Obituary: Darlene Ellen Hawke

Darlene Ellen Hawke - October 8, 1957 to May 26, 2022 With sadness but with gratitude for having had her in our lives, we say goodbye to Darlene. Darlene was the `entertainer’ in the family and her enthusiasm was infectious! She was born in Ottawa to Reginald and Hellen Hawke. One of five daughters, she had a ready-made audience and cast of characters to hone her skills. At an early age she was telling jokes and creating and producing skits for family and friends with her four sisters in tow. This early creativity blossomed and shone as she continued to write poems, songs, plays and books. Family events and milestones fueled her creativity…and nothing could stop that train of thought of hers once it got rolling! She wrote songs for birthdays, family reunions, Christmas & Easter celebrations and remembrances of loved ones. She wrote a play for her sister Heather’s wedding, one for her nephew Mitch, and even co-authored a book to commemorate a loved-one’s life. This was…
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The climate crisis means a new firehall is overdue: An open letter from Transition Salt Spring

By the time summer finally gets underway on Salt Spring – if it comes at all – the votes will have been tallied for the firehall referendum happening at the end of June.   Let’s hope residents choose the right option for our challenging times.   Transition Salt Spring (TSS), the authors of the Salt Spring Island Climate Action Plan, is staking out a public position in favour of a new firehall for three main reasons.   Reason #1: Flooding by 2050.  Our fire service requires an earthquake-resistant building out of the path of rising sea levels and storm surge. The current widely accepted science adopted by the Capital Regional District (CRD) and the City of Vancouver has sea levels rising 50 cm by 2050 and 1 metre by 2100.  But an updated scenario supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada shows sea level rises of over 1.25m by 2100. This frightening scenario incorporates new forecasts illustrating the increasing risks of Antarctic ice sheet collapse. Essentially…
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Salt Spring RCMP recognizes long time RCMP supporter

The Salt Spring RCMP would like to recognize the passing of Salt Spring resident Mr. Jose Gaspar. Mr. Gaspar was a long time supporter of the RCMP and the Salt Spring Island detachment. Mr. Gaspar’s support of the RCMP is attributed to his grandson Matt Gaspar joining the RCMP. Cst. Gaspar is currently posted to the E Division Major Crime Section where he is part of the Integrated Child Exploitation Unit. Since Mr. Gaspar’s passing, Sgt. Clive Seabrook has heard many stories of Mr. Gaspar’s support of the RCMP. Once example of this was in response to the tragic death of four RCMP Officers in Mayerthorpe, Alberta in 2005. Upon hearing of this tragic news, Mr. Gaspar arranged for four Dogwood trees to be planted on the Salt Spring Island RCMP detachment property in memory of the four fallen officers. On April 6, 2022, the Salt Spring RCMP planted a Dogwood tree at the Salt Spring Island detachment in memorial of Mr. Gaspar. The tree was planted in the same location that …
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Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust updates on The Root food hub progress and milestones

Photo: From left, Sheila Dobie, Nicole Melanson, Valerie Perkins, Stephane Aucoin, Ella Bronstein. (Not pictured: Daria Zovi) - Source: Farmland Trust Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust is anticipating its first AGM since the all new board of directors was installed last June. All interested community members are welcome to join by Zoom for the Monday, June 6th meeting starting at 6:00 PM. The meeting promises to bring famers and the community up to speed with the milestones, progress, and momentum the organization has enjoyed over the past year. It will also roll out what people can expect through the rest of 2022, with some large achievements coming to fruition. The most significant announcements will be concerning the long-anticipated food hub, The Root on Beddis Road, and the final countdown to its completion and launch later in the year. The Root’s three-storey facility, barn, and surrounding grounds have the mandate to improve Salt Spring’s ability to produce, …
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Effects of the cool spring, winter crops to sow, spring pests

With night temperatures finally at reasonable levels for tender vegetables, it should be safe to plant squash and tomatoes in most gardens. I am still holding my cucumbers and melons in pots for a little longer, bringing them indoors at night. If you planted out such tender plants earlier and they are still looking OK, that’s great--but if plants are now in poor shape, you might want to get replacements this week while garden centres still have stock. If they didn’t outright die, warmth loving plants that were planted outdoors while nights were still too cool may be looking sadly nutrient deficient now. They might have pale yellow leaves, or in the case of tomatoes, purplish and yellow leaves. The oldest leaves may look even worse—turning brown, wilting or dying back—especially after leaves of some plants were windburned by high winds in the storm last week. In the last several days of warmth, however, any plants with a will to live should be showing signs of healthy dark green…
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ASK Salt Spring with MLA Adam Olsen, CRD’s Gary Holman, and Trustee Laura Patrick on the new firehall vote, LLC and more

Twenty-two gathered to welcome MLA Adam Olsen, CRD’s Gary Holman, and Laura Patrick (one of our two local Trustees for the Islands Trust) to this ASK Salt Spring Zoom gathering. After our Territorial Acknowledgement, each of our special guests took a few moments to share what was on their minds on this lovely spring day. Laura acknowledged that all of our elected officials work together to address the complex issues that face our community. Adding his agreement, Adam spoke of his hope for the opportunity to soon begin meeting together in-person in local town halls with our federal, provincial, and local representatives. He also spoke briefly about this week’s announcement of the plan to spend almost $800 million to rebuild the BC Museum and his unique perspective on museums. Gary spoke of the two decisions Salt Springers will make this year: Will we approve the firehall referendum on June 30 and/or the Local Community Commission on October 15? Concerning the firehall, …
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Connecting the Dots - Cultural curiosity and compassion

In honour of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21st, The Circle Education is connecting the dots between similarities that blend us together in a shared humanity as well as the differences that allow us to proudly stand out. Adele Mark moved from Los Angeles to Salt Spring Island when she was fifteen years old: from a melting pot of cultures and religions to a small rural island. With her Jewish background, she was a minority on Salt Spring Island and she even encountered antisemitism. In this blog, she writes how curiosity and compassion can lead to understanding and greater cultural awareness despite differences. I grew up in Los Angeles, California in a Jewish household. My family wasn’t religious, but our Jewish faith was a part of our everyday life. My mom prepared traditional Jewish foods made with lots of love (and garlic), we communicated through Jewish humour passed down through the generations, and we called each other Yiddish …
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How to ‘Love Local’ across the Southern Gulf Islands - Find an oasis on Galiano Island

The Chambers of Commerce from Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Saturna, and Salt Spring have been ‘island hopping’ this spring, encouraging local residents to shop, eat, and stay where their hearts are. Because our communities are interconnected, supporting our neighbour islands strengthens our region as a whole. Our next stop on this Southern Gulf Islands tour is Galiano Island: tag along! Known as the gem of the Salish Sea, Galiano Island boasts an impressive list of trails and some of the most creative food west of the mainland. Find cliffside views, views, and more views with a visit to the Bluffs, a hike up Mount Galiano, or by exploring Bodega Ridge Provincial Park. Meander the shoreline at one of the island’s 69 shore access points or with an afternoon at Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park, with its white shell beaches, open meadows, and tidal lagoons. Or adventure to an isolated refuge with incredible sandstone formations at Dionisio Point Provincial Park which is access…
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New live cam with views of the Vesuvius Dock and Stuart Channel

Just in time for the long-weekend, and the beginning of typically higher volumes of ferry traffic, the Salt Spring Exchange is pleased to announce the latest addition to our travel planning and local tourism live cam network. This new live cam has a view of the ferry slip at the Vesuvius Dock, the waters of Stuart Channel and a sneak peak of the mill in Crofton thrown in for good measure. Now, in addition to being able to have a view of the traffic in the terminal at Vesuvius with our Vesuvius Terminal cam, you can also have a better sense of where the ferry is at in its travels across the channel, along with real-time wind and water conditions. We also might be able to see a nice view of the sunsets at different times of the year! Special thank you to the good folks at Seaside Restaurant who are generously helping to host this cam. Visit them to enjoy their fantastic fish and chips and more! Support local businesses who support our local community. Thank you for suppo…
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Your input informs Islands Trust bylaw drafting

Land use planning can be equally as boring as a two-sailing wait for a ferry and as fraught with drama as a high school musical. Today I’m writing to help you understand the draft land use bylaw for accessory dwelling units that just had its first reading at the Local Trust Committee. Planners call them ‘accessory dwelling units’, but regular folk call them cottages and suites, and they’re not a new thing here on Salt Spring.  But the bylaw is new, and with it we’re attempting to provide a policy that will grow our on-island compliment of resident landlords -- people with a primary residence who are willing to let either a secondary suite, a suite associated with an accessory building, or a cottage. Your Local Trust Committee (myself, Peter Grove, and Peter Luckham) gave first reading to the draft bylaw at our April 19 meeting.  I supported first reading because I wanted to start the process and I’m serious about increasing the availability of long-term rental housing in …
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$1 million Community Works Fund agreement in principle for Salt Spring Island fire hall

The Salt Spring Island Fire Protection District (SSIFPD) announced today an agreement in principle with the Capital Regional District (CRD) for a $1 million Community Works Fund (gas tax) contribution towards construction of a proposed new fire hall on Salt Spring Island. This arrangement with the CRD is contingent on approval by Fire District ratepayers to build a new fire hall. “Should the referendum pass, the CRD will work with the SSIFPD to facilitate transfer of federal funding to support construction of a new fire hall to replace the current building,” said CRD Director Gary Holman. “This agreement will allow us to reduce the cost for ratepayers of creating a much-needed new fire hall and illustrates how the CRD can work effectively with our fire district in a way that benefits the community.” A referendum is being scheduled for the end of June in which all SSIFPD ratepayers will be asked if they approve the fire department borrowing $9.7 million to build a new fire…
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Salt Spring Insights release Spring survey results: We’re happy, but disgruntled, especially about water and housing

Salt Spring Insights, an online research panel created earlier this year to enhance the quality of conversations taking place on Salt Spring, released highlights from its Spring 2022 research, showing that Salt Spring Islanders are generally happy with their quality of life, but very concerned about the lack of affordable housing as a threat to the community. The Salt Spring Insights online research panel is structured to be representative of Salt Spring residents by key demographics. The 2022 first quarter surveys featured a series of questions about fire facilities and services, as well as questions about quality of life on the island and the perceived value taxpayers receive for different services. The first three Salt Spring Insights panelist winners were also announced: Cathy George, Clare Nuyens and Tanya Stewart will each receive a gift certificate for Country Grocer. Participants who sign up and complete the next survey will also be eligible to win prizes. Qual…
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Police seeking public assistance in identifying graffiti suspect(s)

The Salt Spring Island RCMP is seeking assistance from the public with identifying the person(s) responsible for the most recent rash of graffiti that occurred during nighttime. On May 11, 2022, the Salt Spring Island RCMP were notified that several new graffiti surfaced near Charlesworth Rd and Fulford Ganges Rd. The graffitis expanded further towards Beddis Rd and Bishop’s Walk Rd. Throughout the investigation, it is estimated that over 60 separate locations were tagged using spray paint cans, says Corporal Matthew Crist of the Salt Spring Island RCMP. Evidence from one of the scenes has been seized by police for further forensic examination. If you have any information, please contact the Salt Spring Island RCMP at 250-537-5555
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ASK Salt Spring with North Salt Spring Waterworks District (NSSWD) Directors and Manager on election results and more

Sixteen joined this ASK Salt Spring Zoom gathering focused on North Salt Spring Waterworks District (NSSWD). Our special guests were NSSWD Trustees Sandra Ungerson, Gary Gagne, and Chris Dixon. Also joining us was NSSWD Manager, Don Pickle. After our Territorial Acknowledgement, they began by telling us what was on their minds on this lovely spring May day. Gary began by sharing his pleasure that the Board has been re-elected. Although happy with the consistency this offers, he also noted that there had been other good candidates and a lot of interest in the election, a satisfying change from some previous elections. He was pleased with the turnout at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) the evening before, energized by the interested attendees and their good questions and concerns. He left the AGM committed to continue to engage with our community, even citing this and his other recent visit to ASK Salt Spring as an important part of NSSWD’s outreach. Chris echoed Gary’s com…
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Connecting the Dots - “Where are you from?”

In honour of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and development on May 21st, The Circle Education talks with young people to celebrate different backgrounds. Through our youth, we hope to offer a look at the world from different perspectives. In this way, we begin to open up horizons, providing our societies with connection and making them more inclusive A series of interviews will be published throughout May and the beginning of June. Janine-Fernandes-Hayden, Executive Director at The Circle Education, starts off with a story about how her feelings changed about the question “Where are you from?” “Where are you from?”  With brown skin and an "exotic" last name, it seemed like a reasonable question to be asked.  And yet, I remember going through a stage in my life, when I found this question horribly offensive.  I am a first-generation Canadian and at the time, I felt appalled that I might be labeled as an immigrant, especially one from India, piggybacked wi…
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CRD Local Community Commission (LCC) Discussion Paper: Introduction

One of my 2018 election platform commitments was to improve governance on Salt Spring, including seeking voter approval for an elected CRD Local Community Commission (LCC). This discussion paper initiates public consultation on the proposal, and will be available in several venues, including online (Salt Spring Exchange, Driftwood, social media), and hard copies at the library and local CRD office. This paper was drafted at my request by several members of the Governance Working Group of the Community Alliance organization, which was formed to consider governance improvements after the failed referendum on incorporation in 2017. The paper makes a number of recommendations regarding the composition, responsibilities, and remuneration of an elected at large LCC for Salt Spring. The possibility of an LCC has been considered as part of previous governance studies undertaken during Provincially-initiated incorporation processes. I’ve also outlined the LCC proposal in previous Dri…
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Conserving Our Island’s Rainforest

Here on Salt Spring Island is a rare coastal temperate rainforest. The air is cool and moist. It feels, smells, and looks different than the drier rainshadow landscape we are accustomed to on the Southern Gulf Islands. Yet, there is much more that makes this forest rare and special. Fifteen and a half acres of this temperate rainforest, the Creekside Rainforest, are now the object of a conservation project. Cusheon Creek, one of the few salmon-bearing streams on Salt Spring Island, flows through the land. Local conservation groups have been working to protect Cusheon Creek for almost 40 years. In 2008, a community-led project resulted in the protection of a 19.5-acre adjoining parcel, Jarrod’s Grove Nature Reserve. The Conservancy now has the opportunity to acquire and protect 15.5 more acres of this unique ecosystem. Concerned neighbours initiated the conservation efforts. In 2021, Susan Bloom, a supportive neighbour and donor to the project, said of Creekside Rainfo…
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Obituary: Doreen Grace Minshall

Doreen Grace Minshall, of Salt Spring Island, BC, passed away with family at her bedside in the early morning hours of March 4th, due to complications brought on after suffering a stroke in August of 2021. She had just turned 84 years young on February 24th. Doreen was born and raised in Guelph, Ontario to parents Frederick and Edith Minshall (Mundy). She is survived by her son Kevin F. Gove (wife Deborah), her daughter Suzanne L. Gove-O’Rourke (husband Michael), granddaughters Victoria Durham, Allyson Gove (husband Nick Schubert), great grandson Ronan Schubert, brother Robert Minshall (wife Jean), her cousin Jacquie Welsh, three nieces, a nephew, as well as numerous cousins and cherished friends. Doreen was predeceased by her ex-husband, David Garfield Gove in 2019. Doreen attended high school at Guelph Collegiate Institute in Guelph, Ontario. She was married in 1959 and lovingly raised two children, her son Kevin, and daughter, Suzanne. The family relocated to Pierrefonds,…
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ASK Salt Spring with Darlene Gage, Ellie Parks, and Bruce Cameron on Vital Signs, Salt Spring Insights, Restorative Justice and more

A total of 14 joined us for all or part of this ASK Salt Spring Zoom gathering that welcomed Darlene Gage, Ellie Parks, and Bruce Cameron. After our Territorial Acknowledgement, each of our special guests spoke for a few minutes about their experience in community engagement and their interest in respectful conversations about potentially-divisive topics. Ellie Parks, a community developer and social worker, joined us at this ASK Salt Spring gathering in one of her many roles, that of a Salt Spring Island Foundation Board Member. Chairing its Vital Connections committee, the current focus is on the 2022 Vital Signs project. The Vital Signs report will compile existing data from the census and other reports. It will also gather information gained from a survey, focus groups, and interviews with knowledgeable community members. So far, 702 Salt Springers have taken the survey to share their thoughts about life on the island. Ellie spoke of the efforts of the Vital Signs tea…
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Salt Spring Island Fire Protection District announces new Chief Administrative Officer

The Board of Trustees is proud to introduce Mr. Rodney Dieleman as the new Chief Administrative Officer of the Salt Spring Island Fire Protection District starting June 1st, 2022. Rodney comes to us from the Province of Manitoba where he was the Director of Finance and Administration for both the Department of Environment, Climate and Parks as well as the Department of Natural Resources and Northern Development. In those roles, he administered contracts with 11 municipal fire departments, working with operating budgets exceeding $200 million dollars. Rodney has 25 years of practical experience managing complex financial systems with diverse stakeholders and is a graduate of Business Administration. Having worked in an executive capacity for the Manitoba government, Rodney is well qualified for the position and will be a tremendous asset to our community. We are lucky to have him. With the appointment of Jamie Holmes to Fire Chief and Rodney Dieleman to CAO, the Board o…
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IWAV Supports Survivors of Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault

Trigger warning: Sexual assault As Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) wraps up, IWAV wants to raise awareness about a type of sexual assault with which many people aren’t familiar. It raises a lot of questions, and IWAV wants to add some clarity to the discussion. Last summer, Islanders Working Against Violence (IWAV) launched the Sexual Assault Response Program on the Southern Gulf Islands. Since July of 2021, survivors of sexual assault on the islands have had access to a free, coordinated emergency response, ongoing support/advocacy, and individual counselling by a team of professionals. All sexual assault survivors are invited to access these services, even if the survivor cannot fully recall the details of the assault. The SARP offers its services and supports to survivors of “drug-facilitated sexual assault.” Many people have heard the term “date rape drug” or have been told to watch their drink at a party, but they may not be familiar with the term drug-facil…
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