Government must shoulder blame on residential schools

July 26, 2022

The Pope’s visit sidesteps and detracts from the culpability of the federal government in this sordid mess. Treaties made with Indigenous people prior to and after confederation (there were eleven treaties created after confederation) indicated that Indigenous people were to be allowed to maintain their culture, language and traditions on lands set aside for them.

Bacon plans to plead guilty in Makayla Chang murder

Steven Michael Bacon will plead guilty to first-degree murder at his next appearance on Aug. 15. Bacon is accused of killing Nanaimo teenager Makayla Chang in early 2017. NanaimoNewsNOW reported Bacon's lawyer Gil Labine said his client will change his plea to guilty. The change from Bacon will avoid a scheduled November trial. Pending the plea, sentencing will take place likely in early December. MORE

Port Alberni RCMP arrested a suspect in the theft of multiple vehicles, breaking into several properties, and stealing a gun earlier this week. Police responded to reports of a man driving an ambulance west of the city on Friday. B.C. Ambulance Service confirmed an ambulance had been stolen in Ucluelet. RCMP concluded that the driver was likely the man whom West Shore RCMP were looking for following a series of break-ins and thefts in View Royal and Sooke, including the theft of a firearm. MORE

There was an active fatal shooting event in Langley but some residents complained when they got emergency alerts on their cellphones. Many called 911 to complain about getting the warnings. Others complained on social media or sent emails to news organizations, saying they didn't understand why they got the alert. Many of those complaints involved being awoken at about 6:20 a.m. Sgt. David Lee of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said the alert was done at the appropriate time as the information became known and a proper assessment was done. MORE

A former elementary school has been put to good use, becoming a language learning hub for Hul’q’umi’num language learners. Snuneymuxw First Nation, in partnership with Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools, recently opened the Snuneymuxw Learning Academy at the former site of Woodbank Elementary School in Cedar. The academy in partnered with the Hul’q’umi’num Language and Culture Society and Simon Fraser University Indigenous languages program, and is hosting the Hul’q’umi’num certificate in Indigenous language proficiency cohort in 2022-23, according to the release. MORE

A sprawling tent city on East Hastings Street in Vancouver and been ordered to be cleared by Fire Chief Karen Fry. She warned that the buildup of structures in the area constitutes a major safety hazard. She said if a fire occurred in the area in its current condition, it would be catastrophic, putting lives at risk and jeopardizing hundreds of units of much-needed housing. MORE

It was a rough ride to finish line for bathtubbers

Monday, July 25, 2022

It was shake, rattle and roll for Jaime Garcia conquering wicked sea conditions to win the Bathtub Race on Sunday, in over two hours. It was an endurance test, with only six of 25 tubs finishing the race. Roehlen Anderson, in the Johnson family tub, was second to the beach, but didn’t qualify after missing some checkpoints. Terry Learmonth was second in 2:54:58 and Drew McDonald was third in 3:13:31. Chantel Nelson repeated as first female finisher in 3:32:17. FULL STORY

The pilot of a small aircraft is in serious condition in hospital after crashing short of the runway at Qualicum Beach Airport Sunday evening. The Cessna crash landed into a farm field at the south end of the airport. A statement from the airport said the pilot was taken to hospital in serious condition. MORE

Gas prices at Nanaimo stations have been falling steadily in the past week with the lowest offering at $1.869 this morning on Gas Buddy. That was at SuperSave on Terminal Avenue. The highest price shown this morning was $1.949 at Esso on Wakesiah. MORE

Stay comfortable if you can, Environment Canada has issued a heat alert the central Island, warning of temperatures consistently in the low to mid 30s. “We are at the peak summer heat. Night time periods are shorter where we are not getting much cooling, so naturally it just sets up a good time to have the heat build on day-after-day,” said Meteorologist Derek Lee. MORE

If you had any flights planned you can rest assured. WestJet has reached a tentative agreement with hundreds of workers at the Calgary and Vancouver airports. The airline and Unifor announced the deal on Sunday, days before nearly 800 baggage and customer service staff could have walked off the job. Terms of the tentative deal, which is still has to be ratified, were not disclosed. MORE

Two men are in custody after two men known to police were gunned down in Whistler on Sunday. IHIT has confirmed it was a targeted shooting and is linked to the ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict. Satindera Gill and Meninder Dhaliwal were identified as the victims. A burning vehicle believed to be linked to the shooting was found and two people were later taken into custody. MORE

RCMP report multiple shootings in downtown Langley this morning. Lower Mainland residents got an emergency alert on their cell phones at around 6:20 a.m. warning of the incidents and telling the public to remain out of the area. One incident it involved transient victims. A male suspect is still at large. MORE

Trudeau's attack on fertilizer nothing but bull manure

Our governments stink of the elitist, snobbish power-mad political class convinced that it can create a wonderful new world if only they can acquire power over the great unwashed masses, deplorables and other derogatory phrases with which they refer to people they consider beneath them. All we need to do is give up the equality, freedoms and rights we have gained over the past 800 years and the political class and their elitist supporters will be ecstatic. FULL COMMENT

Man dies in police confrontation on Haliburton Street

Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Independent Investigations Office is investigating after a man died in an altercation with police in Saturday afternoon. The incident began in mid-afternoon when police were called to a a confrontation between a man and a woman outside a vehicle on Haliburton Street near Highview Terrace. Police said the man produced a weapon when police arrived and shots were fired. Paramedics attended but the man died before he could be taken to hospital. No one else was injured in the incident, police said. MORE

If you missed the Sailpast on Wheels Parade through downtown yesterday, Karl Yu of the News Bulletin as a photo lineup HERE. It was the first parade in three years, after the pandemic shut down events throughout the city. You can still catch the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race which kicks off at 11 a.m. today.

Mounties didn’t have photos of a pair of suspects so they posted what is known as stock photos. Two men are wanted as accomplices in the escape of murder suspect Rabih "Robby" Alkhalil from the North Fraser Pretrial centre in Coquitlam. Police released two photos of two men with accompanying descriptions. On Saturday police clarified that the photos were not of the suspects. "It is believed that the suspects who helped Alkhalil escape bear a close resemblance to the photos they left behind, but those images are not them." MORE

Ferries cancellations are not news anymore. More sailings were halted on Saturday due to limited crew availability. The Mill Bay – Brentwood Bay route continues to be plagued due to staffing issues. MORE

Buying a home is getting more challenging by the day. New affordability data shows you need to earn more than $187,000 a year to qualify to buy an average home in Victoria. RateHub’s list of major cities in Canada finds the average home price hit $985,500 in Victoria last month, the biggest increase since March. Hamilton and Winnipeg saw the lowest increases at $8,660 and $9,540. Home prices are beginning to drop across the country as rising mortgage rates are making it more difficult to afford a home. MORE

Political commentator John Feldsted has an excellent analysis of the impact of inflation and how it affects the most vulnerable. Our after-tax dollars buy less while at the same time increasing credit card and mortgage rates eat away at our net income. Runaway inflation amounts to a war on low-income persons least able to defend themselves. Spending billions on ocean cleanups and green transition while tens of thousands can’t afford adequate food and clothing is monstrous neglect of the government’s responsibility. FULL COMMENT

Island Health warns of heat wave hazards

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Island Health has issued a hot and dry weather alert starting Sunday and into next week. Residents who have fans and air conditioning are urged to make sure they work ahead of the heat wave. Those who don't have air conditioning should find somewhere to cool off, such as a library, community centre, mall or other public facility. Environment Canada forecasts temperatures above 30C for much of the island next week, including a high of 34C in Port Alberni by midweek. Nanaimo, Comox and the Cowichan Valley are expected to reach 32C with a UV index of eight. MORE

The province’s new heat warning system is ready to go, says Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth. It lays out daytime maximum and night time minimum temperatures that would trigger the heat bulletins. If a region is expected to exceed those ranges for two consecutive days it will trigger a heat alert, while if it is expected to last three or more days it will trigger a heat emergency. MORE

RCMP have issued a warning after a Nanaimo man was defrauded of several thousand dollars in an internet rental scam. The victim responded to a rental ad on the Zillow website after he found a home to his liking on Bowen Road. The woman listed on the ad asked for one month rent up front and another month rent in order to turn over the keys. She provided information for an e-transfer and told the man that the keys and documents for the home would be delivered to him once the money was received. That’s when it fell apart. He paid but nothing ever arrived, and when the man checked the house he found it was occupied and not for rent. MORE

Work has begun on a sub-sea fibre optic cable to improve internet access to Gabriola Island and other coastal areas. The $45-million project involves a cable starting at Gabriola Island and moving north to Campbell River and Discovery Island in the coming weeks. Work will including 26 landing sites where cable will come to shore, infrastructure that will allow internet service providers to offer high-speed internet. MORE

RCMP would like to find the owner of a variety of tools that are believed to have been stolen.  A Nanaimo RCMP officer seized a variety of tools on July 6 that he believed were stolen. They were found in a vehicle parked on Victoria Road. After speaking with the 37- year old driver, the officer asked him about the origin of some tools in the backseat. That led to nonsensical responses which didn’t add up. MORE

Island Health is launching a monkeypox vaccination campaign next week in Nanaimo, Victoria and the Comox Valley. The campaign is for those 18 years or older who are transgender, or self-identify as belonging to the gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men community. People in that cohort are eligible if they have been diagnosed with chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis in the past two months; have had two or more sexual partners in the last 21 days; have had anonymous sex the past 21 days; or are planning to engage in sex work or pay for sex. There are 48 cases in the province. MORE
Book an appointment HERE  .

The Central Island Veterinary Emergency Hospital needs towels. If you have any extras consider donating. No need to call, just drop by 6550 Metral Drive and they’ll happily take them off your hands and their patients would love you. The hospital is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help pets. They support local veterinarians by assisting their clients outside normal clinic hours.

My supply of tolerance is totally exhausted

July 23, 2022

I never cared that someone was – whatever acronym was in use at the time – for any particular interest group until they decided I was obliged to cater to their feelings and whims. I am not so obliged. They can get on with their lives and I will do the same with mine.  I never believed that skin colour mattered until ‘people of colour’ decided that I am obliged to overlook their personal demeanour and failings. I never cared about others’ political affiliations and I will not allow attempts to attack me because of my political stand. FULL COMMENT

Ferries President and CEO Mark Collins walks the plank

Mark Collins

The British Columbia Ferry Services has fired president and CEO Mark Collins.  Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Jill Sharland takes over today as Interim President and CEO.  She will continue as CFO.  Collins’ dismissal requires severance which has not been finalized. Collins joined BC Ferries in 2004 and held numerous executive-level positions before being appointed CEO in 2017. 

“Like many organizations, BC Ferries has faced recent staffing shortages, service interruptions and COVID-related challenges. There are no quick fixes to these systemic challenges but as a board, we believe it is time for renewal, fresh ideas and a renewed commitment to the highest standards of customer service, safety and affordability,” said Ferries board chair Joy MacPhail. FULL ANNOUNCEMENT

Government neglects its responsibility on inflation

Our media are filled with stories about unprecedented inflation and what it means. Inflation affects the most vulnerable in our society. Our after-tax dollars buy less while at the same time increasing credit card and mortgage rates eat away at our net income. That will lead to a sharp increase in poverty. Spending billions on ocean cleanups and green transition while tens of thousands can’t afford adequate food and clothing is monstrous neglect of the government’s responsibility. FULL COMMENT 

Back-out protection added to real estate deals

Friday, July 22, 2022

If you have second thoughts about a real estate deal you are in, you can now back out. A new homebuyer protection period creates a three-day period where homebuyers can take important steps, such as securing financing and arranging home inspections, before they make one of their biggest financial decisions. Three-day period begins the first business day following the acceptance of an initial offer. There will be a fee for backing out of an accepted offer. MORE

Construction will begin Monday on the new Midtown Water Supply Project. Work goes along the Parkway, between Northfield and East Wellington roads, and along Northfield Road between the Parkway and Boxwood Road. Two water supply mains are being installed to provide water to central and north Nanaimo and NRGH. It will strengthen the water supply to future growth and fire protection. The system will also provide NRGH with a dedicated potable water and fire protection feed. MORE

The investigation into a brazen early evening shooting in a north end Nanaimo neighbourhood continues with investigators releasing a photo of one of the suspects. The shooting sent a man to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries in the evening July 7, outside a residence on Laguna Way. MORE with photo

Elisabeth Rose Gilbert of Nanaimo has been taken into custory after an arrest warrant was issued after failed to show up in court on charges of Theft Under $5,000 and breach of probation. MORE

What a great day to be alive, everything coming up roses

Thursday, July 21, 2022

What a day, it felt like I had won the lottery. Okay, it wasn’t that big, but nowadays any crumbs that fall off the table are a banquet. The first envelop brought the news that I just got a ten-per-cent raise on my Old Age Security pension from the federal government, even though it’s money I contributed in the first place. Then on the same day, lo and behold, 110 bucks from John Horgan to make up for the high price of gasoline. With a little imagination, the mac and cheese dinner turned into fine dining.

Nanaimo is on track for a banner year in housing starts. Building permit values hit $319 million for the first half of the year and could surpass the 2019 record of $445 million by the end of the year. The majority of permits are for residential buildings, with multi-family units outstripping single-family home construction. Mayor Leonard Krog is encouraged by the fast-pace of residential development as it clearly shows private-sector confidence in our city. "The form of development - primarily multi-family housing - shows that Nanaimo is evolving into a complex, urban centre," Krog said. CITY PAGE

Have ever entertained the idea of being an escort? If you have a boat and would like some adventure on Sunday, the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub society is looking for escort boats for the 53rd annual World Championship Bathtub Race. Commodore Greg Peacock said each racer must have a boat in close proximity to help ensure safety. Up to 50 bathtub racers are expected to participate in the first race since 2019. The Nanaimo Marine Festival involves three days of entertainment at Maffeo Sutton Park starting on Friday, while the race itself happens at 11 a.m. on Sunday. HERE is the complete lineup of events.  If you’re interested in being an escort email: escortboats@bathtubbing.com

The B.C. government is expanding its speculation tax. Four Vancouver Island jurisdictions – North Cowichan, Duncan, Ladysmith and Lake Cowichan – will now be subject to the tax.­  Squamish and Lions Bay also got hit. Those who live in the area and rent their homes out full time or live in them will have to declare an exemption for 2023. More than 99 per cent of property owners are exempt. MORE

The tattered B.C. health care system may have cost a life. An Ashcroft senior died Sunday after going into cardiac arrest while the only ambulance was unavailable and the hospital’s emergency department was closed. The woman lived in an assisted-living facility next to the Ashcroft hospital, but with the emergency department closed, the closest hospital was an hour away in Kamloops. As a result, the ambulance arrived too late, despite the best efforts of firefighters. MORE

Oops, did you just dial 9-1-1 with your butt? One in five calls to B.C.'s 911 dispatchers are believed to be accidental, putting further strain on an over-burdened system, says E-Comm, the agency that runs the call centres. It is believed many of those calls are from cell phones kept in back pockets. The agency estimates it receives hundreds of accidental calls each day. E-Comm said it thinks the rapid growth of cell phone use has led to the rise in the mistakes. Ten years ago, 67 per cent of calls made to 911 came from cell phones. Now, that figure is up to 79 per cent. MORE

Fewer British Columbians would support the return to a mask mandate now than a year and a half ago. With COVID-19 cases going up, a poll released by the Angus Reid Institute shows 55 per cent of people in the province would be in favour of requiring masks in public indoor spaces. That’s a hug drop from November, 2020, when 86 per cent British Columbians supported the mandate. The national average was 51 per cent approval, with Alberta the lowest in the country at 36 per cent. British Columbians are also the most likely to support a return to a vaccine passport with 30 per cent. MORE

And finally, remember it's Thursday, Downtown Night Street Market time.

Gabriola ferry sailings cancelled due to staff shortage

Island Gwawis stays in dock

All sailings on Thursday for the Island Gwawis Gabriola Island ferry have been cancelled due to crew shortages. The sailings of the Island Kwigwis are expected to proceed as scheduled. FULL SCHEDULES.

Roundabout planned for Mary Ellen Drive intersection

Planned rounabout on Mary Ellen Drive

It will become easier to transit the intersection on Mary Ellen Drive between Woodgrove Centre and Woodgrove Crossing shopping centres. A roundabout is in the works between the Island Hwy and Nanaimo Parkway between Woodgrove Centre and Woodgrove Crossing shopping centres.The price tag is expected to be just under $366,000 with developers contributing $205,000 and $160,000 from the city. ICBC has also committed to contribute to the project, but has not confirmed an amount. Construction is set to begin in fall. MORE

The best place on earth to visit is right next door

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Where's the best places in the world to visit? Just go on down the road a bit. Time magazine has named Tofino as one of the top 50 places in the world to visit. The magazine picked Tofino largely because of its scenic views, access to outdoor activities, and luxury resorts. It also highlighted the ample wildlife tours, trails, and sandy beaches. Time pointed to a new walking and cycling path in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve which connects to Tofino. The only other Canadian location to place to rank in the top 50? Toronto. MORE

The Mayor’s Task Force on Recovery and Resilience has presented its recommendations. The original task force recommended a Mayor’s Leader’s Table and from that, three working groups were formed to focus on infrastructure needs, sustainable economics and youth retention and attraction. The three groups have delivered their findings and called for a Table of Champions to help secure funding for infrastructure. The Infrastructure Working Group identified five key projects – Nanaimo Regional General Hospital patient tower, equitable housing, community fibre optic network, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital cancer centre and a South End Community Centre. On the group’s recommendation, Council established a Table of Champions to continue the work. MORE

BC Ferries’ employee absentee levels have doubled since before the pandemic to about 11 per cent. Deborah Marshall, executive director of public affairs for BC Ferries, said that could mean 400 or 500 employees are unavailable at any given time. “While we do have lots of staff on hand, what we’re finding is people are not as available as they used to be,” Marshall said. The ferry service suggests checking for updates on its website and social media channels before heading to a ferry terminal. It isn’t ruling out further disruptions as the pandemic presses on. MORE

The B.C. government is funding 322 new health-care training seats at institutions around the province, none at Vancouver Island University. Health Minister Adrian Dix says two dozen seats for urgently needed medical lab assistants will be established at Camosun College, Vancouver Community College and Thompson Rivers University. Advanced-care paramedics will get training at the Justice Institute of B.C., while seats are also being fast-tracked for respiratory therapists at Thompson Rivers. The province also plans to fund $4.5 million in bursaries to attract internationally-educated health professionals to move to the province. MORE

Avian flu has been rampant to the point that the BCSPCA advises British Columbians to pause bird feeders and baths. Since January, 44 wild birds in B.C. have been tested for highly pathogenic avian influenza, with nationwide spikes occurring late May and early July. Between February and June, a bald eagle, wood duck, Northwestern crow, great blue heron, peregrine falcon and two great horned owls around the province have tested positive. This strain is thought to have come from migrating birds. MORE

The ink wasn’t dry on Attorney General David Eby’s bid for the NDP leadership when the B.C. Liberals launched their first fund raising campaign. Winning the leadership would make Eby the next Premier. “Over the past half-decade, the NDP have had one of the worst records of any government in BC history, but under David Eby, things will get even worse,” stated the e-mail from the B.C. Liberals. FUND RAISING SITE.

Book banning has come to our shores. A best-selling book about the Freedom Convoy that took place in Ottawa will not be sold at Indigo bookstores. Author Andrew Lawton, a journalist and broadcaster for True North, combines on-the-ground reporting with exclusive interviews with convoy organizers and volunteers to “tell the whole story” of the weeks-long protest against COVID-19 restrictions. It was published by Sutherland House which approached Indigo before the book launch, but the company was not interested in putting it on its shelves. It would only make the book available for digital purchase on its website. MORE

Get out the suntan lotion, you might need it soon

Tuesday, July 19

Summer may finally be here. Weather forecasters predict an extended stretch of warm, dry weather for Nanaimo and surrounding areas. Weather experts think we’ll have nothing but sunshine beginning tomorrow, through next week. But always keep in mind the inexact science of prognostication.

Shades of a romantic past – Alberni Canal Sunday cruises between Port Alberni and Barkley Sound are returning in August. Nanaimo’s Devon Transport announced Monday that the iconic MV Frances Barkley ferry will launch scenic sailings on Aug. 7. The three-and-a-half-hour sailings will leave Port Alberni at 9 a.m. and include a two-hour stop over in Bamfield. Devon Transport’s Greg Willmon says the sailings will feature a new onboard food and beverage menu that will include wine and beer. Devon bought the 75-year-old Frances Barkley last year when it was on the brink of going under. MORE

The Departure Bay Activity Centre will be demolished and removed. It was damaged by fire on March 17. The City’s insurance company concluded that the building cannot be repaired. Once it is removed, the City will begin a review process to consider the future of the site, replacement of lost recreational space and opportunities to work with other groups. Parks, Recreation and Culture will plan a community consultation process to look at options for the site and for facility replacement. MORE 

Former Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre executive director Chris Beaton has been handed a suspended sentence, two years probation and numerous court orders applied to sex offenders. Beaton pleaded guilty earlier this year to two charges of telecommunicating to lure children under the age of 18. MORE

Dr. Réka Gustafson has been named Island Health’s new chief medical health officer and vice-president of population and public health. Gustafson will oversee Island Health’s team of medical health officers and work with the health authority’s senior leadership. She will work on strategies and initiatives to drive quality improvements and lead the overdose crisis and pandemic response and recovery. Gustafson was deputy provincial health officer, providing leadership at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. MORE

What happened to all the politics about equality? Nowadays we spend all our time trying to convince everyone of how diverse we all are.

Woke activists intently, purposely rewriting history

Woke activists, aided and abetted by our government, are erasing our history as it does not comply with their world view. When we allow proponents of a new world order to erase anything they find offensive, they erase all traces of our social evolution. We cannot take pride in that evolution without some past experiences to compare to. Woke activists are destructive vandals who oppose our social standards and values. FULL COMMENT

BC Ferries resorts to water taxis on multiple routes

Monday, July 18

There’s no end in sight to the staffing challenges at BC. Ferries. The company resorted water taxis on multiple sailings on Sunday, the majority to Salt Spring Island. A 45-passenger water taxi also served the Swartz Bay-Fulford Harbour route. Late sailings between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen were also cancelled due to a lack of crew on the Coastal Celebration. More sailings were cancelled on smaller routes for the same reason. MORE

The sporadic rain throughout the morning didn’t dampen the spirits of Sunday’s silly boaters at Swy A Lana Lagoon. The regatta raises funds annually for the Nanaimo Child Development Centre.  The crew from Island Red Cedar Construction won for the second time, Nanaimo Child Development Centre Executive Director Dominic Rockall said the tally was not final he estimated it to surpass $50,000. MORE

Monkeypox vaccine appointments are available Tuesday and Wednesday in Victoria for high-risk people. The health authority is planning to expand the vaccination program to central and northern Vancouver Island the week of July 25. Island Health says because there is a global shortage of monkeypox vaccine, it will be offered only to those who identify as gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men, or identify as transgender and meet at least one other criterion. MORE

North Island hospitals continue struggling due to a lack of staff. First it was Port McNeill Hospital's emergency department closing over night Saturday. Then on Sunday, it was Port Hardy Hospital shutting down over night. Other inpatient services at Port Hardy Hospital remained available Sunday. At the same time, Interior health announced that the South Okanagan General Hospital in Oliver would be closed from noon until 6 p.m. on Sunday. MORE

COVID-19 is not gone – another wave is sweeping health regions in B.C. as the number of patients in hospitals rose over the last two weeks. The increase hasn't been evenly distributed across regions, however. The number of test-positive patients in hospital rose to 369 from 273 on June 30 and 426 on Thursday. The largest share of hospitalizations has consistently been in the Fraser Health region, which is the most populous in the province. Island Health rose to 55 in hospital from 49 on June 30, and then to 89 last week. MORE

A care home nurse has been suspended for two months for failing to report the abuse of a resident at Maple Ridge Seniors Village. Barbara Berg did not fill out incident reports or otherwise inform the management about two instances of abuse of one resident. In the first, a care aide made a fist and put a resident in a chokehold. In the second, a care aide put an electric razor in a resident's mouth three times to keep him quiet. MORE

If money is the root of all evil, why do our elected representatives continue to try erase the sins of the past with money?

NDP leadership race begins today, winner by Dec. 3

July 17, 2022

One thing is for sure, we’ll get a new premier for Christmas. The provincial NDP leadership campaign gets under way officially today to replace John Horgan who is stepping down. Voting will begin on Nov. 13, with the new leader being announced on Dec. 3. Horgan said he will resign as leader in the fall, saying his second bout with cancer left him with little energy for the job. Former cabinet minister Elizabeth Cull will be the chief electoral officer. The deadline to join as a party member to be eligible to vote in the leadership election is Sept. 4. MORE

The Lantzville Village South Development proposal is scheduled for another public hearing July 25. The 2021 zoning proposal for 732 mixed housing units on 23.27 hectares (57.5 acres) was turned back to the applicant for improvement – reduce the number of homes. The general tone of opposition suggests the new residents quality of life could be seriously affected if the village core was to accommodate that many homes. Jack de Jong comments.

Volunteers stepped up the search on Saturday for missing 40-year-old Amber Manthorne of Port Alberni. She was last seen at her Great Central Lake cabin on July 7. She was reported missing on July 8 when she didn’t show up for work and her vehicle was found on a logging road south of Nanaimo, more than 100 kilometres from the cabin. Saturday’s search was the largest effort to find her, with more than 100 people, using dogs, trucks, ATVs, drones and kayaks to comb through the land and water spanning from the Alberni Valley to Nanaimo. MORE

Health care will remain in the public domain after a landmark court case that had threatened the foundations of the health-care system. The B.C. Court of Appeal has dismissed the appeal by Dr. Brian Day, upholding a 2020 judgment from a lower court. Day had argued that British Columbians had the right to pay for private medical treatment, because waits in the public system were so long, they violated patients’ constitutional rights to life, liberty and the security of the person under Section 7 of the Charter. MORE

Huge car-trunk recycling sale today at Country Club

Saturday, July 16

A last-minute notice for garage sales enthusiasts. The Nanaimo Recycles Trunk Sale is under way at Country Club Centre today from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you’ve got stuff you want to unload stuff it in your trunk and head down there. The sale is intended to promote reuse and recycling of unwanted garage sale-type items. No retail booths or sale of new items permitted. Also remember the Child Development Centre's Silly Boat Regatta takes place Sunday at Swy A Lana.

Are you merrily driving along without a front license plate on your vehicle? Well, that could cost you if you drive in the lower part of Vancouver Island. West Shore RCMP are cracking down on motorists who improperly display their licence plates, which includes not bothering to display a front plate. During a recent patrol, their traffic unit found 40 vehicles in an hour that were violating provincial laws. Those regulations apply throughout the province and it’s a question of when police choose to enforce that law. MORE

A wildfire just west of Lytton has burned at least half a dozen homes and burned 15 square kilometres since it broke out Thursday. About 80 firefighting personnel are on scene. John Haugen, deputy chief of the Lytton First Nation, said conditions are challenging, after the blaze broke out nearly two kilometres northwest of Lytton on the other side of the Fraser River. He says sometimes there's no power and they're running out of water. A tiny ferry across the river is out of service due to high water levels, making it difficult to move resources toward the fire. This is one year after a wildfire levelled the Lytton town centre, displacing many residents who have yet to return home. MORE

The pre-campaign period for Local Elections begins Monday and runs until September 16. Election advertising rules come into effect with the start of the pre-campaign period. Elections BC has an extensive list of rules for all aspects of the election, specifically related to campaign financing and advertising rules in local elections. However, it does not administer voting, candidate nominations, or other aspects of the process. Check out THIS LINK.

Mandatory random testing of travellers arriving at four main airports will resume next week. Ottawa paused the random testing of those entering Canada by air on June 11, as part of its strategy to transition to testing incoming travellers outside of airports. The government now says testing will resume July 19 for fully-vaccinated travellers arriving at the Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto airports. MORE

Check out the VIDEO VERSION of the Daily Buzz.

LETTER: Time to stop wasting our money on Olympic bids

Letter to Premier John Horgan – Canada and British Columbia face major problems and yet governments are considering spending billions of scarce money on another Olympic bid! What a wasteful disgrace. Elected officials are supposed to act in the interests of citizens, fix serious problems, and stop wasteful spending. If you take more than a minute to stop another bid for Olympic games and parties, then you aren't doing your job. MORE

Municpal election rules kick in on Monday – who is running?

Ready or not, we’re three months from the October municipal election and campaigning should ramp up pretty soon for city council and school board candidates. It’s been quiet on the election front until now, nothing but crickets. Newcomers have to get their message out to the voters. The official pre-campaign period begins Monday, and advertising rules come into effect. A second level of rules are also in effect during the campaign period, September 17 until election day on October 15. FULL COMMENT

Man suffers severe burns at marina boat fire

July 15, 2022

A man has been taken to the burn unit in Victoria hospital after two boats burned at a marina last night. The boats were fully engulfed in flames before firefighters arrived at at Newcastle Marina. The man suffered burns to 50 per cent of his body, said Nanaimo Fire Rescue Capt. Tom Krall. MORE

It’s not a record to strive for, more people will die from drug toxicity in Nanaimo this year than any previous year if the current pace continues. B.C. Coroners Service data reveals 26 people have died in Nanaimo through the first five months of 2022, putting the city on pace to break the 2017 record of 56. Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said the illicit drug supply continues to be volatile and inconsistent, and presents a significant risk to anyone who uses drugs. MORE

A growing wildfire near the Lytton has grown hundreds of hectares and a special air quality statement has been issued for the area. The B.C. Wildfire Service said this morning that the Nohomin Creek fire is an estimated 500 hectares, up from 200 hectares on Thursday. Unconfirmed reports said three structures may have been lost to the fire so far. MORE

Children under five will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine as of Aug. 2. The province is setting up clinics for children six months to five years old to get the Moderna vaccine, following Health Canada’s approval and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s recommendation for its use. Health Minister Adrian Dix encouraged parents to register their children so they are invited to book an appointment, starting on Aug. 2. MORE

There’s enough blame to go around when it comes to widespread delays at airports across the country. Seventy per cent of Canadians agree the disruptions across the country are a national embarrassment, with nearly 60 per cent saying they are avoiding travel until it improves. The Ipsos poll for Global News found Canadians believe there’s plenty of blame to go around between airports, airlines, the federal government and travellers themselves. MORE

Police seek public assistance locating missing Nanaimo man

Aaron Akey

The Nanaimo RCMP requests public assistance locating 48-year-old Aaron Akey of Nanaimo. His family and the RCMP are concerned for his welfare. He is is Caucasian, 5' 7", 146 lbs, with short dark brown hair, a full beard and blue eyes. Mr. Akey has no fixed address and has been known to travel on foot between southern communities on Vancouver Island. “We know at this time of year many people are out on the trails, and camping in remote areas around the island”, said Cst Wade, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson, “so if you see someone matching Mr. Akey’s description, please call the Nanaimo RCMP (250) 754-2345”

Woodgrove Centre is giving away $25,000 in gift cards

July 14, 2022

Woodgrove Centre is giving away $25,000 in gift cards this Saturday. Central Walk, which owns Woodgrove, Victoria’s Mayfair Mall, and Tsawwassen Mills, plans to give away $1 million in gift cards this year. The promotion is designed to rebuild customer loyalty after the pandemic shifted many buying habits to online shopping. Saturday’s event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Woodgrove will feature 40 outdoor stalls, live music and gift card giveaways. It is first-come, first-served for the promotion totaling over $25,000. You can use your phone to scan QR codes in person or go to the social media sites for each corresponding mall to get a $10 gift card. Mayfair recently gave away 2,700 gift cards totaling $27,000 in one day. MORE DETAILS

A six-storey residential building should soon spring up on Terminal Avenue near Townsite Road. City council has given the green light for the building with 41 one-bedroom units, 24 studios and four two-bedrooms. The building will have predominantly underground parking. Vehicle access will be off of Terminal Avenue, though the city has been working with developers in the area to eventually create a laneway behind the building, parallel to Terminal. MORE

The number of real estate listings in the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board area rose significantly last month, with single-family homes for sale more than doubling from a year ago. At the same time, sales dipped across the board area in most markets. Higher interest rates are causing some buyers to put the brakes on buying a home, and realtors are seeing prices coming down in the higher end of the market. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose to $906,300, up 26 per cent from a year ago. Campbell River, the Cowichan Valley, and Parksville-Qualicum saw small month-over-month price reductions in June. FULL VIREB REPORT.

It's time to get silly. The Nanaimo Child Development Centre’s Silly Boat Races are on tap Sunday at Maffeo Sutton Park. If you thought you’d missed the boat, so to say, there’s room for more entrants. The event is lacking some of its usual numbers with some last-minute drop-outs. CDC Development Co-ordinator Keeley Campbell said it’s been a difficult couple of years, so with the numbers not being there they are hoping to get some of the teams to join forces. So head down there on Sunday and join the fun. MORE

We’ve been waiting for warmer weather but now that it’s here the Coastal Fire Centre has banned open fires, effective at noon Friday. Campfires are permitted for the time being. Category two and three fires include open blazes and burning material in a pile or ground debris over a certain area. Fireworks, sky lanterns, burn barrels, exploding targets and air curtain burners also fall under the ban. MORE

The Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest rate by a full percentage point on Wednesday, sharply increasing the cost of borrowing in an attempt to rein in inflation. That brings the central bank rate to 2.5 per cent, the biggest one-time increase since 1998. Two big banks have already moved their benchmark rates in response, with Royal Bank and TD raising their prime lending rates as of this morning to 4.7 per cent from 3.7 per cent. MORE

They built a fancy Primary Care Centre but now it seems they can’t find anyone to work there. A Chilliwack family doctor says the mismanagement of healthcare dollars at the new Chilliwack and Fraser Heath Rural PCC is staggering. He says the Ministry of Health has been unable to recruit any physicians to work at the clinic, which opened May 17. What’s more, there are four vacant nurse practitioner spots. The doctor said there were four physicians and a handful of nurse practitioners working at the old PCC and all four have decided to leave within the next few months. MORE

Queen Charlotte is no more in British Columbia. The B.C. government has confirmed that the village of Queen Charlotte on Haida Gwaii is being renamed to its former ancestral name – Daajing Giids, after nearly half the residents approved the change, with a unanimous vote by village councillors. MORE

The federal government is spending $1.7 million to help pay for electric vehicle charging stations in B.C.  $1.2 million of that will go to 28 public chargers along B.C. highways. The Province is adding the remaining $2.4 million to the $3.6 million project. The remaining $500,000 of federal money will help pay for 100 Level 2 chargers at Burnaby city hall for the city's vehicle fleet. The City of Burnaby will put up the rest of the $1.1 million cost. There was no announcement of money for our crumbling health care system. MORE

The federal government is contributing more than $30 million to support Indigenous communities and organizations during this month’s papal visit. Pope Francis will tour Canada from July 24 to 29. The goal of the visit is to advance reconciliation and healing between the Roman Catholic Church, First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. The money will be available to Indigenous communities and organizations to cover the travel costs of residential school survivors who want to see the Pope in person. The money can also be used for community events and ceremonies. There was no announcement of money for our crumbling health care system. MORE

Getting the message out takes on a whole new meaning

Wednesday, July 13

In the end of another era, you may have seen the last Save-On Foods and Buy-Low Foods printed flyers. They are part of the change sweeping the world and there’s nothing we can do about a lot of it. There’s an evolution taking place before our eyes and most of us do not recognize that it’s happening. For ages newspapers have been the leading format for getting the marketing message out for millions of businesses. That’s changing, and consumers are helping to create it. FULL COMMENT

Driver takes off after three-vehicle crash on Third Street

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

RCMP are investigating after a driver took off after a multi-car collision that sent two other drivers to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. It happened in the 700 block of Third Street around 1:15 p.m. Tuesday. Police say a grey or silver car that was involved in the collision drove away. If you were in that area and have dashcam footage, investigators would like you to call them and quote file No. 2022-23947. MORE

The V.I. Raiders suffered a severe loss yesterday morning when a fire damaged their practice tower in Caledonia Park. The team is scrambling to replace thousands of dollars worth of equipment damaged in the fire. The small exterior fire damaged the back corner of the building, spreading to one of three storage bays before fire crews put it out. Raiders’ General Manager Josh Williams estimated the cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. The team had taken over the building and field as a training facility at the end of June. MORE

Congratulations to Nanaimo’s Joelle Rabu as a winner in the Lieutenant Governor’s Arts and Music Awards. Joelle employs several musical styles including European cabaret-style tunes and jazz melodies and has been a mainstay of the local music scene for decades. She is a two-time Jessie Award winner and Juno nominee. A total of 28 awards were handed out this year by Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin. Read more about Joelle HERE.

Tamara Hodge has been named to the provincial court in Nanaimo and will be sworn in on July 25. Judge Hodge is a graduate of the University of Victoria and spent her litigating career as Crown Counsel. She was previously based in Colwood, but will have chambers in Nanaimo as part of her new role. She’s the 23rd provincial court judge on Vancouver Island and the sixth one sitting in Nanaimo. MORE

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for help in finding 31-year-old William Elliot who has not been seen since July 7. He is experiencing significant personal difficulties and his friends and family are concerned for his personal well being and safety. Elliot frequents downtown Nanaimo and it is believed to be in the Nanaimo area. MORE

The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit has joined the investigation into the disappearance of Amber Manthorne of Port Alberni. Her vehicle was discovered near Nanaimo over the weekend. RCMP say it doesn’t mean something serious has happened to Amber, adding this is not unusual where a person’s disappearance is out of character and criminality can not be immediately ruled out. Justin Hall, who was initially believed to be with Manthorne, has been located and police no longer believe she is with him. MORE

News At Large

There’s no immediate cure in sight for Canada’s ailing health care system. Premier John Horgan says it’s time for the feds to sit down with the provinces to restore the system. It's been eight months since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to meet with the premiers to address their request for stable, long-term health-care funding, and that meeting is overdue, Horgan said on the final day of the premiers' Council of the Federation gathering in Victoria. MORE

ICBC’s limit on payments in personal injury lawsuits after vehicle accidents has been struck down as unconstitutional. Justice Nathan Smith found the purpose of the legislation is to improve ICBC’s finances by reducing the quantity of expert evidence in liability claims. It serves to “reduce litigation costs and produce lower damage awards” through settlements or at trial, Smith wrote. While it may serve the financial interests of the government and its auto insurance monopoly, it makes more challenging the already difficult task of determining the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries and the appropriate medical treatment that might be required in the future, reads the July 8 decision. MORE

If you’re planning to hit the road, there’s hope. Canadians renewing their passports have been assured Ottawa hopes to clear the backlogs by the end of the summer. Minister in Charge Karina Gould called the long waits and uncertainty as totally unacceptable. Many who have mailed in their documentation have reported poor communication and lack of clarity about when their documents will arrive. MORE

New Westminster is shedding its royal past. City council has voted to phase out the city’s long-time moniker as the Royal City. New Westminster was given its name by Queen Victoria, thus the royal nickname. The settlement was founded in 1858 by the head of a detachment of Royal Engineers on the territory of the Qayqayt First Nation. Mayor Jonathan Coté, who proposed the change, said the 21st century city has outgrown its 19th century branding.MORE

Jurisdictional confusion over who is responsible for payment has resulted in medical services into remote First Nations communities being put on hold. Dr. Pream Armogam, who runs the Port McNeil Medical Collaborative, said health authorities have stopped paying for a helicopter to get him there. West Coast Helicopters has been flying doctors into remote communities for 44 years. Kingcome Inlet and Kyuquot are in Island Health’s service area. Oweekeno is technically in Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. Last week the four doctors’ trips were cancelled because the helicopter company hasn’t been paid by since February – a total of $75,000. MORE

BEWARE – Rogers Communications is working on a program to credit customers after last week's network outage. It didn't take scammers long, some people are already getting emails inviting them to fill out an online application form for a refund – this is a scam. Do not give out your banking or credit card information.

Dragon boaters bear-sprayed by passing low life

Tuesday, July 12, 202

There’s always some jerk to spoil the fun. Two dragon boaters were bear-sprayed by an angry motorist Sunday afternoon Cliff Street. The victims, a couple in their early 60s, told police they were walking back to their vehicle along Cliff Street when a vehicle drove by. The driver berated them for walking in the middle of the road. The male pedestrian responded to the driver that there were no sidewalks. Seconds later, the same driver pulled up next to them and bear-sprayed them. MORE

Luckily no one was home when fire destroyed a home on Metral Drive early Monday. Three engines and one ladder truck responded after neighbours called 911. Police shut down Traffic was shut down on Metral Drive while fire crews worked over the scene. MORE

The Port of Nanaimo will not follow the Port of Vancouver’s lead to phase out diesel-powered trucks older than 20 years. The Rolling Truck Age Program caps the age of container trucks able to serve the Port of Vancouver for more reliable trucks and cleaner air for communities. Nanaimo Port Authority president and CEO Ian Marr said the short-sea shipping initiative, which links Nanaimo to the Vancouver and Fraser River terminals with global markets, is one way they help cut back emissions by reducing the number of cargo trucks on the road. MORE

Nanaimo Ladysmith International Student Education seeks homes for visiting International Students in September. The role of a homestay parent and family is critical to the experience and success that an International student has in Canada. There are many opportunities for experiencing new things, for learning about other cultures, and building lasting relationships. A monthly honorarium of $975 is paid for Homestay families with an additional $150 for a vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free student. MORE

Check your gas guage – prices at the pump have dropped significantly in the past few days, now almost uniform at $2.059 Check here.

BEWARE– Rogers Communications is working on a program to credit customers after last week's outage. It didn't take scammers long, some people are already getting emails inviting them to fill out an online application form for a refund. There is no REFUND, this is a scam. Do not give out your banking or credit card information.

Energy prices should drive green transition: Freeland

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says the federal government is absolutely concerned about inflation, but dismissed critics who called her callous and out of touch for suggesting the high cost of gas is a reminder of why we need to transition to greener energy solutions. Freeland is also Finance Minister. Her detachment from reality is astonishing and unacceptable. The "green transition" is in its infancy and not ready for prime time. FULL COMMENT

Canada's leaders devoid of common sense

Our leaders, in this case, the Premiers, are demonstrating that they continue to deny reality – deny science, deny the importance of early treatment, deny their jurisdiction, innovation and the list goes on. The Premiers are having their annual meeting in Victoria this week (I attended 10 of them) and they continue to deny that part of the problem today is that the so-called covid crisis was handled and continues to be handled improperly in that there is no recognition of early treatment, the role of vitamin D in the treatment of the covid. FULL COMMENT

Great job done by all at the Dragon Boat Regatta

GOOD MORNING after a great weekend putting Nanaimo in the spotlight for all the right reasons. A posting on social media by Jerry Berry puts an exclamation mark on the Dragon Boat Regatta over weekend. Putting it on involves a lot of work by a lot of dedicated people. “Thanks to Erik Ages and his young people for another great effort. Thanks also to the Nanaimo Port Authority, Nanaimo Paddling Center, and volunteers from RCM SAR 27 Nanaimo. Part of the reality of these events is that there is always someone who thinks they can do better. That goes with the job. For my part these guys were fantastic and on behalf of Nanaimo we appreciate it. Well done.” And well put, Jerry.

There should be less confusion now that a four-way stop has been created at the intersection of Victoria, Wallace and Albert streets. The change is part of the downtown mobility hub project in which the public stated traffic control of the intersection was confusing. City transportation manager Jamie Rose said it’s a pilot project to determin whether it would help to address some of the concerns with the ambiguity with the Commercial Street leg coming in without a stop control. MORE

Police are continuing their search for Amber Manthorne of Port Alberni who has been missing since Wednesday. Police said her vehicle was found south of Nanaimo. They also gave the name Justin Hall who may be with Manthorne, adding that his presence with her was unconfirmed. Const. Richard Johns asked that the public continue to keep an eye out for them, and to call the Port Alberni RCMP immediately with any information about their location. The non-emergency number is 250-723-2424. MORE

The baby has a name. A new-born killer whale calf swimming off the west side of Vancouver Island near Race Rocks has a name. The Center for Whale Researche she will be K45. The centre says it got video and photographs in April and June, but now a field biologist was among those who confirmed its presence, though its gender is not known. It says K45 is K Pod’s first baby since 2011. MORE

Premier John Horgan wants the federal government to boost its share of health care spending to 35 per cent from 22. Horgan is chair of the Council of the Federation made up of the country's 13 premiers which begins two days of meetings in Victoria today. Horgan said he told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the premiers' concerns over health costs. Trudeau committed to assembling a team to work on health funding, but that has not yet materialized, Horgan said. MORE

Getting a mortgage could cost a whole lot more by Wednesday. The Bank of Canada is expected to raise its key interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point on Wednesday. Inflation hit a 39-year-high of 7.7 per cent in May, well above the two-per-cent target rate central banks typically aim for. The Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate by half a percentage point on June 1 and has signalled a willingness to move in a more aggressive direction. The C.D. Howe Institute Monetary Policy Council, a group of economists who provide assessment of the Bank of Canada's monetary policy, has also called on the bank to raise its key rate by three-quarters of a percentage point. MORE

Canada’s military has dumped it sex crimes problem on provincial civilian courts, but who is going to foot the bill? A dispute between Ottawa and provinces is slowing efforts to transfer military police investigations and prosecutions to civilian authorities. Defence Minister Anita Anand began transferring criminal sexual offences to civilian police forces and courts on an interim basis in November. Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour who led an external review of sexual misconduct and harassment in the Forces said moving the cases to civilian police and courts was necessary to address widespread mistrust and doubt about the military's ability to properly handle such cases. MORE

An abbreviated VIDEO BUZZ is now available.

City workers' tip helped foil possible child luring

Two City employees with a keen sense of awareness are credited with interrupting a potentially-dangerous child luring incident that involved a man in his 50s and a girl, age 11-15 on June 29, at Robins Park in south Nanaimo. The two witnesses told police they were prepping the baseball diamond when they caught site of the man and girl. The witnesses said that the two were siting very close to each other in the bleachers and by their interactions and body gestures, it did not appear that it was a father-daughter relationship. After watching them interact for some time the witnesses informed police what they observed. MORE DETAILS

Rogers network failure points to CRTC incompetence

The Rogers network outage showed us some unacceptable weaknesses in our digital environment.
The Canadian Radio Telecommunications Commission must be made an independent body reporting directly to parliament, not a lap dog of the minister of Canadian Heritage. It must be law in Canada that every cell phone sold here will by default seek out an alternate carrier for 911 calls if the primary cell service provider is out of service for any reason. FULL COMMENT

Our constitution and messing with languages

Virtue-signaling social engineers are introducing new languages into official settings. It goes beyond simply cultural recognition, it’s a political agenda. According to our constitution, Canada is an officially bilingual country – English and French – so where do any other languages and/or alphabets and pronunciations fit into the picture? It’s not a question of opposition but rather one of clarification. Just wondering.

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

Enough already with Trudeau's phoney 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. FULL COLUMN