In Beautiful Gold River!
"Celebrating 20 Years In B.C."
Rachel Blaney Makes Statement About Drugs
A safe drug supply and stopping stigma around addiction are what’s needed to save lives from Canada’s toxic drug crisis, says the North Island-Powell River MP.
Rachel Blaney made a member’s statement in Parliament on May 12, pointing out that in the last six years, nearly 25,000 Canadians have died from apparent overdoses. She pointed to a recent national report showing that fewer than one in four people struggling with substance use accessed services for help.
“Many constituents have talked to me about safe consumption, knowing that safe supply is there to address what is killing their loved ones, the toxic drug supply. This is not a treatment for addiction. It is an intervention to keep people alive,” she says. “There is nothing I would not do to keep someone alive long enough to consider treatment. To save lives we must stop the stigma.”
Blaney says Moms Stop the Harm, a Victoria-based group with national reach, is working to help their loved ones and others struggling with addiction. The group also works to change government drug policies, and provides peer support to grieving families.
24 km West of Campbell River
Crest Lake webcam 14 km east of Gold River CLICK HERE
B.C. got just 0.6% of commercial Pacific salmon catch in 2022
Commercial fishermen in B.C. caught just 2 million Pacific salmon in 2022 – just 0.6 per cent of the global commercial catch of 354 million fish -- according to the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC).
Despite a return of 6.7 million Fraser River sockeye in 2022, B.C. fishermen were largely shut out of the sockeye fishery last year, and were allowed to harvest only 1.2 million sockeye, coastwide, according to NPAFC data, which covers Canada, the U.S., Russia, Japan and South Korea.
Of the 354 million Pacific salmon caught in 2022, 164 million were caught in Alaska, 154 million in Russia, 31 million in Japan, 2 million in B.C. and just 53,000 in South Korea.
The commercial sector in B.C. had hoped for a decent year in 2022, as it was an abundance year for Fraser River sockeye. Fraser River sockeye have traditionally returned in greater abundance once every four years, followed by lower returns over the next three years.
The pre-season forecast for Fraser River sockeye in 2022 had been 9.8 million. Actual returns were 6.7 million Fraser River sockeye, according to the Pacific Salmon Commission.
That's lower than previous abundance years, but significant enough that it should have allowed for commercial openings.
But commercial openings were extremely limited in 2022, resulting in only 1.2 million sockeye in total (including Nass and Skeena River sockeye) being caught by commercial fishermen in B.C. in 2022, according to the NPAFC.
A little over 600,000 pink salmon were caught by B.C. fishermen, compared to 107 million in Russia and 70 million in Alaska.
Pets allowed on BC Ferries outer decks on more routes
Dogs and cats can rejoice with a bit more freedom on more BC Ferries’ routes.
The company is allowing dogs on leashes and cats in carriers on the upper outside decks on the Comox – Powell River and Departure Bay – Horseshoe Bay routes.
This expansion comes after a pilot project on the Earl’s Cove – Saltery Bay route last fall, which was received with a positive response. During that time, around one thousand pets travelled on the ship and 90 per cent of survey respondents were in favour of expanding pet areas to other routes.
The ferry company will provide waste bags and water bowls and the area will be routinely cleaned.
Fire Ban In Effect
A fire ban is in affet for backyard and industrial fires in the Coastal Fire Centre, starting tomorrow (May 18) at noon.
Recreational fires will still be permitted, for now.
Fire Information Officer Julia Caranci says The Coastal Fire Centre, which covers all of Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, is bringing in the ban because of recent hot weather.
“We are also expecting that weather to last into the long weekend, at least until Sunday,” she says. “Campfires will still be allowed within the Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.”
Campfires and beach fires are still permitted on Crown land in the region, but local municipalities could ban them at their discretion.
Village of Gold River Fined $1,200
Sewage Treatment Plant
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE STRATEGY
COMPLIANCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT BRANCH
Attention: Village of Gold River
RE: Determination of Administrative Penalty Further to the Notice Prior to Determination of Administrative Penalty issued to you on February 27, 2023, I have now made a Determination in this matter.
After reviewing the information available to me, I have concluded the Village of Gold River has failed to comply with Section 3.4 of Permit 1784 (Permit) in respect of which an administrative penalty is being imposed pursuant to Section 115 of the Environmental Management Act (EMA) and the Administrative Penalties (EMA) Regulation.
The amount of the penalty, reasons for my decision, payment, and appeal information are provided in the attached decision document. If you have any questions with regards to this Determination, please contact me at 778-622-6908 or Stephanie.Little@gov.bc.ca.
Stephanie Little for Director,
Environmental Management Act
***For the full report please click here: Once there, you will see blue lettering so that you can download the pdf document
The Splash Park Is Open!
Beat the heat and take the family to the splash park, open daily from 10-8 p.m.
Wanna Play Ball?
Looking to get 3-4 teams interested/going for a full slo-pitch season at our local parks. 18+ for now, until we figure out waiver information.
Gauging interest, if enough, we will contact village about use of fields and create a schedule and league within NSA guidelines and rules.
Let’s bring Slo-pitch back to the village!!!
Join the page below if interested
Stop closing fish farms in B.C.’; open letter shows aquaculture industry not backing down
CAIA president Tim Kennedy talks new strategies as Aquaculture Canada summit opens in Victoria
The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) president, Tim Kennedy, believes that the challenges faced by the aquaculture industry, such as the closure of 15 fish farms in the Discovery Islands, are not new. Kennedy acknowledges that the industry has been under attack for many years, facing unfair criticism due to its relative newness and the polarizing nature of the situation.
To address these issues, Kennedy recently attended the Aquaculture Canada conference in Victoria, where he aimed to share ideas and gather insights from industry professionals and scientists. The CAIA launched an ad campaign called "Stop Closing B.C. Salmon Farms" and an open letter urging the federal government to support B.C. salmon farmers and the industry, which has seen a 40% decrease in farms since 2020.
The letter was signed by representatives from various national food associations. Kennedy emphasizes that political decisions to close farms are negatively impacting the public, leading to rising costs and increased imports. The closure of 40,000 tonnes of salmon production in British Columbia affects the North American market, where salmon is highly popular. Kennedy believes that these decisions lack scientific basis and are driven by politics. He suggests that the North American market will shift towards importing salmon.
Despite challenges, Kennedy is hopeful that the Aquaculture Canada summit can provide viable solutions for activists and the industry, fostering a reasonable path forward. Kennedy recognizes the concerns surrounding wild salmon, including climate change, habitat loss, and pollution, and emphasizes the need to break through the polarization and find common ground.
Still looking to hire! There are 4 people trying to keep the ambulance up 24/7. With holidays coming up in the next few months there will inevitably be days where you will not have a local ambulance. Now is the time to join. Nice new competitive wage hike, paid training, paid holidays, benefits & pension! With this being a Provincial service, should you want or need to leave the area you can lateral to any station in the Province. Visit bcehs.ca/careers
To feed endangered whales, Alaska ordered to stop intercepting B.C.-bound salmon
The 'enormous ruling' withholds permits in southeast Alaska that for decades has intercepted hundreds of thousands of chinook salmon before they can reach endangered southern resident killer whales in B.C.
A U.S. federal judge has thrown out a key authorization that has allowed a fishery in southeast Alaska to intercept hundreds of thousands of chinook salmon — long before they can reach endangered southern resident killer whales in B.C.
U.S. District Judge Richard Jones vacated the permits after finding federal government plans to protect salmon from fishing were too vague and contributed to starving the southern resident killer whale population, violating laws protecting the endangered species. From a Seattle courtroom, Jones ordered the National Marine Fisheries Service to redo a biological opinion required for the fishery to take place.
The ruling effectively shuts down the summer and winter chinook troll fishery stretching off the coast of the Alaska panhandle — waters where roughly 97 per cent of the fish caught are bound for home rivers in B.C., Washington and Oregon, according to Wild Fish Conservancy, which filed the lawsuit.
"It's an enormous ruling," said executive director Emma Helverson. "We haven't seen any meaningful actions to address prey availability in decades."
Ranging from California to B.C., the southern residents' numbers have stagnated at 73 individuals in recent years. The most recent analysis from Fisheries and Oceans Canada shows they face a 24 per cent chance of functional extinction as early as 75 years from now.
The whales face several threats — from industrial toxins to collisions with boats and acoustic disturbances due to vessel traffic. But while port authorities and federal agencies on both sides of the border have moved to give the animals more space, little has been done to ensure they have enough chinook salmon, the animal's primary food source.
Emergency Preparedness Week May 7-13 Are You Prepared?
RD encourages residents to take part in Emergency Preparedness Week from May 7 to 13, 2023. Take action to ensure you are better prepared to protect yourself and your loved ones.
“Emergency Planning is everyone’s responsibility. We should all be ready to take care of ourselves for a minimum of 72 hours. Having a plan helps us be prepared and self-sufficient." said SRD Chair Mark Baker
The SRD has several online resources to help residents better prepare for a disaster including downloadable workbooks, flood maps, handbooks, checklists and links to other emergency preparedness websites. Learn more at srd.ca/emergency-preparedness.
Documentary History & Stories of First Nations about Earthquakes and Tsunamis on the Westcoast.
Please join us for this free amazing documentary. Snacks and beverages provided.
Earthquake/Tsunami is our 11th relative which is intended to teach humility - remind us of our place in this world and that we are the very smallest part of this universe.” This project also highlights the urgent need to record these stories as our Elders pass on, adds Romer who is a member of the Nisga'a Nation.
Housing market remains cool year-over-year on Vancouver Island through April
The housing market continues to cool year-over-year as we head into May.
That from the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board’s (VIREB) May 1st update. There were 391 home sales north of the Malahat, a 22 per cent decrease from 500 home sales in April of last year to this.
While sales were down, listings were up to 956 from 731 a year ago.
VIREB chair Kelly O’Dwyer says we’re not at a balanced market yet, still needing more inventory, but prices are down across the board.
he benchmark price of a single-family home across the island was $738,600, down 14 per cent from one year ago. Condos were down 10 per cent to $410,000 and townhouses were down 7 per cent to $563,600.
Campbell River prices have dropped 11 per cent to $677,000.
Comox Valley prices have dropped 10 per cent to $797 ,000.
Cowichan Valley prices have dropped 14 per cent to $743,300.
Nanaimo prices have dropped 16 per cent to $753,000
North Island prices have dropped 4 per cent to $422,300.
O’Dwyer says they’re seeing a lot of positivity among buyers.
“We’re seeing a lot of positivity among buyers, but they’re taking a more thoughtful approach this spring compared to last year, when the fear of missing out contributed to a frenetic market,” she says.
Her warning to sellers is to realize that their homes will not fetch the same amount of money as last year, but she’s also warning buyers to temper their expectations.
“If demand continues at the current pace or escalates, there will be upward pressure on home prices,” reads the VIREB report. “From March to April, single-family homes, condo apartments, and row/townhouses posted modest price increases in several zones.”
Employment Opportunity: Village of Gold River
The Village of Gold River is now accepting resumes for two Visitor Information Centre Counsellors. Resumes accepted until May 8, 2023 at 4:00pm.
Gold River Minor Hockey Association AGM Meeting
1. Local Elections for the Association
Without an association made of volunteers Minor Hockey can not
continue in Gold River. Come out and help support an Incredible asset to this compounity and the kids involved.
How can hockey be beneficial?
Hockey provides an environment that teaches players the importance of cooperation and teamwork, showing respect to others like their teammates and coaches. It is an excellent way to provide children with physical and help build muscle strength. Physical activity is also good for mental health and alleviates stress as it gets you out having fun and being part of a team,
Where & When; April 26th-At the Literacy Centre Starts at 7PM
What positions will be available? President, Vice-President, Registrar,Secretary, Ice Manager, Fund Raising Coordinator and more.
With our association being so small, it really doesn't take up much of your time or energy. Plus the rewarding part is that you are doing something great for the players involved..Remember No Volunteers, Means No Minor Hockey.
‘Hullo’ to new passenger fast-ferry service between Nanaimo and Vancouver
It is hoped the Harbour City will give its new ferry connection a warm ‘Hullo’.
Vancouver Island Ferry Company (VIFC) have officially unveiled their new brand and other key elements of a fast-ferry service due to begin operation in late summer 2023, linking the downtowns of Nanaimo and Vancouver.
Alastair Caddick, CEO with VIFC, told NanaimoNewsNOW launching the ‘Hullo’ branding is the next step in bringing back a fast ferry service to the region.
“Vancouver Island Ferry Company wanted to come out with an innovative service brand that came across as friendly, fun, was very easy to remember…that was really the genesis for ‘Hullo’ that will be branded on the ferries and will be what people will know this service by.”
An official event on Wednesday, April 19 event at the Nanaimo Port Authority will officially debut the new look, as well as commence some construction work on site.
Creation of a guest welcome centre and a 400-stall parking lot will be part of a physical footprint for ‘Hullo’ and VIFC in Nanaimo.
The boats, which are being completed at the Damen shipyard in Vietnam, are painted in the updated colours of “Salish Green” with white and orange accents.
Caddick, speaking to NanaimoNewsNOW from Vietnam, said several operations staff are on site to go over final checks before the ships make a cross-Pacific trek to Vancouver Island.
“The vessels are now in the water, they’ve been launched. We’re doing safety trials, sea trials, in essence making sure these vessels will be able to deliver…the safe and beautiful experience we want to provide to customers.”
He expects the boats to sail into Vancouver Island waters in late June before final preparations, training and safety checks.
Each will be able to carry 354 passengers in three seating classes: comfort, premium and business. Vessels will also be equipped with Wi-Fi and a small selection of food and drinks.
‘Hullo’ is planning to make up to seven round trips daily while updates on schedules and fare pricing are yet to be announced.
Information on the service is also available on the new ‘Hullo’ website.
The Gold River Nootka Sound Society for the Arts invites you to attend an information session and collage workshop. Cost $20.00
Presenter Ken Blackburn, executive director for the Campbell River Arts Council, artist and educator.
April 29th at the RWES multipurpose room 10-2/3ish
Potluck lunch so bring something yummy to share!
Supplies to bring; paper or canvases for small project, glue and scissors
PM me if you would like to attend! Or leave a message here.
This workshop is also intended to share information on how an arts society lends to a vibrant community and its economic development.
ELK RIVER BRIDGE APR 25th CLOSURE NOTICE
CMF Construction Ltd. is currently working on replacing Elk River Bridge, 20km east of Gold River, BC on Highway 28 for Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. To ensure safety of drivers and road users during our construction activity, road closure will be required in coming days.
CMF will need to conduct two separate 1-hour closure of Elk River Bridge from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM and 2:00PM to 3:00PM on Tuesday, April 25th. This closure is required to install new bridge girders. Traffic will not be allowed to cross the detour road during closure, with exception of emergency vehicles. Please adhere to instructions by traffic control personnel stationed at edge of closures and do not enter the work area for your own safety.
For emergency vehicles requiring to cross the bridge during road closure period, all efforts will be made to clear the road for safe passage. Please note, depending on which stage of work we are at, it may take some time to clear the road.
Thank you for your patience during this project.
Kiwon “Ricky” Lee
CMF Construction Ltd.
78 Esplanade Street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 4Y8
T. +1 250.754.6223 M. +1 250.714.6455
CMF Construction Ltd., Box 167, Nanaimo, BC, V9R 5K9 ● Phone: 250-754-6223 ● Fax: 250-754-1632 ● 78 Esplanade St., Nanaimo, BC, V9R 4Y8
NIC’s Pathways Program elevating health care careers of health care professionals
Genevieve Clayton is pursuing her dream of becoming a nurse, whilst at the same time enabling the province meet its demand for local nurses.
This is all due to the new Access to Practical Nursing Pathway at North Island College (NIC).
“I was interested in getting into nursing for a decade before I finally made it to where I’m at now,” said Clayton. “I chose and completed the Heath Care Assistant (HCA) program through NIC because there was financial assistance available. I thought it was a great opportunity to gain experience and work — a stepping stone to a career in nursing.”
The provincial government announced the Access to Practical Nursing Pathway program last year. This enabled health care aides, such as Clayton, to earn a Practical Nursing diploma in less than 16 months. The province also announced that potential students were also able to apply for a bursary for $10,000.
In addition, the province also announced more than 600 nursing seats in post secondary institutions. While pathways programs had been available before at NIC, this was only as funding was available — which means more program continuity for Clayton and other pathways students.
Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills Selina Robinson said this was the start of individuals carving out their own path within the career of health care.
“Our government is focused on creating opportunities for health care aides to build new skills and begin new in-demand careers in health care,” said Robinson. “The $10,000 bursary will help cover tuition and fees, ensuring that graduates join B.C.’s health care system after completing the program.”
The 2022 BC Labour Market Outlook predicts that in the next decade, Vancouver Island and the coast will need upwards of 4,320 registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses. This is more than any occupation within the region. In addition, 4,130 nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates, and an additional 1,100 licenced practical nurses by 2032.
Clayton as part of the second group of HCAs to register for NIC’s program. Her program started last November, and will run on a two-year cycle, with the next set of recruits in Sept. 2024.
To get more details about the HCA, Practical Nursing or BSN programs at NIC, visit www.nic.bc.ca/health
Drug poisoning advisory issued for Campbell River
Island Health has issued a drug poisoning overdose advisory for Campbell River.
They say overdoses are increasing in the area and friends, family and community members using opioids and stimulants are facing greater risk from injection and inhalation.
If you are with someone who overdoses, they ask you to stay with them and call 911, give naloxone and one breath every five seconds. They add for safer drug use, visit your local overdose prevention site at 1330 Dogwood St. from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., get your drugs checked at the same location and carry naloxone.
Village Of Gold River Celebrating Earth Day
Celebrate this special day and help make Gold River even more beautiful.
We're going to band together to pick up trash, Saturday April 22 starting at 10 a.m. We'll meet at the arena and proceed from there. Everyone who participates will receive a free pass to the pool. Should be fun!
Job Opportunity: Economic Development Officer / Community Based Advisor
With funding from the Island Coast Economic Trust the Village of Gold River is now accepting resumes for a Part-Time Economic Development Officer / Community Based Advisor.
Reporting to the Chief Administrative Officer, the Economic Development Officer / Community-Based Advisor is accountable for providing supports to the local business community, will oversee the Visitor Information Centre, will oversee ongoing grants to completion, and will be responsible for applying for additional grants. Position will be expected to work 20 hours a week during regular business hours of 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday. Some weekend work may be required in supervision of the Visitor Information Centre. Rate of pay will be $40.00 per hour plus 6% in lieu of vacation.
Qualified candidates will possess strong communication skills and will possess a degree with a specialty in community or economic development, business, public administration, or a related discipline.
Qualified applicants should forward a cover letter and detailed resume to Luke Charlton, Deputy Corporate Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or may drop it off in person at 499 Muchalat Drive, Gold River, BC. Only those candidates being provided an interview will be contacted.
Closing date: April 19, 2023 at 1:00pm.
Gold River residents should be prepared for tsunamis. High Ground Hikes being hosted across Island next week
Vancouver Island communities are at risk of tsunamis, and the province is reminding people about the risks and how to stay safe.
As part of Tsunami Preparedness Week (April 9-15), many communities on the Island are hosting High Ground Hikes to help raise awareness of the issue. During these events people will practise reaching their tsunami-safe location. Knowing where high ground is and how to get there is an important part of tsunami preparedness.
Some people may not need to travel far to reach safety.
“We know it’s scary to think about emergencies like tsunamis, but by getting prepared and learning about the tsunami risk in your community now, you’ll be safer in the event of a tsunami,” said Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness. “Tsunami Preparedness Week is the perfect time to put together an emergency kit for your family and practise evacuating to a tsunami-safe location in your community.”
High Ground Hikes are being held in these communities:
– Gold River
– Heiltsuk Nation (Bella Bella)
– Mount Waddington Regional District – Quatsino
– Old Massett
– Pacheedaht First Nation
– Piers Island (during Emergency Preparedness Week in May)
– Port Hardy
– Port Moody
– Prince Rupert
– Toquaht Nation
“It’s so important that people on the coast are ready and know what to do when a tsunami occurs. Many communities – including some here in the north Island – are hosting a High Ground Hike, which is great way to practise your evacuation plan,” said Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island. “I also encourage everyone in risk areas to learn about local public alerting and put together an emergency grab-and-go bag for your family.”
In the event of a tsunami, which is a giant wave caused by earthquakes beneath the ocean, landslides or volcanic eruptions, people in an affected area will receive a tsunami alert that will be broadcast across television, radio and compatible mobile devices through B.C.’s emergency-alert system, according to a release from the province.
To prepare before a tsunami occurs:
Become familiar with local evacuation routes and high ground locations.
For people near the coast when an earthquake occurs, drop, cover and hold on, and then move to higher ground immediately.
Once at high ground, stay there. Wait for the “all clear” from local officials to confirm the threat is over. Tsunami waves can last several hours.
Find out how your community will share emergency information and subscribe to local alerts. Alerting methods include radio, television, telephone, text messages, door-to-door contact, social media and outdoor sirens. Always follow instructions from local officials during an emergency.
If you are not in a tsunami zone, stay home and connect with family, friends and neighbours who are in a potential tsunami zone.
If you are visiting an area with higher tsunami risk, research evaluation routes and share your travel plans with friends and family.
Gold River To Receive Funding: Local Emergency Supports for Evacuees Expand with Provincial Funding
The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) has received funding to better support people that have been displaced from their homes during emergencies. The $294,630 grant provided through the 2023 Union of BC Municipalities Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) will help communities build up the capacity to better deliver emergency support to people during very stressful situations.
“Our partners with this grant are the City of Campbell River, Ehattesaht First Nation, Homalco First Nation, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations, Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation, Nuchatlaht First Nation, and the Villages of Gold River, Sayward, Tahsis, and Zeballos” said SRD Chair Mark Baker. “This application shows the importance and value of relationships and comradery in our regional emergency management system.”
Funding will be used throughout the region to:
Undertake a Hosting with Humility Emergency Support Services Group Lodging Exercise. Strengthening relationships and building the capacity of our regional Emergency Support Services Team to plan with neighbouring First Nations, local governments and Emergency Management Climate Readiness personnel is our goal. Collaboratively we will be better prepared to host communities that have been displaced by a disaster.
Provide Reception Centre and Group Lodging training sessions to ESS volunteers.
Procure emergency equipment and mass care group lodging supplies such as seacans for storage, lighting for seacans, outdoor toilets, blankets, 50-year shelf-life canned water, generators, stand-up tents, propane stoves, space heaters, radios, and 25-year shelf life dehydrated food rations.
“Emergency Support Services (ESS) have various skills and resources that can be offered during a disaster and when planned for, can make an invaluable impact by increasing response capacity,” said SRD Protective Services Coordinator, Shaun Koopman. “Being part of the ESS team gives you an opportunity to give back to your community during times of crisis and provides valuable professional development and mentorship. Whether you are interested in deploying, training, administration, or even assisting behind the scenes on your own time, there is a role for you.”
The level of compassionate and sustainable quality care that can be provided to evacuees who have been displaced is directly correlated to the quantity of volunteers in the ESS program. If you are interested in volunteering a minimum of 20 hours per year, learn more about the Emergency Support Services at srd.ca/emergency-support-services or contact SRD’s Protective Services Coordinator, Shaun Koopman at 250-830-6702 or email@example.com.
New number links Island Health residents to mental health, substance use resources.
Island Health has a new phone number to connect residents with community-based services focused on mental health and substance use.
Health care plays a crucial role in connecting people who use substances with the resources they need to achieve better health outcomes, the health authority said in a statement. The new Mental Health and Substance Use Service Link (1-888-885-8824) helps people navigate and connect to the right resources such as harm reduction services, drug-poisoning prevention, addiction medicine, withdrawal management, and treatment and recovery services.
Call-takers are available seven days a week but not trained to provide emotional support or crisis intervention.
Anyone experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis should call the Vancouver Island Crisis Line at 1-888-494-3888.
Village of Gold River Open House
The Village is hosting an open house for the 2023 - 2027 Financial Plan on Monday April 3, 2023 starting at 6:00pm in Council Chambers at 499 Muchalat Drive. In 2023 Council is considering a 6.8 percent increase to property taxes, and an 8.9 percent increase for each of the remaining four years in the financial plan.
For more information on the Financial Plan visit: https://goldriver.ca/.../finance.../the-financial-plan/
Here's a picture of our latest visitor to our office:
Province taking steps to improve accessibility in B.C. parks
The B.C. government is spending $3.6 million to improve park facilities across the province.
Work will help remove barriers that restrict people from accessing outdoor recreation in their communities.
“We know that being outdoors can help build community and provide many positive health benefits – physical, mental and spiritual. British Columbians love and appreciate the beauty of B.C.’s natural and wild spaces, but there continues to be far too many people who face barriers to being included, welcome and safe in our parks,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in a release.
“Our government is dedicated to ensuring that everyone in B.C. can both access and feel comfortable in our parks, and we will continue our work to break down the barriers that discourage or prevent many of our neighbours from accessing the natural beauty of our province.”
This means upgrades to washrooms, parking lots and trails. On Vancouver Island, the day use parking lot at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park has been paved and another trail has been upgraded to improve accessibility.
A playground with recycled rubber surface and wheelchair accessible ramp has also been added at Miracle Beach Provincial Park adding to the list of accessible playgrounds, according to the province.
Provincial officials said work will also include making sure campgrounds and day-use areas have accessible and inclusive features.
The province wants feedback to help understand the barriers people face when accessing government services.
Critics fear B.C. poised to freeze $300 million Vancouver Island development fund
The future of an economic development fund responsible for more than $300 million worth of investment into Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast remains foggy despite a vote of confidence this week from the B.C. minister responsible.
The Island Coastal Economic Trust, which serves about half a million people including many First Nations communities on B.C.’s south coast outside of the Lower Mainland and Greater Victoria, enters what advocates fear is its final year of existence April 1 with less than $1 million in its coffers and no commitment from the province for more.
Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation Brenda Bailey said Monday (March 27) that her ministry is currently reviewing a funding proposal from ICET, and she will have news about its future within a month.
“We have a proposal in front of us that we have been doing due diligence on,” Bailey said. “ICET is really important. I really value the work that they have done over the years and it would be terrible to see them go away.”
But one Vancouver Island MLA would like to see government support the fund with money from its budgetary surplus before March 31, when surplus funds must go toward the provincial debt, by law.
Saanich North and the Islands MLA Adam Olsen of the BC Greens said Monday he remains concerned about ICET’s future after hearing Bailey’s comments.
“As the minister says, she agrees that this is an important community-led investment vehicle for these communities,” Olsen said. “The minister and this government need to show it … we have spent billions of dollars over the last couple of weeks. The fact that they haven’t been able to come up with $150 million indicates their priorities.”
Olsen said it is “fine” that government might give an answer in a month’s time, but it has also had “ample” of time to address this situation.
Launched in 2006, ICET supports economic diversification and growth on Vancouver Island (minus Greater Victoria communities but some parts of the Capital Regional District) and coastal regions opposite eastern Vancouver Island (minus Lower Mainland). According to its 2021-22 annual report, communities have directly attracted more than $300 million in new investment by leveraging $55 million in ICET funding since its inception.
RELATED: Island officials push province to renew $55 million community development fund
Brodie Guy, ICET’s chief executive officer, said locally elected leaders need an answer this week and no later than mid-April.
“The fact is that without imminent investment, (ICET) will have no further funds to commit to community-led projects,” Guy said. “This has been discussed for many years. The (trust) provided its business plan for a financially sustainable organization in Sept. 2022 to the ministry for consideration.”
Without additional support, the fund would have to start its dissolution process, Guy added. Assuming the worst case scenario, ICET could hold its last board meeting in the summer of 2025.
“As it stands, in the coming months the doors will be closed and the lights will be off,” Olsen wrote in his weekly MLA column dated March 22. “It is inexplicable. All but two of the ridings in the region are represented by an MLA in the BC NDP majority government.”
They are Olsen’s riding, as well Cowichan Valley held by Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau.
“My (NDP) colleagues assure me that they advocating,” Olsen said. “We will see the success of their advocacy when they refund this. But so far, I’m the only one talking about it.”
Guy said the loss of ICET would not only hurt economic development on Vancouver Island, but also undermine the government’s own plan for reconciliation with First Nations.
“If there is no investment by government in spring 2023, coastal communities, through the Trust, will not be able to realize their vision for transformation of the Trust into a co-governed regional economic development organization that is led by First Nations and local governments in equal partnership along with the (province),” he said.
He added that B.C.’s plan to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples calls for the inclusion of First Nations in the trust’s governance.
“(That) commitment will not be realized without investment in the trust in spring 2023,” he said.
2022 had the driest fall on record, says BC Hydro spokesperson
Last year saw the driest fall on BC Hydro’s record, according to a presentation to Campbell River City Council.
Stephen Watson, the stakeholder Engagement Advisor for BC Hydro, told council that despite the tough conditions they were dealing with, BC Hydro was still able to get things done.
“We’re fortunate to have been able to provide enough water for salmon to migrate and spawn,” says Watson.
“On the Quinsam River system, we actually voluntarily put some pumps into Upper Quinsam lake to stain river flows downstream for salmon, and I think we overall did well under very trying conditions.”
Last year saw initially persistent spring and early summer showers in the Comox Valley, with Water/Wastewater Services senior manager Kris La Rose saying that If the fish flow drops below the typical flow of 15.4m3/s down the river, it would trigger a shift to Stage 2.
A few months later, a 53-year-old record was broken in Campbell River back in September, with the lowest inflows at around 17.4 percent for the Strathcona area.
Thousands of fish died and multiple river systems were affected in an unexpectedly impactful way as a result, with December seeing record-low water levels for the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, marking the lowest accumulated inflows in over 60 years.
Watson adds that BC Hydro is currently looking at a water supply forecast of 82 per cent of normal from February to September of this year, with several areas having been dry for some time.
Labour Market Study in the works for Campbell River and North Island
A labor market study focused on addressing needs in both Campbell River and the North Island is on the way.
The study – to be conducted by the City of Campbell River, Regional District of Mount Waddington, and Strathcona Regional District – is in response to the ongoing challenges faced by the labour market in several of their communities.
Their goal is to better understand labour market issues, trends, and opportunities, along with supporting the development of action plans.
Alongside the study, they’ll produce an updated labour market report, look to attract more healthcare professionals to the region, as they put a focus on key areas such as regional health and wellness, aquaculture, forest, and tourism.
Campbell River Mayor, Kermit Dahl says that cultivating a healthy and safe community is among the top priorities for the Council’s term in office.
“The labour market partnership supports all of these priorities and is a vital investment in the physical, mental and economic health of our communities,” says Dahl. “By working together, we can get the data needed to inform our decisions and help us thrive.”
They will also look into factors that could affect worker availability and wellness, such as affordable housing, transportation, childcare, health, and social services.
The study is scheduled to be fully complete by late January of next year.
Important: If you want to see how the roads are but its dark outside you can see what the roads were like just before it got dark. Click the webclam link and you will see the "replay the day" tab.
Endangered killer whales further declining due to inbreeding: study
Population decline of southern resident killer whales appears to be getting worse because of inbreeding.
The finding is from researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who say it has revealed why the whale population is not thriving.
They say newly sequenced genomes from the 73-whale population show inbreeding is a problem, in addition to human impacts and disturbance, contaminants and potential prey limitations.
Inbreeding can cut the lifespan of whales almost in half, according to the administration and without more population mixing it is likely to continue the decline.
The B.C. government is paying $75 million to improve cell service while driving on the province’s highways.
Provincial officials said the new funding will expand cellular to at least another 550 kilometres of highway by 2027.
This builds on a previous investment of $15 million dollars.
No specifics were given on what new projects may be included.
However, projects already underway include coverage along the stretch of Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert, 60 kilometres in the Jaffray area and 125 kilometres along Highway 6 through the Slocan Valley.
Canadian Forces Snowbirds set to return to skies over Vancouver Island this April and May
It’s official, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds will be returning to Vancouver Island skies mid-April to train for their upcoming season.
From April 18th to May 12th, look up to the skies and you might be able to spot the iconic aerobatics team practicing for their upcoming season.
In a Facebook post, the snowbirds team said it would post a more detailed schedule on its time on the island closer to the training start date.
The aerobatics team’s season kicks off its training on June 3rd and 4th in Thunder Bay Ontario, before making its way across the country.
No dates have been set for an official tour on Vancouver Island.
Decision on future of Vancouver Island rail line delayed once again
Twelve years after passenger train service ended on Vancouver Island, the provincial government has announced more consultation over its future.
Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said Tuesday that B.C. will spend $18 million for planning along the Island rail corridor, a day before a court-ordered deadline for the federal and provincial governments to declare their intentions for the line.
"We recognize how important this corridor is and we would like to see it preserved as much as possible," said Fleming in a statement.
"If the corridor is broken up and built over, it will be lost forever, and future generations will likely be unable to assemble a continuous transportation corridor of land like this again."
Restoring Vancouver Island rail service between Victoria and Courtenay could cost up to $548 million
The court-ordered deadline concerned a land claim by the Snaw-Naw-As First Nation on a small section of the 290-kilometre line that links Victoria to Courtenay and Parksville to Port Alberni.
Federal Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra announced in a separate statement that the government had decided to give that portion of the land back to the Snaw-Naw-As as "the first step in the process of developing a shared vision for the future of the corridor with First Nations."
Karey Brooks, a lawyer representing the Snaw-Naw-As on the case, said "this has been a long time coming."
"The rail hasn't been operative for over a decade now and there's been no commitment by the federal or the provincial government to restore the rail," she said.
"The Island Corridor Foundation has been hanging on to this dream that one day there will be train service along the corridor again.
"And that could still be the case. But at least now Snaw-Naw-As gets their land back."
Strathcona Wilderness Institute invites public to annual general meeting
Meeting to be held virtually April 12
The Strathcona Wilderness Institute is holding its annual general meeting in April, and is inviting members of the public to join.
The meeting will be held on April 12 at 7 p.m.
Strathcona Wilderness Institute is a not-for-profit organization whose essential role is, in partnership with BC Parks, to serve as an interface between the Strathcona Wilderness and the general public.
It is a non-membership agency, and people with an interest in Strathcona Provincial Park are invited to take part in the AGM where the agency will present its annual report and elect the board of directors for the coming year.
The meeting will be held virtually online, and pre-registration is required for attendance. More information can be found at strathconapark.org.
SRD to set up new natural resources committee
The Strathcona Regional District board has set up a new Natural Resource Committee to help North Island communities make their voices heard.
The idea came to the board through chair Mark Baker, who gave a report saying that communities in the North Island have “struggled to resonate with policy makers at both the provincial and federal levels regarding the continual erosion of support for resources-based operations.
“Many municipalities have attempted to impress upon governments about the importance of forestry, aquaculture, mining, and other sectors continue to articulate yet their voices continue to go unheard,” he said.
Baker also said that if the creation of the committee were approved, it should also have representatives from the Regional District of Mt. Waddington.
However, director Robyn Mawhinney questioned whether the committee would be advocating for North Islanders’ access to using natural resources or “if this proposed committee would be a standing committee in support of natural resource extraction.
“There are changes on the horizon,” she said. “Natural resources are not what they once were. With fewer resources, our focus should be on gaining more employment through value-added processes, rather than concern for corporate agendas.”
Mawhinney’s concerns included whether this was the correct direction to take, suggesting that the region could use a stronger voice for housing, paramedics and health care, or transportation. She also suggested that First Nations groups have a seat at the table, saying she had “concerns that the optics appear colonial.”
Baker agreed about the inclusion of local First Nations, and made sure it was included in the motion to create the committee and invite others to the table.
Strathcona Regional District budget increasing this year
Gold River to see at $5.81 per household increase.
The Strathcona Regional District is looking at a total taxation increase of 19.4 per cent in this year’s financial plan, but that does not mean it will affect every community the same way.
Each municipality and electora area in the regional district will have different tax amounts, since each pay for different things. The budget has not yet been approved. With municipalities, the average household tax change ranges from a $72.03 increase for the average household in Campbell River to a decrease of $2.72 per average household in Zeballos. Gold River is looking at a $5.81 increase, Sayward at $9.31, Tahsis at $0.62 and the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations with $0.06.
Driving the increase for Campbell River is Strathcona Gardens, which will make up just over $64 of the total $72.03 average increase. Government Administration will drive the change for the other municipalities.
Electoral areas will see larger increases, because the SRD covers all services that would be provided by a municipality. The largest increase will be in Electora Area B (Cortes Island), which is slated for a $323.90 increase for the average household. Area A (Kyuquot) will have the lowest at $29.99 on average. Area A (Sayward) will see $127.20 on average and Area C (Quadra Island) will have the lowest at $72.33 per average household. Area D is looking at a $300 average increase.
The major boost for Area A will be for the Sayward Valley Fire Protection service, which is slated for an increase of $93.25 on average. Area B (Cortes) is also seeing fire protection as their major increase, jumping up $245.51 on average due to a need to replace the fleet and upgrade equipment coming up. Area C’s increase will be more diffuse, with planning, parks and the community hall subsidy as the largest increases. Area D will be seeing the largest increase in its community parks function, jumping $202.98 on average for various park improvments.
The budget has not yet received third reading, though that is expected for the March 15 board meeting.
Village Of Gold River
Please be advised that the Connected Coast Project connecting communities with Fibre Optic Internet is making available for public viewing their application and site landing site map for our community. For more information on this project please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-830-2990.
Grieg Seafood BC Ltd., a dynamic and growing company in the Aquaculture industry, is seeking a full-time Site Manager to support our production team. The Site Manager is responsible for all farm operations including growth performance of the stocks, feeding, husbandry, inventory purchases, maintaining contractor relationships and management and security of stock. Other responsibilities include organizing and coordinating work crews and assessing staffing needs. The Site Manager leads a team of one or more Assistant Site Manager and Technicians.
To read the full job description and apply online, please visit: https://candidate.hr-manager.net/ApplicationInit.aspx...
MLA Babchuk says extensive funding will support big projects for people in her riding. $969,000 to Gold River.
The BC government will distribute $1 billion across B.C.’s 188 municipalities and regional districts
A historic investment of almost $20 million for Campbell River and Northern Vancouver Island will help enable the communities to fund key projects, ensuring that people have services they can rely on as populations grow.
“All communities in the North Island have unique needs,” said North Island MLA Michele Babchuk. “The money provided through the Growing Community fund will allow these communities to invest in their priorities, to make sure that their infrastructure, recreation, and services can meet the needs of people and their families”
As communities continue to grow, local governments are having to meet increased strain on infrastructure and amenities including, roads, transit, water and electrical systems, as well as community centers, parks and social services. The Growing Communities Fund is a landmark investment that will see the BCNDP government distribute $1 billion across B.C.’s 188 municipalities and regional districts to support their unique needs.
The following municipalities are the ones receiving funding
Gold River – $969,000
Campbell River – $8,587,000
Strathcona Regional District – $2,638,000
Port Hardy – $1,971,000
Port McNeill – $1,370,000
Mount Waddington Regional District – $1,029,000
Port Alice – $783,000
Alert Bay – $658,000
Tahsis – $650,000
Sayward – $622,000
Zeballos – $553,000
This one-time fund supports the Union of BC Municipalities’ (UBCM) 2022 Resolution EB58, Improving Provincial Grant Process, and recommendation five of their 2021 report, Ensuring Local Government Financial Resiliency. The grants are intended to complement, rather than displace, existing infrastructure funding (like sewer, water, roads).
Grieg Seafood BC Ltd., a dynamic and growing company in the Aquaculture industry, is seeking to hire co-op Environmental Monitoring students from May through August 2023 to support our operations in Campbell River, BC. Reporting to the Senior Environmental Specialist, the Environmental Monitoring students will support the activities of the department during the busy summer season.
Read more about this position and apply online at: https://candidate.hr-manager.net/ApplicationInit.aspx...
Legal Aid Community Partner
Just a reminder that I am the local Legal Aid Community Partner and Stop-the-violence Outreach worker. If you have questions about how to access Legal Aid, Safety Planning, and supportive referral to other service providers I am here to help. Even if you are looking for help in an area outside of my scope of practice I will always do my best to make sure you are connected with the right people and resources.
I am available by phone or text at: (250) 202-2433
My office hours at the Children's Health Hub are:
We Ask CHATGBT Artificial Intelligene to write a funny poem about the highway between Gold River and Campbell River.
Oh, have you heard the tale
Of the highway that's no joke
From Gold River to Campbell River
It's one that will provoke
The road is long and winding
With curves that make you scream
And if you're not a good driver
It'll be like a nightmare dream
You'll feel like you're on a rollercoaster
As you go up and down and all around
And if you're not careful, my friend
You might end up off the ground
The signs say "beware of falling rocks"
And "watch out for the bends"
But if you're not paying attention
Your journey might just end
So if you're ever on this road
Just take it nice and slow
And remember, it's not a race
Or you might end up saying "oh no!"
But hey, at least it's entertaining
And it'll make you laugh out loud
Just don't forget to buckle up
And enjoy the crazy ride that's allowed!
Island Health grants will support community health and wellness programs
Health authority inviting applications from non-profits, local governments and First Nations Island Health is interested in supporting health and wellness initiatives at the community level.
The health authority, in a press release Friday, Feb. 24, invited applications for its community wellness grant program, with up to $800,000 being made available for programs supporting the health and well-being of Island residents.
The focus of the next funding cycle is community resilience, “including connected, diverse, safe, active, and nourished communities,” stated Island Health.
Dr. Réka Gustafson, Island Health’s chief medical health officer, said in the release that community resilience is a timely and important focus area.
“As our communities work to recover from the pandemic, the projects that Island Health funds through this program aim to support communities to re-focus on the social determinants that have broad and long-term effects on health,” she said.
Non-profit organizations, local governments and First Nations can apply for one-time funding to develop new initiatives and programs. Multi-jurisdictional programs are eligible to receive up to $50,000, while smaller programs can receive up to $12,000.
Kathy MacNeil, Island Health’s president and CEO, noted in the release that it’s estimated that 25 per cent of an individual’s health is a result of health-care delivery, while the other 75 per cent depends on external factors such as social determinants of health.
“These grants will help organizations support various regional wellness initiatives and bolster people’s health and well-being in their communities,” she said.
Last year the community wellness grant program funded a “diverse range of projects,” said the health authority, including an Indigenous language immersion course, a seniors connection program, family cooking classes, and a storytelling group for newcomers.
For more information on the grant program and the application process, visit http://communitygrants.islandhealth.ca.
GOLD RIVER REVITALIZATION ASSOCIATION
Community Meeting: March 8th 6:30pm at the Literacy Centre
Join us for a discussion on how we can improv the appearance of the Plaza and encourage community connection in this space!
EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO JOIN! Questions? Please contact Gordon Rajotte 250.283.7503
Healthy Families and Community Committee
The purpose of the Healthy Families and Community Committee is to oversee the implementation of the Age Friendly Plan and other goals established by Council. Strategic priorities for 2023 include investigating transportation options to Campbell River, advocating for education opportunities to meet development, small/home business development, and rekindling community spirit. Specific goals should be reviewed on an annual basis.
Overall, this committee exists to create qualitative improvements in the lives of Gold River residents which will allow for healthier families and a healthier community. This will be accomplished by creating services, engaging with community partners, and listening to residents.
2023 Committee Goals
Investigate transportation options to Campbell River;
Advocating for educational opportunities to meet development;
Small/home business development;
And, Rekindling community spirit.
Healthy Families and Community Committee – Terms of Reference
Committee Member Application Form
What Artificial Intelligence Thinks Of Gold River
We asked CHATGPT to write a poem about Gold River.
This is what it came up with:
In western Canada, on an island so green, Lies a village that's quite a serene scene, It's called Gold River, and it's nestled so snug, With mountains and forests that hug and that tug.
This quaint little town, so peaceful and still, Sits near the water, calm and tranquil, The air is so crisp, the sky so bright, It's truly a place that's a visual delight.
The river runs through, like a shimmering vein, Flowing so gently, it's quite a serene refrain, And when the sun sets, the sky turns to gold, A sight to behold, it never gets old.
The people here are so friendly and warm, With a spirit that's bright, just like a sunstorm, They welcome you in, with open arms, And show you the beauty that's their charm.
From hiking to fishing, there's so much to do, The wilderness here is a dream come true, With trails that wind, and rivers that flow, It's a nature lover's paradise, don't you know.
So come visit Gold River, on Vancouver Isle, You'll find a place that's worth your while, With a village that's golden, in more ways than one, You'll find a slice of heaven, and have so much fun.
Job Opportunity In Gold River
Gold River Golf Course is looking for staff for their 2023 season
Servers/Cashier Cook/Prep Cook
Must be 19 years of age, have or be willing to get serve it right
Please send resume to;
First Nations Health Authority
Applications are now open for the First Nations Health Authority’s second round of the Indigenous Student Program (ISP) with the latest cohort starting in May 2023.
The ISP differs from typical co-op/practicum opportunities, as the goal is to match students’ education, skills, and career goals with the organization’s various needs. Beyond professional development, this program also includes strong cultural components such as an in-person two-day orientation, Knowledge Keeper participation tobacco ties, and more.
Please be advised that the Village of Gold River is hosting a Master Swim Class at the Anne Fiddick Aquatic Centre.
Must be 16 years or older, cost is $70 for 8 sessions, and a minimum of six people is required for the class to run. See poster for details. Click link to find out more
Help Shape Gold River's Future
Apply to be on the Village's Economic and Industrial Development Committee (EIDC) at the link below. This committee will be working to help grow and shape our community for years to come and we are looking for volunteers to help!
Click the link to find out more https://goldriver.ca/village-hall/council/economic_development/?fbclid=IwAR3YG9agetKpDoeq3_A79a39A1sUGajsZerSfH-ZYBy9HywlTi4Tlt07HMk
Job Opportunity For Village Of Gold River
The Village of Gold river is now looking for a full-time Labourer I position to be filled. The rate of pay is $27.93 (2023). To Apply please submit a cover letter and resume to Glenn Morphy at email@example.com before 4:00pm on Tuesday February 21, 2023.
Chamber Of Commerce Invites You
If you own and operate or manage a business in this region we would be happy for you to join us!
Membership has it's benefits - to find out more please attend the Chamber's AGM this Thursday, Feb. 16th at 7 p.m. at the Ridgeview Hotel Hospitality Suite.
The Village of Gold river is now looking for a full-time Labourer I position to be filled. The rate of pay is $27.93 (2023). To Apply please submit a cover letter and resume to Glenn Morphy at firstname.lastname@example.org before 4:00pm on Tuesday February 21, 2023
Training Opportunity (Donna Rawlings Schneider)
Gold River is still looking to hire! The province is putting $2 million toward training opportunities for paramedics, in an effort to address the ongoing crisis in staffing. All you need is a class 4 driver’s License and a CPR ticket. Leave the rest to us. This is a fantastic opportunity to get paid training and you’ll have a job where you can go anywhere in the province should you have to leave our beautiful community. Please contact me for more info. We’ll have really exciting things to look forward to once the new contract is ratified. Great wages, benefits after 6 months, paid hoildays, to name a few. Call (250) 202-2840
Amateur Emergency Radio Course: Free
Anyone who completes this course and then joins our regional emergency radio communication team would be eligible to have their mileage reimbursed.
The Comox Valley Emergency Program’s Emergency Radio Team is offering a training course for earning a Basic Amateur Radio License. More commonly known as “Ham” radio, amateur radio is fun and a crucial tool used during times of emergency or disaster.
The primary goal of the course is to provide a free training opportunity for any community members (19 years of age and over) interested in volunteering for the program’s Emergency Radio Team or anyone interested in getting their radio license. The qualifying test will be administered on your final day of class (March 26th, 2023). Once you have received your Amateur Radio License, there will be no need to re-qualify, as it is a lifetime license. It is recognized in Canada and around the world.
Course Date: March 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th, 2023 9:00am-3:30pm
Location: Comox Valley Regional District – 770 Harmston Ave, Civic Room
For more information, contact the Comox Valley Emergency Program at email@example.com or the Comox Valley Regional District at 250-334-6000 and request to be directed to Emergency Program staff for registration.
Salmon farms aren’t the only cause of growing sea lice infestations, DFO study claims
A study by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is claiming that salmon farms aren’t the only cause of the gripping problem of sea lice amongst wild salmon on B.C.’s west coast.
Based on the data provided by salmon farming operators, the study concludes that “statistically, no significant association” was observed between the infestation pressure attributed to salmon farms and the probability of sea lice infestation on wild salmon in Clayoquot Sound, Quatsino Sound, the Broughton Archipelago and the Discovery Islands.
However, the data does suggest there is an upward trend in the amount of infestation, which according to the study has been collected over the past decade, since 2013.
The study concludes that there was “minimal risk” to Fraser Island sockeye salmon from all relevant fish pathogens of concern.
The BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCFSA) is quick to point out that based on the evidence, fish farms in the waters present no risk to wild salmon.
“As farmers, and as British Columbians, we care about wild salmon and agree wholeheartedly with DFO Minister Joyce Murray regarding the protection of wild pacific salmon,” said BCFSA executive director Brian Kingzett in a press release on Jan. 24.
Critics, however remain skeptical of the evidence presented by the DFO.
Noted activist and biologist Alexandra Morton, says she has evidence which suggests otherwise.
“This is not an honest assessment of what DFO actually found in their research,” said Morton in an email to the Mirror, saying that she will release documents with statistics when ready.
The First Nation Wild Salmon Alliance (FNWSA) say that the numbers released by the DFO and endorsed by the BCSFA simply don’t add up.
In a press release, the FNWSA claim that the industry “under-reports their lice by up to 50 per cent at times when their count is audited by the DFO,” which they say is “why industry data on sea lice on wild salmon never aligns with research from the top universities and research stations of Canada.”
Sea lice occur naturally in the Pacific, but tend to thrive in fish farms because of the high concentration of fish within.
Farms are legally required to conduct monthly counts of sea lice and make the numbers available to the public. Counts are self reported, but the DFO officials may perform pre-arranged audits to validate the authenticity of the numbers.
Jan 27: Fibre Optic Construciton
GOLD RIVER | We're excited to share that construction has started on the fibre-optic network in Gold River.
Crews are starting the first phase, building the necessary backbone infrastructure to deliver fibre-optic services in the future. Once the construction is completed in Gold River, it will be tied into the Connected Coast project network next year, giving property owners a full fibre-optic connection.
“CityWest is thrilled to see the progress being made. Beginning construction in Gold River is another great milestone in our plan to bring better connectivity to Vancouver Island,” said Stefan Woloszyn, CEO of CityWest.
Learn more about the Connected Coast Project at www.connectedcoast.ca
Vancouver Island chasing better strategies for living with bears and cougars
Vancouver Island is known for its predatory wildlife, such as black bears, coastal wolves and cougars, that roam the rugged coastline.
Amidst the coast many towns and villages sit in areas with high populations of predatory wildlife, making interactions with humans often inevitable, unless effective coexistence management is in place.
Dennis Hetu is the program administrator for lands, resources and public works for Toquaht Nation, working and living in the First Nations’ village of Macoah on the northern shores of Barkley Sound. His job entails educating on and implementing strategies to avoid human-wildlife interactions within his community.
Macoah is located between two highly productive salmon-bearing streams, explains Hetu, and during the spawning season there is a higher risk of bears traveling through the village. During this time, Macoah’s hazing program is on guard.
With the hazing program, when a bear is reported, two to three individuals will drive to the site and check out the area, explains Hetu.
“If the bear is still there, we actually go out of our way to scare them off,” said Hetu. “We make them feel very unwelcome in our community, and it’s not because we don’t like them, we love them…. we want them to remain alive.”
Hetu encourages community members to report bear and wildlife sightings, and to not stop, feed, or take photos.
“Every tiny interaction that a person has with this animal changes the way that the animal feels about humans,” explained Hetu. “When you stop and take a picture, you may think you’re being completely harmless to that animal… just the fact that nothing happened between you and that bear makes that bear believe that it’s safe. And we’re not safe, we’re definitely not safe for bears.”
Other efforts, such as proper garbage disposal and recycling storage, helps with effective coexistence.
Since the implementation of a proper garbage disposal and recycling storage, human-wildlife interactions in the community have decreased from 20 to 30 per year to zero in the last three years, said Hetu.
When predatory animals like bears enter the village, it’s usually because they are following their nose, he said.
“If you take away a food source of theirs, there’s no reason for them to stick around, they will cruise through,” said Hetu. “If there’s no reason for them to stay then they’ll move on.”
Hetu said that habitat coexistence occurs when animals no longer have a reason to remain in and around areas populated with humans they are then forced to return to their habitat.
“If we can restore it to the point where they can actually survive and thrive in their own habitat, which we are taking away strip by strip, it gives them a better chance of not only surviving in the wild, but not having to come into town and beg for scraps,” said Hetu.
He notes that salmon restoration projects in fish-bearing streams and bear dens models in areas they frequent contributes to habitat restoration.
Bob Hansen is a retired human-wildlife coexistence specialist with Parks Canada and a seasonal community coordinator with WildSafe BC. He notes that he is not speaking on behalf of either organization.
Hansen explains that historically, and up until the late `60s and early `70s in Canada, the strategy to manage human-wildlife conflict was focused on reducing and controlling the number of animals.
“In the decades since, that thinking has really evolved to the point now where we have such a greater understanding of wildlife ecology and wildlife behaviors, and the dynamics that can lead to conflict,” said Hansen. “Now the emphasis is on the human side of the equation, you know, what can we do in terms of preventing conflict in the first place is the biggest emphasis.”
Hansen said programs, such as WildSafe BC, focus on prevention, education, and outreach, which then avoids human-wildlife conflict.
“What are the root…sources of the conflict in the first place? And almost always there’s something we can do on the human side to prevent that,” said Hansen.
Hansen said that some solutions include urban planning, management of attractants and understanding wildlife.
“There’s lots of things that we can do on the human side, and where that happens, you see real reductions in conflicts,” said Hansen.
“Keeping wildlife wild is really a shared responsibility, and everybody has a role to play in that.” said Todd Windle, coordinator of Parks Canada’s Wild about Wolves program. “Everything is interconnected, and to have a healthy ecosystem for all of us we need to have all those parts of the ecosystem.”
“Changing our behaviors and the way we think is the answer,” added Hetu. “And of course, engaging with the youth. The youth are the future, and if anybody’s going to pass on the message positively, it’s going to be our youth.”
The Village of Gold River is seeking an enthusiastic Emergency Program Coordinator (EPC). This position receives a $300/month stipend and is expected to dedicate a minimum of 12 hours per month to local emergency planning activities. Interested candidates can put in to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday February 10/2023. Job posting linked below.
01-08 Gold River EPC Job Posting
A Big Thank You From Donna Rawlings Schneider- Food Bank
Wow Gold River you came through again! The food bank donations exceeded my expectations and the BBQ was well attended. Thank-you Grieg Seafood for the salmon donations, The MOUHSS for hot dog and drink donations and Lisa Poitras for securing the rest of the BBQ food. I really want to thank my wonderful crew Lisa Illes, Lisa Poitras and Michael Lott for their hard work in making this a success as well as our Manager, Glen Greenhill who came up to support us and ended up refilling the propane. Fantastic team work all around. Much appreciation to all of you! I know the Food Bank is happy - they received lots of Kraft Dinner!
Island Health says pesticide traps likely source of illness concerns at Gold River school
Ray Watkins Elementary School in Gold River reopened Thursday, and Island Health says they found the culprit of health concerns.
According to the health authority, multiple pesticide traps (roach bait gels) were placed in the impacted classroom on Jan. 12. They believe vapours from the traps are the most likely source that caused some students and staff to experience symptoms.
No students or staff had direct contact with the pesticide, but it acted as an irritant to them.
“With the pesticide removed, all classrooms cleaned and ventilated, the risk of further exposure is eliminated,” said Island Health in a statement. “Students’ and staff’s symptoms from brief exposure in the classroom will resolve on their own without long-term effects.”
The school was closed on Jan. 18 and the symptoms some experienced was limited to two classrooms in the intermediate wing. The school says those two classrooms and the rest of the school have been thoroughly cleaned and aired out.
They add SD 84 will continue to work with the Island Health teams to keep the issue from happening again.
Airline fees under review at Campbell River Airport
The Campbell River Airport will look to hike the fees it charges airlines.
City council approved a review of passenger fees and aircraft fees on Thursday night, which make up 59 per cent of airport revenue. Concession fees, lease fees and vehicle parking fees won’t be looked at this time because they’re a smaller part of the revenue pie.
The passenger fees, paid by the airline for each passenger that gets on or off at YBL, and the aircraft fees, such as landing fees and parking fees, haven’t changed in years.
A city staff report shows the airport has been a money-loser for over a decade – subsidized $250,000 a year on average by local taxpayers.
“Since approximately 2010, the airport has operated in a deficit position, relying on a transfer from the city’s general operating fund to subsidize its operations. This subsidy has averaged approximately $250,000 annually,” the report states.
During a council discussion, Coun. Susan Sinnott told airport manager Dennis Brodie it was “quite nice to see” the airport was “close to breaking even” last year and he may want to look a route specific fees.
The airport brought in $337,484 for passenger fees, missing the budget by $40,000. Aircraft fees were $113,075 – $39,000 more than expected. Fee revenue was $852,868 – $9,850 more than budgeted.
“…(T)he end result, we want certain routes so we’re more passengers to get recovered at least to our pre-pandemic levels and whatever types of pricing strategies you want to present, maybe some options to us for incentive pricing, would be very much welcomed,” Sinnott said.
Disc Golf Anyone?
Come on down to Nimpkish Park Sunday any time between 1-3pm for a fun afternoon of disc golf! There will be multiple baskets set up and lots of discs to borrow. If you don’t know anything about disc golf, no worries! Come and learn! All ages are welcome!
JOB ALERT: Grieg Seafood BC Ltd., a dynamic and growing company in the Aquaculture industry, is seeking to hire a temporary full-time Skipper for an approximately 6 month contract. Reporting to the Fleet Manager, the Skipper will assist in supporting the activities of the sea site operations.
Read the full job description and apply online at: https://candidate.hr-manager.net/ApplicationInit.aspx...
Time Nearly Up for Ottawa to Decide if Rail is in Vancouver Island’s Future
In just over two months, a portion of the old E & N Railway right-of-way could be returned to the First Nation it was taken from about 140 years ago, unless the federal government agrees to invest in restoration and funding a new railway.
In September of 2021, the BC Court of Appeal gave an 18 month window to begin funding infrastructure repairs and rail service, or a section the railway right-of-way would be returned to the Snaw-Naw-As First Nation at Nanoose Bay.
Island Corridor Foundation CEO Larry Stevenson remains hopeful federal and provincial politicians will recognize there is plenty of support for a railway on Vancouver Island – and that there is a need.
Stevenson says Vancouver Island’s current transportation infrastructure is already inadequate.
“We’re completely reliant on a single highway, and that’s not sustainable for the future, it’s not sustainable today, we’re already seeing numerous problems.”
He notes that heavy rain in 2021 caused a multi-day closure of the highway, blocking shipments of fuel and other essential good to Victoria.
“This is an extremely important decisions,” Stevenson warns, “and it’s going to impact every future generation on the island and it’s absolutely imperative that we get this right.”
He says the decision will impact “our grandchildren and their grandchildren, and so on and so forth,” so it’s necessary to ensure the righjt decision is made,
Stevenson says the Island Corridor Foundation presented its business case to the provincial government in May of last year, and has followed up through engagements involving First Nations along the corridor and now it’s up to the politicians.
He says the foundation will continue working with the the federal and provincial governments ahead of a final decision.
They have until mid-March to make their decision whether rail service has a future on Vancouver Island.
The Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway, was incorporated in September 1883, and went into service in 1886 linking Nanaimo and Esquimalt.
In 1888 the line was extended to the City of Victoria.
In the early 1900s, the rail line was extended to Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Courtenay, and Port Alberni,
In its Business Case released last year, the Island Corridor Foundation said there is a “very real and urgent need for safe, efficient, reliable, and environmentally sustainable transportation options on Vancouver Island.”
The ICF is proposing a rail service it says can be financially viable, and sustainable for future generations.
The Business Case estimated the construction costs to be $381 million and $50 million for the acquisition of rail equipment for a total cost of $431 million.
Co-op Grand Opening! (Julia Girourad)
Big thanks to the Board members for serving up the hotdogs and burgers today - they were delicious! Thank you, Fatima and Kevin, for making the place beautiful, and the team (Naomi, Tyson, and Joshua) for all of the hard work you've put in to make this day special!
Thank you to everyone who dropped by to help us celebrate our grand opening. I'm already excited for our first anniversary
Gold River Telepharmacy is so very excited to announce we now carry the naloxone take home kits!
If you are in need, please come to the pharmacy dispensary counter to pick one up. A small amount of information (no names or birthdays, just age/if you’ve ever had a kit before) will be collected so we can give you your kit!
Goodbye, late fees: Vancouver Island Regional Library officially eliminates overdue book fine
The Vancouver Island Regional Library is going to try something new, a one-year pilot project of not charging any fees.
It’s a movement that’s been gaining traction in libraries across North America as an idea to lower barriers for those who may be marginalized.
“I think it’s one of these anxieties that many library users have, that if they amass too many fines you’re going to be declined access to collections,” said Ben Hyman, VIRL’s Executive Director.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the Vancouver Island Regional Library dropped late fees to help ease anxieties but now that life is returning to a new normal, instead of reinstating fines, it’s going to try a one-year pilot project on not charging any late fees starting January 1, 2022.
It started waiving fees on children’s materials in 2019.
“It really is just acknowledging the barriers to access for this service which isn’t consistent with our objectives, and vision, and mission and so forth so the board’s been having a good look at what those barriers are and what the board can do to remove them,” said Hyman.
It’s part of a movement by public libraries across North America and in the past few years, close to 300 libraries across Canada have eliminated late fees.
The Greater Victoria Public Library says its board is also mulling over the move and some library users say they’re fully in favour.
“The most important thing with libraries is to have them used,” said Nadine Lindstrom, a VIRL customer. “It would remove barriers for certain groups so that’s really interesting and attractive.”
“It’s a good idea dropping it if it helps get more customers and more people reading,” said Gerry Stalling another VIRL customer.
Gold River Emergency Support Services ‘Head Honcho’ honoured for 30 years on the job
Edith Lee acknowledged for her services by Gold River Mayor and Council
The Village of Gold River and Strathcona Regional District are celebrating a volunteer they call their “head honcho” for 30 years of service.
Gold River Emergency Support Services (ESS) Leader Edith Lee has been working with the service for 30 years.
“The commitment and sacrifice displayed by Edith Lee over three decades reflect the selflessness and generosity of spirit that forms the core of emergency response in B.C. We’re honoured to be able to recognize this very deserving and dedicated community leader,” said SRD Protective Services Coordinator Shaun Koopman. “Emergency Support Services volunteers are the ‘heart of disaster response’ and Edith truly has a great heart.”
Lee has been with the program since 1993.
“Gold River has been very lucky to have Edith Lee as our ESS Leader for the past 30 years. I’ve referred to her as our head honcho and our top dog. She holds so much knowledge and we would be lost without her dedication,” said Gold River ESS volunteer Robin Hutchinson.
Lee was recognized at Gold River village hall by Mayor Michael Lott, as well as council members and other members of the ESS.
“Our public safety volunteers are critical to the safety of our communities. Edith Lee deserves high praise for all she’s done,” added Gold River Mayor Michael Lott. “ESS volunteers help to preserve the well-being of people impacted by emergencies or disasters. Their goal is to empower people to re-establish themselves as quickly as possible after a disaster.”
“Thank you, Edith, for your hard work – we are so glad you chose Gold River as your home,” he said.
ELK RIVER BRIDGE JAN 11th CLOSURE NOTICE
CMF Construction Ltd. is currently working on replacing Elk River Bridge, 20km east of Gold River, BC on Highway 28 for Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. To ensure safety of drivers and road users during our construction activity, road closure will be required in coming days.
CMF will need to conduct 3-hour closure of Elk River Bridge from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Wednesday, January 11th, with short-term opening of road at 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM to clear stopped traffic. This closure is required to remove existing bridge beams. Traffic will not be allowed to cross the detour road during closure, with exception of emergency vehicles. Please adhere to instructions by traffic control personnel stationed at edge of closures and do not enter the work area for your own safety.
For emergency vehicles requiring to cross the bridge during road closure period, all efforts will be made to clear the road for safe passage. Please note, depending on which stage of work we are at, it may take some time to clear the road.
Thank you for your patience during this project.
More than 600 ‘tiny tremors’ recorded along Vancouver Island coast in past week: seismologist.
The central-west part of Vancouver Island had over 600 “tiny tremors” last week, which were too small to be felt, according to a seismologist.
John Cassidy, an earthquake seismologist with Natural Resources Canada, says the earthquakes have been recorded along the west coast of the Island between Tofino and the Nootka Island region.
“First off, this is a really regular occurrence, it’s a regular process. It really reminds us that we live in the neck of subduction zones. We live in a region where an ocean plate is being pushed beneath Vancouver Island, Washington, Oregon, and Northern California,” Cassidy said in an interview with CHEK News.
“Every 14 to 15 months we see exactly this process happening and it happens in different areas at different times.”
In March 2022, Cassidy says there was a similar event on the South Island, where there were around 6,000 unfelt tremors, and before that a similar series occurred in Washington, and Oregon before that.
“They’re happening almost all the time throughout what we call a subduction zone,” Cassidy said. “It doesn’t tell us that anything’s about to happen…But it really reminds us that this is an active subduction zone.”
While it’s too early to tell, Cassidy says these tremors may be an episodic tremor and slip event.
“There are two things that tell us if there is one of these episodic tremor and slip events. One is the tremors themselves that are so small but easily located, and what we’re looking for is several days of tremors,” Cassidy said.
“The other part of it is what’s associated with the ETS events is that parts of Vancouver Island will slip. Normally we’re moving very slowly towards the mainland, at several millimetres per year, about a centimetre per year, but what happens during these ETS events is that we change direction and move backwards towards the ocean towards Japan, in fact, by several millimetres.”
Cassidy says the second piece usually takes longer to confirm since the actual movement is so small.
Reminder of Council Meeting
A reminder the first Village of Gold River Council meeting for 2023 will be held Tuesday January 3rd, at 7pm. All residents are welcome to attend. Please find the Agenda attached. It is available on the Village website, the link is also attached.
Council Meetings are held regularly every first and third Monday of each month, unless the Monday is a holiday (as in today), then they are held on the following Tuesday.
Island Health board chair reflects on challenges and accomplishments of the past year
2022 challenged publicly-funded health-care systems locally and globally – exacerbated by COVID pandemic impacts and the continuing toxic drug poisoning crisis.
Through these difficult times, I remain deeply appreciative of Island Health staff and physicians’ commitment to support the people and communities we are privileged to serve.
While these challenges will remain for some time, Island Health took action this year to strengthen health and care so it can be there when people need it.
In order to care for our communities, we must support care providers. We are investing in our care teams, recruiting the next generation of care providers, and partnering on training opportunities.
Recruitment campaigns this year generated 5,000 new Island Health employees. We appreciate the provincial government’s expansion of training programs at North Island and Camosun Colleges, and University of Victoria, and Vancouver Island University.
Primary care is a health-care cornerstone. Working in partnership, there are now eight primary care networks operating across Island Health, with over 280 additional physicians and staff working in doctors’ offices, community health centres, First Nation clinics, and urgent and primary care centres. Additional networks are planned for the West Coast and the Gulf Islands; and in North Vancouver Island where two new physicians joined us in Port McNeill in 2022.
We are investing in improved mental health and substance use services – including the expansion of the Nanaimo overdose prevention site, which will expand into a wellness and recovery centre next year, providing comprehensive client services. More than 125 housing spaces to support individuals with complex mental health and substance use challenges are being added in Victoria and Nanaimo.
Providing timely access to surgery is a priority. We postponed surgeries during the pandemic to protect hospital space for the most critically ill. Our teams have now completed over 99 per cent of all postponed cases. We did this in part through increasing hospital operating room hours – including in Duncan, Comox Valley, Nanaimo and the Saanich Peninsula.
Expanding high-quality publicly-funded seniors’ care is a focus. Courtenay welcomed a new long-term care home, and we partnered with Providence Living on a new dementia-focused care home in Comox. Additional long-term care expansions are being planned across the region.
As design and construction of a new Cowichan District Hospital advances we are implementing the Cowichan Valley Health and Care Plan, investing in community services to reduce demand when the new site opens. One plan innovation we are proud of is the award-winning Short-Term Enablement and Planning Suites program, which provides transitional care for patients who can be discharged from hospital, but aren’t quite ready to return home.
The COVID-19 pandemic remains a priority. Our public health teams and partners did a tremendous job helping people prepare for respiratory illness season this fall by encouraging and providing COVID-19 boosters and flu shots. Island Health residents continue to demonstrate their commitment to protect themselves and the health-care system with the highest rates of COVID-19 booster doses and influenza immunizations in B.C.
Having just passed the In Plain Sight Report’s second anniversary– we continue to confront the behaviours, beliefs, and systems that uphold the legacy of colonialism and underpin the racism in our health-care system. Island Health is fully committed to fulfilling all of the recommendations in the report. The foundational work done this year sets us on the right path to providing care that is free of racism, discrimination and stigma.
One of the greatest lessons the pandemic provided was the need to continually adapt and innovate to respond to the changing world around us. Virtual care programs, some already in place, became even more critical to service delivery during the pandemic and were significantly expanded. New programs were also established to respond to emerging needs, including providing remote home monitoring for patients with mild to moderate COVID-19.
Many successes in 2022 came through partnerships – with care providers, social service organizations, local and regional governments, and our critically important hospital and health-care foundations and auxiliaries. We could not have achieved what we did without these and many other partners – and we are incredibly grateful for their contributions.
As we turn our attention to the work ahead in 2023, and the pursuit of our vision of excellent health care for everyone, everywhere, every time; my last gratitude is for the residents and communities across Island Health who continue to hold us up with compassion and pride. It makes all the difference in the world to our teams, and it does for me as well. Thank you.
Rain and Flooding North Vancouver Island, BC
Drivers should be prepared for flooding in lower terrain areas and close to the ocean. A king tide (above average high tide) combined with snowmelt and rain throughout the evening is anticipated to lead to higher water levels. Large swells and waves may lead to flooding and debris on roadways.
Mainroad crews will be patrolling all service area highways until the event passes, roadways are clear and back to normal.
Sandbags are available at 3190 Royston Rd, Cumberland BC
Please drive with caution, watch for roadside crews and before heading out, check www.DriveBC.ca for road condition and closures prior to travel. Our 24-hour communications and dispatch office will pass on all your observations and concerns to our crews when contacted. As always, a reminder to visit www.drivebc.ca.
Electricity-use record broken for 2nd time in 1 week as B.C tries to stay warm
Just two days after breaking the province’s power consumption record, British Columbians have done it again.
On Wednesday evening (Dec. 21), between 5 and 6 p.m., BC Hydro says people collectively consumed over 10,900 megawatts of electricity – about 100 megawatts higher than the same time on Monday.
For context, one megawatt is estimated to be enough to power 400 to 900 homes in a year, depending on climate.
Prior to this week’s records, the highest known demand was from Dec. 27, 2021, when 10,762 megawatts were consumed in a one-hour period.
This week’s snowstorm and cold snap have British Columbians pulling from the power grid like never before, though.
“The extreme cold has British Columbians turning up the heat. [Wednesday] night’s consumption was more than 15 per cent higher than the peak hourly demand recorded last Wednesday before the cold snap began,” BC Hydro spokesperson Susie Rieder said in a news release.
With extreme cold warnings issued across much of the province Thursday, and wind chills expected to drop as low as -40 C, it’s possible British Columbians could beat the record again this week.
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY- GOLD RIVER
A winter storm is anticipated to bring heavy snowfall, freezing rain, and icy conditions making travel difficult over the next 24 to 72 hours. Snowfall accumulations of 10-20cm are anticipated over the course of Thursday evening into Friday afternoon. Visibility may be rapidly reduced due to accumulating and blowing snowfall.
Freezing levels are anticipated to rise throughout Friday shifting the heavy snow into freezing rain creating icy conditions. Be prepared for rapidly changing road conditions before heading out.
Mainroad crews will be patrolling all service area highways, applying winter materials where appropriate until the event passes, roadways are clear and back to normal.
Winter weather is unpredictable ~ be prepared for changing road conditions and please drive to conditions. Before heading out, check Drive BC as well as local traffic & weather reports. Ensure your vehicle is prepared with snow tires, a full tank of gas or a full charge, and an emergency kit ~ learn more at www.shiftintowinter.ca.
Island Health launches drug-poisoning advisory text messages
People in the Island Health region can now get drug-poisoning advisories in their area via text messages.
Island Health says the need for the text-based system is driven by an increase in deaths due to the toxic illicit drug supply in the province.
In 2021, there were 2,224 deaths due to the toxic illicit drug supply. Island Health says this was the highest-ever number of annual overdose deaths in B.C. since a public health emergency was declared in 2016.
In 2022, the first 10 months show at least 1,827 people have died in B.C. because of toxic illicit drugs. The BC Centre for Disease Control and the Office of Virtual Health developed the system and Island Health is the third authority to use it in B.C., with Fraser and Interior health authorities introducing it this year.
Anyone can join anonymously by texting JOIN to 253787 and subscribers will get notifications when drug-poisoning overdose advisories are sent to specific areas.
Island Health says they share information about increases in toxic drug poisonings in the Island Health region and provide tips for safer drug use.
Minister of mental health and addictions Jennifer Whiteside says the system will help keep toxic drugs out of people’s hands.
Sales down, inventory up in November Island housing market: VIREB
t appears there were fewer sales of single-family homes on Vancouver Island in November, and the inventory has gone up since last year.
That’s from the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB). According to their latest report, 244 single-family homes were sold in the area. That is a 30 per cent decrease from a year ago and down two per cent since October.
Inventory was up, with 1,195 active listings of single-family detached properties last month. That’s compared to 301 in November 2021 and 1,360 in October.
VIREB board chair Erica Kavanaugh says the findings are encouraging and show good news for buyers.
Province seeks public consultation regarding North Island Timber Supply Area
The public is invited to review the timber supply for the North Island Timber Supply area (TSA) by contributing comments before next February.
To ensure B.C.’s forests are managed in a sustainable manner, the chief forester must determine the allowable annual cut (AAC) in each of the province’s 37 TSAs and 33 farm licences every 10 years. The public is being invited to provide comment on the update to the management of some of the province’s 60 million hectares of forest.
The North Island TSA covers nearly two million hectares on North Vancouver Island. Currently, the AAC for the North Island TSA is almost 1.25 million cubic metres. The TSA includes the territories of a number of First Nations communites, all of whom have been invited to provide input on the timber supply review for considering in setting the AAC for the area.
The regional service centre in the TSA is Campbell River; However, several other communities are also part of it. They include Courtenay, Comox, Gold River, Port McNeill and Port Hardy.
You can make comments until Feb. 20 of next year. To view a copy of the review, or to submit your comments or concerns, visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/forestry/managing-our-forest-resources/timber-supply-review-and-allowable-annual-cut/allowable-annual-cut-timber-supply-areas/north-island-tsa or call the Ministry of Forests at 250-286-9300 or email at Forests.ForestAnalysisBranchOffice@gov.bc.ca
Big Donation For GR Food Network: $5,000!
HUGE THANK YOU to WFP for their very generous donation our food bank will put it to good use
Seafood companies with local presence finish 1, 2 in international sustainability index. Mowi, Grieg tops among global food producers; seven salmon farming companies in top 10.
A pair of salmon producers with local ties have topped the rankings in the new sustainability index released by independent investment consortium Coller FAIRR.
The Protein Producer index ranked Mowi in top spot and Grieg Seafood, another major salmon producer, in at second among a list of 60 food producers world wide.
In total, seven salmon companies made the top 10, including Comanchaca and Multi X of Chile, SalMar and LeRoy Seafood of Norway, and Bakkafrost of the Faroe Islands.
Chairperson of the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association (BCFSA) and Managing Director of Mowi West, Dr. Diane Morrison, says the news is a refreshing turn as the industry looks toward its future.
“As all seafood producers in British Columbia, we work hard to support Canada’s Blue Economy strategy,” said Morrison. “We look forward to working with governments and local communities to help lead this vision.”
It was the fourth year in a row that Norweigan-based Mowi, who has operations also in Scotland, Chile and the Faroe Islands, as well as on both Canadian coasts, took top spot in the rankings.
Co-Director of the Young Salmon Farmers Association (YSFBC) and BCFSA Communications Manager Michelle Franze feels this status is indicative of the dedication Salmon farming companies have toward a green future.
“We hope to see greater public and government awareness of the sector’s highes environmental standards,” said Franze.
The Coller FAIRR protein producer index is the sole international comprehensive assessment of the globe’s biggest animal protein producers. The criteira includes criticial judgement on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. This is the fourth year in a row that Mowi took the top spot.
150 Extra Dailings Added: B.C. Ferries
BC Ferries is adding extra ferry sailings for the holiday season rush.
More than 680,000 passengers and 270,000 vehicles travel by ferry over the season.
Between December 22nd and January 2nd, Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island, and the Sunshine Coast, will have more than 150 new sailings added.
That includes 110 sailings between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay, 35 between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay, and 6 extra between Horseshoe Bay and Langdale. There will also be one extra sailing between Tsawwassen and the Southern Gulf Islands.
BC Ferries says the most popular day to travel is December 23 for traffic moving from the Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay terminals to Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. After Christmas, it’s the 26th and 27th for traffic returning from the Departure Bay, Duke Point, Swartz Bay and Langdale terminals.
To make your holiday travel easiest, it recommends checking individual schedules online before making your plans.
Additionally, passengers can book in advance, arrive early, and ride-share. It’s also suggested to travel car-free to ensure you can get on the ferry, and then take public transit from the ferry terminal to your destination.
Mount Washington set to open this week; limited water supply a concern
The countdown to opening day is officially on with 1 day to go until the lifts are spinning this winter at Mount Washington Alpine Resort.
Opening day is set for Friday, Dec. 9 at 9 a.m., and the chair lifts are set to run until 3:30 p.m. to Dec. 15. Holiday lift hours and night skiing start Dec. 16 to Jan. 3, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
As of Dec. 6, the Hawk base is at 45cm, with 9 cm of fresh snow arriving within the past 48 hours.
One concern this year the resort is facing is its potable water supply. Earlier this month, they released a statement that noted there are concerns about potential water shortages due to an increase in visitors and record low production of water from nearby springs.
Snowpack in the upper watershed is less than 25 per cent of what is considered normal for the time of the year; because Mount Washington is at the top of the watershed, they are the first to be affected by water shortages.
The resort will be implementing a variety of strategies to help reduce water use, such as shutting off water refill stations; using disposable plates and cutlery to reduce the use of dishwashers; providing bottled water for sale at outlets and retail locations around the resort; adding porta-potties outside to reduce indoor use and encouraging overnight and arriving guests to bring a supply of bottled water with them.
The resort is preparing to house a backup water supply for emergency needs but warned there is a potential for a boil water advisory that may affect resort operations, guests and community residents.
For those living or overnighting on the mountain, they are encouraging residents to take shorter showers, reduce the number of toilet flushings and recycle unused water.
REMINDER TO PLEASE ATTEND THE MOUHSS THIS MONDAY, DECEMBER 12TH 2022
**in order for services to continue to be supported and funded, access and use needs to remain consistent!**
We will be hosting an information and access day to introduce Kaylin and the second go-around for the MOUHSS on MONDAY, DECEMBER 12TH 2022 10:00AM-12:30PM on the unit at the JCC parking lot. (Weather dependant)
Here you can check in with both Kaylin and myself (RSW), provide your feedback about what you hope to see on the unit over the next 8 months, and access the services and supplies on board. We hope to see as many folks as possible out to this event on the 5th to show our funders how much this service is needed in community. I look forward to seeing each and every one of you out at the December 5th check in day!!!
To reach our coordinator;
Kaylin Fowler 778-348-3581
Co-op Update: A message from Glen Morrison
There have been questions on FB about benefits of membership. "If anyone can shop at the Co-op, why would I want a membership which costs $300?"
The main reason to want a Co-op membership is to invest in food security for the community of Gold River. The initial membership drive was to raise enough money to secure financing for start-up costs. The more members the Co-op has, the more funds are available to develop the store: more coolers, shelving, point of sale and accounting software, signage etc. In other words, joining the Co-op makes the Co-op a better place for you to shop.
As a member, you also have access to membership pricing on special purchases, will be able to place orders from the Co-op's suppliers online (still under development), are able to vote at the annual general meeting, thus having a say in how the Co-op is run and are able to be proud of helping create and support Gold River's community owned grocery store!
As the Co-op grows and succeeds (with your support), your membership investment will also grow. My personal experience with my previous community Co-op saw my $120 membership investment grow to over $1800 over the 30 years I was a member!
A Co-op is a wonderful business model. Like Costco, your initial investment entitles you to membership advantages. Unlike Costco, membership costs are a once for a lifetime membership and the profits of the Co-op remain in the community: all profits are plowed into improving the Co-op or increasing membership dividends.
You are always welcome to shop at the Gold River Village Co-op even if you don't live in Gold River or surrounding communities. But, by investing in a membership, you are investing in and supporting Gold River's community owned grocery store.
Alleged drug traffickers on Vancouver Island with Hells Angels ties face ‘serious charges
Four alleged drug traffickers with ties to the Hells Angels on Vancouver Island are facing charges following a four-year joint law enforcement operation.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. held a press conference Thursday, Dec. 1, to announce the charges, which came as a result of the joint operation with the RCMP’s federal serious organized crime unit.
The investigation, which began in June 2018, led to the seizure of 22 guns, more than 13 kilograms of illicit drugs, and charges approved against four men from Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Campbell River and Port Alberni.
The investigation and subsequent charges have “helped prevent the expansion of Hells Angels Motorcycle Club chapters on Vancouver Island,” noted the press release from CFSEU-B.C.
The special enforcement unit said the investigation targeted “the criminal networks of members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in Nanaimo and their support clubs, the Savages MC and Devils Army MC and their alleged drug trafficking operation on Vancouver Island.”
CFSEU said the seized drugs included 7.75kg of cocaine, 4kg of cannabis, 1.9kg of methamphetamine, 248 oxycodone pills, and more. The guns seized included an Uzi, five pistols, 12 rifles and four shotguns, as well as ammunition and explosives. Law enforcement officers also seized 25 electronic devices and three motor vehicles related to the case.
Manny Mann, chief officer for CFSEU-B.C., said in the release that the lengthy and complex investigation resulted “in significant seizures of potentially deadly drugs and serious charges.”
Supt. Richard Bergevin, officer in charge of B.C. RCMP’s federal serious organized crime major projects, said bringing the case to prosecution demonstrates the law enforcement partners’ “collective ability to effectively collaborate across federal and provincial lines in order to fulfill our shared mandate of protecting B.C. against the most serious threats.”
The men facing various charges include Kristopher Stephen Smith, 44, of Nanaimo; Sean Oliver Douglas Kendall, 44, from Port Alberni; William Bradley Thompson, 58, from Ladysmith; and William Karl Paulsen, 51, from Campbell River. Thompson has been arrested and released on a promise to appear in court. Arrest warrants have been issued for Smith, Paulsen, and Kendall and anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to contact a local police detachment or Crime Stoppers.
Widespread snowfall expected next week for Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast
It appears old man winter might be paying the Island a visit this week with temperatures near zero and snowfall likely.Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Derek Lee says cold air from the north will start making its way to the Island starting on Monday, combining with some damp air.
“We are looking at a pacific system bringing moisture and colliding with the cold air,” said Lee. “So, we are looking at a rather widespread chance of snow even down to the lower elevations across Vancouver Island on Tuesday night and into Wednesday.”
Lee adds the area could see snowfall upwards of 10 centimetres and higher amounts inland. The amount of snow will depend on the timing of the storm, whether or not it comes overnight with lower temperatures.
The reason for the snowfall is because of this year’s La Niña weather pattern with colder air. Snow this early happened last year and earlier, with 23 centimetres falling in November 2006.
“La Niña generally brings colder than average temperatures to B.C., but colder does not always mean we get more snow,” said Lee. “Arctic air can often be very dry, but it does create certain conditions to be cold enough to see widespread snow.”
While the snow will lock in more water higher in the mountains, Lee says it is not the best system to see when water is required coming out of the drought.
Lee cautions drivers and those commuting to be mindful of the conditions on the roads.
“Prepare for rapidly changing weather conditions, heavy snow can lead to slippery conditions and reduced visibility,” said Lee. “As always we encourage the public to stay tuned to the forecast to get the latest timing of the event.”
Construction beginning on Connected Coast project in Gold River
The Strathcona Regional District’s Connected Coast project has come to Gold River, bringing the village one step closer to faster, more reliable internet.
Construction has started on the village’s new fibre optic network, with the first step being the necessary backbone infrastructure that will deliver the services in the future.
“CityWest is thrilled to see the progress being made. Beginning construction in Gold River is another great milestone in our plan to bring better connectivity to Vancouver Island,” said Stefan Woloszyn, CEO of CityWest, the SRD’s partner in the project.
From there, the village will be connected to the rest of the project’s infrastructure, giving locals full fibre-optic connection.
The project in Gold River is expected to be finished next year.
New funding announced to beef up specialized units and rural police forces
The B.C. government will be spending $230 million over the next three years to help rural police forces and specialized units to have enough officers.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe, and my government is working on every front to protect our communities and make them stronger,” said premier David Eby in a release.
“As part of our Safer Communities Action Plan, we will help ensure that the RCMP can operate to its full capability to keep people safe. The actions today will help stabilize policing and provide our provincial police force with the staff resources they need to address public safety concerns head on.”
Money will go towards filling vacancies in rural police detachments in communities of less than 5,000 people, allowing provincially funded regional RCMP units to reach their fully authorized staffing levels of 2,602 officers and beefing up special units.
Enjoy A Drink On B.C. Ferries But Prepare To Dig Deep Into Your Wallet
Fancy a beer or wine while you sail aboard a major route on BC Ferries?
Well, you’re in luck. As of November 9th, travellers aboard BC Ferries vessels travelling between Victoria and Vancouver can now purchase alcoholic drinks from the Coastal Café.
This comes after a successful pilot project where BC Ferries sold wine and beer at its Pacific Buffet for five months without incident back in October 2019.
Travellers aged 19 or older can now purchase up to two alcoholic beverages on board sailings between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen, from the Coastal Café.
“We’ve heard from many passengers that they would like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage with their meal while on board,” the website reads. “We are adding alcoholic beverages to the menu in select Coastal Cafes as a way to improve the customer experience.”
The drink options include 355 millilitre cans of beer, cider, or a “refreshment beverage,” as well as a 250-millilitre glass of wine.
These are the drink options that will be available:
12-ounce glass of cider costs about $7.49 plus tax
12-ounce refreshment beverage costs about $7.49 plus tax
8.5-ounce (250ml) glass of wine costs about $13.99 plus tax
12-ounce (355ml) glass of beer ranges from $6.99 plus tax to $7.99 plus tax
Customers won’t be allowed to take their alcoholic drinks out of the Coastal Café area, and children are still allowed to sit in the cafeteria area, just as they would at a typical restaurant.
Currently, alcoholic drinks are only available between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen, however, BC Ferries says it plans to expand the sale of alcohol to sailings between Tsawwassen and Duke Point, and between Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay.
Twighlight Madness is coming your way November 25th 6pm-8pm!
Businesses will be open late for your shopping needs! Plus it’s sounding like we’ll have some fun treats out for the family to enjoy as well!
The Gold River Literacy Society will be open, and will have cookie DECORATING! That’s right! Come down and decorate your own cookies! Three7Five Cafe will be open with holiday hot drinks and treats for sale too.
Businesses open will include: Gold River Telepharmacy, Green Gold, Fields Gold River, Gold River Liquor Express, Marion and Christina's second hand store and Tool Rentals, and Bubbles & Biscuits Spaw + Boutique
Each business is planning its own specials/sales, so please make the rounds and check in. Also don’t forget to check out the craft fair at the same time!! It’s gonna be a GREAT evening/weekend in Gold River.
A Message from VIW MOUHSS. Great News!
I am writing to you all today with some really wonderful news for those that do not already know; the VIW MOUHSS has been approved for a second round of funding meaning the Mobile Outreach Unit for Health and Social Supports (MOUHSS – “Moose”) will continue one day a week in the community of Gold River until July 2023!!! The new coordinator, Kaylin, will be supporting this project which will continue on MONDAYS from 10:30am-12:30pm and will continuously be located at the Jack Christiansen Centre parking lot in Gold River.
Access to the MOUHSS is free, confidential, and for anyone and everyone (all ages, backgrounds, demographics, otherwise). With this funding extension we will be looking to expand our project to incorporate potential paid peer programming, weekly hot meals, and increased connections and resources. It is vitally important to the success of this project, that everyone assist in spreading the information and/or come to check the mobile unit out yourselves. As we all know, for regional resources to be funded, we must continue to see a need & utilization. We see this through the number of folks who access the space weekly, your assistance in ensuring those who may benefit from this resource know how and when to access is so very much appreciated.
We will be hosting an information and access day to introduce Kaylin and the second go-around for the MOUHSS on MONDAY, DECEMBER 5TH 2022 10:00AM-12:30PM on the unit at the JCC parking lot. (weather dependant)
Here you can check in with both Kaylin and myself (RSW), provide your feedback about what you hope to see on the unit over the next 8 months, and access the services and supplies on board. We hope to see as many folks as possible out to this event on the 5th to show our funders how much this service is needed in community. I look forward to seeing each and every one of you out at the December 5th check in day!!!
To reach our coordinator;
Drivers to prepare for winter driving conditions across Vancouver Island
Remember to turn on your headlights and tail lights to help other drivers see you.
That reminder from Mainroad, a highway maintenance contractor on Vancouver Island.
As fog and snow moves in, they create poor visibility too.
Road crews will be continuing to service highways over the winter season, to apply ‘specific material’ to the roads ahead of weather conditions.
“Road cones don’t disappear in winter… slow down and drive with extreme care near a Cone Zone, watch for crews. Stay alert and minimize distractions. Show respect for the person working at the side of the road. Make sure to give them space (move over to another lane, if it’s safe to do so) and obey traffic control,” says General Manager Chris Cowley.
Crews will also be pre-salting the roads for snowy and icy conditions.
Anyone wanting to know about/report traffic delays or road conditions is asked to call Main Road’s call center at 1-877-215-7122.
Grieg Seafood Is Hiring
It takes a big, committed team to raise our fish, from egg to healthy, beautiful salmon.
We are an inclusive employer, and welcome applications from all qualified individuals. See our open positions online by visiting our website at griegseafood.com/bc-careers
Fast ferry service between Nanaimo and Vancouver slated to start next summer
A company planning a fast ferry between Nanaimo and Vancouver promises the service will start next summer.
The new Vancouver Island Ferry Company held a launch event Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the Port of Nanaimo.
“This is the stuff ferry tales are made of,” joked Rupesh Amin, CEO of Conqora Capital Partners, the company’s financial backers.
The foot-passenger-only ferry service is slated to start in summer 2023 with terminals at the Port of Nanaimo’s cruise ship terminal and the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre in downtown Vancouver.
Two high-speed catamaran vessels are being built by the Netherland’s Damen Group and will each hold more than 350 passengers in three classes of seating, referred to as business, premium and comfort class. Fares haven’t been announced, but the company says the price points will be “family friendly.”
Sailing schedules are also yet to be determined, but there will be multiple sailings per day and the crossing time will be approximately 70 minutes. Alastair Caddick, the company’s CEO, said sailings will be early enough for commuters and late enough to come home after sporting events or concerts, for example.
Seats will be fully reservable, but there will also be availability for walk-on passengers. Caddick said the company can promise a “modern, comfortable experience” for travellers, with wi-fi and food and beverage available on board.
The vessels will each be powered by four engines.
“We will only operate them safely and to ensure passenger comfort, but we’re very confident in their ability to sail in these waters reliably and with a high frequency,” Caddick said.
The Port of Nanaimo, Snuneymuxw First Nation and Conqora announced a long-term lease agreement a little over a year ago. The Nanaimo-based Vancouver Island Ferry Company has since been set up and its website, http://vifc.com, is now live.
“We’re committed,” Amin said. “I know that there’s been a lot of questions and sometimes there still are around whether this is real, but let me guarantee that this is real, it’s here and it’s here to stay.”
He said he thinks the new service will be a “transformative” addition to the transportation system on the coast.
“We’re here to connect people to the other side, whichever way you’re coming, but also to connect people to possibilities,” Amin said.
Donna Hais, Nanaimo Port Authority chairperson, said the community has needed greater access for a very long time. She said while the existing B.C. Ferries routes, helicopters and planes provide great service, they can’t keep up with the service demands of a rapidly growing city.
Greater access to friends and family members, health services, sports and entertainment and tourism opportunities are some of the benefits a foot-passenger ferry would bring, she said.
“I know what Conqora’s projections look like for capacity. I know about the 600,000, 650,000 passengers,” Hais said. “I know as a member of this community, we’re going to surpass that. Two vessels will quickly be filled up.”
Snuneymuxw Coun. Erralyn Joseph said a foot passenger ferry has been a priority for the First Nation for many years and said it was a “momentous” occasion to reach this point after working with Conqora and the port authority to overcome so many challenges.
Mayor Leonard Krog credited those who have worked toward and remained optimistic about a foot ferry service over various iterations, operators and proposals over the years. It’s something people in Nanaimo have “hoped for, wished for, waited desperately for, panted for, practically,” the mayor said.
BC Parks gears up for opening of camping reservations
The online reservation system for BC Parks campsites will open early in the new year, and they are gearing up after last year’s very busy season.
Jan. 3 will be the opening date for reservations and people will be able to book earlier in advance with a four-month window instead of only two.
Last year, more than 317,000 bookings were made on the new BC Parks reservation service. That’s an increase of 26.5 per cent, according to the province.
“Through our ongoing visitor engagement, we’ve heard the majority of campers prefer a four-month rolling window, allowing people to book a site well in advance of their visit,” said minister of environment and climate change, George Heyman
“We will continue to listen to public feedback so we can improve people’s park experiences, and everyone can easily access the many beautiful parks and backcountry areas our province has to offer.”
More campgrounds are also being added to the new reservation service for the 2023 season, according to the province.
There are more than 10,000 reservable day-use and overnight accommodations available that range from day-use passes, parking permits and campsites. The province adds they are working to expand its opportunities for outdoor recreation.
“We are fortunate to live in a province that has an abundance of spectacular parks for people to connect with nature and learn about Indigenous Peoples’ history and culture,” said parliamentary secretary for environment, Kelly Greene.
“We continue to expand opportunities for camping and improve accessibility so more people can experience the natural treasures of our beautiful province.”
Over $21 million is being invested for new campsites, trails and upgrades to existing facilities, according to B.C.
A complete list of reservable dates can be found on the BC Parks website. The in-progress reservation site can be viewed here.
ELK RIVER BRIDGE NOV 18th CLOSURE NOTICE
CMF Construction Ltd. is currently working on replacing Elk River Bridge, 20km
east of Gold River, BC on Highway 28 for Ministry of Transportation and
Infrastructure. To ensure safety of drivers and road users during our construction
activity, road closure will be required in coming days.
CMF will need to conduct full 2-hour closure of Elk River Bridge from 1:00 PM to
3:00 PM on Friday, November 18th. This closure is required to launch and install
temporary detour structure. Traffic will not be allowed to cross the existing bridge
during this time, with exception of emergency vehicles. Please adhere to
instructions by traffic control personnel stationed at edge of closures and do not
enter the work area for your own safety.
For emergency vehicles requiring to cross the bridge during road closure period,
all efforts will be made to clear the road for safe passage. Please note, depending
on which stage of work we are at, it may take some time to clear the road.
Thank you for your patience during this project.
Our New Mayor & Council
Congratulations to Mayor Lott and Councillars Pringle, Fossen, Pichert and Wehlmeier
Grieg Seafood has been awarded the Best Aquaculture Practices certification by the Global Aquaculture Alliance, the leading standards-setting organization for aquaculture seafood.
The Best Aquaculture Practices standards are developed by a committee of diverse stakeholders including leading progressive environmental organizations.
The review process involved an audit of Grieg’s social responsibility, food safety, animal welfare and traceability processes and systems, as well as audits at its farms. Best Aquaculture Practices certification standards for salmon farms incorporate ongoing guidelines and quantitative criteria for veterinary care, nets, and feed content and feed ratios.
Island Health issues drug poisoning advisory for Campbell River
Overdoses increasing in Campbell River
Island Health is warning people who use drugs of an increase in drug toxicity in Campbell River.
According to an Island Health release, overdoses and drug poisoning are increasing in Campbell River. This puts people who use opioids and stimulants at an increased risk of overdose from injection and inhalation.
If someone overdoses, Island Health advises people to call 911 and stay with the person, to administer naloxone, and give one rescue breath every five seconds.
Tips for safer drug use include getting drugs checked at the Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) at 1330 Dogwood Street, Unit 5. Drug checking is immediate, and available Tuesdays and Fridays between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sample drop off is also available. The OPS is also open daily from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.Island Health also recommends that people carry naloxone, and visit naloxonetraining.com for a training refresher.
Those who do use drugs are recommended to not mix substances, including alcohol and prescription drugs, as these can increase the risk of overdose. People using drugs are urged to start low and go slow, to know their tolerance (which can be lower after not using for a while, or if people are sick). Island Health also suggests staggering use with a friend to ensure someone can respond if needed.
If a person uses drugs alone, Island Health recommends letting someone else know and asking them to do periodic check ins, to download the Connect by Lifeguard app (lifeguarddh.com) and to call the National OD Response Service at 1-888-688-6677.
On-land salmon farms have potential- Gold River
With a transition from open-net pen salmon farms coming in 2025, the president of a land-based salmon farm project says with more time it could be a possible solution.
Gold River Aquafarms Limited is working on getting an on-land steelhead salmon farm up and running. President Robert Walker says the system is fairly simple and is a matter of putting parts together.
“It’s just about containing water in which you grow fish,” said Walker. “We will have two wells, one salt water and one fresh water and we’ll blend them. We’ll use the fresh water in the hatchery area and blended salt water in the juvenile area.
“We’ll be using the existing warehouses that are on the mill site and they will house a capacity of 3,000 tons a year in production.”
For full story click here
CHEK TV Features Gold River Co-op
CHEK TV did a nice story on our new Co-op, complete with video.
To view it click here
CO-OP A Message From Greg Dobson
During the AGM for the Village Co-Op last night, several people mentioned that there may be a misconception around membership and the ability to shop in the store, so I thought it was important to clarify the issue.
First, ANYONE can shop at the Co-Op, not just members. There are several benefits to being a member, but it's certainly not necessary - anyone can stroll in and enjoy some fantastic organic carrots.
Now, there are several benefits involved with being a member - there will be member pricing sales or selections as I understand it, and also once the website is up, members will be able to place and prepay for orders online, direct from the Co-Op's supplier, which can be picked up from the store once delivered. Additionally, as with most Co-Ops, once the store hits a certain level of profitability you will earn dividends which are paid out yearly in most cases.
If you're concerned about the upfront cost, why not have a chat with the GM of the store? Maybe there are alternative ways to purchase or earn a membership - never hurts to ask! But in the meantime, I hope this clears up any confusion about who can enjoy the Co-Op - because that would be everyone
Life on the edge: Will Arnett narrates new Netflix docuseries on Vancouver Island
Island of the Sea Wolves just released
A Canadian actor and comedian is lending his voice to a Netflix nature documentary series focused on Vancouver Island, set to be released in October.
Will Arnett is narrating Island of the Sea Wolves, a docuseries that explores natural life on the Island, ocean life, bald eagles and sea wolves.
Season one is set for release on Oct. 11, and is directed by Jeff and Chelsea Turner of River Road Films, a Vancouver-based production company that specializes in natural history documentaries.
Jeff Turner has created more than 40 natural history documentaries for BBC, CBC, PBS, Discover Channel and National Geographic. He’s also worked as a producer, director and cinematographer on the BBC series, Planet Earth, and produced, wrote and shot the IMAX feature film, The Great Bear Rainforest.
Chelsea Turner, the daughter of River Road Films co-founders Jeff and Susan Turner, has also worked as a film producer and director, creating natural history stories.
Island of the Sea Wolves features sweeping photography of some of the Island’s iconic locations and species including bears, bald eagles, Vancouver Island Marmots, sea otters and sea wolves.
“This is life on the edge; it’s life on Vancouver Island,” Arnett notes.
Click here to view the trailer for the documentary: https://www.netflix.com/ca/title/81341781
MP Blaney calls for federal investments to keep North Island emergency rooms open
OTTAWA – This Friday in Question Period, NDP MP Rachel Blaney (North Island-Powell River) took the federal government to task over the lack of emergency health care services in North Island communities.
“Hospital emergency rooms in Port Hardy, Alert Bay and Port McNeill have been closing, repeatedly for the past few months, because there isn’t enough staff to keep them open,” said Blaney.
Since August, Island Health has been announcing closures of emergency departments in North Island due to limited staffing availability, primarily nursing coverage. According to the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), 45 per cent of nurses have been clinically diagnosed with burnout and there is no plan in place to stabilize the workforce.
“Residents of North Island are extremely concerned that emergency rooms are not there when they need them,” said Blaney.
Decades of cuts to federal health care transfers by Liberal and Conservative governments, exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic, have undermined our healthcare system’s ability to keep emergency rooms open and fully staffed. $31 billion has been taken out of Canadians’ health care over 10 years, and the federal share of health-care spending in Canada has plummeted from the original 50 per cent to 22 per cent.
“Will this government provide significant and stable long-term funding for health care and address this crisis?” said Blaney.
In addition to calling for an increase to federal health care transfers, New Democrats have advocated for the federal government to address Canada’s ongoing health-care system issues, such as staffing shortages and emergency room closures in hospitals, by reducing red tape for internationally trained health-care workers to become qualified in Canada, and hiring at least 50,000 long-term care workers.
BC Ferries fares get more expensive
BC Ferries is changing its fuel surcharge for the third time this year.
Starting on November 1st, its current fuel surcharge of 2.5% will increase to 4%.
The cost for an adult will increase 70 cents and $3.15 for a vehicle and driver on the Metro Vancouver – Vancouver Island routes.
For inter-island routes, it’ll increase an average of 40 cents for an adult and $1.70 for a vehicle and driver.
In a news release, BC Ferries says that for the past 18 years, it has been using a fuel rebate/surcharge mechanism to manage the volatility in the price of fuel and it does not benefit financially from surcharges or rebates.
When fuel prices are lower, that price is passed to customers through a fuel rebate.
When fuel prices are higher, BC Ferries adds a surcharge specifically designed to cover the additional cost.
There have also been periods where neither option is used.
The Gold River Village Co-op's members AGM is this Monday 7pm at the Gold River legion. We are looking to replace and/or add some board of directors. You must be a paid member to be on the board, so if you are interested we will be taking memberships before the meeting from 6:30-7pm.
It takes a village. A lifetime membership is $300, we will accept etransfer, cheque or cash at the meeting. Thanks for your continuing support.
STRATHCONA REGIONAL DISTRICT – REGIONAL RECREATION COLLABORATION SURVEY
The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) is researching opportunities for regional collaboration in recreation services through a feasibility study and survey conducted by project consultants, RCS Strategies.
“This study is important for us to better understand how to best provide regional recreation opportunities in the future. We encourage residents within the region to participate in the survey because it will help the project team better understand the recreational activities that are most important, discover local recreation trends, and, identify opportunities for the various organization and local governments in the region to better work together” said Renée Laboucane, SRD Manager, Strategic Initiatives.
The regional recreation services feasibility study project will:
Analyze existing recreation services, assets, facilities and programs currently available through local governments within the SRD;
Identify future needs and trends;
Identify a range of collaborative options and models; and
Recommend potential operational efficiencies (training, program software, purchasing, etc.) that could arise as a result of increased collaboration and/or an integrated recreation services model.
This project is scheduled for completion in early 2023 and the feasibility study will be used as a resource by the SRD Board and local governments to inform future discussions and decision-making regarding recreation.
Please complete the online survey by October 30th for a chance to win a $100 grocery gift card.
Gold River Has A New Mayor!
Every Wednesday Night
Our New Mayor & Council
Congratulations to Mayor Lott and Councillars Pringle, Fossen, Pichert and Wehlmeier
Curling ice is being installed!
Clinic date to be announced once the ice is in, but we need to get people to let me know who is interested and in! Regular league curling will be Wednesday nights.
There will be no charge for the clinic, just come out and give it a try. Contact Candice or Sheila Millard you are interested,.
Vancouver Island Regional Library budget reflects economy, demand for services
The Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL)’s recently-passed budget will help maintain service levels for libraries in Campbell River and the rest of the Strathcona Regional District.
The budget, which was adopted at the Sept. 24 meeting of the VIRL board of trustees, reflects both the state of the economy and the demand for services felt throughout the region. VIRL’s budget for the year is $33,140,504, of which municipal and regional levies will contribute $27,501,775. Over 2022, it is an average increase of 8.10 per cent. Support came from 86 per cent of trustees in attendance at the meeting.
“With costs rising everywhere, these are challenging times for organizations, governments, families, and individuals in every corner of VIRL’s service area,” says Gaby Wickstrom, Chair of the VIRL Board of Trustees. “I truly believe now more than ever is the time to commit to investing in our libraries. After all, libraries ensure equitable access to technology, educational materials, children’s resources, and so much more, no matter your circumstances or challenges. As always, I am proud to lead a Board that was able to deliver a budget that will not compromise on service, and that affirms our confidence in and commitment to our world-class library system.”
Joëlle Samson, who is library manager for the Campbell River branch as well as other branches throughout the Strathcona region, says that the budget will help maintain current levels of service through the large service area she manages.
“The passing of this budget means that all VIRL branches, including Campbell River, will be able to maintain the service levels that folks expect from their library, including no fines on materials,” she said. “For libraries located in the Strathcona Regional District, which are supported by the Campbell River Branch, it means that staff can continue to travel to each library on a semi-regular basis to provide programming and outreach to communities. Branches supported by Campbell River include Quadra Island, Cortes Island, Tahsis, Gold River and Sayward libraries.”
VI Regional Library Gold River
What does your dream library look like? Join us on Oct.4, from 6-8pm, to share your ideas and to help us shape our 2023-2027 strategic plan.
Sign up here: http://ow.ly/VOFv50KTIrP
Province urging vaccines as we head into flu season
The B.C. government is expecting a surge in both COVID-19 and influenza this fall and is recommending people get their boosters as well as the yearly flu shot.
Provincial officials said influenza is especially expected to rise because of two years of low rates due to travel and socialization restrictions.
The province expects up to an additional 700 patients will need hospitalization over the coming months due to COVID-19.
They expect the peak hospitalizations for patients with the flu to be up to 1,200.
Invitations for fall booster shots for COVID-19 will be available to those who had their last shot at least six months ago.
People in long-term care and assisted-living facilities will be able to get their flu shot starting the week of Oct. 3.
The rest of the province can get theirs the week of Oct. 11, following the Thanksgiving long weekend.The flu shot is free for everyone six months or older.
For the first time, provincial officials said seniors older than 65 can get a free enhanced influenza vaccine that gives better protection against the flu.
We would like to take the time to say a big thank you to Captain Kelsey Kargus for all her service at the fire hall over the past four years. Kelsey was very dedicated to the hall and will be missed by everyone! Today was Kelsey’s last day with the GRVFD. We want to wish her all the best in her future adventures!
All the best Kelsey!
Clothing exchange, Wednesday September 28 at 7:00 pm. Check your closet, bring your gently used clothing and accessories that you no longer wear...just in time to refresh your wardrobe for fall.
Smoke visible as crews work on wildfire near Gold River
The BC Wildfire Service says a fire near Gold River has grown, prompting action from fire crews.
According to the BC Wildfire Service dashboard, the Herber River fire north of Gold River was started on Sept. 6 by lightning.
The fire was not being targeted directly by fire crews because of its location. The service says the fire is burning in very difficult-to-access terrain and was being monitored.
A monitored response means trigger points are set up and if the fire starts to get near those points action might be required, according to the service.
They say the fire has now increased to about 120 hectares in size. A 20-person Salish Unit Crew is on location at the fire.BC Wildfire Service says there is no danger to communities or infrastructure at this time.
Status update on the Heber River Fire.
It has grown to 120 hectares and it’s NOT moving closer to the community at this time. Originally it was a ‘Monitor Fire’ because it was burning in inaccessible and unsafe terrains. 20 personnel from the Salish Unit Crew are enroute to the Quinsam Fire Base so you’ll start to be seeing helicopters and personnel attacking this fire but that is because it is moving closer to timber values NOT because it is moving closer to Gold River. No critical infrastructure or lives are at risk, nor are they predicted to be in the future from this fire. Forecast shows rain in the future.
Below are some frequently asked questions:
When will we know if we have to evacuate?
If there is any indication that a wildfire may be a concern to lives or critical infrastructure BC Wildfire Service personnel will contact Gold River and Strathcona RD emergency personnel to inform them of the situation. In this case, this has not happened because there was never a prediction that lives or critical infrastructure would be at risk from this wildfire. If a wildfire, or any emergency situation, requires the community to take protective actions our most immediate dissemination method is our Alertable mass notification system and you can sign up for free at https://alertable.ca/signup/index.html?site=BC16.... If you had an account with our previous Connect Rocket system your account has been transferred over to Alertable.
Alertable also has a wonderful App that everyone should please download to their cellphone (if you have one of course). RCMP and Search and Rescue are the organizations tasked with delivering door-to-door evacuation notices if we ever get to that point to ensure no one is missed.
The emergency program also maintains community group email lists to send out weather alerts that are rated FYI or above (the four categories being FYI, Significant, Severe and Extreme), as well as upcoming training and news related to the emergency program. Let me know if you would you like me to add your email to my Gold River emergency group email list. All group emails are sent BCC so information is kept confidential.
Where can I get updated information?
Your best source is always the authority that has jurisdiction over the event, which in this case is BC Wildfire. You can call the Coastal Fire Centre information line at 250-951-4209 or visit their Wildfires of Note website http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/.../WildfireNews/OneFire.asp
How can I help?
Please seriously consider joining the Gold River Fire Department, Emergency Support Services or Emergency Communications Team.
What is the risk of wildfire in Gold River?
You can view Gold River’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan at this link https://srd.ca/.../gold-river-community-wildfire.../ as well as a complementary YouTube educational video summarizing the CWPP
Where can I learn more about Evacuation Stages?
Visit https://srd.ca/services/emergency-preparedness/. If anyone is ever placed under an Evacuation Alert we will provide the attached list of protective actions they can consider taking to better protect their home and property from wildfire damage.
Dental care for kids ‘step in right direction’ — MP Rachel Blaney
Canada’s new dental care program is a “step in the right direction” towards helping Canadians have more affordable lives, North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney says.
“Constituents have told me their household budgets are stretched to the limit with the rising cost of living and the lack of affordable housing,” said Blaney. “That’s why New Democrats pressed the government to deliver these measures that will put money back in your pockets and help you get ahead.”
The program is a product of the federal NDP’s confidence and supply agreement with the Liberal government.
The agreement was reached in March, where one of the NDP’s terms was that Canada adopt a national dental care program. On Sept. 12, the first step toward that program was announced with a temporary dental care benefit for most families with children under 12. For full story click here
ALL CANDIDATES MEETING
Gerry Morgan Memoria Cente Sept 29.
Doors open 6:30, Meeting starts 6:45
This is an informal kind of All-Candidates Meeting. Doors will open, and constituents and candidates are given 15 minutes to walk around the room, get to know each other and discuss issues that matter to the community.
Meeting will be called to start. The moderator will welcome candidates and guests, thank them for attending the event and review of the agenda for the evening and the chosen format.
Candidates are each given an equal length of time 1.5-2.5 min to introduce themselves, why they are running and/or present a broad issue that are important to them.
Residents submit their questions in writing at the beginning and during the event. Moderator will randomly draw questions and screen them to ensure that they are on topic and that have not been asked, are appropriate, are on issues that would affect the community as a whole (and not just one or two members) and are respectful. If question is not addressed to one candidate, the panel will have an opportunity to answer by raising their hand
Moderator asks for questions from the audience. Residents wanting to address the candidates can do so by walking up to the microphone. Questions will be formed in 30 seconds or less.
If time warrants, we will allow candidates to respond to each other, especially if they are discussing issues that are contentious or important to the community. We will give the candidates a specific amount of time to speak so that they do not go off on tangents or engage in arguments! Candidates are each given an equal length of time 1.5-2.5 min to make any closing comments.
A reasonable decorum will be expected by the guests and candidates to ensure a fair and reasonable discussion. The moderator will ensure and maintain a productive and respectful environment.
If anyone acts out of line and fails to maintain a reasonable decorum, they will be asked to leave the event immediately. We take the respect of candidates and guests very seriously. . We ask the candidates to respect each other by not speaking over one another and
speaking to each other in a civilized manner. We ask the audience to respect the candidates and applaud good ideas rather than the candidates themselves.
No campaign related information can be passed out inside the room-if you wish to hand out material, do so before and after the question and answer period at your table. No campaign related buttons, banners or posters are allowed in the room.
Gold River Men's Reunion Hockey Tournament
September 23 & 24. Games times are the same both nights
Old Timers: 6:30pm-8:00pm
Young Timers: 8:00pm-9:30pm
Lounge is open both nights starting at 6:30pm.Come down have a beer or pop,some great laughs while cheering on current and past residents of
Legion Open House October 10, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm Legion
Alcohol Free Family Event Burgers, Hot and Cold Beverages, Come see who we are & what we do! Military Displays, Memorabilia, Membership Drive,
Information on Supporting Veterans, their Families, & our Community, And even Entertainment!!!
Two Gold River Properties On Tax Sale
As per section 645 of the Local Government Act, the Village of Gold River will be auctioning off two properties in a tax sale unless delinquent taxes are paid. See attachment for details.
Information on the tax sale process can be found here:
Who Wil Be The Next Mayor & Council of Gold River?
Check to see who is running for office this election and click here
Gold River Days What a fantastic weekend!!! (msg from our mayor)
I would first like to thank the major sponsors again this year, without your support events like these would not take place.
WFP, Cypress Creek Logging, Grieg Seafood, Village of Gold River
There are many groups and people to thank,
For the parade- Chamber of Commerce, Rangers, Royal Canadian Legion, Mowachat Muchalaht First Nation, WFP, Cypress Creek, First Responders, Dave Dakin, old vehicles, Doug Vandenburg,
The Show and Shine- Chamber of Commerce, North Island Cruisers, Gold River skating and minor hockey clubs.
Gold River Nootka Sound Art Society- Keit
h and Chris Broad, Brenda Patrick and all the incredible artists we have here.
The Gold River Reveller- Duck Race, G R Fire department for making a river
The Ball tournament- Tre Amos and her helpers, umpires, and all the Teams who participated.
Beer Garden in the park- Monika Manhas, Amy Dupuis and all their supporters
The Band - Alex, Graham, Christina, and Glen
Party in the Park- Christina Hodkinson-Crook
Grieg Seafood- BBQ Salmon
Rod and Gun (John and Bea Bruce) fishing tank
Bounce a Rama
Gold River Volunteer Fire Department and BCEHS (Ambulance)
Gold River Skating Club- putt off
And all the vendors selling their merchandise
Thanks also to our Village Staff and Employees
Thanks everyone, can’t wait until next year.
I hope I have not missed anyone, if I did my apologies.
On behalf of Council
Mayor Brad Unger
Gold River Skating Club
Just a reminded that the registration night for this years season is Mnday September 19th between 6:30 and 8:30 at the Gold River High School Lobby.
Village of Gold River: Rogers Update
For those interested in tracking the approval process for the Rogers tower see below:
1. The public can forward their questions and comments to Brian Gregg of SitePath Consulting until September 16, 2022. Where he will respond to questions. email@example.com
2. After September 16, 2022 Brian will include public comments with his responses in his report to Council asking Council to approve the Rogers Cell Tower.
3. Village Staff will also write a report for Councils consideration.
4. Council will determine if an additional public hearing is required, or determine when they would like to receive delegations before they make their decision.
5. Council will then vote on the matter.
6. This process is separate from any land use approvals that may be required in addition to the approval of the cell tower.
There has been some confusion about the approval process and some wanting to present directly to Council, but we are not at a stage to confirm these requests. Hopefully this helps clear that up.
Village of Gold River
Nominations are now being accepted at the Village Office for those interested in running for Mayor, Councillor, Electoral Area A, or School Board Trustee.
Nomination paperwork can be picked up at the front office and must be filled out at returned during business hours before September 9, 2022 at 4:00pm.
Island grocery shelves sitting empty due to ‘internal supply chain challenges,’ Walmart says
Walmart Canada says it’s working on restocking grocery shelves currently sitting stark in stores across British Columbia, including on Vancouver Island.
A corporation spokesperson tells CHEK News that several B.C. Walmart Supercentres are experiencing “some recent internal supply chain challenges” affecting both fresh and frozen food categories.
Walmart customers in cities like Victoria and Campbell River have taken to social media this week, posting photos of shelves once filled with items like fruits, vegetables and meats now sitting bare.
“This is not what our customers expect and deserve,” said Felicia Fefer, Walmart Canada corporate affairs manager, in a statement Friday.
But it’s an issue already seen in recent years.
At the beginning of the pandemic, people on the Island and beyond started panic buying in bulk at grocery stores, stocking up on items like toilet paper as the reality of COVID-19 unfolded in 2020.
Fefer says Walmart Canada is prioritizing its latest supply chain issue and notes that product availability continues to improve daily.
“We apologize to our customers for this short-term inconvenience and thank them for their understanding,” she added.
Crews battle wildfires near Campbell River, in Strathcona Provincial Park
A few fires have sparked near Campbell River in the last few days, ranging from difficult to reach backcountry fires to human-caused conflagrations near the city.
Closest to Campbell River is a fire roughly three kilometres away from an inhabited area at the north end of the city. Gordon Robinson, an information officer with the Coastal Fire Centre, said that the fire was in an old cut block and had grown to 0.6 hectares by Friday afternoon. On site are a few abandoned buildings, and the Campbell River Fire Department is providing assistance to extinguish those.
“It’s suspected at this point to be human caused, given the nature of small fires and not having lightning right there,” Robinson said. “It can’t really be confirmed yet.”
Though there is no immediate risk to inhabited structures, Robinson said the crew would remain on scene for some time to ensure it does not spread. The BC Wildfire Service has nine fire fighters on scene, as well as two helicopters. One crew of Campbell River fire fighters and two trucks were also sent for the initial attack, which included establishing a hose line to contain the fire.
“Given the size… it looks like they’ll probably be at it for a little while,” Robinson said. “It’s not one of these spot fires that they can knock down in an afternoon. There’s a bit more there.”
Dry conditions through August have brought on a number of fires in the area, including notably a 40 hectare fire on the slopes of Golden Hinde in Strathcona Provincial Park.
“This season, most things on the Island have been pretty small for sure. (The Golden Hinde fire is) the biggest one we’ve had on the Island this year,” Robinson said.
“Largely, that’s a factor of just where it’s burning. It’s in an area that’s really difficult to access, you can’t really put people on the ground around that fire safely, just given how steep it is there. It is being monitored right now, they’ve established a set of check points around it and if it grows beyond those it’ll receive some action, but it’s not being suppressed right now.”
That fire is under a “Modified Response,” which Robinson can mean a few different things. In that case it means it is being monitored for further growth. In the case of the Nimpkish River fire further to the north, it has a different meaning.
For full story click here
BC Ferries announces Wi-Fi at more terminals
Wireless internet will be more common at ferry terminals after being installed at multiple locations.
BC Ferries says 14 terminals received Wi-Fi connection at the end of July, bringing the total number of terminals with access to 21.
The project was funded with a $1.5 million grant from the Ministry of Citizens Services’ Connecting British Columbia program.
BC Ferries says the Wi-Fi will allow more travellers to stay connected for work, leisure and general trip information.
The following terminals now have a Wi-Fi connection:
Cormorant Island (Alert Bay)
Cortes Island (Whaletown)
Denman Island East (Gravelly Bay)
Gabriola Island (Descanso Bay)
Galiano Island (Sturdies Bay)
Mayne Island (Village Bay)
Nanaimo (Nanaimo Harbour)
Pender Island (Otter Bay)
Port Hardy (Bear Cove)
Quadra Island (Heriot Bay)
Salt Spring Island (Long Harbour)
Salt Spring Island (Vesuvius Bay)
Saturna Island (Lyall Harbour)
Vancouver Island (Buckley Bay)
The coverage includes BC Ferries’ terminals, public lounges and vehicle holding compounds.
Gold River Days: A HUGE success
A great day had by all. Mother Nature co-operated and everything had a fabulous day. A big thank you to all the volunteers who made this weekend such a great success!
Mayor Unger To Run For Third Term
Mayor Brad Unger is throwing his hat in the ring again for the position in the upcoming municipal election, hoping to see ongoing projects through and keep up the work of making the village a better place.
“There’s projects… that after years of vested interest in getting them to this stage that I want to see finished. I want to get them going,” he said. “I’ve got the energy to move forward, the commitment from family to carry on with this crazy lifestyle.”
Unger is running for his third term as mayor. Over the last eight years he says he has built up relationships with representatives from all levels of government. Unger, who also currently sits as chair of the Strathcona Regional District board, said that the collaboration between municipalities, as well as other levels of government are really beneficial for smaller communities.
From Donna Rawling Schneider
Make sure you stop by our tent in the park on Saturday after the parade! We have free swag, Blood Pressure & Blood Glucose Monitoring as well a FREE kits for Living with Diabtes, Living with Chronic Conditions and Living with Chronic Pain.
Learn what Community Paramedicine is all about.
Don’t forget to purchase your Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock 50/50 tickets $2 ea. to help support our BCEHS participant Rachelle Cole from the Ucluelet station.
There will info on recruitment as well
Out-of-control fire near Woss grows to 25 hectares
An out-of-control wildfire is burning on Vancouver Island between Tahsis, Woss and Gold River.The fire, which is on a mountainside about 10 km east of Vernon Lake, has spread to an estimated size of 25 hectares. The Coastal Fire Centre has deployed a modified response to the fire.
“What that means is… it’s based on a mix of factors, based on crew safety considerations, distance from communities and values, and accessibility of the terrain,” said Fire Information Assistant Nadia Linning. “It uses a combination of suppression techniques. The idea is to monitor and contain it within a pre-determined perimeter.
“This is the type of response that we’d use when there aren’t values at immediate risk. Once we’ve decided that we’re going to do a modified response, we do a fire analysis, which identifies different parameters. If and when those are reached and passed, it’ll prompt a reassessment of the fire and we would reassess how we’re actioning that.”
As of Monday, there are two helicopters monitoring the fire as well as two smaller fires nearby. Linning said that the decision to go to a modified response was because of the remote nature of the fire, adding that it would be difficult to get a crew on site.
“The accessibility is part of the reason we’re doing a modified response,” she said. “It’s a fairly big factor. Oftentimes we’ll use that on fires that are in really steep terrain or just are difficult to get crew members on the ground.”
The cause of the fire is undetermined. The Coastal Fire Centre received a report on Saturday (Aug. 20). At the time, a storm with dry lightning passed over Vancouver Island, sparking a few fires its wake.
“We did have a couple of lightning events at the end of last week, so we had quite a few new starts as a result of those,” Linning said. “Lightning-caused fires, just due to the nature of them, they can smoulder for sometimes days before we receive reports of them. Some of these are likely hold-over fires from that lightning event. We do anticipate that we’ll see a few more over the next few days, just because conditions are going to warm up again as of (Tuesday).”
Though the fire is relatively remote, Linning said that the Coastal Fire Centre does get most of its reports quickly after fires are started, due to people either working or recreating throughout the Island.
“We’re able to get crews on a lot of these before they’re able to spread further. We’re able to keep them on spot fires in most situations,” she said. “That’s one of the benefits for us: the quick reports we’re able to get from the public.”
As of Monday, 18 fires were located on Vancouver Island or in mainland inlets nearby.
Provincial funds will help support unhoused people in Campbell River and the North Island
People who are unhoused will be getting more access to support services in communities across Campbell River and the North Island as a result of provincial funding.
“These investments are so important to support North Island communities in their response to homelessness, while prioritizing the needs of vulnerable populations,” said Michele Babchuk, MLA for the North Island. “With these investments, all residents can benefit from community led projects and services.”
The Strathcona Regional District, in Partnership with the City of Campbell River, is receiving $382,300 to respond to the impacts of homelessness through the project Strathcona 2022-23 Unsheltered Homelessness Response. This project will extend programs that have already been established but have seen an increased demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs provide support for unsheltered individuals by helping increase food access, medical support, and social services, while assisting different organizations in working together to build a coordinated and community-led approach that prioritizes health and safety of the community. Full story here
BC Ferries records highest ever first quarter for vehicle traffic
It appears even more vehicles are travelling on BC Ferries despite the impacts of crew shortages.The ferry line released its first quarter results Thursday for the three months leading up to June 30.
The report shows vehicle and passenger traffic increased 42 per cent and 74 per cent respectively compared to the same period the year before. They add this quarter marked the highest ever first quarter for vehicle traffic, at 3.8 per cent higher than in pre-COVID fiscal 2020.
Passenger traffic was about 6.3 per cent lower than fiscal 2020, according to BC Ferries.Revenues for the three months also increased by $35.7 million compared to the same period last year. They say this is because of higher traffic volumes and net retail sales.
While revenues increased BC Ferries says expenses were $242.1 million, an increase of $31.3 million compared to the same period in 2021. For full story click here.
TEAAM Aeromedical opens rescue centre in Campbell River
Vancouver Island industry and adventurers can benefit from a new search and rescue base located in Campbell River.
Technical Evacuation Advanced Aero Medical (TEAAM) has its newest location in the city. It’s one of four bases in the province including Prince George, Fort St. John and Squamish – its home base.
The program is unique in Canada, according to the president and co-founder, Miles Randall. The program is a non-profit, medically directed rescue program and is similar to programs in Switzerland and New Zealand.
Randall says they started the program after experiencing gaps in Canada’s rescue system.
“We started the program back in 2017 after the loss of a friend in 2014,” said Randall. “We responded as traditional ambulance paramedics to a cardiac arrest in the backcountry which turned out to be our station chief, our search and rescue team leader and friend of 20 years.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to go up the trail to get to his side and were required to have the patient brought to us. He didn’t survive the event.”
He adds another incident about four months later in Squamish saw them approach the situation differently, leading to the rescue of a hypothermic girl in cardiac arrest in the backcountry.
The program is membership-based and is a combination of memberships and insurance, according to Randall. He says they base it on Switzerland’s Air Zermatt model. For full story click here
ELK RIVER BRIDGE REPLACEMENT CONSTRUCTION NOTICE
Location: Elk River Bridge, 20km East of Gold River, BC
What is happening:
• Single lane traffic will be in place 24/7, with up to 15
minute delays starting August 24th, 2022.
• Emergency vehicles will be prioritized through
Construction Emergency Contact
CMF Office: (250) 754-6223 (8:00 AM – 4:30 PM)
Ricky Lee (Traffic Control Manager): Cell (250) 714-6455
Monte Rollins (Traffic Control Supervisor): Cell (250) 714-5221
Visit DriveBC.ca for regular update
Parent Support Services Virtual Summer Camp sessions for kids are back again in August.
These camps are interactive, free and can be attended from the comfort of your own home!
Tuesday, August 23rd - kids will be learn about NATURE’S GARBAGEMEN (Slugs, Snails & Other Decomposers) with the Galiano Conservancy via Zoom.
· Kids 6yrs to 8yrs old will join an on-line session at 9:30 am
· Kids 9yrs to 12yrs will join an on-line session at 11:00 am
Wednesday, August 24th - kids all ages can join an energetic and fun Zumba Dance Party via Zoom.
· 6yrs and up - From 12 pm to 1 pm
Thursday, August 25th 28th – kids will join a Story-telling & musicor Drama session via Zoom
· kids 6yrs to 8yrs old will make music shakers with a few household items at 9:30 am
· Kids 9yrs to 12yrs old kids will stretch their imaginations through games, improv, and character building, to create a theatrical world all their own at 11:00 am
Thursday, August 25th – 7:30 pm - Parenting Matters - Topic: A discussion for parents and kinship caregivers. - Summer is soon coming to an end and school will resuming soon. Join us for a discussion with other parents and caregivers to share ideas about transitioning from summer break to school routines.
For a supply list and registration form: https://bit.ly/psskids
Parent Support Services offers several Parenting Support Circlegroups, including a support circle for parents raising teens, for single parents, we offer some language specific circles and a circle just for dads. Many of our groups will continue over the summer!
We also offer Support Circle groups and other services for kinship caregivers (grandparents and others raising a relative child). Parents & Kin can self refer by completing our on-line referral form: – ONLINE: https://bit.ly/provcircleform
Virtual Parenting Workshop – Monday, August 29, 2022 10 am to 11:30 am –
Navigating Tricky Transitions
To register: https://bit.ly/pssparentingworkshop
Strathcona Regional District Wants to Hear About Your
The SRD invites community members to provide input on transportation needs and opportunities through online and paper surveys, available from now until August 31st, 2022.
The transportation survey is open to community members within the larger SRD area including First Nations and Electoral Area A but does not include Electoral Area B (Cortes Island), Electoral Area C (Discovery Islands) or the southern part of Electoral Area D (south of Campbell River) in this study.
The survey is part of a larger study initiated by the Strathcona Regional District to identify options for providing public transportation to people living in small or remote communities on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The intent is to determine whether public transportation is feasible for connecting members of these communities to larger regional centres.
Community feedback matters and will help us understand the following:
Existing regional travel patterns
Willingness to use a public transportation service
Acceptable round-trip fares
Other ideas on how to improve transportation options in your community
Commercial fishers and wild salmon advocates cheer large returns to B.C. waters.
The summer of 2022 is shaping up to be a bumper season for both pink and sockeye salmon in British Columbia rivers, with one veteran Indigenous fisherman reporting the biggest catches of sockeye in decades.
Mitch Dudoward has worked in the salmon industry for more than 40 years and says fishing on the Skeena River in northwest B.C. has never been better.
"This is the best season I can recall in my lifetime with the numbers we are catching," said Dudoward, who recently completely a big sockeye haul aboard his gillnetter Irenda.
Bob Chamberlin, chairman of the Indigenous-led First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance, meanwhile said that thousands of pink salmon are in Central Coast rivers after years of minimal returns. For the full story click here
GOLD RIVER DAYS UPDATE
Pancake Breakfast At The Legion: Aug 28 9 to Noon.
Payment by donation. Come on out and enjoy a fine breakfast!
Show & Shine
Sunday Aug 28. 10-2. at the Gerry Morgan Memorial Centre.
Locals and visitors are welcomed to bring down your "Ride" for everyone to admire. For details and free registration contact Linda, 283-2902.
11:30 AM Sign up @ Nimpkish Park Saturday Aug 27
Teams of 3+ People
ALL AGES Camera Required for Photographic Evidence.Participants must return to the park by 3 PM to be entered in the prize draw.
4 PRIZES VALUED @ $38
FUNDED BY THE GOLD RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Nursing shortages hitting North Island communities hard
Island Health says challenges with the pandemic and low nursing staff have contributed to temporary emergency department closures on Vancouver Island.
Central and North Island clinical operations vice president James Hanson says staffing has always been a challenge in remote areas. He says this is because of a loss in available staff for the areas.
“Rural/remote has always been a challenge for us to recruit and retain staff,” said Hanson. “We used to rely quite heavily on agency nursing, so private nursing.
“Now systems, regional systems, provincial systems, national systems are relying on agency nursing, not just rural/remote but pretty much everywhere throughout.”
He adds that combined with the pandemic, housing has become an issue for nurses to stay.
“We are actually seeing an impact on housing, so the availability of housing is something we hear about quite regularly from folks that want to work in our regions,” said Hanson.
Hanson says they are working with municipal leaders and leasing apartments to try to attract individuals.
Despite this, many closures have been seen in Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Port Alice and more recently in Ucluelet.
Hanson says they have about 40 per cent nursing vacancies in both Port Hardy and Port McNeill and sick calls are adding to the strain.
One strategy they have been trying is to overstaff in those areas, according to Hanson. But that has presented its own challenges.
“The challenge has been recruiting people to the region,” he said. “So, while we have a plan in place and the funding in place and the nursing lines to do that, we haven’t been able to attract long-term staffers.”
For the full story click here
How Lucky Lager became a Vancouver Island institution
If you live on Vancouver Island, chances are you’ve crushed a Lucky Lager or two.
With its iconic red-and-white logo, the beer brand is known for being affordable, crisp and refreshing — and is intrinsically linked to our corner of the world.
But how did that happen? The company, now owned by Labatt, has no current ties to the region.
As it turns out, the story goes back nearly a century.
Matt Poirier, a beer expert who runs the website Matter of Beer recently sat down with Joe Perkins and KC Kyle of the MicCHEK podcast to discuss the brand’s rise to prominence on Vancouver Island.
“The story of Lucky as a brand itself actually starts in 1934 in San Francisco,” Poirier explained. “Even then the story of the brands that were built behind Lucky go back even further than that. The breweries that were involved that actually amalgamated and became partners and that, that eventually were brewing Lucky here on the Island go back to 1858.”
The General Brewing Company, which started up in 1934, opened to specifically brew Lucky Lager — a classic, crisp lager — and the president of the brewery was none other than the grandson of Adolphus Busch, the founder of the Anheuser-Busch beer empire.
“Part of it maybe was for prestige, but one of the things that happened right away was there was a group of breweries here, based here in Victoria, that actually partnered up with General Brewing Company in San Francisco.”
That group was called Coast Breweries, and it essentially took over General Brewing as it was in the process of opening, bringing the recipe to Victoria and brewing Lucky Lager right on Government Street.
To read the rest of the story click here
Are you one of the many talented artisans residing in Gold River, Tsaxana, Tahsis, Nootka Sound, and surrounding areas? We would like to invite you to participate in the Gold River days art show. Gold River, Nootka Sound Society for the Arts is hosting an art show and silent auction at the Gerry Morgan Memorial Ctr 10am to 4pm on August 27th & 28th.
If you are interested in participating in the art show, and would like to fill out a registration form we would love for you to contact us by email or phone at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone Keith at 250-283-7164
We would like to ask for an artist bio with examples of your work for promotional purposes, which can be sent by messenger to this page or by email to email@example.com
Criteria for the show are pieces need be appropriate for all age groups, artist will need to provide their own tripod, plinth, or hangers as there is limited 'soft' wall space. No screening.
Donations of items for fundraising for the Gold River, Nootka Sound Society for the Arts silent auction would be warmly welcomed and arrangements can be made by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (Keith) 250-283-7164
PUBLIC NOTICE GOLD RIVER PROPOSED ROGERS TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITY 40.0-METER LATTICE TRIPOLE STRUCTURE PROPOSED STRUCTURE:
As part of the public consultation process required by Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada and the Village of Gold River, Rogers is inviting the public to comment on a proposed telecommunications facility consisting of a 40.0-meter tall self-support tower scture and ancillary radio equipment situated on municipal owned land in Gold River.
LOCATION: 549 Eagle Crescent, Gold River, BC (vacant municipal-owned property) COORDINATES: 49.782274, -126.052335 ANY PERSON may comment by close of business day on September 16th, 2022 with respect to this matter
79-year-old man missing after heading up Island on solo camping trip UPDATE! FOUND SAFE!
A man thought to be headed north from Nanaimo on a camping trip has been reported missing.
According to a press release, Nanaimo RCMP said it seeks the public’s help finding Roy Olson, 79, who hasn’t been seen since July 25. He told his family he would go to Campbell River, followed by Gold River and then to Port Hardy. His family stated he usually goes between four and five days, but has never been gone this long. They are extremely worried for his safety and well-being, the press release said.
He was travelling in a white Dodge camping van with B.C. licence plate MN7 43L. He is travelling with his tan and black Rhodesian Ridgeback dog. He is known to hike along trails with his dog and if possible, avoids crowds and campgrounds, the press release said.
Anyone with information on Olson is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP’s non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, citing file No. 2022-26644.
Campfire ban on Vancouver Island goes into today
Following a couple weeks of hot and dry conditions, a campfire ban for Vancouver Island takes effect at noon this coming Thursday, August 4th.
The campfire ban covers both public and private land within the BC Coastal Fire Centre’s jurisdiction—which encompasses all of Vancouver Island.
The prohibition will remain in effect until October 15th, or until the orders are rescinded.
A campfire is defined as any fire smaller than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide.
In addition to campfires, the ban will also cover fireworks, sky lanterns, burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description.
The ban 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.
The ban comes as two wildfires burn on northern Vancouver Island. Both are believed to be human-caused.
The fires, south of Sayward, are under control and being monitored.
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