Saturday, March 13
FOR MASS VACCINATION - Mass immunizations for Coronavirus on a mass scale begins Monday when operations swing to Beban Park social centre and Cedar Community Hall. Before the move, vaccinations were done at the Nanaimo Public Health Unit
on Grant Avenue. Starting this coming week, British Columbians 85 and over and Indigenous elders 65 and over start getting their shots. Program co-ordinator for greater Nanaimo, Erin Kenning said with the Beban Park clinic already up and running, staff have
been working out the kinks to be prepared for a larger-scale immunization effort.
THE CLIPPERS ARE BACK ON ICE – Provincial health officials
have cleared the way for The BC Hockey League to return to the ice for a shortened season. The league’s teams will operate in a “pod” model where three to four teams will play each other in five host locations across the province. Port Alberni
will be the Island host city. Play will resume in the first week of April. The pod locations and schedule will be announced in the coming weeks. BCHL commissioner Chris Hebb said the process has always been about the players and giving them the best chance
to get back to playing games and showcasing their skills.
CITY GETS GRANT FOR ‘SITUATION TABLE’ -
The B.C. Public Safety Ministry has announced a $30,000 grant for a “situation table” program in Nanaimo. The program connects representatives from health, public safety and social service agencies to identify, for example, “vulnerable individuals
or families who have a significant probability of criminal offending or experiencing harm or victimization,” and co-operate to connect those individuals with services that may be helpful. MLA Sheila Malcolmson said connecting vulnerable people with the
services that can prevent crisis, crime and disorder, situation tables solve one case at a time, so at-risk individuals get the help they need.
ON THE JOB AGAIN - Michelle Stilwell has begun work as director of rapid testing for CVM Medical Ltd. She will work on the safe return and reopening of businesses, industry and exploration, sport, recreation, aviation and tourism across Western
Canada. Stilwell says rapid testing is the key to re-opening the economy and creating an extra layer of safety that many employers need for employees in a way that is less invasive, quicker than PCR and more cost effective
THE SQUEAKY WHEEL - The Nanaimo and other island Chamber of Commerce have been hard at work over the past year advocating
with all levels of government. Wilson’s Group suspended its bus service in February, jeopardizing the sole source of transportation for many Island communities and 21 First Nations. This week the government announced $10.7 million in operating grants to inter-city
bus operators across British Columbia.
YOUR MOUTH - The province has removed gendered language terms from nearly 70 provincial regulations in an effort to be more inclusive. Terms like "he" and "she," "brother" and "sister," "husband" and "wife," have been changed to "more neutral
language to consider all gender identities. Dozens of regulations across 15 B.C. ministries have been updated as of Thursday through the province's "Better Regulations for British Columbians" process. The process is an annual regulatory checkup designed to
update, clarify, correct or repeal outdated information in the province's regulations. The province says 600 instances of outdated gender language have been removed, as work continues on updating 3,400 more instances of gendered language.
DRUG OPERATION GROUNDED BY RCMP - Nanaimo RCMP took down a drug production operation after they arrested
a 54-year-old Nanaimo man, well known for ties to fentanyl trafficking and the production of GHB. He was arrested by the Nanaimo RCMP Projects Unit on March 3. The man was the target of an investigation by the local drug unit. It culminated when officers
witnessed the suspect making a drug transaction in the parking lot of Terminal Park Mall and they arrested him. A number of subsequent searches of the man’s vehicle, three storage units and his residence turned up 40 litres of GHB, fentanyl, cocaine,
methamphetamine, crack cocaine and $1,500 in cash. One of the storage units was determined to be the site where the GHB was being produced.
UNIT - Alex Rawnsley of NanaimoNewsNOW has an excellent feature on the RCMP dog unit, complete with
a great video. Check it out here.