Year in review: July in Oak Bay

Oak Bay buys ‘strategically located’ property on Monterey Avenue

• Oak Bay bought 1538 Monterey Ave. – two residential lots with one single-family home – for $1.7 million.

“This property is strategically located in the village core and will be an important asset when we begin planning the future of the Oak Bay Avenue corridor,” said mayor Nils Jensen.

• Oak Bay Kiwanis selected Lafayette Park in south Oak Bay for a makeover that includes a state-of-the-art swing set. Leslie Johnston, president of the Kiwanis Club of Oak Bay, presented Oak Bay Parks Services Manager Chris Hyde-Lay with $10,000 toward installation of a CSA-approved swing set when Lafayette undergoes primary-use conversion from soccer field to neighbourhood park.

• Island Health fired staff for the second time in less than a month for breaching patient privacy.

The health authority revealed July 8 that a support staffer working in the Victoria area was let go after browsing the confidential records of nearly three-dozen Vancouver Island residents. It came in the wake of the largest breach in the organization’s history in June and Island Health CEO Brendan Carr issued a public apology and a pledge.

“This is a very serious issue for us,” he said, calling it a gross breach of patient and public trust. “We have to do better and there are things we can do.”

Access to patient records is designed to be available only to those workers who need it in order to do their jobs. Carr said the sanctity of patient privacy is drilled into all such employees before he or she is given a password to access the system.

Once in the system, employees must register and specify their relationship to the patient before opening an individual’s file. The recent violators were able to access restricted files by lying about relationships. “It isn’t failsafe. … We rely on professionalism and honesty.”

• The province implemented a new 15 per cent tax on property purchased in Metro Vancouver by non-Canadian citizens or residents that took effect in August.

The tax does not extend to municipalities outside Metro Vancouver. Oak Bay council chose to write to the province asking the government to also change the Community Charter  to allow affected municipalities outside Vancouver access to the same tax option.