IWAV granted $18,500 from collective fundraising network of 100+ Women Who Care

Eighty-two members of the 100+ Women Who Care Salt Spring group gathered via Zoom on a rainy November 17th to hear compelling five-minute presentations from three worthy Island causes. An anonymous vote was cast in real time, revealing the charity of choice who will receive a $18,500 pooled collection is IWAV, or Islanders Working Against Violence. “Our staff are thrilled for this amazing contribution from women in our community to extend our outreach services and support for our second stage residents,” explains IWAV’s Executive Director Kisea Petersen. “These women have left intimate partner violence or other gender-based violence and look to IWAV to help them regain confidence, resiliency, and a healthier future for them and their children.” For almost 30 years IWAV has been providing safety and services for women experiencing violence, abuse, and poverty. With 28 staff and several volunteers, it operates multiple programs and facilities including a 24-hour crisis line…
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Plan ahead for essential medical appointments on Vancouver Island

Overnight closures of Highway 1 on the Malahat for the next several days have prompted the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to limit the route to essential travel only. Currently, there are no major disruptions to Island Health’s health-care services. If this changes, people with booked appointments for medical care will be contacted to reschedule. More information will be shared if the situation changes. People with essential medical appointments that require a trip over the Malahat should monitor travel advisories and plan for extra travel time in the event there are delays as a result of road repair work. Island Health will work with patients to reschedule non-urgent appointments if that is their preference.
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Boil water advisory for Fulford Water Service

Update as of 2021 November 20: The boil water advisory issued on Nov. 16, 2021 for the Fulford Water Service on Salt Spring Island is now DISCONTINUED. Two consecutive sample sets collected from locations at the watermain break site have been analyzed and indicate that the water is now safe to consume. The CRD, in consultation with Island Health, have rescinded the advisory. Update as of 2021 November 16: The Capital Regional District (CRD) in consultation with Island Health have issued a Boil Water Advisory for residents on Morningside Road and Tahouney Road within the Fulford Water Service Area in the Salt Spring Island Electoral Area (refer to map below). Residents in the impacted area should BOIL their drinking water until further notice. Water quality may have been compromised as a result of a watermain break and system depressurization caused by intense rainfall events on November 14 and 15, 2021. As a precaution, the Boil Water Advisory will be in effect until f…
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Heavy rain causes partially treated wastewater discharge into Ganges Creek

High intensity rain events on November 14 and 15, 2021 caused combined stormwater and partially treated wastewater flows to exit the Ganges Wastewater Treatment Plant and enter the storm water system and discharge to the ocean at the outlet of Ganges Creek. The shoreline affected is in the vicinity of Gasoline Alley and Beachside Cafe in the Village of Ganges on Salt Spring Island. As a result of these discharges, residents are advised to avoid entering the waters along the affected shoreline, as the wastewater may pose a health risk. As a precaution and in consultation with Island Health, beaches within the affected areas will be posted with public health advisory signs until sample results indicate enterococci levels are below the 70CFU/100mL recreational limit.
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Heavy rain causes untreated discharge from Maliview wastewater plant

High intensity rain events caused combined stormwater, treated and untreated wastewater flows entering the marine environment through the discharge outfall pipe from Maliview Estates Wastewater Treatment Plant on November 14 and 15, 2021. The shoreline impacted is in the vicinity of the 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 these discharges, residents are advised to avoid entering the waters along the affected shoreline, as the wastewater may pose a health risk. As a precaution and in consultation with Island Health and the local municipalities, beaches within the affected areas will be posted with public health advisory signs until sample results indicate enterococci levels are below the 70CFU/100mL recreational limit.
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New Provincial acute care visitor policy at Island Health hospitals

Island Health is highlighting an important amendment to the Provincial Acute Visitors Policy that will protect vulnerable patients and care providers by helping to keep COVID-19 and variants out of our facilities. Effective Tuesday, November 9, 2021, visitors to Island Health hospitals will need to be fully vaccinated, and show proof of vaccination, to enter. Visitors who do not demonstrate they are fully vaccinated will not be able to enter a facility, including passing through to access an outdoor space, with a few exclusions: children under age 12; individuals with approved medical exemption documentation; and unvaccinated visitors who meet specific care setting criteria. Care teams will also consider requests for a visit from an unvaccinated visitor based on the following exception guidelines: Visits as a support person to the Emergency Department; Visits to the Intensive Care Unit; Visits for critical illness and end-of-life care; Visits for …
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New funding secured for Bishops Walk to Drake Road trail upgrade project

The Capital Regional District’s (CRD) Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) recently received $90,127 in funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream (ICIP-CVRIS). Thanks in part to this funding, PARC is moving ahead with the Drake Road Trail Upgrade Project. The Drake Road (Bishops Walk) Trail is a connector trail starting at Cypress View Road through to Drake Road where users can then access Salt Spring Commons, Mouat Park and the downtown core. The trail is approximately 480 m long by 1.8 m wide and is a multi-use community trail. “This announcement comes on the heels of us completing our final phase of Salt Spring Commons, a new affordable housing project owned by Salt Spring Island Community Services. Upgrades to this established pedestrian trail will provide residents and neighbours year-round walking opportunities.” - Rob Grant, Executive Director of Salt Spring Island Community Servi…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Thanksgiving reflection, vaccine appeal

Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to reflect on all the things we have to be grateful for. One of these is the fact the Salt Spring has so far been spared the worst impacts of the COVID pandemic. However, we have not been immune to the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID) virus in our community.  In fact, as the fourth wave of the pandemic has swept across BC, September saw the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID on the island and already in October, we are seeing higher numbers of confirmed cases than previously. The delta variant of COVID is proving to be much more easily transmissible with lower level of exposure and causes severe illness with lower levels of virus exposure than the original ‘wild type’ COVID virus that was circulating this time last year. Fortunately, the mRNA and viral vector vaccines are proving to provide high levels of protection against severe illness from the delta variant, including hospitalization and ICU admission. They also decrease th…
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How will your garden grow? Transition Salt Spring launches Rainwater Harvesting Rebate pilot

Growing things need water, and water requires a source. If it's from a well, we're thinking of you. We're Transition Salt Spring, and we are proud to be offering the Rainwater Harvesting Rebate for non-potable water for folks on wells. With our longer, drier summers, many of the aquifers we rely on are under increasing stress. Harvesting rainwater from our rooftops for irrigation purposes helps retain more of that valuable well water. Our Climate Action Plan 2.0, (https://transitionsaltspring.com/climate-action-plan-2-0/) Chapter 8 “Climate Action for Freshwater Ecosystems,” calls for the Implementation of wide-scale rainwater harvesting and enhanced water conservation. Together with forest retention, this will help maintain water levels during our increasingly hot and dry summer months, reduce sedimentation, and decrease the number and severity of bacterial or algal incidents. As a step towards making these recommendations reality, our new Climate Action Coach program…
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Is this #GoodbyeSaltspring?

Life for most of us here has been pretty hard since the pandemic. Particularly for many who were just barely making island life work before Covid, the combination of forces that smacked into the whole world has made life even more difficult for many on Salt Spring. "I am living in a mobile home with my two kids for $1,700 a month. I can barely afford gas and food, and I work more than full time hours. I barely get to hang out with my kids because I am working so much just to keep a roof over their head." In the past 3 years of working on the issue, I’ve come to learn more about the drivers of our housing crisis than I ever really wanted to. From the wider trends of what happens to desirable communities when market forces are allowed to run without any controls, to all the ways the Islands Trust, CRD, North Salt Spring WaterWorks, and even private homeowners contribute to our very local version of the problem here. “We have moved nine times. Lived in a one room vacation re…
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Island Pathways gathers to celebrate achievements

Island Pathways held a Thank-You Event at Portlock Park on October 1st that was long overdue. Host and chair of Island Pathways’ Partners Creating Pathway (PCP) committee, Jean Gelwicks, said, “We owe a debt of gratitude to those who have been and are supporters of community pathways.” Island Pathways had planned to hold a much larger event before COVID hit, to celebrate its completion of the sections it spearheaded of the Ganges Village Pathway Network (GVPN). The final section is the pathway from Central at Portlock Park to the beginning of St. Marks Cemetery, located on Barker Road. The realization of this pathway network, a CRD-PARC Community Task Force wish from 30 years ago, has gone unheralded, even though islanders have been working steadily toward the fulfillment of this goal since the Task Force recommended, followed by its embedding in SSI’s Official Community Plan. “Island Pathways takes thanking people seriously” says Gelwicks. “We owe all the people from the…
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The Circle teams up with Bullock Lake Farm for boys program

The new school year has started and The Circle Salt Spring Education Society is gearing up for their Pass it On programs. New this year is the collaboration with Bullock Lake Farm for the Pass it On Boys program. Pass it On is a safe and trusted space to develop core skills in the area of healthy relationships such as trust-building, acceptance, active listening, and boundary setting. The Circle is excited for the new partnership with Bullock Lake Farm for the Pass it On Boys program. This collaboration will offer participants the opportunity to explore concepts of care, independence, leadership, and responsibility for themselves and others through hands-on, farm-based activities and projects.  Using a new delivery model, The Circle’s Kate Nash will lead a team of mentors, including local farmers, a filmmaker and some senior youth to take participants along the journey of an impactful curriculum in support of self-development. “Bullock Lake Farm offers a playful and dy…
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Community gathers for Climate Strike in the Meadow

Over 70 community members gathered this past Friday at the Salt Spring Island United Church Meadow for the Climate Strike in the Meadow, organized by Transition Salt Spring. Youth led the way, with many speaking passionately about the future they are facing due to the failure of the older generation to act in time to save them from the worst impacts of climate change. It will always be the most marginalized who suffer from the failures of any community, and on Salt Spring that means those with poor housing or no housing, people of colour, Indigenous people, and low income people was main message of presenters. Speakers from all of these groups spoke and urged Islanders to act now to support climate change mitigation initiatives, while there is still hope to turn things around. The current way of doing things has systematically marginalized billions of people around the world. It's time to create a society that places people and planet over profit. Calliope Choir sings at …
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Lady Minto Hospital Foundation reaches $10.4 million goal to build a new Emergency Department

At its 2021 Annual General meeting on Thursday, September 23rd, the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation announced that it has achieved the goal of raising $10.4 million to build a new Emergency Department. The good news was announced by the Chair of the Emergency Department Campaign Committee, Carol Biely. “The support and encouragement we have received throughout the Emergency Department Campaign has been exceptional” she said. “We have raised a large amount of money in a very short time. This reflects how much the hospital, and its wonderful staff, mean to Salt Spring residents and visitors”. Carol Biely, who spearheaded the successful campaign, noted “we will now be moving on to the other needs of the hospital by maintaining a Capital Fund for future projects”. Executive Director Roberta Martell explained that while the Emergency Department campaign has achieved its ambitious target, ongoing fundraising continues on behalf of the hospital. She pointed out that “housing for …
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Larmour Lands Protected!

A dedicated group of islanders and their many supporters and donors are celebrating a successful community fundraising effort this month. Both Lot H and Lot F of the Larmour Lands are now protected! With a final appeal to “help us cross the finish line,” donors jumped to action. Their support and generosity, along with that of the Salt Spring Island Water Preservation Society and conservation partners, secured the rich habitats and ecological values on both Lots H and F from logging and other development pressures. In the fall of 2020, their first fundraising target was met, and the 20 acres that comprised Lot H was purchased. This success meant that its vital forests and wetlands will be protected in perpetuity as a nature reserve, managed and stewarded by the Water Preservation Society and the Island Trust Conservancy. At the end of August 2021, Lot F’s 20 acres were also purchased. The biodiverse mature forest on the upland portion of Lot F will receive long-ter…
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Locals gather at 'Right to Choose' sidewalk rally in opposition to pandemic mandates

Around 200 community members gathered together this afternoon in Ganges on Salt Spring Island in what organizers described as a 'Right to Choose' sidewalk rally. The event was intended to demonstrate solidarity with those who oppose mask and vaccine mandates being implemented by Federal and Provincial governments in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Demonstrators stood together along the Centennial Park pathway and Lower Ganges Road encouraging passing motorists and pedestrians to join them in their support of medical freedom and the right of choice in opposition to mask and vaccine mandates. Numerous protest signs with messages that included 'My body, my choice", "If the vaccine works, why the passports?", "No masks on kids", "Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of the truth.", "Stop medical tyranny, say no to mandatory vaccines" and more were carried by participants, many of whom hoped to raise awareness about what they see as the infringement of pe…
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Provincial government launches COVID-19 BC Vaccine Card

The Province is launching the BC Vaccine Card, a digital or printed document that shows the stage cardholders are at in their COVID-19 vaccine progress. The BC Vaccine Card will allow vaccinated people to conveniently and securely show their proof of vaccination at higher-risk social and recreational events and settings when new COVID-19 vaccine requirement rules take effect on Sept. 13, 2021. This will help increase vaccinations, while protecting people in these settings, keeping businesses open and allowing events to take place. “Getting vaccinated means we can bring people back together and do more, safely, and with confidence that we’re not putting those who aren’t fully vaccinated at risk,” said Premier John Horgan. “We have made the BC Vaccine Card easy for people to get, and easy for businesses to check at a glance. The card is a significant step in getting our economy running on all cylinders, and returning to social events safely with the confidence that those ar…
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New Emergency Department Campaign: Preparation meets opportunity

According to the Roman Senator and philosopher Seneca, “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” I am living proof of that centuries-old adage. At 56, when I experienced persistent discomfort across my shoulders and ribs, I put it down to a recurrence of acid reflux, which I had experienced years ago prior to my permanent move to Salt Spring Island. But when the pain persisted during that September of 2016, I asked my brother and sister-in-law, who—fortunately—were visiting us from Toronto, to drive me to Lady Minto Hospital to get checked out. In retrospect, I thought at the time that I might be overreacting and wasting valuable emergency time and resources on a minor inconvenience. Little did I know I was on the verge of death. Days later, lying in the ICU cardiac wing of the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, the puzzle pieces slowly came into focus. When I exited the vehicle in front of the Lady Minto Hospital emergency doors (my brother, Jim, thankf…
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Locally elected leadership make appeal to vaccine hesitant

Dear residents of Salt Spring Island, We understand that some Salt Springers are hesitant to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We understand that your body is your own, and that we all look after our bodies in the ways we personally deem as important. This pandemic has shown us that we also have to look after one another. As neighbours, as family and friends, as Salt Springers and Gulf Islanders, we have come together to protect our communities for the past year and a half. We supported our healthcare and frontline workers with a nightly cheer. We checked in on each other when we were all asked to stay home. We are all exhausted by COVID-19, but the pandemic is not over. We are encouraging all our constituents to make community health a top priority by getting vaccinated. As of August 23rd, 71% of eligible Salt Springers have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, this is the second lowest in the Capital Region. Vaccines have dramatically reduced the…
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Locals gather at Salt Spring RCMP detachment in solidarity with Fairy Creek protestors

Over 100 community members gathered together this afternoon in front of our local Salt Spring RCMP detachment in solidarity with protestors defending old-growth forests in and around Fairy Creek on Vancouver Island. The demonstration was part of a coordinated series of peaceful protests in Burnaby, Victoria, Sooke, Dunca, Parksville, Courtenay, Nelson, Sechelt, Vernon and in other communities across BC working to send a message to the Provincial Government and RCMP leadership to 'stand down' and stop what advocates are calling highly aggressive and violent protester extraction tactics involving RCMP use of force, pepper spray and other police tactical techniques. Protestors at Fairy Creek have been on site in the old-growth forest valley for more than one year now in opposition to the planned and ongoing clear-cutting of the dwindling old-growth forests across Vancouver Island. Clear-cutting which numerous Indigenous community members, scientists and global forest protect…
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B.C. launches proof of vaccination to stop spread of COVID-19

Starting Sept. 13, 2021, proof of vaccination will be required in B.C. for people attending certain social and recreational settings and events. This important step will continue to increase the vaccination rate across the province and provide confidence to fully vaccinated people that those around them are also fully vaccinated. “Vaccines are our ticket to putting this pandemic behind us,” said Premier John Horgan. “So I call on all eligible unvaccinated British Columbians to roll up their sleeves to stop the spread, and help protect themselves, their loved ones and the people in their community. British Columbia has one of the strongest vaccination rates in Canada with 75% of eligible people now fully vaccinated, but there is still more work to do.” A new order from the provincial health officer will require individuals to provide proof of vaccination to access a broad range of social, recreational, and discretionary events and businesses throughout the province. As …
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