2022 General Local Election Candidate Profile - Rob Pingle

The 2022 General Local Elections are on October 15, 2022. Election profiles on the Salt Spring Exchange feature candidates who are running for local office. These short interviews are structured so that we can quickly and easily learn more about each of the candidates and a bit more about why we might consider voting for them. All candidates have been invited to participate. This profile is from Rob Pingle who is running as a candidate for School Board Trustee. Tell us a bit about your background: I moved to Salt Spring Island when my oldest daughter was beginning Kindergarten at Salt Spring Elementary. Previous to that I had lived in Victoria BC, Australia, Ontario, Newfoundland and Alberta. Once here I was lucky to get to spend lots of time at the school with my youngest, as that was the first year of the Early Learning for Families program. I volunteered to run the Toy Library for Salt Spring Community Services and also became Chairperson for the SSE PAC. Within …
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2022 General Local Election Candidate Profile - Ben Corno

The 2022 General Local Elections are on October 15, 2022. Election profiles on the Salt Spring Exchange feature candidates who are running for local office. These short interviews are structured so that we can quickly and easily learn more about each of the candidates and a bit more about why we might consider voting for them. All candidates have been invited to participate. This profile is from Ben Corno who is running as a candidate for Islands Trust Trustee. Tell us a bit about your background: I have worked outside for 21 years now! Not bad for a lad of 38. In 2010 I began volunteering at Foxglove Farm when I could find time after work, or on the weekend, and in July 2010 started working with Michael and his crew full-time. Since that July, I have been growing vegetables from Spring to Fall, every year. In 2013, my partner, Kaleigh Barton, and I started leasing land from the Farmlands Trust at the Burgoyne Valley Community Farm. Our business, Heavenly Roots Vege…
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2022 General Local Election Candidate Profile - Jesse Brown

The 2022 General Local Elections are on October 15, 2022. Election profiles on the Salt Spring Exchange feature candidates who are running for local office. These short interviews are structured so that we can quickly and easily learn more about each of the candidates and a bit more about why we might consider voting for them. All candidates have been invited to participate. This profile is from Jesse Brown who is running as a candidate for Capital Regional District Director. Tell us a bit about your background: I am a professional in my late 30s who cares a lot about our community and the natural world. I have a strong work ethic and sense of duty which is why I’ve worked at and volunteered for not-for-profits and charities, as well as progressive political causes, my whole life. Family is very important to me and I wouldn’t be doing this without the love of my partner, step-daughters, and parents. What brought you to the area? My Grandma built a house here in 1…
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ASK Salt Spring with five of the seven candidates for Salt Spring’s two Islands Trustee positions

Twenty-five, including five of the seven candidates for Salt Spring’s two Islands Trustee positions, gathered in the United Church Meadow to discuss the Islands Trust and candidates’ plans if they are elected. (Note: Election day is Saturday, October 15, but you also have two advanced polling opportunities on Wednesday, October 5 and 12, 8-8 at the Library, Community Gospel Chapel, and a Saanich location. Candidates Islands Trust for our local election are: Ben Corno, Gary Gagne, Jamie Harris, Donald Marcotte, Jenny McClean, Incumbent Laura Patrick, and Elissa Poole. If you would like to see the nomination documents and some biographies of our Islands Trust candidates, please see the Islands Trust site.(Note: While only five of the seven candidates were able to join this ASK Salt Spring gathering, all seven were invited to participate.) This gathering in the Meadow was a soft campaign launch for some. It was also one of many opportunities to learn about our…
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2022 General Local Election Candidate Profile - Elissa Poole

The 2022 General Local Elections are on October 15, 2022. Election profiles on the Salt Spring Exchange feature candidates who are running for local office. These short interviews are structured so that we can quickly and easily learn more about each of the candidates and a bit more about why we might consider voting for them. All candidates have been invited to participate. This profile is from Elissa Poole who is running as a candidate for Islands Trust Trustee. Tell us a bit about your background? I was a classical musician for most of my working life, and as all gig-workers know, one job’s often not enough. So I also wrote for the Globe and Mail and a few other magazines for 20 years, and I was a regular artist-in residence at a university in Australia in the late 80s early 90s—I attended my first conference on sea level rise there in 1987. In 2000 I decided to stay put and teach at the University of Victoria. Recently I’ve been working to conserve a beautiful fore…
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A Brief History of Gary Holman and the CRD on Salt Spring

“My family and I have been blessed to live and prosper on these lands that have been stewarded for millennia by Coast Salish peoples. For 30 years as a community activist and in elected office, it has been an honour to work with so many people of good will in their dedicated pursuit of the public good.”      Gary’s Biography Gary has been privileged to own property on the south end of Salt Spring for 45 years. Except for 4 years during his service as MLA, he has lived full time on Salt Spring since 1989. Gary is an economist by training (BA/MA in Economics from University of BC/ Simon Fraser University) and worked for over 25 years as a consulting economist on such projects as the fisheries component of the Nisga’a Treaty and land use and resource management planning throughout BC. Upon moving permanently to SSI, Gary became involved in the land trust movement locally and in BC, and joined with over a thousand islanders in fighting logging and helping to protect lands…
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2022 General Local Election Candidate Profile - Gary Gagné

The 2022 General Local Elections are on October 15, 2022. Election profiles on the Salt Spring Exchange feature candidates who are running for local office. These short interviews are structured so that we can quickly and easily learn more about each of the candidates and a bit more about why we might consider voting for them. All candidates have been invited to participate. This profile is from Gary Gagné who is running as a candidate for Islands Trust Trustee. Tell us a bit about your background? During my decades as a resident of SSI, I have volunteered for Transition SS, Island Pathways, Cycling SS, Partners Creating Pathways, TSSEC, Green Islands, Ambulance Service, and have also spent several years on the frontlines protecting Ancient Forests, an officer on Greenpeace ships, and support staff for spiritual organizations. Currently serving as Vice-Chair of NSSWD and briefly as Acting Chair, I have four years experience as a trustee. In that capacity I serve as the…
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B.C. Schools and Crown corporations to close for national day of mourning to mark Queen’s funeral

Premier John Horgan has issued the following statement in response to the federal government declaring a national holiday to mark the Queen’s funeral: “Over the last few days, British Columbians have joined with people across the country and around the world in an outpouring of support for the Royal Family over the loss of Queen Elizabeth II. Our government will follow the lead of the federal government and join with other provinces in observing the national day of mourning to mark the Queen’s funeral. “The national holiday will be observed Monday, Sept. 19 by federal employees. We have advised provincial public-sector employers to honour this day in recognition of the obligations around federal holidays in the vast majority of provincial collective agreements. “K-12 public schools and public post-secondary institutions, and most Crown corporations will be closed. We encourage private-sector employers to find a way to recognize or reflect on the day in a way that is ap…
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Key milestone reached in Lady Minto Hospital emergency department expansion

Construction of a 420 square metre (4,500 square feet) emergency department expansion has reached a significant milestone with the concrete pour for the project’s foundation footings completed. Concrete for the foundation walls is scheduled to be poured September 13. “It is exciting to know that these construction milestones are taking place, with this emergency department expansion project now well underway,” says Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “It is a testament to the hard work of the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation, its funding partners, and the Salt Spring Island community.” Site preparation and parking reconfiguration work is complete and excavation for the expanded emergency department is now underway. “The spirit and generosity shown by the community in support of this project is truly inspiring,” said Leah Hollins, Board Chair, Island Health. “Island Health is pleased to contribute $1 million to this project to ensure it fulfills the vision of all involved. We…
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Maliview Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Project receives funding

The Capital Regional District (CRD) will receive funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – Rural and Northern Communities Program. The $1,989,000 in joint federal-provincial funding will enable completion of upgrades to the Maliview Wastewater System on Salt Spring Island while significantly reducing costs to be covered by local ratepayers. Detailed design work is currently underway to refine cost estimates and inform next steps, including a decision to proceed with a borrowing bylaw and begin construction in 2023. In 2020, the CRD estimated construction costs to be approximately $2,200,000 based on preliminary designs. A combination of factors including escalating construction costs, inflation, availability of materials and supplies, and construction demand are expected to be reflected in an updated estimate to be provided along with detailed designs. This estimate will inform preparation of a borrowing bylaw and approval process for Maliview ratep…
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Bylaw 530; the antidote to division is story

I attended the Bylaw 530 public meeting on August.18th and listened to the perspectives of many Salt Springers and although I am in favour of Bylaw 530, I empathized with points on all sides. The one speaker that I found most moving was a tiny little girl. Her mom shared that she decided on her own accord to share. She spoke so clearly and articulately of her need for a home. After the meeting and much reflection, I realized that what was missing from the meeting, save for the little girl, were our stories. Too often are people's lives reduced to numbers and statistics. Our stories are what connect us, what build empathy, and most importantly what help us recognize the nuance of issues that seemingly divide us. Division that is so often fostered by fear and also so grounded in similarity. As people, we have much more in common than we like to think. It is often the blessing of young minds that reminds us to be open, curious, and most importantly, to listen. So, thank you…
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Reconsider proposed Bylaw 530

Our Local Trust Committee is considering Bylaw 530. If passed, this would rezone most residential properties to allow a second residence, even on properties less than an acre, in drinking lake watersheds, in areas short of water and in groundwater recharge areas. We all agree there is an affordable housing crisis and we support various remedies, but not this. Bylaw 530 provides almost every landowner here the ability to develop a second residence. By allowing more development, this bylaw would throw flames on an already overheated real estate market. It will increase illegal vacation rentals making the housing crisis even worse. Some well-meaning individuals, concerned about the housing crisis, see draft Bylaw 530 as a partial solution. We see it as a huge mistake. Please ask that the bylaw be withdrawn. Below are suggested speaking points: 1. We all agree that there is severe need for more affordable housing. The best way to assure affordability and rental to island …
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Salt Spring Island’s exclusion from expanded Speculation and Vacancy Tax a "slap in the face", say community organizations

Leading Salt Spring Island community organizations and businesses are calling the B.C. Finance Minister’s lack of inclusion of the island in the latest expansion of B.C.’s Speculation and Vacancy Tax (SVT), “a slap in the face.” Minister Selina Robinson announced on July 20 the expansion of the SVT to additional communities on Vancouver Island and in the lower mainland, saying, "People in these communities have been vocal. They've been vocal about the intense housing pressures that they are facing, including speculation and near zero vacancy rates." Salt Spring Islanders have been vocal about the exact same issues and the urgent need for expanded local housing options since the community of 11,635 was first excluded from the tax in 2018. The island is being affected differently than its smaller neighbouring Gulf Islands because it has three ferry terminals and is adjacent to an area already covered by the tax, and because of its larger population and economy that extends …
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An island that fears all change can’t evolve

Did you know our local government is set to vote on allowing more small, eco-friendly housing options soon, but that even this cautious move that will only make a small dent in the housing crisis is enough to get some in the conservation crowd up in arms to block it? Here’s what’s going on. Very soon, the Islands Trust will vote on an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) bylaw, one of the key recommendations from its own Housing Action Task Force that Trust staff have been studying for over a year. This bylaw would create a path to legitimizing many existing cottages and suites and would even allow some new small homes to be built, albeit with all the same significant water and construction cost restrictions small homes have long faced. To be clear, while this is welcome, affordable housing advocates like me are disappointed with the Trust’s lack of ambition. We think it’s a first step not a last step, and that there is much more the Trust, and also the unengaged CRD and impenet…
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Notice of annual proactive enforcement of unlawful vacation rentals on Salt Spring Island

In response to the ongoing housing crisis, the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee authorizes annual proactive bylaw enforcement for Short Term Vacation Rentals (STVRs), which are potentially removing accommodation from the island’s long-term housing market. In accordance with the Islands Trust policies regarding bylaw investigations and enforcement, enforcement actions are primarily triggered when the Islands Trust receives complaints from community members that indicate that individuals or corporations are not complying with the land use regulations. In August 2019, the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (SSI LTC) initiated proactive enforcement measures when dealing with STVRs. Bylaw staff has since been actively reviewing and investigating online advertisements for STVRs and issuing fines for unlawful operations on an annual basis. “Islands Trust has heard from the public about growing concerns over the impacts of STVRs on their lives and the community at l…
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Local Community Commission for Salt Spring Island establishment referendum

On July 13, 2022, the Capital Regional District (CRD) Board decided to advance the creation an elected body with a scope of authority over specified island-wide services for Salt Spring Island, known as a local community commission (LCC). An LCC is a type of regional district commission with delegated authority over specified local services, comprised of elected, rather than appointed, membership. The purpose of this LCC proposal is to broaden CRD elected oversight and administration of certain delegated local services, to ensure decision-making regarding these services is transparent and reflective of the interests of the local community. The Capital Regional District will include a referendum question on the ballot of General Election in October 2022, to ask if Salt Spring Island voters support the creation of the Salt Spring Island LCC. “This form of commission would broaden community input by allowing Salt Spring Island electors to elect individuals to oversee cert…
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Seabreeze Inne residents temporary Kings Lane housing arriving on Salt Spring

In early 2022, BC Housing temporarily leased the Seabreeze Inne. This short-term agreement with the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation provided housing with supports for vulnerable members of the Salt Spring Island community. The Lady Minto Hospital Foundation agreed to extend the lease until July 15, 2022. Giving us time to build temporary housing at 154 Kings Lane. We are also very grateful to the Gulf Islands Seniors Residence Association (GISRA). They agreed to lease part of the land at 154 Kings Lane to us on a short-term basis. This allows us to create temporary supportive housing while working at completing permanent housing at 161 Drake Road. BC Housing struggled to find a new housing solution as the Seabreeze Inne lease was ending. We are very grateful to GISRA for their community support shown by working with us. The Black Diamond Group is providing the mobile housing unit. All services for residents and staff (including water, power and sewage) will be brough…
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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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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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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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Housing solution reached for Salt Spring Island 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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