"Celebrating 20 Years In B.C."
GOLD RIVER RESIDENTS
STAY & DINE
2 Nights for 2 People - $250
Includes Accommodation, Breakfast and a
$50 dining credit for our in-house
taxes in. Must book direct.
Looming Seaspan Ferries strike expected to impact Vancouver Island
The Canadian Merchant Service Guild has issued a strike notice to Seaspan Ferries Corporation after meetings with a provincial mediator came to an impasse.
The 72-hour strike notice was issued at 3 p.m. on Jan. 18, which means the union will be going on strike as of the same time on Jan. 21 unless the two groups come to an agreement.
In December, the two groups negotiated what is considered essential service at the BC Labour Relations Board.Under the agreement, there will be no more than one round trip between Tilbury and Duke Point, and one between Tilbury and Swartz Bay per day.
The trips will also be limited to 30 per cent of the loading capacity, and they will only be able to take essential freight.
A strike would stop the vast majority of Seaspan’s service between Vancouver Island and the mainland.
“Don’t expect all your favourite restaurants to have the food that you’re wanting to go get, expect grocery stores to actually probably become empty, any Rona, Home Depot that is not essential. All that freight comes from the mainland,” said Kendra Slawson, Penta Transport’s Logistics Coordinator.
Hells Angels: Firearms, cash and cocaine seized in Vancouver Island gang probe, six arrested
A year-long investigation into drug trafficking on Vancouver Island has resulted in six arrests and seizures of guns, drugs and cash.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. said it launched the probe into the drug network last January. Six people were arrested Jan. 13 as four search warrants were served in the Comox Valley and in Campbell River.
CFSEU called it “a complex investigation into an alleged organized drug-trafficking network with ties to members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.”
Seized at four Vancouver Island homes was 3.5 kg of cocaine, $160,000 in cash, several guns, a car and “Hells Angels” paraphernalia.
January 20, 2022 - Public Feedback Request – West Coast Prolonged Power Outage
Campbell River, BC - The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) in conjunction with the Village of Tahsis, Village of Zeballos, Ehattesaht/Chinehkint First Nation, Nuchatlaht First Nation and Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Che:k:tles7et'h' First Nations are asking community members of the areas affected by the recent prolonged power outage to provide their observations on emergency response activities.
This feedback will help make communities more resilient by ensuring that critical lessons and knowledge are captured immediately into a Community Level After Action Report that will be shared publicly when completed.
It is crucial to understand that the ability of communities to implement recommendations is determined by a multitude of factors such as budget, personnel, capacity, and availability of volunteers. With some items, such as the condition of the Forest Service Road, the role of many communities is limited to that of advocacy, but organized information will allow the SRD to communicate the communities’ insights more appropriately.
Identify future areas for public education initiatives.
Assess the preparedness of household and grassroots neighbourhood emergency plans prior to emergency events.
Recruit new leaders and members for local emergency response programs.
Identify strengths and weaknesses in the local emergency plan.
Help the SRD advocate to other levels of government beyond its jurisdiction (BC Hydro, Emergency Management BC, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development).
Surveys will be mailed out to each community next week. For more information or to complete the survey online, please visit www.srd.ca/2022-srd-west-coast-winter-storm-feedback.
SRD Protective Services Coordinator
250-830-6702 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Heading out on a B.C. Ferry. Check first for cancellations
A B.C. Ferries spokesperson is encouraging passengers to check online for possible service disruptions before heading to a terminal.
Dan McIntosh says several factors could lead to sailing cancellations on some routes, including employees being sick with COVID-19, seasonal cold and flu, or severe winter storms. Four sailings were cancelled Saturday on the Queen of Cowichan between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo due to staffing issues.
McIntosh says B.C. Ferries has contingency plans in place as requested by the provincial health officer to deal with a rise in absenteeism as the Omicron variant sweeps through the province, and that includes cross-training staff to do other duties or deploying them to different locations.
"All it takes is for a few people to be sick, depending on the role they play on the ferries, and then all of a sudden that augments your schedules in a way that we've seen. And we can say, anecdotally, that because of the COVID situation, we know that that is impacting our staff."
He says service notices are posted online as soon as possible when sailings won't be going ahead as scheduled.
Passengers can check the B.C. Ferries website for any cancellations before heading to a terminal or register to get notices sent to their mobile device.
Mainroad crews working tirelessly to patch potholes at the mercy
of the weather
Mainroad is under contract with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to carry out maintenance on provincial roads within the Lower Mainland and central and northern parts of Vancouver Island. The contract lays out what our responsibilities are and how much time we must respond to those activities, such as pothole patching.
To meet the conditions of our contract, Mainroad crews have been working at a tireless pace to patch potholes as we become aware of them – sometimes patching the same potholes multiple times in a day. We have a very robust planning, scheduling, and inspection system in which we monitor our works. The past several weeks of weather has been extremely unusual where we’ve gone from very cold overnight temperatures of minus 10 degrees to daytime highs of plus 10 degrees within a few days. Add to this torrential rain and it is a perfect combination to aid in the breakup of the asphalt roads.
“I know it’s frustrating for drivers when they come across potholes. The extreme weather we’ve experienced is the root cause because potholes can develop very quickly under these conditions, especially with high volumes of traffic. No B.C. Service Area is unique in experiencing potholes, and in fact, it is happening across all southern B.C. Mainroad’s maintenance crews have been and will continue to work non-stop filling blown out sections of road, resulting from the recent winter weather,” Noel Mankey, VP, Operations.
A Message From Sean Coopman: Regional District
If you didn't receive the phone call alert this morning be sure to create an account with Connect Rocket, or ensure your account is subscribed to the Tsunami Notifications list. If you have questions or require assistance please let me know.
Road to Recovery: Economist predicts Vancouver Island’s economy will ‘bounce back’
tions for Canada’s economy as well as provincial and local ones,” its website reads.
In this week’s episode of Road to Recovery with Douglas Magazine, CHEK’s Jasmine Bala sits down with Bryan Yu, Chief Economist for Central 1.
Central 1 is the member organization all of the credit unions in British Columbia belong to. The organization provides economic analysis, commentary, interest rate forecasts and weekly economic briefings. The team carefully scans the global economic landscape and analyzes how global tensions, trade issues, and oil and gas prices impact the province.
“Our economists provide insight into current economic events and developments from international and domestic sources with implications for Canada’s economy as well as provincial and local ones,” its website reads. For the full story with video click here
Jan 12: Introducing The New Logo
Today we are SO EXCITED to OFFICIALLY be sharing with you our brand new Gold River Food Network (GRFN) logo (see below)!!! Thank you to @chaos_consortium for the support in design and development of this.
The Gold River Food Network will continue to operate out of the Jack Christiansen Centre (396 Nimpkish) by providing;
1. Drop in emergency food access on Mondays (10-1) and Wednesdays (1:30-4 during winter months and 1:30-5:30 otherwise).
2. We will continue with our monthly 30+ pre-registered hamper program
3. We will soon be home to the Village Veggies - a Greenways Land Trust Project distribution (starting next week!)
and in addition will continue to support any and all food security initiatives & programming moving forward. We ask that you please like, share, and invite folks to this page who may benefit from being aware of our resources and services!!
GR Food Network/ food bank
THANK YOU to the communities of Gold River, Tsaxana, and beyond for the continued and ongoing support. We look forward to growing with you in 2022!
Kaitlyn Nohr - RSW
Marcie Carlsen- Program coordinator
Strathcona Gold River Good Food Box Orders are NOW OPEN!
Interested in getting fresh and healthy produce delivered right to your community?
The Strathcona Good Food Box makes nutritious fruits and veggies both financially and physically accessible. Order a box up to a week in advance and then pick up at a central community location on delivery day!
Boxes are available at $25 each, or $15 each if you are a member of a low-income household. Limit one subsidized box per household. Email Terra at Terra@greenwaystrust.ca to learn more.
Paper copy order forms will be available Tuesday from 10-1 at Westgate Church in the plaza. Payment and form can be left at the church.
Follow the link below for online ordering!
Pickup is at the Food Network at the Jack Christian Centre.
You can **donate **a box to a community member in need!
Give the gift of accessible, healthy food.
(Donate option is included in the order form)
Island hospitals over max capacity
The BC Nurses Union (BCNU) says hospitals up and down the island are seeing high numbers. The Campbell River Hospital is running at around 130 per cent capacity, according to BCNU president Danette Thomsen. For full story Click Here
Canada Post to suspend delivery on Vancouver Island
Mail delivery has been suspended on Vancouver Island following another dump of snow.
Canada Post confirmed Thursday afternoon it has issued a red delivery service alert for the Island, Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley due to winter storm conditions.
Red service alerts mean the corporation will not send its delivery agents out or is actively recalling them.
Island Health will no longer be updating its COVID-19 public dashboard
The dashboard, which contains information about new cases, case exposures, total cases and active case and provides a breakdown of active cases by north, central and south island, has not been updated since Christmas Eve.
Island Health confirmed to CHEK News in a statement Wednesday that the dashboard is being discontinued for a variety of reasons.
“With the roll-out of rapid testing and the evolution of case and contact management to prioritize high risk populations, active case information broken down by Health Service Delivery Area within Island Health is no longer reflective of the population as a whole, given that detailed information such as symptom onset, end of isolation and exposure information is no longer collected for all cases. For these reasons, Island Health has discontinued its COVID-19 dashboard,” the statement reads.
Snow Clearing - Vehicles on Street
With this heavy wet snow, our crews have been working to clear the streets. They have been running into challenges due to vehicles being parked on the road. This has been making it difficult and in some cases impossible for snow clearing equipment to do their job or work around the vehicles left on the road.
Due to the heavy wet snow, crews have been attempting to clear as many areas as possible before too much accumulation creates additional challenges to snow clearing operations and equipment.
Please make sure your vehicles are off the street so our crews can do their jobs efficiently and safely.
Vancouver Island hospitals struggling with ‘critical’ staffing shortage, says union
New COVID-19 case numbers are in, showing thousands more British Columbians have been infected with COVID-19.
On southern Vancouver Island, also announced are outbreaks. Oak Bay’s independent living Shannon Oaks reporting ‘several’ cases, resulting in closed dining rooms and the restricted movement of residents.
Also dealing with an outbreak is Victoria General Hospital, in two rooms of the general medicine unit on the 4th floor.
But the BC’s Nurses Union (BCNU) says staff on the South Island are dealing with an even bigger problem: a ‘frightening’ shortage of staff.
“Vancouver Island is, I would say it’s critical,” said Danette Thomsen, BCNU’s interim vice president. “Nanaimo is 25-35 per cent over capacity. Comox and Campbell River are well over 20 per cent most of the time. In Victoria, they are having a heck of a time with staffing. We’re hearing from nurses saying they’ve never seen it this bad.” For full story with video click here
CHEK News features Gold River In A Co-op Grocery Report
The former SuperValue grocery store in Gold River has been sitting empty since November 2016. Brad Unger, the current mayor, says he used to own the store but was forced to close it due to a combination of declining sales after the TD Bank closed its branch in the store in 2014, and the Royal Bank recalled a small loan.
To see the full video report on CHEK TV click here
Rural economic development a priority for 2022 — MP Rachel Blaney
Our local MP did an indepth people with the Mirror Newspaper earlier this week. It's an interesting read on her plans for our part of the world, check it out and
B.C. delaying start of school until Jan. 10 for most K to 12 students
As COVID-19 cases surge across the province, the B.C. government has delayed the start of the school year for most students.
Children with special needs and children of health care workers will return on Jan. 3 or 4 as planned, but everyone else will go back on Jan. 10 — one week later than initially scheduled.
Teachers and school staff will be expected back in the classroom next week.
The Aquatic Centre will resume normal hours on December 28-31 and will be closed again from January 1-3 then will resume normal hours on January 4th.
Mainroad North Island Contracting Tandem Plowing
Grieg launching new vessel to tackle sea lice at its Vancouver Island fish farms
Grieg Seafood BC will be using a new vessel to remove sea lice from its farm-raised salmon sometime in the new year.
On Dec. 21, Grieg Seafood BC Ltd. announced it has entered a three-year contract with Njord Marine Service Ltd. valued at $11 million annually for the service of its delousing vessel. This 24-metre vessel, called Coastal Server, is equipped with a mechanical delousing system that can remove sea lice from farmed salmon.
Coastal Server and its delousing system will be used by Grieg at its farms on both the east and west coasts of Vancouver Island, as well as the Sunshine Coast. The vessel will also provide regular maintenance support to these farms.
The delousing system it features is the SkaMik 1.5, which uses a combination of soft rotating brushes and low-pressure water nozzles to remove sea lice. The mechanical delousing system can be used on fish of all sizes and can treat up to 150 metric tonnes of fish per hour under ideal conditions, helping to limit the use of chemical and medical treatments, according to the company.
“As an organization, we are committed to reducing the overall impact from our operations,” said Rocky Boschman, managing director for Grieg Seafood BC Ltd., in a press release.
The SkaMik 1.5 system removes 97 per cent of sea lice in all life cycle stages, said Boschman.
“The process itself is incredibly quick – with each fish only spending about 1.5 seconds in the delousing system,” said Dean Trethewey, Grieg seawater production, certifications and regulatory director. “This helps to reduce stress for the fish, and enables us to treat entire farms within a matter of days with an immediate reduction of lice in the region.”
Sea lice that are removed from farmed fish are then disposed of on land, says Grieg.
The vessel is currently clearing Canadian Customs and Transport Canada. Grieg hopes to have it in use at its farm by January 2022 — in time for out migration of juvenile wild salmon.
“This isn’t a coincidence, but by design, as we recognize the importance of maintaining low lice levels during this critical window,” said Trethewey.
Wildlife advocates work together to rescue orphaned bear cub in Gold River
An orphaned black bear cub has been relocated from Gold River to a rehabilitation centre for care until it is ready to return to the wild — thanks to the power of social media and the willingness of several people to help. Read the full story in the Campbell River Mirror and click here
Here We Go Again. New Covid Rules
Here is a direct link to the most up to date information regarding the new Covid rules.
Covid Cases Surge In Campbell River and Comox Valley
Weekly BC Centre for Disease Control data shows that the Campbell River Local Health Area has 38 new cases of COVID-19.
Information released on the BC CDC website covers the period Dec. 5-11 and posted every Wednesday.
Adjacent Health areas have seen nine new cases for North Island, zero for Vancouver Island West and 136 for the Comox Valley.
Magnitude 3.6 earthquake detected off southern Vancouver Island
A 3.6 magnitude earthquake was detected north of Sidney at 4:13 a.m. Friday morning. It was first reported as a 3.9 magnitude quake. Many residents all over Vancouver Island are reporting they felt the tremor which lasted over 20 seconds.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake had a depth of 17 km and struck 12 km east off Ganges and roughly 25 km off Sidney.
No tsunami warning update has been released as of this publication and no damage has been reported.
Federal government announces closure of most Pacific herring fisheries
Most commercial fisheries for Pacific herring on the West Coast have been closed with the exception of harvests by First Nations for food and ceremonial purposes.
Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray says in a statement that this “cautious” approach to Pacific herring management is based on recently intensified risks to wild salmon.
Pacific herring are an important food source for the salmon, sea birds, marine mammals and other fish.
Murray says herring are vital to the health of the ecosystem and stocks are in a fragile state, so an effort must be made to “protect and regenerate this important forage species.”
She says harvesting of Pacific herring will be reduced to a 10 per cent rate in the Strait of Georgia with a maximum total allowable catch of 7,850 tonnes.
The statement says the decision was taken with the aim of providing sustainable fishing opportunities and increasing stock, while considering the decline of wild salmon, and the impacts of the recent floods and landslides on fish habitats in
And the winners are…..drum roll….Nimpkish Drive for Candy Cane Lane and
to the Gjesdal’s on Chamiss for the Christmas 2021 Gingerbread House award! There were many wonderful moments of oohs and ahhhs to be had by the judges driving around town and seeing all the pretty lights and decorations Thank you to all those that flipped their switches and plugged in their extension cords to light the way! I’ve added some photos with honourable status that must be shared. From the Gold River Chamber of Commerce, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to Everyone
They will be hosting Comox Valley Glacier Kings!
Come watch a VIJHL game
WARMUP AT 7:15
Game at 7:45
Muchalat Lake Campground Will Remain Open This Winter
The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) announced yesterday at its board meeting that the Muchalat Campground will remain open this winter on a trial basis due to an agreement made with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRO), Village of Gold River, SRD and the Rod and Gun Club.
An SRD Electoral Area A grant-in-aid of $1,000 along with a $1,000 grant from the Village of Gold River will assist the Gold River Rod and Gun Club to maintain and provide caretaking services for the campground throughout this winter.
“During the summer months, this campground is run through Recreation Sites & Trails BC and it regularly closes during the winter months but with the determination of Gold River and Area A residents; the SRD and the Village of Gold River were successful in working together with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to achieve the goal of keeping the campsite open throughout the winter” said SRD Chair Brad Unger. “The Muchalat Campground is popular during the hunting season, and it will be great to see it well-used and enjoyed respectfully this winter with this pilot project.”
The Muchalat Campground is a large, treed site at the east end of Muchalat Lake and includes a boat ramp, dock, beach and swimming area. For more information about Muchalat Lake Campground, please visit www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca
Household and family clusters blamed for surge in North Island COVID-19 cases
North Island Medical Health Officer speaks out on ‘uptick,’ urges vaccination
The rise in detected cases in the Vancouver Island North Local Health Area has “understandably resulted in anxiety for many community members,” said Enns in statement addressed to the North Island communities. “However, Public Health is not observing evidence of widespread community transmission. Rather, the vast majority of cases are linked to known cases and clusters and are typically the result of close contact in households.
“It is also important to understand that the availability and high uptake of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines has dramatically reduced severe outcomes related to COVID-19 infection and has provided the path out of this pandemic.”
Enns said the purpose of the COVID-19 vaccine is not to eliminate infections, but rather to “decrease serious outcomes from the infection — severe disease, hospitalizations and death.”
She added that a large percentage of fully vaccinated people will not get COVID-19 when exposed to someone who is infectious.
“For the small number of fully vaccinated individuals who do become symptomatic from COVID-19 infection, they will most likely have mild symptoms and are less able to transmit the virus to others.”
As for public health recommendations, Enns confirmed they are evolving as we move towards new phases of this pandemic.
“Fully vaccinated close contacts are no longer asked to self-isolate, instead [they are] being asked to self-monitor for symptoms and get tested if symptoms develop,” she said. “We encourage fully vaccinated close contacts to return to normal daily activities such as going to school and work.”
The North Island (Woss-north) has 86 per cent of the population 12 years and older with at least one dose of vaccine. Eighty per cent of those 12 and up are fully immunized.
“These rates are good, but in order to get in front of COVID-19 transmission, especially due to the delta variant, we need a vaccination rate of 90 per cent or greater.”
However, for adults who are not vaccinated, she warned that COVID-19 remains a very serious infection, noting that if you are an unvaccinated adult, you are 10 times more likely to become infected, 57 times more likely to be hospitalized and 47 times more likely to die from COVID-19.
“I strongly urge unvaccinated adults to not only consider their own health but the health of their loved ones, friends and community by limiting the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission through being vaccinated.”
Protect Your Kids
COVID-19 pediatric vaccines for children 5-11 have now been approved by Health Canada. They will be available as soon as deliveries arrive. Parents or legal guardians, please ensure your children are registered in the provincial Get Vaccinated system.
Register now at www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca or call 1-833-838-2323. Once you have registered, you will be notified by email, text message or phone call when it’s time to book the child’s vaccine appointment.
Herber River Bridge Closure Nov 27 & 28: A Message From Surespan Construction:
Surespan Construction is currently working on the replacement of the Heber River Bridge for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. The Heber River Bridge is located approximately 10 kms East of Gold River on Provincial Highway #28, British Columbia.
As part of the continued work, Surespan will need to complete a full closure of the bridge between the hours of 11am and 1pm on November 27th and November 28th , 2021. This specific closure is required to be able to remove the old bridge structure to make way for construction of a new structure. Traffic, with the exception of emergency vehicles, will not be able to cross the bridge during the hours above.
If an emergency vehicle is required to cross the bridge, Surespan will work diligently to remove crew and equipment from the detour bridge to facilitate crossing. Please keep in mind that this process may take a little time to complete but we will endeavor to do so as fast as possible.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation as we work to complete the project as fast as possible.
A Message From The Village Of Gold River
Pursuant to Section 464 of the Local Government Act RSBC 2015, the Council of the Village of Gold River gives notice it will hold a Public Hearing:
Date: December 6, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm
Place: Council Chambers, 499 Muchalat Drive
To consider the proposed Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 706.7, 2021.
Classic Rock Bingo Returns To Campbell River
If you're going to be in Campbell River on Tuesday nights, make sure to stop into Match Eatery (casino) . For those Classic Rock Bingo fans out there, Match will be playing games every Tuesday from 6-9 p.m. As always it's FREE t o play and they have lots of prizes.
Gold River Groceries
Gold River Groceries. Exciting news Goldriver, Tsaxana and surrounding communities. Island Hotshot Services is expanding! We are perusing expression of interest only at this time. Please check out our website www.goldrivergroceries.ca and fill out our sign up form.
Frequency, volume and pricing will be determined by your interest. We look forward to hearing from you, and we will be responding to your requests for information by email or phone.
- Vancouver island hotshot team
A Message From Our Mayor
Ok Gold River!! Nov 18th Suport The Forestry Industy
Let’s show support for our Forestry Industry and join the Rally in Victoria
I have secured a Bus with limited seats available Please PM me if you would like to go. To meet the caravan in Campbell River we will leave from the Arena parking lot at 4:00 am
SRD to look into west coast transportation options
Regional District doing feasibility study on linking western Island communities.
The Strathcona Regional District will be looking in to how to help people get to and from remote communities on the west coast of the Island.
The idea originally came from a request by the village of Tahsis in July. At the time, the village was interested in setting up a rideshare service between the community and Campbell River.
”We felt that it would be better to look at coordinating for a number of communities on the west coast,” said SRD corporate services manager Tom Yates as he introduced the item at Wednesday’s board meeting. “What this report attempts to do is provide a bit of a road map for what the board might want to look at further if it wishes to go deeper into this topic in terms of studying a service.”
While there is still much to figure out, the basic idea is to find a way to set up transportation between communities on the west coast of the Island to Campbell River. Communities that could be included are Tahsis, Gold River, Tsa’xana, Kyuquot, Fair Harbour, Zeballos, Woss, Sayward and the Sayward valley, all leading back to Campbell River.
“I’m defintely interested to see who the users are… we have many people here who don’t have reliable transportation, who might not be comfortable getting in a car with just a random person, which is what often happens. We just advertise on social media and kind of hitchhike into town, or get someone to pick stuff up for us,” said Director Julie Colborne, who is also mayor of Zeballos.
“What about people who want to come in to our communities who may not want to drive themselves. It would be an opportunity for some tourism,” she said. “I’m interested in seeing the results of this. It would be great for others to see the beauty of Area A as they’re driving into Zeballos.”
However, there were some questions from directors whose areas would not be part of the transportation system. Directors Gerald Whalley and Brenda Leigh both represent areas that either would not be served by the transportation system, or that already have a transit system in place.
Whalley’s concerns were about the rationality of the service, saying that: “like so many regional services that come up, this would be better served as a sub-regional service for those areas that wish to participate. There are going to be some areas that won’t participate, like Area A, and if you intend to pursue a full regional service it just isn’t going to fly.”
Yates said that the intention is to just look into the possibilities for the communities outlined in the report.
Leigh thought that the communities involved should take a different approach: “I am more supportive of the communities that need these services being able to organize from their communities, as Sayward is doing,” she said
“They have a bus, and they have volunteer drivers. I haven’t heard a lot about it, but it sounds like it’s working.”
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Campbell River director Charlie Cornfield. Especially “if it encompasses the outlying communities and gets people working together on seeing what solutions are, it may be ride share to common pick up points, bus routes, or a number of different combinations and permutations of a transportation system that allows better connectivity.”
STRATHCONA REGIONAL DISTRICT RE-ELECTS CHAIR BRAD UNGER
The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board of Directors held its inaugural meeting today with a combination of in-person and virtual attendance where they elected a Chair and Vice-Chair for the 2021/2022 year by acclamation.
Returning as Chair for another one-year term is Director Brad Unger, Mayor of Gold River. This will be Director Unger’s second term as Chair of the Strathcona Regional District. As Chair of the SRD, it is his responsibility to act as the Chief Executive Officer for the Regional District including the management of monthly meetings of the SRD Board. “I am appreciative to the Board for the confidence that they have placed in me as it is an honour to be elected by my colleagues to lead the SRD Board,” said Unger. “I look forward to advancing our strategic initiatives and raising the profile of this organization within our region."
WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN CASUAL EMPLOYMENT WITH SCHOOL DISTRICT 84?
The District is looking for applicants who would be interested in the following on-call positions:
Administrative Assistant - $23.61-$27.39
Bus Driver - $26.55
Custodian - $22.44
District Administrative Assistant - $26.42
Noon Hour Supervisor - $20.71
Payroll and Human Resources Administrative Assistant - $28.01
Special Needs Education Assistant - $23.86-$26.34
StrongStart Facilitator - $28.80
These are unionized jobs (CUPE Local 2769). Employees are paid an additional
7% in lieu of benefits and 4% in lieu of vacation.
Job descriptions are available at https://sd84.bc.ca/about-sd84/employment-opportunities/.
For more information, please contact Annie McDowell at email@example.com.
Associate Director of Human Resources
Vancouver Island West School District 84
250-283-2241, Local 224
Connected Coast project bringing high-speed Internet to remote areas across B.C. coast, Vancouver Island
Construction is underway on Connected Coast, an undersea cable project bringing high-speed Internet access to hundreds of remote and rural communities, along the B.C. coast and around Vancouver Island.
In all, 139 communities will benefit, including 48 Indigenous communities.
The commencement of the $45.4 million project, funded by the federal and provincial governments, was celebrated in Campbell River on Friday, Oct. 29.
“Momentum is building,” said Brad Unger, chair, Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board.
“Rural and remote communities will soon have the same digital opportunities as urban centres. We are steps closer to benefiting from improved connectivity.”
The SRD is co-managing Connected Coast with CityWest. The joint venture was first launched in 2018 and later finalized in early-2020, with main contractor, Baylink Networks, announced last September.
“We’re looking forward to seeing how this huge fibre-optic line will benefit the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people who live along its route,” said CityWest CEO, Stefan Woloszyn.
Today, the cable stretches over 3,400 kilometres, streaming hundreds of gigabytes every second once operational. According to a SRD release, it’s actually one of the longest coastal subsea networks in the world.
CanPac Valour, the vessel that will be laying the cable, is currently docked in Campbell River being outfitted for its long journey.
B.C.’s Minister of Citizens’ Services, Lisa Beare, said the Connected Coast project comes at a vital time, as the COVID-19 pandemic highlights “the importance of quality, high-speed Internet to learn, do business, stay healthy, access services and keep in touch with loved ones.”
“Through Connected Coast, people and businesses in remote and underserved communities along B.C.’s coast can stay connected and participate in economic opportunities — faster,” Beare added.
‘Receding before our eyes:’ Vancouver Island glaciers likely to be all gone by mid-century
“They are receding before our eyes,” says Brian Menounos, a professor of Earth sciences at the University of Northern B.C. who has extensively studied glaciers on B.C.’s coast.
Menounos estimates all of the Island’s ice packs will be gone by mid-century, including the iconic Comox Glacier, a symbol of the valley that is slowly, but surely, receding year after year.
Rocky outcroppings have been appearing across its spread in recent years, with a bare peak emerging from the centre of the glacial mass. Exposed rock absorbs heat, accelerates melting and eventually fragments the ice pack. For the full story click here
Ship debris washes up on Vancouver Island
Debris from the M-V Zim Kingston has begun washing up on northern Vancouver Island. The ship lost 109 containers as it hit heavy seas last week. The debris from one of those containers shows the cleanup could be more complex than previously thought. Paul Johnson has the exclusive look. for video coverage click here https://globalnews.ca/video/8337192/ship-debris-washes-up-on-vancouver-island
Blaney named as NDP Critic for Seniors, Veterans and Rural Economic Development
OTTAWA – Today, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announced the responsibilities New Democratic MPs will take on in the upcoming parliamentary session.
“Canadians can count on this group of New Democrats to fight for them and their families. We have a lot of diversity, talent and depth on this team,” said Singh. “We’re going to use these strengths to push the government for concrete action on climate justice that includes a just transition for workers and communities, real reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and help to make life more affordable for Canadians.”
North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney has been given three portfolios in addition to returning to her role as party Whip which was announced previously.
Blaney will continue to serve as Critic for Veterans Affairs, which she has done since 2019. In this role Blaney has fought to eliminate the backlog for veterans benefit applications and worked to end the discriminatory “gold-digger clause” which punishes veterans who marry after 60.
Blaney also resumes the role of spokesperson for seniors issues, which she held from 2017 to 2019. She introduced a private members bill in 2019 (C-449) that would have prevented low income seniors from losing their benefits if they are late in filing their tax returns and has held numerous townhalls and advocacy events for seniors during her two previous terms as MP.
Rural Economic Development is a new portfolio for Blaney, but one she has long advocated for as the MP for BC’s third largest riding. Last fall she introduced motion M-53: Principles for a Sustainable and Equitable Future to recognize the economic contribution of rural communities and ensure that they be included equitably in all federal recovery programs and funding. She also led a campaign to locate an office of the newly formed Pacific Economic Development Canada (Pacifican) in the riding of North Island-Powell River. In August Mélanie Joly (then Minister of Economic Development, now Minister of Foreign Affairs) confirmed that Campbell River would be the site of one of eight offices in BC.
“These three portfolios address issues that matter to our communities and the people I represent. They are also areas where our federal government can and must do better to support the people who have built this country,” said Blaney. “I’m looking forward to working hard on these files to get results for people in our region and all across Canada.”
COVID-19 Booster Update
Doses will be offered to everyone across the Island Health region. The timing of your booster dose is based on your risk level of getting COVID-19, your age and the time since your second dose.
A booster dose is an additional shot of vaccine that helps you maintain and lengthen your protection against COVID-19. When you get a booster dose, you're helping protect you and the people around you.
To see when you will be eligible for your COVID-19 booster dose, please visit gov.bc.ca/booster
Vancouver Island makes top 10 in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022
Quite the coup for Vancouver Island’s tourism sector and the island in general.
The island has been selected as a Top Region by Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022, and the only Canadian destination to make the annual list of top 10 countries, cities and regions to visit in the year ahead.
The notable achievement was recommended by the globally recognized guidebook and travel publishing company.
Lonely Planet’s number one region for 2022 is the Westfjords, Iceland; West Virginia, USA comes in second; and Xingshuabanna, China is third.
Vancouver Island is number nine of ten. See all top 10 lists here.
“We are honoured to receive such positive recognition for Vancouver Island at a time when our tourism industry is embarking on a road to recovery,” says Vancouver Island Tourism (TVI) president and CEO, Anthony Everett. “As international visitors begin to travel again, they will look to trusted travel authorities such as Lonely Planet for direction on which destinations to choose first.”
Everett told Vista Radio that it’s always nice to be recognized by Lonely Planet: “I’m not surprised from the perspective that other organizations and travellers are identifying what we all know here is a great place to live and visit. It’s a pleasant surprise, put it that way.”
Everett added that the island’s natural beauty makes it a desirable destination for international travellers.
“I think people are looking more and more coming out of the pandemic for what we offer: mountains, ocean, trees, and wilderness. It’s all quite accessible and at the same time there are a lot of remote parts to it. I think this is a tremendously important recognition to achieve… moving through this pandemic. What is critical is international visitors come back when it’s safe and convenient to do so,” Everett said. “The secret is out and it’s been out for some time about our destination.”
Best in Travel 2022 is Lonely Planet’s 17th annual edition.
TVI says this year places “particular emphasis on the best sustainable travel experiences, ensuring travellers will have a positive impact wherever they choose to go. Each destination is chosen for its topicality, unique experiences, ‘wow’ factor and ongoing commitment to sustainable tourism practices.”
“This criteria is particularly meaningful given Tourism Vancouver Island’s dedication to developing and promoting responsible and sustainable travel in the Vancouver Island region,” adds Janet Docherty, chair of TVI’s board of directors.
“We thank the residents of Vancouver Island for contributing to making the region a special place to live and visit.”
SCHOOL DISTRICT 84
(VANCOUVER ISLAND WEST)
HAS POSTED FOR A REGULAR NOON HOUR SUPERVISOR
FOR THE GOLD RIVER WORKSITE, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.
For more details, please visit https://sd84.bc.ca/about-sd84/employment-opportunities/
Deadline to apply: 4 pm on October 29, 2021
Have you seen our recent Connected Coast Project Fall Update?
GOLD RIVER RESIDENTS*******
Please click on the LINKS in this post! Information tells us all about this project and how we will have a new provider that is not Telus or Mascon or Cablerocket.
Read more about upcoming projects events & updates, our new project logo, member spotlight & more > connectedcoast.ca/news
Stay informed by e-subscribing to receive updates at https://bit.ly/3jnPh1Z
If everything goes according to plan, the village of Gold River could finally have a grocery store by the end of this year.
The Gold River Co-op, which got its incorporation papers in late August, is in the middle of a membership drive and hoping to get a minimum of 100 members by their first annual general meeting. At that point they should have enough money from prospective members to start moving forward with opening a grocery store for the village.
Right now there is no grocery store in the village and there hasn’t been for at least five years. Since 2016, Gold Riverites have had to drive 90 km through the mountains to Campbell River on a weekly basis for their basic food needs.
“There’s what they call the deli, which is a convenience store that has basically been the supply of groceries in town for a number of years now,” said David Humphrey, one of the founding board members of the Gold River Co-op. “Most people go out to Campbell River and spend at least $30 a trip to get groceries on a weekly basis. The village of Gold River is going to be growing quite a bit in the next one-and-a-half to two years and we really need a grocery store for that to happen.
This is not the first push to get a grocery store for the village. Humphrey said that previous attempts may have left some negative connotations, but that “we didn’t want to let us stop us from trying to get something worthwhile going here.”
The group decided to go with the co-op model for a couple of reasons, first it means they do not need one operator with enough money to open a grocery store, and secondly it allows them to give back to the community.
“This way it’s community owned and community operated,” Humphrey said. “We think we can do it better as a community… if you’re just a normal, regular retail store, one person gets to decide where the money goes and everything else. In the co-op, it is the same thing. The members are the owners, so you get a full understanding of where the community wants to go. We think that’s a valuable thing to have.”
Members will also help make a lot of the decisions when it comes to the operation and model that the co-op follows. For example, they will be able to decide what kinds of foods will be available. Also, the membership will help make bigger decisions like whether or not to be a part of Federated Co-operatives Limited, which operates Co-op gas bars and grocery stores in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, or to go for a more independent model.
“It doesn’t really matter which way we go. The end goal is to get a grocery store in Gold River,” Humphrey said. “We started out by ourselves because we had no alternative at the time. We went though the coop association’s first stage of their teaching program, filling us in on exactly how things work… We’re not leaving any stone unturned. We want to get the best and quickest thing going here.”
Herber River Bridge Temporarily Closed Nov 1st
Surespan Construction is currently working on the replacement of the Heber River Bridge for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. The Heber River Bridge is located approximately 10 kms East of Gold River on Provincial Highway #28, British Columbia. As part of the continued work, Surespan will need to complete a full closure of the bridge between the hours of 11am and 1pm on November 1st, 2021.
This specific closure is required to be able to install the temporary detour bridge structural steel. Traffic, with the exception of emergency vehicles, will not be able to cross the bridge during the hours above. If an emergency vehicle is required to cross the bridge, Surespan will work diligently to remove crew and equipment from the bridge to facilitate crossing. Please keep in mind that this process may take a little time to complete but we will endeavor to do so as fast as possible.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation as we work to complete the project as fast as possible
Gold River Co-op Update From Sheri Sue Johnston
First, I would like to thank everyone for your patience. This is a learning process for us all. We have 50 members so far, we are halfway there. A huge thanks to those who have signed up we appreciate your support immensely, but we still need another 50 members to reach our goal by November 30th. After that we have to have the 90 day General Membership Meeting to elect the board of directors. Next week there will be an information package and membership form included in the mail. Membership is the heart that keeps the body as a whole going. #ourfutureisourown #goldrivercoop #ittakesavillage
Spread the word.
Mount Washington seeks seasonal workers for upcoming ski season
With the ski season just around the corner, Vancouver Island’s largest ski resort held a job fair in a bid to find seasonal workers amid a labour shortage.
Mount Washington Alpine Resort hosted a job fair on Oct. 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Comox Valley Visitors Centre.
Kayla Stockton, Mount Washington’s marketing manager, said in an email statement to CHEK News Saturday that they will be looking to fill the same amount of employees in a normal winter season, which can be up to 800 workers. She also says most positions are filled but are finding difficulty in one area this year.
“Our food and beverage department is struggling to find qualified employees; cooks, servers,” said Stockton. “These positions make great tips here in the winter. Lift operators are also needed, it takes quite a few to run the resort.”
Mount Washington employs around 100 workers year-round and relies on fewer international seasonal workers than other ski resorts in the province.
Stockton says international workers typically account for around 10 per cent of employees at the resort. She also says most of the resort’s employees are Vancouver Island locals, who work especially in casual roles during the winter and are drawn to the work at the resort because of free season passes and other perks.
For full story and video from CHEK News click here https://www.cheknews.ca/mount-washington-seeks-seasonal-workers-for-upcoming-ski-season-900508/
Vancouver Island MusicFest Returns!
Here’s great news for music festival fans – Vancouver Island MusicFest is returning in 2022.
The popular Comox Valley festival has been limited to an online event over the past two years, due to the pandemic. But it returns to the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds July 8-10, 2022, and executive producer Doug Cox is busy preparing for the return of world-class music acts to his various outdoor stages.
“It really feels good, because we really have been laid off for the past few months,” he said. “The whole executive team is returning… so I am thrilled about that. My concern was that you know, people’s lives carry on.”
He said the response of the community to the suspension of the 2020, and subsequently, the 2021 concerts, was integral to the decision to bring the festival back in 2022.
“We have close to 2,000 people sitting on tickets that they have been holding since we cancelled,” said Cox. “That’s partly what has kept the team together. That’s been our inspiration. That show of support is what kept us all going – not just financially. It kept us interested.
“Even the response on Facebook from when I just put out a note saying ‘we’re coming back’ was very encouraging to say the least.”
The festival will follow all public health order COVID protocols, i.e. proof of vaccination, and in an effort to make it as compliant as possible, there will be no barn stage in 2022 – traditionally the only indoor venue at the festival. Organizers have also decided to cap ticket sales at 75 per cent of the usual capacity.
“We feel, if things proceed as they are going right now, with COVID, we are comfortable (with that number),” he said. “We will revisit it in a few months, and if the world gets better, we will add to the capacity,” said Cox. “But we are planning it at 75 per cent capacity, and we will not have the barn this year, because it is the one indoor stage. This will also help us save a little bit of money, without affecting the festival too bad.
“Otherwise, things should look pretty much the same.”
Cox said while the booking process is just now getting underway, fans can expect another wide variety of acts.
“It’s too early to say who will be coming,” he said. “I am working on a smaller budget.”
We have lost a considerable amount of money over the last two years – particularly when we had to cancel 2020, but it’s not that bad of a budget. People will still recognize (the names). They (acts) are starting to reach out, but interestingly, it’s mostly the Americans reaching out, and we probably won’t be having as many Americans as we normally do, just because of budget, and it’s riskier for me to book Americans right now (due to border restrictions).”
Due to the fact that there are already 2,000 tickets sold, and that there is only 75 per cent of the usual numbers available, it’s advisable to purchase tickets sooner, rather than later.
“By cutting the numbers, we know that the majority of our sales will be to people who trust and love the festival,” said Cox. “They are the people that buy all their tickets in advance, before we even announce anybody. They know that we are going to give them the kind of quality festival they have grown accustomed to.”
Ticket sales will start Dec. 1.
Cox said the festival is also looking for new sponsors, as the pandemic took its toll in that regard as well.
Check here for more details on ticket sales and sponsorship opportunities