Plus, Canada declares flu epidemic but Island Health says seasonal flu levels normal for the region
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8X Real Estate
Good morning!

We're a small team, but when I came back from vacation this week I found that our team was much smaller than it had been: three people are out sick. That's a serious hit to a little newsroom like ours, so we're all pulling overtime to get you the news this week.

But more significantly, if we're experiencing this, we can't be alone: see Jolene's story below about how flu season has been affecting schools. We also want to hear from you—are you noticing more people off sick lately than normal? How is it affecting your workplace?

managing editor

☀️ Today's Weather: Sunny with patches of fog. High of 10 and low of 2.

Photo: James MacDonald / Capital Daily

Police board member steps down, citing lack of access to information and oversight

Paul Schachter has been part of the nine-member Victoria and Esquimalt police board for two years. He was appointed by the province.

“I made it very clear that I had a civil liberties and social justice orientation, and that I would do my best to increase trust between vulnerable communities and the police force,” he told Capital Daily.

But he doesn’t believe he’s been able to do that job.

“I don’t find that it’s possible to ethically give oversight to the police under current circumstances.”

In his remarks to the board on Tuesday evening, he said his reasons for stepping down are twofold: he criticized the lack of access the board has to information and analysis from the police, particularly concerning the budget, and said the board does not have enough authority to address policy issues within the department.

Read the full story by Jimmy Thomson

Capital Bulletin

⚠️ The province is testing its emergency alert systems today. Expect a loud alert tone from cell phones, TVs, and radios at 1:55pm.

🧥 Peers Victoria is looking for donations of new and used winter outerwear like winter coats, sweaters, warm pants, and toques. Donations can be dropped off at 744 Fairview Rd. from 11:30am-2:30pm Tuesdays to Thursdays.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry receives the influenza vaccine. Photo: Province of BC Flickr

Flu cases increasing in Island Health, but no alarm bells yet

Flu season has definitely begun and cases of influenza are rising dramatically across the country. Local authorities, however, are not yet raising alarm bells.

The Public Health Agency of Canada declared an influenza epidemic on Monday as the test positivity rose above the levels normally expected for this time of year. But an Island Health spokesperson says case levels are on par with what is expected for the region.

Meanwhile in Island schools, some teachers are bracing for a surge in illness, while the Greater Victoria Teachers Association says a cut to the custodian budget could make it worse.

Read the full story by Jolene Rudisuela

Saanich looks at garden suites, speed limits

Dean Murdock presided over Saanich council’s first “real” meeting this week—a meeting he’s calling “the garden suite meeting” after council spent a large portion of its evening deciding on garden suites.

It’s a sign, the mayor says, of the need for changes to the city’s housing regulations, something he campaigned on.

“Everything coming before council … is just going to clog up the process,” he said. “What I want to see us moving toward is scalable solutions.”

Zoning-based solutions to the housing crisis are on other agendas as well, including Victoria's and the provincial government's: Victoria’s new council will turn its attention to the Missing Middle Housing Initiative during its term, while incoming premier David Eby has promised to rezone for up to three units on a single lot.

Saanich, Murdock says, is open to that conversation, but with some tweaks. Some areas are suitable to more density than three units, while the rural parts of the municipality, he says, wouldn’t be appropriate for that kind of change. “We have an urban containment boundary,” he said. “We would not be interested in seeing those lots turned into triplexes in rural Saanich.”

Murdock also wants to create more zoning for purpose-built rentals and explore working with higher levels of government to make better use of Saanich-owned properties—like, for instance, a new Nellie McClung library branch with housing, daycare, and/or doctors’ offices attached.

With road safety a priority for Murdock, speed limits are being reviewed across the municipality. The new mayor expects some changes to take effect early in the new year, starting with residential areas, where speeds could come down to 30 km/h.

A new ethics commissioner and lobbyist registry is also on Murdock’s agenda.

By Jimmy Thomson

Dustin Miller, your downtown condominium REALTOR®

8X Real Estate

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There are many factors to consider when buying and selling condominiums. Unit layouts, strata rules and bylaws, contingency funds, and of course making sure you’re not paying too much on a per square foot basis.

8X Real Estate’s Dustin Miller has helped dozens of tenants take control of their future and step into condo ownership. The financial benefits are straightforward. Real estate is a sound long-term investment and a forced savings account.

Explore today’s latest strata condominium listings. There are a variety of 1-bedroom units with parking under $535,000!

Schedule a downtown walking tour with Dustin to see what downtown Victoria has to offer.

Capital Picks

🌎 Around the World in Quadra Village: The Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre in Quadra Village is hosting four showings of Toby Hulses’s stage adaptation of Around the World In 80 Days, a story about a traveler who wages money on his ability to traverse the globe in—you guessed it—80 days. Viewings online and in-person. Evening showings on Nov. 15 and 17, with doors at 7:30pm.

🦐 From Quadra Island to your table! Walcan has been fishing BC spot prawns for over 20 years. Independent and original, from their family to yours. Order now at*

🎥 Learn about film with two-day drop-in workshops: FLUX media gallery (1524 Pandora Ave.) is hosting the Handmade and Analogue Workshops from 1-5pm on Nov. 16-17. The sessions cover shooting, developing and hand-painting 16mm film. Gear is provided.

💡 Save on energy costs this fall! Sign up for the Home Energy Navigator program. FREE support from local home Energy Experts.*

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

*Sponsored Listing

In Other News

🥫 Local food banks see increased demand
With skyrocketing inflation rates, Victoria’s Mustard Seed Street Church is seeing demand for its services increase continuously, CHEK reported.

👮‍♀️ Saanich Police launch new unit to investigate all current and historical sex offences
A Monday announcement from the Saanich Police Department says officers in its new Special Investigations Section will receive specialized training to investigate sex crime allegations and use trauma-informed practices with survivors.

😷 Province has no plans to bring back mask mandate
Health Minister Adrian Dix said Monday there is no plan to bring back mandatory mask policies, despite urgings from Protect Our Province BC and Safe Schools Coalition BC, CHEK reported.


Bay Centre

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You’re invited to embark on a new tradition as the Bay Centre unveils a new holiday experience.

Mark the season with a photo with loved ones in their 360 photo booth, tour the Festival of Trees, or enjoy a complimentary hot apple cider nestled among the shimmering backdrop.

In Case You Missed It

❄️ BC Housing will fund overnight emergency winter shelter spots in Victoria. Capital Daily reported Friday that the City of Victoria entered into an agreement with the province to fund future overnight shelter spaces during winter weather. It costs about $2,100 to activate an overnight warming centre, according to the city, which anticipates this winter could see 10 to 15 nights where additional space is needed.

📈 Continue your career growth! Jump into new possibilities and build your future. Gain valuable skills and career training with Continuing Studies at UVic.*

✈️ Ride-hailing company KABU begins servicing YYJ: KABU is the second ride-hailing service to operate at the Victoria International Airport following Lucky To Go. These services could help fill the gap left by the loss of the YYJ airport shuttle. As Capital Daily reported last week, the shuttle has called it quits after nine years because there haven’t been enough passengers to justify the cost.

🧠 Skip the year-long waitlists and expensive fees. With Cognito, get access to ADHD assessment and treatment within weeks, all at an affordable price. Learn more →*
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