Don’t Let the Islands Trust Walk Away from Us

Right now the Islands Trust is reviewing a proposal to remove community from its mandate, as expressed in a new Policy Statement currently being debated. You can send a letter to tell the Trustees to not abdicate their role in protecting our unique culture and community. What does community mean to you? How does it help you live a good life? How does it help when you face challenges, or even a disaster? During the global disaster we’re currently living, the value of this special community has never been more clear to me. From everyone at my kid’s school to the never-ending bounty on the shelves of our grocery stores, our hard working hospital staff to the amazing network of alternative healers, those making a nice coffee or serving take-out lunch when I'm too busy to make another meal at home. Salt Spring seems to be surviving the pandemic pretty well, but because of the other major crisis predating the pandemic - housing - this foundation of our community is quick…
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Join Elizabeth May and Gary Holman for the Release of Salt Spring’s Climate Action Plan

What if, by pulling together, our island could not only withstand the increasing stresses arising from climate change, but also build a more just, healthy, and cooperative community? That’s the vision behind the Salt Spring Island Climate Action Plan. Transition Salt Spring is proud to announce the release of the Salt Spring Island Climate Action Plan in a live online public presentation on Tuesday, March 2nd at 6:30 pm. The presentation will feature an overview of the key aspects of the plan and what we need to do to address climate change head on here in our own backyard. The plan is intended as a positive solutions-focused roadmap with more than 250 recommendations on what we all can do to ensure a sustainable future for our island home. “We had a truly talented team of citizen volunteers who took the job seriously, and I am very proud of the recommendations we developed together. It’s been an honour to have been involved in this project,” said Darryl Martin, who …
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ASK Salt Spring Explores Numerous Islands Trust’s Initiatives with Trustee, Laura Patrick

Twelve participated in this ASK Salt Spring Zoom gathering welcoming one of our Islands Trust’s Local Trustees, Laura Patrick. After a heartfelt territorial acknowledgment, Laura began by sharing her optimism for the emerging alignment of planning initiatives designed to address a number of challenges for Salt Spring. The best solutions to any of these challenges are the ones that simultaneously address multiple issues confronting our island -- such as forest health, biodiversity, watersheds/water supply, the climate emergency, land use, housing, small business health, food security, and the spirit and resiliency of our community. Laura was asked a number of questions related to the housing action program. She explained that this program is aimed at solutions that are within the authority of the Islands Trust’s Salt Spring Local Trust Committee (LTC). Identifying solutions will come through open dialogue. This dialogue will not make differences disappear or lead everyone to …
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The Gentrification Question

As trustees prioritize affordable housing and call for volunteers to take part in a task force, have they forgotten they are up against market forces, the constraints of the Islands Trust Act and a never-ending press of humanity? It is important to note the current housing initiative is not just about securing accommodation for local workers. Housing advocates and Trustee Laura Patrick, in particular, are aiming for sweeping changes they believe will provide more “attractive and affordable housing” for the general population. In a recent article, Laura wrote: “We know that: Rental supply is dire, the cost of housing on the island is simply beyond the reach of a majority of islanders, that seniors and young families are particularly vulnerable to housing stress, and that too many people are reduced to living in travel trailers, accessory buildings and boats. The solution, of course, is to build a greater variety of homes, more affordable homes and with affordable, realisti…
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Island Coastal Economic Trust Launches Program to Strengthen Rural Communities and Businesses

Provincially funded initiative supports creation of temporary employment in rural areas - A new Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) economic recovery program addressing capacity challenges in rural, remote and Indigenous communities has launched, with funding from the Province of British Columbia. The new Rural Business and Community Recovery Program (RBCRP) will provide full funding support for the creation of new, temporary, term positions that strengthen business and community economic recovery and resilience. Projects must be located in eligible rural areas, which include Vancouver Island north of the Malahat, Capital Regional District Juan de Fuca, Salt Spring Island and Southern Gulf Islands electoral areas, the Sunshine Coast, Powell River, as well as Bowen Island. “This is a timely initiative supporting nimble, community-based and regional economic recovery,” says ICET Board Chair Aaron Stone. “We are grateful to the Province of BC for the opportunity to leverage…
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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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ASK Salt Spring with Capital Regional District Director Gary Holman

Fourteen gathered via Zoom to ask Capital Regional District's (CRD) Gary Holman questions about the issues that matter most to them. After a heartfelt territorial acknowledgment, Gary was asked if he wanted to begin by sharing what was on his mind. While he preferred to spend our time together answering participants’ questions, he did express his concerns about the Lower Ganges Road pathway from Booth Canal to Baker Road that is currently under construction. Gary agrees that the tree cutting was probably excessive and sees this as part of a larger issue - a pathway that appears to have been over-designed to meet urban standards. Gary repeated his public commitment, one shared by the SSI Engineer, to develop rural standards for pathways that are more appropriate for Salt Spring. Despite this concern, Gary did ask us to appreciate the fact that this pathway, which received almost $500,000 in provincial funding, will allow pedestrians to walk safely all the way from Ganges to t…
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Critical Islands Funding Advocacy Proves Successful

The Salt Spring Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) is thrilled to announce that local advocacy efforts have finally paid off. The Province has issued an Order in Council qualifying Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands for access to the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET). Founded in 2006, ICET provides grant funding to rural coastal communities along with resources designed specifically to assist with pandemic recovery. For years Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands of Galiano, Mayne, Pender, and Saturna have been unfairly left out due to being within the classification of the mostly urban Capital Regional District (CRD). CEDC Chair, Francine Carlin says being part of ICET is a huge milestone for our community, “We now have the ability to take full advantage in applying for government grants that up till now we were excluded from. The inequality has kept us from receiving supports for projects like a regional food hub, village …
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Stay Local, Stay Small This Family Day Weekend

Island Health is reminding people to show your family and friends that you care by not giving COVID-19 the opportunity to spread this long weekend. We wish to acknowledge everyone throughout the Island Health region who has and continues to make difficult sacrifices during this global pandemic. We understand the urge to gather with loved ones, especially on Family Day, however even small gatherings present a significant risk. Contact tracing investigations continue to show that COVID-19 is spreading on Vancouver Island in places and situations where people gather. Social interaction and getting together with others in person and online is important to our wellbeing. There are many options to do so safely. The outdoors has been a refuge for many during the pandemic, and despite the winter weather expected on Vancouver Island this weekend we encourage you to safely take advantage of the many outdoor recreation opportunities within your local community. You can go for a w…
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Salt Spring Chamber Announces 2020 Salty Award Winners

On Wednesday February 10th and Thursday February 11th, 2021, The Salt Spring Island Chamber of Commerce delivered the much awaited Salty Awards to their respective winners. Salt Spring Island Chamber of Commerce executive director, Jesse Brown, board president Darryl Martin, and photographer Ramona Lam presented 11 Awards throughout Ganges Village. The event was supported by title sponsor Windsor Plywood. “We are so pleased to be presenting the Salty Awards to their well-deserved winners – congratulations!” Jesse Brown https://youtu.be/SufwF7SfX_k “Now more than ever, we need to support our small and medium sized businesses on Salt Spring Island. It was a pleasure to deliver these awards” Darryl Martin Here are the full list of winners!

Salty Awards 2020 Brought to you by Windsor Plywood

Resilient Small Business of the year award – presented by Country Grocer Francis Bread

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Obituary: Luciana Sorrentino

Luciana Sorrentino, age 91, passed away peacefully with family at her home at Heritage Place on Salt Spring Island on Friday, Feb 5, 2021. Born in 1929 in Trieste, Italy, Luciana came to Canada in 1956 with her husband and young son. After residing in Montreal for 10 years, she and her family moved to West Vancouver in 1966 and lived in their Eagle Harbour home until moving to Salt Spring in 2018. Always fun loving and energetic, Luciana loved to play tennis with her friends, swim at her favourite beaches and cook her traditional Italian dishes for family and friends. Luciana had exquisite style and was an expert seamstress. Always dressed in the latest classic elegant fashions of her European upbringing. Along with her late husband Fulvio, Luciana travelled extensively and made many friendships around the world. She is pre-deceased by husband Fulvio (2019) and leaves behind son Furio (Candace); daughter Michela (Matteo); 4 grandchildren, Chris, Carla, Sebastian, Julia; 2 great…
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2021 Country Grocer Valentine’s Day 'Love In A Bubble' Photo Contest Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered this year's Country Grocer Valentine’s Day 'Love In A Bubble' Photo Contest! Over 160+ people entered the contest this year! Whether you’re young and ecstatically in love, or in your 90's with a twinkle in your eye whenever you see each other, whether you’ve taken your “flirt” down a few notches over the years or you’ve taken your flirt up a few notches, we appreciate your sharing it with you community! Our prizes this year were, one 'Grand Prize' of a $200 dinner for two at Auntie Pestos, two 'Runners Up' will receive a ‘Love in a Bubble’ Gift Basket from Country Grocer which will include several bubbly things and remember Country Grocer has flowers, chocolates, gifts, cards and more to spoil your special Valentine! Here are all the entries received! Scroll down to the bottom to find out if you won! The winners are... 1st Place: Valentine's Dinner for two at Auntie Pestos. ($200 value) plus a beautiful Valentines Bouq…
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Obituary: David Grayson

David Keith Grayson passed away peacefully at his home on Salt Spring Island, January 10, 2021. His parents were Keith and Gwendolyn Grayson of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. David was born on February 9, 1949, and enjoyed a happy childhood with his parents and brother, John, on their waterfront acreage on Buffalo Lake, near Moose Jaw. It was a life filled with sailing, swimming, horses, and riding on the Canadian prairie. After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan, David attended a Teacher Training Course in Transcendental Meditation (TM) in 1973. His greatest joy was teaching TM and working on meditation projects around the world for 48 years. A man of refined taste in both art and music, he was a connoisseur of beauty. Throughout his life, he enjoyed collecting contemporary and heritage art and in the early 1980s, together with his wife Carolyn, opened a fine art gallery in Calgary specializing in corporate collections. His other great passion, from childhood on…
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Safety Concerns Regarding Musgrave Road

I am writing this letter to express our community’s concern over the extremely dangerous conditions on the 11.3 km of Musgrave Road. In fact, I have been writing letters since 2014 expressing my concerns and requesting that a multi-year plan be implemented to bring this road up to its safety standard. This is a Class 6 public road that falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI), who contracts out the maintenance work to private maintenance contractors. The current contractor is Emcon Services Inc. and previously it was Mainroad South Island Contracting Ltd. These are the people responsible for the condition of this road. Based on an independent study of all Salt Spring Island roads, this one was the worst; the next lowest road rating was approximately 5 times higher. Musgrave Road is a terrible road and desperately needs work. At the top of MOTI’s webpage is the following statement: The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastru…
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ASK Salt Spring Economic Development, Burgoyne Trails, ICBC Rebates and More with MLA Adam Olsen

Twenty-three gathered via Zoom to welcome MLA Adam Olsen and his staff to listen and learn about the issues that matter most to them. After a heartfelt territorial acknowledgement, we asked Adam to begin by sharing what was on his mind. Seeking to identify those things that excite and delight him, he spoke with enthusiasm of finally being able to be in his legislative office, the lovely old wainscoting making a satisfying background for this Zoom gathering. He also shared his enthusiasm for the new, street-level, Sidney office he will soon occupy. Across from Tanners Books, it is a new building that is estimated to be complete by April. He is looking forward to being back in the Legislature March 1 and to begin debating the budget, postponed from its normal February timeline. He spoke of drafting the long-anticipated Private Members Bill on tree-cutting on the Southern Gulf Islands. The bill will not necessarily prohibit logging but will add default protections and give t…
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Extreme Cold Warning, Pruning and Starting Seeds

As the cold outbreak has developed over the weekend, the forecast now for some parts of the coast are for lows down to -7 to -12oC (10-20oF) by Wednesday night. This is much, much colder than our usual Arctic outbreak and well into damaging range for many of our coastal gardens plants. There doesn’t appear to be any significant snowfall in the forecast that would provide valuable insulation. So today, beef up your insulation on all above-ground vegetables, even the hardiest ones we don’t usually worry about; kale, hardy leeks, Brussels sprouts, as they would be damaged at these lows. If possible, pile on more leaf mulch around plants and then cover with tarps, plastic sheets, old blankets, etc. Unfortunately, because it has been so mild this winter, some plants are at greater risk of cold injury now because they have started to grow. Artichokes are especially vulnerable so pile the mulch back over the crowns of plants and add an extra covering (e.g., tarp or very large pot …
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Affordable Housing - Shifting from Study to Action

In a post published on January 22, 2021, I wrote that I wasn’t able to locate any information about the “Housing Challenges and Solutions Planning Project” on the Islands Trust website. Ten days later, an open letter from Trustee Laura Patrick appeared on the Salt Spring Exchange: “I’m pleased to report that progress is being made towards tackling the affordable housing issue on Salt Spring. The Islands Trust’s Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (LTC) has just approved a bold new Housing Action Program, and I’m confident it will finally put us on the right path to a solution”. Full of excitement, I followed the link mentioned in Laura’s post, and there it was: The Salt Spring Island Housing Action Program!! My excitement didn’t last long, as I soon realized that the word ‘ACTION’ used in the name of the project was a misnomer. Instead of action, which is defined as: a thing done; an act, the project is merely a ‘study’ , a detailed investigation and analysis of a subje…
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Obituary: Nancy Braithwaite

Nancy Braithwaite, September 29 1928 – January 27 2021 Three words to describe Nancy B. Social, Witty & Endearing Nancy was born in Victoria BC in 1928 and spent her childhood on Salt Spring Island at Beaver Point with her grandmother, artist, Maud Weaver-Bridgman. After traveling and working in Europe, she moved back permanently to Salt Spring nearly 40 years ago, where she met her husband Roy Braithwaite who was an island oyster farmer and named his boat The Fancy Nancy. She had a fierce love of animals including her furry friend Bracken, a rescued golden retriever, who enjoyed walks and wandering her beloved Trincomali property with her. And Nancy's many other four-legged friends were Nipper, Tinker, Brooke and Indie. Nancy enjoyed skiing in her younger years, an outdoors enthusiast with a great love of all wildlife and an avid reader of many books on the subject as birds were one of her keenest interests. Nancy was a philanthropist and well known in the c…
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ASK Salt Spring Explores Soon-To-Be-Released Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2.0

Seventeen gathered via Zoom, welcoming some of the many authors of our soon-to-be-released Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2.0. We celebrated the completion of this audacious plan, taking thousand of hours of volunteer work researching and writing as well as outreach to over 2,000 members of our community, government officials, and a wide variety of local nonprofits. Darryl Martin (Chair) joined us as well as authors Simon Wheeler, Peter Lamb, and Jim Standen. We learned that it is a long document - over 100 pages - but that segments are downloadable separately. This will allow readers to begin by selecting only, for example, the Executive Summary (a mere five pages) and then proceeding to download chapters of most interest to them. Even this segmenting strategy may not work for all as one participant said, I will not read the entire report: Just give me the 10 things that I need to do! The plan will be available within the next few weeks. The conversation began with transporta…
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Working Together to Solve the Housing Crisis

I’m pleased to report that progress is being made towards tackling the affordable housing issue on Salt Spring. The Islands Trust’s Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (LTC) has just approved a bold new Housing Action Program, and I’m confident it will finally put us on the right path to a solution. The LTC which is made up of your locally elected representatives, like me, is ready and willing to provide leadership in meeting the housing needs of residents. Most crucially, if we are to make any headway, it is imperative that we start with providing more certainty to housing providers and developers, property owners, and residents, with clear, consistent, detailed policies and guidelines. Addressing the housing challenges that took decades to emerge will not be easy or quick, but we can prioritize action on solutions that address urgent housing needs.  All of our decisions should be fair and well-balanced, and rooted in solid environmental, economic and social equity …
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2021 Country Grocer Valentine’s Day 'Love In A Bubble' Photo Contest

Thank you to those of you who entered! The contest is now closed. Stay tuned for the winners announcement shortly here on the Exchange! Join Country Grocer in celebrating love on Salt Spring Island for Valentine's Day! Enter our ‘Love in a Bubble!' photo contest for a chance to win one of three wonderful prizes to help you celebrate your love. To enter the contest, all you have to do is upload a photo of you and your sweetheart using the form below. Show us your love! Check out last year's entries for inspiration! Whether you’re young and ecstatically in love, or in your 90's with a twinkle in your eye whenever you see each other, whether you’ve taken your “flirt” down a few notches over the years or you’ve taken your flirt up a few notches, share it with your community! Check out the entries submitted so far below! Country Grocer has generously donated prizes again this year and you now have a chance to win: One 'Grand Prize' of a $200 Dinner for Two at Aun…
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