• Oak Bay took the province to task for more grant in lieu of taxes this year. Coun. Hazel Braithwaite took on the challenge, petitioning other communities across Victoria and the province to back her Union of BC MAbout one-third of the university property lies within Oak Bay boundaries, with the rest in Saanich. The two municipalities divide an apportioned tax rate for the university. The motion asked UBCM to ask the province to amend the University Act to require that the university grants-in-lieu-of-taxes formula better reflect forgone municipal taxes and that rates paid by universities be in keeping with payment- in-lieu-of-taxes paid by the Government of Canada for Federal properties.
When payments started in 1965, three public universities – University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and UVic – shared the funds; today, 11 public universities split the money contributed to their individual municipalities.
In 2003 Oak Bay got more than $72,000; this year the district received $55,000.
The ministry responeded by letter in the fall, indicating it would not revisit the formula this year.
• Oak Bay welcomed new archivist Caroline Duncan.
• Mayor Nils Jensen and Arts Laureate Barbara Adams announced the Acorn Arts Award during the kick-off to Oak Bay’s Arts and Culture Week. Deadline for nominations – find forms online at oakbay.ca – is tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 31.
• Rosalind Scott, president of BBB Vancouver Island, reminded residents to never pay money to get money after an Oak Bay resident was scammed out of $7,000.
“The big red flag here is this $7,000 was for legal fees, administration fees, up-front costs to secure the loan, paperwork. Reputable financial lenders do not charge any of that; costs are built into the loan.” The consumer claimed to lose nearly $7,000 to fraudsters pretending to offer online loans through a company using the name Business Fund Group. The fake loan company set up a website with an Oak Bay address. Once the fees were paid, the website disappeared and the phone was disconnected, leaving the victim in greater debt.
The BBB suggests before applying for a loan online be sure to see if you can actually find the brick and mortar location.
• Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s marina in Oak Bay earned a four-anchor certification in Georgia Strait Alliance’s Clean Marine BC program for its commitment to environmentally sustainable operations.