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WHALE WATCHING PACKAGES

& 2 NIGHT STAY


Start from $531 per person.
Includes All Meals

• Rates for variations to group size and stays available

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"Celebrating 20 Years In B.C."

Anchor Inn

        C.R.

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May 15

B.C. salmon abundance ‘a sixth’ of what it was half-a-century ago: study

48 Indigenous knowledge keepers from 18 Nations spoke to UBC researchers about the decline in salmon.

Catches of wild pacific salmon on the Fraser, Skeena and Nass Rivers are only a sixth of what they were half a century ago, according to a new study from UBC.

The lead author of the study Angela Reid, an assistant professor with the Institute for the Ocean and Fisheries, interviewed 48 Indigenous knowledge keepers in 18 First Nations communities along the rivers to get a sense of what salmon catches were like in past decades.

“It was really devasting and beautiful at the same time,” Reid said. “I was spending much of that time moving between different communities. There were moments between interviews because all the sudden it hits you where it’s the fourth or fifth time where you’re hearing something that’s hard to stomach. It was an incredible learning experience and privilege to get to speak with these people, but also really heavy given what has happened with salmon over the last five to seven decades.”

For full story click here 

May 15

Proposed long-term care facility should alleviate over-capacity issue at Campbell River hospital – city councillors

The proposed long term care facility for Campbell River will alleviate the shortage of beds the Campbell River hospital has suffered since it opened, according to city councillors.

“This will relieve significant pressure on acute care beds at Campbell River Hospital and provide a much better environment for our seniors,” Campbell River mayor Andy Adams said at the May 9 regular city council meeting.

RELATED: Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital District board supports long term care facility in Campbell River

Earlier this month it was announced that the Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital District (CSRHD) has approved cost sharing with Island Health for a proposed long-term care facility in Campbell River.

Creating additional local long-term care capacity can relieve pressure on hospitals by reducing waitlist times for eligible patients who may otherwise need to remain in a hospital bed, the CSRHD announcement said. Further, reducing waitlist times for people waiting in community to access long-term care can create better availability for community-based services, enabling more people to receive necessary care in their homes and lessening the need for higher levels of care such as hospitals or long-term care.

“It’s a good thing for our community, long overdue,” Coun. Charlie Cornfield, who serves as CRHD board chair, said.

For the full story click here

May 13

Strathcona Regional District to allow all voters to request a mail in ballot

Some directors against idea, concerned about potential for voter fraud.

The Strathcona Regional District board was split on whether or not to allow voting by mail to all residents of the regional district, or to remove the option entirely.

The province recently changed rules around voting by mail. In previous years, mail-in ballots were only for people who would be unable to vote in person. The new rules allow local governments to decide whether to allow all electors to be able to request to vote by mail, or not allow any mail voting.

At the May 11 meeting, four directors were against allowing voting by mail, Directors Mark Baker, Andy Adams, Gerald Whalley, and Brenda Leigh. Those opposed who spoke on the matter were concerned about the potential for voter fraud in elections.

For the full story click here

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May 10

B.C. Ferries to increase fare surcharge June 1 due to record fuel prices

The surcharge increase expected next month will total 45 cents per adult ticket and $2 per vehicle and driver on routes linking Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island. For inter-island routes, the surcharge will total 25 cents per adult ticket and $1.05 per vehicle and driver.

Curbside Giveway June 11  10 a.m.- 7p.m.

Place used items that are in good condition on your property

for others to take.

Gold River Children's Health Fair

Families with Children 6 yrs and younger Monday May 16th 10AM to 2PM Location: Children's Hub 500 Trumpeter Dr. (Between the Clinic and the School) Gold River BC (There will be school buses helping transportation from Tsaxana and Tahsis) Lots of great information about your child's health and resources.

 

We will have professionals such as Hygienist, Audiologist, FASD, Child Development and other health specialists in town to attend families and their children. FREE TOYS, CLOTHING, SNACKS Lots of fun Activities for the children and adults More info@ (250) 283-7108 Facebook Group: VIW Children's Health Group

May 5 

Gold River Job Fair

Come and meet employers in the area and discuss employment opportunity.

May 14, 10-2  at the Gerry Morgan Memorial Centre

May 5

Time To Protect Your Property

Time to think about starting to make your property FireSmart! 68 fires already this month in BC. Contact your local LFR Kelsey to get your free home assessment. Help take the steps to make your property FireSmart!

B.C. has recorded 68 wildfires this month, and residents are being urged to make their homes and communities more fire-resistant to avoid the types of tragedies seen during the 2021 Wildfire Season.

More than 800,000 hectares of the province burned last year, including much of Lytton where two people died. While it's too early to tell whether the province will see similar conditions, the 2022 season began April 1, and as of Monday, there are nine active fires in the province. None of those pose threats to public safety.

But fire officials warn that homes adjacent to forests can become particularly at risk in the coming months, especially in areas that were hit by last year's heat dome that killed nearly 600 people.

"The truth is the climate is changing. It's getting drier and drier," said Lt. Kim Saulnier, acting captain of North Vancouver's Fire and Rescue Services. "Last summer, we saw that intense heat dome in this area, and that was combined with a looper moth infestation ... so that even made the forest even more vulnerable."

May 5

Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital District board supports long term care facility in Campbell River.

The Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital District (CSRHD) has approved cost sharing with Island Health for a proposed long-term care (LTC) facility in Campbell River.

“There is a significant need for investing in long-term care spaces in our community,” CSRHD Board Chair Charlie Cornfield says in a press release. “On Vancouver Island, Campbell River has the highest proportion of people assessed for long-term care and waiting for a placement, experiences some of the longest wait times for a local placement and has a very low number of spaces available for long-term care.

 

By supporting this proposed project, the potential for increased spaces will benefit local health care in multiple ways and not result in higher property taxes through the CSRHD.”  For full story click here

May 3

Campbell River requests airport, float plane base, marine port reestablished as points of entry

Campbell River council has voted to write to the federal public safety minister to request the city’s airport, float plane base and marine port be reestablished as points of entry for international travel.

At the start of the pandemic, the federal government restricted the number of Canada Border Services Agency points where international passengers could enter Canada, and during that time Campbell River was taken off the list.

Now, council would like to see that reestablished before the busy summer period.

“This is a big issue,” said Coun. Sean Smyth in an April 25 council meeting. “We’re missing out on a big finance opportunity with these private jets coming through and we want to make it as convenient as possible for them.”

According to city staff, the airport normally has around 350 private jets land per year, which brings about $15,000 in landing fees and $12,000 in service charges.

Additionally, if an airplane parks overnight, they are charged $60 per night in parking as well as any refuelling for the jets.

The change would only apply to private planes as there are not currently direct international flights in or out of the airport.

May 2

More Surgeries Available On The Island.  Island Health acquires private surgical centres in View Royal, Nanaimo.

The province has purchsaed two Vancouver Island private surgical centres and brought them into the public portfolio.

The View Royal Surgical Centre (VRSC) in Greater Victoria and Nanaimo’s Seafield Surgical Centre (SSC) have had their leases taken over and equipment purchased by Island Health.

The move will see residents access an additional 4,600 surgeries and endoscopies (2,300 each) annually. Health Minister Adrian Dix said it will increase capacity and reduce wait times for people who need surgery.  For full story click here

Gold River Job Fair

May 14- 10-2 p.m.  Come and meet your future empoyers at The Gerry Morgan Memorial Centre.Sponsored by the Gold River Chamber of Commerce and BCEHS
Employers who are interested in a table should contact alawrence@goldriver.ca
Or Donna.Schneider@bcehs.ca

April 27

Islanders line up for hours as passport backlog grows

A line-up extends outside of the front doors of Service Canada's Passport Centre in Victoria's Bay Centre Monday, April 25, 2022.

Frustrations are growing on Vancouver Island and beyond as Passport Canada deals with an influx of hundreds of thousands of passport applications leading to some delays.

Jesus Rivera took the day off work Monday and drove to Victoria from Nanaimo, desperately hoping he would be heading home with his passport. He is supposed to leave for Mexico City Tuesday morning.

“It’s frustrating, it’s really stressful, it’s really stressful because I’m in limbo I don’t know what to do,” he said.

Rivera mailed his application on Feb. 24. The process is only supposed to take 20 business days, but he’s still waiting.

“I was here at 6 a.m. and I was in the office and they said we can do nothing you have to wait for our call.”

Rivera isn’t alone. The lineup outside Victoria’s Passport Canada office at the Bay Centre downtown stretched all the way out into the mall over two floors on Monday morning shortly after opening.

Liam Singleton has a flight to Mexico next week but still hasn’t his received passport. It is the second time he’s had to drive down from Nanaimo in the past week and believes he’ll have to come back yet again.

April 27

Federal court judge quashes minister's plan to shut down B.C. fish farms

A federal court judge has set aside a decision by the former federal fisheries minister to close open-net pen fish farms in the Discovery Islands area between northern Vancouver Island and the B.C. mainland.

In a news release issued on Dec. 17, 2020, then Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan ordered the closure of 19 fish farms in the Discovery Islands region, saying that all fish farm licences would not be renewed on June 30, 2022.

During that time, no new fish of any size would be allowed to transfer to the affected farms, the news release added.

The announcement blindsided operators in the region, including four operators involved in the recent court decision: Mowi Canada West, Cermaq Canada, Grieg Seafood B.C., and an unnamed company.

On Friday, Justice Elizabeth Heneghan set aside the former minister's plans, largely due to what Heneghan describes as unfair warning to the farm operators involved, and inadequate reasons for why the closures were ordered in the first place.

For the full story click here

April 22

Strathcona Regional District to switch emergency notification platform

A new app will be used to communicate emergency notifications within the Strathcona Regional District.

The new system will come into effect on May 2 with the district switching from Connect Rocket to Alertable. The district says the new system will be used because it “provides additional ways to notify people.”

Alerts can be sent with the mobile app with an “Override Silent Mode” feature for critical alerts along with websites, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Alexa, Apple Homepo and Google Nest, Slack, Microsoft Teams and others.

The SRD says the previous system only provided notifications through landline calls, cellphones and text messages.

For the full story click here

April 22

'Priced itself out of the retirement market': Realtors weigh in on changing age of Vancouver Island residents

Vancouver Island has long been known as a place where people come to retire, but a new report shows that is no longer the case. The island’s immigration is now being fuelled by young, working families.

Jlo Magneto and his young family recently moved to Langford from just outside of Toronto. According to a new report from the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, the young family fits perfectly into the changing demographics of the island’s newcomers.

"I lived here back in my college days and I loved it out here," said Magneto. "I always wanted to come back so when I saw an opportunity to come, I definitely pursued it."

Megneto is in the Canadian Armed Forces and his wife is a nurse. The jump was expensive, but manageable.

"It all did work out," said Magneto. "We sold for over double our asking price back home before moving out here, so that was our only saving grace for finding a place out here."

The economic alliance report found that between 2014 and 2021, 89,000 people moved to Vancouver Island.

April 20

$250,000 available for local charitable and Indigenous organizations, UWBC

Local central and north Vancouver Island charitable and Indigenous organizations can now apply for grants from United Way British Columbia (UWBC).

A total of $250,000 is available this year, according to the charity. They say organizations can apply for up to $15,000 in grants specifically for mental health services to children and youth.

Activities that qualify for the funding include adaptability, resiliency, communication skills, emotional regulation skills, problem-solving and optimism in children and youth.

United Way says the applications are now open until May 9, at 4 p.m. Applications can be filled out on United Way’s Vancouver Island website.

The group adds anxiety levels have risen since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and action from local organizations is needed.

For full story click here

April 18:  Legion

Easter Egg Hunt A Big Success

Huge THANK YOU / SHOUT-OUT to the Legion for once again putting on another wonderful Easter Egg hunt, hot dogs and goodies for all the kiddies here in Gold River! We are so grateful!

April 15

SRD building lodge in Campbell River for out-of-town patients

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) will be building and operating a place for patients and their loved ones to stay while travelling to Campbell River for specialized medical care.

The Just Like Home Lodge will be next to the Campbell River Hospital and will have 10 bedrooms.

The lodge will also include a shared kitchen, communal living space, laundry facilities and private washrooms.

“The SRD board is committed to a goal that high-quality health and social care is available regionally,” said SRD board chair Brad Unger in a news release.

For full story click here

April 11

Google installing first-of-its-kind undersea cable connecting Vancouver Island and Japan for faster service

Google has announced it will be installing a first-of-its-kind undersea fibre-optic cable to connect Canada and Asia, running through Vancouver Island.

Google says the investment into the first-ever subsea fibre-optic cable between Canada and Asia is to allow faster access to services such as Gmail and YouTube when it ultimately begins service in 2023.

The cable, which is called Topaz, will run from Vancouver to Port Alberni and then across the Pacific Ocean to the prefectures of Mie and Ibaraki in Japan.

Google is spearheading the construction of the project but will also be linking up with a number of local partners on either side of the Pacific Ocean in order to complete the task. Once finished, the tech giant says that other network and internet service providers will be able to benefit from the additional capacity of Topaz, whether for their own use or to provide to third parties.

The undersea fibre cable is about the width of a garden hose and will house 16 fibre pairs that will stretch across the floor of the Pacific Ocean, offering a total capacity of 240 Terabits per second.

Google says part of the project has involved consultation and partnership with First Nations and the cable will be built alongside the traditional territories of the Hupacasath, Maa-nulth, and Tseshaht.

As part of the announcement of the project, these three Vancouver Island First Nations voiced their support of the project and the work being done alongside Google.

“Tseshaht is very proud of this collaboration and our partnership with Google, who has been very respectful and thoughtful in its engagement with our Nation. That’s how we carry ourselves and that’s how we want business to carry themselves in our territory,” said Tseshaht First Nation Elected Chief Councillor, Ken Watts.

“Google’s respect towards our Nation is appreciated and has good energy behind it,” added Hupacasath First Nation’s Elected Chief Councilor, Brandy Lauder.

BC Hydro’s electric vehicle fast charging site open in Gold River

A new BC Hydro electric vehicle fast charging site is now operational in Gold River and adds to the company’s growing network of more than 100 public fast chargers in B.C.

“We are working to make it easier for drivers in B.C. to go electric and take advantage of B.C.’s clean, reliable hydroelectricity,” says Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low-Carbon Innovation. “This location in Gold River will help make public charging more convenient as a growing number of people on Vancouver Island shift to an electric vehicle.”

The new site in Gold River opened March 31 and is next to the Gold River Tourist Information Centre near the junction of Highway 28 and Scout Lake Road.

“This charge site in Gold River opens another section of Vancouver Island to electric vehicle tourism,” says Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island. “The site is convenient for drivers using Highway 28. The location is also wheelchair accessible and has newly installed lighting to enhance safety for all users.”

The charge site includes two 50-kilowatt charging units. Each unit can add 50 kilometres of driving to an average electric vehicle in about 10 minutes.

“We are very happy to see our community move forward with an electric vehicle fast charging site in Gold River,” says Brad Unger, Mayor of Gold River. “The number of electric vehicles in B.C. is growing and this site will make it possible for travellers to visit our community and the surrounding area. We are thankful for BC Hydro’s efforts to make this a reality.”

Transportation accounts for about 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in B.C. In September, BC Hydro revealed its Electrification Plan, with initiatives to encourage B.C. residents, businesses and industries to switch to hydroelectricity from fossil fuels to help reduce carbon emissions. The plan encourages switching from gas-powered cars to electric vehicles.

“As the primary fuel supplier for electric vehicles, we are building out charging infrastructure to ensure we can accommodate the volume and variety of electric vehicles that will be on B.C. roads in the coming years,” says Chris O’Riley, President and CEO of BC Hydro. “BC Hydro will add 325 charging units to it’s network at 145 sites within the next five years.”

BC Hydro’s provincewide fast charging network currently includes 114 fast charging units at 78 sites in communities throughout B.C. The chargers are funded in a partnership with the Province of B.C. and Natural Resources Canada.

April 10

Free Wood Debris Chipping Available

The Village received funding this year to provide the free curbside wood debris chipping service again. The woodchipping date is still to-be-determined but likely mid-June. I just wanted to let you all know right away because I'm aware this service is very popular amongst residents. The woodchipping service is anticipated to follow the same rules as last year.

Rules

  • Bring the wood debris to the end of your driveway at the pre-determined date/time

  • No rocks, no nails, no roots

  • Ideally all the “butt ends” of branches are pointed the same way so they can be fed efficiently into the chipper

  • Tree trimmings must be under 16cms in diameter and 10 meters length max

  • No invasive species

  • The contractor reserves the right not to pickup any piles they feel does not meet these rules

  • Do no block traffic by piling debris on the road

April 6

Sea Lions feasting on farmed salmon

As dozens of sea lions feast on Atlantic salmon in Cermaq Canada’s Rant Point fish farm site in Clayoquot Sound, Ahousaht First Nation officer Skookum John is saying the fish have escaped into the ocean the same way the sea lions got in.   For full story with video click here

 

April 6

Island Health awareness campaign targeting men aims to reduce overdose deaths

sland Health is launching a campaign targeted at men to raise awareness of overdose prevention services available in the region, in an effort to reduce the number of overdose deaths.

In 2021, 327 people died of overdoses in Island Health, the majority of those deaths were men aged 30-59.  For full story  click here

April 3

North Island arts organizations benefit from provincial recovery grants

Recovery funding will be supporting 10 different arts organizations in the North Island.

In an April 1 announcement, North Island MLA Michele Babchuk announced the strengthened support for the region that will help local artists and organizations recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

For the full story click here   https://www.northislandgazette.com/news/north-island-arts-organizations-benefit-from-provincial-recovery-grants/

April 3

Another Fatal Police Incient In Campbell River

The office tasked with investigating police incidents that kill or seriously injure a member of the public in B.C. was called to Campbell River on Saturday.

The Independent Investigations Office confirmed to CTV News that it had been deployed to an incident in the Vancouver Island community, but could not provide any further details as of early afternoon.

In a tweet shortly before 4 p.m., the IIO added that the incident was fatal.

A person who lives near the Park Road crime scene says she heard yelling, but couldn't make out what was being said. That was followed by a shot, more yelling and then a second shot.

For the full story click here   https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/b-c-police-watchdog-called-fatal-incident-in-campbell-river-1.5845938

March 31

Strathcona Regional District

Have you signed up for your FREE Fibre Drop Home Installation?

Exciting news! The SRD & partner CityWest are happy to announce that infrastructure that connects high speed fibre internet directly to your home will be constructed in the regional district this summer via the Connected Coast undersea fibre optic project.

Sign up to ensure your home is included! There is no obligation to sign up for internet services & install is free while construction crews are on site.

SIGN UP AT WWW.CITYWEST.CA/DROPPING-IN

More info & FAQ's > www.srd.ca/connected-coast

 

March 31

Attention hikers and students. (From Kevin Mcarthy)

The riverside trail along the Heber between the Matchlee bridge and it’s end on Maquinna is in extremely poor condition at this time. There are a couple of sections that are dangerous with collapsing raised short stretches that a person could go right through.

Lots of fence down or just plain gone.

Be aware.

 

March 31/2022

Golf Course is Ready For 2022 (From Kim  Buzit)

It’s official!!! We are now open for our 2022 Golf season. A few things worth a mention....

The lock for the locker room has been changed so if you rent a locker please see the clubhouse for a new key.

We will be having our early bird draw again this year. If you get your membership paid in full by April 15 2022 you will be eligible to enter the draw for half of your membership back.

With the covid mandates being lifted our calendar is filling up fast so if you have plans for a golfing event I recommend you give us a call sooner rather than later.

And finally the answer to the question I have been ask repeatedly

The kitchen will be open ....

APRIL 15th @ 12noon - 7pm

Anti-Mandate (idiots) convoy travels to Campbell River

A convoy of vehicles made its way up the east coast of Vancouver Island on Saturday, March 26 with Campbell River as its final destination.

The city asked organizers to use a gravel parking lot just north of the ferry terminal for a gathering spot.

A crowd of between 60 and 70 were there just before 12:30 p.m. when the convoy was supposed to arrive.It had rained in the morning, and was still quite chilly.

Ralliers of all ages held flags of all types: Canadian, British Columbian, American, Thin Blue Line, and Don’t Tread on Me.

An occasional chant of, “Freedom,” was uttered through a megaphone every few minutes, which elicited yells of, “Freedom,” back.

The odd car honked their horn at the sign holders on the side of the street. A passenger in one SUV leaned out of the window and give the ralliers the finger.

For the full story click here

Strathcona Regional District to receive wildfire training, education with funding

The Strathcona Regional District has received $200,000 through the Union of BC Municipalities FireSmart Community Funding and Supports grant. The funding will be used for the following

wildfire prevention activities: Wildfire training for fire departments. FireSmart renovations for community buildings

CityWest is expanding our fibre-optic network into your community! Sign up for a free fibre-optic drop to your residence or business.

March 24

FREE Fibre installations to homes in SRD communities will be constructed this summer!

Sign up today to ensure your home is included! There is no obligation to sign up for internet services & install is free while construction crews are on site.

SIGN UP > WWW.CITYWEST.CA/DROPPING-IN

More info & FAQ's > www.srd.ca/connected-coast

 

March 24

'Stop the bleeding': B.C. groups call on Alaska to halt interception of Canadian salmon

A coalition of environmental groups is calling on Alaska to halt the interception of hundreds of thousands of B.C.-bound salmon before they return home to spawn. 

In a letter addressed to Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, four salmon conservation groups presented data indicating that in 2021 more than 650,000 Canadian-origin sockeye salmon were caught in the waters of southeast Alaska. That is six times the 110,000 sockeye B.C. commercial fishers caught last year.

“We’re just talking about the fish we know that are getting killed up there,” said Greg Taylor, a longtime consultant with commercial and First Nations fisheries.

B.C. salmon populations have plummeted to record lows in recent years. In response, the federal government closed 60 per cent of B.C.’s commercial salmon harvest in June 2021 and announced a fishing licence buy-back program under its $647-million Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative.

The result for B.C., says Taylor: “It makes us a spawning ground for Alaska.”

For full story click here:

March 21

Over $7 million given out to help North Island small businesses during pandemic

North Island MLA Michele Babchuk says that over $7 million in grants has been distributed to help small businesses on the North Island to adapt and recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

“Island and coastal small business owners have done everything they can to keep people safe throughout these times,” said Babchuk. “Our government is right there with them. By providing these supports, we’ve helped businesses keep the lights on and people employed while they continue to deliver the services we all rely on.”

For full story click here

March 21

Island housing  prices continue to  rise, still not enough for market demand: 

The housing market on Vancouver Island is continuing to suffer from low inventory, says a Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) report.

The latest report for the month of February found that while the inventory for single-family homes rose by 34 per cent from January to February, the amount is still 12 per cent lower than February 2021.

Condos were much the same as they declined by 31 per cent a year ago but rose seven per cent since January. Townhouses dropped 27 per cent and the inventory stayed the same from last month.

Prices for single-family homes are also up 36 per cent year over year, with the benchmark sitting at $822,500 in February. The same goes for condos, which are up 28 per cent and townhouses have climbed 34 per cent.

For the full story click here

CBC Hometown Hockey Comes To Campbell River In April

Rogers Hometown Hockey makes its way to Campbell River, British Columbia and you can expect a great weekend of FREE, COVID-friendly, hockey-related activities, NHL Alumni appearances, music, and fun for the whole family!

The free, family-friendly festival takes place April 16th & 17th from 11am – 5pm. Join Ron MacLean and Tara Slone LIVE on site on Monday, April 18th for a special double-header broadcast as they tell the stories that celebrate the hockey history and culture that puts Campbell River on Canada’s hockey map, and stick around the catch the Calgary Flames take on the Chicago Blackhawks at 5pm, and the Dallas Stars take on the Vancouver Canucks at 7:30pm.

March 16

Don't Forget Herber Bridge Closed A Few Hours On March 17

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 2-hour closure of the bridge between the hours of 9am to 11am and 1pm and 3pm on March 17th, 2022.

March 16

B.C.'s Best Small Town

Head to the link below and vote for your village of GOLD RIVER!

About 3/4 down the page this week we are "up against Saratoga Beach" for this week's #BestSmallTownBC on CBC.

Voting is open until 10p, next Tuesday is the 2nd round.

Thanks and let's help put this Small Town on the map!

March 16

Gold River To Get Fibre-to-home infrastructure

The fibre-to-home portion for the Strathcona Regional District’s Connected Coast project is starting up for residents of the area.

The technology is being rolled out to Tahsis, Gold River, Quadra Island, Zeballos, Ehattesaht First Nation, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h’ First Nations, Walters Cove, Sayward Valley and Sayward. It will enable residents of these communities to have access to high speed internet. These communities were ineligible for grant funding, which was available to other areas of the regional district. Funds for these communities are being sourced through a borrowing agreement with CityWest. To pre-register with City West Click Here

For full story click here

SRD News

March 11, 2022 - SRD Housing Needs Assessment Project Launch

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) was awarded $60,000 from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to assess the housing need in all four Electoral Areas within the SRD. Engagement activities, report writing, and sharing findings back to participating stakeholders will be completed by M’akola Development Services (MDS) on behalf of the SRD. 

 

MDS is a non-profit planning and housing development consultancy with over 30 years of experience building and operating affordable housing on Vancouver Island.

 

As the first step in this process, the SRD is inviting all Electoral Area residents, community organizations and First Nations to complete a survey to help us better understand housing in the Regional District. This survey asks questions to clarify:

 

  • The current state of housing in each Electoral Area, including the condition of current housing stock, costs, and adequacy to meet household needs (such as size, accessibility, and proximity to amenities);

  • Anticipated future housing needs; and

  • The number of Area residents who live in core housing need and extreme housing need.

 

Survey responses are completely confidential and will take about 10-15 minutes to complete. Respondents will be eligible to win one of two $100 gift cards!

 

This survey is available on the SRD’s website at: www.srd.ca/housing-needs-report-project.

 

Hard copies are also available by calling 250-830-6701 and can be returned to the SRD Corporate Office at:

 

SRD Corporate Office

Attn: Meredith Starkey

301-990 Cedar Street

Campbell River, BC   V9W 7Z8

 

For more information or any questions about the project can be directed to:

 

Sandy Mackay, MDS Project lead

Housing Research and Policy Lead

M’akola Development Services

smackay@makoladev.com

778-265-7489

Meredith Starkey,

Manager, Planning and Parks

Strathcona Regional District

mstarkey@srd.ca

778-346-9143

March 12

Employment Opportunity

We're looking for kitchen and serving staff!!

Apply with your resume by email to theridgeroadhouse@gmail.com

 

March 12

Campbell River’s Tyler Turner wins Paralympic Gold in snowboard cross

The cheering in Campbell River could almost be heard in Beijing as friends of 33-year-old snowboarder Tyler Turner won the gold medal in Para Snowboard cross Monday in Beijing.

“We were on our feet, screaming, crying,” said friend and co-worker Nicole Girard.

“It was electrifying. I have no voice from cheering him last night,” added Rob MacNeill, friend and co-worker at Capital City Skydiving in Campbell River.

But the cheering was more than just encouraging a friend to do well at the Paralympic games.

“Last night was very emotional for us because we saw him before the accident, we saw the accident and now we’re seeing him at the Olympics,” added Bob Verret, also a friend and co-worker at Capital City Skydiving.

The accident was a tragic and defining moment in Turner’s life. The all-around athlete also loves skydiving but in 2017 while filming a guest completing their first tandem skydive from 10,000 feet, Turner had a freak accident and both legs were eventually amputated.

However, soon after he was already talking about getting back on his snowboard and his determination led him to Beijing.  For full story & video click here.

March 12

Gold River 5 Year Financial Plan

The Village of Gold River is inviting the public to attend an open house at the Village Office to learn more about the five-year Financial Plan. There will be two sessions: March 15, 2022 from 10:00am to 12:00pm and March 16, 2022 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Open house will take place in Council Chambers at 499 Muchalat Drive with Staff and Council available to answers questions.

For more information see link: https://goldriver.ca/notices/financial-plan-open-house/

March 8

Feds leaving West Coast fishing sector to flounder after salmon closures, harvesters say

The West Coast fishing sector is being hung out to dry and deserves a just transition like other climate-affected industries after the federal government put in widespread closures to the salmon fishery last year, the fish harvesters union says.

Boat captains, crews, and shore workers are suffering dire economic hardship with zero emergency or transitional supports after the ministry of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) closed 79 salmon fisheries last June, said James Lawson, president of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers’ Union (UFAWU).

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been allocated to farmers and forestry workers in B.C. to deal with the negative impacts of climate change as well as new environmental policies to help the industries adapt, Lawson said, but nothing similar is there to help commercial fishers impacted by the same issues.

For the full story click here

March 8/22

Documentary shows Indigenous partnership to rebuild wild salmon

Efforts between three First Nations and the Province of B.C. to rebuild salmon stocks is being highlighted in a new documentary.

The partnership includes the Mamalilikulla, ‘Namgis and Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nations and efforts are focused on rebuilding the salmon in the Broughton Archipelago, off the coast of the North Island.

The film, called “Mi’ma’omakw: People of the Salmon”, follows the concerns of the Nations about fish farm impacts on wild salmon and the marine environment. They say this led to negotiations with the provincial government in 2017 and 2018. The result was nine fish farms being removed from the migratory pathways for juvenile wild salmon. For full story click here

March 6

Greig Seafood Hatchery Project To Support 4 Million Smolts

Greig Seafood BC Ltd.’s Gold River Hatchery project will see its salmon spend more time on land with the completion of a new project.

The $24.74 million project will feature six tanks housed within a building. Each is 3.5 metres deep and 11 metres across and holds about 326,000 litres of water. They will be adding water to the tanks and creating the necessary bacteria and water conditions for the salmon to grow.

They say the system will be able to support four million smolts (a stage in which salmon adapt to saltwater as they mature). They will be able to stay in the tanks until they hit a weight of 1 kilogram.

Greig says the system is part of their goal to move more farms on land

For full story click here

March 3

Herber Bridge Closed A Few Hours On March 17

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 2-hour closure of the bridge between the hours of 9am to 11am and 1pm and 3pm on March 17th, 2022.

 

These specific closures are required to be able to install the new bridge structural steel. Traffic, with the exception of emergency vehicles, will not be able to cross the detour bridge during the hours noted 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.

March 3

Gold River explores waterfront potential

The unusual degree of separation stems from another era and a resource development boom in B.C., when Tahsis Company built the town to house employees for its pulp mill located in the river delta at the head of Muchalat Arm.

Gold River District was incorporated in 1965 — acquiring a reeve and village council before it had residents — with municipal boundaries including portions of the river delta.

Gold River Village was incorporated seven years later, Canada’s first all-electric community and the first to have underground wiring.

The community thrived until forest processing and fishing steadily declined through the 1990s. When the mill closed in 1998, the town lost half its jobs and a $1.8-million chunk of its tax base.

Two decades later, the landscape and times have changed dramatically. Since 2018, the village has been piecing together components of an economic development strategy to guide growth and development in the valley, rebranding and reinventing itself as a west coast tourism hub.

Another puzzle piece fell into place earlier this month when the municipality confirmed the start of a waterfront planning process with kickstart funding from Island Coastal Economic Trust.

“Gold River is now considered a tourism gateway to Nootka Sound, and the waterfront represents incredible potential to current and future users,” said Mayor Brad Unger. “Our vision for the waterfront is a place that supports and promotes a rich diversity of local economic activity and improved access to the incredible Muchalat Inlet.”

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation (MMFN) has been integral to the planning process, having helped to shape the economic development strategy.

Ahaminaquus, a former village site where Mowachaht/Muchalaht residents from Yuquot were persuaded to resettle in the 1960s, lies squarely in the middle of the river delta. In Ahaminaquus, residents lived in the shadow of the pulp mill until health concerns led the village to resettle at Tsaxana, closer to Gold River.

For the full story click here

 

Island Health Team Reaches 500,000 Covid Tests!

Our small but mighty Molecular Diagnostics Lab (MDL) team is comprised of four lab clerks, four Medical Lab Assistants and ten Molecular Diagnostics Technologists. They have tested 500,000 COVID-19 samples over the past two years.

We want to thank the MDL team members who have provided a service crucial to clinical operations and patient care during one of the most challenging periods in recent history.

 

Feb 27

New aquaculture suppliers organization calls on federal government to support industry

Organization asking for ‘confidence-building measures’ including license renewals

According to a new national industry organization, the Canadian Aquaculture Suppliers Association, governments should move to restore confidence in the sector.

A federally registered non-profit, the Canadian Aquaculture Suppliers Association will work to encourage the growth of Canada’s aquaculture sector, advance the role suppliers play in the industry and be an advocate to protect aquaculture jobs, according to a press release from the organization.

“Those who supply our nation’s aquaculture sector directly employ thousands of Canadians, including in communities where jobs are scarce and economic opportunity is limited,” said Ben James, the association’s president, in a press release.

More than 20,000 Canadians are employed in aquaculture throughout Canada, including in some 250 Indigenous communities, and approximately $5.2 billion in annual economic activity is attributed to the industry.

For the full story click here

Feb 27

Strathcona Regional District Emergency Services

Have you wondered how a family receives help when they are displaced by a disaster? Then join us for a virtual information session on March 1 or 2. Emergency Support Services is the “heart of emergency response” by helping evacuees find shelter, meals and clothing through vouchers as well as supporting the reunification of family members. For those who are interested in “behind the scenes” initiatives there are positions needed to help ensure resources are ready and plans are prepared.

· Tuesday March 1st 3:00-3:45pm https://srd-ca.zoom.us/j/82838955623 Or Call 1-778-907-2071 Meeting ID 828 3895 5623

· Tuesday March 1st7:00-7:45pm https://srd-ca.zoom.us/j/85752718143 Or Call 1-778-907-2071 Meeting ID 857 5271 8143

· Wednesday March 2nd 7:00-7:45pm https://srd-ca.zoom.us/j/84228048003 Or Call 1-778-907-2071 Meeting ID 842 2804 8003

More information is available at: www.srd.ca/emergency-support-services

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24 km West of Campbell River 

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"Celebrating 20 Years In B.C."

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Feb 26

Job Opportunity

Fuerste Vaccination Services is looking for casuals to join our team of Fin Clippers at Conuma Hatchery in Tahsis. Starting wage is $20/hour and transportation from Gold River to the hatchery will be provided.

For more information or to apply, please contact me at hr@fuerstevaccinations.com.

Feb 22

Gold River To Gte New Mobile Health Unit

Getting access to healthcare in rural and remote communities can be difficult, but some relief is coming to people in Gold River, Tsa’xana and Tahsis.

A new Mobile Outreach Unit is coming to the west coast of the Island, which will provide a space for services that until now residents had to travel to Campbell River to access. However, thanks to the new vehicle the services will be brought right to the communities that need them.

“Rural and remote communities have their own massive set of barriers,” said Kaitlyn Nohr, a rural and remote services and social worker with Island Health. “One is transportation. From our region to the closest urban centre, we don’t have any methods of safe or reliable transportation like buses, taxis, ride-shares or anything like that. It’s all through private drivers. If folks don’t have access to that, if they don’t have funds to pay those private fees then they’re kind of stuck here.”  For the full story click here

Feb 20

Strathcona Regional District sees 7.8 per cent jump in population 

Gold River: 1,246, up 2.8 per cent — Statistics Canada

The population in the Strathcona Regional District is growing, according to new numbers from the 2021 census released by Statistics Canada.

Overall, the population of the regional district is up 7.8 per cent since 2016. That year it was 44,671, and it reached 48,150 in 2021. Most of those people are living in Campbell River, which now has a population of 35,519. However, every community and rural area in the regional district saw growth, ranging from 2.3 per cent to 58.5 per cent.   For full story click here https://www.campbellrivermirror.com/news/strathcona-regional-district-sees-7-8-per-cent-jump-in-population-statistics-canada/

 

Feb 20

New housing project for women and children escaping violence in Campbell River

Work is beginning on the newest BC Housing facility coming to Campbell River.

The Eagle Harbour facility will provide 55 units of transitional and permanent housing for women and children leaving violence. The building will be a five-storey facility with 34 units of second-stage housing that will provide short-term housing with on-site supports, as well as 21 units of affordable rental housing for women, transgender, non-binary and Two Spirit people who need a permanent home.  For the full story click here.  https://www.campbellrivermirror.com/news/work-begins-on-new-housing-project-for-women-and-children-escaping-violence-in-campbell-river/

Strathcona Regional Distric:  Want To Be A ESS Volunteer?

Have you wondered how a family receives help when they are displaced by a disaster? Then please join us for 1 of 3 virtual information session about becoming an ESS volunteer. Emergency Support Services is the “heart of emergency response” by helping evacuees find shelter, meals and clothing through vouchers as well as supporting the reunification of family members.

 

For those who are interested in “behind the scenes” initiatives there are positions needed to help ensure resources are ready and plans are prepared.

· Tuesday March 1st 3:00-3:45pm https://srd-ca.zoom.us/j/82838955623 Or              Call 1-778-907-2071 Meeting ID 828 3895 5623

· Tuesday March 1st7:00-7:45pm https://srd-ca.zoom.us/j/85752718143 Or               Call 1-778-907-2071 Meeting ID 857 5271 8143

· Wednesday March 2nd 7:00-7:45pm https://srd-ca.zoom.us/j/84228048003 Or       Call 1-778-907-2071 Meeting ID 842 2804 8003

More information is available at: www.srd.ca/emergency-support-services

Feb 20

Gold River Supportive Housing

The Village of Gold River has been developing the case for a supportive housing solution with assistance from Providence Health Care, M’akola Housing Society, and M’akola Development Services. Senior’s housing and supportive housing has been on Council’s radar for the past several years with many discussions taking place with various provincial entities.

 

One of the major problems that has been noted with seniors living in community is the lack of support services available requiring some residents to move into long-term care prematurely, or move to a larger community to access these services.

The Goal of this project is to create supportive housing that will allow seniors to stay in their community of choice and offer services that support independence. This paper proposes that a 20-unit non-profit housing complex be developed with some hospitality services being offered on an as needed basis. At this stage in the process, the case has been outlined, and has been shared with our MLA, the Ministers of Housing and Health, BC Housing, and BC’s Seniors Advocate. The Village has been working with the province to identify grant funding that could help make this project a reality.

Staff report with housing strategy paper below: https://goldriver.ca/.../20220202-Supportive-Housing...

Feb 16

Ever Wonder What An Island Screaming Cougar Sounds Like- Spooky!

Of the estimated 4,000 cougars in Canada, 3,500 live in British Columbia.

Of this, nearly a quarter reside on Vancouver Island.

Living mainly in the forested mountain habitats of the Island, the continual expansion of humans into their territory forces these shy creatures to interact with humans.

Many times, residents have mentioned they’ve heard the cougar make what they described as “screaming woman” sounds, which of course sparked questions and curiosity.

Although fellow cats such as lions frequently are associated with loud roaring, cougars, on the other hand, often make piercing and shrill screaming vocalizations.

Cougars do not roar.

The screeching sound is similar to that of a human female screaming, and male and female cougars alike are capable of it. It also is sometimes described as the noise of a wailing child or a pain-induced, suffering and miserable shriek.

To see a video clip click here

 

Feb 16

Notice of Development Variance Permit

The RCMP has been approved to construct a new detachment at 495 Maquinna Crescent. However, the proposed accessory building behind the detachment will exceed the maximum height allowance for the current zoning of “Civic Use Zone - P.2”. This zoning allows for a maximum height allowance of 9.1 meters for the principal building and 4.6 meters for an accessory building. The Development Variance Permit being applied for will allow the RCMP to construct an accessory building with a height of 7.45 meters to accommodate a boat vessel.

Notice is hereby given under section 499 of the Local Government Act to residents of the Village of Gold River that this development variance permit will be presented to Council on March 7, 2022. The proposed permit will be available for public inspection at the municipal office at 499 Muchalat Drive from 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday excluding stat holidays. Questions or concerns can also be directed to the undersigned.

Feb 13

EV Station Coming To Gold River

The Village of Gold River is getting an EV charging station! The Village has been working closely with BC Hydro to construct a EV Charging Station at the Visitor Information Centre. Construction on the new charging station is expected to begin on February 16, 2022 and is set to be operational by the end of March. Funding for this project was provided by BC Hydro and the contractor awarded this project is Knappett Industries.

 

Feb 13

Vancouver Island adds more than 65,000 people between 2016 and 2021

Looking at population jumps in other notable Island communities, Campbell River rose by 7.6 per cent to 35,519, Comox rose by 5.5 per cent to 14,806, Courtenay increased 10.8 per cent to 28,420 and on the west coast, Ucluelet took a 20.3-per-cent jump to 2,066 and Tofino grew by 27.9 per cent to 2,516.

Vancouver Island, like Canada, is experiencing greater growth in more urban areas, while many rural or resource based communities tend to be losing population.

Feb11

BC Ferries to add fuel surcharge to sailings, cites rising fuel costs

BC Ferries is adding a fuel surcharge to its ticket prices starting on March 1 due to rising fuel costs.

The surcharge will be a one-per-cent increase on average, marking a 15-cent increase for adult passengers on Metro Vancouver-Vancouver Island routes, and 55 cents for vehicles.

The surcharge is roughly equal to a five-cent increase for adults on inter-island routes, and a 20-cent increase for vehicles along these sailings. Full story click here.

Feb 9

Once In A Millenium Rogue Wave Measured Off Vancovuer Island

A massive ocean wave that was tracked off the west coast of Vancouver Island in 2020 is now considered the most extreme rogue wave ever recorded, according to scientists at the University of Victoria.

At 17.6 metres tall, the rogue swell reached as high as a four-storey building when it was detected near Ucluelet, B.C., in November 2020.

The wave is the subject of a new research paper published last week in the journal Scientific Reports by UVic scientists Johannes Gemmrich and Leah Cicon.

For full story    https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/once-in-a-millennium-record-breaking-rogue-wave-measured-off-vancouver-island-1.5773395

Feb 9

Grieg Fish Farms To Install Semi-Closed Systems In Esperanza Inlet

Semi-closed systems will soon be installed at all three Grieg Seafood BC Ltd.’s fish farms in Esperanza Inlet.

The CO2 L flow system gives farmers the ability to lower or raise custom farm enclosures.

Grieg says this ensures farmed fish benefit from natural ocean conditions and will provide protection for wild salmon.

The estimated cost of the project is approximately $9 million, and the work is expected to take eight to 12 months to complete.  For the full story

https://www.mycampbellrivernow.com/63516/semi-closed-systems-to-be-installed-at-grieg-fish-farms-in-esperanza-inlet/

Gold River Co-op Gets A Home!

It's now reality. The Gold River Village Co-op has signed the lease. And even better news, we got Lil Roadies, where we originally preferred for future expansion. IT TAKES A VILLAGE, and you all replied. Congratulations  everyone. Stay tuned.

Feb 3/22

Strathcona Gardens reopening after union and regional district agree to mediation, arbitration

Strathcona Gardens recreation complex will reopen Tuesday after the union representing workers of the facility and the regional district agreed to mediation and arbitration.

According to a press release issued Monday, the Strathcona Regional District and the United Steelworker (USW) Local 1-1937 have agreed to resolve an ongoing labour dispute through a mediation and arbitration process.

As part of that agreement, Strathcona Gardens staff will return to work while sides use an independent mediator or arbitrator in an effort to hash out a new collective agreement. Workers have been on strike for the past 10-weeks.

“It’s exciting, it’s just been a stressful couple of months,” said Gillian Tew,  United Steelworkers member and gardens employee.

Strathcona Gardens will be available for booked ice user groups beginning on Feb. 1 and the entire complex will be open to the general public on Feb. 2.

Feb 3/22

Woman stops alleged Campbell River shoplifter

Video taken at a Campbell River Wal Mart on Saturday shows a woman confronting a man allegedly trying to leave the store with a shopping cart full of stolen goods.

To see the video and full story click here.

Feb 3/22

MUSICFEST call for volunteers

Volunteers are and always have been the backbone of Vancouver Island MusicFest. It takes more than 1,100 volunteers, on forty different crews to make the festival happen. VI MusicFest 2022 is going to be another amazing; memorable weekend and we want you to be a part of the Festival’s return! Volunteering for VI MusicFest is fun and comes with great perks too.

 

MusicFest volunteers receive: • A MusicFest Weekend Pass •

Free camping in the Volunteer Campground • Five meals provided on site • Reduced prices on festival merchandise • Invited to attend volunteer appreciation events

 

Vancouver Island MusicFest welcomes people from all backgrounds and abilities to apply to volunteer. A youth waiver is required for those volunteers between the ages of 16-18. We grateful for the many volunteers who will return this year and we look forward to those who are volunteering for the first time! The VI MusicFest volunteer application is available NOW. For all the information you need to know go to: www.islandmusicfest.com/get-involve

Jan 31

Human trafficking of teens and tweens a serious issue on Vancouver Island

For the last eight years, Mia Golden’s been trying to help young people in Greater Victoria who are the victims of human trafficking.

“The numbers are high — we have at least a couple hundred youth we’re working with that are being exploited in some degree or another, and that’s just the ones that we know of,” explains Golden, the crime reduction and exploitation division coordinator for the Pacific Centre Family Services Association.

Golden says human trafficking of young people of all genders — both from Vancouver Island and elsewhere in Canada — is actually quite common.

“It can be done via local sites like Sugar Daddy, social media sites, dating apps — it’s quite alarming,” she says.

And sadly, the numbers are only getting higher.

“It’s very concerning because the other piece that’s of concern is how much younger and younger the young people being trafficked are becoming,” Golden says.

For the full story  click here

Jan 31

Job Opportunity

VANCOUVER ISLAND WEST SCHOOL DISTRICT 84 IS SEEKING A PART-TIME SPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION ASSISTANT 1 AT RWES 

Effective immediately, this posting is for four hours/day until March 18, 2022.  The rate of pay is $26.34 per hour plus 7% and 4%.

To view the posting, please visit https://sd84.bc.ca/about-sd84/employment-opportunities/ and deadline to apply is 4 pm, February 3rd.

Jan 27

Wood Stove Exchange Program

January 27 2022 - Time to change out your inefficient wood stove and qualify for SRD’s Wood Stove Exchange Program

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) is offering its Wood Stove Exchange Program once again this year which provides an opportunity for property owners to receive rebates from $300 - $750, effective September 15, 2021. Rebates are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis to residents interested in exchanging their old wood stove for a new, high efficiency heat pump, gas insert, wood or pellet stove.

 

If you live in in the villages of Gold River, Tahsis, Sayward, Zeballos and the four electoral areas and you have been thinking about upgrading your wood stove, now is the time. There is a limited supply of rebates and offers expire December 31, 2022.  "By trading in your old, inefficient stove for a new, clean burning, high efficiency model you are helping to improve air quality for everyone in the region," said SRD Chair Unger.  “Not only do the new stoves burn hotter and slower, reducing smoke output by 70% and consuming less wood but it also reduces the fine particulate matter in wood smoke that are inhalable and can settle in the lungs”.

 

Rebate incentives are as follows:

  • Wood stove to wood exchanges – $300

  • Wood stove to natural gas, propane, and pellet stove – $500

  • Wood stove to heat pump – $750

All new stoves which have a CSA-/EPA certification are eligible. To participate, homeowners need to provide evidence that the old stove has been decommissioned, and the new stove has been installed in compliance with building codes.

For more information regarding the program, please visit www.srd.ca/wood-stove-exchange-program or contact the SRD office at 250-830-6718 or rebates@srd.ca.

The Strathcona Regional District's wood stove exchange program is made possible through funding from the provincial Ministry of Environment

Jan 27

Gold River Real Estate Assessment Way Up...Does That Mean Huge Incxrease In Propety Tax? 

Property Taxes and Property Assessments: What is the Relationship?

It is January, you check your mail and you have an envelope from BC Assessment. You open it and see your assessment has gone up 40%. When you pick yourself up off the floor, you are saying to yourself, my taxes are going up 40%!

Well, lets stop right there. There is a common misconception people have that a significant change in your assessed value will result in a proportionately significant change in your property taxes. The most important factor is not how much your assessed value has changed, but how your assessed value has changed relative to the average change for your property class in the village.

BC Assessment has some good information that better explains the relationship between property taxes and property assessment. There are even a couple of short videos on this. Check it out at their website by clicking on the following link.

Property Assessments and Property Taxes: A not-so complicated relationship (bcassessment.ca)

Jan 26

Free parking coming to an end at Campbell River hospital and hospitals throughout B.C.

With $78 million in parking fees waived since April 1, 2020, pay parking will be reinstated at B.C. health authority sites to ensure that parking spots are available for patients, staff, volunteers and visitors, and so that free parking can continue to be extended to those who regularly receive certain treatments in acute-care settings.

This change comes into effect March 4, 2022.

"Maintaining across-the-board free hospital parking is making it hard for patients, staff, volunteers and visitors to find a spot, as non-hospital users are taking advantage of the situation to park for free while conducting business that’s not hospital related," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. "These hospital parking spots must be available for those who need them most."

Free parking at provincial health-care facilities will continue for patients receiving dialysis treatment or undergoing cancer treatment in acute-care programs, and for parents or caregivers of children staying in the hospital overnight. Volunteers will still be able to park for free, and financial hardship provisions will continue to be managed on a case-by-case basis by health authorities.

Parking rates have been frozen for more than four years, and this freeze will continue.

Jan 21

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.

Jan 21

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.

Goals

 

  • 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.

 

Media contact:

Shaun Koopman

SRD Protective Services Coordinator

250-830-6702   |   skoopman@srd.ca

Jan 18

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.

Jan 16

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.

Jan 15

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.

Click here for contact information

Jan 12

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

grfnetwork@gmail.com

food network pic.jpg

 

jAN 10

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!

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx...

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)

Jan 7

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

Jan 7

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.

Jan 7

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.

Jan 4

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.

Jan 4

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

Dec 31 

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

Dec 31

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

click here

Dec 30

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.

 

 

 

Dec 27

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. 

 

 

Dec 27

Mainroad North Island Contracting Tandem Plowing

 

 

Dec 26

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.

Dec 23

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

grieg.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 17

Here We Go Again. New Covid Rules

Here is a direct link to the most up to date information regarding the new Covid rules. 

Click here    

Dec 17

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

congratulations

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

xmas.jpg

 

Exciting News

Our Campbell River Storm team will be hosting a game here at our arena in Gold River on Friday night!! Come out and support our own local hockey player Cody Savey

They will be hosting Comox Valley Glacier Kings!

Come watch a VIJHL game

$10 adults

$8 students

$8 seniors

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 amcdowell@viw.sd84.bc.ca.

 

Annie McDowell

Associate Director of Human Resources

Vancouver Island West School District 84

250-283-2241, Local 224

www.sd84.bc.ca

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.”

 

Job Opportunity

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

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