Victoria B.C. | KNKX

Victoria B.C.

 Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue heading into Victoria Harbor for a training exercise Wednesday evening.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Separated by a ferry ride and an international boundary, Port Angeles and Victoria have a few things in common.

Both are port cities oriented around the water. Both cities have stunning views and a quirky vibe that attract many visitors. 

Both cities are also Coast Guard outposts in their countries. That's likely a comfort for those who spend time diving or boating in the straits separating Port Angeles and Victoria. But in practice, it looks a little different.

A thorn in cross-border relations between the northwestern U.S. and Canada is going away. And therefore so too is one of the best protest mascots in recent history.

For more than a decade, a character named Mr. Floatie—a piece of poo wearing a sailor's cap—nagged greater Victoria's politicians and citizens in falsetto voice to stop dumping the capital region's raw sewage in shared border waters.

Washington state lawmakers have flushed a proposed ban on state business travel to Victoria, British Columbia. The travel restriction surfaced last month in one version of a state budget. It was meant to pressure Victoria to stop dumping raw sewage into shared border waters.

Tom Banse

Here's a little-known fact that may affect your power bill.

Every year, public utilities in the Northwest give British Columbia several hundred million dollars worth of electricity. That's to compensate Canada for managing the upper Columbia River to minimize flooding and maximize hydropower downstream.

Americans are pushing for a better deal. But the B.C. government is preparing to defend what is now considered an entitlement.

The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, B.C., has all the features you’d expect to find in a fancy hotel: luxurious accommodations, fine dining and a spa.

But the city's landmark hotel also has its very own "artist-in-residence." She's painter Judy McLaren, who typically paints commissioned portraits, scenes of the sea as well as landscapes.