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 His presentation was scientific and technical with one shocking statistic: of the amount of water that can be withdrawn from St. Mary Lake, 65% is lost to evaporation.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…Read more about Water: Where Does It Go? Where Will It Come From?
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…Read more about Islanders Benefit from Ideal Protein
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 …Read more about Copper Kettle Cooks for A Community Cause
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 …Read more about Centennial Park Master Plan Design Options
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…Read more about Provincial Health Issues Warning Over Fentanyl Related Deaths
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…Read more about Active Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Risk In Vesuvius Bay
The Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (SSILTC), the North Salt Spring Water Works District (the District) and the Salt Spring Island Watershed Protection Authority (SSIWPA) will collaborate on finding solutions to potable water issues that balance the need for future development with the limited resources on the island. “Managing our limited water resource in a sustainable manner is a priority for the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee and we will work with all involved partners to find a lasting solution that is best for the community,” said Peter Luckham, Chair of the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee. “We are fortunate on Salt Spring Island to have the NSSWD with a long history of water management and SSIWPA’s leadership to collaborate and manage what we have today and plan for what we need in the future.” The SSILTC recently commissioned and received a Water Conservation Demand and Management Plan (the Plan) with information about the potable water…Read more about Local Organizations Work Together on Water Issues
Water has long been the mode of transport, the giver of life and food, and the source of strength for all human and non-human life sharing the coastal rainforest bioregion of British Columbia. According to water researchers, flooding and droughts have become the “new normal” in much of B.C. as a result of a changing climate. Seasonal droughts in this region encourage the rare “Garry Oak” ecosystems, and many other features of this unique environment. Droughts also pose significant challenges to our human and built environment, and it is essential that communities work proactively to manage the water so that its abundance and quality strikes a balance. Fine tuning of water in our lifestyles is required. Water Fair 2016 is all about providing the Gulf Islands community with tools and knowledge to embrace and benefit from the ‘winter wet’ and the ‘summer dry’ conditions. Attend the Fair to gain access to a range of easy tools and technologies from pond and rainbarrel cons…Read more about Salt Spring Island Water Fair 2016
Halalt First Nation has filed Notices of Civil Claim in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against Catalyst Paper, British Columbia and Canada to Protect Their Ancestral Lands from Dioxin Pollution On February 1, 2016, Halalt First Nation (“Halalt”) filed Notice of Civil Claim against British Columbia and Canada for their failure to protect Halalt’s Aboriginal Rights and title from the toxic effects of pollution from the Catalyst Paper Corporation’s Crofton Mill. According to Environment Canada documents, the Crofton Mill is the single most polluting pulp mill in British Columbia.Separate litigation was filed againist Catalyst Paper on January 22,2016 as a result of Catalyst Paper refusing to adopt technology that would drastically reduce the amount of air and water pollution generated by Crofton Mill. Halalt First Nation is not necessarily seeking closure of the Crofton Mill, but is determinded to engage with Catalyst Paper, Canada and British Columbia, to ensure t…Read more about Crofton Mill - Halalt First Nation Files Lawsuit
Following the recent earthquake in the area the Salt Spring Island Emergency Program (SSIEP) sent out an e-mail request to all POD and Neighbourhood Leaders to respond and provide a description of what they experienced with the earthquake. PODS Who Responded: 30 out of 53 PODs reported in (57%) North (18 Responses): North End, Trincomali, Walker’s Hook, Vesuvius, Mobrae, Channel Ridge, Bullock, Fernwood, North Sunset, Duck Creek, Maliview Central (20 Responses): Churchill, Dukes, Ganges Village, Brinkworthy, Norton, Mount Belcher, Mount Maxwell, Ganges Hill, Cusheon Lake, Long Harbour, Mount Erskine South (19 Responses): Weston, Outer Beddis, Fulford, Stowell, Musgrave, Mount Tuam, Isabella, Beaver Point, Stewart Communications 59 POD and Neighbourhood leaders (17%) 8 non-leaders 88% responded within the first 16 hours (via email to SSIEPC) 2003 people received Facebook notification (only 2 responses received) Earthquak…Read more about Post-Quake Analysis
An earthquake with magnitude 4.8 (with some reports suggesting magnitude 4.9 and 5.1) occurred near Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada at 11:39:29 local Pacific time on December 29th, 2015. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.) The National Tsunami Warning Center has advised that no zones of coastal British Columbia are at risk from this event. Repeat, no zones of coastal British Columbia are at risk from this event. Nearby Cities 17km (11mi) NNE of Victoria, Canada 22km (14mi) NE of Langford, Canada 22km (14mi) NE of Colwood, Canada 38km (24mi) SE of Duncan, Canada 17km (11mi) NNE of Victoria, Canada Video: Earthquake hits Victoria and Surrounding Areas Captured on Security Cameras What is an earthquake? Earthquakes with magnitude of about 2.0 or less are usually called microearthquakes; they are not commonly felt by people and are generally recorded only on local seismographs. Events with magnitudes of about 4.5 or greater …Read more about Earthquake Hits Near Salt Spring
You are invited 7:00 PM, November 3rd, 2015 to a book launch of Briony Penn’s newest book, The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan at Artspring. This book is an official biography of Ian McTaggart Cowan (1910–2010), who revolutionized the way North Americans understood the natural world and is known as the “father of Canadian ecology.” He was no stranger to the suppression of scientists or challenging pipelines – all before most of us were even born. He pioneered nature television in its very earliest days and later hired David Suzuki. From his formative years roaming the mountains around Vancouver looking for venison to his last years co-editing the voluminous and authoritative Birds of British Columbia, Cowan’s life provides a unique perspective on a century of environmental change—with a critical message for the future. Penn will be joined by Cowan’s former students, Bristol Foster and Bob Weeden, in an entertaining evening celebrating the life of …Read more about Book Launch - The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan
What a beautiful day of beautiful people celebrating diversity on Salt Spring Island. There was a wonderful community turnout out today for the 2015 Salt Spring Island Pride Parade. Another very successful community gathering here on the island that drew many visitors and tourists to the island along with upcoming federal election hopefuls, Elizabeth May (Green Party) and Alicia Cormier (NDP). Here’s a sample of the day in time lapse video and photos from the parade. Enjoy! https://youtu.be/H-CJ5Y4mqm0Read more about 2015 Salt Spring Island Pride
An incredible experience, it touched all corners of Salt Spring and brought our community together as rarely seen before. Everyone embraced the challenge with enthusiasm even though we didn't win the big prize. People of all ages and interests voted day and night, recruited their friends and relatives near and far, and spread the word in every possible direction. There are wonderful stories of distant friends of Salt Spring voting 1000's of times and 'robot' dances all being performed in our homes and businesses as we enjoyed helping the Island cause. Congratulations to Monroe Park for winning the $250,000 Grand Prize. If HEART could have won the contest, Salt Spring would have been the clear winner. Even if we didn't get the most votes, we have won $25,000 and the actual experience itself has been an incredible gift! What a great community we live in, be very proud.Read more about We Didn't Win Kraft Project Play, But Oh What a Journey!
Project will support education and training - The Pacific Salmon Foundation today announced $5,000 for a Pacific salmon project on Quadra Island. The total value of the project including volunteer time and community fundraising is over $80,000. The Foundation’s Community Salmon Program supports habitat stewardship, Pacific salmon enhancement and watershed education, and is funded primarily from sales of the federal government’s Salmon Conservation Stamp. The project is by the Salt Spring Island Conservancy, with the funds going towards its Wetland and Riparian Habitat Restoration project at Blackburn Lake Nature Reserve. “We are pleased to support the Salt Spring Island Conservancy because their project will help reduce erosion and improve coho salmon habitat,” said Dr. Brian Riddell, president and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation. The Foundation’s Community Salmon Program supports community groups, volunteers and First Nations across the province. All give co…Read more about Salt Spring Salmon Receive $5,000
Salish Sea Girls' Leadership Project has released a series of public service announcements to raise awareness about solutions and preventions for sexual assault. An important conversation for the health of our community.Read more about Salish Sea Girls' Sexual Health Leadership Project
Sitting down with Ken Marr in the middle of the summer isn’t the easiest proposition. It’s high season for building projects on the island. As the shop has become a supplier for irrigation and rainwater collection equipment, it’s also the time when homeowners and businesses are making plans so they don’t get left high and dry. I sat down with Ken to learn more about why Windsor Plywood chose to support Transition Salt Spring’s 2015 Eco Living and Home Tour. The tour, taking place Sunday July 26th, offers islanders and visitors a chance to take in well-crafted examples of green building, renewable energy technologies, intensive high production greenhouses and, of particular interest in the midst of this drought, innovative rainwater collection and irrigation systems. What sorts of green building project are people interested in? “In the last 3-4 years we’ve definitely had more of a request for water storage, water collection and irrigation supplies. That has become i…Read more about Water, water—everywhere?
Salt Spring Island and the Gulf Islands as well as Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland have all as of this afternoon been raised to both Fire Danger Class 4 and Drought Level 4. Level 4 is the highest level in the warning scale. No camp fires, no burning and please limit water consumption as appropriate. What the Danger Class Ratings mean: Low Fires may start easily and spread quickly but there will be minimal involvement of deeper fuel layers or larger fuels. Moderate Forest fuels are drying and there is an increased risk of surface fires starting. Carry out any forest activities with caution. High Forest fuels are very dry and the fire risk is serious. New fires may start easily, burn vigorously, and challenge fire suppression efforts. Extreme caution must be used in any forest activities. Open burning and industrial activities may be restricted. Extreme Extremely dry forest fuels and the fire risk is very serious. New fires will start ea…Read more about Alert: Fire Danger and Drought Level Raised to Class 4
January is a time for new beginnings, whether it be a new exercise routine, a new hobby or class, a change in diet, or, in my case, an opportunity to write a monthly food column for the pleasure of your perusal. It is certainly a time to reflect on the past year and a time to look ahead to what’s to come. It’s also when we can sometimes wish we hadn’t eaten quite so much over the holidays. I think it’s best to accept your seasonal indulgences with great vigor and no remorse. Out with the old, in with the new! For many people who wish to reinvent themselves in the new beginning of the year, exercise is the starting point. I think physical fitness is important and everyone owes it to themselves to be responsible for taking care of their body. Along with physical conditioning, diet plays a vital role in the levels of success you can achieve. I am by no means a calorie counter; in fact, I do not restrict my food choices in any way to appease a dietary regime. My first and …Read more about New Beginnings Start with Local Food
Shaw TV visit Salt Spring Island to expand on the success story of Lady Minto Hospital foundation placing 30 Automated External Defibrillators (AED's) around the island and expand on what the future might hold with AEDs being delivered to the scenes of an emergency by Drones designed and built here on Salt Spring.Read more about Video: Life Saving Drones on Salt Spring
It’s 7:00 a.m. and my family lays asleep in bed. The house is quiet apart from the sounding of my watch alarm. I try to sleep through it’s persistent beeping but as I restlessly roll over, something falls off the side of my bed with a thud. It’s the book I’ve been reading, “Terry Fox –His Story”, by Leslie Scrivener. I’m reminded why I’m meant to wake up. “Alright, Terry. Let’s go for a run”. I stretch out the kinks and wiggle my toes. My joints are stiff. “Where’s my oil can?” Terry can relate. Rain falls in heavy pellets. I hate the feel of wet clothes, squishy feet and squeaky shoes. Terry rolls his eyes. “Suck it up. Ever run through gale force winds, snowstorms and 38 degree heat?”. Starting off is slow. I whine, “My shins have been tender to the touch. My hips are tight. My ankles feel bruised”. “I know what you mean”, replies Terry empathetically. “My prosthetic is not fitting properly. The skin has been rubbed raw, the bone bruised. There ar…Read more about Terry Fox Run - Running with Terry