Drinking water tours
Find out where your water comes from
The Capital Regional District (CRD) will be hosting annual public tours of the Greater Victoria Water Supply Area and water supply facilities from Monday, May 4 to Saturday, May 9.
Every year during BC Drinking Water Week, residents of the region are invited to register for public tours of the Greater Victoria Water Supply Area and water supply facilities. The water system serves a population of approximately 340,000 people within the region.
The free tours provide a first-hand look at the Greater Victoria Water Supply Area and water supply facilities. They provide an opportunity to learn more about the care taken to provide Greater Victoria with clean, safe drinking water everyday.
There are two tour options:
A full day (5.5 hour) tour takes participants north to south through the Sooke and Goldstream water supply areas.There are several stops including a walk to the shoreline of Sooke Lake Reservoir, a look at Rithet Creek that supplies a quarter of the water to the reservoir, a short forest walk, a lunch stop at the dam at Sooke Lake Reservoir, a stop at Goldstream Lake Reservoir and a tour of the ultraviolet disinfection facility.
The full day tour leaves at 9:30 a.m. each day and returns at approximately 3 p.m.
A half day (three hour) tour focuses on water supply facilities including visits to the dams at Sooke Lake and Goldstream Lake reservoirs and the ultraviolet disinfection facility. These half day tours leave at 9:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily.
Advance reservations are required and can be made by calling 250-474-9621 from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Coast Guard station closes
Federal budget day coincided with the closure of a coast guard monitoring station in Ucluelet, the third such base to be closed by the Conservative government in 2015. Coast guard officers say that reducing the number of staff that oversees marine communications and traffic is a threat to the safety of Canadians and wildlife on the coast.
The Harper government’s cuts to the marine safety network have impacted services on both coasts. Three bases have been closed so far this year in Saint John, St. John’s, and now Ucluelet. Five more monitoring stations are scheduled to close in 2015 in Thunder Bay, Rivière au Renard, St. Anthony, Vancouver, and Comox.
Commercial fishers are concerned that reduced oversight will put them at a higher risk.
“Thousands of Canadians make their living on our coast. The coast guard is essential to our safety,” said Keith Sullivan, President of Unifor’s Fish, Food, and Allied Workers (FFAW).
Restoring funding to the coast guard would cost $5.5 million per year, or 0.25 per cent of the cost to the government of the income-splitting program introduced in 2015.
Missing ticket stubs
The Sooke Harbourside Lions are pretty quacked up about some missing ticket stubs. On April 21, a member sold tickets to their Duck Race and forgot to keep the stubs.
The ticket numbers are 351, 352, 353, 354, 355.
If you have them please call Maria Medwedrich at 250-642-6223. They don’t want anyone to miss out on the win.
Garrison works to protect Sooke River
Randall Garrison, MP (Esquimalt Juan de Fuca) this week introduced Private Members Bills C-667 (Sooke River) and C-668 (Colquitz River) that would add the Colquitz and Sooke Rivers and watersheds to the schedule of the Navigation Protection Act and thus restore federal environmental protection to these important regional rivers. In 2012 the Conservative government’s Bill C-45 cut environmental protection to all rivers, streams, and lakes on Vancouver Island.
“Both the Colquitz and Sooke Rivers are vital to their immediate neighbourhoods and to the overall environmental health of the Capital Regional District.” Garrison said. “The upper Sooke watershed is the source for drinking water for Greater Victoria and the Colquitz watershed, which includes Elk, Beaver, Swan and Blenkinsop Lakes, is one of the most threatened watersheds on Vancouver Island. Passage of these bills would provide back up to the volunteer groups which have been working so hard to restore the integrity of these watersheds, including efforts to bring back their salmon runs,” said Garrison.
“Not only are these ecosystems valuable in themselves, they can also play an important role in our local economy. Restoring salmon runs can help contribute to tourism and sport fishing as well as helping ensure the survival of the Southern Resident Killer Whales by increasing their local food supply,” Garrison concluded.
Two Sooke bridge options dropped
District of Sooke council has removed the last two remaining locations from the list of a suggested second bridge across the Sooke River.
Site 3, Soule Road, was taken off the list due to the cost needed to implement a bridge in the area.
A second location known as Site 4, Calvert Road to Sunriver Nature Trail Park, was also dropped off the list due to several elevation-related reasons, notably the steep grades in Sunriver Nature Trail Park, which would pose a potential risk to cyclists.