Dec 2016


Submitted by the James Bay Neighbourhood Association



The November 9, 2016 monthly general meeting of the James Bay Neighbourhood Association (JBNA) provided an opportunity for the community to informally discuss the proposed Ogden Point Master Plan.

This meeting was NOT the Community Meeting required by the City review process for developments. The next rezoning presentation and discussion for Ogden Point is anticipated early in 2017. Marg Gardiner led a discussion on the Ogden Point Master Plan, identifying impacts and potential impacts and soliciting resident input.

Residents expressed a variety of concerns during the discussion, most of them environmental. Air quality and the measurement of air pollution was of prime concern.

Atmospheric particulate matter (PM), either a solid or a liquid microscopic particle in the air, is more commonly known as air pollution. Unfiltered PMs have the ability to penetrate lungs and bloodstreams, causing heart attacks, cancers, and premature death. The smaller PM2.5 particulates (visible only through an electron microscope) are more deadly because of their ability to penetrate deeply into the lungs. Sources of PM2.5's are all types of combustion (motor vehicles, helijets, cruiseships, etc.) The coarser PM10's may be pollen, mould spores, and road or construction dust.

The constant mix of emissions from ships, helicopters and vehicular traffic in James Bay remains a very real concern to the health of residents. (Air scrubbers currently in use by the cruise industry may be reducing PM10-sized particles to the more lethal PM2.5. The German environment association, NABU, https://en.nabu.de/issues/traffic/index.html) has some interesting observations on cruiseship industry pollution. “Low-sulphur marine gas oil is still more than 100 times as dirty as road fuel for cars and trucks ... a massive improvement of air quality.”) An improvement - but still - a concern.

Background was given on the role of the JBNA in convincing then Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Richard Stanwick of Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA), and the Ministry of Environment to become involved in the preliminary Sulphur dioxide (SO2) monitoring which now allows us to track reduced emissions from low sulphur fuels.

JBNA will be requesting that VIHA & the Ministry of Environment expand the existing SO2 monitoring program to measure levels of PM10 & PM2.5in James Bay. SO2 monitoring sites are currently active in James Bay and at Topaz Avenue in the Oakland area. The baseline studies have been done. Monitoring for environmental pollutants is essential to ensure that the cruise-industry obeys international agreements. Monitoring will also ensure that GVHA manages operations such that operational impacts are at a level compatible with our residential community.

Concerns were also expressed at the meeting regarding environmental management of the site. How will this highly contaminated property be remediated without having an impact on the surrounding area? What are the risks to development in this area? Will public money be involved? Will the design give public access to the piers? Will there be an environmental health assessment? Will there be a Good Neighbour Agreement?

GVHA has been investigating existing contamination on the site through core sampling and assessment of the fill and rock bed areas. Tidal and seismic impacts have been considered.

The proposed structural build-out for Ogden Point, presented at GVHA's open-house event in October 2016, eliminated much of the previously presented helicopter noise mitigation. Priority appears to have shifted from noise and emission mitigation to 'views'.

Traffic issues have been a major concern to the community for years. While the GVHA has been aware of these concerns, there have been no net improvement as the increase to cruise industry activity has negated the small steps to mitigate noise and congestion. Given the unwillingness of GVHA to address this issue, how will they manage the intended expansion? A study providing estimates of anticipated transportation loads is to be provided in the near future.


The City will be posting an on-line survey and information on Wayfinding Concepts and Ideas on the City website on November 28, 2016. If you want a head start you may find this link to MIT useful:

TRANSPORT CANADA @ LAUREL POINT: Residents using the harbour pathway may have encountered work alongside Laurel Point Inn. Test holes have been dug with an excavator, and monitoring wells are being installed. Transport Canada is investigating the area for levels of contaminants. Starting in the late 1800s, the area was the site of a paint factory with waste materials dumped directly in the foreshore area. Current work is intended to fill data gaps and provide supplemental sampling to determine current site conditions. Work was to be completed in November.

GETTING AROUND JAMES BAY: 484 residents have completed the JBNA “Getting around James Bay” survey. The survey is now closed. Data are being assessed & will be presented at an upcoming JBNA meeting. The survey is the first phase of a multi-pronged project that examines the use of the streets in James Bay. 

AMALGAMATION (or not) There is still an opportunity to respond to the Capital Integrated Services and Governance Initiative which is being undertaken by the province in response to various local referendums. Fact sheets on each of the municipalities are available for comment and discussion until December 16, 2016 at PlaceSpeak. Register to comment at www.placespeak.com/CISGI

CITY PARKS PLAN SURVEY: The City of Victoria is requesting community feedback on goals created as part of the Parks MasterPlan development process. See the City web-site for objectives of the plan and other details. Link:

GARDENING AT DISCOVERY COFFEE: Over the next few months, watch the planters at the north side of Discovery Coffee on Menzies. A small contingent of JBay volunteers will be clearing the planter of debris and planting edible plants. The partnership will assist the community in the rejuvenating of a small garden space and providing volunteers with a gardening opportunity. Excess produce will be donated to a nearby social agency.

XMAS APPROACHES: Saturday, December 3 will be an important day for James Bay Christmas activities:

10-5 pm - James Bay Market’s annual Dickens Fair - Locally made food, crafts & gifts 2-6 pm - Ogden Point Christmas Light Up - Crafts, Santa The Lighted Truck Parade will assemble and depart from Ogden Point along Dallas Road at 5:45 pm.

SEISMICALLY UPGRADE YOUR HISTORIC HOUSE: On Saturday January 28, 2017, the Hallmark Heritage Society will be presenting a half-day workshop on seismically upgrading your historic house at the Craigflower Schoolhouse, 2755 Admirals Road, 9:30 am to 1 pm. Admission by Donation. Presenters: John Dam & Ken Johnson.


Join your neighbours on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 from 7:00pm – 9:00pm at James Bay New Horizons – 234 Menzies St for the December JBNA meeting. The agenda will include a community meeting for a revitalization of the gas station property at 308 Menzies, an interim report on the "Getting Around James Bay" survey and a presentation from BC Transit staff who will be unveiling plans - including broad community review - of BC Transit's proposed routes in James Bay. Significant changes are anticipated. The transportation discussion will be followed by Community Concerns. Xmas sweets should energize us for the meeting.

The January 11 JBNA Meeting agenda is not yet set. Several proposals and discussions are anticipated for early 2017. Changes at Embassy Inn, Fisherman's Wharf, Erie Street, and the Belleville Terminal are expected. The Ogden Point Master Plan may be coming forward, and we hope to have an update on the Library at Capital Park. Other property owners have suggested possible developments. City initiatives which should be coming to meetings include Visual Victoria (City wayfinding) and the Parks Master Plan.

Take note of the new 30k speed limit signs with children-at-play notices at Fisherman's Wharf Park on both Erie and St Lawrence Streets.