False alarm – no COVID-19 case at Woodgrove Centre

Woodgrove Centre in Nanaimo.

0710 – Oops! A alert sent out Tuesday about a COVID-19 case at Woodgrove Centre was in error. Owners of the mall, Ivanhoé Cambridge, had sent out the alert before discovering they had named the wrong mall. It was, in fact, Willowbrook Mall in Langley.

Heather Fisk, Woodgrove marketing manager, said there was a lot of concern following word of the positive test and said she was happy to hear that it was a false alarm for Woodgrove.

The updated statement reiterated that the shopping centre continues to disinfect common areas and stresses that the safety and health of employees, tenants, customers and visitors is of the utmost importance. MORE

Happy Canada Day Nanaimo

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

HAPPY CENTENNIAL – Cliff Hobbis celebrated his centennial on Tuesday – 100 years. He got the royal treatment from Nanaimo RCMP members in ceremonial red serge, along with about 50 friends and family at Long Lake Chateau. It’s been quite a century for Cliff, having served in the Second World War and then as an RCMP officer. He told Island Radio, “I don’t smoke, I don’t drink. I am a Christian and I say that’s all part of my life. I had a wife who was a mother, a wife for 77 years.” DETAILS

YOU CAN VISIT GRANNY AGAIN – The long wait is over, families can visit grandma and grandpa in long-term care or assisted living facilities. Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Health Minister Adrian Dix announced new visitation guidelines on Tuesday. Under the new guidelines, residents will be allowed to have a “single designated visitor” in a designated visiting area in the facility. Visitors will be required to wear a mask and visits will have to be booked in advance. The province announced $160 million to 680 public and private facilities to hire as many as three employees to ensure visits are conducted safely. Dix said this could mean as many as 2,040 additional staff, dedicated to ensuring protection and control measures for COVID-19 are followed. DETAILS.

GALAXY CINEMAS in Nanaimo is reopening on Friday. The company said it has re-examined all of its buildings and processes, and will implement an industry-leading program with end-to-end health and safety protocols, though it did not describe in detail what that program would look like. One change all Cineplex theatres will have is reserved seating to ensure proper physical distancing between guests.

DON'T LET THEM GET YOU – It's the tax season and the crooks come out. Nanaimo and other Island RCMP report a spike in CRA scam calls, up to 50 calls daily for the past month. Several people have been victimized and lost thousands of dollars. An international student got a phone call from a man claiming to work for the CRA. The caller convinced him his SIN had been compromised, and unless he paid $4,500, he would be arrested. He transferred the money to a Bitcoin machine. In another case, the caller told the victim his SIN had also been compromised, and if $750 was not transferred immediately, he would be arrested. A follow-up phone call was received and by spoofing the number, it appeared as if it was from the Nanaimo RCMP (250-754-2345). The victim transferred the money into a Bitcoin account. Cst Gary O’Brien of Nanaimo RCMP sats this is a very sophisticated scam which uses fear, threats and intimidation to pressure you into providing money or buying Bitcoin or gift cards. No legitimate government agency or police department would ever ask you to do this. Don't fall for it. Simply hang up, he says.

B.C. government introduces 'benefit companies'

Finance Minister Carole James

0710 – British Columbia has created what is calls benefit companies that would measure their success through service to the community.

Once you get past the buzz words, BC is the first province permitting companies to create a corporate structure that includes giving back, said Finance Minister Carole James. Businesses would promote public benefits and serve the interests of stakeholders, she said. Various causes can reap the benefits, including charitable, educational, environmental and artistic.

James said benefit companies will help propel B.C.’s economy as the province works to rebuild from the impact of COVID-19. DETAILS

Worker in Nanaimo mall tests positive for COVID-19

0701 – Woodgrove Centre has notified businesses that a person working in the mall has tested positive for COVID-19.

The notice says the worker is no longer in the mall. The shopping centre continues to disinfect common areas and stresses the safety of employees, tenants, customers and visitors.

Vancouver Island tourism industry struggling to survive

NDP Sheila Malcolmson and BCL Michelle Stilwell

0701 – Summer is slipping by for the B.C. tourism industry due to the continuing pandemic shutdown of various sectors, but politicians don't agree on a solution.

The government says it’s working to help the industry rebuild and recover, but the B.C. Liberals say the response hasn’t been sufficient.

“Tourism is such a huge part of our economy and the outlook is unclear,” Nanaimo NDP MLA Sheila Malcolmson, told The News Bulletin. She said the government’s focus has been on fighting the pandemic and that economic recovery is still to come. She said most British Columbians want to keep the U.S. border closed to tourists.

Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell, B.C. Liberal Party tourism critic, co-hosted a series of digital town halls consulting with the industry. She criticized the government for a lack of recovery planning, lack of clarity on reopening guidelines, and insufficient financial support. She said they could use temporary measures such as suspensions of sales tax, hotel tax and employer health tax just to get things moving. DETAILS

Body found at downtown bus exchange

0630 – A body was found at the downtown bus exchange Monday evening by a transit supervisor.

RCMP are investigating the discovery at the downtown bus exchange. The death isn’t considered suspicious but RCMP say it is too early in the investigation to rule out the possibility of foul play. The gender and age range of the person who died have not been determined.

July 1

Man decapitated sea lion near Parksville to take skull: witnesses
Parksville residents say they watched for hours as a man cut apart a sea lion and took the skull away on a homemade raft. 2

B.C. announces 12 new cases of COVID-19
British Columbia health officials announced 12 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and no new deaths related to the virus. 

Whale watching tours return to Victoria
Whale watching tours are returning to Victoria just in time for Canada Day. 

Fatal plane crash near Tofino raises possible safety issues for pilots
The plane went down as the pilot and only person in the Cessna 172H was conducting air sampling for an American government project examining greenhouse gas. 

Cineplex is opening some B.C. locations on July 3. 
A nationwide movie theatre chain says it plans to reopen "as many of its locations as it can on July 3," as long as doing so doesn't violate local COVID-19 restrictions. 

Paramedics responded to a record 131 overdose calls in a single day
Paramedics responded to a record number of overdose calls on Friday, B.C. Emergency Health Services.

Stolen show puppies found abandoned in Aldergrove
Hours after their photos started going viral on social media, a Good Samaritan called Mounties to tell them he found a trio of stolen puppies dumped in a vacant lot behind his Aldergrove home.

Veteran B.C. nurse fired, under investigation for alleged PPE issues
A long-time nurse who had been working at one of the B.C. care homes hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic has lost his job and is under investigation by the province’s college of nurses for allegedly "failing to protect the public" in his handling of personal protective equipment.  

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

EVEN MORE SAILINGS – BC Ferries is adding more sailings on the Horseshoe Bay –Departure Bay route. Effective Thursday, 30 additional sailings per week is being introduced. Sailings will leave Departure Bay roughly every two hours from 6:25 a.m. to 10:40 p.m. BCF is also increasing the number of crossings between Duke Point and Tsawwassen by adding eight round trips per week. Follow @BCFerries on Twitter, or visit the website at bcferries.com, or call toll free at 1-888-BCFERRY (223-3779).

 MORE MEDICAL CARE – The first nurse practitioners primary care clinic in Nanaimo will give 6,800 patients access to more primary health-care over the next three years. The Province is launching Nexus Primary Care Clinic, in collaboration with the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC and Island Health, to provide team-based primary care services to residents. The clinics are part of B.C.'s primary care strategy and are developed by nurse practitioners work on their own, or with physicians and other health professionals. This includes diagnosing and treating illnesses, ordering and interpreting tests, prescribing medications and performing medical procedures. Nexus is located at Located at #3-1273 Island Hwy. DETAILS

THE SHIELDS FOUNDATION has donated $100,000 to the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation’s $5 million campaign for the new Intensive Care Unit. Bob Shields, founder of The Shields Foundation, is the owner of Coastland Wood Industries which has been a strong supporter of the Hospital Foundation for more than a decade. On top of the $100,000, he is challenging his employees to give as well, and he’s matching their gifts dollar for dollar. The ICU is 50 years old and serves more than 400,000 residents north of the Malahat. The total cost to build the new ICU is more than $33 million. DETAILS

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Comox Valley RCMP investigating after dog beaten with metal pipe
The seven-year-old black lab named Bear was left with head injuries and his owners are facing veterinarian bills that have already topped $1,400. 

B.C. records 26 new cases of COVID-19, no deaths in 3 days
Health officials in British Columbia announced 26 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths related to the virus on Monday. 

Feds, First Nation sign deal for new marine response centre on Vancouver Island
A Vancouver Island First Nation has signed a deal with Ottawa to build a new multipurpose marine facility as part of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. 

B.C. relaxes restrictions on independent wine stores
The B.C. government is amending regulations for independent wine stores in the province, allowing them to convert to full-service liquor stores without having to move locations. 

B.C. launches $5M youth employment program
The B.C. government is launching a $5 million youth employment program that is expected to help employ hundreds of youth this summer. 

When we can visit residents of long-term care homes 
Heath Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry are expected to announce changes to visitation rules at B.C.'s long-term care facilities Tuesday. 

Thinking about wearing a face mask? Here's some data from the BCCDC 
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has released some information about face masks, but emphasizes that the most effective actions people can take are still physical distancing, hand washing and staying away from others if sick. 

Man dead after dog attack in Kamloops 
Police say a man is dead after being attacked by a pit bull in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday morning.  

Teacher suspended for 'cuffing' 2 students during class
A teacher in the Fraser Valley has been suspended for 'cuffing' two students in class and for unrelated criminal charges that were ultimately stayed.

B.C. health officials concerned about relaxed rules on airlines
Health officials in British Columbia are stressing the need for travellers to stay home while sick as some airlines prepare to end physical distancing measures on flights. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

BC FERRIES will be happy when this month finally ends after a myriad of problems with countless late sailings. Sunday was a good example as sailings between Nanaimo and Horseshoe Bay were delayed more than an hour after two ships were called to oversee a rescue of an overturned pleasure craft at about 4 p.m. Sunday. The ships stood by as the Canadian Coast Guard concluded the rescue. The delays also set back further sailings throughout the day, more than two hours late. Then to add to a day of problems, the final sailing of the day from Duke Point was recalled after the Coastal Renaissance broke down and had to be towed back to dock.

$13,6500 FOR KIDS – That’s the total amount raised by Norm Smith from his Sky High for Tour de Rock over the weekend.  Norm weathered the high winds, one rainy night, and a very sore body to raise the money for kids’ cancer research. It was a team effort, he says, adding committee members, volunteers, Save On Foods, United Rentals, Country Club Centre, the Well Beer and Wine Store and all who donated. I am truly honoured by your generosity and all the words of encouragement over the weekend. It's for the kids and together, we all showed that.

ST. JOHN AMBULANCE is back in business with first aid training in Nanaimo. Training resumes with up to 10 courses including standard first aid with CPR and automated external defibrillator use, emergency first aid for community or industry and occupational first aid. Protocols include taking a self-declaration from students and staff upon arrival, requiring students to bring their own pocket mask and non-surgical masks to courses, implement of physical distancing measures, and enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of all areas. To register for courses, go to www.sja.ca or e-mail bcy.customerservice@sja.ca 

NOT TAKING CHANCES – The Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District will be ready in case the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into next year. Trustees have allocated $200,000 in the budget for a COVID-19 response fund. The money is earmarked to go toward cleaning supplies and increased custodial and technological supports and other COVID-19 expenses that could come up in 2020-21. MORE BUDGET DETAILS


Six escape blaze in Port Alberni housing complex

PORT ALBERNI – Six people escaped a housing complex fire this morning in Port Alberni. Working smoke detector are creditted with alerting them to the inferno.

The Port Alberni Fire Department responded at around 6:50 a.m. a fire at a housing complex on the corner of Eighth Avenue and Dogwood Street, near Roger Creek Park. The fire was significant in size when crews arrived on the scene.

Crews from the Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Cherry Creek Fire Department, and the Sproat Lake Fire Department, as well as local RCMP and BC Ambulance Service, also attended the scene. FULL STORY

Mechanical problems force ferry back to Duke Point

Hundreds of people were stranded at Duke Point after the Coastal Renaissance was forced to return to dock due to a mechanical difficulty Sunday evening. Passengers were stranded on the water for four hours.

The ship had begun drifting about 15 minutes minutes out of Duke Point and the anchor was dropped before it was towed back to dock.
That resulted in a number of cancelled sailings – the 8:15 pm departing Duke Point (Customers onboard returned to Duke Point) and the 10:45 pm departing Tsawwassen.
Customers are advised to check for the most up-to-date sailing and departure information  @BCFerries on Twitter. Visit our the Current Conditions webpage at www.bcferries.com or call toll free at 1-888-223-3779. MORE

Monday, June 29

Most B.C. residents planning summer road trips
With British Columbia's recommendation against non-essential travel within the province officially ended, a new survey conducted by Insights West for the BCAA suggests two-thirds of B.C. residents intend to take a road trip this summer. 

Engine malfunction leaves BC Ferries passengers stranded on the water for hours
Hundreds of people were stranded on Vancouver Island Sunday night after an engine malfunction on a BC Ferries vessel. 

Decreased marine traffic provides opportunity to study orcas
A significant drop in sea traffic brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has created what scientists call a rare opportunity to study how quieter waters affect southern resident killer whales off the British Columbia coast. 

After death or injury during police wellness checks, what needs to change?
Deaths and injuries involving police during so-called wellness checks coupled with recent protests against police brutality are generating scrutiny over how officers respond to people struggling with mental health challenges. 

Patchwork emergency mental health service could lead to more deaths: critics
A service that pairs a mental health nurse with a police officer to do wellness checks could reduce the chance of such an encounter turning violent — but it’s only available in a patchwork of jurisdictions across B.C., a review by CTV News has found. 

Former B.C. cabinet minister who was husband of current minister dies at 73
The New Democrat B.C. Government Caucus says in a news release that Ed Conroy, who was 73, died Friday of natural causes. 

Multiple visitors to Vancouver strip club test positive for COVID-19
Vancouver Coastal Health is warning anyone who visited Brandi's Exotic Show Lounge on Hornby Street in downtown Vancouver on the evenings of June 21, 22, 23 and 24 that they may have been exposed to the coronavirus. 

Let your customers know when you're ready for business

As we move though the stages of the provincial reopening after COVID, more and more businesses are ready to reach out and welcome back their customers. Let them know you're there for them, your hours and services. FIND OUT HOW to get your message out on Nanaimonet.com. We can help refine your reopening strategy.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

HMCS NANAIMO heads back out to sea in mid-July after a month-long down time, and when they head out their ship will be adorned with a new flag from Nanaimo. Appropriate for Canada Day, the Friends of HMCS Nanaimo support group created the flag for the crew recognizing their more than 100 days at sea last winter with the drug apprehension mission Operation Caribe. Captain Jason Bergen sent a note expressing the appreciation of the crew for having fellow Canadians who care deeply and have them in their thoughts, and some of them looking over the ship as HMCS Nanaimo’s Guardian Angels.


SUMMER IS HERE but that doesn’t necessarily make it safe to go boating by yourself. Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 27 was called out to assist a paddler in Nanaimo harbour after his canoe overturned Saturday. The waves and wind pushed him into the estuary and with the rising tide, he got stranded on one of the little sand bars, said RCMSAR coxswain Ken Swain. Though he didn’t suffer injuries, he appeared hypothermic and was taken to an ambulance. MORE

GOVERNMENT HAD TO LISTEN – A note here yesterday applauded the Nanaimo and B.C. Chambers of Commerce for getting an extension to the temporary layoff provisions in the virus pandemic plan. Apparently, Labour Minister Harry Bains needed arm twisting from all corners, including from opposition MLAs, businesses and everyone else before finally extending the program. It’s all about who makes the most noise and sometimes it’s about doing the right thing.

June 28

Decapitated sea lions washing up on Vancouver Island
Headless sea lions have been washing up on Vancouver Island since spring, and a marine mammal expert says it's likely the animals were deliberately beheaded by humans. 

Remains of Capt. Kevin Hagen return home to Vancouver Island
The body of Capt. Kevin Hagen arrived back on Vancouver Island Saturday, roughly two months after the Nanaimo-native and five other Canadian Armed Forces members were killed during a training mission off the coast of Greece. 

Some family doctors in B.C. now accepting new patients
For the first time in years, if you ask a family doctor in Metro Vancouver if they can take you on as a patient you actually have a good chance of hearing "yes." 

Patchwork emergency mental health service could lead to more deaths: critics
A service that pairs a mental health nurse with a police officer to do wellness checks could reduce the chance of such an encounter turning violent — but it’s only available in a patchwork of jurisdictions across B.C., a review by CTV News has found. 

Multiple visitors to Vancouver strip club test positive for COVID-19
Vancouver Coastal Health is warning anyone who visited Brandi's Exotic Show Lounge on Hornby Street in downtown Vancouver on the evenings of June 21, 22, 23 and 24 that they may have been exposed to the coronavirus. 

Some family doctors in B.C. now accepting new patients
For the first time in years, if you ask a family doctor in Metro Vancouver if they can take you on as a patient you actually have a good chance of hearing "yes." 

Advocates say sexual violence complaint should be wake-up call
A disturbing complaint against a student at a Metro Vancouver police training institute has women’s advocates urging institutional reform, which the school is already considering. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

LOTS OF SUNSHINE because our good buddy Norm Smith is still high up in an aerial platform doing his fund raiser for the Tour de Rock this weekend, rain or shine. He’s high above Save on Foods at Country Club Centre, so drop by and make a donation, big or small. The cause is certainly right ­– children’s cancer research. One of the first to drop by with cash was Mayor Leonard Krog who has first-hand experience with his wife Sharon’s extended battles with cancer.

THE HELLS ANGELES clubhouse is breathing life again after having sat empty since it was seized by the provincial government 13 years ago under the Civil Forfeitures Act. The local club and others across the province won a court battle to regain ownership. The club’s colours are flying again and a security fence has been removed. A television news crew did not receive a warm welcome. FULL STORY.

THERE IS NO EXCUSE ­– A number of Parksville dogs were suspected of having been fed poison, and now a case has cropped up in Nanaimo north end. A man reported his dog eating a block of rat poison wrapped in bacon. It’s hard to conceive how that would be considered for specifically for rats and not be found by pets. Whoever prepared that deadly concoction needs to be found and called to account. FULL STORY

FORCE OF HABIT? – Apparently he didn’t learn. The same company’s truck that got tangled in utility lines about a month ago on Victoria Road executed the same stunt again on Friday at exactly the same location. The earlier incident occurred May 25, knocking out electricity and internet service, as it did on Friday. Nanaimo Fire Rescue reported the driver did not have his bucket down. One might well conclude that driving with your dump box up in the air could lead to a negative scenario. CHECK THE DETAILS

GOVERNMENT LISTENED – It doesn’t happen very often, so the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, in concert with the B.C. Chamber, are tickled pink with a positive response. They wrote to the provincial government asking for an extension to the temporary layoff provisions in the virus pandemic plan. Lo and behold, the government responded positively and extended the program. It’s refreshing when government listens.

Alert issued after recalled hand sanitizers show up in B.C.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has issued an alert after hand sanitizers that were recalled in the U.S. have shown up in British Columbia.

The products are all made by Eskbiochem in Mexico, sold under various brand names. They contain methanol, which is toxic if ingested and can be irritating if used on skin, BCCDC says.

The products being recalled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are:

  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)

 The BCCDC recommends that British Columbians who have these products in their homes dispose of them.

Nanaimo prepares to adjust to climate change

The City of Nanaimo will not attempt to halt climate change but rather adapt to predicted changes. 

The city has spent $225,000 on a strategy for the coming decades. The strategy forecasts higher temperatures and a rising ocean as well as less snow. Nanaimo’s hottest day of the year is expected to be 34.5 degrees in 50 years, 3.5 higher and 5.7 degrees higher in 80 years. The ocean is expected to rise by one foot in the next 50 years.

The strategy was paid for with $175,000 from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ climate innovation program, and a staff report stated the city spent $50,000 and invested staff time. MORE

June 27

Victoria Harbour Ferry shuts down amid dispute with harbour authority
The Victoria Harbour Ferry Company says the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has dealt it "an unfortunate and insurmountable blow" by ending the company's dock access as of July 1. 

Victoria’s iconic Fairmont Empress hotel reopens for business
The 112-year old Fairmont Empress hotel welcomed its first guests in more than three months Friday. 

B.C. announces 10 new cases of COVID-19, 1 more death
B.C. health officials will provide a written update on new COVID-19 cases recorded in the province on Friday afternoon. 

Fewer than 90 Indigenous people in B.C. have contracted COVID-19
Indigenous British Columbians have seen relative success in protecting against COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, according to provincial and First Nations health authorities

B.C. First Nations say sea lice spreading from fish farms to wild salmon 
The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC), which represents First Nations from across the province, is calling for an end to open net-pen salmon farming in B.C. 

Alberta condo struggling with latest COVID-19 outbreak
Alberta Health Services (AHS) spent part of Friday conducting onsite COVID-19 tests as the number of cases inside a Calgary condominium continues to grow. 

Trudeau pledges $300 million to fight COVID-19 abroad
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday that Canada will contribute $300 million towards the international effort to battle COVID-19. 

Strathcona residents, businesses call for permanent site for homeless camp
Residents and businesses in Vancouver's Strathcona neighbourhood are calling on the city and the province to create a permanent site for homeless campers in the city - one that's not located in Strathcona Park or another of the neighbourhood's few public green spaces. 

Vancouver has approved 127 patios so far and more could be on the way
The City of Vancouver says more patios could be on the way because a new bylaw has been proposed to allow patios for breweries and distilleries. 

Friday, June 26, 2020

NORM SMITH is doing his fund raiser for the Tour de Rock this weekend. He’s going to be at Save on Foods at Country Club Centre, so drop by and make a donation, big or small.

SLOW DOWN – Departure Bay Road at the Beach has been somewhat on an Indy 500, but that will change with new traffic calming being put up there. curbs are being placed in the middle of the road at three crosswalks along the raod. The city tried to calm the traffic last year, but that didn’t work. Speeds only went down by 1-3kmh. Previous speed monitoring showed that out of 580 vehicles, only four followed the speed limit of 30kmh, the average speed was 53kmh. One driver was clocked at 97kmh. MORE

TEENAGER FOUND – UPDATE The Nanaimo RCMP has announced that the teenaged girl reported missing on June 24, has been located safe and sound.
Earlier report: Nanaimo RCMP are seeking help from the public to find 13-year-old Ayla Natalie Johnson. She left home Tuesday with a friend and her phone has been turned off. Investigaors said she has recently been making some poor decisions and, her family and support network are concerned for her safety and well-being. Ayla is 5-foot-6, 110 pounds and her hair is black with dyed orange streaks. Anyone with information regarding Johnson’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 2550-754-2345.

BUSINESS AND USUAL – B.C. Ferries is slowly but surely moving into phase three of its restart plan, reopening some amenities as the travel season restarts, as well as slowly phasing out the 50 per cent capacity rule. Quay Markets at the Departure Bay and Tsawwassen terminals will re-open to customers, with some vendors opening over the following week. It’s not just the Quay Markets that are opening up, BC Ferries also recently resumed some food-service on select routes. The 50-per-cent capacity rule is also being phased out, allowing the vessels to carry more than half of what it could normally hold.

Friday, June 26

2 deaths from COVID-19 in B.C. over last 24 hours
Two more people have died from COVID-19 in British Columbia, the first time more than one such death has been recorded in a 24-hour period since May. 5

Review of fatal bus crash spurs changes to UVic field trip policies
The University of Victoria (UVic) is implementing significant changes to its field trip policies now that a review of a fatal bus crash that occurred in September 2019, which killed two students and injured more, has been completed. 

B.C. extends layoff provisions to Aug. 30; prepares for September school restart
The B.C. government says it is extending temporary layoff provisions until the end of August, giving employers and workers more flexibility to support economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Police investigating string of possible dog poisonings in Parksville
The Oceanside RCMP are investigating after a string of possible dog poisonings occurred in the Parksville area over the past several weeks. 

Warning signs ignored at prison before escape, guard says
A correctional officer who has worked at William Head Institution for almost a decade is speaking out, saying warning signs about violent inmates were ignored and the most recent escape wasn’t the first time. 

Woman sprayed with hose outside Delta police chief's home
The RCMP is investigating a complaint that a South Asian woman was sprayed with a hose outside a home belonging to Delta's police chief. 

Thursday, June 25, 2020

GOOD MORNING – Cathedral Grove is closed but that isn’t keeping people from illegally parking on the highway to enter the park. In the past month, some 80 warning tickets have been issued. The Ministry of Environment said park rangers have issued warnings but no $115 tickets. Park rangers have been using warning tickets to inform and educate the public about parking and trespassing in the park. MacMillan Provincial Park, which houses Cathedral Grove, remains closed.

A COMPLAINT that a woman was injured during an arrest in Nanaimo has resulted in the Independent Investigations Office investigating an incident the complaint. The police watchdog reports RCMP responded to a call May 26 about a woman’s safety and well-being. Officers attended residence where police advised the woman that she was being apprehended under the Mental Health Act. A physical altercation resulted in she was taken to hospital. Several days later, police learned that she had suffered serious injuries and the IIO was notified. MORE

YOU CAN HELP OUT – If your bottles have been piling up during the Covid pandemic, there’s help on the way. The Royal Canadian Legion in Harewood has a bottle drive for this Friday and Saturday. Volunteers will be outside the Legion at 129 Harewood Rd. from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. both days. To volunteer or find out more information, call Len at 250-208-1005. MORE

MORE CHILDCARE – The B.C. government has approved 326 new licensed space for child care at three facilities. Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, will help the Childcare Centre at Vancouver Island University with 75 spaces, including 12 infant/toddler spaces, 50 spaces for children aged three to five years and 13 spaces for school-age children. Elders on campus at VIU will consult on the centre's curriculum to ensure children learn about Indigenous cultures, traditions and history. MORE

Tools and equipment stolen from forestry truck

0625 – Tools and equipment were stolen from a B.C. forest vehicle between June 8 - 10, when a B.C. Ministry of Forests panel van was parked at the government offices on Labieux Road. 

The equipment is valued at several thousand dollars and includes a Sinnader AC voltmeter/audio unit in a grey nylon case; an IFR FM/AM 1200s radio communications test set with serial number 9947; Kenwood NX-700 mobile VHF radio; Zantrax HPD 30-10 regulated DC power supply; Rubbermaid cargo box that contained cables, wires, hand tools, duct tape and small hardware; and a first aid kit in a blue nylon bag.

If you have any information about this case, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

June 25

New UVic librarian to support Indigenous reconciliation efforts
A first-of-its-kind Indigenous reconciliation position was announced at the University of Victoria. 

'We knew it was going to happen': warning signs ignored at prison before escape
A correctional officer who has worked at William Head Institution for almost a decade is speaking out, saying warning signs about violent inmates were ignored and the most recent escape wasn’t the first time. 

14 new cases of COVID-19, 1 more death as B.C. enters Phase 3
B.C. health officials will provide a written update on new COVID-19 cases recorded in the province on Wednesday afternoon. 

Feds offer students $1,000 for every 100 hours of COVID-19 volunteer work 
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has offered new details on the now-launched Canada Student Service Grant program including spelling out how it'll work, and elaborated on the government's plans to create thousands of more temporary job openings for young people who are looking for work and experience this summer

New case of COVID-19 ends 6-week streak of no cases on Vancouver Island
Vancouver Islanders can no longer brag about the fact that there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the island. 

New batch of endangered Vancouver Island Marmots released into wild
The latest batch of Vancouver Island Marmots who were being looked after by an animal recovery group are being released to the wild this week, with extra protocols in place because of the pandemic.

B.C. says landlords can start eviction process again, effective immediately
Landlords in British Columbia are allowed to start evicting tenants again, but not for failing to pay the rent. 

Officials ask interprovincial visitors to pack 'travel manners' when coming to B.C.
As British Columbia enters the third phase of its pandemic response, officials are offering a "slightly amended" message to people considering travelling to the province from other parts of Canada. 

Kamloops man seriously injured during police response to false report
British Columbia's police watchdog is investigating an incident in which police responding to a false report had an altercation with a Kamloops man that left him seriously injured Tuesday night. 

CERB verification system holds up pandemic payment
An unexplained snag in the validation system for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit has left a Vancouver man without a payment since May.

Police capture fleeing suspect with help from boaters

Police Zodiac involved in rounding up suspect.

0612 – A 25-year-old man who ran from police then took a short but very cold swim in the ocean was stopped only after several Good Samaritans, armed with boat hooks, came to the aid of the officers. The incident and arrest took place at approximately 2 pm on Monday near the Nanaimo Shipyards located on Stewart Avenue.

The incident began when officers attended to a report of a man sleeping on a bench at the Chinese Gardens. After a short discussion, the officers were shocked when the man lit a pipe and began smoking illegal street drugs in front of them. He was promptly arrested and when asked to identify himself, bolted on foot, across Stewart Avenue to the Nanaimo Shipyards. MORE


Province chips in $500,000 for Metral Drive upgrade

0624 – The city has received a $500,000 grant toward the Metral Drive complete streets project.

The money is earmarked for Phase 1, which adds continuous sidewalks, protected cycle tracks, raised intersections, curb extensions and marked crosswalks.

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced a slate of active transportation grants in the region. The grants support new infrastructure or improvements to existing networks. MORE

Horgan moves to phase three of virus re-opening plan

Premier John Horgan

0624 – The province is another step closer to returning life to normal by moving into phase three of the re-open plan.

Premier John Horgan made the announcment on Wednesday, clearing the way for province-wide travel, movie theatres, the film industry, resorts and more provincial parks to open under conditions. As well, full-time in-class learning returns in September.

“As you’re interacting with more people and your bubble is expanding, be mindful of whom you’re around, be mindful of what you do.”

He repeated his wish to keep the Canada-U.S. border closed as long as necessary. MORE

Wednesday, June 2, 2020

YOU CAN SOON HAVE a night out at the movies – Landmark Cinemas, in Woodgrove Centre, will resume screenings on July 3, as will other theatres across B.C. Landmark Bill Walker, says things have changed in the theatre experience from before the pandemic. Seat maps are set up to maintain distancing. MORE

SECURITY OFFICERS will patrol the streets in the Old City Quarter, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The patrols are part of a six-month experiment of increased security and cleaning measures in the Old City Quarter.  Nanaimo city council has approved $195,000 for the trial program. Darren Moss of the Old City Quarter Business Improvement Association, sees the patrols as a way to prevent problems from arising the following day when shoppers and tourists are in the area. MORE

HOPE FOR STRATA OWNERS as the government takes aim at skyrocketing strata insurance costs. the province will change some regulations and amend the Strata Property Act and Financial Institutions. That will include closing loopholes with depreciation reports, eliminating referral fees paid to property managers, and providing strata owners and corporations more support. Finance Minister Carole James described it as an extremely complex issue with the private insurance industry. She said the new legislation is a step forward to tackling thie problem. MORE

June 24, 2020

CRD to build 2,000 new affordable homes 
With help from the federal and B.C. governments, the Capital Regional District (CRD's) "Regional Housing First Program" will see the construction of another 2,000 affordable homes in the region by 2022. 

Victoria school trustees vote to review police school liaison program
School boards in Vancouver and Victoria are reviewing the use of police liaison officers but have rejected motions to suspend the programs while the reviews are under way. 

Why hasn't B.C. fined any pandemic price-gougers? 
In the two months since B.C. introduced a tough $2,000 fine for pandemic price-gouging, not a single business has been dinged – and the reasons why remain unclear. 

North Vancouver Mountie charged with assault: BC Prosecution Service
The BC Prosecution Service says a North Vancouver RCMP officer has been charged with assault in connection with the arrest of a suspect on Oct. 8. 

How CMHC thinks COVID-19 will impact Vancouver's real estate market
A report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation forecasts lower housing starts, sales and prices for the country's major markets – and a slower rebound in Vancouver than in some other cities

Here are B.C.'s plans to combat a sudden spike in strata insurance
The province announced the "first steps" of its plan to address B.C.'s rising strata insurance rates Tuesday morning

Wastewater from Vancouver, Surrey being tested for COVID-19
B.C. health officials are experimenting with a new way to detect COVID-19 infections in communities – by testing for the virus in human waste. 

Man sentenced to life for killing 2 people during drug deal gone wrong
A judge has sentenced a man to life in prison with no chance of parole for 17 years in connection with the shooting deaths of a mom and her friend over a drug deal that went bad. 

Extra ferry sailings added for June 25-28 weekend

B.C. Ferries has revised the schedule for sailings between Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay, effective this Thursday, June 25.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

REUNIONS COMING SOON – In-person visits to care homes will soon become a reality, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday in her daily update. COVID-19 has closed off long-term care from in-person visits for more than three months. Premier John Horgan is expected to announce the next steps toward the third phase of the COVID restart planlater this week. Dr. Henry said any move to phase three would be done without abandoning what has kept the province on top of its battle against the pandemic. There has been one new case of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island, the first one since early May, Dr. Henry said. There are 182 active cases across British Columbia with 14 people in hospital, including six in intensive or critical care. MORE

TWO SUSPECTS HAVE BEEN ARRESTED after what police described as a staggering amount of stolen goods, including two vehicles, two motorcycles, a firearm, several bicycles, power tools and hand tools. Police said a 47-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman were arrested and a variety of items recovered, includeing additional items from incidents in Nanaimo. Oceanside RCMP received tips from the public about the two people lurking around properties in Nanoose Bay in a gold van. The two were found, along with the van, and arrested in a trailer park in Parksville. The man was arrested for break-and-entry; the woman for breach of court-ordered conditions. MORE

THE MAFFEO SUTTON playground is open. It’s a partnership between The City, Children's Health Foundation, Child Development Centre, Tire Stewardship of BC and other community organizations. The newly installed equipment is not only inclusive for all members of the community, but it will help to improve motor, cognitive and social skills through active play.  The new safety surfacing is made out of recycled tires, and wood fibre replacing pea gravel. The new srurfaces improve safety and allow those with mobility challenges easier access throughout the area.  Another feature includes First Nations art pieces by Noel Brown, depicting life along the Millstone River with Coho salmon. 

WHILE YOU’RE OUT and about, keep your eyes open for a road bike that was stolen from the backyard of a residence. The theft occurred sometime overnight on Tuesday, from a home in the 2300 block of Arbot Road. It’s  silver with blue, GT Transeo, 3.0 hybrid with 27.5" wheels, 24 speed with fenders. There was a rack on the back with a yellow and black bag attached, and the serial number CM14A533222. If you you know anything about it or where fit is, give the cops a shout at the non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

EXTENSION FIRE DEPARTMENT deployed its rope rescue team and called in Nanaimo Search and Rescue Sunday for assistance to rescue a 60-year-old man who was hiking with his son in steep rocky terrain near River Terrace. After they assessed the situation the team decided the safest way to retrieve him was by helicopter. He was extracted via helicopter and flown to the Helijet heliport where he was transferred to a B.C. Ambulance and taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. MORE

Limits on travel within province likely to be eased

Dr. Bonnie Henry

0623 – As B.C. prepares to move to the next phase of its COVID-19 pandemic recovery, with limited travel for vacations and visits, the signs are positive that infection risk can be contained, Dr. Bonnie Henry says.

Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix presented their latest disease modelling June 23, as Premier John Horgan is expected to announce the return of non-essential travel within the province this week. The reopening of businesses, parks and other activities has taken place without a spike in B.C. cases and it can be broadened if everyone does it carefully, Henry said. MORE

Chamber of Commerce wants temporary layoffs extended

Kim Smythe

0613 – The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce wants the province to extend the layoff limit beyond 16 weeks, to the end of August, with an additional six weeks after emergency orders are lifted.

Chamber CEO Kim Smythe has written to Labour Minister Harry Bains to reconsider after Bains announced there will be no extension. 

 “Extending the temporary layoff time limit to August 31 could ensure businesses are better able to develop a healthy recovery reality strategy aligning with other supporting plans and programs. It would promote easier understanding of the program environment and enhance strategic planning – short and long term – in consideration of return of the pandemic,” states the letter. MORE

UPDATE: Missing woman has been located

Amy Dowell

UPDATE" RCMP report that Amc Dowell has been located safe.

0623 – Amy Dowell, 36, has not been seen since June 18 and Nanaimo RCMP seek help in locating her.

She was reported missing on June 20 by a family member who told investigators her friends and family members have been unable to contact her. This is out of character for Dowell and has caused concern for her safety and well-being. She frequents the Wesley Street/downtown area.

Dowell is 5 ft. 8, 150 pounds with short blonde hair. If you know the whereabouts of Amy Dowell, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

BC Ferries expands schedules for summer months

BC Ferries has announced its expanded summer schedule, effective July 1, which will see additional sailings each day, with some exceptions. There will be an 6:50 p.m. sailing on Sundays only from Departure Bay and 8:50 p.m. from Horseshoe Bay.

During the summer, BC Ferries will have three ships operating on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay run, two vessels providing service on the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route, and one ship on the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale run. The Tsawwassen – Duke Point route will continue as a two-vessel operation. This is about 120 sailings a week more than in June. FULL SCHEDULES

  • Effective July 1

Tuesday, June 23,2020

Whistleblower protection likely for reports of racism in B.C. health system
Health Minister Adrian Dix says he thinks there will “certainly” be protection for whistleblowers following an investigation into allegations of racism in British Columbia's health-care system

B.C. announces 32 new COVID-19 cases, 1 more death
B.C. health officials announced 32 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, and one more death related to the virus

2,065 complaints, zero provincial fines: Pandemic price-gouging in B.C.
During the tense first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of B.C. businesses were accused of jacking up prices to take advantage of panicked shoppers – and new data reveals just how many of those complaints were found to be substantiated. 

Victoria police officer under criminal investigation
The Victoria Police Department has confirmed that one of its officers is being investigated by an outside agency. 1

2 pandemic-related orders not authorized by law: B.C. ombudsman
British Columbia's ombudsperson says the province's public safety minister made two pandemic-related orders that were not authorized by law. 

Metro Vancouver man drowns on Father's Day trying to save daughter 
Mounties say the 46-year-old man died on Sunday after entering the water to try to help his daughter

More men are happy with partner's efforts during the pandemic than women
For many households, the novel coronavirus pandemic has forced people into closer quarters than they're used to and results from a recent poll suggest men have been happier with those arrangements than women.

Report calls for significant changes to legislature security, role of sergeant-at-arms
A report commissioned by the Office of the Speaker of the B.C. Legislature and obtained by CTV News is recommending the role of sergeant-at-arms be scaled back significantly, to become a ceremonial position only. 

Monday, June 22, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Okay, how do you like summer so far?

ONE MORE SAILING – B.C. Ferries is adding a 4:50 p.m. sailing from Horseshoe Bay and 6:50 p.m. from Departure Bay for June 25-28. The move is being done to match capacity with demand and meet customer needs, B.C. Ferries said. With the Canada Day long weekend on the horizon, it would make sense that many more sailings would be added.

HIGH ON LIFE– Patrick Allen of Gabriola Island is nearing the 100-mark but that doesn’t keep him grounded from living life to the fullest, he went skydiving on Father’s Day. The adventure with Nanoose Bay-based SkyDive Vancouver Island was a gift from his daughter and grandson. Truth be told, it was old hat for Patrick, he’s skydived three or four times over the past few years. He’s the oldest man to have jumped with SkyDive Vancouver Island and has talked about trying to continue long enough to set a Canadian record when he’s 102. MORE with video

STOP ALREADY – Now Eskimo Pie is sailing off into oblivion because the looney politically correct crow sees it as racist. It’s seen as derogatory because it was made up by non-Inuit, meaning “eater of raw meat.” I bet nobody ever asked any Inuit about their feelings. A representative for Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, which makes Eskimo Pie, said the company is committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognize the term is derogatory and will close the brand. When will they come for the Frank Ney statue?

Monday, June 22,2020

B.C. legislature reopens to politicians
The summer sitting of the B.C. legislature starts today with a much different format than the usual face-to-face political debates.

Care home visitor restrictions make Father's Day reunions a challenge
Unfortunately for one Lake Cowichan family, the COVID-19 pandemic has made spending quality time with their loved one almost impossible. 

Police increasing patrols after nightclub reopening leads to fights
Mounties in Campbell River say the reopening of a local nightclub led to calls for police assistance on consecutive nights last weekend. 

Alberta and B.C. reported hundreds of deaths not linked to COVID-19
Above-average levels of deaths have been reported in Alberta and B.C. during the COVID-19 pandemic, including hundreds of deaths that have not been linked to the novel coronavirus. 

Threat of slow-moving landslide forces resident to consider moving
A resident of a small community on the banks of British Columbia's Peace River says he's concerned that if he leaves, he won't be able to come home.

West Vancouver man found guilty of fraud to reduce taxes on real estate: CRA
The Canada Revenue Agency said its investigation showed that Michael Scholz had provided forged documents to CRA officials to claim tax credits he was actually not entitled to, and to reduce taxes he owed on a home in West Vancouver. 

Coalition calls for B.C.'s COVID-19 $300 disability top-up to be made permanent
According to a survey conducted by the coalition, people who got the extra money have used it to buy healthy food, get out of debt and avoid “extreme rationing at the end of the month.” 

UBC board chair resigns after being called out for liking 'regressive' tweets 
In a statement posted on his Twitter account, Korenberg, who has served on UBC’s board since 2016, wrote that his "likes" on Twitter "supported regressive voices and took aim at thousands of brave individuals who are standing up against racism, hatred, and discrimination."  

Sunday, June 21

AGONY OF SEPARATION – One of the most-cruel fallouts from the virus pandemic has been the separation of seniors from their families. The closest contact they can have it through windows. It’s been three months of heartache for many. CHEK-TV has a story about 89-year-old Marguerite Bell and her two daughters as they visited her Nanaimo care home Saturday. The daughters have only been able to see her through a window for about 15 minutes each week. The province has moved through its reopening phase, but when it comes to care homes, the guidelines haven’t changed. FULL STORY

WELCOME TO SUMMER – Central Vancouver Island region indigenous students have been given laptop and tablet computers to assist their education. Kw’umut Lelum, Nanaimo Ladysmith Schools Foundation and Mastercard Foundation are teaming in the Staying Connected to Education initiative. School districts, aboriginal friendship centres and First Nations governments identify families in need so students can continue learning and keep them connected with services and support. With education in online environments, it can be difficult for some to access online education. The computers, with to wi-fi access, will aid students and families to cope with the transition to virtual learning.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO – You must have a mask if you’re boarding a B.C. ferry, but you don’t have to wear it. The language of the rule means that passengers don’t have to wear one, they just have to confirm they have a mask with them. The ticket agent will ask if you have masks for all passengers, and that’s it. Some recent riders report not very many people wearing them once they are on board.

JAIL TIME – Courtenay Serah Cross, 44, has been given a three-year jail term after pleading guilty to possessing and trafficking more than eight grams of heroin and fentanyl, along with a cocaine possession charge. The drugs, as well as weapons and cash, were found in a 2017 raid of her apartment on Albert Street.  She was sentenced on Friday.

Sunday, June 21

Second Island First Nation warns of possible COVID-19 exposure
The Tsawout First Nation sent a letter to community members informing them that a person who was at the nation's health centre on June 16 for a short period of time has now tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Police break up 200-person party in North Cowichan
Mounties on Vancouver Island are reminding those considering hosting or attending parties this summer to consider physical distancing rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Indigenous repatriation projects get new funding from government
The British Columbia government says it's providing financial support to Indigenous communities that want their ancestral remains and cultural objects returned. 

B.C. taking 'step back' from COVID-19 screening at border
Since April, B.C. officials have been leading the effort to ensure that all travellers arriving in the province during the COVID-19 pandemic have a 14-day self-isolation plan. 

TransLink to bolt down its hand sanitizer after some stands stolen
The Lower Mainland's transit authority put hand sanitizer dispensers in several transit stations as a way to guard against the spread of COVID-19, but recently, it's been the thieves who have been cleaning up

Canadians working from home permanently should expect salary changes
Only one-third of Canadians working remotely expect to resume working from the office as consistently as they did pre-pandemic, while one-in-five say they will remain primarily at home

First responders unable to find man reported overboard in English Bay
Vancouver police say the man is now considered to be missing and their investigation continues

Slow-moving landslide closes only road into northern B.C. town
A slow-moving landslide has closed the only road into a small community along British Columbia's Peace River for the second time in less than two years. 

Bains notes pressure from China to adopt Huawei's 5G tech 
Innovation Minister Navde Bains says China is "applying pressure" on Canada to integrate Huawei technology into its 5G network, as it remains the only Five Eyes nation yet to make a decision about the scope of its involvement. 

Saturday, June 20, 2020

ALL THAT FREE MONEY – The federal government's Community Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is backfiring – employers are having a hard time finding anyone to work, and they believe it is because workers would rather collect $2,000 a month from government than working. The Daily Buzz pointed out last week that the Modern Café was finding staff hard to find, some wanting to wait until July to take waiting jobs. Well, the CERB deadline has been extended to September. Joey Day was interviewed on CTV saying he is ready to open a new food truck business but can't find a front-window employee and is shocked with what potential employees are telling him – they can stay home and collect the CERB benefit. Parksville's Five Star Wholesale owner Mark Chandler has been advertising positions without any takers. He's looking for a driver, an inside worker, plus someone for weekends. Gord Kurbis has the FULL STORY. 

GOODBYE CUSTOMER SERVICE – Walmart south of the border is testing self-checkout only, no cashiers. The company is removing cashiers at a superstore in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Walmart says it is an attempt to see if checkout times are faster while limiting human interaction. Workers will still help customers who have trouble doing the checkout themselves. Depending on the success of the test run, Walmart could expand the program to more stores.

CYBER PROTECTION – LifeLabs was the victim of a cyber-attack involving unauthorized access to its computer systems late last year. Millions of Canadians had their personal data compromised. In response, LifeLabs offered one free year of cyber protection services including dark web monitoring and identity theft insurance. That sounds like a fair make-good, but you need to know that the offer expires at the end of this year. To register, 1-888-221-2082.

 I DON’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP – Researchers at UBC must be having a hard time trying to keep busy. They are studying whether the COVID-19 pandemic is to blame for an increase in genital injuries in Victoria, after six men were treated in one week. Injuries included two "penile fractures", as well as one painful erection that lasted for four days, among others. But, imagine the limp explanation for this one – a man's privates being treated for a dog bite. FULL STORY

First Nations want Campbell River fish farm shut down

Two Campbell River-area First Nations are calling for the removal of a fish farm from their territory after more than 1,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon escaped May 24.

The escape of Atlantic salmon from a finfish aquaculture site in Johnstone Strait prompted a call to cancel the provincial tenure for the farm.

In a letter dated June 9, Chief Brian Assu of We Wai Kai and Chief Chris Roberts of We Wai Kum advised the provincial government of the need to close the Shaw Point site, northwest of Campbell River, which has been operating by MOWI Inc. on a month-to-month basis since the expiry of the tenure. MORE


Saturday, June 20, 2020

Mid-Island business owners say CERB is making it hard to find workers
Some employers in the mid-island's hospitality industry say they're having a hard time finding employees during the pandemic, in large part because they believe workers would rather stay home collecting government subsidies than find employment.

New killer whale foraging zone to expand fishing restrictions off Island
A killer whale-only dining zone in the Strait of Juan de Fuca will be expanded when fishing restrictions return this summer. 

Vancouver Island First Nation receives $4.1M to build new hydro dam
The B.C. government is providing roughly $4.1 million to the Hesquiaht First Nation to help the community transition to hydroelectricity. 

B.C. ties its longest stretch without a death from COVID-19
No one has died from COVID-19 in B.C. in a full week, health officials said Friday

Landlords will be able to evict tenants again soon - but not for non-payment 
The provincial government says a policy meant to help tenants who've lost work due to COVID-19 be able to stay in their homes has been extended, but other eviction rules will be changing soon. 

How to tell the difference between COVID-19 and seasonal allergies
In the time of COVID-19, trying to figure out the difference between symptoms of the virus and symptoms of seasonal allergies can be both stressful and confusing. 

South Asians more likely to die from overdose in Fraser Health region
A new report from Fraser Health shows that overdose deaths for South Asian people increased by almost 300 per cent between 2015 and 2018, compared to a 138 per cent increase for non-South Asian people living in the region covered by the health authority. 

Friday, June 19,2020

HURRAY FOR FERRY FOOD – If you’re travelling on the Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay ferry hot food is back on the menu. You can dine on burgers, chicken strips, fries, packaged pastries and other items, plus coffee, tea and other beverages. All hot food will be package so you can eat in your car and the outer deck, as cafeteria seating is limited. If you travel from Duke Point there are sandwiches and other pre-made food in addition to coffee, tea and other beverages.

A WHILE IN THE MAKING, but Kirby Villeneuve’s dream of a family-friendly mountain bike trail network in Englishman River Falls Provincial Park has become reality. Kirby envisioned a family-friendly mountain bike trail network when he looked at a forested section of land in the Park. Six years later, it’s been brought to life. The park has a 2.3-kilometre multi-use trail network that will be maintained through a 10-year agreement with the Arrowsmith Cycling Club. Designed for all abilities, the trails are adjacent to a larger network of trails known as Hammerfest, creating a variety of opportunities for mountain biking enthusiasts to enjoy.

TENNIS ANYONE? The city’s sports fields are open with sports courts opening by Monday.   Make sure you pay attention and heed guideline signage for sports fields and sports courts. They are posted at each location to help you understand how to remain safe and healthy while visiting these areas. 

WE LIVE IN an evolving culture, things change, language changes and that is most often led by what we used to call buzz words. They spring on us, last for a little while and then fade into the background. You remember global warming, and when it couldn’t carry its own weight it became climate change. The most recent past social lecturing word was “collaborate.” Almost all candidates used it ad nauseum in the last local election, particularly the school board candidates. Just so you don’t feel left behind, the biggie now is “systemic”. Blame the system for everything, you name it.

Nanaimo schools get $18.8 million for seismic upgrades

MLA Sheila Malcolmson

B.C. Ministry of Education has allocated $18.8 million for earthquake upgrades to two Nanaimo schools.

Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson made the announcement on Friday for the work which will focus on Cilaire and Pleasant Valley elementary schools. Seismic construction work is set to be under way in one year.

Part of that funding will be used renovate the old Woodlands Secondary School site and Rutherford Elementary School, which was closed in 2018, to serve as swing spaces, or places where students can receive instruction during seismic upgrades. MORE


Police investigate arson to local business

Damage to loading dock in arson fire.

0619 - RCMP and fire Inspectors are investigating an arson which caused extensive damage Thursday morning to Motion Specialities on Bowen Road. 

The fire was contained to a loading dock and minimal damage was sustained to the interior of the building after fire crews arrived at approximately 12:20 a.m. 

 The fire was caused by paper shoved inside wooden pallets then set on fire. The chain link fence surrounding the loading dock had been cut. A backpack was also found at the scene containing paper and various debris.

 Investigators are canvassing local businesses for any possible closed circuit video. If anyone has information on this incident, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.


Friday, June 19, 2020

Vancouver Island First Nation office closed after suspected contact with COVID-19
Staff at a Vancouver Island First Nation government office are in self-isolation after a community member was exposed to someone with a suspected case of the novel coronavirus

No additional COVID-19 deaths in B.C. for 6th straight day
For the sixth consecutive day, British Columbia has seen no additional deaths from COVID-19, health officials announced Thursday.

Pandemic may be contributing to increase in male genital injuries
Researchers from the University of British Columbia are wondering whether the COVID-19 pandemic is to blame for an increase in genital injuries among men in Greater Victoria, after six men were treated for such injuries in the region in the span of a week. 

Thousands of tourists, shoppers still trying to enter Canada despite travel ban
The latest data from the Canada Border Services Agency reveals that 7,639 foreign nationals were denied entry to Canada under the discretionary travel ban between March 22 and June 16. 

Health minister to give update in last-minute news conference
The event comes after a previously scheduled press conference on COVID-19 in FIrst Nations communities was cancelled

$500 rent supplement has been extended to the end of August
Renters whose income was affected by COVID-19 will get at least another two months of the B.C. government's rental supplement. 

Bands pull out of Canada Day event in support of anti-racism petition
Three musical groups slated to headline a virtual Canada Day celebration in Surrey, B.C., have pulled out of the event to protest what they say is that city's lack of commitment to dismantle systemic racism. 

Park used to unite families across the border to close temporarily  
After attendance has skyrocketed, the B.C. government says its temporarily closing a park near the Canada-U.S. border. 

Workers are no longer moving between care homes
All long-term care homes in B.C. have now moved to single-site staffing, a key measure to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, according to B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix. 

Vancouver school board will consider banning police from schools
Advocates say calling police on students in schools is heavy-handed, and many Black students find the presence of police traumatic

Island region maintains clear slate in coronavirus watch

0618 – Vancouver Island Health region remains free of COVID-19 cases while the province saw another increase in active cases. The Island has not had any cases since early June.

In her daily report, Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported eight new cases in the province. There are 190 active cases in B.C., with 10 patients in hospital including five in intensive or critical care. No active cases have been present on Vancouver Island since early June.

Gabriola Island gets $100,000 for economic development

MLA Doug Routley

The Gabriola Island Chamber of Commerce has been awarded $100,000 in provincial funding for economic development.

This initiative will build on the foundation of the Community Economic Development base with value and place-based projects, said Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley. He said it will help the business community create opportunities for people and families.

This money is part of nearly $14 million for more than 150 projects that will support economic development and recreational opportunities in rural areas. Priority was given to economic development projects that have a focus and potential for job creation. MORE

UPDATE – Mathias 'Moses" Millette has been located

Mathias Millette

UPDATE RCMP report that Mathias Millette has been found safe and sound.

0618 – Have you seen Mathias Millette? Nanaimo RCMP needs help in locating the 33-year-old who has not been seen or heard from since last week Thursday. 

He needs daily medication which he does not have with him so his health care providers are extremely worried for his safety and well-being.

Millette is 5 ft.6, 185 pounds and the picture is recent. His nickname is Moses and prior to June 11, he was of no fixed address. If you have information on the whereabouts of Mathias aka Moses Millette, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

PICKING UP THE TAB – The Nanaimo Museum reopens today, with limited hours, and someone else is picking up the tab. David Stanley, a devoted museum supporter, made a donation to the museum to cover admission costs for the rest of the summer. The donation was based on the museum’s admission revenue throughout last summer. The gift shop will be open with pandemic precautions and visitors will be able to go on guided tours. Museum general manager Sophia Maher said the museum will be open noon-3 p.m. today through Saturday. Check with the museum for hours as time goes on through the summer.

ARMED AND DANGEROUS – RCMP patrolling our streets are seeing more dangerous weapons in in the hands of street-entrenched people. Cops are finding brass knuckles, machetes and weapons crafted from bicycle parts, lawn mower blades and golf clubs. That’s on top of knives, baseball bats, ninja throwing stars and a dagger concealed in the handle of a walking cane. Police check people regularly and seize items that cause concern for public safety.

GET SPLASHING – City water parks are opening today. You can find them at Harewood Centennial Park, Deverill Square Park, Departure Bay Kiwanis Park and Mansfield Park. They’re open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Guidelines are posted at each park to stop the spread of COVID-19. You know – physical distancing , wash your hands properly before coming to the park and after leaving.  Bring hand sanitizer or antiseptic wipes. And, for crying out loud, stay home if you’re sick. Don’t share equipment, toys, food, water bottles or other personal items. And no groups larger than 50. So you know, water at water parks is fresh and is not recycled.

OH, THE IRONY – While protesters across the continent are demanding that police be disbanded, the good folks in Surrey are fighting tooth and nail to keep the RCMP in their community. The council majority wants its own municipal force to replace the RCMP and is making budget cuts sacrificing other city services to come up with the cash for a new police force.

WHAT’S NEXT? – Now that history revision is the in-thing, some loonies are pushing to change the name of our province. The excuse is that the “British” aspect of the name doesn’t acknowledge that Indigenous people were here before Europeans arrived. The interlopers are seen as racist colonizers. Remember, Sir John A. MacDonald was our first prime minister but he was also instrumental in creation of the residential schools for Indigenous kids. Victoria took down Sir John’s city hall statue two years ago, so don’t think it can’t happen. Let’s see now, the Province of _____________ ?

SO LONG, AUNT JEMIMA – And down south, the name game is in full forward thrust. The 130-year-old Aunt Jemima syrup and pancake mix will be rebranded. Quaker Oats says the company recognizes that "Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype." It features a black woman named Aunt Jemima. The picture has changed over time, and in recent years Quaker removed the “mammy” kerchief from the character to blunt growing criticism that the brand perpetuated a stereotype that dated to the days of slavery. Quaker said removing the image and name is part of an effort by the company to make progress toward racial equality.

I KNOW IT’S NOT LOCAL, but a business owner in occupied Seattle complained that nobody responded to numerous 911 calls for help. The chief of police came on TV and said patrols had gone out to the edge of the occupied territory and peered through binoculars and couldn’t identify any problem, so they left.

Police quickly round up liquor store 'desperados'

Police captured the "flame thrower"

0617– It had all the earmarks of an armed robbery – a man coming out of a liquor store with a case of beer and carrying a gun. 

That prompted a 911 call from a witness and the cops were on their way. It all went down Friday at Piper’s Pub on Hammond Bay Road. The alert witness got the licence plate number and a search quickly resulted in a car being stopped and two men were arrested at gun point. 

A search turned up a lighter that looked like a mini blow torch. No weapons were found in the vehicle and a picture of the lighter was taken and shown to the witness who confirmed that it is what he had seen. 

The officers also stressed to them that it might be time to consider a more conventional lighter, said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Should Vancouver's Stanley Park reopen to vehicles? 
The Vancouver Park Board is holding an emergency meeting Thursday to decide the future of Stanley Park. 

Vancouver student's journey from refugee to SFU scholarship winner
Finishing school during a global pandemic is nothing like we’ve seen before. No big ceremonies and no big celebrations. But Vancouver student Surprise Muni deserves to be celebrated. 

Following B.C. bust, Ontario police make largest fentanyl seizure in history 
A series of raids last month netted more than 120,000 fentanyl pills and 70 kilograms of lethal opioid, making it the largest fentanyl seizure in Ontario law enforcement history.

Cineplex plans to open B.C. locations on July 3, as long as theatres are allowed
The company lists 22 locations in British Columbia on its website, though not all of them bear the Cineplex name

Asthma rates lower because fewer infants prescribed unnecessary antibiotics
Childhood asthma rates have fallen because fewer unnecessary antibiotics are being prescribed to babies within the first year of life, a study by British Columbia researchers says

B.C. Mountie charged with dangerous driving in 2018 crash
An RCMP officer has been charged with dangerous driving related to a car chase in December 2018 in Kamloops.

Coastal GasLink set to begin summer construction next month
Coastal GasLink says it is ready to launch its summer construction program in British Columbia, which will see the first section of pipe buried in the ground next month.

Horgan optimistic about moving to Phase 3 'sometime next week' 
Premier John Horgan says he is hopeful that the province will be able to move to the next phase of its COVID-19 restart plan by next week. 7

Worker from care home raises allegations about outbreak response 
A worker at a care centre that had one of the deadliest COVID-19 outbreaks in B.C. is making troubling allegations about what she says was happening inside the facility during the outbreak. 

2 care home outbreaks linked to 'silent' cases at Mission Memorial Hospital, 
Health officials are blaming "silent" cases of COVID-19 at Mission Memorial Hospital for at least one, and possibly two outbreaks at long-term care facilities in the Lower Mainland

How some nightclubs plan to reopen in B.C.
It may come as a surprise to some, but several B.C. nightclubs are preparing to reopen this week after being closed for months due to COVID-19.

Murder charge recommended in Makayla Chang's death

Makayla Chang and Steven Bacon

0616 – CTV News reports that police have recommended a murder charge against Steven Bacon in  Makayla Chang’s death three years ago. The network reported a three-year investigation into the murder has yielded a major breakthrough.

Chang was 16 years old when she was last seen alive in March 2017. Investigators found her body two months later and her death was ruled a homicide.

Bacon's lawyer confirmed to CTV News that he anticipates a murder charge will be laid against  Bacon and that he will represent him in the case in B.C. Bacon is in jail on unrelated sexual assault charges in Ontario.

'Futurepreneur' webinar on social adverting during Covid

As people have started to adjust to a new normal, e-commerce has grown through increased time spent on social media coupled with a desire to support local brands.

Futurpreneur Canada is hosting a webinar today (June 18) at 4 p.m. on how to effectively advertise on social media and grow your business. Register here

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – There’s a new look coming to downtown traffic – a four-way stop at the intersection of Bastion and Commercial streets. It’s a pilot project, and if it works out the traffic lights will be removed. It’s not quite what staff recommended, stop signs on Bastion Street only with non-stop traffic on Commercial. Studies have shown four-way stops result in a lot fewer accidents. Full story

LOTS OF ROOM AT THE INN – Hotel occupancy rates have tanked since the pandemic virtually stopped the travelling public. Dan Brady, of the Nanaimo Hospitality Association, told NanaimoNewsNOW occupancy rates plummeted overnight to five per cent in mid-March from the standard 80 per cent. Brady said senior government assistance will be needed to prevent some hotels from shutting down, adding hotels cannot survive with 50 per cent occupancy in the heat of summer and then go down into the 20 per cent occupancy in the winter. MORE

GOOD SPIRITS – The province will allow restaurants and bars to purchase beer, wine and spirits at reduced prices to help ease the financial stress from the pandemic. It will be a temporary wholesale pricing model for liquor licensees from the end of July until next March. The government will reassess the program and pivot accordingly. Attorney General David Eby said a wholesale discount for licensees was being explored before COVID-19, but after the pandemic accelerated efforts to support these community businesses as they try to find their feet. As it stands now, restaurants, bars and pubs pay retail price on all alcohol – the wholesale price, plus a retail markup by the Liquor Distribution Branch. More

IF YOU GROW POT the province will help you through the regulatory jungle. The Province has developed an online guide to help cannabis producers looking to enter the province’s legal market. Public Safety Minister/Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says transitioning more cannabis producers to the legal framework will help increase public health and safety, while creating stable jobs that support B.C. families and communities. The value generated by licensed cannabis producers last year increased by $600 million. The Cannabis Production Regulatory Navigator will also benefit First Nations and smaller producers. More

SALMON PROJECT– The Peninsula Streams Society will get $300,000 over the next two years for its Millstream Fishway Project, which will allow fish to move through a culvert under Atkins Road near Mill Hill Regional Park. The “fishway” will give resident trout and spawning adult Coho salmon access to more than eight kilometres of habitat upstream. The funding comes from the federal and provincial governments. Details

BLUES NEWS TWO – Catch the Nanaimo Blues Society on Friday, June 26 at The Queen’s Hotel with two great sessions. The Whitey Somers Band is on at 7 to 8:30 pm and the South Island Rhythm Kings 9 to 10:30 pm. Tickets are $20, with only 50 tickets available. Bet this one sells out quickly.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

11 new cases of COVID-19 found in B.C., no new deaths
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie and Health Minister Adrian Dix will return to the podium Tuesday to provide a live update on COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours. 

Victoria overdose prevention site reopens as death toll hits historic high
An overdose prevention site in the heart of Victoria’s downtown core will reopen despite COVID-19 concerns, according to Island Health.

FAST campaign launched to raise awareness for signs of strokes
The Heart and Stroke Foundation has teamed up with the B.C. government to raise awareness of the early signs of a stroke through its FAST campaign. 

Outbreak at long-term care home in Vancouver now at 22 cases
The outbreak at the Holy Family Hospital long-term care home in Vancouver has increased by another four cases, according to an update sent out to families

Legislation coming to start addressing soaring strata insurance costs
A report commissioned by the B.C. government says insurance premiums for condominium buildings have increased by as much as 40 per cent year over year while deductible costs have tripled. 

Police arrest dozens of people for refusing to leave camp near CRAB Park 
Police said they arrested dozens of people for refusing to abandon a homeless camp near CRAB Park on Tuesday. 

Emergency meeting to debate reopening Stanley Park to vehicles
With virus numbers on the decline and the risk of outdoor transmission low, park board commissioner John Couplar says he’d like to see Stanley Park returned to its pre-COVID configuration

Family questions care home safety protocols after brother jumps from window
A family is questioning safety protocols at a long-term care facility after their brother managed to get out a window and jump from the second floor.

Province goes four days with no virus fatalities

0616 – British Columbia has gone four days since the last announced COVID-19 fatality in the province but health officials have identified 11 more infections.

Tuesday's update from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix brings the total number of infections since the start of the pandemic to 2,756.

But the new cases were outpaced by the number of people who have recovered. That leaves 172 active cases, which is roughly the number of infections as in mid-March.

Officials are dealing with a new care home outbreak. A resident of Maple Hill Centre, at Langley Memorial Hospital, has tested positive for the virus. Fraser Health said it has dispatched a "SWAT team" to the care home, and that a number of outbreak protocols are in place to prevent further spread.

Nanaimo's Canada Day party will be different this year

0616 – Canada Day celebrations in Nanaimo will have a different look this year. Traditional celebrations normally taking place in Nanaimo at Maffeo Sutton Park with live entertainment, activities and huge maple leaf cake will be replaced with ideas to help you stage you own back yard celebrations. 

That’s right, in your own back yard, with family or small social circles – the city’s Parks department will help with the planning. Go to the City website, Facebook Page and follow the Parks and Recreation Instagram Page (@nanaimoparksandrec) daily from June 22 until July 1. Each day a video will featurie members of the community who celebrate Canadian culture, national pride and give tips and ideas on enhancing back yard Canada Day celebrations including food ideas, decorating tips and family fun activities. 

Contests will be posted through Instagram leading up to Canada Day with prizes by identifying well-known Nanaimo sites. The hashtag #nanaimocanadastrong will be used with each Instagram post. 

On July 1, Canada Day Ambassadors will be on site at four Nanaimo parks demonstrating random acts of kindness and handing out Canada Day-themed items to help enhance backyard celebrations as the nation celebrates Canada's 153rd birthday. To facilitate small groups, the Canada Day ambassadors will travel through Bowen, Maffeo Sutton, Westwood Lake and Neck Point parks.

Canada-U.S. border shutdown extended for another month

0616 – The Canada-United States border will remain closed to all non-essential or discretionary travel for another month, until July 21, even as both countries continue to reopen their economies.  

The agreement exempts the flow of trade and commerce, as well as temporary foreign workers and vital health-care workers such as nurses who live and work on opposite sides of the border. Tourists and cross-border visits remain prohibited. 

This is the third time the agreement has been extended, after first being imposed in March, with the current extension on border restrictions set to expire June 21.

Mass timber to drive economic growth, advance CleanBC

Premier John Horgan

0616 – The province is counting on timber to lead the economic bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic. Premier John Horgan has appointed Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Forests and Rural Development, to lead the expansion and use of mass timber in B.C. buildings.

Horgan made the announcement in a call with representatives of the BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI).

"As our economy bounces back from the COVID-19 crisis, we want to do everything we can to support forest workers," said Premier Horgan. "By focusing on mass timber, we have an opportunity to transition the forestry sector to high-value over high-volume production. This will mean opportunities for local workers, strong partnerships with First Nations and greater economic opportunity while making a significant contribution to advancing CleanBC." Full story

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Your proposed new $17-million fire hall is now a $20-million fire hall, an 18-per-cent increase. Mayor Len Krog says he accepts a staff report that says building costs have gone up because of COVID-19 and rising material costs. The project has already undergone two value engineering exercises to reduce costs and optimize the design. The new hall will be home to administration, dispatch and the city’s emergency co-ordination centre.

SIXTY YEARS OLD – Were you even aware that yesterday was B.C. Ferries’ 60th birthday. On June 15, 1960 Premier W. A. C. Bennett launched the first sailing between Tswwassen and Swartz Bay. It was 60 years ago today that a vital, reliable link between the mainland and Victoria was born. BC Ferries began operating its Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route. The new service was born after the Island became stranded briefly in 1958 due to a strike against Canadian Pacific which had ferry routes. They were joined by Black Ball workers, who also operated routes linking Vancouver Island to the mainland. When various options failed, the province decided to have its own ferry service and even a pandemic hasn’t been able to shut it down. Full Story

A BREATH OF FRESH AIR– How about a nice hike around the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre? The Regional District is contemplating spending close to $684,000 on trail construction around the centre. The trail is a requirement of city building and development permits during secondary treatment construction work at the centre. The sidewalk on Hammond Bay Road, between McGuffie Road and Shores Drive, would be replaced by a three-metre-wide trail allowing pedestrian and cycling, set back from Hammond Bay Road by a treed boulevard.

WALK FOR NEPAL – The fifth annual Walk for Nepal is this weekend at Westwood Lake. This fundraiser was started by Nanaimo dentist Dr. San Mahara, a native of Nepal, after an earthquake five years ago. He was in Nepal during the distaster. The format has been altered to accommodate pandemic rules. There is no set time to start and finish. To make it easier to maintain social distancing it’s open from Saturday to Sunday. If possible, please wear Nepal T- Shirt and you can go on your own with your personal social bubble. Take a picture or video and post it on social media with #walkfornepal You can donate online, by e-transfer to the club treasurer rotarytr@shaw.ca with message ‘Walk for Nepal’. Please use security question and answer ‘daybreak’. 

THE RACE IS (BACK) ON – The BC Green Party is resuming its leadership contest now that the pandemic has eased. The party’s provincial council announced Monday that registered candidates may resume campaigning immediately. There’s still time to get in if you’re interested – the party is looking for candidates, accepting applications from June 26 to July 27 for the Sept. 5 to 13 vote. The results will be announced on Sept. 14. So far, there are two candidates: Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau and former Powell River-Sunshine Coast candidate Kim Darwin. MORE

WHEN YOU CAN’T STAND THE HEAT get out of the kitchen, or change your identity. Business in Vancouver magazine reports that’s what Tides Canada has done, “rebranding” to MakeWay in response to heat from Alberta. The Vancouver-based non-profit, which took its name from the American Tides Foundation 20 years ago, funds environmental and social justice charities, much of its funding coming from Americans. In recent years, its association with the Tides Foundation and its anti-oil sands campaign placed it in Alberta’s crosshairs. Dollars to donuts, regardless of name, Yankee dollars will continue to flow like a pipeline. More

Tuesday, June 16

'Pandemic is far from over': B.C. announces 36 new COVID-19 cases
Health officials have discovered 36 new cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia since Friday but there have been no additional deaths associated with the coronavirus. 

'Long journey ahead': PM extends CERB by 8 weeks
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit program will be extended by eight weeks, meaning those who will soon run out will have until the end of the summer to keep claiming the benefit while they try to find work.  

Thousands sign petition to move campers from Beacon Hill Park
An online petition that calls for the City of Victoria to move homeless campers out of Beacon Hill Park has garnered nearly 4,000 signatures in just four days

Study reveals Canada's most trusted brands during pandemic
Out of 105 major brands, the three trusted most by Canadians during the pandemic are Canada Post, Shoppers Drug Mart and CTV News, according to a study from the University of Victoria

800 laptops, tablets to be given to Vancouver Island Indigenous students 
Hundreds of Indigenous students across mid-Vancouver Island will receive laptops and tablets to help support their education, as schools continue to place a greater emphasis on online learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic

One dead, one in critical condition after crash on Malahat
One man is dead and a woman is in critical condition following a motorcycle crash on the Malahat this weekend. 

Police make arrest after unprovoked assault of woman in Victoria
Victoria Police say they have arrested one man following an unprovoked assault that took place on Saturday morning. 

Province targets Port Alberni, other regions for gas price transparency
The B.C. government is expanding its investigation into gasoline pricing in the province by targeting four specific communities for increased fuel price transparency. 

Prince Harry and Meghan's security cost RCMP more than $50,000
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation obtained documents showing that Mounties spent $56,384 to protect the Duke and Duchess of Sussex between November 18, 2019 and January 22, 2020

Victoria’s Craigdarroch Castle reopens
After nearly three months of closure, Victoria’s Craigdarroch Castle has reopened to visitors amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Monday, June 15, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Cheer up, the weatherman has a change in store for us by tomorrow. We should have sunshine for the next four days with a high termperature near 20 degrees.

COVER UP – Starting today, you have to have a mask if your are travelling on B.C. Ferries. It must cover mouth and nose, and you’re asked to wear it when a physicial separation of two metres cannot be maintained. On sailings longer than 30 minutes, passengers will be asked to confirm they have a face covering and are willing to wear it when necessary. If you say “no”, you won’t get on the boat. And you're asked to stay in your vehicle for the entire sailing. Just so you know, bring their own face masks because Ferries is not supplying them. 

THE CITY HAS CREATED a social disorder response team and members have been busy. What’s their main haul? – shopping carts. They collected 404 last year and another 225 have been picked up in the first four months of this year. Not all stores require deposits to take out shopping carts, so that may be a direction council will have to look at.

DEMENTIA WEBINAR COMING – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it’s not easy for people affected by dementia, many of whom are particularly impacted by the changes in care service provision and disruption in daily routine. These changes may result in different symptoms and behaviours, including the development of hallucinations and delusions. If you want to learn more about supporting a person with dementia with these symptoms you are invited to the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s free webinar “Delusions, hallucinations and visual mistakes” later this month. MORE

MONEY GOING TO WASTE – Central Island schools have been working on a waste management plan to divert 90 per cent of landfill. Six schools from School District 68 and three from School District 69 took part in the project with the Regional District solid waste management plan to divert waste from its landfill. RDN provided $70,000 to educate staff and students as well as come up with action plans to reduce the amount waste from schools. After a January start, it was supposed to be completed by June, but then COVID-19 intervened. Now the schools are asking for and additional $10,000 to continue the project over the 2020-21 school year. MORE

IT’S A DOG’S LIFE has far surpassed the $1,700 goal of raising money for the Parksville’s Flying Fur Small Animal Rescue and Refuge. $4,527 has been raided, with more still coming in. owner Tracy Duggan predicts the total will reach nearly $7,000. Bob did 17 laps around Harry Wipper Park to cheers and applause. Leah Moore, of  thr rescue centre, said she is amazed by the support for Bob. It’s just amazing, it really helps out during this tough time, said Moore, who has been struggling with funding since the pandemic began. MORE

Woman dies in car accident in front of Country Club Mall

0615 – A woman died in a two-vehicle crash on the Island Highway in front of Country Club Centre shortly after 7 p.m. Sunday. The two occupants of the other vehicle sustained minor injuries. 

Prior to the arrival of first responders, witnesses started emergency first aid on the 34-year-old victim.She was driving an older-model car, collided with a newer model SUV with a man and a woman who both sustained minor injuries and were taken to hospital. 

Investigators spoke with the injured parties and several witnesses. Although preliminary, it is known that the deceased was travelling southbound. At one point, her vehicle swerved, struck the median then landed in the northbound lanes and collided with the SUV.

The BC Coroners Service attended, along with officers from the Nanaimo RCMP Traffic Unit and an RCMP Traffic Re-constructionist officer. Three of the four lanes were closed for several hours while the scene was investigated. The victim’s vehicle will undergo a mechanical inspection.

The investigation is continuing.  Anyone with dash cam video of the incident is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP Traffic Unit at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2020-21446.

WestJet returning to six weekly Nanaimo flights July 5

0615 – WestJet will resume daily flights six days a week between Nanaimo and Calgary on July 5, up from the current four daily flights.

On its website, WestJet has announced its schedule for July 5 to August 4, which shows that the airline intends to restore 22 previously-suspended routes. The airline has also increased frequency on all other Vancouver Island routes that are currently operating.

Trans Mountain resumes operations after oil spill cleanup

0615 – Trans Mountain restarted on Sunday afternoon, after all safety protocols were completed. Light crude spilled from its pumping station in Abbotsford on the weekend.

The Crown-owned company said the cause of the spill appears to be related to a fitting on a one-inch, or 2.5-centimetre, piece of pipe.

The spill was fully contained on Trans Mountain property, the free-standing oil has been recovered and it will be disposed of at an approved facility.

June 15, 2020

Hoist team called to rescue injured hiker in Comox Valley
Search and rescue crews say the woman fractured her ankle along Rosewall Creek Trail Saturday. 

Filling the gap in data on anti-Asian racism in Canada
Violent, racist attacks are making headlines across the country. Many of them go viral if they’re caught on video and shared on social media. But what about the racist incidents that don’t trend online? Project 1907, a community-led, grassroots data project is trying to fill that gap by collecting data on racist experiences that Asians in Canada can experience everyday. 

B.C.'s legislature returns on June 22, will politics also resume?
British Columbia's Opposition leader says fighting the pandemic produced a unified health front among traditional adversaries, but with the province facing its darkest economic crisis in decades, political battle lines must go beyond working together to flatten the COVID-19 curve. 

Vancouver tech company hopes feds will recommend its contact-tracing app
As governments across Canada and around the world weigh the benefits of various smartphone applications for COVID-19 contact-tracing, a Vancouver-based company says its app should be a leading candidate. 

B.C. hospice society that refuses to allow assisted dying told to stop meeting
A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has cancelled a pivotal meeting on Monday for a hospice society in Delta, B.C., that does not allow medical assistance in dying. 

3 bodies found during investigation into Langley house fire
The blaze broke out sometime before 6 p.m. in a home on Wakefield Drive near 196 Street

1 man dead in shooting in Oliver
Police say the shooting appears to be a targeted incident and there is no danger to the public.

Sunday, June 14

THE REAL ESTATE COUNCIL of British Columbia has come down hard on a local realtor with a suspension and penalties of $11,000 for professional misconduct. He has been suspended for six months, until Sept 10, and assessed a discipline penalty of $5,000 and enforcement expenses of $6,000. He has to complete the Real Estate Trading Services Remedial Education Course and complete REIC 2600 Ethics in Business Practice Course. Full details on the RECBC website

ENQUIRING MINDS – The habitual questioners at city council meetings have been silenced because of the virus pandemic, and they won’t reappear at the podium any time soon. Councillors didn’t have enough time at the June 8 meeting, so the next chance to reviw them will be July 13. Coun. Ian Thorpe bedlieves it is not worthwhile as it has been operating, having become a forum for a small group of regular Council watchers to express their opinions, or want immediate information from staff. Councillors Zeni Maartman and Erin Hemmens encouraged people to contact councillors directly. That makes a lot of sense, allowing councillors to get the facts. MORE

LOOKING AFTER BOWSER at the city pound will cost the city at least $215,000 to upgrade to meet basic standards-of-care. Extensive renovation or replacement are needed says a city staff report. The pound on Nanaimo Lakes Road was built in 1977 and service levels had not been evaluated since the 1980s. For comparison, consultant Neilson Strategies Inc. says the SPCA facility on Westwood Road, which opened in 2016, cost $3.4 million. The report notes that a 2017 estimate of $214,000 for renovations should be considered a starting point for cost discussions. Renovation may not be a permanent solution given the age of the building and the breadth of deficiencies, the report notes. Some change needs to be made, and renovation would appear to represent the fastest and least expensive change to make. MORE

WELCOME TO NANAIMO – Christy Wood is the new community policing and community safety co-ordinator for Nanaimo. She comes from the Ladysmith Resource Centre Association where she worked for two years.  She brings a new perspective and skill set to the job that has traditionally been filled by retired cops. She says community safety is about positive relationships with neighbours, and getting in front of homelessness, adding and building strong neighbourhoods increases community safety in a much better way than adding extra police officers. Meanwhile, Marsh Stevens takes over for Christy in Ladysmith.  Check it out.


Pipeline spill in Abbotsford has been contained

0614 –A crude oil spill from the Trans Mountain pipeline in Abbotsford has been contained and crews are working to clean up the site. The company says an alarm was received early Saturday and the pipeline was immediately shut down. 

The pipeline remains closed, an incident command post has been set up to manage the cleanup and there is no threat to the community. An investigation is under way and there's no estimate on the amount spilled, but it has been fully contained. MORE

Government looks to extend unemployment benefit

Carla Qualtrough

0614 - The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is set to come to a halt by the first week of July ending 16 weeks of benefit cheques. This is prompting serious questions about what will happen to those who have been on the program since it launched, but are still out of a job and without income due to COVID-19.

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough told CTV’s Questiobn Period Sunday the government will not abandon those who are set to run out in three weeks, but it remains unclear whether their eligibility will be extended for those who have accessed the full $8,000 available through CERB.

She said the government is determining the best way to continue to support those who are not finding jobs. As of June 4, the federal government has sent $43.5 billion to more than 8.4 million Canadians the $2,000 monthly payments. She said an extension would amount to approximately $17 billion. MORE

Saturday, June 13, 2020

A JOB? NO THANKS – The province has given restaurants approval to expand seating beyond 50 seats if they can manage social distancing, but that’s turning out to be a challenge – finding staff is a nightmare. Many workers are hesitant because they’re getting a $2,000 per month free handout from the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit program. Dan Caron of the Modern Café, which shut down with the coronavirus, is finding the ones who used to work like the CERB. “Even though this may be the last month on it. A lot of them said no I’m not coming back until the end of July.” It appears finding patrons will be much less of a problem as business has been booming since reopening a week ago. COMMENT editor@nanaimonet.com

WATCH YOUR GARDEN GROW - Parks, Recreation and Culture horticulture staff are execising their green thumbs. They have planted a new vegetable demonstration garden in Beban Park. It features varieties of cucumbers, squash, corn, tomatoes, carrots, kale, beets and beans, which can be grown locally in small spaces. Many ongoing food production initiatives are taking place in City of Nanaimo parks. There are eight community gardens throughout the City. They are at Beaufort Community Garden, Beban Learning Gardens, Pawson Park Community Gardens and Forest Drive Gyro Park. Each type of plant has interpretive signage so residents can learn more about them. For more information on the City’s Community Gardens, visit GARDENS

VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY nursing professor Dr. Shannon Dames has been awarded a $50,000 research knowledge synthesis grant for her research to help health-care providers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or treatment-resistant mental health issues related to depression. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research grant is part of the government’s rapid research response to COVID-19 and is aimed at addressing and improving mental health outcomes during the pandemic response and beyond. FULL STORY

THE EMPRESS RISES AGAIN – The Empress Hotel in Victoria will reopen for overnight stays and limited food services beginning Friday, June 26. It will reopen with extensive new health measures to protect guests and staff, focussing on cleaning areas that guests are likely to interact with, like sanitizing each touchpoint from check-in to a guest’s room. And guests and employees will have to undergo mandatory screening, which could include temperature checks upon arrival. Non-medical masks will also be provided to visitors and will be worn by employees. MORE

BUILD THAT WALL – If you’re wondering how our province is faring in the battle against COVID-19, look south. The latest numbers from Washington state show a whopping 392 new cases reported in one single day, with 10 more deaths. Total cases to date are 25,171 and 1,204 patients have died. Hospitalizations seem to be trending down, however. Here on our Island Paradise we’re still ahead of the curve. Doesn’t leave much doubt about whether we should keep the border closed. COMMENT editor@nanaimonet.com

MEMORIAL MARCHES were held in Maritime communities today in memory of a young Tofino woman who was killed by police in northern New Brunswick last week. Chantel Moore, 26, died after being shot by an officer on June 4. Walks took take place simultaneously in Edmundston, Fredericton and Moncton, N.B., as well as Halifax and Membertou, N.S.


Province to update 45-year-old Police Act

Hon. Mike Farnworth

0613 – Premier John Horgan has no taste for defunding police but believes it’s time to review the 45-year-old Police Act.

“It’s 45 years old, what we expect law enforcement to do today is quite different than what they were doing 45 years ago,” he said. It’s inappropriate to expect law enforcement to take on those issues as they deal with public safety concerns. They now are increasingly burdened with challenges including homelessness, mental health and addiction, all of which need more funding, Horgan said

He has tasked Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth to form an all-party committee to engage with communities and experts on how the act can be modernized to reflect today’s challenges and opportunities with a specific focus on systemic racism. FULL STORY

Friday, June 12, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - Libraries are lending books again. Nanaimo Harbourfront library branch is open for takeout Tuesdays from 2-4 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. and Wednesdays to Saturdays between 10 a.m.-noon and 2-4 p.m. The branch is closed Sundays and Mondays.
Nanaimo North branch will open for takeout service Saturday, June 13 with the same hours as Harbourfront branch. Nanaimo Wellington branch has completed a risk assessment and hours will be announced soon. You can place holds on the online catalogue and library staff will collect materials and connect with you to set up a pickup time so you can minimize physical contact and ensure social distance and safety.

THE COLONOSCOPY WING construction is under way at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. The Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation contributed $1.75 million and $1.17 million from regional hospital district taxpayers. The provincial government will support operating costs. Janice Perrino, CEO of the hospital foundation, said the hospital, and central Vancouver Island desperately need this third endoscopy suite to reduce wait times and to provide more colonoscopies and endoscopies right here at home..

DON’T PLUG THE SEWERS – The message went out earlier during the pandemic, but it seems we need reminding ever so often. Waste-water treatment plants everywhere are dealing with personal protective equipment being flushed down the toilet and clogging up the sewage system. Disposable protective equipment, including masks, gloves and antibacterial wipes, are damaging the equipment and putting workers at risk. Disposable masks and gloves made from polypropylene also cause problems as they break down and send micro plastics into rivers and the ocean. The pandemic is adding to the usual problem of flushing disposable baby wipes, which are also on the list.

ATLAS ENGINEERED PRODUCTS is adding a product in its Nanaimo operations. CEO Dirk Maritz said with the success in Eastern Canada, the company is now offering pre-fabricated wall panels and has signed a new wood deal with Taiga Building Products.

STARBUCKS PLANS to close up to 400 stores in the US and Canada over the next 18 months, while at the same time adding carryout and pick-up only locations. The company said it ultimately expects to open about 300 new North American stores that specialize in carryout and pickup options. The company said it was re-evaluating how it sells coffee prior to the Covid-19 pandemic due to customers in major cities already showing a greater tendency to order coffee on the go.


Temperature checks become mandatory for air travel

0612 – All air travellers in Canada will have to have temperature checks. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced new mandatory protocols saying physical distancing is still the best way to protect yourself and others, but there are some places, like on flights, where it’s not always possible to keep two metres apart.

The mandated checks will be rolled out with a three-phased approach. First for travellers to Canada, then for those travelling from Canada and finally for those travelling within Canada. Anyone who shows symptoms of a fever will not be permitted to board their flight.

Employees in secured areas of airports will also be required to have their temperature checked. MORE

Missing 50-year-old man located safe and sound

Scott Brown

UPDATE – The 50-year-old man who was reported missing on Thursday has been located safely. RCMP thank everyone who shared, re-posted and actively searched for him. No further information will be shared and the investigation is now concluded.

0612 – The Nanaimo RCMP is continuing their search for 50-year-old Scott Brown. The search began early Thursday. morning. Brown is experiencing personal issues and his family is extremely concerned for his safety and well-being. Attached is a more recent picture of Brown. 

RCMP officers with the assistance of Police Dog Services and RCMP Air Support focussed their efforts throughout the day in the area of Linley Valley with no success. Officers will be continuing their search efforts until darkness sets in. At that time, they will re-evaluate their investigative steps. 

 Scott Brown is 5 ft. 9, heavy set with long curly grey hair. He was last seen wearing green pants, brown slippers, a black coat and light blue hat. If anyone sees Mr. Brown, call 911 or the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency number at 250-754-2345.

554 drug overdose deaths exceed coronavirus total of 167

0611 – Drug overdose deaths in May reached a new high, exceeding the entire number of deaths from the COVID pandemic. 

Year to date, Covid has taken 167 people this year compared to 554 overdose deaths. 

The BC Coroners Service reported 170 suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths in May, a 93-per-cent increase over May 2019 (88). May totals were a 44-per-cent increase from April which had 118.

The May total is the highest ever recorded in a month in the province – about 5.5 deaths per day. The previous monthly high was 161, in December 2016.

In the Island Health region, overdose deaths reached 38. The highest number of deaths previously recorded in a month in the region was 28, in both January and March of 2018. MORE

Neighbours cheer as Nanaimo RCMP take down drug house

0611  The neighbours cheered and clapped as the Nanaimo RCMP Street Crimes Unit moved in and shut down a problem drug house in the 500 block of Milton Street Wednesday evening. 

RCMP received numerous complaints, beginning in March, ranging from drug deals, petty thefts and daily disturbances. When officers entered the home, seven adults inside, with six later being released without charge. A 58-year-old woman  was taken into police custody. FULL STORY

Hells Angles win court battle over seized clubhouses

0611 – Hells Angels have won a legal battle to keep their clubhouses in Kelowna, Nanaimo and Vancouver’s east end.

The proceedings, dating back to 2007, came to a close on today when Supreme Court Justice Barry Davies ruled “it cannot be proven the clubhouses will be used unlawfully in the future.”

“Although the director adduced evidence that proves that members and associates of the East End, Kelowna and Nanaimo chapters have been convicted of criminal offences that were committed after 2005, none of those offences were proven to have involved or engaged any use of the clubhouses,” Davies wrote. MORE

Police seek help in finding violent offender David Thomas

0611 – The Nanaimo RCMP are trying to find 26-year-old David Arlen Thomas, who is wanted for Break and Enter, and two counts of Breaching the terms of his probation. Thomas is considered violent and should not be approached.

The warrant stems from an incident on March 23 in which Thomas allegedly attempted to break into the home of a female in north Nanaimo, with whom he had had a previous relationship. READ MORE

Thursday, June 11, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Always look on the bright side. When restaurants were shut down suppliers wound up with excess food and they made the best of things – the oversupply was donated it to Loaves and Fishes food bank. Director Peter Sinclair says they are getting about 9,000 dozen eggs every week. The increase in donations has arrived at a time when 25 per cent fewer people are lining up at the food bank. Hampers from its warehouse are now being distributed through a variety of community agencies like Food4Schools through the Nanaimo Ladysmith School District to help vulnerable children access food through the pandemic. CHEK it out

FIRST IT WAS shoes, then celebrity status and now a horse mannequin spotlighting provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. The mascot stands in front of the Trading Post Feed and Tack store in Cassidy. Store owner Meredith Dean dresses up the horse in costumes for almost every occasion and season. The horse is attired in a bright pink sweater, a red and white necklace, homemade pink and red pumps and a blonde wig. Over the years Cantelope (the horse) has been decked out in Christmas and Halloween outfits, for St. Patrick’s and Valentine’s Day and was wore a homemade space suit and helmet for the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. The Full story  

A NANAIMO RCMP officer is one of three police officers charged for actions during an arrest in Prince George in 2016. Cst. Josh Grafton, of the Nanaimo dog unit, faces three charges from the Feb. 18, 2016 incident. He is scheduled to appear in court in Prince George in August. MORE

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION – Close to 1,000 Nanaimo-Ladysmith high school graduates will have their day in the spotlight. Special graduation ceremonies have been approved

  • June 15 - 16 Learning Alternatives at Dover Bay Secondary 
  • June 15-19, Dover Bay Secondary: June 15 - 19
  • June 18 - Ladysmith Secondary:
  • June 22 - 23 Cedar Secondary
  • June 22 - 23 John Barsby Secondary:
  • June 22 – 24 Nanaimo District Secondary
  • June 25 - Wellington Secondary 
  • Island Connect-Ed: 25 graduates aged 17-55 have not been approved.

Complete details at NewsNOW

Canucks get approval to bid for NHL playoffs in Vancouver

0610 – The province has given the green light to the Vancouver Canucks’ proposal to make Vancouver an NHL hub city for the playoffs. It has been approved by both public health and the province.

Premier John Horgan has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to advance the initiative based on a modification of quarantine measures allowing teams to remain together as a family or bubble.

A team would stay in one hotel and travel together for games on private transportation, be responsible for COVID-19 testing and agree to no public interaction during a 14-day isolation period. MORE

A free 45-minute live event hosted digitally via the Zoom app. Our Q & A panel will be active during this session, and your questions are welcome. 

Register Here

You can view all of the videos from our Speaker Series on our YouTube Channel. 
Nanaimo Chamber YouTube Channel

Province protects amateur sports from legal liability

Premier John Horgan

0610 – The B.C. government has issued a ministerial order that protects amateur sport organizations, their employees and volunteers from liability.

Premier John Horgan said provincial and local sport organizations have identified challenges with insurance, meaning many amateur sports were unable to provide sport programming during the pandemic.

The ministerial order protects amateur sport organizations and their representatives from damages resulting, directly or indirectly, from COVID-19 for amateur sports. MORE

June 11, 2020

Island tourism industry says it's running out of time for government help
In Victoria's inner harbour, the fleet of boats owned by Prince of Whales Whale Watching sits empty, despite it being the heart of the tourist season. 

Police watchdog investigating man's death in presence of Comox Valley RCMP
The Independent Investigations Office has been called to investigate an incident on Vancouver Island that led to a man's death. 

Youth sickened with pot used it with other mood-altering substances
Researchers say most youth treated for cannabis poisoning at a British Columbia hospital combined it with other substances such as alcohol, illicit drugs and medication

ICBC to restart road tests for commercial drivers
British Columbians who are looking to receive a commercial driver’s licence will be able to book a road test with ICBC starting June 11. 

George Vancouver statue defaced outside city hall
A statue of Capt. George Vancouver that stands outside the front steps to Vancouver City Hall has been defaced by paint. 

Four VPD officers could face charges for takedown of black man
B.C.'s Police Complaints Commissioner has decided four Vancouver police officers may have committed criminal assault when they arrested a former UBC football player two years ago

Principal, superintendent issue apologies over 'slave day' at B.C. school
The principal of a Chilliwack school has issued an apology for an event where students were bought and sold as "slaves

Seniors advocate calls for more transparency on long-term care funding
The failure to protect B.C. seniors from COVID-19 has renewed calls for oversight in the province's care home industry – particularly in the for-profit facilities receiving public funding. 

12 new cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia

Dr. Henry and Minister Dix

0610 – B.C. had another 12 cases or Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. However, there were no deaths during that period for the fifth consecutive day. The COVID-19 death roll in B.C. remains at 167. 

There are no new cases are in the Island Health region, sitting steady at 130 since the pandemic began. 

The total number of cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia is 2,680. There are 185 active cases in the province and 2,328 people have recovered.

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported one new outbreak at Holy Family Hospital, a long-term care facility in Vancouver. Five long-term care or assisted-living facilities continue to have active outbreaks. DETAILS

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

BACK TO THE FUTURE – High school and graduation is all about preparing for the future, and what better way than to hear from those who have been there. The traditional graduation ceremonies have been scaled down because of the pandemic lockdown, so NDSS principal Liana Appelt and Tracey Hunter of Berwick introduced a novel idea. Seniors at Berwick will write letters to the students, empathizing with their disappointment, congratulating them on their accomplishments and telling them that they have a lot to look forward to. MORE

NEVER SHUT UP – It pays to speak up. Service reductions to the Gabriola Ferry schedule have been postponed until October after reaction from local residents. BCF had suggested cutting some Saturday and Sunday sailings, starting this month and extending into winter. A spokesman for the Gabriola Ferry Advisory Committee said the concern was more about long lineups during summer weekends.

BACK IN BUSINESS – British Columbia’s film industry can start production after new health and safety guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19 were issued by WorkSafeBC. The guidelines will ensure social distancing and they cover everything from costumes and makeup to transportation and catering. Film production companies are allowed to start working once they have a COVID-19 safety plan that meets both their protocols and the provincial health officer orders. MORE

A RICH HERITAGE –The Vancouver Island Military Museum has been closed since the beginning of the epidemic so it is good news it will re-open Monday (June 15). The military museum is a popular attraction for visitor each summer and it remains to be seen what the traffic will be during the ongoing lockdown.

OFF LEASH – Dogs are not permitted on City beaches until October, vut there are plenty of places to take your dog. There are 11 off-leash areas or ou can take your dogs to other parks with a leash. Each dog off-leash park includes signage, a dispenser stocked with biodegradable doggie bags and a trash bin. Even though an area or trail is designated off-leash, you are still required to pick up after your dog and dispose the bags in a designated garbage bin, please do not throw into the bushes.  If you see a dog on the beach, you can call Animal Control at 250-616-0233. Check out the city website for all the details HERE

Fire Rescue streamlining leads to greater efficiency

0610 – Success can be measured in how much work you do, or conversely, how you reduce your workload an improve efficiency. 

A streamlined method handling emergency calls Nanaimo Fire Rescue is resulting in few calls after the province changed the handling of medical aid emergencies.  Crews have answered 41 per cent fewer medical aid calls than they did over the same time period the previous two years.

Chief Karen Fry says now the calls ones where they can have a direct impact, ones where they can provide patient, care –  CPR, AED or administering naloxone. MORE

RCMP pursuing long-time wanted individuals

Harley Jackson

The Nanaimo RCMP is profiling individuals with outstanding warrants for their arrest stemming from allegations in Nanaimo. Some of the warrants have been on the system for several years while others were recently issued. 

With the power of social media, we hope to locate these individuals, wherever they may be, and hold them accountable for the crimes they have allegedly committed. If you have information on their whereabouts, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

#2 Harley Rae JACKSON (83-12-03) age 36
Nanaimo RCMP file # 2019-24076

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation tightens lending standards
Thinking of buying a house and plan on borrowing money for a mortgage in the coming months? Next month, you may have a harder time securing a mortgage. 

Union concerned new BC Ferries vessels will lead to job cuts
While BC Ferries is getting ready to unveil the first of its new Island Class vessels Wednesday, the union representing ferry workers is concerned the new ships will lead to job losses

B.C. announces 9 new cases of COVID-19, no new deaths
B.C. health officials announced nine new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to 2,669 since the pandemic began. 

Swoop airline suspends flights to Victoria amid pandemic
Canadian budget airline Swoop has announced summer scheduling changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the suspension of all flights to Victoria. 

Single-family homes lead Vancouver Island's real estate market recovery
Vancouver Island’s real estate market is showing signs of recovery as B.C. continues along its restart plan. 

After refusing to kill bear cubs, ex-conservation officer wins dismissal case in court
A former B.C. conservation officer who was fired for refusing to kill a pair of bear cubs won his dismissal case at the B.C. Court of Appeal

Early salmon runs devastated in last year's Fraser River slide, DFO says
Early runs of Stuart sockeye and chinook salmon were devastated last year because they couldn't make it past a massive landslide on British Columbia's Fraser River, government officials said Tuesday

Vancouver woman questions safety of e-transfers after money goes missing
Dana Johl has been using Interac e-transfer for years, and never encountered any issues – until a $1,700 transfer she tried sending to her own account at another bank never showed up.  

This website tells you when a campsite is available in B.C.
A website created by a B.C. resident is helping locals keep track of availability at their favourite campsites and sending out an email when a spot becomes available. 

Rehired for lower wages: A look at B.C.'s long-term care home sector 
An aide at a B.C. long-term care facility shares her story about what she says the job is really like.

Tuesday, June 9

OH SO POWERFUL – One single event, one cell phone video, has created worldwide waves of reaction. If the arrest of George Floyd had not been recorded on video and shared on the internet, we would not have had the protests, looting and rioting. It proves that one little single event, when recorded and shared, can stir the world into action. 

CANCEL THE COPS? – When the Vancouver chapter of Black Lives Matter released a list of demands for the city last week, the very first item was to direct some funding away from the police department – an idea that's starting to gain traction in jurisdictions across North America. It proves the old adage that you should put your brain in gear before putting mouth in motion. It’s difficult to imagine what life could be like without the security of police in our lives. MORE

READERS DIGEST used to have a humour section, giving light to topics that might not ordinarily see the light of day. Well Vancouver General Hospital’s new innovation seems to fit that bill – a time-out room. The hospital has set aside space to unwind and unleash staff frustrations amid the COVID-19 pandemic – to take a timeout to yell, laugh or cry.

THERE’S A CATCH – There appeared to be fantastic news in yesterday’s announcement that foreign visitors could come and visit family in Canada, but there’s a catch. Although welcomed by many, it’s virtually unworkable. For instance, to have my family in the U.S. come for a visit they would have to quarantine here for two weeks and then quarantine for another two weeks when they got home – 28 days shot.

RCMP pursuing long-time wanted individuals

Percy Khambata

The Nanaimo RCMP is profiling individuals with outstanding warrants for their arrest stemming from allegations in Nanaimo. Some of the warrants have been on the system for several years while others were recently issued. 
If you have information on their whereabouts, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

#1 Here is the first one
Percy Khambata (57-12-12) Age 62
Nanaimo RCMP file # 2019-24480


High-end shoes and wallet taken in a break and enter

These Gucci shoes and a Gucci wallet were stolen.

0608 – A thief who broke into a residence on Sunday had a taste for the finer things, stealing several pairs of Gucci shoes worth hundreds of dollars and a Gucci wallet. 

The homeowner told police he and his roommates were asleep and had forgotten to lock the door before retiring. The shoes and wallet were near the door that was found open.

A man was seen near the residence at approximately 6 a.m. He was described six feet tall with a slim build, mid 20s and wearing white sweatpants, white shoes and a white and black stripped hoodie.

All debit and credit cards  were immediately cancelled and no activity was reported. If anyone has information on the stolen items or the suspect, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Tuesday, June 9

Search continues near Malahat Summit for missing Saanich woman
A search and rescue team is back at the Malahat Summit for a second day as the search for a 33-year-old Saanich woman continues. 

Committee members resign over BC Ferries service cuts to Hornby, Denman islands
Disappointed with what they say is a lack of public consultation over upcoming cuts to ferry service, four members of the BC Ferries Denman Island-Hornby Island Advisory Committee have handed in their resignations to the ferry operator. 

Woman missing near Malahat found dead
A 33-year-old Saanich woman who went missing over the weekend near the Malahat Summit has been found dead.

Man charged in Saanich murder released on bail
Nathan Monsour, 33, and Lee Hart, 38, were arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of 41-year-old Shawn Campbell in September 2018

Mountie pepper sprayed during traffic stop in B.C.; woman arrested
A 26-year-old woman has been arrested after the RCMP say one of its officers was pepper sprayed during a traffic stop on Sunday outside Revelstoke, B.C. 

New border exemption has a big catch
As of midnight on Monday, Americans can cross the border to visit their Canadian family members – but it won't help everyone longing for their loved ones. 

Thousands are calling to defund the VPD. Here's what that might look like.
When the Vancouver chapter of Black Lives Matter released a list of demands for the city last week, the very first item was to direct some funding away from the police department – an idea that's starting to gain traction in jurisdictions across North America. 

RCMP officers facing charges 4 years after violent arrest caught on camera
Four years after video of a violent arrest in Prince George prompted public outcry and an investigation by B.C.'s police watchdog, four RCMP officers are facing charges

Ice in carburetor led to B.C. plane crash that killed 3 people, safety board finds
The Transportation Safety Board says ice in a carburetor was the cause of a fatal plane crash last year outside Smithers, B.C. 

Delta flight school confirms ties to missing plane as search set to resume
A staff member at a flight school based in Delta, B.C., has confirmed to CTV News that the search for an overdue plane is tied to the International Flight Centre, a training school based at the airport

Time-out room to 'yell or cry' for frontline workers at Vancouver hospital
Emergency health-care workers at Vancouver General Hospital have been given a new space to unwind and unleash their frustrations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

No virus deaths in province since last Friday, 29 new cases

0608 – 29 nine new cases of the Covid virus were reported today, but no deaths occurred over the weekend.

The total number of cases to date is 2,659, while the death toll remains at 167.

There are 183 active cases, including 16 serious enough to require hospitalization with four of them in critical or intensive care.

Masks mandatory on ferry sailings starting June 15

0608 – All B.C. Ferries passengers will have to bring face masks on their sailings, beginning June 15

The announcment from the corporation notes travellers will be required to be in possession of a face covering that covers their mouth and nose, that they will be asked to wear in situations where two metres of physical separation isn’t possible. The rule by Transport Canada takes effect June 15. 

BC Ferries will also continue screening all customers for COVID-19 symptoms and restrict travel to any customer who does not meet the screening requirements.

Travellers will be asked to confirm that they have a face mask, and must answer yes to board vessels. Ferries will not supply face masks.

Monday, June 8, 2020

HOUSE ARREST – Watching the chit chat on social media it is obvious that patience is wearing thin on the continued coronavirus lockdown. The guidance of officials in charge has not helped with them blessing and taking part in mass rallies where there appear to be little or no rules to avoid COVID-19. At the same time, we can't go to restaurants or even drive-in movies. That's particularly the case on Vancouver Island where we have not had any new cases in more than a month. Supposedly that means there is no one spreading the virus. The big enlightening will come by about next weekend when there's either a great big spike in cases as a result of the protest gatherings, or no notable increase. Either way, those in charge will have a lot to answer for.

THAT’S GARBAGE – Not a pleasant way to start the week, but we appear to have a lack of respect here. The Regional District of Nanaimo collected 74 tonnes of dumped waste in 2019, up from 49 tonnes the year before. In the last five years, we’ve been illegally dumping an average 62 tonnes of garbage. Illegal dumping fluctuates, going up when tipping fees or hours of operation change, but only for a short time. The weather also plays a role. MORE

Foreign family members now allowed to visit Canada

Justin Trudeau

0608 – Family members of Canadians are now allowed to visit Canada under a new limited exemption.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the exemption will enable immediate family members of citizens or permanent residents to come to Canada. The conditions require anyone visitors to quarantine for 14 days.

“This is an incredibly difficult time to be apart from a spouse, a child or mom and dad,” he said. “If you don’t follow these rules, you could face serious penalties,” added Trudeau.

Six arrested and released after Port McNeill drug takedown

0608 –RCMP arrested six people in a search of a house in Port McNeil on June 3.

Police described telltale signs of drug trafficking, including vehicles visiting at all hours and staying for only minutes, visits from known drug users and complaints from neighbours.

Those arrested have been released from custody, but some of them will be summoned to court at a later date, police said.

Local hiker rescued after accident on Mount Arrowsmith

Volunteers from Alberni Valley Search and Rescue were the first to reach the injured man, but it was the hoist team - made up of searchers from Campbell River and Comox Valley teams - that performed the extraction. (Photo: Alberni Valley Rescue Squad)

0607 – A Nanaimo man was airlifted to hospital after a high-risk helicopter rescue after falling about 20 metres on Mount Arrowsmith. The man, who has not been identified, suffered multiple injuries, including a head injury. He was hiking with two other men on Mount Arrowsmith when he slipped.

Paul Berry, a search manager with Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue, said Mount Arrowsmith still has a significant amount of snow and it was slippery and wet. He said the man had slipped on rocks before falling and sliding face-first down a snow field. MORE

Search under way for missing woman near Malahat summit

Cowichan Search and Rescue and the Shawnigan Lake RCMP are searching for a woman who has been missing since last night near the Malahat summit.

Saanich police say they are looking for 33-year-old Jaime Traynor, who was last seen by her family shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday.

Police say Shawnigan Lake RCMP located Traynor's 2001 red Saturn sedan around 2:30 a.m. Sunday on the Malahat, but checks of the surrounding area and her residence in Saanich have so far yielded no sign of her. MORE

Monday, June 8, 2020

Lower Mainland Cancer Drivers Society allowed to resume service
A vital service that helps Lower Mainland cancer patients get to their appointments is planning to resume after being forced to shut down because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. 1

Woman seriously injure in Chinatown attack, Vancouver police say 
Police are investigating after a woman was injured in an incident in Vancouver's Chinatown early Monday morning. 

Asian giant hornet is in B.C. Here’s how to identify it.
An update from B.C.’s top bee expert on the fight against the Asian giant hornet, and what to do if you spot it

Family of Abbotsford football player wants answers
Grieving relatives of a football player who they say died by suicide after seeking help at a hospital believe a recent change by Saskatchewan health officials may have saved him

Chilliwack father escapes submerged truck, rescues daughters 
Dennis Saulnier believes he had "all the angels" watching over him and his two daughters that rainy May evening when they found themselves submerged in their truck at Cultus Lake. 

Police watchdog to investigate chief's allegation of assault by RCMP
The chief of a northern Alberta First Nation spoke out Saturday after he claims he was beaten by RCMP officers who apprehended him over an expired vehicle licence plate tag earlier this year.

157,000 students returned to B.C. schools in the first week back
Around 30 per cent of B.C. students returned when schools partially reopened June 1, says B.C.’s Ministry of Education. 

Sunday, June 7, 2020

LOAVES AND FISHES Food Bank weathered heavy demands during the height of the COVID pandemic and is now gearing up for the summer demand. The drive is already under way and non-perishable food items should be dropped for by Tuesday. Executive Director Peter Sinclair says they are prepared to meet the demand, thanks to generous support from the community. About 8,000 grocery bags will be distributed for the public to fill and delivered to the warehouse. MORE

THE OLD SOUTH WELLINGTON school is slated for demolition but the community association there hopes to save it. School district staff are expected to present a recommendation this month on whether to tear  it down. Susan Toth, of the South Wellington and Area Community Association, hopes the site can become a community resource centre. There are no amenities, playgrounds or community centres in the area and she envisions a facility similar to those in neighbouring areas. FULL STORY

CONGRATULATIONS Elise Therrien, who finished second in all of Canada in the Grade 11-12 category of the Concours virtuel competition, put on by Canadian Parents for French, a national network promoting French as a second language. It was co-sponsored by and Conseil jeunesse francophone de la Colombie-Britannique, representing French-speaking youth in B.C. Elise is a Grade 12 student Nanaimo District Secondary School. MORE

YOU’RE NOT SEEING THINGS – If you blink twice when you think you are seeing a white raven, you actually are seeing a white raven. Photographer John Domovich got a photo in Whiskey Creek recently. He’d seen the bird in the days before, but had only gotten a picture on his cellphone. This time, he was able to zoom in and patiently wait for a photograph. The unique birds have shown up in the area in the past few decades. They’re classified as leucistic, rather than being albinistic, since they have colour in their eyes – blue. MORE

June 7, 2020

UBC educators 'Geering Up' for online summer camps
Geering Up, the engineering outreach program at the University of British Columbia, has moved all of its programming - including summer camps - online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Search continues for missing plane in Fraser River in Maple Ridge
Authorities continue to search for a missing plane and its two occupants in Maple Ridge, after someone reported seeing it fly over the Fraser River, go into the water and then disappear on Saturday.

2 arrested at otherwise peaceful anti-racism protest in Vancouver
Vancouver police arrested two people for assault during an anti-racism protest Friday, but are describing them as instigators who got involved in the protest and were not representative of the otherwise peaceful event. 

N.B. chiefs seek justice system review after police shooting of Indigenous woman
The chiefs of a coalition of Maliseet First Nations are calling for an independent probe of the New Brunswick justice system after a fatal police shooting of a 26-year-old Indigenous woman from British Columbia. 

Grouse Mountain plans to reopen June 22
But taking the Skyride up to the mountain will only be available to annual pass-holders

Indigenous families say their loved ones' deaths in custody are part of pattern
Nora Martin said her family has endured generations of racism and trauma at the hands of authorities and is calling for lasting change to end the pattern. 

Vancouver Police Board rejects city's call for one per cent budget cut
The Vancouver Police Board is essentially rejecting a call by Vancouver City Hall to cut one per cent from the police budget

Concern voiced over cross-border long-haul truckers

Don Davies MP

0606 – Two new Covid cases in Manitoba have been linked to truckers taking multiple routes through the U.S. A cluster of at least 10 cases last month was linked to a trucking company in the province.

That has federal NDP health critic Don Davies calling for tracking and testing for long-haul truckers travelling back and forth across the United States border. The Public Health Agency of Canada does not collect that type of information. 

The majority of provinces are not looking at infections in long-haul truckers, even though the drivers are among the few Canadians crossing into areas in the United States. The border  closed to most travellers in March but it remains open to people providing essential services.

Davies said truck drivers crossing the border should be tested and data should be collected at a federal level, saying it’s important not only for the the truckers and their families, but for the community at large. FULL STORY

Strong turnout of students as schools reopen

0606- More than one third of students in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district have returned to schools when they re-opened this week.

Assistant Superintendents Laura Tait and Don Balcombe updated trustees on attendance through the first three days of school.

Tait said 39 per cent of students from kindergarten to Grade 5 attended. For Grade 6-7, an average of 40 per cent, Grade 11 saw 37 per cent and Grade 12, on average 34 per.

“We don’t have a percentage or an average for Grades 8 through 10 because it was so broad, but the numbers ranged from 30 students to 223 students coming,” said Tait. FULL STORY

Missing 15-year-old youth found safe

Update: Nanaimo RCMP say the 15-year-old has been found safe and sound.

0606 – 15-year-old William Baker left his home in south Nanaimo Thursday and did not return. His family believes he is with older individuals who are putting him at risk and are extremely worried for his safety and well-being.

Nanaimo police are asking the public to help locate him. He is 5-feet-3, and 140 pounds.

Anyone knowing his whereabouts is asked to contact Nanaimo RCMP’s non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

CONGRATULATIONS to Insp Umesh Lal for being named 2020 Fire Educator of the Year by  the Fire Prevention Officers of British Columbia. Umesh has been integral in assisting and developing fire safety and education programs in the City. He has been invaluable in many fire safety programs including the home smoke alarm program, working with Snuneymuxw on fire extinguisher training, the BC Burn Fund, fire safety to new Canadians and outreach with School District #68. Mayor Leonard Krog said the work Lal has done prevents injuries and saves lives. It is vital work for which he is acknowledged for his high level of performance.

FORMER PRIME MINISTER PAUL MARTIN is coming to the Rotary Club of Lantzville on Thursday, June 18. Well, he’ll be there in spirit rather than in body, addressing Rotarians via Zoom. He will pitch his nation-wide Martin Family Initiative dedicated to improving elementary and secondary education for First Nations, Méti, and Inuit students. Rotarians expect members of other local clubs to join the meeting. If you want to participate, contact Mark Taylor.

ONLINE BUSINESS – If you’ve ever though of becoming your own Amazon genius, the Nanaimo Chamber is setting up an e-commerce platform through its website so you can do just that. If you’re looking at setting up an online business, NC Marketplace will provide a well-organized site at a reasonable rate. To learn more about how you can sell your products on NC Marketplace, contact: Carly Cooke at member services or (250) 756-1191 ext. 4

WESTJET REFUNDS – If you’ve been waiting to get your money back on cancelled WestJet Airlines reservations, the company has changed its refund policy to allow some customers get their cash back. But don’t jump for joy just yet, WestJet's refund offer applies to flights that include a U.S. or U.K. city as the destination or origin. It does not include flights within Canada or to continental Europe, Mexico or the Caribbean.

Only one new case of COVID-19 virus, one death

B.C. had just one new case of COVID-19 Friday, and one more death. The latest case was in the Fraser Health region.

While one new case was announced Friday, B.C.’s total remains unchanged as one case has been removed following a reporting error by health officials.

Of those cases, 21 people were in hospital for treatment, including five people who required critical care. MORE

Family of seven escapes house fire in Nanaimo

0606 – A smoke alarm likely saved a family of seven in a house fire Tuesday afternoon. The fire broke out in a basement suite of the home at Kamp Place.

The family living in the upstairs unit had a smoke alarm, which activated. The basement suite however, did not have smoke alarms but those residents were not home at the time. 

The upstairs unit was not damaged in the fire, but the basement suite suffered significant damage.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue officials said the fire was believed to be accidental.

Saturday, June 6. 2020

B.C.'s COVID breakdown: Which regions have the highest rates per capita?
Modelling data released this week provided a closer look at which parts of the province have the highest rate of COVID-19. 

Indigenous leaders push for answers in police shooting death of woman
Chantel Moore’s death is highlighting concerns around excessive force, police brutality and systemic racism, and several Indigenous leaders say it’s time for quick answers and systemic change. 

Vancouver Police Board rejects city's call for 1% budget cut, 
The Vancouver Police Board is essentially rejecting a call by Vancouver City Hall to cut 1 per cent from the police budget. 

B.C. family wants justice for Indigenous man who died in police custody
RCMP have said Dale Culver, 35, appeared to have trouble breathing before he died in police custody in 2017 in Prince George, B.C

Charges dropped against opponents of northern B.C. pipeline
Criminal and civil contempt of court charges have been dropped against those who were arrested in February for violating an injunction while fighting the construction of a natural gas pipeline in northern B.C. 

 COVID-19 may be improving air quality but increasing plastic waste
While public health, businesses and the economy have all been impacted during the COVID-19 crisis, the environment has also felt effects from the pandemic. 

Kelowna Mountie on administrative leave after violent arrest
An RCMP officer has been taken off patrol after being involved in a violent arrest that was captured on video by bystanders in Kelowna, B.C

B.C.'s unemployment rate tops 13%, more than 43,000 jobs created
B.C.'s unemployment rate is continuing to climb in the novel coronavirus pandemic, and the latest figures from Statistics Canada were released Friday. 

Ferries temporary service levels in place until Sept. 7

0605 – BC Ferries and the Province have agreed to a plan that gradually increases service levels across multiple routes along coastal British Columbia. The Province has amended the Coastal Ferry Services Contract to permit these service adjustments through Sept. 7.

As traffic starts to return to the ferry system and British Columbia slowly begins to relax COVID- 19 restrictions, BC Ferries is reintroducing service across the system in response to demand, and is doing this in a thoughtful and controlled way. BC Ferries will continue to follow guidelines provided by provincial and federal officials. FULL REPORT

Nanaimo man sought on assault charges

John Bates

0605 – Nanaimo RCMP is trying to find 50-year-old John Martin Bates, wanted for an Assault and Assault with a Weapon. 

The warrants stem from  incidents in February and in April. In the February incident, Bates was charged with assaulting a woman, hitting her in the face. Then in April, he is charged with breaking a bowl over her head. She was not injured each time, Bates fled prior to police arriving. The investigation into both incidents resulted in charges being laid and warrants issued.  Bates 5 ft.6, 150 pounds. 

If you have information on the location of John Martin Bates, [please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Krog clarifies role in legal case reported on website

Leonard Krog

0605 – A local newspaper website report says Leonard Krog, in his work as a lawyer, has been named in a lawsuit related to a client’s will.

The story is not clear as to Krog’s status in the civil claim filed last year under the Wills, Estates and Succession Act. 

Contrary to the story, the claim is not against Krog personally but only in his representative capacity as Executor of the Estate of the late Elizabeth Lightfoot McCallum and seeks a larger share of the estate for the claimant.

"The claim against me is in my representative capacity as Executor of the Estate only, not against me personally.  This is a private matter between siblings who were the children of a very fine couple and I am disappointed that any media would cover this and I will have no further comment."

RCMP looking for owner of found bicycle

Nanaimo RCMP have a relatively new bicycle found on June 1 in the parking lot of 510 Sixth St. Due to the fact that no children are known to reside in the condo complex and local inquires were unsuccessful, the bike was taken for safe-keeping.

The bike is a blue Sportek Ground Breaker. The first 5 digits of the serial number are L2Z01. If anyone has information on the ownership of this bike, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Friday, June 5, 2020

CAN WE GET OUT OF HOUSE ARREST? – We’re now totally COVID-19 free – the last patient has been released from hospital. The last reported case on Vancouver Island was May 7. In total there have been 130 total COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island. The number of new cases flattened out at the beginning of April after rising most of March. However, there has been no indication when we will be able to resume our regular lives, at least on Vancouver Island.

MORE SUPPORT THAN NEEDED – Nanaimo did not need the number hotel rooms and housing sites that had been anticipated to shelter the homeless during the virus pandemic. B.C. Housing provided 33 spaces at three Nanaimo hotels.  B.C. Housing had planned for an additional 40, but said they wasn’t needed due to availability at other sites. B.C. Housing doesn’t disclose which hotels are being used. MORE

CONVENIENT LEGISLATION – Various branches of B.C. government are selective in the information they provide – some is available while very similar facts remain secret under the guise of privacy legislation. For instance, Dr. Bonnie Henry has refused to tell us where coronavirus cases are on Vancouver Island, citing privacy, but then names seniors facilities in the Lower Mainland at every turn. The most recent contradiction surrounds housing needy people in hotels in Nanaimo, declining to name them for privacy reasons. At the same time, B.C. Housing buys hotels in Victoria for the same purpose but names them.

FIRMLY GROUNDED – One good thing about the pandemic is that Prime Minister Trudeau is doing his world-wide campaigning for a United Nations security council seat by virtual meetings. That should cut down the prime minister’s travel costs. He’s now attending his third confab in just days. The UN votes June 17 for two seats, choosing between Canada, Norway and Ireland. 

WEBMASTERS GOING WORLD WIDE – Nanaimo-based Real Estate Webmasters has snared a huge contract to redesign the RE/Max Europe website with a market network of 26,000 members across 40 countries. European interest in North American real estate marketing methods is growing and the new website brings a host of online innovations to the industry there. The website is multilingual and contains a multilingual engine where they can develop content in all 40 languages they support. MORE

B.C.'s unemployment rate tops 13%; finance minister to speak about job losses
B.C.'s unemployment rate is continuing to climb in the novel coronavirus pandemic, and the latest figures from Statistics Canada were released Friday

Dr. Henry responds to restaurant owners urging her to encourage dining out
B.C. restaurant owners are desperate for the province to relax occupancy restrictions to help lure diners back inside.  

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip desperately seeking organ donor
The longtime president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs admits asking for help is difficult, and puts him in an awkward position. 

Kelowna Mountie's use of force during arrest unacceptable, sister says 
A pair of videos showing a Kelowna RCMP officer repeatedly striking a suspect being restrained by two other officers has sparked an investigation, questions from city leaders, and even condemnation from that officer’s sister. 

How to protect yourself from ticks while outdoors this summer
With COVID-19 limiting travel, many B.C. residents are looking to enjoy local parks, hiking trails and campsites closer to home

Poll numbers show spike in racial slurs directed at Asians in B.C.
A new poll shows a disturbing trend has emerged in British Columbia over the last three months, coinciding with the arrival of COVID-19 in the province. 

Departure Bay ferry on limited capacity for weekend

0604 –BC Ferries advises  there is limited standby capacity on the Departure Bay – Horseshoe Bay route going into the weekend. 
Very limited space is available for advance bookings as the route is operating at a reduced capacity of four round trips per day. Customers without a booking are recommended to consider  the Tsawwassen – Duke Point or Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay route. 
BC Ferries recommends customers with an advance booking arrive at the terminal at least an hour before your sailing. Check in is now available up to two hours before departure, except for first sailing of the day, where it is up to 90 minutes before departure. MORE

Police looking for suspect after parcel stolen from porch

Do you know this suspect?

0603 - Police are looking for a suspect after a parcel containing a $400 electronic device was stolen from the front porch of a Nanaimo home. The theft happened May 13 at about 11 a.m. on from the doorstep of a home in the 2500 block of Highland Boulevard.

The package, containing a Samsung Galaxy Smart watch, was stolen minutes after being delivered. Video surveillance that showed an unidentified woman walking up to the front step and then casually walking away with the parcel.

She is 30-40 years old, heavy-set with brown hair tied on top.

Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Proposed Lantzville development goes to public hearing


Lantzville residents will have their say at a public hearing on an application for a 280-unit residential development. Lantzville Projects Ltd. has applied for a 280-unit development, with 156 units on Clark Drive and 123 on properties bounded by Ware, Ronald and Philip roads.

Darwin Mahlum, representative for Lantzville Projects, noted that every unit would have a front and back door, with no stacked units – the development would be a mix of single-unit housing, houses with secondary suites, duplexes, row houses and townhouses. MORE

Community Safety with RCMP Supt. Miller


A free 45-minute live event hosted digitally via the Zoom app. Our Q & A panel will be active during this session, and your questions are welcome. 

Register Here

You can view all of the videos from our Speaker Series on our YouTube Channel. 
Nanaimo Chamber YouTube Channel

Thursday, June 4

PERSONAL TOUCH – Each year the City recognizes contributions to culture with the Culture And Heritage Awards with a big celebration at the Port Theatre. This year, because of COVID-19, the awards will take on a new look. A masked Mayor Leonard Krog will personally deliver greetings and a special gift to the homes of recipients. At the same time, the City will release specially-commissioned photos and video profiles that celebrate the achievements of the honorees. They were nominated by their peers and endorsed by City Council. Click on their names for details.
Patrick Alek, Emerging Cultural Leader
Devon Joiner, Excellence in Culture
Gary and Adam Manson, Honour in Heritage
Trish and Geoff Horrocks,  Honour in Culture

ISLAND HOLDING STEADY ­– It’s been nearly a month since the last new case of Covid was reported on Vancouver Island, and that remained positive again on Wednesday when health officials held their regular briefing. To date Island Health region has 127, with only one remaining in hospital. The last new case was May 7. MORE

ANCHORS AWEIGH ­– The ferries began sailing again yesterday between Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay. The schedule starts with four daily round trips daiy, down from the typical seven or eight on the route.
– From Horseshoe Bay (Vancouver): 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:50 p.m., 6:50 p.m.
– From Departure Bay (Nanaimo): 10:30 a.m., 12:50 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:50 p.m. MORE

IT'S COMING, IT'S COMING – The promised COVID-19 seniors aid will arrive in July. Prime Minister Trudeau said the special one-time payments will go out beginning July 6. The  $300 payments will go to anyone on old-age security (OAS) benefits and $200 for any seniors who get the guaranteed income supplement (GIS). Seniors who already get benefits won’t have to apply for the special payment.

DO IT YOURSELF – We may soon be able to do our own cornonavirus testing at home. Technology developed by University of Victoria chemists in 2016 to fight the Zika virus is being fast-tracked to be used as a testing kit for COVID-19. The research team is developing the test by using nanotechnology to treat plastic strips that can detect the S-1 protein found in the novel coronavirus. If the virus is present, the strip changes colour from red to blue. The wait for results from the current swab test method that B.C. uses can take up to 24 hours in a laboratory. If the chemists are successful with developing this new test, results from the nanoparticle-treated strips will be available in less than 15 minutes. MORE

CUT THE MUSTARD – A customer at a Colwood Wendy’s drive through lost his cool when staff forgot to put mustard in his burger. He got out of his vehicle and smashed a plexiglass shield in front of the takeout window, then tore it down and tossed it under a vehicle behind his. West Shore RCMP were dispatched at approximately 9 p.m. Tuesday night, after staff called. MORE 

Thursday, June 4

Missing man with autism found safe, Burnaby RCMP say
A missing man whose absence was first noted Tuesday evening has been found. 

Man stabbed 'multiple times' during targeted home invasion in Langley
A man was stabbed multiple times during a targeted home invasion, Langley Mounties say, and now police are looking for the suspects involved. 

Homicide investigators called to 2 separate incidents 
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has taken on two new files since Tuesday, one after a woman in Surrey died under suspicious circumstances and another after a body was found in Boston Bar, in what are believed to be separate incidents. 

Dix to arrange meeting over B.C. hospice denying end-of-life service
British Columbia's health minister says he's looking forward to a meeting with municipal, provincial and federal politicians concerned about a hospice that is refusing to provide medical assistance in dying. 

Two weeks after reopening, some Vancouver restaurants nearly empty
A Vancouver restaurateur has a dire prediction for the future of the restaurant industry and is concerned many places will go under during the pandemic

B.C. winner of $24M lotto jackpot called his boss and retired immediately
The winner of a massive lottery jackpot last week has already announced his retirement. 

Sister convinced online scam took more than her brother's savings
A B.C. woman whose brother was found dead in his apartment shortly after they reconnected says she's convinced an online romance scam is to blame. 

Downtown Vancouver businesses boarded up after U.S. violence, looting
Vancouver’s Nordstrom location has been temporarily closed and boarded up with plywood, out of what the U.S. company is calling "an abundance of caution”

Americans in Point Roberts want special access via closed Canadian border
Longtime Point Roberts, Wash., resident John Beals has launched a petition, hoping the governments of Canada and the United States will make an exception, and allow residents of the tiny, isolated American town to cross the border

COVID-19 surcharges unpopular, but it depends on who’s charging them
A new poll has found though most people aren’t happy about the idea of paying a COVID-19 surcharge, they’re more willing to accept the extra fee depending on the type of business involved. 


NANAIMO CHAMBER VIRTUAL AGM June 17 – Chamber members in good standing are invited to attend our 2020 Annual General Meeting. 2019 Year-End Financial Statements and reports from the Chair, Treasurer and CEO will be presented. 

Register now, and a virtual invite, agenda, and voting package will be emailed to you prior to the event.

Do you know him? Police are looking for this suspect

Nanaimo RCMP need help to identify a mn who allegedly assaulted a male in the parking lot of a local business. The incident occurred on Saturday April 25, in the parking lot of the Gas N Go, at Morden Road and the Trans Canada Highway.

The suspect is Caucasian, 25-35 years old, heavy set with dark hair and a beard.  If anyone has information on this incident, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Wednesday, June 3

CONGRATULATIONS TO Jake Rudolph, the CAO of our fine city, on his election as president of the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators. He has been active on CAMA's board since 2014 and was first vice president. Having our CAO in such a respected role is a positive direction do a whole lot positively for our community across the Dominion.

SINCE WE’RE RESTRICTED from public gatherings, some people have suggested taking kids and their roller blades and hockey sticks to the aisles at the huge “essential service” stores. Hmm, and maybe set up some tables and chairs for dining out? They have enough chairs and electrical outlets in those stores that you could set up a barbershop. Just sayin’.

THE NEXT 10 DAYS should be interesting as we wait to see if there’s an upsurge in a second wave in COVID-19 cases in Canadian and U.S. cities in the aftermath of the riots which certainly did not exhibit social distancing. One thing, more than usual wore masks, but likely not for virus defense, so there’s that.

THE FIFTH ANNUAL Walk for Nepal, staged by Daybreak Rotary, is going ahead on Saturday June 20 at Westwood Lake. It’s going to be a little different due to the pandemic, so the rules and format have been revised to encourage social distancing. There is no set time to start and finish. If possible, wear Nepal T- Shirt and you can go on your own with your personal social bubble. Just don’t gather in big groups. Take a picture or video and post it online

MARINE MAMMAL RESCUE was called out Sunday after a young whale became entangled in a prawn trap line. But happily the animal freed itself before they could get involved. Paul Cottrell, fisheries biologist and co-ordinator for the Department of Fisheries and his team responded just off Rocky Point. Cottrell said initially big killer whales were foraging and consuming a harbour seal where the buoy for the trap line was when  the juvenile whale got caught up in the rope there.

Ladysmith teacher's brother, cousin killed in Chicago

0603 – The brother and cousin of Ladysmith Intermediate School principal Dionte Jelks were shot and killed during protests in Chicago on the weekend. 

Jelks said he was immediately worried for his family in Chicago when he saw protests spring up across the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd’s homicide in Minneapolis.

“I was worried, but I thought it would just be one day and that would be it, because there’s been so many senseless killings of unarmed black men for years,” Jelks said. “Usually it’s a day of protests and it’s done. I guess when George Floyd was murdered it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

“People are fed up now. It seems like this is it. We need change, we need reform, and we’re not going to wait until it’s my kid’s generation. We need it right now." FULL STORY


June 3, 2020

Police investigating after man, woman found dead on Salt Spring Island 
Police are investigating after two people were found dead Monday on Salt Spring Island

Paul's Motor Inn purchased by B.C. government to house homeless
The B.C. government has purchased Paul’s Motor Inn in downtown Victoria to use as a temporary shelter for Victoria’s homeless population amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Victoria hotel housing homeless evacuated after second fire
A Victoria hotel that was purchased by the provincial government to house unsheltered people had to be evacuated Tuesday morning after a fire broke out in one of the units. 

Island RCMP issue 39 warning tickets for speeding in school zones
The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP issued 39 warning tickets to drivers who were speeding in school zones within the Cowichan Valley in just one day. 

BC Ferries to increase sailings to Southern Gulf Islands
BC Ferries is increasing service along its Southern Gulf Islands routes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

B.C. man mourns family members killed amid U.S. unrest
A Vancouver Island school principal is in mourning after his brother and cousin were both gunned down amid a weekend of violence in the United States that erupted out of peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. 

Nordstrom boards up Vancouver store after rioting, looting in the U.S.
Vancouver’s Nordstrom location has been temporarily closed and boarded up with plywood, out of what the U.S. company is calling "an abundance of caution." 

Patient missing from forensic psychiatric hospital has been found
Mounties in Coquitlam say a 36-year-old man who was reported missing from a B.C. forensic psychiatric hospital has been found. 

B.C. students likely won’t return to the classroom full time in September
If parents are hoping circumstances will change and their kids will be able to go back to class full time next school year, they’re probably out of luck.  

Metro Vancouver homes sales fell 44 per cent last month, but prices are still high
Home sales in the Greater Vancouver area continued their steep year-over-year drop last month amid confinement measures and physical distancing requirements. 

COVID-19 cleaning filling new demand during pandemic 
Some companies are now offering deep cleaning services specifically for the coronavirus.  

30 per cent of expected students were in class on the first day
The day after students in B.C. returned to the classroom, the education minister provided details on safety measures in place at local schools. 

Commissioners to study permanently reducing traffic in Stanley Park
A pair of Vancouver Park Board commissioners has brought forward a motion calling on staff to study the long-term feasibility of permanently reducing automobile traffic in Stanley Park. 

City's playgrounds set to reopen on Wednesday

0602 – Nanaimo city playgrounds will open Wednesday after approval by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Island Health.

Numerous outdoor amenities were closed on March 16, to help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. The city followed guidelines for Phase 2 from the BC Restart Plan by opening pickleball courts, tennis courts, gated off-leash dogs park and the bike parks. 

Guideline signage for playgrounds will be posted at each location to help residents understand how to remain safe and healthy during this pandemic while visiting these areas. 

These guidelines remind residents to:

* Adhere to physical distancing guidelines from anybody outside their household (2 metres or 6 feet)
* Wash their hands properly before coming to the park and after leaving
* Bring hand sanitizer or antiseptic wipes
* Avoid the area if sick or if they have been exposed to someone who has been sick or if a child is immunocompromised
* Consider visiting playgrounds at less busy times
* Not share equipment, toys, food, water bottles or other personal items
* Not congregate in groups larger than 50

Indoor recreation facilities, such as recreation centres, arenas and pools, as well as City-owned cultural venues remain closed for now. 

Drug trafficker gets four-year prison term

    0602 – Michael Damien Byrne, who has a long history of convictions. will be behind bars for another two and a half years.
    Byrne, 42, was sentenced earlier this spring to four years, with credit for 18 months served, for possession of fentanyl/heroin and fentanyl/carfentanil for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of brass knuckles in a vehicle.
    The judgment in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo was published on Monday.

Rudolph new president of municipal administrators

Jake Rudolph

0602 – Chief Administrative Officer Jake Rudolph has been elected President of the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators. He has been active on CAMA's board since 2014 and was first vice president. 

Mayor Leonard Krog said Rudolph has more than 30 years municipal leadership experience and has proven himself in various municipalities over the years. He took on the role with the City when it really needed help, and it comes as no surprise that the CAMA would recognize his skills and award him their top role as well, said Krog. Having our CAO in such a respected role will connect us to the success stories of other communities, and ultimately improve the strength of our own, he added.


Overnight road work coming on Bowen Road

0602 – Overnight work starts Monday on Bowen Road between the old Island Highway and Labieux Road. The upgrade will be carried out from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

The project will include water main replacement, new road surface, centre medians, pedestrian safety improvements, raised cycle lanes and right-sized travel lanes.

Another Bastion Street Bridge closure coming up

0602 –The Bastion Street Bridge will be closed to traffic beginning June 8 as crews complete work to correct an issue with the bridge deck joints. During the closure, a detour for vehicle traffic will be in place and pedestrian access will be maintained throughout. Work is expected to be complete in approximately three weeks.

In 2019, extensive work was completed on the bridge including seismic retrofitting, resurfacing, new way-finding signage and back-lit coloured panels between the bridge piers. For more information on this completed project, visit the City website at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/bastionbridge.

Tuesday, June 2

OUR COMMUNITY REALLY COMES THROUGH – Branch 257 Lantzville Royal Canadian Legion had a smashing success with its food drive last week with about $3,000 in food donations and $4,500 cash. Kudos to Brenda O’Sullivan and her crew for organizing this great event.

NOT KENTUCKY FRIED, but Vancouver Island Regional Libraries will soon offer takeout-style library services and online lending. Executive Director Rosemary Bonanno says the  pandemic brought much of society to a standstill but libraries were well positioned with existing online services. Now VIRL is beginning the reopening process, and that includes getting books, DVDs, and other physical materials into people’s homes again.” FULL STORY

NORM SMITH IS GETTING HIGH AGAIN – Norm Smith, the Nanaimo Tour de Rock committee co-chair, will live on a 30-foot scissor lift in front of the Save On Foods at Country Club Centre for three days (and nights) raising money for kids battling cancer. He’s done this before and he’s becoming quite proficient at it. The committee will have Tour de Rock merchandise and challenge coins for sale as well as the Save On Foods Wheel to help raise money for Children's Hospital. It starts June 26 at 8 a.m. and runs until June 28 at 8 p.m.

BEWARE OF SCAMMERS – It’s tax time and that brings out scammers to separate you from your money. Some of them pose as representatives from the Canada Revenue Agency. Check out this list of things you should recognize so you don’t get cheated. HERE

Tourism industry trying to overcome bleak propsects

0602 – It’s a bleak picture for this year’s Vancouver Island tourism industry. Anthony Everett, CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island, with 23 to 25 per cent of tourism businesses expected to close for good due to virus pandemic.

Tourism Vancouver Island put together the tourism resiliency program with Island Coastal Economic Trust. It has launched a program aimed at helping tourism-based businesses through a very slow summer.

It’s a $4-billion industry, major employer, and economic driver for the whole Island, he said. The Island is unique in that there are few places in Canada or in the province that are built on the tourism economy. MORE



Victoria towing company bills driver for storage after claiming they didn't have his car
A Vancouver Island man is warning others after his car was towed and then went missing, costing him more than $700 to get it back. 

Police remind drivers that school zones now in effect
As some B.C. students return to school this week, police departments across Vancouver Island are reminding drivers that school zones are back in effect. 

Trans Mountain reaches 'key milestone' as pipeline construction begins in B.C.
Trans Mountain says it has reached another “key milestone” in the project to triple capacity of a pipeline moving oil from the Edmonton area to port in Burnaby, B.C. 

Flood concerns increase as warning, evacuations issued in southeastern B.C.
A flood warning has been posted for a section of southeastern British Columbia as weekend rains and snowmelt combined to swell many rivers across the region.

Muslim teen in hijab punched repeatedly during alleged hate crime on transit 
Police are asking for the public's help identifying a suspect in an alleged hate crime that targeted a Muslim teenager who was wearing a hijab on public transit

People who attended Vancouver anti-racism rally should monitor for symptoms
Protesters who joined a massive anti-racism rally in downtown Vancouver over the weekend should monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms for the next two weeks, health officials said Monday. 

Armed men demanded dog during bizarre home invasion, police say
Police are investigating a bizarre home invasion in the B.C. Interior that involved two suspects who were apparently not after money or jewelry, but a dog. 

Province had 24 new cases of COVID-19, none on Island

Dr. Bonnie Henry

0601 – B.C. had 24 new cases of COVID-19 over the last 48 hours – none in Island Health.

There is one additional death in a long-term care-home in Fraser Health, bringing the death toll to 165.

There have now been 904 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 1,307 in Fraser Health, 127 in Island Health, 195 in Interior Health and 64 in Northern Health. A total of 2,207 people have recovered.

There are currently 32 COVID-19 hospitalizations with five in intensive care.

“This does tell us there is still transmission of COVID in some of our communities around the province and we are not completely out of the woods yet,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

Henry said people who were at the protest demonstrations Sunday may have put themselves at risk of COVID-19. She thanked those who wore masks. She also said people should monitor themselves for symptoms and get tested if needed.She health officials will be watching the aftermath of the protests carefully, along with the activities resuming under Phase 2 of B.C.’s Restart Plan. 

COVID-19 virus absolutely not airborne, says medical expert

0601 – There is absolutely no evidence that COVID-19 virus is airborne, says deputy provincial health officer Dr. Reka Gustafson. And if it were airborne, “then the measures that we took to control COVID-19 would not have worked," he said Monday.

"We are very confident that the majority of transmission of this virus is through the droplet and contact route." MORE

Small businesses get eviction protection during pandemic

Caole James

0601 – British Columbia landlords can’t evict small business tenants if haven’t applied for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistant (CECRA) program. The ban falls under the Emergency Program Act (EPA). Finance Minister Carole James said the eviction ban may encourage landlords to apply for the program, which will then give some relief to businesses who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

Businesses whose landlords choose not to apply for the federal CECRA program will be protected from evictions due to unpaid rent payments through to the end of June.

The EPA order restricts both the termination of lease agreements and the repossession of goods and property. MORE

Poilice are looking for Ryan Michael Harris

Ryan Harris

0601 – 41 year old Ryan Michael Hariss is on the loose and Nanaimo RCMP are looking for him. He's wanted for two counts of violating the terms of his release conditions. He is believed to be in Nanaimo but investigators have been unable to locate him.
He is is 6 ft, 190 pounds and the picture is recent. He has many tattoos. Two that may be visible show a blue moon on his upper right forearm and one which spells PEACE on his left forearm. He has a previous conviction for assault and should therefore be considered violent. 
If you know his whereabouts call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Bird strike suspected as cause of Snowbird crash

0610 – A bird strike in suspected as the possible cause of Snowbird crash near Kamloops.

The Royal Canadian Air Force says a close look at video footage of the plane just before the crash showed a bird very close to the plane’s right engine intake “during the critical phase of take-off.” 

Although early results are pointing to a bird as the root cause, an investigation into the crash remains under way as the air force looks into the Snowbirds’ cockpit escape system. 

The crash killed air force Capt. Jenn Casey, a public-affairs officer riding as a passenger, and seriously injured the pilot.

Pandemic changes going into effect today

After weeks of updates on how the COVID-19 pandemic is playing out on B.C., you may have lost track of a few things or missed some announcements.

Here's a quick look at what's reopening today, and some other changes taking place. FULL LIST

Inflatable boat with motor stolen from private property

0601 – A light grey Titan inflatable boat was stolen from the yard of a home on Wilkinson Road over the weekend. The boat has 9.9 hp Yamaha motor, white fibreglass hull and transom wheels. 

The serial number of the engine is C7009513G and HULL is HUSRC005F506. If you have information on this theft or where the boat is, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Three escape from Harewood house fire

0601 – The three occupants got out safely when a house caught fire in Harewood Sunday but they are without a place to live.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue assistant chief Brad Wood said crews arrived to find smoke and flame on two sides of the house. The occupants got out safely, thanks to working smoke alarms, said Wood, though a dog was missing. The tenants did not have insurance.

Wood said no one was cooking when the fire broke out and the cause is still unknown. The fire department will investigate. MORE

June 1, 2020

IT’S RAISE DAY in B.C. with a scheduled 75-cent minimum wage hike taking effect today despite small businesses challenged to continue operating during the virus pandemic. The minimum wage goes to $14.60 per hour, the last step before rising to $15 next year. Labour Minister Harry Bains said the government understands the pressures facing employers, but workers are also struggling. Bains said the government’s $5-billion pandemic plan includes tax breaks and tax deferrals for businesses, and a $1.5 billion economic recovery fund. 

WELCOME BACK TO CLASS – Classes resume this morning for B.C. students, but it sure won’t be like the classrooms kids left behind when the virus pandemic shut down schools across the province. Schools are reopening to the broad student body on an optional basis, leaving it up to families to decide if they want to go or continue learning from home. Those riding the bus will have a driver wearing a protective visor and they will sit by themselves. Parents who take their kids to school will stay outside or make appointment to reduce the number of adults who don't need to be in the building. Schools will have consistent procedures for site access, cleaning and hygiene and physical distancing. However, details will vary from school to school.

RECOVERING WILDLIFE – The North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington will reopen tomorrow after being closed to the public for more than two months. The centre relies heavily on admission income to operate its facility, to feed and rehabilitate the more-than-100 animals that are permanent residents or recovering. Derek Downes of the centre says the community has been incredible during the closure and no rehabilitation of any animal was affected. Staff encourage social distancing and will continue stringent cleaning procedures.

OUTDOOR MARKETS are doing very well in our area despite of pandemic restrictions, reporting very positive first few weeks though the total number of customers is down. Island Roots market on Bowen Road was restricted due to mandated capacity, but manager Michele Greene said that meant 30 per cent fewer shoppers than normal. Meanwhile, Cedar Farmers Market manager Kate Poirier said though there were fewer customers the spend-per-customer is much higher. Vendors report strong sales. People are coming to the market not just happy to be there, but with this heavy sense of relief and incredible appreciation, she added. MORE

CAMPING TIME – It’s June and that spells the great outdoors, regardless of outside influences. Telegraph Cove Resort is reopening today on a limited basis. Cabins, lodge and apartment suites remain closed. Self-contained campers are allowed, but public bathrooms and other amenities will remain closed. Rental accommodation, a pub and coffee shop, general store and café will reopen as regulations allow. Telegraph Cove is the launch point to the Broughton Archipelago, B.C.’s largest marine park, a world-wide destination for kayakers and adventure campers.

SEE CANADA FIRST – Tourism is one of the mainstays of Vancouver Island’s economy, so it is natural that Ottawa is earmarking millions of dollars to boost holiday travel inside our borders. Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly said the fund includes $30 million originally intended for attracting foreign visitors to Canada. Some tourism industry leaders are seeking more clarity on  rules and regulations around travel ahead of the summer season. A report last month suggested tourism could lose up to $47 billion this year because of the pandemic.

Letter: Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Dix

A copy of the following letter has been made available to Nanaimonet for publication.

Hello again Dr. Henry and Minister

You will note the date (Feb 21/2020) of my original email questions asking you about the probability of smokers and vapers transmitting covid-19 to innocent bystanders and asking why you have not informed the public of this hazard or why you haven't publicly recommended that smokers and vapers stop their bad habits to protect their family and friends.

Typically, you have neither answered my questions nor made the recommendations as suggested. Is that because so much revenue accrues to the government from these noxious products?

Are either of you smokers or vapers?  Conflicts of interest?

Now there is no excuse. Here are multiple medical health studies now confirming my supposition. Do your job and properly advise the public.

Dr. John Campbell lists many studies confirming air pollution, including second-hand smoke and vape emissions, endangers the public



From Gary Korpan

Comox Valley RCMP impound six vehicles for excess speed

0601 – Comox Valley RCMP impounded six vehicles in a six-day period – all for excessive speeding. The municipal traffic unit issued tickets ranging from $368 to $483 and all the vehicles were impounded for seven days.

"We are out in the Comox Valley looking for these excessive speeders," said Comox Valley RCMP municipal traffic unit officer Brad Matchett.

"There have been fewer vehicles on our roads since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, our commitment to keeping the roads safe has not changed, nor have the consequences for driving dangerously," he said. MORE

Man killed in back roads ATV accident

0531 –  An ATV accident has claimed the life of A 33-year-old Cobble Hill resident died in an ATV accident on a service road, 18 kim from Nanaimo Lakes Road, Friday night.

 Police, BC Paramedics and Nanaimo Search and Rescue (NSAR) personnel responded. Due to the remoteness of the area, NSAR and an RCMP officer, using GPS from cell phone pings, located the group. NSAR provided emergency first aid but the man died from the injuries. 

 Investigators spoke with the group of male riders and the death appears to. The BC Coroners Service is continuing with the investigation.


What's next in B.C.'s coronavirus response? Finance minister to give update
As B.C.'s now in the second phase of its restart plan during the novel coronavirus pandemic, the province's finance minister will announce another step being taken to support residents on Monday. 

Language communities 'left behind' during novel coronavirus pandemic
When Mary Rose Manzano-Leal called Filipino employees of a coronavirus-stricken meat-packing plant in Alberta last month, the physician says they expressed relief as soon she began speaking their language

220 properties ordered evacuated because of flooding near Nelson
The order covers properties in the Duhamel Creek area, northeast of Nelson in B.C.'s West Kootenay region. 

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee sending more National Guard troops to Seattle
Dozens of people were arrested in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, as protests over the killing of George Floyd turned violent, with looters smashing up storefronts and mayors in both cities again issuing curfew orders for Sunday evening. 

'Couldn't have come at a better time': Toy store grateful for firefighters' support
Vancouver Firefighter Charities plans to spend $65,000 at locally owned stores over the next few weeks, purchasing toys and other gifts that will be donated to families in need during the Christmas season. 

Conservation officers seek wolf that attacked man in Port Edward
Multiple sightings have been reported, but conservation officers say they have not yet been able to capture a wolf that attacked a man in Port Edward Friday. 

B.C. volunteers have sewn 15,000 masks since COVID-19 pandemic started
Organizers of a grassroots effort to sew protective gear for frontline workers say they’re now planning to create a non-profit organization.

May 31, 2020

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH – Nanaimo's Seniors in Care Crisis and Crying Out Loud from the Comox Valley are calling on health authorities to ease restrictions for family members to visit loved ones in long-term care facilities. The families acknowledge the dangers posed by COVID, but a lockdown of two and half months, with no end in sight, is starting to create its own health risks from isolation and depression. Marcy Johnsrude of Seniors in Care Crisis says the situation is becoming dire for some who are in the care facilities in isolation. Johnsrude believes that some of the residents in the homes won't be able to make it until the end of the pandemic. MORE

EASE OF ACCESS to Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park from Parksville is an idea who’s time has come. The Regional District of Nanaimo is calling for better pedestrian and cycling access asking the province to include active transportation amenities for pedestrians and cyclists in future upgrades to highway 19A at Plumber Road, near the entrance to the prized provincial park. FULL STORY

SPOTLIGHT ACADMY’s summer camps are going ahead as planned letting kids do what they love this summer. The camps kids/tweens produce their in own movie, produce, act, crew, outdoor activities but still social distancing as recommended. They work in small groups to produce their own short film or mini TV series within the week from script to screen. Registrations are now open for both Nanaino and Langford and they can pay by installments. Get more info from Jacqui Kaese by direct message or Text 250 714 2555. You can also email: thereelspotlight@gmail.com

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – You can get a heads up about the latest news in your email box each morning. Since we added a daily reminder to Nanaimonet our readers are telling us how much they enjoy the Daily Buzz email in the morning. They see Nanaimonet as the comprhensive source for accurate and informative news. You can get email reminders of news in your mailbox from many sources by subscribing to Nanaimonet. It’s free, just send an email to editor@nanaimonet.com and put ‘subscribe’ in the subject line. You can also drop out any time.

May 31, 2020

Number of students returning is a wild card as B.C. schools set to reopen 
Only some school districts conducted surveys of families asking whether they planned to send their kids back to school and the results varied between a high of 90 per cent and a low of 15 per cent. 

Watchdog investigating incident in Tsawwassen that ended in suspect's death
B.C.'s police watchdog agency is investigating an incident that ended in a man's death in Tsawwassen Friday night. 

 COVID-19 possible when schools resume, 'but that's OK,' Henry says
With students and teachers set to return to B.C. classrooms on Monday for the first time since March, the provincial health officer said Saturday that limited transmission of COVID-19 in schools is "possible," but that the province is prepared for it. 

No new COVID-19 deaths in B.C. for second day in a row, Henry says
For the second consecutive 24-hour period, British Columbia has recorded no additional deaths from COVID-19, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Saturday. 

Struggling amid lack of tourism, Pender Island restaurant starts fundraiser 
Supporters from around the world have combined to raise more than $16,000 to save Jo's Place, but the restaurant still needs more help. 

Calgary-made control room helped SpaceX astronauts reach the stars
As millions of people watched the first astronauts launched into orbit from U.S. soil for the first time in a decade, many of those observers may not have realized the Calgary connection to the operation. 

International students worry about travel to Canada
International students face uncertainty as universities switch to online classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Families worry about mental health of loved-ones in care-home lockdowns
The families of two residents at South Granville Park Lodge say they're concerned that COVID-19 rules that prevent their loved-ones from going outside are taking their toll on residents' mental health. 

Evacuation alert issued for 2,300 Kootenay region residents due to floods
An evacuation alert has been issued for 2,300 people due to possible flooding in British Columbia's southern interior along the Kettle River watershed. 

Vancouver mayor's taxpayer-funded tweet crossed a line, says critic
A ghostwritten tweet congratulating Green Party leader Elizabeth May that appeared to come from Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart last fall was actually paid for by Vancouver taxpayers, documents show.