102 new coronavirus cases reported Tuesday

1006 – British Columbia health officials reported 102 new cases of coronavirus today, including one on Vancouver Island, bringing the provincial total to 9,841 cases. 

The province’s death toll is 244, after two deaths were announced Tuesday. There are 1,384 active cases while 3,089 people are under monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 5,038 cases of COVID-19 reported in the Fraser Health region, 3,612 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 556 in the Interior Health, 324 in the Northern Health, 122 in Island Health, and 90 cases in people who reside outside of Canada.

Warrant issues for defendant in theft of pickup truck

Jason Klughart

1006 – A warrant has been issued for 29-year-old Jason Klughart for Possession of Stolen Property over $5000, after he failed to appear as scheduled, in Nanaimo Provincial Court. 

It is alleged that on Aug. 28, he stole a pickup truck from Harbor Air Sea Planes. The vehicle was recovered later that same day parked at the Port Place Mall. Investigators reviewed video surveillance from the Mall and were able to observe the accused driving the vehicle to the Mall, then walking away. Klughart was arrested later that same day and a search of his clothing at the time of his arrest, located the keys to the stolen truck.

Klughart is  5 ft. 10, 160 pounds, with brown hair, green eyes and of no fixed address. He has a scar on his right hand and a tattoo of a cross on his upper right arm. If you have information on the whereabouts of Jason Klughart, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Nanaimo RCMP officer will not be charged

1006 – The Independent Investigations Office has ruled that a Nanaimo RCMP member will not face charges from an incident in which a woman suffered a broken leg while being detained under the Mental Health Act on March 18. 

The incident happened at a residential facility operated by the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society. The complainant was angry and verbally threatening toward facility staff, the report noted, and one of the officers who was called to the scene told investigators that “there was more than sufficient grounds for a mental health apprehension.” MORE

Tuesday, Oct. 6

Today's Weather

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Premier John Horgan has committed to provide a free coronavirus vaccine to British Columbians who want one — once a vaccine is approved and available. “We have worked hard to keep people healthy and safe through the pandemic,” said Horgan. “The difficult times are not over yet, because the virus will be with us for the foreseeable future. But once there is a safe and approved vaccine, we will ensure every British Columbian can get one.” Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson has already promised free flu shots if the Liberals are elected on Oct. 24.

ANOTHER ELECTION – North Oyster voters will elect a new regional director on Nov. 28 in a bylection in the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s Area H (North Oyster-Diamond). Two advance voting opportunities will take place on Nov. 18 and 24. Area H alternate director Colin Haime has filled the position since September 2019 when former director Mary Marcotte took a six month leave of absence and then resigned on March 6.

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is now releasing the balance of the $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) in a second round of funding. This second round of support is being administered across the country in collaboration with United Way in our community. United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island is set for another round of Emergency Community Support Fund money in ourl communities to help keep vulnerable people safe. The $350 million fund was announced on April 21.  Through the initial disbursement, The United Way funded 80 agencies through round one. It supported front-line service agencies adapt their processes and programs to continue to support vulnerable individuals and families through the pandemic.

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT – Canadians forced to miss work because of coronavirus can start applying for financial support from the federal government. The new benefits come amid concerns about new lockdowns and job losses as governments try to get a handle on the growing number of new cases and prevent health-care systems from being overwhelmed. All parties in Parliament supported the multi-billion-dollar suite of new benefits. The new caregiver benefit responds to numerous calls since the pandemic started for more support for parents and others who are forced to miss work to care for a dependent. MORE

HALLOWEEN IS LESS than a month away and the BC Centre for Disease Control released guidelines se we can all have safe fun amid the pandemic. Health officials are encouraging trick-or-treaters to participate in small groups and only with people in the same social bubble. They also urge you to incorporate a non-medical mask or face covering into costumes but not worn over costume masks or face coverings as that may make it difficult to breathe. They also wanat you to stay in their own neighbourhoods and avoid busy areas or indoors (in places like malls). It is also being recommended that homeowners find creative ways to hand out treats while keeping physical distance and limiting contact. And if you’re feeling ill, turn off the porch lights and stay home. MORE

WHERE IS SIDNEY MANTEE? – Nanaimo RCMP need public  help to find Sidney Joseph Mantee, who has not been seen since March. His family, who live in Saskatchewan, contacted the Nanaimo RCMP recently to express their concern for him because no contact with his family for so long is out of character for him.  Mantee, 32, lived on Rosehill Street in Nanaimo and had mentioned that he may move to Victoria. He does not use social media. He is 5-foot-11, 180 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. If you know anything about where he might be, contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2020-36242.

New modelling suggests schools not causing spike in virus transmission
There have been dozens of COVID-19 exposure events at B.C. schools since they reopened last month, but new modelling suggests sending kids back to class hasn't caused a spike in community transmission. 

Entire class ordered to self-isolate at Vancouver school due to virus
Parents whose children attend an elementary school in downtown Vancouver were given a notice over the weekend, warning them students in a specific cohort need to self-isolate due to a COVID-19 exposure.

Patients not being admitted to hospital due to virus outbreak
A hospital in B.C.'s Lower Mainland has stopped admitting new patients as it works to address an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, but the emergency department remains open. 

Armed man wanted on Canada-wide warrants is in Victoria, say police
Victoria police are on the lookout for a man who is wanted on Canada-wide warrants and who may currently be in local parks where homeless encampments are set up. 

RCMP investigating after gunshots reported in Campbell River
Campbell River RCMP are investigating after gunshots were reportedly heard in the community during the early hours of Monday morning. 

Sooke RCMP continue search for missing woman
The search continues for a missing 45-year-old woman who was last seen in the Beecher Bay area of East Sooke Wednesday. 

Island Health has 11 new virus cases over the weekend

Island Health reported eleven cases of Coronavirus over the weekend, the biggest three-day increase since late April. There were 358 cases over the entire province for the weekend.

There are now 10 are active cases in Island Health, with five in the central Vancouver Island region. 

Provincially, 1,353 cases are considered active, including 66 people in hospital, 16 in critical or intensive care. Four people also died from virus over the weekend, all in the lower mainland. MORE

Monday, Sept. 5

Today's Weather

CITY SERVICES REOPENING – As the pandemic continues, business with the City is still best done online and by phone. However, with safety protocols in place to help keep both visitors and staff safe, City Hall (455 Wallace Street) and the Service and Resource Centre (411 Dunsmuir Street) are once again open for in-person business, from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday. Watch the video HERE

GREAT TOY DRIVE – Things are different this year for most organization and that leads them to seek alternatives. The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive is looking for warehouse or storefront space to accommodate a different type of toy drive this year. Organizers and board members are grappling with numerous challenges. Before a drive can be held, a secure location is needed to sort and distribute our community donations. Anyone who can offer, or knows of a facility that can be offered, approximately 3,500 square feet of space for about a week in mid-December should contact the toy drive through its website –https://thegreatnanaimotoydrive.ca/contact/  MORE

MEMORIES IN HISTORY – Have you seen the Mount Benson Branch 256 Legion recently? Humanity in Art has begun painting murals on the outside of the building, depicting historic events. The first mural is complete at the Legion on East Wellington Road. Lauren Semple, of Humanity in Arts, said the murals were inspired by Legion members. They put a lot of work into brainstorming their ideas and concepts of what they wanted the murals to look like. They brought a very clear vision of poppies and the memorial and Spitfires flying over the sunrise, so it’s really awesome to work with them and bring their vision to life, says Lauren. Remaining murals will feature the four different flags Canadian soldiers served under and many different branches of the military, all fitting under the Legion’s mandate of remembering Canadian service men and their sacrifice. Full story

REVISITING THE MEMORIES – Each November brings back the memories and the salute to Canadians who fought in two world wars. Doug Slowski of Nanaimo has made numerous tours of the cemeteries and memorials in Europe. We are privileged to repost this for readers of Nanaimonet.com HERE

DISTANT SANTA – This year’s visit with Santa will be a little different and shopping centres are working to devise ways this can happen while still physical distancing. Some have already created virtual visits where children can talk to Santa on video link while he sits six feet away. Some malls say it’s too early to say how they’ll ensure kids can still meet Santa while respecting public health directives.

COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Port Alberni school
Island Health says a COVID-19 exposure has occurred at a Port Alberni high school, the first known exposure at a Vancouver Island school since classes restarted in September. 

Motorcyclist stopped for using paper licence plate for second time
Police stopped a motorcyclist in Burnaby last week for using a fake licence plate made of paper, and they say it's not the first time the driver has been stopped for that exact offence.

Four Vancouver-bound flights added to list of virus exposures
Passengers on the Toronto and Mexico City flights inbound to Vancouver should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days. 

Sunday, Oct 4

SOMETHING NEW – Almost everything is going online these days and shopping is no exception. Some retailers are no longer producing paper flyers, putting them online only. We’ve added a new feature on Nanaimonet.com, all your favourites right on your computer screen. Check it out and let us know if you’ll use them. CLICK

WHAT A MESS – Island Health tells us that the Coronavirus the phone lines will be able to handle all the calls. Island Health’s COVID-19 Testing Call Centre will now place callers into a callback list instead of putting them on hold. Some callers got a busy message or were disconnected. The health authority then launched an online form and text line for users to sign up to get a callback to arrange a test appointment. But now that has been dropped as the phone lines will be able to handle all the calls. The text and online form have been discontinued, but callers already enrolled will be reached in their order. Island Health says they are still dealing with several hundred calls every day and the new system should result in a faster, more efficient process. I guess we’ll see

MASKED ON THE BUS – Transit riders are buying into RDN Transit’s mask-wearing policy. RDN Transit instituted a mandatory face covering policy Aug. 24 to stem Coronavirus transmission. The policy was about education as opposed to enforcement and Darren Marshall, RDN manager of transit operations, said 93 per cent of customers were wearing masks during information gathering between Sept. 10-18. He said thr spot check results are in line with other transit systems throughout the province. TransLink in Vancouver did a similar spot check and they were about 92 per cent. MORE

OCEAN BUSINESS – Kendra MacDonald, CEO of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, will be a keynote speaker at the virtual State of the Island Economic Summit, October 27-29. The Ocean Supercluster drives innovation and growth in the ocean economy. With a team working across six cities in Atlantic Canada, MacDonald is focused on changing the culture of doing business in the ocean. She will speak about Canada’s ocean opportunity, the growing global demand for ocean solutions, while highlighting the benefits of cluster activity for Canada as a whole. MORE 

No injuries in fire that destroyed modular home

1004 – There were no injuries when fire engulfed a family’s home Saturday evening. Two people were home, however both were outside. Paramedics treated one person for smoke inhalation.

Crews arrived to find them moving cars away from the home, an action which is discouraged by firefighters in these situations.

Fire Rescue crews responded to the 2300 block of Barclay Rd. just after 5:30 p.m. Capt. Earle Ten Have said flames were coming out both sides of the modular home which made fighting the fire tricky, especially with metal siding covering the building. MORE

Saturday, Oct. 3

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – If you love boating on Brannen Lake I have great news. The Brannen Lake boat ramps is open again. Improvements done during the last month have now been completed. Go for it!

LAYING THE BLAME – Affordable housing is something we’ll hear ad nauseum over the next few weeks as politicians try to persuade us they have the solutions for what ails us. We hear all the platitudes about fixing what’s wrong. The bottom line is they are all blowing smoke – politicians are responsible for lack of affordability. Read my column HERE.

VOLUNTARY RULES don’t seem to work. Most shoppers have been co-operating with a mandatory mask rule at Woodgrove Centre, but some are still flaunting the rules.  Now Woodgrove’s management team says as of Monday, customers will be asked to leave if they refuse to comply with temperature checks and the mandatory mask rule. “If a customer refuses a temperature check, they must have a mask check; if a customer refuses both, they will be asked to leave the centre,” notes the letter from Bin Wang, CEO and general manager. If you don’t have a mask they will supply one for a donation of a buck to the Nanaimo Child Development Centre. Customers with medical conditions and toddlers under two years old are exempt.

AS IS USUAL in all elections, the Nanaimo Chamber will be have a Candidates Forum for Nanaimo candidates on Oct. 14 at 6:30 p.m. The only way you can participate is by watching the broadcast live on Shaw TV - Channel 4. You can submit questions for candidates – email info@nanaimochamber.bc.ca – with the subject line 'Candidate Question'. With this new format, it may not be possible to address every question submitted. Nanaimonet is building a comprehensive election section where you can get to know all the candidates HERE. We know the three main parties have nominated candidates for Nanaimo, and are awaiting the candidate information.

THERE ARE JOBS available for election day, all with good pay. Click HERE for full application information.

BAMBI IS SICK - The Province is tracking an outbreak of a possible new disease in deer on the Gulf Islands. Adenovirus hemorrhagic disease (AHD) is suspected cause of death of more than 60 deer on two Gulf Islands. Further testing is needed to confirm a definitive diagnosis. While there is no known human health risk from the virus, and there is no evidence that it can be transmitted to humans, hunters in the area are being advised not to consume meat from animals found dead, obviously ill or acting abnormally prior to death. As well, research indicates that it is not transmissible to livestock and pets. MORE

Weekend Coronavirus report show 161 new infections

1002 – The province reported 161 new cases of Corona virus in the past 24 hours on Friday, none in Island Health. This is the second-highest number of daily cases in a 24-hour period. Three deaths were reported, bringing the toll to 238.

B.C. has had 9,381 cases since the pandemic began. Sixty-three people are hospitalized, down six, 16 of whom are in intensive care, down three. There are no new community or school outbreaks reported.

Island Health has four active cases: three on southern Vancouver Island and one on central Vancouver Island. There are no hospitalizations in Island Health, while 1,037 COVID-19 tests were done over the last 24 hours.

There are 162,666 confirmed cases in Canada including 9,409 deaths. Johns Hopkins University and Medicine says the number of confirmed cases worldwide is more than 34.4 million. There have been more than one million deaths.
With files from The Canadian Press

Mortocyclist killed in intersection crash at Turner Road

1002 – A motorcyclist has died in a collision with a motor vehicle at about 2:45 pm this afternoon on Turner Road and Highway 19A.

Several witnesses have reported that the motorcyclist was travelling north on Highway 19A failed to stop for a red light at the intersection and collided with a vehicle turning south from Turner Road, onto the highway. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

There were no other injuries. The intersection will be closed for at least four hours. All vehicle traffic north of Turner Road and travelling south on Highway 19A, is being diverted on to Metral Road from Enterprise Road. All vehicle traffic travelling north on Highway 19A and south of Turner Road, is being diverted onto Uplands Drive from Oliver Road.

Please avoid the area. If anyone left the scene before speaking with an officer, and has dash cam video of the collision, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Friday, Oct. 2

LADYSMITH LIGHTS WILL SHINE – The Ladysmith Festival of Lights light-up parade has been shelved due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but hold on to your britches, the light show will go on. As many as 25,000 people traditionally line First Avenue to watch the lightup on more than 200,000 lights. Volunteers are working hard to install all the lights and decorations before the end of November. The lights are expected to be flipped on without the crowds. Organizers ask people to stay away when the lights do get turned on. Duck Paterson, the godfather of the festival, said they want people to come and see the lights but don’t want thousands coming at one time because safety is paramount.

NEW UNITED APPROACH – the United Way has kicked off its fall campaign without the annual kickoff breakfast. That will make this year’s campaign that much more important with the agency asking businesses and individuals to employ workplace giving. United Way executive director Signy Madden spoke at Monday’s city council meeting. She said last year’s campaign allowed the United Way to help more than 10,000 people in the region through 40 programs across 31 agencies. United Way’s local partner agencies need more help than ever because the pandemic has led to increased demand for social services. MORE

TAKING OUT THE GARBAGE is a little different now for rural areas outside the city. Automated garbage collection went into operation yesterday for thousands of single-family homes. Food waste bins are cleared weekly, while bi-weekly garbage collection occurs between Cedar and Bowser. Regional District solid waste manager Larry Gardner said a lot of preparation went into the big change away from manual curbside pickup, adding staff are tired, it’s been a bit of a haul to get to this point. MORE

CONGRATULATIONS to Julie Bevan, the city’s Manager of Culture And Events for winning the Above and Beyond award at the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. The awards were originally scheduled to take place in April; but the program was adapted to a virtual presentation from the Port Theatre. Julie was the Executive Director at Nanaimo Art Gallery before moving to the new role with the City in March. MORE 

A FINE VINTAGE – This could be one of their best vintages yet for Vancouver Island wineries. Cherry Point Winery in Cobble Hill began it first week of the harvest. The farm’s harvest of its 22 acres is expected to last three to four weeks. The crop has turned out better than expected with recent warm dry weather after a colder, wetter start this year. Cherry Point Estate Wines owner Xavier Bonilla said while the seaon did not start very well  lately everything turned around and the grapes have rebounded positively,” he said.

FOCUS ON DISTRIBUTION –  How can we solve the issues of distribution and access to markets that have long inhibited potential for Island food producers? Demand for local products at an all-time high, so need to find a solution for this problem so that our local producers can focus on meeting the growing demand while supported by an efficient distribution system. Expert panelists at the State of the Island Economic Summit, October 27 to 29, will address the challenges and emerging opportunities in our 'Getting Goods to Market' session.
Moderator – Bruce Williams, CEO, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
Jaymie Collins, General Manager, Vancouver Island Farm Products
Mark Smith, Principal, Query FusionDavid McCormick, Director Public Relations and Business Development, Port Alberni Port Authority
Port Alberni Port Authority for sponsoring this session.

82 new cases of COVID-19 reported in B.C., 1 new case in Island Health
Nanaimo man in hospital with burns after attempt to control shed fire

Suspect arrested in sports field wire theft

1002 – A 31-year-old man has been arrested for a wire theft that put the lights out of commission at Merle Logan multi-purpose playing fields. 

Information provided to investigators led them to a red barns at the Beban Park Recreation Centre. When police arrived, the suspect was stripping the coating from the stolen wire. Also recovered was an E-bike, reported stolen on Sept.  6, from outside Woodgrove Centre. 

City officials assessed the wire and said most of it was usable and could be re-installed over the next couple of days, said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

The man was arrested on two counts of Possession of Stolen Property and one count of Breach of an existing Undertaking. He was released from custody on an Undertaking with his first court appearance set for Dec.1 in Nanaimo Provincial Court.

Winter tires now mandatory on Malahat, other highways

1002 – Winter tires are now required on the Malahat and other highways on Vancouver Island,  until March 31.

A winter tire is defined as any tire that has either an M+S or mountain and snowflake symbol on it, with a minimum tire tread depth of 3.5 millimetres. Drivers that do not have proper winter tires on their vehicle could face a fine of $109 if spotted.

The provincial government is also talking snow chains – the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced a beefed-up fine system for commercial truckers who neglect to chain up in harsh conditions.  MORE 

Federal Green party to announce new leader Saturday

The Green Party of Canada will announce its new leader during at the Ontario Art Gallery tomorrow, Oct. 3. This is the first time in 13 years that a new party leader has been elected. Former leader, Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands) was elected in 2006. 

Theft of wire shuts down artificial turf sports field

1001 – The artificial multi-use turf fields, at 2235 Dorman Road, are closed after thieves stole between 300-500 feet of copper wire from lighting fixtures Wednesday morning. The facility will remain closed until repair work is completed.

Thieves accessed the wiring in a manner that suggests some prior knowledge of the wiring in the park. The covers were then opened and the wiring was removed. Fibre optic wiring was cut but not removed.

, said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

Anyone with information on this thieft is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. 

Investigators suspect arson in car fire


Fire investigators suspect arson in a car fire Saturday night in the 100 block of Thunderbird Drive. Investigators believe it was intentionally set with an accelerant. Nanaimo Fire and Rescue, and police responded to the fire which caused significant damage to the rear exterior of a 2016 model car. 

Police conducted neighbourhood inquiries and determined that a vehicle was heard earlier in the evening, racing up and down the street squealing its tires. No description was obtained for the driver or vehicle and it is unknown if this vehicle or its occupants is related to the fire.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2020-35470. 

Thursday, Oct. 1

THE DAILY BUZZ first outlined the problems local residents are experiencing trying to get Covid-19 tests are continuing. Island Health officials apologize for the frustration in getting through the phone lines and say they are making significant changes, but they said that more than a week ago. There may be good news in that Health Canada has approved a rapid test for the virus. Abbott Diagnostics ID Now has been approved and the government will buy nearly eight million of the tests. The test can produce results in less than 13 minutes in the same place a nasal swab is taken. The federal government ordered 7.9 million test kits, including the swabs and reagents needed, and 3,800 of the toaster-sized analysis units that process the results. 

GOOD NEWS – Nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy in cancer treatment could be a thing of the past, thanks to a Nanaimo connection. Nanaimo’s Tilray has developed a cannabis product that has shown positive results in an Australian study to determine if it can lessen side effects. The Australian study is the world’s first clinical trial and will now move to a larger study to determine if it should be considered as part of routine care for cancer patients. The results, published in the Annals of Oncology, showed a significant improvement in controlling chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting ­– a quarter of the patients suffered no nausea and vomiting compared to 14 per cent who took a placebo. MORE

FEELING THE IMPACT – International education is one of Vancouver Island, and BC's, largest exports. The global pandemic has forced post-secondary institutions around the world to dramatically shift their entire educational delivery model with far-reaching impacts that are likely to continue well into 2021, if not longer. Institutions around the world are grappling with the shift – looking at opportunities while trying to mitigate serious impacts, including the dramatic downturn in international students. That will be one of the panels at the Vancouver Island Economic Conference in October. MORE