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Classic LifeCare Awarded Accreditation

May 16, 2014

(News Release) VICTORIA — Classic LifeCare is pleased to announce it has achieved accreditation from Accreditation Canada. Accreditation helps health care organizations pursue excellence, improve performance and guide ongoing quality and safety initiatives.

“The Classic LifeCare team should be very proud of passing accreditation,” said Accreditation Canada surveyor Dalyce Cruikshank. “The Classic LifeCare team has really embraced what accreditation is all about, working to grow the business over 40 years and still keep the client first and foremost in everything they do. Congratulations.”

Classic LifeCare is a family-run agency that has been leading the way in home health care since 1974, and provides homecare services in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton.

The road to receiving accreditation has been a lot of work but really brought the Classic LifeCare team together, says Yvette Litterscheidt, Operations Leader and Accreditation Leader for Classic.

“When you look back, it’s incredible how far we’ve come. We had to take everything that was in our heads and put it onto paper and create policies around it. We wrote hundreds of policies and created dozens of guides and programs. I would say we are a much more organized company and more prepared for growth than ever before.”

Because of Accreditation, Classic has been able to:

  • Assess its services and determine where to focus improvement efforts;
  • Develop standardized processes to improve efficiency and reduce costs;
  • Mitigate risk and support best practices;
  • Strengthen its culture of quality, safety and excellence; and
  • Identify leading and commendable practices.
  • Susan Fulton, Clinical Leader, says accreditation is a journey towards meeting individual client needs in the community.

    “Now that we have successfully completed the final step to become accredited with Accreditation Canada, we are excited to put all of the new systems we’ve developed into practice,” says Susan. “We were able to make a lot of improvements to our operations and find efficiencies in our service delivery through accreditation.”

    Susan says clients will ultimately benefit from this process because accreditation helped streamline Classic’s operations to further emphasize Classic’s commitment to client safety and service.

    John Sherwood, CEO of Classic, before cutting a celebratory cake, told his staff, “I’m really proud of everyone at Classic for accomplishing this. We were able to formalize everything and still hold on to the culture we’ve worked so hard to build.”

    Andrea Warren, Classic’s Executive Leader, says she is impressed with her team for successfully completing accreditation and continued dedication to upholding home support standards.

    “Accreditation was a lot of work but all of us at Classic and our clients can be more assured than ever that we are providing safe, quality care.”

     

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    Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC wins Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation Leadership Award

    May 16, 2014

    (News Release) VICTORIA — An innovative technology developed by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC that is attracting interest from fish hatchery operators across North America has been recognized with a Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation’s (CIPEC) Leadership Award in the category of Process and Technology Improvement. Called airlift technology, the system significantly reduces energy and water used in day to day hatchery operations. The technology is so effective, installation is underway in four other Society hatcheries. CIPEC Leadership Awards were established to honour innovative Canadian companies that have demonstrated a significant and innovative contribution to energy efficiency.

    In use at the Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery in Duncan, airlift technology provides water re-use within fish production ponds. The system aerates water (and removes carbon dioxide) while lifting it to a slightly higher level, allowing gravity to return it as a high cleaning flow. This allows the water to be reused in the hatchery rather than continuously drawing fresh water.

    The Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery realized a saving of 3.28 billion litres of water in its first year following installation, an overall reduction of 44.2%. Annual water saving are equivalent to more than 1,300 Olympic sized swimming pools.  With less water being pumped the organization saved over 324,000 kilowatt hours of electricity for an overall energy reduction of over 30%. This saved the hatchery about $19,463 in its first year.

    “We received many high quality submissions as part of this fifth biennial awards program” says Sarah Stinson, Director, Industry and Transportation Division, Office of Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Canada.  “Development and Installation of Airlift Water Reuse Technology at Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery is being recognized as an excellent effort towards improving industrial energy efficiency.”  Ms. Stinson stated this project is well aligned with the Government of Canada’s commitment to protecting jobs, increasing productivity and competitiveness and ensuring a more sustainable future for Canada’s industries by investing in responsible energy use.

    Freshwater Fisheries Society staff was presented with this award at the CIPEC Leadership Awards Dinner last night in Niagara Falls, Ontario. In late 2013 staff also received an Award of Excellence from the American Fisheries Society, Fish Culture Section for their ground-breaking work in airlift technology.

    The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC was created in 2003 as a private, not-for-profit organization, funded largely through freshwater fishing licence revenues. The Society works in partnership with Provincial fisheries managers to deliver fish stocking programs that support 50 percent of all fishing in B.C. lakes, releasing between six and eight million fish annually. It also operates fish culture services for sturgeon recovery programs, and various initiatives to increase angling participation. Through these programs, the Society is working to ensure that BC has the most accessible, enjoyable and sustainable freshwater fishing in North America.

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    BC Government’s new Application of PST on Funeral Services Will Hit BC Families

    May 15, 2014

    VICTORIA – The BC Government recently advised funeral professionals that it has changed the way PST applies to funeral services, adding a direct new cost to grieving families.

    “We cannot understand why the Government of BC would want to increase the burden on families at their most vulnerable time,” said Ellen Henry, Executive Director of the BC Funeral Association. “Our profession is very careful to operate within the law at all times and may have no choice but to comply, presenting our members with the task of explaining an unexpected tax that could reach $400 on an average funeral.”

    Under the former PST legislation, goods that consumers purchased along with funeral services were PST exempt. The BC Government committed to retaining all permanent exemptions when it announced the new PST legislation in May 2012, yet according to new information from the Ministry of Finance, formerly exempt funeral goods may now be considered taxable. The BC Funeral Association is seeking clarification on exactly what is and is not taxable as described in PST Bulletin 140.

    “With so much uncertainty, our members have opted not to burden families with a new tax until clarification is received,” said Henry. “This puts BC businesses at risk, as the Ministry of Finance insists the tax has been in place since April 1, 2013 and may hold funeral homes liable retroactively, despite the fact that no clear information has yet been provided.”

     

    The BC Funeral Association has written directly to the Minister of Finance asking that errors and confusion in Bulletin 140 be addressed and to date has received only a partial answer from a manager within the tax branch. Should clarification on the application of the tax be received, funeral service providers will likely be compelled to charge consumers PST on goods purchased along with funeral services. This will add a direct cost to BC families.

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    Re-Invented LureRestaurant Opens After Extensive Transformation

    May 15, 2014

    (News Release) VICTORIA — LURE Restaurant & Bar, located at Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa, reopens today after an extensive transformation. Ideally located on a prime waterfront location in local to Victoria’s dining scene.

    “I am thrilled to unveil our re-invented LURE Restaurant and to introduce what we believe will be Victoria’s hottest bar and patio,” says General Manager Kimberley Hughes. “We set out to create a magnetic and welcoming space that would draw in the local community and our guests, with the spectacular backdrop of our waterfront location and showcasing our incredible local cuisine.”

    Local Chef Dan Bain puts a creative twist to his comforting local menu using the freshest finds from Vancouver Island’s backyard. The expanded menu will feature fresh, simple and delicious breakfast selections, mouth-watering small plates for sharing and a full dinner menu featuring Victoria’s best seafood and regional cuisine.

    “I love the fact that every ingredient has flavours, colours, textures and aromas waiting to be unlocked and combined,” says Chef Dan Bain. “Our new menu showcases the unique culinary diversity that we source from Vancouver Island’s growers, artisan food and beverage producers and local waters. We have mussels from Salt Spring Island, Steelhead Trout from Lois Lake, honey from Babe’s Honey Farm, organic cheese from Moonstruck Organic Cheese, and craft beer from Phillips Brewing Company.”

    Created by design firm Puccini Group, the concept for LURE Restaurant & Bar pays tribute to Victoria’s seafaring settlers with nautical touches showcased throughout the restaurant. The herringbone design throughout the space is a stylized interpretation of First Nation’s patterns and the coastal location. The materials used throughout the restaurant represent Canada’s finest natural materials with walnut tables, hickory floors, oak bar and leather seats.

    The newly redesigned restaurant accommodates approximately 250 guests with both indoor and outdoor seating. For the first time in over a decade, the restaurant patio and balcony will be open for guests to enjoy an after work drink or a delicious meal by the harbour.

    Throughout the week, popular local DJs will perform at the bar for a new night-time experience that will make LURE a sought-after destination in the city. While listening to music, guests can sip on one of the new and fresh summer cocktails such as the Summer Sangria Squeeze made with Gewurztraminer, Peach Schnapps and fresh strawberries. The bar will also serve local wines on FreshTAP for a smarter, fresher, friendlier glass of wine.

    LURE Restaurant & Bar is located at 45 Songhees Road. Hours of operation are 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 6:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Friday to Saturday. For reservations or more information, please call 250-360-5873 or visit www.lurevictoria.com.

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    Waterfront Deck Offers Front Row Seat of Inner Harbour

    May 15, 2014

    (News Release) VICTORIA — A new deck on the historic Steamship Terminal facing Victoria’s scenic Inner Harbour is now complete.  Offering an amazing vantage point over some of Victoria’s biggest signature events, it also creates new space on the causeway level of the building for other uses.

    The deck was installed by Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) as part of the larger revitalization project of the Steamship Terminal.  The 15-foot wide elevated concrete structure was designed to harmonize with and enhance the existing heritage style of the Steamship Terminal.  The steelwork and support details reflect this iconic 1920s-era landmark.

    The new deck adds more than 2,000 ft2 of outdoor space at the already popular Steamship Grill & Bar and Starbucks Coffee. The Grill, which opened in mid-December, will connect to the deck through the existing central doors that welcomed steamship passengers back in the building’s heyday, when it served as Victoria’s international gateway.  A new door has also been added at the east end for access by Starbucks customers. The building was originally adorned with a deck connecting to the steamship gangways and this new addition brings the Steamship Terminal back to its historical form and character.

    Many of Victoria’s largest summer events take place right in front of the deck making it a prime location to enjoy the sounds of Symphony Splash, watch the thrilling competition of the Dragon Boat Festival, take in the sights of the Lighted Ship Parade and so much more.

    The Steamship Grill & Bar’s new deck dining experience will offer fresh seafood, salads, fish & chips, steaks and burgers will be the mainstay of the new deck menu, along with fresh and innovative cocktails to refresh in the summer sun.  The deck will be open from 10am daily.

    “The addition of the new deck connects the Steamship Terminal with its past while enhancing its future,” said Curtis Grad, GVHA President & CEO. “Perhaps most importantly, the deck provides an incredible vantage point to appreciate the sights and sounds of our dynamic and thriving working harbour.”

    “We are excited to be a part of the vibrant waterfront community in Victoria, and look forward to a great summer with locals and visitors to the Inner Harbour,” said Kelly Gordon, Extra Mile Chief Operations Officer.

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    Research Targets Climate Change Solutions for BC and Beyond

    May 13, 2014

    (News Release) VICTORIA — Developing new climate-friendly refrigerators, saving lives during extreme weather events and making carbon pollution cost accounting more accurate—these are just some of the projects among the 11 new fellowships announced today by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS).

    The fellows for 2014 will receive a total of $474,000. Research will be carried out by PhD and master’s students at the four PICS universities: the University of Victoria (UVic), University of British Columbia (UBC), Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC).  The researchers will work with experts from a range of university disciplines, government, NGOs and industry over the duration of their projects, which range from two to three years.

    PICS executive director Tom Pedersen says the world requires technical innovation and societal change to cope with climate change and to reduce human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. “With an emphasis on practical solutions, these fellowships will help British Columbia at a policy, personal and organizational level to take the right steps toward mitigating and slowing climate change,” he says.

    Among the goals of the approved projects:

    • Making energy efficient adsorption cooling systems—which typically use water as a refrigerant, and are powered by solar or waste heat energy—a commercial reality.
    • Identifying the socio-demographic factors that influence British Columbians’ ability, or willingness, to reduce carbon emissions in their home energy, transport and purchasing choices.
    • Improving the accuracy of calculating the social cost of carbon. This will allow for more robust analysis of the costs/benefits and environmental impacts of major projects such as pipelines and liquefied natural gas (LNG) development.
    • Minimizing the health impacts of future extreme heat wave events in the Lower Mainland.
    • Creating new tools to monitor BC’s natural ecosystems and boost resilience to climate change.
    • Investigating how climate change will affect future freshwater resources of the Columbia River Basin, with implications for the Columbia River Treaty that is currently under review.
    • Assisting the Haida Nation in developing climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, which can also contribute to solutions for other First Nations communities.

    PICS fellowships are worth up to $12,000 a year for master’s students and $18,000 a year for PhD students.  PICS is a collaboration of BC’s four research intensives universities, hosted and led by UVic.

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    Health-Conscious Victorians Experience Nothing at Float House

    May 12, 2014

    (News Release) VICTORIA – Vancouver Island’s only sensory deprivation and float centre, Float House Victoria has opened at 662 Herald Street. The much-anticipated alternative therapy centre has already been booked to capacity on most days with many people who have been learning about the benefits of floating coming in to try it for themselves.

    “Most of our guests are floating for the first time and they have been waiting for an opportunity to try this therapy for all kinds of reasons, lowering stress is a big one,” said Erik Zaremba, owner, Float House Victoria. “The most common thing people say after their first float is that time stands still in the tank.”

    Floatation therapy is a growing trend with float centres popping up all over North America, Europe and around the globe. Floating provides a unique opportunity for people to escape from their busy lives in an enclosed tank that’s completely free of distractions. The experience is similar to weightlessness and is designed to help people achieve a deeply relaxed state and harness the body’s natural abilities to heal from stress, illness or injuries.

    “Floating can benefit everyone from athletes who want to recover quickly from training to people suffering from any type of pain or wanting to reduce stress,” said Zaremba. “The list of health conditions that can be helped by floating is very long and includes diabetes, arthritis and many more.”

    Float House Victoria has six spa-like private rooms that contain a float tank and shower. There are currently three tanks in operation and three additional tanks will become available in the weeks ahead. Guests float effortlessly in 11.5 inches of body temperature water that contains 1,200 pounds of Epson salts.

    Tanks at Float House Victoria are the newest and most advanced available. Victoria and Los Angles are the first cities in the world to offer the fully-automated tanks that provide options for a personalized floating experience. Guests may choose to completely block out all sound and light and feel almost nothing or add music or other audio and lights to their float.

    An introductory package of three 90 minute floats is available for $150, individual float sessions cost $75 and memberships are also available.

    Float House Victoria is the second location for the growing Float House brand, founded in Vancouver by Mike and Andy Zaremba, who opened the first Float House in Gastown in 2013 and just opened another location in Kitsilano. Float House is located around the corner from Victoria’s new public market at The Hudson. To book an appointment or find more information visit www.floathousevictoria.com.

    Media Invitation: Float House Victoria invites media on story assignment to come to Float House for a float session. Floats are 90 minutes but can be customized to accommodate schedules, filming and photography.

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    2014 BC Construction Industry Survey Released

    May 12, 2014

    (News Release) VICTORIA – This week, the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) and Construction Business Magazine published results of the 2014 BC Construction Industry Survey, with nearly 500 respondents articulating the major challenges and opportunities facing BC’s construction sector.

    Responses from construction owners and employers, trade contractors, and suppliers demonstrate a united industry on key issues affecting productivity and profitability across the province: youth engagement, succession planning, outside competition, fair and transparent procurement practices, foreign workers, prompt payment, and others:

    • 18% of respondents searched internationally for skilled workers in the past year
    • About 50% of respondents in every region of the province say they plan to hire in the next year.  Another 35% in each region say they might hire… leaving only about 15% of employers who aren’t hiring.
    • On average, large companies are planning to hire 35 tradespeople each  this year.
    • 61% of respondents say that regional competition is hotter than it was two years ago, and 32% say that international competition has increased as well
    • 74% of Vancouver Island responded are now using online bidding tools


    More than 230 respondents listed numerous trades and technical positions which they are having difficulty hiring for; the majority are for trades which require certifications, but also include labour positions and upper-level supervisory roles, indicating a disconnect between training and needs for the last several  years.  This disconnect in career planning is highlighted by one survey respondent, who commented: “Most families do not encourage the trades.  It seems as though there is nothing between McDonald’s and university.”

    “Construction employers are under increasing pressure and scrutiny,” advises Manley McLachlan, BCCA President.  “This honest, straightforward input from industry is invaluable.  The respondents are clearly deeply invested in the sector and have expressed a sincere need to resolve issues and move forward.”

    The BCCA will be hosting 23 industry organizations at a Blueprint Summit on May 14 to give stakeholders their first opportunity to discuss the plans directly with the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training.

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    Moody’s Affirms B.C.’s AAA Credit Rating

    May 12, 2014

    (News Release) VICTORIA — British Columbia’s credit rating has been affirmed at AAA by Moody’s Investors Service, with the agency saying it reflects the strong fiscal flexibility of the province and its track record of prudent fiscal management, Minister of Finance Michael de Jong announced today.

    The agency highlights B.C.’s debt management and asserts, “Strong fiscal management and performance in recent years enabled British Columbia to reduce its debt burden to a level that is below the median of Canadian provinces, supporting an even higher degree of fiscal flexibility than most provinces.” Furthermore, the report says Moody’s expects the Province’s debt burden to remain affordable.

    Moody’s points out that B.C.’s export markets are more diversified than other provinces, and Canada as a whole, saying, “This wider diversification of markets reduces the vulnerability of the provincial economy from shocks in its export markets.”

    Strengths Moody’s lists for the B.C. outlook are a track record of prudent fiscal planning, considerable fiscal policy flexibility to adjust revenues and expenses to meet fiscal challenges, and a large and diversified economy supporting a productive tax base. Moody’s notes the Province uses economic growth forecasts that are below private sector estimates, saying, “British Columbia incorporates several prudent measures in its annual budget to minimize the impacts of potential downward pressures.”

    Since November 2004, the Province has received seven credit rating upgrades. British Columbia continues to maintain the highest credit rating possible with Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch. Standard & Poor's most recently affirmed its AAA rating in April 2013 following Budget 2013. The Dominion Bond Rating Service affirmed B.C.’s AA (high) credit rating in April 2014 and Fitch affirmed the Province’s AAA rating in April 2014.

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    Chard Development ‘Tops off’ Duet, Announces New Victoria Project - Escher

    May 07, 2014

    VICTORIA – Chard Development, Mayor Dean Fortin and local VIPs took part in a topping-off ceremony today at Duet in James Bay to celebrate the development reaching full height, a major milestone toward its completion in November 2014.

    “I would like to congratulate Dave Chard and the team behind Duet on another successful project,” said Dean Fortin, Mayor, City of Victoria. “Thank you for your commitment to bringing new homes and vibrancy to Victoria for the past decade and for showing leadership with buildings like Duet that truly celebrate the neighbourhoods around them.”

    The Duet project includes two buildings, Duet West, a four-storey building with 28 suites and Duet East, an eight-storey building with 62 suites and a 9th floor rooftop terrace available to all Duet residents with expansive views of Victoria, Beacon Hill Park and the ocean and mountains beyond. The two buildings are connected by a private courtyard and gardens that surround the property.

    “Duet has captivated local buyers as well as those from across Canada because they can see themselves enjoying the best of Victoria from this quiet neighbourhood that’s close to everything they love about this city,” said Dave Chard, president, Chard Development. “We are very pleased to have sold more than 50 per cent of Duet to date and continue to see strong interest, particularly from people who want to sell another home during the spring or summer and move into Duet before the end of the year.”

    Interest in one-bedroom suites at Duet has been significant, with just three remaining The majority of the remaining suites are two bedrooms with one or two bathrooms that are ideal for families, downsizers or people who appreciate a bit more space. Chard Development is offering to pay one year of household bills for purchasers who buy between now and May 15, 2014, an incentive that’s worth up to $16,000.

    At today’s event, Chard also announced that the developer’s next project, the company’s sixth in Victoria, will launch in June. Escher is a 10-story residential development at 838 Broughton Street across from the YMCA and near the Royal Theatre. Escher will offer a wide selection of 82 modern one and two-bedroom suites as well as penthouse suites on the 9th and 10th floors and two street front live/work units. Suites will be priced from $219,000.

    “The Chard Development team has worked closely with our architects, Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership, to design Escher with our positive outlook on an evolving downtown Victoria in mind,” said Chard. “Growth of the technology sector, new small businesses and restaurants and a vibrant arts and music scene are all contributing to an excitement and optimism about living downtown.”

    The development received approval from the Planning and Land Use Committee and is currently pending a public hearing.

    For Escher project pre-registration and an early preview opportunity visit www.eschervictoria.com. The new Escher presentation centre will be opening this June.

    The presentation centre for Duet is located at 615 Broughton Street in downtown Victoria and is open daily from noon to 5 pm.

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    Tourism Victoria Finalist for BCAMA Marketer of the Year Award

    May 07, 2014

    (News Release) VICTORIA – The BC chapter of the American Marketing Association (BCAMA) announced this week Tourism Victoria is one of three finalists for the BCAMA Marketer of the Year Award. Tourism Victoria did not apply for this award, but was nominated by others in the marketing field.

    “It is a huge honour to be recognized by this organization and be a finalist for this award,” says Trina Mousseau, Director of Destination Marketing at Tourism Victoria. “Our marketing efforts are so much more than just the campaigns we do. By working together – from our valued members to our teams on the road – we strive to inspire travel influencers to visit our beautiful destination.”

    Destination Marketing is Tourism Victoria’s core business. Tourism Victoria has chosen to be dynamic, unique and stand out with its marketing communications style. Key elements of the 2013 marketing program included a dynamic meetings campaign, Victoria Calling and Find Christmas Here.

    The BCAMA Marketer of the Year award does not award one specific campaign but rather an outstanding marketing strategy over a sustained period. The organization has been rewarding excellence in marketing for 44 years. Recent winners of this award include Vancity, Rocky Mountaineer and BC Hydro.

    “It is absolutely amazing for the marketing efforts of a small organization like ours to be recognized amongst that prestigious group,” says Paul Nursey, President & CEO of Tourism Victoria. “This nomination is a reflection that our distinctive work is being noticed by others in the marketing field.”

    Tourism Victoria would like to recognize the Victoria Hotel Destination Marketing Association (VHDMA) for their continued support that allows the organization to execute their marketing strategy to such a high level. The nomination for this award represents VHDMA’s vision, and their partnership with Tourism Victoria allows the organization to showcase Greater Victoria to the world.

    The BC Chapter of the American Marketing Association has been the province’s leading marketing source since 1955. As one of the most highly regarded chapters in North America, BCAMA was awarded with the “Chapter of the Year” Award from 1994-1997. The BCAMA is made up of over 500 members, and has a contact database of over 3,000 B.C. marketing, advertising, and communications professionals.

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    More Ways to Connect with Your City

    May 07, 2014

    (News Release) VICTORIA — The City of Victoria has launched a new blog and online consultation portal aimed at improving customer service and engaging citizens in civic matters.

    “Our residents are interested in City issues, and we want information and ways to participate made as easy as possible,” noted Mayor Dean Fortin. “We have an important role in creating meaningful opportunities for the community to engage with the City, and with each other, on issues that are important to them.”

    The new City Blog at www.victoria.ca/blog will be used to share information that is interesting and value-added for citizens. This week the blog highlight’s one mom’s quest to be better prepared for an earthquake.

    Launched with opportunities to provide input on the City’s cycling network, Have Your Say Victoria is an online consultation forum that offers the community improved ways to engage on City initiatives. In less than two weeks, over 650 residents have provided input online.

    From transportation improvements, changes in service delivery, urban design or land use, the public can expect to see a variety of topics for discussion. Citizens can learn more about specific projects, provide feedback through surveys and engage in two-way dialogue with City staff and residents through online discussion forums.  The community will be able to collaborate on ideas that will help shape the future of Victoria.

    Have Your Say Victoria is responsive to the community’s desire for improved online opportunities, as noted in the 2013 Citizen and Business Surveys. Users can provide feedback without having to visit City Hall and can access the site at www.HaveYourSayVictoria.com or directly from the City’s website at www.victoria.ca.

    Online tools designed to make it easier engage on City matters have been well-received by the community, consistently resulting in high participation.  In 2013, the City introduced a personalized garbage collection reminder service in which residents receive an email, text or tweet prior to collection day.  Over 5,000 households now utilize this reminder service every two weeks.

    Social media channels continue to grow as essential customer service and engagement tools. The City’s Twitter following is now 13,500 and Facebook is 8,500.

    The City’s recent online mapping system, known as “VicMap” has moved City mapping information to one of the top 10 pages each month on the City’s website www.victoria.ca

    Online application tracking, a searchable document library for City reports and documents, e-billing for utilities and property taxes, are also being introduced this year.

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    Camosun College and Royal Roads Augment Collaboration and Advance Shared Interests

    May 07, 2014

    (News Release) VICTORIA —The presidents of Camosun College and Royal Roads University (RRU) signed a five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) Tuesday, May 6 to acknowledge their complementary mandates and shared interests. This development supports the province’s Core Review by identifying synergies, reducing redundancy and creating new opportunities through co-operation. RRU president and vice-chancellor Allan Cahoon and Camosun president Kathryn Laurin signed the MOU at the Blue Heron House, RRU’s Indigenous Learning and Cultural Centre situated on the shores of Esquimalt Lagoon.

    Royal Roads University and Camosun College share a strong interest in regional economic development, international engagement and national and global issues. Through the MOU, both parties wish to establish a multi-faceted collaboration to further enhance education and business development opportunities. Examples include, but are not limited to: co-conferring academic credentials; offering joint admission; working together in shared marketing of domestic and international programs where cost benefits may be achieved; and working together to effectively combine Camosun’s suite of polytechnic programs and Royal Roads’ MBA program in the field of logistics.

    “Both Royal Roads and Camosun College are committed in their support of the new B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint,” says Royal Roads president and vice-chancellor Allan Cahoon. “The agreement we signed today aligns with that and also builds on the previously announced Vancouver Island Public Post-Secondary Alliance in which we as a sector have pledged to continue to work together to offer students more choices to ensure sustainable futures.”

    “This is innovative and collaborative planning that significantly amplifies the strengths of each institute,” says Camosun president Kathryn Laurin. “We already have a number of pre-existing articulation agreements that allow Camosun students to transfer seamlessly to RRU’s degree programs. I look forward to working with President Cahoon to expand and enrich the opportunities for our students.”

    Royal Roads University, a public university established in 1995, offers a progressive model of post-secondary education, delivering applied and professional programs through the faculties of management and social and applied sciences. The university offers its students a unique blended learning experience, combining online and on-campus instruction, as well as fulltime intensive on-campus instruction in undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees, certificates and diplomas. It also offers progressive executive, custom and continuing studies programs.

    Camosun College is BC’s most comprehensive community college offering over 160 different certificate, diploma and bachelor degree programs to 18,500 students each year. With two campuses in Greater Victoria, the college also welcomes more than 800 international students each year from 60 countries and 1,000 Aboriginal students from across Canada. Camosun emphasizes applied learning experiences and maintains an outstanding reputation for teaching excellence. For more information visit camosun.ca.

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