• Time to stop digging bottomless debt pit

    0728 - Former Member of Parliament Ken Epp wonders how many people are aware of the consequences of the debt hole that is being dug for us. The Federal debt is projected to reach $1,000,000,000,000 soon.
    That's $1 trillion.

  • Victoria double standard mimics the province

    0804 – One often hears from the Provincial Capital of BC about the progressive agenda espoused from this otherwise attractive city. It is most manifest in the provincial socialist government of John Horgan and his Green Party cohorts who hang out there.

  • How Canada's pandemic alert system failed

    It should never have happened the way it did. When we should have been preparing for an epidemic and protecting Canadians, our government sat on its hands: a series of blunders by our federal government.

Friday, Aug. 7, 2020

Enough is enough – Neighbours of a nuisance house at 560 Milton St. are taking matters into their own hands and have begun clearing trees, bushes and encampments close to the known drug house. Police got 27 calls about the property since the start of 2020. It was declared a nuisance property by the City in July, which allows staff to charge the homeowner for services such as police resources. Manager of Community Safety Dave Laberge said the property is a tremendously busy drug house. Drug dealers moved in and then came a derelict RV that was parked in the backyard which then became a staging area for prostitution and more drug dealing. RCMP busted the house June 10 and arrested one of the occupants and seized an ounce of crystal meth, fentanyl and cash. MORE

Good news for marmots – Green Mountain has long been a refuge for endangered Vancouver Island marmots. It is so remote biologists fly in by helicopter to release marmots in the area. The fire on the mountain, likely sparked by lightning, is being controlled over the 16.9 hectares, which means it is unlikely to grow in forecasted conditions. Firefighters were struggling through nearly vertical terrain and cliffs to save the area where the marmots thrive. Adam Taylor of The Marmot Recovery Foundation, said there are a number of colonies along a ridgeline. The fear was that the wildfire could get out of control, spread through that ridgeline and impact a number of colonies. That doesn’t seem to be happening,” Taylor said. MORE

Transit coverup – Masks will be mandatory on Regional District of Nanaimo Transit buses beginning Aug. 24. Darren Marshall, acting RDN general manager of transportation and emergency services, said riders will need to wear a mask, bandanna or other face covering on buses as part of coronavirus safety measures. Masks will be mandatory but it will be an educational step without enforcement. Transit staff will be at platforms throughout the system providing a handout with a reusable mask and hand sanitizer and some information. MORE

And at Walmart too – Face masks will be mandatory for customers at Walmart across Canada beginning next week. Felicia Fefer, manager of corporate affairs for Walmart Canada said by Aug. 12 all customers and employees in any Walmart store must wear a mask, even if there is no government mandate to do so. Health Canada has identified that, when worn properly, a person wearing a mask/face covering can reduce the spread of his or her own infectious respiratory droplets, Fefer wrote. MORE

If you’ve got a dog, live up to the responsibility that goes with it. Mail carriers are reportin more than twice as many dog interactions so far this year, compared to all of last year. Kevin Shires, Nanaimo superintendent for Canada Post, told NanaimoNewsNOW more people are at home than usual and allowing dogs more access outside, leading to an increase in incidents with letter carriers. In many cases, carriers enter the front yard to deliver mail and are attacked by a dog coming around a corner. Usually if they see the dog out, they won’t deliver, it’s that simple. MORE

A month-long a golf tournament at Fairwinds will raise funds for the Nanaimo Hospital ICU campaign. The virus pandemic changed a lot of things, and the golf tournament is no different – you can golf throughout September to help finance the new Intensive Care Unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. The entry fee is $150 for a round of golf, and you can enter as often as you like at 150 bucks a pop. Spreading the tournament over the entire month allows even more people to golf while helping to raise funds for state-of-the-art medical equipment. Golf for Life has raised more $1 million since its inception and Fairwinds has been there since day one. The traditional wrap-up dinner cannot be tabled this year due to the pandemic, but Fairwinds is dedicating the whole month to raising funds for the Hospital Foundation by matching donations up to $10,000. FULL STORY

The Sandstone dream south of Nanaimo is rumbling to life again. The Vancouver company that owns Fairwinds at Nanoose hopes to go to public hearing this fall with a revised vision for the  726-acre site. Seacliff Properties intends to build Sandstone over 20 years. Investment will easily be “in the billions,” said Ian Porter of Seacliff. The new version includes a business park expected to generate 5,500 permanent jobs once the project is complete. Seacliff’s other Vancouver Island property is Royal Beach land in Colwood, where it plans a mixed-use development. MORE 

You can get daily highlights of the news and views in our world. Please send us an email and put “subscribe” in the subject line at Buzz@nanaimonet.com and we’ll send you a daily reminder.

 

Friday, Aug. 7

B.C. announces 47 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths
Forty-seven more people have been infected with COVID-19 in British Columbia, health officials announced Thursday, bringing the provincial total to 3,881 cases since the pandemic began.

Horgan calls restaurant patrons 'idiots' for abusing staff over health orders
B.C. Premier John Horgan says recent reports about restaurant patrons who are refusing to adhere to COVID-19 protocols – and abusing the staff who are trying to enforce those health orders – are unacceptable.

Trump imposing new aluminum tariff, Canada readies countermeasures 
Canada is planning to retaliate with countermeasures after U.S. President Donald Trump announced his plans to impose a 10-per-cent tariff on Canadian aluminum imports, despite condemnation from aluminum organizations on both sides of the border. 

Fire chief says it's time to bill people for 'moronic behaviour' at Thetis Lake
A Victoria-area fire chief says he's fed up with the disorderly behaviour at Thetis Lake Regional Park and believes it's time to either close parts of the popular summertime recreation site or start billing people who need to be rescued due to their own bad decisions. 

West Shore RCMP arrest man after standoff with crossbow
A man is in custody following a lengthy overnight standoff in Langford on Wednesday. 

A family's terrifying escape from B.C. houseboat fire
Jon Witt says it's only "by the grace of God" that he and his extended family are still here today. 

Bewildered mother gives birth in B.C. driveway
A mom delivered her baby in a driveway after a local hospital sent her back home to wait for contractions to increase. But her baby, Loki, had other ideas. 

'It's different now': B.C.'s top doctor outlines changes to classrooms
Faced with growing criticism over B.C.'s back-to-school plan, the province's top doctor is telling parents and teachers that classrooms will look different than they did when the pandemic forced schools to close back in March. 

47 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C., no new deaths
B.C. health officials have announced 47 more cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the last 24 hours. 

New Surrey Police Board looks for answers on costs, timeline
The new board of the new Surrey Police Service raised a number of key questions Thursday about the transition to the new municipal police force, which Mayor Doug McCallum, also the board’s chair, has indicated he wants to have operational by April 1. 

Three arrested for attempted murder after stabbing in Harrison Hot Springs
Mounties say they have arrested three men for attempted murder after a stabbing on a public dock in Harrison Hot Springs Wednesday night.

Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020

Drug overdoses are spiking again in Nanaimo with opioids, stimulants and increased risk with smoking. Island Health issued an overdose advisory on Wednesday, warning of increased overdoses in the mid island region. The Authority advises if you see someone overdosing, call 911 immediately, administer rescue breathing and administer naloxone. Island Health urges users to visit the overdose prevention service site at 437 Wesley St. open daily from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. In addition, carry naloxone, have an overdose response plan and consult with doctors and health-care providers on ways to reduce the need to buy illicit substances without going through withdrawal. MORE

A reminder this is the weekend you can get rid of extra household good that are gathering dust or you can drive around looking for stuff others want to get rid of. Reuse Rendezvous, on Saturday and Sunday, gives old possessions a new lease on life and out of the landfill. Take unwanted toys, sporting goods, furniture, books, bikes and other items to the curb for others to take and reuse. All you have to do is mark items set out for others with a ‘free’ tag. Just don’t block sidewalks and bike lanes. Items not claimed must be removed by Monday. For more information, click here.

Airlines are not providing the details British Columbia needs on travellers to ease contact tracing to slow the spread of the corona virus. Concern about the detail airlines provide have been greatest in B.C., and the provincial health officer is ticked off at the lack of movement from federal officials. B.C. Transport Minister Claire Trevena, in a letter to federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau, said the information the province has received from airlines is not complete and is sometimes unusable. She asked the government to ensure the data gathered is usable and traces back to the individual traveller directly, rather than simply listing flights with a positive COVID-19 case. MORE

How serious is Victoria's homeless crisis? The homeless count and housing needs survey (PiT) found that at least 1,500 people are homeless in the region. The PiT survey, conducted in mid-March found that at least 1,523 people were homeless, including those entirely unsheltered, staying in emergency shelters, people who were couch surfing and those who were in transitional housing. The survey was conducted before local and provincial housing initiatives were launched amid the corona pandemic, which would have shifted numbers between unsheltered and provisionally sheltered individuals.

August 6

Online Indigenous art auction opens to support Soap For Hope
Soap for Hope Canada launched an Indigenous online art auction this past weekend – which features close to 100 donated pieces of artwork from B.C. and Alberta artists – to help raise funds amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Victoria police say driver was speeding to get pizza home
A driver is facing a hefty fine and multiple demerit points after police spotted him driving more than double the posted speed limit near downtown Victoria. 

Victoria runner completes 12 marathons in 12 days for charity, prepares for more
A
 local marathon runner that recently completed 12 marathons in 12 days says she will continue running if donations to her cause keep pouring in. 

'Death midwife': B.C. Appeal Court prevents woman from using the term 
A woman who calls herself a “death midwife” has been banned from using the title after a lengthy legal battle launched by the College of Midwives of British Columbia.

New type of housing for homeless coming to B.C. with $1.5M in funding
The British Columbia government and the City of Vancouver are trying a new way to help get homeless people off the streets with the country's first-ever navigation centre. 

Part of Lower Mainland summer camp destroyed in early morning fire
Part of a summer camp in the Lower Mainland was destroyed in an early morning fire Thursday. 

Legal fight over Site C ends between province, BC Hydro and First Nation
A British Columbia First Nation has ended its legal battle against the provincial government and BC Hydro over the Site C dam, a project the nation originally claimed was a $1-billion treaty violation. 

Source of onions linked to Salmonella outbreak affecting B.C. identified, BCCDC says
The Salmonella outbreak linked to red onions that has caused illness across Western Canada and in the United States has been traced to a specific U.S. producer, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control announced Wednesday. 

B.C. charities send aid to Beirut as survival stories emerge
The Lions Club has already wired thousands of dollars in immediate aid, and more British Columbians are mobilizing fundraising efforts as survival stories come into focus for those with loved ones in the worst-hit areas of Lebanon’s capital. 

Vancouver count finds decrease in youth homelessness, increase among seniors
The latest count of people experiencing homelessness in Metro Vancouver finds little change in the overall number, but significant changes in the age demographics of those included in the count. 

78 per cent of Canadians would get a COVID-19 vaccine
While 46 per cent of respondents said they would get a vaccine as soon as one became available to them, 32 per cent said they would get one but wait awhile. 

'Pent up demand' leads to big boost in home sales across B.C.'s Lower Mainland
Home sales across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley reached levels far above what's typically seen in July, according to data released Wednesday morning by two professional associations of realtors who monitor and analyze market trends. 

COVID-19 outbreak reported at another B.C. retirement home, health officials announce
B.C. health officials announced a new outbreak at a health-care facility in the province's first novel coronavirus update since Friday. 

B.C. announces 47 more cases of corona virus

0806 – British Columbia reported 47 new cases of corona virus in the province as of Wednesday. Minister of Health Adrian Dix, and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry released the latest numbers on Wedesday.

B.C. has had 3,834 cases since the start of the pandemic. None of the new cases are in Island Health, which has had 146 cases since the pandemic began. Of those, 137 people have recovered and there have been five deaths. MORE

Ottawa details commercial fishery relief program

0806 – The federal government has announced details of a $469 million program aimed at helping Canada’s commercial fishery deal with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan said the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program, which was announced in May, will be open for applications from Aug. 24 to Sept. 21. The program represents the single largest investment in Canada’s fisheries in nearly two decades. Detailed information about the application process for financial support is now available online from the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website. MORE

B.C. doctors want masks made mandatory in public places

0805 B.C. doctors want masks made mandatory in public as corona virus cases continue to rise.

More than 80 doctors across the province issued a public notice to Dr. Bonnie Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan to mandate mask-wearing. They want mandatory masks in public locations including all indoor public spaces outside of the home, when in crowds, and while riding public transport.

The doctors say their opinion is based on recent studies showing that the use of masks provides source control and may provide recipient protection. B.C. doctors believe there is no evidence of harm from the use of masks. They also highlight that if 60-80 per cent public usage of masks can be achieved, the basic reproductive number of COVID-19 will be significantly reduced. MORE

Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020

Now there’s an app for that – You just knew it had to come, private cannabis retailers will be allowed to sell products online and over the phone, but buyers still have to pick up in-store. Retailers can use apps and websites to collect payment information and charge customers. The province says concerns about transmitting corona virus brought about the change. Store employees will still verify identification and use an age-verification tool for online sales. Attorney General David Eby said the change comes as private retailers continue to follow provincial health mandates. He said it supports public health and safety by reducing the amount of time customers need to spend in stores and allows them to remain physically distanced from employees and each other. MORE

BC Ferries revenue is close to $700,000 a day lower than at the same time last year, but recent increases in ridership and the promise of federal financial support is offering hope. President and CEO Mark Collins says ridership is about 80 per cent of the same time last year. Costs have been trimmed by not offering as many sailings, and by not hiring seasonal summer staff. All staff, including casuals, are back and nobody is on layoff. MORE 

The number of active coronavirus cases jumped by 146 over the long weekend, including four which are considered epidemiologically linked and no longer active. Social events gatherings remain the main source of infection as health officials trace newly-confirmed cases. Island Health reported two new cases with four cases active on the Island. To date, 146 cases have been confirmed. 

Emergency extended – The provincial government has extended the provincial state of emergency until Aug 18, giving Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act.  Premier John Horgan stated in a press release that British Columbians have been reminded in recent weeks that virus case counts can easily rise if we’re not careful. This is not the time to let our guard down, he said. B.C. can extend a state of emergency only two weeks at a time. MORE 

Dear John – Putting brain in gear before putting mouth in motion sounds like good advice for our Premier who is known to shoot from the lip. An Alberta man’s vehicle was vandalized while parked in Kamloops overnight. Terry Evans, of Emonton, says he was moving his daughter to Victoria and his truck was the only one in the lot with Alberta plates, (and a visible Edmonton Oilers sticker). Premier John Horgan suggested last week that people with out-of-province plates should ride a bicycle or public transit. Evans said Horgan's comment on out-of-province visitors reckless. "When the premier of British Columbia actually tells people from out of province to take a bike or ride a bus it's just arrogant and irresponsible, and quite frankly, idiotic," Evans said. MORE 

Passing thought – Common sense is like a deodorant, those who need it most seldom use it.

Evacuation alert for properties near Princeton

0805 – An evacuation alert has been issued for 43 properties near Highway 5A. The Tulameen and District Fire Department is asking people who use nearby lakes to give space to skimmer planes helping battle the fire. It described the fire as an interface fire, as it is burning near structures.  The 43 properties under evacuation alert are along Highway 5A between McCaffrey Lake, MacKenzie Lake, Dry Lake, Round Lake and Allison Provincial Park. MORE

Mount Washington road closed after cycling accident

 A serious cycling accident shut down the highway to Mount Washington Tuesday morning. A cyclist crashed when the brakes failed on the long and winding descent from the ski resort.  The road was closed so a B.C. Emergency Health Services helicopter could land and airlift the cyclist to a Victoria hospital. MORE

Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020

Victoria police pepper spray, Taser man wielding metal pole
Three Victoria police officers sustained non-life threatening injuries during a dramatic arrest on Monday afternoon. 

B.C. adds services to help people threatened by tainted illicit drug supply
The British Columbia government says it is accelerating its response to the overdose crisis by expanding lifesaving overdose prevention, treatment and support services. 

BC SPCA expands 'pet food bank' support on Vancouver Island
The BC SPCA has expanded its free pet food support services on Vancouver Island, particularly in northern and remote communities, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Canadians will soon be able to visit Hawaii without having to quarantine
Starting Sept. 1, Canadians will be permitted to visit Hawaii without having to quarantine, as long as they provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival. 

Safe COVID-19 vaccine won't be available for 'at least one year': UBC expert
A UBC expert is warning a safe vaccine for COVID-19 is still at least a year away. 

3 Vancouver airport screening officers test positive for COVID-19
Three screening officers have tested positive for COVID-19 at Vancouver International Airport, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority has confirmed.  

Tens of thousands sign online petition against mandatory return to class
Concerns over B.C.'s back to school plan has tens of thousands signing an online petition against a mandatory return to in-class instruction. 

Tri-Cities mayors need help controlling crowds in local parks
Some Metro Vancouver mayors are calling on all levels of government to work together to prevent crowding at city-owned parks.  

'Happy to be alive and mad as hell': Cyclist hospitalized after Sea to Sky collision
When cyclist Todd Nickel embarked on his first 100-kilometre century ride along the Sea to Sky Highway on B.C. Day, he didn't expect to end up in the hospital with several broken bones.

B.C. gangster with 'potential for violence' will live in halfway house: parole board
A known B.C. gang member with ties to the Hells Angels will be released from prison for a third time, but must live in a halfway house until he's no longer considered to present an "undue risk to society," parole board documents state. 

Woman charged with first-degree murder in Okanagan death
A woman in her 50s has been charged in a rural Okanagan homicide case, B.C. Mounties say.

Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020

Good morning. It’s back to the regular grind for all those who have a grind to get back to. There are still an amazing number of people off the job due to the corona epidemic. A good long weekend also means very little news to report. The fire on Green Mountain is being contained with the arrival of the cooler weather.

I brought our readers’ attention yesterday to the situation of Lauren Bush who suffers with panic disorder, OCD, and an eating disorder. It has severely impacted her day-to-day life, she’s been in and out of hospital treating symptoms. After a long search she and her doctor found a clinic that can help, the only of its kind in Canada, and it comes with a steep price, approximately $42,000. You can read Lauren’s personal appeal on her donation page. With the long weekend and all, fewer people on social media, it’s been slow after a rousing start. By Tuesday morning, $1,335 had been pledged. CLICK HERE

Things are not always the way we see them at first glance. Comox Mayor Russ Arnott, says residents might be seeing out-of-province license plates that belong to military members recently posted to CFB Comox. He says this is the time of the year when recently-posted military members move into their new communities. While there’s concern over out-of-province plates, understand that these are new members of the community and may be under many stresses that come with being posted, says Arnott. The Department of National Defence also took to social media. “If you see an out-of-province license plate or some new faces please make them feel welcome.” Premier John Horgan recently suggested drivers with non-B.C. license plates consider taking a bicycle or public transit if they don’t want to be harassed. MORE

Passing thought – Have you ever looked at someone and knew the wheel was turning but the hamster was dead?

Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2020

Vancouver musician and mom disfigured in attack on Granville Street
A musician and mom wants justice after she says her face was slashed in an unprovoked and apparently racist attack on Vancouver's Granville Strip. 

Plane that crashed in B.C. supermarket parking lot 'flipped like a cartwheel'
A small plane crashed in a parking lot at a supermarket in Nelson, B.C., Monday.  

Thousands sign petition to make in-class learning in B.C. optional for September
Less than a week after B.C. announced its back-to-school plan for the fall, thousands have signed an online petition calling on the province to make in-class learning optional. 

Used, uncapped needle secured to railing in B.C. park prompts warning
Police are warning the public to be cautious after a used, uncapped needle was found secured to a railing in a B.C. park. 

B.C. Day long weekend busy for fire crews; 94 wildfires since Friday morning
British Columbia's wildfire season is heating up. There are currently 42 wildfires burning, all of which are in the southern half of the province. 

Calls up for Chilliwack Search and Rescue, including 6 in 1 day
A search and rescue team in B.C.'s Fraser Valley says the kick-off to the long weekend was one of their busiest days on record.  

RCMP watchdog investigates after police dog bites suspect
The Independent Investigations Office is looking into a Kelowna altercation that put a man in hospital with serious injuries. 

Memorial held for overdose prevention site worker stabbed outside hospital
A memorial was held for Vancouver's latest homicide victim Monday, a week after his death. 

Michael Buble among latest recipients of Order of B.C.
A world-renowned crooner is among 13 people to receive the Order of B.C. this year. 

Protest against police violence blocks traffic at Vancouver intersection 
A protest at Vancouver's Main and Hastings streets blocked the intersection to traffic overnight Sunday and into Monday morning.

WHO warns there may never be a COVID-19 'silver bullet'
The World Health Organization says there might never be a 'silver bullet' for COVID-19. 

Small wildfire sparked after hit-and-run near Lytton
Officials say an allegedly impaired driver sparked a small wildfire in B.C.'s Okanagan region Saturday, with bystanders stepping in to contain the blaze until fire crews were able to put it out. 

Canadians will soon be able to visit Hawaii without having to quarantine
Starting Sept. 1, Canadians will be permitted to visit Hawaii without having to quarantine, as long as they provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival. 

Fire crews continue to battle Green Mountain blaze

0803 – Fire fighters appear to be gaining the upper hand in a wildfire ion Green Mountain after it was held in size overnight at 15 hectares. 

Coastal Fire Centre’s Dorthe Jakobson, said there were 45 firefighters and four helicopters at the location Sunday. The fire was reported Friday afternoon and is thought to have been started during that morning’s thunderstorm. A second fire in the same area Saturday afternoon is under control.

Monday, Aug. 3, 2020

I don’t ordinarily promote funding appeals, but this one strikes close to home – Chris Bush’s daughter Lauren Bush has suffered with panic disorder, OCD, and an eating disorder called ARFID (Avoidant\Restrictive intake disorder). It has severely impacted her day-to-day life, she’s been in and out of hospital treating symptoms, injected with vitamin C, hooked up to IVs. and so on. She needs help. After a long search she and her doctor found a clinic that will be able to help. It’s the only of its kind in Canada, and it comes with a steep price, approximately $42,000. You can read her personal appeal on her donation page. By this morning more than 20 people had donated $1,335 of the total. CLICK HERE to join in, you’ll feel good if you do. 

It’s the biggest treasure hunt of the year – the city’s Reuse Rendezvous is coming up next weekend, August 8 and 9. It’s is a community event to reduce waste. Your participation helps keep usable goods out of the landfill. Here’s how you do it. Put your items on the curb in front of your house by Saturday morning and watch the traffic come by. Remove unwanted items by Monday, The City will not collect them. Search for treasures in your neighbourhood, or explore other areas of the city. MORE DETAILS

If you’re thinking of a quick jaunt down to Seattle, better put that idea on ice for a while. The Canada-U.S. land border remains closed to non-essential travel and it could stay that way for quite some time. The border closed on March 21 to non-essential traffic and remains shut until at least Aug. 21. Canadians can fly to the U.S. but Americans are not allowed to enter via any mode of transportation. Several experts predict the border won't reopen until sometime next year. The main reason is that corona virus cases are still surging in several U.S. states. Many Canadians have also made it clear that they want the border to stay shut for now. MORE

Passing thought – It’s not a conversation when one person does all the talking.

Monday, Aug. 3, 2020

White Rock dad threatens lawsuit over B.C.'s back-to-school plan
A B.C. man says parents should start a class action suit against the provincial government if it doesn't follow a model more like Ontario's for returning students to school in September. 

Corona virus exposures reported on two more domestic flights
Air Canada flight 204 from YVR to Calgary on July 27 and Air Canada flight 343 from Ottawa to YVR on July 29 each had at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 on board. 

Wildfire crews still dealing with lightning-caused fires across B.C.
While there are currently no wildfires of note in B.C., according to the BC Wildfire Service, crews across the province are working to ensure it stays that way. 

Fishing lodge owner criticizes B.C. over order restricting access to Haida Gwaii
A fishing lodge in Haida Gwaii that faced criticism from local residents over its plan to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic says it should've been excluded from the British Columbia government's decision to restrict access to the archipelago. 

RCMP seek video evidence after bizarre incident

0802 – Nanaimo RCMP are looking for iPhone or DashCam video following a bizarre incident stretching from the northend to Westwood Lake.

A woman was taken into custody after numerous incidents were reported to police, including assault, and attempt to hit a pedestrian and other incidents.

The series of incidents was at approximately 5 pm on Saturday, near the intersection of Aulds Road and the Parkway. A man and his wife, age 66, were driving southbound on the Parkway when a grey sedan slowed in front of them, coming to a stop in the slow lane. A female driver came to their vehicle and without provocation began punching the victim in the head multiple times. One victim suffered numerous cuts and bruises to her hands and head from attempting to protect herself. The incident was  witnessed by several passing motorists who may have dashCam footage. FULL STORY

Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020

Bonnie’s Good Times Guide – If you wondered what’s next, the province has published an online guide which features tips including that those with even mild symptoms, like a runny nose or headache, should stay home. Don't pass around drinks, smokes, tokes and vapes, the guide says. "Now is not the time for sharing anything that's been in your mouth." And lastly, “hooking up? Do it safely," the guide says. Take a pass if your partner has COVID-19 symptoms. Use protection like condoms or dental dams to reduce transmission risks for COVID-19 and STIs."

Medical loading is assured. BC Ferries will continue to provide medical-assured loading on the first-available vessel for any person, vehicle and an escort, as part of the Province's continued pandemic response. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth updated ministerial orders under the Emergency Program Act. To use medical priority loading, you must have a doctor's letter indicating the required medical-assured loading at check-in, as well as a completed Travel Assistance Program (TAP) form. Ferries will also continue to give priority to vehicles carrying essential goods and supplies, and BC Ferries has to consult the Province before changing or varying minimum ferry service levels. 

Government House in Victoria will be closed for about a year as it undergoes $10.2 million in renovations. The work includes security upgrades, a new back-up generator, improved electrical and HVAC systems and refurbished the fire suppression system. The grounds will remain open, as will outlying buildings like the seasonal tea room. Lt. Gov. Janet Austin and her staff will work in one of the provincial government buildings in Victoria. The Government House building is the third one in the province's history. The previous two were destroyed by fire. The current building was opened in 1959. 

Who doesn’t love onions? Health officials warn Canadians of a salmonella outbreak that has been linked to red onions imported from the United States. Salmonella outbreaks have appeared from B.C. to Ontario. Restaurants and stores are also cautioned not to serve or sell food products that include U.S. red onions. Canadian red onions are safe to eat. As of Thursday, 114 people across Canada had contracted salmonella with 43 cases in B.C. believed to have occurred between mid-June and mid-July.

Heads up, commuters: Bowen Road will be reduced to single lane in either direction at Buttertubs Drive from Tuesday to August 18 for rehabilitation of bus bays. Temporary bus stops will be in place at the far end of each location.

Parting Thought - Claiming you are offended is essentially admitting that you are incapable of controlling and managing you own emotions so everyone else should do it for you.

B.C. air tanker at work. (file photo)

Green Mountain wildfire challenges fire crews

0802 – A wildfire on Green Mountain, southwest of Nanaimo, continues to challenge B.C. Wildfire crews. The fire was reported Friday afternoon.

The fire is believed to have started from a lightning strike during the thunder storm early Friday morning. It was estimated at eight hectares on Friday night and nine by Saturday morning. Air tankers, four helicopters, heavy equipment and crews are battling the blaze.

A second wildfire in the Green Mountain area was identified Saturday MORE.

Chief health officer warns virus is not going away soon

Dr. Richard Stanwick

0802 – Island residents need to continue to take the corona virus seriously because it isn’t going away anytime soon, says chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick.

The Island Health region has fared better than other places but we should not let our guard down, warns Stanwick. He talked to Stacy Ross on CHEK’s New Normal, about about students returning to class and the future as the pandemic continues.

One reason Island Health has done well with the pandemic is because it has had the benefit of learning from other health authority regions, such as Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health. MORE

Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020

Investigation under way after Asian UBC student beaten on bus 
A UBC student who was attacked by four teens on a bus is speaking up about her traumatizing experience, more upset about the lack of help from other passengers and the driver than the four teens who beat her up. 

PNE expands offerings for B.C. Day long weekend
People looking for staycation activities this long weekend will find plenty of options at Hastings Park, where the Pacific National Exhibition has expanded the number of rides open at Playland during the pandemic and is also hosting another drive-thru food event. 

Only organizers show up for party at Stanley Park's Third Beach
The group who tried to organize a dance party on Vancouver's Third Beach Friday night were the only ones who turned out. 

Okanagan lightning storm sparks 15 new wildfires overnight
British Columbia's Wildfire Service says 15 fires sprung up as a result of a storm in the Okanagan region on Friday night. 

No charges for off-duty RCMP officer involved in 2019 motorcycle crash
The BC Prosecution Service says there will be no charges against a Langley RCMP officer involved in an off-duty motorcycle crash last year. 

Lightning sparks large-scale fire on Green Mountain

0801 – Lightning caused a wildfire on Green Mountain on Friday. Is has grown quickly to five hectares from one hectare when it was reported. It is the only large-scale fire burning on Vancouver Island and one of 39 active fires across the province. MORE

Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020

Good morning, welcome to August. Everything is beautiful as the B.C. Day long weekend gets under way.

Nanaimo Seniors Village is no longer under management oversight after “outstanding areas of non-compliance have been addressed and criteria to transition management of the facility to the operator were satisfied. Improvements include better communication to residents, families and staff, staff increases, a revamped staffing model to ensure direct care delivery is in line with funding, additional care hours for residential care aides, a strengthened leadership team and a framework to ensure organizational policies are properly reviewed and implemented. MORE

We often hear questions about the value of a chamber of commerce. That value has been reinforced during this virtual shutdown of business due to the virus epidemic. One example has been the Chamber Marketplace which has been vital to supporting Nanaimo businesses. You can buy products and services that will directly benefit local business owners and support the recovery of our economy. This site also lets business owners sell online. Even if you’re already operating your own e-commerce site, the Chamber can amplify the reach with its advertising connections and high-traffic website. It's for everyone, you don’t have to be a member of the chamber of commerce, non-members can join Chamber Marketplace. Contact Carly Cooke at (250) 756-1191 ext. 4 or email memberservices@nanaimochamber.bc.ca

Register Bikes on 529 Garage. Many people are looking for fun activities that get them outside while still following provincial health recommendations.  Cycling is a great way to do this. Bike stores around Nanaimo are seeing an increase in sales and with more bikes on the trails and roads more opportunities for bike thieves. Some ways to protect your bike are so obvious we need reminders. Check them out HERE.

Indigenous tourism - The Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program in partnership with go2HR is presenting an Indigenous Tourism Businesses Forum on August 11. Businesses in the arts, history and cultural attractions industry are invited to engage in a peer-to-peer discussion around key challenges facing their industry. You have to register to participate, contact 1-855-722-9036, or sign up HERE. If you’ve registered already contact your program advisor.

Passing thought Dieting is no piece of cake.

OK, it's August and the first of the season, thanks to plants donated by Joy and George. Taste fantastic.

Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020

50 additional cases, new care home outbreak of COVID-19 in B.C.
Health officials in British Columbia announced 50 more cases of COVID-19 and one additional death from the coronavirus Friday. 

Campbell River teen's 'face-buffs' helping wildlife watchers stay safe
Although international customers are out of the mix right now, Vancouver Island's whale watching companies are doing their best to survive with just local visitors. 

Bike sales soar in Victoria amid pandemic
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic a lot of retail sectors have been suffering. But at the same time, stores that cater to outdoor recreation have been seeing record sales. 

First 'murder hornet' found in Washington state trap
Washington state agriculture workers have have trapped their first Asian giant hornet. 

'Don't pass around drinks, smokes, tokes and vapes,' advises Dr. Henry
The B.C. government published a guide to public-health-officer-approved "good times" that appears to be geared towards young people. 

Parent concerned with back-to-school plan
When the province laid out the back-to-school plan for B.C. students, Philip Almendrala immediately had concerns. 

Man threatens to stab Vancouver city councillor: video
A Vancouver city councillor says instinct kicked when he got into a profanity-laden confrontation with a man who he believed was threatening his neighbour — and who then threatened to stab him. 

Provincial health officials urge travellers to stay in their bubbles
With another long weekend upon us, ferry terminals and highways around the province are packed with excited travellers getting out of town for B.C. Day. 

B.C. officials silent on rollout of contact notification app
As the prime minister announced Ontario would have first access to the Canada-wide COVID notification app, B.C. health officials refused to say when the app would be activated for residents of British Columbia. 

Vancouver police seeing dramatic increase in replica gun seizures 
Real or replica? Can you tell the difference between a real firearm and an imitation? Turns out, it’s quite difficult, and it’s a growing problem on Metro Vancouver streets.

Nearly 400 COVID-19 safety rule violations found through WorkSafeBC inspections 
After conducting thousands of inspections, WorkSafeBC says it has issued nearly 400 COVID-19 health and safety violation orders. 

Ads for party on Vancouver's Third Beach catch eye of police, health officials
Ads for a party on Vancouver's Third Beach Friday night have some warning of the risks involved. 

Here are the COVID-19 guidelines for B.C.'s colleges and universities
Students heading to college and university in the fall may not be sure what to expect as restrictions are still in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in B.C. 

July 31

B.C. Day message from MLA Michelle Stilwell.

ISLAND RESIDENTS no longer first dibs when it comes to loading on B.C. Ferries. The B.C. Government cancelled the program, effective today. That does not affect the Medical Assured Loading (MAL) program for eligible patients travelling on the Travel Assistance Program (TAP) who need to travel by personal vehicle for urgent medical reasons and for whom waiting an extended period of time at the terminal would cause risk to their health. MAL provides patients with improved travel certainty, provided they meet eligibility criteria and conditions set by BC Ferries. This program is designed to reduce time at the terminal for those in need of urgent care where an extended wait would cause risk to their health.

Support Hospice – the virus pandemic has changed a lot of things, and Nanaimo Hospice is no different. This year you can raise funds with a virtual Hustle For Hospice – get out to perform a recreational activity in memory of a loved one, and join in September 12 for a virtual finish line event. You can cycle, swim, hike, whatever you like. Register and complete your Hustle for Hospice activity between until August 28. Register here

EMANCIPATION DAY – Many people would be surprised to learn that Canada used to allow slavery. In 1793, John Simcoe, Governor of modern day Ontario, learned that an enslaved woman named was bound and dragged onto a boat and taken across the Niagara River to be sold. Realizing that the freedom of all Africans in Upper Canada was in similar jeopardy, he began to lobby others in the colonial government. Simcoe was able to pass legislation banning the importation of slaves. The first such law of its kind in the British Empire, it led to the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade by 1807. Finally, in 1833, the Slavery Abolition Act brought an end to chattel slavery throughout the Empire, coming into effect on August 1, 1834 in Britain, Canada, and several other colonies, and 1838 in the Caribbean and elsewhere.

Nanaimo RCMP shut down major drug operation

0731 – Nanaimo RCMP made a major dent into the local drug scene Thursday when they shut down a drug house in central Nanaimo, seizing suspected crystal methamphetamine and fentanyl.

"The seizure of this amount of fentanyl is huge for our community, and equates to approximately 400 usages of this deadly drug and potentially 400 fatal overdoses”, said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.  

The house in the 700 block of Brechin Road, was the root cause of many ongoing issues for nearby residents. Local residents cheered as the RCMP moved in.

Due to the possibility of firearms in the home, the Vancouver Island Emergency Response Team (ERT) was utilized to make entry. A man and a woman, both 35 years old, were located in the home and arrested without incident. They were both released several hours later and charges of Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking are pending.

The Nanaimo RCMP continues to be responsive to the needs and concerns of residents throughout Nanaimo. "If there is a suspected nuisance property or drug house in your neighbourhood, do not let it destroy the peace and harmony you deserve. Call the Nanaimo RCMP today at 250-754-2345 and report it” said O’Brien.

July 31, 2020

Here's how B.C.'s colleges and universities are being told to manage COVID-19
Students heading to college and university in the fall may not be sure what to expect as restrictions are still in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in B.C. 

Body in burned-out vehicle wasn't found for a week, homicide investigators say
A body found in a burned-out vehicle at a South Burnaby towing lot was likely been in the vehicle for a week before being discovered. 

Without COVID-19 vaccine, most Canadians and Americans unwilling to travel
While COVID-19 restrictions are slowly lifting in many parts of Canada, international travel still isn't recommended, and a new poll suggests most Canadians and Americans aren't willing to travel until there's a vaccine. 

Rescue groups and fisheries officials race to save entangled B.C. humpback whales
Marine mammal rescue groups and federal fisheries officials are working against time in waters off the coast of British Columbia to save three humpback whales entangled in fishing gear. 

'He saved lots of lives': Murdered man was overdose prevention volunteer
The man murdered outside St. Paul’s Hospital earlier this week is a long-time volunteer at overdose prevention sites, with colleagues saying his death is a blow to their efforts to save lives during the opioid crisis. 

Families still waiting for visits at Duncan care home
It’s been a month since the provincial government announced that in-person visits with residents of B.C care homes would be allowed to restart. 

6 Americans fined in B.C. as federal government closes 'Alaska loophole'
Six Americans have been fined for violating the Quarantine Act in British Columbia, CTV News has learned, as the federal government cracks down on travellers trying to skirt the closure of the border to non-essential travel. 

Salmonella cases in Western and Central Canada linked to U.S.-grown red onions
Health authorities are warning consumers in Central and Western Canada to avoid eating red onions imported from the U.S. that have been linked to a salmonella outbreak. 

B.C. rolls out new rules to meet electric vehicle target by 2040
The B.C. government has announced new regulations to ensure that all new vehicles sold in the province will be fully electric by 2040. 

Warrant expanded Canada-wide for 19-year-old charged with kidnapping and assault
Investigators say 19-year-old Dyllan Petrin removed his electronic monitoring bracelet in May and could now be in the Calgary area. 

Teacher suspended for telling Grade 6 classes to watch violence, sex, drug use
A B.C. teacher has been suspended after instructing Grade 6 students to watch a video montage that was "not age-appropriate."