2017 Country Grocer Valentines Photo Contest Winners!

It's almost Valentines Day! Thank you to everyone who participated in our photo contest sponsored with prizes from Country Grocer. First prize was for a $150 gift certificate for dinner at Auntie Pestos along with two concession winners who will each receive a $50 Country Grocer gift cards. There is also an unexpected special prize for an unexpected special entry. Winners were selected by random draw. Congratulations and thanks to all the couples who sent in amazing photos of their love. Scroll to the bottom of the photos to find out if you won! Concession Winners - Lorcan Pitcher and William Curtin Concession …
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Salt Spring Fire and Resuce Gets New Pumper/Tanker

Salt Spring Island Fire Department in Salt Spring, BC, Canada has taken delivery of a Midwest Fire side control tanker-pumper built on a Freightliner M2 106 chassis with a Cummins ISL-350 Engine and an Allison 3000 EVS Transmission. Unit has a 3,000-gallon APR Polypropylene tank and aHale MBP 1,000 PTO pump. It is also equipped with Newton 10-inch dump valves, a Zico electric portable tank carrier, and Whelen warning and scene lights.
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Video + Photos: Women's March on Salt Spring Island

Just one day after Donald Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States, Women’s March was held in Washington, DC and all over the world in solidarity against the divisive campaign and policies of the new leader and incoming cabinet. Women and community members on Salt Spring joined in to support the movement with an estimated 500-600 people participating in the march and silent walk. The purpose of this non-violent, inclusive and intersectional protest organized by Nomi Lyonns, Kim Tebbutt and Sharyn Carroll was to take a stand for and support women’s rights with women from all races, all religious communities, all political affiliations, cis or transgender and all sexual orientations. Watch the live video to hear the speakers and see the photos of community members who stood together during the event.
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Salt Spring’s SPCA and Country Grocer Team Up!

Today, I was in Country Grocer speaking with Cindy, who works in the Nutrition Department. She also advises pet owners about holistic external and internal products for their pets. With her knowledge, I found what I needed for my sweet old dog with gum disease. At the same time, a stack of 15% off discount vouchers for Country Grocer’s Paws & Whiskers Pet Pantry were on their way to Salt Spring’s SPCA. How are these two events related? The answer is good news for people who are considering pet adoption from the island’s SPCA. Salt Spring’s Country Grocer and the SPCA have joined forces. If you go to the SPCA and adopt a pet, you will receive 15% off your first purchase at the Paws & Whiskers Pet Pantry. So not only do you get to go home with a furry bundle of love, but you also receive a great deal on now much needed food and/or supplies. If you’re not yet a pet owner, then you probably haven’t peered into the Pet Pantry. It has a lot of options! From dog bo…
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Salt Spring’s Vital Statistics

Island charity launches ambitious survey of our community and its challenges - Think you know Salt Spring? Ever wondered what makes this island of 10,000 very different souls tick? What it’s got—and what it needs? Have you thought about the issues that most concern islanders? Are we happy? Miserable? Or are we just muddling along? Over the coming months the Salt Spring Island Foundation, the charity that helps local charities, will endeavour to answer many of these questions through an ambitious project called Vital Signs®, an initiative that has been undertaken by many community foundations across Canada. Launched to coincide with Canada’s 150th anniversary, Salt Spring’s Vital Signs report will be published in October 2017 and will present a unique snapshot of the island and the people who live here. Managed and produced professionally, but guided by a steering committee of Foundation and other community volunteers, Vital Signs will gather data from government and local…
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Video and Photos: Salt Spring Rallys to Protest Kinder Morgan Pipeline

Community members and groups opposed to the recently approved Kinder Morgan pipeline gathered this afternoon on Salt Spring Island to protest the project's high environmental risks. Organized by Transition Salt Spring guest speakers included Briony Penn and Adam Olsen, candidate for Saanich North and the Islands in the upcoming election. Organizers, musicians, speakers and participants promised high opposition to the project and have only just begun organizing to prevent implementation of the project. Learn more about the project from Dogwood and RAVEN Trust.

Live: Kinder Morgan pipeline protest #saltspring #saltspringisland

Posted by Salt Spring Island on Saturday, December 10, 2016
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Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Launches New Registration Software

The Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) will launch a new recreation software platform that will streamline services and provide more flexibility on December 7. PARC, along with multiple Recreation Centres in the region, have signed on with PerfectMind, an innovative registration software platform that will provide PARC users access to online registration 24/7. Submitting park use permits, registering for programs and booking facilities at the PARC office is currently limited to regular business hours of Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm. The new platform will allow residents to register for all PARC programs, swimming lessons, submit park use permits, book facilities and even renew pool passes online. “This new software will allow us to increase access to recreation opportunities while keeping costs down,” said CRD Director Wayne McIntyre. “The PARC office is only open during regular business hours creating barriers for those with busy schedules. We hope to …
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Canucks Calendars for Children in Hospice

One minute on the Facebook page for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice is a bitter-sweet experience. The page reveals stories and photos of families who have a child struggling with life-limiting conditions. And in any given moment, about 1,400 children in British Columbia are doing just that. It’s a truth that motivates many, from private donors to corporate sponsors. One of these sponsors is the Canucks for Kids Fund. That’s right―the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks answered the call for support shortly after the vision was born for North America’s first children’s hospice. And one of the ways that the team raises money for the fund is through the sales of Canucks Calendars, which are available at any BC Pharmasave. The calendar includes the official game schedule, a selection of great team photos, and some valuable coupons. Partial proceeds from the calendar sales are donated to the Canucks For Kids Fund. Moreover, each one includes an exclusive code that enters you and yo…
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Pass It On - Engaging Boys & Young Men Project Looking for Input from Boys/Young Men 13-19 Years

What are the needs of boys & young men (cis- trans- & non-binary inclusive) in our community and the ways to ensure these needs are addressed? This is the question being looked at by the Pass It On - Engaging Boys & Young Men Council comprised of men, young men & boys (cis- trans- & non-binary inclusive). We are looking for input from boys & young men 13-19 years in a 5-minute online survey regarding issues and needs relevant to them. Our community can help by encouraging boys and young men they know to fill this out. The survey can be found here. The project is being coordinated by David Norget through a contract with SWOVA Development & Research Society with grants from the Salt Spring Foundation and the Ministry of Justice (BC Civil Forfeiture) with additional generous sponsorship from Salt Spring Island Country Grocer. The Council is made up of various men, young men & boys from different parts of the community to advise on the project. “There is a great role for…
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Centennial Park Master Plan Draft Design Released

The Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) will review a draft design for Centennial Park’s updated Master Plan following an extensive community consultation process. The updated Master Plan will inform Capital Regional District (CRD) decisions for the next twenty years about long range capital projects as well as design and management decisions related to day-to-day and short term activities within Centennial Park. Community consultations highlighted that Centennial Park has a fantastic location, hosts great events and boasts a few well-loved features including the tree canopy. The consultations also helped identify where Centennial Park can be improved to fulfill its potential as a well-utilized and welcoming space, particularly on days without planned events. Areas for improvement include design limitations, safety issues and limited connection to the waterfront and surrounding village. Most of the trees in Centennial Park were planted a few years af…
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Pharmasave: Helping to Keep the Flu at Bay

Oh, the achy muscles, the nasal drip, headache, sore throat, fever, and fatigue. And the children who suffer from earaches, nausea, and vomiting. Most of us are familiar with the flu blues. Despite our best efforts to keep our families healthy, the flu still gets into our schools, workplaces, and homes. Each year, many flu viruses go around, and they are constantly changing. Lynn Vanderwekken, a pharmacy manager at Pharmasave, commented that the 2016‒2017 flu vaccine has been updated to better match the viruses. Virus strains are predicted based on viruses that circulated in the Southern Hemisphere’s 2016 winter. The2016‒2017 Northern Hemisphere’s vaccine protects against three different viruses as was recommended by the World Health Organization: Influenza A/California (H1N1); Influenza A/Hong Kong (H3N2); and Influenza B/Brisbane. Although the statistics are different in Canada due to a less dense population, stats show that in the United States, every year 300,000 p…
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Photos: Terry Fox 2016 Thank You

A big THANK YOU to the over 125 participants and 70 reliable and generous volunteers who brought forth this year’s Terry Fox Run. The run raised over $2500.00 for cancer research. We appreciate the generosity of Embe Bakery, Country Grocer, TJ Beans and Tom Watson from Recreation Excellence for nourishing our tired and hot participants. The entertainment was perfect for the occasion and we want to acknowledge the SS Concert Band, Nicky Mackenzie and Samba du Soleil for giving of their musical talents. We also want to recognize the contributions of the following groups: Salt Spring Film Festival Parks and Recreation Recreation Excellence Rainbow Road Pool Salt Spring Exchange Gulf Islands Driftwood Shaw Cable Island Savings The Salt Spring Sneakers MainRoad Taoist Tai Chi on Salt Spring Island Tom Vergalen, TNT Signs Slegg Lumber Fraser Auto Repairs SD #64 Early Learning for Families (ELF) program Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue Finally, thank…
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Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope Inspires the Island

Hundreds of thousands of people across Canada are expected to participate in the Annual Terry Fox Run on Sunday, September 18th, a fundraising event taking place in over 800 communities nation-wide that continue to embody the indomitable spirit of Terry Fox. Salt Spring Island will live up to doing things a bit differently by holding its event on Sunday September 25, 2016. Terry’s Marathon of Hope in 1980 heralded a new age in fundraising. Terry was an innovator, raising funds for a disease that was still referred to in whispers while attempting to run across Canada, an athletic feat few able-bodied athletes would even consider. He ran with his artificial leg exposed, he talked about his experience with cancer; he gave hope to those suffering from the disease. Terry’s grassroots approach was a direct reflection of who he was – and Canadians embraced him with an intensity rarely seen before. There is no doubt that Terry’s example of courage and perseverance lives on to…
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Family Fun at Salt Spring’s Newest Nature Reserve

This summer, Blackburn Lake Nature Reserve was the place for families to get their “Vitamin N”! Family Days are geared toward families who want to participate in games, open activities, and self-directed discovery in a natural setting. A number of themes and learning topics have been covered so far this summer. From bats, the Great Blue Heron, and the Northern Red-Legged Frog―which are all species at risk―to the plants and animals at Blackburn Lake. The Western Painted Turtle inhabits numerous lakes on Salt Spring Island, including Cusheon Lake. It’s hoped that eventually they’ll move into the protected habitat at Blackburn Lake Nature Reserve. If you spot cages on lake shores, these cages are for protecting turtle nesting sites throughout the summer and winter and into the spring. Coordinators Cathy Lenihan and Charlotte Bowman are excited to be offering one final Family Day this summer. Youngsters are encouraged to bring their adult(s) on Sunday, August 28, to learn …
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Water: Where Does It Go? Where Will It Come From?

On the evening of Thursday, August 18, about 130 islanders gathered at the end of a sweltering hot day to discuss Salt Spring Island’s water supplies. A panel of experts was invited to attend the event, Tackling Drought, by the Salt Spring Island Water Preservation Society who presented the event to start a community discussion about options. Panelists addressed topics related to their expertise, answered questions that had been presented to them weeks before, and fielded questions from the audience. Moderator Jean Brouard brought a healthy dose of humour. Don Hodgins, Co-chair of Salt Spring Island Watershed Protection Authority Technical Working Group, presented first. His presentation was scientific and technical with one shocking statistic: of the amount of water that can be withdrawn from St. Mary Lake, 65% is lost to evaporation. Human use is less than one third, and the remainder is used for maintenance of Duck Creek’s ecology. Ron Stepaniuk, the Manager of Nort…
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Islanders Benefit from Ideal Protein

In the last 7 months, Salt Spring islanders have lost a total of 627 pounds due to Ideal Protein. Even better, these people now have a healthier pancreas, a loss of body fat while sparing muscle mass, and an increase in energy. Most importantly, they experience a decrease in inflammation and the risk of developing conditions such as Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, or hypertension. Gary Utter and Linda Ramsey, husband and wife and owners of Pharmasave here on Salt Spring Island, heard about the Ideal Protein program at a retreat with other Pharmasave owners in the fall of 2015. Although the program has been around for over 25 years, it came to Canada from Europe only 10 years ago. Gary and Linda were skeptical about what they were hearing. But, as the saying goes, “the proof is in the pudding is in the eating”―in this case, literally―so they offered to find out for themselves. Gary wishes he did before-and-after photos. After the first of four phases, which took two…
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Copper Kettle Cooks for A Community Cause

Burger lovers were drawn by the tempting aroma of a gourmet burger BBQ on Saturday at Country Grocer. Copper Kettle volunteers barbequed 200 burgers in 5 hours to raise money to continue providing homes, shelter, and emergency supplies to Salt Spring Island’s poor and/or homeless. Most of the Copper Kettle’s donations come in November and December, so volunteers host five or six BBQs during the leaner months in front of Country Grocer. Summer is Copper Kettle’s busy season due to greater community need. Those in need include families asked to leave their rentals that become AirBnB’s for the lucrative summer months. Some are asked to leave when snowbird homeowners return. Other housing options are either not available or are substandard and unhealthy, yet still rented at price greater than their value. Some families or people simply have a drastic change in their luck, such as injury or illness that prevents them from working or a job loss. Social services take time to …
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Centennial Park Master Plan Design Options

The Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) has embarked on a community consultation process to inform a comprehensive update to the 1966 master plan for Centennial Park. The updated Master Plan will set a long term vision for Centennial Park and guide future operations, management and capital investment decisions. From the Roundtable meeting and Design Charette held earlier this year, three draft designs have been produced. (View all the design options below.) PARC is looking for community feedback on the draft designs to form a comprehensive update to the Centennial Park Master Plan. Feedback can be sent via email or in person at Portlock Park, 145 Vesuvius Bay Rd. Gathering input from you and other community stakeholders is essential for the CRD and its consultants to understand current park uses and issues, and begin to explore opportunities to enhance and revitalize this important public space. Thank you to all who have participated. Charette …
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Provincial Health Issues Warning Over Fentanyl Related Deaths

A significant increase in drug-related overdoses and deaths has prompted provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall to declare a public health emergency. This is the first time the provincial health officer has served notice under the Public Health Act to exercise emergency powers. B.C. is the first province to take this kind of action in response to the current public health crisis from drug overdoses. The action will allow medical health officers throughout the province to collect more robust, real-time information on overdoses in order to identify immediately where risks are arising and take proactive action to warn and protect people who use drugs. “The recent surge in overdoses is a huge concern for us,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “We have to do what’s needed to prevent overdoses and deaths, and what’s needed is real-time information. Medical health officers need immediate access to what’s happening and where so they can deploy the necessary strategies to prev…
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Active Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Risk In Vesuvius Bay

The Pacific Shellfish Inspection - Canadian Food Inspection Agency is reporting an extremely high Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) risk in Pat Bay and Vesuvius Bay this week. There are very high levels of saxitoxins in Vesuvius Bay and Pat Bay currently. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans have closed the areas to shellfish harvesting. However if an unaware member of the public recreationally obtains bivalve shellfish, they would be at high risk of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning. Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) occurs after eating toxin-containing bivalve shellfish. The toxins are produced by toxic marine dinoflagellates (a small algae) that are sometimes but not always associated with red tides. There are several species of dinoflagellates that can produce toxin and these includeAlexandrium spp, Pyrodinium bahamense var compressum, andGymnodinium catenatum. The main type of toxin associated with paralytic shellfish poisoning is saxitoxin. Saxitoxin is water-soluble…
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