West Shore news … through the decades, week of March 27

Conflict of interest allegations, Western Communities now West Shore and a 4,000-year-old archeological find led past issues of the Gazette


Allegations of a conflict of interest form part of the grounds for legal action against the District of Highlands. The Highlands Preservation Society files the petition with the Supreme Court of Canada, seeking to challenge the rezoning bylaws allowing Bear Mountain’s 18-hole golf course, resort and housing property to be developed in the south Highlands.

Also making the news the week of March 27, 2005: Triangle Mountain residents are not happy with the Capital Regional District’s plan to construct a new reservoir there, even though it will help provide better fire protection. Residents are concerned about the impact that blasting out 2,300 cubic metres of rock will have on their homes and their nerves.

And, 11 firefighters who quit the Malahat Volunteer Fire Department will have a third party evaluate their applications to be reinstated into the department. Eighteen of 21 firefighters quit the department in February, when the Cowichan Valley Regional District switched to a new insurance policy for the six fire halls under its umbrella which provided $50,000 less in benefits for accidental death.


Colwood councillors vote not to give themselves a pay raise, choosing instead to keep wages at 1994 levels and strike a committee to look at pay rates in 1996. Councillors, whose last pay increase came in 1993, receive $6,516 annually while mayor John Bergbusch receives $15,048 per year.

Also making the news the week of March 27, 1995: Grace Holman, a director of the Juan de Fuca Chamber of Commerce, wants to change the name of the Western Communities to capitalize on the fact it is near the ocean. Holman floats the idea of a name change to “South West Shore” during a breakfast with the mayors. Afterward chamber manager Brady Reaume suggests an even shorter name; “West Shore, or even Wes-Shore.”

And, archeologists find a number of sites along the highway between Helmcken and Spencer roads that might include the oldest archeological material on south Vancouver Island. Perhaps the most interesting is in the Thetis Valley, where stone points found in an area of greasy black soil may date back approximately 4,000 years.


A boat gets away from a couple of Langford teens who decide not to pay a $5 launch fee and slip their truck down onto the beach off Ocean Boulevard across from Esquimalt Lagoon. Once in the water the boat gets several hundred feet away from them. While they attempt to retrieve it, the tide creeps in, softening the sand and getting their truck stuck, forcing them to call a tow truck. Getting the truck and boat out of the water costs the youths $50 instead of the $5 it would have cost to launch their boat properly.

Also making the news the week of March 27, 1985: The prospects of Metchosin bus service being cut as early as September has council pondering its own shuttle system. The Victoria Regional Transit Commission will be reviewing costly transit routes in mid-April, with an eye to cutting costs. One route in their crosshairs is the Metchosin/Happy Valley Road four-times-a-day run. Metchosin mayor Hermann Volk suggests one option could see the district run a shuttle service connecting with the other transit routes.

And, Metchosin council will no longer discuss civic affairs in the midst of a dartboard, shuffleboard and pool table. The municipality and council left the temporary quarters in the Metchosin Volunteer Fire Department building and moves into its new office above the Metchosin Community Hall that was recently renovated by volunteers.

– compiled by Arnold Lim


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