RDN to spend almost $1 million on pollution control centre

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Brentwood Industries has been awarded a $958,000 contract for replacement parts for three grit and sedimentation tanks at the at the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre on Hammond Bay Road. The tanks were installed in the 1970s and ’80s, and serve to settle and remove grit and other heavy materials from the screened raw sewage as part of the primary treatment process. MORE

A development along Third Street is getting a new look before it is even built – the developer submitted new plans for the site. Ironclad Developments has applied to build two apartment buildings with the endorsement of the design advisory panel. Earlier plans called for townhouses and low-rise mixed-use buildings in two phases and a 218-bed student housing complex in phase 3. That has been discarded and now will see two six-storey rental buildings at the site. MORE

Island Health is gearing for closures at the Chemainus Health Care Centre due to a staff shortage. The Chemainus Health Care Centre is dropping its hours to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Throughout the month, urgent care services will also be closed for six days, and 12 other days will see shortened operating hours. It’s a similar story at the Cormorant Island Community Health Centre. BC Emergency Health Services will transport patients to alternate sites in emergency during this two-week period. MORE

First it was American eco terrorists slashing tires, now SUV tires are being deflated in Greater Victoria. More than two dozen tires were purposely flattened by a group calling itself the Tyre Extinguishers. “Last night, we disarmed 34 SUVs in Victoria and Oak Bay, and this is just the beginning,” they wrote in a statement on Twitter. Their website claims they are a worldwide direct-action environmental group demanding more action on climate change. Their mission is to eliminate SUVs and make it impossible to own a huge polluting 4×4 in the world’s urban areas. MORE

  • Bringing accountability to BC Ferries governance

    Eyebrows are being raised about the changes to the B.C. Ferries board of directors, particularly the addition of former MLA cabinet minister and NDP leader Joy McPhail. Immediately after her appointment she became the chairman of the board. It is argued that it politicizes the ferry system. The previous B.C. Liberal government moved Ferries at arm's length to guard against political interference.

  • Poilievre represents Conservative status quo

    I listened to former PM Steven Harper’s endorsement of Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre – not a peep about freedom, The Charter of Rights and Freedoms – the unconstitutional actions of the federal Liberal/NDP government or the Liberal, Conservative and NDP provincial governments. It’s as if the universe is unfolding as it should.

  • Ottawa mum on fight against 'extremism'

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in late May that new tools were needed to combat a host of threats, such as misinformation, social media being weaponized, and right-wing terrorism.
    This is the ultimate hypocrisy. The extremist ideology with the WEF, WHO and UNFCCC, aided and abetted by our Prime Minster’s Office, totally committed to the extremist New World Order.

Cooler weather on the way by mid week

Hang on, relief is on the way. The weather pattern causing the heat wave will change early next week, with a cooler airmass over the province. The temperature could dip by about 10 degrees. Environment Canada's forecast suggests daily highs of 20 to 21 C on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with a chance of showers at least part of the time. The change will move in Monday night, meaning it'll stay hot and sunny through the long weekend.

Hats off to Nanaimo’s Sandy Harper for winning the B.C. Senior and Super Senior Men’s amateur golf championship. That’s even more notable when you consider he suffered a stroke in 2020 and the road back has not been easy. Especially when it comes to his golf, the game he has played so well that he earned a spot in the British Columbia Golf Hall of Fame. It hasn’t been easy, it’s been frustrating because he couldn’t hit certain shots like he could before. It affects your vision and your hand-eye co-ordination. MORE

Two SUVs rolled over on the highway south of Nanaimo Thursday afternoon, with one of then catching fire. Cranberry and North Cedar volunteer fire departments responded about 5 p.m., near the Morden Road intersection in South Wellington after two northbound SUVs went off the road, rolled over and caught on fire. MORE

Local ATV enthusiasts are riding sky high after a new agreement with Mosaic Forest Management allows more land to ride on. The deal sees all six Island ATV clubs getting additional access to Mosaic lands on weekends and statutory holidays. Edwin Peeters of the Mid-Island ATV Club said the agreement covers about five times the area they previously had access to. MORE

Deja vu all over again. Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May could be back as leader of the federal Green Party. Party sources say she is preparing a bid to take the leadership if the only other Green MP doesn't want the helm. May has told Greens she would run for the job if she could share the role with a co-leader, who could manage much of the day-to-day administration. MORE

The Kennedy Hill section of Hwy 4 will be closed in both directions on three consecutive nights beginning Wednesday, Aug. 3. The closures are necessary for crews to place cantilever girders and to complete deck panel placement. The closures are from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. from Wednesday to Friday, Aug. 5. There will be no release of traffic, but passage of emergency vehicles will be in place. Travellers can call 1 855-451-7152 to listen to the travel information hotline message, which is updated daily during construction.

Campfires will be allowed for B.C. Day long weekend

Friday, July 29, 2022

Campfires will be part of the tradition for the B.C. Day long weekend despite the scorching dry weather. The Coastal Fire Centre will not ban campfires for the region. Nadia Linning, fire information officer, said there’s still a sufficient buffer before a total ban is implemented. Most of Vancouver Island is in moderate-to-high fire danger rating. MORE 

It’s August and that means the Vancouver Island Exhibition is back. Organizers are promising a bigger and better fair starting Aug. 26, following the pandemic version in 2021. VIEX president Stephen Kass says it should be back to normal after one year of planning. Beginning Aug. 26, the three-day event at Beban Park will be a step up on the post-pandemic return visitors experienced last year, which was the result of just seven weeks planning. There will be more animals and more activities. Mark it on your calendars. MORE

Snuneymuxw and B.C. Ferries are in business together. Acting Ferries CEO Jill Sharland and Acting Chief Bill Yachim signed the the agreement to build a better relationship, including recognizing treaty rights. The protocol could create job opportunities, impact ferry operations on the nation’s territories, and inclusion of Snuneymuxw culture. Yachim said the new relationship is founded on respect, recognition, reconciliation and collaboration. MOR.

It’s a city-wide swap meet. Reuse Rendezvous, Nanaimo’s longest running reuse event, is back August 13 and 14. It is designed to keep useful items from going to waste by providing households an opportunity to give old household items a new lease on life. You can place unwanted toys, sporting goods, furniture, books, bikes and other items to the curb so that others can take and reuse them.

Paris Jayanne Laroche of Nanaimo will remain in custody, charged with first-degree murder and indignity to human remains of Sidney Joseph Mantee, 32, who was reported missing in 2020. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth McDonald denied a bail bid on Thursday. Laroche appeared by video. MORE

Island Health has confirmed four cases of monkeypox since it was first reported to have spread to the region July 8. Three of the cases are in the South Island and one in the Central Island. There are 61 confirmed cases province-wide, in Island Health, Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health. Vaccination efforts have been ramping up on Vancouver Island, with 180 doses administered last week. MORE

If you’ve got a so-called assault-style rifle you could cash in big, and do it legally. The federal government wants to pay $1,337 for turning in an AR-15 rifle under a mandatory buyback program. Public Safety Canada has released a price list detailing how much money owners of banned firearms can expect. If you have a Swiss Arms SG550 that could net $6,209. Ottawa will seek input from gun owners, businesses and industry until Aug. 28. I wonder if I could quickly buy one now. MORE

It’s not often that people clamour to be added to a taxation program. Salt Spring Island community groups and businesses want the B.C. government to add them to the speculation and vacancy tax program. The program adds a tax to homes purchased by speculators, or homes that remain vacant for much of the year. The province recently added North Cowichan, Duncan, Ladysmith and Lake Cowichan. MORE

Regional directors staying with current pay system

Thursday, Julu 28

Good morning. The heat appears to slowing down a lot of people, so there's not that much on the news menu today.

The board of the Regional District is not going to fiddle with its pay formula. Directors have voted to keep the base rate with no extra pay for meetings through 2026. Nanaimo director Sheryl Armstrong argued that to go to a meeting for 10 minutes and get paid $150 would not be fair to taxpayers. Under the base rate, electoral area directors get $48,900, while municipal directors get $22,700. The board chairman, as a municipal director, gets $77,900, and $97,600 if a municipal director. MORE

Cory John Lloyd, 42, of Parksville won’t spend any time in jail after he pleaded guilty to arranging and agreeing on a sexual offence against a child. The charge followed a 2019 incident in which Lloyd was the target of an undercover operation with a YouTube channel, which exposes sexual predators. Judge Brian Harvey sentenced Lloyd to an 18-month conditional sentence with 18 months’ probation, in provincial court in Nanaimo. MORE

If you’re looking for a day of music and summer fun while supporting an organization that is building a local food system, the Crop Circle Concert series hits the stage August 6. It is hosted by Growing Opportunities at the Cline Agri-Health Center, a 47 acre farm in the heart of Nanaimo. Tickets are available HERE.

Remember, tonight is Dowtown Street Market night. Take a look at what's happening down there.

Langford council shows its disdain for taxpayers

Langford council's decision to cancel all further council and committee meetings until after the election was an eye opener. Council held a one-minute-and-29-second discussion before voting 5-2 to cancel the remaining meetings. But upon reflection, based on past experience, that is not really that outlandish. However, they decided to keep collecting their council pay cheques during that period. FULL COMMENT

Ferries gearing up for heavy BC Day long weekend traffic

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

With the BC Day long weekend approaching, BC Ferries is preparing to move nearly 140,000 vehicles and more than 400,000 passengers. To manage the heavy traffic volumes, the fleet is operating at maximum capacity and will provide more than 2,500 sailings and covering more than 22,000 nautical miles Thursday through Monday. The Horseshoe Bay – Nanaimo route has three ships that deliver up to 24 sailings per day. The big question is whether they will be able to staff all those sailings. MORE

Plans for hundreds of new homes in Lantzville were dashed on the council floor on Monday on a 2-2 vote following a second public hearing. The 23.3 hectare development proposed by Lantzville Projects Ltd., had also gone to a public hearing in April, when it was returned for improvements. The reduced plan included 632 homes, down by 100, and the addition of seniors housing. It also included mixed-use buildings, a grocery store, multi-family buildings, townhouses, single-family houses, park land, trails, and land for community use. FULL STORY

The fall civic election is creeping up fast – nomination packages for mayor, councillor and elector organizations can be picked up from City Hall starting Aug. 2.  Sheila Gurrie, the Chief Election Officer, says nomination packages will also be available electronically upon request. If you’re picking up a package you will need to provide your name and contact information. Contact details will not be released to the public. Who would want to remain anonymous in an election? It’s also about accountability. MORE DETAILS

Democracy can be inconvenient, and with that in mind, Langford council has cancelled all further council and committee meetings until after the October municipal election. But council members will continue to collect their full salaries. Council held a one-minute-and-29-second discussion about a week ago before voting 5-2 in favour of cancelling the remaining meetings. A staff report recommended cancelling some meetings, but council voted to cancel all of them. MORE

Snuneymuxw Chief Mike Wyse takes medical leave

Chief Mike Wyse

Chief Mike Wyse has taken a leave of absence from Snuneymuxw First Nation due to health reasons.

In a written statement, Wyse said he has been diagnosed with a heart aneurysm and as a result is taking a temporary medical leave to address the problem and recover.

He said he will not be in contact by either cellphone or e-mail while his is in treatment. He named Bill Yoachim as Acting Chief.

Bacon to plead guilty in Makayla Chang's murder

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

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

Ferries preparing for heavy BC Day long weekend traffic

With the BC Day long weekend approaching, BC Ferries is preparing to move nearly 140,000 vehicles and more than 400,000 passengers. To manage the heavy traffic volumes, the fleet is operating at maximum capacity and will provide more than 2,500 sailings and covering more than 22,000 nautical miles Thursday through Monday. The Horseshoe Bay – Nanaimo route has three ships that deliver up to 24 sailings per day. MORE

ElderCollege offers online and in-person courses

Online learning opportunities for Vancouver Island University ElderCollege students are here to stay. VIU ElderCollege offers learning opportunities for people 50 plus from Ladysmith to Bowser for in-person courses. During the early months of the pandemic the program pivoted to online classes, but now both online and in-person classes will continue. MORE

Government must shoulder blame for 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. FULL COMMENT