Have you seen Robert Gillies?

Rober Gillies

1210- Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance in locating - 57-year-old Robert GILLIES who did not return to his residence in north Nanaimo.  He had left his supportive housing prior to a check in the early morning, but was last seen at about 10:30 at coffee shop in Departure bay.
 
Robert GILLIES is 5'10", 170lbs, and has blonde hair.  He was wearing a black jean jacket and blue jeans.  Gillies has a noticeable limp with mobility issues, and a medical condition that has left him with a poor memory.  He is new to Nanaimo, and does not know the area  The staff are concerned for his well being, and would like the public to be aware and report to the Nanaimo RCMP they locate him.
 

Final vote counts in Snuneymuxw council election

Peckford takes on Victoria and Ottawa over health care

Hon. Brian Peckford

He was premier of Newfoundland from 1979 to 1989. Now, as a B.C. resident, Brian Peckford is still game for a political fight. Today he’s taking on Ottawa and Victoria, saying they need to do more to end the shortage of family doctors.

After he retired from politics, Peckford, moved to B.C. in 1993. He’s lived in Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach and now Parksville. And in each community, the shortage of primary care physicians has been getting worse.

Island Health Region surveys show that about 16 per cent of the 50,000 residents of the Oceanside Local Health Area (Parksville and Qualicum Beach) don’t have a family doctor. That’s better than the B.C. average where about 24 per cent of residents don’t have a regular family doctor.

 FULL STORY

Winter Counter-Attack driving campaign under way

1204 - Have you had anything to drink?  Expect to hear this familiar phrase many times over as the Winter Counter-attack impaired driving campaign officially kicked off Sunday Dec. 1 and runs for the month. 

The long hours officers spend roadside on freezing December nights are for one reason, and for one reason only- to stop impaired drivers. On average 68 lives are lost to impaired driving crashes every year in BC. For this reason, impaired driving enforcement is not only a local priority but a national one also.

Each weekend, on any road or highway within our jurisdiction, expect to see a road check. The road check may delay you a few minutes but please, have some patience as officers are there to protect you. Don't make that conscious decision to drive while impaired. It's just not worth it and may cost you, not only your license, but your life or someone else’s, said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

Expect officers to not only be looking for drivers who have over-consumed alcohol but those who have recently smoked cannabis, and laws pertaining to consumption and possession will be enforced.

Here are some tips to think about if you are heading out for the evening and you plan on consuming alcohol:

  • If you plan to drink, leave your car at home
  • Line up a designated driver for the evening 
  • Consider car pooling
  • Take a taxi, public transportation or a community sober ride option 

Remember, if you suspect someone is driving while impaired, call 911 immediately. If you are driving, pull over to the side of the road, and when safe to do so, provide the license plate of the vehicle, direction of travel and vehicle description.

Snuneymuxw heads three-party development

1204 - Snuneymuxw First Nation, B.C. Housing, City of Nanaimo and Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district are partnering to develop three properties in.

The Te’tuxwtun project was announced in December 2018 and its priorities include new affordable rental housing, relocation of the district learning alternatives program, integrating culture, parks and recreational services and incorporation of health services and child care.

Snuneymuxw First Nation will guide the growth and development of the properties, the press release said, as well as bring a wealth of cultural knowledge. Snuneymuxw Chief Michael Wyse said the journey of healing and growth is years in the making.

Mid-island child care needs focus of new initialive

1203 - Mid Island municipal governments are undertaking a study of child care needs in our region. Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, the Regional District of Nanaimo, Snuneymuxw, Snaw-Naw-As and Qualicum Nations formed the Mid Island Child Care Planning Collaborative. The group has hired a consultant to prepare a child care needs assessment for the region.
The initiative also includes School Districts 68 and 69, non-profits, child care providers and educators. it wants to hear from parents, caregivers and expected parents in the mid island region, regarding child care needs and priorities. 
Those who have a child receiving child care or are expecting a child and anticipate needing child care in the future can fill out a survey to support the study. A separate survey has also been created for child care providers and employees. Links to both surveys can be found at 
www.nanaimo.ca/goto/ChildCareSurvey

Three schools affected by unspecified police incident

1129 - One Nanaimo high school was locked down and two others were put on hold and secure status this morning. Dover Bay was locked down while McGirr elementary, and Nanaimo and District Secondary School placed on hold and secure after a police incident. 

 RCMP and Senior Management at School District 68, agreed the measures suggested by RCMP investigators were appropriate. By 11:20 am the threat was deemed not credible the security measures were lifted at all three schools. Two officers will remain at each school for the remainder of the day.

Two arrested in takedown of suspected drug house

1129 - A man and a woman were arrested after police searched a suspected drug house on Wednesday where police found various narcotics, fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, prescription oxycodone and other prescription drugs. 

A 27-year-old man and a woman, 47, were arrested without incident. The search located more than two ounces of various narcotics, a 22-calibre rifle and a sawed off shotgun were also found, both of which were later confirmed to be stolen. 

The officers said the two firearms, while not loaded, were readily accessible to the residents. A mix of Canadian and U.S. currency, totalling in excess of $15,000 was also seized. Both were released unconditionally and court dates for both are pending for drug trafficking charges.

The Nanaimo RCMP Projects team is committed to disrupting suppliers of fentanyl, which is responsible for the majority of overdose deaths within our city and its street community, said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

UPDATE - Missing teenager located safe and sound
18-year-old Brianna Fisher, who was reported missing from her Nanaimo home on Nov. 24 has been located safe and sound. 

Nanaimo store manager injured in violent assault

Suspect's image caught on camera

The manager of a north end business was violently assaulted Saturday by a shoplifter, who struck him over the head with a shopping bag containing bottles.

The employee was taken to hospital by BC Paramedics where he was treated for a serious but non-life threatening injury. The injured employee was treated in hospital and later released. The incident took place in front of the business in North Town Centre.

The manager and a Loss Prevention Officer had approached the suspect outside the business, after witnessing him leave without paying for merchandise. After a short conversation, the suspect swung the shopping bag at the manager. The suspect fled on foot.

He is Caucasian, 35-40 years old, slim build, wearing a blue jacket with white stripes on the sleeve, and a pale blue ball cap. The shopping bag he was carrying was bright yellow.

 If anyone has information on this incident, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477.

Driver charged in fatal collision in Cedar last year

Shinder Kirk

1124 – Conrad Nikolaus Wetten. 23, has been charged in connection with a crash that killed well-known retired Abbotsford police sergeant Shinder Kirk late last year south of Nanaimo.

Wetten was charged Nov. 15 without due care and attention under the Motor Vehicle Act.

The charge states Wetten was driving eastbound on Cedar Road in a pickup truck when it collided head-on with a westbound  pickup truck driven by Kirk on Dec. 22, 2018.

Talks between Western Forest Products and union stall

Western Forest Products and workers on Vancouver Island remain deadlocked in a labour dispute after talks broke down this past weekend.

Members of United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 have been on strike since July 1 and according to separate press releases, the union and Western took part in 14 hours of negotiations this past weekend, with assistance from mediators Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers. An offer was tabled by the company, but the union rejected it outright and there will be no discussions scheduled in the foreseeable future. MORE

Port Connect event termed a big success

Port Connect career event attracted record crowd.

The second annual Port Connect marine-related work fair Nov. 7 was a huge success with more than 240 participants, a 20-per-cent increase from last year.

The event was created last year by the Port of Nanaimo and Nanaimo WorkBC Centre to link people with contacts in the marine industry for possible employment. 

Port Chair Donna Hais said a lot of strong marine-related companies do business in and around the Port and Port Connect provides an opportunity to introduce prospective employees to some of the possibilities that may be available.

Robin Gang Li, President of Seamor Marine, said it was great to get together with marine companies and talk to the visitors. There was great interest in underwater robotics.

Peter McGee, Community Engagement Manager for the WorkBC, said Port Connect brings together the marine sector in a way that the public, both job seekers and network builders, can access in an easy and effective way. 

Counsellor therapists seek provincial regulation

Anyone can claim to be a counsellor or therapist in British Columbia. A government authority to regulate counselling therapists is badly needed.

Tell the BC government: It's time for BC to be a leader in mental healthcare. Regulate counselling therapists.

This video includes sensitive stories. We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this video to reach out to a counselling therapist or other mental health professional, or a trusted ally. And convince your MLA or any cabinet ministers of the need for regulation.

SEE VIDEO

 

Tuesday news headlines

City budget debates start with 5.2% projected tax increase
The City of Nanaimo will begin public discussion of its next budget this week and the starting point is a 5.2 per cent property tax increase. The city’s finance and audit committee will hold special meetings the next three weeks as part of the process to work toward a 2020-2024 financial plan.

Monday news headlines

Lantzville seeks changes to policing cost model for small towns
Policing costs significantly increase once a municipality’s population exceeds 5,000

 Bush cameras installed to deter backcountry vandals and thieves
A Vancouver Island forestry giant has turned to concealed bush cameras in response to thieves, vandals and illegal trash dumpers.

Three-car crash sends one driver to hospital
One driver was taken to hospital following a three-vehicle collision at the intersection of Nicol and Needham streets Friday morning. There was no word on the nature of the injuries of the driver taken to hospital.

New university president sworn in at Snunymuxw longhouse
History was made when Deborah Saucier took the oath of office as Vancouver Island University’s new president at the Snuneymuxw Longhouse on Friday. Saucier, who is Métis, told the audience she was humbled and honoured to have her installation ceremony at the longhouse. 

Senior dies after medical emergency in car crash
An 81-year-old Nanoose Bay man has died, after driving off the road following a medical emergency at the wheel on Thursday. “It appears that he was in medical distress. He was deceased prior to police arriving on scene,” said Cpl. Jesse Foreman of the Oceanside RCMP.

November 15

Severe weather warning issued for Vancouver Island over the weekend
Environment Canada has issued special weather statements for both north and west Vancouver Island. The alerts warn of wet and windy conditions along the coast over the weekend, beginning early Saturday morning. Environment Canada expects about 100 millimetres of rain over north Vancouver and west Vancouver Island.

Charges laid as police investigate Nanaimo high school students
A group of high school students are accused of committing disturbing crimes, which in at least one case involved a weapon.

Investigation throws out excessive force complaint against local police
A wanted man taken down by a police dog in the mountains outside Nanaimo doesn’t have a leg to stand on when claiming Nanaimo RCMP used excessive force.  The Independent Investigations Office, which looks into all cases where injuries occur during police action, has ruled against David Banford.

November 13

Felicia Olteanu

RCMP seek help in finding missing Parksville woman
Oceanside RCMP are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing 26-year-old woman who was last seen in Parksville. Felicia Olteanu was last seen in Parksville on Nov. 12 at 4:30 p.m. She drives a 2002 Black jeep Grande Cherokee wit the BC licence plate 394 RTR. Anyone with information on Olteanu’s whereabouts is asked to call Oceanside RCMP at (250) 248-6111.

Review process for City’s 2020 budget begins next week
Preparations are under way for the City of Nanaimo's 2020-2024 Draft Financial Plan. Residents will have a number of opportunities to review, ask questions and provide input leading up to a budget-focused eTown Hall on Monday, December 2.

Notorious section of Bruce Ave. under review for pedestrian safety
The safety of a collision-prone intersection in Harewood, which hasn’t been reviewed in nearly 12 years, is back in the spotlight. A 24-year-old woman suffered life-threatening injuries on Monday, Nov. 11 around 8:40 p.m. when she was hit by a car in the crosswalk.

Engineer will detail earthquake early warning system at Nanoose talk
Scientists estimate the likelihood of a major earthquake hitting the south B.C. coast within the next 50 years is about one in three.   Scientists can’t predict when a major quake will strike, but they can now give more accurate and timely warnings about shock waves and intensity, and that’s the subject of the next VIU ElderCollege talk Nov. 16.

BC RCMP cutting more than $10 million from provincial units
The RCMP in British Columbia is cutting more than $10 million from its provincial policing costs, which include small rural detachments, and some of the funding for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team and the anti-gang Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit.

Woman seriously injured in crosswalk accident

1112 - A woman has been airlifted to hospital in Victoria with life threatening injuries after being struck by a in a pedestrian crosswalk. The collision occurred at approximately 8:40 pm on Monday at the intersection of Albion St and Bruce Ave.

Police said appears the 31-year-old female driver was goling south along Bruce Avenue when her vehicle struck the 24-year-old pedestrian in the crosswalk. The crosswalk is not lit and the victim was wearing dark non-reflective clothing. The driver remained on scene and co-operated with investigators.

The vehicle will undergo a mechanical inspection. The road was closed for several hours, the investigation is continuing.

Tree removal at the forefront as storm season approaches

1112- Stormy weather is on the way, and that means applications are on the rise to have damaged or diseased trees toppled.  

The City’s urban forestry co-ordinator Patrick McIntosh says the number applications for tree removal is way up from previous years but many formal applications and casual requests from concerned residents aren’t backed by professional advice. FULL STORY

Teachers union rejects mediator's recommendations

1109- The B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) has rejected the recommendations in mediator’s report issued last week

Mediator David Schaub of the Labour Relations Board recommended terms for settlement to the BCTF and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association. He asked for a decision by Friday.

BCTF president Teri Mooring said the main issues include a teacher shortage due to low wages and a lack of class size and composition limits. Teachers in B.C. have the lowest starting wages in Canada and the lowest overall maximum wages in Western Canada, she said. MORE

Man injured after climbing electricity tower

1109 - A man who climbed an electricity tower south of Nanaimo this morning suffered life-threatening injuries, RCMP, firefighters and paramedics were called to Riverbend Road in Cassidy at about 11:30 a.m. 

Police said a 20-year-old climbed the tower, suffered a shock and fell off. He was not an electrical worker and he climbed up for unknown reasons. DETAILS

Court rules Newcastle Place not subject to zoning

1108 - The B.C. Supreme Court has ruled the province did not have to comply with city zoning bylaws when it built the Newcastle Place homeless compound on Terminal Avenue.

The case was brought to court by Janet Buechler and neighbours of the project, naming B.C. Housing, the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation, Island Crisis Care Society and the City, arguing that the complex is subject to city zoning regulations.

The province set up supportive housing at Terminal Avenue and Labieux Road in the fall of 2018 to help accommodate people experiencing homelessness who had been living at Discontent City encampment at 1 Port Drive. FULL STORY

 

Extra ferry sailings for Remembrance Day long weekend

1107 - There will be 28 extra ferry sailings between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland over the Remembrance Day long weekend – four on the Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route.

Travel will be free for military personnel - including active, reserve and retired members of the armed forces, as well as cadets, on Remembrance Day. Personnel travelling in uniform or have official military identification will qualify for the discount, which is being offered for the first time this year.

Complimentary travel will also be available on Remembrance Day for senior citizens. Seniors can travel for free on BC Ferries from Monday through Thursday throughout the year, but usually Monday holidays are excluded.

Business community reports to council on social disorder

1105 - Nanaimo’s business community is frustrated but resilient concludes a report to city council regarding rising crime and social disorder.

Chamber of Commerce CEO Kim Smythe presented a 25-page report on the chamber’s findings of a survey of businesses near a supportive housing complex on Labieux Road. 

“Businesses and residents are facing critical issues with rising crime and a sense of social disruption that seems beyond control,” Smythe said. FULL STORY

Driver airlifted to Victoria hospital after crash in Cedar

1104 - The 26-year-old male driver has been airlifted to a Victoria hospital with life threatening injuries following a car crash in Cedar on Sunday morning. The driver, who was the lone occupant, was extricated from the vehicle by attending fire crews. Investigators believe the vehicle was heading east on Cedar Road when the driver lost control and went off the roadway and hit a hydro pole, coming to rest upside down. No other vehicles were involved. MORE

Two evacuated from mobile home fire

1101 - Two women were in their residence when it was damaged by fire this morning at Brooksdale Mobile Home Park on Twelfth Street.

The homeowner was not home, but two other occupants were awoken by firefighters who arrived to the fully-involved fire with heavy smoke coming from the roof.

Two drivers taken to hospital after crash

1101 -Two drivers were taken to hospital after a crash on Northfield Road Thursday. Emergency crews were called after two vehicles collided close to the intersection of Northfield and Bowen roads.

This morning, A pickup truck and a station wagon collided at an intersection along the Nanaimo Parkway. Lantzville Fire Rescue, RCMP and B.C. Ambulance Service attended the scene involving a pickup truck and an SUV at the Nanaimo Parkway and Island Highway intersection, at approximately 9:20 a.m. Friday.

Occupants safe as fire destroys North Nanaimo home

1031 - All occupants escaped safety las a fire destory a home on Burma Rd. home off Lost Lake Rd. shortly after noon Wednesday. The house was fully engaged in flames when Fire Rescue  crews arrived.

They took a defensive attack because of the heavy fire activity. All fourday shift engines and personnel were deployed to the fire. FULL STORY

Man dies, woman injured in Yellow Point Road rollover

1030 - A man died and a woman was seriously injured in a single vehicle rollover on Yellow Point Rd. Tuesday afternoon. The male driver was pronounced dead, while the female passenger was flown to hospital with serious injuries.

The BC Coroners Service is investigating to determine how the crash happened.

Opioid crisis hitting First Nations harder than others

1030 - The opioid crisis is hitting First Nations communities harder than others, said experts at a forum held in the Alberni Valley last week.

Port Alberni’s Community Action Team (CAT) hosted a public information session which drew representatives from healthcare, RCMP and people with lived experience to share their stories.

Medical Health Officer Dr. Paul Hasselback started with some of the successes in Port Alberni’s response to the opioid crisis. With 500 people in the community estimated to have an opioid use disorder, Hasselback said the crisis started with about 18 percent of those people seeking treatment. The number is now up to 44 percent, or 220 individuals. FULL STORY

RCMP seek help to find Sean Robert-Carson

Sean Robert-Carson

1030 - 17-year-old Sean Robert-Carson has not been seen since he left his north-end Nanaimo home Thursday, Oct. 24, and his family and friends are extremely worried for his safety and well-being. RCMP are seeking help in finding him. He is  5-foot-8, 110 pounds, blond hair and blue eyes. 

Robert-Carson is believed to be in Nanaimo and is known to frequent the downtown core.

Anyone with information regarding Robert-Carson’s whereabouts is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 or via the Nanaimo RCMP’s social media channels.

Canfor directors approve takeover by Pattison Group

1030  - Directors of Canfor Corp. is recommending shareholders accept an offer by a Jim Pattison Group company to take the lumber producer private. Jim Pattison's Great Pacific Capital Corp., which already owns a roughly 51-per-cent interest in Canfor, offered $16 per share in August for the stake it does not already own. Canfor said the offer is a significant premium to where the shares were trading before the bid and represented a compelling value proposition for the minority shareholders.

Woman taken to hospital after Yellow Point crash

1030 -A woman was taken to hospital after a crash this Tuesday afternoon at Yellow Point Road  when a pickup truck rolled over and went off the road at the intersection with Hill Road.

North Oyster and North Cedar fire departments, RCMP and B.C. Ambulance Service were called to the location and Ladysmith fire department was on standby. An air ambulance was staged at North Oyster Elementary School. MORE

Vancouver Island economy expected to slow but not stall

1028 - No economy is recession-proof, but Vancouver Island is diversifying and becoming better-equipped to be able to stave off any slowdowns, says a senior economist.

The annual State of the Island economic report was released Wednesday at the Vancouver Island Economic Summit in Nanaimo. Susan Mowbray, partner at MNP, presented the report to delegates at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre and her advice was not to panic.

“Growth is expected to slow, there’s no question about that, but there’s no indication it’s going to stall yet,” she said. “And that is because of that diversification.” FULL STORY

Downtown projects get the green light

1028 - City council has given the go ahead with projects to improve or beautify the downtown.

Councillors recommended the city spend $220,000 toward completing a list of more than 20 projectstotalling more than $1.1 million at a special finance and audit committee meeting Monday,

Staff met with representatives from the Old City Quarter and Victoria Crescent to identify projects to beautification and public safety. MORE

City staff seek to delay work on Cranberry connector road

1020 – City staff are putting the brakes on a proposed secondary access route in Chase River, recommedning a delay of a few years.

For years, the city has toyed with the idea of building a two-lane road called the Cranberry Connector, which would link Extension Road and Tenth Street with either Wexford Road or Twelfth Street, eliminating the need for motorists to travel along the Trans-Canada Highway. MORE

Crew member's injury results in ferry cancellations

1020 - A BC Ferries crew member was injured on the  Queen of Cowichan  bound for Nanaimo just after 8 a.m. on Saturday morning.

The 8:25 a.m. sailing from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay was about to depart when a female crew member was struck by the bow doors, said Chelsea Carlson of Ferries. The crew member was taken to hospital by ambulance.

The next two BC Ferries sailings were cancelled to begin an investigation, said Carlson. MORE

 

Mema human rights hearing delayed by tribunal

1019 - A human rights complaint by Victor Mema, the City of Nanaimo’s former chief financial officer, won't be heard on Monday, Oct. 21 as scheduled. It likely won’t be heard until next summer due to staffing issues at the tribunal's offices.

Mema accused the citdy of racial discrimination while he worked for the City. Tribunal documents outline Mema’s claim the City failed or refused to properly consider black African candidates for City positions. MORE

Scooter driver has life-threatening injuries from crash

1017 - A scooter operator was airlifted to hospital in Victoria with life-threatening injuries after rear-ending a car on Wall Street.

The car was braking at a marked pedestrian crosswalk and the car driver was yielding for a pedestrian on crosswalk.

Emergency crews responded to the crash scene near the entrances to Bowen Park just after 3 p.m. Thursday. MORE

 

RCMSAR Masquerade to celebrate volunteers, partners

Adults looking for a great excuse to dress up to the nines this Halloween need look no further than the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue station 27 Masquerade Gala Fundraiser.

"We chose a masquerade theme because it's so much fun," says Shawn Petriw, Director of Marketing for the society, "and it ties into the various exciting plasn for the evening."

Celebrating the efforts of volunteer crews throughout the year is a key part of the gala, as well as recognizing community partners and sponsors. MORE

Two taken to hospital after intersection crash

1017 -  A crash closed two northbound lanes of the old Island Highway in Nanaimo on Wednesday,  sending both drivers to hospital in what police say could have been a mental health issue.

Emergency crews arrived just after 3:45 p.m. A minivan and a sport-utility vehicle collided at the intersection of the highway and Bowen Road and Norwell Drive.

Crews on scene said one person was taken to hospital with unknown injuries. Crews didn’t have information about the driver of the other vehicle. MORE

Woman viciously assaulted on downtown street

1017 -  A woman suffered severe injuries when she was hit with a pipe by a man in downtown Nanaimo on Saturday.

RCMP termed it a vicious assault of a 28-year-old woman in front of the Dorchester Hotel on Chapel Street. The suspect ran off and was not located.

The woman told police she fought off the attacker and saw him running northbound along Front Street where he jumped into a waiting pickup truck which drove northbound. The suspect is described as Caucasian, heavy set, with a beard and wearing dark clothing. 

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said police are still regarding the incident as an unprovoked assault. MORE

Overdose deaths continue to drop on Vancouver Island

1016 - The number of people dying from illicit drug overdoses continues to fall on Vancouver Island, but is up slightly province-wide. 

The BC Coroners Service reports there were 79 suspected overdose deaths in August, up from 70 in July but down from 125 in August of 2018. Fentanyl is still being detected in approximately 85 per cent of those deaths.

UPDATE - Missing hiker found save and sound

Cortney Latoski

UPDATE - A man reported missing overnight
has been found safe and sound. CHEK News
reported he had been found in Saskatchewan

1016 - A search was being conducted this morning near the Living Forest Campground for missing 51-year-old Cortney Latoski who has MS . He was last seen at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday at Southgate Mall. His family contacted RCMP 6 p.m. last night and Nanaimo Search and Rescue was called. 

Latoski is an avid hiker and is known to hike for several hours. When he did not return by mid afternoon his family searched for several hours before calling RCMP. NSAR began the search at 9 p.m. and searched until 2:30 a.m. The search was expected to resume at 8:30 a.m. 

Latoski is 5 ft. 11, with a slim build, and the picture is recent. He is believed to be wearing a black quilted jacket, acid washed jeans and new white runners. If anyone sees him call 911 or the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

We're in for a mild winter this year, says Accuweather

1015 - Winter won’t hit B.C. too hard, a seasonal forecast from AccuWeather, predicts a rather mild winter in Vancouver, Victoria, Kamloops and Prince George, drier and sunnier than usual.

Northwestern B.C. will be the worst hit.

“The main storm track will likely bring bulk of rain and snowfall to northwestern British Columbia this winter,” said Brett Anderson of AccuWeather .

Vancouver Island home prices continue to climb

1015 - The average home prices continues to climb on Vancouver Island outside of Victoria.

The Canadian Real Estate Association says the average price of a home on Vancouver Island is now $496,100, up 4.02 per cent from September of 2018.

 Prices continue to fall in Greater Vancouver, on the Lower Mainland, and in the Fraser Valley, down 7.28 per cent, 6.41 per cent and 4.68 per cent from September 2018.

 Across the country, the CREA says the number of home sales in September was up 15.5 per cent compared with a year ago as sales in the country’s big cities climbed higher. FULL STORY

Are you missing your English riding tac?

1015 - The Nanaimo RCMP is in possession of an English riding saddle and associated tac, found on Saturday October 12th, 2019, in the 900 block of Douglas Ave. The tac consists of a saddle, two saddle blankets, two pair of riding boots, and leather bridles.  

If you have any information on the ownership of this equipment or where it came from, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2019-41335.

Island Health puts own staff in Nanaimo Seniors Village

Retirement Concepts' Nanaimo Seniors Village

1013 - Island Health has installed its own care aides and nurses to fully staff two Retirement Concepts’long-term care units at facilities in Victoria and Nanaimo, Health Minister Adrian Dix said Friday.

Dix said the health authority will take over two units, each with about 30 beds — one at Selkirk Seniors Village in Victoria and the other at Nanaimo Seniors Village — and staff them around the clock. He said the move will allow Retirement Concepts to disperse its own workers to raise staffing levels elsewhere in the facilities and ensure a proper standard of care for seniors. MORE
 

Gillian Trumper, former Port Alberni mayor, MLA dies at 83

Gillian Trumper

1013 -  Former Port Alberni Mayor Gillian Trumper died Friday evening at age 83. 

She was elected mayor of Port Alberni in 1983 and served for a record-setting 18 years until 2001. 

Trumper then moved into provincial politics and was elected MLA for Alberni-Qualicum and served as the Chair of the Legislative Standing Committee for Aboriginal Affairs.

 Prior to entering her political career, Trumper was a registered nurse and moved to the Alberni Valley with her family in 1969. MORE

 

 

Free bus service on election day - Oct 21

 

1011 - Advance polls open are now open for early voting until Monday Oct. 14. The polls are open 9 a.m to 9 p.m.

Voting locations are on your voter information cards which were mailed out in recent weeks. Polling places have changed in Nanaimo-Ladysmith electoral district since the spring by-election. We attempted to get a list of all advance polling locations but Elections Canada said they don't want such a list published in order for voters to use their information on their voting cards.

Extensive damage from fire set in sewer line

Melted sewer line on Halliburton Street

1011 -A fire set in aplastic sewer line has set back the progress of a City and Regional District infrastructure project. Nanaimo Fire Rescue responded shortly before 8 p.m. Wednesday to a fire in plastic sewer lines being installed in the 1000 block, Haliburton Street.

The fire damaged the sanitary sewage force main being installed as part of the Chase River Pump Station and Haliburton Street sanitary sewer forcemain upgrades. RCMP are investigating. 

The fire damaged a section of pipe that will have to be ordered to be replaced, which will delay completion of the project. MORE

Vehicle, tools and upright bass stolen in break-ins

1011 - Harbourview Volkswagen on Wellington Road was broken into and a vehicle and tools were stolen at approximately 1:30 am on Oct. 5.  When police arrived, a bay door was open and tools spread over the floor. Video surveillance showed a large-set, balding man, wearing a high visibility vest and dark jacket walking along and up to the building. 

Wrenches, pry bars, gas cans, a grass trimmer and various other small tools were taken. The stolen vehicle was later recovered after it was involved in a break, enter and theft from Arbutus Music. Nanaimo RCMP file # 2019-40180

A motion sensor alarm was activated at Arbutus Music on Metral Drive, and the rear door had been smashed in and a number items taken. The most significant was a Menzel 3/4 size, upright bass with a custom pick up and new adj bridge. A Stanley FatMax rolling kit, with VEX Robotics components and various hand tools and small wrenches were also taken. Nanaimo file # 2019-40190

UPDATE: Missing 16-year-old has been found

Trisha Harry

UPDATE 1011 - Nanaimo RCMP say the 16-year-old girl reported missing on Wednesday has been located safe and sound. Many thanks to everyone, including our local media, who shared, posted and looked for her. 

Earlier report

RCMP are seeking public help in finding 16-year-old Trisha Harry, who was last seen at about 10 p.m. Tuesday in south Nanaimo when she left her home on foot.

Repeated attempts to contact her have proven negative. Her behaviour has her immediate family and caregivers concerned for her safety and well-beings.

Harry is 5-feet-4, medium build and medium-length black hair. She was last seen wearing a black hoodie, grey pants and light-coloured shoes. Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
 
The Nanaimo RCMP and the Officer in Charge, Cameron Miller, wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. We are honoured  each and every day to have the opportunity to live and work in this beautiful place.

Candidates have their say at election forum

1011 - Candidates from five parties represented in the House of Commons participated in Thursday’s forum, hosted by the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce at the Beban Park social centre.

Energy policy provided some of the liveliest debate, but there was also discussion of health care, immigration, housing, veterans’ affairs, the Phoenix pay system and more. MORE

City turns down Machleary Street housing application

1010 -  City council has put the nail in the coffin of the proposed 175-unit residential development in the Old City Quarter – council voted 6-3 against an official community plan amendment to make way for the development.

Molnar Group planned to build apartment buildings and townhouses at 388 Machleary St., formerly Malaspina Gardens seniors facility and before that, the old hospital. However, 175 units would have been three times the density allowed under the property’s neighbourhood designation, so the developer sought an OCP amendment to corridor.

Following a public hearing Wednesday night, councillors said they generally liked the proposal and its density, but the majority said they couldn’t justify changing the official community plan. MORE

Economic development takes another step forward

1010 - Nanaimo should soon have a new economic development corporation – council effectively agreed to create an economic development task force after they unanimously approved its proposed terms of reference.

Nearly three years ago, the previous council decided to eliminate the city-owned non-profit Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation, which was responsible for tourism and economic development. Its budget at the time, according to the city, was $1.375 million. MORE

Seniors will have to wait for high-dose flu vaccine

1009 - B.C. seniors will have to wait longer for a flu vaccine that offers better protection. B.C. covers standard flu vaccines but does not fund the high-dose version for which pharmacies charge $75 for the shot.

The Fluzone High-Dose vaccine isn't expected to be available in B.C. until the end of November or early December. Standard vaccines are expected to arrive this month. The vaccine contains four times the antigen of a standard flu vaccine and produces a stronger immune response in seniors.

2014 study found the high-dose vaccine to be 24 per cent more effective in preventing the flu than standard vaccines in adults 65 or older. MORE

Ferries adds extra sailings for Thanksgiving weekend

1009 - BC Ferries has added 93 extra sailings for Thanksgiving long weekend with 13 extra sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay. 

The most popular travel times are Thursday and Friday afternoon, and Saturday morning for traffic moving from the Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay terminals to Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. MORE

Greens looking to sweep Vancouver Island

Paul Manly

1008 - The Green Party thinks it can further build on its numbers in Parliament. Green Party leader Elizabeth May was in town in support of candidate Paul Manly Saturday night and expressed optimism that the green movement is growing.

“We’re not going to sweep the Lower Mainland, but I think we can sweep all of Vancouver Island,” May said. “We’ve got seats that we could get.”

She said she’s being told the party stands to win seats in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. MORE

Chamberlin talks about saving the planet

Bob Chamberlin

1008 - The federal election comes at a time when people are facing the “rather large challenge” of doing their part to save the planet, say the NDP.

Bob Chamberlin, New Democratic candidate for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, hosted a town hall on sustainability and reconciliation, inviting current and former chiefs and band councillors to VIU’s Malaspina Theatre on Sunday.

He said the Liberal governnment “has stalled, if they ever really began,” on embracing the human rights of indigenous people. MORE

Conservatives busy knocking on doors

John Hirst

1008 - Conservative candidate John Hirst recently did some door knocking joined on doorsteps by a former cabinet ministerand Abbotsford MP Ed Fast campaigned together last month, talking with voters about leadership and other election issues.

Fast is the environmental critic for the Conservative Party, and suggested that whereas “the Liberal plan has failed,” his party has a “real plan” for the environment.

“By every single measure, Canada’s falling further and further behind in meeting its Paris targets,” Fast said. MORE

 

When you don't have answers
simply change the discussion

This election has been devoid of reality as to the future of our country. As is so often the case, when the topic at hand is uncomfortable those responsible seek diversions. If you don’t want to talk about something, change the subject.

This election has been more about shovelling bull manure than about this country’s future. It's been about high school drama classes, about dual citizenship, about turbans and about country of birth pumping us up with fake indignation. THERE'S A WHOLE LOT MORE

Clarke joins election candidates forum Oct. 10

Kim Smythe

1005 - All parties with seats in Parliament will be represented in the Nanaimo Chamber Candidates Forum on Oct. 10. Jennifer Clarke of the People's Party has confirmed her participation.

“This completes our efforts to secure representation from all the parties in the House in including Bob Chamberlin, NDP; Michelle Corfield, Liberals; John Hirst, Conservatives; and Paul Manly of the Green Party," says Chamber CEO Kim Smythe.

The Forum will be held in Beban Park Social Centre on Oct. 10 with the doors opening for a Candidate Meet and Greet at 5:30 pm. The debate among the candidates will begin at 7 pm. Questions will be accepted in advance at info@nanaimochamber.bc.ca and from the floor. The event will be live-streamed via the Chamber Facebook Page.

Vancouver Island University, Canadian Home Builders Association, the National Association of Federal Retirees, and United Way and local media are sponsoring the forum.

Mema's human rights hearing to begin Oct. 21

Victor Mema

1005 - Former city chief financial officer Victor Mema’s human rights complaint against the city will go to a pubic hearing Oct. 21.

His human rights complaint accuses the city of discriminating against his ancestry, race, place of origin and colour.

The tribunal ordered the city to provide e-mails relating to the hiring of a deputy director of financial services, his suspension, legal invoices and other expenses involving a city employee, copies of procurement documents and e-mails regarding the development of the manager of treasury position.

Mema in turn must provide the City with his 2018 tax return and notice of assessment, documents relating to an alleged investigation by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta and as well as medical records and doctors’ notes. MORE

Tenants escape from big blaze in their home

1004 - Six people were forced to flee their home after a fire engulfed the house.

Umesh Lal of Nanaimo Fire Rescue said they responded to the fully involved fire at a Ney Drive home at 1:45 a.m. Friday.

He said all six people in the home’s two suites got out safely. MORE

Supreme Court ruling awaited on Newcastle Place

1004 - A dispute over the Terminal Avenue supportive housing complex is awaiting a B.C. Supreme Court ruling in legal intepretations.

Judge Amy Francis heard the case between Janet Buechler and Island Crisis Care Society, the operator of the temporary housing complex, Provincial Rental Housing Corporation, B.C. Housing Management Commission and the City of Nanaimo. Buechler, who lives near Newcastle Place facility on 250 Terminal Ave., claims B.C. Housing is violating city zoning bylaws. 

The site provides temporary housing for residents of the former Discontent City. 

Island Health investigating Nanaimo Seniors Village

Retirement Concepts' Nanaimo Seniors Village – Google Maps

1004 - Nanaimo Seniors Village is one of two seniors care facilities under investigation and Island Health has appointed a temporary administrator to run Comox Valley Seniors Village in Courtenay. All three are operated by Retirement Concepts.

Mark Blandford, executive director of primary care and seniors health, said there are ongoing investigations at the Nanaimo Seniors Village and Selkirk Seniors Village in Victoria.

“Those two are under active investigation right now and we have concerns with both those sites,” he said. “I would add that the operator themselves has expressed concern at both those sites and asking us for our assistance.”

Blandford said the concerns centre primarily on significant shortages of staff to the point where the facilities are having difficulty meeting minimum standards. MORE

Police need help finding Sajed Haddadi

Sajed Haddadi

1003 - Nanaimo RCMP seek public help in locating 26-year-old Sajed Haddadi, who has not been seen since Tuesday October 1. His family told investigators Sajed had never gone anywhere without first telling someone what his plans were. Because of this marked departure, his family is worried for his well-being.

His family believed hehad been attending classes at Vancouver Island University but it has been confirmed he was not enrolled there. Investigators have also been unable to contact Haddadi by phone. 

Haddadi is 5 ft. 6, 140 pounds and has short dark curly hair. The picture is recent. If you have information on the whereabouts of Sajed Haddadi, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or by calling 1-800-222-8477.

 

Police seek identity of suspect in surveilance video

Do you know him?

1003 -  Nanaimo RCMP are seeking public assistance in identifying a man who allegedly stole an undisclosed amount of money from the Living Forest Campground, on Maki Road approximately 6:20 pm on Wednesday. 

 Police were informed by staff that the mn was seen on video surveillance walking into the main office, then allegedly taking the money from a small canister. He stayed for a few minutes then left the premises. He is described as Caucasian, in his mid 40s with shaggy dark hair and a beard and moustache. He was wearing grey pants and a distinctive red, white and black shirt.

If you have information on the identity of this person, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2019-39752.

Nine candidates in running for Nanaimo-Ladysmith

1003 - The ballot for Nanaimo-Ladysmith will have nine names seeking support from the electorate in the Oct. 21 election.

The Green party's Paul Manly, who won the seat in the May 6 byelection, will look to secure a full term.

Many of the candidates who ran in that vote have returned to challenge again. John Hirst (Conservative), Michelle Corfield (Liberal), Bob Chamberlin (NDP), Jennifer Clarke (People’s Party of Canada) and Brian Marlatt (PC Party) are all in the race again.

Geoff Stoneman, Echo White and Communist James Chumsa complete the list.

Lantzville to study water options for Winds neighbourhood

1003 - Lantzville us looking at options to bring water to the Winds neighbourhood. Council hs instructed staff to research the requirements and costs associated with creating a local service area. 

Local service areas are specific geographical areas established by municipalities to provide services such as water or sewer, paid for entirely or partially by property owners in an LSA.

Lantzville council reached a water agreement with Nanaimo in 2018 following years of debate and delays. Lantzville paysthe City $1.33 million for water over 20 year, decisions about which communities get municipal water haven’t been made. MORE

Premier to Kick Off Economic Summit

Premier John Horgan

1003 - Premier John Horgan will deliver the opening address at the 13th annual Vancouver Island State of the Island Economic Summit, October 23-24 in Nanaimo.

“We are thrilled to have Premier Horgan joining us at the Economic Summit. It is always valuable to have the Premier provide insightful update on the economic state of the province as well as perspective regarding issues vital to our success on Vancouver Island," said Mark Smith, VIEA Chair.

Summit looks at untapped potential of immigrant talent

1003 - Experts in federal, provincial and industry-specific programs will outline the untapped potential of talent within and beyond Vancouver Island's population at the State of the Island Economic Summit in Nanaimo Oct 23-24.

Panelists for this session include:
Jean McRae, Intercultural Association of Victoria, Moderator
Linda Ryan, BC Construction Association
Heather Michaud, Government of Canada
Aileen Luney, BC Provincial Nominee Program

This session will inform attendees on what programs are available, how to access them, and how they can help connect employers to immigrant talent.

Residents sound off over growth of crime, disorder

1002 - More than 200 people at a public forum sounded off on social disorder caused by drug addicts and the mentally ill, while officials attempted to offer a path forward. 

Downtown resident Kevin Shaw took direct aim at MLA Sheila Malcolmson in calling for a sharp rise in local social services. “We have to abide by the law, we pay the taxes, they don’t have to abide by the law and they can do basically whatever they want”, he said, adding the  judicial system needs to be much tougher on chronic offenders.

Malcolmson said the province has made investments in affordable housing projects in Nanaimo, which she said will pay off over the next couple years.

 MORE

Communist party names candidate for Oct. 21 election

1002 - The Communist Party has named James Chumsa as its candidate in Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

The Communist Party wants universal dental care, long-term care, mental health care and pharmacare as well as taxpayer-funded childcare and post-secondary education, higher minimum wages and pensions, and a million new units of social housing over the next 10 years.

Police looking for owner of seized bicycle

1002 - Nanaimo RCMP have a bike in custody, trying to find its owner. They seized the bike Monday from several individuals who they suspected had obtained it unlawfully, but were unable to determine who owned the bike when they checked its serial number.

“The owner may not even know their bike is missing or stolen,” said Const. Gary O’Brien. “This is a perfect example of why all bike owners should register their bikes at www.project529.com. It only takes five minutes and by doing so, situations like this could be avoided.”

Winter tires now mandatory when travelling Malahat

1001 - Travellers driving on the Malahat and other mountain passes on Vancouver Island must outfit their vehicles with winter tires or mud and snow tires starting today.

The province requires the tires on standard vehicles and chains or winter tires on heavier commercial trucks and buses until Apr. 30.

The seasonal tires will be required on high-elevation stretches of highway, like the Malahat, Sutton Pass and Coquihalla. Routes that require these special tires will be marked with regulatory signs and patrolled by police and other transportation officials. MORE

Island export forum added to Business Expo Oct. 3

 

Business Expo, the Chamber’s salute to Small Business Month in BC, is launching the Vancouver Island Export Forum as an added attraction at the Expo on October 3 in the VICC. Export traffic from Nanaimo to destinations regionally and around the world are growing. New tools are available to support those exporting from the mid-Island and the Forum will reveal some of these.

The Island’s Foreign Trade Zone designation, the Port Authority’s Short Sea Shipping advantages, the opening of Export Navigator offices here, and recent rapid growth of advanced manufacturing on the Island were all good reasons to launch the Forum now.

“Whether your business is actively involved in export trade, or you count manufacturers and exporters among your clients and colleagues, this is an opportunity to gain an advantage early in the game. Advanced-manufacturing and exporting is a rapidly growing sector of the local economy” according to Kim Smythe of the Nanaimo Chamber. 

A panel including George Hanson of VIEA, Fabrizio Alberico of Export Navigator, John Juricic with the Island Manufacturing Council, and Jason Mitchell of Nanaimo Port Authority will be in attendance. The event starts at 1:00 pm in the Departure Bay Room at VICC and is co-presented by the Nanaimo Chamber and Young Professionals of Nanaimo.

At 2 pm, the Forum highlights a team from the Belgian Trade Commission, encouraging export to Europe by taking advantage of the new Canada Europe Trade Agreement. Expanding one’s trade partnerships is always healthy and with CETA, Europe becomes even more attractive.

Register now for the business forum at www.nanaimochamber.bc.ca. Admission is free.

Zymurgy thriving on Vancouver Island

1001 - Zymurgy is an applied science which studies the biochemical process of fermentation and its practical uses and it is alive and well on Vancouver Island. 

This month's Economic Summit will feature successful Island-based entrepreneurs on how they've overcome challenges in their businesses, how they innovate to stand out, and how building local partnerships has been instrumental in helping them excel well beyond Vancouver Island.

Panelists representing Phillips Brewing, 40 Knots Winery and Sheringham Distillery will talk about how they've grown their businesses in the craft brewing, distilling and winery industries:

 Matt Phillips, Owner, Phillips Brewing

B.C. set to go with year-round daylight time

John Horgan

1001 - The B.C. government is planning to bring in legislation to move to daylight saving time year-round, Premier John Horgan says, but when and if that takes effect still depends on what U.S. states decide.

Horgan made the comment after a meeting with Yukon Premier Sandy Silver in Whitehorse Monday. The two premiers agreed that it’s important that West Coast jurisdictions stay synchronized in their time zones, and Silver said he will watch B.C.’s progress closely.

“I believe that if the West Coast moves in lockstep we’ll be better off,” Silver said.

Horgan said he is going to Oregon and Washington this week to meet with the governors whose state legislatures have already passed legislation to adopt daylight saving time permanently. B.C. legislation is expected to be tabled in the fall session that begins Oct. 7, he said.