Summer jobs funding application open now for employers

0130 - Getting a good-quality summer job is a great way to help young people gain valuable skills and workplace experience.

Small businesses with up to 50 employees, not-for-profit organizations and public-sector employers in Nanaimo-Ladysmith can now apply for funding for Canada Summer Jobs 2020. The deadline for employer applications is Monday February 24, 2020. 

The Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program creates summer job opportunities for youth aged 15 to 30. CSJ is an initiative of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy to support youth, particularly those facing barriers, to transition to the labour market.

Not-for-profit employers can receive funding for up to 100% of the provincial minimum hourly wage and mandatory employment-related costs. Small businesses with up to 50 employees and public-sector employers can receive funding for up to 50% of the provincial minimum hourly wage.

“The Canada Summer Jobs program is a win-win for employers and youth,” said Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly. “It allows small businesses to scale up their workforce for the summer months, community organizations can staff seasonal programs, and not-for-profits can undertake special projects that require additional workers. These are good jobs that will help youth in our communities develop the skills, experience, and confidence they need to succeed in the workforce.”

For more information and to apply, please visit Canada.ca/Canada-summer-jobs or a Service Canada Centre.

Two Nanaimo youths charged with human trafficking

0130 -Two Nanaimo youths were  charged in Saskatchewan with trafficking two young women. Swift Current RCMP said Seyed Kourosh Miralinaghi and Seyed Kamran Miralinaghi, both 19, were arrested on Jan. 28. They were in a three-car convoy driving more than 150 kmh on the Trans-Canada Hwy and were apprehended. MORE 

Can you identify this suspect?

0129 - RCMP need help in identifying a who assaulted an employee and threatened to stab him. The employee confronted the man for allegedly stealing merchandise from a north end business. The incident took place at approximately 6 pm on January 11.

Officers spoke with the employee and to others. The 26-year-old male employee was shaken by the ordeal but he was not injured. He told police he approached the suspect at the front doors after witnessing him attempting to leave without paying for two speakers, valued at $1,500. The suspect punched the employee several times, then threatened to stab him with a knife.

The suspect is white, in his late 30s, greying brown hair and wearing a large khaki sweater and blue jeans. If anyone has information on the identity of this person, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345

Are you missing your Marin brand road bike?

0129 - Nanaimo RCMP located an orange Marin road bike along the side of Wills Road, in north Nanaimo. The caller told police, she called after watching a suspicious male drop the bike in the ditch, then carry on.
 
Officers located the road bike which was in excellent condition. The serial number was checked and the bike shop which sells this brand was contacted. To date, the bike has not been reported as stolen.
 
If you have information who may own this particular bike, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Highway 4 reopens to essential traffic only

0128 - Highway 4 at Kennedy Hill will reopen to essential travel only between noon and 8 p.m. today, Friday, Jan. 24.

Travel will be restricted to passenger vehicles and light pickups only.

Vehicles will be screened at the Tofino/Ucluelet junction and at Sproat Lake. Larger vehicles will be turned around. Heavy loads, trucks with duallies, and vehicles towing trailers will not be let through. Motorists are advised to obey the instructions of traffic control personnel.

This is a limited opening for essential travel only. Once these vehicles have cleared, a portable bridge will be installed to open the highway to regular traffic as quickly and safely as possible.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure estimates a lengthy closure to install the bridge. The ministry will update the estimated closure window for the bridge installation as soon as possible.

The contractor worked non-stop through the night to build up the road base after a portion of the shoulder and travelling surface sloughed away. The ministry thanks Emil Anderson Construction and its crew for the round-the-clock effort to reopen the highway.

While some progress was made, the base did not build as quickly as project engineers had estimated. Overnight, the decision was made to bridge the damaged section of highway to open it as soon as possible.

The damage to Highway 4 was caused by an unexpectedly large volume of rock falling on rain-saturated ground during a scheduled blast early on Thursday, Jan. 23, as part of the Highway 4 - Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project. The highway was closed to traffic at the time of the blast.

The ministry thanks area residents and other people who rely on the highway for their patience and understanding.

When completed later this year, the Highway 4 - Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement Project will create a safer, more reliable connection between Port Alberni and the west coast of Vancouver Island.

RCMP seek help in finding bank fraud suspect

Bank fraud suspect from surveilance camera

0122 - Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance in identifying the man shown in the photo. He is suspected to have taken out a credit card and a line of credit on an unsuspecting individual, then charged upwards of $25,0000 on them. The credit card and line of credit were both opened on September 19, at the BMO bank, 6908 Island Highway North.

The victim reported his loss to the Nanaimo RCMP and indicated he has no knowledge of this person, and was unaware of the transaction until BMO contacted him. Investigators recently obtained a surveillance video showing the suspect completing the line of credit application at the bank.

If anyone has information on the identity of this man, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. 

Driver charged after fiery car crash and explosion in Nanaimo
Nanaimo Fire Rescue and RCMP arrived at the scene early Monday morning after two City workers called in a vehicle on fire. They also believed the driver who escaped the wreckage was intoxicated.

RCMP arrest suspect who pushed clerk to floor during armed robbery
A Nanaimo man is in police custody following his arrest by the RCMP for Wednesday’s armed robbery of the Quarterway Liquor Store. RCMP’s Street Crimes Unit arrested Chase Peter Goodale, 28, of Nanaimo, on Saturday.

Suspect pulls knife on staff at Nanaimo 7-Eleven
Nanaimo RCMP looking for suspect who took items then produced knife when staff approached.

Hereditary protestors delay Swartz Bay ferry sailings

Protesters blocking the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal “by land and kayak” delayed some of BC Ferries’ morning sailings.

Protesters began to clear the Swartz Bay terminal just before 9 a.m. BC Ferries said traffic is now flowing to the terminal but all departing vessels will be delayed until the highway is cleared.

Both the 7 a.m. ferries leaving Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen were held back while BC Ferries determined “the scope of the protest.” The 7 a.m. sailing out of Tsawwassen left the terminal 70 minutes behind schedule and the 9 a.m. sailing was cancelled. MORE

Mechanical problem disrupts Duke Point ferry sailings

0118 - The Duke Point to Tsawwassen sas been delayed due to a mechanical issue. The Queen of Alberni, scheduled to depart at 12:45 p.m., was held at Duke Point and is 45 minutes behind schedule as crew needed to investigate and resolve an issue with one of the vessel’s clutches.

The sailing departing at 3:15 p.m. from Tsawwassen will be affected and the 5:45 p.m. ferry leaving Duke Point could be affected.

If you have reservations check in for scheduled sailing times to keep your spot.

Ice from delivery truck smashes into van windshield

0118 - No one was injured after ice fell from a delivery truck and caved in the windshield of a minivan near Nanaimo Friday afternoon.

The incident happened in the southbound lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway near Kipp Road, south of Nanaimo, at about 3 p.m. Friday, when a block of frozen snow blew off the roof of the truck and struck the vehicle behind it. MORE

New child care spaces include drug treatment program

0117 - Sixteen new child care spaces in Nanaimo include a program with Edgewood Treatment Alternatives for on-site care to children whose mothers are in treatment.

Kids & Company will create 16 new spaces - eight infant/toddler spaces and eight for children aged three to five years. The funding will be used to renovate an existing residential home to add and furniture for the child care facility.

An additional four spaces in the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund will assisst The Nanaimo Innovation Academy Foundation to create new infant/toddler spaces. The centre offers programs for families, including free monthly parenting workshops. Two of the early childhood educators who work at the foundation are fluent in Mandarin and Spanish.

More than 120 new child care spaces in Nanaimo have been funded since July 2018,  part of more than 10,400 funded in the past 15 months.

Victim takes after suspects in stolen credit card case

0117 -A man and a woman involved in the theft of a credit card may be in more hot water than they bargained for, hoping police find them first.

RCMP say the 27-year-old victim's wallet had been stolen on Jan. 12 from his unlocked vehicle, and that he did not report the theft but was monitoring the credit card for fraudulent transactions. On Jan 14 he received notification his credit card had been used at the 7-11 in Harewood, and on Jan 13, at the Co-op on Victoria Crescent.  

He drove to the 7-11 with a baseball bat, and after speaking with an employee, confronted several persons in a vehicle in the parking lot. They fled, followed by the victim who told police the suspects were dropped off at a nearby location. An RCMP Police Dog located several pieces of clothing discarded by the suspects. They and the vehicle were not located.

Both suspects are Caucasian. The wallet and credit card have not been recovered. 

"We do not recommend any of the actions taken by the victim. If your wallet is stolen and it contains credit cards, you should always call your credit card company to cancel them and call the police to report the theft. Confronting individuals is not advisable, and showing up with a baseball bat is never a good idea”, said Cst Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

If anyone has information on the identity of the suspects, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Man with gun attempts to rob liquor store

0117 - A liquor store clerk was not injured when a man with a gun attempted to rob the Quarterway Liquor Store on Wednesday. 

Cst. Gary O’Brien said the female store clerk was threatened with a gun and thrown to the ground. She got up and ran to the neighbouring pub to alert staff.

Police are looking for an  Indigenous male in mid twenties, 5’8” with a slim build. He has a star-shaped tattoo behind right ear. He was wearing a black hoodie, grey sweat pants and had multi-colored kids packpack.

Snowfall was a record breaker
Nanaimo Airport set new benchmarks on both Tuesdayand Wednesday, for snowfall within a 24-hour period on those dates. The airport recorded 21.2 centimetres on Tuesday, beating the old record of 19.1 centimetres set in 1951.

Supreme Court rules Trans Mountain pipeline can go ahead

Work is already under way on Trans Mountain expansion.

0116 –The highest court in the land has struck down British Columbia's  attempt to stop the Trans Mountain Pipeline. The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously rejected British Columbia’s move to regulate the flow of heavy oil across its borders, which resolves one of the last court challenges to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. 

Supreme Court justices unanimously dismissed B.C.’s appeal of a lower court decision, which found that interprovincial trade is federal jurisdiction and the flow of commodities like heavy oil and bitumen should be overseen by federal regulators.

“At the end of the day, the (National Energy Board) is the body entrusted with regulating the flow of energy resources across Canada to export markets,” Justice Mary Newbury wrote in her decision, which also noted “the TMX project is not only a ‘British Columbia project’.”

“The project affects the country as a whole, and falls to be regulated taking into account the interests of the country as a whole,” she wrote.

No lead problem in Nanaimo's drinking water

Nanaimo's water treatment plant.

By Merv Unger,
Nanaimonet.com

0115 – Nanaimo’s drinking water and its infrastructure is safe and does not contain lead, assures Bill Sims General Manager, Engineering and Public Works. Nanaimo’s source water and drinking water in its distribution system is lead-free as it is for most Canadian sources, says Sims.

A TV network has aired a series of reports, through media and journalism schools, questioning the safety of drinking water in Canada. The students knocked on doors of older homes and sampled tap water for lead. 

The main source of lead concentration in drinking water is old plumbing, lead solder and water sitting in plumbing for extended periods. As an example, schools will run cold water taps for several minutes to bring fresh water in, after school holidays, which is usually effective in flushing elevated lead levels.

Buildings on private property which may have old plumbing may have lead in the plumbing. However, the good news is that the City adds soda ash, which elevates the level of pH at the water treatment plant as corrosion control. This should go a long way to ameliorating the problem of lead leaching into the water on private properties.

Nanaimo’s water treatment plant adds soda ash to raise the pH of the water and controlling corrosion in old plumbing. Higher pH water is not acidic but lower pH water can leach lead from old plumbing.

Modern plumbing fixtures and solder are generally lead-free, says Sims.

City appoints Legin as manager of corporate services

Shelley Legin

0115 – Shelley Legin has been named General Manager, Corporate Services, for the city, effective Jan.  20. 

She will have oversight of Finance, Information Technology, Police Support Services, and Emergency Management.

She was the Chief Financial Officer and Vice-President of Administration with Vancouver Island University and brings a strong and diverse background in finance, risk and emergency management, public relations, strategy development and governance. 

Her career spans more than 30 years with the past 20 in senior executive leadership positions in government, private, and co-operative sectors.  She holds a Bachelor of Administration degree from the University of Regina, a Masters of Business Administration from Queen’s University, and is a Chartered Professional Accountant. 

Chief Administrative Officer Jake Rudolph said Legin's broad range of skills and expertise will be an excellent addition to the leadership at city hall.

Krog blasts hypocrisy and stupidity of drug contraditions

Mayor Leonard Krog

0114 – The city is caught in the middle of an incredible mess of hypocrisy and stupidity between drug enforcement and harm reduction, says Mayor Leonard Krog. And he is fed up with the runaround on drug use.

His comment came during debate on changing zoning regulations to encompass supervised consumption. The News Bulletin quoted him as saying the provincial and federal governments have to step up and address the hypocrisy of trying to restrict the use of substances while health officials ensure that they take the drugs so they don’t die in the process, Krog said. He termed it ridiculous on every level. He also called of a national referendum on the drug and homelessness crisis.

Council voted 7-2 to create new zoning amendments to define the definition of medical offices, excluding supervised consumption but potentially allowing for other drug addiction treatment services, and also refer discussion of supervised consumption sites to the city’s health and housing task force.

Police seek driver of hit-and-run incident

0115 - Nanaimo RCMP are looking for the driver of a van involved in a hit and run accident January 3rd, 2020, in the parking lot of a Petro Can gas station, located at 4320 Uplands Drive. The driver of the vehicle that was struck, was sent to local hospital, with serious but non-life threatening injuries. EHS and Police responded to the incident.

Investigators spoke with the injured female driver, age 53, and an independent witness. Both said, the injured driver had opened her side door and was egetting out of her vehicle, when the other vehicle backed up, pinning the victim’s arm between the door post and frame of her vehicle. Several people yelled for the driver to stop who went forward and drove away. 

The suspect driver was described as an elderly, heavy set white female, with white hair and some dark streaks. The vehicle is described as a dark grey van, with no hubcaps on the back wheels, and a handicap sign hanging in the front window. 

If anyone has information on the identity of the driver or of the vehicle involved, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.

UN rules on Indigenous rights under the microscope

Brian McGuigan

CANCELLED due to weather conditions. It will now be held next Tuesday.

0114 – An expert in Aboriginal and treaty rights will explain the impact of the The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) Wednesday at the monthly Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Coast Bastion.

B.C. passed legislation requiring the province to align the laws of BC with the UN. Brian McGuigan of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers will explain the implications of that legislation, particularly in the natural resource sector.

McGuigan has 25 years of experience specializing in Aboriginal and treaty rights with extensive experience in negotiations. He has acted for First Nations, federal, provincial, territorial governments and project proponents. 

He has extensive experience in negotiation of agreements having negotiated and prepared: 

  • Consultation and benefit agreements on behalf of both First Nations and industry in oil and gas, renewable energy and mining. 
  • Treaty and self-government agreements in the Yukon as Chief Federal Negotiator as well as several other precedent setting agreements involving the exercise of First Nations powers to pass laws with respect to taxation and the administration of justice. 
  • Fisheries agreements as the lead negotiator in the Atlantic Canadian fishery following the Supreme Court of Canada decisions in Marshall. 

McGuigan led the development of the Government of Alberta First Nations consultation policy adopted in 2005 and has been involved in consultation matters since that time. 
He is now Manager, Aboriginal Policy at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

Three fires set in North end trash bins

RCMP are investigating three separate fires in dumpsters and recyclable materials in north Nanaimo early Monday and Tuesday,.

The first fire occurred at Woodgrove Centre shortly before 1:30 a.m. Monday and was knocked down with fire extinguishers by mall security before firefighters arrived.

Two more fires were set in dumpsters at the ABC Family Restaurant and the McDonald’s trash storage area on Mary Ellen Drive at about 1 a.m. Tuesday. SEE MORE

Homeless task force enlists professional services

Coun. Don Bonner

0114 - Nanaimo’s Health and Housing Task Force has enlisted Turner Strategies and HelpSeeker to address community challenges of homelessness. The task force was created by city council with the Nanaimo Homeless Coalition and United Way.

The team will be led by Dr. Alina Turner and a national team who has successfully supported more than 100 communities in similar efforts across Canada, including Calgary, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge and Abbotsford. 

“We have brought together the right decision-makers and frontline service agencies to tackle homelessness leveraging our combined resources and will,” says Signy Madden, Executive Director of the United Way and a member of the Task Force. “This project is an important step to making a difference for our community and helping those who need it most.” 

“We know there are committed caring agencies already delivering services and we know that the number of people experiencing homelessness has more than doubled,” says Task Force co-Chair Coun. Don Bonner. “Through planning and co-ordinating efforts we are making the most of our resources and developing and implementing a system to streamline efforts and dramatically shift the way these services are accessed.”

A partnership of local organizations has come together to leverage funding and co-ordinate services will involve co-ordinated approaches to streamline frontline rehousing and health support efforts focusing on community members with complex needs. 

The HelpSeeker platform will connect Nanaimo citizens with local resources for mental health, addictions, housing, recreation, early childhood, and more; plus more than 100,000 Canada-wide social service resources. The platform will give the partners critical real-time data to make better decisions and funding allocations.

The initiative is funded by the Government of Canada’s Reaching Home Strategy, the United  and the City.

UPDATE: Police find owner of urn found near park bench

Urn found at park bench

UPDATE 0115 - The owner of the urn found on Saturday has been identified. Investigators have had contact with the individual and are making arrangements to have the urn and its contents returned.

0114 – RCMP are trying to find the owner of  an urn filled with ashes, left at the foot of a park bench. The urn was found last Saturday near the Nanaimo Yacht Club, at 400 Newcastle Avenue.

The urn has a serial number but funeral directors say it did not come from them.  If you recognize the urn, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2020-1290.

Jan 13, 2020

Intentional fire at Woodrove

Police are investigating a fire at Woodgrove Centre early this morning. Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters attended after a fire ignited in recyclables in a storage and maintenance area of the shopping centre.  passerby spotted the fire in the storage area near Toys R Us and alerted a security guard. He said the fire was contained to the storage area.

SIX VEHICLES COLLIDED on Needham Street near Nicol Street this morning. No injuries were reported. This was one of numerous mishaps around the city with drivers experiencing the first snow of the season. If you don’t really need to get out, think twice about driving. 

NRGH emergency staff support fund for former police dog

Police service dog Jager hams it up with nurse Sherry Volk.

Nanaimo RCMP Cst Josh Grafton and his Police Service Dog Jager, made a very special visit to the nurses and doctors of the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital emergency room recently. They were there to get a $700 donation from staff for Ned's Wish, a registered charitable organization, providing financial support to retired police dogs. 

Ned's Wish, created in 2016, in memory of Police Services Dog Ned who, after retiring from active duty, died of injuries incurred while on the job. Since Ned’s death in 2016, this organization has been able to support a number of retired police dogs. Specifically, Timber who required a specially designed wheelchair after being diagnosed with degenerative mylopathy. Then there was Ozzy, who has severe allergies and needs medically approved dog food, and Tito, who needs pain medication as a result of an old injury. The list goes on.

Working in the Emergency department, you see trauma in lives every day. The staff in Nanaimo Emergency are big dog lovers, and appreciate that the Police Dogs and their handlers also face dangerous and unpredictable incidents.

The staff at Nanaimo Emergency wanted to give a gift of gratitude to the police dogs, to let them and their handlers know, that we appreciate what they do for our community, said Sherry Volk, Nursing Unit Assistant in the Emergency Room of NRGH, and the local contact for Ned’s Wish.

Financial donations to Ned’s Wish have a significant impact on assisting with health care costs and enhancing the quality of life of retired police dogs across Canada. To find out more about Ned’s Wish, go to www.nedswish.com

Impaired driving suspected in Malahat crash
The West Shore RCMP have launched an impaired driving investigation after a single vehicle rolled over on the Malahat highway, snarling traffic Friday morning, Police say the driver was the only occupant of the vehicle and was not injured in the crash. 1228

Police looking for missing Port Hardy teen
Mounties are asking the public for help locating 16-year-old Jessica "Jessie" Clair who was last seen Dec. 23 at the Port Hardy Ministry of Children and Family Services. Police describe her as an Indigenous girl with brown eyes and shoulder-length dark hair. She is 5'2" and weighs about 110 pounds, police said. Anyone with information is asked to call Port Hardy RCMP at 250-949-6335 anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477. 1228

 

State of the City – Mayor Leonard Krog's yearend report

STATE OF THE CITY – It’s just over one year since Nanaimo elected a new city council. Mayor Leonard Krog has provided a progress report on the city in a 10-minute presentation on Nanaimonet.com at https://www.nanaimonet.com/433181220. Please share.

Alzheimer’s Awareness campaign open house

More than 70 percent of respondents felt people living with dementia experience stigma says  a B.C. survey conducted by Insights West in 2018. 

Stigma – which is negative attitudes and misconceptions held by family, friends and professionals – can be a barrier that prevents people from seeking out a diagnosis if they are beginning to see possible symptoms, or it may keep them from accessing services.

This January, residents of Nanaimo are invited to take part in Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, a national campaign focused on changing the general public’s perceptions of what it means to live with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Changing perceptions is key to reducing stigma, which ultimately supports people living with dementia to stay active and engaged in the community.

To celebrate Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, residents are invited to an open house at the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s North and Central Vancouver Island Resource Centre in Nanaimo on January 16. It runs from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Alzheimer Resource Centre, Unit 4 – 4488 Wellington Road.

A local community member will share the experience of the disease and the Society will recognizing a local volunteer whose contributions have eased the dementia journey for people in the community.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. connects people living with dementia, their caregivers and family members to support and education at any point in the disease through First Link® dementia support.

Nanaimo residents People can connect to support by asking their health-care provider for a referral, by visiting the resource centre or by calling the First Link® Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033. To learn more about the Alzheimer Society of B.C. and Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, visit alzheimerbc.org.

CPA Alberta suspends Mema pending diciplinary hearing

Victor Mema

The Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta temporarily suspended Victor Mema’s registration in early July, pending the outcome of a disciplinary proceedings. 

The Coast Reporter newspaper of Sechelt reported this week that the CPAA has confirmed “a hearing into allegations of unprofessional conduct” against Mema, the former Sechelt and later Nanaimo chief financial officer. 

The district launched a small claims action alleging that after Mema left Sechelt, “it came to the district’s attention that the defendant had charged a significant number of items to the district credit card without proper approval from his supervisor.” Mema, who now lives in Surrey, left Sechelt for Nanaimo in 2015. 

Mema was released from his Nanaimo job in 2018, and CPAA is also alleging that he “failed to act with integrity and due care in carrying out his duties as chief financial officer of the city. The details include using a corporate credit card for more than $14,000 in personal expenses and failing to promptly reimburse when repayment was requested.

Mema later launched a Human Rights complaint alleging racism.

FULL STORY

Ferries will eliminate fuel surcharge on Tuesday

1216 - B.C. Ferries will remove its 1.5-per cent fuel surcharge as of Tuesday, Dec. 17, just in time for Christmas travel.

The 1.5-per cent surcharge has been in place since June 1 and amounted to 25 cents per person and 85 cents per vehicle on major routes and 15 cents per person and 45 cents per vehicle on smaller routes.

“The recent decrease in the price of fuel allows us to eliminate the fuel surcharges, which is great news for travellers,” said Alana Gallagher, B.C. Ferries’ vice-president and CFO, in the release. “We understand that affordability is important to our customers and every bit helps.”

FULL STORY

Two Gabriola Island plane crash victims identified

1216 - The children of the couple who died in the plane crash on Gabriola on Dec. 10 have come forward and identified the couple as Allan and Katheryn Boudreau (both aged 53) of Saltair.

Jeffrey (28), Rae (23), and Bridget (25), contacted the Gabriola Sounder newspaper on Saturday, Dec. 14 to provide a statement regarding the tragedy in which their parents died — and who their parents were as they lived out their lives in the Cowichan Valley. Jeffrey currently lives in Lake Louise, Alberta; Rae in Victoria, and Bridget in Kelowna. MORE

Oil spill reponse station contruction set for spring

Marine response station contruction to begin in spring

1216 - Western Canada Marine Response Corporation is moving forward to build a $10-million oil spill response base on the waterfront at the Port of Nanaimo. 

WCMRC will be responsible for cleaning oil spills along British Columbia’s coast. 15 different vessels and 34 employees will be stationed at the Nanaimo base, which will also serve as a training centre and hub for WCMRC’s Vancouver Island operations. Additonal stations will be located in Sidney, Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Beecher Bay for the $150-million spill response program as part of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion approval. Contruction in Nanaimo is slated to begin between April and June next year.

UPDATE – missing Nanaimo man found safe and sound

Rober Gillies

RCMP reported today that Robert Gillies has been found.
 
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