COVID-19: Capacity limits lifting as two-dose vaccine requirements begin

On Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, full vaccination for everyone born in 2009 or earlier (12+) and presentation of your BC Vaccine Card will be required to access certain events, services and businesses. On Monday, Oct. 25, more people will be able to come together at organized gatherings and events in parts of the province where vaccination rates are high. The provincial health officer order restricting capacity limits to 50% for inside organized events and gatherings will be revised to allow 100% capacity in those settings where the BC Vaccine Card is in place and proof of vaccination status is checked. In addition, the requirement to remain seated at a table in restaurants and pubs will be lifted. Indoor mask requirements remain in effect for all indoor gatherings and events. These changes apply to: indoor sporting events (e.g. hockey or basketball games) indoor concerts, theatre, movie theatres, dance and symphony events indoor organized events: examples are wedd…
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New funding secured for Bishops Walk to Drake Road trail upgrade project

The Capital Regional District’s (CRD) Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) recently received $90,127 in funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream (ICIP-CVRIS). Thanks in part to this funding, PARC is moving ahead with the Drake Road Trail Upgrade Project. The Drake Road (Bishops Walk) Trail is a connector trail starting at Cypress View Road through to Drake Road where users can then access Salt Spring Commons, Mouat Park and the downtown core. The trail is approximately 480 m long by 1.8 m wide and is a multi-use community trail. “This announcement comes on the heels of us completing our final phase of Salt Spring Commons, a new affordable housing project owned by Salt Spring Island Community Services. Upgrades to this established pedestrian trail will provide residents and neighbours year-round walking opportunities.” - Rob Grant, Executive Director of Salt Spring Island Community Servi…
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Fall garden tasks: Collect mulch, plant garlic, control rats

As the leaves are beginning to accumulate on the ground, it is time to shift into mulch mode. You can’t get a better material than whole leaves for winter mulching! This fall you can also stockpile dry leaves now for mulch next summer—just keep them dry until you want to use them. Where fall leaves are unavailable, use any materials that won’t get too compacted over the winter, such as straw, cut bracken ferns, asparagus fronds or other coarse garden waste. This month, concentrate on layering mulch on empty garden beds and spreading it between overwintering plants. Plan on adding more mulch later when the first really cold weather is forecast, which usually happens in late November/early December. That’s when I pile on a thicker layer of mulch right over the tops of carrots, beets, celeriac and other root crops, essentially insulating them into a living root cellar. To keep the leaves from blowing off this mound of mulch, lay a few boards or a piece of stucco wire or chicken wi…
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ASK Salt Spring with MLA, Adam Olsen childcare legislation, failed forestry, housing and more

After our Territorial Acknowledgement, 15 welcomed our MLA, Adam Olsen, to an ASK Salt Spring gathering in a great location - the Dome in front of the Rainbow Road Elementary School. (Thanks to the school and district for their permission and to the parents who made this lovely space a reality!) Adam began by telling us that he had spent the September 30 National Day of Truth and Reconciliation golfing. . .and proud of it! He had participated in a Tsawout fundraiser to replace their longhouse. An impressive $80,000 was raised by this golf event, including $30,000 donated by the Catholic diocese. We learned that the 2020–21 legislative session has resumed. Two of the bills under consideration concern childcare. The province has invested billions of dollars in the past few years to get closer to achieving the goal of $10/day childcare for all. One of the challenges faced by government in scaling up the service is staffing these facilities with qualified Early Childcare Educ…
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Obituary: Sheila Zoltay

Sheila Zoltay (Dec 7, 1931 - Oct 2, 2021) Sheila Innes was born in Kelso, Scotland to Isabella and Hector Innes. She grew up with her two siblings – her older brother Hector (who lives with his family in Scotland) and her younger sister Isabel who sadly passed away earlier this year. Caring and compassionate by nature, it was inevitable that Sheila pursued and excelled at a career in nursing. Adventure and exploration were always in her heart, likely sparked from the many books she consumed as an avid reader and her curiosity about the world. Not one to let her feet grow roots and combining her passions, she set out for Canada in her twenties. Landing a post in Newfoundland, she worked her way across the country as a RN. On the West coast of Canada Sheila met Andy Zoltay, a forestry engineer, who shared her love of photography and adventure. They married and had a son (Hugh Andrew). Sheila and Andy settled on Salt Spring Island for their retirement years. While there, Sheila…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Thanksgiving reflection, vaccine appeal

Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to reflect on all the things we have to be grateful for. One of these is the fact the Salt Spring has so far been spared the worst impacts of the COVID pandemic. However, we have not been immune to the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID) virus in our community.  In fact, as the fourth wave of the pandemic has swept across BC, September saw the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID on the island and already in October, we are seeing higher numbers of confirmed cases than previously. The delta variant of COVID is proving to be much more easily transmissible with lower level of exposure and causes severe illness with lower levels of virus exposure than the original ‘wild type’ COVID virus that was circulating this time last year. Fortunately, the mRNA and viral vector vaccines are proving to provide high levels of protection against severe illness from the delta variant, including hospitalization and ICU admission. They also decrease th…
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Obituary: Patrick James Kennedy

Patrick James Kennedy February 4, 1956 - September 22, 2021 It is with heavy hearts we share that Patrick died suddenly and unexpectedly of natural causes on Salt Spring Island, his home of the past 19 years or so. Patrick was well known on Salt Spring for his colourful and talkative nature. He was a great lover of music, good food, flowers, and travel adventures. He cared a lot about how to make the world a better place. Patrick is survived by his daughter Lyyli Kennedy who was the great light of his life, and three brothers Mike, Nick and Danny. A celebration of life will be held at the Portlock Park outdoor covered area on Sunday, October 17, 2021 2-5 pm. Service 2-3 ish, Jose Sanchez Cuban band 3 - 5 pm. Everyone welcome. Please bring your own chair. Patrick’s ashes will be spread at a later date on Matilija Creek near Ojai, California as per his wishes.
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How will your garden grow? Transition Salt Spring launches Rainwater Harvesting Rebate pilot

Growing things need water, and water requires a source. If it's from a well, we're thinking of you. We're Transition Salt Spring, and we are proud to be offering the Rainwater Harvesting Rebate for non-potable water for folks on wells. With our longer, drier summers, many of the aquifers we rely on are under increasing stress. Harvesting rainwater from our rooftops for irrigation purposes helps retain more of that valuable well water. Our Climate Action Plan 2.0, (https://transitionsaltspring.com/climate-action-plan-2-0/) Chapter 8 “Climate Action for Freshwater Ecosystems,” calls for the Implementation of wide-scale rainwater harvesting and enhanced water conservation. Together with forest retention, this will help maintain water levels during our increasingly hot and dry summer months, reduce sedimentation, and decrease the number and severity of bacterial or algal incidents. As a step towards making these recommendations reality, our new Climate Action Coach program…
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ASK Salt Spring with David Norget and Sherman Sherwood to discuss mental health

Ten gathered to welcome David Norget and Sherman Sherwood to discuss mental health trials and triumphs on Salt Spring. This ASK Salt Spring gathering was in our wonderful Meadow on a lovely fall day, likely the last one before the weather gods chase us away for the season. After offering the Territorial Acknowledgement, David asked us why we had come to learn about mental health. A resounding theme was the exhaustion and stress of our struggle with COVID that has challenged the mental health needs of so many in our community. Balancing his emergency mental health professional responsibilities and private practice with community work, David then told us about the Mental Health Initiative of the Salt Spring Health Advancement Network (SSHAN) that he co-chairs. This Mental Health Initiative has initially focused upon developing strong interpersonal relationships and sense of community among the development team, a team comprised of those with lived experience of mental he…
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Is this #GoodbyeSaltspring?

Life for most of us here has been pretty hard since the pandemic. Particularly for many who were just barely making island life work before Covid, the combination of forces that smacked into the whole world has made life even more difficult for many on Salt Spring. "I am living in a mobile home with my two kids for $1,700 a month. I can barely afford gas and food, and I work more than full time hours. I barely get to hang out with my kids because I am working so much just to keep a roof over their head." In the past 3 years of working on the issue, I’ve come to learn more about the drivers of our housing crisis than I ever really wanted to. From the wider trends of what happens to desirable communities when market forces are allowed to run without any controls, to all the ways the Islands Trust, CRD, North Salt Spring WaterWorks, and even private homeowners contribute to our very local version of the problem here. “We have moved nine times. Lived in a one room vacation re…
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Island Pathways gathers to celebrate achievements

Island Pathways held a Thank-You Event at Portlock Park on October 1st that was long overdue. Host and chair of Island Pathways’ Partners Creating Pathway (PCP) committee, Jean Gelwicks, said, “We owe a debt of gratitude to those who have been and are supporters of community pathways.” Island Pathways had planned to hold a much larger event before COVID hit, to celebrate its completion of the sections it spearheaded of the Ganges Village Pathway Network (GVPN). The final section is the pathway from Central at Portlock Park to the beginning of St. Marks Cemetery, located on Barker Road. The realization of this pathway network, a CRD-PARC Community Task Force wish from 30 years ago, has gone unheralded, even though islanders have been working steadily toward the fulfillment of this goal since the Task Force recommended, followed by its embedding in SSI’s Official Community Plan. “Island Pathways takes thanking people seriously” says Gelwicks. “We owe all the people from the…
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Salt Spring community march with Cowichan First Nation to honour residential school survivors on the inaugural National Day for Truth & Reconciliation

Joining an estimated 2000+ other march participants, numerous Salt Spring Island families and community members travelled this morning to Cowichan First Nation in Duncan to participate in the first ever march in recognition of National Day for Truth & Reconciliation. The gathering featured Cowichan First Nation elders and residential school survivors who, with grace and humour, shared their stories about the importance of what it means to remember and to chart a new path forward for Indigenous relations in Canada. Numerous elders shared their personal experiences of the harm caused to them and their families during their time as students in the residential school system. Tzinquaw Dancers, a traditional Coast Salish dance group performed numerous dances and songs to welcome all participants to the event. National Day for Truth & Reconciliation is being celebrated as a federal statutory holiday in Canada. It is a national day of remembrance for victims of the Canadian Indi…
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MLA Column: National Truth and Reconciliation Day

In the four years that we have been Members of the Legislative Assembly, hundreds of British Columbians have reached out to talk about Crown/settler-Indigenous relationships. What we have heard consistently in these conversations is that people are frustrated that they have not been taught about the true history of our country. While there is information available, we hear people feel it is not accessible, and they do not know where to start. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was mandated to “inform all Canadians about what happened in residential schools.” The commission’s work concluded in 2015 and they published 94 Calls to Action. Action 80 was the establishment of a day to “honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.” On September 30, 2021, it will be the first time in Canadian history that there will be a Nati…
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The Circle teams up with Bullock Lake Farm for boys program

The new school year has started and The Circle Salt Spring Education Society is gearing up for their Pass it On programs. New this year is the collaboration with Bullock Lake Farm for the Pass it On Boys program. Pass it On is a safe and trusted space to develop core skills in the area of healthy relationships such as trust-building, acceptance, active listening, and boundary setting. The Circle is excited for the new partnership with Bullock Lake Farm for the Pass it On Boys program. This collaboration will offer participants the opportunity to explore concepts of care, independence, leadership, and responsibility for themselves and others through hands-on, farm-based activities and projects.  Using a new delivery model, The Circle’s Kate Nash will lead a team of mentors, including local farmers, a filmmaker and some senior youth to take participants along the journey of an impactful curriculum in support of self-development. “Bullock Lake Farm offers a playful and dy…
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Community gathers for Climate Strike in the Meadow

Over 70 community members gathered this past Friday at the Salt Spring Island United Church Meadow for the Climate Strike in the Meadow, organized by Transition Salt Spring. Youth led the way, with many speaking passionately about the future they are facing due to the failure of the older generation to act in time to save them from the worst impacts of climate change. It will always be the most marginalized who suffer from the failures of any community, and on Salt Spring that means those with poor housing or no housing, people of colour, Indigenous people, and low income people was main message of presenters. Speakers from all of these groups spoke and urged Islanders to act now to support climate change mitigation initiatives, while there is still hope to turn things around. The current way of doing things has systematically marginalized billions of people around the world. It's time to create a society that places people and planet over profit. Calliope Choir sings at …
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Lady Minto Hospital Foundation reaches $10.4 million goal to build a new Emergency Department

At its 2021 Annual General meeting on Thursday, September 23rd, the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation announced that it has achieved the goal of raising $10.4 million to build a new Emergency Department. The good news was announced by the Chair of the Emergency Department Campaign Committee, Carol Biely. “The support and encouragement we have received throughout the Emergency Department Campaign has been exceptional” she said. “We have raised a large amount of money in a very short time. This reflects how much the hospital, and its wonderful staff, mean to Salt Spring residents and visitors”. Carol Biely, who spearheaded the successful campaign, noted “we will now be moving on to the other needs of the hospital by maintaining a Capital Fund for future projects”. Executive Director Roberta Martell explained that while the Emergency Department campaign has achieved its ambitious target, ongoing fundraising continues on behalf of the hospital. She pointed out that “housing for …
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New e-bike charging station installation completed at Ruckle Provincial Park

Salt Spring Island’s latest e-bike charging station is now complete. At Ruckle Park, by the parking lot just up from the barn, there are two bike racks and four 120-volt plugins. It also has two signs. The smaller one, by the receptacle, notes that the outlets are for “E-Bike Charging ONLY” (not EVs, although ideas are swirling about how to get Level 2 chargers out there). The larger sign, on the front of the kiosk, covers a bit of cycling history on Salt Spring, which goes back to at least 1887, decades before the first car. Safety is an ongoing concern, which e-bikes help address. Their riders go faster up hills, impeding fewer drivers, hence lessening risky passing moves. Three years ago, Island Pathways and Friends of Ruckle Park Heritage kicked off the e-bike station idea with BC Parks. It took Ron Watts—career photographer and e-energy advocate—to get it done. He gathered additional partners and shepherded it to conclusion. Big thanks to Ron, SSI Foundation Neigh…
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MLA Adam Olsen updates on climate change, toxic drugs, affordable housing and more

It has been a couple of months since my last column. It was not for lack of issues to write about, but a need to create some space to rest, strengthen connections with my family and focus on the needs of my constituents. As it turns out, the space was immediately filled with the intersecting crises facing British Columbia. Climate change, healthcare (pandemic, mental health & addictions), housing affordability and old growth have proven extraordinarily difficult to navigate. These coinciding crises must be addressed by working together - individuals, political parties, and governments, in collaboration and as a collective. For decades, we have known that climate change was coming. We were warned that if we do not take corrective action, we will face an emergency. This summer that reality was on full display. In June, a heat dome descended on British Columbia. We experienced the hottest temperatures in Canadian history while dozens of evacuation orders came as hundre…
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ASK Salt Spring with Islands Trust Trustee Laura Patrick on the Trust Policy Statement update, housing, mapping and more

Eight hardy Salt Springers gathered in the cold rain and wind at the Portlock Picnic Pavilion to welcome Laura Patrick, one of our two Local Trustees for the Islands Trust, to ASK Salt Spring. During her Territorial Acknowledgement, Laura spoke with deep appreciation of a Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Convention workshop that she had recently attended, Pathways to Truth & Reconciliation. In this workshop, four esteemed panelists, including the Honourable Murray Sinclair, discussed how Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities can walk further along the path to Reconciliation. (Note: While the entire speech does not seem to yet be available on the UBCM website, you may find the following link helpful. When asked to tell us what was on her mind before we launched into questions, Laura spoke about the power of community when working toward common goals. Laura is convinced that we can accomplish a great deal when we share and work toward common goals. Sh…
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New bus route coming to Salt Spring Island in October

BC Transit and the Capital Regional District are announcing the introduction of year-round service to Beddis and Cusheon Lake roads effective October 1, 2021. Starting on Friday, October 1, the 7 Cusheon Lake will run three trips per day. This route provides increased transit coverage on Salt Spring Island and serves a number of destinations and visitor accommodations. It also provides additional service along Fulford Ganges Road, so that residents have more options for service in that area. Service on all other routes is being adjusted to match demand and align with BC Ferries’ schedules. Earlier Sunday and Holiday service is also being introduced on the following routes: 1 Ganges Local 3 Vesuvius 4 Long Harbour 5 Fernwood 6 SS Connector 9 Ruckle Park – Fulford direct Early service on Saturday is also being added to routes 3, 4 and 5. BC Transit reminds customers that that Free Transit for Children 12 and Under launched on September 1, and more information on …
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2021 Federal Election Saanich-Gulf Islands Results - Elizabeth May Wins Reelection

Saanich-Gulf Islands Member of Parliament incumbent Elizabeth May from the Green Party of Canada is the projected winner in this year's Federal Election securing the seat for the 4th consecutive time winning in 2011, 2015, 2019 and now again in 2021. May initially won over Conservative incumbent Gary Lunn in 2011 and has been MP for the riding since that time. Candidates for the riding this year were Ron Broda, People's Party of Canada; David Busch, Conservative Party of Canada; Elizabeth May, Green Party of Canada; Sabina Singh, New Democratic Party; Ryan Windsor, Liberal Party of Canada. See all profiles and coverage of the 2021 Federal Election. Watch the All Candidates Debate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKsa7ANxkWo Saanich—Gulf Islands Riding History The electoral district was created in 1987 from Esquimalt—Saanich and Cowichan—Malahat—The Islands ridings. In the 2008 election, there were allegations of electoral fraud around Gary Lunn's campaign.…
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