The missing dragon sculpture has returned

A note on Facebook by local sculptor Heather Wall says the dragon sculpture stolen recently from Swy-a-lana Park has shown up in the Nanaimo Library parking lot.

The piece, wrapped in a blanket, was found by a Nanaimo Library employee.

The RCMP the sculpture now but is will soon be back on his rock globe. She is very thankful to everyone who shared the story getting national attention in the media. She believes it helped bring the dragon back.

Overdose death and fire at downtown squatters village

Spencer Sterritt photo

0630 - There was a death  and a fire at the downtown illegal squatter encampment this week.

There are now more than 100 tents set up and officials say there is a growing number of problems.

Bellrena McKay died following an overdose at one of the tents. Those at the encampment and BC Ambulance paramedics tried to revive her. She died later in hospital.

“She was a really good mom, really good person and she didn’t deserve to go this way,” said her friend Anita George. “I’m going to miss her.”

While she wasn’t with her when it happened, George believes it was McKay’s first time doing hard drugs.

$10,000 donation will help needy kids to summer camp

0730 - It will be a summer of fun and adventure for youth who wouldn't normally have the chance.

A $10,000 donation was made on Friday to the Tom Harris Fund for Families, which in turn will be donated the YMCA to send children with higher-needs to camp.

Fione Wilson with the Vancouver Island YMCA and YWCA said it means roughly 300 children will attend Camp Thunderbird, a nature-themed camp outside Sooke.


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Thorpe seeking second term on city council

Ian Thorpe

0630 - Councillor Ian Thorpe will run for re-election on Oct. 20.

Thorpe said there's no denying the last four years have been difficult, causing him to invest a lot of time and deep thought into his decision to run again.

"I am expecting there will be a significant change in Council for the coming term. I think that's needed but I would also think there's some room for some continuity and I could provide that moving forward," Thorpe said.

For a full list of all candidates declared to date please to to our Elections section. Nanaimonet provides free web pages to all candidatew who submit their platforms and biographies to


Records not damaged in court house water leak

Court records got a little damp but weren’t damaged after a pipe burst and water leaked into the Nanaimo courthouse this week.

Shelly Burchnall, Nanaimo court senior manager, said there was no significant damage after the pipe burst around 10 a.m. Tuesday.

“One of the drainage pipes above the criminal court registry leaked and … technically it’s a sewer pipe, one that would go out to the main stack, it was not a main stack, and what came out of it was tap water, so the fact is that it sounded a lot worse than what it actually was…” said Burchnall.


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Lantzville pays $1.33 million to city for water

0630 - The District of Lantzville has delivered a cheque worth more than a million dollars to buy water from the City

Ronald Campbell, the district’s chief administrative officer, said a cheque for $1.33 million was sent to the City this month to execute a water supply agreement between the municipalities, and that the deal hasbeen formally triggered.

Under the terms of the water agreement, Nanaimo water will supply 225 Lantzville homes currently receiving municipal water while an additional 211 connections can be made to homes in upper Lantzville residents on private wells.


Emergency units respond to fishing boat fire

0630 - The long weekend is off to a rough start for the owner of a 13-metre fishing vessel that caught fire in Northumberland Channel near Duke Point.

Navy Lt. Melissa Kia, spokeswoman for the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre Victoria, said the Canadian Coast Guard sent out a fast-response craft from Salt Spring Island as well as the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Cape Maiden.

Nanaimo Port Authority also responded with Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters.


Brechin United Church demolished

0630 - Brechin United Church has been demolished to allow for construction of a new church and housing facility.

Reverend Sally Bullas of Brechin United said the last service at the old church was held Easter Sunday. She hopes to be able to move into the new church by January 2020.


Island communities looking at single business license

Mayor Bill McKay

0630 - Communities on Vancouver Island are considering establishing a new Island-wide Inter-community business licence.

The purpose of the licence is to allow people to do business anywhere on the Island – with just one licence. Twenty-four municipalities around the Island are considering adopting it.

Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay said the proposal for the new bylaw hasn’t come to council yet, but he is also supportive of it.

“If it reduces the red tape, I’m all for it,” he said.

What's up on Canada Day?

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Injunction sought to halt voting referendum

0629 - The B.C. Supreme Court has been asked to stop the provincial referendum on proportional representation because the process and questions are too vague and there are too many restrictions on those who want to take part in the public debate.

In a 49-page request for an injunction, filed on Thursday, the Independent Contractors and Business Association, the Canada West Construction Union and its director of labour relations, Kenneth Baerg, argue the NDP cabinet approved a process that violates preconditions set out in law, is illegitimate, and violates the Canadian Constitution.


Plane bound for Nanaimo crashed near Hope


A missing plane carrying two passengers was found in mountainous terrain Friday afternoon after going missing the day before. 

The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria confirmed the plane and passengers were found roughly 17 miles from Hope, B.C.

The passengers were declared deceased and the file is now being handled by the BC RCMP and Coroner's Service. 

The plane was on a route from Calgary to Nanaimo with a planned stop in Hope and several other communities.

An electronic locator transmitter was activated roughly an hour after the plane took off from Calgary on Thursday.

The Canadian Press


EARLIER STORY - A search continues today for Cessna aircraft with two people on board, bound for Nanaimo that disappeared Thursday.

The plane was on route to Kelowna, Hope and Boundary Bay, with a planned stop in Nanaimo.

The active search continues with a focus on a smaller search zone. The search area has been refined to approximately 28 Nautical Miles (NM) squared to the NE of Hope, close to the Great Bear Snow Shed.

The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Center (JRCC) continues its aerial search with the additional asset of a Transport Canada Dash-8 aircraft, as well as the continued use of a Buffalo aircraft and Cormorant helicopter from Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Comox.

The weather continues to impact visibility in the search area with low cloud and rain at approximately 4,000 feet, which is limiting the ability to search the mountainous elevations which can reach beyond 5,000 feet in this region.

The JRCC is in contact with RCMP and Ground Search and Rescue from Hope, who are also focusing their efforts in the area close to the Great Bear Snow Shed. This search remains active.


B.C. Ferries issues warning about weekend heavy traffic

0629 - If you're planning to travel to the Mainland via Departure Bay, BC Ferries warns Canada Day long weekend travel will be hectic.

The Nanaimo-to-Horseshoe Bay route will be especially bad because the Coastal Inspiration was supposed to be back in service for extra sailings over the long weekend but repairs are taking longer than expected.

And if you don’t have a reservation, ferry officials suggest you avoid that route altogether. Waits should be shorter at the Duke Point terminal.


Choice disappears from Nanaimo schools

0629 - Parents hoping to enroll their children at elementary schools out of their area are out of luck.

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools announced the moratorium on out-of-catchment placement for the next school year on June 26 in a letter to parents.

School district communications director Dale Burgos explained to NanaimoNewsNOW there's not enough room across the district to accommodate students making the choice to attend a school elsewhere.

300-pound statue stolen from yard in Lantzville

0629 - Thieves made off with a 300-pound Chinese Terracotta statue from a yard in the 7000 block of McGill Road in Lantzville sometime overnight Tuesday, June 26.

The statue is made of solid concrete, approximately 40 inches tall and stained to look dark bronze. At the time of the theft, there was a wooden sign hanging off the neck of the statue which read Spoiled Rotten Cats Live Here. If you have any information on the location of this statue, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at

City and union reach two-year agreement

0629 - The City of Nanaimo and CUPE Local 401 have successfully reached a collective agreement to replace the previous one which expired at the end of 2016.    

Covering 2017 and 2018, the new agreement is a two-year deal providing general wage increases of 2 per cent for each year of the agreement, effective January 1 of each year.  As part of the settlement, the parties have agreed to schedule bargaining dates for the next collective agreement before January 18, 2019.

"This really was a good option for the City and our employees, given the upcoming election and the length of time that's passed since the agreement expired," said John Van Horne, Director of Human Resources,  "Both parties still have  issues that they'll want to discuss at the bargaining table in early 2019, if they can't be resolved before that, so it's important that we use this settlement to build momentum toward that."

"We are happy to conclude the expired agreement and get the past settled,” said Blaine Gurrie, President of Local 401, “Moving forward we are hopeful that the parties can achieve a renewed agreement in early 2019 that can provide stability to our members as the city looks to retool or reset." 

"Council is pleased to have an agreement with CUPE Local 401,” said Mayor McKay, “We certainly appreciate all the work performed by the membership and their on-going dedication to the citizens we all serve. I also wish to thank the bargaining committees on both sides of the table for their diligence and respectful working relationship."

"I am very happy that the City and CUPE have come to an agreement that will extend to December 31 2018,” said Councillor Diane Brennan, “This agreement will allow the new council to put their own stamp on relations with our CUPE staff in the new year."

CUPE Local 401 represents approximately 600 municipal employees at the City of Nanaimo.

UPDATE - Man arrested after warrant issued

0629 - A man wanted for failing to show for court has been arrested.

0628 - A B.C. Supreme Court judge issued an arrest warrant for a man on trial for dangerous driving causing death who failed to show for court today.

Dustin Dennis Zinter, 40 at the time charges were laid, was involved in a November 2015 accident on Yellow Point Road that killed Ladysmith’s Heidi Barbara Plato, 51. Zinter pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing death, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and refusing to provide a breath sample.


Dosanjh warns against proportional representation

Ujjal Dosanjh

0628 - Former British Columbia premier Ujjal Dosanjh is urging voters to say No to a referendum on proportional representation because he believes it will usher in extremist parties like those in some European countries.

Dosanjh says Germany, the Netherlands and Hungary require very low percentages of people to vote in candidates with racist views, and that has changed their political landscape in a negative way.

The former New Democrat premier says the party he once led is proposing a proportional representation system that would allow five per cent of voters to elect extremist members of the legislature.
Bill Tieleman has MORE

Property for proposed Front Street hotel back on market

0628 - A proposed hotel in downtown Nanaimo is on the market. The owners of 15 Front St. have decided to sell the 1,170-square-metre property, listing it for $3.8 million just a few weeks ago.

six-storey hotel  has been proposed for the Front Street property and is estimated to be a $13-million project. A development permit for the project was approved by city staff last March. Shortly afterward, city councillors also awarded the hotel project a 10-year tax exemption, resulting in approximately $2 million in tax savings. However, the owners are required to build on the property prior to the end of this year in order to be eligible for the tax exemption.



Armstrong to seek re-election to City Council Oct. 20

Councillor Armstrong

0627 - Coun. Sheryl Armstrong has informed our news desk that she will be a candidate in the October 20 election for Nanaimo City Council.

She was first elected in a byelection last year after Coun. Wendy Pratt resigned. 

She said she would have more details very soon.


10-year-old inds crack cocaine on school playground

When Jennifer Moretti’s daughter showed her the white powder in a zip-lock plastic bag that she found on her elementary school’s playground, the Nanaimo mother was horrified.

The white substance her 10-year-old daughter thought was powdered coconut was actually crack cocaine.


24 hours of policing in Nanaimo

0628 - With school soon to be recessed for the summer break and the hot weather upon us, the Nanaimo detachment is expectantly seeing an increase in their work load. On June 26th local officers responded to 126 calls for service and these calls will continue to increase throughout the summer months.

The calls vary but all are dealt with as expediently and professionally as possible. Some may be dealt with in a few minutes over a phone call. Calls for service, such as motor vehicle accidents or family disputes may take several hours to be resolved and involve multiple officers. Others like thefts, assaults, frauds etc., may take weeks if not months to before a resolution is found. The following provides a break down of the majority of calls received on Wednesday June 26th. 

  • Traffic- 17
  • Theft -14
  • Abandoned 911- 8
  • Alarms- 7
  • Suspicious persons or vehicles- 7
  • Breach of conditions- 6
  • Mischief - 6
  • Break and Enter -5
  • Disturbances- 4
  • Frauds- 4
  • Possible Impaired drivers- 3
  • Check well being - 3
  • Missing persons- 3
  • Threats- 3
  • Suicidal persons- 3
  • Drugs- 2
  • Keep the Peace- 2
  • Assaults- 2

Please be aware, if a crime is not in progress and there is no threat to the safety of the public the call should be directed to the non-emergency line of the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. Only call 911 when a crime is in progress and/or lives are at risk. If you do not wish to identify yourself and you have information on a crime, please consider contacting Crime Stoppers at or call 1-800-222-8477.

VIU President Ralph Nilson retiring in one year

Ralph Nilson

0627 - Vancouver Island University has confirmed president and vice-chancellor Ralph Nilson will step down effective June 30, 2019. The university has started a search for a new president and vice-chancellor.

The university will engage Davies Park, an executive search firm, in the pursuit of a replacement.

A presidential search advisory committee has formed, and Davies Park will facilitate recruiting and subsequently, the committee will hold interviews and evaluate candidates. VIU’s board of governors will make the final decision, the university said.


Brennan not running again for city council

Coun Diane Brennan

0626 - Councillor Diane Brennan has made it official, she's not running for re-election in October.

"I think I'm the worse for these past four years but I'm the better for my overall experience on council," she said in a radio interview.

Those are the words of coun. Diane Brennan as she weighed the impact her most recent tumultuous term on Nanaimo Council had on her decision to step away from public life.

She said she wants to turn her attention to her family and eight grandchildren.

"I just want to be able to give them the time I want to. It's hard when they come to visit and I have to be in meetings all the time," Brennan said. "I looked back and said 'I've accomplished things I wanted to and it's fair to turn it over to new people with new ideas and strategies.'"

A four-term councillor, Brennan was first elected to council in 2002 following five years on the school board in the late 80s and early 90s. After being re-elected in 2005, she launched an unsuccessful mayoral bid in 2008. After a few years on the sidelines, she was supported by voters again in 2011 and 2014.

MORE at Nanaimo News NOW

Island foods featured in Economic Alliance promotion

Reg Van Lierop roasts coffee beans at Level Ground Trading, one of the local food producers participating in the Island Good initiative.

0627 - The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) has launched Island Good, aimed at increasing the strength of the local food economy. This initiative will run until mid-September in Country GrocerThrifty Foods, 49th Parallel and Quality Foods.

Participating grocers will alert customers to Vancouver Island-produced food products through a specially designed wordmark and in-store signage, as well as external advertising campaigns in print, and on radio and television.

“It is our belief that more people will purchase these quality food products made or grown close to home if they are more aware of these products and can find them more easily in stores,” says VIEA President George Hanson. “We believe this will lead to increased demand, which can lead to increased potential for export trade and better balance in our Island economy.”


Home owner finds thief in her bedroom

0627 - At approximately 11:30 am on Thursday June 14 a man wearing a full face shield broke into a home in the 400 block of Hewgate St and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The home owner told police she was on her lunch break and decided to walk the short distance to her home. Upon entering, she heard noises from her bedroom; when she opened her bedroom door, she saw a man sitting at her desk rummaging through her purse. She yelled at him and he ran to the bedroom window climbed out and got onto a bicycle and fled.

The suspect was white and appeared to be in his thirties. Besides wearing a full face shield  the suspect wore a grey sweater and blue jeans.

If you have information on this crime, contact Crime Stoppers at or call 1-800-222-8477. If you do not wish to remain anonymous call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-02345 quoting police file # 2018-21092

24-storey condominium proposed for Chapel Street

0626 - A proposed condominium is one step closer to becoming a part of Nanaimo’s skyline.

A 24-storey tower at 77 Chapel St. in downtown Nanaimo has received support at the committee level and a rezoning application will go before city council.

Wertman Development Corporation’s Marcielo building, designed by de Hoog & Kierulf Architects, would be constructed on a five-storey podium and come complete with 109 residential units. There would also be ground-floor commercial units, office space, five townhouse units, a two-floor athletic club, 167 underground parking stalls and a public plaza with artwork and trees located where Skinner and Chapel streets meet.


City and homeless squatters dispute going to court July 16

0626 - The City of Nanaimo’s case to remove a group of homeless people from city-owned land will be heard at the B.C. supreme court.

A two-day hearing has been scheduled for the week of July 16 at the Supreme Court of British Columbia to deal with the City of Nanaimo’s request for a statutory injunction calling for the removal of Discontent City and its occupants.


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Ocean Discovery project seeks $100,000 from city

0626 - City councillors expressed support for an ocean discovery centre in Nanaimo, but weren’t ready to pledge tax dollars toward the project just yet.

A delegation from the Nanaimo Deep Discovery Association asked the City of Nanaimo for $100,000 for feasibility studies and other pressing costs, but the request was referred to the city’s finance and audit committee.


Weather is going to be quite comfortable this week

0625 - Cooler temperatures are in store for this week with mixed cloud and sunshine in the forecast. Keep tabs on the weather by clicking on our home page

Added resources speed up ambulance response times

0625 - Bolstered ambulance resources on the mid-island have allowed paramedics to respond to serious calls faster, while easing workloads and taking pressure off neighbouring communities.

Data supplied to NanaimoNewsNOW from BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) showed the average response times to high acuity (lights and sirens) calls in Nanaimo dropped from 8:27 in January to 7:46 in May.

Faster responses coincide with doubling the number of full-time paramedics in Nanaimo to 48, while adding two full-time paramedics each in Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Ladysmith.


Dragon art stolen from Maffeo Sutton Park

0625 - A piece of temporary public art piece known as “Rock Dragon”, was illegally removed from Maffeo Sutton Park Friday night. The sculpture is of an aluminium dragon that was mounted on top of a globe constructed of rock and steel. The sculpture approximately 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Eleven new projects were installed in City parks and public spaces this year.

The Temporary Public Art program has been animating Nanaimo's public spaces since 2010 with artworks visible to the public for a one year term. Each year new projects are displayed along the City's waterfront while former projects are returned to the artists. Artists from across Canada apply to the City of Nanaimo to have their artwork displayed in this beautiful City. Artworks are designed to withstand the elements and typical wear and tear for the year that they are on display.  

To date, "Rock Dragon" is the first piece of public art to be stolen.

The City of Nanaimo is hoping the sculpture will be safely returned with no questions asked. If found, please bring it to any City of Nanaimo facility or directly to the RCMP. An image is attached to the online version of this news release.

Members of the community who have information regarding this theft, or who have information on the location of the missing dragon, are asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.

Strategic Link: Public art helps animate our public places and spaces, making them more welcoming, attractive, and contributing to cultural vitality.

Pay parking in the works for hospital area streets

0625 - Pay parking may come to the streets near Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. 

A parking strategy is a component of a new hospital area plan. That plan, presented as an official community plan amendment, passed first and second readings at a Nanaimo city council meeting last Monday.

The plan was first presented to council last month. City Planner Brian Zurek told councillors that pay parking had been “front and centre” in the hospital parking strategy all along.


WestJet happy with Nanaimo on fifth anniversary

0625 - After five years, WestJet is pleased with the growth it has seen out of the Nanaimo Airport.

When WestJet Encore, a regional airline owned by WestJet, began operations in June 2013, it had two Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 turbo-prop airplanes and only four routes, including Calgary to Nanaimo non-stop service. Today, the airline has 47 turbo-props and serves more than 30 destinations, including recently launching non-stop service from Nanaimo to Vancouver.

The basic schedule is three flights a day to Calgary and one flightto Vancouver.


Direct Nanaimo-to-Toronto flights take off

0625 - A twin-engine Airbus A319 landed at and departed from Nanaimo Airport on Friday, marking the beginning of Air Canada Rouge’s four-times weekly non-stop seasonal service between Toronto and Nanaimo.

Mike Hooper, the airport’s president and chief executive officer, told a crowd of more than 100 people that the Nanaimo Airport has never had regularly scheduled jet airline service before.
Anna McMurdo, manager of airport development for Air Canada, said the new route means residents and travellers will be able to connect to destinations beyond Toronto easier than ever before. She said Air Canada has increased seat capacity out of the Nanaimo Airport by more than 30 per cent from the previous summer.

University students awaiting schedule improvements

0625 - Shorter wait times on a Vancouver Island University bus route are on the way, pending approval from Regional District of Nanaimo’s board.

Regional district directors will vote on a 5,000-hour annual conventional transit expansion at their meeting Tuesday, June 26, and the transit select committee recommends hours go toward Route 40, VIU Express. A pair of compressed natural gas buses are on order as part of the expansion.


First Thursday Night Market attracts huge crowd

0621 - An estimated 3,000 people converged on Commercial Street for the inaugural Street Night Market.

70 vendors selling a range of items, combined with entertainment, including a well received street performer, attracted people of all ages Thursday evening.

“The shop owners are all gleeful about what's going on, I just can't express how happy I am about how the evening is turning out,” said Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce president Kim Smythe.

Smythe said it was great to see people who normally don't venture downtown supporting the local business community. He said downtown Nanaimo has gotten a bad reputation, but said there are many positives for what he called a clean and safe place to be.


People still leaving pets in locked cars in hot weather

0623 - The recent hot weather highlights that people are still leaving pets in hot cars.

Nanaimo Animal Control Services officers responded to 47 calls for dogs left in vehicles on hot days this year, with 14 calls coming between June 16 and 21 alone. MORE

Ship repairs play havoc with ferry traffic

0623 - If you're travelling between Nanaimo and the Lower Mainland this weekend, you'd better be prepared for long waiting linesup.

B.C. Ferries removed a vessel from the route due to mechanical issues. The Coastal Inspiration was adding two round trips on Saturday and three on Sunday, which is anticipated to be the busiest day.

B.C. Feres spokesman Debra Marshall suggested customers might find an alternate route on Sunday. Two extra round trips early morning were added on the Duke Point-to-Tsawwassen run on Sunday morning.

Eight round trips from Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay will still run both Saturday and Sunday.

RDN to decide on wastewater hauling contract

0623 - The Regional District of Nanaimo is expected to approve a $162,000 contract for DBL Disposal Services to ship organic matter derived from wastewater treatment for fertilizer. If awarded, DBL will continue hauling leftover organic matter from the RDN’s wastewater treatment at Greater Nanaimo and French Creek pollution control centres to a woodlot owned by TimberWest, where it is used for fertilizer. The deal would be for two years at approximately $81,000 a year. MORE

Police seek suspect in break-in and bike theft

0623 - Police seek help in identifying a thief who stole a bicycle on Thursday from the Travel Lodge Motel, 96 Terminal Ave.

Investigators believe that sometime overnight, the man shown in the photo, allegedly smashed the rear window of Toyota Sienna, then lifted the bike out of the vehicle. The mountain bike taken is an orange 2016 Santa Cruz. (picture attached)

If you have information on the identity of this person or the location of the stolen bike, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at or call 1-800-222-8477.

Gasoline stolen from Nanaimo Golf Club

Thieves cut the fence at the Nanaimo Golf Club on June 12 stealing approximately 600 litres of gasoline.

Police report A hose was found nearby which is believed to have been used to siphon the gas out of storage containers. A cart owned by the golf course was used to transport the gas to the fence and onto an awaiting vehicle.

June 21

THURSDAY NIGHTS are about to liven up in downtown Nanaimo this summer. Starting tonight, June 21, the first Nanaimo Commercial Street Night Market opens for business. Continue

ISLAND HEALTH  announced Wednesday free Wi-Fi is coming to Nanaimo Regional Hospital in an effort to keep patients connected during their stay. MORE

FISHERIES AND OCEANS Canada officials have issued advisory after 3,000 pounds of clams were confiscated last week and earlier this week. The federal department states Nanaimo and the Sunshine Coast, in particular, are seeing increased illegal shellfish harvesting. Continue

SNUNEYMUXW totems always face the ocean. It’s a mark of the First Nation’s traditional territory and a welcome to visitors who almost always came from the sea, according to Snuneymuxw First Nation artist and carver Joel Good. His creations, two totems joined by a steel symbol of a frog, now greet travellers sailing into Departure Bay. Continue

Transport Minister Marc Garneau announces funding for the Auto Processing Centre in Nanaimo – Merv Unger photo

Transport Minister Marc Garneau announces funding for the Auto Processing Centre in Nanaimo – Merv Unger photo

Nanaimo Port Authority Chair Michelle Corfield at the announcement. – Merv Unger photo

Nanaimo Port Authority Board Members and staff at the announcement – Merv Unger photo

Port Of Nanaimo site of Auto Centre plans

Port Of Nanaimo Auto Processing Centre gets $6.3 million

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau delivered $6.3 million in funding to the Port of Nanaimo to boost a new project with as many as 100 full-time jobs.

Federal money will go to a new Auto Processing Centre and the Assembly Wharf.

The vehicle processing centre will be a holding facility for imported vehicles to be shipped elsewhere in B.C. and the U.S. West Coast

Construction is set to start this summer and the business operational the end of the year.

Port Authority Chair Michelle Corfield said an initial projection of 40 to 60 full time jobs is significant.

“Those are jobs that someone can support a family on and raise a family and be in Nanaimo for 20, 30, 40 years,” she said. “They can have a lifelong career here in Nanaimo, that's really important to us.”

The 17-acre site will initially see up to 25,000 vehicles shipped in and out annually. A planned second phase would cover an additional 10 acres capability growing to as many as 50,000 vehicles a year, supported by 100 full time staff.

Continue reading

City files for injunction against downtown squatters

0612 -The City has filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court asking for an order to remove the tent city and its occupants. Legal counsel Troy DeSouza also submitted 21 affidavits outlining evidence of the alleged harm the camp is causing to the surrounding community.

"It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. There might be delays or procedural steps along the way but ultimately the tent city will be removed," DeSouza told NanaimoNewsNOW. "This is a clear breach of the law which the courts have ample authority to make a decision on."


City looking for civic election workers

0620 - The City is seeking experienced election workers for the 2018 General Local Election  Saturday, October 20. Anyone interested in working for the election can fill out an application form and submit it via email to or drop off in person to the Legislative Services Department in City Hall located at 455 Wallace Street. Applications must be received by 4:30 pm on Friday, July 6, 2018. 

For more information and to download a copy of the application form, visit The City thanks all applicants for their interest; however, only those candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted.

•  A variety of positions are available for the 2018 General Local Election on Saturday, October 20, 2018.

• All Election workers must be available to work on Election Day.

• Election workers must remain neutral and cannot publicly support candidates.

• Application forms are available to download on the City website and to pick up at City facilities.

River Road home broken into

RCMP report a home in the 600 block of Nanaimo River Road was broken into some time June 10. The French doors to the barn style home were forced open. Nothing appeared to have been taken although some forensic evidence was found inside and collected for analysis. file # 2018-20547


GREEN THUMB Garden Centre and Nurseries and its 18-hectare property sold for an undisclosed amount after being on the market for more than a year. Continue reading

JOAN DEEBANK sat among rows of graduating high school students less than a quarter of her age Tuesday afternoon, with a smile so bright it sparkled under the stage lights. She waited almost eight decades to attend high school, and as a member of Island ConnectEd’s Class of 2018, she’s the oldest graduate the Ministry of Education can confirm has ever graduated from a B.C. high school. Continue reading

ROBBERY SUSPECT Nanaimo Mounties arrested a man they believe committed three robberies in a span of 24 hours earlier this week. A 55-year-old Nanaimo man was arrested and taken into police custody Wednesday. RCMP said a City of Nanaimo employee who works at the RCMP detachment spotted the suspect while she was going for a run on her lunch break. Continue reading


Queen of Cowichan crew rescues man overboard

0619 - Crew of the ferry Queen of Cowichan rescued a man who went overboard as the ship was leaving port in West Vancouver.

BC Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall said it happened about 9 a.m. on Tuesday off Bowen Island.

Crews aboard the Horseshoe Bay-to-Nanaimo ferry launched a rescue boat and picked up the man who Marshall says was in stable condition, "but very cold.'' 

Continue reading

RDN approves non-medicinal marijuana policy

0619 - The Regional District of Nanaimo has adopted a non-medicinal marijuana retail licence application policy.

An RDN staff report states the province will administer licensing, but municipal governments will be allowed to determine whether they wish to see non-medicinal marijuana retail outlets. The policy, which passed unanimously, applies to RDN electoral areas only. Continue reading

0617 - AND THEN THERE WERE TWO – Norm Smith's withdrawal from the mayor's race leaves him in the running with a growing list of candidates vying to become city councillors. Stay tuned to our Election Sectons on the menu bar at the top of this page.

LCdr JASON BERGEN is the new commander of HMCS Nsnaimo. He took command at a ceremony in Esquimalt on Friday as LCdr Shane Denneny turned over the helm.


North Oyster school hoping for $100,000 playground prize

0617 - The official results are coming Thursday, but Ecole North Oyster counting on winning $100,000 for a new playground as part of the BCAA Play Here contest. People from across B.C. and the country voted for the 10 schools in the competition, each in dire need of money to better the lives of students.

When voting closed Monday at noon, Ecole North Oyster was in the lead with more than 75,000 votes, roughly 30,000 votes ahead of the fourth place school.

Continue reading

Norm Smith drops out of mayoralty race, running for council

Norm Smith

Norm Smith has dropped out of the race for mayor, citing Leonard Krog's strong candidacy and record.

Smith issued a statement late Friday saying Krog's entry into the race brought a strong following, the experience of an elected official, and the merits and ability to become an excellent mayor. He said he will instead run for a position on city council.

Read Smith's full statement at




RCMP trying to find owner of stolen binoculars

0615 - The Nanaimo RCMP have a set of binoculars which were seized during an investigation, June 13. An woman was arrested for possessing a number of stolen items, including the binoculars. All of the items found  have been returned to their owners, with the exception of the binoculars.

Investigators believe the binoculars were most likely taken from a vehicle parked in the vicinity of the University Heights Mall on or about June 13. If you are missing a set of binoculars, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.

Bystanders help lift vehicle off injured cyclist

0615 - A 72-year woman cyclist was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries after a bizarre incident in which she fell off her bicycle and was then driven over by a passing vehicle.

At approximately 1 pm on Saturday June 9 officers on patrol were flagged down by several frantic bystanders in the area of Rutherford Road and Nelson Road. The officers pulled over and quickly grasped the significance of the situation- a woman was pinned underneath a full-size sedan and was severely injured.

The officers and seven bystanders, lifted the vehicle onto its side and while holding the vehicle up, one of the bystanders pulled the victim out from underneath the vehicle. The injured woman was initially non responsive, however, within seconds she regained consciousness. BC Paramedics attended and transported her to hospital where she was treated for her injuries.

Officers spoke with the bystanders and were told the female was seen sitting on the side of Rutherford Road next to her bike. Seconds later, a vehicle emerged from a driveway and for unknown reasons, drove over her. Officers examined the driveway and based on witness interviews and speaking with the driver, determined the driver may not have seen the woman.

She remained in hospital overnight but was released the next day. The investigation is continuing and the 32-year-old male driver, who remained at the scene, is co-operating with investigators.

Our officers extend a heartfelt thank you the bystanders for their life-saving efforts. Without their immediate assistance this incident might have ended tragically, said Cst. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

Another installment of the weird and wacky from RCMP

0614 - Nanaimo file # 2018-19977 At approximately 9 pm on Tuesday June 5 officers were called about a report of a male freaking out at the Beban Park Golf Course. Upon arrival they found the individual who had reportedly been rolling about on the ground for the past 30 minutes. Amazingly, as they approached he stopped rolling about and abruptly got to his feet. The officers, avid golfers decided to engage the male in some golf banter. Much to their chagrin, he wanted nothing to do with their idle chit chat. After brushing himself off he managed to saunter off on his own accord. Drugs are believed to be a contributing factor in his rollathon. 

Nanaimo file # 2018-19937 At approximately 3:30 pm on Tuesday June 5 officers responded to Tim Horton's, on Uplands Drive., Apparently there was an irate customer who was making rude gestures. When asked to leave, he had decided he would then use his middle finger and express his outrage. Even after being offered a world famous double-double the angry man continued ranting. He eventually left before police arrived. Patrols were negative for the individual described as an angry guy with a long middle finger.

Nanaimo file # 2018-19631 On Sunday June 3 at approximately 3 am officers were dispatched to Commercial St for a report of an intoxicated male throwing macaroni at passing taxis. The were able to find the suspect by following the trail of macaroni he had previously discarded. When the officers arrived Macaroni Man decided to make a further impression on the officers, and give them the middle finger salute. At this point the officers felt it was prudent to offer him free housing for the evening, which he graciously accepted. 

Nanaimo file # 2018-19717 On Sunday June 3 officers were called to the area of the Regional Library on Hammond Bay Road for a report of a shirtless man running with an umbrella, and barely being able to keep his pants on. The officers scoured the area and while not finding the umbrella carrying individual they did come across some other colourful people none however brandishing an umbrella. After wishing them a good day, the officers carried on.

Nanaimo file # 2018-19861 On Monday June 4 a report was received of the dreaded CRA scam which had claimed another victim. In this instance, the victim had been convinced in order to avoid an immediate arrest for unpaid taxes, they could purchase $3500 in bitcoins. Of course they did and the money was transferred within the hour. Note to self- the Canada Revenue Agency is not and has never been and never will be in the business of collecting bitcoins, I-tune cards, gift cards or gaming cards

Nanaimo file # 2018- 20731 On Monday June 11 officers responded to Save On Foods, Brooks landing for a report of a male shoplifter. The attending officer, who recently had a shoplifter run from her to avoid their arrest, was prepared if necessary, for a foot chase. This time however there was no risk of the suspect running as he was grossly intoxicated, so much that he was having difficulty standing. The officer slowly but surely guided the individual to their waiting police car and once again, offered free housing. With a roll of his head and some incomprehensible words, the offer was accepted.

Youth arrested in connection with seniors facility breakin

0614 - A youth has been arrested in connection to a break and enter which occurred at a seniors care facility on June 8. In the previously-reported incident, several suites were entered and personal items taken. A number of cars in the parking lot were also tampered with.

With the assistance of the public, the suspect male was identified and arrested just days after the incident. No charges have been laid and the matter is still being investigated.

We felt it was prudent to advise the public of the arrest in order to lessen lingering concerns that seniors facilities were being targeted. Investigators believe this was an isolated incident. It is also an excellent time for local seniors facilities to review their existing security measures to ensure the safety of residents in their care, said Cst. Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

As the suspect is a youth, he cannot be named. No further information will be released on the status of the investigation until such time charges are formally laid. 

Support flowing in for Krog's mayoral run

0614 - Support for Leonard Krog's bid to become mayor of Nanaimo is flowing in from many quarters.

Fellow candidate Don Hubbard was magnanimous, saying: “To be honest, I’m very comfortable with either one of us being mayor of this great city, I’d prefer it to be me but Leonard is a great second choice.”

Premier John Horgan said he knows Krog has thought long and hard about running for the job after being overwhelmed by community members who are urging him to bring stability to a council that has been beset with infighting.

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson thanked Krog for his service to B.C. and wished him the best in his run for mayor.

Former Chilliwack MLA and cabinet minister John Les posted a prediction on social media, saying “he will win in a landslide". 

Former mayors were prominent at the campaign launch Wednesday. Graeme Roberts, Gary Korpan and John Ruttan were on hand along with some past and present city councillors.

Report shows city council did nothing about CAO expenses

0614 - Nanaimo councillors apparently didn't know or did nothing to stop the Chief Administrative Officer from nearly tripling her expense budget in 2017.

The City's recently-published 2017 statement of financial information showed former chief administrative officer Tracy Samra's expenses were nearly $44,000 last year on a budget of $16,530 and the fact she was on leave from March to September.

All councillors were emailed for comment on Tuesday afternoon, asking if they were at any point aware of the spending and if not, why. Nanaimo News NOW


Meanwhile, Former chief financial officer Victor Mema calls a recently released expense report misleading.

Mema, who was the city’s chief financial officer until last month, was paid $225,076 and spent $18,247 last year, according to statement of financial information report, which shows that his expenses were the second highest of any employee. News Bulletin

It's official, Krog is running for mayor of Nanaimo

Leonard Krog

0613 - Leonard Krog made it official Wednesday, he is in the race to become mayor of Nanaimo. he made the announcement Wednesday in front of a jam-packed crowd at the Coast Bastion Inn.

I sat down with Leonard – as he likes to be called – to discuss the move from the Legislature to city hall, specifically the mayor’s job. What stood out was the support he received from across the political spectrum that encouraged, even pressured him to run.

Read the full column here

Pay taxes online to avoid long lineups

0613 - Taxpayers can avoid lineups in the Service and Resource Centre by paying their taxes and claiming their Home Owner Grant online. 

Taxes can be paid via online banking, telephone banking and at most financial institutions. When adding the City of Nanaimo as a bill payee for the first time via online banking, search by 'Nanaimo' and use the folio number found on the front of your tax notice as the account number. Please note banks will not accept Home Owner Grants. 

The City's property tax notices were sent out in late May, due July 3. Taxes must be paid and the Home Owner Grant (for those eligible) must be claimed by July 3 to avoid penalty.

* Even with additional staffing, the City will still experience significant lineups at the Service and Resource Centre during tax time (May 22-July3).

* Those eligible can claim the Home Owner Grant online at

* A drop box is available at 411 Dunsmuir Street for after hours payments and the City will accept post dated cheques (dated up until July 3).

Lifeguard season begins June 24 at Westwood Lake

0613 - Lifeguards are on duty daily from 12 - 6 pm at Westwood Lake.

Throughout the summer, the City will also offer swimming lessons and day camps in Westwood Lake Park. In August, join staff for an afternoon of Hawaiian-themed games with the Hawaiian Holidaze Aquatic Event. More information on summer programs and events can be found in the Spring and Summer Activity Guide.

* From June 24 until September 3, lifeguards will be on duty at Westwood Lake daily from 12 - 6 pm, including Canada Day, BC Day and Labour Day. Weather dependant.

* To register for swimming lessons, Mermaid Camp, Survivor Swim Camp, Discover Paddleboarding class and more visit or call 250-756-5200.

* Hawaiian Holidaze, a free special event, will be held at Westwood Lake Park from 1-3 pm  Friday, August 10.

Concerts in the Park return in July

0613 - The popular summertime Concerts in the Park series is back for 2018. A line up of afternoon and evening toe tapping performances have been confirmed.

"Pack up your picnic baskets, grab a lawn chair and come join us at Maffeo Sutton or the Bowen Park Amphitheatre to listen to some incredible local talent," said, Deb Beck, Recreation Co-ordinator, "There are so many music styles to choose from including blues, latin, rock, pop, celtic and more!"

Afternoon concerts are held Tuesdays 12:30 - 1:30 pm in Maffeo Sutton Park in July and at Bowen Park Amphitheatre in August. Evening concerts are held Wednesdays from 6 - 7:30 pm in Bowen Park Amphitheatre in July and Maffeo Sutton Park in August. 

The first concert will kick off on July 3. For a full schedule and entertainer line up, visit and follow City of Nanaimo on Facebook for schedule links and reminders.

Print and save the Concerts in the Park Schedule

Recycling exchange remains in limbo

0612 - The future of the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange remains as uncertain as ever, as Council seeks legal advice on the impact funding the non-profit operation would have.

Council on Monday referred a funding request from the NRE back to staff to get legal advice prior to examining the NRE's business case.

It marks the third time since March Council has declined to hand over $6.05 million requested by the NRE, which has been closed for nearly three months.

A City staff report outlined three funding options: an annual 20-year grant, or a pair of one-time grants. The report stated a one-time payout from reserves would not be recommended. The report said borrowing all at once does not meet the criteria of the Municipal Finance Authority.

Nanaimo News NOW

BC Ferries eliminating fuel rebates, net fares going up

0612 - B.C. Ferries is eliminating fuel rebates, and that will mean net cost of fares will rise.

Rising fuel prices are the reason fuel rebates are being ended, starting on June 27.

A statement from the company said that will mean roughly $2.70 more for a vehicle with two adults on the major routes. On the minor routes, fares will increase about $1.30 for a vehicle with two adults.


Lantzville activates water-supply agreement with city

0612 - After years of debate, Nanaimo water will flow into Lantzville.

Lantzville council voted to executea 20-year water supply agreement with the City. Councillors had previously discussed the issue May 7, but opted to continue discussions after the meeting went into the late hours.

Although the two municipalities had reached a written agreement on water supply, a clause in the agreement required Lantzville to vote on whether to accept Nanaimo’s water. Prior to Monday’s decision, Lantzville had already spent $677,000 on the construction of a water pipeline.


City taking homeless camp evictions to Supreme Court

0612 - The City will go to court to evict campers from the downton homeless squat camp.

Homelessness people and advocates set up the campsite last month on land at Esplanade and Front Street.

Coun. Ian Thorpe, acting mayor, said the city wants to take a “prudent and balanced approach” and read a statement from city lawyer Troy DeSouza at Monday’s council meeting.

“The public will best be served by bringing this matter before a justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia to resolve the competing concerns,” DeSouza wrote.


RCMP seek witnesses to hit-and-run side swipe

0612 - Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance in identifying the driver of a white Volkswagen Jetta with Alberta plates, which was involved in a hit and run accident with a Pontiac Sunfire at approximately 7:45 pm on Tuesday May 29th, 2018 at the intersection of Franklyn and Selby Streets

Police spoke with the driver of the Sunfire and several bystanders who witnessed the incident. Police determined the suspect vehicle side swiped the Sunfire on the driver’s side, after failing to yield at the intersection. The suspect vehicle sustained significant damage to the passenger side, and was last seen driving toward Fitzwilliam Street from Selby. Two males were seen in the Jetta but no description was provided.

If anyone has information on this incident, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at or call 1-800-222-8477.

Masked intruder breaks into seniors facility

0611 - Nanaimo RCMP seeks public assistance in identifying a suspect who, in the middle of the night,  broke into several parked vehicles and suites at a local seniors care facility. The exact location of the care facility and the name of the facility is not being released for privacy and safety reasons. The incident occurred at approximately 4:10 am on Friday June 8 at a senior’s facility in central Nanaimo.

The incident was reported to RCMP when one of the residents broken into, woke in the morning and realized someone had been in her room during the night and had rummaged through her belongings. From video surveillance a masked suspect could be seen attempting to enter the building through the front doors. Entry was not gained as the interior doors were locked. From there the suspect broke into several vehicles in the parking lot, and then gained access to the suites by climbing through unlocked ground level windows. 

The suspect was wearing a dark coloured balaclava which covered his face, dark clothing and a black hoodie, with white lettering on the front. Of note was his left hand which was covered in a cast. His pinky finger and ring finger were also wrapped in a bandage. The care facility is reviewing its security features and working with residents to ensure ground level windows are kept locked at all times. It is unknown what was taken but it appears the thief may have made off with a small amount of costume jewelry.

If you have information on this incident, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at or call 1-800-222-8477.

Expect Krog to declare mayoralty candidacy Wednesday

Leonard Krog

0611 - It doesn't take much imagination to conclude that Leonard Krog is running for mayor of Nanaimo in the October civic election.

He is slated to make it official Wednesday at an event at the Coast Bastion Inn.

“I have had a lot of people over the last couple of years whose opinion I value, people who I respect, leaders in our community, [they] have been asking me to run for mayor,” Krog said. “So certainly that’s a huge motivating factor for any politician.”

The Wednesday event is open to the public, and a large crowd is expected for what will likely be a campaign kickoff rally.


15-year-old Cedar youth dies in Ladysmith car crash

0611 - A 15-year-old Cedar boy died in a crash in Ladysmith on the weekend.

Ladysmith RCMP report a single-vehicle crash on Reiber Rd., where it's believed a southbound vehicle on Brenton Page Rd. rolled down a steep, 150-foot embankment.

The 16-year-old driver and two other occupants sustained minor injuries.


Linley Point Gyro Park becomes a reality

A north Nanaimo neighbourhood's vision come to fruition with the opening of Linley Point Gyro Park on Saturday.

Colleen Broekhuizen, of the Linley Point Gyro Park committee, approached the City of Nanaimo in 2015 seeking information about its Partners in Parks program in relation to an undeveloped 3.5-hectare piece of land between Rutherford Road and Linley Valley Drive. Through the city program, the assistance of Nanaimo Gyro Club, money was raised. The park features playground equipment and a basketball court.


Mounties rescue young female from bridge

1106 - Two Nanaimo Mounties may have saved the life of a distraught young female after they pulled her off the top railing of the Bastion Street bridge. T

The Supreme Court of British Columbia has placed the Morningstar Golf Club into receivership and appointed G. Powroznik Group Inc of G. Force Group to take over the management of the club’s properties and assets.

The club, at French Creek formerly belonged to the McCracken family of the Canada North Group, which filed for bankruptcy last year. The Edmonton-based company, unable to make payments on a $21 million loan from Canadian Western Bank, was placed under court protection from creditors last December.

Since taking over, G-Force hired former Morningstar employees to assist them and are now working with them to help identify immediate improvements to the golf course and its operations that the former owners were not able to financially support.


A car rolled over and crashed on the highway on-ramp in the south end of the city on Saturday.

The car was coming from the Duke Point Highway and was heading toward the southbound lanes of the Trans Canada Highway when it went off the side of the on-ramp, rolled over and came to rest on its side.

The accident happened at about 3:10 p.m. Saturday.


Lt-Col Doug Slowski (Ret)

Success is not always good news – Nanaimo Airport can no longer accommodate the Air Cadet program.

Lt. Col. Doug Slowski (retd) of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets said local cadets won't return to train at Nanaimo Airport in the fall due to safety concerns. He said airport officials are helping to find a new site, noting the program is by no means dead in the region.

Slowski said the gliding program is a critical gateway for youth into the aviation industry, which is starving for talent in a range of positions. About 60 Air Cadets glide during spring and summer weekends at Nanaimo Airport by using six tow planes and 13 gliders to hover over Cassidy in 15-to-20 minute flights.

Nanaimo News NOW

Daniel Harlow

0608 - Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance in locating 46-year-old Daniel William Harlow (aka Danny), wanted in connection to a bank robbery in Nanaimo on  February 17, 2018.

Harlow, who sometimes uses the alias of Daniel O'Sullivan, Daniel Johnstone or Daniel Johnson, is thought to be in the Lower Mainland or may have travelled out of province. He is a white male, 5 ft. 6, 150 pounds, with thinning brown hair and green eyes. He has numerous tattoos; of note, a wolf on his upper left arm and full sleeve tattoos on both arms. Harlow should be considered violent and not approached. If you know his whereabouts call 911 immediately. 

If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at or call 1-800-222-8477.

0608 - Residents of north and south Nanaimo will start getting their new SortTossRoll carts beginning June 11.  Each household will get a set including carts for garbage, recyclables and organics. It will take approximately six weeks to deliver the more than 53,000 new carts to homes. Residents will get instructions on the carts and the new automated collection system. 

Households have have been given new collection calendars which show the date in July when they can start using their new carts. All of Nanaimo will be switched over to automated collection by August 3.

Later in 2018, the City will seek feedback from residents on how the new service is operating, their thoughts on options for future solid waste services in Nanaimo and ways to continue to reduce the amount of household garbage sent to the landfill.

Cart deliveries start June 11 and will take approximately six weeks for all residents to get their new carts.

0608 - the City is watching closely and building its case for an expected showdown in court as Nanaimo's downtown homeless encampment continues to grow.

Acting Ian Thorpe said the City is gathering evidence of the impact the camp is having on the surrounding community and adding to its case for an eventual application for a court-ordered injunction to remove it.

Thorpe called the situation a balancing act, acknowledging there's no doubt Nanaimo has a deep-rooted issue with housing affordability and homelessness.

Nanaimo News NOW

0608 - A former Nanaimo investment advisor has been banned for life from offering financial services by an investment regulator and fined $125,000 for violations dating back to 2013.

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, a national trading marketplace regulating body, informed Kenneth Edward Smith in January 2017 he was under investigation. Its written decision report notes that Smith was found to have violated numerous dealer-member rules without the knowledge of Queensbury Securities Inc., the company for which Smith was the lone registered representative in Nanaimo between 2011 and 2016. These included extracurricular business and financial dealings.


Cst Gary O'Brien

0608 - The Nanaimo RCMP advises that the CRA scam is not letting up with many residents getting threatening phone calls leaving some concerned and others terrified.

In recent weeks a number of people have reported to the Nanaimo detachment after receiving a disturbing phone call, from a male purporting to be with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). All were told they will be arrested within one hour and have all their assets seized if they did not immediately pay a reported outstanding tax bill. Many of these people were not even certain if they actually owed money to the Canada Revenue Agency and were simply going by what was told to them over the phone, said Constable Gary O'Brien.

THIS is A SCAM. PLEASE JUST HANG UP. The phone calls occur most frequently from March to June, coincidentally when income taxes are due. For those not familiar with the SCAM, please read the following

  •  You receive a phone call from a man, usually with a South Asian accent, who advises you that you owe money to the CRA and you will be arrested within one hour
  •  Your credit cards and debit cards will be seized
  •  Sometimes they threaten to blow up your house or harm your family
  •  The fraudsters may also contact you through Facebook or by text message 
  • They will provide a ten-digit wire transfer code so that money can be wired to a certain account
  •  They may also tell you that you can pay off your outstanding tax bill by purchasing gift cards or I-tune cards

What you need to know:

  •  The real Canada Revenue Agency will never contact you by phone and will only contact you by using mail delivery
  •  They will never be threatened
  •  You will never be asked to provide personal information, such as credit card numbers or banking information
  •  The Canada Revenue Agency is not in the business of purchasing gift cards or I-tune cards

What to do if you receive a phone call:

  •  Hang up, its as simple as that 

You can then report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre toll free at 1-888-495-8501 or online at 

If you provided personal information or lost money, contact your nearest police agency and report the incident.

0608 - The driver of a car involved in a collision in the northend on Tursday morning was tranported to hospital following the incident. Firefighters used the Jaws of Life to pry open the door of a mid-size car following a collision.

The collision, between a full-size pickup and a sedan, at the intersection of Groveland Drive and Lewis Road, happened at about 8:25 a.m.

0608-The City's zipline is making a comeback at Maffeo Sutton Park. The city has reached an agreement with Wildplay Element Parks to operate the zipline  with work starting immediately in the park to get the zipline equipped and running as soon as possible. The plan is to operate June to September, and to work with special event organizers throughout the rest of the year. 

"Parks and Recreation is excited to work with Wildplay, they have a great reputation for providing safe and adventurous experiences," said Richard Harding, Director of Parks & Recreation. 

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to open a zipline in the premier park in Nanaimo, the birthplace of our company,” says Tom Benson, CEO at WildPlay, “We can’t wait to extend our operations to this exciting second location in Nanaimo where we have a unique opportunity to work with downtown events while creating jobs in the city.”

Wildplay Element Parks will continue to operate its current location at 35 Nanaimo River Road and the Maffeo Sutton Park Zipline will provide an additional location in Nanaimo. If the first year of operation goes well in Maffeo Sutton Park, there are options to expand, such as twinning the lines and adding other features.

he community will be notified when the zipline is in operation.

0606 - The Nanaimo RCMP detachment was closed and all personnel evacuated for about 10 hours while a suspicious package was investigated. The item was located by investigators at approximately 10 pm on Tuesday and brought back to the Detachment.

Due to the unknown nature of the item and upon further analysis, the decision was made to evacuate all inhabitants of the detachment. The RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit attended to the detachment early this morning and removed the package. It will be disposed of.

Police Services to the citizens of Nanaimo, along with non-emergency lines and 911 were not disrupted during the evacuation. The investigation is continuing.

Krystal Dawn Pavan watched her children play with cute, furry caterpillars countless times. Not once did she think the seemingly innocuous insect would be responsible for a panicked ambulance ride to Victoria.

Now, the Nanaimo mother is hoping to spread a word of caution to other parents after her eight-month-old daughter required an emergency procedure to remove venomous hairs fused to her cheeks and gums.

Her children were playing on her deck in the Brickyard neighbourhood on May 31 when her daughter suddenly became hysterical.

MORE at Nanaimo News NOW

0605 - Foot ferry service between Nanaimo and Vancouver won’t start up this summer. Island Ferry Services Ltd. posted an update on its Facebook page Monday, advising that “regrettably, we won’t be starting service this summer.”

Island Ferries explained what it’s been working on and what it still needs to achieve before any service could be implemented.


0604 - Aboriginal leaders and people met in Campbell River last week to stress the importance of salmon farming with a message to the foreign activists they say have harassed salmon farms for the last two summers now.

“I sent a letter to the Sea Shepherd Society last year asking them not to come to our traditional territory, and their response was that under marine law they can come anywhere they want,” said Tlowitsis Chief John Smith. “Then, they came and harassed our partner’s employees in their workplaces. I have a message for them. Stay away from our territory, and our partners' farms. You are not invited here.”

Smith added salmon farming has become an important economic driver for his members, creating jobs and economic activity allowing them to purchase land for their community and establish a post-secondary education scholarship fund for their youth.

Sheila Maclcomson

0604 - Sheila Malcolmson, NDP MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith sees more risks for Canadians after the federal government’s announcement purchase the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.

Malcolmson held an emergency Facebook Live town hall Thursday, connecting with constituents remotely from Ottawa.

“Far from home, I really wanted to get a sense of how people were reacting, find out what kind of questions that they had, what’s the mood of people on the ground, people whose livelihoods could be affected, people whose pensions might be affected depending how this gets financed,” she said.

News Bulletin

77-yeare-old Rotarian Patrick Magquire of Nanaimo is hiking through the pyrenees mountains, and while he's at it he's trying to raise a few bucks in the process. He began his epic journey about a week ago. Check it out here

Merv Unger

0602 - At lunch the other day a group of self-important purveyors of wisdom kicked around our city’s recent happenings as balanced with our past. Sitting around the table were a Member of the Legislature, a former mayor, a Nobel Prize winner and a couple of ordinary folks. 
Click here to find out what this is all about.

Brian Peckford

0602 - It has happened all over the US —most pronounced perhaps on CNN, The Washington Post and the New York Times. 

But it has also come to Canada. Read Andrew Coyne in the weekend’s National Post.

The rest of the column

0601 - If you want a quick reference on political events at the city in 2018, the OurNanaimo group has an excellent detailed list. This should be a must-read for anyone planning to vote in the October 20 civic election.

Check it out HERE

  • Irish Rover Will Millar is back

    Keep on top of what's going on in Nanaimo with our free events calendar. (click on the heading). If you have an event coming up, send us the information and any posters you may have.


Two more bathtub motors stolen

Bathtub racers Brad Davis and Tyler Lucente had their tub motors stolen last week from Archie Johnstone Plumbing and Heating in the Diver Lake area. The stolen motors are the second and third tub motors taken this month in Nanaimo.

Davis said the motors had just been taken out of storage in preparation for the first race of the season and were placed on a pallet on top of a shipping container. Surveillance footage shows two suspects stealing the motors from the locked, fenced compound May 23.

News Bulletin

0601 - A 40-year-old Nanaimo man is in hospital recovering from injuries when the bicycle he was riding collided with a Nanaimo RCMP cruiser. The incident occurred at approximately 4:30 pm on Thursday at the intersection of Kennedy St and Hecate St.

The RCMP police vehicle was travelling north, through the intersection at Hecate and Kennedy St, when the cyclist rode through the stop sign and collided with the police car. The injuries sustained were not life threatening but did require medical attention. BC Paramedics attended and transported the man to hospital where he was kept over night for a medical assessment.

The police officer was not injured and the investigation is continuing.

Tracy Samra

0602 - A hearing date of Oct. 5 has been set for provincial court to hear the case involving Tracy Samra, the former City of Nanaimo chief administrative officer accused of making threats.

The B.C. Prosecution Service is seeking to have Samra bound to conditions of a peace bond as a result of an incident on Jan 31 at city hall that led to her being arrested for allegedly threatening multiple individuals.

News Bulletin

Here's a history:

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RELATED: Court date moved for Nanaimo city manager accused of making threats