Farming out Canadian jobs for lower wages

Dec. 31, 2021

I was trying to get customer service from a big company that operates in our community. What I got on the phone was a pleasant person from Belize in the southern hemisphere. Canadian companies should be ashamed to operate here while farming out work at low wages. It would be nice not to do business with them, but when they have a monopoly, what can you do?

Evidence galore, but the proof is still missing

Dec. 30, 2021

Science is based on evidence and not on proof. Science is the excercise of finding proof. That’s the story of climate change, a lot of evidence but no proof. Do the purveyors of this never-dying myth not realize if there was proof, the argument would be settled and they wouldn’t have an agenda to pursue any more?

Some people seem to care more than others

Dec. 29, 2021

I sent an email information request to all members of city council on Tuesday to determine the status of snow plowing and garbage pickup during the present weather. One third of them replied – Mayor Leonard Krog and Councillors Erin Hemmens and Zeni Maartman. Hmm, were the other six to busy shovelling their own snow to have time to inform citizens about the services they are responsible for? Numerous city staff responded even though they were on a statutory holiday.

Have you had enough of disruption of our lives?

Dec. 28, 2021

Some were ready to bestow sainthood on provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry two years ago. Now with the coronavirus at its greatest level yet, the love affair is cooling off for some people. Everyone is suffering from the latest health order, the social order is upset and businesses are fighting for survival. There’s a feeling of “enough already.” Have you had enough? Click here to vote YES or here to vote NO. Click reply on the email and your vote will be registered.

The numbers game in juggling hospital admissions

Dec. 25, 2021

I AM NO EXPERT but I can add and subtract. Island Health has 40 people in hospital due to COVID-19 over the entire Island region with 17 in intensive care. That’s 40 patients in Victoria, Duncan, Nanaimo and further up island. Hospital rooms sit empty “in case” they are needed. Countless numbers of people are waiting for surgery. We trust the professionals to know their stuff but it’s tough explaining that to someone waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

Bonnie Henry stole my Christmas

Dec. 22, 2021

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is a new right hip, a new right hip. But Bonnie Henry turned Grinch and stole my Christmas. I had a surgery date but a positive COVID test put the kibosh on that. In the immortal words of that classic country song, “gloom, despair and agony on me, deep dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all.”

Rules of the road and emergency vehicles

Dec. 19, 2021

A LOT OF DRIVERS do not appear to know basic rules of the road. For instance, if you hear an emergency vehicle while you are in a roundabout, you must exit before pulling over. As a matter of fact, there appears to be a lack of knowledge when it comes to emergency vehicles. Did you know that If you are in an intersection and blocking the path of an emergency vehicle, you should go through traffic light . . . with caution. The rule is simple, if you hear a siren, move to the nearest shoulder immediately . . . and come to a full STOP! 

'Science' doesn't cover everything you don't really know

Dec. 18, 2021

THE QUEEN’S ENGLISH – The word “science” is wearing thin. Public figures keep tossing it out as a cover-all when they don’t have facts. It’s surfacing everywhere, from medical claims to the grab bag of selective climate claims. Words like  “evidence” or “proof” are a heck of a lot more accurate. Next time someone invokes science, keep in mind the above.

Doing what they were elected to do

Dec . 17, 2021

POLITICANS HEAR IT when they stray off the path, but seldom do they get a salute when they do the right thing. Nanaimo Regional District directors cancelled a $98,000 budget item for a regional housing strategy. Parksville Director Ed Mayne said the RDN has lots of reports already. He said the RDN is not a social provider, that’s up to the province and the federal government. He said directors should let them do their jobs and the board should provide the services it’s supposed to. Amen to that!

Ugly history should not be hidden

Dec. 16, 2021

REWRITING UGLY historic events does not erase them – it sweeps them under the carpet, helping to forget that they ever happened. And that’s a real tragedy. One of the worst genocides in history was the holocaust, of which we are constantly reminded, stark evidence of man’s inhumanity to man. We should never erase that black mark on history. For those who insist on removing statues of notable people, let’s preserve the statues and add plaques telling the true story of history so we never forget.

Home COVID tests challenge statistics control

Dec. 15

HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE RESISTING calls to provide rapid antigen tests at no charge to the public, particularly as COVID infections rise on Vancouver Island. Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says they have limited use, don’t prevent transmission and are not a replacement for vaccine. Her deputy Réka Gustafson, said the tests are not widely available in B.C. even though the federal government has provided 3.2 million tests to the province. Those tests in public hands could throw the daily infection tracking numbers out of whack. A matter of control.

I DON’T GET IT – The Vancouver Island Regional Library is mandating a new vaccine policy for all employees but it’s not effective until Feb. 11, next year. What happens in the meantime, are employees free to infect everyone they come into contact with? With new viruses popping up like rabbits it seems careless to delay the policy for even days, not months. FULL STORY. 

SHARE YOUR GRIPE – When I launched Just a Minute I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to find enough daily short shots, but there’s more out there than I imagined. All of us have pet peeve we'd like to air out, so send yours along and I’ll try to fit it in. EMAIL.

An urban garden at the site of Woodlands School?

Dec. 14, 2021

Woodlands Secondary School sits empty with no known plans for the huge school yard. That has led to the idea of creating an urban garden at the school as early as next spring. All the right political buzz words are floated – sustainability, organic, stewardship, resilient and climate change. There’s one catch, a City bylaw limits an urban food garden greater than 2,400 square metres to one quarter of the total land area. That would still make a sizeable garden. By the way, the land is owned by the province.

Illicit drug-use deaths outnumber COVID-19 deaths

Dec. 13, 2021

We are in the midst of two concurrent pandemics – which is worse, the COVID-19 or the illicit drug deaths? Is the public health response proportional? In the first 10 months of 2021, we have had 1,782 drug-use deaths and 1,413 COVID-related deaths. That’s 369 more deaths from drugs than from COCVID. Virtually every one agrees that “something” has to be done, but what is that something? Read my FULL COLUMN.

Religious events should not be renamed over PC phobias

Dec. 12, 2021

What was the original rationale for having a holiday on Dec. 25? I bet it had something to do with Christmas, don’t ya think? To all the political correctness zealots out there, please don't rename any more holidays. Don't rename Diwali, don't rename Easter, don't rename Passover, don't rename Ramadan, don't rename Thanksgiving, don't rename Hanukkah - they all have a very deep meaning to specific groups of people. Just so you get it straight, Christmas has deep meaning for a lot of people. So, Merry Christmas everyone.

Family squabble in NDP over arrests at GasLink

Dec. 11, 2021

All’s not well within the NDP family. Three federal New Democrat MPs have signed a petition denouncing British Columbia’s NDP government for its handling of a protest at a pipeline work site. They also voiced distress at the federal NDP’s response. RCMP arrested several people last month when they enforced an injunction barring protesters from blocking an access road used by Coastal GasLink. Premier John Horgan reminded them that the provincial goverment does not control the RCMP. MORE

There's hope in battle against Alzheimer's

Dec. 10, 2021

HARD TO BEAT THAT – Most medicines have side effects, good and bad. A pill developed for high blood pressure was found to have other benefits. It was used for lung disease and then heart disease. Nurses noted real changes in Alzheimer's patients. The Cleveland Clinic has conducted research in seven million cases that shows this drug can reduce the chance of Alzheimer’s by an astounding 69 per cent. The miracle drug is Viagra. FULL STORY

Hope rises in battle against Alzheimer's

Friday, Dec. 10, 2021

HARD TO BEAT THAT – Most medicines have side effects, good and bad. A pill developed for high blood pressure was found to have other benefits. It was used for lung disease and then heart disease. Nurses noted real changes in Alzheimer's patients. The Cleveland Clinic has conducted research in seven million cases that shows this drug can reduce the chance of Alzheimer’s by an astounding 69 per cent. The miracle drug is Viagra. FULL STORY

Olympic boycott will have no real impact on China

Dec. 9, 2021

Justin Trudeau is joining a diplomatic boycott of the Olympic Games in China. Whoop de do! That means there won’t be all of our government dignitaries attending champagne and caviar receptions at our expense. Trudeau took the lead from Good Old Uncle Joe south of the border in the boycott. And the Chinese are shaking in their boots.

Who really benefits from all those electric cars?

Dec. 8, 2021

I think I’ve got this climate emergency and electric vehicle idea figured out. They cost over $50 grand, so that makes it for rich people only. But the government gives those rich folks a grant to help them buy one. Yet we are constantly lectured to “tax the rich”, you know, make them pay their fair share. Instead they are given money. Once you get past the double-talking verbiage, the bicycle-riding taxpayer picks up the tab. Just a Minute, how is that a good deal? YOUR COMMENT

And a two-day stay in Calgary as part of your Christmas

Dec. 7, 2021

Craig Herman of Castlegar is more than just a little bit pissed off after WestJet Vacations changed the schedule of his family trip to Cuba. GlobalTV reports Craig’s original flight was scheduled to depart from Kelowna Dec. 26 and return Jan. 3.  Then WestJet notified him of an itinerary change to depart on Dec. 24 and return on Jan. 3 with a two-day layover-over in Calgary. Now he can’t get to talk to anyone at the airline. Even filing his refund form proved challenging in that the form says they will contact him shortly. He’s still waiting.  MORE DETAILS

Nanaimo taxpayers also have supply line problems

Dec. 6, 2021

City council appears to be on a shopping binge with studies and reports with no end. In the last little while they’ve talked about taking over bus shelters and operating them, a $125-million public works facility, more bike trails, Reimagining Nanaimo, redesigning Commercial Street, catch basin maintenance, and on and on. With the civic election less than one year away you’d think they would reign in things that add to the tax bill which is now projected to be a more than five-per-cent hike next year. Just because you can do something does not mean you have to do it. YOUR COMMENT.

Now it's a question of insurance coverage for flooding

Sunday, Dec 5, 2021

A topic that will most likely surface in the news columns in the next little while is about insurance claims for flood damage throughout the province. It will likely come as a shock to many that floods “are not covered.” Depending on the level of coverage in your policy, insurers will claim that the floods were an act of God, a natural disaster, or any extra benefit that they didn’t sign up for. Some have already on top of the disaster. YOUR COMMENT

BC Liberal leadership candidates are off target

Dec. 4, 2021

FIRST THINGS FIRST – Six BC Liberals want to become our next premier, but you could be confused about their message. Virtually every communication from the leadership campaigns is focussed on “John Horgan and the NDP (this or that).” Hint, Horgan is not running for the BC Liberal leadership. They all vow to “beat John Horgan” but that can’t happen until one of them becomes leader first. They look like they are running a provincial election campaign rather than their own leadership. To hit a home run you have to touch all the bases along the way – winning the leadership is one of those bases. They’re at bat, now to make it to first base. YOUR COMMENT.  2021-12-04 

Here's how you can help needy children in our community

Dec. 3, 2021

Years ago, Frank Legh at the News Bulletin launched a Pennies for Presents fund raiser, and Bulletin staffers have kept it going. When pennies disappeared they renamed it Coins for Kids supporting the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive and the Boys and Girls Club. You can donate loonies, toonies, nickels, dimes and any other denominations. Folding paper money works too. Coins in the back pocket are a pain in the butt, so empty your pocket and deposit them at sponsors Quality Foods and John’s Bedrooms and the News Bulletin on Poplar Street. You can donate online, too. YOUR COMMENT. 2021-12-03

Rain, sleet, shine or vaccines, the mail must go through

Dec. 2, 2021

THE POSTMASTER ON Lasqueti Island won’t comply with the federal vaccine mandate and isn’t allowing the 400 residents to get their mail, including vital medical supplies. A number of people arrived at the office Tuesday, knocking on the door, but nobody answered. Lasqueti is a 40-60 minute boat ride to shore, so regular mail service is vital and tempers are flaring. Canada Post says it is delivering mail Thursday and Friday, then continuing with regular mail delivery three days a week. Just a minute, that postmaster is surely in breach of contract and should be fired immediately.  YOUR COMMENT 2120-12-02

It's all in the name – Corona beer, Delta Airlines and Omricon

Dec. 1 2021

THE WORLD WIDE PANDEMIC has affected many people in many ways. How would you like to be the company that makes Corona beer in an era of Coronavirus? Or think about Delta Airlines in view of the Delta virus. It even strikes close to home where Omricon, a Victoria development, design and construction company, is getting it full barrel. They are not alone, an American company of the same name, Omicron Development LLC, has offices in New Jersey and Houston.  YOUR COMMENT

To boost or not to boost - that's the big question

Nov. 30, 2021

BONNIE BOOSTER CLUB – In marketing, when the message gets stale you bring in a new, improved and shiny add-on. For weeks, those who are fully vaccinated have been urged to line up for booster shots. The next phase was to get the kids, then along comes a new variant . . . that should do the trick. There’s still a grey area about the Omicron varient. Experts admit they don’t know if the booster will stop the variant, but what the heck, the cash registers are ringing a merry tune at Big Pharma. But a lot of people aren't buying in any more. YOUR COMMENT.

We need to get our priorities in line

Nov 29, 2021

THE PEOPLE WE ELECT shoulder a lot of responsibility, so that means setting priorities. There are lots of government programs and most are worthy. We have to question where those priorities lie when it comes to our fellow humans. There is no greater responsibility than looking after those who cannot fend for themselves. As long as fellow citizens sleep in makeshift tents on hard pavement or in parks, we don’t have our priorities in order. Bike lanes and all the climate babble pale in comparison. A Biblical reference: “Whatsoever you do to the least of your brothers and sisters, you do unto me.”  YOUR COMMENT.

Million-dollar investment dreams go boom

Nov. 27, 2021

EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO GET RICH should remember even when you hit a home run you’ve got to touch all the bases, there are no short cuts. Crypto currency scams are costing victims millions of dollars as happened in the Comox Valley recently. RCMP say in two cases victims were cold-called and offered an opportunity to invest in digital currency promising big dividends. That lasted briefly and then the dividends dried up and the main investment was gone. Crypto currency is a gamble on non-existent assets. In reality, you have greater odds of winning Lotto 6/49.  YOUR COMMENT.