It's way past time for Ottawa to fix quarantine fiasco

03/01 - You don’t have to look far to identify government ineptitude, but what’s happening on the quarantine front for Canadians returning from winter holiday goes beyond reason. There are countless stories of people spending up to 10-12 hours and more on the phone, over numerous days, just to get reservations for the government-sanctioned quarantine hotels at outrageous prices. Identify the problem, then fix it, there are no excuses. If that wasn’t enough, comes the story of a sexual assault charge against a government-hired agent looking after those in quarantine. This is a shameful exercise that goes along with the disastrous vaccine rollouts that fall at the feet of our incompetent prime minister. Fix it, damnit. COMMENT HERE

Vaccination appointment process detailed

Vaccine call centres for seniors open March 8. B.C. seniors over 80 can book a vaccine appointment for them or their spouse. You can also have a family member or friend call for you. It's easy and safe to book over the phone. Please make sure you register only when your age bracket comes up, don’t tie up the phone lines if you are not eligible. Here’s the DETAILED INFORMATION.

Coronavirus vaccine appointment information

People living in the Island Health region can call the health authority at 1-833-348-4787 to book a vaccine appointment. Save this number for when it's your time to call. The call centre is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. Family members, friends, or any support person can also call to make an appointment for a senior on their behalf. On March 15, people over the age of 85 can begin scheduling appointments, and on March 22 seniors over the age of 80 can start booking their immunizations.

Virus outbreak at Eden Gardens declared over

 Island Health has declared the COVID-19 outbreak over at Eden Gardens long-term care home in Nanaimo. With the implementation of comprehensive strategies to prevent and respond to COVID-19 in long-term care, there are no longer any COVID-19 cases related to the outbreak at the home.  With the outbreak now declared over, the following will occur at Eden Gardens:

  • Social visits will resume on March 1;
  • Admissions and transfers will resume;
  • Congregate dining will resume, with COVID-19 safety protocols in place;
  • Diligent infection prevention measures and appropriate use of personal protective equipment will continue.

One person in hospital after traffic accident

One person was taken to hospital after multi-vehicle accident on Bowen Road at the Wakesiah intersection just before 10 a.m. today. Traffic toward downtown is closed as a result of the incident. MORE

Vaccine rollout plan to be unveiled this morning

03/01 – The long-awaited B.C. Coronavirus vaccine rollout plan will be unveiled 10:30 a.m. today (Monday). Premier John Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead for B.C.’s immunization efforts. The four-phase plan will see approximately 7.4 million doses of vaccine administered to every eligible British Columbian between April and the end of September. So far, 252,373 doses have been distributed in the province, about 3.5 per cent much slower than initially expected due to vaccine supply issues. As of Feb. 28, a total of 2,441,870 doses had been administered nationwide.

Police shooting on West Coast reserve under investigation

03/01 - The Independent Investigations Office is investigating after RCMP shot and killed a man on a reserve near Tofino Saturday night. Two officers from the Tofino detachment were called to a home in the Opitsaht community on Meares Island to locate a woman in distress. An interaction took place and one man was shot and another was taken into custody, police said. They also described the incident as a "fatal police-involved shooting. The IIO is a civilian agency that investigates all incidents involving police officers in B.C. that result in serious harm or death, whether there is an allegation of wrongdoing on the part of police. MORE

More schools added to Island Health coronavirus list

03/01 - Four more schools have been added to the Island Health list of recent coronavirus exposures. Three were added on Friday - Uplands Park Elementary, McGirr Elementary and Dover Bay Secondary. The latest additions are Aspen Park Elementary in Comox, Cedar Elementary in Nanaimo, Chemainus Elementary Community School in Chemainus, and David Cameron Elementary in Langford. Anyone who is not contacted by public health should continue to attend school as normal, as long as they're not showing symptoms of the coronavirus, Island Health says. There are now 18 schools listed on the health authority's COVID-19 exposure websiteRead more

Pandemic has brought changes to income tax filing

03/01 - This is going to be a tax season like no other, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. If you collected COVID-19-related benefit payments last year, you might end up owing more money than in previous years. However, if you spent part of 2020 working from home, you could wind up with a bigger tax refund than usual. Despite this being a more complex tax season, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has not extended the tax filing deadline. The due date is still April 30 for most Canadians, and June 15 for self-employed people. Here's what you need to know about filing your taxes, including deadlines. Full list of rules and deadlines HERE.03/01 - 

Nanaimo Clippers hockey club for sale

Wes Mussio

02/28 - The Nanaimo Clippers are for sale. Owner Wes Mussio posted on social media today that with games suspended for one year now and Dr Bonnie Henry giving the league no indication of any starting up this year, he sees no path forward to any full return to normal in hockey, even in 2021-2022. The provincial government has offered no financial support to the suffering teams of the BCHL, says Mussio. "So, it is time for me to stop my huge personal and financial contribution to BC Hockey and I will sell the team effective immediately." Serious enquires only at Nanaimo needs an ownership group who can wait out the provincial health orders.

  • Horgan ignored advice from experts on Site C

    Premier John Horgan has a dead weight hanging around his neck – the Site C Hydro project. Although it was started by the befuddled BC Liberals, it was continued under Horgan. He could have stopped it. It was recommended by many experts after he took office. He ignored that advice.

  • Conservatives back Bloc on mandatory French

    Conservatives MPs voted nearly unanimously with Bloc Québécois members Wednesday in favour of making French the mandatory language for all immigrants to Quebec. The private member’s bill was defeated — 172-147 — with the Liberals, NDP and Green Party opposed.

  • -

Business tax freeze no easy decision for city council

02/28 – A proposal by the Chamber of Commerce to freeze commercial property taxes for this year sounds noble enough, but there are hurdles.. City council is getting a staff report to determine the impact. Last year the city collected $32,115,302 in commercial/business taxes. The interim budget calls for a three-per-cent tax increase across the board, just under $1 million ($963,459). Good intent often comes with unintended consequences. That money doesn’t just disappear into thin air, it has to be made up elsewhere – either in higher taxes in other sectors or budget cuts. Balance sheets have two columns – income and outcome, and they have to balance. City councillors may wish for the wisdom of Solomon on March 17 when they decide. WHAT SAY YOU?

Limited worship services will be allowed

02/28 - Some worship services have been granted limited exceptions to a blanket ban on in-person worship imposed in November. A lawyer for three Fraser Valley churches says they’ve been given permission to meet for worship – outdoors and multiple protocols including a maximum of 25 congregants, no singing or chanting and no passing collection plates or ceremonial objects, a one-hour time limit and mandatory masks. They’re also not allowed to socialize before or after the service. The Ministry of Health also granted exceptions to Orthodox Jews who are prohibited by their faith from using electronic devices on the Sabbath. More

Online auction under way for John Barsby prom

The John Barsby Prom Committee isn’t letting a pandemic get in their way ­– they are conducting an online auction to raise funds. They are going ahead with festivities which include dinner, dance and a graduation photo. The business community and others have pitched in with a lot of sale items. They are raising funds to supplement the cost of the celebration for the students, including venue rental, dinner, security, photography and assisting students needy students so they can attend with their class. The auction page is here, you can START BIDDING.

Mass vaccination for Cowichan Tribes adult members

02/28 - Members of B.C.’s largest First Nation were vaccinated against coronarvirus on Friday and Saturday. The mass vaccination drive for Cowichan Tribes comes after 240 cases since Dec. 31, and four deaths — several of them described as young adults. Cowichan Tribes, with around 4,900 members, has also been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19. A shelter-in-place order for the community has been extended until March 5.

Legislature resumes sitting on Monday

02/28 - High profile issues will be front and centre when the B.C. Legislature resumes sitting on Monday. The first day of the sitting coincides with B.C.’s vaccine rollout plan outlined by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix. The spring session will include financial relief for small business, COVID-19 measures, housing for people without homes and income assistance rates. It will still be a sparsely populated session due to coronavirus physical distancing. Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin will deliver the speech from the throne on April 12, and Finance Minister Selina ­Robinson will present the budget on April 20.