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.

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                http://www.460realty.com     e-mail jstewart@460realty.com

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

Snuneymuxw election on Saturday

1130 - Nanaimo Snuneymuxw First Nation members go to the polls on Saturday (Dec. 2) to elect their next council. Two members are running for Chief while five councillor seats will also be filled.

Polls are open from 9 a.m.to 8 p.m. at the Band Office, 668 Centre Street. There will be live streaming of the election count, beginning at 8 p.m. Go to THIS LINK.

Electoral officer is Maggie Paquet at 1-250-723-8802 Port Alberni and toll-free at 1-855-586-8683 or email maggie–paquet@telus.net

 

HMCS Nanaimo makes second major Caribbean drug seizure

U.S. Coast Guard on drug patrol in Caribbean with HMCS Nanaimo

 

1130 - HMCS Nanaimo and her crew assisted in their second major drug seizure last week with the interception of 1.5 tonnes of cocaine on the eastern Pacific Ocean.

In an earlier incident on Oct. 30, off the coast of Mexico, HMCS Nanaimo pursued a vessel with the help of a Maritime Patrol Aircraft. The crew intercepted the panga-type vessel carrying an estimated 680 kilograms of cocaine. Approximately 478 kg of cocaine was seized with the remainder lost when the vessel was sunk.

In the latest incident, HMCS Nanaimo, operating as part of Operation CARIBBE and carrying members of the U.S. Coast Guard, intercepted a vessel about 400 kilometres north of the Galapagos Islands on Nov. 21.

The cocaine was being ferried in an 11-metre panga powered by three outboard motors and carrying neither flag nor registration.

The four people on board surrendered without incident.

The U.S. Coast Guard estimated the street value of the cocaine at $50 million US.

 

Same suspect believed in two northend robberies

Ssurveilance photo of suspect from Scotia Bank

UPDATE 1130 - Nanaimo RCMP believe the same man was behind two robberies Wednesday. 

Cst. Gary O'Brien said the first was a terrifying attempted robbery where a man reached through a north end Tim Hortons drive-thru window just after midnight with a knife and demanded cash. The suspect didn't gry any money until walking into the Island Highway Scotiabank near Costco at 3:30 p.m., giving the teller a note demanding cash and running away with an undisclosed amount of money. 

O'Brien said police were on scene at the bank within minutes, accounting for the numerous reports of several unmarked police cars speeding up the highway.  Given the intense security at the Scotiabank, O'Brien said police have good images of the suspect and there have been numerous possible sightings.

Nanaimo News NOW

ERLIER 1129 -The Nanaimo RCMP is asking for public assistance in identifying a man who attempted to rob a Tim Horton’s location, 6892 Island Highway North (Dickinson Crossing location).

Just after midnight today Nov. 29 the suspect appeared at the drive through window on foot brandishing a knife and demanding cash from the till. The employee did not turn over any money and the suspect departed on foot and was not seen again.

See the picture of the suspect. He is a white male, 35-40 years old, heavy set with a moustache and goatee. He was last seen wearing a grey toque and a black jacket with distinctive white lettering along the left sleeve. 

If you have any information on the identity of this person, call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com, text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477 

 

Minor crime drove up Nanaimo's national ranking

1130 - How did Nanaimo break the top 50 in terms of most dangerous cities in Canada, and third on Vancouver Island?

Our city ranked 37th in Canada in terms of danger. The statistics look at violent and non-violent crimes and how they've increased or decreased. Though Nanaimo ranked lower for violent crimes such as sexual assault and firearms offences, the number of minor crimes in the city are far higher than other cities across Canada.

The rates of break-and-enters, impaired driving and fraud are what drove Nanaimo's overall ranking up.

MORE at Nanaimo News Now

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

 

Parliament rejects Malcolmson's bid on abandoned vessels

MP Sheila Malcolmson

1130 - Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson’s historic appeal to unblock her proposed abandoned vessels legislation ended on Thursday after losing a secret ballot vote in the House of Commons.

The results of the two-day vote were announced earlier this morning in Ottawa.

Malcolmson’s appeal came after the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs blocked Bill C-352 from being debated and deemed it was too similar to legislation introduced by the government last month.

MORE

Two taken to hospital after three-vehicle crash

1130 - Two people were taken to hospital after a three-vehicle collision on the Island Highway and the Old Victoria Road intersection at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Emergency crews responded and two drivers were taken to hospital and rush-hour traffic was backed up in the area.

Hockey gear and backpack owners sought

A full set of child's hockey gear has been turned in to the RCMP who are asking for help in finding the owners.

The hockey gear was turned over the Nanaimo RCMP on Aug. 30 after it was found by a City of Nanaimo bylaw officer, under the stairs of the Military museum on Gordon Street. The gear consists of Easton skates, a black Bauer helmet, shin pads, pants and elbow pads. One very small grey and black sock was also located. The equipment was most likely stolen and was being stored under the stairs to be retrieved at a later date.

Also, a top-end child's backpack was found on Nov. 28 near a home on Janelle Place. The finder said the backpack had been there for 3 days and is virtually brand new with the labels and instructions still attached. 

If you have any information on either item, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477.

Nominations now open for Sport Achievement Awards

1130 - Nomination are open for the 13th annual Nanaimo Sport Achievement awards.

Nomination forms can be found online for 18 different categories. The deadline is Dec. 31.
 
Teams, individuals, officials, coaches, administrators and volunteers are all eligible for awards.
 
Organizer Marilyn Sullivan says there aren't usually many nominations for the Official of the Year, even though there isn't one game that can be played without a referee or official present.


 

Robber hits Northend Scotia Bank

1129 - Nanaimo RCMP are searching for a man who robbed a north end bank of an undisclosed amount of cash. The robbery took place at the Scotia Bank, 6750 N Island Highway, (near Costco) at 3:30 pm today Nov. 29. No weapon was produced or seen during the robbery.

The suspect entered the bank and produced a note demanding cash. When the money was turned over he walked out of the bank and into the Mall parking lot. Officers along with Police Dog Services are searching for the following suspect:Caucasian male with dark skin

  • 20-25 years old, handle bar moustache with a soul patch 
  • 5 ft. 8, stocky build
  • dark sunglasses
  • grey  toque
  • black hoodie with "Carhartt" written on the left sleeve

If you have any information on the identity of this person, call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477.

Ladysmith Christmas light up Thursday evening

1127 - Ladysmith is psyched up for the 30 annual Festival of Lights which kicks off Thursday with its big lightup.

The festivities start at 3 p.m. with the Community Spaghetti Dinner at the Eagles Hall – $8 for adults and $5 for children under eight.

• 3 p.m –  Christmas Craft Fair at Aggie Hall (north First Ave.)

• 4 p.m. – Street entertainment and food concessions

• 4 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. – Entertainment on stage in downtown Ladysmith and in front of Aggie Hall

•6:30 p.m. – Santa arrives downtown to Light-Up Ladysmith!

•6:45 p.m. – Kinsmen Parade along First Avenue to Aggie Hall

After the Parade, at Aggie Hall
• Bob Stuart Park and Aggie Hall light up
• Chuck Perrin Christmas Tree presented by the Nanaimo Airport Commission
• Spectacular fireworks presented by the Ladysmith & District Credit Union

Full details here  

Nanaimo man gets 11 years in U.S. prison on drug charge

Blake Arcand

1129 - A Nanaimo man who was caught with 31 kilograms of methamphetamine in Utah last year has been sentenced to 11 years in U.S. federal prison.

Blake Arcand, 57, was sentenced to a total of 135 months in prison to be followed by 60 months of supervised release.

On Aug. 16, 2016, Unified Police pulled over Arcand on Interstate near the Salt Lake and Utah counties line. The police department had received a tip from the Department of Homeland Security that a vehicle carrying a large quantity of meth was travelling through Utah on its way to Canada.

MORE

RCMP release details of two wanted persons

Steven Kowalchuk and Tammy Hynes

1129 - Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance in locating two wanted persons. If you have information on their location, call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com, text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477.

23-year-old Steven Edward Kowalchuk of  Nanaimo is wanted for assault, 2 counts of Breach of Probation and Breach of an Undertaking. He is a white male, 5 ft. 10, 155 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He has a scar on his right arm and another on the left side of his chest.

53-year-old Tammy Ann Hynes, also of Nanaimo. She is wanted for two counts of theft under $5,000. She is a white female, 5 ft. 4, 130 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

 

Coastal Inspiration undergoing maintenance at cruise dock

1129 - If you notice B.C. Ferries Coastal Inspiration at Nanaimo’s cruise ship pier it hasn't lost its way.

Deborah Marshall of B.C. Ferries said the ship is tied up near downtown Nanaimo to change a flange ring in a seal system on one of the propulsion shafts – work that needs to be done under water by professional divers.

The work is expected to be completed today. 

MORE

Construction Association targets on-site drug challenges

1129 - The Vancouver Island Construction Association is looking for ways to make sure no one dies of a drug overdose on the job site.

Vancouver Island Construction Association CEO Rory Kulmala said the demographics of construction workers neatly align with those most at risk for a fatal overdose – men aged 19 to 55.

“We can provide some tools, some information that can help them, whether it's understanding what the epidemic is or how to use Naloxone if you have to.”

Given how much construction happened in downtown Nanaimo, Kulmala said it is important to train local construction workers in administering Naloxone if they come upon an overdose.

Nanaimo News NOW

Lantzville projects 5.4-per-cent residential tax increase

1129 - Lantzville residents face the possibility of a 5.4-per-cent property tax increase next year. Lantzville council approved three readings of the district’s 2018-2022 financial plan.

The 2018 preliminary budget forecasts $7.9 million in revenue, with $1.9 million coming from property taxes, while $4.2 million has been allocated for expenditures. The budget contains a $3.7 million surplus.
 

Vancouver developer moves into Nanaimo housing market

Planned tower on Chapel Street. Graphic/Hoog and Kierulf Architects

11129 - A Vancouver company is planning two major real estate ventures in Nanaimo,  joining other Lower Mainland developers who have been building on the Island as land values and demand rise in B.C.’s housing market.

Wertman Development Corp. has bought two Nanaimo sites, buying two neighbouring Nanaimo parking lots at 66 and 77 Chapel St., close to the water, and another site on Third Street near Vancouver Island University.

“We’re quite confident that the city is in a growth period,” said vice-president Jason Wertman.

Man charged with numerous offenses after arrest

1128 - Ryan Andrew Ordway, 37, was arrested on Sunday for uttering deaths threats while armed with what was reported to be a machete. 

Police responded to a home on Wakesiah Ave for a report of an assault and death threats. Two adults, a 34-year-old male and 23-year-old female, met the officers outside and told them the suspect was believed to be inside the home. As a precaution, the two suites in the home were evacuated, and with the assistance of an RCMP Police Dog, the home was searched but the suspect was not located. No injuries were reported from the assault.

At approximately 11:30 pm officers were advised the suspect had returned to the home, investigators responded, and arrested Ordway without incident. The machete was not located however Ordway was in possession of a small quantity of suspected cocaine and heroin. 

Ordway was held in custody overnight and appeared in Nanaimo Provincial court on Monday where he was charged with assault, three counts of uttering death threats and two counts of possession of a controlled substance. He was remanded in custody to await his next court appearance Dec. 5.  

 

City restores funding for downtown patrols

1128 - The city has reinstated downtown security after funding for the service had run out.

Councillors voted unanimously on Monday to restore funding for security patrols downtown.

Kevan Shaw, president of the Victoria Crescent Association, made the request to councillors.

“We’re witnessing increases in downtown lawlessness, aggressive panhandling, open illegal drug use, defecation and assaults,” said Kevan Shaw, president of the Victoria Crescent Association. “Some RCMP are now telling me it’s the worst they have ever seen it. Security says it is the worst.”

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Man's death on ferry not considered suspicious

1128 - A man's sudden death onboard a BC Ferries vessel in Nanaimo is not considered suspicious, say investigators.

The man's body was found by BC Ferries employees on the Queen of Oak Bay after the vessel docked in Nanaimo at around 8 a.m. Monday.

The death isn't considered criminal in nature, Mounties say. The BC Coroners Service has also been notified.

BC Ferries to canceledl the scheduled 8:30 a.m. sailing from Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay, as well as the 10:30 a.m. return trip.

Man arrested following machette incident

1127 - A man was arrested and is facing multiple charges after an attack on another man with a machete in Nanaimo last Sunday night.

Police were called to a multi-suite rental house on Wakesiah Avenue at about 8:30 p.m.

“It was a male threatening another male in a house and he was thought to be armed with a machete,” said Const. Gary O’Brien.

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Pacifica buys affordable seniors housing

1127 - Pacifica Housing has bought Pacifica Seniors Lodge on Hecate Street and Harbour View Manor on Nicol Street in south Nanaimo.

The buildings will provide affordable living for seniors and low-income earners.

“We’re excited to build on our success with the new projects,” said Pacifica Housing executive director Dean Fortin. “Nanaimo is like a lot of B.C. communities. Residents are facing a housing crunch and this adds supply and grows our capacity to meet emerging needs for creative solutions on the Island.”

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Ferry cancelled due to death on board

1127 - Nanaimo RCMP are investigating the discovery of the body of a man onboard a BC Ferries sailing to Nanaimo. The body was found by employees of the Queen of Oak Bay after the ferry landed in Nanaimo at approximately 8 a.m. on Monday.

The death is not considered criminal in nature and the BC Coroners Service has been notified. As criminality is not suspected, no further information will be released.

Ferry travel was delayed after the death.

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Thefts from vehicles on the rise this time of year

Const. Gary O'Brien

1127 - Nanaimo RCMP advise that theft from vehicles is up 57 per cent from this time last year with the trend expected to increase throughout the Christmas Season. From Aug. 25 to Nov.r 25 of 2017, there were 542 thefts from vehicles were reported to the Nanaimo RCMP. During the same time period in 2016, 308 thefts were reported.

“Thieves will steal anything in plain view. They will break windows, punch out door locks and do significant damage to take as little as one loonie. We also hear very sad stories of sentimental items being stolen from vehicles. Thieves don't care and will simply dispose of priceless family heir looms in the garbage if it cannot be redeemed for cash or drugs," said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

The public needs to be aware that thieves will target busy parking lots so they can go about their business unnoticed. They will wait for an unsuspecting driver to park their vehicle and within minutes it is broken into. The preferred items are small and easily concealed such as electronics, cell phones, perfume, makeup, sunglasses, clothing and of course wallets. 

The following tips are provided for your shopping safety:

  • Anything left in your vehicle is a target for thieves
  • Lock all doors and windows when you leave your vehicle
  • Try to park in areas where there is lots of foot traffic
  • If your dropping off gifts then continuing with your shopping, place them in the trunk of your vehicle
  • When parking look around to see who may be watching you
  • If you see anything suspicious, do not park and simply move on 
  • Report suspicious activity immediately
  • Ensure there is nothing inside your vehicle that can be used to access your home

If you have information on any crimes in Nanaimo, call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, If you wish to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477.

Chamber planning a summer downtown street market

Kim Smythe

1126 - Street markets arfe growing in popularity on Vancouver Island, the Nanaimo Chamber wants to get in on the action.

The Chamber is planning a Commercial Street night market next summer. CEO Kim Smythe said the plan is to shut down Commercial Street to vehicle traffic and setup a street market for 11 Thursday evenings starting in June.

He said communities like Oak Bay, Sidney and Parksville all rave about the success of their markets.

Nanaimo News NOW  

Wall Street closed during daylight this week

1126 - Wall Street will be closed during daytime hours this week. The City is installing a storm sewer main, so the street will be closed to all except local traffic from Monday, to Friday, Dec. 1 between 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

 

Lantzville taking another look at Foothills project

1126 - Lantzville and a major developer are looking into the possibility of creating a new development agreement.

A staff report says Storm Mountain Developments-Lone Tree Properties, the developers of the Foothills residential project, are looking to re-engage the district about creating a new phased development that is linked to an old memorandum of understanding signed between them.

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Crime index tabs Port Alberni as most dangerous on VI

Where does Nanaimo rank in the MacLean's Magazine natation Crime Severity Index? http://www.nanaimonet.com/433181220

 

Impatient dog has a honking good time

1125 - A video posted by Elizabeth Herman on Facebook shows a dog leaning on the horn in Nanaimo while a couple of people look around to see who was getting angry in the parking lot. 

The dog did not appear to be overheated or in distress. CHEK it out

 https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.herman.338/videos/10155928174836983/

 

HMCS Nanaimo involved in big drug seizure

1125 - HMCS Nanaimo and the US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment have teamed up for their first drug seizure and it was a major one.

On October 30th, off the coast of Mexico, HMCS Nanaimo pursued a vessel with the help of a Maritime Patrol Aircraft. The crew intercepted the panga-type vessel carrying an estimated 680 kilograms of cocaine. Approximately 478 kg of cocaine was seized with the remainder lost when the vessel was sunk.

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Snuneymuxw planning to open their own school

1125 - Snuneymuxw First Nation is planning to build a $10.7-million band school in Cedar. The Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School on Centre Street is a 20-year-old building where students of all backgrounds from pre-school to Grade 7 can learn the B.C. curriculum and become immersed in culture and the Hul’qumi’num language and culture every day.

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Judge rules convicted arsonist can't posses lighter

1125 - Police are considering charges of Uttering Threats, Criminal Harassment and Counselling Suicide after escalating behaviour directed at a group that has been accused of animal abuse.

“While we respect the right of people to voice their concerns, some individuals’ actions and behaviour have now escalated to a point that has the police very concerned,” RCMP Island District spokesperson Cpl. Tammy Douglas said Friday afternoon.

She said an incident was reported to police and was immediately investigated.

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Propane explosion destroys fifth wheel trailer

1124 - A man inside a fifth wheel trailer was unhurt when a propane explosion destroyed the vehicle parked next to a home in Nanaimo.

Firefighters responded Thursday at about 2:45 p.m. to a home on Fourth Street, near Chesterlea Avenue, where they found a heavily damaged fifth wheel trailer, but no fire.

Alan Millbank, Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire prevention officer, said the explosion was triggered by sparks in a blower fan motor that ignited a propane leak, but it was a sequence of events that set up the conditions for the explosion that was powerful enough to blow apart the back of the trailer and send its door flying several metres away to land on the front lawn.

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Ferries vehicle traffic this summer was highest ever

Mark Collins

1124 - BC Ferries had its highest vehicle traffic levels ever this summer, increasing 5.2 per cent over the same period last year.

The company says revenue for the quarter ending Sept. 30 is also up 3.5 per cent from the same period in 2016. Net earnings in the three months ending Sept. 30 were $98.4 million.

CEO Mark Collins says the positive results reduce future pressure on fares and allows for continued investments in new vessels and terminal improvements.

BC Ferries offered a range of discounted fares for off-peak sailings this year and provided an extra 460 round trips over the summer above it’s regular summer schedule.

–CP

Get ready for a property tax increase

1124 - Budget discussions are about to begin with Nanaimo council, starting with a proposed property tax increase of 2.6 per cent.

Chief financial officer Victor Mema the hike is necessary because the tax base has not grown enough to cover the increase in the budget.

“$2.6 million is what we need to find,” he said. “One per cent of our property tax revenue is equivalent to $1 million. So, if we're going to try to find $2.6 million, that equates to 2.6 per cent.”

Including both the tax increase and higher user rates for water, sewer and garbage, the typical household can expect to pay an extra $258 in 2018.

Nanaimo News NOW

Nanaimo unsolved crimes Nov. 17-21

 Nanaimo file # 2017-38867 If at all possible avoid steep hills when icy conditions exist. A driver found this out the hard way when on Friday Nov. 17 he attempted to make his way down Westwood Hill. After applying his brakes the next thing he knew was he and his pickup were upside down leaning next to a guard rail. Thanks to his seat belt the driver escaped with minor injuries.

 Nanaimo file # 2017-38875 On Nov. 17 officers attended to a downtown local bank for a report of a disturbance. When they arrived they found a male visibly upset after being told he could not camp out in the vestibule of the bank. After having him pick up his assortment of clothing and assorted items and asking him if he wanted to open a chequing account, to which he declined, he begrudgingly moved on.

 Nanaimo file # 2017-39014 In the early morning hours of Saturday Nov.18 officers attended a report of ten revellers yelling and howling at the moon. Nature apparently called for several of the revellers as some were reportedly urinating on the roadway. When officers arrived the group had apparently departed in a taxi, with empty bladders.

Nanaimo file # 2017-39102  At approximately 2 am on Sunday Nov. 19 and coincidentally near bar closing time, officers were alerted to man on Skinner Street bleeding from a cut to his head. The adult male was being comforted by his lady friend and when asked the obvious "what happened" he either couldn't or wouldn't say what caused his injuries. Either way he did receive outstanding service from not only our officers but attending BC Paramedics and City of Nanaimo Fire and Rescue.

Nanaimo file # 2017-39175 On Sunday Nov. 19 an officer attended to downtown hotel for a report of theft. The victim told police a man had taken her cellphone and then departed with it. Video surveillance showed a man, dressed all in black with a big beard, carrying a guitar case leaving with her phone. Less than one hour later and nearby, a man dressed all in black, with a big beard and carrying a guitar case was located and arrested with the stolen phone. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

 Nanaimo file # 2017-39313 On Monday Nov. 20 police and fire responded to a car fire in the rear parking lot of the North Town Centre Mall. The occupant and owner of the car told first responders he was cooking dinner when for unknown reasons the grill overheated and flames appeared.  The fire did not cause any significant damage and prior to departing, the officers provided some basic tips on outdoor cooking and why cooking in a vehicle could be dangerous to your health.

Nanaimo file # 2017-39427 On Tuesday Nov. 21 police attended to the parking lot of the Woodgrove Centre for a report of a theft in progress from a vehicle. The attending officer found much rubbish scattered around the outside of the car, and the interior appeared as it had been ransacked. The owner was located a few minutes later and he told the officer his car had broken down and although it looked like it had been ransacked, he just likes it that way. He also admitted to throwing garbage out of his car into the parking lot. The owner was told to clean up his mess.

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Woman arrested for two Bait Car thefts within minutes

1124 - A local woman may want to think about changing her life style after she was arrested for breaking into not only one Bait car but two in the span of minutes. 

At approximately 5:40 a.m. on Wednesday Nov. 22, 2017 RCMP were alerted to a theft from a Bait Car parked in central Nanaimo. As Bait Cars have a covert video recording system, attending officers were able to review the video and were provided with a description of the suspect and the item taken. 16 minutes later RCMP were advised of a second Bait Car activation; a review of the video determined it was the same suspect from the first reported theft.

Within three minutes officers had located and arrested the suspect. A search of items in her possession revealed the item taken from the first Bait Car theft.  Also found were several pieces of Government identification and mail from nearby residences.  Of interest was a note found, investigators refer to as her “shopping list". The "shopping list" is basically a wish list of items her friends want stolen from vehicles. Investigators often find similar lists when car thieves are arrested. Some of the items on the list included underwear, makeup, speakers, and compression socks and size 10 Nike hightops. 33-year-old Kimberly Taylor of Nanaimo was arrested for Possession of Stolen Property and held in custody. Later that same day she was released on Recognizance of Bail for one count of Possession of Stolen Property, with her first court appearance set for Tuesday Dec. 5.

"The Bait Car program is very effective in reducing theft of vehicles and theft from vehicles", said Insp. Brian MacDonald, the officer in charge of BC's Auto Crime police - IMPACT. "This arrest points to the strong commitment to the Bait Car program by Nanaimo Detachment and other Vancouver Island police agencies. Would-be thieves are warned - Bait Cars are everywhere"!

 "Bait cars can be anywhere at any time and come in all sizes- small, medium and large cars and trucks, and are a proven and effective deterrent to theft of autos,” said Const. Gary O'Brien.

To find out how to protect your vehicle from theft go to Baitcar.com or follow @officialbaitcar on Twitter

 

Christmas kettle campaign sets goal of $250,000

Beverly and Lloyd Sherry, manning one of the first Salvation Army kettles of the year at the campaign kickoff Wednesday.
Photo/Spencer Sterritt/NanaimoNewsNOW

1124 - The sound of jingle bells is back out in the community. The Salvation Army kicked off its annual Christmas Kettle Campaign on Wednesday. Hundreds of volunteers will camp outside businesses and along streets waving their bells for spare change. After exceeding last years' goal, in 2017 they're hoping for $250,000.

Dawne Anderson, fundraising and promotions coordinator, said while their campaign hasn't changed, the situation they're helping certainly has. She said nearly every program available at the Salvation Army's New Hope Centre downtown increased by at least 15 per cent.

Nanaimo News NOW

Malcolmson gets abandoned vessel issue to a vote

MP Sheila Malcolmson

1124 - Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson’s abandoned vessels bill is staying afloat thanks to an “historic and unprecedented” appeal process in the House of Commons.

Speaker of the House Geoff Regan confirmed Thursday that members of Parliament will vote next week in a secret ballot to determine if Malcolmson’s private member’s bill, C-352, should be allowed to proceed for debate.

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Corfield named new chair of Nanaimo Port Authority board

Dr. Michelle Corfield

1124 - Michelle Corfield is the new Chair of the Nanaimo Port Authority Board of Directors, replacing Moira Jenkins who resigned earlier this week. Corfield is the city’s appointee to the board.

Corfield is an entrepreneur with businesses from the commercial fishing industry to independent management consultant. She has served as a board member for various organizations and societies including the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia. She is one of the founding partners and designers of the B.C. Multi-Sectoral Leadership Initiative. She holds a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership Management, Masters of Conflict Analysis and Management, and B.A. in First Nations Studies.

Donna Hais is the new Vice Chair. Donna is a Federal Appointee representing the Lessee User Group and been on the board since 2014. She is a partner and General Manager of R.W. (Bob) Wall Ltd., a construction company doing business in Nanaimo for over 25 years. She has been the President of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, President of the Nanaimo Executive Association, and an active member of the Young Professionals of Nanaimo Advisory Group for almost 10 years. In 2014, she won a B.C. Business Excellence Award.

Port Authority’s President and CEO Ewan Moir says he has worked with Corfield and Hais on a number of initiatives since joining the port authority in early October, and says he has been very impressed with their local knowledge, business acumen and board governance experience.

 

New garbage collection system comes in over budget

1124 - Nanaimo's multi-million-dollar automated garbage collection system is costing considerably more than expected, an apparent surprise to City Council.

Charlotte Davis, manager of sanitation, recycling and public works, told the finance and audit committee on Thursday, their initial projections for how much it would cost to roll out their new automated garbage collection service was significantly off.

The staff report shows the cost of eight new trucks and more than 71,000 bins was nearly $450,000 extra. This brings the total estimated cost of the program closer to $8 million, instead of the initially estimated $7.5 million.

GO TO NANAIMO NEWS NOW

Three taken to hospital after four-vehicle crash

1123 - Three people were taken to hospital after a four-vehicle crash at Bowen Road and Buttertubs Drive on Thursday, at about 4:45 p.m.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue Chief Karen Fry said three people were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

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New application lets your look back into history

1123 - The tourism industry is raving about the potential of a new app offering a guided walking tour delving into Nanaimo's rich history.

Nanaimo is now featured on the free smartphone app On This Spot, alongside other cities including Vancouver and Esquimalt. The program features more than 400 historical photos of downtown, Departure Bay and Newcastle Island as part of a walking tour which leads people to specific locations. Users can view then-and-now images of Nanaimo, superimpose themselves into historic shots and read in-depth history on some of the city's most notable locations.

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Jenkins resigns as chairman of Nanaimo Port Authority

Moira Jenkins

1122 - Moira Jenkins has resigned as Chairman of the Nanaimo Port Authority Board of Directors, effective today. She was the Federal Appointee as the International Trade User Group Representative.

“After three exciting years of working with the Port’s management team, customers, Port user groups, and community partners, I have decided it is time to dedicate more time to my family and other community interests.” Jenkins said.

Following a successful 44-year career with the Royal Bank of Canada Financial Group, Jenkins retired as Vice President Commercial Banking, Vancouver Island North. She was appointed to the NPA Board in October, 2014. In addition to her time on the NPA Board, Moira also holds board positions with the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation and the Nanaimo District Museum.

Jenkins has also served in other key roles in our community and lent her extensive board experience to the Nanaimo Hospice Foundation, the Nanaimo Economic Development Commission, and many others. Moira has received the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Corporate Citizen of the Year Award and was Runner-up for the City of Nanaimo Leadership Award. She recently received a Paul Harris Award from the Nanaimo Rotary Club.

“The past twelve months have been both a rewarding and challenging time for the Port. It has been an honour to lead the Board through the CEO recruitment process of the new President and CEO – Ewan Moir. I am confident that he will be successful in guiding the Port into the future” Jenkins said.

“I thank Moira for her service and dedication to the Nanaimo Port Authority” Moir said. “We wish her the very best in her future endeavours, and express our gratitude for her contributions both as a Director, and as the Board Chair. While I haven’t had the opportunity to work with Moira for very long, I can see that she is greatly respected in the community, and will no doubt be missed by the staff and Board” Moir added.

Jenkins' three-year term expired this past October 8. The Port Nominating Committee comprised of representatives appointed by the Port’s User Groups has been actively engaged in putting forward their nominations to the Federal Minister of Transport for the four User Group positions. The Committee anticipates that Governor in Council appointments will be coming forward in the near future.

The Nanaimo Port Authority is one of 18 Port Authorities across Canada, established under the Canada Marine Act and Letters Patent to promote and support the national, regional and local economies and to ensure a safe and secure harbour for cargo operations. See more at www.npa.ca 

No flooding expected on Nanaimo River

Bowen Park / Merv Unger photo

1122 - There is no imminent flooding concern for the Nanaimo River though flooding has been reported in the French Creek and Coombs areas, 

Despite heavy rain over the weekend, it isn’t expected to cause major problems. Environment Canada’s website forecast rain throughout the week.

READ MORE

Committee of the Whole meetings moving back to VICC

1122 - After less than a year in a new venue, Nanaimo Council's Committee of the Whole meetings are moving back to familiar, larger digs.

On Monday night, Council endorsed a motion from coun. Diane Brennan to move the COW meetings back to the Shaw Auditorium at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. In December 2016, Council agreed with a staff recommendation to shift the venue to the boardroom at the City's Service and Resource Centre.

"In my estimation it doesn't work," Brennan said of holding the meetings in the SARC boardroom. "It makes it very difficult for people to see us work, see how the money they give us is spent and to see how we deliberate and make our decisions."

Nanaimo News Now

Highway 19A to reopen later today

1120 - Highway 19A is expected to reopen by tonight, more than a day after a washout forced a closure north of Qualicum Beach Sunday afternoon.

The Ministry of Transportation said contract crews have been on the site since first light and that it “expects the highway to fully reopen” later in the day.

Man rescued from sinking row boat

1120 - A man whose boat wasn’t seaworthy had to be rescued from Nanaimo harbour Monday at approximately 1:45 p.m.

Tom Krall, captain with Nanaimo Fire Rescue said bystanders saw a man rowing a small boat near the Nanaimo Yacht Club when the boat began taking on water. “He was rowing his eight-foot boat, which is not very seaworthy over, to Nanaimo,” Krall said. “It took on quite a bit of water. He tried to start bailing himself out, which wasn’t happening.” NEWS BULLETIN

Safety committee focuses on housing

Councillor Armstrong

1120 - With more than $200 million of provincial government money available, the City's Public Safety Committee is calling for a focus on new housing in Nanaimo.

The committee recommended that staff start work on creating more supported housing, such as modular homes on City land. The recommendation followed a staff report which outlined supported housing as a high priority in finding a solution to persistent social and public safety issues.

Coun. Sheryl Armstrong, chair of the committee, said staff provided about a dozen options to address health, social, safety and security issues. The committee narrowed it down to their top two, with staff identifying the modular housing option as most feasible.

Nanaimo News NOW

Malcolmson fights to save abandoned-boat bill

MP Sheila Malcolmnson

1120 - Nanaimo-Ladysmith NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson could become the first MP in history to force her colleagues in the House of Commons into a secret ballot to save a piece of legislation.

Malcolmson plans to appeal directly to House of Commons Speaker Geoff Regan today hoping he'll let her private members' bill to establish a national strategy on abandoned vessels proceed to debate.

The bill was deemed earlier this month to be "non-votable" by the House of Commons procedural committee because it deals with the same issue now being dealt with by a government bill.

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RCMP arrest half-naked man

Nanaimo RCMP arrested a half-naked man last week.

Crime Stoppers report from Nanaimo RCMP states police responded to a call Nov. 13 about a man who was completely naked wandering around Northfield and Bowen road.

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RCMP seeking information on unexplained injury

1120 - The Nanaimo RCMP is asking for public assistance concerning an incident in which a man was struck in the head and knocked unconscious while walking along a Nanaimo roadway. The incident occurred between 3 pm and 3:30 pm on Wednesday October 18 on Victoria Ave, near the Wellington Beer and Wine Store, 3956 Victoria Ave. 

 The victim, a 59 year old Nanaimo man, told police he was walking by himself and had just passed the beer and wine store when suddenly and without warning he was rendered unconscious. When he came to he was bleeding from a gash to the back of his head. People working nearby did not see the incident but reacted when they saw him lying on the road. BC Paramedics along with police attended. While being attended to he regained consciousness and was transported to hospital where he received several stitches to close the wound to his head. To this day, he has no idea what caused him to lose consciousness and told investigators he does not suffer from seizures and is in good physical health.  

Investigators canvassed the area in hope of finding any witnesses or video surveillance but were not successful. The victim later told police all he remembers is hearing the sound of screeching tires before losing consciousness. 

 "Without further information investigators cannot determine what actually caused the incident and are unable to proceed further with the investigation," said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP. If you have any information on this incident, call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477.

 

Highway 19A washed out north of Qualicum Beach

1119 - If you are heading north up-island, be prepared to detour. Highway 19 A north of Qualicum Beach has been washed out.

DriveBC says the road is closed in both directions 500 metres north of Cook Creek Road. There is no estimated time of reopening.

Motorists be detoured at the Cook Street intersection for northbound traffic and via Buckly Bay to Highway 19 for everyone travelling southbound.

There are danger warning with water pooling on highways in the region north of Nanaimo. Get the details at DRIVE BC

 

Numerous ferry sailings cancelled due to weather

1119 - (3:00 p.m.) A number of ferry sailings have been cancelled due to wind conditions, predominantly those involving Tswawwassen and Swartz Bay routes. 

The last update at 2:45 p.m. today said sailings to and from those terminals were cancelled as well as the sailing out of Duke Point. Powell River-Comox and Powell River-Texada sailings were also cancelled. 

Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay sailing are all listed as running on time as scheduled.

The B.C. Ferries website listed next sailings on the cancelled runs subject to weather conditions. Before planning any travel, please consult the ferries website SCHEDULE.

Chief John Wesley challenges legality of his suspension

Chief John Wesley

1117 - - Snuneymuxw Chief John Wesley has issued a response and defence against the suspension he was handed by the band's council. He claims the suspension is unlawful in that proper procedure was not followed.

In his statement, Chief Wesley claims the "false accusations" against him are unfounded, a political manoeuver in the current election campaign for the chief and five council member positions.

Use the drop-down menu at the top, or

SEE HIS FULL STATEMENT HERE

Hospital partially locked down after security threat

1118 - A potential security threat locked down much of Nanaimo Regional General Hospital  Friday evening.

Island Health said NRGH was following its "restricted access protocol" due to a potential security situation.

The security warning was lifted about three hours later and no information was given about the nature of the threat.

Theft warning issued for swimming pool dressing rooms

1118 -Be careful what you leave on benches in change rooms at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and Beban Park pools. Police warn there has been an increase in thefts – stolen clothing and personal items from the two recreation facilities.

Thieves are entering change rooms and going through unattended bags and clothing to find anything of value. Police advise patrons to never leave clothing on benches, to always lock personal items in available storage lockers and pin locker keys to swim suits.

Anyone with information on this or any other crime, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, text 274637 (keyword Nanaimo) or submit a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.

'Pretty Crazy' for Lantzville's Dylan Ferguson in the NHL

Dylan Ferguson
Photo Rich Lam/PNG

1117 - When describing the last two weeks of his life, Lantzville's Dylan Ferguson used some variation of the term “pretty crazy,” at least 15 times during a media session on Wednesday.

Ferguson got his first real taste of NHL action when he came in as a replacement during Tuesday's blowout by the Edmonton Oilers. During his time in the net he thwarted Connor McDavid's drive for a hat trick.

On Thursday, he suited up as the Golden Knights’ backup against the Vancouver Canucks in a building where, as a 10-year-old in 2010, he skated on the ice with Roberto Luongo before a Canucks game.

As for his call-up to the Golden Knights from the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers on Oct. 31, Ferguson was sitting in a Boston Pizza with teammates in the ‘Loops with the Knights’ game on in the background. He’d just ordered some chicken wings when Vegas goalie Oscar Dansk went down with an injury. Five minutes later, his phone went off, instructing him to head to the airport and meet the Knights in New York.

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Chief John Wesley still in running in Dec. 2 election

Chief John Wesley

UPDATE

1117 - Snuneymuxw Chief John Wesley is not dropping out of the race in the band's election for chief. Snuneymuxw council suspended Wesley last week until Feb. 1, claiming an investigation found he breached his fiduciary duty and council governance policy.

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1116 - Snuneymuxw First Nation has suspended Chief John Wesley for allegedly signing cheques to terminated employees.

Douglas White II is the acting chief in the interim. The Suneymuxw elections are next month, and Wesley is one of the candidates for chief.

A letter sent to SFN members said Wesley is suspended, effective immediately, until Feb. 1, 2018. The council decision was based on the findings of an investigation by an independent lawyer.

Nanaimo News NOW

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