September 2018 News archive

Foothills donates 730 acres to Lantzville and RDN

 

View from The Foothills

0930 - The Foothills community outside Lantzville will donate 730-acres of private land to the District of Lantzville and Regional District of Nanaimo to serve as public park space.

That makes the park the largest land donation in British Columbia since 2009. In comparison, Stanley Park in Vancouver is 1,001 acres.

“The Foothills, as the highlands in Lantzville, is a gateway to numerous recreational experiences,” Allard Ockeloen, chief executive officer with Lone Tree Properties Ltd. said. “It’s an outdoor enthusiasts’ paradise.”

The area has hiking trails, mountain biking trails, rock climbing and amazing views of the Strait of Georgia. Visitors can explore bluffs, gullies, forests, rocks, cliffs, high country marshes, viewpoints, creeks, and a diversity of vegetation from fern-filled rain forest canyons to dry viewpoints with Arbutus trees.

MORE 

Province studying emergency bypass around Malahat

Claire Trevena

0930 - The provincial government is looking at constructing a route around the Malahat as a detour in emergencies.

Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena said her ministry is analyzing the scope, location and size of such an emergency route and will more information this fall. 

"We all know that the Malahat shuts down when there are accidents, cutting off the South Island," said Trevena. "This is an important route and people expect their lives will not be put on hold because of a road closure. We are working expeditiously on short- and long-term solutions."

The Island Highway, from Shawnigan Lake Road to Aspen Road, is now open to four lanes of traffic as the Malahat Safety Improvement project wraps up. The completion of the project sees 65 per cent of the highway now protected with a median barrier.

Island NDP MPs target freighter anchorages

MP Ssheila Malcolmson

NDP members of Parliament Sheila Malcolmson and Alistair MacGregor hosted a round-table  Friday to talk about the impact of freighter anchorages in the Strait of Georgia.

Nanaimo Cowichan MP Sheila Malcolmson said 21 organizations were represented at the Coast Bastion Inn along with four local governments and four First Nations.

She claimed risks are increasing as freighters extend their stays, and said there have been “near-misses” as far as accidents and spills. “All downside, no upside for Coastal communities,” she said.
 

Country Club Centre undergoing $1.5 million renovation

0930 -Country Club Centre is undergoing a $1.5 million renovation over the next several months. Manager Dave Mills said the upgrades to the interior includes new washrooms, revamped food court, an upgraded kids play zone, flooring enhancements and a paint job.

Work expected to be finished next spring. The more than 50 stores in the mall won't be be impacted. Mills said exterior renovations are planned at some point in the future.

Don White: Beware the single-issue candidates

It is important that we not treat the municipal election as being concerned only with homelessness. Nor should we vote exclusively for candidates whose focus and abilities connect primarily to this issue – or to any other single issue. Electing a single-issue council is not in our best interests. And homelessness, at the moment, has the disturbing possibility of being this election's Colliery Dam. 

Read Don's Column 

Man in custody after targeted shooting on Prideaux St.

One man is in custody after a targeted shooting early Saturday morning near downtown Nanaimo.

Police said the suspect was arrested shortly after 6:30 a.m. near the 400 block of Prideaux St. He's accused of firing a shotgun at a parked car on the street before speeding away.

Cst. Gary O'Brien said initial conclusion is that it was a targeted, isolated incident. The serious crimes unit is overseeing the investigation. 

Former manager sues city over retaliatory dismissal

0929 - A former City of Nanaimo senior manager claims he was fired from his job as retaliation for his refusal to ‘cover up’ his boss’ spending of city money.

Brad McRae, the city’s former chief operations officer, has filed a notice of civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court against the City of Nanaimo and Coun. Jerry Hong, alleging that Tracy Samra, the city’s former chief administrative officer, fired him because of his “refusal to co-operate in covering up her misuse of Nanaimo corporate credit cards for her own personal gain.”

McRae’s claim also alleges that Hong made harmful remarks about him in an interview with the News Bulletin in August.

Driver rescued after driving into Newcastle Channel

Screen capture from News Bulletin video/Karl Yu

0929 - An elderly man, thought to be in medical distress, was taken to hospital after driving his car into Newcastle Channel on Friday. 

Nanaimo Fire Rescue and bystanders pulled an 82-year-old his car Friday afternoon.

Cst. Gary O'Brien said though the driver's condition was unknown, he did not appear to have any life-threatening injuries. 

See the VIDEO

Safety boat stolen from Harbour Air dock

Harbour Air photo

0927 - A Harbour Air safety boat was stolen overnight Thursday or early Friday from its dock in the Nanaimo Marina.

Crews noticed the theft when opening operations this morning around 6 a.m.

“We use it in the event of an emergency should the aircraft lose power on the water or need some assistance coming into the docking area,” said Base manager John Winter. “It's like having a life boat aboard a ferry. You never want to use it but it's good to know it's there ready to be used.” 

MORE

Tent site costs exceed $130,000 for city

0928 - Costs associated with Discontent City have exceeded $100,000.

The City of Nanaimo has spent at least $131,749 on Discontent City according to financial data obtained by the News Bulletin as a result of a freedom of information request.

The data does not include costs associated with the city’s legal action against the organizers of Discontent City, as that information was redacted. It also excludes policing costs associated with the camp.

MORE

 

Three rescued after boart catches fire

Screen capture from Chris Bush/Nanaimo Bulletin video

0927 - Three people were rescued from the waters off Nanaimo after the boat they were on caught fire, forcing them to abandon ship this morning, Sept. 27.

Canadian Coast Guard and coast guard auxiliary vessels from Nanaimo, French Creek and Vancouver, Nanaimo Port Authority harbour patrol craft and civilian vessels responded along with Nanaimo Fire Rescue and other emergency services to the boat fire, which was first reported off of Fillinger Crescent in the Hammond Bay-Neck Point area at about 10:25 a.m.

MORE

Two arrested at tent site and charged with assault

0928 - Two residents of the downtown encampment were arrested after they wielded machetes and a baseball bat in response to people irritating them with a laser pointer.

Shane Edwards Steinhauer and William Robert Carrigan were arrested Tuesday for assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace after they struck vehicles with machetes and a bat the night of Aug. 3 at a parkade at Port Place mall.

Two carloads of people aged 18-30 were parked across the street from the squatters camp at about 10 p.m. and allegedly shone a laser light into Discontent City.

MORE

Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock in Nanaimo this weekend

0928 - The Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock 2018 team is wheeling its way toward fundraising events Nanaimo.

The Hub City is the halfway point of the annual 1,100-kilometre bicycle tour that covers the length and breadth of the Island to raise money to fight pediatric cancer and to send children in their own battle against the disease to Camp Goodtimes, a summer camp for children with cancer and their families.

MORE

Living History seniors' speaker series returns in October

0927 - The popular Living History Speaker Series for seniors will return in October.

There will be four sessions at the Nanaimo Rugby Club (6700 Dover Road) with speakers sharing their personal history and the history of Vancouver Island. It's free and will be held on the last four Tuesdays in October, 9, 16, 23, 30 from 6:30 to 8 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend. 

"This is a wonderful opportunity for people to enjoy an entertaining evening at no cost,” said John Horn, Social Planner, “A great thing about this series is we get to learn more about members of our community and our shared history."

There will be three speakers each night sharing stories from their lives or the history of Vancouver Island. If you would like to be a speaker at a future series or need more information about the events, Social Planning at 250-755-4464.

The Living History Speaker Series, first held in November, 2016 and February 2017, promotes Nanaimo's cultural vitality and community wellness by fostering social connections, supported by the City and Seniors Connect, with funding from federal New Horizons for Seniors Program.

Horgan to address Vancouver Island Economic Summit

Premier John Horgan

0927 - Premier Horgan will address delegates at the Vancouver Island Economic Summit Oct. 24.

When Horgan assumed office just over a year ago leading an NDP/Green coalition he brought a different approach and a new agenda for BC.

What have been the major wins and battles for BC and the Island this year? Where are we headed? 

Learn more about the past year under the direction of our new government by attending the 12th annual ‘State of the Island’ Economic Summit, October 24/25 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo.

Two arrested, facing multiple charges

0927 -A 33-year-old Nanaimo man faces 13 charges after two people arrest by Nanaimo RCMP on Tuesday.

The charges include driving while prohibited, breach of conditions from a previous offence, theft under $5,000 and fraud under $5,000.

Police pulled over a car on Estevan Road near Poplar Street shortly before noon Tuesday and took two suspects into custody after following them for a while.

A 24-year-old Alberta woman who was also arrested for being in possession of a small quantity of drugs and for theft.

MORE

 

Support group seeks volunteers for dementia support group

0927 - Looking to make a difference in your community? The non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C. needs several volunteers with excellent interpersonal skills in Nanaimo to facilitate a support group for caregivers of people living with dementia and people living with the early stages of the disease.

Support Group Facilitators create a safe and open space for people affected by dementia to share their concerns and solutions. When needed, Support Group Facilitators offer information to support individuals in their decision-making. Facilitators are people with discretion, empathy, strong listening skills and a belief in the capacity of peers to help one another. Facilitators require maturity, healthy boundaries and a willingness to learn. Experience with dementia, caregiving, social services, working with older adults or facilitating would be considered an asset. Facilitators receive training on dementia and its causes, issues facing caregivers and how to facilitate groups effectively. 

Support Group Facilitators play an integral role in helping the Alzheimer Society of B.C. create a community of care by supporting people who live with dementia and those who care for them. The groups are held monthly and require a three-hour time commitment, including some debrief and administration duties. The Society requests a minimum one-year commitment from facilitators. 

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. also has an administrative volunteer opportunity within the North & Central Vancouver Island Resource Centre, located in Nanaimo. For information on volunteering, contact Stacy Ashton, Provincial Program Coordinator of Volunteer Resources, at sashton@alzheimerbc.org or 604-742-4937.

To register as a support group participant in the Central Island, call Rosanne Philbrook, Support and Education Coordinator, First Link® at 250-734-4170. If you have other questions about the other services offered through First Link® dementia support, or if you would like more information on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, please call the First Link® Dementia Helpline (1-800-936-6033) or visit www.alzheimerbc.org.

Support groups are made possible through a partnership between the Alzheimer Society of B.C. and the B.C. Ministry of Health.

Ferry sailing cancelled due to passenger overboard

0926 - B.C. Ferries cancelled two sailings today due to a passenger overboard. The Queen of Oak Bay’s 11 a.m. sailing from Horseshoe Bay and a 1:15 p.m. sailing from Departure Bay were cancelled.

Deborah Marshall, B.C. Ferries spokeswoman, said the incident happened at about 10:30 a.m. “just as the ship was about to come into Horseshoe Bay” after an 8:45 a.m. sailing from Departure Bay. She said West Vancouver Police Department and Canadian Coast Guard responded.

MORE

Timberlands Pub liquor store robbed

0926 - Ladysmith RCMP are investigating an armed robbery at the Timberlands Pub Liquor Store over the weekend.

A large man walked into the store at 1680 Timberlands Road shortly after 10:30 p.m. on Saturday

The robber produced a handgun and demanded all of the money in the till, said Cpl. Bob Purslow.

MORE

Teacher suspended for restraining five year old

0926 - A Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools teacher was suspended for two days without pay for physically restraining a five-year-old girl.

ruling released by the Ministry of Education's Teacher Regulation Branch said Debbie Lynne Bourne "took hold" of the girl's arms while teaching a music class at an unnamed school in September 2017. The ruling said Bourne restrained the girl because she did not follow directions to leave her classmates alone.

"Student A did not pose an imminent danger of serious physical harm to herself or others," the ruling said, noting the action was not in line with the province's guidelines for physical restraint. MORE

 

Nanoose stretch of Island Highway crash hotspot

0926 - The Nanoose Bay stretch of the Island Highway continues to see more than its share of serious crashes in spite of diligent enforcement from RCMP and no road safety concerns from the province,

The RCMP Central Island Traffic Services division responded to a pair of fatal collisions along Hwy. 19 in Nanoose Bay this year and several more severe wrecks, officer in charge Sgt. Darrin Ramey said.

ICBC data showed 48 crashes occurred on Hwy. 19 at Northwest Bay Rd. (PetroCan gas station) between 2011 and 2015, followed by 39 crashes at Superior Rd. and 24 at Ware Rd. during that same time period.

Nanaimo News NOW

City cleared to proceed with Port Drive development

0925 - The City can now develop 1 Port Drive after reaching agreement Seaspan and Southern Railway.

Seaspan will remove the perpetual right of way that occupies 6.27 ha (15.5 acres) of land and water on the City-owned 1 Port Drive property. In exchange, the City will pay Seaspan $991,465 and transfer 1.45 ha (3.6 acres) of waterlot and 2.3 ha (5.7 acres) of land to a Seaspan/SVI affiliate. The remainder of the land will continued to be owned by the City.

The removal of the right of way clears the way for construction of an interim waterfront walkway and an extension of Front Street to the Port Of Nanaimo Assembly Wharf. 

The agreement will be presented to Council for final approval at the Oct. Council meeting.

Two arrested after armed robbery involving drugs

0925 - A 19-year-old and 15-year-old youth are in police custody following a daytime robbery in which a 20-year old male reported being robbed at knife point and his marijuana and cocaine stolen. It happend at approximately 11 a.m. on Monday, in the vicinity of the Co-op Gas Bar on Bowen Road. During the robbery the victim was apparently punched in the face and threatened with a knife. 

Charges have been laid against 19-year old Ragnar John Donald for Robbery, Possession of a Weapon Dangerous to the Public Peace (knife) and Obstruction. A 15-year old, who cannot be identified, has also been charged with Robbery and Possession of a Weapon Dangerous to the Public Peace (knife). 

Shortly after 11 a.m. Monday, police responded to a 911 call from the victim who said he had been robbed at knife point, and that a firearm was also produced. The 15-year old suspect was located a short distance away and taken into custody without incident. The 19- year fled, and after a short foot chase was also arrested.

The 19- year old was searched and found in possession of a knife, bear spray and a small quantity of cannabis. A white powder, suspected of being cocaine, was also seized. No firearm was located on the suspects nor in the surrounding area.

“In reference to the drugs allegedly taken from the victim, in considering the level of violence purportedly involved by the suspects, officers using their discretionary powers elected not to pursue charges against the victim,“ said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP. 

 The two males were expected to appear in Nanaimo Provincial court today.

 

New trade deal will boost Vancouver Island businesses

0925 - Local business owners and investors hope they've found a new way to attract foreign investment to Vancouver Island. 

The island now has Foreign Trade Zone Status, which is designed to decrease trade barriers preventing goods from being imported into the area. The new designation was arranged between the federal government and the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance.

Alliance president George Hansen said there will now be a task force, made up of departments from all three levels of government, to streamline investment into the area. 

MORE

Aquatic centre scheduled to reopen Oct. 1

0924 - The Nanaimo Aquatic Centre will re-open Oct. 1 after its annual maintenance is complete. 

Work includes an energy-savings project replacing 48 underwater halogen lights, reducing the energy consumption by 80 per cent per light. Workers are also tending to annual repairs such as replacing broken tiles, re-grouting, overhead lighting repairs, painting, lobby floor resurfacing and thorough cleaning. Other projects this year include Phase I of a multi-phase roofing project and general maintenance of the heat exchangers, circulating pumps, filters, movable floor, play structures, UV and chlorine systems. 

Beban Pool has offered extended hours for swimming and weight room and the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre weight room is open. Visit recreation.nanaimo.ca for the drop-in schedule.

City establishes zoning rules for cannabis operations

0924 - Cannabis production and processing will be allowed in the I4 Industrial Zone and micro cannabis production in the Light and Highway Industrial zones (I1 and I2). Retail sales will be permitted through site-specific rezoning. 

Those regulations are contained in amendments to the Zoning Bylaw on Council's agenda for adoption October 1. Cannabis becomes legal on October 17. In anticipation,  If adopted, the bylaw will permit .

 Site-specific rezoning is only one step in the process of operating a cannabis retail store. To rezone a property, a pre-application meeting with staff is required and confirmation that an application for a non-medical cannabis retail licence has been submitted to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch. 

Legalization is only the start," said, Heidi Davidson, Manager of Permit Centre and Business Licensing, "Based on all the phone and email enquiries, it's anticipated that staff will be busy with pre-application meetings and processing rezoning and business licence applications." 

Further information about the cannabis retail store application requirements is available on the City's website at www.nanaimo.ca. Look for the Cannabis Retail link under the Doing Business tab.

City working to close tent encampment in orderly way

0923 - Statement from the City of Nanaimo.

"The judge’s order recognizes the serious fire safety risks on the site and the City’s approach to public safety. 

"We’re working with BC Housing, Ministry of Children and Families, Island Health and other agencies to conduct an orderly transition of occupants off the site.

"We will keep the public informed as we work through how to manage an orderly closure of this tent city.

"The City wants to help manage an orderly closure of this camp that respects the dignity of campers and protects residents and businesses.

"We want to work with occupants and provincial agencies to find other options and to help people find other places to live within the next 21 days.

"Public safety is a critical concern. We urge campers to do everything possible to reduce the risk of fire and other threats to health and safety.

Squatters must leave downtown encampment in 21 days

0921 - An encampment of squatters in downtown Nanaimo have been ordered to leave the site within 21 days.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Ronald Skolrood issued the ruling Friday morning, said all campers must leave and remove all items of personal property and all structures, tents, shelters, shopping carts, stoves, rubbish, objects, personal chattels, and other things on the Property.

They also cannot re-enter the site without permission from the City. If they do not leave and remove belongings the city is authorized to remove everything in the encampment without recourse after 21 days.

The following statement was posted by the city after the judge's ruling

 The judge’s order recognizes the serious fire safety risks on the site and the City’s approach to public safety. We’re working with BC Housing, Ministry of Children and Families, Island Health and other agencies to conduct an orderly transition of occupants off the site.

We will keep the public informed as we work through how to manage an orderly closure of this tent city.

The City wants to help manage an orderly closure of this camp that respects the dignity of campers and protects residents and businesses.

We want to work with occupants and provincial agencies to find other options and to help people find places to live within the next 21 days.

Public safety is a critical concern. We urge campers to do everything possible to reduce the risk of fire and other threats to health and safety.

Conference hotel inching closer to construction

Architect's rendering of hotel project.

The City hopes to issue a building permit by the end of next month for a hotel behind Nanaimo's downtown conference centre.

Utah-based PEG Developments submitted its final permit application for a $22-million, nine-storey hotel at 100 Gordon St. The scope of the project also increased for a third time, now calling for 172 rooms. PEG originally proposed six-storeys and 118 rooms before increasing the room count to 155 in November of last year.

"It was clear that there is ample demand to justify the cost of building additional rooms," said project manager Kevin Perry.

MORE

 

Tent encampment injuntion ruling expected Friday

0920 - Squatters in the downtown tent encampment are expecting a decision Friday regarding a possible injunction against the homeless camp.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia will release its ruling on the City’s statutory injunction case against the camp on Friday at 10:30 a.m., said Noah Ross, attorney for a number of individuals involved with tent city.

He said the ruling will not be made in a court session, but instead lawyers from both sides will receive the decision via e-mail and it will also be publicly released online.

MORE

More efficient commute coming to Bowen Road

from Google Maps

0921-  The City is implementing a traffic signal co-ordination plan on Bowen Road.

Bowen Road is one of the busiest arterial roads within the city, connecting more than 20,000 vehicles daily. A new traffic signal co-ordination plan will make the Bowen Road commute easier and more efficient for drivers.

In 2012, the City created a similar traffic signal co-ordination plan for Terminal Ave, between Stewart Ave and Waddington Road, which successfully reduced delays.

The City undertook a traffic study to develop a signal co-ordination plan for the Bowen corridor. The study indicated that there would be a significant reduction in delays on Bowen Road, however there would be a small increase in delay on side streets. 

The City is implementing this plan and will conducti follow-up observations to ensure that the signals are working as intended. The City appreciates driver patience during this period as the final product will provide the community with a better transportation network.

Jordan withdraws from Nanaimo mayoral race

Eike Jordan

0920 - Eike Jordan has withdrawn from the Nanaimo mayoralty race, leaving three candidate for the job in the Oct. 20 election.

Her decision was confirmed today by City Clerk Sheila Gurrie, who is the chief election officer.

Jordan telephoned Nanaimonet on Tuesday evening from Germany where she is attending an oncology conference. She discussed her reservations about her ambitious vision for Nanaimo. She told Nanaimonet.com that as mayor, she wanted to make Nanaimo a beacon, a shining example and leader in natural health and healthy living as an example for the rest of Canada.

“Maybe the best way I can contribute is through my professional role in my business of providing natural medicine,” she said.

On Wednesday evening she confirmed that she had sent her withdrawal notice in a phone call to the city, followed up by an email.

That leaves Ray Fermere, business man Don Hubbard and MLA Len Krog as candidates for mayor,.

The deadline for candidates to withdraw is Friday, Sept. 21 at 4 p.m. There are 40 candidates for eight city council seats.

On her election social media page Jordan outlined her vision for Nanaimo.

• Low carbon imprint.

• Gasification plant to generate electricity and fuel, have low/no emission, produce mineral salts as fertilizer. Out of town waste can be accepted and will contribute to lower taxes and to instate hopefully an upgraded fast train railway throughout the Island for people and goods and with a regular schedule.

• Approach local industries to support a new Recreational Centre for Nanaimo residents and to utilize their excess heat to service the facilities, and with this to lower tax impact and generate financial resources to create better transit within RDN and City.

• Protect drinking water and reservoirs, investigate a safer alternative to chlorine. Reduce pollution of our waterways and ocean.

More adequate public parking.

• Make old city desirable for cruise ships, tourists and community.

• Create a seawall ocean front walk throughout departure bay, via ferry terminal, old city to Petroglyph park with adjacent areas for gatherings as it is started in Maffeo Sutton Park and needs to continue around the cruise ship landing.

• Rezone between Nicol Street and oceanfront for mixed commercial residential buildings and towards petroglyph for multiplex and highrise, slow down traffic, create marketplace, have a hop-on-hop-off train.

• Make conference centre fees more affordable for more frequent use to its full capacity by the community

• Support the restoration of the old city and its historic buildings, encourage with grants and tax bonuses the beautification of the area between Bowen Park, Ocean Front to Petroglyph. Instate bylaw about building structures and design to match original West Coast design.

• Decorate cruise ship landing area and turn into an activity community parkAdd tourist attractions along the historic parts of town like Chase River, Quarterway, Wellington and connect with a city train that looks nostalgic, increase tourism here too

• Development with needed green space, solar and recreational facilities.

• Accessibility for disabilities, strollers and elderly.

• New buildings with 3 or more storeys must have either a green roof, a green wall or/and solar, a rainwater cistern to recycle water for the green.

• New buildings must have adequate parking for residents / business.

• Negotiate with VIU and SD68 a trade off of properties between NDSS and East Wellington to distress dangerous traffic between Wakesiah – Second – Fifth Street, multi story parking for students, adequate sized high school with Science focus and optional Horticulture introductory courses in conjunction with VIU on site.

• Negotiate with the province about the corrections facility to relocate for the purpose of a new school ground with focus on PE including water (lake) sports so students can get chances to earn scholarships for university.

• Sell unused schools like Woodlands to investors for international school which will help the healthy development within our city. Most investors will likely build houses and multi-unit-housing for their return of investment.

• Make use of unused SD68 facilities for homeless interim accommodations and assist/co-operate with Salvation Army.

• Negotiate with SD68 to allow facilities for public rental with renters’ own insurance and cleaning to generate income. Upgrade to be rentable where needed.

• Change our bylaw for homeless to no more than three temporary overnight tarp shelters per sq.km in designated location if no bed in any of the existing facilities is available, no open fire, no weapons (incl. needles), strict law to obey hygiene.

• Camping outside of designated campgrounds is prohibited.

• Minimum wage homeless work program as exchange for shelter and service.

• Payback program for residents for waste with scale at new plant.

• Community activity programs

 

Labour Council endorses candidates for Oct. 20 vote

One candidate withdrawing from city election race

EXCLUSIVE Sept 19, 9:22 p.m. Nanaimonet.com has received a message that one of the candidates is withdrawning from the city election. The deadline for candidates to withdraw is Friday, Sept. 21 at 4 p.m.

We will have the full story as soon as the withdrawal is confirmed by the returning office.

Victoria's tent squatters move to Goldstream Park

Photo from Facebook

0919 - Members of Camp Namegans, the roving tent city that has been making its way around the region for the past year and had been growing exponentially alongside the Trans-Canada highway in Saanich, has now found a new home.

Organizers announced late Tuesday the group had arrived at the Goldstream Provincial Park campground, where they will stay for at least two weeks. This after being evicted by police from a piece of Crown land near Uptown Mall on Tuesday morning.

MORE

City Council approves housing strategy

0919 - City staff are ready to tackle both short- and long-term projects to bring more diverse housing to the harbour city with more support for homeless residents.

City councillors endorsed both the long-in-the-works affordable housing strategy and action plan to end homelessness during Monday's council meeting.

The affordable housing plan has more than 100 recommendations about how to alleviate the housing crunch in the city and offer more homes for everyone. It includes options such as amending zoning to allow for micro-suites, provide bonuses for housing projects which are 100 per cent residential and work more with Habitat for Humanity to develop more affordable homes.

MORE

Prolific offender caught asleep in stolen car

0919 - Nanaimo RCMP arrested a prolific offender after he was found snoozing in a stolen car.

Jackson Filgate, 34, a well-known prolific offender from Nanaimo, was found asleep in a car with a large number of stolen items at 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday, said Nanaimo RCMP

An officer noticed Filgate parked in the Shenton and Labieux roads area.

MORE

Lantzville adopts a new corporate image

0919 - Image is everything, so the District of Lantzville is putting on a new face.

Councillors voted 5-2 to adopt a new logo on Monday night. The new logo features the word Lantzville written in a calligraphic style with a wave above it made out of individual pieces of sea glass. The slogan ‘Love life here’ is written below the word Lantzville.

While councillors adopted the new logo, a timeline of when it will begin appearing on district documents and around the community is unknown.

MORE

Shortage of classroom space concern to parents

0919 - Parents are concerned with the lack of classroom space at Departure Bay Eco-School.

Nanaimo Ladysmith school district is anticipating student enrolment above a February projection of 13,875, and is looking to account for the extra bodies.

Shirley Galbraith said her son’s Grade 6-7 class is being taught in the library, picnic area, patio and a space where garden shovels are stored and was told it may be ongoing until after Christmas break. It isn’t a good learning environment and she said she hasn’t received satisfactory answers.

READ MORE

Tilray gets green light to send product to U.S. for trials

0918 - Tilray Inc.of Nanaimo, says it has received approval from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agency to export a medical cannabis product south of the border for use in a clinical trial.

The company and a researcher at the University of California San Diego believe this is the first export of a cannabis product from a Canadian company to the U.S., where marijuana is still illegal at the federal level.

Tilray will export capsules containing a formulation with two active ingredients extracted from the cannabis plant for a clinical trial examining the drug as a potential treatment for adults with essential tremor.

MORE Tilray stock skyrockets

Real estate sales down but prices still rising

0918 - The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board reports 467 single-family homes sold in Nanaimo in August on the Multiple Listing Service® compared to 540 one year ago, a 14-per-cent drop. The number of apartments changing hands last month dropped by 13 per cent while townhouse sales increased by 16 per cent. 

Inventory of single-family homes in August was down slightly from one year ago (1,342 compared to 1,352). The supply of apartments and townhouses dipped 14 per cent and 10 per cent from one year ago. 

The benchmark price of a single-family home in Nanaimo rose 10 per cent to $546,200 over a year ago. Campbell River was $404,300, up 12 per cent. Comox Valley, $509,200, up 13 per cent. Duncan $455,100, up eight per cent while the Parksville-Qualicum area increased by 13 per cent to $574,200. Port Alberni reached $303,600, up 22 per cent from one year ago. 

The weaker sales seen so far in 2018 were expected because 2016 and 2017 were exceptionally healthy years for real estate, setting record levels that could not be maintained indefinitely. However, VIREB’s housing market is still strong compared to where it sat four years ago. 

“The broad demographic trend for the VIREB area continues to include baby boomers and retirees, who are less affected by stricter mortgage qualification rules because they don’t typically need mortgages,” says Cameron Muir, chief economist for the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA). “As a result, even when sales bottom out, they’re doing so at lower levels on Vancouver Island.” 

Council paves way for new auto dealership rezoning bid

0918 - City council has voted to allow a rezoning application to proceed for Porsche and Subaru dealerships on the former Long Lake Nurseries site at 4900 Island Hwy.

Council unanimously approved the next step in spite of city staff recommending against the project due to concerns over how it fit with the City of Nanaimo’s official community plan.

“Our OCP and transportation master plan both talk about the importance of creating mixed-use walkable villages, mixed-use walkable centres,” said Dale Lindsay, the city’s director of community development. “We believe that this land use is not in keeping with the intent of the OCP.”
 

Court date set for lawsuit against city by Integrity Group

0918 - A five-day trial has been scheduled to settle a lawsuit filed by a human resources consulting firm, despite the fact the City already publicly agreed to pay at least a portion of the allegedly unpaid bill.

The City is scheduled to go to court in November 2019 to defend itself against a claim filed by Vancouver-based The Integrity Group, which alleged the City refused to pay a more than $52,000 bill for consulting work done in 2015.

In May 2015, mayor Bill McKay hired Integrity to act as a facilitator to deal with issues between himself, members of council and then-city manager Ted Swabey.

MORE

Unsolved crimes in Nanaimo

Nanaimo RCMP file # 2018-33566 Sometime Sept. 12 to 13, a sea can, at a construction site on Old Slope Road was broken into. Approximately $8,000 to $10,000 of construction tools were taken. Taken were two laser levels, a Stihl gas cutoff saw, Dewalt hammer drill, concrete tools, Dewalt palm sander, Boesch stick nailer and nailer framing gun and an electric water pump

Nanaimo RCMP file # 2018- 33605 On Thursday September 13th a bicycle was taken from in front of the Vault Cafe, located at 499 Wallace St. The mountain bike is a 2016 Kona Splice with front suspension orange accents and a white rubber grip.Nanaimo RCMP file # 2018-33251 On Monday September 10 an electric bike was stolen from outside The Bay, at the Woodgrove Centre. The bike is a white Electric Surface 604 Rook with serial # K17KH00262. 

Nanaimo RCMP file # 2018-33245 Sometime during the day on Monday September 10 a break and enter occurred in the 400 block of Maple St. The residents were gone all day and when they returned home at approximately 5 PM they found their home had been broken into. Entry was made through the rear bedroom screen and one of the window screens had been removed and later found on the ground. Taken was an IPad with serial # DMPR3D99G5VW a family ring and jewelry. 

Nanaimo RCMP file # 2018-33251  On Monday September 10 an electric bike was stolen from outhe Woodgrove Centre. The bike is a white Electric Surface 604 Rook with serial # K17KH00262.

If you have information relating to these or other crimes, call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477. 

 

House hit by lightning during storm

0918 - Several people were temporarily evacuated from their homes after one of numerous lightning strikes hit Nanaimo's north end during a strong, isolated storm.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue confirmed lightning hit at least one structure, located at Eagle Point Villas on Blueback Rd., Sunday afternoon. Assistant chief Brad Wood said the lightning bolt hit the roof of a unit, causing minor damage. He said the lightning's energy then went underground and ruptured a gas and water line.

MORE

Police looking for help to find missing man

0918 - RCMP are trying to find a missing man who's without his required daily medication. Justin De Goutiere, 27, has not been seen or heard from since Monday, Sept. 17 after leaving his home. He  is believed to be in Nanaimo, however investigators have not been able to find him, while his support network is very concerned.

De Goutiere is white, 6'0”, 220 pounds with short dark hair and brown eyes.

Fuller faces day in court over document leaks

B.C.'s attorney general is stepping into the legal ring against a Nanaimo city councillor.

0918 - The attorney general's office filed a petition against Coun. Gord Fuller and three others over their continued refusal to delete confidential documents posted online. The petition hopes to use the full weight of the law, including fines and further legal action, against Fuller and others to compel them to destroy their copies of confidential documents and any others which still exist online.

The court case is the latest development in an ongoing dispute over a confidential email which was shared on social media. The letter contained the mayor's harshly critical opinions of fellow councillors, supposedly part of ongoing mediation to repair their relationship. It was posted onto the windshield of one of the respondents in 2015 and then shared online in numerous Facebook groups, with the media and during a public council meeting.

Confidential legal emails were also shared to social media.

MORE

No charges against Mountie for injury during arrest

0-915 - No charges will be laid against a Nanaimo RCMP officer after a suspect was injured in an arrest outside the Quarterway Pub last year.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. released the decision on the incident, which happened Aug. 3, 2017.

A person being arrested for public intoxication suffered a traumatic brain injury, a broken nose and two broken orbitals. The injuries were unintended,” the decision notes. The suspect's intoxication likely played a role in him going down awkwardly. 

MORE

Loaves and Fishes food drive this weekend

0915 - The Nanaimo Loaves and Fishes food bank is depending on Nanaimo residents this weekend to help gather enough food to last until Christmas.

On Saturday, food bank volunteers will travel all over Nanaimo picking up bags of food left on doorsteps. Twelve thousand bags were handed out this year, to be packed with goods from generous residents.

Loaves and Fishes executive director Peter Sinclair told NanaimoNewsNOW this is their second biggest food drive of the year.

MORE

40 candidates for council, four for mayor and 20 for SD68

The ballot of city council in the Oct. 20 will be a long one – 40 candidates filed their nominations before the deadline of 4 p.m. today.

Notable on the list is the absence of Coun. Bill Bestwick who is not seeking re-election. Councillors Diane Brennan, Jim Kipp and Bill Yoachim had announced earlier that they would not be be running.

That leaves Councillors Jerry Hong, Gordon Fuller, Sheryl Armstrong and Ian Thorpe seeking re-election.

For the mayor's chair, it will be a choice between Don Hubbard, Eike Jordan, Len Krog, and Ray Farmere. Mayor Bill McKay had earlier announced he was not running.

On the school board ballot, there are 20 names for the nine seats on the board. We are working to assemble all the platforms and bio information on all the candidates and will post them as they come in.

See the list of candidates in the headings in our menu bar. 

Explorer of the Seas cruiseship returns next Wednesday

0914 - MV Explorer of the Seas returns to the Port of Nanaimo Wednesday Sept. 19, at 8 a.m, departing at 6 p.m. This is the Royal Caribbean Line’s second of two calls in 2018 to Central Vancouver Island.

The Explorer of the Seas called on the Port of Nanaimo in May 2016, 2017 and 2018. The cruise in Seattle on Monday, at sea until her arrival in Nanaimo on Wednesday, then moving to Victoria and back to Seattle, completing a 5-day “Pacific Coastal Cruise” itinerary on Sept. 21.  The Explorer of the Seas is 311 metres long with a passenger capacity of 3,938 and 1,180 crew.

, comments: 

“This is the fifth occasion the Explorer of the Seas is calling on the Port of Nanaimo," says Ewan Moir, President & CEO of the Port of Nanaimo. "Along with our many local and regional partners in the Cowichan Valley and the Parksville - Qualicum area, we are very proud to receive her for three consecutive years.  We know that many passengers return once they discover Central Vancouver Island, a preferred and growing travel destination."

As passengers arrive in the cruise ship terminal and clear customs, Tourism Nanaimo Travel Counsellors greet passengers and point the way to photo opportunities with the ‘Big Tub’ and displays of racing tubs from the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society and to buses for pre-purchased regional shore excursions.  

Passengers also take in the popular harbourside walkway, Pioneer Waterfront Plaza and the Farmers' Market and our museums. Complimentary shuttles transport passengers from the terminal through downtown Nanaimo and the Old City Quarter, including Maffeo-Sutton Park where they engage professionally-trained Nanaimo Ambassadors and easily access the Saysutshun Experience on Newcastle Island.

Contact with local culture includes the downtown, galleries, eateries and walking tours which receive positive passenger feedback on a consistent basis. Cannon Firings at the historic Bastion are at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. Nanaimo Bar samplings are provided by Tourism Nanaimo as passengers return to the ship, a taste of our renowned hospitality and a must-have treat when visiting Nanaimo.    

“We provide a high level of service on a consistent basis with our city and regional partners.  The amenities and tours complement our award winning passenger terminal.  The feedback always includes comments for our friendly city and the beauty of our surroundings.  Passengers often tell us that they will be back - they want to see more of Central Vancouver Island,” adds Moir.

See pictures and video from cruise visits in Nanaimo at cruise.npa.ca - Go to Gallery or to Port of Nanaimo Facebook and Instagram Postings.

The Port of Nanaimo is one of 18 Port Authorities across Canada, established under the Canada Marine Act, to promote and support the National, Regional and local economy and to ensure a safe and secure harbour for cargo operations.

Ballot for council getting crowded – and weird

0914 - As of 10 a.m. today 35 candidates had announced their candidacy for seats on Nanaimo city council. There are four nominations for mayor.

That list includes one candidate who lists his residence as Duncan, B.C. and another who wants to be listed on the ballot as Turnip Avel.

Nominations close at 5 p.m. today for Mayor, Councillor and School Trustee. We will have the final list as soon as it is made official by the city returning office.

 

Police looking for suspects in car break-in on ferry

Nanaimo file # 2018-31928 - Nanaimo RCMP are looking for information about two suspects after a traveller onboard a BC Ferry, sailing from Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay, had his laptop and Bose headphones stolen from his vehicle.

The theft took place some time between 2:30 and 4 pm on Friday, August 31 Witnesses told investigators they saw two large scruffy males using a slim Jim on the owners vehicle.

If you have any information, call Nanaimo RCMP or Crimestoppers atwww.nanaimocrimestoppers.com Quote file 2018-31928.

Don White's commentaries are back

Don White

Don White wrote a series of articles last year on the performance at Nanaimo City Hall. In view of the current election campaign, and the relevancy of those commentaries, we have decided to repost an archive of Don's excellent work. Click on the top menu bar or go here http://www.nanaimonet.com/440770736

 

Downtown squatters expand their site

0912 - Downtown Nanaimo's tent city expanded dramatically late Wednesday night, pushing the back fence into the lot used by Seaspan Shipyards. 

Tent city resident Darcy Kody saidresidents held an inter-camp meeting and decided they needed more space to accommodate an influx of homeless into the camp which is now home to roughly 300 people. 

The back fence, which was on the ocean-facing side of the camp, was pushed back roughly 70 feet to the entrance onto the lot. After about an hour of negotiations between camp residents, Nanaimo RCMP and Seaspan employees, it was pulled back to roughly 20 feet. 

Earlier Wednesday, camp organizer Sophie Wendling said the campsite is home to more than 300 people and the camp is considering all its options.

“We are not entirely sure yet, but we know something needs to be done. It could look like moving somewhere. It could look like splitting up into smaller camps, like two camps or something, or taking over a new space,” she said.

MORE

Lantzville gets water agreement amendment

0912 - After years of trying, Lantzville councillors finally got their wish, or at least a part of it.

The City of Nanaimo and the District of Lantzville have reached an agreement to amend portions of a $1.33-million water agreement between the two municipalities.

A letter posted on the district’s website says the two municipalities agreed to change a section of the agreement that defined upper and lower Lantzville. Now, the water agreement will refer to a more detailed map known as Schedule A, always included within the agreement, that includes a boundary line.

MORE

Nanaimo men recognized for volunteer services

Pete Betcher, top, and Jeff Lott were recognized by Lieut-Gov Janet Austin.

0912 - Two Nanaimo volunteers have been recognized for their amazing contributions to the community.

Peter Betcher and Jeffery Lott of Nanaimo, were awarded the Sovereign's Medal of Volunteerism on Sept. 6 in Victoria. The medals were presented by Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin on behalf of Governor General Julie Payette.

MORE

RCMP and Port launch bait program to combat boat thefts

0912 - A new tool has been added to fight the huge problem of stolen boats from Nanaimo's waterfront.

RCMP Cst. Mike Eckert said a bait boat has been placed in the water as part of a pilot project aimed at nabbing thieves and discouraging heists. He said an alarming 16 boats were stolen since May, primarily in the Boat Basin marina.

He said their bait boat, launched in partnership with the Port of Nanaimo, includes GPS tracking capability to detail where a thief is headed.

MORE

Stolen sports memorabilia items recovered

Championship belt among stolen items.

UPDATE: Nanaimo boxing coach Bob Pegues has his stolen items back. RCMP said a waste collector found the items in a dumpster at the apartment building.

EARLIER: 0912 - A Nanaimo boxing coach says  his hard-earned world boxing championship belt was among the items stolen from his car.

Nanaimo RCMP say the belt, some trophies and several other pieces of boxing gear were stolen out of Bob Pegues' car sometime overnight on Sept. 10 while it was parked at the Rosedale Manor on Departure Bay Road, behind Country Club Centre.

Also in the bag was a championship belt recently won by one of Pegues' studentss.

Pegues said he went to the downtown tent city on Monday looking for his stolen gear and spotted someone wearing his easily identifiable Team B.C. jacket.

Nanainmo News NOW

 

Man jailed for two years for $87,000 in scam deals

0912 - A man who admitted to one of the biggest scams in Nanaimo in recent memory was sent to jail for two years and ordered to pay back more than $87,000 to a pair of victims.

Rodney Bradford Johnston, 48, was sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo on Friday by Judge Brian Harvey after pleading guilty to a charge of fraud over $5,000.

Nanaimo News NOW

Campfire ban lifted, but bylaw remains in effect

0912 - With the coast fire area campfire ban now lifted, the city reminds that its open burning bylaw remains in effect. That bans open burning within City limits. Outdoor cooking fires are permitted on private property, provided the fire is contained to a device or fixture designed for containing the fire and not exceeding 24 inches in diameter. The fire may only utilize clean, dry wood or briquettes and may not exceed two hours in duration.

Despite the fact we are experiencing cooler and damper weather, Nanaimo Fire Rescue remind the public to please safely and properly discard smoking materials. 

If you see smoke or signs of fire, please do not hesitate to call 9-1-1. For more information on City of Nanaimo Burning bylaw visit www.fire.nanaimo.ca or call the non-emergency line at 250-753-7311.

Korpan says he will make another bid for city council seat

Gary Korpan

0910 - Former Mayor and councillor Gary Korpan has confirmed that he will be a candidate for city council in the October 20 election.

"There clearly needs to be some institutional memory on any new council," he said in a brief note.

We'll have more when he provides his platform. 

There have been numerous declarations of candidates, but not all of them have made the formal documnet filing. See the list below.

Keep checking back to this page for all the latest updates on candidates for mayor and council.

Fuller is running again for city council

Coun. Gord Fuller

0910 - Councillor Gordon Fuller, who once infamously told the mayor to “bite me”, will seek another term.

Fuller told the News Bulletin on Monday morning he will be running for re-election as city councillor in the election on Oct. 20.

“I was having a hard time deciding whether I wanted to run or not but ultimately I have decided that I will run,” he said.

MORE

City accepting applications for downtown event funding

0911 - The City is accepting applications from community organizations seeking financial assistance to support downtown Nanaimo events in 2019 through the Downtown Event Revitalization Fund.  The fund supports events and initiatives that attract residents and visitors to the downtown.

"The intention of the grants is to recognize the value annual events have in building vitality in the downtown and enhancing Nanaimo's profile as a destination of choice.

Guidelines, criteria and application forms can be found online at www.nanaimo.ca/culture-environment/grants, attached to this news release, in person at the Service & Resource Centre (411 Dunsmuir Street) or by contacting Community and Cultural Planning directly. 

The deadline for application submission is Monday, Oct. 22,at 4 pm.

 

Women's Shelter campaign gets a boost with concert

0-910 - The  plight of a Nanaimo women's shelter is inspiring the community to lend a hand.

The Samaritan House shelter, run by the Island Crisis Care Society, is trying to raise $2 million to double their capacity and add more programs for women in need. Every night, shelter staff have to turn women away and they say more and more senior women are coming to their door.

The story of the shelter struck a chord with VIU professor Anna Atkinson, who held a benefit concert for the expansion at the Cedar United Church on Sunday, Sept. 9.

SEE MORE

Rock slide closes Malahat Highway in both directions

0910 - The Malahat Highway is closed in both directions at the summit due to a rock slide this morning.

Geotechnical engineers are on scene, assessing the environmental impact.

The next update was scheduled for noon today.

Missing teenager Brianna Fisher found safe

Brianna Fisher

0912 - Nanaimo RCMP say a 17-year-old girl who hadn’t been seen since before the weekend has now been found “safe and sound.”

0910 - Nanaimo RCMP seeks public assistance in locating 17-year-old Brianna Fisher, who was last seen at approximately 10 a.m. Friday Sept. 7. After leaving her residence in south Nanaimo, Brianna has had no contact with family and friends which has them extremely concerned for her well-being.

Brianna is a First Nations female. She is 5 ft. 9 120 pounds with long dark hair, brown eyes and was last seen wearing a blue hoodie and blue jeans. If you know her whereabouts, call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.

If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com and quote file # 2018-32893.

Police looking for stolen back pack and gear

0910 - Nanaimo RCMP file # 2018-32049 - Two back packers had their pack and gear stolen at about 1 p.m. Sept. 2, while visiting the Board Game House, at 411 Fitzwilliam St. 

The pack contained all of their supplies which included French passports, tent, cooking set, bear spray and their Canadian VISAs. Investigators are following up on reports an unknown male may have been seen the next day on Wesley St with the pack.

If you have any information, call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 and quote the file number at the top.

Downtown highrise nears final approval

0908 - A proposed condominium highrise in downtown Nanaimo has cleared another hurdle.

City council voted unanimously Thursday following a public hearing to approve the third reading for a proposed 24-storey mixed-use building at 65 and 77 Chapel St.

Dubbed Marcielo, the proposed highrise would be built on a 4,364-square-metre property in the city’s downtown core. It would feature 109 condo units, five townhouse units, ground-floor commercial units, office space, 167 underground parking stalls, a public plaza and a two-floor athletic club.

MORE

General election nomination documents filed

0910 - The City website lists the following nominations which have been received. The deadline is 4 p.m. Sept. 14.

Mayor

Hubbard, Don

Jordan, Eike Michaela

Krog, Leonard          

Councillor

Armstrong, Sheryl Dawn

Brunie, Brunie

Gouda, Pele

Hemmens, Erin

Kent, Peter

Kornberger, Rae

Olsen, Darcy

Osborn, Ken

Ribicic, Michael 

Simpson, David

Smith, Norm

Thorpe, Ian

Turley, Jim

Zboyovsky, Ashley Briana

Crime Stoppers needs help finding stolen chainsaw

Nanaimo file # 2018-31957 On Saturday, September 1, between 9:30 pm and 5 am, a Stihl chainsaw was stolen from an unlocked backyard shed, in the 1400 block Frontier Place. 

The model number of the chainsaw is 028WB and serial is # 6040240. Backyard sheds should always be locked and expensive tools marked and photographed.

If you have any information, call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 and quote the file number at the top.

Movie shoot creates detour on Hwy 19 near Bowser

0907 - A detour will be in place along Highway 19, near Bowser, from Sept. 10 to 14, to accommodate a movie production.

Drivers are encouraged to use Highway 19A (Old Island Highway) between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. during the week of filming.

Filming is expected to last a week but is weather dependent and could also take place on Sept. 15 and 16.

Charges dismissed against Nanaimo Mountie

0906 - A Nanaimo Mountie's charge of dangerous driving causing bodily harm has been tossed for lack of evidence.

Cst. David Buchanan was charged after an incident in Duncan on Feb. 20, 2016. The charge was forwarded to the Crown by the Independent Investigations Office after examining dashcam footage from Cst. Buchanan's vehicle as he apprehended Bryce McKay in Duncan following a brief chase.

Justice Justine Saunders dismissed the case at preliminary hearing on Aug. 22 at Provincial Court in Nanaimo. Justice Saunders said there wasn't enough evidence in either dashcam footage or testimony from McKay to support a trial.

LINK

City to remove significant arbutus tree on Millstone Avenue

0906 - The City of Nanaimo will remove a significant Arbutus tree on Millstone Avenue this month.

A Level 2 (Basic) and Level 3 (Advanced) risk assessment of the tree was conducted. The examination found extensive and spreading structural decay throughout the trunk and lower stem as well as a rapidly declining canopy. The initial assessment was performed in January and a follow-up inspection in June determined that die back in the canopy had increased by 5-10 per cent over the period. 

The removal is likely to take place in early September and the wood is to be salvaged by the Mid-Island Woodworkers Guild, a non-profit organization which provides wood and support to its members and donates a portion of the wood to local high schools. 

The City will  explore the best options for replanting new legacy trees in the area and may be seeking public input in the process.

Man rescued after falling down embankment

0905 - A man who fell down a steep embankment in the backyard of a north Nanaimo home was lucky to escape more serious injury.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue deputy chief Martin Drakely said the man was working on a 200-foot staircase behind a Bayshore Drive home late Wednesday afternoon when he lost his footing and fell about 60 feet and suffered a badly broken leg.

“There's a small two-foot-by-three-foot landing and he landed on it,” said Drakely. “Otherwise it's another 150 feet down to the beach.”

Nanaimo News NOW

Landmark Howard Johnson Hotel shutting down Oct. 31

0905 - The Howard Johnson Harbourside Hotel, one of downtown Nanaimo's most well-known landmarks will soon become a thing of the past.

Hotel operations manager Erik Brook said the hotel will close its doors and cease operations as a hotel effective Oct. 31.

The statement said plans for the hotel and property are not yet known and other businesses operating in the adjoining buildings will remain in operation following the hotel's closure.

MORE

City Culture and Heritage Grants applications now open

0905 - The City is now accepting applications from community non-profit cultural organizations seeking financial assistance to support their 2019 operations, projects, or events.  Funds are available under two grants:

- Culture and heritage operating grants,

- Culture and heritabe project grants.

Guidelines, criteria and application forms are available online at www.nanaimo.ca/culture-environment/grants, attached to this news release, in person at the Service & Resource Centre (411 Dunsmuir Street), or by contacting Community and Cultural Planning directly.  The deadline for application submission is 4 p.m. Monday, October 15.

Motorcyclist injured in Brechin crash with minivan

0904 5 - A motorcyclist was injured in a crash in the Brechin neighbourhood on Monday.

A motorcycle and a minivan were involved in the collision, which happened just before 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of Brierley Hill and Maple Street.

MORE

City responds to architech firm's events centre lawsuit

The City has responded to a lawsuit filed by Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects, claiming the firm tried to discourage the municipality from a public procurement process for multiplex work.

The response to a civil claim filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia last month, the City claims that not only did BBB Architects try to discourage the municipality from undertaking a public procurement process in 2016 for Phase 3 work on the proposed event centre, but that the firm didn’t listen and conducted design work without authorization.

Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects’ civil claim accuses the city of failing to pay more than $154,179 for Phase 3 work between January and February 2017. That claim alleged the city failed to notify the architects about the public procurement process for Phase 3 and accused Tracy Samra, the city’s former chief administrative officer, along with Victor Mema, the city’s former chief financial officer, Coun. Bill Bestwick and other staffers of assuring BBB that it would be selected as the successful contractor for the project.

MORE

Three injured in downtown late night brawl

The Nanaimo RCMP is investigating a late night brawl in downtown Nanaimo which involved upwards of 15 people. Three adults were injured from the melee and the suspects, who fled before police arrived, have not been identified.

The incident took place at approximately 2:45 AM on Sunday September 2, in the 100 block of Commercial St. The three injured adults were treated at scene by attending BC Paramedics and declined further medical treatment.

When RCMP arrived on scene, a 25-year-old male was found lying on the sidewalk after apparently being assaulted. Officers also determined a 20-year-old male and female had also been assaulted. Police spoke with a number of bystanders who indicated the assaults appeared to have been unprovoked. The suspects were identified as an adult male and female, who may have been associated with an out of province lacrosse team, that was in Nanaimo for the week competing at the Senior B Lacrosse championships.

It is early on in the investigation and at this time, investigators are contacting witnesses to provide statements and canvassing local businesses for any security camera footage. They are also hoping witnesses may have taken iphone video of the incident, said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

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

September is Big Brothers Big Sisters month

0903 - Big Brothers Big Sisters will kick off Big Brothers Big Sisters Month at city hall on Friday, Sept. 7, at 2:30 p.m.The public and supporters are invited to the proclamation, but the organization could use more than just symbolic support.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Month is celebrated in communities across Canada because of the role the organization and its volunteers play in helping children get a strong start in life.

“Mentoring is what we do,” said Jennifer Kemp, Big Brothers Big Sisters Central Vancouver Island executive director. “We’ve been doing it for over 100 years in Canada, over 45 years in the central Vancouver Island area, bringing positive adult role models together with children.”
 

18-months in jail for child pornography

0903 - A man arrested in a police investigation has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and has received an 18-month prison sentence.

Graham James Lackey, 51, was sentenced at provincial court in Nanaimo on Thursday.

While Lackey received an 18-month jail sentence, he got credit for time served, and will serve 444 days. Once released, he will be placed on two years’ probation and among conditions placed on him, he will be barred for life from attending public places – parks, pools, playgrounds, school grounds, community centres – where people under 16 years of age attend. He is also forbidden from being alone with anyone under the age of 16.

MORE

Second candidate pulls out of election race

Peter Richmond

0902 - A second candidate has withdrawn from the October 20 civic election for city council. Peter Richmond announced on social media today that he was stepping down.

He is the second candidate to pull out of the election. Sacia Burton shelved her campaign about two weeks ago.

See the full list of candidates in our Election Section

Gas thieves targeting non-profit organizations

0902 - Nanaimo non-profit organizations are feeling the brunt of thieves stealing gas of their vehicles. Clay Tree Society and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island said they've tried numerous methods of deterring thieves to sometimes little avail.

Clay Tree Society executive director Glenys Patmore told NanaimoNewsNOW their site in the 800 block of Old Victoria Rd. saw an increase in thefts starting two months ago. Since then, she estimated replacing the fuel and fixing damaged vehicles has cost the organization roughly $2,000.

MORE

Labour Council will endorse some candidates

0902 - The Nanaimo Duncan and District Labour Council will endorse municipal and school trustee candidates it thinks aligns with its values.

People who seek the backing of the council, which represents 13,000 unionized workers in the area, must fill out a questionnaire and have an interview, according to Ellen Oxman, council president. From that, the council can get a feel for the candidate’s priorities and how they will handle the job. Oxman said public education, public services, concerns for social housing, minimum wage and living wage are among values it promotes.

MORE

Man injured in tent encampment explosion

0902 - Nanaimo Fire Rescue and RCMP are investigating after a man was reportedly injured in an explosion and fire at Discontent City.

The incident happened early Friday morning, Aug. 31, and Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire prevention officers and police are following up with an investigation today.

MORE