiaverini is set in Germany between 1929 and 1946. The three main characters, all friends, are women who work in various ways to thwart the rise of Nazism and Hitler’s horrific policies. One (non-fictional) character, Mildred Harnack, is an American professor, married to a German who works in the government’s economic ministry; together they try to get information out through the American embassy, and later other means. A German woman, again non-fictional, Greta Kuckhoff, works for a time translating Mein Ka
  8. November 2019 Victoria’s affordable housing crisis puts the bullseye on public land in Fernwood. WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE OF MY HOME is one of my favourite city neighbourhoods: Fernwood. I love its diversity, its heritage homes, its artsy, alternative vibe and lack of pretentiousness. These days its experiencing a lot of community angst over a proposed housing development on lands owned mostly by School District 61 to the west of Vic High. Called the Caledonia, it will offer 154 units of desperately needed affordable non-market housing. The Fernwoodians I know say they hav
  9. September 2018 Victoria City council will soon be faced with a controversial heritage conversion and demolition project in the heart of Old Town. MOST OF US PAY AT LEAST LIP SERVICE to the value of the City of Victoria’s Downtown heritage buildings. We enjoy how they conjure the past, make Victoria unique, and attract tourism dollars. It’s up for debate, however, whether current powers-that-be—City council, staff and citizen committees—are up to the task of guarding Old Town’s heritage buildings as the continuing development boom rocks their foundations. I set out to exam
  10. July 2018 A lack of balance on a June housing forum provides food for thought as to where the community needs to look for answers. DID YOU KNOW THAT VICTORIA is the “hottest” ranking “luxury primary housing” market in the world? According to Christie’s International’s Luxury Defined 2018 report, we beat out Paris and Washington DC and every other city due to our strong year-on-year luxury sales volumes and high domestic demand during 2017. At first blush this might seem rather exciting, something to be proud of. But earning this distinction means a lot of local homes are
  11. May 2018 Oak Bay neighbourhood wrestles with a 98-unit housing proposal. ONE DAY, Focus may tell you about a housing proposal that everyone in the neighbourhood is happy with, where the public process surrounding it is hailed as transparent, inclusive, effective and painless for all involved. But that day isn’t here yet. When it was announced last summer that Oak Bay United Church wanted to build some affordable housing on its property at Granite Street and Mitchell—just one block over from Oak Bay Village—it sounded refreshingly bold and in tune with the times. Affordabl
  12. July 2017 Affordable housing—for low- and moderate-income people working Downtown—should be a City of Victoria priority. VICTORIA'S CURRENT HOUSING SCENE is now recognized in official circles as in “severe crisis”—both in terms of affordability and availability. The Capital Region Analysis & Data Book shows 50 percent of households can only afford 13.7 percent of the region’s homes. The City of Victoria has responded to the crisis in numerous ways. It has removed the necessity of rezoning for garden suites. It has given preliminary approval to a moratorium on granting
  13. September 2011 A fast track to Langford? Or bankruptcy? IT’S IRONIC THAT THE POLITICIANS WHO JUMPED ON the light rail transit bandwagon in August labelled as “premature” a suggestion that we hold a referendum on the subject. If anything is premature it was their endorsement of the billion-dollar proposal. Ever since BC Transit came out with its report recommending LRT from Downtown to Langford, many have been scratching their heads at the idea of making Greater Victoria the smallest metropolitan area in North America to be served by LRT. Jane Sterk, leader of the BC
  14. April 2011 What doesn’t the CRD understand about its own regional growth strategy? IF THERE WAS EVER ANY DOUBT in my mind that a resort involving 257 housing units, a spa, recreation centre, and store on land alongside the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail—a provincial park—should be denied, a gathering of 300 people in late March ended it. We were sitting in the pews of the First Metropolitan Church. The event, hosted by half a dozen environmental and community groups, was facilitated by former federal environment minister David Anderson, who noted “Everyone in the province has
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    Madrona Gallery 10th Anniversary Exhibition June 13 - 27Madrona Gallery celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with an exhibition showcasing new works from it's stable of artists, including Meghan Hildebrand, Clayton Anderson, Morgana Wallace, Nicholas Bott, Corrinne Wolcoski, Sean Yelland, and many others. Special events with artists will be held during the exhibition, and there will be a selection of important historic Canadian works. Madrona Gallery hopes the community will join in celebrating this important milestone. For further details on events during the exhibition, please contact
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    To Fish As Formerly: A Story of Straits Salish Resurgence June 17 - November 21, 2020 Legacy Downtown | 630 Yates St.Lekwungen territory Curated by XEMŦOLTW Dr. Nicholas Claxton, UVic, School of Child and Youth Care) and Katie Hughes, UVic Department of History, graduate student. With artists: TEMOSEN Charles Elliott, John Elliott, Chris Paul, Dylan Thomas, Sarah Jim, Temoseng, aka Chasz Elliott and Colton Hash. To Fish as Formerly tells the story of the SXOLE (the Reef Net Fishery) through contemporary art, traditional knowledge and historical documentation. The exhibi
  17. Women Talking (Vintage Canada, 2019) is a mesmerizing, fast-moving, powerful little book. Yet it’s almost entirely based on conversation—eight women talking—in a barn’s hayloft, over the course of two clandestine meetings. Like many women’s conversations, this one meanders, often going off on tangents, but it all helps them understand their dilemma and what to do about it. That dilemma is whether to stay in or leave the small, ultra-conservative Mennonite settlement in Bolivia that they’ve lived in all their lives. Will they acquiesce in their complete domination by men who have failed to
  18. May 22, 2020 IN A RECENT Guardian column, Lucy Jones called being attentive to nature “a healthy form of escapism.” I couldn’t agree more. It’s the greatest gift we can get from lockdown, she notes; and the evidence that being in nature helps with healing, grieving, fear and loneliness is growing. (And that’s in addition to the vast ecosystem services nature provides, from water to carbon storage and well beyond.) My hope is that we try to “repay” nature for such gifts. The upheaval of life-as-we-knew-it does gives us an opportunity, not just to slow down and revel in near nature, bu
  19. There will be a virtual celebration of John Gould’s The End of Me this Sunday, May 24. THIS ZOOM LINK will take you to the launch of John Gould’s The End of Me: Sunday, May 24, 2020, 2 p.m. Pacific / 5 p.m. Eastern. THIS FACEBOOK LINK will take you to the event page, where, if you like, you can let us know if you’ll be able to join us. John will be joined by Kelsey Attard of Freehand Books, and by fellow authors Sara Cassidy and Julie Paul, who’ll pepper him with questions from the audience (via Zoom chat) and with questions of their own.
  20. Posted January 2019 Photo: The ironically-named Bellewood Park development will see the removal of 29 trees, including Garry oaks and the two giant sequoias in the background. Residents are mobilizing to protect one of the city’s greatest natural charms, increasingly threatened by development. Go to story
  21. Posted May 2019 Photo: The only record provided by the City to support its contention that it had “explored a number of alternative designs” were two pages of a staff member’s notebook. The demise of the Humboldt “Innovation Tree” leads a citizen to investigate the City’s decision-making. Go to story
  22. March 2020 A growing budget, a lack of transparency, and a boundary-challenged City Council all merit voters’ attention. IN THIS EDITION OF FOCUS, Ross Crockford interviews candidates running in the April 4 City of Victoria by-election. Who voters choose will provide the current council with some feedback on its direction thus far, so it’s a good time to reflect on recent governance issues and talk to candidates about them. One area of concern is the growth of the City budget and residents’ tax burden. This is central, especially in the face of a climate crisis. Keeping s
  23. January 2020 The biodiversity and climate crises are a reflection of our culture’s emphasis on economic growth. WHILE I WON’T BE ALIVE when the worst effects of the climate and biodiversity crises play out, children born today will be; and I think we owe it to them to be clear-eyed and fierce in our efforts to leave them a healthy planet. This edition of Focus, our entry into a pivotal new year and decade, provides thought-provoking reporting and analysis about the challenges of growth in the region, and what we are and are not doing to maintain the natural world on which we d
  24. September 2019 The “duty to document” may sound like boring bureaucratese, but it’s crucial to a functioning democracy. SOMETIMES A MEDIA STORY TAKES SO LONG TO UNFOLD that readers might well wonder why it’s still being told. I imagine that’s the case with the story of former Chief of Police Frank Elsner’s fall from grace. Court battles kept most players—including the Office of Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC)—quiet for years. But policy-wise, we can lay a lot of the blame for dragging out such stories to highly imperfect access-to-information laws. Information that g
  25. March 2019 Holes in the new local elections financing act give an advantage to incumbents. That’s not necessarily in the public interest. SOON AFTER the BC NDP formed the government in 2017, they delivered on some promises around election financing for both provincial and municipal elections. On the announcement regarding local elections, everyone seemed happy. News reports from that fall quote multiple politicians and organizations like the Union of BC Municipalities, not to mention Minister of Municipal Affairs Selina Robinson, saying it’s about time to get money out of poli
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