In Beautiful Gold River!
"Celebrating 20 Years In B.C."
Time to click your heels and stay in a theme room.
Love waking up to the sound of waves
or soaking in a jacuzzi.
Fitness Classes have begun at the Anne Fiddick Aquatic Center
Not too late to register!
We’ve got 2 weeks to get each class to a minimum of 6 participants. Pick the day/days and class/classes that work for you
Let’s move to the music, tone and stretch our bodies and have fun while doing it with friends or meeting new people!
9:15-19:15 - Gym
-Chair Yoga ( need more participants for Monday class)
4:15-5:15 - Gym/Cardio Rm
-Cardio+ ( need more participants)
9:15-10:15 - Gym
-Fit & Fab
Phone front desk between 9-12pm Mon-Fri, to get more information and/or register!
I look forward to seeing you there and getting our day started with movement and tunes
B.C. mask mandate now includes kids 5-plus
Children five and up will now be required to wear a mask at indoor public spaces in B.C.
The mask mandate was adjusted today (Tuesday) by Doctor Bonnie Henry.
“For youth, whether taking the school bus or the city bus, the rules are the same. I just want to say how impressed I am and continue to be on the adaptability and resilience of children in this province.”
She also noted the province is planning to make COVID-19 vaccines available for children in the 5-11 age category pending Health Canada approval.
Henry stated that could come as early as next month.
“We continue to talk with school communities, families, and parents to ensure the process will be as seamless as possible. In the meantime, parents can now pre-register their children in the same way we have registered ourselves or our older children in the past year and a half.”
Henry also mentioned the United States is still looking at mix and match doses before putting together a policy for travel.
GRSS Fundraiser: Katrina Kornylo
My science classes are fundraising for a trip to Science World in March/April. We are selling fruit and veggie bundles - local BC produce.
Bundle #1 - $20 includes 5 lb potatoes, 3 lb carrots, 3 pk little squash, and 3 lb yellow onions.
Bundle 32 - $25 - 5 lb potatoes. 0.5 lb shallots, 2lb carrots, 5 lb red beets, 5 lb apples
Please make all cheques payable to GRSS. You can drop payment off at the high-school or we can set up an etransfer. Please do not hesitate to call me at 250-283-9160.
The delivery window for the vegetables is November 15 to November 26th.
COED Recreational Hockey Gold River :
a reminder of the PHO guidelines that I will be following: Anyone under 22 years of age can play coed hockey without having to show proof of vaccination, but they are not allowed to be a spectator in the arena. Anyone above 22 must have proof of vaccination.
'By order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), proof of vaccination is required to access some events, services and businesses. You must have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. By October 24, you must be fully vaccinated. The requirement is in place until January 31, 2022 and could be extended.
The requirement applies to all people born in 2009 or earlier (12+) and covers:
Indoor adult group and team sports for people 22 years old or older.'
Visit the COVID-19 Information Center for vaccine resources.
This Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks to all our health-care workers
A message fromLeah Hollins, Chair, Island Health Board of Directors
The COVID-19 pandemic is in month 19 and we are well into the fourth wave of this virus. It has also been more than five years since B.C. declared the toxic drug emergency, meaning our health-care teams have been battling concurrent public health emergencies for a very long time. Across Island Health, COVID-19 cases have recently reached their highest levels and we continue to see people – overwhelmingly those who are unvaccinated – requiring hospitalization and critical care. Tragically the number of people dying continues to increase. The toll these public health emergencies have on our society and our health-care system are significant.
The core of any health-care system is its people. All health-care workers – from the nurses and physicians in our hospitals and community settings, to food service workers, laboratory assistants, testing and contact tracing teams, and the many, many others – are integral to our health-care system and our pandemic response. Like us, they are all human. They are mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, grandchildren, grandmothers and grandfathers. They have families who worry about them, and they worry about their families. They worry about this virus and its potential impacts on those they love. Despite this, they come to work to take care of us and our families. For this, I am grateful.
This Thanksgiving, on behalf of the Island Health Board of Directors, I am thanking all the people who make our health care system work and who have been and continue to be there for everyone who needs comfort and care. Thank you for everything you do and everything you give, each and every day. Without your dedication, passion, sacrifice, and caring we would not be able to support our patients, clients, residents and their families in their time of need.
The dual public health emergencies of the toxic drug crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic are exhausting for everyone in society. Everyone is tired, especially our health-care teams. I am so proud of the many teams across Island Health who show up and care for people in the midst of the greatest challenge of their lives.
As we look towards Thanksgiving, I encourage you to take a moment to pause and thank health-care workers who live in your community.
There are many things you can do to thank them for their efforts. Of course, the most important action you can take to support our health care workers is to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you haven’t already. If you are unsure or have questions, contact a health professional or visit our website at www.islandhealth.ca to learn more.
Gratitude is powerful, we saw it early on in the spring of 2020 when people spontaneously banged pots and pans. We continue to see it today though posters and messages of thanks that people leave outside our health care sites. And starting today – as we look towards Thanksgiving – anyone can now send a personal message of thanks directly to our teams at Island Health through an email at firstname.lastname@example.org , or on our website at www.islandhealth.ca/thanks.
These messages mean a lot to the people working long days and nights to care for those we have the privilege to serve. This Thanksgiving, take a minute to let health-care workers know how much you appreciate what they do – whether in your own community, through an email or our website. Let them know how much they mean to you and how much you care.
North Island-Powell River MP, Rachel Blaney, has been appointed federal NDP party whip.
She was given the role by party leader Jagmeet Singh.
The whip is tasked with keeping other members of the same party informed when it comes to House business, and ensuring their attendance in the House or in committee.
Blaney is a three-term MP for the riding and was first elected in 2015. She was re-elected during the Sept. 20th federal election.
Singh announced his party’s House Officers and that the NDP caucus has elected veteran MP Jenny Kwan as Caucus Chair, and newly-elected MP Blake Desjarlais as Deputy Caucus Chair.
“I’m very proud of our team and I know that these MPs are going to work hard to ensure people have a voice they can count on Ottawa,” Singh said.
“I will be relying on the MPs in these important leadership roles as New Democrats work to deliver for Canadians in this minority parliament.”
Att: Gold River Business Owners- Tourism Vancouver Island Needs You
We need your help! Tourism Vancouver Island is working on a brand new website and we need Gold River stakeholders to register for a listing. I am working on a page for Gold River including things to do in the area, and currently we only have one registered stakeholder showing.
You can find the form here - https://share.hsforms.com/1BQ8dswBNR3W5whyKvs9dLA4bc3a
If you don't have a website, you can insert your Facebook profile URL. Our 'website region' is Nanaimo to Campbell River. Please let me know if you need help! I am available by messenger or email email@example.com
Northwest Vancouver Island Tsunami Mapping Project –
Phase 1 Maps Now Available Online
The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) in partnership with the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h’ First Nations and Nuchatlaht First Nation have completed Phase 1 of tsunami modelling for the northwest coast of Vancouver Island, from Muchalaht Inlet to Cape Scott Provincial Park. This is a collaborative endeavor with five First Nations, four municipalities, two Regional Districts and several private and provincial stakeholders made possible by through a Flood Planning grant through the Union of BC Municipalities.
We are pleased to announce that the following maps from Phase 1 of this project are now available online at www.srd.ca/tsunami-mapping: • Tsunami amplitude and velocity maps for the entire project area. • Overland tsunami inundation maps for 25 areas within the Kyuquot and Nuchatlitz Grids. “These maps present the anticipated effects of a tsunami at high tide with an additional freeboard (safety factor) to capture the most probable worst-case scenarios from the Cascadia Subduction Zone and Alaska Aleutian Subduction Zone” said Strathcona Regional District Chair Brad Unger.
“The Regional District’s next steps will be to host in-person public engagement sessions later this month in the Kyuquot and Nuchatlitz grids to discuss and educate the public about the impact of these maps on land use planning, conceptual mitigation options and evacuation considerations.” “We always knew that tsunamis are a devastating potential threat to our west coast communities, and we have been taking numerous life safety actions accordingly such as stocking seacans with essentials survival supplies and more, at these communities’ tsunami muster sites” said Shaun Koopman, SRD Protective Services Coordinator. “Now that we finally know the extent of the overland wave and we truly understand the risk, a number of informed and meaningful community conversations can begin.”
24 km West of Campbell River
Crest Lake webcam 14 km east of Gold River CLICK HERE
"Celebrating 20 Years In B.C."
Daily Gold Radio
Playing the greatest hits of all time. Click the play button.
Starting Monday, masks are a must for k-3 students in B.C.
The province is expanding its mask mandate to include all students and staff in kindergarten to Grade 3.
Provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, announced the new measure today, in an effort to help protect unvaccinated kids under 12 years old from COVID.
This comes amid a spike in potential COVID exposures in B.C. schools, including in the Comox Valley, Campbell River, Nanaimo, and Duncan.
You can find a link to Island Health’s public notification list here.
“In-person learning is crucial for the social and educational well-being of students.
The health and safety guidelines in our schools were developed under the guidance and direction of the Public Health Office (PHO) and BC Centre for Disease Control to allow children to safely attend school on a full-time, in-person basis,” said education minister Jennifer Whiteside.
“We know there is a high level of concern among some parents, students, teachers and boards of education, especially in regions of B.C. where transmission rates are higher. We are listening to the concerns of people and, on the advice of the provincial health officer, taking further action so that families, students and staff feel secure.”
Starting Monday, all students in B.C. schools will be required to wear a mask when inside a school building, including while at their desks, and on buses.
This builds on the existing guidelines that currently apply to all students in Grades 4 to 12.
“This pandemic continues to evolve and so do we,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer.
The wall lizard invasion of Vancouver Island
Decades ago, wall lizards from the Mediterranean got a toehold near Victoria. Now they’re island-hopping.
Gavin Hanke, the Royal B.C. Museum’s curator of vertebrate zoology, has been sounding the alarm about wall lizards since 2006. Until recently, few communities took notice.
On Vancouver Island they’ve established populations in Langford, Ucluelet, Nanaimo and other communities, appearing as far north as Campbell River, 265 km from Victoria. They sneak trips hiding in camping gear, and their eggs get ferried around in plants and potting soils. Children aid their distribution by taking them home as pets.
Native to the Mediterranean, the reptiles seem perfectly happy sunning themselves throughout the southern half of Vancouver Island. Hanke estimates their current population in British Columbia to be between 500,000 and 700,000. They grow as long as 23 cm, but are generally smaller. And with climate change, they appear to be spreading: last year, a few were even spotted on the Lower Mainland, near Chilliwack.
The lizard’s provenance in B.C. can be traced to Rudy’s Pet Park, a roadside zoo that opened in Saanich in 1957 with monkeys, lions and, among other creatures, a dozen wall lizards imported from Italy. When the now-deceased owner Rudy Bauersachs closed it in 1970, the bigger animals went to the Greater Vancouver Zoo. According to academic studies, the lizards he simply turned loose.
The creatures live for up to 10 years, devouring insects, fruits, baby garter snakes and local frog species. They even munch their own young, who, seemingly aware, scurry away soon after hatching.
A reptile lover since his boyhood in Manitoba, Hanke sees dozens daily in his garden. And though tracking and stemming their spread is part of his mandate with the museum, he confesses that, to him, having lizards on his property is “a kid’s dream come true.” In the capital region, the species is “so stupidly abundant we aren’t ever going to eradicate them,” he says. “It’s probably wrong to say it, but they’re actually quite charming.”
Still, on a scale of one to 10, Hanke assesses the threat to B.C.’s ecosystems as “an eight, if not a nine.” He worries for native species such as the sharp-tailed snake, the Pacific chorus frog and the northwestern alligator lizard. The wall lizard feasts on them all.
When he discovers new populations, Hanke notifies municipal or provincial authorities, because wall lizards can be eliminated from an area if caught early. Though B.C. has a response plan to fend off invasive species, the lizards are so well-established that the province is largely down to preventing their expansion through awareness programs, and by encouraging people to report sightings. Some residents are resorting to improvised measures, such as DIY traps and even BB guns.
Planned power outage coming in October for North Island
Update: Oct 3 This outage will not effect Gold River.
BC Hydro will be shutting off the power to all North Island communities overnight on Oct. 4. The power outage is scheduled to last from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
In a statement released to North Island residents, BC Hydro noted it needs to turn off the power for eight hours to “make repairs to electrical infrastructure. To keep our crews and the public safe, power must be switched off while we complete this work.”
BC Hydro added that to protect your equipment from damage during the outage, “please turn off all lights, electric heaters, major appliances and unplug electronics. We’ll restore power as soon as we can.”
BC Hydro responded quickly to the North Island Gazette’s request for more information on the electrical infrastructure repairs.
“We are making permanent repairs to transmission structures that were damaged on July 9 by logging equipment,” said BC Hydro spokesperson Karla Lowers.
She added that crews had only made temporary repairs at the time in order to get the power back on as quickly as possible.
The Anne Fiddick Aquatic Centre is opening Saturday, October 2, 2021.
Proof of Vaccination is required for users of the weight and cardio rooms will require Proof of Vaccination to use these facilities.
New land-based fish farm proposed in Gold River
A new land-based steelhead fish farm is being proposed in Gold River at the site of a former pulp and paper mill that closed in the ‘90s.
Ushered by Gold River Aquafarms, the development project would be a “win” for the small Vancouver Island village, said Gold River Mayor Brad Unger.
“We haven’t had a major economic development push for a long time,” he said. “It’s going to improve our community.”
With the potential to create 75 to 100 new jobs, Unger said he hopes they can get shovels in the ground “as soon as possible.”
The company’s president, Rob Walker, has been working in the closed-containment aquaculture sector since the late-90s. With the infrastructure that’s already in place, he said they can grow around 3,000 tons of fish per year.
“I’m very used to growing fish within these systems,” he said. “We're trying to set up a system that's fully recirculatory and circular in nature, in the sense that we use all waste products. Hopefully, nothing will have to leave the property other than as a product.”
For those who have concerns about standard aquaculture practices, land-based, closed-containment fish farming is considered to be the more sustainable solution to open-net pens in the ocean.
Some scientists say open-pen farms transfer sea lice to wild populations, which has been attributed as a factor in the collapse of B.C.'s wild stocks.
Both 2019 and 2020 saw two of the smallest Fraser River sockeye runs within the last 100 years, according to the Pacific Salmon Commission.
A recent poll from Insights West, the Pacific Salmon Foundation and Wild First said 75 per cent of B.C. respondents believe that open-net salmon pens need to transition to land-based pens.
The 2021 federal budget allocated $23 million over five years to develop a plan to transition from open-net salmon farming in B.C. by 2025. Part of that budget will be used to collaborate with Indigenous communities to pilot area-based management projects within the province’s aquaculture sector.
In December 2020, former Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan announced that all 19 fish farms in the Discovery Islands would be phased out by June 2022, and that no new fish could be transferred in. The Federal Court of Canada has since suspended the ban on restocking three fish farms in the Discovery Islands.
“The regulatory environment is right, the political environment is right, and the market wants it,” said Walker.
Walker previously worked at AgriMarine Technologies Inc for nearly three decades, where he gained experience farming steelhead trout in Lois Lake, near Powell River.
“[Steelhead] is a terrific fish and it does very well in closed environments,” he said. “They can handle higher densities quite well, they grow rapidly, it's local and the market acceptance is gaining.”
From a management perspective, Walker said that closed-containment systems provide more predictable growing environments.
Out in the ocean, temperatures, oxygen levels and algae blooms are constantly in flux, he said.
“Growing fish in closed-containment systems on land really addresses all of those issues,” said Walker. “It’s not to say that it’s easy. There are some technical issues that are very difficult. As we try to synthesize nature, obviously there are some great challenges. But the technology is there, and it gets better all the time.”
The project is currently at a stand-still as they await permits from federal and provincial governments.
A U.S. investor is backing the project, but Walker said if it takes too long to get licensed, “money will find other homes.”
“I don't blame the regulators – they're busy,” said Walker. “My beef is with this current system.”
It’s very difficult for small businesses with big ideas to succeed, he said.
“Typically, they don’t have the financial wherewithal to sustain themselves over the period [of time] it takes to get licensed,” he added.
In 2020, the First Nations Leadership Council called for an end to all open-net pen salmon farming in the province.
“We have known for years that open-net pen salmon farming is one of the main contributors to the massive decline in wild salmon stocks in this province,” said British Columbia Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Terry Teegee. “The federal and provincial governments have been taking a piecemeal approach to this problem, with long timeframes for transition to closed containment pens, and only in a few places. We need to end salmon farming in our open oceans now to protect both wild salmon and Indigenous ways of being from extinction.”
According to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the water license application was submitted on Feb. 2, 2021.
“Water licence applications are prioritized for review based on safety, environment, the economy, and the length of time they have been in the queue,” said the ministry. “The west coast region currently has a significant backlog of water licence applications that are pending decision. Many of the backlogged water licence applications are of high priority in regard to economic interest.”
New water license applications are normally assigned to a water officer within 12 months, but the ministry said timelines may vary depending on prioritization factors.
“The application is doing exactly what the Department of Fisheries and Oceans wants - to get net-pens out of the ocean and move to land-based,” said Unger. “It's kind of frustrating that it's taking a while for it to go through the process.”
Fast-spreading disease has ‘100s’ of deer dropping dead on Vancouver Island
Never seen before in B.C. Adenovirus hemorrhagic disease poses no risk to humans, livestock or pets.
Adenovirus hemorrhagic disease (AHD) poses no risk to humans, livestock or pets – but until now has never been recorded in B.C.
First discovered in California in 1993, the disease has gradually moved up the west coast. In 2017, about a dozen animals fell ill in Washington state. The condition began showing up in the Gulf Islands last fall.
Provincial wildlife veterinarian Caeley Thacker said the virus is “very contagious,” spread by direct contact between deer and through the air. Like COVID-19 in humans, research suggests healthy-appearing deer can shed and spread the virus.
“There’s not a whole lot known about the disease,” Thacker said.
“We know from other places it seems to be a nose-to-nose contact transmission pathway. We don’t think there are insects or anything like that involved, but, again, we don’t know.”
Visible symptoms of AHD include difficulty breathing, foaming or drooling from the mouth, diarrhea, and seizures. Other symptoms include ulcers and abscesses in the mouth and throat.
Thacker suspects “hundreds” of deer have died from the disease on Vancouver Island in less than a year but doesn’t think it can wipe out the deer population since the disease only transmits from direct contact.
Part of the problem with monitoring the disease is the only reliable diagnostic tool is collecting samples from the carcass of dead deer.
“We can’t tell until the animal is dead if it has AHD,” Thacker said.
So far, deer affected with AHD have been found between Sooke and Courtenay.
But sampling is limited due to laboratory capacity and financing.
“We’ve only been testing animals from areas that haven’t been identified, so we’re tracking the spread of the disease rather than the prevalence. The sampling is limited to new areas,” Thacker said.
The province is also collecting blood samples from live animals to see if some deer create antibodies and survive the disease.
The province asks anyone who sees deer with symptoms of AHD to report them to the Wildlife Health Laboratory at 250-751-7246.
Meet Stephen Young
Today we're meeting one of our Lieutenants Stephen Young.
Stephen has been apart of the Gold River Fire Department for 3 years now. He decided to join the department back in 2018 when his wife Sandy (also in the fire hall) moved back to Gold River.
Stephen was just recently promoted to lieutenant after being a firefighter for three years. Congratulations Stephen on your new position! Stephen is looking forwards to helping train our new recruits this year.
Muchalat Lake Campground Update
The Village is working to facilitate a discussion regarding keeping Muchalat Lake Campground open during the off-season. Working with Strathcona Regional District, we are looking to engage with a user group(s) and Recreation Sites and Trails BC to see if we can find a solution to permit the site to remain open for the winter season.
Winter tires are now required on BC highways as of this Friday, October 1st
Winter weather is just around the corner and that means B.C.’s winter tire rules are now effect, as of Friday, October 1st.
The Ministry of Transportation has issued a reminder to the public to install winter tires on their vehicles if they plan to travel on certain highways such as the Malahat, Highway 14, Highway 4 and Highway 28.
In British Columbia, winter tires are defined as those labelled with either the Mountain Snowflake symbol or the Mud and Snow (M+S) symbol.
Tires marked with a mountain/snowflake symbol on the sidewall offer the best traction on snow and ice and in cold weather.
Tires marked with M+S (mud and snow) offer better traction than summer tires but are less effective than mountain/snowflake tires in severe winter conditions.
The tires must be in good condition with a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm and must be used on designated highways October 1st to March 31st.
Signs are posted to identify those highways where winter tires are required for lighter cars and trucks, and chains are required for heavy commercial trucks.
Deadly construction zone crash prompts reminder from Island police
A Thursday night collision on Vancouver Island has left one construction worker dead and another seriously injured. It’s a situation the RCMP calls unacceptable, and it’s prompting them to put out a plea for drivers to use extra caution in work zones.
“It’s extremely dangerous,” Nanaimo RCMP Cst. Gary O’Brien tells My Campbell River Now. “The workers are in a vulnerable state, they’re on a highway where cars are, at one point, probably going the speed limit, 90 or 100 km/hr.”
He continues, “When they get to these zones, they have to slow down. And that’s for the safety of the workers.”
O’Brien’s reminder comes following last night’s (Sept. 23rd) crash in a construction zone on the Trans Canada Highway in Nanaimo, not far from the Duke Point ferry turnoff. One worker died on scene and another was sent to hospital.
According to O’Brien, flaggers are often hit and workers are at risk. It’s something he finds to be quite “unacceptable.” O’Brien adds, “That’s why the speed limits are reduced in construction zones. They’re highly lit and highly marked. It’s unacceptable for situations like this to occur.”
Report shows North Island-Powell River candidates spent thousands on Facebook ads
Social media plays an important role in advertising, especially when it comes to federal elections. In the North Island-Powell River riding, it seems some candidates paid more than others for Facebook ads leading up to election night.
Data from Facebook’s Ad Library Report shows Conservative candidate Shelley Downey’s campaign spent $7,065 in ads on the social platform from Aug. 22nd to Sept. 20th.
Meanwhile, NDP candidate Rachel Blaney’s campaign spent a total of $1,018 within that same time frame, with Liberal candidate Jennifer Grenz’s campaign spending $991.
The local Green Party, Maverick Party, Marxist-Leninist Party, and People’s Party weren’t included in Facebook’s data.
Nationally, between Aug. 22nd and Sept. 20th, the Liberal Party spent the most on Facebook ads – $2.23 million. The Conservative Party followed not too far behind, spending nearly $2.02 million, and the NDP Party spent just over $1.65 million.
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UPDATED: New Democrat wins North Island-Powell River riding
New Democratic Party candidate Rachel Blaney has been elected to her third term as North Island-Powell River member of parliament.
At 11:40 pm on September 20, with 253 of 254 polls reporting, Blaney had received 20,472 votes, or 39 per cent of the total. She was followed by Conservative candidate Shelley Downey, who had 19,125 votes, for 36 per cent of the total.
In third place was Liberal Jennifer Grenz, with 6,876 votes, or 13 per cent of the total.
Green Party candidate Jessica Wegg had 3,221 votes, or six per cent of the votes cast.
Meet Katy Durante
Today we're meeting one of our firefighters Kathy Durante.
Kathy has been apart of the Gold River Fire Department for 1 year now. She decided to join our team after seeing a sign asking for volunteers back in the fall of 2020.
Not only was it a way to keep her connected during these strange times of social distancing, it allowed Kathy to give back to a community that has been so welcoming. Kathy has learned a phenomenal amount of information from her skilled and talented officers & members, who spend many hours every week teaching the fundamentals of firefighting and rescue.
Upon joining, she was issued a textbook on firefighting. Weighing 6.8 lbs and has 1630 pages - all of it relevant to our work in Gold River! The firefighting gear is a tad heavier, however, topping the scales at about 100 lbs. This volunteer gig has been a great way to get fit and stay fit!
From The Ridge
We're excited to have hosted The Vancouver Island Region - Porsche Club of America today for their visit to Gold River armed with a donation to our local Food Bank. What a great bunch of people cruising for good causes!!
Potential $100 million land-based fish hatchery in Gold River being held up, investors say
A Vancouver Island company with major U.S. investors has ambitious plans to build a land-based fish farm in Gold River.
“Our plans are to initially build a 3000-ton farm growing Steelhead, a fully land-based system,” said President of Gold River Aquafarms President Rob Walker.
The hatchery would be built on the former site of a sawmill on the Village’s waterfront and eventually include a processing plant next to it.
A secondary processing plant would then be built farther north in the village as capacity is increased to 10,000 tons.
“There are many buildings and infrastructure on the property that are perfect for our use and there’s a saltwater aquifer here allowing us to draw salt and freshwater from the aquifer,” added Walker. “We’re also looking at the potential for desalination just to make sure we have enough water supply.”
The company says it will utilize a proven Recirculatory Aquaculture System (RAS) technology developed in B.C. that utilizes 50 per cent less energy than conventional land-based projects.
It would also use alternative feeds such as Cyanomega, a Microalga supplement high in Omega-3 and cultivate Sea Lettuce utilizing the fish farm wastewater for nutrients required by the plants.
Walker says the technology is already used successfully in China and that it is economically viable.
The Steelhead would be grown in 18-month cycles and delivered mainly to U.S. markets.
The group’s U.S. investors are ready to spend $100 million dollars over several years. The initial build would cost roughly $30 million.
The Mayor of Gold River says the benefits of a project this big are huge to his community, citing an increased tax base and jobs that could number close to 100.
“Council supported it, we’re out advocating for it,” said Brad Unger. “We’re talking to ministry people on the provincial side and the federal side, just trying to get this project off the ground.”
And that’s where things still stand.
Along with the property owner, Gold River Aquafarms applied for provincial water and wastewater licenses on Feb. 2 but there has been no response.
For the full story with a video report from CHEK TV click here
New high-speed passenger ferry to travel between Nanaimo,
The Nanaimo Port Authority and the Snuneymuxw First Nation have announced an agreement that will see the development of a new “high-speed passenger ferry service” that will travel between Nanaimo and Downtown Vancouver.
While details about the new service are minimal at this time, the Nanaimo Port Authority (NPA) says that it has entered into a long-term lease agreement with Conqora Capital Partners Inc. which will allow access to the Nanaimo Assembly Wharf. The access to the Assembly Wharf will provide space for vessel berths, welcome terminals, parking and passenger connectivity areas.
“After many years of talking about a fast passenger service coming to Nanaimo, it is with great pleasure that the Nanaimo Port Authority announces our unique partnership with SFN and Conqora to bring this vital service to Nanaimo,” said Donna Hais, Chair of the Nanaimo Port Authority. “Providing infrastructure that connects Nanaimo to the rest of the world is one of the Port’s mandates and we are excited to be able to connect people through this mode of transportation.”
Fall weather has arrived!
Mainroad is responding to a weather event impacting North Vancouver Island
Crews will be patrolling for flooding problems on all Service Area highways.
A reminder to drive to conditions and check www.drivebc.ca before heading out. #ShiftintoWinter
HEBER RIVER BRIDGE REPLACEMENT, HWY#28 –
Notice of Construction Wednesday September 15, 2021
Surespan Construction is currently working on the Heber River Bridge replacement for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. The Heber River Bridge is located approximately 11kms East of Gold River on Provincial Highway #28,
As part of the continued work, Surespan will need to reducing traffic to Single Lane Alternating for the duration of the work September 2021 to June 2022. Crew will be onsite working between the hours of 7am and 7pm, 7 days a week.
For the safety of crew and the traveling public, it may be necessary to stop traffic for a short duration during the performance of the work. Surespan will provide a minimum of 7 days notice for any road closures that may be required. Surespan will make provision to ensure safe and efficient passage of Emergency Services through the Work Zone. Thank you in advance for your cooperation as we work to complete the project as fast as possible.
‘You saved my baby’s life’: Off-duty RCMP officer saves choking infant
on Hwy. 19
“You saved my baby’s life” are five words RCMP Cst. Denise Laforest will likely remember forever. The Vancouver Island police officer is being credited for saving a 17-month-old from choking to death north of Campbell River.
On Aug. 30th at around 12:30 pm, off-duty Laforest was cruising remote Highway 19 between Sayward and Woss. She had her two young kids in the car and they were driving from Nanaimo to meet with Owen, Laforest’s RCMP officer husband who had recently transferred to the Alert Bay detachment.
With her eyes on the road, at one point her attention was diverted to a vehicle that had pulled quickly to the side. According to Laforest, a man who appeared to be in a state of panic jumped out holding a limp infant.
She then made a U-turn and drove back to where the man and infant were. “I told him I know first aid and that I can help,” Laforest explains. “At that point, he basically threw the baby at me and said she’s choking and can’t breathe.”
And that’s when Laforest’s first aid training kicked in. She told the father, Sam, to dial 911 as she conducted a quick assessment. However, there was no cell coverage in the area and Sam was unable to call for help.
Laforest checked for any obvious injuries or blockages on infant Hanna and managed to find a very weak pulse. She then started doing back blows in hopes of dislodging whatever she was choking on.
“To her horror, the child did not respond and the pulse could no longer be found. She realized at this point that the child may die,” the Nanaimo RCMP says.
With this in mind, Laforest immediately started doing CPR, going back and forth between giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitations and finger compressions on her chest.
She did this for what seemed like several minutes until Hanna started making a small wheezing sound. Shortly after, debris dislodged from her mouth and she began to cry.
“Collectively, it was the most beautiful sound we had ever heard,” notes Laforest.
And what followed were many heartfelt hugs and tears from both Sam and Hanna’s mom, Amanda.
According to the RCMP, after the incident, Hanna’s family drove into Woss and found a first aid clinic to have her assessed. “They then carried on to Campbell River where Hanna was admitted to hospital. She remained there until 7:30 pm that night until such time that she was discharged with a clean bill of health.”
Sam and Amanda were from Prince Rupert, visiting Vancouver Island to see family. When they’re back home, they told Laforest the first thing they plan to do is enroll in an emergency first aid course.
In this case, first aid is something that proved vital. For Laforest, she’s just fortunate to have recently completed an emergency first aid refresher. “If it wasn’t for that, my training may not have kicked in and we could have been looking at a very different outcome,” she adds.
Elections Canada Is Hiring In Gold River
We have openings for September 20th Election Day for several positions in Gold River. Paid training is provided. If you are available and are interested in these positions, please call me at the Campbell River/Comox Election Recruitment Office for details regarding training dates and times and the positions available.
Josie (604) 329-3384
Gold River residents, village council surprised by decision to close nearby campground for winter
Gold River residents were not happy to learn that the Muchalat Lake Recreation site would be closed for the season in October.
The site, which is 23 minutes north of Gold River, is often used in the shoulder season by locals. There is no camping fee after the labour day long weekend, and many people from the village spend the cooler fall weekends up by the lake. Typically, the site has been open year round, but this year it will be closed on Oct. 4 at noon.
Originally, the closure was supposed to happen on Sept. 7, but upon seeing that, the residents of Gold River contacted the district recreation officer Graham Cameron and asked him to reconsider. The closure date had then changed to Oct. 4.
Gold River Mayor Brad Unger said his staff had spoken to Cameron: “My CAO talked to him very briefly on Friday and its for ‘continued damage and mistreatment of property,’ is what his reasoning is,” Unger said. “He can’t afford to keep going on re-fixing things every spring.”
At the Sept. 7 council meeting, the Village of Gold River discussed the closure and voted to send a letter to the province asking to leave the site fully open through the winter and to begin a consultation process with the village and residents of Gold River.
“We wrote a letter to him asking him to have some communication with the local government and the residents about this closure,” Unger said. “It was hard to believe that they would just turn around and close it without and communication at all.”
“Gold River is a very tight knit community, and the lake is 15 kilometres out of town,” said Unger. “We have residents who use that site year round, and they haven’t seen a lot of major damage out there. We’re trying to figure out what’s going on.”
What the village asked for is to keep the site open for the winter, and to start communication between residents, the village and the province about the site.
“Basically what council is asking is; looking at the comments of the people who use the site, they’ve got some great ideas and great thoughts, but there needs to be some discussion,” Unger said.
From Gold River Fire & Rescue
Today we're meeting one of our Lieutenants Kelsey Kargus.
Kelsey has been apart of the Gold River Fire Department for 3 years now. She joined the department to fulfill her life long childhood dream of being a firefighter. One thing Kelsey loves the most about being a firefighter is getting to help out people in need and protect her community. Some of her memorable moments include live fire training, surprise practice nights with retired Deputy Chief Doug Cross and helping run rookie practices for the new recruits.
When Kelsey’s not working at the Grieg Hatchery or being a firefighter, she enjoys spending time with her dog Levi, hiking mountains, hunting, fishing and anything to do with the outdoors.
Successful Auction Helping Minor Hockey & Figure Skating Club
Thanks for the support Gold River and congratsto the winning bidders! The silent auction table brought in a total of $2906 to Minor Hockey and The Figure Skating Club- $1453 each
A special thanks to all the local businesses, artists and private donators for their generosity:
The Gold River Golf Course, Fields, Timbermart, Fynn’s Fancy Paws, Air Nootka, Gold River Telepharmacy, Liquor Express, Island Clayworks, Lexi’s Hair Salon, Canada Post, Chelsea Bell of Gold River Prints, Riley Last of Elan Health, Muscle Warfare, Vancouver Island Library, Gold River Auto Plus, Western Forest Products, Paws Pottery, Sea and Field, The Shingle Mill, The Ridge, Heather Johnson, Caleb McLachlan (Cam Berries), D+L Vandenburg, Monika Manhas, Annamarie Guss and Cathy Nesbitt for all your lovely donations.
And thank you to the volunteers also who helped out before, during and after. You guys are awesome!
Historically low inventory fuelling real estate price hikes across Vancouver Island
Historically low inventory is bad news for potential Vancouver Island homebuyers.
The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) area says a shortage of homes on the market, continues to plague potential buyers and hamper sales.
Active listings of single-family homes and row/townhouses are 50 per cent lower than in August 2020, while VIREB’s inventory of condo apartments dropped by 61 per cent year over year.
There were 891 unit sales in the VIREB area last month, down 18 per cent from one year ago. By category, 460 single-family homes sold in August, up by two per cent from July and down by 15 per cent year over year.
August saw 101 condo apartment sales compared to 102 the previous year and 124 in July.
“Further, because the real estate sector is driven by supply and demand, we expect that prices will continue to rise unless demand drops or listings increase.”
Mackay says that with a fall election on the horizon, VIREB is encouraged by the major parties’ focus on housing affordability.
“However, without a tangible plan to build more homes, we’re concerned that election promises will fall far short of what’s needed and do little to improve affordability,” adds Mackay. The inventory shortage is making any homes that do go on the market very hot commodities.
In Campbell River, the benchmark price of a single-family home hit $650,800 in August, up by 33 per cent from the previous year.
The benchmark price for the North Island rose by 52 per cent, hitting $394,400 in August.
Campbell River RCMP warning of spike in catalytic converter thefts
Campbell River RCMP are warning the public about a series of four catalytic converter thefts from vehicles that were reported recently.
Catalytic converters, a component of vehicle exhaust systems, cost between $400 and $3,000 and contain precious metals, such as palladium and platinum that are of value to metal dealers. As such, they are often the target of thieves who access the part from the underside of vehicles.
Catalytic converter theft has increased throughout the country recently, according to RCMP. Within British Columbia, the number of catalytic converter claims has increased from 146 in 2015 to 1,546 in 2020.
Grieg Seafood Re-opening Office
Hi everyone! Our Grieg Seafood Gold River office is re-opening after a long pause due to covid. I will be there this Friday from 10-2, so please pop in and say hello. I will also be accepting resumes for anyone interested in our current opening at the Gold River Hatchery. Please see job posting below.
When we have determined our regularly scheduled dates and hours of operation, I will share that with you on here, as well as information on an upcoming event to celebrate our re-opening if it's safe to do so.
Thank you all, let me know if you have any questions, and hope to see some of you on Friday next to Uptown Cappuccino.
A Message From Jan At The Ridge: Jerad's Day
Just an update about the special day being planning to remember Jerad. The Ridge was going to hold a "Jerad's Day" celebration event on what would have been his 50th birthday - Sept. 24/21. Unfortunately, this plan is unworkable now due to the recent reinstatement of COVID restrictions. So, I have decided to postpone Jerad's Day until a time when a fitting celebration can be held at The Ridge. I will let everyone know when we have set a new date.
Drought level on Vancouver Island raised to level 5
The province has raised the drought level on Vancouver Island to Level 5, the highest level possible, due to the ongoing dry conditions.
In response, some water systems operators have collaborated to develop new emergency Stage 4 water restrictions.
“This is a drought situation that we’ve come close to in the past, but never experienced until now,” said Aaron Stone, chairman of the Cowichan Valley Regional District.
Despite cooler and cloudier conditions in the forecast, and some rain Thursday, Environment Canada is not expecting any significant rainfall in the coming week for Island’s main population corridor.
Girl killed at Mount Washington Alpine Resort while playing mini-golf
A three-year-old girl was killed while playing mini-golf at Mount Washington Alpine Resort Friday after a rock dislodged from above and struck her.
Her parents brought her to the resort’s base lodge where staff and first aid responders began treatment and contacted RCMP and emergency transportation.
Ambulances from Campbell River and Cumberland and an air ambulance from Qualicum Beach responded.
“Lifesaving measures were performed but ultimately proved unsuccessful,” a news release from the resort read.
The incident remains under investigation.
“This is such a sad tragedy,” said Dean Prentice, general manager of Mount Washington Alpine Resort in the release. “The team at Mount Washington extends our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of this little girl. It is just devastating, and our hearts break for them. I would like to thank the first responders and our dedicated staff for their efforts in this unfortunate situation.”
B.C. Covid Update: C'mon People Get Your Shot!
There are now 5,657 active cases and after three more people passed away, all of whom resided in B.C.’s Interior, the province’s death toll has reached 1,807.
From Aug. 12-25, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 82 percent of cases and 85.9 percent of hospitalizations.
Past week cases (Aug. 19-25) – Total 4,368
Not vaccinated: 3,116 (71.3 percent)
Partially vaccinated: 467 (10.7 percent)
Fully vaccinated: 785 (18 percent )
Past two weeks cases hospitalized (Aug. 12-25) – Total 213
Not vaccinated: 169 (79.3 percent)
Partially vaccinated: 14 (6.6 percent)
Fully vaccinated: 30 (14.1 percent)
Past week, cases per 100,000 population (Aug. 19-25)
Not vaccinated: 199.0
Partially vaccinated 105.7
Fully vaccinated: 24.9
63 new cases in Island Health
Total active cases: 555
Message From Mainroad North Island Contracting- Expect Delays
Expect delays as crews perform paving operations on Head Bay Rd between Gold River and Tahsis. Traffic will be Single Lane alternating.
Aug 30 – Sep 3 | 7:00AM – 5:00PM (Daily)
Drive with caution, obey traffic control, and slow down for roadside crews
It's Happening! Gold River Village Co-op
Gold River Village Co-op is now incorporated. Lifetime memberships will be on sale for $300 Saturday at Nimpkish park during Gold River days. We will be accepting Etransfers, cheques or credit cards only at this event. There will be membership forms available for registration later as well. #goldrivercoop #ourfutureisourown #thisisouryear
Gold River Economic Development
We are so proud to announce that the 'Village Central' sign installation is complete! The 8 panels include maps of the Village and surrounding area, historical information and local attractions. In addition, the strip of land also showcases carvings and seating areas for tourist and residents alike. We would like to thank all the contractors, volunteers, Village and MMFN staff that helped bring this project to fruition!
Gold River Days Events Saturday August 28
Everyone is invited to join in the parade, walk, ride,
Meet at RWES parking lot at 11: 00 parade will start at 11:30 it will go down Muchalaht, turn on Nimpkish go all the way back to RWES. Then meet at Nimpkish Park. Party in the Park there will be,
Opening ceremonies at 12:00
BBQ burgers, hot dogs, drinks sponsored by WFP
BBQ Salmon sponsored by Grieg Seafood
Bounce a Rama sponsored by WFP & Cypress Creek Logging
Music in the park, local and former local residents, 12:30- 5:30
Beer Garden in the park 12:30- 5:30
Go cart races
Local Crafters and businesses selling their products
Slo pitch Ball tourney, Friday, Saturday, Sunday at Marling and Frank Sinclair Fields
Art Show at the Community Centre
Featuring our local Artists
The G R Health Clinic Auxiliary will be hosting a garage sale Saturday at the Thrift store at 1:00
Gold River Co-op
Good evening everyone, we will be having an information booth and product samples in Nimpkish park this Saturday at Gold River Days. There will be representatives to answer your questions and listen to your input. We will have a contact sheet to sign up for membership. Look for the logo in the park. This is the start of great things to come!
B.C. brings back mandatory masks in public indoor spaces for entire province
Less than two months after removing the requirement, the B.C. government on Tuesday announced it will once again require people to wear masks in public, indoor spaces throughout the province to combat the fourth wave of COVID-19.
The mask mandate comes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021 in B.C.’s attempt to help slow the transmission of COVID-19 as B.C. prepares for the fall and respiratory illness season.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry made the surprise announcement while the province was outlining rules for the return to school at both post-secondary and K-to-12 system.
READ MORE: Masks to be required in B.C. classrooms from Grades 4-12 in September
“This is to address those situations where we are with people who may not have been vaccinated,” Henry said.
“This temporary order will be re-assessed as the vaccine card is reassessed.”
This will include malls, shopping, grocery, libraries, community centres, pubs and bars as well as in workplaces where people interact with larger parts of the public.
“As transmission of COVID-19 increases in B.C., primarily among unvaccinated people and in part due to the Delta variant, it’s important to take this extra temporary step to make indoor public spaces safer for everyone,” Henry said.
“We need to continue doing the things that protect us, including wearing masks in indoor, public areas, practising hand hygiene regularly, staying away if we are sick and keeping a respectful distance from people. And most important of all, every person should get vaccinated to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community.”
Conservative candidate wants a government that cares about economy and resource sector
Conservative candidate Shelley Downey says she wants a government that will look out for the economy and resource sector in the North Island-Powell River riding.
Downey has longstanding roots in the North Island. She has been a councillor for the Town of Port McNeill for four terms now, and has lived there since 1995. She is a business owner, a rotarian, was a School Board trustee in the 90s, and graduated with a BA Leadership from Trinity Western University in 2014 and holds a Diploma in Accounting from Grande Prairie Regional College.
Downey previously ran as the Conservative candidate for the North Island-Powell River riding in the 2019 federal election, and said she is running again this time because “Canada deserves better than what we have been seeing from our current federal government … that has been propped up by the NDP.”
She noted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has committed numerous ethics violations over his time in office, “and it really feels like Canada hasn’t been looked after as it should be.”
Downey said she feels this election is an important one because since her campaign has started, she has been hearing from constituents that they want “to see Canada united. They’re feeling like every issue is a divisive issue and we need to pull together as one nation and be united and work together.”
She noted some other issues she has been hearing about are the need to tighten spending measures, inflation, and the ever increasing cost of housing. “The cost of housing is impacting people across the whole riding,” she confirmed. “There’s so far been no plan from [the federal government] to increase the housing supply — we have words, we have promises, but the reality is it’s taking a lot longer than it should.”
Downey stated constituents should vote for her because the Conservative party has a plan for Canada’s recovery, and she has seen firsthand the impact the current government has had on local communities. “We’ve seen our resource sectors come under attack, specifically the Discovery Islands decision, which is still being felt across the riding,” she said, adding the recent fishery closures were also devastating to the local economy. “That kind of reckless policy that leaves people unaware and unprepared can’t continue. It is unfair to the residents of this region to be subject to that, people’s livelihoods are at stake … and even worse, our current MP celebrated some of these job losses.”
Downey stressed we need to fight to keep good paying jobs across the riding. “Canada is a country that is very careful at operating at the highest standard of environmental considerations and practices. We have an excellent human rights record, and yet we are taking a hit and everything is being shut down. We need to do better.”
Silent Auction To Help The Kids
Gold River Days is hosting a one day silent auction, all proceeds going towards Gold River Minor Hockey and The Figure Skating Club on August 28th at Nimpkish Park
Bidding will start at 1200-530. Winners will be announced that day
Come and place a bid, tons of more great items to bid on that aren’t listed
We would like to thank all the businesses and local artists and crafters who have donated. We couldn’t have done this without you
Let’s raise some money for the kids
Vancouver Island wildfire grows to 70 hectares
The Mount Hayes wildfire near Ladysmith grew overnight and now covers approximately 70 hectares. However, the BC Wildfire Service says at this time it’s not moving in the direction of any buildings.
A FortisBC facility to the west of the fire is not threatened at the moment.
There are about 30 firefighters working on the fire, supported by heavy machinery, helicopters, and aircraft.
Last night, the CVRD declared a State of Local Emergency that applies to CVRD Electoral Area ‘H’ and a small northern portion of Area ‘G’.
The regional district also issued an Evacuation Order for a single property, which is owned by FortisBC. The fire is about 4.5 kilometres from Ladysmith and 2-3 kilometres from the FortisBC facility.
The fire began early Thursday afternoon and the cause is not known.
Carnival returns to Campbell River
otton candy, mini donuts, and fresh lemonade: It’s a common combo for fair-goers, kids and adults alike.Now’s your chance to enjoy these fair favourites again, as the carnival marks its long-awaited return to Campbell River today, offering a fun experience highlighted by rides, games, and food.
WCA owner Rob says ‘Speed’ is a new thrill ride .West Coast Amusements (WCA) is bringing the fair back to town over a span of four days. Things get underway today (Thursday) and wrap up on Sunday, with fairgrounds set up along Osprey Avenue, between Seahawk Drive and Eagle Drive, around the corner from the Quinsam Shell gas station.
The gates open at 3:00 pm today, 1:00 pm tomorrow, and noon on both Saturday and Sunday. However, hours are dependent on weather and guest attendance.
Can You Help G.R. Minor Hockey?
The Gold River Beer Garden Commitee is also holding a silent auction table, with all proceeds going to minor hockey/figure skating. It’s 1 day only Saturday, August 28th bidding starts at 1200 and ends at 530.
That’s where you guys come in. We need some man power to watch the table. It would be a great opportunity for the older kids to volunteer some of their time. 1/2 hour to hour shifts. We’re also asking parents to do a small shift if they can and the smaller kids could do a small shift with a parent also, if possible.
I appreciate all of your time. If you can help please contact Amy Dupuis.
How Close Was The Last Election In Our Riding?
Here's the breakdown of how people in our area voted in the last federal election.
23,481Rachel Blaney - NDP
20,131Shelley Downey - CON
8,899Mark de Bruijn - GRN
8,151Peter Schwarzhoff - LIB
1,066Brian Rundle - PPC
350 Glen Staples - IND
48 Carla Neal - ML
Gold River MInor Hockey Association
hockey executive will be hosting our AGM this Wednesday August the 18th at 7pm at Nimpkish Park. We are looking for more members to fill the executive board this year, so if you are interested please attend! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. See you there!
Federal economic development office to open in Campbell River
Campbell River will feature a new federal economic development office, which could help more voices from throughout the region be heard in Ottawa.
The creation of Pacific Economic Development Canada (Pacifican), a B.C.-specific offshoot of Western Economic Diversification Canada, was announced by the federal government on Aug. 5. As a part of this initiative, eight new offices will be created throughout the province, including a ‘service location’ in Campbell River.
North Island—Powell River MP Rachel Blaney wrote a letter to the Economic Development Minister Mélanie Joly in February asking for one of the new offices to be located in the riding. She followed this with a call to constituents to support her request with letters of their own.
“It just feels really good that they listened,” said Blaney.
The new Campbell River service location will help local people share the realities they face in the region back to Ottawa directly, she said.
“What I think is so important in this, in the changing economies of Canada, is that rural and remote communities need to be represented more strongly,” said Blaney. “We need to have people that are actually working in our communities, sending that information back to Ottawa, so that Ottawa isn’t so disconnected.”
The announcement is a good news story for Campbell River and the North Island, said North Island MLA Michele Babchuk.
“It just recognizes that economic development piece — and having that office close by is something that is needed in the north end of Vancouver Island,” said Babchuk. “This is a great first step, and I’m just waiting to see what they get to bring to the table.”
The decision shows recognition of the challenges faced by the region’s three largest economic sectors of forestry, aquaculture and tourism, said Mayor Andy Adams.
“Having a development officer here and close by and working with the City of Campbell River, the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) and the North Island communities will be critically important as we look to reinvent, recover and rebound,” said Adams.
Province issues travel warning in parts of Interior
Given the current wildfire situation in B.C., which is expected to worsen over the weekend, the province is asking people to not travel to parts of the Interior region until further notice.
This includes the communities of Armstrong, Spallumcheen, Okanagan Indian Band, Enderby, and parts of the Regional District North Okanagan.
A map of areas affected by this is available here: www.EmergencyInfoBC.ca (http://www.emergencyinfobc.ca/
Increased fire activity in the area is forecasted over the weekend, including significant winds that may move fires quickly due to the nature of the terrain. The next 72 hours will be critical, and the Province is preparing for more evacuation orders and alerts.
SRD secures $1 million grant to support people suffering from homelessness
The Strathcona Regional District has secured a Strengthening Communities’ Service grant for slightly more than $1 million.
Funding will go towards the districts Unsheltered Homelessness Response Project which will help fill service delivery gaps caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will support agencies delivering services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the region.
A Message From North Island Contracting
Expect delays as crews replace reflective pavement markers on BC Hwy 28 between Gold River and Campbell River
Aug 9 – 13 | 7:00AM – 5:00PM (Daily) Single Ln alternating
Drive with caution and slow down for roadside crews
BIG NEWS - the interval between doses has changed!
You can now get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose 28 days after your first dose.
Walk-ins welcome! Everyone 12+ is eligible. Bring your personal health number and your vaccine card from dose 1 if you have it.
**Walk-ins are based on clinic capacity. To avoid possible waits, you can still make an appointment.
SRD votes to create report on connecting West Coast and North Coast residents with Campbell River
An exploration of new transportation options between the North Island, West Island and city hubs could take place soon.
At its July 14 regional board meeting, the Strathcona Regional District board voted for staff to provide a report on the possibility of a bus service to connect residents and communities on the west and north coast with Campbell River.
Tahsis Mayor Martin Davis provided more context to the request.
“We have real issues with transportation, especially in the winter,” he said, adding many people do not feel comfortable driving on the the road to Campbell River to access medical, shopping, and other services.
“We’ve been trying to put something together in Tahsis, but we’re realizing that there’d be synergies in working with other communities in this,” the mayor added.
“I know Gold River is supportive, and I believe Tsaxana would be too.”
READ MORE: It’s 2021 and Tahsis still has to fight for good roads
READ MORE: Tahsis to improve transportation service for senior residents
Davis said the end result could see the region purchasing a shuttle bus that could help people out from Tahsis, Gold River and Tsaxana.
“It would only need to be once a week at the most, so there could be synergies in involving other communities, and having it go out to those communities on other days – it could go to Zeballos, possibly even Sayward,” he added.
Director Kevin Jules representing the Kyuquot/Checlesaht First Nations noted his community would also be interested in accessing the service too.
Davis said Tahsis will probably work towards a solution by itself if the motion is defeated. “But it will be a real struggle for us financially to make this work, so that’s why we’re bringing this forward at the regional level,” he said.
The support among SRD board members was not unanimous. Directors Jim Abram and Brenda Leigh were both opposed.Leigh, who represents Oyster Bay – Buttle Lake argued the regional service might interfere with existing commercial services like Tofino Bus.
“I don’t want to have any service that would make it harder for Tofino Bus company to make a profit,” she said.
Meeting Chair Brad Unger mentioned the Tofino Bus does not serve the west or north side of the island, but Leigh was still unswayed when it came time to vote.
Abram, representing Discovery Islands-Mainland Inlets, said he thinks the transportation should be a sub-regional one, and bristled when discussion of tying in Mt. Waddington Regional District came up.
“I think bringing in a regional district with their own complexities and problems would be a grave mistake to the intent of the mover of this motion,” he said. “That’s not what was intended.”
Unger explained he wanted to include Mt Waddington Regional District in a possible plan after meeting with North Island MLA Michele Babchuk.
“She suggested that it looks good if it gets the whole North Island on a project and working together,” he said.
Two new EV Charging Stations for North Island communities
“We are giving Canadians the greener options they want to get to where they need to go. This is how we get to net-zero by 2050,” said Seamus O’Regan Jr., federal Minister of Natural Resources.
These latest fast chargers are the result of a partnership between Natural Resources Canada, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation and BC Hydro.
“People in British Columbia are switching to clean electric vehicles in record numbers to reduce climate-harming pollution, save on fuel and maintenance costs and enjoy a cleaner, better technology,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Through CleanBC, we’re helping make EVs more affordable and more convenient to drive by significantly expanding fast-charging stations all across the province.”
The public charging stations are in the following locations:
* 401 11 Ave, Campbell River – in the Campbell River Community Centre parking lot
* 757 Ryan Rd., Courtenay – in the Superstore mall parking lo
New DFO surveillance plane based in Campbell River to patrol Pacific coast
Aside from more time in the air, the new plane is full of modern surveillance equipment, cameras and radar that can see better than before.
“For our investigations, for the general duty Fisheries Officer the capability that this camera has and just the technology and the communication from the air to the guys on the ground in the boat or vehicles, it’s second to none,” said Steve Beckett, Detachment Commander.
The DFO is in partnership with PAL Aerospace which built a new hanger at the Campbell River Airport as well.
It’s part of a $128 million contract to deliver a new fleet of four aerial surveillance aircraft.Ttree are stationed in the Maritimes and one is in Campbell River.
“We’re looking for any fishing boats, any vessels on the water that are out of place,” added Joe Knight.
“We need to protect the marine resource of Canada,” said Gallant. “Fisheries Officers play a critical role for Canadians to protect the resource and the food security that you and I and others need on a daily basis.”
The plane is also a new resource in the ongoing effort to save entangled humpback whales and endangered orcas.
Patrols up and down the west coast are done 24 hours a day, seven days a week all year long.
We have good news to report. The Ridge will re-open regular hours, noon to 7 p.m. starting Tuesday Aug 10th. We will also have a Wing Night on Wednesday August 11th starting at 4 p.m. (dine-in only) Thank you for your patience and your support during these extremely trying times....Gold River IS THE BEST!
Campbell River’s own Avalon Wasteneys wins gold at Olympics
Campbell River couldn’t be prouder — homegrown rower Avalon Wasteneys has captured gold at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
On Friday, the 23-year-old Carihi Secondary grad, now living in Victoria, took home top honours after competing alongside her team in the women’s eight rowing final.
It’s been nearly 30 years since Canada has won the event, marking a big milestone for the crew, consisting of Lisa Roman, Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Christine Roper, Andrea Proske, Susanne Grainger, Madison Mailey, Sydney Payne, Kristen Kit, and Wasteneys.
Canada’s final time at the Sea Forest Waterway was 5:59.13, a mere 0.91 ahead of second-place New Zealand. China won bronze, ending the race in 6:01.21.
According to Olympic.ca, Wasteney first started rowing in 2015 after trying out for the novice team at the University of Victoria. Prior to that, she was a competitive cross-country skier. Her mother Heather Clarke (Seoul 1988) and aunt Christine Clarke (Los Angeles 1984) both rowed for Canada at the Olympic Games, and uncle Stephen Wasteneys was on the national canoe/kayak team.
Gold River: Ladies Auxillary Thrift Store Re-Opening
The ladies auxiliary will be reopening the Thrift Store Sept 7th. On Aug 28 there will be a garage sale at the Thrift Store (located next to Library) at 1:00 pm. All monies raised at the thrift store is donated back to the community health clinic, ambulance, fire department and annual scholarships. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the thrift store soon.
DFO cracking down on fishing violators off Vancouver Island
A recent enforcement blitz’ just off Vancouver Island proved successful for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).
On July 9th and 10th, fishery officers from the DFO’s Conservation and Protection branches in Powell River, Nanaimo, Duncan, Victoria, and Annacis Island worked together to conduct a blitz of B.C.’s Southern Gulf Islands.
A total of five vessels, one land-based platform, and a dedicated aircraft were called in to do the job, with the goal of enforcing provisions under the Fisheries Act and its regulations.
All told, officers checked 76 vessels and 187 anglers, finding a handful of violations, including: retention of wild coho, fishing inside RCA closures, over limits of crab and rockfish, using barbed hooks while salmon fishing, unmarked recreational prawn traps, and failing to produce fishing licenses.
While warnings have been issued for some of these violations, the DFO says officers will conduct investigations into more serious infractions. These could result in fines or court appearances.
During the blitz, it’s noted officers also assisted with two on-water emergencies, attended a Mayday distress call of a vessel taking on water, and helped an Air Ambulance with the evacuation of an injured person from a beach.
No Tsunami For Our Area: Message From The SRD
After evaluation, there is NO SIGNIFICANT TSUNAMI RISK for British Columbia. Strong and unusual currents may continue for several hours in these areas even though a significant tsunami is not expected to occur.
Editors Note: The way things are going we can't rule out a locust invasion though lol
Grieg Seafood BC 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.
For more info click here
North Island College offers early childhood care and education certificate
North Island College early childhood care and education certificate students are preparing to start their careers as early childhood educators embracing a child-centered approach to care.
Students are currently wrapping up their final practicum placement before graduation.
Kelsey Kryzanowski was already studying at NIC when she discovered the ECCE program.
“I originally wanted to be an elementary teacher, but when I found the ECCE program I realized it was the perfect fit for what I wanted to do,” she said. “Young children are always learning and have really positive attitudes about learning. It’s so rewarding to see the world through their eyes.”
The ECCE certificate program delves deeply into information on the continuum of child development and how to support children in their learning, while providing them a strong foundation for their transition into grade school.
“Setting that foundation at a young age is so important,” said Kryzanowski. “It’s really exciting to learn about the why of what we do and how we can give them the foundation to continue to grow once they leave us. It’s amazing to see the positive influence you can have on kids to support their development.”
The program includes three practicum placements with different types of centres.
“The practicums really helped to bring together what we’re learning in class – once you see it in person, you can see how play is exploration and learning,” she said.
“It’s easy, as an adult, to forget how much learning happens through play,” said Kryzanowski. “Whether it’s learning about textures with Play-Doh, or how colours combine using paint, it’s so much more than just playing – it’s children exploring and learning about the world.”
For Kryzanowski, the practicums also helped her determine her goals once she’s completed her program.
“I want to work for a few years in different centres,” she said. “I find it really valuable to learn from different educators and different philosophies and approaches. My ultimate goal is to open my own in-home centre.”
Learn how you can make a difference in the lives of young children. Applications for the September intake are open now: www.nic.bc.ca/early-childhood
Province calls for extra caution while in backcountry
Don’t take any unnecessary risks in the backcountry.
That’s the message from the province with the wildfire risk sitting at extreme across the majority of the Coastal Fire Centre.
Along with the high risk of wildfires, there have been incidents this summer of the BC Wildfire Service supporting the co-ordinated rescues of hikers.
The province says these calls require the diversion of helicopters from the fire line and may challenge progress on fire suppression efforts.
Meantime, the province is thanking recreationalists for reporting fires in the backcountry and elsewhere.You ca
n report a wildfire by dialing *5555 on a cellphone or calling toll-free: 1-800 663-5555
To keep the wildfire risk down, BC Parks, in co-ordination with the BC Wildfire Service, has closed numerous parks to protect public safety, many of which are in the Kamloops Fire Centre, which is getting the brunt of the wildfire activity.
A list of BC Parks closures is available online: https://bcparks.ca/wildfire
Destination BC’s “Know Before You Go” web page is regularly updated and serves as a one-stop shop for visitors looking to access key information resources such as DriveBC, the BC Wildfire Service, Emergency Management BC and more.
If the area you were planning to travel to is impacted by wildfires, or under an evacuation alert or order, connect with a local visitor centre to rebook your trip to another area of the province.
Remote Vancouver Island communities look ahead as restrictions ease
Things are looking up for remote communities on Vancouver Island, as restrictions ease and tourist dollars flow in.
With summer upon us, BC Ferries allowing travellers to cross regional zones, and wildfires prompting tourists to head west, all eyes are on the island.
As of July 1st, island residents, B.C. residents, and Canadian residents are free to travel in the province for non-essential reasons.
And while things may not be totally ‘back to normal’, Gold River Mayor Brad Unger says visitors are marking their return.
“It’s nice to see some tourist dollars coming in for our local businesses. Our restaurants are busy,” Unger says, adding accommodations have been ‘fairly busy’ as well.
“We have nothing out there encouraging them to come, but our doors are open,” he explains. “[Tourists] bring in dollars for the town, it’s really important.”
Unger continues, “I think everybody is definitely excited about getting past COVID. With the lifting of regulations right now, council and local residents are putting together, quickly, our ‘Gold River Day’ at the end of August. We’re really starting to see some excitement again in town.”
“We had a few bikes come in, people on their motorcycles just love to drive Highway 28,” he says. “You can see 20, 30, 40 bikes come in at one time. It’s nice to see that again.”
But it looks like it’s only going to get busier on the island, as Canada gears up to once again welcome visitors from the United States.
While the U.S. announced yesterday (Wednesday) it’s banning non-essential, cross-border travel from Canada until August 21st, that’s not the case for certain Americans headed in the opposite direction.
Starting on August 9th, U.S. travellers with two COVID vaccine doses will be free to flock to Canada.
Fully vaccinated U.S. visitors ‘important first step’: Vancouver Island Tourism CEO
Vancouver Island tourism businesses are getting set to welcome fully vaccinated visitors from the United States.
While the U.S. announced today that it’s banning non-essential, cross-border travel from Canada until Aug. 21st, that’s not the case for certain Americans headed in the opposite direction. Starting on Aug. 9th, U.S. travellers with two COVID vaccine doses will be free to cross into Canada.
Tourism Vancouver Island president and CEO, Anthony Everett, says it’s an important first step for the battered tourism sector.
“They are a key market, especially here on the island, but everywhere in Canada,” Everett said. “American visitors are a cornerstone and then it’s a first step in international visitors coming. I think in August, we will see a number of American visitors coming. I have no prediction on numbers. I think one of the concerns would be that all of these loosening of restrictions need to be less complicated as we move forward.”
According to Everett, the lifting of the non-essential travel ban on July 1st has provided a slight boost to island tourism businesses.
“This has been the story of the whole pandemic,” Everett said. “I think summer, with island residents, B.C. residents, now Canadian residents as of July 1st, business is fairly strong in certain portions of the island… the mid-island, Parksville-Qualicum, less so Nanaimo, Courtenay-Comox area is good, even the North Island, I’ve heard the combination bookings are strong. Certainly the West Coast has had strong bookings but they did last year, as well.Victoria is doing much better.”
A Message From Mainroad North Island Contracting
Due to Extreme Fire Danger Rating in effect July 5, activities such as mowing/brushing are deemed High Risk per the BC Wildfire Regulation.
Crews are monitoring visual sightlines; will hand cut where necessary to minimize visual obstructions until the risk of fire has fallen.
Commercial salmon fishers left high and dry over sudden DFO closures
Island MP calls on federal fisheries minister to provide financial relief.
Gord Johns, NDP MP for Courtenay-Alberni, is calling on the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to provide immediate relief to salmon harvesters following the sudden announcement by her department to close 60 percent of commercial salmon fisheries on the west coast of British Columbia.
“This decision has blindsided fish harvesters, many of whom have already heavily invested in fishing equipment and supplies for the season and now face financial hardship,” Johns wrote in a letter to the minister, Bernadette Jordan.
“This could have been avoided if meaningful consultation and collaborative management had been employed.
The federal fisheries department announced June 29 that 79 of 138 commercial and First Nations communal fisheries would be affected by the closure, which amounts to 60 percent of Pacific salmon fisheries in B.C. and the Yukon. Jordan said the closures were intended to increase the number of salmon reaching spawning grounds.
Johns said the decision, announced by Jordan’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans on June 29, was made without consulting commercial fishers and others working in the industry or First Nations whose Indigenous right to catch and sell fish was recently re-affirmed by the federal Court of Appeals.
Invasive lizard population spreads across Vancouver Island
Fishing for lizards is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel on a hot day near a rock wall in one Saanich neighbourhood.
Admittedly, Gavin Hanke, the curator of vertebrate zoology/knowledge at the Royal BC Museum, has been capturing them a long time. This, the common wall lizard, is particularly prolific in his neighbourhood, which is a relatively new development. A researcher down to the bone, he’s sourced the abundant to Derby Road a few blocks away starting in 2019 – and they’re spreading quickly. For the full story with video
Our MP Blaney Wants Your Help
Tell Minister Joly to open a Government office in North Island-Powell River
n February, MP Rachel Blaney wrote to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister for Economic Development and Official Languages, asking her to locate an office of the new BC Regional Economic Development Agency in our riding.
In June, the Minister responded with an encouraging reply.
Locating a government office responsible for economic development in our communities would help create jobs for our residents and give the government agents valuable experience operating in a rural and remote area.
Click here to see video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U82RVxAPJdg
Heading out to explore this weekend?
Please be prepared!
Download the BC Wildfire Service app: https://bit.ly/3eBjjNt
Safe travels everyone and take care.
Gold River Food Network
We have some VERY EXCITING NEWS to share with you! Our new, vibrant, and up-and-running GOLD RIVER FOOD NETWORK space will officially be open for business MONDAY, AUGUST 18th 2021, 2:30pm-5:30pm!!
We are please to announce the re-branding and re-opening of the Gold River Food Bank location at 396 Nimpkish Drive (Jack Christiansen Centre) as the Gold River Food Network! This space will function as a Food Hub for the Gold River and Tsaxana communities for all things food equity. The space will serve as a primary hub for safe and low-barrier access to food security initiatives such as;
1. Drop in emergency food access twice weekly
2. Monthly Food Hamper programs in partnership with the St Vincent De Paul and Loaves & Fishes (Sign up through Kaitlyn Nohr, Marcie Carlsen, or any volunteer during drop in hours)
3. Future food program(s) as they present to community
** To access the drop-in we ask that you come prepared to share your name, how many members in your home, and a primary contact number for auditing purposes. Our wonderful volunteers will greet you and provide access to the space for your emergency food needs. No appointment necessary, please just come during drop-in hours as noted above.
** To sign up for the monthly hampers as they have been running in community, please contact Kaitlyn Nohr, RSW (250-283-2626 ext. 4), Marcie Szoradi-Carlsen , or let the volunteers know during drop-in hours that you are interested in this program. Information required for this program will include name, how many members in your home, primary contact number, address, and if you have any pets in the home. If you want additional perishable items added to this order, we will also require copies of all household members photo ID. For more information, please contact Kaitlyn Nohr (RSW) directly.
*** A reminder that our next monthly hamper distribution day will be taking place on FRIDAY, AUGUST 13th 2021. Deadline for signing up will be on Monday, August 9th 2021. ***
** At this time we will not be accepting any donations of food or other items. We will update the community if or when this changes. Thank you for your understanding.
** If you are interested in volunteer opportunities during drop-in hours or hamper distribution, please contact Kaitlyn Nohr (RSW) or Marcie Szoradi-Carlsen for more information.
Thinking about swapping your old wood stove for a new, low emission model?
Just a reminder that the Wood Stove Exchange Program is being offered once again this year providing an opportunity for property owners to receive a $250 rebate. The rebate is being offered on a first-come, first served basis to people in the villages of Gold River, Tahsis, Sayward, Zeballos and the four electoral areas. at www.srd.ca/wood-stove-exchange-program
$80K donation will support Indigenous students at NIC
Indigenous students on Vancouver Island will be able to access expanded support to finish off their studies, thanks to a big donation.
An $80,000 donation from RBC and the RBC Foundation is headed to the Aboriginal Scholars program at North Island College (NIC).
The money is part of RBC’s commitment to empowering young Canadians by improving access to the skills, education, and resilience they need to succeed through the ‘RBC Future Launch’ program.
Kelly Shopland, NIC’s executive director of Indigenous education, says the funds will help the college expand its Aboriginal Scholars program to even more Indigenous students at ALL campuses. “This will ensure more Indigenous students have access to digital and on-campus support for completing their studies and transitioning successfully into the workforce or further education,” Shopland says, while thanking RBC for their continued support.
The program is holistic and culturally relevant, NIC notes. It aims to empower students to reach their academic, spiritual, emotional, and/or physical goals, supporting them by providing life skills.
NIC says the program has seen great success over the last four years. But now, thanks to the donation from RBC, it can expand, supporting the goals of the college’s recently launched Indigenization plan, ‘Working Together’. A first for NIC, the plan establishes Indigenous-centred holistic services and learning environments for learner success.
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Coast Guard announces successful removal of bulk oil from the MV Schiedyk shipwreck in British Columbia
Nootka Sound, British Columbia – The Government of Canada is committed to protecting Canada’s oceans and waterways, and is taking action to address the threat posed by wrecked, abandoned and hazardous vessels.
Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced the successful removal of approximately 60 tonnes of heavy fuel oil and diesel from the MV Schiedyk, a historic shipwreck that posed a significant threat to the marine environment in the area of Nootka Sound, British Columbia.
The operation to remove the oil from the vessel was conducted by Resolve Marine Group, a US-based company. Canadian subcontractors supported the operation, including the Canadian-registered Atlantic Condor vessel, which acted as the operations platform on the water.
Due to the depth of the MV Schiedyk, Resolve Marine Group used remotely operated vehicles to drill holes into the vessel’s four fuel tanks and secure a drainage valve with a hose attached for pumping operations. To remove the heavy fuel oil, hot water was injected into the tanks to liquefy the oil within. The oil and water mixture was then pumped to the surface through the hoses and onboard the Atlantic Condor, where the oil and water were separated. The tanks onboard the MV Schiedyk were then flushed until fuel was no longer detected.
The MV Schiedyk, a 147-metre cargo ship, sank in 1968 after striking a submerged ledge on the south side of Bligh Island and later drifting down Zuciarte Channel to sink in 120 metres of water on the east side of Bligh Island. Sheen was reported on the water in December 2020, and the Canadian Coast Guard established an Incident Command Post to conduct monitoring and containment operations.
Can We Fireproof Gold River? No But We Can Make It More Resilient
More than 200 active wildfires were blazing across British Columbia as of Thursday, with the majority burning swaths of land in the province's interior.
They're among the 786 that have engulfed over 1,000 square kilometres of land this year alone, more than three times the 10-year average for this time of year.
The already devastating fire season raises the question — is there any way for us to fireproof towns and cities at nature's edge?
Not exactly, says Kelly Johnston, technical adviser at FireSmart Canada, a national program that helps adapt communities to fire and reduce their wildfire risk. But we can make them more resilient.
"Wildfire is going to be a natural occurrence that communities all across Canada will have to deal with in most cases," he said. "It's about learning how to become resilient and adaptive to that particular situation [communities] are dealing with."
In some cases, that starts with keeping a close eye on an area called the wildland-urban interface. It's where fire can transition between and through vegetation and human development — for example, a town that borders thick forest.
Interface fires can be fatal and cause tremendous economic and structural damage when fire spreads from forest to town, or vice versa. The 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire, for example, spread over 500,000 hectares and consumed 2,400 structures. To this day, it is the largest ever insured loss in Canada.
One way to manage them is by reducing what fire experts call "fuel load" — essentially, combustible material such as vegetation — that can help reduce a fire's intensity, making it easier to fight and sometimes even cause it to die out.
Amy Cardinal Christianson, a fire research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service and a Métis woman from Treaty 8 Territory, says it's something that Indigenous people in Canada have been doing for thousands of years through cultural burning.
"Cultural burning is always for cultural practices or for cultural reasons," said Christianson.
This low-risk activity is performed by communities at times of the year when fire has a low chance of escaping, she said.
"But one of the side benefits of that is that you basically reduce fuel load or the litter on the forest floor around communities and in the forest."
Climate change is causing extreme weather conditions that can make fires burn bigger and spread faster. But failing to manage vegetation also increases risk, because a greater fuel load can mean disaster if and when a fire strike, Christianson said.
"With Indigenous fire, lots of times we would use fire to create meadows or kind of open spaces in the forest, what you could call mosaics," she said.
Without these cleared patches, "you see just these blanketed coniferous, like spruce or fir, forests and you're almost creating a monoculture, which wildfire loves."
So how do we manage interface fires? By changing the conditions in which fire burns in a developed area, says Johnston.
That means building houses that can better resist fires, and managing the fuel load and how it's spaced out between buildings and forests.
North Island-Powell River MP prefers to avoid an election this summer
Even though nothing has been confirmed, the federal NDP party has been building up its candidate roster in anticipation of a likely election in the next few months.
North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney, however, would rather just continue with things as they are.
“My personal opinion is that we should do our work,” she said. “We’ve been elected to do this work for four years and I think there’s nothing wrong with having the challenge of a minority government. Often when minority governments actually work together they get things done that are a little more fair.”
Man shot and killed by RCMP, police dog stabbed to death in Campbell River
B.C.'s police watchdog is investigating after a man was shot and killed by police in Campbell River on Thursday morning. A police dog was also killed in the altercation.
Mounties say the incident began just before 9 a.m. when Campbell River RCMP officers attempted to stop a vehicle related to an outstanding warrant. Police say the vehicle then fled the scene.
The vehicle was spotted later in a parking lot at a Tim Hortons in the 2000-block of South Island Highway.
Mounties say an officer was able to box the vehicle in before confronting the driver with a police service dog.
During the confrontation, RCMP say that the service dog was stabbed and killed, the dog's handler received a knife-related wound, and the man was shot by police. The man was pronounced dead at the scene, according to RCMP.
No one else was injured in the incident, say police.
B.C.'s police watchdog has been notified of the event and has confirmed that it is investigating a police-involved shooting incident.
The Independent Investigations Office of BC investigates all instances of death or serious harm that may have been caused by police actions.
The BC Coroners Service says it has also been notified of the death in Campbell River.
Police say that further information on the police service dog is expected to be released Thursday.
Since the incident is under investigation by the IIO, RCMP say no other information will be released to the public at this time.
Gold River Days Is On! Saturday August 28
Council would like to confirm we will be hosting Gold River Days this year!
There will be a Parade, BBQ at Nimpkish Park, and we working some on activities. More information will come out soon.
Job Opportunity In Gold River
The Village of Gold River is now accepting applications for two (2) Visitor Centre Counsellors at the Gold River Visitor Centre. The position is for 32 hours per week from July 21 to September 7, 2021 with varying shifts and weekend work. Possibility of weekends after September 7, 2021.
The rate of pay will be $15.20 per hour in accordance with the CUPE Local 3399 collective agreement.
Malahat SkyWalk viewing platform to open on Vancouver Island next week
Vancouver Island's newest attraction will open to the public starting next week.
The 10-storey tall Malahat SkyWalk viewing platform will open at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 15.
The spiralling lookout tower stands 250 metres above sea level, according to the company, and is located off the Malahat Highway approximately 35 minutes north of Victoria. To see a video of the new attraction click here
An unusual Parliamentary Session for Gold River MP
Usually right about now, Gold River- North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney would be coming back home for a summer of visits and chats with constituents, however, she’s already here.
The end of June marked the end of a busy and very different session for national politics, with issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, the discovery of unmarked graves at multiple former residential school sites, the closure of fish farms in the Discovery Islands and the heatwave that sat on the west coast over the last few weeks.
RELATED: Heat wave marked by unusually high night time temperatures
“I think the most unusual part was having parliament function virtually. It was very unique and different,” Blaney said. “In my role as the whip, I actually helped set that up. It was an intimidating time to make sure that everything that we did we did the best we could and as fairly as possible.”
Though members of parliament were unable to meet in person, which presented logistics challenges in a country as big as Canada, Blaney said it made it so more diverse members could participate in committees.
“We actually saw a lot of diversity in some of our committees just because people didn’t have to be asked to travel as much. They got to participate from their own home and community,” she said. “That was really exciting.”
In addition to party whip, Blaney’s is Deputy Critic for Indigenous Services and Crown – Indigenous Relations, working with NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, and the party’s spokesperson for Veterans Affairs. Though much of her work in the session was to ensure the rural and remote communities of the north island were included in COVID-19 recovery plans.
RELATED: Blaney appointed as deputy critic for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Indigenous Services
“We continued to work really hard on key issues, especially making sure that the resources were going out to communities as best we possibly could to support individuals, their families and businesses,” she said. “I‘ve been working really hard tourism-based businesses in our riding that are particularly challenged during this time. We’re not of course able to access that international market that we usually do.”
Blaney’s highlights included passing Canada’s version of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which ensures the federal government must “take all measures necessary to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and must prepare and implement an action plan to achieve the objectives of the Declaration.”
Gold River to receive FireSmart Critical Infrastructure Assessment Report
– The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) is excited to announce that they have received $394,000 through the Union of BC Municipalities FireSmart Economic Recovery grant to fund wildfire risk reduction activities.
The intent of the FireSmart Economic Recovery Fund is to support immediate job creation in order to build local wildfire resiliency and assist communities in recovering from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“An interface fire is a severe and likely threat regardless of which community in the SRD that you reside in, and I know decreasing wildfire risk is a top priority of our residents. While SRD was the lead organization on this grant, this was a regional application in partnership with six First Nations, three member municipalities, the South Quadra Island Improvement District and the Cortes Island Fire Fighting Society” said SRD Board Chair Brad Unger. “Resilience is the ability of a community to not only withstand and bounce back after a disaster but also to adapt to the new normal a disaster brings with it. This grant will increase the resiliency of our critical infrastructure to withstand a wildfire and we would like to thank the Province of British Columbia for making this funding available.”
A large portion of this grant is devoted to funding FireSmart renovations for community buildings such as installing tempered glass in all doors and windows, enclosing the side of buildings with fire-resistant material, replacing wood stairs with steel stairs, and installing a metal roof. These buildings include Camp Homewood, Gorge Hall, Linnaea Farm Education Centre, Nuchatlaht First Nation Administration Building, Sayward Valley Firehall, the Quadra Island Bible Church, Whaletown Firehall and the Zeballos Community Centre.
“Aside from holding a special spot in the cultural context of the communities, the SRD has Memorandum of Understandings in place with the non-profit owned facilities mentioned above to support Emergency Support Services during a disaster” said Shaun Koopman, SRD Protective Services Coordinator. "For many years, these organizations have been incredible supporters of our regional emergency program through hosting training sessions and engaging in numerous emergency planning conversations. It feels great to be able to provide them with meaningful funding to decrease the wildfire vulnerability of their facilities.”
The Villages of Gold River, Tahsis and Zeballos as well as Ehattesaht/Chinehkint First Nation, Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Che:k:tles7et'h' First Nation, Klahoose First Nation, Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation, and We Wai Kai First Nation will receive FireSmart Critical Infrastructure Assessment Reports on both their community buildings and infrastructure. This report serves as a prerequisite that can then be used to apply for future FireSmart renovation funding. In collaboration with the Cortes Forestry General
Partnership, the grant will also fund a 4-hectare Wildfire Fuel Treatment on Cortes Island through activities such as pruning, thinning and removing ladder fuels to reduce both the amount and continuity of burnable vegetation.
To learn more about the FireSmart program and wildfire risk reduction, please visit www.firesmartbc.ca.
It's 7 a.m. ..time for a beer? BC Liquor Stores Allowed to Open Early
BC Liquor stores can now open at 7am, permanently.
They had been allowed to open that early, temporarily since April in 2020, but with those measures set to expire on June 30th, the province decided to make the changes permanent.
Bore out of the idea of allowing socially distanced “seniors hours” as many other businesses had implemented during the pandemic. Since, the liquor industry and the province received positive feedback and see this as something worth keeping around.
The province says, “In response to industry feedback and to ensure businesses can continue to support their customers – particularly seniors and those who live in rural areas, who have benefited from the convenience of extended retail hours – the Province is permanently allowing liquor retailers throughout B.C. to operate between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily, if they choose to do so.”
But those hours only apply to in-store shopping, deliveries aren’t allowed before nine in the morning.
The province is clear that these changes do not supersede any additional requirements or limitations that your local government or First Nation may have in place for liquor store hours.
PROPERTY TAXES DUE JULY 2, 2021
Reminder property taxes are due by July 2, 2021. A 10% penalty will be added to total outstanding current 2021 taxes after July 2, 2021. Home Owner Grants unclaimed by penalty date are classed as unpaid taxes.
Check https://www2.gov.bc.ca/.../annual.../home-owner-grant for more information on Home Owner Grant
Spray Park Extended Hours! Yippee!
During the unprecedented heat wave, the Spray Park will have temporary extended hours of 9am to 9pm daily effective Tuesday June 29th to Sunday July 4th.
With stocks on 'verge of collapse,' federal government to close several West Coast salmon fisheries
The federal government says it will close several commercial Pacific salmon fisheries in British Columbia and Yukon beginning this season to conserve fish stocks that are on the “verge of collapse.”
In a news release, the Fisheries Department says 60 per cent of commercial and First Nations communal fisheries will be affected.
The department says it will transition to smaller commercial harvests, adding that will help some of the most fragile stocks.
It says the declines in fish stocks are because of a “complex combination” of factors, including climate change and habitat degradation.
The government's announcement follows plans for the distribution of nearly $650 million earmarked for the Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative earlier this month. Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan has said the plan will guide work on conservation, better hatchery production, an overhaul of fish harvesting methods and improve the collaboration of fisheries management.
Data from the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission shows that the global catch of Pacific salmon in 2020 was the lowest since 1982.
The Fisheries Department news release says fish stocks may need multiple generations to stabilize and rebuild.
BC Ferries adding sailings as it anticipates ‘busy summer season’
BC Ferries is anticipating that British Columbians are eager for some non-essential travel to and from Vancouver Island.
The ferry corporation says it’s anticipating a “busy summer season” and is welcoming travellers back on board with extra sailings for peak travel season starting Friday, June 25.
Vessels on the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route will sail hourly from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and more late-night sailings will operate in both directions. Starting July 7, a 6 a.m. sailing is added Monday through Saturday except statutory holidays.
This route is the most popular route in the fleet, with four vessels providing up to 34 sailings per day,” Ferries noted in a release.
The Departure Bay-Horseshoe Bay route will add 11:40 p.m. sailings from West Vancouver to Nanaimo, and three ships will provide service, up to 24 sailings per day.
The Duke Point-Tsawwassen route will also increase service, moving to 16 sailings a day between 5:15 a.m. and 10:45 p.m., seven days a week until Sept. 10.
READ MORE: Vancouver Island’s West Coast Trail reopens in June
BC Ferries says summer service on the Horseshoe Bay-Langdale route will see a second dedicated vessel providing extra sailings throughout the season, and extra sailings are also coming on the Tsawwassen-Southern Gulf Islands route.
Campfire ban goes into effect on Vancouver Island on Wednesday
If you’ve been longing for a s’mores and guitar session by the campfire this summer in BC, you have two night’s left to get your fix.
With BC in a midst of a current an extreme heat wave, a campfire ban will be taking effect in the areas within the BC Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction – this includes all Vancouver Island and the lower mainland area.
The provincial weather forecast calls for record-breaking high temperatures throughout BC this week and follows a spring of lower-than-average precipitation in the southern half of the province.
These conditions are expected to persist in the coming weeks.
The ban is set to take effect starting at noon on Wednesday, June 30th, meaning all campfires and Category 3 fires will be prohibited until October 2021, or until the order is rescinded.
A campfire is defined as any fire smaller than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide.
It also is not applicable to CSA-rated or ULC-rated cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres – so you’re still good to cook while camping this summer.
They do, however, apply to both public and private land unless otherwise specified in a local government bylaw.
Anyone found in violation of the open burning prohibition could be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to a year in jail.
If the violation causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may also be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.
In addition to campfires, Category 2, and Category 3 open fires, the following activities are also prohibited:
the use of fireworks
the use of sky lanterns
the use of burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description
the use of binary exploding targets
the use of tiki and similar kinds of torches
the use of chimineas
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire, or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on a cell phone.
Vancouver Island Resort Featured On "The Price Is Right."'
A lucky contestant on The Price Is Right recently won a six-night stay at a luxury resort on Vancouver Island.
Operators of the Prestige Oceanfront Resort Sooke say they're excited to see the resort featured on the popular game show.
"It’s certainly fun to see the resort featured on national television,” said Jacob Cramp, general manager of the resort. "It will provide huge exposure for Prestige and the town of Sooke."
The episode featuring the resort airs today, June 25. The Prestige says the prize was won in the first game of the episode.
"We were so excited to learn that the contestant won the prize and we’ll be able to welcome them for a wonderful stay when they’re able to travel here from the U.S.," said Cramp.
The Price Is Right is one of the most popular daytime television shows in the U.S., with more than 5.4 million American viewers tuning in each day.
Prestige says Friday's episode will help promote not only the resort, but the region as a whole.
Want Faster Internet Speeds Gold River? READ THIS!
Internet Speed Tests - Community Help Request
The SRD is participating in the Union of BC Municipalities Internet Speed Test Study.
This research is to help better understand the factors contributing to the difference between the internet data on the federal government’s National Broadband Internet Service Availability Map and the actual internet speeds individuals and businesses are experiencing. The data shows communities in the Regional District have access to internet speeds of 50/10 Mbps making it ineligible for funding programs to assist in improving internet speeds for residents and businesses.
Earlier this year, we reached out and many residents performed internet speed tests. To validate the data, researchers are looking for 20% of households to complete internet speed tests. At this time, 5% of households in your community have completed a test.
Please encourage others in your community to use the link below to complete an internet speed test. https://performance.cira.ca/bc
HOW FAST IS YOUR INTERNET?
Find out by completing the speed test at https://performance.cira.ca/bc. Speed test results will help the SRD advocate for better internet service in your community and provide data for the Union of BC Municipalities Internet Speed Test Research Study.
Learn more about speed tests at www.srd.ca/internet-speed-test-survey >
Did you know that Campbell River has a world famous cat hotel?
Check out the full story with video here" https://www.cheknews.ca/chek-upside-ed-bain-takes-a-trip-to-campbell-rivers-kalmar-cat-hotel-826587/
Airline announces non-stop flights from Victoria to Mexico, Las Vegas
Canadian budget airline Swoop says it plans to offer non-stop flights from Victoria to Las Vegas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
The airline says the new route between Victoria International Airport and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas will begin Oct. 31 and operate twice weekly on Thursdays and Sundays.
Flights to Puerto Vallarta's Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport will go on sale on June 30 with the airline set to offer non-stop service every Sunday.
Cohorts eliminated, extra curricular activities return to B.C. schools next year
School life in B.C. is expected to return to near-normal next year.
This means starting in September, students won’t be in cohorts and learning groups, and will be back in classrooms full time.
Education minister, Jennifer Whiteside, added that, with most B.C.ers 12 and older expected to have two doses of a COVID vaccine by September, even more restrictions could .be eliminated.
“Pending further public health guidance, it’s also expected that current restrictions on gatherings, extra curricular activities, and sports will be relaxed in time for the new school year, and that’s good news for everyone,” she said. “I know we want to pass the pandemic together, and we’re currently moving in the right direction.”
Guidance on mask wearing will be confirmed later this summer.
Similar to any other school year, online learning programs will remain available for students.
The province also announced $43.6 million dollars in funding to support ongoing health and safety measures, First Nations and Métis students, mental health services, rapid response teams, and to address learning impacts to students.
Whiteside says B.C. is one of the few jurisdictions that has kept schools open all year despite the pandemic, “thanks to the enormous collective efforts of everyone in the K-12 education system, and I extend my heartfelt thanks to them all.”
She added that the province will continue to work with the experts in the provincial health office and the provincial K-12 education steering committee throughout the summer to finalize plans and guidelines to ensure students and staff are safe for the next school year.
Of the $43.6 million announced, $25.6 million in new one-time, pandemic-specific funding will go towards supporting necessary cleaning and disinfecting, hand hygiene for students and staff, improving ventilation and restocking supplies of personal protection equipment.
The province says this funding will “also strengthen the commitments to First Nations and Métis students and provide more mental health supports for students and staff.”
Plus, money will be available to address learning impacts from the pandemic.
Earlier this year, the ministry told school districts that $5.9 million was available to be allocated to address learning impacts.
An additional $12.1 million is now being provided from the remaining 2020-21 school year operating grant.
Licensed cannabis retailers in B.C. can start delivering next month
Licensed cannabis retailers across British Columbia will soon be able to deliver their products directly to doorsteps.
The Province says the change rolls out on July 15th, building on the August 2020 move permitting cannabis retailers to sell their products online.
Delivery will allow consumers to gain a new way to buy non-medical cannabis from a legal source in their community, the Province notes. They say this will not only support B.C.’s legal cannabis industry but strengthen local economies as well.
June 18th: No New Covid Cases On Vancouver Island!!!!
‘We have defanged the virus’: Island doc says vaccines lower COVID’s bite
We’re switching from ‘pandemic’ to ‘endemic’.
That’s according to North Island medical health officer Dr. Charmaine Enns, as vaccines continue to roll out not just on Vancouver Island, but across B.C. and Canada.
While Enns says COVID isn’t be going away, she notes the virus has been ‘defanged.’ She says COVID is going to stick around, but vaccines will help make it another seasonal virus like the flu.
“If you’re vaccinated, it doesn’t have its bite anymore,” Enns says. “…a small percentage of people can still get COVID, but those who do will have very mild disease and they’re less likely to transmit it to others.”
When speaking to Campbell River city council on Monday, Enns said we have a lot to celebrate. At the time, she said around 70 per cent of Campbell Riverites had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with a slightly higher number of people on the North Island – around 71 per cent – now vaccinated with one dose. As for Island Health as a whole, that number jumped to 76 per cent.
Campbell River specifically has seen just under 200 cases of COVID since the start of the pandemic; however, zero cases resulted in death, Enns said.
Reflecting on the past year, with public health orders and restrictions in place, businesses shut down, and loss of life around the world, Enns finds COVID-19 vaccines to be the intervention we’ve been waiting for.
“There is nothing more to wait for, this is it,” she explains. “And we have that intervention and it is very effective.” According to Enns, two doses of vaccine is highly protective, giving us the confidence to go forward.
“We have to move forward, we can’t stay stuck. It is not a healthy or a good place to be, to be stuck,” Enns adds. “We have to get our lives back, we have to get control of our lives back, we have to get people socializing again and relationships restored, people going to work or to school.”
Today, an Island Health spokesperson told Vista Radio second doses “are not experiencing any unexpected delays or issues with supply.” They say more than 97,000 people within the Island Health region have now received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Campbell River added to Central Mountain Air’s flight network
Central Mountain Air is offering Campbell Riverites easier access to Vancouver and Prince George.
As B.C. moves into Step 2 of its Restart Plan, the regional airline is on ‘cloud nine’ as it reintroduces flights in and out of town.
CMA says it’s optimistic about the future of air travel as restrictions start to ease. With this in mind, it’s adding Campbell River via Vancouver and Prince George to its ‘Summer Flight Network’.
According to CMA, there will be 16 flights per week starting July 12th through to November 6th, and scheduled service will include 12 non-stop flights per week to/from Vancouver, plus 4 non-stop flights per week to/from Prince George.
The airline’s Head of Commercial Michael Claeren says he’s ‘happy’ to see crews re-entering the Campbell River to Vancouver market after operations were suspended last year due to COVID.
Established in 1987, CMA currently operates a total of 29 aircrafts providing scheduled flights to twelve communities, cargo to ten, and charter flights throughout B.C., Alberta, and Western Canada.
For more details and flight schedules, visit FlyCMA.ca.
Reminder for Applicants to the Provincial Property Tax Deferment Program
If you are applying for provincial property tax deferment program, you still need to claim the Home Owner Grant and pay the utility portion of taxes before July 2, 2021.
Property taxes which qualify for deferment include the current year levy only, and must be net of the Provincial Home Owner Grant, and any utility charges (water, sewer and garbage user fees). All prior year property taxes, penalties, and interest charges must be cleared before you apply for tax deferment. Second residences, such as rental properties or summer cottages do not qualify for tax deferment.
Did You Buy A Lottery Ticket In Campbell River?
Lotto Max player in Campbell River wins $1 million
No one won the $70-million jackpot, but two lotto players on Vancouver Island won big paydays. A ticket sold in Nanaimo won $500,000 in Tuesday’s record-breaking draw, while a ticket sold in Campbell River won $1 million.
Drivers Can Expect Delays
Drivers can expect delays as Mainroad North Island Contracting LP crews perform gravel work on Head Bay FSR at the 38-36 km markers in Gold River.
The work takes place Monday, June 14 through to Friday, June 18, 2021
7:30 AM to 5:00 PM traffic will be single lane alternating with up to 20 minute delays.
Motorists please slow down, obey the traffic control, and watch out for roadside workers.
Village of Gold River Annual Report
the Village of Gold River will present the 2020 Annual Report at the Regular Council Meeting to be held:
Monday June 21, 2021
Starting at 7:00 pm.
Reports include the 2020 Audited Financial Statements, Permissive Tax Exemptions, reporting on Municipal Services & Operations and progress on the 2020 Objectives, a Statement of Municipal Objectives and Measures for 2021 as well as the Statement of Financial Information including Councils’ Remuneration & Expenses.
The 2020 Annual Report including the Audited Financial Statements and Statements of Financial Information is available for public review at the Village Office during regular business hours through to June 30, 2020 or online at goldriver.ca
Blaney calls for timeline for federal report on B.C. aquaculture
North Island-Powell River NDP MP, Rachel Blaney, says the time is now for the federal government’s report on aquaculture and wild salmon.
The report is meant to inform a plan to transition open-net pen aquaculture in BC by 2025 which she points out was both an election platform commitment, and included in the mandate letter of the Minister of Fisheries.
During Question Period on Friday, Blaney pressed the government on their report.
“In my riding wild salmon is key to our cultural and economic health and needs immediate action to survive,” said Blaney. “Aquaculture workers and wild salmon advocates are looking for clarity. There is no time to waste. Will the Parliamentary Secretary give us a date when we can expect this report?”
Terry Beech, the Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard began a consultation process last fall.
It ended in March with, Blaney said, “a report promised for the spring.”
Federal government unveils $647 million strategy to stop Pacific salmon collapse
Fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan calls it the largest, most transformative investment in salmon by any government in history.
The federal Liberals’ $647.1 million Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative is meant to stop the decline of wild salmon populations, while helping rebuild populations over the long term. Full story click here
A Message From Wayne Lord:
Good Afternoon to All..... Enjoy the rain! Posting for my sister Barb Wilson, Glad to say that after a devastating house fire, the family now has a new place to call home. The community rallied to help the the family with great response. But with no house we could not accept donations of furniture etc at that time. With a new place to call home the family is seeking help with any furniture donations to help them. I will make the MMFN trucks available for pick up and delivery of any donated items. You can message me or email firstname.lastname@example.org. phone 3-7416 or 204-6222. We thank you for your support. Gold River Great!
Amazing New Vancouver Island Video
Stewards of the Sea for World Oceans Day
This film by Mark Wyatt (Wyatt Visuals) for Tourism Vancouver Island explores how the ocean is integral to all facets of our existence on the west coast. Particularly, this film narrows in on our culture of commercial stewardship, and why an environmental ethic of reciprocity is essential for businesses that operate next to the sea. This film also features a few of Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Businesses, who are registered as Ocean Friendly for eliminating plastics, diverting waste from landfills, as well as adopting circular and regenerative practices! Click here to watch video
Myra Falls mine workers strike for a new contract
Unionized workers at Nyrstar’s Myra Falls mine walked off the job June 3 in an effort to move contract negotiations along.
“Bargaining just broke down,” said Jim Dixon, UNIFOR national representative Jim Dixon. “We’re too far apart.”
The issue from the union’s point of view is to bring wages back to a level prior to previous contracts negotiated to help the company sell the mine. A closure agreement had been negotiated with the company when the mine was closed in 2015 and then a subsequent agreement was negotiated in 2017 to help the company sell the operation. Those contracts contained a lot of concessions to make the mine more appealing to a buyer.
“And so during all that time, of course, there was no wage increases and in 2017 when we negotiated there was a lot of concessions given to try to make it more appealing to someone to buy it,” Dixon said. “The company assured us they were going to sell it. Anyway, they didn’t end up selling it.”
The company ended up opening the mine, instead, and it had just recently got back up to full production, Dixon said.
UNIFOR local 3019 members have been without a contract since the last one expired in October, 2020. Negotiations for a new contract got underway just before that time with the previous owners and what ended up happening was the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult to continue negotiations, so talks were slowed down. Then at the end of last year, new owners Trafigura took control of Nyrstar and essentially replaced the management that UNIFOR was negotiating with.
In life’s critical moments, a phone call can make all the difference
afety can be a real issue in Gold River and Tahsis, on the western edge of Vancouver Island. Since connecting to the TELUS wireless network, locals and future visitors now have peace of mind — and speedy connectivity. The tech company will invest another $13 billion into British Columbia through to 2024.
Gold River Mayor Brad Unger knows exactly how important connection can be, especially when you’re all alone and badly injured.
In the winter of 2013, a slip outside of his car on a harrowing stretch of mountainous highway on the outskirts of his small community on the western edge of Vancouver Island left Unger bleeding from three crushed temporal arteries.
Worse, with no cell service to the area, Unger had no way to call for help. Luckily, the fates were with him that day.
“When you live through an accident like that, you sit back and you think, ‘you know, it’s very fortunate another car was right behind me. It might have been a very different story,’” he recalls, adding he still bears the scars from 120 stitches to the head.
It’s critical moments like this that propelled Unger’s tireless support of a plan to connect Gold River, and its 1,500 residents, to the TELUS wireless network.
The ease of contacting family, friends, employers or work colleagues, wherever you may be, is undoubtedly vital in this all-connected age — a reality that has only grown in importance since the onset of the coronavirus.
But in a remote region, where the nearest hospital is 89 kilometres away, Unger knows from painful experience that reliable network connectivity will help save lives.“It’s all about safety,” he says.Critical milestone.
Network access in Gold River has come a long way since Unger’s accident. Today, there’s a new cell tower in town making it possible for residents to easily and reliably connect with each other and the world. And, later this year, Gold River is slated to be among the 187 additional communities across the province to join the growing TELUS 5G network.
The neighbouring town of Tahsis, with a full-time population of 300, has also received a new cell tower from TELUS.
The investments build on the $53 billion TELUS has spent since 2000 to support economic growth in rural and urban communities across the province, and enable British Columbians to work, learn, access healthcare and connect online from wherever they call home.
The tech company will invest another $13 billion in capital and operations in BC through to 2024, a commitment that is expected to generate 12,000 job opportunities primarily in construction, engineering and emerging technologies. The funding will also bring 5G to 119 First Nations communities and 335 Indigenous lands, which include reserves, treaty-lands and self-governing lands across the province utilizing current spectrum holdings.
In addition, hundreds of thousands more homes and businesses will be connected to the gigabit-enabled TELUS PureFibre network.
The Vaccine Team Returns June 14 & 15th!
Island Health’s immunization team will return to Gold River on June 14 & 15 to conduct COVID-19 vaccine clinics for second doses, along with first doses for those who have not yet been vaccinated, including 12-17 year olds.
Residents who have received their second dose booking notice will be able to begin booking in to this clinic on Friday, June 4 at 12 noon.
A great time to call those friends and relatives who are still on the fence about getting proteted.
Important Gold River Vaccine Update
If residents had their vaccination more than 8 weeks ago but have not received a notification to book, you may not be registered in the provincial vaccination booking system. You can register online at www.GetVaccinated.gov.bc.ca or call 1-833-838-2323 for support.
Island Health will be returning to Gold River prior to July 1 to deliver second doses, as well as first doses for those who missed it (including 12-17 year olds who wish to be immunized). This clinic is currently being set up by Island Health.
Island Health encourages Gold River residents to wait to book into the Gold River clinic, since Island Health will be delivering this clinic in the community. But residents are welcome to travel to Campbell River if they wish, but as Island Health will be coming to Gold River, you may prefer to wait.
Vancouver Island 60% Vaccinated
Most of the Island is half-vaxxed, and that number keeps rising as COVID-19 case counts fall.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control released new data this week showing adult vaccination rates by local health area and in some cases, by neighbourhood.
Every local health area on the Island except one now has more than 60 per cent of adults 18-plus with at least one dose of vaccine, as only Cowichan Valley West had yet to meet that threshold as of May 24.
Island Health’s most vaccinated communities are the southern Gulf Islands of Pender, Galiano, Saturna and Mayne, where 87 per cent of adults have had at least one dose of vaccine.
The rest of the top five are all Greater Victoria communities, led by Sidney, where 79 per cent of adults have had at least one vaccine dose. North Saanich is at 76 per cent, Oak Bay is at 75 per cent and Central Saanich and Royal Oak/Cordova Bay/Prospect are both at 74 per cent.
Rounding out the top 10 are Vancouver Island North at 73 per cent, Oceanside at 72 per cent, V.I. West at 71 per cent and James Bay at 70 per cent.
At the other end of the spectrum, 57 per cent of adults in Cowichan Valley West have received a dose of vaccine.
SRD votes down proposal to support fish farm removal
While the Strathcona Regional District did not explicitly ‘pick a side’ in the Discovery Islands fish farm debate, they made it quite clear most directors were not in favour of their closure.
Last month, the regional district was approached by the Wilderness Tourism Association with an ask to make their position on the issue known, whether that was to support, oppose or remain neutral in the debate. In response, Cortes Island director Noba Anderson made a motion that the regional district come out in support of the removal.
“I know the board is very split on the matter,” Anderson said. “Fish farms are a critical part of the economy… I honour that. What I’m seeing is that this decision… has been made. I don’t expect it to be reconsidered. I would like us to be in a position of cooperation with the federal government so we can work with them to assist in any way we can.”
The motion came at the same time as a letter from the federal minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Bernadette Jordan, which was in response to a January letter from the SRD concerned about the lack of representation from local governments in the process leading up to the decision.
“They don’t recognize us as a level of government,” said Campbell River director Charlie Cornfield.
“This decision was not based on science. The minister said so in her letter. It was not based on science, it was not based on expert recommendations, but it was to obtain social licence,” he added. “That was from the Honourable (Minister) Jordan. I use the term ‘Honourable’ very lightly.”
Jordan’s letter to the SRD board (available here) does not offer any explanation of how DFO came to the decision.
The board will be writing to Jordan to again ask about more consideration and consultation with local governments.
Vancouver Island tourism sector entering ‘relief phase’
f we stay on the path we’re on, Vancouver Island will once again, open up to recreational travellers.
Cases have to continue to decline, and 65 percent of B.C. adults will need to have had at least one dose of COVID vaccine, for interprovincial travel restrictions to be lifted by June 15th.
Tourism Vancouver Island president and CEO, Anthony Everett, says while this would be a great first step, there is still much work to do.
“Until the ultimate solution comes, and borders are open, and air service into this country and around the country comes into play again, it’s still going to be pretty rough,” Everett said.
Everett touched on just how devastating the pandemic has been on the island’s tourism operators.
“We saw a lot of businesses that did well if they hit 30 percent of their revenues from a year like 2019. Currently, only 14 percent of (tourism) businesses on the island are operating as usual, and so they right now have accumulated debt or haven’t even opened, so all those things are going to factor into their recovery.”
He says we’re now moving into a recovery phase.
“It’s going to be a long road. We know the Canadian hotel sector, they’re expecting to get back to 2019 levels in five or six years,” he added.
“I don’t want to downplay the impact of this, it’s very positive, it gives everyone hope, and now businesses can have some certainty around planning, which we haven’t had but there are some labour challenges.”
Everett says it begins now that people can travel on the island.
“All of us need this, businesses definitely need it, and it’s onward and upward now that we have a plan ahead of us.”
He said if ferry travel opens up again to recreational travellers, we could be in for a fairly successful tourism season on the island.
“But having said that, many businesses, even then, hit only 30 percent of (their) revenue, so this is all about recovery. There will be a lot of relief needed for those businesses, and they’re having to pay off the debt that they’re going to incur.”
He’s urging islanders and mainlanders alike, come June 15th, to explore more broadly on the island, to places they’ve never seen before, and not just hit the hot spots.
“We’re hoping people will spread themselves out a bit. (But) one of the things that we’re doing is cautioning people to travel respectfully, and know where they’re going and that they’re respecting the environment that they are taking advantage of.”
He’s challenging people who live in Victoria to check out places like Campbell River or Port Alice.
“Those are wonderful, wonderful places and many, many people haven’t travelled there. They don’t know the beauty of those places.”
Almost there! We only need 50 more members to get to 400. Only one more day. I will post the results at 6pm tomorrow night with the contest winners. I will have 3 prizes to give out. Let's keep pushing!!! #goldrivercoop #ourfutureisourown #shoplocal
Indoor Dining Open At The Ridge
The forecast is now looking so hot for the next couple of days.
Time to head in and enjoy a fine meal and frosty. Just a reminder, that we have our shuttle service running as well.
Gold River Fire Plan: Shaun Koopman SRD
We are currently proceeding with several of the recommendations from the report. The Village of Gold River received a grant through the 2021 Community Resiliency Investment grant for the following activities: View a very informative fire plan video here.
• Obtaining fuel management prescriptions for 15ha of Village owned land throughout 4 different parcels (areas 1, 3, 4, and 6 identified on pg. 57 of the wildfire plan)
• Offering FireSmart Rebates to 40 households;
• Offering free curbside wood debris chipping; and
• Providing wildfire training for the Gold River Fire Department.
We were instructed on the amount to budget for the fuel management prescriptions from the Union of BC Municipalities, however when we released a Request for Quotation for this service the submissions we received were over the grant’s allocated budget. We may be able to reinvestigate obtaining fuel management prescriptions if the Rebate and Woodchipping program come in under budget. If not, we may have to reapply for the next grant intake this fall. You can view the full plan at the link below.
Covid Restrictions Update: What We Can & Can't Do.
Listening to Bonnie Henry and our Premier ramble on was extremely taxing on the patience level. Instead of just telling us what we want to know...they had to babble on and on.
We have a link to all the information you need to know about what restrictions are being eased and a timeline.
Island Health top doctor stresses vigilance after first dose of COVID vaccine
Island Health’s top doctor warns that getting your first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t give you full immunity.
Chief medical health officer, Dr. Richard Stanwick, says that’s why we need to continue to follow public health orders, like wearing masks in indoor public spaces, and sticking with our immediate households.
Dr. Richard Stanwick, added that you’re not just getting immunized for yourself, but for your neighbours and society as a whole.
“With the first dose, 92 to 93 percent of people will mount a reasonable antibody response, which, if you acquire any of the disease, it’s a very mild one and you aren’t really able to transmit it.”
He says that the other seven percent of people will always be very susceptible to COVID, even after getting a dose of vaccine.
Dr. Stanwick says if we can get 80 percent of people 12 and older having immunity because of vaccination, it becomes very difficult for the virus to circulate.
“I think the best way to make sure that you’re protected is not relying on your neighbour to get their shot but for you to get your shot, and with that, we will basically try to make it extremely difficult for the virus to find susceptibles.”
As well, Dr. Stanwick says dose two boosts your immunity by an additional two to three percent, so there will always be a segment of the population that can still get COVID.
“For whatever reason, their immune system didn’t respond and so they’re still susceptible to the virus, so that portion of the population will obviously be reduced as we immunize more and more people,” Dr. Stanwick said.
However, he notes even after the first dose, you have to continue to follow public health orders like wearing a mask in indoor public spaces, and sticking to your own household.
The goal, Dr. Stanwick says, is to have every eligible person who wants a vaccine to get their first dose before Canada Day.
Job Opportunity At Grieg Seafood: Hatchery Technician
Grieg Seafood BC 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.
Understand, enforce and adhere to all government regulations, hatchery practices and SOP’s and site biosecurity
Complete habitat assessment sheet
Bulk average weight sample
Service oxygen stationary and handheld probe
Weekly site inventory and weekly fish health samples
Yard duties i.e.., Round up, cleaning feed shed
Run errands i.e.. pick up eggs, return cardboard, fill propane tanks
Diploma or degree in Aquaculture, Aquatic Resources or Fisheries Resources preferred, but not required;
Previous Aquaculture experience preferred, but not required;
Knowledge of feeding systems, grading, fish health, fish husbandry, site maintenance, related record keeping, and equipment up-keep is an asset;
Communication skills both written and verbal, problem solving, teamwork, and critical thinking skills;
WHMIS, Marine Emergency Duties A3, Radio Operator, Small Vessel Operating Permit, Transportation of Dangerous Goods, Forklift, and Confined Space certifications are considered an asset.
As part of our commitment to employment excellence, Grieg Seafood offers a highly competitive salary commensurate with experience and a generous benefits package.Closing date: June 8, 2021
Email your resume to: email@example.com
New Hours At The Ridge:
The Ridge is open Noon- 7 p.m. Wed thru Sat & Noon-6 on Sundays. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Join us for full service on the fabulous outdoor deck.
Discovery Passage Aquarium to reopen on World Oceans Day
Campbell River’s Discovery Passage Aquarium is about to reopen its doors to the public. Opening day will fall on World Oceans Day, June 8th, at 10:00am.
Aquarium manager and curator Ricky Belanger, says this year, the aquarium is taking the quality of their exhibits and diversity of featured species “to the next level.”
“Without spoiling surprises, visitors can expect to see some species you haven’t seen in a few years, as well as others that you likely have never seen before.”
Belanger added that visitors can expect “an air-tight COVID-19 safety plan,” with physical distancing between visitors and staff, building capacity, and a rigorous sanitation schedule.
You must wear a face mask at all times inside the aquarium.
The aquarium will also be continuing its evening volunteer program, extending its opening hours to 8:30pm, five days a week.
You can find more details on the DPAS website in June.
Belanger says the choice of opening date is no coincidence.
In collaboration with the Campbell River Art Council’s Art and Earth Festival, the aquarium is celebrating World Oceans day by offering a free admission booking to anyone who sends in photos of themselves and their social circles engaged in a recent, local beach cleanup.
Photo submissions are being received through the following link, and can be found on the DPAS website & social media channels: jotform.com/form/211307936926258
The aquarium is located at the base of the Discovery Pier, across the parking lot from the Maritime Heritage Centre.
Join The Gold River Co-op Facebook Page
Dear residents of Gold River, and all our surrounding communities please join our group on FB 'Gold River CO-OP' to get information regarding the creation of the Gold River Co-op. Please share this post and spread the word. #GoldRiverCOOP
Malahat SkyWalk To Open July 2021
Malahat SkyWalk is an exciting new tourism project on Southern Vancouver Island. Malahat SkyWalk is an accessible 600m TreeWalk through beautiful arbutus forest leading to a spectacular gentle spiral ramp that takes you up 32m to a sightseeing lookout offering views of Finlayson Arm, Saanich Peninsula, Mount Baker and the distant Coast Mountains.
B.C. Ferries reminds customers travel restrictions Order in effect
No extra sailings added, travel for essential reasons only
VICTORIA – In advance of the May long weekend, which is typically a popular travel time, BC Ferries is reminding customers that the Province’s travel restrictions Order remains in effect and travel is limited to essential reasons only. No additional sailings are scheduled this long weekend.
BC Ferries continues to deny travel to customers travelling for non-essential reasons on routes crossing regional zones as defined in the Order announced on April 23, 2021. This affects the following routes:
Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay
Tsawwassen – Duke Point
Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands
Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay
Comox – Powell River
Port Hardy – Prince Rupert
Customers travelling on these routes are asked if their travel is essential, and denied passage if it is not essential. Customers travelling on routes that operate within the same regional zone are reminded they should be avoiding non-essential travel at this time. The Province defines situations that qualify as essential travel here.
BC Ferries employees have continued to ensure the ferry system operates safely and efficiently through this pandemic. The company has a zero tolerance policy for abuse, both verbal and physical, towards its employees. Any customer who abuses an employee will be banned from travel.
For schedules and information about travelling for essential reasons with BC Ferries during COVID-19, visit bcferries.com.
B.C. workers to get three paid sick days during COVID-19
B.C. workers will be able to take three sick days during COVID-19 without losing their pay, under legislation introduced Tuesday by the provincial government.
Labour Minister Harry Bains said the sick days will help prevent employees from having to choose between getting paid and working while sick during the pandemic.
The government will “support employers” with the cost of paying the sick days, said Bains. Businesses without sick pay programs will be eligible for up to $200 a day in reimbursement per employee, roughly $25 an hour, but will have to cover any costs above that if an employee’s regular wage is higher.
The goal is to “bridge the gap” for workers between when they first feel sick and when they can access the Canada Recovery Sickness benefit, according to a news release. However, the federal sickness benefit has been widely-criticized because it pays out out less than minimum wage and requires a lengthy and cumbersome application process.
The program will run until Dec. 31, and Bains said it could cost $300 million if 60 per cent of eligible workers take the sick days.
The government will launch a permanent paid sick leave program in 2022, with the number of days to be set by cabinet after future consultation with businesses and labour groups, said Bains.
Millions of B.C.’ers to receive another ICBC refund
Starting next week, ICBC says it’ll begin moving forward with issuing another refund to millions of eligible customers.
Last month, ICBC sent out COVID-19 rebate cheques. Now, thanks to the launch of ‘Enhanced Care’ on May 1st, the auto insurer claims insurance now costs less.
With this in mind, they’re giving drivers some added cashback.
RELATED: ICBC switches to new ‘Enhanced Care’ coverage
“Savings started automatically on May 1st,” it says, “and that means ICBC will be sending millions of British Columbians a one-time, pro-rated refund.”
The refund amount will be for the difference between what customers paid when they last renewed their current insurance policy and the new, lower cost of ‘Enhanced Care’.
Those eligible will receive a letter explaining the amount they’re being refunded. These letters will detail how the refund will be returned to customers, based on how they paid for their insurance: either credit, cash/debit, or payment plan.
ICBC estimates the average ‘Enhanced Care’ refund will be around $150. But it adds some B.C.’ers could see more of a refund, while others could see less.
Update From The Ridge
Ain't no thang like a Butter Chicken chicken wing! Don't miss out on this delicious flavor of the week!
Kitchen is open until 8pm!! Come on down to enjoy the wings on the patio or have a drink while you wait for take out (phone lines have been getting busy, new staff is in training getting ready for busier days)
Tuesday to Saturday 3pm to 8pm
Sunday 12pm to 6pm
Just a reminder that our May 2021 hamper distribution list still has a few spots remaining if you would like to sign up. Distribution will be on Friday, May 21st 2021 between 1:00-3:00pm with the support of the GRRSC for pick up.
You can sign up each month by contacting me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or my phone at 250-283-2626 option #4. You can also contact Marcie Szoradi-Carlsen to sign up if this feels safer for you!
You will be provided a pick up time slot when we confirm your name.
Kaitlyn Nohr RSW
Recycling Bins Closing
On June 2, 2021, the Comox Strathcona Waste Management will be closing the recycling depots located in the Shell parking lot and in the Recreation Complex parking lot. All recycling material will need to be dropped off at the Gold River transfer station located at 100 Hilke Road (Public Works Yard).
Gold River to see new electric school buses
Two school districts on the North Island are getting ready to add new electric buses to their school bus fleets.
Both School District 84 (Gold River area) and 85 (Port Hardy) are two of thirteen districts across B.C. to purchase electric school buses. They’ll each be getting one electric bus.
This comes as welcome news for North Island MLA Michele Babchuk, who notes people living in rural communities can sometimes feel left behind with technological advancements.
But now, thanks to electric buses, she says “we’re investing in the future right now,” while adding “this shows that a greener, emissions-free future is possible for everyone, everywhere.”
The Ministry of Education’s ‘Bus Acquisition Program’ provided $13 million for 31 school districts to buy a total of 101 new buses, including 18 electric buses. Each electric bus costs around $350,000, which is more than double the price of a diesel bus ($150,000).
School districts that buy electric buses also have access to provincial funding for necessary charging station infrastructure, Babchuk says:
according to the Province, the cost of electricity is less than fuel, and fewer moving mechanical parts means electric buses need much less repair and maintenance.
They say travel on an electric bus is not only smoother and quieter than a traditional diesel bus, but healthier too. The buses are highly efficient, produce zero carbon dioxide emissions, and are much more cost-effective to operate over time.
North Island College offering in-person, online options for school this fall
Post-Secondary students heading back to class this fall are going to have different learning options available to them.
North Island College is offering on-campus, digital, and blended which combines digital learning and on-campus classes this September.
“Having certainty for our students has been our highest priority during these uncertain times,” said Tony Bellavia, acting vice president, academic. “We’re pleased to be able to confirm our delivery methods for the entire academic year so students can develop their educational plans with confidence.”
Bellavia adds that some programs will be offered with both digital and on-campus options, providing increased flexibility and access for students.
“We’ve learned a lot over the last year and had valuable feedback from students about what programs work well with digital delivery,” said Bellavia. “To provide students with additional flexibility we’ve also identified some programs which we can offer either fully digital or fully on-campus, so students can select the delivery method that works best for them.”
Program areas with various delivery options include business, criminology, digital design + development, fine arts, tourism & hospitality, and university studies.
NIC says students with full course loads will get their timetable May 18th, with course registration starting for continuing students on June 7th and new students on June 14th.
Students can also book online advising appointments to discuss their educational goals.
Snowbirds (usually) training twice daily in skies above Comox
Keep your eyes to the sky if you’re in the Comox Valley at certain times of the day.
The Canadian Forces Snowbirds made their return to CFB Comox on Tuesday and are doing their annual spring training at the base.
Weather permitting, the Snowbirds train at 9:30am and 1:30pm daily until May 26th.
“This doesn’t mean that we’ll be flying twice a day every day,” explained the team’s Public Affairs Officer for the team, Capt. Gabriel Ferris.
He added that the team has been performing quite admirably for the last week.
“It gives us the freedom to be a little picky on what type of weather we fly in. And we make sure to always respect our weather limitations like ceiling and wind speed. As you can imagine, they are quite restrictive when nine jets fly at eight feet from one another.”
While the team is excited to be here, due to the pandemic you’re asked not to come to 19 Wing Comox to watch them practice.
This also includes any other traditional viewing areas around the base… like Air Force Beach and Heritage Air Park.
To stay up to date with the team, visit their Twitter account.
Village Of Gold River
Council for the Village of Gold River are very pleased to announce the appointment of Michael (Mike) Roy, as our Chief Administrative Officer/ Corporate Officer. Mike has been the interim CAO since the resignation of Brad McRae and has been our Deputy Corporate Officer for the last 18 months.
Claim Your Home Owners Grant
All property owners can now claim their current year home owner grant by submitting their application to the Province.
There are no changes to program eligibility requirements.
How to apply?
Eligible B.C. homeowners can apply for the 2021 homeowner grant now:
- Apply 24/7 online: gov.bc.ca/homeownergrant
- Apply with an agent: Toll-free at 1 888 355-2700, Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm.
Tourism after Covid: Provincial funding aims to enhance tourism amenities on Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island is a tourism hotspot, but recent travel restrictions means only locals can enjoy all the Island has to offer.
To give non-Islanders a warm welcome back when the time comes – and to beef up the region’s tourism sector – five new destination and tourism developments currently underway are getting some extra funding from the Province, as part of its ‘Targeted Regional Tourism Initiative.’
The goal is to ramp up employment opportunities, attract new businesses, and increase economic diversification within communities.
Melanie Mark is B.C.’s Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, and she says recovery from the pandemic for businesses and people in the tourism sector is “critically important.”
She notes these funds will help create new tourism infrastructure, “which will help the sector recover, create local jobs and spur economic development.”
Tourism Vancouver Island – in partnership with community-destination management organizations, local and regional governments, First Nations, nonprofits, and other partners – have worked together to find initiatives that will enhance the region’s tourism amenities and experiences.
This includes revitalizing downtown cores to entice visitors, cleaning up shores with marine waste collectors, building a world-class mountain biking destination, and creating awareness of territorial recognition for Indigenous communities.
Parksville-Qualicum MLA Adam Walker says these projects will have huge benefits for not only the tourism industry, but also locals and visitors to the Island: “Beyond creating jobs and supporting a strong pandemic recovery, these investments will make it easier to travel around the Island to see all of its beauty.”
The Province is funding projects in all six of B.C.’s tourism regions, but the Island specifically will see a total of $2.3 million in funds.
The ‘Targeted Regional Tourism Initiative’ is one of three infrastructure investment programs for tourism as part of StrongerBC, and officials note approved projects must be completed by March 2023.
Are You Alert Ready?
There will be a test of the "Alert Ready" system across BC on WEDNESDAY MAY 5th at 1:55pm Pacific time. Note that this is a separate system from the SRD's "Connect Rocket" system which provides subscribers with local alerts.
Alert Ready is a Canada-wide system that allows government officials in each province and territory to issue public safety alerts through major television and radio broadcasters, as well as compatible wireless devices through "push notifications". To find out if your phone is compatible, visit https://www.alertready.ca/wireless/
For more information on Alert Ready, and the test scheduled for May 5th, visit https://www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/alert-ready.../...
Coastal forest operations ‘threatened by misinformation’: Mayor Andy Adams
The City of Campbell River is throwing its support behind B.C.’s forestry sector.
Supplied by the City of Campbell River.
Mayor Andy Adams wrote to forests minister Katrine Conroy, urging that any decisions made regarding the sector “be based on facts and science.”
“At their April 26 meeting, City of Campbell River Council received correspondence from Bob Brash, Executive Director of the Truck Loggers Association (TLA), outlining their concerns about the City of Nanaimo Council decision regarding logging of at-risk old —growth forests in the province. Mr. Brash further offered to brief several Vancouver Island councils on the TLA perspective on BC’s forest sector and working forests,” Adams’ letter said.
“At the same meeting, City of Campbell River Council passed a resolution to contact you, Premier Horgan and Minister Osborne as well as BC MLAs to urge the Province that decisions made regarding the forest sector be based on facts and science.”
Adams says Council believes that coastal forest operations “are threatened by misinformation.”
“Campbell River is a coastal forestry hub, and we view forestry as an essential component of economic recovery during and following the pandemic,” his letter continued.
“The City of Campbell River asks that you consider our concerns while making important decisions.”
Canadian Forces Snowbirds arrive in the Comox Valley Tuesday afternoon
Get ready for the familiar sounds of jet engines in the Comox Valley.
The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are making their return to CFB Comox Tuesday afternoon.
The team will be conducting their annual spring training at the base until May 26th.
Many valley residents are excited to have the planes return, and Public Affairs Officer for the team, Captain Gabriel Ferris says the crew shares the same excitement.
“The team cannot wait to get out of here and start to go on the road. It’s pretty new for me this year because I’m the new PAO. But I see the electricity in the air around the squadron today and yesterday and even last week. People are just excited to go to Comox and they’re all talking to me about how Comox is their second home. How people over there are super caring and warm welcomes and they’re super excited to go back.”
This year because of the pandemic no autograph session will be held and the team is encouraging the public not to gather at places like Air Force Beach or other areas.
Ferris says with the many photo enthusiasts in the valley, he’s sure everyone will be able to get a glimpse of the team from a safe distance.
Ferris also says the last year has been hard on the Snowbirds after the loss of the previous PAO, Officer Captain Jennifer Casey. She was killed in a crash on May 17th, 2020 after the jet she was in hit a bird shortly after takeoff.
He says to honour her, this year’s mission is Casey inspired.
“People didn’t know it but she was a big Star Wars fan, so we’re doing two manoeuvers. One is called Vader and people are going to be able to see them at the airshows,” explained Ferris.
“And also the whole season is going to be called Operation Inspiration since that was her brainchild last year. She was the one who came up with the whole ‘let’s go around Canada and see people’ So we’re keeping the name and it’s going to be called Op: Inspiration this year. Basically, the whole 50th anniversary is going to be dedicated to her name.”
The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are expected to arrive in the Comox Valley Tuesday afternoon.
To stay up to date with the team, visit their Twitter account.
Surgeries postponed in Island Health amid staffing shortages
Some Island residents waiting years for surgeries were disappointed this week when they received notice that their non-urgent surgeries had been postponed by months due to a staffing shortage.
“There is currently a shortage of patient beds and staffing resources,” said the letter one Sooke senior received from her surgeon.
“This shortage affects non-urgent surgeries requiring an overnight bed at the Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals.”
The staffing shortage mostly involves registered nurses.
Doctors describe it as a perfect storm that includes the effects of burnout after a year of extra demands and risks of the pandemic, a concerted push to increase surgeries and reduce wait times, nurses lost to COVID- testing and immunization programs, and others who walked away from the high pressure of intensive and critical-care units for less risk and stress in other areas.
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said during a news conference on Thursday that the postponements are relatively small in number and “are not directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Island Health’s situation has nothing to do with the COVID-19 situation or transfers from other health authorities,” said Dix.
Island Health has said it would welcome patient transfers from other health authorities if needed, but that had not happened as of Thursday.
Twelve scheduled non-urgent surgeries were cancelled between April 19 and 25, said Dix, with 198 cancelled in Fraser Health and 197 in Vancouver Coastal.
“Island Health has done a truly extraordinary job of doing surgeries in the past period, such that wait times and wait-lists are significantly smaller than they were at the beginning of the pandemic,” said Dix.
Island Health performed 627 more surgeries between Jan. 8 and Feb. 4 this year than last year, an 11 per cent increase.
“What you’re seeing in Island Health is the ongoing significant pressure on the heath-care system, partly related to COVID‑19,” said Dix.
B.C.’s travel ban road checks start
If you're thinking of hitting the road this weekend, you better have a good reason. The provincial government has released details on how it plans to enforce restrictions on non-essential travel while COVID numbers are high. And as Richard Zussman reports, breaking the rules could cost you hundreds of dollars.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth outlined the province’s enforcement measures Friday to restrict non-essential travel across B.C.
If the police have reasonable grounds to believe that a person has travelled for a non-essential purpose, they can direct the traveller to turn around and leave the region, Farnworth explained.
The RCMP will administer the road checks and can ask for a driver’s name, address and driver’s license. In order to enforce the order, they can ask for secondary identification confirming an address and ask for the purpose of travel. A driver is not required to provide documentation to support the travel claim.
At the discretion of the police, breaking the law could lead to a $575 fine.