Plus: Trial begins for pair accused in 2019 Metchosin murder
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Resthouse Sleep
Good morning,

As Greater Victoria councils begin new terms, top of mind for many is how to create more sustainable municipalities. Whether that means focusing on active transportation, reducing waste, or promoting net-zero buildings, many of our new and returning elected officials focused on sustainability in their campaigns and will bring those ideas forward in the coming months. In an inaugural address last week, Saanich Mayor Dean Murdock even promised to plant 100,000 trees in the municipality by 2032—"And boy will my arms be tired," he joked.

While high-level policies are needed from provincial and federal governments to help bring down our global emissions, municipal governments play a crucial role in combating the climate crisis at a local level.

This is something former Toronto mayor David Miller is passionate about. Miller, who now spends much of his time in Victoria, spoke with Capital Daily about cutting emissions, climate action policies, and staying optimistic. Read the full interview below.

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☀️ Today's Weather: Mainly sunny. High of 9, low of 1.

The power of local governments to address the climate crisis: A Q&A with David Miller

Former Toronto mayor David Miller spends much of his time in Victoria nowadays. He is delivering a keynote speech on Wednesday at the Rising Economy conference. Photo submitted.

Former Toronto mayor David Miller has spent much of his post-political career advocating for sustainable urban economies. He’s the author of the 2020 book Solved: How the World’s Great Cities are Fixing the Climate Crisis and a managing director of C40 Cities, a global network of mayors working together to respond to the climate crisis.

Although Miller hasn’t cut his ties to Toronto, where he served from 2003 to 2010, he spends most of his time these days in Victoria. He will deliver a keynote speech on Wednesday at the Rising Economy conference, taking place from Nov. 15-17 at the Songhees Wellness Centre.

Capital Daily’s Tori Marlan spoke with him on Friday. Read the full interview here.

Capital Bulletin

🚧 Overnight closures on Highway 4 are coming later this week. The 1.5km Kennedy Hill Section will be closed from 11pm to 5am from Nov. 17-19. The typical 2am release of queued cars will not be happening on these days.

✍️ Correction: In yesterday’s Oak Bay council corner, we wrote that today’s Oak Bay council meeting is closed to the public. While there is a closed council meeting this evening, the regular council meeting beginning at 6pm is open to the public.

Joint trial begins today for escaped inmates accused in Metchosin murder

James Lee Busch, left, and Zachary Armitage. Photos via Correctional Service of Canada

James Lee Busch and Zachary Armitage, who are both facing first-degree murder charges in the 2019 death of 60-year-old Martin Payne, will appear in court in Vancouver today for the beginning of their joint trial.

On July 7, 2019, Busch and Armitage escaped from William Head Institution, a minimum-security prison near Metchosin, triggering a two-day manhunt. They were eventually recognized and rearrested after they commented on the size of an off-duty police officer’s dog.

Payne’s body was found in his Metchosin home a few days later by police officers conducting a wellness check. His death was deemed a homicide.

In 2020, Capital Daily reporter Tori Marlan spent months investigating the correctional system failures that allowed Busch and Armitage to escape. Read the full in-depth story here.

Earlier this year, Payne’s two daughters filed a civil claim in BC’s Supreme Court, alleging their father’s death was a "direct and foreseeable consequence of the Correctional Service of Canada’s failures, including inadequate supervision of inmates and improper security around the prison’s perimeter.

Questions have remained about how Armitage—who had escaped prison four previous times and had a history of violent crimes—ended up in a minimum-security prison to begin with. Earlier this year, Capital Daily received an internal report that showed a warden overrode Armitage’s risk classification, allowing his transfer from a medium-security prison to William Head.

By Jolene Rudisuela, with files from Tori Marlan

Victoria appoints CRD directors

Victoria voters will get exactly what they wanted when it comes to representation on the Capital Regional District's board of directors. During last week's council meeting, Couns. Jeremy Caradonna, Dave Thomson, and Chris Coleman were officially appointed to the roles they were elected to on Oct. 15. Mayor Marianne Alto will also serve on the CRD board and all four council members will be part of the CRD's housing and hospital boards as well.

Council also approved its meeting schedule for the coming year. In 2023, in addition to its summer and winter breaks, council will take a two-week break in March to coincide with the spring break schedule for the Greater Victoria School District (SD61). "[This is] reflecting the reality that some of our members now have school-aged children," Alto said of the change.

—By Shannon Waters

Esquimalt prepares for new term
Like other municipalities, Esquimalt spent its inaugural post-election meeting swearing in the mayor and council, and making appointments to various commissions and committees.

Esquimalt council is now split evenly between incumbents and newcomers, with Couns. Jacob Helliwell, Ken Armour, and Tim Morrison retaining their old seats and Duncan Cavens, Darlene Rotchford, and Andrea Boardman assuming theirs.

This inaugural ceremony is a familiar one for Mayor Barb Desjardins. Now in her fifth consecutive term, she is the longest-serving mayor in the Capital Region.

The next four years are bound to be interesting for a council that, in its last term, voted not to renew the framework agreement that binds its police force to Victoria’s.

"It’s either got to be regional policing or Victoria and Esquimalt will have to figure out how they can do it very, very differently because the way it’s working now is not working," Desjardins told Capital Daily on Nov. 4. "It’s not going to be easy… but if we can make it better for everyone, ultimately, those of us that are in this situation, would love everybody else to join us."

Council will meet today at its committee of the whole meeting, at which it will hear the Victoria Police Department’s third quarterly report, and a presentation by the leaders of Westshore Primary Care Society and South Island Division of Practice on strategies for physician recruitment and retention.

—By Brishti Basu

Fit-for-you organic sleep essentials

Resthouse Sleep

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There’s a lot that goes into choosing the right bed for you. Resthouse takes the time to hear your sleep story and ask thoughtful questions that reveal what you need for rejuvenating rest. Whether you’re working with an existing mattress or want to start fresh, they’ll tailor recommendations to your unique sleep style and space.

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Resthouse is including a mattress protector and personalized pillows (up to $900 value) with every organic latex mattress purchased in November.

Book your fitting at Uptown today.

Capital Picks

🎒 Donations needed: The Backpack Project is collecting donations of winter outerwear, non-perishable food, cash, and a variety of other items for unhoused members of the community in need this winter. It has set up donation bins in the lobby of all municipal halls in Greater Victoria (except View Royal), and the Fairfield Gonzales Community Center. Donations will be accepted until Friday, Dec. 23.

💥 Don't miss the virtual and in-person Rising Economy 2022, which gathers leading change-makers to challenge housing, healthcare, and Greater Victoria's most critical topics.*

💝 The 3rd annual Capital Daily Holiday Drive is launching soon, in partnership with United Way. This year your money will help local kids reach their full potential. Find out how to give and learn more about early childhood development on Thursday, Nov. 17.

💜 Compassionate personal home care: From help with homemaking and errands to complex care, CommunityPlus experienced caregivers are ready to serve with empathy and integrity.*
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In Other News

🚗 Head of food delivery app Tutti now facing second lawsuit, accused of running immigration scam
A Saanich-based newcomer family has paid $320,000 to Tutti boss Kaisa Aierken with nothing to show for it. Eighteen months later, they’re still in immigration limbo.

A Tyee investigation by Capital Daily intern Michael John Lo verified that at least four families have lost a combined $1.1 M to Aierken, who had promised them easy immigration through Canada’s Start-up Visa program. Former Tutti employees were involved in the scam.

Aierken previously said that he was affiliated with the private-sector portion of the Start-up Visa program. But he’s now being sued by some of the same companies he had formerly claimed to represent.

Earlier this summer, Capital Daily broke the news on Tutti’s shady business practices. One local restaurant is now suing Tutti’s parent company for missing payments of more than $220,000.


Dance Victoria

📷 (clockwise from top left): Gabriel Bienczycki, Alexander Iziliaev, Gabriel Bienczycki, and Vandy Photography.
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Philadelphia’s BalletX comes to the Royal Theatre for the first time, bringing a contemporary ballet program of five works by acclaimed international choreographers.

Nov. 18-19 | 7:30pm | Royal Theatre
Tickets from $31 at or 250-386-6121.

In Case You Missed It

🏘️ Salt Spring supportive housing may expand: BC Housing is looking into building more than the planned 28 units at 161 Drake, while legal proceedings unfold over whether those currently at the Seebreeze Inne must leave, the Gulf Islands Driftwood reported. Salt Spring is dealing with an acute housing crisis that is tied to its water crisis, as Capital Daily explored in this feature.

🌊 The Rise on Fifth: Ocean-view condos are now selling in Sidney. Learn more about this boutique collection of 1-, 2-, and 3- bedroom homes.*

🚔 Man arrested for disrupting Remembrance Day ceremony: The man emerged from the crowd in front of the BC Legislature cenotaph and began yelling obscenities and calling on people to "shut down" the government. [CHEK]

🥑 Now open in Cook Street Village: The Root Cellar at Oxford Corner – your innovative destination market for fresh locally grown produce and extraordinary food experiences. Learn more at*
*Sponsored Listing

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