Supporting Local Tourism and Ten Tips for Responsible Travel

Last week, the Province announced moving into Phase 3, the biggest change is encouraging travel throughout our Province. In June, we saw an uptick in visitors, and even more so when the announcement came last week. From conversations with shop owners, visitor centre staff and volunteers as well as personal interactions, most visitors are concerned about being welcomed, about minimizing their impact while they are here, and are excited to support the local businesses. I would like to remind everyone that patience and kindness need to be at the forefront right now. Our island businesses have taken a really hard hit over the last four months in an effort to keep their staff, customers and community members safe. Our local businesses are demonstrating a high level of diligence to health & safety practices while trying to stay afloat. Island businesses also need our community to step-up and welcome visitors who were respectful and stayed in their own communities until the …
Read more

Salt Spring Island Foundation Announces Additional COVID-19 Emergency Fund Grants

The Salt Spring Island Foundation has made four more grants to local charities from its COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund. The fund has reached almost $202,000 and distributed $148,000, including $61,550 in food cards, to support community needs. The food card program, made possible through the generosity of Country Grocer and the Upper Ganges Liquor Store, has benefitted many community members experiencing the economic impact of COVID-19. One local artisan, market vendor and single parent says, “The Saturday Market is my main income for the year. It sustains me to March, right when COVID hit. I had been running on empty and have been hustling to make ends meet. Groceries are the biggest expense. The grocery cards gave me almost a physical relief from stress and worry." Other major donations to the fund have come from the Foundation, Island Savings and the CRD, in addition to many individual donors. Recent emergency grants include: $12,562 to SSI Com…
Read more

Island Researchers Offer Timely and Defensible Knowledge

Every response to a large-scale disaster presents a window of opportunity to create profound change.   What are the opportunities for Islands Trust?  Our community has a renewed appetite for planning the community – they want a community and an economy that can be resilient to shocks, like pandemics or storms. Decades of poor resource management are manifesting themselves in declining fish populations, fragmentation of forest ecosystems, and loss of species diversity and habitat.  There are growing frustrations with land use planning and regulatory systems – not just ours but throughout the various levels of government. I believe it is time to clearly embrace the other powerful words in the Trust’s objective – “in cooperation with.” We need to work with residents, other partners and First Nations to protect our ecosystems, and to sustain this generation and those of the future. We have to help our island communities become more resilient in the times that lie ahead. In…
Read more

Islanders Working to Create a Community Space for Horse Activities

When I arrived on Salt Spring as a super awkward 12 year old I was homesick and lonely. Luckily, I had been promised more horse time and even my own horse one day to help sooth the sting of immigrating. I immediately began riding lessons with Jacky Cooper and joined the local Pony Club. At that time there was a booming community of “horsey” kids and we were a very active club. When we went to regional and provincial competitions, the SSI Pony Club was known for its outstanding horsemanship and we almost always won the horsemanship award! We were asked by other clubs how we managed to create such a cohesive and co-operative group and I believe our biggest asset was having a central barn where we all had our horses together. As a club we moved several times to different facilities until we most recently lost our beloved stables on St Mary’s lake, a blow we have not been able to recover from. Since the loss of our last home, the equine community has scattered and many have…
Read more

New Round of Funding for Salt Spring Farmers' Market Nurtrition Program

To help more lower-income British Columbians, people expecting children and seniors gain access to healthy, locally grown food, the Province has provided approximately $1.88 million in funding to the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. The funds were provided to the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM) to support the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program throughout the province. The program provides coupons for lower-income households to purchase fresh, healthy, local food at B.C. farmers markets. “Our government continues to support families and local farmers and producers as the demand for food programs has increased during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This coupon program helps improve the health and well-being of British Columbians and builds a sense of community by encouraging people to buy nutritious B.C.-grown food from local farmers and producers. “Over this year, an additional 600 households, or approximately 1,800 i…
Read more

COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Double Your Bubble

Dear Salt Springers, As you are all aware, many businesses and organizations are re-opening lately. Please be patient with new guidelines and potential wait times - people are doing their best, and we must be compassionate. Salt Spring medical professionals and hospital staff are working hard to plan for the best possible care of our community members now and in the coming months, taking into consideration the possibility of a second wave. We ask that everyone please head into summer cautiously, taking good care of ourselves and our loved ones, while continuing to social distance. Only "double your bubble" with a few trusted family or friends, and keep things local if possible. Please take a minute to read this overview of phased re-opening from Doctors of BC. Thank you!
Read more

Salt Spring Island Community Child Care Space Creation Program

The Capital Regional District (CRD) Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) has received $832,725 in funding from the Province of BC to support the creation of child and infant care spaces on Salt Spring Island. PARC previously received $214,000 in funding from the Province to support the construction of a purpose-built classroom to house recreation based pre-school program at the Rainbow Road Aquatic Centre, which is scheduled to open in September 2020. This additional funding will be used to expand the Rainbow Road Aquatic Centre to include a permanent 1,500 square foot multipurpose room. The new space will be available for a new or existing non-profit child care provider to occupy during weekdays and will be open to community groups and recreation programs in the evenings and weekends. It is scheduled to open in September 2021. “We are excited to announce the creation of new child care spaces for the community as well as additional indoor spaces fo…
Read more

Salt Spring Climate Action Survey Launched

Major Milestone Reached for Long-awaited 2030 Climate Action Plan - Transition Salt Spring has launched an online public engagement survey, giving Salt Spring Islanders a big opportunity to tell their leaders what they want to see in a climate action plan for their island home. “We’re really excited to offer Salt Springers this unique opportunity to participate online to help develop a climate action plan for our community," says Darryl Martin, chair of the volunteer committee working in cooperation with local officials to develop the Salt Spring Island Climate Action Plan. “We’re lucky to be one of six communities across Canada piloting this forward-looking community climate action tool.” With COVID-19 making in person public meetings impossible, the online tool couldn’t have come at a better time.  Participants are able to vote on policy options and community actions, and build a plan that works to reduce emissions as well as to prepare Salt Spring for higher wildfire r…
Read more

Salt Spring Island Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Fund Reaches Goal

A $30,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation Community Response Fund has boosted the Salt Spring Island Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund to its $200,000 target. The grant is intended for rapid community response to support the needs of vulnerable populations. Foundation Board Chair Brian Lawson says, “We are extremely grateful for the generous community response. Reaching this Emergency Fund goal enables the Foundation to continue to partner with donors and local charities to deal with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for the services of our non-profit organizations will undoubtedly increase as islanders experience loss of income and other challenges, including mental health issues, over the summer and beyond.” The Foundation’s emergency fund has already distributed $113,687 to Salt Spring charities, including over $50,000 in food gift cards distributed via local charities to those in need in the community. This has been made pos…
Read more

Meadowlane Seniors Housing Project Proceeding With a Final Project Design

The Gulf Islands Seniors Residence Association (GISRA) Meadowlane Project Chair, Janet Smith met with the GISRA Board of Directors to share the proposed design for the residences at Meadowlane. The board reviewed the plans and approved the design for the 50 unit residential facility that also includes dedicated space for the Salt Spring Seniors Services Society office and program room. “We are very pleased to have the final design.” said Ken Lee, GISRA Board Chair. “The board considered all of the options and settled on what we believe to be the best scenario for seniors and the community as a whole. The planned facility has 50 residential units as allotted under the zoning approved by Islands Trust. In addition, the medical clinic will remain in place and we have space for the Salt Spring Seniors Service Society.” In March we were facing up to a six-month delay due to the rejection of our application for a grant under the Canada/British Columbia Community, Cultural and R…
Read more

Country Grocer Community Kudos - This Week's Winner Is Charles Gosset

Each week Country Grocer will give a Community Kudos $50 Gift Card to a nominee submitted to the Salt Spring Exchange. Our first Kudos goes to Charles Gosset. Amidst  busy construction days in response to COVID prepping, Charlie donated his time to source free giant boulders, transport them and bring machines to construct a boulder meeting circle at Salt Spring Elementary in April. This stone circle is proving perfect for outdoor, social distance learning for students as they begin to return to school. For years, Charlie's Excavating employees have been super generous with time, materials, and machines to create outdoor learning spaces at Salt Spring Elementary. Congratulations Charlie! Next Thursday May 28th We’ll be announcing next week’s Community Kudos winner, please get your nominations in. If you’ve already sent in a nomination, it’s still in the running. Kudos to you! Together we’ll get through this.
Read more

BC MyHealth Provides Virtual Access to Health Records, Including COVID-19 Test Results

Enrollment in Island Health’s Patient Portal — MyHealth — has gone virtual, giving patients across Island Health easier access to their own digital health records, including COVID-19 screening results. In support of efforts to reduce unnecessary visits to our facilities, people can now sign up for MyHealth remotely. “With the newly available virtual enrollment feature, we are pleased the recently-launched MyHealth patient portal can play an even larger role in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Leah Hollins, Island Health board chair. “This is an empowering step for patients while adhering to the Provincial Health Officer’s direction on physical distancing and limiting visitors to our hospitals. With access to their own health records anytime from anywhere they can get all kinds of test results quickly, review results in real-time during virtual care visits, and make informed decisions about their care plan.” Information about the enrollment process is available…
Read more

Salt Spring Island Foundation Announces Spring 2020 Grants

The Salt Spring Island Foundation is pleased to announce over $84,000 in spring grants for island charities. The Foundation thanks the many caring donors who make our grants possible. Capacity-Building Grants. This spring, $15,000 is being directed to projects that aim to strengthen our local charities: Graffiti Theatre: $5,000 toward a feasibility study for a multi-use performing arts education and recreation centre. I-SEA (Institute for Sustainability Education and Action): $2,500 to assist in strengthening the organizational capacity of Transition Salt Spring by implementing a new governance structure that would enable it to effectively manage the ongoing work of climate action implementation on Salt Spring Island. Salt Spring Island Community Services/Salt Spring Health Advancement Network: $7,500 to develop a stewardship committee and a two-day mental health symposium to be held in November 2020. The goal of the symposium is to better address mental health an…
Read more

Salt Spring's Kyle Topping Signs Pro Hockey Deal

The San Jose Barracuda, proud American Hockey League affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, and General Manager Joe Will announced that the club has signed forward Kyle Topping. Per club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed. "Kyle is playmaking two-way centerman with a high hockey IQ and we're excited for him to join the organization," said Will. In a shortened 2019-20 season, Topping, 20, finished with 33 points (12 goals, 21 assists), 14 penalty minutes and a plus-six rating in 33 games with the Kelowna Rockets. Over a four-year career in the WHL, all with Kelowna, Topping finished with 196 points (71 goals, 125 assists), 177 penalty minutes and plus-41 rating in 226 games. The six-foot, 191-pound, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, native attended the Sharks Development Camp in 2019.
Read more

COVID-19: SD64 Schools Moving Toward Phase 3 Part-Time In Class Instruction

As you most likely have seen in the media or heard from your schools, the education sector is a key part of BC’s Restart Plan. Here in SD64, we have been working alongside the Ministry of Education and our neighbouring school districts to ensure that we are moving forward together and consistent with the expectations set out in BC’s plan. School districts across the province are moving toward increasing in-school services for students. Specifically, beginning June 1, learning in SD64 will look like this: Stage 3: Ministry of Education Return to Learning in Classrooms In-class learning for students in kindergarten to grade 5 on a part-time basis Access to in-class learning as needed for grades 6 to 12 on a part-time basis Remote and online learning continues to be available for students Families can help us plan for the change by completing the Voluntary Return to School Survey. Having an accurate idea of who will be coming to school and who will be staying c…
Read more

COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Stay Close to Home This Weekend

Again, we thank you for your excellent efforts to flatten the COVID19 curve in weeks past. It is because of your dedication to our community’s health that we can begin to relax a few of the restrictions. At this time, we still need to adhere to some important guidelines to minimize the risk of a secondary outbreak. If we continue on this good path, we will be able to relax things further in June and July. Please: This long weekend, make smart choices. Stay close to home so we can keep our communities safe. Stay informed, be prepared and follow public health advice Practice good hygiene Frequent hand washing Avoid touching face Cough into your sleeve Disinfect frequently touched surfaces Stay at home and away from others if you’re feeling ill Don’t go to school or work sick Maintain physical distancing outside your household No handshaking or hugging Small numbers of contacts Keep a safe distance Clean your home…
Read more

Country Grocer Community Kudos - Who Would You Like to Nominate?

We’d like to celebrate our community’s many acts of kindness and generosity during these COVID-19 times. At Country Grocer, for years, we have been inviting the community to give Kudos to our staff when they provide notable service. Well now, with your help, we’d like to give Community Kudos to individuals or groups who deserve thanks for their contribution during these challenging times. Definition of kudos: 1) Praise / Accolades. 2) Credit for one’s achievements Each week we’ll draw a name from your submissions and thank them with a Community Kudos $50 Gift Card. Entries not drawn will remain submitted. Each Thursday we’ll announce the name drawn on the Salt Spring Exchange. Together we’ll get through this. https://youtu.be/yQDk33-kBFY Fill out the form below to nominate your Community Kudo.
Read more

COVID-19: CRD Opens Outdoor Recreation Facilities

Effective May 14, outdoor recreation facilities will reopen at the Capital Regional District’s four recreation centres: Panorama Recreation Centre, Greenglade Community Centre, Sooke and Electoral Area Parks and Recreation Commission (SEAPARC), and Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (SSI PARC).

The following outdoor facilities will be open:

Panorama Recreation: outdoor tennis courts, outdoor basketball court Greenglade Community Centre: outdoor basketball court SEAPARC: skate park, bike park SSI PARC: outdoor tennis courts, multi-sport court, bike park, skate park

Signage will be posted at each facility reminding users to observe health and safety precautions and follow best practices for physical distancing. These measures will help to ensure a safe outdoor recreation space for all. Users are expected to continue to adhere to public health guidelin…

Read more

COVID-19: Island Health Begins Implementing Surgical Renewal Plan

Island Health is resuming elective surgeries with new measures in place to keep patients, staff and medical staff safe. We are now in the process of contacting patients to determine their health status and whether they are willing and able to move forward with surgery. We recognize some individuals may wish to continue to postpone their surgery. To limit the number of patients requiring in-person pre-surgical assessments, Island Health is implementing new procedures to support virtual assessments, wherever possible and appropriate. These services will include virtual assessments, consultations and individual or group education sessions. To minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19, a number of measures are being implemented as part of the surgical process: When possible, patients will be assessed through a virtual pre-admission clinic by video conference prior to surgery. Modified scheduling and workflows to maintain physical distancing. Enhanced screeni…
Read more

COVID-19: Mental Health During the Pandemic

I have felt so many things during this unfolding time of the COVID-19 pandemic—the challenge of adjusting to the unknown; grief in what is happening in the world; care for our elderly and immunocompromised; appreciation for my own life slowing down and my own privilege when I know that there are so many in our world and in our community experiencing hardship. There are more. As I read the news and observe comments and reactions, it seems to me that the pandemic is showing us where there are gaps in society. Some have safety nets; others do not. Disparity in income, race, ability, the haves and have-nots, is being revealed to all. I have greatly appreciated leaders like Dr Bonnie Henry who have shown themselves to be knowledgeable, pragmatic, and caring. I also appreciate how many people are coming together. There is a different kind of reaching out occurring, whether it is people reaching out to family, friends, people they haven’t contacted for a while, or building connecti…
Read more

COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Current Update - April 30th, 2020 - 1:27 PM

Thank you Salt Springers for your efforts to flatten the curve. It has worked and you have given local health care providers time to organize and prepare to care for you in the coming months. Ongoing, we will only post if there is news that is specifically relevant to Lady Minto and Salt Spring. Please continue to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s recommendations, wash your hands, do not touch your face and maintain your distance.
Read more