Watch: 'Abandoned Dreams' Documentary Features Local Work of the Dead Boat Disposal Society

Derelict and abandoned boats are one of the most frustrating and alarming issues faced by British Columbia’s coastal communities today. Reaching the end of their usable life cycle, with current disposal options being prohibitively expensive and no way to track ownership, old sail and powerboats are being left to rot on their moorings in public anchorages and bays in staggering numbers. Not only do these vessels clog up BC’s most prized destinations and waterways but they often end up drifting onto beaches and into public property—costing taxpayers and communities millions of dollars in damage and environmental clean-up each year. The Documentary After covering this issue in Pacific Yachting, we continued to monitor the problem and heard from many people in the boating community that this was a growing concern. In the fall of 2019, we were presented with an opportunity from Sportsman Channel Canada to share the story as a documentary. Abandoned Dreams looks into th…
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BC Ferries Launches New Fare Options for Vancouver – Vancouver Island Routes

BC Ferries announced the launch of new fare options today on the three Metro Vancouver – Vancouver Island routes. These new fares will benefit customers travelling for essential purposes only and once it’s safe to resume non-essential travel, all customers will be able to take advantage of more fare choices. In addition to BC Ferries’ At Terminal and Reservation Only fares, customers currently travelling for essential purposes will immediately be able to take advantage of a new Saver fare and Prepaid fare. The Saver fare is BC Ferries’ most affordable fare and will be available on less busy sailings, while the Prepaid fare lets customers book and pay for their full travel in advance, saving time at terminal check-in. These new fare options are available for advanced purchase only. BC Ferries expects these additional fare options will reduce sailing waits at popular times, make better use of all sailings and help make the ferry system more efficient. “Our routes between Me…
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BC Ferries Seeks Community Input on Ferry Schedules in The Southern Gulf Islands

With the introduction of a new Salish-Class vessel and its increased capacity to the Southern Gulf Islands in 2022, BC Ferries is reaching out to island communities to identify ways to enhance ferry service in advance of the new ship's arrival. Engagement will take place in two phases. In Phase One, now underway, BC Ferries will work with the community to develop a list of criteria to evaluate schedule options later in the process. In Phase Two, the company will present schedule options to the community and use the criteria to evaluate them. Community feedback will help create an improved schedule for the Southern Gulf Islands. Ferry Advisory Committees for the Southern Gulf Islands and Salt Spring Island will be heavily involved in the engagement process throughout, helping to review community feedback, and refine and finalize schedule options. “The Southern Gulf Islands are growing and changing, and working towards pandemic recovery,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ Pres…
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COVID-19: BC Ferries Encourages Essential Travel Only This Holiday Season

Delivery of goods and holiday packages remain a priority - BC Ferries is advising customers to avoid non-essential travel over the holiday period, in keeping with direction provided by the Province of British Columbia. The company continues to transport commercial traffic, delivering essential goods and services to coastal communities. Commercial traffic, in fact, is as strong or stronger across all routes than for this same period last year. For customers who need to travel for essential reasons, BC Ferries offers the following advice to support safe travel this holiday season: Plan in advance. Priority will be to keep essential goods, groceries, holiday letters and packages moving. Book in advance. This guarantees passengers travel on the sailing of their choice. BC Ferries recently launched a new mobile-friendly website that makes it easier for customers to book and manage their bookings online. For full schedule information, current conditions and bookings, pleas…
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Making the Case for Safe Cycling with Alternative Options

As a long time island cyclist it is very encouraging to hear Capital Regional District (CRD) Director Gary Holman announce new cycling infrastructure to be built in the next year. Especially notable is a 1.5 meter shoulder going up the Ganges Hill from Seaview Avenue to Beddis Road, and while I applaud such moves, much is still needed to make our island safe for cycling. I have seen lately a big increase of cyclists on our island roads and with ebikes making hill climbing much easier, I believe we are going to keep seeing more cyclists for the next few years. Many are rediscovering the joys of bicycling because of COVID and social distancing; it is an activity that remains safe, that is as long as no one gets hit by a car. The reason there is poor cycling infrastructure on Salt Spring is that for many years, local cyclists have been told that bike paths are very expensive and in this part of the world, where bicycles are often looked at as a toy rather than a viable mode …
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Watch: Take a Tour of the Newest Section of Multi-Use Pathway at Central

The Salt Spring Transportation Commission continues to make progress extending the multi-use path along Lower Ganges Road. Once completed, this new section now open to the public will extend from Baker Road to Vesuvius Road completing the first phase of this particular section of pathway. Phase two of this latest round of trail work will, when complete, connect the section from Booth Canal Road to Baker Road. Once that section is complete, it will be possible, using a combination of pathways and sidewalks, to safely walk all the way from Ganges to Central on a separate, protected, pedestrian trail connecting into the sidewalks and bike paths of the soon to be complete North Ganges Transportation Plan Project. https://youtu.be/8c53UVRipo8
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Watch: Bicycle Life - How The Electric Bicycle Is Transforming Island Lives

What if we chose the electric bicycle as our primary way of getting around? Instantly lowering our costs of living, reducing our carbon, increasing our health, supporting the autonomy of young and old, reviving a vibrant local economy, on streets designed for everyone? Swapping our car for the ebike took some courage, but with safe, connected trails like the Salish Sea trail network, it would be an easy choice for many. This little film imagines the possibilities. https://youtu.be/_GGx9cnP624
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North Ganges Transportation Plan Sidewalks and Bike Lanes Nearing Completion

The North Ganges Transportation Plan design for pedestrian, cycling, and intersection improvements along Rainbow Road, non-harbour side of Lower Ganges Road and design intersection improvements to Upper/Lower Ganges intersection is now nearing completion. The estimated $1,700,000 project was built by Victoria, BC based Don Mann Excavating. Have a look at the video of the project nearing completion, photos of the project during construction, photos of the project nearing completion and detailed plans of the original working drawings outlining the scope of work of the project. Take a Video Tour of the Project Nearing Completion https://youtu.be/UWaF8J-jpSU Photos: Project Under Construction Photos: Project Nearing Completion Engineering Drawings for the Proje…
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Local Advocates Rally for Safe Cycling and Salish Sea Trail Completion

Over 70 local bike riders and cycling advocates gathered today for a social bike ride from Portlock Park to the United Church Meadow in Ganges in a show of support for safe cycling and to challenge local governments to support investments in local cycling infrastructure. Organized by Salt Spring Solutions as part of the GoByBike Week events being hosted around the province, the gathering was also an opportunity to rally support for investments in the completion of the Salish Sea Trail across Salt Spring Island. Local advocates are working to motivate Salt Spring's unusual, and for the purposes of these kinds of initiatives, not particular well structured government organizations, to take charge of implementing the long-held vision of improving Fulford-Ganges Road from the Fulford Ferry through to the Vesuvius Ferry to not only improve conditions for drivers, but to extend the width of the road shoulders to offer safe spaces for bikes to transit onto and across the island as …
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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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