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Lady Minto Hospital Foundation reaches $10.4 million goal to build a new Emergency Department

At its 2021 Annual General meeting on Thursday, September 23rd, the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation announced that it has achieved the goal of raising $10.4 million to build a new Emergency Department. The good news was announced by the Chair of the Emergency Department Campaign Committee, Carol Biely. “The support and encouragement we have received throughout the Emergency Department Campaign has been exceptional” she said. “We have raised a large amount of money in a very short time. This reflects how much the hospital, and its wonderful staff, mean to Salt Spring residents and visitors”. Carol Biely, who spearheaded the successful campaign, noted “we will now be moving on to the other needs of the hospital by maintaining a Capital Fund for future projects”. Executive Director Roberta Martell explained that while the Emergency Department campaign has achieved its ambitious target, ongoing fundraising continues on behalf of the hospital. She pointed out that “housing for …
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New e-bike charging station installation completed at Ruckle Provincial Park

Salt Spring Island’s latest e-bike charging station is now complete. At Ruckle Park, by the parking lot just up from the barn, there are two bike racks and four 120-volt plugins. It also has two signs. The smaller one, by the receptacle, notes that the outlets are for “E-Bike Charging ONLY” (not EVs, although ideas are swirling about how to get Level 2 chargers out there). The larger sign, on the front of the kiosk, covers a bit of cycling history on Salt Spring, which goes back to at least 1887, decades before the first car. Safety is an ongoing concern, which e-bikes help address. Their riders go faster up hills, impeding fewer drivers, hence lessening risky passing moves. Three years ago, Island Pathways and Friends of Ruckle Park Heritage kicked off the e-bike station idea with BC Parks. It took Ron Watts—career photographer and e-energy advocate—to get it done. He gathered additional partners and shepherded it to conclusion. Big thanks to Ron, SSI Foundation Neigh…
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MLA Adam Olsen updates on climate change, toxic drugs, affordable housing and more

It has been a couple of months since my last column. It was not for lack of issues to write about, but a need to create some space to rest, strengthen connections with my family and focus on the needs of my constituents. As it turns out, the space was immediately filled with the intersecting crises facing British Columbia. Climate change, healthcare (pandemic, mental health & addictions), housing affordability and old growth have proven extraordinarily difficult to navigate. These coinciding crises must be addressed by working together - individuals, political parties, and governments, in collaboration and as a collective. For decades, we have known that climate change was coming. We were warned that if we do not take corrective action, we will face an emergency. This summer that reality was on full display. In June, a heat dome descended on British Columbia. We experienced the hottest temperatures in Canadian history while dozens of evacuation orders came as hundre…
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ASK Salt Spring with Islands Trust Trustee Laura Patrick on the Trust Policy Statement update, housing, mapping and more

Eight hardy Salt Springers gathered in the cold rain and wind at the Portlock Picnic Pavilion to welcome Laura Patrick, one of our two Local Trustees for the Islands Trust, to ASK Salt Spring. During her Territorial Acknowledgement, Laura spoke with deep appreciation of a Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Convention workshop that she had recently attended, Pathways to Truth & Reconciliation. In this workshop, four esteemed panelists, including the Honourable Murray Sinclair, discussed how Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities can walk further along the path to Reconciliation. (Note: While the entire speech does not seem to yet be available on the UBCM website, you may find the following link helpful. When asked to tell us what was on her mind before we launched into questions, Laura spoke about the power of community when working toward common goals. Laura is convinced that we can accomplish a great deal when we share and work toward common goals. Sh…
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New bus route coming to Salt Spring Island in October

BC Transit and the Capital Regional District are announcing the introduction of year-round service to Beddis and Cusheon Lake roads effective October 1, 2021. Starting on Friday, October 1, the 7 Cusheon Lake will run three trips per day. This route provides increased transit coverage on Salt Spring Island and serves a number of destinations and visitor accommodations. It also provides additional service along Fulford Ganges Road, so that residents have more options for service in that area. Service on all other routes is being adjusted to match demand and align with BC Ferries’ schedules. Earlier Sunday and Holiday service is also being introduced on the following routes: 1 Ganges Local 3 Vesuvius 4 Long Harbour 5 Fernwood 6 SS Connector 9 Ruckle Park – Fulford direct Early service on Saturday is also being added to routes 3, 4 and 5. BC Transit reminds customers that that Free Transit for Children 12 and Under launched on September 1, and more information on …
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2021 Federal Election Saanich-Gulf Islands Results - Elizabeth May Wins Reelection

Saanich-Gulf Islands Member of Parliament incumbent Elizabeth May from the Green Party of Canada is the projected winner in this year's Federal Election securing the seat for the 4th consecutive time winning in 2011, 2015, 2019 and now again in 2021. May initially won over Conservative incumbent Gary Lunn in 2011 and has been MP for the riding since that time. Candidates for the riding this year were Ron Broda, People's Party of Canada; David Busch, Conservative Party of Canada; Elizabeth May, Green Party of Canada; Sabina Singh, New Democratic Party; Ryan Windsor, Liberal Party of Canada. See all profiles and coverage of the 2021 Federal Election. Watch the All Candidates Debate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKsa7ANxkWo Saanich—Gulf Islands Riding History The electoral district was created in 1987 from Esquimalt—Saanich and Cowichan—Malahat—The Islands ridings. In the 2008 election, there were allegations of electoral fraud around Gary Lunn's campaign.…
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Larmour Lands Protected!

A dedicated group of islanders and their many supporters and donors are celebrating a successful community fundraising effort this month. Both Lot H and Lot F of the Larmour Lands are now protected! With a final appeal to “help us cross the finish line,” donors jumped to action. Their support and generosity, along with that of the Salt Spring Island Water Preservation Society and conservation partners, secured the rich habitats and ecological values on both Lots H and F from logging and other development pressures. In the fall of 2020, their first fundraising target was met, and the 20 acres that comprised Lot H was purchased. This success meant that its vital forests and wetlands will be protected in perpetuity as a nature reserve, managed and stewarded by the Water Preservation Society and the Island Trust Conservancy. At the end of August 2021, Lot F’s 20 acres were also purchased. The biodiverse mature forest on the upland portion of Lot F will receive long-ter…
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ASK Salt Spring with CRD Electoral Director, Gary Holman on water protection, local governance and more

After an emotional Territorial Acknowledgement, ASK Salt Spring participants welcomed our CRD Electoral Director, Gary Holman, to discuss those issues most important to us while sitting under the apple trees in the United Church Meadow. During our time together, a total of 13 Salt Springers joined us for at least part of the conversation. When we asked Gary to begin by telling what was on his mind, he responded: water. We learned about a promising meeting, arranged by Islands Trust’s Salt Spring Island Water Protection Alliance (SSIWPA), of local water districts, including those managed by CRD as well as North Salt Spring Waterworks District (NSSWD). Gary felt the meeting was useful and was optimistic about the collaborative possibilities of regularly getting all water purveyors together. Subsequent meetings are planned, and a Terms of Reference is being developed. Gary’s major water-related focus is the discussions between the province, NSSWD, and CRD. The main rationale…
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