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Posts Tagged "british columbia"

18Sep

First-of-its-kind Parkinson’s community centre opens in Victoria

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For people living on lower Vancouver Island with Parkinson’s disease, there is now a community centre to help them through their journey.

Wednesday marks the official opening of the Parkinson Wellness Project (PWP) in Victoria, located at 2680 Blanshard Street. Staff refer to the facility as a community centre where people diagnosed with the progressive neurological disorder can come together and talk about their struggles with others going through the same journey.

Krista Lavoie, operations manager at PWP, says when someone gets diagnosed with the disease, often people suffer from depression and self-isolation.

One of the most important things someone can do for themselves at the time is to talk about it, she says. 

“We’re here sharing stories, we’re sharing food, we’re sharing laughter and we’re also sharing the hard stuff too,” said Lavoie.

“It’s important that everyone get a chance to do that here.”

Along with the emotional support, the centre emphasises fitness. While there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, physicians globally recognize exercise as the number one way to combat the physical effects of the illness, according to Lavoie. 

“People with Parkinson’s need specific movements to slow their progression, so we use specific exercises that we introduce repetitively throughout our classes,” said Lavoie. “It’s helping regain those movement patterns that you’ve lost.”

Classes vary from circuit training to boxing classes, which benefit local residents like Sukhi Rai who was diagnosed with the disease nine years ago. 

Rai says he was an avid runner and knew something was wrong when he started having troubles with his left ankle. After seeing a multitude of health specialists, he finally had a diagnosis. 

“It was a relief to finally be diagnosed because I had been living with the symptoms for quite a few years,” said Rai. “I continued to work for a while but eventually I had to go on long term disability.”

For Rai, the centre offers him a weekly routine of exercise, conversation and a place to just come feel as though he is part of a community.

“Without it, I don’t know where I’d be,” said Rai. “It’s been a pillar of my health plan and my battle with Parkinson’s.”

The PWP is open to all people with Parkinson’s disease and those around them. 

“If you have Parkinson’s, everybody in your social circle potentially is living that journey with you,” said Lavoie. “We want all of those people in here and we just want to make them comfortable.”

The centre is 100-percent funded by donors, with no medical or government support. All classes are completely free but often participants will donate what they can per class.

People who are interested in learning more about the Parkinson Wellness Project or are looking for ways to donate to the facility can find out more at their website here

7Sep

Victoria Conservatory of Music shows off new technology lab at open house

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News staff, CTV Vancouver Island


Published Saturday, September 7, 2019 4:31PM PDT

The Victoria Conservatory of Music showed off its facilities at its open house Saturday.

Members of the public were invited to tour the conservatory, including performance halls, practice rooms and a library featuring more than 60,000 music sheets and books. Visitors also got to enjoy free concerts by VCM faculty and students.

One of the stars of the show, from the conservatory’s perspective, is the recently opened Music Technology and Creativity Lab, which was made possible by a donation from Pitt and Sheila Linder.

The lab features computers and software for music recording, editing and production, and it’s open to both beginners and experts.

“It’s something we’ve dreamt about for years,” said Stephen Green, dean of the conservatory.

In addition to the software and the computers, the room includes a multi-channel audio system that will allow students to hear their creations and discuss with instructors and peers. There is also a large smart TV that allows the conservatory to connect live with professional musicians and teachers from around the world.

“It’s all here,” Green said. “We want to make sure that anyone who has an interest in music technology knows that it’s not just one particular group. You don’t have to be, like, a professional musician. It’s all open to everyone.”

The new space means greater accessibility for the conservatory, he said, adding that it helps the organization meet the needs of the 21st century musician.

The space cost roughly $50,000 to create, according to the conservatory.

29Jul

Care home aide not guilty of 6 sex assault charges

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CTV Vancouver Island


Published Monday, July 29, 2019 10:23AM PDT


Last Updated Monday, July 29, 2019 12:26PM PDT

A Victoria care home aide walked free from court Monday, moments after he was cleared of several charges of sexually abusing elderly and disabled patients.

Amado Ceniza was charged with six counts of sexual assault and exploitation of a person with a disability in relation to alleged crimes against three women last July at Aberdeen Hospital.

The women had testified that Ceniza groped and kissed them without their consent. All three women are elderly and have mobility issues, two relying on wheelchairs, and another who uses a walker.

The judge said Monday that there were concerns about collusion between alleged victims in the case, whether intentional or not.

The judge also found inconsistencies in testimony about the chronology of events and descriptions of the alleged perpetrator.

Ceniza pleaded not guilty to the charges and denied the allegations throughout the trial.

The judge applauded the women for their bravery during the trial and said greater attention will be paid to these cases because of their advocacy.

The judge did find that there was a probability that Ceniza tried to hug and kiss two of the complainants, and found his conduct to be highly unprofessional.


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13Jul

Aerosol can forces evacuation at Victoria airport

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Passengers departing Victoria International Airport Saturday morning were forced to go through security twice after a prohibited item passed through the airport’s security checkpoint.

The airport tweeted that a “security breach” had forced the evacuation of the departures area and caused “minor delays to a few flights.”

Airport spokesman Rod Hunchak told CTV News the security breach was caused by an aerosol can that was identified during the security screening process, but couldn’t be located before the passenger it belonged to had retrieved their bag.

“It was a matter of timing,” Hunchak said. “They couldn’t positively identify the passenger immediately.”

After evacuating the departures area, airport staff reviewed security camera footage and were able to determine who the aerosol can belonged to.

Hunchak said the owner of the prohibited item had already boarded a WestJet flight that was waiting to depart. Officials boarded that flight and retrieved the aerosol can, which turned out to be sunscreen, Hunchak said.

A total of four departing flights were grounded during the incident.

The departures area was deemed secure shortly after 10:30 a.m., at which point evacuated passengers were re-screened. Hunchack said this process was expedited by extra staff from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

Early Saturday afternoon, the airport tweeted to thank passengers for their patience during the incident.

Hunchak said the situation was a good reminder to travellers to double-check the list of prohibited items before heading to the airport.

“It’s good to check right before you go through security so you don’t get your items taken,” he said.




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23Nov

NEB to hold Trans Mountain reconsideration hearing in Victoria next week

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The National Energy Board will hear from Indigenous groups in Victoria next week as part of reconsideration hearings for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

Sessions are set to take place at the Delta Hotel Ocean Pointe Resort beginning Monday, Nov. 26 and continuing through Thursday.

Over the week, the board will meet with members of the Stó:lō Tribal Council, Kwantlen First Nation, Tsawout First Nation, Tsartlip First Nation and Squamish Nation from B.C., and the Swinomish, Tulalip, Suquamish and Lummi Nations from the U.S.

In August, the Federal Court of Appeal overturned Ottawa’s approval of the project, saying the NEB’s initial environmental assessment was flawed.

The project was sent back to the review phase to address tanker traffic concerns and engage in more meaningful consultation with First Nations.

That decision came on the same day Kinder Morgan sold the pipeline to the Canadian government for $4.5-billion, not including construction costs.

In September, the NEB was given six months to complete the new review. It completed one hearing in Calgary on Tuesday, with the second taking place in Victoria next week.

First Nations and environmental groups have expressed concerns about the potential for diluted bitumen spills and increased tanker traffic on B.C.’s coast if the pipeline expansion is built.

Possibly expecting a large turnout of protesters, Victoria police said they would deploy temporary CCTV cameras near the Delta for the hearings.

After the new NEB hearings conclude, the board will have to submit a report with its new findings by Feb. 22, 2019. 


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20Sep

Mounties shut down provincial park day after tent city campers move in

by admin

CTV Vancouver Island


Published Thursday, September 20, 2018 11:19AM PDT


Last Updated Thursday, September 20, 2018 12:38PM PDT

Just a day after homeless occupants from a former tent city moved into Goldstream Provincial Park, they and other campers have been told to leave.

West Shore RCMP arrived at the park Wednesday night briefly blocking access and telling campers it would be closed indefinitely after 11 a.m. Thursday.

Reports then surfaced that campers would be granted an additional 24 hours to pack up and move out of the camp whlie the government collected further information.

The park shutdown applies to all campers, not just the 25 or so tent city residents who moved in Wednesday night.

Those homeless campers said they were under the impression they’d be able to stay at the park for two weeks after they were evicted from two Saanich parks in a week.

“I went and talked to park ranger and he said ‘Oh we’re trying to nip it in the bud, we don’t want to see what’ll happen in two weeks from now,'” said camper Morgan Van Humbeck.

Tent city organizer Chrissy Brett called on B.C.’s premier to discuss options with the group instead of evicting them.

“John Horgan if you’re watching this I would ask you to ask your ministers to come down and have a conversation and sit around the one table we have left, and tell people to their face that they have no right to exist here in British Columbia if you’re homeless,” said Brett.

But Langford Mayor Stew Young said problems like open drug use and theft moved in along with the campers, prompting the shutdown.

“This is not a place to have needle sharps and other activity around that neighbourhood especially,” Stew Young told CFAX 1070. “We’ve already, from yesterday, had two individual instances of males in the washroom shooting up in front of other families that are in there and camping, so those people have left.”

Mounties referred questions to BC Parks, saying they were assisting the organization by enforcing regulations of the Parks Act.

On Thursday, B.C.’s housing minister Selina Robinson issued a statement saying that the campground was closed to ensure public safety after concerns were expressed by RCMP.

“The park is not an appropriate place for the establishment of a tent city. We urge those at Goldstream to work with staff to identify better housing solutions,” Robinson said.

She said the province’s goal is to get people into shelters and longer-term housing, but a CTV News report Wednesday found that all shelters in the Capital Region were full. Robinson pointed to 25 new shelter beds opening at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre Oct. 1.

She also noted that in the Capital Region, only the City of Victoria had identified a site for modular units of supportive housing that the government has committed to build.

That changed Thursday, when the District of Saanich announced it had identified a site near Saanich city hall for modular units to be built.

The section of land is north of the Saanich Fire Hall on Vernon Avenue.

“We’re hopeful that by providing this land, we’re moving in the right direction to secure housing and satisfy some of the need for housing in the region,” said Chief Administrative Officer Paul Thorkelsson.

The district said it will make another announcement soon once further details of the project are confirmed.

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