Ranch owner heads to Government House

VICTORIA —British Columbia’s 29th lieutenant governor is the second woman to accept the role, but she’s the first female rancher to hold court since the position was formalized in 1871. Judith Guichon, who with her late husband, Lawrence, owned the Gerard Guichon Ranch in the Nicola Valley, north of Merritt, has taken up residence at […] Read more

Sol Farm’s Stephen Schacht displays a farm specialty, sweet onions, grown at the five-acre organic farm near Duncan. B.C. | Shannon Moneo photo

B.C. family grows what they eat

DUNCAN, B.C. — Ramona Froehle-Schacht and her husband, Stephen Schacht, started growing their own food when they first settled on British Columbia’s Denman Island 35 years ago. In 1984, they moved to Victoria where they ran the Out of Hand Gallery, which in turn spawned the Island’s biggest Christmas craft show, Out of Hand. After […] Read more

Boquist puts the first coat of paint on a gourd that will eventually become art.  |  Shannon Moneo photo

Gussied up gourds

Garden inspiration | Artist grows the canvas she uses to fashion wild and whimsical creations

OTTER POINT, B.C. — Anne Boquist is a serious gourder. At her five-acre home on Vancouver Island, she grows the gourds that will be transformed into unusual and distinctive objects like clocks, containers and conversation pieces. “I love to play around with them, see what works,” said Boquist, 60. She was bitten by the gourd […] Read more


Always tell the truth in business and at home

FWIC briefs life lessons SIDNEY, B.C. — Businessman Peter Legge believes in telling the truth. Speaking at the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada triennial convention June 15, he told delegates to guard their integrity and moral principles. “There’s no such thing as business ethics. It’s all ethics,” said the chair and chief executive officer of […] Read more

Food ‘best before’ label no guarantee of nutrition, safety

VICTORIA – Many consumers pay attention to the “best before” and “expiry” dates on the food they buy, but do they know what they mean? “I think most consumers aren’t aware of the differences between the terms,” said Kevin Allen, assistant professor of food microbiology at the University of British Columbia. The “best before” date […] Read more


Election prize eludes four-time candidate

VANCOUVER – Nettie Wiebe has achieved much in her 62 years: the first female president of the NFU, author, candidate for the leadership of the Saskatchewan NDP party, international speaker, organic farmer and ethics professor at the University of Saskatchewan. But one prize has eluded the married mother of four: getting elected to the House […] Read more

NDP vows to save CWB

VANCOUVER – The NDP may not agree on whether to reject its socialist label or welcome Liberals, but party members are united in their fight to save the Canadian Wheat Board. NDP leader Jack Layton said in a June 17 interview during the party’s national convention in Vancouver that all of his MPs are concerned […] Read more

‘Socialism’ trumps prairie issues at convention

VANCOUVER – The federal NDP’s prairie beginnings seemed like old news at the party’s recent national convention. Delegates met in Vancouver’s posh new, ocean front convention centre with dreams of forming the next government, and where just as much French as English was spoken. While Tommy Douglas was mentioned often, prairie issues received short shrift […] Read more


NDP tries to bring together practicality and idealism

VANCOUVER – Former NDP leader Ed Broadbent has created the Broadbent Institute, an independent think-tank that will generate ideas for the party as it assumes its position as “government in waiting.” Broadbent said during the NDP’s national convention in Vancouver that the think-tank will solicit ideas from social democrats and train political activists. However, it […] Read more

New program focuses on improving habitat for native bees

VICTORIA – Alarmed at honeybee colony losses that reached 80 to 100 percent last spring on Vancouver Island, a Victoria farmer is buzzing over a new program she says will boost native bee populations. Nathalie Chambers, agricultural program assistant with the Pollinator Enhancement Program, said the province-wide plan aims to improve conditions for native bees […] Read more