West Shore News Through the Decades, week of May 15

Gambling club without a license, a potential Costco, financial errors in Highlands made headlines in past issues of the Gazette


Highlands staff now admit errors were made in financial projections circulated by the municipality prior to the Jan. 31 public hearing for the Bear Mountain rezoning. However Highlands administrator and treasurer Scot Coulson, who authored the document, said subsequent work on the municipal budget and five-year-plan “prove that the assumptions in the Five Year Financial Projects were correct.” Residents question projected municipal reserves would reach $200,000 by 2009 if the Bear Mountain golf course, commercial and residential property were not approved. Resident Andrew Fall alleged that errors resulted in an underestimate of about $700,000 in municipal reserves in 2009.

Also making news the week of May 15, 2005: Legal action prompts Highlands council to give first and second reading to a new Official Community Plan and zoning amendment bylaws that will replace bylaws authorizing development of the contentious Bear Mountain Development shared by Langford and the Highlands.

And,  a wounded raptor, severely injured in a fight with another bird of prey, is rescued by WildARC and released back into the wild.


It appears Costco is interested in opening a store in the Western Communities. Price-Costco is looking at potential sites in the area and the American-based megastore with a store in Nanaimo is also interested in putting one on the Saanich Peninsula. The senior vice-president of real estate and law for the company says the local population would likely be enough to support a Costco outlet. Len Wansbrough, of the Juan de Fuca Chamber of Commerce says the chamber would welcome a Costco outlet here.

Also making the news the week of May 15, 1995: The CRD officially expands its blue box program locally to accept egg cartons, magazines and cereal boxes and flyers. The mixed paper is allowed into the the boxes effective immediately.

Despite censure from the B.C. law society and his resignation from cabinet, local MLA Moe Sihota is being praised by the Western Communities political and business scenes.  Four mayors whose jurisdictions fall in Sihota’s riding said that he is the hardest working representative they could remember. He resigned after the law society found he had violated the society’s rules of conduct in 1988 and 1990.

And, B.C.’s Highways Ministry is planning to open a driver licensing office in the Western Communities. The B.C. Building Corporation issued a proposal call saying Highways wanted about 5,000 square feet of office space within Colwood or Langford. At least two weeks before bids closed, a rezoning bid was already in the works for two properties near the southeast corner of Sooke and Jacklin Rd.


A gambling club without a gaming license has been operating across the street from Colwood RCMP since the Easter weekend and the non-profit social club has raised eyebrows in the neighbourhood. The club, which is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week has applied for a license but has yet to be issued one.

Also making the news the week of May 15, 1985: It makes economic sense for the core of Langford and part of View Royal to be annexed to the newly incorporated City of Colwood and any request to join Colwood will be looked upon favourably said Minister of Municipal Affairs Bill Ritchie. However Langford and View Royal voted no to incorporation and View Royal regional director Frank Bell has shown interest in amalgamation with Esquimalt said Ritchie. No petition has been received to date.

And, raw sewage flowing into triangle mountain ditches prompts the Capital Regional District health department to issue a writ for an injunction to cease the flow of sewage against a family living in a Fulton Road home. The family moved into the new home without an occupancy permit and before the contractor had installed the septic field.

– Complied by Arnold Lim

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