An Urgent Plea to The One Million People Living in Canada Who Are Eligible to Vote in U.S. Elections

Opinion: Close to a million people living in Canada still retain the ability to vote in U.S. elections. The potential influence of that many voters is profound and the stakes could not be higher. My great-grandparents came to the U.S. by ship as refugees, arriving at Ellis Island in New York with only the clothes they were wearing. My great-grandfather supported his young family as an itinerant salesman travelling by horse and wagon, peddling mules and eyeglasses. The family eventually settled in southern Delaware, where they were able to do what would never have been possible in their home country: own land. They purchased farms, opened a store that provided supplies and free advice to local farmers, and eventually created an enterprise so successful that the family was able to send my father and his siblings to college, another impossible dream. In 2001, when my wife and I decided to immigrate to Canada, a choice that our relative privilege allowed, my father simply cou…
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2020 BC Provincial Election Candidate Profile - Adam Olsen

The 42nd British Columbia general election is scheduled for Saturday, October 24, 2020. 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 Adam Olsen, who is running to be a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Saanich North and the Islands with the Green Party. About Adam Olsen For the past three and a half years I was the MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. Before that I was the interim leader of the BC Green Party, a Central Saanich Councillor for eight years. I am a professional communicator and I have worked in amateur, collegiate, and professional sport, public and media relations. What brought you to the area? My family has lived, worked and played in the Salish Sea since time immemorial. What one thin…
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ASK Salt Spring with NDP MLA Candidate Zeb King

Sixteen hardy folks braved the chilly winds on a rainy fall Saturday. They were well-rewarded, for they all got an opportunity to meet the NDP Candidate, Zeb King and ask him questions. Even though some freezing participants left before 1:00, it is safe to say that everyone left glad that they had met Zeb as well as all having a better understanding of why he wants to be our next MLA. The loud and clear message Zeb offered to us was of his commitment to both the climate and social justice as well as his tenacity, persistence, and unwillingness to give up these commitments when faced with opposition. He reminded us that the time to make needed changes to our environmentally-damaging habits is running out and that we simply must act immediately. He began by telling us that he lives in Brentwood Bay, a neighbour and good friend of Adam Olsen whom he recruited to serve on the Central Saanich City Council with him. (They served together for a short time until Adam left to be o…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Thanksgiving Weekend

As we anticipate the Thanksgiving long weekend, a time when we normally get together with family, it is a good time to reflect on what we, as Islanders, have to the thankful for. We have had a low rate of COVID-19 infections since the outbreak of the pandemic and we have not had a community outbreak on Salt Spring. In particular, our seniors living in residential care have not been exposed to outbreaks. We have had strong leadership from our public health team, including our provincial health office, Dr. Henry and our Minister of Health with clear and unambiguous guidance on how to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. As the long weekend approaches, it is important to continue to follow the public health orders and guidelines; Maintain our bubbles of a small number of close family and friends Limit our gatherings, including restricting our Thanksgiving gatherings to those already in our bubble Maintain physical distancing when in public or with people not in ou…
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100 Men Share Fundraising Proceeds with Laundromat and Search and Rescue

100 Men Who Care Salt Spring Island conducted its first e-gathering between Monday October 4th and Thursday, October 8th by email and Zoom with members voting between two Salt Spring not-for-profit organizations who were nominated by members of 100 Men: Salt Spring Island Laundromat and Soap Exchange Under the auspices of Wagon Wheel, a group has been working long and hard to bring a Laundromat back to Saltspring -an community health necessity that has been missing for over 5 years. This is a non-profit social enterprise which now has a storefront location downtown, and new washers and dryers on-island ready to install. To date the Salt Spring community has been very generous in a lengthy funding campaign. But $50,000 is required to cover the store renovation, machine installation and start up costs. The renovations have begun. The goal is to open before the new year. Once in operation, the store will offer both domestic and commercial laundry services, organic soap a…
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ASK Salt Spring with MLA Incumbent Candidate Adam Olsen

Thirty-six enthusiastic Salt Springers gathered in the United Church Meadow to welcome candidate Adam Olsen. While his visit to us was much like so many other times he has joined us at ASK Salt Spring, the spattering of green Adam Olsen signs signaled a slight difference in this gathering. The plentiful applause and the evident appreciation for him clearly illustrated the appreciation for Adam that has grown considerably these past few years. Later in the gathering, Adam shared his initial concerns (and, yes, even trepidation) coming to Salt Spring where involvement is widespread, intelligence prevalent, and opinions abound. He credited ASK Salt Spring as a reason that he now welcomes his regular journeys to Salt Spring. (Thanks, Adam!) Adam began by recalling the frequent journeys of his ancestors across the often-treacherous passages between islands, each with overlapping tribal territories but no clear boundaries. They made their passages in large - 40’ long by 7-8’ wide …
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New Deer Disease Suspected in Gulf Islands

Adenovirus Hemorrhagic Disease (AHD) is suspected as the cause of death of over 60 deer on at least two Gulf Islands. However, further testing is needed to confirm a definitive diagnosis. While there is no known human health risk from the virus, and there is no evidence that it can be transmitted to humans, hunters in the area are being advised not to consume meat from animals found dead, obviously ill or acting abnormally prior to death. As well, research indicates that it is not transmissible to livestock and pets. A network of wildlife professionals has assisted provincial wildlife health staff to investigate the possible emergence of AHD since deer were discovered dead on Galiano Island in September. Samples from these animals were sent to Canadian and United States laboratories to confirm the cause of the disease. Since its initial discovery in California, AHD cases are recorded in the western United States annually with outbreaks in some locations. With improved …
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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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Should the Islands Trust “Preserve and Protect the Environment, People and Culture” Mandate Apply to Housing?

Culture Prior to the creation of the Salt Spring Island (SSI) Official Community Plan (OCP), there was a building culture that was diverse and showed preference for local materials. From the local timbers used at Moby’s, Grace Point, Barb’s Buns, Artspring, and Creekside, to the local stonework on the side of Thrifty’s, as columns in the high school, to the local rammed earth and cob, our local building artisans with support from clients and GCs, would think long and hard prior to hiring and buying off-island. Some of these pursuits continue today, although with more difficulty as SSI no longer has a Senior Building Inspector who can authorize unusual building assemblies. What’s been missing for me is expressing local culture in our buildings. It has been missing for so long that many people don’t even know what that means. Imagine if the contributions made to SSI by the early Hawaiians or black people or hippies, or greenies, or spiritual folk, or artists, or farmers or lo…
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Salt Spring RCMP Release Videos of Island Savings ATM Vandal

Local Salt Spring RCMP continue to seek help identifying a suspect who was recorded on security cameras vandalising the ATMs of the Salt Spring Island branch of Island Savings in the early hours of Saturday, September 5th, 2020. The suspect can be seen emptying liquid from containers while wearing a hood, mask and surgical gloves. Local reports at the time of the crime suggested the liquid smelled like urine by those who used the ATMs on the day after the vandalism. Salt Spring RCMP and First Western Credit Union (Island Savings) Corporate Security released videos of the vandalism to the Salt Spring Exchange in an effort to help bring forward information about the as yet unidentified suspect. Three security camera videos captured from different camera angles at the bank's rear and front ATMs were provided. They have been stitched together by the staff at the Exchange into one video for easier viewing. In the videos, the suspect appears to have vandalised the rear ATM at I…
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ASK Salt Spring with Islands Trust Local Trustee Laura Patrick

Surprisingly, the weather gods smiled upon us and the rain cleared, giving 10 participants another lovely – and at times even warm - day in the United Church Meadow.  Islands Trust Local Trustee Laura Patrick began our gathering by speaking about her personal journey of Reconciliation.  She then noted that she had spent the week participating virtually in the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) conference. While there were amazing moments, like listening to the keynote speech by Margaret Atwood, she admitted that she missed the energy and creativity that can happen when meeting together in person. A couple of takeaway messages from this year’s conference are: To respond to the climate crisis, COVID crisis, and income inequality, local governments need to reallocate their resources and deploy innovative solutions. The pandemic has kicked off a migration of people from urban to more rural settings. Salt Spring is already seeing signs of this migratio…
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Wild Salmon Allies Gather for Removing Net Pen Fish Farms Campaign

This past Saturday in Ganges on Salt Spring Island, 28 wild salmon allies came to rally in support of removing net pen fish farms from this beautiful land that we call home. People gathered to support the Cohen Commissions Recommendations and all 101 nations in B.C that demand the removal of the 18 fish farms in the Discovery Islands. In the 2015 election Justin Trudeau promised his Liberal Government would act on all recommendations of the Cohen Commission. We need to hold this government accountable. We will continue putting pressure on the Government/DFO to remove these fish farms in BC. Open Net Pen Salmon Farming is putting our wild salmon populations at risk as they travel on their migratory path through constricted waterways filled with unnatural amounts of sea lice, viruses and diseases that are spreading from the farms to the wild Fish. The salmon and all of their dependants need our voice to save the lifeblood of this amazing coast from being extinguished. He…
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Obituary: Rita Tweddle

Rita celebrated her 90th birthday on September 2nd and passed away on September 23rd, 2020. She was a Yorkshire lass who immigrated to Canada with her husband nearly 50 years ago, bringing her famous mushy peas recipe with her. Her two sons also immigrated to Canada and gave her four grandchildren to love and cherish. In recent years she also had the chance to love and cherish two great granddaughters. A much travelled woman with a penchant for shoes and purses, she enjoyed company and outings well into her elder years. Her coffee ladies were a great source of support after losing her husband and continued to be a great source of friendship and entertainment afterwards as well. Many thanks to Doctor Rustad and all the health care supporters that allowed us to care for her in our home. She will be missed by all who knew her. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to one of her favourite charities: Hope for Wildlife Knowledge Network
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Housing Working Group Proposes New Two Phase Housing Project

A small diverse group of Salt Springers, meeting since February, are proposing a creative and integrative approach to the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (LTC) to maximize the benefits and minimize the harms of housing on Salt Spring, including its ecological, climatic, and socioeconomic dimensions. The proposal is up for consideration at the next LTC meeting on October 6, and it must be made a priority to be resourced. You can find the Housing Working Group report in the September 1 LTC agenda package beginning on page 264.  How is this housing project proposal different?  Driftwood headlines from January 12, 1994, “Local lot prices register fastest rise in the country,” and from August 24, 2002, “Business owners considering action to avert housing woes,” reflect the myriad studies conducted over the past three decades on the issue of housing on Salt Spring.  Today, a well-recognized housing crisis has intensified, concurrent with climate and forest (land use) cris…
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Nominations Now Open for the Salt Spring Chamber's 2020 Salty Awards

The Salt Spring Island Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Windsor Plywood, with support from the Salt Spring Exchange, is excited to announce that the 2020 Salty Award nominations are open! This year’s awards will look different than previous years, focusing on businesses and organizations that have demonstrated resilience and ability to adapt in this year’s challenging business environment. There will be 10 business awards centered around resilience, community, service and innovation and one community award in honour of Matt Steffich, a long time Chamber board member and the MC of the annual Salty Awards Gala, highlighting his commitment to the Salt Spring Island community. The selection system will also be different this year. Nominations and voting will still take place online, followed by the top of each category being judged by a panel. We’re introducing the popular vote / judging panel combination to ensure that deserving businesses and individuals are consid…
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ASK Salt Spring with MLA Adam Olsen

Twenty-three Salt Springers welcomed our MLA Adam Olsen to this gathering in the United Church Meadow. (Two others listened from a distance, but they never joined our circle nor our conversation.) While the air was smokey - a constant reminder of those in peril in the fires to the south - the rain gods held off to allow us to again gather in the lovely Meadow. Adam began by inviting us all to speak from our hearts when we begin our meetings with an acknowledgment of our unceded territory. We were assured that, if spoken from the heart, it will be exactly as it should be. It is only the rote phrases that are repeated over and over that are meaningless. He suggested we may want to acknowledge the unbelievably-destructive impacts the colonial system has had upon our indigenous peoples and our environment. We may want to also consider the impacts it has upon us all. Adam’s advise is that if we are feeling frustration about this antediluvian system, it is okay to share those…
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Salt Spring Island RCMP Seeking Help Identifying Island Savings ATM Vandal

Local RCMP are seeking help identifying a suspect who was captured on security cameras defacing Salt Spring Island Savings ATM machines in the early hours of Saturday, September 5th, 2020. The suspect can be seen emptying liquid from containers while wearing a hood, mask and surgical gloves. Local reports at the time of the crime suggested the liquid smelled like urine. Anyone with information about the person in the photo is being asked to contact Constable Ted Turgeon of the Salt Spring Island RCMP at (250) 537-5555 or Crimestoppers at (800)-222-8477. The incident occurred the same weekend that feces was reportedly smeared on Beachside Cafe.
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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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ASK Salt Spring Gathering with Gary Holman

Fifteen participated in this ASK Salt Spring gathering that welcomed special guest CRD Director, Gary Holman. (Three others listened outside the circle in the shade of the apple tree.) The focus of much of the conversation was upon affordable housing progress and the stumbling blocks impeding this progress. The discussion began with a question about the proposed CRD affordable housing on Drake Road, property donated by School District 64. We learned that, while BC Housing continues discussions with CRD about a project on a portion of that property, there has still not been a definitive decision that Gary can share. The developer of the proposed 30-home Dragonfly development spoke to us about recently obtaining water certification for this affordable housing development. (The process to get this certification from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development - FLNRORD - took two-and-one-half years to complete.) With a very high flow (…
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COVID-19: Tree House Cafe Set to Re-Open

We want to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful staff and community for helping us navigate the crazy summer of 2020. And thank you to all of the musicians who graced our stage. Although the season was shorter than usual, the nights of music under the plum tree let us all to feel a bit closer to normal and once again we felt the healing power of music. We may not have been hugging but connection was still there. And thank you to all of the local farmers and businesses who shared their bounty and talents with us to bring another season of wonderful food. The Tree House will be re-opening this Friday September 18th, 2020. New hours will be 8am-4pm seven days a week. COVID-19 UPDATE: Sept 14 On Sept 3 we were informed that one of our back of house staff members had tested positive for covid-19. We decided to close the restaurant to allow staff to self-isolate and get tested. We are happy to report that no other staff members have tested positive and it has been…
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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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