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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A Closer Look at My Constituency and Legislative Work

As we near the autumn equinox, I would like to share a brief update with you and take a closer look at the two halves of my work as a Member of the Legislative Assembly. For about half of the year my work is based out of the Legislature in Victoria. There is a spring session and a fall session. In February, we begin a four-month stretch sitting Monday to Thursday. Fridays and weekends are reserved for in-constituency events, meetings with constituents and reconnecting with family. The fall sitting is in October and November and the rest of the year I’m working in my constituency or visiting other parts of the province. I have had a wide-ranging legislative agenda over the past two years. A couple of highlights include, working with government early in the term to successfully ban big money from British Columbia and a persistent effort to launch wild salmon into the provincial political discussion by connecting the health and well-being of salmon with the province’s manage…
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Partnerships Working to Create More Child Care Spaces on Salt Spring and Across BC

Families throughout British Columbia will have better access to closer-to-home child care, thanks to new provincial guidelines that allow local governments to pair funding programs and purchase land to create new child care spaces. Municipalities and regional districts can now apply for up to $4 million to buy land for child care centres and create new licensed child care spaces in their communities. Previously, the maximum funding available was $1 million and local governments had only one fund to draw from, leaving them to cover the costs of land purchases and additional spaces for new child care projects. “We recognize this government is making historic investments in child care in B.C., and on behalf of the Capital Regional District and Salt Spring Island, I want to express our gratitude for the project funding we received through the first intake. We look forward to pursuing further opportunities resulting from this exciting announcement today.” - Gary Holman, e…
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Elizabeth May - Listening is the Primary Ingredient

As we open the menu for Canada’s election, how will Canadians choose the healthiest possibilities? Who looks most appetizing? We really must investigate the ingredients, starting with the one we know best, here in Saanich/Gulf Islands. Elizabeth May lifted a glass to us when she said, “It is the community spirit of our area that inspires and encourages me to be the best MP I can be. For the last eight years, it has been an honour to work for you.” Maintaining top attendance in that wine cellar known as Ottawa’s House of Commons, she refuses the acidity of heckling – instead, sprinkling other MPs with kindness even when strongly disagreeing with their policies. The savory in her more than 80 townhall meetings since 2011 is her respectful, 1 1⁄2-hour recipe: 25 minutes summarizing parliamentary activities, followed by an hour listening to questions and providing answers. Elizabeth understands that listening is the primary ingredient, as it is the only way that meanin…
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Transition Salt Spring Leads New Climate Action Plan for Island

The Climate Action Group, a project of Transition Salt Spring, is developing a citizen-led climate action plan to address the climate emergency. The plan, due to be released Spring 2020, will focus on the island’s transportation, food systems, land use, buildings and infrastructure and natural systems. This past August, they formed a steering committee to guide the climate action planning process. Recommendations in the plan will outline what the three levels of government, businesses, organizations, and residents can do to reduce emissions as well as adapt to a rapidly destabilizing climate. The impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere. For Salt Spring, the impacts are already being seen through more extreme and unpredictable weather patterns including wind and snowstorms, dangerous local fire conditions and smoky air from forest fires in neighbouring jurisdictions. The destabilizing climate is also having a profound impact on everything from the health of our…
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Affordable Rental Housing Cottages Survey

Please join us on Saturday, September 7th for a Community Information Meeting regarding Bylaw No. 512 (Affordable Rental Housing – Cottages). This is an opportunity to learn more about the project and discuss the proposed rezoning of approximately 400 properties on Salt Spring Island to permit cottages for full-time residential rental, instead of “seasonal cottages” for temporary use. Bylaw No. 512 was developed to increase the supply of affordable rental housing on the island in a way that is consistent with policies in the Salt Spring Island Oficial Community Plan.
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Salt Spring Island LTC Takes Legal Action on Unlawful STVR

The Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (SSI LTC) has authorized legal action be taken against the owner of an unlawful short-term vacation rental (STVR) located on an Upper Ganges Road property. The SSI LTC is seeking a court order stopping the use of the property as a STVR, which is contrary to the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee Land Use Bylaw. In response to the ongoing housing crisis on Salt Spring, the SSI LTC has taken a proactive approach on unlawful STVRs, which are potentially removing accommodation from the long-term housing market. “Islands Trust has heard from the public about growing concerns over the impacts of STVRs on their lives and the community at large,” said Peter Luckham, Chair of the Salt Spring Island LTC. “In addition to the very real concerns that these unlawful STVRs are affecting the amount of long-term rental housing available for island residents, we’ve also heard about increased noise, problems with traffic and parking, and …
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Video: Elizabeth May Opens Salt Spring Green Party Office for Fall Re-Election Campaign

The Salt Spring Green Party office opening ceremony featured bags of buttery popcorn; it was also the launch party for a short film about our MP, Elizabeth May. Why make a film about Elizabeth now? As Elizabeth explained, for many Canadians, she is known mainly as one of Ottawa’s ablest politicians. But to really understand her political life, you need to know that she is first and foremost an activist. Politics is the vehicle she saw she needed, to get to where we need to go now. The 24th of August, she remembered, “that was the anniversary of when I was first tear-gassed”. Elizabeth’s mother was working to quell the nuclear arms race and had gone with her 14-year-old daughter to support the election of the anti-war candidate, Eugene McCarthy, at the Democratic national convention. Eventually, her family moved to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where Elizabeth became heavily involved in efforts to prevent the spraying of the pesticide agent orange on local forests. Even thou…
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Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission Releases 10-Year Strategic Plan

Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) has released the Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation 2019-2029 Strategic Plan. The Plan outlines strategies, actions and priorities that guide opportunities for parks and recreation, seek community and stakeholder input and explore the long-term program and facility needs for the community. The following strategic priorities have been identified: Provide a diverse mix of outdoor athletic facilities; Create more and enhance existing access to our lakes and oceans; Create, enhance and maintain our community parks; Plan and develop an interconnected network of exceptional trails across the island; Provide a diverse range of indoor recreation facilities; Provide engaging recreation programs; Invest in our capacity to deliver excellent service; Communicate with our residents; Minimize barriers to participation The mission of the Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission is to provide access to quality, safe…
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Trust to Put Brakes on Fulford Inn 'Vortex' Project

As many of you know, our proposal is a Development Permit with Variances. We propose to amend the motel, liquor store, and pub uses under the existing zoning into a modern, vibrant village square that offers an immersive Saltspring experience to visitors, while providing an essential gathering place for South Island residents, an essential community component sadly missing since the closure of the Fulford Inn ten years ago. Our application represents the highest standard of professional development, which provides a significant cultural amenity for our community while ensuring ongoing stewardship and protection of the Fulford Creek and estuary. After an extensive application process, we have finally learned that the staff will not recommend the application. Their interpretation of the bylaw is that the variances, which include three small retail kiosks of 300 sf (which would replace the liquor store use approved for the site), a market square for community gathering, while…
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