Larmour Lands Protected!

A dedicated group of islanders and their many supporters and donors are celebrating a successful community fundraising effort this month. Both Lot H and Lot F of the Larmour Lands are now protected! With a final appeal to “help us cross the finish line,” donors jumped to action. Their support and generosity, along with that of the Salt Spring Island Water Preservation Society and conservation partners, secured the rich habitats and ecological values on both Lots H and F from logging and other development pressures. In the fall of 2020, their first fundraising target was met, and the 20 acres that comprised Lot H was purchased. This success meant that its vital forests and wetlands will be protected in perpetuity as a nature reserve, managed and stewarded by the Water Preservation Society and the Island Trust Conservancy. At the end of August 2021, Lot F’s 20 acres were also purchased. The biodiverse mature forest on the upland portion of Lot F will receive long-ter…
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ASK Salt Spring with CRD Electoral Director, Gary Holman on water protection, local governance and more

After an emotional Territorial Acknowledgement, ASK Salt Spring participants welcomed our CRD Electoral Director, Gary Holman, to discuss those issues most important to us while sitting under the apple trees in the United Church Meadow. During our time together, a total of 13 Salt Springers joined us for at least part of the conversation. When we asked Gary to begin by telling what was on his mind, he responded: water. We learned about a promising meeting, arranged by Islands Trust’s Salt Spring Island Water Protection Alliance (SSIWPA), of local water districts, including those managed by CRD as well as North Salt Spring Waterworks District (NSSWD). Gary felt the meeting was useful and was optimistic about the collaborative possibilities of regularly getting all water purveyors together. Subsequent meetings are planned, and a Terms of Reference is being developed. Gary’s major water-related focus is the discussions between the province, NSSWD, and CRD. The main rationale…
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Obituary: Mort Ransen

Mort Ransen; 1933-2021 With sorrow, pride and gratitude we share the news that our beloved Mort Ransen died at the Lady Minto Hospital on Saturday Sept.4, 19 days after his 88th birthday, which he had celebrated joyfully with close family. He had suffered with many ailments in the past year and decided to ease his suffering and hasten his departure with MAID. This enabled him to have wonderful visits with family and friends in the days and hours up to his departure. He left us lucidly, peacefully and humorously. Four children and their partners, four grandchildren, family members, two ex-wives, one partner and many friends are left with their fond and funny memories. Salt Springers will remember Mort as a South End resident and active community member for 30 years, and as a great and prolific film-maker, most notably and recently with Margaret’s Museum and “Ah … The Money, The Money, The Money”, The Battle for Saltspring. Gratitude goes out to staff and residents of Me…
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Linda's September garden to do list

This message turned out to be one long “do” list, mirroring my own list of tasks for this month--so here it goes: Last chance to sow for winter salads: You can scatter corn salad seeds around under tomatoes, peppers, squash, etc. that will be finished in October. Rake back the mulch in patches and broadcast the seeds on the soil. If you water them they will come up quickly, but if you don’t they will still come up, just later. When it gets cooler and wetter you will suddenly see the soil covered with tiny seedlings. Corn salad is about the only veggie I know of that actually puts on noticeable growth during the winter. Try fall seeding for spring salads: Frost hardy lettuce varieties seeded this month don’t get big enough to pick this fall, but the little plants get their roots down and survive winter. They will be the first plants up and ready to harvest in early spring. I find this timing more reliable than sowing seeds outdoors in early spring (or fussing with starti…
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Locals gather at 'Right to Choose' sidewalk rally in opposition to pandemic mandates

Around 200 community members gathered together this afternoon in Ganges on Salt Spring Island in what organizers described as a 'Right to Choose' sidewalk rally. The event was intended to demonstrate solidarity with those who oppose mask and vaccine mandates being implemented by Federal and Provincial governments in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Demonstrators stood together along the Centennial Park pathway and Lower Ganges Road encouraging passing motorists and pedestrians to join them in their support of medical freedom and the right of choice in opposition to mask and vaccine mandates. Numerous protest signs with messages that included 'My body, my choice", "If the vaccine works, why the passports?", "No masks on kids", "Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of the truth.", "Stop medical tyranny, say no to mandatory vaccines" and more were carried by participants, many of whom hoped to raise awareness about what they see as the infringement of pe…
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Watch: Saanich—Gulf Islands 2021 Federal Election candidates debate

Prospective candidates for the upcoming 2021 Federal Election running for the position of Member of Parliament for our Saanich—Gulf Islands riding gathered on Zoom last for a candidates debate hosted by the Salt Spring Forum. Debate attendees included David Busch from the Conservative Party of Canada, Elizabeth May from the Green Party of Canada, Sherri Moore-Arbour from the Liberal Party of Canada and Sabina Singh from Canada's NDP. The debate was moderated by Salt Spring Island resident Tarah Stafford with questions coming from the community via online chat. The Salt Spring Forum is supported by Country Grocer and the media partner for this debate was the Salt Spring Exchange. Learn more about the candidates running in our riding this year here on the Exchange. https://youtu.be/SK5qm-vh5RI
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Provincial government launches COVID-19 BC Vaccine Card

The Province is launching the BC Vaccine Card, a digital or printed document that shows the stage cardholders are at in their COVID-19 vaccine progress. The BC Vaccine Card will allow vaccinated people to conveniently and securely show their proof of vaccination at higher-risk social and recreational events and settings when new COVID-19 vaccine requirement rules take effect on Sept. 13, 2021. This will help increase vaccinations, while protecting people in these settings, keeping businesses open and allowing events to take place. “Getting vaccinated means we can bring people back together and do more, safely, and with confidence that we’re not putting those who aren’t fully vaccinated at risk,” said Premier John Horgan. “We have made the BC Vaccine Card easy for people to get, and easy for businesses to check at a glance. The card is a significant step in getting our economy running on all cylinders, and returning to social events safely with the confidence that those ar…
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ASK Salt Spring with MLA, Adam Olsen on climate challenges, healthcare worker support, road funding and more

After a Territorial Acknowledgement expressing a hope for regeneration, ASK Salt Spring participants welcomed our MLA, Adam Olsen. While the initial circle was small, during our two hours together, a total of 22 Salt Springers joined the conversation. He began by sharing his enthusiasm for the trip here, saying that the 35-minute ferry trip allowed him to be exactly where he needed to be - on the Salish Sea. Adam went on to express his fears that we were simply not doing what we need to do to adapt to or mitigate a climate emergency, blatantly ignoring decades of warnings. As a result, he sees challenging times ahead, expected not in years but in days, weeks, and months. He noted the destruction caused by hurricane Ida and noted the clarity in one ABC report, stating that it was “the result of human-based climate change." Adam expressed his sadness that we seem unable to make the needed changes in the face of these heartbreaking lessons and warnings. Adam wants to see urg…
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Campfire ban still in effect for Salt Spring Island and South Island Resource District

Effective Friday, September 3, 2021 at 12:00 pm (noon) Pacific Standard Time, the campfire prohibition in the Coastal Fire Centre will be lifted in all regions of the jurisdictional area except for the South Island Resource District area.  The South Island Resource District covers the southern third of Vancouver Island and from Victoria to Union Bay on the east coast (including Denman, Hornby, Lasqueti, Gabriola, Salt Spring, Pender and other smaller Gulf Islands) and from Victoria to Nootka Sound on the west coast. The population centres include Victoria, Duncan, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Parksville, and Qualicum on the East Coast and Sooke, Port Alberni, Tofino, Ucluelet and Bamfield on the West Although fire danger ratings have declined in much of the Coastal Fire Centre region due to recent rainfall and cooler temperatures, the public is strongly encouraged to continue exercising extreme caution with any campfire. It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that b…
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Protect yourself from online scams

The Salt Spring Exchange continues to grow and get used by more and more of our community, visitors and fans of Salt Spring around the world. Regrettably, that also puts us on the radar of people who are known to frequent places like Craigslist for scams and other fraudulent activity. There have been recent reports by the RCMP of scams targeting people looking to rent on Salt Spring. Someone has been contacting people posting on the Exchange looking to rent with offers for rentals and then asking them to send deposit cheques/wire transfers without first seeing the place or meeting the landlord in person. This is a scam. Tips for avoiding scams: Deal locally, face-to-face —follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts. Do not extend payment to anyone you have not met in person. Beware offers involving shipping - deal with locals you can meet in person. Never wire funds (e.g. Western Union) - anyone who asks you to is a scammer. Don't accept cashier/cert…
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2021 Federal Election Candidate Profile - Sabina Singh

The 2021 Canadian federal election will take place on September 20, 2021, to elect members of the House of Commons to the 44th Canadian Parliament after Governor General Mary Simon dissolved Parliament on August 15, 2021, at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's request. To help our community get to know the candidates who are running in our riding, we're sharing profiles of each candidate. All candidates have been invited to share a profile with the Salt Spring Exchange and we’ll be featuring profiles on each candidate as they become available. This profile is for Sabina Singh, who is running to be the Member of Parliament for our Saanich—Gulf Islands riding with Canada's New Democratic Party. About Sabina Singh The islands and their majestic beauty have been home to me for most of my life. Like any good Islander I spent my youth trying to surf in Tofino and navigate the tides on camping trips. I first had the opportunity to visit Salt Spring Island frequently during my BA at …
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Opinion: Is there a bigger picture to affordable housing?

There is no doubt we want affordable housing, particularly for our essential workers. A total of 132 “affordable” housing units are now finished or under construction, and these are potentially available to workers but also others. Additional projects are in the works. But what about the bigger picture? Our Official Community Plan states: “All told, the number of dwelling units (not including seasonal cottages and suites) that could be built on Salt Spring Island under current residential zoning is estimated to be about 8150. The eventual population of Salt Spring Island that might result from the zoning now in place is estimated to be a little over 17,000.” The 17,000 figure is certainly low because it does not include current cottages and suites occupied full time, both legally and illegally. The latest census (2016) found a population of 10,640. That means a population increase of at least 7,000 is inevitable under the current zoning. To provide for more housing, so…
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ASK Salt Spring explores ideas around slowing traffic on rural roads

A total of 16 ASK Salt Spring participants gathered in the United Church Meadow to focus on strategies to slow traffic on our rural roads. We welcomed three hard-working volunteers from Saanich who represent the advocacy group, Livable Roads for Rural Saanich (LRRS): Pam Harrison, Leo Polowich and John Potter. After offering a meaningful Territorial Acknowledgement, these LRRS volunteers began by telling us a bit about the origin of their group: Prospect Lake District Community Association and neighbourhood groups had been advocating for over a decade for safer, slower rural Saanich roads with little success. LRRS was born as a result of a 2017 public meeting of concerned citizens. At this meeting, it was clear that focused, consistent, and strategic advocacy efforts were needed if success were to be achieved. A goal of LRRS is that no one should be scared when on the road: Drivers need to share and other users should not feel threatened while also traveling these rural …
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2021 Federal Election Candidate Profile - David Busch

The 2021 Canadian federal election will take place on September 20, 2021, to elect members of the House of Commons to the 44th Canadian Parliament after Governor General Mary Simon dissolved Parliament on August 15, 2021, at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's request. To help our community get to know the candidates who are running in our riding, we're sharing profiles of each candidate. All candidates have been invited to share a profile with the Salt Spring Exchange and we’ll be featuring profiles on each candidate as they become available. This profile is for David Busch, who is running to be the Member of Parliament for our Saanich—Gulf Islands riding with the Conservative Party of Canada. About David Busch Currently employed as a Lawyer, David recently started his own law firm based in Saanich. In 2014 he moved to Saanich and has worked with two local law firms before striking out on his own. In his legal profession David worked with the Health Law Institute at the Univ…
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New Emergency Department Campaign: Preparation meets opportunity

According to the Roman Senator and philosopher Seneca, “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” I am living proof of that centuries-old adage. At 56, when I experienced persistent discomfort across my shoulders and ribs, I put it down to a recurrence of acid reflux, which I had experienced years ago prior to my permanent move to Salt Spring Island. But when the pain persisted during that September of 2016, I asked my brother and sister-in-law, who—fortunately—were visiting us from Toronto, to drive me to Lady Minto Hospital to get checked out. In retrospect, I thought at the time that I might be overreacting and wasting valuable emergency time and resources on a minor inconvenience. Little did I know I was on the verge of death. Days later, lying in the ICU cardiac wing of the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, the puzzle pieces slowly came into focus. When I exited the vehicle in front of the Lady Minto Hospital emergency doors (my brother, Jim, thankf…
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Locally elected leadership make appeal to vaccine hesitant

Dear residents of Salt Spring Island, We understand that some Salt Springers are hesitant to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We understand that your body is your own, and that we all look after our bodies in the ways we personally deem as important. This pandemic has shown us that we also have to look after one another. As neighbours, as family and friends, as Salt Springers and Gulf Islanders, we have come together to protect our communities for the past year and a half. We supported our healthcare and frontline workers with a nightly cheer. We checked in on each other when we were all asked to stay home. We are all exhausted by COVID-19, but the pandemic is not over. We are encouraging all our constituents to make community health a top priority by getting vaccinated. As of August 23rd, 71% of eligible Salt Springers have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, this is the second lowest in the Capital Region. Vaccines have dramatically reduced the…
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ASK Salt Spring with Islands Trust Trustee Peter Grove on housing, First Nations consultation, CREST tower and more

Under the apple trees of the lovely United Church Meadow, 19 ASK Salt Spring participants welcomed one of our two locally-elected Islands Trustees, Peter Grove, to discuss the Trust issues most important to them. After his heartfelt Territorial Acknowledgment, Peter spoke of the concerns that keep him awake at night. At the top of that list was the fire on Vancouver Island he had observed the evening before from a Salt Spring friend’s home. A terrifying reminder of the climate emergency facing us, the water shortage that has made our island a tinderbox is yet another reminder of our vulnerability. While the solution to our climate emergency is unbelievably-complex, Peter gave us a few examples of Islands Trust actions as a part of the solution. He spoke of the good relationship Trustees have with our Fire Rescue folks and discussions about better protecting our especially-vulnerable properties. He also believes that Trustees need to rethink forest policy to balance the cr…
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2021 Federal Election Candidate Profile - David Hilderman

The 2021 Canadian federal election will take place on September 20, 2021, to elect members of the House of Commons to the 44th Canadian Parliament after Governor General Mary Simon dissolved Parliament on August 15, 2021, at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's request. To help our community get to know the candidates who are running in our riding, we're sharing profiles of each candidate. All candidates have been invited to share a profile with the Salt Spring Exchange and we’ll be featuring profiles on each candidate as they become available. This profile is for David Hilderman, who is running to be the Member of Parliament for our Saanich—Gulf Islands riding with the People's Party of Canada. About David Hilderman I grew up in Saskatchewan, the second oldest in a family of six boys. I had a lot of fun growing up with all those boys and we have always gotten along great. I started playing guitar and bass at around 10 and played professionally in a band after high school for …
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Islands Trust Trustee Laura Patrick provides a summer update on Local Trust Committee activities

August is a time for vacations, visits to and from family, a busy time for local tourism-related businesses, and for farmers too! At your Local Trust Committee we have also been busy working on several fronts, including the Housing Action Program Task Force, the Ganges Village Planning Task Force, and other important issues such as ecosystem and watershed protection with increasing consideration of wildfire mitigation.  At the Trust Council/federation level, we are working on updating the Trust Policy Statement. The Islands Trust is a unique governing body that works at both the federation level, with representation from all 13 groups of islands, and the local level.  Trust Council (all 26 elected trustees) sets policies for the whole Islands Trust Area and guides the operations of the Islands Trust.  The Salt Spring Local Trust Committee (two locally elected trustees along with a third appointed trustee) makes decisions on local land use matters.  Here is an update on your …
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COVID-19: Mask mandate to reduce transmission, protect people in public spaces

As of Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces throughout B.C. to help slow the transmission of COVID-19 as B.C. prepares for the fall and respiratory illness season. A new order from the provincial health officer will require people 12 and older to wear masks in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status. These settings include: malls, shopping centres, coffee shops and retail and grocery stores; liquor and drug stores; airports, city halls, libraries, community and recreation centres; restaurants, pubs and bars (unless seated); on public transportation, in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle; areas of office buildings where services to the public are provided; common areas of sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity; common areas of post-secondary institutions and non-profit organizations; and inside schools for all K-12 staff, visitors and students in grades 4-12. This temporar…
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Locals gather at Salt Spring RCMP detachment in solidarity with Fairy Creek protestors

Over 100 community members gathered together this afternoon in front of our local Salt Spring RCMP detachment in solidarity with protestors defending old-growth forests in and around Fairy Creek on Vancouver Island. The demonstration was part of a coordinated series of peaceful protests in Burnaby, Victoria, Sooke, Dunca, Parksville, Courtenay, Nelson, Sechelt, Vernon and in other communities across BC working to send a message to the Provincial Government and RCMP leadership to 'stand down' and stop what advocates are calling highly aggressive and violent protester extraction tactics involving RCMP use of force, pepper spray and other police tactical techniques. Protestors at Fairy Creek have been on site in the old-growth forest valley for more than one year now in opposition to the planned and ongoing clear-cutting of the dwindling old-growth forests across Vancouver Island. Clear-cutting which numerous Indigenous community members, scientists and global forest protect…
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