May 1, 2020

A PERFECT BROTHER – That’s how Kyle Hagen describes his bother, Nanaimo-born Capt. Kevin Hagen who is among the missing in a military helicopter crash in Greece. Kyle told the Times Colonist his brother was “always there for my sister and me. He’s been a shining example of truth, duty and valour for us. We’ve been proud of him our whole lives. He’s been my closest friend, and I can’t describe how hard his loss has been for us,” he said. Mayor Leonard Krog said the city is “proud of the contribution that young men and women have made to our Armed Forces over many decades.” He said Capt. Hagen was “a fine example of commitment to country and community.” FULL STORY

NOT ACCORDING TO SCRIPT – That’s not the way it was supposed to go. People are being evicted from the Travelodge on Gorge Road East in Victoria so homeless campers from Pandora Avenue and Topaz Park can be housed. Now some of them are homeless as a result. Eliza Charlie says she and her husband are out on the street. B.C. Housing told CTV News yesterday that hotels were specifically told not to evict anyone to make room for homeless campers. FULL STORY

FIVE IN ISLAND HOSPITALS – Five patients are in Vancouver Island hospitals due to COVID-19, but the good news is none are in intensive care. Yesterday was the 100th day since the first provincial statement about COVID-19 was made. There are 120 active or recovered cases of the respiratory virus on the Island, says Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. The number of confirmed cases on the Island rose from 72 to 120 in April. FULL STORY.

A BREAK ON BILLS ­– Regional District of Nanaimo has given a grace period to pay water, sewer and garbage service payments due to COVID-19 pandemic. The due date ordinarily July 6 is now Sept. 8. There are discounts for early payment, which the regional district said varies by service, but is commonly 10 per cent. When it comes to water and sewer billing, the RDN projects no impact as it doesn’t believe the extension will motivate people to pay their bill earlier. FULL STORY

ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW – The television and movie industry has taken a hit while we struggle through the flu pandemic. The Island economy feels that, but new innovations are coming to the fore – you can now audition from home, says Jacqui Kaese of Spotlight Academy. It’s called self-taping – all you need is a well-lit blank wall and make sure you shoot horizontal frame. Jacqui and Zachary Tannar, of the Hub City Cinema Society, have been working on how to do this with Zoom. Drop kits are being sent out by production companies to film actors in home locations. It wouldn’t hurt to get a little coaching, taping, and editing guidance, so call her at 250-714-2555 or email

May 1, 2020

Canada has entered a recession due to pandemic: C.D. Howe Council
The C.D. Howe Institute's Business Cycle Council says Canada has entered a recession due to the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

B.C. clothing stores are allowed to be open. Why aren’t they?
After voluntarily closing her doors in mid-March, the owner of Get Dressed, a women’s clothing store in North Vancouver, is taking her first cautious step toward re-opening. She’s told her loyal customers if they call in advance, they can come shop in-person, one at a time. 

Landlords and tenants unite to demand greater rent relief from government
Provincial government urged to raise monthly rent suplement to $750 for renters without dependents and $1,000 for families with children

B.C. health officials hint at chance for increased social connections 
The next phase of B.C.'s pandemic response could involve giving people the chance to meet their friends or extended family members face-to-face – under the right circumstances. 

Spike in calls to B.C. poison control over exposure to household cleaners
While the BCCDC said cleaning with disinfectants and other cleaning products can help stop the spread of COVID-19, the agency also warned that proper precautions should be taken to ensure people don't put themselves or others at risk. 

Some cities still dealing with COVID-19 rule-breakers in parks 
Warning signs, caution tape and padlocked chains haven't stopped some people from accessing park areas and amenities that have been closed as a precaution due to the pandemic.

21,000 breast cancer screenings lost to the pandemic
The pandemic has meant screening programs for breast, cervical and colon cancer for non-symptomatic people have stopped. For breast screenings alone, that’s 21,000 screenings that didn’t happen in just the first month of shut-downs. 

Police seize 1,500 unauthorized COVID-19 tests from Richmond man
Mounties say they have seized 1,500 unauthorized COVID-19 test kits from a Richmond resident, who had acquired and sold them without approval from Health Canada.

Abbotsford officer organizes fundraiser for families of N.S. rampage victims
As tributes continue to pour in from across the country for victims of the mass killings in Nova Scotia earlier this month, an Abbotsford police officer is stepping up to try and support the grieving families.

Violent SkyTrain attack: Surveillance video leads to arrest of suspect
Police say they've arrested a suspect in the hours following the release of surveillance video related to an attack on public transit in Metro Vancouver

Make your entire family stand up when you go to use the washroom
In a series of posts meant to make readers laugh, the Vancouver International Airport offered tips earlier this week to recreate the feeling of flying from your living room. 

Drugs, stolen identification and bank cards seized in Surrey: RCMP
Mounties said officers found multiple cellphones, an electronic card reader, as well as stolen identification inside a vehicle during a recent investigation.

Hiker found safe after being reported missing, Abbotsford police say
A hiker who went missing in Sumas Mountain Park have been found safe, Abbotsford police say.

Nanaimo-born pilot on crashed military helicopter

Capt. Kevin Hagen

0430 – Helicopter pilot Capt. Kevin Hagen, who was born in Nanaimo, was one of the members on board a Canadian military helicopter that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Greece on Wednesday.

Hagen was one of six Canadians aboard the Cyclone helicopter that went down as the aircraft was returning to the Halifax-based frigate HMCS Fredericton from a NATO training mission. Sub-Lieutenant Abbigail Cowbrough of Nova Scotia, has been confirmed dead in the crash.

Hagen was born in Nanaimo but also grew up in Ladysmith, Quadra Island and Victoria 

Chief of the Defense Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance told a press conference the crash’s debris area is large and the extensive search will take some time. 

The voice and flight data recorders were recovered and will be used to determine what happened. 

Homeless to be sheltered at Community Services Building

0430 – An Emergency Response Centre for Nanaimo’s homeless is going into the Community Services Building at 285 Prideaux St. The Centre is scheduled to open in June and provide approximately 35 emergency shelter spaces for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ERC will operate out of existing vacant spaces as well as additional space meaning some tenants will have to relocate by June 1. The 7-10 Club and Options for Sexual Health will remain on site. 

An experienced non-profit operator will oversee the 24/7 management of the emergency response centre. Additional details will be provided as the Centre becomes operational.  

In Vancouver and Victoria the province rented empty hotels and motels to house residents of tent encampments.

City Council has granted temporary relief from lease and rental payments to the Community Services Building. 

Community members with questions regarding the Emergency Response Centre can contact BC Housing at

April 30, 2020

ROTARY CENTENNIAL – Hey Rotary Club of Nanaimo, it's your birthday – 100 big ones. The first Rotary Club, one of the earliest in Canada, was chartered 100 years ago. Mayor Leonard Krog has proclaimed April 25-May 3 as Nanaimo Rotary Centennial Week. The COVID pandemic has thrown a monkey wrench into the club’s celebrations, but they’re adapting. The signature project this year is the Rotary Centennial Garden at Maffeo Sutton Park. The timeline was supposed to align with the centennial and while that won’t quite happen. One event that will go ahead is a fundraiser on Friday afternoon  that will see president-elect Bob Janes run 100 laps of the 400-metre track at Rotary Bowl stadium with donations going to the Rotary Foundation and the Community Response Fund. The club’s contributions include the old hospital, Bowen Park, Rotary Bowl stadium, the entrance sign at Departure Bay, Tillicum Lelum centre, Rotary Skatepark, Rotary Field House at the Serauxmen Sports Fields, Rotary Lookout at the Visitor InfoCentre, VIU Library’s special collections room, Nanaimo Community Hospice, the NRGH Emergency Department and Eden Gardens care home.

RETURN POLICY – Hey, it's not easy returning something you bought at the best of times, but even more so with us basically being told to stay at home. London Drugs has temporarily extended its return and exchange policy to 45 days, both in-store and online, until June 30.

STABBING INCIDENT – Michael Hansen, 31, of Nanaimo has been charged with Assault with a Weapon, Robbery and Uttering Death Threats after a woman was stabbed at 2 a.m. Wednesday. She sustained a serious but non-life threatening injury. Hansen was arrested after the incident at a home on Glenayr Drive. Officers learned that the suspect, who is known to the victim, had allegedly attempted to rob her. BC Paramedics transported the 28 year old woman to the Nanaimo hospital for medical attention. The suspect was located nearby by police and taken into custody without incident. 

$1 billion-plus Island rail price tag gets quick response

0430 – The price tag of more than $1 billion for Vancouver Island rail has been lightening quick. A new report estimates the cost of getting Vancouver Island rail up and running again between Victoria and Courtenay.

“We don’t understand why they’ve gone to what I would call ‘the Mercedes model’ so I think there are differences between the perfect model and what’s in reality and what could make it affordable,” says Judith Sayers of the Island Corridor Foundation, which owns the rail corridor.

new report done for the province by WSP Canada Group puts the cost at $1.1 billion for passenger rail between Victoria and Courtenay.

That includes upgrading the entire corridor and $595 million for new commuter rail service between Langford and Victoria.

But the Island Corridor Foundation says it can be done for a fraction of the cost and is questioning the whopping 50 per cent contingency built into the estimates. MORE

Can you identify fraud suspect?

0430 – The Nanaimo RCMP is requesting public assistance in identifying the man in the attached photos who is alleged to have used a bank card that had accidentally been left inserted into an ATM. $1000 was then withdrawn from the victims account. The incident occurred at approximately 9:50 am on April 12 at the TD Bank on Dufferin Crescent.

Bank video surveillance photos show the suspect at the ATM. He is 35-45 years and with a medium build. If you have information on the identity of this person, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Do you know where David Thomas is?

David Thomas

0430 – Nanaimo RCMP are looking for David Arlen Thomas, 26, charged with break-and-enter and breach of probation after a suspect tried to pry open a locked window of an occupied home in the north end.

The break-and-enter charge stems from March 23, when a 911 caller reported a break-and-enter in progress. The caller told police she fled her home with her child after seeing a man known to her trying to pry open a locked window to her home. Investigators have been unable to locate Thomas and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Thomas is 5-feet-7, 140 pounds, with short dark hair and a tattoo on his left forearm. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Ferries opens more sailings to general passengers

0429 BC Ferries is adjusting service levels by opening some previously designated CARGO sailings to all types of traffic. 

 The previously-scheduled Monday to Friday commercial sailings at 12:45 pm and 5:45 pm from Duke Point will be changed to accept all traffic. With these changes, BC Ferries will still maintain the 50-per-cent passenger capacity reduction as per Transport Canada. 

 Effective May 7, the following schedule will be implemented between Tsawwassen and Duke Point:

Leave Duke Point

  • 5:15 a.m. daily
  • 7:45 a.m. cargo (M-F)
  • 10:15 a.m. daily
  • 12.45 p.m. (M-F)
  • 3:15 p.m. daily
  • 5:45 p.m. (M-F)
  • 8:15 p.m. daily
  • 10:45 p.m. cargo (M-F)

Cargo sailings limit the number of passengers on board to 84, and give priority loading to commercial vehicles transporting goods. Essential service workers are loaded on a first-come, first-served basis after commercial vehicles. If space is available after commercial vehicles and essential workers have been loaded, other traffic may be loaded at the discretion of the terminal.  

All food and retail outlets at terminals and on board our ships remain closed until further notice. This includes vending machines. For more information or traffic updates follow @BCFerries on Twitter, visit our website at, or call us toll free at 1-888-BCFERRY (223-3779). 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

RETAILING OPPORTUNITY – London Drugs has a soft spot the little guy – the retail chain is clearing shelf space in select stores to give local small businesses a chance to sell their goods. The company says any small business in Western Canada that has had to close due to COVID-19 can submit products for consideration. In select locations, the company will transform its centre aisles into a space to help local businesses sell their products. Small business owners can apply online to learn if their products qualify. Some rules and restrictions apply. Port Place manager Warren Cook tells me if enough people apply and qualify through the website, that could work very well in Nanaimo. HERE'S THE SIGN UP PAGE

A NANAIMO WOMAN has been taken to Victoria hospital after being seriously injured in a car crash Tuesday afternoon, near the intersection of Jingle Pot Road and Third Street. The 22-year-old driver was taken to the Nanaimo hospital, and later to Victoria. Investigators spoke with several witnesses who came to the aid of the driver who was alone in the older-model car. Investigators believe she lost control and ended up in a ditch. The crash caused the closure of the roadway in both directions for several hours. The vehicle will undergo a mechanical inspection as the investigation continues.

CO-OP AGM DELAYED – The annual general meeting of the Mid-Island Co-op has been postponed due to the COVID pandemic. The management and board of directors are reviewing all options to proceed as soon as possible and still abide by health and safety protocols. In the meantime, members are encouraged to ensure that their email addresses are correct so they can be informed about the future meeting.

 IT’S CLEAR TO SEE that optometrists Gurinder Jassal and Vikramjit Panesar have their fellow citizens at heart by offering free eyeglass repairs. They operate Eye Plus Optometry and Optical. While they can’t offer their regular services during the pandemic, they will do free no-contact repairs for broken glasses for people who can’t do normal daily tasks, such as reading or driving, without them. Panesar said they've been getting a lot of messages and calls from people who have broken their glasses and are dependent on them. The service is free, but donations will support an annual vision clinic Eye Plus holds for Nanaimo’s less fortunate through the Salvation Army. If you need eyeglass repairs set up an appointment by calling 250-591-1018  MORE

WORLD AUDIENCE – Ay Lelum – The Good House of Design held an online fashion show  over the weekend allowing amateur models strutted their stuff. Designer Aunalee Boyd-Good said everyone is pushed to think differently during the pandemic. The local clothing design and production company made the move to the internet after COVID-19 halted what Aunalee said was to be an exciting fall season. After an anticipated launch at Toronto’s Indigenous Fashion Week, Ay Lelum was set to showcase its latest fashions at festivals in Juneau, Alaska and Tacoma, Wash. and they were invited to New Mexico for the Santa Fe Indian Market, which Boyd-Good calls “the largest and most prestigious juried native art show in the world.” MORE

Island rail upgrade cost could top $1 billion


0429 – Upgrading Vancouver Island rail service  could cost between $227 million and $1.468 billion, depending on the level of upgrades and time.

The railroad is owned by the Island Corridor Foundation, formerly E&N Railway.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure report of the Island Rail Corridor shows  that bringing the corridor from Victoria to Courtenay up to minimum safety standards alone is $227 million. Full commuter rail and intercity passenger service, Victoria to Courtenay, would cost about $1.1143 billion. If work is phased in through 2031, that would rise to $1.468 billion.

The final report includes infrastructure upgrades to restore freight and passenger service. It also includes cost estimates to upgrade the rail line to meet the standards needed to implement a commuter service with frequent train service between Victoria and Langford, as well as inter-city service between Victoria and Courtenay. FULL STORY

Flight crew encounters drone during Nanaimo landing

0428 An Air Canada Jazz flight reported a close encounter with a drone while landing in Nanaimo during a flight from Vancouver on Friday.

A Transport Canada occurrence report states the incident happened 

"The de Havilland Dash 8 aircraft was making its final approach to land in Nanaimo when the pilot "reported a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) at the same altitude, just off their left wing," states a Transport Canada occurrence report.

The flight landed safely and the RCMP were notified of the incident.

Tuesday, April 28,2020

TRUCK CATCHES FIRE – The driver of a semi-trailer truck escaped injury after the truck caught fire near Ladysmith Tuesday morning in the northbound lane of the highway. Ladysmith Deputy Fire Chief Wayne Johnston says that the truck’s cab was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived.Fire crews were able to put out the fire quickly and were working to clean up fluid that spilled onto the highway.

 A GREATER DEMAND for food is anticipated during the COVID-19 pandemic and Vancouver Island University is stepping into the breach. The university has made space available in its greenhouses to grow more seedlings for Nanaimo Foodshare Society for vegetable production. Nanaimo Foodshare grows fruits and vegetables at the Five Acre Farm in Harewood and the Cline Agri-health Centre near the Millstone River. The society has worked with partners since 1997 on hunger in the community, build agriculture skills and bring the community together to share resources. MORE

NANAIMO RCMP are investigating after nurse at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital had her car window smarshed with a rock while she was working. The incident happened sometime between Friday evening and early Saturday morning. Nothing was taken from the vehicle and the rock was still inside her car when she returned. There was also damage done to the roof of the vehicle.

FADE TO BLACK – After the start of a very promising year for the Greater Victoria movie industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s been devastating like it’s been on every other industry,” says film commissioner Kathleen Gilbert of the Vancouver Island South Film & Media Commission.  “Everybody has had to shut down.” A movie of the week and a Netflix series were in pre-production and a five-movie series was already being shot when the industry was forced to fade to black six weeks ago. MORE

NO MORE FLOATING – Floating down the river on a sunny afternoon is not on the table for the Cowichan River this summer because of the global coronavirus pandemic. Tubing on the river near Lake Cowichan will likely be banned after a council vote Monday evening. Lake Cowichan Mayor Rod Peters said concerns about physical distancing have forced local government to act.

RCMP want to find owner of seized goods

Nanaimo RCMP hit a treasure trove of what is suspected stolen property and they would like to find the owner.

Officers checked a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of a convenience store in February. The two men in the vehicle are known to be active in property related offences. 

In plain view, officers saw a number of items including men's and women's watches, semi-precious stones, jewelry, coins and foreign currency. When asked where the items came from, the men said they were collectors, which did not sit well with the officers. Based on the evidence, the items were seized out of suspicion they came from criminal activity.

 “If you have information on the origin or ownership of any of these items, please contact Cst Fabrice Cambry of the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2020-7117.  Please bear in mind, the Nanaimo detachment is closed to the public due to the COVID-19 health crisis, so do not attend in person,” said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

A collection of watches seized by RCMP. They want to find the owner.

Monday, April 27, 2020

IN THE JAILHOUSE – A prolific offender has been arrested and charged with nine counts of property crimes and weapons offences in Nanaimo. Spencer Lee Schaeffer was charged with break and enter, possessing a break-in instrument, several firearms violations and a probation breach. He’s scheduled to make a court appearance on Tuesday.

CAMPING CLAMPDOWN – The Regional District's Gabriola Island director is looking to ban overnight homeless camping on the Island's community park. A previous bylaw permitted homeless people to camp at select parks between 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. Director Vanessa Craig said while that legislation is in line with B.C. Supreme Court rulings, she will seek a temporarily halt the camping at 707 Community Park, while its status is assessed and recommendations are made on addressing fire risk. MORE

NANAIMO'S HOMELESS are getting meals, harm reduction materials and referrals to government services, thanks to Food For Thought. However, some residents are not happy about the location on Wesley Street, where Nanaimo’s homeless gather despite the city stepping up bylaw enforcement this year in the area. Tanis Dagert, of Food for Thought, said the idea is to support some of the most vulnerable people in our society, the ones who don’t have a home to take shelter in. Food for Thought has been operating for just over a month. MORE

ROBBERY GONE WRONG – A man was arrested and a man and a woman are being sought by police after an attempted break and enter of a barn mid morning Sunday in Cedar. The owner of the barn noticed a broken lock and heard a vehicle horn. Two men ran from the property. The owner got a picture of the female driver and license plate. Officers located the registered owner and arrested a 36-year-old man without incident. He was later released and is expected to make his first appearance in July. Police are still looking for the female driver and other male suspect. If anyone has information on this incident, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.

Unique cycle was stolen overnight

UPDATE - Thanks to a tip, the stolen bike has been located in one piece and undamaged. Thanks to everyone who shared and posted. No charges are expected and the owner is just glad to have it back in his possession.
UNIQUE CYCLE STOLEN – a unique two-person, four-wheel bike cart was stolen from a yard on Columbia Street overnight between Sunday this morning.  The bike is a cart style, side by side, two-person with a reclining seat. It has a blue frame with a white canopy on top and several noticeable decals including Mid-island Community Development Cooperative Solar Funk Wagon. If you have any information on the whereabouts of this bike, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Forfeiture fund grants $147,758 for Nanaimo

0427 – Restorative justice programs in Nanaimo will get almost $150,000 in funding for programs  and support healing for Indigenous youth, and sexual violence supports.

“To get tough on crime, we need to tackle the root causes that allow it to flourish,” said Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson. “Our government is taking the proceeds of crime and putting them to work with innovative Nanaimo organizations preventing domestic violence and helping get people back on the right path.”

The Civil Forfeiture Crime Prevention and Remediation grant program will distribute $147,758 to five Nanaimo groups:Nanaimo Region John Howard Society: $28,808

  • Haven Society: $30,000
  • Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre Society: $28,950
  • Nanaimo Men's Resource Centre: $30,000
  • Nanaimo Family Life Association: $30,000

The Crime Prevention and Remediation grant program is funded through proceeds of the Civil Forfeiture Office, which undermines the profit motive behind criminal activity by taking away tools and proceeds of crime and putting them back into programs that support community crime prevention and safety.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Officials, First Nations leaders to give an update on Fraser River slide
About 10 months after a major landslide was discovered in a remote area along B.C.'s Fraser River, officials are set to give an update on the site. 

Body found on shore of Fraser River in Burnaby
RCMP and the BC Coroners Service are investigating the discovery of a body on the bank of the Fraser River in Burnaby Sunday afternoon. 

Residents evacuated because of flooding near Williams Lake
The Cariboo Regional District issued the evacuation order for one property in the Borland Creek - 150 Mile House area. 

Body of missing Chilliwack man found
Police had originally issued a public warning about David McCullum because he was "believed to be in possession of firearms," but by Friday the case had become a missing person investigation.

Black Press asks for donations from readers

0424 – Black Press Media has launched a campaign for donations to its newspapers, including the Nanaimo News Bulletin.

An article by Andrew Holota, Editorial Director for newspapers across British Columbia, outlines the value of newspapers to a community, ending with an appeal for donations on the web edition of both the News Bulletin and the PQ News.

"So, we now respectfully ask you – the consumers of the vital information we collect, examine, interpret and present in the most balanced and factual way possible – to consider the value of what we do.

"Should you agree that the news we deliver, in print and online, is critical to maintaining an informed perspective of how the world is changing in these times, and how it might look tomorrow, we ask for your contribution to the News Bulletin.

"In order to do that, our business must survive. We intend to do that, and here is how you can help. By making a one-time or ongoing donation to the News Bulletin you can help ensure that your community continues to enjoy the benefits that come with a local community newspaper. Click here to help," says the article over Holota's name.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Woman from Alert Bay is first COVID-19 death in a B.C. First Nations community
A woman from Alert Bay has died of COVID-19, becoming the first death from the novel coronavirus in a First Nations community in British Columbia

Body of missing Chilliwack man found
Police had originally issued a public warning about David McCullum because he was "believed to be in possession of firearms," but by Friday the case had become a missing person investigation.

Notorious fugitive Brandon Teixeira back in Canadian custody
One of B.C.'s most notorious fugitives has been turned over to Canadian authorities, months after he was captured in a dramatic police takedown in California. 

Heritage trees vandalized in Stanley Park, VPD notified
A City of Vancouver arborist said the damaged trees were found over the last several weeks and were first noticed by members of the city's Stanley Park horticultural team. 

Stronger, more modern B.C. legal system to emerge from pandemic, Eby says
Attorney General David Eby says the COVID-19 pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in British Columbia's legal system, weaknesses that have forged a unified effort to build a stronger, more modern justice administration. 

Help needed to pay for guide dog's surgery

Qualicum Beach veteran Blair Meadows’ dog Farrah broke her leg at the knee joint and is scheduled for surgery in Vancouver on April 30. What makes Farrah so special is that she is a Guide dog and provides invaluable service to Blair. She watches his back and is effectively his life support. Blair's life changed after he got Farrah.

The cost of the operation is $5,500, plus accommodation, ferries and meals. Qualicum Legion Branch 76 is seeking support for Farraah. So far, the BC and Alberta Guide Dogs organization help to the tune of 50 per cent of the cost, and the Pipe Band has donated $250.

The branch has a drive-by box for donations at the front door, April 29 and 30 from 1-3 p.m. You can also pledge by phone Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from noon to 2 p.m. at the Legion at 250-752-9632.

Museum and Archives assembling history of pandemic

0424 – The Nanaimo Museum and Nanaimo Community Archives want to know all about you so they can record history as the coronavirus pandemic unfolds.

They are collecting Nanaimo’s pandemic stories and want submissions from the public to help document the impacts of the coronavirus on the community now so they can be shared with future generations.

Aimee Greenaway, Nanaimo Museum curator, said the museum will add an online form on its website where people can share their experiences.

The project will also collect and digitize accounts from news media, businesses and other organizations.

“But it’s the personal stories from people that are so much harder to [get],” Greenaway said. “If you don’t go out and get them, you don’t have them … so that’s really what we’re going for.”

April 25

New evacuation order in B.C. as flooding affects central Interior
Residents of 40 properties near Prince George, B.C., have been ordered out of their homes as the Chilako River and its tributaries continue to rise. 

Heritage trees vandalized in Stanley Park, VPD notified
A City of Vancouver arborist said the damaged trees were found over the last several weeks and were first noticed by members of the city's Stanley Park horticultural team. 

Grey whale pays surprise visit near Schooner Cove
Environmental consultant Christopher M. Stephens got quite a surprise on April 23, when he encountered a grey whale off the Nanoose Peninsula near Schooner Cove. 

Bicycle retailers see boom in business during COVID-19 pandemic
Bicycle retailers and repair services all over Vancouver Island Island are seeing an increase in business as more people turn to cycling to keep themselves busy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Laketown Shakedown, Sunfest Music Festival cancelled due to COVID-19
Two popular Vancouver Island music festivals have been cancelled due to COVID-19.

Your tips could solve a crime

A mountain bike was stolen April 16 from the front yard of a home in the 400 block of Seventh Street. It is a grey/black Iron Horse (Judy model) black Marisachi shocks, with spiked after-market pedals. 

An unknown person defecated and urinated in the carport of a home in the 2500 block of Labieux Road. Taken was a 2" black Black and Decker nail gun. Nanaimo file # 2020-14491. The incident took place in the early morning of April 20. Nanaimo file # 2020-14491 

If you know something, say something. Call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Chamber cancels Summer Street Market

0424 – The highly-successful Commercial Street Night Market has fallen victim like so many other events, being cancelled for this summer, the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce informed members today.

Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry’s ban on large gatherings for the summer made it necessary to cancel the event. The market certainly qualifies as a large gathering, the chamber said in a notice to members. 

“Not just as a result of health directives, but an abundance of caution to keep ourselves, our families and our neighbours safe”, the notice stated.

“While it is sad, especially considering the success and the joy it has brought the community for the last two summers, we’ll be back better than ever in 2021”. 

Police still looking for missing pregnant woman

Ashley Virtue

The Nanaimo RCMP are trying to locate 25-year-old Ashley Virtue who was reported missing on Wednesday. Police were told Virtue was planning to travel to Vancouver for medical treatment but did not arrive. She is pregnant and requires daily medication. Her family is extremely worried for her safety and well-being.
Her cell phone has been traced to Vancouver but to date, investigators have been unable to locate her. Virtue is a white female, 5 ft.5, 120 pounds. The picture is recent. If you have information on the whereabouts of Ashley Virtue, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file number 2020-14835. 

Police looking for Trevor Coles on two charges

Trevor Coles

0424 – Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance in locating 32-year-old Trevor Robert Coles, wanted for two counts of Breach of Recognizance.

He is accused of going to the home of a woman he is prohibited from having contact with. The no-contact order resulted from an assault allegation from March 12, one day prior. He is accused of assaulting her at her home, then fleeing. 

He was located a short time later by Police Dog Services. He was arrested for the assault and later released on several conditions, one which specified that he does not return to the home of the victim. 

Coles is a white male 5 ft. 11, weighing 155 pounds, facial hair, moustache, and brown hair. At the time of the assault, Cole had dyed his hair green but it is unknown if it is still that colour. He is currently of no fixed address and is believed to be in the Nanaimo area.

 If you have information on the location of Trevor Coles, contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

A dozen tires slashed, three vehicles keyed

0423 - A tire slasher is on the loose – tires on three vehicles were slashed during the last two days. 

All four tires were slashed on a Honda CRV parked in front of a home in the 2600 block Willowgrouse Crescent between April 20 and 21. As well as the tires, door panels were keyed.  

It was the same story during the evening on April 22 when all four tires slashed and door panels keyed on a Mazda Protégé, parked at Starlight Trail and Pheasant Terrace. 

Later that night, all tires were slashed on a Ford Escape. There are no suspect or witnesses in all three incidents. If you have information on any of these incidents, contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Rotary club gives Foodshare a $25,000 boost

Jen Cody, Nanaimo Foodshare Society executive director, and Janeane Coutu, president of the Rotary Club of Nanaimo, at a recent cheque presentation. (Doug Wortley photo)

A $25,000 donation from the Rotary Club of Nanaimo will allow Nanaimo Foodshare Society to buy a walk-in cooler to house fruits and vegetables grown at their urban farming facilities 

Foodshare grows produce at two urban farms in Nanaimo: Five Acres Farm in Harewood and the Cline Agri-Health Centre near Westwood Lake. Much of the produce grown there is used to fill out the Good Food Box that is offered once a month to members for $10. 

Foodshare Executive Director Jen Cody said the financial boost comes at a particularly important time. With the COVID-19 Foodshare pandemic it will expand the Good Food Box at a time where there is greatly increased demand. 

The Rotary Club of Nanaimo celebrates 100 years of service in Nanaimo on May 1, says Rotary Club President Janeane Coutu. What an appropriate time to also recognize the history of Harewood’s Five Acres Farm and the work of Nanaimo Foodshare with this gift during our Centennial year, she added.

Air Ambulance helicopter targetted with laser

0423 – A B.C. Air Ambulance on a night flight from Nanaimo to Victoria General Hospital was targeted by someone shining a laser from the ground.

Transport Canada reported that no one was hurt in the April 18 incident, but a preliminary report says the laser strike was deliberate and ongoing.

The 1995 Sikorsky helicopter was on its final approach when the pilot observed the green laser. Helijet International owns and operates the air ambulance

Helijet vice president Rick Hill says viewing a laser has the potential to cause sometimes serious vision problems and laser strikes are extremely dangerous because they could affect the flight crew. MORE

Golf clubs stolen from car break-in have been recovered

0423 – A local golfer is ecstatic and his faith in mankind is renewed after his stolen clubs were located.

The clubs were stolen from a vehicle April 21. With little hope of ever seeing them again, the owner reported the theft and began the tedious task of filing an insurance claim. Later that same day, he answered a knock on his door and much to his surprise; a local Mountie presented him with his stolen clubs. 

The officer said the clubs were found by a man out for a walk, and they were lying on the ground in the 400 block of Franklyn Street.  

Some minor items were missing such as his umbrella, golf gloves, rain gear and range finder, but it was the clubs, he was most concerned about. 

This is a good reminder to report all thefts, whether there is a suspect or not and not rely solely on social media to spread the word.

Homeowner thwarts theft in progress during break-in

0423 – A homeowner on Sarum Rise interrupted a break and enter, and theft from his garage on Saturday night. The homeowner told police he heard a noise coming from the garage. Upon checking, he found a man with several of his items. The thief quickly dropped them and rn away.

The suspect was last seen running in the direction of Stonewater Drive. He is a man, thin with long brown, flipped at the ends, and wearing skinny black jeans and black runners with white soles. If you know something, say something. Call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. Nanaimo file #2020-14347 

A window was smashed during a car break in on Bryden Street on April 14. The front passenger window was smashed and insurance papers taken. The car alarm was set off and a neighbour looked out and saw a youth nearby carrying a skateboard. No further description available. If you know something, say something. Call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.Nanaimo file # 2020-14160 

A thief with a sweet tooth got about $40 worth of candy in a theft at Petro-Canada Uplands Drive at Rutherford Road last Friday night. Video surveillance showed a shadowy figure reach through with a stick and grab a box of candy. Police suggested to the owner to move any valuable items away from windows to prevent further thefts. If you know something, say something. Call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.Nanaimo file # 2020-14142

Suspect in identity theft sought by local police

Suspect in identity theft

0522 – The Nanaimo RCMP wants to identify the woman in this photo. On Feb. 17 this suspect used stolen identification to secure a payday loan from a business in Nanaimo.

Investigators learned that the ID was stolen on September 13, 2019 from a parked vehicle in Comox Valley. Several days following the theft, thieves fraudulently purchased upwards of $2,500 of products from businesses throughout Comox Valley.

The suspect is 30-40 years old, thin build and has long black hair. If you have any information on the identity of this person, contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Nanaimo lawyer suspended for professional misconduct

0422 – Nanaimo lawyer James Straith has been suspended for professional misconduct in his work between 2012-2015 with an organization known as Lost Canadians.

Straith represented the group whose members felt they had unfairly lost or been excluded from Canadian citizenship. A Law Society of B.C., panel ruled Straith committed professional misconduct, including conflict of interest and failure to maintain accounting and billing records. He was suspended for two months and ordered to pay the law society’s hearing costs of $22,500.

Straith has since retired. MORE

RCMP salutes volunteers during special week

In February volunteers were out in force at the Auto Crime display at Woodgrove Centre.

0422 – Nanaimo RCMP is shining a spotlight on its volunteers during National Volunteer Week, April 19-25.

“We miss seeing you in the office and on the road helping the various areas and hope you are taking care of yourselves during this challenging time”, said Gary O’Brien, Media Relations Officer, Community Policing Services.

The Nanaimo volunteers assist our community in many different ways, including speed watch, patrols in high crime areas, cell phone/distracted driving patrols, 529 Bike Theft Prevention Program, Canada Day and many more community events, O’Brien stated in a news release.

National Volunteer Week is a coast-to-coast-to-coast celebration of the commitment, dedication, generosity and selflessness of Canada’s almost 13 million volunteers. This year’s theme, it’s time to applaud this country’s volunteers.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

CANDID CAMERA – Watching city council yesterday performing computers from their own homes was quite an experience. I began ondering how many of them realized they were not in a council chamber but rather on camera at home for the world to see. I mean, chomping on sandwiches while on camera was most interesting. I understand the meeting took place during the lunch hour, but I expected someone to come in and shout "Smile, you're on candid camera".

MANLY ONLINE TOWN HALL –Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly will host an online town hall Saturday on YouTube Live. It will be an opportunity for residents to learn more about his work on their behalf. He will also answer questions. The meeting will start at 7:15 p.m. Residents are invited to visit his website prior to Saturday to check in, share and give feedback on topics for discussion through a community crowd-sourced ThoughtExchange. Link

GOOD GUY WANTED – Nanaimo RCMP want to identify a man who assisted an officer during arrest of a suspect who spit on a store employee. But they don’t know who he is.

It all started Sunday morning when a man spit on an employee at the Dollarama store in Port Place Shopping Centre. The employee told officers the suspect became enraged when he was told access to the store was reserved at the time for seniors in response to COVID-19 health measures. The suspect spat on the employee and left.

He was spotted sitting on a bus bench on Estevan Road. When the officer approached him he became combative when a man driving by saw what was happening, got out of his vehicle and stood nearby until more officers arrived.

Investigators would like to thank him and have him provide a witness account of the incident. If anyone knows who this person is, please have him contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2020-14389.

Victoria homeless 'terrorizing" neighbourhood residents

0421 – Residents of a homeless camp in Victoria’s Topaz Park are terrorizing residents and creating an unprecedented crime spree in the neighbourhood of a Jewish Center. 

Topaz Park was designated by the city last month as a preferred location to shelter the homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the street, the Chabad Jewish Centre says its security cameras have recorded several burglary attempts, thefts and break-ins since the camp opened.

Rabbi Meir Kaplan says the city must dismantle the camp and find alternative housing for people living in the park. “In no way does this improve social distancing for homeless people with no sanitation and it is not a solution for homelessness,” Kaplan said Monday.  MORE

Charges recommended against Nanaimo RCMP officer

0421 – Independent investigators have recommended charges against a Nanaimo RCMP officer related to the arrest of a female suspect who suffered serious injuries during her arrest and detention in Dececmber, 2018.

The report, filed by the Independent Investigations Office “determined that reasonable grounds exist to believe that an officer may have committed offences in relation to the alleged application of force by a police officer.”

In order to approve the charges, the B.C. Prosecution Service must be satisfied that there is a substantial likelihood of conviction based on the evidence gathered by the IIO, and that prosecution is required in the public interest,” the report says.

AS WE REPORTED here last week, the city is taking a new look at its 2020 financial plan and ways to reduce property tax bills during the COVID-19 pandemic. That will be one of the main thrusts at tonight’s council meeting when looking at how much the tax increase needs to be. Council will be looking at cutting the planned 5.2-per-cent increase to 4.5 per cent or even lower, to 3.8 or one per cent. Council has the option of deferring some of the planned increase to next year, so if you pay less this year you'll pay more next year. MORE

KEEP YOUR DISTANCE – People are getting frustrated with park goers not adhering to social distancing suggestions. The wide open spaces like Neck Point Park and Maffeo Sutton Park are drawing bigger crowds as the weather improves and the city has been getting complaints. However, bylaws officers cannot enforce the suggestion of keeping your distance because it is not a health order – it’s a recommendation. MORE

Sunday, April 19

PARKSVILLE'S HISTORIC Rod & Gun Bar and Grill suffered significant damage in a fire early Saturday. Parksville Fire Department officials said they were called out at approximately 4 a.m. got the fire under control. the damage was mostly on the first floor with damage to electrical systems.
   The 122-year-old Rod & Gun is closed due to the COVID-19 panademic and no one was in the building during the time. Fire Chief Marc Norris said they were able to contain the blaze so quickly, with help from both the Qualicum Beach and Errington fire departments, especially because it’s a heritage building. MORE

DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH if you have a big summer mass-gathering event planned – it's not going to happen says Provincial Health Director Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a news conference on Saturday. “That is a much riskier prospect than ever before. We do not have enough herd immunity or community immunity to protect everybody and allow that type of event to happen,” Henry said. The Vancouver Island Exhibition and Nanaimo Bathtub Festival has not yet cancelled their events for this summer. MORE

Man seriously injured in crash involving three motorcycles

0419 – One man was airlifted to Victoria hospital with life-threatening injuries after three motorcyles and a car collided on Morden Road Saturday afternoon.

A vehicle attempting to make a U-turn resulted in injuries to two motorcycle riders. The collision occurred at approximately 4 pm near the intersection of Morden and Waring Road.

Police Fire and EHS attended. Although preliminary, investigators were able to determine that the 20-year-old driver of a car was travelling east on Morden Road. He pulled to the side of the road and attempted to make a U-turn when the collision occurred.  

A 28-year-old motorcyclist travelling west on Morden Road  collided with the passenger side of the vehicle. The rider was later airlifted to a Victoria hospital with life threatening injuries.  A second rider, age 30, was also injured and taken to Nanaimo hospital with serious injuries. A third rider, age 46, received only minor injuries and did not require hospitalization. The male driver and his female passenger were not injured and remained at the scene and co-operated with investigators.

Alcohol and drugs have been ruled out in the crash and all vehicles involved, have been seized and will undergo mechanical inspections. The crash site closed the roadway for several hours while investigators examined the scene. 

This is the second significant crash within a week in Nanaimo involving motorcycles, resulting in serious injuries to the motorcyclists, said RCMP Const. Gary O'Brien  “May is motorcycle safety month and this is a tragic reminder that everyone plays a part in keeping our streets and highways safe,” he added. 

The following tips are provided for motorcyclists and motorists alike:

  • Check blind spots, using mirrors and turn signals when changing lanes or merging into traffic 
  • Ride sober
  • Maintain an appropriate distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you
  • Scan your environment, and be alert to potential dangers and react appropriately
  • Ride within the posted speed limit, reduce speed during inclement weather.

Quick action by off-duty nurses like saved man's life

0419 - Quick action by off-duty nurses likely saved a man’s life after a motorcycle accident on Hammond Bay Road on Monday. Nathaniel Olson and his wife were out for an afternoon ride on separate motorcycles when he was struck by a vehicle turning left in front of him. 
Olson’s brother says the impact was so severe that it severed his femoral artery in his left leg and he was bleeding to death.That’s when the nurses converged on the scene. One nurse used a Harley Davidson belt to stop the bleeding said Jeremy Olson.   

“She went down into the bush where he was at and put a tourniquet on his leg and saved his life right there,” says Jeremy Olson. MORE

Solar panel stolen from home on Stewart Avenue

Nanaimo file # 2020-13367
Sometime overnight on Friday April 10 a solar panel was stolen from a home located in the 500 block of Stewart Avenue. The panel was mounted and the theft would have taken some time to remove. There are no suspects at this time. 

Nanaimo file # 2020-13058
Caller reports ongoing issues with thefts at a construction site on Peterson Place. Police have increased patrols and area residents living in the area, are asked to keep am eye out for suspicious activity. 

If you have any information about these cases, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file the file number.

Saaturday, April 18

FORE, FOR OR FOUR – No matter how you spell it, there's good news this morning for those who like to spend time on the links. Area golf clubs are open again, on a limited bases. Several courses have opened under strict social distancing procedures.  Nanaimo Golf Club re-opened the course to members only beginning today under strict conditions and procedures. Players will be required to sign a waiver prior to teeing off and refrain from shaking hands or other direct contact on the course.

UNEXPECTED ADVENTURE – Whitewater adventurers from Nanaimo and Qualicum helped rescue American rafters stranded on a riverbank in the Grand Canyon. Nanaimo's Phil LeBlond was one of 13 expedition members on a spring excursion through the Grand Canyon that started March 15. Their expedition had just run the challenging rapids when they encountered a raft overturned on an island where they found the crew of about a dozen rafters from North Carolina awaiting the park’s helicopter to retrieve it and bring them more provisions so they could continue on with their journey. MORE

Friday, April 17, 2020

GOOD MORNING – Well, it's not really such a good morning learning that the Parkville sand sculpting competition has been cancelled due to COVID-19. It's a big blow that sociey presidentd Cheryl Dill said was a difficult decision to make. Logistical challenges made it impossible to guarantee a successful and safe event. The Parksville Beach Festival was scheduled for July 10 to Aug. 16, with the competition  over the first four days. MORE

AN ALERT RENTER has foiled a rental scam on Craigslist that was used in an attempt to rent a Nanaimo home. A Nanaimo couple told RCMP they had responded to a Craigslist ad on April 9, which advertised a home on Tamara Drive. Upon responding to the ad, they got an application by e-mail from a man who identified himself as Terry White. After several e-mails back and forth, the couple were approved and all they had to do was send one month’s rent and damage deposit, and a house key would be mailed to them. That set off alarm bells and they found the owner of the home who verified the house was not for rent. The owner also did not know any Terry White. That's when police were called. MORE

Catch basin cleanup starts next week, obey flaggers

0417 - Nanaimo Public Works staff and contractors will begin cleaning the city's stormwater catch basins beginning Monday. 

Starting in the Duke Point area, crews will start in the Duke Point area and work their way north via the east to Dickinson Road then back south via the west to Cinnabar Valley. This work involves large equipment, please approach with caution and obey flag persons directions. The annual catch basin cleaning program is expected to be complete by August 2020.

During the program storm sewer grates are pulled off and the catch basin is then cleaned out using a vacuum truck. The material is separated from any water, dried and taken to the landfill.

Groess Environmental was contracted to conduct this year's catch basin cleaning program with City of Nanaimo Public Works staff.

Commuters are asked to watch for flaggers and crews on the roads.

Can you help police to solve these crimes?

Nanaimo file # 2020-12994 Between 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm, on Tuesday April 7th, thieves stole a black Davinci 21 from a bike stand in front of Dollarama, located at 1150 Terminal Ave. 

Nanaimo file # 2020-13046 Sometime overnight on Wednesday April 8th, two women's Norco mountain bikes, one blue, the other purple, were stolen from in front of a home in the 6000 block of Doumont Road. No serial numbers were available. 

Nanaimo file # 2020-13063 Overnight on Wednesday April 8th, a trailer parked at the Serauxman Stadium, located at 745 Third St was broken into. The work trailer was backed up against a sea can to prevent access, however, thieves, managed to lift it up and forward, and gained access. Taken was a red Milwaukee cordless vacuum and an older skill saw. 

Nanaimo file # 2020-13056 Sometime overnight on Wednesday April 8th, an unknown person unlawfully entered the compound of Houle Electric, located at 2377 Ciennar Drive. When employees arrived for work, they noticed several vehicle door handles had been broken off. Nothing was taken from the vehicles. Video surveillance showed an adult male entering the compound at 12:35 am, then leaving at 1:26 am. The suspect male is white, slim build, mid-30’s and wearing dark clothes and a dark hat. He left the compound carrying two small roles of wire. 

  • Rock the night away in your own home

    You can have your own rock concert in the comfort of your living room at 8 p.m. Friday as the Nanaimo Community Response Fund Rock for Relief features a who's-who of talent from Vancouver Island and International artists to raise funds. IWCD and Harmac will match donations made during Rock for Relief.

  • Police seek help in solving these crimes

    Nanaimo file # 2020-13479 On Saturday April 11, 2020 mailboxes on Haughan Road mailboxes were pried open and contents emptied. Empty mailboxes frequently and report all suspicious people or vehicles to the police. See these and other files.

  • More park ambassadors on patrol

    The Nanaimo Parks Department is expanding its Park Ambassador Program by sending out additional trained Park Ambassadors to more of Nanaimo's parks to continue efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.
    New areas include Bowen Park, Neck Point Park and Colliery Dam Park, as well as smaller parks, trails and beaches.

Six arrest warrants issued for Nanaimo woman

Casey Lee Stewart

Six warrants, ranging from Trafficking in a Controlled Substance to breaching court orders have been issued for a 38-year-old Nanaimo woman, stemming from police investigations over the past two years.

Casey Lee Stewart is a white female, 5 ft. 6 145 pounds, with blonde hair and brown eyes, and often changes the colour of her hair.  Stewart has a birthmark on the left side of her head. 

 If you have information on the whereabouts of Casey Lee Stewart, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Victoria mayor wants forced takeover of motels for homeless

Mayor Lisa Helps

0416  Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps is pushing the province to use its emergency powers to secure more motel rooms for homeless people, whether they’re offered up voluntarily or not.

“Rather than negotiating on a case by case basis, which is what BC Housing has been doing to date, it would give the province the power to say such and such a building is empty and we are going to take it over for the purposes of providing shelter and indoor accommodation for vulnerable residents,” Helps said.

And if the province doesn’t want to, Helps is asking them to give the city the authority to do it because she says motel operators aren’t offering to house people with severe mental health and addictions issues on their own, and hundreds more rooms are needed now. MORE

Thursday, April 16, 2020

IMPAIRED DRIVING INVESTIGATION – The driver of a car in a collision on Boxwood Road on Tuesday afternoon had to be revived with Narcan. RCMP are now conducting an impaired driving investigation. The crash happened in the 2100 block of Boxwood Road at about 12:45 p.m. when a car, travelling north, hit a transport truck and then came to a stop against a utility pole. The suspect vehicle was seen swerving into the oncoming lane, then collided with a truck and came to rest next to a hydro pole, said Const. Gary O’Brien. The a 39-year-old driver was unconscious and treated at the scene by paramedics who used Narcan to revive him.

NO SLOWDOWN YET – It’s business as usual at the Regional District of Nanaimo development department, but plans are being made for an anticipated downturn after the COVID pandemic. Geoff Garbutt, RDN general manager of strategic and community development, reported development remains strong in the region and the RDN is providing all of its services in current planning, building inspection, bylaw enforcement and strategic initiatives. MORE

Police seek public assistance to solve crimes

April 11 to 16

1.Nanaimo file # 2020-13479 On Saturday April 11, 2020 mailboxes on Haughan Road mailboxes were pried open and contents emptied. Empty mailboxes frequently and report all suspicious people or vehicles to the police.

 2.Nanaimo 2020-13459 On Saturday April 11, between 8 pm and 11 pm, a grey Giant Escape mountain bike was stolen from the carport of a home in the 700 block of Brechin Road. Serial number of the bike is CBAD7187

 3.Nanaimo file # 2020-13451 Overnight on Saturday April 11 a theft occurred at an apartment building under construction, behind Shoppers Drug Mart on Mary Ellen Drive. Taken were tools. Items left at construction sites should always be marked with an identifying number and pictures taken. 

 4.Nanaimo 2020-13611 During the afternoon of Sunday April 12 a male shoplifter made off with a number of items from London Drugs, Port Place Mall. The suspect male is white, mid-twenties, long brown hair, facial hair and wearing a black and grey jacket, jeans and black shoes. 

 5.Nanaimo 2020-13650 Overnight on Monday April 13 the Beban Club/Lions Pavilion, located at 2300 Bowen Road was broken into. The front door was found smashed open and ajar, and the office door open. Unknown what was taken and in the next couple of days, all electronics are being removed.

 6.Nanaimo file # 2020-13672 Overnight on Monday April 13 thieves stole a wallet from a vehicle parked in the carport of a home on Kentucky Place, in Cinnabar. The stolen wallet was located near Cinnabar School, minus credit cards and a debit card. The stolen cards were not used and have since been cancelled.

 7.Nanaimo file # 2020-13927 Between April 13 and April 15, a Canon Rebel T3 camera was stolen from a vehicle left unlocked on Bird Sanctuary.  Theft from unlocked vehicles continues to be a significant issue in our community. Before retiring for the night, remove all valuables and lock all doors. 

 8.Nanaimo file # 2020-13898 Overnight on Wednesday April 15th thieves smashed the front windshield of a vehicle parked in the 6000 block of Hammond Bay Road. Taken was a Rockford Fosgate 12” subwoofer and a tote containing old tools.

 9.Nanaimo file # 2020-13912 On Wednesday April 15, between 6:30 pm and 10 pm, a vehicle in the 600 block of Howard Ave was broken in and taken was loose change.

 10.Nanaimo file # 2020-14005 Sometime between 3 am and 4 am, on Wednesday April 16 thieves stole two brown rimmed blue ceramic flower pots, filled with soil and flowers from a yard on Strickland St. The pots were quite heavy so a cart or vehicle would be required to carry them off.

Crime reporting now available online

You no longer have to go to the police station to report a crime  online crime reporting is available now.You can enter the online site to make full reports. However, for emergencies please call 9-1-1. Unless more information is needed you will not be contacted by a police officer. If you have a crime that requires a police officer, call the non-emergency number at 250-754-2345.

You can use Online Crime Reporting if:
• You have lost something that costs less than $5000
• Someone has stolen something from you that costs less than $5000
• Someone has vandalized your property or vehicle and it will cost less than $5000 to repair it
• The crime happened within the jurisdiction of the Nanaimo RCMP

You can NOT use Online Crime Reporting if:
• There is a witness or suspect
• There are lost or stolen items involving personal identity, firearms, licence plates or decals

Your report will need your name, address, phone number and Email address. A typical report will take 15 minutes to complete. MORE

Wedneday, April 15, 2020

NOTHING BUT SUNSHINE – We’re in for some lovely weather to brighten our home-stay period. An extended period of warm, sunny weather is forecast d to last through the weekend and into the later stages of this month. So even when you’re staying home, get into the garden and start the projects you’ve been putting off. MORE

THIEVES ARE BUSY – Some people take no holiday even during a pandemic. Thieves are cashing in with vehicles left unattended for longer than usual during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is Auto Theft Enforcement Month and RCMP say theft from vehicles and thefts of vehicles have increased as people stay home to practise self-isolation. Police dealt with 193 incidents of theft under $5,000 from automobiles throughout March compared to 141 files during March 2019. MORE

STAY ON YOUR SIDE – A BMW driver was taken to hospital after crashing into a delivery truck and then hitting a utility pole driving on the wrong side of the road on Tuesday. Witnesses said the car collided with the truck, kept going and hit the pole. MORE

WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? – Emergency crews were called to a single-vehicle crash on Zorkin Road, Tuesday morning after an SUV collided with the pole new the Stewart Avenue and Brechin Road intersection. The driver, who wasn’t injured, said he lost control of vehicle when the front end locked up. MORE

THIEF IN NO HURRY – A thief who broke into the Houle Electric equipment compound on Cienar Drive early last week was in no rush.  Video surveillance shows a slim caucasian man, in his mid 30s, wearing dark clothes and and dark hat entering the compound at 12:35 a.m. He stayed on the site for nearly an hour before finally leaving carrying two small rolls of wire at about 1:25 a.m. MORE

Lantzville takes a second look at big tax increase

0415 – Lantzville council is having second thoughts about this year’s budget, specifically the tax rate. They are looking at cutting back the planned property tax hike, but want to wait and see before they make a decision.

Mayor Mark Swain wants to use reserves to reduce the planned 23-per-cent increase to about 10 per cent. He believes the COVID-19 pandemic has created financial uncertainty for residents. Swain believes with the uncertain times ahead, anything to mitigate the financial impact to residents would be in order. MORE

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate on hold

0415 – The Bank of Canada is keeping its key interest rate target on hold at 0.25 percent, saying Wednesday morning that it is effectively as low as it can go to combat the economic impacts of COVID-19. The central bank says the downturn tied to COVID-19 will be the worst on record. Preliminary data from Statistics Canada today showed economic activity collapsed in March as it dropped a record nine percent.

Tuesday, April 14

A MOTORCYCLIST was seriously injured in a crash at Hammond Bay Road and Stephenson Point Road at 2:30 p.m. after a motorcycle and a car collided. The motorcyclist was taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital with life-threatening injuries. The car was heading south on Hammond Bay Road. The 17-year-old female driver was turning left into Stephenson Point Road when the motorcyclist struck the car, said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. MORE

WITNESSES SOUGHT – The investigation into the collision between a car and motorcycle continues and investigators are asking anyone who has not spoken with police, to contact the Nanaimo RCMP.  
Witnesses may include anyone who witnessed the collision, who provided assistance at the scene, or has dash cam video of the crash or general area. If you have any information, please contact Cst Schnablegger of the Nanaimo RCMP Municipal Traffic Unit at 250-754-2345 extension 6356.

UP IN SMOKE - Firefighters from Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department battled for several hours Sunday to put out a blaze that destroyed a legal marijuana grow operation south of Nanaimo overnight. Cranberry Volunteer were assisted by North Cedar Fire Department at the fire that started in a 20-metre by 10-metre metal building on a property on Waring Road, located in South Wellington south of Nanaimo. Ron Gueulette, Cranberry VFD chief, said the fire destroyed the contents of the structure. He added the building’s still good, but the contents are totalled. MORE

April 12

BIG MONEY – empty bottles can bring in a lot of money, and when it’s done on a big-time basis, that helps organizations like Nanaimo’s food bank. The Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank’s Empties 4 Food program is adding 12 more collection bins around the city, bringing the total to 34 for people to drop off their empties. The initiative brought in $83,000 in 2019. MORE

ROOT OF THE PROBLEM – Trees grow and when they run out of space they create their own. The decorative trees downtown are damaging sidewalks and curbs and creating tripping hazards, so city crews will be busy over the next little while fixing the problem. MORE

Cops nab suspects in theft of pickup truck in four minutes

It took mere minutes for RCMP to recover a stolen pickup and arrest two suspects early this morning. It began at 12:57 a.m. when the truck was taken from the driveway of a north Nanaimo home and by 1:01 a.m. the suspects were in custody.

The vehicle owners living on Norsea Road called 911 after hearing their vehicle start up and then being driven away. Mounties initiated patrols and within minutes observed a vehicle matching the description speeding southbound along Terminal Avenue. 

The two men, ages 24 and 25, were arrested without incident and taken into custody. They were released from police custody this morning on an undertaking on charges of Theft of Motor Vehicle and Possession of Stolen Property. Both are scheduled to appear in Nanaimo Provincial court, on July 14

Const. Gary O'Brien of the RCMP said the owners of truck were were ecstatic to hear their vehicle had been recovered and without any damage.

Friday, April 10, 2020

MORE HOUSING - City council has unanimously approved a development permit for a five-storey 108-unit apartment complex along Uplands Drive. Denciti Development Corporation wants to build 51 one-bedroom units and 57 two-bedroom units on an empty lot at 6117 Uplands Dr. between Hammond Bay Road and McRobb Avenue. Staff supported the application for a 1.85-metre variance to 15.85 metres. Staff noted that although the building will be situated between two four-storey buildings, it will appear similar in height to the Texada building due to the slope of the land. Access to the property will be from both Sentinal Drive and Uplands Drive.  FULL STORY

THE SCHOOL DISTRICT has a new secretary-treasurer. Mark Walsh takes over the role April 15. Walsh has previouslu served as secretary-treasurer of Greater Victoria School District from 2016-19 and manager of labour relations and legal services between 2012 and 2015. Before taking the new job Walsh ws a lawyer in Victoria and holds a Juris Doctor law degree from the University of Victoria. FULL STORY

NANAIMO RCMP  are trying to find  Gordon Oper, 40, who may be riding his motorcycle somewhere on Vancouver Island. He was reported missing Wednesday and hasn’t been in contact with his family since Monday. Oper maintains regular contact with family and for him to stop all communication is out of character, and has caused them concern, stated an RCMP press release. MORE with photo


Bowen Road now open in both directions

0409 - Bowen Road is now open in both directions. Thank you for your patience while we recovered from the main break. Special thanks for the businesses and residents in the area who were directly affected. And many partners who united in restoration.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

THE SHOWERS at Caledonia Park is proving very popular with an average 17 people using it daily. Before the pandemic, the shower program helped about10 people a day. It’s an interesting cross section using the facility. “We’ve got people showing up in BMWs and others rolling in on their bikes,” Kevan Griffith of the Unitarian Shelter told Nanaimo News NOW. “We’ve got a lot of people living in their vehicles who pop down for a shower. Some were working, some are working, some are just living rough.” The program, run by the Unitarian Shelter at Caledonia Park and funded by the City of Nanaimo, is the only way for homelessness people to get a shower. 

THE TOTAL NUMBER of cases of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island has climbed to 81 with two additional cases confirmed by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. Across B.C., 45 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been documented for a total of 1336. Of those total cases, 838 had fully recovered and been released from their isolation. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

SAFE DRUG HUB – Nanaimo city council wants to be part of a pilot project for safe drug supplies. Councillors voted 6-3 to write to Judy Darcy, B.C. minister of mental health and addictions, to let her know that Nanaimo is willing to be considered for her ministry’s pilot project. Darcy is looking to expand the safe-supply program from Vancouver and was looking for pilot sites. THERE'S MORE

AMAZON NOT GREEN ENOUGH – Nanaimo Member of Parliament Paul Manly doesn’t want non-union Amazon Canada delivering personal protective equipment to the country’s frontline health-care workers. In a news release Manly that job should have gone to unionized Canada Post. Amazon has a problematic history in regard to workers’ rights and continues to resist its workers’ attempts to unionize, Manly said. He added it would have been more fitting for Canada Post to get this contract.

GIVING BACK – The weather has been ideal to get out the hoes and rakes over the past few days, so a Nanimo company is helping by handing out free dirt. Milner Group will give two yards of premium soil on Saturday, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. at their recycling facility on 4202 Biggs Rd., near Brannen Lake RV Park and Campsite. “We thought it would be a good thing to do. “People can show their children how to grow a garden and gain some vegetables out of it.” Said Craig Cookman, general manager of Milner Group.

COVID TESTING – Island Health has set up dozens referral-only COVID-19 assessment centres as it ramps up its efforts. The sites are screened off for relative privacy and health care workers wear protective gear. As of Friday, there were also 16 testing clinics on the Island: three in Greater Victoria, six on the central Island and seven on the north Island. The referral-only clinics are for symptomatic patients who have been referred by a physician or nurse practitioner for further assessment. 

UP A TREE – A local man may have achieved a new high when he climbed a 100-foot tree. The 38-year-old admitted to being under the influence of street drugs and alcohol. He was arrested under the liquor control and licensing act and was held in a cell at the Nanaimo RCMP detachment until he sobered up, police say. No charges are being recommended. Police and  Nanaimo fire crews were dispatched to assist in removing him from his perch but he made his own way down, limb by limb, said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.


Monday April 6, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – How’s this for a morning buzz? Beekeepers in our area are keeping an eye out for a possible return of Asian giant hornets after they appeared in Nanaimo late last summer. Nanaimo Beekeepers Club members made and distributed 60 traps to help determine if the gigantic honey bee-killing insect will gain traction in the mid island area. They found and destroyed a nest found and destroyed a nest of approximately 150 hornets in Septemer in south Nanaimo. Local beekeepers are well prepared with a supply homemade traps.

Nanaimo singer advances on American Idol

Lauren performs on the beach in Hawaii

NANAIMO SINGER Lauren Spencer-Smith has made it into the top 20 on American Idol talent show. She earned the rating for her performance in Hawaii, performing Aretha Frankilin’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T. See her PERFORMANCE


Section of Bowen Road southbound still closed to traffic

Public Works Director Bill Sims

0405 - A section of Bowen Road remains closed after a water main burst Friday night. South-bound lanes, from the Meredith Road to the Dufferin Crescent, are closed.

The city said damage to the road, sidewalk and centre median is extensive, and will require significant repairs. A local contractor has been brought in to address the damage.

Local traffic, or people wishing to get to a businesses on Bowen will still be able to do so, but will not be able to travel south between James Way and Dufferin Crescent.  North-bound traffic is  affected. Meredith provides a connection to Boxwood Road, to the west, and Boundary Avenue, to the east, which will allow for a detour around the site.

Transit is being re-routed, the city also said. SEE VIDEO

Sunday, April 5, 2020

GOOD SUNDAY MORNNING – There hasn’t been much Buzzing in recent days with most attention on staying home, keeping a safe distance and wearing masks in public. And hats off to the first responders and other front line workers – medical professionals, fire, police, ambulance. We wouldn't have food for long if it wasn't for truck drivers, grocery workers, numerous volunteers, city staff and so many others

HOME DELIVERY – RCMP arrested a woman April 1 after someone tried to break into a motor home on Drake Street attempting to sell drugs to the people inside. The resident of RV told the News Bulletin that the woman made repeated attempts to open the locked door of the RV. The woman finally left the yard and headed toward Estevan Road where she was picked up by police. FULL STORY 

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS – Construction of the Rotary Centennial Garden at Maffeo Sutton Park begins on April 6 and will continue until July 2020. Nanaimo Rotarians contacted the City of Nanaimo in 2016 to brainstorm ideas for a new project on the Nanaimo waterfront that could be implemented for the 100th anniversary in 2020 and would help create a legacy project to acknowledge their 100 years in Nanaimo. MORE INFORMATION

Saturday, April 5, 2020

GOOD MORNNING NANAIMO – There hasn’t been much Buzzing in recent days with most attention on staying home, keeping a safe distance and wearing masks in public. And hats off to the many Nanaimoites who continue to provide services for us – medical professionals, fire, police, ambulance. We wouldn't have food for long if it wasn't for truck drivers, grocery workers, city staff and so many others

NANAIMO CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTRE’S annual Silly Boat Regatta has been cancelled. The event was scheduled for July 19, at Swy-A-Lana Lagoon. It is a major fundraiser for disadvantaged children. Last year’s event featuring homemade boat races generated $110,000 for Nanaimo Child Development Centre programming. Organizers of the Nanaimo Bathtub Race and Vancouver Island Exhibition are still hold their breath to see what develops.

WHAT NEXT? – First it was toilet paper and hand cleanser – now flour and yeast could be in slim supply with home bread-making is on the rise. Greg Krantz, a CHEK News editor and bread-making beginner, says one of his friends posted a no-knead bread recipe and it looked great. There's an endless supply of online recipes and tutorials. For the basic batch, all you neede is flour, water, yeast, salt and patience. With a lot of people stuck at home these days, here's another thing you can do. And, oh the aroma of fresh bread.

MISSING COUPLE SPOTTED IN VANCOUVER – The missing person investigation for 17-year-old Mary Cyprich . Recent pictures obtained of her and 36-year old Force Forsythe show they were in Vancouver. BC Transit investigators forwarded pictures April 1 of Cyprich and Forsythe at the Commercial-Broadway Skytrain station. 
If you have information on the whereabouts of Mary Cyprich or Force Forsythe, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 or your closest police agency or RCMP detachment. Please ensure, to quote the file # 2020-15577

Friday, April 3, 2020

NANAIMO CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTRE'S annual Silly Boat Regatta has been cancelled. The event was scheduled for July 19, at Swy-A-Lana Lagoon. It is a major fundraiser for disadvantaged children. Last year’s event featuring homemade boat races generated $110,000 for Nanaimo Child Development Centre programming.

AUTO CRIME –Thieves stole the centre console from an unlocked vehicle overnight on March 25. It was parked in the 2000 block Mountain Vista Drive. A console and an old inactive cell phone and some loose change were taken. Vehicle owners need to ensure that all vehicles are secured before retiring for the night, and that all valuables are removed. If you have information on this case, please call the RCMP non-emergency number 250-754-2345. and refer to Nanaimo file # 2020-11360

MAN WITH GUN – A report of a man brandishing a firearm near Port Place Mall on Thursday led to a heavy police presence and the arrest of one suspect. Numerous officers attended and based on descriptions by witnesses, arrested two adult men. The Investigation determined that one of them was not involved and was released. A 45-year-old was taken into police custody and a search of nearby bushes, located the firearm. FULL STORY

Ferry sailings cancelled due to breakdown

NOTICE FROM BC FERRIES 9:30 a.m. – Please be advised that the Queen of Oak Bay has cancelled the following sailings due to a mechanical difficulty:
8:25 am departing Departure Bay
10:40 am departing Horseshoe Bay
1:00 pm departing Departure Bay
3:45 pm departing Horseshoe Bay
5:55 pm departing Departure Bay
The ship is experiencing a main engine problem. 
We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience you may experience as a result of this cancellation.

April 2, 2020

THIEVES BROKE IN to a parked and locked vehicle on Nelson Road overnight March 25 and a number of items were taken. That included a London Fog grey pea coat with a silver bear crest on the left side, Grunden orange/black rain gear, 2 Kiltec coats- one black and puffy, the other grey and puffy, 8 Frost filleting knives and a Samsung 7 phone. RCMP stress the importance of engraving all tools with an identifying number such a driver's license, and to help in identifying stolen items, take pictures of everything and store them in an easily retrievable place. If you have any information, please call Nanaimo RCMP file #Nanaimo file #2020-11343. 

WESTJET HAS CANCELLED all transatlantic and U.S. routes until May 4. There will be no flights to the U.S., Europe, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean due to the flu pandemic.  Porter Airlines and Air Transat have suspended all flights. Air Canada has cancelled most of its international and U.S. flights in response to the global shutdown. There is now a travel ban that bars people with symptoms of the novel coronavirus from domestic flights and intercity trains, effective today. The pandemic has cost thousands of jobs in the airline sector. Air Canada has announced 5,149 layoffs and Transat 3,600, while WestJet has seen 6,900 departures including early retirements, resignations and both voluntary and involuntary leaves.

THE FLU PANDEMIC has had a major impact on Alcoholics Anonymous groups started cancelling meetings across Canada and the United States. Some of the organization’s Toronto members turned to their cell phones. What started weeks ago as a group chat to let people know which AA meetings were closing soon turned into discussions on how to set up online versions of the support network. Now, AA and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings are operating nationwide using Zoom, Google Hangouts and other video-conferencing systems. 

Wednesday, April 1,2020

DON'T BE FOOLED – Everyone needs to pay heed to the date when you see internet posts or emails today. It's April Fool's Day, so enjoy all the foolishness.

NANAIMO DENTISTS have donated 4,000 masks and 25,000 disposable gloves and other needed items to health-care workers in the region this week. Nanaimo Division of Family Practice is co-ordinating the collection of personal protective equipment.

WATER RESTRICTIONS – Nanaimo, Lantzville, Qualicum Beach and Bowser gave initiated Stage 1 watering restrictions, with sprinkling allowed from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on any day. Regional District of Nanaimo water service areas will see Stage 2 watering restrictions take effect today.
Residents in Nanoose Bay Peninsula, Englishman River Community, French Creek/Sandpiper, San Pareil, Whisky Creek, Westurne Heights, Melrose Terrace and Surfside – will see lawn watering limited to a maximum two hours a day between 7-10 a.m. or 7-10 p.m. with even-number addresses watering on even-numbered days and odd-number addresses watering on odd-number days. MORE

TRIBAL JOURNEYS DELAYED – Tribal Journeys event on SFN territory in late July has been postponed. The annual event sees hundreds of canoes travel along the west coast and stop in various Indigenous communities to honour and share local culture.  Chief Mike Wyse stressed how imprortant it is at times like this to continue to pass “our culture, practices and traditions, but it is also a tradition to protect our people and ensure everyone is safe when a threat like this pandemic faces us”. MORE

CRIME REPORT  There has been an increase in theft from vehicles, commercial break-ins and other thefts in recent weeks. Always make sure all valuables are removed, windows are secured and the vehicle is locked.  Businesses should remove all valuable items from window displays and no cash on site. Having a sign in your window advising the public of this, is a good idea.  Keep an eye out for suspicious people, vehicles and activity and report it to the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

TOOLS TAKEN IN BREAK-IN A house under construction on Bonnie Drive was broken into during the night of March 25. Thieves gained access through a garage that did not yet have a door. Thieves broke through the drywall. Tools were stolen – Columbia Mud Pump, Columbia 10" fat boy box, 2 silver stilts, Dewalt table saw with stand, and a Dewalt 12" chop saw. 

RCMP stress the importance of engraving all tools with an identifying number such a driver's license, and to help in identifying stolen items, take pictures of everything and store them in an easily retrievable place. If you have any information on this case, please call Nanaimo RCMP File #Nanaimo 

March 31, 2020

SHHH, ANOTHER TAX HIKE –The already-high price of fuel will go up tomorrow as a result of an increase in the provincial carbon tax. The provincial government claims carbon emissions will be reduced by increasing the carbon tax. The feeling of many British Columbians is that it is just more taxes. Do you believe the carbon tax increase will improve the quality of life for British Columbians?

CRIME REPORT  There has been an increase in theft from vehicles, commercial break-ins and other thefts in recent weeks. Always make sure all valuables are removed, windows are secured and the vehicle is locked.  Businesses should remove all valuable items from window displays and no cash on site. Having a sign in your window advising the public of this, is a good idea.  Keep an eye out for suspicious people, vehicles and activity and report it to the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Four-alarm fire damages workshop on Dockside Way

0330 -A FOUR-ALARM FIRE around dinner time Sunday shook up the neighbourhood Sunday. The first caused minor damage to a property on Dockside Way.  Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews extinguished the fire in a detached workshop that caught fire. They knocked the fire down quickly without any injuries. There was minor damage to the outside of the residence.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

THEY GOT THEIR BUS BACK – Regional Transit has learned not to go toe to toe with seniors. When Transit jiggled their bus route, leaving the seniors with real challenges. They didn’t just take it, they fought back and now RDN directors have endorsed a staff recommendation to a re-adjust the 30 NRGH route to ensure buses once again access Nelson Street. Kiwanis Village resident pointed to a negative impact on the quality of life of its residents when the 30 NRGH bus no longer stopped on Nelson Street, directly in front of the care home.

A CRUISE SHIP that was sickness-free just days ago is now reporting multiple deaths and dozens of potential cases of COVID-19, and people from Nanaimo are still stranded on board. Maggie Tilley and her husband David Andrews have been unable to disembark since countries started closing their borders mid-month. “Sad news. Four people on board passed away yesterday and overnight,” Tilley wrote in an e-mail to the News Bulletin on. “Testing has started and [there are] COVID-19 positive test results. I am still feeling fine.” Holland America Line confirmed Friday that of the 1,243 guests and 586 crew aboard the Zaandam, at anchor off the coast of Panama, 53 passengers and 85 crew have reported to the ship’s medical centre with flu-like symptoms

MISSING TEEN – RCMP are asking for public help to find 17-year-old Mary Cyprich who may be in the company of a 36-year-old man. She was last seen at about 8 p.m. on Thursday. She is 5-feet-4, 100 pounds and has long black hair. She was last seen wearing a black t-shirt with ‘Rotary’ on the front, black leather jacket and grey Puma socks. She left home without her shoes. She is believed to be with Force Forsythe who is 5-feet-10, 200 pounds, with short blonde hair and blue eyes and is from the Vancouver area. He has several tattoos, one on his right arm of a W in a crown and another on his right forearm which spells ULTIO. Investigators believe the two may have already left Nanaimo and travelled to either the Vancouver area or the Sunshine Coast.

HELP FIND TRISH - 16-year-old Trisha Harry, who goes by the name of Trish is missing and RCMP are looking for help from the public. She was last seen at approximately 10 pm on Monday, leaving her north Nanaimo home. All efforts to locate her have proven negative. Her family, friends and investigators are concerned for her safety and well-being.  MORE


Ferries cutting fuel surtax and delaying fare adjustment

The price of gas at the pump has been dropping, so BC Ferries has announced a 1.5 per-cent- fuel rebate, effective April 1. The company also announced it is delaying annual tariff adjustments in light of the COVID-19 situation and the impact it is having on customers. 

The rebate varies on routes, but the Departure Bay and Duke Point routes will get a 90-cent rebate forbehicles, one  way, and passengers will get a 30 cent cut each way.

BC Ferries closely monitors the price of fuel and applies a rebate or surcharge, or neither, under a regulatory process that is independent of fares. The recent decrease in the price of fuel allows BC Ferries to introduce a 1.5 percent fuel rebate. 

At a later time, the tariff adjustment planned for April 1, will go into effect at a date to be determined.

For information about travelling with BC Ferries during the COVID-19 situation, visit


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The social atmosphere we find ourselves in has prodded many of us to pitch in an help where needed. George Pilarski 73, lost his home and belongings when the camper truck he was living in caught fire after a crash in Nanaimo.He is living in a shelter in Nanaimo. The truck was insured, but the camper he was living in and all his possessions were not. Some kind local people are now trying to help George with a GoFundMe campaign. Check HERE for the full story, or view or donate to the GoFundMe, visit this link

MISSING PERSON – Nanaimo RCMP is asking for the public's assistance in locating 64 -year-old Lance Geddes who has not been seen or heard from since March 16. Geddes has significant medical and mobility issues which require daily medication and his friends and family are worried for his safety and well-being. MORE

PUT A HOLD ON GIFTS – No more flower or gift delivery, please. Island Health is asking people not send gifts to patients in hospitals or long-term care facilities. It’s all designed keep patients and staff safe while following the provincial health officer’s recommendations for social distancing.

IT’S IN YOU TO GIVE – Three blood donation clinics scheduled in Nanaimo are nearly or completely booked, which rarely happens. The clinics are set for for March 31, April 1 and 2.  Blood and patients are going to need help this week, this month and in the long-term. 

CONSTRUCTION on the Highway 4 Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement Project it will not be completed in summer 2020 as originally scheduled. Work is  60 per cent complete but the fast-evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the need for more complex blasts due to variable rock, increased environmental protections and the repairs to Highway 4 resulting from blasting damage at the project site in January is delaying work. MORE DETAILS

Evening ferry sailing times adjusted temporarily

BC Ferries is adjusting late afternoon sailing times on the West Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) – Nanaimo (Departure Bay) route. 

Effective Wednesday, the afternoon departure times will be adjusted as follows:
The 6:35 p.m. departures from Horseshoe Bay will leave at 5:40 p.m.
The 8:45 p.m. sailing from Departure Bay will now leave at 8 p.m.

All other published sailing times remain unchanged. BC Ferries plans to revert to the previous sailing times at a future date when conditions are more appropriate. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

MISSING TEEN – Oceanside RCMP are asking for the public’s help in locating a 17-year-old girl who was last seen Thursday, March 19. Georgia Kelly Stump was last seen in Nanoose Bay. She is known to spend time in Nanaimo as well as Parksville-Qualicum. Stump is 5-feet-6 with a medium build, blue eyes and shoulder-length brown hair. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact Oceanside RCMP at 250-248-6111.

YOU CAN HELP – There you are, bored and isolated in your own homes, but there’s a lot you can do to help others. We may not be able to visit shut-ins, but nothing beats a phone call. They would love it, especially seniors. And it’s a way of checking on their wellbeing at the same time. Some folks in our community are providing shopping and delivery services to those who are shut in and can’t do it themselves. Hats off to those people who will probably never get any public recognition, but do it anyway because they are just good people.

Monday, March 23

I DOUBT IF even Hollywood could come up with a better story than the one that played out last Friday when a man attempted to rob a loval 7-Eleven but his getaway vehicle was stolen while he was conducting the robbery. Alexandre Babin of no fixed address, fled on foot following the attempted robbery and through the combined assistance of PDS and attending officers, he was arrested several blocks away. You have to read the WHOLE STORY

NANAIMO RCMP need help to finding 39-year-old James Robillard, who has not been in contact with his family for over one month. This time frame and coupled with the fact that Robillard has been battling some personal issues, his family and friends are very worried for his safety and well-being. MORE

Sunday, March 22, 2020

INK IN THE VEINS – I retired from the world of journalism a decade and a half ago, but somehow journalism didn’t retire from me. I’ve been posting Nanaimonet for three years as a hobby, and doing just fine. But when the Big Story breaks, the printers ink in the veins bubbles up. It’s been exhilarating posting to the Coronavirus section on Nanaimonet, and being pretty well house-bound by choice for the past few weeks, it’s been a thrilling experience to be in the news business again. I hope you are finding the coverage useful and informative. You can always drop me a line at to

GOOD IDEA GONE BAD – What was good is now bad, and what was bad is now good. Oh boy, those single-use plastic bags were so awful we had to ban them and use cloth bags instead. Oh what a difference a pandemic makes – now don’t you dare bring those cloth bags into the store, they are non-grata – single-use plastic bags are back in the good graces at grocery stores.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? First it was toilet paper and hand sanitizers that people were hoarding. Now grocery stores report that eggs and chickens are flying off the shelves, and some people have begun hoarding baby formula. We're not running out, unless people continue to grab everything for themselves and leave the rest of their fellow citizens in need.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

HELLO NANAIMO – If you're bored from self-isolating and decide to go for drive, keep an eye out for following, the RCMP would like to meet them. They are wanted for several unsolved crimes, ranging from a stolen bike, theft of booze and a wanted person. If you see something, do something – call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. 

Theft of booze: The Green Rock Liquor store reported a theft of liquor on March 16.. Video surveillance showed a female, early twenties, wearing a black Adidas zip up jacket and grey sweatpants walk out with a bottle valued at approximately $70. Nanaimo RCMP file # 2020-10268

STOLEN BICYCLE –  A 2020 a black, silver and red Giant Defy Advanced road bike was stolen from a bike rack in front of Country Club Mall on March 13. The bike had been secured with a heavy bike lock which didn't deter the thieves. The serial number is GC5Z1328, Nanaimo RCMP file # 2020-9866

Nathalie Van Rooyen

WANTED FOR THEFTS – 37-year-old Nathalie Van Rooyen of Nanaimo, is wanted on four charges Possession of Stolen Property, theft under $5,000, and breach of probation. Nathalie is active in property related offences and there are numerous active files involving her illegal pursuits in Nanaimo and elsewhere on Vancouver Island. She is 5 ft. 8, weighs 122 pounds, with blonde hair and green eyes. Van Rooyen has no fixed address. RCMP file #2019-39346 

Missing elderly woman located safe and sound

UPDATE: The Nanaimo RCMP report that the 78-yea-old woman reported missing on Wednesday has been located safe and sound.

The Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance in locating a 78-year-old woman with significant medical health issues who has not been seen since approximately 3 pm today, (Wednesday). 

Margaret St. Denis was last seen at the Terminal Park Mall by caregivers, who told police she became increasingly agitated and was seen throwing her belongings on the ground, then quickly walking away from the Mall parking lot. Caregivers attempted to locate her but were unsuccessful. The Nanaimo RCMP were contacted and immediately began searching for her. 

St. Denis is heavy set, with short grey hair, and was wearing a green sweater and blue capri pants. She was not carrying any identification and may have a limited amount of cash.  St. Denis' last known address is on Gabriola Island and investigators have alerted officers there, and friends, to be on the look out for her.She is quite resourceful and may attempt to make her way to Victoria.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Margaret St. Denis, call 911 or the non-emergency line of the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.

March 18

About the only thing buzzing these days is Coronavirus developments, so all those posts are on that page. CHECK IT OUT


With the Cononavirus Covid-19 headlining the news we have set up a separate page for all news, cancellations and related reports. HERE


COVID-19 – We will endure,
survive and be the wiser for it

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – It’s rather slim pickings on the Buzz this morning with most attention directed to the world wide Cononavirus Covid-19. Since setting up a special section on the virus I have been busy gathering information on everything that is happening. You can check out the CORONAVIRUS section and if you have information to add with regard to local events and/or shutdowns, please send me an email at 

CHAMBER LUNCHEON – The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce has cancelled tomorrow’s luncheon. Other events at the Chamber have also been delayed or cancelled. MORE

STABBING INCIDENT - A man has been airlifted to a hospital in Victoria with a life threatening stab wound following an altercation on Clifford Road in Cedar. The incident was reported at approximately 9:20 MORE DETAILS

POLICE ARE LOOKING for help in locating two local men in unrelated circumstances. 
Jordan Moffitt, 33, reported missing on Thursday. Moffitt has no fixed address and has significant personal issues. His family is worried for his safety and well-being. Investigators have undertaken extensive patrols for Moffitt and have been unable to locate him.His vehicle was recently impounded and he does not have a cell phone
   In the second case, 41-year-old Nathaniel Fraser, was reported missing to the Nanaimo RCMP on February 24, and last seen by family members on February 20. MORE

CYCLE TRACK UP FRONT - Nanaimo city council has approved the final designs of the $400,000 cycle track along the waterfront on Front StreetThe project will reduce Front Street to one lane in each direction. The lane closest to the water will become a protected two-way cycle track from Maffeo Sutton Park to the downtown ferry terminal, while the lane on the opposite side of the street will gain parking.

ALL THE NEWS – There’s no need to go searching for news – all the latest headlines and links are right here at HEADLINE NEWS.

Monday, March 16, 2020

THE TEASIN’ SEASON – The weather can’t seem to make up its mind whether to allow winter to hang on or spring to bust through. Probably confused by all the climate fear mongering. The forecast calls for both sun and cloud but relatively warm days for the rest of the week when spring formally arrives.

MOTORCYCLIST BADLY INJURED – An adult man operating a motorcycle collided with motor vehicle near the intersection of Wentworth Ave and Terminal Ave on Monday afternoon. He sustained life threatening injuries and has been airlifted to a Victoria hospital. The driver of the motor vehicle received only minor injuries. 

The collision forced the closure of the north and southbound traffic, along Terminal Ave, between Comox Ave and Commercial Ave. The road closure will be in affect for an indeterminate period of time while investigators investigate the crash scene. The investigation continues.

MOUNT WASHINGTON Alpine Resort doesn’t give up easily, it’s staying open while many others across the province are shutting down, at least temporarily. In a statement on its website, the resort cites provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, who on Friday urged people to participate in outdoor recreation, including going to ski hills in the province.


NANAIMO HORTICULTURE SOCIETY spring plant sales is still on for May 2 at North Town Centre with plenty of annuals, perennials, herbs, small fruits and vegetables, shrubs, grasses, houseplants. Partial proceeds to benefit Vancouver Island University Horticultural Program.
Come and “Ask the Experts”. Meet Master Gardeners at this informative event.

ALL THE NEWS – There’s no need to go searching for news – all the latest headlines and links are right here at HEADLINE NEWS. And make sure to you to our CORONAVIRUS page.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – All the toilet paper hoarders may be doing at least one good thing. I saw a report of Facebook that Kruger Paper which makes Scott products just doubled it order of pulp from Harmac.

LARGEST NANAIMO BAR – The owner of Northwest Fudge Factory in Levack, Ont., and her two children have created the world’s biggest Nanaimo bar. The final product weighed more than 240kg (530 pounds). Guinness World Records specified a minimum weight of 200kg (441 pounds) for the world’s first biggest Nanaimo bar record attempt. MORE 

FERRY SAILINGS CUT BACK - COVID-19 has caused a lot of changes to travel plans leading up to Spring break, resulting in BC Ferries cutting back extra sailings on Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay. All customers with reservations on cancelled sailings will be notified and can choose to take a different sailing or to cancel their trip for a refund. Buffets on its vessels are also shut down until further notice due to COVID-19 concerns. Adjusted schedule. Keep checking back to Nanaimonet for all the latest.

LOWER DECKS OUT OF BOUNDS – Passengers trying to self-isolate to avoid Covid-19 will not be able to stay in their cars on the lower deck while travelling on BC Ferries. While it is allowaed on open decks of vessels, it’s prohibited on enclosed vehicle decks. Transport Canada regulations do not permit passengers to remain in their vehicles on an enclosed vehicle deck. On larger vessels that have both upper and lower vehicle decks, customers are able to remain in their vehicles on the upper vehicle deck only.

ALL THE NEWS – There’s no need to go searching for news – all the latest headlines and links are right here at HEADLINE NEWS.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – If you suspect you might be exhibiting flu symptoms, don’t expect to simply rush down to a testing station at a Walmart parking lot. It’s easy to get confused by news reports from the U.S. where officials are taking the threat to a greater level. In our corner of the world, Island Health has opened a referral-only COVID-19 screening clinic in Victoria. Testing at this clinic is by appointment for people who have been referred by their doctor or an 8-1-1 nurse. If you feel you are experiencing symptoms (such as new fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing) contact your doctor or call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 to be assessed.

WHAT’S CANCELLED – Conditions are changing by the second over the developing COVID-19 threat, resulting in countless cancellations after the province ordered shutdowns of gatherings of more than 250. That means the Port Theatre is closed until further notice. The decision was made in response to the direction and recommendations of the federal government and B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Here’s what we have assembled related to the local situation.

  • Two cruiseships slated for Nanaimo this spring have been cancelled, but on the bright side, container shipping from Duke Point has not been affected.
  • Nanaimo Regional Transit will not offer hand sanitizers on the bus system. However SD 68 Is buying a second industrial disinfectant sprayer, cleaning materials, and installing hand sanitizer units at every school.
  • All events of more than 250 at the city’s facilities like pools and arenas have been cancelled.
  • The Nanaimo Clippers playoff series and all BC Hockey League games have been cancelled by the league.
  • Other cancellations:

• School District 68 International field trips over spring break 
• Midget Tier 1 March 15-20
• Canadian University women’s basketball championship March 19-21
• Volleyball BC tournament 15U Girls Super 
• Curling Club leagues and bonspiels cancelled
• Some churches are closed indefinitely, check with your congregation
• MS Regatta on June 3
• Port Theatre is closed until further notice
• VIU Open House for Trades event on April 4.
• St Paul’s Anglican church Community Neighbours Lunch March 20.

GOING TO DUNCAN? The Regional District is looking into bus services between Nanaimo and Duncan. Directors have public consultation to begin March 30. Engagement would include in-person open houses, online surveys and online information. Aaron Thompson, B.C. Transit transit planner, said the plan is two-fold. Just to inform the public and to consult on key information related to the service span, travel times, the main destinations and getting.

BACK ON THE BUS – It seems we’re all about buses this morning. Kiwanis Village Nanaimo resident may get their bus stop back. The bus stop in front of Kiwanis was removed after other route adjustments. Now the transit select committee is backtracking and recommending re-establishment of the stop.

IT'S ALL RIGHT HERE – You can get all the news headlines from everywhere, right here at NEWS HEADLINES

Chamber of Commerce March Luncheon. Reserve now

Latest update from City of Nanaimo 
regarding Coronavirus Covid-19

Friday, March 13, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The city issued a statement last night on its protocol surrounding COVID 19, the Coronavirus. The notice from CEO Jake Rudolph says the city is monitoring updates and recommendations from the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry and the BC Centre for Disease Control. City staff are also keeping an eye on the impact of COVID-19 globally, nationally, locally and are preparing for potential impacts on city operations and the community. The City is following the direction made by Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday of cancelling gatherings of more than 250 people. At this time, there are no changes to city operations and services such as recreational programming. An informational page on the City’s website called “City’s Response to COVID-19” has been created where updates regarding this matter will be provided as information becomes available.

LATE BREAKING - Spring Break Camps and recreational classes run by the City will continue as the number of participants are less than 250. This also means that arenas and swimming pools will be limited to a capacity of 250 at any one time. However, all gatherings with 250 or more people will be cancelled or postponed, as per the provincial health officer’s direction. 

UNIVERSITY CHAMPIONSHIP CANCELLED – The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association has cancelled both men's and women's basketball national championships due to the ongoing developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. The women's championships were scheduled to take place at Vancouver Island University's Nanaimo campus March 18-21. 

"Due to the ongoing developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Board of Directors are announcing their unanimous decision to cancel the 2020 CCAA Men's & Women's Basketball National Championships. The safety of our student-athletes is our priority and we will continue to closely monitor the CCAA Championships that are currently taking place."

MORE HOUSING – Construction is under way on 23 new so-clled affordable rental homes in Nanaimo through a partnership between the Government of B.C. and the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society. Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo, said the government is working hard to shut down speculation and increase supply. These homes in the Rosehill affordable housing project are part of the hundreds the government is building. Vancouver Island Mental Health Society is experienced in providing mental-health and addiction supports and education. It will own and oversee day-to-day management of the three-storey building. 

JUST A THOUGHT - Now that gatherings in Nanaimo are restricted to 250 people or fewer, what will happen to all the toilet paper hoarders jamming Costco? Make customers wait outside until some customers leave?

Thursday, March 12, 2020


The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association has cancelled both men's and women's basketball national championships due to the ongoing developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. The women's championships were scheduled to take place at Vancouver Island University's Nanaimo campus March 18-21. 

"Due to the ongoing developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Board of Directors are announcing their unanimous decision to cancel the 2020 CCAA Men's & Women's Basketball National Championships. The safety of our student-athletes is our priority and we will continue to closely monitor the CCAA Championships that are currently taking place."

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – If you're sick, stay at home. BC Ferries is asking passengers with cold and flu symptoms not to travel. The company is doing extra cleaning on vessels to prevent the spread of the virus, particularly on common "touch points" such as door handles, elevator buttons, handrails and cafeteria tables. But BC Ferries is also asking people who know they are sick to "do the prudent thing and stay home until you feel better,” said spokesperson Deborah Marshall. "That's what medical professionals are asking," Marshall said. "We would ask people to follow the direction of health care professionals."

VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY has opened a recruitment office in Quito, Ecuador. Canada has moved into a top five position among leading global study destinations and the number of international students studying in Canada grew by 73 per cent between 2014 and 2018. VIU has recruitment offices in China, India, Vietnam and Germany. In 2019, more than 2,600 international students from 93 countries came to study at VIU. MORE 

THE NINE-BED INTENSIVE CARE UNIT at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital is one of the oldest in the province and in need for a major overhaul. Dr. Michael Kenyon, leader of the ICU at the NRGH, will outline the need for a big upgrade at the March luncheon of the Chamber of Commerce. Our ICU serves more than 400,000 residents in Central Vancouver Island. The luncheon is at the Coast Bastion Inn Mrch 11 at 11 a.m. You can register at the Chamber.

AS OF THIS MORNING, the Canadian women’s university and college basketball players championship is tabbed to be in Nanaimo March 18 - 22.  There has been no change due to coronavirus concerns, but that could change. VIU Mariners women are this year’s Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) champions with a 17-1 record and will  try to earn a national honours for the first time since 1998. The women won provincial gold medals in 2013, 2016 and 2019 and are ranked second in the country behind Dawson College of Quebec. MORE 

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HEADLINES - There's a world of news, in headline form, waiting for you. Check it out HERE

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Slow down – the speed limit in North Nanaimo is coming down to 70 km/h on Monday. The lower speed limit goes into effect on Highway 19A from just south of Enterprise Road to the Highway 19/Highway 19A junction. This is a section has multiple business entrances and exits, including Woodgrove Centre and Costco. But they’re not making it easy on motorists – the remaining speed zones on Highway 19A, including a section of the existing 80 km/h speed zone, will retain their posted speed limits. Here’s an example of where “one size fits all” would make a lot more sense.

HOCKEY GAME POSTPONED – Concern over Covid 19 has resulted in the postponement of a Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoff game. The opening game of the series between the Oceanside Generals and Campbell River Storm was scheduled for tonight (March 10) at Parksville’s Oceanside Place has been pushed back to March 14. BC Hockey chief executive officer Barry Petrachenko said the extra precautionary measure was taken in consultation with BC Hockey.

DON’T GET SCAMMED – March is Fraud Awareness month for good reason. This is when the worsts fraudsters come out offering of cheap labor, home repairs, estimates on appliances and other services. Nanaimo RCMP remind you to be wary of accepting any of these services. In the past week, RCMP have received several reports of door to door scammers offering to sell and install water heaters and home purification systems. The University Heights area has been frequented. What appears to be a great deal may turn out to be very expensive.

REGIONAL APPOINTMENT – Former Lantzville Mayor Colin Haime has been appointed interim director for Area H NorthOyster/Diamond in the Cowichan Valley Regional District after Mary Marcotte resigned. Marcotte was a veteran director at the CVRD, having served for 23-years, since 1997. She took a leave of absence six months ago with Haime serving as alternate. A byelection date has not been set.

DEPARTURE BAY has a new cleaner look – the burned-out shell that was Amrikko’s by the Sea is no more. Crews spent the weekend demolishing the building on Wingrove Street at Departure Bay Road which had been sitting empty since a fire seven years ago.
MOVIN’ ON – It was supposed to be a temporary job, but it turned into a six year stint at the Nanaimo News Bulletin for Nichlas Pescod. At the end of this week he’s movin’ on to a new career at CHEK News in Victoria. Nanaimo is where he cut his teeth in a newsroom and he’ll take what he learned here and turn into a TV newsman. We wish Nicholas all the best in his new adventure. MORE

NOT JUST YET - City Councillor Tyler Brown wanted to ban single-use plastic bags without provincial government approval but the majority of council voted to hang on for just a bit longer. They voted 5-4 to hold the phone until they get that blessing from Victoria. They then voted unanimously for a ban subject to provincial okay. Council has been toying with the ban for a couple of years, but the federal and provincial governments announced their own intentions to regulate single-use plastics. Victoria’s plastic-bag ban was struck down by the B.C. Court of Appeal. Qualicum Beach, Cumberland, Tofino and Ucluelet have instituted bans. MORE

KEEP LOOKING –You can be fully informed at News Headlines covering the our province and the wider world. CHECK HERE  

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Don't miss out, headlines from around the province

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Get ready for some rough riding – the City is planning upgrades on Bowen Road from Island Highway to Labieux Road. There could be considerable traffic disruption, but no date has been set for the work to start. The idea is to have it completed before next winter. The $2-million project will involve water main replaced and about 500 metres of Bowen Road replaced. Improvements to intersections, a boulevard with trees and raised bike lanes are also included in the project.

B.C. FERRIES is conducting an online survey about coastal ferry service you still have time if you haven’t already participated. The online feedback form is open until March 20 at 4 p.m. –
Four themes emerged in stakeholder engagement last fall:
* support efficient end-to-end travel of people and goods;
* be equitable and accessible;
* mitigate and be responsive to climate change; and
* reflect the values of coastal communities.
For the life of me I can’t understand why some topics here would help inform the corporation about transportation. The first one makes sense, the other three are bafflegab. Asking for sexual orientation and cultural background? Really!

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Monday Mrch 9, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Good news to begin the week –RCMP tell us that the 23-year-old Nanaimo man who was reported missing on March 3, has been located safe and sound.

NAKED BUNGY for Mental Health Recovery Partners on the weekend was another huge success, raising about $35,000 for mental health services on Vancouver Island. This was the 14th strip-down and jump off the bridge at Wildplay Element Park.  

ORGAN DONOR registration through your BC Driver’s license was discontinued several years ago. If you’re not sure you are registered you can go online for registration and verification. It’s easy to do. Go to BC Transplant, enter your personal health number and immediately, you get a yes you are registered. If no, this is where you register your wishes. REGISTER HERE

THE HUB CITY Cinema Society’s next script session is Wednesday April 1. Door opens at 6:30 for pre-reads and printing of hard copies if required. Ssend anything you plan to present. Reading starts at 7pm. Script sessions are meetings for scriptwriters to bring the scripts they are working on, have them read (by actors), and get feedback. This is an opportunity to get feedback for improvement, learn, and take a step closer to getting your film made. Actors also welcome. This is also a great opportunity for you to get experience and make connections. They are at 15 Lois Lane. Hub City Cinema Society

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Sunday, March 8, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – B.C. care homes are properly equipped to protect residents from the COVID-19 coronavirus, says provincial seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie. Elderly people and those with pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes are more likely to develop a serious illness if they are diagnosed with COVID-19. MORE

SCHOOL TRUSTEE PAY - Our school trustees are looking at a wage increase, but not for themselves. it will kick in for the next elected board. The chairman gets $20,470 annually, while trustees get $18,470. The  business committee debated whether to increase chair $22,828 a year, create a vice chair at $21,828 and increase trustee pay to $20,828. They are expected to set up a committee to make recommendations. MORE

BEACH CLEANUP - Mid-March is just around the corner and that means beach cleanup time – Saturday, March 14 at 12:30 p.m. This time it’s the beach at Piper’s Lagoon. Styrofoam and other debris has been showing up so this place in need of attention. All equipment will be provided, just come prepared for the weather. Meet at 3600 Place Road. 

NANAIMO COMMUNITY HOSPICE third annual fund raising silent auction and musical entertainment is Tuesday at Lakeside Gardens Seniors Residence, 4088 Wellesley Ave. It gets under way at 1:30 p.m. until 3:30. A great way to spend the afternoon.

SAVE A LIFE - Many people have first aid training through their work but you can get the certification yourself. A medical emergency, like a sudden cardiac arrest, can happen at any time. It could happen to your loved ones, a teammate at your weekly sports match or even to one of the many strangers you see. In the event of sudden cardiac arrest, when a bystander acts quickly with quality CPR and AED use, the chance of survival can double or even triple. Register for first aid training at Learn more at

IF YOU’RE LOOKING for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, Branch 257 Lantzville Legion has a dinner of roast beef or lamb full meal deal on Saturday right after the Meat Draw at 5:30. The whole thing is only $12.

SPRING BREAK is just around the corner and that means kids out of school. Spotlight Academy has training for kids, teens and tweens. You can check out their programs and dates – Text 250 714 2555, email or

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Saturday, March 7, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – RCMP need your help in finding Jacobus Knox who is missing and his family is concerned for his safety. Knox is 23 years old, 5-foot-11, 132 pounds, with blue eyes and red shoulder-length hair and a red beard. He frequents the Dickinson and Dover road area. If you know where he is or might be, please call the RCMP at 250-754-2345.

VERY INTERESTING - With interest rates dropping in the past week, the real estate market may perk up. The average price of a single-family home in Nanaimo is still rising in , climbing to $571,905 – up two per cent over the past year. John Cooper’s monthly real estate report shows 66 single family homes sold in February. However, there were fewer sales with volume is down five per cent they’re taking longer to sell, an average 33 days. The average condo sold for $380,805. Condo unit sales are down nine per cent, taking an average 30 days to sell. Lot sales volume is up by 130 per cent and prices have dropped. Average lot price was $278,946. North Nanaimo was the most active region with 19 sales. Highest average price is Hammond Bay at $788,850. FULL REPORT HERE

NANAIMO'S MYRA VAN OTTERLOO is heading to the Moroccan desert to complete in the 30th Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc. She and her navigator Jessa Arcuri, of Penticton will leave Tuesday for the race, which runs March 12-28 and is the only entirely off-road women’s rally of its kind. Myra said she thought the Moroccan rally would be a fun adventure for her and Arcuri, who is originally from Shawnigan Lake. There are 170 teams from around the world each  and women compete in various vehicle categories, such as quad, SUV, crossover and truck to navigate to each day’s destination – solely by map and compass – in the shortest distance. MORE ABOUT HER ADVENTURE.

Friday, March 6, 2020

GOOD MORNING – The sun in shining and most of the flowers are in bud, just waiting to bust out. There's no better place in Canada to be than in Nanaimo.

FUTURE STARS - As noted here yesterday, Nanaimo is getting high-calibre baseball beginning in 2021. The West Coast League will include Nanaimo among its 13 teams from B.C., Washington State and Oregon using college prospects. This concept can be highly successful as the formula was used in the 1960s to some extent in Saskatchewan where local teams imported two or three college players and paid them enough over the summer to earn their tuition. At one time there were 44 major leaguers who had played in the league over the years. So there’s a good chance we will have the opportunity to see some future big league stars pass though out community on their way up. 

DON’T PANIC – The risk for Covid-19 flu remains very low, there is no need to panic, say health officials. They urge caution and measured reactions to a growing global health concern. Meanwhile some people are hoarding supplies like they would in a weather emergency, buying up virtually everything in sight. Misinformation around the virus spread through Nanaimo on Wednesday when one medical clinic closed unexpectedly. There are no new cases on Vancouver Island. MORE

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Thursday, March 5, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO –This weekend’s Nanaimo Women’s  March begins at the Lions Pavillion in Maffeo Sutton Park at 10 am Sunday. The march begins at 11 am, led by those with small children, disabilities, or mobility concerns. They will walk to the Nanaimo Entertainment Centre at 46 Nicol Street. The theatre will have an accessibility seating section and ASL interpretation, refreshments, tables and displays from community groups, and a decompression area.  Snuneymuxw Elder Geraldine Manson will lead a lineup of speakers, poetry, music and more. There’s an accessible, warmer version of the event in the Caprice Theatre..

LEARN ABOUT CYBER SECURITY - The Chamber’s Good Morning Mastery is back next Wednesday (March 11) at 8 a.m. at the Chamber office. If you own or operate a business you probably spend a lot of time online – selling, promoting, accounting, and banking, all the while exposing you and your business to all the nasty trouble on the net. Walter Anderson, an IT expert with three decades of experience will offer guidance. Seating is limited to 24 and it usually sells out, so register early at the Chamber.

BATTER UP - A little birdie tells me there’s a major announcement about a new baseball team coming to Nanaimo. There’s a press conference this afternoon and then a public announcement Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Nanaimo Ice Centre, 750 Third Street. Everyone is invited to attend and find out about our newest sports team.

NEIGHBOURHOOD GRANTS - If you have a brainwave for bringing people together in your community, Neighbourhood Small Grants support projects that bring people together, share skills and knowledge, build a sense of belonging and responsibility, and respect and celebrate diversity. To learn how the Nanaimo Foundation can get your project launched, there’s an information session Saturday (March 7) at St. Paul's Anglican church from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. There will be a detailed presentation, including how to apply and become a Neighbourhood Small Grants Committee member. You can check out the website 

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION. I’ve always wanted to say that. Okay, you’ve got yourself a fancy camera, now bring on Hollywood. It’s not that easy. The filmmaking process can be daunting and mysterious. What are all the steps required to go from script to screen? Even if you're not a new filmmaker, what can you do to level up your filmmaking process to make better films? The Harbour City Cinema Society has a discussion panel on Friday (March 6) at 7 pm. This will be an open forum where the audience can ask questions and have a conversation. The panel will be about an hour and a half long, followed by a social. The Panel is free for HCCS members and $10 for non-members. They are located at 10 Lois Lane. 

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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Okay, you can now sound off to the city with the creation of an online public engagement site – Get Involved Nanaimo. You can register at As part of the launch, the City has set up some fun projects where you can share your favourite things about living in Nanaimo and spark conversations as well as ideas. Features include chat forums, surveys, storytelling, interactive maps, idea brainstorming and question and answer sections as well as 24/7 moderation to ensure comments and conversations follow terms of use. 

YOU DON’T NEED A MASK – There has been a scramble for surgical masks, rubber gloves and sanitizers in reaction the Coronavirus. Don’t sweat it, say medical professionals, masks should be used only by people who are actually infected with the virus. Those without the virus should simply wash their hands regularly. More than 90,000 cases have been reported globally since its outbreak began last December. Nine cases have been confirmed in British Columbia, none in Nanaimo, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

TRAVEL PLANS AFFECTED – Nanaimo school district and Vancouver Island University are covering their bases when it comes to Coronavirus. They are reviewing or making alternative arrangements for student trips to Asia and Europe. The district is monitoring the situation and is in frequent communication with Island Health and the province. VIU has a committee monitoring the situation and has cancelled all school-sanctioned travel to China until further notice. MORE

WAY TO GO – Congratulations to Jason Mills and Arianna Phillips of Nanaimo for their performances at the Special Olympics Canada in Thunder Bay at the end of February. Mills starred in goal for the floor hockey Team BC Vipers, his sixth time in net on the national stage. He took home a silver medal after losing a squeaker on a last-second goal by Ontario. Arianna placed fifth in figure skating, earning a personal best. READ MORE

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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – If you travel BC Ferries there’s good news – you will soon be able to pay with your debit card. Ferries is adding tap and pay capability for credit and debit with new PIN pads. This will help speed the ticketing process for customers with transactions under the $100 tap limit. This is something customers have been asking for over the years. The installation is under way throughout the fleet and expected to be completed by spring. The terminals on Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver are expected to get the updated technology toward the end of this month  

TALK TO PAUL - Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly is meeting with the folks. He’s slated community meetings during March and April, beginning with two this week in Cedar and Saltair. The meetings provide an opportunity for residents to learn about his work in Ottawa, and to ask questions.. The meeting tomorrow (Mar. 4) at Cedar Community Hall. 2388 Cedar Rd, will be from 7-8:30 p.m. Manley’s web site has the schedule for meetings 

A CHALLENGE FOR YOU – soap box derby racing is coming to Nanaimo this summer. The inaugural Hub City Soap Box Derby is May 30 - 31 on Fitzwilliam Street, involving all ages zipping down the hill on a gravity powered racing carts. Jason Clayton says it will create a family-friendly event to help lauch an early tourism season push. He adds they are drawing on the success of silly boats and the crowd and fun that draws,

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Monday, March 2, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – She’s off to Hollywood. Nanaimo’s Lauren Spencer-Smith took the next step toward fame and stardom after the American Idol judges gave her the golden ticket to Hollywood on Sunday’s show . She’s already got a Juno Award nomination. She put on a dazzling performance for judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie.

CHECK THAT PRICE – It’s been a case of bargain hunting when it comes to the price of a car fill up – prices have been bouncing like a yo-yo for the past few days. It started when one station in central Nanaimo dropped the price for unleaded gas 20 cents a litre below the market average of 139.9 cents. That can result in a $10 saving if you fill up with 50 litres, and that created traffic headaches and long lineups. For ten bucks? Sure.

WILL THEY EVER LEARN? When will Nanaimo drivers finally learn to obey traffic laws? One person was taken to hospital after a crash Saturday at the intersection of Terminal Avenue and Townsite Road. Two passenger cars collided resulting in one occupant taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

QUAKE OF WEST COAST – The U.S. Geological service reported a 4.2 magnitude earthquake just before 5 a.m. today. The epicentre was about 350 km west of Campbell River.

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March 1, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Tonight’s the night for Nanaimo’s Lauren Spencer-Smith – she’s performing on Amercian Idol. She’s already got a Juno Award nomination. Tonight she will appear before judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, with a ticket to Hollywood on the line. The show was produced in November so she’s had to keep her lips sealed about how it turns out. Tonight at 8 p.m. on CTV2 Ch 12.

DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT – The snow pack is below normal but so far there’s no concern about any potential water shortage. David Campbell, head of B.C. River Forecast Centre, said the snow pillow gauge at Jump Creek, is at 69 per cent of normal. However there is no threat of drought, at least related to snowpack, at this time.  Mike Squire, City of Nanaimo manager of water resources, doesn’t believe the current snow pack levels will pose a problem either. The area is seeing just above average for precipitation, he said.

WE LOVE IT HERE – The cost of rental accommodation in Nanaimo rose by eight per cent from last year. Economic Development Officer Amrit Manhas says the reason for higher rents, even with the addition of more units, mostly comes down to supply and demand. The average monthly rent of a bachelor suite in 2019 increased by 11 per cent to $889, a one-bedroom apartment rent rose seven per cent to $946 per month, and a two-bedroom rent was $1,170 in 2019, up eight per cent. Manhas told the News Bulletin that our high quality of life at a fraction of the cost of other cities is continuing to attract a lot of new residents to our area.

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Feb. 29, 2020

Good morning Nanaimo - Happy Leap Year Feb. 29 to all of our followers. The good news is your'e getting an extra's pay this year.

The annual Vancouver Island Wounded Warrior run which began up in Port Hardy on Feb. 23 passed through Nanaimo on Friday. Nanaimo Paramedic Mark Blachuras took time off work in 2019 due to a stress injury and sought help from a doctor and psychiatrist.  “They gave me the tools and the confidence to get back to work, which was paramount,” he told NanaimoNewsNOW. 

The new-look Nanaimo Airport was unveiled Friday. It has expanded its security screening capacity and a large new departure lounge. It seats roughly about 300 and the security area will be able to process up to 1,000 people per hour. This doubles capacity in the lounge and increases security productivity by ten-fold. MORE DETAILS

The B.C. government is pulling $1.5 million in public funding from a palliative care hospice and threatening to seize the facility because it refuses to allow doctors to provide euthanasia. Services. Health Minister Adrian Dix said he’s instructed Fraser Health Authority to stop funding the Delta Hospice Society by February 2021. MORE DETAILS

The Queen of Alberni will be removed from service on the Tsawwassen - Duke Point route today due to unexpected required maintenance. The Queen of New Westminster will be the replacement vessel starting with the 5:15 am departure from Tsawwassen this morning.  Commercial operators should note the Queen of New Westminster has a 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. 

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Feb. 28, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO - The ongoing dispute between aboriginal groups and governments runs deep. Brian Peckford and John Feldsted provide some understanding of the legalities.

REGIONAL DISTRICT BUDGET – They have a long-range financial plan, but RDN directors are not happy about rising cost projections. They passed the plan which they will need to trim it in future years. Area C director Maureen Young voiced concern about rising staffing costs. She said staff have been able to answer all her questions, but noted that with many of the departmental budgets, by 2024 it’s enormous, especially for the fire departments and administration. Nanoose Bay director Bob Rogers supported the budget, but said he doesn’t believe the projected tax increases. FULL STORY

Michelle Jessica McCallum’s crime spree came to an end in Nanaimo court when she pleaded guilty to five charges and was sentenced to four months in jail. Her crimes included using ID she stole during vehicle break-ins.

INVESTMENT ADVISOR ACCUSED - A former Nanaimo investment advisor, banned for life from offering financial services, is accused by the B.C. Securities Commission of lying to investigators while under oath. The commission says Kenneth Edward Smith perjured himself in a probe, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, for violating numerous dealer member rules. A hearing date for is expected to be sheld in March by the commission. MORE 

THE PROVINCE is taking serious aim at the ongoing overdose crisis across British Columbia with an Overdose Emergency Response Centre Conference in Nanaimo this spring or summer. Representatives from 35 community teams across B.C. participate. Team members will be able to share their experiences to deal with the crisis which killed nearly 1,000 in B.C. in 2019. The conference is funded by $200,000 from the ministry of mental health and addictions, which also funds the community action teams. MORE

CONSTRUCTION BOOMING - It was a record-setting year of development for the City of Nanaimo in 2019 with more than $445 million in building construction. Permits issued in 2019 nrpight 1,877 residential units –  1,115 new multi-family units, 208 single family dwellings and 229 suites. FULL STORY 

What’s up? - If you have an event or activity you want to tell the community about, send the information to

Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020

GOOD MORNING – And a good morning it is, the City has released its State of the Economy report, and it's all good. It shows Nanaimo is growing community and a hotspot for new businesses, development and residents. The report outlines our economy by analyzing the make-up of Nanaimo, from population to demographics and development to infrastructure. Data, analysis and insights on Nanaimo's current economic and business conditions show that Nanaimo's growth is outpacing Vancouver Island, the province and even Canada's averages.

Full State of Nanaimo's Economy report.

THE BIG FLUSH - The City of Nanaimo's Engineering and Public Works Department will begin its annual water main flushing program on March 2, 2020. While this program is underway, short periods of low pressure and discoloured water may be expected. Any discolouration in water residents may experience during the flushing program is temporary and not a health hazard. For more information about the water main flushing program and a neighbourhood flushing schedule, visit

Ashley Sheppard

UPDATE  - Nanaimo RCMP report 31-year-old Ashley Sheppard, who has not been seen or heard from since February 10 hs been located.
Sheppard had been living with a friend in Nanaimo for the previous eight months, and gave no indication that she was planning on leaving the living arrangement. Coupled with significant personal issues , has her friends and family extremely worried for her safety and well-being.

CHESAPEAKE BACK FOR SEASON FIVE - Hallmark’s Chesapeake Shores has been renewed for the firth season. The mid-Island has seen the  real economic impact from the Film Industry including, Sonic the Hedgehog partially filmed here and Jurassic World filming at Cathedral Grove! Vancouver Island North Film Commission Chesapeake Shores

FINE DINING – If you’re one of the people who enjoys the fine dining at Costco, you may be shut out in the future if you’re not a member. Costco in the U.S. is set to enforce a members-only ban at its food courts starting in March, a rule that millions have seemingly ignored for years. A Costco spokesman says that buying items from the food court has always required a membership, but not all stores have enforced the policy. That may change and you’ll have to be a to enjoy the great hot dogs with a soft drink deal for only a buck and a half or the rotisserie chicken.

BOARD GOVERNANCE – The Chamber of Commerce is hosting a board governance workshop for non-profits on March 7 from 9 am - 2 pm The workshop is designed to inform, educate, and assist volunteer board members and staff about governance best practices and the effective operation of a board of directors. Learn the seven key elements of good.  It is being led by Deb McClelland, who, for 35 years, has served on many national and provincial boards. Over the years, her passion has been to assist boards in realizing their potential by travelling around the country teaching numerous workshops on the subject. With all these experiences, she came to realize that governance, when done right, could be fun and easy.

THE REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NANAIMO unanimously adopted a bylaw on Tuesday that will permit homeless people to camp in parks between 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. However, camping at more than 100 of the RDN’s regional and community parks remains prohibited, and camping is not allowed at trails, paths or water accesses, either. The new bylaw aligns the region’s approach to some other local governments including the City of Nanaimo and the District of North Cowichan.

LIST YOUR EVENTS - If you have an event or activity you want to tell the community about, send the information to

Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2020

ANOTHER RESCUE - Health Minister Adrian Dix has announced the latest takeover of  B.C. care home, promising to follow up with Retirement Concepts and its Chinese ownership over the recurring problem. Summerland Seniors Village is the latest one to be taken over by the health authorities due to failure to meet provincial care standards. Nanaimo Seniors Village was taken over after a November report found staffing and management issues leading to neglect. Selkirk Seniors Village in Victoria had an administrator appointed in December, and Comox Seniors Village had an administrator appointed Sept. 30, 2019.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Councillor Don Bonner is celebrating another tick on the calendar today. 

THERE WERE FEWER illicity drug overdoses in Nanaimo last past year, dropping by more than half since the height of the crisis. Twenty-two people died in 2019, down from 56 in 2017. It’s nearly down to the number of overdoses seen in 2015 in Nanaimo, which was the first year of the fentanyl and overdose crisis. Medical health officer Dr. Shannon Waters credits awareness of naloxone kits and overdose prevention sites.

WHAT’S UP - If you have an event or activity you want to tell the community about, send the information to

Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020

HOW MUCH SHOULD THEY GET? – The City is inviting the public to serve on a task force which will recommend pay scales for council and the mayor. Up to six members will be appointed based on experience and credentials. Here's what they are looking for.

* Management experience of a large or complex organization 
* Business and/or legal experience 
* Local government or other public sector experience 
* Accounting or finance experience 
* Human Resources and benefits experience 

If you’re interested, get an application form from the Legislative Services Department by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 12. Applications can be mailed or dropped off to Legislative Services, 455 Wallace Street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5J6 or email to

NANAIMO IS GROWING faster than Greater Victoria, something we’ve suspected for some time. The Nanaimo Census Area had 115,743 people July 1, 2019, up two per cent from a year ago. Greater Victoria grew 1.5 per cent to 402,271. Here’s a surprise, Nanaimo’s population is also older than Greater Victoria’s. Seniors accounted for 22.7 per cent in Nanaimo compared to 21.4 per cent in Greater Victoria. The area gained a net population of 2,250 people with 1,189 coming from other parts of Canada, 421 from B.C., and 887 from overseas. 

WHO BLINKS FIRST? – Nanaimo has five treatment beds, unused for the near future after the city’s task force passed on funding the service. First the decision to devote $70,500 in one-time funding to the John Howard Society was first deferred by council to the task force back last September. The task force decided not to seek council funding, but instead continue to pursue provincial funding. Even though it’s the responsibility of the province, Coun. Erin Hemmens, who is on the task force, does not hold high hopes.

ALL ABOUT FUR - FurCanada, Aboriginal First Nations And Pacific Balance Marine Management Inc. are conducting workshops in Nanaimo, March 10-17 to teach about fur. Students will learn the basics of designing, cutting and sewing fur, along with understanding the significance of fur within Aboriginal cultural heritage, sustainability, modern day fashions, home décor, and the foundation of Canada. The course is conducted by specialist tutors and furriers with experience in bear skin rugs, seal fur and fur blankets among others. Fees range from $250 - $500 for the workshops at Snuneymuxw First Nations Woodbank Elementary School in Cedar. Here’s where you register.

GET AN ORIGINAL – Chrissandra Unger (yes, my niece) has some of her paintings, prints and digital collages available on Fine Art America. There are originals, prints, cell phone covers, pillows, cards and others available. Check it out HERE.

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Monday, Feb. 4, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The RDN is looking at a bylaw that would allow homeless people to camp overnight at designated parks in the regional district and that is not sitting well with some residents. Colleen Aiderliesten has launched an online petition to stop adoption of the bylaw. Aiderliesten says the bylaw would negatively impact people who use the park, as well as property values and tourism as well as crime and drug use. MORE

COLDEST NIGHT OF THE YEARThe Island Crisis Care Society's Coldest Night of the Year  raised $39,025 in Nanaimo and $25,143 in Oceanside. Great job everyone...thank you for your amazing support and encouragement! These funds will make a huge difference in our community and that means the world to us!

PROM CLOSET – For the sixth year in a row, Prom Closet Nanaimo is offering up their inventory of over 500 dresses and 50 suits for students to take home, wear for senior prom and keep at no charge. While not limited to low-income families, co-ordinator Joan Hiemstra told NanaimoNewsNOW the program offers all students the opportunity to be the belle of the ball. She added they may ask for a simple dress because they think that’s the best they can. You see them looking in a mirror and seeing themselves in a different way, Hiemstra adds. DETAILS

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Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The 15th Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards were held Thursday at the Coast Bastion Inn, with champions, star athletes and others recognized for their 2019 accomplishments. This year’s sports story of the year was the Vancouver Island University Mariners’ teams sweeping the PacWest provincial championships with the men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams all winning gold in 2018-19. FULL DETAILS

CROWBAR HOTEL - 45-year-old John Wilfred Miller John will spend 45 days in jail for weapons charges, fraud, obstructing police and breaching the conditions of his probation. He was sentenced in provincial court following a joint submission between Crown Counsel and the defence. Court was told police found John with a taser and brass knuckles after a disturbance call at a Hecate Street home on May 2, 2019.

AN OVERDOSE PREVENTION site in Courtenay is closing at the end of March because of underuse, according to the health authority. Island Heath has not renewed a contract for the services of the AIDS Vancouver Island overdose-prevention and supervised drug-consumption site in Courtenay. However, that doesn’t sit well with Katrina Jensen, AIDS Vancouver Island executive director, who is concerned, for the 15 to 20 people who rely on the service. Staff at the site have revived people who have overdosed 47 times over three years, Jensen said. That’s “47 people who might have died,” she said.

WHAT’S UP - If you have an event or activity you want to tell the community about, send the information to

Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – It’s been quite a ride for Nanaimo’s Lauren Spencer-Smith. She has been nominated for a Juno Award and she’s headed to American Idol. She’s in good company for the Juno with fellow British Columbian Bryan Adams, who also has a Nanaimo connection. The two along with three other Canadian artists are up for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year at the Juno Awards March 15. DETAILS

HELLO FROM NANAIMO – Our member of Parliament Paul Manly is casting a wide net these days. He was scheduled visit the Kahnawake Mohawk territory and attend the blockade in Tyendinaga yesterday. Last month, Paul was in Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C. to meet with the hereditary chiefs.    

EXTRA REVENUE SOURCES – The City is casting a longing eye at the lure of sponsorship money for city facilities. The Finance committee wants a sponsorship policy created at a furture council meeting. It’s an issue that keeps reappearing like a bad penny. Though not fleshed out yet, such a policy could end up in corporate names on city-owned buildings. In other communities there are places like Rogers Arena, The Pepsi Centre and so on. DETAILS

SPEAKING OF MONEY, the city’s finance committee wants city council to develop the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s the next phase of its development plan and come up with funding options. The existing co-management agreement for 150 Commercial St. expires in 2024. In the meantime the art wants an extra $50,000 a year until 2023-24.  The facility houses the Art Gallery, Crimson Coast Dance, Nanaimo Archives, TheatreOne and Vancouver Island Symphony. Hmmm, a sponsorship opportunity? DETAILS

HOUSING OPTIONS – Lantzville council has approved a zoning change to allow secondary suites and carriage homes throughout the district. Secondary suites not permitted in  the District. A staff report states there are existing secondary suites and carriage homes in the community which may not meet the building code. DETAILS

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UPDATE: McGirr and Dover schools hold and secure lifted

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

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. MORE

Friday, Feb. 21, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The Snuneymuxw First Nation flag is back at city hall after a placement ceremony. Returning the flag to its permanent position recognizes the important relationship between the City and the Snuneymuxw First Nation. Mayor Krog and Chief Wyse both delivered speeches highlighting the efforts being made toward a more positive relationship and how they plan to continue moving forward with respect and open communication.

Supt. Cameron Miller presents the recognition.

CONST. KELLY BOUDREAU was trying to apprehend a distraught man acting erratically on Jan. 25. It quickly became apparent that the man appeared to be having a mental health crisis. He became combative and a violent struggle ensued. That’s when a local man driving by a saw the officer attempting to take control of the much larger man. He stopped his vehicle and helped the officer. They were able to restrain the man until additional officers arrived. Supt. Cameron Miller, Officer in Charge Nanaimo RCMP detachment, and Insp. Lisa Fletcher, Operations Support Officer, presented the man with the Officer in Charge Letter of Appreciation. He agreed to appear in a photo but asked that his name not be released. He was also presented with a Challenge Coin, which has been given to every employee of the Nanaimo RCMP for their service and dedication to the detachment. While we do not expect civilians to respond in the manner that he did, we are though, most grateful and appreciate when they do, said Supt. Miller.

BC FERRIES has been named one of B.C.’s Top Employers for the fourth consecutive year. The award recognizes companies that offer exceptional workplaces for their employees by providing forward-thinking and progressive programs. BC Ferries works to create a positive environment for its employees who are focused on delivering great service to customers every day. Many BC Ferries employees have worked their way up through the company, starting in entry level positions and taking on new opportunities. The varied departments, team atmosphere and some of the most beautiful views in the province start many people on a marine career path. 

WHAT’S HAPPENING? – If you have an event or activity you want to tell the community about, send the information to

Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The frost is on the lawns, but we have an excellent news menu for you this morning. Volunteers are needed for a census of homeless people in Nanaimo on March 12. Nanaimo Homeless Coalition, John Howard Society, and United Way will count individuals staying in shelters, short-term housing and sleeping on the streets. The count gathers data about the needs and circumstances of those affected by homelessness and tracks important statistics, such as gender, age, ethnicity, and other factors. To participate, visit Volunteer Opportunities or contact the John Howard Society directly at 250-754-1266. Care-kits are distributed with important items that help those who are homeless. Donations are needed to create these kits, including winter clothing, rain gear, personal hygiene products, blankets, sleeping bags, flashlights and first aid items. Donation Itemsmay be dropped off at John Howard Society, 2353 Rosstown Road, on weekdays between 11am and 3 pm. 

SO YOU THINK YOU ARE A POET – If so, you can get your work recognized and at the same time support animals in need. The City’s Youth Poet Laureate, Valina Zanetti, and the Nanaimo BCSPCA invite local youth to help celebrate a milestone for the charity with a youth poetry contest. As BC’s oldest charity, the BCSPCA is marking 125 years of rescuing and protecting animals. Youth between the ages of between the ages of 11 and 18 are invited to submit their original poems on BCSPCA topics. Check here
Get full contest guidelines online (, or by emailing  The deadline for poem submission is Monday, March 30, 2020.

ON THE BUS - BC Transit President and CEO, Erinn Pinkerton address the February 26 Chamber of Commerce Networking Breakfast at the Coast Bastion. She will introduce new vision for the future of public transportation in British Columbia. BC Transit heard similar challenges across the province including creating better mobility options, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting a reduction in congestion. This presentation will talk about the benefits of embracing a customer centric model for public transportation for the Regional District of Nanaimo, and how the shift will help businesses, their employees, and their customers. It starts at 7:30 a.m.

NAME GAME - BC Ferries has named its first two Island Class Ferries – Island Discovery and Island Aurora are the newest vessels to enter the fleet and will enter service in mid-2020, serving the Powell River – Texada Island and Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula routes. Island Discovery will be deployed on the Powell River – Texada Island route. The Island Aurora will replace Quadra Queen II on the Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula route. Quadra Queen II will become a relief vessel. 

HIGHWAY 4 DISRUPTIONS – If you’re planning a trip to the west coast of Vancouver Island, be aware that work continues on Highway 4 at Kennedy Hill and will be closed from 11 a.m. Saturday to Sunday. Crews will remove the temporary single-lane bridge and repair the slope that was damaged during blasting in January. This work is necessary for blasting to continue at this project site. The corridor will reopen to single-lane alternating traffic at about noon Sunday, allowing commercial vehicles, RVs and other larger vehicles to safely move through the corridor. Check DriveBC for the Kennedy Hill project, along with up-to-date information on road conditions.

WHAT’S HAPPENING? – If you have an event or activity you want to tell the community about, send the information to

FOR SALE BY OWNER - $709,900 - 6217 Waterbury Road, north Nanaimo, situated in a well established, quiet neighborhood in North Nanaimo, this home is minutes from McGirr Elementary School and Dover Bay High School, as well as a popular sports field. The central location provides easy access to many shops and restaurants within 3 kms. View of ocean and mountains from the upper deck. 2 storey with basement, Built in 1993 
Garage – 24 x 25 double attached Assessment – $721,000 (2019)
Lot 6,460 sq. ft., 1482 sq. ft. Upper floor – 864 sq. ft. Basement – 805 sq. ft. developed plus 600 sq. ft. crawl space. 250-756-9356 (ask for Roy)

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – People Magazine, with 46.6 million readers, has zeroed in on Vancouver Island since Prince Harry and his family made themselves right at home on the West Coast, settling into a $14 million mansion with baby Archie. It’s hard to quantify benefits that may accrue. People says our Island is the perfect respite for the pair. “Vancouver Island is home to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, as well as many of the provinces’ most popular cities, like Tofino, Nanaimo and Sooke. Hey, we made it, with no less than four mentions. So don’t be shocked if all of a sudden you see the Duke and Duchess strolling along our waterfront.

HE’S A MILLIONAIRE NOW – Nanaimo’s Curtis Wright is a $1 million winner after matching all 10 numbers in the Lotto 6/49 Feb. 15 draw. Wright bought the winning ticket at the Esso convenience store at Uplands Drive and Rutherford Road. He’s a regular lotto player, saying he tries his luck at least once a month, but was particularly motivated by the Feb. 15 Lotto 6/49 SuperDraw with its guaranteed prizes. He bought the ticket about 10 or 15 minutes before the draw/

DON’T MESS WITH GOVERNMENT - The director of Trees Cannabis marijuana dispensaries has been handed a $1.5-million fine after the dispensaries were shut down by the province. Near the end of January, Alex Robb, director and general manager of Trees Cannabis, was fined $1.5 million for the sale of illicit marijuana – marking the first known administrative penalty levied to an individual under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act. The dispensary was in the process of obtaining a retail licence when the raids occurred and all cannabis products were seized.

AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES – The Port of Nanaimo is expecting six cruise ships this year and is getting serious with making memorable visits for cruisers. The Port has with tour operators to create a dozen “export-ready” experiences for passengers as part of their effort to support local businesses. Port president and CEO Ian Marr says a large part of attracting cruise ships here includes local businesses showcasing opportunities for passengers to get off the ship and enjoy what we have here. These packages do that very well he adds.

LET US KNOW – If you have an event or activity you want to tell the community about, send the information to


Tuesday, Feb 18, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Pier 1 Imports filed for bankruptcy protection Monday after years of sliding sales. All Canadian stores will be closed but the company will attempt to find buyers for the U.S. stores, with a March 23 deadline. The Texas-based company has been struggling with increased competition from budget-friendly online. 

GET RID OF THAT OLD BIKE – Vibe Bikes of Nanaimo repairs used donated bikes and gives them to needy kids. If your family is in need of a child's or youth bicycles just check with them. They also accept adult sized bicycles but do sell them to fund their company if wish to recycle them as well. Vibe Bikes has been giving back to the community for 10 years giving thousands of bicycles to those who need them. Help them help the community. Go to their Website for details on how you can donate or receive a bike. HERE

LET US KNOW – If you have an event or activity you want to tell the community about, send the information to

Monday, Feb. 17, 2020


BIKES FOR KIDS has made a real difference in the lives of kids in Nanaimo. BFK has delivered nearly 650 bikes to children as it begins its fourth year. It has already delivered 30 bikes so far this year. Now co-creator Greg Nowik is looking to expand, saying there has been a huge buy-in from community organizations. The bikes donated to the program come from the Nanaimo RCMP unclaimed cycles. The bikes are fixed up by professionals at Coal City Cycles and delivered to children. MORE

REGISTRATION opens March 1 for the BC 55-plus in Richmond Sept. 15 to 19. The games individual and team sports, including 8-ball, archery, badminton, bocce, bridge, carpet bowling, cribbage, darts, dragon boat racing, five-pin bowling, floor curling, golf, hockey and horseshoes. There’s curling, karate, lawn bowling, pickleball, slo-pitch, snooker, soccer, swimming, table tennis, track and field, trapshooting and whist. MORE DETAILS

LET US KNOW – If you have an event or activity you want to tell the community about, send the information to

Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – BC Ferries didn’t take any chances, getting an injunction against protesters on the long weekend. Deborah Marshall of B.C. Ferries said Saturday that the company sought the injunction after being made aware of a demonstration planned at the Swartz Bay ferry terminal over the Family Day long weekend. This comes after protesters blocked the Swartz Bay ferry terminal on Jan. 20. Drivers weren’t allowed to pass from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and several sailings were cancelled.

WE HAVE TO WONDER HOW LONG it will be before Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs disassociate themselves from the anarchist protesters who are creating havoc to their cause. Most of the people we see at demonstrations now are not Wet’suwet’en members.

BACK TO WORK - Eighty-one per cent of the United Steel Workers Local 1-19137 members ratified the tentative agreement with Western Forest Products on Saturday, bringing an to end the nearly eight-month-long strike that devastated parts of Vancouver Island. The agreement includes a 12.5-per-cent wage increase, higher premiums for members first aid qualification, a safety boot allowance and changes to shift work.

Const. Samson Haire of the Victoria Police is one of the runners.

THE WOUNDED WARROR RUN will stop at the Lantzville Legion on Friday, February 28 from 11:30 – 1 pm.  This is the seventh annual run to raise public awareness and financial support for Wounded Warriors Canada. A team of runners will relay-run the length of Vancouver Island in eight consecutive days, starting Saturday, February 23 in Port Hardy and ending in Victoria, more than 600 kms. They would love to see everyone come out and support the team as they pass through Nanaimo.

THE REGIONAL DISTRICT is on its way to regulating homeless people camping overnight at designated parks. There is no prohibition of temporary shelters and sleeping in parks, though there are now court decisions being used as a guide. This will bring regulations in line with the City of Nanaimo and the District of North Cowichan. Staff has recommended limiting homeless camping to areas within parks, as well as preventing camping on designated conservation areas, facilities, trails, parking areas, playgrounds and neighbouring residential properties. MORE HERE

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Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – The nightmare appears to be behind us. Nanaimo went through a tough five-year period that damaged its reputation, management and unionized workforce. That’s the conclusion of an April 2019 organizational review and restructuring report obtained by the News Bulletin through a freedom of information request. The $70,000 report highlights concerns felt among city employees during a period of “instability, uncertainty and angst” between 2011-2018 and provides dozens of recommendations. The study was conducted by municipal government consultant George Cuff. Its findings were based on interviews with at least 50 city employees as well as observations by Cuff and his associates. In his state of the city address at year end, Mayor Leonard Krog pointed to the successful efforts for the present council to wipe the slate clean and repair Nanaimo's reputation. More HERE.

Tri Service cadet bottle drive with some of the collection and the volunteers who made it happen.

The Tri Services bottle drive raised $15,000 for cadet programs in Nanaimo

WHAT A TEAM EFFORT - The Tri Service (Air, Sea and Navy League and Army) Cadet fifth bottle drive raised just over $15,000 to support cadets. More than 250 people are involved in the annual fund raiser and they put in more than 1,800 hours. To get a perspective on the drive, 46,944 pop cans were collected along with 25,200 water bottles and 33,408 beer cans Cadets and their families also distributed flyers in advance. It was a great success financially and in inter-agency co-operation. Kudos to Sandy and Chris Jaeger and Cassandra, President of the Sea Cadet Parent Committee. Thanks to Grace Dean, chair of 205 Collishaw Squadron Sponsoring Committee for forwarding this information to The Daily Buzz.

YOU CAN TOO – If you have a happening you want to tell the community about, send the information to

BACK IN THE AIR – Air Canada will be back this summer with its daily direct flights to Toronto. The seasonal service is set to resume on June 26 and run through to Sept. 7. After that it will be four flights a week until Oct. 12. In 2019 flights ended in September and even earlier in 2018 when late season flights were cancelled due to lack of passengers.

CROFTON MILL SHUTDOWN - Production at the Crofton paper mill will be shut down for 30 days due to a shortage of fibre, says Paper Excellence Canada. Staff at the mill were told Friday morning the stoppage is expected to be around March 1. Stew Gibson, vice president of operations west, said numerous developments in both the BC coastal and interior forest regions have cut off long-term contractual supplies of wood.  About 450 Unifor and Pulp Paper and Woodworkers of Canada members will be affected. Meanwhile, United Steelworkers Union members voted Thursday and Friday on a tentative contract with union leaders recommending acceptance. They expect voting results as early as today.

SILVER ANNIVERSARY - The Vancouver Island Symphony is 25 years old. It’s last minute notice, but the symphony will celebrate with a concert at the Port Theatre tonight. The program will feature Sergei Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony, op. 25 and Joseph Haydn’s Symphony no. 25 in C major. Among the other compositions are Samuel Barber’s Canzonetta for Oboe and Strings and Bohuslav Martinu’s Oboe Concerto, the oboe being the instrument of conductor Pierre Simard and VIS CEO Margot Holmes. Principal oboist Geronimo Mendoza will be the evening’s guest soloist for the Barber and Martinu pieces. It’s his first time taking on that role and he’s looking forward to showing off the range of the instrument. It’s also his first time playing those pieces with an orchestra.

Feb 14, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Woodlands school may reopen. The school district is waiting for approval for Cilaire Elementary School seismic upgrades. During that work, Woodlands will temporarily house students. Work at Cilaire would include electrical upgrades and reinforcing load bearing walls, joists and frames to decrease the seismic risk, The business committee is recommending design and construction management contracts to Herold Engineering Ltd. and Bradley Shuya Architect Inc. for nearly $12 million for the schools if they get approval from the Education Ministry.

NANAIMO RCMP have recently seized six bikes and to date, investigators have been unable to locate the owners. Check HERE

DRUG LAB WAS BIG BUSINESS – A drug lab raided by RCMP in a north Nanaimo home was processing the dangerous drug GHB. The Federal Serious and Organized Crime division said the GHB lab on Hammond Bay Road was the target of a year-long investigation. The person behind it was believed to be selling everything from psychedelic mushrooms to GHB and fentanyl. MORE

STREET-LEGAL DRAG RACING is retunring to Port Alberni. The races were held at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport until 2015 when an expansion project there forced the event to move into the city on Stamp Avenue for three years. But when it wanted to move back to the airport last year, the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District pulled the plug at the last minute. So after a year hiatus, the races are back, but on the shorter Stamp Avenue track.

ARE YOU TOO BUSY to read all the news? Nanaimonet provides a menu of headlines so you can pick and choose what you want to read. For instance, Flair discount ariline is discontinuing service to Abbotsford due to competition from Swoop. Also, did you know Canadians drank so much beer during the 2010 Olympics that extra supplies have to be flown in from German? Or the student driver being charged with impaired driving during his driving lesson. HEADLINES

The Daily Buzz welcomes your news and events tips at 

Senior moments

It's just that kind of day, this video says it all. Give it a listen.


Thursday, Feb.13, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Did you miss Mayor Leonard Krog’s state of the city address at the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Wednesday? We have his original version from January right HERE

HAPPY CENTENNIAL – Rita Fraser celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday with a lunch at a restaurant even having a midday gin and tonic. Before she lost some of her mobility only a few years ago, she was active and enjoying life in rural south of the city along the Nanaimo River. 

IF YOU’RE IN THE MOOD for a little jocularity, Nanaimo Theatre Group is staging Lend me a Tenor from Feb. 19 to March 7 at Bailey Studio. The play was last staged by NTG 23 years ago. It's a story about the world’s greatest opera singer accidentally taking a double dose of tranquillizers before a show and the opera manager’s assistant is persuaded to take his place. Tracy Ottenbreit is the renowned singer and David McCormick the impromptu understudy. Tickets $20, available via phone at 250-758-7224 or MORE

BE PREPARED – Emergency equipment is something you get in the hope of never needing it. That’s the case for the Regional District of Nanaimo in thew uest for an emergency communications trailer designated mobile space where radio messages can be relayed to an emergency operation centre. Approximately $40,000 has been budgeted and the RDN is now looking for grants to help with the cost. First responder radio frequencies, amateur radios and satellite communications will be connected, allowing for direct communications between the RDN, first responders, amateur radio operators, municipal partners, EMBC and neighbouring jurisdictions. MORE

RCMP COMMUNITY POLICING UNIT members were front and centre at Woodgrove Mall 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. MORE DETAILS

CEO BREAKFAST WITH BC TRANSIT - BC Transit President and CEO, Erinn Pinkerton will unveil a new vision for public transportation in British Columbia when she speaks at the Chamber of Commerce networking breakfast Feb. 26 at 7:30 am at the Coast Bastion. Her focus is on technology supporting businesses, employees and customers. In developing the new strategic plan, BC Transit heard similar challenges across the province including creating better mobility options, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting a reduction in congestion.

ARE YOU TOO BUSY to read all the news? Nanaimonet provides a menu of headlines so you can pick and choose what you want to read. For instance, Flair discount ariline is discontinuing service to Abbotsford due to competition from Swoop. Also, did you know Canadians drank so much beer during the 2010 Olympics that extra supplies have to be flown in from German? Or the student driver being charged with impaired driving during his driving lesson. HEADLINES

The Daily Buzz welcomes your news and events tips at

Wednesday, Feb. 12

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Whether you are or claim to be an indigenous person does not entitle you to breach the Constitution and the laws of the land. Retired lawyer Gary Korpan says there are no free passes from abiding by the law for ethnic, religious, or any other special interest group. Equal treatment under the law is exactly that and must be paramount in a truly democratic society. Protesters' freedom of speech ends at the point they prevent the free speech of others MORE   

CHASING DRUGS– The HMCS Nanaimo is enroute to western Central America, part of a multinational operation to disrupt drug trafficking in the region. Nanaimo and HMCS Whitehorse left Esquimalt on Monday for the beginning of the three-month assignment, the longest deployment of maritime coastal defence vessels from the West Coast for Operation Caribbe. The operation is part of a co-ordinated effort by Western Hemisphere and European militaries and law enforcement agencies to combat drug trafficking and organized crime in the eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Approximately 80 service members are aboard the two ships. A CP-140 Aurora crew from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron Comox has returned from a rotation on Operation Caribbe, enabling a seizure of more than a metric ton of cocaine.

HERITAGE SUMMIT – Nanaimo will hold its annual Heritage Summit at the Nanaimo Museum from Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.. The summit heightens heritage awareness during Provincial Heritage Week (February 17-23), and to network with other local organizations interested in heritage issues. Everyone is welcome to attend. The program includes a number of presentations and discussions:
* Bringing the Past Into the Future - Enjoy a presentation by Christine Meutzner, Nanaimo Community Archivist focused on the theme of "Bringing the Past Into the Future".
* HBC era exhibit - Aimee Greenway, Nanaimo Museum Curator, will provide a short presentation on the changes to its HBC Era exhibit.
* Roundtable discussion - Culture and heritage groups will share their mandate, recent accomplishments and coming projects. If you’d like to go, RSVP to or 250-755-4464 prior to Feb. 14.

CULTURE AND HERITAGE of Nanaimo will take the stage Thursday, April 16 at the 2020 Culture And Heritage Awards Ceremony. An evening of recognition and celebration will be held at the Port Theatre to honour these outstanding community members:
* Trish & Geoff Horrocks, Honour in Culture
* Patrick Aleck, Emerging Cultural Leader
* Gary & Adam Manson, Honour in Heritage
* Devon Joiner, Excellence in Culture
Tickets are free but must be reserved. Reserve your tickets online by using the link attached to this press release, online ( or by contacting the Port Theatre Box Office directly at 250-754-8550.

The Daily Buzz welcomes your news and events tips at


Tuesday, Feb 11. 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Enough is enough. Residents in South Wellington took matters into their own hands and cleared out a homeless squat camp on Saturday. About 40 residents moved in on the camp on private property and Crown land along Hill Avenue. A number of people were living in a run-down house and others were in trailers and RVs. Saturday they moved in with tools, dumpster bins and an excavator and started dismantling the camp. MORE

HOW MANY ARE THERE? Nanaimo is taking part in a national count of people facing homelessness. The census will be conducted March 12, with 60 other Canadian communities. Nanaimo Homeless Coalition, John Howard Society, and United Way will have trained volunteers survey people in shelters, short-term housing and sleeping on the streets. Volunteers are needed to participate in the count by conducting surveys and/or being part of the count. For more information on how to participate, visit Volunteer Opportunities or contact the John Howard Society directly at 250-754-1266.

HAVE YOU VOTED YET for the Nanaimo Business Awards? Voting is now open to the public, closing on Thursday, February 20. The top five votes in each category will become finalists who will then be ranked by an independent judging panel. Winners will be announced at the Nanaimo Business Awards gala event on April 8 at the Port Theatre. To vote for your favorite, or reserve tickets, click HERE.

LIFE IS GOOD – it doesn’t take much effort to enjoy the best of the best. The Grotto Spa at the Tigh-Na-Mara is the most popular spa Canada for the second year in a row. The award is based on unique page views and consumer choices on the Spas of America website. Nineteen other B.C. spas made the top 50 Spas of America list in 2019.

ARE YOU LEAVING? If you plan to leave our Pacific Paradise for the Family Day weekend, B.C. Ferries has suggestions to make things a little easier from Thursday to Monday. Last year, across all routes, BC Ferries carried more than 205,000 passengers for the Family Day long weekend. Historically, the most popular travel times are Thursday and Friday afternoon, as well as Saturday morning from the Lower Mainland. Family Day Monday and the following Tuesday morning are typically the most popular times for people to return to Vancouver from Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. MORE

Monday, Feb. 10, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Let’s start the week off with good news – Western Forest Products and United Steelworkers local 1-1937 have reached a tentative agreement. If ratified by members it will end the long strike by 3,000 union employees on Vancouver Island and coastal B.C. Workers have been off the job since July, 2019.

UNSOLVED MYSTERIES - Thieves made off with thousands of dollars in plumbing equipment in a break-in of a locker on Northfield Drive on Feb 3. They entered the yard by cutting through barbed wire fencing, then destroyed the door to the storage unit.  If you know something, say something. Call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 Nanaimo file # 2020-4235.

STEP UP TO THE PLATE – If you’ve ever considered volunteering, Literacy Central Vancouver Island is looking for a volunteer tutor for indigenous adult learners. The tutor would teach basic numeracy, reading and writing for adults 18-plus. Teaching experience and understanding of barriers to learning, such as addictions, mental health and trauma are required. And a police security check will be paid for by the agency, and commuting costs can also be covered. Call Nicola at 250-754-8988 or e-mail 

SUMMER CAMP - The Canadian Cancer Society needs volunteers for Camp Goodtimes on the Lower Mainland, a camp for kids and families affected by cancer. If you are 19-plus apply at, with a variety of positions available as counsellors, dining hall staff members or health-care personnel. Training will happen June 13-14 in Maple Ridge. A police security check is required and is paid for by the agency.

Kaitlin Bureau

UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP have reported the 20-year-old Nanaimo woman has been found safe and sound.

KAITLIN BUREAU IS MISSING – The Nanaimo RCMP seeks help in finding 20-year-old Kaitlin Bureau whose family and friends have lost contact with her, and her current whereabouts are unknown.

Investigators have learned that Bureau is believed to be of no fixed address, has no cell phone and has stopped all social media updates and contact with her family. She is 5 ft. 6 and weighs 140 pounds.

If you have information on the location of Kaitlin Bureau, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345

Ssunday, Feb. 9, 2020

VOTING OPEN FOR AWARDS – There were a record 360 nominations for the Nanaimo Business Awards. Voting is now open to the public and will close on Thursday, February 20. The top five votes in each category will become finalists who will then be ranked by an independent judging panel. Winners will be announced at the Nanaimo Business Awards gala event on April 8 at the Port Theatre. To vote for your favorite, Click HERE.

STREET BANNERS – Rotary clubs in Nanaimo are joining the City for this year’s street light banners competition. The theme for this year is a depiction of the work of Rotary over the past century, highlighting projects and initiatives. Artists are restricted in the colours and techniques they can use. The banners are mounted on light posts along major roads in the City.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT that Vancouver Resource Society has bought Lakeside Gardens in Nanaimo brought some quick responses from current residents. The government announcement stated the average monthly rent is $935. That comes as a surprise to current tenants, some of whom claim they are paying in excess of $3,000 a month. Granted, in some cases meals and other optional services are included. Some are now asking whether they will now be in line for decreased rents. 

LOW LIFES - Just as we might think the human race could not go any lower, along comes someone to cash in on the coronavirus concerns. Someone is trying to sell bottles of hand sanitizer for hundreds of dollars through an online Walmart Marketplace. Hand washing is one of the best ways to keep the coronavirus at bay, prompting many people to buy sanitizers. One seller on the Marketplace lists two-litre bottles of Purell for $268. Walmart Marketplace allows third-party companies to list products on That isn’t the only place for sanitizer at inflated prices – on, some sellers have one-litre bottles of Purell listed for upwards of $100.

AN OBSERVATION - People who support the Carbon Tax can't seem to comprehend that the actual tax is on the consumer not the companies using the fossil fuels. Every penny of the tax is passed on to you, the consumer, leaving the companies with no incentive to change anything they do.

Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020

HOCKEY WEEKEND in Nanaimo as 26 teams compete in five divisions in the 39th annual Tubbers Trounsment at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. The action got under way Friday and continues to Sunday. Bringing in more than 300 players for the weekend is an economic jolt for hotels, restaurants and bars. Games run from 8 a.m. through 11 p.m Friday and Saturday at the Ice Centre, while games Sunday are scheduled between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. 

MICHEL MORIN has been the station leader at Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 27 Nanaimo for the past four years. His strong leadership in fund raising, community awareness and community involvement have put Station 27  in a strong financial position. To recognize his efforts, as he steps down from the position, the station presented Morin with his own boat, a classic eight-foot wooden boat, the M. Morin which is fully equipped to the Transport Canada requirements for such a vessel.

Dr. Carol Stuart

DR. CAROL STUART has been affirmed as Provost and Vice-President Academic for Vancouver Island Universityc. Dr. Stuart will provide leadership and direction to the academy, ensuring VIU continues to achieve excellence in teaching, learning, scholarship, and service. She will work with Indigenous communities to support, enhance and develop relevant initiatives across the curriculum, as well as continue existing partnerships with communities. Her work will support initiatives that foster Indigenous education, leadership, and opportunity; strengthen and advance research and scholarship at the University, and build partnerships with communities and industry partners to enhance social and economic development in the region.

NANAIMO WILL BE well represented at the B.C. Winter Games in Fort St. John from Feb. 20-23 –  22 young people from Nanaimo and Lantzville have made the team. The largest local group is on the Vancouver Island-Central Coast judo team, with eight Nanaimo athletes and two coaches. Nanaimo is also sending a large group of karate athletes – six competitors, three officials and a coach. CHECK the list of sports and who is going.

SAYSUTCHUN – The City has awarded Snuneymuxw First Nation $50,000 toward the operation of the Saysutshun (Newcastle Island) ferry service for 2019 and $100,000 for 2020. The provincial marine park is a jewel within the city.  SFN uses the Saysutshun name for its historical significance as a former village site. Promotion of the historical, cultural, recreational and natural value Saysutshun helps to advance the island as a recreation and tourism destination. The partnership with the city is touted as ensuring affordable continued access to the island for everyone. Chief  Mike Wyse  said the partnership will enhance ferry service, and continue the partnership with Tourism Nanaimo and others advances reconciliation and contributes to unlocking the potential of the island.  

Friday, Feb. 7, 2020

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – If you’ve dreamed about getting face to face with a city councillor, here’s your chance, Saturday from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. at Woodgrove Centre. Councillors Don Bonner, Tyler Brown, Erin Hemmens and Ben Geselbracht will be there to speak with anyone who wants to bend their ear. Bonner says other councillors may also show up at Blenz Coffee in the mall. They want your opinions and ideas on how to make Nanaimo a better place. "We have ideas, but what really matters are your opinions and ideas. Visit us so you can share your thoughts, let us know what we are doing right and what we need to improve,” adds Bonner.

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. MORE

Nanaimo RCMP are asking residents keep their eyes open for gold rings lost on Monday

MISSING JEWELRY – A Nanaimo woman lost her rings after taking them off for a photo shoot near her residence, in the 300 block of Bruce Avenue. She told police she searched frantically for the rings but to no avail, and is hoping someone will find them and turn them in. Both rings are white gold, with the bottom band having three rows of white and black diamonds. The other ring has three large black diamonds with white diamonds surrounding it. If anyone finds these items, contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2020-4264.

THIEVES LEFT EMPTY HANDED - Nothing appears to have been taken when thieves broke into a cargo trailer at 6315 Metral Drive on Monday night. The trailer was secured by three locks and all were broken off. The thieves were apparently not interested in the furniture as nothing appeared to have been taken. If you know something, say something. Call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. Nanaimo file # 2020-3367  

BACK IN BUSINESS - The doors are open again at That 50’s Barbershop in downtown Nanaimo after a robbery. GoFundMe campaign raised more than $7,500 in one day for the shop after it was robbed overnight on Tuesday. Personal items, barber equipment, cash and memorabilia were stolen from the shop on Victoria Cres.

HERO RECOGNIZED - Dolores Poirer has a hero in her life, a life that was likely saved when Dirk Maritz helped dislodge food that was choking her. She was at a restaurant when the incident occurred and Maritz just happened to be there. He was given Good Samaritan Award on Wednesday by BC Emergency Health Services.  Nanaimo paramedics presented the award. Click here for the touching story.

Mayor to address Chamber of Commerce luncheon Feb. 12

The Feb. 12 Chamber of Commerce networking luncheon at the Coast Bastion will feature Mayor Leonard Krog with a state of the city address. 

The luncheon is sponsored by the Nanaimo Child Development Centre, 
Dominic Rockall, Executive Director of the Nanaimo Child Development Centre, will be also speak on a partnership in a socially inclusive playspace at Maffeo Sutton Park that will break ground soon.

Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020

IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE – Nanaimo Fire Rescue has a timely reminder after two residential fires on Tuesday – the importance of working smoke alarms. The homes in the Westwood and Hillside neighbourhoods were saved thanks to working smoke alarms. Residents got an early warning through smoke detectors in their home security systems. Fire crews extinguished fires before serious damage to both homes. As a result, families were able to return homes without having to relocate. If you’d like more information on installing and maintaining a smoke alarm in your home, contact Nanaimo Fire Rescue at 250-753-7311 or

NEW RULES – If you’re planning to set up a supervised consumption site you’ll have some new rules to go by. City council affirmed that such facilities will have to go through a site-specific zoning process, complete with public hearings. A staff report said the new bylaw would give council a “greater level of oversight and accountability” for any potential supervised consumption sites. 

COMMUNITY POLICING volunteers will be at Woodgrove Centre on Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, promoting auto crime awareness and pedestrian safety. Volunteers will handout crime prevention items, on two very important issues – reducing auto theft and increasing pedestrian safety. The community policing van will be on hand for an interactive “spot the target” activity raising community awareness of items that thieves commonly steal from parked vehicles. Dave Cusson, Community Policing co-ordinator shoppers can play the  game by indicating on a ballot what items they think thieves target. The ballots will go into a draw for gift cards from Woodgrove. 

THE 50s BARBERSHOP on Victoria Crescent was broken into thsi week with thieves making off with high-end clippers and collectable items.  Owner Dave Lawrence is devastated by the  theft and is unsure about keeping his shop open. Upon arriving at work , Lawrence found the front door open and a cash box missing. Also taken were several extremely expensive cutting clippers, which will be difficult to replace. Also taken from his walls, were some action figure collectables. Lawrence spearheads charity drives to support the youth in Nanaimo. If you have information on this incident, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020

NOT GOOD NEWS – Striking Western Forest Products workers who had their hopes up after mediators joined the negotiations have had their hopes dashed when the mediators booked out. The dispute between the United Steelworkers union and Western Forest Products has stretched for more than half a year. Western Forest Products issued a news release stating mediators Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers have withdrawn from the mediation process “as they see no basis for a negotiated settlement at this time.” The strike began on July 1 and affects Western Forest Products’ USW-certified manufacturing and timberlands operations in B.C.

BAIL OUT – If you were one of the unfortunate victims of last week’s flooding and were not insured, the B.C. government will help. Homeowners, residential tenants, small business owners, farmers, charitable organizations and local government bodies who were unable to obtain insurance to cover disaster-related losses will have assistance made available. It covers 80 per cent of total eligible damage over $1,000, up to a maximum claim for $300,000. Claimants must prove that the home is their principal residence.

UNSOLVED – A green men’s Kona Mahuna mountain bike, was stolen Jan. 29 from the parking lot of the Keg on Wesley Street. The owner had run inside for a few minutes and when he returned the bike was gone. The serial number is AF90200220 . If you have information about who took the bike or where it might be, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 and quote file # 2020-3696 

MISSING PERSON – Do you know where Donovan Roloson is? Friends and family have not seen the 32 year old since Jan. 22. RCMP hope the public can help find him. In the past, Roloson maintained regular contact with friends, but all contact stopped Jan 22. He is white, 5-foot-9 and 145 pounds, has blond hair and hazel eyes. He is an amicable individual with no medical conditions. If you have any information, please call Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

THE BIG TIME – I've hit the big time now – I just got an e-mail for Warren Buffet, the American gazillionaire and he wants to give me $2.5 mllion. All I have to do is confirm my email address. I don't have the money yet, so don't ask me to share. Have a great day.

Tuesday, Feb. 4

GOOD MORNING - Seven gold and diamond rings with an estimated value of $15,000 were stolen from Luis Porretta Fine Arts and Antiques Jan. 26. Police belive someone walking by in the mall broke the rear door to the display, reached in and removed the items. Anyone with information about who took the rings or where they might be is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2020-3211.

SO MUCH FOR THE SNOW – The city got another dusting of snow overnight, but that should be it. Environment Canada says no more snow in the forecast, as Wednesday will see periods of rain and Thursday and Friday are expected to be rainy.

THE THIRD ANNUAL Nanaimo Craft Beer Week Axe And Grind Barrel Bash frun on Wednesday, February 19 at 7:30 p.m. They’ve got axe-throwing and arcade games alongside a curated selection of exclusive, barrel-aged craft beers so you won’t want to miss this one. Tickets are available at to check out our other events. 

CONGRATULATIONS to Thomas Forrest who is the new station leader at Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Nanaimo Station 27. Russell  Berg was elected Deputy Station.  Forest replaces Michel Morin who held the post for the past four years. The station is manned by volunteers who devote hundreds of hour in training and rescue work on the ocean.

Monday, Feb. 3, 2020

GOOD MORNING FERRY RIDERS – The government tells us they want to know how we envision B.C. Ferries in the future. The Transportation Ministry is conducting an online survey at Key themes heard at public meetings in October and November indicated that ferry services should support efficient end-to-end travel of people and goods, be equitable and accessible, mitigate and be responsive to climate change, and reflect the values of coastal communities. We’d be forgiven if we get the feeling of social engineering in high gear.

WELCOME TO NANAIMO - Karen Love is the new executive director of the Boys and Girls of Central Vancouver Island. She’s a newcomer to Vancouver Island, having come here from Alberta, where she held senior management positions with the Boys and Girls Club of Calgary and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. The club notes that she has extensive experience in financial management, program development and fundraising. 

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ­– B.C. is putting $2 million into improving professional development for early childhood educators around the province. The new program will fund 32 pedagogists (teaching specialists) around the province. Katrina Chen, minister of state for child care, made the announcement in Nanaimo this morning. The pedagogists at hubs at post-secondary institutions, child care referral centres and in indigenous communities will work with dozens of early childhood educators in their areas. 

DON’T CALL THE COPS – Non-emergency telephone service at the Nanaimo RCMP station remains disrupted after a landslide on the Mainland knocked out some services throughout the province. Police say callers to the non-emergency lines can get through but can’t be forwarded to dispatch. In a weekend notice, Sgt. Jon Stuart said until this is issue is corrected, please don’t call in non-urgent issues. Voice mails can be left for the police to follow up with you later. For any emergency requiring an urgent response, call 911, but don’t call 911 for non-emergency issues. An update will be provided once the issue has been corrected.

WHEN WILL IT END? – The Federal Court of Appeal is set to release its decision today on the latest challenge of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Four First challenged after the federal government approved the project a second time last June. A hearing in December focused on the government’s consultation with the First Nations between August 2018 and June 2019. The consultation took place after the Court of Appeal struck down the first project approval in August 2018 in part because of insufficient dialogue with Indigenous groups. Let’s hope the court comes up with a definitive ruling to finally put this issue to bed.

Sunday, Feb 2, 2020

GOOD MORNING - If you're heading to Victoria, the highway is now open after a mudslide on the Malahat caused traffic delays on Saturday afternoon. Many roads and sections of highway were flooded or damaged across Vancouver Island. The southbound lane of the Malahat between Wellswood Road and Finlayson Arm Road was hit with a mudslide around 11 a.m. on Saturday. The 1 kilometre stretch of road passing through Goldstream Provincial Park was closed intermittently while crews dealt with the clean-up. Traffic patterns returned to normal around 3 p.m.

MANITOBA MERV – We're all familiar with Groundhog Day – today – with the mascot rodents popular across the continent. Manitoba even has its own – Manitoba Merv who predicted an early spring for that Prairie province.  Merv has been at the weather prognostication game at the Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre for about 25 years, and he didn't see his shadow at the annual event. Hmm, does our province hve a willing marmot to act as a prognosticator of the seasons? It should not be difficult to find one on Green Mountain, should it? Since there would have been no shadow with today's cloudy weather, he/she would have forecast an early spring for us as well. I'll take that.


0201 - An urgent notice has been issued by Sergeant Jon Stuart that Nanaimo RCMP phone lines are experiencing some loss of function. Telus later posted that its system was having problems with some lines throughout the province.
9-1-1 has not been affected. Callers are able to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency lines, however their calls are not able to be forwarded to dispatch, and your call for service cannot be created.  Until this is issue is corrected, please refrain from calling in non-urgent issues.  Voice mails can be left for the police to follow up with you later.  For any emergency, requiring an urgent response, please call 9-1-1.
An update will be provided when this has been corrected.

FEb 1, 2020

A FABULOUS DAILY BUZZ – If there’s one person who has had more than her share of challenges in life it is Sharon Krog. I got the happy note from Len last night that Sharon has been released from hospital and is on her way home after two open heart surgeries within 24 hours. Sharon has been living on the edge for ages, first waiting to get a date for surgery, and then having a setback once it was done. “Good news is that once in, the surgeon was able to repair, not replace, the tricuspid valve. So there will be no need for another surgery in eight to ten years,” Len wrote. “We are very happy and very grateful to all who have prayed for and supported Sharon through all of this.” We and all of our readers could not be happier.

SLIPPERY SLOPE - The Regional District of Nanaimo is not letting any grass grow under its feet, it’s asking for a temporary halt to outdoor marijuana cultivation after concerns by Quennell Lake residents. The smell and the possibility that chemicals in water seepage could make their way into the lake has them concerned. The RDN will ask the agriculture, environment and forest ministries for a provincial moratorium until there are standards similar to indoor cannabis production, and a farm practices guide for cannabis. Cedar-area director Keith Wilson said the measure is designed to bring in a minister’s standard like that done for indoor cultivation.  “It’s obvious to anybody around this field that they moved very quickly and probably didn’t do the homework they should’ve done. All we’re asking is that they do that homework now,” Wilson told the board.

HAPPY NEW YEAR – That goes for Fido as well – dog licences are now due, and if you hurry up you can even get a discount if you renew before the end of this month. (February 28). A dog licence and identification tag are required for every dog in Nanaimo over the age of 12 weeks. Licences are $30 with a $5 discount before February 28. If a resident becomes the owner of a new dog after July 1 the fee is reduced to $20. To renew, go to the City Services and Resource Centre (411 Dunsmuir Street) and the Nanaimo Animal Shelter (1260 Nanaimo Lakes Road). You can renew in person or online at New licences must be purchased in person.

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. SEE NEWS PAGE