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Experienced teachers' may pass $100,000 threshold

Nov. 1, 2022

Experienced teachers will earn more than $100,000 a year under the tentative contract agreement between the B.C. Teachers' Federation and the province. BCTF President Clint Johnston recommends members accept the contract that offers significant salary gains and other important benefits. He said it will take teachers from near the lowest-paid in Canada into the top tier. The annual pay for teachers on the high end of the salary grid will be $10,000 to $13,500 more per year, by the end of the three-year term.  MORE

Drought conditions have eased only slightly after several days of heavy rain on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. The online drought map shows the area is down to Level 4 since being at the most severe Level 5 earlier last month. MORE

Bars and pubs in the province will be allowed to extend their hours during the FIFA World Cup between Nov. 20 and Dec. 18, but there will be no booze during the extra time. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said liquor primary establishments will have the option to be open beyond their licensed operating hours – with no alcohol served. The World Cup is being held in Qatar, and with the 10-hour time difference, many of the matches are scheduled late at night or early in the morning. MORE


40 years in Nanaimo has been time well spent

Oct. 31, 2022

Forty years ago today, my wife and I with four kids, and all our earthly belongings boarded the Queen of Alberni at Horseshoe Bay on one of the most important chapters of our lives. We became Nanaimoites. The kids are over 50 years old now, and have all left the nest.

That’s half of my life, and have things ever changed. Nanaimo’s population was just under 50,000 in 1982 and now we’re more than double that. And when I turned in the Budget rental truck I was shocked that the gasoline fill-up was more than 50 cents a litre. Many more things have changed over those years, it would take a book to chronicle all of them.

As a journalist for the Daily Free Press and later the News Bulletin, I had my finger on the pulse of this community, if it was happening I knew about it.

As I reminisce about those four decades, it was the people I met who stand out, and naming them would read like a phone book. It’s risky to start naming some because I’m sure to miss some. The people who were leaders in our community stand out. 

For instance, at the top of the list has to be Frank Ney – mayor, pirate, entrepreneur and marketer par excellence. As a reporter covering weekend events you could be sure Frank would be there whether it was a birthday party, wedding anniversary or business event.

It may surprise some people, but I spent a lot of time with Dave Stupich, former member of Parliament and MLA. We were on opposite sides of the political fence but always found common ground. I spent the day of his final election with him, going to the polls and later watching the results come in at his private office in the Dunsmuir Building. It was the end of an era.

There were other memorable ones like mayors Graeme Roberts and Gary Korpan. Another individual I’ve always had time for Leonard Krog as an MLA and now mayor. . . and most important, a genuine friend.

Over the years, the political left has labelled me as a righty, while at the same time, right wingers called me a lefty. Now that’s walking a fine line.

There’s so much I love about my four decades here and the opportunity to participate where I could. I have been privileged to work with volunteers who have served over those 40 years on those organizations to give Nanaimo such a solid foundation. It’s the organizations and the people who are making Nanaimo great. Any accomplishments have been because of them.

St. John Ambulance is front and centre where over a decade I participated with the Nanaimo branch executive, rising to the level of Officer of the Order of St. John and earning a citation from Queen Elizabeth. And we raised $1.2 million for a new building. It was the volunteers who made the difference. It was an honour to serve as president, director on the provincial board and president of the St. John Foundation of B.C. and Yukon.

Six years as a city councillor from 2005 to 2011 cannot be matched, and as a director of the Regional District for part of that time. And the Nanaimo Port Authority, 2012-2015.

The most satisfying accomplishment was as co-chairman of the Safer Nanaimo Working Group, with Diane Brennan and later Fred Pattje, recognized with the Solicitor General’s award for the Best Community Safety Program in the province. The highlight was the creation of a housing strategy which resulted in about 140 units being built for homeless people in Nanaimo. 

The Nanaimo Hospital Board in the mid-1980s built the new emergency department and formed the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation. There were the great veterans at the Vancouver Island Military Museum and Coun. Loyd Sherry securing a permanent location and the Wall of Honour. 

I have always been dedicated to community safety and that led to the Community Policing Advisory Committee, Crime Stoppers, Citizens On Patrol, Bar Watch Program, the Nanaimo Addiction Foundation and the Mayor’s Crystal Meth Task Force.

Also the Chamber of Commerce, the B.C. Summer Games and the B.C. Disability Games in 2005, the Newcastle Island Pavilion Society and many more.

Those organizations and the literally hundreds of people are why I view Nanaimo as a great place to call home. I’m extremely fortunate to have been able to contribute with them. That’s 40 years well spent, and I don’t regret a minute, except for hours spent in ferry lineups. 

Family doctors in B.C. get a new payment model

Oct. 31, 2022

The B.C. government is overhauling the payment model for family doctors in an attempt to retain them and attract new ones. The new model, co-developed by Doctors of BC, BC Family Doctors and the provincial government, will be available as of February. The new system moves away from the fee-for-service model and takes into account factors including time a doctor spends with a patient, the number of patients a doctor sees in a day, and the number of total patients a doctor supports through their office. Based on these targets, doctors will earn $385,000, up from an average of $250,000. MORE 

B.C. teachers have reached a tentative agreement with the province on a new contract. The BC Teachers Federation executive committee reviewed the terms over the weekend and decided to recommend the deal for a province-wide ratification vote, scheduled to take place from Nov. 16 to 18. MORE

Please don’t let your kids eat any Halloween treats before you personally inspect them. The province warns families to check for possible cannabis products and worse. Illicit drugs, including fentanyl, are sometimes packaged in colourful materials to look like candy. You can’t be too careful. MORE

A seven-foot surfboard was stolen from the back of a pickup truck in the MacDonald’s parking lot on Princess Royal Ave. The theft occurred overnight Oct. 24. The owner told police the surfboard is a dark green Softech roller, with three fins and a white strip across the front top with the brand name on it. There is also a neon yellow leash attached. to the board. MORE

The latest storm on Sunday dumped more than 130 millimetres (5.4 inches) of rain on Tofino and Ucluelet along with heavy winds. Total rainfall amounts of 40 to 70 millimetres were expected for most regions of Vancouver Island, except the west coast. MORE

Carolyn’s life changed in the blink of an eye

Carolyn Scott in better times.

Carolyn Scott is a former employee of mine when I was in the publishing business. She’s always bubbling enthusiasm and the first to step forward when someone needs a helping hand.

Now she’s the one who needs help. Carolyn woke up one morning in pain and could not move her arms or legs. Two weeks later, she was a patient on the leukemia ward of Vancouver General Hospital, with an aggressive form of leukemia. 

Carolyn is living in the Cancer Lodge of Vancouver and will be there until at least the end of February undergoing regular chemotherapy to kill the cancer in her blood. 

There are a lot of expenses that she will have to shoulder. She has no income now but still has to look after all the bills back home. That creates stresses that she doesn’t need right now.

Carolyn’s friend Laura McCamon has launched a GoFundMe page where you can help Carolyn in her time of need. If anyone deserves it, Carolyn is at the front of the line.

Here is the GoFundMe page. Please help her out.

The Nanaimo Business Awards are on tap for Saturday night, live and in person. They got a heck of a program lined up, complete with a casino. Don’t wait until the last second to buy your tickets. You can get them HERE.

The Downtown Revitalization Tax Exemption Program is bringing in results. City council has approved exemptions for two multi-family residential developments in downtown. TELUS Communications Inc., is redeveloping a 195-unit multi-family development on Fitzwilliam Street. Council also approved a tax exemption amendment for the former Caledonian Medical Clinic, for a 163-unit multi-family residential development. Councillors Tyler Brown and Ben Geselbracht opposed the exemptions, with Brown saying he doesn’t see how this serves the community. Really? Family housing, downtown? MORE

The recent heavy rain revitalized a lot of brown lawns and boosted river levels, giving new hope to salmon looking to spawn. Chum and Coho salmon are quickly starting to appear in the Goldstream River after biding their time in the Saanich Inlet through the recent drought. It’s a positive sign after the record-setting drought that saw some creek beds dry up, resulting in mass die-offs. MORE

Call me Pro Choice when it comes to vaccines and mandates

Oct. 29, 2022

Friends who refused to take the Covid vaccines have not contracted the virus, but those who took the vaccine by the gallon are getting Covid. Just coincidence? That's specially concerning since the pharmaceutical companies are not standing by many of the claims by bureaucrats about vaccines. Regardless, somebody got awfully rich and continues to rake in the dough. So, you decide.

Ottawa: nonsensical, hypocritical, disrespectful and cynical

Oct. 29, 2022

Canada’s clandestine royalty has been revealed. Canada’s 19-member delegation to the Queen’s funeral was bloated and unnecessary. We needed two people to represent Canada – the Prime Minister and Governor General who could have arrived the day before the funeral and left the day after. Trudeau was in silly mode. He spent four of the five days flitting about and hobnobbing with equally vacuous people. If there ever was a column all Canadians should read, this is the one. READ MORE

Make sure to wear a poppy in remembrance

The Legion’s national poppy campaign is under way, the time to wear this symbol of remembrance, and to support veterans. The local campaign is conducted each year by the three Legion Branches in Nanaimo and Lantzville. Money donated locally stays in our community, to help support veterans and their families, communities, and to promote remembrance. 

Veterans and volunteers are at tables at retail locations throughout the city until Nov. 10. 

And in keeping with the times, the Legion is distributing biodegradable poppies and wreaths, crafted from natural materials including paper, cotton velvet, plaster, moss, and bamboo. Eventually all poppies will be biodegradable. Digital poppies are also available at

The Vancouver Island Economic Summit was a real winner in its return to a live and in-person event.  Everyone left the event satisfied with the two days of networking, learning, sharing and re-engaging. If you missed it, check out some of the activities and sessions here or just take a look to remind yourself what a fantastic two days it was. MORE

A couple of days ago I invited our community – that’s you – to donate footwear and clothing for the people who live on our streets, parks and bushes, here’s a reminder if you forgot. They especially need stockings and shoes, which many of us have in our closets. You can drop them off at the RCMP detachment, just inside the front door. Do it no later than Monday because the front entrance will be closed for a couple of days for renovations. Or you can try again Nov. 3 and later.

One thing to remember about Halloween, fireworks are illegal in Nanaimo. The change in weather has resulted in some communities lifting bans. Most regions of the Regional District are less regulated when it comes to homemade light shows, and that makes it a tough enforcement chore for police. If you want to enjoy fireworks, go to Lantzville which announced earlier it would conduct regulated fireworks over the water. Just remember, not in Nanaimo. You could get ticketed if you do. MORE 

The message is simple – slow down and move over for all vehicles alongside the road that have flashing red, blue or yellow lights. RCMP, BCAA representatives and tow truck drivers conducted a ‘slow down, move over’ event on Thursday on the Parkway. Police issued warning letters to more than 50 drivers who didn’t follow the rule. Many drivers remain unaware of the laws around safely approaching a tow truck with its lights flashing. BCAA tow truck drivers have noticed that there is more frustration and aggression on the roads. MORE

The Islands Trust official community plan could take on a new look if two new members from Gabriola Island have any say in the matter. Susan Yates and Tobi Elliott want to revise the official community plan including a change in housing. Elliott said the OCP has been single-family dwellings on larger acreages to protect against over-development, but the market has been exploding over the last two years. There isn’t the flexibility for different types and forms of housing and an OCP review would address a lot of the housing shortages. MORE 

A Port Moody candidate for city council who was declared the winner on election night has lost after a recount resulted in a tie and a draw determined a winner. The election night count showed David Stuart elected with 3,596 votes. Amy Lubik was two votes shy. Lubik filed an n for a judicial recount which led to a tie of 3,597 votes each. The result was then determined by drawing of lots. MORE

Now we're labelled as the most Godless in Canada

Oct. 28, 2022

Yesterday I commented about how uninformed we are becoming, and today we get told Nanaimo is the most heathen city in Canada. The 2021 Census shows we had the highest percentage of any city to say they weren’t religious, with 62 per cent saying they have no religion and secular perspectives.

Those who identified as religious, Christians were the highest with 32 per cent, Catholics were next at 10.6 per cent. I thought Catholics were Christians. Christian not otherwise specified was 8.8 per cent. Other B.C. communities rounded out the top six – Kamloops was close behind us at 61 per cent, Victoria 60, Kelowna 54, Parksville 52, Chilliwack 49 and Vancouver 47

On the other side of the country was St. John’s, Nfld. with only 20 per cent saying they are not religious. MORE

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We’ll have a new premier on Nov. 18 when David Eby is sworn in. Premier John Horgan has tendered his resignation, which the lieutenant-governor has accepted.

A pair of kayakers were rescued by the crew of a tugboat south of Dodd Narrows on Wednesday evening. The crew spotted a faint light in the water between Dodd Narrows and Round Island and heard a call for help. A man was in the water and a woman still in her kayak, perilously swept along by the fast current. The crew was able to lift them from the water. MORE

If you are a registered property owner in Nanaimo, you can participate in a tree voucher program. You can buy a tree to plant on your property for a reduced cost of $25 each. Check out the DETAILS. 

The City Council has approved an annual graffiti removal and vandalism recovery fund. The Chamber of Commerce will manage the program which an includes $50,000 this year and $30,000 for subsequent years. There is some concern over the coverage area, confined to downtown bordered by Milton Street, Front Street and Comox Road. MORE

The B.C. government has said no to an Indigenous-led bid to host the 2030 Olympics in the province. Tourism Minister Lisa Beare said Thursday the Games come with billions of dollars in direct costs. The bid is cost estimated at $1.2 billion and an additional billion dollars in risk. “When we measured that against our government’s priorities we believe we need to focus on people,” she said, adding the government must focus its efforts on health care, public safety and affordability initiatives. MORE 

BC Ferries is offering complimentary vehicle and passenger travel for all Emergency First Responders attending Cst. Shaelyn Yang’s regimental funeral service on November 2. Burnaby RCMP’s Cst. Yang was tragically killed while on duty on October 18. Please visit Burnaby RCMP for full details of the ceremony. MORE

Rejecting Olympic bid was the reponsible decision

Oct. 27, 2022

Hats off to the B.C. government for saying no to supporting a bid to host the 2030 Olympics in the province. That’s no slight to First Nations who wanted to make the bid, it’s a responsible reaction to committing billions of dollars for a 10-day sports extravaganza. Tourism and Sport Minister Lisa Beare had it bang on when she said we need to focus provincial resources on health care, public safety and affordability initiatives. Amen to that.

Several crashes block highway south of Nanaimo

Emergency crews are on the scene of several crashes on the Trans-Canada Highway south of Nanaimo, including a four-vehicle crash in the north-bound lanes near Haslam Road in Cassidy this afternoon Northbound highway traffic is completely blocked and southbound traffic is slow. Check for UPDATES

We have become an uninformed society

Oct. 27, 2022

The third reading of a rezoning bylaw for a data centre in Nanaimo brought a lot of complaints from citizens that they had not been informed of a public hearing and thus wanted to have another kick at the cat.

The process is quite clear, the hearing was advertised in the prescribed manner in newspaper and city notices.

Some of those who spoke at that public hearing were among the ones claiming they had not been informed. 

That brings up the question of how informed or uninformed is our community is at any time. The 24-per-cent turnout at the municipal election would indicate that many residents were not up to date on what was at stake. Did they and the voters realize that they were bestowing a job that pays more than a quarter of a million dollars ($275,000) over the four-year term? It totals $68,734 annually for four years for seven councillors who also serve on the Regional District Board. The eighth councillor serves an alternate RDN director and gets paid per meeting.

Newspapers used to be what kept all of us informed and everyone read them. They also listened to local radio and television for news. We used to have almost a dozen local newspapers a week with the News Bulletin, The Daily Free Press and the Nanaimo Times. Now we have one single issue a week. Reliance and trust of established media has faded in favor of social media for so-called news and entertainment.

Another breakdown in day-to-day communication is the number of rude people who don’t bother to return phone calls and ignore e-mail messages. That’s pretty well standard for politicians these days.

It would be an interesting experiment for a student group to conduct a survey of a couple of hundred local people and ask them a set of questions with simple, easy answers and determine how many could answer them. It sounds like a good project for the Vancouver Island University marketing students. We’d be surprise of how lacking in knowledge most of us really are.

The dictionary definition of ignorant as “lacking in knowledge.” 

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The Salvation Army’s annual kettle campaign is kicking into high gear with two orientation meetings on Nov 8 from 7 pm to 8 pm or Nov 9, : 10:30 to 11:30 am at the Church at 505 8th St.  You need attend only one orientation meeting. At orientation get your identification badge which confirms that you are a Salvation Army volunteer to the person you are replacing at the kettle. There have been changes to the tap machines. And they still need more volunteers. Check HERE to find out how you can register.

Nanaimo RCMP is investigating the theft of two E-bikes taken sometime overnight on Tuesday October 25, from the backyard of a home located in the 100 block of Pine Street. If anyone has information on the whereabouts of these bikes, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, and quote file # 2022-37797. MORE WITH PHOTOS 

Oh what a difference a little rain can make. The Coastal Fire Centre has lifted the ban on open burning. Starting at noon tomorrow category 2 and 3 fires will be allowed across Vancouver Island and parts of B.C. the coast. Fireworks, sky lanterns, binary exploding targets, burn barrels, and air curtain burners will be allowed. MORE

A Nanaimo woman lost thousands of dollars from her bank accounts when she was defrauded by a scammer. RCMP said a woman contacted police to report she got a phone call from a person who claimed to work for Amazon. The caller asked her if she had bought an item for $700. She was told to key her response into her phone’s keypad. She was connected to a scammer who convinced her to give him remote access to her laptop computer. She learned that $4,000 had been transferred out of her bank accounts. MORE

A suspect wanted on a warrant for a sexual assault in Nanoose Bay last July has been arrested in Manitoba. He remains in custody to be returned to B.C. to appear in court. The man is accused of breaking into a residence in the early morning on July 30 in the Morello Road area of Nanoose Bay and sexually assaulted a resident. MORE

Your chance to provide cold-weather comfort

Oct. 26, 2022

The thermostat cutting in is a stark reminder that not everyone can dial up comfort with the flick of a switch. The arrival of wet fall weather is a real challenge for our street people, they don’t have thermostats in their shelters.

The call for solutions to the homeless problem is constant, and we feel helpless waiting for government solutions. But we can all do something to help them now. 

One of the bigger challenges of living in the elements is footwear – gently-worn shoes, boots and even runners. Clean dry socks are always welcome. This is where we can all help out. Just about everyone has extra clothing taking up space which could keep someone else more comfortable during this weather. And please, make sure it’s clean and wearable, no junk please.

I called RCMP Media Relation Officer Gary O’Brien and he informs that the police station has a bin inside the front door, to the left, where you can drop off items which are then distributed each Friday to those who don’t have a warm place to call home. Footwear is the most urgent need, but if you have an extra medium-to-heavy jacket taking up space, you can bring that down too.

You’ll get a warm feeling by helping those who really need it. And don’t wait to check your closet, do it now. It’s cold and wet out there. Thank you.

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Heavy rain is going to hit Vancouver Island starting Thursday as an atmospheric river approaches B.C. Environment Canada predicts it won’t be as extreme as the storm that hit the province last November. Derek Lee says west Vancouver Island will get from 40 to 100 millimetres of rain, while eastern parts of the Island, including Nanaimo, will likely see five to 20 mm. He says the storm can be classified as an atmospheric river due to extreme moisture approaching from the tropics. MORE

Check your gas gauge, Nanaimo pump prices are in the $1.859 to $1.899 range as of this morning. In Vancouver, which usually leads the way, prices jumped back up to two bucks a litre over night.

A $30,000 portable sawmill was stolen from a private property on Jingle Pot Road last week. RCMP say thieves cut through a locked gate and hitched the sawmill to a vehicle and made their getaway. Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP detachment non-emergency number at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2022-37585. MORE

Parmedics and the government have reached a temporary deal to boost ambulance staffing in rural and remote communities. The agreement boosts “pager pay” which paramedics get while on call but not responding to an emergency to $12 per hour to from $2. It will also temporarily make overtime/recall shifts on evenings and weekends paid at a double overtime rate. The agreement is scheduled to remain in place until Dec. 31, or when the province and union reach a deal in their contract negotiations, whichever comes first. MORE

Doug White co-chairs premier's transition team

Doug White III
NPA photo

Nanaimo’s Doug White, described as First Nations negotiator, has been named co-chair with former Finance Minister Carole James on Premier David Eby’s transition team.

Matt Smith, who ran Eby’s leadership campaign, will be chief of staff, and deputy attorney general Shannon Salter will be the deputy minister to the premier and head of the public service.

Eby says the team will begin work immediately on steps to tackle the cost of housing, the strain on health care and public safety. No date has yet been set for Eby to take over from John Horgan. MORE

Man in custody after downtown security guard assaulted

A 52-year old Nanaimo man remains in custody after a security guard was assaulted with a pipe while on foot patrol on Saturday on Victoria Crescent. Michael Maud of Nanaimo has been charged with Assault with a Weapon and Assault Causing Bodily Harm. The guard sustained cuts and bruises to his face. He was walking past the A&W restaurant when the suspect appeared with a pipe and began swinging it at him. He was struck by the pipe then punched in the face several times. Maud was remanded into police custody to await his next court appearance Nov. 15, in Nanaimo Provincial Court. MORE

Howard Johnson hotel rezoning passes unanimously

Oct. 25, 2022

City council unanimously passed another hurdle in the Howard Johnson hotel property rezoning Monday night. Mayor Leonard Krog lauded the project, saying it hit all the right notes for a highly visible parcel in the heart of Nanaimo. He said when you come over the Pearson Bridge, on the left you have the beauties of Maffeo Sutton Park and on the right we have a piece of property that has cried out for redevelopment for a very long time. The rezoning passed despite written objections by Snuneymuxw First Nation. Acting Chief Bill Yoachim said the development site is on a former Snuneymuxw village, Sxwayxum. MORE

We were slow to catch up to the Lower Mainland, but gasoline prices have subsided just a bit. Local prices listed on Gas Buddy on Monday night ranged from $1.849 to $1.899. There’s wide gap in diesel prices, ranging from $1.899 to $2.489, a difference of nearly 60 cents a litre. Worth checking before you lay out another $100 for a fill up. LOOK IT UP HERE

Care workers should be safer in their work environment now that the province is hiring hundreds of protection to improve workplace safety. Health Minister Adrian Dix said 320 officers and 14 violence-prevention leads will be hired to work across 26 sites. He recongized that most health-care employees have experienced or witnessed violence in their workplaces. That significantly affects their physical and mental health, requiring them to take time off work, or worse, leave the health-care field entirely, Dix said. MORE

We’re in for tough times. Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland had some tough talk on Global TV’s West Block on Sunday, saying  “there will be people whose mortgage payments will rise. Business will no longer be booming in the same way it has been. We cannot support every single Canadian in the way we did with the emergency measures that kept people safe and solvent at the height of the pandemic.” MORE

It's tough out there but it’s going to get even tougher. The Bank of Canada is expected to raise the interest rate again on Wednesday, edging the bank closer to the end of one of the fastest monetary policy tightening cycles in its history. RBC senior economist Nathan Janzen says it’s a coin toss between the Bank of Canada choosing to raise its key interest rate by half a percentage point or three-quarters of a point. MORE

Support lacking for those who challenge governments

Why is it that only Maxime Bernier and I, of the hundreds of federal and provincial former or existing legislators, have actually taken one of the governments to court over their cruel mandates and lockdowns? What about the political parties themselves, Federal and Provincial? The Unions, the Business Associations, The think tanks. and I won’t even mention with any gusto the media and academia. FULL COMMENT

Feds must answer for 469 missing foreign criminals

Oct. 24, 2022

We need changes to the Immigration Act and Criminal Code that require the immediate deportation of immigrants convicted of serious crimes. Immigrant convicts cannot be released on parole except into the custody of the Canadian Border Security Agency. It is irrelevant whether the deported person may encounter trouble on return to his home country; the relevant fact is that he violated the law and thereby waived his rights to an appeal. FULL COMMENT

Hot time expected at city council meeting tonight

Oct. 24, 2022

I am intrigued by tonight’s city council meeting, it should be a barn burner – a bruhaha is percolating over a proposal to build a data centre on East Wellington Road, next to Cavalotti Lodge. It is scheduled to go to third reading at tonight’s council meeting.

Opponents of the proposal will not be allowed to speak at tonight's meeting. Council’s hands are tied, once a proposal has been to public hearing council members cannot discuss or take any further input under any circumstances. Council members have been flooded with e-mails, which by law they have to delete without reading.

A public hearing was held on Sept. 29 for “rezoning 2086 & 2090 East Wellington Road from Rural Resource [AR1] to High Tech Industrial [I3], with an additional site-specific use to allow a proposed data centre.” Several residents spoke in opposition at the public hearing but some now say they were unaware of the project and want any decision delayed. 

The notice of public hearing was legally posted as required. Some of those posting on social media in fact made presentations at the public hearing. You can see the minutes of the public hearing HERE.

Lantzville is going ahead with Halloween fireworks despite many communities cancelling celebrations due to the Island-wide drought. On its website, the District of Lantzville says the fireworks will be held on the water where is no risk of fire danger.  The Coastal Fire Centre has banned the use of fireworks for all of Vancouver Island until at least Oct. 28 due to dry conditions that had persisted for the month. Lantzville Fire Chief Neil Rukus told CHEK News even with the fire ban, having the fireworks out on the water there is no concerns with any kind of wildfire risk. 

There’s nothing like the aroma of a crackling fire in a woodstove. Now that’s another of nature’s wonders that appears to be on the way out. More and more people are ditching their wood stoves and furnaces to newer and cleaner-burning models. Thanks to rebates funded in part by the B.C. Lung Association. In fact, Nanaimo Regional District staff say the program has become more popular than expected this year and its budget for 2022 is close to being exhausted. Nanaimo residents are directed to the city’s program can find out MORE HERE. 

Double talk on infections. Colin Furness, infections control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto says “it’s pretty hard to get a positive test for COVID-19 sub-variants when symptoms begin; usually you have to wait a few days. You can also have a negative test and still be infected, simply because you’re not contagious or not contagious enough to trigger a positive test.” Nearly 50 per cent of Canadians have received a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines, but fourth doses, as of now, are only recommended for certain high-risk groups. MORE 

Social justice cannot function without criminal justice

Crime in our communities is rampant, due to a drug pandemic coupled with mental illness,  fueled by each other. Our elected officials are not doing anything meaningful to tackle the problem by instituting only one selective element of the Four Pillars approach which was developed about two decades ago to address the problem. Harm reduction by itself will not help, in fact, it may exacerbate the problem. There is a solution. FULL COMMENT

Eby brimming with ideas for his first 100 days in office

Oct. 22, 2022

Premier in waiting David Eby can’t wait to get started and has laid out an ambitious program for his first 100 days in office. The former attorney general and housing minister said his focus will be initiatives to expand affordable housing, shift fossil fuel subsidies to clean energy, and improve the province’s struggling health-care system. 

Of note, he said he wants to help people with foreign medical training and experience work in B.C., saying there’s no reason why someone with the skills of a surgeon should be doing maintenance at a high school. Eby’s wife is a family doctor.

Now we have the skeleton, we’ll wait for the meat on the bones. It’s promising at first glance. MORE

The 2022 Chamber of Commerce Business Awards are returning to a live-and-in-person Monte Carlo style this year at the Coast Bastion. The show will start off with a reception hosted by Casino Nanaimo with gaming tables and great prizes, appies, a no-host bar, networking and then the awards ceremony with a sit down at tables with friends and colleagues for the awards presentation.  TICKETS HERE

Our new city council will share their vision and goals at the next Chamber of Commerce luncheon Nov. 10. Mayor Leonard Krog will share Council’s vision and goals for the next four years. Councillors will talk about their individual visions. The is event is proudly sponsored by United Way. REGISTER HERE

PPWC workers at Catalyst in Crofton are expected to go on after voting overwhelmingly to walk of the job. The notice says more than 400 workers at the mill are prepared to walk out after bargaining between the union and Catalyst reached an impasse. The union said over the last 10 years, members have made significantly less in hourly wages than their unionized counterparts throughout British Columbia. In the face of galloping inflation, members are asking their wages match those of workers in similar mills throughout the province, the union stated. MORE

Memo to criminals, Canada’s handgun freeze took effect yesterday. Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino made the announcement on Twitter. “It is now illegal to buy, sell or transfer a handgun anywhere in Canada.” The government announced a plan in May to implement a freeze on importing, buying, selling or otherwise transferring handguns in order to help quell firearm-related violence. Mendicino tabled regulatory amendments in both the House of Commons and the Senate. However, they have yet to be passed by Parliament. MORE

There have to be rules in order for democracy to work

Friday, Oct. 21, 2022

The cry for democracy has become a convenient defence against anything that doesn’t fit a particular agenda. Almost anything you do nowadays is seen as a "threat to democracy."

This was brought home when the NDP disqualified Anjali Appadurai from its leadership race clearing the way for Attorney General David Eby to become the new party leader today. The transition to Eby from John Horgan as premier could take a few weeks.

Appadurai and her supporters can lament all they want about democracy but there’s that little thing called rules that stands in the way.

The NDP election brass investigated and determined the rules had been violated and told her she was no longer a candidate. Since the nomination deadline had passed with only Eby left he was the winner by acclamation. The leadership vote had been set for early December, but was moved up to today by the party executive.

Democracy works when the rules are adhered to, so in this case, it worked. The next test of Eby’s victory will come at the next fully-democratic election when all British Columbians can render a verdict on him as premier.

Who knows, if you peer at Mount Benson today you might see snow. Just kidding, but  Environment Canada says to get used to rain or snow as early as today in some areas of the province. That wet blanket after Port Alberni broke a 104-year-old heat record at 21.5 C breaking the mark of 20.6 C set in 1918. Environment Canada predicts the rain and snow snow in the higher regions will begin this afternoon and continue through Saturday as a colder air mass sweeps across the province. Rain is expected to be in the double digits on southern Vancouver Island where the most severe drought levels are continuing. MORE

A Nanaimo RCMP officer has been cleared by the Independent Investigations Office of wrongdoing after a man was injured while in custody in April. Police arrested a man after he was seen uttering threats, described by what the IIO called assaultive behaviour. The IIO said video surveillance showed the individual to be intoxicated, belligerent and yelling and made several attempts to hit the officer dealing with him. The situation ultimately saw the officer pin him against a wall. MORE

BC Ferries Coastal Celebration is making a detour on its route between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay starting Sunday, adding 15 minutes to the trip. It’s all due to a mechanical problem on the ship. Instead of travelling through Active Pass, the ferry will detour south. There’s an issue with one of the drive motors, so the ship is being rerouted out of an abundance of caution. MORE

Emergencies Act inquiry uncovers govt failure at every level

So far, there seems to be more focus by witnesses on assigning blame than on anyone accepting responsibility for this fiasco  As usual, politicians battle ferociously for access to the levers of power and just as ferociously avoid accountability for how they exercise those powers. This is a saga of panicked politicians protecting their decision to substitute power over the people in place of service for the people. FULL COLUMN


In a lawsuit against the state, guess who always wins

Brian Peckford is still tilting widnmills at Ottawa about individual rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Charter of Rights. But he seems to be playing against a stacked deck. In Canada, glorious and free, individual vs the state, t state wins! His lawsuit was just turned down, but the reasons were withheld until a later date. One would think a Senior Judge could give the reasons now. But as has been true from the beginning of this case, the ‘talking down’ has been extraordinary.  FULL COLUMN

Eby's path is cleared to become British Columbia premier

Oct. 20, 2022

David Eby will be the next premier of British Columbia, as expected, after Anjali Appadurai was disqualified from the leadership race of the NDP. The environmental activist was accused of alleged breaches of the leadership contest's rules. A date for the takeover from Premier John Horgan has not been set as it would be after a party leadership vote in December. That date could now be moved ahead as Eby is the only candidate after the filing deadline.

It’s official now, all the candidates elected on the preliminary count have now been confirmed. Chief Election Officer Sheila Gurrie confirmed the final totals on Wednesday for the general election. 

Don’t panic, it’s a test run. The City will send a test alert through its emergency notification system, Voyent Alert! on Oct. 25 at 10:25 a.m. Registered users will get a test alert via SMS text, phone call, email or as a notification through the app. Registration for the Voyent Alert system has surpassed 12,500 subscribers. In the event of an emergency, such as an earthquake, this alert system will be a vital way of alerting and updating the public.

And speaking of disaster, Nanaimo Airport conducted a mock plane crash this week. That triggered a rapid response from the airport’s rescue and firefighting crews, Cranberry and North Cedar volunteer fire departments, Ladysmith RCMP and B.C. Ambulance Service paramedics. Observers from Nanaimo Fire Rescue, Transport Canada, the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre, Armed Forces Joint Task Force Pacific and the B.C. Office of the Fire Commissioner and were on hand to observe the first live exercise since they were halted by the pandemic in 2020. MORE

The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive is looking for a short-term home for about a week in December where volunteers can sort the tons of toys. The Franklyn Street Gym was perfect until it burned down in 2018. They’ve been lost for a location, relying on the community to donate a space for the week so to sort and distribute the toys to the families. But that space has been changing annually and is very up in the air. MORE

A dramatic video shows a humpback whale entangled in ropes and buoys being set free by rescue crews off Vancouver Island last week. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says its Marine Mammal Response Team rescued the humpback, entangled in a 300-foot rope and large yellow buoy used for prawn catching, near Texada Island. RCMP and Nanaimo fishery officers, commercial tug operators, BC Ferries captains, local whale-watching companies and residents notified the DFO’s whale desk of the mammal’s location. SEE VIDEO

Steven Roderick Knowles, 39, has been charged with dangerous driving causing death, failure to remain at the scene of an accident resulting in death and motor vehicle theft. The charges stem from a vehicle crash resulting in the death of a Ladysmith woman Aug. 29, 2020 on the Trans Canada Hwy near Oyster Sto-Lo Rd. and hit a northbound SUV. MORE

A list you don’t want to top. Nanaimo is twentieth on Orkin Canada’s latest list on British Columbia’s  ‘rattiest’ cities. Vancouver has the dubious distinction honor of top spot, followed by Burnaby, and Kelowna with Victoria fourth. Cities are ranked by the number of rat and mice treatments the company performed between Aug. 1, 2021 and July 31, 2022 and includes both residential and commercial treatments. Across Canada, no surprise, Toronto tops the list. MORE

Police officers appear set to make a return to Vancouver schools in the coming months, following the sweeping victory of Ken Sim’s ABC in the recent civic elections. That was a key campaign pledge. “We knocked on more than 78,000 doors in Vancouver and we spoke to tens of thousands of residents, and a big concern from the majority of parents who had kids in the school system was they were concerned about safety,” Sim told Global News, Tuesday. MORE

Each instance of discrimination carries it own pain

Alberta’s new premier Danielle Smith unleashed a hornet’s nest among the victim crowd last week – who is the bigger victim? Smith said the unvaccinated are the most discriminated-against group she has witnessed in her lifetime. Out came the regulars who make a living out of being discriminated against and get government funds to “make the pain go away”. 

When this surfaced, I heard from a dear friend who did not get the vaccines because of her personal convictions. She doesn't feel she is the most discriminated against, but is definitely set upon. She lost her job, lost benefits and has been verbally abused, she says.

“People openly called us names. Even our prime minister. There was open hatred of the Covid unvaxxed which would not have been tolerated by leaders in any other group,” she told me. She lost her livelihood without the option of unemployment insurance. She feels that is also a form of discrimination. 

She does a lot of research and has come across evidence, even from the pharmaceutical companies, that vaccines do not necessarily work, never did work, were not tested for transmission, but lied about. 

A white paper from the Spikevax (Moderna) site states that no testing has been done on pregnant women and they do not know if the vaccine crosses into nursing mothers’ milk.

In spite of all this, she says, we continue to trust Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry who says it's safe for pregnant women. The pharma companies won't even make that claim. 

“If none of this makes people wonder, then we’ve really lost our ability to think critically and we're beyond hope of being able to save ourselves from what is coming next,” she concludes.

You never know what discrimination is until you are a victim of it.

Go through the various levels of the website - all of them - at

You need all four pillars to have an effective program.

No benefits or pensions for former city councillors

Just for the record for those who have been wondering, there is no severance package and no pension for retiring and defeated city councillors. Many people have suggested over the years that former councillors are living off lucrative pensions. The same applies to school trustees and Regional District Directors.

Co-op Week and Credit Union Day is Thursday, Oct. 20 and the Chamber of Commerce is holding its monthly Business After Business there that day. Coastal Community Credit Union will introduce all its business lines and why they celebrate international co-op week and Credit Union Day. One thing that always attracts people is the great food and drinks for Chamber members. Register Here

A judicial recount will be conducted in Canal Flats, a village in the East Kootenays, after two mayoral candidates, Mark Doherty and Douglas McCutcheon each got 158 votes. The ballots were counted twice and the results were the same. If the tie remains after a judicial recount, the new mayor will be determined by drawing of lots.

A lot of Nanaimoites have surely shopped at the iconic Capital Iron business in Greater Victoria over the years. The owners announced Friday that it will close Dec. 17, after being in operation since 1934. The closure affects the long-time downtown location on Store Street and one on the Langford Parkway. The business sold everything from fishing and marine gear to patio furniture, barbecues and kitchen supplies. It had been family-run since its opening nearly 90 years ago.

Michael Joseph Peterec, 36, formerly from Nanaimo, has been charged with dangerous driving and speeding 270 kilometers an hour in a 110 km/h zone Sept. 15. on the Trans Canada Hwy. west of Calgary. Peterec is scheduled to appear in court in Cochrane, AB on December 13. MORE

Get ready for relief from dry spell by end of the week

Relief is in sight, the dry spell may be coming to an end with rain forecast to wash us all down by Friday. Dry conditions, haze, and unseasonably warm weather have blanketed Vancouver Island for months. Wildfires from the lower mainland and Washington State sparked an air quality advisory over the weekend. MORE

Caution - after long hot and dry periods the asphalt on our roads and streets turns oily or greasy, so keep that in mind on the weekend. Use a little extra caution behind the wheel.

This should be of note to Nanaimo residents.The new Parks Board in Vancouver will remove the temporary bike lane in Stanley Park and restore full car access to the park this fall. Then they will spend the winter to come up with an engineered solution to maintain access to both bikes and cars, Commissioner-Elect Laura Christensen said. 

The Queen of Alberni continues to be the bane of BC Ferries. Today it is having engine troubles, resulting in several sailings cancelled. The 3:15 p.m. sailing from Tsawwassen and the 5:45 p.m. sailing from Duke Point are at risk of cancellation. The Alberni experienced a mechanical difficulty with its No. 1 main engine.

The B.C. Government Employees' Union's new contract includes wage protection against inflation. The deal includes various pay adjustments for select occupations to respond to recruitment and retention challenges and will protect health care and other services. The wage increase includes a flat raise of 25 cents per hour plus 3.24 per cent in the first year, plus up to 6.75 per cent in the second year and three per cent in the third. MORE

And one more election note, six of the top seven voter getters in the city council election used The Daily Buzz as part of their campaign.

Municipal upheaval sends message to provincial parties

There’s likely a quiet nervousness among the provincial NDP hierarchy after the outcome of the civic elections across the province. They have reason to scratch their heads as their party cohorts got mashed in the Vancouver election with Mayor-elect Ken Sim, of the centre-right ABC Vancouver, and seven of his candidates topped the polls. Vancouver is the root system for the NDP.

ABC not only elected its entire slate of seven councillors to city hall alongside Sim, they topped the poll. With eight votes on council, that will allow the party to pass any of their policies and proposals, even those that require a two-thirds majority. The party also saw all of its candidates elected to the parks and school boards, locking in solid majorities.

Before B.C. Liberal leader Kevin Falcon dances up a jig, 37 mayors in large and small centres across the province got dumped. It didn’t matter, left or right, voters just seemed frustrated with the governance they had so they turfed the incumbents.

It’s worth noting that Sim’s main campaign was to hire 100 more police and streamline housing and construction approvals by the city bureaucracy. 

One of the biggest issues across the province has been law and disorder. Let’s be serious, crime, drugs and mental health issues are not being addressed no matter how the province tries to tiptoe around the issue. The homeless encampments, the drugs and the mentally ill are still almost everywhere you look. People want solutions rather than political posturing. 

When harm reduction does not reduce the harm, the other pillars of the four-pillar drug strategy have to be enacted – prevention, treatment and enforcement. That’s what British Columbians expect. 

There has been talk among insiders that David Eby might consider an early provincial election in spring to get a mandate after he assumes the NDP leadership. This province-wide outcome will certainly lead to some serious second thought in his inner circle.

24-per-cent voter turnout is shameful for Nanaimo

Three quarters of Nanaimo voters didn’t give a rip about how Saturday’s election turned out. That’s the number who stayed home and let one quarter of eligible residents make the decision about who will govern our city for the next four years.

Over the past year we’ve heard a lot of complaining about city council, specifically large property tax increases, along with ill-conceived spending. But it appears that talk is all it was.

The new council has enough left over from the current one to keep them busy. A lot of people were and are concerned with crime, homelessness and mental health issues. Granted, it’s up to the province but unless the city stirs the muck nothing will happen. That’s what has been the history of this issue – move it out of the spotlight and maybe it will go away.

On election night we got the preliminary results with total votes cast for each candidate. A more revealing figure with 18,664 ballots cast, is on what percentage of those ballots were their names checked off. 

A lot has been made with “topping the polls” getting the most votes among all candidates. Paul Manly, who topped the polls, was checked off on 55.5 per cent of the total ballots, something to remember over the next four years. Hilary Eastmure, the eight-place finisher, was supported by 30.2% of voters. Don Bonner, who finished ninth, got support from 29.6% of the voters.

So, if you’re running in an election with 29 candidates you have to strive to get at least one third of voters supporting you in order to have a chance to win.

Mayor candidates percentage of vote 
Leonard Krog, 12,390 – 66.3%
Tasha Brown, 4,207 –    22.5%
Agnes Provost, 792 –      4.2%
Brunie Brunie, 723 –      3.8%

Council candidates percentage of vote
Paul Manly, 10,366 –               55.5%
Sheryl Armstrong, 10,260 – 54.9%
Ben Geselbracht,  8,383 –     44.9%
Ian Thorpe, 8,040 –                 43.0%
Erin Hemmens, 7,497 –         40.1%
Janice Perrino, 7,131 –         38.2%
Tyler Brown, 6,805 –              36.4%
Hilary Eastmure, 5,650 –       30.2%

Ferry fares climbing due to high fuel prices

Monday, Oct. 17, 2022

It’s going to cost you more to ride BC Ferries, starting Nov. 1. The fuel surcharge is going up by 1.5 per cent. That will cost you an extra 70 cents for an adult fare and $3.15 for a vehicle and driver on the Metro Vancouver – Vancouver Island routes, and an average of 40 cents for an adult and $1.70 for a vehicle and driver on a variety of inter-island routes. MORE

Finally, gas prices show a bit of a drop in Nanaimo with the lowest posted rate at $1.969 and the remainder of stations sitting at $1.999. Check prices as they change HERE.

The 2022 Christmas Kettle Campaign begins on Nov. 18 with a new location at Best Buy in Country Club Mall. Kettle stands will have the popular attached tap machines which were a great success last year, bringing in more than $54,000. And more good news, there will be no vaccination requirements this year, opening the door for many more volunteers. Get all the information HERE.

The Province is kicking off B.C. ShakeOut Week with a new, comprehensive earthquake response strategy that builds on emergency preparedness capacity to increase resilience and keep people safe during major earthquakes. The Province will hold a large-scale earthquake exercise to practice an integrated response with federal, First Nations and local governments, as well as critical infrastructure operators and non-governmental organizations. MORE 

Loblaws is locking in No Name product prices until next year as double-digit food inflation sends grocery bills spiralling. Great Canadian Super Stores’ parent company Loblaw  said it has locked in prices of the popular house brand, which includes more than 1,500 grocery items, until Jan. 31. Loblaw chairman and president Galen G. Weston said the price of an average basket of groceries is up about 10 per cent this year with some items like apples, soup and chips up even more. MORE

Environment Canada issued a smoky sky bulletin and air quality advisories for Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands, warning that the regions continue to be impacted by wildfire smoke. The smoke is the result of wildfires burning southeast of Chilliwack, near Hope and in Washington State. “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,” said Environment Canada.

Police are investigating after a fence was deliberately set on fire. The fire was reported at approximately 7:45 pm on Saturday, at a property located in the 500 block of Sixth Street. Witnesses saw a large group of teenagers (9-12) standing next to the fence which is wrapped in blue plastic tarp to prevent tagging. The tarp quickly caught fire and just as the fire started to spread, the teenagers fled on foot. MORE

A 27-year-old woman, who is charged with robbing a local gas bar with a toy gun, ended up becoming a victim herself when a thief made off with her ill-gotten gains. The incident occurred at approximately last Thursday, at the Co-op gas station on Victoria Crescent. FULL STORY

Canadians can have input into emergency order commission

The Public Orders Emergency Commission will examine and assess the basis for the government’s decision to declare a public order emergency, the circumstances that led to the declaration, and the appropriateness and effectiveness of the measures.The Commission is soliciting public input for its deliberations. This is your opportunity to have your voice heard by the Commissioners. FULL COMMENT


01.11.2022 02:35

Colleen Chaplin

Thank you Mr. Peckford for voicing concerns that many Canadians share, but remain silent.

11.10.2022 01:47

Rod Hancock

How can I follow this page?

11.10.2022 02:35

Merv Unger

Please supply your email address to and well send daily reminders of the latest news and views

10.10.2022 17:51

Ann Rogers

Thank you for publishing the candidates business cards for us to see. Do you happen to know why Don Bonner is authorized by his wife to use the tag line "Pubic Safety" ?????