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.