Do your homework before casting ballot, you'll pay for it

I have been keeping an eye on the civic election campaign and the list of choices is really disappointing. There are too many people who have simply filled out nominations forms and are now waiting to get lucky. Don’t get me wrong, the majority the ballot are excellent choices but do your homework before voting. You’re going to be paying for the results of the election. Think about that for a while. FULL COMMENT

Ian Thorpe                                                                                         Zeni Maartman

Those loose screws need tightening once in a while

If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been for the last little while, I took time off for some repairs and maintenance, and I’ve been told I had a few loose screws that needed tightening. I’m that Old Phart on the walker for a while yet, but I’ll keep scanning the news for you on a regular basis. And that’s getting more difficult all the time as the news business changes to pet stories, feel-good reports, hurt feelings and victimization. National media cannot complete one newscast without “climate change.” But my hide is getting thicker.

Maybe if we don’t talk about it we won’t get hammered with outrageous gas prices like the Lower Mainland. As of last night we were still sitting at $2.039 to $2.099. Analysts predict drivers in the Lower Mainland region could soon be paying an all-time high of $2.349 per litre Wednesday, shy of the record set in June. Gas Wizard anticipates a new all-time high by Thursday of $2.399 per litre. Check the very latest Nanaimo prices HERE.

A B.C. Coroners Service report shows 169 people died of suspected drug overdoses in our province in August, about 5.5 per day. That brings the number in the first eight months of the year to within one of the record. So far this year, 1,468 toxic drug deaths have been reported.  Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson said the province is offering innovative harm-reduction solutions. MORE

Tourism Minister Melanie Mark unexpectedly resigned from cabinet yesterday. Premier John Horgan said the Minister of Tourism, Art, Culture and Sport resigned to go on medical leave to focus on pressing and urgent personal matters. She will continue to represent the riding of Vancouver-Mount Pleasant in the legislature. MORE

Election time is promise time, why should a provincial party leadership race be any different? NDP leadership shoo-in David Eby has released a sweeping plan to address housing, including fast-tracking construction of affordable homes. He said the housing supply is not keeping up with our growing population. The B.C. Builds initiative will see the government spearhead affordable home construction on public land in both rural and urban areas, including First Nations. MORE

Don Bonner                                                                                         Viraat BK Thammanna

Our gasoline prices soaring like a rocket

Don’t suffer cardiac arrest in the next few days as you head out in you gas guzzling family station wagon – gasoline prices are soaring into the stratosphere and may not make a return for some time. Last night’s check revealed between $2.039 and $2.099 per litre in Nanaimo. The Lower Mainland has been hovering close to $2.40 per litre. CHECK IT OUT

The Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Business Expo is back today at the Conference Centre. It was planned for this past spring, but was pushed back by the pandemic. “The marketing runway was just too short this spring to do anything sensible, so when we moved it to the fall, it made all the sense in the world and I think we’ll do quite well,” said Kim Smythe, CEO of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, which puts on the event. MORE

Nanaimo RCMP is looking for help to find a unique bag that was lost in the Mill Bay area sometime between 1 p.m, and 1:30 p.m., on Thursday, Sept. 22, in the parking lot of a Tim Horton’s at 825 Deloume Road in Mill Bay. The owner of the bag lives in Nanaimo and reported it missing to the Shawnigan Lake RCMP. SEE PHOTO

A book by any other cover – BC Liberals are aiming for a new face. Well a new team name. The party has chosen BC United as the name that will go to party members for a vote by the end of the year. Leader Kevin Falcon had promised to change the party’s name as part of his leadership campaign. MORE

Janice Perrino                                                                                    Frank Pluta

Time to stir the pot a bit on city council election

The right to vote is the main pillar of democracy, we should never give up that right. That begins Oct. 5 with the start of advance voting. The second date is Oct. 12, three days before the election leaving no excuse not to vote.

Hot button issues rock the boat and stir election interest. When discussion isn’t there voter interest usually drops and that is always a concern. In the previous election in 2018 there was lots of interest in cleaning house and almost the entire council was changed.

We have been blessed with a relatively good council in the past four years after the disaster we suffered though with the previous group. Aside for a penchant by some councillors to play games outside their purview, it’s been a stable group. 

The steady hand at the top has given us four years respite from the turmoil the previous gang was notorious for. That rests squarely on the shoulders of Mayor Len Krog who has kept the divergent group on an even keel. It’s doubtful if anyone could have done a better job.

So what’s there for issues for the voting public to get stirred up about? It doesn’t matter if we individually agree with some of council’s action. As a matter of fact, that can be good.

Generally we don’t engage in slate or party politics at this level. The last time that was tried the entire slate was wiped clean. What we hear most from the public is the property tax increases influenced by unbalanced housing price increases. Some people have been paying way above average, and they want to know why. We know why, imprudent spending by city council.

Some councillors have been on an unofficial common cause – Gang Green. The like-minded Brown, Geselbracht, Hemmens and Bonner have focussed on saving the planet because that’s their religion – costly redesign of infrastructure to cater to a non-fossil-fuel Nirvana. They stand up for what they believe in, no matter what the eventual response. 

More spending on street redesign and bicycle paths requires more money – translation, higher taxes. That makes it easier for voters knowing they are either for or against something. The question is whether we can or want to afford them. Metral Drive resdeign is an example of concept over functionality. It’s pretty, and doesn’t matter whether it works. Here we have transparency and voters can now decide which path to move forward on.

Identifying the politics makes it clear for voters what to support or not to support. How they respond will likely impact our future for years to come. Is that where we want to go, on the blind path of unaffordable climatism?

Our population is aging, old bones are not meant to be tortured on bicycles. Streets and roads have one purposes, to move traffic. Traffic “calming” is a contradiction.

I have been on the local civic politics scene for 40 years and have seen a lot from both the outside and the inside, including six years as a city councillor. Some voters regularly contact me to learn more about elections and whom they might support. I don’t endorse candidates, but I’ll express my two bits worth on the backgrounds, performance and qualifications of both incumbents and newcomers. 

With the retirement of Coun. Jim Turley there will be at least one new face on city council. Looking at the list, there are a number of highly-qualified people offering their services, and that could result in some of the current council being left out of the top eight on election night. 

Community profile means a lot in a local election, people tend to vote for names and people they know. Some names stick out more than others. Former Hospital Foundation CEO Janice Perrino has the experience as the former Mayor and councillor of Summerland. Former member of Parliament Paul Manly and retired cop Norm Smith are also at the head of that list. Some others who tried last time may have made their mark in the meantime and could surprise.

It remains to be seen what voters decide, more of the same or zipping down the barely-used bike paths on an e-bike into political retirement. After all, that’s what elections are all about, the choices that we make. Just be happy we have choices. You can agree or disagree with your greatest weapon – your ballot.

Regional directors approve raises for new board

There’s nothing like a raise before you start a new job. Regional District directors get a raise on their very first day in office. The board approved $23,100 annual pay for municipal directors (city councillors) while electoral area directors get $46,200. The chairman gets $84,000 as a municipal director. So as a city councillor getting $44,774 there's the extra $23,100 for RDN work, for a total of $68,734.

Based on Councillor Tyler Brown as chair of the RDN, he would get a combined $128,774 while Mayor Leonard Krog’s total would be $139,081.

 

We know the answer, now what's the question?

Russia is conducting a referendum on whether Ukrainians want to be under Russian rule. There's little doubt about the outcome. However would you trust that referendum any less than one connected with the U.S. electoral process?

 

Meet The Candidates on Thursday

Kim Smythe

The Chamber of Commerce will hold a public election education and awareness ‘Meet the Candidates Night’ tonight at Beban Park beginning at 6:30 pm.

“We are accustomed to providing voting information and candidate introductions in the lead-up to elections over the years. With the large number of candidates running, we felt this was the best way of providing exposure for them and a learning experience for voters,” says Kim Smythe, Nanaimo Chamber CEO. “The event will be free for voters to attend and candidates will help pool funds for the Chamber to recover its costs for producing and promoting the event.” Parking at Beban Park is also free.

“With 29 Council candidates, four Mayoral contestants, and 13 School Trustees we are expecting a very full house and look forward to all candidates showing up, although registration for candidate’s tables is still open.” The Chamber will not be producing a Candidate’s Debate this year. Meet the Candidates Night was timed well in advance of the first Advance Voting Poll on October 5.

City operations shut down to honour Queen Elizabeth II

The City  will close Monday to observe the Day of Mourning for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

The day of mourning recognizes the impact Her Majesty's life and example have had on Canadians, most of whom have known only one monarch.

Because of the City's closure, the Council Meeting scheduled for Sept. 19, will be rescheduled to Sept. 21 at 9 am.

This Special Council meeting will include the agenda items from the Finance and Audit Committee, formerly scheduled for that day.

Nanaimo recreation centres will be closed on Sept. 19.

Public works will continue to collect garbage, organics and recycling as scheduled. Recycling and organics will be collected from Zone 10 and garbage and organics will be collected from Zone 5. As usual, please have your bins out by 8am.

The recycling receiving facility and organics disposal facility will be open on Monday.

RCMP seek help to identify witness

The Nanaimo RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the person shown in the attached photo. This individual is a witness to an incident that occurred in mid to late August, 2022 in Nanaimo. Due to nature of the incident, investigators cannot release any further information on the individual or the nature of the investigation.

If anyone has information that can assist in identifying this individual, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, and quote file # 2022-31620.

 

Dorman withdraws from Oct. 15 mayoral race

Saturday, Sept. 17

And then there were four candidates for mayor. The Chief Election Officer has accepted the withdrawal of Tim Dorman as candidate for Mayor in the 2018 General Local Election. The deadline for candidates to withdraw from the election was 4 pm on Friday, Sept 16. For more information visit www.nanaimo.ca/elections.

It will take me a little time to catch up after a first-hand look at the inside of Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. Aside from overworked staff and a heavy workload, everything is pretty well 'normal', if you know what that means. I have a new hip now, so onward and upward.

The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce will hold a public election education and awareness ‘Meet the Candidates Night’ on Thursday, Sept. 22 at Beban Park beginning at 6:30 pm. MORE

 

Candidates have an escape clause if they want out

Monday, Sept. 12

GOOD MORNING – With 34 candidates for city council some could be getting cold feet after discovering some of the harsh realities of biting off more than they can chew. Well, there is an escape clause, they have until 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16 to withdraw. After that they are in for the whole ride.

It's still hazy out there and the smoky conditions could linger depending on the forest fire situation. Nanaimo's air quality health index has hovered at 5 out of 10, moderate risk. “People with pre-existing health conditions, respiratory infections such as COVID-19, older adults, pregnant women and infants, children, and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure,” Environment Canada said.

What are the issues in this election? We’ve opened a section in our election coverage for readers to their say. Voters are responding on what issues are important to them. Let the candidates know what you expect from them. CHECK THIS OUT.

When Doug Slowski of Nanaimo booked a trip London some time ago, leaving on Wednesday, he never imagined he would be in the midst of history in the making. His hotel is in the heart of the events that form part of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. Slowski is with the Air Cadet League, and the trip also includes a photo session in front of 10 Downing St., home of Britain’s new Prime Minister. Schedule subject to change, says Doug.

Family and friends paid tribute this weekend to 29-year-old Fred Parsons who was killed over the long weekend at Maffeo Sutton Park. They remembered him as a generous, goofy and thoughtful individual. Parsons who was stabbed to death on Sep. 5 while at the park with a friend. HIs mother, Cindy Parsons, said her son was with two other friends for a late-night stroll. A 19-year-old  man has been charged with second degree murder. MORE 

To virtually no one’s surprise, B.C. Liberal candidate Elenore Sturko won the Surrey South byelection on Saturday. Sturko, a sergeant on leave from the RCMP, clinched the seat with approximately 52 per cent of the vote. Pauline Greaves came in second with about 30 per cent. The byelection was called to fill the seat vacated by Stephanie Cadieux, a former cabinet minister, when she became Canada's first chief accessibility officer. MORE

A challenge to Poilievre – put a new face on the party

Brian Peckford has a list of three things the new Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre can do today to prove that the politics of his party has changed — not just a new face. If not it will be a another case of same-old, same-old. FULL COMMENTARY

Voters have their say on the top issues of the campaign

Sept. 11, 2022

GOOD MORNING – What are your top issues in this election? We’ve opened a section in our election coverage for readers to express their wants and wishes from the candidates. Voters are responding on what's are important to them. Have your say on what you expect from the candidates. Here are a few samples. CHECK THIS OUT.

The Go Fund Me campaign for the VI Raiders has topped $5,000 of a target of 50 grand. The club needs help in replacing about $50,000 in equipment that was stolen from their storage locker. CHECK IT OUT.

Is this fair? A Nanoose Bay couple has been flushed with a huge water bill due to an undetected water leak. Rhonda Leigh and Clark Rutledge believe the Regional District of Nanaimo forgiveness policy is outdated. Their water bill spurted to $6,400, from an average of about $400, due to an underground leak that occurred this year. The leak was not detected as RDN only conducts water meter readings every eight months. The rest of the story.

Smoke gets in your eyes . Environment Canada predicts continuing smoke over Vancouver Island into today. Victoria is expected to see the most smoke, but areas as far north as Gold River can expect to see smoky skies. There is a chance of minor rainfall that could alleviate some of the smoke for the Island by today. MORE

Since federal politics affects all of us in some ways, Pierre Poilievre is the new leader of the Conservative party. He won a first-ballot victory Saturday evening. The long-time MP and cabinet minister from Ontario won the election decisively, with 22,993 of about 33,800 electoral points. Poilievre secured support across the country, as the first choice in almost every riding. MORE

The race is on for Victoria city council. Only one of the eight councillors is seeking re-election, but there are 37 candidates in the race for those seats, and eight for mayor. MORE

Today is the day the world remembers the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack on the World Trade centre and other U.S. targets. Americans remember 9/11 today with tributes, and pleas to “never forget,” 21 years after the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil. Victims’ relatives and dignitaries also convened at the other two attack sites, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. MORE

Second degree murder charge laid in park homicide

Mark Harrison of Nanaimo, 19, has been charged with second degree murder in the Sept. 5 homicide in Nanaimo. Harrison was arrested Thursday without incident. He appeared in Nanaimo Provincial Court this morning, and was remanded into police custody to await his next court appearance Sept. 20. 

Voters have many choices for mid-Island elections

Sept 10, 2022

NANAIMO – Thirty four people want to sit on Nanaimo City Council. There are five candidates for mayor and 29 want to become city councillors after nominations closed Friday. Seven incumbents are seeking re-election along with 22 newcomers. Mayor Leonard Krog has four challengers. FULL LIST MAYOR and COUNCIL

SCHOOL BOARD – There will be a race for school board with 13 candidates for nine seats. With only five trustees seeking re-election there will be at least four new trustees. FULL LIST

LANTZVILLE - Just up the road, the District of Lantzville has a two-way race for mayor with Mayor Mark Swain battling Stan Pottie. Seven candidates are contesting four council seats. The only incumbent in the race is Ian Savage. FULL LIST

REGIONAL DISTRICT – There were three uncontested areas in the Nanaimo Regional District. There are five candidates in Area C, Extension, East Wellington, Pleasant Valley. There’s a four-way race in Electoral Area A, South Wellington Cassidy and Cedar. Electoral Area F, Coombs, Hilliers, Errington has two candidates while Area F, Dashwood, Englishman River, French Creek also has two. The three unopposed incumbents are Vanessa Craig, Area B Gabriola and surrounding Islands, Bob Rogers in Area E Nanoose, and Stuart McLean Area H, Shaw Hill, Deep Bay, Bowser. FULL LIST

To say there will be a shakeup on Victoria city council would be an understatement – there will be no less than seven new city councillors after the Oct. 15 election. The only councillor seeking re-election is two-termer Ben Isitt. Five councillors are not running again, while two others are running for mayor, leaving their council positions open.

VI Raiders alumnus and all-time great Andrew Harris of the Toronto Argonauts hasn’t forgotten his roots. Andrew has kicked in five hundred bucks on a Go Fund Me campaign to help the Raiders recover from the devastating loss of $50,000 in equipment in a recent burglary. Every little bit helps from ten bucks to $20 or $50 or match even Andrew. GO HERE

Nominations close at 4 p.m. today for Oct. 15 election

Nominations for civic elections close at 4 p.m. today with 21 candidates so far for city council seats and four for mayor. Those numbers are expected to grow before the deadline. Notable among the long lists of newcomers is former Member of Parliament Paul Manly. As of last night there were nine nominees for school board, including five incumbents. That list is also expected to grow today. Make sure you check out the Daily Buzz election section listing all candidates HERE and follow the links.

The city and Snuneymuxw are developing transitional housing and support for homeless members of the First Nation. The city got $2.5 million federal and provincial Strengthening Communities’ Services Program grant. Three portable buildings, with four units apiece, will be set up on Snuneymuxw longhouse property in Cedar. One building, already on site, is expected to be occupied in the coming weeks, while the others should to be operational in February. MORE

No charges have been laid as the investigation continues into the homicide at Maffeo Sutton Park. A 29-year-old man was stabbed to death on Monday. Shortly after police found the fatally-injured man, several people were arrested and taken into custody. They have since been released and no charges are pending. R/Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP has asked anyone who was at the park Monday evening between 10:30 and midnight and witnessed an altercation, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, and quote file #2022-31326. MORE

Apparently two boaters didn’t get the memo when it comes to boozing and boating, after their late night moonlit paddle drew the attention of Nanaimo Mounties. The incident occurred at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Monday, in Newcastle Channel. MORE

The Nanaimo Chamber Business Expo is back on Sept. 28 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. This is first Business Expo since pre-pandemic in 2019. And there’s a Prosperity Forum luncheon which will update Nanaimo’s Economy and Development Status. There will be four breakout sessions. More on those sessions and the luncheon can be found by clicking here. A happy hour with networking follows at 5 p.m. Click here for more information and click here to register. 

What are the main issues for you in the Oct. 15 municipal election? To encourage our readers to participate in the election we invite you to tell us what your main issues are and we’ll make sure the candidates see them. Send your comments to editor@nanaimonet.com and we’ll make sure councillors get them. The rules are simple, stick to the issues, keep it clean and no personal insults.

Statement from Mayor Krog on death of Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

For most Canadians like me, Queen Elizabeth II is the only monarch we have ever known, a constant presence in an ever-changing world, and the person for whom we sang “God Save the Queen” with real feeling.

Since her coronation in 1953, she worked tirelessly with devotion to unite rather than divide, to serve rather than be served, and to uphold the standards of her office in a manner that is a model for all leaders. For 70 years of unrelenting commitment of upholding the British Constitution, Queen Elizabeth II demonstrated grace, charm, wit and keen intelligence, even in the face of existential threats to her nation.

The era of the Greatest Generation is passing. The people who withstood a crushing global economic depression, followed by World War II and the lasting effects of that conflict, have grown old, and most have passed away. Now their greatest leader has gone, too.

Leonard Krog,
Mayor
City of Nanaimo

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving British monarch has died at the age of 96. Buckingham Palace announced her death on social media Thursday morning.
11 a.m. Sept. 8, 2022

Best of intentions can sometimes waste a lot of money

Sept. 8, 2022

With Nanaimo voters set to elect a new city council on Oct. 15, a note out of the City of Terrace is a heads up about noble ideas that can go awry. Terrace has short-circuited its expensive experiment with solar panels and put them in storage. The 12 panels were installed a decade ago on the roof of city hall to charge a Toyota Prius hybrid the city bought. The idea was that electricity from the panels would charge the car’s battery but it didn’t work out that way. The panels didn’t work and interfered with regular city hall roof maintenance. MORE

Speaking of the election, six more candidates filed nomination papers with the city on Wednesday. Joining the race are Paul Chapman, Hilary Eastmure, Derek Hanna, Peter Lee, Alan Macdonald and David Wong. We’ll try to get their campaign platforms as soon as possible. The filing deadline is 4 p.m. Friday and many more are expected by that time, including some incumbent councillors. MORE

A Nanaimo community health nurse has agreed to a one-week suspension for misrepresenting his vaccine status and supplying unprescribed cannabis to a senior. The B.C. College of Nurses and Midwives inquiry committee panel reached a consent agreement with Jeremiah Isaksen in relation to incidents in 2021 and 2022. He agreed to the suspension and “review informed consent and complete a course on ethics.” MORE

The John Howard Society has a new name – Connective, aligning with other former John Howard branches in Vancouver and Kamloops. John Horn, executive director of the Nanaimo branch says the lets them do much more locally and across Vancouver Island. It allows all branches to operate on the same framework of criminal justice and social exclusion. MORE

What are the main issues in city council election?

What has city council done in the past four years that really ruffles your feathers? The calls I’m getting about the election have a similar ring to them – voters who want something different are usually the ones who take the time to call.

To give our readers an opportunity to participate in the election we invite you to tell us what you see as the main issues in the election are and we’ll make sure the candidates see them and have a chance to respond.  You can pose questions directly to candidates. Send your comments to editor@nanaimonet.com and we’ll make sure they get them. Whether they answer, that’s another question but that will tell you a lot in itself. The rules are simple, stick to the issues, keep it clean and no personal insults.

Mayor kicks off election campaign with 'Meet and Greet'

You could call it the informal launch of the election campaign – Mayor Leonard Krog is having an open house meet and greet session tonight from 5-7 p.m. at Cavallotti Hall at 2060 East Wellington Road. It’s open to everyone and three will be refreshments.

Now that students are back in school, some of them are in safer classrooms after seismic upgrades at Pleasant Valley and Cilaire elementary schools. The province has put $18.8 million for the upgrades, creating 590 seismically-safe seats for students. Students are back in their neighbourhood schools after they were relocated during the upgrades. MORE

On that note, no more zooming through school zones. Kids are back in school and that means easing your foot off the gas pedal to 30 km school zones. Cst. Gary O’Brien says it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure kids make it to class safely. And often the worst offenders are parents who’ve just dropped off their kids at school, he says.

If you’re looking for a home, the average single-family home in Nanaimo sold for $905,289 in August, 26 per cent more than a year ago. John Cooper reports 72 single-family homes sold – 27 per cent fewer than last year. But they were selling faster, days on market decreased to 19 days. The average condo sold for $455,742 while unit sales are also down. The average row/townhouse sold for $580,353. Lot prices have increased by 81 per cent to an average $758,875.  
Down the road in Parksville-Qualicum the average single family home sold for $973,639 while the condos sold for $441,637and row/townhouses $708,792. LINK TO MARKET REPORTS.

Home ownership got just a little more expensive as the Bank of Canada hiked its key interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point today, bringing it to 3.25 per cent. Global inflation remains high while the Canadian economy continues to operate in “excess demand.” The inflation rate was 7.6 per cent in July, down from 8.1 per cent in June as gas prices fell. The bank says its core measures of inflation continues to move up and short-term inflation expectations remain high. MORE

The number of people living with dementia could triple by 2050. However, The Alzheimer Society says there may be ways to reduce the impact of the disease. The new report, called “Navigating the path forward for dementia in Canada,” is the first volume of The Landmark Study, which has been prepared by the Alzheimer Society of Canada. The study, being released as three reports, represents the most significant update of the dementia prevalence in Canada. MORE

Thieves steal $50,000 in Raiders' football equipment

It’s tough winning on the field, but even tougher off field it seems. Vancouver Island Raiders has had a tough past few years off the field. Last September their changeroom at Comox Field was broken into with damages and equipment loss of $15,000. Last month, a fire was deliberately set at their facility at Caledonia Parkcausing significant smoke damage to the interior. And now, thieves broke into their equipment building stealing an estimated $50,000 in equipment on Aug. 31, at their practice facility at 110 Wall St. MORE

Man stabbed to death in Maffeo-Sutton Park

An adult and a youth are in after an overnight fatal stabbing on Monday at Maffeo Sutton Park. The victim is a 29-year-old man from Nanaimo. Police were initially called to a report of a group of youths intimidating a security guard along the waterfront.  The suspects fled and while officers were conducting patrols for them, an officer came upon the stabbing victim and his friend who had been bear sprayed. The victims were located prior to being able to call 911 for assistance. MORE

Kids are heading back to school today

Sept 6, 2022

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – And what a good morning it is for a lot of happy mamas – the kids are heading back to school today, even if it will be ever so briefly. Schools have varying hours today, but it will be the regular grind by tomorrow. MORE

Have you noticed? No election signs up yet. New city bylaw limits signs to no sooner than 30 days before election date. Kinda nice, isn’t it? We’re free until Sept. 15.

Goodbye to the Modern Café – A downtown mainstay is being replaced as the Modern Café transitions to become Gabriel’s Gourmet Café under new ownership. A social media post says it will bring a new and unique elevated culinary experience to Nanaimo. Just for nostalgia sake, it might be a good idea to visit the Modern one last time between now and theModern’s  final day Sept. 18. 

Farewell to Patrick O’Dwyer who is leaving Nanaimo for a big new post as Regional Sales Manager at the Revolution Auto Group in Grande Prairie. They have five Locations with multiple franchise brands including Mazda, Kia, GM, Ford, and used. He says he’s looking forward to being a part of communities that think more politically like he does. 

Smear tactic part of the unaccountable political game

I watched U.S. President Biden’s speech Sept. 1 and realized that he was delivering a boilerplate stump speech used on both sides of the border. In 2016 Hillary Clinton, running for the US presidency, referred to Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables. There is nothing like degrading a few million American citizens when your only focus is on acquiring votes and power. In December 2021, Prime Minister Trudeau labelled the unvaccinated as racist and misogynistic extremists without a shred of evidence. Then Biden scurrilously labels Trump supporters as radicals dangerous to democracy. FULL COMMENT

Emergencies Act Inquiry – Government investigating itself

The unconstitutional imposition of provisions of the Emergencies Act by a Liberal Government earlier this year involved an Act introduced into Parliament and passed by a Conservative Government in 1985. So we have the two major political parties involved in this travesty of justice. This draconian measure to put down peaceful civil disobedience by truckers, their families, friends, and supporters in the nation’s capital is indeed momentous and inconsistent with Canada’s adherence to democratic principles.  FULL COMMENTARY.

Our readers can be part of the election process

Friday is the deadline for nominations for the Oct. 15 municipal elections for city council, regional district and school board. Some candidates have already launched their campaigns on Nanaimonet. The Mayor Page is HERE and you can find the council page HERE.  We’re giving our readers a chance to be part of it with a sound off section. You may not be a candidate but you can be part of the process by expressing your two bits worth about the issues in the election. What turns your crank – bike lanes, taxes, Metral Drive, homeless problems? You can pose questions directly to the candidates. The rules are simple, stick to the issues, keep it clean and no personal attacks or insults. Send your comments to editor@nanaimonet.com

There's lots to do on this Labour Day weekend

Monday, Sept. 5

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – All is pretty quiet on the western front with the long weekend but you won’t have to look far to find something to do today, with bearable temperatures having returned. The annual Labour Council Labour Day Picnic hits Transfer Beach in Ladysmith today, 11 to 3 p.m. Check it out HERE.

The Multiple Myeloma March is today at Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park. The number of Canadians with the disease is increasing every year, highlighting the need for money for life-saving treatments and care. MORE

Hats off to Dave Lawrence for his successful Fresh Start yesterday, giving kids a free haircut and school supplies. The owner of That 50’s Barber Shop was busy clipping away Sunday, giving away haircuts, backpacks, clothing and school supplies. The community responded with countless donations. Dave says word got out and it became massive, with likely more donations than any other year. MORE

The first word we've had about a meet the candidates event is Mayor Leonard Krog's Meet and Greet at Cavallotti Hall, 5-7 p.m. Wedneday, Sept. 7. And there's a candidates event at the Beacon House at Protection Island on September 17 at 12 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Enjoy it, tomorrow it's "I owe, I owe, it's off to work I go, I owe, I owe."

Complete election campaign coverage is right here

Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022

Long weekends often wind up very dry when it comes to news, there’s virtually nothing to report. So this is a good time to look at the October 15 civic election as the campaign grinds to a start. A number of candidates have filed their nomination papers but have not produced their campaign information. 

Nanaimonet is developing a comprehensive election website for all candidates to feature their names with photos, with links to full campaign web pages and more. Make sure that your campaign makes an impression, call me at 250-616-0416 or e-mail merv.unger@nanaimonet.com

 We’re hearing a lot of suggestions whispers about who will actually be on the ballot, but that’s what makes elections interesting. For instance, Former mayor and councillor Gary Korpan has been out and about seeking signatures for his nomination as councillor. Will he be on the ballot?

People sometime question why certain people run in elections. Every eligible citizen has a right to run for office, but should they? In every election there are citizens qualified to vote but not necessarily qualified carry out the role of councillors or mayors. It’s a big job, but that’s the benefit of our democratic process. Good luck to all of them.

The annual Nanaimo Duncan and District Labour Council Labour Day Picnic hits Transfer Beach in Ladysmith on Monday, 11 to 3 p.m. They promise a lot of fun for all ages with music, hot dogs, bouncy castles and more. Best of all, it’s free. Check it out HERE.

The Vancouver Island Multiple Myeloma March goes tomorrow, Monday, at Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park. The goal is to raise $35,000. Myeloma is the second-most common form of blood cancer. The reality is, the number of Canadians with the disease is increasing every year, highlighting the need for money for life-saving treatments and care. MORE

Are we ready for party politics at the city council level?

Party politics is the norm in bigger cities in British Columbia where like-minded candidates form slates to seek election. Nanaimo had one such venture a couple of decades ago but that proved a total flop.

I bring this up because there are hints of a special interest group going in that direction, specifically the Freedom Convey group opposed to government mandates (to keep Canada free), reportedly having a slate of 10 candidates for council and one for mayor. Three possible candidates who participated in the city’s Zoom candidate training session appeared to be a team but did not post their names or reveal their agenda.

That’s more than forming a slate for the election, it’s a far-out special interest seeking a platform to disseminate their message. Such a group running as a slate may actually be a good thing so voters can identify who they are and what they stand for before casting their votes.

VI University gets $87 million for student housing

Sept. 3, 2022

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Vancouver Island University got a big boost when the provincial government dropped $87 million for 266 new student housing beds and a new dining hall. Advanced education and skills training minister Anne Kang delivered the good news to the campus on Friday, increasing on-campus housing to 802 beds from 536. The whole project is expected to cost $87.5 million the university picking up the difference. Construction on the nine-storey building is expected to begin in 2023 and be completed in time for the fall semester in 2025.

Three more candidates have thrown their hat in the ring for city council seats. Coun. Sheryl Armstrong is seeking re-election while Ken Bennett and Mike Hartlaub are dipping their toes in the water.

If you thought August was hot you were right. Nanaimo surpassed the average of 18.2 degrees, with records going back to the late 1800s. The August average was 20.8 degrees. It was also exceptionally dry with less than one millimetre of rain when you usually get 28 mm. MORE

The Vancouver Island Multiple Myeloma March is Monday, Sept. 5 at Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park. The goal is to raise $35,000. Each day, 11 Canadians are diagnosed with myeloma, the second-most common form of blood cancer. The reality is, the number of Canadians with the disease is increasing every year, highlighting the need for money for “life-saving treatments and care. MORE

Nobody ever said crooks were smart. RCMP arrested a man after a reported robbery of another man outside bank machine while wielding a loaded syringe about a month ago. Police say a man was withdrawing cash from an ATM outside the bank on Nicol Street when another man approached him brandishing a "loaded syringe" and demanded money. ATM surveillance video showed the suspect and he was arrested in short order. MORE

It's a long weekend and that means people travel, but get ready for sailing waits if you don’t have assured loading. BC Ferries says staffing isn’t a concern for the long weekend. “Staffing right now is looking good,” said Daniel McIntosh, BC Ferries communications manager. “I don’t have any reports of any delays or any issues or any sailings that are in jeopardy. That’s the projections as we head into the weekend as well.” MORE

Canada partners with WEF to unleash digital IDs

Partnering with the World Economic Forum is not in the best interest of the people of Canada. We do not need government digital identification in any form. Our private lives are just that – private and confidential. No government has the authority to require us to provide personal information except to manage services such as health care and only then under strict regulation to confine that information to its intended purpose. COMMENTARY

Candidates lining up for October election – four for mayor

Sept 2, 2022

They’re coming out of the woodwork as dozens of names float around as possible council candidates. I’m publishing only those who have filed nominations papers to date and will keep the list updated. Three entrants have joined the mayoral race along with Mayor Leonard Krog. They are Brunie Brunie, Tasha Brown and Agnes Provost. Councillor Ian Thorpe is giving it another go. He is the longest-serving member of the current council, having served two terms.  During the past term he was appointed to the Mayor’s Leaders’ Table as a member of the Infrastructure Working Group. As expected, former Nanaimo Hospital Foundation CEO Janice Perrino has filed papers for councillor and also on board is Erin Hemmens, who has served one term on council to date.

Former city councillor Gord Fuller is not running again but he’s not going away quitely. In a written statement he said the council on which he served made a lot of positive changes that could have saved the city millions yearly . . . with only half the core review completed. “This council scrapped it all for higher taxes and bike lanes. They even scrapped the changes to the credit card policy; the policy they all bitched about. Folks got what they wanted; back to self-serving individuals with a lack of foresight and imagination,” he concluded.

Criminal Code charges have been laid against the driver in a fatal car crash in May, 2021 that claimed the life of a 74-year-old woman. The incident occurred at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway. Nanaimo RCMP Traffic Unit arrested 50-year-old Colin Hewitt on charges of Dangerous Driving Causing Death, Impaired Driving Causing Death and Impaired Operation over .08 Causing Death. MORE

The B.C. Prosecution Service has approved charges against a Nanaimo RCMP officer in connection with a September, 2021 crash. At the time, Const. Elie Mohsen, a Nanaimo RCMP officer, was involved in a crash between a police vehicle and a motorcycle. MORE

Island Health is advising residents and visitors about limited operating hours for urgent care services at the Chemainus Health Care Centre (CHCC) during September. When urgent care at CHCC is not open, people should proceed to the Ladysmith Community Health Centre  or Cowichan District Hospital. During the hours when CHCC is not open, Island Health will allocate additional resources to Ladysmith and Cowichan to support staff and patients. MORE

Nanaimo RCMP are looking a suspect using a syringe as a weapon after a man was robbed at a bank machine. It happened in early August at a bank on Nicol Street. The victim told RCMP that he was withdrawing money when the suspect approached and demanded money. The suspect took some money and fled. MORE

The shocking demise of our Parliamentary system

When you have newly-resurrected Green MP Elizabeth May lamely saying perhaps we should have a Parliamentary debate or it might be appropriate to do so concerning spending money on war, you know we are in trouble as a democracy. They are all feeding out of the public trough with little accountability. This is a Party that many thought held some promise to hold the political middle in our country and then they go and blow it all. COMMENTARY

Last Commercial Street market of the season tonight

Sept 1, 2022

 – How do you spell success? The Chamber of Commerce spells it “street market.” Tonight is the final market on Commercial Street from 5 – 9 p.m. Chamber boss Kim Smythe is ecstatic with how the summer has gone, even the weatherman co-operated. Attendance held steady, close to previous years before the pandemic shut things down. So head on down there tonight for a great time. MORE

Michael Ribicic is making another attempt at convincing Nanaimo voters he should be on city council. At 27 he believes he’ll be one of the younger faces in the race. He also ran in the last election, finishing in 18th place. A reminder to all prospective candidates, make sure you contact The Daily Buzz to get your message out to the voting public. Contact Merv Unger at merv.unger@Shaw.ca or call 250-616-0416.

The next stage of an apartment development in the north end of the city is moving ahead. City council has granted a development permit for two, five-storey apartment buildings in the triangle at the Island  Highway and Nanaimo Parkway. Thirteen studio spaces, 89 one-bedroom and 47 two-bedroom apartments are included in the design, all devoted to market rentals. The project includes 78 underground and 86 surface parking spaces. MORE

What she called a party in disarray has led Elizabeth May try to reclaim the leadership of the federal Green Party, saying she wants to turn it into an influential force, including on fighting climate change. She is running on a joint ticket with Jonathan Pedneault, an expert on crisis situations who has investigated war zones including Afghanistan. “I have made mistakes and I apologize for them. The past two years have been hard on all of us,” she said. MORE

Making the numbers work, the B.C. government's summary financial statements for the 2021-22 fiscal year contain inaccuracies, says auditor general. Michael Pickup described three departures from "generally accepted accounting principles." Finance Minister Selina Robinson announced a surprise $1.3 billion budget surplus for the fiscal year that ended back in March. B.C. recorded payments from other governments and non-government sources as deferred revenue, or liabilities, rather than revenue. The surplus would have been $6.48 billion higher, and liabilities would have been lowered by the same amount," the auditor general's office stated. There were other deficiencies as well. MORE

Former Nanaimo man victim of homicide in Calgary

22-09-01 – Brett Davidson, 39, formerly from Nanaimo, has been identified as the victim of a homicide in Calgary last Saturday. City police said Davidson was attacked randomly, without provocation, by a man with a knife. Investigators do not believe the two men had met before. After the assault, the suspect left the area while the Davidson stumbled out of the building and onto the street where he collapsed. His family in Nanaimo has asked for privacy as they navigate their loss.