Sunday, April 14, 2019


Celebrating Provincial Funding for the Sikh Khalsa Diwan Society Gurdwara!

“The historic Topaz Sikh Gurdwara is an important part of the Greater Victoria community and provides a welcoming place for people of all faiths,” said Premier John Horgan. “In the spirit of Vaisakhi and the Sikh practice of sewa, or selfless community service, this funding will allow the temple to make much-needed upgrades so that it can keep serving thousands of people each year.”
The KDS Gurdwara (temple) opened in 1912 in Victoria and is one of the two oldest operating Gurdwaras in North America. It requires upgrades to meet modern accessibility standards and the needs of a growing and aging community.


The gurdwara provides a place for people to gather for community celebrations and prayer services. It also serves vegetarian lunches to thousands of people of all religions, cultures and nationalities throughout the year. The temple is an important place for children and youth to connect with their culture and receive support from other members of the community, including the more than 300 seniors who attend the temple regularly.
“The Sikh Khalsa Diwan Society has been providing services to people in Greater Victoria for more than 100 years and we want to help them continue to reach out to everyone,” said Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake. “The gurdwara is in dire need of upgrades to the facilities and this grant will improve accessibility and ensure it can continue to welcome people from Victoria and around the world.”
The provincial grant, distributed through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, will support accessibility and safety upgrades to the gurdwara’s kitchen, common areas, main entrances and outdoor decks.



Quick Facts:
  • In 2012, the KDS Gurdwara celebrated its 100th anniversary.
  • The gurdwara currently serves more than 600 meals, free of charge, to people in need in downtown Victoria each weekend.
  • The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing distributed end-of-year contingency grants for 2018-19 for infrastructure projects in four B.C. communities.
  • In order to access this one-time grant funding, eligible organizations submitted proposals detailing the scope of their project, budget breakdowns and how the funding would meet the needs of their community
  • B.C. is home to one of the largest Sikh populations outside India.
  • The KDS Gurdwara (temple) opened in 1912 in Victoria and is one of the two oldest operating Gurdwaras in North America. It requires upgrades to meet modern accessibility standards and the needs of a growing and aging community.
  • The gurdwara provides a place for people to gather for community celebrations and prayer services. It also serves vegetarian lunches to thousands of people of all religions, cultures and nationalities throughout the year. The temple is an important place for children and youth to connect with their culture and receive support from other members of the community, including the more than 300 seniors who attend the temple regularly.
  • “The Sikh Khalsa Diwan Society has been providing services to people in Greater Victoria for more than 100 years and we want to help them continue to reach out to everyone,” said Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake. “The gurdwara is in dire need of upgrades to the facilities and this grant will improve accessibility and ensure it can continue to welcome people from Victoria and around the world.”
  • The provincial grant, distributed through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, will support accessibility and safety upgrades to the gurdwara’s kitchen, common areas, main entrances and outdoor decks.

Saturday, April 13, 2019


Opening the 2019 Little League Season in Style 

It was a double header of opening days in Saanich South on Saturday!

The rain didn't stop Lakehill Ball from their 2019 opening ceremonies this morning as the park filled with excited players, families and fans – including me! 

But it's nit just great ball and community that make Lakehill such a great place to be. Tucked away on Ambassador Ave, Lakehill Ball Park is also home to a not-so-well keep burger secret – Chef Dave's Dugout Concession...which I declared the best concession in British Columbia! Just look at that menu! Sixty years of volunteering has kept this park thriving.
It was great to be invited to participate at the opening ceremonies again with Saanich Councillor Susan Brice! We have been opening Lakehill Baseball together for years. It was a great way to start a Saturday!




My next stop was Layritz Little League's season opener – with another excited crowd of fans! The rain started pelting down as Mayor Fred Haynes and I each threw opening pitches. I'm happy to say no children were injured!  

The excitement for the season couldn't be dampened by the weather, and neither could the excitement for 2020! 

Layritz will be hosting the Canadian National Championships in 2020 and it’s a pretty big deal! If you’re interested in getting involved or becoming a sponsor more info is available HERE.


DID YOU KNOW: The land for Layritz park was donated by Richard Layritz in 1953. He wanted it to be used specifically for kids to play. Decades later I'm pretty sure he would be super proud of how the community has embraced his dream.









Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Renovation this year? Check out the incentives for energy efficient home upgrades, as well as tax credits for home improvements for seniors and persons with disabilities.

Thinking Energy-efficiency?

Clean BC and Budget 2019 have brought in incremental support for increasing the energy-efficiency of BC homes.


EfficiencyBC is a new Provincial program offering financial incentives, information and support to help households and businesses save energy and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by switching to high-efficiency heating equipment and making building-envelope improvements. The $24M program is co-funded with the federal government under the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund.

Examples of qualifying renovations or alterations:
  • Heat Pump and Electric Water Heaters*
  • Natural Gas Furnaces, Boilers, Fireplaces and Water Heaters
  • Windows and doors
  • Insulation

You'll find what incentives and support are available to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in new and existing homes and buildings at the following websites:


Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) funded programs:

Utility Energy Efficiency Programs
*Bonus! - Saanich is offering a Heat Pump Top-Up (Limited time-offer) Find out more HERE

Thinking Safety, Utility & Comfort?

The Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities can offer financial assistance to homeowners wanting to make their home more comfortable - and safe. The renovation assistance is intended to help seniors or persons with a disability improve access to the home or land, improve mobility and functions within the home or land, and reduce the risk of harm within the home or land. 


Examples of qualifying renovations or alterations:
  • Bathtubs – walk-in
  • Counters/cupboards – lowering existing ones
  • Counters/cupboards – installing adjustable ones
  • Door locks that are easy to operate
  • Doors that are widened for passage
  • Drawers and cupboards – touch-and-release
  • Flooring – non-slip or to allow the use of walkers or wheelchairs
  • General renovation costs – necessary to enable access for seniors or
    persons with disabilities to first-floor or secondary suites
  • Grab bars and related reinforcements around the toilet, tub and shower
  • Hand-held showers on adjustable rods or high-low mounting brackets
  • Hand rails in corridors
  • Lever handles on doors and taps, instead of knobs
  • Light fixtures throughout the home and exterior entrances
  • Light switches and electrical outlets placed in accessible locations
  • Lighting – motion-activated
  • Pull-out shelves under counter to enable work from a seated position
  • Showers – wheel-in
  • Sinks – alterations to allow use from a seated position
    (and insulation of any hot-water pipes)
  • Swing clear hinges on doors to widen doorways
  • Taps – hands-free
  • Taps – relocation to front or side for easier access
  • Toilets – raised
  • Wheelchair ramps, stair/wheelchair lifts and elevators
You can find all the details on the BC Government Website: HERE

Some restrictions apply to all grants, incentives and rebates. See the associated websites for full details. This post is meant as general information and not an offer of any kind.

IN THE NEWS: Thousands of dollars in rebates for energy-saving measures in B.C.