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New Open Burning Regulations

July 11, 2019

More guiding documents will be published ahead of the fall burning season.

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Children’s charity launches campaign to build 'home away from home' in Campbell River

September 27, 2019

The Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island has launched a $7-million fundraising campaign to build a new home in Campbell River for families who are travelling to visit children in medical care.

The self-described "home away from home" was inspired by a South Island facility, Jeneece Place, that opened in 2012 as a home for families who were visiting their children getting medical care in Victoria.

The Campbell River home, Q̓ʷalayu House, would welcome families and expectant mothers from the west and northern regions of Vancouver Island who need a place to stay while accessing the nearby North Island Hospital.

"Jeneece Place was an incredible resource for my family when we needed it," said Doug McCorquodale, board director with the Children's Health Foundation whose daughter, Abigail, stayed at Jeneece Place.

"Long travel days and expensive hotels put huge strains on families in addition to all of the health care concerns they face. This new home will relieve some of those large pressures for families living on the North Island so they can focus on their kids."

While a $7-million fundraising campaign may seem like a lofty goal, one anonymous donor has already donated a whopping $3 million.

"I am so blown away by this incredibly generous gift that will help countless families from the North Island," said Veronica Carroll, CEO at Children's Health Foundation.

"Like the support shown by the community for Jeneece Place, we hope this large gift encourages others to give and match the $3 million gift to get us that much closer to our goal."

If all goes well, Q̓ʷalayu House will be located on a large parcel of land provided by Island Health as a long-term licence beside the North Island Hospital. The home away from home would feature 10 bedrooms – each with its own full bathroom – a large kitchen, a dining area, an entrance with living room, four multi-purpose rooms and an outdoor area.

The Children's Health Foundation hopes to begin construction in spring 2020 with an estimated completion date of spring 2021.

"This home will have such a large impact for generations to come and we are excited to work alongside the community to see it come to life,” said Sandra Hudson, board chair at Children's Health Foundation.

The facility's name, Q̓ʷalayu House, is a mixture of both English and the traditional language of the We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum First Nations. Q̓ʷalayu, or Qwalayu (pronounced kwuh-lie-you), translates to an endearing term used by elders when they describe babies and children "as their reason for being," according to the Children's Health Foundation.

Donations for the Campbell River home can be made at the Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island website here, or by calling them at 250-940-4950

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Gold River & Tsaxana Community Directories are in. $3.00 at the Literacy Centre.

New Open Burning Regulations

July 11, 2019

More guiding documents will be published ahead of the fall burning season.

Please reload

L'il Roadie Fall Hours

September 23, 2019

Lil Roadie fall hours starting Monday September 23rd

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 5pm-9pm
Saturday, open for breakfast 8am-9pm
And Sunday, open for breakfast 8am-2pm

Closed Saturday the 28th for the power outage.

Salmon Farms On Their Way Out?

September 23, 2019

Premier John Horgan says industry, government and Indigenous nations on northern Vancouver Island are collaborating on a four-year program to transition away from marine-based salmon farms.

Horgan says the health of British Columbia's wild salmon stocks depends on the joint work being done in the Broughton Archipelago to improve environmental conditions and move away from open-net farms.

Three area First Nations, two aquaculture companies and the government reached an agreement earlier this year to establish Indigenous oversight of salmon farms in their traditional territories as they transition away from the open-net away pens.

Horgan told a conference on Thursday at the B.C. legislature that five farms in the area have already been decommissioned, five more will be out of service by 2022 and seven more could close by 2024.

Namgis First Nation Chief Don Svanvik says the decommissioning program is a monumental step to protect wild salmon and recognize the interests, values and jurisdictional rights of Indigenous peoples.

David Kiemele of Cermaq Canada, which has 28 salmon farms around Vancouver Island, says negotiations ahead could hit rough patches but success is important for wild salmon and the coastal economy.

All Fire Bans Lifted

September 20, 2019

Feel free to have an open fire as of noon tomorrow.

The Coastal Fire Centre says that’s when all open fires will again be permitted across the region.

Category 2 open fires will be permitted along with tiki torches, burn barrels, fireworks, sky lanterns and binary exploding targets.

Information officer Marg Drysdale said fall-like weather has reduced the wildfire risk across the region.

“We’ve taken a substantial amount of rain, we’re having some cooler weather and shorter days so we now have (a) reduced wildfire risk,” Drysdale said.

A Category 2 fire is one that burns material in a pile not exceeding two metres high by three metres wide.

Campfire and Category 3 open fire restrictions were not implemented this summer.

So with the lifting of this prohibition, there will be no open fire bans within the Coastal Fire Centre.

Local governments may still have their own burning restrictions in place, so you should check with local authorities before lighting a fire of any size.

Anyone lighting a Category 3 fire has to get a burn registration number by calling 1-888 797-1717. 

A Category 3 fire is one that burns material more than two metres high or three metres wide, stubble or grass of more than 2,000 square metres, or more than two piles of any size.

A poster explaining the different categories of open fires is available here.

Anyone who lights a fire has to comply with B.C.’s air quality control legislation. 

The BC Wildfire Service urges people to take the following precautions with any permitted outdoor burning:

  • Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and stop it from escaping.

  • Do not burn in windy conditions. The weather can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.

  • Create a fireguard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.

  • Never leave a fire unattended.

  • Make sure the fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

Meanwhile, it’s been a tame wildfire season to say the least in the Coastal Fire Centre.

From April 1 to today, wildfires have burned 322 hectares in the region. Over the same period last year, fires ripped through 174,982 hectares.

The 10-year average is 22,791 hectares.

There have been 157 fires to date, 105 of which have been human caused and 52  from lightning.

Drysale said the size of the fires this year have helped limit the number of hectares burned. 

“We have had substantially less hectares burned this year, largely because we’ve had smaller fires,” Drysdale said. “Obviously (we’ve had) numerous fires with 157, but most of the fires have been generally small. Our people have been able to get onto them very quickly and because of the conditions they haven’t grown.”

The Coastal Fire Centre covers south coastal B.C., the most heavily populated area in the province.

This area encompasses approximately 16.5 million hectares of land and includes Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

Mowachaht Muchalaht First Nation Receives Energy Funding

September 20, 2019

Four First Nations on Vancouver Island will move ahead with clean-energy projects, with three major projects coming from the North Island. The provincial government has granted more than $930,000 from the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund. 

The funding is being distributed to four clean-energy projects this year, as well as 10 communities that will use the money to study the need and feasibility of clean-energy projects in those communities.

Funding for the FNCEBF helps Indigenous communities as they pursue clean-energy projects. The province says it also helps CleanBC, which gives British Columbians new opportunities o build a clean future while protecting the province’s air, land, and water.

The Tlatlasikwala First Nation and Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation, both near Port Hardy, received funding. The Mowachaht Muchalaht First Nation near Gold River also received funds. 

Tlatlasikwala received a $194,205 grant to build a solar and wind power microgrid backed up by batteries, which will reduce the community’s reliance on diesel generators.

The Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation received $170, 000 to help develop a hybrid smart-grid solar photovoltaic and battery system, which will provide a new and renewable source of clean-energy generation. The proposed system will supply about half of the Village of Gwa’yas’dums electrical needs, as well as 72 hours of power storage.The system will also be able to offer emergency backup power and grid stability. 

The Mowachaht Muchalaht First Nation received $142, 285 to install heat-pump systems in its administration and recreation buildings. The province says the new system will increase energy efficiency by 200% to 300% with annual savings of more than $24, 000 on energy bills. 

The Kwakiutl  First Nation received $30, 000 to create a community energy plan. This will help identify opportunities for clean-energy projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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