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Summary of Current Housing Initiatives on Salt Spring Island

Current Housing Properties and Projects Up to 335 units could be developed on 10 properties already designated or zoned for affordable or market housing. This is not an exhaustive list. Most properties require development funding, and additional water and wastewater services and approvals. CRD has provided land (Drake Road), some Community Works Funds (federal ‘gas tax’) to help cover infrastructure costs for affordable housing servicing, and Growing Community Funds to increase the capacity of the Ganges sewer system. CRD Drake Road – 5 acres leased by Capital Regional Housing Corporation for 60 years to BC Housing which is funding 28 units of supported housing, to be completed 2025. Potential for 50-80 units of additional affordable housing. Dragonfly – On Drake Road, being rezoned for 30 units of affordable ownership employee housing. Working with CRD to establish required water utility. Seabreeze Inne – Being renovated by Lady Minto Hospital Foundation for 18 uni…
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Next Aerial Spray Date - May 22

2024 Spongy Moth Program Announcement Trapping and monitoring results from 2023 indicate spongy moth populations are establishing in various locations across the province and require eradication. Thirteen aerial sprays are required to eradicate this non-native, invasive species. The 2023 high-density trapping program completed on Salt Spring Island was successful. The trapping program limited the growth and spread of the establishing spongy moth population and a 48 ha area will be sprayed in spring 2024 to ensure the population is eradicated. Salt Spring Island: May 6 1st treatment completed May 22 (May 16th postponed due to wind) Label Foray 4B: https://www.valentbiosciences.com/foresthealth/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2021/04/foray-48B-label-canada.pdf Updated info found here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/forestry/managing-our-forest-resources/forest-health/invasive-forest-pests/spongy-moth/news
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ASK Salt Spring Welcomes Two of Your Local Community Commissioners (LCC)

This ASK Salt Spring gathering welcomed CRD Local Community Commissioners (LCC) Brian Webster and Gayle Baker. After his Territorial Acknowledgement, Brian, wearing his apple-farming hat, leapt fearlessly into the currently raging spongy moth spraying controversy. Brian brought science into the discussion, warning us against letting fear and assumptions overwhelm science-based conclusions. We learned that the spongy moth, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lymantria_dispar) is, in the first phase of its life cycle, an invasive leaf-eating caterpillar that defoliates trees. Trees that are already stressed due to climate change and other challenges, can die from this defoliation. While all deciduous trees are at risk, of particular concern are our rare and precious Garry Oaks (https://ohgarryoaksociety.org/what-is-a-garry-oak/). In addition to the ecological threat to Garry Oaks, a spongy moth infestation brings serious financial consequences to local farmers as this caterpilla…
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Islands Trust Council Meeting Open to the Public

Lək̓ ʷəŋən, METULIYE/Victoria, B.C. – Islands Trust Council invites the public to participate in its next business meeting being held on Salt Spring Island at the Harbour House Hotel, 121 Upper Ganges Road, June 18-20, 2024. There will be multiple options for participating in, or viewing the meeting. The public are able to attend in-person and are welcome to listen and participate by telephone, join the meeting by computer or smartphone, or simply watch the meeting on a computer or smartphone. Trust Council meets quarterly to make decisions about matters that apply to the Islands Trust Area and Islands Trust operations. Trust Council receives, discusses, and makes decisions about policies, finances, and proposed work for the coming quarter. Featured Sessions Islands Trust 50th Anniversary – Islands Trust will be recognizing its 50th anniversary during the three-day meeting. Transport Canada Presentation– Ryan Greville, Manager, Navigable Waters Protection, will …
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Salt Spring Fire May 11th on West Eagle Drive

Salt Spring Island Fire responded to a report of an outbuilding on fire in the 300 block of West Eagle Drive on Saturday May 11th. An RV and a nearby storage shed were consumed with flames that extended into the surrounding trees and ground cover. Crews were able to knock down and control the spread of the fire with handline attacks from two apparatus. Water was supplied to the scene using a Tender Shuttle operation that Fire Department members train on regularly. Fifteen Firefighters were on scene with no reported injuries. The cause of the fire has not been determined.
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Government increasing spend on Gang Violence in BC

Since 2003, gang-related homicides in British Columbia have risen, climbing from 21% of B.C. homicides to 46% in 2023. Gang-related homicides present unique challenges due to evidence tampering and witness reluctance, making them more time-consuming and resource-intensive to investigate. As of December 2023, IHIT reported 356 unsolved homicides. The establishment of the new Integrated Gang Homicide Team will strengthen investigative capabilities, enabling IHIT to redirect team members to focus on these cases. Under the federal government’s Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence, the B.C. government has received $10.9 million from Public Safety Canada for the 2023-24 fiscal year. The funding will go toward anti-gang and crime initiatives throughout the province, including the Organized Crime Agency of BC, Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, and the New Westminster Police Department’s Gang Suppression Unit. Significant investments continue for enhanced and …
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Bird and Habitat Connections at Xwaaqw'um

It’s spring, and every day brings new arrivals from the south, especially at Xwaaqw’um, one of the birdiest spots on Salt Spring, which has a little bit of everything. As very recent settlers here, my family and I were immediately drawn to the valley and bay, sandwiched between the cooler, moist forested north-facing slope and the warm oak savannah and drier fir hillsides beneath the towering cliff of Hwmet’utsum (meaning “bent over place”, from a Quw’utsun – Cowichan – creation story about the Narrows). It was springtime then, and quickly the presence of several bird species at risk signaled that we were in a special spot. Olive-sided Flycatchers sang from the tops of the old growth firs, Band-tailed Pigeons bass-cooed from the thicker canopied trees, Common Nighthawks patrolled the air column high above the valley where their insect food rises to on warm days, and Barn Swallows urgently chased us as we approached the barns where they were nesting. Three vireo, four woodpecker…
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Salt Spring Island Indigenous Peoples Weekend June 21-23!

Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21st) falls on a Friday this year, and so many groups on Salt Spring wanted to do something special to observe the day that a group of organizers has come together to expand it into a 3 day Indigenous Peoples Weekend on Salt Spring. And we would love you to participate! The dates will be June 21-23. Events and activities on Salt Spring Island will celebrate Indigenous arts and culture, create opportunities for discussion of reconciliation and generally bring the settler and local Indigenous communities together over food, music and activities to explore how we can better walk together in the future. We are currently inviting all First Nations whose territory includes Salt Spring to participate in any way that works for them. We’ve already received a generous grant from the Salt Spring Island Foundation for honoraria and travel allowances for Indigenous attendees, and will be applying for more. First and foremost, this is a day to honour the Hu…
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Linda's list for May 8: Warm week warning

Just a quick note to especially remind new gardeners that tiny seedlings are very vulnerable to being killed in hot sun. With the weather finally warming up, the next few days in some parts of the coastal region may see highs up to 25oC [high 70’s F]. While established plants of tomatoes, squash and other warm loving vegetables will thrive at these temperatures and won’t need protection, it can be too warm in midday for small seedlings and for newly sown seeds (they cook because they are so close to the surface and don’t yet have roots into cooler soil). Be ready to shade seedlings at least for the hottest part of the day and keep an eye on the weather forecast in case this turns into a more pronounced heat wave. We have had early May heat waves in recent years that did a fair bit of damage to beds of seedlings and fried the edges of young leaves not yet used to warmer weather. This week I am also starting to lightly mulch established broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, pea…
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ASK Salt Spring Welcomes MLA Adam Olsen

The first ASK Salt Spring gathering in May welcomed MLA Adam Olsen and Constituency Advocate Jerram Gawley for a rich and diverse conversation. Adam used his most recent weekly two-minute speech to the Legislature (https://adamolsen.ca/2024/05/my-duty-to-stand-up-for-the-salish-sea-never-diminishes/) as his Territorial Acknowledgement, speaking of disturbing changes to the waters surrounding us. The site of one of the world’s most biodiverse regions, this once-rich region has become noisy and polluted. Local fishing, once our First Nations’ economic foundation, is now only a pastime. This Acknowledgement of a marine environment that was once far richer led us to a discussion of our local harbours. Adam expressed the frustration he and others are experiencing with multiple agencies, each having responsibility but doing nothing, layers and layers of bureaucratic inertia. Local governments are left with water-based issues that need to be addressed but with neither the authority…
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