Lady Minto Hospital Foundation to begin renovations on new staff housing

The Lady Minto Hospital Foundation bought the old Seabreeze Inne back in March in order to build critically needed hospital staff housing to address the 35 vacant positions that threaten our hospital! We rented the building to BC Housing as requested, to give them over three months leeway to transition folks out of the building. Our volunteer housing committee of the hospital Foundation got to work immediately so that all the drawings, permit applications and plans were ready so that deconstruction could begin in early July. The Foundation has retained the construction manager for the project and with deconstruction permits in hand, work is scheduled to begin in early July! Andy Allen, owner of Western Medical, the construction manager for the project says; "I'm super excited to be contributing to this community and overseeing this important renovation. We've come full-circle. My company's first job ever was building the pharmacy in Lady Minto Hospital 17 years ago. Th…
Read more about Lady Minto Hospital Foundation to begin renovations on new staff housing

Heat alert, Carrot Day arrives; spring diseases

The first day of summer is here and it is drizzly and cool again, but there IS a forecast of warm sunny weather coming at week’s end. For vegetables, the forecast highs of 24-27C [75-80 F] for much of the region (hotter than that up the Fraser Valley), constitutes a heat wave. Plants have been growing for so long in cool, moist, cloudy conditions that leaf tissue is soft and unprepared for hot weather. Should the heat materialize, before you head out for beach or barbeque, take time to rig up shade on seedlings, seedbeds, cool weather crops (peas, lettuce, young plants in the cabbage family). Any plants with large, soft leaves (squash, beans, leafy greens) could experience sunscald injury, especially at the highest temperatures. So keep your shading materials handy (shade cloth, latticework, lace tablecloths) for rapid deployment and watch the weather forecast. We haven’t been thinking about watering until now, but don’t forget to check that soil isn’t getting too dry. Every…
Read more about Heat alert, Carrot Day arrives; spring diseases

‘Love Local’ across the Southern Gulf Islands - Enjoy Mayne Island

All spring, the Chambers of Commerce from Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Saturna, and Salt Spring have been ‘island hopping’, showing local residents how to shop, eat, and stay where their hearts are— here in our interconnected island communities. Our last stop on this Southern Gulf Islands tour is Mayne Island, and just in time to plan your own island hopping adventure with Tour Des Iles this weekend, June 24-26. S,ḴŦAḴ, the SENĆOŦEN name for what we call Mayne Island in English, is both peaceful and active, offering meaningful recreation year-round. Among its eclectic and welcoming residents, you’ll find boating, hiking, biking, nature touring, shopping, dining, beach combing, and just "chillin", as the islanders say. The passion for supporting local is especially strong here so be sure to peruse its many galleries and studios scattered around the island; head to Terrill Welch Gallery for landscape paintings, Water’s Edge Silver for nature-inspired sterling silver jewelry, and Qu…
Read more about ‘Love Local’ across the Southern Gulf Islands - Enjoy Mayne Island

Support for the firehall continues to grow - MP Elizabeth May urges 'Yes' vote

Support for the proposed new firehall continues to grow. Provincial MLA Adam Olsen and CRD Director Gary Holman have both expressed their support, along with the Chair of Transition Salt Spring, Bryan Young, who said “Transition Salt Spring encourages islanders to take steps towards climate change resilience by voting in favour of the new firehall in June.” Now Salt Spring’s popular Green Party Member of Parliament, Elizabeth May, has publicly urged people to vote yes in the referendum to borrow $9.7 million. “I am writing in support of the proposed new firehall project on Salt Spring Island. I generally do not take a position on local issues that fall outside federal jurisdiction; however, we know that more emergency situations are likely to arise due to the climate crisis. It is critical that the Salt Spring Island community seizes this opportunity to be better prepared for emergencies and extreme events. This proposal must be accepted. Salt Spring Island is in di…
Read more about Support for the firehall continues to grow - MP Elizabeth May urges 'Yes' vote

BC Nature wants Fulford estuary restored

Opposition to the proposed Vortex resort at the site of the former Fulford Inn has grown from a rumble to a roar as the public becomes more informed about the details of the project. Most recently, BC Nature, a highly respected and influential group representing 6,000 naturalists throughout British Columbia, came out firmly against the project. An official letter to the Trust has called for the estuary to be restored to its natural state: “BC Nature, a federation of more than 50 naturalists’ clubs with 6,000 members throughout BC, believes that the natural health and wealth of B.C. is essential to a sustainable future. BC Nature writes in support of our member club, Nature Salt Spring, to express our shared concerns about the proposed Vortex development in the Fulford Estuary on Salt Spring Island. “The Vortex project, as proposed, threatens the biodiversity of Fulford Estuary and the ecologically sensitive, significant fish-bearing Fulford Creek. Vulnerable populations o…
Read more about BC Nature wants Fulford estuary restored

Obituary: Ted Harrison

Ted Harrison — January 2, 1940, to June 10, 2022 In His Own Words … "I have always been an active, independent, caring individual and with few exceptions, have lived a full, privileged, purposeful life blessed by family, friends and opportunities to pursue ever-arising interests. Tennis, squash, sailing, kayaking, long distance cycling, gardening and farming have been major pursuits in my life in addition to my rewarding career in the civil service. As my health challenges grew over the past decade, I continued to enjoy community volunteering, bridge, reading, crossword puzzles and an active social life. My beloved wife, Susan (Evans), and my two wonderful children, Marybeth and Mark, are the most valued relationships I have ever enjoyed. I love them dearly. They have given my life purpose and meaning. Friends and other family have played important roles as well. In recent years, my health has continued to decline and my experience has become one of chronic pain, diminish…
Read more about Obituary: Ted Harrison

Mental Wellness - "Culture of Care" - What would it mean to you to be included? To have your voice heard?

The following is a reflection shared by Bernice Rahm, a participant in summits held in April by the Salt Spring Mental Wellness Initiative (MWI). The MWI has held six summits since January of 2022 focusing on growing Peer Support and Volunteer Counselling on Salt Spring. What would it mean to you to be included? To have your voice heard? To have your lived experience valued and acknowledged alongside the opinions of professionals? To be included regardless of capacity, qualification or degree - just honoured for your willingness to give your energy and voice in authenticity? This is a little of what it felt like to participate in the recent Mental Wellness Initiative Summit. What I experienced was the purposeful commitment to using a "Culture of Care" - something that, at our core, we all crave - and from our cultural conditioning and family history, few have experienced. In participation with the 26 people who attended I experienced active encouragement and an invitat…
Read more about Mental Wellness - "Culture of Care" - What would it mean to you to be included? To have your voice heard?

Obituary: Beverly Ruby Byron

Our amazing mom, Bev Byron, left us Sunday afternoon, June 12, 2022. She passed away in her farmhouse, with her family very close. Beverly Ruby ( Hicks) Byron came to Salt Spring Island with her husband, Mike Byron, in 1961 from Surrey where she taught elementary school. They returned to Salt Spring to the farm on Stowel Lake. It was there she spent the rest of her days farming, gardening, cooking huge family dinners, barbecuing lamb and of course raising her three girls, Francie, Jacquie and Deanie. She was a substitute teacher for many years while the girls were young, then taught full time at Salt Spring Elementary, Fernwood and Fulford Elementary. She loved and was loved by her three daughters, 7 grandchildren, and most recently her 3 great grandchildren. Details about her Celebration of Life are to come.
Read more about Obituary: Beverly Ruby Byron

Summer service change coming to Salt Spring Island

BC Transit and the Capital Regional District are announcing a seasonal service change for the Salt Spring Island Transit System effective June 29, 2022. Service on select routes in the system is being adjusted to match demand and align with BC Ferries’ schedules. These changes cause other routes, which do not directly serve the ferry terminals, to be adjusted as well. In addition, the service change sees the implementation of Route 9 service to Ruckle Park for the summer season. For more information on the service change, fares and schedules, please visit bctransit.com/salt-spring-island.
Read more about Summer service change coming to Salt Spring Island

ASK Salt Spring with CRD Director Gary Holman on firehall referendum, community use of the existing hall and more

Only seven joined us for this Zoom gathering to welcome CRD’s Gary Holman. (In hindsight, weather would have permitted us to gather in the United Church Meadow... hopefully next Friday! While offering us a Territorial Acknowledgement, Gary spoke briefly about the recent Provincial denial of a subdivision on James Island. Gary sees this as a very positive provincial reconciliation decision, reminding us that BC is leading the nation in supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People as well as taking additional legislative actions to implement it. Gary believes that this James Island decision is a signal of a provincial action-based commitment to reconciliation. Before beginning, the group discussed how ASK Salt Spring should proceed as the election nears. It was agreed that the second Friday of the month should continue to focus on CRD issues and that all who declare their intention to run for Electoral Director will be invited to participate…
Read more about ASK Salt Spring with CRD Director Gary Holman on firehall referendum, community use of the existing hall and more

Obituary: Pierre Boies

Pierre Boies - Friday, December 13, 1957, to Friday, May 27, 2022 Pierre passed away peacefully at Lady Minto Hospital, Salt Spring Island, BC after a hard-fought battle with esophageal cancer. He chose to exit this world with the help of MAID when the last of his life became too much to bear. He was surrounded by the people nearest and dearest to his heart. At his bedside were Normand Boies (brother) and Diane Lemieux (sister-in-law) from Montreal, as well as his long-time friends Susan and Merv Anderson and Monika Mayr. He was predeceased by his father Gérard Boies in December, 2020 and his stepson Nathan Mayr in May, 2005. Pierre will be greatly missed by his mother, Aline Bédard Boies who turned 95 years old the day before Pierre`s death, his brother Robert Boies (Joane), his sister Monique Boies (Marc Lamontagne), and his brother Normand Boies (Diane Lemieux) mentioned above. He also had many friends in B.C. and Quebec who will miss him greatly as well. Pierr…
Read more about Obituary: Pierre Boies

Obituary: Anthony (Tony) Campbell

Anthony Campbell - June 13, 1941, to June 9, 2022 Anthony (Tony) Campbell passed away at his home on Salt Spring Island on June 9, 2022. Tony was born on June 13, 1941, in Surrey, England, an only child to Marjorie Ethel and Edward Augustus Campbell. Both his parents were serving in the British military forces. He lost his father at a very young age. In 1946 he immigrated to Vancouver Island, Canada, with his mother, now a war bride married to Bert Beggs. Tony attended school in the Chemainus area. He left school, barely a teenager, and began his working career. His early occupations were manyfold and included heavy equipment operation, logging, truck driving, and insurance adjusting, until eventually focussing on Carmac Enterprises, his own Porsche repair and racing business. Tony’s racing career began with the purchase of his first Porsche in 1963. The following year he achieved the BC Hillclimb Championship. Over the next few years, he raced and owned many cars includi…
Read more about Obituary: Anthony (Tony) Campbell

ASK Salt Spring with MLA Adam Olsen on the BC Museum rebuild, BC Ferries, the Islands Trust Policy Statement and more

Eighteen joined this ASK Salt Spring Zoom gathering welcoming our MLA, Adam Olsen. After our Territorial Acknowledgement, Adam began by telling us about some of the things on his mind. He spoke briefly about the adjournment of the Spring legislative session and his transition to focusing undivided attention on constituent advocacy. He is looking forward to spending time on each of the islands in his riding. He is also looking forward to some travel in British Columbia to better understand some of the larger provincial issues. Adam also spoke of his grave concern about the almost $800 million being spent by the province to rebuild the BC Museum, a concern he also expressed in our May 20 gathering. Differing from the commonly-held western view of museums, Adam brings a perspective of conflict and sadness concerning museum collections. While many see museums as a way to celebrate our histories, Adam sees the placement of important Indigenous ceremonial items behind glass as sad…
Read more about ASK Salt Spring with MLA Adam Olsen on the BC Museum rebuild, BC Ferries, the Islands Trust Policy Statement and more

Obituary: John Bryan Reed Parker

John Bryan Reed Parker - June 11, 1936 to May 14, 2022 John was born in Seaford, Sussex and spent most of his childhood with his adopted family. Only in the last two years of his life was he united with his birth family. He was delighted to meet his nephews and nieces, the children of his brothers and sisters and cousins to Sarah, Alice and Helen. He was proud of his eldest brother Ron who flew Spitfires during WW11. As a child, John had the freedom to explore the woods and fields near his home, helped the farrier, and the farmer milk the cows and bring in the hay. At 14 he was sent as a boarder to Lancing College where he excelled at science, developed a lifelong interest in classical music and natural history, fenced, and shot at Bisley. He graduated from St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College in 1960 and married his fellow student Zillah. During his years at Barts he took up rock Climbing. He went to the Westminster Hospital for training in Anaesthesia. It was…
Read more about Obituary: John Bryan Reed Parker

Round Saltspring returns with its 47th race around the rock

After a two-year hiatus during Covid precautions, the Saltspring Island Sailing Club welcomed 77 skippers and their crews to its popular Round Saltspring Race weekend on May 20th-22nd. The long weekend event brought back all the traditions that have made it the “coast’s favourite regatta”. Friday night featured a BBQ with live music by Saltspring Sailing Club’s house band, The Wharf Rats. The popular Sunday pancake breakfast served by the local Lions Club was followed by the awards presentation, where winners in every division took home lavish prizes, including picnic bags filled with gourmet Saltspring goodies. The 42-mile course around Saltspring is always a tactical challenge for racers, with strong currents, unpredictable wind shifts, and typical light airs at the north and south ends of the island. The 2022 race was no exception. Light airs predominated, and the calms at Fulford Harbour and Southey Point created “parking lots” where the fleet stopped, compressed, reshuf…
Read more about Round Saltspring returns with its 47th race around the rock

We need safer cycling infrastructure now and for the future

It’s GoByBike Week in B.C., Walk & Wheel Month on Salt Spring, and the busy summer cycling season is about to begin. All cycling on our island is on road shoulders, none of which are more than 0.6m where paved. The rest are gravel or non-existent, many with drop-offs into ditches. What to do about this? Every newcomer has the great idea that we need to get decent, consistent, paved shoulders for safer cycling. So let’s get ‘er done! That was me in 2005, three years into living on island, upon joining the Regional Trail Task Force (SSI-RTTF) that CRD-Director Gary Holman started. I saw the following newly minted CRD map and got the bug. We’d get Salt Spring’s part of this fabulous loop done in no time. Before the SSI-RTTF folded in 2008, Gary started the Transportation Commission (SSITC), and I created a different version of this map, which I’ve modified over the years. I called this great vision the Salish Sea Trail Network, an informal name that stuck. …
Read more about We need safer cycling infrastructure now and for the future

Salt Spring RCMP Provide 2022, 1st Quarter Report

Collision on Vesuvius Bay Road - Photo: Salt Spring RCMP As of April 1, 2022, Salt Spring RCMP responded to 654 calls in the first three (3) months of the year. In addition to these 654 calls, SSI RCMP conducted 48 licenced premises checks (bar walks), 254 foot patrols in Centennial Park and other areas, and issued 119 warnings/violation tickets for traffic-related offences. Of the 650+ calls, there were 67 mental health-related calls (10% of call volume in this quarter), 9 firearms calls, 9 sex-related offences and 16 motor vehicle collisions. Police also responded to downed power lines, child custody issues, snow-related traffic hazards, mischief including multiple acts of graffiti, multiple assaults and multiple drug/alcohol-related offences. In the first quarter of 2022, some of the calls are detailed below: January: a male was apprehended and transported to Hospital after making suicidal comments Police were called for a male smashing the windows of a veh…
Read more about Salt Spring RCMP Provide 2022, 1st Quarter Report

Salt Spring Fire Rescue to host second information open house for proposed new firehall

Ballots to vote in the firehall referendum are starting to arrive this week in mailboxes across Salt Spring Island. All B.C. residents 18+, who are Canadian citizens on title of a property on Salt Spring, are eligible to vote by mail-in ballot. Completed ballots must be received by June 30. To inform the public about the costs, scope, and benefits of the proposed new firehall, Salt Spring Fire Rescue continues to reach out to islanders, including with an Open House set for this Thursday night at Firehall # 1 in Ganges. Recently the CRD announced that the new firehall will qualify for $1 million in federal gas tax funding, which can be added to the $3 million that has been set aside by the Board of Trustees out of reserves. That leaves the Fire Improvement District seeking approval by taxpayers to borrow $9.7 million to build the estimated $13.7 million project, which can all be done without raising property taxes. The SSIFPD Board of Trustees and the management tea…
Read more about Salt Spring Fire Rescue to host second information open house for proposed new firehall

Market coupons build a stronger local food system

Lately, the news headlines are full of discouraging news about escalating food prices, the highest inflation rates in three decades, supply chain distributions creating shortages of goods, and the negative impacts of climate change. It seems more important than ever to build resilient, local food systems and to support those in our community who are the most affected by barriers to accessing nutritious food. Fortunately, there is a program that does just that. Once again, Salt Spring Community Services will be partnering with the Tuesday Farmers’ Market to administer the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program. The Nutrition Coupon program is an initiative begun by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets to provide low income seniors, families and pregnant women with access to products at qualifying BC farmers’ markets. Each household enrolled in the program will receive coupons valued at $27, each week, for 16 weeks. These coupons can then be redeemed for vegetables, fru…
Read more about Market coupons build a stronger local food system

Salt Spring Island Fire Protection District agrees to transfer Firehall #1 to CRD for potential use as a year-round public market

Fire department will move to new firehall if taxpayers approve borrowing in referendum - The Salt Spring Island Fire Protection District (SSIFPD) announced that an agreement has been signed with the Capital Regional District (CRD) to transfer ownership of firehall #1 as part of the plan to build a new firehall. The Chair of the SSIFPD Board of Trustees, Rollie Cook, noted that “This is a win-win for our department and the community. The Fire Department gets to remain in the building during the construction period, rent free, and the building in the center of Ganges will still operate as a public asset, which a committee of stakeholders suggested during consultations in 2021, including the Chamber of Commerce, Farmer’s Institute, the CRD, Islands Trust and the Ag Alliance.” Fire Chief Jamie Holmes pointed out that “we also get a guarantee of retaining a 30,000-gallon water storage tank for fighting fires in the downtown core. It makes good sense operationally and will help…
Read more about Salt Spring Island Fire Protection District agrees to transfer Firehall #1 to CRD for potential use as a year-round public market

ASK Salt Spring on the proposed Local Community Commission (LCC)

Despite small numbers, a rich conversation made our two hours together fly. After our Territorial Acknowledgment, Gary began by giving us some information about the LCC and the process to bring it to referendum on October 15, 2022. Gary referenced the draft Discussion Paper with recommendations for a Salt Spring Local Community Commission (LCC) that was written by volunteers Brian Webster with able aid from Richard Kerr and Linda Adams, each bringing a wide range of local government and CRD-specific experience to the project. While Gary does not necessarily agree with every facet of the 37-page document, he believes it was well-researched and is a strong foundation for public discussion of an LCC. It is posted on both the Driftwood online edition and the Exchange. Hard copies are also available for review at the Library and free copies can be obtained at the nearby CRD office. Gary spoke briefly about the volunteer LCC Advisory Committee which he has appointed to consider…
Read more about ASK Salt Spring on the proposed Local Community Commission (LCC)