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Don’t Let the Islands Trust Walk Away from Us

Right now the Islands Trust is reviewing a proposal to remove community from its mandate, as expressed in a new Policy Statement currently being debated. You can send a letter to tell the Trustees to not abdicate their role in protecting our unique culture and community. What does community mean to you? How does it help you live a good life? How does it help when you face challenges, or even a disaster? During the global disaster we’re currently living, the value of this special community has never been more clear to me. From everyone at my kid’s school to the never-ending bounty on the shelves of our grocery stores, our hard working hospital staff to the amazing network of alternative healers, those making a nice coffee or serving take-out lunch when I'm too busy to make another meal at home. Salt Spring seems to be surviving the pandemic pretty well, but because of the other major crisis predating the pandemic - housing - this foundation of our community is quick…
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Join Elizabeth May and Gary Holman for the Release of Salt Spring’s Climate Action Plan

What if, by pulling together, our island could not only withstand the increasing stresses arising from climate change, but also build a more just, healthy, and cooperative community? That’s the vision behind the Salt Spring Island Climate Action Plan. Transition Salt Spring is proud to announce the release of the Salt Spring Island Climate Action Plan in a live online public presentation on Tuesday, March 2nd at 6:30 pm. The presentation will feature an overview of the key aspects of the plan and what we need to do to address climate change head on here in our own backyard. The plan is intended as a positive solutions-focused roadmap with more than 250 recommendations on what we all can do to ensure a sustainable future for our island home. “We had a truly talented team of citizen volunteers who took the job seriously, and I am very proud of the recommendations we developed together. It’s been an honour to have been involved in this project,” said Darryl Martin, who …
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ASK Salt Spring Explores Numerous Islands Trust’s Initiatives with Trustee, Laura Patrick

Twelve participated in this ASK Salt Spring Zoom gathering welcoming one of our Islands Trust’s Local Trustees, Laura Patrick. After a heartfelt territorial acknowledgment, Laura began by sharing her optimism for the emerging alignment of planning initiatives designed to address a number of challenges for Salt Spring. The best solutions to any of these challenges are the ones that simultaneously address multiple issues confronting our island -- such as forest health, biodiversity, watersheds/water supply, the climate emergency, land use, housing, small business health, food security, and the spirit and resiliency of our community. Laura was asked a number of questions related to the housing action program. She explained that this program is aimed at solutions that are within the authority of the Islands Trust’s Salt Spring Local Trust Committee (LTC). Identifying solutions will come through open dialogue. This dialogue will not make differences disappear or lead everyone to …
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The Gentrification Question

As trustees prioritize affordable housing and call for volunteers to take part in a task force, have they forgotten they are up against market forces, the constraints of the Islands Trust Act and a never-ending press of humanity? It is important to note the current housing initiative is not just about securing accommodation for local workers. Housing advocates and Trustee Laura Patrick, in particular, are aiming for sweeping changes they believe will provide more “attractive and affordable housing” for the general population. In a recent article, Laura wrote: “We know that: Rental supply is dire, the cost of housing on the island is simply beyond the reach of a majority of islanders, that seniors and young families are particularly vulnerable to housing stress, and that too many people are reduced to living in travel trailers, accessory buildings and boats. The solution, of course, is to build a greater variety of homes, more affordable homes and with affordable, realisti…
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Island Coastal Economic Trust Launches Program to Strengthen Rural Communities and Businesses

Provincially funded initiative supports creation of temporary employment in rural areas - A new Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) economic recovery program addressing capacity challenges in rural, remote and Indigenous communities has launched, with funding from the Province of British Columbia. The new Rural Business and Community Recovery Program (RBCRP) will provide full funding support for the creation of new, temporary, term positions that strengthen business and community economic recovery and resilience. Projects must be located in eligible rural areas, which include Vancouver Island north of the Malahat, Capital Regional District Juan de Fuca, Salt Spring Island and Southern Gulf Islands electoral areas, the Sunshine Coast, Powell River, as well as Bowen Island. “This is a timely initiative supporting nimble, community-based and regional economic recovery,” says ICET Board Chair Aaron Stone. “We are grateful to the Province of BC for the opportunity to leverage…
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BC Ferries Seeks Community Input on Ferry Schedules in The Southern Gulf Islands

With the introduction of a new Salish-Class vessel and its increased capacity to the Southern Gulf Islands in 2022, BC Ferries is reaching out to island communities to identify ways to enhance ferry service in advance of the new ship's arrival. Engagement will take place in two phases. In Phase One, now underway, BC Ferries will work with the community to develop a list of criteria to evaluate schedule options later in the process. In Phase Two, the company will present schedule options to the community and use the criteria to evaluate them. Community feedback will help create an improved schedule for the Southern Gulf Islands. Ferry Advisory Committees for the Southern Gulf Islands and Salt Spring Island will be heavily involved in the engagement process throughout, helping to review community feedback, and refine and finalize schedule options. “The Southern Gulf Islands are growing and changing, and working towards pandemic recovery,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ Pres…
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ASK Salt Spring with Capital Regional District Director Gary Holman

Fourteen gathered via Zoom to ask Capital Regional District's (CRD) Gary Holman questions about the issues that matter most to them. After a heartfelt territorial acknowledgment, Gary was asked if he wanted to begin by sharing what was on his mind. While he preferred to spend our time together answering participants’ questions, he did express his concerns about the Lower Ganges Road pathway from Booth Canal to Baker Road that is currently under construction. Gary agrees that the tree cutting was probably excessive and sees this as part of a larger issue - a pathway that appears to have been over-designed to meet urban standards. Gary repeated his public commitment, one shared by the SSI Engineer, to develop rural standards for pathways that are more appropriate for Salt Spring. Despite this concern, Gary did ask us to appreciate the fact that this pathway, which received almost $500,000 in provincial funding, will allow pedestrians to walk safely all the way from Ganges to t…
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Critical Islands Funding Advocacy Proves Successful

The Salt Spring Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) is thrilled to announce that local advocacy efforts have finally paid off. The Province has issued an Order in Council qualifying Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands for access to the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET). Founded in 2006, ICET provides grant funding to rural coastal communities along with resources designed specifically to assist with pandemic recovery. For years Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands of Galiano, Mayne, Pender, and Saturna have been unfairly left out due to being within the classification of the mostly urban Capital Regional District (CRD). CEDC Chair, Francine Carlin says being part of ICET is a huge milestone for our community, “We now have the ability to take full advantage in applying for government grants that up till now we were excluded from. The inequality has kept us from receiving supports for projects like a regional food hub, village …
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