NEXT ADVANCE POLL OCT. 12
8 a.m to 8 p.m. Beban Park Social Centre
If you want to avaoid the election day crush, go the to advance poll next Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Being on 'the list' can be a good thing - for both sides

Oct. 6, 2022

Endorsements have been standard fare in municipal elections as long as I can remember. They mostly come from special interest groups, particularly organized labour.

In the past, candidates clambered all over themselves to get on “the list” passed around by a particular group. That could be particularly true in the school board election where it is almost accepted that candidates having support of CUPE and the Teachers Union are virtually automatic winners.

Those endorsements serve a useful purpose, particularly with such large fields of candidates, many of whom are far from a known quality and not ready to serve on city council or the school board. It also gives us the comfort that the endorsing organization must have considerable knowledge about the candidate in order to endorse him/her.

It also serves a double purpose. If a voter does not support the endorsing organization, just the names of the candidates supported is a signal whom not to vote for.

Climate Vote Nanaimo’s web site endorses candidates focusing on the climate issues – bike lanes, electric vehicles, charging stations, higher taxes and on and on. It helps voters identify who stands for what on at least one topic. Take a peek, it’s FREE

Also, the News Bulletin did an excellent job with it special election section with a prefab question-and-answer section. Not details but an insight into what the candidates have on their minds.

If you want to know just a little bit more, school trustee candidates will have a chance to make their views known tonight at an all-candidates’ town hall meeting. The Nanaimo District Teachers’ Association is staging the event at Beban Park Social Centre from 7-9 p.m. MORE.

Janice Perrino                                                                                    Frank Pluta

Look it up yourself. Readers are contacting The Daily Buzz about the voting records of councillors on specific issues. It turns out to be quite easy. Sheila Gurrie, Director of Legislative Services also serves as the chief elections officer showed how easy it is to do it for yourself HERE

Elder statesman. An interesting observation, the majority of school trustee candidates are close to half of the age of Bill Robinson who is seeking another term. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Fifty four doctors have signed contracts with the province to provide full-time family doctor service after the Ministry of Health offered a signing bonus and other incentives. The package included a $25,000 signing bonus as well as medical training debt forgiveness up to $130,000 to new family doctors who agreed to work in B.C. for five years. First-year salaries for the new physicians will be $295,457, with a one-time payment of $75,000 to help with overhead costs for clinics. Sixty more doctors are in talks about finding clinic placements and contract terms. MORE

The scenario for the next provincial election may already have been set in stone. The debate over catch-and-release of prolific offenders is bubbling along. Premier John Horgan says the government’s crime-fighting agenda involves more than increasing arrests. Attorney General Murray Rankin told the legislature more arrests of prolific offenders to curb crime would be futile. That sparked Opposition Leader Kevin Falcon to call on the government drop a “catch-and-release” approach to repeat violent offenders, saying people in B.C. are living in fear in their own communities. Stay tuned, the topic is not going away. MORE

Anything to avoid airport lineups. Travellers from Vancouver to the U.S. can skip the long lineups through security. The YVR Express service lets travellers book an appointment online for their security screening up to 72 hours before their flight, allowing them to skip to the front of the line when they arrive. YVR Express service will be available for U.S. bound flights only – at least for now. MORE

Premier John Horgan is jetting to San Francisco to meet leaders of West Coast states to sign joint action on climate change. The group includes the governors of California, Oregon and Washington. Horgan says B.C. and the states face similar climate-related issues, including wildfires, weather events and wild salmon declines, and the jurisdictions are looking for ways to work together. MORE

A heads up about buying a used car from a private seller. A Mission woman sued after a car she bought from a private seller essentially blew up on her way home. The seller told her the car burned a little oil and said the vehicle “runs and drives great.” A B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal judge ruled there was no misrepresentation, the seller did not mislead her. Worth reading.

Ian Thorpe                                                                                         Zeni Maartman

Time to get to the bottom of our health care mess

Oct. 5, 2022

How much worse can our health care system get? Canada used to be the envy of the world for the way we look after the sick and infirmed. Now we’re seeing horror stories virtually every day about how the system is failing.

This past weekend an injured hockey player remained stablilized on the ice for 50 minutes because there was no ambulance available.

The ambulance service has been an irritant for quite some time. The partial duplication of services with fire rescue departments providing many first responder services has been a bug-bear of mine. Surely there’s a way of overcoming jurisdictional obstacles and creating a functioning single highly-efficient service out of the two.

Our satellite lab near the hospital for blood tests used to be a quick and convenient walk-in with there seldom being lengthy waits. Earlier this week, drop-ins without an appointment were told the wait would be two and a half to three hours, if they were lucky. They were advised by staff to make online or phone reservations, complete with online reservation and check-in information. Simple, yes? Well the first available appointment was more than two weeks down the road.

These are just more hurdles to go along with the family doctor shortage, nursing shortage and the cluttered hallways in our hospital.

Health Minister Adrian Dix is running around with bandaids, trying to stem the bleeding, but he’s not getting ahead of the game. It’s past time for our government to initiate a commission of inquiry to get the over all picture for long-term solutions. It’s not only about where we are, but where we’re headed.

Ferries is adding 85 extra sailings for the Thanksgiving long weekend to ensure smooth sailing. More than 420,000 passengers and 160,000 vehicles are expected to travel across the system from Thursday through Tuesday. Ferries is adding 12 extra sailings on the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route between Thursday and Tuesday. MORE

Don’t rush out to water the lawn just yet, the City has extended watering restrictions until the end of October. The warm weather and lack of rain have extended Provincial Drought Level 4 conditions in Central Vancouver Island. The City has sufficient water supply to serve community needs and maintain environmental flow releases, such as the pulse release for returning Chinook salmon. To view the current water restriction stage and find information on water conservation go to www.teamwatersmart.ca

Talk about dropping in. A semi-trailer heading north on the Island Highway in Nanoose ran off the road Monday, smashing through a house and trapping the driver in the rig. The residents thankfully were not at home at the time. Firefighters worked for about three hours to free the driver because of the amount of debris around the cab. MORE

The B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission preliminary report recommends re-drawing and renaming electoral divisions through Nanaimo. The three ridings on the mid-Island would be renamed Nanaimo, Nanaimo-Ladysmith and Nanaimo-Oceanside, and juggling many of the boundaries through the city. DETAILS

B.C. Liberal leader Kevin Falcon says the government has the power to direct Crown prosecutors to detain more people accused of violent crimes. But Attorney General Murray Rankin isn’t interested. He says he has no intention of arresting more people to crack down on crime. Rankin says the government is instead considering a range of options to keep people safe. The government has said it would implement some recommendations in a report that concluded repeat offenders and random crime are causing incredible distress in communities. MORE

Don Bonner                                                                                         Viraat BK Thammanna

Business seeks help in battling drug infestation

Oct. 4, 2022

A Nanaimo business owner has issued a cry for help from the city over the ongoing crime crisis. It appears the letter is now in the wheels of motion at city hall. It had been sent to city council and then been made available to some members of the public. A reader shared a copy of a letter which detailed problems with a property on Nicol Street, described as a drug user site. The business lists innumerable problems since Nanaimo Area Network of Drug Users NANDU arrived earlier this year.

The business says the situation is getting worse and affecting business, staff and community, and the surrounding neighborhood is also upset. 

Problems outlined in the letter include use of their parking lot as a toilet, camping on their property both days and overnight, loitering; doing drugs in the parking lot out in the open or in their cars, and approaching customers for money, and setting fires behind their building. There’s also littering and drug paraphernalia – needles, pipes. They enter the business to use the facilities an are often passed out on the bathroom floor. That’s a taste of the problems.

I forwarded the letter to all council members and senior staff on Sunday for a reply but only one had responded, citing in-camera regulations. That’s a legitimate response, but the wheels are in motion.

                                                                                                            Leonard Krog's platform

Whom to vote for. An organization labelling itself Climate Vote Nanaimo has produced a web site endorsing candidates throughout the mid-Island in the municipal election. The site says “if you are concerned about the climate crisis, voting for climate champions is one of the most important actions you can take to help. We are an experienced group of local climate activists sharing our opinion of which candidates are true climate champions.” It’s helpful in that it lets voters identify who is who and what is what on at least one topic, or which candidates to give the yes or no. Take a peek, it’s FREE

David Wang is a candidate for city council and he wants to debate fellow candidates. So he’s  set up a debate or question and answer session – or maybe even two, including school trustees, Oct. 11, 6 to 9 p.m. 324 Terminal Ave. (Freedom Mural Building). There’s room for 100 guests. He has invited the candidates via social media and if there aren’t enough candidates for a debate they’ll have a question and answer session. Check in with David if you need further information. Davidforcouncil@outlook.com

If you just can’t wait to vote, you can get a head start on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Beban Park Social Centre at 2300 Bowen Road.

Police need your help in identifying a suspect in a June 27 Jewelry theft. He was said to have stolen a  gold necklace valued at approximately $5,500 from People’s Jewellers, in  Woodgrove Centre. Video surveillance has recently been obtained of the suspect and the vehicle that he is associated to. SEE PHOTOS.

More support for ex-inmates. The province is boosting support for inmates leaving correctional centres. Community Transition Teams are being expanded to provide more mental-health and substance-use support when released from provincial correctional centres, including Nanaimo Correctional Centre. The expansion will double team numbers to ten, increase the size and capacity by adding new healthcare and support workers and increasing the length of time people can get services to 90 days from 30. Mental Health and Addictions Minister Sheila Malcolmson said support for people just released from correctional centres is key for a safe transition back into society. MORE

That warm all over feeling. High temperature records are falling as we head into the end of summer. Alyssa Charbonneau of Environment Canada said a new record of 25.9 was registered on Sunday, beating out the old mark of 25.6 from 1952. It hit 25.1 degrees Monday at Nanaimo Airport, half a degree more than the 1993 standard. She says there’s a lot more where that came from with short-term expectations of a lot more sun and daytime temperatures consistently above 20 degrees mark through at least this weekend. MORE

Vaccine mandates showed loss of trust in government

Internal polling shows vaccine mandates were unpopular and caused a loss of “trust” in the federal government. Vaccine mandates “represented overreach on the part of the federal government and unfairly infringed upon those who made the personal choice to not get vaccinated for Covid-19,” respondents told pollster. “As a result of this some felt they had lost their sense of trust in the federal government.” FULL COMMENT

That helpless feeling over drugs and crime in Nanaimo

I’ve been observing what is developing as top issues in the civic election, and totally not surprising, crime, homelessness and drugs are right at the top. They are entwined, and one causes the other. It is also the issue city council can do very little about as that falls into multiple provincial jurisdictions.

Our own MLA, Mental Health minister Sheila Malcolmson has done a lot province-wide to address the problem, but her hands are tied to some extent by existing legislation.

In an ideal world, those suffering from mental health issues could be helped on the spot, but that's not the case, they can be treated only if they are willing. There lies the problem. In most cases, mental health issues are also related to drug dependence, and they don’t want to give up their drugs.

Institutionalization is a big question with supporters and fierce opponents on both sides – putting them in treatment against their will. That’s not a question that we citizens at large will solve, it will take a big political decision.

We already have a standard for legal responsibility for crimes committed by the mentally ill. The term ”not legally responsible” shows up in many serious crime cases. That same argument could be used for those on the streets not being able to make decisions in their own best interests. We also treat them without their approval when they overdose.

Institutionalization has taken on a bad reputation when in fact it provides housing, clothing, meals and professional medical services, and certainly their best interests.

It’s then a question of rights – in their best interests or against their unbalanced objections. Some politicians, including that long-time rights champion David Eby, have begun dropping hints that they might be ready to go in that direction. We can only hope.

THERE’S MORE ON THE downtown crime situation which we’ll take a look at in tomorrow’s edition, if all sources check out. Keep and eye out. BUZZ BACK and let me know your thoughts.

TASHA BROWN, who is running for mayor, emphasises she’s not part of a slate of candidates. The fact that she had multiple nominators who also appeared on other candidates’ forms just happened to be people who were convenient to sign her papers at that time. In relation to today’s Buzz topic, Tasha has a particular concern about the crime situation in the city and offers her perspective on how to deal with them. You can find out more at TASHA BROWN

BIKE LANES – A reader has conveniently gone through the minutes of the March 16, 2020 regular council meeting. The motion to approve the $400,000 Commercial Street bike lane project was supported by all council members except Coun. Sheryl Armstrong, Coun Ian Thorpe and Coun Jim Turley who was absent. Staff recommended Council approve the project. Thanks for that.

LISTEN TO THE CANDIDATES – Tod Maffin has a podcast called The Nanaimo Chronicles. Appropriately during the current election campaign he features presentations from some of the candidates for school board and city council. They are worth listening to if you want to know what they stand for. Check it out HERE.

COPS FOR CANCER – It’s been nothing but sunshine for the annual Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock on Vancouver Island. It heads south about midday today after tours through schools and businesses in Nanaimo. Cops for Cancer has raised more than $27 million through its 25-year history. The Island Corridor Foundation made a $69,000 donation from it’s golf tournament, with more donations and community stops scheduled last night and into this morning. They’re due in Victoria on Friday. MORE

Buzzing about bicycle lanes and traffic safety patterns

Good Sunday morning. Traffic redesign is humming on The Buzz this morning. Surprise, it’s over the Front Street bike lanes and Metral Drive redevelopments. The general feeling is you don’t have to be a traffic engineer to recognize that you can’t take multiple lanes of traffic and squish them into singles in intersections, especially in commercial traffic corridors and intersections that require turns onto other streets.

I’m somewhat surprised at the number of readers who want to know the names of counsellors who voted to approve the Front Street and Metral Drive rejuvenation “so I know whom not to vote for.”

Those readers who have sent notes say they consider portions of both road projects dangerous. That would be a good one to ask councillors at any remaining all-candidate functions. Or better still, send each of them an e-mail with the questions. Your can reach all councillors HERE – mayor.council@nanaimo.ca

That’s the bone to chew on for today. Tell me your thoughts on this at BUZZ BACK.

BUSINESS IS HUMMING. Proof of that is the enthusiasm at the Vancouver Island business trade show last week. The event went into hiatus after 2019 due to the pandemic. This year it had an accompanying Prosperity Forum that looked at multiple sectors in Nanaimo and their approach to putting the pandemic behind us. The fact that the ballroom and lobbies were sold out tells a lot. Hats off to the Chamber of Commerce for the big comeback. 

With business getting back on track, now would be a good time to mingle with decision-makers at the State of the Island' Economic Summit. This year they’re enhancing connection by providing two hours for meeting new leaders, contributing toward planning, exploring opportunities, and investigating funding sources. There’s a slew of networking and collaboration sessions on October 26. Get more info at Vancouver Island Economic Alliance.

If you glance up at the gas price signs as you whiz by in your gas guzzler, you'll notice prices in Nanaimo shot up to $2.249 with one lone holdout at $2.099

Will snake oil peddlers ever go away? I suppose as long as there are people pushing vaccinations there will continue to be people promoting unfounded dangerous cures for COVID-19. A Kelowna case has prompted a warning about the dangers of the unauthorized use of the drug Ivermectin. A flyer invites people to contact the seller by e-mail with a promo code and get a confidential reply with the wholesale process. Commonly described as a horse de-wormer, Ivermectin is also approved for treatment of parasitic worm infections in humans. MORE

Find a crisis and you'll find government action behind it

Oct. 1, 2022

The Daily Buzz is often the topic of discussion in our lives – the coffee shop with our friends or in friendly chats.

That’s very appropriate in today’s atmosphere (I didn’t say climate) as we head into the final days of the municipal election. One of the hot topics for some time has been homelessness and the general cover-all topic of housing. And it doesn’t seem to matter how often we clarify the city doesn’t not have the authority over this and related issues. It’s all in the hands of the province.

And when it comes time for them to do something about it they engage in bafflegab only more convoluted than the previous menu of BS. Example, premier-in-waiting David Eby addressing, sort of, the topic. From the curveballs in his idea he could be a star in the coming World Series. Look back at every government housing measure and each one of them introduces another fee or a tax. We’ve seen them all, the foreign buyers gimmick, the vacant property tax, the property transfer tax and the latest swerve, a “flipping” tax. BC Liberals don’t have any better ideas because they created a lot of these in the first place.

Penalizing those who build the housing will do just one thing, it will stop them from building housing.

That’s the bone to chew on for today. Tell me your thoughts on this at BUZZ BACK.

In the headlines, call it a tight squeeze. A truck driver tried to sneak under the pedestrian overpass on the Island Highway Friday morning, but knocked concrete onto the roadway in the process. Traffic on the highway at Norwell Drive and Jingle Pot Road slowed to a crawl after the damage. It appears the truck was driving with its rails up, enough to scrape the bottom of the bridge, knocking off some concrete. The overpass is closed to pedestrian traffic pending engineering inspections. You want to know more, go HERE

It appeared everyone in the know was on hand yesterday for the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Elders, community members, political figures, and candidates galore were on hand. Snuneymuxw, the City and Public Schools partnered honour those impacted by government Indigenous assimilation policies, including residential and day schools. Get a closeup view of what transpired HERE.

It's going to be nice and toasty as we go into October with above-average temperatures. Derek Lee of Environment Canada, said we broke a record Sept. 26 with a high of 26.6 C and that should continue for the beginning of October with less precipitation. You’ll have to wait until mid October for  temperatures to normalize for the season as storms from the Pacific Ocean move into the B.C. coast. Who’s complaining? HERE

The wildfire season appears to be dwindling but it is not over. The B.C. Wildfire Service's final status update of the year shows 166 wildfires burning in the province, with 82 per cent of those classified as being held or under control. Compared to the devastating 2021 season, this has been a down year for wildfires. Despite a slow start, there had been 1,577 fires in the province as of Friday, slightly lower than the 1,610 fires in 2021. MORE

 

Seniors to be booted from hospitals to make way for Covid

Sept 30, 2022

Well you old pharts are just going to have to scram if a Covid surge breaks out this fall. The Ministry of Health expects to kick seniors out of hospitals into care facilities in preparation of a surge in serious illnesses. The president of the BC Care Providers Association said he’s not sure if it's attainable, “we just don't have the people,” said Terry Lake. He emphasized that while there are plenty of beds, the staff required to care for the person in the bed is the key problem and will take time to address. The BC Nurses’ Union says it was surprised to hear about government decanting some 1,300 patients into their own homes or assisted living, in addition to the 500 requiring more comprehensive care in long-term care facilities. MORE

A man in a wheelchair has been transported to hospital in Vancouver after a collision with a pickup truck. RCMP are investigating the incident at approximately 8 p.m. on Wednesday, near the intersection of Railway Ave and Fifth St. The vehicle involved, an older model pickup truck, was driven by a woman in her 60s who was travelling with one passenger. Both remained at the scene and co-operated with investigators. Speed and alcohol have been ruled out as factors, and it was dark and the roads were dry. RCMP

If you’re in a celebratory mood today, head down to the Rotary Bowl complex and join Snuneymuxw, the City and Public Schools’ Orange Shirt Day, honouring victims and survivors of residential schools. I opens at Rotary Bowl at 10 a.m. and cultural performances will follow from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. From noon to 4:15 p.m. people can swim and skate at the recreation centres. Food vendors will be on location and all activities and performances are free. MORE

What was that all about? The Real Canadian Superstore on Metral Drive was shut down at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday after a threat was received by the store. RCMP blocked access to the parking lot and shoppers were turned away. RCMP, Fire Rescue and B.C. Ambulance Service were called to the store. The store manager had reported a phone threat. Officers and a police dog searched the building and parking lot, but did not find anything suspicious and employees were able to re-enter the business just after 10 p.m. when it would normally have closed. MORE

Keep on keeping on. Former media guy Mark MacDonald is giving it one more try at elected office as a candidate for RDN Area C Extension on Oct. 15. He has unsuccessfully run as a federal Conservative candidate, for the B.C. Liberals nomination and for Nanaimo city council. Others running for the seat are incumbent Chris Pinker along with Lauren Melanson, Dean Toma and Susan Toth. Pinker was elected in a byelection after the death of Maureen Young who served for 16 years.

Just the news you were waiting for – winter tires or chains will be required on most British Columbia highways starting this weekend, in effect from Oct. 1 until the end of March. The provincial Ministry of Transportation says the rules will be enforced by police or ministry officials, and that those who do not comply could be turned back for non-compliance or face a $121 fine. Some of the routes that will require winter tires or chains starting Saturday include the Coquihalla Highway, and the Trans Canada Highway east of Chilliwack. MORE

This is not a local item, y’all, but it sure has a familiar ring to it. Watching the U.S. hurricane coverage I saw a report on how fast FEMA had delivered emergency housing trailers after a previous storm a couple of years ago . . . within days. Then it took more a year for the permitting process before the needy people could actually move it. Most of those trailers fell into decay in a field. So sad.

On that note, you’ve gotta love that member of Parliament from The Battlefords-Lloydminster, Rosemarie Falk who asked in the House of Commons how come carbon taxes collected to date haven’t headed off hurricanes? Good question, how come?

What if Canada Revenue Agency audited you for all the money you have received from unknown generous folks in Nigeria?

Our gasoline prices soaring like a rocket

Don’t suffer cardiac arrest in the next few days as you head out in you gas guzzling family station wagon – gasoline prices are soaring into the stratosphere and may not make a return for some time. Last night’s check revealed between $2.039 and $2.099 per litre in Nanaimo. The Lower Mainland has been hovering close to $2.40 per litre. CHECK IT OUT

The Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Business Expo is back today at the Conference Centre. It was planned for this past spring, but was pushed back by the pandemic. “The marketing runway was just too short this spring to do anything sensible, so when we moved it to the fall, it made all the sense in the world and I think we’ll do quite well,” said Kim Smythe, CEO of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, which puts on the event. MORE

Nanaimo RCMP is looking for help to find a unique bag that was lost in the Mill Bay area sometime between 1 p.m, and 1:30 p.m., on Thursday, Sept. 22, in the parking lot of a Tim Horton’s at 825 Deloume Road in Mill Bay. The owner of the bag lives in Nanaimo and reported it missing to the Shawnigan Lake RCMP. SEE PHOTO

A book by any other cover – BC Liberals are aiming for a new face. Well a new team name. The party has chosen BC United as the name that will go to party members for a vote by the end of the year. Leader Kevin Falcon had promised to change the party’s name as part of his leadership campaign. MORE

Do your homework before casting ballot, you'll pay for it

I have been keeping an eye on the civic election campaign and the list of choices is really disappointing. There are too many people who have simply filled out nominations forms and are now waiting to get lucky. Don’t get me wrong, the majority the ballot are excellent choices but do your homework before voting. You’re going to be paying for the results of the election. Think about that for a while. FULL COMMENT

Those loose screws need tightening once in a while

If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been for the last little while, I took time off for some repairs and maintenance, and I’ve been told I had a few loose screws that needed tightening. I’m that Old Phart on the walker for a while yet, but I’ll keep scanning the news for you on a regular basis. And that’s getting more difficult all the time as the news business changes to pet stories, feel-good reports, hurt feelings and victimization. National media cannot complete one newscast without “climate change.” But my hide is getting thicker.

Maybe if we don’t talk about it we won’t get hammered with outrageous gas prices like the Lower Mainland. As of last night we were still sitting at $2.039 to $2.099. Analysts predict drivers in the Lower Mainland region could soon be paying an all-time high of $2.349 per litre Wednesday, shy of the record set in June. Gas Wizard anticipates a new all-time high by Thursday of $2.399 per litre. Check the very latest Nanaimo prices HERE.

A B.C. Coroners Service report shows 169 people died of suspected drug overdoses in our province in August, about 5.5 per day. That brings the number in the first eight months of the year to within one of the record. So far this year, 1,468 toxic drug deaths have been reported.  Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson said the province is offering innovative harm-reduction solutions. MORE

Tourism Minister Melanie Mark unexpectedly resigned from cabinet yesterday. Premier John Horgan said the Minister of Tourism, Art, Culture and Sport resigned to go on medical leave to focus on pressing and urgent personal matters. She will continue to represent the riding of Vancouver-Mount Pleasant in the legislature. MORE

Election time is promise time, why should a provincial party leadership race be any different? NDP leadership shoo-in David Eby has released a sweeping plan to address housing, including fast-tracking construction of affordable homes. He said the housing supply is not keeping up with our growing population. The B.C. Builds initiative will see the government spearhead affordable home construction on public land in both rural and urban areas, including First Nations. MORE

Time to stir the pot a bit on city council election

The right to vote is the main pillar of democracy, we should never give up that right. That begins Oct. 5 with the start of advance voting. The second date is Oct. 12, three days before the election leaving no excuse not to vote.

Hot button issues rock the boat and stir election interest. When discussion isn’t there voter interest usually drops and that is always a concern. In the previous election in 2018 there was lots of interest in cleaning house and almost the entire council was changed.

We have been blessed with a relatively good council in the past four years after the disaster we suffered though with the previous group. Aside for a penchant by some councillors to play games outside their purview, it’s been a stable group. 

The steady hand at the top has given us four years respite from the turmoil the previous gang was notorious for. That rests squarely on the shoulders of Mayor Len Krog who has kept the divergent group on an even keel. It’s doubtful if anyone could have done a better job.

So what’s there for issues for the voting public to get stirred up about? It doesn’t matter if we individually agree with some of council’s action. As a matter of fact, that can be good.

Generally we don’t engage in slate or party politics at this level. The last time that was tried the entire slate was wiped clean. What we hear most from the public is the property tax increases influenced by unbalanced housing price increases. Some people have been paying way above average, and they want to know why. We know why, imprudent spending by city council.

Some councillors have been on an unofficial common cause – Gang Green. The like-minded Brown, Geselbracht, Hemmens and Bonner have focussed on saving the planet because that’s their religion – costly redesign of infrastructure to cater to a non-fossil-fuel Nirvana. They stand up for what they believe in, no matter what the eventual response. 

More spending on street redesign and bicycle paths requires more money – translation, higher taxes. That makes it easier for voters knowing they are either for or against something. The question is whether we can or want to afford them. Metral Drive resdeign is an example of concept over functionality. It’s pretty, and doesn’t matter whether it works. Here we have transparency and voters can now decide which path to move forward on.

Identifying the politics makes it clear for voters what to support or not to support. How they respond will likely impact our future for years to come. Is that where we want to go, on the blind path of unaffordable climatism?

Our population is aging, old bones are not meant to be tortured on bicycles. Streets and roads have one purposes, to move traffic. Traffic “calming” is a contradiction.

I have been on the local civic politics scene for 40 years and have seen a lot from both the outside and the inside, including six years as a city councillor. Some voters regularly contact me to learn more about elections and whom they might support. I don’t endorse candidates, but I’ll express my two bits worth on the backgrounds, performance and qualifications of both incumbents and newcomers. 

With the retirement of Coun. Jim Turley there will be at least one new face on city council. Looking at the list, there are a number of highly-qualified people offering their services, and that could result in some of the current council being left out of the top eight on election night. 

Community profile means a lot in a local election, people tend to vote for names and people they know. Some names stick out more than others. Former Hospital Foundation CEO Janice Perrino has the experience as the former Mayor and councillor of Summerland. Former member of Parliament Paul Manly and retired cop Norm Smith are also at the head of that list. Some others who tried last time may have made their mark in the meantime and could surprise.

It remains to be seen what voters decide, more of the same or zipping down the barely-used bike paths on an e-bike into political retirement. After all, that’s what elections are all about, the choices that we make. Just be happy we have choices. You can agree or disagree with your greatest weapon – your ballot.

Regional directors approve raises for new board

There’s nothing like a raise before you start a new job. Regional District directors get a raise on their very first day in office. The board approved $23,100 annual pay for municipal directors (city councillors) while electoral area directors get $46,200. The chairman gets $84,000 as a municipal director. So as a city councillor getting $44,774 there's the extra $23,100 for RDN work, for a total of $68,734.

Based on Councillor Tyler Brown as chair of the RDN, he would get a combined $128,774 while Mayor Leonard Krog’s total would be $139,081.

 

We know the answer, now what's the question?

Russia is conducting a referendum on whether Ukrainians want to be under Russian rule. There's little doubt about the outcome. However would you trust that referendum any less than one connected with the U.S. electoral process?

 

Meet The Candidates on Thursday

Kim Smythe

The Chamber of Commerce will hold a public election education and awareness ‘Meet the Candidates Night’ tonight at Beban Park beginning at 6:30 pm.

“We are accustomed to providing voting information and candidate introductions in the lead-up to elections over the years. With the large number of candidates running, we felt this was the best way of providing exposure for them and a learning experience for voters,” says Kim Smythe, Nanaimo Chamber CEO. “The event will be free for voters to attend and candidates will help pool funds for the Chamber to recover its costs for producing and promoting the event.” Parking at Beban Park is also free.

“With 29 Council candidates, four Mayoral contestants, and 13 School Trustees we are expecting a very full house and look forward to all candidates showing up, although registration for candidate’s tables is still open.” The Chamber will not be producing a Candidate’s Debate this year. Meet the Candidates Night was timed well in advance of the first Advance Voting Poll on October 5.

City operations shut down to honour Queen Elizabeth II

The City  will close Monday to observe the Day of Mourning for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

The day of mourning recognizes the impact Her Majesty's life and example have had on Canadians, most of whom have known only one monarch.

Because of the City's closure, the Council Meeting scheduled for Sept. 19, will be rescheduled to Sept. 21 at 9 am.

This Special Council meeting will include the agenda items from the Finance and Audit Committee, formerly scheduled for that day.

Nanaimo recreation centres will be closed on Sept. 19.

Public works will continue to collect garbage, organics and recycling as scheduled. Recycling and organics will be collected from Zone 10 and garbage and organics will be collected from Zone 5. As usual, please have your bins out by 8am.

The recycling receiving facility and organics disposal facility will be open on Monday.

RCMP seek help to identify witness

The Nanaimo RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the person shown in the attached photo. This individual is a witness to an incident that occurred in mid to late August, 2022 in Nanaimo. Due to nature of the incident, investigators cannot release any further information on the individual or the nature of the investigation.

If anyone has information that can assist in identifying this individual, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, and quote file # 2022-31620.

 

Dorman withdraws from Oct. 15 mayoral race

Saturday, Sept. 17

And then there were four candidates for mayor. The Chief Election Officer has accepted the withdrawal of Tim Dorman as candidate for Mayor in the 2018 General Local Election. The deadline for candidates to withdraw from the election was 4 pm on Friday, Sept 16. For more information visit www.nanaimo.ca/elections.

It will take me a little time to catch up after a first-hand look at the inside of Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. Aside from overworked staff and a heavy workload, everything is pretty well 'normal', if you know what that means. I have a new hip now, so onward and upward.

The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce will hold a public election education and awareness ‘Meet the Candidates Night’ on Thursday, Sept. 22 at Beban Park beginning at 6:30 pm. MORE

 

Candidates have an escape clause if they want out

Monday, Sept. 12

GOOD MORNING – With 34 candidates for city council some could be getting cold feet after discovering some of the harsh realities of biting off more than they can chew. Well, there is an escape clause, they have until 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16 to withdraw. After that they are in for the whole ride.

It's still hazy out there and the smoky conditions could linger depending on the forest fire situation. Nanaimo's air quality health index has hovered at 5 out of 10, moderate risk. “People with pre-existing health conditions, respiratory infections such as COVID-19, older adults, pregnant women and infants, children, and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure,” Environment Canada said.

What are the issues in this election? We’ve opened a section in our election coverage for readers to their say. Voters are responding on what issues are important to them. Let the candidates know what you expect from them. CHECK THIS OUT.

When Doug Slowski of Nanaimo booked a trip London some time ago, leaving on Wednesday, he never imagined he would be in the midst of history in the making. His hotel is in the heart of the events that form part of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. Slowski is with the Air Cadet League, and the trip also includes a photo session in front of 10 Downing St., home of Britain’s new Prime Minister. Schedule subject to change, says Doug.

Family and friends paid tribute this weekend to 29-year-old Fred Parsons who was killed over the long weekend at Maffeo Sutton Park. They remembered him as a generous, goofy and thoughtful individual. Parsons who was stabbed to death on Sep. 5 while at the park with a friend. HIs mother, Cindy Parsons, said her son was with two other friends for a late-night stroll. A 19-year-old  man has been charged with second degree murder. MORE 

To virtually no one’s surprise, B.C. Liberal candidate Elenore Sturko won the Surrey South byelection on Saturday. Sturko, a sergeant on leave from the RCMP, clinched the seat with approximately 52 per cent of the vote. Pauline Greaves came in second with about 30 per cent. The byelection was called to fill the seat vacated by Stephanie Cadieux, a former cabinet minister, when she became Canada's first chief accessibility officer. MORE

A challenge to Poilievre – put a new face on the party

Brian Peckford has a list of three things the new Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre can do today to prove that the politics of his party has changed — not just a new face. If not it will be a another case of same-old, same-old. FULL COMMENTARY

Voters have their say on the top issues of the campaign

Sept. 11, 2022

GOOD MORNING – What are your top issues in this election? We’ve opened a section in our election coverage for readers to express their wants and wishes from the candidates. Voters are responding on what's are important to them. Have your say on what you expect from the candidates. Here are a few samples. CHECK THIS OUT.

The Go Fund Me campaign for the VI Raiders has topped $5,000 of a target of 50 grand. The club needs help in replacing about $50,000 in equipment that was stolen from their storage locker. CHECK IT OUT.

Is this fair? A Nanoose Bay couple has been flushed with a huge water bill due to an undetected water leak. Rhonda Leigh and Clark Rutledge believe the Regional District of Nanaimo forgiveness policy is outdated. Their water bill spurted to $6,400, from an average of about $400, due to an underground leak that occurred this year. The leak was not detected as RDN only conducts water meter readings every eight months. The rest of the story.

Smoke gets in your eyes . Environment Canada predicts continuing smoke over Vancouver Island into today. Victoria is expected to see the most smoke, but areas as far north as Gold River can expect to see smoky skies. There is a chance of minor rainfall that could alleviate some of the smoke for the Island by today. MORE

Since federal politics affects all of us in some ways, Pierre Poilievre is the new leader of the Conservative party. He won a first-ballot victory Saturday evening. The long-time MP and cabinet minister from Ontario won the election decisively, with 22,993 of about 33,800 electoral points. Poilievre secured support across the country, as the first choice in almost every riding. MORE

The race is on for Victoria city council. Only one of the eight councillors is seeking re-election, but there are 37 candidates in the race for those seats, and eight for mayor. MORE

Today is the day the world remembers the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack on the World Trade centre and other U.S. targets. Americans remember 9/11 today with tributes, and pleas to “never forget,” 21 years after the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil. Victims’ relatives and dignitaries also convened at the other two attack sites, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. MORE

Second degree murder charge laid in park homicide

Mark Harrison of Nanaimo, 19, has been charged with second degree murder in the Sept. 5 homicide in Nanaimo. Harrison was arrested Thursday without incident. He appeared in Nanaimo Provincial Court this morning, and was remanded into police custody to await his next court appearance Sept. 20. 

Voters have many choices for mid-Island elections

Sept 10, 2022

NANAIMO – Thirty four people want to sit on Nanaimo City Council. There are five candidates for mayor and 29 want to become city councillors after nominations closed Friday. Seven incumbents are seeking re-election along with 22 newcomers. Mayor Leonard Krog has four challengers. FULL LIST MAYOR and COUNCIL

SCHOOL BOARD – There will be a race for school board with 13 candidates for nine seats. With only five trustees seeking re-election there will be at least four new trustees. FULL LIST

LANTZVILLE - Just up the road, the District of Lantzville has a two-way race for mayor with Mayor Mark Swain battling Stan Pottie. Seven candidates are contesting four council seats. The only incumbent in the race is Ian Savage. FULL LIST

REGIONAL DISTRICT – There were three uncontested areas in the Nanaimo Regional District. There are five candidates in Area C, Extension, East Wellington, Pleasant Valley. There’s a four-way race in Electoral Area A, South Wellington Cassidy and Cedar. Electoral Area F, Coombs, Hilliers, Errington has two candidates while Area F, Dashwood, Englishman River, French Creek also has two. The three unopposed incumbents are Vanessa Craig, Area B Gabriola and surrounding Islands, Bob Rogers in Area E Nanoose, and Stuart McLean Area H, Shaw Hill, Deep Bay, Bowser. FULL LIST

To say there will be a shakeup on Victoria city council would be an understatement – there will be no less than seven new city councillors after the Oct. 15 election. The only councillor seeking re-election is two-termer Ben Isitt. Five councillors are not running again, while two others are running for mayor, leaving their council positions open.

VI Raiders alumnus and all-time great Andrew Harris of the Toronto Argonauts hasn’t forgotten his roots. Andrew has kicked in five hundred bucks on a Go Fund Me campaign to help the Raiders recover from the devastating loss of $50,000 in equipment in a recent burglary. Every little bit helps from ten bucks to $20 or $50 or match even Andrew. GO HERE

Nominations close at 4 p.m. today for Oct. 15 election

Nominations for civic elections close at 4 p.m. today with 21 candidates so far for city council seats and four for mayor. Those numbers are expected to grow before the deadline. Notable among the long lists of newcomers is former Member of Parliament Paul Manly. As of last night there were nine nominees for school board, including five incumbents. That list is also expected to grow today. Make sure you check out the Daily Buzz election section listing all candidates HERE and follow the links.

The city and Snuneymuxw are developing transitional housing and support for homeless members of the First Nation. The city got $2.5 million federal and provincial Strengthening Communities’ Services Program grant. Three portable buildings, with four units apiece, will be set up on Snuneymuxw longhouse property in Cedar. One building, already on site, is expected to be occupied in the coming weeks, while the others should to be operational in February. MORE

No charges have been laid as the investigation continues into the homicide at Maffeo Sutton Park. A 29-year-old man was stabbed to death on Monday. Shortly after police found the fatally-injured man, several people were arrested and taken into custody. They have since been released and no charges are pending. R/Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP has asked anyone who was at the park Monday evening between 10:30 and midnight and witnessed an altercation, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, and quote file #2022-31326. MORE

Apparently two boaters didn’t get the memo when it comes to boozing and boating, after their late night moonlit paddle drew the attention of Nanaimo Mounties. The incident occurred at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Monday, in Newcastle Channel. MORE

The Nanaimo Chamber Business Expo is back on Sept. 28 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. This is first Business Expo since pre-pandemic in 2019. And there’s a Prosperity Forum luncheon which will update Nanaimo’s Economy and Development Status. There will be four breakout sessions. More on those sessions and the luncheon can be found by clicking here. A happy hour with networking follows at 5 p.m. Click here for more information and click here to register. 

What are the main issues for you in the Oct. 15 municipal election? To encourage our readers to participate in the election we invite you to tell us what your main issues are and we’ll make sure the candidates see them. Send your comments to editor@nanaimonet.com and we’ll make sure councillors get them. The rules are simple, stick to the issues, keep it clean and no personal insults.

Statement from Mayor Krog on death of Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

For most Canadians like me, Queen Elizabeth II is the only monarch we have ever known, a constant presence in an ever-changing world, and the person for whom we sang “God Save the Queen” with real feeling.

Since her coronation in 1953, she worked tirelessly with devotion to unite rather than divide, to serve rather than be served, and to uphold the standards of her office in a manner that is a model for all leaders. For 70 years of unrelenting commitment of upholding the British Constitution, Queen Elizabeth II demonstrated grace, charm, wit and keen intelligence, even in the face of existential threats to her nation.

The era of the Greatest Generation is passing. The people who withstood a crushing global economic depression, followed by World War II and the lasting effects of that conflict, have grown old, and most have passed away. Now their greatest leader has gone, too.

Leonard Krog,
Mayor
City of Nanaimo

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving British monarch has died at the age of 96. Buckingham Palace announced her death on social media Thursday morning.
11 a.m. Sept. 8, 2022

Best of intentions can sometimes waste a lot of money

Sept. 8, 2022

With Nanaimo voters set to elect a new city council on Oct. 15, a note out of the City of Terrace is a heads up about noble ideas that can go awry. Terrace has short-circuited its expensive experiment with solar panels and put them in storage. The 12 panels were installed a decade ago on the roof of city hall to charge a Toyota Prius hybrid the city bought. The idea was that electricity from the panels would charge the car’s battery but it didn’t work out that way. The panels didn’t work and interfered with regular city hall roof maintenance. MORE

Speaking of the election, six more candidates filed nomination papers with the city on Wednesday. Joining the race are Paul Chapman, Hilary Eastmure, Derek Hanna, Peter Lee, Alan Macdonald and David Wong. We’ll try to get their campaign platforms as soon as possible. The filing deadline is 4 p.m. Friday and many more are expected by that time, including some incumbent councillors. MORE

A Nanaimo community health nurse has agreed to a one-week suspension for misrepresenting his vaccine status and supplying unprescribed cannabis to a senior. The B.C. College of Nurses and Midwives inquiry committee panel reached a consent agreement with Jeremiah Isaksen in relation to incidents in 2021 and 2022. He agreed to the suspension and “review informed consent and complete a course on ethics.” MORE

The John Howard Society has a new name – Connective, aligning with other former John Howard branches in Vancouver and Kamloops. John Horn, executive director of the Nanaimo branch says the lets them do much more locally and across Vancouver Island. It allows all branches to operate on the same framework of criminal justice and social exclusion. MORE

What are the main issues in city council election?

What has city council done in the past four years that really ruffles your feathers? The calls I’m getting about the election have a similar ring to them – voters who want something different are usually the ones who take the time to call.

To give our readers an opportunity to participate in the election we invite you to tell us what you see as the main issues in the election are and we’ll make sure the candidates see them and have a chance to respond.  You can pose questions directly to candidates. Send your comments to editor@nanaimonet.com and we’ll make sure they get them. Whether they answer, that’s another question but that will tell you a lot in itself. The rules are simple, stick to the issues, keep it clean and no personal insults.

Mayor kicks off election campaign with 'Meet and Greet'

You could call it the informal launch of the election campaign – Mayor Leonard Krog is having an open house meet and greet session tonight from 5-7 p.m. at Cavallotti Hall at 2060 East Wellington Road. It’s open to everyone and three will be refreshments.

Now that students are back in school, some of them are in safer classrooms after seismic upgrades at Pleasant Valley and Cilaire elementary schools. The province has put $18.8 million for the upgrades, creating 590 seismically-safe seats for students. Students are back in their neighbourhood schools after they were relocated during the upgrades. MORE

On that note, no more zooming through school zones. Kids are back in school and that means easing your foot off the gas pedal to 30 km school zones. Cst. Gary O’Brien says it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure kids make it to class safely. And often the worst offenders are parents who’ve just dropped off their kids at school, he says.

If you’re looking for a home, the average single-family home in Nanaimo sold for $905,289 in August, 26 per cent more than a year ago. John Cooper reports 72 single-family homes sold – 27 per cent fewer than last year. But they were selling faster, days on market decreased to 19 days. The average condo sold for $455,742 while unit sales are also down. The average row/townhouse sold for $580,353. Lot prices have increased by 81 per cent to an average $758,875.  
Down the road in Parksville-Qualicum the average single family home sold for $973,639 while the condos sold for $441,637and row/townhouses $708,792. LINK TO MARKET REPORTS.

Home ownership got just a little more expensive as the Bank of Canada hiked its key interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point today, bringing it to 3.25 per cent. Global inflation remains high while the Canadian economy continues to operate in “excess demand.” The inflation rate was 7.6 per cent in July, down from 8.1 per cent in June as gas prices fell. The bank says its core measures of inflation continues to move up and short-term inflation expectations remain high. MORE

The number of people living with dementia could triple by 2050. However, The Alzheimer Society says there may be ways to reduce the impact of the disease. The new report, called “Navigating the path forward for dementia in Canada,” is the first volume of The Landmark Study, which has been prepared by the Alzheimer Society of Canada. The study, being released as three reports, represents the most significant update of the dementia prevalence in Canada. MORE

Thieves steal $50,000 in Raiders' football equipment

It’s tough winning on the field, but even tougher off field it seems. Vancouver Island Raiders has had a tough past few years off the field. Last September their changeroom at Comox Field was broken into with damages and equipment loss of $15,000. Last month, a fire was deliberately set at their facility at Caledonia Parkcausing significant smoke damage to the interior. And now, thieves broke into their equipment building stealing an estimated $50,000 in equipment on Aug. 31, at their practice facility at 110 Wall St. MORE

Man stabbed to death in Maffeo-Sutton Park

An adult and a youth are in after an overnight fatal stabbing on Monday at Maffeo Sutton Park. The victim is a 29-year-old man from Nanaimo. Police were initially called to a report of a group of youths intimidating a security guard along the waterfront.  The suspects fled and while officers were conducting patrols for them, an officer came upon the stabbing victim and his friend who had been bear sprayed. The victims were located prior to being able to call 911 for assistance. MORE

Kids are heading back to school today

Sept 6, 2022

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – And what a good morning it is for a lot of happy mamas – the kids are heading back to school today, even if it will be ever so briefly. Schools have varying hours today, but it will be the regular grind by tomorrow. MORE

Have you noticed? No election signs up yet. New city bylaw limits signs to no sooner than 30 days before election date. Kinda nice, isn’t it? We’re free until Sept. 15.

Goodbye to the Modern Café – A downtown mainstay is being replaced as the Modern Café transitions to become Gabriel’s Gourmet Café under new ownership. A social media post says it will bring a new and unique elevated culinary experience to Nanaimo. Just for nostalgia sake, it might be a good idea to visit the Modern one last time between now and theModern’s  final day Sept. 18. 

Farewell to Patrick O’Dwyer who is leaving Nanaimo for a big new post as Regional Sales Manager at the Revolution Auto Group in Grande Prairie. They have five Locations with multiple franchise brands including Mazda, Kia, GM, Ford, and used. He says he’s looking forward to being a part of communities that think more politically like he does. 

Smear tactic part of the unaccountable political game

I watched U.S. President Biden’s speech Sept. 1 and realized that he was delivering a boilerplate stump speech used on both sides of the border. In 2016 Hillary Clinton, running for the US presidency, referred to Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables. There is nothing like degrading a few million American citizens when your only focus is on acquiring votes and power. In December 2021, Prime Minister Trudeau labelled the unvaccinated as racist and misogynistic extremists without a shred of evidence. Then Biden scurrilously labels Trump supporters as radicals dangerous to democracy. FULL COMMENT

Emergencies Act Inquiry – Government investigating itself

The unconstitutional imposition of provisions of the Emergencies Act by a Liberal Government earlier this year involved an Act introduced into Parliament and passed by a Conservative Government in 1985. So we have the two major political parties involved in this travesty of justice. This draconian measure to put down peaceful civil disobedience by truckers, their families, friends, and supporters in the nation’s capital is indeed momentous and inconsistent with Canada’s adherence to democratic principles.  FULL COMMENTARY.

Our readers can be part of the election process

Friday is the deadline for nominations for the Oct. 15 municipal elections for city council, regional district and school board. Some candidates have already launched their campaigns on Nanaimonet. The Mayor Page is HERE and you can find the council page HERE.  We’re giving our readers a chance to be part of it with a sound off section. You may not be a candidate but you can be part of the process by expressing your two bits worth about the issues in the election. What turns your crank – bike lanes, taxes, Metral Drive, homeless problems? You can pose questions directly to the candidates. The rules are simple, stick to the issues, keep it clean and no personal attacks or insults. Send your comments to editor@nanaimonet.com

There's lots to do on this Labour Day weekend

Monday, Sept. 5

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – All is pretty quiet on the western front with the long weekend but you won’t have to look far to find something to do today, with bearable temperatures having returned. The annual Labour Council Labour Day Picnic hits Transfer Beach in Ladysmith today, 11 to 3 p.m. Check it out HERE.

The Multiple Myeloma March is today at Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park. The number of Canadians with the disease is increasing every year, highlighting the need for money for life-saving treatments and care. MORE

Hats off to Dave Lawrence for his successful Fresh Start yesterday, giving kids a free haircut and school supplies. The owner of That 50’s Barber Shop was busy clipping away Sunday, giving away haircuts, backpacks, clothing and school supplies. The community responded with countless donations. Dave says word got out and it became massive, with likely more donations than any other year. MORE

The first word we've had about a meet the candidates event is Mayor Leonard Krog's Meet and Greet at Cavallotti Hall, 5-7 p.m. Wedneday, Sept. 7. And there's a candidates event at the Beacon House at Protection Island on September 17 at 12 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Enjoy it, tomorrow it's "I owe, I owe, it's off to work I go, I owe, I owe."

Complete election campaign coverage is right here

Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022

Long weekends often wind up very dry when it comes to news, there’s virtually nothing to report. So this is a good time to look at the October 15 civic election as the campaign grinds to a start. A number of candidates have filed their nomination papers but have not produced their campaign information. 

Nanaimonet is developing a comprehensive election website for all candidates to feature their names with photos, with links to full campaign web pages and more. Make sure that your campaign makes an impression, call me at 250-616-0416 or e-mail merv.unger@nanaimonet.com

 We’re hearing a lot of suggestions whispers about who will actually be on the ballot, but that’s what makes elections interesting. For instance, Former mayor and councillor Gary Korpan has been out and about seeking signatures for his nomination as councillor. Will he be on the ballot?

People sometime question why certain people run in elections. Every eligible citizen has a right to run for office, but should they? In every election there are citizens qualified to vote but not necessarily qualified carry out the role of councillors or mayors. It’s a big job, but that’s the benefit of our democratic process. Good luck to all of them.

The annual Nanaimo Duncan and District Labour Council Labour Day Picnic hits Transfer Beach in Ladysmith on Monday, 11 to 3 p.m. They promise a lot of fun for all ages with music, hot dogs, bouncy castles and more. Best of all, it’s free. Check it out HERE.

The Vancouver Island Multiple Myeloma March goes tomorrow, Monday, at Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park. The goal is to raise $35,000. Myeloma is the second-most common form of blood cancer. The reality is, the number of Canadians with the disease is increasing every year, highlighting the need for money for life-saving treatments and care. MORE

Are we ready for party politics at the city council level?

Party politics is the norm in bigger cities in British Columbia where like-minded candidates form slates to seek election. Nanaimo had one such venture a couple of decades ago but that proved a total flop.

I bring this up because there are hints of a special interest group going in that direction, specifically the Freedom Convey group opposed to government mandates (to keep Canada free), reportedly having a slate of 10 candidates for council and one for mayor. Three possible candidates who participated in the city’s Zoom candidate training session appeared to be a team but did not post their names or reveal their agenda.

That’s more than forming a slate for the election, it’s a far-out special interest seeking a platform to disseminate their message. Such a group running as a slate may actually be a good thing so voters can identify who they are and what they stand for before casting their votes.

VI University gets $87 million for student housing

Sept. 3, 2022

GOOD MORNING NANAIMO – Vancouver Island University got a big boost when the provincial government dropped $87 million for 266 new student housing beds and a new dining hall. Advanced education and skills training minister Anne Kang delivered the good news to the campus on Friday, increasing on-campus housing to 802 beds from 536. The whole project is expected to cost $87.5 million the university picking up the difference. Construction on the nine-storey building is expected to begin in 2023 and be completed in time for the fall semester in 2025.

Three more candidates have thrown their hat in the ring for city council seats. Coun. Sheryl Armstrong is seeking re-election while Ken Bennett and Mike Hartlaub are dipping their toes in the water.

If you thought August was hot you were right. Nanaimo surpassed the average of 18.2 degrees, with records going back to the late 1800s. The August average was 20.8 degrees. It was also exceptionally dry with less than one millimetre of rain when you usually get 28 mm. MORE

The Vancouver Island Multiple Myeloma March is Monday, Sept. 5 at Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park. The goal is to raise $35,000. Each day, 11 Canadians are diagnosed with myeloma, the second-most common form of blood cancer. The reality is, the number of Canadians with the disease is increasing every year, highlighting the need for money for “life-saving treatments and care. MORE

Nobody ever said crooks were smart. RCMP arrested a man after a reported robbery of another man outside bank machine while wielding a loaded syringe about a month ago. Police say a man was withdrawing cash from an ATM outside the bank on Nicol Street when another man approached him brandishing a "loaded syringe" and demanded money. ATM surveillance video showed the suspect and he was arrested in short order. MORE

It's a long weekend and that means people travel, but get ready for sailing waits if you don’t have assured loading. BC Ferries says staffing isn’t a concern for the long weekend. “Staffing right now is looking good,” said Daniel McIntosh, BC Ferries communications manager. “I don’t have any reports of any delays or any issues or any sailings that are in jeopardy. That’s the projections as we head into the weekend as well.” MORE

Canada partners with WEF to unleash digital IDs

Partnering with the World Economic Forum is not in the best interest of the people of Canada. We do not need government digital identification in any form. Our private lives are just that – private and confidential. No government has the authority to require us to provide personal information except to manage services such as health care and only then under strict regulation to confine that information to its intended purpose. COMMENTARY

Candidates lining up for October election – four for mayor

Sept 2, 2022

They’re coming out of the woodwork as dozens of names float around as possible council candidates. I’m publishing only those who have filed nominations papers to date and will keep the list updated. Three entrants have joined the mayoral race along with Mayor Leonard Krog. They are Brunie Brunie, Tasha Brown and Agnes Provost. Councillor Ian Thorpe is giving it another go. He is the longest-serving member of the current council, having served two terms.  During the past term he was appointed to the Mayor’s Leaders’ Table as a member of the Infrastructure Working Group. As expected, former Nanaimo Hospital Foundation CEO Janice Perrino has filed papers for councillor and also on board is Erin Hemmens, who has served one term on council to date.

Former city councillor Gord Fuller is not running again but he’s not going away quitely. In a written statement he said the council on which he served made a lot of positive changes that could have saved the city millions yearly . . . with only half the core review completed. “This council scrapped it all for higher taxes and bike lanes. They even scrapped the changes to the credit card policy; the policy they all bitched about. Folks got what they wanted; back to self-serving individuals with a lack of foresight and imagination,” he concluded.

Criminal Code charges have been laid against the driver in a fatal car crash in May, 2021 that claimed the life of a 74-year-old woman. The incident occurred at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway. Nanaimo RCMP Traffic Unit arrested 50-year-old Colin Hewitt on charges of Dangerous Driving Causing Death, Impaired Driving Causing Death and Impaired Operation over .08 Causing Death. MORE

The B.C. Prosecution Service has approved charges against a Nanaimo RCMP officer in connection with a September, 2021 crash. At the time, Const. Elie Mohsen, a Nanaimo RCMP officer, was involved in a crash between a police vehicle and a motorcycle. MORE

Island Health is advising residents and visitors about limited operating hours for urgent care services at the Chemainus Health Care Centre (CHCC) during September. When urgent care at CHCC is not open, people should proceed to the Ladysmith Community Health Centre  or Cowichan District Hospital. During the hours when CHCC is not open, Island Health will allocate additional resources to Ladysmith and Cowichan to support staff and patients. MORE

Nanaimo RCMP are looking a suspect using a syringe as a weapon after a man was robbed at a bank machine. It happened in early August at a bank on Nicol Street. The victim told RCMP that he was withdrawing money when the suspect approached and demanded money. The suspect took some money and fled. MORE

The shocking demise of our Parliamentary system

When you have newly-resurrected Green MP Elizabeth May lamely saying perhaps we should have a Parliamentary debate or it might be appropriate to do so concerning spending money on war, you know we are in trouble as a democracy. They are all feeding out of the public trough with little accountability. This is a Party that many thought held some promise to hold the political middle in our country and then they go and blow it all. COMMENTARY

Last Commercial Street market of the season tonight

Sept 1, 2022

 – How do you spell success? The Chamber of Commerce spells it “street market.” Tonight is the final market on Commercial Street from 5 – 9 p.m. Chamber boss Kim Smythe is ecstatic with how the summer has gone, even the weatherman co-operated. Attendance held steady, close to previous years before the pandemic shut things down. So head on down there tonight for a great time. MORE

Michael Ribicic is making another attempt at convincing Nanaimo voters he should be on city council. At 27 he believes he’ll be one of the younger faces in the race. He also ran in the last election, finishing in 18th place. A reminder to all prospective candidates, make sure you contact The Daily Buzz to get your message out to the voting public. Contact Merv Unger at merv.unger@Shaw.ca or call 250-616-0416.

The next stage of an apartment development in the north end of the city is moving ahead. City council has granted a development permit for two, five-storey apartment buildings in the triangle at the Island  Highway and Nanaimo Parkway. Thirteen studio spaces, 89 one-bedroom and 47 two-bedroom apartments are included in the design, all devoted to market rentals. The project includes 78 underground and 86 surface parking spaces. MORE

What she called a party in disarray has led Elizabeth May try to reclaim the leadership of the federal Green Party, saying she wants to turn it into an influential force, including on fighting climate change. She is running on a joint ticket with Jonathan Pedneault, an expert on crisis situations who has investigated war zones including Afghanistan. “I have made mistakes and I apologize for them. The past two years have been hard on all of us,” she said. MORE

Making the numbers work, the B.C. government's summary financial statements for the 2021-22 fiscal year contain inaccuracies, says auditor general. Michael Pickup described three departures from "generally accepted accounting principles." Finance Minister Selina Robinson announced a surprise $1.3 billion budget surplus for the fiscal year that ended back in March. B.C. recorded payments from other governments and non-government sources as deferred revenue, or liabilities, rather than revenue. The surplus would have been $6.48 billion higher, and liabilities would have been lowered by the same amount," the auditor general's office stated. There were other deficiencies as well. MORE

Former Nanaimo man victim of homicide in Calgary

22-09-01 – Brett Davidson, 39, formerly from Nanaimo, has been identified as the victim of a homicide in Calgary last Saturday. City police said Davidson was attacked randomly, without provocation, by a man with a knife. Investigators do not believe the two men had met before. After the assault, the suspect left the area while the Davidson stumbled out of the building and onto the street where he collapsed. His family in Nanaimo has asked for privacy as they navigate their loss.