Though a great many things were reported in the pages of the Goldstream News Gazette in 2013, there were a few issues notable for what hasn’t changed over the course of a year.
Articles throughout 2012 lamented the continued lack of emergency or transitional housing for youth in the West Shore.
Here we are again.
While strides have certainly been made with the Threshold Housing Society taking the reigns from the West Shore Youth Housing Task Force in getting an initiative off the ground, the fact remains there is still no housing.
For another winter youth who leave their homes for one reason or another have nowhere to go other than downtown, with all that comes with it.
Controversy surrounding the 40 Days for Life, and its related vigils outside of the Vancouver Island Women’s Clinic in View Royal, continued in 2013, as it has since 2011.
In 2013 Esquimalt-Royal Roads MLA Maurine Karagianis announced she would be appealing to the provincial government to increase the bubble around clinics which perform abortions, ostensibly pushing vigil participants out of the area.
Members of the vigil have denounced the idea as a violation of their rights of free speech, while those in support say women should be able to visit the clinic without being bothered.
Tensions reached a boiling point when a protestor allegedly entered the clinic, an incident still under investigation by West Shore RCMP.
The debate continues and another 40-day vigil is likely in March.
One thing that hasn’t changed will be considered a success story by many and a disappointing failure by a few.
A proposed development in the Royal Bay area of Colwood was shot down by a City of Colwood committee after neighbouring residents loudly opposed the density of the development.
About 100 residents showed up to a committee meeting to voice their concerns with the project and in the end the committee voted to tell the developer to go back to the drawing board. The application was ultimately withdrawn, leaving the future of the parcel of land an unknown.
The Capital Regional District’s sewage treatment is still the biggest question mark for the entire region, but in the West Shore the question is still, what’s the cost?
Colwood especially is still in a bad way, trying to figure out how much to pay and how to pay it. Initial capital costs already threaten to increase costs by 100 per cent to current sewage users or a two per cent increase to all if spread out among the tax base.
With major components of the project still up in the air (including the most basic: where it will be), the final cost and timeline for the project are still unknown.
Commuters travelling to and from the West Shore during peak periods of traffic know all to well one staple that hasn’t changed: the Colwood Crawl.
Although many ideas are still being tossed around on how to ease the traffic congestion, they all remain talk, with no initiatives gaining any noticeable traction in 2013. In fact, there are even fewer options now with the commuter ferry from the West Shore to CFB Esquimalt cancelled in April due to low ridership.
Talk surrounding the rebirth of the E&N Railroad or the creation of light rail transportation, or of any alternative to jamming our roads with cars, have been noticeably quiet recently.
Perhaps the voice of the cyclist, still championing the convenience and benefits of the Galloping Goose Trail, can now be heard.