2020 BC Provincial Elections Preliminary Results for Saanich North and the Islands

While CBC news is predicting that the BC NDP will form government during this year's election, it also appears that Green Party incumbent MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, Adam Olsen is poised to hold his seat for our community. "Never before have so many voters voted before election day in British Columbia electoral history," Elections BC's chief electoral officer Anton Boegman told reporters on Friday. The following are preliminary voting results from initial count. Final voting results will not be available until after the conclusion of final count. The timing of final count will be announced as soon as possible following the completion of initial count. Final count results are expected approximately 13 days after the election to ensure adequate time to count the unprecedented number of mail in ballots. Preliminary Results for Saanich North and the Islands as of October 24, 2020 9:33 PM from CBC Preliminary Results for Saanich North and the Islands as of…
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2020 Salt Spring Chamber Salty Award Nominees

Congratulations to all of this year's Salty Award Nominees. We encourage community members to read the comments written by those who nominated these outstanding businesses and individuals, it is truly humbling. We’re excited to celebrate all nominated businesses, non-profits, charities, and individuals. We have asked nominees to make a short video or written response to tell us why they should win a Salty Award. Be sure to keep an eye out! Voting begins November 3rd! See the nominees in each of the award categories below. Resilient Small Business of The Year Award: Presented to a business with 20 employees or less who demonstrated perseverance and the ability to adapt to the challenges presented by 2020. Al's Gourmet Falafel & Fries Altar Ink Amber Wood Health Apple Photo Aroma Crystal Therapy ArtSpring Barb’s Bakery and Bistro Bean Drinkin Cafe Bite Me! Treats Buzzys Luncheonette Co-op Gas Diggin’it excava…
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Salt Spring Island Conservancy Celebrates 25 Years of Conservation and Education

In 1994, a group of seven women* came together to form the Salt Spring Island Conservancy in order to realize their vision to conserve and care for the unique ecosystems and species-at-risk of this beautiful Salish Sea island. A year later, the conservancy received charitable status and the ability to hold conservation covenants. No time was wasted in taking full advantage of the community momentum to protect significant areas. Early wins included working with the Capital Regional District and the provincial government to purchase lands for Mill Farm Regional Park and helping in the campaign to purchase lands from the Texada Land Corporation in order to halt logging and create Burgoyne Provincial Park (late 1990s). The first conservation covenant (33.6 acres) held by the Conservancy was signed in 1998. In 2001, the Conservancy acquired a major conservation covenant of 263 acres for the Maxwell Lake watershed. Over the next couple of decades, the Conservancy acquired land f…
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ASK Salt Spring with Islands Trustee, Laura Patrick

With rain predicted, nine hearty Salt Springers gathered to welcome Islands Trustee, Laura Patrick, as our special guest in the United Church Meadow. Other than gusty winds that blew over a few of the unoccupied chairs, the weather was practically-perfect for our last Friday in the Meadow for this season. And it has been so good! Participants have clearly enjoyed our summer gatherings in the lovely Meadow - a welcome change from our spring of self-isolation and, for many, far too much Zooming about. We actually measured greater participation - average attendance has almost doubled during these summer months! After a heartfelt acknowledgment of our journey of Reconciliation offered by a participant, the question about the Local Trust Committee’s (LTC’s) Housing Challenges and Solutions planning process began. Recently, the LTC adopted this planning process as a priority. While Laura was pleased that this is being made a priority, she cautioned that more support is needed…
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Salt Spring Island Natural Cemetery Opens on Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island is known in many parts of the world as a unique and progressive community. Its reputation for local farming, food, arts, music, culture, politics, EV transportation, and environmentalism belies its small size. And now once again, Salt Spring Island is at the fore of a growing movement. This time in the world of green, natural burials. (Watch the video tour and see the photo tour below.) Over the last 50 years there has been an incredible transformation in burial practices in North America. Burial and cemetery services, which were at one time a more modest affair and often carried out by locally owned services providers, has been transformed under capital market consolidation. While Indigenous cultures the world over have always practiced 'natural' burial, the dominant colonial culture of the West saw local funeral and burial business services transformed into highly specialized, profit driven industries controlled by a small handful of publicly traded c…
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Civil Forfeiture Office Seeks Default Judgement on Baker Road House

The BC Civil Forfeiture Office has filed a lawsuit seeking to seize a Salt Spring Island property allegedly linked to a large international stock fraud. The lawsuit filed December 11th, 2019 in BC Supreme Court alleges the property located at 391 Baker Road on Salt Spring Island is the proceeds of crime and was used to launder money.  Now, the BC Civil Forfeiture Office has asked the court to grant judgment against Vincent Manalastas on his rights related to a $2,500,000 Baker Road home. In its court action, the civil forfeiture office alleges the property is the proceeds of crime and was used to launder money. The listed owner of the property is Beresford Estates Inc., of which Manalastas is the sole director. Manalastas was served the notice of the civil claim but neither the lawyer representing the claim or the office of civil forfeiture has received the requested documentation or a response from Manalastas. Given the schedule to respond to the action has elapsed, the …
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North Ganges Transportation Plan Sidewalks and Bike Lanes Nearing Completion

The North Ganges Transportation Plan design for pedestrian, cycling, and intersection improvements along Rainbow Road, non-harbour side of Lower Ganges Road and design intersection improvements to Upper/Lower Ganges intersection is now nearing completion. The estimated $1,700,000 project was built by Victoria, BC based Don Mann Excavating. Have a look at the video of the project nearing completion, photos of the project during construction, photos of the project nearing completion and detailed plans of the original working drawings outlining the scope of work of the project. Take a Video Tour of the Project Nearing Completion https://youtu.be/UWaF8J-jpSU Photos: Project Under Construction Photos: Project Nearing Completion Engineering Drawings for the Proje…
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2020 BC Provincial Election Candidate Profile - Stephen Roberts

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 Stephen Roberts, who is running to be a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Saanich North and the Islands with the Liberal Party. About Stephen Roberts I was born in Sidney and grew up on Salt Spring. After graduating University with a degree in Economics and Political Science, I worked in accounting, law and finance. I retired as a COO of the research division for a large international investment bank overseas and moved back home to Salt Spring where I now live with my partner and our fantastic dog Sidney. I've been involved in a number of community organizations on Saltspring and t…
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COVID-19: Lady Minto Hospital Medical Staff Association - Flu Season Clinics

We are rapidly approaching the start of influenza season. Meanwhile, we remains in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic with increasing numbers of cases across the province. We, on the island, have been able to avoid any outbreaks of COVID-19 so far with low numbers of COVID-19 infections. The measures we have employed – limiting our contacts to those within our bubble, maintaining physical distance from others, wearing a mask when we are unable to maintain distance or are in public spaces, and washing our hands – should also help to limit the spread of ‘flu this year. The annual influenza vaccine is now available for immunization. ‘Flu vaccination remains an important means to protect individuals from illness and prevent community spread with the potential for a ‘twindemic’. The family doctors of Salt Spring will be working with Public Health and other community partners to provide ‘flu vaccinations at a community ‘flu clinic this year. Individual physician offices hav…
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Watch: 2020 BC Election Candidates for Saanich North and the Islands Video Debate

Candidates running in the upcoming provincial election for the riding of Saanich North and the Islands, Adam Olsen-Green Party, Stephen Roberts-Liberal Party and Zeb King-NDP answer questions from the public and talk about their passions going into the election On October 24th, 2020 during an online zoom call arranged to accommodate physical distancing requirements. Moderated by Tarah Stafford with an introduction and technical expertise by Jason Mogus of NetChange. Our thanks to Media Partner Salt Spring Exchange and to Country Grocer for their support. https://youtu.be/aPLKYbnkRRE
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Plant Garlic, Collect Leaves, Control Leaf Pests

A key October task is planting garlic: It is essential to plant garlic where no plants in the onion family (garlic, onions, leeks, shallots) have been for at least 4 years. This year I received an all-time high number of questions (and sad photos) about garlic root diseases. This was undoubtedly due to the wet summer, which promoted common root diseases, but also due to the fact that a surprising number of folks had not been rotating their crops. The only management tool we have for soil borne diseases, including all kinds of root rot, is rotating crops to make sure dormant spores in the soil have time to die out before their host plants are grown there again. Along with that goes good sanitation practices: planting disease-free stock and destroying infected plants as soon as they are notices. A friend wondered if using disinfectants on garlic cloves before planting to kill root rot pathogens was necessary, but really there is no need for this. The pathogen spores stay in the s…
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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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