For islanders wanting a break from talking about COVID-19, three different subjects are commanding our attention this week.
First is the release of the new Salt Spring Climate Action Plan, containing some 250 recommendations for how our island can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030. Spearheaded by the Transition Salt Spring Society with support from local government and individual donors, what is called “CAP 2.0” builds on a comprehensive plan published back in 2011. In addition to laying out suggested actions, CAP 2.0 points out progress that has already been achieved in reducing GHG emissions locally.
The society stresses the importance of everyone in the community being on board with understanding climate change impacts and how they can be mitigated. The plan is available now on the TSS website and an official Zoom launch event is set for Tuesday, March 2 at 6:30 p.m. For people who might find reading the entire plan a daunting task, an easy-to-read 10-page executive summary covers the basics.
Looking even further into the future, the Islands Trust wants public input for the purposes of revisiting its Policy Statement through a process called Islands 2050. It’s holding a virtual open house on Wednesday, March 3 at 7 p.m. People can register through the Islands 2050 page or otherwise find the relevant Policy Directions document and how to provide feedback about it on the Islands Trust website. The aim is to modernize the Trust’s guiding document through public and First Nations engagement. With the role of the Islands Trust a hot topic on many islands these days, the open house — and the quarterly Islands Trust Council meeting set for the following week — are two places to get up to speed on policy directions that affect all island dwellers and property owners.
Finally, BC Ferries is asking for public input on Gulf Islands ferry schedules. With a new, larger Salish-class ferry set to replace the Southern Gulf Islands’ Mayne Queen next year, the opportunity to make schedule changes has arisen. The first round of consultation kicked off last week and runs online at bcferries.com until March 16. Paper copies of the relevant survey are also available from local ferry terminals or the chief steward’s office.
The work of creating the future we’d like to see must still go on regardless of the pandemic. Everyone is encouraged to be part of the process.