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"Celebrating 20 Years In B.C."

HAPPY CANADA DAY!

The Ridge
July 2 we will be open 7 days a week

New hours starting june 1st at

The Ridge Roadhouse

Will now be open at 12:00 pm

Monday to Saturday

We will be remaining to go only.

With limited seats available on the deck.the deck will be to-go / self serve. See server before entering.

DELIVERIES WILL BE FROM 5 – 7 PM MON-FRI ONLY

Click Here For Ridge Menu

Grocery Service List:  Updated List As Of April 15th.

Please place orders between 10-2 Sunday thru Friday.  All  products come directly from our wholesale suppliers and are  premium quality.

Please Note:

The list does not contain prices. The prices from the wholesalers can change at anytime. When you call and place your order we are able to give you pricing for that day.If you don't see an item on the list, it may be available, just ask.  Call Jerad for pricing and ordering information (250) 283-7526.  This  number is reserved for orders only.   You can email your order to rrgroceries2020@gmail.com 

(If you are opening the list on your phone, you may have to swipe left to right to see the full list)

To See Groceries List Click The Red Box

***Corona Virus Updates Click Here***

BC RCMP stepping up impaired driving campaign this July

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mt. Washington opens Island’s longest zip line

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

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

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

Gold River Burning Bylaw

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

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

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

Gold River Garbage Collection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grief Seafood Achieves Full ASC Certification In Nootka Sound

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

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

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

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

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

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

Job Opportunity At Grieg Seafood

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

Road Closure

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

North Island College offering craft brewing classes this fall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great News From The Ridge

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Employment Opportunity At The Golf Course

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

GOLD RIVER CENTRAL ATTRACTION HUB TO ENCOURAGE VISITATION

Downtown focal point to help establish and diversify Village economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The project is expected to begin shortly.

###

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

About the Quick Start funding stream
ICET’s Quick Start funding stream enables communities with limited staff and financial resources to “kickstart” their new strategies and turn concepts into action with projects that can be completed within a short timeframe. Funding up to $15,000 may be used for small scale projects or to support the development of materials or plans required to access funding for larger scale initiatives. 

For further information:
Line Robert, CEO
Island Coastal Economic Trust
Tel. 250-871-7797 (Ext. 227)

Amanda Fortier, Communications Officer
Island Coastal Economic Trust
Tel. 250-871-7797 (Ext. 232)

Gold River Golf Course Open To The PUblic This Friday

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

Campbell River Airport welcomes first commercial flight following closure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Village of Gold River - Surplus Equipment For Sale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

British Columbians given ‘preferential access’ to provincial campsites

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

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

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

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

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

Scumbag Alert

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

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

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

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

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

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

He also has a number of tattoos.

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

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

May 22, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gold River Tax Penalty Change Date

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

The tax payment due date remains July 2, 2020.

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

.

Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay ferry service set to resume

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

by NanaimoNewsNOW Staff

 

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Over 300 Nurses Hired By Island Health

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

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

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

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

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

       Here are helpful links for businesses to access:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And of course, Canada’s Economic Response Plan

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

A local contact from government:

Bridget Horel

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

Rural Development Unit

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

370 Dogwood Street South, Campbell River, BC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More grizzly bears showing up on northern Vancouver Island

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

Island Health Begins Surgical Renewal Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Modified scheduling and workflows to maintain physical distancing.

  • Enhanced screening and assessment of patients prior to surgery.

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

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

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

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

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

Following the rules reduces wildfire risk: Coastal Fire Centre officer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Easiest Way Ever To Support The GR Skaing Club

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

Thank you for your continued support.

Most BC parks reopening May 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some parks will remain closed at this time.

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

Village of Gold River Council Meeting May 19th

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

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

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

Vancouver Island Regional Library announces new virtual services

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Initial Response

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

This included:

  • Expanding the number of eBook and eAudiobook titles;

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

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

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

As a result of these efforts, the VIRL saw a 

  • 50 percent increase in eBooks borrowing,

  • 30 percent jump in eAudiobook borrowing,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There’s some construction starting up on Highway 28.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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