Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Craigflower Village, the lost 14th CRD Municipality Rediscovered!

UPDATE - make sure you read the final note on the page

As many of you know I am a serious BC History buff.   I love to read the old newspapers, the journals of the legislatures or just hang out in the BC Archives.   I have made a fascinating discovery about seven months ago.  In 1866 the Legislature of Vancouver Island incorporated the second local government in what is now BC - Craigflower Village.   Shortly there after Vancouver Island was merged with the colony of British Columbia to become one unified Crown Colony.

I had never heard of this municipality and so I did a lot more digging through source materials, an advantage of living here in Victoria with the Legislature Library and BC Archives.  I have gone through the journals of the Vancouver Island Legislature and the reports of the Daily Colonist and it all in black and white, Craigflower Village was incorporated on August 31st 1866.

All the laws of Vancouver Island, unless later rescinded, replaced or altered, remain in effect to this day.   One law never repealed or altered was "The Village of Craigflower Incorporation Act, 1866".   I have looked through all the relevant places and at no point can I find an act of the United Crown Colony of British Columbia or the Province of British Columbia rescinding the incorporation.

Craigflower Village legally still exists.   What this means is that the area of the original village is not legally part of any other local government.

Finally on Monday I found the most compelling evidence of the existence of Craigflower Village, a map in the BC Archives from 1870 showing the legal boundaries of the City of Victoria and the Village of Craigflower.  The map seems to have been created as part of the union with Canada.  The map it is not available online.  It is a very frail map that they only allow to be viewed if someone has a very good reason - when I told the archivist that I found a missing incorporated village that was enough for them to allow me into the back conservation area and see the map.  Below is an 1863 map of the Craigflower farm which is the same area that shortly afterwards was incorporated.
Craigflower Farm, the area that was incorporated as Craigflower Village on August 31st 1866
The incorporation seems to have happened because the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the HBC, was divesting properties and wanted to subdivide the Craigflower Farm.   It seems that incorporation was needed to allow for the subdivision of the farm into small lots.

Not surprisingly the first reeve of Craigflower Village was none other than arch HBC loyalist Dr J.S. Helmcken, elected to office in October of 1866.   The meeting of the council were held at the Craigflower Schoolhouse.

Other references I have found to Craigflower Village
  • About four or five times a year a mention in the Daily Colonist in the years from 1866 to 1875 and then it drops off to a trickle
  • 1871 and 1881 census returns for Craigflower Village
  • The BC Legislative Journals in 1873 mention roadworks in the Village of Craigflower
  • The addendum to the terms of union with Canada outline a series of BC debts that Canada was taking on, one of them were for rural road works in Craigflower village
  • Peter O'Reilly mentions Craigflower Village in his notes for the creation of the Songhees #1 reserve in 1877
So far the last record I can find of a Craigflower council meeting is from June 14th 1883 when the council passed a bylaw banning "orientals" from owning property in Craigflower.

So what does this mean in 2015?   The area that was incorporated as Craigflower Village is now admistered as a part of Saanich, View Royal or Esquimalt but it has never legally been incorporated into them.  It means the bylaws of those communities do not hold sway and they are not legally entitled to any property taxes.

The fix this situation the province would have to pass an act of the legislature dissolving Craigflower.  Until that happens, the residents of Craigflower could elect a new council and reeve.  Given the reluctance of the province to force amalgamations I suspect that they would not actually dissolve but leave it up to the residents to decide what they want to do.

Since it is after 12 noon on April 1st, I have to confess that this is not real at all.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Privacy Commissioner's report on Saanich

I have not blogged about the situation with respect to Saanich mayor Richard Atwell because up until now I have not had much substance to make up my mind about what is going on.  All I would be doing is adding more unsubstantiated speculation to the mix.   This changed yesterday because the BC Commissioner of Privacy released her report of the Use of Employee Monitoring Software by the District of Saanich.  I still can not comment in any useful way about the other issues because I do not have the facts.

The report gives more details of what happened and when.   Here is my quick take on it all
  • The core person in the whole thing seems to be Director of Corporate Services Laura Ciarniello.  She seems to have been a part of all the decisions and seems to have been informed about Spector 360 and then approved its use.   She is a Certified Human Resources Professional and I would think this means she is very aware of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
  • Senior Saanich staff in general does not seem to understand the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
  • It is not normally appropriate to act on any policy changes between the start of an election and a new council being sworn in and especially not in the short period between the end of an election and the swearing in of a new council.   The decisions around Spector 360 were taken during this period and should not have happened for that reason alone.  
  • The decision to use Spector 360 seems very rushed and ad hoc.   The decision was made in only four days after what seemed like months of no action on a May 2014 IT security audit.
  • Spector 360 in itself is not a breach of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act but only some of the functionality of the software, specifically keystroke logging, screenshot recording, program activity logging, email recording, and user logon functions.   Admittedly those functions seem to be very much the core of Spector 360
  • It seems like the decision to buy Spector 360 was very much connected to the election of Richard Atwell as mayor. 
  • I think the situation arose because of incompetence and fear on the part of staff
Here are the questions I still have:
  • Has council ever been allowed to see the IT security audit?
  • Did former CAO Paul Murray sign off on the new software?
  • Why did staff not explicitly tell Mayor Richard Atwell that Spector 360 was being installed on the new computer purchased for his office?  I would have expected staff to have worked very closely with the new mayor on what computer was to be purchased and how it was going to set up.
  • Why did staff not halt the use of Spector 360 when Mayor Richard Atwell expressed his concerns about the software?   The mayor is the leader of council and when concern is expressed by the mayor staff should be paying close attention.
  • Why did staff not come to council immediately after the mayor expressed issues with the software?
  • Why did Mayor Richard Atwell not bring his concerns about the software to council in December 2014?   Why did he raise his issues on January 12th 2015 in a press conference?   Why the delay?  Why that date?   Why was council not informed beforehand?
  • Who wrote the January 13th media release from council?   Was it intended to be misleading and was council aware of that?  Did council know that Spector 360 was installed in the default mode and therefore in contravention of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act?
  • Why did council not make a clear decision in January that the use of Spector 360 was not OK?
  • How could Director of Corporate Services Laura Ciarniello not be aware that Spector 360 was likely to be in violation of  the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act?  She is a Certified Human Resources Professional and I would assume should be aware of FIPPA.
  • Why did the IT Manager not check if any other municipality used this software?   
  • Did the IT Manager inform the Director of Corporate Services about what the default setting of Spector 360 was and how it was not appropriate to use?
  • Has council lost confidence in some members of senior staff?
Recommendation #5 is one that all municipalities should be looking at:

The District of Saanich should implement a comprehensive privacy management program to ensure it is able to meet all of its obligations under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This program should include the appointment of a Privacy Officer.
The Privacy Officer should conduct a comprehensive audit of the District’s compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and compile a registry of all personal information in the custody or under the control of the District.
The District should provide training to all employees in relation to all requirements of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
In my experience there is not a lot of understanding of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act by municipal staff.    All municipalities should be adopting this recommendation but can small municipalities afford to implement it?

Timeline of the Spector 360 software story

  • May 2014 - An IT security audit is conducted for Saanich by Wordsworth and Associates - it does not recommend Spector 360
  • Saturday November 15 2014 - Richard Atwell wins the election
  • Monday November 17- Wednesday November 19 2014 -  Director of Corporate Services Laura Ciarniello and IT Manager Forrest Kvemshagen discuss the need to remedy outstanding IT security issues.   It sounds like the decision to move forward all of sudden was in part motivated by the election of the new mayor.  The decision to finally move forward quickly seems to have meant an interim solution had to be purchased off of the shelf
  • Wednesday November 19 2014 - Director of Corporate Services Laura Ciarniello met with the Chief Administrative Officer, the Chief of the Fire Department, and the Directors of Legislative Services, Planning, Parks and Recreation, and Finance.   At this meeting the staff decided on which computers security software would be installed
  • Wednesday November 19 2014 - Director of Corporate Services Laura Ciarniello directed IT Manager Forrest Kvemshagen to research and procure protection and monitoring software.  
  • November 20, 2014 -  After researching available options through an online search, the Assistant Manager reported back to the Manager of IT, recommending that the District acquire Spector 360.
  • Friday November 21, 2014 -  Spector 360 was purchased.
  • Wednesday November 25 2014 - CAO Paul Murray and mayor elect Richard Atwell meet in the Mayor's office
  • Thursday November 26 to Friday December 3, 2014: District IT staff installed Spector 360 on 13 employee workstations.  Spector 360 was installed with the default configuration, which seems be a major part of the problem because the default setting is an invasion of privacy
  • Wednesday December 1 2014 - the new council is sworn in
  • Thursday December 2  2014 -  The Manager of IT emailed the Director of Corporate Services requesting express authorization for the installation and activation of Spector 360, including the keystroke logging function.  The Director of Corporate Services approved   Though the software had been being installed since the previous Thursday and was completed by the next day.
  • Monday December 8 2014 - In an in camera meeting Saanich council to discuss labour issue
  • Thursday December 11 2014  Mayor Richard Atwell was informed by a third party about the installation of Spector 360 on his District workstation.
  • Friday December 12  2014 -  Mayor Richard Atwell met with the Manager of IT, the Assistant Manager of IT, and Director of Corporate Services to enquire about the software.
  • Monday December 15 2014 - Mayor Atwell complained to Saanich police about the use of Spector 360 by the District, and asked the police to determine whether the use of the software was in contravention of the Criminal Code of Canada. Saanich police sought an opinion from outside legal counsel on the legality of Spector 360. As a result of that opinion it was determined by Saanich Police that the use of Spector 360 was not a contravention of the Criminal Code. This opinion did not appear to consider whether the use of Spector 360 was in contravention of other federal or provincial law.
  • Tuesday December 16 2014 Council met in camera to discuss a labour issue
  • Wednesday December 17 2014 Saanich Council announces they have come to a parting of the ways with CAO Paul Murray.   What is not clear to me is the last day he worked in the office, I have been told conflicting dates
  • January 12 2015 - Mayor Richard Atwell informed the public via a press conference that the District had installed spyware on his computer.
  • January 12 2015 - Police Chief Bob Downie informs Saanich Council at an in camera council meeting that it is his department’s determination that no criminal offence has taken place and the review has been concluded.  Note, the police only looked at the criminal aspects of what happened and did not seem to consider any other breach of the law.
  • January 13 2015 - Media release from Saanich Council stating some of the story on the computer security issue
  • January 14 2015 - Media release from Director of Corporate Services Laura Ciarniello explaining why and when Spector 360 was purchased
  • January 19 2015 - The Director of Corporate Services directed the Manager of IT to disable Spector 360 pending a resolution of the concerns about its use by the District.
  • January 20 2015 -  Privacy Commissioner initiates investigation into the use of Spector 360 by Saanich
  • January 21 2015 - Spector 360 is disabled by Saanich
  • January 21 2015 - Saanich hires Andy Laidlaw as interim CAO. Saanich   This is relevant because Director of Corporate Services Laura Ciarniello used to work for him in Campbell River
  • January 28 2015 - Interim CAO Andy Laidlaw starts work
  • February 5, 2015 - Saanich announces Spector 360 has been disabled
  • March 17 2015 - Saanich interim CAO Andy Laidlaw announces Spector 360 will not be used again
  • March 30 2015 - Information and Privacy Commissioner releases her report

Saturday, March 07, 2015

The loss of Safeway in Greater Victoria is saving people money

Up until about a year ago Greater Victoria had three Safeway stores.   Those four stores were sold to the Overwaitea Group and are now Save-On-Foods stores.   With the change the cost of groceries has dropped in Victoria.

Greater Victoria has two major  grocery store chains, Thrifty's for the rich and Fairway, which is locally owned, for the poor.   The Pattison juggernaut of Save-On-Foods never took off in Victoria sitting at two stores for many years before acquiring the four Safeway sites.  It means there is finally a third chain competing in the region.

I lived close to the Safeway at Tillicum Mall for ten years but almost never used it because even though it was huge, the selection was not as good as the small Fairway at Gorge and Tillicum and the prices were significantly higher as well.   The only time I used the store was between 10 pm and midnight when the Fairway was closed.  

In the past in Greater Victoria, when the population was much smaller, there were more Safeways but as opposed to Trifty's and Fairway they contracted and then stagnated.   Not surprising given the prices were high and the produce sucked.  

Save-On-Foods does have significantly lower prices than Safeway, though not quite as low as Fairway overall but it often has deals that are lower in price.  I now use the Tillicum Save-On-Foods a moderate amount of the time because the prices are decent, admittedly also because I like the chicken pot pies they make.

My quick estimate is that the the prices have dropped by about 30% in the change from Safeway to Save-On-Foods.    This helps the people that shopped at the Safeway previously.  It means more money available for other spending in this region, about $24,000,000 more per year.   That works out to $75 per person per year in the region.    

The biggest impact of this extra spending will be felt in Sidney but it will have an impact on shopping habits in Tillicum-Gorge and Gordon Head.  

The change means that both Thrifty's and Fairway will feel more more competition and that should send prices further down.   If not a drop in prices, it should lead to medium term prices staying level.

For Tillicum Mall and University Heights Centre the change to Save-On-Foods should increase traffic to the malls though in Tillicum's case the loss of Target will likely balance out with the increase at Save-On-Foods.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

2014 Campaign spending in Central Saanich

losing candidates are in red.   Own money means the amount the candidate contributed to their campaign.  

Candidate           Spent     Raised   Own Money
Ryan Windsor       $9,264.68 $8,289.01  $1023.02  (1)
Jack Mar             $475.04   $465.79   $455.79
1) Elizabeth May and Cathy Ounsted each donated $500 to Ryan Windsor.  Adam Olsen donated $130.00.  Catherine Windsor donated $1,000.00

Candidate           Spent     Raised   Own Money
Naill Paltial      $9,686.96 $10,524.52 $5,099.52
Zeb King           $9,466.90  $9,874.01     $0.00 (1)
John Hannam        $6,007.78  $3,700.00 $2,700.00
Alicia Cormier     $5,141.67  $4,420.00 $2,550.00
Bob Thompson       $4,009.67  $3,204.41 $1,400.00
Christopher Graham $3,183.89    $534.00     $0.00
Carl Jensen        $3,125.11  $2,665.75     $0.00
Susan Mason        $1,607.91  $1,307.91     $0.00
Baldev Lalli         $286.50    $286.50   $286.50
Shawn Munro          $604.75  $1,304.75           (2)
Tex Moodrey           $93.00     $58.00    $53.00 

1) $1,100.00 in union donations.  
2) $700 in donations from unions - though in general his form does not seem to filled out correctly

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Campaign spending in Colwood - Lilja Chong massively outspent everyone else

The spending for the council race in Colwood is interesting.   Lilja Chong massively outspent the competition,  She spent $12,770.96 and the all the other candidates only spent about $1,750 more than that.   Almost $12,000 of her money came from one person, former Colwood councilor Ernie Robertson.

Candidate        Spent     Raised    Own money
Lilja Chong   $12,770.96 $12,770.96     $0.00  (1)
Duane MacNeill $3,895.00  $3,895.00 $3,895.00
Rob Martin     $3,659.66  $2,659.66 $1,809.66 
Terry Trace    $3,500.00  $2,500.00     $0.00  (2)
Jason Nault    $2,226.75  $3,264.95 $2,787.71  (3)
Gordie Logan   $1,340.51  $1,600.00     $0.00  (4) 
Cythnia Day      $671.15    $671.15   $671.15
Robb Marty       $293.18    $300.00   $300.00
Steve Huneck     $251.33    $251.33   $???.??  (5)
Natalia Lebedynsky $0.00      $0.00     $0.00
Paul DeVito        (6)
Daryl Clark        $0.00      $0.00     $0.00  (7)
Frank Kennedy      $0.00      $0.00     $0.00  (7)

1) Former Colwood councilor Ernie Robertson contributed $11,997.90 to Lilja Chong
2) Terry Trace had a $500 donation from Anthony Trace and $2,000 from Terrus Estates Ltd
3) Jason Nault's campaign had a surplus and he was reimbursed $1,000 making his contribution $1,787.71
4) Gordie Logan received $900.00 from unions
5) Steve Huneck's financial statement is missing the page of contributors
6) Paul DeVito has been given an extension for filing
7)  Both Daryl Clark and Frank Kennedy withdrew from the eleciton but are still required to fill out an election financing form

Spending in the 2014 Saanich Council Election

Candidate        Raised      Spent   Own donation 
Frank Leonard  $62,371.72  $62,306.14      $0.00 (1)
Richard Atwell $52,838.70  $52,838.70 $21,277.39 (2)
TOTAL         $115,210.42 $115,144.84 $21,277.39
1) Frank Leonard's wife donated $1,145
2) Richard Atwell received $10,000 from a business owned by Allen Vandkerkhove

Richard Atwell contributed 40,27% of the money he spent on his campaign

Council ranked by spending
Candidate         Raised     Spent     Own donation  Union
Fred Haynes      $25,410.00  $29,292.00    $360.00   $1,500.00 (1)
Vicki Sanders    $20,029.96  $23,518.46  $8,913.16             (2)
Leif Wergeland   $18,950.23  $15,992.61  $6,908.23             (3)
Colin Plant      $14,860.12  $14,860.12  $2,434.11   $4,700.00
Judy Brownoff    $12,920.80  $13,720.80    $126.80   $7,550.00
Dean Murdock     $13,068.18  $13,718.18    $138.18   $6,150.00
Paul Gerrard      $7,160.00  $12,454.77  $6,760.00
Susan Brice      $19,682.93  $12,228.63 $11,916.91             (4)
Nichola Wade     $11,837.25  $11,837.25  $8,311.25
Vic Derman        $9,306.00  $10,984.06  $8,200.00
Shawn Newby      $10,540.45  $10,530.07  $8,227.74
Marsha Henderson  $5,125.79   $5.125.79      $0.00             (5)
Rebecca Mersereau $3,835.16   $3,835.16  $2,745.16
TOTALS          $172,726.87 $172,972.11 $65,041.54  $19,900.00
1) Fred Haynes received $5000 from a business owned by Allen Vandkerkhove.  Fred Haynes own donation was via a company he owns
2) Vicki Sanders husband seems to have contributed $4,500 to her campaign
3) Leif Wergeland had a $5,000 contribution from Nancy Wergeland.  Leif also contributed $$6,903.23 to his campaign but was reimbursed $2,731.02 for a net contribution of $4,177.21
4) Susan Brice contributed $11,916.91 to her campaign but was reimbursed $7,404.30 for a net contribution of $4,462.61
5) Marsha Henderson had a $4,340.79 donation from Marcella Van Rhyn

The spending by the does not really mirror how well they did on election day.  

Candidates ranked based on net personal donation to their campaign
Candidate    Net Personal   Pct of money spent
Vicki Sanders     $8,913.16    37.80%  (1)
Nichola Wade      $8,311.25    70.21%  
Shawn Newby       $8,227.74    78.14%
Vic Derman        $8,200.00    74.65%
Paul Gerrard      $6,760.00    54.28% 
Susan Brice       $4,462.61    36.49%
Leif Wergeland    $4,177.21    26.12%  (2)
Rebecca Mersereau $2,745.16    71.78%
Colin Plant       $2,434.11    16.38%
Fred Haynes         $360.00     1.23%
Dean Murdock        $138.18     1.01%
Judy Brownoff       $126.80     0.92%
Marsha Henderson      $0.00     0.00%
1) If one counts the $5,000 donated by Dennis Sanders as a personal contribution, Vicki Sanders numbers would be $13,913.16 and 59.16%
2) If one counts the $5,000 donated by Nancy Wergeland as a personal contribution, Leif Wergeland's numbers would be $9,177.21 and 57.39%

The only candidate to win that contributed over 50% of the money to their campaign was Vic Derman
The two newly elected councilors contributed well below the average to their own campaign

Out of interest, Saanich South MLA Lana Popham contributed  the following:

  • Vicki Sanders $100
  • Judy Brownoff $100
  • Colin Plant $500
  • Dean Murdock $200
  • Vic Derman $200

Rob Fleming gave $100 to Dean Murdock

Friday, February 20, 2015

CRD municipalities by population density

The numbers are based on the 2011 and 2006 census
 2011 Census details
Municipality Pop/square km
Victoria      4,109.4
Esquimalt     2,290.1
Sidney        2,183.6
Oak Bay       1,710.3
Saanich       1,057.6
Colwood         911.2
Langford        731.9
View Royal      653.3
Central Saanich 385.6
North Saanich   297.7
Sooke           201.6
Metchosin        67.6
Highlands        55,7

Vancouver Island Population Change 2001-2014

This is a table of the population of each regional district and what percentage of Vancouver Island's population it makes up

Regional District    2014          2011          2006          2001
Capital          372,463 49.3% 367,632 49.0% 355,438 49.3% 340,672 49.6%
Nanaimo          152,518 20.1% 148,770 19.8% 141,214 19.6% 129,838 18.9%
Cowichan Valley   82,407 10.9%  81,845 10.9%  78,361 10.9%  73,925 10.8%
Comox             64,639  8.5%  64,417  8.6% 103,042 14.3%  98,168 14.3%
Strathcona        44,869  5.9%  43,928  5.9% (was included with above)
Alberni Clayoquot 30,876  4.1%  31,581  4.2%  31,076  4.3%  30,741  4.5%
Mount Waddington  11,523  1.5%  11,716  1.6%  11,995  1.7%  13,667  2.0%
TOTAL            759,295       749,529       721,126       687,011
(Until 2008 there was a single Comox-Strathcona Regional District)

Municipalities ordered by population

Municipality          2014    2001
1) Saanich          110,767 108,688
2) Nanaimo           88,869  75,113
3) Victoria          83,200  77,450
Nanaimo RD UI        39,426  37,315(1)
Cowichan Valley UI   36,492  32,479
4) Langford          34,677  20,068
5) Campbell River    32,720  29,173
6) North Cowichan    29,760  27,159
Capital RD UI        25,480  22,949
7) Courtney          24,806  18,886
Comox RD UI          22,465   (2)
8) Oak Bay           17,448  18,011
9) Port Alberni      16,683  17,786
10) Colwood          16,636  14,638
11) Esquimalt        16,207  17,021
12) Central Saanich  15,784  16,028
13) Comox            13,862  11,305
14) Sooke            12,257   9,218
15) Parksville       12,227  10,456
16) Sidney           11,153  11,314
17) North Saanich    10,941  10,645
18) View Royal       10,714   7,728
Alberni-Clayoquot UI 10,452   9,818
Strathcona UI        10,164    (2)
19) Qualicum Beach    8,500   6,954
20) Ladysmith         8,273   6,698
21) Metchosin         4,968   5,110
22) Duncan            4,770   4,740
23) Port Hardy        3,978   4,846
Mount Waddington UI   3,785   4,136
24) Cumberland        3,506   2,617
25) Lantzville        3,496   (1)
26) Lake Cowichan     3,112   2,849
27) Port McNeill      2,518   2,924
28) Highlands         2,221   1,804
29) Tofino            2,119   1,557
30) Ucluelet          1,622   1,580
31) Gold River        1,261   1,367
32) Port Alice          799   1,173
33) Alert bay           443     588
34) Sayward             307     385
35) Tahsis              307     607
36) Zeballos            110     224

(1) Lantzville incorporated in 2003
(2) Comox-Strathcona RD split in 2007