Friday, August 29, 2008

Cougars Home Opener

The Victoria Cougars are gearing up for another championship winning season over at the Archie Browning Sports Centre. Once again, they are offering Esquimalt Residents FREE admission to the home opener Thursday, September 4th! This year it is going to be a big bash - some of Canada's Olympic team will even be in attendance! Bring proof of Esquimalt residency to enjoy the game for free. Otherwise, tickets are a very reasonable price.

ADULTS $7.00
CHILDREN 6-12 $2.00
ADULTS $140.00
ADULTS $60.00
On sale at all Cougars home games
or contact Debbie Boyer (592-0386)

See you at the games!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Team Ali

It is late at night....but I couldn't go another minute without saying how much having the support of my friends and family means to me. Tonight I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with all the "testimonials" that are coming in, and by all the people calling to offer their help on the campaign. Thank you! You are incredible - I couldn't do this without you! xoxo Ali

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hockeyville 2008

This month, the small town of Pilot Mound, Manitoba received $20,000 towards their arena for being a top 5 finalist in the Kraft Hockeyville 2008 competition. This community has pulled together to fundraise 2 million dollars. Even more impressive is the many hours volunteers have spent literally building the new arena complex. Their stories are very heartwarming and you can read more at:

It is an incredible thing to see a community pull together. Pilot Mound reminds me a little of April 2007 in Esquimalt when people got together to keep the Archie Browning Sports Centre (ABSC) open. I'll never forget how people of all ages got to the microphone to speak about what ABSC has meant to them over the years. I'd like to see Esquimalt be Hockeyville 2009!

Congratulations Pilot Mound!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Victoria Fringe Festival is Back!

So far, I've only made it to one show but I have plans to see at least two more before this week is out.

Things have changed quite a bit since I first started attending the Fringe Festival back in high school. One major change is that you can check out the entire schedule and order tickets online at I will be bringing my kids with me to see "Into the Woods". It is one of my all time favourite musicals and its being performed by a cast of 25 teenagers at St. Michael's school. I'm happy to pay the small surcharge for advance tickets instead of asking my kids to line up at the door.

The Fringe remains one of the most reasonably priced ways to see great live theatre. Hope to see you there!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tales of my Fleeting Youth

My children think that I grew up in a quaint and charming time. No home computers, no iPods, no microwaves and no DVDs. Yesterday, they were spellbound, as I told the true tale of the first video rental stores. Places where you rented not only the video, but the VCR as well. My kids are growing up in a different world than I did.

The point is...I am not young anymore. In fact, I think the only place where I am regularly the youngest person in the room is in Council Chambers. That concerns me. I would love to see a more diverse range of ages actively taking part.

Ladysmith has just announced that they are undergoing a "Community Sustainability Visioning Process" with HB Lanarc Consultants. This process includes launching a new website- designed to maximize opportunities for public participation. In the press release, Mayor Rob Hutchins comments, "We also hope to engage youth through our presence on sites such as Flickr, MySpace and Facebook."

I'm really interested in seeing how this process engages youth in Ladysmith. I'd love to see more young people at Esquimalt Council meetings. I'd be happy to welcome them with my spellbinding tales of BetaVision and 8-tracks.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lights, Camera = No Action?

Recently I posted about the City of N. Vancouver's website. I expressed my appreciation for the ability to watch Council meetings on live streaming video or as an archived video. Since posting that, I've had some emails and been asked a very thoughtful question:

"Would being filmed discourage members of the public from speaking at or attending a meeting?"

This is a valid concern. I firmly believe that we need to encourage people to speak...not scare people away. I personally have an aversion to being filmed so I truly understand the concern.

However,I think there is real merit to having totally transparent meetings. Reading the Minutes does not give a person the same flavour as watching the proceedings.

If you've been reading this blog, you might have guessed that I like to talk...and talk...and when I do speak as a member of the public at meetings I often use up the full 2 minutes. In the Minutes, my little speech, by necessity, has to be condensed to a few short lines. Although I would probably cringe if I watched myself on tape...I would appreciate that my entire speech was captured. For me, if I feel strongly enough to get up and speak about something, I want to make sure that there is a full public record of it.

For me personally, knowing that the meeting was filmed and archived, would actually be a comfort.

I LOVE that this has generated good discussion already! What do YOU think? Would having a Council meeting filmed encourage or discourage YOU from getting up and speaking?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Door to Door

I've spent a lot of time talking this weekend. I've spent even more time listening.

The two big topics of conversation: policing and development. Not surprising considering the big headlines in the past few days.

This week in Esquimalt we can expect to see more concerns about both. There are several letters to Council in Monday night's agenda package expressing strong emotions about both issues. Also, the Advisory Planning Commission is looking at the 17 storey proposal on Tuesday. It's going to be a busy week!

Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to share their views and let me know what was on their minds. I truly appreciate it.

Please let me know if you'd like to talk about anything going on in Esquimalt. I can be reached through my website. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

City of North Vancouver Website

The City of North Vancouver issued a press release today about a new addition to their website. They have added a large section to inform and connect residents with current sustainability initiatives. I checked it out at: It is a nice resource and it directly links to all the other City of North Vancouver information.

I love some of the ways North Vancouver has made Council meetings accessible to the public. Minutes and Agendas are not only available online, they are available by email subscription. You can sign up to have the info delivered right to your laptop, cellphone or computer each week. Minutes online are archived all the way back to 1907! In addition to that, Monday night Council meetings are available to watch on live streaming video. The video is then archived and available to watch on the website the very next day.

At this time in my life, I am fortunate to work part-time with a fairly flexible schedule. If I want to attend a meeting, I can arrange that. However, a few years ago, I worked the afternoon shift. I could never attend a meeting unless I booked a vacation day to do it. I would have really appreciated the option of watching the video the next day!

The website also includes a short, but thoughtful, paragraph on "Matters of Protocol" for people wishing to give public input or speak as a delegation to Council. I think this is valuable. I know that I felt very nervous speaking in front of Council for the first time and I certainly didn't know to call the Mayor "Your Worship". I think that this kind of info encourages good public engagement.

I'm very impressed with North Vancouver's website!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Children Welcome

As a Mother of two, finding safe and inclusive places for my kids to play is important. As a woman who stays up way too late at night reading reports and studies, finding good places to drink coffee is important too. This is why Beans and Greens in Esquimalt is one of my favourite spots.

I am thrilled that Beans and Greens was just awarded an Early Years Community Appreciation Award by Play Victoria for best independent restaurant or cafe. I think Peg is doing an amazing job creating an atmosphere that really does welcome children. She welcomes people of all ages! Please check out for more info.

On this website you can also find The Esquimalt-View Royal Early Years Report - December 2007. It is an interesting read (worth staying awake for - especially if you can make a trip to Beans and Greens in the morning)

The report gives us some demographics and statistics on children in Esquimalt. It lists some of our community assets. It shows us some strengths and some challenges families face in our township. I think that this is a valuable resource.

Below is an excerpt I found particularly relevant:

Factors that Promote Physical Health and Well Being:

• Lots of safe outdoor play areas, both formal and informal

• Pregnancy care (health care, social supports, smoking, alcohol and drug use prevention programs, nutritious food, healthy workplaces for pregnant women)

• A variety of accessible recreation programs

• Recreational opportunities in both urban and rural settings

• Limiting time spent with TV and video games

• Food security programs in places that are friendly to children and families (such as nutritional education for expectant and new mothers, community kitchens, free or low cost community lunches and dinners etc.)

• Provision of accessible health services such as public health and medical care

• Children are seen, and there are places where people knowledgeable about normal development observe children. This is important to ensure any delays result in early referrals to professional services. (Early Childhood Educators, nurses, family doctors, infant development workers etc.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

One More Launch Party Photo

I am so lucky that I married the kindest man on the planet.
Thanks for always being right beside me Andy!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Launch Party Photo

It rained a great deal yesterday...but as the website launch party ended, the sky cleared and a brilliant triple rainbow stretched across Esquimalt.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Beans and Greens "Where Community Grows"

Tonight there was a launch party for my campaign website at Beans and Greens in Esquimalt. It was a great night and I couldn't have done it without the help of so many friends! This is just a quick, informal thank you...but I couldn't head to bed without expressing how grateful I am.

Louise from Dreaming In Colour was the real star tonight as she designed my website. I'm sure you'll agree she did an incredible job. Right up until the last minute I was emailing her additional thoughts and she was always so willing to do whatever it took to make it work. She was incredible to work with and I am so fortunate to have gotten to know her during this process. Thank you!

John from Finding Charlotte Photography has accomplished the impossible. He managed to take photos of me that I like enough to publish. I'm usually the one ducking in the back row or hiding behind a tree in the photograph. I hate having my picture taken....but John made it fun. Thank you!

Boulay put together some beautiful business cards for me to give out. I had hoped for a small handful to give away...but he arrived with a box of 500. Thank you!

If anyone reading this is interested in a website, photos or graphic design; contact me and I will give these three people the highest of recommendations.

I would also highly recommend Krisna and Lorie...but I'm afraid you can't have them. We have so much work to do yet! I'm so lucky to have these two women in my corner. Lorie has planned dozens of PAC events with me and Krisna has been a huge support with the Esquimalt Residents Association and the Sewage Treatment I knew I was working with exceptional people. However, I have no words to adequately express how great they were this week. They literally forced me to relax while they took care of all the details. Thank you!

I was literally overwhelmed with the support from family, friends and neighbours tonight. It was amazing to see Beans and Greens filled with so many people - old friends and new. I believe I got a chance to speak with everyone...but I would have loved to have spent more time with each person. It was wonderful. People have offered to help out by doorknocking, putting a sign on their lawn, distributing flyers, and even making donations to the campaign. Thank you!

I'm also overwhelmed by the number of kind emails and phone calls I received from those that were unable to attend. Thank you!

I loved that several candidates for Council also came tonight. We're all active in the community and I know that we'll be working together in some capacity for many years. It feels right to start this journey with the spirit of co-operation. I look forward to each of your announcements in the weeks to come. Thank you!

I also loved that people from all across the political spectrum came tonight. It was a really pleasant evening and I hope we'll have many more in the years to come! I love debating the issues with each of you and working together to find solutions. Thank you!

Last, but not least, I need to thank Peg from Beans and Greens for handing me the key to the shop tonight. I felt a bit like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory when I stepped through the curtain and into the kitchen area. Seeing how the magic happens won't make it any less special when I show up tomorrow morning for a latte. I'm so honoured to be the first private rental of the shop. Thank you!

I'll have more to say soon...tonight all I can say is Thank You! Thank you! Thank you! I won't forget this night!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Congratulations Nakusp!

Nakusp has just received a grant to upgrade their arena. They've also used grant money to upgrade their sewage treatment plant. I am impressed that they are saving the taxpayers' money on these improvements AND they are becoming more environmentally friendly. Well done Nakusp!

Friday, August 08, 2008
Provincial Funds Help Upgrade Nakusp Arena
By Ministry of Community Development

NAKUSP – The Province is investing $400,000 in Towns for Tomorrow funding to upgrade the Village of Nakusp’s ice arena, creating a greener, healthier community for residents, Technology, Trade and Economic Development Minister Ida Chong announced. “Through Towns for Tomorrow, our government is providing B.C.’s smaller communities with the means necessary to act on infrastructure needs,” said Chong. “This ice arena is a central part of the Nakusp community, and its citizens will benefit from having a more eco-friendly and inclusive facility for everyone to enjoy.”The ice arena renovation will include a new refrigeration system and heat recovery system, as well as a new accessible washroom for people with disabilities. The upgrade will also include roof repair and the installation of solar panels.“The Nakusp and Area Community Complex/Arena is the lifeline of this community and without it, we would be left without a venue to hold the majority of our community events – including our weddings, funerals, graduation ceremonies, and more,” said Nakusp Mayor Karen Hamling. “Provincial support such as the Towns for Tomorrow program is absolutely necessary for small populations such as Nakusp.”“Towns for Tomorrow encourages B.C.’s smaller communities to improve their local infrastructure and become even better places to live and work,” said Community Development Minister Blair Lekstrom. “The Towns for Tomorrow program also builds on other supports that the Province has in place for smaller communities, such as Small Community Grant Program, which has resulted in $1.3 million going to Nakusp since 2004.”Nakusp is benefiting from other recently approved projects, including $320,000 in provincial funding through the Canada-B.C. Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund for a sewage treatment plant upgrade.Towns for Tomorrow is a three-year, $21-million program to help small municipalities enhance community infrastructure and create legacies for the future. The Province provides 80 per cent of the funding for approved projects, to a maximum provincial contribution of $400,000, with communities funding the remaining 20 per cent.Towns for Tomorrow is one of four Green Cities programs aimed at creating more environmentally sustainable communities, and helping the Province reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 33 per cent below current levels by 2020. The Towns for Tomorrow program is meant to encourage citizens to think differently about their communities, how they use them, and what legacy they want to build for today’s and future generations.For more information on Towns for Tomorrow and links to other local government supports, visit


Hello and welcome to my blog!

I'm hoping that this will be an easy way to connect with people and find out what they'd love to see happening in Esquimalt. I'm running for Council this November and I'd like to meet as many Esquimalt residents and business owners as possible!