Accessibility mat installed at Departure Bay Beach

City Parks, Recreation and Culture crews recently installed a Mobi Mat® at Departure Bay Beach near the Kin Hut Activity Centre. A Mobi-Mat® is a seasonally installed, non slip walkway made from recycled material and helps those with wheels (wheelchairs, strollers, wagons, kayak trailers) to be able to more easily access the beach area.

The City recommends when using the mat, if possible, getting assistance due to the grade and the uneven ground under the mat.

The Mobi Mat® will be left at the beach for the remainder of the summer season. If found to be useful, others may be purchased and installed at other parks in the future.

Link to Strategic Plan: The City of Nanaimo is committed to a livable, inclusive community where all residents have access to recreation.

The Mobi-Mat® is a seasonally installed, non slip walkway.

When using the Mobi Mat®, if possible, we recommend getting assistance due to the grade and the uneven ground under the mat.

"The installation of the Mobi-Mat® at Departure Bay Beach is another example of how the City of Nanaimo is working to make accessibility improvements," said Mayor Leonard Krog. "It is helpful for those in wheelchairs, those with strollers or those with wagons or kayak trailers, and I am sure it will be well used by many members of our community."

 

Fall recreation program registration begins Aug. 17

The Nanaimo Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture is offering recreation programs and activities for the upcoming fall season. This includes swimming and skating lessons and courses in art, music, cooking, dance, language, fitness, yoga, first aid and more. In addition, there will be information on community events, including "Welcome Back" skating sessions, National Truth and Reconciliation Day and other seasonal favourites like Rivers Day and Winter Wonderland.

Registration for programs begins on Wednesday, August 17.

Residents can look for program offerings in the following ways:

  • View an online PDF of the Fall Activity Guide starting on Friday, August 12
  • Pick up a hard copy of our program guide at Bowen Park, Beban Park Social Centre, Oliver Woods Community Centre and Nanaimo Aquatic Centre starting on Monday, August 15 (for those who do not have online access)
  • Visit recreation.nanaimo.ca and choose "Register for a Program" to search programs by various categories and key words (for the best user experience, please choose Chrome as the browser)

Register online through recreation.nanaimo.ca (accounts should be set up in advance of registration day), by telephone at 250-756-5200 or in-person at Beban Park, Bowen Complex, Oliver Woods Community Centre and Nanaimo Aquatic Centre.

Link to Strategic Plan: The City of Nanaimo is offering programs that improve the health, wellness and livability of its citizens in our community.

Key Points

  • Registration for fall programs begins on Wednesday, August 17.
  • The online guide is available for viewing on Friday, August 12.
  • The Fall Activity Guide has information on programs, events and other community services.

Quotes

"After the care-free days of summer, it is nice to settle into the fall season with programs and events with Parks, Recreation and Culture. The Re-Imagine Nanaimo process identified how valuable these services are to our citizens. All of the options found in the Fall Activity Guide will enhance the livability for those who call the City of Nanaimo home." – Leonard Krog, Mayor

 

City celebrating Leaders in Training Program

The City of Nanaimo, Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture is commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Leaders in Training Program with a celebration. This event recognizes past and present participants and the history of this youth leadership program while acknowledging and awarding current participants for their outstanding work throughout the community. The celebration event will be held on Friday, August 19, 5:30-9 pm (doors open at 5 pm) in the Beban Park Social Centre. Throughout the event, they will look back at the 40 years of the program and the impact that it has had both on participants and the citizens in the City.

Since 1982, the LIT program has given youth a purpose and a voice, provided valuable leadership training opportunities and has strengthened their connection to the community. In addition, participants have gained important skills that have led to employment in various recreation fields or helped to find career paths in other areas. Past and present participants are quick to testify of the many skills they gained, helping them throughout their lives, as well as fostering life-long friendships that they enjoy.

Quest, the second level of our Youth Leadership program (and the continuation of LIT), began in 1996. Over the years, LIT participants have contributed over 225,000 volunteer hours to the community of Nanaimo. The LITs volunteer across the City in daycamps, special events, community involvement projects, sport/art/preschool programs, as well as attending specialized workshops.

Workshops within the LIT and Quest program include topics in diverse abilities, financial literacy, concussion awareness, drug awareness, resume writing and interview preparation. Volunteer placements in 2022 included summer camps (both for the City of Nanaimo and other organizations), special events (Silly Boat Regatta, Dragon Boat Festival, Bathtub Weekend, The Thursday Night Market and the VIEX) and opportunities to work with seniors.

Past participants who would like to attend the celebration evening on August 19 are asked to RSVP by August 15 by emailing emily.hoppe@nanaimo.ca or calling Parks, Recreation and Culture at 250-756-5200.

Link to Strategic Plan: Creating Opportunities for Youth to connect with their community, gain valuable work experience and workplace skills, while growing as individuals into the leaders of tomorrow.

Key Points

  • The City of Nanaimo is commemorating 40 years of the Leaders in Training program.
  • A celebratory event will be held on Friday, August 19 starting at 5 pm. This event will recognize the program's impact on the participants and the community with lots of food and activities.
  • The Leaders in Training program provides Nanaimo youth with leadership, resume writing, interview preparation and other important skills.

"Our Leaders in Training program is celebrating 40 years which is very unique for a recreation program. Since 1982, the LIT volunteers have assisted at a variety of Nanaimo events and have gained valuable skills helping them gain employment and make life-long career choices. Leadership, self-confidence and life-long friendships are just a few of the many benefits participants report from taking part in this youth program. It ignites passion within them for their own development and for their community. We are so grateful for the support from our community partners, the staff who mentor the LIT's and the youth themselves - they make this program truly something special!" – Leonard Krog, Mayor

City issues complete burning ban in Nanaimo

The Province of British Columbia has placed a ban on campfires. The City of Nanaimo will follow suit with a complete burning ban (including cooking fires) effective Thursday August 4th, 2022, beginning at noon.

The following are still permitted at a private residence:
Cooking devices fueled by propane, natural gas, naphtha, kerosene, charcoal briquettes or electricity such as barbecues, grills, and smokers. It is important to ensure briquettes are fully extinguished after use.

The City also reminds everyone that thereare no smoking or fires permitted in city parks.

Key Points

  • This fire ban applies to all outdoor fires, except for those permitted fire and outdoor cooking options listed above.
  • With the summer's hot and dry weather, the City is continuously responding to accidental fires.
  • Residents are also encouraged to use extreme caution when extinguishing smoking-related materials.

Quotes

"Hot, dry weather increases the risk of wildfires. We are already seeing out-of-control fires around BC. We would like to remind residents that just one spark can ignite a wildfire. Please take all precautions to make sure everyone has a safe summer." – Tim Doyle, Fire Chief.

City issues call for new member to Board of Variance

Residents interested in becoming more involved with local governance have the opportunity to apply to the Board of Variance. The City of Nanaimo is currently recruiting one member for a three-year term.

The Board of Variance is an independent body that can grant variances to relax zoning regulations, servicing requirements and tree protection requirements; extend non-conforming uses; and, reconstruct non-conforming buildings.

Successful applicants for the Board of Variance will have a basic understanding of building and zoning regulations such as the City’s Zoning Bylaw and BC Building Code, as well as familiarity with interpreting architectural plans and documents. Board of Variance members cannot be elected officials, employees of the local government that appoints them or on an advisory planning commission.

For more information regarding the Board of Variance including mandate, eligibility requirements, time commitments and responsibilities, please see the Board of Variance web page and application form on the City’s website at www.nanaimo.ca under Your Government/Boards and Committees.

Interested residents can submit a completed application form to the Legislative Services Department by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 12, 2022 by:

Mail: Legislative Services, 455 Wallace Street, Nanaimo, BC, V9R 5J6

Email: legislative.servicesoffice@nanaimo.ca

For more information about the Board of Variance including mandate, eligibility requirements, time commitments and how to apply please visit the City's website at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/committees.

Link to Strategic Plan: Strategic Link: Supports Governance Excellence to facilitate decision making.

Key Points

The term of appointment to the Board of Variance is three years, or until a successor is appointed.

The deadline to submit an application is 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 12, 2022.

"We are pleased to invite qualified applicants to apply to the Board of Variance as a volunteer at-large. This is a great opportunity for individuals to serve their community and to learn more about development approvals."

Jeremy Holm
Director, Development Approvals

Reuse Rendezvous returns to Nanaimo in mid-August

It's a city-wide swap meet. Reuse Rendezvous, Nanaimo’s longest running reuse event, is back. This annual event, August 13 and 14, is designed to keep useful items from going to waste by providing Nanaimo households an opportunity to give old household items a new lease on life.

Residents can participate by placing unwanted toys, sporting goods, furniture, books, bikes and other items to the curb so that others can take and reuse them.

Please mark items set out for others to take with a "FREE" tag. Items set out should not block sidewalks and bike lanes. Please remove any unclaimed, leftover items from the curb by Monday, August 15.

Participants of Reuse Rendezvous are asked to stay safe when searching for bargains: slow down, watch for children, park carefully and obey traffic signs and speed limits.

Link to Strategic Plan: By encouraging reuse of household goods and keeping waste out of the landfill, Reuse Rendezvous supports Council's priority to protect and enhance Nanaimo’s natural environment.

  • Households – Find a match for your unwanted goods by marking them with a “FREE” tag and putting them at the curb in front of your home on the weekend of August 13 and 14, 2022.
  • Bargain Lovers – Join in by searching the city for marked 'free' items you can take home and reuse. Good used furniture, tools, clothing, sporting goods and toys are just some of the great finds you could discover. Please remember to take only items you can use!
  • Respect public and private property. Do not block sidewalks or bike paths, and please remove any leftover items from your curb by Monday, August 15.

"Get ready, Nanaimo! Our annual city-wide swap meet is a great opportunity to declutter (or reclutter!) your homes and have fun seeking out treasures across our community. Not to mention, you are contributing to a greener Nanaimo by extending the life of household items and diverting waste from the landfill," says Mayor Leonard Krog.

Nanaimo building permits on track for record-breaking year

Multi-family units help meet affordable housing targets

22-07-20 – Nanaimo Building permit values hit $319 million for the first half of the year, on track for a banner year in housing starts. Permit values could surpass the 2019 record of $445 million by the end of the year. Included in the building permit total is public investment with the correctional centre redevelopment comprising the largest single institutional project. However, the majority of permits are for residential buildings, with multi-family units outstripping single-family home construction.

"The fast-pace of residential development clearly shows private sector confidence in our City," said Mayor Leonard Krog, "The form of development - primarily multi-family housing - shows that Nanaimo is evolving into a complex, urban centre."

So far in 2022 (as of June 30), the City has issued permits for a total of 1,085 units. This includes 916 multi-family units, which is a record for this housing type at the six-month mark.

"I am very pleased that most of the new housing is in multi-unit buildings, providing more housing options for families," added Mayor Krog, "This kind of growth supports the goals and values we committed to in City Plan: Nanaimo ReImagined, which is already guiding our community as it grows."

The City's Affordable Housing Strategy goal is for 70 per cent of new residential housing to be in multi-unit developments. In 2021, multi-unit dwellings made up 76 per cent of all residential permits in Nanaimo; the results for this year are expected to be even higher. For more information on the City's Affordable Housing Strategy, visit the Affordable Housing Strategy.

Table of Champions approved to push for projects and plans

Mayor Leonard Krog

REIMAGINE NANAIMO goals and values inspire leaders’ group report

The three groups – Infrastructure Ask, Doughnut Economics and Youth Attraction and Retention – delivered their findings at Monday’s Council meeting and called for the creation of a Table of Champions to help secure funding for infrastructure and achieve the goals outlined in their reports.

The Infrastructure Ask Working Group collected, studied and identified a number of projects they consider essential to Nanaimo’s ongoing success. From that list, five key projects were highlighted: Nanaimo Regional General Hospital patient tower, equitable housing, community fibre optic network, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital cancer centre and a South End Community Centre.

Embracing the framework included in the recently-adopted City Plan: Nanaimo ReImagined, the Doughnut Economics Working Group focused on raising awareness of the ‘doughnut’ economic model among partners and stakeholders, which places an emphasis on sustainable economic principles.

The Youth Attraction and Retention Working Group focused on the needs of young people with proposed strategies for employment and housing supports, enhanced recreation and leisure venues and new efforts to secure more family doctors.

Council adopted the working groups’ recommendations and voted to establish a Table of Champions, to continue the work brought forward by the Mayor’s Leaders’ Table. A Terms of Reference will be developed and brought forward for endorsement by the 2022-2026 Council.

Link to Strategic Plan: The recommendations brought forward by the Mayor's Leaders' Table support Council's strategic priorities of Environmental Responsibility, Economic Health, Livability and Governance Excellence.

Key Points

  • The Mayor's Leaders' Table was established as a key recommendation of the 2020 Mayor's Task Force on Recovery and Resilience and brought together leaders from across the community.
  • Under the Table, three working groups were formed to focus on infrastructure needs, the doughnut economic philosophy model and youth attraction and retention.
  • On Monday, July 18, 2022 Council endorsed the recommendations outlined in the Mayor's Leaders' Table final report and directed staff to develop a Terms of Reference for a Table of Champions.

Departure Bay Activity Centre to be torn down

22-07-18 – The Departure Bay Activity Centre, damaged by fire on March 17, will be torn down and removed. The City of Nanaimo recently received notice from its insurance company that the building was a constructive loss and cannot be repaired.

Once the facility has been decommissioned and removed, the City will undertake a review process to consider what to do with the site, replacement of lost recreational space and opportunities to work with other groups. Parks, Recreation and Culture will plan a community consultation process to look at options for the site and for facility replacement.

Link to Strategic Plan: Recreation supports the Livability goals of the Strategic Plan

Key Points

Fire broke out at the Departure Bay Activity Centre on March 17. The facility has been closed since then and programs have been relocated or paused.

The City's insurance company deemed the building a constructive total loss and non-repairable.

Parks, Recreation and Culture staff will plan a consultation process to determine the future of programs and the site.

"We cannot get the old building back, but we can plan for the best way to replace what we care about most,” said Mayor Leonard Krog

Stuart takes over community policing for the city

June 29, 2022

Another retired Mountie has landed with the city. Jon Stuart is the new Community Policing Co-ordinator for the city, replacing Christy Wood who has moved onto another position with the city. Jon is to settling in after retiring at the end of June with 26 years of service. He and his family have lived and worked in Nanaimo for many years and he has a good handle on the challenges Nanaimo faces and the direction it's going.

Jon's first task was to reach out to Community Policing volunteers and commented he was thoroughly impressed with their collective enthusiasm and dedication to the community-based programs they are responsible for carrying out. Good luck, Jon.

Free activities and events in Nanaimo this summer

The City's Parks, Recreation and Culture department offer heavy menu of free activities and events this season.

Concerts in the Park have been under way since May and will continue throughout the summer at various park locations and featuring a variety of local talent. Here are the upcoming dates:

  • Tuesday, July 5, 6-7 pm at Pipers Lagoon Park: Waterstone Trio (Blues, Pop, Country)
  • Wednesday, July 6, 6-7 pm at Departure Bay Kin Hut: Sol Azul (Soft Latin)
  • Wednesday, July 13, 7-8:30 pm at McGregor Park: An Evening of Soul, Blues & Pop with singers, Buwa, Ty Koch & Josh Holloway
  • Wednesday, July 20, 7-8 pm at McGregor Park: VIS Musicians Emily Nagelbach, Guyonne le Louarn, Alexandra Lee and Erin Lawson)
  • Wednesday, August 3, 7-8 pm at McGregor Park: VIS Musicians Lani Krantz, Paolo Bortolussi, Minjee Yoon
  • Wednesday, August 17, 7-8 pm at McGregor Park: VIS Musicians Nicole Arendt, Jonathan Bernard, Chris Helman, Michael Vaughan
  • Tuesday, August 23, 5-6 pm at Neck Point Park: Eutah Mizushima (Japanese, South Asian, Western Folk, Indie)

The Playground Program is back again this summer. It is for children ages 5 to 12 and offers a variety of games, arts, crafts and sports. The schedule is as follows:

  • Monday to Friday, 10 am-3:30 pm at Harewood Centennial Park
  • Monday to Friday, 10 am-3:30 pm at Mansfield Park
  • Monday & Tuesday, 10 am-3:30 pm at Country Hills Park
  • Wednesday, 1:30-7 pm at Country Hill Park
  • Thursday & Friday, 10 am-3:30 pm at Groveland Park

Lifeguards at Westwood Lake Park will start on July 1 and be there daily from 11:30 am-5:30 pm until Monday, September 5, including the Canada Day, BC Day and Labour Day statutory holidays.

For those looking to keep cool this summer, the City operates four water parks that are open daily from 9 am-8 pm. Locations are as follows:

  • Departure Bay Water Park
  • Deverill Square Park
  • Harewood Centennial Park
  • Mansfield Park

The City of Nanaimo is also offering a variety of registered summer daycamps and programs this summer. Those programs are found in the online Summer Activity Guide at www.nananimo.ca.

Link to Strategic Plan: Free Summer programing supports cultural vitality, an active lifestyle and social equality.

Key Points

  • There are many free programs available for the community this summer through Parks, Recreation and Culture.
  • Registered summer camps and programs are available for all ages. Information is found in the online Summer Activity Guide.

Quotes

"Summer events and programs are back this summer in a big way. Join Parks, Recreation and Culture for Concerts in the Park, the playground program, lifeguards at Westwood Lake Park and more! It is great to be able to offer these programs for free to our citizens as our commitment to allow all members of our community to participate." Mayor Leonard Krog.

 

Attachments
Free Parks, Recreation and Culture Summer Events 
2022 Summer Activity Guide 

Canada is 155 years old, we're having a party

Canada Day festivities are back in Maffeo Sutton Park from 11:00 am until 3:30 pm on Friday, July 1.

The main stage will feature a Celebration of Flags and performances by The Midnights, Mark Crissinger, Dave Hart and Doctors of Rock n Roll. The cultural community stage will highlight a range of dance groups, including performances from Vancouver Island Square Dancers, Nanaimo Ballroom Dance Society, Flamenco Dancers, Nanaimo Scottish Country Dancers and Vibe Dance Studio. Throughout the day, find roving entertainers, complimentary bouncy castles, crafts, interactive community booths, face painting, a birthday cake donated by Columbia Bakery and a variety of food vendors. There will also be a free water fill station courtesy of Coastal Water to help everyone stay hydrated.

A special thank you is going out to Columbia Bakery who, once again, is baking and decorating a gigantic and delicious birthday cake for the community. This family-owned business has been offering this service for many years at each Canada Day celebration.

Residents are reminded that there is no vehicle parking available on-site at Maffeo Sutton Park on Canada Day (except limited accessible parking). To help with this, there will be a free bike valet parking service available from 9 am to 5 pm where bikes will be held in a secure location close to the park, and the City of Nanaimo is partnering with the Regional District of Nanaimo to offer free shuttle services to the event from Woodgrove Mall and Vancouver Island University (VIU).

Link to Strategic Plan: Canada Day is an example of an event that improves the livability for residents in our community. Secure bike parking and transit shuttle services encourage active and public transportation.

Key Points

Canada Day 2022 celebrations are back at Maffeo Sutton Park after a two-year absence due to the pandemic.

The event will feature live entertainment, a cultural community stage, a birthday cake courtesy of Columbia Bakery, bouncy castles, face painting, interactive booths, food trucks and more.

New this year is a bike valet parking service, and the City of Nanaimo is partnering with the Regional District of Nanaimo to offer shuttle services to the event from Woodgrove Mall and Vancouver Island University.

Quotes

"After two years, it is exciting to have our Canada Day celebrations back at Maffeo Sutton Park. You are encouraged to take part in two new free services available this year to get you to Maffeo Sutton Park. Ride your bike and leave it at the bike valet or hop on the free shuttle at either Woodgrove Mall or Vancouver Island University. This free shuttle service is an example of another great partnership between the City of Nanaimo and the Regional District of Nanaimo," said Mayor Leonard Krog

 

Council endorses Commercial Street makeover

Google photo

Commercial Street is often referred to as the heart of Nanaimo’s downtown and, with Council’s endorsement at their June 20 meeting, will be the focus of a number of exciting improvements to be rolled out over the next five years.

The Design Commercial project follows a recently approved Downtown Safety Action Plan, which will see the addition of Community Safety Officers in the downtown as well as increased cleaning and other public safety improvements. The vision for Design Commercial is “a green, connected, safe and equitable place that reflects the history of Nanaimo while attracting people, investment and vitality.”

Led by Toole Design Group, the work plan for Design Commercial included extensive engagement with the local business improvement associations, businesses, developers, key stakeholders, City staff and the general public. The project also built on the feedback and preliminary directions set out through ReImagine Nanaimo and the draft City Plan.

The concept plan endorsed by Council sees improvements to Commercial Street integrated with other projects such as Diana Krall Plaza improvements, the redevelopment of 1 Commercial Street (former A&B Sound building), 6 Commercial Street (former Jean Burns property) and transit improvements along the 500 block of Terminal Avenue.

Key features of the concept plan include:

  • flush curb street
  • widened sidewalks
  • contrasting colours in the public realm
  • improved lighting
  • greenery, street trees and natural elements
  • on-street flex zones
  • redistribution of space and integration of plazas and parks into the street
  • public art

The redevelopment of Commercial Street will be phased over a number of years with Phase 1 beginning in 2023. Funding for Phase 1 of the project is included in the 2022 Budget and includes work at Wallace/Commercial as well as upgrades to the Commercial/Bastion intersection. Future phases will be brought forward for consideration in the 2023-2027 budget process.

Link to Strategic Plan: Improvements to the downtown core support Council's strategic pillar of Economic Health - increasing pride of place, stimulating the economy and addressing public safety concerns in the downtown.

Key Points

  • City Council endorsed the Design Commercial concept plans at their June 20, meeting.
  • The Design Commercial project has been integrated with existing initiatives including improvements to Diana Krall Plaza, public realm and transit improvements in the 500 Block of Terminal Ave and redevelopment opportunities at 1 and 6 Commercial Street.
  • Revitalization of Commercial Street will be undertaken in a phased approach. Work in 2023 will take place at Wallace and Commercial and the Bastion/Commercial intersection, with further phases to be brought forward for consideration during the 2023-2027 Budget process.

Quotes

Water quality testing set to begin at outdoor swim spots

Each year, during the summer months, the City of Nanaimo monitors water quality at popular swimming spots to make sure the water is clean for beach goers and for wildlife. Staff from the public works department, with assistance from the Nanaimo Port Authority, take water samples from various locations in and around each beach as well as from the waterways that feed into them. The samples are then tested by a lab for fecal coliforms. If the level of fecal coliforms exceeds Provincial health guidelines, it will force a beach closure.

Testing occurs at the following locations: Brannen Lake, Colliery Dam Park, Departure Bay, Long Lake, Swy-A-Lana Lagoon (Maffeo Sutton Park) and Westwood Lake.

To help keep water clean and beaches open, pet owners are reminded to take their dogs to designated dog parks and off-leash areas. With shore birds and other naturally occurring wildlife in and around water bodies, adding pets to the mix could elevate the levels of fecal coliforms. The City of Nanaimo has a bylaw in place that states dogs are not to be on beaches or in the water between the beginning of May to the end of September each year. This bylaw is in place for all of Nanaimo’s lakes, streams and waterfront swimming spots, except for those designated as off-leash areas.

To view the latest beach reports, visit the City's website at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/beachreports.

Link to Strategic Plan: The City of Nanaimo's water quality initiatives support the City's commitment to a livable community.

Key Points

The City of Nanaimo monitors coliform levels in Brannen Lake, Colliery Dam Park, Departure Bay, Long Lake, Swy-A-Lana Lagoon (Maffeo Sutton Park) and Westwood Lake to ensure that the beach can remain open during peak season. This year, monitoring will take place beginning June 14.

Each week, 24 samples are taken to ensure coliform levels remain within Provincial health guidelines.

Animal feces that wash into water bodies such as lakes, contributing creeks, drainage ditches or storm sewer system can raise coliform and E.coli levels in the water and may cause a beach closure.

Quotes

"This annual program is instrumental in ensuring the water quality in and around some of Nanaimo's popular swimming spots. You can do your part in keeping Nanaimo’s waterways and beaches clean by not disposing harmful materials such as feces, paint, drywall or oils into ditches, catch basins or any water source." – Richard HardingGeneral Manager, Parks, Recreation and Culture

Quick Facts

City of Nanaimo Bylaw 7073, section 3.3(C) states that no person shall permit any animal under their ownership or custody to be on a public beach during the months of May through September inclusive.

The following parks have designated off-leash areas: May Richards Bennett Pioneer, Beaufort, Westwood Lake, Invermere Beach, Northfield, Wardropper, Colliery Dam, St. George Ravine, Gallow's Point (Protection Island), Cable Bay Trail, Beban and Diver Lake (October - April).

In 1994 Departure Bay beach was closed to swimmers due to elevated levels of fecal coliforms and Escherichia coli (E. coli) in the water. There was too much bacteria in the water for it to be considered safe to swim in.

SEE VIDEO

Council invests to help reduce emissions and save money

Through the CleanBC program, Nanaimo homeowners who apply for a home energy renovation rebate may be eligible for additional rebates provided by the City of Nanaimo. Nanaimo homeowners could receive up to $15,000 in rebates from the Provincial CleanBC funding as well as an additional $1,400 from the City. These additional amounts are also processed by CleanBC, and qualifying homeowners will receive these top-up amounts with their CleanBC rebates - no additional applications are required.

Rebates are available for a variety of home energy renovations including installing a heat pump, home energy assessments, door and window replacement, insulation, ventilation equipment and electrical and hot water heating equipment upgrades. Although the CleanBC program no longer includes a rebate for home energy assessments, the City of Nanaimo continues to offer a rebate to offset the cost of both initial and follow-up home energy assessments.

Existing low-rise residential buildings make up approximately 18 per cent of the City’s total emissions or about 89,070 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Since the start of the program with an initial investment of $100,000 in April 2020, Nanaimo has been one of the most active municipalities in B.C. in terms of program uptake. The program issued 359 rebates in Nanaimo and helped reduce approximately 774 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, primarily through upgrades from oil and natural gas to electric heat pumps. Electric heat pumps produce 97 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than a high-efficiency natural gas furnace, can provide heating and cooling without a secondary air conditioner and are up to 300 per cent more efficient than electric baseboards. They have become an effective option for homeowners to reduce their emissions, receive year-round comfort and save money on home heating.

CleanBC has recently launched an income-qualified zero interest financing program to provide a loan of up to $40,000 for switching from a fossil fuel (oil, propane or natural gas) heating system to a heat pump. Other income-qualified rebates are available that can cover up to 60 to 95% of home upgrade costs with maximum values of $9,500 for windows, doors and heat pumps, $5,500 for insulation and up to $3,500 for heat pump water heaters.

For more information on available, visit the Rebate Assessment page on www.nanaimo.ca and the CleanBC website at www.betterhomesbc.ca

Link to Strategic Plan: This program supports Council's goal of Environmental Responsibility by taking a leadership role and focusing on our environmental impact and climate change contributions.

Key Points

  • On May 30, 2022, Nanaimo City Council allocated an additional $100,000 to support Nanaimo's continued participation in the CleanBC Better Homes Rebate municipal top-up program.
  • Home energy renovation rebates and income-qualified financing opportunities are available to Nanaimo residents. More information about available rebates can be found on the City of Nanaimo and CleanBC websites.
  • The City of Nanaimo has been coordinating with the Province of BC to deliver a streamlined CleanBC Better Homes Rebate Program to support home energy retrofits and reduce emissions of existing residential buildings since April 2020.
  • Grant top-ups for Nanaimo residents include a $350 top-up for residents that switch to an electric air-source heat-pump or heat pump water heater and an additional $500 top-up to support an electrical upgrade needed to support the heat pump.

Quotes 

"Partnering with the Province to support CleanBC rebates is an effective way to help the City reduce residential building emissions. By taking advantage of the available rebates, Nanaimo residents will not only save money on home energy renovations, they will also save money in the long term on their utility bills while helping the City reach its emission targets." – Mayor Leonard Krog

Quick Facts

  • In April 2019, Nanaimo City Council declared a Climate Emergency and set a target to reduce community green house gas emissions from 2010 levels by 50 to 58% by 2030 and 94% to 107% by 2050.
  • Existing low-rise residential buildings make up approximately 18% of the City's total greenhouse gas emissions (City of Nanaimo 2017 Community Emissions inventory)
  • Between April 2020 to March 2022, the City of Nanaimo issued 359 rebates and helped reduce approximately 774 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

New code of conduct approved, effective in October

Nanaimo City Council has adopted an enhanced code of conduct that will take effect on October 15, 2022.

The policy changes follow a BC government amendment to Community Charter legislation requiring that local governments consider developing new, or review existing, Codes of Conduct. The Union of BC Municipalities endorsed a resolution at its 2021 convention calling on the Province to enact legislation along those lines.

Nanaimo’s revised Code of Conduct Bylaw will replace the existing Code of Conduct Policy. Council also adopted an Ethics Commissioner Establishment Bylaw where either an appointed or ad hoc Commissioner would oversee the complaint process, an Oath of Office Bylaw that embeds the existing Code of Conduct Bylaw within the Oath, and an amendment to the Council Spending and Amenities Policy where compensation provisions have been added to support conduct expectations.

Reece Harding, a lawyer specializing in municipal issues, reviewed the Bylaws and told Council that their approach benefits from lessons learned in the application of similar policies and bylaws introduced in other Canadian cities and that Nanaimo’s Code of Conduct is probably the best legislation in the province.

While the new legislation to draft or review existing codes of conduct will be a requirement for new councils, Mayor and Council has demonstrated leadership by setting out clear conduct rules and expectations prior to the election so that newly elected officials have a clear understanding about those expectations.

The Bylaw is not applicable to City staff as their conduct is governed through the City’s Respectful Workplace Policy.

Link to Strategic Plan: Upholding Council's commitment to developing a culture of governance excellence.

Key Points

Council has adopted a new Code of Conduct Bylaw which will take effect on October 15, 2022.

The changes follow amendments to Community Charter legislation which require local governments to consider developing new, or reviewing existing, Codes of Conduct.

The new Code of Conduct Bylaw builds on existing principles and includes behavioural expectations, accountability requirements and a process for handling breaches and complaints.

Quotes

"Council has adopted a bylaw that significantly strengthens Council’s commitment to governance excellence by building on the foundational principles of responsible conduct. The bylaws we have adopted are clear, with real consequences for breaching the rules. With these changes, Council is setting a new standard for good governance and fulfilling a promise to ensure everyone is treated fairly." – Mayor Leonard Krog

Nanaimo ReImagined to soon become road map for the City

On Monday, May 31, 2022, Nanaimo City Council passed first and second readings of the City Plan Bylaw 2022 No. 6600 and gave direction to move forward with a public hearing to be held on June 22, 2022. After the public hearing, if Council is satisfied that the Bylaw reflects their direction and has community support, it would be considered for adoption.

The City Plan Bylaw 2022 No. 6600 is the result of the REIMAGINE NANAIMO process that involved the input of thousands of Nanaimo citizens. The draft City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined is a comprehensive approach to community planning that goes beyond the minimum requirements of a standard Official Community Plan under the Local Government Act. Moving forward, this document will serve as the City's Official Community Plan (OCP); Parks, Recreation, Culture and Wellness Plan; Transportation Plan; Activity Mobility Plan; Climate Action and Resiliency Plan; and Accessibility and Inclusion Plan.

Learn more about the City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined on the City's website www.nanaimo.ca or www.getinvolvednanaimo.ca.

Link to Strategic Plan: The integrated draft City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined incorporates Council's strategic priorities to be a community that is livable, environmentally sustainable and full of opportunity for all generations and walks of life.

Key Points

“City Plan Bylaw 2022 No. 6600” passed first and second reading and will proceed to public hearing on June 22, 2022.

The draft City Plan is proposed to be Nanaimo’s new Official Community Plan; Parks, Recreation, Culture and Wellness Plan; Transportation Plan; Active Mobility Plan; Climate Action and Resiliency Plan; and Accessibility and Inclusion Plan.

The development of the draft City Plan involved thousands of inputs from the community, interested and affected agencies, and organizations including government-to-government engagement with Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Quotes

"I am pleased with the robust community engagement in the creation of this plan and excited to see a clear and coordinated vision, which can guide our community for the next 25+ years." – Mayor Leonard Krog

Quick Facts

The draft City Plan (Bylaw 2022 No. 6600) reinforces and builds on existing directions considered effective in the 2008 Official Community Plan, while at the same time integrating new policy directions.

Despite the impacts and uncertainty posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the development of the draft City Plan involved thousands of inputs from the community received through surveys, online platforms, emails, virtual and in-person meetings, student classroom participation, workshops, an open house and other methods.

REIMAGINE NANAIMO

 A copy of the City Plan Bylaw 2022 No. 6600 Council Report can be found on the May 30 Agenda

Get Involved Nanaimo Engagement Platform

Announcing the Hidden Messages Poetry Project

Poems Along the Active Transportation Network Are Revealed in the Rain

The City 's Active Transportation and Culture and Events sections announce a new public art and poetry project from the Urban Design Roster that pairs poetry with design to bring hidden creativity to the active transportation network.

Nanaimo design team Webb Creative made stencils using poetry by Nanaimo’s Poet Laureate, Kamal Parmar. The haiku poems celebrate active commutes and Nanaimo's natural and urban surroundings. Installed along active transportation routes in ten locations across Nanaimo using hydrophobic materials, the poems are revealed as hidden messages when it rains. Each poem is paired with a QR code link, so members of the public can also listen to the poems on their mobile devices, rain or shine.

The project is installed just in time for Go By Bike week, until June 3 at ten locations across Nanaimo: McGirr Sports Field Trail, E&N Trail at Northfield Road, Haliburton Road multi use path, Colliery Dam, Bowen Park Trailway, Queen Elizabeth Promenade, Departure Bay Walkway, Walley Creek Trail, Front Street and Metral Drive at Mostar Road.

Link to Strategic Plan: Activating Art in transportation corridors, and on waterfront walkways is a direction found in the Community Plan for Public Art.

Key Points

  • Eco-friendly hydrophobic poems across the active transportation network are revealed when it rains.
  • New Public Art along pedestrian and cycling routes to encourage healthy activity, rain or shine.

"I’m thrilled that poetry and art can be part of the story of active transportation. When revealed, these playful haikus encourage a cheery moment on a rainy day for those who roam along our cycle and pedestrian paths." – Mayor Leonard Krog

  • Hands-free taffic signals.

  • Wheel chair accessible picnic tables.

Nanaimo council leading in accessibility initiatives

Inclusive playground creates fun for all.

The Province of B.C. declared that effective September 1, 2022 public sector organizations, including the City of Nanaimo, will be required to establish an accessibility committee, a plan and the ability to receive feedback. The City of Nanaimo is ahead of the curve with Council's Advisory Committee on Accessibility and Inclusiveness meeting regularly since February 2020.

In addition to an established committee, the City is actively working to remove barriers so individuals of all diverse-abilities have equitable access to choose the places they wish to live, work and play. The City of Nanaimo was granted Age Friendly Community status for showing commitment to making the city age friendly, particularly for seniors. The new City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined being considered by Council for adoption, embraces the creation of an "Empowered Nanaimo", which includes policies that will address the barriers for people of all ages and abilities to move freely throughout the community and have equitable access to services and spaces. The proposed City Plan includes policies that support adaptable and accessible housing, programs, facilities and infrastructure (sidewalks, crosswalks etc.). City Plan – Nanaimo ReImagined if adopted, is designed to meet Provincial requirements for an Accessibility Plan.

Many ongoing and past projects are helping to improve both mobility and financial access to the City's parks, recreation and cultural facilities and programs. Accessible beach mats are being laid at Departure Bay beach so those in wheelchairs can reach the water more easily. The team from Inclusive by Design and the City have been working at Diver Lake Park to add several accessible amenities. The community can now enjoy an accessible picnic table, pit toilet, bench and fishing pier. Phase II of the Maffeo Sutton Park inclusive playground is about to begin which will include a we-swing allowing someone in a wheelchair to swing with another person. Families and individuals can apply for the City of Nanaimo Leisure Economic Access Pass (LEAP) program, supporting those in financial need to access Parks, Recreation and Culture programs and services.

The City's Complete Street Guidelines are being incorporated into projects such as Metral Drive to ensure comfortable and effective mobility for people of all ages and abilities. So all people can move about the community safely, 10 touch-free sensors at crosswalks have been installed. These Guardian Wave buttons have a constant direction locator tone and programmable voice function. Curb ramps and the bumpy yellow motion detecting pads, called tactile warning surface indicators, have been installed at five crossings so far. Many of the improvements are incorporated from the BC Community Road Safety Toolkit working towards a Vision Zero - zero traffic fatalities and zero serious injuries. The City also supports the use of a range of technologies to facilitate effective community engagement and remove barriers to participation for those with diverse-abilities.

From May 30 - June 4, 2022 Canada will celebrate the sixth annual National AccessAbility Week (NAAW). Over the week on social media the City will highlight some of the contributions helping make Nanaimo inclusive and accessible. Follow @cityofnanaimo on Facebook and Instagram for more information.

Link to Strategic Plan: To be a community that is livable, environmentally sustainable and full of opportunity for all generations and walks of life.

Key Points

  • City of Nanaimo is already adhering to the new Provincial legislation for public sector organizations to establish an accessibility committee, a plan and the ability to receive feedback well in advance of September 1, 2022.
  • The Advisory Committee on Accessibility and Inclusiveness are promoting social and political equity within City plans, policies, bylaws and infrastructure. Their guidance has been incorporated in the City Plan being considered for adoption by Council. They also work with Council to increase public awareness on issues related to accessibility and inclusion.
  • City of Nanaimo continues to strive to be an accessible and inclusive community. This includes many current initiatives and policies that support adaptable and accessible housing, programs, facilities and infrastructure. Recent examples are the inclusive playground at Maffeo Sutton Park and the installation of Guardian wave touch-free crosswalk sensors.

Quotes

"Livability is an important strategic theme for this council and we are proud to proactively plan for growth with a focus on community infrastructure that supports an inclusive, healthy, safe and desirable place to live. We appreciate the Advisory Committee on Accessibility and Inclusiveness's recommendations and participation." – Mayor Leonard Krog

"Nanaimo is growing at an incredible pace, and we want that growth to be inclusive of anyone that wants to live here at all times of their life and abilities. Building accessible features into our infrastructure, programs and facilities isn't just smart - it's necessary. In an inclusive and accessible community, everyone wins." – Coun. Sheryl Armstrong 

"We live in a truly great city, and we want everyone to be able to enjoy it to its fullest. That means acknowledging that different people have different needs, and adding accessible features that will increase safety and participation. Nanaimo is on the right track and we'll keep going with these important improvements." – Coun. Zeni Maartman

 
Quick Facts
  • The 2022 National AccessAbility Week theme is "Inclusive from the start", imagining a Canada where no one is left out, a Canada for everyone.
  • Nanaimo is designated an Age Friendly Community by the British Columbia Ministry of Health. This status is granted to communities that have shown a commitment to making their Cities Age Friendly, particularly for Seniors.
  • Recently the Leisure Economic Access Pass (LEAP) was reviewed with the intent of removing additional barriers, making it easier to obtain. The pass can be used for up to 50 free admissions for drop-in swimming, skating, weight room and gym visits per year and %50 registered programs up to four times per year (maximum of $40).

Links

2022 tax notices going out in the mail

Nanaimo residents are encouraged to check their mailboxes and email accounts for their 2022 Property Tax notices that were sent out this week. Property owners can skip the line and pay their property taxes online through their financial institution. Another option is to set up a pre-authorized withdrawal plan with the City of Nanaimo.

Property tax payments are due on July 4, 2022. A late payment penalty of 2 per cent will be applied to payments received after July 4, 2022 and another 8 per cent will be applied for ones made after August 31, 2022.

Along with their tax notice, residents will find this year's City Updates newsletter where they can learn about how taxes are calculated and used, how to claim the Home Owner Grant and the Property Tax Deferral program. In addition, the newsletter features information on the upcoming election, summer events in Nanaimo's parks and more. The newsletter is also available to view on the City website at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/CityUpdates.

For more information on taxes, Home Owner Grants and other ways to pay, visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/taxes. To learn how tax dollars are allotted, see the 2022-2026 Financial Plan Quick Facts at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/budget.

Link to Strategic Plan: The City of Nanaimo encourages two-way communication with our Nanaimo residents especially in regards to property taxes. We are here to answer your questions. This contributes to "Governance Excellence" as one of four Council Priorities from the City’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan.

Key Points

  • July 4, 2022 is the due date for property tax payments and, if eligible, to claim the Home Owner Grant. Skip the line up and pay property taxes online.
  • To apply for the Pre-Authorized Payment Plan, property owners must complete the form on the City website at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/paws.
  • The average home will pay an additional $204 in City of Nanaimo taxes and user fees for 2022. Additional levies will come from the following government agencies: Vancouver Island Regional Library, Regional District of Nanaimo, Regional Hospital District, School District #68, BC Assessment and Municipal Finance Authority.
  • BC Assessment is responsible for the valuation of properties within the City of Nanaimo. The overall residential assessment values in Nanaimo have increased by an average of 30.7 per cent. The average home value increased to $718,471 from $549,668. Visit www.bcassessment.ca for more information.

Quotes

"Residents should receive their tax notices by the first week of June. If you haven't received yours by then, please call the property tax department. Don't forget, home owner grants and tax deferral applications are now processed directly through the Province."

Laura Mercer
Director, Finance
City of Nanaimo

Quick Facts

  • The City of Nanaimo also collects taxes on behalf of the following government bodies and agencies: Regional District of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island Regional Library, Regional Hospital District, Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District #68, BC Assessment and the Municipal Finance Authority.
  • BC Assessment is responsible for the valuation of properties within the City of Nanaimo. Visit www.bcassessment.ca for more information.
  • The City owns in excess of $3 billion in infrastructure. The City maintains these assets using a number of resources including the general, sewer and water asset management reserve funds that were created in 2013.
  • Other ways to pay taxes include in person at the Service and Resource Centre (411 Dunsmuir Street); dropping off a cheque payment in the drop box located outside the Service and Resource Centre (411 Dunsmuir Street) and by mailing a cheque payment using the postage-paid return envelope included in the tax notice package.

City's Spring GoByBike returns May 30 to June5

Spring GoByBike will take place May 30-June 5. Register today and enter to win prizes, attend events, reduce emissions and save on your gas bill.

Celebration stations will be set up at various locations, hosted by many gracious sponsors during the week. Plan your bike routes accordingly so you can stop in to say hello and enter to win prizes. An updated digital cycling map will be available soon to assist with route planning.

Numerous biking events are planned and everyone is welcome. Join the Kickoff event May 29, Downtown Heritage Bike Tour May 31, Clean Up Ride June 4, Nanaimo (Handle) Bar Ride June 4 and the Wrap Up Event will take place June 11, after the commuter challenge.

There is also a way to participate virtually. The City of Nanaimo have joined in on the popular Bike Tag fun, initiated by the cycling community this photo tag game is played on bicycles and the object of the game is to find and create what are called "mystery locations". Bike Tag is played all over the world from Paris to Miami.

Registration is FREE so sign up today at gobybikebc.ca/nanaimo. Registered participants who submit their km's are automatically signed up for the chance to win the local grand prize giveaway - an adult bike and kids bike, donated by Canadian Tire.

Link to Strategic Plan: Taking a leadership role, focus on our environmental impact and climate change contributions.

Key Points

  • Residents are encouraged to register for Spring GoByBike May 30 - June 5. Record and submit all the kilometres ridden during the week for a chance to win prizes, including an adult bike and a kids bike, donated by Nanaimo Canadian Tire.
  • Five Celebration Stations and five biking events will be set up throughout the week at various locations and all generously hosted by community sponsors. View the poster for details.
  • Don't want to attend an event, but still want to participate? Play Bike Tag to create and find some fun "mystery locations" around Nanaimo.

Quotes

Mayor
City of Nanaimo
 
 

Quick Facts

  • Getting around without a car is still the biggest way you can reduce your environmental impact and C02 emissions.
  • Be sure to keep track of your km's from commuting, hitting the trails, joining in on the planned rides or coming out to celebration stations. Log into your GoByBike account to record the km's and be entered to win prizes. This year GoByBike and Exodus Travels are giving a away a trip to the Netherlands!
  • Registration is free and you can participate as an individual, start a team or join a team and get your workplace involved.

City parks water parks open today

The City of Nanaimo, Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture will be turning on the taps at the City's four water parks on Saturday, May 21 - just in time for the Victoria Day long weekend. The four parks are located at Deverill Square Park, Departure Bay Kiwanis Park, Mansfield Park and Harewood Centennial Park. The water is available daily from 9 am to 8 pm.

Key Points

There are four water parks in Nanaimo, located at Deverill Square Park, Departure Bay Kiwanis Park, Harewood Centennial Park and Mansfield Park.

Each park is open 7 days a week from 9 am to 8 pm.

Every spring, City staff work to prepare the water parks for opening by testing the pipes, cleaning the features and making sure everything is in working order.

Budget focuses on building a resilient community

At a Special meeting on Monday, May 9, Council adopted the City's 2022-2026 Financial Plan, which includes the 2022 City Budget. This year, property owners can expect a general property tax rate increase of five per cent and a one per cent increase for the General Asset Management Reserve equating to an additional $139 or $11.58/month for the average home.

The City’s budget focuses on a return to a "new normal" and includes a number of initiatives to support Council priorities:

Enhancing Public and Community Safety: with the addition of seven new RCMP members (three new RCMP members and four new geographically targeted RCMP bike patrol members) and implementation of the Downtown Nanaimo Safety Action Plan. The Downtown Safety Action plan includes 12 Community Safety Officers, two permanent two-person Community Clean Teams, Downtown Ambassadors program, Parks Ambassador program for summer 2022, vandalism relief grant program and additional downtown parkade cleaning.In addition to the above mentioned, an enhanced investment will be made in 2022 for pedestrian amenities including Lenhart Pedestrian Bridge, new sidewalks and multi-use paths and $1 million allocated to additional pedestrian amenities.

  • Strengthening Nanaimo’s Economy: through funding for the new Nanaimo Prosperity Corporation to help advance the City’s economic development priorities.
  • Supporting Good Governance and Effective Service Delivery: with the continuation of the multi-year project to implement a Corporate Asset Management System to enhance the City’s ability to track and manage assets, and aid future decision-making.
  • Fighting Climate Change: with the fixed annual contribution the Climate Action Reserve Fund to support energy and emissions management initiatives, plans and projects.
  • Investing in Our Community: with the allocation of $480,000/year for five years to support recommendations and initiatives in the Health and Housing Action Plan. Also, funding recreation opportunities such as Harewood Artificial Turf Fields, Loudon Park Improvements, Marie Davidson Bike Park Improvements, Maffeo Sutton Playground Phase 2 and Westwood Lake Improvements.

The City’s financial planning process is informed by policies, plans endorsed and/or approved by Council and public consultation. The property tax rate is set by Council after reviewing the departmental business plans and the City's Five-Year Project Plan, balancing the community’s interest in maintaining existing levels of services while planning for significant infrastructure needs.

Tax notices will be sent to homes in May along with the annual City Updates newsletter, which includes information on property taxes as well as upcoming community projects, programs and events. For more information on the 2022-2026 Financial Plan, visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/budget.

  • The City of Nanaimo's property tax increase for 2022 is set at six per cent (five per cent general property tax increase and one per cent increase for the General Asset Management Reserve).

  • The City also collects fees and taxes on behalf of Regional District of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island Regional Library, School District 68 and BC assessment, which is not reflected in the six per cent increase.

  • The 2022-2026 Financial Plan includes investments in capital infrastructure projects to help support economic recovery.

    Quotes

    "As a Council, we want to ensure Nanaimo is a healthy, connected and resilient community. This budget includes investments in public safety, Nanaimo's economy and our fight against climate change. The community has been loud and clear; these timely investments are needed now," said Mayor Leonard Krog .

    Quick Facts

    • Municipalities must set their tax rates for each property class, by bylaw, before May 15 of each year, and
      they must submit their tax bylaw to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, which reviews and publishes annual tax rate and tax revenue information.

    • The City owns and maintains over $3 billion in infrastructure assets such as roads, water mains, facilities, drainage, parks and the sewer system.

Chocolates and wine, mayors place their bets

Mayor Leonard Krog in Nanaimo Clippers colours.

Mayor Leonard Krog has issued a formal challenge to the Mayor of Penticton in anticipation of the Nanaimo Clippers and Penticton Vees hockey teams squaring off in the BCHL Fred Page Cup Finals.

Mayor Vassilaki happily accepted this challenge. Should Nanaimo win the series (best of 7 games) Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki will wear a Nanaimo Clippers hockey team jersey for an entire day and at a Council meeting. Mayor Vassilaki will also donate $100 to a charity of Mayor Krog's choice and will send a bottle of local wine to cheers the win.

However, if Penticton should win, Mayor Krog will wear a Penticton Vees jersey for an entire day and at a council meeting, he will donate a $100 to a charity of Mayor Vassilaki's choice and will send a plate of Nanaimo bars for the Penticton Mayor and Council to enjoy during a Council meeting.

Key Points

  • All in good fun, Mayor Krog issued a challenge to Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki as a way to cheer on their community's BCHL hockey teams during the Fred Page Cup Finals.
  • Should Nanaimo win the series, Penticton Mayor will wear a Nanaimo Clippers jersey for an entire day as well as during a Council meeting; donate $100 to a charity of Mayor Krog's choice and send a bottle of local wine to Nanaimo.
  • The first two games will take place at the South Okanagan Events Centre May 13 and 14. The teams will then travel to Nanaimo to play in Frank Crane Arena on May 17 and 18.

Quick Facts

  • The Penticton Vees and Nanaimo Clippers are playing in round four of the Fred Page Cup. If they win, they will go into playoffs for the RBC Cup.

Nanaimo Recycles car trunk sale registration now open

220511 – The City of Nanaimo is bringing back the popular annual Nanaimo Recycles Car Trunk Sale and registration is now open for interested vendors.

On Saturday, July 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents looking for a bargain or a unique buy can join up to 100 vendors selling used items from the trunk of their cars in the Country Club Centre parking lot. This free to attend reuse event aims to give unwanted household items a longer lease on life and to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.

Residents interested in becoming a vendor at the Trunk Sale must register in advance to reserve their spot by emailing SortTossRoll@nanaimo.ca.

Link to Strategic Plan: Supporting Environmental Responsibility and Social Equity by extending the useful life of household items.

Key Points

  • The Trunk Sale promotes the reuse and recycling of unwanted “garage sale” type items. No retail-type booths or sale of new items will be permitted. The only new items permitted for sale are items made from recycled materials.
  • The Trunk Sale can reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by giving used household items a new lease on life.
  • Trunk Sale visitors can also learn more about City programs for waste collection and recycling.
  • Registration for spaces for vendors is on a first come, first served basis. There are a total of 100 vendor spaces available.
Quick Facts
  • In August, following the Car Trunk sale, the City will also be holding it's Reuse Rendezvous (August 13 and 14). This is an opportunity for residents to place quality, reusable items at the curb with a free sticker for others to pickup and make use of, ultimately extending the items life and keeping it out of the landfill. 

Curbside recycling contamination above the allowable rate

Residents of Nanaimo are urged to reduce blue cart contamination. Recycle BC, the provincial authority overseeing recycling across the province, requires recycling collectors such as the City of Nanaimo to maintain contamination rates of less than three per cent to meet contract requirements. Currently, Nanaimo's recycling contamination rate averages more than 10 percent.

The most common contamination found in recycling includes glass, electronics, plastic bags and overwrap, clothing, scrap metal, garbage, construction material, refundables, and hazardous waste.

Contamination can lead to increased service fees and recycling ending up in the landfill. It can also put workers at risk and damage equipment used in the recycling process. To reduce contamination levels, the City has put together an action plan. It includes increased communications and education, along with curbside inspections of blue carts and firmer stance on collecting. Those who continue to contaminate their recycling will receive a sticker alerting them of the item(s) not accepted. The goal is to never leave a cart behind, but households that continue to contaminate could see their blue carts not being collected.

For assistance with identifying blue cart accepted material use the What Goes Where Waste Wizard tool found on www.nanaimo.ca or download the Nanaimo Recycles App. Those without access to the internet or an app can call the Recycling Hotline at 1-800-732-9253.

Link to Strategic Plan: Ensuring we maintain contracts with key partners like Recycle BC to provide cost effective service delivery to residents.

Key Points

  • Contamination rates as high as 18 per cent have been recorded in Nanaimo residential curbside recycling loads. Recycle B.C. requires that the City reduce this to three per cent or less to meet contract requirements.
  • The City has increased communication and education while undertaking inspections of curbside recycling.
  • Recycle B.C. has the ability to fine the City if contamination rates do not reduce.

Quotes

"It’s amazing how well we’ve adapted and become responsible recyclers over the years, but we have to be careful not to become a community of wish-cyclers, tossing items into the blue bin which can’t be properly handled at the recycling facility," says Mayor Leonard Krog. "That just creates more work on the line, undoes the great work other households have done, and ultimately could hit us in the pocketbooks in a big way. When in doubt, just throw it out; recycle the materials you’re sure of."

  • The most common contamination found in curbside recycling are: glass, electronics, plastic bags and overwrap, clothing, scrap metal, garbage, construction material, refundables, and hazardous waste. If you cannot take these items to a depot, please place them in your garbage if it is safe to do so.
  • Please empty and rinse containers and break down your cardboard. Cardboard must be 2’ x 2’ maximum. Recycling must be loose, please do not place into bags, boxes or stack items.
  • Blue Cart Contamination Inspection Sheet
  • Recycling - Blue Cart Information

Find a list of accepted blue cart items and the What Goes Where Waste Wizard Tool.

Find a list of what you can throw in your black cart and what happens to it after we pick it up.

Find a list of many items you can place in the green cart and information about bag liners.

City recruiting workers for 2022 general local election

The City of Nanaimo is seeking experienced election workers for the 2022 General Local Election to be held Saturday, October 15. Anyone interested in working for the election can fill out an application form and submit it via email to elections@nanaimo.caor drop off in person to the Legislative Services Department in City Hall located at 455 Wallace Street. Applications must be received by 4:30 pm on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.

For more information and to download a copy of the application form, visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/elections. The City thanks all applicants for their interest; however, only those candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted.

  • A variety of positions are available for the 2022 General Local Election on Saturday, October 15, 2022.
  • All election workers must be available to work on Election Day.
  • Election workers must remain neutral and cannot publicly support candidates.
  • Application forms are available to download on the City website.

"Working for the election is a rewarding experience. I encourage anyone interested in helping facilitate a key component of the democratic process to apply," says Sheila Gurrie Director, Legislative Services and Chief Election Officer

Remembering lives lost in BC's worst mining disaster

Today is the 135th anniversary of The No. 1 Esplanade mine explosions.

Starting at 5:55 pm on May 3, 1887, two explosions occurred 260 meters below sea level in what was known as the city's largest mine, No. 1 Esplanade Mine. The blast was so forceful it rocketed through the underground shafts for almost a kilometer.

The underground fire burned for two weeks. Because of such damage, the last of the bodies could not be recovered until July and unfortunately seven men never were recovered and remain somewhere beneath the Nanaimo Harbour to this day. This tragic accident took the lives of 150 miners, creating a massive impact to a community of approximately only 2,000 people at the time. Forty six women lost their husbands, 126 children lost their fathers and the mine lost 25% of its employees.

The explosions of the No. 1 Esplanade Mine are known as the worst mining disaster in British Columbia's history and second worst industrial accident in Canada (the mining disaster of 1914 in Hillcrest, Alberta killed 189 miners). A jury blamed the explosion on the firing of an unprepared and badly planted charge that ignited accumulated gas fuelled by coal dust.

To mark the anniversary and honour the memory of the lives lost, flags located at City of Nanaimo facilities will be lowered to half-mast on Tuesday, May 3.

Visit the walk-through coalmine exhibit in the Nanaimo Museum to learn more about Nanaimo's coal mining history and this tragic accident. Find more information on this award-winning exhibit here: www.nanaimomuseum.ca/permanent-exhibit/the-coal-mine.

Key Points

·       On May 3, 1887, 150 miners lost their lives, leaving a massive effect on the community.

·       Flags will fly at half mast on May 3 in memory of the lives lost in the No. 1 Esplanade Mine disaster.

·       A memorial plaque to remember the miners who died from the explosions stands in place of the site of the No. 1 Esplanade mine on Milton Street (1151 Milton Street).

"We will all take a moment on May 3 to remember the many lives lost in this tragic event," says Mayor Leonard Krog

·       In 2015, Council passed a resolution to lower the flags at all City of Nanaimo facilities to half-mast on May 3 in memory of the lives lost in the Nanaimo coal mining disaster of 1887.

·       Nanaimo Museum's Coal Mining Exhibit

Emergency preparedness is everyone's responsibility

April 28, 2022

Being prepared is important and something the whole family can do. As Emergency Preparedness Week approaches, the City of Nanaimo is encouraging residents to prepare for an emergency by making a kit, drafting up a plan and signing up for the City's Voyent Alert! Emergency Notification System.

Natural disasters may be beyond our control, but there are ways to reduce the risk and the impact of whatever emergency we might face - whether natural or human-induced. By taking a few simple steps, you can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies – anytime, anywhere. It is important to:

  • Know the risks – Although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing the risks specific to our community and our region can help you better prepare.
  • Make a plan – It will help you and your family know what to do
  • Get an emergency kit – During an emergency, we will all need some basic supplies. We may need to get by without power or tap water.

From May 1 to May 7, the City of Nanaimo encourages residents to take concrete actions to be better prepared. Experience has shown that individual preparedness goes a long way to help people cope better - both during and after a major disaster. It can make a world of difference.

For more information about how you can prepare for emergencies and to make a kit, visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/emergencykit or the Province of BC website www.preparedbc.ca.

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

  • Emergency Preparedness Week is a national event coordinated by Public Safety Canada.
  • The City of Nanaimo is encouraging residents to make a kit during this week or check kits that have already been prepared.
  • Voyent Alert! can send emergency information a variety of ways. Residents can choose to receive a push notifications through the Voyent Alert! smartphone app, an email, text or a phone call are also options should there be a local emergency impacting City of Nanaimo residents. Visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/alerts to learn more and sign up.

"It's everyone's responsibility to be prepared for an emergency. By taking a few simple steps, you can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies – anytime, anywhere. There's no time like today to get your emergency kit together."

Leonard Krog
Mayor, City of Nanaimo

New policy for Nanaimo's neighbourhood associations

Council has instituted a Neighbourhood Association Supports Policy along with a $10,000 annual Neighbourhood Grant Program, which will begin in 2023.

An initial review of neighbourhood associations began in February 2020 where Council was interested in the organizational status of neighbourhood associations and the City's relationship with these groups. The discussions led to gathering input from existing associations, reviewing other municipality's engagement models and collecting feedback through a community survey. After thorough analysis and consultation, a policy was created establishing organizational criteria and identifying ways to support the associations, including funding opportunities.

The policy states the City of Nanaimo will support neighbourhood associations that meet and maintain the following organizational criteria:

  • Have an elected executive that meets on a regular basis;
  • Have a membership structure;
  • Hold an annual general meeting, and provide a copy of the minutes to the City;
  • Keep minutes for executive and general membership meetings;
  • Engage with its membership for input prior to responding to City development referrals; and
  • Provide periodic updates to members related to the activities of the group.

More information on active neighbourhood associations in your area, visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/neighbourhoodassociations

Link to Strategic Plan: Proactively planning for Nanaimo’s growth and focusing on community infrastructure to support an inclusive, healthy, safe and desirable place to live.

Key Points

  • Council adopted the Neighbourhood Association Policy and approved the creation of a $10,000 annual Neighbourhood Grant for 2023 at the April 25, 2022 Council meeting.
  • The City of Nanaimo is committed to providing communication, administrative, educational and funding support to associations who meet and maintain the organizational criteria in the policy.
  • The path to this policy began in February 2020 and after two years of engagement, research and planning, the policy was adopted.
  • "We appreciate all the efforts from staff and the community throughout this two year review process. Council looks forward to continuing to support these associations and all the good work they do in the community. We encourage you to reach out and get involved with the association in your area."
    Leonard Krog
    Mayor, City of Nanaimo

New Tourism Nanaimo focuses on destination marketing

The City of Nanaimo has established a new tourism body to attract visitors. Officially incorporated and ready to launch with a first board meeting in mid-May, the Tourism Nanaimo Society (Tourism Nanaimo) is a non-profit marketing and management organization that works with industry stakeholders, governments and others to develop and market Nanaimo as a destination for visitors.

At the April 25, Nanaimo City Council meeting, Tourism Nanaimo’s Interim Executive Director Jenn Houtby-Ferguson presented the findings of preliminary market research and an overview of Nanaimo’s strengths as a tourist destination.

Later in the same meeting, the Nanaimo Hospitality Association (NHA) presented their findings to Council on hotel bookings and the campaigns they used to attract visitors. A final presentation from consultant Jacquelyn Novak outlined a sports tourism strategy for Council endorsement.

Together, the three presentations showed the collaboration that underpins the future of tourism marketing and promotion in Nanaimo.
With Council’s endorsement of the Sports Tourism Strategy, the City, NHA and Tourism Nanaimo will work closely together to implement the plan to attract visitors to Nanaimo for tournaments and related events.

Link to Strategic Plan: Tourism is a strong economic driver for The City of Nanaimo, and support's Council's commitment to prioritizing Economic Health.

Key Points

  • The new Tourism Nanaimo Society is led by a Board of Directors comprised of fifteen voting directors representing various key government and public sector stakeholders and industry representatives.
  • Tourism Nanaimo is now officially incorporated with an inaugural meeting set for mid-May.
  • The City of Nanaimo provided Tourism Nanaimo with $711,000 in funding this year. Funding is ongoing and will be supplemented with grants from other government agencies.

"Working closely with the Nanaimo Hospitality Association, Tourism Nanaimo will help market the City as a destination for meetings, conventions and sports tourism."The launch of Tourism Nanaimo is right in line with the vision people put forward through REIMAGINE NANAIMO. This new agency is built through collaboration among community partners to show that Nanaimo is a premier tourist destination with numerous and unique attractions.

Tourism Nanaimo has the right leadership, funding and mandate to really put us on the map in a way that celebrates our unique story and the wonderful, natural and social amenities we have to offer."

Leonard Krog
Mayor, City of Nanaimo

Quick Facts

  • When the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation dissolved in 2017, Tourism Vancouver Island (TVI) took up its promotional work. In December 2020, TVI announced they would no longer provide destination marketing service to Nanaimo.
  • The City of Nanaimo reviewed options for creating a resilient, effective approach to tourism and invited community partners to participate, resulting in the new Tourism Nanaimo Society.

City celebrates youth week May 1 to 7

The City of Nanaimo is pleased to present the 2022 Youth Week celebrations. Activities are planned from May 1 to May 7, all with the intent of celebrating youth in Nanaimo.

Highlights include youth toonie skates, a hike to Sugarloaf Mountain, a free swim (Lions Free Swim) at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and a special "May the Fourth Be with You" Star Wars skate at Nanaimo Ice Centre. A full schedule of events can be found on the YOUth Nanaimo Facebook page and on the City of Nanaimo website, www.nanaimo.ca.

Link to Strategic Plan: Youth Week supports the Livability pillar of the City of Nanaimo's strategic plan. The events provide recreational opportunities to young people while also helping to engage and connect youth in Nanaimo.

Key Points

  • Youth Week events are geared to youth between the ages of 11 and 18 years.
  • There are various events scheduled over seven days from May 1-7, 2022.
  • Some activities are drop-in while others require pre-registration with Parks, Recreation and Culture.
Mayor
City of Nanaimo

Downtown revitalization and safety plan closely linked

Since taking office, Nanaimo City Council has focused on the effects of homelessness, mental illness and drug addiction on the community, especially downtown. Through REIMAGINE NANAIMO, the City heard clearly that the community wants a flourishing, vibrant downtown that is safer for all users throughout the day and evening.

Depending on the outcome of discussions at City Council next Monday, both of those visions may move closer to reality.

The Downtown Safety Action Plan, presented to the Finance and Audit Committee on April 20, outlines a new, coordinated, proactive approach to public safety, and may set the stage for a revitalization of Nanaimo’s core business and entertainment district.

The Plan, commissioned by Council last year, was created by Neilson Strategies and includes new and augmented resources, programs and services. For the first time, Nanaimo City staff on patrol downtown would include Community Safety Officers (CSOs) whose role would be proactive, rather than complaints-based, and focused on conflict resolution and relationships with businesses, organizations and individuals.

The Plan recommendations include hiring CSOs, adding two more Community Clean Teams, using Parks Ambassadors (2022 only), increasing downtown parkade cleaning, adding Downtown Ambassadors and undertaking an assessment of public spaces to improve safety.

Implications of the new safety plan for the 2022-2026 Financial Plan will be a tax increase of 0.7 per cent in 2022 and 1.2 per cent in 2023. Council will vote on the Downtown Safety Action Plan on April 25.

Link to Strategic Plan: A focused effort to address public safety concerns supports Council's priorities of Governance Excellence, Economic Health and Livability.

Key Points

  • A Downtown Safety Action Plan was presented to the Finance and Audit Committee on April 20 and will go before Council for approval on April 25.
  • The Plan recommendations include hiring Community Safety Officers, adding two more Community Clean Teams, using Parks Ambassadors, increasing downtown parkade cleaning, adding Downtown Ambassadors and assessing public spaces to improve safety.
  • Improved public safety is as a priority for residents, Council and staff, and is a key component in the revitalization of Nanaimo's downtown.

Quotes

Mayor
City of Nanaimo

Annual catch basin cleaning program set to begin

Nanaimo Public Works staff and contractors will be out cleaning the City's inventory of stormwater catch basins beginning next week. WATCH THE VIDEO

Starting in the Duke Point area, crews will work their way north on the east side to Dickinson Road then back south on the west side of the city to Cinnabar Valley. This work involves large equipment and staff working on the road. Please approach with caution and obey traffic control personnel's directions. The annual catch basin cleaning program is expected to be complete by August 2022.

Link to Strategic Plan: The catch basin cleaning program promotes the City's priorities of Governance Excellence and Environmental Responsibility through the regular maintenance and inspection of City assets and diverting pollutants from waterways.

  • During the program storm sewer grates are pulled off and the catch basin is then cleaned out using a vacuum truck. An inspection is then conducted for any for deficiencies. The material is then disposed of in an environmentally safe manner.
  • Groess Environmental has been contracted to conduct the 2022 catch basin cleaning program with City of Nanaimo Public Works staff.
  • Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are asked to watch for crews and traffic control personal on the roads, and be aware of missing grates near the work zone.
 Approximately 10,000 catch basins are inspected and cleaned each year.

Permit required for residential backyard burning

Backyard burning is by permit only in April and November

Nanaimo Fire Rescue reminds residents that backyard burning is banned except by permit. Residents who are planning a backyard burn must familiarize themselves with the Fire Bylaw and the required conditions to obtain a permit. There is no fee this year; however, specific conditions must be met to obtain a permit. 

Burning permits may be issued for one residential burn pile on a lot that is one (1) acre in size or greater or lots located on Protection Island, under the following conditions:
* A burning permit is required and can be obtained by calling the Nanaimo Fire Rescue Department at 250-753-7311 (Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm).
* Burning is only permitted from sunrise to sunset, Fridays and Saturdays, during the months of April and November.
* Fire must be on the property owned by the individual who wants to burn.
* The permittee shall keep a competent person at all times in charge of such fire until such time as the fire is completely extinguished.
* Only organic yard waste materials such as garden refuse and prunings may be burned.
* Burning of wooden construction material, stumps, land clearing materials/debris or household garbage is not permitted.
* Fires shall not exceed 1.5 meters across in size; shall be hand fed and shall be located at least 3 meters from any combustibles.

Permits are not valid on days when the venting index is fair or poor, the category must be good. The venting index can be found online at: www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/epdpa/venting/

For more information, residents may contact General Fire Information at 250-753-7311.

KEY POINTS

* Permits are available only in April and November and can be obtained by calling Nanaimo Fire Rescue at 250-753-7311 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

* No fees are required but residents must review the conditions and qualify in order to obtain a permit.

* Burning is only allowed when the vending index is rated good.

"We encourage you to review the burning regulations and obtain the proper permit to prevent unnecessarily tying up the Fire Department at unpermitted, non-emergency backyard fires," said Fire Chief Tim Doyle.

Venting Index
https://cnan.ca/36SNwa8

Nanaimo Burning Regulations & Permits
https://cnan.ca/2CZJJXT

Housing starts up 50 per cent, population getting younger

Mayor Leonard Krog

Annual State of the Nanaimo Economy Report presented to Council

A surge in housing starts last year and a projected shift to a younger population are just some of the reasons for optimism in the City of Nanaimo’s recent economic report. The annual State of the Nanaimo Economy report shows that home sales and prices reached record levels, and new housing starts increased by 50 per cent in 2021. For the first time, the 25 – 44-year-old age group will grow faster than the 65-plus cohort in the coming decade.

“Nanaimo’s economy is doing well, and as more and more people discover us, they are voting with their feet to live, work and invest here,” said Mayor Leonard Krog, “It is why we are pushing ahead with a re-imagined downtown streetscape, and it is why we are about to launch a new economic development group and have re-invigorated our tourism agency."

Nanaimo was in the top five cities in Canada for population growth last year, drawing newcomers from across the country and within the province. With an unemployment rate below the national and provincial averages, and a lively job market, Nanaimo is a good place to look for work.

“The challenge for the city now is to keep up with the infrastructure to serve the needs of a younger demographic, whether that is more nightlife, recreation or housing. Fortunately, we are in the final phases of our integrated city plan, Nanaimo Re-Imagined and people have really stepped up to make their views known," said Krog, "The values and goals we heard in the public engagement process will guide Council as it makes decisions on the projects and policies we will need to meet our needs within the limits of our natural environment.” 

For more information on the report and economic development in Nanaimo, visit the Economic Development section on www.nanaimo.ca.

Short Term Rentals require business licences in Nanaimo

New regulations have come into effect for operators of short-term rentals (STR) and bed and breakfasts in the City. Council has adopted amendments to the zoning and off-street parking bylaw that regulates and permits short-term rentals. Included in the changes is the requirement for a business licence. 

The changes come after a review relating to STRs and Bed and Breakfasts Zoning and Business Licence regulations. Through the review, Council confirmed that a business licence will be required for all short-term rental accommodation, including bed and breakfasts. 

To help inform prospective STR operators of zoning and bylaw regulations, building and fire safety information, relevant bylaw information (such as the Noise Control Bylaw) and other good neighbour practices, the City has published a Short-Term Rental Operator’s Guide. The guide will be available online and at the front counter of the City of Nanaimo’s Service and Resource Centre (411 Dunsmuir Street). 

For more information and to view the operator’s guide, visit www.nanaimo.ca.

Strategic Link: The Short-Term Rental review and operator’s guide was a recommendation of the Affordable Housing Strategy; implementing the Affordable Housing Strategy (short-term rentals and adaptable housing regulations) is included in the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan.

* To give STR operators time to familiarize themselves with the new regulations, the City will begin accepting Short Term Rental business licence applications on April 1, 2022.

* The Short Term Rental Operator's Guide is now available online and at the front counter of the Service and Resource Centre (411 Dunsmuir Street).

* On February 7, 2022, Council adopted amendments to the zoning and off-street parking bylaw to regulate and permit short-term rentals.

* Short-term rentals refers to the rental of a room or an entire residential dwelling unit on a temporary basis (i.e., less than 30 days) often through an online platform such as Airbnb, HomeAway, or Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO) and includes bed and breakfasts.

* The number of active short term rental listings in Nanaimo has ranged from 585 to 331 within the past two years (source: AirDNA).

See the Short Term Rental Operator's Guide here.

City gets Canadian Award for financial reporting

The City’s annual financial report for the year ending December 31, 2020 was awarded the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA).  The Canadian Award for Financial Reporting program was established to encourage municipal governments throughout Canada to publish high quality financial reports and to provide peer recognition and technical guidance for officials preparing these reports.

In order to be awarded a Canadian Award for Financial Reporting, a government unit must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized annual financial report, whose contents conform to program standards. Such reports should go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles and demonstrate an effort to clearly communicate the municipal government’s financial picture, enhance an understanding of financial reporting by municipal governments, and address user needs.

“Our City is very fortunate to have such dedicated and talented staff who do an excellent job preparing complex financial reports in a way that can be clearly understood,” said Mayor Krog. “On behalf of Council, I applaud our Finance and Communications departments for this well-deserved award!”

The report has been judged by impartial Canadian Review Committee members to meet the high standards of the program, including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” designed to clearly communicate the municipality’s financial story and to motivate potential users and user groups to read the report.

2020 Annual Municipal Report

Water main flushing program begins March 14

The City of Nanaimo's Engineering and Public Works department will begin its annual water main flushing program on March 14, 2022. Flushing is expected to start in the south end of Nanaimo and, while this program is underway, short periods of low pressure and discoloured water may be expected. Any discolouration in water residents may experience during the flushing program is temporary and not a health hazard.

For more information about the water main flushing program, visit 
www.nanaimo.ca/goto/waterflushing.

* Flushing will begin in south Nanaimo and move it's way north with an expected completion the week of May 1, 2022.

* City crews will flush water supply mains from the South Fork dam to the water treatment plant. Clean drinking water is flushed at a high velocity through water mains to ensure that all piping is refreshed and any minor sediment within the pipes is removed.

* If a change in water appearance such as discolouration is noticed, residents are asked to clear their water lines by running cold water until it runs clear. Any discolouration in water residents may experience during the flushing program is temporary and not a health hazard.

* Anyone with a weakened immune system should reference information on Island Health’s website.

"Nanaimo has some of the cleanest water around thanks to our water treatment plant. However some sediment can still collect over time requiring the water mains to be flushed. If you spot some discolouration in your water, just run the cold water tap until it clears."

  David Myles 
  Manager of Utilities 
  City of Nanaimo       

* Running cold water to clear any discolouration instead of hot water reduces energy usage. It also avoids trapping sediment in your hot water tank.

* In previous years, the City of Nanaimo’s Water Main Flushing Program washed out over 90 km of water supply mains and over 536 km of distribution water mains.

Water Main Flushing Program         
https://cnan.ca/2TflVEX


Dog owners reminded to renew licences for 2022

With a new year under way, the City reminds pet owners to renew their dog's licence. New license fees and charges have come into effect to align with the Animal Responsibility bylaw adopted in 2021. Fees for sterilized dogs will remain at $30 with a $5 discount for payments made before February 28 of the licencing year while the licence fee for unsterilized dogs is $60 with a $10 discount for early payments. 

Also new this year, is the ability for new residents or first time dog owners to apply for a dog licence online. In addition to online payments, dog licences and renewals can be purchased in person at the City of Nanaimo's Services and Resource Centre (411 Dunsmuir Street) and the Nanaimo Animal Shelter (1260 Nanaimo Lakes Road). New licences must be purchased in person, while renewals may be purchased in person or online at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/DogLicence.

* Dog licence renewal notices have been mailed out this week.

* A dog licence and accompanying identification tag are required for every dog in Nanaimo over the age of 12 weeks.

* Licences and renewals can be purchased in-person. Residents purchasing a tag or renewing in person must follow COVID protocols and wear a mask.

* One hundred per cent of the fees collected from dog licences go toward the costs of operating the Nanaimo Animal Shelter, including care and adoption.

"We want to keep our furry friends safe. An important step is to get or renew a dog licence. Not only are they instrumental in reuniting dogs with their owners, but 100% of dog licence fees collected go towards the costs of operating the Nanaimo Animal Shelter,"  Mayor Leonard Krog said.

Beban Pool to open on January 17

Aquafit classes and
swimming lessons also starting


The main 25-metre tank at Beban Park Pool will reopen Jan. 17. In addition, aquafit classes will resume at both Beban Park Pool and Nanaimo Aquatic Centre, and a small set of winter swimming lessons will be available for registration.

The opening of the Beban Park main pool comes after a series of repairs were conducted. During that time, Nanaimo Aquatic Centre accommodated the vast majority of public swimming sessions and provided space for user groups and rentals. Now that both pools are fully operational, citizens can enjoy more swimming opportunities.

A short set of winter swimming lessons will be held until a full set can be offered in the spring. Available classes will be viewable online starting on Monday, January 17 with registration beginning on Wednesday, January 19.

To see the pool schedules that begin on January 17, please visit recreation.nanaimo.ca (drop in). Pre-registration is only required for aquafit classes. All other sessions do not require pre-registration.

There have been several improvements to Beban Pool, including new tiling in the washrooms, LED lighting upgrades, water-efficient taps and overall painting found throughout the facility. In additions, an accessibility audit was completed last year that should help the City of Nanaimo determine ways to enhance everyone's ability to access the pool amenities found at Beban Park.

For those who haven't visited Beban Park Pool in awhile, Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun, a Coast Salish artist, was commissioned by the City of Nanaimo to create large-scale murals that were unveiled last fall. These feature the movement of the dog salmon run and the ecosystems sustained by the herring run and the eelgrass. Creatures, including littleneck clams, sea lion, bald eagle, octopus, and others, appear in his designs. Interactive and interpretive signage with English and Hul’q’umi’num words, and a take-away guide is available to share information, language and stories related to the artwork.

Although both pools are open, Provincial Health Orders require that weight rooms remain closed until at least January 18, facility capacities be restricted to 50 percent, and everyone over the age of 12 provide proof of vaccination in order to participate or spectate. As health orders are updated, schedules and procedures will be adjusted. Due to the demand of aquafit classes, pre-registration is required up to 8 days in advance by calling our registration desk at 250-756-5200 or online at recreation.nanaimo.ca (register for a program, drop in).

Strategic Link: Providing opportunities to recreate supports a liveable community.

* Beban Pool's main 25-metre tank will open, along with the rest of Beban Pool's amenities on Monday, January 17.

* Aquafit classes at both Beban Park Pool and Nanaimo Aquatic Centre will resume on January 17 with mandatory pre-registration. Pre-registration is available by phone with a credit card at 250-756-5200 or online at recreation.nanaimo.ca.

* A short set of winter swimming lessons will be offered. Available classes will be online for viewing starting on Monday, January 17 with registration beginning on Wednesday, January 19.

"On behalf of council and staff, I thank members of our community for their patience as repairs at Beban Park pool were undertaken. With both pools being fully operational, we are happy that we can once again provide a wide variety of swimming opportunities for our citizens."

  Leonard Krog
  Mayor
  City of Nanaimo

January meetings going virtual, Public Hearings postponed

Jan 12, 2022

The City of Nanaimo continues to adapt its processes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Due to concerns regarding the highly infectious nature of the Omicron variant, all Council and Committee meetings for the month of January will be held virtually. In addition, Public Hearings that had been scheduled for January 20 and January 24 have been postponed until February. 

Staff continue to monitor public health orders and will re-evaluate the situation later this month to determine the best course of action for future Council and Committee meetings.  

As required by Legislation, the public are still able to attend these virtual meetings in person, to ask questions and/or appear as a registered delegation; however, the City strongly encourages the public to participate electronically if at all possible. Delegations are encouraged to join the meeting via Zoom rather than attend in person, and all meetings continue to be live-streamed and available for viewing on the City website at www.nanaimo.ca/meetings

For members of the public who wish to attend a meeting in person, please be advised that if maximum seating capacity is reached you will not be permitted to enter the meeting room. Masks are also required in all indoor public settings. Details on how to attend these virtual meetings in person is as follows:

**Council meetings**
* The public can attend in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre’s Shaw Auditorium, located at 80 Commercial Street. 

**Committee meetings** *(including Finance and Audit and Governance and Priorities Committee)*
* The public can attend in the Service and Resource Centre’s Boardroom, located at 411 Dunsmuir Street.

Strategic Link: Ensuring public safety and access for public participation in Council's decision-making process supports a priority of providing good governance.

KEY POINTS

* Council and Committee meetings for the month of January 2022 will be held virtually

* The Public Hearing dates scheduled for January 20 and 24 have been postponed

* Staff will continue to monitor and re-evaluate the situation later this month for future meetings

* Registered delegations are encouraged to attend meetings via Zoom, but public attendance is still permitted

"It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic will still be with us for the foreseeable future, but thanks to modern technology and the ability to have meetings virtually, the work of Council carries on. We thank Staff for continuing to adapt during these unprecedented times by helping develop solutions that allow public participation to still take place in a manner that ensures safety is prioritized."

  Leonard Krog, Mayor
  City of Nanaimo

Section of Fourth Street to close for construction

220111 – The City of Nanaimo will begin work on phase one of the Albert/Fourth Complete Street project this month. This first phase of the project will cover Fourth Street between Harewood Road and Pine Street. The project aims to increase the safety and comfort for people who walk, bike, take transit and drive along this corridor.

Upgrades will include new cycling and shared use facilities, new concrete sidewalks, improved transit stops, improved intersection crossings and replacement of underground water mains and storm sewers.

The Government of Canada contributed $750,000 to the project through the Canada Community-Building Fund.

To help with construction activities, Fourth Street will be closed 24 hours a day to vehicle traffic between Bruce Avenue and Pine Street. A detour using Fifth Street and Park Avenue will be set up to direct traffic around the work zone. Access will be provided for local residents and businesses within the construction area.

Construction work on Phase 1 is expected to be completed before Summer 2022. For the latest project information, please visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/AlbertFourth

Construction on Phase 2 between Pine Street and Milton Street is expected to start in the summer of 2022.

Strategic Link: Environmental Responsibility, Livability, Excellence in Governance

KEY POINTS

* Fourth Street will be closed between Bruce Avenue and Pine Street. Detours will be in effect for the duration of the project.

* Phase 1, covering Fourth Street between Harewood Road and Pine Street, will start construction in January 2022 and be completed by summer 2022.

* Complete Streets are designed for everyone and will increase the safety and comfort for people who walk, bike, take transit and drive.

QUOTES

"Whether they walk, bike, drive or use public transportation, Canadians need to be able to get to their destination in a timely and safe fashion. Our Government is funding, in partnership with the City of Nanaimo, the upgrades to the Fourth Street streetscape that will benefit all commuters and encourage active modes of transportation."

  Patrick Weiler, MP for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country on behalf of
  Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
  Government of Canada

"Work is beginning soon to make Fourth Street safer for pedestrians, cyclists, transit users, and drivers. I'm glad our government can fund better sidewalks, bus stops and intersections, to make commuting more climate-friendly."

  Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo, on behalf of
  Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs
  Province of B.C.

"The Canada Community Building Fund is playing a critical role in the renewal of infrastructure in B.C.’s communities. The City of Nanaimo’s approach to “complete streets” is providing a comprehensive upgrade of facilities above ground and below. I am very pleased to see continued federal and provincial support for investments in the infrastructure local governments develop and maintain."

  Laurey Anne Roodenburg
  President
  Union of B.C. Municipalities

"Council and I are excited to see this project take off. This is an important route connecting VIU with downtown and, when finished, will accommodate all types of commuters comfortably. In addition, funding from the Canada Community-Building Fund will offset some of the costs to taxpayers, making this project a win-win!"

  Leonard Krog
  Mayor
  City of Nanaimo

QUICK FACTS

* Locar Industries Ltd. of Nanaimo was awarded the construction contract.

* The project includes 540 metres of water main upgrades, 470 metres of storm sewer upgrades, 470 metres of new sidewalks and 900 metres of new buffered cycle lanes.

* The project construction budget is $1.8 million, and the Government of Canada contributed $750,000 to the project through the Canada Community-Building Fund.

Albert / Fourth Complete Street Phase 1 Project Web Page
https://www.nanaimo.ca/goto/AlbertFourth

Krog and other mayors seek provincial housing solutions

Mayor Leonard Krog

22-01-11 – Nanaimo Mayor Leobard Krog is one of 13 mayors representing more than 55 per cent of British Columbians are again calling on the Provincial Government for the urgent implementation of complex care housing solutions to support the most vulnerable residents in their communities. Today they are releasing a video to reiterate their call.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNeHreeChlQ

Since being formed in the summer of 2020, the mayors have been in conversations with the Ministries of Mental Health and Addiction, Health, Housing, Municipal Affairs, Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and Justice, advocating to see appropriate housing and supports for people with complex needs to be operational in a matter of months, not years.

As a unified voice on critical issues facing urban British Columbia communities, the BC Urban Mayors’ Caucus (BCUMC) is a non-partisan group of mayors from Abbotsford, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, New Westminster, Prince George, Richmond, Saanich, Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria.

Urging the Province to take immediate action, the video highlights the strain that leaving those with complex needs out on the streets is having on our communities and on the vulnerable people requiring care. 

“We know the Province is acting on a complex care housing framework, and we appreciate that we were invited to participate in the early formative conversations as the Province developed the model of care. We are hopeful that the provincial government will make an announcement soon,” said Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria and BCUMC Co-Chair. “We can’t stress enough how urgently our communities need this complex care in place.”

Residents with complex needs have overlapping mental health, substance use, trauma and acquired brain injuries and they are often left to experience homelessness. They do not fit into current supportive housing models, they do not fit within long-term healthcare systems, and if they commit crimes, they do not fit within the overloaded justice system which perpetuates a catch and release cycle.

“Together each of our communities are on the frontlines experiencing the same impact of gaps in the health, housing and justice system,” said Colin Basran, Mayor of Kelowna and BCUMC Co-Chair. “Our most vulnerable are falling through the cracks. Municipalities have invested in supportive housing, funded more police and bylaw officers and created policies to increase inclusion in our communities and yet more needs to be done and for that we need the Province’s support.”

Local retailers, restaurants and hotels, who have already been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, are also experiencing the frontline impacts of the gaps, with increased erratic behaviour, open drug use, crime and theft occurring outside their place of business.

The BC Urban Mayors’ Caucus Blueprint for British Columbia’s Urban Future, outlines four key priorities for urban communities across the province:

  1. Mental Health, Substance Use and Treatment
  2. Affordable Housing
  3. Public Transit
  4. A New Fiscal Framework

To Learn more, visit www.bcurbanmayorscaucus.ca.

 

Chambers, business group support call for housing action

220111 – The BC Chamber of Commerce and Business Improvement Areas of BC support  the BC Urban Mayors’ Caucus call for complex care housing.

“Access to housing is critical for the health of our communities. Part of the solution is more complex care options for those who require extra support. As a result of the pandemic, the need for more complex care options is greater than ever before. Cutting red tape to develop tailored housing options with urgency, is therefore critical,” said Fiona Famulak of the B.C. Chambers.

“Business Improvement Areas of BC (BIABC), which represents more than 50 business communities across the province, is supportive of the work of the BC Urban Mayor’s Caucus to find innovative solutions like complex care housing to restore the health and wellbeing of our communities for all. Increasing homelessness, street disorder, property crime, violence, mental health and addiction-related issues have reached a critical point in our downtowns, main streets and commercial districts. We all need to work together to protect our communities and those most vulnerable,” said Teri Smith of the BIABC.

Along with the BC Urban Mayors’ Caucus, both of our organizations urge the Province to move quickly on this urgent issue for our business members and our communities.

City addresses misinformation on homeless camp cleanup

The City of Nanaimo continues to support our community's most vulnerable populations during this difficult time of snow and cold weather. The City attempts to balance the inevitable necessity for homeless individuals to shelter with the interests of other residents and the protection of public lands and facilities by providing an array of supportive services including facilities and spaces for shower programs, public toilets, warming centers, temporary and permanent housing. It is well recognized that there is insufficient service capacity, so the City permits sheltering in a number of undeveloped parkland spaces where people can shelter overnight.

Recently, Council approved funding for the establishment and operation of a temporary daytime extreme cold weather space at Caledonia Park which began operations on December 27, 2021. Operated by the Nanaimo 7-10 Club Society, the cold-weather space is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on days when cold weather conditions are deemed severe enough to present a substantial threat to the life or health of vulnerable persons. 

The City addressed misinformation in the community regarding vulnerable peoples that were dispersed from an encampment under the Bastion Street Bridge, and in the adjacent Bastion Street Parkade. The recent winter storm with heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures saw emergency shelters filling to capacity, and a small group of unsheltered individuals set up tents under the Bastion Street Bridge adjacent to the City-owned Bastion Street Parkade.  

Enforcement officers did not disrupt this gathering through the most inclement weather. Instead, they requested those present to refrain from moving into the parkade facility, lighting fires or accumulating large quantities of materials, as they would be required to take down and remove their temporary shelters when weather improved.  

Unfortunately, the situation deteriorated quickly through the holidays. The encampment grew in numbers to 30 or more individuals. People settled through three levels of the parkade and in the staircases, rendering them inaccessible to pedestrian traffic. Fires were set inside the parkade and in the stairwells and five propane tanks were removed. In addition, a number of parking ticket kiosks were taken out of service after they were extensively damaged and had the power cables severed.

Parking pass holders reported being obstructed and harassed and expressed concern for the safety of their vehicles. Maintenance staff were unable to access areas of the parkade to clean up increasing accumulations of garbage, graffiti and human waste. Businesses in close proximity reported concerns for the safety of their staff and clients.  

Weather conditions improved after the New Year, and enforcement officers directed individuals to leave the parkade facility on Sunday, January 2 (Public Nuisance Bylaw 7267 prohibits entry or remaining in a City parkade except for the purpose of parking or removing a vehicle from a parking facility) and everyone was given notice that City crews would be attending early the next week to clean up the entire area. They were directed to leave the parkade again on Tuesday, January 4, and advised that all shelters would have to be packed up and removed for a clean up the following day. RCMP officers also went through the parkade advising everyone that the encampment would be closed in the morning.

City sanitation work crews began the clean up around 8 a.m. the morning of Wednesday, January 5, with the assistance of police and bylaw services, giving everyone ample opportunity to pack up and remove their belongings. Clean team staff distributed dozens of garbage bags, and the campers packed up waste material and unwanted items that were loaded into the truck.  

Five propane tanks, four shopping carts, and a large container of discarded needles were collected during the clean-up. The clean-up proceeded without incident. 

“Council absolutely sympathizes with individuals experiencing homelessness in our community, especially during extreme weather events such as what we have been experiencing the past two weeks. However, we also have a duty to other City residents and business owners to ensure that our City is safe, and our public lands and facilities are accessible.

"The misinformation we have seen regarding the recent dismantling of the encampment in the Bastion Street Parkade is both inaccurate and unfair. Bylaw officers, RCMP and City sanitation crews have an extremely difficult job and do excellent work in balancing the needs of everyone in our community. We cannot stand by idly and allow actions that threaten public property, and the safety of our community, to take place.” 

-Mayor Leonard Krog

Extreme winter storm event and road advisory

Nanaimo received up to 30 cm of snow overnight, which has impacted City roads, curbside collection services and recreation facilities. On the roads, City crews have been able to clear snow from priority 1 routes such as main roads and emergency routes and are now focusing on priority 2 and 3 routes such as secondary roads.

All City snow clearing trucks are out along with backhoes to clear the compact snow and ice from secondary roads, culs-de-sac and dead ends that accumulated from last week's storms. The public is encouraged to stay off the roads to help give plows time to clear the roads. If travel is required, be prepared for winter driving conditions (slow down, leave extra room, watch for pedestrians) and have a winter car emergency kit. 

City recreation facilities are closed for the day and all recreation programs and facility rentals have been cancelled. Recreation patrons, rental groups and program registrants can stay up to date on the City's Parks, Recreation and Culture page at: www.nanaimo.ca/parks-recreation-culture

Garbage and recycling collection for January 6, 2022 has been cancelled. Due to the extended delays in resuming curbside collection service, the RDN is offering City of Nanaimo residents free drop-off of their curbside waste at the Regional Landfill in Cedar (1105 Cedar Rd). Residents using the free drop-off will need to provide identification and their address at the facility scale house. The free drop off will be available for affected areas until curbside service is fully restored. Please wait until road conditions are safe before taking garbage to the landfill.

An alert was issued this morning to residents registered for the City's emergency notification system, Voyent Alert! advising of the hazardous road conditions and recreation facility closures. In the event of other wide-scale impacts, another alert will be sent out. Residents can register for Voyent Alert! by following the instructions at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/alerts.

Please help pedestrians travel through Nanaimo safely. Property owners and tenants (residential and businesses) are responsible for clearing snow and ice from the sidewalks in front of their property. For driver safety and plow efficiency, please avoid shovelling snow onto the streets.

Snow is expected to turn into rain of up to 20 mm later today, which will further affect the roads and create the potential for localized flooding. City crews are out clearing as many catch basins and drains as possible, but homeowners and businesses are asked to help prevent flooding by clearing ones in front of their properties. If flooding occurs, sand and sand bags for filling are available at the Public Works yard (bring a shovel and ties). If possible, please wait until road conditions are safe before visiting Public Works. To report flooding, please call Public Works 24-hour hotline at 250-758-5222.

The City of Nanaimo understands ongoing frustrations over the impacts to roads and City services and thanks all residents for their patience and community-mindedness in helping out others during this time. 

Stay up to date with conditions on www.nanaimo.ca and on social media (@CityofNanaimo on Facebook and Twitter). For up-to-date information on public transit, follow @RDN_Transit on Twitter. Please also listen to local radio stations the Wave 102.3 or Wolf 106.9.

Strategic Link: Keeping our community safe is an important part of Livability and a responsibility of Governance Excellence.

* Nanaimo's crews have been operating 24/7 and all available snow clearing equipment is on the roads. In addition, the City has acquired extra backhoes to clear compact snow and ice accumulated from last week's storms.

* City recreation facilities are closed and recreation programs are cancelled for Thursday, January 6, 2022.

* Garbage and recycling collection is cancelled for January 6, 2021. When the roads are safe to travel on, residents can drop off their curbside waste at the RDN landfill for free of charge until collection resumes to normal operations.

* An alert was sent out this morning through the City's emergency alert system, Voyent Alert! advising residents of hazardous road conditions and recreation facility closures.

"Winter just keeps coming, Nanaimo and I know it is frustrating to not be able to go about your daily lives with ease. All available City resources have been out clearing roads and trails to try to get you back to normal. Thank you for your continued patience and help as we dig ourselves out...again."

  Leonard Krog
  Mayor
  City of Nanaimo

Curbside garbage collection proceeding at a slow place

220105 – Curbside collection resumed Tuesday, but with the ice and snow, collection this week will be moving at a slower pace than usual. Due to snow and ice build up creating slick and sometimes narrow roadways, pickup will only happen where it is safe to do so. The City recognizes the need for residents to be safe as well; if you don’t feel safe taking your carts to the curb, please don’t! And please walk carefully if you do bring your carts to the curb. 

For residents with missed collection this week, or for residents that choose to keep their carts in for safety, the City will accommodate missed collection. Residents with missed recycling collection will be able to put extra recycling out on their next scheduled recycling collection day. Similarly, for missed garbage collection, residents will be able to put an extra bag of garbage out for pickup on their next scheduled garbage collection day (one extra bag per account).

When putting out extra garbage on your next garbage pickup day, please place your bag 1 meter to the side or behind the black cart (not in front). An extra garbage bag can be any size as long as it would fit into your black cart. 

When putting out extra recyclables on your next recycling day, please place them in an easy-to-empty container or box that is the same size or smaller than your blue cart, and place this 1 meter behind or beside your blue cart when you take it to the curbside for pickup.

The City continues to monitor road conditions and will be updating the City website and the Nanaimo Recycles app (available on Google Play and the Apple App Store). https://www.nanaimo.ca/city-services/garbage-recycling/garbage

While we can’t control the weather, the City does realize that this is all extremely inconvenient. Thank you for your patience, Nanaimo!

Click to enlarge

Winter weather conditions continue in Nanaimo

January 1, 2022

220102 – Nanaimo was hit with the heaviest snowfall of the season this week with the possiblilty for more snow, and even rain, in the forecast over the coming days.

City crews have been clearing snow focusing on priority routes such as main roads and emergency routes. With the break in snowfall, they have been focused on secondary routes and, if it doesn't snow again, will stay on secondary routes and cul-de-sacs and dead end roads. Winter driving conditions continue on Nanaimo roads with packed snow and ice surfaces on main routes and secondary routes. Motorists are reminded to drive with extreme care, stay well back from snowplows and other vehicles and avoid driving unless necessary. 

In City parks and facilities, crews are out clearing walkways into City buildings, downtown sidewalks with City-owned properties (including Maffeo Sutton Park) and the E&N Trail as first priorities. The public is reminded that trails, boardwalks, bridges, stairs and playground equipment can become slippery and hazardous when there is snow and ice. Please take care and walk with caution through the City's parks.

To report any concerns or issues in Nanaimo's parks and trails, please contact Nanaimo Parks & Recreation at 250-756-5200 or email parksandrecreation@nanaimo.ca

Please help pedestrians travel through Nanaimo safely. Property owners and tenants (residential and businesses) are responsible for clearing snow and ice from the sidewalks in front of their property. 

Anticipated rainfall on top of snow increases the potential for localized flooding and flooding in and around homes. Residents are asked to help prevent flooding by clearing any catch basins or storm drains in front of their homes and businesses. If flooding occurs, sand and sand bags for filling (bring a shovel and ties) are available at the Public Works yard. To report flooding, please call Public Works 24-hour hotline at 250-758-5222. 

Garbage/Recycling collection has been cancelled for December 31 through January 3. Collection is anticipated to resume on January 4 and will follow the 2022 Collection Calendar. To accommodate missed recycling collection, residents will be able to put extra recycling out on their next scheduled recycling collection day. Similarly, for missed garbage collection, residents will be able to put an extra bag of garbage out for pickup on their next scheduled garbage collection day (one extra bag per account). Download the free Nanaimo Recycles app for up to date information on curbside collection. Find links to the app on the [Garbage and Recycling Calendar](https://www.nanaimo.ca/city-services/garbage-recycling/garbage-calendars) page on the City website. 

Warming centres are open Cold weather day-use spaces are open at:

* Caledonia Park (110 Wall Street), open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. only when a cold weather event is occurring. Operated by the Nanaimo 7-10 Society
* 489 Wallace Street, open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association.
* 380 Terminal Avenue, open 7 days a week from 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Operated by Risebridge.

For more information on services and supports for Nanaimo’s vulnerable population, visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/supportsandservices.

Stay up to date with conditions on www.nanaimo.ca, Twitter feed (@cityofnanaimo) and [Facebook](https://www.facebook.com/cityofnanaimo) page. For up-to-date information on public transit, follow @RDN_Transit on Twitter. Please also listen to our local radio stations the Wave 102.3 or Wolf 106.9. 

Visit our [Snow and Ice Control](https://www.nanaimo.ca/transportation-mobility/snow-and-ice-control) page for information on the City's response to snow and what residents and commuters can do to stay safe.

* Drivers are reminded to use caution when approaching traffic signals and stop signs; allow extra time and distance when stopping; give ample room for snow clearing equipment when it is out on the road; and please do not attempt to pass equipment and crews when they are working.

* The City's priority for snow clearing sees major roads, including emergency and bus routes, plowed first, followed by residential areas with collector roads, followed by culs-de-sac and dead ends.

* Residents can also ensure the areas around the outside of their homes are free of snow, ice and debris to prevent potential flooding. Please consider your neighbours needs in the event they are elderly or may require assistance clearing their sidewalks and catch basins/storm drains.

* The City encourages residents to be prepared for severe winter weather by gathering essentials, such as food, medications, personal needs and other critical supplies, and have them on hand in the case of power outages or the weather prevents them from leaving their homes.

"The air is fresh, the snow has been brilliant and powdery, and it was a postcard, picture-perfect Christmas in Nanaimo," says Mayor Leonard Krog. "As much of a gift as the snow has been though, winter weather brings with it many challenges, slippery conditions and a necessary call for caution. Please be careful out there, Nanaimo."

QUICK FACTS

* To report a concern or make a suggestion regarding snow and ice control, please contact the City of Nanaimo Public Works department at 250-758-5222 or public.worksinfo@nanaimo.ca.

* Property owners and occupants are reminded to remove snow and ice from sidewalks within 24 hours of snowfall ending.

LINKS
Snow and Ice Control information page
https://cnan.ca/3le6da9

Garbage and Recycling
https://cnan.ca/2LVQiLh

Services and Support
https://cnan.ca/3HrastI

Curbside collection is cancelled until Tuesday, Jan. 4

220103 – For everyone’s safety while we face our current winter road conditions, all scheduled curbside garbage, recycling and organics collection is now cancelled until Tuesday, January 4, 2022.

With a change in the weather forecast for this weekend and efforts still underway to clear the roads of accumulated snow, all collection (including the previously rescheduled weekend collection) is cancelled for all routes.

Scheduled collection will resume on Tuesday, January 4, following the 2022 Collection Calendar.

To accommodate missed recycling collection, residents will be able to put extra recycling out on their next scheduled recycling collection day. Similarly, for missed garbage collection, residents will be able to put an extra bag of garbage out for pickup on their next scheduled garbage collection day (one extra bag per account).

Collection staff will be physically tossing extra garbage and recycling. When putting out extra garbage on your next garbage pickup day, please place garbage in a tied garbage bag one metre to the side or behind the black cart (not in front). An extra garbage bag can be any size as long as it would fit into your black cart. 

When putting out extra recyclables on your next recycling day, please place them in an easy-to-empty container or box that is the same size or smaller than your blue cart, and place this one metre behind or beside your blue cart when you take it to the curbside for pickup.

The City continues to monitor road conditions and will be updating the City website and the Nanaimo Recycles app (available on Google Play and the Apple App Store). https://www.nanaimo.ca/city-services/garbage-recycling/garbage

Strategic Link: Keeping our community safe is an important part of Livability and a responsibility of Governance Excellence.

KEY POINTS

* For safety, due to our current winter road conditions, all scheduled curbside garbage, recycling and organics collection is now cancelled until Tuesday, January 4, 2022.

* To accommodate missed recycling collection, residents will be able to put extra recycling out on their next scheduled recycling collection day. Similarly, for missed garbage collection, residents will be able to put an extra bag of garbage out for pickup on their next scheduled garbage collection day.

"As beautiful as this snowfall has been, it’s brought with it an abundance of inconvenience. Curbside collection is the latest challenge for our crews, and with slippery roads and the great potential for icy roads this weekend, well - no one wants a 25 ton truck sliding out of control on our streets. Thanks for your patience, Nanaimo!"

  Leonard Krog
  Mayor
  City of Nanaimo