Subsidized in-home help for seniors comes to Cortes Island

Subsidized in-home help for seniors comes to Cortes Island

Senior residents of Cortes Island now have access to help with simple non-medical, day-to-day tasks through the Better at Home program. Cortes recently joined over 80 communities across British Columbia where non-profit organizations in partnership with Healthy Aging by United Way deliver regular assistance to seniors who reside at home through Better at Home, a provincially-funded program. The services are either free or subsidized, as per an income-based sliding scale. In this way, low income seniors receive services for free, while seniors with an income above the BC average are charged the market rate. These fees are then used to provide more services for local seniors. “Many people on Cortes don’t have a healthy pension plan and don’t necessarily have the funds to hire people,” said Strijbos. Image courtesy of Better at Home Cortes. Services can be delivered weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, and according to Better at Home Cortes include: Visits: a weekly visit from a volunteer to your home. Deliveries: our volunteer drivers can deliver groceries and prescription medication to your home. Friendly Voices: regular phone contact to check in on isolated seniors, an easy way to stay connected. Seniors can receive regular check ins online or by phone by a volunteer—to make sure you’re safe or just to chat! Readers: volunteers share time with seniors with a book, magazine, tablet or newspaper. • Light Housekeeping: assistance with light household chores such as vacuuming, dusting, bathrooms and laundry. Yard Work: assistance with your garden, raking leaves, mowing lawns, pruning to maintain safe outdoor spaces. Small Home Repairs: a variety of services for the maintenance and upkeep of the home. We will help where we can...
Wildfires: BC no longer in state of emergency

Wildfires: BC no longer in state of emergency

British Columbia ended the provincial state of emergency in response to wildfires at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 14. The province has returned to a standard emergency response, but a government press release cautioned that “the wildfire season is not over [and] it is vital that the public remain prepared and follow the continued direction of local authorities.” The government measure ensured a coordinated response to wildfire activity, with firefighters from across the country, as well as from Mexico and Australia assisting BC personnel. At the height of the fire season in the hottest months, 3,631 firefighting staff were deployed. Some facts regarding the 2021 fire season in British Columbia to date include: The state of emergency was declared by the Province on Jul. 20 and extended three times, for a combined total of 57 days. 32,000 people were displaced, with 19,807 people registering for Emergency Support Services. Firefighters from around the province, Canada, as well as from Mexico and Australia worked to contain and put out blazes. The Red Cross is accepting donations for British Columbians impacted by wildfires. As of Tuesday, Sept. 14, the BC Wildfire Dashboard reported that in the Coastal Fire Centre region there were 14 total fires burning, with 8 being held and 6 under control. To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call *5555 on a cellphone or 1 800 663-5555 toll-free. Photo credits: (top) To date in 2021, 1,585 fires burned 868,619 hectares in the province. Photo by Neil Moralee via Flickr.(podcast) Rain - Photo by a.dombrowski via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License) This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund...
Wildfire update from Coastal Fire Centre

Wildfire update from Coastal Fire Centre

Although the campfire ban was lifted on Sept. 3 for most of the BC Coastal Fire Centre region, which Cortes Island belongs to, it’s important to continue using extreme caution, said the fire centre’s staff. Matt Bell, Wildfire information Officer with BC Wildfire Service, told CKTZ News on Friday that cooler weather and increased precipitation are the main factors in the recent decrease of wildfire danger. Currently in the Coastal Fire Centre region, there are: 13 wildfires burning 1 listed as out of control (located near Teaquahan River, with an estimated size of 12 hectares and is being monitored) 7 listed as being held 5 listed as under control This year-to-date, the Coastal Fire Centre has recorded 203 wildfires in the region, with 26 attributed to lightning, leaving 177 as human-caused. As of Friday, 7,098 hectares had been burned (as compared to a 10-year average of 20,000 hectares). Bell later forwarded details on one of the biggest fires in the region this season. A fire near Mowhokam Creek, very close to the border with Kamloops Fire Centre region, was discovered on Jul. 9 and is still active. As of Sept. 6, it was reclassified from a “fire of note” to the status of “being held,”  and all associated evacuation alerts have been rescinded. The fire’s perimeter encompasses over 5,000 hectares. According to the Province, the Coastal Fire Centre is “located in Parksville on Vancouver Island [and] coordinates wildfire suppression and prevention across south coastal B.C., the most heavily populated area in the province.” Bell said these unique conditions mean it’s vital to ensure that the correct information is communicated to the public in...
Community Recovery Coordinator needed on Cortes Island

Community Recovery Coordinator needed on Cortes Island

The Cortes Community Economic Development Association (CCEDA) is currently accepting applications for a Covid Community Recovery Coordinator to assist the island’s economy, small businesses, partner organizations and individuals in moving beyond the pandemic. The job will commence with an assessment of needs on the island, which will then determine future programs created. According to Beatrix Baxter, who sits on the board of directors, CCEDA’s vision is to work with all great candidates, including the successful person for this particular role, to leverage their strengths and passions as a way of defining a project’s specific direction. Baxter said the right person will “help connect and support others in creating meaningful opportunities, whether it’s for an existing business or for their own entrepreneurial idea — how to actually take it to the next level and find funding and partnership within the local community.” The role is initially financed through the Island Coastal Economic Trust, with the intent of the new position becoming a permanent role in the community. Photo credits (top) Although a local resident would have existing knowledge of the island’s community, the position could begin remotely for the right candidate. Photo by UX Indonesia on Unsplash (podcast) Gazing into the sun by Jason Staten via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License) This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism...
BC offers rental subsidies for lower-income households and seniors

BC offers rental subsidies for lower-income households and seniors

The province of British Columbia currently provides two types of rental subsidies for eligible lower-income families and seniors through BC Housing, paid in monthly instalments toward home rent in the private market. On Cortes and Quadra Islands, seniors make up nearly a third of the population. Photo credit: Cheque by Tina Franklin via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License) BC Housing provides an online Rental Assistance Program Calculator to help interested parties determine whether they qualify. The Rental Assistance Program (RAP) provides monthly benefits to families who have a total before-tax household income of $40,000 or less, and also meet all of the following requirements: At least a portion of the income came from working in the last year There is at least one dependent child primarily supported by the household More than 30 per cent of the total income goes towards household rent The applicants have been residents of BC for the full prior 12 months The applicants file an annual income tax return The applicants have less than $100,000 in assets. The applicants are permanent residents of Canada Seniors may be eligible for Shelter Aid For Elderly Renters (SAFER). All of the following criteria must be met: The applicant is 60 years of age or older The applicant has been a resident of BC for the full prior 12 months The applicant and their live-in spouse, if applicable, are Canadian citizens, permanent residents, have applied for refugee status or had private sponsorship that has broken down More than 30 per cent of the applicant’s gross, before tax, monthly household income is spent on home rent Supporting documentation must accompany applications, which can be submitted online, by...