Friday, June 18, 2010

Pat Bay & Sayward: Cordova Bay Speaks Out

Here is an article about the community forum I organized this week by Roger Stonebanks of the hard-working Cordova Bay Association for Community Affairs

Safety first - and, please communicate
at Pat Bay and Sayward

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure must engage in meaningful community consultation before plans are drawn up for changes to the Patricia Bay Highway and Sayward Road - as well as at 'open houses' after plans are prepared for public reaction.

This message was delivered to the ministry before a standing-room-only audience of 115 residents by speakers at a public safety forum on June 15/2010 organized by Saanich South MLA Lana Popham at Cordova Bay Community Place.

The Cordova Bay Association for Community Affairs (CBA) has been campaigning for more than a year for 'safety first' fixes at the intersection which is one of the most dangerous in terms of crashes on Vancouver Island. For details and background including two important traffic reports, please click on: Pat Bay/Sayward intersection safety issues.

Recently, the ministry disclosed that it is planning some changes at the intersection and will present them at 'open houses' for public comment. But speakers including Wayne Christmas, chairperson of the CBA traffic committee, said the ministry should consider public opinion before making plans by organizing a public input forum - as well as afterwards. He also said changes should improve safety and not increase cut-through traffic within Cordova Bay. 

Members of the public gave a number of ideas for changes at the intersection. Popham said she has received many responses to her opinion survey and promised that all communications that she receives will be delivered to the ministry and to Saanich municipality - ahead of plans being finalized by the ministry. The survey is available on her

Patrick Livolsi, the ministry's regional director for the south coast, said a consultant has been engaged to review past traffic reports and identify a long-term strategy as well as what can be done now to reduce accidents. The consultant will work with Saanich municipality. He hoped changes will include a park-and-ride facility. He promised the highway won't be increased to six lanes - it will stay at four lanes.

"We are trying to pare down options to the public for feed-back for small-scale improvements," he said. He noted that 68 per cent of accidents are rear-enders and they occur at the approaches to the intersection as well as at the intersection.

The ministry first disclosed last March on CBC Radio that it hopes to have plans ready for public comment this fall, "safety mitigation measures" short of an interchange that would significantly reduce the accident record. The cost might be $2 to $3 million.

Coun. Judy Brownoff, Saanich council's liaison with the ministry (along with Coun. Leif Wergeland, who lives in Cordova Bay and who attended the meeting as well as several other councillors), said council has emphasized that the ministry must engage the public - "There has to be true meaningful engagement. This community wants meaningful consultation."
When one speaker asked if the ministry would be willing to form a consultation committee, Livolsi said "We'll take that under consideration."

Coun. Brownoff said the Pat Bay/Sayward intersection is the second-worst in Saanich for accidents (using ICBC figures) - and surprised the audience by identifying the worst as Wilkinson Road/Interurban Road which she said has a lot of traffic cutting through between Patricia Bay Highway and Trans-Canada Highway.

She said Saanich Police have told her that speed is not a factor in most accidents at Pat Bay/Sayward. The biggest issues are inattentiveness by drivers and following too closely. Most accidents occur in the afternoon.

One speaker said the community needs to decide whether or not it is prepared to accept an interchange (as forecast in several traffic reports) - and if not, the discussion would go in another direction. Comments at the meeting indicated support for safety measures at the present intersection but not an interchange or "grade level separation" as it was sometimes called.

Popham concluded the meeting by again stating that all opinions that she receives from the public will be delivered to the ministry and Saanich. "This is just the beginning of community consultation," she said.

(News item provided by Roger Stonebanks, former president of the CBA.)

Reprinted with permission.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's time to enjoy the local bounty!

A news update from the Southern Vancouver Island Direct Farm Marketing Association… For farm links and other information, visit their website at or find them on facebook:

Strawberry Watch
FINALLY! The wait is over! All farms now have strawberries (visit our product page for a list of farms selling strawberries). Dan’s Farm is taking orders for flats of strawberries and filling those orders at this time. U-pick strawberries will start on June 23. Down the road at Oldfield Orchard and Bakery, u-pick happens on June 19 and 20, then Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday for the following week. Visit our U-Pick page for a complete listing of U-Pick farms.

Notes from the Peninsula
Michell Bros. Farm reports they have added fresh bunched carrots, green onions and green cabbage to its shelves, along with bunched beets, kale and lettuces. Over at Saanichton Christmas Tree Farm in Saanichton, Joan Fleming has potted dahlia plants for sale, along with beautiful colourful hanging baskets… And across the road at Suntrio Farm, the boys have variety of unique greens for sale, including pea shoots, sunflower sprout mix and wheat grass, as well as plan starters. The Muse Winery in North Saanich was a multiple medal winner at wine competitions this spring, taking 3 golds and a bronze at the Canadian Wine Competition and 4 silver medals at the NorthWest Wine Summit.

Notes from Metchosin
Fiona is holding a huge sale at Metchosin Farm: “Time to clear out the nursery to make way for summer (yes, it IS coming!). All tomato plants are on sale for $1.50 each if you buy ten or more. A great deal, while quantities last. Given the cool wet spring that we've had, the farm stand is still open until these plants are all sold. There is still a wonderful selection of salad mixes, New Zealand spinach, strawberry plants (some with red berries on them), squash, melons, rhubarb, tomatillos, peppers and more.”

Notes from the Cowichan...
Experience the summer solstice celebration of feminine energy at Damali Labyrinth (Damali Lavender Farm) on Monday, June 21 at 7:30 p.m. 'MANY STRONG, WISE, and BEAUTIFUL WOMEN' This is the fourth summer solstice celebration at Damali Labyrinth. Invite friends, daughters, sisters, mothers and bring a drum, tambourine or wooden spoons as we will be generating rhythms of the heart connections.

Merridale Ciderworks
Sunday, June 20: Barbeque buffet lunch for Father’s Day. Brunch begins at 11 and goes until 4 for only $20 a person. For menus and more information visit our website.
Saturday, July 3rd: Join us Saturday evening for a live dinner theatre on our orchard decks! The Bamberton Historical Society joined forces with the Seeds and Salt Theatre Company to create the historical theatre production, “The Road Less Travelled.” It portrays what makes Vancouver Islanders unique by uncovering 3 forgotten stories of Vancouver Island’s past and retelling them in a dramatic style that encourages the audience to interact with the characters and share in the lives, loves, intrigues and heroic deeds of the past. Drinks and appetizers begin at 5:30 followed by dinner at 6 pm. Dinner will be a cold buffet and served at long tables in the bistro. At 7:00, guests will be escorted onto the back deck to watch the plays and children are welcome. Bring a sweater in case of chill, but overhead heaters and blankets are provided for warmth.

Toe Tappin' at Providence Farm
Saturday, June 19 @ 5 p.m.
You'll have a great time helping Providence Farm raise funds at our annual Wild West Hoedown, with a buffet dinner, live and silent auctions and a real old fashioned country barn dance. Hoedown profits directly support the wonderful, innovative programs at the farm; programs that benefit the lives of so many in the Cowichan Valley. Tickets $75 from Providence Farm 250-746-4204. 

Grow Your Own
Carolyn Herriot’s new book, The Zero Mile Diet, is now sprouting up in local bookstores. Visit Carolyn’s web site for more information. And look for Carolyn and the Zero Mile Diet at the Saanich Fair this year!

Opportunities for youth

Haliburton Community Farm Summer Farm Camp for Kids
Here's another opportunity for young people to learn about growing and eating local foods. The Haliburton Community Organic Farm offers a Summer Farm Camp for Kids – visit the farm website to learn more.

Mr. Organic's Summer Camp for Kids
Your child will learn about: • Good bugs VS bad bugs • Companion plants • Seeding • Wonderful world of worms • Creating raised beds • Transplanting
All food-growing materials are provided, including seeds, potting soil, starter plants, compost, top soil, tools, and equipment. Camp is available to most ages - please ask.  One Full Week ONLY $115! Drop-ins Welcome $25/day

Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 2:30pm  • July 5–9 • July 12–16 • July 19–23 • July 26–30

For more information and/or to register, call Mr. Organic (Dave) at 250-655-9156 or 250-704-6602. Visit Mr. Organic's website (
And don't forget Mr. Organic's Gardening Workshop for Kids at The Roost Farm Centre on June 19, from 9 am to 12 noon.

Recipes from Taste of Life Catering ( featuring local farm products in season. Enjoy!
Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb
1 rack of island Lamb
One bunch of parsley
2 tbsp of chopped rosemary
½ cup Honey
¼ cup Dijon
1 cup of panko breading
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Vegetable oil
In a food processor combine bread crumbs parsley rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix together on high for 2 minutes; mixture should be green in color. Take out and set aside in a glass bowl. In another bowl combine honey & Dijon, set aside. Once lamb is clean, cover bones with tin foil – this will Keep them from burning while cooking! Heat up a skillet with a little oil, sear your lamb on both sides for 3 minutes to seal in the juices, let cool for 10 minutes before coating.
Next paint on honey mixture all over the lamb meat. Dredge in breading mixture completely coat both sides of lamb. To finish pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat up a pan on medium to high heat. Sear both sides of lamb for 3 minutes, place in oven with show side up. Rare – cook for 15 minutes.
Medium rare to medium – 20 minutes. Let you lamb rest for 5 minutes, then cut in between bones. You should get 4 to 5 nice pieces. Serve with nice red wine Demi glace & sides of your choice. Enjoy!

Shopping for lamb?
A number of our members sell local lamb (visit our product page for a complete list and links). Call ahead for availability and to place orders.
Saanich Peninsula: Dragonfly Hill Vineyard & Winery, Ireland Farms, Olde Country Registered Sheep, Saanichton Christmas Tree Farm, The Roost Farm Centre
Metchosin: Seabluff Farm
Cowichan Valley: Gill-Power Hobby Farm, Providence Farm, Stonefield Farm.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Community Forum: Pat Bay Highway & Sayward Rd.

Dear Saanich South,

Are you concerned about the intersection at Pat Bay Highway and Sayward Road?

Did you know that for over two decades it’s been one of the most dangerous intersections in all of British Columbia?

Please join me for an discussion about this problem and what should be done about it.

Tuesday, June 15, 7-8:30pm at Cordova Bay Elementary School, 5238 Cordova Bay Road. (map)

I'll be introducing three speakers who are well-versed in the possible solutions:
  • Judy Brownoff, Saanich Councillor and Council Liaison to the Ministry of Transportation;
  • Wayne Christmas, Cordova Bay Association for Community Affairs; and
  • Patrick Livolsi, Regional Director, South Coast Region, Ministry of Transportation

There will be lots of time for community engagement and refreshments will be served.

If you can't make it or just want to make sure your voice is heard. Please take a moment to fill out my short survey: your opinions will be considered as we move forward. Click here.

Thank you,