NEXT ADVANCE POLL OCT. 12
8 a.m to 8 p.m. Beban Park Social Centre
If you want to avaoid the election day crush, go the to advance poll next Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Being on 'the list' can be a good thing - for both sides

Oct. 6, 2022

Endorsements have been standard fare in municipal elections as long as I can remember. They mostly come from special interest groups, particularly organized labour.

In the past, candidates clambered all over themselves to get on “the list” passed around by a particular group. That could be particularly true in the school board election where it is almost accepted that candidates having support of CUPE and the Teachers Union are virtually automatic winners.

Those endorsements serve a useful purpose, particularly with such large fields of candidates, many of whom are far from a known quality and not ready to serve on city council or the school board. It also gives us the comfort that the endorsing organization must have considerable knowledge about the candidate in order to endorse him/her.

It also serves a double purpose. If a voter does not support the endorsing organization, just the names of the candidates supported is a signal whom not to vote for.

Climate Vote Nanaimo’s web site endorses candidates focusing on the climate issues – bike lanes, electric vehicles, charging stations, higher taxes and on and on. It helps voters identify who stands for what on at least one topic. Take a peek, it’s FREE

Also, the News Bulletin did an excellent job with it special election section with a prefab question-and-answer section. Not details but an insight into what the candidates have on their minds.

If you want to know just a little bit more, school trustee candidates will have a chance to make their views known tonight at an all-candidates’ town hall meeting. The Nanaimo District Teachers’ Association is staging the event at Beban Park Social Centre from 7-9 p.m. MORE.

Don Bonner                                                                                         Viraat BK Thammanna

Look it up yourself. Readers are contacting The Daily Buzz about the voting records of councillors on specific issues. It turns out to be quite easy. Sheila Gurrie, Director of Legislative Services also serves as the chief elections officer showed how easy it is to do it for yourself HERE

Elder statesman. An interesting observation, the majority of school trustee candidates are close to half of the age of Bill Robinson who is seeking another term. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Fifty four doctors have signed contracts with the province to provide full-time family doctor service after the Ministry of Health offered a signing bonus and other incentives. The package included a $25,000 signing bonus as well as medical training debt forgiveness up to $130,000 to new family doctors who agreed to work in B.C. for five years. First-year salaries for the new physicians will be $295,457, with a one-time payment of $75,000 to help with overhead costs for clinics. Sixty more doctors are in talks about finding clinic placements and contract terms. MORE

The scenario for the next provincial election may already have been set in stone. The debate over catch-and-release of prolific offenders is bubbling along. Premier John Horgan says the government’s crime-fighting agenda involves more than increasing arrests. Attorney General Murray Rankin told the legislature more arrests of prolific offenders to curb crime would be futile. That sparked Opposition Leader Kevin Falcon to call on the government drop a “catch-and-release” approach to repeat violent offenders, saying people in B.C. are living in fear in their own communities. Stay tuned, the topic is not going away. MORE

Anything to avoid airport lineups. Travellers from Vancouver to the U.S. can skip the long lineups through security. The YVR Express service lets travellers book an appointment online for their security screening up to 72 hours before their flight, allowing them to skip to the front of the line when they arrive. YVR Express service will be available for U.S. bound flights only – at least for now. MORE

Premier John Horgan is jetting to San Francisco to meet leaders of West Coast states to sign joint action on climate change. The group includes the governors of California, Oregon and Washington. Horgan says B.C. and the states face similar climate-related issues, including wildfires, weather events and wild salmon declines, and the jurisdictions are looking for ways to work together. MORE

A heads up about buying a used car from a private seller. A Mission woman sued after a car she bought from a private seller essentially blew up on her way home. The seller told her the car burned a little oil and said the vehicle “runs and drives great.” A B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal judge ruled there was no misrepresentation, the seller did not mislead her. Worth reading.

Sheryl Armstrong                                                                                    Leonard Krog's platform

Time to get to the bottom of our health care mess

Oct. 5, 2022

How much worse can our health care system get? Canada used to be the envy of the world for the way we look after the sick and infirmed. Now we’re seeing horror stories virtually every day about how the system is failing.

This past weekend an injured hockey player remained stablilized on the ice for 50 minutes because there was no ambulance available.

The ambulance service has been an irritant for quite some time. The partial duplication of services with fire rescue departments providing many first responder services has been a bug-bear of mine. Surely there’s a way of overcoming jurisdictional obstacles and creating a functioning single highly-efficient service out of the two.

Our satellite lab near the hospital for blood tests used to be a quick and convenient walk-in with there seldom being lengthy waits. Earlier this week, drop-ins without an appointment were told the wait would be two and a half to three hours, if they were lucky. They were advised by staff to make online or phone reservations, complete with online reservation and check-in information. Simple, yes? Well the first available appointment was more than two weeks down the road.

These are just more hurdles to go along with the family doctor shortage, nursing shortage and the cluttered hallways in our hospital.

Health Minister Adrian Dix is running around with bandaids, trying to stem the bleeding, but he’s not getting ahead of the game. It’s past time for our government to initiate a commission of inquiry to get the over all picture for long-term solutions. It’s not only about where we are, but where we’re headed.

Ian Thorpe                                                                                         Zeni Maartman

Ferries is adding 85 extra sailings for the Thanksgiving long weekend to ensure smooth sailing. More than 420,000 passengers and 160,000 vehicles are expected to travel across the system from Thursday through Tuesday. Ferries is adding 12 extra sailings on the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route between Thursday and Tuesday. MORE

Don’t rush out to water the lawn just yet, the City has extended watering restrictions until the end of October. The warm weather and lack of rain have extended Provincial Drought Level 4 conditions in Central Vancouver Island. The City has sufficient water supply to serve community needs and maintain environmental flow releases, such as the pulse release for returning Chinook salmon. To view the current water restriction stage and find information on water conservation go to www.teamwatersmart.ca

Talk about dropping in. A semi-trailer heading north on the Island Highway in Nanoose ran off the road Monday, smashing through a house and trapping the driver in the rig. The residents thankfully were not at home at the time. Firefighters worked for about three hours to free the driver because of the amount of debris around the cab. MORE

The B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission preliminary report recommends re-drawing and renaming electoral divisions through Nanaimo. The three ridings on the mid-Island would be renamed Nanaimo, Nanaimo-Ladysmith and Nanaimo-Oceanside, and juggling many of the boundaries through the city. DETAILS

B.C. Liberal leader Kevin Falcon says the government has the power to direct Crown prosecutors to detain more people accused of violent crimes. But Attorney General Murray Rankin isn’t interested. He says he has no intention of arresting more people to crack down on crime. Rankin says the government is instead considering a range of options to keep people safe. The government has said it would implement some recommendations in a report that concluded repeat offenders and random crime are causing incredible distress in communities. MORE

Janice Perrino                                                                                    Frank Pluta

Business seeks help in battling drug infestation

Oct. 4, 2022

A Nanaimo business owner has issued a cry for help from the city over the ongoing crime crisis. It appears the letter is now in the wheels of motion at city hall. It had been sent to city council and then been made available to some members of the public. A reader shared a copy of a letter which detailed problems with a property on Nicol Street, described as a drug user site. The business lists innumerable problems since Nanaimo Area Network of Drug Users NANDU arrived earlier this year.

The business says the situation is getting worse and affecting business, staff and community, and the surrounding neighborhood is also upset. 

Problems outlined in the letter include use of their parking lot as a toilet, camping on their property both days and overnight, loitering; doing drugs in the parking lot out in the open or in their cars, and approaching customers for money, and setting fires behind their building. There’s also littering and drug paraphernalia – needles, pipes. They enter the business to use the facilities an are often passed out on the bathroom floor. That’s a taste of the problems.

I forwarded the letter to all council members and senior staff on Sunday for a reply but only one had responded, citing in-camera regulations. That’s a legitimate response, but the wheels are in motion.Whom to vote for. An organization labelling itself Climate Vote Nanaimo has produced a web site endorsing candidates throughout the mid-Island in the municipal election. The site says “if you are concerned about the climate crisis, voting for climate champions is one of the most important actions you can take to help. We are an experienced group of local climate activists sharing our opinion of which candidates are true climate champions.” It’s helpful in that it lets voters identify who is who and what is what on at least one topic, or which candidates to give the yes or no. Take a peek, it’s FREE

David Wang is a candidate for city council and he wants to debate fellow candidates. So he’s  set up a debate or question and answer session – or maybe even two, including school trustees, Oct. 11, 6 to 9 p.m. 324 Terminal Ave. (Freedom Mural Building). There’s room for 100 guests. He has invited the candidates via social media and if there aren’t enough candidates for a debate they’ll have a question and answer session. Check in with David if you need further information. Davidforcouncil@outlook.com

If you just can’t wait to vote, you can get a head start on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Beban Park Social Centre at 2300 Bowen Road.

Police need your help in identifying a suspect in a June 27 Jewelry theft. He was said to have stolen a  gold necklace valued at approximately $5,500 from People’s Jewellers, in  Woodgrove Centre. Video surveillance has recently been obtained of the suspect and the vehicle that he is associated to. SEE PHOTOS.

More support for ex-inmates. The province is boosting support for inmates leaving correctional centres. Community Transition Teams are being expanded to provide more mental-health and substance-use support when released from provincial correctional centres, including Nanaimo Correctional Centre. The expansion will double team numbers to ten, increase the size and capacity by adding new healthcare and support workers and increasing the length of time people can get services to 90 days from 30. Mental Health and Addictions Minister Sheila Malcolmson said support for people just released from correctional centres is key for a safe transition back into society. MORE

That warm all over feeling. High temperature records are falling as we head into the end of summer. Alyssa Charbonneau of Environment Canada said a new record of 25.9 was registered on Sunday, beating out the old mark of 25.6 from 1952. It hit 25.1 degrees Monday at Nanaimo Airport, half a degree more than the 1993 standard. She says there’s a lot more where that came from with short-term expectations of a lot more sun and daytime temperatures consistently above 20 degrees mark through at least this weekend. MORE

Good Sunday morning. Traffic redesign is humming on The Buzz this morning. Surprise, it’s over the Front Street bike lanes and Metral Drive redevelopments. The general feeling is you don’t have to be a traffic engineer to recognize that you can’t take multiple lanes of traffic and squish them into singles in intersections, especially in commercial traffic corridors and intersections that require turns onto other streets.

I’m somewhat surprised at the number of readers who want to know the names of counsellors who voted to approve the Front Street and Metral Drive rejuvenation “so I know whom not to vote for.”

Those readers who have sent notes say they consider portions of both road projects dangerous. That would be a good one to ask councillors at any remaining all-candidate functions. Or better still, send each of them an e-mail with the questions. Your can reach all councillors HERE – mayor.council@nanaimo.ca

That’s the bone to chew on for today. Tell me your thoughts on this at BUZZ BACK.

BUSINESS IS HUMMING. Proof of that is the enthusiasm at the Vancouver Island business trade show last week. The event went into hiatus after 2019 due to the pandemic. This year it had an accompanying Prosperity Forum that looked at multiple sectors in Nanaimo and their approach to putting the pandemic behind us. The fact that the ballroom and lobbies were sold out tells a lot. Hats off to the Chamber of Commerce for the big comeback. 

With business getting back on track, now would be a good time to mingle with decision-makers at the State of the Island' Economic Summit. This year they’re enhancing connection by providing two hours for meeting new leaders, contributing toward planning, exploring opportunities, and investigating funding sources. There’s a slew of networking and collaboration sessions on October 26. Get more info at Vancouver Island Economic Alliance.

If you glance up at the gas price signs as you whiz by in your gas guzzler, you'll notice prices in Nanaimo shot up to $2.249 with one lone holdout at $2.099

Will snake oil peddlers ever go away? I suppose as long as there are people pushing vaccinations there will continue to be people promoting unfounded dangerous cures for COVID-19. A Kelowna case has prompted a warning about the dangers of the unauthorized use of the drug Ivermectin. A flyer invites people to contact the seller by e-mail with a promo code and get a confidential reply with the wholesale process. Commonly described as a horse de-wormer, Ivermectin is also approved for treatment of parasitic worm infections in humans. MORE