As of December 31, 2020, Salt Spring RCMP responded to 2,978 calls this year, averaging 8-9 calls per day. There were 745 calls for service between October 1 2020 and December 31 2020; in addition to these 700+ calls for service, Salt Spring RCMP conducted 127 vehicle stops (violation tickets and warnings), 114 licenced premises checks (bar walks) and 362 foot patrols through Centennial Park and other areas. Statistically, this means that of the 92 days in this 4th quarter period, Salt Spring RCMP conducted 1 bar walk per day, 4 foot patrols per day, 1+ traffic stop per day, and 8-9 calls for service per day. Amongst the 745 calls on Salt Spring in this 4th quarter, there were four (4) sexual assaults, 11 firearms calls and 25 COVID-related calls for police response. There were three (3) separate investigations into child pornography/distribution here on Salt Spring Island. There were 113 mental health calls, accounting for 15% of the total call volume in the 4th quarter.…Read more about Salt Spring RCMP Community Report - 2020 4th Quarter Statistics
Franklin Reid Collins (known to all as Reid) died peacefully in the company of his daughters on Thursday, December 17th at the Lady Minto Hospital. He is survived by his two children, Georgia and Laurel, by two grandchildren, Summer and Seth, and by his siblings, Russ, Billie, Tim and Laurel (predeceased by brother David). Reid was raised in Streetsville, ON and was known for his remarkably sharp mind, quick wit and generosity of spirit. After attending Teacher's College, Reid put his talent for inspiring youth to good use as the principal of a remote school in Pikangikum, in The Alternative Program at Salt Spring Elementary and later taught at The Little Red Schoolhouse. It was 1974 when Reid made his journey west and sailed around the Gulf Islands with his beloved Aunt Mary. He knew then that Salt Spring Island would be his home. With an exceptional pioneering spirit, Reid devoted himself to the Fulford community, built a home on Reynolds Road and set to work at keeping us al…Read more about Obituary: Reid Collins
One of the best-loved parks on the island is becoming much less user friendly. Hikers, mountain bikers, birders, equestrians, and dog walkers have all happily used the trail network in Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park since it was first established in 2004. The heart of that network was a multi-use loop trail now partially decommissioned. In addition, a metal grid bridge has been removed and a new, narrow, pedestrian-only bridge with steps has been constructed over a creek by the bay. This eliminates access to equestrians and poses an obstacle for some walkers and bikers. Then there are the swales, a series of deep ditches, constructed on another portion of trail, which make safe passage difficult and probably impossible in the rainy season. These changes, all undertaken without consultation with those most likely to be affected, are a consequence of remediation work in the park. No one disputes that the plan to restore wetlands and control watercourses is a worthy park manageme…Read more about Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park Multi-Use Trails Under Threat
Last night's wind storm together with 3.6m King tides brought havoc to Vesuvius Beach. Every major log was moved along with all of the kayaks, row boats, dinghies and other watercraft. Two of the row boats drifted into the bay, one of which we managed to rescue today. The area near the steps down to the beach which in summer is the gathering place of the Vesuvius Beach Indolent Society is covered with flotsam and debris and the chairs buried underneath. Next high tide is 0700hrs tomorrow but this time there should be less wind.Read more about King Tides Turn Vesuvius Beach Into a Field of Flotsam
One day, in the not-too-distant future COVID-19 will be an unhappy memory. It was a problem contained, certainly on these islands so far, by a coordinated and cooperative spirit. We wear our masks, keep our distance and get on with our lives. Now I believe we should apply that same cooperative spirit to solving the critical problems facing this precious little island we call home. There are substantial challenges that can only be properly addressed jointly and NOT in the singular and piecemeal way that they are being dealt with in the past. If Salt Spring is to flourish it is imperative that we plan for the future, seeking integrated solutions that are both urgent and eminently feasible. Posted proudly on the wall by my home office desk are the words “Healthy People, Healthy Society, and Healthy Environment”. In almost every meeting, I point to them saying that one of these cannot exist without the other. I want to kick off the New Year by telling you a little abou…Read more about Laura Patrick Trustee Report – Getting Down to Work in the New Year
Eleven participants welcomed CRD’s Gary Holman to an ASK Salt Spring Zoom gathering - the first in 2021. Gary began by confirming that the Salt Spring Island Transportation Commission is committed to getting a pedestrian pathway on the west (uphill) side of the Ganges Hill roadway. Hopes are that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) will repave and add bike lanes to the Ganges Hill portion of Fulford Ganges Road (from Seaview to Beddis) this summer. While we may not be ready to construct this pathway at the same time, plans are to proceed as quickly as possible. Funding is a top consideration, with a strong preference for securing as much grant funding as possible before using Transportation Commission reserves or Community Works (gas tax) funding. Asking voters to approve additional funding through counter petition or referendum would be a last resort. Despite CRD staff efforts, it appears that getting MoTI’s design work for repaving in time to devel…Read more about ASK Salt Spring with CRD Director Gary Holman
It’s no secret that we are living in strange times. Much of the economy has been stumbling because of the pandemic, and, sadly, many community members are either unemployed or working from home. What these people almost invariably have in common is more time to spend as they wish, often with their families. And what a great number of islanders are opting to do is to go for walks/hikes on Salt Spring’s wonderful trails. Most of us try to focus on the positive, and I think we would all agree that the most positive thing about living on Salt Spring is the natural beauty all around us. In the past few months we’re seeing more people on our trails than ever before. There isn’t a park or nature reserve on the island that isn’t being visited by all kinds of people eager to enjoy what nature has to offer. And on Salt Spring, nature has a lot to offer—lovely shoreline and beaches, varied forest, beautiful views, clean air, more birds than we’ve seen for years—and all of this can be e…Read more about What Do Islanders Do in A Pandemic?
Island Health is administering COVID-19 immunizations to health care workers in long-term care in the central and north Vancouver Island regions beginning today. This week, Island Health received an additional 3,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, allowing us to expand our immunization clinics outside of the greater Victoria area. Clinics will be held in Nanaimo and Campbell River, with care, support, and medical staff who work or volunteer in long-term care being eligible to receive the vaccine. Eligible individuals will receive direct communication from Island Health on how to book an appointment. “Our number one goal throughout this pandemic has been to protect our residents,” said Sharron Traub, Manager of Dufferin Place long-term care home in Nanaimo. “Providing the vaccine to frontline health care workers in long-term care is a critical line of defence to keep this virus out, and an important show of support for those caring for and protecting some of the most vulnerab…Read more about COVID-19: Vaccination Clinics Expand to Central and North Vancouver Island
Our complaint-driven bylaw system, and many of the laws themselves, are undermining rural people’s lives and livelihoods here on Salt Spring Island. By prohibiting the traditional economic stepping stones and ways of life of homesteaders, artisans, and the rural working class, as well as increasingly curtailing the ways land holders may participate in the tourist economy, our LUB (Land Use Bylaw) exacerbates already economically and socially polarizing housing, real estate and construction industries. It favours affluent estate owners whose livelihoods are not dependent on being able to use their land. The ‘preserve and protect’ mandate driving the Trust’s LUB ossifies select aspects of Salt Spring’s settler past. The present is shackled by it. Creativity is stifled. Forcing the non-elite into untenable moulds, the LUB effectively outlaws both “non- nuclear family structures” and the forms of social capital which homesteaders, artisans, and the rural working class rely on. A…Read more about Opinion: How Our Bylaws Undermine Rural Life and Livelihoods
I meant to send out a note on Dec. 21 celebrating the start of lengthening days—but a snowstorm took out the cable in my neighbourhood that afternoon so I had no internet for a few days. Anyway, here we are at the beginning of what everyone is hoping will be a brighter and better year. And now that the days really are getting longer, gardeners are looking forward to growing their best garden yet. So Happy New Year to you all! If you haven’t thought about what you want to grow this year, it is time to do that as seed suppliers are already shipping madly to keep up with early demand. While ordering, look ahead to what you will need for mid- and late summer sowing. For those who might not have it, there is a planting chart on my home page that you can print out showing suggested planting dates for winter harvests. Those late summer plantings would mostly be of frost-hardy varieties that can stay in the garden over the winter. For such plantings, make sure you are ordering…Read more about Seedy Topics, Happy New Year!
It is with great sadness that Bach on the Rock announces the passing of our dear friend and Artistic Director, Michael Jarvis. All of us at Bach on the Rock are devastated by this sudden and tragic loss. Michael became our Director in 2016, and he took our ensemble to new heights with his talent, musicianship, enthusiasm and dedication. Our rehearsals were full of laughs, and we will fondly remember his wit, sense of humour and smile. He will be sorely missed by all of the Bach on the Rock musicians, our audiences, and Michael's many Salt Spring friends. As his wife Carolyn put it “Michael has unexpectedly moved on to a heavenly gig – perhaps with Handel or Giordani, or whomever else is available to play”. Michael, also known as “Captain Continuo”, was acclaimed as one of Canada’s finest harpsichordists, fortepianists, organists, and continuo players, and was in high demand as a collaborative artist and performance practice coach. He had performed with most of Canada’s le…Read more about Remembrance: Michael Jarvis
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer (PHO), and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, have issued the following joint statement announcing the first confirmed case of a person in British Columbia infected with the COVID-19 variant first identified in the United Kingdom: “B.C. has identified the first case of a person in B.C. infected with the COVID-19 U.K. variant. The individual, who resides in the Island Health region, returned to B.C. from the U.K. on flight AC855 on Dec. 15, 2020, developed symptoms while in quarantine and was immediately tested. Testing confirmed the positive diagnosis on Dec. 19, 2020; a small number of close contacts have been isolated and public health is following up with them daily. “The variant strain was detected by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) Public Health Laboratory in its review of all isolates from people who had recently returned from travel to the U.K. Whole genome sequencing at the BCCDC identified this as the same…Read more about COVID-19: First U.K. Variant Case in B.C. Lands in Island Health Region
New online exhibit is a creation by the B.C. Black History Awareness Society with support from Digital Museums Canada. With more than 500 exhibits Digital Museums Canada (DMC) is the largest source of online content and experiences shared by large and small Canadian museums and heritage organizations. These online exhibits explore history, culture, science and the arts, and feature fascinating stories and treasures from communities across the country. The exhibit 'British Columbia’s Black Pioneers: Their Industry and Character influenced the Vision of Canada' features 20 stories, 9 videos, and 86 gallery items that include images, photographs, maps, and archival documents; all are bilingual. Their story is unlike any other story in Canada. As the Fraser Gold Rush was heightening, the British desperately needed settlers and they needed them quickly, settlers who could help to cement Victoria, the capital of the Colony of Vancouver Island, as a British administrative, bu…Read more about Black Settlers: Their Influence on the Vision of Canada and Salt Spring Island
Island Health administered the first COVID-19 immunizations to health care workers in the Greater Victoria area today. Island Health received 1,950 doses in its initial shipment and immunization clinics will continue throughout the week. Immunization clinics for staff and physicians will expand across Island Health in the coming weeks, as they receive more doses. “In my 25-year career as a Medical Health Officer on the island, I have been privileged to be part of many significant firsts that improve the health of the population,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer. “The launch of our immunization program against COVID-19 this morning will be the most memorable.” The vaccine is an important step in our journey to protect people from the COVID-19 virus, and today is a significant step taken on the island to protect health care workers who work on the frontlines of COVID-19. Dena Scriven, a nursing assistant in long-term care, was t…Read more about COVID-19: Island Health Administers First COVID-19 Vaccine
One of the many charms of Salt Spring Island is our network of local farm stands. Most are trust based stands openly offering their goods to visitors and locals alike. In a 'normal' year, these farm stands dot the island and are an experience that many visitors to the island often recount as part of their stories of time spent here. While many cater to visitors, some are also full-time, year-round farm stands for treats, veggies, meat and eggs that also have many of the staples needed for delicious, local meals. This year, in response to the pandemic, farm stand operators banded together to organize a holiday tour to encourage locals to get out for a fun, pandemic friendly shopping experience. Numerous stand operators took the extra initiative to light up their stands offering even more moments of beauty and charm. Our little family bubble hit the road today to visit some of the stands. We came home filled with treats and handfuls of gifts for friends and family. We also …Read more about Farm Stand Tour and Piping Piper
The upcoming holiday season is traditionally a time to gather with family and friends. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, other faith based holidays and traditions, or simply enjoy the festivities of the season, we look forward to parties and family dinners and get-togethers. The arrival of a vaccine against COVID-19 is a reason to celebrate as it heralds the beginning of (we hope) the end of the pandemic. However, we can’t allow ourselves to relax our focus on preventing the further spread of COVID. We need to continue to limit our gatherings to our immediate household, forego travel to visit friends, family and relatives, maintain our distance from others and wear a mask in public spaces. These measures are going to continue to be crucial to containing the virus while the immunization campaign moves forward. The Lady Minto Hospital will remain open through the holiday season for Emergency, for lab and medical imaging (X-ray) services, as well as for admissions to…Read more about COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Stay Local, Stay Safe
On December 14th Salt Spring RCMP officers responded to two incidents in Centennial Park within a few hours of each other. The first incident was reported as a possible fight involving two men. RCMP members arrived on scene and separated the combatants. It was determined that the best resolution was to separate the two. One man was given a ride from the scene by police to another location of their request. The man agreed to stay away from the area, and would cause no further concerns. Approximately 2 hours later another incident was reported near Centennial Park. This time it was reported that a window of a local business had been broken. Upon arrival at the scene, the RCMP member saw two men arguing on the sidewalk. The smashed window of Strong River Studios has been boarded up as a result of the incident. The RCMP member easily identified one of the men as the same man driven from the scene earlier who agreed not to return. Witnesses on scene identified this man as h…Read more about Salt Spring RCMP Arrest Suspect After Window of Local Business Smashed
The first delivery of approximately 4,000 doses of the first approved COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in the province. Preparation is underway to immunize the first British Columbians in the coming days. These initial vaccine doses will be administered to Lower Mainland health-care workers who work in long-term care homes and front-line health-care workers essential to the COVID-19 response. Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health are contacting staff to schedule the initial vaccine appointments. Starting the week of Dec. 21, vaccines will be delivered weekly to all health authorities. Expected timelines will depend on vaccine approval and availability. As vaccines become more available, they will be provided to other priority groups throughout British Columbia. A registration and record system are in development, including a process to register for vaccine access and receive a formal record of immunization. Photos of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine from Pfiz…Read more about COVID-19: First Delivery of Vaccinations Arrives in B.C.
For nearly a decade Capital Regional District (CRD) Electoral Area Directors from Salt Spring Island, the Southern Gulf Islands and Juan de Fuca have been advocating for a change in their designation from urban to rural. There is no doubt that these unincorporated communities are rural, however because they are members of the CRD they are deemed urban. As a result they are not able to apply for important government supports and grant programs designed for rural communities. The CRD Board has written the province several letters advocating for a change to the designation. I have also written letters, met with Ministers, and raised the issue in budget estimates. All along the provincial government has agreed that Gulf Islands communities in Saanich North and the Islands are rural. They told us that the only way they could change the designation was to have the three Electoral Areas added to the definition of the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET). For the past three y…Read more about Advocating for Change from Urban to Rural Designation to Access Government Funding
Fifteen joined the ASK Salt Spring Zoom gathering to welcome Adam back as our MLA. We had all missed him as he was forced into that candidate role again. Throughout the gathering, joy was repeatedly expressed that he can now get back to work to address those issues most important to us. He was pleased to introduce a new member of his team - Kate O’Conner - disappointed the she did not win in her riding but committed to providing her a wonderful experience serving our community. In the meantime, Adam and we all will benefit from having her on our team. Welcome, Kate! After a heartfelt territorial acknowledgment, we spent the first half hour learning more about the newly-released report, In Plain Sight, Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care and discussing its implications. Among the shocking findings, we learned that 84% of the Indigenous British Columbians surveyed reported experiencing racism while seeking medical attention. Wh…Read more about ASK Salt Spring with MLA Adam Olsen - Bravely Diving Into Complex Issues like Health Care
As COVID-19 rates have been surging across BC including in Island Health, we have been so grateful to see our community members adopting the recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and other Public Health officials to keep us all safe. Practicing hand hygiene, wearing masks, practicing physical distancing and shrinking our “social bubbles” are all essential actions in controlling the spread of COVID-19 and protecting us all. Thank you! Doing this is not easy at times, and certainly the upcoming winter holidays will be one of the times when the restrictions necessary to control the virus will feel particularly painful. The PHO has been very clear and has issued province-wide restrictions because of the compelling need to control transmission of COVID-19: there are to be no gatherings of any size at your residence with anyone other than your current household and no travel other than travel which is essential for work or health reasons. We love to connect at …Read more about COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - This Year Must Be Different