On April 20, 2022 according to The Globe and Mail St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church’s rectory had been set on fire. The priest, Fr. Yuriy Vyshnevskyy and his family had been living in the rectory and sleeping when the arson occurred. It was reported around 1 a.m. by the family and a neighbour who smelled gasoline. The gasoline had been poured through the mail slot. As reported by Times Colonist one of the daughter’s of the priest sustained a serious injury and his children and wife had to be rescued by the firefighters from the second storey of the building. The daughter who sustained the injury later needed surgery to repair nerve damage from shards of window glass cutting her when trying to escape the building.
The assailant, former priest of St. Nicholas, Walter Theo Machinski, was charged and arrested with arson, and disregard for human life. The Victoria police later stated that the arson had been a targeted offence and not labelled as a hate crime. Machinski, 60, had been the parish priest from 2011 to 2015, but his position had been replaced by Vyshnevskyy. He had been further moved to Nanaimo’s St. Michael the Archangel Parish, however, he has left the parish.