Summer events swinging into high gear in July

July 10, 2022

Rain or shine, summer weekend events are swinging into high gear. It kicked off with this weekend’s dragon boat races with 38 teams competing at Swy-a-Lana Lagoon. The 1,200 athletes in the women’s and mixed divisions raced yesterday and continue today. Races are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There’s all-day entertainment at Maffeo Sutton Park, including musical and dance performances, food trucks, a kids play area and beer garden. The Silly Boat Regatta is a week from today. That is the lead up to the Nanaimo Marine Festival with bath tub racing the following weekend, July 24. MORE

The Rogers network crash should be a major wakeup call for to us all. One technology expert says serious changes are needed. Maithili Mavinkurve, a senior fellow for the Centre for International Governance Innovation, says the outage should serve as an eye-opener. This is critical infrastructure for Canadians, this is not just having a bad day. There’s critical business processes, financial systems, hospital emergency systems and more that are impacted. MORE

We’re heading the wrong direction on a one-way road when it comes to building a united country and creating prosperity for the future. A new survey from Nanos Research, for CTV News, shows half of those surveyed believe Canada is on the wrong track, compared to 22 per cent who believe it is on the right one. Prairie residents led the pessimism with 60 per cent believing Canada is on the wrong path, followed by Ontario (53 per cent), Quebec (45 per cent), B.C. (42 per cent) and the Atlantic provinces (40 per cent). And men were more likely to believe Canada is on the wrong path at 55.4 per cent compared to women at 45 per cent. MORE

If you day dream about owning a yacht, cruising on one or even just seeing one, head down to the Port of Nanaimo and take a gander at about two dozen being unloaded here. The yachts are coming from winters in the south. Nanaimo and Victoria are the preferred discharge locations for yachts being brought back to the West Coast because of the experience of terminal operator DP World and the longshoremen with handling yachts. Most of the yachts are destined for Seattle or Alaska with a few staying in B.C. Main departure ports are from Fort Lauderdale and Port Everglades in Florida, Costa Rica, and from La Paz and Ensenada in Mexico. A second vessel is scheduled to deliver another load of yachts next week. MORE

Enough already with Trudeau's smarmy apologies

I am thoroughly tired of this opportunistic Prime Minister running around making apologies.
WW-I ended 53 years before he was born. I don’t care what or how the Trudeau woke group views our history. You can’t view 20th-century events through 21st-century glasses. Times change and society evolves, usually for the better. A long-belated apology from politicians who did not participate in the events is worthless.

Justice takes a back seat to the technicalities of the law

In another display of the lack of common sense and the absence of the application of justice, Canada has stooped again to the nadir of civilized behaviour. Can we ever recover our sense of decency and fairness? Freedom award winner Tamara Lich is taking the brunt of this Federal Government’s fury against ciivil disobedience, a Government supported, it seems, by many in this breech of Canadian fair play. FULL COLUMN

Thursday Street Market adds north end shuttle service

Saturday, July 9, 2022

The downtown Thursday Night Street Market has been so popular it's created traffic issues. Kim Smythe of the Chamber of Commerce hasteamed with Nanaimo Regional Transit and Nanaimo North Town Centre for free shuttle buses leaving from 4:30 p.m. from the south parking lot near Montana’s. Hub City Cycles has provided a secure bike valet on Wharf Street in the middle of the Market. The first couple of weeks of the Market have been well-attended with around 150 vendors, a dozen food trucks, and a variety of entertainment. The Market runs on Thursdays until September 1 from 5-9 pm. MORE 

You probably didn’t feel it, but we had a minor earthquake yesterday afternoon. The US Geological Survey reported a 2.4 magnitude tremor east of Nanaimo around 4:50 p.m. Earthquakes of this magnitude are not considered strong enough to damage buildings or infrastructure. 

Nanaimo gas prices have not caught up yet, but in Vancouver drivers have been filling up below the two-dollar mark today. Super Save on Bowen Road reported $202.9 this morning while the rest of the pack ranged between 214.9 and 216.9. However, the lower prices are not expected to stick around, so keep a close watch and top up the tank this weekend. Note that many are now requiring cash due to the Rogers shutdown.

One person was taken to hospital with serious non-life-threatening injuries after a reported shooting in the city’s north end on Thursday evening. The man in his early 30s, was treated at the scene by BC Paramedics, and transported him to hospital. Police spoke with several witnesses who saw a suspect flee in a vehicle. If you know anything related to this incident, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, and quote file # 2022-23386.

A case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Island Health through laboratory testing at the BC Centre for Disease Control. The person lives in the south island. Island Health public health teams are conducting follow-up. The risk to the public is very low. Island Health’s public health teams received confirmation of the first case on July 7. Monkeypox does not generally spread easily between people and the risk to the public is low. Vaccinations are being provided to high-risk contacts identified through contact tracing. MORE

The former clerk of the legislature, has been sentenced to three months imprisonment but to be served in his home. Craig James, 71, will be under 24-hour house arrest for the first month, and under curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. for the remainder of the term. He has to pay $1,886.72, for the cost of the clothing he claimed as expenses. B.C. Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes said a conditional discharge would be contrary to the public interest.

Staging the 2030 Olympics in British Columbia could cost $3.5 to $4 billion, blending a mix of public and private funds. The Indigenous-led group, made up of the Lilwat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, said the world stage could offer a platform for reconciliation. The four nations announced on Feb. 1 that they had signed an agreement with Vancouver, Whistler, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee to explore a bid. The group is proposing to use many of the same venues from the 2010 Winter Olympics. MORE

Cash only on Ferries due to network outage

If you are travelling by ferry today, please carry cash. Ferries is experiencing fleetwide service disruptions on all terminal and vessel debit, credit, and ATM machines due to the nationwide Rogers network outage.

  • Shooting sends man to hospital

    One person has was taken to hospital with serious non-life-threatening injuries after a reported shooting in the city’s north end on Thursday evening. The man in his early 30’s, was treated at the scene by attending BC Paramedics, who transported him to hospital.

  • Street Market adds shuttle

    If you are travelling by ferry today, please carry cash. Ferries is experiencing fleetwide service disruptions on all terminal and vessel debit, credit, and ATM machines due to the nationwide Rogers network outage.

  • Wanted man now in custody

    As luck would have it, a man was arrested a short time prior to the issuance of the news release. He is now enjoying short term accommodations at the Nanaimo RCMP detachment. We believe his plans for the weekend have effectively been canceled.

New names approved for school and sports field

Friday, July 8, 2022

Can you say it? Trustees have given the go-ahead for name changes for Coal Tyee Elementary School and the NDSS sports field. The new name for the former Coal Tyee will now be pronounced soo-wintst and the sports field will be ki-kin-ish-took, though both will be listed officially in the Hul’qumi’num language. The public submitted more than 700 responses to the school board with 52 per cent in favour of Syuẁén’ct and 46 per cent for Q’unq’inuqwstuxw. Some of the public felt the chosen names were positive changes in an era of truth and reconciliation. MORE

Thank heaven for rainy-day funds in cases of unexpected costs. The city is dipping into reserve funds to cover rising costs of the Midtown Gateway road realignment and the mid-town water supply projects. More than $4.8 million in budget increases for those projects were approved by council on Monday. The water project involves the upgrade of two pipes to replace aging and under-sized infrastructure that delivers drinking water to central and north Nanaimo. MORE

City council meetings will be live-streamed during the October election. Staff had recommended going off air during the campaign but a motion to that effect failed on a 4-4 vote. Chief election officer Sheila Gurrie said the recommendation was out of fairness to all candidates, and also to try to ensure that councillors and the public stick to council business at meetings. Live-streaming, broadcasting and publishing of recorded council and committee meetings were suspended during the 2008, 2011 and 2014 election cycles, but not in 2018. MORE

If you’re still waiting for your $110 gasoline rebate from the province, stand in line. Millions of drivers are still waiting for the rebate to make up for record high gas prices. ICBC said about 3.5 million rebates will be issued but the latest update shows 2.64 million haven't received the rebate they were told about in March. Initially, drivers were told to expect cheques from ICBC in May into June, but as of the first week of July, millions are still waiting. Some of those who pay for their insurance through direct deposit or credit card were to get the rebate first. If you are in that category and haven’t seen a rebate, check your credit card or bank statements – it might have been deposited already. If not, stay in line. MORE

The investigation into some present and former Nelson Police Department members by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner raises serious questions. Details are still sketchy, but did this supposed misconduct occur while they were acting in their capacity as police officers or as private citizens? The investigation was initiated by the chief of the department, so no matter what the outcome, a massive upheaval is the likely end result. Allegations are that eight present and former officers engaged in misconduct under the Police Act “…related to participation in a WhatsApp chat group and the sharing of inappropriate content and messages, including racist comments.”

Life's a Beach with dragonboats and dance festival

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Life’s a Beach is a fitting theme for this weekend’s return of the Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival and Crimson Coast Dance Society’s Infringing dance festival after the pandemic shutdown. The Dragonboats are competing Saturday and Sunday with paddlers and spectators dressing up in wacky beach attire. Wolf Brewing Co. will host a beer garden at the festival. MORE

Problems, problems for BC Ferries. A mechanical issue with the ramp at Duke Point, the Coastal Renaissance diverted its 3:15 pm sailing to Departure Bay terminal. Then the vessel travelled to Duke Point for the 5:45 pm departure, which was also delayed.

Gasoline under $2 a litre? That’s possible, says Patrick De Haan of GasBuddy. He expects to see the average price at the pump in B.C. drop below $2 in the coming few weeks. He says it’s part of a global trend as wholesale gas prices decline. Oil is now down about $40 a barrel from its peak in early March when Russia invaded Ukraine. At their peak, gas prices in Metro Vancouver soared above $2.30 per litre, and $2.20 per litre across the province. During the same period in 2021, the average price in B.C. was about $1.46 per litre and the year before it was just $1.15 per litre.

Vancouver Island marmots are making a comeback in spite of all odds – four more were released into the wild at Mount Washington yesterday. The four had all been born and raised in captivity, either at Mount Washington, Toronto Zoo or Calgary Zoo. The foundation plans to release 28 marmots back into the wild this year – 10 to Mount Washington, 15 to the Nanaimo Lakes region and three to Strathcona Provincial Park – and more may be relocated in Strathcona next year after they’ve gotten some experience in the wild. MORE

Home ownership is getting more challenging but inventory and prices continue to rise on Vancouver Island. The benchmark price of a single-family home in Nanaimo rose by 26 per cent, reaching $906,300. The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board-wide benchmark price of a single-family home reached $865,600 in June, up 26 per cent year over year. Apartments hit $452,600 last month, 32 per cent more than a year ago. Townhouse rose by 25 per cent, climbing to $618,900. FULL REPORT

Western Forest Products is upgrading its worksites in Nanaimo, Ladysmith, and Chemainus, investing nearly $29 million at its mills and facilities. That will include $7.9 million for the  Duke Point plant, including a machine stress rated lumber grading machine, which can assess lumber grade quality for use in fabricated products like roof trusses, mass timber and glulam.The Saltair sawmill in Ladysmith will get $12.3 million for a new kiln at. The remaining $8.3 million will be used on other capital investments, including a new value-added division for its Chemainus worksite. MORE

The race is on to replace John Horgan as NDP leader and premier even though there is nobody officially in the race yet. Horgan will resign this fall. Economic Recovery Minister Ravi Kahlon says it’s not right time for him and he’s throwing his support behind Attorney General David Eby who has not declared yet. Kahlon says Eby is the right person to continue the work the government has been doing since 2017. That comes amid feelings in some quarters that Eby already has the race in the bag. MORE

Cops are looking for 34-year-old Michael Bonson of Nanaimo after he failed to show up for court on drug-trafficking and weapons charges. Warrants have been issued for Bonson who has had several interactions with police throughout central Vancouver Island. An officer tried to arrest Bonson in September 2020 but he resisted and a violent struggle ensued. A taser, proved ineffective, and he fled in his vehicle. If you know his whereabouts, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. DETAILS AND PHOTO 

There was a hit song in the 1950s entitled The Cat Came Back. That’s the story of a stray cat from Victoria which ended up in Nanaimo, two months later. The Nanaimo SPCA branch had received an injured cat. Her collar had become entangled around her head and her front leg, constricting and wounding her. She was scanned for a chip, and the Victoria owner’s contact information appeared. "When we got her home, all she wanted to do was snuggle, be on my lap and purr," said her human mother. MORE

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner has begun an investigation into the Nelson Police Department, but nobody is talking. It is believed to involve nearly half of the approximately 20 officers who work there. The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner would not comment on details of the investigation. Mayor John Dooley, chair of the police board, declined to comment as did Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth. MORE

Victorians are noted for their dedidcation to causes, and 161 of them voluntarily contributed more than $36,000 through an option on city tax bills to top off their taxes for local First Nations. The Reconciliation Contribution Fund was established by council earlier this year as a means of giving residents and businesses the opportunity to make “a meaningful contribution towards reconciliation.” Owners were given the option to contribute to the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations. MORE

Train explosion a solid argument in favor of pipelines

A train carrying crude oil derailed, caught fire, and exploded in the heart of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec nine years ago. This tragedy took the lives of 47 people, forced many more to leave their homes, and destroyed much of the downtown. This incident alone is a reminder of why pipelines are so important in Canada. FULL COLUMN

Hey ladies, you can now legally go to a bar in Nanaimo

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

GOOD MORNING. A long, long time ago, women were not allowed in bars in Nanaimo. That bylaw was still on the books until this week when city council repealed more than 100 antiquated bylaws mostly dating back to the 1800s. “No female customers were allowed in the bars, at all, period, and not even permitted to ‘come upon’ the bar,” Deputy City Clerk Karen Robertson told council. No gambling, dice games, cards, lotteries of any kind were allowed, either. The fine for violating the regulations was $100 or up to four months in jail for those who didn’t pay. Chris Bush has an interesting look at some of the rules of the past in The News Bulletin.

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh dropped in for a stroll along the waterfront Monday to talk about cost-of-living challenges. He’s has been promoting the idea of doubling GST tax credits and increasing child benefits, which would add up to about $1,000 for some families. He said a lot of people are feeling pinched with soaring inflation piling on top of high costs for housing and rent. That’s the bureaucratic way of thinking. How about just reducing the GST? Clean and simple. MORE

The city got an unexpected $1.85 million from the feds to make Nanaimo a safer community. The city will engage a consultant to create a strategic plan to fund pilot programs in the Building Safer Communities Fund. Director of Community Development Lisa Bhopalsingh said it can include recreational programs, following through the work with the school district and others to support other forms of directing youth and those at risk. MORE

Dr. Réka Gustafson has been named Chief Medical Health Officer, replacing Dr. Richard Stanwick who retired. Most recently she was the deputy provincial health officer under Dr. Bonnie Henry. Gustafson will lead Island Health’s population and public health teams as they continue to respond to the toxic drug supply crisis and pandemic response and recovery. MORE

Former B.C. legislature clerk Craig James will learn his fate Friday when he is sentenced for breach of trust and fraud. He was found guilty in May of inappropriate personal expenses, including a newly-purchased suit and shirts as work attire. He was cleared on three other counts, including one related to a $258,000 retirement benefit. The crown has asked for a prison sentence. MORE

Comox Valley RCMP made a big haul of drugs and firearms after a four-month investigation resulted in search warrants executed on a 45-year-old man’s home, a storage unit and vehicles. More than 484 grams of suspected fentanyl, 885 grams of suspected methamphetamine and 355 grams of suspected cocaine were seized, along with three handguns and 12 long guns. MORE

We’re in for possible labour disruptions as the British Columbia government has gone public with its offer to public service workers offering a three-year contract with wage increases of almost 11 per cent and a signing bonus up to $2,500. The union has stood firm on a demand for an increase tied to inflation. The union says the BCGEU is planning strategic, targeted job action and preparing final essential services with the assistance of the Labour Relations Board. MORE

Conservatives dump Brown from federal leadership race

Oh those screwed up Conservatives and their leadership trials and tribulations. The leadership election organizing committee of the Conservative party has disqualified Patrick Brown from the race late Tuesday. The party said it had recently become aware of serious allegations of wrongdoing by the Brown campaign related to the financing rules in the Canada Elections Act. MORE

An irreverant look at the world around us

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Good morning. To start the day, we could use a touch of global warming right about now. We had a wee taste of summer before the rain and cold moved in again. C’mon now, that’s not too much to ask. Today’s forecast calls for a high of 22 degrees with a 12-per-cent chance of wet stuff.

A last-minute item, Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is gracing our presence this morning. He will be at Maffeo Sutton Park at 11 a.m. today. If you hurry you can meet the man some call our co-prime minister, your chance to rub shoulders with greatness. He’ll be there with our member of Parliament Lisa Marie Barron, ready to chat with anybody and everybody.

Tardiness can be costly, especially when it comes to paying your property taxes. The deadline was yesterday, and if you missed it you’ll have to pay more – a two-per-cent penalty. There's another coming and if you miss that eight per cent more will be added if the balance is not paid by Aug. 31. Combined on a $3,000 tax bill you’ll be paying $300 for nothing. 

Now that Janice Perrino has stepped down as head of the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation, I wonder if she’d consider running for city council. She could bring a lot to the table, she's got the credentials after all, being a mayor and councillor in another city before moving to Nanaimo.

Who is better on the baseball diamond, the locals or the imports? The Selects local guys face the import Nanaimo NightOwls in games tonight and tomorrow at Serauxmen Stadium. It will feel like two home teams. Tickets are still available with general admission vouchers at Save On Foods, and at the gate.

There’s nothing like going out in a blaze of glory, and the Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival Society did exactly that by making two major donations. The society and long-time title sponsor Save-On-Foods donated $25,000 to the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation and $15,000 to the Nanaimo Hospice Society. Heiko Behn, the long-time head honcho, said the final donations will “carry on a legacy of support and care for people with cancer.” The Fairway Gorge Paddling Club will run the races from here on. MORE

Some low-life used a metal grinder to cut the locks at the Cedar Farmers’ Market, stealing thousands of dollars worth of equipment. The theft was discovered Sunday when volunteers started setting up the market. Stolen items include dollies used for setting up and taking down the market and power supply equipment for food trucks and food storage containers. I’ve got an idea for the thief, bring all the stuff to me for appraisal. My neighbour can also help – he's a Mountie by the way. MORE

Here's a prescription that could be highly habituating. You can now get a prescription that allows you go go to a park.  A national initiative allows licensed health professionals to write a nature prescription so patients can unwind to benefit their health and well-being. PaRx has partnered with Vancouver Island University’s Milner Gardens And Woodland as one of several sites you can get a prescriptions for. Connecting with nature is a powerful way to improve health and well-being, and now those most in need can access this wonderful park for free through a nature prescription. MORE

You’ve got to hand it to Health Minister Adrian Dix, living up to the Boy Scouts motto – always be prepared. He’s covering all bases just in case there is another wave of COVID-19 this fall. Dix cautions the pandemic has not ended and he's urging people to continue to stay safe and ensure they have been vaccinated. The number of people in hospital in B.C. with COVID-19 continues to decline but not so in other jurisdictions. But there are no immediate plans to return to a province-wide mask mandate. MORE

The game is just under way and already they’re into their first time out. The government employees union and the government broke off talks Monday morning after negotiating for only three days. The union wants cost-of-living adjustments and wage protection from inflation. The union says the government adopted a take-it-or-leave-it approach. BCGEU president Stephanie Smith said members have made it clear they would not ratify a deal which did not address the increasing cost of living. There are 33,000 workers represented by the BCGEU. MORE

Premier John Horgan’s Canada Day message sounded more like a guilt trip on the "dark truths" of our history. Let’s hope this doesn't turn into a Horgan farewell apology tour as he heads into retirement. Politics is the biggest obstacle to reconciliation. We’ve heard ad hominem about Canada’s past, it’s time to quit talking and start doing. Reconcile already!

Emergency department closures have become increasingly common. The latest is the Nicola Valley Hospital in Merritt closing that part of the facility from yesterday until this morning due to unforeseen limited physician availability.  MORE

Artificial wealth is flying out the windows

July 4, 2022

If you were rubbing your hands with glee after the value of your house finally made you a millionaire, take a deep breath, it’s about to come to a crashing halt. A report from TD Bank says average home prices should fall due to cooler demand, between the first quarters of 2022 and 2023, projecting a peak-to-trough decline of 19 per cent followed by modest growth. Sales could fall by nearly one-quarter on average this year and remain low into 2023. MORE

Airline travel is a stinking mess right across Canada, leaving nothing but frustration in the wake of cancelled flights, delays, lost luggage and crowded airports. Some travellers are sleeping at airports due to cancellations and delays. One person, flying from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island, said it took two cancelled flights and an extra day to get home, while his luggage — filled with 70 frozen lobsters — took two days to arrive. Get the air spray. MORE

Has the one-year-old city ban on plastic grocery bags been a success? It depends whom you ask. The city removed plastic grocery bags from local retail stores last July and city staff have been monitoring and ensuring retailers were following the rules. One measurement is that there is substantially less plastic coming to the landfill. The federal government is looking to target not only bags across the country, but takeout containers and plastic straws by the end of 2023. Hmmm, paper straws now come wrapped in plastic. MORE

Up island, the outpatient lab at North Island Hospital in the Comox Valley is operating with reduced hours until Sept. 3. Island Health has announced the lab will be open on Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on weekends and stat holidays. The Courtenay LifeLabs will be open on Saturdays, and Island Health says patients requiring outpatient lab services can access them there. MORE

It comes as no surprise that more than $75,000 has been donated in less than two days to benefit the police officers wounded during the shootout at a Saanich bank last week. The GoFundMe page is endorsed by the unions representing Saanich and Victoria police officers and had surpassed $78,000 as of Saturday afternoon on a goal of $100 grand. Bowen Osoko of the Victoria Police said, "All face a long road ahead." If you want to pitch in, go to GOFUNDME. See here for MORE details.

You’ve got to hand it to Nanaimo’s Ava Gauthier. To her age is just a number. The 13-year-old long-distance runner is getting ready to represent Nanaimo at the 2022 BC Summer Games in Prince George beginning July 21. Ava is a student at Nanaimo District Secondary School and a member of the school’s track club. When she started running in Grade 3 she did every single event until she found long-distance running. MORE

And finally, a fantastic Firecracker Day to all our family and friends south of the border. Have a happy July 4 celebration. 

Focus needs to be on buyers of stolen catalytic converters

Catalytic converter thefts continue unabated. The rare compounds they are made from make them valuable. Since it’s virtually impossible to catch the thieves, more focus needs to be put on the buyers of converters and copper wire. Once there’s no more market for the product the thefts should decline. Or, wait long enough and we’ll all be driving electric vehicles that have no catalytic converters. But oh those batteries are loaded with expensive compounds. Electric cars also have a lot of wiring. Ya just cain't win.

July 3, 2022

SURPRISE, MORE TAXES – In case you didn’t notice, Canada Day was great for the provincial government. Effective July 1 online purchases from places like Amazon and Ebay will have the seven-per-cent PST added to your shipment. The tax must be submitted from companies with revenues greater than $10,000 a year. And while they were at it, the provincial treasury added the PST to tobacco products, including cigars, chewing tobacco, raw tobacco and cigarette packs. A $15.99 cigarette pack will now cost $17.11. e-cigarettes and vaping juices are exempt.

ON THAT NOTE  – Rising costs of virtually everything are driving more people to food banks – new families, seniors, young people and many others are lining up. Nanaimo Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank could sure use some financial help for its Food 4 Summer campaign. Abby Sauchuk, director of development, says you can make cash donations online and make a big difference. The food bank can convert a buck into more than five bucks worth of food. They make sure they get the food in and out as efficiently and consistently as possible and money is a huge help. MORE

FIVE ACRES FARM MARKET – I’ll let you in on a little secret. Every Saturday is market day at Five Acres Farm, 945 Park Ave. 10am to 2pm. They have lots of seasonal vegetables, herbs, flowers, seedlings and honey. The Five Acres Community Farm is a partnership between two non-profits, Growing Opportunities Farm Community Co-op and Nanaimo Foodshare Society.

HYDRO’S FUTURE PLANS – With a global focus on climate change and the electrification of more devices, homes, vehicles and industries, find out how BC Hydro is helping its current and future customers make the switch from fossil fuels to clean water power to limit their own impact on climate change. Chris O’Riley, President and CEO of BC Hydro, will address the Chamber of Commerce luncheon Friday with an overview of the plan to electrify the province. REGISTER

Sunday is next crunch day for getting home on BC Ferries

Sunday is the big crunch day for travellers hoping to get back to Vancouver Island after the long weekend hoping to catch a ferry. Schedules were disrupted Thursday and Canda Day as the Queen of Alberni was put on hold for repairs. It was virtually assured that you had to pay for a reservation to ensure getting a ticket, if you were lucky. Now it’s a matter of getting home on Sunday. The Queen of Alberni is expected to return to service Sunday morning. Up-to-date information on schedules and available space is available on the BC Ferries website. Good luck. 

Keeping your family safe from possible abduction

Cst. Gary O'Brien

Child abductions don’t happen often, but they do happen. Families should take measures to protect themselves. Cst. Gary O'Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP has prepared tips for parents to help them quickly find a child that has been abducted and preventive measures that can help keep a child from being taken in the first place. Since 2019, there have been 40,425 accounts of missing children in Canada. Of those, runaways were the majority at 30,000, while 122 were abducted by a parent and 16 were stranger abductions. As a parent these statistics should reassure you, while at the same time, worry you. FULL STORY

What's behind the man with the video camera?

Scott Lissa is all about sharing everything he learns about Nanaimo. He moved here from Calgary more than a decade ago, and since that time he’s been convincing people to move here, going to great ends to get out the message about our Pacific paradise and its amenities.  And what better way than to put it on film for his real estate clients? Lissa is a realtor with EXP Realty in Nanaimo and has produced a number of excellent videos on to get that message out. Take a peek at Scott's story and his VIDEOS.

July 1, 2022

Happy Canada Day

Seven-year-old Asher Unger performs our National anthem for Canada Day

Big day of Canada Day celebrations at Maffeo Sutton Park

Today's Canada Day celebrations are centred at Maffeo Sutton Park with live entertainment. The lineup includes The Midnights, Doctors of Rock ‘n Roll, Mark Crissinger and Dave Hart). There’s something for the whole family –crafts, games, bouncy castles, kayaking, interactive booths, food vendors, a multi-cultural community stage – and it’s all free. See the full lineup HERE

Cancellations continue to plague ferry service

The problem is bigger than first expected. Additional issues have been discovered with the Queen of Alberni requiring critical machining to repair. In order to complete these and the earlier repairs to its main engine cylinder head and liner, the Queen of Alberni will remain out of service today, July 1. CANCELLATION SCHEDULE

Chamber Business Awards finalists determined

Almost 3,000 votes were cast by the public over the two-week voting period for the Chamber of Commerce 2022 Nanaimo Business Awards. 260 businesses and individuals were nominated in 18 categories with the top three vote getters advancing to the final stage. If your name is on the list of finalists, keep you eye on your inbox for the next steps to take to move forward. FINALISTS.

High house prices are the result of government action

The federal government contributes to high housing prices by insuring mortgages through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Qualified buyers can purchase a home with as little as 5 per cent equity provided that they meet certain regulations. It is a scam. The home purchaser is required to pay a premium for the insurance, but the insurance protects the lender, or mortgagor, not the homeowner. Banks and other lenders like the plan because if a homeowner fails to make mortgage payments, the bank can recover its losses from the CMHC. FULL COMMENT

Hospital Foundation names Ellis-Perry new CEO

Barney Ellis-Perry

220630 – The Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation Board of Directors has named Barney Ellis-Perry as the new Chief Executive Officer effective August 2. Ellis-Perry replaces Janice Perrino who retired this month. He was selected after an extensive search that attracted interest from across the country and the U.S. He returns to B.C. after working in the U.S. for eight years, most recently as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at Vanderbilt University in Nashville Tn, where he led a team of 40 staff with annual goals of raising $17 million. He has worked for a wide variety of not for profit and university clients throughout North America and Australia. FULL STORY

My new approach to digital customer service

Customer service has taken on a whole new meaning for me. I’ve actually come to enjoy all those calls – press 1, press 3. With a lot of time on my hands in my senior existence I get a charge talking to people all over the world. Just this week I chatted with very nice people in the Philippines,  in India and most recently in Belize. They don't mind if you chat with them about the weather, their jobs, their families, you know the stuff. You just need the right attitude going in.

June 30, 2022

GABRIOLA FERRY DISCOUNTS – Gabriola Island ferry riders are catching a break – BC Ferries offers up to 75 per cent discount on select sailings from July 6 through September 1 to encourage customers to travel on less busy sailings, freeing up space at more popular times. Customers with flexibile travel plans can save significantly on standard or overheight vehicle fares on select early morning or late evening sailings. Ferries recommends customers arrive early to ensure they make it on the sailing of choice. MORE

UNIVERSITY TRANSITION – Free summer camps to transition to university easier for Indigenous youth are returning to Vancouver Island University’s Nanaimo campus this summer. The Thuy’she’num Tu Smun’eem: Building a Foundation for our Youth summer camps take place July 18-22, for Grades 7-9 students,and August 8-12 for Grades 10-12 on campus, with students staying overnight at VIU Residences for five days. “We are grateful that we were able to switch to an online and then a blended online and in-person format for the past two years. Now that restrictions have eased, we are excited to bring the youth back to campus,” says Hayden Taylor, a camp co-ordinator and recent graduate of VIU’s Bachelor of Education program. MORE

BACK IN THE FOLD – Housekeeping and food service workers previously contracted out are back in-house as Island Health employees at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and Dufferin Place. This comes after almost 20 years of these services being contracted to private companies. Premier John Horgan said people who keep local hospitals and care homes clean and safe will again be treated like the valued members of the health team that they are. MORE

COMMUNITY POLICING – 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. MORE