Capital Progress Edition 2017

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Capital 2017


FULL SPEED AHEAD Greater victoria's economy firing on all cylinders


$10 billion by 2030


Authentic Aboriginal


It’s booming out there




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Victorriia’s In Inn ner Harbour







A 2 0 - A C R E M A S T E R P L A N N E D C O M M U N I T Y, U N I T I N G A R I C H PA S T W I T H A V I B R A N T F U T U R E .



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Spring 2017 | Contents


8 | Construction : Building boom


Construction could start by year’s end on the fourth new condominium building at Bayview Place.

16 | Tourism: Authentic Aboriginal Sharing First Nations culture is the fastest growing segment in Island tourism as visitors are expected to pour into the region for another record year.

22 | Technology: Action central Victoria’s downtown core owes a portion of its renaissance to the region’s soaring technology sector.

30 | Manufacturing: Building quality Specific Mechanical Systems builds brewery and distillery systems sold around the world.

38 | Retail: A revival is here

30 16

Despite hits from online shopping, storefronts are making a comeback in the capital region. Downtown vacancy rate dipped to its lowest rate since 2010.

44 | Transportation: Is rail the answer? Developer Ken Mariash invested $500,000 to develop a business case to run a commuter train on the 15-kilometre stretch of E&N track between Langford and Vic West.

50 | Education: Points of pride University of Victoria, Camosun College and Royal Roads University bring thousands of students and researchers into the region and generate millions in spending.

56 | Real Estate: Seller’s market


There isn’t much in the way of relief ahead in 2017. Strong demand and a lack of housing inventory will once again drive the market this year.

77 | Public Sector: Perks of a government town The provincial government is the region’s largest employer with 12,000 employees, followed by Island Health with 10,000 and CFB Esquimalt with 6,000 employees. E&N Rail corridor

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90 | Agriculture: In food we trust Catherine St.

If anything can be gleaned from the growing success of farmers’ markets, farm-to-table restaurants and the organic food industry, it’s that Islanders want to know where their food comes from. Island farmers are working hard to keep up with that demand.

96 | Entertainment: Festival City Touring acts now consume a huge part of the arts-and-culture calendar, especially during the summer months. Some, such as Rifflandia, make waves nationally.

106 | Automotive: The charge to electric In 2016, the electric vehicle industry reported 2,100 new electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles sold, a little more than one per cent of the new-vehicle sales total in the province.

110 | Sports: National-team hotbed The capital region boasts a system of sports training centres that are tied into a national network. The end products can be seen in the Olympics, World Cups and world championships.


114 | Jack Knox: Major projects on the move … finally Other cities dash around paving new roads and building new pools as though there’s a sale on at Home Depot and they need to get ’er done before the price of ready-mix goes up again. Here in Greater Victoria, we prefer to take a, well, let’s call it a more considered approach.

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Dave Obee, Editor in Chief, Times Colonist

Optimism reigns in booming region


t takes a special sort of person to be successful in business. Success does not happen without ideas, determination, perseverance and, more often than not, a little bit of luck. The past year has been a good one for many people in business in Greater Victoria. There has been positive news from all segments of the local economy. There are more jobs to be had, construction cranes are filling the sky and the demand for housing has reached a fever pitch. There is, of course, another side to that coin. Some employers are having a hard time finding the employees they need, so they are not as busy as they could be. All of that construction is changing the face of Victoria, and possibly taking away some of the charm we have come to love. The shortage of affordable housing is prompting some people to move elsewhere, taking their skills and work ethic with them. Our children

Ships ply the Strait of Juan de Fuca. might not be able to stay here, and that can be upsetting to families. This is the price of progress – and in the end, it will all be worthwhile. The disruption caused by the McKenzie interchange work, as an example, will be forgotten once it is completed, and traffic is moving more smoothly. Construction will make more commercial space available, and more living space available, helping to meet the evergrowing need. And through it all, Greater Victoria remains the most desirable place in Canada. This special edition of Capital offers a look at the major sectors driving the local economy. This publication will give you a better sense of what is happening and where we are headed. It casts a spotlight on some people and projects that are important to the capital region, but that might not have had the attention that they deserve. Many of Greater Victoria’s entrepreneurial

rising stars might aspire to be the next Don Mattrick — the next person from here to make a huge difference on the world stage, and make a few million dollars in the process. You will see more of Mattrick next month, when he is celebrated as the Gustavson Don Mattrick: UVic's Gustavson School of Business’s Distinguished School of Business’s Entrepreneur of the Year. 2017 Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year. The annual honour, awarded by the business school at the University of Victoria, is given to a person who


Capital Home is published by the Times Colonist, a division of TC Publication Limited Partnership, at 2621 Douglas St., Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8T 4M2. Canadian Publications Registration No. 0530646. GST No. 84505 1507 RT0001 Please send comments to: Editor-in-chief Dave Obee, To advertise, phone: 250-380-5328, or email Sales Manager Jason Scriven at:

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has achieved success through his or her acumen and entrepreneurial spirit. Mattrick has a long history in the technology sector, including stints at the top of Electronic Arts and Zynga. As president of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business, he championed the establishment of a Microsoft game design studio in downtown Victoria. He has served on several public and private boards, including the advisory board for the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. He is co-chair of the Premier’s Technology Council and remains a B.C.-based investment leader. As Peter Gustavson, chair of the selection committee, put it when the honour was announced: “Don is an icon in the technology and gaming space, and represents the drive and entrepreneurial spirit that is supported at the School of Business.”

A dinner to celebrate Mattrick’s career will be held on May 8. Mattrick is one of the greatest examples of the way that Greater Victoria has embraced technology. The tech sector here is huge, with 880 businesses and 15,000 people directly employed. Dan Gunn, chief executive of the Victoria Innovation, Advanced technology and Entrepreneurship Council, believes the best is yet to come. Three years ago, the tech sector here had combined revenues of $3 billion, but Gunn thinks it’s entirely possible that the total revenue will hit $10 billion by 2030. Tech has replaced tourism as a key economic driver in Greater Victoria, but tourism remains strong, and that is good. A diverse economy is better positioned to deal with downturns. Victoria’s status as the provincial capital offers a

level of stability that other B.C. cities would envy. There will always be high-paying government jobs, even if the security of those jobs might not be as strong as it was a generation ago. And speaking of the government — we are in the closing days of a classic election campaign that is likely to bring a fair share of surprises. Anyone who cares about the future of this region and this province should be up to speed on the issues and the positions of the major parties. As we are reminded every election, every vote counts. No matter which party forms the government, Greater Victoria will continue to be a hotbed of economic activity. This edition of Capital sets the stage for the year to come. It’s an inspirational look at our progress in recent years, and there is plenty of cause for optimism. CP

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The massive build-out in Vic West pushes skyward with plans to spend $1 billion and house 3,000 people


Bosa Development vice-president Darryl Simpson atop the completed 21-storey Promontory at Bayview Place. The building’s 177 units quickly sold.

onstruction could start by year’s end on the fourth new condominium building at Bayview Place as the region’s strong economy and hot real estate market continues to spur development. When excavating machinery begins digging a huge hole to start that project, another group of nearby workers will be finishing the Encore, the third condo development on the 20-acre Bayview Place property. The Encore consists of a 17-storey tower, a pool and a five-storey structure. It will be ready by late spring 2018. Bayview One and the Promontory are already completed. Bosa Properties of Vancouver is building Encore and the Promontory. Focus Equities, Bayview Place owner, does not have plans for a partner for the fourth condo. The roll out of Bayview Place is a major element in the decades-long evolution of Vic West, along with the Burnside-Gorge neigbourhood to its north and Esquimalt to the west. These projects total hundreds of millions of dollars, provide incomes to hundreds of skilled trades workers and support local suppliers. In 2008, the global financial crash slowed real estate sales and construction, but building has resumed as B.C.’s economy rebounded and demand jumped.

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building just the

FACTS: BY THE NUMBERS • In the third quarter of 2016, the Vancouver Island-Coast area had 144 major projects underway or planned worth a total of $61 billion. • Building permits: $93.7 million in Jan. 2017, up from $66.6 million in Jan. 2016. • Housing starts: A 10-year record was set in 2016 when 2,933 homes got underway.

Major Projects:

Construction continues on the Encore, a 17-storey condominium tower. It will be ready by late spring 2018.

New housing and amenities such as parks, walkways, and cycling paths are being added on the west side of the Johnson Street and the Point Ellice Bridge. Paddlers ply the adjacent waters. Close by, the mixed-use Dockside Green is primed for new construction under its revised development plan. LeFevre and Co. is nearing its years-long build out of the Railyards. Construction of the $24-million Victoria International Marina, a luxury facility, is underway and the Blue Bridge replacement project is nearing completion. Bayview Place developer Ken Mariash is aiming to bring back E & N rail service between Langford and Vic West. The eventual development cost for Bayview Place is expected to hit $1 billion. The site will eventually hold eight new buildings, along with a retail and commercial core at the historic Roundhouse site with its five buildings, plus parks, walkways and other amenities. About 3,000 people are expected to live at Bayview once it is complete, said Paul Corns, Bayview Place communications manager. The Roundhouse property is used for special events at this time, he said.

Combined construction costs for the first three Bayview Place buildings are about $300 million, said Chris Reiter, project manager at Bayview Place and Focus Equities. That does not include soft costs, such as fees to architects and engineers. Another $20 million has been spent on infrastructure. About 100 skilled trades workers are at Encore these days. That number will rise by up to 350 by the time it is finished as a larger range of trades is brought in to finish the development. The fourth condo project will have between 175 and 200 units. Its site is already zoned for between 24 and 26 storeys. It will have studios ranging up to three-bedroom units, which proved popular in Encore, Reiter said. Once ground is broken, construction will take 18 months to two years. Another future building may have hotel units on the lower levels, with condominiums above, Reiter said. A seniors centre is also planned. Reiter is in talks with a potential partner interested in offering a continuum of care. No development date has been set. CP

Going ahead or contemplated in the capital region: • Jetty reconstruction at Canadian Forces Bay Esquimalt: $781 million. • Capital Regional District sewage treatment plant: $765 million. • Johnson Street bridge: Overall budget is $105 million. • McKenzie interchange: $85 million. • West Shore sewage treatment plant at $58 million. • Wilson’s Walk affordable housing project in Vic West: $36 million. • Esquimalt Village Project: $20 million. • Townley Lodge redevelopment: $18 million. • Metchosin business park: $15 million. • Bear Mountain Parkway: $10 million.

Employment: • Greater Victoria unemployment rate February 2017: 4.4 per cent • Total working in February 2017: 188,200 • How many more people working in February 2017 compared with February 2016: 6,200 Growth in February 2017 compared with February 2016: • Public administration rose by 4,800 workers to 21,800. • Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing sector rose by 2,900 to 10,200. • Construction rose by 1,200 workers to 14,200. • Unemployment was 5.7 per cent in the Vancouver Island and the coast region in February 2017. • Nanaimo was at 6.5 per cent. • Total employment numbers: 379,000 for Island/ Coast • Almost 83 per cent of jobs in the Island-coast area were in the service sector in 2015, more than any other region in B.C.

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> building

Construction projects on the drawing boards and on the go in Greater Victoria


Dockside Green


Two towers

Municipality: Victoria Developer: The property is owned by

Municipality: Victoria Developer: LeFevre and Co. of Victoria. Description: A four-building proposal with 164

One will be called Yates On Yates.

Vancity Credit Union, which will work with partners to build out the site.

Description: After construction halted when the recession hit, planners reworked plans for the mixed use 15-acre site, lauded for its green buildings and focus on sustainability. Up to a dozen new buildings, including towers, could be constructed. Increased park space, a commons, traffic circle and retail centre with groceries are among features planned. The population is at 500 today with 266 housing units. Dockside could have 2,500 residents by the time it is fully developed.

Status: The next new building planned is a 15,000-square-foot office and retail project. Construction is to start in the summer. Another residential building is expected to get underway in 2018. Value: not available.

condominiums at 515 Chatham St. and along Store Street. The 98,500-square-foot development includes 1,800 square feet of commercial space facing Store Street. Developer Chris LeFevre said the building’s modern design also reflects the neighbourhood’s industrial past. Plans call for 170 underground parking spots. Courtyards would run between the buildings. Two would be five storeys tall and two would be three storeys tall.

Status: Variance and development permit applications have been submitted to city hall. The property is already zoned for the proposed use. If approved, construction would start in early summer. Value: $60 million including the cost to buy the land, construction and consultants fees.

Municipality: Victoria Developer: Chard Development Ltd. Description: Two 21-storey towers are planned on the site of a parking lot in the 800 block of Yates and Johnson streets. The Yates on Yates tower would have 112 condominium units. Plans are still being developed for the other tower. The developer hopes to start the two-year construction project in early 2018. Three levels of underground parking are planned, along with commercial parking to help alleviate the shortage downtown.

Status: requires a development permit. Value: not known at this time.

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building CITYSCAPE

Esquimalt Town Square Municipality: Esquimalt Developer: Town of Esquimalt and Aragon Properties Ltd. Description: D’Ambrosio architecture + urbanism has

Glenlyon Norfolk School New education buildings and renovations to existing structures.

Municipality: Oak Bay Developer: Glenlyon Norfolk School

Description: Plans call for a new energy efficient, two-level classroom building of 32,000 square feet, along with two new buildings for kindergarten and pre-kindergarten. The Francis Rattenbury-designed

heritage house at the school’s 1701 Beach Drive Junior Campus will be restored. A historic coach house and boat house will also be renovated and upgraded.

Status: Development permits have been approved by municipality. Building permit applications are being submitted to Oak Bay for the first phase of the kindergarten and prekindergarten buildings. Construction on those buildings is to start in June.

developed a concept plan featuring civic, residential and commercial uses to create a lively place and revitalize the community’s centre. A public square and a through-block art walk, and a new home for the Esquimalt branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library are planned. It will feature bicycle and pedestrian-friendly spaces, alternative management methods for rainwater and energy; and green building concepts in all structures. Status: Esquimalt council gave early budget approval in February to proceed with preparations for the development. Parking spaces south of city hall were closed in early March to prepare for the start of construction.

Value: not available.

Value: not available.


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> building CITYSCAPE

Victoria International Marina Municipality: Victoria Developer: Community Marine Concepts Ltd.

Description: A 28-slip luxury marina, with concierge service, plus two commercial buildings on stilts in the water. A paddling corridor will run underneath the buildings. Construction is underway on the first building at Cooperage Place. The marina is to be in front of the Songhees area of Vic West. A public outcry over the size and impact of the project led to number of slips for vessels 65 to 150 feet long being reduced from 48. Original plans called for the project to be open in 2009.

Status: The developer expects it to open in early summer. Construction began in 2016. Value: $24 million

Marinaview and West Bay marina upgrades

The Triangle

Camosun College Health Education Centre

Municipality: Esquimalt Developer: Mark Lindholm Description: A 73-unit, six-storey condominium project

Municipality: Saanich Developer: Camosun College Description: A four-storey, 89,340-square-foot

with 10,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space has rezoning approval. The site is bordered by Head, Lyall and Gore streets. The second phase, which requires rezoning, would include 12 high-end, water-view condos in a five-storey building called Marinaview. A major overhaul of West Bay Marina is planned for the final stage.

building to accommodate 18 health-science programs, including community mental health, athletic and exercise therapy and nursing, as well as university-transfer health programs. It is being funded by the federal and provincial governments and Camosun. It will be at Camosun’s Interurban campus.

Status: Construction to begin in the fall for the first phase, which has received rezoning approval from council.

Status: expected to be finished in spring 2018. Value: $48.5 million

Value: $22 million

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InSights rory kulmala

The wave continues



reater Victoria continues to see an unprecedented level of construction that is responding to the demand for infrastructure from a growing economy and population base. With a rental vacancy rate that barely registers, and increased stimulus funding from various levels of government, our construction industry is running flat out to keep up with this demand. Layer on the multitude of commercial, institutional and civil projects and Greater Victoria remains a hotbed of activity rich with opportunity for skilled labour. At the Vancouver Island Construction Association, we regularly examine key indicators to assess the health and resiliency of the Vancouver Island construction sector, broken down by regions and municipalities. A primary and leading indicator is the level of investment measured by permit values, from month to month or annually. Last year, total permits in the Capital Regional District saw an increase of 33 per cent over 2015, equating to $273.4 million worth of construction within the CRD alone. With no slowdown in sight, we expect building permit activity in the CRD and other regions of the Island to increase by about 20 per cent in 2017. This activity will drive construction employment up another three per cent and impose further pressure to find available, qualified workers. The construction sector provides stable, well-paying jobs. For every $1 million in construction, we expect to see about five years of work per person. This level of construction activity in the CRD equates to about 1,400 person-years of work in construction. For every construction job, four to five additional jobs will be created to support this industry: project managers, suppliers, architects, engineers, consultants, service providers, and, yes, even lawyers and accountants. Our region is poised for growth and needs the skilled trades to meet this demand. Virtually every one of our 400 contractor members are actively seeking skilled trades workers, projects managers, and superintendents. Drive by any construction site and look at the billboard signs; you will notice the immediate demand for skilled trades people. Consider that over the next 10 years it is forecasted that nearly 40,000 skilled workers in B.C. will be retiring with an estimated 33,400 new entrants aged 30 or younger to replace them. Add on industry growth, and it is forecasted

that about 15,000 jobs in B.C. will go unfilled by 2025. Greater Victoria will be proportionally affected by this shortfall. The future labour needs of our industry is perhaps one of the most focused issues we face. VICA partners with secondary and post-secondary schools and government-funded youth programs to promote the diversity of career paths in construction, be it trades, management, professional disciplines, or ownership. We offer a robust training and education program with a range of foundation and leadership courses to support these partnerships, while promoting construction as a viable

The clock tower at Victoria City Hall is surrounded by construction cranes as the downtown skyline undergoes rapid change.

and lucrative career choice. As Greater Victoria continues to grow, we will continue to adapt to the changing environment together so that we can take full advantage of the opportunities before us. CP Rory Kulmala is the chief executive of the Vancouver Island Construction Association

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By the ocean or lake? wait for a Bite! Park your RV next to the lake or ocean and grab a kayak and your fishing pole. There’s nothing more relaxing than being rocked by the waves, waiting for the fish to bite. Even if you don’t catch your dinner, you’ll still enjoy the ride! If it’s your first time kayaking, be sure you study up on your paddling technique before jumping on the boat!

By the water, But not a fisherman? GraB a Board or canoe! If fishing is not your cup of tea, but your summer RV adventures take you beachside, try a stand-up paddleboard (SUP). Figuring out your balance only take a few minutes and then you’ll be paddling your way along the shoreline. You can even find your zen with a little SUP yoga. You have lots to choose from. There is growing variety in designs and models of this motor home type, such as the #1 seller in Europe, the versatile Travato with Dodge Promaster chassis. Other popular models include the Mercedes Sprinter Era Diesel, the Ford Winnebago or the Ford Paseo Diesel with Eco Boost. Prices range from $90,000 to $160,000. The bottom line is this: the Class B motor home type offers versatility and fuel economy. They can easily maneuver around town and tight rural spaces, serve as a second family vehicle, and can even be used for light towing.

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Authentic Aboriginal Sharing First Nations culture's fastest growing segment in Island tourism


ive hours north of Victoria and a 50-minute ferry ride at the edge of the Inside Passage, a tiny island community has built a cultural destination drawing international acclaim. Cormorant Island, which is only four square kilometres in area, is home to about 1,400 members of the ‘Namgis First Nation and non-native villagers in Alert Bay. The main attraction is the U’mista Cultural Centre, which draws visitors from the Island and beyond. “Their main reason for stopping here is the ability to see the potlatch collection,” said Bill Cranmer, chairman of the centre’s board and former elected chief. Bill’s father, Daniel Cranmer, hosted a 1921 potlatch that was raided by federal officials, who confiscated colourful masks and regalia that Bill is still working to find and have returned. “A lot of our people were charged, trials were held in Alert Bay and 26 people were sent to prison in Burnaby. We had to agree to stop potlatching and the chiefs had to agree to give up their masks and other treasures. So that’s where this collection came from, from the pieces that the chief gave back to the government and agreed not to potlatch until the law was changed,” Bill said. Today, dozens of repatriated artifacts fill the centre, while contemporary local artists are celebrated in the gift shop and a language preservation program is also underway. The centre, next to the former site of a residential school, is a powerful symbol of cultural survival at the epicentre of what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission described as “cultural genocide.” It’s also an example of how First Nations communities are sharing local culture with visitors. “We not only want to share it with our own people, but we want to share it with everybody else. You’d be surprised how many people don’t know that part of Canadian history,” Bill said. Visitors are increasingly ditching tour buses for more experiential and authentic experiences, at the same time that more aboriginal tourism products are entering the Vancouver Island market, says Dave Petryk, president and CEO of Vancouver Island Tourism. The Kwa’lilas Hotel, owned by the Gwa’sala ‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations, is set to open 85 guest rooms this summer in Port Hardy with “a curated selection of local aboriginal arts and culture.” Sea Wolf Adventures offers wildlife and cultural tours out of Telegraph Cove. And Quadra Island’s Tsa-kwa-luten Lodge, owned by the We Wai Kai First Nation, features Kwagiulth architecture and both historical and contemporary art. “I think we’re seeing increased product, at the same time that we’re seeing increased interest from visitors,” Petryk said. But how to avoid the commodification of culture — or simply enabling privileged white people to act as voyeurs of another culture? The trick is authenticity, say industry members. For Aboriginal Tourism B.C., it means a tourism product must be 51 per cent owned by aboriginal communities or individuals. Authenticity can also be about the experience itself. “Being authentic means you’re being true to your indigenous culture. You’re not creating a theme park or anything that is just a generalization of indigenous culture,” says Ben Sherman, chairman of the World Indigenous

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Tourism Alliance. “What you’re presenting is something that is the true nature of that culture.” Sherman said Canada is rapidly becoming a model for indigenous tourism worldwide. Aboriginal Tourism B.C. offers 85 “market-ready experiences,” from accommodations to outdoor adventures — one third of which are based on Vancouver Island. Being market-ready means a tourists can expect standards like regular operating hours, acceptance of major credit cards and easy communication. “We actually have the largest number of marketready experiences [in Canada], so we’re fortunate that our First Nations communities are really entrepreneurial and see the value in tourism,” said Paula Amos, manager of regional initiatives and communications. The association is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, making it the longest-running aboriginal tourism organization in Canada. Its revenues for 2017 are projected to be $68 million, up from just over $50 million in 2015, when the industry employed 3,300 full-time. Aboriginal tourism is one of the fastest-growing tourism sectors in the country, she said.

“It’s excellent for us, but we’re still having to deal with closing the gap between those who show interest ... and just getting them through the door,” Amos said. The five-year strategic plan for 2017 to 2022 projects that revenue will reach $75 million, jobs will reach 4,950, the number of market-ready experiences will reach 128 and more than two million tourists will experience them. Amos said 2017 should be a good year for aboriginal tourism — the latest trend and buzzword in travel magazines is, “transformational tourism,” which fits, she said. “People are looking for a transformational experience. When they go home, they want to have had an experience that changes them — maybe it changes how they view the world, view different cultures or their connection to the land,” Amos said. “I think the timing is perfect right now, because all of our experiences incorporate that.” CP

Cruising for Growth

Artist’s rendering of the proposed redevelopment of Ogden Point.


ith 2017 projected to be another record year for cruise ship traffic, there’s only one obvious goal for the Ogden Point terminal — growth. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, with support from partners such as Tourism Victoria, has its sights set on developing the pier. It could include a First Nations culture and retail area, shared by the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, as well as a hotel, retail space, new

marine facilities and park space. “The master plan is really about redeveloping Ogden Point for the community and making it a community hub,” said harbour authority chief executive Ian Robertson. Also included in the plan is space for a “home port,” which the harbour authority is hoping to establish in Victoria by 2020. For the 2017 season, the harbour authority has berth requests for

241 ship calls and expects 570,000 passengers. In 2016, which was a record year, there were 225 calls with 554,000 passengers. Robertson said the increase is largely driven by the success of the Alaska cruise market. “Alaska has seen very good growth, averaging three to four per cent a year. Also what’s happening is cruise lines are deploying larger ships into the Alaska region,” he said. CP

tourism just the


BY THE NUMBERS Average hotel occupancy: 74% Revenue per available room: $159 Passenger traffic at Victoria International Airport: 1.86 million Passenger traffic on B.C. Ferries between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay: 6.13 million Passenger traffic on cruise ships: 550,000 Cruise ship arrivals: 225 *Source: Chemistry Consulting and the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority

Building on record years Victoria tourism has been riding a hot streak since 2012. But when you’ve just had a record year, what’s the strategy for topping it? For Tourism Victoria, the business plan for 2017 involves boosting and refining its marketing, seeking more conferences to lock in visitors for future years and attracting more business in the fall shoulder season. Tourism Victoria’s 2017 budget, funded by the tourism industry and government grants, is $7.8 million. That’s up from less than $6 million in 2016 and about $4.5 million in 2015. About 73 per cent of the increase is going toward marketing and sales — in the regional markets like Seattle and San Francisco, affluent baby boomers and taste-making millenials are the targets.

Keeping the U.S. and China The United States and China remain the largest source of international tourists for B.C., bringing in an expected 2.3 million visitors and 300,000 visitors, respectively, in 2017. Keeping those numbers means strategic marketing and partnerships. In the U.S., Tourism Victoria is focusing on sales missions to digital-savvy tour operators and pitching Victoria content for their distribution systems. The long-term strategy for Chinese visitors is to redefine Victoria as a destination itself, instead of a day-trip for tourists staying in Coquitlam or Burnaby. Capital PROGRESS | 17

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> tourism



Most American travellers really don’t know they’re getting a great deal until they’re here.

A resident orca breaches near the San Juan Islands. Elaine Thompson photo

Whales: A critical balance Orcas are an iconic species for Vancouver Island and a serious draw for visitors. So what happens as they disappear? The endangered J-, K- and L-pod populations are hovering at around 78, after a hopeful peak at 85 last year. Many are calling for increased regulation on the whale-watching industry, saying the orcas have enough to worry about with disappearing food stocks like Chinook salmon. “In the Haro Strait, which is the heart of their critical habitat, those whales are in the presence of a vessel 85 per cent of the time,” said Misty MacDuffee, biologist with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation. In American waters, whale watchers must stay 180 metres away from the marine mammals, but that distance is only 100m in Canada. Michael Harris, the former executive director of the Pacific Whale Watching Association, said he’s not worried. Transient orcas, which are not endangered, and a resurging humpback population are more than making up for the southern residents’ decline, he said. Whale watching companies are maintaining their guarantees of whale sightings, he said, with a 98 to 99 per cent success rate and vouchers for those getting an unlucky day. A 2015 study commissioned by the association found the industry contributed a combined $145 million US to Washington and B.C.’s economies.

Royal B.C. Museum: Master Story Teller When it comes to designing and hosting exhibitions, the minds at the Royal B.C. Museum are always thinking about balance. That means telling stories about B.C. that appeal beyond residents, as well as global subjects that British Columbians will connect with. Before landing on a subject, each exhibition idea is tested with focus groups. “Before we sign the dotted line, because it represents a huge investment and revenue opportunity and risk, we always always do as much due diligence as we possibly can,” said Scott Cooper, vicepresident, collections, knowledge and engagement. The museum is

trying something a little different this year by presenting two summer exhibitions. Terry Fox: Running the Heart of Canada puts the Canadian hero in the spotlight April 12. Then beginning June 2, Family: Bonds and Belonging looks the meaning of family, by exploring prominent B.C. families from history through modern interpretations of the word.

Fluctuating currencies Currency fluctuations play less of a role than you might think on travellers’ decisions to come to Vancouver Island, said Tourism Victoria CEO Paul Nursey. While Canadians seem to keep a closer eye on the U.S. dollar when making destination decisions, it doesn’t necessarily work the other way around. “Most American travellers really don’t know they’re getting a great deal until they’re here, because they don’t really pay attention as much. But what they do do is go home and tell their friends,” he said. A weak Canadian dollar can also mean Americans spend more, while they’re here. Where it makes a much bigger difference is the domestic market, Nursey said. “It helps keep Canadians home, which is great.”

Mexico market rising While the United States and China remain the largest source of international tourists to Victoria, a surge of Mexicans is anticipated for 2017. That’s because in December, Canada lifted prohibitive visa requirements imposed in 2009. “Mexico was once a very strong source market. From 2003 to 2008 it grew rapidly, at one point becoming Canada’s fourth-largest source market,” Tourism Victoria CEO Paul Nursey said. The visa damaged that market, but it’s beginning to rebuild, he said. Industry organizations are projecting about a 20 per cent increase in Mexican visitors to B.C., however Tourism Victoria expects a little bit less, since most operator programs are concentrated in the Vancouver and Whistler regions. CP

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deirdre campbell

Keeping the momentum


ast year was a banner year for tourism across Canada and on Vancouver Island. A few weeks ago, Destination Canada released its review of 2016. It showed total international arrivals up 11 per cent, reaching close to 20 million visitors. This is the highest number since 2002 and second highest number in Canada’s history. Victoria and Vancouver Island were perfectly poised to take advantage of the renewed interest in brand Canada, enjoying higher occupancy rates, a double-digit increase in delegate days for the Victoria Conference Centre, the highest recorded number of arrivals to Victoria International Airport and across the board (passengers, busses and cars) increases for B.C. Ferries. It would be easy to take our foot off the gas pedal and, well, coast on the coast for a while. Luckily, our Island-wide tourism industry is competitive and ambitious for all the right reasons. Tourism’s impact on our overall economy is massive. It drives jobs, investment and our reputation not only as great place to visit, but also a great place to live, work and study. An increase in business events and conferences is introducing our Island lifestyle with a highly educated workforce to potential new business investment. Students from around the world want a taste of our Island life and have more secondary educational options from which to choose. Hopefully they will stay after graduation and add to our enviable labour pool. Not managing our tourism growth would also be a mistake. Elizabeth Becker published an article recently as a lesson for “overbooked” destinations such as Havana, Venice, and New Orleans. Calling Bordeaux the gold standard for small-city tourism, she described what transformed this “dilapidated, postindustrial mess in 1995,” was “the premise that tourism would be its new economic engine.” Today, Becker wrote that Bordeaux has become one of the top-three French regions for economic growth, with a percapita income above the national average. It was voted the French city most favoured by employees, as well as the happiest.

The Inner Harbour at night: Year-round tourism economy. Youth unemployment has been dropping for 18 months. What’s more, that is sustainable growth: Bordeaux was named France’s best city for preserving biodiversity and one of the top 10 for creating green spaces and recycling waste. A cautionary tale with a happy ending, Bordeaux’s tourism rebirth reminds us of the power of tourism which extends beyond occupancy numbers and increased room rates. Our Island location has protected us from the mass tourism issues facing so many of the world’s over-loved destinations, and our remoteness has only added to our mystique. We are, as some like to say, on the edge of Canada. And being on the edge drives us to be more creative, to celebrate our sense of place as a profound differentiator from the rest of Canada which encourages people to want to experience more. Why else would so many of our chefs and restaurants be highlighted by magazines such as EnRoute and Vogue? Our food culture, including adoration of all things handcrafted (beer, cheese, meats, breads) is deep and delicious. And our North Island aboriginal tourism experiences and interpretation are award-winning and globally recognized.

So, whether you see yourself in the tourism industry, I invite you to become a tourism ambassador. Help us conserve and support the very reasons why we love living here. Encourage our local government to place tourism at the centre of our city’s financial foundation. Protect our natural assets which provide our postcardperfect backdrop and soft adventures, inspire and support compelling architecture and vibrant urban spaces, help us bring more families downtown and liven up our city streets with multi generations. Invest in local arts and culture. Tourism should never “just happen,” it needs community support and input. We don’t have a tourist season any more, we have a year-round visitor economy which is strong, vibrant and needs our help to remain sustainable. CP Deirdre Campbell is the owner of Tartan Group, which specializes in sustainable tourism and destination marketing. Tartan’s destination clients include Destination Canada, Jordan Tourism Board (North America), Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada and Central America’s Cayuga Collection.

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When you’re constantly building, we’ve got your back.

When DB Services started to break ground on several large projects, they realized insuring your dreams is

just as important as building them. For over 65 years, Island Savings has been providing insightful advice to

help island businesses build, whether they need to bank, borrow, insure or invest. Whatever your business is building, your success is important to us. Bank. Borrow. Insure. Invest.

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Keeping it Simple® 4/11/17 9:49:18 AM

The world of insurance can be bu ines overwhelming, especially as your business th, gets larger and more complicated. Here Herewith, a top five list of types of insurance you might not know you need:


What would you do if a cyber criminal gained access to your computer network, and started transferring your funds through unauthorized electronic funds transfers?

This can happen unexpectedly and involve large sums of money in a short period of time; also at risk are digital assets


What is a better form of liability protection for a construction project – Wrap-Up liability coverage or relying on each contractor’s Commercial General

Liability (CGL) policy? Areas to consider include: a Wrap-Up policy has a common limit which is usually higher than

and proprietary information. Businesses and not-for-profits

contractors’ limit, and it has a specific limit dedicated to

are increasingly targeted by cyber criminals. Cyber Crime

the project, so the limit can’t be eroded by claims on

insurance provides coverage for losses related to various

other projects.

cyber crimes.


In the age of social media and online content, claims against your business for media content or user generated content associated with your business can

occur, including intellectual property rights infringements.


What if your main office area and production facility caught fire, and you were unable to conduct business for 18 months while you rebuilt? Business Interruption

Insurance provides money for ongoing expenses and other indirect costs. However, it’s critical to get an appropriate

A Multimedia Liability and Advertising Injury Clause can

length of coverage, as rebuilding can take longer than

provide protection.

expected, especially in this current construction climate.


A hacking or virus attack on your computer systems can expose sensitive private information such as client credit card details or personal identifiers like

social insurance numbers. A Cyber & Privacy Clause can cover financial losses which result from privacy breaches.

If you have questions about any of the above insurance options, or general insurance needs, please contact Heather Olson, Regional Manager – Commercial Insurance, at or 250-748-4728

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> technology TECHNOLOGY


Victoria’s most-valuable industry breathes life into downtown


ictoria’s downtown core, which has been much maligned over the years as a dead zone where retail went to die, is very much alive and thriving these days — and it owes a portion of its renaissance to the region’s soaring technology sector. The high-tech sector, which boasts annual revenues in excess of $4 billion and is considered the city’s most valuable industry, has found a solid fit in the city’s downtown, filling in upper-floor and hard-to-rent offices. And the city seems to have responded in kind, flourishing with new retail offerings, cafes, pubs, restaurants, services and a host of new residential buildings. While no one in the tech sector is about to claim full responsibility for the life breathed into the downtown, it’s hard to avoid linking the fortunes of the two. “Tech has been a huge economic boon to downtown,” said Marc Foucher of Colliers International Victoria. “There are 380 tech firms operating in downtown Victoria alone and they are employing people who walk out for coffee every morning, eat lunch downtown, shop after work, go to yoga. “I’m not at all surprised that retail is coming back downtown. There are more shops, more vacant retail fronts are being leased up and following on that are the number of condos and rental buildings going up in Victoria. Tech is not responsible for all of it, but it plays a role.”


Software developer Redbrick’s downtown Victoria office on Store Street. “With so many of our team members walking, cycling and sometimes even running to work, being centrally located downtown is extremely important to us,” says CEO Tobyn Sowden.

Latitude Geographics CEO Steven Myhill-Jones on an outdoor patio, one of several perks the company offers to retain staff.

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According to Colliers’ most recent retail market overview, tech, tourism and increased downtown residential building have resulted in the retail vacancy rate dropping to 5.45 per cent at the end of last year compared to 8.53 per cent at the end of 2015. And Colliers’ last office-tenant demand profile study in 2015 showed that of all lease deals done in the region, tech and digital media accounted for 49 per cent, with government deals accounting for just 23 per cent. In the downtown core, tech accounted for 90,000 square feet of space leased in 2015 while government leasing accounted for 111,000 square feet. Dan Gunn, chief executive of the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council, known as VIATEC, said tech

companies have been downtown a long time, but they are just now starting to make their presence felt by the sheer weight of their numbers. “The difference is the success they are having now and the size they are now,” said Gunn, noting there were more than 300 firms in the core five years ago. “Tech has now arrived, it’s proud and showing off a bit more.” He believes the establishment of VIATEC at the highly visible Fort Tectoria (777 Fort St.) and shared-space tech buildings such as The Summit (838 Fort St.), 844 Courtenay St., 955 View St. and SpaceStation (517 Fort St.) have provided natural hubs where tech workers can get together and experience a sense of community. “We wanted a retail streetlevel presence so people could identify and see the evidence of the tech sector,” said Gunn of VIATEC’s return to the downtown core in 2014. “Until then, tech had been largely invisible.” There’s no missing them now, and Gunn said that will continue as young companies who want to succeed have learned they need to be in desirable locations, close to amenities and on transit routes to attract and retain talent. “Having a good place to go for lunch or a beer, the amenities for day-to-day life are key considerations,” he said. “Downtown cores are appealing to tech companies and staff because of all they have to offer.” Tobyn Sowden, chief executive at software developer Redbrick, said they have always been a downtown company, starting in Market Square and now


occupying a large open-floor space on a second floor on Store Street. “We were attracted to this building because we knew we could really customize it to meet our needs, and we worked with some amazing local designers and contractors to do just that,” said Sowden. “We are adamant about helping to promote a great work-life balance, and with so many of our team members walking, cycling and sometimes even running to work, being centrally located downtown is extremely important to us.” Sowden said the company feeds off the new energy downtown and the downtown seems to be doing the same in reaction to the influx of tech companies. “The amenities around us have multiplied and expanded since we opened up shop in 2011, and though we have a weakness for the amazing coffee shops and pubs nearby, we can’t take full credit for their growth,” he said. “That said, I don’t think we can live without them; at the very least, our productivity would suffer without all of the coffee and lunch options at our doorstep.” Catherine Holt, chief executive of the Greater Victoria Chamber, said the tech sector has played a big role in creating the new vibe downtown. However, she is quick to point out it’s not the only factor. “Visitors and new downtown residents is what is reinvigorating downtown and absolutely the tech sector is a big part of that,” she said, noting the tech sector may not sell a lot of product or service here, but its workers do spend a lot of money in the city. CP

just the


BY THE NUMBERS • Greater Victoria’s technology sector has set a goal to have combined revenues of $10 billion by 2030. • Technology revenue this year is estimated to be in excess of $4 billion. • There are more than 880 tech firms in Greater Victoria. • The sector employs 15,000 people directly, another 3,000 consultants and 5,000 others who work in tech jobs within larger firms and governments. • The Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council (VIATEC) has 526 members (twice the number two years ago). • VIATEC’s accelerator program, launched in the spring of 2012, has had 300 companies apply. Of those, 180 were interviewed to determine their suitability, less than 100 were accepted and only 60 are still going concerns. • VIATEC’s head office is at 777 Fort St. Previously, it had operated in the Scott building at the corner of Douglas Street and Hillside Avenue, and before that the Vancouver Island Tech Park.

Major ISSUES: • Finding top talent is always a problem, and Victoria’s rapidly growing and expanding tech sector is fighting to secure talent while competing with other jurisdictions such as Vancouver, Seattle and Silicon Valley. According to Dan Gunn, chief executive of VIATEC, the way to compete is to make sure Victoria is top of mind, so the sector will continue to increase its profile and spread the word to attract people who may be casting around for a high-tech job. • Victoria still doesn’t have its own venture capital fund. While there are several highprofile angel investors and loosely held networks of investors in the city — all have seeded dozens of local start-ups — there’s no one fund that understands the local environment capable of making large investments. It is still in the works, but until then it will mean young companies likely have to bootstrap themselves a bit longer and grow a little more slowly. Capital PROGRESS | 23

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> technology THE FUTURE OF

e-commerce Victoria tech company FuturePay hits stride with young, online shoppers who don’t use credit cards



oming off what by any standard was a phenomenal year, Victoria start-up FuturePay has its eye on serious growth and maybe even profitability as it stares down the barrel of 2017. The company, launched in 2013 within the friendly confines of the highly successful Revenuewire, had something of a coming-out party in 2016 as it started to make its case and get some traction in the U.S. as an alternative to credit cards as an online payment option. FuturePay provides a non-credit-card option to allow shoppers to buy online. It offers shoppers, who want to buy now and pay later, immediate credit for online purchases at point of sale and allows retailers to retain more shoppers at the checkout process. For chief executive Bobbi Leach, the company is enjoying the fruits of three hard years of labour, and the sweat and effort put into convincing online retailers FuturePay was the future of e-commerce. “Sweat and stress has turned into fun and energy ... [the team] is starting to see the payoff of all that hard work,” said Leach, noting there were times in 2015 when the frustration level at getting retailers to try it was running high. “They started to get it, but no one was ready to be an early adopter.” That has changed. In 2015, the company signed up 250 U.S. online retailers. It now boasts more than 700. At the same time, the volume of transactions increased almost 500 per cent compared with 2015 and revenue increased more than 900 per cent. “2016 was a good year, it was our turning point,” said Leach, adding it came at just about the right time. “The usual time for a start-up is three to four years before hitting its stride. We did that last year and, for the first time, we are now bursting at the seams.” That means Leach is out raising capital to expand. “We are still in the early-stage mode, but profitability is targeted for this year. We want growth close to 400 per cent in top-end revenue and we’re targeting break even,” she said. Leach doesn’t think that will be a problem as she believes the product is suited to a world heading toward more use of digital currency. “I think this is a large part of [the future of e-commerce]. There’s a trend to see people in malls less and in stores less and making more online purchases,” Leach said. She noted it’s happening not only for wishlist items, but also for day-to-day purchases such as groceries. “I don’t think cash will disappear in the next decade, but I think ultimately that’s where we’re headed,” she said.

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Bobbi Leach: CEO of FuturePay.

> And if a survey is to be believed, the Millennial generation of consumers (aged 18-29) play into FuturePay’s hands. The survey, conducted in 2014, revealed 63 per cent of Millennials did not have a credit card, and another 23 per cent kept only one card. That’s where FuturePay sees an opportunity, as it does with the massive second tier of retailers who do not qualify for PayPal’s competing PayPal Credit program, previously called Billmelater. “We saw an opportunity for retailers from new start-ups to those with $75 million in

revenue. They weren’t supported with a noncredit card payment option that gave shoppers instant credit,” Leach said. So they started by getting added to e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Magento, whose retailers could add FuturePay to their stable of payment options within five minutes. The education process involved telling retailers they were leaving money on the table by not offering a non-credit-card option. “A lot of retailers didn’t understand. They thought everyone had a credit card,” said Leach.

But by showing them they could improve conversion rates — getting people from loading a virtual shopping cart to actually paying — retailers were won over. Leach also noted retail clients have found the addition of instant financing online is helping to drive higher-ticket sales. And the process is simple. If a retailer offers FuturePay as a payment option, the shopper inputs additional information and, within three seconds, FuturePay’s algorithm runs through a series of data points to make a credit-granting decision. Instead of paying high interest rates, the shopper then pays a flat rate of $5 per $500 in balance carried each month until it’s paid off. FuturePay’s short- and mid-term focus is to grow its U.S. business, though Leach acknowledges the platform can be adapted for most countries. But it’s likely it will hit places such as India, China or Brazil before it comes home to Canada. Leach said that’s down to the size of the market and regulatory hurdles. In the U.S., the company works with an industrial bank that allows it to lend to customers across all 50 states. In Canada, to lend to customers in each province, the company would have to set up and comply with rules in each one. CP


T he art o f

angel investing


ver the past 20 years, I have had the privilege of working with more than 25 startups as a founder, operator, board member and, most frequently, as an investor. Investing in early stage technology companies is often called venture investing or angel investing. A professional venture capitalist I met with recently shared that venture investing has



returned on average 25 per cent per annum over the past 75 years. That’s a pretty impressive number. But the reality is that average is made of some pretty lumpy outcomes — amazing returns and some goose eggs. Investing in early stage tech companies is a high-risk, high-reward undertaking. And I love it. Why? Because I am investing in entrepreneurs

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> technology and, in at least one sense, I feel like that’s a can’t-lose proposition. Even if a venture ultimately fails, I believe that cultivating the spirit of enterprise is one of the most potent resources we have to bring about positive change in society. On a practical level, how do I decide which companies am I going to invest in? The three major areas I look at when conducting diligence on an investment: 1. The Team: While I love working with entrepreneurs, if I can’t create a relationship or see myself working closely with the founding team, there isn’t really a basis for an investment. There are some exceptions to this, but not many. The specific traits I look for are persistence, integrity, vision, high EQ, a pattern of execution and hustle. The first company I cofounded bootstrapped itself to $5 million in revenue and ultimately sold for $224 million. We used to joke that a big part of our success was our likeability. Now, in every deal I look at,

charisma is definitely something I look for in a founding team. 2. Why are you doing this? The second area I look at is the “why” of the business. What problem are you trying to solve and do you understand your customers and market? Is there a mission or vision that helps to guide you? How passionate are you about your mission? I recently got involved with a new venture where the founder’s mission is to help families be more resilient in the face of increasing societal change. It’s an incredibly ambitious and broad vision that creates a great palette from which to create a venture. 3. Do you have traction? The third area I look at is traction. Is there evidence that the product or idea has connected with prospective customers? This can come in several forms. The most obvious are revenues and customers, but there are many good metrics for traction pre-revenue: subscribers, site visits, installs, pre-registered users and others.

Bottom line is that you need to show that there is either demand or a current customer base. Proof of demand is even more important if you are seeking funding for product development. The major exception to this is proven teams working on a new project. Every investor is eager to hear how their hard-earned capital can help grow or accelerate your business. Make sure you can answer that question and you will be off to a good start. Remember to be polite, pitch hard, take feedback graciously and really nail what makes you different. If an investor says “no” to committing capital to your venture, make sure to ask if you can stay in touch — and do that, especially if you are doing well. CP Rasool Rayani is the president of the Heart Pharmacy Group, a high-tech veteran and a seasoned investor.

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chosec was only a few months old when it started making noise from its downtown Victoria offices by offering technology that allowed anyone to peer behind the walls of American detainment camps at Guantanamo Bay and off-limits areas of Canadian military bases both at home and in Afghanistan. Four years later, that noise is getting hard to ignore as Echosec continues to grow in size and influence in the security and business sectors, going global with the help of investment firm Wesley Clover. “We are really starting to get some traction now,” said chief executive Karl Swannie. Echosec, which has recently opened an office in Cardiff, Wales, has 20 employees and more than 600 clients around the world. While it took some time to get the early adopters onside, Swannie said they are now pulling in the second wave of clients to get the critical mass they need to survive and grow. Echosec’s technology allows users to draw a digital boundary on a map, and the system will start aggregating social media feeds from within that zone. Within those feeds is Swannie’s pot of gold — the kind of information that security personnel want and, more lucratively, the kind of data on buying habits, what works and what doesn’t for corporations looking to attract consumers. Swannie said they started the business thinking there would be obvious security and defence applications, and while that’s still true, the growth is on the business side. “Our enterprise offering, when set up [in a company’s system], can just run and it will tell them when there’s something important,” said Mike Anderson, chief of operations. By that he means companies with hundreds of outlets can filter the feeds to show them when something has clicked with a lot of people, or if something is failing with a large group. Swannie said over the last few years, that’s been made possible by investing in and developing more robust analytic software for the system.

“In China, for example, where 300,000 people will walk through an Ikea in one day, it makes sense for a company like that to get information on their clients, information on the people they want to market to,” he said. It’s also a tool used by media outlets to get eyes on the ground, such as images and video from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram users at ground zero of terrorism attacks, natural disasters, demonstrations and entertainment events to give them a better understanding of what’s happening.

Karl Swannie, chief executive of Echosec, with a perk and prop inside the company’s downtown Victoria office — a Bell helicopter minus the rotors where employees can get some simulated flight time.



Location-based search engine Echosec keeps eye on global security and, increasingly, business trends

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Nurses. Dental Hygienists. Mental Health Workers. Medical Radiation Technologists. We rely on highly trained, skilled health professionals to take care of us and our loved ones in the most vulnerable moments in our lives. Health Health care care is is one one of of British British Columbia’s Columbia’s fastest fastest growing growing sectors, sectors, employing employing over over 210,000 210,000 workers workers every every year. year. With With over over 18 18 innovative innovative programs programs and and 1,000 1,000 students, students, Camosun Camosun College College is is one one of of the the leading leading providers providers of of expert expert health health and and human human service service education education in in our our province. province. And And with with an an exciting, exciting, innovative innovative new new Health Health education education facility facility on on the the horizon, horizon, our our upcoming upcoming nurses, nurses, early early childhood childhood educators, educators, health health care care assistants assistants and and medical medical radiation radiation technologists technologists will will be be well well prepared prepared with with the the hands-on hands-on skills skills and and interdisciplinary interdisciplinary knowledge knowledge to to provide provide expert expert care care for for the the future future good good health health of of our our province. province. Whether Whether you’re you’re an an employer, employer, supporter supporter or or future future student student looking looking to to improve improve the the health health and and wellbeing wellbeing of of our our communities, communities, join join Camosun Camosun and and change change everything. everything.

c a m o s u n .c a

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1:27 AM


A new vision for Health and Human Service education in Canada


dvanced dvanced Education Education Minister Minister Andrew Andrew Wilkinson Wilkinson recently recently announced announced the the Province Province of of B.C. B.C. and and the the Government Government of of Canada, Canada, through through its its Strategic Strategic Investment Investment Fund Fund initiative, initiative, will will invest invest $43.5 $43.5 million million in in aa new new Health Health Education Education building building at at Camosun Camosun College’s College’s Interurban Interurban campus. campus. “A “A new new leading-edge leading-edge Health Health building building at at our our Interurban Interurban campus campus isis an an essential essential investment investment not not only only in in Camosun, Camosun, but but in in the the future future health health of of B.C.,” B.C.,” says says Camosun Camosun College College President President Sherri Sherri Bell. Bell. The The Camosun Camosun College College Foundation Foundation also also plans plans to to raise raise aa further further $5 $5 million million toward toward the the project project from from community community and and industry industry donors. donors. “This “This new new Health Health building building will will allow allow Camosun Camosun to to offer offer the the latest latest in in health health care care teaching teaching technologies technologies and and to to amalgamate amalgamate the the majority majority of of our our healthhealthrelated related programs programs under under one one roof, roof, providing providing aa collaborative collaborative and and synergistic synergistic learning learning environment environment for for the the educational educational benefit benefit of of our our graduates, graduates, and and the the good good of of our our communities,” communities,” adds adds Bell. Bell. The The new new facility facility begins begins construction construction soon soon and and isis designed designed to to be be aa four-storey, four-storey, 89,000 89,000 squaresquarefoot foot centre centre to to house house Camosun’s Camosun’s 18 18 health health science science and and human human service service related related programs, programs, including including community, community, family family and and child child studies, studies, nursing, nursing, as as well well as as university-transfer university-transfer health health programs. programs. Plans Plans call call for for collaborative collaborative group group learning learning spaces, spaces, flexible flexible innovative innovative labs labs including including an an early early learning learning and and care care living living lab, lab, student student study study spaces, spaces,

additional additional simulation simulation space space including including aa senior’s senior’s apartment, apartment, and and an an Indigenous Indigenous gathering gathering place. place. Camosun Camosun health health program program students students will will have have access access to to the the latest latest in in equipment, equipment, classrooms, classrooms, and and simulation simulation labs labs easily easily shared shared between between programs. programs. As As an an example: example: students students in in Health Health Care Care Assistant Assistant and and the the Bachelor Bachelor of of Science Science in in Nursing Nursing (BSN) (BSN) programs programs will will study study side-by-side side-by-side with with students students in in medical medical radiography radiography and and mental mental health health and and addictions. addictions. The The facility’s facility’s location location at at the the Interurban Interurban campus campus will will also also allow allow for for cross-educational cross-educational opportunities opportunities with with students students in in related related disciplines, disciplines, especially especially those those in in the the college’s college’s athletic athletic therapy therapy and and exercise exercise and and wellness wellness programs. programs. “The “The new new Health Health building building allows allows Camosun Camosun to to continue continue and, and, in in many many ways, ways, improve improve on on what what we’ve we’ve been been doing doing for for the the last last 45 45 years,” years,” says says Cynthia Cynthia Smith, Smith, Dean Dean of of the the School School of of Health Health and and Human Human Services. Services. “I’m “I’m so so excited excited because because this this isis what what we we need need to to grow grow and and continue continue to to build build on on our our commitment commitment to to improving improving the the health health and and wellwellbeing being of of the the people people in in the the south south Island Island region.” region.” Camosun Camosun College College educates educates over over 1,500 1,500 students students each each year year in in health health and and human human services services related related programs programs including including nurses, nurses, medical medical lab lab assistants, assistants, early early childhood childhood educators, educators, medical medical radiography radiography technologists, technologists, and and many many more. more. The The college’s college’s new new Health Health building building isis planned planned for for completion completion in in 2018. 2018.

Health and Human Service programs at Camosun

FACTS •• The The health health sector sector isis one one of of the the fastest fastest growing growing in in B.C., B.C., employing employing over over 210,000 210,000 people people per per year year •• Since 1971, Camosun Since 1971, Camosun has has been been educating educating students students for for health health carecarerelated related careers careers •• Camosun’s Camosun’s Nursing Nursing program program opened opened in in 1980 1980 with with 125 125 students students •• Today, Today, over over 1,500 1,500 students students are are enrolled enrolled in in Camosun’s Camosun’s health health carecarerelated related programs programs •• From From medical medical radiation radiation technology technology to to dental dental hygiene hygiene and and early early childhood childhood education, education, Camosun Camosun offers offers 18 18 health health and and human human service service programs programs each each year year •• 87 87 per per cent cent of of our our health health education education learners learners are are female female •• 27 27 isis the the median median age age of of our our students students •• 88 88 per per cent cent of of recent recent health health and and human human service service grads grads are are in in the the labour labour force force •• Camosun Camosun College’s College’s $48.5 $48.5 million, million, 89,000 89,000 sq. sq. ft. ft. state-of-the-art state-of-the-art Health Health Education Education Centre Centre at at Interurban Interurban campus campus isis set set to to open open in in 2018 2018

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Builder of Breweries Peter Hunt and Phil Lecours of Victoria Distillers in Sidney inspect their new distilling system, which was built by Specific Mechanical Systems in Saanichton.


For many beer and liquor companies around the globe, production starts with a Saanich Peninsula fabricator

reater Victoria is famous for an array of craft beers, but what many might not know is internationally sought-after brewery systems are made here as well. Specific Mechanical Systems custom builds brewery and distillery systems in a 45,000-square-foot facility on the Saanich Peninsula. It is one of the many manufacturing companies in the region that together employ thousands of workers and generate millions of dollars each year in sales and wages. “We build absolutely everything here,” said president Reo Phillips. The company has operated as a stainless steel and copper equipment fabricator for 30 years, building mostly breweries, but also distilleries, water systems and even art. Specific Mechanical employs about 80 people, including designers, engineers, welders, electrical technicians and others. Sheets of stainless steel and copper are hand-crafted and welded into brewery and distillery systems to suit the needs and space of the buyer, Phillips said. Each system takes about six months to design and

build, and costs range from $100,000 for a simple brewery system to millions for more complex systems. “This one is going to Texas,” Phillips said, pointing to a large steel brewing system bound for Thirsty Planet Brewery in Austin. The company purchased its first brewery from Specific Mechanical 18 years ago, he said. A smaller system next to it will go to Tofino. “We’ve done almost every brewery in town,” said Phillips, whose great-great-great grandfather worked for Guinness in Ireland in the 1800s. “This community is a craft beer hub of Canada.” Phillips said the company is working on five or six breweries or distilleries at any given time and ships about 50 a year. They are always looking for ways to innovate the beer-making process without straying too far from the 5,000-year-old craft.

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manufacturing just the

> “We’re not looking to redefine the process, but just get better efficiencies,” Phillips said, using hop cannons as an example of technology minimizing labour. “It’s basically a big potato gun that shoots the hops on top of the tank.” He said raw materials are the single biggest expense for his company, which uses highquality stainless steel from North America and copper from Germany. A sheet of copper can cost up to $4,000. Being on an Island is another added expense, with all the materials and products being shipped by truck on ferries. Phillips said brewery systems have been shipped all over North America, South America, Asia and Europe.

“We’re not a huge industrial area and with the ferries we pay a bit of a premium to be here, but we all love it. We want to support local. We all live here,” said Phillips, noting up to 10 flat-deck semi-trucks come and go from the facility each week. Phillips said there is no shortage of people interested in working at the company. It often hires from local trades programs and offers its own apprenticeships for keen staff who want to move up. Like other companies on the Peninsula, employees travel from homes all over the region and transportation is an issue. “There’s not much parking around here,” Phillips said. “We do a lot of car pooling.” CP


BY THE NUMBERS • Manufacturing in B.C. accounts for 400,000 jobs and $8.6 billion in wages each year. • According to the Sidney and North Saanich Industrial Group, more than 2,400 people are employed in manufacturing on the Saanich Peninsula. • Industrial companies generate $900 million annually in revenues. • More than $150 million is paid in wages each year.


Some of the top manufacturing employers in Greater Victoria Viking Air, Twin Otter aircraft: 434 employees, with 330 in Victoria Schneider Electric Victoria, devices that measure electricity usage: 300 employees Babcock Canada, submarines: 252 employees Sherwood Industries, wood and pellet stoves: 200 employees

Epicure Selections, food products: 150 employees Reliable Controls, Internetconnected green building controls: 136 employees in total, 123 in Victoria Nicholson Manufacturing, forestry debarkers: 110 employees Scott Plastics, molded plastics: 95 employees Starfish Medical, medical

Viking Air Chief Executive Dave Curtis.

devices: 80 employees FTS Environmental, automated environmental monitoring systems: 80 employees Quester Tangent, train control and monitoring systems: 60 employees Island Precision Manufacturing, architectural millwork: 34 employees in total, with 26 in Victoria

• Softwood lumber remains the top valued export from Vancouver Island and B.C. In 2016, more than $6.9 billion worth of softwood lumber left the province, more than half of it bound for the U.S. • Many mills are gone, but the forest industry still plays a major role in the Island economy. Western Forest Products has eight sawmills on the Island and, according to the company’s 2016 annual report, saw a 10 per cent increase in revenues to $1.2 billion. The company said the market is still volatile with the ongoing softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the U.S., but noted increased demand from overseas and a lack of supply from the Interior due to Pine Beetle infestation has boosted prospects. • Catalyst Paper is western North America’s largest producer of mechanical printing paper and operates five mills, including Crofton and Port Alberni, which employ 578 and 324 people, respectively. Capital PROGRESS | 31

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The only federally funded lab in B.C.


on the Peninsula


he Technology Access Centre at Camosun College’s Interurban Campus is a feefor-service development lab for advanced manufacturing products that helps train students and serve the private sector. “We primarily offer services around advanced manufacturing,” said manager Imtehaze Heerah. The centre, one of 30 federally funded labs, is the only one in B.C. It employs a team of applied research specialists

from various fields. Services offered include 3D prototyping and manufacturing, productivity enhancements and automation, 3D scanning and modelling, engineering design and sensor integration. The centre evolved from the Vancouver Island Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping, and works with local manufacturers which have clients all over the world. These include VRX Simulators, a Sidney firm the centre helped develop two-seater racing and flight simulators for Toyota Connect

in Texas. The centre’s work can also be found at the Richmond Oval. It helped develop the bobsled, sit-ski and kayak simulators. Heerah said their most recent project is a partnership with UBC Okanagan, Victoria’s Latitude Technologies and Conair Aerial Firefighting in Abbotsford to develop a device capable of monitoring pilot fatigue. “It’s another cool one. We’re trying to use wearable devices like heart-rate monitors and watches to look for bio-signals,” he said.

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InSights John Juricic

Housing, transit

key to successful sector


he local manufacturing sector is thriving, but faces challenges to future business growth and sustainability. The South Island sector conservatively produces a combined revenue of more than $1-billion annually and employs about 3,000 people. A lack of affordable housing for the workforce is arguably the No. 1 issue facing the industry. Young, talented employees must be able to live affordably in our region and get to work easily. This affordability issue is key to attracting skilled workers. The lack of flexible and available transportation options continue to challenge the sector. As executive director of the Peninsula-based manufacturing organization, Sidney North Saanich Industrial Group, I have advocated for affordable workforce housing, improved transit and transportation and skilled-trades related issues for more than five years. In that time, the SNSIG met with numerous community stakeholders, including the mayors and council members of the three Peninsula municipalities (Sidney, North Saanich and Central Saanich), as well as and mayors and councils from Victoria and Saanich. We have also engaged with provincial housing, economic development and skilled trades officials. We continue to have an active and positive relationship with Victoria International Airport officials.

The main housing-related challenges are cost and availability. Industry is not a community landlord. Municipal councils own that responsibility through zoning jurisdiction and controls. Councils must continue to approve housing projects at employee and family affordable pricing. Not only for industry sustainable requirements, but also for community sustainability. Young people and families must be able to live, spend and grow in all of our regional municipalities, not just the affordable ones of the day. I have heard of manufacturing workers on the Saanich Peninsula who live as far as the Westshore, Shawnigan Lake and Nanaimo because they are more affordable places to live. This complicates a worker’s quality of life and flexibility at work when they face these long commutes. The SNSIG has met with B.C. Transit officials and private transportation operators such as

Cherbel Yousief and Stuart O'Connor with some of the stoves and fireplaces manufactured at Sherwood Industries in Saanichton and shipped to retailers and consumers across North America.

Wilson Transportation. We continue to advocate for increased transit options to the Peninsula and throughout Lower Vancouver Island. Many of our sector companies operate up to three shifts a day. Many of these companies do not receive adequate service from the Pat Bay Highway and travel to the Westshore from the Peninsula. A key priority of the SNSIG has been to raise the profile of the Peninsula-based manufacturing sector. We regularly hear about how the tourism and technology sectors dominate business on the lower Vancouver Island. But the manufacturing sector is a lesser publicized industry that employs thousands with sustainable, secure, well-paying jobs and that contributes significantly to the economic growth and business development of the South Island. John Juricic is a business consultant and owner of Harbour Digital Media.

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Victoria’s trusted choice for senior home care and elder services


ome Care Assistance, recently opened in Victoria, serves seniors and their families with exceptional home care and provides older adults in the region with one-on-one support – allowing them to live safely and independently at home. Drawing on a roster of skilled and compassionate caregivers, Home Care Assistance’s Client Care Managers match clients and caregivers based not only on their home care needs, but also on their personalities and interests. Home Care Assistance affords every client highly personalized and flexible care, designed to meet

the evolving needs of older adults. Care is provided on an hourly, daily or temporary respite basis. Support can range from help with the basic activities of daily living to more advanced care requiring the experience and skills needed for a transition home from the hospital or rehab facility, or for specialized conditions such as stroke or Alzheimer’s disease. With Home Care Assistance, you work with a full care team, including a Client Care Manager who makes sure all your needs are met and the highest standard of care is maintained throughout the duration of service. Director and owner of Home Care Assistance Victoria, Lutgarda Mariano, explains her motivation and commitment to home care service. “Growing up as the youngest child in my family meant I had six siblings – as well as my mom and dad – to learn from. One important rule instilled in me was to ‘Put your best foot forward each and every day to everyone you meet.’ With every job I have held, I worked at it as if I owned the business – always giving my best. Owning Home Care Assistance is a big role that I have welcomed with open arms and heart. “My mother is a great inspiration for me. She was a caregiver when she first arrived in Canada, and went on to become an LPN. Later she became an RN, and in her 50’s she started a facility taking care of seniors and adults with disabilities. These clients became family, and we laughed together each and every day. My mother never forgot a client’s name, and considers herself fortunate to have been a part of their lives.”

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for our clients at all times, so that trust is nurtured, and caregivers are able to build a rapport with clients. Educational seminars take place every month, to ensure caregivers receive the best support for themselves and our clients.” The opportunity to meet amazing people

Owning Home Care Assistance has given Lutgarda an opportunity to make a difference in the community. Accountability towards both clients and caregivers is key for her. “I believe in taking care of our team as much as taking care of our clients. We schedule the same caregivers

through Home Care Assistance inspires Lutgarda and her team to follow that lesson from childhood: “Always do the best you can for the people who are with you today, and who you will meet in the future.” To find out more, call 250-592-4881 or visit

home Care assistance Victoria team members share their perspectives: I am always amazed at how wonderful, hardworking and committed our caregivers are and how they really help our clients to improve. The continuous appreciation that I hear from clients and caregivers, gives me fulfillment and a sense that we are doing things not only right, but beyond their expectations. We are truly different at Home Care Assistance. Sharon Hewett – Admin Assistant, HCA

For me, being a team member at Home Care Assistance has allowed me to utilize all the skills I’ve acquired through my life. Working in the “helping” industry is not “working” at all! It is all about passion and commitment. The move into a Care Manager position was a natural step for me and I welcomed the opportunity to be in an environment where we go above and beyond for our clients, every single day! Patti Bach – Care manager, hCa

HCA Victoria creates compatible caregiver matches, making clients more comfortable, and this makes it easier to develop long term relationships. This is the most important part of HCA Victoria and makes going to work a pleasurable experience. Being in a caring profession, it is good to know HCA Victoria shares my therapeutic outlook. Caroline yeend – Care manager, hCa

Client testimonials: Changing the way the world ages, one Client at a time ”We are impressed with the services provided by Lutgarda, Caroline, and all the caregivers from Home Care Assistance. On a daily basis, caregivers are alert, friendly, and resourceful, caring for our family as though it is their own. Communications with the company are smooth and the family web page they provide makes tracking events and updates easy. We like working with Lutgarda and Caroline because they welcome the details of what our family needs, and they put a lot of thought into meeting those needs in the best way. They take the time to think about how to avoid problems, and how to design care so that our family is protected. Because of their experience and thoughtfulness, they are able to see patterns within the situation, and address needs that we may have overlooked. Working with this team at Home Care Assistance has taken a lot of the stress and worry away from this difficult time in our family. We’re glad to have them with us.” — lauri and Chris

“A great company. When we needed support for a parent they responded immediately. They took care to get to know our parent and then matched care workers to our parent’s personality. Communication was regular and they kept us up to date on our parent’s progress and needs as they occurred. We felt very fortunate to have found Home Care Assistance when our family was in crisis and are very grateful for their continued caring and support for our parent. Working with this company has been a very good experience.” — susan and robert

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> retail

Retail Revival Despite hits from online shopping, storefronts are making a comeback in the capital region.


ith nine stores elsewhere in B.C. and a website showcasing natural fibre-clothing from teeny tiny to 4X, Marilyn Robinson decided to check out Victoria last October. Within three weeks, she opened Blue Sky Clothing store No. 10 on Government Street, where it caters to women of all ages seeking vibrant colours and good looks minus tight tailoring. “I have a store in Nelson and a lot of people visit from Victoria and say, ‘Oh you should open a store in Victoria,” she recalled. Taking a good look around the downtown core, she called up a commercial realtor on the spur of the moment and rented a space on one of Canada’s prime shopping venues that same day. “We’re more of a boutique store and I like to be on the street,” she said. Her business ethos revolves around women of all ages she sees walking down the street. “I just want to embrace all women of all shapes and sizes to feel as beautiful and comfortable as possible.” Fashion retailing is “getting hammered nation-wide” —American Apparel and Bryan’s have departed within a block of Blue Sky — but people still want to shop in their communities and large condominium developments sprouting all over

downtown has brought business to retailers in downtown Victoria, said Matt Fraleigh, senior associate with Colliers International, specializing in retail sites. Still, retail sales in January took their largest jump nationwide in nearly seven years, according to Statistics Canada, rising 2.2 per cent to $46 billion. Registering good health, the downtown vacancy rate has dropped from 8.5 per cent at the end of 2015 to 5.4 per cent at the end of last year, the lowest vacancy rate since 2010, according to Colliers. Bricks-and-mortar retail continues to pace the field in the capital region, giving locals and tourists an eye-popping

range of options including major shopping mall expansions led by 100,000 square feet under construction at Mayfair, and the new Sidney Crossing at Beacon Avenue slated for the same size. Catherine Holt, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce said indicators are that the local retail economy is holding its own, “not hitting it out of the park, but slow and steady upturn.” Healthy fundamentals at play, from a thriving technology and tourism sector to public sector stability are reasons to predict people are looking to buy services in the local economy “and retail is primary in that,” Holt said. Julie Lawlor, executive director of the Westshore Chamber of Commerce, said a lot is going on retail wise, with 384 members. “I have not had a member get in touch in the last six months to say, ‘I’m closing because my business is down.’ ” Retail is “pretty much at capacity,” according to Sooke Chamber of Commerce president Kerry Cavers, even though a shoe store and kids clothing outlet would be welcome. Just because Sooke is off the beaten track doesn’t mean it’s cheap. “The rents for commercial space out here are on par with Victoria,” she said, “but there is only a fraction of the business traffic, so it’s tough.” Prosperous Oak Bay Village, jammed with independent retailers, has just two vacancies — the former Fawn children’s boutique on the 2200 block and a tiny space at the back of Athlone Court, said BIA spokeswoman Heather Leary. Things are more complicated in Sidney, where the BIA cannot confirm the number of Beacon

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katherine dedyna

Avenue storefronts that are empty. In January, there were 27 vacancies representing 7.6 per cent of the spaces, according to a compilation by Michael Doyle of Macdonald Realty for The Support Our Sidney group has been beating its' drum saying more businesses will be threatened once the $35-million Sidney Crossing Marilyn Robinson of Blue Sky Clothing: “I like to be on the street.”

retail just the


shopping centre goes up across the highway on airport land. Developer Omicron says the Crossing will have retailers not currently in Sidney, such as an electronics store, and will keep shoppers in town. “At the present time Sidney’s Economic Development Commission, with full support from the Sidney BIA, is developing a comprehensive profile of the downtown district,” BIA executive director Donna Petrie said. CP

BY THE NUMBERS Victoria’s downtown vacancy rate has dropped dramatically from 8.5 per cent at the end of 2015 to 5.4 per cent at the end of last year, according to a study by Colliers International. That drop is calculated in total lineal feet, which reflects large and small vacant spaces, rather than the total number of storefronts, says Colliers senior associate Matt Fraleigh.

Chamber Growing ADRIAN LAM

Lukewarm on liquor Businesses finding costs behind loosened liquor laws prohibitive


ipping on pinot during a pedicure or having a beer with book shopping or a barbershop shave. Sounds like such a civilized way to mix business with pleasure as part of the provincial government’s stated vision for “progressive liquor laws for a modern B.C.” announced last fall. Imagine the flood of applicants wanting to take part. Ah, no... Only two so-called non-traditional businesses have applied since the application process opened Jan. 23. By March, no licences had been granted, said Chris Harbord, communications director for the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch, adding the application process is expected to take seven to 12 months. All businesses are eligible, except those that cater to minors or involve the operation of motor vehicles. Applicants who want to serve a few dozen drinks a day to their customers must undertake the same

By Category, the breakdown of Chamber membership is: rigorous process required for people who want to open a bar. It’s called a liquor primary licence and the handbook on the terms and conditions runs to 42 pages. The application fee is $2,200 and the first-year licensing fee another $2,200, with subsequent annual renewal fees based on sales but ranging from $250 to $2,200. Some might say the fees are on the onerous side for a business person who might serve just a few, or a few dozen, alcoholic drinks a day. “A top priority of government is making sure that the sale of liquor is done in a safe, responsible way, and is kept out of the hands of minors,” Harbord said. So the process requires

Matthew Conrad of Victory Barber shaves Matt Phillips of Phillips Brewing at Victory Barber.

Serving-it-Right certification for all people involved with the sale of alcohol as well as a criminal records check, although a record does not preclude a non-traditional licence. “This change is not meant to encourage every business in British Columbia to apply for a licence,” Harbord said. “Instead, it is meant to allow businesses that see a natural fit for liquor service within their business model the opportunity to apply for a licence.”


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The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce represents nearly 1,400 businesses and organizations from Sooke to Sidney, although several smaller communities have their own chambers. For individuals, the count is “upwards of 35,000,” said Peggy Kulmala, the chamber’s policy and public affairs manager. Still, that represents only an estimated 10 per cent of the businesses south of the Malahat. Roughly by region, the membership includes: • 1,065 in the four cores of Victoria, Esquimalt, Oak Bay and Saanich • 202 organizations in Westshore, plus five in Sooke • 111 organizations on the Saanich Peninsula

Advertising & Media 66 Arts, Culture & Entertainment 27 Automotive, Aviation & Marine 70 Business & Professional Services 184 Communications 31 Computers, IT & Technology 54 Employment & Staffing 12 Family, Community & Non-Profit 153 Finance & Insurance 92 Government & Education 37 Health Care 59 Home & Garden 66 Industrial & Manufacturing 44 Lodging, Travel & Tourism 73 Personal Services & Care 19 Pets & Veterinary 3 Public Utilities & Environment 28 Real Estate & Construction 161 Restaurants, Food & Beverages 87 Shopping & Specialty Retail 55 Sports & Recreation 31 Capital PROGRESS Capital PROGRESS | 39

4/11/17 9:52:14 AM

> retail

He sees, however, “significant problems with All alcohol served in non-traditional settings how the province framed the policies that are must be purchased through the Liquor Distribution making it largely prohibitive,” he added. Branch, or a liquor manufacturer on behalf of the Brett Lacey, co-owner of Arq LDB. Salon on Douglas Street, has Would businesses have to been talking about the idea charge for the alcohol or could for more than two years, but is they throw in a glass of wine as disappointed in how onerous the part of the spa experience, for application process is, even if he instance? The Capital Regional understands why. “Businesses must charge District has 46 privately “This is quite prohibitive for for their liquor,” Harbord said. operated liquor and special wine stores and a small businessperson to come “However, they can include liquor 14 government operated up with this kind of money,” he as part of a package, provided B.C. Liquor Stores. said. And it’s unfair, he said, not the amount of liquor provided is to distinguish between businesses specified and not unlimited, and is offering customers a glass of wine separately itemized on the bill.” to make the primary focus of a business more Matthew Conrad, owner of Victory Barber & relaxing and going into the liquor business. Brand on Blanshard Street, said he has supported “It wasn’t meant to be the cornerstone of my the policy change since he opened downtown in profit.” CP 2011, and is in talks with the city for a licence.



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InSights teri hustins

We take our Food very Seriously here Teri Hustins hosts a "parklet" site on Fort Street.


ave you ever noticed how many restaurants there are in Downtown Victoria? The Downtown Victoria Business Association says there are 255 restaurants and eateries within the downtown boundaries. We Victorians enjoy a bounty of gastronomic choices in our small dense urban core. In the past five years, the heat on our foodie scene has been cranked up a notch and our downtown is becoming known as a foodie mecca. Food bloggers and writers from around the globe are discovering the tastes, bites, sips and flavours of all this gourmet cleverness. The area around Fort and Blanshard Streets is particularly becoming known for its culinary offerings. Here you will find cuisine from around the globe: Mexican, Italian, Spanish, Thai, Chinese, Lebanese, Japanese, Indian and Vietnamese. Sprinkled in the mix of all these international cuisines are delis, butchers, bakeries, cheeses and killer cocktails. Many of these new restaurants and eateries are being opened by young foodie visionaries who are tempting us with interesting and creative menus. And Victorians are gobbling it up. I believe a couple of factors are contributing to the explosion of great new eateries in our city’s core. There seems to be a shift with property owners, who are purposefully curating their spaces with businesses that connect with locals in an authentic way – and food is definitely a connector. Buildings downtown usually have smaller street-level spaces, with rents that are more palatable and easier to digest for the aspiring culinary entrepreneur. Culinary creativeness spurs on other gourmet-inspired ventures and the gastronomic bar gets heightened. This is occurring in the Fort and Blanshard area which during a typical business day offers the working population more than 20 lunch choices. During the lunch hour, these places are packed.

In the past few years, the tech industry has established itself in Downtown Victoria. This part of the creative economy tends to be educated and entrepreneurial with a zest for good food. Plus, they eat out, and eat out lots. I doubt there are many brown lunch bags to be found in their office refrigerators. We’ve also seen the residential population in downtown explode in the past few years. These new urban dwellers appreciate the culture and the eclectic cuisine of their new environs. All of these changes are the ingredients for the creation of a flavourful and vibrant downtown. Our food culture has economic spin-offs which can be felt in other types of businesses and in our region’s tourism. Foodies are dialed into what’s happening. They are sophisticated. They want experiences and they will travel to enjoy these hot spots. Whether it’s a local venturing out of their neighbourhood or a tourist, people who enjoy food

are always seeking the next culinary experience. And while they are on their quest, they are invariably discovering the surrounding neighbourhood, other businesses, shops and the architecture. Visitors to Victoria love that our city’s core is compact and so easily walkable. In between all this eating and walking, they are absorbing the flavour of the area. These visiting food-a-holics don’t want a canned tourist experience, they want to eat where the locals eat. When I’m chatting with people in my store, I always ask them two questions: Where are you from? And where are you eating? Call it civic pride, but I want to be sure that no visitor to Victoria is eating bland food or sipping a subpar cocktail. To fully experience Downtown Victoria, you simply must eat and eat well! CP Teri Hustins owns Oscar & Libby’s and is a passionate supporter of downtown Victoria.

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retail Wages

Increasing wages a concern for business owners Retailers across the capital region, like those throughout B.C., share concerns about how the impending hike in the minimum wage will play out, with the Retail Council of Canada suggesting it could lead to job loss, business closures and an increase in youth unemployment. Many retail workers make minimum wage, and most businesses have to worry about other increases — rent and property taxes among others. So the heads-up by B.C. that it will boost hourly minimums by 50 cents to $10.85 come Sept. 15 is at least more warning than retailers got last year, said Greg Wilson, the council’s B.C.-based director of government relations. It’s disappointing that for two years in a row, the province has opted for increases double the consumer price index, he said, despite a commitment to keep it to the CPI, which rose by 1.5 per cent last year. “Generally, retail margins are not large, particularly for small businesses,” he said. Labour costs are usually the main cost of doing business, followed by property taxes, he added. “The members who are running a business that’s close to the line are having difficulty,” he noted. The average wage for full-time retail workers is $18.90 per hour, he said, adding that a significant percentage of retail workers work full time. The provincial average wage is $26 for men, and $22 for women. The Retail Action Network, which studied Victoria retail and hospitality workers last year with the support of the Vancouver Island Public Interest Group, calls for a minimum wage of $15 an hour. “The low-wage work of retail, food service and hospitality industries employ nearly one-fifth of the workforce in Victoria, a city where the cost of living is high and constantly increasing,” the report said. It’s not just young workers in the field, said spokesman Eric Nordahl. “We are seeing more and more [people] in retail and hospitality coming back in middle age,” he said. About 500,000 workers in B.C., or 27 per cent of the workforce, earn less than $15 dollars an hour. B.C. has one of the lower minimum wages in Canada, far outstripped by the living wage, which in high-cost Victoria would be $20.02 per hour for two workers in a family of four, he said. Retail workers also face inadequacies in B.C.’s Employment Standards Act regarding on-call shifts, cancelled or short shifts, and absence of paid sick days, meaning workers come to work when they risk infecting the public. The average retail worker in Victoria lasts about eight months in the job, Nordahl said. While 31.5 per cent of workers in B.C. belong to a union, the rate among retail workers has declined to 14 per cent. Employment in Canada’s retail sector was forecast to hit a 12-year low this year due to online sales and self-checkout counters and companies cutting costs by cutting workers in the face of weak growth in consumer spending, said a recent report by the Conference Board of Canada.

Chamber CEO Catherine Holt

The property tax question: Discrepancy hurts


th inc co ch Ra


atherine Holt, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, sounds worried about the disproportionate taxes paid by commercial spaces versus residential properties when it comes to soaring real estate values. The chamber has mailed requests to all 13 local municipalities pointing out that the so-called multiplier effect can be up to five times higher than residential tax rates for commercial properties, so is asking them to hold the increase to the rate of inflation or below. For businesses, “it is the property tax that is the single largest component of operation costs,” said Matt Fraleigh, a retail consultant with Colliers International. In 2016, an average Victoria homeowner paid $3,737 in property taxes before grants on a residence valued at $547,000 compared to a business paying $11,745 on commercial property with the same value. In Langford, the difference was $2,507 for a residence valued at $402,000 and $7,504 for a commercial space with the same value. Municipalities rely on business taxes for public services, but people who sell goods on the Internet don’t have to worry about paying, Holt said. While most retailers try to offer some online merchandise to stay competitive, she said, physical stores are integral to the community. “Local retail stores are essential to an attractive, fun and interesting city, but local retailers have many costs and challenges not faced by on-line retailers. Governments need to continually pay attention to keeping taxes affordable, parking available and our streets attractive so retailers can play their important role.” CP

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> transportation


E&N Rail corridor


L A N G F O R D Golds trea 14 m

s that a train whistle or someone just whistling Dixie? Developer Ken Mariash of Focus Equities, in cooperation with the Westhills development, breathed new life into the dream of a commuter train this year when he announced he was prepared to invest up to $500,000 to develop a business case to run a commuter train on the 15-kilometre stretch of E&N track between Langford and Vic West. He backed that up with a team of transportation and governance experts. The plan envisions stations at Westhills, Langford Station Avenue and CFB Esquimalt. Its eastern terminus would be adjacent to the proposed Roundhouse commercial centre being developed as part of Mariash’s Bayview development in Vic West. Mariash says the project, which would need a capital investment of about $1.17 million per kilometre, is good value. The $17.7 million total cost compares to an estimated $62 million per kilometre for Douglas Street LRT or $96 million per kilometre for LRT service in Surrey. The service would need a subsidy to defray annual operation costs of between $3 and $4 million. Fares, at $3 or $4 one way, would cover about half the cost. The train could be running six to nine months after the project is approved. It would take 20 to 25 minutes to travel from Westhills to Vic West, and Mariash believes the service could attract 800 to 1,200 passengers when it starts. The idea of a commuter train on the E&N is not new, but it seems to be gaining traction with a private developer like Mariash driving the project. In March, four mayors and Transportation Minister Todd Stone held a news conference along the tracks in Esquimalt to announce the formation of a “working group” to look at options for the corridor. The announcement was criticized by some as electioneering on behalf of Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, who is running for the B.C. Liberals. But one important element, says Susan Brice, chair of the Victoria Regional Transit Commission, was that the working group will involve B.C. Transit. That, she says, is an important step. “When I look at that E&N corridor, it has to be protected for transportation. That goes without saying,” Brice said. “Then you have to decide what’s the most efficient and economic way to use it. At this stage, obviously we’re going to look and see if it makes sense to run rail on it. I’m hoping the terms of reference are broad enough that we’re able to compare it to other options.”

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If it doesn’t make sense to run trains on the track, “the next obvious thing,” she said, is to use it as a bus corridor. Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt, a director of the Island Corridor Foundation, which owns the E&N Right of way, said he would vigorously oppose any efforts to transform the right of way into a busway, which he called short-term thinking. “This region is literally covered in roads. Just because we’ve filled up all the roads do we take this one alternative transportation corridor and convert into a busway? I think there is still a strong future for rail on the Island,” said Isitt. Some say any realistic prospect of running a commuter train on the E&N tracks died when Victoria councillors, looking to trim costs, dropped a rail option from the Johnson Street bridge project. That meant the end of the line for any train on the track would be in Vic West, so commuters would have to find another way to continue to downtown. The idea that someone would drive to a train station in Langford, park, hop on a train, get out in Vic West, then hop on another bus to complete their journey seems a stretch. Then there’s the problem of a single track. In theory trains should be running every 10 to 20 minutes to be of any use to commuters – something that’s difficult with a single track and would mean major line improvements. Passenger rail service on the E&N line was stopped in March 2011 because of safety concerns arising from inadequate track upkeep. Isitt argued for inclusion of rail in the Johnson Street bridge Developer Ken Mariash in front of the Roundhouse at Bayview Place in Vic West, terminus of a proposed commuter rail line from Langford.

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Commuter rail gathers steam with developer Ken Mariash at helm



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project, but with escalating costs and no resumption of rail service in sight, he failed to convince other councillors. And it’s not the first time local government has been around the bend with the E&N. By the 1990s, Langford Mayor Stew Young already had a stack of E&N commuter studies on his desk. In 1994, German industrial giant Siemens offered diesel cars for a trial commuter run along the railway. Young and his council got behind the project, but couldn’t convince other

municipalities to join in. The following year, the province released a report that found a commuter train on the E&N line wasn’t economically feasible, claiming the needed population density was at least a decade away. In 2000, a proposal to the federal government to run a six-month pilot of a daily commuter train with 250 to 300 passengers linking Victoria, Langford, Shawnigan Lake, Cobble Hill and Duncan never took off. In 2008, Langford again led a movement to introduce commuter rail to the E&N. Local politicians held a news conference to say it could be done with an investment of $16 million and cost less than $2 million a year to operate. In 2010 a provincial government review concluded not enough people use the E&N Rail line, or live near it, to justify millions of dollars in upgrades for a commuter rail service for Greater Victoria. CP


Current Traffic Volumes: West of the McKenzie interchange, the Trans-Canada Highway carries an average of 80,000 vehicles a day — far in excess of capacity. Future Traffic Volumes: By 2038, the province’s Ministry of Transportation predicts the Trans-Canada Highway west of the Mckenzie interchange will carry more than 96,000 vehicles per day.

McKenzie Interchange: With completion of the interchange in 2018, commuters on the Trans Canada Highway headed into Victoria will save an average of 22 minutes in the morning and 17 minutes in the evening.

Transit: Each full bus takes up to 50 cars off the road.

The Malahat: The highway is about 20 kilometres long and considered to be the section of Highway 1 located between the West Shore Parkway and the Bamberton overpass. More than 24,000 motorists use the Malahat every day. The average travel time (outside of peak morning and afternoon periods) in both directions is about 15-16 minutes. The total increase from 2011 to 2016 was approximately 10 per cent, or about 2 per cent per year.

The West Shore population: Colwood, Highlands, Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, Langford, Metchosin, Sooke and First Nations population is now estimated at 77,460 and is forecasted to be 112,000 by 2026. Capital Capital PROGRESS home | 45

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> transportation YYJ flying high C

onstruction to expand Victoria International Airport’s lower departure area will likely begin this fall, essentially doubling its size, says Geoff Dickson, president of the Victoria Airport Authority. “It’s incredibly complex because we don’t shut the airport down for eight months for airport construction. We have to keep the business running and passengers flowing and aircraft coming and going,” Dickson told Victoria councillors during the most recent annual update. “What the goal is instead of everyone funneling out the north end of the building you’ll have a dedicated boarding and arrival gate for every aircraft. That improves safety immensely. It improves the overall flow of customers in the airport.” There’s no question there’s a need for extra capacity. Over the past four years the airport has seen huge growth of about 400,000 people, to more than 1.8 million passengers a year. “We had projections of being at two million passengers by 2021. We’re going to be there either this year or the middle of next year if this growth continues,” Dickson said “It’s the third-fastest growing airport in the country, so that speaks really to the strength of the overall economy in the region because you’ll find that the aviation industry whether it’s airports or airlines are very good lead indicators of the state of the economy,” Dickson said. This summer, Air Canada will fly 767-300 service between Toronto and Victoria, he said. “It’s the first wide-body that’s been in Victoria in, quite frankly, decades,” Dickson said, adding that Air Canada will be offering two non-stop flights daily between Victoria and Toronto for a total capacity of almost 500 seats. “When you think about that, it’s the capacity of the Fairmont Hotel coming in daily to Victoria. It’s a big lift from where they were. They would typically offer 300 seats a day Victoria-Toronto non-stop. so it’s a very, very good news story for Victoria.”

Tangled up


How land prices and development between the core and West Shore created commuter chaos


eople stuck in traffic on their daily commute between the West Shore and Victoria probably don’t remember that the Colwood Crawl was actually fixed in 1997. That’s when work to widen the highway between Spencer and Helmcken roads — part of the $1.3-billion Island Highway project — was completed. But as with most road-widening solutions, the fix didn’t last long. The new improved highway meant communities such as Mill Bay, Cobble Hill, Shawnigan Lake and even Duncan became viable bedroom communities as the combination of a reduced driving time and cheaper real estate appealed to people working in Victoria. And, about the same time as that highway project was finished, sewer mains were being pushed into the West Shore communities of Langford and Colwood, making denser urban neighbourhoods and even multi-storey buildings possible. Growth happened quickly. Langford took advantage of newly created interchanges to attract big-box retail. More road linkages such as the Veterans Memorial Parkway were developed and it didn’t take long for the highway to plug up again. Now servicing 80,000 vehicles a day, traffic volume on the highway far exceeds capacity. And while the soul-sucking, bumper-to-bumper commute has now taken the shine off the daily drive from communities over the Malahat for many, thousands continue to make the daily commute. The dream of home ownership combined with obscenely high real estate prices in Victoria and Saanich continues to lure people to West Shore communities of Langford, Colwood, View Royal and Sooke. The problem is that while most of the new single-family housing is being built in the West Shore communities of Colwood, Langford, View Royal and Sooke, the bulk of the new office space is being built in downtown Victoria. With few transportation routes between the two, it’s a recipe for congestion. Any relief to come from the $85-million McKenzie Interchange project will be fleeting at best, says Chris Ling, director of the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University.

“When you look at all of the projections of growth in the West Shore and even into the Cowichan Valley, there’s almost no chance that the new interchange or pretty much anything is going to make any long-term difference at all,” Ling says. This should come as no surprise to anyone living in the Capital Regional District — especially to local politicians. Even as the lane markers were being painted on the new western approaches back in 1997, experts hired by the CRD were forecasting gridlock within 30 years if local municipalities didn’t start working together better. Citing an unwillingness by local politicians to cede any local planning control, Vancouver consultants Edwin Hull and Associates predicted in a 1997 report to the CRD that unless there was a change in planning traffic through the West Shore, major transportation routes and all the way up the Malahat would be plugged by 2018.

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Sweet sailing


The report, prepared as part the CRD’s regional growth strategy, also warned that given how development was happening, mass transit would be an expensive and difficult option to implement and the car would remain the dominant transportation choice. Because the transportation “fix” at the time was highway orientated and not mass transit orientated, it’s no surprise that auto-centric development evolved in the West Shore following the highway expansion, says Victoria Coun. Geoff Young, who chaired the CRD at the time. “If you had a mass transit system that went to a town centre or town centres, probably several of them in the Western Communities, we would see transit-orientated development around those nodes,” Young said. One has only to look at the design of the new McKenzie interchange, where the buses are required to leave the highway, go up to the overpass, stop, unload and then drive back down, to see that the supremacy of the

automobile, continues, Young said. “It’s sending a signal that transit users are second class. And that the investment is being made for automobiles,” Young said. “If we had led the way with rapid transit rather than freeways we would have seen a different kind of development, a kind of development more focussed on pedestrian nodes around the rapid transit stations.” Young has no doubt that growth in the West Shore would have developed differently had there been a stronger regional government or an amalgamated region instead of allowing development be determined by provincial highways ministries. “If we were a single municipality or if alternatively we had a CRD board that was directly elected, had clear responsibilities and was given true responsibility for regional planning and the ability to over-ride municipal decisions, I have no doubt at all that we would be far further ahead in terms of regional transportation systems,” Young said.

“I think we would have at least had much more serious debates about the possibility of light rail transit as one option.” Options at this point are limited, Ling says. “We’re seeing a huge increase in population in the West Shore. We’re seeing almost no provision for employment for the people who are going to be living there. That’s not to say the municipalities are not trying, it’s just that’s not where things are going. “So those people are mostly going to be driving into downtown and due to the geography of the region there’s extremely limited possibilities for new infrastructure in terms of roads,” Ling said. “The only way of reducing congestion, I think, in the Capital Regional District in terms of the Colwood Crawl, is to make the reasons people need to drive to the downtown from the West Shore lessened, which means trying to generate more quality employment in the West Shore itself,” he said. CP

ictorians wanting to skip across the pond to Vancouver will soon have two new harbour-to-harbour options to choose from. V2V Vacations, operated by Australiabased company Riverside, plans to launch its passenger ferry service between downtown Victoria and downtown Vancouver in May with three tiers of service, costing $120, $199 and $240 one way. The company is offering a luxury cruise service, using the V2V Empress, a 254-seat, 126-foot catamaran that will sail from downtown to downtown in 3.5 hours. Daily sailings will leave Vancouver at 8 a.m. and Victoria at 2 p.m., travelling from beside the Steamship Terminal Building in Victoria to the convention centre docks in Vancouver. Also planning to introduce a new harbour-to-harbour service between Victoria and Vancouver in 2018 is Victoria Clipper. Clipper, which currently runs a highspeed passenger-only service between Victoria and Seattle, is scheduled to receive a 52-foot high-speed catamaran this fall, which is to be retrofitted for the Victoria to Vancouver route. The vessel carries 579 passengers and can travel at speeds of up to 36 knots.

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InSights catherine holt

We need a regional transportation commission


raffic is bad. Travel times, congestion and parking are getting worse.It’s a problem faced by every growing city in the world. Those that manage traffic well, stay livable. Every one of our municipalities does its best to manage transportation within its borders. But no one has responsibility for managing transportation for the region. If we manage transportation, we can create a sensible future. For example, TransLink in Metro Vancouver is a world leader in creating transit-oriented communities. A SkyTrain station becomes the hub of the neighbourhood — not just a means to an end. People live there, work there, get their services there and can travel by transit connections throughout the region. It’s transforming major parts of the Lower Mainland. We won’t have anything like SkyTrain for a long time, but we have excellent public and private bus services. We can have landuse planning focused on transit hubs where people can move in and out easily and get what they need at the hub, saving time, space, money and emissions. As another example, along with frequent transit service, some European cities have introduced incentives for not driving, or changing when you drive or what you drive. In London and Stockholm, you pay to drive in the city centre. In London you pay more if you have a high-emitting vehicle. This type of change takes investment in licence plate reading technology, but it starts with sophisticated transportation planning. There is no transportation planning across our municipal boundaries, so there is no regional priority setting or funding for important roads and bridges. The municipality where the road or bridge is located pays for it,

even if it’s critical for the region. No organization leads the development of additional modes of public transit such as water-based transit or light rail. Or how about something as simple as a bus-only lane — for public and private buses — along the provincial highway between the West Shore and downtown? Or a dedicated bus lane to the airport and ferry? If the bus goes faster than cars, it becomes an attractive alternative. No one has the mandate to build those lanes. Transportation Minister Todd Stone recently breathed new life into the dream of transit along the E&N rail corridor. That good news is possible because the province is leading the planning and the Victoria Regional Transit Commission will operate any new service, including parking, bus connections and a common fare system. Service on the E&N route won’t happen if it has to be paid for by the four municipalities and two First Nations it crosses. Currently, we have two regional transportation services. There is CRD’s recreational

Greater Victoria needs legislated mandate to provide a regional system of roads, bridges, bus lanes and rail.

bike and walking trail system. It is great. You can go from Sidney to Sooke. It would be even better with connections to the bus system and the road network and to where people work and live. Our bus service is regional. Thankfully, we don’t have a bus system just for Oak Bay and a separate one for Saanich and another for the West Shore. How does the Victoria Regional Transit Commission do it? It has the right governance, funding, provincially legislated mandate and expertise. So a regional service is possible — but right now it’s only for the bus. The transformational change we need is a Greater Victoria Regional Transportation Commission. It needs a provincially legislated mandate to provide a regional system of roads and bridges, parking, bus lanes, bike lanes, rail, water and any other mode that makes sense — all running as a single system. It needs good governance, which means clear decisionmaking authority in the interests of the region, transcending local government boundaries. It needs operating responsibility and the ability to contract with the best operator available whether public or private. It needs adequate revenue sources. It needs expertise to plan and design long-term transportation improvements and set big goals for increased bus riders, reduced emissions, reduced number of vehicles and faster travel times. Then we will be on the right pathway to keeping our region liveable. CP Catherine Holt is chief executive of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce.

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Points of Pride Post-secondary institutions propel region’s knowledgebased economy


> education


n the final days of the 2017 election campaign, post-secondary education is top of mind for three MLAs from the three main political parties who are all seeking re-election. Green Andrew Weaver, New Democrat Carole James and Liberal Andrew Wilkinson all stress the importance of the sector as an economic driver. Weaver says that at the height of his career at the University of Victoria, he was more than a teacher, he was an employer. “I had 20 people working in my lab,” said Weaver, once part of UVic’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences and still considered a faculty member. The MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head — which includes UVic — said that the salaries and budgets for those research workers were largely paid with money he attracted from outside Victoria. Weaver said research grants from the federal government were often matched by the province. There was also money from international agencies, and by private industry, Canadian and international. Weaver’s experience, he said, was replicated with researchers and scholars throughout the university. “Not every faculty member is going to invent a widget that everyone is going to want to buy,” said Weaver. “But the collective emphasis on research at the faculty level has a profound impact.”

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EDUCATION just the


Peter Sherk and John Raffaelli work on wings for a Boeing aerial vehicle at the University of Victoria Centre for Aeronautics Research.

Greater Victoria is enriched by the presence of UVic, Camosun College and Royal Roads University in ways far beyond their direct local spending. Post-secondary institutions create and sustain a dynamism that’s a perfect backstop to the 21st-century knowledge-based economy. Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson, the MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena, said it’s only been in the past 20 years that universities and colleges have been widely recognized as enormous community assets. “You get the student vitality, but you also get all the collateral attractions,” said Wilkinson. He said B.C. can claim 25 public universities and colleges, and all of them are competing with the best in Canada and around the world. “They are all major institutions in their respective communities,” said Wilkinson. “People love to host them, they love to attend them, they love to teach at them.” “Universities and colleges are now recognized as major sources of cultural and economic well being,” he said. Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Carole James said Greater Victoria also benefits from Camosun College and Royal Roads University, both filling roles in the local knowledge-based economy. Beyond training skilled tradespeople, she said, Camosun provides contract research for companies needing problems fixed, or products or services tested. With the Camosun Innovates program, businesses can get help from college labs, equipment and practice space. Students and instructors will work on a specific problem. “That’s a huge resource for the businesses in our community,” said James, a former chairwoman of the Greater Victoria School District. At one time, students would take university courses at college, then transfer to universities, but the movement today goes both ways. UVic students are moving to Camosun for its five degrees in business and health studies, or for practical certificates. The college says 18 per cent of its students have bachelor or even graduate degrees.

BY THE “We have very practical research going on right now that is a helping businesses to succeed beyond expectations,” James said. “That wouldn’t happen without the synergy of universities and colleges here.” James also said universities and colleges help make communities grow. People from Victoria will train for lives in Victoria, and those from outside get a sample of the Victoria experience and decide to stay. “People are just more likely to stay in a community if they were educated and trained in that community,” she said. Tony Eder, UVic’s executive director for resource planning, was a co-author of 2012 study that determined UVic, with its salaries, maintenance and new construction, resulted in salaries of about $584 million. But the total economic impact – money generated in the surrounding community – was $3.1 billion. Today, Eder estimates UVic’s economic impact would exceed $4 billion. Eder said similar benefits occur wherever universities locate. “It’s such a treasure for any community to have an organization like a research institution,” he said. “The research that happens will lead to innovations that build economic activity in the community, the province.” Terry Cockerline, UVic’s director of alumni relations, said graduates regularly say they would like to stay in Victoria. “Students fall in love with this place.” About 30 per cent of the students at UVic are local, and Cockerline said 30,000 of UVic’s 115,000 alumni are listed as living here. He said UVic alumni are proving themselves to be solid community members. He said UVic attracts some of the best students in the world, and its graduates are people who are generally committed to giving back and contributing. “They are running not-for-profits, engaged in private enterprise, lots of entrepreneurship, government, health care. Virtually every sector of the local economy has a UVic connection,” said Cockerline. CH

Camosun a Trades Powerhouse Camosun College’s Centre for Trades Education and Innovation is reaching a wider range of students than ever, notably women. A $1 million donation from the Gwyn Morgan and Patricia Trottier Foundation pushed Camosun’s fundraising campaign, TRADEmark of Excellence, to $7.5 million, well beyond its goal of $5 million. The TRADEmark money was originally earmarked to assist with the purchase of new equipment for the trade centre. The Morgan and Trottier Foundation money will support women in trades. In 2015-2016, nine per cent of trade students were women, up from five per cent in 2009-2010. The college opened its $30-million Centre for Trades Education and Innovation at its Interurban Campus last year. The 80,000-square-foot facility will allow Camosun to expand its enrollment from 2,700 by a further 1,000.

$30-million Trades Education and Innovation Centre

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> education ESL Education: Financial impact, global benefits


ictoria is doing what looks like a booming business helping foreign students learn English. “It’s often described as an industry and those students pay full tuition,” said Piet Langstraat, Greater Victoria School District superintendent. “But I don’t see it as an industry,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to interact with people from around the world, build a global view and understand more fully what it means to be a global citizen.” He said the school district has about 950 international students, with 40 per cent from China and the rest from 27 other countries. Oak Bay High School has 170 international students among its total of 1,300. Next term, however, the plan is to lower that international total to 120. Each student pays $14,000 a year which is used to support the student and boost the district’s budget. At Camosun College, 809 students are enrolled in courses to learn English. Of those, 466 come from overseas, mostly from China. The remainder are students who live in Canada and are improving or upgrading their English. Domestic students represent the fastest growing category.




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“I am seeing a bit of a rebound in our domestic ESL numbers,” said Ian Humphries, Camosun dean of school access. At the University of Victoria, the English Learning Centre enrols about 2,000 students each year in courses lasting from three weeks to a full year. Ten private language schools are listed as doing business in the region. The school board and Camosun are considering putting a cap on the numbers. Camosun would not want to refuse domestic students because resources are stretched by international students, who also deserve proper support.

! Engineers

• Enrolls about 19,000 full- and part-time students in more than 160 programs, most of which concentrate on applied learning – with labs, co-operative placements, apprenticeships, internships and field world. • About 3,000 students graduate each year. • Student body includes about 1,100 First Nations students and 1,600 international students. • Operating budget is $123.2 million in 2016. • Yearly total economic impact, including applied research, employees salaries, yearly spend of students, and faculty staff is about $1 billion. • Camosun graduates who stay in Greater Victoria region: 86 per cent. • Camosun graduates who stay in B.C.: 97%. Tuition rose by two per cent – the maximum allowed by the provincial government – this year at both the University of Victoria and

“There is a lot of discussion out there about what is the maximum,” said Humphries. “With our growth in international students, we want to make sure we have appropriate supports in place,” he said. “There can be a lot of culture shock, language shock, academic shock, leaving parents for the first time.” CH

University of Victoria students head to class; Learning English attracts thousands to the region every year.

• Total enrolment 2016: 21,696 students • International student enrolment: 3,238 • Education faculty enrolment: 1,031 • Engineering: 2,703 • Fine Arts: 1,125 • Graduate Studies: 3,307 • Human and social development: 1,534 • Humanities: 2,002 • Law: 382 • Science: 2,931 • Social Sciences: 5,394 • Medical Sciences: 99 • Business: 1,188

• Domestic students: 4,500 • Professional and continuing studies enrollment: 5,000 • Faculty and staff: 551 • Planned expansion: $21.5 million Centre for Environmental Science and International Partnerships. Camosun College. Average tuition at Camosun: $3,298 Average tuition at UVic: $5,368

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InSights jamie cassels

Facing the Global Challenge


or both good and ill, globalization is among the most important forces shaping higher education and indeed the world today. Becoming increasingly connected — both nationally and globally — creates incredible opportunities, but also means we are impacted by global challenges, such as inequality, conflict, climate change, intercultural conflict and security. Reflecting on these challenges, clearly knowledge, collaboration, research and education are key to their solution. The era of global connectivity and increased international collaboration makes it is even more important to embrace and integrate diverse perspectives, enhance social and cultural learning opportunities, and nurture ideas and partnerships from a broad range of communities and countries. To fully realize these things, universities must be places with open borders. Universities foster the kind of thinking and tools needed to tackle the complex challenges facing the world today. They are centres of learning, discovery and community engagement, places of ideas and innovation, dialogue, knowledge mobilization and above all, hope. The University of Victoria is in a unique position to bring people together from a wide spectrum of places, experiences, backgrounds and perspectives to develop and exchange ideas. UVic’s senate has established learning outcomes across all programs, which include “informed civic engagement from local to global and intercultural knowledge and sensitivity.” The new International Plan, launched this year, provides increased momentum to foster student mobility, intercultural learning and research and integrated learning experiences for our students here in Canada and around the world. We want to prepare globally competent students who contribute to global initiatives that enhance peace, health, environment and prosperity. UVic aims to double the number of students having an experience abroad as part of their academic studies through student exchanges, co-operative education placements, field schools aboard, internships and tours. Over the 2016-17 academic year, more than 300 students have had international co-op placements. One program that enhances our focus on student mobility, international leadership skills and cross-cultural competencies is the Master of Global Business at the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business. This exceptional program encourages a global mindset to deal with the challenges of international business and invites learners to engage in a high level of cultural awareness that stretches their capacity to work effectively with individuals and organizations from across the world. The International Plan also enhances UVic’s international leadership in teaching, research, and scholarship. UVic ranked as one of the 200 most international universities in the world for 2015-16 by the

social, cultural and economic opportunities that flow from international education activities. Graduating with a global experience brings a different lens with which to understand and engage with the global

Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and in 2015, was recognized by the Leiden University Rankings for the highest proportion of internationally co-authored research of any university in

The University of Victoria: “Research intensive.” Canada. We have international calibre faculty, scholars and researchers who are strongly committed to high quality and socially relevant research that engages with international partners to maximize opportunities for impact. The benefits of internationalization begin with our students and the value from their experiences cascade into our communities. Students enrich their education through the opportunity to dive into a different culture and perspective, develop intercultural competencies, and enhance their learning and research. The international community benefits through access to ideas, innovation, and partnerships. British Columbia and its residents gain advantages from the

community, thus adding to the economic development of Greater Victoria. As an internationally engaged research-intensive university with a longstanding history of excellence in community-engaged research, UVic is committed to employing our strengths to benefit communities around the globe. Central to our mission are the values of diversity, inclusion and mutual respect. We are grateful for the diversity of our campus community and our partners. Together, we will continue to effect positive change on global challenges across borders. CH

Jamie Cassels, QC, is the president and vice-chancellor of the University of Victoria.

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Building on a solid Base: integrity, reliability, quality and commitment


sland Outlook Developments specializes in building beautifully crafted, quality custom and spec homes in the Greater Victoria area. Headed by owner Jesse Baidwan, Island Island Outlook Outlook Developments Developments Owner, has an unwavering Jesse Baidwan commitment to customer service – providing the very best in quality, performance, value and service for customers and their homes. The company’s outstanding team of designers, architects, engineers, suppliers and sub-contractors have worked together for many years, and specialize in general contracting, project management, custom home construction and land development. They will take a project from initial design, obtain city approvals and permitting, and manage construction.

Baidwan himself is a Professional Builder, with more than a decade of experience in the designing and building of high quality homes and residential developments. He is a handson builder who manages all construction operations, and has a strong focus on quality, community and sustainability. Under his direction, Island Outlook Developments has been recognized with a prestigious CARE Award for creative green design of a Fairfield home utilizing eco-friendly building practices. Baidwan is an active member of the Victoria Residential Homebuilders Association and the Built Green Committee. Island Outlook Developments’ goal is to build quality homes with lasting value, while at the same time providing exceptional customer service that exceeds expectations. According to Baidwan, “We pride ourselves not only for designing and building homes, but in building and nurturing long-lasting relationships with our clients.” And customers appreciate this focus:

“Island Outlook Developments is a fabulous builder. They made us feel important and that no question wasn’t worth asking. Our house is more than we could have dreamed of. I wanted to thank you, Jesse for such an amazing opportunity and for all your hard work. Living in such a beautiful home is like a dream come true, and we hope you know how much we truly appreciate everything you've done to make this possible. Everything about the house, the design, the features and workmanship is so wonderful. Every subcontractor I met did an awesome job and was a pleasure to deal with.” Thank you so much, Dr. Christopher Mar Every new home built by Island Outlook Developments is unique and well-crafted with exceptional quality, designed to suit each customer and their individual lifestyle.

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> real estate

! D L SO


MARKET Low inventory levels, record prices expected to continue


f you were fed up with Greater Victoria’s scorching-hot real estate market, soaring prices and dwindling inventory after 2016, there isn’t much in the way of relief ahead in 2017. Strong demand and a lack of housing inventory will once again drive the market in 2017 and could bleed into other markets on Vancouver Island, say industry experts and insiders. “There seems to be a continuing shortage of supply of housing and single-family dwellings in particular which will continue to underpin prices in the core and will have knock-on effects in the areas outside the core and further north to Duncan, Nanaimo and up-Island,” said Mike Holmes, managing broker at Pemberton Holmes. Holmes noted the lack of inventory breeds a tough market as many sellers won’t list their own properties because they are concerned about not being able to find something else. “Inevitably, the market will provide inventory through price increases, though for the moment and for some time in the future, we may see a strong seller’s market,” Holmes said. That is the consensus among real estate agents. “It’s Economics 101,” said Bobby Ross of Pemberton Holmes. “We have low inventory and extremely high demand. We have 1,000 fewer listings than we typically see this time of year and it has been like that for several months.


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real estate just the

“As fast as inventory hits the market it is being absorbed.” One of the issues Victoria faces is the perception it remains a bargain. While first-time buyers and those who have lived in the region for years may be marvelling at the soaring house prices and an endless demand for new product, those who live in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto remain amazed at how affordable Victoria is. “Victoria is one of the best places to live in Canada and likely the world. It feels like a couple of years ago Victoria was finally discovered and now there is no looking back,” said Ross. “There’s no doubt that as prices creep upward that living in Victoria becomes less affordable, but there are great options for people who can’t afford the core areas. “The Western communities has been extensively developed and provide plenty of more affordable options. Compared to other large centres, Victoria is still a good deal.” Holmes added property that may have been affordable five years ago is no longer and the problem is getting worse. “The cost of building due to increasing land prices and the heavy costs charged by municipalities to develop and change use is also contributing to unaffordability,” he said. The provincial government has instituted some measures to address affordability, including a foreign buyer’s tax designed to cool the Vancouver housing market and a loan program for first-time buyers. The 15 per cent tax has had the desired effect of slowing the Vancouver market and cooling off prices. According to statistics in late March, only six per cent of all sales in Metro Vancouver between June 10 and Feb. 28 were to foreign buyers, while between June 10 and Aug. 1, it was as high as 13.2 per cent.

But it has not had much effect in Victoria as only 4.5 per cent of all property transfers involved foreign buyers between June 10 and Feb. 28. The province seems to have had more success with the introduction of the B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership that gives firsttime buyers a maximum $37,500 loan toward a down payment. The loan, which must be paid off over 20 years after an interest-free period, has had 1,008 applicants since it was announced late last year, and 831 people have been approved. In the capital region, there were 95 applications and 70 approvals. Holmes said tighter mortgage rules instituted over the last two years by the federal government could act as something of a “brake on demand.” “But I don’t see a major effect from any single policy or collectively from all policies,” he said. “The biggest unknown, however, is the effect of an increase in interest rates. That does not seem to be in the cards for the next year or so in Canada.” There may be some relief with another strong year of housing starts expected. Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Builders Association, said the region’s builders expect another busy year in 2017. He said builders expect as many as 2,500 new homes to be started this year, down from the more than 2,900 in 2016. Edge believes it’s time for municipalities outside of Langford, Victoria and Saanich to start doing more heavy lifting. “Langford, Victoria and to a degree Saanich are contributing 75 per cent of the new starts in the region, but there are 10 other municipalities that need to look at rezoning large lots and embracing smaller lot subdivisions and encouraging development as opposed to throwing up obstructions and creating slow permitprocessing times,” he said. CP

“Victoria is one of the

best places to live in

Canada and likely the world."


BY THE NUMBERS • New housing starts estimate for 2017: 2,500 • New housing starts actual for 2016: 2,933 • Record property sales in 2016: 10,622 properties changing hands, a 25 per cent increase over 2015 • Inventory available for sale at end of 2016: 1,493 (2,517 at same time in 2015) • Average sale price single-family home in 2016: $696,930 (16 per cent increase over 2015) • Average sale price condominium 2016: $354,502 (nine per cent increase over 2015) • Average sale price townhome 2016: $466,430 (11 per cent increase over 2015)

Relief in sight? • About 1,600 condominium units will come out of the ground in the core in the next 12 to 18 months • Another 1,300 new rental units will be completed in the core over the next 12 to 18 months • Also, 466 rental units are to be completed over the next 12 to 18 months on the West Shore Source: Colliers International Victoria

• Rental vacancy rate: 0.5 per cent

The future? According to Mike Holmes, managing broker at Pemberton Holmes, the country may be entering into a new phase of its growth when it comes to how we live, and that may be coming home to roost in Victoria. “Canada is somewhat a story of urban growing markets and rural struggling markets. We are entering a phase where single-family housing is a luxury that is not supportable in cities where land is in such high demand. No one except the very wealthy expects to own a detached home in most cities in the world. Even the Vanderbilts had to give up their Manhattan mansion. That process of conversion to strata units and collective housing and the gradual reduction of the stock of single-family housing in the concentric circle around urban centres including Victoria is one of the key factors driving our affordability crisis and is neither well recognized nor analyzed. We have to get used to living in condos and townhouses and give up the luxury of big garden lots in the core. That is a reality that won’t be affected by government policy.” Capital Capital PROGRESS PROGRESS | 57

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real estate

Inventory: The single biggest issue governing Victoria’s real estate market is a lack of inventory. The most recent figures from the Victoria Real Estate Board showed there were only 1,537 active listings in February, a 40 per cent drop from February 2016. The lack of homes for sale has kept would-be sellers from listing their property, afraid they will be unable to find a new home for themselves. It has also significantly driven up the cost of homes, led to many first-time buyers being priced out of the market and led to buyers making cash offers, over the asking price, and without conditions. Affordability: Demand for property in Greater Victoria, a lack of homes for sale and a buoyant economy has resulted in a surge in home prices over the last year and a half. Employment figures have been strong and steadily improving over the past year, bringing new people to the area. Demand for housing has increased, while a lack of affordable land has meant homebuilders have not been able to keep up with that demand. While there are thousands of condo and rental apartments coming out of the ground, that is not expected to have much effect on rental vacancy rates (below 0.5 per cent) or to ease the demand. Buyer fatigue: The highly competitive market that has required would-be buyers to act quickly and with strong over-asking-price offers

Young Buyers

losing hope


he dream of home ownership in the heated Victoria real estate market appears to be dying among younger people. Many seem resigned to renting for the foreseeable future, contemplating moves outside the South Island as they simply cannot afford to purchase real estate. Some young parents worry their kids will have no choice but to look off-Island when they grow up. “I’m beyond being frustrated,” said Mirko Filipovic. “Gave up!” He’s not alone “I completely give up. I’m 34 years old and I doubt I’ll ever get to own property,” added Nic Hume.

or risk losing the property has also raised the spectre of buyer fatigue, according to some real estate agents. Many buyers have fought back against the pressure and the trend of making cash offers with few if any conditions, by waiting out the market. The result has been some lacklustre opening weekends for some new listings, though homes still tend to be sold for an over-the-listing price. Lack of land: The lack of land coupled with the high cost of dirt in some municipalities, and the unwillingness of some parts of the region to consider smaller lot developments, has driven many developers and home builders farther outside the core. According to builders and real estate agents, many are looking as far afield as Sooke as land on the West Shore is now harder to come by. Foreign buyers: This has not been a Vancouver Island issue, though some seem convinced it has played a role in inflated home prices. There seems to have been a small increase in the percentage of property transfers conducted in the region since a foreign buyer’s tax on property purchased in Metro Vancouver was implemented last summer, but it remains a small percentage of all sales in the region. Only 4.5 per cent of all sales involved foreign buyers in Greater Victoria between June 10 and Feb. 28. CP



“I completely give up. I’m 34-years old and I doubt I’ll ever get to own property.”

On top of increased costs, driven by a red-hot market where there’s strong demand and very low inventory, first-time buyers also face new hurdles to home ownership. Despite the province of B.C. introducing an equity loan program that offered first-time buyers as much as $37,500 for a downpayment on a house, young buyers are being kept to the outside. The federal government last year introduced measures designed to curb risk in the real estate market. Ottawa implemented stress tests to ensure borrowers would still be able to make mortgage payments if interest rates rise, and raised the

minimum down payment on the portion of a home worth over $500,000 to 10 per cent. “That has shrunk the pool of buyers,” said mortgage broker Scott Travelbea of Travelbea and Associates. “It’s made it tougher for first timers to get into the market. If you already own, you’re able to trade up, but getting in is now tougher. “I’d estimate it has cut people’s ability to qualify by 20 per cent.” Travelbea said it has also given rise to first-time and young buyers looking to family for help with downpayments or co-signing for loans.

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real estate


ara balabanian


Where the market is heading, what will shape it

eal estate is a hot topic. It is politically charged and affects nearly everyone. It’s rare a day goes by that some aspect of real estate isn’t in the news. Why is this happening, and why now? First, 2016 saw record numbers in the Greater Victoria real estate market that pundits and forecasters didn’t predict. The number of transactions in the region increased on a year-over-year basis by more than 28 per cent and the MLS Home Pricing Index (HPI) benchmark value for single-family homes in the core area rose by almost 24 per cent. Beginning in February 2016, the Victoria real estate market got hot, and people from around the world started to pay attention to our small but desirable community. We saw such a marked difference in our market because of a perfect storm of conditions:

• Mortgage rates were (and remained) low and predictable for an extended period of time • The employment rate in the province, and particularly in Victoria, was solid, leading to strong in-migration • The product mix of homes in our area was varied and affordable compared to many major cities • Our climate and lifestyle received favourable exposure in the world media These factors and more contributed to the record breaking market in 2016. Most Realtors will tell you that the housing market goes in cycles, and that they much prefer working in a

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balanced market than one which is heavily weighted in favour of buyers or sellers. As we head into spring, inventory levels are very low and new supply is being absorbed quickly due to the many buyers looking to buy. This demand puts pressure on prices, and as of this writing the MLS HPI benchmark price for a home in the Victoria core is at a record high. The housing market is also affected by outside influences. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. recently increased premiums on mortgage insurance, which may affect the spending power of some home buyers. On the other hand, the province has rolled out a program to assist first-time home buyers with access to interestfree loans to help fund down payments. Increases or decreases in mortgage rates will also affect home buyers and owners. New taxes on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver may push international buyers to the Victoria area. Changes in other provincial economies may also influence some decisions to move west. These factors (and many more) can potentially create increased demand. It is typical in a market cycle for activity to slow down and speed up. We certainly see this on the supply side, and along with the return of spring weather

we see more properties coming on the market as the popular spring buying season gets under way. Will the future for Victoria real estate see continuing strong demand? No one has a crystal ball, but it is likely that as long as our region is experiencing favourable economic conditions and continues to offer the pleasing lifestyle it has come to be known for, homes will continue to be in demand. Since we are on an island, our future supply of land is finite and this alone drives demand. New developments and our area’s ability to look at how we rezone or use existing properties may help to keep pricing stable so new opportunities can match demand. Victoria is an amazing city — and the word is out both on and off the island that it is a great place to live and work. It is our hope that with smart development and growth, Victoria will be able to meet consumer demand and provide a range of housing that will address the needs of all folks — from first time homebuyers, empty nesters, investors and all types of buyers in between. CP

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n 2008 the vision of some very creative individuals was realized with the opening of PISE, the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, a place where community, students, developmental and national team athletes could all train, learn and interact; the first summer sport institute in Canada. A unique model where three organizations, Camosun College, Canadian Sport Institute Pacific and PISE, could work together to provide more opportunity in the South Vancouver Island Region. Since that time, PISE has evolved to be more than was imagined and will continue to progress with numerous exciting new opportunities being developed. While many people in the community have been aware that high performance athletes train at PISE, not everyone realizes the scope of community services provided. The organization manages the facility, provides community services and programing for children, youth and adults as well as sport performance training, with a focus on developing athletes. Nationally recognized for their work in the areas of physical literacy enriched programs for kids and inclusive programming for people with a disability, last year PISE served approximately 14000 people through their services, programs and facility. 2016 was a big year for PISE. It saw the opening of a new accessible four-lane training track and Victoria became the Western Hub for Athletics Canada, with PISE as a key location. Over 4000 children had opportunity to participate in PISE physical literacy enriched programs and a collaborative research project

on physical literacy was conducted with Sport for Life and the University of Victoria. PISE worked collaboratively with over 45 organizations including Island Health, school districts and Songhees Wellness Centre to deliver funded programs for those who do not have the opportunity to access physical literacy enriched programs. “Some of the most inspiring programs are all about the kids” shares Stacey Lund, PISE Business Development Manager. “For example, Power Physical Literacy is for children ages three to seven to help improve their driving skills for their power mobility chairs through games and play. Active Development engages children ages three to ten who have an early diagnosis of any form of developmental disability in weekly programs adapted to develop physical literacy. Our teacher mentorship and physical activity programs in schools reached 1000 kids and 90 teachers alone last year. These are just a few examples of how we work towards everyone, of every age and ability, being active for life.” The future is full of new possibilities to do even more to transform lives through healthy living and sport. Always a self-sustaining nonprofit organization, PISE has now received charitable status! A glimpse of what the future will bring highlights community support helping reach even more children, providing opportunity for developing athletes in the region and enhancing an excellent facility. PISE is excited for this new level of engagement with the passionate supporters in our region as they help create a healthy, active community.

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What will your legacy be? You can guide the future of your community and causes that you care about by making a legacy gift to the charity of your choice. Charitable donations help to build communities and support a wide range of causes.

QUALITY OF LIFE This year’s survey participants were once again generally very positive about their quality of life and feelings of connectedness to their community.



Would describe themselves as happy.



Actively participate in their community of interest.



Volunteered time to an organization at least once a month.



Satisfied with work and home life balance.



Feel they have opportunity to make a difference in their community or city.

Giving is a very good thing to do Live, learn, work & grow in your community While there are many reasons to give, the majority of people simply believe in the value of giving itself. Subconsciously, you know that it just feels good to give.

Charitable Giving Holding Steady


24% of all tax filers in Greater Victoria made charitable donations in 2014. $410 was the median donation in Greater Victoria in 2016 – considerably higher than the national median donation of $280.

Get involved! Volunteering 48% of Victorian’s surveyed for the 2016 Victoria’s Vital Signs report said that they volunteered their time with an organization at least once a month.

Content and data quoted in this article are from the Victoria Foundation 2016 “Vital Signs” report. Find the full report online at:


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Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation

What Will Your Legacy Be?

Enid Blakeney, animal lover and ardent supporter of the saanich peninsula hospital.

I adored Enid Blakeney. There – I said it. She and her husband, Art, were initially inspired to become donors by a “big vision” project at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital; the vision of a multi-faith chapel communicated to them by the Chaplain of the hospital. We met when she began implementing the plan for that donation. Art, who I’m sad to say I never met, was a man of great accomplishment. As an early Harvard MBA, he travelled North America during his career. I think he was a business consultant, but I’m not sure. Whenever I asked Enid, she was full of love and admiration for him, but had no interest whatsoever in what Art did for a living. She knew she had made sacrifices for his career. She used to tell me that they were so poor while he got his education that they decided not to have children. But that was it. She cared about the animals in her life (and mine), as well as her very dear

Your Legacy ccan a help provide outstanding care.

friends. And of course, she cared about the Saanich Peninsula Hospital, which was a final home for both her parents and Art. She made a momentous decision, which she didn’t tell me about in her lifetime. She left her (and Art’s) entire estate to the Foundation – almost $3-million! It is being put to great use in making life more comfortable and enjoyable for the residents in the extended care unit. Now I can’t rival that kind of legacy gift – very few people can, but you should know how important these gifts are to the support we provide to the Saanich Peninsula Hospital. For the last few years, close to 40 per cent of the donations received by the Foundation are legacy gifts. Most, like mine, will be a modest amount that I hope will offset any tax owing when I die (actually helping my family). This will be my legacy – to my community and my family. – Karen Morgan, Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation

Just think of all the good your planned gift will do.

It’s our hospital 250-652-7531

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ENJOY THE CERTAINTY THAT YOU HAVE MADE A GOOD DECISION. What will your legacy be? You can guide the future of your community and the causes you care about by making a legacy gift to the Victoria Foundation. Our endowment fund is one of this community’s greatest strengths, allowing us to manage charitable gifts and bequests in perpetuity. We continually build the fund and invest in our community - granting annually to a broad range of charitable organizations and worthy causes. If community matters to you, the Victoria Foundation is where you can make your priorities known. Please contact Sara Neely at 250.381.5532 or for more information.

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Your giving reflects your values Some people view giving as an opportunity to give back in return for a good life. To thank a community that helped them succeed. Others give to ensure that the things that they care about are looked after. To support interests that have meaning to them such as the arts, the environment, social programs and education. Still others give to have an impact that lasts beyond their lifetime. A legacy that adds meaning to their lives, connects family generations, or memorializes a loved one. Whatever your reason, the Victoria Foundation can provide convenient, costeffective and impactful giving options that support your specific values, interests and intentions. The most rewarding philanthropy is thoughtful, strategic and impactful. – Rob Janus, Victoria Foundation


What Gives?

You can always be there for them.

>L KV ࠮ @V\ KV Give a second chance at a happy life… there is no better gift you can give an animal in need. Include a gift in your Will or designate a life insurance policy to the BC SPCA to set tails wagging!


Visit us today at or contact Yolanda Benoit 1.800.665.1868

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you for Healing is “Thank helping me help myself.” Possible

Providing healing, education and prevention in the Victoria community for the last 35 years. The Victoria Sexual Assault Centre relies on the generosity of donors to provide life-changing counselling, support, and clinic services at no cost for survivors of sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse.

Give a gift today. Your support changes lives.

Office: 250-383-5545 Crisis & Info Line: 250-383-3232 Email: Website: Charitable Business Number #10822 0054 RR0001

“Thanks to you, I have discovered strengths I did not know I possessed.” – Client of the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre

Strength comes from a place deep inside us. Sometimes we can make it through a crisis with our own resources, courage and belief in self, but more often than not, the strength to heal from trauma requires outside resources such as supportive people, the right information at the right time, and help from an organization like the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre (VSAC). Last year, VSAC provided support to over 2,000 survivors of sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse in Victoria. Support comes from a wide range of free services including: a crisis and information line; sexual assault response team; individual and group counselling; and victim services, which supports survivors if they choose to navigate the criminal justice system. Each time VSAC answers the phone, offers support in a counseling session, or attends a court proceeding with a survivor, one thing is true for all people who use their services – it takes strength to call, strength to come and strength to heal. In 2016, in partnership with Island Health, local police and RCMP, and the Victoria Child Abuse Prevention and Counselling Centre, VSAC was proud to open B.C.’s first and only integrated sexual assault clinic. Shifting key services such as medical and forensic exams, options for reporting and crisis support from the hospitals and police stations, the Victoria Sexual Assault Clinic offers recent survivors an accessible, trauma-informed and Trans inclusive facility to receive support in the crucial time they need it. “Our goal is to have a place where healing begins as soon as a person walks through the door, and for all survivors of sexualized violence, to have access to the medical and emotional care they deserve,” said Makenna Rielly, VSAC’s executive director. Since opening the clinic, demand for these services has increased by 80 per cent. VSAC programs are available to survivors, age 13 years and older. Engaging with youth is a priority. Along with support services, they have an award-winning, youth-led prevention education program – Project Respect, that supports youth to become leaders and to take action to address the root causes of sexualized violence, and to create cultures of consent and respect. The Victoria Sexual Assault Centre relies on the generous support of donors to provide life-changing services, at no cost, to survivors of sexualized violence. Whether it is a one-time donation, becoming a monthly donor or by leaving a legacy gift, the support a donor provides gives strength and healing to so many. To learn more about how you can help, visit, or connect with Lindsay Pomper at: 250-383-5545 ext. 115. – Victoria Sexual Assault Centre

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Stronger Together


The United Way Labour Partnership in Action If you were to ask John Burrows, the President of CUPE Local 50, just how long his local has been supporting United Way Greater Victoria, you would probably hear “... well, longer than the 35 years I have been around!” Supporting and promoting community is a large part of what defines CUPE Local 50. For nearly a century, they have been representing members at the City of Victoria, demonstrating their enthusiasm for the community. The City of Victoria is committed to United Way, and along with affiliated unions, they have raised $1.4 million since 1994. A dynamic workplace campaign that draws together police, fire, municipal workers and affiliated unions to raise thousands of dollars each year is no small feat. It’s success hinges on a small group of committed volunteers who take the time to collectively coordinate and motivate over 1,000 employees to support a network of services for those in need. One of those committed workplace “The City of Victoria and affiliated campaign volunteers is unions took home the Outstanding Don Sutton. Don first started at the City in Committee and Outstanding 1979 and joined the Workplace awards at United Way’s executive of CUPE Spirit Awards on April 24, 2017.” Local 50 in 1994. He has always been active and involved in meaningful ways in his community. He first donated to United Way over 25 years ago, and when a vacancy opened up on the campaign committee at the City’s Parks Department, Don stepped up to the plate. With determination, he helped increase the department’s fundraising total by almost $5,000 in two years. When Don announced his retirement over a year ago, it was apparent that the City was losing a true United Way champion. Enter “the opportunity.” Don might have just retired, but his enthusiasm for United Way and his desire to power the campaign was still so strong that CUPE Local 50 offered the City something that would take their campaign to the next level – they offered Don’s talents as a United Way loaned representative. Don says that retirement has provided him the time to dedicate his energy to the community, and through the support of CUPE Local 50 and the City of Victoria, he can spend that time giving back and doing what he does best – coordinating a successful and brilliant workplace campaign for United Way. One of the greatest parts for Don is reconnecting with the people he worked alongside for over 30 years. It’s a win for Don and win for the City and the community at large. In 2016, the City of Victoria’s campaign soared to new heights, growing by 27 per cent and bringing in $85,833. The City of Victoria and affiliated unions took home the Outstanding Committee and Outstanding Workplace awards at United Way’s Spirit Awards on April 24, 2017. Together, with over 250 other workplaces, the City of Victoria and affiliated unions helped raise an amazing $5 million and fund 109 programs while improving the lives of 111,000 children, youth, individuals and families in the Capital Regional District.

80 YRS

United Way would like to congratulate the 2016 workplace Spirit Award recipients.

changing lives

Thank you for your continued support and inspiration! WELCOME TO UNITED WAY Edward Jones


POWER OF YOU Correctional Service of Canada - PSAC Component USGE Local 20086, UCCO

COMMUNITY PARTNER Oasis Society for the Spiritual Health of Victoria

OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEE CAMPAIGN CHAIR (Under 100 Employees) Paige Crowhurst Forest Technology Systems Ltd. OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEE CAMPAIGN CHAIR (Over 100 Employees) Skye Penstock - Canada Revenue Agency - PIPSC, PSAC Component UTE Local 20028 Saira Walters - RBC Royal Bank

LABOUR PARTNERSHIP Greater Victoria Public Library CUPE Local 410 OUTSTANDING WORKPLACE CAMPAIGN City of Victoria - CUPE Local 50, IAFF Local 730, IBEW Local 230, Victoria Police Union POST SECONDARY CUP Camosun College - BCGEU Local 701, Camosun College Faculty Association, CUPE Local 2081

OUTSTANDING CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE City of Victoria - CUPE Local 50, IAFF Local 730, IBEW Local 230, Victoria Police Union


LEADERSHIP GIVING Royal Roads University - CUPE Local 3886, RRUFA

CHAIR’S AWARD OF DISTINCTION Dave Wheaton Wheaton Chevrolet Buick Cadillac GMC

INNOVATION TD Canada Trust Spirit Award Sponsor:


SpiritFest Sponsor:

Together, We are Possibility

– Katie Burke, United Way Greater Victoria

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Power To Be: Everyone Belongs in Nature Victoria-based non-profit inspires connections through time outdoors


In the balancing act of schedules, finding the space and pace to enjoy time in nature isn’t always realistic without a little help. That’s where Power To Be, a Victoria-based non-profit, steps in to help families living with barriers or disabilities step outside. Offering inclusive outdoor adventures in Victoria and Vancouver, Power To Be believes everyone belongs in nature. And thanks to community support, a dedicated team of staff and volunteers helps more than 1,100 people explore what is possible each year. “Power To Be has given me an opportunity to experience nature in a positive, peaceful way,� says one participant. “It offered me an activity that fit my needs and included my family, giving us special memories together.� With more than 400 programs offered in 2016, the opportunities are as diverse as the landscapes explored. Adaptive Recreation supports people aged seven and up living with a barrier or disability in experiencing inclusive recreational activities in Victoria and Vancouver. Participants live with a range of considerations, such as autism, developmental disabilities, mental health considerations, acquired brain injuries, cognitive disabilities, physical disabilities and medical illness. Wilderness School is a three-year co-ed program for youth Grades 8-10 living with financial and/or social barriers in Victoria. Program activities include kayaking, canoeing, hiking and camping, among others. Partnership is at the heart of what Power To Be does, and the organization works with more than 50 community partners to extend access to nature and support other non-profits to offer diverse experiences to their clients. “The power of connection - to nature, community and self - cannot be underestimated,� says Dana Hutchings, Power To Be Director of Advancement and Communications. “Power To Be makes it possible for people to get outside through inclusive activities that have lasting impact for individuals and families.� Power To Be relies on the generous support of its donors and volunteers. To learn how you can get involved, visit: – Amy Dove , Power To Be

Power To Be’s inclusive adventures rooted in nature empower people living with

a barrier or disability to explore what’s QPTTJCMF 5PHFUIFS XF DBO SFEFmOF BCJMJUZ XIJMF IFMQJOH QFPQMF CVJME DPOmEFODF BOE connection to their community.

Donate today at

Power To Be facilitates inclusive adventure programs in Victoria and Vancouver, making adventures in nature possible to more than 1,100 participants in 2016.

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Eldercare Nourishes the Body + the Soul We all want to believe that we will remain healthy into old age, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. Life can change in an instant; this is a well-known fact. For 34 years, the Eldercare Foundation has worked to improve the quality of life for vulnerable older adults. In the last decade, the average age of the people we serve has decreased and we are seeing dementia and other chronic illness in people as young as 52. Thanks to our donors, we are able to support valuable community programs offering respite care, socialization, education and safety – to help people stay in their own homes longer. Therapy programs and specialized equipment provide extended care residents comfort, independence and a sense of belonging in their community. Al is 75. A professional woodworker, designer and builder, he contracted a rare virus in 2011, which caused paralysis in his hands; this has brought many changes to his life. Now a resident at Aberdeen, Al’s longtime interest in sculpture and other art media make him a natural participant in the Arts in Community program, which allows him to maintain his creative passion. With the help of a volunteer, Al’s visions are turned into works of art. Al also appreciates the program for its’ ability to get him out into the community and meet people Al’s visions were turned into works outside of the Aberdeen Hospital.

We all want to believe that we will remain healthy into old age but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. Your donation to the Eldercare Foundation funds community programs and education that help people stay in their own homes longer; funds therapy programs, equipment and home-like enhancements for extended care residents; and gives back dignity and happiness.

of art.

Marya is 63. In her working life, she was a financial analyst for IBM. A stroke in 2012 brought her into residential care for rehabilitation and physiotherapy. Still working on left side mobility issues, gross and fine motor skills, Marya finds the Animal Assisted Therapy program (AAT) an excellent way to practice. Working with Cajun makes therapy a treat instead of a chore, according to program participants. Marya also hones her fine motor skills through the Arts in Community program. With a lifelong interest in art, she finds this program “nourishing for the body and the soul”. For more about the Eldercare Foundation, visit: or call: 250-370-5664. –Lori McLeod, Eldercare Foundation Ted Kuzemski photos

Marya finds the animal assisted therapy program a treat instead of a chore.

Give the gift of care, comfort and quality of life.

Please donate today.

1454 Hillside Ave., Victoria, BC V8T 2B7

250 370-5664 • Registered Charity #898816095RR0001

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Planned Giving is an

“Your gift opens the doors for our clients to walk through towards health and hope.”

Investment in

Hopeful Steps When you invest in

The Cridge Centre for the Family, you give a gift of hope, security, and love. You are supporting women and children ƪeeing violence, young parents, brain injury survivors, seniors, children, families of children with special needs, refugee and immigrant families, and those in need of aơordable housing. Visit or phone 250-995-6419 to plan your gift.

Serving those in need in Greater Victoria since 1873 … because love is the bottom line.

In our fast-paced world, our expectations are high. We like to have quick responses to our text messages, information at our fingertips and to see impact from the decisions we make. Immediacy is important. Likewise, when you donate to a non-profit, you want to know how your gift has made an impact. You want to know that your money is being used well, and you want to feel that you have made a difference. And that is not always so easy to show. Measuring success when you are working with vulnerable people is not straightforward – sometimes the steps are small and, to the outside eye, almost indistinguishable. But for someone who has walked a path of trauma and loss, a small step can be hugely momentous and life changing. That small step might be gaining the confidence to go back to school, or to leave an abusive relationship. It might be a senior joining an activity or making a new friend. It could be a brain injury survivor going grocery shopping alone. Activities or decisions that may seem inconsequential can be massive steps forward for our clients. And those small steps – those life-giving, momentous steps – would not be possible without a community of supporters. Your gift makes those steps possible. Your gift helps our clients take steps towards hope and security – towards safety and possibility. Your gift opens the doors for our clients to walk through towards health and hope. To discuss how you can give hope, call Joanne at: 250 995 6419 or – Joanne Specht The Cridge Centre for the Family

From beginning to end, the cridge centre is here for you.

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Raising the Grade

Ignite a Spark of Imagination For 56 years, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria has been providing safe and supportive places for children and youth to belong. With eight locations throughout Greater Victoria, Boys & Girls Club offers programs that are strength-based and skill focussed, finding the strength of each individual and then building upon n that positive foundation – to help children and youth overcome barriers and develop the skills and confidence they need to succeed in life. One Boys & Girls Club program that is transforming lives is the Raising the Grade program. This powerful, learning-focused initiative is geared toward children and youth, from elementary to high school, who need support to improve their learning skills, digital literacy and overall academic achievement. When Boys & Girls Club first started Raising the Grade, we had one staff member who operated the program from a local coffee shop using a laptop and tablets to connect with kids in the community a couple of times a week. Today, Raising the Grade has its own dedicated space and a tech centre providing learning support five days a week. Many of the kids participating in the program were told from different sources that they weren’t good in school, that they were not smart, and that they had failed and would continue to fail. Many of these children and youth lacked a support person at home who could help them or who wanted to help them, and yet we see these kids fighting to become educated, in spite of their challenges. We have witnessed teens who dropped out of high school, return to class because they found a supportive place to learn at Boys & Girls Club. We have seen a young mother defy all expectations she had for herself and apply for college. A youth who was failing in high school participated in Raising the Grade, then received honour-roll worthy report cards, and is now in college, considering med school as the next step. We are witnessing the community embracing Raising the Grade as an amazing resource for students, with teachers actively recommending the program. Boys & Girls Club believes in the transformational power of education. Raising the Grade is changing lives in influential ways. However, Raising the Grade is in need of ongoing funding support to ensure the Boys & Girls Club can continue to offer this supportive and inclusive learning approach, where children and youth can dare to believe that anything is possible, including achieving their education dreams. Together, with your support, we can build a legacy that will ignite the spark of imagination and inspire the pursuit of life-long learning in the children and youth we serve. – Sue Hobler, Boys & Girls Club Services of Greater Victoria

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Ideal for pubs and restaurants! Transform your patio or deck space for year-round use. Also works great at home! Call Don for a complete outdoor solution.


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lindsay kines

public sector just the


BY THE NUMBERS • The provincial government is the Capital Region’s largest employer with more than 12,000 employees. • Island Health is the second-largest employer with 10,000 on its payroll. • The Department of National Defence employs about 6,000 — including about 4,000 military employees and 2,000 civilians. National defence has more than half a billion dollars in payroll, supplies, services and construction.

Sailors aboard to the HMCS Regina return home.


CITY PERKS Thousands of people with well-paid jobs provide significant benefits, stability to region


he day after he delivered his budget speech in February, Finance Minister Mike de Jong popped by the Fairmont Empress to give Greater Victoria business leaders a personal briefing. It’s one of the perks of living and working in a government town: Cabinet ministers are often just a short distance away in case you feel the need to look them in the eye and urge support for a new overpass or sewage treatment plant. The proximity to power aside, however, Victoria reaps the rewards of being B.C.’s capital city in lots of ways, not the least of which is the number of government people working here. The Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria, in a 2015 report, identified the provincial government as the region’s largest employer with more than 12,000 employees. Island Health placed second with 10,000.


• In 2001, there were 18,200 people in Greater Victoria employed in public administration at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. They accounted for about 12 per cent of the 151,000 people employed in the region. By 2016, the number of people working in public administration had risen to 19,600, but they represented 10.6 per cent of the 184,300 total. • One measure of the provincial government’s impact on Greater Victoria is the amount of office space it occupies in the region. The Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services reports the government has 2.5 million square feet of space in 66 buildings in the capital region. The buildings are communities such as Victoria, Sooke, Langford, Central Saanich, North Saanich, Sidney and View Royal. The total space will remain about the same once the new Capital Park project opens behind the Parliament Buildings in James Bay, because government plans to vacate other buildings. The Ministry of Children and Family offices at 765-777 Broughton St., for example, will be vacated once the staff members move to Capital Park late this year. The government plans to lease the majority of the first Capital Park building – about 125,000 square feet – from project partners Jawl Properties Ltd and Concert Properties Ltd. The government also plans to take about half of the 110,000 square feet in the second Capital Park building. Construction is slated to begin on that building this fall. CP Capital PROGRESS | 77

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> public sector

The Department of National Defence, meanwhile, was the region’s third-largest employer with about 6,000 employees. James Vassallo, a public affairs officer at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, said that includes about 4,000 military employees and 2,000 civilians with more than half a billion dollars in payroll, supplies, services and construction. The impact of all those public sector jobs on the local economy provides significant benefits to the region, observers say. “I’ve been here 35 years and I can tell you it provides a tremendous amount of stability to our economy,” said consultant Frank Bourree, owner of Chemistry Consulting Group Inc., which along with its subsidiary, GT Hiring Solutions, provides human resource services. The companies also have a government contract for WorkBC Employment Centres on Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland. “A lot of quite wellpaid jobs and careers are established here,” Bourree said. “It’s really an insulation factor for employment in Victoria.” Catherine Holt, chief executive officer of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, said the workforce numbers can fluctuate depending on budget challenges. “We’ve all lived through government’s own layoffs and spending cuts, and that affects everybody,” she said. “But, for the most part, it is a very stable foundation to a municipal economy.” Indeed, the public and private sectors are so intertwined in Greater Victoria that it’s difficult at times to determine where one ends and other begins.

A lot of quite wellpaid jobs and careers are established here”

“All of the private-sector suppliers to local government, regional government, the military, provincial government, provincial government agencies, the universities – there are so many opportunities for businesses to get contract work to supply government in different ways,” Holt said. And then there are the direct benefits of having thousands of people employed in union jobs spending disposable income on local services. Other businesses and industry are on the rise, Holt said, “but we definitely rely on local spending by public sector employees as one of the foundations for local business.” There are, of course, drawbacks to being a government town. Private-sector employers sometimes struggle to retain skilled employees attracted to higherpaying government jobs. “When we are recruiting positions like administrative assistants, the private sector is challenged quite often to meet the same salary and benefits as the provincial government offers,” Bourree said. Nor is government immune to recessions and periods of belt-tightening that have ripple effects throughout the region. “I’ve lived here long enough to see the downturns and the upturns,” Holt said. “If government cuts back, it has a very chilling effect in a government town. Employees don’t know what their own employment future is going to be like. The departments

aren’t spending as much on local procurement. It sets a tone. So there’s the actual cuts, but then there’s the tone it sets that government is not in good shape.” Victoria, however, may have become less susceptible to such pressures, she said. The strength of the region’s tourism industry and burgeoning technology sector provides a measure of resilience. “We’ve now got more diversity in our economy,” Holt said. “It would be interesting to see when another government downturn arrives, if it does have as much of a chilling effect on spending in Victoria. It might not.” Her perception is supported by statistics from B.C.’s Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training. In 2001, there were 18,200 people in Greater Victoria employed in public administration at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. They accounted for about 12 per cent of the 151,000 people employed in the region. By 2016, the number of people working in public administration had risen to 19,600, but they represented 10.6 per cent of the 184,300 total. “These numbers show that since 2001 the number of public administration jobs has not increased as much as the number of people employed in the Victoria [Census Metropolitan Area], suggesting that the workforce in Victoria has diversified over the years,” the ministry said in a statement. CP

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public sector

It’s full steam ahead for one of the region’s biggest construction projects at CFB Esquimalt


he replacement of two aging jetties – creatively dubbed ‘A’ and ‘B’ – is expected to cost $781-million. Pomerleau Inc. from Surrey was the latest beneficiary, scoring a $55.45-million contract to demolish the ‘B’ jetty and prepare the site for future construction. Work was expected to begin this month and conclude in 2019.

Explore Esquimalt We’re ready. Are you?

The federal government says the existing jetties served the navy well for more than 70 years but are past their prime. They were designed for smaller, lighter ships and neither is deep enough or long enough for today’s frigates and other modern vessels. The multi-year project to replace the jetties is divided into three phases to ensure that one is operating at all

times. Once the new ‘B’ jetty is in service, work will begin to demolish and rebuild ‘A’ jetty. The new jetties will be home to modern ships slated for delivery to the Royal Canadian Navy over the next 30 years. The government said it hopes to complete the ‘B’ jetty by 2021 and have the ‘A’ jetty in service by 2024.

There is a new Esquimalt taking shape in the 21st century. With its incomparable parks, affordable real estate and a full calendar of community, arts and sports events, all within easy reach of downtown Victoria, many people are taking a second look at the Township. New housing developments and businesses are locating in our community, drawn by its stunning marine setting, as well as innovative revitalization efforts, including the Revitalization Tax Exemption Program and the Esquimalt Road Urban Design Guidelines. The new Esquimalt Town Square project is underway; a mixed-use development that includes civic, residential and commercial uses, a public square and a through-block art walk. The square will be a central gathering place in the community and a catalyst for sustainable growth for years to come. We’ve been working hard, but we’re not about to rest on our laurels. Find out more about the new Esquimalt. We’re ready for the next chapter in our exciting story. Are you?

Esquimalt Town Square. Completion in 2019

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> public sector


SHOWDOWN Liberals, NDP, Greens fight for power in provincial vote


fter losing two of its four seats on Vancouver Island in the last provincial election, the B.C. Liberal Party vowed to rebuild support in a region long considered an NDP stronghold. The party’s efforts took shape last year when Premier Christy Clark announced plans to launch — “for the first time ever” — a platform specifically devoted to Island issues. Clark said it was time to chart a new future for the Island’s diverse economy, noting the region has moved beyond its status as a government town to the south and a resource community on the mid-Island. “So I think now is the time to chart a new future for Vancouver Island based on the changes that we’ve seen,” she said. “Government will have policy levers that we can put to use to help set this Island in an even better economic direction, to really help shape it.” The premier assigned the platform project to Comox Valley MLA Don McRae, who is leaving politics this year to return to teaching. His departure leaves Social Development Minister and Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell as the only incumbent Liberal seeking re-election on May 9. Whether McRae’s efforts produce the results his party desires remains to be seen. When Clark announced plans for an Island-specific platform, NDP leader John Horgan mocked the Liberals for finally discovering the region after years of neglect. “I think one of the problems they have is that, after 15 years in government, they discovered that maybe if they talked about things that mattered to Vancouver Islanders they might have more support here,” he said. The Juan de Fuca MLA speaks from a position of strength; His party holds 11 of 14 seats on the Island and most of his MLAs will be seeking re-election. “I’m going to take every vote as they come,” Horgan said. “I want Conservatives, Liberals, Greens, long-time New Democrats to vote for me. I want to change the government because they deserve to be cast aside.” B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver has other ideas. He knocked off Liberal cabinet minister Ida Chong in Oak Bay-Gordon Head in the last election and hopes to expand his beachhead this time around. His best chance could be in Saanich North and the Islands – home to

federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May. The NDP’s Gary Holman won the seat in a close three-way race in 2013, defeating Liberal Stephen P. Roberts by 163 votes and Green candidate Adam Olsen by 379. Both Olsen and Roberts are back for a second round, ensuring another tight contest, said Norman Ruff, a political scientist and associate professor emeritus at the University of Victoria. “Holman seems to be a successful MLA, so he has the advantage of incumbency which he didn’t have before,” he said. “But I think it probably is going to be another close three-way race.” The NDP also faces a challenge in Cowichan Valley, where MLA Bill Routley is retiring. Lori Iannidinardo, a director with the Cowichan Valley Regional District, will carry the party’s colours against fellow director and Green candidate Sonia Furstenau and Liberal Steve Housser. Both could prove formidable opponents. Furstenau successfully led the fight against the dumping of contaminated

soil in a quarry near Shawnigan Lake, while Housser finished a strong second in the last election, just 1,400 votes behind Routley. Weaver predicts Furstenau and Olsen will be part of a Green breakthrough that lifts his party into office. “I know people don’t think it will happen, but we’re not gunning for inroads, we’re gunning for government,” he said. “We think we’re going to tap into that change that people want.” Others remain more skeptical. Michael Prince, a professor of social policy at the University of Victoria, noted that a Green breakthrough on the Island failed to materialize in the last federal election and remains an “uphill battle” for the party provincially. Prince argues that it will take a significant shift to oust the NDP on the Island. “They’ve got quite a nice little basket of seats here on the Island and if John Horgan has any hope of forming a government he’s got to hold here and grow elsewhere and if he starts losing one or two here, it makes it all that harder,” he said. CP

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public sector


A billiondollar town I

s there a civic designation more loaded with negative connotations than “government town”? All over the world the phrase is used to describe capitals. It’s rarely positive. “Government town” is code for one thing, and one thing only. Boring. Ottawa has been the capital of Canada for 150 years and it’s suffered and fought the description for nearly every one of those years. Travel pieces about Ottawa, and most other capitals, always have a stock phrase. “It’s a government town, but ...” The rest of the sentence is always antonymic to boring. Like: • “... some restaurants stay open late.” • “... there’s interesting stuff nearby.” • “.... there’s a thriving gay culture.” Author Bill Bryson traipsed around Australia for his travel book, Down Under, and when he got to the capital, Canberra, he eviscerated it. Noting that then-prime minister John Howard once prompted outrage by refusing to move to the capital after winning election, preferring to commute from Sydney, Bryson wrote: “This caused an uproar among Canberra’s citizens, presumably because they hadn’t thought of that themselves.” Another excerpt: “I ordered another beer, then picked up the notebook and pen and, after a minute’s thought, wrote, ‘Canberra awfully boring place. Beer cold, though.’ Then I thought for a bit more and wrote, ‘Buy socks.’. . . Then I decided to come up with a new slogan for Canberra. First I wrote, ‘Canberra – There’s Nothing to It!’ and then ‘Canberra – Why Wait for Death?’” Nearly all capitals take a similar hit at one time or another. (Bryson later recanted, said he visited town a few more times, and liked it.) Victoria was voted most boring city in Canada a few years ago, but the “survey” was so transparently bogus no one took it too seriously. And Victoria can weather the slur because the city presents two completely different facades to the world. It’s a government town and a tourist town at the same time. The tourist aspect is more obvious, so the “government town” epithet is usually in the background.

And as long as it stays in the background image-wise, it’s an overwhelmingly positive factor. A roughly billion-dollar payroll, guaranteed year in and year out, with a lucrative pension segment also guaranteed from those who stay put after retiring. What town wouldn’t kill for that? Victoria does have a John Howard syndrome, in that the political elite gradually started opting out of the capital years ago. Information technology miracles, easy travel and Vancouver’s hyper-growth, relative to pokey Victoria, have reduced the need for elected leaders to live and work here. The days of politicians moving

their entire households to Victoria once named to cabinet are long gone. If you pull the fire alarm at the legislature, most days you could count on one hand the number of ministers that would come out. But as far as the city economy goes: who needs them? Thousands of educated, well-paid bureaucrats more than make up for their absence. Civil servants will fight the impression they’re boring until the end of time, even though it’s complete nonsense. They’re relatively affluent, have some discretionary income and the employment stability to spend it. Economically, that’s as interesting as you can get. CP

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Ruffell & Brown Window Fashions

celebrates 30 year anniversary


n 1987, Debra Ruffell and Nigel Brown established Ruffell & Brown Interiors in Victoria. Since then, Ruffell & Brown has grown to be NIgEl BRoWN AND DEBRA RuFFEll one of the largest volume independently owned window covering stores in Canada, and is now celebrating 30 years of helping customers find the best solutions for their window covering needs. Ruffell & Brown’s long-standing success is due in large part to customer satisfaction and word of mouth. Through repeat business and customer recommendations to friends, neighbours and family, the company has earned a solid reputation for quality products and customer care. They stand behind their work 100 per cent. No matter what goal you have in mind … to darken a room for sleep, maintain privacy, controlling harmful sun glare, retain heat during winter, or to achieve a knock-out designer-looking room, window treatments lend themselves to a range of solutions. Ruffell & Brown Interiors has many window treatment options and their expert consultants have the knowledge to help you find the right solution for your particular situation. They have been representing the full range of Hunter Douglas products for over 25 years including the exclusive Alustra line. As a Hunter Douglas Showcase™ dealer, Ruffell & Brown is a one-stop source for custom Hunter Douglas window fashions. The Hunter Douglas product selection is impressive - with hundreds of choices of colour, texture, fabric, function, and proprietary exclusive product

lines that are only manufactured by Hunter Douglas and are available at Ruffell & Brown. Custom-made doesn’t always mean ‘more expensive’ … shopping for window fashions through Ruffell & Brown can save you money too. Their extensive selection and many years of wide-ranging decorating experience, along with great buying power assures that you will be provided the perfect decorating products and treatments, at the best price possible. Experienced consultants can often recommend innovative solutions that can save you money in the long run. Ruffell & Brown has always represented and carried several name-brand window covering suppliers. This ensures the best possible price in every product category that is carried. In many cases, clients are looking for a budgetfriendly option, and Ruffell & Brown has always had industry-leading prices in every blind and shade category to ensure the best possible price, in fact they guaranty it. Budget-friendly blinds and shades options are available in most categories of window fashions. When browsing Ruffell & Brown’s website – – look for the Budget Friendly piggy bank logo. This identifies products in that category or product line that have Budget Friendly pricing. To see what is available in-person, visit Ruffell & Brown’s large decorating showroom at 2745 Bridge Street in Victoria. To make informed decorating decisions, you need to know what is available. Their showroom is home to fabrics galore, dozens of blind, shade and fabric displays, with creative sales decorators who are ready to help you choose the perfect products for your project. You can view working displays of the latest trends

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and ideas for fabric window treatments, custom blinds, shades, interior shutters, motorization and more. Ruffell & Brown also offers a free in-home decorating service. The shopat-home service can be scheduled at your convenience. Knowledgeable decorators will bring lots of samples and great ideas right to your home, and take accurate measurements for each project to guarantee a proper fit. Ruffell & Brown’s profession installers are highly trained and provide expert installation services for any type of custom window treatment. Custom blinds, shades, automated systems and fabric treatments are not easy to install properly. Ruffell & Brown’s installers are Hunter Douglas Certified, so you can be assured they know what they are doing … not only with Hunter Douglas products but also any of the several other manufacturers Ruffell & Brown represents. Having Ruffell & Brown measure your new window treatments and professionally install them ensures a guaranteed fit and ensures properly operating window fashion products. They offer Vancouver Island’s largest full service repair department, with stock replacement parts for most makes of blinds and shades, including Hunter Douglas. They will repair broken cords, cut down blinds and make custom length drapery tracks. Repairs can be done in your home or at the workshop. For experienced, knowledgeable window covering expertise; professional, punctual and tidy installation services; and guaranteed competitive pricing, visit Ruffell & Brown Interiors at their showroom – 2745 Bridge Street, Victoria, Mondays through Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or their website – Happy customers have built their business!

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> healthcare O n t he c u t t ing edge of

cancer research New lab at Royal Jubilee Hospital studies immune system to fight disease


eing current and cutting-edge is vital in the medical field.

In Greater Victoria, generous donors have consistently put their money behind advancements that keep treatment moving forward, and make a difference in people’s lives. Donations make such things as the Conconi Family Immunotherapy Lab possible. The facility is a highly sterile “clean room” that allows specialized research in the emerging field of immunotherapy, which holds the promise of using a patient’s own immune system to treat cancer. Thanks to $2 million from the Conconi family foundation and $5.5 million overall, the lab is in place at the B.C. Cancer Agency’s Vancouver Island Centre at Royal Jubilee Hospital. Victoria’s immunotherapy program is “world class,” said Sarah Roth, president and chief executive of the B.C. Cancer Foundation. “Basically, immunotherapy is a therapy that focuses on improving the body’s ability to develop a better immune response to cancer,” she said. “It’s similar to how our body, when we get the flu vaccine, we can fight off the flu. Or when we get the common

cold it’s our immune system that’s fighting that. “For reasons that continue to baffle scientists, why can’t the immune system fight cancer?” Research director Brad Nelson has called the advancements “a complete game-changer.” The approach being taken is to give the immune system a boost, Roth said. “They’re trying to take your natural immunity and put it on steroids, so to speak.” The idea is take a patient’s T-cells, or immune cells, and use biomedical engineering to manipulate them and make them stronger, she said.

“When they’re engineering them, they’re engineering these immune cells to go and look for the cancer tumour and then fight it. It’s a targeted therapy.” Immunotherapy holds plenty of promise, “but there’s also a lot of questions that need to be answered,” Roth said. The first clinical trials in the lab are slated for this year. “The trials will run for ovarian and cervical cancer patients,” Roth said. “It’s always exciting when donor funds go from the lab to the bedside, and this is a great example.” Research has a place at the Island Centre due to a strategic decision made several years ago, Roth said. “Vancouver has most of the cancer research in British Columbia and it was thought that, like a distributed health-care system, it’s also an advantage to have a distributed research environment.” The Conconi Lab is housed

Research assistants Leah McCormick, left, and Victoria Hodgson work with Dr. John Webb in the new immunotherapy lab at the B.C. Cancer agency at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

in the Trev and Joyce Deeley Research Centre, which opened in 2001 after a $6-milion fundraising campaign. The Deeleys donated $1 million to the effort. “At the Deeley Centre, we have 40 scientists and staff,” Roth said. “The people who support it are many times families that have been touched by cancer and understand that it may not benefit them because these trials take time, but it’ll help the next person.” Also helping the region keep up-to-date medically is the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, which determines what is needed and then raises funds to obtain it. One piece of equipment that has been added is a probe known as a transesophageal echocardiogram ultrasound. The foundation bought three of them for $725,000 for the heart program at Royal Jubilee Hospital, said foundation president and chief executive Melanie Mahlman. “It’s one of the province’s leading heart programs,” she said. The probe is inserted through a patient’s esophagus to give doctors a better view of the heart, Mahlman said. “Literally what it allows them to do is see the beating heart without the ribs or lungs being in the way, so they can actually get images that guide the surgeons to do so much more precise work.”

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just the FACTS : Another addition to the region’s equipment array are mannequins that can talk and simulate symptoms as health-care workers practice procedures. They are part of the $2.9-million Centre for Interprofessional Clinical Simulation Learning at Royal Jubilee Hospital. Nursing students and students from the University of Victoria Island Medical Program can also use mannequins known as Julia and Harvey. Experts say such equipment can make people better equipped to handle acute problems earlier in their careers. Youth mental health has been enhanced with a locally developed app known as Booster Buddy. Mental-health workers, youth

who have experienced mentalhealth issues and the app company Robots and Pencils were behind the concept, funded by about $363,000 from Coast Capital Savings. “It’s received worldwide attention,” Mahlman said. “It’s now been downloaded around the world 115,000 times. It’s an app that youth can go on to and it provides them with tools to manage their day and how they’re feeling, reminders of coping techniques if they’re having a bad day and reminders of when their medications are due and to follow up on their appointments. “The youth have said it has a profound effect.” CP

Major Issues: Fentanyl: This dangerous opioid and the stronger carfentanil have led to a surge of deaths among drug users for months. Recently, the B.C. Court of Appeal has called for the penalty for first-time offenders trafficking fentanyl to be increased from six months to 18. Mental health: Ongoing concerns about mental health prompted Victoria council to put $204,000 into a two-year project that will see a pair of police officers work with downtown service providers. They will deal with people not only with mental-health issues, but also addiction and homelessness. The officers will also assist the

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region’s four Assertive Community Treatment teams made up of nurses, psychiatrists, social workers and others. Finding a family doctor: A combination of factors ranging from not enough doctors being trained to different options for medicalschool graduates has made the task of finding a family physician difficult for many. A concept being put forward by the provincial government would have teams of primary-care professionals such as doctors, nurses and physiotherapists working with patients. Influenza: It has been a long, lingering

flu season, with a wave of flu and flu-like illnesses recently leading to high demand at emergency departments. The Canadian Sentinel Practitioner Surveillance Network has determined that this year’s flu vaccine was 40 per cent effective in preventing the H3N2 virus, the dominant strain. Experts have said that 40 per cent is a decent outcome. Seniors’ health: The number of B.C. residents 65 and over has increased by 28 per cent since 2006, making health issues for seniors an increasingly important topic. Still, 10 per cent of seniors, or 88,900 people, are frail and in need of residential care, palliative care or daily supports. CP


Nanaimo Regional General Hospital Acute care beds 308. Psychiatric inpatient services; Psychiatric Emergency Services. West Coast General Hospital Acute care beds 52 Tofino General Hospital Acute care beds 10 Cowichan District Hospital Acute care beds 59 Lady Minto/Gulf Islands Hospital Acute care beds 20 Island Health: Saanich Peninsula Hospital Acute care beds 59 • serves a population of 767,000, or 16 Queen Alexandra Centre per cent of the people in B.C. for Children’s Health • $2.2 billion budget Acute care beds (child and youth • 2,140 physician partners mental health) 14 • 19,600 health care professionals Royal Jubilee Hospital • 6,000 volunteers and auxiliary Acute care beds 447 • 150 facilities Specialty areas: Heart Health Centre • 1,555 acute care and rehab beds of Excellence • 6,426 residential care beds, assisted Psychiatric Inpatient and Psychiatric living units and end-of-life beds • 1,110 mental health & substance use beds Intensive Care, Psychiatric Emergency Services (Archie Courtnall Centre) Victoria General Hospital Hospitals: Acute care beds 324 Specialty areas: Level II Trauma Port Hardy Hospital Centre; Stroke Rapid Assessment Acute care beds 12 Unit; Close Observation Neuro Port McNeill Hospital Area; Pediatrics and Neonatal Acute care beds 10 Intensive Care Cormorant Island Health Centre Acute care beds 4 Health Centres: Campbell River Hospital* Acute care beds 79 Bamfield Health Centre St. Joseph’s General Hospital* Chemainus Health Care (Affiliate) Centre Acute care beds 120 Gold River Health Centre *Campbell River and St. Joeseph are Kyuquot Health Centre being replaced with two new hospitals Ladysmith Community opening in the fall (North Island Hospitals Health Centre Project). Campbell River Hospital ($275 Oceanside Health Centre million) will have 95 beds; Comox Valley Port Alice Health Centre Hospital ($332 million) will have 153 beds. The new Campbell River Hospital will be the Sointula Health Centre Island Health delivers many types of services for residents, clients and patients: public health, children and youth care, seniors ongoing care and wellness, residential and community care, primary health care, specialized short-term care at local hospitals and health centres, mental health and substance-use services, and end-of-life care. Island Health said it is able to meet virtually all health needs of people who live on Vancouver Island, adding that it’s only rarely people seek services outside of Island Health for highly specialized needs.

Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal Maternal Sunshine Wellness Centre Health. Psychiatric inpatient and psychiatric Tahsis Health Centre intensive care will be located at the new Zeballos Health Centre Comox Valley Hospital. Capital PROGRESS | 85

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> healthcare Doctor Shortage

The hunt for A Family doctor


Changing career choices, booming population leaving many residents out in the cold

inding a family doctor continues to be a problem in British Columbia.

Estimates put the number of new family physicians needed each year at 450, but only about 300 set themselves up in practice. About 700,000 B.C. residents were without a family doctor in 2014 with around 200,000 actively looking for one — up from 615,000 without a doctor and 176,000 actively looking in 2010. A notice on the Victoria Medical Society website says no doctors are accepting new patients. Dr. Kathy Dabrus of the Victoria Division of Family Practice, a local family doctor for 28 years, said many factors contribute to the shortage. In some cases, doctors who have done a family-practice


Here to Serve You! We can help you with: Íť /žžĹ?Ĺ?ĆŒÄ‚Ć&#x;ŽŜ ĂŜĚ Ĺ?Ć&#x;ÇŒÄžĹśĆ?ĹšĹ?Ɖ ƉƉůĹ?Ä?Ä‚Ć&#x;ŽŜĆ? Íť sĹ?Ć?Ĺ?ĆšĹ˝ĆŒ sĹ?Ć?Ä‚Ć? ĂŜĚ ĂŜĂĚĹ?Ä‚Ĺś WÄ‚Ć?Ć?Ć‰Ĺ˝ĆŒĆšĆ? Íť žƉůŽLJžĞŜƚ /ĹśĆ?ĆľĆŒÄ‚ĹśÄ?Äž Íť /ĹśÄ?ŽžÄž dĂdžĞĆ? ĂŜĚ KĆšĹšÄžĆŒ &ÄžÄšÄžĆŒÄ‚ĹŻ dĂdžĞĆ? ĂŜĚ ĞŜĞĎƚĆ? Íť ĂŜĂĚĂ WĞŜĆ?Ĺ?ŽŜ WĹŻÄ‚Ĺś ĂŜĚ KĹŻÄš Ĺ?Äž ^ÄžÄ?ĆľĆŒĹ?ƚLJ Íť sÄžĆšÄžĆŒÄ‚ĹśĆ? ÄŤÄ‚Ĺ?ĆŒĆ? ĂŜĚ DĹ˝ĆŒÄž ŽŜƚĂÄ?Ćš žLJ ŽĸÄ?Äž ĨŽĆŒ Ä‚Ĺś appointment!


residency as part of their training choose other options. “What we’re noticing is it has been a shifting environment in terms of the type of work that a graduate of family medicine has options for,� Dabrus said. “Some examples are staffing walk-in clinics or urgentcare clinics, some of them are in our hospitalist program.� Dabrus said 70 people in the Victoria area are hospital-based doctors, working with specialists, families, mental-health staff and others. Hospitalists have taken on the family doctor’s former role of attending to patients in a hospital setting, while earning about onethird more than a family doctor. Along with that, running a practice includes overhead such as the cost of staff and office space, Dabrus said. “There’s a fair bit of responsibility to run a business,� she said. “It really is a major commitment to go into family practice, and what the grads are seeing are more options with better pay and less stress. “The Division of Family Practice has done their best with saying: ‘We will assist you setting up a business. We will assist you with

Dr. Kathy Dabrus.

understanding the business of family practice.’� Also contributing to the difficulty of keeping doctors in Victoria is the cost of housing, Dabrus said, explaining that medical graduates are in high demand and can easily go elsewhere. Less expensive communities tend to have fewer problems, she said. “In the Cowichan Valley, we don’t see the same sort of doctor shortage as we do in Victoria. In the Cowichan Valley, every person who wants a family doctor has a family doctor.� About 325 doctors with family practices are in Greater Victoria, Dabrus said. “We’ve had 22 new physicians over the last year, but certainly we’ve had more than that in the amount of retirements.� The provincial government has responded by increasing the number of first-year undergraduate medical seats in B.C. to 288 from 128 in 2003, and is working on a new model for care tailored to individual communities. CP

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dr. perry kendall


entanyl has become a household name in British Columbia.

In 2016, illegal drug overdoses claimed more than 900 lives in B.C. The biggest factor is fentanyl, a toxic, synthetic opioid that has made its way into illegal drugs throughout Canada, and our province in particular. While the latest figures from the B.C. Coroners Service indicate the situation may be stabilizing, the number of people dying remains staggeringly high. Communities in all corners of our province are grieving the loss of loved ones. No region or socio-economic group is immune. With the ease of importation from illicit manufacturers overseas, high profit margins and easy access over the Internet, stopping the flow of these toxic substances into our province is a significant challenge. China has added carfentanil and three other related synthetic opioids to its list of controlled substances. The RCMP and China have signed an agreement to strengthen co-ordinated law enforcement. These welcome steps send an important message — but they will not solve this crisis. As Delta’s police chief has stated, we can’t arrest our way out of this complex problem. It is, at its core, a health issue, because addiction is a chronic health condition. The crisis has laid bare how pervasive the problem of addiction is and how many people are struggling. This epidemic is not just a “street problem.” Addiction and the vulnerability to overdose do not discriminate. In all our efforts to combat the crisis, one of our biggest challenges is the profound stigma associated with substance-use disorders. The shame people feel as a result of their addiction leads to the conditions that make them most susceptible to overdosing. People hide their drug use, and use alone, where no one can call 911 if they overdose. In fact, more than half the people fatally overdosing do so inside a residence, the majority of them alone. People who are struggling with addiction need support, rather than judgment. You can help. Learning the signs of overdose and how to respond can save a life. Carry a naloxone kit and know how to use it. Friends and family likely to witness and respond to an overdose can receive one at no cost from almost 500 locations across B.C. listed at Talk about the dangers of using drugs alone. Create an overdose response plan. Calling 911 in the event of an overdose is also critically important.


effort needed to

combat overdose


Opioid replacement therapies such as Suboxone are becoming much easier to access, helping thousands of British Columbians take the first steps toward getting healthier. We are one year into the publichealth emergency. While our many actions across the health system have saved hundreds of lives, the latest figures from the B.C. Coroners Service show we have more work to do. What is required is collaborative

effort by all levels of government, by the health and public safety sectors and by individuals making a difference one life at a time. CP Dr. Perry Kendall is the provincial health officer for the B.C. Ministry of Health. He is a recipient of the Order of British Columbia for contributions to public health and harm-reduction policy and practice.

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Clearly Vancouver Island’s choice for windows

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or over 39 years, Van Isle Windows has played an integral part in Vancouver Island’s renovation and construction industries. As the largest vinyl window and patio door manufacturing plant on the Island, Van Isle Windows Ltd. in a unique position to not only deliver locally-built custom made windows, but also to provide efficient and timely customer service. Founded by Ed Sawatsy in 1978, the company has made many changes and grown significantly from the single glazed aluminum window days to vinyl windows and patio doors today. The company was purchased by Tom Li in 1989. The business is operated by a very strong local management team led by General Manager Linda Gourlay. Since Gourlay took on the position in January 2015, the company has seen a remakable 40 per cent growth in business. In Victoria, Van Isle Windows Ltd. occupies a 35,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art factory located at 404 Hillside Avenue, and, in peak season, can employ upwards of 65–70 people throughout the Island. They are actively growing their market, with showrooms and sales staff located in Nanaimo and Courtenay/Comox. Selling to Vancouver Island customers, Van Isle Window’s business is primarily in the single-family home replacement market.

The renovation process provides a perfect opportunity to upgrade windows for improved thermal performance, help with noise reduction, or to give a home an updated look and style. Multi-unit buildings and new construction account for the balance of their business. The factory manufactures all of their products on a custom-fit basis. Windows and patio doors are built with the highest quality material. From the PVC vinyl extrusions, the glass, all hardware, right through to the steel and aluminum supports hidden inside the finished frames, every unit is expertly designed to meet the demands of Vancouver Island’s climate. They can also paint the windows in any colour you can imagine, from standard black and brown, to your custom colour choice. The company’s installation team is highly experienced, with all lead installers having been with the company from eight to thirty-plus years. Van Isle Windows is the only window manufacturer with a guaranteed on-time installation policy, and often a homeowner will be able to enjoy their new windows the same day work is commenced. Installers treat clients’ homes with care … with after-installation cleanup and any debris hauled away. They will even vacuum a customer’s driveway if need be.

Van Isle makes windows in all type of shapes, including circles.

Van Isle Windows Ltd. manufactures all of their products on a custom-fit basis.

Van Isle Windows also sells skylights, sun tunnels and entry doors – an aspect of the business which has seen much interest in the past few years. Knowledgeable, experienced sales personnel are available to help customers throughout the Island make informed decisions for window, patio door, skylight, sun tunnel and entry door purchases. All windows manufactured by Van Isle Windows Ltd. carry a complete lifetime warranty on installed products. And because they manufacture their products on Vancouver Island, customers are able to deal directly with the company, never needing to go through a third party. For factory direct, high-quality windows and patio doors, Van Isle Windows Ltd. is Vancouver Island’s local choice.

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In Food We Trust


f anything can be gleaned from the growing success of farmers’ markets, farm-to-table restaurants and the organic food industry, it’s that Islanders want to know where their food comes from. Consumers crave healthier foods grown close-to-home and Island farmers are working hard to keep up with that demand. The local food movement has resulted in a smorgasbord of choice — from bison meat and geoduck clams to sea salt and water-buffalo cheese. But are the prices affordable for the average family? And are there enough Island farmers to keep up with the demand? Evelyn Pereira, who runs Terra Nossa Farm in Mill Bay and is on the board of directors of the Moss Street Market, has watched farmers markets multiply all over Greater Victoria, giving farmers a low-cost way to sell their wares and make personal connections with customers. “In order to have trust in their food, people are wanting to know their farmer and that happens best if you can come to a market, meet the farmer, ask questions, visit the farm and have the one-on-one connection. Food becomes an intimate experience,” she said. Dave Friend, who is dubbed Mr. Organic on account of his program teaching kids to grow organic food, said many people say they want to eat local and organic, but balk at the price. “Ninety-nine percent of us are financially driven and that’s the downside of the healthfriendly food, which should be cheaper,” Friend said. He said more people need to see sustainable food as an investment in long-term health, both for individuals and the planet.

Sustainability, security key to region’s agriculture

Pereira, who sells certified organic chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, beef, eggs and asparagus, knows that her organic products aren’t cheap. “Certified organic meat is ungodly expensive,” she said. “And I always feel I need to apologize for it.” Growing and buying sustainable food means a shift in eating habits, Pereira said. It might sound odd for a meat producer to advocate eating less meat, but Pereira said meat needs to become the side, not the main. “When you choose to eat meat, eat the very best meat you can and smaller portions,” she said. John Buchanan of Parry Bay Sheep farm in Metchosin said demand for lamb has gone down across Canada, but the local food movement has kept him in business. As the farm-to-table dining trend hits its peak, Buchanan often sees Metchosin lamb advertised on the menus of the restaurants he sells to – and some he doesn’t. He has politely pulled some restaurants up for claiming their lamb was from Metchosin when it was actually from New Zealand. But despite some dubious marketing from time-totime, Buchanan is grateful for innovative and

forward-thinking chefs who make local food the core of the menu. One of the biggest challenges that could keep Island farmers from meeting the demand for local products is a labour shortage. “The younger generation doesn’t want to work on the farms, it’s hot, sweaty and dirty work,” said third-generation farmer Bryce Rashleigh, who runs Saanichton Farms, providing grains to bakeries and breweries. His children have gone for university degrees and professional jobs, making it more difficult to keep the farm in the family when he retires. Haliburton Farms is starting an ecofarm school in September with the hopes of growing a new crop of agriculture enthusiasts. The program was set to start in March, but program co-ordinator Ann Eastman found the 19-week, $2,500 course was too long and too expensive for most students. The District of Saanich has identified the aging population of farmers on the Saanich peninsula as a major threat to local food security. “On Vancouver Island, we used to produce a lot more of our own food and that’s dropped to a small amount,” Eastman said. “We wanted to offer students a continuum of understanding from the health of the soil, to health of the land, health of the ecosystem, to the health of the food and of course human health.” CP

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katie Derosa

agriculture just the FACTS: BY THE NUMBERS • In 2016, 7,700 people were employed in the agriculture/food and beverage manufacturing sector in the Vancouver Island/ Coast region, according to Statistics Canada. That’s about 2,800 more than in 2015. (The Vancouver Island/Coast region includes the Gulf Islands, and an area north of the Sunshine Coast.) A total of 69 farms in the Island/Coast region reported producing certified organic products for sale, while 26 farms were in transition to becoming certified organic.

No land, No problem

Satnam Dheenshaw and his wife, Rupi, daughter Jasmin with fruit at Gobind Farms.

Tamara Knott of Bright Greens grows produce in a shipping container


amara Knott has found a way to grow two-acres worth of leafy greens and herbs from a shipping container. The latest technology in food production allows the owner of Bright Greens Farm to avoid the soaring land prices and the backbreaking labour, which are barriers for many would-be farmers. In a week, Knott will sell about 80 pounds of lettuce, kale and herbs. Her first harvest was in July and she’s already selling to eight local restaurants, one retail store as well as directly to customers. “Our customers get their orders on the same day they’re harvested,” she said. “It’s the freshest produce and it’s extremely clean because I have no insects and the birds can’t poop on the greens.” The seeds start out in small peat plugs, which after about three-anda-half weeks are transferred to one of the vertical towers hooked to the ceiling. LED lights, a closed-loop water system and a nutrient delivery system can all be controlled and monitored remotely from a laptop or smart phone. Knott previously worked in project management, but wanted something beyond a desk job that made use of her green thumb. The hydroponic farm comes ready to go, and is sold by Boston-based Freight Farms for about $87,000 US. Knott bought her unit second-hand, saving about 30 per cent. The shipping container is 40-feet long, eight feet wide and nine feet high.

“It gives the farmer more control over anything that can befall your crop, like hail storms, wind storms, deer,” she said. “Given that we’ll produce two acres worth of produce in a year, it’s much less expensive than buying land.” Knott said she wants to see governments invest more to help new farmers like her get into the industry. “I’d like to see more interest from our provincial and federal government in agriculture,” Knott said. “Right now these huge supply companies are sucking millions of dollars in value of the country. We’ve got to find a way to make it more equitable for the farmers. They’re doing all the work and not getting any of the profits. It’s no wonder no one wants to become a farmer anymore.” CP

• In 2011 (the last year with statistics available), there were 13,606 hectares of farmland with 1,093 farms in the Capital Regional District. Those farms paid a total of $14.7 million in wages and salaries in 2011. • In 2016, 30 breweries (and brew pubs) on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands produced a total of 236,976 hectolitres of beer. • Prospective farmers could be lured by the fact that agri-food and seafood has grown to become B.C.’s second-largest export after lumber. • Agriculture products and seafood exports made up 10.7 per cent of B.C.’s total exports in 2015, up from 7.2 per cent in 2006. • The provincial government’s Buy Local program has given grants to help farmers and food producers promote agri-food and seafood products, with funding in the last year for Natural Pastures Cheese in Courtenay, which sells water buffalo cheese, Tugwell Creek Honey Farm in Sooke, Averill Creek Vineyard in Duncan and the Roost Farm Centre in North Saanich, to name just a few.

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Jack Mar displays parsnip plants eaten by deer.

Profit margins for farmers are slim, so anything that could harm crops could mean disaster. In Greater Victoria, deer and geese which chomp on and stomp on food, are the bane of farmers’ existence. Some farmers have reported that geese and deer have wiped out up to a third of their crop. Farmers are forced to install fences or cover their crops with mesh, both of which are ex pensive. “The geese especially, there are so many around and they just devour our crops. I don’t see any positive ways of stopping them other than they’ve got to be culled,” said Dan Ponchet of Dan’s Farm, which sells fruits and vegetables. In 2015, the Capital Regional District culled 43 geese in a pilot project which has done little to cut down on the geese population which is in the thousands. Grain farmer Bryce Rashleigh, who runs Saanichton Farm, is lucky enough to have a son who studied mechanical engineering at the University of Victoria. Peter Rashleigh and five classmates designed a rotating low-power laser which casts its green light across 30 acres of farmland, effectively scaring away the geese. The device, which sits on a tripod, is like a futuristic scarecrow. It’s still a prototype, but Rashleigh said farmers are increasingly embracing technology to solve their agricultural woes.


The fight with geese and deer

From field to bottle


he blue Phillips Brewing Company flag flies high above a Saanichton Farm on Stelly’s Cross Road. That’s because farmer Bryce Rashleigh sells most of his malt barley to Phillips, which has become one of B.C.’s largest craft breweries. Rashleigh started supplying to Phillips three years ago when owner Matt Phillips went in search of locally-grown ingredients for his beer. “I soon realized it was bigger than me,” Rashleigh said, so he partnered with four other Island farms, including Michell Farms and Vantreight Farms, to provide barley. “We grow upwards of 100 acres of grain, [but] they could use about 500 acres [of barley] a year,” Rashleigh said. About 40 per cent of the 1,200 tonnes of barley used annually by Phillips is grown on the Island. Phillips built a malting plant in 2015 and with that came an even bigger demand for local barley.

Bryce Rashleigh with barley he supplies to breweries in Victoria.

Rashleigh has been able to keep up with the growing demand by buying secondhand grain equipment from the Prairies, including grain bins, augers and delivery trucks. As a third-generation farmer, Rashleigh knows the importance of adapting, having shifted from dairy farming to different types of grain farming. When asked about the longterm viability of farming for the craft beer industry, Rashleigh is clearly optimistic: “Who knows, but you know what? People always want to drink beer. Good times or bad, people drink their beer.” CP


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Growing starts with kids Q & A with Mr. Organic


ave Friend, aka Mr. Organic, runs the Growing Young Farmers Society, which offers programs on the importance of local, organic, sustainable food sources and teaches children and youth how to grow healthy produce and share their knowledge with their families and community.

Q: How did the educational program start and why is it important to grow young farmers? A: [In 1998] I decided I would become a certified organic grower here on the Island. And after a while I found out that on the Island we only have 78 hours of food supply. Three days only, absolutely criminal. And then I thought what can I do about it? I started talking about it to kids, middle schools and secondary schools, about why I believe we should be growing more food. Eventually I said, right, I want to create a program where I’m going to educate, encourage and empower the kids to grow their own food. And the kids take ownership, that’s their food. They know there’s been no sprays, no chemicals, no poisons and so they just want to eat it. For the spring session, we’ve got about 1,500 kids in the program, from one class of 27 kids in just a few years. Q: How do you get the kids interested in growing and choosing sustainable food? A: I lead them down the road of understanding the importance of food. I ask the question: “What does food mean? And they will start telling me from an early stage, if we don’t get food we die. So I know I’ve got them. And they’re growing that very important thing to stay alive. One school, the principal thinks about 60 per cent more of the kids who have been in the program have now started gardens at home. We are planting that seed in the kids, they’re then planting it in their parents and it’s having that ripple effect.

David Friend feeds an alpaca with some young charges in his Growing Young Farmers Society. He notes Alpaca manure is excellent for foodgrowing soil.

Q: Does the rise of urban farming and farmers’ markets make people more aware of the importance of sustainable food? A: Farmers’ markets have increased in numbers and popularity and produce sold. The more people that can grow more health-friendly food in a community for a community ... if more and more people do that, we’ve created that food security from an insecure position. Q: Do we have to change some of our eating habits in order to ensure environmental sustainability? A: People say ‘Can the world live on organic food?’ Not with our eating habits, no. But we can change them. When I was growing up on a little farming village in Yorkshire, England, where my dad was a farm labourer, we didn’t have any money coming in, but we did have food in the garden. We’ve gotten away from that. We can walk into the supermarkets now, 24-hours a day, and get food from different parts of the world. Do we have to change our habits? We do. But to do that, it’s a huge shift in mindset. CP

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PENINSULA CO-OP CELEBRATING 40 YEARS ...AND STILL 100% LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED and began a partnership with Save-On Gas Ltd. in 1985. Today, Peninsula Co-op has 17 gas centres located between Victoria, Mill Bay, Duncan and in Comox. In April 2016, Peninsula Co-op amalgamated with the Comox Valley Co-op. The amalgamation brought in over 5,000 new member-owners, a new gas centre, cardlock location and home heating oil delivery service. Also in 2016, Peninsula Co-op opened its newest location at 10350 McDonald Park Rd. in Sidney. It’s been four decades of success, proof that when a community puts its mind to a compelling vision, great things are indeed possible.

In the mid-1970’s, a small group of Saanich Peninsula residents had a powerful vision: Why not start a local Co-op where members are actually owners? This group of local people went door to door, talking about their idea and the principles of coops. They discovered that others were indeed interested, so they continued knocking on doors until they had enough members to open the first Peninsula Co-op Food Centre in May of 1977. Forty years later, Peninsula Co-op is still going strong and has grown to more than 85,000 member-owners. After their first store opened on Keating X Road in Saanichton, Peninsula Co-op ventured into the petroleum business in the early 1980’s


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“Peninsula Co-op is committed to giving back to the communities where we do business. In 2016, our member-owners received $4.6 million in rebates plus we donated $370,000 to local charities.” —


PENNY SOPEL, Marketing & Community Relations Manager

THERE’S A CO-OP NEAR YOU! Co-op Gas & Convenience Centres

Co-op Food Centre

` Saanich Peninsula & Greater Victoria Keating: 2132 Keating X Rd Brentwood Bay: 6739 West Saanich Rd Royal Oak: 4472 West Saanich Rd Pat Bay: 6429 Pat Bay Hwy Wilkinson: 4140 Wilkinson Rd Sidney: 2526 Bevan Ave Sidney: 10350 McDonald Park Rd Gorge Road: 628 Gorge Rd East Deep Cove: 10930 West Saanich Rd

Saanichton: 2132 Keating X Rd

` West Shore Wale Road: 321 Wale Rd Goldstream: 894 Goldstream Ave Millstream: 2320 Millstream Ave Opening Fall 2017: Glenshire Rd ` Malahat to Duncan Mill Bay: 805 Deloume Rd South Duncan: 4804 Bench Rd Cowichan: 281 Trans-Canada Hwy North Duncan: 1007 Canada Ave ` Comox 699 Aspen Rd

North Duncan Co-op 1007 Canada Avenue, Duncan

LIFE JUST GOT BETTER WITH YOUR CO-OP MEMBERSHIP For a one-time $27 investment you receive a lifetime Peninsula Co-op membership. This is one of the best investments you can make! As a member-owner of Peninsula Co-op, you immediately begin sharing in the profits of the company. Every time you use your Co-op member number, your purchases are recorded. Based on Peninsula Co-op’s profits, a percentage of your purchases is added to your share account and is paid out to you by cheque each year at rebate time.

24-hour Co-op Commercial Cardlock Locations (For a complete list see our website) ` Greater Victoria Keating: 6764 Oldfield Rd Sidney: 2046 Mills Rd ` Malahat to Duncan Duncan: 4804 Bench Rd ` Courtenay 4889 Island Hwy

Co-op Home Heating Keating: 6764 Oldfield Rd Courtenay: 4889 Island Hwy

_ Get the Co-op app! The Co-op app is the best way to find a Co-op location near you, redeem valuable coupons, browse our flyers, enter a contest – or even place a bulk fuel order.

As a member-owner of Peninsula Co-op, you receive an annual rebate from all your purchases throughout the year. How many of your other memberships actually give you money back?

Becoming a member is easy! Apply at or at any of our locations.

Business Membership A one-time investment of $27 gets you a lifetime business membership. Many business owners find a Peninsula Co-op membership an excellent way of reducing the cost of doing business by taking advantage of our Commercial Services Card offerings. You get all the benefits of membership, plus additional opportunities to save.


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> entertainment


ictoria was dubbed Festival City more than a decade ago, but that had more to do with the volume of our summerseason programming than our A-list offerings. The city came full circle a few years ago, and delivered on its promise. Festivals with recognizable touring acts now consume a huge part of the arts and culture calendar on Vancouver Island, especially during the summer months. Some, such as Rifflandia, even make waves nationally. When will our fondness for festivals reach critical mass? Probably never, thanks to the weather. But a slight recession has started. Rock of the Woods, the Victoria Buskers Festival, the Victoria Chalk Festival and Rock the Shores will all go dark in 2017, some only temporarily — but some for good. Thank goodness festivals in this market are like flowers. When one dies, another rises to replace it. The producers behind Lake Cowichan’s hugely successful Sunfest Country Music Festival will deliver a new classic rock festival on the same site in May, which could make life difficult for the competition. But if there’s anything to be said of the 100-plus festivals on Vancouver Island, it’s this: There is something for everyone, from the TD Art Gallery Paint-In and Victoria Symphony Splash to the Vancouver Island Blues Bash.

Here are 10 of the best FESTIVALS:


VICTORIA SKA AND REGGAE FESTIVAL. June 14-18. Skafest enters its 18th year riding high on the success of its 2016 edition, which battled rain for one of its biggest audiences to date. Ship Point will once again be the hub for this popular rootsy event, which scored a coup by booking soul legend Booker T. Jones as its opening night headliner. (


CAR FREE YYJ. June 18. Four stages of music and dozens of vendors along nine blocks of Douglas Street will draw tens of thousands of revelers for this third annual Father’s Day festival. The programming is all free, which helps — but it’s also awesome. A vision of the future, where Victoria street festivals are concerned. (


: 10

FESTIVALSCITY Buckle up for some fun in the capital this summer

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mike Devlin



: 10 VENUE



The Ska Festival in the Inner Harbour: Eclectic, electric


SPIRIT OF 150 VICTORIA. June 21-July 1. Eleven days of free patriotic programming to celebrate our nation’s sesquicentennial. The full schedule is said to be impressive, but it will have to be if it hopes to do battle with what organizers are calling one of the biggest fireworks displays in regional history on July 1. (



June 23-July 2. Hundreds of international musicians will descend on the city for one of our longest-running festivals, and it rarely disappoints. Mavis Staples, Ziggy Marley, Elvin Bishop and Scott Bradlee — who performs swing versions of today’s pop hits — are among the headliners this year. (



The roster for this massively popular Port Renfrew festival won’t be announced for weeks, but tickets are already moving. Considering the quality of last year’s line-up (Mother Mother, Current Swell, Shad, Hollerado), tickets for this four-day festival will be long gone before showtime. (

> 100


ne of the issues affecting live music in Victoria is lack of suitable venues for concerts by upper-level touring acts. The city took a step forward in 2005 with the arrival of the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre. The Blanshard Street arena now attracts dozens of well-known artists each year, from Bob Dylan to Elton John — but the absence of a mid-size, affordable venue remains one of the biggest concerns for the Greater Victoria arts community. Is there a solution in sight? Not necessarily. The price of real estate in the downtown core means a performing arts centre with enough room to fit 2,000 fans is going to be a long-term concern without a short-term fix. But there is hope in the interim. Here are 10 of the best venues keeping live music alive and a vital part of arts and culture in Victoria.


The Royal Theatre,

805 Broughton St. Capacity for concerts: 1,412. Past events: The Tragically Hip, Tom Jones, Melissa Etheridge, Stevie Ray Vaughan. The city’s regal room remains one of the best venues in Western Canada, with great sightlines and sound. Better yet, there sare few bad seats. A recent liquor licence change now means you can bring beer into the auditorium, thrusting the 104-year-old Royal into the 21st century.


Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre,

1925 Blanshard St. Capacity for concerts: 8,437. Past events: Elton John, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart. For a hockey arena, Victoria’s largest music venue is surprisingly intimate. Sound quality varies depending on the act — an acoustic Jackson Browne performance soared, while a blitzkrieg by Mötley Crüe soured. But when there’s a full house, the room can feel electric.


Farquhar Auditorium,

B115 Ring Rd. Capacity for concerts: 1,228. Past events: XTC, Ani DiFranco, Jimmy Cliff, Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams. The first surround-sound hall in Canada (built in 1978) is an architectural marvel. Though the University of Victoria’s main theatre can feel a bit institutional at times, there is no denying its live-performance appeal. It’s up there with The Royal in terms of overall quality.

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Island-based Credit Union making a difference at home


mproving financial health, enriching lives, and building healthier communities … These three things are a core part of who we are and what we do at Coastal Community Credit Union. For over ten years, we’ve maintained our position as the largest financial services organization based on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. We also remain one of the top ten largest credit unions in British Columbia when measured by asset size. Coastal Community* is also an award-winning organization, having most recently been recognized one again as one of B.C.’s Top Employers. Whether we are providing expert advice to preserve your wealth, guiding you to achieving your life goals, simplifying your life with our digital banking solutions and other conveniences, or protecting what matters most to you, we look forward to helping you. In order to help our members and clients improve their financial health, CCCU’s family of companies offers a wide range of products, services and expertise in personal, business and commercial banking, general and commercial insurance** and wealth management†. Across the Islands, Coastal Community has 23 branches, 16 insurance offices, four regional business centres and one centralized contact centre with extended service hours. CCCU was the first to bring cutting-edge Interactive Teller Machine technology to the Island and continues to add new innovations to simplify finances-and life. By really listening and understanding, and then providing meaningful solutions, Coastal Community’s 600-person-strong team is able to help our members and clients achieve their financial and life goals. Building on our rich history of over 70 years, and guided by our proven integrated service approach, Coastal Community expanded our presence in the Capital Region two years ago.

Our two Victoria locations – Fort Street and Goldstream Ave. – offer innovative banking conveniences including Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs), providing the best of high tech and high touch through their ATMlike qualities, coupled with their ability to securely connect our members and clients to Coastal Community experts through live video. We understand that flexible access to our products and services is becoming increasingly important and so is the need to bank and connect with us. It is important that we provide a personalized approach to our service, including early mornings and evenings, and we’ve been able to do that through ITM technology, our Relationship Centre and our online chat channel. As a 100 per cent Island-based business, we’re committed to making meaningful differences in the places we call home. When we make meaningful community contributions, we’re impacting the social and economic well-being of the very places we call home. Each year, Coastal Community invests upwards of half a million dollars into our island communities through our efforts that include donations, community funding grants, awards, sponsorships and our fundraising initiatives. Our Building Healthier Communities Fund, for example, has provided hundreds of thousands in seed money to activate dozens of local community betterment initiatives. In addition, our employees give thousands of hours of their time each year to community organizations they are passionate about. Each day, Coastal Community works hard to understand our members’ and clients’ needs in order to meet them with the right solutions. At our fingertips are the products, services and expertise from across our credit union, insurance and wealth management divisions. Coastal Community calls this our integrated service approach.

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OUR DIFFERENCES - We’re proud of the things that make us Who We are • We were the first to bring Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs) to Vancouver Island. Our ITMs provide extended hours of live teller service including early mornings and evenings • As a co-operative, Coastal Community Credit Union is owned by our members • All of Coastal Community’s operations, Board of Directors and employees are based on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, with all decisions made locally • We put money on deposit with us to workre-investing it as loans to local businesses and mortgages for Island homeowners • Staffed by our very own experts, Coastal Community also operates an Island-based member and client contact centre (1-888-7411010) with extended operating hours – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays • A variety of time-saving solutions are available to our members and clients such as Deposit Anywhere™, online banking PAC reset, web chat and our online insurance quoting system • Members have access to thousands of surcharge-free ATMs throughout Canada through the Exchange Network, as well as easy and convenient account access through their mobile devices and online at • For the benefit of our members, clients and communities, we work hard to live by our vision – We will be the leaders in building relationships that improve financial health, enrich people’s lives and build healthier communities To learn more about Coastal Community visit or join us on our Facebook and Twitter pages. *References to “Coastal Community” mean “Coastal Community Credit Union” **References to “insurance” refer to the insurance services provided through Coastal Community Insurance Services (2007) Ltd., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Coastal Community Credit Union

A peek inside CoAstAl Community Credit union’s Fort street loCAtion in ViCtoriA JODy BECk phOtO

†References to “wealth management,” “financial planning” and “investments” refer to the financial planning and investment services provided through Coastal Community Private Wealth Group, a division of Coastal Community Financial Management Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Coastal Community Credit Union.

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> entertainment

continued from 97




Alix Goolden Performance Hall, 900

McPherson Playhouse, 3 Centennial

Johnson St. Capacity for concerts: 800. Past events: Emmylou Harris, Daniel Lanois, Billy Bragg, Phillip Glass. A striking room best-suited to showcasing acoustic instruments, the Goolden has become a favourite for music fans who want to enjoy classical and modern music in a quiet but warm environment. A former church housed within the Victoria Conservatory of Music, the hall’s resume has grown steadily since opening in 1999.

Square. Capacity for concerts: 772. Past events: Bryan Adams, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Tegan and Sara, Nelly Furtado, Great Big Sea. The Mac is often the forgotten room when it comes to concerts in Victoria, but it remains a key venue for bands too small to play The Royal but too big for Sugar. It could use some updating, but has a retro charm all the same.


Sugar Nightclub


Distrikt Nightclub

858 Yates St. Capacity for concerts: 600. Past events: Skrillex, The 1975, Prince, Metric, Alexisonfire. There is no better all-around club in which to see live music. A sold-out show at Sugar can be magic, thanks to the viewing angles of its upper level.

Strathcona Hotel 919 Douglas St. Capacity for concerts: 572. Past events: Nirvana, The Black Crowes, Public Enemy, The Tragically Hip. The former bowling alley opened 50 years ago as The Old Forge, one of its many live music monikers. A fun club, but the low ceiling keeps it from being a more popular concert attractions.



Charlie White Theatre, 2243 Beacon Ave. Capacity for Concerts: 310. Past events: Dallas Smith, Honeymoon Suite, Herman’s Hermits, Platinum Blonde. The gem of Sidney offers casino-friendly acts in comfortable setting. It offers consistent quality in the sound and staging department.




July 7-9. What started as a party-friendly addendum to Rock the Shores and Rifflandia now ranks as a fan favourite. The line-up for this outdoor event will pack 3,000 fans into the Phillips Brewery lot. Quality has never been a concern at the Backyarder. (



July 14-16. Musicfest will hit its capacity well before the doors open — that much we know. The Courtenaybased festival consistently sports some of the best headliners of any festival in the area; watch for Emmylou Harris, Bruce Cockburn, Rita Coolidge, Colin Linden, and The Legendary Soul Stirrers at this year’s edition. (

Upstairs Cabaret

15 Bastion Square. Capacity for concerts: 224. Past events: Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, No Doubt, Blind Melon. The site of the former Harpo’s Cabaret, it still retains some of the charm from the iconic original. Seems poised for bigger things.

Hermann’s Jazz Club, 753 View St. Capacity for concerts: 140. Past events: Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Loudon Wainwright III, Esperanza Spalding. The club’s namesake is no longer, but his fondness for brass music lives on. Jazz with an old-school vibe, which adds to its watering-hole charm.



Aug. 3-6. In 2015, this burgeoning festival booked Keith Urban and Sam Hunt to headline. Last year, Carrie Underwood and Dierks Bentley topped the four-day roster. This year, producers have Little Big Town and Toby Keith to entertain 30,000-plus at the private Lake Cowichan site. The biggest festival, size-wise, on Vancouver Island. (

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VICTORIA FRINGE FESTIVAL. Aug. 23Sept. 3. The complete Fringe program won’t be available for several weeks, but dedicated followers already know what to expect: alternative theatre of the highest quality. Longtime producer Intrepid Theatre will imbue the 31st edition of one of the oldest festivals of its kind in Canada with charm once again. (


RIFFLANDIA. Sept. 14-17. Arguably the top festival in the city, Rifflandia went supernova in 2016, opening up a chunk of the downtown core to street traffic, making the neighbourhood around Phillips Brewery the place to be during this four-day rock festival. The highlights are too many to mention. ( CP Capital PROGRESS | 101

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kathleen gilbert

Victoria film industry

shooting for another record


mazing tax credits, stunning locations and the mildest climate in Canada are just three of the factors that attract film production to the South Island. With 2015 our busiest year to date — a record 24 productions and $18-million in direct spending — our region has seen a boom in film production like never before. This past year, it became clear that in order to support the volume of production that we saw in 2015, we would need greater infrastructure to continue landing shows. With the Lower Mainland also seeing an extraordinary surge in filming, South Island crew numbers decreased as ample opportunity arose across the water. The need for studio space also proved to be as imperative as ever. Despite 2016 having fewer productions than the year preceding it, we still saw five television movies, four feature films, and numerous commercials and documentaries. Some titles included TV movies A Convenient Groom and A Rose Parade New Years and the digital feature Pup Stars 2.

In order to see the numbers that we saw in 2015, our goal for 2016/2017 has been to identify local workers with skills that are transferable to the film industry. We held three training courses in the latter part of 2016, and we kicked off 2017 with the first South Island Film Industry Career Fair. With more than 1,800 people in attendance, we saw that the lack of crew is not for lack of interest in joining the film industry. Upcoming introductory courses include a seminar for accountants, and a hair and makeup workshop for stylists and makeup artists who wish to apply their talents to the film industry. Alongside our facilitation of training courses for crew, we have worked to identify studio space. This past year, two warehouse spaces have emerged. An Esquimalt warehouse has already been rented as a studio, and a space in North Saanich is awaiting its first leaser. Although we do not yet have a

Kick back, relax, pass the popcorn Luxury seating driving ticket sales at Victoria theatres MICHAEL D. REID

Pierre Gauthier samples the new seats and popcorn at the Odeon downtown.

fully-fledged film studio – though this is a goal we work toward – empty warehouses can be retrofitted into makeshift studios, which gives productions space to build sets. Productions also require space where they can set up their offices, so part of improving our infrastructure involves identifying available offices. The emergence of studio space and the training of local crew has come at a perfect time, as 2017 is shaping up to be a banner year akin to what we saw in 2015. Already, we have had three TV movies and a TV series in production, and it looks as though this momentum will be sustained. We continue to work with the other regional film commissions and Creative B.C. to maintain and support this thriving green industry, and we look forward to what lies ahead for the film industry on the South Island. CP Kathleen Gilbert heads the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission


ierre Gauthier doesn’t mince his words as he describes moviegoers’ reaction to the luxurious recliners rolled out at Cineplex Odeon last fall. “This is the biggest change in our industry since the talkies,” declared the general manager of the downtown multiplex. The Odeon, which opened in 1948 as a single-screen cinema, was only the second Canadian theatre in the chain – after Kelowna’s Cineplex Cinemas Orchard Plaza – to be selected for an all-recliners rollout. They have since been added to theatres in Nanaimo and three Ontario cities. Between Cineplex Odeon and Capitol 6 Cinemas, the nearby multiplex that Andrew Golin reopened last November, filmgoers have 1,500 luxury recliners to choose from downtown. While they aren’t La-Z-Boys, the motorized theatre seats are high-backed and extra-wide, with ample legroom and consoles that let filmgoers choose customized levels of comfort. “We’ve taken our No. 1 and No. 2 theatres, which were once the most undesirable auditioriums in this town, and turned them into two of the best,” said Gauthier. “These seats are our way of enticing customers and making them feel more comfortable, which is what we’re in the business of doing.”


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Golin said that when he brought the Capitol 6 back to life after three shuttered years, his plan was for a luxury multiplex. “The recliners are a big improvement,” said the Victoria-raised film exhibitor who is capitalizing on the seats that he hopes will lure moviegoers back into theatres. His theatre’s makeover includes dual-motor luxury recliners, a remodeled concession area and washroom upgrades. Both downtown cinemas offer patrons the option of reserving specific seats in advance online. “I’d say 30 per cent of people still buy their tickets at the box office,” said Golin. “When we opened it was higher. People love the idea that they can buy tickets at home, and that we don’t show commercials.” He attributed the success of his films booked with discerning audiences in mind such as I’m Not Your Negro and Paterson largely to comfortable seating in a more intimate environment. Installing the recliners has reduced capacity to



1,000 from 1,800 at Cineplex Odeon, and to 564 from 1,680 at Capitol 6. Landmark Cinemas Canada has no immediate plans to install recliners in its theatre in the University Heights Shopping Centre, as it has done in Surrey and elsewhere, but chief operating officer Bill Walker said it wasn’t being ruled out. Walker said the owners of the shopping centre have development plans, and Landmark can’t consider an expansion at this time. Industry analyst Howard Lichtman said he is not surprised that luxury recliners are replacing traditional seating in theatres, but he says it’s not for everyone. “Originally, all phones were one colour. Today there is choice. It’s the same with movies,” said the Torontobased Lichtman. “There is a segment willing to pay for an enhanced experience.” Once you’ve been exposed to that experience, you realize it’s the best way to see a movie, adds Walker. High-traffic periods excepted, theatres are often filled to only 15 per cent capacity, Walker said,

dismissing the notion that reducing capacity to accommodate recliners is a big issue. Meanwhile, with recently relaxed liquor licensing rules, exhibitors are also contemplating whether alcohol will soon be on the moviegoing menu. “We’re going through the process, which can take six to 12 months,” said Golin. Cineplex is interested in serving alcohol in some B.C. communities, but Van Lange said there were no immediate plans locally. Liquor is already available at Cineplex’s adults-only VIP Cinemas in select Canadian markets, including Abbotsford, Saskatoon and Brossard. These premium-priced theatres feature a fully-licensed lounge and auditorium where filmgoers can relax in adjustable luxury loungers and order wine, beer, spirits and in-seat dining from an expanded food menu. Like other draws such as (SilverCity’s) D-Box motion seats, recliners are just another way to drive attendance by satiating consumer appetites for new experiences, says Gauthier. CP



July 11-16, 2017 |

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to electric


Plug-in vehicles gain traction as incentives propel consumers to clean energy

witching to an electric vehicle is becoming a practical and sustainable choice for a growing number of drivers in British Columbia. In 2016, the industry reported 2,100 new electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles sold, a little more more than one per cent of the new-vehicle sales total in the province. That means there are almost 5,400 electric vehicles on the road in B.C. today. B.C. Hydro is optimistic on where the market is going, forecasting that there may be up to 300,000 electric vehicles in the province by 2030. “It’s an emerging market,” said Dave Wheaton, dealer principal at the Chevrolet Buick Cadillac and GMC dealership that bears his name. “While still a small piece of our market now, I am confident it will become a more and more important part of our business.” The dealership had just delivered its first Chevrolet Bolt, an electric car with a range of more than 380 kilometres. “More and more, electric vehicles now represent an alternative for consumers,” he said.

The biggest roadblock to sales is limited supply of the product, said Wheaton, who has a waiting list of customers for the compact Bolt. Supply of the Chevrolet Volt, an extended-range EV with a conventional gasoline engine that acts as an electrical generator when the EV battery is empty, is much better. Sales in B.C. have also been on a roll thanks to incentives provided by the Clean Energy Vehicle program, which began in 2011. About 20 models are currently eligible for incentives from $2,500 to $6,000. More than $31 million has been made available for incentives, infrastructure, public awareness, research, training and economic development.

Consumers are attracted to EVs to save on fuel costs, with drivers saving an estimated $15,000 in 10 years of driving (200,000 km). Because EVs don’t emit emissions, EV drivers save an estimate 32 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the same period of time. The energy the EV uses is a lot more green, with more than 98 percent of electricity generated in B.C. coming from clean or renewable resources. Drivers of older gas-guzzlers have an additional incentive to switch, thanks to the Scrap-It program. As of February, they will receive $6,000 if they scrap their older car for a new EV and $3,000 if they buy a used EV. CP

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automotive just the


Thinking of embracing a clean energy vehicle? You have a choice of three technologies, with some vehicles using up to two types: BEV: Battery Electric Vehicle only uses electricity PHEV: Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle uses electricity and gas ER-EV: Extended range Electric Vehicle uses electricity and then switches to gas power


Here is what you can buy today (listed alphabetically, with range on stored electricity alone:)

Charging stations growing


n electric vehicle is only as good as the infrastructure built to support it. Although a new electric-vehicle owner will likely install a home charger at the same time as the purchase, the demand for publiclyaccessible charging stations is growing as well. At last count, British Columbia has more than 1,000 public EV charging stations, including almost 100 from Sooke to Sidney. While the majority are Level II chargers, there are a few fast DC chargers finding their way into the market. Level II chargers can provide about 30 kilometres of driving for every hour of charging. Fast chargers, on the other hand, can charge up to 80 per cent of a car’s battery in 20 minutes. B.C. Hydro has just completed a pilot project that saw it install 30 direct-current fast-charging stations throughout the province. While many Level II chargers, usually found at recreation centres, libraries

and other locations, are free to use, some will require an access card to start the device. B.C. has three networks — Flo (The VERnetwork), ChargePoint and Greenlots, each with their own system and membership cards. They are easy and either free to use or at a low cost. To save time and possible frustration, many people register for all three networks. Only Greenlots has DC Fast Charging stations. Most fast-charger hosts charge a set rate of 35 cents per kilowatt used, with a minimum $2 transaction. With a Greenlots membership, people can order RFID cards online for $9. Preload the card for use at stations that require payment. The free mobile app for iPhone or Android allows users to pay using the credit card associated with the account. For more information on EVs in B.C., go to To find a charging station, go to CP

Audi A3 etron (PHEV) 27 km BMW i3 (BEV/ ER-EV) 130 km BMW i8 (PHEV) 37 km BMW 330e (PHEV) 22 km BMW X5 xDrive40e (PHEV) 21 km Cadillac ELR (ER-EV) 60 km Chevrolet Bolt (BEV) 320 km Chevrolet Volt (ER-EV) 85 km Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (PHEV) 48 km Ford C-Max Energi (PHEV) 32 km Ford Focus EV (BEV) 122 km Ford Fusion Energi (PHEV) 32 km Hyundai Sonata (PHEV) 43 km Hyundai Ioniq (BEV) 180 km Kia Soul (BEV) 149 km Mitsubishi i-MiEV (BEV) 100 km Nissan Leaf (BEV) 172 km Porsche Cayenne (PHEV) 36 km Porsche Panamera (PHEV) 36 km Smart ForTwo (BEV) 109 km Tesla Model X (BEV) 413 km Toyota Prius (PHEV) 20 km Volvo EC 90 (PHEV) 43 km

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> automotive


A wish-list for lovers of speed and style


ust got a promotion, won the lottery or come upon an unexpected windfall? Feel the need to reward yourself with a hot set of wheels? This small group of cars represents the fastest and the best each manufacturer offers. Some, such as the Ford GT or the Acura NSX, may be a tad difficult to find, but others can be as easy as a trip to pick out colours at the local dealership.

Acura NSX, $192,895: Acura’s legendary NSX returns with a unique twist in power. Electric motors on its two front wheels compliment the conventional twin-turbocharged V-6 (also electric motor assisted) driving the rear wheels. The power unit produces a combined 573 hp and a top speed of 307 km/h.

Chevrolet Corvette Z06, $93,045: Looking for your best bang for the buck? The Z06 churns out 650 hp from its supercharged 6.2-litre V-8 engine, good for a 2.95-second dash from 0-96 km/h (0-60 mph). Want the look for less? The Corvette line starts at only $64,695 for a 460 hp version, the least expensive vehicle in this group.

Lexus LC 500h, $118,750: Although Lexus is already known for its luxury vehicles, the new LC is sure to set the bar higher. The world’s first 10-speed automatic transmission can be mated to either a 471-hp 5.0-litre V-8 or a 3.5-litre, sixcylinder gasoline-electric hybrid with a 8.9 litres per 100 km fuel consumption rating in the city and 7.0 on the highway.

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, $78,495: With just a turbocharged 1.75-litre engine, the 4C may have the smallest engine in this rarefied segment, but don’t let its size fool you. Because of its low curb weight the 237 hp engine can still blast the car from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds and hit a top speed of 258 km/h.

Dodge Viper, $129,995: Dodge still believes there is no substitute for cubic inches with its naturally-aspirated 8.4-litre V-10 producing 645 horsepower and 600 footpounds of torque. The Viper will thunder from 0 to 100 km/h in the low 3-second range and rush to a top track speed of 332 km/h, the highest in this group.

Mercedes-Benz-AMG SL 65 Roadster, $244,400: Each 6.0-litre V-12 is built the old-fashioned way – by a master engine builder. The twin-turbo masterpieces they create generate 621 hp and 737 lb-ft of torque – capable of a 0 to 100 km/h time of 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 300 km/h.

Ford GT, est. USD $450,000: The Ford GT promises to be a street-legal race car once it hits the road this year. Ford is promising extracting more than 600 horsepower from a turbocharged 3.5-litre V-6 residing in a lightweight carbonfibre body. Get in line if you want one. The first three years of production – 750 cars – is already sold out.

Nissan GT-R Track Edition, $149,100: While the regular GT-R starts at $125,000, the Track Edition ups the ante with a number of items to shave off the kilograms. Both are powered by a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V-6 producing a healthy 565 horsepower, with a top speed of 315 km/h.

Jaguar F-Type SVR AWD convertible, $145,000: Also available in a coupe and offering a choice of V-6 or V-8 powerplants, the F-Type has something for everyone who loves British sports cars. The top dog comes with a supercharged 5.0-litre V-8 with 575 hp and all-wheel-drive. This cat leaps from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds and has a top speed of 314 km/h.

Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, $228,800: The Turbo S needs no introduction – it already has an enviable reputation both on and off the track with a shape that is instantly recognizable. The turbocharged 3.8-litre flat six produces 580 hp and can attain the 0 to 100 km/h dash in 3.0 seconds (with the Sport Chrono package) with a top track speed of 330 km/h. CP

Audi R8 Spyder, $198,100: With the top down and the sound of a 5.2-litre V-10 producing 540 hp just behind your ears, this has the sound of the ultimate in open-air travel. The mid-engine Spyder can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds with a top speed of 318 km/h. It is also available in a slightly lessexpensive coupe version.

BMW M6 Cabriolet, $130,500: “The Beauty is a Beast” says BMW of its open-air rocket. The 560 horsepower, 4.4-litre twinturbo V-8 is capable of from darting from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds and hit 250 km/h. Pick the optional Competition package and a driver can unleash 600 horses on command.

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The rush for SUVs


f you have been shopping for a vehicle lately, it is likely that you would have checked more than a few SUVs or crossovers. Close to 100 choices are in the SUV/Crossover sector today. It accounts for about 40 per cent of the new-vehicle market in Canada — and it is still growing as sales of pickup trucks have flat-lined and passenger car and minivan deliveries have declined. Some models, such as the recently-launched Honda CR-V, look likely to set sales records, with a 28-per-cent increase in deliveries in the first three months of this year. The phenomenon is not just high-volume lines such as the CR-V, Nissan Rogue or Mazda CX-5. The low-volume Fiat 500X posted a 172-per-cent increase over the same period last year in February. The strength of the market to drive sales has even attracted the attention of premium brands. Cadillac, which produces the Escalade, has seen competitors such as Lincoln tap well-heeled buyers. Mercedes-Benz, an early entrant, now has five models to choose from. Even the ultra rich are not immune. Last year, Bentley introduced its opulent Bentayga, and Maserati followed with the Levante, the company’s first foray in the SUV market. Lamborghini and Rolls Royce have both indicated that they will soon offer their own models into the mix. The granddaddies of the segment are Land Rover and Jeep, which created the SUV market after the Second World War.

pedro arrais

Size doesn’t seem to matter, with sub-compact models such as the Honda HR-V and Buick Encore waiting in anticipation of the introduction of the Toyota C-HR this summer. At the other end of the size spectrum, nine-passenger, three-row offerings such as the Mazda CX-9 are cannibalizing sales that at one time would have gone to minivans. The truly large ones can be converted into rolling fortresses for the rich and famous who need to be protected from their fans and detractors. Brands more known for their sporty offerings are well-represented in the SUV/

Crossover segment. BMW offers five offerings, Porsche has two, Jaguar has introduced one, and even Alfa Romeo couldn’t wait to get in on the party. Some of the 100 SUVs look tough, but aren’t designed, mechanically, to tackle more than a dirt road. But if you wanted a true off-roader brands such as Jeep, Land Rover and Toyota are wellsuited to going where the road ends. Sadly, Nissan’s unusual twodoor convertible version of its Murano, offered elsewhere between 2011 and 2014, was never offered in Canada.

Old Fashioned Service For 53 Years


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sports Argentina’s Ramiro Moyano outruns Canada’s Jamie Mackenzie during the Americas Rugby Championship tournament at Westhills Stadium in Langford




The 7.9-million Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre rises behind Westhills Stadium in Langford. 110 | Capital PROGRESS

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HOTBED! High-performance athletes, facilities a regional hallmark


t’s made in Victoria and unpacked in Sydney, Beijing, London and Rio. The capital region boasts a system of sports training centres that are tied into a national network. The end products can be seen in the Olympics, World Cups and world championships. The Greater Victoria Olympic corridor runs from an imaginary line from the Rowing Canada training centre at Elk Lake, through Saanich Commonwealth Place pool, the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence on the Camosun College Interurban campus, into Westhills Stadium and the under-construction Al Charron Rugby Canada training centre in Langford, and on up to Bear Mountain. At the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, that corridor produced silver-medallist rowers Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee, bronze-medallist swimmer Hilary Caldwell, the bronze-medallist Canadian women’s rugby sevens team and bronze-medallist mountainbiker Catharine Pendrel. The national sports governing bodies based in Victoria include Rowing Canada, Triathlon Canada and Rugby Canada. Those with significant training centres on the Island include Athletics Canada with its Western Training Hub, Swimming Canada with its Victoria High Performance Centre, Cycling Canada with the national mountain-biking centre on Bear Mountain. Golf Canada and Tennis Canada also have an emerging training presence on Bear Mountain. Many of the training programs are delivered through the assistance of Canadian Sports Institute-Pacific, which has campuses in Victoria, Whistler and the Richmond Oval, and is part of a nation-wide system of training centres. >

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> sports

Alex Jansen of Rowing BC competes in a semifinal heat at the Canadian Rowing Championships at Elk

The other major player is PISE, which offers an array of support services for Canadian athletes in training, nutrition, sport medicine and the like at the Camosun Interurban campus. Dramatic action posters of Olympians such as Simon Whitfield, Ryan Cochrane, David Calder and Riley McCormick greet visitors as they enter the PISE building.

“We have the best staff and best facilities in the world in Victoria. All you have to do is perform,” said Cochrane, the most decorated Canadian swimmer in history, with 22 international medals at the Olympics, Commonwealth and Pan Am Games and FINA world championships. “It has become part of the fabric of Victoria to have all these Canadian national team

Chantal Vanlandeghem swims in the 50-metre butterfly in World Swimming Trials at Saanich Commonwealth Place. athletes training here. The hardware I won was only possible because of the support I received here. There are people here whose entire careers are dedicated to making you that one percent better as an athlete. “Victoria, and its support structures for athletes, made an enormous difference for me and for so many other athletes. There is no way I would have had the success I had

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We’re not a stepping stone to Wall Street. Mountain bike racers climb a hill during the Bear X-ing expert category cyclocross race at Bear Mountain.

without that support. It takes time, money and support. I hope that funding continues. I had this great facility [Saanich Commonwealth Place]. If I only had a dingy pool with no windows . . . who knows how long I would have stayed in swimming?” It is a matter of leveraging the Island’s advantages and bringing together partnerships. “We have an outstanding climate for summer sports,” said Robert Bettauer, CEO of PISE. And we have great sports leadership from people such as Wendy Pattenden [CEO of Canadian Sports Centre-Pacific] and Clint Hamilton [UVic’s athletic director, who shepherded the impressive and major $77 million CARSA sports facility].” “That has led to national sports governing bodies wanting to centralize here,” said Bettauer. It is a public-private approach, blending government funding programs such as Own the Podium, with other interests. “Organizations such as Bear Mountain have seen the value in this and have partnered with

Golf Canada, Tennis Canada and Cycling Canada,” noted Bettauer. “It’s all about partnerships.” Such as the one that is seeing the $7.9-million Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre rise behind Westhills Stadium in Langford. The facility is being funded by $3 million from the federal government’s Building Canada Fund, $1 million in land costs and a repayable $1.5-million loan from Langford, and the rest through private donations and fundraising. The new $1.2-million training track at PISE was funded through public and privates sources, including $250,000 from the provincial government and $154,000 from the federal Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program. “This is the western training hub to achieve Olympic dreams. Who knows how many future Olympians and Paralympians will come out of this track,” said Michelle Stilwell, the ParksvilleQualicum MLA who is also the social development minister, at the opening ceremony for the track last October. CP

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JACK KNOX Major projects on the move … finally.


rogress, at least bricks-and-mortar progress, doesn’t come easily to the capital. Other cities dash around paving new roads and building new pools as though there’s a sale on at Home Depot and they need to get ’er done before the price of ready-mix concrete and rebar goes up again. Here in Greater Victoria, we prefer to take a, well, let’s call it a more considered approach. Nothing gets built overnight in Dysfunction-by-the-Sea, or even over year. Construction decisions are not made rashly, if at all. With the exception of Langford, where a new school, library or playing field mushrooms out of the soil after every rain, people in the City of Gardens like to plant the seeds of an idea, then wait. We like to ease into a project, then ease back out, then ease back in. (Really, watching Esquimalt change its mind about sewage treatment has been like gazing on the ebb and flow of the tides. So peaceful. Magical, even.) It took until 2005 before Victoria got the new arena planned for the 1994 Commonwealth Games. Even after we give a project the go-ahead, we take our own sweet time. Victoria voters passed the Johnson Street bridge referendum in November 2010, more than six years ago. It has now taken longer to build that span than it took to fight the entire Second World War. (We could try to work in a reference to A Bridge Too Far but the crossing is only 100 metres long.) Note that construction of China’s 165-kilometre Danyang-Kunshun Grand Bridge was completed in just four years. Guess they got the good steel.

In its defence, the Blue Bridge replacement has been a rush job compared to the McKenzie interchange. The interchange was supposed to have been built in the late 1990s as part of the Vancouver Island Highway Project, but those plans were scuttled in 1996, with the decision blamed both on a capital spending freeze and internal wrangling within the provincial government of the day. Apparently internal wrangles take 20 years to sort out, because instead of the McKenzie interchange, we got one that we didn’t even know we needed at McTavish Road. Drawn up by the same people who designed the Tilt-A-Whirl for West Coast Amusements, the McTavish interchange spins drivers around in circles until they either black out from dizziness or are spat

The Johnson Street Bridge replacement: years in the making

out onto a side road, usually facing a sheep pasture. And hoo-boy, if you think that’s a ride, then how about the roller coaster that has been the capital region’s journey toward building a new sewage system? This one has been going on so long, no one can even remember when it began. Ancient hieroglyphics in East Sooke Park were recently translated as meaning “they should put the outfall at Clover Point.” There are those who think the capital region will see the Second Coming before it sees a tertiary treatment plant. Except here’s the thing: Against all precedent/ expectation, movement is actually happening on these projects. • We are told the Blue Bridge will open to traffic by the end of the year. • Construction of the $85-million McKenzie Interchange began last fall. Trans-Canada commuters crawl past what looks like God’s Own Tonka Toy Sandbox each day (and can anticipating doing so for the next year and a half). • There are – you might want to sit down for this one – SHOVELS IN THE GROUND FOR A NEW SEWAGE PLANT. Really, after tens of millions of dollars spent without so much as an outhouse to show for it, actual physical work has begun. What will we have to complain about now? CP

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Founded in 1983 by John Knappett, P.Eng, the Knappett Group of companies have constructed over 600 projects over the past 34 years. Notable projects include: City of Victoria Police Station, Greater Victoria Water Treatment Plant, 443 Helicopter Squadron Base, 5 Real Canadian Superstores and the First Nations Building at the University of Victoria. We are pleased to announce that senior employees Roger Yager and Daniel Behrens purchased significant shares of Knappett Projects Inc. Roger will be assuming the position of Vice President and Corporate Secretary and Daniel will be assuming the position of Vice President and Corporate Treasurer. John Knappett shall remain as majority Shareholder and President. This is an important milestone for Knappett Projects Inc. and ensures a strong and committed Management Team into the future. Also key to our future are the skilled trades people represented by the Knappett Projects Employees’ Association. This Employees Association is a union model that focuses exclusively on the success of the employees of Knappett and provides a forum for Knappett Employee’s to contribute to our success and receive skills training and education.

Already in 2017, we are on a very aggressive pace, with 20 projects on Vancouver Island, including: • City of Campbell River, Water Treatment Plant • City of Parksville, Englishman River Water Service Treatment Plant & Operations Building • Camosun College, Centre for Health Sciences – a new 8,300 SM, multi-storey building to be located on the College’s Interurban Campus. • Union Club (Victoria) Last year, having beautifully restored the exterior of the Union Club, a well-known heritage building in Victoria, we are now completing the restoration of the luxurious ballroom. • Brentwood College School, Foote Athletic Centre This new state of the art athletic facility will include gymnasiums, a climbing wall, a fitness centre, squash courts and office space. This is our fifth project for this client . • Two Social housing projects for the Greater Victoria Rental Housing Development , these will bring our total up to 4 builds for this one client who focuses on offering affordable market rentals to working people. • Saanich Seniors Living “The Amica” a new 164 suite Seniors Facility, consisting of independent living, assisted living, and Alzheimer’s suites, including central kitchen/ dining/laundry facilities, interior courtyards, rain gardens, and the heritage restoration of Brookman’s Store. The building is a 4 storey concrete structure, with one level of underground parking/services.

555 Pembroke St.


John Knappett

Daniel Behrens

Roger Yager Capital PROGRESS | 115

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Determination. Bring us yours.

You have great things inside you. Let the transformative power of our cohort-based learning model put your work and life experience to great use. You’ll collaborate with like-minded, industry-leading peers every step of the way in an applied, practical and personalized platform for success. If you’re ready for the next step in your career, and life, let’s talk. We see great things ahead. 1.877.778.6227 | 116 | Capital PROGRESS

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