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February 2016 | @SookeVoiceNews & @SookeVoiceLOCAL
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Monday, February 15. Today is National Flag Day in Canada, the 51st anniversary in fact! "The Maple Leaf is a powerful symbol that unites Canadians across the country and around the world," said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a news release today. "Our flag represents the values that our country holds most dear: peace, freedom, respect, compassion and diversity." Canada Post has a Flag Day stamp for the 85-cent price point, which is the required postage for mailing a regular letter-size envelope under 30g for any destination within Canada. This year there is a "Share Your Moment with the Flag" online event organized by the federal government. They invite people to take a picture or video of the Canadian flag and share it on social media with the hashtag #CanadianFlag..
Saturday, February 13. The February 12, 2016 'Gravitational Waves' edition of West Shore / Sooke Voice News is now online. A bit of Valentine's content too! PAGE 1 NEWS: Einstein's math calculations for theory or relatively were right -- time and space can bend! MSP petition reaches BC Legislature with almost 66,000 signatures. PAGE 2: Staff updates at the District of Sooke: new team set up by CAO. Sooke declines to participate in regional economic association: reversed their previous decision about it all. PAGE 3: Building the McKenzie Interchange: public info session #2 coming up Feb 24. RRSPs and TFSAs a good investment mix. PAGE 4: Blood donors who travel abroad must wait 3 weeks before donating: a precaution re the Zika virus. Team Sooke is fundraising to bring a refugee family to Sooke. New down-payment rules require 10% down-payment on portion of house purchase price over $500,000.
Thursday, February 11. BC is investing $15 million toward creation of a BC Music Fund, as announced today in Vancouver by BC Premier Christy Clark. The announcement event included remarks by commercially successful singers Michael Bublé and Sarah McLachlan, as well as Graham Henderson (president of Music Canada), Jon Garson (president/CEO of BC Chamber of Commerce), and Scott Johnson (chair, Music BC). "BC has become a hub for creation and innovation and we are so fortunate to have such a wealth of creative talent here in our province," said Premier Clark today. Creative BC will administer the BC Music Fund. The fund is intended to help support activity in the music sector in BC as part of diversifying BC's economy, stimulating foreign investment, enhancing music tourism, stimulating the creation and retention of jobs, and encouraging increased activity in regional centres. See BC Government's BC Creative Economy webpage. Support will focus on services toward sound recording, live performance, distant location tour development, music tour strategy and industry development. There are 58 independent record labels in BC, 123 sound recording studios, and hundreds of music publishers, managers, talent agencies, marketing groups and other businesses that support the development and delivery of music.
Thursday, February 11. Some sailings of BC Ferries during March 10 to 29 will offer a discount of 30% to all travellers including adult, child, BC senior, student and persons with disabilities. On south coast routes, the 30% discount will be in effect Monday through Thursday, and on Saturdays, on select sailing during March 10 to 29. On north coast routes (e.g. Port Hardy-Prince Rupert, Prince Rupert-Haida Gwaii, and Alliford Bay-Skidegate routes, as well as the Discovery Coast connector) the 30% discount will apply on every sailing March 10-29. Space on the select promotional sailings is on a first-come, first-served basis. The off-peak pricing promotion will *not* apply on Thursday, March 24 ahead of the Easter long weekend, and not on Easter Monday, March 28. See schedules at: www.bcferries.com
Tuesday, February 9. Anyone who has travelled outside of Canada, the continental USA and Europe will now be temporarily ineligible to give blood for three weeks, due to concerns about the Zika virus entering the Canadian blood supply. That statement was issued February 3 by Canadian Blood Services, saying the new waiting period would be in full effect in all blood donor clinics starting Friday, February 5. While determining what the official deferral period should be, Canadian Blood Services had asked people to postpone blood donation for at least a month after returning from travel outside these specified zones. The change in criteria to a 21-day waiting period is to "mitigate the risk of the Zika virus entering the Canadian blood supply. The 21-day waiting period also applies to cord blood and stem cell donors who have travelled to affected areas. The mosquito that carries the Zika virus does not live in Canada due to our colder climate. 'The risk of a Canadian donor transmitting the Zika virus to a blood recipient is very low," says Canadian Blood Services. The ineligibility period will reduce the number of donors available to donate in the coming months. "We are therefore urging Canadians to donate before they travel, to help make up for the shortfall." New and current donors who have not recently travelled outside of Canada, the continental US and Europe are encouraged to book appointments to donate. "New donors are critical to maintaining a healthy blood supply and ensuring patients continue to receive the safe and effective blood and blood products they need." Info: www.blood.ca
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Monday, February 8. It's BC Family Day! It's a provincial statutory holiday, which means BC government offices and schools are closed, but federal offices including Canada Post are open today. The BC Family Day statutory holiday began in 2013, after many years of debate in the BC Legislature and pressure by the public. BC Family Day falls on the second Monday of February each year. Editorial on how great it is to have a day off in February... page 2 in Feb 5, 2016 West Shore / Sooke Voice News.
Sunday, February 7. As most people are aware, the NFL is extremely protective of how the words "Super Bowl" are used in marketing. Well, what if you had a super bowl of cereal this morning and wanted to tell people about it? Or what if you had a super bowl(ing) experience with your friends and wanted to Tweet about it? The corporate empires of the world try to control everything that people do, and are the ultimate nemesis of most small businesses. This instance has a lot of public awareness, even some notoriety. But most of how we live in today's modern society -- including most of today's influential politics -- is all controlled by the corporate world. I had a super bowl of cereal this morning, with raisins and blueberries! [Photo: Wheaties cereal, promo courtesy of West Shore Voice News]
Friday, February 5. The February 5, 2016 edition of West Shore / Sooke Voice News is now online. PAGE 1: Real estate marketing pushes hard in Greater Victoria while interest rates are still low. Greater Victoria average sale price $696,367 (HPI Benchmark $524,000) in January 2016. New thrift shop in Sooke offers good clothing prices, holding grand opening on Saturday, February 13. 'Many really poor families' in Sooke. Two new NDP MLAs head to the BC Legislature next week after winning two by-elections on Feb 2. PAGE 2: BC Family Day is a welcome break in February [Editorial]. SEAPARC Leisure Complex hopes to buy a golf course, says SEAPARC Chair Mike Hicks in a letter to West Shore / Sooke Voice News readers. Blood donors will be asked about travel abroad before being allowed to give blood; next clinic in Sooke is on Feb 15. PAGE 3: Fundraising continues toward bringing a refugee family to Sooke. So far $20,000 of $50,000 goal has been raised. PAGE 4: Crimes of opportunity up in Sooke recently, says Sooke RCMP. Community consultation forum about John Phillips Memorial Park coming up Wed Feb 10 in the lobby at SEAPARC (4 to 7pm).
Friday, February 5. Families, businesses and the tourism sector are gearing up for the BC Family Day weekend, which includes Monday, February 8 as a statutory holiday. Schools in BC will be closed on Monday. Canada Post offices will be open on Monday, February 8 (they follow federal stat holidays).
Friday, February 5. BC Ferries has extra sailings on the main routes for Family Day long weekend, in anticipation of heavier traffic. On the Swartz Bay (Victoria) - Tsawwassen (Vancouver) route, there will be additional sailings. Departing Swartz Bay: Fri Feb 5 (12 noon and 4pm); on Sun Feb 7 (12 noon); and Mon Feb 8 (12 noon and 4pm). Departing Tsawwassen: Fri Feb 5 (2 pm and 6pm); Sun Feb 7 (2pm); and Mon Feb 8 (2 pm and 6pm). On the Departure Bay (Nanaimo)-Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver) route, the additional sailings will be on Mon Feb 8 - at 7pm departing from Departure Bay and at 9pm from Horseshoe Bay.
Thursday, February 4. Families, businesses and the tourism sector are gearing up for the BC Family Day weekend, which includes Monday, February 8 as a statutory holiday. Schools will be closed.
Wednesday, February 3. Canada's Governor General, David Johnston, will travel to Washington DC next week to meet with innovation, research and education leaders. The meetings during this trip February 10 and 11 will be with both public and private sector representatives. On this, his first visit to the USA capital as Governor General, Johnston will also pay his respects to the fallen at the Canadian Cross of Sacrifice in Arlington Cemetery.
Tuesday, February 2. Two new NDP MLAs have tonight been elected to the BC Legislature, in a February 2, 2016 by-election. By-election results from two Lower Mainland ridings started rolling in shortly after 8pm this evening. Prior to today's election date, advance voting showed that about 1% of eligible voters in each of the ridings. The by-elections were called after two former MLAs resigned in 2015 -- one was Liberal and the other NDP.
Candidates in Coquitlam-Burke Mountain: Paul Geddes (Libertarian), Joan Isaacs (BC Liberal), Joe Keithley (BC Green), and Jodie Wickens (BC NDP). Results will be posted as soon as available (90 ballot boxes in total to report). With only one ballot box in (8:20pm) the Liberal, NDP and Green candidates were neck-n-neck. But with five ballots boxes counted (8:25pm) the Liberal candidate was pulling ahead slightly of the NDP candidate, with Greens far behind. Tonight's overall preliminary results (final results to be confirmed Feb.9): ELECTED (89 of 90 ballot boxes reported): Jodie Wickens (NDP) 46.24%. Joan Isaacs (Liberal) 38.11%; Joe Keithley (Green) 13.77%; Paul Geddes (Libertarian) 1.88%.
Candidates in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant: Gavin Dew (BC Liberal), Pete Fry (BC Green), Jeremy Gustafson (YPP), Bonnie Boya Hu (Libertarian), and Melanie Mark (BC NDP). Results will be posted as soon as available (91 ballot boxes in total to report). With only three ballot boxes counted (8:20pm), the NDP candidate was well in the lead, with the Green Party candidate showing half as many votes, and the Liberal candidates about half of that again. Tonight's overall preliminary results (final results to be confirmed Feb.9): ELECTED (91 of 91 ballot boxes reported): Melanie Mark (NDP) 60.82%. Pete Fry (Green) 26.42%; Gavin Dew (Liberal) 11.29%; Bonnie Boya Hu (Libertarian) 0.84%; Jeremy Gustafson (YPP) 0.62%. Melanie Mark will be the first indigenous woman to serve in the BC Legislature.
Tuesday, February 2. On Wednesday, February 3 Prime Minister Trudeau will be meeting with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley at the Alberta Legislature, it was announced today by the Prime Minister's office.
Tuesday, February 2. It's Groundhog Day! It's a tradition from days gone by whereby a prediction is made about whether spring will be early or not, based on a quirky observation of a groundhog emerging from hibernation.
Monday, February 1. BC Ferries has announced extra sailings on the main routes for Family Day long weekend, in anticipation of heavy traffic. On the Swartz Bay (Victoria) - Tsawwassen (Vancouver) route, there will be additional sailings. Departing Swartz Bay: Fri Feb 5 (12 noon and 4pm); on Sun Feb 7 (12 noon); and Mon Feb 8 (12 noon and 4pm). Departing Tsawwassen: Fri Feb 5 (2 pm and 6pm); Sun Feb 7 (2pm); and Mon Feb 8 (2 pm and 6pm). On the Departure Bay (Nanaimo) -Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver) route, the additional sailings will be on Mon Feb 8 - at 7pm departing from Departure Bay and at 9pm from Horseshoe Bay.
Sunday, January 31. PAGE ONE NEWS in the January 29th edition of West Shore / Sooke Voice News. A bit of a public relations earthquake has hit the District of Sooke, with a series of senior staff departures that they've yet to spell off with public damage control. Editorial page 1 and 2. The world-renowned rock band Chilliwack will play in Sooke on March 12, tickets selling fast. A sea lion that washed up on the beach at Esquimalt Lagoon has been waiting since mid-December for nature to take its course. And all the rest of the January 29th edition news... including $1,000 donation to Sooke Community Choir (from RBC) and public forum on John Phillips Memorial Park (Feb 10).
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Sooke Voice News [ISSN 1925-2722] and West Shore Voice News [ISSN 2368-9374] are independent publications and an online news service published by Brookeline Publishing House Inc, a BC company that is committed to quality news service, in support of a knowledge-based economy. Through news coverage we inform the community and through advertising opportunities we help support the marketing efforts of businesses and community organizations in Sooke. We appreciate the support we receive from many leaders in business and the community in the form of subscriptions, sponsorships and advertisements.