Campaign launches to create a new Community Park at Hwmet’utsum/Mt. Maxwell

The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board has agreed to purchase, in partnership with Salt Spring Solutions Society (SSS) and a community collective of stakeholders, 75 acres of land and a Statutory Right of Way on Mount Maxwell for community park purposes. This acquisition is subject to raising an additional $350,000 through community fundraising. The 75 acre forested property is being offered to the community for a reduced price of $850,000 thanks to a generous donation by the family that owns the property. An additional $250,000 donation has been pledged by local philanthropists, and the CRD will contribute $250,000 towards the purchase price through the Salt Spring Island Park Land Acquisition Fund. The remaining $350,000 of the purchase price needs to be funded through community fundraising coordinated by SSS and the Salt Spring Island Foundation. “The CRD recognizes the high recreational and conservation values of this property near Mount Maxwell, traditionally kno…
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Obituary: Robert Peters

Robert George Peters, July 31, 1942 - June 15, 2022 It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of a dearly beloved community member from this earth. Mr. Robert Peters, or better known as Rob (79), recently passed away comfortably in his home on June 15th surrounded by his family members and loved ones. Rob lived a spectacular life, filled with adventure, accomplishment, and above all, delight. Those who remember him would not be able to separate his smile from his memory. It was the sort of smile that lit up the faces of those surrounding, immediately contagious and ferociously loving. Rob lived a full and notable life, with a list of accomplishments and impacts as impressionable as the Magna Carta. But to measure his life’s impact exclusively within this scope is to discount the ripples and effects his presence had on this earth with all who encountered him; and the legacy that his family now carries forth for him. Rob’s generosity will be remembered, h…
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Seabreeze Inne transition update from Lady Minto Hospital Foundation

The Lady Minto Hospital Foundation has not been blabbing endlessly about this situation.  Instead, we’ve chosen to come together with other agencies to help solve it. Lady Minto Hospital Foundation board and staff have been relentless in ensuring that BC Housing will have temporary housing ready for their Seabreeze clients to move out and into.  To do so, we demanded proof that temporary housing had been secured and a site agreement signed with Gulf Islands Seniors Residence Association (GISRA) before we’d provide a lease extension to BC Housing. Our board and staff meet and talk with BC Housing, Ministers and local officials multiple times a day, every day, to make sure this housing is on track and will be ready this time. We are pleased to share that this is the schedule for completion received yesterday! July 7 - Travel to Salt Spring Island; July 9 - Barge first 3 units set in place; July 10 - Barge last 3 units set in place; July 11 - Finish tying in sewer and water;…
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Salt Spring Island RCMP Provide 2022 2nd Quarter Report

Collision on Stewart Road - Photo: Salt Spring RCMP As of July 1, 2022, Salt Spring Island RCMP have responded to over 1,360 calls in the past six (6) months, 710 calls in this 2nd quarter alone. In addition to the 710 calls in this quarter, SSI RCMP also conducted 140+ traffic stops with warnings and/or violation tickets issued, 300+ foot patrols in Centennial Park and other areas, and 92 licenced premises checks (bar walks). During this period, SSI RCMP responded to 9 sex-related offences including 3 sexual assaults and 3 indecent exposures, 108 traffic complaints, and 102 mental-health related complaints. Police also assisted the BC Coroner’s Services on multiple occasions and conducted patrols in Ganges Harbour on the SSI RCMP Marine Vessel. In the 2nd quarter of 2022, some of the calls are detailed below: April: Police responded to an Impaired driving call; the driver had crashed the car with multiple passengers on board, some of whom were subsequently trans…
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Speed, distracted driving and driving under the influence major contributing factors to transport-related injuries and deaths

National Injury Prevention Day on July 5 aims to raise awareness about injuries. According to the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, injuries are the number one cause of death for people aged 1 to 44, and the reason for over 35,000 hospital visits and 8,000 permanent disabilities every year in B.C. Most injuries are predictable and preventable.

“Injuries represent an often overlooked problem, but the real tragedy is that we pay too little attention to the simple things we can do to avoid injuries and the suffering that results,” says Dr. Murray Fyfe, Interim Vice President – Population Health and Chief Medical Health Officer for Island Health.

Transport-related injuries are just one cause of injury and remain a leading cause of death for children and youth, and a leading cause of hospitalization for adults aged 25 to 34. Speed, distracted driving and driving under the influence…

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MLA Olsen hosting Community Dialogues this summer, encourages you to get involved in local government elections

Have you ever considered running for public office? If not on the ballot, have you wondered how you can help someone who is running? The decisions at the local government table create the form and character of our neighbourhoods and communities. They are potentially the most impactful on our quality of life and that is why it is so important for all of us to take part. Fourteen years ago, Central Saanich Councillor Zeb King knocked on my door to invite me to get involved in local government. He asked me the same question, had I ever considered running for a seat on the local Council? I live on Tsartlip First Nation, I have lived there my whole life and at that time had little connection with, or understanding of, municipal politics, Council decisions about property taxation, zoning, official community plans, local and regional services. However, as a life-long resident I benefited from the services provided by the district. When I was a kid, I played baseball and so…
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Obituary: Heather Cutten

In Loving Memory of Heather Dianne Cutten, 1944 to 2022 Heather Dianne Cutten, nee Eisan, passed away on the 23rd of June, at the Victoria General Hospital after a short and unexpected illness. She passed peacefully with her husband and two daughters by her side. Heather (Nana) leaves a huge hole in the hearts of her entire family and friends who benefited from her kindness and compassion. Heather was born on May 3rd, 1944 in Halifax, Nova Scotia to Norman and Lillian Eisan and was one of seven children. Heather is survived by her sister Rosalie Dyer and her many nieces and nephews. Heather married her life-long partner of 55 years, Mark Cutten on October 14, 1967 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Their journey together took them from Nova Scotia to Trinidad, Winnipeg, St.Lucia, Calgary and finally Salt Spring Island, BC. Along the way, they had three children David (Patricia), Laura (Alejandro) and the baby Sara. She was blessed with five grandchildren, Isabella, Olivia, Joshu…
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Temporary housing solution reached for Seabreeze Inne residents

Temporary modular housing units have been secured to support 22 people currently temporarily residing at the Seabreeze Inne. A two-week extension of the lease at the Seabreeze Inne will provide residents with a safe and secure place to live until they can move into modular units on Kings Lane. The Lady Minto Hospital Foundation has agreed to extend the current lease at the Seabreeze Inne until July 15, 2022. “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation for generously extending the lease at the Seabreeze Inne, providing people with a safe roof over their heads for the past six months,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. “BC Housing continues to work diligently to build the new permanent supportive housing facility at Drake Road.” BC Housing has been leasing the Seabreeze Inne from the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation since January 2022. Residents are receiving support services from the Salt Spring a…
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ASK Salt Spring with RCMP Sergeant Clive Seabrook on Community Policing, Speed Watch program and more

Fifteen gathered in the lovely United Church Meadow to welcome our RCMP Sergeant Clive Seabrook. After our Territorial Acknowledgement, we asked Clive what was on his mind. He responded with his characteristic graciousness by responding that he was with us to listen and learn and that our comments would help him navigate some of our most important issues. The first question asked Clive to tell us about his stance on Community Policing, characterized by positive interaction, partnerships, and problem solving with the community. (It is often most noticeable when officers intermingle with the community rather than patrolling from their vehicles.) We learned that our RCMP officers were conducting foot patrols before he arrived and that Clive is committed to continuing these patrols as a valuable way of connecting with our community. A typical month records approximately 100 foot patrols, with Clive himself patrolling to interact with Salt Springers four-to-five times each month.…
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Salt Spring Island Search and Rescue awarded over $19,000 by 100+ Women Who Care

After three compelling presentations, including from the Salt Spring Arts Council and School District #64 Education Trust Fund, Beth Hall’s nominated charitable cause Salt Spring Island Search and Rescue (SAR) was declared the winner during 100+ Women Who Care’s meeting on June 22, the first to be staged in person at ArtSpring since Covid. The organization was awarded the collected total of approximately $19,000 to go towards replacing its much-needed Command Vehicle. Hall, whose husband is one of 40 dedicated volunteers, knows exactly what it is like to have urgent alerts come in at all times of day or night, rain or shine. “SAR volunteers train weekly to respond to missing hikers, epic wind storms like the one that decimated the Island in 2018, and even the dreaded possibility of fire,” she says. “Search and Rescue is such an important part of emergency services, but the volunteers deserve to be supported by more up-to-date equipment and technology.” “Our much-needed Co…
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Obituary: Denis Russell

Samuel Oliver (Denis) Russell - May 18, 1932, to June 16, 2022 It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our dear Denis on June 16, 2022, at the age of 90. Born in Belfast on the 18th of May, 1932, Samuel Oliver “Denis” was born to Samuel and Amy Russell. With brothers Frank and Victor, he was raised in Dungannon, Northern Ireland, where he excelled at academics, football, and rugby at the Royal School Dungannon. It was at Queen’s University Belfast where he met Deirdre O’Connor, the first love of his life. Their sense of adventure and opportunity took them from the Emerald Isle to Niagara Falls and soon after to the soggy coast of Vancouver, where they raised their boys, Michael, James, and Terry. Denis’ interest in hydroelectric power projects took him to various locations throughout the province to work, including the Mica and Arrow Lakes Dams. His successes led to a position at the University of British Columbia in 1968 and a prestigious 25-year caree…
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Letter to Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing RE: Seabreeze Inne

Dear Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing David Eby, This past week has seen a flurry of communications from BC Housing and Lady Minto Hospital Foundation (LMHF) concerning the Seabreeze Inne on Salt Spring Island and its tenants. These communications identify plans related to eviction of the tenants to facilitate commencing the renovations of the Seabreeze for the purposes of staff housing for LMHF, as well as BC Housing plans to move tenants to temporary housing at Kings Lane by July 15th. The role of Salt Spring Island Community Services (SSICS) is that of providing supports for some of the tenants currently housed at the Seabreeze Inne. Those, and other tenants with no affiliations with SSICS or BC Housing, have resided at the Seabreeze prior to the LMHF purchase in March of this year and were tenants of the previous owner on a month-to-month basis. Like any other common SRO (single room occupancy), their tenancy is covered by the Residential Tenan…
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Salt Spring Island ratepayers vote 'YES' to borrowing funds for new fire hall

Initial results of the 2022 Salt Spring Island fire hall referendum have been posted by election Returning Officer, Anthony Kennedy and Deputy Returning Officer, Alistair Sim. When asked “Should the Salt Spring Island Fire Protection District be given authority to borrow a maximum of $9.7 million dollars over a period not longer than 25 years to fund the construction of a new fire hall?” Salt Spring Island ratepayers have voted YES. The initial vote results were as follows: 3,472 votes were cast with 2,608 (75%) voting 'YES' and 864 (25%) voting NO. In addition, there were 57 non-deliverable mailing votes, 141 votes from voters not on the voters list, 34 corporate returns and 13 spoiled/rejected ballots for a total of 245 votes that were not counted as part of the final record. The results of the vote are a departure from the last referendum in 2013. In the 2013 referendum, Salt Spring Island voted 'NO' to adopting Bylaw No. 122 cited as “Emergency Response Ce…
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BC Ferries offers deep discounts on inter-island routes

Now that summer has finally arrived, BC Ferries is launching a promotion on select sailings on 11 of its inter-island routes from July 6 through September 1 for local residents and vacationers to soak up the savings. The promotion is designed to encourage customers to travel on less busy sailings by giving them a discount, freeing up space at more popular times. Customers with flexibility in their travel plans can save significantly on standard or overheight vehicle fares when they travel on select early morning or late evening sailings. The promotion applies to specific inter-island (non-bookable) routes where there is capacity available. The 75 per cent discount off the standard rate will be applied at the terminal and is not available for purchase in advance. BC Ferries recommends customers arrive early to ensure they make it on the sailing of choice. Regular fares will apply for driver and passengers, however, those travelling with an Experience™ Card can st…
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Obituary: Garth Preddy

Garth Preddy - March 17, 1979 - June 11, 2022 It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Garth on June 11th, 2022. He is survived by his daughters Emma and Kaycee, parents Hugh and Karen, brother Ryan, sister Angie (Gavin), niece Paige, extended family and friends. Garth was born March 17, 1979 and grew up in Maple Ridge, BC where he attended school. He moved to Salt Spring Island in 2013. A Celebration of Life will be held in the afternoon on Sunday August 14th, 2022 at 108 Langs Road, Salt Spring Island. Please RSVP at garthpreddy.com
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Islands Trust announces recipients of the 2022 Community Stewardship Awards

Islands Trust Council announced the recipients of the 17th Islands Trust Community Stewardship Awards at its June 23nd meeting in Victoria, British Columbia. Trust Council recognized six individuals and one organization for work that supports the Islands Trust’s mandate to protect and preserve the Trust Area and its unique environment and amenities. The recipients’ activities include land conservation, trail network development, forest restoration, community service, collaborative stewardship, public outreach and education, and advocacy work. “The Community Stewardship Awards are our opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge community members for their commitment of time, energy and ingenuity to helping preserve and protect the Islands Trust Area,” said Peter Luckham, Chair of the Islands Trust Council. “The diverse nature of the work of the nominees and the impacts of the projects in which they have been involved are outstanding. We drew inspiration from their dedication and…
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Lady Minto Hospital Foundation to begin renovations on new staff housing

The Lady Minto Hospital Foundation bought the old Seabreeze Inne back in March in order to build critically needed hospital staff housing to address the 35 vacant positions that threaten our hospital! We rented the building to BC Housing as requested, to give them over three months leeway to transition folks out of the building. Our volunteer housing committee of the hospital Foundation got to work immediately so that all the drawings, permit applications and plans were ready so that deconstruction could begin in early July. The Foundation has retained the construction manager for the project and with deconstruction permits in hand, work is scheduled to begin in early July! Andy Allen, owner of Western Medical, the construction manager for the project says; "I'm super excited to be contributing to this community and overseeing this important renovation. We've come full-circle. My company's first job ever was building the pharmacy in Lady Minto Hospital 17 years ago. Th…
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Heat alert, Carrot Day arrives; spring diseases

The first day of summer is here and it is drizzly and cool again, but there IS a forecast of warm sunny weather coming at week’s end. For vegetables, the forecast highs of 24-27C [75-80 F] for much of the region (hotter than that up the Fraser Valley), constitutes a heat wave. Plants have been growing for so long in cool, moist, cloudy conditions that leaf tissue is soft and unprepared for hot weather. Should the heat materialize, before you head out for beach or barbeque, take time to rig up shade on seedlings, seedbeds, cool weather crops (peas, lettuce, young plants in the cabbage family). Any plants with large, soft leaves (squash, beans, leafy greens) could experience sunscald injury, especially at the highest temperatures. So keep your shading materials handy (shade cloth, latticework, lace tablecloths) for rapid deployment and watch the weather forecast. We haven’t been thinking about watering until now, but don’t forget to check that soil isn’t getting too dry. Every…
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‘Love Local’ across the Southern Gulf Islands - Enjoy Mayne Island

All spring, the Chambers of Commerce from Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Saturna, and Salt Spring have been ‘island hopping’, showing local residents how to shop, eat, and stay where their hearts are— here in our interconnected island communities. Our last stop on this Southern Gulf Islands tour is Mayne Island, and just in time to plan your own island hopping adventure with Tour Des Iles this weekend, June 24-26. S,ḴŦAḴ, the SENĆOŦEN name for what we call Mayne Island in English, is both peaceful and active, offering meaningful recreation year-round. Among its eclectic and welcoming residents, you’ll find boating, hiking, biking, nature touring, shopping, dining, beach combing, and just "chillin", as the islanders say. The passion for supporting local is especially strong here so be sure to peruse its many galleries and studios scattered around the island; head to Terrill Welch Gallery for landscape paintings, Water’s Edge Silver for nature-inspired sterling silver jewelry, and Qu…
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Support for the firehall continues to grow - MP Elizabeth May urges 'Yes' vote

Support for the proposed new firehall continues to grow. Provincial MLA Adam Olsen and CRD Director Gary Holman have both expressed their support, along with the Chair of Transition Salt Spring, Bryan Young, who said “Transition Salt Spring encourages islanders to take steps towards climate change resilience by voting in favour of the new firehall in June.” Now Salt Spring’s popular Green Party Member of Parliament, Elizabeth May, has publicly urged people to vote yes in the referendum to borrow $9.7 million. “I am writing in support of the proposed new firehall project on Salt Spring Island. I generally do not take a position on local issues that fall outside federal jurisdiction; however, we know that more emergency situations are likely to arise due to the climate crisis. It is critical that the Salt Spring Island community seizes this opportunity to be better prepared for emergencies and extreme events. This proposal must be accepted. Salt Spring Island is in di…
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BC Nature wants Fulford estuary restored

Opposition to the proposed Vortex resort at the site of the former Fulford Inn has grown from a rumble to a roar as the public becomes more informed about the details of the project. Most recently, BC Nature, a highly respected and influential group representing 6,000 naturalists throughout British Columbia, came out firmly against the project. An official letter to the Trust has called for the estuary to be restored to its natural state: “BC Nature, a federation of more than 50 naturalists’ clubs with 6,000 members throughout BC, believes that the natural health and wealth of B.C. is essential to a sustainable future. BC Nature writes in support of our member club, Nature Salt Spring, to express our shared concerns about the proposed Vortex development in the Fulford Estuary on Salt Spring Island. “The Vortex project, as proposed, threatens the biodiversity of Fulford Estuary and the ecologically sensitive, significant fish-bearing Fulford Creek. Vulnerable populations o…
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