Bacon pleads guilty to lesser murder charge in Chang's death

Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022

Stephen Bacon who was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Makayla Chang has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. Bacon appeared in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo Monday where his lawyer withdrew an earlier not guilty plea to a first degree murder charge before entering a guilty plea to second degree murder. Both charges carry an automatic life sentence, parole eligibility is now at a judge’s discretion of between 10 and 25 years, rather than a minimum of 25 years. MORE

A woman driver was taken to hospital with unknown injuries after a rollover crash at the intersection of the old Island Highway and Departure Bay Road. Emergency crews responded just before 5 p.m. Monday after a pickup truck and a compact car collided and the pickup rolled over. Crews on scene said the woman who had been driving the car was taken to hospital with unknown injuries, while occupants of the truck weren’t hurt. The  northbound lanes and Departure Bay Road’s southbound turn lanes were both closed, and additional traffic coming off the ferry added to congestion in the area. MORE

As if BC Ferries didn’t have a dark cloud hovering overhead, technical difficulties created long backed-ups on Sunday. An advisory at 12:45 p.m. saud the reservation system was down leaving travellers unable to book or change bookings. Monday morning sailing waits started piling up leaving Tsawwassen bound for Duke Point. Despite hourly sailings between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay, those Island-bound travellers had four-sailing waits. Congestion the other way also started around noon with travellers facing a two sailing wait. MORE

A man was stabbed multiple times in downtown on Sunday at the bus exchange on Front Street near Port Place Shopping Centre. Const. Gary O’Brien said a 27-year-old man was in serious condition with several stab wounds to the head. The victim was taken to hospital where he was listed in stable condition. A 51-year-old female suspect was arrested without incident a short distance from the scene for aggravated assault. MORE

RCMP have released the name of the man whose body was found after a house fire last Thursday in Harewood. The death is being treated as a homicide. Police said the victim was 40-year-old Trevor Stross. Const. Gary O’Brien said the man’s name was released to further the investigation. MORE

Finding a job in Nanaimo could be a lot easier than you might imagine. Black Press and B.C. Corrections are presenting the Nanaimo Career and Post-Secondary Education event at Country Club Centre on Thursday, Aug. 25. A Government of Canada labour market bulletin at the start of summer noted that B.C. is experiencing an acute labour shortage in many key sectors. MORE

Smith running for city council seat in Oct. 15 election

Norm Smith

Norm Smith is making a second try for city council on Oct. 15. The former RCMP member stressed community engagement and access to council members. 

One of the main planks in his platform is the housing; to resolve issues around mental health, drug addicted, and homelessness. 

Smith says he will also focus on public safety and social disorder; Our streets and city are not safe anymore and we need to find solutions to get our city back. 

Economic Development is also on his radar; Our city is growing very fast and we need to bring business and industry into our city to match our growth, but new projects must be for our interests, not the builder’s.  

He has created a Facebook page –  ELECT Norm Smith 2022 – where you can follow his campaign,make comments and ask questions

Couple taking a 135-km hike with four-year-old

Monday, Aug. 15, 2022

Good morning Nanaimo. We all love challenges, but Ian Holmes of Island Radio is taking on more than most of us would even consider. He and his spouse are going on a week-long hike of Hadrian’s Wall in northern England – with their four-year-old daughter. The 135 km trek connects Carlisle near the country’s west coast to Newcastle to Britain’s eastern shore. Ian is posting a three-part series on the family adventure on NanaimoNewsNOW.

Politics to the Max. Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada, dropped in on Nanaimo on the weekend to speak to supporters about what’s next for the party. The party didn’t win a seat in the last federal election, but tripled its share of the popular vote. Bernier said many of the concerns he heard were in line with what he’s been hearing nationwide. While people still talk about COVID-19, many PPC voters are also worried about the economy and inflation. MORE

Justin Jinil Stevens, 28, was sentenced in a Nanaimo court for an Ontario case last week. He was sentenced to four years in prison for the death of a man who was hit at high speed in 2020 near Cambridge, Ont. Stevens was born in Nanaimo and moved from Ontario following the accident. He was estimated to hae been driving more than 160 km an hour in an 80 km zone when he lost control of his BMW on a curve. MORE

We're in for a real estate market correction

I have always been told that buying land and a home is a guaranteed investment that can only increase in value. For the most part, that has proven true. However, it is now apparent that there is an upper limit and that market-driven increases in value are unsustainable. Overpriced housing is due for a correction. FULL COMMENTARY

Proposal for ferry task force gets the cold shoulder

Sunday, Aug 14, 2022

Ferry service to and from Nanaimo is an unreliable pain in the neck –  a disproportionate number of cancellations are on the Departure Bay route. Cancellations due to staff shortages have become more common, with four sailings cancelled Thursday, and two more Friday. The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce proposes a task force to consult with B.C. Ferries. Chamber CEO Kim Smythe: “We have no push-back when we get the predominant cancellations in this community.” He says it’s illogical to think that cancellations, or crew shortages, are coming from Nanaimo. Ferries is  pouring cold water on the idea. VP Deborah Marshall said 13 ferry advisory committees serve ferry-dependent communities along the coast, with none for higher population centres and there are no plans for more. MORE

The fair is coming and you can be part of it. The Vancouver Island Exhibition is looking for volunteers with a volunteer sign up coming Saturday, Aug. 20 at Beban Park from 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.. The fair depends on more than 250 volunteers for the Family Fun Zone, home arts, information booth, set up and cleaning, volunteer check-in, entrance gates, security, administration, parking, main stage and more. Check it out on Saturday. The 128th annual fair is Aug. 26-28. MORE 

There are fund raisers and then there are fund raisers. What's all important is getting attention. Sonya Bardati of Parksville hit the road on rollerblades  Tuesday to raise money for animals in need. Oh, did I mention she's 80- yeas old? She started from Port Hardy and is blading to Parksville. MORE 

Remember the Good Old Days when you could actually have an opinion without offending someone?

Island Health reviewing man's death in emergency room

Island Health is conducting a review after a man died while waiting in the emergency department. An unnamed health-care workers told CTV News that the death could have been prevented. He/she said the man was forced to wait in the emergency room for three hours before he died. The health authority says the man waited in a "monitored area" of the emergency room for less than two hours and that he was attended to during that time. Dr. Ben Williams, chief medical executive and vice president of medicine and quality for Island Health, said the man received an early triage assessment, treatment and testing but his health declined very rapidly. MORE

Snuneymuxw Chief Mike Wyse has had successful surgery and is now convalescing. A notice from the Suneymuxw said “after a successful surgery, Chief Wyse begins his healing journey. The Chief and his family extend a heartfelt thank you for all the prayers and well wishes they received. While their primary focus remains on recovery, they would kindly appreciate privacy.”

How much longer are we going to have to endure the transportation nightmares that have been thrust upon us? It’s risky making connections on the Mainland with the unreliability of the ferry system when it comes to connecting with flight schedules at Vancouver Airport. Flights are also off kilter, either late or cancelled, and check-ins have been disrupted, giving us a double whammy.

The Nanaimo Fringe Festival got under way yesterday on somewhat of a sour note. Thieves broke into a locked shipping container on Gallery Row and stole $7,000 worth of sound and lighting equipment. Organizers have started a GoFundMe page to raise money to help cover the costs of the lost equipment.  To help out, go to GO FUND ME.

Mount Benson Regional Park and Westwood Lake Park have become one, a marriage offering permanent access to the recreational corridor that goes “from lake shore to mountain top.” The City and the Regional District will expand two parks after purchasing 100 hectares of land from Mosaic Forest Management. The land consists of second-growth forest, with the RDN purchasing two blocks for close to $3 million, while the city bought one smaller block for $1.25 million. The price was based on timber and land market values and independent land appraisal. 

It's fair time in Coombs today and Sunday, 9-5. Music, performers, livestock, vendors, food trucks, horticulture exhibits and several other attractions take over the Coombs Fairgrounds and Event Centre on Ford Road.

Don't forget to place unwanted items at the curb this morning for the Reuse Rendezvous. Have fun scoring some awesome reusable finds.

The funny thing about getting older, your eyesight may weaken but you can see through people much better.

RCMP investigating suspicious death in south end house fire

Aug 12, 2022

Good morning Nanaimo. The Nanaimo RCMP Serious Crime Section is investigating a fatal fire in a south end home home on Athletic Street Thursday afternoon. Nanaimo fire crews were first on scene after black smoke was reported billowing from windows in the home of the house. Crews managed to contain the fire to the home within forty minutes. Fire crews then discovered a deceased man. MORE

For the second day in a row, the Queen of Alberni's sailings for Friday morning, between Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay, have been cancelled due to a crew shortage.
Cancelled Sailings:
7:40 am departing Departure Bay
10:00 am departing Horseshoe Bay 

The Parks, Recreation and Culture department has all its recreation programs and activities for the fall season. This includes swimming and skating lessons and courses in art, music, cooking, dance, language, fitness, yoga, first aid and more. In addition, there will be information on community events, including "Welcome Back" skating sessions, National Truth and Reconciliation Day and other seasonal favourites like Rivers Day and Winter Wonderland. Registration begins next Wednesday, August 17. MORE

Great news for fisherguys and fishergals. The Sockeye salmon return in the Somass River came in more than double the pre-season forecast of around 400,000. The good news is it’s been revised to 950,000 as of July 28. It's happening coast-wide – from Bristol Bay to the Fraser River, says Tseshaht First Nation Fisheries Manager Dave Rolston. Uu-a-thluk Deputy Program Manager Jim Lane said the bulk of the returning fish are four years old, meaning that ocean conditions were favourable for their growth and survival when they entered the ocean as juveniles in 2020. MORE

A huge tract of land – 2,276 hectares – will be transfered to the Wei Wai Kum First Nation in the Campbell River area under an incremental treaty agreement with the B.C. government. The land can be used for forestry and economic purposes, and for environmental and cultural activities. MORE Meanwhile, the federal government has announced $8.3 million for Ahousaht  for a new Big House. The project will be funded through the federal government’s Cultural Spaces in Indigenous Communities program. MORE

Meanwhile, the federal government has announced $8.3 million for Ahousaht for a new Big House. The project will be funded through the federal government’s Cultural Spaces in Indigenous Communities program. MORE

COVID is still with us, but fading slowly. For the first time since early July, there are fewer than 400 people in B.C. hospitals with the virus, the lowest total the BCDC has recorded since July 7, but it's also a fairly small drop from what the hospital population has been for the last four weeks. The number of coronavirus patients in critical care dropped to 22 this week from 38 last Thursday. MORE

Never worry about people talking behind your back, it proves you are ahead of them.

Federal employees got big pay bump during Pandemic

One has to wonder why no breath of these facts is reported by our mainstream media. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is a well-known and respected organization. Its press releases are available to all news outlets, yet they are studiously ignored by the mainstream media. The headline could have as easily read: “Senor civil service member ethics and integrity bought off.” The adage “don’t bite the hand that feeds you” is at play here. FULL COMMENT

Get set for Nanaimo's super swap meet this weekend

Hey Gertude, it’s time to push clutter to the curb. The city’s gigantic Reuse Rendezvous super swap meet is this weekend, Saturday and Sunday. You can put unwanted toys, sporting goods, furniture, books, bikes and other items out for others to take. Mark items with tags labelled ‘FREE’ but don’t block sidewalks and bike lanes. If nobody wants what you don’t want, it must be removed from the curb by Monday. Mayor Leonard Krog says the event is a great opportunity to declutter – or reclutter – and have fun seeking out treasures across our community. MORE

Two kayakers avoided serious injury after being struck by a log dropped from a cliff above them last Saturday, off Jesse Island, at the entrance to Departure Bay. The 43-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman, told police a person pushed a large log off a cliff directly above them. It struck the woman in the back, knocking her out of her kayak, also hitting the man. They made it to shore where several witnesses called police. A 37-year-old man was arrested. MORE

Nanaimo chiropractor Dr. Ferenc Stefani is one tough dude. He recently competed in the 125-km Canadian Death Race in Grand Cache, Alta. It’s the most famous one in the country, every summer for 22 years. It’s 125 kilometres of rough distance, three mountain summits, 17,000 vertical feet of elevation change and you have 24 hours to complete it. MORE

Kaleb Toth, the Nanaimo Timbermen all-time great is going into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame. “Niner” as he was known by players and coaches, was honoured before a recent WLA playoff game at Frank Crane Arena. The hard-shooting forward won a Minto Cup, two Mann Cups, three National Lacrosse League championships and a World Indoor Lacrosse Championship during his playing career. He was a face of the senior A Timbermen franchise for most of its modern history. HERE’S MORE

Leaders in Training celebrates its 40th anniversary on August 19. Parks, Recreation and Culture will recognize past and present participants and the history of this youth leadership program. The celebration will acknowledge current participants for their outstanding work throughout the community. The celebration will be at the Beban Park Social Centre, 5:30-9 p.m. They will look back at the 40 years of the program and the impact that it has had on participants and the citizens in the City. MORE

SHINE 2022 is coming to the Conference Centre Saturday, Sept.17. The musical has more than 160 talented local artists  – singers, musicians, dancers, drag artist, circus performers, magicians, comedians volunteering their time and talent. The production recognizes diversity, inclusion, and acceptance while raising funds and awareness. To date, it  has raised more than $4 million for mental health, addiction, and HIV/AIDS. MORE

And finally, if you're looking for something to do this evening, the Commecial Street Night Market is on tonight. Go for it.

The increase in artificial intelligence is matched by the decrease in real intelligence.

Queen of Alberni sailing again by this afternoon

The Queen of Alberni has reinstated the following sailings that were previously cancelled today, as the crew availability issue has been resolved.

12:25 pm departing Departure Bay
2:45 pm departing Horseshoe Bay

 

Healthcare can no longer be entrusted to government

Federal and provincial governments are incapable of fixing healthcare. They have starved our systems for decades and so far refuse to admit they are sitting on a crisis. Governments and about 29,000 healthcare administrators allowed this crisis to develop. These incompetent bureaucrats are focused on managing money, not on providing health care. Healthcare is too important to continue as the political football it has been since 1965. FULL COMMENT.

Brick thrown at pregnant woman, rushed to hospital

Wednesday, Aug. 10

A woman in a mental health crisis threw a brick at a pregnant woman who was rushed to hospital after the assault. It happened at about 3:30 p.m. Monday after the 37-year-old woman became violent, striking out randomly at people on Victoria Crescent. She ran to Museum Way where she threw a brick at the victim. “It was quite clear the individual was in a mental health crisis and was causing a disturbance on the street and at one point picked up a brick and threw it at a mother and her daughter,” said reserve Const. Gary O’Brien. MORE

Congratulations Nanaimo singer Lauren Spencer-Smith for getting a shot on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Monday night. The 18-year-old singer performed her new single Narcissist for a TV audience of 1.5 million people. It was one of the first times she’s appeared on American television since a top-20 finish on American Idol in 2020.MORE 

Alan Charles Chapman of Nanaimo has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of  Emily Caruana at a Brentwood Bay home three years ago. He entered the plea in a Victoria courtroom on Tuesday. He was charged with the murder of Emily as well as aggravated assault of Justin Booth and John Caruana.  He is scheduled back in court Aug. 24 to set a date for his sentencing. MORE 

Thieves broke into Midas Muffler on the Island Highway and stole two vehicles, smashing them through the overhead doors. The shop will remain closed until repairs are done. Franchise owner Kevin Goldsbury said security cameras showed the vehicles smashing through the doors but there were no images of the suspects. Damage was estimated at $40,000. MORE

A vehicle parked on Newcastle Avenue was rifled through July 19-21. Items stolen included a folding camping chair and a pair of shoes. This is a classic crime of opportunity resulting from the vehicle being left unlocked and with items in plain view. Forty-five per cent of all thefts from vehicles are from vehicles left unlocked. If you know of someone who is actively involved in crime or if you have information on any of these crimes, call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

RCMP are seeking the owner of a set of high-end golf clubs that were seized Monday from a golf shop in Nanaimo. Police do not believe that the golf shop is associated to the theft. A unique logo on the side of the golf bag. MORE WITH PHOTOS.

Do you realize that with all the financial wizards in charge, theoretically there’s no excuse for an up-and-down economy – inflation, recession or depression? They should be proactive with their expertise before the fact to maintain a steady keel.

Maartman announces city council re-election bid

Coun Zeni Maartman

Zeni Maartman is the first councillor to formally announce her re-election bid for her second term on city council. She has launched a fund raising page inviting campaign donations HERE for the Oct. 15 election.

A number of other councillors have said they will make up their minds shortly. No newcomers have announced to date but there are numerous names being mentioned. The announcements should be coming thick and fast now that the Elections BC pre-campaign rules are in effect.

 

Those roving cameras will put you on Apple Look Around

Smile, you’re on Apple camera. Teams from Apple Maps will be in our area in the coming weeks as they chart areas using backpack kits and vehicles. Apple crews are travelling in the province over an eight-week period to build up its digital map and its "Look Around" feature. The company provided a map of where pedestrian backpacks will be used in the coming weeks, including locally and around Vancouver Island. MORE

It wasn’t much more than a burp, but a 4.6 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Vancouver Island early Monday. There are no reports of damage or injuries, and no expectation of a tsunami. The epicentre was 142 km southwest of Port Alice and 205 km west of Tofino.  

The City of Nanaimo is looking for a Manager of Human Resources. A long and bureaucratic description says the job combines a generalist human resources role with specialist responsibilities in a defined area. It covers support to departments and employees in a broad range of HR processes and activities. Apply by August 25, learn more HERE 

Providing false identification did not work for 27-year-old Quinten Meyer. Charges have been laid and an arrest warrant issued in connection with a July 30 break and enter and sexual assault in Nanoose Bay. First he was arrested and released and police found he provided a false name. He was then identified and a warrant issued. He is 5 feet, 10 inches, weighs 150 pounds and has blonde hair shaved on both sides, blue eyes and a skull tattoo on his left hand. MORE

Lake Cowichan cops cleaned up as it were over the long weekend, getting 23 impaired drivers off the road along with six excessive speeders. BC Highway Patrol teamed up with RCMP to target high-risk driving offences amid heavier than normal traffic. The minimum fine for excessive speed is $368 and three demerit points plus towing and impound fees, while impaired drivers face immediate driving prohibitions ranging from 24 hours to 90 days and towing and impound fees. MORE

Did somebody miss reading election advertising rules?

Monday, Aug. 8, 2022

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – That was quite the campaign-like full page advertising spread in the News Bulletin extolling the work of city council, at taxpayers’ expense. The pre-campaign period for the 2022 General Local Elections began July 18 and runs until September 16. Election advertising rules are in effect during the pre-campaign period under the auspices of Elections B.C.

The Local Elections Campaign Financing Act defines what is election advertising. During the pre-campaign period, election advertising is any public communication that promotes or opposes, directly or indirectly, the election of a candidate or an elector organization endorsing a candidate.  During the campaign period, the definition of election advertising also includes communications that take a position on an issue associated with a candidate or elector organization. 

It might be a good idea for incumbents and prospective candidates to brush up on the rules. To delve in on the campaign financing and advertising rules, visit Local Elections.  

ARREST MADE – Kym Arkell of Nanaimo has been arrested and charged with arson to a local Tim Hortons franchise on August 2, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of damages to the relatively new building. The fire put several dozen employees out of work for up to six months. MORE 

IT MUST BE SUMMER – road work is slated for this month, continuing into October on the Island Highway through the city. A government news release states the work will improve the road surface and increase the highway’s “climate-change resiliency.” It includes hot-asphalt resurfacing of the slow lanes between Cedar Road and Superior Road It will involve a larger culvert system and improve drainage near Lantzville. Work under the road will begin in mid-August, with night work leading to temporary lane closures Monday to Friday from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. It is projected to be completed by October. MORE

YO-YO GAS PRICES – By now we’ve all noticed the gasoline pricing has gone in our favour as the price hit $1.849 at most stations in Nanaimo this morning. The highest price posted was $1.899. Strange how we cheer when the overly-high prices dip just a few pennies.

AND FINALLY, Crimes of opportunity increase significantly through summer. Thefts from sheds and vehicles are among things police ideal with. Thieves look for an easy way in where they won't easily be detected. You can protect yourself with a few changes like sensor lights, locks on back gates, even small ones act as deterrents. MORE

Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – By now you’ve already endured or enjoyed the hot weather, but as usual, it won’t last. Environment Canada forecasts a continued heat wave today, Monday and Tuesday. But temperatures are expected to level off on Wednesday, with rain showers on the way. MORE

After shooting down one residential development, Lantzville is changing its official community plan to make way for a new version for the Foothills neighbourhood. Council has passed third reading of OCP and zoning bylaw amendments to update the Foothills comprehensive development area plan. The new plan increases the project density to 814 units from 730, changing the footprint of the Foothills. Developer Lone Tree Properties will concentrate all development along the east portion of the property with no further development to the west. MORE

For the second time in recent years, a solar-powered speed reader board and pole have been stolen from its location in Lantzville. The board was taken sometime on July 20 from the intersection of Owen Road and Lantzville Road. Thieves made off with the entire post that held the speed reader. The serial number of the reader is 28041 and the cost to replace it is approximately $5,000. Nanaimo file # 2022-24901 MORE unsolved crimes.

HEADLINES

  • Constitution will not be amended any time soon

    The federal government and the provincial governments of Canada have allowed the Constitution’s separation of powers. outlined in Section 92 of the BNA Act. to be blurred – disfigured.

  • Avoiding Constitution by ministerial regulation

    The federal government plans to fast-track a ban on the import of handguns without Parliamentary approval, using a regulatory measure that comes into effect in two weeks. The government tabled gun control legislation in May but it did not pass.

Saturday, Aug 6, 2022

GOOD MORNING LANTZVILLE – Today is the annual Minetown Day honouring Lantzville’s mining roots. It’s a full-scale event this year after being scaled down for the past two years. It kicked off with a pancake breakfast at the Legion. You can still get down there and enjoy the community party, there are lots of other activities at Huddlestone Park until 3 p.m. MORE

Two more cases of monkeypox have been found in the Vancouver Island region, bringing the total to six. 81 cases have been confirmed across the province and Island Health has administrered 900 doses of the vaccine. VIHA expects another shipment next week and urges anyone who is at risk of infection and has not been able to book a vaccine appointment online to check back for availability. MORE

Our School Board is looking public for input into school priorities in the south end of the district after recently making decisions about north end elementary schools. École North Oyster and Ladysmith Primary School are over capacity and Ladysmith Intermediate School is in need of upgrades. The district will hold public consultation until Aug. 31 for three scenarios as part of its long-range facilities plan. MORE

Staffing shortages and wait times in hospitals across the province are the worst she's ever seen, says Adriane Gear, BC Nurses' Union vice-president, adding nurses who were hired are taking leaves, resigning or choosing to work for private companies. "We've certainly been dealing with short staffing for many years, calling on government for a comprehensive plan to address the nursing shortage but here we are. It's extremely dire." MORE­

POLICE BLOTTER – RCMP are looking for a man who robbed a grocery store in Nanaimo on Thursday. They are also trying to find Kandace Pirart who was last seen in Nanaimo on Monday.  Her disappearance is out of character. And a thief made off with $3,000 in pet food during a break-in. MORE WITH PHOTOS.

Contrary to popular opinion, Canada is a nation of fighters

We are weary of the pap we are fed by governments through the media and need to step back to review Canada and our fellow residents as we really are. We are increasingly annoyed by impatient, irresponsible and intolerant minorities who demand that we reconfigure our nation and society to conform to their concept of society. We are reaching a point of a war between ideology and reality. We are all responsible for our actions, attitudes and behaviour. That is part of the equality of the person. No one gets a free pass. FULL COMMENT.

City orders a complete burning ban

Friday, Aug. 5

The City has instituted a complete burning ban, including cooking fires, effective immediately. That follows a provincial ban on campfires. Some things are still permitted at private residences: Cooking devices fueled by propane, natural gas, naphtha, kerosene, charcoal briquettes or electricity such as barbecues, grills, and smokers. It is important to ensure briquettes are fully extinguished after use. MORE DETAILS. 

It’s going to be a bit challenging to navigate the Island Highway 19 between Nanaimo and Lantzville for the next few months. Construction are installing a larger culvert system and new drainage to protect the highway from extreme weather. Crews will begin working under the road, starting in mid-August resulting in night-time lane closures be 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. weekdays. The project is expected to wrap up in October. MORE

Anyone on Vancouver Island wishing to get the monkeypox vaccine is out of luck for now, no appointments available to get the vaccine. The Nanaimo, Courtenay and Victoria clinics portals are full. Additional appointment times will be added as vaccine supply is received. The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has confirmed six cases in Island Health and a total of 81 in B.C. MORE

Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation has contributed $146,000 for a mobile service with a focus on youth wellness for Nanaimo and Ladysmith. CEO Barney Ellis-Perry says it is an important partnership between local public health services and public schools. It will service schools and public spaces that are safe and easy for kids to access to get information on sexual health, birth control, pregnancy testing, STIs, that’s high on the minds of people of that age.” MORE

Pharmacists want to be able to prescribe medication for minor ailments, especially as the province's doctor shortage continues to impact nearly a million residents. Alberta pharmacists already prescribe certain medications, such as drugs for cold sores or urinary tract infections. A similar system is also coming to Ontario. MORE

RCMP seek public help in finding 33-year-old Kandace Pirart who was last seen in Nanaimo on Monday.  Her disappearance is out of character and based on this, police and her family are concerned for her safety and overall well-being.  If you know Kandace’s whereabouts, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, and quote file # 2022-26521. MORE WITH PHOTO

The Integrated Investigations Office has determined there is evidence for charges to be filed against RCMP. B.C. Prosecution Service will now decide whether to press charges against the RCMP for serious injuries during for a traffic stop in Ladysmith in April 2021. MORE

Horgan throws cold water on E&N light rail dream

Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022

Premier John Horgan got a round of applause when he dashed the hopes of light-rail transit fans in the capital region on Tuesday. Addressing the 400-member massed forces of all the Victoria chambers of commerce, Horgan parked the light-rail dream in short order. “The business case doesn’t seem to be there.” His government is more interested in bus lanes. Watch for plans to extend them much farther than the construction that’s already under way. LES LAYNE REPORTS

Statistics Canada reports Nanaimo’s crime severity and violent crime rate climbed 9.3 per cent from 2020 to 2021. The crime severity index is based on figures reported to Statistics Canada from police forces nationwide. It includes all criminal code violations including traffic and drug violations, and measures changes in the level of severity of crime from year to year. Violent crime impacts a broad range of the policing statistics because severe crimes such as murders, serious assaults and sex-related offences require more resources to investigate, says Supt. Lisa Fletcher, Nanaimo RCMP detachment commanding officer. MORE

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for Caucasian man and woman linked to white van after a north end home was broken into on July 18. The owners had been out for less than one hour and found a window open and numerous items missing, including two spare FOBs for their vehicles, a brown leather Roots purse, a Samsung tablet, two bottles of wine, 12x18 inch dark brown jewelry box, a white gold wedding ring set, a Pandora bracelet with multiple charms, a men’s gold wedding band, a men’s gold ring with JK engraved on face and a set of baby teeth. Cst. Gary O’Brien said: “It’s thousands of dollars, but a lot of these items you can’t even put a dollar value on them because they’re wedding rings and you can’t replace the sentimental value, it’s a real tragedy.”

A campfire ban will come into effect at noon today for Vancouver Island, except Haida Gwaii. The Coastal Fire Centre said all open fires are banned in the Coastal Fire Centre, following the banning of larger category two and three fires in mid-July. Cooking stoves which run on gas, propane or fire bricks, and portable campfire pits running off similar fuels are excluded from the ban.

Police agencies have identified 11 men they say are linked to killings and shootings in the province, warning the public to avoid being near them. "It is highly likely a rival gangster will target them with violence," said CFSEU Asst. Cmdr. Manny Mann, saying the men listed are a risk to their friends and family as well as bystanders. "We want British Columbians to know their faces," he said. Mann pledged to seize their property, including vehicles, to disrupt their illegal activity. SEE FULL LIST

UPDATE - missing 79-year-old man found safe and sound

Roy Olson

RCMP seek public assistance in finding 79-year-old Roy Olson who has not been heard from since July 25. He left Nanaimo driving his white Dodge camper van with BC plate MN7 43L. He told his family he was going to Campbell River, Gold River, and then to Port Hardy. His family said that he normally goes for 4 -5 days and that he has never been gone this long. As a result, they are extremely worried for his safety and well-being. He has no cell phone and is accompanied by his Rhodesian Ridgeback dog. He likes to hike with his dog and avoids crowds and campgrounds. If you have information on the whereabouts of Roy Olson, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, and quote file # 2022-26644.

Thieves steal chainsaw and bicycle from shed

Aug. 3, 2022

Thieves broke into a backyard shed in the 300 block of Kennedy Street overnight on July 16. The lock was pried off and a Stihl FS110 brush weed eater, Gas Stihl chainsaw in an orange caseand a men’s grey Cannondale road bicycle were stolen. The complainant heard some voices around that time but didn’t think anything of it. Tip: Kennedy Street and other streets in the Old City Quarter have back alleys, Thieves use these alleys to access backyards and sheds. Now is a good time to consider reinforcing the lock to the shed, installing sensor lights and placing locks on back gates. This will reduce your chances of being broken into or having items stolen. Additionally, serial numbers on anything of value in sheds and homes should be recorded and pictures taken.
Cst. Gary O'Brien, Media Relations Officer, Nanaimo RCMP

Police investigating fire at Tim Hortons location

Aug. 3, 2022

RCMP are investigating a fire at Tim Hortons location in the 2300-block of Northfield Road around 12:45 this morning. When officers arrived, they found flames at the front of the building. A video of the fire also shows smoke and flames reaching the roof. Firefighters put out the flames before any major damage. The restaurant will be closed for at least six months. MORE 

UPDATE: 48-year-old Robert Allen Estes of Nanaimo has been charged with Attempted Murder in connection with a shooting incident on Monday. The 43-year-old victim remains in hospital. Estes has been remanded into police custody to await his next court appearance, set for Aug 11  in Nanaimo Provincial Court. A team of investigators, lead by Police Dog Services, located the firearm late Tuesday afternoon. The firearm was found in the vicinity of Northfield and Boxwood Road. MORE

Two dogs were rescued from a house fire on Boundary Avenue at Cardinal Way Tuesday morning. Firefighters were called to the home after it went up in flames at around 10:20 a.m. None of the nine residents were at home at the time. MORE

Residents wanting to have a say in local governance can apply to the Board of Variance. The City is recruiting one member for a three-year term. The Board of Variance is an independent body that can grant variances to relax zoning regulations, servicing requirements and tree protection requirements; extend non-conforming uses; and, reconstruct non-conforming buildings. To be appointed to the board you need a basic understanding of building and zoning regulations, as well as familiarity with interpreting architectural plans and documents. Board of Variance members cannot be elected officials, employees of the local government that appoints them or on an advisory planning commission. MORE

The provincial government is luring electric vehicle buyers with higher rebates. The maximum provincial rebate for battery-electric, fuel-cell electric and long-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicles climbs to $4,000 from $3,000. The maximum rebate for lower-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicles increases to $2,000 from the previous high of $1,500. Eligibility is based on income. If you make up to $80,000, or up to $125,000 for a household, you are eligible for the maximum rebate. As income climbs, the rebate decreases. More than 90 per cent of B.C. residents are eligible for a rebate and can save as much as $9,000 when combined with federal incentives. MORE

The Nanaimo real estate sales nosedived in July to the lowest total in ten years. But so far, prices remain high for single-family homes compared to 2021. Realtor Scott Lissa reports many buyers are waiting for the bottom of the market. Typically the market heats up in July as families search for a new house before the beginning of school. World economic issues are causing significant challenges for the local market. The number of single-family homes sold in July dropped by 68 per cent from the preceding month to only 86 sold. Numbers this low have not been seen in more than ten years. Homebuyers are uncertain and can afford much less due to the increasing borrowing costs. MORE

City council election interest starting to heat up

The rumour mill is perking up – it’s August, so the lineup of possible candidates for city council is starting to pop up. Nobody has formally declared for the October election. There are a couple of prominent names circulating, but they are exactly that – rumours. Janice Perrino, former head of the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation, has been touted as a candidate. She brings extensive council experience from another jurisdiction as a councillor and mayor. Former MP Paul Manly is in evaluation mode and is weighing his options. Another name is Al McDonald, and it wouldn’t be an election if Gordon Fuller’s name was not in the discussion. Retired cop Norm Smith announced his bid for council immediately after the last election. Viraat BK Thammanna is also considering another run at it. Eight of the current council team will likely seek re-election, including Mayor Leonard Krog. Coun. Jim Turley has already said no thanks. 

A suspect is in custody after a shooting along the Nanaimo Parkway on Monday afternoon. The victim was taken to hospital in Nanaimo and then transferred Victoria where he is listed in serious but stable condition. Reserve Cst. Gary O’Brien said both are known to officers and each other. He added several squat camps are nearby and it’s believed at least one of the them lived in the area. MORE

This is a sad story, which demonstrates how far has our medical system deteriorated. Close to one million British Columbians don’t have a primary care physician – roughly 20 per cent of the population. An 82-year-old Victoria man has resorted to placing a newspaper ad pleading for a doctor to refill his prescription. Michael Mort started looking for a new one after his doctor retired. He’s been in the B.C. health referral system for a year. Last week his pharmacy could no longer provide his medications without a new prescription. His wife Janet placed the newspaper ad offering to pay any reasonable fee to a doctor who could write her husband’s prescriptions. A number of doctors offered to help with the prescriptions, but could not take a high-needs senior like Michael on as a patient. MORE 

The woman who attacked a nurse six months ago has been given a conditional discharge in court. Nurse Nancy Verhoog was coming off shift when she was attacked and is still not able to return to work due to her injuries. Erika Pelletier was sentenced in provincial court on Thursday after judge Brian Harvey accepted a joint sentence recommendation in her assault causing bodily harm case. MORE

More than 300 properties in the southern Interior have been issued evacuation orders following major growth of the Keremeos Creek wildfire. The fire has forced the evacuation of 324 properties so far, and another 438 are on evacuation alert. Monday afternoon the fire southwest of Penticton was estimated at 22.6 square kilometres, more than five times Sunday’s estimate. The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen issued a new evacuation order Monday afternoon as well, covering about 50 properties along Sheep Creek Road South and Highway 3A, and north of Olalla. MORE 

It's a little outside our regular Daily Buzz topics, but it's vacation time, and our Prime Minister’s family is off to Costa Rica for two weeks. A prime minister must fly on a Royal Canadian Air Force plane for security reasons — even for personal travel — and the family’s flights on the last trip to and from Costa Rica cost the government about $57,000, not counting thousands more spent on flight crews’ stay in San Jose. The PMO says the Trudeau family is paying for its own resort accommodation. MORE

  • Bringing accountability to BC Ferries governance

    Eyebrows are being raised about the changes to the B.C. Ferries board of directors, particularly the addition of former MLA cabinet minister and NDP leader Joy McPhail. Immediately after her appointment she became the chairman of the board. It is argued that it politicizes the ferry system. The previous B.C. Liberal government moved Ferries at arm's length to guard against political interference.

  • Poilievre represents Conservative status quo

    I listened to former PM Steven Harper’s endorsement of Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre – not a peep about freedom, The Charter of Rights and Freedoms – the unconstitutional actions of the federal Liberal/NDP government or the Liberal, Conservative and NDP provincial governments. It’s as if the universe is unfolding as it should.

  • Ottawa mum on fight against 'extremism'

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in late May that new tools were needed to combat a host of threats, such as misinformation, social media being weaponized, and right-wing terrorism.
    This is the ultimate hypocrisy. The extremist ideology with the WEF, WHO and UNFCCC, aided and abetted by our Prime Minster’s Office, totally committed to the extremist New World Order.

It's last call at the Windward Pub

A second home to many, the Windward Pub has closed permanently. A note on social media thanked all the patrons over 40 years for amazing times and memories. Dean Gaudry and staff made many lasting memories over the years at the Windward. The note concludes, “you all have become like family, and will be missed.”

The recent heat conditions could spark numerous emergencies, and Nanaimo Search and Rescue is making sure they are ready. The unit practiced a high-angle rescue off a cliff Sunday morning, knowing their skills could be needed at a moment’s notice. Chief of Operations Duane Young, said an emergency could come at any time. The call volume has gone up every year. The threat of heat stroke also persisted as temperatures rose over 30 C  Sunday. Outreach teams handed out cold water and freezies to make living in sweltering tents a little safer. In addition, extreme fire hazard signs went up in many parks. MORE

Diabetes research got a big shot in the arm on Sunday when the B.C. chapter of the Sikh Motorcycle Club of Canada held its annual Cross-Country Ride against Diabetes. They revved up their engines at a Gurdwara in Abbotsford and then ran in a convoy to a Gurdwara in Surrey. The goal was to raise more than $100,000 which will go to diabetes research. MORE 

Bureaucracies are like a fungus, they multiply from themselves. A case in point, Nanaimo and other municipalities are joining a building energy benchmarking program. They claim fossil fuels used to heat water and air contribute to about 11 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. Building Benchmark B.C., organized by the Open Green Building Society, supports cities as well as building owners and managers who opt into voluntary climate and energy disclosure. Then they get an energy and carbon performance report card and a ranking relative to peers. There is no disclosure of the cost of this program. MORE

It's déjà vu all over again for folks in the interior with flames, smoke and evacuation alerts. The Keremeos Creek wildfire is burning about 21 kilometres southwest of Penticton, classified as out of control. Twenty-five properties are on evacuation order. Since being discovered on Friday, the fire has grown close to 500 hectares. MORE