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Island COMEBACK a Regenerative Initiative To “Keep Our Island Vibe Alive” Launches

Salt Spring Island has joined a pandemic economic response and recovery initiative called Island COMBACK. Created by a diverse cross-section of BC’s rural islanders, this grassroots gift certificate and donation program will assist our most vulnerable businesses and community groups during the pandemic and beyond. Rural islanders are interconnected, strong, and caring. Island COMEBACK’s goal is to help each island be better able to recover from the current crisis. There are 18 rural islands taking part including Salt Spring. Island COMEBACK is both a people-first, e-commerce site designed to promote and sell island created non-perishable and durable goods and services, and a donation platform allowing Salt Spring community groups and organizations to receive funds to assist with their immediate needs. It calls upon our local community, and the world, to support the recovery of our rural island culture, and economy by purchasing a gift certificate, making a donation or by doi…
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Salt Spring Climate Action Survey Launched

Major Milestone Reached for Long-awaited 2030 Climate Action Plan - Transition Salt Spring has launched an online public engagement survey, giving Salt Spring Islanders a big opportunity to tell their leaders what they want to see in a climate action plan for their island home. “We’re really excited to offer Salt Springers this unique opportunity to participate online to help develop a climate action plan for our community," says Darryl Martin, chair of the volunteer committee working in cooperation with local officials to develop the Salt Spring Island Climate Action Plan. “We’re lucky to be one of six communities across Canada piloting this forward-looking community climate action tool.” With COVID-19 making in person public meetings impossible, the online tool couldn’t have come at a better time.  Participants are able to vote on policy options and community actions, and build a plan that works to reduce emissions as well as to prepare Salt Spring for higher wildfire r…
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Salt Spring Island Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Fund Reaches Goal

A $30,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation Community Response Fund has boosted the Salt Spring Island Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund to its $200,000 target. The grant is intended for rapid community response to support the needs of vulnerable populations. Foundation Board Chair Brian Lawson says, “We are extremely grateful for the generous community response. Reaching this Emergency Fund goal enables the Foundation to continue to partner with donors and local charities to deal with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for the services of our non-profit organizations will undoubtedly increase as islanders experience loss of income and other challenges, including mental health issues, over the summer and beyond.” The Foundation’s emergency fund has already distributed $113,687 to Salt Spring charities, including over $50,000 in food gift cards distributed via local charities to those in need in the community. This has been made pos…
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Creative Project: Stay Home, Stay Safe

My wife and I were enjoying our fifth year on Salt Spring Island when the pandemic hit. As we hunkered down, like many others in this wonderful community, I looked for a way to use my unexpected free time to give back to the island. Our company, Terrier Marketing, works with manufacturers that supply the entertainment industry, among others. When one of them came up with images that could be projected on the sides of buildings, I knew I had what I was looking for. I needed to find a building that would provide a surface that could be projected on, and a corresponding secure location where I could locate the projector. A careful study of buildings along Fulford Ganges Road found only one pair of buildings that would meet my needs. Dan Spiess at Salt Spring Physiotherapy gave his permission to use his temporarily shuttered clinic and enthusiastic support for what he called “this noble project”. Jeremy Milsom at Salt Spring Inn allowed us to use his exterior wall as a screen. …
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COVID-19: Navigating Re-opening Local Businesses

As businesses are navigating the guidelines set out by the government, Public Health Officer, and WorkSafeBC, some are also experiencing extreme criticism from local residents about re-opening after nearly two and half months of being closed. Although re-opening our economy is daunting to many, every business is working hard to follow the guidelines and directives. Many of the requirements come at a high financial and human resource cost, leave their employees feeling vulnerable and affect overall business viability. We are so lucky to live in BC during this time, with the strong leadership and communication skills of Dr. Bonnie Henry and compliance by BC Residents our Province has been exemplary in flattening the curve. We must continue trusting her leadership and support businesses as they adjust to comply with the new business environment. Business owners are aware that it is not “Business as usual” and need locals to be understanding and supportive through this try…
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MLA Adam Olsen: British Columbia's Restart Plan

Last week British Columbia moved into phase two of our restart plan. Nothing about the past few months has been easy. Asking British Columbians to stay home, miss important occasions like births, funerals and religious celebrations, close their businesses, and stay at least two metres away from each other has been very difficult. However, it’s necessary in order to protect the most vulnerable people in our society - our friends, family and neighbours who are immune-compromised, and our elders. Thankfully we were successful in flattening the curve and limiting the transmission rates in British Columbia without having to close down our economy as far as many other jurisdictions did. Now officials have begun to ease the restrictions they are asking each of us to maintain the new habits we have learned while still limiting ourselves to 60% of our pre-COVID interactions. From what we are learning about this awful disease we will need to re-organize aspects of our society to…
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Meadowlane Seniors Housing Project Proceeding With a Final Project Design

The Gulf Islands Seniors Residence Association (GISRA) Meadowlane Project Chair, Janet Smith met with the GISRA Board of Directors to share the proposed design for the residences at Meadowlane. The board reviewed the plans and approved the design for the 50 unit residential facility that also includes dedicated space for the Salt Spring Seniors Services Society office and program room. “We are very pleased to have the final design.” said Ken Lee, GISRA Board Chair. “The board considered all of the options and settled on what we believe to be the best scenario for seniors and the community as a whole. The planned facility has 50 residential units as allotted under the zoning approved by Islands Trust. In addition, the medical clinic will remain in place and we have space for the Salt Spring Seniors Service Society.” In March we were facing up to a six-month delay due to the rejection of our application for a grant under the Canada/British Columbia Community, Cultural and R…
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The Pandemic Postcard Project - Salt Spring Edition - New Contributions Photo Gallery

The Pandemic Postcard Project, Salt Spring Edition, is a literacy and/or art-promoting project, started by Literacy Alberni, that fosters community connection and legacy-keeping through storytelling and sharing. There have been some remarkable contributions that have been submitted so far. See some of the contributions below. The project is ongoing and more contributions are welcomed. We’re inviting everyone in our community (as individuals or as families, partners, roommates, work teams, etc.) to share their stories, thoughts, struggles, successes, lessons learned, blessings given or received, and resolutions made during this moment in history… on postcards. Why? We’re connected primarily through technology these days through our own profiles and pages. The goal of this project is to celebrate that, while also creating a lasting, physical record of our resilience. Throughout the project, as submissions come in, we will share some of the Pandemic Postcards on the Sa…
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Country Grocer Community Kudos - This Week's Winner Is Charles Gosset

Each week Country Grocer will give a Community Kudos $50 Gift Card to a nominee submitted to the Salt Spring Exchange. Our first Kudos goes to Charles Gosset. Amidst  busy construction days in response to COVID prepping, Charlie donated his time to source free giant boulders, transport them and bring machines to construct a boulder meeting circle at Salt Spring Elementary in April. This stone circle is proving perfect for outdoor, social distance learning for students as they begin to return to school. For years, Charlie's Excavating employees have been super generous with time, materials, and machines to create outdoor learning spaces at Salt Spring Elementary. Congratulations Charlie! Next Thursday May 28th We’ll be announcing next week’s Community Kudos winner, please get your nominations in. If you’ve already sent in a nomination, it’s still in the running. Kudos to you! Together we’ll get through this.
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Our Islands Trustee, Laura Patrick, Answers ASK Salt Spring Questions

What is the scope, timing, and expected outcomes of the proposed Ganges Village Plan? It is a desire of mine to see work advanced on Ganges Village planning and on harbour planning. (Better yet, I support planning for all of our villages.) This work needs to be scoped and funded in collaboration with other agencies and organizations. I would like to see pre-planning happening now, which could result in a business case and budget request for the 2021/22 fiscal year. In 2007, as part of the Official Community Plan update project, a Ganges Village and Harbour focus group issued an excellent report. Little has changed in the 13 years since that report was issued. In a few weeks, the Climate Action Plan 2.0 will be made public. It will include maps showing that rising sea levels will submerge some of our village core – let’s plan for this. The Fire Protection District is pursuing a new fire hall which will leave the old fire hall vacant – let’s plan what should come in its pla…
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