The Week — Nov. 3

Life doesn’t have to be painful, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority throws in a convincing bid for wax museum site, what's in an email?

Chronic pain is a way of life for many, but one group is trying to break through a few painful misconceptions.

Life doesn’t have to be painful

When the Royal Jubilee Hospital Pain Program hosted their first pain conference lecture four years ago, the small room was so packed they had to cap the group at 125 people.

Next Thursday, Nov. 10, from 6 to 8 p.m., they plan on doing it all again with “Finding Hope in the Midst of Pain,” a workshop aimed at Victorians struggling with life in chronic pain. “This year, we’ve really seen the event getting pushed from our ‘expert patients’ who have moved a long way in how they manage their pain,” says Linda Cundiff, occupational therapist with the RJH Pain Program. “It’s important to them that we bring this to the community and help people who just haven’t discovered how to deal with their pain yet.”

The group is hosting the event during National Pain Awareness Week, Nov. 6 to 12. Speakers include Dr. William John Davis, medical director of the program, who will discuss common threads in people managing pain. A panel of patients will also provide “a mosaic of experience” for treating their ailments.

While the clinic is designed for adults dealing with any variety of pain conditions from chronic backaches to injuries, cancer and other disease-related pain, the workshop is for anyone interested in learning how to cope, or how to support family members. While Cundiff points out that waitlists are often long to get into the clinic as a patient, the group does offer free public consultation workshops every Tuesday afternoon from 4 to 5 p.m.

“So many people will give up, saying they’ve tried everything, so what’s the point anymore?” says Cundiff. “We minimize our pain, try to hide it and just get on with life, but we need to address it. There is way more you can do than you might think.”

To learn more, visit viha.ca/pain_program.

A stitch in the city’s side

Speaking of pain, it will hurt some — particularly the Maritime Museum of B.C. — to know that the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has come out strong in an attempt to score the old CPR Terminal Building (read: former Wax Museum).

The GVHA submitted a proposal on Friday to see the building re-established as a marine transportation and tourism hub. The plan would see all four levels of the historic CPR terminal re-tenanted, “with the iconic Rattenbury landmark restored to its former grandeur.” Residents would see food, beverage, retail and exhibit space on the first two levels. “From its inception 10 years ago, GVHA has been committed to seeing the Belleville Properties revitalized,” says Curtis Grad, GVHA CEO. “Our plan is focused on this vision, supported by a solid business case to ensure long-term vitality and sustainability of the site.”

The Provincial Capital Commission, which owns the property, has shown plenty of aversion to the offers received so far, particular one from the Maritime Museum, which earnestly promises to restore history and touristic value to the Inner Harbour with as much funding as it can muster. The PCC has stated a need for more comprehensive economic set-ups to be in place for the winning bid but, until now, it looked like the PCC may not get what it was asking for. No word on a decision yet, but with the already snuggly relationship between the PCC and GVHA, things could look grim for the Maritimers without a good counter offer.

“We look forward to our proposal being judged on its merits,” says Grad. “No matter who is ultimately awarded the opportunity, we would like to see new life injected into the Belleville Properties.”

What’s in a name — er, email?

The countdown is on with only two weeks until our municipal election strikes — Nov. 19 voting day, for those not paying attention. But as we gear up to decide who rules the city, we’ve voted to take a moment and find out just how capable our mayoral candidates are, based on the one element we all use for judging professionalism: the email address.

Nothing says I’m capable and have mad skills (or at least the money to hire someone who does) like scoring your own domain name. Then, it’s all up to what you put in front. Dean@deanfortin.ca — professional, a little stuck up. Greens@stevefilipovic.ca — professional, but toting a heavy political slant. Seems appropriate, but will their messages translate to voters?

Then there’s the home address, which exemplifies the ‘I’m-local’ familiarity and proves you purchase your own internet, like paulbrown20@shaw.ca. Too bad Brown didn’t cinch his account before the 20 other Paul Browns who apparently got there first.

Finally, we see the free accounts, often indicators of mass chain emails, questionable wealth and confusing pronunciation. For that, we’re declaring a win to shebibd@yahoo.ca. Let’s see what happens. M

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