BC Ferries Awards Contracts for 'Island Class' Hybrid Electric Vessels

Ships are designed to be fully electric when electric charging technology matures - BC Ferries continues to roll out its Clean Futures Plan and has awarded Damen Shipyards Group of the Netherlands contracts to build four more battery electric-hybrid Island Class vessels scheduled to go into service in 2022. In the spring of 2017, BC Ferries awarded Damen contracts to build two “first in class” of these battery electric-hybrid vessels. These vessels have successfully completed sea trials and will arrive in Victoria, B.C. by January 2020. With the extension of the partnership between BC Ferries and Damen now confirmed, Damen will extend its agreement with Point Hope Shipyards of Victoria, B.C. to provide technical and warranty support for the new vessels with their local staff. “Our Clean Futures Plan spells out our strategy to reduce GHG emissions by replacing our legacy carbon intensive fossil fuelled vessels with ships using clean energy,” said Captain Jamie Marshall, BC…
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Harbour Air - Seaplanes to ePlanes

We are thrilled to share the completion of significant project milestones in the conversion of the world’s first seaplane to ePlane! Our incredible maintenance team along with our partners at magniX have created dedicated space in our aircraft hangar and have been working diligently to make this a success since announcing our partnership this past spring. With the delivery and successful installation of the magniX motor, we are working hard to connect the internal systems in preparation for its first flight. With incredible work being completed each day and a number of integral components being delivered over the next few weeks, we are in the midst of some of the most exciting and critical development work. Currently, we are on track for the first test flight to take place before the end of the year. By mid-November, we expect to have a concrete time-frame to test the first fully electric flight. As of October 23, 2019, the following work has been completed: Air…
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BC Ferries Replaces Skeena Queen With Queen of Cumberland

Skeena Queen to be Replaced With Queen of Cumberland on Swartz Bay to Salt Spring Island Route During Mid-life Upgrade - BC Ferries announced today the vessel serving the Swartz Bay – Salt Spring Island route, the Skeena Queen, will be undergoing a mid-life upgrade from Oct. 28, 2019 to mid-March, 2020. This mid-life upgrade is necessary to provide required maintenance on the vessel and enhance the customer experience. Queen of Cumberland Replaces Skeena Queen during Mid-Life Upgrade BC Ferries will replace the Skeena Queen (92 Automobile Equivalent – AEQ) with the Queen of Cumberland (112 AEQ) for the majority of the time, providing equivalent capacity on the regular schedule. The Queen of Cumberland has vehicle ramps, unlike the Skeena Queen, and some customers may be loaded onto an upper level ramp. Customers must exit their vehicle when the ramp is in motion. With one ramp, the Queen of Cumberland can load 94 AEQ. The crew will mainly use one ramp because the regula…
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Service Notice for Overnight Work at Long Harbour Ferry Terminal

Please be advised that BC Ferries will be conducting necessary testing of fire suppression systems on the Salish Orca during overnight hours after the scheduled sailing have completed on both Wednesday, October 16 and Thursday, October 17. The work may require sounding of ship alarms at various intervals, and all measures will be taken to minimize the volume and frequency of these alarms. BC Ferries would like to thank its customers and neighbours for their patience and understanding as we complete this necessary systems testing. For traffic updates or more information please call us toll free at 1-888-BCFERRY (223-3779) or check our website at www.bcferries.com
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Celebrating Active Living: Walk & Wheel Week at Fernwood Elementary

Fernwood Elementary school participated in the 2019 Walk & Wheel to School Week today. The school and organizers were engaging students, teachers and parents in daily health and wellness activities that include walking and riding to school each day. Sean Mulligan, from Outspokin' Bike Shop, Elizabeth FitzZaland from GreenCity Builders and Bob MacKie from Transition Salt Spring, along with many other volunteers were on hand greet all students first thing in the morning. Students had the opportunity to enjoy snacks and treats prepared by the organizers and to sign up for discounted new helmet purchases. Organizers counted 65 bike riders and estimated there were about 40 walkers! Walk and Wheel to School Week (October 7-11, 2019) is a fun and free week-long campaign that celebrates and encourages students and their families to choose active travel for all or part of their usual commute to school. The campaign includes events, travel tracking, resources and support for schoo…
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Free Salt Spring Transit on Election Day

BC Transit and eight local government partners across the province will be offering free transit on federal election day, Monday, October 21, 2019. The free transit will help make it easier for residents to get to the polls and cast their ballots. Take advantage of free transit in the following communities: Cowichan Valley – including handyDART but does not apply to commuter routes (44 Victoria/Duncan, 66 Duncan Commuter, and 99 Shawnigan Lake Commuter) Comox Valley – including handyDART Fort St. John – including handyDART for customers heading to vote Kamloops – scheduled routes only Kimberley – available on route 24 Kimberley Local only (on-request service) between 8:00am and 4:00pm. Please call the day prior to book Kitimat – including handyDART City of Nelson – on routes 1 Uphill, 2 Fairview, 3 Rosemont and 4 Nelson Airport only Port Alberni – including handyDART Prince George – available all day on all routes Quesnel – available all day o…
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BC Ferries Makes Changes to Vesuvius-Crofton Ferry After Overload Issues

Bowen Queen to be used during peak seasons - After hearing Vesuvius-Crofton customer concerns with overloads that affected their travel experience, BC Ferries met with Salt Spring community members in August to explore solutions for improvement. Customers identified a number of common concerns, including insufficient vessel capacity, lack of customer amenities at terminals, inadequate customer information and commercial/dangerous good vehicles congesting peak time sailings. During the workshop, BC Ferries representatives and community members arrived at possible solutions and priorities for the ideas that would be most realistic to implement, while offering the greatest benefit. As a result, BC Ferries will deploy the Bowen Queen (61 Automobile Equivalent – AEQ) on the route during peak seasons until the MV Quinsam (63 AEQ) is brought into service in a few years time. In 2020, the Bowen Queen will service the route between April and October. BC Ferries…
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Crofton and Vesuvius Ferry Terminal Trestle Repairs

Please be advised that BC Ferries will be doing maintenance work on the Crofton and Vesuvius trestles. This work will take place from September 23 to November 1, 2019. There will be no impact to operations. Work will include replacement of piles, guardrails, deck boards and other minor items. A barge will be used to facilitate this work. Equipment being used may increase the normal sound levels within the terminal Monday to Saturday between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm. 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. For more information or traffic updates please follow @BCFerries on Twitter, visit our website at bcferries.com, or call us toll-free at 1-888-BCFERRY (223-3779).
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London Drugs, Canada Post, Country Grocer, and InDro Robotics Successfully Test Salt Spring Drone Delivery of Emergency Medications

On August 19, 2019, Canada Post, in partnership with London Drugs and InDro Robotics, successfully completed Canada’s first-ever Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) flight carrying pharmaceuticals via Drone from a London Drugs pharmacy to Salt Spring Island. Canada Post was selected along with InDro Robotics in 2018 to participate in Transport Canada’s BVLOS Drone Trials. The proposal focused on testing BVLOS capabilities over open water and partnering to test the delivery of prescription medications to remote areas. There were three parts to the August 19 trials including the delivery of an Epi pen (Epinephrine) and Narcan, leaving London Drugs’ mobile facility in Duncan, B.C. to the local Country Grocer on Salt Spring Island as well as direct, pin-pointed delivery to a patient’s home on Salt Spring Island. “We are proud to have been selected to participate in the first trial of a Drone delivery of this kind in Canada,” said Chris Chiew, general manager of Pharmacy, L…
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Notice to Bus Riders - Detours on Route 5 and 6

Effective July 22 to August 30, 2019 - Please be advised that Walker’s Hook Road will be closed for repairs between Fort Street and Hedger Road beginning July 22 until August 30, 2019. This closure will be in effect 24 hours a day during these dates. During this time period please note that routes 5 Fernwood and 6 SS Connector, that travel along Walker’s Hook Road, will be operating with a detour. For specific information about the 5 Fernwood detour schedule and routing, click here. For specific information about the 6 SS Connector detour schedule and routing, click here. To review the updated Rider’s Guide for valid transit information during this time period, click here.
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Crofton - Salt Spring Island Ferry Terminal Development Plan - Draft Concepts

The Crofton terminal is located within the Municipality of North Cowichan on Vancouver Island. The terminal connects the community to Vesuvius Bay on Salt Spring Island. Passengers travel on the Howe Sound Queen for a 25 minute sailing. The Howe Sound Queen has a vehicle capacity of 52 AEQ* and can carry 300 passengers and crew. It is equipped with a car deck lounge, vending machine and washrooms and provides daily service year round. In May 2019, upon retirement of the Howe Sound Queen, the route will be serviced for approximately three years by the Quinitsa which has a vehicle capacity of 44 AEQ* and can carry 300 passengers and crew. By 2022, the Quinsam will provide ferry service between Crofton and Vesuvius Bay. This terminal is an important link between Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island for residents and visitors alike. Switching to the Quinitsa As of April 1, BC Ferries added sailings and adjusted some sailing times to the Vesuvius-Crofton route. The remainde…
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Country Grocer Starting a Free Saturday Community Shuttle

Country Grocer will be starting a FREE Saturday shuttle this weekend May 25th. The free shuttle will run from 9:30am – 3:30pm between Centennial Park, Rainbow Road Pool and Country Grocer. Sandwich boards will be placed at pick up locations with the pick up at Centennial Park being located in the “no parking on Saturdays” area in front of the crosswalk on Fulford Ganges. Park and ride will be available at the back of the Aquatic Centre parking lot located at 262 Rainbow Road with a goal to ease congestion in the downtown core. We will be doing a “soft launch” this weekend with more promo coming out next week to promote use. Thank you to our valued community partner who has made this possible ~ Dan Ovington, Manager Parks and Recreation.
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Island Pathways Receives $18,500

Last Wednesday evening, 100+ Women Who Care Salt Spring Island gathered in the ArtSpring theatre for its third meeting. And something interesting happened... One of the three charities randomly drawn during the meeting, from the 18 that had been nominated, had been drawn before but hadn't been voted to receive the funds. Back into the charity basket it went! This time, Anna Pugh had the opportunity to speak about the organization. She ended her presentation with these words (paraphrased): Everyone on the island, regardless of whether they use the paths, benefits because, as a result, the roads are safer for everyone. At the end of the meeting, 100+ Women Who Care voted for Island Pathways to receive more than $18,500! Island Pathways will be able to use 100% of these funds in ways that it needs most, as long as its efforts benefit the community. Members will hear from an Island Pathways spokesperson at the fall meeting to find out how the funds were used. After…
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Increasing Cost of Fuel Leads BC Ferries to Add Fuel Surcharge

BC Ferries is advising customers that due to current fuel market conditions, the company will implement a fuel surcharge of 1.5 per cent on June 1. BC Ferries closely monitors the cost of fuel and applies a rebate or surcharge, or neither, under a regulatory process that is independent of fares. Here is an example of what a 1.5 per cent fuel surcharge will be: 25 cents for an adult and 85 cents for a vehicle on the Metro Vancouver – Vancouver Island routes, and 15 cents for an adult and 45 cents for a vehicle on a variety of inter-island routes. Over the past 15 years, BC Ferries has been using a fuel rebate/surcharge mechanism to manage the volatility in the price of fuel. When fuel prices are lower, BC Ferries passes lower fuel prices on to customers through a fuel rebate. When fuel prices are higher, BC Ferries charges a fuel surcharge specifically designed to cover the additional cost of fuel. There have also been periods with neither. The company does not ben…
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See an Abandoned Boat? Please Say Something

Abandoned and neglected boats impact the health and safety of our shorelines, especially if fuel, chemicals or garbage are leaking into the marine environment. If you see a boat that looks abandoned, please let us know. Have a boat you no longer want? You've got a few options for disposal in the capital region: Donate your boat to a worthy cause: Sail and Life Training Society (SALTS) or Disabled Sailing Association of BC; If your boat is beyond repair, you can recycle most of its parts. Visit myrecyclopedia.ca to see how and where you can recycle everything from oily bilge water and propane tanks to engines and electronics (but make sure you're aware of any hazardous materials on board before you start taking things apart); Boats free of hazardous materials, prohibited items and recyclable materials can be disposed of at Hartland Landfill following the instructions outlined below. Common hazards on boats:  Protect yourself and the environment. Some boat components may co…
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For Sale: Crofton - Vesuvius Ferry, Howe Sound Queen

Own of a piece of Salt Spring history! Buy the current Crofton - Vesuvius Ferry, the Howe Sound Queen! Currently in operation until 1st week in June, 2019 where it will be removed from service and kept warm and in operational state until ownership change. Reason for being auctioned, scheduled for replacement. The Howe Sound Queen was built in 1964 in Marine Industries Ltd., Quebec. The asset is being sold as listed. You are invited to place a bid with the information provided, if the information provided does not meet your satisfaction, we suggest you do not bid. The onus will be on the winning bidder to prepare all documentation for export with no assistance from the seller. The asset(s) sold under this contract is/are being sold ‘as is’ and is not represented as being mechanically sound or maintained at any guaranteed level of quality. The asset may not be fit for use and may require substantial repairs at the buyer’s expense. Make a bid at govdeals.ca …
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EV Tips: Charging

I often get asked about EV Chargers. The EV Group has worked diligently to encourage merchants around Salt Spring to install Level 2 Chargers that are mostly free to use (some have donation boxes - please use them). The charging stations are primarily for tourists, but are also intended for our use. I’ll take this opportunity to thank the business owners again for their generous support. However, is this where you would charge your new EV? Not exclusively, that would be totally uncool. So what options do you have? The first thing to say is that charging is easy. Just like you plug in your lap-top or phone when you get home, you will mostly charge your EV the same way, at home. Come out in the morning to a full charge. A lot of people are bothered because it can take hours to charge a big battery, but the truth is that you are mostly asleep and the total ‘charging time’ is the time it takes you to plug in and unplug your car. Less than 60 seconds. How long will it take to …
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Video and Photos: New Centennial Park / Salt Spring Market Washrooms Now Open

The new washroom at Centennial Park has been completed ahead of schedule and is now open. The washroom has a number of features making it unique to other cinderblock washrooms that the community may appreciate. There are four sinks located on the back of the washroom for vendor use and the porta potties have been removed. Note, the interior lights are temporary as there was an issue with the lights that were delivered. The proper lights will be installed next week but you will notice the washroom features an abundance of natural light. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } The Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) has approved a 20 year Master Plan to prioritize infrastructure investments for Centennial Park. The Master Plan is broken into fi…
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Harbour Air / Salt Spring Air to Build World’s First All-electric Airline

magniX, a major player in the electric aviation revolution, and Harbour Air who merged with Salt Spring Air in 2015, now North America’s largest seaplane airline, announced a partnership to transform Harbour Air seaplanes into an all-electric commercial fleet powered by the magni500, a 750-horsepower (HP) all-electric motor. The transformed Harbour Air seaplanes will be powered by the magni500, a 750-horsepower all-electric motor made by magniX. Operating 12 routes between hubs like Seattle and Vancouver and across the Pacific Northwest, Harbour Air welcomes more than 500,000 passengers on 30,000 commercial flights each year. Through this partnership, both companies are furthering the vision to some day connect communities with clean, efficient and affordable electric air travel. “Harbour Air first demonstrated its commitment to sustainability by becoming the first fully carbon-neutral airline in North America in 2007, through the purchase of carbon offsets,” said Greg M…
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BC Ferries Reveals 25-year Vision for Swartz Bay Terminal

Community input used to shape long-term plan - BC Ferries released the Swartz Bay Terminal Development Plan (TDP) today. The TDP outlines a long-term vision for the terminal’s future, and a phased approach for implementing the changes envisioned in the plan. BC Ferries employees will be at the terminal from April 10 to 13 to share the TDP with travellers and provide information to customers on how the company incorporated their feedback. Some examples include the development of proposed cycling routes for cyclists entering and leaving the terminal, thoughts on a waterfront park and improved circulation for the pick-up/drop-off areas. The TDP is a 25-year vision for the future of the terminal. Implementation will occur in phases, with the first phase starting in the early 2020s. This phase will focus on improving road access, parking and pick-up/drop-off areas. This area is a priority to ensure BC Ferries continues to meet the operational demands of this busy terminal and …
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Salt Spring Marina Expansion

I am writing as Manager of Salt Spring Marina for the past 30 years. From my perspective, our summers have been getting busier, and I have had to turn boats away. There is no where else for them to go, so they anchor in the harbour and come ashore by dinghy to enjoy the wealth of activities on Salt Spring. While at anchor, they most likely dump their sewage in the harbour, because they cannot easily get to shore facilities. We have been planning Salt Spring Marina’s expansion and renovation for many years. Every year, we have inspected the docks, and refitted them to withstand the hard winters we have been experiencing. Because of our diligence, we have had minor damage compared to other marinas on Salt Spring Island. However, it is time for new docks to be installed, docks that are engineered and built to withstand the winds and waves, so that the boats in our marina are well protected. The new marina will be Cleanest and Greenest on the BC coast. It is being built by a …
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