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Latest News | Victoria

Time to Prepare for Strong Winds and Heavy Rain | September 23 2020
With Environment Canada forecasting strong winds and heavy rain this week, now is the time to prepare for fall and winter storms. Here's what you need to know -- and do. Preparing for Strong Winds Businesses, residents and contractors on building sites should prepare for strong winds by securing materials that could become airborne such as garbage cans, patio furniture, retractable canopies, ladders, hoarding, building materials, banners and awnings. Residents are encouraged to trim dead or damaged tree branches to reduce the danger of these falling onto homes and vehicles during a storm. Who to Call When: To report a power line down, call 911. To report a power outage, call BC Hydro at 1.888.POWERON / 1.888.769.3766. View BCHydro's information on power outages. To report branches or a tree down, call the City of Victoria Parks Division at 250.361.0600. NOTE: If calling after hours (weekends, or weekdays before 8 a.m. or after 4 p.m.), please call 250.361.0400. Preparing for Heavy Rain Everyone has an important role to play in keeping the community and properties safe and dry during heavy rain and wind storms. In preparation for a storm, City crews are out clearing streets of leaves.  Here's what residents and businesses can do to help prevent flooding: Please help keep sidewalks, gutters, drains, and storm drain grates clear of leaves to prevent storm drains from clogging and flooding. Do not rake leaves onto streets and do not push leaves into drains. Determine where the storm drain grate is on your street and help us keep it clear. Please rake leaves and tree needles away from grates and onto the boulevard, to allow rain water to enter freely. Placing leaves in clear, 100% compostable bags also helps prevent flooding. Information about our residential leaf collection will be available soon.  Pooling Water If you see water pooling in your street during heavy rain, please call 250.361.0400 for assistance from City crews at any time. Safe Travels When driving or cycling, be mindful of large puddles in curb lanes, on low areas of roads and at the bottom of hills, as well as areas with large leafy trees. Reduce speed to avoid vehicles from stalling.  Preparing Your Emergency Kits During wet, windier months, there is a likelihood of power outages due to fallen trees or high winds. Residents should be prepared and have flashlights, blankets, a portable radio and spare batteries on hand in case of a power outage, and should avoid parking vehicles under trees or hydro wires, if possible. For information on what to include in your emergency kits go to: VictoriaReady.ca  
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Canadian Flag at Half-Mast at City Hall in Memory of the late Right Honourable John Turner, Former Prime Minister of Canada | September 22 2020
The Canadian flag will be flown at half-mast from today until sunset on the day of the funeral (date to be determined) to honour the memory of the late Right Honourable John Napier Wyndham Turner, former Prime Minister of Canada, who passed away on September 19, 2020.  
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Six New EV Chargers Coming to Downtown | September 21 2020
Six new curbside electric vehicle (EV) chargers are coming to Broad Street between Pandora Avenue and View Street. “We’re committed to helping residents reduce their carbon footprint anywhere we can and it’s clear that Victoria residents are increasingly choosing electric vehicles to do their part as well,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “This is a practical solution to support a reduction in GHGs, but also to provide another incentive to come downtown and support our local businesses.” Today, the City of Victoria will begin construction on six new Level 2 EV chargers on Broad Street. Each charger will be installed in adjacent pairs, two per block, allowing EVs to charge for up to 90 minutes. Each 90-minute charge on a Level 2 charger will be sufficient to drive an average EV approximately 50 kilometres. Funding for the chargers and the installation has been provided, in part, by Natural Resource Canada’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program, in partnership with BC Hydro.  This installation will be Victoria’s first venture into on-street charging to support the rapid adoption of EVs in the community and represents a near 50 per cent increase of the City’s public EV charger capacity. Currently, the City owns and operates 13 public Level 2 chargers which are in groups of two to four in each of the City’s five parkades. Vancouver Island has one of the highest EV adoption rates in Canada and these new chargers reflect the increase in demand for publicly available charging.  To meet the climate change targets outlined in the City’s Climate Leadership Plan, Victoria has committed to “expand EV charging stations in City parkades, recreation centres, community centres and public spaces”. The City is currently in the process of developing a comprehensive EV Strategy that will guide the City’s investment in public and private EV charging stations.   The Climate Leadership Plan sets a target that renewable energy will power 30 per cent of passenger vehicles registered in Victoria by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2050. These targets are in line with those set by the provincial CleanBC plan that requires the sale of all new light-duty cars and trucks to be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2040.
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Recreation Programs Cancelled Due to Smoky Conditions | September 17 2020
Due to the ongoing air quality advisory and smoky conditions, tonight’s recreation programs at Royal Athletic Park are cancelled (Thursday, Sept. 17). The park remains open for drop-in use.   For more information: https://weather.gc.ca/airquality/pages/bcaq-010_e.html
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Ways to Pay Your Property Taxes | September 14 2020
To ease the financial burden faced by taxpayers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Victoria extended this year's property tax deadline to August 4, 2020. Reduced Penalties In order to assist those unable to meet this year's payment deadline, the City has reduced late payment penalties to 2% after August 4, and after the first business day in the months of September, October, November and December for Residential, Utility and Support Housing property classes. Penalties apply to unpaid amounts, even unclaimed home owner grants. To help Business, Industrial, Recreational and mixed property classes, a 6% penalty will be applied after the first business day in October and a further 2% penalty after the first business day in each of the months of November and December to unpaid amounts. Ways to Pay Your Property Taxes The Public Service Centre at City Hall re-opened on July 2 to enable property taxes and other financial transactions to be made in person, if needed. You are no longer required to make an appointment. Located on the ground floor, the Public Service Centre is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., excluding statutory holidays. Upon arrival, please line up outside the Pandora Avenue entrance. Ambassadors will be there to greet you. You'll exit the building into Centennial Square.  You can also pay your property taxes online, by using the drop box outside of City Hall or by mail.  Learn more about property tax payment options.   Please Note: The Development Services and Permits counter on the second floor continue to provide service by appointment only. Planning is underway for re-opening at a later date. Safety Measures at City Hall If you need to come into City Hall, we’ve made some changes for your safety and the safety of our staff: Directional markers outside and inside City Hall will keep you two metres apart from others. Ambassadors at entrances will direct you and answer questions. The number of people inside the building will be limited. Plexiglass screens at service counters will provide a physical barrier. We are frequently cleaning high-touch services. There are also some things you can do when coming to City Hall: Sanitize your hands before and after your visit. Practise physical distancing. And if you are feeling ill, please stay home. Together, we can continue to do our part to stay safe. Learn more about the City’s response to COVID-19.    
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