Extensive Vandalism to Local CRD Office and Businesses

In the morning of May 12, 2019 the Salt Spring RCMP were notified that a number of the street-front windows in Ganges, including the CRD office on McPhillips Ave had been smashed.  Police attended and their investigation is ongoing.  No entry was gained to the office, and efforts are underway to repair the damage prior to the opening of our office on Monday morning.  At this point, the cost to repair the damage remains unknown. Anyone with information on this crime to contact the Salt Spring RCMP at 250-537-5555, or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.      
Read more

Test of the Alert Ready Alerting System

Heads up Salt Spring! The Alert Ready emergency alerting system will be tested in most provinces and territories on May 8, 2019, on TV, radio and compatible wireless devices. Not all mobile devices can receive alerts. Device compatibility, software version, phone settings and connection to an LTE network can impact whether the alert is received. If you have received an SMS text message notifying you of the test, it does not guarantee that you can receive these emergency alerts. For more information, about compatible devices, please visit the website of your wireless carrier.
Read more

Photos: BC Forest March Action

On Saturday April 6, 2019 Salt Spring joined 18 communities across BC taking action in support of better protection for our local and provincial forests. About 150 Island residents participated, first gathering at the Library and then marching through Ganges. Joe Akerman opened the event and spoke about the long tradition of stewardship by Coast Salish people, and the cultural importance of maintaining old-growth forests. Briony Penn outlined the critical role forests play in safeguarding biodiversity and providing carbon sinks that mitigate climate change. Despite decades-long efforts to press for reforms, BC legislation fails to adequately reduce the negative impacts of current forestry practices. The message needs to be made clear to the current government – Change is needed now to save our forests! Alex Smith, who helps build trails in the Walbran ancient forest, encouraged the crowd to visit these spectacular old-growth areas and speak up for their protection…
Read more

Video and Photos: New Centennial Park / Salt Spring Market Washrooms Now Open

The new washroom at Centennial Park has been completed ahead of schedule and is now open. The washroom has a number of features making it unique to other cinderblock washrooms that the community may appreciate. There are four sinks located on the back of the washroom for vendor use and the porta potties have been removed. Note, the interior lights are temporary as there was an issue with the lights that were delivered. The proper lights will be installed next week but you will notice the washroom features an abundance of natural light. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } The Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) has approved a 20 year Master Plan to prioritize infrastructure investments for Centennial Park. The Master Plan is broken into fi…
Read more

Small Is Powerful: Neighbourhood Small Grants Come to Salt Spring

On a recent sunny morning, the Salt Spring library’s program room was filled with conversation, laughter and the occasional squeal from a happy baby. Groups of women were gathered around several wooden coat stands and ladders, busily knotting macramé plant hangers as they chatted. The macramé workshop was the final one in the Creative Collective series of arts and craft skill- share workshops, one of 11 projects supported by Neighbourhood Small Grants. Over the past memorable winter, this small but powerful grants program has been forging connections between islanders. The program is based on a simple idea—that everyone is a valuable member of the community and that we all have something to share that will make Salt Spring Island a better place to live. Last fall, the Salt Spring Island Foundation, in partnership with Salt Spring Island Community Services, launched the island’s first Neighbourhood Small Grants program, offering grants of $50 to $500 to projects and even…
Read more

Pipeline Activism: Thoughts On My Trial, Part 2

I’m back from the rabbit hole of court – the B.C. Supreme Court, in downtown Vancouver. Last fall, I spent five days there, self-representing my not guilty plea, after arrest for protesting on March 23rd in front of Texas oil-giant Kinder Morgan’s tank farm in Burnaby, now Trans Mountain Canada, owned by all Canadians. Three others are being tried with me, arrested on different days, represented by lawyers. We didn’t finish last fall, so resumed on March 12th, taking another day and a half to close my case. On May 1st, the judge will phone me to give his verdict. If guilty, as he’s found to date for nearly all arrestees, nearly 240 total, I’ll return to court for sentencing. I entered this strange world with such naiveté. The Alice in Wonderland feeling starts with remembering how professionally I thought the RCMP behaved throughout the protest, as if their respectful treatment of protesters would be matched by legal competency. Failing that, I thought they’d bear the con…
Read more

100+ Women Who Care Raise $17,000 in Under an Hour for Local Charities

On the evening of Tuesday, March 5, 100+ Women Who Care Salt Spring held its second meeting. Prior to this meeting, members had nominated 18 local charities. Members randomly drew three of the nominees during this meeting: Greenwoods Eldercare Society, Salt Spring Therapeutic Riding Association, and Island Pathways. Members heard a compelling presentation for each of the three charities, but it is one presentation that attracted the most votes at the end of the evening. Gail Muise presented for the Salt Spring Therapeutic Riding Association (SSTRA), an organization that serves a wide age range of people who have differing abilities and needs. Her words and message convinced enough members to cast their secret ballot for the SSTRA, and this organization became the second recipient of the collected donations — $17,000 total! Since its inaugural meeting in November, the group has grown from 129 to 170 women. With each woman donating $100 per meeting, the sum totalled an impr…
Read more

Citizen Science Project on Salt Spring: Good for People and Butterflies!

This month, participants are flocking to a free training in butterfly citizen science led by entomologist Linda Gilkeson, PhD, and hosted by the Salt Spring Island Conservancy. Trainees will learn how to identify and count butterflies from Linda and how to take photos of butterflies from Simon Henson, as a way to aid in identification. There is still space for trainees. This project seeks to increase the number of citizen scientists trained to identify butterflies on Salt Spring Island and to collect records that can be used to show long-term trends in butterfly numbers. Records of butterfly counts are a way to measure the health of local ecosystems, and for the last 2 years, the Conservancy has been establishing a group of volunteers to identify and record butterfly sightings. The data collected by citizen scientists during the monthly counts will contribute to a growing body of data that could supplement (or stimulate) research by scientists. Citizen science is good fo…
Read more

2019 Home & Garden Show

Introducing the Salt Spring Island Home & Garden Show presented by Mouat’s Trading! March 16th and 17th – what a great weekend to be on Salt Spring Island as we host the Salt Spring Home & Garden Show., This great community focused event showcases local designers, landscapers, construction and trades professionals, along with service and recreation providers. Admission to the event is FREE and attendees could win some great prizes. All events are at the Salt Spring Farmers Institute. Friday Evening, March 15th from 5pm-8pm – You are invited to a Salt Spring Home & Garden Show Welcome Reception and cash bar pre-show gathering. There will be a fun, festive atmosphere with music and free food. Meet with the local trades, construction, home services, landscape companies and home décor vendors and mingle with fellow attendees. The Welcome Reception is sponsored by Windsor Plywood. Saturday, March 16th from 9am-4pm and Sunday, March 17th from 10am-3pm – Join us at the Salt Spri…
Read more

Salt Spring Island Artisanal 'Windstorm' Firewood

In all the years I've lived on Salt Spring, few issues have held the attention of locals and visitors alike than firewood. Now, if you asked someone what the ongoing, burning issues of the day are on the island, firewood probably wouldn't come to mind first and though, think about this for just a minute. How many conversations have you had about firewood recently? Yesterday, for me, unprompted, the number was 6. Six times yesterday different people at different places, across different walks of island life talked to me about or wondered about firewood. At least 2 of those people don't even have woodstoves or heat with firewood. They just appeared all caught up in the wondering about it with most everyone else. "There are so many trees down! Look at all that firewood!" The big burning question since the windstorm? Will firewood prices come down? I've had at least a couple of dozen people since the storm wonder about the possibility of this. And for good reason. Good quality, …
Read more

Gulf Islands School District 64 Receives Award for Their Commitment to Training Youth Apprentices

The Industry Training Authority (ITA), along with 48 employers, apprentices, educators and ITA representatives, gathered yesterday on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish people to award Gulf Islands School District 64 with the Youth Work in Trades Performance Award for having the highest number of Youth Work in Trades program registrants in the region. The award includes $5,000 in additional funding to assist the district to further develop their Youth Work in Trades program. Youth Work in Trades is a dual credit program that allows youth to begin a paid work-based training component of a skilled trades apprenticeship while still in secondary school. As 80 per cent of trades training takes place on the work site and 20 per cent takes place in the classroom, it is important that school districts provide students with the opportunity to gain awareness of what a career in trades looks like and get a head start on the crucial hands-on experience required for their trades t…
Read more

Salt Spring Bike Club Announces Merger with Island Pathways

With great enthusiasm and anticipation, the Salt Spring Bike Club announces its merger with Island Pathways and the creation of the new Island Pathway committee: Cycling Salt Spring Island! The Salt Spring Bike Club formed five years ago to: promote cycling as a healthy, sustainable and fun mode of transportation and recreation; foster a stronger cycling culture on Salt Spring Island and create and advocate for safer cycling opportunities for riders of all ages. Its first project led to creation of the Bike Park in Ganges, with generous funding from the SSI Lions’ Club and SSI Parks & Recreation inputs and maintenance. In the summer of 2018, it opened, a network of technical trails nestled into a treed area in the SE corner of Mouat Park. Since opening last August, the Bike Park has been well used by cyclists as young as two and as old as 70. In the fall, up to 20 riders could be spotted in the park at a given time. Spring will be busy again, guaranteed. The Bik…
Read more

Concerned About Snow Load on Your Roof?

What are signs of heavy snow load on my roof? If you’re concerned about the weight of snowfall on a roof, look and listen for signs of stress. These signs can include unusual sounds from the roof or supporting walls, visible movement of walls or sagging of ceiling and cracking of drywall or plaster. Other signs may include doors that jam or water leaks that show up after a big snow fall. The configuration of your roof could be a factor. Pay special attention to areas on your roof where local snow accumulation occurs on a portion of a roof; for example, near dormers, valleys or on shed roofs. Roofs with a low slope or roofs covered with rough roofing material tend to accumulate more snow than steeper pitches or slippery roof finishes. What can I do myself? You should never clear a roof yourself. Instead, opt for a qualified and insured snow removal company. Where the roof is accessible from the ground, you can reduce some load by using a snow rake to safely pull the …
Read more

Salt Spring Doula Collective: Community in the Birthing Year

Pregnant people and new parents and infants on Salt Spring Island have access to state of the art midwifery care for medical support in the childbearing year. Para-medical, social, counseling, and educational support is available through Island Health Public Health, nurse practitioners and second birth attendants, SSI Community Services and the Family Place specialized programming for parents and the early years. In addition to this institutional support, there are lactation consultants, La Leche League groups, alternative health practitioners who have specialized skills and services, and there is a Doula Collective dedicated to serving the needs of those in the childbearing years. Together since 2009, the Doula Collective is a group of up to 12 active women practising on Salt Spring Island. This event was created from conversations between the Doulas, midwives and other health professionals involved with people in the birthing years, as a collaborative offering in response …
Read more

Towards Sustainable Community Economic Health

Salt Spring’s Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) embraced new directions in 2018.  We focused on initiatives that facilitated collaboration, coordination and advocacy on behalf of our island’s economic health and well-being. Here’s an overview of the areas we expanded into and the progress we’ve achieved in 2018. Championing Entrepreneurship Across All Economic Sectors Much of Salt Spring’s economic culture is shaped by resilience and a do-it-yourself ingenuity. We are a community comprised of smaller businesses and many micro-businesses, with the vast majority being sole proprietors. Many of these entrepreneurs create and produce a variety of products that are becoming known near and far as unique to Salt Spring. Being an entrepreneur is hard work and can be isolating. Through our experience with the Rural Business Accelerator Program, we know that most local small business operators are busy working “in” their business, and don’t have a lot of time t…
Read more

Video: Storm Force - Just How Powerful Was the Storm of December 21, 2018?

Strong storm force winds of over 100km/hr hammer the SW BC coast on Dec20 2018.The southern gulf islands were particularly hard hit. 5000 trees down on local roads alone! 500,000 people without power.One fatality reported.Not a good day for boats!         .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }
Read more

Emergency Support Services Volunteer Storm Response

The Emergency Support Services team of dedicated volunteers was handed its most challenging task to date and came through it with flying colours. Along with countless other volunteers, first responders, caring family members, neighbours and commercial operations, the community was taken care of. ESS opened and ran a Reception Centre at the Legion on Windstorm Thursday, sheltering and comforting more than 80 islanders in the dark, for more than 10 hours until 10 pm. Starting the next day - Friday through the following Thursday (7 days), ESS opened and ran a Warming Centre at the Seniors Centre, kindly made available to us by that organization. We registered, warmed and charged up on average, more than 50 people a day. The centre then moved for Days 8, 9 and 10 to the Library Program Room. The centre transitioned from a Warming Centre into a Recovery Centre making water, power and the internet available to those still in need. For eleven days, the ESS volunteers me…
Read more

The Most Damaging Storm in Salt Spring and BC Hydro's History

The windstorm that hit B.C.’s South Coast on December 20 resulted in more than 750,000 customers without power and thousands of damaged pieces of equipment. Highlights; The December 20 storm was the most damaging storm in BC Hydro’s history—and was unlike any previous weather event BC Hydro had encountered because: The wind came from multiple directions—including the southeast, south and southwest; The windstorm was preceded by several heavy rain events—more than 400 millimetres of rain fell in some areas leading up to the storm, which destabilized trees; The wind speeds were significant—topping 100 kilometres per hour in some areas. The storm left more than 750,000 customers without power, making it larger than the August 2015 windstorm that affected the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, and larger than the 2006 windstorm that hit Vancouver Island and devastated Stanley Park in Vancouver; More than 400,000 customers in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley were impacted.;…
Read more

Get in Involved with Emergency Response - Join The POD Program in Action

From the time Elizabeth Zook was contracted on a part-time basis by the CRD to co-ordinate the Emergency Program 8 years ago, there have been many facets of “emergency preparedness” undertaken. In addition to building a network of excellent communication with First Responder agencies, her focus was predominately on building a POD (neighbourhood emergency) network with the focus of developing community resilience. This program was started in 2005 and had approximately 25 people involved in various locations on the island. Today the POD program consists entirely of volunteers, with 370 people signed up and 60 Pods now established or identified on the Island. If no POD exists, it means no volunteers have been found in that area. POD and Neighbourhood Leaders have built databases for their Pods so communications from the SSI Emergency Operation Center (EOC) can be forwarded to neighbours – as long as Hydro and Wi-Fi are available. Over the years, POD Leaders have repeatedly emph…
Read more

BC Hydro Crews Continue to Repair Damage After Historic Windstorm, Extended Outages Expected

Thursday’s windstorm was one of the most devastating storms BC Hydro has experienced in the past 20 years, leaving 66,000 still without power down from a total of 600,000 customers initially impacted. Due to the extent of the damage, some of the hardest hit areas will be without power for several more days. Hundreds of downed trees have left some road impassable, which means BC Hydro has not been able to complete a full damage assessment in some of the worse hit areas like Duncan, Nanaimo, Lake Cowichan and the affected Gulf Islands. As a result, it will take crews several days to restore power to these areas, and other areas may be added as damage assessments are completed. In some rural parts of Surrey and the Fraser Valley, it may take another 24 to 48 hours to restore power. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is working to clear the roads and highways. The storm knocked trees and branches on to nearly all the roads on the southern Gulf Islands, as well …
Read more

Photos: Severe Wind Storm Ravages Island - Hydro and Road Status Updates

Scroll down to see all current storm photos and the full list of all storm related hydro, water advisory and warming centre updates. Most recent updates are at the top. ROAD CLOSURE - 9:40 am Friday, January 4, 2019 - There is a slide at 289 Stewart Road - Road is closed. People living 289 and higher can access their driveways from Beaver Point Road.People living 289 and lower can access their driveways from Cusheon Lake side. Update on Boil Water Advisory for Fernwood/Highlands - Jan 3, 2019 11:00 pm - IMPORTANT notice. Boil Water Advisory Remains in Effect for Highland-Fernwood Water Service Area (Salt Spring Island). Water system damage and power outages resulting from the wind storm on December 20 caused portions of the Highland-Fernwood Water System on Salt Spring Island to have reduced pressure or no water service. Due to the depressurization, a system wide BOIL WATER ADVISORY was issued December 23 by the CRD in consultation with Island Health. All customers in the…
Read more