Business tax freeze not an easy decision for city council

02/28 – A proposal by the Chamber of Commerce to freeze commercial property taxes for this year sounds noble enough. City council is getting a staff report to determine the impact. Last year the city collected $32,115,302 in commercial/business taxes. The interim budget calls for a three-per-cent tax increase across the board, just under $1 million ($963,459). Good intent often comes with unintended consequences. That money doesn’t just disappear into thin air, it has to be made up elsewhere – either in higher taxes in other sectors or budget cuts. Balance sheets have two columns – income and outcome, and they have to balance. City councillors may wish for the wisdom of Solomon on March 17 when they decide. WHAT SAY YOU?

Sunday, Feb. 28

Owner puts Nanaimo Clippers hockey club on sales block

Wes Mussio

The Nanaimo Clippers are for sale. Owner Wes Mussio posted on social media today that with games suspended for one year now and Dr Bonnie Henry giving the league no indication of any starting up this year, he sees no path forward to any full return to normal in hockey, even in 2021-2022. The provincial government has offered no financial support to the suffering teams of the BCHL, says Mussio. "So, it is time for me to stop my huge personal and financial contribution to BC Hockey and I will sell the team effective immediately." Serious enquires only at Nanaimo needs an ownership group who can wait out the provincial health orders.

Limited worship services get approval

Some worship services have been granted limited exceptions to a blanket ban on in-person worship imposed in November. A lawyer for three Fraser Valley churches says they’ve been given permission to meet for worship – outdoors and multiple protocols including a maximum of 25 congregants, no singing or chanting and no passing collection plates or ceremonial objects, a one-hour time limit and mandatory masks. They’re also not allowed to socialize before or after the service. The Ministry of Health also granted exceptions to Orthodox Jews who are prohibited by their faith from using electronic devices on the Sabbath. More

Legislature resumes sitting on Monday

High profile issues will be front and centre when the B.C. Legislature resumes sitting on Monday. The first day of the sitting coincides with B.C.’s vaccine rollout plan outlined by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix. The spring session will include financial relief for small business, COVID-19 measures, housing for people without homes and income assistance rates. It will still be a sparsely populated session due to coronavirus physical distancing. Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin will deliver the speech from the throne on April 12, and Finance Minister Selina ­Robinson will present the budget on April 20.

Mass vaccination for Cowichan Tribes adult members

Members of B.C.’s largest First Nation were vaccinated against coronarvirus on Friday and Saturday. The mass vaccination drive for Cowichan Tribes comes after 240 cases since Dec. 31, and four deaths — several of them described as young adults. Cowichan Tribes, with around 4,900 members, has also been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19. A shelter-in-place order for the community has been extended until March 5.

Online auction under way for John Barsby grad event

The John Barsby Prom Committee isn’t letting a pandemic get in their way ­– they are conducting an online auction to raise funds. They are going ahead with festivities which include dinner, dance and a graduation photo. The business community and others have pitched in with a lot of sale items. They are raising funds to supplement the cost of the celebration for the students, including venue rental, dinner, security, photography and assisting students needy students so they can attend with their class. The auction page is here, you can START BIDDING.

  • Pierre's influence was wide spread

    Recently released secret documents by the U.S. State Department detail comments by former U.S. Ambassador Thomas Enderson the situation in Canada just after the Quebec election where the separatists gained control in 1976.

  • FN drinking water Ottawa's shame

    Indigenous people have suffered years of neglect and inadequate efforts to address health, housing, fuel, groceries, supplies and water in a piecemeal fashion.

Saturday, Feb. 27

Decision to proceed with Site C was the right choice

02/27 – Premier John Horgan and his government were caught between a rock and a hard place. Abandoning the Site C hydro project would have cost $10 billion which could never be recovered. After an exhaustive independent study they came up with a $16 billion budget to complete the project. Getting the facts before leaping was the right thing to do. That made it a no-brainer to go ahead. With all the climate obsession these days, we are going to need a lot more electricity, something that Site C will deliver. WHAT SAY YOU?

Woman missing after boat fire in Ladysmith harbour

Ladysmith Marine rescue

A search is under way for a woman missing after a pleasure boat fire in Ladysmith Harbour early this morning. Ladysmith Fire chief Chris Geiger said RCM-SAR was first on scene. He said the boat had been moored just offshore and Search and Rescue towed it closer to shore so firefighters could put out the fire. Two people were onboard the boat. RCMP told CHEK News that a man and a woman were on board and that the woman is missing and that a dive team has been called in to search.

Wexford Creek care facility virus outbreak declared over

Island Health declared the COVID-19 A coronavirus outbreak at Wexford Creek long-term care facility over. The outbreak was declared on Feb. 14, after a a staff member tested positive. There were no other cases in residents or staff. Island Health complemented the staff at Wexford and Park Place Seniors Living for their exceptional work ensuring no residents were affected by this outbreak. More

Island reports 31 more positive coronavirus tests

The Vancouver Island region confirmed 31 more positive tests for coronavirus on Friday. There were 589 new positives across B.C. and seven more deaths across the province, bringing B.C.'s death toll to 1,355. The Island Health region has now seen 2,309 positive tests since the pandemic began. There are 260 actives cases on Vancouver Island, 161 in the central region, 35 in the south and 64 in the North Island. B.C. had injected 252,373 vaccine doses as of Friday, including 73,808 second doses. Read more

Three escape injury as vehicle crashes into office

There were no injuries after a vehicle crashed and ended up inside a business on Bowen Road Friday evening. Emergency crews attended at 5 p.m. to the Venue Financial Centres office in the 1700 block of Bowen where a utility vehicle crashed into the office. Two women were working in the office, but were not hurt, and neither was the driver of the vehicle. Read more

Nanaimo condo hits the market at $2 million

We know real estate prices have been soaring, but one Nanaimo listing may break the multi-million dollar range. It’s listing for $2 million – a two-bedroom, two-bathroom penthouse with panoramic views of Nanaimo’s waterfront and Mount Benson. Ian Mackay, President of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, says there’s some ambitious pricing right now but it’s difficult to be critical of it when we’re seeing offers that are 10, 15, 20 per cent over a listed price. Read more.

Don't share your financial information over the phone

Another reminder to guard your personal financial information. The RDN tells us a  resident got a call from someone posing as one of its representatives asking for their credit card information. The resident followed the recommended action and called the RDN. If you get suspicious calls, call the RDN at 250-390-4111 or toll-free at 1-877-607-4111. Or call the RCMP or the anti-fraud hotline at 1-888-495-8501. Read more

BC Liberals won't pick new leader until next year

The BC Liberal party won’t select a new leader to replace Andrew Wilkinson until next year. The Leadership Election Organizing Committee said the new leader will be picked on Feb. 5, 2022. The voting for members will begin on Feb. 3 and end two days later. You must be a Liberal member by the end of this year to vote for leader. A single-vote preferential ballot system will be used. More

Taking away Mr. Potato Head's manhood

02/26 – Sometimes you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Toy maker Hasbro is neutering 70-year-old Mr. Potato Head and renaming him a gender-neutral Potato Head. Mr. Potato Head has been a supporting character in numerous Toy Story films. He/she/it isn’t the only thing to transform in recent years. Toymakers have been updating their classic brands to become more diverse, so Barbie has shed her classic blonde image and now comes in multiple skin tones and body shapes. Will this political correctness madness end? HAVE YOUR SAY

Feb. 26, 2021

All major ferry sailings cancelled for rest of day

B.C. Ferries has cancelled all sailings on major routes for the rest of today. Pleae check with Ferries before making any plans to travel.

  • Site C hydro project gets geeen light

    The Site C energy development project will go ahead, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Bruce Ralston announced Friday, but with an increased budget and timeline. It will be at least $10 billion to complete, with $6 billion already spent, provincial officials revealed in an update on the future of the project.

  • NightOwls will join The news site

    Nanaimo NightOwls and fellow Canadian teams, along with the other teams in the West Coast League, will be spending a lot of time together in The Dugout. is a new go-to website and social media news network to track grassroots and amateur baseball in Canada.

  • Woman arrested after leaving accident scene

    Nanaimo RCMP have arrested a woman after a hit-and-run in which a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk. Police says the driver fled the scene and then turned herself in at the police station. The 60-year-old victim was going through the crosswalk when she was struck by an older-model pickup truck. The driver was arrested for dangerous driving and failing to remain at the scene of an accident and placed in cells.

  • Tax freeze proposed for Nanaimo businesses

    The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce wants a property tax freeze for Nanaimo’s business sector, keeping the rate at last year’s level. Chamber CEO Kim Smythe told the city’s finance and audit committee that Nanaimo’s business community has faced a myriad of negative impacts over the course of the pandemic.

  • All ferry sailings cancelled due to wind

    B.C. Ferries has cancelled all sailings on major routes for the rest of today. Pleae check with Ferries before making any plans to travel.

  • Spray painters caught 'green' handed by RCMP

    Nanaimo RCMP officers recently caught a break when three adult taggers were discovered in the act of spray painting public property at approximately 9 pm on Monday, in Maffeo Sutton Park. Officers were alerted by a witness who reported seeing the three men spray painting throughout the park.

  • Gabriola Island getting own bus terminal

    Gabriola’s transit system will have a new place to park buses after getting $187,847 of community economic recovery infrastructure money to convert the old fire hall to a bus depot. The Gabriola fire department moved into a new building several years ago and a retrofit is planned to accommodate the buses.

  • Legal and health-care decisions with dementia

    A diagnosis of dementia can bring on worry and anxiety about the changes one is going to experience. Preparing for legal, health-care and financial decisions can help ease transitions and soothe anxieties as dementia progresses. Nanaimo residents can learn more in the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s free webinar, “Planning ahead: Do it now!”

  • Future of Site C dam to be aired today

    B.C. Premier John Horgan is expected to announce whether construction will continue on the $10-billion Site C project near Fort St. John, or be cancelled.
    Horgan’s announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m., and the premier will be joined by Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.

Muscling to the front of the vaccine line was inevitable

Seniors 80-plus are about to get information of coronavirus vaccinations, but again human nature is kicking in with a “me-first” attitude to get to the head of the line. This was bound to happen, opening a can of worms about who is more essential and who is less essential. Everybody is essential in some form or other. Provincial health officials are the professionals looking at all aspects, we need to let them do their job instead of trying to shoulder our way to the front of the line. Getting a dependable supply of vaccine is more important than who gets it first. HAVE YOUR SAY

ANN RODGERS: The First Nations started it with their plaintive cry that some of their elders had tested positive. All band members immediately got given priority. FALSE: First Nations were prioritized due to close-quarters living conditions on reserves, and thus the higher risk of spreading.

  • Warning issue after bear spotted at local school

    Students of Park Avenue Elementary School on Eighth Street have been cautioned to walk in groups after a bear was spotted outside the school this morning. The bear was spotted at 7:30 this morning. Students walking to and from the school are reminded to walk in groups, stick to the roads and not walk through the bushes. Burgos said he hasn’t heard of any other bear sightings in recent weeks.

  • Suspect arrested after stabbing at Port Place

    A 50-year-old man suffered minor non-life threatening injuries in an altercation at the Port Place Mall parking lot at approximately 6 pm on Wednesday outside the Dollarama store.
    The victim was taken to hospital for treatment. Information was received that the suspect was on Gabriola Island where RCMP officers arrested him without incident. His first court appearance is set for May 25, in Nanaimo Provincial court.

  • 37 positive covid cases in Island Health region

    The province confirmed 37 new positive tests for coronavirus for the Island Health region. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 395 new cases on Thursday, well below the rolling seven-day average of 512. Across B.C., 4,489 cases remain active including 228 people in hospital with 62 receiving intensive care. Ten people died in the previous 24 hours, none in Island Health. To date, 1,348 people have died as a result of COVID-19.

  • Residents get first dibs on camping reservations

    British Columbians will be get priority access to campsite reservations when the Discover Camping website begins taking reservations on March 8. Dates are available up to two months in advance. The province expects the reservation system to be busy, particularly with coronavirus limiting travel.

  • Province extends field of covid vaccinators

    Dentists and other medical professionals will be allowed to give COVID-19 vaccines as part of the province’s mass vaccination program. Provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, who gave the order, said this means we’ve expanded our pool of immunizers and people who can provide services.

  • New Gabriola Island ferry hits the water

    The first of the hybrid ferries destined for the Gabriola route has hit the water and is scheduled to be delivered to Vancouver Island later this year to replace the MV Quinsam by 2022. It's a two-battery electric-hybrid. It is expected to be delivered in late 2021.

  • Duke Point agreement heralds great future

    A long-term lease deal between the Port of Nanaimo and DP World will open the door to a $105-million expansion of the Duke Point container shipping operations over the long term. The 50-year lease will enhance shipping between Nanaimo and Vancouver, as well as expand direct access from Nanaimo to global import-export markets through direct calls to Asia.

  • RDN wants province to crack down on dumping

    The Regional District of Nanaimo has had enough with the illegal dumping of garbage and want the provincial government to step in. It is an ongoing and costly problem that should be the responsibility of the province. Little Mountain near Errington is one of the spots where illegal dumping has been common.

  • Local schools report coronavirus exposures

    Nanaimo-area public and independent schools have reported positive coronavirus tests. Mountain View Elementary had a potential exposure date Feb. 16. And Aspengrove School has also had an exposure, with potential dates Feb. 18 and 19.

  • Seniors vaccination plan coming next Monday

    Seniors 80 and older are next in line for coronavirus vaccinations, and now we know when the process will be made public – next Monday. Details will be announced by the provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Monday when long-term care and assisted care workers and residents have all been vaccinated. Dr. Henry said health officials will contact seniors.

  • Two women create a royal rumble on ferry

    Two women were issued violation tickets for refusing to wear masks on a B.C. Ferry on Sunday night. Attending officers were told that two passengers were being escorted off the ferry after refusing to follow COVID protocols while onboard.
    Two women, ages 19 and 43, upon boarding were advised that all passengers were required to wear masks but they ignored the warning and walked past the BC Ferries employee.

  • RCMP investigate after woman was groped

    The Nanaimo RCMP is investigating an incident in which a woman was groped in the parking lot of the a mall. The incident occurred at approximately 4:45 pm on Saturday, in the west parking lot of the Woodgrove Centre, near the bus loops.

  • Real estate market sizzling right now

    The real estate market across B.C. is hotter than a two-dollar pistol, and Nanaimo is no exception. The January figures from John Cooper show 93 single family homes sold at an average price of $624,787. That’s up and astounding up 11 per cent in the past 12 months.

  • Nanaimo Jazz Festival going online March 1

    Get ready to enjoy that jazzy feeling, the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival kicks off March 1 online. The series has already been filmed at the Harbour City Theatre, available for viewing on the NIJFA’s social media pages from March 1 to 20, uploaded each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

  • Liquor purchase discount is permanent

    Licensed restaurants, bars, and tourism operators will be able to buy liquor at the wholesale price set by the BC Liquor Distribution Branch after the pandemic ends. The government made the temporary change last year to support the hospitality industry.

  • Furstenau campaign showed a surplus

    Elections BC just released the information for those candidates filing after the filing date.Green Party of B.C. leader Sonia Furestenau showed good fiscal management. She spent $68,592.95 while getting $117,321.49 in what is labelled “inflow.”

  • VIU Mariners baseball will have female pitcher

    The VIU Mariners have will have Alli Schroder tossing curves and fastballs for the team. Ali recently committed to the school to pursue her baseball dream and study environmental sciences. She’ll be the first female player in the Canadian College Baseball Conference.

  • Mindset Over Matter, playing to win

    The Nanaimo Chamber is collaborating with LeapZone Strategies to create impact by providing entrepreneurs no-nonsense tools and strategies to help you master the skills and the mindset you need to grow your brand and business despite change. Isabelle Mercier-Turcotte is the facilitator. Check out the details.

  • Coldest Night campaign was a roaring success

    It may be cold but central Island residents have a warm heart when it comes to supporting the Coldest Night of the Year. The fund raising event was a little different this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but surpassed the goal with $53,000 raised, topping its $45,000 goal. Parksville-Oceanside just met its $40,000 goal.

  • Cheques are coming for disability benefit

    The government is sending B.C. Recovery Benefit cheques for thousands of people on disability, income assistance and seniors’ hardship. The tax-free benefit is for up to $500 for individuals and $1,000 for families, based on 2019 income levels. Disability and income assistance clients are likely to get the full amount

  • Ferries' financial picture takes a monumental hit

    The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on BC Ferries’ operational and financial results. In its third-quarter statement, BC Ferries reports it carried 10.6 million passengers and 5.3 million vehicles, a drop of 42.1 per cent and 26.9 per cent, respectively compared to the same period the year before.

  • Wounded Warrior run postponed to April

    The Vancouver Island Wounded Warriors Run from Port Hardy to Victoria has been postponed to April 11–18. COVID-19 restrictions forced organizers to postpone the run to raise awareness and funds for Wounded Warriors Canada. It is planned to take eight runners eight days to run from Port Hardy to Victoria.

  • RCMP issue warrants for violent offender

    Warrants have been issued for 31-year-old Brian Sutherland after he allegedly broke the front door and smashed a window to a home in south Nanaimo on Thursday. The woman in the home said Sutherland demanded to be allowed in. When she refused, he kicked at the front door, then threw a ceramic tile through a window.

  • 99 positive Covid tests in Island Health region

    Provincial health authorities reported Island Health 99 positive tests for Coronavirus over the three-day weekend. They are part of the 1,428 new positive tests in the province. There were 28 new positive tests of the variants that have shown up. Eight deaths related to the virus were reported since last weekend.

  • Dragon Boat Festival cancelled for this year

    Another victim of the Coronavirus is the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival. Society announced that this year’s festival, which was scheduled for July, is cancelled. The society says consultation with public health authorities suggested that it will take until at least the fall for all British Columbians to be immunized.

  • RDN weighing tree protection policy

    The Regional District of Nanaimo will take a greater role in tree management if a new policy is approved by the board. That policy will control tree removals and replacements in parks and trails to ensure no net loss of trees, management of fire risks in the forested parks and trails, and management of invasive species.

  • Washington ferry run cancelled for this year

    Ferry service between Vancouver Island and Anacortes, Wash. will not be happening this summer. Washington State Ferries has extended its suspension of sailings on its Sidney-Friday Harbor-Anacortes route for the summer and likely the year due to COVID-19.

  • Waiting for vaccinations to be 'culturally safe'

    Health officials want all the pieces in place before announcing the locations for 172 vaccination clinics, and that it will include a “culturally safe experience” for Indigenous Peoples. Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told the annual meeting of Metis Nation British Columbia Saturday that “There will be some chaos at the beginning, I know that. So, please be patient.”

  • Road construction set some city streets

    If you see road construction crews in the city in the next little while. Public Works Director Bill Sims found a package deal that came under budget for a number of locations. The Victoria Road-Esplanade intersection is getting curb extensions and crosswalks with flashing beacons. Pedestrian upgrades are also in the works at the Waddington Road-St. George Cres and the Haliburton multi-use trail.

  • Blue Monday today for Girl Guides

    Your eyes are not deceiving you if you see blue on Monday. Landmarks accross B.C. will be lit up in blue this week to celebrate Girl Guides and girl empowerment. In Nanaimo the Bastion will be lit with blue lights as part of the Guiding Lights Across B.C. campaign.

  • Canada-U.S. border shutdown extended

    The border between Canada and the United States will stay closed to non-essential travel for at least another month. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair announced the closure has been extended to March 21, one year after the world’s longest undefended border was first shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19. Blair tweeted the government will continue to base its decisions on the border on the best public health advice to keep Canadians safe.

  • Cam Wipper's world lives in outer space

    Cam Wipper, a former Vancouver Island University student, who grew up in Nanaimo, has one of the greatest adventure jobs in the world. Cam has a key position at the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope in Maunakea, Hawaii and will talk about his journey at the Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s next meeting.

  • National Sports stores being shut down in Ont.

    Canadian Tire Corp. is closing all 18 of its National Sports stores across southern Ontario. The company operates multiple brands across Canada, including Canadian Tire, Mark’s, SportChek, Atmosphere, Sports Experts and Pro Hockey Life. None of those outlets are affected.

Feb. 21, 2021

News Bulletin delivers for charity causes

The News Bulletin has been at the forefront in supporting charitable causes in Nanaimo. The staff at the newspaper recently handed out cheques to two community causes. Coins for Kids has been around for ages, a year-round charity that accelerates its efforts every December. The Bulletin presented the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive and the Boys and Girls Club with cheques for $1,800 each.

  • New hope for Vancouver Island bus routes

    Tofino Bus and the Vancouver Island Connector may get a lifeline from the province after the pandemic forced the cancellation of their routes. John Wilson, President and CEO of The Wilson’s Group of Companies, which operates the routes, said he had a good conversation with the lower Island MLAs including Tansportation Minister Rob Fleming

  • Herring catch quotas remain the same

    Herring catch quotas in the Strait of Georgia will remain at last year’s levels of about 20 per cent of the estimated fish stock. Fisheries and Oceans Canada says the commercial allocation of 16,330 tonnes ensures the continued health of the stocks, which are an important food source for the marine ecosystem.

  • Pickup truck stolen with young boy inside

    It was a terrifying few moments after Aaron Johnson's pickup was stolen at a gas station in Qualicum Beach. In that short time, a woman jumped in the truck and drove away with 8-year-old son Wyatt inside. After Johnson called the police, the woman’s mother came and explained her daughter’s struggles with drug addiction.

  • Breath testing studied for Covid identification

    02/19 – B.C. researchers are working on a fast and non-invasive Covid test that would involve a breath sample. Interventional respirologist Dr. Renelle Myers told CTV News Vancouver her team knew the potential of breath to diagnose COVID-19 through breath analysis,and it would provide a very rapid, non-invasive way to do it," she said.

  • Over-80 vaccinations on hold for more supply

    02/19 – The B.C. government was planning to unveil a COVID-19 immunization distribution plan for those 80 years of age and older but now has to wait for more vaccines from the federal government. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry had expected to unveil the details this week but it has now been pushed to next week.

  • Police arrest man wanted on a warrant

    02/19 - Saanich police have arrested 30-year-old Jesse Goodale, originally from Nanaimo, who was the subject of a Canada-wide warrant. Police say he was taken into custody without incident.

  • UPDATE - Missing man has been found safe

    RCMP need public assistance in locating 23-year-old Axel Lambert left his family home Tuesday and has not been seen or heard from since. He does not drive, he left his bicycle at home and Lambert has a very limited social circle.

  • Never throw out your bread tags

    Keep bread tags out of the landfill. Check these tips and tricks of what you can do with these colourful little tags that pile up whenever you buy bread

  • 22 more coronavirus cases in Island Health

    Island Health region had 22 new positive coronavirus tests over the previous 24 hours as the province reported 508 new cases. The province administered more than 12,000 doses of vaccine, a one-day record. B.C. has 4,486 active cases, while 7,699 residents remain under active monitoring.

  • Sandcastle competition cancelled for this year

    02/19 - The Parksville Beach Festival has been shelved for the second year in a row due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It was scheduled to take place mid-July to mid-August, featuring international artists creating sand sculptures alongside Parksville’s beach in the community park.

  • Skeena MLA Ellis Ross seeks Liberal leadership

    02/19 Skeena MLA Ellis Ross is the first to enter the party's leadership race. Ross is a former chief councillor of the Haisla Nation, and became the first Liberal to win the Skeena riding in 16 years when he was elected to the Legislature in 2017.

  • Mass vaccination plan for Parksville residents

    02/19 - Parksville will be the site of a mass COVID-19 immunization clinic next month, Mayor Ed Mayne said Thursday. The Parksville Community Centre is the likely location for vaccinations in mid-March.

Feb. 18, 2021

  • Jeet Manhas appointed to Port Authority board

    02/18 – Jeet Manhas has been appointed as the Federal representative. Shiva Dean has been appointed as the Federal representative for the International Trade Group of Users, each for a three year term.

  • Island Health reports 16 new coronavirus cases

    02/18 - The Island Health region reported 19 new positive tests for coronavirus on Thursday, while the province had 617 new cases with four additional deaths in that span. There are 4,348 active cases in British Columbia, with 7,440 under active public health monitoring.

  • UPDATE – Youth missing for second time found again

    02/18 – The Nanaimo RCMP seek help in locating 15-year-old Brandon Sheldon, who is missing for the second time in a week. He left his north Nanaimo home in the evening Tuesday and has not returned.

  • Daycare victimized for the fourth time

    02/18 -A non-profit daycare has been hit by thieves for the fourth time in four months. The catalytic converter from the Nanaimo Innovation Academy bus was stolen, forcing them to alter plans for kids.

  • NDSS at top of schools upgrade priority list

    02/18 - Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ long-range facilities plan has the 69-year-old Nanaimo District Secondary School at the top of the list for upgrades.

  • Prize chickens killed by neighbour's dog

    02/18 - More than two dozen chickens have been killed by a neighbour’s dog. The woman who breeds and raises chickens and dogs in Nanaimo found more than two dozen of her birds had been attacked and killed.

  • RCMP quickly arrest armed shoplifter

    02/18 – RCMP were in the right spot at the right time when they arrested a 36-year-old shoplifter who minutes before had threatened to stab store employees with a knife. The incident occurred at 3 pm on Saturday at Canadian Tire on Uplands Drive.

  • Horgan looks at buying vaccines directly

    02/18 - Premier John Horgan wants to buy vaccines directly from private Canadian companies to make up for a shortfall from the federal government. Horgan said Thursday that Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has taken the first step in cutting deals with private companies to bolster the provincial supply of vaccines.

  • Police seek driver of stolen car who fled

    02/18 – RCMP are trying to locate a driver suspected of stealing a car before rolling it off the Old Island Highway, near Dorman Road, Wednesday afternoon and running away. The car was travelling north when it rolled off the road and into a grassy median.

  • Snuneymuxw getting second Covid shots

    02/18 – Snuneymuxw First Nation members are getting their second dose of the Moderna vaccine. About 300 members got their second dose yesterday. The clinic continues today. Members got 470 initial doses in January.

  • Langford arena to host mass vaccinations

    02/18 –We may be getting a clue as to how the government is going to administer coronavirus vaccines when they become available to the general public. The Eagle Ridge Community Centre in Langford is preparing to serve as a mass vaccination site, which will operate until the end of August.

  • Woodgrove Chrysler under new ownership

    02/18 –Woodgrove Chrysler has been sold. The dealership was started by Gordon Heys and has remained in the family with his two sons Andrew and Michael operating it. Gordon will retain the property and rent it to the new dealer principle. Word is that all the staff will be retained. Welcome to Nanaimo, Brendan Mueller.

Feb 17, 2021

  • Tim Doyle named fire chief for Nanaimo

    02/17 - Deputy Chief Tim Doyle has been named Chief of Nanaimo Fire Rescue. He was selected after a search that drew dozens of applications from across the country. Doyle has been with department for the last 20 years, serving as Assistant Chief (2014-2017) until his appointment to Deputy Chief in 2017. His expertise in public safety will be invaluable as he leads Nanaimo Fire Rescue.

  • Neighbourhood crime audit set for Nanaimo

    02/17 - The RCMP, the City and fourth-year criminology students will conduct safety audits in selected neighbourhoods throughout Nanaimo. For some residents there is an increased feeling of fear that comes with increased crime activity. The goal of the Safety Audits project is to work in partnership with neighbourhoods to find ways to reduce opportunities for crime and incorporate relevant crime prevention programming.

  • Island has 18 more cases of Coronavirus

    02/17 -Island Health registered 18 positive COVID-19 tests in the previous 24 hours. The central Island area continues to lead the health authority in cases, with 98 out of 148 active cases. One patient died within Island Health, where 23 people have lost their lives to the virus. The number of in intensive care in B.C. hospitals has decreased dramatically. Across B.C., 427 new cases were reported. The total in B.C. is 74,710 while the death toll climbed to 1,317.

  • Province extends state of emergency

    02/17 - B.C. remains in a state of emergency. The government extended the provincial state of emergency until March 2. By extending it, health and other officials are able to continue using extraordinary power. Premier John Horgan said we need to keep following public health orders, knowing they will keep us safe.

  • Krog right on target on gun control issue

    02/17 – When our Mayor Leonard Krog was asked about the latest federal gun control bill had the best answer I’ve seen anywhere. “Frankly in the city right now, our issue isn’t handguns, our issue is the 600 homeless people. If the federal government wants to extend a hand to municipal government in this country, let them step up to the plate and provide housing.”

  • Police looking for woman on multiple charges

    02/17 – Police are looking for Stevie Daniele Pirart on more than a dozen charges under the Criminal Code offences, including possessing stolen property and fraudulent activity. She’s charged with seven counts of possession of stolen property over $5,000, and a range of fraud and related charges and breaching conditions for offences in 2019.

  • 1,553 new virus cases over long weekend

    02/16 – British Columbia health officials reported 1,533 new cases and 26 deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday. There are 4,189 active cases in the province, 231 people in hospital, 74 of whom are in intensive care — and 7,136 people under active public health monitoring due to possible exposure to an identified case.More than 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C.

  • Telus apartment project wins design clearance

    02/16 The city’s design advisory panel has issued its support for a proposed 197-apartment project in the Old City Quarter. The applicant Omicron wants to build six- and seven-storey apartment buildings on the land owned by Telus at Wallace, Wentworth and Richards streets. The plan is for one 146-unit building and one 51-unit building, with both consisting of a range of studio apartments and one-, two- and three-bedroom suites.

  • NDSS reports one more coronavirus infection

    0216 - NDSS has reported another virus case at Nanaimo Senior Secondary school on Feb. 8. The Island region on Tuesday confirmed 58 more cases of COVID-19 and two deaths related to the virus. The update was over a four-day period, from Saturday to Tuesday. Island Health has now seen 2,009 positive test cases since the pandemic began, while the death toll is 22. There are 180 active cases in the Vancouver Island region.

  • New land border rules in effect today

    02/16 – If you are coming to Canada from the U.S. by land, new rules are in effect as of this morning. People driving into the country must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken in the U.S. within 72 hours. Alternately, they must offer proof of a positive test result between 14 and 90 days before arrival. As of Feb. 22, they will also be required to take COVID-19 tests upon arrival and a mandatory three-day hotel quarantine at their own expense with multiple COVID-19 tests.

  • Police seek witness to assault and robbery

    02/16 - Police seek public assistance after a man was assaulted and robbed in downtown Nanaimo at approximately 5 a.m. on Monday, near Front and Bastion streets. The victim said he was walking to photograph and video some of the downtown core. He was met by two men and a woman. The woman saw that the victim had his cell phone out and began yelling at him and accusing him of recording her.

  • Home delivery for some getting virus vaccine

    02/16 - Some British Columbians 80 years of age and older may get their coronavirus vaccinations at home. Health Minister Adrian Dix says there are some people living at home who will not be able to get to an immunization clinic and the vaccine will be delivered to them. The province will start contacting people in the 80-plus demographic to book immunization appointments. The shots are scheduled to start the first week of March and everyone who is eligible will be contacted.

  • One more positive virus test at Eden Gardens

    02/15 – Island Health’s outbreak response has identified one additional case of COVID-19 related to the outbreak which was declared at Eden Gardens long-term care home in Nanaimo. One elder has tested positive. The new case was detected through testing performed yesterday. The new elder case is in an individual who was identified as a contact to the original positive staff case and is now isolating. Communication with residents, families and staff is ongoing.

  • Covid exposure warning on flight two weeks ago

    02/15 – Passengers have been notified two weeks after a Covid 19 exposure on a West Jet flight from Calgary to Comox on Jan. 31. The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control added West Jet flight 3315 to its exposure list on Sunday afternoon. Passengers should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days and those who were sitting in rows identified are considered to be at a higher risk of exposure. Hmm, two weeks after the fact?

  • Mail delivery disrupted for Island communities

    02/15 – Some mail deliveries may be disrupted in Nanaimo as Canada Post suspends some deliveries today. Red and yellow delivery service alerts have been issued for several major island communities. Canada Post will not deliver during a red service alert due to safety concerns. A yellow alert means that drivers will attempt to make deliveries, though there may be delays. Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Parksville are under yellow alert.

  • Officer seriously injured after cruiser flips over

    02/15 – A Nanaimo Mountie was admitted to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries after his police vehicle hit a patch of ice, went off the road way then flipped several times at about 9 am today, on Highway 19A, near the Oliver Road and Highway 19A intersection. When his vehicle came to a rest upside down, he managed to crawl out of the vehicle and request emergency assistance.

  • Missing Nanimo youth has been located

    02/15 – UPDATE – RCMP report that he has been found. The Nanaimo RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in locating 15-year-old Brandon Sheldon who has not been seen since Thursday February 11, 2021. Given his age and the lack of information on his whereabouts, his caregivers are extremely worried for his safety and well-being. Sheldon is 5 ft. 11, 150 pounds. He wears braces.

  • Vaccine deliveries will get a boost this week

    02/15 – Canada’s Coronavirus vaccination drive will get a shot in the arm this week. The federal government is gearing up for delivery of vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech following a month-long lull.
    The Public Health Agency of Canada expects nearly 450,000 doses per week until the beginning of April, when Pfizer and BioNTech will have delivered four 4 million shots.

Monday, Feb 14, 2021

  • RCMP seek public help finding missing man

    02/15 – RCMP seek public assistanceto fin 23-year-old Nathaniel Biernacyzk who has not been seen since Saturday. Family members are extremely concerned for Biernacyzk’s well-being.
    Biernacyzk is 5 ft. 8, 170 pounds, with short blonde hair and blue eyes. He is believed to be wearing a black jacket, camouflage patterned pants, and a grey toque.

  • Covid cases at two Nanaimo care homes

    02/14 – Island Health has declared two separate COVID-19 cases at Wexford Creek and Eden Gardens long-term care homes in Nanaimo. One staff person has tested positive for COVID-19 at each site. At this time, no residents are experiencing symptoms. Communication with residents and families is under way. The affected staff members from both facilities are isolating at home.

  • Snow and rain to fall here over night

    02/14 – Environment Canada issued another snowfall warning on Sunday afternoon, advising that 10-20 centimetres of snow is expected in the central Island region. Duncan to Campbell River are expected to see snow mixed with rain until Monday morning. Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate.

  • City crews working 24/7 clearing snow off streets

    02/14 – Don’t panic if you haven’t seen a plow down your street, it could take up to 96 hours or more to start clearing some residential areas. The city’s snow clearing fleet is out in force 24 hours a day keeping city streets clean. The city has about a dozen units out as well some some contract trucks and backhoes. That includes plows on big trucks, pickups and some backhoes. Crew are tackling major accumulations and then may go back in some areas for a second time.

  • Major roads top priority for city snow clearing

    02/14 – The city’s fleet of snow clearing equipment is out in force with more than 1,500 km of city streets to clean. The public works department has a three-tier strategy:
    1. emergency routes and all major roads.
    2. Secondary roads are next
    3. residential culs-de-sac and dead ends.
    The city was proactive spraying brine on some streets before the snowfall.

  • You are responsible for clearing your sidewalks

    02/14 – Sidewalk clearing is not just a suggestion – it's a bylaw. Residents, occupants, tenants and businesses are required to clear snow and ice in front of their property within 24 hours of a snow event as per Bylaw 5000, Section 22 (1). Not everyone can physically clear the snow in front of their own residence, but that doesn't change the importance of clearing it. Please also consider some people may have difficulty clearing snow and ice and could use a helping hand.

  • Nanaimo man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

    02/13 – A man wanted on a Canada-wide warrant may be in the Mid-Island area. Comox Valley RCMP say Peter Ludvigson may be living in, or frequently visiting the Comox Valley. The 45-year-old, originally from Nanaimo, is wanted for failing to comply with his release conditions. Ludvigson was released in Nanaimo in December. He was ordered to live with a family member in Nanaimo. However, Nanaimo RCMP said he was no longer living at the residence.

  • More snow forecast overnight Saturday

    02/13 – It’s not over yet, expect more snow Saturday overnight into Sunday. Environment Canada forecasts snowfall to end near noon Saturday, but the sky will remain cloudy and there is a likelihood of more snow, as much as 10 centimetres, through the day. There is less chance of snow in the evening, with no significant accumulation expected. Temperatures will stay steady at about 0 C throughout the day and night.

  • Malahat conditions still treacherous

    02/13 – Snow is forecast to continue over the Malahat into Monday, with 15 to 20 cm is projected over the five-kilometre stretch of Highway 1. Adjust your driving with changing road conditions. Surfaces on highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate.

  • Transit routes affected by overnight snowfall

    02/13 – As the snow continues to blanket the Southern tip of Vancouver Island, many major bus routes have been cancelled. Check HERE for all the Nanaimo routes and how they might afffect you. Check for all the routes and how they might afffect you.

  • Island Health reports 15 more virus cases Friday

    02/13 – The Island Health reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, part of the 445 new cases for the entire province. Ten more deaths were linked to the virus. British Columbia has 4,347 active cases with 7,035 under active public health monitoring. There are 226 in hospital, with 61 in critical care, said Dr. Bonnie Henry. Health officials also said 162,982 people have been vaccinated of which 17,562 are second doses.

  • Jobs Minister Kahlon fireside chat Wednesday

    02/13 – Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, will join a fireside chat with Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce members on Wednesday, Feb. 17 from 10:30 am - 11 am. You need to register in advance, the deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 16at 12 pm.

Friday, Feb. 12

  • Sick people not staying home are a problem

    The worrisome spread of Coronavirus in the Nanaimo region is largely due to sick people going about their normal daily activities. Medical Health Officer Dr. Sandra Allison said people are going to work when they just have mild symptoms and that leads to being identified as contacts in work places.

  • NDSS fire drill did not spread coronavirus

    A fire drill at Nanaimo District Secondary School last week did not spread Coronavirus, says Dale Burgos of the school district. Virus clusters were reported at three schools, but NDSS isn’t one of them. Last week’s drill at NDSS was the fourth of 2020-21.

  • Snow and wind forecast for Island tonight

    A storm off the Pacific coast will make landfall over southern Vancouver Island tonight with strong winds and a dump of snow. Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan said southeast winds will gust up to 50 km/h. When the moisture meets the cold and that’s when things get messy.

  • Nanaimo's single-use bag ban starts July 1

    Nanaimo’s single-use bag-ban bylaw has the green light from the Environment Ministry. By July 1 even compostable and biodegradable bags are banned. Coun. Ben Geselbracht says it’s more than just banning single-use plastics, it’s regulating anything that’s not necessary. Who decides that? There will be exemptions, plastic bags for bulk foods and produce will be allowed.

  • Preliminary hearing set for Steven Bacon

    A preliminary hearing date of Nov. 1-5 has been set for Steven Michael Bacon, the man charged with first-degree murder in the death of Makayla Chang. Bacon, 61, is in jail at a maximum-security prison in North Bay, Ont. since he was arrested in 2019 on unrelated charges. The preliminary hearing will be the first time Kerry Chang, Makayla’s father, will see his daughter’s accused murderer since Bacon left Nanaimo.

  • Arrest warrant issued for fraud at Cabelas

    A warrant of arrest has been issued for 43-year-old Shaun Wiebe of Nanaimo for Fraud under $5,000. Wiebe is accused of taking a Yeti bag off a display rack, then fraudulently returning it for cash value at Cabelas in North Nanaimo on Feb. 7. Attempts to locate him have proven negative and it is believed that he is actively avoiding attempts by police to locate him.

Thursday, Feb. 11

  • More snow on the way for Vancouver Island

    Yesterday’s dusting of snow was just the beginning, forecasts Environment Canada. A winter storm watch is in effect for much of Vancouver Island. Between 15 to 25 centimetres of snow could fall Friday evening through Saturday morning. The area covered by the storm watch includes southern, western, inland and eastern Vancouver Island. The end is in sight with temperatures returning to normal next week.

  • Rent bank opens for Nanaimo and RDN

    Nanaimo's now has a rent bank which was launched late in January. A rent bank is a short-term or temporary homelessness prevention tool that helps to provide housing stability for low- to moderate-income renters who are unable to pay rent or utilities due to episodes or emergencies that compromise their ability to pay. The rent is supported by the City and BC Rent Bank and operated by the Nanaimo John Howard Society.

  • Canada-wide warrant for former Nanaimo man

    A Canada-wide warrant has been issued for Jesse Goodale, 30, formerly of Nanaimo, for breach of his Statutory release. He was released from a federal penitentiary in January after serving the majority of his sentence for aggravated assault. He was court ordered to live at the Salvation Army in Victoria. He did not return on Wednesday night and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

  • Manitoba bypasses feds for Canadian vaccine

    Manitoba Brian Pallister announced the province has made its own deal to buy two million doses of a Canadian-made COVID-19 vaccine if it gets approved for use in Canada and is delivered by the end of the year. The province has made the deal for a vaccine under development by Calgary-based Providence Therapeutics, which has just started to put its product through human clinical trials.

  • Drug deaths outnumber coronavirus deaths

    The death toll from illicit drug overdoses is considerably higher than the Covid-19 death toll. Last year was British Columbia's deadliest on record for drug deaths. The province's chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said 1,716 people died in 2020 due to toxic illicit drugs. In the last 12 months, there have been1,278 Coronavirus related deaths. Drug deaths were up 74 per cent from 2019 at of 984, two deaths a day higher than in the previous year.

  • Nanaimo is Covid-19 hotspot on Island

    Greater Nanaimo is the latest hotspot for Coronavirus in the Island Health region with the total number of new cases increasing for four consecutive weeks. January 31 to February 6, the 93 new cases in Greater Nanaimo were nearly double the number from the previous week. The risk is present in every community on Vancouver Island, but the Central Island region continues to see the highest number of active cases.

  • 25 more virus cases in Island Health region

    The Island Health region reported 25 more cases of COVID-19 Wednesday. That brings the total confirmed positive tests to 1,917 since the pandemic began. Active cases now stand at 269. Island Health has released the approximate locations of 230 of those cases. Sixty-two are in the South Island, 157 in the Central Island, and 11 in the North Island. Across the province, 469 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed over the past 24 hours.

  • No plans to change dates for spring break

    Spring break is not changing, it will still be March 13-28. Premier John Horgan said Wednesday that there are no plans to amend the scheduled spring break. Ontario is deliberating whether to cancel the break in March. “When it comes to school-aged children, we’re trying to keep a sense of normalcy when it comes to our K-12 system,” Horgan said. “When spring break arrives, our advice will be, as it has been for months and months, stay close to home”.

  • Smoked salmon recall issued by food agency

    The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a recall, of a smoked salmon product sold in British Columbia due to risk of bacterium listeria monocytogenes. The recall was triggered in late January, following an inspection and was expanded Wednesday. One Ocean brand Sliced Smoked Wild Sockeye Salmon is being recalled. It is made by Orca Specialty Foods and has the UPC 6 25984 000053, and the code 11253. It should not be eaten.

We welcome reader comments –


  • Island schools partner on tourism promotion

    Vancouver Island University and North Island College are partnering with Tourism Vancouver Island for an interactive virtual networking event March 3. The goal is to build connections between employers, industry professionals, students and faculty, while bringing together key stakeholders in the industry to share up-to-date information.

  • RCMP seek identity of couple on surveillance

    Nanaimo RCMP seek assistance to identify the man and woman suspected of stealing a set of walkie-talkies and headset from Cabelas. Total value of the items is $140. The incident occurred shortly after 5 p.m. on Feb. 4.
    Police were called by a Loss Prevention Officer at Cabelas who witnessed the couple as they selected the items then placed them in the woman’s purse. They then walked out of the store.

  • Severe weather warning issued for Nanaimo area

    An Arctic airmass over BC will continue to give very cold conditions to the province. Temperatures over southern BC will continue to drop with the coldest days expected to be today and Thursday. Temperatures in coastal areas will be 5 to 10 degrees below seasonal, making for the coldest conditions seen this season. The frigid conditions will persist for the remainder of the week.

  • VIU baking program rises to the next level

    Students who love baking and are ready to take the next step toward becoming a professional baker or even selling their own delicious creations can take a new diploma program starting in August 2021 at Vancouver Island University.
    “Many of our graduates from the baking certificate program go on to start their own businesses,” says Rita Gower, Chair, Professional Baking and Pastry Arts.

  • Alumnus starts VIU award for single mothers

    There were many times when Kyla Hanington was close to giving up on her university education. Every time, the single mother of two got a timely scholarship, bursary or award that served as encouragement, as “a promise that it was okay to keep going, that I was doing the right thing.” These “gifts of hope” encouraged her to start her own award for single mothers.

  • We're a big city now, 100,000 population

    Nanaimo has passed a major milestone, reaching 100,000 population. And we’re not done growing, says Mayor Leonard Krog. “I know that for some it is a difficult adjustment from the small town they may have grown up in or their grandparents knew, but there is much to be positive about in this city’s future.”

  • Hammond Bay Elementary expands

    Hammond Bay Elementary school is growing with a 12-classroom expansion project which is under way. It will increase the school’s capacity by 295 students and is expected to be completed in February 2022. It will cost slightly more than $15 million

  • Police believe home invasion was targetted

    Police believe a violent home invasion Monday evening was a targeted incident. Police responded to a condominium in the 700 block of Poplar Street. Two masked men, one armed with a machete, broke into an apartment building, assaulted a resident and stole a back pack.

  • Reimagine Nanaimo reaches milestone

    The first phase of REIMAGINE NANAIMO is complete and preparations are under way for the second phase of this update of the City's key planning documents. The process involved everything from pop-up information booths in parks and shopping centres to more than a hundred meetings/workshops.

We welcome reader comments –

  • Nanaimo getting more drug treatment beds

    Nanaimo will get 20 more treatment beds as part of provincial investment of $13 million for treatment and recovery facilities across British Columbia. Mental Health and Addications Minister Sheila Malcolmson said: “There’s more to do, but we are working hard to build up a strong system of addictions and mental health care.”

  • Coronavirus cases reported in retail operations

    Covid cases have been reported at Nanaimo retail businesses. Loblaws reported today that an employee at the Real Canadian Superstore, who last worked Feb. 6, tested positive for the virus. That comes after two employees at Thrifty Foods at Longwood Station tested positive. Lowe’s in North Town Centre reported an employee testing positive, having last worked Jan. 27.

  • Nanaimo woman falls for online scammers

    A Nanaimo woman responded to a link about a cash prize of $150,000 from Publisher’s Clearing House. She was told that in order to claim the prize, she needed to send the unknown person $1,700 which she did. That was the last she saw of her money, and no prize. See more.

  • Big day for local player with his NHL debut

    Dylan Coghlan of Nanaimo lived every young Canadian’s dream on the weekend, but he was not able to share it in person with his family. Coghlan made his National Hockey League debut with the Vegas Golden Knights. He talked to NanaimoNewsNOW after the experience.

  • Drugs found after two flee rollover acccident

    RCMP found a significant amount of drugs after a car rolled over on the Parkway on Saturday. There were multiple witnesses, including an off-duty RCMP officer when a sports utility struck a concrete curb and rolled several times on the Parkway. Two occupants fled the scene.

  • We're in for some bone chilling weather

    The weatherman has some chilling news for Vancouver Island – records may be broken this week as a polar vortex continues to move across North America. Be prepared for freezing weather all week, accompanied by winds which will make it feel even colder. It’s the same chill that hit the Prairies with temperatures close to -50 Celsius over the weekend.

  • RNs to begin prescribing addiction medications

    Registered nurses in B.C. are on track to begin prescribing addiction treatment medications as part of the province’s overdose response plan, 30 RNs and registered psychiatric nurses are completing their training this month in a phased approach to expand RNs' and RPNs’ scope of practice to include prescribing addiction treatment medications.

  • Seven displaced by fire in northend duplex

    Seven people were displaced after a residential fire on Portsmouth Road on Monday. Fire crews from four stations responded to the fire in a duplex over the noon hour. The fire was quickly knocked down after significant damage to the building.

  • 86 more virus cases on Vancouver Island

    Island Health reported 86 new positive tests for Covid-19 over the three-day weekend. Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said officials remain concerned about variants as they reported 1,236 new cases and 13 deaths from the virus on Monday.

  • Lunar New Years will be different this year

    The year of the ox which arrives Friday, it will look completely different this year. In Vancouver, the 3,000-strong Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival Parade will be absent, thanks to the Coronavirus ban on events and social gatherings.

  • Island Trust seeking large tax increase

    Residents who live within the the Islands Trust can expect a considerable tax bite this year, in part due to the pandemic. Gabriolans will see a 3.3-per cent increase, with some of that going to new measures to protect island ecosystems.

  • Vaccine now available at Walmart in the U.S.

    Federal officials continue to assure us that Ottawa plans to distribute more than 70,000 Pfizer-BiotNTech vaccine doses this week, but no Moderna doses are on the schedule. Weekly projections on distribution are fluid but in the U.S. vaccines are now available to the public at Walmart, Walgreen and other pharmacies.

  • Keeping a watchful eye on Super Bowl parties

    WorkSafeBC and environmental health inspectors will keep and eye on Super Bowl celebrations this afternoon at bars and restaurants. Provincial Health Office Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province was stepping up enforcement, but also called on the public to respect the spirit of the rules.

  • Push to make Canada Jay our offical bird

    Birdwatchers in Victoria have begun a campaign to lift the status of the Canada Jay to the status of the beaver and the maple leaf. Team Canada Jay wants the federal government to ratify its request to make the Canada Jay the official bird of Canada.

  • Cell phone campaign for mental health

    The United Way and Bell Canada will distribute 10,000 cellphones to people across the country with mental health challenges. The Victoria United Way is working with 40 partner agencies to distribute 850 phones to those in need locally.

Rex Murphy: This is the worst Canadian government ever

Rex Murphy

It's a mess. It's a shambles. It's an embarrassment. It is the worst ever by any reasonable measurement. Look around you. Canada is in the biggest, most persistent and threatening crisis since — well since ever. The long-term care homes are under a blizzard of mortality. There is heartbreak in every small business in the country.

The worry and anxiety level of most everyday citizens — especially those not shielded by uninterrupted cheques from provincial and federal governments, and those not serving as a member of a legislature — is at an all-time high. Read Rex's column in the National Post

Feb 6

  • Morden Mine tipple is back to old glory

    The Morden Mine headframe and tipple is back to the way it once was. The structure in South Wellington, built in 1912, has been restored to replace sections of concrete that had been crumbling away, in danger of collapsing.

  • Naval base outbreak won't affect exercise

    A COVID-19 outbreak at Esquimalt naval shipyard is not expected to delay or otherwise affect a a joint training exercise with the U.S. Participants in that exercise have been quarantining for two weeks in preparation for their departure Monday.

  • Colder weather forecast to hit Nanaimo tonight

    We’re in for a cold stretch over the next few days. Environment Canada warns that areas of B.C. including Nanaimo, will begin to change from the mild temperatures seen in the area to much colder conditions. Cold arctic air is expected to cover much of the province by Monday.

  • Coronavirus numbers are trending downward

    The coronavirus curve is sloping downwards, according to the latest epidemiology modelling. The overall cases are descending, but going up on the Island. Every other health authority’s latest numbers have trended downwards from November, except Island Health, but still remain relatively low, averaging 27 new cases per day in the last two weeks.

  • Social gathering ban extended two weeks

    British Columbia’s ban on social gatherings and events, has been extended until further notice. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the move this morning, asking residents to continue staying apart for the time being.

  • Family Day activities from Parks and Rec

    The Nanaimo Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture has planned Family Day activities to keep Nanaimo families busy during the upcoming long weekend. Supported by the Province of British Columbia, the free family-friendly events will take place over the Family Day holiday weekend. CLICK HEADING

  • Cruiseships grounded for one more year

    Transport Canada has extended the national ban on cruise ships for an additional year until February 28, 2022. The ban means cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people will be prohibited from operating in Canadian waters. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority said cruises represent more than 70 per cent of its annual revenue, which it estimates more than $12.5 million in 2020.

  • Building Resilience returns for next sessions

    The Building Resilience to Thrive Program is back with third and fourth workshop cohorts teaching businesses critical leadership and resiliency skills. This program has been valued at $700, however, the cost to participate is only $35 for Chamber members and $70 for non-members. Right now, new and renewing Chamber members will be reimbursed for registration.

  • Excessive speed leads to impaired charge

    A Nanaimo RCMP officer conducting speed enforcement along Highway 19A got quite the shock when his police Laser unit registered the speed of an approaching vehicle at 137 kph, while driving in a posted 70 kph zone. The incident took place at approximately 9 pm on Tuesday February 2, 2021 on Highway 19A near the Nanaimo Golf Course at Dorman Road.

  • Teachers want more mask protection

    The province expanded mask rules for students yesterday, but Nanaimo-Ladysmith teachers’ union is not satisfied. Masks are now mandatory in indoor areas for middle school and secondary students, but they will be exempt when they are at their seat, if a barrier is in place and while drinking or eating. Elementary school students are still not required to wear masks.

  • COVID reported at five Nanaimo schools

    There are more coronavirus exposures at five Nanaimo schools. New cases were confirmed at Bayview, Brechin and Rock City elementary schools, along with NDSS and the Learning Alternatives program at John Barsby secondary. Exposure events range from Jan. 26 through Feb. 2. The cases are on top of existing ones announced by the school district over the last four nights with exposure events also in late January and early February.

  • Unemployment rises for second month in a row

    Unemployment climbed for the second month in a row as the province managed its second wave of COVID-19. Statistics Canada's monthly labour force survey reported B.C.'s unemployment rate at eight per cent in January – up from 7.2 per cent the month before. Nationwide, the unemployment rate rose to 9.4 per cent, the highest rate since August. B.C. enjoyed steady improvement last year, after unemployment reached a high of 13.4 per cent in May

  • Bait lures bike thieves in a hurry

    Bicycle thieves are not catching on. Two bait bikes were stolen within an hour of being placed on Thursday in downtown Nanaimo. Both were stolen by individuals well known to Nanaimo cops. Cops were monitoring the first bait bike when a man rode off with it. Within nine minutes, the 37-year-old was arrested taken to the slammer.

  • Indigenous not getting fair share

    An updated report into anti-Indigenous racism in British Columbia’s health-care system finds that Indigenous people have less access to primary care doctors than non-Indigenous British Columbians. The report by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is part of a broader investigation into anti-Indigenous racism in the health-care system.

  • Men's Centre need for services still rising

    The Men's Centre in Nanaimo has seen an estimated 25-30-per cent increase in service provision since fall. Mark Busby began at the Fitzwilliam Street centre, at the end of November, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Wood splitter stolen in Green Thumb break-in

    Green Thumb Nursery on Hammond Bay Road was broken into on Thursday morning. Security cameras were activated at 4:40 am as one of their service trucks was being driven out the front gate, along with a 20-ton wood splitter.

  • Masks manadatory for middle to high school

    Masks are now mandatory for students in middle school to Grade 12 and there will be stricter measures for high-intensity activities. Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside announced the new guidelines today.

  • RCMP cleared of using excessive force

    Nanaimo RCMP have been cleared of wrongdoing in an incident in which a woman in a mental health crisis suffered injuries to her face while being detained. The Independent Investigations Office of B.C.investigated following the incident May 26, 2020, when a woman suffered injuries to her nose and mouth.

  • Ocean Discovery Centre shelved

    The Nanaimo Deep Discovery Association is stepping back from the OceanEXP Centre for Ocean Exploration project. The project was envisioned as a world-class ocean discovery centre on Nanaimo's waterfront.

  • Chartwell Covid outbreak is over

    An outbreak at Chartwell is over. Social visits for residents resumed yesterday and the facility will resume new admissions and patient transfers while residents can dine together with appropriate safety protocols in place.

  • Clarification sought for seniors visitations

    Confusion and inconsistency is still a problem in visitation policies for seniors, says interim Liberal leaders Shirley Bond. She wrote to Health Minister Adrian Dix Thursday, calling for better family access to social visits for elderly people who have been locked down for a year.

Thursday, Feb. 4

  • Stolen truck ends up in Campbell River arrest

    A 22-year-old man was arrested in Campbell River Tuesday after a Fortis truck at work site in the the 600 block Brechin Road in Nanaimo. Fortis employees were working on a gas leak near Stewart Avenue and Brechin Road. An RCMP officer assisting with traffic control just before 1 p.m. saw a man running down the street yelling “he stole the truck; he stole the truck”.

  • Forestry skills program for Nanaimo

    Up to 24 British Columbians will get skills and training to prepare them for jobs in the forest industry on Vancouver Island. From timber cruising to wildlife management to forest operations, these advanced forestry skills will open doors to help British Columbians build the foundation for well-paying jobs, said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

  • Shoppers get a heads up on Coronavirus cases

    Grocery stores and pharmacies across B.C. are posting Coronavirus exposure notices in their stores warning customers that at least one employee recently tested positive for the disease. One happened in Nanaimo.

  • Corona test phones having problems

    If you need to call Island Health to book a COVID-19 test, your patience may be tested. The health authority says there are longer wait times or a dropped call when transferring to an agent.
    Island Health reported wait times of up to 50 minutes because of technical issues at the call centre yesterday and on Jan. 29.

  • Mini-solution sought for housing the homeless

    City council is looking into the idea of mini-housing to solve our homeless problem. Council has ordered a staff staff report on the possibility of setting up two or three pilot locations.

  • Grants to boost small B.C. businesses

    Small business owners looking to the internet for sales during the pandemic have a new way to get involved – a new $7,500 grant. Economic Recovery Minister Ravi Kahlon said it will allow businesses to develop websites, create e-commerce capabilities, train staff and fund online advertising.

  • Coronavirus curve lessens throughout B.C.

    The province confirmed 429 new Coronavirus cases across B.C., Tuesday, straightening the recent curve. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said it’s an encouraging trend. Island Health had 29 new cases and the number of active cases dropped by one to 239.

  • The Homer Award

    Real Man of Genius - We have a problem with Coronavirus vaccinations, there are none. Our PM finally gives his blessing by ordering millions of doses of made-in-Canada vaccine. But there's no vaccine, the factory won’t be complete construction until July. It needs tons of tax money to complete. The vaccine is in the testing stage and could be ready by late this year if all goes well. We might be cured before then.

  • Tofino bus may be permanently shut down

    The Tofino Bus, which was scheduled to resume service Feb. 12 has now be taken off the road, and may not reopen unless the company gets some financial help, says owner John Wilson.

  • Rebates in the works for ICBC customers

    John Horgan has more money for British Columbians – drivers will get a partial refund on their car insurance, with the rebates coming from money ICBC saved during the pandemic. The average rebate will come out $190 but could be as high as $400.

  • City council takes on role of herding felines

    Nanaimo City Council trod where no men/women have trodden before – herding cats. There was no hissing and scratching as council passed three readings to its controversial animal responsibility bylaw on Monday.

  • Work begins on new ICU at Nanaimo Hospital

    Work began this morning on multi-million dollar intensive care unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson said the community has been advocating for a new ICU for years, and she is glad the government is delivering the services the community needs.

February 3, 2021

  • ICBC Covid refund to be announced today

    B.C. drivers can expect the government to unveil a COVID-19 rebate for ICBC drivers on today at 12:30 p.m. British Columbia has been the only jurisdiction in the country where drivers did not get a COVID-19-related rebate. The government announce how much the rebate will be and when drivers should expect to get it.

  • More subsidies expected for electric vehicles

    The longer you wait the more the government entices you to go electric for your transportation needs. The latest is for businesses who may be eligible for thousands of dollars in rebates for switching their fleet vehicles. The new rebates and supports are now available for businesses and municipalities.

  • Chamber of Commerce building is sold

    The Nanaimo Chamber has accepted an offer to purchase 2133 Bowen Road, signalling next steps in the Chamber’s strategic growth plan,” says board chairman Shawna McPhillips. The Chamber acquired the property in 2003 and constructed the building mostly with donations and contributions from a broad cross-section of businesses in Nanaimo.

  • American carriers continue serving sunbelt

    Delta and American Airlines have no plans to stop offering service to sun destinations from Canada. Canadian airlines agreed to suspend flights to Mexico and the Caribbean until April 30. Canadians flying out of major cities will be able to fly, provided they are willing to stop over at another airport.

  • More than just housing sought for homeless

    Nanaimo Regional District board members want more than just housing to tackle the homelessness crisis. Mental Health and Addictions Minister Sheila Malcolmson will be asked for treatment levels beyond housing.

  • RCMP cleared of wrongdoing in arrrest

    Nanaimo RCMP have been cleared of wrongdoing when the Independent Investigations reported on a complaint. The investigation found that a woman injured while being jailed in Nanaimo didn’t suffer serious harm.

  • Missing man has been found safe

    Earlier story – Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance in locating 26-year-old Darian Newell who was reported missing by caregivers to the Nanaimo RCMP on January 29. Newell has significant medical issues and investigators and his caregivers are concerned for his safety and well-being.

  • 78 new Coronavirus cases over weekend

    There were 78 new cases for Coronavirus over the weekend as part of the 1,158 cases for the province. There were seven cases of the U.K. variant in British Columbia over the past 72 hours.Vaccine has been administered to 138,892 people have received one dose while 4,491 have received two doses.

  • Taxpayers on the hook for election expenses

    The provincial election last fall cost taxpayers more than $4 million in expenses to political parties. Normally, they show how much political parties raised and spent in their campaigns, but parties and candidates are now also eligible to claim up to 50 per cent of their expenses

  • Covid reported at two schools in Nanaimo

    The school board has reported COVID-19 exposure at two Nanaimo schools – at Bayview Elementary School on Jan. 27 and Jan. 29 and Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School Jan. 28. Families are advised

  • WorkSafeBC issues 1,500 safety orders

    WorkSafeBC has issued more than 1,500 orders after 21,813 COVID-related inspections related to Covid rules. The orders issued 470 in the service sector, 373 in construction and 325 in the trade sector which includes retail and wholesale operation and supermarkets.

  • CDC lists more flights with virus exposures

    The BC Centre for Disease Control has added seven more flights its list of COVID-19 exposures, warning travellers on those flights to monitor themselves for symptoms. Details came as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday that there are new measures to restrict non-essential international travel.

  • Westjet Nanaimo flight on virus exposure list

    A WestJet flight from Calgary to Nanaimo on Tuesday, Jan. 26 has been added to the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control COVID-19 exposure list.

  • Coldest Night goes ahead with a difference

    The Coronavirus pandemic disrupt the Coldest Night of the Year walkthis year. The walk will be virtual, says Elspeth Erickson, society resource development co-ordinator.

  • One taken to hospital after two cars crash

    Nanaimo RCMP are on the lookout for the driver involved in a two-car crash on Departure Bay Road Sunday night. A patrol spotted compact car speeding along Departure Bay Rd. around 10 p.m. The officer saw the accident involving what he believed to be the suspect vehicle.

  • Snuneymuxw help tangled in bureaucracy

    Snuneymuxw wants to support community members who have COVID-19 or who have been ordered to isolate, including members who live off-reserve. Due to confidentiality, Island Health won’t connect them to off-reserve members. So, if you need food supports during your isolation, reach out to the Health Team: Emmy Manson –; 778-971-0715 or Marina White –; 250-740-2336

  • Hudson's Bay lays off 600 workers in Canada

    Nearly half of the Hudson’s Bay Co. department stores are temporarily closed due to Coronavirus lockdowns. And now the company is permanently laying off 600 workers across Canada. That’s less than five per cent of the total workforce, said a spokesman for the iconic retailer.

  • Bars worried about rules for Super Bowl Sunday

    Super Bowl Sunday is a big deal for bars and restaurants, and they don’t want a repeat of what happened when liquor regulations were changed just before New Year’s Eve and they had to shut down at 8 p.m.

  • QF adding another store in Greater Victoria

    The future looks bright for Quality Foods after reporting double digit growth – and a new store is on the drawing board for Colwood. QF has 12 stores on Vancouver Island. President Noel Hayward says construction will start later this year, with completion in 2022. The good financial performance led the company to make temporary pandemic extra pay permanent for its 1.200 employees.

  • Thanks Nanaimo, from Alzheimer's Society

    At the end of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month 2021, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. thanks the people of Nanaimo for the role they play in helping to change the future for people living with dementia and their families across B.C.

  • Grad rates remain high despite virus disruption

    Nanaimo-Ladysmith district schools were shut down for three months due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but the graduation rate remained the same – 84 per cent of Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ resident students and 68 per cent of Indigenous students received high school diplomas last school year, compared to 83 per cent and 69 per cent respectively in 2018-19.