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Last Chance to Save Mt. Erskine - Manzanita Ridge Connector Trail

We have a very short window of opportunity to save a well-loved trail on Salt Spring, and if we don’t act, now, it will soon be forever split in two. Walkers, hikers, runners, adults and kids all love Mount Erskine’s trails with their stunning views of beautiful forest. Accessible from Toynbee Road, Collins Road, and Trustees Trail, they all interconnect on public land. Or so we thought! We now know that the short connector between the Conservancy’s Manzanita Ridge Nature Reserve and Mt. Erskine Provincial Park is on private land, and there is no alternative for a safe trail. This land is part of a strata that will soon be developed. It’s quite possible that a future owner will build a house right on the existing trail, which most people now believe is public land. The Salt Spring Island Conservancy acquired Manzanita Ridge Nature Reserve from Martin Williams in 2003, and two years later it fundraised to buy the centrepiece of Mt. Erskine Provincial Park in partne…
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Obituary: Eli Rian Johnson

We are devastated to announce the birth and the death of our son Eli Rian Johnson. He was born at lady minto hospital on November 21st, 2020 at 10:38 am, weighing 8lb 4oz. He passed away in my womb and the cause is still unknown and may never be known. It is so heart wrenchingly painful. He was pure perfection, nothing has ever smelled so sweet. He had fine dark hair, kissable pouty lips, and a perfect button nose. He took after his daddy and was very tall. He was 22 inches long and had big Johnson feet... I cherish the time I had with him in my womb, he was so deeply loved. Everyday I talked to him and told him how loved he is. Every night at bed time Emmi would say goodnight Eli I love you. Our hearts are so deeply broken and our loss is unimaginable. We are together at home trying to navigate this grief while caring for our Emmi who is grieving the loss of her baby brother and trying to understand why everyone around her is so sad. I never want Eli to be forgott…
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An Opportunity to Help Protect the Forest on Lot F of the Larmour Lands

A dedicated group of islanders is working to ensure over 8 acres of mature coastal Douglas fir, Western redcedar, and Bigleaf maple forest remains standing. This healthy mixed forest is on the upland portion of Lot F of the Larmour Lands, and ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­its future is threatened. The community is invited to join us in this effort to prevent Lot F from being clearcut or developed. Through the generous support of many donors, the adjacent forest and wetlands of Lot H have recently been saved and will be preserved in perpetuity! Now the focus is on extending this and creating a larger protected area to increase and enhance the health and function of this important ecosystem. With conservation covenants already in place on nearby properties, the forest on Lot F is the missing puzzle piece. Connectivity is key to increasing biodiversity, and protecting Lot F’s forest will create 46 acres (about 18.5 hectares) of pristine natural habitat, now and forever.…
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COVID-19: New Health Orders, Not Complicated... But It Is Hard

Yesterday, Dr. Bonney Henry issued a new set of public health orders increasing the restrictions on travel, gatherings, and making masks mandatory in indoor public spaces. So far, we have not had COVID outbreaks on the island and we need to keep it that way. As our Island medical health officer, Dr. Richard Stanwick has said “Until recently, the number of positive cases throughout Island Health remained relatively low. This was not by luck. It was the result of hard work by people in communities across our region who took their responsibility to prevent the spread of this virus very seriously, supported by Island Health’s staff working to control COVID-19. To everyone who has taken their responsibilities seriously to protect themselves, their loved ones, and our health-care system, we thank you.” What we have to do is not complicated … but it IS hard! We all have to follow not only the letter, but also the spirit of the public health orders and focus on the basics: avoid …
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Support Local This Holiday

It’s one of the most exciting times of year again but of course, everything is different. Winter is upon us as we lead up to the holiday season and I want to encourage islanders to make this holiday as local as it can be, especially with… Black Friday quickly approaching! Every year, this season is the make it or break it for local small businesses, especially for artisans, retailers, food and hospitality. Most businesses are not going into this season with their typical summer savings to make it through until spring and they need local help, especially with travel restrictions coming into place this week. I want to remind you of the positive impacts supporting local has - it puts food on hard working people’s plates, it employs locals, it has an economic multiplier effect in our community, you receive personalized service, you choose with your dollars who to support, it reduces the impact on the environment and it keeps our community culture and identity. This year, t…
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Mulching, Citrus Protection, Planning Ahead

As heavy rains and frequent wind storms continue we are experiencing what is to be expected of a La Niña year. La Niña conditions are forecast to last into the spring so hang onto your hats and brace for colder and wetter conditions than usual this winter. That said, the immediate forecast doesn’t show unusually cold weather for the next 10 days, which gives you time to get out and mulch the garden. Reserve some mulch to use when the first serious cold weather arrives to cover completely over the tops of root crops. Last year I wrote up pretty much everything I know about fall mulching so for more details have a look at my November 7, 2019 message; there is a follow-up message about the (non) risk of spreading pests and diseases on leaves in the Nov. 26, 2019 message. Another task to prepare for winter: Stockpile some tarps or plastic sheeting to throw over leafy greens and other above-ground vegetables in a cold spell (root crops under a thick mulch won’t need additional pr…
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ASK Salt Spring Report with CRD Director Gary Holman

Fourteen gathered at the Foxglove Nursery Greenhouse to welcome our CRD Director Gary Holman. With higher numbers this week, we needed both the speaker system as well as more seats, but, despite a bit of scurrying, all seemed pleased with the idyllic setting. After a participant’s heartfelt territorial acknowledgment, Gary began with some good news: the Capital Regional Hospital district, a group to which we contribute each year, has allocated $3 million towards Lady Minto emergency room expansion, a $10 million project. The Lady Minto Hospital Foundation has committed $4 million and plans to raise the additional $3 million in a fundraising campaign. Gary will also be exploring additional funding possibilities with the Foundation. More good news is the completion of the North Ganges Transportation Plan (NGTP), Phase Two. With the completion of this project, we finally have a safe way for pedestrians to get from Country Grocer to the village with a pathway loop that includ…
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Re-Elected MLA Adam Olsen Giving Thanks

I raise my hands in gratitude for the opportunity to continue as the representative of Saanich North and the Islands in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. Thank you! I’m honoured to be entrusted with this important responsibility and I pledge to work everyday to better understand our communities so I can more effectively advocate on our behalf. Over the past three and a half years I have established strong community networks and by continuing to work in the spirit of coordination and cooperation we will advance our local interests to government institutions and secure investments in healthcare, education, transportation and infrastructure. Together, we will speak with a unified voice when we need to seek the support of the provincial government. In the coming weeks will be moving the constituency office to a new location in Sidney. We are seeking a street level space that accommodates community engagement as well as a secure and safe environment to serve con…
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