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"Celebrating 20 Years In B.C."

Crest Lake webcam 14 km east of Gold River CLICK HERE

24 km West of Campbell River 

CLICK HERE

Highway Webcams

Ready for snow this weekend?

Road crews are ready to bolster resources for whatever comes our way this winter.

Before heading out, check https://bit.ly/1crT5WQ and drive to the conditions.

Grieg Seafood enters joint venture for post-smolt and land-based salmon farming

The move makes Grieg Seafood the first global salmon producer to invest in land-based salmon farming.

The joint venture Årdal Aqua will produce at least 3 000 tonnes of post-smolt annually and grow fish all the way to harvest size in a new land-based facility in Rogaland in Southern Norway. Grieg Seafood owns one third of the company.

“We are working hard to improve biology and fish welfare, and to reduce our impact. For a long time, we have invested in post-smolt, where we keep the fish longer on land before we release it into the sea, as an important part of the solution. With Årdal Aqua we will be able to develop this farming method further. We aim for all of our fish in Rogaland to spend less than one year in the sea,” says Andreas Kvame, CEO of Grieg Seafood and Chair of Årdal Aqua.

Land-based production to complement ocean farming

The project is currently in the design development phase, and the company aims to start construction during the autumn of 2021. The facility will be built in Årdal in Rogaland, and has a production capacity of 5 000 tonnes annually according to current plans. The company aims to increase the production capacity further.

With the current plans, the Årdal Aqua will create 25 local jobs in Rogaland.

The company will deliver at least 3 000 tonnes of post-smolt annually to Grieg Seafood’s sea farms in Rogaland. In addition, the company aims to gradually produce fish to harvest size on land.

“Through our post-smolt investments we acquire competence on how to produce larger fish on land. Based on this knowledge, Årdal Aqua will also grow fish all the way to harvest size. We will take a step-by-step approach, as we know how complex biology is,” Kvame continues.

Kvame is convinced that different farming technologies and methods will complement each other in the future.

“With continuous improvements that reduce the impact from our sea farms, something we work a lot on, farming in the seas will still be the main component of the industry going forward. Land-based farming is, however, a great supplement, and we look forward to taking part in the development of this technology. What we know for sure is that the world will need a lot more healthy and nutritious food with the lowest possible impact,” he says.

With continuous improvements that reduce the impact from our sea farms, something we work a lot on, farming in the seas will still be the main component of the industry going forward. Land-based farming is, however, a great supplement, and we look forward to taking part in the development of this technology. What we know for sure is that the world will need a lot more healthy and nutritious food with the lowest possible impact

2021 Dog Tag Reminder

It is that time of year, your dog tags are due for renewal and the 2021 licences are available at the Village Office.  If this is the first time to register your Dog, please bring your certificate of spay/neuter.

Neutered dogs are no charge, as long as the dog tag is picked up by January 31st.  After January 31st, there is a $10 fee for the dog tag.

Unneutered dogs are $30, as long as your dog tag is picked up by January 31st.  After January 31st, the fee increases to $40.

If you have any questions, you can contact the Village Office at 250-283-2202 or by email at info@goldriver.ca.

Check out the Gold River YouTube channel for video brief for the January 18, 2021 Council meeting. Click here for the video.

Health officers on Vancouver Island alarmed

by increase in COVID-19

Pandemic fatigue is pushing people to venture beyond their home and work bubbles to mingle and spend time with others in face to face activities.

Island Health has become concerned that these activities are increasing the transmission of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island, helping the virus to spread more quickly.

Cowichan Medical Health Officer, Dr. Shannon Waters says the number of virus cases being found on Vancouver Island is rising and residents need to resist the temptation to resume social gatherings, even if they are small in size.

Dr. Waters urges people to continue following provincial health directives and maintain the personal practices that are known to have been effective in keeping infections relatively low on Vancouver Island.

She also suggests taking advantage of the outdoor recreation opportunities in Cowichan for some fresh air and exercise while maintaining a safe distance from others.

Dr. Waters says fear of the virus leads some to cast blame on others, or resort to racist comments, which do nothing to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“What the general community can do to help get along is really follow the measures that have been talked about provincially: staying close to home, only going out for essential matters, washing your hands, wearing a mask when you’re in a public place”

Dr. Waters says the recent vaccination clinic for the elders of Cowichan Tribes in Duncan went smoothly.

She says it was “a very collaborative effort across Cowichan Tribes and other partners,” and was completed in two days “rather than the three that might have been initially anticipated.”

Island Health sent out a reminder on Friday that Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has extended Orders on all gatherings and events to February 5, 2021, at midnight.

The province has also strongly recommended that people limit travel between communities and outside of the province unless it is absolutely essential for work or medical care.

Matchlee Limited Partnership

NOTICE OF ADVERTISEMENT

Matchlee Limited Partnership (MLP), a forest company wholly owned by the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation, gives notice of its Forest Stewardship Plan (FSP) amendment (Am) #8. The purpose of the amendment is to add the area of Timber Licences, which were recently been added to Forest Licence A95359, to the existing Forest Development Unit (FDU) to facilitate access to future harvesting.

The geographic area of FSP Am #8 covers the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nations’ Traditional Territory on the West Coast of Vancouver Island (as indicated on the map and described as an FDU).

By a decision from the District Manager, of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development in Campbell River, the FSP amendment has been approved without having been made publicly available for review and comment. Further to that decision this notice is published indicating approval of the amendment; a copy of which will be provided to the District Manager.

The date on which operations under the plan have been authorized to begin is January 25, 2021.

For more information or to arrange an appointment to discuss, please contact Gary Gallinger, RPF at (250) 287.2120 or garygallinger@capfor.ca.

On December 3, 2018, Gold River Council received the BDO Financial Sustainability Report.

Council has reviewed the report at length and, on August 17, 2020 directed staff to hold a public presentation on the findings of the report to gather public opinions and comments. Shortly after that direction we entered the COVID-19 pandemic to which staff has been unable to hold a public information session.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REPORT

(Editors Note:  Council received the report Dec 3 2018  but was not completely reviewed until Aug 17, 2020?)

CTV Interview about the Gold River Fire Departmnet

To see the full interview, click the link  https://www.facebook.com/gord.kurbis/videos/10159391525796807

A Message From Gold River Fire & Rescue

The crew of the Gold River Fire Department met tonight with fire chief Lisa Illes in the hopes of making progress towards a satisfactory resolution to the current situation, and with the idea that Mayor and council would be present to field questions. Not only were Mayor and council not present but we found instead that the police received a 9/11 call, presumably due to the imminent threat posed by the fire chief being at the firehall.

The crew stands united in their conviction that a grave injustice has been done to Chief Illes and are still, individually and collectively, processing shock and sadness at her sudden termination, which was to their eyes carried out in an altogether undignified and underhanded manner. Adding further confusion to the situation is that the crew has still not received anything resembling an explanation from the office of the Mayor regarding the reason for her termination or the nature of the process leading up to it.

 

Given the strong emotions this situation has aroused, and as indicated and implied through various social media posts over the weekend, much of the crew was prepared to resign from the hall in the wake of the termination of its chief. In light of this, in their meeting tonight, Chief Illes implored the membership of the hall to stay on and continue to serve and protect the community as they have trained to do. A number of members, out of respect for their chief and a desire to not leave the community at needless risk and expense, have agreed to stay on in spite of their present misgivings, though they will continue to pursue their goal of having their chief reinstated via other means.

 

Collectively we came to the realization that we can do far more good for the hall, and for the community as a whole, if we stay united as a team under the banner of the hall we all love and cherish, in no small part due to the devotion, care and tireless work of Chief Lisa Illes. The membership of the hall also wishes to emphasize our desire for total transparency with the community we serve, something we regard as a basic right and fundamental prerequisite to a healthy community. #westandwithLisa

The New Pool Schedule Is Now Available.

To see the new schedule please click the link, just scroll up.

Statement from Mayor and Council regarding the Village of Gold River Fire Department

On January 7th, after considerable discussion and debate, Mayor and Council passed a motion to conclude the appointment of the Fire Chief under the Fire Protection Bylaw No. 719, 2019.

Immediately after the implementation of the motion, Council and staff reached out to the BC Fire Commissioner for support. The BC Fire Commissioner arranged to attend the Village on January 9th to support the process of transition. The Village Council, Village staff, Gold River volunteer fire fighters, and the BC Fire Commissioner have been engaged in meaningful conversations over the weekend and will continue to do so until all outstanding matters are resolved. The BC Fire Commissioner has committed to engage the Gold River Volunteer Fire Department and the Village of Gold River to assist in working towards a collaborative resolution.

On behalf of Council, we thank the community for their patience and understanding as we address this matter. The Council of Gold River and the Village of Gold River Fire Department are committed to the safety of all residents and their property.

Covid Paving The Way For A Brighter Future in Gold River?

TAHSIS, B.C. -- First it was high real estate prices, now COVID-19 could be another factor that's causing people to move from big cities into more remote communities.

That's a belief held by Tahsis Mayor Martin Davis, who says he's getting more inquiries from people considering relocation.

"They can sell their house in a larger community, come here, buy a place and then have a whole bunch of money left over to renovate their house or do whatever. So, there's a lot of benefit to coming to places like this," says Davis.

Davis moved to the community in 1999 and says in the days when a mill was operating there, the village's population was around 2,500. When the mill shut down in 2001, the population fell to 300, but people are beginning to return, he says.

"Sometimes it can be cheap housing, sometimes lifestyle. People trying to get out of the big city to get a more comfortable living that's closer to a more natural environment," Davis says.

One thing that puzzles the mayor, though, is why his community's property assessments rose so much more than other small North Island communities. While others rose anywhere from 10 to 18 per cent, Tahsis' escalated by 36 per cent.

"It's a bit of a mystery to me," Davis says. "I know houses have been selling faster here and that must be the driver for it, but to see that it had gone up 36% was a shock for a lot of people."

Local realtor Harmony Nielsen says things need to be kept in perspective, though.

"Yes, the values have gone up, which is a good thing, but we're probably the cheapest place on the island, I would think, for real estate right now" Nielsen says.

She believes the average price for a home in Tahsis is around $150,000.

"You're going to get a house for probably about the fraction of the cost of a condo somewhere else and you get to live in a great community," she says.

Island Health expands COVID-19 vaccination clinics to Campbell River

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in Campbell River and Nanaimo.

Starting today, Island Health is immunizing health care workers in long-term care in the central and north Vancouver Island regions.

This week, Island Health received an additional 3,900 doses of the vaccine, allowing it to expand its immunization clinics outside of the greater Victoria area.

Clinics will be held in Nanaimo and Campbell River, with care, support, and medical staff who work or volunteer in long-term care being eligible to get the vaccine.

Those eligible will receive direct communication from Island Health on how to book an appointment.

“Our number one goal throughout this pandemic has been to protect our residents,” said Sharron Traub, manager of Dufferin Place long-term care home in Nanaimo.

“Providing the vaccine to frontline health care workers in long-term care is a critical line of defence to keep this virus out, and an important show of support for those caring for and protecting some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”

“Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine gives all of us working in long-term care renewed hope and a sense of relief after many months of vigilance,” said Jae Yon Jones, Manager of Yucalta Lodge long-term care home in Campbell River.

“While our entire team is weary, they are resilient and heartened by the added layer of protection the vaccine will provide for both themselves and the residents they care for.”

Island Health is following B.C.’s Vaccination Plan, which prioritizes residents and staff in long-term care and assisted living, people in hospital or community awaiting placement in long-term care, essential visitors to long-term care and assisted living, hospital health care workers, paramedics, public health, and remote and isolated First Nation communities.

“Health authorities in B.C. are not booking COVID-19 immunization appointments for the general public at this time and we ask that people remain patient,” Island Health said in a release.

A detailed approach for a mass vaccination strategy is being developed and more details are expected in the weeks ahead.

Read more about the Province’s COVID-19 vaccine plan here and learn about the vaccine here. For more information about COVID-19, visit www.islandhealth.ca/covid19.

MP Blaney to meet with fisheries minister about ‘transition plan’ for fish farm workers

North Island-Powell River NDP MP Rachel Blaney has a meeting set up with federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan, to talk about a transition plan for fish farm workers in the region.

It’s scheduled for Monday.

On Dec. 17th, Jordan announced salmon farms in the Discover Islands would be closed within 18-months.

Blaney says the announcement has sparked “fears and uncertainty about economic prospects of many communities in the region.”

“Workers and small business owners are understandably afraid for their future and how they will provide for their families,” Blaney said. “These are hardworking people and creative and resilient businesses, but they need the support of our federal government.”

In response to the announcement, NDP fisheries critic Gord Johns called for “a strong transition plan for the affected workers and impacted communities.”

Blaney echoed the statement in her letter to Jordan, “stressing the need for a plan to ensure that North Island workers and communities were supported in the wake of the government’s decision.”

“We’re still in the middle of the pandemic and this is another blow to many families in our region. The federal government needs to develop a plan to help our community get through these changes and thrive,” Blaney said.

“I will be telling the Minister about the concerns and stories our communities, workers and businesses have shared with our office and looking for commitments for the support they need at this time.”

Island Health’s daily COVID-19 case count reaches record high

Island Health reached a bleak landmark Wednesday with a record high number of new COVID-19 cases reported in one day.

On Jan. 6, B.C. public health officials announced 28 new cases in the Island Health region – a three-case jump from the previous record of 25 new cases reported near the end of November. At least nine people within the health authority are hospitalized with the virus and two are in critical care.

READ ALSO: B.C. records 625 more COVID-19 cases as holiday results come in

The health region has seen 1,029 cases and 12 deaths since the pandemic began. Some of the first vaccine doses in Island Health were administered in December to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and long-term care workers.

Current public health orders – which limit gatherings, travel and group activities of all kinds – are set to expire at midnight on Jan. 8. Provincial health officials are expected to address this at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Wednesday’s COVID-19 update recorded a total of 625 new cases across the province and eight more deaths.

Gold River Businesses:  Time To Renew Your Business License and while your at it, renew your dog tags too.

This is a reminder that all individuals operating a business in Gold River require a business license, this includes those operating a business out of their home.

t is that time of year, your dog tags are due for renewal and the 2021 licences are available at the Village Office. If this is the first time to register your Dog, please bring your certificate of spay/neuter.

Neutered dogs are no charge, as long as the dog tag is picked up by January 31st. After January 31st, there is a $10 fee for the dog tag.

Vaccines for general public on Vancouver Island not expected anytime soon

Island Health has received 1,950 doses of COVID-19 vaccine as of Dec. 30, but members of the general public on the Island should not expect to get vaccinated anytime soon.

A statement from Island Health said the vaccines it has received so far began to be distributed to health care workers in Greater Victoria on Dec. 22.

“We are still in the process of distributing our initial shipment of vaccine,” the statement said. “Immunization clinics for staff and physicians, long-term care residents, and rural and remote First Nations communities will expand across Island Health in the coming weeks, as we receive more vaccine.”

Council Meeting Cancelled

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN pursuant to Section 127 of the Community Charter, and Council Procedure Bylaw No. 639, 2004, that Regular Meeting of the Council of the Village of Gold River has been cancelled for the meeting scheduled on: January 4th is cancelled.

Province hopes to assist, support communities with transition amid Discovery Island salmon farm phase-out

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney says she has been working through the holidays in an effort to help Discovery Island communities transition after the government announced it would be phasing out salmon farms in the area.

Earlier this month, the federal government revealed that active fish farms in the Discovery Islands – near Campbell River – will be phased out over the next 18 months due to environmental concerns.

The government said that the area will only be licensed for the next 18 months and no new fish of any size may be introduced into Discovery Islands facilities during this period.

“The announcement came just a week before Christmas and it has shaken people in our communities who work in aquaculture and rely on the industry to keep food on their families’ tables and a roof over their heads,” said Blaney. “As Member of Parliament for North Island-Powell River, my priority is to support the many workers, families, and communities that are facing deep concerns and uncertainty over the holidays and heading into the new year.”  

Blaney states she has been reaching out to mayors, major salmon farm operators, workers, and the Minister of Fisheries over the last few weeks in order “to bring more certainty and good jobs to our communities.”

The federal Department of Fisheries’ decision was announced on December 17 and follows work done by the Cohen Commission, as well as the Broughton agreement between First Nations, the province, and industry.

The government notes that the decision was made following consultations with First Nations that helped determine the phase-out was the right fit for the area.

BC Salmon Farmers say phasing out fish farms in Discovery Islands ‘comes at a bad time’

The BC Salmon Farmers Association is reacting to the federal government’s decision to phase  out fish farms in the Discovery Islands, near Campbell River.

In a statement, the association said the decision “has significant implications and puts salmon farming in B.C. and across Canada at risk.”

“This comes at a bad time, during a pandemic when local food supply and good local jobs have never been more important,” the statement said.

“We have just received this decision, and will be taking some time to consider it and speak with the numerous companies and communities involved in salmon farming in the province before commenting further.”

The BCSFA noted that

  • BC farmed salmon is BC’s #1 seafood and agri-food export with a total economic output of $1.6 billion.

  • Salmon farming currently supports nearly 6,500 full time jobs that pay 30 percent higher than BC’s median income.

  • Many of these jobs are in rural coastal Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities on North Vancouver Island.

  • Salmon farmers produce 87,000 tonnes of farmed salmon annually, this creates 353 million healthy, locally produced, carbon friendly meals.

  • Since the pandemic salmon donations to local and regional food banks alone have exceeded 112,000 pounds (equal to over 500,000 meals).

On Thursday, fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced a plan to eliminate existing salmon farming operations in the area within 18 months.

As well, the government says it will:

  • stipulate that no new fish of any size may be introduced into Discovery Islands facilities during this time; and

  • mandate that all farms be free of fish by June 30th, 2022, but that existing fish at the sites can complete their growth-cycle and be harvested.

CDC warning of COVID-19 exposure on a Dec. 22 flight to Campbell River

Travellers on a Pacific Coastal flight to Campbell River may have been exposed to COVID-19, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is reporting.

Passengers on Pacific Coastal Airlines flight number 8P715 from Vancouver to Campbell River on Dec. 22 should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days, the BCCDC website says.

While you are self-isolating, you will be required to monitor for new symptoms or signs of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, sore throat, etc. Visit the BCCDC site for advice on self-isolation and monitoring.

First case of COVID-19 variant from the U.K. discovered on Vancouver Island

The first case of the COVID-19 UK variant has been reported in an individual from the Island Health region.

The individual, who resides on Vancouver Island, returned to BC from the United Kingdom on flight AC855 on December 15th.

They then developed symptoms while in quarantine, and were immediately tested.

Testing confirmed the positive diagnosis on December 19th; a small number of close contacts have been isolated, and public health is following up with them daily, according to a statement from the province.

In a joint statement on Sunday, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix confirmed the first case of a person in British Columbia infected with the COVID-19 variant originally identified in the UK.

“The variant strain was detected by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) Public Health Laboratory in its review of all isolates from people who had recently returned from travel to the U.K.,” read the statement.

”Whole genome sequencing at the BCCDC identified this as the same as the variant seen in the U.K. Ongoing review may identify additional cases in the coming days.”

A Canada-wide travel ban on all flights arriving from the U.K. remains in place until January 6th, 2021.

British Columbians are urged to continue to avoid all non-essential travel to keep people and communities safe.

At this point, there is no evidence that the new COVID-19 variant is more likely to cause severe illness, nor is there evidence to suggest the Health Canada-approved vaccines will be any less effective against the new variant.

However, early studies indicate the COVID-19 variant first identified in the U.K. can spread more quickly and easily.

 

Federal decision to phase out 19 Discovery Island fish farms has sent shivers across northern Vancouver Island

Canada’s decision to phase out 19 Discovery Island fish farms sent “shock waves” throughout north Vancouver Island, say some associated with the aquaculture industry.

While the Dec. 17, announcement by Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan was hailed as “groundbreaking” and “historic” by environmental groups, shocked aquaculture workers are calling it a decision that “stole Christmas,” anticipating job loss and a ripple effect to related businesses across the North Island and Discovery Islands communities.  For the full story click here.

Grieg Seafood donates gear to help contain active oil leak in Nootka Sound

To help the Canadian Coast Guard and spill response teams contain oil leaking from the MV Schiedyk shipwreck in Nootka Sound, Grieg Seafood has donated mooring gear to anchor a heavy 10,000-foot-long boom in place.

A concerning oil slick was spotted from the shipwreck earlier this month near Bligh Island. The 150-metre ship sank in 1968 while carrying wood pulp and barley after it hit an underwater ledge. The crew survived but the ship sank with oil on board.

Grieg Seafood, which operates in the area, was contacted on Saturday, Dec. 12 by Diversified Marine (a company contracted to help stem the oil leak) to see if they could assist with containing the active oil leak.

“It was a no brainer to get involved,” said Mike Crivea, Operations Manager for Grieg Seafood BC. “The surrounding environment, ecosystem and communities around Nootka Sound mean a lot to us at Grieg, and if we can be a part of containing the spill, we will.”

Diversified Marine, which also contracts for Grieg, already had mooring equipment onboard their barge from a recent system upgrade to a Grieg site. The rest of Grieg’s gear needed for the spill was being stored nearby at the Gold River dock. Some of the equipment donated were anchor blocks, buoys, rope, chains, shackles and thimbles.

Multiple anchors were dropped at the spill site on Dec. 16, 17 and 21 as the Coast Guard and Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) test how the boom reacts to the mooring placements.

“This boom is very heavy,” Crivea said. “One-hundred feet of it weighs probably around 6,000 lbs, so to secure a 10,000-foot boom in Nootka’s currents and tides takes a lot of planning and heavy-duty mooring equipment.”

“We hope the mooring of the oil boom is a success, so we can get the leak contained as quickly as possible.”

The Coast Guard and WCMRC are working around the clock to contain the spill, which is already impacting wildlife. A heron and sea otter were both found covered in oil and sent to the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre to recover.

 

 

Highway 28 Webcam Updates

Village of Gold River staff have worked with MOTI to improve the reliability of the Hwy 28 web camera. MOTI has implemented several upgrades over the summer of 2020 to improve system power. Satellite communication continues to be an issue resulting in camera downtime. MOTI are aware of this issue and the importance of the camera and are working with the satellite company to resolve the issue.

Vancouver Island Logging- 1938-44

We found a great 25 minute video on how logging was done nearlyi 100 years ago. Amazing stuff!

Fish farms near Campbell River to be phased out over next 18 months

The Government of Canada has announced that controversial fish farms in the Discovery Islands – near Campbell River – will be phased out over the next 18 months due to environmental concerns.

In a release issued on Thursday, the federal government noted that the decision was made following consultations with First Nations to ensure the phase-out is the right fit for the area.

The government said that the area will only be licensed for the next 18 months and no new fish of any size may be introduced into Discovery Islands facilities during this period.

Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, Bernadette Jordan, said on Thursday that all farms are required to be free of fish by June 30th, 2022, but existing fish at the sites can complete their growth-cycle and be harvested.

CHEK News did a big story on local fish farms, you can watch the full story here

Get Your Covid Benefit Money

You can apply for your $1,000 benefit at this link, you might want to give it a day or two as the system is crashing.

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/economic-recovery/recovery-benefit

Christmas Parade

Monday December 21st @ 6 PM we are bringing the parade to you!!! Stay in your bubble and watch the parade of lights come by your home. If you want to join in, you and members of your household can also drive in the parade. Muster at 5:50 PM in front of the Firehall. Make sure your Christmas lights are on so the Candy Cane Lane Judges can see your Christmas Spirit! We will be coming through Gold River and Tsaxana.

Anne Fiddick Aquatic Centre – Modified Resumption of Service

The Village of Gold River appreciate the community’s patience as we work to navigate the Provincial Health Order. The Village is going to be opening the Anne Fiddick Aquatic Centre to bookings only. A schedule of time slots has been prepared for users to be able to book a time to use the facility. But due to the Public Health Orders, there will be no drop-in opportunities for using the facility at this time.

Please check our Parks and Recreation page at goldriver.ca for the pool schedule. In addition, there is a FAQ regarding questions about the current process for using the Aquatic Centre.

You can call the Aquatic Centre at 250-283-2216, or email recbook@goldriver.ca to reserve a time slot. All bookings must be done 48 hours in advance.

Book now to secure your opportunity to use the Aquatic Centre.

Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens

Chickens are permitted in residential zones provided that the lot is a minimum of 0.81 hectares (2 acres) in area. A structure for the chickens must be placed at a distance greater than 6.1 metres (20 feet) from the side and rear lot lines and 7.6 metres (20 feet) from the main house. No structure with chickens is permitted in the front yard.

Check the Village of Gold River Zoning Bylaw No. 706, 2018 for more information on livestock within municipal boundaries. The bylaw can be found on our website at goldriver.ca or call the village office at 250-283-2202.

Active marine oil slick near Nootka Sound tied to historic 1968 Bligh Island shipwreck

An environmental response team has traced a marine oil spill in Nootka Sound to a freighter that sank off the West Coast of Vancouver Island in 1968.

The Canadian Coast Guard began investigations mid-September after local residents began reporting about sheen on the water. What was initially thought to be created by bilge discharge from vessels transiting through the area later turned out to be originating from shipwrecked vessel MV Schiedyk – the 483 feet cargo ship that sank upside down in Zuciarte Channel near the east end of Bligh Island, on Jan. 3, 1968 shortly after departing from Gold River. For the full story click here

From The Desk Of The Mayor

On behalf of Council, I would like to share an update on what both Council and staff have been working on since Council was elected in October 2018.

Following the 2018 Gold River municipal election, your new Council got to work. One of our core responsibilities was developing our Strategic Plan, a document that guides staff as to what is to be accomplished over our term. The categories identified were:

  • Governance

  • Financial Sustainability

  • Community Transparency

  • Community Liveability

  • Economic Prosperity

While Council has moved many other matters forward during this time, some of the highlights are provided below to ensure Council continues to strive for both public engagement and transparency.

Governance

“Support strong, positive and open relationship with the public and community partners.”

  • Develop efficient, legally compliant, manageable records management systems

    • Staff were directed to complete a full review on Village administrative provisions to ensure compliance with legislation

  • Develop a Bylaw Review Advisory Committee

    • A committee was established. Council and selected staff began reviewing bylaws for deletion, modification, or addition.

  • Structural review and organizational changes.

    • The organizational structure was reviewed and updated with two positions filled as identified in the review. A Deputy Corporate Officer(DCO) was hired which filled a position that had been vacant since 2018. Additionally, following multiple staffing reports from consultants spanning over a decade, a Deputy Director of Finance was hired, bringing our total staff at the Village office to five. Council also supported the promotion change of our former Deputy of Finance to Deputy Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Finance. With the Village office being understaffed it was very difficult for Council to bring forward any new strategic priorities. This capacity places the Village in a position to complete Council’s strategic initiatives, comply with ever increasing Provincial legislation, and administer/complete projects that have been dormant for some time.

Financial Sustainability

“To ensure the smart and progressive management of the Village finances to ensure sustainability”

  • Consider new sources of revenue to aid in maintaining infrastructure

    • Village staff were directed to make attempts to negotiate long term, sustainable  Agreements with tenants at the Village Wharf (Grieg Seafoods/ Nootka Sound Services). Staff negotiated a 10-year Agreement with Grieg Seafoods, and renegotiated a new 5-year Agreement with Nootka Sound Services. These agreements not only bring in revenue to the Village, but also provides necessary support for the Economic Development Committee in acquiring grants.

  • Direct Stumpage Fee revenues

    • Council recently had discussions with the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development regarding the Village receiving a portion of the stumpage fees that they collect from the Forest industry in our area.

  • Development of asset management strategies

    • Council and staff identified the need for further investigation on asset management as it impacts grant approvals, and overall management of current assets. This will be a significant portion of staffs focus for 2021 with the development of maintenance management plans and overall asset management planning.

  • Fire Department review

    • Council requested a review on purchasing practices and new strategies for high dollar apparatus. Staff, through this direction, have identified purchasing practices that will lead to significant savings on apparatus while providing the same level of protection to the community.

  • BDO Financial Sustainability Report implementation

    • Council has continued to review and address how to implement recommendations set forth in the 2018 BDO Financial Sustainability Report. Staff has been directed to provide a public education session surrounding this substantial document, however this direction has been postponed due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions.

Community Transparency

“Develop more robust methods for the Village to communicate and access information from the Village”

  • Implement a communications strategy by using a multi-platform approach

    • Village staff developed, populated, and maintained social media platforms, such as a Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The Village website was redeveloped from the ground up, providing much cleaner access to both municipal contact information, current events, and documents. In addition, staff supported the Economic Development Committee to develop social media communications as well as provide traditional mailouts. During this time, a municipal social media policy was developed to ensure conduct was adhered to by both Council and staff.

Community Liveability

“To support the overall betterment of the Village residents and our neighbors”

  • Support the Economic Development Committee.

    • The Economic Development has applied and recently received grant funding for several projects including “shop local”, branding, Village Square kiosk project, and community wayfinding.

  • Development of a Village Park Master Plan.

    • This has been completed and Council continue to discuss implementation and funding of projects.

  • Resurrection and completion of the Bio-solids project

    • Staff have brought the project to 65% completion, with scheduled commissioning in late December, early January 2021. This project is scheduled to come in significantly under the previously reported costs of $1.4 million. A substantial amount of funding was received through grants.

  • Achieve Cell service.

    • As we all know this was realized in December 2019. As the service only reaches within town and approximately 2 km on the highway, it is a start. Both the Provincial and Federal governments acknowledge the need for cellular service on all highways across Canada.  Council continues to push for a higher level of coverage with the goal to be connected from Gold River to Campbell River.

  • Support the provision of high-speed internet access.

    • This is an ongoing initiative of the Strathcona Regional District which, should it be successful, will provide fibre optic high-speed internet access to the entire community. Council continue to review this process and explore its potential.

Economic Prosperity

“To support a diverse and inclusive economic action plan”

  • Regular review of grant projects put forward by the Economic Development Committee.

    • There will be continued support of the committees grant applications, Requests for Proposals and further project development, supported by staff. This is done in an effort to foster a supportive economic climate.

grieg seafood.png

"Celebrating 20 Years In B.C."

The Ridge
Now Open At Noon
6 Days A Week
Beginning Sept 1st. The Ridge is closed on Sundays

We are open for dine-in.

The Kitchen is open

Mon- Tues 12-7 & Wed-Sat 12-8.

DELIVERIES WILL BE FROM

5 – 7 PM WED-FRI ONLY

Click Here For Ridge Menu

Grocery Service List: 

Updated List

Please place orders between

10-2 Sunday thru Friday. 

All  products come directly from our wholesale suppliers and are  premium quality.

Please Note:

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

 

rrgroceries2020@gmail.com 

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

To See Groceries List Click The Red Box

A Message From Mayor & Council

It is an understatement to say 2020 is a year that none of has ever seen in our lifetime. There have been many challenges for each and everyone of us throughout the year. COVID-19 is currently 

impacting all of our lives and will continue to impact our lives and levels of available service. There is no doubt some of these changes are and have been confusing at times, but at the end of the day we must listen to the orders issued to us from the Provincial Health Office.

We would like to ensure all of our residents that the Village Staff are in constant contact with the Health Authorities making sure we are complying to Dr. Henry’s Health order’s, as we decide how or if we can have our facilities open. These are not easy decisions, but ones the have to be made. We also realize that it is not the same in every community due to a multitude of factors, and Staff are doing everything they can to provide as many services as they are able to.

There has been consistent rumours on social media regarding the Aquatic facility being closed, specifically “it closed to save money, it’s closed because Council is considering permanently closing it, it’s closed because the office staff want it closed”.

Due to these rumors, Council wishes to make this statement so that there is no further rumors: the Aquatics Centre was closed in March of 2020 due to immediate closure instructions by the Province and Council has never had any discussions at this time regarding permanently closing the facility. The current closure is a result of the Public Health Orders issued in November and December 2020; staff have been evaluating options regarding services that can be provided that are in compliance with the orders issued by the Province.

We understand everyone is getting very tired and frustrated due to the limitations of access to activities we have all previously enjoyed. It’s been a long 10 months since this all started, and it’s going continue for a while yet. We are a strong, resilient community, and we are stronger when we work together.

Our Staff at the office are there to help you, if you have any questions please take time to contact them. Continue to check the Village website at goldriver.ca for any updates.

Please take care of yourselves and your family,

Mayor and Council

Airline starts air-taxi services between Campbell River and Pitt Meadows

Campbell River’s latest small-scale commercial airline Cascadia Air has started flight routes from Campbell River to Pitt Meadows on the Lower Mainland.

The air-taxi’s passenger flight operations were set to begin earlier this year in March but was stalled as the COVID-19 pandemic began. Instead, Cascadia Air pivoted operations to transport essential goods and services to smaller remote communities across B.C.

The air-taxi started its passenger route three weeks ago with three daily flights scheduled between Campbell River and Pitt Meadows during weekdays and two flights a day on weekends.

Owner and pilot in command Jeremy Barrett said that the route from Campbell River to Pitt Meadows provides passengers with an easier option to travel to places like Surrey, Abbotsford, Langley and Coquitlam on the Lower Mainland without having to go to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) in Richmond.

“Most people are accustomed to flying to YVR and then getting a rental car to travel to other destinations on the Lower Mainland. So we’re giving people the option to connect to these smaller airports where usually the big airlines don’t fly to,” said Barrett.

With a small fleet of Piper PA-31 aircrafts, it makes it easier to fly in and out of smaller airports and that’s what Cascadia Air is offering commuters– a chance to comfortably get in and out of small airports where bigger jets can’t go,” said Barrett.

The eight seater plane is carrying only six passengers at the moment and Barrett says that it’s the perfect solution for families that want to travel in their own bubble during the pandemic. Cascadia Air also undertakes chartered flights on demand.

They plan to develop a series of interconnected network routes within B.C. and some of the future routes include connecting destinations within Vancouver Island too.

The service will also expand soon to include flights from Qualicum Beach to the Lower Mainland, said Barrett.

Since the air-taxi service is not running on a fixed schedule, there’s also room for flexibility, said Barett. For instance if there are passengers in between the routes that need to be picked up, they can be picked up along the way.

MP Blaney calls for Transport Canada to allow passengers to stay in vehicles on enclosed decks

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney says ferry passengers have a right to protect themselves from COVID-19.

Blaney has sent a letter to federal Minister of Transportation Marc Garneau about Transport Canada’s order, banning passengers from staying in their vehicles if they’re parked on a closed deck.  

The letter comes with Transport Canada reviewing over 1,000 reports of passengers disobeying the order.

Transport Canada has started assessing the reports from Oct. 1st to Nov.  27th. 

Of those, 75 percent are from the Departure Bay (Nanaimo) to Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver) route.   

Transport Canada noted that the reports dropped by almost 90 percent in November, “due to the joint patrols, reduced passenger levels and increased education.”

In most cases, Transport Canada says its first enforcement step will be a follow-up letter to the vehicle owner reminding them of the requirements to leave the enclosed vehicle deck, “unless other action is appropriate including fines starting at $600.”

Based on its findings and the level of action required, penalties could be upwards of $12,000.

In her letter, Blaney questions the value and logic of using ministry resources to process and potentially punish “people who are simply doing their best to follow public health orders and keep their contact with others to a minimum.”

With cases on the rise in B.C., Blaney is calling for risk assessments “proving that it is safer to move everyone to passenger decks rather than allowing them to remain in their vehicles. “

“Now we see people getting fined, and I think this is pushing this health concern too far,” she added. 

“Where is the line? How bad does the exposure risk have to get before you reinstate the exemption so that people, goods and services can continue to reach our coastal communities while limiting the spread of COVID-19?’ Blaney asked in the letter.

Blaney said the ferry she is most concerned about is the one between Comox and Powell River.

 “A lot of folks coming from Powell River are coming to the island to get health care support so their health may be vulnerable already, so asking them to leave their car – which could be significantly safer for them – is a big concern for me, and if they’re trying to protect their health and getting fined, I think the minister has to listen to their concerns and address it.”

During the first wave of the pandemic, Transport Canada provided an exemption to allow passengers to remain in their vehicles throughout the sailing in order to avoid the often busy stairwells, elevators and passenger decks of BC Ferries vessels. 

However, as Blaney noted, the federal department has refused to extend or reapply the exemption during the second wave, despite BC experiencing much higher case counts and infection rates than there were in the spring.

In response, Ministry of Transportation press secretary, Allison St-Jean said ferry travellers do not need to choose between personal safety and marine safety. 

“By physical distancing, wearing a mask and leaving the enclosed vehicle deck while the ferry is operating, passengers and crew can stay safe,” she added. 

“While on board ferries, passengers continue to be required to follow all health protection measures implemented by the ferry operator, in accordance with PHAC guidelines and provincial requirements.”

 Transport Canada Marine Inspectors and RCMP officers regularly conduct joint patrols on ferry sailings to make sure people leave the enclosed vehicle decks while ferries are operating. 

 Transport Canada reminds passengers to contact their ferry operator before travelling if they have concerns or special circumstances such as quarantine requirements, medical difficulties, challenges or special needs that may limit them from exiting their vehicle.

Meanwhile, Blaney is hoping her message will get through.

“I’m encouraging constituents that are reaching out to me to send letters to the minister as well and cc my office so that I can follow up,” she said. “I know that Premier (John) Horgan has asked the minister to change this, so I know the province is pushing for it, as well.,”

She’s hoping their “collaborative voice” will persuade the federal minister to “listen to the concerns in our region and respect them.”

 

Malahat Skywalk rises over the treetops, hopes to welcome visitors next year

The tops of tall Douglas fir columns are rising above the trees where the new Malahat Skywalk — now at half its eventual 40.5 -metre height — is under construction near Bamberton.

Pandemic-depending, the region’s newest tourist attraction is expected to take in its first visitor next year, said Ken Bailey, Skywalk general manager.

For full story click here

 

 

Council Meeting Cancelled

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN pursuant to Section 127 of the Community Charter, and Council Procedure Bylaw No. 639, 2004, that Regular Meeting of the Council of the Village of Gold River has been cancelled for the meeting scheduled on:

DATE: Monday, December 21, 2020

Gerry Morgan Memorial Centre – Activities Temporarily Suspended

In response to Provincial Health Orders, effective Immediately the Village of Gold River in conjunction with Vancouver Island Health Authority are temporarily suspending the following activities and programs, at the Gerry Morgan Memorial Centre.

  1. Effective immediately, men’s recreational hockey, women’s recreational hockey, adult curling and all lounge and ice rentals are temporarily suspended until further notice.

  2. Effective immediately, all Community Hall activities are temporarily suspended until further notice.

Currently, the Provincial Health Orders do not affect minor hockey or youth figure skating.

The staff and council for the Village of Gold River appreciate the community’s patience and support as programs are adjusted to comply with the evolving public health requirements.

As new information is available, details will be posted online on the Village’s web page www.goldriver.ca, social media and at our facilities.

For the most recent province-wide restrictions visit www.gov.bc.ca/covid19restrictions.

Hospital outbreaks in Port Alberni, Saanich Peninsula raise concerns

Healthcare workers and all 44 patients currently receiving treatment at Saanich Peninsula Hospital in Central Saanich are being tested after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared Tuesday.

“It’s not clear that this is a spread within the hospital but it’s not definitive that it’s not, and based on the number of patients we have it seems likely there is some sort of spread within the hospital but our testing will help us to know that,” said Elin Bjarnason, vice-president of clinic operations South Island for Island Health.

Five patients and one staff member at the hospital have tested positive over the past two days and the outbreak is spread across three units including palliative care, but not including long-term care.

Health officials say they can’t figure out how they might be connected since they haven’t all had contact with each other.

The emergency room remains open and Island Health is reassuring people that all patients currently in the hospital are being protected.

“We’re not concerned that our staff will be giving COVID to patients today, our staff are on high alert, we have vigorous PPE protocols and our infection prevention control team is at the site,” said Bjarnason.

Salmon have been dying mysteriously on the West Coast for years. Scientists think a chemical in tires may be responsible

For decades, scientists say something alarming has been happening in the streams and rivers where coho salmon return from the Pacific Ocean to spawn along the West Coast.

After heavy rain events each fall, the fish have been turning up dead in huge numbers before they spawn, a mysterious phenomenon that has been the subject of intense research for years.

Now, scientists think they have found a key piece to this morbid puzzle -- and according to a new study, it's strewn all over North America's roadways.

It starts with a chemical antioxidant known as 6PPD, used in tires around the world to make them last longer.

However, as tire treads break down over time and leave behind bits of microplastics on roads, the 6PPD in them reacts with ozone to become a different chemical -- a previously unreported byproduct called 6PPD-quinone, scientists say.

This chemical is toxic to coho salmon. Researchers found its presence in roadway runoff samples taken from across the West Coast, leading them to conclude it's likely the main cause of the population decline.

Police say Campbell Riverites continue to violate mandatory mask policy​

With new provincial health orders, comes fines for those who refuse to follow them.

Constable Maury Tyre of the Campbell River RCMP says police keep getting calls from businesses and customers, regarding people who refuse to wear face masks in public.

“Fines and arrests are absolutely the last action we want to be taking, but if people continue to push boundaries, it’s going to happen,” he says.

Tyre is reminding those who would rather not wear a mask, that there are other options to get the items they may be seeking in stores. This includes online shopping, curbside pick-up, and delivery.

“I recognize there are dissenting opinions and multiple other concepts that can be found online regarding the present mask policies,” he says, “but right now these are the rules and laws that are being applied equally across the province.”

Being aggressive towards a store employee is not going to change the laws, Tyre says, however, he adds that it’s more than likely going to get you fined or arrested.

If you’re at a store and you’re being asked to wear a mask, but have a medical disability that prevents you from wearing one, Tyre is encouraging you to let staff know right away.

“Your particular diagnosis is your business, but the location you are entering is their business,” he says.

“A suggestion could possibly be a doctor’s note simply excusing you from wearing a mask, without diagnosis on it, much the same way as employers may require an employee to bring in a doctor’s note if they have been sick for any length of time.”

In the end, Tyre says people are doing their best to try and deal with the ongoing pandemic. He’s asking you to always keep this in mind, while also treating others how you would want to be treated.

1,000-plus reports of people not leaving their cars on B.C. ferries

Transport Canada is in the ­process of reviewing 1,000-plus reports of B.C. Ferries passengers unwilling to leave vehicles on enclosed car decks, as is required by regulations.

That requirement for passengers to go upstairs was reinstated at the end of September by Transport Canada, after being waived in the initial months of the pandemic.

The majority of reports of non-compliance were from the first few weeks after the Sept. 30 change, Sau Sau Li, spokeswoman for the federal department, said in a statement.

Since then, reports of non-compliance have “significantly decreased” as a result of education and joint Transport Canada-RCMP patrols, she said.

The reports will be assessed to determine the appropriate level of enforcement action, Li said.

The non-compliance information was collected by B.C. Ferries staff and during joint Transport Canada-RCMP patrols, she said.

For decades, passengers were permitted to stay in their vehicles during sailings. That changed in 2017, when Transport Canada ruled that passengers could only remain in vehicles on open decks.

Federal rules banning passengers from staying in vehicles on an enclosed deck have been in place since 2001.

When the pandemic hit in the spring, Transport Canada temporarily relaxed that rule to permit passengers to remain in their vehicles in enclosed decks until the end of September.

Transport Canada has a range of enforcement options available, including verbal warnings, written warnings and fines ranging from $600 to $12,000.

Ferry travellers do not need to choose between personal safety and marine safety, Li said.

“By physical distancing, wearing a mask and leaving the enclosed vehicle deck while the ferry is operating, passengers and crew can stay safe.”

B.C. Ferries requires everyone to wear masks at all terminals, including when outdoors, and on board. It is looking at freeing up more space in its now-closed buffet areas and ­outside to allow for more ­physical distancing.

People with special ­circumstances, such as medical ­difficulties, should contact B.C. Ferries before travelling if they have concerns, Li said.

Aquatic Centre Activites Temporarily Suspended

In response to Provincial Health Order, Effective Immediately the Village of Gold River in conjunction with Vancouver Island Health Authority are temporarily suspending the following activities and programs, at the Aquatic Centre until at least December 7, 2020

  1. Effective immediately, all programs and activities are temporarily suspended at the pool until further notice in the Aquatic Centre.

  2. Effective immediately, all programs and activities are temporarily suspended at the gym and work out rooms, until further notice in the Aquatic Centre.

The staff and council for the Village of Gold River appreciate the community’s patience and support as programs are adjusted to comply with the evolving public health requirements.

As new information is available, details will be posted online on the Village’s web page www.goldriver.ca, social media and at our facilities.

For the most recent province-wide restrictions visit www.gov.bc.ca/covid19restrictions.

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NDP’s Babchuk sworn in as new North Island MLA

We’re seeing a changing of the guard in B.C.’s North Island riding.

Newly-elected NDP MLA Michelle Babchuk was sworn into the legislature on Tuesday.

Babchuk replaces fellow NDP’er Claire Trevena, who decided not to run for re-election in the Oct. 24th election. 

Trevena had represented the riding since 2005.

“I’ve dedicated much of my life to community advocacy and I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to continue this calling at a provincial level,” said Babchuk, who had previously served as a City of Campbell River councillor since 2014, and before that was on the SD72 school board.

“I know the issues we face in the North Island are unique and urgent and the past year has been a struggle for many in our community. I am committed to keeping family-supporting jobs close to home and working to improve the services people rely on.”

Babchuk was among the 57 new BC NDP members sworn in as part of B.C.’s 42nd Parliament. 

They help make up the largest NDP caucus in B.C. history.

Mount Washington To Open Dec 4th

When Mount Washington Alpine Resort revs up the ski lifts for its planned opening date on Dec. 4, face coverings will be required to access the mountain.

The new rule is part of a number of regulations the ski hill announced to email subscribers in a letter from General Manager Dean Prentice on Sept. 11. The letter has since been posted to Mount Washington’s website.

“There has been so much uncertainty since the COVID-19 pandemic first upended our lives. Among the many lessons learned is the importance of clear and consistent communication, the setting of realistic expectations, and the need for tolerance for unexpected changes,” writes Prentice. “The embrace of all these lessons is going to be critical to a successful ski season, as is the recognition we’re all in this together.”

COVID-19 outbreak declared at Campbell River

seniors home

Health authorities on Vancouver Island are reporting a COVID-19 outbreak at a long-term care home in Campbell River.

One staff member has tested positive at the Discovery Harbour care centre in the North Island community.

Island Health says there are no residents experiencing symptoms at this time. 

This is the second long-term care home outbreak on Vancouver Island, after an outbreak at a Port Alberni care home was identified Tuesday.

Discovery Harbour is owned and operated by Park Place Seniors Living. Staff have stopped all admissions, visits and transfers to the site at this time.

The staff member is self-isolating at home, according to health officials.

Island Health says it is working with Discovery Harbour staff to identify anyone who may have been exposed to the virus and is taking steps to protect the health of all residents and staff.

Family members of residents are being notified of the outbreak Friday.

Island Health says enhanced control measures have been put in place at the site, including restrictions on staff and resident movements throughout the centre; testing of all residents and staff in the affected area; and twice-a-day screening of all staff and residents.

Island Health says it will have additional staff on site to monitor the outbreak and assist Discovery Harbour staff.

Gold River Virtual Christmas Market

he Craft Fair is going virtual so vendors and shoppers can still enjoy the market, just in a different format, from home. I will be opening a Gold River Christmas Craft Market Facebook Group for all vendors to sell their goods on and for all the shoppers to still get their local gifts. Let’s support our local crafters, artisans, bakers, consultants (epicure, scentsy, etc), woodworkers and more! The group will be open as of Saturday, November 28 and will be open until the evening of December 6th, so just over a week. It will be up to the vendors to decide how they want to arrange pick-up/delivery and payment methods. Covid protocols should still be observed (wear a mask upon pick-up/delivery). Can’t wait to see what everyone has to offer!

Note: I will keep it open longer if there’s still a lot of shopping happening or if vendors would like more time to sell.

There is NO limit on the amount of vendors we can host on the page. So if you were wanting to sell at the fair, but all the tables were gone, here’s your chance! It will be very much like a buy/sell group, except it will be dedicated to vendors selling their items that would have been sold in-person at the fair. You must post photos and prices of your items for the shoppers to see. Delete pictures as items sell. Please try to keep it all in one post so the group stays as organized as possible

Head of Island Health suggests 14-day isolation for non-essential workers travelling to Vancouver Island - BC

Island Health’s chief medical health officer says the province should look at tightening up travel restrictions to Vancouver Island, including a 14-day isolation period for non-essential travelers. For the full story click here.

No luck locating missing body from 1970 in Vancouver Island lake: RCMP dive team

The RCMP dive team that searched for the remains of a logger that died in Muchalat Lake near Gold River in 1970 was unsuccessful.

A three-person dive team had gone to Gold River on Nov. 6, to conduct a training exercise in Muchalat Lake to test the new sonar technology that they had acquired and to try and see if they could solve some of the missing person cases with the Nootka Sound RCMP.  Full story click here

Open-net salmon farms on their way out of B.C. waters

The federal government is launching consultations on salmon farms with the aim of developing a concrete plan for removing open-net pens from B.C. waters.

Canada’s fisheries minister, Bernadette Jordan, was given the mandate to develop the plan by 2025, and today announced Parliamentary Secretary Terry Beech will lead the engagement with B.C. First Nations, the aquaculture industry, conservation groups and provincial government counterparts.

In an online press conference today, Beech described a sense of urgency to move forward but could not provide specific dates on when the transition will be achieved.

“I can tell you with certainty, this is not simply us having a consultation to build a plan,” Beech said. “We are beginning the transition now. We are going to be utilizing resources now.”  For the full story click here

Island Health, Ucluelet taking their own steps to protect residents amid COVID-19 pandemic

As COVID-19 numbers spike higher than ever before in B.C., the small community of Ucluelet is taking a bold stance, asking residents of the Lower Mainland to stay away.

“This isn’t a message about anti-tourism, it’s about protecting the residents on the West Coast,” said Ucluelet Mayor Mayco Noel. “I don’t think these demands, these asks, that the district is making is too much because that’s what the province is asking.”

It’s not a mandate or a demand; it’s a request from Ucluelet.

The town is small, and with only one bylaw officer it would be hard to enforce regardless. So, they’re saying don’t come if you don’t have to.

“We’re just doing the same thing that every small community on Vancouver Island wants to do, which is maintain our very low rates of transmission,” said the mayor.

MP Rachel Blaney named Deputy Critic for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Indigenous Services

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney is ready to take on new responsibilities, while working more closely with Indigenous communities. 

This comes after she was named the NDP’s Deputy Critic for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Indigenous Services.

As Deputy Critic, Blaney will work with NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, who is the party’s Critic for Crown-Indigenous Relations.

“Rachel has proven that she is a strong ally for Indigenous people across the country and I have every faith that she will continue to work hard to push the government into making significant improvements in the lives of Indigenous people,” said Singh.

Blaney will still work as the party’s Whip and Critic for Veterans and continues to serve on the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, but will move from the Procedure and House Affairs committee to Indigenous and Northern Affairs.

She says she’s excited to get started in the new role, and is grateful to be able to work closely with Indigenous communities throughout Canada while fighting to make their voices heard.

“It’s an honour and a responsibility I take very seriously to serve on these two committees and to work on these two portfolios that are so important for the people in my riding, and across Canada,” Blaney added.

Vancouver Island business leaders call for regional COVID-19 restrictions

As daily COVID-19 caseloads continue to break records in B.C. and health officials say we are entering into a pandemic "danger zone," Vancouver Island business leaders say now is the time to reward regions where infections remain low.

"We are really encouraging the provincial government to balance the great advice we get from the provincial health officer with the economic impact of doing things one-size fits all," said Jeff Bray with the Downtown Victoria Business Association.

A bolstered call for a regional approach to any looming restrictions during the pandemic's second wave is echoing across southern Vancouver Island.  For the full story click here.

Drone Delivery To Gold River?

Vancouver Island-based company first in Canada to deliver goods by drone

A new way to have your packages delivered to you is coming in the near future. 

Vancouver Island-based InDro Robotics is the first company in Canada to receive approval to carry commercial goods by drone.

The team is based out of Salt Spring Island, and last year they partnered with Canada Post and London Drugs to fly the first successful delivery of emergency medication over the Pacific Ocean. 

The drone travelled from Duncan to Salt Spring Island in just 11 minutes.

CEO Philip Reece says they have been working closely with many different organizations to see what the technology is capable of. 

“We originally deployed with the first responders, …… where we learned an awful lot about how to make drones truly operational. There’s nothing quite like a drone that gets thrown in the back of a truck and then gets off the other side to fly and work.”

“We did lots of missions with them in all sorts of temperatures and conditions, gained good approvals from Transport Canada.”

He says the drones are able to fly “from cell tower to cell tower, without us having to see the drone,” which allows them to travel to remote locations in B.C while also bringing connectivity to areas that require service.

Reece says because of the new commercial approval from Transport Canada, the company is currently working on many different tests, including teaming up with the University of British Columbia for a pilot project which would help deliver your packages to a local mailing box.

“So we’re doing hospital to medical center now, next is business to business, then probably retail to retail, and then eventually we’re going to get business and retail to customer,” explained Reece.

“We’ve got a project on the go with UBC where we’re building these large cluster boxes. The drone lands on to the cluster box, lets go of its cargo, its cargo falls into one of the six containers, and as it goes in, the person who is waiting for the mail gets an email and they can go receive their parcel.” 

Reece says custom-built drones can handle up to 10 kilograms in cargo and could deliver pretty much anything you can fit into a shoebox. 

“There’s no real limit to what the item could be. We got all sorts of permission to fly everything from medical supplies to commercial goods, to your passport you forgot on the way to the airport.”

If you live on the North Shore, Reece says you can already experience receiving your parcel via drone.

“We have a program going on at the moment with Harbour Air where you could put an item on the seaplane in Victoria, have the seaplane fly it to Vancouver and then once it arrives in Vancouver, swap it over to a drone and have it fly to the North Shore.”

While the company works on expanding service for British Columbians living on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, he says they hope to pave the way for others to follow. 

“I don’t think it is so much as competition, we’re obviously honoured and pleased to be first, but we’re eager to help those that are also looking at the same business path. Obviously, they won’t have to go through quite as many hurdles as we have, but we welcome them on the journey.”

 

Vancouver Island's first COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital

Five staff members at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19, prompting Island Health to declare an outbreak of the disease.

The health authority said in a news release Wednesday that it had found "evidence of transmission" of the coronavirus in a transitional care unit at the hospital.

The outbreak is the first one to be declared in the Island Health region since the pandemic began, and one of only a handful of outbreaks outside of the Lower Mainland.

Island Health said the outbreak is limited to one unit at the hospital, which is currently closed to admissions and visitors.

Enhanced cleaning and contact tracing are underway, the health authority said.

All patients on the unit have been informed of the outbreak and are being tested for COVID-19, Island Health said, adding that it is in the process of informing the families of patients who are unable to share information about the outbreak themselves.

The emergency department at NRGH remains open, and no other areas of the hospital are affected, Island Health said.

RCMP Divers Were In Town This Past Weekend.

(From A Post Shared By Kar Ford)

Our community is making headlines again! You may see the RCMP National Dive team out and about our community this weekend as well as the families who have lost their loved ones. Although incredibly sad stories we are hoping to bring some answers and comfort after so many years. I sincerely appreciate the kindness shown by our community to the families of our missing men. The Chalet, Uptown Cappuccino, The Ridge, and Sea and Field.  Click here to see the video

Mounties boarding some BC Ferries this weekend to make sure passengers leave their vehicles

RCMP officers will be travelling on some BC Ferries vessels beginning this weekend to enforce federal rules that forbid passengers from staying in their vehicles on enclosed decks.

Mounties say the ferry corporation and Transport Canada have asked police to help make sure all passengers are in designated passenger areas while vessels are in motion, as required by Canadian law.

Officers will conduct "ferry walkabouts" on some sailings beginning on Friday and say that their role will largely be to help educate travellers, according to an RCMP news release.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mowachaht/Muchalaht begin road restriction

Access restrictions begin today for the highway running south of Gold River, as Mowachaht/Muchalaht respond to a breakdown in negotiations with Western Forest Products over the road that passes through the First Nation’s reserve.

The decision to block the forestry company’s vehicles from passing through was announced by the Mowachaht/Muchalaht’s Council of Chiefs.

Highway 28 passes through Ahaminiquus, Indian Reserve No. 12, and ends at Muchalaht Inlet.

The First Nation stated that the restriction will only apply to vehicles serving Western Forest Products; the general public will still be permitted to pass through.

“This is NOT a blockade!” stated an announcement from the First Nation. “It is MMFN’s legal right to say who can use their roads and have access through their reserve lands.”

The road was built through the reserve over 50 years ago without consulting the First Nation, providing forestry companies a route to a log sort on Muchalaht Inlet, where timber is loaded and transported to oversees markets.

In recent years the Mowachaht/Muchalaht and Western have failed to reach an agreement on compensation to the First Nation for the continued use of the road through its reserve. The forestry company stated that it has been in ongoing discussions with the Nuu-chah-nulth nation and are “working in good faith to quickly resolve this complex issue.”

Now the First Nation is talking to the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure “towards an acceptable compensation agreement” that considers the road being built without consent.

This is planned to be a peaceful protest without aggressive behaviour.

“We do not want protestors to physically join us,” stated the Mowachaht/Muchalaht. “We ask that environmental organizations assist us by writing letters of support and provide updates for us through their social media page.”

Masks now a must in all provincial healthcare facilities

Medical masks are now mandatory in all healthcare facilities in B.C.

The Ministry of Health issued the order yesterday.

It is now mandatory that all visitors, staff, and patients wear them in long-term care homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, and doctor’s offices.

It will be up to the facilities to provide the medical masks.

All workers will be expected to keep masks on including in common areas and break rooms unless eating and drinking and patients will be required to wear them when outside their rooms.

Island Health making temporary changes to outpatient lab services

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Island Health says it’s closing some outpatient labs and changing the hours of operation at others.

This is being done to ensure staff and resources are ready as cold and flu season picks up, and B.C. experiences its second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Starting Monday, November 2nd, the outpatient lab at the Campbell River hospital will have reduced hours. The new hours are Monday to Friday, 6:30 am to 3:30 pm. On Saturdays, it’s open from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm.

There are no changes in hours at outpatient labs in the Comox Valley, and the Cumberland Health Centre lab will remain closed.

And at the hospital in Port Hardy, the lab will now be available by appointment only on Sundays.

To stay up to date with the most recent info around hours, and to see which location is available to you, click here. You can also call 1 (877) 370-8355.

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation blocks highway access to logging trucks in Gold River

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A Vancouver Island First Nation is poised to blockade the highway between the town of Gold River and its port to logging traffic until it gets compensation for the use of its land.

Mowachaht/ Muchalaht First Nation (MMFN) has announced its intention to restrict access to the portion of Highway 28 that passes through Ahaminaquus Indian Reserve Number 12 (IR 12) to the logging company Western Forest Products (WFP) effective immediately.

“This act is in response to WFP’s continued and repeated trespass on MMFN IR 12, and the province’s failure to fairly compensate MMFN for the ongoing trespass,” said the Nation in the statement. “Since MMFN never approved or consented to WFP’s use of the road that crosses MMFN’s IR#12, WFP’s continued use of the road constitutes an act of trespass.”   To read the full story please click the link

It's Rib Night Friday At The Ridge

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Join us for a fabulous "fall of the bone" rack of ribs tonight at The Ridge!

Get Your Halloween Candy At The Firehall

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Happy Halloweek everyone! The Fire Department, RCMP and BCEHS will be handing out candy out front of the Fire Hall Halloween night between 4 PM-8PM! please maintain social distancing and stay safe this Halloween! See you out there

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