Alert: Wet’suwet’en Blockade Against Coastal GasLink Blocks Swartz Bay Ferry Traffic - 2020 January 20 - 7:35 AM

UPDATE: Posted Monday, January 20, 2020 - Update as of 9:00 AM: Please be advised that traffic access to the Swartz Bay terminal has been restored and all sailings to and from the terminal have resumed. Note: This Service Notice applies to the following route(s): Victoria (Swartz Bay) - Salt Spring Island (Fulford Harbour); Victoria (Swartz Bay) - Southern Gulf Islands and Vancouver (Tsawwassen) - Victoria (Swartz Bay) UPDATE: Traffic is now flowing to the terminal, and all vessels departing the terminal will be delayed until the traffic on the highway has cleared. This includes the Fulford Harbour - Swartz Bay ferry. Expect delays this morning and possibly into early afternoon. A blockade in support of Wet’suwet’en against Coastal GasLink has reportedly prevented traffic on Highway 17 from getting to the BC Ferries terminal at Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. At this time all ferry traffic in and out of Swartz Bay, including Gulf Islands and Salt Spring Island ferry t…
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Notice: Alternative Approval Process for Regional Housing First Program

Alternative Approval Process for Bylaw 4326 and 4327, Regional Housing First Program - The Capital Regional District ("CRD") Board proposes to adopt Bylaw No. 4326 “Land Assembly, Housing and Land Banking Service Establishment Bylaw No. 1, 2010, Amendment Bylaw No. 1, 2019” to remove the limitations to borrowing and Bylaw No. 4327, “Regional Housing First Program Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 1, 2019” to authorize the borrowing of an additional ten million dollars ($10,000,000) for the Land Assembly, Housing and Land Banking Service. The intent of Bylaws No. 4326 and 4327 is to extend the Regional Housing First Program for a total contribution of $120M, with the intention of meeting the original program goal of 400 units of affordable housing. Adoption of both bylaws is required in order to receive $10M in matching funds from BC Housing. Elector Approval The CRD may proceed with Bylaws No. 4326 and 4327 with the consent of 2/3rds of service participants, or at least 11 of …
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New Initiatives to Promote the Sustainability of our Local Economy

The Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) announces three new Initiatives to Promote the Sustainability of our Local Economy - Salt Spring Island’s Community Economic Commission (CEDC) is announcing three new initiatives to help local entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Piloting in mid-2020 will be the development of a commercial distribution and export hub providing local food and beverage producers, artisans and craftspeople, along with health and wellness fabricators, the opportunity to share the cost of services and/or resources needed to grow and sustain their operations. Through the initiative local producers will have access to dedicated marketing and sales agents; shared labour force resources, and a value chain designed to facilitate more efficient production of supplies. The second initiative is the planning of an Innovation Centre for Rural Sustainability to help foster an environment appropriate for testing and scaling innovative green business soluti…
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Alert: All Salt Spring Ferries Cancelled Due to Adverse Weather - January 15th, 2020 - 3:39 PM

Note: This Service Notice applies to the following route(s): - Victoria (Swartz Bay) - Salt Spring Island (Fulford Harbour) Update as of 3:39 pm: Please be advised that the Queen of Cumberland has cancelled the following sailings due to adverse weather conditions - high winds: 5:50 pm departing Fulford Harbour 7:00 departing Swartz Bay 7:50 departing Fulford Harbour 9:00 departing Swartz Bay Note: This Service Notice applies to the following route(s): - Crofton - Salt Spring Island (Vesuvius Bay) Update as of 3:20 pm: Please be advised that the MV Quinitsa has cancelled the following sailings due to adverse weather conditions. 6:45 pm departing Vesuvius Bay 7:20 pm departing Crofton 8:00 pm departing Vesuvius Bay 8:30 pm departing Crofton 9:30 pm departing Vesuvius Bay 10:00 pm departing Crofton Note: This Service Notice applies to the following route(s): - Vancouver (Tsawwassen) - Southern Gulf Islands Update as of 2:00 pm: Please be advised that…
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Alert: All Sailings for Vesuvius-Crofton Resume for Today - 2020 January 11th - 18:32

Update as of 6:32 pm: Please be advised that the MV Quinitsa will resume sailing with the 6:45 pm sailing departing from Vesuvius Bay.The ship was experiencing a problem with its Right Angle Drive which has since been resolved. We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced as a result of the earlier cancellations. -------- Please be advised that the MV Quinitsa has cancelled the following sailings due to a mechanical difficulty: 5:30 pm departing Vesuvius Bay 6:05 pm departing Crofton 6:45 pm departing Vesuvius Bay 7:20 pm departing Crofton 8:00 pm departing Vesuvius Bay 8:30 pm departing Crofton 9:30 pm departing Vesuvius Bay 10:00 pm departing Crofton The ship is experiencing a problem with its Right Angle Drive. A water taxi will sail in place of the MV Quinitsa on the same above posted schedule. Vessel will dock at both public docks adjacent each terminal. We appreciate your patience and apologize for any …
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Turf Field Still Best Option For Youth Sports on Salt Spring

If the recent decision by the school district to rescind their support for a turf field proposal put forward by the local soccer association feels familiar to the Brinkworthy athletic park rejection a few years ago, that's because it is.  Last time the “no” crowd was comprised of agricultural land advocates and complaints from neighboring property owners. This time the no’s came from some environmentalists and anti-plastic advocates.  In both cases the loser is ultimately youth and community sports groups and their proposals to upgrade our athletic fields and parks to modern standards.  It seems that while everyone has been objecting, no one has been listening. Our community sports infrastructure is woefully inadequate, especially when compared to our neighbouring communities.  We lack ball diamonds, enough quality soccer fields, and even a skating rink if you really wanted to dream big.  This is not a new problem, it’s a problem our community has grappled with for decades, …
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Seeds, Weeds and Rodent Deeds

As the days are noticeably lengthening, thoughts of garden plans begin to dance in our heads. I usually start pruning fruit trees in a few weeks, but it is not too early to start now, especially of the early blooming peaches and cherries. With the mild weather so far, people are wondering if buds swelling buds on fruit trees, garlic that has come up and other early growth will be harmed by cold. Some people already have snowdrops in bloom! IF we have several more weeks of mild weather, then a really severe cold period occurring after that could injure them, but usually early buds and shoots are hardy enough to withstand late cold spells. Just keep an eye on the forecast and beef up mulches or throw a tarp over plants if the weather looks dicey.

Germination tests: A task for a wet day is to sort out your seed collection and see what you need to replace. It only takes a couple of days to do a germination test to check…

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The Greatest Future We Can Possibly Imagine...?

The New Year affords us the opportunity to look a bit into the distance. Will we make a resolution, reflect on the year past, or set a goal for one year from now?  Is anyone looking farther into the future? We live in a world of quarterly reports, monthly rent or mortgage, hourly pay or paid biweekly, and parking by the minute. Time is money. Our reality is immediate. Climate change creates another pull to deal with the immediate. There is more certainty in the short time frame, but to neglect the longer view is to miss out. All great things are only possible inside a medium or long view. Things such as getting an education, building or buying a house, committing to a career, or having children are an expression of medium range thinking. Long range thinking is to think and plan beyond one’s lifetime in order to benefit one’s descendents, or the future of the human species. The future we create can be anything but frightening. It needs to be so great that we can’t wa…
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Salt Spring and Gulf Islands Real Estate Values Rise 5%

In the next few days, owners of more than 374,600 properties throughout Vancouver Island can expect to receive their 2020 assessment notices, which reflect market value as of July 1, 2019. "The market has stabilized in most areas of Vancouver Island this year," says Vancouver Island Assessor Tina Ireland. "In the south part of Vancouver Island, the majority of residential property values are moving -5% to +5%, while up island the value increases are a little higher. The commercial and industrial markets are generally showing increases over last year's assessments." BC Assessment collects, monitors and analyzes property data throughout the year. Overall, Vancouver Island's total assessments increased from about $246 billion in 2019 to $255 billion this year. A total of almost $4.14 billion of the region's updated assessments is from new construction, subdivisions and rezoning of properties. BC Assessment's Vancouver Island region includes all communities located within …
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Kids and Families Ring In New Year at New Centennial Playground

Salt Spring Island kids and families had a new way to celebrate New Years this year. A free event generously hosted by Windsor Plywood and the Salt Spring Lions welcomed all in the community to enjoy the new nature based playground. While the playground won't be completed and officially opened until this spring, there was still much to enjoy this evening for the kids who ventured out in the early evening rain. Many enjoyed the free hot dogs and hot chocolate offered by the Lions and Windsor while also enjoying a wonderful fireworks display out in the harbour to celebrate the park and the new year.
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Opportunity Portraits: Pod Contemporary Gallery

Pod Contemporary Gallery: Selling Contemporary Art and Artful Pieces - At Pod, owner Helen Mears offers an opportunity to take in contemporary art and boutique style shopping at the same time. How do you combine your passion for art and convert that into something you do for a living? I remember being in my early twenties and I traveled to Seattle for numerous weekends away and noticed how a lot of hotels and restaurants had original art displayed.It wasn't very prevalent in Vancouver and decided that I wanted to incorporate into my business endeavor. At the time, in East Vancouver, where my shop Mecca was located, there were many struggling artists with not many options to exhibit. I had a beautiful old storefront with 12 foot + ceilings. Art enhanced the space. I continued to incorporate it into my future businesses:Cafe Talia and Pod contemporary. I watch as people react, connect with and observe the work I exhibit. It's an exciting element of my work. As a woman en…
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Before and After: New Nature Based Playground Opens in Centennial Park

The new Centennial Park Playground is now open. Additional elements including the iconic rocking horse, benches, water fountain, and landscaping will be completed in the spring of 2020. The berm, slide and wooden stepping stones are closed for now to allow settling. Park Master Planning Community Engagement Before Photos During Construction After Partial Completion - Final Completion in Spring 2020
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Opportunity Portraits: InDro Robotics

Deirdre Rowland with the Community EcDev Commission shares their profile of InDro Robotics who specializes in the manufacture, distribution and operation of commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Their technology has been utilized in disaster planning, search and rescue missions, climate research, early detection of wildfire hazards and to provide agriculture & vegetation management. We recently caught up with local President and CEO Philip Reece. Indro Robotics - Q & A With Philip Reece, President and CEO How has InDro Robotics changed the way drones are positioned in terms of delivering services that make a difference in the world? InDro Robotics has been working on delivery of urgent care equipment from the very start. We were the first in the world to deliver and AED (heart defibrillator) back in 2014, and we have built on that success ever since, working with industry regulators, first responders and hospital to deliver urgent care items, blood and bl…
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Opportunity Portraits: Rhubarb Designs

Deirdre Rowland with the Community EcDev Commission shares their profile of Rhubarb Designs: Goods That Inspire and Preserve Tradition and Art Forms - Lorraine Hamilton is known for her inspiring landscape ideas and imaginative plant combinations. How has your move from the world of natural landscapes into the world of home décor been? Well, I see everything as an extension of the outdoors so the move for me has been an easy one. I am still heavily involved in the landscape world and it is a constant frame of reference. For me the outdoors captures so many things that are intrinsic to the way we experience the world. The shop is full of goods that connect us to that and to the world beyond our doorsteps. The running criteria for the goods I carry are they must be made of natural materials, mostly made by hand, have a story, be goods that support other communities, preserve tradition, have a small footprint, be useful, celebrate good design, be original, and add inspiratio…
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Salt Spring Island Foundation Announces Fall 2019 Grants

The Salt Spring Island Foundation is pleased to announce over $108,000 in fall Foundation grants for island charities. The 2019 fall grants support many essential programs and services, with a particular focus on children and youth, health and wellness, and capacity building for local non-profit organizations. The Foundation thanks the many generous donors who make these grants possible.   BC SPCA, Salt Spring Island $5,000 for the “Snip for Dogs” program, to provide spaying and neutering for dogs owned by low-income households and individuals without housing. Big Brothers Big Sisters $1,500 to provide supplies for 15 students for one year for the In-School Mentoring program. This grant is supported by funds from the Unger Family Fund for Children and their Mothers and Senior Women in Need. Capital Regional District (CRD) Salt Spring Island Electoral Area Emergency Program: $6,000 for an on-island, two-day Justice Institute of BC-certified course, on the …
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Civil Forfeiture Office Seeks Salt Spring Property Linked to Alleged Stock Fraud

The BC Civil Forfeiture Office has filed a lawsuit seeking to seize a Salt Spring Island property allegedly linked to a large international stock fraud. The lawsuit filed December 11th, 2019 in BC Supreme Court alleges the property located at 391 Baker Road on Salt Spring Island is the proceeds of crime and was used to launder money. The defendants have not yet responded to the civil lawsuit. The allegations have not been proven in court. Read the brief of the lawsuit: Note: An earlier version of this story included a map showing the incorrect location of the property. The map has been updated.
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BC Ferries Eliminates Fuel Surcharge

BC Ferries announced today the current 1.5 per cent fuel surcharge will be removed as of December 17, 2019. BC Ferries closely monitors the price of fuel and applies a rebate or surcharge, or neither, under a regulatory process that is independent of fares. Over the past 15 years, BC Ferries has been using a fuel rebate/surcharge mechanism to manage the volatility in the price of fuel. When fuel prices are lower, lower fuel prices are passed on to customers through a fuel rebate. When fuel prices are higher, a fuel surcharge is implemented specifically to cover the additional cost of fuel. There have also been periods with neither. The company does not benefit financially from surcharges or rebates. “The recent decrease in the price of fuel allows us to eliminate the fuel surcharges, which is great news for travellers,” said Alana Gallagher, BC Ferries’ Vice President and CFO. “We understand that affordability is important to our customers and every bit helps.” …
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Opportunity Portraits: Twang & Pearl

Deirdre Rowland with the Community EcDev Commission shares their profile of Twang & Pearl: Inspired by the People & Stories Behind the Goods Curated - Jana Thomas combines her love of travel with a sincere appreciation for beauty. You’ve been a traveller and a buyer, how has your eye for curated goods expanded or changed over the years? I didn’t really set out to be either. I discovered a love for travelling as most people do - by travelling. I tend to appreciate and find beauty in experiences as much as I do in ‘things’ and travelling has opened me up to both in spades - one feeding the other. In other words, whether travelling near or far, it’s the people or community of people behind the products that really makes the beauty shine thru. So I guess as I travel more, my community expands and my eye for curation expands with it. Being a long-time Salt Spring Island-er you’ve seen many changes in the business landscape, what keeps you inspired? I can’t li…
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Watch: Harbour Air Test World’s First Electric Beaver Seaplane

Pioneers in powering the electric flight movement, Harbour Air with service to and from Salt Spring Island, and magniX unveiled the world’s first Beaver seaplane retrofitted with a 750 horsepower all-electric magni500 propulsion system this morning in Richmond, BC. The first test flight was captured by enthusiastic supports and media gathered to watch the world’s first Beaver seaplane retrofitted with an electric engine. https://youtu.be/IOWDhYh8t64 https://youtu.be/vf84Wxnbquc https://youtu.be/Cw4ICCyhu_s https://youtu.be/asnpM4UNBR8
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