Low 2019 salmon returns paint devastating picture

0822 - Fisheries experts are painting a devastating picture of the challenges facing Pacific salmon.

Andrew Thompson, regional director for fisheries management, says it’s been an extremely challenging year for salmon and there have been significant declines in a number of stocks.

He says the trend is also being seen in Alaska and Washington state.

Fisheries staff say factors such as human activity that degrades fish habitat and a landslide on the Fraser River blocking millions of fish from spawning upstream are making things worse.

In one of the most dramatic shifts, the federal Department of Fisheries has adjusted the number of returning Fraser River sockeye to slightly more than 600,000, down from an earlier projection of nearly five million. MORE

Vancouver Island Exhibtion kicks off Friday

Friday to Sunday at Beban Park

0822 - Are you ready? The Vancouver Island Exhibition runs this weekend from Friday to Sunday. The VIEX is celebrating its 125th anniversary, making it one of the oldest agricultural fairs in western Canada.

The VIEX, at Beban Park, lots of rides, entertainment, food trucks and livestock.

Fair president Lynn Haley said a big change this year is a vastly expanded family fun zone featuring bouncy castles, rides, face-painting and a new mini golf course – it’s probably triple the size of last year and that’s all free. FULL REPORT

School support workers get new three-year deal

0822 - Education support workers for Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools have a new three-year deal.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 606 and B.C. Public School Employers’ Association, the bargaining agent, announced the deal, which is retroactive to July 1 and runs until June 30, 2022. CUPE initially announced a tentative deal on July 16, with the membership voting in favour on July 31.

The bargaining body ratified the deal on Monday after the school board gave unanimous approval.

Warrant issued for suspect in knife-wielding incident

0822 - Police are looking for a man who was involved in a knife and machete incident near a former homeless squat last summer.

A warrant was issued for William Robert Francis Carrigan on Tuesday after he failed to show for an appearance in provincial court. RCMP say Carrigan, along with Shane Edward Steinhauer, lived at the former city site at 1 Port Drive and were charged for numerous offences, stemming from the Aug. 3, 2018 incident, including assault with a weapon and possessing a weapon for dangerous purpose. FULL STORY

Kidney condo gives dialysis-training patients a place to stay

0822 - Kidney dialysis is enough of a challenge without having to worry about where to stay while you are in Nanaimo for self dialysis training.

That's become a whole lot easier for patients living in central and northern Vancouver Island. The Kidney Condo is a two-bedroom unit for out-of-town kidney disease patients and their families. It's a free and comfortable place to stay while receiving home-based dialysis training in Nanaimo. Once training is complete, patients can continue dialysis at their own homes. FULL STORY

Port appoints Capt. Singh as new Harbour Master

Captain Satinder Singh

0821 -Capt. Satinder Singh has been appointed Vice-President, Marine Operations and Harbour Master for the Port of Nanaimo. He bring 21 years experience to oversee safety and security within the Port’s jurisdiction.

Capt. Singh worked previously for the Department of National Defense at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, as the Auxiliary Fleet Manager with Port Operations and Emergency Services Branch. Previously, he was the Detachment Superintendent with the Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental Test Range (CFMETR) in Nanoose Bay, the joint Canada-United States range.

Capt. Singh holds a Master in Maritime Management, Bachelor in Maritime Studies, and Diploma in Nautical Sciences, Certificate of Competency as a Master Mariner with Transport Canada. He also holds the Enforcement Officer Designation from Transport Canada under the Canada Marine Act.

He developed internal staffing and training programs that introduced new opportunities for employees and streamlined accountability. At CFMETR, he headed an East/West Coast joint staffing initiative, resulting in opportunity and mobility to many national candidates.

Manly calls for greater tertiary care services at NRGH

MP Paul Manly

0820 - Nanaimo-Ladysmith Member of Parliament Paul Manly is pushing for full tertiary care level offering more specialist services at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

He said he will seek federal infrastructure funding to support the provincial government which has responsibility for health care. He has written to B.C. Health Minister Adrian seeking specialist services such as cancer, heart and kidney diseases at NRGH.

SEE OUR ELECTION PAGE

Aug. 19

Is freedom of expression
threatened by Elections Canada?

Any fiddling with freedom of speech should be alarming to everyone, especially with a federal election campaign unofficially under way.

UPDATE: Missing senior located safe and sound

Wayne Strilesky

0820 - The RCMP is pleased to confirm that the 75-year-old male reported missing has been located, and he is safe and sound. Thanks to the media and public for your assistance.
The Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a man who walked away from a residence on Manhattan Way in north Nanaimo.
 
0819 - Wayne Strilesky, 75, of Parksville, is  5'8", 155lbs, with sandy hair and a moustache. He was last seen wearing a red jacket, dark blue jeans, a black Canada hat with a maple leaf on it, and white runners. Strilesky, went into a forested area near the house he was visiting, and did not come back.
 
He has severe dementia, and is hard of hearing. He may be disoriented or hard to understand. He has other medical conditions, and his family is very concerned for his wellbeing. Search and Rescue and Police Dog Services are assisting with the search.
 
The Nanaimo RCMP askanyone in the area to watch for Wayne Strilesky, and to immediately call 9-1-1 if they see him. You can also contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.

Suspect sought in theft of spool of wire

A large spool of wire was stolen from the BC Ferries compound at 1904 East Wellington Road Aug. 13. The suspect was seen walking along East Wellington Road with the spool but due to a delay in reporting the incident, the suspect and wire were not located. Nanaimo file # 2019-31846 

If you have information on any of these crimes, 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. 

Western Acres house fire under investigation

0819 - A fire that destroyed a home on Palomino Place earlier this month is being investigated as suspicious.

Firefighters responded to the alarm in Western Acres neighbourhood Aug. 7 and found the house fully involved in fire when they arrived.

“The fire department contacted the RCMP as they believed the fire may be suspicious from the outset,” said Sgt. Jon Stuart, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in an e-mail. “Once the scene was deemed safe to enter, fire and RCMP investigators entered the scene. They have confirmed the fire was suspicious.” FULL STORY

The Trudeaus and their
constitutional violations
The way the Trudeaus treat the Constitution is something to behold. They seem to be oblivious to what is really operative as it relates to our guiding document.

Gas tank drilling leaves $400 in damage

0819 - A person drilling a hole into a car gas tank at 450 Stewart Ave. caused more than $400 damage. The incident happened between 8:30 pm and 1 am on August 11. No suspects or witnesses have been found. Nanaimo file # 2019-31648.

If you have information on any of these crimes, 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. 

Election rules could muzzle climate alarmists

0818 - Discussing climate change during the coming federal campaign could be deemed partisan activity. An Elections Canada official has warned groups in a training session that because Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada, has expressed doubts about the legitimacy of climate change, any group that promotes it as real or an emergency could be considered partisan, said Tim Gray, executive director of the advocacy group Environmental Defence.

Any partisan activity — including advertising, surveys, or any kind of campaign costing at least $500 — would require a charity to register as a third party for the election, an onerous requirement that could jeopardize a group’s charitable tax status, Gray said. FULL REPORT

Cars broken into on Nanaimo River Road

0818 - A Mercedes Benz parked on Nanaimo River Road at River Terrace, was broken into overnight on Friday Aug. 12. The driver's side window was smashed and insurance papers, a phone charging battery pack and Bose speaker were stolen. That was the second vehicle that had been broken into within 24 hours in that area. Nanaimo file # 2019- 31699 .

If you have information on any of these crimes, 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. Nanaimo file # 2019-31291

$200 in tools stolen from building site

0817 - Approximately $200 in tools were stolen overnight on Tuesday Aug. 13 after a break and enter at a building renovation site at 450 Wentworth St. A lock on the rear door was cut and. Items taken consisted of a yellow Dewalt skill saw with Titlewest written on the side, a nail pick, tape measure and a hammer. Nanaimo file # 2019-31868

Fire Rescue raising the alarm about home fire safety

0816 – What are your chances of escaping a house fire? Your odds are a lot better if you have a smoke alarm. Less than one third of home fires in Nanaimo in 2018 had a working smoke alarm.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue is driving home the message on residential fire alarms so residents will be as prepared as possible in case of a structure fire.  Firefighters will visit mobile home parks, door to door, to check and install smoke alarms if needed. They may also check the status of smoke alarms if they are there for a call for service. 

Fire Rescue crews recently attended fires where there were no smoke alarms. This is a worrying trend for Nanaimo which statically has been below the provincial average of working smoke alarms in homes. 

On average, there are less than three minutes to escape a house fire. Research has proven that people have a 73-per-cent-greater chance of dying in a fire if they don’t have a working smoke alarm. Homes should have at least one smoke alarm per floor and outside each sleep area. 

Residents who have questions or need assistance installing or testing their smoke alarms may call Nanaimo Fire Rescue at 250-753-7311 or email fireinfo@nanaimo.ca.

Get ready to detour Departure Bay Road on Monday

Departure Bay detour, Newton to Little John Way. Google Maps

0816 - A section of Departure Bay Road will be closed beginning Monday as city crews will begin slope stabilization. The work is expected to take two weeks before the road is opened at the end of August. A detour will be in place between Newton Street and Little John Way.

For more information, visit the Current Construction projects page on the City website at www.nanaimo.ca/construction.

Police looking for after-hours shopping suspect

0816 - An unidentified man got some after-hours bargains last Saturday night when he hid in a north end store until after closing and then stole items. He later "broke out" of the store between 9 pm Aug. 10 and 4 am on Sunday.

A motion alarm was detected at approximately 4 am. When RCMP reviewed the in-store cameras, they saw a man walking out the main entrance. Video surveillance showed the suspect entered the store through the main entrance, at 9:06 pm on Saturday. At some point, he walked into the men’s bathroom and locked himself inside a stall and stayed in the stall until the store closed. Hours later he lifted himself into the ceiling tiles and crawled over to the LPO office. He broke through the tiles and dropped inside the office. He grabbed two monitors, walked out of the office and made his way to the main entrance and left the business.

If you have information on this incident or of the identity of the male, 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.

Northwest Bay road closure extended to Tuesday.

0816 - The road closure on Northwest Bay Road has been exteneds. Culverts at Craig Creek on Northwest Bay Road. The closure has been extended to 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

The delay is due to late delivery of the watermain bypass piping and subsequent water transmission main connection and road excavation. FULL REPORT

Canada is now a corrupt nation

With the release of the Ethics Commissioner’s report on Justin Trudeau and his actions concerning SNC Lavalin, and just as importantly, the reaction to it, Canada is now officially a corrupt nation. Read Brian's analysis

Violent prolific offender arrested by Nanaimo RCMP

Police Dog Jager

0815 - The Vancouver Island Emergency Response Team (ERT), was activated on Monday to assist in the arrest of a violent prolific multi-jurisdictional offender. John Wesley Shaw, 44, of North Cowichan, has been charged with numerous property and weapons offences. Arrested with Shaw were sisters, 35-year-old Brandie Poirier and 40-year-old Angela Poirier, both of no fixed address. 

Due to Shaw's extensive history of violence and documented incidents of dangerous driving, numerous officers, including ERT, RCMP Air Services and Police Dog Services were mobilized.  In ,  said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP. 

Officers located him and the women in a vehicle along a rural road in north Nanaimo. Shaw attempted to flee and in doing so received several dog bites from PSD Jager. The women were arrested without incident. The vehicle was confirmed stolen from Langford on July 21. Following his arrest, Shaw was taken to hospital where he was treated for several dog bites. FULL STORY

VIU gets two federal research grants

0815 – VIU has been selected to participate in two federal research award programs. The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) grant will help post-secondary institutions become more inclusive, welcome diversity, and improve research and employment opportunities for underrepresented groups. The Dimensions Pilot provides federal recognition of their work on EDI.

Vancouver Island University embraces the principle that a diverse range of talents, opinions, perspectives, experiences and worldviews contributes to excellence. When we foster an environment that seeks and values this diversity and ensures that inclusion exists, everyone in the university community thrives.

It is one thing to state that equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is a priority for any organization. Acting on this commitment requires undertaking extensive work to find the barriers, uncover unconscious bias in processes such as hiring, develop ways to celebrate diversity and ultimately transform culture. 

Read more about EDI at VIU.

Police hoping to clip thief who broke into hair studio

0815 - Be on the lookout for a well-groomed crook – RCMP are investigating a break-in at Accents Hair Studio, hoping to clip that culprit as soon as possible.

The studio at 1451 Estevan Rd. was broken into overnight Monday. The door was pried open and items taken included bottles of hair product, scissors, thinning shears and clippers.

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. To remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.

Big projects to drive migration to B.C. next year

TOM FLETCHER comment in Black Press

0815 - Pipelines, LNG Canada, the Pattullo Bridge replacement and a new Vancouver subway are all set to drive a big increase in interprovincial migration to B.C. starting next year, Central 1 Credit Union says in its latest economic forecast.

Coupled with Site C dam construction, these major projects are expected to help push interprovincial migration into B.C. from 3,400 people this year to more than 12,000 in 2020. B.C.’s economic growth is leading the country, and the pace of growth is expected to slow from 2.7 per cent in 2019 to near one per cent by 2020.

 

$500 in jeans stolen from north end store

0814 - One of more thieves made off with $500 worth of blue jeans from  last week from Mark’s clothing store at North Town Centre.

The incident happened at about 5:20 p.m. Friday. The primary suspect was blonde with a medium build. She may have worked with one or more accomplices, one of them with pink hair.

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.

Brass fire hose couplings stolen

0814 - When you have to ask how low a thief can go, Nanaimo RCMP are trying to track down whoever stole several brass fire hose fittings.

Over the past five days there have been four incidents of brass fire hose fittings being taken from buildings on Boxwood Drive and Dufferin Crescent. The most recent happened Tuesday, shortly before 5 a.m. at J.R.E. Hardware on Dufferin, when a witness chased an unknown man off the property after he was spotted removing brass hose fittings.

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. To remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.comFULL STORY

 

Jane Gregory dies suddenly during weekend

Jane Gregory

0813 - Jane Gregory, one of the pillars of our community, died suddenly over the weekend.

Gregory served on numerous community organizations including the Malaspina College and Malaspina University-College boards, the Nanaimo Port Authority and the Nanaimo Foundation.

Rich Johnston, former President of Malaspina, said Gregory served on the Malaspina College Board for a number of years and then later rejoined the Board when the institution turned into Malaspina University-College in the late 1990s.  She served as Vice Chairman and Chair of the Board both times during these two separate periods. She also served as Chair of the Malaspina International High School Board and as Chair of the Milner Gardens and Woodland Board. 

Malapsina U-C granted Gregory an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Laws in 1999 for her outstanding community work. 

“Jane was a tireless advocate for post secondary students in B.C. and worked very hard to improve life for adult students over three decades while living in Nanaimo,” said Johnston. “She particularly enjoyed helping international students who came to Nanaimo to improve their English skills and other academic and technical skills”.

After serving Malaspina U-C she served on the Nanaimo Port Authority and helped improve relations with the City and other Ports around the region. She also worked hard on the committee for the City of Nanaimo Community plan in 2008, he added.

“Jane with her tremendous positive spirit will be sorely missed by her loving family and many friends far and wide,” Johnston said.

Her family will honour her life in a few weeks and details will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Gregory Family Endowment at Milner Gardens care of the Vancouver Island University 900 Fifth St. Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 5S5.

Police looking for owner of recovered stolen generator

A Nanaimo woman went the extra mile to solve crime and her efforts resulted in the recovery of a stolen compressor.  The item has since been turned over to local Mounties who are attempting to determine who owns it. 

Just before 2 p.m. July 15, the local business owner spotted a man pulling a compressor from the back of a pick up. She watched as the man hid the compressor under his shirt and walked away with it. She followed Compressor Man and saw him hide the compressor behind a tree in the 100 block of Victoria Road. Compressor Man then walked away.

She stayed near by and flagged down a Nanaimo bylaw officer driving by, and explained the situation. The officer took possession of the compressor and brought it to the RCMP Detachment.  Investigators have contacted the owner of the truck but were informed by the owner that the compressor wasn't his.  The serial number was also checked and it was noted that the compressor had not been reported stolen.

The suspect is 5 ft-10, slim build, crooked front teeth and was wearing a blue jacket. 

If you know of anyone who has had a compressor stolen from a worksite or residence, 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.

 

Queen of Oak Bay behind schedule due to incident

0813 - The Queen of Oak Bay is operating alost an hour behind schedule due to a police incident on an earlier sailing to and from Horseshoe Bay.

“\There was a passenger in emotional distress whom ferry staff recognized from a previous trip, and on disembarkation of the boat, they found his luggage but not him,” said Sgt. Paul Faris of the West Vancouver Police. There was some concern that if he’s not on the boat, how did he get off the boat? So that required a full search of the vessel. FULL STORY

 

Police confirm McLeod, Schmegelski killed themselves

0812 - The RCMP confirmed on Monday the two bodies found in northern Manitoba last week belong to the two young men who triggered a nation-wide manhunt, and that they had committed suicide.

“The RCMP can also confirm that the two died in what appears to be suicides by gunfire,” said BC RCMP spokesperson Dawn Roberts in a news release, following autopsies by the medical examiner in Manitoba.

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, both of Port Alberni, had been on the run after they were declared suspects in the deaths of 64-year-old Leonard Dyck, a botany lecturer at UBC, and tourist couple Chynna Deese, 24, of North Carolina, and Lucas Fowler, 24, of Australia.

Police seek person of interest in Makayla Chang murder

Steven Bacon

Nanaimo RCMP are seeking Steven Michael Bacon, 59, as a person of interest in the murder of Makayla Chang.

Serious Crime Unit described Bacon as Caucasian, 200 lbs, 5' 10" Grey hair and/or facial hair, teardrop tattoo under his left eye, a Bugs Bunny tattoo on his upper right arm and an unidentified tattoo on the back of his right hand., 

“At this point, we have exhausted all avenues of investigation and have been unable to locate Bacon”, says Sgt. Rob Graves, head of the Nanaimo SCU. 

“While we cannot rule out that he is in Nanaimo or remains on Vancouver Island, we have been unable to locate him and are now asking the entire country to help us, as we believe he has important information”.

RCMP is releasing a photo and description of Bacon in order to assist in locating him and advancing the investigation.

He may be using alternative names such as Michael Dufour, Michael Vincent Defoure, Steven Michael/Mike Vincent, or Mike Jannis and is known to use public transit.

Anyone with information is asked to contact any police jurisdiction or the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.comor call 1-800-222-8477.

UPDATE - Alyssa Deboer has been located.

Alyssa Deboer

0812 - The Nanaimo RCMP is asking for the public's assistance in locating 23-year-old Alyssa Deboer who has not been seen or heard from since Friday August 2nd, 2019. A family member of Deboer's reported her missing to the Nanaimo RCMP and told investigators she is experiencing some personal struggles. As a result, her family is concerned for her safety and well-being. This is a recent picture.

Alyssa Deboer is 5 ft. 9, weighs 120 pounds and has straight long brown hair.

If you have information on the whereabouts of Alyssa Deboer, 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.

Autopsy results expected today on bodies from Manitoba

0812 - More details are expected to be released today by RCMP on the autopsies on two bodies found by police in northern Manitoba during a search for B.C. fugitives Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod are complete, an RCMP spokesperson confirmed Sunday.

Sgt. Paul Manaigre said RCMP have formalities to complete before they can formally identify the bodies. However, he said it’s believed the bodies are those of the suspects.

Police said on Aug. 10 they believed they’d found the bodies of McLeod, 19, and Schmegelsky, whose 19th birthday was Aug. 4, ending a lengthy cross-Canada search that made headlines around the world. FULL STORY

Woman injured in early-morning crash on Bowen Road

0812 - The driver of a compact car was taken to hospital non-life-threatining injuries after crashing on Bowen Road early this monring. 

She had been driving east on Bowen Road and crashed into a utility pole and rolled her car, which ended up upside-down in the middle of the street.

Nanaimo RCMP, Nanaimo Fire Rescue and B.C. Ambulance Service were called to the scene near Ashlar Avenue a little after 1:30 a.m. Monday. FULL STORY

Intersection closed after car and motorcyle collide

0812 - The intersection at Comox Road and Wallace Street was temporarily closed after an accident involving a car and motorcycle Saturday afternoon.

Police on scene said the accident involved a Honda Civic and motorcycle, but would not comment on if there were any injuries. FULL STORY

Nanaimo man freed from Syrian prison

Baxter on screen capture form Lebanese TV

0809 - Kristian Lee Baxter of Nanaimo, held in Syrian prisons since last year, has been after Lebanese mediation.

Baxter appeared emotional and jittery at a press conference in the Lebanese capital Beirut. The Lebanese general who mediated his release said Baxter was heading home. It was not clear when Baxter was released from Syria.

Details of Baxter's detention were not immediately available but Canadian media reported last December he was detained while in war-torn Syria, where he was travelling seeking an adventure. Canadian officials declined to provide further information, citing privacy provisions. FULL STORY

AS I SEE IT
By John Feldsted

 

326 people charged with gun-related offences are out on bail, says Toronto police chief 

Canada needs tougher bail
rules for gun-related offenses

 

Police seek help in locating Rachelle Dawn Walton

Rachelle Dawn Walton

0808 - Nanaimo RCMP seeks help from the public to find 36-year-old Rachelle Dawn Walton of Nanaimo. She has not been seen or heard from since June 28. 
 
She was reported missing on July 23 after not returning from a planned trip to Edmonton to visit family and friends. She is believed to have her phone with her but to date, investigators have been unable to contact her.  
 
Rachelle Walton is 5 ft. 5, approximately 120 pounds. The pictures is recent. If you have information on the location of Rachelle Dawn Walton, 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. 
 

RDN looks a land-use changes at Nanaimo Airport

0808 - The Regional District of Nanaimo is looking at changes to land-use regulations that could bring commercial developments like hotels and restaurants to the highway frontage at Nanaimo Airport.

A Regional District staff report contains draft amendments to the regional growth strategy, community plan and zoning rules. It is hoped the changes will facilitate development of the airport, as well as commercial uses complementary to the airport adjacent to the Trans-Canada Highway.

Kim Fowler, RDN manager of long-range planning, said the commission and RDN share land-use jurisdiction, with aeronautics-related development under commission purview, through federal authority. Uses not related to that are subject to RDN bylaws.

The airport owns 211 hectares of land. The commission can do its own land-use planning and the RDN is essentially being consistent with that in its amendments, but with zoning that goes into more detail.

Musqueam issues statement on departure of Tracy Samra

0807 – The Musqueam band has issued a statement on the departure of CAO Tracy Samra. The document was issued on behalf of the Chief and Council. CLICK HERE

Bodies found in Manitoba believed to be Alberni suspects

McLeod and Schmegelsky

0807 – After a weeks-long manhunt, RCMP announced Wednesday that Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod are believed to be dead.

 A timeline of what happened and where

Manitoba RCMP said officers located two male bodies, believed to belong to the suspects, near the shoreline of the Nelson River. The discovery was made at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said at a press conference that she is “confident” the bodies belong to the suspects, but cannot confirm until autopsy results are determined.

Fire engulfs home in early morning today

0807 – A home on Palomino Drive in the Western Acres subdivision was severely damage in an early-morning fire today.

No one was home at the time as the owner and a tenant were away both have been accounted for.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue responded to the house at about 5:30 a.m. and found it fully engulfed in flame, said assistant chief of operations Geoff Whiting. All four stations responded and the house was fully involved with flames showing from three sides. FULL STORY

Artificial turf sports field badly damaged by arson

Photos submitted

0806  The artificial-turf playing field at Nanaimo and District Secondary School was set on fire early this morning. Preliminary estimates of the damage are in the range of $40,000 and that the field will be out of commission for upwards of four week

Fire crews arrived at appropriately 4:30 a.m. to fight the intense blaze. Fire crews said a mattress and metal frame and wooden pallets had been dragged onto the field and set on fire.

Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP said dragging a mattress and pallets on the field would take considerable time and effort. He added someone may have seen or heard something that will assist in the investigation. This vandalism will also significantly disrupt ongoing soccer leagues and coming football camps. 

If anyone has information, contact 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.

Police seek suspects in waterfront break in

Who are these guys? Call the cops if you know.

0807 – Just Desserts on the Nanaimo seawall was broken into last Saturday. A security company reported the break in to the RCMP.

Police found the front door and lock had been pried open. A cash register which contained a small amount of cash was taken. Video surveillance showed two males, wearing masks and gloves, breaking into the business and at 5:13 am, leaving through the rear door.

If you recognize the two men in the photo or have information on this incident, please contact Const. Joe Landrum of the Nanaimo RCMP and quote file number 2019-25784. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477. 

Planned gravel pit has residents upset at RDN planning

A proposed gravel pit on Nanaimo River Road has area residents up in arms against the Regional District of Nanaimo. A petition with several hundred signatures accuses the RDN of not properly planning along the Nanaimo River as it becomes more residential. 

Petition creator Chris Cathers said the region can’t let residential communities develop and then sit idly by while big large companies build industrial gravel pits in a residential community. FULL STORY

Nnaimo man dies in Brannen Lake over weekend

0806 – A man died in Brannen Lake on the weekend. Nanaimo Fire Rescue responded shortly before 6 p.m. Monday after a man disappeared under the water.

Nanaimo RCMP spokesman Const. Gary O’Brien said a neighbour found the man in the water and brought him to the surface. A Nanaimo Fire Rescue rescue boat brought the man to a dock on Quarry Crescent.

Efforts to revive him failed and he was pronounced deceased at the scene, O’Brien said. FULL STORY

RCMP change search location for Port Alberni suspects

0805 - Police are moving onto another community in northern Manitoba as the search for two Port Alberni suspects hits its fourteenth day.

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky have been on the run since July 23, when they were declared suspects in the deaths of a UBC professor and two tourists in northern B.C.

The last confirmed sighting of the two murder suspects was on July 22 near Gillam, where a SUV police say the men stole was found torched.

On Monday, Manitoba RCMP said they were setting up a roadblock in Sundance, Man., about 60 kilometres to the northeast of Gillam, after a dive team spent all weekend searching the Nelson River.

Construction road closure for Northwest Bay Road this week

0805 - There will be traffic slowdowns between Nanoose Bay and Parksville starting this week.

The City of Parksville is closing Northwest Bay Road between Gabriola Drive and Terrien Road at the city boundary from Aug. 6-15 to replace culverts at Craig Creek. FULL REPORT

Divers join search for wanted Alberni teens

McLeod and Schmegelsky

0804 - The search for two Vancouver Island teenagers accused of murdering three people in northern B.C. took an unexpected twist Saturday.

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, both from Port Alberni, were last seen near the town of Gillam, Man., on July 22.

On Saturday, Manitoba RCMP's Underwater Recovery Team was deployed to Gillam. It is expected the highly trained divers will begin searching a section of the Nelson River on Sunday. RCMP have not elaborated on why they are focusing their search in the Nelson River. FULL REPORT

Manly out of the starting blocks in re-election run

Paul Manly MP

0802 - There was never any doubt, but Nanaimo-Ladysmith member of Parliament Paul Manly formally kicked off his re-election campaign Friday for the October federal election.

The Green Party MP said his election in May sent shockwaves across Canada. More than 100 suppoters showed up, including leader Elizabeth May and actress and environment activist Pamela Anderson of Ladysmith. 

Manly said in the short time he’s been in Ottawa he’s worked to represent constituents, mentioning land-use and outdoor recreation activities at Nanaimo Military Range. He said he had enjoyed his time in Ottawa and hopes to continue to represent the riding. FULL REPORT

Truck crashes into pole on Old Island Highway

0802 - The driver of a B.C. Ferries cube van was taken to hospital after crashing into a pole on the side of the old Island Highway.

The accident happened a little before 2 p.m. on Friday near Departure Bay Road and B.C. Ambulance Service, Nanaimo Fire Rescue and Nanaimo RCMP were called to the scene.

Crews on scene said a medical reason was believed to be a cause of the crash. FULL REPORT 

Suspect arrested in sex assault investigation

Stephen Bradley Ewing

0802 - A Port Alberni man has been arrested following an RCMP investigation into sex assaults of females in the Nanaimo sex trade

Stephen Bradley Ewing, 40, was arrested on an outstanding warrant by Nanaimo RCMP General Investigation Section. He has been charged with three counts of Sexual Assault Causing Bodily Harm, from incidents between March and October of 2018. Ewing appeared before a Nanaimo Provincial court judge Thursday and was released on a Recognizance with $50,000 Surety and a number of conditions. His next court date is Sept. 10.

 "We strongly believe there are people in our community and possibly throughout central Vancouver Island, who may have information which will further this investigation. For that reason, we are releasing a picture of the accused in hope that it will lead to further tips', said Cst. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

 If anyone has information on the alleged incidents or unreported incidents, please contact Cst. Mike Baylin of 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.

Police looking for owner of recovered bicycle

0802 - A white Norco road was found in a yard in the 600 block of Bowen Road. The finder told police the bike had been in their yard for at least five days. 

The bike is in excellent condition and is a Norco VFR hybrid with 24 speeds. It was covered in dust which lead the investigator to believe the bike had most likely been kept in a shed, and the owner may not be aware the bike has been stolen. The serial number was checked and it had not been reported as stolen.

If anyone has any information on the ownership of the bike or where it was taken from, 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.

RCMP workload hits a high, but fewer are charged

0801 - Despite having the highest workload of criminal incidents in five years, Nanaimo RCMP laid the lowest number of charges in five years.

RCMP handled 11,700 criminal incidents last year, compared to 9,500 in 2017. Forty per cent – 4,700 – were cleared by the department.

Police attribute increased criminal activity to the ongoing drug and mental health crisis.

There are approximately 150 RCMP members at the Nanaimo detachment as well as civilian officers. FULL REPORT

Lantzville has $3.7-million surplus despite lower revenue

0801 - Despite having significantly less revenue than had been budgeted, the District of Lantzville still posted a $3.7 million surplus.

The 2018 financial statement showed $4.6 million in revenue last year, $3.1 million less than budgeted. A lot of that was phantom numbers due to budgeting for projects that were not done, and attendant grants that were not received as a result. FULL REPORT

Nanaimo dragon boaters heading to world championship

Four Nanaimo dragon boaters are heading to the world stage at the International Dragon Boat Racing Championships in Pattaya-Rayong, Thailand, August 20-25. Dave Thomson, Trish Crumpton, Ron Williams and Jody Berry will represent Canada. See our SPECIAL REPORT

Wanted Port Alberni teens reportedly spotted in Ontario

Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod.

0801 - Ontario Provincial Police are investigating a possible sighting in Kapuskasing of the two Port Alberni teens wanted in connection with three deaths in northern B.C.

Someone reported seeing two men who looked similar to Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19. The report indicated a suspicious white vehicle drove through a construction zone on Highway 11 in Kapuskasing around 10:30 a.m.

The sighting has not been confirmed.

There was also an unconfirmed sighting in Iron Bridge, Ont. earlier this week.

Schmegelsky and McLeod are charged with second-degree murder in the death of University of British Columbia professor Leonard Dyck near Dease Lake in northern B.C. His body was found on July 19.

 

It doesn't matter what we think,
Ontario and Quebec call the shots

Hospice thief gets jail and $106,000 restitution order

0801 - A former Nanaimo Hospice executive who stole more than $6,000 has been sentenced to jail for an additional conviction of stealing $100,000 from a Kelowna hospice.

Susan Maureen Steen, 72, recently completed a four-month jail term and was ordered to pay $17,000 to the Nanaimo Community Hospice Society for the crime in Nanaimo. She stole about $6,000 from NCHS, but her restitution bill included the cost of  financial audits and legal fees by the Nanaimo Hospice.

On the Kelowna charge, she pleaded guilty in Vancouver court Wednesday to fraud over $5,000, and was sentenced to eight months jail and ordered to pay the Central Okanagan Hospice Association $106,000.

She stole the money between 2012 and 2016 while she was the organization’s executive director.  FULL STORY

Mema's discrimination complaint hearing in October

Victor Mema

0801 - Former city finance director Victor Mema will has his  human rights complaint against the City heard by the The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal in October.

Mema accused the city of discriminating against his ancestry, race, place of origin and colour in tribunal documents.

The hearing is set to take place between Oct. 21-25 at an undetermined location according to the tribunal’s website. FULL STORY