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"Celebrating 20 Years In B.C."
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"Celebrating 20 Years In B.C."
Our free passenger shuttle service is back due to popular demand!! Click the 'Call Now' button or dial 250-283-7533 and we'll pick you up so you can come in to enjoy your meal and beverages without having to worry about driving.
DELIVERIES WILL BE FROM
5 – 7 PM WED-FRI ONLY
Grocery Service List:
Please place orders between
10-2 Sunday thru Friday.
All products come directly from our wholesale suppliers and are premium quality. Please note, restaurant food delivery is no longer avaialable.
The list does not contain prices. The prices from the wholesalers can change at anytime. When you call and place your order we are able to give you pricing for that day.If you don't see an item on the list, it may be available, just ask. Call Jerad for pricing and ordering information (250) 283-7526. This number is reserved for orders only. You can email your order to
(If you are opening the list on your phone, you may have to swipe left to right to see the full list)
To See Groceries List Click The Red Box
House Cleaning Assistant
Partime work available with shifts of 4-6 hours a day. Minimum of 1-2 shifts per week. Qualifications include, reliable, punctual and bondable and have previous cleaning experience.
Initial traing at $16 per hour,
Call Karen (250) 510-5858 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Free Firesmart Community Chipper
Residents of Gold River and Tsaxana. You are encouraged to FireSmart your property by bringing excess wood debris to the end of your driveway by 9:00am on Tuesday June 15th, 2021. The debris will be picked up throughout the day, chipped and disposed of for free. No signup is required.
No rocks, no nails, no roots (to ensure they do not damage the machinery)
Ideally all the “butt-ends” of branches pointed the same way so an entire bundle can be grabbed and fed right into the chipper.
Tree trimmings must be under 16cm in diameter and 10m length maximum
No invasive species such as Scotch Broom, English Holly, Giant Hogweed and Knotweed.
The contractor reserves the right not to pick up any pile they feel does not meet these rules.
Do not block traffic by piling debris on the road.
Any debris brought to the end of your driveway after the starting date may not be picked up.
Woodchips cannot be returned to residents as they are considered wildfire fuel under the FireSmart Principles.
A struggling Campbell River cafe owner makes a last-ditch appeal — and a community answers
Java Shack owner feared his restaurant wouldn't survive another month under COVID travel rulesJava Shack owner feared his restaurant wouldn't survive another month under COVID travel rules.
When Chris Fawbert heard new COVID travel restrictions were on the way he feared it spelled the end for the Java Shack.
Fawbert has owned and operated the Campbell River cafe across from the BC Ferries terminal in the Vancouver Island city for 23 years. But he watched as take-out orders and lunch-time deliveries dwindled through the pandemic.
"We basically had 14 months of continuous bleeding," he told CBC On the Island's Gregor Craigie.
Fawbert said he resolved to issue a last-ditch appeal for customers to come back after his daughter, hearing the parents' conversation, asked: "Is our shop going to close?"
"It broke my heart," he wrote.
On the cafe's Facebook page he posted: "This latest health order could quite possibly be our death blow."
"We know you're doing your part to keep our community safe, and eventually this pandemic will end, but in all honesty we may not be here when it does," Fawbert wrote.
He was not prepared for the reaction.
"People started responding within minutes and by the end of the day, it had been shared hundreds of times," he said. "Within the hour our phone started ringing off the hook. People started lining up outside."
Orders came in such volumes that staff have had to turn customers away and post notices they were at capacity.
Fawbert now has confidence the cafe will survive through the weeks ahead, despite the current ban on indoor table service.
"What's taken place in the last 10 days is we've been able to compress about three to almost four weeks of sales into that short period of time," he said. "If the travel bans only go so far as this May long weekend and then it gets lifted, then the summer should be good."
B.C. travel restrictions split province into three zones
We are learning more about the ban on non-essential travel that is now in effect across the province and how it is going to affect British Columbians. Jennifer Palma reports on the new rules and why critics are concerned about enforcement. To see video click here
How the record-high price of lumber is impacting Vancouver Island mills and builders
Lumber prices hit another new record high this week, and the soaring cost is having both positive and negative impacts on Vancouver Island businesses.
At the Paulcan and Jemico Enterprises mill in Chemainus, the record demand for lumber has caused it to pivot.
Instead of sending much of its softwood lumber to Japan, it’s now selling it locally and to the U.S.
On Monday, the price of lumber hit a record high — surpassing $1,300 U.S. dollars per thousand square feet.
“This is by far the highest I’ve ever seen it. What it’s allowed some of the coastal mills here is to take some of that money and hopefully put it back in and modernize some of our industry,” said mill owner Paul Beltgens.
And the price of lumber has changed relatively quickly.
Beltgens said the last few years have been brutally tough and at the beginning of the pandemic, the industry was suffering. But then things changed.
“With everyone staying home and building and with the low-interest rates it has certainly improved the fortunes of the forest industry.”
The mill currently has 50 employees and Beltgens says he would hire 14 more if he could find people with the right experience.
BC Ferries denying passage to non-essential travellers
BC Ferries says starting immediately, it will deny travel to customers travelling for non-essential reasons on routes that cross regional zones.
This includes the Duke Point to Tsawwassen, Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay Vancouver, the Comox to Powell River and the Port Hardy to Prince Rupert routes.
BC Ferries says if you try to get on one of those ferries, you will be asked if their travel is essential, and denied passage if it is not.
It also reminds people travelling on routes within their same regional zone that they should be avoiding non-essential travel at this time.
Gold River Notice of Public Hearing
To consider the proposed Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 706.3, 2021.
The proposed bylaw is a text amendment to permit modular homes (CSA A277) in all residential areas and to change lot coverage for accessory buildings and structures in the Fee Simple Half Duplex Residential Zone – R.M.1.A. All persons who believe their interest in property may be affected by the proposed bylaw and wish to register an opinion may do so by:
Appearing before Council at the said Public Hearing; and/or
Forwarding written submissions for Council’s consideration, prior to 5:00 pm April 30, 2021, to Village of Gold River, PO Box 610, Gold River, V0P 1G0; Fax: 250-283-7500 or email: email@example.com.
The bylaws and other written information pertaining to this matter may be viewed at the Village of Gold River office located at 499 Muchalat Drive, Gold River, BC between the hours of 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday inclusive, excluding statutory holidays, from April 23, 2021 to May 3, 2021.
Any inquiries should be referred to the Village of Gold River, Telephone: 250-283-2202, Fax: 250-283-7500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tahsis Wolf Problems
Wolves in a remote coastal community on Vancouver Island have killed at least two pet dogs in recent weeks, prompting conservation officers to warn residents about the danger.
The first reported attack in Tahsis, B.C., happened about three weeks ago when a man saw two wolves pounce on his dog.
“The dog’s owner actually elected to physically engage the one wolf and, as I understand, he kicked it to get it to let go of his dog,” conservation officer Steve Petrovcic told CTV News on Tuesday.
“Those two wolves let go of the dog and backed off but unfortunately that dog succumbed to its injuries," he added.
Last week, a second fatal attack was reported.
“Unfortunately we still have at least two wolves showing interest in people’s pets and appear to be hunting pets in people’s yards,” Petrovcic said. “Over the last month and a half we’ve had increased wolf activity right in the community.”
The wolves are exhibiting troubling behaviour, according to the officer, including hunting on village streets in broad daylight.
“Daytime sightings, desensitized behaviour, habituated to pets – that’s obviously undesirable behaviour,” Petrovcic said. “The behaviour unfortunately sounds like it’s escalated to the point where these wolves are walking the paved roads; they’re not exhibiting any fear.”
Not all of the recent sightings have been fatal attacks. The officer says residents have also reported wolves chasing or lunging at their pets.
One Tahsis resident told CTV News that several destroyed goose carcasses were recently found in a schoolyard and residents are blaming the wolves for killing cats that have gone missing.
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service has informed the mayor and council of Tahsis about the problem animals. Officers hope residents will report any new sightings as quickly as possible so officers can respond in time to find the wolves.
“We want the public to be extra vigilant in doing what they can to stay safe, keep their pets safe, and promptly report any sightings to the conservation officers,” Petrovcic said.
Sightings of problem animals can be reported to the conservation service tip line at 1-877-952-7277.
Vancouver Islanders prepare for new COVID-19 travel restrictions
With new travel restrictions coming to B.C. on Friday, Vancouver Islanders seem to be on board.
“We need to put into place some boundaries,” said Mandy Kersey, a resident of View Royal.
BC Ferries will no longer be accepting bookings for campers and trailers in the coming weeks. Travellers that have booked a sailing, will be contacted to ensure they are travelling for essential reasons only.
I don’t think we need people from the mainland coming to Victoria or Vancouver Island,” said Elita Young, another View Royal resident.
On Monday, Premier John Horgan said: “This is not the time to load up the Winnebago and travel around British Columbia.”
At Goldstream Provincial Park campground on Tuesday, it was quiet but CTV News did find a few campers, like Bob and Mary Ann Fenimore.
“Well, we are from Victoria,” said Mary Ann.
They’ve been camping for a week. Their plan is to head home for a few days, then go right back out again after resupplying.
“We’ll go in our area, it might be Goldstream, it might be French Beach but that’s it,” said Bob. “We won’t leave this locale and we’re quite happy with that.”
There is some confusion brewing about the boundaries that will be enforced, under the travel restrictions.
“Stay in your territory, stay in your community,” said the premier on Monday.
B.C upgrading provincial campsites and parks to boost tourism
The province is expanding the BC Parks budget to help make provincial park visits more enjoyable than ever.
During the next three years an $83 million increase is on the way for BC Parks, helping build new campsites, expanded trails and strengthened management of the park system.
“It’s absolutely clear how deeply people care about our provincial parks. The pandemic has brought more people than ever to visit BC Parks so they can safely spend time with family and friends while connecting to nature,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
“Investing in our parks helps secure our magnificent natural legacy so more British Columbians can appreciate its beauty. We are also supporting local businesses and the economy by creating employment opportunities through new investments in park infrastructure.”
In response to more demand for camping and out recreation, the money will be heading towards construction of new campgrounds, and more campsites and amenities at existing campgrounds.
The funding will also be used to enhance trails and improve accessibility for people who use wheelchairs, strollers or have other accessibility challenges.
For this season, the provincial government says approximately 185 sites are being added to BC Parks.
To learn more about what changes are coming to BC’s park and recreation sites, visit the Government of British Columbia website.
Tight restrictions on Chinook salmon leave B.C. anglers high and dry
For the third year in a row, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has imposed strict regulations on Chinook salmon fishing to protect endangered southern resident killer whales, and it has people who catch the prized fish concerned for their livelihoods.
The DFO website says the decline in the endangered orca population is linked to the reduced availability of Chinook salmon, which is their principle prey. To address this, the DFO is implementing management measures to protect the vital orca food source.
The Ridge Open April 18th
Great news, we will be open Noon to 6 this Sunday, April 18th. Come on up and enjoy our fabulous deck.
B.C.’s ban on indoor dining will roll over into May
This is according to the BC Restaurant & Foodservices Association, which posted an update on its Facebook page.
It says yesterday afternoon, the BCRFA along with its industry colleagues Restaurants Canada and ABLE met with provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, in regards to the current PHO order, in-restaurant dining and patios.
“Our conversation has indicated that the current PHO order restricting in-restaurant dining will be extended beyond April 19th through to May,” the update said.
“This is a result of the continued high number of daily cases and the province’s goal to have restrictions in place that avoid socialization and gathering indoors, for now.”
The BCRFA stated that in the meeting “we expressed that there has been much inconsistency and confusion in regards to patios.”
“We will be working with Dr. Henry and (deputy provincial health officer) Dr. (Brian) Emerson on a patio guidelines document which will better outline the requirements for patios and provide clarity for our industry. We will circulate as soon as it is available.”
On March 29th, the province announced a three-week ban on indoor restaurant dining and adult group fitness and limited indoor worship.
Clean Streets Are A Good Thing
Street sweeping will be starting today (April 15, 2021) and ongoing for the coming week. Please avoid parking on the street to allow the street sweepers to effectively clean our streets.
So Long Scumbags!
Three Americans ave been banned from fishing or holding a fishing licence anywhere in Canada after pleading guilty to overfishing on Vancouver Island in 2019. Nootka Sound RCMP investigated the trio in September of that year after reports the three were overfishing in the Gold River area and eventually the group's 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time, along with Chinook salmon, rock fish filets and ling cod filets.
Nootka Sound RCMP investigated the trio in September of that year after reports the three were overfishing in the Gold River area.
When police found the individuals, only one of the three had a valid fishing licence and the group had dozens of fish, including salmon, which were not properly recorded.
Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time, along with Chinook salmon, rock fish filets and ling cod filets.
The three appeared in Provincial Court in Campbell River, B.C., this past February and pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act.
Greg Askey, a fishery officer and field supervisor with the Campbell River Fisheries Department Detachment, says in a statement that this was the most significant sport fish violation he’s seen in more than 20 years.
Important Update From The Coast Guard
Update from the Bligh Island Shipwreck.
The Incident Command Post and our on-water crews are preparing for the technical assessment of the sunken ship.
There will be increased activity and response vessel traffic in the Zuciarte Channel, in British Columbia, and we ask sport fishers and other mariners to avoid the area for the next few weeks. click here for details
North Island film industry optimistic about post-COVID rebound
Interest in filming here is still high, according to film commission, once things open back up.
Like all other industries, it seems, the filmmaking business has had a tumultuous last 12 months or so, especially here on Vancouver Island.
With mandatory quarantining for anyone coming over the border and travel of any distance, not to mention gatherings of any size discouraged by all levels of government, it hasn’t been a great time for an industry that was already booming – and still growing – in our region.
But according to Joan Miller, commissioner for the Vancouver Island North Regional Film Commission (InFilm), there’s room for optimism.
“We went from feast to famine due to COVID,” Miller says, “but hopefully we’re ramping back up to feast again.”
Miller was providing an update on InFilm’s plans going forward at Campbell River city council’s most recent meeting.
The city has a large economic stake in how filmmaking is doing in the region, after all.
For example, InFilm is currently still under a non-disclosure agreement with Apple TV surrounding its production of See – starring Jason Momoa – back in late 2018 and early 2019. However, Miller says she did have permission to share a few statistics council might be interested in hearing.
“They had 19,000 room nights, paid $3.5 million to local vendors, $3.2 million in local payroll – which for us really showed the work that we’re doing growing and training our crew and providing opportunities for local people to get jobs when these productions come to town,” Miller says.
And there were more of those productions looking at coming to town before the whole world was thrown into flux by a global pandemic.
“In 2020 we had some really wonderful productions that were geared up and looking at this region, but as of March 13, everything came to a halt,” Miller says.
But instead of lamenting what might have been, Miller and her team “pivoted and got working on things that we could control,” with a specific focus on training programs and keeping lines of communication open with production companies to be able to land them back here once they’re ready to start shooting.
A big part of Miller’s optimism comes not only from the fact that the region – pre-pandemic – was showing growth in interest levels from production companies and she expects that to rebound once things get back to normal, but also from the number of people in the region who are taking advantage new training programs through North Island College (NIC).
“We developed these four pilot projects back in 2018, and we delivered eight cohorts of them in-person. They were very successful and people (who have taken them) have gone on and are working in the industry.
“Some of them are moving up into key roles.”
But when those training opportunities went dormant as in-class learning was cancelled, Miller sat down with the folks at NIC “to look into the opportunities to take some of that training and pivot it online.”
After being successful in a few grant proposals, Miller says, “we’ve now been heads-down for the last four or five months building programs that pivot to online and we now have three production assistant programs with 150 people doing that from our region. We’re really ramping up our local talent.”
You can find out more about InFilm’s work online at www.infilm.ca and see why Vancouver Island is quickly becoming a go-to destination for film crews looking for unique and beautiful locations.
“We’re really getting to the next level,” Miller says.
Campbell River restaurant closes for day due to COVID-19 exposure
A Campbell River restaurant has had a COVID-19 exposure among their staff over the weekend.
Session Taproom updated the community on their website on April 7 about a COVID-19 exposure of one staff member over the weekend who has since developed some symptoms.
“As a precaution, while we await test results, we have decided to close the taproom for today, Wednesday April 7, and perform a deep clean of our space,” reads the notice on the website.
It continues that there has been no chance of exposure to any patrons.
The restaurant has not been instructed by Island Health to close, but are doing so out of “an abundance of caution.”
“Despite our diligent cleaning protocols and enforced mask usage, we know that COVID numbers are on the rise and need to do everything possible to stop the chain of transmission no matter how devastating to our business that may be,” the notice reads.
More information will come as it is available.
Message From the Regional District
Dear Gold River Residents
I am happy to inform you that the Village received funding through the Community Resiliency Investment grant to offer free driveway wood debris removal this year (via a chipper). For those of you who remember this is the same service we offered back in 2018. The service will be offered in Gold River on the June 14-18 week and when we nail down the exact date I promise to let you know. As we enter ‘yard work’ season I wanted to give you all advance notice that this service will be occurring.
Below are the "rules":
• No rocks, no nails, no roots (to ensure they do not damage the machinery).
• No treated lumber.
• Ideally all the “butt ends” of branches pointed the same way so an entire bundle can be grabbed and fed right into the chipper.
• Tree trimmings must be under 16 centimetres in diameter and 10 meters length maximum.
• No invasive species such as Scotch Broom, English Holly, Giant Hogweed and Knotweed.
• The wood-chipping crew reserves the right not to pickup any pile they feel does not meet these rules.
• Do not block traffic by piling debris on the road.
TV, film productions set up shop on Vancouver Island, rake in millions for local economy
The North Island is catching Hollywood’s attention.
The natural beauty and scenery continues to lure in movie stars and film crews, not only profiling the region on the big screen but also helping to boost the local economy.
Film commissioner Joan Miller with INFilm (Vancouver Island North Film Commission) recently provided Campbell River council with an overview of the growing success of the film industry and its economic impact on the island.
She also shared changes and recovery related to the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing training, and film tourism opportunities.
Back in 2018, Miller says filming locations for the Apple+ TV series SEE starring Jason Momoa included Ralph River, Myra Falls and Discovery Industrial Park. Scouting, prep and principle production commenced on April 15th, 2018, and wrapped on February 5th, 2019.
Miller says this production raked in millions for the economy: over $3.5 million went to local vendors, with around $3.2 million contributed to local payroll. And, during the filming of SEE, over 19,000 local hotel room nights were booked.
Miller says the payroll part really showed that INFilm’s hard work in regards to growing and training crew was paying off, “and I realize with our tourism partners it was a big impact for tourism services as well.”
Throughout 2019, a handful of documentaries were also filmed on the island, including CBC’s The Nature of Things and the UK Natural History Documentary, Minotaur.
The momentum was going strong, with Miller noting INFilm “started to really build up for a huge 2020” with help from a big blockbuster franchise: Jurassic World 3 filmed at Elk Falls Park and Menzies Mountain last year, and Miller says locals can spot some familiar sites in the film’s trailer.
“I’ve seen the trailer, I can pick out our trees and forests,” she says.
Miller says the Jurassic crew was able to get in and film before Covid hit; however, its release date has now been pushed to 2022 in hopes of a full-theatre release.
A few other productions were set to film on the island last year, including a show that follows a family from Quebec to Campbell River. But on March 13th, 2020, Miller says everything was put on hold due to the pandemic. She says INfilm then pivoted and started working on things they could control, like training programs.
With 2021 now in full swing, Miller is keeping her hopes up. She says her team is heavily into scouting right now, and adds that they’ve got some “really big projects” on the go.
Jason Mamoa and director Francis Lawrence returned to the island this past February to film Slumberland. They filmed on Desolation Sound from the 20th through to the 24th, and utilized numerous local services like water taxis.
“They are filming a majority of it in Ontario, but he wanted to come back because he loved the area,” Miller says, adding that while it was only four days of filming, months of preparation went into the logistics to pull it all together.
MLA Babchuk ‘really happy’ with new investments for the North Island
MLA Michele Babchuck is hopeful the North Island will soon become a safer and more enjoyable place to live, thanks to new investments coming to the area.
Over the past week, it’s been announced that the region will see a number of provincial grants aimed to address economic development and recovery, digital and physical infrastructure, and environmental concerns.
“People in the North Island have weathered some significant challenges over the past few years,” MLA Babchuk says.
“The landscape of our local economies is changing, and we’re there to support people through that change. With these investments, we’re increasing opportunities for economic diversification, making sure we rebound from the pandemic quickly, and taking care of our environment.”
Babchuk says the grants, totalling over $7.5 million, are from multiple ministries and programs, all aiming to make the North Island a safer, more prosperous and more enjoyable place to live as we recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These investments include:
Over $2.5 million from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development for 23 different small infrastructure projects to keep backcountry areas safe and accessible across the riding
Over $4 million from the Connecting BC Fund bringing high-speed internet to Quadra Island, Cortes Island, and Zeballos and Ehatisaht
$170,000 in 2 grants for species conservation and ecosystem restoration in Campbell River and on the Cluxewe River
Numerous grants supporting arts organizations on Sointula, Cortes Island, Quadra Island, Alert Bay and Campbell River
Nearly $700,000 for tourism-dependent communities to welcome visitors back when safe to do so in Port Alice and Port Hardy
Direct support for bus services that serve all of Vancouver Island, including Waivin’ Flags on the North Island
$360,000 for the Campbell River Airport to sustain operations during the remainder of the pandemic
Babchuk notes that many of these grants are part of the StrongerBC: Economic Recovery Plan.
“It’s great to see communities across the North Island are being supported, from the Campbell River Airport, to high-speed internet on the Discovery Islands and West Coast, to a new kayak launch and picnic route in Port Alice,” she adds.
Island Health warns of potential COVID-19 spike in schools
Island Health is expecting a spike in Covid-19 cases in schools, and is asking parents and staff to stay vigilant
In a letter to families and staff, the health authority says many of the most recent new cases have reported higher numbers of social contacts and events while infectious.
“Accordingly, we are now seeing the number of children with coronavirus on the rise. This past few weeks may have been quiet as schools have been heading into or returning from spring break,” the letter reads.
“However, all signs indicate that there will be significant numbers of exposures at schools in the weeks to come.”
The health authority is asking parents that, if their child has even mild symptoms, do not have them attend school, “and make an appointment to get your child and any other symptomatic family members tested, especially if they have travelled during spring break.”
Call 1-844-901-8442 (daily 8:30am to 8:00pm) to book an appointment for a COVID test.
Staff, parents and students are also encouraged to remember:
Hand washing, physical distancing and mask-wearing are important measures to continue to decrease transmission.
Masks are not required for all children at school during this time but may add an additional layer of prevention against transmission. If children are able to wear a mask, consider the use of masks as an additional measure at any time, including while at school.
Students and staff should also consider continuing to wear masks whenever indoors, even if seated apart from others in the same room or outdoors but in close proximity to others.
Stay home if unwell. Arrange testing, and do not return to school until symptoms have resolved.
Reduce the number of social contacts and activities to reduce the likelihood of transmission.
Continue to promote adherence to the provincial public health orders around indoor and outdoor social gatherings and avoiding non-essential travel.
When a case is identified in a school-age child who attends school while they are infectious, the school and public health work to notify and isolate contacts of the case for 14 days.
Public Health recommends a case and their close contacts must isolate to decrease transmission of the virus to friends and family.
The letter says, to respond to the increased number of exposures in the schools in our community, “the school districts have undertaken”:
Enhanced cleaning of school environments and strengthening signage and guidance in schools to prompt distancing.
Adoption of the new February 4th, 2021 guidance for schools from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
Enhanced symptom monitoring, absenteeism reviews, and heightened public health measures, including offering testing to school community members, where appropriate.
“Public health urges community members to decrease social contacts and remain vigilant to illness. It is important to get children tested if they are not feeling well, even with mild illness,” the letter says.
“Children will often have only mild coronavirus illness, and symptoms that may be overlooked. Please consider having your child tested if their symptoms are new.
“We know that schools offer very significant health and wellness benefits, physically, socially, and emotionally. We are working hard to ensure school environments remain COVID safe, to keep Island children in school. Thank you for doing your part to ensure our school community has fewer school exposures by having your child tested if newly symptomatic, and by limiting your social contacts,” it continues.
The school district superintendents and the school leadership teams have been working closer than ever with Public Health to respond to the increased number of school exposures. The Vancouver Island COVID-19 Rapid Response Team has been positioned to better prepare Island School Districts to respond to the pressures of the pandemic, and to better protect the school environments and ensure (the) sustainability of the educational system in the face of growing coronavirus rates.”
This afternoon, the province announced a number of new health restrictions, one of which impacts schools across B.C.
Public health guidance for schools has also been amended to support and encourage students down to Grade 4 to wear masks while at school.
How fast is your internet service?
The CRTC has set a new standard for broadband internet speeds of at least 50 Mbps for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads. By the end of 2021 the CRTC expects 90% of Canadians to be able to access these speeds. Are you included in the 90%? According to the National Broadband Internet Service Map (below), Gold River residents are currently receiving 50/10Mbps internet speeds. The lines which are dark green are considered served at 50/10 Mbps and are not eligible for improved federal internet funding. We are requesting that residents test their actual internet speeds, as we’ve been told that speeds in these dark green areas are not actually at the 50/10 Mbps minimum target established by the CRTC. Please use the link below to complete an internet speed test to confirm the speed you are receiving.
We are all aware at how important internet connectivity is to rural communities and especially during this pandemic, access is essential. The Connected Coast Project will bring high-speed broadband internet to Gold River. The next critical step is a last mile connection from the Connected Coast infrastructure to homes and businesses to ensure residents in your community can realize the benefit of high-speed internet. The SRD will use the collective data from the speed tests to support and advocate for last mile connections which will bring faster, affordable and reliable internet service.
Please complete the speed test survey by April 30th, 2021.
BC Ferries works with communities on sailing schedules for upcoming two-ship service
BC Ferries is engaging with communities on the routes servicing Campbell River – Quadra Island and Gabriola – Nanaimo Harbour to optimize sailing schedules for the two new Island Class vessels destined for each route. The proposed schedules double the frequency of sailings during peak travel times and increase total capacity on the routes. The schedules will also reduce wait times on each route and help to mitigate congestion on local roads during peak times.
Launching today, the online engagement offers residents and ferry users the opportunity to share feedback regarding the proposed schedules. Online engagement runs from March 24 – April 12. BC Ferries is also scheduling virtual community meetings on Tuesday, April 6 from 6:00 - 7:30 pm for the Nanaimo Harbour – Gabriola Island schedule and on Wednesday, April 7 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm for the Campbell River – Quadra Island schedule. These meetings will give participants a chance to learn more about the proposed schedules and ask questions of the project team. Community members can participate in the online engagement and RSVP to attend the meeting at bcferriesprojects.ca/islandclass.
In addition to online engagement, BC Ferries will work with Ferry Advisory Committees, local Indigenous communities, key stakeholder groups and employees to gather feedback on the proposed schedules.
Key operational considerations are incorporated into the proposed schedules, including the need to synchronize the movement of two ships, fuelling, labour requirements such as shift handovers and mandated safety procedures and drills.
The Island Class vessels are a critical part of BC Ferries’ move towards more sustainable operations as they use some of the most advanced clean marine technology in the world. The vessels are designed for full electric operation once shore charging infrastructure and funding become available. Currently, these vessels are fitted with hybrid technology that bridges the gap until that time.
On board the Island Class vessel, passenger lounges and washrooms are situated on the main deck for easy access. BC Ferries designed the lounge areas for comfort, with a variety of seating choices and charging stations for electronics. An overhead sundeck with seating, windbreaks and an accessible washroom provide a comfortable space to sit outdoors.
To learn more about the Island Class project, please visit bcferriesprojects.ca/islandclass.
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25 MPs co-sign letter asking DFO to open mark selective Chinook fishery
Members of Parliament from B.C. have co-signed a letter calling for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to enable a mark selective chinook fishery for the 2021 public fishing season.
The goal of the letter, which was signed by North Island and Powell River MP Rachel Blaney among others, is to ask the minister to enable the fishery, where hatchery fish are marked by removing their adipose fin. Fishers are able to keep mature fish caught without their fins, which protects wild stocks in the area.
Signatories to the letter to Minister Jordan include Blaney, NDP fisheries critic and Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns, NDP leader and Burnaby South MP Jagmeet Singh, as well as six other NDP MPs, thirteen Conservative MPs, and two Green MPs.
DFO says it’s committed to sustaining herring stocks
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is defending this year’s Pacific herring fishery in the Salish Sea.
The roe herring gillnet fishery closed this past Wednesday and the seine fishery closed March 13th.
In a statement, the DFO said “it’s committed to managing Pacific herring fisheries to ensure that there are enough herring to spawn and sustain the stock into the future and support its role in the ecosystem. The Department works closely with First Nations communities and commercial harvesters to understand herring distribution, spawn dynamics and traditional harvest areas and methods.”
The major stock area of Strait of Georgia, 16,330 tonnes, representing a 20 percent harvest rate, was approved as the maximum harvest level per the Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP).
“This provides for First Nations food, social and ceremonial fisheries as well as commercial fisheries for food and bait, roe and special use,” the DFO said.
Roe Seine: Validated catch is 2,717.61 tonnes of the 2,928.10 tonne quota
Roe Gillnet: Validated catch is 7,513.39 tonnes of the 7,907.19 tonne quota
Food & Bait: Validated catch is 3,703.55 tonnes of the 3,719.46 tonne quota
Special Use: 480.18 tonnes of the 818.28 tonnes quota has been landed to date
The DFO says the roe herring gillnet fishery may reopen to target the remaining total allowable catch “if additional fishing opportunities are identified.”
The special use fishery occurs during the non-spawning season and will be active again in May.
“In 2016, DFO initiated the Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) process for Pacific herring to evaluate the likelihood of how different harvest decisions would be expected to achieve conservation, abundance and fishery objectives,” the department said.
“Under the MSE process, DFO scientists use computer models to test the ability of various harvest scenarios to maintain herring stocks above the limit reference point (LRP) with a high degree of certainty. Fishing opportunities are available in areas where the stock abundance of herring is sufficient to support sustainable fisheries. Commercial fisheries are not authorized to occur when stock abundance falls below a conservation threshold called the Limit Reference Point (LRP).”
The DFO says herring populations “naturally fluctuate from year-to-year.”
“The Department’s management approach is designed to respond to a varying abundance of herring by adjusting fishing opportunities accordingly to protect the stock,” it said in the statement.
“This year’s harvest strategy will help to protect future stock health. DFO will continue to adjust management plans based on the best available science and data.”
Meanwhile, the Association for Denman Island Marine Stewards say the DFO is putting herring stocks at risk.
They point out that this is the last herring stock on the coast that DFO allows to be fished commercially by seiners and gillnetters.
“All the other herring stocks have collapsed under DFO’s management when subjected to similar kill fisheries,” they said in a release.
“Many Denman Islanders, and the Association for Denman Island Marine Stewards (ADIMS), have for many years witnessed this glorious spring phenomenon, a true marine Serengeti, and are deeply concerned that this stock will be lost like the others, and the marine ecosystem of the Salish Sea will suffer the same devastation caused when the herring were decimated elsewhere.”
They added, “We mourn the death of herring, which would otherwise return to spawn many more times. We mourn the empty bays and inlets, once abundant with herring, which fed so many First Nations communities. We’re angry and sad that over 85 percent of the herring killed go for fish meal instead of feeding the salmon, the eagles, the sea lions, whales and migrating birds, who surely need them more as they themselves will be having young this spring.”
The stewards say “animals go hungry while herring are ground up to feed fish farms.”
The stewards say they and their allies, which include Conservancy Hornby Island, Pacific Wild, the WSANEC Leadership Council and David Suzuki “will continue to campaign for protection of the herring on this coast, a moratorium to all herring kill fisheries until the herring rebound, and for DFO to develop true ecosystem-based management practices that respectfully integrate First Nations traditional knowledge.”
“We cannot allow DFO to continue mismanaging the herring fishery until this keystone species, which is the foundation of the pacific food web, is lost completely.”
In partnership with First Nations Health Authority , 10% of our VAncouver Island adult population have now been vaccinated.
Huge thanks to everyone involved in making this happen.
Please continue following public health orders and keep each other safe! Thank YOU! To learn more about current vaccine eligibility visit: www.islandhealth.ca/covid19vaccine
New BioSolids Facility Completed for the Village of Gold River
GOLD RIVER – The Village of Gold River Mayor and Council held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Beneficial Biosolids Reuse facility, which will provide a vastly improved and updated facility for the processing of solid waste for both current and future community needs.
This project was funded through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF), which provided approximately $450 million in joint federal, provincial and municipal funding for 180 projects throughout the province. The fund enabled crucial investments in local government infrastructure, specifically supporting long-term benefits in rehabilitating drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems, as well as planning and designing future facilities and upgrades to existing wastewater systems.
“Investing in modern waste management systems, such as this new bio-solids facility in Gold River, is key to better protecting human health and the environment, and fostering more sustainable communities,” said Patrick Weiler, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure Communities. “Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”
“Safe and effective wastewater systems are essential to the health and well-being of people in all of B.C.’s communities, large and small,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “This new facility provides the Village of Gold River with a modern wastewater treatment solution this is not only environmentally sustainable, but also a great example of what can be done when all orders of government work together to deliver services that British Columbians depend on.”
The new facility is 70% more efficient and is an environmental improvement compared to the previous manual bagging system as it eliminates non-biodegradable bags sent to the landfill. The system will also have a positive effect on run times from Gold River’s current manual system which runs two hours per day, allowing staff to focus on other key responsibilities.
“The Village of Gold River is very fortunate to the Federal and Provincial Governments for this major investment in our growing community” said Brad Unger, Mayor of Gold River. “This new state of the art facility will provide the Village the ability to efficiently process materials for many years to come”.
Village staff worked with all levels of Government on the project and bring it to fruition. CAO Brad McRae stated, “this project took a lot of strong partnerships on many levels to complete. Staff and consultants took a hard look and revised the project substantially in order to make it successful”.
The project received $494,937 in grants from the CWWF.
For more information about the Village of Gold River and the Village of Gold River Bio-Solids facility, visit www.goldriver.ca
Forestry company contributes land for Vancouver Island community trail project
Forestry company Western Forest Products (WFP) has announced a contribution of five parcels of land for a proposed 25-kilometer Community Unity Trail that connects Zeballos and Tahsis.
WFP's total contribution amounts to nearly three acres of land located within Zeballos' municipal boundaries and provides an access point to the Community Unity Trail, the company said in a statement.
The steep forest land is ideally suited for the Community Unity Trail as it will allow trail users to enter and leave the planned trail directly from Zeballos, WFP said in the statement.
“We are pleased to extend our long-standing commitment towards supporting recreational opportunities for visitors and residents by providing this land for a multi-use trail,” said Don Demens, president and chief executive officer of WFP.
The Community Unity Trail will become part of a larger trail network, the North Island 1000, that connects small towns across North Vancouver Island. The trail is being developed and constructed by Uniting 4 Communities Society, which consists of representatives from Mowachaht Muchalaht First Nation, the Ehattesaht Chinehkint First Nation and the Villages of Tahsis and Zeballos.
Julie Colborne, U4C Society Board Member and Mayor of Zeballos, said that the municipality was excited to have this access point secured as it has been working with the province on making this goal a reality since 2016.
All For One & One For All- It's Vaccination Time In Gold River: Everyone To be Vaccinated by April 12th!
Vancouver Islanders living in communities with populations under 4,000 and “have challenges with accessibility (ie, accessible only by ferry or air or more than 3 hours ground travel from a hospital)” will be part of what Island Health is calling a “whole community approach” to immunization.
It means every adult in those communities will have the option to be vaccinated by April 12.
“Depending on the size of the community this may result in the entire adult population of the community having the opportunity to be vaccinated during a single health authority visit to the community (in one day or on consecutive days), or over two health authority visits,” read an Island Health statement.
“We’ve got 1400 people so to come in and do everyone at once just makes a lot of sense,” said Gold River Mayor Brad Unger. To see the full story with a great video report from CHEK TV Click Here
Fundraiser launched for family of Chris Bohn
When tragedy strikes like this, it hits hard.
Gold River was left in shock last Monday morning (March 1st), after a forestry worker died in a fatal accident southwest of the small village.
Its flags were lowered to half-mast in honour of Chris Bohn, a 54-year-old father of three. He was an employee of a Western Forest Products (WFP) contractor, working in Tree Farm Licence 19.
“A tragedy like that, it affects all of us in the forestry community. We’re all connected and we’re all deep-rooted with forestry. If it affects one community, it’s affecting all of us,” says Rona Doucette. “We’re all family.”
The Loonies for Loggers co-founder says it affects everyone who knew Bohn, “Friends, co-workers and family.”
And, nearly a week later, his loved ones are picking up pieces, as they deal with the tragic and unexpected loss.
“Left behind to grieve is a family who in a time like this should not have to worry about things like bills or payments. This is a time when their only focus should be grieving and healing.”
With this in mind, Doucette and her Loonies for Loggers partner Tamara Miggett launched a fundraiser this past Tuesday for Bohn’s family.
“Let’s show our support by ensuring that financial stress is one less thing they will have to worry about right now,” she says. “Let’s make sure that they can take all the time they need to grieve and to heal from such a loss.”
The group was first established in September 2019, in an effort to help forestry families facing hard times during the labour dispute between USW (United Steelworkers) and WFP.
While the ongoing pandemic halted their efforts, Doucette and Meggitt have resurfaced stronger than before, ready to put their fundraising skills back to work.
“Tamara and I knew we had to do something for the family,” Doucette says.
With this said, they’re now accepting e-transfers for Bohn’s family. Donations of any size are welcome.
“Because of Covid, we can’t do normal fundraising. We put it out there on our Facebook page, and we shared it out and others have shared it out, and we will do e-transfers. For those that don’t do e-transfers, all they have to do is get ahold of us through our Facebook page and we can try to figure out other arrangements.”
While there’s no set fundraising goal, Doucette says the donations keep rolling in.
“We’ve received small, we’ve received large donations so far,” she says. “We just said we need to do this, and we don’t really have a goal. We’re hoping we can raise enough money for the family so they don’t have to worry about anything for the next few months.”
Doucette’s now hoping to get the money out to the family as soon as possible.
“We want to take it into Gold River, but with Covid, we’re trying to remain as contactless as possible. Right now, Tamara and I don’t go out anywhere anyway. But we are going to isolate, and then we’ll take the money in for the family. We’ll make arrangements.”
While she doesn’t know the family personally, Doucette says they were “very active with Loonies for Loggers before Covid.” She says they were “part of our family, our Loonies family.” And for Doucette, family sticks together.
“It’s devastating to the community,” she adds. “It hits so close to home for everyone in the forest industry. We’re all one big family.”
To learn more about the fundraiser, Doucette encourages you to visit the Loonies for Loggers Facebook page. She says e-transfers can be sent to: email@example.com
At this time, the circumstances of Bohn’s death are under investigation by Worksafe BC, the logging contractor, and WFP.
Steve Marshal Dealership Closed Due To Covid
Campbell River automobile dealership Steve Marshall Ford has announced a temporary closure after being informed of a positive COVID test result from their staff.
In a letter dated March 4 and posted on Steve Marshall Ford’s Facebook page, owner Karl Ebdrup said, “We, at Steve Marshall Ford, feel very strongly about the health and safety of our customers and staff. Our community members are very important to us and we want to help in flattening the curve in our area. We have, from the beginning, implemented safety protocols and closely followed all of the BC Regulation put forth by the province.
“Despite our best efforts, we have been informed of a confirmed positive COVID test result from our staff. We are working very closely with Island Health and are going above and beyond the recommendations provided to us by VIHA and WorkSafeBC. In the interest of public safety, we are choosing to close our doors to the public effective immediately and plan on reopening March 8th, 2021.
Island Health to start taking calls Monday for first group in mass-vaccination drive
Island Health officials are hustling this weekend, getting ready to vaccinate remaining high-risk groups next week and preparing to open phone lines Monday for seniors 90 and older to register for their COVID-19 shots.
“Excited, nervous,” said Richard Stanwick, chief medical health officer for Island Health, on the “unprecedented” scope of the immunization effort, which, he said, is bound to have a few hiccups. “I think we’re willing to perhaps make a few missteps to make sure that people get vaccinated earlier rather than later.”
he health authority performed a major pivot this week, postponing second-dose clinics to give more people first doses, after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced booster shots will be given after 16 weeks instead of six. First doses have been shown to be about 90 per cent effective.
That newly freed-up vaccine supply is being used next week to vaccinate the last of the high-risk seniors in independent living, those receiving home support and seniors awaiting placement in long-term care, as well as long-term care residents, visitors and staff who were missed in the first round.
Noting about 3,700 people were vaccinated on Thursday, Stanwick said Island Health may get a four-week jump on its vaccination schedule because of the longer gap between shots. Vaccines will be administered at clinics as well as via mobile units that will go to the residences of house-bound seniors.
Stanwick is hoping the glee some are feeling about being protected earlier than anticipated offsets the disappointment of others who had second doses cancelled.
“The community will be safer because there’ll be less virus spread,” Stanwick said. “This is actually to the benefit of everyone.”
On Monday, Island Health will begin booking appointments for the first group of people in the general population eligible for vaccines: those 90 and older, and Indigenous people 65 and older.
Those born in or before 1936 can start calling March 15 for shots beginning March 22, while those born in or before 1941 can start calling March 22 to make appointments for vaccinations that will start March 29.
Those whose age window comes up are asked to call Island Health at 1-833-348-4787 to make an appointment. The health authority says it has 50 agents ready to start Monday, a number that will increase in coming weeks. The call centre will operate 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
When you call you'll be asked for your first and last name, date of birth, postal code and Personal Health Number, formerly called your care card. You can find the number on the back of your B.C. driver's licence, BC Services Card or CareCard. If you do not have a Personal Health Number, you can still receive the vaccine.
You will also be asked for contact information such as an email address you check regularly or a phone number that can receive text messages. You will not be asked for your social insurance number, driver's licence number, or banking and credit card details.
The province has staggered the call-in dates in hopes that people will call only when it’s their turn, rather than risk crashing the call lines, as has happened in other jurisdictions. The lines will only hold a certain number of calls in the queue before asking people to call back. “We know some people may experience long wait times when they call to book an appointment,” the health authority said. “We are confident in our levels of vaccine supply … we are asking people to be patient when possible.”
No one loses their priority to book an appointment, regardless of when they call, said Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead for B.C.s immunization plan.
The list of vaccination sites in Island Health is expected to be released next week.
On Friday, Health Canada announced it had approved use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The availability of a fourth vaccine —along with the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstaZeneca vaccines — will help accelerate protection of British Columbians, said a joint statement by Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.
Island Health reported 26 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, out of 634 new cases province-wide.
The number of new cases remains higher than “where we want it to be,” said Henry and Dix , who called for British Columbians to continue to follow public health orders and restrictions.
The reproduction rate of the virus — how many people an infected person will pass the virus on to — is now about 1.2 in the Island Health region. Henry has said the province wants to keep the number below one.
There are now 256 active cases in the Island Health region, 139 of which are in the central region, 62 in the north and 55 in the south.
Another four COVID-19 deaths were reported Friday, for a total of 1,380 to date in B.C.
The province has administered 311,208 doses of vaccine, of which 86,865 were second doses.
Gold River Age-friendly Community Planning Survey: Draw for $100 gift certificate to a local business
Gold River is currently undertaking an Age-Friendly planning process. An age-friendly community is one where people of all ages are respected and where the policies, services, physical and social environments are designed to help people “age actively”. Age-friendly is often used to refer to seniors being able to age in their community in a healthy way, but it can apply to people of all ages having access to the services they need.
One way to consider whether a community is age-friendly is the “8-80” Concept. If a community is a good place for an 8-year-old to live and a good place for an 80-year-old to live, it’s probably a good place for everyone, at any stage of life.
Please take a few minutes to complete the anonymous survey to help us understand how Gold River can become an Age-Friendly Community. If you would prefer to fill out an online version, please go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/agefriendlygoldriver. After completing the survey, you may provide your phone number to be entered into a draw for a $100 gift certificate to a local business.
*If your household has multiple members who would like to complete a survey, please complete the online version.
BC's COVID-19 Immunization Plan
Focuses on saving lives and protecting the highest-risk people in our community. We are now moving into Phase 2 of our plan focused on protecting more seniors.
Important information to know:
• Approx. 400,000 British Columbians will be vaccinated in March.
• People can soon begin booking vaccine appointments for seniors aged 80+ and Indigenous peoples aged 65+ according to an age-based eligibility schedule.
• To protect more people, faster, we’re extending the time between dose 1 and 2 from 6 to 16 weeks.
• Friends/family members can call on behalf of an eligible individual to help them book an appointment.
Learn more: http://ow.ly/wnzn50DOuCg
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