COVID-19: Letter from MP Elizabeth May to Her Constituents - March 24th, 2020 - 4:59 PM

Hi all, I know all of us like to be social, so social-distancing is a challenge, but please do it! I am keeping our Sidney office staffed, but only one staff person at a time. Please call ahead as we are not taking walk-in meetings. We are dealing with quite a few stranded constituents and trying to get their travel plans sorted. We appreciate your calls and updates, which I relay to key ministers. When we had a lot of calls from people who wanted the U.S.-Canada border closed, I used that for additional pressure as we have been pushing for the border to close. As you know, that is now happening and will take effect Friday night. I have sent emails to all the other elected levels of government, MLAs, mayors, CRD directors, First Nation chiefs and the Islands Trust office in Victoria to maintain contact and share developments in this fluid situation. Meanwhile, all Members of Parliament are offered a daily technical briefing by telephone conference on developments an…
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COVID-19: Letter to Constituents from Adam Olsen MLA, Saanich North and the Islands - March 24th, 2020 - 2:02 PM

Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia Provincial Health Officer, and the Minister of Health Adrian Dix, have been exemplary in the handling of this crisis. It’s important that everyone in our community follow their recommendations to help stop the growth of this virus. For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, please visit http://covid-19.bccdc.ca. As a result of their recommendations we have closed our constituency office to walk-in traffic. Our team is working from home and will be available by email (Adam.Olsen.MLA@leg.bc.ca) and by phone (250-655-5600). We will continue to process casework as usual and advocate on behalf of everyone in Saanich North and the Islands. I’m very concerned for the health and well-being of everyone in our community, especially those who are at the greatest risk and for those whose income or business is affected by the closures. I’m working hard as your MLA to advocate for solutions that meet your needs, especially for those hit harde…
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COVID-19: Open Letter to Residents of Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands

Dear Residents of Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands, We are living through unprecedented times. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a society-wide mobilization previously seen only in wartime. Public guidelines are being revised daily and the pace of change can feel overwhelming. It may be difficult to understand who is in charge and what is being done to keep our families and island communities safe. The Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, is leading pandemic planning and response across BC. She has declared a provincial health emergency and ordered the closure of schools, restaurants and personal service businesses, restricted mass gatherings, and ordered international travellers to self-isolate. These orders are not suggestions. Our communities require 100% compliance for measures to be effective and violations should be referred to the police non-emergency line. Island Health and their local resources such as the Lady Minto Hospital are …
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COVID-19: Southern Gulf Islands Leaders Say Pandemic is Threatening Our Fragile Communities - March 23rd, 2020 - 10:47 AM

The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening our fragile Southern Gulf Island communities. The surge of visitors coming to these islands to seek refuge from the pandemic, are potentially compromising the health and well-being of Gulf Islands residents on Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Salt Spring, Saturna islands, plus many smaller islands in this region. These rural island communities do not have the appropriate services and emergency resources to deal with an extra 100, 200 or 300 more people. Off-island visitors don’t know if they have been exposed to the virus – our islands cannot provide adequate support. “Today our Islands need to focus on the needs of residents, says Gary Holman, Salt Spring Island Electoral Area Director – “We need our Gulf Islands precious medical resources for our most vulnerable, especially for those who are immune compromised.” Dave Howe, Southern Gulf Islands Electoral Area Director, representing Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Saturna islands, urges current visito…
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COVID-19: Islands Trustees Ask Visitors to Stay Home - March 22, 2020 - 2:34 PM

Islands have a higher percentage of seniors, and limited resources and supplies - Island trustees from across the Gulf and Howe Sound Islands are going public with a plea for people to stay away to minimize the spread of Covid-19 and to reduce pressure on limited island services. Trustees urge islanders to stay home and practice social distancing as recommended by Provincial Health Office Dr. Bonnie Henry. “Now is not the time to be visiting the islands,” said Peter Luckham, Chair of Islands Trust Council. “Most Gulf Islands have a median age of over sixty years old and limited or no medical services. First responders are volunteers who are practicing sheltering in place in order to be available for normal emergencies. We urge everyone to stay home and avoid discretionary travel to and from the islands. As ferry-dependent communities, we are especially vulnerable and face additional challenges. Now is not the time to take a holiday or visit your vacation property.” Many i…
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COVID-19: Trustee Laura Patrick's Message on COVID-19

Hello Salt Spring! I’m Laura Patrick, your Islands Trust Salt Spring Island trustee. If there was ever a time for your local elected officials to be united and working together, it’s now. Our CRD electoral area director, Gary Holman, knows that he can count on my full support. Everyone on Salt Spring needs to be pro-active and take precautions to help slow down the spread of this virus. That means staying home and practicing appropriate social distancing. Listen to the Provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. Listen to staff at Lady Minto Hospital. Do what they say. You can find Lady Minto’s and the CRD’s daily information posts on the Salt Spring Exchange and Gulf Island Driftwood websites. I am grateful for the Lady Minto hospital and medical staff on this island who are taking the lead on this public health emergency. I am grateful for the emergency program and response personnel who are prepared to respond to this pandemic. I am grateful to all the i…
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COVID-19: CRD Approach to Business During the Outbreak - March 16th, 2020 - 2:03 PM

According to the Provincial Health Officer there continues to remain a low risk for transmission of COVID 19 within the region though it is expected that we will see an increase of cases as the situation progresses. The Provincial Health Officer is encouraging organizations to operate their businesses as usual with increased attention to common sense practices and measures to support social distancing. It is strongly recommended that events that bring more than 50 people closely together – indoors or outdoors – be cancelled for now. This does not apply to buildings and recreational sites where social distancing practices are able to be employed. Persons that are ill are requested stay home until they are better. Based on the current recommendations of BC public health officials, the CRD will be implementing the following guidelines to direct operations in the region recognizing that recommendations may change in response to the situation as it evolves. Boards, Committees …
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MLA Adam Olsen on the Recent Wet’suwet’en Swartz Bay Protest

This week I saw my riding grapple with mixed emotions to the protesters who blocked the Swartz Bay ferry terminal for two hours in what they said was an act of solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs who are opposed to the Coastal Gas Link pipeline currently being constructed in their territory. Living in this vibrant democracy is not easy. We all recognize the constitutionally protected right to protest, but when these acts of democratic engagement impact our daily lives, it can be hard to stand behind those foundational principles. Things are often easier in theory than in practice. But nothing worth doing ever does come easy. The very freedoms and rights we enjoy today as Canadians have not come easily and protecting them today requires every one of us to remain diligent and engaged. While I must defend the right for people to peacefully demonstrate it is also important to publicly encourage people to use tactics that advance the interests that they are…
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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 Affordable Homes for Seniors Coming to Salt Spring Island

Seniors with low to middle incomes will soon benefit from 22 new affordable rental homes, as construction begins on the expansion of Croftonbrook. "Seniors deserve to have safe and affordable housing, close to their friends and loved ones, said Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo, on behalf of Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Thanks to the partners who have worked to give seniors a good place to call home, our elders can stay in their community. Located at 132 Corbett Rd., Phase 2 of the development will provide 10 studio units and 12 one-bedroom units for seniors. This is such a wonderful announcement, and I raise my hands to everyone who helped make it happen,said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. With more affordable, accessible homes that allow seniors to stay on Salt Spring, our community is made richer and more vibrant. The safety and security of a comfortable home is a human right and I am grateful we have begun to chip…
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MLA Column: Species at Risk, No Closer to Stand-alone Legislation

Living around the Salish Sea, we are all too familiar with the plight of the Southern Resident Killer Whales. We remember Tahlequah, the orca who carried her dead calf for nearly three weeks in August 2018. It sent a message that captured global attention. The W̱SÁNEĆ people have a very close relationship with the orca whales. They have fished the waters of the Georgia Strait alongside one another for generations. Now these magnificent creatures are at risk of extinction and both the Canadian and U.S. governments have listed them as endangered. The orca is just one of more than 1800 species at risk of extinction in British Columbia. While our province is the most bio-diverse in the country, we are only one of three provinces that does not have species at risk legislation. Unfortunately, as we near the end of 2019, we are no closer to stand-alone legislation to protect the endangered species in the province. While the BC NDP government made the commitment to legislate p…
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Podcast: Adam Olsen with Folk Musician Luke Wallace

In this episode of The Public Circle Podcast, I return to the original format with a conversation with Salt Spring Island folk singer Luke Wallace. As it turns out, Luke had many more questions for me than I had for him. He is a fantastic interviewer! Over the past few years, I have come to know Luke as a powerful advocate for social justice and environmental issues and it has long been a goal of mine to get him on the podcast. For the past decade he has been making incredible music and touring the province hosting fundraising concerts for issues he is passionate about: Trans Mountain Pipeline, Lelu Island and Site C Dam. In this conversation, we discuss approaching life and our work with honesty and authenticity. We cover the disconnection between people and the land and our approach to governance at the community, provincial and federal levels. Luke is a powerful advocate for Indigenous rights and we have an extended discussion about the Declaration on the Righ…
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Rally Photos: Islands Trust Urged to “Show your plan” On Affordable Housing

A growing movement to encourage local government bodies to work harder on bold and systemic solutions to the housing crisis held a positive rally this morning at the Islands Trust offices. People from all walks of life - including parents and children, farmers, working people, business owners, health care and education workers, and retirees - who are impacted by the crisis attended to show that housing solutions need to be a top priority of our community’s leadership. Standing behind a large banner that said “Housing Action = Climate Action”, speakers highlighted that the way development is done on the island now is not sustainable. “With hundreds of large, high resource use new homes being built with virtually no requirements that they conserve energy, water, or forests, this is not meeting the Trust’s mandate to preserve and protect our environment or unique island culture. The intense pressures limiting the housing stock and raising the cost of rental and affordable ho…
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First Year as Your Islands Trust Trustee

I am now one full year into my four-year term as your Local Salt Spring Island Trustee with the Islands Trust.  You might know about my work with the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (LTC), but did you know about my work over the larger Salt Spring Local Trust Area, which extends across the water from Salt Spring towards Vancouver Island and down the Saanich Inlet towards Galiano, Mayne and Pender Islands?  This area encompasses over 25 smaller associated islands such as Prevost and Piers Islands. I am also a Trust Council Vice Chair and the appointed Chair of the North Pender, South Pender, Saturna and Thetis Island LTCs. At the Trust Council level, I am serving on the Executive, the Local Planning and the Financial Planning committees.  I also sit on numerous Salt Spring and regional committees and round tables on topics like climate action, watershed protection, and farm planning.  With all of these commitments, I find that I spend a lot of time travelling to and …
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Breaking: Elizabeth May Steps Down as the Leader of The Green Party of Canada

“Effective today, I am no longer leader of the Green Party of Canada,” said announcing her resignation. “I wanted to choose a moment when we had a lot of success before leaving.” Effective today May is no longer the leader of the Green Party of Canada. The new acting leader is Jo-Ann Roberts. May will be staying on as Parliamentary Leader and the MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands.

“Effective today, I am no longer leader of the Green Party of Canada,” said @ElizabethMay announcing her resignation. “I wanted to choose a moment when we had a lot of success before leaving.” #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/zdewK28iik

— Power & Politics (@PnPCBC) November 4, 2019
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Proposed New CRD Community Safety Service FAQ

The Capital Regional District ("CRD") Board proposes to adopt Bylaw 4325, “Salt Spring Island Community Safety Service Establishing Bylaw No. 1, 2019”. The new Salt Spring Island Community Safety Service is proposed to assist, administer, promote, organize, implement, and monitor community safety initiatives and programs in the Salt Spring lsland Electoral Area. Here is an list of Frequently Asked Questions about the service. Why the need for this new service? A recent increase in vandalism and civil disorder in Ganges Village prompted a series of meetings organized by the Chamber of Commerce, United Church and islands residents, resulting in the formation of an ad hoc committee to share information. These meetings identified constraints on resources for existing agencies (including repeated, unsuccessful attempts by the RCMP to acquire additional officers) and the lack of consistent and focused local funding support for community engagement with the RCMP and social se…
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Alternative Approval Process Begins for Salt Spring Island Community Safety Service

Alternative Approval Process for Bylaw 4325, Establishment of a Community Safety Service on Salt Spring Island - The Capital Regional District (CRD) has announced an Alternative Approval Process (AAP) will be conducted for a community safety service on Salt Spring Island. The CRD Board endorsed creation of a Salt Spring Island community safety service at their September 11 meeting, with the goal of funding community programs across the electoral area. Establishment of any new CRD service requires voter approval of a bylaw defining the mandate and maximum tax requisition for the service. With Provincial approval secured, the AAP (“counter petition”) has been initiated. Elector response forms in relation to Bylaw No. 4325 must be received by 4:00pm on Friday, December 6, 2019 to be counted. “There is a gap in our services on Salt Spring and this is an opportunity to prioritize and advance community safety initiatives and programs,” said Gary Holman, Electoral Area Director.…
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Student Vote Canada 2019 - How Would/Did They Vote?

More than 1.1 million elementary and secondary school students from 8,000 schools participated in Student Vote Canada 2019. Votes were cast in all 338 ridings. More than 1.1 million elementary and secondary school students participated in Student Vote Canada 2019, coinciding with the 2019 federal election. After learning about the electoral process, researching the parties and platforms, and debating Canada’s future, students cast their ballots for the official candidates running in their school’s riding. 1,181,053 votes were reported from 7,855 schools, with results from 338 federal ridings. The Liberal Party took 22.3% of the popular vote and won 110 seats, forming a minority government. Justin Trudeau won in his riding of Papineau. The NDP will form the official opposition with 24.8% of the popular vote and 99 seats. Jagmeet Singh won his seat in Burnaby South. The Conservative Party took 25.1% of the popular vote and won 94 seats. Andrew Scheer won his s…
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May Wins Reelection - 2019 Federal Election Saanich-Gulf Islands Results

Saanich—Gulf Islands is a federal electoral district in British Columbia, Canada, that has been represented in the House of Commons of Canada since 1988. It is named for its geographical location across the Gulf Islands and Saanich Peninsula in the Vancouver Island region. More than 21 percent of Saanich—Gulf Islands' residents are immigrants, and more than 19 percent are older than 65, making this the riding with the third largest senior population in Canada. The riding has a median age of 48.3, making it the riding with the highest median age in Canada.[2] The average family income is $70,814; unemployment is 5.9 percent. 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 Watch the All Candidates Debate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKsa7ANxkWo Riding History The electoral …
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Watch: 2019 Federal Election All Candidates Debate Video

Watch the video of the all candidates debate for the 2019 Federal Election hosted at Gulf Islands Secondary School (GISS) on October 16th, 2019. Saanich—Gulf Islands is a federal electoral district in British Columbia, Canada, that has been represented in the House of Commons of Canada since 1988. It is named for its geographical location across the Gulf Islands and Saanich Peninsula in the Vancouver Island region. Major party candidates for the riding are Elizabeth May, Green Party, Ryan Windsor, Liberal Party, David Busch, Conservative Party, Sabina Singh, New Democratic Party and Ron Broda, People's Party of Canada https://youtu.be/rKsa7ANxkWo
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Interview: Positive Planetary Changes from Elizabeth May's Vantage Point

I’ve been waiting to interview Elizabeth May for a while because she has her finger on the pulse of the nation and planet when it comes to the positive changing tides that are going on around us. From my perspective she is keyed into this because of her awareness of what is needed to pull us back into environmental balance. In this show I was astonished to realize that Canadians are kept in the closet about how other countries are farther along and considerably more determined with their progress in turning climate issues around. On one hand I felt really grateful that other countries are so committed to saving our planet. On the other it made me question why Canada is so far behind with our own progress. As you know the Gulf islands are in Elizabeth’s riding. Her heart is truly loyal to us by the way she speaks about us with adoration. I think the feelings may be mutual ;) What we discuss on this show: The profound changes Elizabeth is witnessing on the pla…
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