ASK Salt Spring with MLA Adam Olsen on Residential Schools, Provincial Border Reopening and more

Given the tragic news of the Indigenous burial site that was made public this week, we asked our special guest, MLA Adam Olsen, to offer the Territorial Acknowledgement. He graciously agreed, thus beginning this gathering of 12 Salt Springers committed to learning and seeking solutions together. We spent our time together talking about the experiences surrounding the findings at Kamloops Residential School. Adam has asked that we do not publish a written account of the discussion but rather provide a link to his Response to the Ministerial Statement on the issue instead. On Friday morning Adam was very emotional, and these are difficult conversations that require care and the ability to respond to the complexity and nuances. Adam is open to discussing this issue with you either individually or in small groups, and if you wish to schedule a time to meet you can contact him through his constituency office at Adam.Olsen.MLA@leg.bc.ca. Adam thanks you for all the kindness and…
Read more about ASK Salt Spring with MLA Adam Olsen on Residential Schools, Provincial Border Reopening and more

Obituary: John Macdonald Pickering

John Macdonald Pickering, February 12th, 1948 - June 5th, 2021. It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John. He is survived by his loving wife Jenny, son Wesley, daughter Emma (Clayton), two beautiful granddaughters Layla and Lilia, sister Susan, niece Robyn and nephew John. He was a humble, kind, loving husband, dad, grandad and friend who loved music, his cars, cooking great food, having a good chat, reading about history and so much more. He will be greatly missed by everyone. We would like to send a special thanks to Jill & Ted, Wendy & Joe and Rob & Sally for being the greatest neighbors ever. And to Doctor Kesh Smith and Jan Hartwig, no words can express the gratitude we have for the compassion that you showed to John these last few months. There will be no service and in lieu of flowers please donate to the BC Cancer Agency.
Read more about Obituary: John Macdonald Pickering

Islands Trust Reopen their Gabriola, Salt Spring and Victoria Offices

The public is again welcome to visit Islands Trust offices in person with the reminder that masks and physical distancing are continued requirements. Islands Trust doors are open at all three office locations: Gabriola Island, Salt Spring Island, and Victoria. At this time, each Islands Trust office has different days and times of opening and capacity limits: Salt Spring Office Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4: 30 p.m. 1 – 500 Lower Ganges Road, Salt Spring Island Maximum two people in addition to staff “We’re pleased to welcome people back into our offices,” shared Russ Hotsenpiller, Chief Administrative Officer, Islands Trust. “Face-to-face contact has been missed, but it hasn’t curtailed our activity. Since the pandemic started, Islands Trust has experienced a surge of development applications resulting in longer processing times. Staff is working to maximum capacity, and there is a backlog. If you’re considering a development application submission, please un…
Read more about Islands Trust Reopen their Gabriola, Salt Spring and Victoria Offices

Ending violence against Indigenous women, girls

The National Action Plan (NAP), a path towards ending violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples in response to the National Inquiry’s Calls for Justice has been released. The release of the report falls on the second anniversary of the final report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The NAP includes highlights of the key priorities and progress related to ending this violence in Canada. British Columbia is also posting its own response, A Path Forward: Priorities and Early Strategies for B.C. “The National Action Plan is an important milestone that will inform our work here in British Columbia,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “We greatly respect the perspectives, wisdom and experience of survivors, family members, Indigenous partners and community members and are committed to ongoing collaboration as we build and implement the path forward together.” British Colum…
Read more about Ending violence against Indigenous women, girls

ASK Salt Spring with Emcon Road Maintenance and our Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Area Manager

Sixteen gathered for a conversation with Andrew Gaetz, manager of Emcon, our road maintenance contractor, and Jake Roder, our Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) Area Manager. After a moving Territorial Acknowledgment, we learned from Andrew that our maintenance crew is working hard to complete spring duties like moving, sweeping, and brush clearing. Their sights will soon turn to larger projects, such as the smaller paving jobs. (MoTI is responsible for the larger paving projects, but Emcon takes responsibility for some of the smaller projects.) Questions began with a concern about safety issues on the narrow, winding Vesuvius Bay Road. We learned that it is 3.5 km long and has 14 curves, six hills that obscure sight of oncoming traffic, and eight intersections. He recounted six occasions last year alone in which he drove his vehicle on a curve to encounter a car barreling down on him on the wrong side of the road. On each of these occasions, the oncomin…
Read more about ASK Salt Spring with Emcon Road Maintenance and our Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Area Manager

Memorial honours the 215 Indigenous children found at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Salt Spring Island community members are coming together along with communities all across Canada to honour the recently discovered missing and murdered students of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation has uncovered the remains of 215 children buried at the school in a mass grave that was operated by the Roman Catholic Church in concert with the Canadian Government as part of an effort to dislocate and eradicate Indigenous peoples and cultures across the country. These burial sites are known to exist at numerous residential schools in Canada and though this most current discovery is shocking both for its scale, and for the manner in which the unmarked graves were located. The Salt Spring Island Public Library offered their front steps for the memorial after requests from the community came forward to create a memorial here on the island similar to those happening across the country. Numerous locals have placed 215 pairs of sho…
Read more about Memorial honours the 215 Indigenous children found at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Devastating fire at Windsor Plywood on Salt Spring Island causes major damage

Update as of 2021 June 09 at 01:55 PM: Nine days since the devastating fire that fully engulfed and destroyed the main retail space of Windsor Plywood on Salt Spring, the site is alive with people and activity working to restore service for the local trades, building community and homeowners. "We've had a tremendous amount of support and response from our community and our team members have been incredible supporting all the things we've needed to do get back up and running to support customers and the community." - Mike Stefancsik, Owner/Manager Demolition work has begun on the main structure destroyed in the fire, temporary buildings lent to Windsor Plywood by Fields who took over the former Slegg Lumber Yard are in place, temporary water/septic services are being installed, Shaw has been on site to restore telephone and data services, forensic investigators are in the process of conducting their investigation into the cause of the fire and today on site, a massive, tem…
Read more about Devastating fire at Windsor Plywood on Salt Spring Island causes major damage

Gulf Islands Families Together Society Receives $17,500

“Due to the generosity and support of 100+ Women Who Care, many of our vital programs such as Shauna Devlin's Dance Your Abilities and John Reid's music program, that preserve the mental health of participants, will continue to run through these challenging times,” Heather Duerichen, manager of Gulf Islands Families Together Society (GIFTS), said after the May 12th meeting of the 100+ Women Who Care. On that evening, members of the high impact philanthropic group met on Zoom. They listened to presentations for three charities that had been nominated and randomly drawn from the charity basket prior to the meeting. They were the Gulf Islands Families Together Society (GIFTS), Gulf Islands Seniors' Residence Association (GISRA) presented by Helen Hinchliff, and the Salt Spring Community Health Society presented by Martha Taylor. Each presentation was uniquely informative and compelling, but on this evening, members voted to have GIFTS be the recipient of about $17,500 in member…
Read more about Gulf Islands Families Together Society Receives $17,500

MLA Adam Olsen on vaccine roll-out and the exclusion of Salt Spring Island from the ‘Whole Community Approach’

As the provincial vaccine roll-out continues, it is important that all community members have the correct information about current COVID-19 protocols and vaccinations. We encourage everyone to register for a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Over the past few weeks, my office has been receiving many questions from constituents regarding current COVID-19 restrictions and what the rules are around travel. Restrictions have changed as of May 25th. The government has introduced a 4 step BC Restart plan and we are now currently in Step 1. Step 1 means that outdoor personal gatherings of up to 10 people and indoor gatherings with up to 5 visitors or 1 other household are allowed. Indoor low intensity group exercise is also allowed while indoor high intensity group exercise remains prohibited. Indoor and outdoor dining is now allowed with capacity limits based on physical distancing. There is a maximum of 6 people allowed at a table which is not restricted to your househ…
Read more about MLA Adam Olsen on vaccine roll-out and the exclusion of Salt Spring Island from the ‘Whole Community Approach’

ASK Salt Spring with Islands Trust’s Local Trustee Laura Patrick on expanding outdoor dining, food forests, housing agreements and more.

After a heartfelt Territorial Acknowledgment, 16 participants launched into our Islands Trust-focused conversation with one of the Islands Trust’s Local Trustees, Laura Patrick. She began by speaking about Reconciliation and how it makes her aware of language and the ways she makes decisions. She is excited to see various island groups and organizations taking steps toward Reconciliation. She acknowledged Salt Spring Art Council’s ArtCraft, which is undertaking a pilot project to bolster inclusion and build connections with Indigenous artists. The owner of Taco Loco shared his efforts to make his restaurant more attractive as well as safer. She explained that the Local Trust Committee had proactively adopted a policy to permit local restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops to expand outdoor seating during the public health emergency. He currently has an active development permit application with the Islands Trust. Laura encouraged him to continue to work with Islands Trust st…
Read more about ASK Salt Spring with Islands Trust’s Local Trustee Laura Patrick on expanding outdoor dining, food forests, housing agreements and more.

Opinion: Salt Spring Island’s Sawmill Scandal

This story is about the problematic way laws are made and enforced on Salt Spring Island. It is about how, in less than a year, one complaint about a portable sawmill led to an island-wide ban on milling wood, and the creation a new stream of discretionary revenue for Islands Trust Staff, Management, and Officers. On November 10th, 2020 I watched a landmark decision take place at a Local Trust Committee (LTC) meeting—the banning of portable sawmills on Salt Spring Island. I had taken the day off work to attend the LTC (Local Trust Committee) meeting, via Zoom, to present my Delegation to Islands Trust. This Delegation was my response to being evicted from my trailer home during the height of the COVID pandemic. It was about how the complaint-based bylaw system was being used in unfair and classist ways. You can read it here. As I watched the Temporary Use Permit (TUP) proceedings for the sawmill, I knew I was witnessing a pivotal moment in the ‘soft war’ the Trust is w…
Read more about Opinion: Salt Spring Island’s Sawmill Scandal

COVID-19: B.C. launches restart plan to safely bring people back together

With more than 60% of adults vaccinated with their first dose and COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations steadily declining, British Columbia is moving forward with the cautious first step of a four-step plan for a careful and safe restart. “British Columbians have sacrificed so much over the last 15 months to help keep people and our communities safe,” said Premier John Horgan. “We have made tremendous strides with our vaccination program, and we are now in a position where we can move forward with a plan to slowly bring us back together. As we have done throughout this pandemic, we will be closely following the guidance of public health and supporting people and businesses as we take the next steps in putting this pandemic behind us.” BC’s Restart – a four-step plan to bring B.C. back together will be a slow and gradual return to a more normal life, with safety and health protocols such as mask wearing and physical distancing remaining in place and mandatory during t…
Read more about COVID-19: B.C. launches restart plan to safely bring people back together

Winter seeding starts now + tent caterpillars

With some surprise I just realized that we are already at the last week of May and, with that, I need to remind everyone to start seeds of some winter crops (already!). Winter crop: Good timing for sowing Brussels sprouts seed is the last week of May to the first week of June. This is early enough to ensure plants have time to form sprouts this fall, but late enough to largely avoid late summer cabbage aphid infestations in the sprouts. If you have already planted Br. sprouts, that’s fine, but you may find in August that the earliest sprouts to form may have aphids in them (later developing sprouts won’t, however). The most common reason for failure with Brussels sprouts is planting too late: although some sources still say to sow seed up to July, that is too late for most coastal gardens. So start seeds this week, either directly in the garden or in seed flats. With birds and slugs still about in my garden, I find it more reliable to start seeds in small flats that I can br…
Read more about Winter seeding starts now + tent caterpillars

Obituary: Brenda Cornwall

Rosemary Brenda Ida Cornwall, October 3, 1935 - May 11, 2021 Brenda passed away at Greenwoods Eldercare on Salt Spring Island. Born in London, England, marrying Frank Cornwall in 1953. They moved to Canada in 1956 and over to Salt Spring in 1973. She was predeceased by her husband Frank Cornwall who passed in 1999. Loved and survived by her 5 children; Lewis (Beth) Cornwall, Tracey Cornwall, Dorothy Cornwall (Dean Read), Dean Cornwall and Rosheen (Mark) O'Donnell along with 10 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren. Brenda was a realtor in Richmond, BC and Salt Spring Island. She was fun loving, enjoyed choir, church, line dancing, tennis, hiking, exercise classes and world travel. Brenda was a frequent shopper at the Lady Minto Thriftstore, the Lions and garage sales. She left behind a heck of a lot of stuff. Brenda loved eccle cakes from Embe's Bakery, coffee from Dagwoods, pies from Jana's and treats from Penny's. The family would like to thank all…
Read more about Obituary: Brenda Cornwall

ASK Salt Spring with CRD Director Gary Holman Booth Canal Path Dangers, Laundromat Opening Plan and more

After appreciating a heartfelt Territorial Acknowledgment, 10 participants began asking our CRD Director, Gary Holman, questions about those issues that mean the most to us. Gary admitted that he was pre-occupied with a number of complex issues, one of which is the community’s - and his - concerns about safety concerns regarding the new Booth Canal Pathway. At their April meeting, Transportation Commissioners expressed their commitment to consider safety issues and possible solutions. A team of retired engineering and safety professionals, including a member of the Commission and Partners Creating Pathways, recently joined CRD engineering staff to assess the pathway. It is hoped that their report will be ready for the May 31 Transportation Commission meeting. At this April Transportation Commission meeting, there was consensus not to halt the project before it is completed. The reasoning behind not temporarily halting work was concern that the $490,000 provincial grant,…
Read more about ASK Salt Spring with CRD Director Gary Holman Booth Canal Path Dangers, Laundromat Opening Plan and more

Salt Spring Island Foundation Announce their Spring 2021 Grant Awards

The Salt Spring Island Foundation is pleased to announce $101,930 in spring grants to island charities. The 2021 spring grants support many essential programs and services, including three capacity-building grants to foster significant organizational improvement in areas of board development, operations and strategic planning. The Foundation is so grateful to the many generous donors and to the incredibly resilient charitable organizations engaged with community-building made possible in part by this funding. Institute for Sustainability Education and Action partnered with Transition Salt Spring Society – Capacity-Building for Climate Action $7,082 for a capacity-building grant to build organizational capacity as the Island’s climate action lead to spur achievement of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The new capacity measures include designing a suite of digital resources to achieve professional communication systems for outreach, education, fundraisin…
Read more about Salt Spring Island Foundation Announce their Spring 2021 Grant Awards

BC Ferries reminds customers travel restrictions Order in effect

In advance of the May long weekend, which is typically a popular travel time, BC Ferries is reminding customers that the Province’s travel restrictions Order remains in effect and travel is limited to essential reasons only. No additional sailings are scheduled this long weekend. BC Ferries continues to deny travel to customers travelling for non-essential reasons on routes crossing regional zones as defined in the Order announced on April 23, 2021. This affects the following routes: Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay Tsawwassen – Duke Point Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay Comox – Powell River Port Hardy – Prince Rupert Customers travelling on these routes are asked if their travel is essential, and denied passage if it is not essential. Customers travelling on routes that operate within the same regional zone are reminded they should be avoiding non-essential travel at this time. The Province defines situations that qualify as es…
Read more about BC Ferries reminds customers travel restrictions Order in effect

ASK Salt Spring with MLA Adam Olsen discussing traffic calming, COVID fears and the Police Act Review Committee

Sixteen gathered to learn and explore issues with our special guest, MLA Adam Olsen. After a heartfelt Territorial Acknowledgment, we launched into a discussion of our roads, specifically private ownership and traffic calming. While this conversation was spurred by the petitions supporting and opposing the speed bumps on the privately-owned section of Beddis Road, the conversation ranged far beyond speed bumps to our many complex road issues. First, we learned that private ownership of a section of Beddis Road is - alas - not unusual: Many, many sections of roads on all of the Gulf Islands are privately-owned. Adam reminded us that these roads were originally wagon trails, built on farms and designed to connect farms to one another and to distribution centres. Most often, these roads and adjacent rights of ways were eventually acquired by the province. Throughout the decades, they were improved, transitioning from wagon trails to important island thoroughfares. In some case…
Read more about ASK Salt Spring with MLA Adam Olsen discussing traffic calming, COVID fears and the Police Act Review Committee

Obituary: Sheila Gordon Harrop

Sheila Gordon Harrop (nee Pirie): March 17, 1928 – May 9, 2021 Sheila passed away on May 9th, Mother’s Day, at Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring Island with her family by her. A wife, sister, aunt, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she was loved by all. Sheila was the hub of a large extended family. She is survived by her husband of 70 years Trevor, her four children: Jim (Jen), Catherine (Bill), Ian (Judy) and David (Kaoru), 12 grandchildren and 7 ½ great-grandchildren, and her sister (Netta McNab and family in Scotland). A lover of the outdoors, a world traveler, an avid tennis player and most of all an incredible loving and caring person. Sheila cared for her family and the extended circle of friends including the DeRosa family, Arlene Bastion, Alan Murphy, Richmond Tennis Women’s league and UBC Faculty Wives Hiking Club. Born in Motherwell, Scotland, Sheila immigrated to Vancouver with her fiancée Trevor. They married in 1951, then moved to New Denver, B.…
Read more about Obituary: Sheila Gordon Harrop

Capital Regional District Approves New Mountain Biking Guidelines

On May 12, 2021, the Capital Regional District (CRD) Regional Parks Mountain Biking Guidelines and short-term actions to support the Mountain Biking Advisory Committee Advice and Guidance Report were passed by the CRD Board. In addition, the Board directed that the CRD Regional Parks Mountain Biking Guidelines be reviewed in the context of the Regional Parks Strategic Plan update. The Mountain Biking Guidelines will play an important role in the enhancement and growth of sustainable quality mountain biking experiences in the regional parks system where deemed appropriate. Implementation of the guidelines is forward-looking. The Mountain Biking Guidelines apply to all mountain biking activities taking place within the CRD regional parks system. This includes mountain biking as an activity as well as the construction and maintenance of mountain biking trails and related facilities and infrastructure. The guidelines are forward-looking and intended to be applied by CRD st…
Read more about Capital Regional District Approves New Mountain Biking Guidelines

Salt Spring RCMP End Search for Missing Person Sinikka Gay Elliott

Update as of May 15th, 2021 1:01 PM: The body of a Salt Spring Island woman missing since Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 was found on Saturday, May 15th, 2021. Although a full determination has yet to be made, Salt Spring RCMP do not believe that criminality was involved in the woman’s sudden death. The BC Coroners Service is also investigating to determine how, where, when and by what means she came to her death. The Salt Spring RCMP want to thank the over 100 volunteers who helped in the search. No other information is available at this time. https://youtu.be/LDd4rSRPZ54

Salt Spring RCMP and SAR Teams Staging at Portlock Park

Salt Spring RCMP and SAR Teams Staging at Portlock Park

Salt Spring RCMP and SAR Teams Staging at Portlock Park

Salt Spring RCMP and SAR Teams Staging at Portlock Park

Salt…

Read more about Salt Spring RCMP End Search for Missing Person Sinikka Gay Elliott