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July 2011 Archives

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Kinsol Trestle reopens, Cumberland fest moves, Ledge Guys, Nanaimo-bar trail and Gold River

trestle3.JPG Brian Farquhar, Parks and Trails Manager for the Cowichan Valley Regional District, talks about refurbishing of the historic Kinsol Trestle at the grand reopening for the 44-metre high rail bridge-turned walking, biking and equestrian trail. 
 
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Vigst Schulman, artistic director of the Big Time Out Festival in Cumberland, explains why the fest is forced to make a last-minute change of venue because of police concerns over security following a fatal stabbing at an unrelated event in Courtenay last week.

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The HST is back in the news this week as the referendum deadline looms. CBC Legislative reporters Stephen Smart and Jeff Davies discuss new criticism about ballot mix-ups and the hiring of Liberal insiders.
 
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Chelsea Barr talks about her creation of "the Nanaimo Bar Trail", a self-guided tour through more than 20 different shops, cafes, and bars in Nanaimo that sell Nanaimo bars or Nanaimo-bar-flavoured items.

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Lynn Unger, a Gold River village councillor, discusses local reaction to the latest step to creating a energy-from-waste incineration plant in that community to handle the trash from the Greater Vancouver area.

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Gold River and Campbell River trash plans, Saanich cycle-trail fix, and vegan shoe store

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A company that's proposing to ship Vancouver's garbage for incineration in Gold River got a big boost this week with the B.C. government's approval of a new waste plan for the region. The plan includes incineration at a waste-to-energy plant somewhere in the province. Covanta Energy Corp. Vice-President Thomas Lyons discusses the Gold River proposal. 

Image left: Covanta Energy Corp. rendering of Gold River waste-to-energy plant. 

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Campbell River's only landfill is running out of room. Edwin Grieve,  Chair of the Comox Valley Regional District, discusses the prospect of shipping it to the region's only other landfill, in Cumberland.

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Saanich Councillor Judy Brownoff speaks with Khalil Akhtar about a $100,000 cycling trail improvement for Saanich that is planned to fix a number of trouble spots at busy intersections in the municipality.

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A new animal-friendly shoe store is opening its doors in Victoria. Sarah Towle checks out the new footwear trend.

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Smart meter risks, seizing wood imports, Asian night market and cruise ship shuttle

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Image top: Richmond's Summer Night Market. Victoria's first Chinatown night market launches tonight (July 27). 
Photo credit: coolinsights/Flickr

tp-wdr-smart-meter.jpgThey may be smart, but are they safe? Peter Driessen, an electrical engineering professor at the University of Victoria, talks about health risk and BC Hydro's smart meters.

Image left: Smart meter installed in Harrow, Ont. CBC photo

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Gerry Boivin of the WaterForest Group discusses his company's problem with a shipment of tropical wood from Belize that has been seized and might be burned by federal authorities.

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Asian night markets are springing up in cities across Canada and the newest one launches in Victoria's Chinatown tonight. Organizer Tony Joe talks about how it got started and what people will find there.

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Curtis Grad, CEO of  the Victoria Harbour Authority, discusses options under consideration for getting cruise ship passengers into the downtown core.

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Smart meter safety concerns, Jack Layton's departure and protecting "Avatar Grove"

smart-meter-cp-6824706-306x172.jpgTrent University assistant professor Magda Havas discusses the research behind  concerns about the safety of the smart meters being installed in B.C. homes.

Photo credit: CBC

 
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Victoria MP Denise Savoie and B.C. NDP president Moe Sihota about what the illness and temporary departure of federal NDP Leader Jack Layton means for the future of the party he led to Official Opposition status in the House of Commons.

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We'll speak with Ken Wu of the Ancient Forest Alliance about how a stand of giant red cedars near Port Renfrew might be saved from future logging.

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Courtenay shelter debate, a family's mental health crisis and growing up with Aspergers

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Courtenay city council is wrangling over the location of a homeless shelter. Housing advocate Anne Davis explains why she supports building the project on the controversial site.

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A Victoria mother and her teen-aged son talk about their family's  positive experience in the mental health system after two children in the family experienced a mental health crisis within months of each other.

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Adam Lando talks about growing up with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism, and about the documentary film about him and his family which is playing at Movie Monday tonight.

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Courtenay homeless shelter

Council walkout in Courtenay. A proposed homeless shelter in that city is causing a lot of controversy. We'll speak to supporter and council member Rona-Rae Leonard.

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Walking out for a reason. We  speak with to council member Murray Presley who wants the  proposed downtown homeless shelter to be put somewhere else.

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Island Nations:

Racing war canoes

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Island Nations columnist Steve Sxwithul'txw takes us onto a war canoe. They used to be for attacking other villages; now they are a community sport. A preview of the Coast Salish canoe races happening this weekend.


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Event details:

  • July 23 - 24
  • Location: Tsartlip Drive, Brentwood Bay, B.C. 
  • Races from noon to 6 p.m.
  • Salmon Barbecue 

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Ron MacLean on mental health, Courtenay homeless shelter, the Ledge Guys and super-trees

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Hockey night in Canada host Ron MacLean is in town this weekend as master of ceremonies for the Courtnall Celebrity Classic, a fundraiser for mental health services in Victoria. 
The hockey-playing Courtnall brothers lost their father, Archie, in the 1970s, to suicide caused by depression. MacLean talks about the Courtnalls and sports celebrities such as Steve Nash, and shares his thoughts on mental illness. 

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Murray Presley is one of three Courtenay councillors who walked out of a meeting this week over the proposal to local a downtown homeless shelter across from City Hall. He explains his reasons. 

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What is "open government" anyway? CBC legislative reporters Jeff Davies and Stephen Smart talk about access to government information, the possible reappointment of Mary Ellen Turpel Lafond as Representative for Children and Youth, and the premiers' meeting. 

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UVic scientist Dr. Christoph Borchers describes how new research at the university on genetics and proteins could lead to discoveries ranging from the creation of super-trees to a cure for diabetes.

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Puntledge river warning, open data, measuring success in China and First Nations healing

puntledge.jpgPhoto credit: CHEK News

Danger in the river: Stephen Watson of BC Hydro explains how high water levels have prompted the opening of dam floodgates and why they are warning the public to stay off the river for the time being. 

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What to do with all the data? Victoria open data advocate Herb Lainchbury discusses plans to make use of the vast amount of government information released this week.

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Pat Bell, B.C. Minister for Tourism, Jobs and Innovations, discusses the rise in softwood lumber exports to China which surpassed the U.S.in May,  for the first time.

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Andrea Amos-Stoney discusses the urban healing gatherings in Victoria today and across the Pacific Northwest. They are reaching out to people from the Nuu-Chah-Nulth First Nations, and their families, who are living in the city.

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Sockeye slip past fishermen, 35mm films fade to black, flying geoducks, Lantzville farming controversy and Burnaby vacations

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for bc-100825-sockeye-dock.jpgRun, salmon run: Fisherman Paul Kershaw, president of the Area D Salmon Gillnetter's Association, explains why record numbers of Sockeye salmon have slipped by fisherman on the West Coast this summer.

 
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As the first all-digital theatres open in the Victoria area, Khalil speaks with Cineplex Odeon manager Pierre Gauthier about the slow decline of 35mm film projection and what it means for movie fans.

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Tony Gugliatti of the Vancouver Airport Authority discusses how a new air-freight service between Vancouver and Shanghai could boost the local shellfish industry.

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One man's carrots are another man's curse. We'll hear how the District of Lantzville is trying to balance urban farming with residential living.

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Emissaries from Burnaby  came to Victoria today to promote that Vancouver suburb as a vacation destination. Tourism Burnaby's Ian Wish explains why.

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Watching gangs in Nanaimo, assessing the HST, protecting Echo Heights and Portraits of Honour

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Sergeant Shinder Kirk of the RCMP Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit discusses why the REDD Alert first nations gang  is now surfacing in Nanaimo and what happened to the Hell's Angels influence in that city's drug trade.

The Hells Angels clubhouse in Nanaimo, B.C., was seized by the provincial government under new legislation aimed at preventing criminals from keeping the profits of crimes. CBC photo


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David Lennam speaks with Martha O'Brien, a UVic law prof and tax policy expert, about the costs and benefits of the Harmonized Sales Tax, as the B.C. finance minister reveals a dramatic increase in tax revenue since the HST came into effect. 

 
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Gregor speaks with Mark Kiemele about why Chemainus residents are rallying to save an area known as a Echo Heights Forest from development.

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We meet David Sopha, the artist who has painted a traveling exhibition to remember Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

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REDD Alert, geriatric care, bear attacks and shark fin soup. Plus: Federal energy grants return

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The push is on to ban shark fin soup in BC. Food writer Francis Lam says the ban is more ethically complicated than it appears on the surface.

photo credit: shark fin soup by Chee Hong/Flickr

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A well-known franchise appears to be taking advantage of an opportunity to expand into the Nanaimo area. 

 However, it's not the kind of business that is welcomed by most people. 

Members of the Redd Alert gang are making their presence known in Nanaimo.  A  member of the gang was arrested in Nanaimo for the first time this month.

RCMP Cpl Mike Moyer talks about this group's origins and activities.

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As U.S. hospitals create emergency wards just for seniors, guest host David Lennam speaks with Dr. Marilyn Bater about specialized seniors services offered here on Vancouver Island. 

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With three bear attacks in as many weeks, Mike Badry, the wildlife conflicts prevention coordinator at the Ministry of Environment, discusses whether attacks and bear shootings are on the rise.

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A hugely popular renovation grant program has just been revived by the federal government. We hear about the details.

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On the Ledge:

On the Ledge with Gregor Craigie


ontheledge.JPGGregor takes a look at the hot issue in B.C. politics every Friday.

July 15, 2011: Christy Clark versus her caucus 

The premier meets opposition within her own ranks, and is forced to change her tune. So is Clark's political honeymoon over?

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July 8, 2011: Senate reform and the B.C. perspective

The federal Conservatives want to start reforming Canada's Senate, by allowing provinces to elect senators. But critics say B.C. is the most under-represented province in the upper house, and electing some senators will only make that problem worse.

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June 24, 2011: Big questions on big subsidies

Christy Clark goes to Ottawa to drum up support for the B.C. shipbuilding industry. But should her government offer big tax breaks to big companies to help win the contract?

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June 17, 2011: Going postal and ballot question confusion

In the mail: with HST ballots soon to come to B.C. households, we ask whether postal voting is good for democracy. We also look at the government's HST ad campaign, and confusion over the question itself.

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June 10, 2011: Will new contenders on the B.C. political scene force a fall election?

We look at the resurgence of the BC Conservative Party under new leader John Cummins, new hopes for BC Greens, and the speculation that it might trigger a fall vote.

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June 3, 2011: HST 2.0: Will the Liberals' changes to the hated sales tax win the referendum for them? 

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Afghanistan, Pacheedaht development support and opposing EU deal

afghanistan.jpgPhoto credit: Isafmedia/flickr.com

Was it worth it, and what happens now? Gregor speaks with author and activist Terry Glavin about the assassination of a Ahmad Wali Karzai in Afghanistan, and the end of Canada's combat role in that country.

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 A Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation may be one of the winners in a dispute about a proposed resort along the Juan de Fuca Trail. Gregor speaks with Pacheedaht Chief Marvin McClurg about the small band's support for a proposed resort development alongside the Juan de Fuca marine trail. 

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Gregor speaks with Metchosin Mayor John Ranns and NDP Opposition Leader Adrian Dix about concerns that a proposed trade agreement with the European Union could block efforts to support local businesses in our communities.

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Juan de Fuca approval, defending Fan Tan Alley reno, decoding strata law and fish pedicures

A proposal to build a resort alongside the Juan de Fuca Trail is one step closer to reality. Gregor hears from CRD directors Mike Hicks, Vic Derman and John Ranns, and opponent Zoe Blunt.

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Victoria architect Allan Lowe explains why he thinks increasing the height of three buildings bordering Chinatown's Fan Tan Alley buildings makes sense.

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Love thy neighbor, hate thy strata council: Gregor speaks with the author of a manual on the strata law governing condo living.

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Big fish to fry with the Health Authority. A spa owner reacts to a health order to stop providing pedicures that employ live fish to remove dead skin cells.

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Development in Cumberland, Raising walls in Fan Tan Alley, Victoria real estate, and homeless runners

Former Cumberland mayor Bronco Moncrief and resident Tina Willard discuss a proposed development that could double and even triple the area population over the next decade.
 
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Business owners J.C. Scott and Kirsten Wright criticize a proposed renovation that would add two stories to a building bordering Chinatown's  Fan Tan Alley.

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With a 15-year-high in the number of Victoria homes for sale, CMHC analyst Travis Archibald discusses what it means for the local real estate market.

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Program Coordinator Gillie Easdon and a member of the Every Step Counts running group talk about the difference it has made for participants who have all experienced homelessness, mental illness or addictions.

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Victoria's budget debate, gaps in youth mental health services and clipping salmon fins

Victoria Councillor Lynn Hunter discusses the rising costs of running the city. 

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B.C.'s representative for Children and youth, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, discusses concerns about a shortage of psychiatric services for youths aged 17 to 19 in existing facilities. 

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What's in a fin? Tom Reimchen is the University of Victoria biologist who conducted a study that raises concerns about the practice of clipping the adipose fin on hatchery salmon. 

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Reviews:

Ride the Cyclone and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

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Monica Prendergast reviews  Atomic Vaudeville's Ride the Cyclone at the Belfry Theatre and Blue Bridge Theatre's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the MacPherson.

Photo credit: Miles Lowry
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Hiking the budget in Victoria, green makeover for Fernwood Inn, youth mental health and LRT economics

city hall.jpgCouncillor Geoff Young critiques the proposal to hike Victoria's budget by 4.7 per cent. 
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photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik 

The 100-year-old Fernwood Inn gets an energy makeover with the help of their regulars.

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Hazel Meredith of the B.C.Schizophrenia Society discusses gaps in services for 17 and 18 year olds with mental illness.

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Gregor speaks with transportation analyst Todd Litman about the options for improving commuter traffic to western communities.
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We're big in Belize!

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photo credit: Patrick O'Reilly

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Prepping for Pride Week, drug-free lawn care, traumatized veterans and canoe journey

paboom2.jpgColleen Rabatich visits a Victoria shop that has created a special display in support of Pride Week, and a Pride Week spokesperson previews events leading up to the Sunday parade.

photo credit: Drea Pittam

 
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Gardening expert Michael Cowan gives tips on how to maintain lawns and gardens without pesticides and herbicides, in response to the possibility of a ban on the sale of pesticides.

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Gregor speaks with trauma expert Tim Black about psychological trauma and its effects on military personnel after they return to civilian life after combat in Afghanistan.

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An RCMP officer and a member of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation in Gold River discuss their eight-day voyage to Port Alberni this weekend on the 2011 Pulling Together Canoe Journey. 

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Banning pesticide sales, deployment to Libya, Quirks' Bob McDonald and cougar sightings

dandelions.jpgPhoto credit: ugod 

A dandy time to be a dandelion. Gregor speaks with MLA Margaret MacDiarmid about why the B.C. government is considering legislation to curb the use of pesticides to kill weeds and the like, for cosmetic purposes.

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Reporter Sterling Eyford speaks with two vital crewmembers on the naval frigate HMCS Vancouver as it prepares to leave for Libya.

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Gregor chats with one of Vancouver Island's newest residents and one of the newest members of the Order of Canada - CBC Quirks and Quarks host Bob McDonald.

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There's an explosion of cougar sightings in the Greater Victoria area in recent weeks - 72 since April. Conservation officer Peter Pauwels talks about the challenges of determining which reports are genuine sightings of the giant cats.

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Unemployed nurse practitioners, preventing youth homelessness, building a better fish farm

Gregor speaks with the head of nurse practitioner training about why few of the University of Victoria program's graduates can find actual jobs in this province.

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A York University assistant professor says our communities are taking a passive approach to the problem of youth homelessness, but there are better models to solve and prevent it. 

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After criticizing open net fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago, the Namgis first nation set their own alternative. Gregor speaks with elected chief Bill Cranmer about the first status report on the project.

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Comox Valley rail, a call for tougher mining rules, recycling antifreeze and Virginia Woolf

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Photo credit: Daryl Mitchell

Courtenay Mayor Greg Phelps discusses proposed changes to the E and N rail service and schedule. 

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Whose minding the miners? A university report is warning the province is not doing enough to protect the environment from damage caused by mining.

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Gregor speaks with the executive director of a new antifreeze recycling program that has just launched in B.C.

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Who's afraid of taking on a tough role? Not Andrew Wheeler. We meet one of the lead actors in Blue Bridge Repertory's newest production.

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Checking out financial advisors, police and mental illness, Sooke council's bullying problem and Mt. Finlayson Madness

mt-finlayson-shaynekaye.jpg.jpgAdvice from the B.C. Securities Commission on choosing a financial advisor, police training on mental health issues, Sooke council's bullying problem and a fitness challenge for a popular hiking trail.

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Photo credit: Mt. Finlayson by Shayne Kaye