Our Community: Find a new furry friend — for 50 per cent off

The love of a dog or any other pet is always priceless. So the B.C. SPCA is looking to boost adoption this month with a one-day half-price promotion called Head Over Tails in Love.

During this one-day event all 36 SPCA adoption centres in B.C. will allow animals to enter new loving homes for up to 50 per cent off the usual adoption fees.

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This is the second year for the adoption promotion. Last year the event saw 212 animal friends, 40 per cent of those in SPCA care at the time, adopted to new homes. The whole day was exciting for everyone, including the pets.

“They know when they are leaving here, so that’s always exciting for them,” said Annie Prittie-Bell, branch manager Victoria SPCA.

Victoria adoption and registration fees range from $15 for a hamster or gerbil to $624 for some breeds of puppies.

Those fees include veterinary examination, spay or neutering, removal of any fleas, de-worming and implant of a microchip identification tag under the skin.

The event runs Saturday at the Victoria SPCA shelter, 3150 Napier Lane. Viewing hours are noon to 5:30 p.m.

Volunteers pitch in to help Peers

Victoria tradespeople and building supply stores have ponied up for more than $625,000 worth of renovation work and materials to give new support to the work of Peers Victoria, a group that assists people in the sex trade.

The renovation job, now about half done, is likened to an old-time barn-raising with non-profit HeroWork Victoria rounding up volunteers, materials, money and support to completely do-over Peers’ headquarters at 744 Fairview Rd.

Tracey Clayton, executive director of HeroWork Victoria, said the agency has completed 12 projects, all on behalf of other non-profits, since starting up seven years ago.

HeroWork’s last project was a renovation valued at more than $650,000 at the old youth correction centre in View Royal, now being used by Our Place to house and assist 50 men drawn from the homeless or prison population.

“We are a charity that helps other charities,” Clayton said.

The renovation to the Peers site is a full interior teardown to the building studs. Walls are being moved, new rooms created and interior spaces are being completely set to new purpose.

“It will be a wonderful space for the vital work we do instead of compromising and improvising with only what’s there,” said Peers executive director Rachel Philips.

The project will be open for public to take a peek on Saturday, Nov. 23, noon to 4 p.m. To learn more, go to herowork.rallyup.com/peersradreno.

Walking tour highlights First World War sites

Victorians interested in local reminders of history and sacrifice as a prelude to Monday’s Remembrance Day can join a Royal B.C. Museum tour on Saturday.

Paul Ferguson, the museum’s human history collections manager, will lead a three-kilometre walking tour around Victoria pointing out special connections to the First World War.

Ferguson will stop at significant buildings and locations and end up in front of the legislature buildings.

Those interested should meet at the carillon at the northwest corner of the museum lot at 11 a.m. Suggested donation for the tour is $5 per person.

M’akola Housing Society honoured at Royal Roads

A B.C. group born 35 years ago in Victoria and still dedicated to creating affordable housing will be honoured this week by Royal Roads University.

Kathleen Birney, chancellor and chairwoman of the Royal Roads board of governors, will present the university’s Chancellor’s Community Recognition Award to the M’akola Housing Society at the university’s fall convocation on Thursday at the Royal Theatre.

Other award recipients are: Anishinaabe professor Eva Jewell, who will be presented a Governor General’s Gold Medal for an outstanding dissertation; Canadian Armed Forces Warrant Officer Jessica Hewett, who will receive the Lt. Governor’s Medal and President’s Scholar; and Thibaut Doix, recipient of the Governor General’s Silver Medal, Chancellor’s Award and President’s Scholar Award.

Birney has called M’akola “a powerful force” in creating safe, affordable and stable communities. Besides housing the M’akola also assists with scholarship, bursaries, co-op work assignments and internships.

Kevin Albers, M’akola’s CEO, said since its creation in 1984 in Victoria the group has created 1,700 units of safe, affordable housing across B.C. for families and individuals, assisting more than 5,000 people. In Greater Victoria it has created 250 to 300 homes, mostly townhouses or apartments.

Albers said M’akola works by partnering up with other agencies and all three levels of government to get the homes off the ground and ready. Those homes can be as varied as apartment homes for elders created on the Cowichan Tribes territory and a 36-townhouse development created in Langford.

UVic, VIU students awarded scholarships

Students from the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island University have been awarded Premier’s International Scholarships.

UVic students landed six of the scholarships and VIU one. Fifty were handed out in total.

The scholarships are valued between $6,000 and $10,000 and are granted to students with good academic records who demonstrate an understanding of global issues.

The winners will head abroad to study in more than 20 different countries. The experience is expected to enrich their education, along with their post-secondary institutions and their Canadian communities upon return.

Premier’s Scholarships are funded by returns on a $17-million endowment fund established by the province and administered by the Irving K. Barber B.C. Scholarship Society. Since the program began in 2008, it has awarded more than $5.7 million, funding 2,598 scholarships.

London Drugs recycling Halloween wrappers

Halloween can be a treat for the sweet tooth but put a swelling on the landfill.

In an effort to keep those Halloween candy wrappers out of B.C. community landfills, London Drugs is holding its second annual collection drive.

Customers can return wrappers and containers from all chocolate bars and candies, chip bags and zipper-lock pouches to any London Drugs location in B.C.

Working with Recycle B.C., London Drugs collects the material for recycling or sees it turned into engineered fuel, a replacement for coal in industrial settings.

Raman Johal, London Drugs sustainability specialist, said the retailer is doing its best to be easier on the communities it serves, including their landfills.

“As retailers we put this material out into the world,” he said. “It’s right that we should see it gets disposed of properly.”

The company diverted 5,443,000 kilograms from landfills last year, a waste diversion rate of 94 per cent over previous years.

Workshop aims to link farmers, landowners

Are you an aspiring farmer looking for a farm, or a landowner looking for someone to farm it?

On Sunday, Dec. 1, the B.C. Land Matching Program and Young Agrarians group will host a Land-Linking Workshop on Dec. 1 in Duncan.

Land-linking workshops are a way for farmers, active or aspirational, and landowners to meet regional land matchers and learn about land agreements.

The price to actually buy farmland, which leapt in value on Vancouver Island by 22.7 per cent 2018, according to Farm Credit Canada, has become a serious barrier to young farmers. Leasing farmland allows new agricultural entrepreneurs to get a start.

Likewise, landowners or seasoned farmers may want to cut back or transition their land to a new generation. Leasing land to a new farmer can bring income, keep and even improve the soil condition and deliver some nifty tax breaks.

The B.C. Land Matching Program is funded on Vancouver Island by the Province of B.C., and supported by the Cowichan Valley Regional District and the Real Estate Foundation of B.C.

The workshop will be at the HUB at Cowichan Station, 2375 Koksilah Rd., Duncan.

For more information and to register go online to youngagrarians.org/landlinkcowichan2019.

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