Negrin Memorial fund for search and rescue hits $21,000

Deb Thomson, Station Leader Michel Morin and John Thomson with Sophia Negrin.

0302 - The Marcus Negrin Memorial Fund has contributed an additional $4,000 to the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, Station 27-Nanaimo. That brings total donations to $21,000 for a variety of projects

The Marcus Negrin Memorial Fund is a fitting tribute for a young man who believed in making the community a better place to be. As a fisherman and a mariner Marcus loved his time on the ocean surrounding Vancouver Island. The Memorial Fund established by his family in 2015 has worked to assist Station 27-Nanaimo with the task of Saving Lives on the Water. Marcus Negrin was the son of Garry and Dawne Negrin of Lantzville.  

MORE DETAILS

Saucier named new president and vice chancellor of VIU

Dr. Deborah Saucier

Dr. Deborah Saucier has been appointed president and vice-chancellor of Vancouver Island University, beginning in July.

Dr. Saucier is an accomplished neuroscientist, dedicated educator and university administrator with a deep commitment to Indigenous education and reconciliation. Originally from Saskatoon with Métis heritage and connections to Vancouver Island through both her education and her family, Saucier comes to VIU from MacEwan University in Edmonton, where she has served as president since 2017.

VIU Board Chair Makenzie Leine says Saucier was selected through an extensive, international presidential search process involving consultation with VIU’s internal and external communities, and was recommended by a Presidential Search Advisory Committee comprised of student, faculty, staff, board and senior administrative representatives.

MORE DETAIL

Coastal spill response vessels arrrive at Port of Nanaimo

0301 – Three coastal spill response boats destined for Vancouver Island ports will remain in Nanaimo for the time being. Western Canada Marine Response Corporation received three spill response boats Wednesday, but delays in starting the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will keep the boats from entering service.

The three 300-tonne craft were built and sea-trialled in Singapore by ASL Shipyards and unloaded at the Port of Nanaimo’s Assembly Wharf.

“These are coastal response vessels and they are purpose-built boats for the West Coast,” said Michael Lowry, WCMSRC spokesman. “We wanted a boat that could handle the rougher weather out there … These aren’t fast boats. They’ll go about 10 knots, but they’ll get there in any kind of weather.”

Car slams into tow truck while hauling car out of ditch

One of the cars involved in a multi-vehicle crash near the Nanaimo Airport Thursday morning. A tow truck was hit in a nearly tragic scene.
Mark Kusznir photo

0228 –  A car slammed into the back of a tow truck around 6 a.m. Thursday as the driver was pulling a car from the ditch beside the southbound lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway in front of the Nanaimo Airport.

 Central Island Towing's Mark Kusznir said a car pulled into the right lane to cut around a logging truck which had slowed down and moved into the left lane. Kusznir said his driver "ran for his life" before the car hit the back corner of the tow truck. Two other vehicles then crashed into the scene as well and the tow operator barely escaped injury. 

Kusznir said dangerous driving around tow trucks is an epidemic.

MORE DETAILS

Dental hygiene students brighten children's smiles

VIU Students Brighten Children’s Smiles at Healthy Kids Dental Day.
Vancouver Island University photo

 “If the children walk away with a smile on their face, we know we’ve done a good job,” says Connor Edwards, a fourth-year student in Vancouver Island University’s (VIU’s) Child and Youth Care (CYC) program. 

The CYC and Dental Hygiene programs have teamed up to organize the Healthy Kids Dental Clinic – a free or by-donation dental check-up service for low-income families. 

“We started three years ago after having community discussions on how we can better serve families in the area,” says Teri Derksen, VIU CYC Professor.

MORE DETAILS

 

Man pleads guilty to child pornography charges

0228 - A 42-year-old Nanaimo man has pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court to three child pornography  charges.

The unnamed man was arrested in 2017 for a number of charges, including sexual assault, making child pornography and possessing child pornography. Crown seeks a jail sentence of five to eight years. Citing a pre-sentence report, Crown Counsel said the man has a moderate to high risk of re-offending.

MORE

City looks at revamping home-based business rules

0228 - The city is looking at updating home-based business licencing.

City staff the results of a home-based business regulation bylaw review, which was requested by council nearly three years ago.

Amrit Manhas, the city’s economic development officer, reported there are an estimated 2,300 licensed home-based businesses in the city and that during the review process the most common concerns were around traffic, parking and noise.

MORE DETAIL

Malcolmson leads search for human rights commissioner

MLA Sheila Malcolmson

0228 -  Nanaimo's new MLA Sheila Malcolmson is getting her feet wet in a hurry. She has been elected Chair of the Special Committee lead the search for a human rights commissioner.

The commission was shut down by the BC Liberal government 16 years ago.  

“I’m proud our government is bringing it back, and I’m honoured to have been elected to lead the search for the new Human Rights Commissioner. This is an especially critical time for us to defend human rights, fight against discrimination, and remove barriers to equal opportunity.” 

The new B.C. Human Rights Commission will be the first in Canada to be fully independent of government. The Commissioner will report directly to the legislature, ensuring there is no governmental influence over activities.  

Last fall, the New Democrat government passed legislative amendments to the Human Rights Code to re-establish a human rights commission. B.C. is the only province in Canada without such a body. 

 

New dean of international education joins VIU

Dr. Philip Oxhorn

 0227 - An internationally-respected expert in Latin American affairs is joining Vancouver Island University as Dean of International Education.

 Dr. Philip Oxhorn brings almost 30 years experience in post-secondary education to this role, along with a strong research background in the comparative study of civil society and its role in supporting democratic regimes, with a focus on Latin America.

 “Since my undergraduate days many years ago, I have sought to understand democracy from the simple perspective that it matters who participates politically, and who does not,” he says.

 Oxhorn was most recently the Associate Provost (International) at McGill University, where he was responsible for developing and implementing an international education strategy. Knowledge gained from this background will prove invaluable to his work at VIU.

FURTHER DETAILS

 

Auto dealership application sent to public hearing

Google Maps

0226 - An application for a new car dealership at the former Long Lake Nursery site will go to public hearing.

City council on Monday voted to send the proposal to public hearing in spite of staff recommendations to reject the rezoning. 

Ontario-based GAIN Auto Group is seeking rezoning to allow for a Porsche and Subaru dealership.

MORE

 

Foul play not suspected in death of missing man

0225 – RCMP have identified Scot Labelle as the man who was found dead in a wooded area north of Nanaimo. Foul play is not suspected in the death of the 43-year-old, and RCMP will not investigate further. The matter has now been turned over to the BC Coroners Service for investigation.

Gabriola Island set to get extra ferry sailings

 

0223 - Gabriola Island is one of 10 ferry routes that will get more sailings, as the Ministry of Transportation releases a review on BC Ferries operations by special advisor Blair Redlin. 

The ministry said Friday the sailings will be added as early as spring and through the year. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said this is step two in her efforts to improve ferry services in smaller coastal communities.

In April 2018, the NDP government reduced fares on smaller and northern routes by 15 per cent, froze fares on other major routes and reinstated the Monday-to-Thursday, 100-per-cent discount for seniors.

Clippers go after former CEO in court over finances

0223 - Nanaimo Clippers are taking the hockey team’s former CEO to court, claiming she overbilled for services and took alcohol and money from alcohol sales.

Clippers Hockey Limited Partnership and Pirates Hockey Ltd. filed a civil claim against Andrea Trepanier and her company, referred to in court documents as 1203270 Alberta Ltd. Trepanier is accused of taking cash from alcohol sales and product. A discrepancy in liquor sales began in the year leading up to the sale of the business (May 2016-April 2017 year end). Revenues were down that year by 25 per cent and the profit ratio also decreased, while corresponding expenses for liquor purchase only decreased 14 per cent. 

Vehicle backs through storefront

0223 - No injuries were reported after a vehicle smashed through a storefront in north Nanaimo Friday afternoon.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue were called to the Salvation Army furniture store on Mostar Road, where a vehicle had backed through the shop’s front windows. The cause of the accident was not immediately determined.

Get ready for a little more snow on Friday

0222 – A cold front crossing the Island Friday morning will bring snow to East Vancouver Island, particularly to communities away from the water and over higher terrain. Snow may be mixed with rain at times.

Areas near the Strait of Georgia will receive little to no accumulations but higher terrain and inland areas could see up to 5 cm of snow in a short period of time.

The snow will taper off late this morning near Campbell River and just after the noon hour near Nanaimo.

Energy board approves
Trans Mountain expansion

0222 - The National Energy Board has approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion for a second time. 

In its decision released today, the board said while there are environmental and cultural risks, including the possibility of an oil spill, the pipeline is in the public’s best interest, subject to 156 conditions.

“The NEB listened to a range of diverse views and carefully considered all of the evidence submitted, the results of which are reflected in the conclusions, conditions and recommendations presented in the report,” said Dr. Robert Steedman, NEB’s chief environment officer, in a news release.

Payless ShoeSource
closing all stores in
Canada and U.S.

0222 – Payless ShoeSource Canada Inc. says it will soon file for creditor protection in Canada and close all 2,500 of its North American stores this spring. The company has a store in Nanaimo's Woodgrove Centre.

The Kansas-based company’s chief restructuring officer Stephen Marotta says in a release that the closures are happening because a prior reorganization left the company “ill-equipped” for today’s retail environment with too much remaining debt and too large a store footprint.

Documents filed with the Ontario Superior Court show the company had an oversupply of inventory as recently as this winter and was forced to sell merchandise at steep markdowns.

Home Outfitters closing 350 stores, including Nanaimo

0222 – Home Outfitters will close 133 stores across Canada, including Nanaimo, as an HBC cost saving measure.

“Further streamlining our retail portfolio enables even greater focus on our businesses with the strongest growth opportunities. The divestiture of Gilt, rightsizing of Lord & Taylor, the recent merger of our European retail operations in Germany, and today’s announcement exemplify the bold strategic actions we are taking to set HBC up for long-term success,” said Helena Foulkes, HBC’s chief executive officer. “

The announcement includes details for Home Outfitters customers. The vast majority of markets in which Home Outfitters operates are served by Hudson’s Bay which accepts Home Outfitters gift cards. 
 

Fortin no longer with Pacifica non-profit housing

Dean Fortin

Dean Fortin, former executive director of non-profit housing provider Pacifica Housing,  is no longer on the leadership team. 

Pacifica is the operator of the temporary supportive housing projects on Labieux Road amd Uplands Walk and other affordable housing in Nanaimo. Fortin, former mayor of Victoria, had been the executive director from August 2015 until the leadership shakeup at the end of 2018.

“As the executive director, Dean Fortin was responsible for the management of the entire organization,” said Jaime Hall, president of Pacifica Housing, who would not comment on the reasons the relationship ended. 

FURTHER DETAILS

 

Building permit issued for Courtyard Marriott Hotel

Architect's concept of Courtyard Marriott Hotel.

0221 - The city issued a building permit on Wednesday for the long-awaited Courtyard Marriott hotel at 100 Gordon Street, behind the Vancouver Island Conference Centre

The permit calls for a nine-storey building with 172 hotel suites, lounge, bistro, meeting rooms, swimming pool and fitness room.

The listed value of the project is $22 million. PEG Development is expected to break ground this spring, with completion in 2020. 

The City anticipates that 2019 will be another strong year of development. This follows a successful 2018, which saw a total building construction value of $216 million - the second highest in more than 10 years and the fifth consecutive year with a construction value landing at more than $200 million. 

A total of 947 residential units, up from 856 in 2017 were approved in 2018. Other highlights include multi-family building developments on Metral Drive, Chapel Street and Uplands Drive; a 51-unit purpose-built rental building on the Island Highway and a mixed-use, 60-unit rental building on Dublin Way.

Commercial development last year saw three new buildings on Bruce Avenue, a new location for the La-Z-Boy Furniture store on Uplands Drive and the first phase of a mixed-use development which includes student housing at 525 Third Street.

City growth adds to cost
of garbage collection

0219 - The price tag for providing automated garbage collection has gone up again, and new trucks and additions to the truck fleet are in the works.

The 2018 spike in user fees for sanitation and garbage collection were to drop down to $130 in 2019 and to $120 by 2024. Now household will pay $170 in 2019 and there's no indication about when they might drop.

The city's finance and audit committee on Tuesday approved borrowing $430,000 to pay for a new automated garbage truck. Final approval is expected at city council.

The truck will be used on a new route in 2020. The added route is the reason why user rates won't decrease as promised.

 

MORE DETAILS

Police dog locates suspect after two-hour track

Police dog Jager

0219 - Freezing temperatures, deep snow, treacherous terrain and a 2-hour track, couldn’t stop Constables Josh Grafton and Tanner Fowler and RCMP Police Dog Jager from locating and arresting a suspect wanted in an alleged assault with a weapon and Break and Enter. 39-year-old David Banford faces weapons and property related charges and has been remanded into police custody.

The incident began at approximately 5:30 PM on Saturday February 16, when Banford and an adult female were found inside a private cabin located at Deadwood Creek Campsite, near Nanaimo Lakes Road. The cabin owners,alerted the Nanaimo RCMP and decided to walk the suspects to the main gate to await the arrival of the police. While being escorted, Banford allegedly produced a can of pepper spray and sprayed the owners. The female did not resist and was later taken into custody when police arrived. 

FURTHER DETAILS

Nanaimo has three top-ten dangerous intersections

0219 - The Bowen Road and Island Highway intersection remains one of Vancouver Island's most acident prone. There were 71 incidents at the busy spot in 2017, fourth on ICBC's  list of the worst intersections.

This intersection has been in the top six on Vancouver Island for the past five years.

Two other intersections with the Island Highway rank in the top 10 with Aulds Road and Mostar Road the eighth and ninth most dangerouss.

FURTHER DETAILS

Health officials urge vaccination update for measels

0219 - Vancouver Island has escaped a measels outbreak so far, but health authorities are urging residents to make sure their vaccinations are up to date.

Measles is a highly contagious and painful disease that can result in serious complications.

B.C. health officials confirmed eight cases of measles in Vancouver, most connected to three French-language schools in the city.

Across the border, Washington state declared a state of emergency related to a measles outbreak unfolding in Clark County in which there have been 61 confirmed cases.

FURTHER DETAILS

Kim Smythe

Economic stimulous missing
from budget, says Smythe

0218 - There is little in the provincial budget to spur economic growth for our region. says the CEO of the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce.  Kim Smythe said an economic stimulous for growth was lacking, and that is something that would provide the greatest relief to our local economy and over all affordability.

While acknowledging the continued commitment to fund supportive and affordable housing, Smythe said there is little in the budget for our region.  

That echoes the response to the budget by the B.C. Chamber of Commerce which said small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are left wondering how they will overcome $5 billion in cumulative cost increases over the next three years. 

Val Litwin, President & CEO of the BC Chamber, said the Employers’ Health Tax, an increasing carbon tax, a rising minimum wage, climbing corporate tax rates are all weighing down the backbone of BC’s economy. 

 “Beyond a number of limited tax enhancements, we didn’t see anything today that will materially help BC’s SMEs compete in the years ahead – and our data shows there are storm clouds looming”, he added  

The BC Chamber’s recent 2018-19 Collective Perspective Report shows 80 per cent of BC businesses feel the cost of doing business has worsened in the last year, and one in two owner-operators report their confidence in BC’s economy has declined in the last 12 months.

 
“The Provincial Government is keying in on many of the right issues regarding housing and childcare—but we need to remember it’s a thriving business community that funds these investments— and domestically, our businesses are facing increasing cost pressures. We need to ask ourselves, are these investments sustainable in an increasingly uncertain global economy?” Litwin says.

 Helpful investments clustered around BC’s new Clean BC Plan include: $10M in incentives for medium-and heavy-duty vehicle conversion, $6M for light-duty fleets to adopt zero-emission vehicles, and $168M over three years for industrial operations to reduce GHG emissions, which will help make BC’s liquefied natural gas industry the cleanest in the world.  Additionally, a number of enhancements to the Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit Program will help new start ups get funding and achieve commercialization faster.
 
“One policy win for our members today was the 'Mining Flow-Through Share Tax Credit' becoming permanent,” says Litwin. "Our members in Northwest and North central BC will also be encouraged to see $100M earmarked to help address infrastructure needs for the 26 local governments along the LNG corridor."
 
Overall, today’s budget could have said more on how BC’s business community—especially SMEs—will compete in the years to come.  Though welcome, even the $800 million in today’s budget for 'business-capital cost allowances on capital investments', is a result of federal tax changes, not any new program being rolled out provincially. 
 
The BC Chamber is the province’s largest and most broadly-based business organization driving insights to its partners, government and Chamber network. With 36,000 members hailing from every nook and cranny of the province, the BC Chamber knows what’s on BC’s mind.

 

Scot Labelle

Police seek help in finding missing man

0218 - Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance in locating 43-year-old Scot Russell Labelle who has not been seen or heard from since Jan. 4. He was reported missing on Feb. 5. He has missed several scheduled appointments with health care providers which have them concerned for his safety and well being. 

See FULL REPORT

Missing 17-year-old located safe and sound

Kayle Speck

UPDATE: Kayle has been located safe and sound.

0218 - Nanaimo RCMP need help to find 17-year-old Kayle Speck who was last seen February 11 in Nanaimo. RCMP are working with the Comox RCMP who reported that Speck had recently been living there but has not been seen or heard from since February 7. Speck's caregivers and family members are worried for his safety and well-being.

Motorists were cautious in snow conditions

Having visibilty by clearing all windows is the law.

0216 - All the snow we had created challenges for motorists, but RCMP say drivers did everything right. There were only two reported car crashes in Nanaimo from Sunday to Wednesday.

“People are paying heed to the fact you have to be prepared for these conditions,” Cst. Gary O'Brien told NanaimoNewsNOW. “You have to go slow, leave distance between yourself and others and you must have winter tires.”

O'Brien said there were numerous accidents which didn't require police attention. “We've seen cars off the road but people stepped up and pulled them out.”

Some drivers were issued tickets for having excessive snow on their vehicles while driving.

Hammond Bay Road travellers face traffic disruptions

Google Street View

0216 - Get ready for some disruptions if you are using Hammond Bay Road. From Feb. 19 through May, the city will upgrade some utilities along the route.

The work will take place between Stephenson Point Rd. and Friar Tuck Way. It will go from about  7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, with single-lane alternating traffic in effect after 9 a.m. There's also the potential for night work.
 
Water shutdowns are also possible for local residents.

International salmon research launched by Beamish

Dr. Dick Beamish of Nanaimo.

0215 - Nanaimo fisheries scientist Dick Beamishhas organized an international mission which could revolutionize salmon science and fisheries management. It could lead to return forecasting and even hatchery output.

Nineteen scientists from Russia, Canada, the United States, Japan and South Korea are set to probe five Pacific salmon species with a four-week grid search and test fishery across the Gulf of Alaska.

“We know virtually nothing about what happens to salmon once they leave near-shore waters in the Salish Sea,” said Beamish.

The project was developed as a research element of the 2019 International Year of the Salmon celebration, organized by the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission and its partners.

MORE in The Vancouver Sun

RCMP camp will introduce students to life of a cop

0215 - What's it like to be a mountie? Nanaimo RCMP will hold a Youth Camp for Grade 11 and 12 students from school districts throughout central Vancouver Island, July 8 - 12 at Nanaimo and District Secondary School.

• Open to Grade 11-12 students in SD 68, 69, 70 and 79.

• Up to 48 participants will be chosen based on application, interview and basic fitness testing.

• School Counselling/Careers centers have information and application package.

• Applications due by April 5.

MORE 

Concern over student
vaping grows in schools

0216 - Use of e-cigarettes and vape products by students is increasing, raising concerns from Vancouver Island officials.

Marketed as an alternative to tobacco products, or a way to wean yourself off of tobacco, vaping has people inhale and exhale flavoured vapour made by an electronic cigarette heating up liquid.

The flavouring ranges from tobacco to mint to fruit, candy and dessert flavours, and often also contains nicotine. The amount of nicotine can range quite a bit. But some vaping liquids contain as much nicotine as a whole pack of cigarettes, said Island Health medical health officer, Dr. Charmaine Enns.

MORE

Man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in 2017 death

0215 - A man charged with first-degree murder in a 2017 shooting at the Howard Johnson Harbourside Hotel pleaded guilty today to a lesser charge in B.C. Supreme Court.

Brandon Tyler Woody, 30 at the time of his arrest, was charged with first-degree murder in relation to the incident at the now-closed hotel. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in front of Judge Paul Riley on Friday morning.

MORE

VIU studying importance of snow to Vancouver Island water

Dr. Bill Floyd working with unmanned vehicles to study snow. VIU Photo.

0215 - Vancouver Island University (VIU) researchers are taking a deeper look at snow packs in unique alpine forested watersheds on northern Vancouver Island, with the aim of using drone technology to fill a science knowledge gap on stream flows. 

VIU Geography adjunct professor Dr. Bill Floyd is a Research Hydrologist with the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and Leader of the Coastal Hydrology & Climate Change Research Lab operated out of VIU. He has been studying snow patterns and the effects of forest harvesting and climate change on stream flow in the Russell Creek Experimental Watershed north of Campbell River for many years.

FULL STORY

City crews working on secondary routes, residential next

0215 - Snow has stopped for now, emergency and priority routes are in good condition, crews are working on secondary routes and will be moving back into residential areas this a.a., use caution on your commute this a.m.

For full 10-day forecast details – https://weather.com/en-CA/weather/today/l/CAXX0313:1:CA

 

Vancouver Island University in full operation

0215 - All VIU Campuses (Nanaimo, Cowichan and Powell River) and the Parksville/Qualicum Centre are open again today, Friday, for classes and regular business. 

Milner Gardens and Woodland, and the Deep Bay Marine Research Station remain closed. 

Expect winter conditions today travelling to and from VIU so please use caution. At the Nanaimo Campus, conditions are wet and slushy so please wear suitable footwear as some areas are slippery. Please report any slippery sections to Facilities Services at facility@viu.ca or 250.740.6500.

 A reminder that VIU is closed on Monday, February 18, 2019 for Family Day. Have a great long weekend!

Clear the snow off your vehicle or be prepared to pay

A pickup truck seen covered in snow at the entrance to Nanaimo North Town Centre on Wednesday morning. Nanaimo RCMP say the driver of the truck was issued a ticket. (RCMP photo)

0214 - One Nanaimo motorist found out the hard way about clearing the snow off your vehicle – he was issued a ticket by Nanaimo RCMP.

RCMP have warned motorosts about safe winter driving, providing the example of a $109 ticket issued yesterday. A snow-covered pickup truck was pulled over on Rutherford Road on Wednesday morning.

Const. Gary O’Brien, spokesman for the Nanaimo RCMP, said the motorist was pulled over, informed about the dangers of driving with snow on his vehicle and issued a driving while view obstructed ticket. O’Brien said the snow on the truck’s roof was of particular concern because it had the potential to fly off.

MORE

 

UPDATED
Environment Canada
warns of more snow

5:46 PM PST Thursday 14 February 2019

Snowfall warning in effect for:

  • East Vancouver Island - Courtenay to Campbell River
  • East Vancouver Island - Duncan to Nanaimo
  • East Vancouver Island - Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay

More snow for the south coast as a slow moving low off Vancouver Island impacts the area.

This evening, a band of precipitation pushing up from the south has spread snow across the south coast. The snow is expected to become heavier early this evening as the band moves overhead. Snowfall amounts will vary considerably across the south coast but will generally range from 5 cm up to 15 cm (two to six inches) by early Friday morning.

A southerly flow around the low has also resulted slightly milder conditions and therefore wetter snow (less fluffy) than earlier this week. In fact, parts of Greater Victoria, the southern Gulf Islands and Metro Vancouver will likely see snow starting to mix with rain overnight as the milder conditions arrive. Mixed precipitation will spread to most other south coastal regions Friday afternoon or evening.

Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions. Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations. There may be a significant impact on rush hour traffic in urban areas.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to BCstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #BCStorm.

5.3 earthquake off Vancouver Island near Tofino

Magnitude

5.3

Time

15:34:44 near epicenter
16:34:44 standard time

Location

50.726N 130.076W

Depth

10 km

Distances

346.5 km (214.9 mi) WNW of Tofino,
352.6 km (218.6 mi) W of Campbell River
380.7 km (236.0 mi) WNW of Courtenay
399.7 km (247.8 mi) S of Prince Rupert
547.7 km (339.6 mi) WNW of Victoria

Nanaimo home sales decline, but prices are up

0214 - Fewer homes are selling, and they stay on the market longer. January figures show single-family unit sales volume in Nanaimo is down 28 per cent. Average days on the market has increased to 26 days. Fifty five single-family homes sold.

The average single-family homes sold for  $558,848 (up 8 per cent 12 months to date, over last). 3 waterfront home sold, 4 lots sold and 40 condos sold.

The average condo sold for $363,183. Condo unit sales are static, 12 months to date. Condos have seen a 6 per cent increase in days on market. Average days to sell is 25 days. 

Lot sales volume is down by 52%. Lot prices have increased by 21%, 12 months to date. Average lot sale price $288,423. Most active region: North Nanaimo (10 sales). Highest average price: South Jinglepot ($805,000). 

FULL REPORT HERE. courtesy of John Cooper Group

Malcolmson sworn in as new MLA for Nanaino riding

Sheila Malcolmson, centre, is flanked by Premier John Horgan and acting clerk Kate Ryan-Lloyd.

0214 - Sheila Malcolmson was sworn in as Nanaimo MLA at a ceremony this morning at the B.C. legislature.

Malcolmson took the member’s oath of allegiance and signed the parliamentary roll in a short ceremony officiated by acting clerk Kate Ryan-Lloyd.

Malcolmson was joined by members of Snuneymuxw First Nation, with Chief Mike Wyse drumming and saying a few words.
 

All services in operation today

Thursday, February 14

SCHOOLS - Schools are open. Buses are running

FERRIES - All routes running on schedule

AIRPORT - All flights on schedule

CITY - A reminder to all residents and businesses to clear the sidewalks of snow and ice in front of your property. 

Parks and Recreation:

 All pool and arena drop-in and registered programs are running.

All recreation facilities are open.

Crews continue to clear and salt walkways into City buildings, downtown sidewalks with City-owned properties (including Maffeo Sutton Park) and the E&N Trail as first priorities. They have also begun to clear additional sidewalks around City-owned facilities and parks.

Please phone 250-756-5200 for updates on registered programs scheduled. We attempt to all of our users know of program cancellations as we get information.

Public Works:

  • Garbage pick-up is happening today for areas where it is safe and accessible.  
  • Stay up to date with your garbage/recycling collection route by downloading the Nanaimo Recycles app. You will receive notifications to your phone of interruptions in your collection schedule. Find the download links on the Garbage and Recycling Calendar page on the City website.
  • Priority routes are mostly clear, including routes around schools. Crews will continue to work on small residential streets (priority 3) today. 
  • Public Works is anticipating another round of snow as forecast by Environment Canada.The snowfall warning is for this afternoon and this evening. This area is expected to receive 5 to 15 centimetres of new snow. It may turn to rain Friday and into Friday evening. With the freeze we've experienced and with more freezing expected, many of the side streets and residential roads are still covered with ice or are hard packed which is very difficult to remove. Crews continue to do their best in these situations.

UNIVERSITY - All VIU Campuses (Nanaimo, Cowichan and Powell River) and the Parksville/Qualicum Centre are re-opening today,Thursday, February 14, for classes and regular business.

Milner Gardens and Woodland is closed today, and the Deep Bay Marine Research Station will remain closed for the rest of the week.

At the Nanaimo Campus, crews have made walkways, stairways and parking lots safe. However, students and employees should expect winter conditions. Please walk carefully and wear suitable footwear as some areas are slippery due to ice. Please report any slippery sections to Facilities Services at facility@viu.ca or 250.740.6500.

Another weather system is expected to arrive in our region later today and overnight with the possibility of more snow. If another closure is necessary, an update will be issued by 6:30 am, or sooner if practicable. Otherwise, expect all campuses and facilities to be open (aside from Deep Bay).

 

Weather alert for
East Vancouver Island

3:49 PM PST Wednesday February 13

Special weather statement in effect for:
• East Vancouver Island - Courtenay to Campbell River
• East Vancouver Island - Duncan to Nanaimo
• East Vancouver Island - Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay

Wintery mix with the next storm Thursday night and Friday...

Another low pressure system will approach the South Coast late Thursday. A slightly warmer air mass will accompany this system, so a mix of wintery precipitation can be expected across the region.

Wet snow will likely begin over the South Coast Thursday afternoon or evening. Current assessment suggests that Howe Sound, Sunshine Coast, as well as eastern and inland Vancouver Island will see 5 to 15 cm of snow by Friday morning. 

Precipitation is expected to change over to rain. Rising temperatures and rain Thursday night and Friday may lead to increased snow melt and added weight to structures, as well as poor drainage and slushy roadways.

There remains uncertainty with precipitation types and amounts with this system. Weather warnings may be issued as new information becomes available and the event draws closer.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to BCstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #BCStorm.

Earthquake off west coast of Vancouver Island

0213 - A 4.8 magnitude earthquake has been reported off Vancouver Island, 4:34 p.m. today. An earlier quake of 4.1 was reported at 2:53 p.m. about the same area.
 
343.7 km (213.1 mi) WNW of Tofino, Canada
351.4 km (217.9 mi) W of Campbell River, Canada
379.1 km (235.0 mi) WNW of Courtenay, Canada
405.5 km (251.4 mi) S of Prince Rupert, Canada
545.2 km (338.0 mi) WNW of Victoria, Canada

Snow and temperatures set records for Nanaimo

0213 - February has been much colder than normal and temperatures will stay that way through the end of the month, predicts Environment Canada.

Winter brought record-breaking low temperatures and snowfall on the weekend and early this week.

“Nanaimo was pretty much the epicentre as far as we’re concerned,” said Armel Castellan, Environment Canada meteorologist.

Read at the numbers HERE

Latest on city services for Wednesday

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13:

  • Art of Paint at Oliver Woods cancelled.
  • Yoga 4 Kids at Oliver Woods cancelled.
  • Art of Paint - Abstraction at Oliver Woods cancelled.
  • On Guard! Fencing at Oliver Woods cancelled.
  • Fencing at Oliver Woods cancelled.
  • Iaido at Departure Bay Activity Centre cancelled.
  • Rookie Boot Camp (9:15 am) at Oliver Woods cancelled.
  • Stretch & Tone (10:30 am) at Oliver Woods cancelled.
  • Country Line Dancing at Departure Bay Activity Centre cancelled.

GARBAGE - collection is back up and running today, where safe and accessible. Please remove your carts from the street so that plowing can occur. Extra garbage bag (if needed) will be accepted on your next garbage-pick up day.  if you set out an extra bag of garbage on your next garbage day, please ensure the bag is set next to the garbage cart (3 feet away) and that it is a size that can fit into the garbage cart. It will be placed into the cart by staff and tipped a second time.

School District 68 is keeping an eye on the weather tonight and through early morning. District staff are following inclement weather protocol and will assess school sites and roads between 2 and 6 a.m. An announcement will be made by 6:30 a.m.

UPDATE (8:50 p.m.) - Thanks for your understanding everyone. As mentioned in some of the comments, we understand that there are accessibility challenges in neighbourhoods across the district. District staff tour the entire district from Lantzville to Ladysmith. As always, parents have the final decision to keep their kids home for safety reasons.

VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY

Classes are cancelled at the Nanaimo Campus. Staff may come to work at their discretion but are advised to be cautious as some areas are hazardous due to ice especially on stairs and walkways. Please consult your dean or supervisor.

Snow expected to taper off overnight

9:18 PM PST Tuesday 12 February 2019
Snowfall warning in effect for:

  • East Vancouver Island - Courtenay to Campbell River
  • East Vancouver Island - Duncan to Nanaimo
  • East Vancouver Island - Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay

A long period of snowfall with total amounts of 15 to 25 cm continues.

A low centre over western Vancouver Island will continue to spread periods of snow to the South Coast tonight. The snow is expected to tapers off to a few flurries overnight as the low weakens. Additional snowfall accumulations up to 5 cm are forecast over most regions except the Fraser Valley where 5 to 10 cm of snow is possible.

Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to BCstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #BCStorm.

Complaints almost double in supportive housing areas

0212 -  Complaints to the RCMP from two temporary supportive housing complexes have almost doubled from a year ago.

Between Nov. 20, 2018 and Jan. 24, 2019 there were 2,866 calls for service in the immediate areas near the supportive housing complexes on Terminal Avenue and Labieux Road, states an RCMP repoirt to a committee of the whole meeting.

During that time period there were 1,437 calls for service in the Labieux Road area and 1,429 calls for the Terminal Avenue area, representing more than a 50-per-cent increase in both areas compared to the same time frame in 2017-18.

MORE

Lantzville planning a new look for its downtown

0213 - A redevelopment plan for Lantzville’s downtown area has been given new life after sitting dormant for years.

Council unanimously endorsed the adoption and implementation of the Village Core Improvement Plan during a council meeting late last month.

Among the changes recommended in the plan are a public plaza in front of Lantzville’s district hall and increasing street furniture, trees and public art along Lantzville Road. It also recommends adding bike lanes, transitioning to street lights instead of lamps affixed to telephone poles, creating space for a farmers’ market, adding bus stops, unifying on-street parking, defining off-street parking areas and installing welcome signs throughout the community.

MORE

What's working and what's closed Tuesday

GARBAGE - Pick-up has been cancelled again for today. Please remove your carts from the street so that plowing can occur. Extra garbage bag (if needed) will be accepted on your next garbage-pick up day.  if you set out an extra bag of garbage on your next garbage day, please ensure the bag is set next to the garbage cart (3 feet away) and that it is a size that can fit into the garbage cart. It will be placed into the cart by staff and tipped a second time.

SCHOOLS - District 68 Nanaimo have each announced district-wide closures for tomorrow (Tuesday, Feb. 12) due to the ongoing snowfall and expected overnight accumulation.

UNIVERSITY - Vancouver Island University has taken a similar step, announcing that all campuses except Powell River will be closed tomorrow as well.

ROADS - Winter driving conditions exist on all roads in Nanaimo, crews continue to plough and salt Emergency and Priority routes, more snow expected through the day and into tonight.

PARKS & REC – Good morning! All Parks and Recreation facilities are open. Play and Learn programs cancelled. If you are unsure of the status of your registered program, please call 250-756-5200 after 8:30 this morning. We hope everyone has a great snow day today!

FERRIES – All schedules are on schedule this morning. Departures.

AIRPORT – All arrivals and departures are on schedule. Check HERE

RCMP seek help in identifying bank fraud suspect

The Nanaimo RCMP seeks public assistance in identifying a man who allegedly committed financial frauds at two RBC locations in Nanaimo and obtained almost $11,500. The two incidents in which the Nanaimo RCMP are investigating occurred at the Brooks Landing and the Commercial Street branches on Dec 11, 2018. To date, this suspect has obtained approximately $70,000 in funds from RBC clients accounts throughout Quebec, the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

Beginning in March, 2018, he used identification from existing RBC clients and attended five different RBC locations throughout Quebec. He is alleged to have committed eight fraudulent transactions at RBC locations in Surrey and Langley. The last reported incident took place on December 12 in Parksville where $8,000 was illegally obtained.

The suspect was described as Caucasian, 45-55 years of age, heavy set with dark hair, and was wearing glasses. If you have information on the identity of this person, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477.

Command post setup and briefing for Exercise Ready Renaissance held at Bakers Island in Trenton, Ont. on Feb. 21, 2018. Vancouver Island has been selected for this year’s exercise. Photo by: Cpl. Ken Beliwicz, 8 Wing Imaging

Military to train here
in disaster relief exercise

0212 - Approximately 100 Canadian Armed Forces members will conduct a training exercise in and around Nanaimo next week.

Vancouver Island has been selected for Exercise Ready Renaissance, the annual training of the Disaster Assistance Response Team. This team is composed of Canadian Armed Forces members and can be deployed when natural disasters and emergencies happen outside Canada. Participants will conduct liaison and reconnaissance tasks in the area to exercise support to Global Affairs Canada in a fictitious disaster scenario taking place abroad.

Schools extend snow-day shutdowns for Tuesday

0211 - Two Vancouver Island school districts are giving their students a head start on their snow day.

District 79 Cowichan and District 68 Nanaimo have each announced district-wide closures for tomorrow (Tuesday, Feb. 12) due to the ongoing snowfall and expected overnight accumulation.

Vancouver Island University has taken a similar step, announcing that all campuses except Powell River will be closed tomorrow as well.

“Given the continuing snowfall and the forecast for more overnight, we wanted to give everyone as much notice as possible,” an alert sent to VIU students shortly after 7 p.m. states.

MORE

Police urge don't drive
in
 snow conditions

0211 - Vancouver Island officials are advising the public to stay off the roads.

“We are recommending that people don’t travel unless necessary,” said Cpl. Chris Manseau of Sidney/North Saanich RCMP.

“Many people aren’t familiar with snow driving, and over estimate their abilities (or their vehicles capabilities) and this could cause unnecessary calls for service. With the anticipated snowfall tonight, people need to remember that although right now they may be able to get to their destination, they may not be able to safely get back, and this too will cause more trouble than necessary.”

MORE

For complete road conditions, click DRIVE BC

Complete listing of city
facilities, public works

0211 - The city has posted a complete listing of events and facilities affected by the ongoing snowfall Monday and Tuesday. that includes recreational programs, public works, garbage pickup and plowing. Please go the the City WEBPAGE for details.

 

Chandi found guilty in drive-by shooting trial

Armaan Chandi was found guilty in Supreme Court of attempted murder for his role in a 2016 drive-by shooting which targetted a Vancouver Island University student. Nine bullets were fired at the student from a passing car on Wakesiah Ave. near the university on March 1. The car then sped off and led police on a lengthy and dangerous chase down to Duncan.

Chandi's mother burst into tears as he stood to hear the verdict from the Honourable Justice Robin Baird.

He was stoic throughout much of the decision on Monday but became notably agitated when Baird listed all the reasons why it was plausible and likely Chandi was the one who pulled the trigger in the incident.

MORE

Snow disrupts flights
at Nanaimo Airport

0211 - WestJet and Air Canada have cancelled multiple flights out of YCD as a result of weather conditions across the country.

Air Canada’s 3:25 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. flights to Vancouver have all been cancelled while WestJet has cancelled its 7:15 p.m. flight to Calgary, according to the Nanaimo Airport’s website. Meanwhile, all flights scheduled to arrive at the airport after 3 p.m. today have been cancelled.

MORE

 

Snow Updates for city services Monday

0211 - 09:43 AM

Parks and Recreation:

  • All pool and arena drop-in and registered programs are running.
  • All recreation facilities are open.
  • All Play & Learn Programs are cancelled.
  • Phone 250-756-5200 for updates on registered programs scheduled for this morning. Some may be cancelled due to instructor unavailability.
  • Program cancellation updates for afternoon and evening programs will be announced later this afternoon.

Public Works:

  • Garbage pick-up is cancelled for today. Residents are asked to remove their carts from the street to allow more room for plowing. Extra garbage (if needed) will be picked up during the next cycle. Residents can put out one extra bag next to their cart. City crews will have extra staff on hand to re-load the carts to collect your extra bag.
  • Plowing has been underway all night and continues throughout the day. Priority routes are dealt with first (main roads, including emergency routes). Once priority routes are finished, then crews move onto secondary roads. Once secondary routes are plowed, City crews will plow residential areas, such as cul-de-sacs.

Program cancellations, facility closures and garbage pick-up cancellations will be posted on the City of Nanaimo Facebook (City of Nanaimo Local Government) and Twitter feeds (@cityofnanaimo), as well as on this webpage. Updates will also be communicated to local media sources. 

No garbage collection
scheduled for today

0211 - City crews will not collect garbage today, and residents are asked not to put their carts out to give more room for plows.

Extra garbage will be allowed to be collected on the next cycle. Focus on waste reduction in the meantime.

Snow plows are making head way on the emergency and priority routes and will move onto secondary roads this morning.

The region’s highways contractor Mainroad Mid-Island noted that yesterday’s significant snowfall was twice what was forecast in some areas.

Mainroad crews are focusing on main and bus/commercial routes.They will shift to residential and side roads today with hill areas receiving priority.

Buses are running today - here's the schedule

0211 - Good morning! Buses are running today! Here is the status update as of 7:30 am. Please stay tuned for updates throughout the day. RDN TRANSIT

Up-to-date Nanaimo weather  CLICK HERE

More snow forecast for Monday, Tuesday

Special weather statement in effect for:

  • East Vancouver Island - Courtenay to Campbell River
  • East Vancouver Island - Duncan to Nanaimo
  • East Vancouver Island - Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay

A one-two punch for the south coast of BC as another low pressure system is poised to move towards Vancouver Island on Monday and stall for 12 hours before dissipating.

Snow will fall for all areas south of Port Hardy to the U.S. border beginning Monday afternoon for Port Alberni, late afternoon for Greater Victoria and early evening for Metro Vancouver.

Current assessment suggests 10 to 15 cm of snow with locally higher accumulations for parts of the Island by midday on Tuesday.

Outflow winds will continue through Howe Sound and the Fraser Valley Monday and Tuesday which may result in poor visibilty in snow and blowing snow for those areas.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to BCstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #BCStorm.

Schools and University
closed due to weather

0210 - Nanaimo Ladysmith school district has announced all schools will be closed Monday, Feb. 11 due to heavy snowfall and dangerous road condition.

Vancouver Island University will also be closed Monday.

Traffic stuck on the Malahat (Photo: Twitter @MichaelRWalsh on CHEK TV

Malahat reopens
in both directions

UPDATE - The Trans Canada Highway on the Malahat has been reopened. Drivers are cautioned to exercise extreme care when travelling on Island roads.

0210 - The Trans Canada highway on the Malahat, from the West Shore Parkway to Shawnigan-Mill Bay Road, is closed due to severe winter conditions.

MainRoad says a transport truck that has had an accident northbound and multiple vehicles spun out southbound have made it so their plowing trucks are unable to make clearing cycles on the major roadway.

It was closed following coordination from Mainoad, the RCMP and the Ministry of Transportation.

MORE

Ferries resume service
to
Horseshoe Bay

Ferry sailings between Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay have resumed after wind damaged the adjacent marina in Horseshoe Bay.

Astrid Braunschmidt of B.C. Ferries said debris thas been cleared after major  damage to the marina this morning. She said there was a lot of debris in the water, including loose boats and parts of the dock.

Morning and early afternoon sailings to and from Departure Bay, Snug Cove and Langdale were cancelled. B.C. Ferries had issued a travel advisory showing that sailings were cancelled on all three Horseshoe Bay routes due to weather.

Wind forces two ferries to return to Nanaimo

0209 - 11:15 a.m. Two BC Ferries sailings are returning to Nanaimo after being unable to dock in Horseshoe Bay due to dangerous wind conditions.

In a video sent to NanaimoNewsNOW by a passenger on the Queen of Oak Bay, a ferry crew member is heard announcing it's too dangerous to dock.

"Horseshoe Bay is too dangerous too dock. The breakwater has broken up. The marina has gone apart and there's boats and debris everywhere," the crew member said.

The ferry left Nanaimo about 60 minutes late and made it most of the way to Vancouver before the decision was made to turn around.

The Queen of Cowichan also turned around and came back to Nanaimo. That sailing was holding in the waters outside of Horseshoe Bay for several hours after leaving Nanaimo at 6:15 a.m.

All sailings on the route have been cancelled through 1 p.m. Updates on sailings can be found at BC Ferries website.

Fewer drug deaths
raise new concerns 

0208 - A significant decrease in fatal overdoses in Nanaimo raises new concerns among health professionals.

They see a challenge in keeping the focus and attention on this issues, says medical health officer Dr. Shannon Waters.

Thirty-four people fatally overdosed around Nanaimo in 2018. That's down dramatically from 2017, when 55 people passed away. The decrease is one of the largest in the province, though the overall number of fatal overdoses across B.C. was steady at roughly 1,500.

MORE

Weather update calls for more snow in Nanaimo

0208 - Another round of winter is descending over southeastern Vancouver Island bringing snow through early this evening, warns Environment Canada.

Heavy flurries may develop this evening resulting in snowfall accumulations of 10 cm or more in a short period of time in the Nanaimo area.

Due to the convective nature, snowfall accumulations may be highly variable and episodic throughout the afternoon and tonight. The threat of snow will end by early Saturday morning.

Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations. There may be a significant impact on rush hour traffic in urban areas.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to BCstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #BCStorm.

Man gets seven years for drive-by shooting incident

0208 - The hitman in a brazen daytime drive-by shooting will spend the next seven years behind bars.

Inderpal Aujla was sentenced on Thursday to seven years in prison for attempted murder and fleeing police in 2016. He and another man were arrested after firing nine shots into a parked car on Wakesiah Avenue, near Jingle Pot Road and leading police on a lengthy and dramatic chase to Duncan. The man inside the car was not the intended target and was caught up in a case of mistaken identify. A motive for the shooting and who was supposed to be murdered is still unknown.

The second man allegedly in the car, Armaan Singh Chandi, pleaded not guilty and a decision in his case will be made on Monday, Feb. 11.

MORE

Cannabis store application sails throught public hearing

0208 -  City council has approved third reading of a rezoning application for Bud Barn to become the first legal cannabis retail store in Nanaimo.

The company’s application sailed through a public hearing Thursday with no written or verbal submissions indicating opposition or support.

Applican Matt Charlton told council that Bud Barn has followed guidelines and notified nearby residents and businesses of the re-zoning application, and has been a good neighbour and contributor to the community.

MORE

False gun report brings heavy police response

0208 - A false report of a man brandishing a firearm drew a rapid and heavy response to a home near Bowen Park on Thursday morning.

Nanaimo RCMP rushed to the Doric Avenue home, near First Street, shortly before 8 a.m. when a woman called saying she was in a residence with a man brandishing a firearm.

Const. Gary O’Brien said the report proved to be false and was made by a woman experiencing a mental health crisis. She was detained under the Mental Health Act and taken to hospital for treatment.

MORE

Long-range weather projection does not look good

0207 - Batten down the hatches, there's snow, wind and bitter temperatures on the way. Environment Canada predicts a fresh injection of arctic air through the province tonight. Increasing moisture ahead of this arctic blast will give snow to most of the South Coast beginning overnight, continuing through Friday.

Most areas will get a few centimetres of accumulation by Saturday morning. However, there is potential for much higher accumulations over some regions. The most recent weather models suggest that the areas favoured for higher accumulations will include East Vancouver Island.

Snow will start to ease Friday night as bitterly cold outflow winds start to pour out of the mainland inlets and valleys. 

Tonight - Cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries changing to 70 per cent chance of flurries near midnight. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 2. Wind chill near minus 4.

Friday- Snow. Amount possibly reaching 10 cm. High plus 1. 
Night - Periods of snow. Windy. Low minus 3.

Saturday- Periods of snow. Windy. Low minus 3. 
Night - Clear. Low minus 6.

Sunday- A mix of sun and cloud with 60 per cent chance of flurries. High plus 1.
Night- Cloudy periods with 60 per cent chance of flurries. Low minus 5.

 

Report of suspicious vehicle leads to arrest

Police dog Juice

0207 - An alert neighbour is once again being credited with assisting police with locating a Prolific Offender with a significant history in property related offences throughout Vancouver Island and Alberta. 27-year-old Davin Cochrane was arrested in a stolen vehicle and remains in police custody pending his next court appearance.

The incident unfolded on Monday February 4 when a resident of Young Road, in south Nanaimo, reported a vehicle partially blocking a driveway.

The vehicle, a silver Fiat, was determined to have been stolen from the Duncan area three days prior. The stolen vehicle was followed to a residence on Wexford Road. When officers attempted to stop it, the driver tried to evade arrest and in doing so, two police vehicles received minor front end damage. With the vehicle stationary, Cst Wurzinger and RCMP Police Dog Juice approached and were able to extract the driver and take him into police custody.

MORE

Mayor Len Krog

Krog topped donations, spending
in his campaign for mayor

0206 -  Who got what, and from whom? Elections B,C, released campaign financing details Tuesday for the October civic election.

Mayor Leonard Krog raised nearly $53,000 to support his campaign. The longtime MLA spent all but roughly $9,000 of that on typical election items, the most expensive being signs.

Krog's campaign was propped up by 113 individual donations, with 22 at or near the allowable limit of $1,200.

Local and Lower Mainland developers are on the list, including a maximum donation from Andre Molnar of the Vancouver-based Molnar Group. The company intends to build up to 160 strata units on the site of the old Nanaimo Hospital. See THE REST

Driver hospitalized after south Nanaimo car crash

00206 -  A 30-year-old man was taken to hospital after a single vehicle crash knocked out power in the Cedar area Tuesday morning.

Emergency crews freed the male driver from his sport-utility vehicle after it hit a hydro pole at the intersection of Cedar, Code and Adshead roads Tuesday morning.

The driver was trapped for about an hour before B.C. Hydro crews could cut power and secure the pole, which was hanging above the vehcile.

Help sought in finding missing Parksville woman

Tracy Kelly

0214  – UPDATE – Police say there's a happy ending to the search for a missing Parksville woman. RCMP said Tracy Lee Kelly, 39, was found safe and sound.

0205 - Oceanside RCMP are seeking public assistance in finding Tracy Kelly, 39, missing from Parksville. She was last seen Jan. 23.

She is five-feet-two and 111 pounds, with blond hair and green eyes.

She is believed to be driving a grey 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan, with B.C. licence plate GR981S.

Police are very concerned for Kelly’s health and well-being and friends and family report it is out of character for her to be out of contact for this long.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is urged to contact their local police, or call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Air Canada to resume direct Toronto flights by June

0205 -  Air Canada has confirmed that non-stop flights between Nanaimo and Toronto will return this summer. The direct flights will return in June following a successful trial of the route last summer.

Angela Mah of Air Canada Rouge said the airline will add an additional flight between June and September to five per week compared to four in 2018.

The direct link garnered rave reviews from many travelers last summer.

MORE

Dinghy Dock and Protection Connection on the market

0205 - NanaimoNewsNOW reports that Protection Island's Dinghy Dock Pub is on the selling block. The $2.6-million price tag includes the pub, the ferry service which runs between Nanaimo's inner harbour and the island, the commercial dock and a waterfront home on Protection.

Realtor Mike McKillican, with Sutton West Coast Nanaimo, said the current owner is looking to move on from running the multi-faceted business after purchasing it for $1.3 million in 2004.

McKillican said he's already heard from locals concerned about the future of the small island's only restaurant and ferry connection to Nanaimo. He said at this point everyone who has expressed interest in the listing is looking to carry on the businesses.

MORE

City could lose gas tax money for walkway

0205 - The City may lose grant money for waterfront walkway construction.

City council voted unanimously Monday that $1 million be made available from the strategic infrastructure fund for walkway work in the 1 Port Drive area in 2019.

The city was granted $3.7 million in federal gas tax money last year for walkway work at 1 Port Drive, the boat basin and Northfield Creek, contingent on the necessary approvals, agreements and right-of-way acquisitions being in place by the end of this coming March.

Dale Lindsay, director of community planning, told council that although the city is ready to proceed on walkway work at 1 Port Drive, “the other two projects, we had not made sufficient headway on, enough to actually proceed. The condition was that we proceed on all three.”
 

Police cleared of liability
in fatal highway accident

0205 - The driver of a pickup truck being followed by police reached speeds up to 179 kilometres per hour on the wrong side of the highway before causing a double-fatal crash, a report has found.

Police acted appropriately in the moments leading up to the head-on crash Jan. 14 on the Trans-Canada Highway in Nanaimo, says the Independent Investigations Office of B.C.

The IIO released its report Tuesday morning on the incident.

MORE

Cruize Lettington-Mcconnell

Police trying to find
Cruize Lettington-McConnell

UPDATE: This youth has been located safe and sound.

0205 - The Nanaimo RCMP seeks public assistance in locating 15-year-old Cruize Lettington-Mcconnell who has not been seen since Tuesday Jan. 29. He has no fixed address and his disappearance is out of character for him, which has caused considerable concern for his friends and caregivers. Investigators have conducted extensive patrols throughout Nanaimo for him but to date they have been unable to locate him.

Lettington-Mcconnnell is 5 ft. 10, 110 pounds with blonde hair and green eyes. No clothing description was provided and the picture here is recent. If you see Cruize Lettington- Mcconnell please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477.

Dahlia Jade Wathall

Police seek help finding 
missing Comox teen

0205 - The police in the Comox Valley are looking for a missing teenager.

14-year old Dahlia Jade Wathall was last seen on January

Dahlia was last seen on Jan. 30 at 3 p.m. in Courtenay. She is approximately five feet and four inches tall, has a slender build and dyed red hair.

If you see Dahlia, or know where she may be, please call the Comox Valley RCMP at (250) 338-1321. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Comox Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at comoxvalleycrimestoppers.bc.ca.

Nanaimo man dies in car crash in Victoria

0204 - A Nanaimo man died in a two-car crash on the Trans-Canada Highway in Victoria yesterday.

West Shore RCMP have confirmed that a 24-year-old man died as a result of a two vehicle head-on collision near the Leigh Road overpass. B.C. Coroners Service confirmed the man who died was from Nanaimo.

Police report that about 1 p.m. Sunday two cars collided on the overpass. One car travelling south had two passengers, neither of whom was injured. The other car carried three passengers, including the victim.

 

Island health launching
needle return campaign

0204 - Island Health is launching a campaign to encourage people who use needles to return them safely.

The campaign will remind people to “make it your gig to return your rig” and support local needle-recovery efforts.

The Island, like much of the rest of the province, is grappling with addiction and drug issues that have led to a provincial emergency being called in 2016 to try and deal with the growing crisis.

MORE

300 students graduate from VIU programs

0202 - Vancouver Island University presented degrees and certificates to about 300 students during convocation Friday.

Students graduated from management, business, science and technology and trades programs during the morning ceremony. Two ceremonies were held at the Port Theatre in front of families and friends.

Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin addressed the students graduating from the university’s social sciences, education and health and human services programs and showed her sense of humour by raising her hand in a StarTrek Vulcan salute and telling the students to "live long and prosper".

MORE

 

School trustees approve
higher pay level for board

0202 - Nanaimo Ladysmith trustees have approved a pay raise in order to make up for increased deductions from new tax laws.

Prior to January, a third of trustee remuneration was tax exempt, but that changed at the beginning of 2019 when it became fully taxable. To offset this, the school board approved changes to give trustees $18,470 a year and the board chair $20,470

Tania Brzovic, business committee chairwoman, told the board at its Jan. 31 meeting that the committee recommendation is to balance things so trustees don’t lose money. 

MORE

Fisheries Minister says herring
fishery will go ahead on coast

0202 - The final commercial herring fishery on the west coast will not be shut down.

Courtenay-Alberni New Democrat MP Gord Johns challenged minister Jonathan Wilkinson Thursday to close the fishery in the Strait of Georgia due to a lack of supply. He said herring are a critical part of the area's ecosystem, providing a food source for local salmon, which in turn feed endangered southern resident killer whales.

Wilkinson said the Strait of Georgia herring stocks are abundant and the fishery will go ahead, adding regulatory decisions are based on science.

MORE

We may be in for a blanket of snow next week

0131 - Environment Canada says snow is a distinct possibility for much of Vancouver Island, beginning on Sunday.

Environment Canada predicts a chance of flurries for Nanaimo, Duncan, Courtenay, Port Alberni and Campbell River Sunday and Wednesday and the same Tuesday and Wednesday in Port Hardy and Wednesday in Ucluelet.

Malcolmson wins Nanaimo byelection for NDP

MLA-elect Sheila Malcolmson

0130 - Nanaimo voters have chosen former NDP member of Parliament Sheila Malcolmson as their MLA.

Elections BC figures show a 47.2 per cent voter turnout with 21,410 ballots cast.

“We are going to generate positive results for people right here at home,” she said in her acceptance speech Wednesday. “So there is work to do and most especially, as New Democrats do like nobody else does, we are going to make sure that prosperity is shared. We have the strongest jobs record, we have the strongest economy in the country right now, but we need to make sure that is shared by everyone. That’s our prime directive.”

MORE

Nanaimo police dog assists in arrest of suspect

Jager

0131 - Three people with flashlights, late at night, near a parked vehicle, is a good enough reason to call the CMP. That is what a resident of Verte Place did. His actions lead to the arrest of a 30-year-old female and the recovery of a stolen vehicle. The incident occurred at approximately 2 a.m. on Tuesday .

RCMP responded and located the vehiclewhich had been stolen just four days prior. No one was seen around the vehicle, however, officers requested Police Dog Services attend and attempt to locate the the suspects.

Cst Grafton and Police Dog Jager responded and quickly established a track leading off to some nearby bushes. Just 30 feet into the track Jager located a woman hiding. She refused to do as commanded by Cst Grafton, and after a short altercation with Jager, she was taken into police custody, and arrested for Possession of Stolen Property relating to the stolen vehicle. 

MORE

First responders conference to study PTSD

More than 300 first responders from across the province will be in Richmond to talk about their mental health.

Police, firefighters, paramedics and dispatchers along with government representatives, mental-health professionals and researchers will discuss the occupational traumas and stressors that are unique to emergency response work.

The first-of-its-kind conference is being led by the B.C. First Responders’ Mental Health Committee, which is chaired by WorkSafeBC.

“First responders see so much traumatic and horrific incidents, and deal with it daily, weekly monthly, and over a career,” said Fire Chief Karen Fry of the Nanaimo Fire Department. “The difference is first responders are living in a war zone; they don’t get to return to their home country, a safe zone. Every corner they drive by reminds them of an incident.”

That’s why it’s important to talk about mental health, Fry said. She will speak this week at the first BC First Responder’s Mental Health Conference, and talk about leadership in fire service.  62 are going to the conference from Vancouver Island and the South Coast.

MORE

Man gets six month in jail for mysterious beating

0130 -A man has been jailed after pleading guilty to an unprovoked attack he claims he can't remember which left a Nanaimo man with serious facial injuries.

Peter Anthony Wuitchik, 36, was convicted of assault causing bodily harm and mischief gpt attacking  a 67-year-old man on his Stewart Avemur property near the Departure Bay ferry terminal.

Wuitchik received six months in jail and 18-months probation following a joint submission between the Crown and defence in provincial court in Nanaimo Tuesday.

Court heard on Sept. 5, 2017 at around 2 a.m. Wuitchik was confronted by Craig Fleming for looking into his neighbour's car.

Crown prosecutor Basil McCormick said Wuitchik responded by punching Fleming in the face multiple times, sending him to the ground with serious facial wounds.

MORE

Island Health issues measles immunization reminder

In the shadow of a state of emergency in Washinton State due to a measels outbreak, Island Health encourages Island residents to check their vaccination records.

Dr. Charmaine Enns, medical health officer for Island Health, said while the measles is a serious infection, it is vaccine-preventable.

“Before the vaccine, (measles) was quite common but serious. As we vaccinate, sometimes we lose seriousness of the infection. This is a disease that is serious; it can cause infections or pneumonia.”

MORE

Lantzville wants out of the speculation tax scheme

0130 - Lantzville wants out of the speculation tax and wants the provincial government to know it.

Council voted unanimously to write Carole James, B.C. minister of finance, requesting the exemption from the speculation tax and empty homes tax.

It’s not the first time Lantzville councillors have gone down this road.

MORE

City says action plan is in place for tempory housing

0129 - An action plan is in place to address concerns at temporary supportive housing sites in Nanaimo.

The topic again came to the council table on Monday as a group called Park Watch asked for city support in crime prevention efforts at Beban Park.

“We really hope that the city recognizes the urgency…” said Angela Wood, Park Watch member. “It’s too much for our organizations to take on by ourselves and we would really like to see the city put forth and pull together the resources and take them and fix up the park now and not 12 months from now.”

MORE

Poll has Harris with big lead going into byelection

0128 – A Mainstreet Research poll of 753 voters in Nanaimo shows the B.C. Liberals with a commanding lead, supported by 44.7 per cent of respondents. The NDP stood at 32.2 per cent, 12.5 per cent behind the Liberals. The Greens were at 13.7 per cent and the B.C. Conservatives at 7 per cent.

When the names of the candidates were presented, 43.5 per cent preferred B.C. Liberal Tony Harris compared to 35 per cent for New Democrat Sheila Malcolmson, who's the former MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith. B.C. Green Michele Ney is in third place with 12.2 percent.

The Nanaimo byelection will be held on Wednesday, with polls open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. See all the polling locations HERE.

See Brian Peckford's comment HERE

Women hide in closet during home invasion

0129 - Two women baricaded themselves in a closet during a home invasion last week.The incident happened at about 10:30 p.m. Friday at a residence on the 2700 block of Labieux Road when the women discovered a man muttering incoherently and rummaging around in their home.

The women confronted the man, who left the residence, but then shortly after returned, kicked in the front door and proceeded to continue rummaging around the house. The women, both their late 20s, locked themselves in a bedroom and called police.

MORE

Four vehicles involved in crash in Old City Quarter

0129 - A pickup truck rolled upside-down after colliding with a car in the Old City Quarter. Two other vehicles were also caught in the chain reaction.

One man was taken to hospital with unknown injuries that weren’t believed to be serious following the accident, which happened at about 7 p.m. on Milton Street near Fitzwilliam Street. The driver and sole occupant of the  pickup needed to be extricated by Nanaimo Fire Rescue, but was up walking after that, said emergency personnel on scene.

MORE

20 per cent have already voted in byelection

0128 - More than 20 per cent of eligible voters for Wednesday’s Nanaimo byelection cast their ballots at advanced polls.

There 45,359 registered voters eligible to cast a ballot and 9,322 took advantage of advance voting between Jan. 22 and 27.

The byelection could decide the fate of the NDP minority government.

If the NDP loses the seat to the Liberals, the legislature would be tied at 43 votes between the Liberals and the NDP-Green power-sharing alliance. Speaker Darryl Plecas, who defected from the Liberals in 2017, would be required to break any tie votes.

MORE

Jean Burns fire site final clean up to begin in February

0127 -The Jean Burns Building site will be cleared shortly, but that does not signal redevelopment.

Rick Hyne, of Crankshaw Holdings, said the lengthy insurance claim process has been settled and he expects the site will be cleared of its remaining debris in February.

Hyne said the property's soil, where a gas station once sat, needs to be examined. Remediation could be costly and time consuming.

“We need to take a look at costs versus return on that and then see what our property is worth now and worth later,” Hyne said.

MORE

Nanaimo Airport now second-busiest on Vancouver Island

0127 - Nanaimo Airport is now second only to Victoria in passenger numbers.

The Airport handled 435,349 passengers in 2018, surpassing Comox Airport which processed just under 420,000 passengers last year. Victoria remains the Island’s busiest airport, with 2.05 million passengers in 2018.

Mike Hooper, president and chief executive officer of Nanaimo Airport, said it is the first time, to his knowledge, that Nanaimo has exceeded Comox in passenger numbers in single year.

Nanaimo’s figures are a 22-per-cent increase from the previous year, a nearly 40-per-cent increase over four years. Hooper said the airport is expecting to handle more than 470,000 passengers this year.

MORE

Alert from motorist leads to impaired driving arrest

0126 - A real-time tip from a motorist led Nanaimo RCMP to seize drugs and nearly $2,000 cash 

Police said a driver called them after seeing a southbound car, swerving in and out of lanes near Superior Road and old Island Highway around 1:30 p.m. Jan. 24. The car was reported all over the road, crossing the centre line and speeding up and slowing down. The caller followed the erratic driver until the man stopped near Brannen Road.

Police were able to locate the vehicle in minutes, based on the information from the caller. Police said the 36-year-old suspect was shoed “gross symptoms of impairment and was arrested for impaired driving.”

MORE

Heavy turnout at advance polls for byelection

0125 - More than 3,000 people cast ballots during the first two days of advance voting for the provincial byelection in Nanaimo.

Elections B.C. says 1,532 people voted Tuesday and a further 1,655 voted Wednesday at two advance polling stations.

Missing woman located safe and sound

Kandace Pirart

0125 - UPDATE - RCMP report that 29-year-old Kandace Pirat, who was reported missing since Jan. 16, has been located safe and sound.

0124 - The Nanaimo RCMP seeks assistance in locating 29-year-old Kandace Pirart who was last seen on January 16 and has not been heard from since. Her disappearance is out of character and has caused her family and friends to be worried for her safety and well-being.

Pirart does not own a cell phone nor does she have access to a vehicle. She is also believed to be wearing a long green coat with a fur collar and a toque. Kandace Pirart is 5 ' 5" 140 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes.

If you have information on the whereabouts of Kandace Pirart, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477.

Housing prices still rising, up seven per cent in past year

Google Street View

 

0124 - Regardless of outside forces, real estate prices continue to rise in Nanaimo. Despite sales being down 24 per cent from a year ago, prices still increased seven per cent during that period. 

The average selling price of single family homes rose to $556,820 from $518,452 a year earlier.

The average selling price of the 46 single family homes sales in December was $574,955.

The average condo sold for $363,568 with unit sales up six per cent, 12 months to date. 

Lot sales volume is down by 32 per cent but lot prices continue to rise, increasing by 23 per cent, 12 months to date. Average lot sale price was $284,637. 

The most active region in December was South Nanaimo with nine sales averaging $468,144. North Nanaimo had seven sales averging $696,157. Hammond Bay had the highest average selling price at $886,000 on three sales. FULL REPORT HERE.

Citizens take garbage cleanup into their own hands

One of the nasty scenes the Van Isle Clean Team has tackled around Nanaimo.
Photo from Facebook

0123 - It's hardly surprising to see pictures online or hear someone complain about a massive pile of garbage in the bushes around Nanaimo. But instead of joining the hundreds of people complaining about the longstanding issue, two men are taking action.

Les Girard and Jeff Callaghan recently formed the Van Isle Clean Team. So far it's a group of two, as the pair volunteer their time and effort to clean up dump sites and abandoned homeless camps around Nanaimo.

Fed up with stumbling across pristine areas in nature fouled by people's garbage, Girard said he decided to join Callaghan's efforts and start a Facebook page to document their work.

MORE

Woman pedestrian injured in hit and run at crosswalk

A 63-year-old woman was taken to hospital after she was struck by a vehicle in a crosswalk hit and run. The incident occurred at approximately 8:15 PM on Tuesday, 2019 at Commercial Street and Terminal Avenue.

Police said the woman was legally on the crosswalk when she was struck by a car which was turning left onto Terminal Avenue from Commercial Street. She was knocked down and suffered significant, but non-life threatening injuries. BC Paramedics transported her to hospital.

The vehicle fled the scene, but a short time later a ca similar to the one seen leaving the accident, was found abandoned on Cliff Street. The registered owner lives in the Lower Mainland. The investigation is continuing.

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

Home care complaints soar on Vancouver Island

0123 - Complaints about home care and support on Vancouver Island were up 45 per cent in 2018 compared to the year before.

A report released by the Office of the Seniors Advocate of British Columbia shows a 32 per cent rise in home care complaints across the province, above a 23 per cent increase a year earlier.

Vancouver Island surpasses the provincial rate. There were 187 complaints from Island Health home care patients in 2017-2018 – a small portion of the total patients, but still a 45 per cent jump from the previous year.

Police disrupt major drug operation in Nanaimo

0123 - RCMP have have thrown a serious monkey wrench into a major drug opertion.

Polie conducted a 10-month investigation focussing on members of the Red Scorpions who have been active in the sale and distribution of drugs in Nanaimo. Search warrants were carried out in Nanaimo and Vancouver leading to a number of arrests and the seizure of cash, illegal drugs and weapons.

Last April the Nanaimo RCMP Projects Team investigated a home on Linyard Valley, leading to a a search warrant with the resulting seizure of 10 ounces of suspected fentanyl, $35,000 in Canadian currency and four firearms. Three men were charged with various drug trafficking offences and are before the courts.

The investigation continued and led to multiple search warrants in various jurisdictions, between Dec. 15 and 18. Nanaimo RCMP Projects Team carried out six search warrants in Nanaimo, Vancouver and Richmond, with the assistance of the Vancouver Police Department, Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island RCMP ERT, Federal Serious Organized Crime Section, Richmond RCMP, along with other Nanaimo RCMP investigative sections.

The searches lead to the seizure of over 30 pounds of dried cannabis, more than three kilograms of controlled substances believed to be cocaine, crystal methamphetamine and fentanyl. Also seized was cannabis oil, more than $93,000 in Canadian currency, passports, scales and other drug paraphernalia. Four men, age 20 to 45, were arrested during the Nanaimo searches however none have been charged to date. 

, said Sgt. Rob Christensen, who oversees the Projects Team.

The investigation is continuing and further arrests and charges are expected in the upcoming months. 

Legal cannabis sales closer to reality in Nanaimo

Buying marijuana from a licensed store in Nanaimo blazed a little bit closer to reality Monday when city council passed the first two readings of a rezoning application for what could become the city’s first licensed cannabis store.

MORE

 

Company apologizes after employess disrespect convoy

SWEENIE MOVING photo

Mr. Lube has issued an apology after employees were said to have made rude gestures to truck drivers who were paying their respects to an eight-year-old Nanaimo boy who died this month.

MORE

Half of registered candidates excluded from debate

 

The political process is supposed to be democracy in action – too bad that is what was missing from Monday's debate for the provincial byelection. Columnist Brian Peckford was there and gives us his impression, and a grading of the candidates' performances. The next debate is on Thursday evening. http://www.nanaimonet.com/435676391

 

All-candidate questions can be submitted by e-mail

Do you have something you want to ask the candidates in the Nanaimo provincial byelection? The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce all-candidates meeting at Beban Social Centre on Thursday is your opportunity.

Questions will be taken from the audience but you can also submit them in advance to info@nanaimochamber.bc.ca

“The free forum includes a candidate meet and greet, starting at 6 pm, with the formal debate at 7:30 pm. All six parties have confirmed participation” says Kim Smythe, Chamber President and CEO.. 

More information on the candidates and the electoral process for the Janu 30 election can be found at www.elections.bc.ca/nan-byelection.

No details as Plecas tables report on legislature debacle

Darryl Plecas

0121 - Legislature Speaker Darryl Plecas says he’s written a 76-page report full of evidence of what he says is wrongdoing at the legislature, and it will be up to an all-party commitee of MLAs to decide whether to release it publicly.

Plecas told the committee of MLAs that the report is in response to a self-imposed deadline to give the public information about a scandal that’s resulted in a suspension of the building’s two top officials.

The report will “set out details about how those concerns arose and presented an initial review of some relevant evidence conducted at the time it was available,” Plecas told MLAs on Monday.

MLAs went in-camera to review legal advice about the report shortly after opening the meeting.

Marine rescue assists sailboat taking on water

0121 - Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 27 Nanaimo dispatched both its vessels to aid a 48-foot sailboat in distress off Five Finger Islands at 10:30 Sunday night. 

Search and rescue vessels McGregor and Meynell responded after the captain reported taking on water and having lost power. Rescue personnel put pumps on board to help the owner keep the boat afloat, before towing it to Stone’s Marina for emergency haulout at 3 a.m.

B.C. Ferries Queen of Cowichan was first on the scene, throwing a life ring and providing lighting for rescue operation.

The boat’s owner was believed to have been moving the boat from French Creek to Nanaimo when he called for assistance.

Man found dead in car after crash on Poplar Street

0121 - A 73-year-old man was found dead after his car crashed Saturday evening at Poplar Street and the Island Highway. He was the lone occupant in the vehicle.

Witnesses told RCMP the man was seen driving erratically prior to the crash, going north along the highway when it struck a median and several signs before turning on to Poplar Street. From there, it went down an embankment, rolled once and came to rest.

Alcohol, speed and drugs have been eliminated as factors. Investigators are exploring the possibility that the driver may have experienced a medical emergency prior to the crash. B.C. Coroner's Service along with an RCMP Traffic Analyst attended the scene.

Armed man holds up northend gas bar and convenience store

Do you recongize this suspect from an armed robbery?

Just after 8 PM on Sunday Jan.y 20, a man armed with a handgun robbed the Northridge Gas and Go convenience store, at the intersection of Turner Road and Uplands Drive. No employees were injured and responding officers were unable to locate the suspect. 

Shortly after entering the business, the suspect produced a handgun then demanded the clerk hand over cash from the till. After providing an undisclosed amount of money the suspect left on foot. Nanaimo RCMP Police Dog Services along with numerous officers responded and managed to track the suspect toward the intersection of Oliver Road and the Highway 19A where the trail ended.

The suspect is white, 30-40 years old, slim, and wearing a dark hoodie, touque, gloves and blue jeans. If you have any information, call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477.

Terminal housing security too late, say neighbors

0121 - ecurity has been stepped up but neighbours of a new supportive housing complex on Terminal Avenue are not satisfied.

Some who have been complaining about safety since 80 temporary modular homes went up in December say crime spiked after a long-standing tent city was dismantled and people living there moved into a site managed by BC Housing.

Children and seniors are still prisoners in their homes. It is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The ship still sinks, one opponent said.

BC Housing’s Dominic Flanagan says efforts are being made to ensure all safety concerns are addressed.

MORE

Violent offender arrested by Parksville RCMP

0118 - David Klassen, a man with a violent past,  was arrested in Parksville Wednesday for numerous outstanding warrants, including for an assault in Errington in September.

Klassen, 26, is accused of punching a man in the face and breaking his nose, which is partly why his case was considered a priority file.

In addition to the assault, Klassen is charged with resisting arrest and breaching his court-ordered conditions.

MORE

Tent city bill tops $300,000 – legal bills remain secret

0118 - Nanaimo taxpayers will soon find out the total bill for the downtown illegal tent encampment but preliminary numbers show it will be significant. The data does not include substantial legal fees, which the City declined to release on several occasions even after multiple FOI requests were filed

A detailed cost breakdown showed the City spent a little more than $300,000 on matters related to the sprawling downtown tent city from the time it opened in mid-May up until Nov. 1.

MORE

Council revamping committee of the whole

Coun Erin Hemmens

0118 - City council is doing away with committee of the whole meetings.

Council has approved a plan for  staff develop terms of reference for a new Governance and Priorities Committee, which would eventually replace committee of the whole meetings. Staff have until March 1 to develop terms of reference for the new committee.

The GPC will include all members of council, serve as an open forum for councillors and the public to have in-depth discussions on a selected topics. Recommendations  would be provided to council for consideration, said Coun. Erin Hemmens.  MORE

Suspect arrested after bear spray attack on RCMP

0117 - A Nanaimo man accused of assaulting two Port Alberni RCMP officers and stealing vehicles around the area is in custody.

Christopher Michael Yaskow, 28, was arrested without incident on Wednesday at a home in Coombs around 4:30 p.m. It was a co-ordinated response by Oceanside, Nanaimo and Port Alberni RCMP after officers were tipped off he was heading to the Coombs area.

Yaskow was wanted for bear spraying two Port Alberni police officers. MORE

Crime Stoppers a major success since inception in 1990

0117 - Nanaimo and District Crime Stoppers has helped police recover $1.5 million in stolen property and intercept $9 million in illegal drugs cince it was formed in 1990.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said Crime Stoppers is proud of an award-winning Crime of the Week partnership with a media organization, and said more recently it worked with taxi companies to train drivers to report tips.

Crime Stoppers is not a police agency, doesn’t receive government funding and relies on fundraising and community volunteers. MORE

City seeks funding for child care inventory and needs

0117 - The City wants to get a handle on how many child care spaces exist and how many more are needed in the community.

Council voted to apply for a grant from the provincial government’s community child care planning program, which would give the city at least $25,000 to develop a child care space creation plan.

The city would be required to identify existing child care facilities, create an inventory of existing spaces, identify targets over a 10-year period and develop strategies to meet those targets. MORE

Nanaimo next on list for urgent primary care centre

Health Minister Adrian Dix

0116 - Nanaimo is next on the list for an Urgent Primary Care Centre. Health Minister Adrian Dix today said work is under way to provide a centre that will make it easier for people to access basic health services.

He made the announcement at the NDP campaign office for the Nanaimo byelection on Jan. 30.

“Once established, the Urgent Primary Care Centre in Nanaimo will connect patients with ongoing primary healthcare delivered by a team of professionals, as well as provide a same-day care alternative to waiting in the emergency department,” said Dix.

“Many people visit the Nanaimo Hospital emergency department who would rather be seen by member of a primary healthcare team, including a family doctor, nurse practitioner or other healthcare professional. This centre will now provide that option.”

Driver in fatal crash has prior conviction of causing death

Kurtis Timothy

The driver in one of the vehicles in a double fatal crash near Nanaimo had a prior conivction of dangerous driving causing death nearly 13 years ago.

The driver of a pickup police said was headed in the wrong direction on the Trans-Canada Hwy. south of Nanaimo was identified as 31-year-old Kurtis Timothy.

Timothy, of Nanaimo, was fleeing an attempted traffic stop in Harewood early Monday morning. 

Cliff Bishop, 54, was the driver of the northbound SUV.

Police said both men died at the scene of the head-on collision. MORE

New rules tighten security at homeless housing project

0116 -Operators are making changes at the 80 unit temporary supportive housing project on Terminal Avenue.

Residents will now have to check in and out through an office at the site instead of a gate. The project is home to about 80 former residents.

The office will be the only access to the site, said Violet Hayes, executive director of the operator Island Crisis Care Society.

“Everyone coming in and out would be checking in with a staff member. I think that will really help us get a handle on what's happening, along with better security around the site,” Hayes told NanaimoNewsNOW.

MORE

City gives nod to borrowing $4.5 million for Port Theatre

0116 - City council has tentatively approved borrowing $4.5 million for construction of the Port Theatre’s proposed community performing arts centre.

Councillors also approved an additional $100,000 toward the project. That money will come from the city’s strategic infrastructure reserve fund. Both motions were approved unanimously.

The proposed performing arts centre project would feature a 50- 240-seat performance space, two rehearsal spaces, estimated to cost $21.2 million, with $15.5 million sought through a federal infrastructure grant request which councillors supported late last year. The remaining money would come from the city and the Port Theatre Society. MORE

Tilray signs major marketing deal with U.S. company

116 - Nanaimo-bsased Tilray has signed a major marketing deal with brand development, marketing and entertainment company Authentic Brands Group.

Tilray said it has signed with a long-term revenue sharing agreement to market and distribute a portfolio of consumer cannabis products within ABG’s brand portfolio in jurisdictions where regulations permit.

ABG will develop, market and distribute consumer cannabis products worldwide with an immediate focus on Canadian and U.S. markets, with Tilray as the preferred supplier of active cannabinoid ingredients. MORE

VIU reseachers to study northern glaciers

Professors Brad Maguire, Left) and Jerome Lesemann stand in front of 70 million-year-old fossil. Keewatin Esker. VIU photo

0115 - A Vancouver Island University research project will examine the glacial landscape of Canada’s North, leading to new mapping methods that will help people identify sources of sand, gravel or minerals. 

Canada’s North is rich in natural resources and a major driver of economic growth in the region. Large mineral deposits could include diamonds, gold, silver, copper and other base metals. 

VIU Professors Dr. Jerome Lesemann (Earth Science Department) and Dr. Brad Maguire (Geography Department), with the help of Yiqing Luo, a VIU Master of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Applications student, are being funded by Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN - Earth Sciences Sector) to assist in the development of better remote predictive mapping (RPM) methods aiding exploration.

SEE THE WHOLE STORY

Investigations Office probing fatal crash on Island Highway

0115 - The Independent Investigations Office is investigating to determine whether police action or inaction are linked to the death of a driver after a failed traffic stop in Harewood ended in a head-on crash. Two people died in the crash on the Trans-Canada Hwy. south of Nanaimo on Monday.

BC RCMP said a Nanaimo Mountie tried to stop a pick-up truck in Harewoord, near Tenth Street, just before 1 a.m. on Jan. 14, but the driver of the pick-up took off, racing onto the Trans-Canada Hwy.

"The vehicle was last seen heading southbound in the northbound lane of the Trans-Canada Hwy.," an RCMP statement said. "A two-vehicle head-on collision occurred between the pick-up and another vehicle in the northbound lane." Both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene. 

MORE

Council unhappy with supportive housing project

Mayor Leonard Krog

0115 - City leaders are concerned and disappointed with with the supportive housing complex at 250 Terminal Ave. which was quickly opened to alleviate the homelessness crisis.

“It has not turned out the way I had hoped or expected,” mayor Leonard Krog said during Monday's council meeting. “One could not describe what's happened at 250 Terminal Ave. as a success...none of us are happy.”

Safety concerns around the site dominated discussion at the council meeting, with a delegation and numerous speakers during question period. Councillors heard how residents in the area are now afraid to leave their houses at night, are often accosted when they do at any time of day and have noticed a significant spike in crime.

MORE

Marr, Davidson named to permanent roles at Port of Nanaimo

Ian Marr, CEO and Mike Davidosn, COO

0114 - Ian Marr has been named Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Nanaimo while Mike Davidson is Chief Operating Officer. Both had shared the co-CEO title for the past several months.

"We are very pleased to announce Ian as our new CEO,” said Michelle Corfield, Chair of the Port of Nanaimo Board. “It is gratifying to have two dependable, long-term employees with deep local roots ready to serve and help us build on our strengths moving forward.  They have proven themselves to be trustworthy public servants and we are confident that with Ian as CEO and Mike as COO, our administration team is in good hands.”

Marr, a Certified General Accountant and Chartered Professional Accountant, had served the previous five years as Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration. Marr started working for the Nanaimo Harbour Commission, as it was then called, in 1987, in property leasing.  

“I am happy, excited and honoured to lead the team at the Port of Nanaimo through a very exciting period in its development,” said Marr. His immediate goals are to proceed with current initiatives including the Vehicle Processing Centre that is due to open in February, and develop more business for the Port and employment in the community. 

 "We will be reconnecting in various formats with our many stakeholders, partners and community to assist in managing our priorities for 2019 and for planning into the future,” he added. “Focusing on our people and the excellent work they do is also very important to me.”

Davidson was raised in Nanaimo. He joined the Port in 1985 after graduating from Malaspina College (now Vancouver Island University) and has been managing Port properties since 1992.

“I am excited about this new opportunity and look forward to being a part of a growing Port of Nanaimo. Together alongside Ian, our Board of Directors, employees and our community Port partners we can achieve great things for Nanaimo.

Davidson will oversee day-to-day operations of the business of the Port, and in concert with Marr, provide overall leadership, strategy and vision to achieve the corporation’s objectives and goals.

“Having Ian and Mike in these positions gives our employees and customers confidence that they will be well looked after,” said Port of Nanaimo Vice Chair Donna Hais. “Being able to hire from within our ranks is an added bonus and speaks to the strength of our staff.”

Two dead in crash on Trans Canada Hwy south

0114 - A portion of the Trans Canada Highway south of Nanaimo has been shut down after two people died in a crash.

The northbound lanes between Duke Point Highway and Cedar Road were closed. B.C. Coroners Service confirmed it is investigating two deaths, but couldn’t comment further.

MORE

Two injured in crash on Island Highway near Nanoose

0113 -  Two people were injured when a vehicle going the wrong way crashed into another vehicle on Hwy. 19 in Nanoose Bay late last week.

Oceanside RCMP Staff Sgt. Marc Pelletier said a northbound vehicle hit the oncoming vehicle in the southbound lanes at 12:20 a.m. Friday just north of the Nanoose Bay Petro Canada gas station.

MORE

Regional District looks at parking for base of Mount Benson

0113 - Regional District of Nanaimo directors will vote Jan. 22 on a $527,000 parking lot at Mount Benson Regional Park.

There is parking for 24 vehicles on Benson View Road, but the RDN has received complaints from residents. An average of 54 people use the park daily. A request for proposals was posted from November and December.

The committee of the whole voted to award the contract to Milestone Equipment Contracting, one of eight contractors bidding and according Milestone was the lowest compliant bidder.

MORE

Chamber all-candidate forum Jan 24 at Beban

0111 - The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, which has long been a leader in community participation in elections, will hold an all-candidate forum at Beban Park Auditorium on Jan. 24. 

The event is co-sponsored by Vancouver Island University, Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and local media, including Nanaimonet.com. 

The Forum includes an opportunity to meet candidates, starting at 6 pm with the formal debate at 7:30 pm. All six parties have been invited – the NDP represented by Sheila Malcolmson, BC Liberal  Tony Harris, Green Party Michele Ney, BC Conservative Justin Greenwod, Bill Walker for the Libertarian Party and Robin Richardson with the Vancouver Island Party. 

Questions for the candidates may be submitted to info@nanaimochamber.bc.ca

More information on the candidates and the electoral process for the January 30 election can be found HERE.

Fraudster ordered to repay $11,000 to furniture store

0110 - A Nanaimo man has been ordered to repay $11,000 to a local furniture store after he used a fraudulent credit card to buy furniture. He has six months to pay.

Roger Ian Der, 38, was convicted in provincial court in Nanaimo after he admitted to three charges and seven total counts during a joint submission between Crown counsel and the defence.

Der will serve 33 additional days behind bars on weekends at the Nanaimo Correctional Centre as he was credited for time served prior to being sentenced for fraud, drug and driving offences.

MORE DETAIL

Trudeau not setting federal byelection date just yet

0110 - A federal byelection date for the vacant fderal Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding likely won’t be announced until after the provincial byelection.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the News Bulletin Trudeau won’t set the date until after a provincial byelection to avoid possible confusion.

Elections Canada stated earlier this week that a federal byelection will be required, that a date must be announced between Jan. 18 and July 6, and that the byelection must be held at least 36 days after is announced.

MORE DETAIL

Six candidates in provincial byelection

0110 - Six candidate were registered at the nomination deadline for the Jan. 30 Nanaimo Ladysmith provincial byelection.

The lists of candidates:  Justin Greenwood, B.C. Conservatives; Tony Harris, B.C. Liberals; Sheila Malcolmson, NDP; Michele Ney, B.C. Green Party; Robin Richardson, Vancouver Island Party; Bill Walker, B.C. Libertarians.

On general voting day, polls will be open from 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. Advance voting takes place Jan. 22-27.

BC Conservatives pick Greenwood for byelection

Justin Greenwood

0109 - BC Conservatives have named 37-year-old Justin Greenwood of Victoria as their candidate in the Nanaimo provincial byelection.

He was born and raised and lived on southern Vancouver Island for just over 32 years and works  and lives in Victoria. 

Greenwood is the interim deputy party leader and has been involved with the party since 2016 and was a candidate in the 2017 provincial election, in Langley, where he finished third.

“I see this as an important byelection. The other three parties – Liberals, NDP, and Greens combined, have all increased the cost of living for not only the people of Nanaimo, but all of British Columbia. There needs to be a choice for those who demand better and I will be that choice for them in Nanaimo,” Greenwood said.

Greenwood and Party members were door knocking during the past weekend. 

“I'm getting a good feel of what the concerns are that either haven't been met, or just ignored. I look forward to meeting many more of the people either on their door-steps, out in the community, and at all-candidate meetings”, he said.

READ MORE at A curious look at politics in BC.blogspot.com

 

Second suspect arrested in Christmas home break and enter

0109 - A second suspect has been arrested in relation to the Christmas morning break and enter on Stonewater Drive in which wrapped gifts and Christmas stockings were stolen.

Nanaimo RCMP have arrested a 21-year-old Axel Wolfgang Lambert of Nanaimo on Tuesday/ He is being held in custody overnight.

The Nanaimo RCMP Street Crimes Unit, tasked with this investigation, searched Lambert's residence and arrested him without incident. 

He has been charged with one count of break and enter and was be appear in Nanaimo Provincial court on Wednesdayto determine if whether he will be held in custody. The other accused, 20-year-old Justin Feusse, has been previously remanded into police custody and is scheduled to make his next court appearance on Thursday, Jan.10.

The investigation is continuing.

Cedar boil-water advisory remains in effect

A boil-water advisory for the North Cedar Improvement District remains in effect. The order affects nearly 1,300 connections in Cedar.

District Administrator Jennifer Bradley said high turbidity levels caused by storms impacted water quality in the well system. It is hoped the advisory, overseen by Island Health, would be cleared by the end of the week.

MORE

Clarke running for People's Party in federal byelection

Jennifer Clarke

0109 - The People’s Party of Canada in Nanaimo-Ladysmith has chosen Jennifer Clarke as the party’s byelection candidate.

Clarke ran unsuccessfully for Nanaimo School District board last October and then lost her bid to become the Conservative Party candidate.

Clarke said she thinks a byelection in Nanaimo-Ladysmith will happen fairly shortly and said the People’s Party of Canada will have a strong presence in the campaign. She said PPC leader Maxime Bernier – who is expected to visit the riding as soon as this week – is an amazing speaker and person with a strong message and a lot of good leadership qualities.
 
 

Nanaimo not on list of federal byelection dates

0109 -  Federal byelection will be held Feb. 25 for three vacant electoral districts; Burnaby South, York-Simcoe in Ontario and Outremont in Quebec. Nanaimo was not mentioned in the announcement.

Elections Canada has said that a byelection is required to choose a new member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Ladysmith. It announced Tuesday that a byelection will take place in the riding, though no date has been announced.

Province looking into detour options over Malahat

0109 - The province is studying emergency detour routes over the Malahat as part of a new transportation strategy for improving traffic flow on Southern Vancouver Island.

The report will address congestion between Duncan and West Shore communities in Greater Vicoria.

“For too long, the infrastructure needs of the communities there have been ignored. It is time we start investing in long-term, innovative, multi-modal solutions to address congestion, while respecting and honouring the wishes and rights of local First Nations,” said Transport Minister Claire Trevena.

RCMP looking for owner of camera and lens

Is this your camera?

0108 - A camera and high-end lens have been turned in to Nanaimo RCMP who are looking for the owner.

RCMP were contacted in in late December and told investigators they were given the camera and lens as a Christmas gift, from a person who they know is actively involved in property-related crimes throughout Nanaimo. Based on this, they turned it over to the RCMP. Investigators have not had any luck tracking the owner through the serial numbers or model number for the camera or lens.

If you recognize this equipment or have information on the lawful owner, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.

Police arrest suspect within two hours of bank robbery

0107 - David Scott Mcaree, of no fixed address, has been remanded into custody and charged with one count of robbery  of a local CIBC bank. The incident occurred Saturday  at the CIBC branch, in Port Place Mall. 

Officers responed to a 911 hold up alarm. Staff said a lone male had produced a note indicating he had a gun. A teller handed over an undisclosed amount of cash, after which the suspect exited the bank. No weapon was seen or produced and no employees were injured during the robbery.

Bank surveillance footage showed the man arriving and then departing in a waiting taxi. Within two hours, officers were able to track the suspect male to a residence on Wesley St, where he was arrested without incident and the majority of the stolen money was recovered.

Mcaree has been remanded into custody. His next court appearance is set for Tuesday January 15, 2019 in Nanaimo Provincial court.

Duke Point ferry terminal shutting down Jan. 26-27

0107 - Duke Point ferry terminal will be closed for one weekend this month, but travellers will still be able to get to and from Tsawwassen on those days. The  terminal will be shut  Jan. 26-27 for replacement of the vehicle ramp.

Sailings to and from Tsawwassen on those days will leave from and arrive at Departure Bay terminal with a modified schedule. On Jan. 26, sailings in both directions on that route will leave at 6:50 a.m., 9:20 a.m., 11:50 a.m., 2:20 p.m., 4:50 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. On Jan. 27, sailings leave at 9:20 a.m., 11:50 a.m., 2:20 p.m., 4:50 p.m., 7:20 p.m. and 9:50 p.m.

MORE

Eight-year-old boy dies in bike collision with pickup

0107 - An eight-year-old boy has died after being struck by a pickup truck while riding his bicycle on Sunday on Nelson Street. The driver of the truck remained at the scene and co-operated with investigators.

Bystanders and first responders gave first aid almost immediately before the boy was taken to hospital where he died.

The boy, who was wearing a helmet, was with a sibling when he rode out of a driveway and collided with the truck. Alcohol, speed and drugs are not believed to be contributing factors. The vehicle will undergo a mechanical inspection.

Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP said several bystanders initiated emergency first aid but they left the scene before investigators could speak with them. If you have any information on this incident or the name of the Good Samaritan’s, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.

City solidifies tourism marketing and visitor services

0107 - Nanaimo's tourism marketing and visitor services are on a solid footing after the City awarded a five-year service contract to Tourism Vancouver Island. The contract will include tourism marketing and visitor servicing.

Tourism Vancouver Island and the City are looking forward to a five-year strategy, "celebrating our shared history, building our shared future" to drive visitor volume and increase in tourism infrastructure making Nanaimo an even better place to visit, live and do business.

Strategic Link: Governance Renewal - this priority guides Council and staff in renewing the City’s capacity to effectively and efficiently serve the residents of our community.

Tourism Vancouver Island staff have been delivering tourism services for the City of Nanaimo since February, 2017 under the name Tourism Nanaimo.

"With a long-term strategy in place, Tourism Nanaimo can successfully continue to attract visitors, friends, family and business. With a strong focus on partnerships, collaboration and community input, we are sure to see considerable growth in this sector," said Mayor Leonard Krog.

 

Man gets time served for incident with children

0105 - A man who pleaded guilty to kissing two children has been sentenced to time already served since his arrest. Janson Lee Medinsky, 39, pleaded guilty to three charges and four total counts.

Crown prosecutor Jackie Gaudet said on May 23, 2018 a witness reported Medinsky was picking up and kissing children in a south Nanaimo park. He then entered a nearby home where he told the mother he loved her children. Court was told Medinsky refused to leave. He was arrested the next day and remained in custody until his release on Jan. 3.

MORE

Another strong wind warning issued for south coast

0105 -  A wind warning and special weather statements has been issued by Environment Canada.

The system may bring southwest winds up to 70 km/h with gusts to 90 km/h early Sunday morning to the Victoria region.

A special weather statement has also been issued for the Southern Gulf Islands, East and Inland Vancouver Island as the precise track of the low remains uncertain.

It also warns of strong wind gusts over the south coast.

The wind is expected to ease Sunday afternoon as the system moves inland.

Nanaimo adventure seeker missing in Syria

0104 - A Nanaimo man who went to Syria to seek adventure has been detained in the war-ravaged country, and Canada’s foreign ministry says there is little it can do to help him.

The mother of Kristian Lee Baxter said he has not been in touch for more than a month and is pleading for help getting him home.

Andrea Leclair told The Canadian Press that 44-year-old Baxter messaged her daily because she was worried after he arrived in Syria on Nov. 26, but he went silent after his last message on Dec. 1.

MORE

Council and Rudolph agree to one-year contract

Jake Rudolph

0104 - The City and CAO Jake Rudolph have agreed to a new contract to the end of 2019. 

Council considered a number of options, including initiating a full recruitment process or extending the existing contract for a number of months. Council voted unanimously to continue with Rudolph at the helm for the coming year. 

The contract, which took effect January 1, replaces the previous interim agreement the parties signed that was set to expire March 31. The new contract includes a pay level of $264,000 per year, which a recent compensation review determined was within the range of similar positions at comparative municipalities. 

Prior to coming to Nanaimo in July, 2018, Rudolph held a number of senior positions in local governments across the country, including serving almost 13 years as the CAO for Pitt Meadows. He holds both an MBA as well as a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, and serves as the Second Vice-President of the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators.

Province to fund evaluation of E&N rail infrastructure

0104 - The B.C. government will assist the Island Corridor Foundation to evaluate track conditions to determine if train service could return.

The ICF is a non-profit organization which owns the E&N corridor and rail line that runs from Victoria to Courtenay and Parksville to Port Alberni, through Nanaimo. It was part of a Dec. 10 meeting with local and provincial governments and First Nations to discuss the the future of the railway. The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said the government committed to “an updated engineering assessment of the corridor,” which it will lead along with First Nations and ICF.

Money for the work will come from the province, but details of the assessment are still in discussion and no dollar amounts are available, the ministry said. Passenger service was discontinued in 2011 due to poor track conditions.

MORE

 

Break and enter suspect Justin Eusse turns himself in

Justin Eusse

UPDATE – Shortly before 4 pm on Thursday, Justin Feusse walked into the Nanaimo RCMP detachment and turned himself in on two outstanding arrest warrants. Thank you to everyone who assisted in the search for him.

0103 - An arrest warrant has been issued for a 20-year-old Nanaimo man in connection with an early morning Christmas Day break in which gifts and even stockings were stolen while a family slept in their nearby bedrooms.

RCMP are looking for Justin Redmond Feusse on two counts of Break, Enter and Theft. The first count stems from a January, 2017 Break and Enter to a home on White Road in Cedar.

Feusse is a white male, 6' 1", 135 pounds and has blonde hair and blue eyes. 

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

If you have information on the whereabouts of Justin Redmond Feusse, 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.

January 30 date for Nanaimo byelection

0102 - Premier John Horgan has announced Jan. 30 as the date for a byelection in Nanaimo riding.

The riding was recently vacated by Leonord Krog, who became the city’s mayor this past fall. Local businessman Tony Harris is running for the B.C. Liberals while Sheila Malcolmson, former Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP, is the candidate for the B.C. NDP. Michele Ney is the B.C. Green Party candidate.

Drivers starting to take heed over impaired driving

Const. Gary O'Brien

0103 - Drivers are starting to take impaired drving seriously. 

From Dec. 15 to Jan. 1 police issued eight 90-day immediate roadside driving prohibitions, one 90-day prohibition to a driver who refused testing for suspected drug impairment, two 24-hour roadside suspensions for driving under the influence of drugs and one impaired driving charge issued by a drug recognition expert.

“Of those eight 90-day IRPs, four of those were on New Year’s Day in the morning, within the first six to eight hours on New Year’s Day,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “These people continued their partying well into the early morning hours and made the unwise decision of attempting to drive home.”

"Maybe it’s too early to be optimistic, but hopefully we’d like to see that trend continuing into the new year,” added O'Brien.

READ MORE

Heavy rainfall warning issued by Environment Canada

0102 - Environment Canada is calling for up to six inches of rain across much of Vancouver Island as a vigorous frontal system is expected to stall over the mid-span of the Island.

Rainfall could exceed 150 mm (six inches) along the western coast, and up to 10 mm (four inches) for inland areas.

Parts of East Vancouver Island are expected to get more than 50 mm (two inches) of rain by Thursday afternoon, with the area between Qualicum Beach and Fanny Bay likely to receive closer to 100 mm of rain.

There is a possibility of localized flooding in low-lying areas.