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File #: 18-186    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Period Report Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 4/24/2018 In control: Special Committee of the Whole
On agenda: 5/28/2018 Final action:
Title: Community Safety Services - 2018 First Period Report
Attachments: 1. Esquimalt Emergency Program 2018 Work Plan, 2. Esquimalt Emergency Stakeholder Agenda - April 27 2018, 3. VIEP Conference 2018 Schedule, 4. 2018 1st Period Report - Bylaw Enforcement, 5. 2018 1st Period Report - Unsightly Properties Chart, 6. 2018 1st Period Report - Building Permits Chart
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DATE:                       May 17th, 2018                     Report No. CSS-18-009

TO:                       Laurie Hurst, Chief Administrative Officer                                           

FROM:                      Blair McDonald, Director of Community Safety Services

SUBJECT:TITLE Community Safety Services - 2018 First Period Report


The following is a report on the activities pertaining to the Community Safety Services Department from January 1st, 2018 to April 30th, 2018.




1.                     Emergency Management


                     Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness Program (NEPP)

The NEPP and staff facilitated eight scheduled presentations and four workshops to residents during this period, along with information sessions for two stratas. The NEPP and staff met with the Esquimalt United Church to assist with their emergency preparedness planning as an organization. Staff and the NEPP met with VicPD Block Watch to explore potential collaborations regarding dissemination of emergency preparedness information in neighbourhoods.


Two new NEPP volunteers were recruited during the period with a focus on developing and delivering information to increase neighbourhood preparedness.


Staff, along with the NEPP coordinator, put on a special tsunami information session on January 28 in response to the tsunami warning event of January 23. This session was attended by approximately 80 residents, with concerns regarding the event being addressed was well as the tsunami risk in Esquimalt, modelling that has been done to support our planning, and tsunami preparedness. The NEPP coordinator was exceptional in monitoring social media during and after the event in order to correct misinformation and guide residents to accurate sources.

Staff and volunteers assembled 200 starter emergency kits in anticipation of delivery of emergency preparedness education to Grade 4 students in the Township during Emergency Preparedness Week in May.


                     Emergency Social Services (ESS)

Three ESS volunteers were recruited in the period, and the team engaged in a planning session for 2018. The team helped to update the regional ESS supplier list, as well as updated and reviewed contents of level one kits and response protocols.


The ESS team met four times during this period. The team engaged in a functional exercise where they were oriented with the location and types of supplies that were inventoried by the ESS Logistics Coordinator with the assistance of three other ESS volunteers.  They then used them to set up a reception centre at the recreation centre.


The ESS team began using a new call out system called Connect Rocket that allows a conference call option allowing team members to confirm response and ask questions regarding the call. The system was tested successfully to activate the reception centre exercise.


Staff attended several ESS Directors’ meetings and helped create a work plan for regional ESS activities and exercises in 2018 and assisted in designing a full-scale regional exercise scheduled to take place in 2019. Staff helped to create a Google calendar that is being used by all ESS teams in the region to ensure teams are aware of regional exercises, training, and other events.


The Esquimalt ESS team hosted and participated in a regional Resource Acquisition Course in Council Chambers on January 13, as well as Food Safe March 17 and Psychological First Aid on March 18. Team members attended a Disability Alliance of BC workshop hosted by the City of Victoria on March 23 and a Site Management course hosted by Saanich on April 28.


The ESS team was called out to assist during the tsunami warning event response on January 23. Six ESS volunteers, in addition to four recreation staff, responded in the very early hours of the morning to set up a reception centre for those residents who were evacuated from a tsunami hazard zone.


                     Emergency Radio Communications

The team continues to meet each Wednesday and participate in the Region’s Net to ensure that we are able to communicate with the Province and other Regional EOC’s following a catastrophic emergency.


During this period, the team performed maintenance on generators, checked proper functioning through winter of E-Bin solar panel that keeps the Go-Kit charged, repaired defective microphone switches on two of base station radios, edited and updated the Radio Volunteer Handbook, setup a file sharing network between the three radio room laptops, have proposed extending one HF antenna to SE corner of the roof at Archie Browning, and tested the Township’s satellite phone. They have also charged all handheld radios and are preparing a spring dual Go-Kit exercise, in May.



                     Other Department Activities

The Emergency Planning Committee met January 10 to approve the Emergency Program Work Plan for 2018 (attachment #1) and received an update on local, regional, and provincial emergency management initiatives. The Committee met again on February 2 to debrief the Township’s response to the January 23 tsunami warning event. Several after action items were identified and acted upon to improve response to future events. Staff also met separately with the Victoria Police Department, CFB Esquimalt representatives, neighbouring local governments and the Local Government Emergency Program Advisory Commission (LGEPAC) to discuss potential after actions for response improvement.


One item in particular related to emergency communications and staff notification, and a new internal notification system for the Township has been implemented called Connect Rocket. This system has the ability to notify different pre-identified lists with a phone call or text message, or allow them to join in on a conference call. This system was selected in consultation with the Fire Department and staff has met with several departments to provide an overview of the call out system to determine needs in each area. The system has been successfully tested with the Emergency Social Services team, and additional testing with the rest of Township staff will take place in the next period. In addition to staff notification, the City of Victoria uses Connect Rocket for public notifications through Alert Ready. Staff has met with the City to discuss a partnership and will follow up next period.


Staff contributed to an update of the Township’s Ammonia Exposure Plan, led by the Recreation Maintenance Supervisor, and assisted with a tabletop exercise to familiarize the Emergency Planning Committee and other staff with the completed plan on April 17.


Staff continues to collaborate with the Province and the Region through several meetings and initiatives and attended a tsunami debrief meeting on February 1 with other local governments, the Province, and CFB Esquimalt. Several items were identified for follow up.


As a result of the LGEPAC tsunami warning event, staff participated in the Public Education Working Group of the LGEPAC by updating the regional tsunami information brochure, and acted as the project lead in updating the Emergency Communications Plan for Tsunami Alerts in the Capital Region. Staff and representatives from the City of Victoria and the District of Saanich also organized the first media emergency information session in the Region in an effort to educate and build relationships with our partners in the media to alleviate confusion for the public during emergencies. The session was a great success with representatives attending from most local print, radio, and television agencies in the Region. The organizers of the event presented to the Regional Emergency Planning Advisory Commission (REPAC) during their forum April 19 and have been asked to present on the topic at an upcoming meeting of the Regional Emergency Planning Committee in the Lower Mainland.


Staff contributed to the completion of the 2018 Public Education Working Group work plan, which included selecting a contractor to revamp the Regional Emergency Preparedness Workbook and contributed to edits and addition of new content for the 2018 edition which was completed and printed at the end of April in conjunction with May’s Emergency Preparedness Week.  The workbook can be viewed at the following link: <>


Staff became a member of the Measuring Regional Preparedness Working group, which will see development and delivery of a regional survey to residents in an effort to determine where to focus regional emergency preparedness public education messaging, as well as becoming a member the Regional Concept of Operations Working Group with a workshop planned for the next period.


Staff chaired a working group of the LGEPAC to update the Terms of Reference for both commissions in order to clearly define the relationship of the Commissions to the REMP in the third period of 2017, and both were ratified by the LGEPAC in the first meeting of 2018.


Staff continues to act as a member of the BC Integrated Earthquake Risk Assessment Advisory Group, and the Provincial Disaster Response Transportation Working Group.


The Township hosted and staff attended two courses sponsored by EMBC and facilitated by the JIBC: Applied EOC on January 26 and EOC Essentials April 25 and 26. Rapid Damage Assessment (RDA) training was delivered to staff through the Department of National Defence on April 9 and April 10 in conjunction with the RDA plan that is in development for the Township.


In March staff attended a meeting hosted by School District 61 where an update was provided on current emergency management training and initiatives in the District, as well as an overview of the BC Education Sector Integrated Response Plan for Catastrophic Earthquakes.


Staff was successful in a UBCM grant application for a $15,000 project to equip and exercise the Township’s Secondary Emergency Operations Centre and Evacuation Plan. Work on the project will commence in the second period with exercise delivery in the fall.


The Township hosted the annual Esquimalt Emergency Stakeholder Forum April 27 which was well attended by community members who were provided updates on emergency management initiatives impacting Esquimalt (agenda is attached as attachment #2).


During this period staff continued to volunteer as the Sponsorship Lead for the annual Vancouver Island Emergency Preparedness Conference taking place in June 8-10 at the University of Victoria (agenda is attachment #3). 


Public Works staff installed the chlorination unit purchased in 2018 and tested the desalination unit on April 20 with successful results.


2.                     Bylaw Enforcement


                     Training - The Bylaw Management Officer attended Hoarding - Risk Assessment at the Door training at UVic in this period. 


                     Bylaw Offence Notice (BON) Disputes

15 BONs were forwarded to the Screening Officer level in this period.  Of those, 10 were cancelled by the Screening Officer and five were upheld with fines being paid by the offender.  No matters were advanced for adjudication during this period.   


                     Unsightly Properties

Unsightly properties continue to be an area of enhanced enforcement. In this period, 21 complaints of unsightly properties were reported to Bylaw Enforcement.  Of those, 14 were dealt with using the authorities within the Maintenance of Properties and Nuisance Regulation Bylaw. Seven files remain active. 


Good progress has been made in relation to the “long term” properties in this period.  See attached chart for details (attachment #5).



o                     Bylaw Contraventions and Complaints/Municipal Tickets and Bylaw Notices Statistics/Animal Management Report (attachment # 4)

o                     Unsightly Properties Chart (attachment # 5)


3.                     Building Inspections


                     See Attachment - Building Permits Chart (attachment # 6)


4.                     Policing

Staff continues to liaise with Victoria Police Department regarding local and regional policing and public safety concerns.


The Director represents the Township at the public portion of Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board meetings.


Several meetings of the Esquimalt Community Safety Staff Working Group have taken place.  This group consists of representation from Victoria Police Department, Military Police, Esquimalt Fire Rescue, Engineering and Public Works and Community Safety Services.  In this period, the working group as met, discussed and established action plans where appropriate on traffic control and signage design; properties which generate significant numbers of complaints to both Bylaw Enforcement and VicPD; graffiti; and, truck traffic routes associated with the WWTP.  The Working Group allows for issues to be examined from a multi faceted standpoint and solutions arrived at fitting within each department’s or organization’s ability to take realistic action.


5.                     Business Licensing

                     The first period sees a lot of business licence activity due to January typically being the renewal period.  The renewal notices were sent out a month early, in December of 2017, which was well received by existing licensees.  This resulted in numerous “early” renewals 

                     There are no outstanding balances on business licences

                     488 licences issued for 2018 thus far (681 licences issued in first period for 2017)

                     83 Licences closed from 2017 (65 licences closed in first period from 2016)

                     40 new applications processed

                     The Township currently has 699 active licences which are displayed on website and updated every three months


6.                     Public Consultation and Engagement

                     See aforementioned NEPP and ESS information

                     Numerous consultations with public re: bylaws and bylaw enforcement

                     Ongoing general informal public consultation


7.                     Deer Management

                     Work is ongoing with UWSS to launch a Public Education campaign focussing on “Deer Proofing” yards and gardens in the next period.  Additionally, a fall deer count will be conducted in conjunction with DND.

                     Ongoing consultation is occurring with DND regarding any control measures they may wish to pursue.  Council will be kept advised of any developments in this regard.


II.                     COMMITTEES


                     No Community Safety Services Staff currently sit on any Council appointed committees; however, the Director and the Emergency Program Manager represent the Township on the Capital Regional District Local Government Emergency Program Advisory Commission and the regional Emergency Planning Advisory Commission, as well as on several regional and provincial working groups.

                     The Director sits on a Provincial Local Government Bylaw Notice Enforcement Act Working Group.  In this period the Director has provided advice and guidance to two municipalities that are considering implementing the Bylaw Notice System.

                     The Director chairs the Community Safety - Staff Working Group.

                     The Director chairs the Esquimalt Emergency Planning Committee