GOOD MORNING NANAIMO –
Some stories never end. B.C.’s information and privacy commissioner won’t block and limit freedom of information requests from former City CAO Tracy Samra. The commissioner dismissed the city’s request to disregard several outstanding
Freedom of Information requests. The adjudicator stated Samra made multi-part FOI requests in May, June, August and September last year, mostly related to a forensic audit report prepared by KPMG. The city submitted that “the outstanding requests
are frivolous or vexatious” because the city has reason to believe Samra already has some of the requested records.
RESURFACES – Controversial former Nanaimo city chief administrative officer Tracy Samra has been hired by the Trudeau government to one of the most senior federal public service positions in British Columbia. Now going by the name Tracy
Fleck, she is the senior executive director of Indigenous Partnership Office West with the Department of Natural Resources. She will oversee Indigenous relations for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project at an annual salary ranging from $145,000
to $165,000 a year. The job requires a consensus builder to work with Indigenous groups on important issues in the natural resources sector, reads the job posting.
FERRY DECK CONTROVERSY – The BC Ferry and Marine Workers' Union is siding with passengers on
whether they should be allowed to remain in their vehicles on enclosed decks while sailing. Union president Graeme Johnston asked Transport Canada for reconsideration of the regulation which prevents people from being in their vehicles on enclosed car decks.
"We believe developments related to the spread of more infectious variants of (virus) should, at a minimum, initiate a review of the current risk assessments for Canadian passenger vessels, Johnston wrote. Transport Canada previously allowed a temporary exemption
to the car-deck restriction in the early part of the pandemic but that ended
WAS NOT ENOUGH – BC RCMP Winter CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign has wrapped up, but not without some head scratchers. A driver in Ladysmith was stopped by police but drove off when he was asked to pull to the side of the road.
Then the same man drove through the road check a second time a short while later, long enough to hand his licence to the officer before fleeing again. In the second instance, he stopped long enough to hand his licence to the officer before fleeing again. With
his identification, the cops didn’t want to create a dangerous situation and got him a couple of days later at his home.
DEATHS – Island Health confirms that two people have died of Coronavirus since the outbreak at Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in late December. Island Health president and CEO Kathy MacNeil said there have been no new test-positive
cases at Chartwell Malaspina since Jan. 6, and multiple rounds of follow-up testing has taken place.
SHELTER ORDER LIFTED – Snuneymuxw
First Nation has lifted the shelter-in-place order on the reserve as the number of active cases of Coronavirus declines. The decision was made in consultation with Island Health and the First Nations Health Authority. There are six active cases out of the
36 confirmed since Dec. 30.
OF TRAINING – The BC Coroners Service has found a lack of training and safe work procedures led to the death of Aiden Webber of Nanaimo at a Port Hardy fish farm last spring. Webber, 18, was crushed to death by a barge on March 10,
2019. He’d jumped to tie off the barge when its forward momentum led the starboard bow to slide up onto the walkway. Webber was pinned and sustained significant crushing trauma, the BC Coroners Service report said. He died on the way to the nearest
Coast Guard station.
CORONA REPORT – Island Health reported 22 new positive Coronavirus tests in the daily report on Wednesday. There were no additional deaths. A joint statement from the province and public health confirmed 500 new cases, pushing the province
past 62,000 total cases. Active cases rose to 4,345 while the number of people in hospital dropped to 320, including 66 people in intensive care. To date, 1,104 people have lost their lives as a result of COVID-19, including 17 in Island Health.
DON’T TAKE OFF your winter
tires just yet. It could snow this weekend. We’ve had a taste of spring, but all that is about to change as the weather pattern shifts. Snow is forecast for Vancouver Island this weekend, as cooler Arctic air moves in. “This is going to be our first pulse and it will last a week to 10 days where things are colder or are near
normal, which of course they haven’t been,” explains meteorologist Armel Castellan of Environment Canada. Unlike most Arctic outflow situation, this one isn’t very strong and temperatures aren’t expected to dip too far below freezing
later this week. But it will be enough for precipitation to fall as snow or a rain/wet snow mix.