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April 2012 Archives

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Capital Region's Juno bid goes ahead

The official bid goes in today to bring Canada's national music awards to the provincial capital. Victoria City Councillor Chris Coleman provides an update on how the Capital Region Music Awards Society has raised the money needed to qualify as a Juno Awards host city, when a week ago it looked unlikely to succeed. 

Listen audio (runs 6:40)

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Parkade proposal scaled back

Will the University of Victoria finally get the green light for its parking plans? Kristi Simpson, the University of Victoria's Associate Vice President responsible for Campus Planning, talks about the new, scaled down plan for a parkade that has riled neighbourhood groups. 

Listen audio (runs 6:52)

Open houses for the parkade plans continue through Wednesday at:
  • Today from 5-8 PM at Mount Doug Secondary School ( in the multi-purpose room)
  • Tuesday from 11 to 2 in the UVic Student Union Building (Michelle Pujol room)
  • Wednesday from 4 to 7 PM at Cadboro Bay United Church (2625 Arbutus Road).

You can also find information at the website -

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Minister defends streamlining of environment reviews

The federal government has simplified environmental scrutiny for projects like the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. Is it a case of streamlining, or watering down? Gregor speaks with federal Natural Resources Minister and Toronto-area MP Joe Oliver.
Listen audio (runs 9:11)

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Political Panel: Lessons from the Alberta election

The political panel looks at what B.C. politicians can learn from the surprising outcome of the election in Alberta this week. 
Listen audio (runs 14:34)

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Woodwynn future uncertain after housing rejection

Richard LeBlanc, the executive director of Woodwynn Farms, talks about the future of the proposed therapeutic community following a rejection of its residential development application by the province's Agricultural Land Commission.
Listen audio (runs 8:46)

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Charity kitchen volunteer named Victoria's unsung hero

He's a 76-year-old Victoria resident who volunteers countless hours of his own time at the Rainbow Kitchen in Esquimalt, where many of the city's poor and homeless turn for help and a hot meal. Now Walter Adams has been named as Victoria's Unsung Hero of the Year by the Community Social Planning Council and the First Unitarian Church of Victoria.

Listen audio (runs 8:11)

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Coming Up:


Spurn the spandex! Lose the lycra! Toss on the tweed, and hop on your bike for Victoria's tweed ride. We'll get a preview of the big weekend event.

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Washington State considers massive coal port

Tyler Schroeder, the Planning Manager and responsible for environmental regulations for Whatcom County, talks about a proposal that could see up to 500 massive coal ships passing our shoreline every year.

Listen audio (runs 8:42)

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Rattenbury auditions begin in Victoria

Ambition, passion, betrayal, murder - the life of early Victoria architect Francis Rattenbury seems like the stuff of a classic opera.
Now his story is becoming an opera. Victoria composer Tobin Stokes talks about his work in progress on "Rattenbury".

Listen audio (runs 6:50)

Music from Rattenbury will be featured at a concert Sept. 29 and 30 in the Crystal Ballroom at the Fairmont Empress hotel.

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The fight against syphilis

Professor Caroline Cameron with the Centre for Biomedical Research at the University of Victoria talks about why syphilis can be called the disease that changed human history, and about the possibility of permanently extinguishing the virus. 

Listen audio (runs 7:23)

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God of Carnage

Monica Prendergast reviews the Belfry's production of God of Carnage.
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Deadline looms for Victoria's Juno pitch

Would you be willing to spend a buck or two to bring the Juno Awards to the provincial capital? Time is running out for Victoria to come up with the cash needed to host the awards. Gregor speaks with Victoria Councillor Chris Coleman who has spearheaded the campaign to bring the Canadian music awards to the Island in 2014.

Listen audio (runs 6:10)

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Farmer questions federal EI work plan

If you're unemployed and on Employment Insurance, the federal government has plans to put you to work instead of bringing in temporary foreign workers.  Ryan Vantreight, the general manager of Vantreight Farms in Central Saanich, offers his thoughts on the idea.  

Listen audio (runs 6:05)

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Political Panel analyzes by-election results

The political panel takes a look at the significance of this week's byelections for the B.C. Liberal government and their rivals for power. 

Listen audio (runs 15:58)

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Documenting Victoria's Japanese pioneers

Seventy years after Victoria's Japanese community was sent into exile aboard a former CPR ferry, Ann-Lee Switzer talks about the new book she has co-authored on Victoria's Japanese heritage.
Listen audio (runs 7:56)

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Victoria woman roughed up in India standoff

Victoria mother Erin Mossop talks about getting caught up along with her children in a stand-off with police at an ashram in India.
Listen audio (runs 8:08)

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Rower tests waters for Atlantic crossing

Olympic gold medalist Adam Kreek talks about his trip around the island with a three person crew, to prepare for a much bigger boat trip later this year across the Atlantic Ocean.

Listen audio (runs 8:59)

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Victoria's WWII code-breaker

Victoria resident Olive Bailey tells Gregor about her experience as one of the Code-breakers of Bletchley Park - the unsung heroes of World War Two who un-scrambled enemy intelligence for the Allies during the war, and saved many lives in the process.
Listen audio (runs 10:13)

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Cruise "voluntourists" pitch in at food bank

As cruise-ship season kicks off in Victoria, Khalil Akhtar meets up with some passengers doing voluntourism at the Mustard Seed Food Bank, along with Mustard Seed's assistant director Rudy Wallace.
Listen audio (runs 715)

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Former officer questions anti-harassment plan

Retired RCMP constable Krista Carle responds to news that 100 officers will be trained to investigation sexual harassment complaints in the force. Carle was one of the first former RCMP members to go public with allegations of harassment by male officers. 
Listen audio (runs 6:44)

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Tla-o-qui-aht carver wins award

Tla-o-qui-aht master carver Joe Martin talks about his work and his recognition with a 2012 B.C. community achievement award. 

Listen audio (runs 5:09)

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Maria Stuarda and Amadeus

David Lennam reviews 'Maria Stuarda' and 'Amadeus'
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Washington State ferries promoted for B.C.

Economies of scale: Washington State Representative Jeff Morris talks about the potential for building B.C. ferries ships in that state, and even of jointly operating some routes.

Listen audio (runs 7:44)

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Should metered-parking hours be extended?

If you park in downtown Victoria, you have to pay for it between the hours of nine and six, Monday to Saturday, but evenings and Sundays are free. Victoria Councillor Geoff Young discusses a suggestion by some city councillors for a look at extending meter hours in response to a shortfall in the city's parking revenues. Listen audio (runs 7:10)

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Residential school voices gather in Victoria

Former residential school students share their stories with reporter Catherine Rolfsen as thousands gather for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings at the Empress Hotel in Victoria.
Listen audio (runs 6:02)

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Political Panel: The Premier's communications problem

The Political Panel takes a look at the confusing communications strategy in the office in the Premier's office, as efforts by staffers to shut down media questions or coverage of Christy Clark become part of the story. Listen audio (runs 16:46)

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Accused sex offender presence closes daycare

A Saanich daycare centre has been shut down because it violated conditions imposed after the owner's partner was charged with sexual offenses. Dr. Richard Stanwick, the Chief Medical Health officer for the Vancouver Island Health Authority, discusses the case. Listen audio (runs 5:00)

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Hydro defends smart-meter performance

How worried should we be that one malfunctioning smart meter in Kamloops? Jim Nicholson, director of customer care for BC Hydro, responds to the widespread complaints alleging smart-meter malfunctions and over-billing.  

Listen audio (runs 7:30)

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John Horgan on smart meters

NDP energy critic John Horgan on BC Hydro's smart meter program. Listen audio (runs 7:53)

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Restoring Vancouver Island rail service

The federal government is kicking in money to restore rail service between Greater Victoria and Courtenay. We find out where and when. Listen audio (runs 6:07)

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Victoria food cart proposal

City councillor Lisa Helps is working on a plan to increase the number of food carts in Victoria. Listen audio (runs 4:39)

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Tofino's wolf problem

Keeping the wolves from the door in Tofino.  We speak with a wildlife specialist Todd Windle about the West Coast town's wolf problem. Listen audio (runs 6:55)

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Should B.C. ban political donations from corporations and unions?

Professor Dennis Pilon on disallowing corporate and union donations to political parties in B.C. Listen audio (runs 8:13)

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Fortin defends bridge plans

Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin responds to questions about the rising cost and design changes to the new Johnson Street bridge project, and to the call by Councillor Ben Isitt for a new look at cheaper, tried-and-true alternative plans for a new bridge.

Listen audio (runs 7:38)

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Floating a proposal for new military commuter ferry

Victoria Harbour Ferry owner Barry Hobbis discusses his proposal to start a commuter boat service from Colwood to the CFB Esquimalt starting May first. The service would replace the long-running "Blue Boat" ferry service that is being cancelled by the Department of National Defence.

Listen audio (runs 3:39)

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Redeveloping the Hillside Mall

Don Burton of Redcliff Realty Group tells Gregor about plans for the the Hillside Mall redevelopment Listen audio (runs 4:33)

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Master key misuse prompts advice for landlords

The Rental Owners and Managers Society of B.C. has some advice for landlords in the wake of this news that a master key used by Victoria firefighters to get into buildings in emergencies has apparently been used by criminals to steal from various offices. Gregor speaks with ROMS BC head Al Kemp.
Listen audio (runs 6:03)

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Cheaper bridge design urged by Isitt

The price is rising and the plans are changing on the replacement for Victoria's Johnson Street Bridge. City Councillor Ben Isitt explains why he is calling for a re-evaluation of the current plans, and questioning whether Victoria should opt for a cheaper, off-the-shelf bridge design. 
Listen audio (runs 9:01)

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Making affordable housing pay

Developer Alanna Holroyd talks about how she converted an old motel on Gorge Road East into 52 affordable rental units with just $750,000 in capital, and about the creation of a non profit society to build more affordable housing on Vancouver Island.  

Listen audio (runs 9:08)

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Johnson Street Bridge changes continue

Focus Magazine writer and publisher David Broadland discusses the latest changes to the Johnson Street Bridge plans - and his questions about the likelihood of further cost increases for the city's biggest-ever infrastructure project. 
Listen audio (runs 8:02)

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Waiting for OAS: low-income seniors in Victoria

How hard could it be to wait a couple of extra years for retirement benefits? With the change to Old Age Supplement eligibility in the federal budget, Gregor gets the picture from the front lines, with Edie Copland, the executive director of Victoria's Silver Threads centre which helps seniors access services in the Victoria area. 
Listen audio (runs 6:43)

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John Duncan defends environmental assessment limits

Thousands of civil service layoffs, more money for First Nations education, and new time limits on environmental assessments for major projects: John Duncan, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and MP for North Island, provides more details on the federal budget. 
Listen audio (runs 10:12)