GOOD MORNING – Your Daily Buzz
is still as free as the morning breeze, a comprehensive look from various news sources.
GEARING FOR CIVIC ELECTION –
We’ve got an election coming up in about half a year. It’s hard to fathom that this city council has been on the job for three and a half years without any major spats. There’s good reason – the mayor and the eight councillors have
been working together. That’s a far cry from the outrageous spectacle of the previous council which sued the mayor of the day and had one of their own members arrested. A number of senior staff took early retirement to get out of the firing line. FULL COLUMN.
BOYS TO MEN – If you’ve ever pondered what sports teams do for a community,
here’s a success story. Trevor Pelland and Jake Laberge came here to play for the Vancouver Island Raiders, and chose Nanaimo as their permanent home after their football careers. They got a good grounding in the real estate business and then launched
their own company – Coast to Coast Real Estate Team. Trevor came here from Alberta and Jake from Maple Ridge and played for about four years, enough time to convince them Nanaimo was the place for them. That’s saying something since Trevor spent
his early growing-up years in Hawaii.
THE SHRINKING DOLLAR-AMA –
The arrival of dollar stores was a big deal for a lot of Canadians. Now inflation is driving Dollarama to raise some of its prices to a fin, a fiver, or $5. Quarterly results showed even Dollarama it is not immune to the inflationary pressures that every
part of the economy is feeling. The most expensive items the chain sells cost $4 now, and most less than that.
BOOST – Vancouver Island University (VIU) and Wealthsimple Foundation are teaming up on a new bursary program to make post-secondary education more accessible for modest-income students. Having
as little as $500 set aside for post-secondary education can sometimes make all the difference between attending a university program or dismissing it as out of reach. To help families save for higher education,
the federal government introduced the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) program, which provides an initial payment
of $500 in a Registered Education Savings Plan and $100 for each subsequent year of eligibility, to a maximum of $2,000. The program is available for modest-income families with children born after 2003.
LEADERS OF TOMORROW – Dozens of emerging leaders will gather for two days of keynote talks, career advice and fun activities during the Vancouver Island Leadership
Conference, April 1-2. An annual event organized by Vancouver Island University students, this year’s conference theme is Leading the Future Together – a theme that reflects on the benefits of returning to an in-person conference after two years
of virtual events. Chairperson Victoria Ross says the conference is about bringing connections back for post-secondary students. “The physical and social connection aspects of life in a virtual environment were extremely challenging for many people.
We are looking forward to making new memories, new friendships and engaging students in meaningful dialogue with our speakers.”
FINAL FIX – Permanent repairs are slated to begin in June for the sinkhole on Hwy. 19 near Lantzville. About the equivalent of a month’s rain over a couple of days washed into the highway on Nov. 18, leading to commutes of several
hours Nanaimo and Parksville that day. The Transport Ministry told NanaimoNewsNOW, that the first stage of construction, a new permanent culvert under the affected
area, will require night work only and one lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained.
SAILING AGAIN – The Victoria Clipper high-speed catamaran ferry will resume daily sailings between Victoria and Seattle starting on April 15. Daily sailings between April 15-18 will depart Seattle at 8 a.m. and arrive in Victoria at
10:45 a.m. They will depart Victoria at 5 p.m. and arrive in Seattle at 7:45 p.m. The schedule changes – from April 22-Oct. 9, sailings will leave Seattle at 7:30 a.m. and arrive in Victoria at 10:30 a.m. Departures from Victoria are scheduled for 5
p.m., arriving in Seattle at 7:45 p.m. The Victoria Clipper has been sitting in port since October. Sailings had resumed only a few weeks earlier when the company decided to halt operations due to low ridership and coronavirus restrictions. Prior to that,
sailings had been suspended since mid-March 2020 due to the global spread of COVID-1
SUSPECT ARRESTED – A 19-year-old suspect has been arrested in a vicious assault on a gay youth at a house party. It is being investigated as a possible hate crime. Spencer Frey, an interior design student at VIU, says he was targeted
in an assault that left him with multiple injuries that required hospitalization. He claimed the attack was preceded by multiple homophobic comments from several partygoers. RCMP confirmed that the suspect had been arrested on an assault charge. He was taken
into custody Tuesday night and later released from custody pending a May 24 court date.
NUMBERS LOOKING UP – The loosening of travel restrictions has resulted in year-to-date 2022 hotel occupancy in Victoria up 123 per cent over the same period in 2021. And that is reflected at the cash register. The average daily room
rate is up 144 per cent while revenue per available room is 178 per cent higher. Darlene Hollstein, of Destination Greater Victoria said the organization notes that the Greater Victoria visitor economy continues to face challenges such as significant debt
loads, tight labour market conditions, and pressures due to inflation. Officials note the push is on to open more hotels in the capital city.
FOR UKRAINIAN REFUGEES – British Columbia is smoothing the way for Ukrainian refugees coming to our province. The government is expected to waive the three-month waiting period for health care and the international student fees for them. Municipal Affairs Minister Nathan Cullen said the province is working on better understanding what supports will be provided by federal government. B.C. will ensure options are available for housing and barriers
are eliminated for accessing the health care and education system, he said.
WE HAVE NO BANANAS TODAY – There’s not much value in an incentive program for electric vehicles when actually getting your hands on one remains nearly impossible.
The federal government is extending an incentive plan as part of its 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, earmarking $1.7 billion to incentivize the sale of zero-emission vehicles, topping up the federal program that rebates up to $5,000 for cars priced under $45,000.
The used car market is such that even used electric vehicles are getting hard to find.