Langford football star first pick in CFL draft

Plus, Colwood carjacker suspended from Rugby Canada, and cell service for Hwy 14

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Good morning!

It’s been two weeks since residents of RidgeView Place in Langford found out they had to evacuate the building due to structural concerns. Aside from the residents, neighbouring businesses are also being impacted. Two nearby businesses—Our Lady of the Rosary pre-school and daycare and Society of St. Vincent de Paul thrift store—are also closed. Both received the order to leave on April 26.

The city has also opened an online portal for RidgeView Place residents where they can review eligibility criteria and learn how to apply for the Langford Emergency Grants Program.

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Langford football star picked first in CFL draft

Fresno State player headshot / Ottawa Redblacks draft announcement graphic

Dontae Bull, who played for the Westshore Rebels and Belmont Secondary Bulldogs, went #1 to the Ottawa Redblacks last week. After winning BC Defensive Player of the Year at Belmont, the 6’7’’ offensive lineman spent six seasons at Fresno State (also named the Bulldogs). The Sooke School District posted its congratulations to Bull, who at Belmont was a multi-time school MVP in varsity football as an o- and d-line player and was also on the basketball team.

If not for a recent broken leg Bull may have had a chance at the NFL draft, which snapped up some of the CFL prospects initially ranked above him. Ottawa has signed Bull, 24, to a rookie contract, but he could head back south as soon as next winter.

CFL players (even if under contract) can try out for and sign with NFL teams during a limited annual window. In January, Victoria-born Nathan Rourke made that leap by signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars after winning CFL Most Outstanding Canadian in his injury-shortened 2022 season.

By Cam Welch


Awakening Chinatown back for second year

After the incredible success of its inaugural event, the Victoria Chinese Museum Society presents the second annual Awakening Chinatown, May 28, noon to 5pm in Victoria’s Historic Chinatown.

The lively afternoon of festivities includes a traditional ceremony to “Awaken the Lions,” lion dancing and martial arts by the Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club, magician Justin Louie, performances by Chinese Dance Victoria, Evergreen (Senior’s) Choir, Sunshine Fitness Group, House of Rice, Happy Drum Group, Victoria Chinese Opera Club, and Pacific Opera Victoria.

Plus learn Chinese arts and crafts, play Chinese games, and enjoy demonstrations of Chinese calligraphy and fortune telling. Awakening Chinatown is free, through the generous contributions of sponsors, including Presenting Sponsor RBC and Lion Sponsors Townline Homes and Nicola Wealth.


Rugby Canada suspends teen over Colwood carjacking charges

A video released by West Shore RCMP shows a shirtless pedestrian throwing himself into a taxi windshield. A second video shows him pulling the driver from the car, getting in, and driving away along Sooke Road. On Thursday RCMP announced five charges against a suspect, 18, and said the driver was hospitalized for “significant injuries” after the April 15 incident.

Rugby Canada now says it has released the player from its Pacific Pride Academy Program after initially suspending four players on April 18 over an incident at a private gathering. Rugby Canada, whose national program is based in Langford, said in a statement that it was previously unaware of criminal charges until last Thursday and will cooperate with police as they now consider this a matter for the justice system.

Two players remain suspended as they go through due process as per Rugby Canada’s discipline and complaints policy.


More cell connectivity from Sooke to Port Renfrew

Seven new cell towers have been installed along a 70-kilometre stretch of Highway 14 bringing cellular service to the area between Sooke and Port Renfrew. The project cost the province nearly $5 million along with an investment of $695,000 from Rogers Communications.

“Government investments in cell connectivity deliver essential infrastructure, ensuring that residents, commuters and tourists can access critical services in case of an emergency and enjoy the benefits of reliable cell service,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services.

In March of this year, new government funding of $75 million was announced to support more highway cellular projects throughout the province. The investment is part of StrongerBC, the province’s economic plan that focuses on inclusive growth for all communities.

Pacheedaht First Nation Chief Jeff Jones worked with the province and Rogers Communications on this project to ensure the installation of these cell towers on traditional lands was completed in a productive and culturally sensitive manner.

“There are challenges in constructing such a network in the rugged terrain of our land, along a road that is potentially hazardous during bad weather. Cell phone connectivity will enhance the quality of life, administration, operations, safety, security, and economic development of the greater community of Pacheedaht and Port Renfrew,” he said.

There are still 4,200 km of highway in BC that do not have cell service, most of which do not have access to commercial power, but 1,100 km do have power, but no cell service. BC and the federal government have announced funding to expand broadband internet to all under-served households in BC by 2027.

Around the 'Shore

💲 View Royal passes 10.1% take increase: Last Tuesday, council passed the increase in its 2023 budget. Mayor Sid Tobias said more cuts couldn’t be made without impacting services. A staff report estimates the average homeowner will pay $200 more in taxes. [Goldstream Gazette]

📫 Langford residents’ mailing addresses change from “Victoria” to “Langford”: Residents can opt for “Langford” to appear on their mail beginning June 19, following City of Langford’s successful request to Canada Post. Mail addressed to “Victoria'' will continue to be delivered as normal. [Times Colonist]

🏠 Sooke has third lowest closing costs: Zoocasa broke down average closing costs for first-time homebuyers in BC by city, and Sooke ranked third for most affordable closing costs at $53,320. Colwood took ninth, and View Royal took the 12th spot. [Vancouver is Awesome]

🏥 Victoria doctor steps up to help kidney donation delayed by shortage: Metchosin’s Greg Powell was previously unable to start the donation process for a Calgary toddler as he could not find a family doctor. A Victoria doctor accepted Powell as a patient after his story received media attention. [CTV]

🍁 As one of the largest independent, employee-controlled brokerages in Canada, Megson FitzPatrick-Acera Insurance provides their clients with the best service experience and utmost certainty in what they provide.*

🎥 Island documentary up for 7 Emmys: Island of the Sea Wolves, received writing, directing, editing, and nature-category nominations. Filmed in Port Renfrew and other areas all across the Island region, it is narrated by Will Arnett and follows a wolf pack and other coastal creatures.

🧳 Vancouver-West End MLA cites son’s rare disease for time in Colwood: Opposition criticized Spencer ­Chandra Herbert’s $70,000 in claims since 2019 and expensive here-and-back flights on non-legislature days. He argued he is here more often due to his son’s treatment at Victoria General. He said he still lives in Vancouver with his mother-in-law, but has a home on the Island where his husband lives. [Global]

❤️ Red Dress Day marches honour missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2 Spirit people: Friday events were held in Sooke, Esquimalt, Duncan, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, and elsewhere in BC and Canada.

🏡 An exciting new collection of modern homes offering the flexibility to fit your lifestyle. Start your dream in the Southlands at Royal Bay. Register now.*

*Sponsored Listing


Coastal Shores Window Cleaning

Step up your spring cleaning!

Did you know Coastal Shores Window Cleaning does more than window cleaning?

With Coastal Shores you can get your driveways and patios pressure washed too! Dirty gutters? They can clean them inside and out. Moss? Yes, they do that too!

Community Events

⚽ Canadian Championship soccer: Pacific FC hosts TSS Rovers FC on Wednesday, May 10 at 7:30pm in the national interleague quarterfinal.

🚶 Walk to End Violence: Join the walk as part of the Moose Hide Campaign Day on Thursday, May 11 at 12pm. The route will start at Thunderbird Park and end at the Knowledge Totem on the Legislature grounds.

🎶 Sooke Community Choir concert: The choir presents And So We Sing on Friday, May 12 at 7pm and Saturday, May 13 at 2pm at Holy Trinity Anglican Church at 1962 Murray Rd.

🛝Fundraiser for Crystal View playground: This month’s 50/50 raffle opened last week and runs until the end of the month. The fundraiser is for new swings and inclusive playground equipment at the elementary school.

What’s Offshore?

After four weeks, the Ototachibana finally left and arrived at Roberts Bank.

🛳 The Verdure Wave is a bulk carrier built in 2005 and is sailing under the flag of Panama. It is sailing from 🇯🇵 Kinuura, Japan ➡ 🇨🇦 North Vancouver, Canada and was scheduled to arrive April 14.

Westshore Snaps

Your garden photos showed us this California Redwood that’s 250 years old, according to Westshore reader Zoe Hawnt who lives by Glen Lake in Langford.

📸 Snapped a photo you’d like to share? Send it with a caption and don’t forget to add where you live.

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