Hold and secure lifted at Dover and McGirr schools

UPDATE

While a north Nanaimo high school was placed on lockdown earlier today, police didn’t find a credible threat within the school, say RCMP.

EARLIER STORY

A Hold and Secure has been put in place at Dover Bay High School and students in the school due to an unspecified threat. Given the close proximity of McGirr Elementary  has also been placed on Hold and Secure.

Additional police officers are in place at both locations and will remain, until such time the situation has been resolved.

"The decision to place additional police officers at both facilities is not taken lightly and was done after consulting with senior management of the Nanaimo School District. The safety and security of staff and students at both facilities is paramount and the officers will remain in place and visible, until the situation has been resolved,” said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

Man seriously injured in hit-and-run collision

0218 - Nanaimoo RCMP have seized a vehicle after a 56-year-old man suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries after being struck by a car at approximately 2:30 am on Sunday, in the 600 block of Milton St. 

Investigators spoke to several people who said that they did not see the collision but heard the impact, then found the injured man on the side of the road, and called 911. They also said they heard the sound of a vehicle engine reeving and driving away. Several items were found at the scene, including parts of a motor vehicle.

Later on Sunday, police recovered a car parked in front of a home in the 100 block of Gillespie St. Based on evidence gathered at the crash scene and damage observed to the vehicle, investigators believe it may have been involved in the hit and run incident. The vehicle was subsequently seized and a search warrant is being obtained to examine it further.

The injured male remains in hospital and is being treated for his injuries. "Investigators are asking anyone who may have witnessed the collision and have not spoken with officers,  to please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. Additionally, any motorists with dash cam video who were in the vicinity at the time of the crash, are asked to review their videos for any possible evidence relating to the suspect vehicle," said Constable Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

Replacement ferry on Duke Point run

Feb. 16 – The Queen of Alberni will be removed from service on the Tsawwassen - Duke Point route due to an unexpected mechanical difficulty the vessel experienced today. A Cylinder Head on the #2 Main Engine requires immediate replacement. 
 
While repairs are conducted, the Queen of New Westminster will be the replacement vessel for the Queen of Alberni starting with the 3:15 pm departure from Tsawwassen on Saturday, February 15. 
 
Commercial operators please note the Queen of New Westminster has a height clearance of 13’8” and width of 12’ as compared to the 14’6” height clearance and width of 14’6" on the Queen of Alberni.

Do any of these bikes belong to you?

 

The Nanaimo RCMP have recently seized six bikes and to date, investigators have been unable to locate the owners.

The bikes were found November 30th, 2019 on a property located on Irwin St. When officers spoke with the property owner, he told the officers he had no knowledge of the bikes and would like them removed. The officers gladly assisted and would now like to find the owners.

If you believe any of these bikes belong to you or someone you know, proof of purchase or the bikes serial number will be required. If you have any questions, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2019-47909.

Police volunteers hold crime awareness event

0213 = Nanaimo RCMP Community Policing Unit members were front and centre at Woodgrove Centre last Saturday for an interactive auto crime and pedestrian awareness campaign. 

Volunteers engaged with hundreds of shoppers, bringing awareness to these significant community safety issues, said Dave Cusson, Community Policing Coordinator for the Nanaimo RCMP.

From Safety Bear, to the interactive game of Spot the Target, the volunteers handed out hundreds of "All Valuables Removed stickers" provided by Nanaimo and District Crime Stoppers. Hundreds of high visibility reflective zipper pulls, compliments of ICBC, and reflective arm bands provided by Telus, were also handed out to promote pedestrian awareness. 

Volunteers also answered a variety of questions from youth and adults about these local initiatives. They also canvassed the mall parking lot and checked almost 500 vehicles. 105 had items inside in plain view.  Criminals are counting on this and will break into your vehicle, said Cusson.

These types of community engagement initiatives are why people choose to volunteer with the Community Policing Section. They are interested in assisting the police to keep our community safe, they enjoy connecting with other citizens and they are doing what they can to keep our community crime free.

To find out more about volunteering with the Community Policing Section call 250-755-3163.

UPDATE: Sarah Duguay found safe and sound

Sarah Duguay
Recent photo

EARLIER STORY - 0212 - 38-year-old Sarah Duguay has not been seen or heard from since Thursday Feb. 6, and was reported missing to the Nanaimo RCMP on Febr. 9. A friend told investigators, she may be associating with people who do not have best interest at heart. As a result, he is extremely worried for her safety and well-being.

Duguay is of no fixed address and has recently experienced some significant medical issues. She is a  5 ft. 3, 130 pounds. She has numerous tattoos on her lower back, abdomen, and her hair may be dyed purple and blue. If you have information on her where abouts, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Man pleads guilty to child pornography possession

0212 – A Nanaimo man avoided trial by pleading guilty to possessing  pictures and images of children being sexually abused.

William Herbert Kreibom, 63, entered a guilty plea in provincial court in Nanaimo Tuesday, and willw ait for his sentencing hearing this spring.

The pornography was collected between March 12, 2018 and March 12, 2019. MORE

Ferry travel tips for Family Day long weekend

VICTORIA – It’s the first holiday weekend of 2020 and BC Ferries has some travel tips for customers planning to take the ferry between Thursday, February 13 and Monday, February 17 for Family Day.

Last year, across all routes, BC Ferries carried more than 205,000 passengers for the Family Day long weekend. Family Day Monday and the following Tuesday morning are typically the most popular times for people to return to Metro Vancouver from Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

To avoid sailing waits, BC Ferries recommends customers make a reservation, or travel at less busy times. The best times to travel and additional travel tips are available on BC Ferries’ Travel Planning pages at bcferries.com.

Family Day Long Weekend Travel Tips

  Reserve in advance – Reserve early to secure a spot on the sailing time of your choice. Customers with flexibility can travel at off-peak times to avoid the rush. Reserve online at bcferries.com. Customers with reservations do not have sailing waits, even when multiple waits are reported.

  Arrive early  Customers with reservations should plan to arrive at the terminal 45-60 minutes before their scheduled departure. Walk-on passengers should arrive 45 minutes before their anticipated sailing.

  Check-in smoothly  Have your booking reference number ready upon arrival at the ticket booth to expedite the check-in process if you have made a reservation.

  Be prepared for sailing waits – At popular times, customers travelling without a reservation may experience sailing waits. The best times to travel are posted on BC Ferries’ Travel Planning pages at bcferries.com.

 

  Consider parking options – Parking lots at the major terminals fill up quickly on long weekends. If possible, choose public transit or arrange to be dropped off at the terminal to avoid traffic congestion. When parking lots fill up, BC Ferries informs customers via Twitter @BCFerries and on the website.

  Ride-share, if possible – BC Ferries encourages customers to car-pool or travel as a foot passenger. Vehicle deck space can fill up quickly and will be sold out at popular times.

  Spend time with the family – Customers planning to explore B.C. this season can book their Family Day getaway with BC Ferries Vacations TM. Packages to coastal destinations include ferry travel, hotel accommodation, and family-friendly extras. Plus, kids 11 and under sail and stay free. Visit bcferries.com/vacations or drop by the BC Ferries Vacations Centre in downtown Vancouver at 1010 Canada Place.

For full schedule information, current conditions and reservations, please visit bcferries.com. For the most up-to-date travel information, follow @BCFerries on Twitter.

Lakeside Gardens sold to non-profit housing society

Lakeside Gardens

0207 - Lakeside Gardens in Nanaimo has been sold to the Vancouver Resource Society in partnership with the Province, through BC Housing. Lakeside is an independent and assisted-living retirement residence with 123 units. The average monthly rent is $935

The facility is one of four senior housing facilities bought in Surrey, Kelowna and Nanaimo, with 475 residential suites at affordable rental rates.

The Province provided approximately $147.5 million to the non-profit to purchase the four projects. This means these homes will not be sold into the private market, which would have put seniors at risk of losing their homes to redevelopment or having to pay market-level rents.

The Province provided approximately $147.5 million to buy the four projects, ensuring they will not be sold into the private market, which would have put seniors at risk of losing their homes to redevelopment or having to pay market-level rents.

"Seniors should be able to find a home in their community, close to their friends, families and the services they count on," said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "We are proud to be partnering with Vancouver Resource Society to provide good, safe and affordable homes for hundreds of seniors."

RCMP seek man wanted on multiple warrants

John Wilfred John

0206 - The Nanaimo RCMP seeks public assistance in locating 44-year-old John Wilfred John, wanted for various criminal offences, including Forcible Confinement, Assault and Threats. 

John's warrants stem from an incident on Jan. 6, where it is alleged, he attempted to kidnap a female, and in doing so, assaulted her. Investigators have been unable to locate John and therefore, warrants have been issued for his arrest.

 John Wilfred John is white, 5 ft. 4, and 155 pounds, short brown hair and hazel eyes. If you know the whereabouts of John Wilfred John, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Govt names special arbitrators in WFP dispute

0206 - VICTORIA - Harry Bains, Minister of Labour, has appointed Amanda Rogers and Vince Ready as special mediators in the eight-month collective bargaining dispute between Western Forest Products and the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937.

"This dispute has taken a huge toll on workers and their families as well as the entire coastal forestry community. We want to see everyone get back on the job," Bains said. "As Minister of Labour, I have decided to appoint special mediators Ready and Rogers with additional powers under the Labour Relations Code to help the parties reach an agreement as soon as possible."

The parties will be brought together by the special mediators to reach an agreement through collective bargaining. If the parties don't reach an agreement, the mediators will provide the parties and the minister with recommended terms for settlement which they will have five days to accept or reject. The minister of labour also can make the terms of settlement public.

"I am confident that with the assistance of two of the nation's top mediators, and the additional powers provided to them under the Labour Relations Code by this appointment, both sides can achieve a deal that ensures the sustainability of coastal forestry jobs and supports the terms and conditions of employment important to workers," Bains said.

VIU offers integrated engineering technologist program

VIU Integrated Engineering Diploma students will have access to a machine shop, fabrication tools and a computer-aided design studio to enhance their learning. Photo Vancouver Island University

0304 - People with a passion for engineering looking to enter the workforce after two-and-a-half years now have the option of taking Vancouver Island University’s new Integrated Engineering Diploma.

The diploma, which allows graduates to work as either mechanical, design or civil technologists, is unique in BC because it combines three streams into one program. 

“The new diploma will provide needed, employable skills in civil design, computer-aided design, and mechanical technology, while emphasizing teamwork, communication and hands-on experiences,” says Dr. Brian Dick, VIU Chair of the Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy. “Students will be able to move quickly into the local tech sector or continue their education in such fields as engineering, interior design or computer science.” MORE

RCMP arrest three in drug search at Kiara Place

UPDATE: RCMP arrested three suspects in a drug bust in Nanaimo earlier today. RCMP executed a search warrant on Kiara Place. Police were searching for a drug lab, but none was found on the property on Kiara Place. Three Nanaimo residents are in custody.

0204 - RCMP took down a drug lab in Nanaimo this morning. Sgt. Warren Krahenbil said the RCMP’s federal serious and organized crime unit along with the clandestine enforcement and response (CLEAR) team executed a search warrant on Hammond Bay Road.

“We’ve uncovered a drug processing facility there, a moderate clandestine lab…” Krahenbil said. “The CLEAR team’s going to be in there cleaning that out.” MORE

Western Forest Products, union back to bargaining table

0202 - Western Forest Products and United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 are headed back to the table with mediators today in an effort to end a seven-month strike.

Union workers walked off the job in early July claiming the company had not addressed union proposals and kept massive concessions on the bargaining table. Western Forest Products confirmed the two sides are meeting today.

Flooding creates emergencies in central Island

0201 - Heavy rain has caused significant flooding in the Englishman and Nanaimo rivers area. Residents of Wilkinson, Riverside, Alice and Raines roads in the Nanaimo River area and Martindale and Plummer roads near Englishman River were affected. Road closures may be in effect and the RDN asks residents to obey signs and not to drive or cross roads that are closed. It advises residents to have their personal recovery plans in place as staying where you are could be a safer option than trying to evacuate.

The Cowichan Valley has declared a local state of emergency 
CVRD officials say the local state of emergency will remain in place despite the threat of further flooding having subsided. That doesn’t mean all roads have been re-opened, however.
Flaggers are no on scene at several flooded roadways to direct traffic around road closures.

The emergency reception centre that was set up at the Cowichan Community Centre has closed as nearly all residents using the service have returned home or have sought other accommodation. The centre may re-open if the need arises.

A mudslide on the Malahat caused traffic delays on Saturday afternoon
First responders worked to evacuate people in the Cedar area
Windstorm left almost 2,500 South Island homes without power

Two Nanaimo youths charged with human trafficking

0201 -Two Nanaimo youths were charged in Saskatchewan with trafficking two young women. Swift Current RCMP said Seyed Kourosh Miralinaghi and Seyed Kamran Miralinaghi, both 19, were arrested on Jan. 28. They were in a three-car convoy driving more than 150 kmh on the Trans-Canada Hwy and were apprehended. MORE

Summer jobs funding application open now for employers

0201 - Getting a good-quality summer job is a great way to help young people gain valuable skills and workplace experience.

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

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

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

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

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