BC Ferries Raising Fees

BC Ferries announced today that it is reminding customers of increases in passenger and vehicle fares effective April 1, 2012. Prices will rise by 4.15 per cent on average on all routes across the fleet. This increase was approved last spring in Bill 14, an amendment to the Coastal Ferry Act. Subsequent price caps will be determined following the Province’s response to the BC Ferry Commissioner’s report. Fare increases are required due to the rising cost of operating and capital expenditures coupled with lower than anticipated traffic levels.

See chart of fares below:
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Community Meetings on Secondary Suites

All community members are invited to join the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee in a public discussion on how to permit secondary suites. Saturday, March 31 2012 (2:00 pm – 4:30 pm) at the GISS Multi-purpose Room (Gulf Islands Secondary School, 232 Rainbow Road, Salt Spring Island) or Wednesday, April 4 2012 (6:00 pm – 8:30 pm) at the Fulford Community Hall Senior’s Centre(2591 Fulford Ganges Road, Salt Spring Island). *PLEASE RSVP* We have heard from the community that Secondary Suites are part of the solution for helping resolve the affordable housing dilemma on Salt Spring Island: 85.2% of homeowners surveyed agree the Salt Spring Island community would benefit from legalized suites; 50.7% of renters surveyed live in secondary suites. We have also heard that water and septic concerns are among the key issues to resolve. The Salt Spring Official Community Plan says to legalize suites incrementally and to limit the overall number of suites in order to monitor…
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An open letter to Regional Director Wayne McIntyre

Dear Wayne McIntyre, Regional Director, Saltspring Island: The past few weeks have been hard for all concerned. Handled wisely the fiasco and the complete elimination of the Beddis electors' right to approve borrowing to complete the next part of the water system could have been avoided. Beddis electors have expressed concern over the potentially dangerous leaking tank at Lautman Road and have done nothing to delay necessary work. We are told temporary repairs are in place but the work has not started although this tank became an emergency back in October, 2011. In retrospect we understand some of what's happened and some of the reasons CRD and the commission decided to borrow on an emergency basis. It is clear that decision ought not have been made without informing the electors - particularly when that decision resulted in the revoking of the electors' legislated right to approve borrowing for the next part of our water project. We understand staff needs freedom t…
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Robocalls - Feedback Requested on Possible Fraudulent Calls on Election Day

Feedback Requested on Possible Fraudulent Calls on Election Day On election day for the 2011 Federal Election in Saanich - Gulf Islands, there were reports of some confused voters who had received calls directing them to the wrong polling stations. At the time, the reports coming into the campaign office were that the problem was scattered and that most of our supporters were able to make it to their polling stations. But there were enough reports that Elizabeth did send a letter to Elections Canada requesting an investigation. Now we find that this was not an isolated incident, but appears to have affected a number of ridings across the country. We would like to investigate in more depth how many calls were made to voters in Saanich - Gulf Islands. We would like to know if you: Received either a misleading recorded or live call telling you that the location of your polling station had changed. Worked as an election day scrutineer and heard complaints from voters…
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Ganges Fire Hall Farmers' Market Poll

The Salt Spring Island Farmers’ Institute has proposed that the current Ganges Fire Hall be turned into a year-round covered farmers' market once a new location for the current hall is secured. Is this something you would support? Share your response in our poll.   Should the Ganges Fire Hall be turned into a year round Farmers Market?
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Sh*t Salt Springers Say Campaign for Version 2

Okay, we'll there isn't a version two yet, but you know you want one. We, like so many of you, loved the "Sh*t Salt Springers Say' video made this past week by the local island Lemon Grease Productions starring Thomas Messer, Rebecca Nygard, Michelle Duncan, Billie Woods, David Alex Eveno with guest appearances by Jada-lee Watson, Ross Duncan and Mike Nelson. We want them to make another one! If you want them to make another one vote yes by leaving a suggestion, Liking this post, or leaving a comment. To help encourage them, we want your help. Let's gather up some perfectly Salt Spring expressions for them to work with and hope we can get them to make another one. If you have a suggestion for an expression you'd like to include, like "Where's the yeast?" submit it in the form below and we'll pass them all along to the video producers. Take Our Survey! polldaddy.add( { type: 'iframe', auto: true, domain: 'opendirections.polldaddy.com/s/', id: 'sal…
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Salt Spring's Official Population Increases 6.2%

Population on Salt Spring Island Trust Area A has officially increased to 10,234 according to official Census Canada figures released today. This is a 6.2% increase since the 2006 census. The number of private dwelling is at 5,643 with 4,662 of those occupied by full-time residents. See the full details below:

Additional details can be found directly at Census Canada.

Victoria Population Changes

Vancouver Population Changes

Population Changes by Province

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4-Way Stop at Central

Our friends at MainRoads have informed us that they will be installing a 4-way stop at the Central intersection (Vesuvius Bay Rd/Upper Ganges Rd/North End Rd/Lower Ganges Rd) today. As a reminder, the rules of the road are whomever arrives at the intersection first, has the right of way. If you arrive at the same time as another driver, the rule is yield to the right. Please use caution & drive slowly in this area.
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Salt Spring Island Car Crash Statistics

The Salt Spring Island Transportation Commission (SSITC) has obtained “crash” statistics from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) which highlight the ten most incident-prone intersections on the island from 2000-2010. The ICBC crash statistics call attention to the need for care at several other intersections on Salt Spring, namely: • Crofton and Lower Ganges • Lower Ganges and Rainbow • Beaver Point, North East and Stewart • Beddis, Charlesworth and Fulford-Ganges • Cranberry and Fulford-Ganges • Atkins and Lower Ganges Three of these intersections will be improved and made safer as part of the North Ganges Transportation Plan, a long planned transportation infrastructure project to improve safety and security for pedestrians and cyclists by adding bike lanes and sidewalks in the village. The project has been approved by MoT to enable CRD to start construction later this year. The statistics appear to confirm what islanders have long suspecte…
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Coastal Ferry Act Review Report Released

BC Ferries Commission News Release Gord Macatee, BC Ferry Commissioner, delivered his review of the Coastal Ferry Act to the Honourable Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure today. The report contains 24 major recommendations for government, BC Ferries, ferry users and other stakeholders, all intended to better balance the interests of ferry users with the financial sustainability of BC Ferries. The Commissioner reports that the ferry system is facing challenges now, which are only expected to get larger in the years ahead. Declining ridership and financial losses in the current year, coupled with huge capital investment requirements for fleet renewal and terminal upgrades, is putting strain on the financial sustainability of BC Ferries. Ferry users consider further large fare increases to be unaffordable, and are concerned that the operator is not sufficiently accountable. Furthermore, the Coastal Ferry Act, and its guiding principles, is not perc…
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Four-Way Stop Approved for Central

In response to recent community feedback and a history of collisions at the Central intersection, the Ministry of Transportation called into the recent CRD Transportation Committee meeting shortly after we delivered the Salt Spring Exchange community petition to verbally confirm that they will be implementing a four-way stop at the intersection. The CRD Transportation Committee and the Ministry of Transportation will provide further details in the coming days. It's unclear what the decision making process was to select this particular approach, but it was clear that the majority of respondents to our poll would have preferred the roundabout option. However, roundabouts are considerably more expensive than implementing four-way stops. Is this an appropriate result?
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Delivered: 700+ Petition Signatures to Fix Central

The community petition calling for action to fix Central was delivered today to the CRD Transportation Committee containing all 700+ signatures. The final petition signature count was 703 and included the 586 votes in the poll asking for input on the various options to either change the intersection or leave it as is. The petition was delivered to the committee on behalf of all signatories and Maggie Ramsey, whose original call to action initiated the signature drive. Salt Spring Exchange representative Christopher Roy delivered the petition to Donald McLennan, Chair of the Salt Spring Island Transportation Commission and Salt Spring CRD Director Wayne McIntyre at their first meeting of the year. Thank you to all of those who participated as well as those who shared their feedback in comments on the Exchange, these will also be reviewed by the committee to help them determine how they might to proceed. Embedded below is a copy of the final document outlining the poll a…
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Salt Spring Resident Shot and Killed in Mexico

From CBC News: A 67-year-old man from Salt Spring Island, B.C., has been killed in Mexico. Police in the Pacific coastal town of Melaque confirmed Robin Wood was shot and killed early Tuesday morning at the holiday home of fellow Canadian Arvid Chalmers, who is also from Salt Spring Island. Police said Wood was returning from a benefit concert in La Manzanilla, and was shot after challenging two robbers who had entered the home. Melaque is located between Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco, just north of Manzanilla. Police director Ruben Hernandez Bonilla told CBC News robberies in the area and associated murders are very common. Read the full story at cbc.ca
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Fix the Central Intersection Petition

To support Maggie Ramsey's call to action to ask the CRD Transportation Committee to fix the Central traffic intersection, we are collecting signatures to let the committee know just how many people are in support of a change. If you support a review and possible changes such as a traffic circle, four way stop, etc., then sign the petition and share this widely with your friends. We will deliver the results of the petition to the committee at their January 10th meeting. [emailpetition id="1"] How would you change the Central intersection?[signaturelist id="1"]
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Wow! 15,000 People Posted 75,000 Listings

It's coming up on the end of 2011 and the 3rd birthday of the Salt Spring Exchange. We wanted to give you an update on how things are going here behind scenes. Since 2008, the Exchange evolved from a basic email list, merged with Harry Burton's email list, turned into to a Google Group email list, then into the web based experience you now see. It has taken hundreds of hours of work each year, the financial support of many donors and support from local businesses to keep it going. The vision is simple: * Serve the residents of Salt Spring Island with a vital resource for community sharing * Deliver the best possible online experience for local news, stories, event and classified listings * Dedicate that online experience exclusively to the residents and fans of Salt Spring Island * Give as much as possible of the service away for free or very low-fees * Provide an unparalleled platform for local business advertising Here are some current stats as of the writing of …
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Online Poll vs. Official Voting Match-up!

We've had numerous requests to comment on how the online poll that we ran during the lead up to the elections performed against official voting results. We were curious too! The online poll ran for 18 days and over 750 people voted in every one of the three polls for CRD Director, Islands Trustees and School Board Trustees. During that same time, well over 12,000* people used the Exchange (* verified by Google Analytics). Our goal had been to have 500 people participate in the poll. Relative to the number of people that used the site, the participation in the poll was relatively low. Less than 10%. This is likely because we implemented the highest level of poll blocking that the service we use has, and also because some people simply just didn't want to participate. We did get numersous questions during the poll itself about security and added this note as the poll ran to clarify how scientific online polling is: NOTE: Salt Spring Exchange online election polls are not…
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