News, Post

Federal Survey on Dogs in Victoria-area Migratory Bird Sanctuaries

The  Canadian Wildlife Service, with LGL Limited (a local environmental  consulting company), is conducting a data and evidence collection  project investigating impacts from at-large dogs on birds in the  migratory bird sanctuaries in the Greater Victoria area. There are three  Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs) in the Greater Victoria area:  Victoria Harbour, Shoal Harbour, and Esquimalt Lagoon. The purpose of  this project is to collect further information on the biological risks  associated with at large dogs on migratory birds within these migratory  bird sanctuaries. The results of this project are expected to help raise  knowledge and awareness of the issue, enable prioritization of  compliance promotion activities in the MBSs that are part of the study  and improve outcomes for migratory birds and species at riskAs  part of this data and evidence collection aspects of this study, a  survey has been created to assist in compiling observations from active  users of these MBSs. It would be greatly appreciated if you would  complete the survey. We request that one survey be completed per study  area that you are familiar with (there are multiple study areas per MBS,  defined in the survey). Each survey takes only a couple minutes to  complete. Please complete the survey(s) by November 10, 2020.

The full survey link is:
https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=UQMFNIAdG0OB2IO5PhXRgoQENZZAkYdJoU9stQk7s1pURElJUThGN1lYWjROUTVSNExJSTlGR1hRVS4u&fbclid=IwAR0DXnOmguqXRiSFU765I8y1CPGDslsnJku2-XL7qcsnA3qkQ_xq_hrvyIk

Thank  you very much for your time and assistance with this project. If you  have any questions or comments, or wish to discuss this project further,  please feel free to contact me. Kind regards,

Nathan Hentze, M.Sc. Wildlife Biologist

LGL  Limited environmental research associates (under contract to Canadian Wildlife Service/Environment and Climate Change Canada)

9768 Second Street, Sidney, BC Canada V8L 3Y8

Cell: 250-882-4581 – Fax: 250.655.4761

www.lgl.com

News, Post

COVID-19 Testing Site Opened at UVic

image

Island Health has opened a new COVID-19 testing site at the University of Victoria. People with cold, flu or COVID-19-like symptoms can now book an appointment to get a test at the UVic campus in parking lot 10, off Gordon Head Road via West Campus Way (access off Gordon Head Road).  Appointments must be pre-booked through Island Health’s Call Centre. Learn more at: https://www.islandhealth.ca/news/news-releases/island-health-improves-access-covid-19-testing-greater-victoria?fbclid=IwAR0DXnOmguqXRiSFU765I8y1CPGDslsnJku2-XL7qcsnA3qkQ_xq_hrvyIk

News, Post

Federal Survey on Dogs in Victoria-Area Migratory Bird Sanctuaries

The  Canadian Wildlife Service, with LGL Limited (a local environmental  consulting company), is conducting a data and evidence collection  project investigating impacts from at-large dogs on birds in the  migratory bird sanctuaries in the Greater Victoria area. There are three  Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs) in the Greater Victoria area:  Victoria Harbour, Shoal Harbour, and Esquimalt Lagoon. The purpose of  this project is to collect further information on the biological risks  associated with at large dogs on migratory birds within these migratory  bird sanctuaries. The results of this project are expected to help raise  knowledge and awareness of the issue, enable prioritization of  compliance promotion activities in the MBSs that are part of the study  and improve outcomes for migratory birds and species at riskAs  part of this data and evidence collection aspects of this study, a  survey has been created to assist in compiling observations from active  users of these MBSs. It would be greatly appreciated if you would  complete the survey. We request that one survey be completed per study  area that you are familiar with (there are multiple study areas per MBS,  defined in the survey). Each survey takes only a couple minutes to  complete. Please complete the survey(s) by November 10, 2020.

The full survey link is:
https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=UQMFNIAdG0OB2IO5PhXRgoQENZZAkYdJoU9stQk7s1pURElJUThGN1lYWjROUTVSNExJSTlGR1hRVS4u&fbclid=IwAR0DXnOmguqXRiSFU765I8y1CPGDslsnJku2-XL7qcsnA3qkQ_xq_hrvyIk

Thank  you very much for your time and assistance with this project. If you  have any questions or comments, or wish to discuss this project further,  please feel free to contact me. Kind regards,

Nathan Hentze, M.Sc. Wildlife Biologist

LGL  Limited environmental research associates (under contract to Canadian Wildlife Service/Environment and Climate Change Canada)

9768 Second Street, Sidney, BC Canada V8L 3Y8

Cell: 250-882-4581 – Fax: 250.655.4761

www.lgl.com

News, Post

COVID-19 Testing Site Opened at UVic

Island Health has opened a new COVID-19 testing site at the University of Victoria. People with cold, flu or COVID-19-like symptoms can now book an appointment to get a test at the UVic campus in parking lot 10, off Gordon Head Road via West Campus Way (access off Gordon Head Road).  Appointments must be pre-booked through Island Health’s Call Centre. Learn more at: https://www.islandhealth.ca/news/news-releases/island-health-improves-access-covid-19-testing-greater-victoria?fbclid=IwAR0DXnOmguqXRiSFU765I8y1CPGDslsnJku2-XL7qcsnA3qkQ_xq_hrvyIk

News, Post

Apply to Serve an Advisory Committee, Board or Foundation

The District of Saanich is currently accepting applications from Saanich residents wishing to be involved in local government by sitting as a member of an Advisory Committee, Board or Foundation in 2021. Application deadline: 4:30 p.m. Friday, November 6, 2020. Openings include:

  • Various Advisory Committees (examples: Active Transportation, Arts Culture and Heritage, Environment and Natural Areas, Healthy Saanich, Board of Variance) 
  • Saanich Heritage Foundation
  • Advisory Design Panel
  • Various Boards and Commissions (examples: Greater Victoria Public Library, Victoria Family Court and Youth Justice Committee).

Interested in serving your community? Learn more here, and check out the general notice.

News, Post

BC Election: Party leaders respond to urban mayors

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes is a member of the BC Urban Mayors’ Caucus that asked a number of questions to the leadership of provincial parties. Mayor Haynes hopes that this information will aid Saanich residents in being more informed as they prepare for election day on October 24, 2020.  Read their responses here:

For information on how you can vote, visit this link.

News, Post

Garden Suites Now Legal in Saanich

It is now legal to construct a garden suite with a permit in Saanich. Garden suites are detached, ground-oriented dwellings located in the rear yard of a property with a single family house as its principal use. Saanich expects this will increase the number and diversity of affordable rental housing units available in Saanich. 

A few facts to know:

  • You must apply for and be granted applicable permits in order to build and operate a garden suite.
  • Garden suites can be used for family or as rental units, but cannot be strata-titled, sold or used for short-term rentals (e.g. for an Airbnb or Bed and Breakfast).
  • An owner must live on the property with the garden suite in either the single family dwelling or the garden suite.
  • A garden suite can only contain one dwelling unit.
  • You cannot have a garden suite and a secondary suite.

To learn more, visit: https://www.saanich.ca/EN/main/community/community-planning/policy-initiatives/garden-suites.html

News, Post

Pause on Development of University Heights Shopping Centre

The following is an update from the developer, Wesbild on October 7, 2020:

“I am reaching out with some new, and disappointing news regarding the future of University Heights Shopping Centre…  Since our presentation to Council on August 24th receiving First Reading (and, thank you to those who shared input with Council leading up to this milestone), our team at Wesbild has been working hard to resolve some outstanding critical issues with our existing tenant – Home Depot.  Regrettably, Wesbild has made the decision to “pause” this $230-million renewal project due to an impasse regarding requests for expansion and other financial concessions. We certainly did not come to this decision lightly, and it was important to us that you hear the news from us, directly.

On behalf of Wesbild, I’d like to offer our sincere gratitude to each of your organizations (and to you as individuals) for all the time, effort, thoughtful commentary and support over the last three years of planning, and community engagement. Wesbild is doing all it can to address Home Depot’s requests and is hoping a final round of discussions can resolve the outstanding issues.  We will definitely keep you apprised if things shift on this front.

We do not take for granted that the people of Saanich (our neighbours, our site visitors, local housing and transportation advocates, etc.) have been generous with their time and input in helping to shape this proposal. It is our earnest hope that this significant project can ultimately continue.”

Virginia Bird
Community Relations
Wesbild 

Additional media reporting on this project at this link.

Letters To the Board, Post

Re: dogs on beach

I am writing to express my desire for dogs to be allowed to remain using Cadboro Bay Beach as a walking area. 

I am a resident of Oak Bay and walk my dog along Willows Beach every day of the year until we are kicked off for 5 months of the year. As a result of that closure I am forced to drive my vehicle to Cadboro Bay and walk along that beach. 

Perhaps the focus should be on following up with people who do not pick up after their pets and not penalize those who are diligent about doing so. Perhaps the 2 municipalities need to talk to one another and figure out a way of making it work for both beaches to allow for people to walk their dogs during limited hours during the summer months, so that all people can enjoy the beaches, however they choose to use them….whether sun bathing, relaxing or walking their pet. 

We all have different ways of enjoying ourselves and therefore need to find  a way for everyone to enjoy the amenities at our doorsteps.
We do not live in a perfect world and therefore we are never going to eliminate all unforeseen circumstances, but how lucky we are to have such beauty to enjoy. Instead of this being a contentious issue perhaps we should work to figure out a way to make it work for all people. I find it quite frustrating to walk my dog along the sidewalk of Willows Beach during the summer mornings only to pass other dog owners doing the same thing, while the beach is completely vacant. It seems such a waste.

 There are also people who complain about having dogs on the sidewalk. I have sent letters to Oak Bay to ask them to consider allowing dogs to be on the beach in the early morning hours during the summer until 8:30 am…..to no avail. Perhaps part of the issue at Cadboro Bay is because many locals from Oak Bay migrate towards Caddy Bay after the 5 month closure.

Just a few thoughts….again we have so much to be grateful for and really so little to be upset about.

Mike McCleish

Oak Bay