Christmas Lights at the Japanese Garden

Photo courtesy of Toby Snelgrove
Over Christmas, bring family and friends to see the magical display of lights at the Japanese Gardens at Dinner Bay.

We are open every night from 5 pm to 7 pm (excepting Christmas Eve) up to and including January 1st.

Volunteers have worked hard to adorn the gardens with thousands of lights and ornaments and you experience the gardens as never before.

Come join us for hot cider, cookies and Holiday ambiance.

For further information please contact Ingrid Marsh (250) 539-5024

Christmas Eve Bonfire & Carols at Miners Bay

Photo courtesy of Toby Snelgrove
Come celebrate Christmas Eve at the bonfire at Miners Bay Park with your fellow Mayne Islanders for carol singing, cookies and good cheer. The Mayne Island Chamber of Commerce will provide hot chocolate and hot apple cider, starting sometime around 5 pm.

Correction: Apparently 5 pm is incorrect, the time to show up is 6 pm and it is reported that Santa will be in attendance.

I Live Here - stop the cuts to BC Ferries


A MANIFESTO FOR ISLANDERS: BC’s rich and storied maritime heritage is about to be scuttled by something as inelegant as bad management. 

No matter how hard the gov’t tries to ignore it, BC Ferries does not operate in a vacuum. Almost 20% of the province’s population live in ferry dependent communities making up over 35% of BC’s tax revenues. And for every slice the gov’t gouges out of BC Ferries, that piece of the tax pie grows smaller as coastal community members flee from the cuts. BC’s maritime rich and storied heritage is about to be scuttled by something as uncolourful as bad management.

"Funding for the ferry system is not a 'subsidy,' but a legitimate government contribution to essential provincial infrastructure. Ferry users have put in $5 billion (vs the Province's $1billion over the past ten years, and users are already paying 85% of operating costs; to call the provincial contribution a subsidy and to say ferry users aren't paying their own way is unfair and untrue." (islandstrust)

It is time for BC Ferries to get out from under its 650 managers with their $64 million paycheque and head on back to highways where the capital costs of the ferries can be fairly shared amongst all the citizens of BC. Before the howling begins, remember that coastal communities pay for the Sea-to-Sky Highway, they pay for snowplows on the Coquihalla, they pay for bridges and tunnels and they even pay for all those interior ferries, too.

What? Interior ferries? Yup, the $20 M per year, fresh water fleet that costs users zip, nada, nuthin’ to cross lakes encircled by highways. Island life might well be idyllic but they’re as populated by hardworking, taxpaying, community-minded folks as anywhere else in this province and islanders have as much right to live where they were born, where they were raised or where they choose to raise their families as anyone living up a mountain or at the edge of flood plain.

Geez, if you read the original press release from when BC Ferries was pushed out of the nest, you’d think anyone would be crazy NOT to live in a coastal community. “The new (BC Ferry) structure will help ensure services are delivered on time and on budget. It will create a vibrant, properly managed ferry system that improves customer service, creates new jobs for coastal communities, ensures stable rates and is sustainable for the future,” Min. of Transport Judith Reid said way back in Dec. 2002. Oh, how this new structure was going to re-energize coastal communities!

Reid said a revitalized ferry system would mean:
• Improved service and customer choice
• Guaranteed service levels and fair rates
• An independent regulator to protect the public interest
• Economic development and job creation
• Public ownership of ferry terminals
• No new public debt
• Ongoing accountability.

The coastal communities have been bleeding from the shards of the Liberal’s broken promises for years now; these cuts may well be the final coup de grace.

Translink's "Christmas Present" to Gulf Islands Ferry Travellers

Many people in the Southern Gulf Islands are trying to raise awareness of soon-to-be-implemented changes to the bus schedules for the #620 bus that meets the ferries at Tsawwassen.

Southern Gulf Islands travellers who use public transit to go from Tsawwassen on the morning ferry from the Southern Gulf Islands, Monday to Friday, the new bus transit schedule, beginning Dec. 16th, will be waiting 1 hour and 40 minutes at the ferry terminal.

The ferry from the Gulf Islands arrives at the Tsawwassen ferry terminal at 9:20 am, and passengers have been able to catch a bus at 10:00 am.  Translink has announced the cancellation of this bus. As a consequence, ferry passengers from the Gulf Islands will now have to wait until 11 am for the next bus.

Also, the return #620 bus, Monday through Friday, from Bridgeport Station to Tsawwassen has been rescheduled from 9 am to 9:45 am and now will arrive at the ferry at 10:22 am. However, the ferry will have already departed at 10:10 am. 
So, Gulf Island ferry users will now have to catch the 8 am #620 bus that arrives at the ferry terminal at 8:36 am. They will now have to wait for one hour and 36 minutes before the ferry leaves.

Those who have complained to Translink's Customer Relations have so far received a rather unsatisfactory explanation stating that Translink is "re-allocating resources to try to best meet the passenger demand".

Those who have ever taken those buses will know that they are rarely not packed to the brim with passengers and luggage. Rather than add more buses to meet demand, Translink has decided to shuffle around the buses as a stopgap to serve the passengers coming from Swartz Bay while seriously inconveniencing Gulf Island ferry users.

The Chairs of the Southern Gulf Islands Economic Development Commission and the Salt Spring Island Economic Development Commission have written a strongly worded request directly to the CEO of Translink. Since he can't be reached by email, his address is here for those who would like to write directly to him:

Ian Jarvis
Chief Executive Officer, Translink
400 - 287 Nelson's Court
New Westminster, BC  V3L 0E7

As well, copies should go to some of our political representatives:

Elizabeth May MP:

Gary Holman MLA:

Sheila Malcolmson, Islands Trust Council Chair:

David Howe, CRD Director, Southern Gulf Islands:

LATE BREAKING INFO: A town hall meeting has come together today, in collaboration with Brian Crumblehulme, the Mayne Island Residents & Ratepayers Assoc. and the Mayne Island Community Chamber of Commerce to discuss this issue.

Thursday December 12th, 7:30 pm, at the Ag Hall. Please attend if you can.

Update December 12th: It seems that some combination of customer feedback and behind the scenes requests from some of our political representatives has resulted in Translink reversing it's decision (for now) to cut the 620 bus.

An excerpt from one of the letters received from Translink: "As part of TransLink’s service optimization program, the 620 Tsawwassen service was proposed to be modified to better align transit service with ferry demand and provide increased capacity for the heaviest-used ferry sailings. The proposed change to remove the 10 a.m. bus service has generated many discussions and there was a strong Gulf Island community desire to maintain this service. TransLink listened and has found a solution to continue to meet the needs of Gulf Island customers. The 10 a.m. bus service on its 620 route serving the Tsawwassen ferry terminal will remain in the schedule.

We will continue to monitor the passenger demand levels and performance on this service, as we do with all services and work with stakeholders," ... etc, etc.

As many are saying, now we need to push for better bus service meeting all the ferries (not just at Tsawwassen, in my opinion) and keep this energy going in fighting against the BC Ferry cuts and fare increases.

"Wassail" Dec 22 & 23

"Wassail!" with Vox Trium & Elisabeth Jahren.

Music, Song, and Stories to drive the cold winter away!

Come a-wassailing at intermission to the Church House for complimentary cider and goodies!

St. Mary Magdalene Church, Mayne Island.

Sunday, December 22, 7:30 PM and Monday, December 23, 1:30 PM

Tickets $15. Available at Happy Tides, Miners Bay Books, and Farmgate Store.

For further information please contact Stephen (250) 539-2206

Last Minute - Merry Crafters Fair: Sun Dec 15

Come on out and get your last minute local gifts.

Sunday, December 15 - 10 am - 2 pm at the Ag Hall.

Yummy preserves, chocolates, fashionable felting, jewelry, pottery , leather, photos, cards and more...

Visit Eden's kitchen and stay awhile.

For further information please contact Glenda

Honour A Life At The Japanese Garden: Fri Dec 13

The holidays are a time of wonder but they can also be a time of challenge. For those of us who grieve the loss of loved ones or pets in our lives, a time of reflection and commemoration can bring a sense of peace into the holiday season.

The Board of Mayne Island Assisted Living would like to invite the community to join us in our second annual Honour A Life event. Please join us on Friday, December 13th from 4:30 to 6 pm at the Japanese Gardens.

For those who would like to participate, we will provide mementos that you can personalize and hang on a tree. There will be refreshments.

For further information please contact May McKenzie (250) 539-2530

Mayne Lions Club Annual Christmas Bingo: Sat Dec 14

This year, as in previous years, the Mayne Island Lions Club will hold a Bingo in the Agricultural Hall, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, December 14th, after Santa Claus leaves Miners Bay on the Santa Ship.

Bingo for the Christmas Season is presented by the Lions Club with an assist from the Agricultural Society. It is a Mayne Island tradition. Come and try your luck!

For further information please contact Allan Evans

Meredyth James Fund Trivia Night Benefit: Fri Dec 13

Illustration by Jim Traversy/Artifact Designs
Trivia Quiz Night at the Springwater Lodge, 6:30 pm Friday December 13th.

No charge to enter but donations gratefully received to benefit the Meredyth James Fund.

You will need a team of 6. Subjects will be Geography, Entertainment, Science, Arts and Literature, Sports and Mayne Island. Choose your teammates wisely!

Please contact Olly at or (250) 539-3359 to register a team or for more information.

The Meredyth James Fund is a community fund in memory of Meredyth James, that provides short-term financial support to Mayne Islanders with a critical illness.