Wednesday, Aug. 19

Magnitude 4.0 earthquake detected off Vancouver Island
A small earthquake struck off the northern tip of Vancouver Island early Wednesday morning.

B.C. announces 83 new cases of COVID-19, no additional deaths
B.C. health officials announced 83 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the province’s total number of cases to 4,677 since the pandemic began. 

Okanagan fire grows; thousands of homes on evacuation alert
A fire in B.C.'s Okanagan has grown to 1,000 hectares, with thousands of homes either on evacuation alert or evacuation order. 

Canadian navy vessel rescues two sailors, 2 dogs off Vancouver Island
While much of southern Vancouver Island was treated to a show of lightning Sunday evening, up north a small sailing vessel was feeling the fury the coastal storm was whipping up. 

Victoria police arrest 2 more suspects after Cook Street standoff
Police have arrested two more people in connection with an hours-long standoff inside a Victoria apartment building last week. 

B.C.'s record-breaking state of emergency extended a dozen times
B.C. officials opted Tuesday to extend the province's state of emergency prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Photos, audio provide clues to disturbing melee involving police
A public hearing into how a domestic violence call and wellness check by Vancouver police officers turned into a violent melee resumed Tuesday, with the man who was severely beaten still saying he wants answers. 

Calls for closure of all Fraser sockeye fisheries come from Indigenous leaders
First Nations groups in British Columbia are calling on the federal fisheries minister to issue an emergency order to close all sockeye fisheries on the Fraser River. 

Enforcement versus endurance in B.C.'s pandemic response
A Harvard epidemiology professor is warning heavy-handed enforcement could force private parties and other possible COVID-19 "super-spreader" events underground. 

B.C. park users say day pass system not being enforced
The effectiveness of a pilot project meant to manage crowds at B.C. parks is being questioned by users, who say they aren't seeing enforcement. 

Missing swimmer's body recovered from Harrison Lake
The body of a swimmer who went missing at Harrison Lake over the weekend has been recovered, local Mounties say.

Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – B.C. had 236 new cases of corona virus over the three-day reporting period since Friday. Four of them are in the Island Health region, bringing the total number since the start of the pandemic to 154. Six cases are active on Vancouver Island, all recovering at home. MORE

CRISIS FUNDING – The province is extending the provincial temporary crisis supplement for an additional four months for people on income or disability assistance amid the corona virus pandemic. This will also extend to low-income seniors. The Province announced the COVID-19 Crisis Supplement – which has been provided since April – will be extended for an additional four months for anyone not receiving federal benefits like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). You don’t have to do anything, it will be automatically attached for people receiving this supplement.

WHILE SCHOOLS ARE trying to find solutions to return to learning, Spotlight Academy will continue online from September to December. The industry has begun filming again and actors are actively auditioning. Living in unprecedented times has changed the way that we do things but one thing that hasn’t changed is the need to create. Acting is an art form and art is a righteous truth, says Splotlight’s Jacqui Kaese. Students are now joining us from all over the continent for Spotlight acting classes for all ages, all levels. FULL DETAILS

NANAIMO ARTS AND CULTURE goups looking a some extra bucks got good news on Monday with the creation of a $2-million infrastructure program designed to improve and enhance existing arts and culture spaces. The Arts Infrastructure Program allows eligible organizations to get up to $75,000 to improve existing spaces and up to $40,000 to purchase special equipment. Tourism, arts and culture Lisa Beare said the new fund is designed to provide crucial support to a section that has been deeply impacted by COVID-19. MORE

HAVE A GREAT DAY – the temperature is expected to continue moderating, with a high of 25 degrees today, with a slight chance of precipitation.

Hot, dry weather sparks numerous widfires

0817 – Lightning ignited a number of wildfires on Vancouver Island Sunday in the Coastal Fire region. Dorthe Jakobson, a fire information officer with the Coastal Fire Centre, says as of Monday morning, she is tracking 10 new wildfires in the Coastal Fire area.

The area encompasses approximately 16.5 million hectares, extending west of the highest point on the Coast Mountain range from the Canada-U.S. border at Manning Park to the northern border of South Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. Including the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii.

All the have been small. She also said there are areas of southern Vancouver Island with a higher fire danger, with some extreme spots around Victoria. MORE DETAILS

Monday, Aug. 17, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – You’ve just gotta love that global warming. It’s coming down to a cool 27 degrees today. Enjoy it while you can, it never lasts.

THE DREAMERS on city council are operating on full energy these days with a campaign to reimagine Nanaimo. What ever happened to the ideas Fred Pattje and his cohorts came up with a decide or so ago to “Imagine Nanaimo”? Now we’re going to do it all over again? 

It sure looks more like social engineering to achieve the Utopian dream. They tell us the new version is our opportunity to create a collective vision and map for our future City. As our population grows to 100,000 and beyond, we need to collectively imagine how our spaces and places evolve to better meet the needs of our natural environment and of all who live here.

Our community plans will be built with ideas from individuals, groups, and organizations through their participation in the exercise, says a news release. To be successful, we need voices from across our community to share in the conversation. A key aim of this process is to be accessible to everyone – regardless of your age, your time constraints, or your knowledge base – it's easy to be part of building our community vision, says the news release.

And then we can all burst forth in a chorus of Kum Bah Yah.

IN PASSING – It used to be when you had a different view you were labelled a bigot. Now almost any opinion that doesn’t jibe with the politically-convenient view is that you are racist.

Monday, Aug. 17

Flag desecrated on Haida Gwaii, Haida council investigating
The Council of the Haida Nation is investigating after one of its flags was found desecrated on Thursday. 

Blue-green algae bloom closes Thetis Lake to swimming
The Capital Regional District announced Sunday that potentially toxic blue-green algae has been found at Thetis Lake, and visitors are advised to avoid swimming in the lake and keep pets on-leash as a result. 

First Nations say salmon decision shows systemic racism
Five British Columbia First Nations are challenging a federal decision on salmon fishing in their territories this year, and they are accusing federal fisheries officials of systemic racism in the way they have been treated. 

Video shows large party, no physical distancing in Vancouver Island neighbourhood
People living in a Saanich, B.C., neighbourhood are outraged and concerned after a massive group of youth gathered together and were not following physical distancing rules on Friday night. 

More products recalled amid onion-related Salmonella outbreak
More products have been recalled as a result of the ongoing Salmonella outbreak in Western Canada, which is linked to red onions imported from the United States. 

Vancouver Island cosmetic thefts lead RCMP to national trafficking ring
Mounties on Vancouver Island say an investigation into recent thefts of high-end cosmetics have led them to uncover a stolen-property ring based in Ontario. 

Large gatherings seen on 2 Vancouver beaches Saturday night
Videos posted on social media show two large gatherings happening on Vancouver beaches Saturday night – one at Wreck Beach and one at English Bay – prompting calls for stricter enforcement of COVID-19 rules.

More Vancouver businesses self-report possible COVID-19 exposures
More Vancouver businesses are letting patrons know about possible COVID-19 exposures at their establishments in recent days, including multiple locations in the West End neighbourhood downtown. 

Students in choice programs, out-of-catchment schools face dilemma
As the start of the school year quickly approaches, some parents are faced with a difficult decision: whether to homeschool and how that may impact their kids’ chances of returning to their original schools. 

Surrey care home specializing in dementia patients has COVID-19 outbreak
Fraser Health confirmed Sunday that a staff member at Czorny Alzheimer Centre in Surrey has tested positive for the coronavirus. 1

Tenants union warns of 'eviction crisis' and mental health impacts 
The survey asked whether challenges in paying rent have impacted respondents’ mental health. The replies astonished them. 

Sunday, Aug 16

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – It’s going to be another hot one today with temperatures as high as 33 degrees. The UV index for today is 8, classified as “very high” so make sure you protect yourself and slather on the tanning loation.

THERE ARE STILL SOME good people left in our society. A Qualicum Beach woman lost her wedding ring in Nanaimo, resigning herself to never seeing it again. But a woman who found the ring tried various ways of finding the owner, and finally connected with the RCMP. Voila, a connection was made. “Such a feel-good story for our city and nice to know there are a lot of good people out there,” said Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? We continue to get daily reports of airline flights with suspected corona virus infected passengers What’s the level of security at our airports? And why are there international flights with suspected cases on board?

Sunday, Aug. 16

Diver finds lost camera at bottom of dark pool at Lynn Canyon
An experienced free diver who explored the waters at Lynn Canyon last weekend has now returned a lost item that he found at the bottom of a dark pool. 

Video shows partiers ignoring physical distancing rules on Granville Street
Dozens of young people congregated on Granville Street Friday night, failing to maintain two metres of physical distance between them and many not wearing masks. 

Plant-based 'crab' cakes among products recalled in onion Salmonella outbreak
More products have been recalled as a result of the ongoing Salmonella outbreak in Western Canada, which is linked to red onions imported from the United States. 

COVID-19 exposures: Six flights left off B.C. warning list
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is investigating the discrepancy and has since added the flights to its list of possible exposures. 

RCMP seize hydraulic press, drugs and cash during raid of Chilliwack home
The city’s specialized drug crime reduction unit sought a search warrant for a home on Cowichan Street, and arrested two people and seized items during a search on July 30. 

Video shows large party, no physical distancing in Island neighbourhood
People living in a Saanich, B.C., neighbourhood are outraged and concerned after a massive group of youth gathered together and were not following physical distancing rules on Friday night. 

U.S. left out key statements by Huawei executive in extradition request: lawyer
A former adviser to the U.S. State Department says the American government omitted key statements by Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in order to support its extradition case against her. 

Saturday, Aug 15

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – It’s going to be a hot one with temperatures as high as 30 today through Sunday. It will be nothing but sunshine today with a 40 per cent chance of precipitation late Sunday.

 The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Members open golf tournament tees off next Thursday with 84 golfers and a whole bunch of specialty holes like longest drive, and closest to the pin. The chamber says enthusiastic support has already made the event a success. Thanks to Robbins and Company Chartered Professional AccountantsMid Island LiquorRoyal Bank of Canada, and Communication Connection, and hole sponsors, donors, and volunteers. Those who have registered will soon get an email with more details. 

CURVING UPWARD –  new corona virus cases in B.C. continued to rise with 84 new cases reported Friday, notably among young adults, age 20-40. Provincial health officials are warning of greater enforcement of distancing rules, including shutting down businesses that do not follow those rules. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gave an update featuring a breakdown of past cases by age groupMORE

  • Border shutdown extended until Sept. 21

    0814 – The border closure between Canada and the United States will remain ihas been extended for one more month. The border shutdown, which has halted non-essential travel between the two countries for the majority of the pandemic, will now be extended until Sept. 21.

  • Parents, teachers protest back to school

    0814 – Parents and teachers marched to B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix’s office in East Vancouver Thursday afternoon to protest the school restart plan. Despite the minister’s office being closed, about a dozen people participated in the demonstration.

  • Renters will have to start paying Sept. 1

    0814 – The province reminds renters about a framework set up earlier in the pandemic: they'll soon be expected to pay up. As of Sept. 1, tenants will be required to pay their rent in full, as B.C.'s moratorium on evictions expires mid-month. For now, landlords cannot increase tenants' rent, but the provincial prohibition on increases ends in December. 

Friday, Aug. 14

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – We’re heading into a scorcher weekend with temperatures as high at 28 today through Sunday. It will be nothing but sunshine today and Saturday with a 40 per cent chance of precipitation on Sunday.

THE UPWARD TREND of new corona virus cases in B.C. continued with 78 new cases were reported. There’s a significant jump in the number of cases of people aged 20 to 40. There were no new cases in the Island Health region. The number of active cases rose to 578, with three in the Island Health region recovering at home. As of Thursday, 4,274 positive COVID-19 tests had been recorded in British Columbia since the start of the pandemic with 150 in Island Health. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gave an update featuring a breakdown of past cases by age groupMORE

NEW OPPORTUNITY – When the challenges become daunting you look for other opportunities. RDN director and Nanaimo councillor Erin Hemmens sees opportunity in them thar hills. The RDN board backed her call for a report on mountain biking as both an economic and cultural driver. She said focused efforts have transformed the economies in areas such as Squamish and Cumberland. And the regional district already has some structure to do this with the Doumont shared-use agreement. Mountain biking has exploded in popularity in the last five years, she said.

RCMP ARE ASKING ANYONE who witnessed or has dashcam video of an assault in which a man suffered head and face injuries after being attacked from behind in north Nanaimo 11:30 a.m. on Monday. The victim was walking to the Superstore gas station when he was struck from behind. He does not remember the incident well and could not identify his attacker nor provide a description. He suffered fractured facial bones and a concussion. You can give information confidentially through Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com, text 274637 with keyword Nanaimo, or call 1-800-222-8477, or call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-734-2345. MORE

THE BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB has been hit again by vandals – vehicles have been damaged. The windshield of a Boys and Girls club bus was recently damaged by a BB-gun, one of four vehicles hit. executive director Karen Love says it’s disappointing and tough when you have to tell the parents when they drop their kids off, that the plans have changed for that day. And not only that, it’s costing a lot of hard-earned funds. Earlier damage to windows at their Bowen Road site has been repaired. See Boys & Girls Clubs of Vancouver Island.

THE CROWN IS SEEKING a one-year jail term with 18 months probation and a DNA order for the sex offender’s registry during sentencing arguments for a Nanaimo man who pleaded guilty to possessing child porn. Court heard 63-year-old William Kreibom had child porn on his cell phone, computer and USB drive. Of the 8,100 pictures and videos on his USB drive, more than 90 per cent were child porn. The investigation began after the National Center of Exploited and Missing Children in the U.S. alerted Canadian authorities to child porn being stored and uploaded by Canadian IP addresses. Further investigation linked them back to Nanaimo. Kreibom has no criminal record. His lawyer Brian Sutton is asking for the same terms but a six-month jail sentence. MORE

Thursday, Aug. 13

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – There's a a small chance of rain this morning but we'll have a lovely day after that with sunshine and a high of 20 degrees.

It’s back to school – Sept. 10 is the date when school will resume. Education minister Rob Fleming said the new date allows for orientation sessions so staff  can identify how updated health guidelines will work in individual schools. Students will be assigned to their learning groups upon their return to work through new routines and develop new habits under a corona learning era.

Tracking down the carriers –The province will hire up to 500 new contact tracers amid the corona virus pandemic. Premier John Horgan said while he lauds the work of the federal government in developing a tracing app, nothing replaces personal contact. Horgan, and Dr. Bonnie Henry explained that public health teams usually follow up on the close connections of people who have tested positive for the virus, but more resources are. The  new contact tracing jobs will be temporary, starting in September and will be recruited from health backgrounds. MORE

Another hurdle – The Wisteria Community Association has a long history of butting heads with rules and regulations in their charity efforts. The Stone Soup charity which feeds hungry downtown, has been raising funds by operating a recycling program, but it has outgrown their yard. The City has issued notice that the property may not be used as a refund container recycling depot. Tanya Hiltz, president of the group, said the money raised from the recycling goes to Stone Soup. Dave LaBerge, manager of community safety for the city said there are mass donations of bottles, clothing, and more, so the whole backyard at times is filled and they’re sorting it and making noise and there’s smell, and neighbours are not thrilled. MORE

No matter how often people are warned about the dangers of internet dating sites, some people don’t get the message until it’s too late. Oceanside RCMP report two residents were victims of online scams totalling $85,000. A 55-year-old woman was victimized for $55,000 and a 68-year-old man lost $30,000, to people they met through online dating. Neither victim had met their scammer in person and when they did ask to meet, the individuals vanished. Police say the crimes were hard and expensive lessons to endure. MORE

CoWork Nanaimo is a newly-incorporated company taking the place of Network Hub Nanaimo. The Network Hub has served about 2,000 customers over the past five years with coworking spaces in multiple locations, including Vancouver, New Westminster and Richmond. Angie Barnard says the change comes after deciding to become an independent coworking brand providing business support services. 

Corona virus cases soar by 85 in past 24 hours

0812 – There have been 85 more cases of corona virus in British Columbia over the last 24 hours, the largest single-day increase the province has seen since April. The majority of cases are linked to young people in the Lower Mainland, with exposure coming from "events in the community".

One person has died from the virus in the last day, the first death in the last 11 days, bringing the provincial death toll to 196. There are 531 active cases in the province, including eight who are hospitalized, five are in intensive care. 

Thursday, Aug 13

Parents scramble to find school alternatives
A growing number of parents in B.C. are looking to keep their kids at home during the school year. 

You can report animal cruelty to the BC SPCA through Crime Stoppers
Metro Vancouver's anonymous crime tips hotline is now taking tips about animal abuse in the region, as well. 

Vancouver Canucks fans celebrate first real playoff win in years
Vancouver Canucks fans had something to cheer about Wednesday as the team scored three goals in the third period to beat the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues 5-2 in the opening game of their first-round playoff series.

Virus modelling: B.C. officials to reveal latest COVID-19 data
B.C. residents will soon get insight into how COVID-19 is spreading throughout the province, as top health officials will reveal their latest modelling data Thursday. 

B.C.'s top health officials to reveal new virus cases, deaths or outbreaks
B.C.'s health minister and top doctor will give a live briefing Thursday, outlining new cases of COVID-19 and whether there were any additional deaths or outbreaks over the past 24 hours. 

4 more Vancouver flights added to COVID-19 exposure list
Another four flights have been added to the BC Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 exposures list. 

'We had a gut feeling': Sailors quit B.C. fishing boat days before it sank
Two deckhands say they are happy to be alive after turning down a job on a B.C. fishing vessel that sunk off the coast of Vancouver Island, claiming the lives of two people aboard on Tuesday. 

How to watch the Perseid meteor shower in Metro Vancouver
Sky watchers took in the annual meteor shower as it peaked just after midnight. But the Perseids can still be seen nightly up until Aug. 24. 

Concern grows for business near hotel sheltering homeless
Staff at a local appliance business are raising the alarm as a homeless encampment grows against the wall of the store. 

Probe ordered after witnesses say police struck cyclist with car during pursuit 
An investigation is being ordered after witnesses say Vancouver police struck a man with an unmarked car, grappled with him and Tasered him during an interaction that began over bylaw violations – not wearing a helmet and biking on the sidewalk. 

Point Roberts gaining support for exemption from B.C. border restrictions
Several American lawmakers are backing the Point Roberts fire chief, who wants residents from his community allowed to travel directly through Canada to the Peace Arch Border so they can get into other parts of the U.S.

Wednesday, Aug. 12

SCHOOL START IN LIMBO - The start of the school year in British Columbia is being pushed back from Sept. 8. Education Minister Rob Fleming said children will be welcomed back to class later in the second week of September after staff reviewed the latest BC Centre for Disease Control guidelines and school operation policies for corona virus.Staging the restart in some manner that would have staff teams together for a couple days before we gradually welcome kids back to make sure that every school – all 1,500 of them in the province – are truly ready to welcome students is a good idea, and that’s the approach that we’ll be taking, he said. No official date has been set for children to return to schools. MORE

CONGRATULATIONS to Aimee Falkenberg of Nanaimo for being chosen named to this year’s Visionary Award, by The Canadian Forensic Nurses Association, honouring her work caring for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Aimee has co-ordinated forensic nurse examination services on the central Island since 2016 and helped to increase access to care by 130 per cent in that time. MORE

MILLION-DOLLAR WISH - Debra Allen’s first thought after winning a million bucks on Lotto Max was to order a ‘supersonic’ hair dryer. She was one of two ticket holders in B.C. for the  ‘Maxmillion’ prizes in the July 28 Lotto Max draw. Debra bought her ticket at Super Save Gas on Bowen Road. With travel restrictions in place due to the pandemic, she will put the bulk of her winnings into savings for her retirement. She’s been looking at RVs as camping on Vancouver Island is a favourite pastime. MORE 

NANAIMO REGIONAL DISTRICT has moved to a new emergency and information alert system – the Voyent Alert system, already used by the City,Parksville and Qualicum Beach. They system can alert residents via an app, text message, voice call or e-mail in case of emergencies such as extreme weather or wildfires. Residents can also opt to keep tabs on “day-to-day communications such as … public notices for recreation and parks alerts, watermain flushing and more,” the release noted. MORE

MODERN JUSTICE – A woman who punched an RCMP officer in the face escaped jail time after a judge gave her a conditional discharge and 12 months probation. Lauren Marie Brindisi, 20, agreed to a statement of facts that admitted she punched the officer while he was arresting a friend of hers for a separate alleged assault. Court was told she was on probation at the time for a previous offence, which had a condition to not possess or consume alcohol. MORE

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Wednesday, Aug. 12

Man in serious condition after downtown Victoria fire
One man is in hospital in serious condition after an early-morning fire in Victoria. 

Union applauds B.C. school restart delay but not all parents happy
Summer holidays just got a little bit longer for students in British Columbia and not all parents are happy about it. 

2 confirmed dead, one rescued after fishing boat sinks off Vancouver Island
Two men are dead and another man has been rescued after their fishing boat sank off Vancouver Island Tuesday. 

B.C. announces 46 new cases of COVID-19, no new deaths
B.C. health officials announced 46 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the province’s total number of cases to 4,111 since the pandemic began. 

Victoria harbour authority optimistic that cruise ships will return
After the COVID-19 pandemic prematurely ended the 2020 cruise ship season, officials with the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) say they are optimistic that cruise ships will return next year, though a lot will need to change in the industry before cruise passengers arrive in the region. 

Landlord refuses to rent to care home worker
A B.C. woman with cerebral palsy has filed a human rights complaint, saying her landlord refused to rent to her days before her tenancy was to begin because she started working at a long-term care home

Parole expanded for Kelly Ellard, killer of B.C. teen, Reena Virk
Day parole has been expanded for Kelly Ellard, the woman convicted of killing 14-year-old Reena Virk near Victoria in 1997. 

Here's where Vancouver Island's cases have been found
Northern Vancouver Island has been the epicentre of coronavirus transmission in the Island Health region, recording 60 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. 

Victoria police investigating after fiery object tossed into KFC
Victoria police are asking for any witnesses to come forward after a local restaurant was damaged early Tuesday morning. 

16 kilos of suspected cocaine seized from ship off Victoria
Canadian border agents and the RCMP have seized more than 16 kilograms of suspected cocaine from a ship anchored off Victoria. 

Three more flights to Vancouver added to COVID-19 exposure list
Another three flights have been added to the BC Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 exposures list. 

Landlord replaces windows, doors he removed during rent dispute 
A landlord has replaced the windows and doors he had previously removed from a rental house in Maple Ridge after the tenant fell behind on the rent. 

B.C. woman charged for failing to self-isolate after visiting Cape Breton brewery
A woman from British Columbia has been charged for failing to self-isolate after she visited a brewery in Cape Breton, prompting the business to close. 

Frustrated business owner releases surveillance video of arsonists 
A March 2019 fire at Richmond's Carboy Motors remains unsolved. 

B.C. babies to get world's most expensive drug after families raise millions
The families of two B.C. babies who need a drug often described as the most expensive in the world have raised enough money online for the pricey treatment, according to posts on a fundraising website. 

Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – We’re going to start off the day cloudy, but 23 degrees with sunshine by afternoon.

Reimagine Nanaimo sets out to do just as it says; to reimagine our city and how it will change, grow and move forward over the next ten years and beyond. The City wants you to participate in this chance to express your vision for Nanaimo's future in a range of visual media. Love to draw and paint? Have a dream for our city that is best expressed through dance or a colourful design, a collage or digital illustration? Reimagine Nanaimo we will post a new challenge for the next six weeks. (https://www.getinvolvednanaimo.ca/). FULL STORY.

Dr. Judith Sayers

Dr. Judith Sayers will be Vancouver Island University’s next chancellor. Sayers is President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council – a non-profit society that provides a wide variety of services and supports to 14 nations with about 10,000 members. She has a business and a law degree, as well as an honorary Doctor of Laws, from Queen’s University. She practiced law for 18 years in both Alberta and British Columbia, working in international forums and lobbying governments and other agencies for the promotion and protection of First Nations rights and title. FULL STORY

Each July the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund hosts Burn Camp for young burn survivors age six to 18. Firefighters from Nanaimo and elsewhere volunteer as camp counsellors, but because of the pandemic this year the burn survivors and counsellors couldn’t hold camp in person, so Burn Camp was hosted virtually with fire departments creating and submitting videos to announce donations and send messages to the kids. Nanaimo Firefighters Charitable Society raised $2,500 from donations made to the society throughout the year during community events or training sessions with local service clubs and organizations. Nanaimo firefighters and young burn survivors amped up a donation presentation to not only make their film debuts, but win a people’s choice award. MORE

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s journey to becoming a household name in B.C. and across the rest of Canada began decades ago as the child of a military family. She was born in Fredericton when her father was posted to CFB Gagetown, but calls Charlottetown her hometown, because her father was a Major with the Lord Strathcona’s Horse, Canadian Army. She grew up in towns across Canada and abroad – from Charlottetown to Calgary to Saint John’s and even as far away as the Netherlands. But it was summer employment with the Naval Reserves as a Naval Warfare Officer, then known as a Naval Control of Shipping officer, that led her to B.C., and eventually to Provincial Health Officer for British Columbia managing COVID-19, the first woman to hold that position.  FULL STORY

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Province surpasses 4,000 coronavirus cases 

0810 –  British Columbia has topped 4,000 cases of coronavirus after health officials identified another 131 infections over the weekend.

There were 50 new cases on Saturday, 37 on Sunday, and 44  on Monday. There were no deaths  over the weekend, leaving the provincial deat toll at 195.

There are 445 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C. on Monday, a dramatic rise from the 386 on Friday. Of those active cases, nine people are in hospital, including three in critical care. MORE

Tuesday, Aug. 11

Landlord replaces windows, doors he removed during rent dispute
A landlord has replaced the windows and doors he had previously removed from a rental house in Maple Ridge after the tenant fell behind on the rent. 

Young man dies after slipping off inflatable device, falling into Squamish lake
Mounties in Squamish, B.C., say a man died Monday night after going missing in a popular lake. 

White powder sold as cocaine has high concentration of fentanyl
Interior Health has issued a drug alert for a white powder being sold on the street. 

What is the mysterious smell wafting through Port Moody?
A mysterious and unpleasant stench started wafting through Port Moody over the weekend, and officials are still trying to determine where it came from. 

'The Good Doctor' production halted over COVID-19 testing
Sony wants cast and crew of the U.S. series tested roughly three times each week, according to a source.

Search and rescue teams on track to break records, despite pandemic
The summer is only halfway over, but the 'new normal' hasn’t slowed down the number of search and rescue calls crews get. In fact, both the Coquitlam and North Shore teams are seeing spikes. 

Body found after suspected arson in rural Mission
Homicide investigators say human remains were found at the scene of a fire that broke out in rural Mission over the weekend. 

Three dogs, 12 cats found abandoned in Richmond home
Numerous animals are now in the care of the Regional Animal Protection Society after being found abandoned and living among urine and feces in a home in Richmond. 1

Someone is stealing the plants outside this South Surrey restaurant
A Metro Vancouver restaurant says it's been targeted by thieves again. 

Public drinking now allowed in four city plazas in Vancouver
Cracking a cold beer or having a glass of wine —legally — is now a reality at four public plazas in Vancouver, as part of a two month pilot project launched by the city on Monday.

Seattle to Vancouver trip added to BCCDC's exposure list
Another flight has been added to the list that warns passengers travelling to B.C. of potential exposure to COVID-19. 

Nine people sent to hospital after serious crash in Delta
Multiple people were taken to hospital after a serious crash on Scott Road, North of 72nd Avenue. 

Monday, Aug. 10, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The high today is forecast to reach 23 with sunshine.

THE SUMMER-LIKE WEATHER we enjoyed in July is set to make a comeback later this month.  This month started off cool, cloudy and showery, said Bobby Sekhon of Environment Canada. However the second half of the month is when a ridge of high pressure that brought sunny skies and hot weather will return. It was drier than normal last month, with 15.7 millimeters of rain, accounting for 62 per cent of July’s average amount of precipitation.

HIKE FOR HOSPICE – This is not an ordinary year for a lot of events and Nanaimo Hospice is no different. So instead of the normal hike people hike organizers want you to sign up individually or as families or teams to gather pledges for this fundraiser. Registrants are already out walking the waterfront, hiking the trails around Westwood Lake, kayaking, golfing and doing other physical activities of their choice around Nanaimo. Registration is open until Aug. 28. The virtual finish line will be held Sept. 12 and there will be three pick-up dates for hats, buffs and swag.

STUDENT HOUSING - The City’s design advisory panel is slated to review an application for a four-storey, 162-unit student housing project at 326 Wakesiah Avenue. City council passed third reading last fall re-zoning 326 and 308 Wakesiah Ave. and 307 Hillcrest Ave. into mixed-use corridor, with a site-specific land use supporting student housing. The proposed development is a modern, efficient student housing facility that will serve the Vancouver Island University’s urgent need for student accommodation,” wrote architect Xeniya Vins of WA Architecture Ltd. MORE

HALL OF SHAME – The low-life customer at a restaurant in the Interior caught on video screaming obscenities and berating staff for taking too long with his order.

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Monday, Aug. 10

Tomatoes are late to ripen, frustrating many B.C. gardeners
Jess Housty’s tomato plants are late to ripen and she’s not impressed. But she’s not alone in her frustration. 

Multiple people hurt in serious crash in Delta
Multiple people were taken to hospital after a serious crash on Scott Road, North of 72nd Avenue. 

Boat crash sends 2 people to hospital; Kamloops RCMP investigating
Two vessels collided on the South Thompson River Saturday, sending two people to hospital, police said as they probed the incident. 

COVID-19 outbreak declared at 3rd Burnaby seniors home in as many days
Fraser Health says the case of COVID-19 involves a staff member at the New Vista Care Home, and the worker is self-isolating at home. 

Doctors, officials frustrated by anti-mask protests across Canada
More than 80 physicians and dentists in B.C. have penned a letter calling on the province for a mandatory mask mandate. 

Patient airlifted to hospital after motorcycle crash that shut down highway
A crash involving a motorcycle shut down Highway 99 south of Whistler for about an hour Sunday afternoon and sent one person to hospital. 

Friends rescue dog trapped in remote cave on Vancouver Island coast
Two friends headed to the Juan de Fuca trail for an overnight fishing, surfing and camping trip this weekend, when they ended up catching something much bigger than they expected. 

No injuries after shots fired in Tsawwassen, Delta police say
Police in Delta say no one was injured in a shooting in Tsawwassen Sunday afternoon. 

Contaminated onion recall expanded to processed foods

0809 - Seven types of salsa, prepared salads and sandwiches are among the items made with contaminated onions from the United States that are now being recalled as a result of a Salmonella outbreak across Western Canada.

More than 200 people have developed the illness, which has been traced to red onions produced by Thomson International Inc., of Bakersfield, Calif.

Among those products are seven varieties of salsa from Fresh is Best Salsa Co., in containers ranging in size from 220 millilitres to 2.2 litres. Four of the seven varieties were distributed only in British Columbia, while the other three were available in multiple Western Canadian provinces.

The recall also includes prepared sandwiches sold at IGA, Safeway, Sobeys and Thrifty Foods locations in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as well as a number of prepared salads sold only in B.C. MORE

Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Another fantastic day in Paradise - nothing but sunshine and a high this afternoon of about 20 degrees.

The Fresh Start back-to-school fundraiser is still happening this year - despite the virus pandemic but needy children will get new school supplies – but no free haircuts as in the past. Dave Lawrence, owner of That 50s Barber Shop  and organizer of the event says event, going into its sixth season, averages 120 kids needing haircuts and school supplies every year. This year, instead of having people come to the barber shop to pickup their supplies, organizers will be delivering the goods directly to students’ doors. To register, go to the Fresh Start: Back to School Facebook page and fill out the online application.

The Nanaimo River Road area has been a hotspot for vehicle crime of late. Police warn outdoor enthusiasts heading into the backcountry south of Nanaimo about a rash of thefts from vehicles. Nanaimo RCMP say that a dozen vehicles have been broken into in the past month. In many cases, the vehicles have been parked overnight while owners went camping in the bush. MORE

Lantzville and the Regional District hope to expand a trail network at Copley Ridge. The Lantzville Lookout Loop trail from Lantzville into Nanoose Bay is a real gem. Both councils supported the idea at meetings in July. Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain says the trail is well used, it’s got a beautiful outlook at the top and sweeping views. He’s consulted with RDN staff about legitimizing the trail through an agreement between the municipality, the regional district and forestry company Mosaic, which manages Crown land there. “We’ve got a world-class trail system that just needs to be linked up and put a little bit of care and attention into it and the tourism will be incredible,” said Coun. Will Geselbracht. MORE

Can you share your experience with MS to the point that you feel you can effectively support others? The MS Society wants to find volunteers who are living with MS or are caregivers of people with MS who can help with the society’s one-to-one peer support program. The telephone- and internet-based program is in need of volunteers 18 or older who have been diagnosed with MS or are a caregiver for someone living with MS. It’s a one-year minimum commitment. For more information, e-mail Julia.zougas@mssociety.ca.

HALL OF SHAME  – the landlord in Maple Ridge who removed all the windows and doors of a rental property when the single mother fell behind in her rent.

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Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020

Brawl between longshoremen ends in stabbing and nearly $100,000 in damages
A longshoreman who pulled out a knife during a fight with a co-worker in 2015 now owes the man he stabbed nearly $100,000. 

Landlord removes windows and doors after Maple Ridge mom late with rent 
A landlord in Maple Ridge, has removed all of the doors and most of the windows from a rental house after the woman who lives there with her two children fell behind on rent payments for July and August. 

Dine out to help out: Vancouver restaurants raise money for Beirut 
He’d always planned to launch his new brunch menu this weekend. After a massive explosion rocked Beirut, the owner of Aleph Eatery in Vancouver decided to make it a fundraiser for the city where he grew up in a refugee camp. 

Profanity-laden rant at B.C. Chinese restaurant caught on camera
A customer at a Chinese restaurant in B.C.'s Interior was caught on video screaming obscenities and berating the restaurant's staff for allegedly taking too long with his order Friday night. 

Homicide investigators on scene after massive fire in Mission
Homicide investigators were seen at a rural property in Mission, B.C., Saturday after a massive fire broke out there overnight.

Mom wants proof kids who were abducted to Lebanon are safe after explosion
Shelley Beyak wants proof that her two Canadian kids, whose dad allegedly abducted them to Lebanon, are safe, after an explosion devastated the country’s capital Beirut on Tuesday. 

Police arrest alleged host of illegal after-hours parties in Surrey
Police are urging people to avoid underground parties during the COVID-19 pandemic after cracking down on a number of illegal events in Surrey. 

Infectious disease modeller predicts big spike in B.C. COVID cases
While videos of crowded Vancouver beaches have gone viral, the summertime increase in COVID-19 cases in B.C. is being attributed largely to private indoor gatherings.

Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – We’re in for a great day with sunshine by this afternoon and the mercury going up to about 21 degrees. That’s just over 70 degrees for oldtimers.

ONION WARNING from the United States – health officials report a growing salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 200 people in Canada in recent weeks. A red onion outbreak from the U.S. affected 114 people in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and P.E.I. That number has now grown to 239 confirmed cases in Canada, with 119 new cases since Aug. 2. Canadian onions appear to be safe but if you’re unsure of where an onion comes don’t eat it or any products made with it. 

WEIRD THINGS are happening – Mysterious packages of seeds are showing up in mailboxes across the country. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) says it has received reports from 750 people about the seeds from a range of species and have postmarks from differing countries, but they appear to be low-risk. The CFIA is collecting information on the packages, including info about the contents, the sender, return address (if any), postmark, and how the package was labelled. If you get one of the packages do not plant them and report it to their local Canadian Food Inspection Agency office.

MORE WEIRD STUFF – Asian giant hornets, known as murder hornets, were supposed to invade this summer, but so far there have been no confirmed sightings. There have been a lot of reports of sightings from across the province, but there has been nothing to confirm any hornets. The hornets don’t go after humans unless you disrupt their nest. But they do affect the honey bee population. The hornet has a large orange head, with a body the size of a human thumb and a wingspan of up to seven centimetres.

PLEASE HELP – Last week I told you about Lauren Bush who has a medical condition that comes with a hefty price tag. She has a panic disorder, OCD, and an eating disorder. She and her doctor found a clinic that will be able to help, the only of its kind in Canada, but it’s about $42,000, a lot more than she can afford. She has started a Go Fund Me page where you can read her personal appeal. After a quick start, financial support has slowed down. Your financial help would kick start the campaign. CLICK HERE to make a donation, large or small, you’ll feel good if you do. 

PASSING THOUGHT – Open-minded people make narrow-minded people nervous.

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Highest one-day coronavirus report since April

0808 – Coronavirus has the potential to rapidly burn out of control like a wildfire, health officials said Friday as the province recorded the biggest daily jump in new cases since April, 53 cases  in the previous 24 hours.

Friday's update from Dr. Bonnie Henry, said no more people have died of the virus since Thursday's update. The death toll remains at 195.

The update brings B.C.'s total caseload to 3,934 patients who've tested positive or are epidemiologically linked to test-positive cases since the start of the pandemic.

The latest cases bring a total of 293 confirmed cases since last Friday afternoon alone.

Saturday, Aug. 8

B.C. records biggest daily jump in new COVID-19 cases since April
The latest update on COVID-19 in the province revealed another 53 cases were reported in B.C. in the last 24 hours. 

Infectious disease modeller predicts big spike in B.C. COVID cases
While videos of crowded Vancouver beaches have gone viral, the summertime increase in COVID-19 cases in B.C. is being attributed largely to private indoor gatherings. 

Three Vancouver police COVID-positive after responding to large party
Several Vancouver police officers have tested positive for COVID-19 after being called to an "out of control" party, according to their union.

2 COVID-19 outbreaks declared at Burnaby seniors compound 
Two separate outbreaks of COVID-19 have been declared at a Burnaby facility that includes both independent living for seniors and a long-term care home, Fraser Health announced Friday. 

More flights through YVR flagged for potential exposure to COVID-19
More flights have been added to the list alerting passengers who arrived at British Columbia airports of potential exposure to COVID-19. 

Victoria police looking to return collection of stolen jewelry
Victoria police are hoping to reunite a collection of stolen jewelry with their rightful owners after the items were seized during a traffic stop Thursday. 

U.S. aluminum tariffs disappointing and unfortunate, says Horgan
Premier John Horgan says the United States government's decision to impose tariffs on Canadian raw aluminum is disappointing.

Weather helps push down wildfire danger, but forecast prompts advisory
Rainy, cool weather has helped push the wildfire danger down in southern B.C., with the wildfire service showing no areas of extreme risk and only pockets of high danger. 

SAR plucks 17 campers from backcountry after weather delays floatplane
A camping trip that began with a flight in a chartered float plane ended with a ride home in an RCMP cruiser after inclement weather left a group of 17 stranded and in need of help from Coquitlam Search and Rescue. 

Mounties dismantle drug lab at rural Langley property
A clandestine drug lab was dismantled at a rural, residential property in Langley Thursday, Mounties say

Unemployment rate falls for second month since start of pandemic
For the second month in a row since B.C. entered its record-breaking state of emergency, the province's unemployment rate fell compared to the month before. 

Friday, Aug. 7, 2020

Enough is enough – Neighbours of a nuisance house at 560 Milton St. are taking matters into their own hands and have begun clearing trees, bushes and encampments close to the known drug house. Police got 27 calls about the property since the start of 2020. It was declared a nuisance property by the City in July, which allows staff to charge the homeowner for services such as police resources. Manager of Community Safety Dave Laberge said the property is a tremendously busy drug house. Drug dealers moved in and then came a derelict RV that was parked in the backyard which then became a staging area for prostitution and more drug dealing. RCMP busted the house June 10 and arrested one of the occupants and seized an ounce of crystal meth, fentanyl and cash. MORE

Good news for marmots – Green Mountain has long been a refuge for endangered Vancouver Island marmots. It is so remote biologists fly in by helicopter to release marmots in the area. The fire on the mountain, likely sparked by lightning, is being controlled over the 16.9 hectares, which means it is unlikely to grow in forecasted conditions. Firefighters were struggling through nearly vertical terrain and cliffs to save the area where the marmots thrive. Adam Taylor of The Marmot Recovery Foundation, said there are a number of colonies along a ridgeline. The fear was that the wildfire could get out of control, spread through that ridgeline and impact a number of colonies. That doesn’t seem to be happening,” Taylor said. MORE

Transit coverup – Masks will be mandatory on Regional District of Nanaimo Transit buses beginning Aug. 24. Darren Marshall, acting RDN general manager of transportation and emergency services, said riders will need to wear a mask, bandanna or other face covering on buses as part of coronavirus safety measures. Masks will be mandatory but it will be an educational step without enforcement. Transit staff will be at platforms throughout the system providing a handout with a reusable mask and hand sanitizer and some information. MORE

And at Walmart too – Face masks will be mandatory for customers at Walmart across Canada beginning next week. Felicia Fefer, manager of corporate affairs for Walmart Canada said by Aug. 12 all customers and employees in any Walmart store must wear a mask, even if there is no government mandate to do so. Health Canada has identified that, when worn properly, a person wearing a mask/face covering can reduce the spread of his or her own infectious respiratory droplets, Fefer wrote. MORE

If you’ve got a dog, live up to the responsibility that goes with it. Mail carriers are reportin more than twice as many dog interactions so far this year, compared to all of last year. Kevin Shires, Nanaimo superintendent for Canada Post, told NanaimoNewsNOW more people are at home than usual and allowing dogs more access outside, leading to an increase in incidents with letter carriers. In many cases, carriers enter the front yard to deliver mail and are attacked by a dog coming around a corner. Usually if they see the dog out, they won’t deliver, it’s that simple. MORE

A month-long a golf tournament at Fairwinds will raise funds for the Nanaimo Hospital ICU campaign. The virus pandemic changed a lot of things, and the golf tournament is no different – you can golf throughout September to help finance the new Intensive Care Unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. The entry fee is $150 for a round of golf, and you can enter as often as you like at 150 bucks a pop. Spreading the tournament over the entire month allows even more people to golf while helping to raise funds for state-of-the-art medical equipment. Golf for Life has raised more $1 million since its inception and Fairwinds has been there since day one. The traditional wrap-up dinner cannot be tabled this year due to the pandemic, but Fairwinds is dedicating the whole month to raising funds for the Hospital Foundation by matching donations up to $10,000. FULL STORY

The Sandstone dream south of Nanaimo is rumbling to life again. The Vancouver company that owns Fairwinds at Nanoose hopes to go to public hearing this fall with a revised vision for the  726-acre site. Seacliff Properties intends to build Sandstone over 20 years. Investment will easily be “in the billions,” said Ian Porter of Seacliff. The new version includes a business park expected to generate 5,500 permanent jobs once the project is complete. Seacliff’s other Vancouver Island property is Royal Beach land in Colwood, where it plans a mixed-use development. MORE 

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Friday, Aug. 7

B.C. announces 47 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths
Forty-seven more people have been infected with COVID-19 in British Columbia, health officials announced Thursday, bringing the provincial total to 3,881 cases since the pandemic began.

Horgan calls restaurant patrons 'idiots' for abusing staff over health orders
B.C. Premier John Horgan says recent reports about restaurant patrons who are refusing to adhere to COVID-19 protocols – and abusing the staff who are trying to enforce those health orders – are unacceptable.

Trump imposing new aluminum tariff, Canada readies countermeasures 
Canada is planning to retaliate with countermeasures after U.S. President Donald Trump announced his plans to impose a 10-per-cent tariff on Canadian aluminum imports, despite condemnation from aluminum organizations on both sides of the border. 

Fire chief says it's time to bill people for 'moronic behaviour' at Thetis Lake
A Victoria-area fire chief says he's fed up with the disorderly behaviour at Thetis Lake Regional Park and believes it's time to either close parts of the popular summertime recreation site or start billing people who need to be rescued due to their own bad decisions. 

West Shore RCMP arrest man after standoff with crossbow
A man is in custody following a lengthy overnight standoff in Langford on Wednesday. 

A family's terrifying escape from B.C. houseboat fire
Jon Witt says it's only "by the grace of God" that he and his extended family are still here today. 

Bewildered mother gives birth in B.C. driveway
A mom delivered her baby in a driveway after a local hospital sent her back home to wait for contractions to increase. But her baby, Loki, had other ideas. 

'It's different now': B.C.'s top doctor outlines changes to classrooms
Faced with growing criticism over B.C.'s back-to-school plan, the province's top doctor is telling parents and teachers that classrooms will look different than they did when the pandemic forced schools to close back in March. 

47 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C., no new deaths
B.C. health officials have announced 47 more cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the last 24 hours. 

New Surrey Police Board looks for answers on costs, timeline
The new board of the new Surrey Police Service raised a number of key questions Thursday about the transition to the new municipal police force, which Mayor Doug McCallum, also the board’s chair, has indicated he wants to have operational by April 1. 

Three arrested for attempted murder after stabbing in Harrison Hot Springs
Mounties say they have arrested three men for attempted murder after a stabbing on a public dock in Harrison Hot Springs Wednesday night.

Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020

Drug overdoses are spiking again in Nanaimo with opioids, stimulants and increased risk with smoking. Island Health issued an overdose advisory on Wednesday, warning of increased overdoses in the mid island region. The Authority advises if you see someone overdosing, call 911 immediately, administer rescue breathing and administer naloxone. Island Health urges users to visit the overdose prevention service site at 437 Wesley St. open daily from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. In addition, carry naloxone, have an overdose response plan and consult with doctors and health-care providers on ways to reduce the need to buy illicit substances without going through withdrawal. MORE

A reminder this is the weekend you can get rid of extra household good that are gathering dust or you can drive around looking for stuff others want to get rid of. Reuse Rendezvous, on Saturday and Sunday, gives old possessions a new lease on life and out of the landfill. Take unwanted toys, sporting goods, furniture, books, bikes and other items to the curb for others to take and reuse. All you have to do is mark items set out for others with a ‘free’ tag. Just don’t block sidewalks and bike lanes. Items not claimed must be removed by Monday. For more information, click here.

Airlines are not providing the details British Columbia needs on travellers to ease contact tracing to slow the spread of the corona virus. Concern about the detail airlines provide have been greatest in B.C., and the provincial health officer is ticked off at the lack of movement from federal officials. B.C. Transport Minister Claire Trevena, in a letter to federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau, said the information the province has received from airlines is not complete and is sometimes unusable. She asked the government to ensure the data gathered is usable and traces back to the individual traveller directly, rather than simply listing flights with a positive COVID-19 case. MORE

How serious is Victoria's homeless crisis? The homeless count and housing needs survey (PiT) found that at least 1,500 people are homeless in the region. The PiT survey, conducted in mid-March found that at least 1,523 people were homeless, including those entirely unsheltered, staying in emergency shelters, people who were couch surfing and those who were in transitional housing. The survey was conducted before local and provincial housing initiatives were launched amid the corona pandemic, which would have shifted numbers between unsheltered and provisionally sheltered individuals.

August 6

Online Indigenous art auction opens to support Soap For Hope
Soap for Hope Canada launched an Indigenous online art auction this past weekend – which features close to 100 donated pieces of artwork from B.C. and Alberta artists – to help raise funds amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Victoria police say driver was speeding to get pizza home
A driver is facing a hefty fine and multiple demerit points after police spotted him driving more than double the posted speed limit near downtown Victoria. 

Victoria runner completes 12 marathons in 12 days for charity, prepares for more
A
 local marathon runner that recently completed 12 marathons in 12 days says she will continue running if donations to her cause keep pouring in. 

'Death midwife': B.C. Appeal Court prevents woman from using the term 
A woman who calls herself a “death midwife” has been banned from using the title after a lengthy legal battle launched by the College of Midwives of British Columbia.

New type of housing for homeless coming to B.C. with $1.5M in funding
The British Columbia government and the City of Vancouver are trying a new way to help get homeless people off the streets with the country's first-ever navigation centre. 

Part of Lower Mainland summer camp destroyed in early morning fire
Part of a summer camp in the Lower Mainland was destroyed in an early morning fire Thursday. 

Legal fight over Site C ends between province, BC Hydro and First Nation
A British Columbia First Nation has ended its legal battle against the provincial government and BC Hydro over the Site C dam, a project the nation originally claimed was a $1-billion treaty violation. 

Source of onions linked to Salmonella outbreak affecting B.C. identified, BCCDC says
The Salmonella outbreak linked to red onions that has caused illness across Western Canada and in the United States has been traced to a specific U.S. producer, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control announced Wednesday. 

B.C. charities send aid to Beirut as survival stories emerge
The Lions Club has already wired thousands of dollars in immediate aid, and more British Columbians are mobilizing fundraising efforts as survival stories come into focus for those with loved ones in the worst-hit areas of Lebanon’s capital. 

Vancouver count finds decrease in youth homelessness, increase among seniors
The latest count of people experiencing homelessness in Metro Vancouver finds little change in the overall number, but significant changes in the age demographics of those included in the count. 

78 per cent of Canadians would get a COVID-19 vaccine
While 46 per cent of respondents said they would get a vaccine as soon as one became available to them, 32 per cent said they would get one but wait awhile. 

'Pent up demand' leads to big boost in home sales across B.C.'s Lower Mainland
Home sales across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley reached levels far above what's typically seen in July, according to data released Wednesday morning by two professional associations of realtors who monitor and analyze market trends. 

COVID-19 outbreak reported at another B.C. retirement home, health officials announce
B.C. health officials announced a new outbreak at a health-care facility in the province's first novel coronavirus update since Friday. 

B.C. announces 47 more cases of corona virus

0806 – British Columbia reported 47 new cases of corona virus in the province as of Wednesday. Minister of Health Adrian Dix, and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry released the latest numbers on Wedesday.

B.C. has had 3,834 cases since the start of the pandemic. None of the new cases are in Island Health, which has had 146 cases since the pandemic began. Of those, 137 people have recovered and there have been five deaths. MORE

Ottawa details commercial fishery relief program

0806 – The federal government has announced details of a $469 million program aimed at helping Canada’s commercial fishery deal with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan said the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program, which was announced in May, will be open for applications from Aug. 24 to Sept. 21. The program represents the single largest investment in Canada’s fisheries in nearly two decades. Detailed information about the application process for financial support is now available online from the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website. MORE

B.C. doctors want masks made mandatory in public places

0805 B.C. doctors want masks made mandatory in public as corona virus cases continue to rise.

More than 80 doctors across the province issued a public notice to Dr. Bonnie Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan to mandate mask-wearing. They want mandatory masks in public locations including all indoor public spaces outside of the home, when in crowds, and while riding public transport.

The doctors say their opinion is based on recent studies showing that the use of masks provides source control and may provide recipient protection. B.C. doctors believe there is no evidence of harm from the use of masks. They also highlight that if 60-80 per cent public usage of masks can be achieved, the basic reproductive number of COVID-19 will be significantly reduced. MORE

Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020

Now there’s an app for that – You just knew it had to come, private cannabis retailers will be allowed to sell products online and over the phone, but buyers still have to pick up in-store. Retailers can use apps and websites to collect payment information and charge customers. The province says concerns about transmitting corona virus brought about the change. Store employees will still verify identification and use an age-verification tool for online sales. Attorney General David Eby said the change comes as private retailers continue to follow provincial health mandates. He said it supports public health and safety by reducing the amount of time customers need to spend in stores and allows them to remain physically distanced from employees and each other. MORE

BC Ferries revenue is close to $700,000 a day lower than at the same time last year, but recent increases in ridership and the promise of federal financial support is offering hope. President and CEO Mark Collins says ridership is about 80 per cent of the same time last year. Costs have been trimmed by not offering as many sailings, and by not hiring seasonal summer staff. All staff, including casuals, are back and nobody is on layoff. MORE 

The number of active coronavirus cases jumped by 146 over the long weekend, including four which are considered epidemiologically linked and no longer active. Social events gatherings remain the main source of infection as health officials trace newly-confirmed cases. Island Health reported two new cases with four cases active on the Island. To date, 146 cases have been confirmed. 

Emergency extended – The provincial government has extended the provincial state of emergency until Aug 18, giving Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act.  Premier John Horgan stated in a press release that British Columbians have been reminded in recent weeks that virus case counts can easily rise if we’re not careful. This is not the time to let our guard down, he said. B.C. can extend a state of emergency only two weeks at a time. MORE 

Dear John – Putting brain in gear before putting mouth in motion sounds like good advice for our Premier who is known to shoot from the lip. An Alberta man’s vehicle was vandalized while parked in Kamloops overnight. Terry Evans, of Emonton, says he was moving his daughter to Victoria and his truck was the only one in the lot with Alberta plates, (and a visible Edmonton Oilers sticker). Premier John Horgan suggested last week that people with out-of-province plates should ride a bicycle or public transit. Evans said Horgan's comment on out-of-province visitors reckless. "When the premier of British Columbia actually tells people from out of province to take a bike or ride a bus it's just arrogant and irresponsible, and quite frankly, idiotic," Evans said. MORE 

Passing thought – Common sense is like a deodorant, those who need it most seldom use it.

Evacuation alert for properties near Princeton

0805 – An evacuation alert has been issued for 43 properties near Highway 5A. The Tulameen and District Fire Department is asking people who use nearby lakes to give space to skimmer planes helping battle the fire. It described the fire as an interface fire, as it is burning near structures.  The 43 properties under evacuation alert are along Highway 5A between McCaffrey Lake, MacKenzie Lake, Dry Lake, Round Lake and Allison Provincial Park. MORE

Mount Washington road closed after cycling accident

 A serious cycling accident shut down the highway to Mount Washington Tuesday morning. A cyclist crashed when the brakes failed on the long and winding descent from the ski resort.  The road was closed so a B.C. Emergency Health Services helicopter could land and airlift the cyclist to a Victoria hospital. MORE

Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020

Victoria police pepper spray, Taser man wielding metal pole
Three Victoria police officers sustained non-life threatening injuries during a dramatic arrest on Monday afternoon. 

B.C. adds services to help people threatened by tainted illicit drug supply
The British Columbia government says it is accelerating its response to the overdose crisis by expanding lifesaving overdose prevention, treatment and support services. 

BC SPCA expands 'pet food bank' support on Vancouver Island
The BC SPCA has expanded its free pet food support services on Vancouver Island, particularly in northern and remote communities, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Canadians will soon be able to visit Hawaii without having to quarantine
Starting Sept. 1, Canadians will be permitted to visit Hawaii without having to quarantine, as long as they provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival. 

Safe COVID-19 vaccine won't be available for 'at least one year': UBC expert
A UBC expert is warning a safe vaccine for COVID-19 is still at least a year away. 

3 Vancouver airport screening officers test positive for COVID-19
Three screening officers have tested positive for COVID-19 at Vancouver International Airport, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority has confirmed.  

Tens of thousands sign online petition against mandatory return to class
Concerns over B.C.'s back to school plan has tens of thousands signing an online petition against a mandatory return to in-class instruction. 

Tri-Cities mayors need help controlling crowds in local parks
Some Metro Vancouver mayors are calling on all levels of government to work together to prevent crowding at city-owned parks.  

'Happy to be alive and mad as hell': Cyclist hospitalized after Sea to Sky collision
When cyclist Todd Nickel embarked on his first 100-kilometre century ride along the Sea to Sky Highway on B.C. Day, he didn't expect to end up in the hospital with several broken bones.

B.C. gangster with 'potential for violence' will live in halfway house: parole board
A known B.C. gang member with ties to the Hells Angels will be released from prison for a third time, but must live in a halfway house until he's no longer considered to present an "undue risk to society," parole board documents state. 

Woman charged with first-degree murder in Okanagan death
A woman in her 50s has been charged in a rural Okanagan homicide case, B.C. Mounties say.

Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020

Good morning. It’s back to the regular grind for all those who have a grind to get back to. There are still an amazing number of people off the job due to the corona epidemic. A good long weekend also means very little news to report. The fire on Green Mountain is being contained with the arrival of the cooler weather.

I brought our readers’ attention yesterday to the situation of Lauren Bush who suffers with panic disorder, OCD, and an eating disorder. It has severely impacted her day-to-day life, she’s been in and out of hospital treating symptoms. After a long search she and her doctor found a clinic that can help, the only of its kind in Canada, and it comes with a steep price, approximately $42,000. You can read Lauren’s personal appeal on her donation page. With the long weekend and all, fewer people on social media, it’s been slow after a rousing start. By Tuesday morning, $1,335 had been pledged. CLICK HERE

Things are not always the way we see them at first glance. Comox Mayor Russ Arnott, says residents might be seeing out-of-province license plates that belong to military members recently posted to CFB Comox. He says this is the time of the year when recently-posted military members move into their new communities. While there’s concern over out-of-province plates, understand that these are new members of the community and may be under many stresses that come with being posted, says Arnott. The Department of National Defence also took to social media. “If you see an out-of-province license plate or some new faces please make them feel welcome.” Premier John Horgan recently suggested drivers with non-B.C. license plates consider taking a bicycle or public transit if they don’t want to be harassed. MORE

Passing thought – Have you ever looked at someone and knew the wheel was turning but the hamster was dead?

Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2020

Vancouver musician and mom disfigured in attack on Granville Street
A musician and mom wants justice after she says her face was slashed in an unprovoked and apparently racist attack on Vancouver's Granville Strip. 

Plane that crashed in B.C. supermarket parking lot 'flipped like a cartwheel'
A small plane crashed in a parking lot at a supermarket in Nelson, B.C., Monday.  

Thousands sign petition to make in-class learning in B.C. optional for September
Less than a week after B.C. announced its back-to-school plan for the fall, thousands have signed an online petition calling on the province to make in-class learning optional. 

Used, uncapped needle secured to railing in B.C. park prompts warning
Police are warning the public to be cautious after a used, uncapped needle was found secured to a railing in a B.C. park. 

B.C. Day long weekend busy for fire crews; 94 wildfires since Friday morning
British Columbia's wildfire season is heating up. There are currently 42 wildfires burning, all of which are in the southern half of the province. 

Calls up for Chilliwack Search and Rescue, including 6 in 1 day
A search and rescue team in B.C.'s Fraser Valley says the kick-off to the long weekend was one of their busiest days on record.  

RCMP watchdog investigates after police dog bites suspect
The Independent Investigations Office is looking into a Kelowna altercation that put a man in hospital with serious injuries. 

Memorial held for overdose prevention site worker stabbed outside hospital
A memorial was held for Vancouver's latest homicide victim Monday, a week after his death. 

Michael Buble among latest recipients of Order of B.C.
A world-renowned crooner is among 13 people to receive the Order of B.C. this year. 

Protest against police violence blocks traffic at Vancouver intersection 
A protest at Vancouver's Main and Hastings streets blocked the intersection to traffic overnight Sunday and into Monday morning.

WHO warns there may never be a COVID-19 'silver bullet'
The World Health Organization says there might never be a 'silver bullet' for COVID-19. 

Small wildfire sparked after hit-and-run near Lytton
Officials say an allegedly impaired driver sparked a small wildfire in B.C.'s Okanagan region Saturday, with bystanders stepping in to contain the blaze until fire crews were able to put it out. 

Canadians will soon be able to visit Hawaii without having to quarantine
Starting Sept. 1, Canadians will be permitted to visit Hawaii without having to quarantine, as long as they provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival. 

Fire crews continue to battle Green Mountain blaze

0803 – Fire fighters appear to be gaining the upper hand in a wildfire ion Green Mountain after it was held in size overnight at 15 hectares. 

Coastal Fire Centre’s Dorthe Jakobson, said there were 45 firefighters and four helicopters at the location Sunday. The fire was reported Friday afternoon and is thought to have been started during that morning’s thunderstorm. A second fire in the same area Saturday afternoon is under control.

Monday, Aug. 3, 2020

I don’t ordinarily promote funding appeals, but this one strikes close to home – Chris Bush’s daughter Lauren Bush has suffered with panic disorder, OCD, and an eating disorder called ARFID (Avoidant\Restrictive intake disorder). It has severely impacted her day-to-day life, she’s been in and out of hospital treating symptoms, injected with vitamin C, hooked up to IVs. and so on. She needs help. After a long search she and her doctor found a clinic that will be able to help. It’s the only of its kind in Canada, and it comes with a steep price, approximately $42,000. You can read her personal appeal on her donation page. By this morning more than 20 people had donated $1,335 of the total. CLICK HERE to join in, you’ll feel good if you do. 

It’s the biggest treasure hunt of the year – the city’s Reuse Rendezvous is coming up next weekend, August 8 and 9. It’s is a community event to reduce waste. Your participation helps keep usable goods out of the landfill. Here’s how you do it. Put your items on the curb in front of your house by Saturday morning and watch the traffic come by. Remove unwanted items by Monday, The City will not collect them. Search for treasures in your neighbourhood, or explore other areas of the city. MORE DETAILS

If you’re thinking of a quick jaunt down to Seattle, better put that idea on ice for a while. The Canada-U.S. land border remains closed to non-essential travel and it could stay that way for quite some time. The border closed on March 21 to non-essential traffic and remains shut until at least Aug. 21. Canadians can fly to the U.S. but Americans are not allowed to enter via any mode of transportation. Several experts predict the border won't reopen until sometime next year. The main reason is that corona virus cases are still surging in several U.S. states. Many Canadians have also made it clear that they want the border to stay shut for now. MORE

Passing thought – It’s not a conversation when one person does all the talking.

Monday, Aug. 3, 2020

White Rock dad threatens lawsuit over B.C.'s back-to-school plan
A B.C. man says parents should start a class action suit against the provincial government if it doesn't follow a model more like Ontario's for returning students to school in September. 

Corona virus exposures reported on two more domestic flights
Air Canada flight 204 from YVR to Calgary on July 27 and Air Canada flight 343 from Ottawa to YVR on July 29 each had at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 on board. 

Wildfire crews still dealing with lightning-caused fires across B.C.
While there are currently no wildfires of note in B.C., according to the BC Wildfire Service, crews across the province are working to ensure it stays that way. 

Fishing lodge owner criticizes B.C. over order restricting access to Haida Gwaii
A fishing lodge in Haida Gwaii that faced criticism from local residents over its plan to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic says it should've been excluded from the British Columbia government's decision to restrict access to the archipelago. 

RCMP seek video evidence after bizarre incident

0802 – Nanaimo RCMP are looking for iPhone or DashCam video following a bizarre incident stretching from the northend to Westwood Lake.

A woman was taken into custody after numerous incidents were reported to police, including assault, and attempt to hit a pedestrian and other incidents.

The series of incidents was at approximately 5 pm on Saturday, near the intersection of Aulds Road and the Parkway. A man and his wife, age 66, were driving southbound on the Parkway when a grey sedan slowed in front of them, coming to a stop in the slow lane. A female driver came to their vehicle and without provocation began punching the victim in the head multiple times. One victim suffered numerous cuts and bruises to her hands and head from attempting to protect herself. The incident was  witnessed by several passing motorists who may have dashCam footage. FULL STORY

Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020

Bonnie’s Good Times Guide – If you wondered what’s next, the province has published an online guide which features tips including that those with even mild symptoms, like a runny nose or headache, should stay home. Don't pass around drinks, smokes, tokes and vapes, the guide says. "Now is not the time for sharing anything that's been in your mouth." And lastly, “hooking up? Do it safely," the guide says. Take a pass if your partner has COVID-19 symptoms. Use protection like condoms or dental dams to reduce transmission risks for COVID-19 and STIs."

Medical loading is assured. BC Ferries will continue to provide medical-assured loading on the first-available vessel for any person, vehicle and an escort, as part of the Province's continued pandemic response. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth updated ministerial orders under the Emergency Program Act. To use medical priority loading, you must have a doctor's letter indicating the required medical-assured loading at check-in, as well as a completed Travel Assistance Program (TAP) form. Ferries will also continue to give priority to vehicles carrying essential goods and supplies, and BC Ferries has to consult the Province before changing or varying minimum ferry service levels. 

Government House in Victoria will be closed for about a year as it undergoes $10.2 million in renovations. The work includes security upgrades, a new back-up generator, improved electrical and HVAC systems and refurbished the fire suppression system. The grounds will remain open, as will outlying buildings like the seasonal tea room. Lt. Gov. Janet Austin and her staff will work in one of the provincial government buildings in Victoria. The Government House building is the third one in the province's history. The previous two were destroyed by fire. The current building was opened in 1959. 

Who doesn’t love onions? Health officials warn Canadians of a salmonella outbreak that has been linked to red onions imported from the United States. Salmonella outbreaks have appeared from B.C. to Ontario. Restaurants and stores are also cautioned not to serve or sell food products that include U.S. red onions. Canadian red onions are safe to eat. As of Thursday, 114 people across Canada had contracted salmonella with 43 cases in B.C. believed to have occurred between mid-June and mid-July.

Heads up, commuters: Bowen Road will be reduced to single lane in either direction at Buttertubs Drive from Tuesday to August 18 for rehabilitation of bus bays. Temporary bus stops will be in place at the far end of each location.

Parting Thought - Claiming you are offended is essentially admitting that you are incapable of controlling and managing you own emotions so everyone else should do it for you.

B.C. air tanker at work. (file photo)

Green Mountain wildfire challenges fire crews

0802 – A wildfire on Green Mountain, southwest of Nanaimo, continues to challenge B.C. Wildfire crews. The fire was reported Friday afternoon.

The fire is believed to have started from a lightning strike during the thunder storm early Friday morning. It was estimated at eight hectares on Friday night and nine by Saturday morning. Air tankers, four helicopters, heavy equipment and crews are battling the blaze.

A second wildfire in the Green Mountain area was identified Saturday MORE.

Chief health officer warns virus is not going away soon

Dr. Richard Stanwick

0802 – Island residents need to continue to take the corona virus seriously because it isn’t going away anytime soon, says chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick.

The Island Health region has fared better than other places but we should not let our guard down, warns Stanwick. He talked to Stacy Ross on CHEK’s New Normal, about about students returning to class and the future as the pandemic continues.

One reason Island Health has done well with the pandemic is because it has had the benefit of learning from other health authority regions, such as Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health. MORE

Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020

Investigation under way after Asian UBC student beaten on bus 
A UBC student who was attacked by four teens on a bus is speaking up about her traumatizing experience, more upset about the lack of help from other passengers and the driver than the four teens who beat her up. 

PNE expands offerings for B.C. Day long weekend
People looking for staycation activities this long weekend will find plenty of options at Hastings Park, where the Pacific National Exhibition has expanded the number of rides open at Playland during the pandemic and is also hosting another drive-thru food event. 

Only organizers show up for party at Stanley Park's Third Beach
The group who tried to organize a dance party on Vancouver's Third Beach Friday night were the only ones who turned out. 

Okanagan lightning storm sparks 15 new wildfires overnight
British Columbia's Wildfire Service says 15 fires sprung up as a result of a storm in the Okanagan region on Friday night. 

No charges for off-duty RCMP officer involved in 2019 motorcycle crash
The BC Prosecution Service says there will be no charges against a Langley RCMP officer involved in an off-duty motorcycle crash last year. 

Lightning sparks large-scale fire on Green Mountain

0801 – Lightning caused a wildfire on Green Mountain on Friday. Is has grown quickly to five hectares from one hectare when it was reported. It is the only large-scale fire burning on Vancouver Island and one of 39 active fires across the province. MORE

Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020

Good morning, welcome to August. Everything is beautiful as the B.C. Day long weekend gets under way.

Nanaimo Seniors Village is no longer under management oversight after “outstanding areas of non-compliance have been addressed and criteria to transition management of the facility to the operator were satisfied. Improvements include better communication to residents, families and staff, staff increases, a revamped staffing model to ensure direct care delivery is in line with funding, additional care hours for residential care aides, a strengthened leadership team and a framework to ensure organizational policies are properly reviewed and implemented. MORE

We often hear questions about the value of a chamber of commerce. That value has been reinforced during this virtual shutdown of business due to the virus epidemic. One example has been the Chamber Marketplace which has been vital to supporting Nanaimo businesses. You can buy products and services that will directly benefit local business owners and support the recovery of our economy. This site also lets business owners sell online. Even if you’re already operating your own e-commerce site, the Chamber can amplify the reach with its advertising connections and high-traffic website. It's for everyone, you don’t have to be a member of the chamber of commerce, non-members can join Chamber Marketplace. Contact Carly Cooke at (250) 756-1191 ext. 4 or email memberservices@nanaimochamber.bc.ca

Register Bikes on 529 Garage. Many people are looking for fun activities that get them outside while still following provincial health recommendations.  Cycling is a great way to do this. Bike stores around Nanaimo are seeing an increase in sales and with more bikes on the trails and roads more opportunities for bike thieves. Some ways to protect your bike are so obvious we need reminders. Check them out HERE.

Indigenous tourism - The Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program in partnership with go2HR is presenting an Indigenous Tourism Businesses Forum on August 11. Businesses in the arts, history and cultural attractions industry are invited to engage in a peer-to-peer discussion around key challenges facing their industry. You have to register to participate, contact 1-855-722-9036, or sign up HERE. If you’ve registered already contact your program advisor.

Passing thought Dieting is no piece of cake.

OK, it's August and the first of the season, thanks to plants donated by Joy and George. Taste fantastic.

Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020

50 additional cases, new care home outbreak of COVID-19 in B.C.
Health officials in British Columbia announced 50 more cases of COVID-19 and one additional death from the coronavirus Friday. 

Campbell River teen's 'face-buffs' helping wildlife watchers stay safe
Although international customers are out of the mix right now, Vancouver Island's whale watching companies are doing their best to survive with just local visitors. 

Bike sales soar in Victoria amid pandemic
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic a lot of retail sectors have been suffering. But at the same time, stores that cater to outdoor recreation have been seeing record sales. 

First 'murder hornet' found in Washington state trap
Washington state agriculture workers have have trapped their first Asian giant hornet. 

'Don't pass around drinks, smokes, tokes and vapes,' advises Dr. Henry
The B.C. government published a guide to public-health-officer-approved "good times" that appears to be geared towards young people. 

Parent concerned with back-to-school plan
When the province laid out the back-to-school plan for B.C. students, Philip Almendrala immediately had concerns. 

Man threatens to stab Vancouver city councillor: video
A Vancouver city councillor says instinct kicked when he got into a profanity-laden confrontation with a man who he believed was threatening his neighbour — and who then threatened to stab him. 

Provincial health officials urge travellers to stay in their bubbles
With another long weekend upon us, ferry terminals and highways around the province are packed with excited travellers getting out of town for B.C. Day. 

B.C. officials silent on rollout of contact notification app
As the prime minister announced Ontario would have first access to the Canada-wide COVID notification app, B.C. health officials refused to say when the app would be activated for residents of British Columbia. 

Vancouver police seeing dramatic increase in replica gun seizures 
Real or replica? Can you tell the difference between a real firearm and an imitation? Turns out, it’s quite difficult, and it’s a growing problem on Metro Vancouver streets.

Nearly 400 COVID-19 safety rule violations found through WorkSafeBC inspections 
After conducting thousands of inspections, WorkSafeBC says it has issued nearly 400 COVID-19 health and safety violation orders. 

Ads for party on Vancouver's Third Beach catch eye of police, health officials
Ads for a party on Vancouver's Third Beach Friday night have some warning of the risks involved. 

Here are the COVID-19 guidelines for B.C.'s colleges and universities
Students heading to college and university in the fall may not be sure what to expect as restrictions are still in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in B.C. 

July 31

B.C. Day message from MLA Michelle Stilwell.

ISLAND RESIDENTS no longer first dibs when it comes to loading on B.C. Ferries. The B.C. Government cancelled the program, effective today. That does not affect the Medical Assured Loading (MAL) program for eligible patients travelling on the Travel Assistance Program (TAP) who need to travel by personal vehicle for urgent medical reasons and for whom waiting an extended period of time at the terminal would cause risk to their health. MAL provides patients with improved travel certainty, provided they meet eligibility criteria and conditions set by BC Ferries. This program is designed to reduce time at the terminal for those in need of urgent care where an extended wait would cause risk to their health.

Support Hospice – the virus pandemic has changed a lot of things, and Nanaimo Hospice is no different. This year you can raise funds with a virtual Hustle For Hospice – get out to perform a recreational activity in memory of a loved one, and join in September 12 for a virtual finish line event. You can cycle, swim, hike, whatever you like. Register and complete your Hustle for Hospice activity between until August 28. Register here

EMANCIPATION DAY – Many people would be surprised to learn that Canada used to allow slavery. In 1793, John Simcoe, Governor of modern day Ontario, learned that an enslaved woman named was bound and dragged onto a boat and taken across the Niagara River to be sold. Realizing that the freedom of all Africans in Upper Canada was in similar jeopardy, he began to lobby others in the colonial government. Simcoe was able to pass legislation banning the importation of slaves. The first such law of its kind in the British Empire, it led to the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade by 1807. Finally, in 1833, the Slavery Abolition Act brought an end to chattel slavery throughout the Empire, coming into effect on August 1, 1834 in Britain, Canada, and several other colonies, and 1838 in the Caribbean and elsewhere.