Time-Lapse: Salt Spring Marina Demolition and Reconstruction

After 30 years of keeping boats safe and secure, the old Salt Spring Marina on Salt Spring Island was showing its age. In October of 2018, Island Marine Construction began demolition of the cherished marina. It was with a mix of emotion that the team who manages the marina watched the docks, pilings and the memories taken apart in Ganges Harbour. With a few issues and delays along the way, the harbour dredging was completed and Island Marine began construction. Along with the new ramp, pilings, docks and break water, the refurbished marina now includes new a Wi-Fi system for guests, online booking form and new surveillance security tools. The new marina is engineered to withstand immense wind conditions and waves, while also being eco-certified by Clean Marine BC. Sea-Flex anchors, cleated fingers and double pilings are designed to help ensure guests sleep safe & sound in their berths. While the reopening of the marina was delayed, and continues to be impacted by the COVI…
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COVID-19: Transport Canada Rescinds Option to Remain on Enclosed Vehicle Decks

BC Ferries is informing customers that as of Sept. 30, 2020, Transport Canada is rescinding the temporary flexibility it granted to ferry operators allowing passengers to remain in their vehicle on enclosed vehicle decks. Transport Canada granted this flexibility in the spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. BC Ferries must comply with Transport Canada regulations and the company supports the regulation and its intent. Enclosed car decks are spaces that represent inherent risk to the travelling public. During the pandemic these risks were mitigated with additional safety procedures and patrols. However, Transport Canada has now advised BC Ferries that measures have been developed and implemented to prevent the spread of the disease in all transportation modes and businesses across Canada. They have further advised the marine safety case for ending the practice of permitting people to remain in their vehicles on enclosed car deck is clear. BC Ferries has implemented …
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MLA Adam Olsen: Bring BC Ferries Back Into Government

The provincial government is responsible for the provincial transportation network including our ferry system, the critical service connecting coastal communities. That is why the BC Greens advocate for BC Ferries to be brought back into government. The ferries system connects us to our homes, our businesses and our communities. They are critical for the economic survival of coastal British Columbia. When an issue with the BC Ferries service arises, it is usually followed by an immediate and visceral reaction from the public. With at least a third of our provincial economy linked by our marine highways, the provincial government must ensure that the service is robust, reliable, convenient and affordable. This is a message I have heard consistently from my constituents in Saanich North and the Islands and across British Columbia. BC Ferries was deeply impacted when Dr. Bonnie Henry responded to the COVID-19 global pandemic by asking people to stay home and ordering stri…
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Vesuvius Terminal Trestle Repairs August 31, 2020 - September 2, 2020

Please be advised that BC Ferries will be doing maintenance work on the Vesuvius trestle. This work will take place at night from August 31 to September 2, 2020. Work will include replacement of deck boards and cross ties on the trestle. Equipment being used will increase the normal sound levels within the terminal from 10:30 pm to 5:30 am. All efforts will be made to minimize noise. BC Ferries would like to thank customers and neighbours for their understanding as we complete the necessary work.
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BC Ferries Adds More than 750 Sailings to Help Rebuild Local Economies

BC Ferries announced today that its ongoing engagement with Ferry Advisory Committees has resulted in the company adding 769 sailings above contract on its minor and northern routes, with the new schedule matching pre-COVID-19 service levels. These additional sailings will be in effect from September 8, 2020 through to March 31, 2021. On behalf of coastal communities, BC Ferries thanks the government of B.C. for its support of the sailings above contract during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our communities are very supportive of these sailings above contract,” says Keith Rush, Co-Chair of the Ferry Advisory Committees. “Ferry Advisory Committees have advocated for years for increased service levels to ferry dependent communities. I applaud BC Ferries for their commitment to provide additional service through to the end of March 2021.” “Ferry service and sailings that meet community needs also help strengthen economic activity and recovery from COVID…
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COVID-19: BC Ferries Receives Federal Funding the Safe Restart Agreement

BC Ferries is pleased to hear confirmation that the company is eligible for funding from the federal and provincial governments under the Safe Restart Agreement. We have been collaborating with both levels of government over the past several months regarding the significant impact of the pandemic on the coastal ferry system. We welcome the news of potential financial assistance for ferry users and coastal communities, and appreciate the efforts of both the Province and the federal government. BC Ferries has delivered safe, affordable and reliable lifeline ferry service to coastal communities throughout the pandemic, operating in the public interest regardless of financial losses. Ferry system reliability and accessibility are near all-time highs. In recent weeks to meet increased demand BC Ferries has maintained ferry system capacity approximately 20 per cent higher than demand to ensure access for essential goods, workers, travellers and residents, and will continue to do s…
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New Live Cam at Vesuvius Ferry Terminal

One of the locations for which we get the most requests to install a travel planning cam for Salt Spring Island is now finally live on the Salt Spring Exchange! The Vesuvius-Crofton Ferry is one of the most notoriously difficult locations to plan travel through on the island. Over the last many years, the run schedule has changed, there have been numerous ship changes, then there are the occasional mechanical and weather delays. Mix in seasonal tourism, hazardous cargo sailings and now, COVID-19 uncertainties, and you have a perfect storm of not having much sense about when, or if, you should travel through the Vesuvius terminal. Our team at the Exchange hope this new cam helps with some of those uncertainties and becomes another great travel and tourism resource for locals and visitors like the other cams already in our network. The new Exchange Live Cam at the Vesuvius Ferry Terminal is generously hosted courtesy of the wonderful team at the Seaside Restaurant who of…
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Which Areas of Salt Spring Had the Most Accidents between 2015 and 2019?

Well, it's probably a surprise to no one, that the most heavily travelled, and you could also say one of the most poorly built main roads of any community in the Southern Vancouver Island/Gulf Islands area is... Fulford-Ganges Road. This one road on Salt Spring has racked up the most number of car related accidents causing injury, fatalities and/or property damage. The recently released data from ICBC compiling all available self reported accident data from 2015-2019 shows that the main road of our island is in need of significant safety improvement, especially as it relates to cycling related accidents. Other hot spots and the worst area in town for accidents include the crosswalk intersection at Lower Ganges Road and Rainbow Road. An area now under construction that will improve sidewalks, the crosswalk and lighting in the area. Other areas in the North End that have chronic crash related challenges are the intersection at Central, which still records fair…
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Finish the Salish Sea Trail As Part of a Green Recovery

The Salish Sea Trail Network would be a gem for the province, creating a world class cycling destination, boosting local economies across the region, while supporting sustainable tourism, healthy living, and green transportation. Completing the network's only "broken link" - Salt Spring Island - would also solve a terrible safety problem keeping cycling from being a part of our lives, like it was only a generation ago. The Salish Sea Trail Network is an idea hatched almost 15 years ago, and amazingly, it is 90% complete. Connecting the safe, mostly off-road Lochside, Galloping Goose, Cowichan Valley Regional Trail, and the E&N Railroad, this cycling, walking and active transportation network connects some of the most populated - and stunning - parts of coastal BC. The missing link is the Vesuvius to Fulford ferry terminals on Salt Spring, where we well know the issues with narrow roadways, lack of shoulders, dangerous blind crossings, and fast moving traffic on often u…
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Scrap Your Car for an eBike Rebate Increase and Business Cargo Bikes

The Province is increasing e-bike rebates for individuals and businesses to help make electric-powered bikes more affordable and accessible, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “The popularity of e-bikes is on the rise and our government wants to encourage more people to purchase and ride these bikes,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “That’s why we are boosting the e-bike rebates for people and businesses. E-bikes are a much cheaper alternative to cars and are a safe way to travel. We look forward to seeing more people using e-bikes for getting around.” People who trade in a vehicle to scrap now have access to a rebate of $1,050 toward the purchase of any type of new e-bike — an increase of $200 from the previous year. The rebate is delivered through the Scrap-It transportation options program. The ministries of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, and Transportation and Infrastructure are providing $1,000 toward the rebate,…
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Watch: BC Air Ambulance Services at Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring Island

We're fortunate to live in a community that has an outstanding local hospital, but when one of us is hurt and we need specialized medical attention at one of the larger hospitals in Vancouver or Vancouver Island, and we need it fast, this is how it happens. Watch the video below. BC Ambulance can transfer patients by ferry, but when the circumstances are critical and time-sensitive, in most cases here on Salt Spring Island, that transport is by helicopter. Since 1998, Helijet has been contracted to provide helicopter transport for the British Columbia Emergency Health Services’ (BCEHS) Air Ambulance using air medical equipped Sikorsky S76 helicopters. From their bases at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, BC, Prince Rupert, BC and Kamloops, BC, a dedicated team of pilots and engineers are on call to aid the need of the ambulance services for patients. The twin-engine helicopters and their dedicated crews are on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. T…
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Be a Local and “Name the Local Campaign” Contest!

Win a gift basket of local goodies! - What’s in a name? Everything! In this time of crisis, there have been ongoing calls across the island asking folks to live, breathe, sleep, eat and shop Salt Spring. Let’s make that happen together! We’ve all heard the cliché wording, everything from “SHOP the ROCK” to “Resilient Are Us”, to “Bake It, Make It, Shake It LOCAL”. We’d love a name that comes from you and that’s why we’re asking the community for help. Our goal is to create a message, a local campaign slogan, or name that makes you feel proud to be a Salt Spring Local, one that supports your neighbours, friends and family by investing funds and energy into all aspects of our community. Who benefits? Small producers, farmers, artisans, local businesses, YOU, our environment and everyone who values who we are and what we do as islanders. Salt Spring is more than an island. It’s a community, a culture and a mindset. Let’s celebrate our community’s identity and bring out th…
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ASK Salt Spring: Cycling Infrastructure and Using Our Roads

Last Friday, 30 hardy folks braved the cool, breezy summer rains to gather at Portlock Picnic Pavilion to welcome our special guest, MLA Adam Olsen. Nine of them were avid cyclists who had just ridden from Fulford, an annual ride celebrating Kip Nash’s birthday, a former Salt Spring coach who was well supported by our community when challenged by a brain tumor. He, his family, and his friends make this celebratory fundraising ride every year to thank Salt Springers for their support during his difficult times. While many rode from Fulford to Ganges, this hearty nine continued on to Portlock Park to speak to Adam. They came with a plea for better infrastructure for cyclists. They spoke with passion of their fear of cycling on Salt Spring and their sadness that their children could not grow up as they had with the freedom to explore island roads on their bicycles. They spoke of non-existent shoulders and angry drivers unwilling to share the road with cyclists. (Adam had just d…
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COVID-19: BC Ferries Implements Transport Canada’s Face Coverings Requirement Today

Effective today, passengers travelling with BC Ferries will be required to be in possession of a face covering that covers their mouth and nose, and asked to wear this covering in situations when a physical separation of two metres cannot be maintained. This Transport Canada directive applies to all passengers over the age of two, including those passengers travelling in a vehicle. On sailings longer than 30 minutes, passengers will be asked to confirm they have a face covering and are willing to wear it when necessary. If a passenger answers ‘no’, or fails to answer, they will be unable to travel. For routes under 30 minutes, BC Ferries requests customers possess a face covering to wear if they cannot maintain appropriate physical distancing. On all routes, BC Ferries requests customers remain in their vehicle for the entire sailing if possible. Customers must also bring their own face coverings as BC Ferries will not be supplying them to travellers. As defined by the…
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COVID-19: BC Ferries Implements Requirement for Passenger Face Coverings

In keeping with directives and guidance provided by Transport Canada, passengers travelling with BC Ferries will be required to be in possession of a face covering that covers their mouth and nose, and asked to wear this covering in situations when a physical separation of two metres cannot be maintained. This directive goes into effect on June 15 for routes longer than 30 minutes and applies to all passengers over the age of two, including those passengers travelling in a vehicle. Passengers will be asked to confirm they have a face covering and are willing to wear it when necessary. If a passenger answers ‘no’, or fails to answer, they will be unable to travel. Customers must bring their own face coverings as BC Ferries will not be supplying them to travellers. As defined by the Public Health Agency of Canada, a face covering should fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops, be made of at least two layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen) …
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COVID-19: BC Ferries To Resume Long Harbour Ferry Service

Service to return to seasonal service levels to respond to growing demand - In collaboration with the Province, BC Ferries is increasing service on routes to the Southern Gulf Islands as of June 9, 2020 to match capacity with demand and better meet the needs of customers. This includes the re-opening of the Long Harbour terminal on Salt Spring Island. Demand on the Southern Gulf Island routes continues to grow. Effective June 9, 2020, the Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Salt Spring Island (Long Harbour) service will resume and the Victoria (Swartz Bay) – Southern Gulf Islands route will return to winter seasonal service levels. The routes will revert to the sailing times customers are used to seeing and are expected to alleviate the current demand pressures. Bookings for the Tsawwassen – Long Harbour route June 9 onwards are now open. Existing bookings made by customers on the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands route between June 9 and June 23 will be cancelled and the reservati…
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Breaking: Canadian Forces Snowbird Jet Crashes Near Kamloops On Way to West Coast Fly Over - One Team Member Dies, 2nd with Serious Injuries

One Canadian Forces Snowbird jet that was to fly over Salt Spring Island this weekend in honour of honour Cpt. Kevin Hage, whose has family that live on the island, crashed enroute in Kamloops. UPDATED March 17th - 08:00 PM: One member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) was killed on Sunday May 17, 2020 and one other member injured in an accident involving a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CT-114 Tutor aircraft in the vicinity of Kamloops, British Columbia. Killed was Captain Jennifer Casey, the team’s Public Affairs Officer, originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Captain Richard MacDougall, one of the team’s coordinators and pilot of the aircraft, was injured and is being treated for his injuries. The Canadian Forces Snowbirds were deployed on Operation INSPIRATION, a cross-Canada tour to lift the spirits of Canadians and salute front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of the accident, the CF Snowbirds were taking off from the airport in Kamloop…
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COVID-19: Salt Spring Island asks Potential Visitors to Stay Home, Stay Safe

Avoid visiting over the May long weekend - “Now is not the time to visit. We welcome you to come in the future when you can experience all that Salt Spring has to offer, but now is not that time.”  With the May long weekend looming, that’s the message from Salt Spring Island’s businesses, farms, and essential services. BC Ferries is reminding people to continue to avoid non-essential travel, and has extended the reduced ferry service to Salt Spring Island and other southern Gulf Islands. “I know the feeling of wanting a getaway -- we all do -- but that’s not what essential travel is,” says Laura Patrick, chair of the COVID-19 Farm and Business Response & Recovery Task Force, and Salt Spring Island trustee for the Islands Trust. “What’s essential right now is stopping the spread of COVID-19 in British Columbia, and maintaining Salt Spring’s limited supplies and services for locals,” Almost everything Salt Spring Island residents need comes via ferries. “There are ho…
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COVID-19: Trust Council Reminds People to Avoid Non-essential Travel to the Islands

In a region known for its welcoming farm stands, markets, and art studios, elected leaders are once again reminding people to avoid non-essential travel to the Gulf and Howe Sound islands and to minimize community interactions. As the Province starts to reopen gradually, the Islands Trust Council reminds visitors to stay close to home, and continue physical distancing and other measures a little bit longer. Trust Council suggests islanders continue to limit community interactions and refrain from extending invitations to visitors. "As we head into the May long weekend, we need people to remember our pleas that they avoid non-essential travel to the Gulf and Howe Sound islands and minimize community interactions as directed by the BC Centre for Disease Control,” emphasized Peter Luckham, Chair of the Islands Trust Council. “On most islands, our medical resources are non-existent or limited. In most cases, it is volunteers who offer first response, and we don't want to p…
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COVID-19: Harbour Air To Resume Salt Spring Flights with a Reduced Schedule

Daily flights begin operating between Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Sechelt and Salt Spring Island Over the past 38 years, Harbour Air has become a vital transportation link for coastal British Columbia. During the last few weeks, we have also seen the impact our service reductions have had on the communities we support. We know that “returning to operations” is not a “return to normal.” As we look towards the future, we are working hard to ensure that we are providing the safe, essential travel services you’ve come to expect from Harbour Air. The safety of our employees, their families and our communities is of the utmost importance to us. Please rest assured, we have adopted stringent safety measures that exceed both Transport Canada and Health Canada’s recommendations. We have introduced vigilant cleaning and physical distancing protocols, suspended scheduled flights and reduced our operations across the Province. Although we will continue to monitor the demand for …
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ASK Salt Spring Answers from Emcon and the Chamber of Commerce

Emcon Managers, Andrew Gaetz and Lisa Herschmiller What effect has this pandemic had on your operations? We have had to adjust in a variety of ways including: additional sanitization measures, staggering shifts, minimizing access to our shops and offices, adjusting work practices to meet social distancing guidelines, numerous training exercises and education on personal hygiene, and an increased number of pick ups in our larger yards to facilitate social distancing. We worried when a few staff caught colds and had to follow the protocol for a 14-day quarantine, but we are very proud to report that we are still running a 24/7 operation, and our staff is healthy and working. Despite the good health of our crew, some of these emergency measures have delayed our responses, so we appreciate your patience in these challenging times. When do you think that our roads will be swept and ready for lines to be painted? We now have a sweeper on Salt Spring…
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