The company that hosts our website had a technical issue and it resulted on alot of our content for the past 4 months being deleted from The Daily Gold.  The good news is that we were able to retrieve the text but we lost all our pictures and cool graphics. So, we have reposted the text so you can read our previous stories.

"Celebrating 20 Years in B.C.!"

TRANSPORT CANADA RESCINDS TEMPORARY FLEXIBILITY FOR PASSENGERS TO REMAIN ON ENCLOSED VEHICLE DECKS

Customers must leave enclosed vehicle deck on BC Ferries’ vessels as of Sept. 30 VICTORIA – 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 the measures to which Transport Canada refers above. This includes additional cleaning, sanitization, physical distancing and mandatory wearing of face coverings while at the terminal and onboard the vessel. The company will also reopen certain areas of the vessels, such as the Pacific Buffet area on the Spirit Class vessels, for seating only, as a way to provide passengers more space for physical distancing.

 

Buffet food service is not being reintroduced at this time. “Safety is our highest value and we provide a safe and healthy travel experience. Customers are legally required to comply with this federal regulation,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President & CEO. “We expect our customers to follow the law and we continue to have zero tolerance policy for abuse of any kind towards our employees. Failure to follow the direction of our crew or abuse towards an employee may result in denial of service and Transport Canada enforcement measures.” When Transport Canada rescinds the temporary flexibility on Sept. 30, BC Ferries will implement its procedures for the regulation on affected routes, which are: · Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay · Tsawwassen – Duke Point · Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay · Powell River – Comox · Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands

The temporary flexibility to the regulation was not implemented to northern routes between Port Hardy and Prince Rupert and Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii, and so those routes remain unchanged. On the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route,

 

BC Ferries has approval from Transport Canada to safely allow passengers to remain on the main vehicle deck following modifications to the vessels and procedures. This does not apply to any other routes. BC Ferries’ crew will inform passengers on closed car decks of their responsibility to comply with Transport Canada’s regulation. Access restrictions to enclosed vehicle decks will not apply when passengers are directed by announcement to return to their vehicles before the vessel docks. On larger vessels with both an upper (open) and lower (enclosed) vehicle deck, customers will still be able to remain in their vehicles on the upper vehicle deck. The regulation can be found in Section 152 of the Cargo, Tackle and Fumigation Regulations under the Canada Shipping Act. For more information, visit tc.gc.ca.

 

Update From Conuma Cable

As you may be aware, TELUS acquired Conuma Cable Systems Ltd as part of our Mascon brand in 2019. We’d like to take this opportunity to officially welcome you to the Mascon family and we look forward to providing you with exceptional customer service.


Mascon, based in Salmon Arm, has operated cable companies throughout B.C. since 1983. A family-run business from the start, Mascon maintains its local roots with strong community involvement. We joined the TELUS team in January 2017. We’re grateful to the Conuma Cable Systems team for all they’ve done over the years and in the past months we’ve continued to work in partnership with them through the integration of Conuma Cable Systems Ltd with Mascon.


Important Changes to Conuma Cable Systems Ltd Billing Starting in Sept 2020, Conuma Cable Systems Ltd will begin the process of integrating with Mascon; with one look, one name, and one billing system to better serve you. Although the brand name and billing processes will change to Mascon, all services, prices, customer support hours and contact information will remain the same at this time.


You will continue to enjoy your current support and internet/TV service offering. Stay tuned for updates on customer support contact details and new services in the future. Please review and follow the payment instructions below.


Payment Instructions: Your new payee will be Mascon as of Sept 15 Your bills will be issued by Mascon and your payment information will have to be updated starting Sept 15 to Sept 30 for your October payment.
For your convenience Mascon offers the following payment options: pre-authorized payment, online banking, and cheque. Pre-authorized payment: Between September 15 and September 30, please fill out the enclosed pre-authorized payment form and mail, fax, or call Mascon to initiate auto-payments via your credit card or withdrawals from your bank account. Online Banking: Simply add Mascon Cable Systems as a payee on your bank account with the last six digits of your new Mascon account number prior to paying your bill due October 1. Cheque: Make the cheque out to Mascon Cable Systems for your bill due October 1. Mail cheque to Mascon: Box 3386 - 4901 Auto Rd SE, Salmon Arm BC V1E 4S2 Your October services bill will be from Mascon Cable and sent on September 15. This bill will be due on October 1st for the month of October services. Your billing period will remain the same

Covid: Mowachaht/Muchalaht reserve a ‘critical situation’

Vancouver Island First Nations council calls on B.C. to act after first COVID-19 case on reserve.

The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) has called on the provincial government to act after the first case of COVID-19 was reported yesterday on Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation (MMFN) reserve land in Gold River.

 

The MMFN, acting administrator, Rene Mitchell told Black Press that the First Nation is monitoring the situation closely and implementing all necessary protocols to prevent community spread.

In a statement, NTC- that represents 14 Vancouver Island First Nations, has called on Premier John Horgan and Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Minister Scott Fraser to support the council and First Nations to prevent the spread of the virus in their communities.

On June 9, the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council issued four requirements they wanted in place before the province opened up to Stage 3.

But it was not until the Heiltsuk, Tsilhqot’in and Nuu- chah-nulth issued a collective statement on June 28 that the province started paying attention to those requirements.

It was not until mid-July that a table with B.C. and the three Nations was established, where they could talk about these four requirements: rapid testing, screening of people before coming into the territory, training and implementation of culturally safe contact tracing, and a communications protocol that would ensure Nuu-chah-nulth Nations know the location of a COVID-19 case that is close to their communities, so they could be properly prepared.

Judith Sayers, president of NTC called the first case of COVID-19 on MMFN reserve a “critical situation,” and added, “having a damaging case of COVID on reserve is what we have been working against for some months now.”

“When the province opened to Stage 3 without our consent, the numbers of new COVID cases have tripled and even quadrupled daily and we knew it was a matter of time before one of our on-reserve members contracted the virus. Premier John Horgan and Minister Scott Fraser must mandate the tables we have set up so we can find immediate solutions to protect our members. We must not wait any longer and certainly do not want an outbreak in our communities before the province reacts,” said Sayers.

Mariah Charleson, vice president of NTC said that despite all their efforts to have B.C. meet the Vancouver Island First Nations’ basic health requirements, they have not been able to find viable solutions.

“We call on the government of B.C. and all its health authorities to work closely with NTC and our Nations to support our communities with what we need to prevent the spreading of this devastating virus to our members. This is a great opportunity for Premier Horgan and B.C. to step up to the challenge and practice true reconciliation; we demand action,” said Charleson.

“Let us work together so there are no more cases on reserve for Nuu-chah-nulth people,” said Sayers.

Reminder Council Meeting

Council will hold their regular Council meeting on September 8th, 2020 at 7:00 pm in the Village Courtroom. The meeting will be on a Tuesday to accommodate the Labour Day holiday. Agendas will be available on the Village website as well as printed copies at the Village office and in the Courtroom the evening of the 8th. Reminder that COVID-19 protocols are still in place.

Village of Gold River breaks ground on Bio-Solids Plant

Yesterday, Council broke ground on the Village of Gold River Bio-Solids plant alongside Village staff, and the Project Manager from McElhanney Engineering. This project is part of Councils 2019-2022 Strategic Plan.

Hockey Anyone?

​INTERESTED IN PLAYING WOMEN'S HOCKEY? All levels, ages 14 and up. No experience required as long as you can skate. PM or call Sheri for information 250-283-9136. Starting mid October. If not enough women, then it will become co-ed. If you need equipment, that can be arranged for the season.

 

 

Some Back To School LInks For you

Need a list for school supplies.   Click here, type in the name of the teacher and your list will appear.

https://www.staples.ca/pages/schooltools?fbclid=IwAR05BD2WgRnyYflQMG8yd9jO9_LF56UVlyL7Q3Sv7-jWIUcaFOGaO5VtZy0#parents

Campbell River Search and Rescue responding to record number of calls

Parking lots at trailheads and recreation areas across Vancouver Island have been full all summer as people enjoy the outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.Due to the increased number of people in the backcountry, search and rescue teams are seeing an uptick in callouts.

 

Campbell River Search and Rescue (SAR) has responded to 56 calls so far this year when it had 62 all of last year.Those calls represent about half of all the calls on Vancouver Island so far this year.

 

In other words, Campbell River SAR has been busy.“Lots of medical situations,” said Campbell River Search and Rescue Manager Daryl Beck. “People have sprained their ankles or hurt their knee and they just can’t walk out from a remote area.”

 

That’s been a frequent task this summer on the North Coast Trail near Cape Scott where more people are hiking because the West Coast trail north of Port Renfrew has been closed due to COVID-19.“The other part is a few instances this year where people have got themselves into situations where, and the term is “bluffed out”, where they’ve exceeded their abilities for that particular location and got trapped,” added Beck.

 

He expects the pace to continue and reminds people to trip plan and stick to it, have the training to do what you plan and tell someone where you’re going.

 

Additional safety information can be found at adventuresmart.ca

 

Real Canadian Superstore to make masks mandatory starting Aug. 29th

You’ll soon have to wear a mask when shopping at the Real Canadian Superstore.

Starting August 29th, the grocery chain will require all shoppers to wear a mask or face covering at all store locations.  

In a social media post, the chain announced the new policy and thanked its customers.

“We appreciate your support as we work together to stop the spread of COVID-19,” it said.

There are a total of 28 Superstore locations in British Columbia, with five on Vancouver Island.

You can find those stores in Duncan, Nanaimo, Courtenay, Campbell River and Langford.

In the meantime, a number of other major retailers, including Walmart Canada, have already made masks mandatory for shoppers.

Starting tomorrow, those at a BC Ferries terminal or aboard a BC Ferries ship, and those taking a BC Transit bus, will have to wear a mask as well.

 

Parks & Playgrounds

The Village of Gold River cleans parks and playgrounds daily to comply with COVID-19 regulations. Should residents see any concerns, we urge you to notify Village staff. While we appreciate concerns over cleaning due to COVID-19, unknown chemicals used to clean Village assets have caused the closure of the facilities until a full decontamination can take place. This is necessary as the combination of chemicals can be, at times, unsafe.

Wed-Oct 24th

Arena and Pool Update

At the August 17, 2020 Council meeting, Council directed staff to open the Gerry Morgan Memorial Arena an the Anne Fiddick Aquatics Center following strict COVID-19 rules and regulations.

Council has directed that the Gerry Morgan Memorial Arena open on October 5th 2020 and close for the season on March 14, 2021.

Council has directed that the Anne Fiddick Aquatics Centre open, with the inclusion of registered recreational swimming, on October 3, 2020 with a seasonal closing date of May 23rd, 2021.

Staff will be preparing educational documents and will complete a mail-out providing residents with ways to register for activities offered at both facilities.

Should you have any questions, please contact CAO Brad McRae at (250) 283-2202 or email bmcrae@goldriver.ca

 

A Message From the Mayor

From the Desk of Mayor Brad Unger:

 

Good day residents of Gold River

 I am pleased to take this opportunity to provide the residents of Gold River with an update on the Village Services and Operations. The Village continues to take steps to ensure the viability of its services and projects which are in line with Councils strategic planning. Council has taken some ambitious steps in pursuing sustainable levels of service, and are committed to developing and maintaining those levels now and into the future. Council have had some major successes this year as we have attained long term financial Agreements with both Grieg Seafoods and Nootka Sound Services. These long-range contracts provide the Village with stable revenues. Council will continue to pursue economic opportunities in the pursuit of minimizing the burden on the taxpayer.

 

Through 2019, staff have made great strides in implementing Councils Strategic plan. Specifically, staff have implemented a fulsome restructuring of the Village office, established a long overdue social media presence, and have developed a Bylaw Review Committee which supports a complete overview of all the municipal bylaws. As well, Council championed a long-range Parks and Trails Master Plan to guide Village green space use. Finally, staff have resurrected the bio-solids project by securing grant funding that was previously denied. Staff are in the process of managing this project with plans to break ground in the late summer of 2020. The Economic Development Committee continues to work on its projects which were established through the Economic Development Strategy.

 

The Committee has moved forward on several projects including the shop local program, and the development of a meeting space/kiosk area. The Committee has diligently pursued grants wherever possible and has been successful in attaining funding from several different agencies. The Committee is continuing to work hard to fulfill the mandate identified in the strategy, and have even created a Tourism Working Group to further its agenda. The Village continues its strong relationship with the Mowachaht-Muchalat First Nations. We recognize the significance of this relationship and continue to look towards supporting economic and cultural opportunities as they present themselves.

 

I would like to thank all members of Council for their continued hard work to move the Village forward. As well, I would like to thank staff for their clear dedication in supporting Council initiatives and provide a high level of service to the community. Finally, a special thank you to those who volunteer in our community as your service is invaluable.

 

 

 

Grieg Seafood BC donates 50 salmon to MARS Wildlife Rescue Centre

The MARS Wildlife Rescue Centre in Merville now has a fully stocked freezer thanks to Grieg Seafood BC.It recently donated 50 salmon to the centre to help feed its patients.

“Our freezer had gone on the fritz, so we lost a whole freezer full of fish,” says assistant manager of wildlife rehabilitation, Kiersten Shyian. “We posted on Facebook last week that we needed some fish for our patients. Grieg Seafood messaged us right away, and said they had a bunch that they could donate.”

 

Shyian says Grieg Seafood dropped off around 400 lbs. of salmon Wednesday morning.

“It was all for donation and we use it for many different kinds of birds. We have about ten eagles in care right now, so it will definitely go to a good place. They eat a lot of fish.”

In a Facebook post, Grieg Seafood said this is how its staff wanted to say “thank you” to MARS after the centre healed Gus the Great Blue Heron back to health earlier this year.

“In late March, Gus was found floating injured under one of our site’s walkways in Okisollo Channel,” Grieg Seafood says. “MARS took her in, giving her surgery to fix her broken beak and giving her daily medications. In May, we happily watched Gus fly away on her own free will in Okisollo Channel where she was found.”

Grieg Seafood is now sending its appreciation to MARS, not just for Gus, but for all the centre’s staff does for the island’s wildlife. “We hope your current avian ‘patients’ enjoy this salmon on the house.”

 

NOTICE OF BLASTING: WESTERN FOREST PRODUCTS

Please be advised Western Forest Products Inc. will be constructing road south of the Village of Gold River from August 13 until December.

Due to the proximity of this road construction, blasts may be heard within the Village. Every effort will be made to reduce the noise impact to residents, and we will restrict blasting from occurring early in the morning and late in the evening.

As a precaution during the initial stages of construction, traffic control flaggers will be stopping traffic along Highway 28 near “Big Bend” when blasts are to take place.

Users of the Big Bend site will also be asked to clear the area as it falls within the limits of the blasting hazard zone. It is anticipated that these precautions will be complete within two to three weeks.

Please contact WFP’s Nootka Forest Operation at 250-283-2221 for further information.

Animal Control Bylaw \notice

The Village of Gold River has received an increase in complaints for dogs "at large" and off-leash. Residents are encouraged to keep their dogs under care and control at all times, by either placing their dogs on leash, or having them in a fenced, secured, yard.

Bylaw No. 646 (2008) requires all dogs to be on a leash if off the owners property. If dogs are found to be "at large" owners may receive fines starting at $50.00 and increasing to $100.00 per occurrence.

Owners of dogs that are deemed to be creating a nuisance can be subject to fines of $100.00 per occurrence.

All dogs in the municipal boundaries are required to be licensed.

Please help make the Village of Gold River safe and secure for all its residents by placing your dog on a leash when off your property or behind a fence. Should you have any questions, or wish to file a concern, please contact the Village office. (250) 283-2202.

Council Meeting Notice

COUNCIL MEETING NOTICE.

The next Village of Gold River Council meeting will be held in the courtroom on August 17th at 7pm.

There is a maximum of 6 members of the public that are allowed as per physical distancing requirements. The meeting will be held in the Courtroom Chambers and NOT in the regular Village Council Chambers. Signage will be on the doors for direction. Once the Village reaches maximum capacity, the doors will be locked to ensure compliance with maximum persons allowable. We thank you for your understanding.

 

COVID-19 checkup: Here's where Vancouver Island's cases have been found

VICTORIA -- Vancouver Island has recorded 148 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, adding a single new case over the weekend.

Only three of those coronavirus cases were active as of Tuesday morning, and no one is in hospital with the virus in the Island Health region, according to the latest data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Since the beginning of July, the Island Health region has recorded three COVID-19 cases linked to international travel and two linked to community exposure events.

Northern Vancouver Island has been the epicentre of coronavirus transmission in the Island Health region since the pandemic began, with the bulk of the island's cases found in the vast and rugged area stretching from Courtenay-Comox to Port Hardy.

A total of 60 cases of COVID-19 have been found in the North Island region. Island Health reported Monday that it had been five days since the last detected onset of COVID-19 symptoms in a patient in the northern region.

The more densely populated South Island region, which includes the Greater Victoria area, Port Renfrew and the Southern Gulf Islands, has recorded 50 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

The South Island had gone 23 days since the latest onset of symptoms, according to health data published Monday.

The Central Vancouver Island has fared better, recording only 38 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. The region, which includes the communities of Tofino, Port Alberni, Nanaimo, Parksville, Lake Cowichan and Duncan, had not recorded a symptom onset for nine days as of Monday.

Of the 148 cases of COVID-19 recorded in the Island Health region, 144 were confirmed by laboratory testing, while four were epidemiologically linked, meaning no COVID-19 test was administered.

Five people have died of the virus in the Island Health region, while 140 people have fully recovered.

Health authorities have administered 42,307 COVID-19 tests in the Vancouver Island region since the pandemic began.

British Columbia has recorded 4,065 cases of COVID-19 during the pandemic, with 195 of them proving fatal.

 

Got Pictures?

Do you have great images of Gold River past? We are putting together a little project for Gold River Days! If you would like your image included, email us a digital copy to goldrivercalendar@gmail.com.

If you have a hard copy - please submit to the Village Office in an envelope marked: GR EC DEV by August 17th, 2020. Save, print and fill out the attached release form to accompany the images (without this, we will be unable to use them - hard copies will also be available at the Gold River Calendar window in the Plaza).

THANK YOU!

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

Five western Vancouver Island First Nations have called on the federal government to take “meaningful action” and “redirect” surplus allocation of chinook salmon to their communities.

The First Nations are irked by the “disregard” of the federal government they say continues to prioritize tourists and recreational fishers over their food fish needs.

Ahousaht, Hesquiaht, Tla-o-qui-aht, Ehattesaht and Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations, in a joint statement, have urged the government to “not take the usual path and simply move the fish around” between non-indigenous sectors.

“People with only the privilege to fish, such as the sports fishermen and Area G trollers, seem to have more rights to the fish than our Five Nations do,” said Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo), lead negotiator for the Ahousaht First Nation.

The First Nations called government practices “discriminatory,” adding Canada is refusing to acknowledge the impact they have on their Nations, culture, and well-being of their communities, especially in this time of the pandemic.

“We need the income and our members want to fish. Our Nations have an aboriginal right to fish commercially,” the statement says.

On April 9 – after a five-year-long legal battle between the five nations and the federal government– the B.C. Supreme court ruled in favour of aboriginal fishing rights above those of sportfishing.

In a 400-page judgment, the judge called for changes to government policies, and gave the federal government one year to make those changes. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) was also asked to reconsider the priority they gave recreational fishermen for chinook and coho salmon.

READ MORE: B.C. First Nations get clarity on fishing rights from top court

But First Nations have said that despite winning the right to fish, victory seems “hollow” due to the “disregard and a refusal to move by the federal government. “

The First Nations have accused DFO of again refusing to provide more fish to them, despite the low numbers of recreational and commercial fishers on the waters due to COVID-19.

“Given less tourism and conservation measures, there will be less catch by the recreational sector. This made an easy opportunity for DFO to give more fish to our Nations so that we could exercise our right and help support our remote communities, which are in economic crisis,” said the First Nations.

They also said that DFO has been unwilling to engage with them about this issue, and if the call to make meaningful changes goes “unheeded”, the Nations will defend their rights.

“We cannot allow another season without meaningful access, with lost revenue for our fishermen, lost resources for our communities, and the continuation of harmful patterns that move us away, rather than toward, the reconciliation that the Prime Minister and ministers claim they support.”

More than 5,000 members of these First Nations have received as little as 1.5 food fish per member for the whole year, despite the Supreme Court directive to DFO to allow a ‘generous approach’ for first nations to harvest food fish.

“Each year, the amount of fish is so small that we have to make very difficult decisions about how to distribute fishing opportunities so that at least some members can cover expenses and make a go of it. But this damages our communities and it strikes at the core of our identity as fishing people,” read the statement.

 

B.C’s provincial health officer says we should ‘check in with friends, family and neighbours’ in latest COVID-19 update

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says it’s important to stay in touch with friends and family during this unprecedented time.

In today’s update, she announced  47 new COVID-19 cases province-wide, bringing B.C’s total to 3,834.

No new cases were reported on Vancouver Island, keeping its total case count at 146. 

Dr. Henry says “as COVID-19 remains in our communities, so does the anxiety and stress that comes with the uncertainty, the increased isolation and the need to take precautions in everything we do.”

She explains that because of this, it’s important to check in with friends and family to make sure they are doing okay. 

“Younger people, in particular, may not fully understand why many of the activities they normally enjoy are no longer available, look different and require us to interact with each other in new ways.”

“We remind people to take the time to check in with your friends, family and neighbours, young and old, to provide a mental health boost and to ensure they have the support we all need – especially for those who may be self-isolating,” said Henry. 

B.C currently has 351 active cases of COVID-19, and a recovery rate of 86 percent.

 

Gold River To Receive $59,800 Grant For Tourism Initiatives

Tasked with the implementation of the economic development strategy for the area by the Gold River Council requested funding  from the province for the project in 2019. The province announced an early 2020 that the rural community grants one-time funding system would begin considering the 2019 submissions and has now awarded the projects through this funding the project will receive $59,800 in grant money.

 

The destination development project aims to bring more awareness to the area by supporting and expanding the tourism sector in Gold River. Funds granted by the province and the support of the village ,the groundwork will begin with the creation of a strong brand and tagline for the area. The project will then look to improve waysfinding for visitor attractions through cohesive and clear signage using the new branding both at the village information kiosk and at the attraction themselves. The final piece to the project will be a tourism gear website to giving visitors and prospective investors that clear dining place to plan their next exploration of the area

Gold River-One Of The Fastest Growing Communiites In B.C.

Vancouver Island cities and towns dominated in terms of population growth between 2018 and 2019. On the list of the top 10 fastest growing communities in B.C., the island was represented eight times.

The top 10 fastest growing communities in B.C., based on BC Stats estimated population percentages, are: 

  1. Sun Peaks Mountain – 14.1 per cent

  2. Tahsis – 8.6 per cent

  3. Tofino – 7.1 per cent

  4. Alert Bay – 6.8 per cent

  5. Port Alice – 5.9 per cent

  6. Langford – 5.2 per cent

  7. Cumberland – 5.0 per cent

  8. Lake Cowichan – 4.4 per cent

  9. Gold River – 4.0 per cent

  10. Invermere – 3.8 per cent

.

Cougar Encounter Caught On Video-Strathcona Park

"My boyfriend, Caleb, and I had just finished a hiking and climbing trip to the top of Big Interior Mountain and Mount Septimus in Strathcona Park, Vancouver Island. We had just gotten in the vehicle and were heading home after a long and arduous trip filled with sweat, tears, and a whole lot of mosquitos. Sunday was a particularly hot day, with no clouds in the sky and not a lick of wind. It was about 8:30 at night and the sun was finally below the horizon, we came around the corner on the highway to encounter this cougar coming back from having a drink out of Buttle Lake. It got spooked and ran. We were just extremely lucky to be in the right spot at the right time."

 

 

NIC virtual fall orientation launching this summer

North Island College’s Orientation Day is going virtual.

NIC is moving to a new format to reflect physical distancing and the transition to digital learning.

Orientation Day is usually held the first Tuesday after the Labour Day long weekend and is a chance for students to see where their classes are, meet their instructors and classmates, and learn about the services and supports available at NIC.

This year, it will roll out throughout the summer with virtual sessions, webinars and video tours of campus to help students prepare for the first day of class.

NIC director of student affairs, Felicity Blaiklock, said this new format has been months in the making. 

 

“We’ve been spending the last few months developing what we think is a really interesting, informative, and hopefully engaging series of resources for our new and also for our returning students,” she said.

 

Blaiklock said it’s  been a challenging year for NIC. “I think, like in all challenging situations, there are also lots of opportunities to show themselves. Within that, although we’ve had to adapt to a very challenging and quickly changing situation, we’ve done it really well and we’re proud to say at North Island College that we’re facing the fall quite confidently in terms of the quality of our programs, and that starts with a high quality orientation.”

Kathleen Kuhnert, associate vice president, student services & registrar, said the first day of college can be overwhelming at the best of times, but this year has a heightened level of uncertainty for our students.

 

“We wanted to make sure students were prepared well in advance so they can feel confident they have the tools and supports they need on their first day of class,” Kuhnert added.

The first step for orientation will be Learning Digitally webinars, hosted by NIC’s director of teaching & learning innovation.

 

The webinars will have an overview of digital learning, what technology students will need, what platforms they’ll be using and the resources available to help support them. 

The official orientation launch is Aug. 4th, when all orientation day resources and supports will be pushed live.

 

“We wanted to let students know when they can expect to see this information roll out and also reassure them that it will be available well before the first day of class,” said Kuhnert. “We also encourage our students to reach out if they have any questions or concerns and also to join our Student Life Facebook group as a way to connect with other students, staff and faculty in the NIC community.”

 

NIC’s Office of Global Engagement is also working to develop specific orientation pieces for NIC’s international students, which can be accessed both in Canada and around the world, starting Aug. 4th. 

New International Student Orientation will take place the week of Aug. 31st, so students are well prepared for their first day of classes.

“We know it’s not the same as being on campus, in person, but we are committed to providing students with as many opportunities to connect as we can, both before classes start and throughout the fall term.”

Full details of the NIC Orientation 2020 plans can be found here.

 

Buy A Lottery Tick Recently? Campbell River Lotto Max ticket worth nearly $1 million

If you bought a Lotto Max ticket in Campbell River leading up to Tuesday’s draw, check your ticket.

You could be $862,723 richer.

That lucky player matched six out of seven numbers for the July 28th draw.

No one matched all seven numbers for the $65 million prize, so that rolls over to Friday when it reaches $70 millio

North Island scenery up for international film location award | CTV News

Several Vancouver Island locations used for an Apple TV+ mini-series have been nominated for an industry award this week.

North Island film commissioner Joan Miller says she was notified of the nomination on Thursday by the production manager of "See," a mini-series starring Jason Momoa that filmed on-location in the area last year. "I was really thrilled, he called to give me the heads up that it came out as an announcement," Miller says. he says there was a lot of film and television work that took place in the province last year and the nomination for the "See" series is in a competition involving location professionals working in television, commercials and feature films.

The award is in the category "Outstanding Locations in a Period Television Series" in the 7th annual Location Manager's Guild International Awards."To be short-listed with that prestigious group is a real testament to the great work of the production team and also to the locations. I mean, this is about how stunning the locations are," Miller says. Locations for the series included the Ralph River Campground area of Strathcona Park, as well as the Jordan River Dam area on the South Island.

"BC Hydro was a really good partner for us during this and there was a lot of visual effects that went into the Jordan River Dam, but it was a stunning location for them to film," Miller says.

The film commissioner says she was aware of the buzz the location created for crews working on the production."When they were doing the dailies, reports were going back (to the studio), the one feedback we got constantly was, 'Oh you're going to be so pleased, the visuals are stunning,'" Miller says. 

BC SPCA extends pet food bank services to remote communities on Vancouver Island

The BC SPCA is working to support vulnerable animals across the province.

Over the past several months, branches on Vancouver Island have worked together to support remote north island communities through its pet food bank.

The Campbell River branch, the most northern on the island, has been leading the charge in coordinating the distribution to areas in need.

“We’re providing pet food for owners who might be in need or are having hard times and are not able to have pet food at the time,” says branch manager Stephanie Arkwright. “So, we have food at the branch that we divvy up to help members of the public.”

She says the branch is ensuring that food donated to the food bank program is going to animals who need it the most, including numerous remote communities that may not have the same access to services.

Recently through a partnership with Vancouver Island’s Society of Saint Vincent De Paul (SVDP), volunteers were able to make a delivery to a remote community located three hours away from the Campbell River branch.

With many remote communities having reduced access to services due to COVID-19, staff and volunteers have been working to guarantee pet food has been readily available for pet guardians.

Paul Bertrand, a longtime BC SPCA volunteer as well as SVDP’s President at Our Lady of Guadalupe Conference, St. Patrick’s Parish, has been helping out with the drives out to the remote communities.

“Due to remoteness from bigger towns, these communities struggle to access pet food at a reasonable cost,” Bertrand says. “In addition, many do not have access to vehicles or reliable transportation to get them into Campbell River.”

The Campbell River branch also provides food directly to pet guardians in need at their facility while following physical distancing guidelines.

If you’d like to support or learn more about the pet food bank, get in touch with the Campbell River SPCA by calling (250) 287-7766.

 

Important Notice

Open fire ban scheduled for Coastal Fire Centre

hink twice before you have an open burn.

That’s because effective at noon Friday, most open burning activities will be banned throughout the Coastal Fire Centre.

This is being enforced to help reduce wildfire risk and protect public safety as the temperatures rise.

Fire information officer Donna MacPherson says the weather is playing a factor.

“This is driven by the conditions in the forest,” she said. “We measure how much precipitation it’s gotten and how dry it is, and we also look forward a little bit to what the weather is in the future forecast and we’re now at the point where we needed to prohibit these types of fires.”

However, campfires will still be allowed, depending on your jurisdiction. 

Category 2 and Category 3 open fire will be prohibited throughout the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, with the exception being a Category 3 open fire will not be prohibited in Haida Gwaii.

This prohibition applies to all public and private land, unless specified otherwise (e.g., in a local government bylaw). 

You’re asked to check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.

Council Meeting Tonight-Important Info

Village of Gold River Council meeting begins at 7pm this evening. There is a maximum of 6 members of the public that are allowed as per physical distancing requirements. The meeting will be held in the Courtroom Chambers and NOT in the regular Village Council Chambers. Signage will be on the doors for direction. Once the Village reaches maximum capacity, the doors will be locked to ensure compliance with maximum persons allowable. We thank you for your understanding.

U.S. boats in B.C. waters rattle Vancouver Island boaters Inbox

Boaters on Vancouver Island are concerned that private American vessels may be entering Canadian waters on a promise to travel to Alaska but are, instead, visiting marinas, docking their ships and coming ashore.

After hearing numerous reports from concerned friends spotting boats flying an American flag, Bill Wilson, president of the Council of B.C. Yacht Clubs, sent a letter to his 10,000 members, asking everyone to keep a lookout for U.S. ships and to let him know what they were seeing.

B.C. premier concerned about Americans using 'Alaska loophole' to visit province

Wilson says he immediately began receiving two or three emails a day.

The Alaska Loophole, by boat

Wilson believes that some Americans may be using the "Alaska loophole," where U.S. citizens travelling for essential reasons, such as returning home to Alaska, enter Canada without the intention of actually travelling directly to America's largest state.

Wilson says his fellow members will often watch private U.S. boats as they enter Canada through the automated identification system which tracks vessels. The boat will head northbound, he says, but by the next day, it will be travelling in a new direction.

He says he often receives reports of ships docking at marinas in Brentwood and Bedwell bays that are not on a direct route from where they first entered into Canada.

"A lot of these boats appear to be crossing the border and then taking their time and enjoying cruising in Canadian waters," he said.

 

Click Here

 

 

BC Ferries’ decommissioned North Island Princess on the market for $159,000

Now’s your chance to own a retired BC Ferries vessel.

The 59-year-old North Island Princess, which formally sailed along the Powell River-Texada Island route, is currently for sale for $159,000.  

It was posted to Craigslist a few weeks back and is listed by B.C.-based Pacific Boat Brokers.

The pre-owned vessel brokerage says the ship measures just over 200 ft. in length and is powered by twin MTU V12 2000 engines with twin disc gears.

It can fit up to 38 cars and has the capacity to carry 150 people.

According to BC Ferries, the ship can travel up to 13 knots and has a horsepower of 1,609.

The North Island Princess was decommissioned back in June after it was replaced by Island Discovery, one of BC Ferries’ new hybrid-electric ships.

The listing for the ship can be found here.

COVID-19 COUNCIL ATTENDANCE NOTICE

The Village of Gold River, under new Provincial regulations, are able to provide public access to regular Council meetings. Open Council meetings will now be held in the Village Courthouse until further notice. Signage will be posted shortly before the meeting providing the public with entrance /exit guidance. The first meeting will be held on July 20th at 7pm.

As per COVID-19 precautions, the Village asks the following:

1. If you are ill, believe to be ill, have traveled outside the

country, or been in the presence of someone recently

diagnosed with COVID-19, please do not attend the meeting.

All the Village minutes will be posted after their adoption on

the Village website.

2. Please note that due to physical spacing requirements, a

maximum of 6 members of the public can be seated.

3. Please ensure that you have washed your hands before

entering the room or have used hand sanitizer.

4. Face masks are encouraged.

5. Please follow the arrows for entering and exiting the

Courthouse.

6. Please attempt to maintain 2m (6 feet) distance between you

and others attending. “X”s have been placed on public seating

for assistance.

Thank you for supporting safety measures to allow the Village to open up Council Meetings. Should there be issues or concerns, please notify staff.

 

BC FERRIES ENHANCES CUSTOMER SERVICE AND REOPENS MANY TERMINAL AND ONBOARD AMENITIES...

VICTORIA – BC Ferries is carefully reopening additional terminal and onboard amenities across the fleet. Expanded offerings include a limited menu at the Coastal Café and Arbutus Coffee Bar, reopening of some Passages onboard store locations and the Lands End building at Swartz Bay. Customers can now enjoy packaged food items and limited hot food services on select routes between Vancouver Island , Metro Vancouver, Southern Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast and North Coast. All hot food will be served in packaging for customers to take to their vehicles, outerdeck or limited cafeteria seating. Packaged food items and limited hot food services are now available on the following routes: • Victoria (Swartz Bay) - Southern Gulf Islands • Metro Vancouver (Tsawwassen) – Southern Gulf Islands • Metro Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Bowen Island (Snug Cove) • Powell River (Westview) – Comox (Little River) • Sunshine Coast (Earls Cove) – Powell River (Saltery Bay) • Vancouver Island (Port Hardy) – North Coast (Prince Rupert) • North Coast (Prince Rupert) – Haida Gwaii (Skidegate)

No Sign Of Missing Hiker Near Gold River- Search Reactivated

The whereabouts of a missing hiker in the mountains near Gold River remains a mystery.

Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue is reporting that the extensive search for Laurence Philippsen was reactivated over the weekend.

Searchers were following up on information regarding his possible route of travel between his start point and his intended camp on night one of his planned three-day hike. 

An experienced and skilled hiker, the 65-year-old Philippsen had set out on June 29th for a 40-kilometre solo hike through Strathcona Provincial Park.

After he failed to return when expected on July 2nd, search teams from across the province, as well as Philippsen’s hiking companions and the RCMP went looking for him.

Last week, the initial search for the 65-year-old was called off.

However, on Saturday, 45 friends and hiking colleagues from the Island mountain community conducted another well-organized search of a predetermined ridge and drainage area. 

Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue said on Facebook noted that “42 searchers from Campbell River Search and Rescue, Comox Valley Search and Rescue, and Nanaimo Search and Rescue including five K9 teams, both RCMP and SAR were inserted by helicopter and conducted extensive grid searches through difficult wooded and technical terrain beginning early Sunday morning.”

The Google Earth imagery shows the cumulative GPS tracks of ground and air search operations by all searchers over the five operational search periods. 

Despite the new information and the combined thousands of person-hours of search efforts over five long operational periods, no clues were produced to lead searchers to Philippsen’s whereabouts amidst this rugged and remote area of Vancouver Island.

“Searchers were deeply touched by Laurence’s family who were on scene to provide food and express their gratitude as searchers exited the search area,” Comox Valley SAR said in the post. 

“The active search for Laurence has been suspended but remains an open missing person’s investigation with the RCMP.”

Well-prepared hikers who plan to hike in this area of Strathcona Park are encouraged to continue to keep vigilant for any sign of Philippsen and to report any clues to the RCMP.

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Vancouver Island named one of Canada’s three best islands in 2020

Vancouver Island has been named one of Canada’s best three islands in a survey conducted by a New York-based travel magazine.

Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards survey placed Vancouver Island in the number two spot, sandwiched by two islands on the Atlantic Coast: Cape Breton in number one, and PEI in number three.

The survey asked readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe, rating islands on activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value.

According to the magazine, Vancouver Island “offers an irresistible mix of big-city sights and natural attractions.”

They specifically singled out the century-old architecture of Victoria and the “surf capital” of Canada, Tofino, as sights to see on the Island.

Each destination was assigned a score out of 100. Vancouver Island received a score of 84.97.

Community Treasure Hunt

Join in on a community treasure hunt! Do you want to clean out the 'stuff' you have lying around and aren't using anymore but there is still lots of life in them? Then, participate in our 1st 'CURBSIDE GIVEAWAY' on Saturday, July 18th! Remember, you don't have to stay home all day, feel free to 'curbside hunt' yourself! Read the rules and ettiquette information about times, items allowed, guidelines and then start collecting your items to put out on the 18th with your 'free' sign.

 

Click Here

 

Notice From The Village

Recycling bins being removed by Comox Strathcona Waste Management. The bins at the Shell and recreation complex will be removed effective July 27, 2020.

Massive search continues for hiker missing in Gold River area

More than 100 search-and-rescue volunteers scoured the mountains around Gold River for the fourth day Monday, hoping to locate a 64-year-old experienced climber from Black Creek.

Laurence Philippsen left home on June 29, leaving his family a detailed plan of his four-day, 40-kilometre climb through Strathcona Park, to a mountain range that includes Mount Laing, Mount Filberg, Mount Cobb and Mount Haig-Brown. When he did not return home the evening of July 2, his family called Nootka Sound RCMP, which triggered a search the next morning, said Paul Berry, search manager with Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue. 

Campbell River Search and Rescue initiated the search, but because of the difficult terrain and the size of the search area, six more search-and-rescue teams were called in from Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

Philippsen was well prepared, with plenty of food, warm clothes, a cellphone, a GPS device and an InReach satellite communicator, but Berry said there are no trails in the area, which made it more challenging for the searchers, who carefully traversed snow fields and cornices.  

“We believe he was following a new route,” Berry said.

Lindsay Elms, who has been climbing with Philippsen for the last six years, said his friend is a very safe climber who carefully plans out every aspect of a route before he sets out. Philippsen was following the GPS coordinates of another climber who previously completed the route.

“He's not a risk taker,” said Elms, who was out searching the mountain on Monday. “He climbs within his abilities, which is higher than a lot of people.”

The two have completed dozens of climbs together and they have never run into trouble, Elms said.

“One of the things I love about Laurence is he is open to going to places that are off the beaten trail,” said Elms, adding the two would often bush-whack through dense forest. “Laurence was very good at finding his way through uncharted territory. Laurence is able to figure out where the dangers could be and avoid them.”

The search is concentrated around Mount Filberg because that’s where Philippsen intended to camp the first night.

“We are operating on the scenario that he never did make it to the first night camp,” Berry said. That’s because he did not send a message to his family the first night, as he had said he would.

“Certainly, there’s a huge concern for his well-being,” Berry said. “Today marks seven days since he failed to report in.”

His car was parked at the end of a logging road off Highway 28.

Philippsen is retired from a career in the logging industry, Elms said. That gave Philippsen an intimate knowledge of the Island’s geography and the web of logging roads that lead to back-country routes.

Philippsen is married with two children and two young grandchildren, Elms said.

On Monday, RCMP canine teams assisted with the ground search and RCMP and commercial helicopters searched from above. Searchers battled difficult weather conditions, with low-lying clouds preventing helicopters from dropping off the search teams high on the mountain, Berry said.

Philippsen is described as a 64-year-old with a fitness level of a 25-year-old, and is well-known and respected in the hiking and climbing community, Berry said.

He is white, five-foot-six and 160 pounds. He has short grey/silver hair, wears glasses and has a large scar on his back from a surgery. He was wearing a blue T-shirt, blue fleece sweater and beige hiking pants and was carrying a large beige hiking pack. He has a red tent for shelter.

RCMP are asking anyone who had conversations with Philippsen about this trip to contact Nootka Sound RCMP at 250-283-2227.

“Any detail may help narrow the search area of this very vast mountainous area,” said Island district RCMP spokesman Cpl. Chris Manseau.

Our Shop Local Winners!

Thank you all so much for participating in the June Shop Local Campaign on behalf of the Gold River Chamber and the Gold River Economic Development team! Congratulations to all the winners listed below!!!  

Andrew Watt Angela Carlsen Crystal Roy Dan O'Leary Darlene May Dawn Dakin Gayle Christofferson
Jean Steele Jim & Becky Betker Karen Creelman Marla Ridinger Marion Last Michelle James P. Mark Roy Bohn Steve Wray.  he winners will be contacted and given their corresponding prize!  Thank you so much for all SHOPPING LOCAL!!!

 

BC RCMP stepping up impaired driving campaign this July

Police throughout B.C are going to be keeping an extra eye out for impaired drivers this summer.

While officers are always on the lookout, they will be even more vigilant in their efforts to get impaired drivers off the road this July and beyond.

To do this, the BC RCMP will be taking part in the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign.

BC RCMP Traffic Services Officer in Charge, Superintendent  Holly Turton says too often officers are put in the position of having to notify a family that they have lost a loved one due to an impaired driving collision.

“I know from personal experience that this is one of the most difficult aspects of our job – something which is completely avoidable.”

“We want people to enjoy the summer, but we also want people to make good decisions and choose to drive sober every time they get behind the wheel. If everyone makes this choice, there will be fewer police officers required to take on the unimaginably difficult task of explaining why someone you care for is not coming home.”

According to provincial statistics, an average of 67 people are killed every year in collisions where alcohol, drugs or medication were contributing factors.

Turton adds that motorists can expect to see an increased presence on highways throughout the province during the campaign, and may experience short delays. 

The RCMP is asking you to drive safely and obey the directions of officers at any check-stop.

Island Health Baby Bed program aimed to support families on Central, North Island

sland Health is rolling out the benefits of its Baby Bed program.

The health authority is encouraging parents on the Central and North island to contact their public health units, to learn more about the program.

It provides parents with a bassinet made of heavy cardboard that serves as a safe place for babies to sleep.

Island Health notes this is “vital, as sleep-related deaths are the leading cause of death in healthy infants and are preventable.” 

The beds can be used until babies are up to four or five months old, or when they begin to roll.

The baby bed concept was first introduced more than 80 years ago in Finland, which now has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world. 

In 2019, it expanded to include all families in central and north Vancouver Island, with the support of Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.

Families north of the Malahat can access a baby bed by calling their local public health unit. 

They will be connected with a nurse to talk about any questions or issues they may have, receive pre- and post-birth support, and learn about safe sleep practices for babies. 

Families will then be able to pick up their bed at their health unit.

Island Health says it’s safe to visit your public health unit during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that it’s following all guidelines of physical distancing, enhanced cleaning and screening for symptoms.

Families in the central and north island can also register for a baby bed by clicking here

Children’s Health Foundation breaks ground on Campbell River’s ‘home away from home’

Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island officially broke ground on its new ‘home away from home’ in Campbell River.

With ten bedrooms, Q̓ʷalayu House will welcome families and expectant mothers who need a place to stay while accessing the North Island Hospital next door and nearby health care services.

It’s inspired by the success of Jeneece Place, a home for families to stay while their children received health care in Victoria.

As families, health care providers, and community groups from northern Vancouver Island saw the impact the home had, they stepped forward voicing a need to expand this model to Campbell River.

“I am thrilled that the vision this community had years ago to build a welcoming, culturally safe, and nurturing environment for families to stay while their children are accessing health care, is finally becoming a reality,” says Children’s Health Foundation CEO Veronica Carroll. “This home will be such a positive support system for rural and remote families who need to travel great distances to access care, and its impact will be felt for generations to come.”

The name Q̓ʷalayu House mixes both English and the traditional language of the home’s host community on the shared territories of the We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum First Nations. 

It’s an endearing term used by Elders when they speak of babies and children as their reason for being.

First Nations groups, Elders, and a traditional language group were involved in the naming process.

The project received a significant boost after a capital campaign kicked off in September of last year and $3 million in core funding was donated anonymously.

A large parcel of land adjacent to the North Island Hospital was also provided by Island Health to Children’s Health Foundation as a long-term license.

The foundation says it’s been working with a dedicated committee and dozens of community partners to help make this project a reality.

While ground has now officially been broken, the foundation is continuing to raise funds to meet its $7 million goal, which will cover costs to build and fully equip the home, as well as fund the first five years of operating costs.

For more information about the Q̓ʷalayu House project and campaign, click here

 

Mt. Washington opens Island’s longest zip line

Chair lifts start spinning again Saturday, June 27 for opening day of Mt. Washington’s summer operations, which include Vancouver Island’s longest zip line experience. The ZipTour spans a length of 2,313 metres with a breathtaking drop of 415 metres, including a first step off the top platform that puts riders more than 100 feet above the ground doing 100 km/h almost instantly.

The Eagle’s Flight ZipTour is a $4 million, four-stage course that starts with a ride up the Eagle chairlift to the top of Mt. Washington and finishes at the Alpine Lodge, providing a bird’s eye perspective of the surrounding terrain. The braking technology of the ZipTour allows cable spans that are longer, steeper, and more dramatic than a typical zip line canopy tour. Guests can control their speed of descent dynamically – meaning the option is there to open the throttle for thrills, or to ease back to take in the spectacular 360-degree alpine-to-ocean views.

“The ZipTour makes it possible for everyone to experience the beauty and thrill of Mt. Washington, whether you are a skier or not,” said Dean Prentice, general manager at Mt. Washington Alpine Resort. “We’re excited that the addition of the ZipTour and the further expansion of our lift-accessed mountain bike trails allows us to offer experiences of a true year-round destination. After reopening our Bike Park in 2016, we have witnessed huge visitation growth including Bike Park season pass sales increases of more than 50 per cent each year.”

 

Gold River Burning Bylaw

On June 1, 2020 Council passed Bylaw No. 718, 2019. A Bylaw to regulate open burning in the Village of Gold River. A copy of the bylaw can be found on our website villageofgoldriver.com.

Please review the restrictions on burning times/dates, allowable burning apparatus, and registration requirements. As this is a new bylaw, we wish to provide ample opportunity to review and understand the bylaw. As such, we will be providing residents to August 4th, 2020 to complete their registration should they wish to have a backyard fireplace/fire pit.

The registration is free of charge and is a requirement to be able to have a backyard fire pit in 

 

Gold River Garbage Collection

Notice of Residential Garbage Collection Change
As Canada Day (July 1st) is on a Wednesday this year, residential garbage collection will be moved to Thursday July 2nd.

Salmon farmers partner with Food Banks Canada to donate 272,000 meals

The BC Salmon Farmers Association is stepping up again for local food banks.

This time, the association is participating in a new national salmon donation initiative with Food Banks Canada.

It’s aimed at helping feed Canadian families during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Back in April, salmon farmers partnered with Food Banks BC to produce and distribute 86,000 cans of salmon across the province.

The donation was so well received that Food Banks Canada approached the BC Salmon Farmers Association to partner for a national donation of salmon to make further cans. 

Now, Cermaq Canada and Grieg Seafood BC have teamed up to donate 60,000 pounds, or 120,000 cans, of salmon to Food Banks Canada’s national hamper distribution initiative to assist with the current demands on food banks.

When asked about this latest donation, Grieg Seafood BC managing director Rocky Boschman says “we didn’t think twice about doing this.”

“The virus that we’re all dealing with has obviously upset a lot of our normal life in Canada. There’s a lot of people in need. A lot of people’s lives have been profoundly disrupted in a very short period of time. Unemployment has skyrocketed. The world has never seen this type of disruption in this way before.”

Before the pandemic, Canadians visited food banks nearly 1.1 million times a month across the country.

As an increased demand is expected to last beyond the pandemic as the economy slowly bounces back, Boschman says the need is “very profound.”

“In the salmon farming industry on Vancouver Island, we’re extremely fortunate. We were deemed to be essential services by all levels of government very early on. We received the green light and the support to keep doing business. As we produce a food product, which is very valuable, the obvious way for us to give back and to be good citizens is by participating in this type of program.”

Boschman says protein is very important to food banks, but can be transported and stored and doesn’t expire. 

“Of course, our donation is in the form of canned salmon. It will have a shelf life of three to five years,” Boschman adds.

The pandemic has seen food banks and other businesses shift towards pre-packaged, shelf-stable foods that require less volunteer or client handling of products. 

Together, with BC salmon farmers’ previous donations to Food Banks BC, this brings total salmon donations equivalent to over half a million meals to Canadians.

Grief Seafood Achieves Full ASC Certification In Nootka Sound

Grieg Seafood’s fifth and final farm in Nootka Sound received its Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Certification, making Nootka Sound Grieg’s first fully ASC-certified region.

“The farm staff work hard out there, rain or shine, to ensure that their fish are happy, healthy, and grown in a sustainable manner,” said Kristin Storry, Certifications Manager at Grieg. “I am proud to be a part of this achievement, which reflects our commitment to the Mowachaht Muchalaht First Nation’s traditional territory where our farms are located and the nearby community of Gold River.”

Next Grieg is looking to its Sunshine Coast farms to receive multi-site ASC Certification in June, followed by its Barnes Bay farm in August (which will be added to the Sunshine Coast’s multi-site certificate).

The remainder of Grieg’s farms are on track for approval of ASC certification by 2021.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Grieg’s certification team has developed a safe and responsible plan to complete third-party audits with site staff to ensure any visits reduce exposure, practice safe measures and respect staff concerns.

For more information on Grieg’s certification process during COVID-19, click here.

Job Opportunity At Grieg Seafood

Grieg Seafood BC Ltd., a dynamic and growing company in the Aquaculture industry, is seeking to hire a permanent full-time Hatchery Technician to support our hatchery operations in Gold River, BC. Reporting to the Assistant Hatchery Manager, the Hatchery Technician will be primarily responsible for production operations including feeding, grading, and vaccination. The Technician will work shifts of 8 days on and 6 days off with occasional overtime.

 

Apply Here

 

Road Closure

Public Notice – Road Closure Peppercorn Road will be closed for repairs from Thursday June 18th to Thursday June 25th.

 

North Island College offering craft brewing classes this fall

Aspiring craft beer makers and brewery owners can gain a head start thanks to new online training being offered by NIC this fall.

The Craft Brewing and Malting program kicks off in September with three online courses that will give students a solid foundation in understanding the core principles and business practices of craft brewing.

The course list includes beer and brewing Basics, recipe development and quality control, and the business of craft brewing.

The courses will be taught by Adam Chatburn, veteran professional brewer and former president of the Vancouver branch of the Campaign for Real Ale Society of BC.

Chatburn, who also taught craft brewing at Simon Fraser University, began homebrewing in the UK at age 16, later starting his career as head brewer for a small brewpub in Lancashire. Now based in Burnaby, he is also a contributor to the publications What’s Brewing BC and BC Craft Beer News.

“My passion lies in craft beer but beyond that, education and community engagement are even more important to me,” Chatburn said.

“The modern craft beer industry has grown dramatically, creating a need for competent, qualified, professional brewers across the province, country and world. BC is one of the world leaders in beer innovation and that needs to be nurtured.”

A second, in-person component of the NIC Craft Brewing and Malting program is set to be offered in 2021. The practical, hands-on brewing experience will cover malting fundamentals, introduction to brewing equipment and operations and the chemistry and biology of brewing.

To learn more or to register, visit www.nic.bc.ca/craft-brewing/.

 

Great News From The Ridge

Starting JUly 2nd The Ridge will be open 7 days a week.  Plus, we are bringing back Wednesday Wing Night!

Enjoy a half pound of wings for just $6.50, available for both dine in & takeout.

We will be holidng Wing Night June 24th, July 8th and July 22nd.

 

Q̓ʷalayu House, a home away from home in Campbell River!

We are building a home away from home in Campbell River!

Expectant moms and families with children need a place to stay while receiving health care in Campbell River. Accommodations can be difficult to find and afford. Q̓ʷalayu House will provide a warm comfortable place to stay so families can focus on taking care of their child.

 

Join us on June 24 for a Virtual Town Hall to learn more about Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, and to hear from architect Alan Lowe who will share more about the inspiration for this beautiful home away from home that will welcome all families in summer 2021.

 

Click Here

 

BC Ferries passengers must now bring masks, face coverings for longer trips

All passengers hoping to travel on BC Ferries starting Monday (June 15) will be required to bring a face covering, and to wear it when COVID-19 physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The corporation announced the news earlier this month. The rule will apply to all trips longer than 30 minutes, even if passengers remain in the car the whole time.

Passengers will be asked at boarding if they have a face covering or mask, and will not be allowed to board if they do not have one. BC Ferries will not provide masks, but children two or younger will not need to have one.

Employment Opportunity At The Golf Course

The Gold River Golf Course is currently looking for a Cashier/Server MUST be 19 ,have serve it right and food safe.Please drop off resume to the clubhouse between 9am and 7 pm Or email resume to grgolfclub@hotmail.com

GOLD RIVER CENTRAL ATTRACTION HUB TO ENCOURAGE VISITATION

Downtown focal point to help establish and diversify Village economy

 A new project to develop a small, central attraction hub in the Village of Gold River’s business retail area will soon get underway with support from the Island Coastal Economic Trust’s (ICET) Quick Start funding program.

The project includes the building of a locally designed wooden kiosk (with panels highlighting Gold River’s visitor attractions), public seating and gathering areas, a community map and dedicated interpretative panels for the Mowachaht Muchalaht First Nations. The space will be built in an area that is currently a long strip of untended land with small trees and bushes.

“Strong and vibrant downtown cores are essential to the economic and social health of a community,” says ICET Board Chair Josie Osborne. “This Quick Start project is helping Gold River expand its economy and establish itself as an adventure and nature-based tourism hub.”

The project comes on the heels of the Village’s 2018 Economic Development Strategy that prioritized the need to improve the downtown’s physical attractiveness to promote tourism as well as community well-being and pride of place. The project was initiated by the Tourism Working Group under the auspices of the Gold River Economic Development Committee, which consists of seven community members including the Mowachaht Muchalaht First Nations and the Gold River Chamber of Commerce.

“In small communities across Canada, the retail environment is changing,” says Rachel Stratton, Village of Gold River Councillor and Chair of the Economic Development Committee. “Each community must recognize this, and both the retail business owners and the community are looking for new and innovative ways to adapt.”

Recognizing the dynamic nature of the retail landscape and finding ways to evolve is crucial. Innovative place-based approaches can be an asset in the effort to recruit new residents, businesses and industries, retirees, visitors and others to a community and to keep those already there.

“With the dedication and involvement of so many local people, this project can only have a positive outcome on the morale of the community,” says Veanna Johnston, President of Gold River Chamber of Commerce. “This will encourage further discussions, projects and a renewed sense of pride in our town.”

The new space will also display many large and intricate community chainsaw carvings that are completed annually during Gold River Days. 

The project is expected to begin shortly.

###

About the Island Coastal Economic Trust
Created and capitalized by the Province of BC in 2006, the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) mission is to create a more diverse and globally competitive Island and Coastal economy. In partnership with local and regional government, non-profits and indigenous communities, ICET serves nearly half a million residents. Funding and support for economic infrastructure and other economic diversification initiatives is delivered through a unique community centered decision-making process. Since inception, ICET has approved more than $52 million in funding for over 200 initiatives. These investments have leveraged over $270 million in new investment into the region creating more than 2500 construction phase jobs and 2650 long term permanent jobs. 

About the Quick Start funding stream
 

Gold River Golf Course Open To The PUblic This Friday

On Friday, June 12th, the Golf Course will be open to the general public for green fees & carts. The restaurant will not be open. For all those who enjoyed the $20 honor golf, Twilight golf starts at 3:00 p.m. daily for the same price. At this time, we would like to thank all those who respected the honor system and supported the Golf Course during these strange times. Happy golfing!

Campbell River Airport welcomes first commercial flight following closure

The Campbell River Airport is welcoming back commercial service. On June 2nd, nine passengers made their way from Vancouver to Campbell River aboard a Pacific Coastal flight.

Airport manager Tyler Massee says new measures have been introduced to ensure the health and safety of both passengers and staff.  

“Our city facilities have undergone enhanced disinfecting and cleaning processes,” Massee says. “Our security process has been enhanced as well.”

Pacific Coastal is currently running a limited commercial service in both the morning and evening every Tuesday and Thursday, with flights operating along the Vancouver-Campbell River-Comox Valley route.

To ensure appropriate physical distancing in the terminal building, access will be restricted to passengers and staff.

All passengers must wear a face mask when entering the security screening area and during flights until further notice. There will be no changes to curbside passenger drop off or parking in designated areas.

Both Tuesdays and Thursdays, the airport terminal building will be open to the public from 7:00am until 6:00pm.

The first flight will arrive at 8:30am and depart at 8:50am, with the second flight arriving at 4:45pm and departing at 5:05pm.

Village of Gold River - Surplus Equipment For Sale

​he Village has surplus equipment for sale. Offers will be received and reviewed by the Village until June 30, 2020. Check it out at https://tinyurl.com/y9pw2gqz

North Island Medical Health Officer applauds Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 efforts

North Vancouver Island’s Medical Health Officer says we’re doing a good job trying to flatten the curve in the province, and on Vancouver Island.

Dr.Charmaine Enns spoke with the MyCampbellRiverNow.com newsroom this morning and she says as a whole, British Columbia is doing all the right things to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“Everyone has embraced their responsibilities to limit the transmission of COVID-19 to protect those who are most vulnerable.”

“I just think that’s a remarkable testimony to the people of British Columbia and now much we have been able to do collectively to flatten the curve to a point where we can really enjoy the benefits of that as we go forward now into things getting a little more normal,” added Dr. Enns.

Dr. Enns also says Vancouver Island specifically did a great job following provincial orders.

“Vancouver Island did a fantastic job and there are lots of reasons for that too. Some of it we can take credit for and some of it we can’t. We have numbers and statistics from COVID-19 that are enviable from most other places around the world. We really do have a lot to be thankful for.”

“The deeply negative effects of COVID that so many other people have had to deal with, we haven’t. A lot of that is because of how well we have responded, and actions we took early to reduce its impact and especially actions to reduce transmission in our long term care facilities,” added Enns.

Phase 2 of the B.C’s Restart Plan kicked off on Monday and Dr. Enns says while things are slowly returning to normal, it’s important to remember that COVID-19 is still active in our communities.

“We do have to operate based on principles, so as individual people we need to adhere to the principles because COVID isn’t going away but it is probably going to become less and less severe.”

“Keeping that distance is actually a very important public health recommendation. Hand wash, I can’t emphasize that enough because the virus doesn’t just leap into your face. You’re probably most responsible for putting it into your own mouth or nose or eyes because you touched a contaminated surface.”

“Being able to stick to those principles will go a very long way for all of us in being able to get back to business as normal.”

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No COVID cases on Vancouver Island in weeks but there’s a new concern

With no new COVID cases on Vancouver Island in weeks, it might be hard to tell we’re in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. .“I don’t feel overly concerned being on the Island,” one woman told CHEK News anonymously. “I think we’re doing a really good job so far as a community.”

 

Vancouver Island’s only had 127 cases — the lowest per capita in the province — and just five deaths.

“On the South Island, it’s been four incubation periods without a case and up-Island, two incubation periods so clearly there is a low circulation of the virus,” says Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health‘s Chief Medical Officer.

 

Testing is widely available and about 200 are being done a day now on the Island — well down from the peak.ealth officials say they’re cautiously optimistic..“We need to do this in an incremental fashion, evaluate, and then continue to see if we can get back to some form of normal but again not give the virus a chance to re-establish itself,” Dr. Stanwick says.

 

But there’s also a new threat B.C. health officials are monitoring closely — a rare, post-viral inflammatory syndrome hitting young children. Hundreds of cases of the Kawasaki-like syndrome have been detected worldwide and Dr. Bonnie Henry says they’re trying to determine if B.C.’s had any COVID-related cases.

“There are at least half a dozen that they’re investigating, none has yet been confirmed to be related to COVID 19,” Dr. Henry says. “But the investigation is on-going.”

 

Symptoms include high fever, rash, abdominal pain and inflammation that can attack organs.

 

Red eyes, swollen red cracked lips and swollen red feet and hands are also tell-tale signs of this potentially deadly disease. “Unfortunately, as we’ve witnessed in the United States, it can have a fatal outcome in a rare number of individuals,” Dr. Stanwick says. “This is not something we’re treating lightly.”

 

Health officials are looking back through records for this year to determine if they were any COVID-related cases.

 

They’re asking parents to be vigilant and watch for symptoms.

First publicly funded dementia village on Vancouver Island coming to Comox Valley

The Vancouver Island Health Authority(VIHA) has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to build and operate a 156-bed dementia village in the Comox Valley.

The dementia village will feature 148 publicly-funded long-term care beds and eight publicly funded respite beds and will be built on the existing The Views long-term care home and the former St. Joseph’s General Hospital.

Once completed, the village will replace the existing beds at The Views.

President and CEO of Providence Living, Jane Murphy, says it’s exciting to be able to continue to give service for seniors who need it in the Comox Valley.

“We are very pleased to take this next step in fulfilling our mandate to provide innovative seniors care by building a long-term care home modelled on the concepts of a dementia village,” said Murphy.

“The Views at St. Joseph’s has a long history in Comox, and we are committed to seeking community input to ensure we best meet local needs. We look forward to continuing our work with Island Health to advance our shared goal of helping seniors in the Comox Valley live to their full potential.”

Some of the features will include amenities for residents and the community like community gardens, child daycare, Island Health-funded adult day programs, a community space, an art studio, and a bistro and chapel.

The facility will host small, self-contained households of 12 residents where each resident will have their own room and bathroom as well.

Construction of the dementia village is estimated to cost $52.6 million and Providence Living has already begun the redevelopment planning process, with a goal of starting construction in spring or summer 2021.

Both Island Health and Providence Living will be consulting and engaging with stakeholders and the community as the project moves forward.

 

British Columbians given ‘preferential access’ to provincial campsites

If you live here and plan on camping in British Columbia this summer, you might be in luck.

That’s because BC Parks says  it’s giving B.C. residents “preferential access” to campsites for the 2020 season. 

Out-of-province campers with existing reservations are being asked to contact the call centre before June 15th to cancel and receive a full refund. 

Campgrounds, camping opportunities and accommodations will begin to open on June 1st.

New reservations made after May 25th found to be made by non-B.C. residents will be subject to immediate cancellation without a refund.  

 

Click Here

 

 

Scumbag Alert

Ten Canada wide warrants have been issued for a man with connections to Vancouver Island.

Police are calling 34-year-old Jack Lincoln Kelley “a violent offender.” 

The warrants against him stem from allegations in 2019 and include two counts of sexual assault, two counts of unlawful confinement, and two counts of assault. 

There are also numerous breach charges relating to Kelley not abiding by court imposed release conditions.

Investigators in the Lower Mainland recently alerted RCMP detachments on Vancouver Island that Kelley may be hiding somewhere on the island. 

Kelley is a Caucasian male, six-feet tall with a muscular build, and a shaved head.

He also has a number of tattoos.

If you see Kelley, you’re asked not to approach him and call 911 

Great News!!! No new cases of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island; 2,020 now recovered in B.C.

May 22, 2020

The latest COVID-19 update from the province is in.

2,020 people have now recovered from the virus in British Columbia.

Minister of Health Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced twelve new cases this afternoon, bringing the provincial count to 2,479.

No new cases were reported on Vancouver Island, with the total sitting at 126.

The Island Health region has not seen a new COVID-19 case since May 7th.

Sadly, three new deaths were announced, bringing the death toll in B.C. to 152.

Dr. Henry recommends wearing a cloth or non-medical mask as an additional layer to help you protect others from your droplets.

“It can play an important role in some of those situations, particularly in enclosed or crowded settings where you may be indoors,” Henry says. “Some of the settings where it might be a really important additional layer is on settings like public transit, where you may not be able to always maintain that distance. Or in small retail stores, for example, where barriers or other measures that are more effective may not be always in place.”

So far, over 126,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted here in the province.

Gold River Tax Penalty Change Date

At the May 19, 2020 Regular Council Meeting, Council passed Tax Penalty Bylaw No. 724, 2020 changing the tax penalty date to October 1, 2020. On October 1, 2020, any portion of unpaid taxes will be have a 10% penalty added to the unpaid portion of property tax.

The tax payment due date remains July 2, 2020.

If you have any questions, contact the Village office at 250-283-2202 or villageofgoldriver@cablerocket.com

.

Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay ferry service set to resume

NANAIMO — A vital connection between Nanaimo and the Lower Mainland is set to re-enter service.

The Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay ferry route will resume on June 3, according to BC Ferries.

The company’s Deb Marshall told NanaimoNewsNOW there will be four sailings a day on the popular route, still keeping with 50 per cent capacity to enforce physical distancing.

She said while the Duke Point route carries more cargo and supplies to and from Vancouver Island, the Departure Bay route is often preferred for drivers and walk-on passengers.

 

The route was nixed on April 3 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, the Tsawwassen route has seen four daily round-trip passenger sailings and four cargo cargo runs.

 

 

by NanaimoNewsNOW Staff

 

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BIRD'S EYE VIEW

New 'smart' cameras in Nanaimo to enhance traffic & transportation decision making

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NANAIMO - Cameras overseeing two intersections in Nanaimo are expected to be the beginning of 'next level' technology to be relied upon by city officials for many years.The cameras installed over the past several months point in all directions atop the Westwood/Jingle Pot Rd. intersection and the Third St./Bruce Ave. i...

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IN MOURNING

Kamloops residents come together to honour Capt. Casey, Canadian Forces Snowbirds

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KAMLOOPS - Drums could be heard all around Fulton Field on Monday, just a few blocks away from where Capt. Jennifer Casey's jet crashed into a Brocklehurst neighbourhood.Hundreds of Kamloops residents and members of the Secwepemc Nation came together on the Victoria Day holiday to honour Capt. Casey and entire Canadian...

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VANCOUVER - A group of B.C. pilots will take to the skies Monday as a tribute to the victim of a deadly Snowbird plane crash in Kamloops. Dubbed Operation Backup Inspiration as a nod to the Snowbirds event called Operation Inspiration, 35 pilots will depart from Abbotsford Airport and fly over Vancouver. The event...

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COPYRIGHT © 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Over 300 Nurses Hired By Island Health

Nurses are vital members of our healthcare teams, they saved the day on #COVID19 here, and they’re going to play a critical role as BC gets a backlog of surgeries back on track.

So it’s great news today that 330+ new nursing graduates will soon be working at Island Health, a lot of them from Vancouver Island University, and a lot of them hired at #Nanaimo hospital.

Most of the new hires are registered nurses, and there are also registered psychiatric nurses. They join the almost 7000 nurses already working in communities across Vancouver Island. Hospital Employees' UnionBritish Columbia College of Nursing ProfessionalsBcnu

Check out this release for more good news:
https://www.islandhealth.ca/news/news-releases/island-health-hiring-more-nurses-ever

 

Support for businesses During Covid 19 disruptions. Here are helpful links for businesses to access:

       Here are helpful links for businesses to access:

https://tourismresiliency.ca/victrp/ for Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast and Gulf Island tourism sector operators– support for e-commerce, guidance for re-opening, regulations etc.

https://viea.ca/category/video/

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) has started Video Conference events designed to provide ‘how to’ information

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html

This program will help cover up to 75% of wages to employees

Innovation Island has a new DER3 program (digital economy rapid, recovery, response program) that is for ALL sectors https://innovationisland.ca/der3/

Tourism Vancouver Island has developed a page for the Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program https://victrp.ca/ where you can sign up to receive updates.

check the Small Business BC website every morning as there are great links and also there are webinars on different topics.

https://covid.smallbusinessbc.ca/hc/en-us

News from the BC Chamber for all businesses http://www.bcchamber.org/advocacy-news/resources-businesses-affected-covid-19

And of course, Canada’s Economic Response Plan

 https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

A local contact from government:

Bridget Horel

Regional Economic Operations Branch – Regional Manager North Vancouver Island/Sunshine Coast

Rural Development Unit

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

370 Dogwood Street South, Campbell River, BC

Bridget.Horel@gov.bc.ca │250-286-9370 (Office) │ 250-202-8619 (Cell)

Vancouver Island's tourism industry faces an especially long road to recovery, officials say

At the Strathcona Park Lodge and Outdoor Education Centre near Campbell River, B.C., May is usually a busy month.  "Normally we have 70 employees and 150 kids doing activities all over [the park]. Weddings on the weekend. Tourists coming through," said president Jamie Boulding.

This year, the buildings are quiet, the students are back at home, and all international travel groups have cancelled their upcoming summer trips due to COVID-19.   

It's a common refrain for tourist operators on Vancouver Island. Paul Nursey, the CEO of Destination Greater Victoria, says the Island's tourism industry was the first to be affected by the COVID-19-induced slump, and will likely be the last to fully recover. 

His group is working on an 18-month plan through to next summer that aims to keep as much of the industry intact as possible, including reaching out for more government support and assistance.

"It's really about making sure [those government measures] can actually help us back to recovery and are not just there in the short term. Otherwise, I can't see how our small- to medium-sized businesses are going to last until next summer," Nursey.

 

More grizzly bears showing up on northern Vancouver Island

It use to be a rare occurence to see a Grizzly in our part of th world.  Not anymore, CHEK TV did a report on this yesterday.  Cllick the link to view the video

 

Click Here

 

 

Island Health Begins Surgical Renewal Plan

Island Health is resuming elective surgeries with what it calls ‘new measures to keep patients, staff and medical staff safe.’

The health authority is now contacting patients to determine their health status, and whether they’re willing and able to move forward with surgery. 

To limit the number of patients needing in-person pre-surgical assessments, Island Health is implementing new procedures for virtual assessments, wherever possible and appropriate. 

These services will include virtual assessments, consultations and individual or group education sessions.

 To slow the transmission of COVID-19, a number of measures are being implemented as part of the surgical process:

  • When possible, patients will be assessed through a virtual pre-admission clinic by video conference prior to surgery.

  • Modified scheduling and workflows to maintain physical distancing.

  • Enhanced screening and assessment of patients prior to surgery.

  • Surgeries will be scheduled with time to accommodate additional cleaning and infection control measures.

If your surgery was postponed, Island Health will call you to determine next steps. You’ll be rescheduled based on priority determined by your surgeon.

Island Health will resume elective surgeries after the May long weekend as part of the province’s Surgical Renewal Plan

Across B.C., 30,000 scheduled surgeries were postponed to ensure capacity in provincial hospitals to support patients with COVID-19.

Roughly 4,000 of those surgeries are in the Island Health region.

 

Following the rules reduces wildfire risk: Coastal Fire Centre officer

The Coastal Fire Centre is urging you to take extra care as the weather heats up.

There have been no new fires in the region this week and as of Thursday afternoon, the fire danger rating sat at either low or very low across Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

Fire information officer Marg Drysdale said that while conditions are good, certain fire restrictions are in place.

“If you are going out this weekend and you are going to have a campfire, that is completely allowed within the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, however, no Category 2 which would be backyard or debris burning is allowed at this time,” Drysdale said.

“So we really want people to remember to keep campfires small. If they’re larger than the legal size of half a metre by a half a metre, then they are considered a Category 2 fire.”

Drysdale also stressed that there are no fireworks or sky lanterns allowed at this time. 

She said the winds will be picking up by Saturday morning which, combined with the expected summer-like temperatures, heightens the fire risk.

“So if you are having a campfire at any time on Saturday, and the winds do pick up, remember, you are responsible for what you light, so be very cautious,” Drysdale said. “We don’t want any embers escaping and having a problem with those. If you light it, you are responsible for it and that includes monitoring the weather.”

It was a relatively tame wildfire season last year. While on-average it was two degrees warmer than usual, we just got enough rain to keep fires relatively in check.

 

Easiest Way Ever To Support The GR Skaing Club

The Gold River Skating Club is selling chocolate almonds for $3.00 a box. You can message myself, Jennifer BendicksonDeanna Merlo Stirling

Thank you for your continued support.

 

Most BC parks reopening May 14

The countdown is on for the reopening of most of the province’s parks.

They’ll be open for day use only next Thursday, May 14, while most campgrounds and backcountry camping will open on June 1st.

The reopening includes many front- and back-country trails, beaches, picnic areas, washroom facilities and boat launches for day-use. As well:

  • Visitor centres, nature houses and concession buildings may be opened on a case-by-case basis.

  • In some instances, facilities such as playgrounds, hot springs, halls, and picnic shelters will remain closed.

The Discover Camping reservation system will be back online on May 25th at 7:00am to accept camping reservations.

Visitors are reminded they are responsible for their own safety and to practice physical distancing by giving extra space when passing people on trails and in parking lots and practising appropriate hygiene.

In keeping with public health guidelines around non-essential travel, you’re being asked to only visit a park close to their home and avoid travelling to small communities.

Some parks will remain closed at this time.

For a list of parks re-opening on May 14th, click here.

 

Village of Gold River Council Meeting May 19th

Village Council meets at 7;00 p.m. Agendas and minutes available at the Village Office or online.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS RECEIVED REGARDING THE 2020-2024 FINANCIAL PLAN-GOLD RIVER

There were alot of questions from Gold River residents regarding the financial plan.  We have the questions and the answers.  Please clink the link below

 

Click Here

 

 

Vancouver Island Regional Library announces new virtual services

The Vancouver Island Regional Library says it’s bringing more services to help customers stay connected.

Anyone with questions about digital tools, resources, and databases will soon be able to set up virtual appointments with staff over the phone, email, or web-based platform.

It’s also planning to expand its email and telephone service.

Online programming, including storytimes, book clubs, and learning opportunities are also in the pipeline.

On March 16, the Vancouver Island Regional Library suspended all in-branch services to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

Looking ahead, a recently formed Renewal and Recovery Taskforce will develop a roadmap for how VIRL can resume offering in-branch services to customers. 

The library said that all decisions will be driven by the direction and guidance of health authorities.

As well, a number of library systems in British Columbia have started rolling out curbside pick-up of physical materials, and the VIRL says it has heard from a growing number of customers “who are hungry for books.” 

The models being used by other systems will be carefully reviewed by the taskforce, among other ideas and plans put forth by team members and other library systems.

“We understand just how important libraries are to so many in our communities,” says Melissa Legacy, VIRL’s director of library services and planning. 

“Whether it’s providing books to families, combating social isolation for seniors, or offering a safe and welcoming space to people in need, libraries mean so much to so many and we are committed to providing services and supports to our communities as soon as it is safe to do so.”

There is no timeline on when in-branch services will start back up again.

For more information about VIRL, including the digital resources currently available, click here.

“Looking back, it’s hard to imagine that just a few short months ago, COVID-19 was not even a word, let alone a global pandemic impacting our lives, loved ones, and many of our livelihoods,” said FVRL executive director, Rosemary Bonanno. 

“As the realities of COVID-19 became apparent, we acted quickly and decisively to ensure that our staff and customers were not in harm’s way. Closing our branches was the best decision we could make to keep people safe. I am proud of the response my staff provided to our customers up and down our service area.”

Initial Response

Not long after suspending in-branch services, staff pivoted towards promoting and expanding VIRL’s digital offerings. 

This included:

  • Expanding the number of eBook and eAudiobook titles;

  • offering WiFi services, in most cases 24/7, outside all VIRL branches;

  • increasing access to the popular streaming TV and film platforms, Kanopy and AcornTV; and

  • promoting VIRL’s platforms and resources across all of our channels and to our community partners.

As a result of these efforts, the VIRL saw a 

  • 50 percent increase in eBooks borrowing,

  • 30 percent jump in eAudiobook borrowing,

  • 19 percent increase in digital magazines checked out each day,

  • 15 percent jump in movies, TV shows, and music streamed daily, and 

  • 15 percent increase in the use of online learning through Lynda.com

On March 27th, VIRL rolled out an online membership platform. 

Since this service launched, nearly 1,200 people have signed up for a library card.

 

Island Health stresses it’s safe to immunize your child during pandemic

Island Health is urging parents and guardians to to immunize their children.

The health authority continues to provide immunization shots for children, in particular ones who are six years old and younger. 

Medical Health Officer, Dr. Dee Hoyano, says that while we’re in a pandemic, other disease-causing bacteria and viruses may also be circulating. 

“I’m concerned that, with everything people are dealing with right now with the COVID-19 pandemic, that they are forgetting to think about some of the basic, important, preventative measures that they still should be taking. Immunization is one of those important ones,” Hoyano said.

“The last thing we want to see is an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease on top of the pandemic that we’re dealing with right now.”

Hoyano said while COVID-19 is a new disease, the other diseases that we immunize children against “will still be with us.”

“So we need to take those preventative measures, and vaccine is a very important way of preventing those illnesses,” she said. 

She added that public health units make safety their first priority.

This includes all provincial recommendations for physical distancing, enhanced cleaning, and screening for symptoms.

Island Health stresses that vaccines remain an extremely important, effective and safe way to protect your child and your community against many diseases and their complications. 

During previous outbreaks, immunization rates have declined, resulting in increased vaccine-preventable illness and death. 

Call your local public health unit  for more information and to book an appointment.  You can find your local health unit here.

 

United Way to support Vancouver Island seniors impacted by COVID-19

United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island is ready to invest federal funding through the COVID-19 Seniors Response Fund.

It’s helping out local service agencies who provide immediate essential services for those aged 55 and up impacted by the pandemic.

“Our seniors are at great risk of poor health outcomes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those living in social isolation or poverty,” says executive director Signy Madden. “We are grateful to invest this federal funding to further support our service agencies that are already working tirelessly to keep our seniors safe.”

The support will be distributed through grants of up to $5000 to local charitable organizations from the Malahat to Port Hardy.

The COVID-19 Seniors Response Fund is funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

Madden adds that “through our ongoing communications with local service agencies, all levels of governments, coalitions and individuals, we are well-positioned to quickly respond to the immediate needs of our community.”

Individual non-profit organizations or multi-agency collaborations who are working to meet the needs of seniors in response to COVID-19 within the Central & Northern Vancouver Island region are invited to apply.

The application process will close at 12:00pm on May 11th.

Letters of Intent will not be accepted after this time to ensure the funding gets distributed in a timely manner.

The application form, process and more information can be found on this website.

Yippee! Road Construction-One More Reason To Stay Home!

There’s some construction starting up on Highway 28.

MainRoad says drivers can expect delays starting this coming Monday through to Friday, May 15th between 7:30am and 5:30pm.

Crews will be on-site three kilometres east of Gold River repairing a slope along the highway.

It will be reduced to a single lane alternating traffic with up to 20-minute delays expected.

To show respect for roadside crews, MainRoad is asking you to slow down and drive with caution.

Contact Mainroad’s 24-hour hotline at 1 (877) 215-7122 to report any issues.

 

Salmon farmers partner with Food Banks BC to donate equivalent of 200,000 meals

The BC Salmon Farmers Association is stepping up to help feed families during the pandemic.

It’s partnering with Food Banks Canada and Food Banks BC to create the salmon donation initiative.

Cermaq Canada, Grieg Seafood BC, Mowi Canada West, Creative Salmon and Golden Eagle Aquaculture are donating roughly 60,000 pounds of salmon to food banks that are seeing increased demand due to the crisis.

Cermaq Canada is donating approximately 62,000 cans of salmon, with Grieg Seafood donating 24,000, and Mowi contributing more than 16,000 pounds of fillets.

 “This is a time for all industries to step up and support those most affected by COVID-19, and that’s exactly what BC’s salmon farmers are doing,” said BCSFA executive director John Paul Fraser. 

“Working with Food Banks BC, we’re delighted to partner with BC-based businesses to can, process and transport fresh BC farm-raised salmon, providing families with healthy protein produced here in the province.”

Island Health expands COVID-19 testing for patients with cold, flu

The province, along with its health authority partners have expanded COVID-19 testing across B.C.

Island Health announced Tuesday, April 28 they will now test for COVID-19 in anyone with symptoms of cold, flu or the novel coronavirus. Testing is still not recommended for people who exhibit no symptoms.

Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, painful swallowing, stuffy or runny nose, loss of sense of smell, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite.

Island Health’s call centre is staffed to assess whether or not a test is needed. Vancouver Island residents can call 1-844-901-8442 to get more information.

 

Gold River Birthday Parades

First Responders Birthday Parades will be held each Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. These parades are for children 12 and under or milestone Birthdays.

Sirens will only be sounded at the birthday recipients homes for a short duration. All those wanting to have a parade can contact either the Fire Chief at the Fire Hall (250-283-2522) or Donna Schneider at the ambulance station (250-283-2429) by Tuesday night.

MP Blaney calling for more support for seniors during COVID crisis

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney wants more support for seniors.

In a letter sent to Minister for Seniors Deb Schulte, Blaney expressed her concern that seniors are being left behind in the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She’s calling for an immediate increase to Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) payments.

“Seniors are the most vulnerable demographic at this time, yet the federal government has chosen to provide income supports to so many others ahead of seniors,” Blaney says. “At this point, seniors are having to make extremely tough choices like absorbing the extra delivery costs on a fixed income or risking their health by going to the grocery store or pharmacy themselves. Why, if we’re going through all of this trouble to protect people from COVID-19, is the government putting seniors in this situation?”

Blaney says the NDP government has been calling for a universal basic income approach since the early days of the pandemic.

“A universal approach would have gotten seniors and everyone else falling through the cracks of the CERB right now the help they need. Instead, we’re now dealing with a whole slate of programming that is confusing and still difficult for people to access, with some being left out entirely. This is not the approach of a government that is truly concerned about the wellbeing of seniors.”

She says the concern for those left out of the current benefits schemes continues to grow.

“My office is hearing every day from people who are still unable to make ends meet and worried about being able to pay their rent in May. The assumption that all students are all young people who can rely on their parents and live off $1,250 a month is absurd. Persons with disabilities have been ignored by the federal government entirely,” Blaney says.

“And, the Prime Minister keeps asking seniors to wait after weeks of being told help is coming.”

As there is currently no universal benefit, Blaney is asking Minister Schulte to immediately increa

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Emergency Benefit For B.C. Workers: Apply May 1st

People who are losing income because of the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for a one-time $1000 tax-free payment - part of BC's COVID-19 Action Plan. Applications for the BC Emergency Benefit for Workers will open on May 1, 2020 at www.gov.bc.ca/workerbenefit. Learn more: https://news.gov.bc.ca/22068

Island Tourism resiliency program being expanded province wide

April 25, 2020

Tourism Vancouver Island is expanding its Tourism Resiliency Network to help tourist businesses around the province survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program was created to help companies on Vancouver Island source and access economic assistance programs available to Canadian businesses.

The TVI resiliency program also provides advice on survival strategies during the total shutdown caused by the pandemic and can set up one-on-one meetings for tourism businesses with an advisor.

TVI CEO Anthony Everett says the provincial government has been “very supportive of our resiliency program.”

He adds that the resiliency program is “going province-wide with government support.”

Everett says TVI continues to push for more provincial support for the sector, as well as having changes made to existing programs to make them more suitable for the tourism sector “given the seasonality of these businesses.”

He says the bottom line is that some tourism-related businesses are adapting, but many more are struggling in these difficult times.

A Message From The Mayor

April 25, 2020

To the Residents of Gold River
I moved to Gold River almost 38 years ago with my wife, our young son and another child to arrive soon. Our plan then was to stay for a couple of years and then move on. We were welcomed with open arms from residents, saw how compassionate, caring and friendly everyone was. We got involved in the Community in many ways and fell in love with Gold River. Yes, we felt we had everything we needed here for our family to grow but the number one reason we stayed is the people, our friends and neighbors.
There have been many changes the past 38 years, and there will be more changes in the future of Gold River.
Over the past couple of years through retirements there has been staff changes at the Village office. With these retirements goes many years of knowledge. In the last couple of weeks I have heard and read comments regarding the staff changes at the office, many of those comments are inaccurate.
I have heard that we have hired three people to replace the former CAO and that there’s nine people working out of the office now and that the new CAO is an empire builder. These comments are absolutely incorrect.
I want to be very clear, the CAO takes his direction from Council. He will, provide us with information and we (Council) will either approve or not as a group.

As far as the CAO being an empire builder, well comments like that go with the job.

Council hired him, and he and his family made their decision to move here, buy a house and to be part of our Community even his in-laws moved here. Why??

Council is 100% in support of the CAO and the staff that he has put together to help move our Village forward. If you have questions, please ask.
We all know the world is not the same as it was just a couple months ago.
Now more than ever, this is the time to for us to show how caring and compassionate we can be.
Please
Be kind Be safe,
Mayor
Brad Unger

What Does A 7% Tax Increae Mean To Residents Of Gold River?

Videos from Mayor and Council regarding the 2020 Budget can be found by clicking the link below.

 

Click Here

 

Village Of Gold River Taxation Plan

To get the full report on the 2020 Financial Plan Please click the red link below.
Setting the tax increase is not a very pleasant exercise recognizing that we are faced with increased taxes and user fees to maintain our service levels in these difficult times. As part of the Sustainability Study done by BDO our tax rates were looked at in comparison to other communities. This study showed residential taxes compared to service levels, distribution of taxes between classes, and impact of taxes on economic investment of businesses. With the completion of this independent review Council can move forward and develop a tax strategy for the future by evaluating the ability of our community to fund our services.

 

CLICK HERE

 

Anyone Up For Free Salmon! Thank You Grieg Seafood!

Hello from Marilyn of Grieg Seafood. I hope that Gold River and Tsaxana residents are staying well.

Grieg would like to donate 15 cases (360 cans) of salmon for anyone in the community who would like to add to their pantry. The tins of salmon will be distributed from a table outside the food bank by the public library from Noon to 4 pm Friday April 24. Bring your own bag to carry them. If you can’t come on Friday, call Heather Warwick at (250) 283-7319 and she will arrange a specific time for you to come on another day.

Thank you to the Gold River Food Bank and Heather Warwick for helping us get the word out.

RESIDENTS RALLY OVER PROPOSED TAX INCREASE

Submitted By Suzanne Trevis:

More than 60 residents showed up in front of the Village Office tonight in advance of the regular council meeting.  Although the public was not permitted to attend the meeting due to Covid restrictions, people wanted to let council know they are not happy about the proposed 7% tax increase that was voted on and approved for first reading, at the last meeting.

 

Our community, its businesses and its residents,  have already suffered severe hardship over the last year following the eight month strike at Western Forest Products, and now the current Covid crisis. And we all know this is not something that is going to be resolved soon.  There will be no tourist season this summer and some of our businesses are already in danger of not reopening. Even so,  staff saw fit to propose a 9% increase, which council turned down. They went on to approve an increase of 7%, more than three times the normal annual cost of living increase. 

 

Keep in mind that the pool has already closed early this year, providing a savings of $73,700, and they will not be opening the info centre, another $20,000 savings.  We’ve not seen any major infrastructure jobs in the works, in fact, most capital jobs previously proposed for the coming year have been put on hold, because of Covid, so where is all this money going?

 

Mayor Unger came out and addressed the crowd with a short prepared statement.  He thanked people for coming saying “we see you, we hear you”.  When he was asked what it was they “see and hear” we were told they were not taking any questions at this time and he went back inside.  People were not happy and many stayed around chatting and comparing notes for some time, while adhering to social distancing rules. 

 

The Village advised residents earlier this month that the public would no longer be able to attend meetings, but they had assured us that “During this event, we will be taking any measures available to the Village to ensure that the information is made available to the public in a timely manner.”  This, however does not seem to be the case as minutes from the last meeting are still not available on the website, (the only way we could have know about this proposal and the vote) and if one of the village’s employees had not given everyone a heads up on facebook this weekend, most people would know nothing at all about this decision until it was a done deal and too late to address.  We definitely would not have known in time to attend tonights meeting.

 

Apparently the village will be releasing information and some short videos over the next few days explaining the budget and all of its implications. I  will do my best to continue to provide information to residents as it becomes available

 

 

 

Petition For Village To Freeze Property Taxes Has Been Started

This Petition on behalf of the property tax payers of Gold River regarding the proposed tax increase for the 2020 budget

Due to the past 8 months of employment loss to the vast majority of local residents and the current Covid-19 concerns of health and economic uncertainty. We are requesting that the Gold River elected council members consider freezing tax rates at the present level for the current year 2020.  We propose you revisit the tax rate increase next year for the 2021/22 period. To sign the petition click the link

 

CLICK HERE TO SIGN

 

97 Covid Cases On Vancouver Island

Here you will find the latest data on COVID-19 cases in British Columbia.

  • 87 recovered in BC

  • 81 deaths in BC

  • Cases by region:

    • 680 in Fraser Health

    • 150 in Interior Health

    • 97 in Island Health

    • 34 in Northern Health

    • 686 in Vancouver Coastal Health

COVID-19 Dashboard

Visit the BC COVID-19 Dashboard or click on the image below for the latest case counts and information on recoveries, deaths, hospitalizations, testing and more. (Internet Explorer users: please use the Internet Explorer version of the BC COVID-19 Dashboard.) 

The dashboard is updated Monday to Friday at 5 p.m.

Hospital Home Away From Home facility approved by SRD

New accommodations are in the works to host visitors and families to the North Island Hospital in Campbell River.

The Strathcona Regional District recently approved a bylaw establishing a service to build and fund the facility. The Home Away From Home model allows patients and their families to have a place to stay while they are in the hospital, taking away the stress of finding and paying for transportation and accommodation.

The project first came to the board’s attention when the Children’s Health Foundation, who are building the Qwalayu House for expectant mothers in Campbell River, approached them looking for a group to take on a project to build and run a facility to house families of people using the hospital for non-maternity reasons.

RELATED: Qwalayu House in Campbell River to be North Island families’ home away from home

“The regional district thought that was an interesting project and has tentatively partnered with the Campbell River hospital foundation to work towards fundraising the capital costs of the facility and also work towards having operational donations to have the facility’s long term operational costs covered through donations from the community,” said SRD chief administrative officer David Leitch.

“You’re coming from up north or one of the islands and you have medical issues, the last thing you want to do is worry about accommodations and transportation,” he added. “We’re trying to simplify that all together.”

This bylaw was given three readings at the March 11 SRD board meeting. Originally, SRD staff were planning to reach out to partners including the Campbell River Hospital Foundation and other regional districts and governments to hammer down details and secure more funding, but the process was slowed due to the COVID-19 virus, which was declared a global pandemic on the same day.

“This COVID-19 thing happened at a peculiar time. We were on the cusp of the hospital foundation working towards a committed partnership with us to do fundraising for it,” Leitch said. “Everything still looks fairly positive, but it happened right before the pandemic started, so we want to hold tight for a tiny bit here until the dust settles and find out if we’re still on track with the hospital foundation.”

Leitch said that he had reached out to neighbouring jurisdictions including the Regional District of Mount Waddington to discuss becoming funding parters on the project. North Island Hospital is used by communities other than those in the SRD, and Leitch said bringing on other governments will help lessen the impact on SRD taxpayers. The adoption of the bylaw cements the position of the SRD board, and shows negotiations to proceed in earnest with other partners.

One of the conditions that the SRD board agreed to was that any capital costs would be covered by donation, and that the SRD would fund a portion of the operating costs after the facility is built. However, according to a staff report on the issue, “Based on the experience in other areas of the Province it is anticipated that the annual operating costs of maintaining such a facility in the long term will be supported fully by private donations.”

Leitch estimated that capital costs would be between $1.7 to $2 million.

The bylaw allows a maximum requisition of $.023 per $1,000, or roughly $228,000 per year if the funding is required. The staff report said the Regional District of Mount Waddington was considering a similar requisition level. Although the project will have to go through a voter approval or an alternative process.

RELATED: A home away from home for Campbell River Hospital patients in the works

 

Box Meat Packages Available At The Ridge

We have worked with our suppliers to put together a terrific selection of meat boxes to purchase.

There are 5 boxes to choose from, the  boxes offer a variety of meat items that include steak, hamburger, pork chops, chicken and much more. Boxes start as low as $65.  Get your order in for next week delivery and click the link for the full description of what is available.

 

Click Here

 

 

Transition society there for domestic abuse victims during pandemic

There’s a support system available for women and children looking to escape domestic abuse across the North Island.

The Campbell River & North Island Transition Society says it’s offering safety beds as well as a 24-hour crisis line. 

The numbers are:

  • 24-hour helpline: 250-286-3666 or toll free, 1-800-667-2188

  • There is also a new, 24-Hour text-only help line at: 250-895-1773.

You can also access the society’s website here.

The society’s public relations and economic development coordinator, Diane Palmer, said the pandemic heightens the risk of domestic abuse.

“I think with the isolation the way that it is right now, it does create the potential for women to be home with their abusers and therefore there can be a risk,” she said. “And we would like women to know that we are still available and our services are still here for Ann Elmore House if they still need them, as well as the women’s centre.”

Adding to the challenge is the extra precautions being made to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Palmer said these current times have “absolutely alters how we do things.”

“Some of our services are reduced and some of our services have been suspended due to the COVID (pandemic),” Palmer said. “We do still have the women’s centre intact as we feel that’s an essential service that needs to be available for women in the community, and the Ann Elmore House safety beds are also still available and the support line, but our other services have been altered.”

The society’s Transitions thrift store, a key source of funding, has had to close its doors because of the pandemic.

However, Palmer said the best way to help the society is by getting the word out that it is available for victims of domestic abuse.

“If anybody has an opportunity for us to place information in their business or somewhere where people are still able to access, we would love to be able to get those numbers out there to let people know, and also, sometimes just recognizing the signs of abuse and being able to support someone during that time, and guide them in the right direction for help is essential, as well,” she added.

 

Attention Gold River Pet Owners

As the weather gets warmer, the Village of Gold River would like to remind dog owners that all dogs need to be licensed and on leash when out in the community. The Village Bylaw Officer will be out on patrols speaking with pet owners and ensuring that their pets are both licensed and on a leash. We thank you in advance for your cooperation. Should you have any questions about the bylaw, or concerns about dogs at large, please contact the Village of Gold River at 250-283-2202 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday

Vancouver Island MP joins growing call for ban on non-essential BC Ferries travel

A Vancouver Island MP has penned a letter to the prime minister and B.C. premier asking to restrict all non-essential travel on BC Ferries amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Paul Manly, MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, says he is concerned about reports of a spike in ferry traffic over the Easter weekend.

“There can be no justification for a rise in ferry ridership during a long weekend in a public health emergency,” he wrote.

“This can no longer just be a request for people to stay home. The government needs to restrict travel and enforce that restriction.”

READ MORE: BC Ferries to start screening passengers for COVID-19

An online petition calling for a ban on non-essential travel has garnered more than 37,000 signatures as of Monday afternoon.

 

Petition asking to restrict travel to Vancouver Island garners thousands of signatures

A petition asking that access to Vancouver Island is limited to essential services, supplies and residents only during the COVID-19 pandemic has garnered thousands of signatures.

“Vancouver Island residents are worried about their safety amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and we’re still seeing tourists from other provinces and the U.S. driving on our roads here,” the online petition says. “We need to be proactive and protect our residents.”

As of Sunday afternoon, more than 28,000 people signed the petition and the number was still increasing on the website. The petition calls for BC Ferries to limit travel to essential services and “implement restricted access for residents who are trying to return home to their families.”

Community Unity Parade

Let's support our Emergency services and make some noise!

We're having a parade starting at the Info Centre April 13th at 7 p.m.

Two ways to participate , jump in your car and lineup at 6:45 and follow the fire truck or

wave and yell from the street when the parade passes your house.

 

A Message From Our MLA- Claire Trevena

Friends,

As we head into the first long weekend of Spring I wanted to thank each and every one of you for the part you are playing in the fight against Covid-19.

We all know someone who is there on the frontline; the checkout clerks and shelf stackers in stores, the bus drivers, care home workers, truckers delivering essential supplies, those working in pharmacies, paramedics, nurses and cleaners and doctors at hospitals. Thank you.

We most likely all know someone who has lost their job or whose business is at risk. Our government is trying to assist, whether it is with rent or financial support. A $5 billion package was announced a couple of weeks ago, and we are continuing to find ways to fill in the financial gaps. But thank you for your patience.

And we all know that there are stresses from continually being at home, not seeing friends and not being able to do what you normally do. This is Holy Week for Christians, Passover is upon us, Vaisakhi is celebrated Monday and Ramadan is a couple of weeks away. These are usually times people come together. Thank you for not doing so.

And for those without a faith it is simply Spring, with the joys and anticipation of the outdoors that usually brings. So, I know in North Island the closure of all provincial parks will be felt particularly hard as good weather and time off beckons us towards them.

But as Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry has said time and time again, and as Health Minister Adrian Dix has echoed time and again: we cannot let up now. We have to keep our distance; we have to stop the spread. By doing this we are all saving lives.

To all who live and work in the North Island. Thank you.

Stay safe.

Claire

 

B.C announces 23 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, no new cases on Vancouver Island

April 08, 2020

here are now 1291 confirmed COVID-19 cases in British Columbia.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 23 new positives this afternoon.

The total on Vancouver Island still sits at 79 with no new cases reported.

Four more deaths have been announced, bringing the total in the province to 43.

Dr.Henry says with the long weekend ahead, and with many people in the province celebrating, it’s important to stay home.

“This is also a time when many people are thinking of travelling and going to perhaps holiday homes or smaller communities around the province. I really am imploring people, this is not our time to do that right now.”

“We need to avoid all non-essential travel, and it’s important that we don’t go to communities where we might not have the resources to support us if we become sick or if there’s a medical emergency. Now is the time to stay home, to stay connected with our family, to stay connected virtually.”

Of the 1291 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province, 805 people have received back to full health.

 

Use Caution When Handling Your Garbage Containers-Covid

The good people who collect our garbage every week touch over 600 garbage cans, so remember when you bring your cans to the curb,...wash your hands before and after.  Might be a good idea to disinfect the handles as well.

Gold River Encourages Visitors To Stay Away

Gold River council has issued a public statement encouraing would be tourists to come to Gold River- later.

After this pandemic is over. To see the letter issued click the link.

 Just a reminder that with the long weekend upon us, everyone is encourage to stay strong and stay home.  

 

Click Here

 

BC Ferries to bring in health checks as feds restrict marine travel due to COVID-19

Travellers using BC Ferries will see significant changes starting Monday (April 6) after the federal government announced new measures to fight COVID-19.

As part of new measures announces Sunday, Transport Canada has issued guidelines for screening all passengers boarding sailings longer than 30 minutes. The rules will apply until June 30.

“Vessel operators should, where possible and practical, observe and do a health check of all passengers before they board the vessel,” it reads. The guidelines include a questionnaire with four questions to be asked of travellers by ferry operator employees.

If a passenger is seen to have COVID-19 symptoms or their response to health check questions indicates a need to deny boarding, the vessel operator should refuse to allow that person on board for 14 days, or until a medical certificate clearing the patient is presented.

The new rules say that if it’s not possible to deny boarding, operators should take steps to ensure impacted passenger should be self-isolated, for example, by staying in their vehicles during the whole trip.

“If the passenger must travel for the purpose of receiving needed medical services, they should take precautions to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 such as staying in their car as much as possible, wearing a mask and maintaining a minimum of two metres from any other passenger,” Transport Canada said.

The coming health checks are part of a series new rules effective Monday starting at 9 a.m. local time. They state that operators of vessels carrying more than 12 passengers must immediately reduce sailings by 50 per cent of the maximum number of passengers to help with physical distancing or implement alternative practices consistent with Public Health Agency of Canada guidelines.

According to the guidelines, ferry operators “should, when feasible” notify passengers before boarding that they may be subject to a health check to prevent the spread of COVID-19, have the crew (or crew members) read out the announcement (or post signage) and conduct the health checks.

The new regulations also include a ban on Canadian cruise ships entering the Arctic.

 

Gold River Golfing-UPDATE / CLUBHOUSE IS CLOSED TILL FURTHER NOTICE

CLOSED:  CLICK LINK TO FIND OUT MORE

 

Click Here

 

 

Worried About Rent? Read This

Are you or someone you know having difficulties making rent due to COVID-19? BC Housing has an excellent FAQ on the new BC Temporary Rental Supplement which provides up to $500 per month for people who’s income has been affected by #COVID-19.

https://mcusercontent.com/…/2a7bf5…/BCTRS_Simplified_FAQ.pdf

 

A Fabulous Birthday Idea

If you have little ones who are having a birthday, call Lisa at the Fire Hall to arrange a birthday parade.

We can't have birthday parties right now but we can have a parade.  And, of course, everyone is invited to join the parade.  Let's make some noise Gold River!  Call (250) 283-2522.

Job Opportunities At Grieg Seafood

Grieg Seafood currently has two job openings relating to the Gold River area: a Hatchery Technician, and Casual Aquaculture Labourers (needs no previous experience in aquaculture). Please see our Careers page and find the job descriptions there.

 

Click Here

 

Campbell River distillery producing sanitizers for frontline workers

Editor's Note:  Let's remember this guys when things get back to normal.

Shelter Point Distillery is supporting the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

It temporarily stopped its distilling operations and is now making medical-grade sanitizer.

Manager Jacob Wiebe says staff at the distillery are doing anything and everything they can to help.

“We’ve completely shut down our whisky production over the last couple weeks and we’ve been mass-producing hand sanitizer and all-purpose sanitizer,” Wiebe says. “Last week, we did a thousand litres, this week we did 4,000 litres. By the end of next week, we should be around 30,000 litres of hand sanitizer.”

The distillery revamped itself, going from single malt to sanitizer in just days.

The sanitizer is being put into 750-ml bottles and 20-litre containers.

Distillers from Shelter Point will be working double shifts over the weeks and months ahead to make enough sanitizer to supply as many health authorities, hospitals, medical centres, municipal and provincial services as possible. 

It’s number one priority is to ensure that first responders have enough supplies “so they can do their jobs and save lives.”

“Really, the front lines were getting it first. The medical clinics, the fire departments, the police stations. The people who aren’t able to stay home during this time. We wanted to make sure that they were able to be as safe as possible. They got the first opportunity for the hand sanitizer,” Wiebe adds.

The distillery has also supplied thousands of bottles to local communities in Campbell River and the Comox Valley.

As the current need is “extraordinary,” it’s doing the best it can to produce as much as possible.

Thousands of litres of grain neutral alcohol, containers and ingredients have been ordered which will allow staff to continue to make sanitizer to an approved World Health Organisation formulation.

To stay updated on the work Shelter Point Distillery is doing, visit its Facebook page.

 

Groclery Service Update

The Grocery Service Update:

We are now ready to take your order for grocery items that will be available for Monday.  Please place orders between 10-3 Sat and 10-1 on Sunday.  Our deadline to get the order in to our supplier is 1 p.m. Sunday.  All  products come directly from our wholesale suppliers and are  premium quality, far superior to what you will find at a national chain store. For the first week we are able to provide you with fresh produce, meat and dairy products.  Other items may also be available, call Jerad for pricing and ordering information.  Call (250) 283-7526.  This  number is reserved for orders only. This is new to all of us and put together very quickly, your patience is greatly appreciated.

 

Provincial Open Burning Ban

The Province has issued an open burning ban that includes the Village of Gold River. The ban is in place until 9 a.m. on April 15, 2020. Open burning includes any backyard burning and open fires (camp fires).

 

Let's Make Some Noise Gold River-Every Night at 7 p.m.

Grab a pot, a drum, a noise maker of your choosing and head outside and make as much noise as you can in appreciation for the doctors, nurses and others who are working the front lines in our fight against Covid-19

Confirmed case of COVID-19 at Campbell River retirement home

There’s now a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Campbell River.

Berwick Retirement Communities says one of their residents has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.  That person has been self-isolating in their room at Berwick by the Sea since Tuesday.

Sales and Marketing Director Lesley Sikorski says it’s “working with Island Health to take the necessary steps to protect the health and well-being of all residents and staff, as well as those in the broader community.”

Island Health has confirmed that those who came close to the individual have been notified and all necessary steps are being taken.

If you have not been contacted by Public Health, you are not considered at risk of exposure to this individual.

“All of Berwick’s leadership teams are working hard to closely monitor the situation at Berwick by the Sea,” Sikorski says. “All Berwick communities have been diligently preparing for this situation and outbreak protocols have been in place since last week out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of our residents and staff.” 

She says steps are being taken to ensure the virus is contained.

“Berwick Retirement Communities is working rigorously around the clock with Island Health to control and contain the virus. Berwick is also communicating daily with the Communicable Disease Nurse.”

As all staff within the Berwick by the Sea community

 

Western Forest Products temporarily closing mills due to COVID-19

Our battered forest industry is taking another hit.

Starting today, Western Western Forest Products is closing its manufacturing facilities in British Columbia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It’s scheduled to last for up to one week. 

During this time the company says it will re-evaluate business and operating conditions “to determine when these manufacturing operations will resume.” 

“The health and safety of our employees remain our top priority,” said the company’s president and Chief Executive Officer, Don Demens. 

“Western has taken steps to mitigate potential exposure to COVID-19 throughout our operations by implementing strict health and safety protocols. The decision to temporarily curtail manufacturing operations in British Columbia is necessary as we respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation. We will continue to monitor market conditions and government directions in the jurisdictions where we operate and adjust our business as circumstances change.” 

The closure comes roughly a month-and-a-half after the company and the United Steelworkers Union reached a deal, to end the nearly eight-month-long coastal forestry workers strike. 

Packaging and shipping of lumber products will continue to meet customer requirements. 

The company’s Cowichan Bay and Ladysmith sawmills are expected to stay closed into the second quarter due to limited log supply and weak market demand. 

Western will also take steps to minimize its planned capital expenditures in 2020. 

The company plans to incur only safety, environmental and committed capital expenditures in the near-term. 

Going forward, WFP says discretionary capital will remain on hold “until there is greater operational certainty.”

COVID-19 screening clinics open in Campbell River, Comox Valley

COVID-19 screening clinics are now open in the Comox Valley and Campbell River.

They’re by referral and appointment only.

That means you don’t call or go to the clinics unless you’ve been referred by a doctor or an 8-1-1

nurse. 

The  BC Centre for Disease Control says that you should be tested if you have respiratory symptoms and are:

  • hospitalized, or likely to be hospitalized;

  • a health care worker;

  • Live in a long-term care facility;

  • and part of an investigation of a cluster or outbreak.

You don’t need to be tested if you don’t have symptoms, have mild respiratory symptoms that can be managed in self-isolation at home, and are a returning traveller with no symptoms or mild symptoms.

If you have a new fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing, or are worried that you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, the BCCDC has an online self-assessment tool. You can find it here

You can also call your doctor or call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 to be assessed. 

At the clinics, a triage nurse will assess referred patients over the phone to see if an appointment is needed.

If you are healthy make sure you’re washing your hands frequently, staying home as much as possible, and maintaining a distance of about six feet from others.

You can find more details on the BCCDC’s website or Island Health’s website

Message From Our Mayor

Food Security

In the last couple of days Village Staff have been in contact with most of the grocery stores in Campbell River to discuss this very important issue. They all realize at times over the next few weeks that they may not have everything you need, but they have assured us that they continue to receive inventory as fast as the product can get to them.

As we continue to deal with COVID-19 and we all respect Social Distancing if you are going into town for groceries or another reason, please talk to your neighbors, friends see if there is anything you can pick up for them.

Bob from Highway Delivery has posted he will continue to serve Gold River on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays.

Take care everyone!       

 

EDITORS NOTE: Many of the Campbell River Grocery stores and Pharmacies are open early  and restriciting the first hour of business for senior citizens onlly.     

Brad Unger, Mayor

Nootka Sound RCMP Update

RCMP operations are at as we head into another week of uncertain times.
1. Our front desk is still closed but our civilian employees (the backbone of our office) are still working answering your calls and questions;
2 Our police officers are still responding to calls for service and where operationally feasible we will call you rather than come to your home. However if there is a danger to life or property we will be coming straight over.
3. We are still enforcing road and public safety statues. So please follow the rules of the road so we can limit how many people you interact with in a day. Win win for all of us 😉
4. The Health Authority has set down some very serious public orders. They are police enforceable so please take them seriously. I can guarantee that neither me nor my colleagues fall into the “Nurse Nightengale” category and our “sick room” is not comfortable. #stayhome
5. Finally - you are all our neighbors and people we care about. If you need us, call us. Stay safe, stay positive and stay connected
Have a safe week everyone

B.C. liquor, cannabis stores still operating, cut hours

It’s business as usual at government-run liquor and cannabis stores.

However, British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch spokesperson Viviana Zanocco said there have been a few changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve initiated reduced hours for liquor stores yesterday and reduced hours for our cannabis stores today,” she said. “We’re working very hard to make sure that they stay open throughout the COVID-19 situation.”

All B.C. liquor stores across the province will be open from 11:00am to 7:00pm Monday to Saturday and 11:00am to 6:00pm on Sundays. 

On the cannabis side, the store openings are 10:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Saturday and 11:00am to 6:00pm on Sundays.

Zanocco said steps are being taken to protect staff and customers from the virus.

“We are implementing signage and procedures around self distancing, so in cannabis and in liquor stores, there will be dots set out to the lineup for the till. So the person has to stand on the dot and that ensures that there is adequate space between each person in line for service.”

She added that staff are following enhanced cleaning procedures, so there are more frequent wipe-down of such things as door handles, pin pads, and cashier desks.

She said the biggest priority is the safety of the employees and customers.

“To that end we’ll take whatever steps necessary and follow whatever direction (provincial health officer) Dr. Bonnie Henry sends down to make sure that everybody stays safe.”

Zanocco said demand jumped at stores as bars and restaurants started closing, which has been a challenge for staff.

“That’s partly one of the reasons why we took the necessary steps to reduce hours,” she added. “We just didn’t have enough time to stock things. Where we need to, we also have to limit the number of people in the store. That’s part of the social distancing but also part of just, order. We want to make sure we serve people appropriately and well.”

As far as supply, Zanocco doesn’t foresee any disruptions anytime soon.

“We are working with our business partners, suppliers and stakeholders to ensure all our supply chains are not disrupted.”

A Message From Seawatch Medical Clinic Campbell River

Many will agree --we all know it's here!! It's almost a ridiculous conversation. We know because our friends, neighbours, colleagues, and family are among the positive. We hear about cases involving hairdressers, miners, travellers, etc..

But what we don't know is where is the planning for profound measures in an organized community manner. Individuals taking steps for themselves and their families is outstanding, responsible, and necessary...however sadly insufficient.

We would love to see this galvanizing conversation re: official confirmation of positive infections in Campbell River be put to rest and the leadership and decisions necessary to keep us all safe take ACTION. Every day that goes by, risk to health care workers increases. That means nurses everywhere on the front line, our ER docs, our beloved Specialists...and your very own family doctor and MOAs...and every other provider who supports your health. Every day that goes by, the chances of losing someone you love increases.

Campbell River physician needing to remain anonymous to avoid repercussions...does that seem odd to you? If you have had a positive test OR were told by public health you must isolate due to exposure to a positive test and are willing to speak up...please do so!!! Go to the paper. Make it official. LETS MOVE ON!!!! LETS GET MOVING!!!

Please share as you feel comfortable...lets do this!

 

Province launches COVID-19 online assessment tool

The Ministry of Health has launched an online assessment tool for the COVID-19 virus.

It’s designed to determine whether or not you need further assessment or testing. 

You can complete this assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else if they can’t.

Click here to do the assessment.

It includes questions about symptoms such as severe difficulty breathing, fever, severe chest pain, and trouble waking up, among other things.

It also asks:

  • Did you develop symptoms within 14 days of travel outside Canada?

  • Did you provide care or have close contact with a person with COVID-19 (probable or confirmed) while they were ill (cough, fever, sneezing, or sore throat)?

  • Did you have close contact with a person who travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days who has become ill (cough, fever, sneezing, or sore throat)?

The province urges anyone who has symptoms including a fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat, or difficulty breathing to self-isolate for 14 days. 

To protect yourself while out in public, wash your hands frequently and maintain a distance of about two metres from others. 

For more information on COVID-19, refer to HealthLink BC’s COVID-19 website.

Vancouver Island doctor wants locations of COVID-19 patients made public

CAMPBELL RIVER -- B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Bonnie Henry continue to stand side-by-side to give daily updates on the growing COVID-19 situation, but at least two health professionals on the mid-island are calling for more transparency.

A Courtenay physician, Dr. Tanja Daws, posted information on her Facebook account over the weekend to provide her facts on the quickly spreading virus and to dispel some commonly held myths.

She also confirmed that the Comox Valley had at least one person who has tested positive for COVID-19, something that hasn't been divulged on official channels.

As of Monday, the B.C. government said that there were eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Island Health region but did not specify where.

The provincial government has said that it does not divulge precise locations of positive tests due to concerns over patient confidentiality. Additionally, the Health Ministry says that people who are self-isolating are no longer a danger to their communities so their locations are not important.

But Daws believes if members of the public know the virus is in their community they will take the matter more seriously.

"The evidence we have from Italy, Korea and China is that people should self-isolate and every day we wait, there's a 40 per cent higher rate of people who get the virus," Daws said.

Daws believes that if more people know the virus is active in their community, they will do more social distancing – something people may not yet be doing because they don't think their community is affected.

That's a sentiment echoed by a Campbell River Hospital worker who reached out to CTV News, frustrated that locations are not being given out.

The worker, who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of losing their job, says there was a positive COVID-19 diagnosis on Thursday in Campbell River. However, the patient's doctor and hospital staff were told not to talk about it.

"He was shut down and was told he's not allowed to speak of these things and everyone who was involved in that case was also told that their jobs could be at stake if they were informing the public that we now have the coronavirus here in town," the source said.

The hospital worker says confirmation came through a staff meeting at the Campbell River Hospital Monday morning, where staff were told that there were many cases on the North Island but that those involved were all self-isolating.  

Island Health launches new visitor restrictions amid coronavirus

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow across B.C., Island Health has launched a new series of restrictions at hospitals and health care facilities.

Effective immediately, all patients, families and Island Health staff are being asked to abide by the provincial health officer’s recommendations of social distancing and visitors at health facilities are asked to come in small numbers.

“We understand the importance of visits from family and loved ones to our patients and long-term care residents and we appreciate your support in helping to keep everyone safe,” said Island Health in a release

Monday.     

Besides limiting the number of visitors at health facilities, Island Health is completely restricting anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has been in contact with someone who was infected with COVID-19 in the previous 14 days from making visits.

Additionally, anyone who is feeling ill is asked not to come to any health facility, especially if symptoms include: fever, cough, runny/stuffy nose, sore throat and/or diarrhea.

Island Health’s new visitor restrictions are:

  •  1 adult caregiver/support person at hospital emergency departments, intensive care/critical care areas

  •  1 adult caregiver/support person at perinatal units

  •  2 adult caregivers/support persons at neonatal ICU

  •  2 adult caregivers/support persons at inpatient pediatric and adult areas

  •  1 adult caregiver/support person at inpatient areas, with additional precautions in place

  •  1 adult caregiver/support person at primary and urgent care centres

  •  1 adult caregiver/support person at outpatient clinics

  •  2 adult caregivers/support persons at long-term care homes

  •  Patients and family members can arrange special accomodations with Infection Prevention and Control for people in palliative and end-of-life care

Island Health says that signage will be placed at the entrances of all health care facilities so that visitors know what restrictions are in place, depending who they are visiting.

“While there are confirmed cases in the province, the risk to British Columbians and Vancouver Islanders remains low,” says Island Health.

 

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Ridge Free In-Town Delvery Wednesday March 18th

It's Chinese Food Night tomorrow night ( march 18) at The Ridge And we will be offering free in-town delivery for Chinese food and all menu items. Free delivery between 5-8 p.m., for trips out of Gold River, there will be a small delivery fee.

 

Latest Jurassic World movie lands in Vancouver Island park for filming

A movie production unit for the next Jurassic World sequel captured aerial scenes amid the giants of Cathedral Grove last week while letting no moss gather underfoot.

Word of the location shoot spread quickly after notices were posted in the park Wednesday advising that some trails might be briefly closed to the public “if a drone is in use.”

Gramercy Film Productions has begun shooting scenes for Jurassic World 3 in various B.C. locations over the next few weeks. One of the company’s mobile units had a two-day park use permit for the Vancouver Island provincial park.

“They’re here,” a Nanaimo fan, Neesha (@akajb84), tweeted. “Not much to really take pics of. Saw the drone. Would love to fly one of those.”

Gramercy maintains what is known in the industry as a “closed set,” meaning no media coverage is allowed anywhere near production activities. Evidently, the shoot also had a tight time frame because crew and signs were gone without a trace by Thursday morning.

Starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, Jurassic World 3 goes by the working title of Arcadia on Creative B.C.’s list of all current film and TV projects in the province.

This will be the sixth sequel in the long-running Jurassic Park franchise. The Jurassic World series began in 2015 and this last film in the trilogy is headed for release in June 2021.

In an interview Wednesday with Ellen Degeneres, Pratt revealed three members of the original 1993 Jurassic Park cast — Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum — reprise their roles in this sequel. Colin Trevorrow returns as director and executive producer alongside Steven Spielberg.

Production moved onto the B.C. Interior on Thursday. An open casting call was issued earlier this month in Merritt for area residents to play “workers, fishermen and townsfolk.”

While Gramercy obtained a special permit, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are not normally allowed in provincial parks. UAV operators have to obtain permission to take off or land in any B.C. park or protected area.

Joan Miller, director of Vancouver Island North Film Commission, consulted with the movie’s publicist Friday and confirmed she cannot comment on the production at this time.

Controversy grows as Vancouver Island’s herring fishery approaches

Anticipation is growing in French Creek’s harbour as herring boats began to fill it Wednesday ahead of the fishery opening. The opening could be any day. Fisheries and Oceans test boats have already recorded herring returning to spawn. “Could be any minute now, you know Mother Nature is temperamental,” said Captain of the Pender Isle Jason Roberts. “I’m a third-generation [fisherman] and I love it. I came back to do it and here I am and herring fishing means a lot to us.”Roberts is one of the hundreds waiting anxiously to start fishing.

 

A group is organizing against the herring fishery as well, due to declining salmon stocks and the dire state of the southern resident orca population. Herring Aid is planning a rally to oppose it on Sunday in Qualicum Beach. “It once was a celebration and we all enjoyed watching the fish boats and the fishers go out,” said Herring Aid member Sheri Plummer. “And I think at some point we realized that this was not sustainable.”

“I think DFO is failing us in this instance,” aid Herring Aid member Rich Ronyecz.

 

“They’re not using precautionary measures to protect chinook salmon, and the orcas and their food supply which is herring,” he said.Since the salmon fishery was so dismal in 2019, both sides of this debate say the stakes in the herring harvest are higher than ever. “Family at home depends on it,” said Roberts.

“Got a lot of skin in the game and if the fishery doesn’t happen, I might lose everything.”

 

Telus Brings New Wireless Service To Gold River & Tahsis

Vancouver, B.C. – TELUS has invested $2 million to build two new cell sites in Gold River and Tahsis, bringing vital wireless voice and Internet services to these west coast Vancouver Island communities for the first time. In addition to this investment, TELUS is collaborating with the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation to upgrade wireless services in the community of Tsaxana later this year.

“Tahsis and Gold River are vibrant communities with an entrepreneurial spirit – they are gateways to West Coast adventure that welcome visitors from all over the world,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and MLA for the North Island. “This technology is important for our coastal communities and their strong tourism sectors. Improved connectivity will also help businesses.”

“Gold River is very excited to finally have cell coverage,” said Gold River Mayor Brad Unger. “This will definitely increase Tourism and business opportunities in the future. It will also be a huge benefit for our protective services (Police, Fire, Ambulance and Health Clinic). We have worked with TELUS for many years to achieve this strategic priority. Thanks for your investment in Gold River TELUS.”“Tahsis is celebrating the arrival of cell service as increased connectivity is central to promoting our community’s economic development, especially tourism. TELUS heard our pitch for cell service and delivered,” said Mayor Martin Davis of Tahsis.

 

Tiny Homes For Gold River? An Idea To Be Considered?

The small town of Stephenville in Newfoundland has been embraced the idea of small homes.  

Stephenville town council only had to change the wording to "smaller than 750 square feet" to allow Hickey to build tiny homes on his 13 tiny lots.

Property taxes are lower, but the mayor hopes this trendy living idea will attract new people to the area.

"That's good revenue to the town. It's bringing in new people and bringing attention to Stephenville, and I think it's the right thing to do," said Rose.    Read the full story here  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/tiny-homes-turn-tiny-town-into-a-trendy-place-to-live-1.4828752?fbclid=IwAR0dv1nOM8YmX1nmqXwP9Ns3KLc9tUcH_7sdhTUvx6xmGeNoZFYIa2tGyJs

 

Support your fellow villager and vote for Nikida Donaldson

Nikida wants to be Ink Magazines Cover girl but she needs your vote.  Vote now and vote often.

 

Click Here

 

 

City of Campbell River to host family events leading up to Hometown Hockey Tour

The City of Campbell River and several community organizations are hosting family fun events leading up to the arrival of the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour.

And, it’s all free.

The tour is making a stop at the Maritime Heritage Centre on the weekend of Mar. 21st and 22nd.

“Everyone is welcome to get involved by joining in on pre-festival activities and events,” says Mayor Andy Adams. “This is a great opportunity to get together with family, friends and neighbours to celebrate our shared passion for hockey and sport in general.”

There will be a game of pop-up road hockey, musical entertainment at Spirit Square, as well as a free swim and skate at Strathcona Gardens on the Friday of the festival weekend.

Beginning Mar. 9th, you can register your family, school or workplace for the Paint the Town Red contest.

Prizes include VIP passes to tour the Rogers Sportsnet Mobile Studio for families and workplaces.

For schools or classrooms that participate, a pizza party will be awarded for up to 30 students at the Strathcona Gardens pool or arena.

“We encourage everyone to start thinking about how to show off your hockey spirit as part of this contest. Get creative with sports jerseys, hockey sticks and re-usable materials in all colours, and especially, lots of red,” Adams adds.

The city will be sharing more details about the contest in the near future.

Campbell River’s local organizing committee involves Minor Hockey, the Chamber of Commerce, School District 72, Strathcona Regional District, Destination Campbell River as well as the city.

Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour will visit 25 communities this hockey season and Campbell River is its only stop on Vancouver Island.

To learn more about the upcoming tour, visit this website.

 

Click Here

 

 

Aquaculture vessel to remove sea lice from farmed salmon

A new 70-metre vessel equipped with technology to remove sea lice from farmed salmon has arrived in B.C. from Norway to work for Grieg Seafood B.C. Ltd.

The Ronja Islander is moored at Ogden Point near Victoria and will service Grieg’s Atlantic-salmon farms around Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

Lice occur naturally in the environment, but farm critics worry they multiply at fish farms and put wild stocks at risk.

“It is our responsibility to make sure we do not allow [sea lice] to harbour on farm sites and increase in number,” said Dean Trethewey, Grieg’s seawater production director. “Because when the smolts are ready to go back out to the ocean in March, April, May and June, we need to make sure our [sea lice] numbers are very, very low.”

The ship – a kind of closed aquarium – will be doing battle with parasitic lice latched onto farmed salmon.

Huge hoses will suck salmon out of net pens into the ship’s hold to be immersed in a solution of hydrogen peroxide and sea water for 20 minutes, before being flushed back into pens.

About 90 to 95 per cent of lice will be removed, Trethewey said.

Ultra-fine filters capture lice, which will be incinerated on board.

The entire process will typically take about two hours. It was designed to be as gentle as possible on fish, he said.

The latest technology is used on the custom-built 2019 vessel, which Grieg has chartered for five years, Trethewey said. That includes ultraviolet light to disinfect the water and kill viruses – a major concern among fish-farm critics.

About 50,000 fish can be treated at the same time in the hold, which has a capacity of 1,800 cubic metres, he said.

Expedition to probe Pacific salmon survival

An international scientific expedition aimed at unlocking the hows and whys of Pacific salmon survival in the Gulf of Alaska amid fears for their future is sailing out of Victoria in March.

“While we recognize that ocean and climate conditions are major factors regulating salmon abundances, the mechanisms regulating abundances in the ocean are not known,” B.C. scientists Richard Beamish and Brian Riddell said in a January report outlining this year’s cruise plan.

Ocean ecosystems are changing — the Blob has reappeared, bringing warm water to the Gulf of Alaska.

Don’t mistake this expedition for a luxury cruise. Winter storms and high seas are expected in the north Pacific Ocean.

Scientists are seeking to provide more accurate forecasts of salmon returns during what Beamish and Riddell say might be the most difficult time in recent history for stewardship of Pacific salmon. They want to understand what affects salmon out in the ocean, where they spend three-quarters of their lives.

The survey takes place as B.C. fishermen fear disastrous returns this year following poor returns for much of the coast last year.

The Pacific Salmon Commission said the 2019 Fraser River sockeye return of 485,000 was the lowest in recorded history. Numbers were far below the 2009 collapse which sparked the Cohen Commission.

The chartered 37-metre commercial trawler Pacific Legacy No. 1 will carry 12 scientists from Canada, Russia and the U.S. It leaves Victoria on March 11, returning April 4.

This is the second such survey. The first international expedition took place early in 2019 and a third is set for 2021.

Following the first survey, “What we did see was very consistent with what came back in 2019 for the adult returns,” Riddell said.

For example, when it came to chum salmon, “by country of origin and by age, our samples were exactly consistent to the lack of return in B.C.,” he said.

Scientists will be testing hypotheses as they collect a wide range of data, including ocean conditions, the depths at which salmon are found, and the types of tiny ocean creatures they consume. The latest survey will help confirm and build on interpretations from the first, including understanding how the winter ecosystem affects B.C. salmon numbers, the report said.

Scientists will be looking to identify rearing areas for different species of Pacific salmon and their numbers.

One objective is to study juvenile salmon in their first winter at sea.

“What we are learning is that [for] a fish to get out there and to survive that winter out there, it has to have an energy store that it would pick up in the early marine periods,” Beamish said.

Last year, they learned that young sockeye in their first year in the ocean will migrate out into the middle of the North Pacific, a distribution similar to steelhead.

DNA testing showed that a sockeye caught out in that area in February had made a mind-boggling journey.

That fish originated from Chilko Lake on the Chilcotin Plateau, Beamish said. It would have crossed the Chilcotin to Williams Lake where it joined the Fraser River.

The survey’s catch of Fraser River sockeye in their second (spawning) year were “very poor, possibly an indication of the resulting historic low return,” the expedition plan report said.

Beamish, emeritus scientist at the federal Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, and Riddell, science adviser for the Pacific Salmon Foundation in Vancouver, have raised more than $1 million in support for the upcoming survey from the provincial and federal governments, U.S. and B.C. seafood sectors, fish farmers, and non-profit groups, such the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission and the Salmon Foundation, which is managing the financial end.

Individuals donating to this year’s effort include Catie Bursch, of Homer, Alaska.

Every season, Bursch, her husband and two adult daughters travel 560 kilometres to fishing grounds in Bristol Bay on the eastern edge of the Bering Sea to go after red salmon — what we know as sockeye.

A desire to protect Pacific salmon and to give her daughters a future prompted Bursch to donate a percentage of her income after she flew to a Seattle conference and heard Beamish speak to industry. She’s keeping the total confidential.

“They’ve lost salmon everywhere and so if we do everything the same we are just going to lose them,” she said.

“But now we have climate change, too. For sustainable salmon, we’ve got to know what the changing ocean is going to mean to them.”

 

North Island MLA says throne speech ‘builds upon work’ NDP government started

February 16, 2020

North Island MLA Claire Trevena is pleased with the province’s latest throne speech.

The speech marks the start of legislative sessions in B.C., and details the government’s accomplishments and plans.

Trevena said the speech builds upon the work that the NDP government started two-and-a-half years ago.

“Really focusing on the people of British Columbia and trying to make life better for them,” Trevena said. “I think that people are starting to feel that difference of a government that puts people first and I think that will just continue on some of that work.”

The speech said that since July 2017, the government has moved forward on 13 hospital projects, and opened 12 urgent and primary care centres.

Trevena said these centres take the pressure off hospital emergency rooms, where people oftentimes don’t have their own doctor.

“They’ll go straight up to an emergency room and that really does cause problems for the healthcare system, so (with) these emergency, urgent care centres, you can go, you can get diagnosed and know whether you do need to go to hospital or not go to hospital. It is really a way of triaging for many people and a really excellent way of quick intervention.”

Also in the speech was our cellphone costs. It says that later this month, B.C. government representatives will travel to Ottawa to fight for more affordable cellphone plan options and transparency in billing.

Trevena said cellphone bills are a huge issue for British Columbians.

“You see the massive bills, you see different contracts offer different things, and nobody really knows what they’re getting, in addition to the fact that in Canada, we pay some of the highest cellphone fees pretty well anywhere,” Trevena said.

“So what we’re looking at is how we can make sure we have transparency so we know what’s happening so we can really start that next step to make sure people get a fair deal on their cellphone.”

The speech also spoke about the LNG Canada project – the largest private-sector investment in Canadian history.

It went to say that while work on the project gets underway ‘this government is seeking ways to reduce emissions overall.’

“We are committed to the project that we have for LNG, for the province,” Trevena said. “When proponents come forward it’s going to be really making transformational change for the province. The investment that we will be making there… it will bring literally billions of dollars to the province which will fund healthcare, it will fund education, it will fund all the things that people really depend on in British Columbia.”

She said having a “massive private sector development like this will really ensure that will go forward.”

Trevena said another topic of the speech, reconciliation, is a “very long process.”