The B.C. Restart plan
Next steps to move BC Through the pandemic

Get a printable copy of the full report here.

 

Long-distance caregiving of family members with dementia

0507 – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to dramatically affect the way of life in Nanaimo, providing support for the community’s most vulnerable residents is more important than ever before.

While maintaining physical distancing during this time is essential, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is urging area residents not to forget about people living with dementia and their caregivers. "During this time of increased isolation, many people affected by dementia may feel disconnected from support networks and will face unexpected challenges," says Jane Hope, regional Support & Education Coordinator for the Central & North Island region.

One way the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is offering support is through free weekly webinars, including one on May 13 that addresses the timely topic of long-distance caregiving.

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia affects the whole family. "A person living with dementia needs more and more help as the disease progresses – and family members are often the first people to provide this help," Hope says. "However, when family members aren’t living with the person – often in other cities, provinces or even countries – caregiving can present special challenges, even under normal circumstances. Long-distance caregiving is even more of a challenge in these uncertain times."

Tips for long-distance caregiving

Caring for someone long distance is even more complicated now that physical distancing and travel restrictions are in place. Staying in touch requires regular communication. Staying in touch from a distance requires regular communication and involving others to help. Here are some suggestions:

  • Establish a routine: An established routine can be reassuring for everyone. Make a video call with FaceTime or other software, call or write letters/emails to exchange news and find out how things are going. Keep in mind, however, that equipment may only be useful for those in the early stages of the disease.
  • Contact the health-care provider: Arrange to meet the person’s health-care provider to get to know them. Establish a way to keep in contact.
  • Maintain contact with other caregivers: Stay in touch with any caregivers nearby. This may include a neighbour, a friend, or a relative who lives with, or near, your family member. It could also be a social worker or a staff person from a local Alzheimer Society. Be sure to let these people know that you appreciate their help. Keep in mind the different viewpoints of close and distant relatives. On the one hand, you may be the first to notice a problem. Confusion or memory loss may have developed so gradually that others may not have noticed the change. On the other hand, because you are not there every day, you may not realize how difficult the situation is for the regular caregiver.
  • Support each other: If another family member is providing care, talk with them and offer your support. Try to understand each other’s feelings and points of view and talk over what can be done. Find ways to support each other and to share responsibilities.

Attend a webinar

To learn more about caregiving while physically separate from a person living with dementia or other topics related to the disease, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. invites you to sign up for one of our free webinars. Upcoming webinars include:

  •  Long-distance caregiving (Wednesday, May 13, 2 or 7 p.m.): Practical tips on providing meaningful caregiving support from a distance. For caregivers.
  • “Why do I feel this way?” Coping with changes brought by dementia (Wednesday, May 20, 2 p.m.): Explore change and loss and the uncertainty of the dementia experience.
  • Accessing care services during COVID-19 (Friday, May 27, 2 p.m.): Learn strategies for navigating changes in accessing services and how to get the most out of your interactions with care providers.

To register for any of these webinars, please visit alzbc.org/webinars.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is here to help

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. is committed to ensuring that people affected by dementia have the confidence and skills to live the best life possible. First Link® dementia support is the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s suite of programs and services designed to help them. First Link® is available throughout the progression of the disease, from diagnosis (or before) to end-of-life care.

Connect to First Link® by asking your health-care provider for a referral or by calling the First Link® Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033. The Helpline is available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Information and support is also available in Punjabi (1-833-674-5003) and in Cantonese or Mandarin (1-833-674-5007), available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This is Emergency Preparedness Week

As we work together to flatten the Covid-19 curve and support the collective response in reducing risks to the community, we realize now more than ever how important it is to prepare for the unexpected. Many City of Nanaimo residents have started to build an emergency kit and there is no time like today to complete it. A few simple actions will help you build upon all of the hard work you already have in place.  

Being prepared is important and something the whole family can do. As we are supporting the reduction of the Covid-19 spread by complying with the BC Health recommendations,  residents can take the opportunity to complete their emergency planning including their kits.  

For more information about how you can prepare and make a kit visit www.nanaimo.ca and go to the Emergency Management page or the Province of BC website www.gov.bc.ca/preparedbc.

Strategic Link: Providing information and resources for residents to be prepared for an emergency supports a livable community.

* Emergency Preparedness Week is a national event coordinated by Public Safety Canada.

* The City of Nanaimo is encouraging residents to make a kit during this week or check their kits if you already have one.

* Plan, Prepare, Be Aware! Know the risks in the community and prepare for emergencies.

"Thank you to City of Nanaimo residents for supporting the Covid-19 response and your efforts in flattening the curve.  We are in this together, and your continued commitment is appreciated.  Covid-19 serves as a reminder of the unpredictability of emergency situations and the importance of being prepared as individuals and as a community"

  Karen Lindsay
  Manager, Emergency Program
  City of Nanaimo

Gypsy moth aerial spraying starts next week

LAKE COWICHAN - The first aerial-spraying treatment to eradicate invasive gypsy moths from 231 hectares of residential and municipal park land in Lake Cowichan will occur next week, weather permitting.

The gypsy moth is destructive to native and urban forests and orchards. Without treatment, it could spread to other parts of the province and put hundreds of species of trees and shrubs at risk, including endangered Garry oak ecosystems.

Spraying will take place from the forest south of Hammond Road, north to the Cowichan Valley Highway, west to Fen Road and east to Boundary Road.

Spraying will start shortly after sunrise (approximately 5:50 a.m.) and should be completed by 7:30 a.m. daily. Up to four separate treatments are required this spring. Unless delayed by poor weather, each treatment is expected to take one to two mornings to apply. The first treatment will take two mornings. The ministry aims to complete spraying by mid-June.

The spray area will be treated with Foray 48B, which contains Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki (Btk). Btk is an organic, natural agent that has been approved for the control of gypsy moth larvae in Canada since 1961. Foray 48B and other Btk formulations received certification for acceptable use on certified organic farms by the Organic Materials Review Institute of Canada in April 2018.

Btk is naturally present in urban, forest and agricultural soil throughout the province. It does not harm humans, mammals, birds, fish, plants, reptiles, amphibians, bees or other insects and affects caterpillars only after they have ingested it.

The spray will be applied by a low-flying plane. Residents within and adjacent to the treatment area will likely hear the aircraft at some point during the treatment. The spray equipment is GPS-calibrated and controlled. Spraying will occur only when the plane is immediately over the treatment area.

Anyone wishing to minimize contact with the spray material may choose to remain indoors with their windows and doors closed during the treatment, and for at least 30 minutes after. Pets or livestock that may be frightened by the aircraft should be secured or brought indoors.

Poor weather or wind may cause treatments to be postponed with little advance notice, and the treatment will resume the next suitable morning.

A telephone line is staffed during business hours and provides up-to-date spray schedules and recorded information 24 hours per day, toll-free, at 1 866 917-5999. Individuals subscribed to gypsy moth email updates will receive automatic program updates. To subscribe, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/gypsymoth

To learn more about gypsy moths, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/gypsymoth

For health information any time, call HealthLinkBC at 811, toll-free and available in more than 30 languages. HealthLinkBC services for the deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired are available by calling 711 for TTY or 604 215-5101 for video relay service.

Health information on gypsy moth spraying in eight languages is available at: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/gypsy-moth-spraying

Dr. Richard Stanwick, chief medical health officer of Island Health, discusses gypsy moth spray-treatment programs: https://youtu.be/FzTSmsxkJtc

If you or your organization have a news release you wish to get out
to the the public, please send it to editor@nanaimonet.com

Keeping good company while preparing for the next step

May 5, 2020

We appreciate that a lot of information is available and that much of it is in the form of big announcements with multiple topics.

This series will be short bursts of single topic 'how to' information to help you take the next step in this uncertain journey--one step at a time and one issue at a time...

Our 12th session will feature Cynthia Lockrey of Lockrey Communications

Topic: .How to use storytelling in your social media, emails, presentations & more...

Time: Tuesday, May 5, 2020 11:30 AM, Pacific Time

Cynthia's presentation will be about 10 mins. followed by up to 15 minutes for curated 'Chat' Q&A.

This session is sponsored by Douglas Magazine

(Please note that a six-digit password is required and provided below.)

Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 835 8156 4895

Password: 169239

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Meeting ID: 835 8156 4895

Password: 169239

About Zoom
We will be using the power of Zoom to conduct this online video conference. Please click on the zoom link 10 minutes before the scheduled start time to ensure you are able to access. Zoom is a great online resource and you are able to attend via your computer (direct link) or you can download the Zoom App from the Google Play or Apple App Store for your smartphone or tablet. We will be utilizing the chat feature in Zoom to facilitate questions.

How to Join a Meeting
You can join from your computer or you can download the Zoom App to join on your phone or tablet. In addition, you can “call in only” if you are only able to listen or you are in an area where data Internet service isn’t available. Click Here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193

How to Chat on Zoom
https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/203650445-In-Meeting-Chat

Video recordings of our previous sessions are now available @viea.ca:

George Hanson, President

Government acts to help forest sector keep doors open

0430 – VICTORIA - The B.C. government is deferring one of the fees it charges to help people, communities and forest companies navigate through the COVID-19 crisis.

Stumpage, the fee operators pay the Province to harvest, buy or sell trees from Crown land, is being deferred for three months.

"As government, we had already taken a number of steps to help forest communities and the industry because they were facing tough times even before the COVID-19 crisis came along," said Premier John Horgan. "Now, we're deferring stumpage fees so companies can maintain their financial liquidity, which will not only benefit them, but ideally, forest workers and communities as well."

The deferral with interest is available to Tree Farm Licence, Replaceable Forest Licence and First Nations' Woodlands Licence holders who are in good financial standing with the Province. They also must be following through on their reforesting obligations.

The deferral will leave eligible companies with an estimated $80 million so they can pay employees, pay contractors and pay other bills needed to keep their doors open or reopen them faster.

"We're building on other measures we've taken to help the forest sector navigate this crisis," said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. "What we're announcing today may allow some companies to get back online sooner rather than later when we get through the situation we're in now - or it may save other companies from having to shut down altogether."

Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, said: "COVID-19 just added to the challenges facing our forest sector. In conversations with the forestry industry, the deferral of stumpage was a key ask, and I am pleased our government has been able to deliver support to companies, contractors and workers."

Kahlon added that the $69 million fund announced last fall to support British Columbia forest workers affected by mill closures and shift reductions in several B.C. Interior communities included new supports to make sure people have access to the services they need. This includes everything from training, to work placement, to early retirement. It also includes community support grants for communities that have been hardest hit by a mill closure or curtailment.

On March 26, 2020, government announced a list of health and non-health services that are essential, as part of its ongoing response to COVID-19. These include businesses that ensure global continuity of supply of primary and value-added forestry/silviculture products (e.g. lumber, pulp, paper, wood fuel, etc.), including soft-pulp products, such as protective masks, gowns, drapes, screens and other hospital supplies, as well as household paper products.

Government also acted quickly to deliver relief and support in response to COVID-19, including a $1,000 boost to any employee eligible for employment insurance (EI) or the new federal emergency benefits for those who don't qualify for EI. It's also why legislation was tabled that will mean no one can be fired for taking time off work to follow the advice of the provincial health officer.

As well, major industries like pulp and paper mills and mines, will have the opportunity to defer 50% of their BC Hydro bill payments for three months.

Quotes:

Stephen Hunt, director, United Steel Workers, District 32 Western Canada -

"We've been hard hit by a variety of factors that have presented challenges to our forest workers. I am pleased that this government is taking steps to help our industry and forest communities in general."

Susan Yurkovich, president and CEO, Council of Forest Industries -

"The deferral of stumpage fees is an important short-term measure to help alleviate some of the unprecedented financial pressure brought on by the COVID 19 crisis. It will help B.C.'s forest companies put people back to work in communities as markets come back and we move towards economic recovery."

Quick Facts:

* The stumpage system in B.C. is called the market pricing system.

* Stumpage is calculated every three months, ensuring companies that harvest on Crown land are paying a fair market rate and the people of B.C. are getting fair value.

* Unlike Alberta's tenure system, B.C. does not have a universal stumpage rate because B.C.'s forests are more diverse. Stumpage is based on volume of timber, species and grade.

* The money raised by stumpage funds vital social services.

Homeless census up 25%, COVID now the main concern

The preliminary results of Nanaimo’s 2020 Point-in-Time Homeless Count show a continued increase in the population of people experiencing homelessness – at least 25 percent compared to the last count, held in 2018.

Nanaimo participated in the National Point-in-Time Count on March 12, 2020, before isolation, physical distancing and other COVID-19 measures came into effect. 60 other Canadian communities were scheduled to host a Count but many were unable due to the pandemic. 

The initial data from the March 12 Point-in-Time Count suggests that homelessness is at its highest, with at least 425 people living unsheltered in Nanaimo. The results from the 2016 count showed 174 people experiencing homelessness in Nanaimo; that number almost doubled to 335 people in 2018. These increased numbers highlight the need for further investments and resources in our community, especially during an outbreak.

The Government’s recommendations for self-isolation and proper hand hygiene to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are not easy for the approximate 425 people living unsheltered and are putting increased pressure on local service providers. Those organizations offering support and shelter to residents experiencing homelessness have had to reduce capacity in shelters, shut or reduce food services and take extra precautions given that many of their clients are immunocompromised and are at increased risk of contracting and spreading the virus.

Service providers are struggling with staffing due to self-isolation, and that some workers can now only work at one location. They are working hard to continue to offer services. They are also concerned that more people will slip into homelessness because of layoffs and other economic stresses on community members. 

“The negative economic impacts of COVID-19 on those who are already on the edge of homelessness will push more vulnerable people out of their homes,” says Jason Harrison, co-chair, Nanaimo Homeless Coalition. “First we had the affordable housing crisis where many employed people had trouble finding any accommodation or that which they could afford.  Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a great need to coordinate our response to create affordable housing and resources for others who may face homelessness for the first time.”

The City of Nanaimo’s Council-led Health & Housing Task Force reconvened this week after all City meetings were suspended due to the pandemic. The Task Force, BC Housing, Island Health, United Way and the Nanaimo Homeless Coalition are working closely to plan and drive solutions that will serve vulnerable populations during the pandemic and longer-term solutions for people experiencing homelessness in the region.

“With this new data, the City’s Task Force working with BC Housing, Island Health, the Nanaimo Homeless Coalition/service providers will implement plans to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while continuing the work to find permanent housing solutions,” says Signy Madden, Executive Director, United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island. “We are grateful that the Government of Canada announced increased funding coming to Nanaimo through United Way for the Reaching Home initiative to support people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak.”

 “There’s a continuum of homelessness in our city, which includes sleeping rough, in cars, in shelters, transitional housing, hospitals and treatment facilities. Not to mention those who are on the cusp of homelessness because they’re underemployed or unemployed. It’s going to take a concerted effort from all levels of government and the support of our neighbourhoods to solve this issue,” says Yvonne Borrows, co-chair, Nanaimo Homeless Coalition. “For us, the growing number of people experiencing homelessness just cements the fact that service providers are maxed out and more support is urgently needed.”

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy.

An updated status of service being offered by members of the Nanaimo Homeless Coalition can be found here: https://www.uwcnvi.ca/covid-19/service-updates

Details about the data gathered during the 2020 Point-in-Time Count will be released in a presentation to Nanaimo City Council in May.

Keeping Good Company While Preparing for the Next Step

0428 – We appreciate that a lot of information is available and that much of it is in the form of big announcements with multiple topics.

This series will be short bursts of single topic 'how to' information to help you take the next step in this uncertain journey--one step at a time and one issue at a time...

Our tenth session will feature MNP Partner & Business Advisor, Mike Delves.

Topic: New information about qualifying & applying for the Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers

Time: Tuesday, Apr 28, 2020 11:30 AM, Pacific Time

Mike's presentation will be about 10 mins. followed by up to 15 minutes for curated 'Chat' Q&A.

This session is sponsored by MNP.

(Please note that a six-digit password is required and provided below.)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/92535845225?pwd=cnVEK3NKVUEzOGRvdHg2aFNnaTRwUT09

Meeting ID: 925 3584 5225

Password: 206009

One tap mobile
+14388097799,,92535845225#,,1#,206009# Canada
+15873281099,,92535845225#,,1#,206009# Canada

Dial by your location
        +1 438 809 7799 Canada
        +1 587 328 1099 Canada
        +1 647 374 4685 Canada
        +1 647 558 0588 Canada
        +1 778 907 2071 Canada

Meeting ID: 925 3584 5225

Password: 206009

About Zoom
We will be using the power of Zoom to conduct this online video conference. Please click on the zoom link 10 minutes before the scheduled start time to ensure you are able to access. Zoom is a great online resource and you are able to attend via your computer (direct link) or you can download the Zoom App from the Google Play or Apple App Store for your smartphone or tablet. We will be utilizing the chat feature in Zoom to facilitate questions.

How to Join a Meeting
You can join from your computer or you can download the Zoom App to join on your phone or tablet. In addition, you can “call in only” if you are only able to listen or you are in an area where data Internet service isn’t available. Click Here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193

How to Chat on Zoom
https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/203650445-In-Meeting-Chat

Video recordings of our previous sessions are now available @viea.ca:

Collecting empties for food was a great success

Thanks to City of Nanaimo Local Government for generously donating the use of the Harewood Covered Sports Court and these fantastic family groups of volunteers, our first offsite Empties 4 Food sorting extravaganza was a huge success!

These carefully recruited household groups kept their distance from each other working diligently on Saturday. They sorted over 40 mega bags of empties and brought in over $6,000!

Not a bad day's work! Thank you to everyone who donates your empties towards Empties 4 Food. Your gifts of unwanted returnable drink containers go directly towards the operations of providing food for our community. The locations of our green donation bins are on our website here: www.nanaimoloavesandfishes.org/get-involved/empties-4-food/