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Langford supports free transit for youth and seniors

Plus, local weekend events, wildfire safety, free yoga, and more

Good morning! 

Langford council is showing support for youth and senior transit users after unanimously voting to ask the provincial government for free public transit for both age groups. With health, cost, and environment benefits, read all about the decision, and more, in today’s edition of the Westshore.


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Langford will support free public transportation for youth and seniors at UBCM AGM

Photo: BC Transit

The Victoria Transit Riders Union has urged Vancouver Island and mainland municipalities to endorse free transit for youth under 18 and seniors over 65, ahead of the 2024 UBCM Convention in Vancouver this September. The push comes as municipalities like Langford unanimously voted to request BC government legislation for free transit for these demographics, citing significant health and social benefits.

For seniors, especially those in the Westshore, free transit offers crucial mobility and reduces social isolation, enhancing overall well-being. Councillor Colby Harder highlighted the impact of losing driving ability on seniors' independence and health, stressing the need for accessible public transport to mitigate these challenges.

The Office of the Seniors Advocate's "Ageing Matters" report underscores transportation barriers for seniors, particularly in rural communities. Free transit initiatives aim to address these gaps, supporting independent living and daily activities like healthcare visits.

Moreover, expanding public transit not only aids seniors but also benefits the environment by reducing carbon emissions from single-occupancy vehicles. Recent transit expansions in the Westshore, including the Blink Rapid Bus line, signify a commitment to enhancing connectivity and accessibility, crucial for seniors' continued engagement and community participation.


Local festivals to fill up the weekend

Bacon Beer and Bourbon Festival in Langford. Photo: Courtesy of Bacon Beer and Bourbon Festival

Westshore residents will have plenty of fun activities to fill their itinerary this weekend with some big festival-like events taking place across the region. With options for food lovers, cocktail connoisseurs, and even family friendly opportunities, we’ve outlined what you need to know about four of the fests taking place this weekend. 

When: June 22 from 4pm to 8pm

Where: Starlight Stadium 

Enjoy an evening of unique pairings between chefs and mixologists with Langford’s upcoming Bacon Beer and Bourbon Festival. Enjoy seasonal beers, bourbon cocktails, and delicious pork creations in this adults only event that focuses on “bold, rich flavours that elevate any guest’s BBQ season in an ode to the sun gods.” Guests can expect around a four-ounce serving size of food and one to four ounces of liquor with each sample. While sampling the food and drinks are a big part of the event, the festival was created with the purpose to get the community together and interact with each other, so there will also be games and other activities to enjoy. Offering both general admission and VIP, you can book your tickets online

When: June 22 from 11am to 3pm

Where: Westshore Town Centre’s Cineplex parking lot 

Sweet Street 2024 is a great opportunity for sweet tooth lovers to dig into everything sugary. Host to 40 vendors of candy, baked goods, international delicacies, and more, the third annual Sweet Street event has something for everyone. The event will also have live music, prizes, and other activities including a live broadcast from Johnny Novak from Virgin Radio Victoria who will be giving away a treat to the first 1,000 guests. This is a free event for anyone to check out, so make sure to bring the family and treat yourself. 

When: June 22 from 1pm to 4pm

Where: Sooke Region Museum 

Bring the family and enjoy an afternoon of arts and entertainment at the Sooke Youth Arts Festival. This free annual event will be host to a range of activities, food, and of course, live entertainment provided by the Amber Academy Youth Fines Arts Society, the Revolution Dance Collective, and the Harmony Project Sooke. For families looking for activities for their children, there will also be an opportunity to learn more about the arts-based programs available for youth in the community.

When: June 23 from 11am to 5pm

Where: Fred Milne Park 

Watch the Sooke RCMP take on local firefighters in the Guns vs. Hoses Inaugural Charity Slo-Pitch Classic fundraising event. Raising donations for this year’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, the event will feature entertainment from the LoveCats band, a barbecue hosted by Sooke Lions, and carnival treats from Sooke Harbourside Lions. There will also be silent auctions, raffles, and 50/50 draws throughout the day, with all proceeds benefitting childhood cancer research and support services through the Tour de Rock.

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Around the 'Shore

⚠️ Langford Lake near-drowning: A 17-year-old remained in hospital on Monday after a near-drowning incident at Langford Lake on June 16 left the teenager in critical condition. Bystanders helped pull the teen out of the water onto a floating dock after watching the 17-year-old go under the water and not surface. Langford Fire Rescue says that while drownings aren’t frequent, incidents like these are a good reminder to swim in groups and stay updated on first aid. [Times Colonist

🚔 Police seek public assistance in locating suspect of trailer and ATV theft: West Shore RCMP are looking for any information on a suspect who stole a flat deck trailer with four ATVs from the Island Earth Landscaping business lot located at the corner of Westhills Drive and Langford Lake Drive in Langford. The theft occurred on June 16, with the suspect wearing a yellow high visibility jacket and driving a dark coloured newer model four-door F-150 pick up truck with a large dent on the passenger side door frame. 

🔥 Langford receives grant for wildfire safety and prevention: The City of Langford will be making some upgrades to their wildfire safety and prevention after receiving $400,000 from the province’s FireSmart Community Funding and Supports grant. The money will be used by the Langford Fire Department to improve wildfire risk assessment and precautions, and focus on community engagement and education. [Victoria News]

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Community Events

🧘🏼‍♀️ Free yoga in the park: This June 20, head to Meadow Park for free yoga going from 6 to 7pm. Hosted every Thursday until Aug. 29, make sure to bring a yoga mat and water bottle. 

🥒 Esquimalt farmers market: Head down to Gorge Park Pavilion this June 24 for the Esquimalt farmers market. Gorge Park is the market’s new location, and it will be host to farm-fresh produce, artisanal crafts, and a variety of local vendors. The market will run every Monday from 4:30 to 7:30pm until Sept. 16. 

🍽️ Community dinner: Join the Gordon United Church on Goldstream Avenue for their final community dinner for the summer this June 24. Starting at 5pm, volunteers will help prepare delicious food for you to enjoy as a community for free; community dinners will be back in September.

What’s Offshore?

No ships today!

Westshore Snaps

Gordon’s Beach mushroom cloud. —Andrew Collard, Otter Point

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