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  • Gayle Baker

An Emotional Invitation From Adam Olsen

June 4

Given the tragic news of the Indigenous burial site that was made public this week, we asked our special guest, MLA Adam Olsen, to offer the Territorial Acknowledgement. He graciously agreed, thus beginning this gathering of 12 Salt Springers committed to learning and seeking solutions together.

We spent our time together talking about the experiences surrounding the findings at Kamloops Residential School. Adam has asked that we do not publish a written account of the discussion but rather provide a link to his Response to the Ministerial Statement on the issue instead.

On Friday morning Adam was very emotional, and these are difficult conversations that require care and the ability to respond to the complexity and nuances. Adam is open to discussing this issue with you either individually or in small groups, and if you wish to schedule a time to meet you can contact him through his constituency office at Adam.Olsen.MLA@leg.bc.ca. Adam thanks you for all the kindness and compassion you have shown to all the survivors of Residential Schools and will continue the important work of ensuring that we continue the work of reconciling this injustice.

Participants were tearful and supportive of Adam’s journey on this emotional issue. While there was agreement that this gathering should not address the more mundane issues that typically seem so critical to our happiness, we did listen to concerns about delays opening the border. One participant expressed his frustration not so much that the border is still closed but that it appears that plans to open are evolving so slowly.

While it was agreed that this is a federal issue, a participant posited that provinces need to come together to help develop this plan. He asked Where is BC in this planning? According to Global News, June 2, 2021: The decision to reopen the border is ultimately up to the federal government but, as with so many things during the COVID-19 pandemic, it requires collaboration with the provinces. (https://globalnews.ca/news/7915195/us-canada-province-border-reopening/

In Adam’s opinion, vaccination statistics should not be the only factor; BC needs a robust testing regime in place to make it safe for all. It was agreed that many are impatient for the border re-opening plan to be developed and implemented.

While it was not yet 12:30, we all encouraged Adam take some time for himself before diving into his packed afternoon of meetings. And, just when we were appreciatively bidding him adieu until July, he got the call that, if he hurried, he could watch his son drumming. Knowing how much we appreciate him, Adam left quickly for this family moment, and we pressed our Leave Meeting button to dive back into the busyness of our days. Despite soon rejoining the flow of a typical Salt Spring Friday, participants were touched by the weighty conversation of this ASK Salt Spring gathering.

Guess what: We are now allowed to gather outdoors!

So, please join us Friday, June 11, 11-1 in the United Church Meadow (Portlock Picnic Pavilion if raining as predicted) to welcome our Chamber leaders - CEO Jesse Brown and President Darryl Martin.


- Interested in what is happening with the Visitors’ Centre?

- How does the Chamber plan to bring the Zing back to Ganges?

- What are the Chamber’s top priorities for this year. (What do you think these priorities should include?)

-How involved is the Chamber with the just established Ganges Village Plan task force ?

- Ganges is filling up as the weather warms. Is there a plan to keep everyone safe in our village?

- And. . . .?

Please join us Friday, June 11, 11-1, to ask your questions, listen to those of others, and participate in rich, respectful conversations.

Bring your favorite beverage and a smile.

Chairs and chocolate chip cookies provided.

If it is raining as predicted, please dress warmly: those winds certainly blow through the Portlock Picnic Pavilion!

See you there!

Any question, anytime: ask@asksaltspring.com


Want to see reports from all the ASK Salt Spring gatherings?

asksaltspring.com


Want to help? ASK Salt Spring now has a Save-a-Tape box at Country Grocer.


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