Taxi hits woman in cross walk, cabbie faces charges

1229 - A Nanaimo cab driver is accused of hitting a woman in a crosswalk while looking at his phone.

Nanaimo RCMP confirmed the woman was hit while crossing Departure Bay Rd. at Montrose Ave. around 10 p.m. on Dec. 26. Police said the driver was charged under   the Motor Vehicle Act: driving without due care and attention and use of an electronic device while driving.

The woman was taken to hospital but RCMP did not know details about her injuries.

A passenger in the taxi accused the driver of looking at his cell phone while driving. That claim has not been proven in court.

NanaimoNewsNOW

 

 

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Victoria bus company to take over Greyhound Island service

1229 - A Vancouver Island-based bus company has its sights set on the Nanaimo-Victoria route.

Wilson’s Transportation Ltd. has filed an application with the province’s Passenger Transportation Board to begin operating daily round-trip bus service between Victoria and Nanaimo in 2018.

The filing comes after Greyhound Canada announced earlier this year that it planned to discontinue service along five of its routes, including its Nanaimo-Victoria route.

MORE

Nanaimo mountie acted within the law in fatal shooting

1229 - A Nanaimo RCMP officer acted within the law during a fatal shooting of a man with a knife a year and a half ago, according to a report by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C.

The report, released Dec. 19, was the result of an investigation into the fatal shooting of Craig Andrew Ford, 49, on June 14, 2016.

MORE

Man seriously injured in late-moght shooting

1229 - Police are investigating after a man was seriously injured in a late-night shooting on Nicol Street.

Nanaimo RCMP were called to a report of a home invasion with shots fired at about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to an RCMP press release. A 50-year-old man from Nanaimo was taken to hospital.

MORE

RCMP put greater focus on mental health

1224 - Nanaimo RCMP have launched a new mental health liaison position as they grapple with a rising number of mental health calls.

Mental health-related calls rose 69 per cent between 2014-16, the RCMP reports, and those increasing calls are not only drawing on police resources but are seen as a community safety issue.

News Bulletin

Nanaimo man jailed for child sex offences

A Nanaimo man was handed a jail sentence of more than two and a half years after pleading guilty to sexual touching of a minor and a number of child pornography-related charges.

Tyrone James Robert Morrisey, 34, who has a previous child pornography possession conviction, pleaded guilty Friday in provincial court in Nanaimo to charges of possession of child pornography, importing and distributing child pornography and touching of a minor for a sexual purpose. The case stemmed from a Jan. 13 incident in Ladysmith involving a six-year-old boy whose identity is protected.

NEWS BULLETIN

Housing prices up 15 per cent this year

1223 X 426 single family homes sold. Average price $461,640 (up 15%, 12 months to date, this year over last). 14 waterfront homes sold, 34 lots sold & 160 condos sold. Single family unit sales volume is down 9%. Average days on market has decreased by 26% to 35 days. The average condo sold for $304,938. Condo unit sales are down 6%, 12 months to date. Condos have seen a 39% decrease in days on market. Average days to sell is 43 days. Lot sales volume is down by 7%. Lot prices have increased by 10%, 12 months to date. Average lot sale price is $169,202. Most active region: Nanaimo (166 sales). Highest average price: Parksville/Qualicum ($612,156). FULL REPORT HERE.

Nanaimo

116 single family homes sold. Average price $514,523 (up 16%, 12 months to date, this year over last). 0 waterfront homes sold, 4 lots sold & 44 condos sold. Single family unit sales volume is down 8%. Average days on market has decreased by 21% to 23 days. The average condo sold for $325,945. Condo unit sales are down 16%, 12 months to date. Condos have seen a 34% decrease in days on market. Average days to sell is 24 days. Lot sales volume is down by 17%. Lot prices have increased by 26%, 12 months to date. Average lot sale price is $225,594. Most active region: North & South Nanaimo (16 sales). Highest average price: Brechin Hill ($1,070,000). FULL REPORT HERE.

report courtesy of Cooper McLintock

 

 

Propane truck catches fire near Lantzville

1219 - A truck caught fire on the highway north of Nanaimo this morning.

Emergency crews responded to reports of the propane truck on fire on the Island Highway near Lantzville Road at about 10:30 a.m.

Recycling pickup cancelled for Tuesday

1219 -The City has cancelled recycling for today, Dec. 19. The city's website asked that people remove garbage cans from the curbside and put it back out on the next scheduled collection day.

http://www.Nanaimo.ca

Snow leaves close to 10,000 customers without hydro

1219 -Power outages across the Nanaimo region left thousands of home in the dark this morning.

As of 10 a.m. more than a dozen outages were reported by B.C. Hydro from north Nanaimo to Cedar and Yellow Point leaving more than 9,700 customers without electricity, including some schools, for snow-related causes including branches and trees falling across power lines.

NEWS BULLETIN

Snow disrupts schedules and flights at Nanaimo Airport

1219 - Nanaimo Airport experienced delays and cancellations due to snow conditions this morning.

The Airport’s website shows the Air Canada 10:35 a.m. flight to Vancouver and WestJet 11:09 a.m. flight to Calgary were among those cancelled. A 12:38 p.m. WestJet flight to Vancouver was also cancelled.

Airport manager Mike Hoopersaid the airport’s website, www.nanaimoairport.com, has a live feed, as well as flight information, and it changes based on the conditions, Hooper said.

NEWS BULLETIN

City rejects Linley Valley development proposal

1219 - The city will not allow a proposed steep slope residential development in the Linley Valley to proceed.

City council voted unanimously in favour of a staff recommendation to deny an official community plan amendment application for a 29.3-hectare parcel of land on Tanya Drive.

Broadview Developments Inc. had asked that three adjacent properties be moved from the urban reserve into a neighbourhood designation. After that, the land could have been rezoned into steep slope residential with 16 housing units per hectare.

NEWS BULLETIN

Driver flees after car crushed under semi-trailer

News Bulletin photo/NICHOLAS PESCOD

1219 - A car was crushed underneath a semi-truck trailer in a collision on Departure Bay Road on Monday night.

The accident occurred at 9:10 p.m. behind Brooks Landin. Nanaimo Fire Rescue, Nanaimo RCMP and B.C. Ambulance Service all attended scene.

An RCMP officer on scene said the driver of the car fled the scene.

NEWS BULLETIN

School district has 304 new students this year

1218 - Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district enrolled 304 new sutdents this year. Province wide almost 5,000 new students have enrolled in B.C. public schools. School districts have hired more than 3,500 full-time equivalent teachers over the past year.

By funding the memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the British Columbia Teachers' Federation (BCTF), as well as supporting increasing enrolments for this school year, government is providing $515 million for school districts in 2017-2018 to support the growth in the number of teachers and students.

Students are now benefiting from smaller classes with more teachers. The Classroom Enhancement Fund (CEF), funds new teachers, classrooms, space enhancemen

ts and other overhead costs. The CEF now totals $409 million for this school year - up $54 million from the June 2017 allocation of $353 million.

The majority of B.C.'s school districts continue to grow this year as more families are moving to B.C. Surrey topped the list with 959 more students, Langley had an extra 439 whil the Comox Valley added 420 and Sooke had 372 more than last year.

 

ENROLMENT figures for each district. 

Nanaimo Search and Rescue calls more than doubled in 2017

Members of the Nanaimo Search and Rescue Avalanche Team training on Mt. Washington.
Photo from Nanaimo Search and Rescue

It was a whirlwind year for Nanaimo Search and Rescue. To date they were called 45 times, nearly doubling the total number of calls in 2016. The rescue season also didn't wind down as it normally does after October and there's already been one call in December.

SAR president Carly Trobridge said the volunteer organization has taken a more important role in urban searches. They completed 17 this year, compared to only one in 2016.

NANAIMONEWSNOW

Winter weather on the way for Vancouver Island

1218 - The mild winter weather experienced so far on Vancouver Island is set to change this week as Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement.

The special weather statement is for Greater Victoria, eastern and inland areas of Vancouver Island as the national weather service is expecting more wintry weather over the south coast this week. That could include snow.

NEWS BULLETIN

Cougar sightings keep students indoors in two schools

1218 - Students at Hammond Bay and Frank J. Ney elementary schools were kept indoors after cougar sightings this morning.

Nanaimo school district spokesman Dale Burgos said there have been cougar sightings near Frank J. Ney Elementary and École Hammond Bay, which were put under shelter-in-place procedures where classes happen as usual but doors remain closed and no one goes outside during recess or lunch.

MORE

No foul play suspected in death in Lantzville

1218 - Nanaimo RCMP and BC Paramedics were called to the 7100 block of Lantzville Road Sundat morning for a report of an adult female found deceased in a motor vehicle. BC Coroners Service was advised and attended to the scene.

Nanaimo RCMP said foul play is not suspected, therefore no further information will be released on the investigation or identity of the deceased. The family of the deceased has been notified.

 

Campaign begins to keep recycling exchange open

1217 - A grassroots campaign has begun to keep Nanaimo Recycling Exchange open.

The facility – which accepts recyclables, including styrofoam and plastic bags, which aren’t collected with curbside recycling – is in danger of closing for good. A lease with Toyota for its current Kenworth Road site is set to expire in March, and the exchange is seeking assistance from local government to construct a new facility on land it owns adjacent to its current location.

NEWS BULLETIN

How much it really costs to be green

Merv Unger

Our news desk got a note from a man near Sidney who went to a lot of trouble to determine the real cost of being green. He drove an electric car for a while and came to some interesting conclusions.

According to his calculations, it costs about 75 cents a mile to drive an electric car, compared to 10 cents in a cabon fuel powered car. That's not including the massive infrastructure which will be required if we all covert.

Read the whole story in Merv Unger's column http://www.nanaimonet.com/432652926

 

Island Radio posts map of Nanaimo Christmas lights

1216 - If you're looking for spectacular displays of Christmas lighting, Nanaimo's radio stations have created a map to show you just where they are.

 

HMCS Nanaimo returns home after Caribbean drug operation

HMCS Nanaimo and U.S. Coast Guard during Operation Caribbe.

1215 - HMCS Nanaimo returns to CFB Esquimalt today after two months in a multinational operation to disrupt illicit drug trafficking. The ship and its crew of about 40  was set to arrive at 10 a.m.

The Nanaimo and HMCS Saskatoon were deployed to the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea in Operation CARIBBE. The United States-led campaign saw the Canadian Armed Forces working with the US Coast Guard to disturb illicit trafficking.

The operation seized nearly 4,000 kilograms of cocaine and disrupted an estimated 5,100 kgs of the drug. An estimated $298 million worth of drugs were diverted off the streets during the operation.

Vandalism suspected in gas leak at school

1216 - A natural gas leak that closed Hammond Bay Elementary School for the day Wednesday was likely caused by vandalism.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue and Fortis B.C. repair crews were called to the school, on Morningside Drive, at about 7:30 a.m. when staff entering the school smelled gas. They immediately called 911. No students were inside the school at that time. MORE

Salvation Army warns of door-to-door scam

The Salvation Army warns about a man in a door-to-door scam. Captain Dawne Anderson of the Nanaimo Salvation Army said a coworker reported someone door-knocking in Harewood Friday, claiming to be raising money for the local Salvation Army.

“Salvation Army does not do door-to-door soliciting, so please if somebody comes to your door do not give them any money.”

Anderson said the scammer is white, about six feet with long straggly blonde hair. She added the man could be flashing a badge.

Nanaimo News NOW

 

Port Authority seeking user group input

NANAIMONET/Merv Unger photo

1215 - Marina Users and the public are invited to help develop a new user working group as part of the Nanaimo Port Authority's plan for the Boat Basin Marina

NPA chair Michelle Corfield wants to see a proposal that encourages community engagement including Snuneymuxw and the City as community partners.

“This course of action aligns with our vision for Nanaimo; the development of solutions where many are encouraged to work together”, said Corfield.  The composition of the working group has yet to be determined but representatives such as fishermen, the fuel dock, Protection Island residents, the sea plane terminal, waterfront businesses and pleasure craft operators will be encouraged to participate.

NPA President & CEO Ewan Moir says, “Working with our community partners for the long-term benefit of the city and region is a very important part of our business philosophy and this suggestion, as a way forward for the boat basin marina, emphasizes our Board’s commitment to that philosophy”.  

The marina was granted to the Nanaimo Harbour Commission in 1961 was used primarily by local commercial fisherman.  The Port Authority continued management of the marina in 1998 and has operated as the user base evolved to what it is today, a combination of commercial fisherman, tug boat operators, visiting and annual pleasure boaters, and commuters from Protection Island and the other local Islands.

Since 1985, the Seaplane Terminal, Pioneer Waterfront Plaza, W.E. Mills Landing, the Marina office and the Marina Comfort Station plus floating restaurants and the Harbourside walkway have been added to the Boat Basin. 

Questions about participation in the working group should be directed to: boatbasin@npa.ca

Banning plastic bags is not so simple

1215 - Demystifying science is a mystifying experience. You quickly learn that every issue is more complicated than it first seems. Whether you are exploring bisphenol A, fluoridation, phthalates, GMOS, dietary supplements, non-stick cookware, preservatives, tap water, pesticides or climate change, you find a variety of opinions ostensibly supported by references plucked from the scientific literature.

Not all disputes are of equal importance, and often even the importance of disputes is disputed. Disposable plastic bags are a case in point. Some look on them as a gigantic environmental scourge that has to be eliminated, while others believe that plastic bags constitute a minor environmental woe and efforts to eliminate them amount to using a jack hammer to attack an ant. 

MORE

The truth about plastic bags

RCMP looking for owners of stolen property

1215 - The Nanaimo RCMP has seized numerous stolen items following a November 30, 2017 search warrant on a central Nanaimo home. Investigators in this matter would like to return the items to their lawful owners, which consist of numerous name brand tools, a mountain bike, electronics, power tools, a red and white electric guitar, big screen TV and various other miscellaneous items.

If you had the misfortune of similar items being stolen from your home, business or vehicles, please feel free to contact Constable Eric Coyne of the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 and quote file #2017-41931.

Lantzville approves water master plan

1215 - Lantzville is ready for the future with the adoption of a water master plan to help council and staff plan for the future.

The plan includes recommendations, including triggering the Lantzville-Nanaimo water agreement and asking the Nanaimo for amendments to the agreement. It also recommends the district create a middle pressure zone, drop its water standards from 3,400 to 2,800 litres per day and implement a well-head protection plan for Lantzville’s well field to ensure the existing groundwater source remains protected for the future.

MORE

Major review slated for ferry services

1215 - The Province will begin a comprehensive review of the coastal ferry service to evaluate its performance in meeting the needs of ferry users and coastal communities.

This review will identify what improvements can be made to the existing model and the Coastal Ferry Services Contract.

The review will:

• Examine whether the contracted ferry services are being provided for in the public interest.

• Consider changes to the price cap and regulatory model.

• Identify opportunities to enhance ferry service delivery and/or reduce costs without impacting existing service.

The review will not consider bringing BC Ferries back into government. The Province has appointed Blair Redlin, former deputy minister of transportation and former CEO of the BC Transportation Financing Authority, as a special adviser to oversee the review. A final report to be delivered by June 2018.

Learn More: The terms of reference for the Coastal Ferry Service review are available online: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content?id=DC7E1E0CFEAC441AB6EC61E67446F866

Pedestrian awareness campaign under way

Mayor Bill Mckay dropped by to show his support and pose with his newly-acquired armband. With the Mayor is Stan Cameron, Stan is one of the longest serving and active crime prevention volunteers since coming on board with the Nanaimo detachment in 2009. Over the past 8 years he has consistently given his time and energy to not only our detachment but the City of Nanaimo, making both better places to work and live. In an earlier post we had misidentified Mr. Cameron.

1214 - More than 500 reflective armbands were handed out in less than one hour by volunteers with the Nanaimo RCMP Crime Prevention, Telus Community Ambassadors and officers with the Nanaimo RCMP Traffic Unit. Telus Community Ambassadors, comprised of current and retired employees, donated the armbands.

These community minded individuals combed through the University Mall parking lot on Wednesday handing out the armbands. "The public was pleased to receive them and were impressed that we were just trying to keep them safe. After seeing how significant the armbands were, many asked for additional ones to give out to family and friends," said Const. Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

 

Fortis cuts gas price by 15% on Vancouver Island

1214 - FortisBC is dropping the price of natural gas effective January 1 creditting  lower natural gas prices.

Vancouver Island customers will see a decrease of approximately 15 per cent or $85 per year.

"We are working hard to keep rates as low as possible and this is a reflection of that work, as well as favourable natural gas market conditions," said Diane Roy, vice president of regulatory affairs with FortisBC.

 

10-year-old not seriously hurt after being hit by car

1214 - RCMP say a girl hit by a vehicle near the intersection of Wakesiah Avenue and Second Street this monring was not seriously injured. The incident happened shortly after 8 a.m. when the 10-year-old girl was bumped by a vehicle as she crossed through a marked crosswalk.

“She’s fine,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

MORE

Two youths arrested after Bait car is stolen

1213 - A Bait car activation early Sunday morning led to the arrest of two teenage males for stealing two cars; one of which was a Bait car. The incident took place at approximately 1 am on Saturday December 9, 2017. 

 Nanaimo RCMP were alerted to a Bait car activation just before 1 am. The vehicle was followed by RCMP officers to the area of Hammond Bay Rd and Applecross where it was decided it was a safe to immobilize and shut the engine off. A 17 year youth was arrested in the stolen Bait car and taken into custody without incident. The second youth, age 16, crashed a late model Honda a few minutes later then fled on foot. A Police Services Dog was called to locate him; however the youth was located a short time later attempting to call a local taxi cab. The youth was not injured from the crash and investigators determined the vehicle he was driving was also stolen.

 Parents of both youths were contacted and on later that same day, the two were released on conditions and charged with numerous property-related offences. The two are expected to make their first court appearance in Nanaimo Provincial court on January 18, 2018.

"These two boys are believed to be responsible for the recent spike in stolen cars which began on or about Oct. 9 throughout Nanaimo and involving upwards of 20 late-model Honda products. The investigation into these thefts is continuing and more charges are expected to be laid against the two,” said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

Bait cars are everywhere and come in all shapes sizes and makes of cars and trucks. To learn more about the Bait car program go to 

Baitcar.com or follow @officialbaitcar on Twitter.

 

Reminder of new rules for air travel

1213 - Airports are reminding travellers to be aware of updated security rules before packing their bags. 

A few new rules for airline passengers went into effect in November, including changes regarding knives, powders and electronics. ​

Liquids, non-solid food and personal products in your carry-on must still be 100 ml/100 g or less. They must also be kept in a clear, resealable plastic bag that is no more than 1 L in capacity. 

For a full list of restrictions go to the CATSA or YVR website.

What to be aware of before heading to the airport

Knives

  • Small knife blades measuring six centimetres or less, which is about the size of a large paper clip, will now be allowed on domestic and international flights.
  • But knife blades of any length are still banned on flights to the United States through pre-clearance facilities.
  • Razor blades and box-cutters of any size remain prohibited.

Powders and Granular Material

  • Certain powders and granular material — including sea salt, foot powder, cooking powder and sand — are limited to 350 ml or less, which is roughly the size of a soda can.

Electronics

  • While personal electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets are allowed on flights, they can be selected at random in security lineups for inspection. 
  • Ensure you are able to take them out of their case and can demonstrate that they can be powered up. 
  • The new screening measures came into place in July, the changes mirror measures instituted in the U.S. and are in place for all domestic and international flights. 

Liquids, non-solid food and personal products in your carry-on must still be 100 ml/100 g or less. They must also be kept in a clear, resealable plastic bag that is no more than 1 L in capacity. 

PRINT THIS LIST AND TAKE IT WITH YOU 

Trauma support coming for emergency responders

1213 - Trauma support for local emergency responders is being enhanced.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue chief Karen Fry expects money from the Canadian Mental Health Association, donated by Nanaimo-based Edgewood Treatment Centre, will be in place by spring.

Thanks to the donation, about 10 members will gain resiliency training to help identify signs of colleagues struggling with job-related trauma.

Ian Holmes of NanaimoNewsNOW has more.

B.C. Ferries adds extra sailing for Christmas season

1212 - Christmas travel means increased traffic congestion between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

BC Ferries is adding more than 175 additional sailings between Vancouver and the Island from Dec. 21 to Jan. 2. Many of these extra sailings (130) will go between the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route, with another 46 additional sailings scheduled between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay.

Travellers will also be able to take advantage of discounted sailings between Dec. 21-Jan. 3 on more than 260 select sailings on routes between Metro Vancouver and both Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. However, those planning to travel on these discounted sailings are advised to make reservations to ensure they get a spot.

MORE

 

Two-vehicle crash sends drivers to hospital, closes highway

1212 – A two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Highway 1 and Tenth Street sent both drivers to hospital with non-life threatening injuries and closed the southbound lane for upwards of six hours.

The crash occurred at approximately 10:30 pm on Monday and involved a south bound car driven by a 40-year-old man, and a pickup truck operated by a 31-year-old man. Investigators were able to determine the southbound car collided with the pickup as the driver of the pickup was attempting to make a left-hand turn (westbound) onto Tenth Street. The collision caused major structural damage to both vehicles and an RCMP Traffic re-constructionist was called to assist with the investigation, which is being handled by the Nanaimo RCMP Municipal Traffic Unit. 

Speed is believed to be a contributing factor while drugs and alcohol have been ruled out. The investigation is continuing.  

 

Horgan gives green light to Site C dam project

Premier Horgan

1211 - Calling it a "difficult decision," the B.C. government has decided to go ahead with the controversial Site C hydroelectric dam, paving the way for work to restart.

"At the end of the day, we've come to a conclusion that, although Site C is not the project we would have favoured or would have started, it must be completed," said Premier John Horgan in announcing the decision. MORE

 

Warrants issued for Nanaimo bank robbery suspect

Brandon Hopkins

Warrants have been issued for the arrest of 23 year old Brandon Maxwell HOPKINS of Nanaimo, in relation to the robbery of a Scotia Bank and attempted armed robbery of a Tim Horton's franchise. Both incidents occurred in Nanaimo on November 29th, 2017

HOPKINS is a male, 5 ft. 11, 250 pounds with black hair and hazel eyes. He has a tattoo on his right forearm of ASHLEY and STAR, and a tattoo on his left forearm which spells STAY TRUE.

HOPKINS should be considered armed and if seen, do not approach and call 911.  If you see or know the location of Brandon HOPKINS, call 911. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477.

Seniors lose their home in morning fire in Wellington

1210 -An elderly couple has lost their home after an early morning fire off East Wellington Rd. The home and detached shop on Stobart Road were destoryed after a fire around 6 a.m. Sunday. The roofs of both buildings collapsed and it appeared only two walls of the home were left standing.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue assistant chief of operations Brad Wood said there were no injuries and everyone in the home made it out safely.

MORE

City managers have not met with CUPE over latest issues

UPDATE - City management staff and union representatives have not met to discuss their concerns.

A statement posted on the city’s website late Friday afternoon, stated chief administrative officer Tracy Samra, chief financial officer Victor Mema and director of human resources John Van Horne “met executive of CUPE Local 401 to discuss mutual concerns.”

But union local president Blaine Gurrie said in an e-mail that the meeting was a couple of weeks ago and related to other matters.

On Thursday, hundreds of CUPE 401 union workers boycotted a city Christmas luncheon to protest employment conditions.

EARLIER STORY - City management staff and union representatives have met to discuss their concerns.

A statement on the city’s website late Friday afternoon said chief administrative officer Tracy Samra, chief financial officer Victor Mema and director of human resources John Van Horne “met executive of CUPE Local 401 to discuss mutual concerns.”

Hundreds of CUPE 401 union workers boycotted a city Christmas luncheon on Thursday to protest employment conditions.

MORE

Samra looking to update staff expense policy

Tracy Samra

1209 The City's chief administrative officer Tracy Samra wants to update exployee expense policies. She released a statement Friday that she had asked staff to update employee expense policies.

In the statement, Samra said Nanaimo’s policies have not been revised for more than 10 years, are “out of sync with public service standards” and need to be reviewed.

The policies that will be updated relate to petty cash, alcohol expenditures, travel guidelines, travel expense advances and the company credit card.

MORE

Deadlines looming for assured Christmas delivery

1208 - Deadlines are approaching for Canadians to ship gifts and letters to Santa.

Marc Smith, director of strategy and e-commerce for Canada Post, said 2017 is a record year for shipping volume and this week alone they will deliver eight million parcels, twice the volume they delivered just five years ago.

 Canada Post has varying deadlines for regular mail and packages within Canada. For holiday cards, Dec. 18 is the deadline for anything out of province, Dec. 19 for within your own province and Dec. 20 for local delivery.

 If you're sending a package in Canada, the regular shipping deadline is Dec. 11, and packages can be sent as late as Dec. 21 with priority shipping.

 If you're sending a card or package to the U.S., you must do so by Dec. 12. You can also send a package to the U.S. as late as Dec. 20 if you use priority worldwide shipping.

MORE

Fog forces cancellation of flights at Nanaimo Airport

1208 - Fog wreaked havoc with flight schedules to an from Nanaimo Airport this week.

Four flights were cancelled on Friday – Air Canada – two each, two and from Vancouver. An inbound Air Canada flight from Calgary was diverted to another airport.

The airport has experienced flight cancellations throughout the week as a result of the fog. Passengers can check their flight’s status by visiting the airport’s website.

NEWS BULLETIN

School district ready to end ban on foreign travel

Nanaimo school district is ready to end a two-year ban on field trips off the continent.

Staff and the education committee recommend the board end the moratorium on travel outside North America in August 2018, with revised procedures and guidelines.

The ban on international travel happened after a terrorist attack in Nice, France, in July 2014.

NEWS BULLETIN

Many new faces using extreme weather shelter

1208 - The situation isn't status quo at the extreme weather shelter in Nanaimo. There are many new faces among those using the shelter.

Shelter co-ordinator Kevan Griffith told Nanaimo News NOW they didn't expect to see so many unfamiliar faces and it's presented a new challenge. More females have arrived at the shelter and even some couples, Griffith said, which is rare for them.

Lantzville water negotiations continue

1208 - Lantzville is anticipating further discussions to clarify certain aspects of a signed water agreement with the City of Nanaimo.

Fred Spears, the district’s director of public works, told council that discussions on the topic have been going on with staff from both municipalities.

“Currently, there is conversations with the City of Nanaimo,” he said. “We have a meeting set up in the near future to talk about some of the issues with the agreement.”

MORE

Nanaimo mail theft suspect arrested in Surrey

1208 - 34-year-old Olie Alexander Smith of Surrey, believed to be responsible for numerous mail thefts from Nanaimo apartment buildings in November has been arrested in Surrey.

On Nov. 17 Smith was identified through video surveillance of breaking into two condominium buildings on Promenade Drive. Several days later, Smith allegedly broke into cars in downtown Nanaimo, and condominiums on Esplanade, Chapel and Poplar St. Investigators were able to lay numerous charges for these offences and had warrants for his arrest for the following offences: Break and Enter x 5, Theft of Mail, Theft Under $5000, Mischief Under $5,000, Drive While Disqualified and Breach of Probation.

 On Dec. 1, following a search warrant carried out on his residence in Surrey, Smith was arrested by Surrey RCMP, assisted by the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team. As a result of the search, Smith was arrested for various firearm and drug related offences, and then remanded in custody to await his next court appearance set for Dec. 19 in Surrey.

 

City's union workers boycott Christmas luncheon

UPDATE - There wasn’t as much cheer as usual at today’s city Christmas luncheon. The City’s CUPE Local 401 workers boycotted this year’s event on Thursday.

Mayor Bill McKay said there were some staff in attendance along with managers and councillors, but virtually no CUPE 401 members. MORE

EARLIER - CUPE has had enough of chaos at city hall: Gurrie

1207 - The president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE Local 401) says staff have had enough of the shenanigans at city hall and could boycott the staff Christmas party.

In a letter to union local job stewards, president Blaine Gurrie says members in the SARC (new city hall) building and other places around the City “have had enough of the terminations, the chaos and the blame levelled at staff regularly from council and the CAO.”

In his letter, Gurrie says wildcat strikes would be illegal, but boycotting the city’s Christmas party as a sign of solidarity across all departments and staff would be a legal form of protest. He asks for feedback from the job stewards.

“Far too many go to work afraid and overburdened these days. It's important that the message gets sent that this is an organic expression of frustration and solidarity because it is”, he stated. He said the union local is already using the legal channels through the collective agreement and an action like this will reinforce union solidarity heading to the bargaining table. 

This time Santa was dressed in an RCMP uniform

1207 - Santa Claus came a little early this year. A local single mother felt the true meaning of Christmas after local Mounties and a auto body shop helped her through a tough time. 

It started on Nov. 17 when the 28-year-old single Mom’s car was broken into – this was the second break in to her car. Each time thieves smashed out a window. The attending officer noted plastic covering one of her windows from the previous break in. She had no idea how or when she could afford to get her windows fixed. 

Investigators determined who broke into her car, but she did not want to press  charges because she felt the thief must have been going through a hard time to do something so drastic. Her response to a bad situation touched a chord with the attending officers.

The next day the same investigator told her that he and fellow officers decided to cover the cost of her deductible so she could get her windows fixed. They also gave her a $25 gas card. It got better when Speedy Auto Glass was told of her situation; they waived their fees and fixed her windows free of charge. The young Mom burst in to tears.

The officers were so impressed with her outlook and that she was a working Mom just trying to give her young son a good life, they continued with their generosity.  With her consent told her they would support her at Christmas; complete with a turkey and gifts for her young son. Not surprisingly she told the officer she didn't want anything for herself and that Christmas was all about building memories for her son to have and cherish.

"Our officers were profoundly moved by this young lady's empathy and compassion for others and felt compelled to give something back to her. They recognized she embodied what we all struggle to find at this time of the year - the true meaning of Christmas," said Const. Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP. 

Nanaimo men defrauded in separate scams

1207 - Two Nanaimo men fell victim to fraudsters in November, one one case duping a man out of almost $10,000 by an individual claiming to work for the FBI..

Police report that on in one case “the complainant was told if he did not pay he would go directly to jail.”

The $10,000 was transferred over a six-month period and investigators are trying to determine who received the international money transfers.

In another case, a man was defrauded of $500 after a phone call from someone claiming to represent the Canada Revenue Agency.

The man told police he had received a phone call from the CRA claiming he owed back taxes and the only way to remedy it was to purchase $500 in iTunes cards. He thought this seemed a little odd and even asked the CRA person about it, and was told it’s just easier to track this way.”

The scam victim purchased the cards and then provided the passwords.

Anyone tricked into providing personal information or money should contact the police and also report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Council want to move to next stage of Core Services Review

1206 - City council wants staff to start work on the next step of the Core Services Review to determine what aspects of the City would be looked at, with the intent of starting the project as early in 2018 as possible.

Part one of the roughly $250,000 review, started in early 2015 and finished in May, 2016, audited 22 City services. 70 recommendations within the review laid out how the City could save more than $4 million. As of Oct. 30, 11 recommendations were complete with 31 in progress.

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Mayor wants to keep city Facebook page

Mayor Bill McKay

1206 - Mayor Bill McKay does not like the decision to remove the City's Facebook page.

Nanaimo council endorsed a staff recommendation to remove the City's Facebook page unless a method to permanently turn off comments from the public could be found.

Bill McKay, the lone voice opposed, said Council has been told there were repeated defamatory and libelous comments, some of them racist.

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Legal age for marijuana set at 19

1205 - The British Columbia government has set 19 as the minimum age to legally possess, purchase and consume marijuana in the province, consistent with alcohol and tobacco regulations, and with the age of majority.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said retail sales of recreational marijuana will be permitted through public and private stores with more details to be released next year. The wholesale distribution system will also be similar to alcohol as the government's liquor distribution branch will act as the supplier.

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City to shutdown its Facebook site over comments

1205 -The City will remove its Facebook page if it can't find a way to permanently turn off comments from the public. The decision was made during an in-camera meeting Monday afternoon. 

During Monday's open meeting, it was announced Council endorsed a staff recommendation to remove the page entirely if they can not find a way to have the comment section removed. The decision was made during an in-camera meeting Monday afternoon.

More

Also, see http://www.nanaimonet.com/432652926

 

School district want in on marijuana regulation

1205 -Nanaimo school trustees will contact all municipal governments in the district to ask to be included in discussions about the regulation marijuana.

The move follows a city council decision not to prohibit marijuana dispensaries within a certain distance of daycares, youth centres, playgrounds and schools.

The regional district also wants a fair share of the tax revenue from marijuana legalization. The RDN is awaiting word from the provincial and federal governments as it prepares its own regulations.
 

Maffeo Sutton park to get more beach access

1205 - Beach expansion and access are among potential short-term projects identified in the updated Maffeo Sutton Park draft master plan, presented to councillors at a committee of the whole meeting Nov. 27 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

Richard Harding, city parks, recreation and environment director, and Kirsty MacDonald, parks and open spaces planner, presented the updated draft plan with short- and long-term ideas for the site.

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Nanaimo to get 80 more child care spaces

1205 - Eighty new child care spaces will be created in the Nanaimo area with more than $1 million from the B.C. government.

The province announced Monday that it is making a $33-million investment to create child care spaces across B.C., including in Nanaimo and Gabriola Island.

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Nanaimo rental rates surging upward

1204 - Rental vacancy rates remain tight in Nanaimo while the form of housing is noticeably more expensive.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) fall rental market report points to a 1.6 per cent vacancy rate in the Nanaimo area and a six per cent increase in rental costs to an average of $875 a month.

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Wyse elected chief of Snuneymuxw

1203 - Michael James Wyse Sr. is the new chief of Snuneymuxw First Nation. Wyse won the two-way race for chief against incumbent Chief John Wesley by 100 votes in the Snuneymuxw First Nation election Saturday.

Wyse, previously a councillor for the First Nation, received310 votes, compared to Wesley’s 210.

Councillors elected included Chris Good, Emmy Manson, Erralyn Thomas, Paul Wyse-Seward and Joe White, Jr.

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Missing woman found safe

Kyla Alana Lilley

1202 - About a week after she was reported missing, Nanaimo RCMP confirmed 21-year-old Kyla Alana Lilley was found on Friday, Dec. 1.

 The Nanaimo RCMP need public assistance in locating 21-year-old Kyla Alana Lillley reported missing by her family on Monday November 27, 2017.  Her family is extremely concerned for her safety and well-being as her disappearance is totally out of character for her.

Investigators have attended to all possible locations she frequents but have been unable to ascertain from any of her contacts where she may be. Lilley does not drive and has limited access to funds. She has a cell phone but it is no longer accepting calls.

 

Gordon Heys donates $2 million to Cancer Foundation

Gordon Heys
Black Press photo

1202 - A more than $2-million-dollar donation by Gordon Heys of Nanaimo will help bring new technology to cancer patients on Vancouver Island.

Heys helped facilitate only the third PET/CT scanner in B.C. with a more than $2-million donation to cap the B.C. Cancer Foundations $5-million campaign to bring the cancer diagnostic tool to Greater Victoria.

The real estate developer and businessman is living through his own cancer journey enduring hormone treatment to battle a diagnosis that has included months of radiation therapy.

BLACK PRESS

1201 - Axe falls on manager at city hall, more to come

1201 - A high-level manager has been terminated by the city while another has been recommended for termination, reports Dominic Abassi of NanaimoNewsNOW.

Manager of sanitation, recycling and public works administration Charlotte Davis was let go late this week. In an email, director of human resources John Van Horne confirmed Davis is no longer with the City.

Two sources familiar with the situation also confirmed the chief administrative officer has recommended the termination of chief operations officer Brad McRae. Both spoke on condition of anonymity but said McRae confirmed the news to them directly.

Because McRae is an officer of the City, the issue will go before Council for a hearing. A Council vote is required to uphold the CAO's recommendation.

FULL STORY

Active files at Nanaimo RCMP Detachment

Nanaimo file # 2017-39723 A Nanaimo man recently got an ear full from his lady friend after he became the most recent victim to fall for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) scam. The man told attending officers he had received a phone call from the “CRA” stating he owed back taxes and the only way to remedy it was to purchase $500 in i-tune cards. He thought this seemed a little odd and even asked the “CRA” person about it, and was told “it’s just easier to track this way”. So off he went to purchase the cards then called the individual back and gave him the ten digit codes on the back of each card. 

 Nanaimo file # 2017-39747 On Friday November 24th  police received a report of a local man being duped for almost $10,000 dollars over a period of six months, by an individual purporting to work for the FBI. The complainant was told if he did not pay up he would go directly to jail. So, over a period of six months the money was paid through money transfers. Investigators are attempting to determine who received the international transfers.

 Nanaimo file # 2017-39742 On November 24th a break and enter was reported to an RV parked at Westwood Lake. The owner told police two other RV’s parked nearby were also broken into. The owner said the only item missing were his keys. The owner then pointed out that his toilet seat had been left down and there was also a distinctive boutique of woman’s perfume wafting through his man cave. Both were very odd and noted by the officers.

 Nanaimo file # 2017-39877 Nanaimo is experiencing an alarming increase in thefts from parked vehicles. Over half of the 542 thefts reported in the previous 3 months were from unlocked vehicles. Criminals are inherently lazy but why make it easy for them. Keep your doors locked at all times and leave nothing of value inside your vehicles.

 Nanaimo file # 2017-391818 Some people will almost do anything to spend time as a guest of the Nanaimo RCMP Detachment. No truer was this when on November 27th officers came across an adult female who was adamant that she wanted to be arrested. Officers were unable to concede to her request as they were very busy keeping a lid on the hundreds of patrons spilling out of local night clubs, so her request was momentarily denied. This didn’t set well with her so in a moment of lucidity she decided to squirt water in the faces of the attending officers.  The officers suddenly had a change of heart and conceded to her request. Her male friend, longing for her companionship, then decided to urinate on nearby wall. He too had his wish granted and both were unceremoniously whisked off to the local detachment for the remainder of the evening.

 Nanaimo file # 2017-39887 On Saturday November 25th officers responded to a report of a male yelling and screaming near the Social Centre in Bowen Park. Apparently he was not happy with the Universe and was letting anyone within ear shot know of his displeasure with it. When officers arrived the upset male had departed. Accordingly the officers attempted in vain to follow up with the Universe to let it know of the male’s concerns.

 

Air Canada to offer direct Nanaimo-to-Toronto flights

1201 - Air Canada has announced it will start several seasonal direct flights between Toronto and the West Coast, including Nanaimo.

From late June to early October the flights from Nanaimo will leave four times a week - Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, at 12:15 p.m.

  Call Merv Unger, 250-616-0416 or merv.unger@Nanaimonet.com

 

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City management restructuring now complete

1006 - City hall has streamlined operations. The City’s latest corporate structure was presented to councillors and the public at Monday’s council meeting.

The integration will see civic functions fall under four primary categories. Chief administrative officer Tracy Samra heads the CAO’s office and public services, chief financial officer Victor Mema heads corporate services and chief operating officer Brad McRae is in charge of public safety.

NEWS BULLETIN