ASK Salt Spring Explores Mental Health

Fifteen participated in this ASK Salt Spring gathering on one of those perfect last days of summer in the United Church Meadow. Although all questions were welcomed, the focus of the conversation was upon mental health in our community. We were pleased to welcome health professional and co-chair of the Salt Spring Health Advancement Network (SSHAN), David Norget; President of the Salt Spring Community Health Society, Jennifer Williams; and Willie McPherson, of the Chu’an Society. David began the conversation by speaking briefly about himself and his involvement with SSHAN, a network of health professionals and health-related non-profits working together to address health issues challenging Salt Springers. He initiated the conversation by briefly telling us about SSHAN’s mental health initiative, dedicated to collaborating and cooperating to bring seamless mental health services to our island. Jennifer told us about the mental health initiative of the Salt Spring Communi…
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Over $5500 Raised for Indigenous Legal Defence Funds During Unique Floating Concert

Local organizers with RAVEN Trust, an organization that leads Indigenous legal defence campaigns, raised over $5500 during Salt Spring Island's very first COVID-19 appropriate floating concert. The idea was dreamt up by local organizer extraordinaire, Andrea Palframan, who is the Director of Engagement and Communication with the Victoria based non-profit. The 'Throw a Boat Down - Concert Afloat with Luke Wallace' invited community members to participate in a truly unique Salt Spring Island fundraising experience that would also ensure physical distancing protocols could be observed. Over 40 different watercraft, canoes, paddle boards, kayaks, and small boats, with more than 80 people in them, floated together while listening to activist/musician Luke Wallace sing in support of RAVEN Trust's work. Another 50+ people also watched from along the shore. Luke Wallace played a number of his songs that included appeals for respect and preservation of the natural world and Indige…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Local Case Information

In the wake of the recent positive COVID-19 case in the community, physician offices are fielding many questions. We would like to direct people appropriately so we can focus on our patients’ needs. As individual family physicians, we have no additional information about the Salt Spring situation to give to the public - your family physician's office will not be able to provide further details. Instead, the places to look for information are the Island Health Website and the BCCDC. For information about local outbreaks and exposures, see the Island Health site. Friendly reminders about symptoms and testing: If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (dry cough, fever, headache) and need a swab call the 1-844-901-8442 number to book an appointment. Testing is not done if you do not have symptoms. If you are UNWELL with respiratory symptoms and need advice, contact 811 for advice or if symptoms are more severe, the emergency room at Lady Minto Hospital. If you have symptom…
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Local Organization SWOVA Becomes The Circle

This summer, SWOVA—Saltspring Women Opposed to Violence and Abuse—is announcing its new name. SWOVA Community Development and Research Society has become The Circle Salt Spring Education Society, a name that reflects its long-time work in schools with children and youth. The idea for the change was brought to the organization several years ago. SWOVA’s program facilitators suggested that SWOVA change its name to embrace a more inclusive perspective that empowers everyone with the attitudes and skills for healthy and respectful relationships. The process began with a discussion about how to prepare SWOVA for the next decades of its service to the Salt Spring community and beyond. After researching, brainstorming, and consulting, the organization’s staff and board decided on a name that’s easy to remember and say—a name that reflects SWOVA’s values, such as respect and diversity. Its new name—The Circle—reflects a key feature of the organization’s long-time work. When pr…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Kindness Will See Us Through

COVID-19 cases are up across the province, but mainly in the lower mainland and predominantly associated with larger gatherings. Cases in our local Island Health Authority thankfully remain low. If you have cold or flu like symptoms and are concerned you may have COVID, please call the COVID booking line at 1-844-901-8442 and you will be booked for testing at Lady Minto Hospital. Please do NOT just arrive at Lady Minto expecting to be seen. This overwhelms our staff, wastes resources, and makes for longer wait times for everyone. We want to ensure that those who actually need care, get it in a timely manner. Finally, a reminder to be kind. Hospital staff continue to endure rude and abusive behaviour. While we understand that the pandemic has increased stress, kindness and patience are the values that will see us through this together.
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COVID-19: Possible Exposures in Sidney

Island Health is notifying people who visited the following locations in Sidney between August 20 and August 22 about possible exposures to COVID-19.

Location

Address

Dates and Times

10 Acres Cafe & Market at the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa (NOT The Pier restaurant)

9805 Seaport Place, Sidney, B.C.

· Thursday, August 20 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

· Friday, August 21 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Mary’s Bleue Moon Cafe

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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Hockey Stick Apart

As new daily cases continue to increase, we are seeing the result of expanded social interactions of the last few weeks. In order to be able to enjoy the remainder of the summer and avoid going back to Phase 1 type restrictions, we need to keep practicing social distancing. Please continue to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice to protect the vulnerable members of our community.
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COVID-19: Research Team Using Island Health Data To Find Hidden Cases

A Victoria research team is using math and statistics to help anticipate future COVID-19 waves so that public health strategies can target ways to manage possible future outbreaks. This work is possible thanks to a $149,300 award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) COVID-19 Research Response Fund and the Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s (VHF) generous donors. “By estimating the number of undetected cases, we will gain a better understanding of the spread of the current wave and the underlying spread of a future wave,” explains Dr. Laura Cowen, principal investigator and Associate Professor in the University of Victoria’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics. “Our mathematical model will allow the detection of early signals that a future wave has begun, and identify infections among high risk groups such as the elderly, school children, and long-term care clients.” Using Island Health data, Cowen (also the Associate Dean, Research in the Fac…
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Under Pressure - Lady Minto Site Director Recalls Learning to Deal with COVID-19

Researchers at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control estimate that less than one percent of this province’s population was infected with COVID-19 during the pandemic’s first wave. That’s good news and bad news. The bad news, of course, is that the vast majority of us are still susceptible to the virus and must remain vigilant. The good news, however, is that the steps BC took to combat the pandemic worked to keep exposure and transmission rates low. Salt Springers are familiar with the very public role Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has played in teaching British Columbians about combatting the COVID crisis. However, few have been privy to what it was like inside the hospital, learning to deal with COVID. Lady Minto Hospital Site Director Sara Gogo says it was a rollercoaster. “With the information changing so quickly, we’d tell the staff one thing and then, sometimes that would change minutes later. We were really excited about some of the changes…
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Maliview (Salt Spring Island) Wastewater Discharge Notice

A failure of the outfall pipe from the Maliview Wastewater Treatment Plant has occurred resulting in treated effluent being discharged onto the beach intertidal zone. The area impacted is in the vicinity of the Maliview Wastewater Treatment Plant outfall pipe at the intersection of Maliview Drive and Walkers Hook Road on the northeast part of Salt Spring Island. As a result of this discharge, residents are advised to avoid entering the waters along the affected shorelines as the wastewater may pose a health risk. As a precaution and in consultation with Island Health, the beach within the affected area will be posted with public health advisory signs until repairs are completed and marine water sample results indicate enterococci levels are below the 70CFU/100mL recreational limit.
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Stay the Course

First, a big thank you to the community for trying so hard over the long weekend to follow the rules, even though the rules can definitely put a damper on having fun. Unfortunately, nothing changes: we need to stay the course with washing hands, social distancing and wearing masks when we can not maintain a 6-ft distance. This is the way we all need to function for the foreseeable future. Messages about school reopening in just a few short weeks are causing both anxiety and relief. There is still much to sort out to make school a safe environment for students and staff, and we will need to be patient as our education and health leaders work together to sort this out. Family physician offices and our Lady Minto emergency department are currently very busy, in part due to the accommodations in place for COVID. Please be advised that patients with non-urgent issues might have to wait to be seen.
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Kindly Wear Masks

Please be kind. As we move into month seven of the pandemic, in the medical field we are seeing more episodes of people lashing out at others or disregarding the rules. If you are feeling irritated, whether with the receptionist at your Family Doctor's clinic or the unit clerk at the entrance to the hospital, please remember they are doing their best under extremely difficult circumstances. New policies, new technologies, and ongoing stress are taking their toll on many of our staff. This also applies to all those individuals who are working in the community at grocery stores, the recycle depot, pharmacies and restaurants, to name a few, so that the rest of us can carry on with our day-to-day activities and enjoy our summer as best we can. Please do not take your frustration out on all the wonderful individuals who are trying so hard to keep all of us safe. We hope everyone has a chance to enjoy the BC Day long weekend with friends and family, but please follow the rules. I…
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Scrap Your Car for an eBike Rebate Increase and Business Cargo Bikes

The Province is increasing e-bike rebates for individuals and businesses to help make electric-powered bikes more affordable and accessible, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “The popularity of e-bikes is on the rise and our government wants to encourage more people to purchase and ride these bikes,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “That’s why we are boosting the e-bike rebates for people and businesses. E-bikes are a much cheaper alternative to cars and are a safe way to travel. We look forward to seeing more people using e-bikes for getting around.” People who trade in a vehicle to scrap now have access to a rebate of $1,050 toward the purchase of any type of new e-bike — an increase of $200 from the previous year. The rebate is delivered through the Scrap-It transportation options program. The ministries of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, and Transportation and Infrastructure are providing $1,000 toward the rebate,…
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Watch: BC Air Ambulance Services at Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring Island

We're fortunate to live in a community that has an outstanding local hospital, but when one of us is hurt and we need specialized medical attention at one of the larger hospitals in Vancouver or Vancouver Island, and we need it fast, this is how it happens. Watch the video below. BC Ambulance can transfer patients by ferry, but when the circumstances are critical and time-sensitive, in most cases here on Salt Spring Island, that transport is by helicopter. Since 1998, Helijet has been contracted to provide helicopter transport for the British Columbia Emergency Health Services’ (BCEHS) Air Ambulance using air medical equipped Sikorsky S76 helicopters. From their bases at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, BC, Prince Rupert, BC and Kamloops, BC, a dedicated team of pilots and engineers are on call to aid the need of the ambulance services for patients. The twin-engine helicopters and their dedicated crews are on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. T…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Increase in Cases

As numbers of COVID cases increase across the province, closer inspection reveals that a disproportionate number of these originated in Kelowna due to just a few larger gatherings and a relaxation in social distancing. If we want to keep our hard-earned freedoms over the rest of the summer, all of us must continue to do our part and follow the rules. For the sake of our local businesses, farmers and artisans who are all struggling to stay open, please follow the rules whether in a pub, at the market, or in the grocery store. If you are travelling off Salt Spring or welcoming visitors to your home, remember that these activities could bring the virus into our community. All Salt Spring medical clinics are open and our local family physicians are seeing patients. Please be patient with staff as they do their best to keep you safe. Finally, if you think you should be screened for COVID, please call 1-844-901-8442 and they will arrange an appointment for you at Lady Minto…
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ASK Salt Spring Talks Explore Salish Sea Bike Trail and Thermoplastic Road Paint

A total of 18 participants came to the United Church Meadow last Friday from 11-1 for the weekly ASK Salt Spring gathering. The discussion began with a few updates from previous ASK Salt Spring gatherings: A) Adam’s visit last week initiated two conversations: Salt Spring Solutions volunteers as well as other enthusiasts in our community are in the initial stages of generating community-wide advocacy to complete the long-delayed Salish Sea Trail, consisting of bike lanes from Fulford to Vesuvius. The completion of this would finally close the loop connecting Salt Spring to the popular Vancouver Island trail network. As the result of Adam’s questioning of provincial urban standards for our rural pathways, a conversation has begun advocating for these far less expensive rural standards. B) As a result of Emcon’s visit, there are efforts to bring over a water truck to keep down the dust so that our roads could be swept in dry weather. There is also an effort to bring …
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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 …
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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