- The Westshore
- Recovery centres around BC receiving 180 additional beds
Recovery centres around BC receiving 180 additional beds
Plus, lost pets come home, towers coming down at William Head, and more
Westshore residents have some brave pets who adventure far and wide. A Sooke bunny and a Colwood cat were recently rescued and returned to their owners. Facing cold weather and recent storms, the owners are happy to have their pets back safe and sound. Read all about it and more in today’s edition of the newsletter.
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View Royal treatment centre expansion announced for the summer
The Government of BC is aiding addiction prevention and recovery after announcing a record expansion of treatment options on Jan. 25. The province aims to add 180 publicly-funded treatment and recovery beds to centres that are free of charge and closer to home for patients. The number of beds announced is nearly double the originally promised amount.
Included in the list of centres is Our Place Society’s New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community in View Royal, which will be adding 20 additional beds to their facility this summer for women to use.
The facility, which was a former youth detention centre, will cater to women who have been unhoused, have mental health concerns or have had interactions with the criminal justice system. The program will be run like the men’s program, which currently has 47 beds for men who take part in a nine- to 24-month program; although they operate similarly, Our Place Society will take into account the subtle differences women face when it comes to escaping dangerous situations.
“The opportunity to do this for women is just phenomenal because there isn’t any long-term treatment for women on the Island,” said Cheryl Diebel, the centre director. “A lot of the women will already be disconnected from their family because of their addiction, and if you move them off the Island, it’s a further disconnection.”
There were no long-term recovery options on the Island before the province made the announcement, which would mean any women facing addiction would have to leave their homes and sometimes families behind. Diebel says she was glad for the announcement, and says there is a lot of support for the new centre among the recovery community, especially the men who will often talk about their significant others suffering from the same situation.
“They talk about their moms, their girlfriends, or sisters who have addiction, so for them, they’re committed to this too,” says Diebel. “So it’s full circle.”
The two security towers are coming down at William Head Institution
William Head tower. Photo: Capital Daily
Two metal security towers are soon going to be demolished at William Head Institution. Security towers, familiar in iconic movies like Escape from Alcatraz (1979) and Shawshank Redemption (1994) about prisons and famous real-life escapes have come to be familiar concepts in our collective imagination about what is typical carceral design. William Head has decided to do away with theirs, as the status of the institution itself shifts over time and the towers no longer serve.
Guard towers have figured prominently in modern prison design as strong deterrents to residents thinking of misbehaving. They give the impression of ubiquitous and constant surveillance. They also give security personnel an extensive field of vision over open spaces. See and be seen. But way less fun.
“The security towers,” explained assistant warden Forbes, “will be replaced by a camera tower on each side.” The institution has completed an upgrade to its systems to increase the security and “the new 360-degree cameras will give them much better resolution,” he said.
During a presentation to Metchosin council, Forbes acknowledged the community’s potential sensitivity of “the optics of taking the two metal security towers down.” Officers who work there no longer carry firearms and there is no longer razor wire around its perimeter.
Around the 'Shore
🚔 Impaired driver receives charges and thousands of dollars in fines: A 24-year-old woman is facing over $2,000 worth of fines after causing a collision near Costin Avenue and Leigh Road in Langford. West Shore RCMP arrived at the scene where bystanders reported that they tried to stop a 2018 Chevrolet Cruze from continuing to drive after colliding with a 2020 GMC Sierra; the driver was displaying signs of alcohol impairment and refused to cooperate with police, leading to her arrest.
🐰 Bunny saved by Sooke Rescue: Bunbun the pet rabbit was rescued by Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue in Sooke after finding him stranded on a sailboat in Cooper’s Cove during the recent cold blast. The boat was surrounded by ice, and the owners were unable to reach the location; Bunbun was returned safely to his owners. [Vancouver Island Free Daily]
⚡ ️BC Hydro restores power to hundreds in East Sooke: BC Hydro returned power to East Sooke residents after responding to a fallen tree that had damaged power lines, knocking out electricity to some 788 customers around 6am on Saturday. Later that afternoon, power was restored for all East Sooke residents. [CHEK]
🏈 Westshore Rebels coach hired to lead York University team: Grey Cup winner Dexter Janke heads to Ontario after one year as full head coach and assistant GM. In 2023 he had the Rebels undefeated in the conference (12-0), took them to the national championship game, and won the CJFL’s top coach award.
🐱 Colwood cat found after three months in woods: Sophie the tabby would tour near Royal Roads in a carrier, until she was spooked out of it by a dog and disappeared. But a neighbour donated trail cams that later spotted her. [CTV]
⚠️ Neighbourhood preparedness: Looking to learn about how you can help your neighbourhood through block watches and emergency preparedness? Head to the Sooke Library Multipurpose room today, Jan. 30, for a presentation from 1:30-3pm by Ron Bilinsky, a retired social worker with volunteer experience with RCMP and fire; spots are limited, so make sure to email and secure your seat.
👟 10k walk: Enjoy a morning of fresh air in Metchosin this Jan. 31 with a 10k group walk with fellow residents. Starting near the 4475 Happy Valley Rd. parking lot, registration begins at 8:45am and the 2C (moderately difficult) walk starts at 9am. The group welcomes anyone who wants to join, and always stops for coffee afterwards.
🌲 Flatlanders walk: Meet fellow residents and enjoy a leisurely walk through Esquimalt Gorge Park this Feb. 3 with the Flatlanders Walking group. Meeting at the entrance of Tillicum Road, the walk will go from 1-3pm and participants can enjoy refreshments at Iluka cafe after.
The view of the Musky from Pacific Landing on Jan. 25 . Photo: June Thorndale, Colwood
🚢 The Musky is a bulk carrier built in 2014, sailing under the flag of Marshall Islands. It is coming from 🇵🇪 Matarani, Peru ➡ 🇨🇦 Vancouver and was scheduled to arrive Dec. 30, 2023.
Hummingbird in the snow. —Caleen Taylor, Langford
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