On the Street: Teaching supplies store opens branch in Langford

School House Teaching Supplies, a fixture on Douglas Street in Victoria for education supplies, has opened a store in downtown Langford, partnering with Tumblebums Play Centre at 133-735, Goldstream Ave. Grand-opening celebrations are planned for today and Saturday.

School House carries educational materials, including classroom decor, arts-and-craft supplies, books and workbooks, special-needs items, games, puppets and toys. The store also has the largest French-immersion collection in Western Canada, and its children’s book department in English and French covers all subjects and grade levels. The new store will focus on the needs of preschools, primary ages, daycares and homeschoolers. School House at Tumblebums will also offer workshops and author appearances for parents and teachers.

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FortisBC keeps gas rates steady

FortisBC has received approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission to keep the cost of natural gas steady for its customers. As of April 1, FortisBC customers will see no change to the cost of natural gas on their billing statement. “While April is typically a time when many costs and rates in other sectors are increasing, the cost of natural gas is not,” Diane Roy, vice-president of regulatory affairs at FortisBC, said in a statement.

FortisBC reviews the cost of gas rates with the BCUC every three months. The cost of natural gas for Mainland, Island and Whistler residents remains at $1.549 per gigajoule.

Carmanah buys lighting patents

Victoria-based Carmanah Technologies Corp. has acquired a portfolio of patents and patent applications from Stop Experts Inc. and R.D. Jones for $2.4 million US. The patents all relate to traffic control devices, including rectangular rapid flashing beacons deployed in mid-block crosswalks. Carmanah said it is paying an undisclosed lump sum and a series of payments until 2022. The company said as a result of the transaction the patent infringement claims and litigation against Carmanah originally disclosed in 2013 will be dismissed.

Golf club welcomes executive chef

Cameron Ballendine has joined the Victoria Golf Club as executive chef, succeeding Nathan Waters who left in January for a new position as the executive chef of the B.C. legislature. Waters started at the club in 2012. Ballendine has worked in some of the best hotels in the world. In 2013, he was appointed executive chef of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. He has worked in China, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and France, and over his career has prepared meals for Queen Elizabeth and members of the Royal Family, Sir Elton John, and former U.S. presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton.

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