Downtown Street Market launches on Thursday

It’s here! It’s opening night on Thursday for the Commercial Street Night Market. It runs every Thursday for 11 weeks, packing Commercial Street with artisan vendors, downtown businesses, food trucks, street entertainment & so much more from 5-9 p.m. There are still some Sponsorship Opportunities

Eco-school expansion options eyed by school board

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is using a two-pronged approach to upgrade Departure Bay Eco-School – seismic upgrading and expansion. The school district will apply for school expansion as a part of the 2023-24 capital plan to allow five portable classrooms to be removed. The plan includes an application to the government’s seismic mitigation program, as a number of classrooms tha need upgrading, and the district is hopeful that could lead to more. Board chair Charlene McKay said if the seismic upgrade is a go, then they’ll go after the expansion.

Book explors the history and meaning behind petroglyphs

Geraldine Manson

There are petroglyphs throughout the Nanaimo area – what is their history, stories and meaning. Vancouver Island University Elder-in-Residence C-tasi:a - Geraldine Manson has written a book on the subject. The book was created to give people a “clear understanding of the history of our ancestors – our Elders’ Elders – and the work that they do, and to help share the background about the images,” says Geraldine, a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. It took a couple of years to research and write the book. It runs parallel to a project at the Gabriola Museum, where Manson and others are looking at reproducing the images on the museum grounds in an area that will be called The Village of the Ancestors. MORE

Regional District clears way for mail-in balloting

If you live in the Regional District of Nanaimo you won’t have to leave your house to vote in the fall general election. The RDN board voted last week to allow mail-in balloting, with only one director opposed.

Foreign logging protester fears he may be deported

An international university student leading a civil resistance campaign to end old-growth logging fears he will be deported. He has been arrested 10 times for civil resistance at climate-related protests since 2020. The third-year history major from Pakistan is in Canada on a study permit. Conditions for obtaining a study permit include obeying the law and the absence of a criminal record. VIDEO

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Saturday, June 18, 2022

EMERGENCY – Eighty per cent of all 911 calls are not considered to be emergencies. Before reporting an emergency consider whether it really is an emergency. MORE

Sperber heads Vancouver Island Economic Alliance

Julia Sperber

Julie Sperber has been named President and CEO of The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance effective Aug. 1. Sperber has served with the Gabriola chamber for more than four years. Her contributions there have provided entrepreneurs and community organizations to grow their capacity, through guiding successful funding, skills training and investment opportunities. As a key community connector her leadership is sought out for initiatives and projects for the island. VIEA Board Chair Shannon Baikie said the board looks forward to working with Julie, confident that VIEA is in very good hands. MORE

Police looking to find owner of gold chain

Did you recently lose a gold chain? Well, you’re in luck, the cops have it. A gold chain was recently turned into the local detachment by a Good Samaritan who found it in the area of Buttertubs Marsh.  The chain has the initials DGK engraved on one side. The other side also has an engraving that the owner would be able to identify. If it’s yours or you have information, contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, and quote file # 2022-19906. 

Chamber getting set for members' golf tournament

The chamber of commerce is putting all the pins in place for its annual Members' Open Golf Tournament Aug 18. Golfers of all ability can join the fun event that brings Nanaimo's business community together for networking and company exposure.  They’ve still got sponsorship options. It's a day at the links to elevate your brand, hand out swag, and generate leads. Businesses can sponsor a hole and bring company signage or a trade show booth to the course. Sponsorship Opportunities

Foreign student logging protester fears deportation

CTV screen capture

An international Simon Fraser University student leading a civil resistance campaign to end old-growth logging in B.C. fears Canada Border Services Agency is looking to deport him. Zain Haq, a co-founder of the Save Old Growth protest group behind a recent series of highway blockades, has been ordered to show up at a CBSA office. He has been arrested 10 times for acts of civil resistance at climate-related protests since 2020. The third-year history major from Pakistan is in Canada on a study permit. Conditions for obtaining a study permit include obeying the law and the absence of a criminal record. MORE.

Friday, June 17, 2022

 GUILTY PLEA ON SEX CHARGES – A former education assistant with the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District has pleaded guilty to three sex offences, including two involving students. Glen Massick, 46, pleaded guilty at provincial court in Nanaimo to two counts of touching children under 16 years for a sexual purpose and one count of sexual assault at provincial court in Nanaimo on June 16. Other charges against Massick were dropped. A sentencing date has not been set. MORE

MAUREEN YOUNG HONOURED – Long-time Regional District of Nanaimo director Maureen Young has been memorialized at one of her favourite parks in the area she represented for more than 16 years. A plaque was unveiled at Extension Miners Community Park on Wednesday, at a ceremony attended by a large crowd including present and former RDN directors.

AVIAN FLU HAS BEEN CONFIRMED at a property on Gabriola Island. The Regional District said there was a positive case of notifiable avian influenza confirmed at backyard poultry premises on Wednesday. The B.C. Animal Health Centre confirmed the positive case and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and B.C. 

SAILINGS CANCELLED – BC Ferries has cancelled a number of sailings on the Swartz Bay-to-Tsawwassen routes today and Sunday due to staffing shortages. The cancellations come after all options were exhausted to find replacement crew. The 4 p.m. sailing today from Tsawwassen and the 6 p.m. from Swartz Bay will be cancelled.

Second white raven brought to recovery centre

A second white raven has been taken in by the North Island Wildlife Recovery. The rare bird was found in Errington in poor condition and was brought to the centre. It is the second white raven being housed at the centre, which last year admitted one for rehabilitation. The bird was malnourished and full of infection but due to the lessons learned and the care developed by the centre’ while treating last year’s raven it has responded well. He has an outgoing personality and seems to enjoy human interaction, which makes him a great candidate to be trained as an ambassador. MORE

Check well-being calls top RCMP priority list

Const. Gary O'Brien

Check Well-Being calls are a priority for Nanaimo RCMP call-outs, says Const. Gary O’Brien. Police responded to 987 calls for service in the first week in June. Fifty per cent consisted of: Disturbances, Suspicious Persons/ Vehicles, Check Well-Being, Unwanted Persons, Traffic, and Theft. The remaining calls ranged from Drugs, Assist Other Agencies, Abandoned 911, Break and Enters, Breach of Peace, Harassment, Alarms and Mischief. Check Well-Being calls may involve individuals in the throes of any number of addictions, they may lack appropriate housing, or have untreated mental health and/or medical issues. As a result, these calls are sensitive in nature, time consuming, and often require multiple officers and agencies to respond for a successful resolution, says O'Brien.

RCMP trying to identify suspects in break-in

RCMP seek public assistance in identifying two individuals who recently broke in to Winners- HomeSense, 6950 Island Highway North just after 6 a.m. on Sunday.2. Officers responded to an alarm that was activated at 6:12 a.m.. When they arrived on scene, officers  noted that the front sliding glass doors had been breached. Inside the store, several glass cases containing jewelry had been smashed with most of the contents taken. The two were then seen running directly toward the jewelry cases. It is unknown at this time what estimated loss is of stolen jewelry. MORE

Run-down building on Terminal Avenue declared a nuisance

A dilapidated property at 1045 Terminal Ave. has been declared a nuisance property by the city. The site of a former restaurant has fallen into disrepair and attracted a variety of issues. If the owner does not act the city can move in and make necessary changes at the owner's expense. Bylaw services manager Dave Laberge told city council that it has been vacant for many years and changed owners in June 2018. The windows are broken, it’s not maintained and a row of storage lockers at the back of the property is insecure and people are getting into them. It has been a constant issue for City bylaw staff, Nanaimo RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue. MORE

Sounds of Summer back in the Old City Quarter

Bringing the action downtown, the Old City Quarter’s Sounds of Summer outdoor concert series is back. The hour-long performances will be bigger and better than before. So if you’re in the the neighbourhood you can enjoy a variety of multi-genre performers from 12-1 p.m every Friday afternoon in the OCQ’s Sounds of Summer outdoor concert series. Nanaimo International Jazz Festival Association organizes the event but it isn’t just n jazz.

Vandalism and fire damage Parksville church hall

St. Anne and St. Edmund Anglican Church community hall and offices in Parksville were broken into Wednesday, suffering significant smoke damage. It was broken into with a blow torch, which started a fire. Neither the St. Anne Church building, one of the oldest churches in B.C., nor the St. Edmund Church building were damaged. The damage to the hall, which is often used to host community programs, including AA meetings, youth groups and other programs, was significant enough that it will be closed temporarily. MORE

  • Ferries introduces commercial saver fares on some routes

    Everybody likes to save money on travel costs these days, and BC Ferries may have just the ticket. Ferries is testing a new Commercial Saver fare on select sailings on the Tsawwassen-Duke Point and Tsawwassen Swartz Bay from now through October 12. The Commercial Saver fare is ideal for customers who have the flexibility to travel during less busy sailing times, can book in advance and want travel certainty. Availability is limited on select sailings and fares are expected to sell out. Commercial Saver fares are not available for purchase at drive-up terminal ticket booths.

  • Island Health helping to update family immunizations

    Island Health’s public health teams are helping families ensure that their children are up-to-date with important childhood immunizations, like measles and tetanus. B.C.’s routine immunization schedule includes a series of vaccinations around age 4, timed to coincide with entry to kindergarten. Island Health’s public health teams are calling thousands of families whose children are about to enter school, or are already in kindergarten, to inform them about clinics and help them make appointments for kindergarten immunizations.

Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival looking for volunteers

The Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival is back in July after a two-year hiatus. The restart is never easy, and organizers have put out a call for volunteers to get the show back on the road. The festival raises awareness and money for breast cancer research, and takes place July 8-10 with a ‘Life’s a Beach Party’ theme. MORE

  • Police seize loaded weapons in separate cases

    RCMP seized two weapons in urelated incidents on Tuesday, a sawed-off rifle and a sawed-off shotgun. Both firearms were also loaded. 47-year-old Robert McGeorge was transported to the Nanaimo RCMP detachment and lodged in cells. Multiple charges were laid for weapons, drugs possession, break in tools and breach charges. In the next incident, officers responded to a report of a man who appeared to be passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle. A check of his clothing found a black bag that held various drugs. A backpack within reach, contained a loaded sawed off shotgun.

  • Ferries set to welcome unvaccinated workers

    BC Ferries has suffered from an irregularity problem with sailings not leaving on time and on schedule due to staffing shortages. An estimated 150 employees were laid off in January because of federal vaccine requirements. But that should be over now that federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra has declared that vaccine mandates will end on Monday. The corporation is contacting its unvaccinated workers inviting them back. Deborah Marshall of BC Ferries, said they will contact all employees now on unpaid leave and suspend its mandatory vaccination policy.

 

THE MILITARY POLICE National Motorcycle Rally stops by Lantzville Legion on Friday at noon. They are scheduled to be there at 12:15 p.m.. The rally raises funds for the Blind Children’s Fund

NANAIMO AIRPORT has introduced a new logo to reflect the airport’s modern design and services. The new logo features the airport’s code letters, YCD. Every airport in the world has a code, which is most often seen on baggage tags. Passengers benefit from the universal ticketing systems that codes make possible. The code helps ensure their flight connections and baggage handling go as smoothly as possible. It also allows them to easily track flights. MORE

THE FIRST OF TWO CC-130 Hercules aircraft from Winnipeg has arrived in Comox, with a second one due by the end of June. It’s nearly two years since new Kingfisher search and rescue aircraft arrived at 19 Wing Comox took and the planes are still not in the air. The Hercs are a back-up plan to carry out rescue duties on the island. The Kingfishers may not be ready until 2025 or 2026. MORE

THE MAJORITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIANS are not tickled pink with the $789-million Royal BC Museum project. New data from the Angus Reid Institute finds just 22 per cent of people support the project.Premier John Horgan has been under fire ever since announcing plans to replace the aging downtown Victoria building. MORE

  • School district gets ahead of future driver shortages

    The school board is not waiting for a problem, they are meeting it head on before it arrives. School District 68 is recruiting bus drivers to get trained, ready and willing to shuttle kids to and from school daily. Tracy Mowatt, the district’s manager of transportation, told board members that challenges revolve around bringing in people with the required license for something which is less than full time. He said it’s difficult bringing them on as a casual and not have guaranteed work.

  • Police seeking suspect for indecent assault

    Nanaimo RCMP seek public help in identifying the suspect in the photo. At approximately 10 a.m. on June 10, this man is accused of exposing himself to a 17-year-old female as she walked westbound along Fifth Street toward Wakeisah Avenue. The suspect was initially seen standing in an alleyway between Hillcrest Avenue and Lambert Avenue. The youth told police that when she walked past his location and made brief eye contact with him, he exposed his genitals, and walked toward her while committing an indecent act.

Data show Canadians have been misled about vaccines

Brian Peckford has earned a reputation for tilting at windmills – especially as it relates to the controversy over Covid vaccines as a civil rights issue. When advocacy groups state that 91 per cent of Covid-related deaths in BC were among patients who had between one and three vaccine injections, you have to wonder whether we’ve been snowed over the past three years. MORE

VIU to confer three honourary degrees at convocation

William Good

A hereditary chief and master carver, an acclaimed sculpture artist, and a respected philanthropist and businessman will be recognized at Vancouver Island University’s three convocation ceremonies June 23 and 24. William Good will be conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Letters, recognizing his significant role bringing the Snuneymuxw Coast Salish art form back from the brink of extinction, as well as sharing his knowledge with the community. Sculpture artist Barbara Paterson will get an Honorary Doctorate of Letters at the June 24 morning convocation ceremony. And philanthropist and businessman Stephen Jarislowsky will be honoured with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters at the June 24 afternoon ceremony. To learn more and view a list of past honorary degree recipients, visit the VIU convocation homepage.

InFrinGinG Dance Festival is back

The InFrinGinG Dance Festival is back. It’s part of the dragonbaoat festival the second weekend of July. There are tons of events at Maffeo Sutton Park, the Port Theatre, Pipers Lagoon and UNIT Social Space. It’s a jam-packed six days of dance arts: performances, workshops, SPLASHmob fun, alongside the Dragonboat festival. There will be shows, classes and performances, and races to raise funds for local Ukrainian refuges at the Ukrainian food fundraiser with Sandy’s Ukrainian Kitchen. Bring the kids to the new kids-only Playzone. For Ticket information and Registration: crimsoncoastdance.org

Feds to suspend Covid vaccination mandates

If you avoided Covid vaccinations you will soon be able to move more freely around the country and abroad. The federal government will suspend COVID-19 vaccine mandates June 20 for domestic and outbound international travellers, including domestic passenger trains and buses. The mandate will also come off for federal workers who have been on unpaid leave because of their vaccination status. More than 89 per cent of Canadians over age 12 have at least two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine. Only 55 per cent of Canadians got a booster shot. In B.C. restrictions still in effect involve long-term care or seniors’ assisted living facilities.

North Vancouver homeless man injured in rock attack

A homeless man in Vancouver was injured when he was pelted with large rocks near Park Royal Mall in West Vancouver on Tuesday. Police said a 55-year-old victim was approached by an unknown male suspect who yelled at the victim and threw several large rocks which resulted in lacerations to the victim’s head and hand. West Vancouver Police seek public for help to identify the suspect, who was captured on a nearby surveillance camera. MORE

NOT RIGHT IN THE HEAD – Camping, where you spend a fortune to live like a homeless person.

Krall opening tour with cancer charity honouring her mother

Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Diana Krall is kicking off a European concert tour in grand style, performing at the ancient Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens with all proceeds going to local blood cancer charity Aurora, which organized the event. Diana was invited by Aurora to support their cause, as she had lost her mother, Adella, from multiple myeloma in 2002.  The concert, June 30, is her third performance at the prestigious open-air venue, which sits beneath the Acropolis of AthensMORE

Our Mayor delivers the Nanaimo Bars to Penticton

Mayor pays off

It may have felt like humble pie, but our mayor is not a welsher, he pays off when he loses a bet. Mayor Leonard Krog personally presented a batch of Nanaimo bars to Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki after losing a friendly wager on the outcome of the recent Fred Page Cup junior hockey series. Penticton Vees defeated the Nanaimo Clippers in four games to capture the B.C. title. "Just wait until next year", vows Leonard.

Family fishing in the spotlight Father's Day weekend

It's the Father’s Day weekend, and that coincides with B.C.’s annual Family Fishing Weekend June 17 to 19. Residents of Canada can go fishing without a licence. There are some exceptions for protected species and protected waters. Check out www.gofishbc.com to learn more and find an event near you — many locations offer free equipment rentals and advice for novice anglers.

Nanaimo student sweeps track and field championship

Hats off to NDSS Grade 12 student Nate Paris, who swept to provincial championships in some of track and field’s premier events. Nate finished first in the 100-metre dash, 200m, long jump and decathlon at B.C. High School Track and Field Championships in the Fraser Valley. Most of the meet was last weekend at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley.

State of Emergency in Kelowna due to flooding

A state of emergency was declared in Kelowna on Tuesday due to isolated flooding. Central Okanagan Emergency Operations declared emergency just after 2 p.m., stating it was doing so due to flooding along Mission Creek, Scotty Creek and the upper reaches of Mill Creek. “Over the past 24 hours, Kelowna has seen more rain than expected in the mountains and the valley, which has led to rising water levels in creeks and streams,” said the emergency operations centre.

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June 14, 2022

DON'T ASK ME TO PROVE IT, BUT . . .  While crime figures are up significantly year to date, I am told arson cases are way down because nobody can afford the gas.

Purse snatching suspect identified, facing charges

A woman suspected of stealing another woman's purse in a brazen theft at Country Club Centre has been identified and is facing charges, thanks to input from the public. Video surveillance at the mall showed a woman walking behind the victim and taking her purse from the back of her seat. The purse was later found outside the mall with a bank card missing. The suspect has been identified but her name has not been released since no charges have been laid yet. MORE

It's going to be a cool and wet summer on Vancouver Island

Summer is supposed to be here about now but somebody forgot to tell the weather man. It’s been mostly wet and cool for much of Vancouver Island, and Environment Canada forecasts much of the same well into summer. Meteorologist Derek Lee said the La Niña weather pattern, which brings cooler weather to the B.C. coast, that began last fall has continued through the spring and is expected to stay in place well into July, and possibly even early August.

Mount Washington reopens for Father's Day skiing

This crappy weather is actually good news for some, if you can believe it. Mount Washington Alpine Resort will reopen for Father’s Day weekend as a long spell of cold, wet weather stretches into the start of summer. The resort will open Saturday and Sunday with the Whiskey Jack Chair operating from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., weather permitting, with access to limited terrain, coaster and the terrain park. Eagle’s Flight Ziptours will also be open for tours hourly. Fathers ski for free. Anyone with a season pass from the previous ski season, and those who have passes for next season, will get free passes for the weekend-only event. MORE

Premier's approval rating takes a seven-point hit

Premier John Horgan

Funny how fast you can move from the penthouse to the outhouse in politics. Premier John Horgan’s approval has dropped to the lowest levels since 2020, according to a new poll by the Angus Reid Institute, dropping seven per cent, down to 48 per cent, since the last poll was conducted in March. He’s had to contend with a backdrop of multiple health-care crises and outrage over a nearly $1-billion plan to rebuild the Royal BC Museum. Horgan’s government has been forced to defend a lack of funding for new school construction, a shortage of family doctors and overall being “out of touch”, says Angus Reid. MORE

Police seek help in finding Tyler Nolan

Tyler Nolan

Thirty-eight-year-old Tyler Nolan is missing and the Nanaimo RCMP is asking for public help in locating him. He was last seen on May 18, at the Duke Point Ferry terminal. Investigators have been told that Nolan is of no fixed address and moves about quite frequently. His family is concerned for his safety and well-being. He is Caucasian, 5 ft. 9, 150 pounds. If anyone has information on the whereabouts of Tyler Nolan, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, and quote file # 2022-18342.

City tabs $1 million for pedestrian safety improvements

Pedestrians are going to be a lot safer with upgrades at a number of key hot spots throughout Nanaimo after getting the go-ahead from the city. The governance and priorities committee has endorsed a staff recommendation for sidewalk and traffic flow improvements along the Trans Canada Hwy. in Chase River, five crosswalks throughout Nanaimo and a sidewalk along a small section of Departure Bay Road. Discussion went on for more than an hour on how to spend $1 million in pedestrian unallocated funds, with some options raising concern over how money is being spent. MORE

Two dead after shootings at Campbell River marina

Two people are dead in Campbell River after a reported hostage incident. Police found one person dead after a standoff with a suspect. Shots were fired and the suspect died at the scene. The Independent Investigations office has take over the case. MORE

Lithium ion battery danger warning issued

Chief Karen Fry

That bargain cell phone battery you buy online could be the death of you. Lithium Ion batteries widely used in cell phones, wireless earbuds, e-bikes, e-scooters and electric vehicles, aren’t the problem, it’s people misusing them. Vancouver Fire Chief Karen Fry said the department is raising the alarm over an increasing number of fire deaths related to the overcharging and tampering of lithium-ion batteries. From 2016 to 2021, the number of deaths caused by exploded batteries multiplied from six to 30. Of the seven fire-related deaths the city has seen in 2022 so far, five were caused by overcharging batteries. MORE

Government now posting passport wait times online

At this point any little bit helps. The minister in charge of passports says she cannot say when things may return to normal. The website now includes estimated wait times for visits to passport offices, updated three times a day, to help people plan. The federal government says 72 per cent of Canadians who apply for a passport in any manner will get it within 40 business days, while 96 per cent of people who submit their application in person will get their passport within 10 business days. The website now includes estimated wait times for visits to passport offices, updated three times a day, to help people plan. MORE

Canadian Blood Services needs more people to donate

Canadian Blood Services is in dire need of more blood donors – the number of people donating has declined to the lowest point in a decade. It needs 100,000 new donors to help replenish a critically low national blood inventory. Rick Prinze of Canadian Blood Services calls on more people across Canada to book an appointment to donate blood, plasma, and platelets to keep Canada’s Lifeline strong. The number of people across Canada who donate regularly has decreased by 31,000 since the start of the pandemic, he said. The pandemic has also prevented CBS from attracting new donors through in-person events, since many of them were restricted over the past two years. MORE

Rising mortgage rates squeeze some home owners

It happens like clockwork – people buy homes when mortgage rates are low, and then a couple of years down the line they can’t afford the payments when rates go up. That’s happening now as many homeowners can no longer afford their rising mortgage payments. A debt survey from Manulife Bank shows nearly one in four homeowners said they will have to sell their home if interest rates go up further. The Bank of Canada’s rate rose half a percentage point to 1.5 per cent on June 2, six weeks after the poll was taken. MORE

Tuesday, June 13 – the latest roundup of news in your world

Suspect with replica gun crashes into police vehicle

Realistic replica

Police have arrested a 34-year-old Nanaimo man after crashing his vehicle into a police car. Police were responding to a man who had broken into a barn on a rural property on June 7. When confronted by the property owner, the suspect produced what appeared to be a large handgun. The suspect then fled in a vehicle. Police located the vehicle and attempted to arrest the man but he crashed into the front grill of the police vehicle deploying the airbags in the police vehicle. The officer was not injured and apprehended the suspect without incident. The suspect suffered a significant cut to his forehead. MORE

Spencer-Smith performs at Wembley Stadium in London

Lauren Spencer-Smith

Eighteen-year-old Lauren Spencer-Smith of Nanaimo is really going places. She was one of 22 artists performing at the Summertime Ball music festival at Wembley Stadium in London, England over the weekend. Lauren previously competed in  American Idol TV show and made it to the 20 contestants for that year.

Group advocates expanding Nanaimo's boundaries

Mark Holland

Nanaimo is bursting at the seams and needs to look at expanding its borders, say members  of the Mid Island Business Initiative.  Mark Holland of MIBI spoke to city urging expanding the boundaries to build more housing. MIBI director Mike Delves said the lack of available and affordable real estate is proving to be an impediment to economic activity in the region. Holland pointed to the current housing crunch and said with Nanaimo’s anticipated growth, there isn’t enough developable land to keep up with demand, even factoring in the huge Green Thumb-Bowers District and Sandstone projects. MORE

Kootenay district properties put on flood alert

Flood alerts have been issued for more than 100 properties in Six Mile around the Duhamel Creek in the Kootenay district. The  Emergency Operation Centre is telling residents and visitors that while they are not required to evacuate, they should remain vigilant and be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. Regional district staff recommended residents to prepare an emergency kit and ensure preparedness, including moving pets and livestock to a safe area, in the event of an evacuation order.  Officials continue to monitor rising water levels in the Fraser River. Low-lying areas not protected by dyke infrastructure could start seeing flooding in the coming days. MORE

Blind want standard alert system for electric vehicles

Those new-fangled electric vehicles don’t make a sound so they can sneak up on you. That is particularly true for blind people. They want more clarity on a proposed requirement that electric vehicles emit pedestrian warning. The U.S. and Europe require electric vehicles and their quieter motors to generate sound when travelling at low speeds. Canada doesn't require any alert systems. Vehicles without internal combustion engines make little noise other than the sounds of wind resistance and the rubber tires against the road. On a city street with ambient noise, they can be impossible to audibly detect. MORE

Local wrestler expanding his horizons

B.J. Laredo

Nanaimo's claim to fame in the world of professional wrestling, B.J. Laredo is expanding his horizons. Laredo has piled up years of experience with Vancouver Island Professional Wrestling. He's booked at an event in Calgary, the hotbed of wrestling over the ages. His introductory match will be Friday night in cowtown. Good luck with that, who knows, the sky has no ceiling.

BC Liberals look to repackage and rebrand their party

Kevin Falcon

It’s all in the packaging and our Official Opposition in the Legislature is taking that message to heart. When you can’t sell a product you repackage it, so that’s what delegates at the BC Liberal party convention did by starting the process for adopting a new name. The party had 800 delegates at the Penticton convention. MORE

Voting now open for 2022 Nanaimo Business Awards

Voting is now open for the 2022 Nanaimo Business Awards. Almost 300 nominations were submitted for the awards. Voting ends on Friday, June 24. The top three organizations in each category will become finalists. Finalists will be ranked by a an independent judging panel. The awards presentation will be televised again this year on CHEK TV on Oct. 2 with the winners announced to an audience of up to 80,000 viewers! Vote HERE

Sunday, June 12 – Good morning, there’s a lot happening from ferry schedule disruptions to garbage, gas pains and flooding alerts in the interior of the province. Check out these stories in more detail below.

Soapbox Derby gets green flag for Old City Quarter

The good old days are returning for the younger generation. Old City Quarter is launching the Hub City Soapbox Derby in August. The event is finally on tap after having made way for the pandemic. It will now take place August 20, and is open to kids ages 6-12 with an entrance fee of $125, which includes the soapbox kit and race entry. MORE

Ferries sailings back on schedule for today

UPDATE – The earlier staffing shortage on the Queen of Coquitlam has been resolved. The vessel will sail as scheduled for the remainder of today. For up-to-date sailing and departure information, follow @BCFerries on Twitter, visit our Current Conditions webpage at www.bcferries.com or call toll free at 1-888-223-3779.

Regional District takes matters into it own hand

Nanaimo Regional Landfill.

If the regular supply chain can’t deliver the goods, the Nanaimo Regional District will gather its own material to close part of the Cedar landfill. The Solid Waste Management Committee has endorsed an award to Secure Energy for $1.8 million for the work. District staff would buy support accessories adding $940,000 to the budget, bringing it to $3 million. Sections of the dump are at end-of-life and will be capped to capture greenhouse gas and divert rain to storm water systems, limiting water seeping through the landfill. MORE

Flooding alerts issued for British Columiba interior

Evacuation alerts were issued to residents in about 40 homes in the Upper Fraser Valley  Saturday as flooding concerns spread across much of B.C. The alerts were issued for properties in the area of Harrison Mills. Residents were warned to prepare in case an evacuation order was issued. Officials continue to monitor rising water levels in the Fraser River. Dave Campbell with B.C.s River Forecast Centre said low-lying areas that are not protected by dyke infrastructure could start seeing flooding in the coming days. The centre also issued a flood watch for the North Thompson River including tributaries around Barriere and Clearwater. MORE

Natural gas prices are on the rise

Get ready for gas pains – Fortis BC has given residential customers a heads up about coming gas price increases in July. Residential customers on the mainland and Vancouver Island will see a price increase of $1.40 per gigajoule, an average monthly jump of $11. The company blamed global market conditions that have made gas more expensive. FortisBC does not mark up the cost increase; the cost that FortisBC pays is what is passed on to customers. MORE

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Heavy ferry traffic expected for the weekend

Congestion could become even more hectic on BC Ferries sailings this weekend from Nanaimo to the Lower Mainland. Friday and Sunday sailings on the Queen of New Westminster from Victoria have been cancelled due to staff shortages. Travellers are being encouraged to use the Nanaimo sailings from both Departure Bay and Duke Point as alternatives. MORE

First female joins the Vancouver Island Raiders roster

Another glass ceiling has been shattered – Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Raiders have signed their first female player. The Canadian Junior Football League team lists Jordan Vearer, from Victoria as a member of the offensive. Vearer has played rugby as well. Raiders’ coach Curtis Vizza says Vearer was strong, fast, aggressive, with a good understanding of the game. He envisions Vearer playing guard and shifting to the other side of the ball, playing defensive tackle, if necessary. MORE

Alberni mill converting to food-grade paper production

The ban on single-use plastic bags is having at least one positive payback. The Catalyst Port Alberni mill will begin making food-grade paper. The mill has produced mostly printing and writing grade paper for decades, but demand for those types of products has been declining over the years. The federal government's Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program has given a $4.5 million grant to update equipment to make the new product. MORE

Read regular updates on the war in Ukraine

Assistance for all ages.

The Mennonite Centre in Ukraine, on the front of the battle lines, continues to provide much-needed assistance to those suffering in the midst of the war. Those in need get a wide variety of support, from food to clothing and even transporation out of the war zone. The Centre provides regular updates on the daily challenges faced by the volunteers at the centre. The centre is supported through donations, mainly from Canada. You can find information on how to donate and you can read the the latest and archived news letters from the front HERE.

Tom Harris charity golf tournament needs volunteers

The Tom Harris Charity Golf Classic 2022 needs volunteers to help make this annual tournament a success. The event raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for charitable causes, a great way for volunteer ambassadors to give back to the community.

Friday June 17, 2022, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Nanaimo Golf Course  More Info

Stilwell named to Paralympics board of directors

Michelle Stilwell

Former MLA and Paralympian Michelle Stilwell has been named to the Board of Directors of Canadian Paralympic Committee for a three-year term. She holds gold medals in two different sports – first competing and winning for wheelchair basketball at Sydney 2000 before switching to wheelchair racing, in which she captured six medals including five gold across three Paralympic Games (2008, 2012, 2016). Michelle is a former Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation in the B.C. Legislature. MORE

Doug White wins prestigious legal award

Doug White

Doug White of Nanaimo has won a prestigious legal award. White is the Chairman of the B.C. First Nations Justice Council, and Snuneymuxw First Nation member. White was awarded the Advocates’ Society’s Joe Arvay Award. It recognizes significant contribution to the advancement of the law or the legal profession through advocacy in challenging circumstances.

COVID NUMBERS GOING DOWN – Remember the Coronavirus? It’s still with us but the numbers are going down. It’s difficult to compare Disease Control numbers with earlier counts because the way they are counted has changed.  There were 96 fewer patients in hospital with the coronavirus on Thursday than there were the previous week. Island Health's dropped by 19 to 57. Hospitalization figures in B.C. include both people who are admitted to hospital because of serious illness from COVID-19 and those who are hospitalized for other reasons and test positive incidentally. MORE 

HOUSING PRICES BEGIN DROPPING – If you’re in the market for a house, buying or selling, prices have begun dropping in cities across Canada. Both homeowners and buyers wonder how low valuations could get as interest rates rise and the post-pandemic market starts to materialize. Just how low prices will go depends on what part of the country you’re living in, with a recent report from Desjardins Economic Studies suggesting cities that saw the most growth in the pandemic now have the furthest to fall. MORE

June 10, 2022

Ending fossil fuel – that warm-all-over feeling doesn’t last

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Blissful ignorance is a great threat to our society – people virtue signalling without knowing the impact of what they are promoting. There’s a contradiction in using high-carbon-emitting coal to create so-called clean energy. The whole philosophy of eliminating fossil fuels is like wetting the bed – it feels warm all over at the start but gets awfully uncomfortable in a little while. FULL COMMENT

Branch 10 Legion cleared of trusteeship

Branch 10 Legion

Great news for Royal Canadian Legion Branch 10 – it has battled its way out of trustees overseeing its finances. The good news came at the Legion B.C./Yukon Convention in Nanaimo last week. The branch’s finances had been handled by a trusteeship since financial irregularities were discovered in October, 2018.

Water quality testing set to begin at outdoor swim spots

City of Nanaimo photo

The City 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 in and around each beach as well as from the waterways that feed into them. The samples are 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. MORE

Drivers will enjoy faster travel along Highway 4 this summer

Kennedy Hill project

If you’re heading out to Port Alberni or the west coasts of our island, it should be faster and easier this summer now that top-of-the-hour closures have been eliminated on Kennedy Hill. For the most up-to-date information on road conditions, visit: https://www.drivebc.ca/ MORE

 

Police seek to identify brazen purse snatcher

Do you know who this is?

Nanaimo RCMP want to identify a woman caught on camera stealing a purse from another woman. The victim sat down in the Country Club Centre food court with her purse hung on the back of her chair. Reserve Cst. Gary O’Brien said the owner of the purse was minding her own business when the thief made her move and snatched the purse and wandered off. MORE

BUILDING ALMOST GONE – The former Community Services Building on Prideaux Street is almost gone, making way for a  supportive housing complex. Contractors tore down most of the building on Tuesday, leaving a pile of rubble to be cleared. A bulletin from BC Housing said demolition work is expected to continue until the end of June. MORE

NEW LIFE FOR SCHOOL – Rutherford elementary school could get a new lease on life. The school district’s business committee supports a proposal to re-open the school in response to increasing student numbers in the area. Secretary-treasurer Mark Walsh, told trustees rounds of public consultation earlier this year made the next steps very clear. He said the feedback has been clear, perhaps unsurprisingly because the Rutherford area residents are a passionate group, were really pushing for the re-opening of the school. MORE

VIOLENT OFFENDER ARRESTED – UPDATE – Kyle Ordway, 37, who was featured in an RCMP wanted report, was arrested Thursday on his outstanding warrants. Acting on tips from the public, police located and arrested Ordway without incident. He remains in custody awaiting an appearance in Provincial Court. MORE

DRUG SCOURGE CONTINUES – More British Columbia died of illicit drug overdoses in the first four months of the year than ever before. New data blames part of the problem on the street supply being laced with an antidote-blocking drug. The B.C. Coroners Service reported 722 deaths attributed to drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl between January and April. Fifteen died in the Central Island — three of them in Nanaimo in April. It will be enlightening to note the impact of limited drug possession being legalized in B.C. MORE 

SUMMER MUSIC FEST – If you're looking for a place to go, the Pacific Region International Summer Music Association Festival is in Powell River next week. This is the 10th anniversary event and runs June 13 to 25. The Festival brings together talented and enthusiastic classical musicians and fans.  “BC Ferries helps weave the west coast fabric that connects the communities where we all live and work,” said Janet Carson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Marketing and Customer Experience.  MORE

22-06-09

LUNCHEON POSTPONED – Friday’s Chamber of Commerce luncheon with Tourism Nanaimo has been postponed to next Thursday. The Monthly Networking Luncheon will outline the current state of the tourism industry in Nanaimo and provide an update Tourism Nanaimo's new structure, visitor expectations and marketing plans for the year. Thursday, June 16, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Nanaimo Golf Club. You can REGISTER HERE.

CHRISTIAN SCHOOL EXPANDING – Nanaimo Christian School is growing and has bought property next to the school in a $1-million private sale. Student enrolment has nearly doubled in the past seven years, with the school at capacity (670 students) and 725 students expected in September. Many grades have wait-lists, families are being turned away and the school is in talks to create student capacity MORE

SPECIAL ROLE FOR VIU – Vancouver Island University has been selected to form a network focused on educating future politicians and civil servants. The Jarislowsky Foundation chose VIU along with four other institutions to set up a first-of-its-kind network at five liberal arts and science universities in five regions of Canada. The Foundation is investing $2 million to help establish the Jarislowsky Chair in Trust and Political Leadership at VIU. President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Deborah Saucier said the endowment is a significant contribution to the social sciences and to further establishes VIU as a regional hub for expertise. MORE

YOU MAY NOT BE A LOSER – If you played a new scratch-and-win lottery this week you’d better recheck your tickets – hundreds of winners were mistakenly told they didn't get a prize. The error impacted the new $3 Road to Riches scratch-and-win tickets, which launched on Monday. The B.C. Lottery Corporation said 1,898 tickets were checked and of those, about 503 winning tickets accidently displayed "not a winner" messages when scanned at a terminal. The system was reportedly fixed by Tuesday morning and BCLC said no other tickets were impacted by the system's incorrect messages. The tickets have a top prize of $50,000 with one-in-a-million odds. The most won on Monday was $100. MORE

PHARMACY HOURS SHORTENED – A number of London Drugs locations have decreased pharmacy hours, and others will follow suit next week, company president Clint Mahlman told CTV News Wednesday. He estimated about 35 of the company's 53 B.C. locations will be impacted though the number fluctuates as staffing allows. For the most part, pharmacies are closing at 7 p.m. instead of 10 p.m., though the hours vary by store. London Drugs described the staffing issues as "multi-layered and complex," adding that there were challenges even before the COVID-19 pandemic. It was not known if the Nanaimo stores are impacted. MORE

MOTORCYCLE MANIACS – South Island police are looking for at least three motorcyclists who were recorded speeding 270 Km/h and weaving through traffic on the Pat Bay Highway north of Victoria on Monday. Investigators say the riders were racing up and down the highway from Saanich to Sidney  around 7 p.m. Saanich police are asking for anyone with dashcam video, said Saanich Police Const. Markus Anastasiades. One officer got a speed reading on one motorcycle of 270 km/h, which is an incredibly dangerous speed that put all road users at a significant risk of injury that evening, he added. MORE

VACCINE-RELATED ILLNESS – After nearly a year of paperwork and medical submissions, Ross Wightman is one of only a handful of Canadians to have an illness validated as a COVID-vaccine-related injury by the federal government. Wightman, 40, of Lake Country, suffers from Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare condition that affects the nervous system. He was diagnosed with the disorder last spring, less than two weeks after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine. Just days after getting the shot, he started to experience extreme back pain and was diagnosed with the disorder and spent 67 days in hospital. He’s now been approved for compensation from the Vaccine Injury Support Program. MORE

GUN SALES BRISK – If Prime Minister Trudeau expected to reduce the number of guns held by Canadians it appears to have backfired. Sales have shown the opposite effect on prospective buyers. A gun store in Campbell River says it saw a huge surge in sales after Trudeau announced the bill on May 30. Kevin McCurrie, co-owner of Gun Smoke, said Trudeau announced it on a Monday and the next morning and there was a mad rush. “If his desire was to limit handgun sales, well, he was salesman of the month for us," McCurrie said. He said they sold about 40 hand guns last week when normally they would sell one or two a month. MORE

Elderly man dies in house fire in Diver Lake area

An elderly man died in a house fire in the Diver Lake area this morning. Nanaimo Fire Rescue, BC Emergency Health Services and Nanaimo RCMP attended to the 2500 block of Quill Drive after 8:30 this morning. Fire Rescue assistant chief Stu Kenning said crews quickly knocked a door open and doused the fire but they found an elderly man inside who had succumbed to the smoke and fire. 

Tax bills came as a shock for many property owners

June 8, 2022

Many taxpayers are saying "Just a Minute" when opening their 2022 municpal tax bill. Half of them are higher than the touted average of about six per cent. How will taxpayers react in this fall's civic election? FULL COMMENT.

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JUST A MINUTE – Taxpayers had their expectations, banking on an "average" tax increase. They were shocked when the bill arrived in the mail. VIDEO COMMENT

MORE FERRY FRUSTRATION – Would-be passengers are sounding off after a vessel filled up almost entirely with reserved vehicles only. The sailing occurred May 29 between Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay. An earlier cancelled sailing prompted BC Ferries to transfer anyone who had reserved a spot on the cancelled sailing onto the next available ferry. Traveller Don Starr says his vehicle was just one of three that made it onto the ferry without having a reservation. BC Ferries has been plagued with sailing cancellations – including four on the Duke Point route Tuesday, largely due to a staffing shortage. MORE

NOBODY HOME when fire broke out at a homeless camp in Bowen Park on Tuesday sparking explosions and flames. First responders answered to a fire at the 700 block of Townsite Road at 9 a.m, in a remote area of the park, on the north-side of the Millstone River. Nanaimo Fire Rescue assistant chief Stuart Kenning said the fire was fairly large with a lot of propane tanks exploding and black smoke from plastics. The location was a challenge as responders had to reposition the apparatus on the other side and use ropes going down to the homeless camp. Recent rain put a damper on what could have been a much bigger fire. MORE

WHO WAS THAT WINNER? – Sometimes even winning can be a challenge. The Victoria Hospitals Foundation conducted a fund raising lottery with a pair of e-bikes as the prize. Lo and behold, Dr. Bonnie Henry won and that fuelled negative reaction. Numerous people suggested the draw was rigged or that Dr. Henry winning was a conflict of interest. The foundation had some explaining to do, posting that they understand some are disheartened by the outcome, all proper protocols were followed and executed. MORE

SITE PREPARATION BEGUN – if you drive by the site of the former Long Lake Nurseries at Island Highway and Rutherford Road you’ll notice work has begun on the first of two car dealerships at that property. A $6.3-million building permit was issued in May for the first phase of a Subaru sales and service building. It’s part of a larger project approved by the City in February for a luxury car dealership, a pre-owned showroom and two storey parking structure. MORE

WHAT A BOSS! – Employees of Gorman Brothers Lumber in West Kelowna got a real boost when the company announced up to $5,000 for all active hourly employees to help address their increasing costs. That goes to active hourly employees who have been with the company for six months. Those with less service or who are part-time will receive a pro-rated amount. This is on top of a 2.5-per-cent cost-of-living adjustment they will get July 1. “We recognize our employees have come through two years of challenges from the pandemic to various weather events and the general economy,” said Nick Arkle, Gorman Group CEO. MORE

HEAT DEATH TOLL – Fifty five people in the Vancouver Island region died during last summer's heat dome. An investigation by British Columbia's chief coroner has found 619 heat-related deaths in B.C. during the extreme temperatures in June and July last year. With 312 deaths, the Fraser Valley had the largest number. followed by the Vancouver Coastal Health region with 145, Interior Health with 84 and Northern Health with 23. The largest share of Vancouver Island deaths was in Greater Victoria, where 24 people died of heat. The coroner's review showed 98 per cent of the heat-related deaths occurred indoors and 67 per cent of those killed were 70 or older. MORE

FORMER CITY STAFFER DIES – A former City of Nanaimo environmental planner died while cycling in the annual Ski to Sea multi-sport relay race near Bellingham in late May. It is believed that Rob Lawrance, 58, suffered a massive coronary. He had worked for the City of Nanaimo as an environmental planner for 21 years. He left Nanaimo in 2021 and moved to Bellingham. MORE

NEW FAMILY DOCTORS – Need a family doctor? The Comox Valley might be the place to go. The community has taken a proactive approach to attract family doctors. A  recruitment task force is seeing success in bringing new family doctors. Comox city councillor Dr. Jonathan Kerr is part of the recruitment drive that has brought in five new doctors who have been practicing since January and another six are coming later this year. MORE

ARREST WARRANTS ISSUED – Warrants have been issued for the arrest of 37-year-old Kyle Gordon Ordway of Nanaimo. In February 2021, Ordway was charged with Forcible Confinement, Assault with a Weapon and Theft. Ordway appeared in Nanaimo Provincial Court on these charges and was later released into the community. Shortly afterwards, Ordway breached his court-ordered release conditions which led to warrants being issued for his arrest. MORE

Duke Point-Tsawwassen ferry sailings cancelled

BC Ferries has cancelled four sailings on the Duke Point-to-Tsawwassen route on the Queen of Alberni on Tuesday afternoon due to a staffing shortage.

The four sailings are:

  • 3:15 p.m. departing Tsawwassen
  • 5:45 p.m. departing Duke Point
  • 8:15 p.m. departing Tsawwassen
  • 10:45 p.m. departing Duke Point

"The decision to cancel a sailing in these circumstances is made when we have exhausted all options to find replacement crew," reads an update on the BC Ferries website.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

WAY TO GO DOVER BAY – Dover Bay Secondary students more than doubled their fundraising goal for the Canadian Cancer Society on Monday. The student council Relay for Life raised more than $38,000 before the event even started. Student council president Sonya Urbanowicz said their original goal was $15,000. Last year’s target was $10,000 and they hit $13,000. “We wanted to raise our goal just a little bit to see what would happen and we ended up just absolutely crushing it.” MORE

TOURISM IN THE SPOTLIGHT – Tourism Nanaimo will be in the spotlight Friday at the Chamber of Commerce monthly networking luncheon. You can learn about the state of the tourism industry here in Nanaimo, a key economic driver critical to community recovery and sustainability. The luncheon is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Nanaimo Golf Club. Register Here

NANAIMO DRIVERS WAITING –Vancouver and Victoria drivers were met with new record-breaking prices at the pumps over the weekend. Some stations across the region charged $2.369 per litre, breaking the previous price record. That price remained in place at many stations Monday morning. It was a similar story at Victoria stations where it hit $2.340. As of this morning, Nanaimo prices ranged from $2.169 to $2.219.

 

Jack Weisgerber

WEISGERBER DIES – Jack Weisgerber, who served as an MLA in B.C. from 1986 to 2001, died at age 81 on Friday. He represented Peace River South as a member of the Social Credit and BC Reform parties before finishing out his last term as an independent. Weisgerber held several ministerial posts. In 2001, he was appointed as director of BC Hydro and held that position until 2017. After retirement, Weisgerber lived in Nanaimo for a number of years before recently moving to the Lower Mainland. MORE

REBATES AVAILABLE – City Council has allocated an additional $100,000 from the Climate Action Reserve Fund to support the City's continued participation in the Province of British Columbia's CleanBC Better Homes Rebate Program. This is a continuation of a two-year partnership between the City and the Province to encourage home energy retrofits and reduce residential building emissions. Homeowners who apply for a home energy renovation rebate may be eligible for additional rebates provided by the City, up to $15,000 in rebates from CleanBC as well as an additional $1,400 from the City. MORE

EARLY WARNING SYSTEM – British Columbians should not be caught off guard with future heat events or emergencies. The new response system was launched by the province one year after hundreds died from a summer 2021 heat dome. There will be two levels: warnings and extreme heat emergencies. Warnings are a “moderate increase in public health risk,” triggered by different temperature thresholds throughout the province. In the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, a forecast of two days or more of daytime highs of 29 C or higher and night time lows of 16 C or higher will prompt a warning. Health Minister Adrian Dix said t will be up to local governments to have their own plans. MORE

Fatal pedestrian motor vehicle incident on Parkway

A 15-year-old youth was struck and killed by a motor vehicle late Saturday night on the Nanaimo Parkway in the southbound lanes, near the Aulds Road intersection. Several passing motorists called 911 to report reporting an unknown person running in and out of traffic. Moments later he was struck by a motor vehicle. A female in her early twenties, came forward to police and indicated that she had struck the deceased with her vehicle and that she had not remained at the scene. Her vehicle was seized for a forensic investigation and he was released without condition. MORE

We didn't have the 'green thing' back in our day

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I blew off some steam in a column about turning into a curmudgeon, and what ticks me off. An article by an unknown author tells the story precisely. A young cashier suggested to an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags aren't good for the environment. The woman’s response was priceless.  "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days." The clerk responded, "That's our problem today, your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations." She was right, our generation didn't have “the green thing.” FULL COMMENT

Monday, June 6, 2022

TWO EARN BIG SCHOLARSHIPS – Two local students have reason to celebrate. Cailey Munroe of John Barsby Secondary and Nanaimo District Secondary’s Rylie Longson each got $40,000 scholarships from Beedie Luminaries, which backs students who have overcome adversity while demonstrating strong academic potential. FULL STORY.

A REAL SWINGER – Congratulations Matthew Wilson of Wellington Secondary for finishing third at provincial golf championships recently. He led the first round after shooting a 70, then shot a 75 the second day to finish four strokes back of the provincial champion. Another Wellington golfer, Maria Schwager, was fifth in girls’ individual competition. Wellington tied with Brentwood College for the Vancouver Island championship in senior AA competition earlier in the month after a two-day tourney at Arbutus Ridge Golf Club in Cobble Hill. MORE

A TIP OF THE STETSON to Nanaimo RCMP Cpl. Terry Crawford who has been named to the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team. This will be the first full tour since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in which a full team will cycle the 1,100-km route from Port Alice to Victoria. Crawford is a 15-year RCMP veteran who came to Nanaimo in 2017. He said he took up the challenge because he was inspired by children he’s seen who are “living with and battling with cancer.” Crawford’s grandmother died of cancer and his mother is a cancer survivor. This year’s tour runs Sept. 24-Oct. 7. To make donations or learn more about the team and the event, visit www.tourderock.caMORE

ALZHEIMER WEBINARS – The Alzheimer Society of B.C. provides Central Island residents affected by dementia with resources through regular webinar series. One event includes “Physical activity for your brain and mobility health,” exploring the relationship between exercises and brain health. The free online session takes place on June 15 at 2 p.m. Central Island residents can register at alzbc.org/physical-activity-brain-mobility. Check the dates and links HERE

MORDEN MINE REVISITED –  Colliery Historic Provincial Park is getting ready for its first in-person field trip since 2019. It will include a picnic lunch and a tour with Liam Hall, of Heritage Masonry, who undertook the conservation work on the mine structures.  It’s Saturday, June 12, from noon to 2 p.m. with preregistration required by June 11. Members $10, Non-members $15 You can make payment at nanaimohistoricalsociety.ca to pay by Paypal. For general information, e-mail nanaimohistoricalsociety@shaw.ca

NO RELIEF IN SIGHT – Nanaimo Gasoline prices appeared to ease off a bit over the past week but continued to trend upward across much of Canada over the weekend. Experts warn more increases are coming this week. National average gas prices rose to about $2.06 on Sunday, up almost three cents from the day before and 11 cents higher compared with a week ago, according to the Canadian Automobile Association. This morning prices in Nanaimo hovered between $2.199 and $2.219.

A Sunday morning sermon from an aging curmudgeon

I have always been intrigued by the term curmudgeon – such a funky-sounding word. The definition is “a cranky, ill-tempered individual, a person who is always angry and seldom socializes with others.”  After all these years I may be morphing into a curmudgeon. There are a lot more things that annoy me now. Here's what cheeses me off these days. Being “woke” is simply an opinion. VIEW COMMENT

Sunday, June 5, 2022

GOOD MORNING – Weekends tend to be slow for news, but there’s always something happening. If that doesn’t pique your interest, take a look at what cheeses me off these days. CHECK HERE.

LEGION CONVENTION – More than 350 Legion members from across the province and Yukon are in Nanaimo for the Command’s 55th convention, wrapping up today. The convention brings together delegates and observers from the 145 branches in the B.C. and Yukon establishing the direction of the organization “by bringing forth issues, opportunities and solutions.”. All the action is taking place at the Conference Centre. MORE

TOTALLY EXCESSIVE – When you’re new behind the wheel with a class 7 new driver license it is not a good idea to put the pedal to the metal, especially if you have kids on board and smell of booze. Parksville Highway Patrol nabbed two motorists driving at excessive speeds in the Nanoose Bay area during a High Risk Driving Campaign in May. Patrol members in the Nanoose area got a radar reading of 150 kilometres per hour, in a posted 90 km/h zone. The driver had kids on board and failed roadside sobriety tests. The second incident was a carbon copy story, 147 km, a child in the car and failing two roadside screenings. Both got 90-day driving suspensions, a fine and had their cars impounded for 30 days. MORE

OFF-DUTY FIREFIGHTER STEPS UP – An off-duty firefighter is credited with saving a young woman’s life after he rushed to a car crash near his house and rescued her from her burning car Saturday morning in East Wellington. David LeNeveu, East Wellington Fire Department deputy fire chief, said firefighter Mark McCallum rushed to the scene before the fire truck arrived and found a car on fire under a mess of trees. He extracted a young woman from the car. Reserve RCMP Const. Gary O’Brien said the woman was taken to hospital for non-life threatening injuries and while no charges have been laid, alcohol is being investigated as a contributing factor. MORE

FREE PROMOTION – The Daily Buzz has free promotion space available for non-profit community events and services. Check out the Daily Buzz at www.nanaimonet.com. Send your poster or information to DailyBuzz@nanaimonet.com

Break and Enter to garage Nanaimo file # 2022-18142
Sometime between May 25th and May 28th, a garage located in the 300 block of Fourth St was broken into. Taken was a 10-foot wide silver tool chest with a brown cutting board on top. The initials of JJEE were engraved on the tool chest The tool chest contained hand tools and family photos. No suspects, witnesses or serial numbers. Tip: Sheds and garage should always be locked. It is not a guarantee but it may make thieves think twice and make them move on.

Theft of electric bikes Nanaimo file # 2022-17943
Sometime overnight on Saturday May 28th, two black with a white over spray Go-City folding electric bikes were stolen from the back of a vehicle that was parked in the 1600 block of Dufferin Crescent. One of the serial numbers of the bike is 007206064020022.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

TO THE RESCUE – If you’re looking for excitement along with a challenge and a rewarding volunteer experience, check out the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue station in Nanaimo. They are accepting applications until June 14 for the fall training program. Visit their website for more details and the application form or email our recruiting team: http://rcmsar27.ca/volunteer/recruit@rcmsar27.ca

AIRPORT REACHING OUT – Nanaimo Airport has launched a promotional campaign to make it easier for Canadians coast to coast to reconnect, and enticing more visitors to the Central Island. Its #Reconnect With Canada campaign is partnering with Halifax Airport, which in May launched a direct flight to Vancouver. The idea is to reconnect family, friends and loved ones as COVID-19 restrictions fade. It also encourages travellers to reconnect with travel, nature and Canada.

POLICE SEEK OWNER OF BIKE – An alert front line RCMP officer on patrol in central Nanaimo encountered an individual well known to police in possession of a relatively new mountain bike. After engaging the man in conversation it quickly went downhill. It became evident that based on the answers, the man was not the owner of the bike. The bike, is a blue Norco Storm which was not registered in the Garage 529 database. If anyone has information on who may own the bike, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, and quote file # 2022-17952.

MARKET LEVELLING OFF – The local real estate market appears to be shifting with lighter demand and increased inventory. Active listings of single-family homes, excluding acreage and waterfront, climbed by 64 percent from 2021 last month. Listings were also up  34 percent from April to May this year. Vancouver Island Real Estate Board’s inventory of condo apartments in May was 28 per cent higher than one year ago and increased by 32 per cent from April. Row/townhouse inventory rose by 49 per cent year over year and 12 per cent from April. The board-wide benchmark price of a single-family home reached $867,000 in May, up 30 per cent year over year. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose by 29 per cent, reaching $901,400.

Theft of tools Nanaimo file # 2022-17146
At some point between May 20th and May 22nd, construction tools were stolen from a truck parked in the 100 block of Prideaux St. The truck was locked and parked in area that was secured by a gate. It appears suspects cut through the surrounding metal fence then broke into the truck. Taken was a nail gun, hand tools, saws and batteries. All the tools were contained in a Milwaukee pack worth approximately $5000. Tip: construction tools should always be marked with an identifying number.

Break and Enter file # 2022-17261
Between May 21st and May 23rd, a motor home parked in the 1100 block of Stewart Ave was broken into. The motor home, a white 2000 Ford Camper, had various items strewn about and missing were some food products. It appears people were using the camper as temporary shelter. No surveillance or suspects.

Break and Enter Nanaimo File # 2022-17489
Sometime overnight on Wednesday May 25th, the Café House connected to the Living Forest campground on Maki Road was broken into. Taken was a cash register that contained an undisclosed amount of cash. Security tip: Cash registers should be emptied at the end of each business day and cash drawers open to show that it does not contain any cash. 

Theft of bag from food court Nanaimo file # 2022-18085
On Saturday May 28th, a small bag leather hand bag was inadvertently left at the food court in the Woodgrove Centre. The bag contained an RBC credit card, student card and some cash. Lost and found and Mall security were checked with negative results.

If you have information on a crime, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Friday, June 3, 2022

GOOD MORNING – Well, look on the bright side, you won’t have to water the lawn this morning, with rain in the forecast for the next four days.

SEARCH FOR MISSING MAN – RCMP and search and rescue teams are searching for Gregory McKenzie, 64, who was last seen at about 1:30 p.m. Thursdayat his north Nanaimo home. RCMP Reserve Const. Gary O’Brien said his family is concerned for his safety and well-being. Initial search efforts focused on the Green Lake area, but have since been extended to other urban areas throughout north Nanaimo. Anyone who sees McKenzie or knows of his whereabouts is asked to call 911 or the Nanaimo RCMP detachment non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. MORE

THIEF IN THE NIGHT – Nanaimo RCMP report an overnight theft of firewood from a Harewood residence. The wood that went missing from the home, located in the 300 block of Seventh Street on May 25, and was a mix of already split alder and cottonwood. The owner said he heard wheelbarrows overnight and realized, too late, that wheelbarrows were probably being used by the thief or thieves to wheel away his wood. If you have information please call the Nanaimo RCMP detachment non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2022-17531. MORE

ONE MORE STEP – School District staff have proposed a name change for NDSS Community Field on Third Street to a Coast Salish word, while Coal Tyee elementary would also see a new name from the Snuneymuxw language. Q’unq’inuqwstuxw (Pronounced ki-KIN-ish-TOOK) was used by First Nation athletes meaning to ‘pass it back’ or return and represents the District’s goal of sharing and reconciliation. MORE

June 2, 2022

Theft from vehicle Nanaimo file # 2022-17036
Sometime between 10:00 PM and 10:30 PM on May 21st, a wallet was stolen from a vehicle parked in the 5700 block of Turner Road. The wallet contained personal ID, credit cards and cash. A short time later the victim’s credit cards were used to order a taxi, purchase items at Walmart and at the Real Canadian Superstore. Tip: Never leave wallets or purses in unattended vehicles. Criminals know where your hiding spots are and within minutes of finding it, they well beeline it to the closest business.

Break and Enter to shed File # 2022-17008
Sometime overnight on Saturday May 21st, a backyard shed located on Kamp Place was broken into. A padlock securing the shed was broken off and stolen was a small red Stihl chainsaw with no serial number. Security tip: Think about placing covers or shades on shed windows to prevent prying eyes from seeing what is inside.

Break and Enter File # 2022-17162
Sometime overnight on Sunday May 22nd, a detached garage located in the 2600 block of the Trans Canada highway was broken into. Entry was through the front door which was found open. Taken were approximately 15 two pounds bags of powdered milk along with a Makita grinder, chainsaw, power saw and a hand crank sausage maker. No serial numbers were available.

If you have information on a crime, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Trudeau's gun control move is way off target

The bad guys must really be shaking in their boots. Prime Minister Trudeau plans to put a freeze on the buying and selling of hand guns. Somehow, criminals never pay much attention to rules. This new approach wan’t take any guns off the street, only restrict the sale and purchase of new guns. If you have one already, you can keep it. VIDEO COMMENTARY.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

NANAIMO BUSINESS AWARDS – Nominations are under way for the 2022 Nanaimo Business Awards on October 2, recognizing Nanaimo's leaders and achievers. The Nanaimo Chamber is looking for sponsors for this 22nd annual celebration. Check out the Sponsorship Opportunities. Nominations close at midnight June 9. Then the voting begins the following day, June 10, and continues to June 24. The big party is Oct. 2 on CHEK-TV. 

ALL SAFE AFTER CAR FIRE –All occupants escaped safely from a vehicle fire on the Island Highway late Wednesday afternoon. Emergency crews responded to the scene near Cedar Road and the Nanaimo Parkway. No injuries were reported by the occupants.

GUN SALES SOAR – At least one gun and ammunition store owner says handgun sales in the Lower Mainland have sky-rocketed following the federal government’s planned handgun sale freeze. Scott Carpenter, of International Shooting Supplies in Surrey, said he sold a month’s worth in one day. The federal government tabled legislation to freeze the buying, selling, importing, and trading of handguns nationwide. MORE

ECO-LITERACY AND ECO-ACTIVISM – Vancouver Island University will be the centre of attention host to a conference June 10 to 12 for a conference designed to broaden the understanding of environmental knowledge and issues in young people’s literature and culture. The Assembling Common Worlds conference will explore concepts of eco-literacy and eco-activism in children’s and youth literature and culture. Eco-literacy is about understanding ecology and how the environment functions, including the human place within it. Eco-activism is about trying to raise awareness and stop activities that are damaging the environment.

BANK RATE UP AGAIN – A whole lot more Canadians just got shut out of qualifying for a mortgage yesterday. The Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest rate to 1.5 per cent, the second straight increase of half a percentage point. “With the economy in excess demand, and inflation persisting well above target and expected to move higher in the near term, the Governing Council continues to judge that interest rates will need to rise further,” the Bank of Canada said in a statement. The Governing Council is prepared to act more forcefully if needed to meet its commitment to achieve the two-per-cent inflation target. MORE

Society has turned upside down

According to www. nanaimonet.com, here is a Government Medical Authority issuing public statements about the dangers of certain drugs and overdose of them, yet is completely silent about the injuries and deaths from their sponsored and supported free covid vaccines. They actually have ads on the airways pushing theses vaccines and how safe and effective they are. Yet thousands have died and hundreds of thousands have been injured from use of these vaccines as disclosed by the VAERS system in the USA and the Eudra Vigilance system on the EU. FULL COMMENT.
 

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

GOOD MORNING and tear another page off the calendar, June has arrived. Here's your daily news menu. 

BANK RATE GOES UP – The Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate for the second time in two months as it forecasts higher consumer prices to come this year. The central bank increased its policy rate by half a percentage point to 1.5 per cent Wednesday and warned that rates will need to rise further to rein in inflation. MORE 

NIGHT STREET MARKET IS BACK – The popular Commercial Street Night Market is back after a two-year absence due to the pandemic. A lot of planning and development has gone into the revived event. “We’re excited that the Commercial Street Night Market will open June 23 for another 11 Thursdays,” says Kim Smythe, Chamber CEO. “Popular artisan vendors, food trucks, street entertainers, and all the attractions that drew thousands downtown during the event’s run will all be back. We look forward to welcoming thousands,” he added. The 11-week event series runs on Thursdays from June 23 to September 1 from 5-9 pm. MORE

MINIMUM WAGE GOES UP – If you are earning minimum wage in our province you’re getting 45 cents an hour as of today. B.C.’s minimum wage increases to $15.65  today.  The latest increase also includes to live-in camp leaders and live-in home support workers, as well as the minimum monthly wage of resident caretakers. Small business and agriculture employers have warned about the side effects of a steep increase in the minimum wage. The latest increase comes as employers have staff shortages, particularly in service industry jobs, as gasoline, groceries and other staples rise steeply in price. The new rate of $15.65 is the highest in Canada. MORE

THREE ARRESTED IN DRUG CASE – Three Nanaimo men have been arrested for dark-web drug trafficking. Kerry Chang, Kien Trung Pham and Gordon Brooks of Nanaimo have been charged with various drug trafficking charges and will have their next court appearance in June. Chang is the father of Makayla Chang, who was found dead in 2017. RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime cybercrime operations group started an online undercover investigation in early 2019 into an international dark web organized crime group. The RCMP press release describes the “dark web” as a hidden layer of the internet accessed through encryption-enabled browsers that hide the user’s digital footprint. MORE

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT – City Council has set itself an enhanced code of conduct. It builds on existing principles and includes behavioural expectations, accountability requirements and a process for handling breaches and complaints. The new bylaw fulfills the governance commitment made by Council when they were elected in 2018. The Union of BC Municipalities endorsed a resolution at its 2021 convention calling on the Province to enact legislation along those lines. MORE

OFF TO PUBLIC HEARING ­ – City Council’s ReImagine scheme has passed first and second readings and is now headed to public hearing on June 22. After the public hearing, it will 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. Nanaimo ReImagined is a comprehensive approach to community planning that goes beyond the minimum requirements of a standard Official Community Plan. It will serve as the City's Official Community Plan. MORE

REAL STREET HOCKEY – Downtown Nanaimo will be turned into street hockey rinks in September. Play On! Canada is coming here on Sep. 17 and 18 for a tournament for all ages. Tourism Nanaimo’s Jenn Houtby-Ferguson, says the tournament is a great fit for increasing sports tourism offerings locally. From 10 to 15 rinks could pop up in Nanaimo with upwards of 2,000 athletes coming here. MORE

BODY IDENTIFIED – The body discovered earlier this month in Nanaimo Harbour has been identified as a missing man. Nanaimo RCMP said the body was located off Protection Island on May 3, and they have identified Kent Schroeder, a man who was reported missing on April 11. 

DRUG USE WARNING ­ – Island Health has issued a drug poisonings and overdose advisory. The number of overdoses in Nanaimo are on the rise and those using opioids and stimulants face increased risk from both injection and inhalation. For more information, go to www.islandhealth.ca and click on the ‘overdose prevention and response’ link.

 

Government services not operating up to par

Most of the rest of the world has swung back into full gear following the Corona Virus shutdowns. But it’s not the same story with many government agencies. The travel industry is beset by obstacles from a lack of proper public government services. VIDEO

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

BREAKING NEWS – New Year’s day will see the legalization of drug possession in British Columbia. Health Canada has approved B.C.’s bid to decriminalize small possessions of illicit drugs. Beginning in January, 2023, residents 18 and older will be allowed to carry up to 2.5 grams of street drugs on them, including opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine or MDMA. The drugs must be for personal use only. 

BEARS PUT DOWN – An adult black bear and two cubs were euthanized after they were encountered several times in Nanaimo. RCMP warned residents on Saturday to keep their pets inside as police and conservation officers searched the Hospital area for the mother and her two cubs. On Saturday, police said that the animals had been tranquilized and that they would  be relocated elsewhere. But on Monday, the The B.C. Conservation Officer Service said the trio had been euthanized because they'd become habituated to eating garbage. 

ALCOHOL COMING TO FERRIES – You will be able to have a wee tipple on some ferry sailings between Nanaimo and the Mainland by the end of summer if all goes according to plan. BC Ferries has approval in principle from the provincial Liquor Branch for the service. The menu at select Coastal Cafés will offer B.C. wine, craft beer, ciders and other alcoholic beverages on vessels sailing between Departure Bay and Duke Point sailings to Metro Vancouver, and Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen. MORE.

WHAT’S NEXT? – How about poetry that is visible only in the rain? The City's Active Transportation and Culture and Events sections has a new public art and poetry project that pairs poetry with design to bring hidden creativity to the transportation network. Webb Creative made stencils using poetry by Nanaimo’s Poet Laureate, Kamal Parmar.  The poems are revealed as hidden messages when it rains. Each poem is paired with a QR code link, so you can also listen on your mobile devices, rain or shine. You can learn more about this HERE.

BEATING SUSPECT CHARGED – Ryan John Seaman has been charged with assault after a VIU student was beaten. The 19-year-old Seaman was charged for alleged attack on student Spencer Frey. The incident occurred at an off-campus house party on March 27, and Frey was left with facial injuries. A suspect was arrested a few days after the house party but was released from custody pending charges being laid. MORE

UKRAINE UPDATE – In April I invited readers to contribute to relief efforts in Ukraine, and the response was gratifying. In the meantime, almost-daily reports from inside the war-torn region keep everyone up to date. Those reports have been saved so you can see them – take a look at the areas right in the firing line HERE. Also, if you wish to donate, please email me or phone 250-616-0416. Tax receipts are issued within about 48 hours. My Email address