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Salt Spring RCMP Community Report - 2021, 4th Quarter and Year-End Statistics

As of December 31, 2021, Salt Spring Island RCMP responded to 2,948 calls throughout the year, averaging 8 calls per day. This is a decrease of 30 calls from the 2020 call volume which totalled 2,978 calls for that year. Of the near-3,000 calls this year, there were 520 mental health-related files, 505 traffic-related complaints, and 112 calls to Centennial Park and the downtown area. Dozens of sex-related offences were reported to SSI RCMP; an additional 56 calls involved COVID-19 and/or Provincial Health Orders and enforcement. 122 motor vehicle collisions were reported and Police responded to 40 firearms-related offences. Over the course of the year, Police conducted over 1,300 foot patrols in the Centennial Park and downtown areas. Police also gave presentations at some of our local schools and participated in various community events. In the 4th quarter of 2021, there were 684 calls for service between October 1 and December 31; in addition to the near-700 calls for …
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ASK Salt Spring with MLA, Adam Olsen on healthcare shortages, two-tier health, governance and more

Twenty gathered via Zoom to welcome our MLA, Adam Olsen. After our Territorial Acknowledgement, Adam took a few minutes to share his personal resolution to seek positive things, never forgetting how lucky we are to live in these islands of beautiful British Columbia. He also acknowledged ASK Salt Spring for the regular opportunity it offers him to look deeply at the issues that matter most to us. Adam sees his top 2022 challenges to be in the continuing housing crisis; Indigenous rights; and concerns about local, provincial, federal, and global political climates. These challenges are exacerbated by COVID and severe climate changes, threatening our health, mental health, security, and fragile infrastructures. The first question explored our healthcare system, asking Adam whether it is better under NDP leadership. Specifically, Is progress being made addressing the shortage of doctors (approximately 700,000 British Columbians do not have primary care physicians) and oth…
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Prepare for heavy rain combined with snowmelt

The Province is urging British Columbians to prepare as Environment and Climate Change Canada advises that substantial rain, with snow at higher elevations, is expected for coastal B.C. throughout this week. Heavy rain is expected for coastal areas including east and west Vancouver Island, Fraser Valley, Howe Sound, inland Vancouver Island, Metro Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast. A wind warning is in effect for the central coast - coastal sections, Haida Gwaii, North Coast – coastal sections, and North Vancouver Island. The River Forecast Centre has issued a high streamflow advisory for: Howe Sound; Sunshine Coast; Sea-to-Sky; North Shore Mountains; Metro Vancouver; Fraser Valley, including the Chilliwack River and surrounding tributaries; and Vancouver Island (North, East, South, West, and Central). The rainfall expected this week, combined with the melting of recent snow, is a concern. Rivers are expected to rise, resulting in possible flooding. Previously flooded ar…
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Potential BC Ferries service interruptions due to crew shortages

Like many other transportation providers, BC Ferries is anticipating that a combination of issues may result in unplanned service disruptions on all routes, and particularly on inter-island routes, over the coming months. There is no single factor driving service interruptions. It is a combination including the Omicron variant's potential to impact employee wellness, regular cold and flu season, severe winter storms, vaccination policies that have reduced crew availability and the global shortage of professional mariners making it difficult to hire replacement staff. Crewing is a complex, logistical task that considers the individual's qualifications and the number of skilled mariners required for the various roles onboard each vessel, as well as where they live and work. Regulations require these positions to be filled with the appropriate crew, or the vessel cannot sail. Even a small number of crew that are unavailable to sail can have a significant impact on service if…
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Salt Spring Island's first licensed retail cannabis store 'Harvest Moon' opening soon

The seasoned retail team behind the new Harvest Moon is excited to announce that they are opening the Island’s first licensed retail cannabis store at 366 Lower Ganges Road. Located at the south end of the Country Grocer shopping plaza, Harvest Moon has completed its modern and engaging renovations and is busily stocking the store for business with a wide range of available product offerings. Salt Spring Islander and Store Manager, Mike Burd, says “Harvest Moon’s friendly and enthusiastic team will provide a welcoming, safe, and enjoyable cannabis and related-products shopping experience for all adults.” Mike is an experienced retail manager who was most recently the bulk foods manager for Country Grocer. He has been taking various cannabis training courses during the past two years, and his newly hired team members have all completed their “Selling it Right” training for cannabis. Harvest Moon has common ownership with the Country Grocer, Country Grocer Pharmacy, and …
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Property assessments on Salt Spring and the Gulf Islands increase an average of 35% over previous year

In the next few days, owners of about 382,000 properties throughout Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands can expect to receive their 2022 assessment notices, which reflect market value as of July 1, 2021. “Vancouver Island’s real estate market has increased in value across all property types over the past year,” says Vancouver Island Deputy Assessor Jodie MacLennan. “Increases of 15 to 35 percent are generally evident for single family dwellings, strata homes, industrial and commercial properties throughout the island with notably larger percent increases in both central and northern Vancouver Island communities.” As B.C.'s trusted provider of property assessment information, BC Assessment collects, monitors and analyzes property data throughout the year. Overall, Vancouver Island’s total assessments increased from about $269 billion in 2021 to $343 billion this year. Over $4.85 billion of the region’s updated assessments is from new construction, subdivisions and the…
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Obituary: Randy Smith

Randy Smith’s Epilogue I, Randall Smith passed to the next level [Tuesday, December 28, 2021]. I am predeceased by all those who died before me and survived by those who are still alive. I was born to George and Beryl Smith, June 5, 1949, at a very early age in Welland, Ontario, in the same hospital where my mother was, as I wished to be close to her. From my mother’s point of view the doctor recommended that I be removed in pieces due to problems anticipated in childbirth. She courageously opted for a caesarean section, a hazardous procedure at the time. From my point of view, a skylight opened up and a masked man all in white lifted me gently into a new world. Little did I know at the time this simple act would put the kybosh on a well meaning woman’s attempt later in my life to convince me to do a re-birthing seminar that recreated the birth trauma as a form of therapy. She had a hard time with the skylight analogy. I hung around for many years and did lots o’ stuff…
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Ganges Creek and Harbour wastewater discharge notice

A spill of wastewater has occurred at the Ganges Wastewater Treatment Plant on Salt Spring Island. A mechanical failure of part of the above ground piping system, likely as a result of the current cold temperatures, was the root cause of the spill. Much of the volume was contained on site, but some sewage ran overland, entered the storm water system leading from the facility to Ganges Creek and out to Ganges Harbour. Crews have completed clean-up efforts, placed warning signs, and cordoned off the affected area including a section of the path located immediately north of the facility adjacent to Ganges Creek. As a result of this discharge, residents are advised to avoid contacting the affected areas where the spill occurred as well as avoid entering the waters along the affected shorelines, as the wastewater may pose a health risk. As a precaution and in consultation with Island Health, the affected area will be posted with public health advisory signs until environmental…
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