Inside Langford

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173 Responses to “Reader News”

  1. Ann Cochlin said

    Len Barrie fails to come up with cash, offers NHL another letter of credit

    Lightning co-owner Len Barrie said Thursday the NHL is “satisfied”
    with his letter of credit.

    “The league is satisfied and things are progressing nicely,” Barrie said from New York, where he met almost two hours with commissioner Gary Bettman at the league offices.

    Deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the sentiment.

    “We had the meeting,” he said in an e-mail. “We’re satisfied with where things stand, and things are moving forward.”

    Barrie had to come up with either $10 million in cash or an irrevocable letter of credit from a financial institution and payable to the NHL to cover his portion of the team’s projected losses for the fiscal year beginning July 1 while also providing a funding cushion.

    Barrie’s next deadline is Aug. 1, when he must come up with $3 million to repay co-owner Oren Koules for a cash call Barrie missed last season that Koules apparently covered. Additionally, Bettman is wading through briefs and papers filed by both Barrie and Koules as they vie for ownership control.

    For the time being, though, things presumably are status quo in the Lightning front office. Koules is still CEO and governor and, with general manager Brian Lawton, controls most of the day-to-day activity surrounding the team. Barrie still has managerial rights in that he must sign off on all “major” player transactions.

    Jul 17, 2009 04:46 PM

  2. Ann Cochlin said

    Two more stories – I wonder why it’s not being reported?

    Langford developer sued for millions

    Quote: “Sysco Victoria, part of the multinational food conglomerate Sysco Corporation, is seeking millions of dollars in damages from developer Les Bjola and his partners for breaching a development contract”

    Langford “Abandons” Spencer Interchange Project

    Quote: “The Spencer Road Interchange (also known as the Bear Mountain Interchange) was scheduled for completion in August 2009. Instead, it appears abandoned. All the heavy equipment, construction crews, and security personnel were withdrawn from the construction site in early July. Gravel roadbeds and a concrete overpass sit unfinished and empty.”

  3. Anonymous said

    The Sysco action is newsworthy given that Sysco is certainly a credible organization and Les has substantial involvment in a number of projects in the community.

    The Spencer road item is largely speculation at this point. Perhaps a reporter could make a few calls to see what is going on, but given that most of them are trying to juggle a dozen stories at a time with downsizing, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  4. Kim Hughes said

    The ongoing Spencer Interchange drama continues with a Goldstream Gazette article and a highly charged (and amusing) rebuttal on the WTF blogspot page.

  5. Kim Hughes said

    The oft quoted hero of Inside Langford, in this weeks Monday Magazine. Very cool!

  6. Langfordite said

    Be sure to point out to all your friends and neighbours that the city of Langford DID in fact BORROW $5-$6 million for the to-be-developer-paid unfinished Spencer Rd. Interchange from the City of Langford’s $9.75 million line of credit. This fact was erroneously reported as not being true in the print version of the “Langford in no hurry to finish interchange” article in the Goldstream Gazette because the facts were not checked until after the paper had gone to the presses! So the online version has the correction. Pretty wild error, I wonder how prominent the retraction/correction will be in the next printed edition?

  7. At the last Parks and Rec Committee meeting that I attended Councillor Lanny Seaton announced that (West Shore Parks & Rec) WSPR had completed a deal for a WildPlay facility to go in at Juan de Fuca Rec. He explained that a lot of schools and programs were currently busing children to the WildPlay in Nanaimo so it would be great to have one here. You can check out what WildPlay is at:

    And the Times Colonist story on it coming to Juan de Fuca Rec at:

  8. Report claims Len Barrie misappropriated monies from Bear Mountain Resort, using $2.5-million to buy his share of NHL team.

    The on-going saga of Bear Mt. Development continues, in the sports section of the Globe and Mail:

    “The Victoria accounting firm of Norgaard Neale Camden Ltd. made the report to Bear Mountain’s executive committee last January and then resigned as the auditor on April 15 because it felt some financial transactions were illegal and because Bear Mountain’s directors did not take action.”

    “One source with knowledge of the committee’s deliberations said Mr. Barrie may soon be replaced as CEO of Bear Mountain by an interim leader from a Toronto company that specializes in corporate rescues.”

  9. Andrew F said

    It is over.

    Barrie will soon be replaced and then the shareholders will go after him and Scansa. As long as money is flowing you can count on the business community to keep their mouths shut and play the game, but as soon as the wheels start to come off the bus the same people will crawl over each other like cockroaches to try and distance themselves from the sorid affair. The only question will be how far uphill the poop rolls.

  10. Down by the old Millstream... said


    Somethings you know weren’t right from the beginning…

  11. puzzled? said

    Under the freedom of information act do we have access to that report? Also, the report raises questions about 25.8 million dollars being paid to Mr Barrie or companies under his control. Where did that money come from? Mayor Young and council told Langford taxpayers that they needed to lend 25 million to Mr Barrie to build the Spencer Road interchange. Could someone please shed some light on this for me as I’m really not sure what the heck is going on? Am I a part owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning or not?

  12. Langfordite said

    Heard it on FB: “HST protest with John Horgan and Maurine Karagianis: Saturday, Sept 5, 10:30am – 2:30pm WestShore Town Centre Mall (formerly CanWest mall) outside Fairway Market – Jacklin Road.”

  13. Ann said

    Interchange loan payback “postponed” indefinitely

    Len Barrie, owner of Bear Mountain Resort and LGB9 development company, has failed to pay back $4.8 million owed to the City of Langford for Bear Mountain Interchange construction. The city’s agreement with Barrie originally called for the loan to be repaid on March 2, 2009.

    John Manson, Langford’s chief engineer, confirmed on Friday, September 4 that Barrie has not paid back any of the funds Langford borrowed for interchange construction.

    Langford has not set a new payment date. Instead, Manson would only say that repayment has been “postponed.” In the meantime, Manson said, the city has stopped work on the interchange until construction can begin on the new development north of the freeway, and until the city finds out whether federal and provincial grants will be delivered for the project.

    Manson said that around $14 million has been spent on the interchange in total, and the city still hopes for a federal and provincial grant for what the calls “phase two” of the project, consisting of additional cloverleafs and on-ramps linking the TransCanada Highway to Bear Mountain Parkway just west of Spencer Road.

  14. Sam Snipes said

    I see Zoe Blunt is claiming on her blog that she spoke with a City Engineer from Langford who states that Len Barrie didn’t make a $5M payment to the City in March and that the total amount spent to date on the interchange is not $0, or $6M but instead $14M!

    If this is true then in my opinion it raises serious questions about disclosure from the City of Langford and how a deal can we written such repayment terms on a loan are open ended.

  15. An editorial in today’s Times Colonist, “Spencer bridge to nowhere”

    A complaint about the lack of cohesive transportation planning in the region, but also an explanation of some of the funding sources of the Spencer (or Bear Mt.) Interchange.

  16. If you are wondering, with all the recent articles on the schedule for completion of the Spencer Road (or Bear Mt.) Interchange Project, what the original proposed completion dates were, you can check out the downloadable PDF document on the “2007 Open House on the Spencer Road Interchange” on the City of Langford’s own website, a link off their Home page, scroll down to:

    Spencer Road Interchange – Review reports and plans for the new interchange planned on the Trans Canada Highway

    SpencerRoadInterchange/Open House October 30 2007

    A graph on p. 13/14 shows:

    - Bridge construction to be finished – early Dec. 2008
    - Road Paving & finishing – to be completed end of May 2009
    with “Note: subject to change” at the bottom of the graph.

  17. Herman Surkis said

    “The only question will be how far uphill the poop rolls.”

    More like downhill.

    I wish that my lenders would decide, to let me decide, if and when and at what rate I can pay back a loan.

    Last time I was a day late (forgot) on my Realty Tax, I got nailed with a big penalty. One day late for gods sake, and I am hit with the full penalty. Wonder what Len’s penalty will be for being half a year late, or more?

    None perhaps?

    How come we don’t get deals like that?

    Anyone notice that the press is now on about how the Interchange is to benefit a few developers, and Langford is quiet. Not so long ago they were all about how this was to benefit the larger community, all the way up the Malahat and into Victoria.

    How quickly times change!

    Talking to various and sundry highway engineers, and the all say wrong, place wrong design, and will only make traffic up the Malahat and into town worse…add several thousand extra cars and you have gridlock before the cement is dry.

    Any wonder the Feds, and even the Prov. are staying away from this.

    Having your predictions proved right is a small consolation.

    At least they are not blowing billions of our money on a two week party. Another very small consolation.

  18. Langfordite said

    Found on the web:

    Media release – September 8, 2009
    Langford Interchange payment “postponed” indefinitely
    Zoe Blunt

    A crucial piece of information regarding the Langford interchange funding controversy came to light Friday afternoon. Langford city staff confirmed Friday, September 4th that Len Barrie’s company, LGB9, has failed to repay $4.79 million, his share of the $9.8 million that the city borrowed on behalf of developers to build the Spencer Road interchange (formerly the Bear Mountain Interchange.)

    Barrie, the owner of Bear Mountain Resort, was questioned recently about diverting up to $25.8 million from the resort to the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team and to his own companies. Barrie denies the allegations but may face an investigation.

    The original terms of the Langford Interchange loan called for Barrie’s company to hand over the $4.79 million repayment on March 2, 2009, “or such other date as may be mutually agreed to by LGB9 and the City.”1 No new repayment date has been set, according to city engineer John Manson, who spoke to Zoe Blunt of the Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network on Friday.

    Coincidentally, March 2 is the day that Rob Buchan suddenly left his long-time position as Langford’s clerk-administrator, for reasons that are still unclear.

    Ten days later, on March 12, Langford called a special meeting of council and voted unanimously to apply for Building Canada infrastructure funds for the interchange. The mayor and council gave no explanation for the application and no public participation was allowed. The applications may include up to $32 million in federal grants2 to complete what Langford calls “phase two” of the Spencer Interchange and the road connecting the highway to Bear Mountain Resort.

    At the end of June, work ceased at the interchange site, which remains half-finished and empty. Manson said the city has spent over $14 million on the project in total, with funds coming from development cost charges and other sources, including the city’s line of credit with TD Bank.

    Several rather unconvincing explanations for the stoppage have been offered by staff, but so far, no one has mentioned Len Barrie’s missed payment. Langford’s mayor, Stew Young, and its councillors have been conspicuously silent on the interchange issue.

    Conflict over the interchange funding dates back to December 2007, when Langford Council voted at a special meeting to authorize up to $25 million in loans that developers, including Barrie, agreed to pay back. 3

    Local residents immediately mounted a counter-petition to bring the issue to a referendum. 4 Even though they gathered more than 2200 signatures, the referendum was rejected on the basis that the project would be “100% funded by developers,” according to Stew Young. 5

    Shortly after, the Municipal Finance Authority declined to provide favourable terms for the loan, citing its “non-traditional” nature. 6 The city then pursued funding from TD Bank.

    Now, concerned residents are looking for ways to compel full disclosure from Langford on the financing of the interchange. Questions about the city’s 2009 budget are causing unease as well. Included is $50 million – over 60% of the total budget – in grants that may not be awarded. 7


    1. Staff report to council, August 18, 2008:
    1. In this Agreement,
    (a) “Local Area Service Petition” means the petition for the Spencer Road Interchange Project, the sufficiency and validity of which was certified by the City’s Corporate Officer on December 27, 2007,
    (b) “Payment Date’ means March 2, 2009 or such other date as may be mutually agreed to by LGB9 and the City, and
    (c) “Project” means the Spencer Road interchange project and defined as the “Project’ in the Spencer Road Interchange Construction Management Agreement entered into concurrently by LGB9 and the City.

    Payment Obligations
    2. LGB9 shall pay to the City in respect of each of the parcels shown in column 2 of Schedule A the amount shown for that parcel in column 3 of Schedule A.

    Timing of Payment
    3. LGB9 shall pay to the City the amount required under section 2 of this Agreement on the Payment Date.

    Form of Payment
    4. Payments required to be made to the City under this Agreement shall be made by LGB9 providing to the City on the Payment Date the following:
    (a) cash in the amount required under section 2; or
    (b) a clean, irrevocable letter of credit in the amount required under section 2,
    (i) that is issued by a Canadian Chartered Bank or Credit Union having a branch office in the City of Langford,
    (ii) that has a term of at least 1 year, and
    (iii) that is in a form acceptable to the City’s Director of Finance.

    Schedule A

    Owner Parcel Required Payment

    LGB9 Development Corporation 009-853-081 $148,335.80
    LGB9 Development Corporation 009-853-103 $192,247.49
    LGB9 Development Corporation 009-858-636 $342,725.33
    LGB9 Development Corporation 009-858-652 $2,085,269.40
    LGB9 Development Corporation 026-228-203 $84,074.81
    LGB9 Development Corporation 026-228-211 $129,057.51
    LGB9 Development Corporation 026-632-209 $129,593.01
    LGB9 Development Corporation 026-886-472 $41,234.14
    LGB9 Development Corporation 027-055-680 $115,134.29
    LGB9 Development Corporation 026-952-076 $73,364.64
    LGB9 Development Corporation 025-838-563 $1,097,256.55
    LGB9 Development Corporation 026-867-494 $29,988.47
    LGB9 Development Corporation 025-695-126 $328,802.11

    Total $4,797,083.54

    2. As reported in the Times-Colonist. “Spencer Bridge to Nowhere,” Sept. 5, 2009.

    3. “Interchange loan riles Langford citizen group,” Rick Stiebel, Goldstream Gazette, January 11, 2008.

    4. “Interchange loan riles Langford citizen group.”

    5. “Spencer interchange battle heats up,” Rick Stiebel, Goldstream Gazette, November 09, 2007.

    6. “Loan plan for interchange abandoned,” Bill Cleverley, Times Colonist, March 13, 2008.

    7. “Various and sundry meetings,”, posted May 10, 2009.

    See also: “Langford’s Fudge-it Budget,” WTF Langford?, posted May 2009.

  19. Ann said

    Hi Puzzled (Sept. 2)

    I think that the report was private and confidential, but then it was leaked to the Globe and Mail. So I doubt we can get it from freedom of information.

    Yes, it’s strange how the loan bylaw and Barrie’s (alleged) embezzlement are about the same amount – $25 million.

  20. What next said

    Bear Mountain owes taxes

    Company appeals assessments, stalled interchange ‘not involved’


    Work on the Spencer Road interchange on the Trans-Canada Highway has been on hold since June.
    Photograph by: Darren Stone, Times Colonist, Times Colonist
    Bear Mountain Development Holdings owes more than $400,000 in taxes to Langford, but the municipality and resort head

    Len Barrie say this has nothing to do with stalled Spencer Road highway interchange.

    The partly completed interchange has been on hold since June.

    Five developers, including Bear Mountain, have agreed to help finance the interchange. They met with Langford officials and the date for their payment — originally due in March — was moved to the end of this year, municipal staff say.

    “We haven’t had reason to draw upon those [developers'] funds yet,” Langford manager Jim Bowden said yesterday.

    Extending the agreement was a “mutually agreed-upon decision because we haven’t needed the funds.”

    Work on the interchange stopped in June because the economic slowdown meant fewer developments were proceeding, the municipality has said.

    Phil LeSeur, a director of Bear Mountain Development Holdings, said yesterday that the company is appealing assessments on the two parcels it owns with outstanding taxes. It hopes to have their B.C. Assessment classification changed from being zoned for business and thus reduce their assessed values, which are reflected in municipal taxes.

    Barrie, the Bear Mountain president, said he does not consider the amounts levied by Langford as unpaid taxes.

    “Every year we have had appeals, for five years, so it’s nothing new,” he said yesterday.

    The highest amount owed, at $351,990, is for a Bear Mountain Resort site. It’s the location of the planned 200-unit Soaring Peaks condo project and should be assessed as residential, not business, LeSeur said.

    More than $100,000 has been paid to Langford since 2007 to cover what would have been levied on a residential use of that property, he said.

    A second Bear Mountain property is listed as having $75,810 in outstanding taxes.

    LeSeur said $12,000 has been paid on that lot, which he said is to become parkland and therefore should have its assessed value reduced considerably.

    LeSeur said he is hopeful that these and other outstanding Bear Mountain appeals will be resolved before a B.C. Assessment appeal board hearing slated for Dec. 7. The appeals were originally filed in January 2007, he said.

    The Spencer Road interchange has been a contentious issue because it was structured to include developer financing and because of concerns that sensitive ecosystems would be damaged.

    It was planned to provide access to other residential developments on Skirt Mountain in addition to the Bear Mountain Resort. Together, the payment required from the five developers amounts to $9.75 million.

    Of that, Bear Mountain’s portion is $4.797 million, Langford treasurer Steve Ternent said.

    “We have time to slow down a little on the construction of the interchange and take advantage of some of the better pricing that’s available now,” Ternent said.

    “We won’t demand they [the developers] give us the money until we actually need it.”

    That may be done through a letter of credit, allowing Langford to draw on funds as required, he said.

    There is no link between the tax issue and the overpass, Barrie said.

    He and LeSeur point to strong sales this year, saying $60 million worth of real estate has been sold.

    “We are hoping to be building some new buildings in the spring,” Barrie said, adding that a townhouse project and a 100-unit condo project are planned to start then.

  21. Heather Scott said

    Bear Mountain condo land up for tax sale

    This is the Gazette article on the same topic as the Times Colonist one someone posted but this one has some juicy quotes, like Phil LeSeur admitting they have 20-50 properties they are challenging with the BC Assessment Authority, Stew Young saying not to worry that we’ll get all our tax money eventually, and Langford’s administrator saying “We’ve slowed the (interchange) project to a point where we are not spending money.”

  22. Ann said

    And apparently this public scandal is the fault of some “anti-Bear Mountain bloggers.” Hm!

  23. Avid Reader said

    Langford, Colwood, and Sooke to create joint sewage treatment utility project.

    Gazette: Langford, Colwood team up to control sewage destiny
    T-C: West Shore wants to go it alone on sewage

  24. "no longer shocked" said

    I guess this means the effluent will be controlled coming and going.

  25. Taking shots said

    Saturday, October 3, 2009

    Taking shots

    Former NHLer’s business dealings drawing scrutiny

    Brian Hutchinson,  National Post 
    Darren Stone, Victoria Times Colonist Files

    Book smarts aren’t needed to make a fortune in real estate, says Len Barrie, a former pro hockey journeyman turned luxury resort impresario.

    “It’s simple-stupid,” says the stocky 40-year-old, just before stepping onto a fresh sheet of ice for some shinny with other ex-NHL grinders. “You build it and sell it, and pay your debt down.”

    His rudimentary approach seemed to work on Bear Mountain, Mr. Barrie’s multi-billion dollar golf and luxury home development.

    People clamoured for a piece of the 1,500-acre property, west of Victoria, with its endless mountain and ocean views, two Jack Nicklaus designed golf courses, a sumptuous Westin hotel and fully serviced lots with enough room to build 6,000 high-end houses and condominium units.

    All of this was conceived, executed and promoted by Mr. Barrie, a high school dropout whose nomadic hockey career took him from his native Kelowna to the NHL, albeit briefly, with stops in many non-hockey hotbeds such as Frankfurt, Germany, and San Antonio, Texas.

    After leaving the game in 2001 and getting into real estate, he had only known “good economic times. Bring on something, it sold. Borrow money. It all was easy.”

    Too easy, perhaps. Sales and construction activity was frantic until the global economic crisis hit last year. Vancouver Island’s go-go housing market collapsed. Banks stopped lending developers money. Mr. Barrie found himself in a classic real estate squeeze.

    Conditions have improved. Mr. Barrie crows about $65-million worth of Bear Mountain deals that have closed since March. But he has other worries: He is facing serious allegations from detractors on different fronts.

    In December, an annual Bear Mountain audit raised troubling questions about financial transactions that were attributed to him. Last month, a post-audit report prepared by Bear Mountain’s Victoria based accounting firm was leaked to the media. So was the firm’s strongly worded letter of resignation, penned in April.

    The post-audit report suggests that Mr. Barrie consented “to misappropriate funds [from Bear Mountain Master Partnership] for personal purposes.” The report refers to fund transfers totalling $28.6-million.

    The auditor’s subsequent resignation letter refers to “a number of instances where senior members of [Bear Mountain]management had engaged in a number of activities that, in our view, were improper and, in some cases, illegal.”

    Mr. Barrie is president and chief executive of Bear Mountain Resort’s development company, and holds shares in Bear Mountain Master Partnership, a private holding company that owns the resort; it has other shareholders including more than a dozen former and current NHL players.

    Allan Neale, the Victoria accountant who wrote the report and the resignation letter, would not discuss directly the contents of either document. He did say, however, that information contained in the documents was accurately reported in the press. He said yesterday that he “stands by” his findings.

    Independent of the accounting firm, a former member of Bear Mountain Master Partnership’s executive committee alleges that Mr. Barrie used company money to pay for a 35% stake in the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning last year. The stake is valued at US$40-million.

    Mr. Barrie denies having improperly or illegally diverted money into his own accounts and companies.

    He admits that Bear Mountain has always received annual audits that are critical. “Every year,” he adds. “At first you don’t understand what an audit report is all about, which I didn’t. It’s like, I want to fight the guys. But … there were banks that ran out of money, stuff that I counted on that didn’t happen, that led into some of these things.”

    He’s not a detail-oriented person, he confesses. “I’m a visionary guy. I’m not a day-to-day guy that wants to come in and give someone s—because they missed his budget by five bucks. The only thing I know in life is hockey.”

    Concerns about Mr. Barrie’s credibility are being raised elsewhere. He told a Toronto newspaper last month that Bear Mountain has hired accounting giant KPMG International as its new auditor.

    Not so, said KPMG’s Torontobased national director of communications, when contacted by the National Post. KPMG is not conducting audits for Bear Mountain,said Gordon Braun-Woodbury.

    Yet Mr. Barrie continues to promulgate the notion. “I’ve used KPMG in the past and we’re moving forward with it,” he said in an interview this week. “I’m not going to put anyone on the spot because that’s what everyone goes and does. And professionals don’t like that. And so that was a mistake. I shouldn’t have said that in the first place.”
    A new audit by KPMG is forthcoming, he indicated.

    The trouble on Bear Mountain could not have come at a worse time for him, or for others with interests on the property. Several major housing projects — including a $1.4-billion condo development called Capella — have been in limbo since the real estate collapse last year.

    Capella developer Robert Quigg says that while Bear Mountain “is an amazing place,” and he admires what Mr. Barrie has been able to achieve in just a few years, it is “not everything it was made out to be by its management. We bought land there based on certain promises that were made to us. Information that we receive from Bear Mountain is not always correct.”

    A lawsuit initiated by Mr. Quigg against Bear Mountain and Mr. Barrie was settled out of B. C. Supreme Court last year; however, Mr. Quigg says that certain issues remain unresolved. His says his lawyers recently filed another writ and the matter is back in court.

    Mr. Barrie has been trying to attract foreign investment to Bear Mountain. A purported $350-million deal with investors from the United Arab Emirates was to have been finalized this week or next.

    It would have seen Siraj Capital (Dubai) Inc. acquire a 25% interest in Bear Mountain.

    In an interview conducted on Thursday, Mr. Barrie said that an agreement has not been reached. “We kind of set a date with them, closing in November,” he explained. “And if it doesn’t happen by January 1, we’re going to move on to other things.”

    Unless new investors are found, some developments on Bear Mountain will remain in limbo. At least one construction crane stands idle amidst an unfinished condo tower at the resort. Home prices will have to drop to attract buyers, says Mr. Barrie; however, construction costs have fallen too, so he isn’t worried.

    But then there’s Tampa Bay, where he is also in tough. His relationship with Lightning co-owner Oren Koules has disintegrated, he admits. What started last year as a disagreement over the future of Lightning star centre Vincent Lecavalier is now an irrevocable split. The two co-owners are both attempting to raise funds from outside investors to buy out the other.

    Mr. Barrie now denies reports that he had first crack to arrange a buyout, and failed.

    In fact, the ball was in Mr. Koules’ court, says Mr. Barrie. “I waived my [negotiating opportunity] about five weeks ago, giving [Mr. Koules] the exclusive period,” he says. “I told Oren that if he can come up with something, I would be happy to take my $40-million back.”

    Yet there’s as much uncertainty over the value of struggling NHL franchises these days as there is in real estate.

    “What’s the value of anything right now? That’s what everyone in the world is trying to find out,” says Mr. Barrie.
    He expects he and Mr. Koules will both end up losing some of the money they spent on the Lightning purchase last year.

    “We had big ideas and big dreams, and it was a tough year for everybody,” says Mr. Barrie. “Being in 29th place [in the NHL standings], and the economy in Florida being one of the worst in North America, and season ticket sales going from 14,000 down to 9,000 down to 7,000, it’s been a challenge.”

    He likens his recent experiences to those he endured as a struggling pro hockey player. “If you win, you’re a hero. If you lose, you’re a bum. That’s hockey.” And that’s business, too.

  26. Langfordite said

    The “movers and shakers” in Langford keep making the news, and not in good ways:

    Bjola faces civil lawsuit

    Sysco Victoria sues developer for $2.3 million

    Times Colonist October 2, 2009

    “Sysco alleges insufficient fill was brought onto the site and bringing it up to the grade required by the City of Langford will cost $450,000.”

    “Sysco alleges the developers failed to meet municipal standards for suppressing noise with berms and walls. Sysco is asking for $500,000 to cover the additional costs of addressing the problems.”

    “Sysco said the defendants failed to provide sanitary sewer connections as required by the contract, resulting in a shortfall of $905,000.”

  27. Langfordite said

    Les Bjola is in the news again, this time as chairman of the West Shore Parks and Recreation Society, which operates the Juan de Fuca Recreation complex on behalf of West Shore municipalities. He and WSPR are having a disagreement with some local cyclists and others who think the closure of the velodrome is more about politics and future plans for the land then the safety reasons cited.

  28. Herman Surkis said

    The same people keep getting in the news, and not in a good way. Yes, mentioned earlier, and needed repeating.

    And this is only the beginning, if even 10% of the rumours turn out to be true. I wonder how far the dirt will fly, where it will land, and who is wearing Teflon? Perhaps the Westshore will really need its own sewage plant…just to handle all of this.

  29. Sam Snipes said

    I think that the most telling part of the National Post article is Barrie’s comment that if the Siraj deal doesn’t close by Jan 1 then he will look elsewhere. Don’t know how we got from a “done deal” to “no deal” but this has pretty significant implications for Langford and the ratepayers. Aside from the taxes and loan installments that we know that BM team is not paying, you have to wonder what else is on the Langford books that is now at risk as well. If I recall, the April loan repayment was deferred to December (which was after the Siraj deal was supposed to close). I guess we will see.

    I was suprised to see the article on Les as the story is 3 months old and was covered in local blogs. The article didn’t carry a byline so I guess the editor can just claim it was content inserted by National! Les is also head cheerleader for the Colwood Corners development of course and his group just filed an offering memorandum to try and raise money to fund the project. Although not yet quite the money pit that BM mountain is, it looks like Les has the Barrie knack for losing money at a pretty good clip! Details are on the bcsc website. Search under Cityzen.

  30. Herman Surkis said

    Les has gone belly up at least once before, it happens, and the Bear Mountain crew have been censored by the Real Estate Board several times. So no surprises here, we have their track record.

    What is really interesting is that we the poor, ignorant, unwashed, voting public were recently telling them that Langford was setting it self up, and putting themselves and us, at risk for exactly what is now happening.

    How is it that the brilliant minds in council and their developer buddies could not see what we could.

    Or is it that they actually could see it, but did not care, since the public would pay the price, not them.

  31. Heather Scott said

    One of the two graffiti court cases Langford was pursuing has been settled out of court.

  32. Broom Basher said

    A local group of residents, with years of experience removing broom from sensitive environments, planned a broom bashing party this Sunday on land designated as protected in the OCP. This land has a rare deep soil Garry Oak meadow that is gradually being overtaken by broom and daphne. The response to this community effort by the landowner’s lawyer was to threaten the volunteers with arrest by Westshore RCMP if they ever enter the land. The response by the City of Langford was to demand a development permit “this email is to inform you that the area that you intend to work in has been designated as a environmentally sensitive Development Permit area for Potential Wildlife Habitat and Biodiversity, pursuant to Sec. 919.1(1)(a) of the Local Government Act. As such, no alteration of land may occur without first obtaining a Development Permit from the City of Langford.”

    If this landowner and the City of Langford really cared about this land, they would have removed the broom and other invasive species as well as the piles of garbage, years ago. Who cares about protection of natural areas in Langford?

  33. "no longer shocked" said

    amazing that Langford staff take time to babysit this issue and write this letter. Let the individual property owner carry her own issue! And why should the RCMP be called, at taxpayer expense for this issue? What happened to dialogue?
    Is this why we pay taxes???? or is this the new Langford position on finding funding….go look for any issue to demand a permit fee??
    ….anything goes as long as they can get a cut! Guess that will help pay the hole that len Barrie’s tax bill caused.

  34. Ann said

    Re: Broom Bash threats

    That has got to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard (and living in Langford, I’ve heard a lot.) How can pulling broom possibly be construed as development?

  35. Requiring a biologist report (that costs $) and a development permit (that usually costs $) to carry out ecosystem restoration is a huge disincentive to the landowner or any community group willing to put out the effort to actually carry out such a worthwhile endeavour. I really wonder how rules were passed that include remediating land as the same as developing the land………..

  36. JH getting caught up on the GG said

    I was suurprised to read:

    Langford Seeks Sportsplex Funds in Wed., Nov. 4th GG p. A5

    I thought the deal with the Federal infrastructure stimulus spending money was “shovel-ready” projects, where the local government already had their 1/3 portion in place, would get funding. So why is Mayor Stew Young quoted as saying, “the City is trying to get future facility operator Xcalibur Bowling to pay $4.46 million to build the bowling centre.” And Councillor Lanny Seaton suggests, “If Xcalibur doesn’t come up with the funding, the City will need to go through a counter-petition or referendum process to get public permission to borrow the money.”

    Since when does the City of Langford need new money, and possibly borrowed money, to complete a project that been on the books for at least 2 years?!

  37. Ben said

    There’s the Bear Mt. Master Partnership (Len Barrie) payment of $4.79 million that was due to be paid to the city of Langford on March 2, 2009 that is “postponed indefinitely” that would nicely fill the $4.46 million bill for the Sportsplex Langford needs to pony up ASAP.

  38. JH getting caught up on the GG said

    The City of Langford suggesting they have money to complete the section of the Rail Trail the CRD says it does not have the $ for, so instead it would route Rail Trail users up steep Wale Rd.

    “Langford is considering building one of the most difficult portions of the E&N rail-trail, otherwise known as the Millstream ravine.”

    But where is the money to come from?

  39. Herman Surkis said

    But where is the money to come from?

    Dumb question.

    Langford has the deepest pockets anywhere.


  40. Stan Bower said

    Ex-Lightning co-owner subject to probe

    Canada Revenue Agency looking into handling of finances at Len Barrie’s Victoria development

    David Shoalts
    TAMPA — From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail
    Published on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009 10:10PM EST
    Last updated on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009 10:37PM EST
    Len Barrie is still listed in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s media guide as a co-owner of the NHL team, but those close to the team say he is out of the picture.

    His financial problems with the Bear Mountain golf resort and housing development near Victoria were severe enough to scuttle his attempt to buy out fellow owner Oren Koules in late summer. Now it appears as if the problems will worsen.

    In the wake of a damning report by the company’s former auditor that accused management at Bear Mountain of misappropriating funds, a source said Canada Revenue Agency is looking into the development’s finances.

    Barrie, who was accused in the report and by a member of the development’s executive committee of improperly financing at least part of his share of the Lightning with Bear Mountain funds, did not respond to a request for comment.

    Bear Mountain is limping along with some housing sales, although at least one condominium project was halted and a large financing deal has not materialized. Barrie had said an agreement with Siraj Capital, a company based in Dubai, was to inject $350-million (all currency U.S.) into the development by October, but it has not come to fruition.

    Barrie had tried to get Anthony Sansone Jr., a St. Louis real-estate developer, to be his partner in buying out Koules. But that, too, did not pan out and Barrie informed NHL commissioner Gary Bettman he was pulling out of the process.

    Sansone has told the local media in Tampa he is still interested in the team. How that will work out with Koules remains to be seen.

    Bettman orchestrated the buyout plan after Koules and Barrie told the commissioner last June their relationship deteriorated so badly it could not be repaired. The commissioner came up with a sort of double-barrelled shotgun buyout that gave Barrie the first shot. He was given until late September to try to buy out Koules. If he failed, Koules was to get until Nov. 23 to complete his own buyout.

    Koules tried to make a deal with Miami real-estate mogul Jeff Greene, but he declined. Koules has also explored going it alone with the support of the Lightning’s former owner, Palace Sports and Entertainment, which has about $100-million in loans tied up in the franchise.

    People close to the Lightning think Barrie may resurface looking for some cash if Koules completes a buyout. However, there will be a lineup of creditors, including a large group of current and former NHL players who invested in Bear Mountain, eager to part the cash from Barrie.

  41. Heather Scott said

    Langford Councillor Denise Blackwell supports Geoff Young for CRD Board Chair

    Nov 30, 2009




  42. Ann said

    Google Street View comes to Langford

    The Google Street View people drove all over Victoria and Langford last summer. Let’s see what they photographed!

  43. Langfordite said

    Jan. Focus Magazine – a sad review about Bear Mt.

    Jan. Focus p. 12
    “The sound of sprawl hitting the wall”
    Bear Mountain is facing the music—and it’s sounding like a dirge. We offer a brief review.

  44. Ann said

    WTF Langford? Disastrous predictions for 2010

    Happy new year! 2009 sucked like a wind tunnel, and 2010 will probably suck like a black hole ripping open the fabric of the space-time continuum. Welcome to the future — misery, confusion, and public policy scandal, with running commentary from the wise-asses here at WTF Langford? (Our motto: “Sorry we’re so darn right all the time.”) Enjoy our eight worst predictions, and don’t say we didn’t warn you.

  45. Reading back through the Reader News Section of Inside Langford – I declare Len Barrie News Maker of 2009!!! Its not many people that can simultaneously be covered in the Sports, Business, International and Local News sections of a variety of newspapers throughout North America…………. pity none of it was about his accomplishments but about the unravelling of many, many a deal gone bad…….. Even sadder is that the major backers mostly likely to not be repaid – not the not so poor NHL hockey compatriots – investors in ther Bear Mt. resort, not the others that make money from the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the tax payers from the City of Langford. In their dubious wisdon, against the advice of more than 10% of the citizens who wanted the decision to be put to a referenduum, the City Council of Langford financed the Spencer Road Interchange on the promise of being repaid. That same Council has declared the Bear Mt. Partnership (aka Len Barrie and cohorts) are not in default – just a delay of payment of $4.79 million that was due March 2, 2009….. and I think by now another payment might be due? The City of Langford passed a bylaw to borrow up to $25 million, planned to borrow $9 million, and has borrowed somewhere around $6 million paying for most if not all the work done so far on the overpass from nowhere to nowhere. The City of Langford now owns some of those expensive Bear Mt. properties, due to a lack property tax payments in the past years, that were the collateral the Council promised guaranteed the loan. The loan from the line of credit the City of Langford took out from TD Bank, after the Municipal Finance Authority (MFA), the place municipalities normal borrow money from, declared the loan for the to-be-paid-for-by-developers-Spencer-Road-Interchange did not meet their low tolerance for risk standards. So when you already own some of the collateral for the loan, and the property prices and developmnent are far, far below expectations – how much collateral actually exists to collect from, and how much will be left after the direct investors scrape their money out?

  46. Sam Snipes said

    I think that Mayor Young and council can keep the wheels on the bus for another 18 months. They will keep deferring monies owed by Barrie and Bear Mountain and until the economy picks up, the banks will likely not be too quick to act on foreclosure as long as some condos and lots continue to sell.

    My prediction then is for 2011 and not 2010. I don’t think that Mayor Young or his long term council members will run in 2011. We will thus wind up with a relatively inexperienced team in office when the enormity of the problem finally comes to pass.

  47. no longer shocked said

    I wonder if Bear Mountain is still paying Langford $25,000. per year for naming rights to the arena. Hope this bill is still a priority for the company….

  48. Ann said

    Here’s a feel-good piece about how the Bear Mountain is doing just fine, from the Gazette.

    Dubai funds a no-show for Bear Mountain
    Resort moving on without $350M ‘sukuk’ investment

  49. Langfordite said

    Busness as usual means not paying back City of Langford and not paying BC property taxes??? What is business gone bad then?

  50. ian said

    If the real-estate sales have been so good and the future is so optimistic as noted by Mr Sproule and Mr. LeSeur of Bear Mountain why aren’t they paying back the citizens of Langford the money they( Bear Mountain) owe us ?????? THE SPIN CONTINUES!!!!!

  51. Herman Surkis said

    That was not a news item, it was a press release/advertorial from Bear Mountain Developments.

    When you have city council in your back pocket, you do not have to pay any d_ _ n taxes, or keep any promises. That is business as usual, not just in Langford.

    It is up to ‘we the people’ to do something about it. But we don’t, so we continue to vote same old, same old and get the same old results.

    Time to stop blaming council, it’s not as if we do not know how deceptive they are, they have been doing this for many elections. It is time to blame US. If we do not like it, we CAN change it. It appears that we do not care, or worse actually like it.

    Do not blame council, since we reward that kind of behaviour, why would they act any differently. The developers reward them with money, and we reward them with votes. For them to act differently would be stupid.

    The ‘we’ I refer to is generic, before some people get upset. I know that many have fought hard and valiantly to change things.

  52. no longer shocked said

    And so ‘we’ should all consider that we suggest to Langford that we too, can withhold our taxes “until required, no problem” as proposed and described by Langford in previous news releases.

  53. Anonymous said

    There is an old saying …

    If you owe the bank a little bit of money then you have a problem. If you owe the bank a lot of money then the bank has a problem.

  54. Langforder said

    Langford borrowing $4 million for Sportsplex

  55. Anonymous said


    So back in November we are told that the City is trying to get Xcalibur to come up with $4M to pay for the centre. Guess Xcalibur didn’t have the $$$ so now the City wants to essentially loan them $4M to be repaid over “decades”.

    Perhaps someone with $6 may want to check out BC Courts online and the recent foreclosure action related to Xcalibur before we cut a check!

  56. Save our forests! said

    —– Original Message —–

    Sent: Saturday, February 20, 2010 9:50 PM
    Subject: Please Act on WFP lands, the government needs to hear your voice.Preserving lands for the future now.

    The Wild nature of Sooke/ Port Renfrew is up for commercial developement unless a collective voice is heard. Generations before us acted to save the existing parks. It’s our turn to continue the tradition. The Western Forest Product Lands are scheduled to be back on the public market on March 8. At this point the provincial government has stated that unless they see public support for these lands to be considered for parklands and protected in other ways they will not block there sale on the public market. If you wish to see these wilderness/ recreation ares preserved please act without delay to make your wishes known to our levels of government. Your voice is needed. Please forward this email as you see fit.
    Thankyou from the bottom of my hiking boots.

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Sid/Rosemary
    Date: Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 10:09 AM
    Subject: FW: JdF Community Trails reqests support for WFP land purchase

    The Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society was incorporated in 2005 with the aim of advocating for the preservation of public access to existing trails and the development of trail systems to promote alternate transportation modes mainly in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area. Since 2007, our society has been challenged, with the rest of the community, by the release of private land from the TFLs in the electoral area.

    We would very much appreciate any effort by your membership to support the preservation of these lands for resource, conservation and recreation uses. We believe that if there is enough public support, the three levels of government involved will facilitate purchase of all or most of these parcels. Please see the attached correspondence from our Member of Parliament, Dr Keith Martin.

    The need is urgent. There is only a brief window between now and March 8 when Western Forest Products will begin accepting bids for these parcels. Our society supports the University of British Columbia’s proposal to purchase the lands from WFP and keep these lands as part of the forestry resource of our island.  Apparently, the university needed support from the provincial government but we are told by the government that there is not public interest in purchasing private land for public use.

    There is enormous public interest and with your help, the public may yet persuade the government it is in everyone’s interest to assist in acquisition of these lands. There may still be an opportunity to reactivate the UBC proposal. However, at this point WFP has put only a fraction of the former TFL land back on the market. Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Director Mike Hicks has taken action to gain an option on Sandcut Beach and the Jordan River Surfing Beach at a price tag of just over $3 million. There are other important parcels such as those just east of the Sooke River which include part of the Charters River valley.  Charters River is identified as a salmon spawning stream with potential for a fish hatchery. All of the TFL parcels are important to the ecological balance of the Capital Regional District and properly managed, according to the Regional Growth Strategy, they will contribute to the sustainable future of our area. Residential development will add to the degradation of our future.

    We would appreciate your assistance promoting a coordinated effort by all levels of Government to buy the WFP TFL lands. In effect, to provide the necessary backing for the original UBC plan. Please write to

    Stephen Harper and Gordon Campbell  

     BC minister of Community Development Bill Bennett

    Federal Minister of the Environment (also charged with Parks Canada) Jim Prentice  
    BC Minister of the Environment  Barry Penner  

    Federal Minister of Indian Affairs Chuck Strahl is from BC        
    BC Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation  George Abbott                                                                                                                                                                                  Federal Minister of Natural Resources Christian Paradis      
     BC Minister of Range and Forest Pat Bell

    BC Minister Tourism, Culture and the Art Kevin Krueger                                    

    Yours truly
    Sid J. Jorna, President

    Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society

    (250) 642 2767

    From: []
    Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2010 3:34 PM
    Subject: RE: Purchase of WFP lands

    Dear Sid,

    I recently had a meeting with MLA John Horgan, CRD Regional Director Mike Hicks, and Chief Planes from T’Sou-ke First Nation along with Chief Chipps from Beecher Bay. We have come together as a group to show there is commonality and common purpose between non-First Nations and First Nations communities, as well as across 3 levels of government. I believe that there are many ways in which the Western Forest Products (WFP) lands can be utilized to integrate preservation, protection of sensitive ecosystems, and sustainable utilization of the land with a small environmental footprint, but in a fashion that creates jobs and a sustainable economy. This is necessary for the communities that live in and around this region and will enable large tracts of these lands to be protected. The University of British Columbia has a very innovative plan to essentially use these lands as an experimental forest, where low impact logging can be conducted and for other uses such as (what I am advocating for) ethno-cultural and ecotourism opportunities.

    Now we are trying to get the two senior levels of government to sit down with the local players so that we can cooperate and work together to provide a long term legacy for these lands instead of simply selling them off for development. I am working hard on this and with the local leaders who have been wonderful in the cooperation that they have shown to work together to develop a more enlightened vision for these lands.

    Thank you for writing and for encouraging the province to take an interest in this important issue.


    Dr. Keith Martin, MP
    Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca
    Office: 250.474.6505 | Fax: 250.474.5322
    666 Granderson Road, Victoria, BC V9B 2R8

  57. March is Community Social Services Awareness Month

    The campaign to raise awareness of the importance of community-based social services is being supported by municipal councils across B.C. To date, 30 city councils have passed resolutions declaring March as Community Social Services Awareness Month.

    Councils have recognized that community social services “help improve the quality of life for everyone” and that “greater recognition and understanding of the critical role these services play in our communities is needed to ensure their continued availability and improvement.”

    Councils passing the Community Social Services Awareness Month motion include Burnaby, Central Saanich, City of North Vancouver, Colwood, Duncan, Kamloops, Kelowna, Oak Bay, Parksville, Penticton, Pitt Meadows, Port Alberni, Port Moody, Prince George, Richmond, Saanich, Surrey, Terrace, Vancouver, Victoria, View Royal, Village of Belcarra, Williams Lake, Campbell River, Trail, Squamish, Cranbrook, Powell River, Ladysmith, and Mission.

    A variety of community outreach events are underway, and in Victoria, HEU members have organized the second annual Walk for Community Social Services, which will take place on Saturday, March 27.

  58. Langforder said

    Take 2 on borrowing more money:

    Langford replays Sportsplex loan request
    By Edward Hill – Goldstream News Gazette

    Plan to finance Langford’s $3.9 million Sportsplex hits a snag but expected to roll forward
    By Bill Cleverley, Times Colonist

  59. Public sewage said

    Public sewage treatment could be over $100 million cheaper

    VICTORIA – A new report by B.C.’s most respected forensic accountant, Ron Parks, finds in favour of public operation of sewage treatment in the Capital Regional District (CRD).

    Parks’ review of the business case in support of provincial funding for sewage treatment finds that the assumed cost of public operation is inflated in a number of ways, including double-counting risk, unjustified assumption of higher public costs, and using a discount rate that is too high.

    The business case uses an assumed discount rate of 7.5 per cent, while Parks suggests a more appropriate rate would be 5.19 per cent – linked to the current cost of public borrowing through the Municipal Finance Authority. Using the lower rate, public operation is actually $116 million cheaper than a full public private partnership (P3) and $58 million cheaper than the mixed public/P3 (hybrid) option.

    Parks says that unsubstantiated estimates of higher construction and operating costs for models that include public operation seem to be based on “the general assumption that the private sector can always do things for less than government can.”

    This gives elected directors in the CRD a powerful reason to listen to residents who have repeatedly said they want public, not private, sewage treatment according to Barry O’Neill, president of the B.C. division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. “P3s are a rip-off. I am pretty sure that CRD taxpayers would rather see the tens of millions go to improve parks, recreation, transit and roads, than to pay for what amounts to “privatization premiums,” says O’Neill.

    The Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee is scheduled to make a recommendation on project procurement to the CRD board on March 24. The CRD board is scheduled to make a final decision on how the project will be procured at its March 31 meeting.

    Ron Parks was asked by the Canadian Union of Public Employees to address ten questions about the business case. He is with the firm Blair Mackay Mynett Valuations Inc.

    Please see the full report:

  60. A concerned Langford taxpayer said

    Did Mr. Barrie ever pay the city of Langford the money he owes?

    Len Barrie sued over multimillion-dollar jet loan

    Borrowers miss payments, owe millions: lender


    Bear Mountain Resort CEO Len Barrie, BM Jet Corp. and Robert Johnson are named in a lawsuit filed by GE Canada Equipment Financing G.P. for what it claims is a default on a multimillion-dollar loan to buy a private jet.

    Provincial company records state BM Jet Corp., a Victoria-based company incorporated in December 2005, is not in good standing. Barrie, Johnson and Phil LeSeur, a director of Bear Mountain Development Holdings, are listed as directors.

    According to the statement, GE, a financial institution in Montreal, agreed on March 3, 2006, to lend BM Jet Corp. $4 million to buy a 2001 Cessna Citation Bravo, model 550.

    Written guarantees were made on March 3, 2006, by Barrie for up to $3.5 million, and by Johnson of up to $575,000, the document said.

    Under the agreement, the loan was to be repaid in 60 monthly instalments. BM Jet defaulted when payments were not made in October, November and December 2009, the statement of claim said.

    GE notified BM Jet in November that the October and November payments were not made. In December, GE demanded repayment but no payment was made, the claim said.

    As of Dec. 22, 2009, BM Jet owed $3.4 million under the agreement, with interest adding up at $262.83 per day, the statement said.

    GE is claiming $3.5 million from Barrie, $3.4 million plus interest from BM Jet, and $575,000 from Johnson.

    A statement of defence had not been posted on the provincial court services online website by yesterday.

    Lawyer Colin Brousson, who is representing GE, said that he could not comment. Barrie and LeSeur could not be reached.

    Cessna, a long-standing U.S. company, has produced a global fleet of 5,000 Citation jets, manufactured in several models, the company website states.

    Citations are described as top-performing mid-size business jets featuring luxurious cabins.

    Three of the top-selling business jets of all time are Citations, the website says; “our business jets have outsold the combined total of their competition.”

    One website selling a 2001 model-year Citation Bravo is asking for $3.39 million. Another website, which doesn’t list a price for the jet, describes the plane it’s selling as having seats for two crew members and seven passengers.

    GE’s lawsuit is the latest challenge facing the Bear Mountain project and Barrie.

    Negotiations were going on in recent weeks between the 17-member Bear Mountain Master Partnership and a potential buyer over a group of properties on Skirt Mountain. There’s been no recent word on whether a deal was reached.

    Over the past couple of years, the partnership has come close to selling chunks of the 500-hectare development but so far, it appears a deal is still to be concluded. One agreement said to be worth about $350 million was not completed. It would have seen the residential portion and future land, which could be developed, sold.

    Bear Mountain is one of the capital region’s biggest and most ambitious development projects. The property is in Langford and the Highlands. It has two Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses, a hotel, restaurants, other businesses, condominium buildings, and single-family houses.

    The Hockey News and have reported that Barrie will lose money when he sells his stake in the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team, saying that the sale price to a Boston hedge fund manager is considerably less than what Barrie and his partners paid.

    The sale of the Lightning team is subject to approval by the NHL board of governors.

    Also, in 2009, an audit of Bear Mountain’s financial dealings raised questions about some transactions.

    © Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist

  61. no longer shocked said

    of course not, langford doesn’t “need” it yet. Try that one on for others.

  62. Langforder said

    If Langford does not NEED the money from the Bear Mt./Spencer Road Interchange, why the HECK is Langford holding a petition to see if we citizens are noticing they are going to:

    - finance, through long-term debt, up to $3,900,000 (three million, nine hundred thousand dollars) of the total capital construction cost of $14,153,101 to construct a Sportsplex consisting of an ice arena and bowling facility in City Centre Park.

    Oh wait – that would be the 2nd time they are doing the petition thing, they were so sure the 1st time they started the loan process before the petitioning time ended.

    Wow, it is great to know how much OUR council cares what WE think!

  63. Westshore Resident said

    Public Sewage all the way. P3s are a rip-off. There is no doubt about it. I sure hope as a CRD taxpayer that the Mayors of the Western Communities will seek public consultation before deciding what is best for me and my family. Besides, I would rather see the money saved by going public vs. private go towards the infrastructure; ie. improve parks, recreation, transit and roads, than to line the pockets of these private business.

  64. Forwarded from: Kim Manton March 21, 2010 at 9:23am
    Subject: The recommendations are out and privatization is coming to town…vote on Wednesdayat 10:30am.

    Hi all,

    So the CRD has put up the procurement recommendations on their website;

    The CALWMC (CRD Steering committee) will be voting on these recommendations on Wednesday at 10:30 at 625 Fisgard – we must not let this debate or decision go unwitnessed – if they are going to vote for a P3 to come to town then they will have to look us in the eye when they do it.

    If you live in the Westshore and are interested in speaking at the meeting on Wednesday morning you have until Monday at 4:00 to register…your CRD rep’s need to hear from you. Langford – Councillor Denise Blackwell ( and Colwood – Mayor Dave Saunders (

    Here are the recommendations…

    That the Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee recommend to the Board that:
    1. the business case be approved and forwarded to the provincial government for funding consideration;
    2. McLoughlin Point, Clover Point, Saanich East plant, the energy centre, conveyance, pumps and outfalls be procured using a traditional approach (design-bid-build, design-build, or construction management at risk); and
    3. the ***Westshore plant*** and the ***resource recovery component of the energy centre*** be procured with an alternative service delivery (design-build-finance-operate, or design-build-operate).

    Remember that the CRD owns all the treatment plants so legally has the responsibility for the Westshore and Resource Recovery, if something goes wrong – WE ALL PAY. Why allow the Westshore politicians to make decisions that affect us all…

    See you Wednesday morning,
    Sewage Girl (Kim Manton)

  65. whoduvthunkit said

    Bear Mountain partnership placed under creditor protection today


    Len Barrie, President and CEO of Bear mountain Resort announced that the Bear Mountain Master Partnership is donating land valued over $1 million for the building of the very first Ronald McDonald Family Retreat in North America. (Oct. 10, 2007)
    Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist
    VICTORIA — The Bear Mountain Master Partnership is under creditor protection as the ownership group behind Bear Mountain Resort and the residential development on Skirt Mountain tries to work out a deal with one of its lenders.

    Today in Supreme Court, the partnership was placed under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act which will hold off any creditor action while the group attempts to reach an agreement with lender HSBC Bank Canada.

    “This is a step to protect the project and the investors,” said Len Barrie, Bear Mountain CEO in an interview. “We have deals in place with all of our other lenders, this is just about HSBC and we need work on a positive resolution over the next period of time to make HSBC happy and get building again.”

    Barrie said the partnership owes HSBC in excess of $200 million.

    The CEO also pointed out he has been working for the last four months to refinance the 500-hectare development straddling Highlands and Langford.

    “We have new investment we will be bringing forward,” he said, noting there are currently four different groups negotiating to buy into the development. “We thought we would have six months to do it, but I think we’ll now have to do it over the next 30-to-90-day period and I’m confident we’ll get something done that is a good resolution for everybody and more importantly get money to build and go forward.”

    According to Barrie the deals being talked about range from straight refinancing to swapping debt for equity in the development.

    “One of the reasons to (opt into CCAA protection) is it will be a fair process,” he said. “This will bring a mediator between (the partnership and HSBC) and do what’s best for the project to move it forward.”

    The court has appointed Prowis Inc. as the chief restructuring officer for Bear Mountain and PricewaterhouseCoopers has been appointed as monitor.

    In a statement obtained by the Times Colonist, the Bear Mountain Master Partnership said it will be business as usual for customers and suppliers during the restructuring period.

    It added there will be “no interruption to the large number of events that are planned to take place, including all conference reservations, golf tournaments and the esteemed TELUS World Skins Game to be held June 21 and 22. The company’s bank has indicated that it will provide continued support during the restructuring.”

    Calls to HSBC had not been returned by 1 p.m. Thursday.

    In the past two years, the Bear Mountain partnership has been close to selling parts of the development.

    There were rumours in February that a deal had been completed, while another deal rumoured to be worth close to $350 million was scuttled last year — that deal was for the residential component of the development and future development potential of the area.

    The agreement would have seen the Bear Mountain Master Partnership, which has 17 investors, including former NHL players such as Mike Vernon and Joe Nieuwendyk and current players Ray Whitney, Ryan Smyth and Rob Blake, hold onto the two Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses and the resort’s luxury hotel.

    Barrie, the majority shareholder of the partnership, has estimated the entire development, which is expected to include more than 3,500 homes when it’s fully built out in 20 years, could be worth $2.5 billion.

    He said there’s no way at this point to say what the ownership structure will look like until they reach a deal with one of the four groups currently at the table looking to buy in and have emerged from CCAA protection.

  66. Happy Valley said

    The bank wants it’s $200+ million loan paid back. I doubt they will give Barrie another cent. They will get money before any contractors or small time investors. Barrie tries to spin this as no big deal. You’re nuts if you’re thinking of investing on Bear Mountain now. The place will look like a dump with all the unfinished construction. The condos are not selling and they are now slashing the prices. He also lost 100 million on Tampa Bay, owes Langford 4.9 million, owes a few million on a jet, and HSBC 200+ million. Maybe they can hire Bernie Madoff, Ian Thow or Earl Jones to sort this out. We just need them out of prison.

  67. Observer said

    And to think that it was only a very short time ago that anyone who questionned the way Bear Mt was approved and the financing of the Interchange were called…let’s see…”naysayers”,”negative” ( and those are the polite comments).

    It did not take a rocket scientist to see this coming. It’s just that the main players were willing to take big chances to make big bucks.None of them cared what the risk or consequences would be for the Taxpayers of Langford.

    Mayor Young should be held completely accountable for enabling Len Barrie to scam the taxpayers out of $4.5 Million for the Interchange.
    Many residents spoke against this happening but were not only ignored but villified and ridiculed by the Mayor himself.More than 10% of the citzens of langford signed a petition demanding a Referendum be held before a single penny was borrowed for Len Barrie and others. Mayor chose to ignore that too.
    I think he and Council should be writing a cheque to the City for that money…not the taxpayers.

    Ironically, I am grateful now (though not at the time) that a new Council did not get voted in last election.Imagine how the blame would have been laid on the new guys for all this.

    Perhaps an audit of all the main players in this town is in order.


  68. Anonymous said

    This process is far from over. The TC stated this morning that the court appointed monitor has 30 days to report its findings back to the court. That is true but in all but the simplest cases, it takes far longer than 30 days to work through the process so the monitor asks for an extension(s). I wouldn’t be suprised if it was a year before the monitor’s final report was delivered and the court decided the outcome.

    HSBC will likely provide interim financing to keeps the wheels spinning. That money along with what the lawyers, accountants and monitor are owed (with respect to the CCAA process) will all be paid back first. Next will come secured creditors, unsecured creditors and then shareholders. The other variable here is what the CRA is owed as rumours have persisted now for some time that they are auditing BM finances.

    The monitor’s report will all likely be made public via PWC. Should be extremely interesting reading as time progresses!

  69. Heather Scott said

    Barrie ousted as Bear Mountain CEO; partnership placed under creditor protection

  70. Sam Snipes said

    Looks like Anonymous is batting a thousand!

  71. naysayer said

    Langford looks for a silver lining

    Mayor blames recession for problems at Bear Mountain

    Young said. “Who could have predicted the economy would have done what it’s done?


    Well Mayor Young, just about everybody with half a brain saw this recession coming. The ones involved in the ponzi scheme were the only ones who said everything was just fine. So many people tried to warn you, but you dismissed them as naysayers.

    I hope the people of Langford wake up before the next municipal election and realize that new blood in council can only help this town.

  72. living at the bottom of "the" mountain said

    From the TC article- “Bear Mountain has been a boon to Langford, with Young noting it provides millions in property taxes and fees and about 1,200 jobs, to say nothing of the slew of jobs created when there’s a hive of construction activity on Skirt Mountain.”

    Ain’t those houses the ones who are arguing the tax rate and haven’t paid their property taxes? The City of Langford ended up owning 2 or 3 wasn;t it?

    Ain’t that the development that missed a $4.9 million payment to the City of Langford cofures for the unfinished overpass, and another $4.9 mill at the end of the year? How’s that a “boon”? – more like boom and bust!

    1,200 jobs, really? Maybe that’s where all that traffic on VMP comes from!

    As for “hive” looks more like ghost town, mostly in fog or socked in by clouds. Might need those neon golf balls to find’em. They could be a speciality product – Bear Mt. glow balls.

  73. No Corporate Vote said

    The BC Liberal government’s decision to keep submissions to the task force secret is shameful and a disgrace to our democracy.

    March 25, 2010
    Local elections need level playing field

    BURNABY—Local elections in British Columbia should be conducted under the supervision of BC’s Chief Electoral Officer, and the province should reject calls to grant corporations the right to vote, CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill said today in a submission to the Local Government Elections Task Force.

    “The civic elections in 2008 saw an average voter turnout of just 27 per cent,” said O’Neill. “That’s nowhere near good enough, and we believe that increasing transparency and accountability during election campaigns could be a significant factor in encouraging citizen engagement and participation in the democratic process.

    “CUPE members are taxpayers and voters too, and it’s important to us that local elected officials are accountable to the public. Improved standards of disclosure will go a long way to improving that accountability,” said O’Neill.

    The BC Liberal government formed the task force late last year, and directed it to make recommendations to improve local elections, reporting to the government by May 30, 2010. The key areas of legislation under examination by the task force, along with CUPE BC’s position, are as follows:

    • Campaign finance, including contribution/spending disclosure and limits, and tax credits. CUPE BC position: provincial standards of disclosure should apply; any new limits to local election contributions or spending should also apply to provincial elections.

    • Enforcement processes and outcomes. CUPE BC position: that enforcement provisions for local government elections be revised to be substantially similar to those in the BC Elections Act.

    • Role of the chief electoral officer (B.C.) in local government elections. CUPE BC position: Elections BC should be given the authority to provide oversight of the local government elections process. Such authority should include providing training and advice to local elections officers as well as candidates, electoral organizations and campaign organizers and would ensure consistency in interpretations and applications of the rules.

    • Corporate vote. CUPE BC position: Only one other jurisdiction in the world (the financial district of London, England known as “the City”) allows corporations to vote, and those lobbying for a corporate vote in BC have simply not made the case for allowing non-humans to vote in elections. There should be no corporate vote in local elections, for the same reasons we do not allow corporations to vote in provincial or federal elections.

    O’Neill said he was disappointed by the BC Liberal government’s decision to keep submissions to the task force secret, and urged the government to change course and post all submissions on the Internet. “How can closed-door meetings and secret policy submissions result in better democracy?” said O’Neill.

  74. What Goes Around.... said

    Eventually comes around…

    It looks like Lady Luck has finally run out on Mr Barrie. Who will be next? Mr. Bjola? Should the city of Colwood be concerned about the proposed development at Colwood Corners? And, if the City of Langford doesn’t meet their quota of 40 or 50 houses per month will Lady Luck run out on Mayor Young and his council? Probably. Who will be left to clean up this mess? You and me.

    End of an era at Bear Mountain

    Published: March 30, 2010 1:00 PM

    When Bear Mountain announced it was forced into creditor protection last week, it came as shock, but not that big of a shock.

    Last summer, then Bear Mountain president Len Barrie was eager to lock in $350 million in cash that would have seen a Dubai firm become a major stakeholder in the company.

    In the midst of a recession, Bear Mountain needed the capital to move on new condo projects and, more importantly, to pay down debts. But the chickens came home to roost in Dubai too — its economic bubble burst, leaving far-flung projects in Canada in the wind.

    Bear Mountain kept selling condos and housing lots, but with its second golf course opening and an economic slump in the world, debt kept piling up.

    Barrie said the development arm of Bear Mountain sold $110 million in real estate last year, but that wasn’t enough to keep creditors at bay. In court documents, HSBC Bank revealed Bear Mountain owes it at least $250 million. With other lenders, that could go beyond $300 million.

    It’s a world away from just three or four years ago when condo units and housing lots sold like hotcakes in an overheated market. In November 2005, 271 condos sold in six hours. In 2006, Barrie was up for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Pacific region.

    With HSBC Bank pulling out the rug, Barrie and other executives have been ejected from controlling the massive resort that grew out of his grudge with the Royal Colwood golf course.

    Some residents and environmental groups are probably cheering — Barrie and Bear Mountain were both controversial at the best of times, notably with the cave conflict in 2006 and the Spencer (Bear Mountain) interchange.

    But little is likely to change. The interchange will eventually be finished and golfers up on the hilly 36 holes will keep teeing off.

    It may have a “under new management” sign on the door, but as lenders try to figure out how to extract their money, it will remain business as usual at Bear Mountain.

    Find this article at:

  75. told-you-so said

    Financial woes land interchange project in limbo

    Brennan Clarke
    Victoria — From Monday’s Globe and Mail Published on Sunday, Apr. 04, 2010 10:10PM EDT

    Bear Mountain Resort’s deepening financial woes have landed a developer-funded interchange on the Trans-Canada Highway in a permanent state of limbo, leaving Langford taxpayers with a $9.75-million debt and a half-finished “bridge to nowhere,” critics of the controversial project say.

    “At this point I have to question whether any of these developers have any money to pay anybody,” said Langford resident Cheryl McLachlan, who helped organize an unofficial petition drive against the interchange two years ago.

    “We had a large portion, over 10 per cent of citizens telling [Langford]) council they were concerned this could happen, and now here we are.”

    Bear Mountain, which is under court-order creditor protection, was supposed to contribute $4.8-million to the initial phase of the $30-million project, with four other landowners slated to kick in an additional $5-million, according to an agreement with the municipality.

    Langford borrowed the money on their behalf and signed a complex agreement requiring the developers to make their contributions by March 2, 2009.

    But the housing market cooled off, the payments never materialized and construction has been stalled for months as bankruptcy looms over the project’s largest contributor.

    “Things pretty much shut down well over a year ago,” said Ron Rayner, who lives near the half-completed project.

    “With the receivership and possible bankruptcy of Bear Mountain, who knows how long it will stay that way? It’s a real eyesore.”

    However, Langford Mayor Stew Young said even if Bear Mountain’s assets end up changing hands, the municipality will be repaid eventually because the loan payments are linked to property taxes on future development.

    “Whoever buys the property, they still owe us the money because it’s charged on the property,” Mr. Young said. “That’s the protection we have.”

    So far, Mr. Young said Langford has spent about $8-million on the interchange, just enough to complete the main bridge structure across the highway and lay the crushed rock foundation for the on- and off-ramps.

    While Langford’s private partners have yet to make any payments on the principal, they have agreed to pay the interest on the loan while the project is in limbo.

    This year, the bill came to $98,000, split between Bear Mountain, Totangi Properties, Goldstream Heights Properties, Bear Mountain Parkway Estates and reclusive Victoria property owner Clara Kramer.

    “The interest is so low they’re not going to be fighting us on it,” Mr. Young said. “I’m just working with everybody and hoping that the recession turns around.”

    When the economy picks up, there will be plenty of revenue from new development to cover the interchange costs, he said.

    The province has agreed to cover $4.5-million, most of which is payable only on completion of the project.

    The interchange was triggered by the need for a second access road to and from Bear Mountain, which is now home to several thousand residents, and plans for another 2,800 houses on nearby Skirt Mountain.

    Two years ago when Langford was preparing to start work on the project, RCMP were called in to remove a group of tree-sitting demonstrators from a forested swath of Crown land on the southern approach to the new overpass.

    Protesters marked the start of construction with demonstrations along the highway and disrupted council meetings as the project moved through various approvals in 2009.

    B.C.’s Municipal Finance Authority, which provides low lending rates to municipalities building major projects, rebuffed Langford’s application for a $25-million loan, forcing council to scale down the initial building phase and seek private-sector financing.

    Last month, a group called the Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network, led by interchange protester Zoe Blunt, launched a court challenge arguing that Mr. Young “abused the public process” during a public hearing last year on the Skirt Mountain development.

    Ms. Blunt, whose real name is Tracie Park, said the structure of the interchange deal, coupled with the recession, has left Langford with a “chicken-and-egg” dilemma.

    “These guys need to sell condos so they can build their road, but they have to build their road before they can sell any condos,” she said.

  76. Sam Snipes said

    Probably not a suprise but Mayor Young isn’t telling the truth. Municipal taxes fall behind secured creditors during bankruptcy proceedings in Canada.

    There is no guarantee that Langford will receive any of the funds it advanced developers or taxes / dccs from BM.

  77. Axel Brock-Miller said

    The following is a one-paragraph excerpt from the April issue of FOCUS Magazine by Gordon O’Connor p.15 who is the forest campaigner with the Dogwood Initiative. It just applies so beautifully to Langford that one cannot help but think of Langford while reading it.

    “Vancouver Island is one of the crown jewels of this continent. It is widely considered to be among the most liveable places in the world. If offers the luxury of having urban centres in close proximity to temperate rain forests, bountiful farms and incredible recreation areas. This pristine environment has the ability to provide clean water, fresh air, local food and a stable economy for generations to come and these are the priorities for which our local representatives [read councillors] should be advocating.”

    (bold emphasis and [comment] are mine)

  78. Happy Valley said

    The Valley View subdivision developer is proposing some radical changes to the current subdivision plan next Monday night at a public hearing. Originally a single story commercial lot was allowed for a corner store or coffee shop etc. Now the developer has applied for a 3 story, 35 foot high building with 16 condos above an expanded commercial space. They are also trying to build 21 duplexes on lots as small as 3300 sq. ft. The current bylaw is for duplexes on lots over 8000sq. ft. Home owners in the subdivision were told that no duplexes are allowed in Valley View ( and the commercial space would be one storey. Sounds like a bait and switch to me. The gloves will be off Monday night.

  79. The City of Langford announces:

    Green City Grant Applications

    The City of Langford is happy to announce that they are now accepting Green City Grant applications for 2010. This year, the program will provide grants to local non-profit organizations for sustainable projects that demonstrate action in reducing energy and water use, and greenhouse gas emissions. The deadline for submitting an application is July 2nd, 2010.

  80. Langfordite said

    Barrie still holding out hope of saving Bear Mountain

    HSBC Bank Canada, which has taken over the company, does not share his optimism

  81. Sam Snipes said

    Three years ago I stopped believing a single reported comment made by Len Barrie. I don’t see any reason to change that view.

  82. Stewpid said

    The road to hell


    Three controversial infrastructure projects highlight the need for a better way
    to decide what projects are most important to residents of the region—and which get funding.

    July 2010 • FOCUS focus

    February, 2008: Dozens of RCMP, some armed with assault rifles, swarm a campsite in Langford and arrest six unarmed citizens, charging them with mischief. As many as 300 police officers surround a nearby neighbourhood for several days afterwards, ques tioning local residents as they travel to and from their homes. The campers have been occupying the proposed construction site for the Bear Mountain interchange at Spencer Road and the Trans Canada Highway, protesting Langford Council’s plans to build the interchange and help finance it.

    After being removed from the construction site, the protesters are threatened by the mayor of Langford with a lawsuit to pay for the costs of the police action. Civil liberties groups across the country react with outrage, defending the rights of citizens to engage in civil disobedience. The mayor backs off, and Langford taxpayers bear the undisclosed expense.

    Another astonishing scene is played out a few days after the arrests, at the next public Langford Council meeting. Keen to get its hands on close to $5 million of provincial government funding, Langford bypassed public calls for a referendum and rushed through a decision to support the interchange at a hastily-called meeting just two days after Christmas 2007. Then, in another meeting in late February 2008, the room is packed with pro-development advocates cheek-by-jowl with infuriated opponents of the interchange. In complete chaos, the meeting is adjourned, but not before Councillor Denise Blackwell is caught on film raising her middle finger to the crowd of protesters. Does that sound like part of a normal, reasonable and objective munic ipal decision-making process about road infrastructure priorities?

    Case no. 1: The Spencer Road decision

    Here’s part of the problem: There’s no binding regional transportation plan in the CRD that sets out clear priorities for spending on regional road infrastructure and to which individual municipalities like Langford can be held accountable.

    When Langford decided to support the building of the Spencer Road Interchange, it cited traffic congestion at the existing lights, along-side the vital need to provide access to the Trans Canada Highway for residents of the ever-expanding Bear Mountain development and proposed adjacent subdivisions. Mayor Stew Young also stated at the time that failure to build the interchange would “kill” not only the Langford economy, but the Victoria economy.

    The project was supposed to be paid for by a combination of developers’ contributions and provincial infrastructure funding: a freebie for Langford taxpayers. But so wedded to the new develop-ments and their backers was Langford Council that they even agreed to carry the developers’ financing for the balance of the cost. That decision flew in the face of a number of facts. Despite Young’s claims about “traffic backing halfway up the Malahat,” the reality is that there was, and still is, very little traffic trickling down the road from Bear Mountain. In addition, Langford’s own OCP identifies congestion at the McKenzie intersection—not Spencer Road—as its most pressing transportation issue.

    The McKenzie Road intersection on Highway 1—the main culprit behind the infamous Colwood Crawl—was identified in both regional and provincial government plans ten years ago as a top priority for action to relieve traffic congestion. Yet it remains untouched while other less pressing projects have jumped the regional priority queue. Even if there were congestion at Spencer Road, the OCP states that the solution is not simply to build new road infrastructure, but to increase urban density and provide sustainable alternatives such as commuter rail: “Any increases in the number of automobile focused roadways will attract people away from transit. Building more roadways will only encourage people to live in single family units.”

    This did not however appear to be among the criteria applied to Langford’s decision-making, which seemed to be less about traffic congestion, as opponents suggested, than it was about meeting the wishes of the Bear Mountain developers. Zoe Blunt of the Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network, who is now suing Langford on alleged abuses of public process, says unequivocally: “Langford Council ignored public input, due process and democratic principles. The people of Langford are being abused by the people who are supposed to represent them.”

    At the height of the protests against Langford Council, respondents in various media surveys and in talk-back media were calling Langford’s approach “a blind rush to develop and destroy”; “ a lack of true democracy”; “corrupt”; and a “shut-out” of public participation. One caller into a CFAX radio show said bluntly: “This council seems to be accountable only to developers and their friends.”

    In the meantime, as anyone who has travelled under the Spencer Road overpass recently will know, construction on what has been dubbed “the Bridge to Nowhere” has stalled. In March, the heavily debt-laden Bear Mountain Master Partnership was placed under creditor protection for defaulting on some of its payments, and the overseer has now has been given the go-ahead for bankruptcy. Langford Council agreed to defer payment by the Partnership of interest on the $7.5 million Council borrowed on its behalf.

    Is this really how a major road intersection on the Trans Canada should have been dealt with? Stew Young, who was certain in the development’s early days that it would be good for the economy, is now shrugging his shoulders and claiming that no one could have predicted what the economy has done. But Gordon Denford, an experienced local developer, told the Times Colonist that many other developers questioned the risk behind the project right from the beginning: “Most of us felt the Victoria economy wasn’t big enough to handle it.”

    In the meantime, Langford treasurer Steve Ternent told the same paper in late March that the interchange will proceed “when the market warrants it.” Hang on. Weren’t we told that the interchange was crit-ical for the economy—not the other way around? Oh, and yes—wasn’t it vital to ease traffic pressure on the Millstream Road Connector? Is that no longer the case?

    Clearly, the Spencer Road decision-making process leaves much to be desired. Contradictions abound, and the consequences of trying to have it both ways seem to have become painfully clear.

  83. maverick said

    Why don`t you get over it,really.
    It will get finished in time,in the mean time, why not make up some signs stating you want an overpass built to help with the congestion on the highway and McKenzie,grab Zoe by the arm and head off to the Premiers office and let him know you want the new overpass at McKenzie,if you don`t get any results, lets set up a camp of some sort along the highway and bring this to the attention of others that feel the same way you do.
    This whole Interchange/Langford Council thing seems to be a sour passion for some people,lets move on to continue making Langford a better place for all of us.

  84. Zoe said

    Yes, it would be great to see a return to sanity in transportation planning in this region. Lots of people are working on that, as noted in the article above. VIC FAN works for environmental causes, like rare species, caves, and wetlands.

    Maverick, as the owner of an excavating company, more interchanges would certainly benefit you, right? Go right ahead and start a grassroots campaign for more interchanges. It would be refreshing to see you put your money where your mouth is.

  85. Observer said

    There is something called “Accountability”.The taxpayers of Langford will be able to “move on” once they know for certain they are not on the hook for a truckload of borrowed money, when they see a finished Interchange,and when our Mayor publicly recants his obviously ill-informed statement that not building the Interchange would “kill” Langford and Victoria’s economy (among many other over the top statements he has made to sway public opinion).
    People are all for “moving on”, but you have to clean up the mess first not just sweeping things under the rug.

  86. maverick said

    Zoe it would be my luck that in the process of developing a new interchange I`d find some reg legged frogs in an old swamp that had to be destroyed for the interchange and some hole in the ground that has been eroded over time that people now call a cave.After finding all that then I would have you and all your followers to deal with,it would not be a pretty site.

  87. Donald Seaton said

    Hey Mav I got your back on this one.

    Well Zoe Blunt or Should I say Tracie Park which name do you prefer, or will you go under another assumed name if you want to have a cause put your REAL name to it instead of hiding behind screen names like some kind of avatar

    If VIC FAN is truly about environmental causes then why not work with local government in assisting in them planning, why not ask them to help in environmental impact studies. Instead of getting huge mobs of people, protesting about out the atrocities of Local Governments look at the big picture less cars idling equals lower carbon footprint, but I sure most of you university drop out have a problem of looking at the bigger picture.


    According to British Columbia’s Local Government Act (the legislation that defines the existence and operations of our municipal governments) “a local government’s Statement of Financial Information must be prepared in accordance with the Financial Information Act. The SOFI must be made available for public viewing by June 30 each year and be accessible for the following three years.”

    And while some municipalities don’t like to make a public spectacle of the document (probably because it lists the salaries of all municipal employees earning over $75,000), this year Langford has gone one step further and not yet bothered to file one.

    As for the reason that Langford failed to meet its reporting deadline, a provincial ministry of community and rural development spokesperson tells Monday,

    “The Ministry has been in contact with the City of Langford and City staff are working with their auditors to ensure the financial information is available as soon as possible. Changes to public sector accounting rules that took effect for 2009 required local governments to count, value and amortize their capital assets for the first time. This has, in some cases, caused delays in the publication of financial information.”

    Yep, tough to know what a half-built highway interchange is worth.

    The Week – August 5

    POSTED BY: JASON YOUMANS in Monday Magazine
    08/04/2010 8:00 AM

  89. Zoe said

    @Maverick – yes, you probably would.

    @Donald – yes, we did, for a year and a half. And yes, I have a pen name.

  90. ian said

    I asked for this report over a year ago and was only sent the basic annual financial report that was not in the format, i believe, is required by the Province.

    The basic answers that i’m seeking are to questions about projects like the Goldstream Roundabout Project where there are likely cost overruns and numerous “extras” . From what account(s) does this money come from? I think the taxpayers of Langford and the Province need to know if DCC money is being spent appropriately and general tax revenue spent wisely.

  91. I think it would be good to know the initial costs and the on-going costs and who is paying the bill. An example would be the new roundabout fountain. There is, and will be, one time purchase and construction costs. But what are the on-going costs and who is paying for those? What is the cost for the electricity for the pump(s), the lights, and any other electrical draw? What is the cost for the water? There is a lot of evaporation, and the spray/mist at times is wetting the roundabout round way and cars? Is there a cost associated with the music that is played periodically? Usually you have purchase some sort of right to rebroadcast.

  92. ian said

    The annual maintenance costs on infrastructure such as the new fountain are very expensive ,particularly when compared to the initial capital costs of construction. The annual electrical bill may be well in excess of $10,000 while the ongoing maintenance costs are a lot more for features such as this. The other important consideration for fountains is the availability of parts for the pump and other unique parts that this fountain system will obviously require in the not to distant future.And the quality of the products and parts for this type of installation are not nearly as reliable as they use to be.( just ask any mechanical company).I know that other local cities don’t install fountains anymore as they’ve come to realize that they’re costly and a hassle to maintain.

    I must say that the fountain looks very good at this point and i’m pleased that the correct decision was made not to build the clock tower. What we have there now is in scale with it’s surroundings.

  93. Sam Snipes said

    I have mixed emotions on this. City staff are obviously very busy and it is time consuming to try and address every accounting question that arises, especially when it is something that requires analysis (ie how much is the fountain costing us). On the other hand, questions such as what is owed by BM should be readily available though as they would have had to file a claim with the monitor in June.

    There is absolutely no excuse, in my opinion, for failing to file financial statements as required by legislation. The statements are now nearly 2 months overdue and although there were some accounting changes, it seems that other municipalities were able to get their statements completed. If this were any private company, the entire accounting department would have been locked in a room until their work was completed!

  94. walking by said

    Those new Goldstream Ave. palm trees are already looking pretty sad – not liking their new northern home, and they’ve only been here for our summer, wonder if they will survive a winter? I heard they hail from Florida. Also hear Tropi-Cole Trading, 565 Gemini Drive, Metchosin) grows local palms, and some place on Salt Spring, and one in Lantzville too. Those places would have palms more acclimatised to our cooler windy west coast. The roundabout does make for easier getting out of Western Foods parking lot with a car though.

  95. driving aroundabout said

    Wonder how much Langford security guy and car cost per hour that were standing sentry duty beside the new fountain? I guess it got soaped real good early on? Not sure how guarding with your back to something that’s a circle works? Leaves all the other points unguarded, least that’s what the army taught me.

  96. Anonymous said

    I don’t know if accounting staff would be locked in a room, but the CFO of the company would likely have offered his or her resignation by now.

    One of two things is happening if you ask me. Either the City of Langford accounting staff is woefully understaffed and/or ill trained for the job that they are being asked to do and have been unable to get financial statements to their auditors in a timely fashion, or the auditors are refusing to sign off on the financial statements pending material changes. Neither is an acceptable situation.

    As an aside, I tried to call the City last week to get an update on the status of the statements and it seems that anyone who can answer my questions is on vacation.

  97. dumbfounded said

    Looks like the admin (what exactly do they administer – the city or our tax dollars?) & finance committee has met *2* times so far this year? No wonders the financial stuff ain’t done – do they not have to run it by the public members on the committee for legal reasons or something like that? I knew times were slow but I gotta think the city is still writing checks, paying bills, doing quarterly reports – but maybe not.

  98. no longer shocked said

    Perhaps someone should alert the provincial ministry which has jurisdiction over Municipalities Act, to do a full audit of Langford financial affairs.

  99. Anonymous said

    The ministry is aware of the issue as reported in the Goldstream Gazette. The City is not giving any eta for completion of the financial statements nor are they answering any questions about the statements other than to say that the auditors are reviewing things. Apparently staff are still on vacation and will be so for a couple more weeks.

  100. Hahahaha said


    Published: August 31, 2010 1:00 PM

    Beautification poor use of tax dollars

    The Goldstream Avenue beautification project is an awful waste of money.
    Council has no right to use public money on projects envisioned exclusively in Mayor Stew Young’s head.

    Do you remember giving the right to Young to build a roundabout in the middle of busy street on a major road for BC Transit operators?

    Do you remember giving the right for a fountain to be erected costing an exuberant amount of money? Oh, and we can’t forget about the speaker blasting music out to confused citizens below in a manner similar to that of the world in 1984. How about the sign proclaiming the entrance to Goldstream Village?

    Rather than wasting our money on unnecessary infrastructure projects that are little more than eye candy for the elite in this city, we should attempt to create a culturally-vibrant, environmentally-friendly community, while protecting the lower and middle classes.

    Don’t get me wrong, there still are plenty of improvements to be made in Langford, but we should be focusing on safety by creating speed bumps, sidewalks and crosswalks where necessary rather than completing Young’s distorted vision of what the true citizens of Langford want and need. This is our home, let’s never forget that.

    Grant McLachlan


  101. no longer shocked said

    good on Mr.McLachlan and echoing all he has said. Saw the Langford sign on Goldstream last night and was reminded that as Mayor Young apprears to spend more time in Vegas than at council meetings, he must feel this garish display is appropriate. Instead it promotes the feel of a”DisneyLand like ToyTown” entrance. And flurescent green to boot! The only green this town really understands is the colour of money brought by developers. Perhaps we could start calling this “The Gates of Harmonious Construction”
    And perhaps someone can advise why so much tax money goes into the gardening along Goldstream (pretty as it is) yet the trees along Veterans Parkway were neglected, most perished, and the entire lengths of boulevards are a scruffy mess.

  102. Langford Resident said

    I have to say that it is a little disconcerting when your 11 year olds ( and their friends) say how much they “looove” the updates on Goldstream Avenue because it makes them feel like they could be “in Vegas or something”. However, they thought the palm trees a tad bit “tacky” because, hey, even they know that palm trees are really “trying too hard to be Hollywood when you’re not”.
    Who am I to argue with a couple of preteens’ sense of taste?
    Yet another reason to be teased at get-togethers about living in Langford.
    It sure would be great for the old crew at City Hall to move on…so the rest of us can.This is getting embarrassing…Really.

  103. Anonymous said

    I think that it is a little disconcerting to hear that your 11 year old kids and their friends have been to Vegas!

  104. Langford Resident said

    That is not what was said.
    Although, families do live in Vegas.
    As does, if I am not mistaken, Mayor Young.

  105. confused said

    What teen needs to “go to Vegas” to know what its like? Between shows set in Vegas, CSI for example, and how many others, never mind movies, YouTube, music videos – which all selectively show the Vegas glitz so its more hardcore “Vegas” exposure than actually ever being there. Yep, it is feeling a little bit like Vegas – poor sad looking palm trees, cause Vegas weather we ain’t got.

  106. Anonymous said

    I would recommend that you spend a little time talking to the residents and business owners in and around downtown Langford. If you did you would find the majority love the improvements to Goldstream Avenue. Here’s a tip for the regulars on this site who seem to dislike Langford and Stew Young so much – Move to Colwood nothing happens there and as their taxes continue to rise their house values drop, so what are you waiting for?

  107. Observer said

    This “move if you do not agree with something” is getting very old and was the favourite line of many developers and councillors in the last few years when anyone would disagree with them or call them into question.
    Let’s get this straight-I do not dislike Langford, in fact, it is my town too and I am allowed to like or dislike what choices Council makes for my town.Period.
    Leaving when you disagree is not the solution to issues.
    Writing letters,and speaking at Council meetings are logical solutions.
    However, in Langford,Council has made it abundantly clear that those methods are discouraged and downright ineffective and open citizens up to verbal abuse and mockery and, in some cases,being targeted.
    Thus, the only recourse seems to be forums such as this.
    In essence, your motto seems to be “shut up and put up”.Pretty scary to me.
    And by the way, unfortunately, you are right. I do dislike Mayor Young.I have found him to show very little respect for the very people he represents.I wish I could say otherwise. I await the day I have a Mayor I can be proud of.
    …And, by the way, slamming Colwood is another old line too.

  108. LOL said

    Gates of Harmonious Construction – so apt and soooo funny! AND the colour of $$$ – love it! Perhaps, though, Happy Valley would refer to it as The Gates of Harmonius DEstruction. Can you see the future: “Stew Young impersonators” in Langford casinos and reports in the Goldstream Gazette of “Stew Young sightings” in downtown Langford. hahaha

  109. newsfreak said

    Langford not a happy home for all

    Published: Goldstream Gazette – September 17, 2010 6:00 AM

    I couldn’t disagree more strongly with claims about Langford being a culturally vibrant, environmentally friendly community.

    In south Langford where I live there have or are six subdivisions going in within a block of my house. First they cut down 98 per cent of the trees, then they strip off all the top soil and finally drill and blast out hundreds of gravel truck loads of rock so that they can create another small-lot subdivision.

    We are currently in for three to six years of rock crushing with the latest development. The ambiance to our city others have mentioned is the sound of construction and traffic noise.

    Our premier development in Langford Bear Mountain remains in credit protection a good example of development gone crazy.

    Bear Mountain development should have paid for twinning Millstream from Treanor Road to Bear Mountain Parkway. Instead we get a half finished overpass that we supposedly needed four years ago but don’t need now?

    My property taxes went up 15 per cent this year. I guess our help was needed in paying for the Goldstream Avenue beautification project.

    At a recent Langford planning meeting, I asked chair Coun. Lillian Szpak what the current population of Langford is and what the projected population will be in 20 years.

    Currently 24,000 people make their home in Langford with a projected population of 48,000 in 20 years. Goldstream Avenue will be a great place to go for a walk because in a few short years traffic gridlock will mean you won’t be going anywhere quick by car.

    But hey, we can spend the time waiting in our cars admiring the “Welcome to Goldstream” sign we all paid for.

    Len McIlwrick


  110. LOL said

    In spite of my sarcasm above, I truly do feel compassion for people like yourself who bought in Langford in the past and now have to put up with such a horrible change to their neighbourhoods. It’s not fair or ethical what has happened to long-time Langford citizens. That such a small group can dictate how a community is to grow is very sad. Unfortunately for you, your mayor loooooves LA and you’re destined to become LA Northwest unless you can stop him and his cronies.

  111. Had Enough said

    To Anonymous  @ 106

    I usually refrain from responding to trolls, but the “if you don’t like Langford, leave” mantra is heard here so often, that maybe your type really doesn’t “get it”.

    I have to assume you are one of the 12% who are happy with Gordo, otherwise you would just move out of BC, right? Harper must be your man in Ottawa too, otherwise you’d be an ex-pat, right? What about those who are trying to move out of Langford and are having a tough time selling with a glut of 4,000+ homes in Greater Victoria on the market? You must enjoy Inside Langford or you wouldn’t be visiting this site, right?

    I am one of those who don’t like a lot of things going on here – the senseless and hasty destruction of habitat and forest for the Stewpid Bridge, the land all over Florence Lake being destroyed – tearing up of agricultural land all over South Langford, pretty well anywhere you go. Why? To build more houses to increase the already overinflated inventory.

    There is absolutely no buffer between the farms of Luxton and the new developments going in. Cows on one side of a fence, houses on the other. How stewpid and forward thinking is that?

    Council backed Len Barry 100% despite community opposition and who was right? How did that work out? The fact Stew stated he “didn’t see the recession coming” proves once again how short-sighted and uniformed he is.

    A knowledgeable council would have preserved sensitive ecosystems and all agricultural land, inside and out of the ALR for producing locally grown food, and supporting the efforts of farmers. The threats to the world food supply are plentiful and it is always vulnerable, and Langford WAS a unique city that has (had) farmland.

    It is obvious that Langford council accommodates developers at the expense of residents, greenspaces, and future generations, or growth would have been slow and measured with more community concerns taken into consideration. This situation is not unique to Langford – it is the norm almost everywhere – but this herd mentality that focuses on the short-term lacks common sense, sustainability and any foundation for future survival and is doomed.

    Most people who live here, leave everyday for the city and return at night, and don’t pay much attention to what is happening in their own backyards. A large amount of the population is relatively new and don’t know the history here – only what they see now. Those factors, plus the skewed way democracy works here in municipal elections, will likely result in more of the same for a time to come, unless the disenfranchised fight back.

    PS: I avoid the clusterf*&k on Goldstream since the circle went in, but do wonder why taxpayer money was spent “beautifying” a part of town that had already been “beautified’.

  112. Rehired and paid for the time they were not allowed to work, then fired again the “right way” a 2nd time?

    The City of Langford can not water at night reportedly in part due to pop-up sprinklers being repeatedly vandalised unless watering is done in the light of day, repeated soapings of both fountains requiring security to guard the new fountain, grafetti problems and the City of Langford lays off bylaw officers doing an award winning community outreach program? What community priority is that fulfilling? Does the right hand know how much money the left hand is forking out in repair and clean-up costs, never mind the longterm social cost$ to our community?

    And it is all about the details – if you do decide to lay-off employees at an in-camera meeting, perhaps you had better figure out how to do it correctly so those staff do not get a forced paid 4 month+ vacation at tax payers expense. How is this sound fiscal or human resource management?

    “Langford bylaw officers rehired, laid off once again,” by Edward Hill – Goldstream News Gazette
    Published: September 23, 2010 9:00 AM
    Updated: September 23, 2010 9:49 AM
    Brown pointed out that they were rehired in the second week of September and reinstated with full pay and benefits retroactive to when they were laid off in May, before they were laid off once again.
    “It cost $70,000 to layoff Phil and I again,” Brown said in an interview. “What do taxpayers get for that? Nothing.”
    Williams said he had hoped to get rehired as the City is losing touch with the youth on the street. Brown said vandalism and graffiti is picking up again.
    “There is a lot of damage done. (The program) worked well because it was consistent enforcement with youth,” Williams said.

  113. So we are no longer paying for an award winning community outreach program to prevent a multitude of crimes and high-risk behaviours, but we are paying (out of what budget?) for a security guard to stand around all night trying to keep the new fountain safe from soap and even worse damage? Is that cost effective or even effective at keeping soap out of the fountain? Even our mayor is quoted saying such activity can not be successfully stopped.

    Quotes from Mayor Stew Young in “Second roundabout eyed for avenue” by Edward Hill – Goldstream News Gazette
    Published: September 23, 2010 1:00 PM

    “Although, someone is putting liquid soap in the fountain almost on a weekly basis. A woman was also caught on camera vandalizing the fountain piping.
    “You’re never going to stop that. There’s not much you can do about it,” Young said.”

  114. What was that about a NEW roundabout planned for Goldstream Ave. and Peatt Rd.?

    Personally I am liking the new roundabout, it makes it easier to drive in and out of Western Foods parking lot, or walk to and from the Goldstream Station Market, library, Mirage and other shops on either side of Goldstream Ave. But I am not frequenting the area at “rush” hour so I expect others have had very different experiences and may not feel the same way. I have heard residents from surrounding neighbourhoods complain about increased traffic on their streets as drivers skirt around the new roundabout, or about people stuck in the slow to non-moving traffic on Goldstream Ave.

    How about some community consultation on how the existing roundabout is functioning before plans are hatched for another one.

  115. Stew Young's Blog said

    Friday, September 24, 2010
    New Sportsplex Builds A Healthy Community
    The new sportsplex, family bowling centre and ice arena at City Centre Park will not only provide more recreational choices for our residents, but also create more jobs within our growing community. It will work well with the existing stadium, new all weather sports field and other facilities at City Centre Park to create more opportunities for people of all ages, especially our youth, to get involved in sports. Promoting a healthy lifestyle is one of the keys to building a healthy community. The one of a kind ice river that will connect the arena to the outdoor skating area is a feature that families will enjoy. The new sportsplex, scheduled for completion in 2011, also positions Langford favourably to host major tournaments, and that’s great for local businesses.
    Posted by Stew Young at 2:26 PM

    Friday, September 24, 2010
    Goldstream Village looks Great
    The changes we’ve made to beautify Langford’s downtown core make the area much more pedestrian, cyclist and family friendly. The fountain with lights, music and water shows in the new roundabout at Bryn Maur Road works well with the palm trees, new plantings and flowers we’ve added. I also like the arch that welcomes you to Goldstream Village, and the flag feature as well. We wanted to make the area the kind of place where people can relax, take a stroll and check out the boutiques and shops, have a coffee in one of the many cafes, or a meal in a nice restaurant. We’re adding more benches and information kiosks highlighting our award-winning trails, lakes and other attractions. The feedback from our residents has been terrific, and I think we’ve achieved a long-term goal of Langford Council to create a vibrant, greener downtown in a way that works for everyone.
    Posted by Stew Young at 2:24 PM

  116. no longer shocked said

    With regard to Mayor Young’s comments regarding creating an environment where people can enjoy the ambiance of a small village like atmosphere….I believe previous comments by counsellors indicated “european-feel” at one time. Perhaps Mayor Young could spend some time in Europe where he would see that attractive ambiance is primarily achieved by LACK of signage and crass lighting. What draws people to those places to live and visit is the lack of overt commercialism, the flip side of Las Vegas “in your face” postings. I have yet to see any positive feedback anywhere as to the value of the lime green neon Langford Arch. Perhaps our money could have been better spent widening Jacklin from Kelly Rd to Sooke Rd, to avoid long traffic waits, or even two lanes???

  117. Roger Wade is the newest councilor on Langford City Council
    “Victoria Rebels president Roger Wade has resigned.

    Due to undisclosed health concerns and acting on the advice of his doctor, he has officially stepped down after six years at the helm of the junior league football club.”


    *ANewsVanIsland* | September 22, 2010


    Bear Mountain Update

    *ANewsVanIsland* | September 30, 2010


  119. Bear Mountain Transit- No Buses In Bear Mountain’s Future

  120. Planning on setting off some fireworks for Hallowe’en or some other event? You need to have taken the Fireworks Safety Course and have a permit to possess or discharge fireworks within the cities of Langford, Colwood and View Royal. The Colwood course has already happened, but you can still take the Tues. Oct. 19th course in Langford or the Sat. Oct. 23rd course in View Royal. Permits are available until end of business Oct. 29th this year from the City of Langford. Check out their website:

  121. You’re paying for the bridge to nowhere
    By Paul Willcocks, Times Colonist October 19, 2010 1:07 AM

    “Drive under the Spencer Road bridge to nowhere and take a look at your tax dollars at work.

    And at a grand example of the lack of transportation planning in the region.

    Mostly, the stalled interchange project should worry Langford taxpayers. They borrowed the money to pay for the bridge. The developers who would benefit agreed they would eventually pay it all back.

    So far, they haven’t made any payments toward the principal. They did come up with $98,000 in interest in January, behind the original schedule. The next payment is due in January 2011.”

    “Provincial taxpayers are also on the hook. The provincial Transportation Ministry committed $4.9 million to the project.”

    “Your tax contributions don’t stop there. Provincial LocalMotion grants…….
    Langford scored big with a $1-million grant to put sidewalks and bike lanes on the bridge.”

    “The next time you drive under the bridge to nowhere, slow down to think about where the money could have done more good.

  122. tick tock said

    The Spencer Bridge fiasco created by Langford politians is a National disgrace and an excellent example of politians ” gone wild” and totally wrapped up in their own egos and having lost the awareness that they have been elected to responsibly represent the citizens in the community and also to spend their hard earned taxes in a responsible manner.( This example of failure ,in so many ways ,should be added to every Political Science 101 course in every university in Canada)

    It seems to me that this bonehead project was not to ease traffic congestion at the Millstream overpass as expressed by the Mayor but an attempt to provide a second access to Bear Mountain in order to make it more marketable so Len could continue to develop and market this project.It is likely that the only way further development could occur at Bear Mountain was to have a second access. The swift rezoning of Skirt Mountain would provide for this need and would also provide an immediate uplift in value for all the owners of Skirt Mountain.Does one really believe that the owners of Skirt Mountain we’re anxious to develop their lands when the realestate market conditions were deteriating ,the market in Langford was about to be flooded in residences from the Westhills Project,among others and the World was facing a recession? I personally don’t think so.

    I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at the private meetings that occurred on this rezoning application.!!!!!!

    tick tock

  123. City of Langford website:

    Local Governments Declare Interests in Te’mexw Treaty

    News Release For Immediate Release
    September 21, 2010

    Victoria, BC – A local government advisory committee for the Te’mexw treaty negotiations released a paper today outlining their interests in the treaty. Committee chair Barb Desjardins, who is also Mayor of Esquimalt said, “We understand the need for the treaty process, and have been working since 2005 to have local interests heard.”

    The Te’mexw treaty is being negotiated between the governments of Canada and British Columbia and five Coast Salish First Nations on Lower Vancouver Island. It will cover far-reaching issues, many of which are also the responsibility of local governments.

    The local government advisory committee represents the municipalities of Colwood, Esquimalt, Highlands, Langford, Metchosin, Saanich, Sooke and View Royal. Working together, the committee identified interests in seven areas that may impact local government and the people they represent.

    “The implications of this treaty are significant for municipalities and property owners,” Desjardins said. “Although the advisory committee has a limited ability to influence the negotiations, we will continue to express the issues for local government and municipal taxpayers.”

    People are encouraged to learn more about the Te’mexw Treaty and its impact on local communities by contacting their local MLA, MP or the Honourable George Abbott, BC’s Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. Further information on the treaty is available at:

  124. Report: Municipal spending outpacing population growth
    By Bill Cleverley, Times Colonist December 2, 2010

    “Under the CFIB formula, a fiscal sustainability gap of one indicates that a municipality restricted the growth in spending to the benchmark of population and inflation growth.

    A gap of two indicates spending increased twice as fast as population and inflation.”

    “Of the larger cities in the capital region, Langford had a gap of 3.54, Victoria had a gap of 2.18 and Saanich 2.07.

    “The CFIB says if “excess” spending in 2008 had been eliminated, a family of four in Langford would have saved $1,674.”

  125. walfred road resident said

    Just looking on Langford website of list of elected officials.
    It is listed that from December 2008 through until November 2011, we have acting Mayor’s listed. As this covers the entire period, perhaps we do not need to pay the current sitting Mayor Young for his absences. This would elicit a financial savings for the taxpayer. Perhaps someone needs to review where the Mayor is?

  126. Campaign to save a local lake in the Highlands: Mary Lake

    - looking for a Christmas or seasonal gift that is unusual, something that special person does not already have, it’s a very local item and helps a greater cause for everyone in the CRD – buy a part of Mary Lake or its surrounding lands for someone you care about.

    “Upwards of $115,000 was raised even before people could officially go online to purchase a square-metre of property for $10, $40 or $1,000.”

    “Tax receipts will be issued for all donations of at least $10. To donate, volunteer or for more information, visit or call 250-478-5858.”

  127. Anonymous said

    WRR: do your homework before you post.

  128. R.J. said

    What a load of poop.

  129. Goldstream River is glowing green?! A caller to the Zone radio station around 3:30PM mentioned the river was a neon green and here is some coverage from Goldstream New Gazette about the many reports the Nature House received.

  130. Here is a link to a truly scary picture the Times Colonist has put up of the GREEN Goldstream River!!!

  131. Here is a vid on YouTube:

  132. R.J. said

    Where did all the money go?

  133. And more coverage of Lan Barrie and Bear Mt. Resort

  134. Criminal Investigation said

    The RCMP has confirmed its Vancouver Island commercial crime unit has launched a criminal investigation into a complaint made by former NHL goaltender Sean Burke, one of the original investors in the Bear Mountain development project.

  135. Anonymous said

    Where did all the money go?

    Do the math:

    $14 million house
    $2 million dollar lake house
    Private Lear Jet
    $40 million dollar to buy pro hockey team
    $25 million buyout of relative’s share, who convienently got out before the collapse.
    A few other personal expenses and another Jr hockey team and you’re almost at $100 million.

    Not surprisingly the whole thing collapsed,

    (The above are estimated figures and should not be relied upon without verification)

  136. Due to popular request and conflicting evidence about ownership, comments about the Fountain Diner have been temporarily suspended until clarity surfaces.

  137. Community input is being sought, please take only a few moments and participate in the West Shore Parks and Recreation Facilities Capital Plan Survey:

  138. From the City of Langford website – ROAD CLOSURE Feb. 19th

    Saturday February 19, 2011 between 1:30pm and 3:00pm, Walfred Road between Hinks Road and Normark Place will be closed to all traffic due to a parade for a road dedication ceremony in honour of Bombardier Myles Mansell who was killed overseas in 2006. In addition to the closure, the eastbound lane of Walfred Road will be closed from 12:00pm until 6:00pm to allow for set up and closing of the event.

    Traffic control will be at the intersections of Lodmell Road at Walfred Road and at Jacklin Road at Walfred Road directing traffic. Delays may be expected, motorists please be aware.

  139. Ann Onymous said

    I am so proud of Langford for honouring Canada’s fallen soldiers in this way. Way to go!!

  140. walfred road resident said

    I agree, it is very nice to see our community honouring a Canadian who gave of himself for his country. I am sure the ongoing massive blasting we are currently experiencing every day will provide an appropriate backdrop of sound, not unlike that experienced during the war.
    Lets hope people are able to hear the speeches. I am sure we will, due to our various new broken windows and cracks in our walls.

  141. Langforder said

    B.C. Supreme court tags parents for son’s graffiti

    In a groundbreaking case, Langford couple must help pay for vandalism

    By BILL CLEVERLEY, February 25, 2011

    Read more:

  142. Have your input on WestShore Performing Arts and Education Centre:

    “The Sooke School District, WestShore Chamber of Commerce, City of Colwood, Camosun College and the Canadian College of the Performing Arts, along with First Nations and a host of other organizations and groups are working together to build a neighbourhood learning centre with soul at Royal Bay. The complex would include one of the district’s two long-awaited secondary schools, a community performing arts, culture and heritage centre, and Camosun is exploring opportunities to deliver post-secondary training.”

    Take the survey here.

  143. Anonymous said

    “Revenue Canada and the Crown are charging Len Barrie with failing to file taxes in 2008 and 2009 for Bear Mountain Projects Ltd. Last year, the company was taken over by creditor HSBC to recoup $250 million in debts.”

    I feel like I want to shout this out very loudly – this should not be a surprise, Bear Mt. development is failing and the City of Langford is paying the bank back – not the developers!!! Over 10% of Langford residents signed the petition AGAINST the City of Langford borrowing money on behalf of the Bear Mt. Partnership to pay for building the Spencer Road Interchange. And those 10% were only the ones that had a canvasser show up and ask them if they wanted to sign, so the number in opposition to the borrowing could have been a lot higher. So a significant number of people had very real concerns that turned out to be very valid about the financing arrangement. And yet, not the mayor nor one councilor ever expressed ANY reluctance or worry, in fact, citizens who dared to question or speak in opposition to borrowing the money were berated. No one on Langford City Council can say they were not warned, they were by many people repeatedly, they just refused to listen, one and all.

  144. blasted out said

    Langford in the news for blasting – more blasting it Langford – who knew?

    Blasting causes headaches for Langford homeowners

    05/11/2011 12:00 AM Monday Mag

  145. View Royal Coun. Andrew Britton:
    “June 1 when the two ambulances that operate out of Colwood during peak daytime hours are reassigned to the central station on Douglas Street near Uptown, leaving West Shore with a single 24-hour, seven-day-per week ambulance.”

  146. Public comment requested on residences in the ALR

    VICTORIA – The Ministry of Agriculture is inviting British Columbians to comment on possible guidelines for residence size and location on properties in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).

    The call for public comments follows the distribution of the ministry’s discussion paper on the same topic to local governments and stakeholders and is part of the process to help develop standards that could be applied by local governments across the province. The consultation includes a survey seeking opinions on:
    · Whether size and location limits should be applied to residences and their amenities in the ALR.
    · The process in which the standards could be introduced.
    · Feedback on the discussion paper.

    The ALR is a provincial zone in which agriculture is the priority use. Although local governments regulate residence size and location limits within their boundaries, not many have specified size and placement requirements for residences specifically within the ALR. As a result of local governments concerns over differences in regulations among municipalities, Metro Vancouver (formerly the GVRD) asked the Minister of Agriculture to develop a provincial standard that local governments could use.

    The survey is open to all British Columbians. Respondents are advised to familiarize themselves with the discussion paper prior to participating in the survey. To read the discussion paper and participate in the survey, visit:

    The survey will be open until July 14, 2011. All comments will be included in the ministry’s consideration of Metro Vancouver’s request for a provincial standard.

    Media Contact:

    Niki Pandachuck
    Public Affairs Officer
    Ministry of Agriculture
    250 387-1693

    See also:

  147. Local Langford resident, Ian McKenzie and the Bliston Watershed Protection Society in the news:

  148. Media Release
    For Immediate Release
    June 15, 2011
    Gas Tax Fund Allocated to Three CRD Projects

    Victoria, BC –- The CRD Board has agreed on the allocation of the 2011-2015 Regionally Significant Project (RSP) Gas Tax Fund. Funding, endorsing recommendations from the RSP Working Group (RSPWG), comprised of senior CRD staff and member municipalities. The $18.55 million in funding from the Gas Tax agreement between the Federal government, the Province of BC and the BC Union of Municipalities will support replacement of the Craigflower Bridge at Admiral’s Road ($10 million) commuter bike lanes and a multi-use trail on the Johnson Street Bridge ($8 million) and policy creation, public consultation and monitoring tools for the Regional Sustainability Strategy ($0.55 million).
    “Support of infrastructure projects that serve to improve transportation networks and promote sustainable travel are of utmost importance in our region,” said CRD Board Chair Geoff Young. “I am pleased to see the Board support these proposals.”
    Regionally Significant Projects (RSPs) are defined by UBCM as leading toward “reduced greenhouse gas emissions, cleaner air and cleaner water” as well as large in scale and regional in impact. The three current projects were determined by a RSP Working Group (RSPWG) comprised of senior CRD staff and member municipalities.
    The Craigflower Bridge proposal will include replacement of the existing bridge structure, two metre sidewalks, bike lanes for approaches and the bridge, storm water treatment and provision for herring fishers. The Johnson Street Bridge proposal will include a five metre multi-use trail adjacent to vehicle traffic and bike lanes on each side of the vehicle deck. The RSS proposal will include policy creation, public consultation and engagement and development of implementation tools.
    The City of Victoria has also applied for funding for the Johnston Street Bridge bike lanes and multi-use trail. Should the City be successful, the RSPWG will reconvene to evaluate and recommend allocation of the remaining CRD RSP funds.
    The Gas Tax Agreement for BC defines a funding structure for the CRD. Half of the per capital allocation for the region is disbursed directly to member municipalities and electoral areas; the other half, a General Strategic Priorities Fund (GSPF) is split between a pooled fund and a large scale project fund. Any local government in BC outside Metro Vancouver can submit an application to the GSPF pooled funds. The CRD currently has $18.55 million available for eligible RSP proposals and has endorsed these priorities.

  149. The Yes man – View Royal man keeps up long fight against HST

    By Edward Hill – Goldstream News Gazette
    Published: June 30, 2011 3:00 PM
    Updated: June 30, 2011 4:43 PM

  150. Local residents should be aware:

    Man sought in bid to abduct girls from Langford backyard

  151. Note RECALL of GROUND BEEF is from Colwood Thrifty Foods

    A recall has been added to the CFIA’s Food Recall Report.

    Class 1
    Reason for Recall: Health Hazard – small pieces of metal and plastic
    Product(s): Ground Beef Products
    Recalling Firm: Thrifty Foods – Colwood
    Distribution: These products were sold at Thrifty Foods, Store #8-Colwood, 1860 Island Highway, Victoria, British Columbia only.

    Product details are available at

  152. As adults, special needs teens face tough barriers
    By Edward Hill – Goldstream News Gazette
    Published: August 02, 2011 12:00 PM
    Updated: August 05, 2011 9:46 AM

    “Since turning 19, the group aged out of their Belmont secondary lifeskills day program, but no similar programs for adults, at the necessary level of care, exist on the West Shore.

    In response, the parents are launching their own program from scratch, called West Shore InclusionWorks. They are pooling limited funding resources to rent a suitable space, supply it with activity gear, and hire three specialized, full-time care workers.”

  153. “Malahat bypass frustrates Highlands”

    By Charla Huber – Goldstream News Gazette
    Published: August 10, 2011 7:00 AM

    District seeks better traffic management for highway crashes

  154. “Nootka Island earthquake rattles parts of the coast

    An earthquake that struck off the coast of Vancouver Island has now been downgraded to a magnitude 6.4 from 6.7.

    It hit near Nootka Island at about 12:41 this afternoon and could be felt throughout the island and all the way over to the Mainland and Metro Vancouver.”


    “Victory! Vancouver Islanders send mainland developer packing
    Grassroots uprising defeats unethical development”

  156. Grant McLachlan (no relation as far as I know) has declared he is running for Langford Council.

    Here is his blog:

    Here is his FB page:

    Editorial in Gazette

    Candidacy mentioned on CFAX

  157. In Langford, a self described activist who took part in protests over the construction of the Spencer Road overpass – Chris Johnson – has filed papers to run for mayor, challenging incumbent Stew Young. Johnson says his vision includes more public involvement in Langford politics, encouraging local food production, and protecting the last Garry Oak ecosystems within the city.

    CFAX News:

  158. Check out who is running in the local government elections:

    West Shore civic election candidates

  159. Ann interesting group has been created on Facebook:
    Sewers for Langford
    Open group —

    The theme of the group seems to be sharing concerns about the cost to some residents of maintaining and repairing old septic fields when the sewer connection is coming, but not until as late as 2016 reportedly in at least one case.

  160. Did you remember the time change? ‘Fall’ back one hour.

    Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 2:00:00 AM clocks were turned backward 1 hour to
    Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 1:00:00 AM local standard time instead.

  161. Old news but seems still relevant today:

    That’s me getting interviewed about the petition to stop the City of Langford borrowing $25 million for the bridge to nowhere. And they continue to borrow, $3 million more to do the left hand turn and plan on borrowing the full $25 million. And that is my car with the petition sign atop it in front of city hall – coincidentally the same night the glass repair people suspect that my my windshield was shot with a beebee gun cracking the front windshield the full length. Welcome to the wild wild west of old Langford. Good times, Mayor Young in fine form screaming at folks, including me and other citizens who dared to disagree with him that perhaps banking on the success of Bear Mt. resort might just wee bit risky in the inflated real estate market……….. So how exactly are the current Langford Council so very fiscally responsible exactly? And by the way, Mayor Young is incorrect as I understand it. Once completed, the bridge to Nowhere is owned by the provincial Ministry of Transport as it arches over a provincial highway.

  162. Anonymous said

    You bet it’s relevent as much today as it ever was.
    In my view, the only reason this Bridge to nowhere was “fast tracted’ was to assist in the marketing of Bear Mountain ( needs a second access to the Island Highway before any more significant construction would be permitted. To confirm just ask the Fire Chief).
    Again ,in my opinion, the owners of Skirt Mountain couldn’t say no to having a second access to Bear Mountain constructed through their property. Essentially ,they would receive upzoning of their property,virtually overnight, and be given exemption from paying MILLIONS OF $$$$$$$ in future Development Cost Charges!!!! WHAT A WINDFALL.

    Cheryl, make sure you ask the City for the documention of all the costs associated with this project once it is completed

  163. Anne Onymous said

    I hope that this website will respect the will of the voters. Perhaps it is the 99%, or some majority portion thereof who are satisfied with the work that the current Council is doing.

  164. Langforder said

    Len Barrie makes the news again, and it never seems to be good.

    Casino sues former NHLer for alleged $2M debt

    One-time forward Len Barrie allegedly has not repaid casino for May 2008 debt

    “A former National Hockey league player and developer of a failed Vancouver Island real estate project is being sued by a major Las Vegas casino for an alleged debt of more than $2 million, CBC News has learned.”

    CBC News Posted: Jan 19, 2012 8:05 PM ET
    (Last Updated: Jan 20, 2012 12:04 AM ET)

  165. Langforder said

    Len Barrie in the news again and there’s more this time:

    RCMP turns investigation into Len Barrie’s finance dealings over to crown

    by David Shoalts
    Globe and Mail Update
    Published Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 1:00AM EST
    Last updated Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 1:34AM EST

    “The results of an RCMP investigation into Len Barrie’s financial dealings with his former Bear Mountain golf resort and real-estate development were recently turned over to the B.C. Attorney general’s office, according to two sources.

    Barrie is also facing a civil claim in the Supreme Court of British Columbia for $2.2-million from the Bellagio, an upscale casino and hotel in Las Vegas. The claim was filed Dec. 16, 2011, three months after the Bellagio was awarded a judgment by a Nevada court for more than $2-million (U.S.), which it was unable to collect from the former NHL player. No statement of defence could be found in the B.C. court’s records.”

  166. The Len Barrie story is explained further on CTV Island News, including how someone can end up owing a casino money, that Barrie will be in BC court late Feb. for not filing corporate tax returns and that the RCMP investigation around his dealings with Bear Mt. Resort continue……………….

  167. And here’s the coverage on Len Barrie’s casino debt in the Times Colonist:

    Vegas casino files against Len Barrie
    Bellagio says it is owed $2 million for a line of credit from 2008
    By Andrew A. Duffy, Times Colonist January 20, 2012

    Read more:

  168. InTheKnow said

    The fact that Len Barrie blew up a scared First Nations cave in order to built his 14,00 square foot monstrosity of a house on top of it, and now has been booted out of said house, could be called pay back, and it certainly is in my books. Len Barrie’s legacy includes the destruction of all trust with his shareholders at Bear Mt., ignoring the Real Estate Board’s direct legal orders to cease and desist from selling any more properties on Bear Mt. amid repeated fines from them for continuing to do so, and let’s not forget forcing long time home owners and residents in Langford to sell their homes or move in order to destroy green space and build a road to nowhere that only serves Len Barrie and his cronies. I will repeat that last sentence again-I said this 5 years ago and it’s still true-a road to nowhere that only serves Len Barrie and his cronies. A road that leads to licentious parties, rampant spending, desperate deals and absolute bar-none destruction of all land surrounding a guy name Len, who now has a active RCMP file on his financial activities regarding Bear Mt. holdings and the legal teams of Bellagio after him for 2.2 million in B.C. Supreme Court. The funny thing is, if you look at the legal records it states that Len Barrie asked for the line of credit from Bellagio in 2008, right around the time he was blowing up sacred First Nations spaces, and fishing around for money from the province and municipal taxpayers to build his private road. The mayor of Langford, Stew Young, a long time crony and Las Vegas wingman for Barrie, at that time was pushing the taxpayers of Langford to buy into this ridiculous scam and foot the bill for the Bear Mt. Interchange. Thanks to people like myself and many, many others on the island, the province stopped any funding slated for the proposed Spencer Road Interchange. We also stopped the CRD from releasing water from the Highlands to Bear Mt.!!!! Ya, that idiot was even trying to get water from the Highlands for his ridiculous golf course! Does anyone really think that Len Barrie was doing anything other than living it up with all that money he was borrowing, begging and stealing from Vegas lenders, taxpayers and shareholders around 2008-2009 around the time all his ridiculous plans were falling apart???!!?? Unfortunately for the voters of Langford, Stew Young put their taxpaying dollars onto Len Barrie’s hook and they now have to pay for an unsustainable road that leads to an equally unsustainable luxury resort with no amenities whatsoever. Meanwhile, Len Barrie is off onto another project in Mill Bay, likely to be a eye-brow raiser also considering that it sounds like a load of crap plan and highly unlikely to unfold considering his current troubles. The Bear Mountain resort is really awful and anyone who has any love for the Island and has walked these lands knows it. This is not done yet because whether anyone who “believes” in Bear Mt., gets it or not, people have long memories and no one is ever gonna forget a man who fought like a mother- !#!?er so that he could proceed to destroy- proceed to destroy land, trees, caves, sacred spaces, trust in elected officials, trust in the shareholders and the frigging list goes on and on. The only way Len Barrie can redeem himself is if he plants trees, re-builds salmon habitat, rescues wild, etc., for the rest of his days and even then I don’t think the First Nations elders have any way to save him from the spirits in the sacred spaces he destroyed and then further desecrated by living on, from exacting a certain “influence” on his life. And don’t even get me started about Langford council. Where is Stew Young these days? Back in Vegas again? I see Ms. Blackwell will be acting mayor for Langford from January 1st to June 30th, whooee that’s a long vacation on the taxpayers money.

  169. Langforder said

    In case anyone missed it, Len Barrie was evicted from his home near his bankrupt Bear Mt. Resort:

    “Len Barrie told to leave mansion

    Court orders Ex-Bear Mountain CEO to turn over property to HSBC Bank Canada”

    By Andrew A. Duffy, January 26, 2012

    Wonder how goes the bridge to nowhere he was helping pay for……………..

  170. solutions said

    Coming Up:
    Awareness Film Night: NEXT SCREENING March 7, 2012

    Annual Farming and Gardening Gala co-presented with Sooke Region Food CHI and featuring the film “To Make a Farm”, a visually beautiful and very real exploration of the ups and downs in the lives of 5 young Canadian farmers over the course of an entire year. The evening will also feature a chance to discuss gardening/farming questions with local growers, booths, a seed exchange and tea and goodies (by donation) prepared by the EMCS Culinary Arts class. It takes a community to feed a community. 7 p.m. to 9:30 Edward Milne Community School Theatre, 6218 Sooke Rd. in Sooke. By donation. Proceeds this month to: Farmer2Farmer Network

  171. Local lad Ryder Hesjedal wins on the international biking circuit.

    The Tour de Victoria group bike ride he set up and is riding in Sun. June 24th in Greater Victoria and in parts of Langford will be very popular and exciting I expect.

  172. Langforder said

    Wind and location made for a difficult night containing fire in Langford

    September 03, 2012 07:27 from Global Administrator

    It took 20 firefighters, a helicopter and three water bombers to subdue the flames in Langford on September 2.

    Langford Fire got a call around 5p.m. reporting smoke in the remote area between Happy Valley and Walfred Road.

    It was two hours before they could get boots on the ground says Lieutenant. Kim Reach.

    “We were able to gain access through a farm on Latoria Road which was able to open up gates and allow us in and brought us to the base of the fire,” says Lt. Reach.

    It was around a one kilometer hike for fire crews wearing heavy gear to get to the front lines of the fire.

    In the meantime, Forestry was sending helicopters and three fire bombers filled with water and fire retardant to help fight the flames.

    “At the beginning there was worries about homes because the wind was moving, it had picked up and was shifting to structures,” says Reach.

    The fire grew to about a half a hectare in size before crews were able to contain it.

  173. Langforder said

    Contract awarded for final stage of work on Spencer Interchange

    September 04, 2012 06:14 from Global Administrator

    A Nanaimo-based company has been awarded an $8.3-million dollar contract for the final phase of construction work on the Spencer Interchange.

    Langford Mayor Stew Young says Windley Contracting was the winning bidder, the same company that handled earlier work on the project.

    Construction, which will include building on and off-ramps, will commence sometime in the next month and is scheduled to be completed by the start of next July.

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