Saturday, Oct. 31

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Tonight is the night – turn your clocks back one hour as we go back to standard time. The B.C. government is still committed to year-round daylight saving time, the change will not happen this year. The province passed legislation in 2019 to switch to a “Pacific Standard Time,” alongside jurisdictions in the U.S., including Washington state, Oregon and California. However, it will only take place in co-ordination with its neighbours to the south. Any move to enact the change still requires state legislation to be approved by the U.S. federal government. With the state of the virus pandemic, a switch to permanent daylight saving time has been put on the backburner on both sides of the border, for the time being.

A SAFE PLACE – The first women have moved into Nanaimo’s safe place for the homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the first women from the streets moving into the Community Services Building on Prideaux Street more currently being selected. This is for women who are medically vulnerable and living on the streets or in unsafe housing. Now they’ve been triaged and are starting to move in.

CAN YOU LOAN THEM A FLOAT? – The Oceanside Rotary club does a toy drive every year in North Nanaimo and they need a float. They usually use Island Farms but it is unavailable so if you  know of a good Christmas float that they could borrow to make the parade a little bit more festive. Call Greg on his cell at 250-755-9654.

IT’S NOT A PRETTY PICTURE – The effects of the pandemic are erasing all the growth we’ve seen over the last three or four years, says the State of the Island Economic Report. MNP senior economist Susan Mowbray delivered the report at the end of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s three-day virtual summit which concluded Thursday night. She said her expectation is that the effects of the pandemic are erasing all the growth of the last three or four years and she talked about the uncertainty around economic recovery. “There’s too much uncertainty for us to really see what the clear path is out of this for many sectors,” she said. FULL REPORT

THRIVE IS AN ONLINE training program funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada in partnership with the University of Victoria, Gustavson School of Business. The program features six, one-hour weekly webinars delivered by award-winning educators Dr. Mark Colgate and Prof. Brian Leacock. It’s for small- and medium-sized businesses to mitigate the impact of the pandemic by learning new ways to re-engage customers, adjust workplace cultures and adapt business models. The first round begins on Nov. 3. Contact the chamber of commerce for MORE INFORMATION

BRITISH COLUMBIA NEWS HEADLINES

Friday, Oct 30

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – With Halloween fast approaching, the Nanaimo RCMP wishes to advise the public that safety should be on the minds of everyone. Although numbers of people participating in Halloween are expected to be down due to COVID-19, hundreds of little ones will be still be out and about, participating in this fun filled night. TIPS

GOLDEN HANDSHAKES – Twenty five MLAs who retired or were defeated are in line for lucrative pensions.Retiring Richmond South Centre MLA Linda Reid will get $108,000-per-year pension, an estimated $2.6 million by age 85, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. The next highest is former Langley East MLA Rich Coleman at $101,000 per year, up to $2.4 million over his lifetime. Retiring NDP cabinet ministers Carole James, Shane Simpson, Scott Fraser are all up for an estimated $87,000 per year, or $2.1 million over their lives. The lowest amount goes to retiring Linda Larson at $26,000 per year for a lifetime benefit of $338,000.

MALL COP THWARTS ESCAPE - Here’s a fugitive who learned you may be able to engage is a foot race with a cop, but beware of the mall security man. Prolific property offender Jason Klughart, 28, was arrested at about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday at Port Place Shopping Centre. The officer spotted the suspect near Cameron Island and informed him of a warrant for his arrest. That’s when he made like a track star and sprinted for the mall. The security guard spotted what was happening and blocked his escape until the officer was able to arrest him. MORE

MEMORIAL TRIBUTE – A unique video memorial project that aims to tell a piece of the story of the lives of the Nanaimo soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice during the First and Second World Wars will be displayed across the city. For 11 days leading up to Remembrance Day, the Nanaimo Remembers project will display the names of more than 200 soldiers in prominent locations across the city. Nanaimo Remembers grew out of a desire to localize a project VIU participated in for many years – The World Remembers, a display tribute to soldiers across the world who lost their lives in the Great War. FULL STORY 

CRUISE BAN EXTENDED – The federal government has extended the nationwide ban on large cruise ships until at least the end of February. Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the ban applies to all vessels with 100 or more overnight passenger spaces. Cruise ships were early hot spots for COVID-19 with hundreds of passengers falling ill and ships being stranded at sea as multiple countries began refusing them in ports.

MASKS FOR ALL – The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union  which represents grocery workers, – is calling on provincial health officer to make masks mandatory in all grocery stores and retail outlets. The UFCW called the current health safety protocols a “double standard,” as workers are required to wear masks while customers are not. “These policies contravene WorkSafe rules, which ensure workers an expectation of safety while on the job,” writes local president Kim Novak. Dr. Bonnie Henry has declared that British Columbia has entered the second wave of the virus and the union stresses the heightened risk of shoppers spreading the virus to employees.

BRITISH COLUMBIA NEWS HEADLINES

234 more corona virus cases reported today

Dr. Bonnie Henry

The province reported 234 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the province’s total to 14,109 since the pandemic began. One person died of the virus over the past 24 hours, bringing the province’s death toll to 262.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said about 2,344 cases are active, including 86 people in hospital for treatment, 24 in critical care.

The Fraser Valley has been disproportionally affected in recent weeks and Dr. Henry cautioned particularly those in the Lower Mainland not to meet with anyone who isn’t in their safe six social circle.

Island Health region has 256 cases to date, an increase of three since Wednesday.

UPDATE; Hailey St. Claire has been found

Hailey St Claire

1030  The Nanaimo RCMP is pleased to share that 28-year-old Jailey St. Claire, who was recently reported missing from Nanaimo has been located safe and sound.

1029 – Have you seen Hailey St Claire? RCMP seek help in finding the 28-year-old who was recently reported missing on October 26, 2020. Her family has had no recent contact with her causing concern for her safety and well-being.

Hailey is 5 ft. 9, 130 pounds with brown hair, brown eyes and no fixed address. She has been known to frequent the homeless encampment on Wesley Street, however, officers have conducted numerous patrols of that area with no success. She has been known to change her hair colour.

If anyone has information on the whereabouts of Hailey St Claire, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2020-39107.

Thursday, Oct. 29

TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME – Get ready to turn back your clocks this Saturday night as Pacific Standard Time returns. There is still a debate over the value of adjusting the clocks, but Premier John Horgan has previously expressed interest in moving to permanent daylight saving time in the future. It all depends on the U.S. states along the west coast. 

BIG DRUG SWEEP – Combined police forces in Nanaimo and greater Victoria seized drugs, weapons and cash last week. The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. made 33 vehicle stops involving 52 individuals over a four-day period with a majority of those people connected to the street-level drug trade. The gang enforcement team seized multiple guns, knives and machetes, swords, a crossbow, an axe and bear spray. It also seized a replica rifle and a pellet gun, more than $15,000 cash, and substantial quantities of suspected fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, marijuana and prescription medication. MORE

IN AND OUT – A suspect who was arrested after police found a folding knife, $800 in Canadian cash and a quantity of illegal drugs that included about nine grams of fentanyl, nearly eight grams of methamphetamine and one gram of cocaine. Daniel Purser, of Nanaimo, was held in custody and charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking. He was released the same day and is to appear in court Dec. 2. MORE  

HOUSING PRICES STILL RISING - The average selling price of single-family homes in Nanaimo hit $655,255 last month on 124 sales. John Cooper reports that’s a six per cent increase over the past year on 124 sales. Single family unit sales were up by 19 per cent. The average condo sold for $386,583. Condo sales are down by 13 per cent. Lot sales volume is up by 111 per cent. Lot prices have increased by 12 per cent with the average price at $326,811. FULL REPORT HERE.

IF YOU’RE TRYING to make a buck with short term rentals, the city wants to create a special business licence. A bylaw amendment would target homes which are used as year round short-term rentals. The governance and priorities committee on gave the green light for a business licenses for all short-term rental properties. City social planner David Stewart told NanaimoNewsNOW increasing the amount of short-term rentals doesn’t increase the below-par vacancy rate and skyrocketing monthly rental costs. 

B.C. adds 287 more cases of COVID-19, 2 new deaths For the eighth consecutive day, B.C. has added more than 200 new cases of COVID-19 to its total. 

Dr. Bonnie Henry t-shirts return for fundraising campaign Dr. Bonnie Henry t-shirts are on sale once again, this time benefiting Saanich Neighbourhood Place. 

'N' driver doing 108 km/h in a 60 zone had 450 grams of magic mushrooms  A driver caught travelling at nearly twice the speed limit may face charges related to something else, Mounties in Surrey say. 

B.C. group hoping to launch flying passenger drones by 2025 A group of B.C.-based aviation experts has announced its plans to make vertical flying passenger drone technology a reality. 

Colwood hoping to build overpass at Island Highway The City of Colwood is hoping to build a bridge that would create safe passage for Galloping Goose Trail users trying to cross Island Highway near Wale Road.

Victim of 2017 homicide near Squamish 'has finally been identified,' investigators say Homicide investigators say they've finally identified a body that was discovered inside a burned vehicle near Squamish in 2017. 

Body in recycling bin: Victim identified by police  Police have identified the victim of a homicide 10 days after human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver. 

Arrest warrant issued for failure to appear in court

Brian Thomas

1028 – Do you know where Brian Thomas is? A warrant of arrest has been issued for 38-year-old after he failed to appear in Nanaimo Provincial Court on a charge of assault with a weapon. Thomas has a well-documented history of violence and is known to carry knives and various homemade weapons. He should be considered dangerous.

He is accused of throwing a six-foot metal spear like object, at a vehicle driving along Raines Road in Cedar on October 11. Thomas is 5 ft.11, 160 pounds with black hair. He should not be approached and if anyone knows his whereabouts, call 911 or the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, and quote file # 2020-37288.

Wednesday, Oct. 28

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The annual poppy campaign gets under way this week as Royal Canadian Legion members work in malls and retail businesses to distribute poppies by donation. Remembrance Day events will be on a smaller scale this year – there will be no public ceremonies at the Legions this year, but will be shown on Channel 4 on Shaw TV. So when you see them in public, make sure to make a donation and wear a poppy in honour of our veterans.

OH THAT $1,000 – Not quite a Grinch, but that crispy $1,000 recovery benefit John Horgan was going to give families if he got re-elected won’t show up in your mailbox right away folks. He hopes to reconvene the legislature before the end of the year, but there may be delays due to the volume of mail-in ballots. He’s going to await the final results, a new government will be sworn in and then he will see if there is time left for a legislative session. The benefit will be on a sliding scale up to an annual family income of $175,000 a year, meaning those who earn more will receive less of the benefit. The platform also included a promise of a one-time $500 direct deposit to single people earning less than $62,000 annually, with a sliding scale up to $87,000.

TRADE-IN TIME? – BC Ferries’ Queen of Alberni conked out again on Tuesday, stranding passengers aboard the ship on a sailing from Duke Point Tuesday. The same vessel was removed from service in October because of mechanical difficulties. Around 5:40 p.m., one passenger said they had been stranded on the ship for three hours but a tug was on its way to bring the ferry to the Tsawwassen docks. All sailing for the remainder of the day were cancelled. Please check with BC Ferries if you plan to travel that route today.

CORONA VIRUS – The numbers keep growing – the province reported 217 new cases on Tuesday. There were no new cases were in the Island Health region for the second day in a row. There were no deaths reported in the last 24 hours, the death toll remaining at 259. B.C. has now had 13,588 cases, including 250 in the Island Health region. There are 2,322 active cases, 5,101 people are under active public health monitoring. Eighty-four people are in hospital, seven more than the day before, 27 are in intensive care. Island Health has eight active cases: three on southern Vancouver Island, four on central Vancouver Island and one on northern Vancouver Island. There are  no hospitalizations in Island Health.

STATE OF EMERGENCY – B.C. has extended its provincial state of emergency through Nov. 10. That allows health and emergency management officials to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the province’s pandemic response. The original declaration was made on March 18, the day after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry declared a public health emergency in the province. The provincial government can extend the state of emergency up to 14 days at a time. The province was in a provincial state of emergency for 10 weeks During the 2017 wildfire season, from July 7 to Sept. 15. MORE

MOORING ON THE BRINY DEEP - Cowichan-Malahat-Langford NDP Member of Parliament Alistair MacGregor has launched a private member’s bill to ban cargo ships from anchoring in southern Georgia Strait from Goldstream to Gabriola Island. You’d better read it here now because that’s likely the last you’ll hear about it. Private member’s bills have a one-in-a-million chance of going anywhere, especially from opposition MPs. Also, the ships that anchor there are an integral part of Canada’s international trade and moor along our shores when Vancouver Harbour is congested. I remember Sheila Malcolmson worked her butt off on a private member’s bill regarding derelict abandoned watercraft on our coast when she was our MP. It went nowhere but her doggedness may have spurred the government to take action on a broader scale.

Duffel bags packed with US$2.16M worth of drugs found by B.C. border Officials are investigating after five duffel bags of narcotics were found on the U.S. side of the border earlier this month. 

Street preacher says he turned himself in to Vancouver police A street preacher says he has turned himself in to Vancouver police after being charged in connection to an assault that left a man with a broken leg. 

Will drivers have to pay for tolls, parking permits in Vancouver? A report that will be before city council next week suggests drivers could end up paying more under Vancouver's Climate Emergency Action Plan. 

B.C. man convicted of multiple historical sex assaults A B.C. man has been convicted of multiple sexual assaults, some of which police say happened 30 years ago. 

Soccer club hires security to watch parents angered by COVID-19 rules  A youth soccer club in Chilliwack, B.C., has hired a security firm to patrol the sidelines during games because of what the club describes as “borderline violent” confrontations over COVID-19 restrictions. 

B.C. community outraged after second owl likely killed by rat poison Last week a well-known great-horned owl nicknamed “Ollie” by a Saanich neighbourhood was found dead in Cuthbert Holmes Park. The beloved neighbourhood owl is believed to have died from rat poisoning. 

Search near Pemberton for missing father, delayed son until weekend Search and rescue crews are taking a multi-day pause in their operation to find a missing father and son near Pemberton, B.C.

Two fires at apartment block deemed deliberately set

Two fires in stairwells of an apartment building have been deemed arson. The fires were reported at approximately 10:15 pm on Friday and 3:15 pm on Saturday at the Forrest Glen Apartments at 4451 Wellington Road. No injuries were reported. Remnants of burned paper were found at both fire scenes. 

"The quick response by tenants, one with a fire extinguisher and another using a bucket of water, stopped the fire and prevent any spread,"  said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.


If have information on these fires, please call the RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Tuesday, Oct 27

BREAKING NEWS – Andrew Wilkinson resigned this morning as leader of the BC Liberals, effective when a new leader is chosen.

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – What’s it with the bad guys these days? Nobody said they were smart, especially when they challenge all odds by getting in the face of cops. When cops spotted an apparent drug transaction being made from a vehicle they moved in. Then the vehicle took off and a merry chase ensued, ramming a police car, going over a 10-foot embankment and taking off on foot. They haven’t found him yet, but they always get their man. The suspect was not the registered owner of the vehicle, by the way. MORE

ANOTHER RHODES SCHOLAR ­ – There must be an award for this one. On Sunday a real genius was arrested after spray-painting a cop car while police were there investigating a separate spray-painting report at the Tim Horton’s restaurant on Wallace Street. While the officer was taking pictures and documenting evidence inside the restaurant, a passerby ran in to tell the cop someone was spray-painting his car. The miscreant was arrested, and to make matters worse, police found crystal meth in his personal belongings, said Const. Gary O’Brien. So, he was arrested for that, and he cooled his jets inside police cells for a while. MORE

NO PLACE FOR OLD FOGEYS – City council has approved a development permit for a 47-unit townhouse project between Ninth Street and the Nanaimo Parkway. The complex will include one duplex, seven triplexes and six fourplexes. The application calls for 14 three-storey townhouses that will create 47 two-bedroom units. Has anyone else noticed the trend for multi-storey housing when we live in an aging community which wants to get away from stairs. It has become a real challenge for old farts to find suitable housing. THE PROJECT

‘SAFE SIX’ FOR CHRISTMAS – It won’t be your ordinary Christmas party this year. Public health officer Bonnie Harvey’s public health order, effective immediately, limits private gatherings to immediate household, plus their “safe six”. Henry said enforcement will be stepped up for those who disregard the latest order. What if Santa decides to joins in? The Good Doctor said there is now an expectation – not a health order – that people wear non-medical masks in public. That came on the heels of the province reporting 817 new cases of corona virus over the weekend with three deaths in long-term care. B.C. has now had 13,371 cases since the start of the pandemic, including 250 in Island Health. MORE

VOTER TURNOUT – At least 52.4% of registered voters voted in the 2020 Provincial General Election.  This is a preliminary estimate of voter turnout based on the following:

  • the number of voters who voted during advance voting, in their electoral district
  • the number of voters who voted on Election Day, at their assigned voting place
  • an estimate of the number of certification envelopes containing absentee ballots, to be considered at final count
  • an estimate of the number of completed vote-by-mail packages containing mail-in ballots, to be considered at final count

670,324 voters voted in their electoral district during the advance voting period, and 546,877 voters voted on Election Day at their assigned voting place. An estimated 85,000 certification envelopes containing absentee ballots will be considered for final count. FULL REPORT

 HOSPITAL DRUGS DIVERTED – A nurse is facing professional discipline after the B.C. college of nurses found she falsified medical records and removed significant quantities of injectable narcotics from North Island Hospital in Campbell River, creating serious risks to patient safety. A disciplinary hearing by the college found that, over a six-month period in 2017 and 2018, Amanda Parniak falsified records and diverted the powerful painkiller hydromorphone – Dilaudid – from patients at the hospital. Pharmacy records and testimony from colleagues indicate there were more than 100 occasions in which the nurse apparently created false requests for hydromorphone for patients, or filled valid requests for painkillers that never reached their intended recipients. The nurses’ college is now considering written submissions about what penalties and costs should be levied for the misconduct. FULL STORY

New health order limits number of guests allowed in private homes
As British Columbia grapples with record-breaking COVID-19 case numbers, officials have imposed new restrictions on gatherings inside private homes.

Masks should be worn inside all public spaces, B.C. health officials say
Non-medical masks are now recommended in every indoor public space in British Columbia, health officials said Monday as the province's COVID-19 caseload surged to a new record high. 

Lost hikers found shivering in clothing that was 'frozen solid', 
Multiple search and rescue teams were called to North Shore mountains over the weekend, helping individuals who were lost or unequipped for wintery conditions. 

BC Liberal leader stepping down after election night loss
BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson is stepping down after an election night defeat that saw the party lose roughly one third of its seats. 

Investigator says supervisor told him not to talk to casino customers
With the provincial election now over, the Cullen Commission has resumed hearing from witnesses in the inquiry into money laundering in British Columbia. 

Six charged in connection to one of B.C.'s largest illicit drug labs
Six people are facing several charges in connection to the illicit production of synthetic drugs in one of the province's largest labs, Mounties say. 

COVID-19 outbreaks reported at multiple Metro Vancouver care homes
More care homes in the Fraser Health region are dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks, the health authority announced.

Man at large after stabbing at Victoria housing facility
Victoria police were called to the 3000-block of Blanshard Street for a stabbing around 11 p.m. Monday. 

New COVID-19 testing centre opens at UVic: Island Health
Island Health has opened a new COVID-19 testing centre at the University of Victoria in an effort to improve testing accessibility for residents of Greater Victoria.

New coalition rallies to revive Vancouver Island rail service
It’s been nearly a decade since any trains have carried a passenger along the tracks of Vancouver Island, but a new group is hoping to bring rail service back to the region.

How Horgan bulldozed the crumbling Liberal house

What happened? The votes are not all counted yet, but it’s inevitable, we’re going to have a majority government for the next four years. Now we’re going to go through endless analyses about what happened to bring down the BC Liberals so drastically. But the end result will be the comparison of leadership. FULL ASSESSMENT

And now the chickens will come home to roost

In seat-rich Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island the NDP mopped up and that was it. Even the strongly Liberal Parksville Qualicum seat fell to the orange. Sadly, it was on the back of dishonesty. That will always taint this election. The NDP  broke a written agreement with the Green Party but did not get punished for it. READ MORE

Monday, Oct. 26

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – If ever there was a time you should get a flu shot, this is that time. It’s more than about protecting yourself from influenza, but to stay healthy while corona virus is circulating. That’s the word from Island Health – a virus vaccine is not yet available, so people should get immunized for the flu so they are generally healthier to withstand other illnesses. Seniors, people with chronic health conditions, indigenous people and children between the ages of six months to five years old are eligible for a free flu vaccine. A lot of people are taking advantage now, so you should make an appointment with a pharmacy or other medical facility. MORE

FREE MONEY – That’s the fad nowadays, and the city is not shirking when it comes to the environmental religion. You can get up to $6,000 from the City of Nanaimo and the Clean B.C. Better Homes Program to switch to more environmentally-friendly heating. If you’re still heating with fossil fuels, such as oil, natural gas or propane change to an electric air-source heat pump. For qualifying heat pump upgrades, the rebates can be up to $6,000. There are a lot of additional top-ups. MORE

REMEMBERING – Remembrance Day celebrations will be different this year with few public events. You can update yourself on Canada’s history of defending freedom by checking out Doug Slowski’s tours of cemeteries and memorials in Europe where many Canadians lost their lives. Check out the many sites and get a good education HERE.

NANAIMO TOURISM promotion is up in the air again. Tourism Vancouver Island is one year into a five-year contract with the city but has opted out of its contract. They’ll keep looking after the file until the city reviews how to market Nanaimo to tourists and investors. Tourism Vancouver Island CEO Anthony Everett said TVI is over-subscribed working with communities and businesses to adapt to corona virus. MORE

Premier John Horgan

Horgan returns to work as a half-million ballots still uncounted
Premier John Horgan says he'll be returning to work Monday with an aim to win the confidence of voters in rural areas after picking up mostly urban seats.

Horgan promises to work across party lines after winning majority
Premier John Horgan says his majority New Democrat government is open to exploring new ideas that can help shape British Columbia regardless of their political or geographic origins. 

Money laundering in B.C.: Inquiry to resume with witnesses
An inquiry into money laundering in British Columbia is scheduled to begin hearing witnesses today in Vancouver.

Residents lucky to escape massive late-night fire in Surrey 
A Surrey family narrowly escaped a massive fire that broke out in their home in Newton in the early hours of Sunday morning. 

Crews vacuum 'murder hornets' out of nest in Washington near border
Crews wearing thick protective suits vacuumed the invasive insects from the cavity of a tree into large canisters Saturday. 

Conservative party split right of centre vote away from BC Liberals says analyst
In several ridings where the NDP won seats that had been held by the Liberals, the Conservative party won 10 per cent or more of the riding’s vote count. 

Sunday, Oct. 25

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – There were no real surprises in yesterday’s election. The biggest surprise was the defeat of Michelle Stilwell in Parksville Qualicum. Nanaimo and Nanaimo-North Cowichan retained the status quo. See my ASSESSMENT of the election.

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST – Le Chateau is closing after more than six decades. The iconic clothing brand announced its demise to investors, saying Le Chateau filed for bankruptcy which will allow the company to proceed with the orderly liquidation of its assets and wind down of its operations. You can expect massive liquidation sales at all 123 remaining Le Chateau stores across the country. 

VIRUS EXPECTED TO CREST – Hospitalizations and deaths from corona virus may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the national death toll toward 10,000. Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the number of Canadians experiencing severe illness is on the rise amid a spike in cases. An average of 1,010 patients were being treated in hospital each day over the past week, about 20 per cent of whom were in intensive care. Average daily deaths associated with the disease reached 23 over the past seven days.

SHORT CIRCUIT – There was no shortage of fanfare when the Medicine Hat solar thermal project opened in 2014 but there was no brass band playing as crews demolished the project for scrap last week. The project was plagued with cost overruns which pushed the original price tag from $9 million, split equally between the federal government, provincial carbon tax fund and city to $13 million. The extra costs had to be covered by the city and became too much for municipal coffers. Meanwhile, in Iowa, MidAmerican Energy has idled nearly four-dozen electricity-generating wind turbines while workers check them for safety after blades broke off two similar turbines over the past two months. Those blade failures follow a break earlier this year and one in 2019.

TIGHT SECURITY? – Less than one-quarter of the 4.6 million people who arrived in Canada since the border closed last March were ordered to quarantine — deemed “essential” and exempt from the requirement. Essential travellers include truck drivers, airline crew members, health-care workers, members of the military, people living in border communities who need to perform everyday functions in Canada, and people Ottawa deems essential to managing the pandemic. Health Canada data on 80 per cent of the confirmed cases to date shows about 4.4 per cent of the total number of positive cases in this country involved recent travellers or people who came into contact with them.

Popular Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne elected MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim
Tofino’s mayor, Josie Osborne, will be stepping down from her municipal post after a convincing win in Saturday’s provincial election. 

RCMP issue warning after highly toxic carfentanil found in North Island
The discovery of a drug more powerful and potent than fentanyl in the Village of Sayward has prompted a stern warning from Mounties. 

Antique incendiary device prompts evacuations in Saanich 
Police evacuated some homes in a Vancouver Island neighbourhood after the discovery of an "antique incendiary device" Saturday morning. 

Island businesses urge regional approach to COVID-19 restrictions as cases climb
With COVID-19 cases climbing dramatically in B.C. this week, some island businesses are saying the province should explore the idea of regional closures and restrictions. 

B.C. election: Poll shows B.C. NDP holds strong lead over Liberals, Greens
British Columbia’s New Democrats hold a commanding lead over the B.C. Liberals and Greens on the final day of the provincial election campaign, according to the latest poll results. 

Conservative Leader Trevor Bolin fails to win seat in Peace River North
The leader of the BC Conservatives has failed to win a seat in the legislature for his riding. 

Man arrested after suspicious car fire outside Vancouver City Hall
Police were called to the north upper parking lot at city hall around 4 p.m. and found a minivan fully engulfed in flames. 

B.C. film industry bounces back stronger than before COVID-19 pandemic
When film and television productions were ordered to stop in March, about 40 projects were active across the province. Today, more than 60 productions are either currently filming or in pre-production.

'Like an action movie': Vehicle heist caught on cam
The van crashes into a flatbed truck and then reverses quickly and gets stuck in a steep ditch.