TSSEC December 2021 Newsletter


TSSEC Members’ Newsletter – December 2021


This is our first newsletter since the Spring—since the heat dome, the drought, wildfires, floods, and the fourth wave of the pandemic. Much to catch up on and we hope everyone is surviving and finding some joy in these uncertain times. 

Your board has been busy processing Climate Action Loans, mostly for heat pumps. And in July we issued our largest loan to date, see below. As the climate unravels, community groups—including TSSEC—are stepping up in various ways to help islanders connect with each other and adapt to the long emergency while reducing our impacts. Many thanks to all our members who contribute to our loans and otherwise help. 

In August we lost long-time TSSEC member and climate crisis activist extraordinaire Dorothy Cutting.  Many of us focus on building resilience on Salt Spring; Dorothy also took up the climate challenge on a national level, lending support behind the scenes and sometimes very much in the public eye when she felt that could make a difference. We will miss her passion, courage, intelligence and generosity.

Our Largest Loan to Date!

Green Loans Salt Spring made our largest loan to date, with a successful July campaign to raise $30,000 from our members to fund the expansion and relocation of Madrona Integrative Health in Ganges.

The clinic, led by Dr Hannah Webb ND and Clinic Manager, Natalie Baack, is comprised of a collaborative, multi-disciplinary team dedicated to offering holistic health care to the Salt Spring community and beyond. Services include Naturopathic Medicine, Chiropractic, Registered Clinical Counselling, Registered Massage Therapy, Acupuncture/Traditional Chinese Medicine, and

The new offices have space for talks and workshops, for group treatments and facilitated group learning in addition to private consultations and treatments. The project fits TSSEC lending criteria as a financially viable business that fills a community need—given the shortage of primary care GPs on Salt Spring, there is a major gap in health services—delivers social benefits and has a beneficial environmental impact. 

Featured Business:
Dos Amores Tortilleria

Another recent Green Loan recipient, bringing an authentic taste of Mexico to Salt Spring, is Dos Amores Tortilleria. The loan has enabled Dos Amores to procure a Mexican tortilla press to increase production of their very popular corn tortillas.  As a result, they are able to increase sales and hire new staff at a “living wage” on the island. Deb and Miranda use local and organic ingredients whenever possible, another reason to support their business. Take out meals are paused for the winter, but customers can sign up for weekly or bi-weekly tortillas made fresh for them via their website: https://www.dosamorestortilleria.com/tortilla-subscription

Climate Coach? 

Do you want to reduce your carbon footprint but are not sure where to start? Where can each dollar you spend have the biggest impact in the context of your home and surrounding landscape, your transportation, or your business? We now have access to a CLIMATE COACH on Salt Spring, to help you “up your game” in climate action. More info is available on the Transition Salt Spring Climate Action Program webpage.

Email climatecoach@transitionsaltspring.com to put your questions to Rob Lowrie!

Climate Action at the Fall Fair

Fall Fair participants may have noticed TSSEC board members Markus Wenzel and Elizabeth White at the Transition Salt Spring booth, where we provided information about Green Loans and Climate Action Loans. The impressive large display was Transition Salt Spring’s first in-person public event since the release of the new Salt Spring Climate Action Plan in February. We encourage all islanders to get involved in helping to implement the plan— there are many possible avenues depending on skills, interests and affiliations. Booth duty also provided the opportunity to hang out with Climate Coach Rob Lowrie and to explore how our lending co-op can best support TSS initiatives moving forward. We are already working together to let islanders know that Climate Action Loans are available for heat pumps and rainwater harvesting tanks, see ‘Climate Coach’ above to connect with the Climate Coach.

Board News

In September Nicole Melanson started a challenging new full-time position and stepped down from the TSSEC board. Many thanks to Nicole for her service, and we wish her success as co-chair on the board of the Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust.

We are happy to report that we have appointed a new interim director to the TSSEC board. Joining elected directors Nora Layard, Darryl Martin, Donald McLennan, Markus Wenzel and Elizabeth White is Ky Fox, bringing new expertise and depth to the leadership team.

Ky Fox

Ky brings experience as a former Transition Salt Spring board member for 3 years and a current Salt Spring Seed Sanctuary board member for 8 years, including 4 years as Treasurer. Ky looks forward to continuing a focus on promoting community and connection with TSSEC.

Board Room

To keep the board fresh and allow for retirements, we do have room for an additional one or two directors to join this fun team! Could that be YOU? Give us a call or email us at  TSSEnterpriseCoop@gmail.com for more info.

We are actively seeking volunteers, look for our upcoming ad on the Saltspring Exchange and pass the word!

Year End Update

Since inception in 2011 and as of mid-November 2021, TSSEC has loaned a total of $189,000 to 29 projects, including 8 Climate Action Loans.

We currently have approx. $57,000 loaned out. We rely on about 30 of our almost 100 members to generously lend us the funds to finance these projects and at the end of each calendar year Treasurer Donald McLennan sends each of our lenders a statement of account along with a cheque, if appropriate, for repayment of capital and interest.

Thus far Our Climate Action Loans have supported:

  • Water collection systems – 1
  • Home Heat Pump Installations- 5
  • EV charger Installations- 1
  • E-Bike Purchases – 1

Watch for these numbers to rise – we are just beginning to realize the increasing number of viable options available to us to substantially reduce our ecological footprint as well as our annual energy costs. Let us help support you or someone you know to join us in leading the way forward now. 


Call any of the directors or email: TSSEnterpriseCoop@gmail.com

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Holiday Season,

Elizabeth, Donald, Nora, Darryl, Markus, Ky

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