Election showed Nanaimo voters happy with status quo

Democracy is based on the population having an opportunity to pass judgment on the past administration and select those who meet their desires and wishes for the present and future. More than 76,000 Nanaimo residents had the opportunity to vote but only 18,664 availed themselves of that right – less than one quarter. That does not bode well for democracy. 

To nobody’s surprise, Mayor Leonard Krog won by a landslide with 12,390 votes, topping Tasha Brown who got support from 4,207 voters. Agnes Provost and Brunie Brunie totalled under 800 each.

As I stated throughout the campaign, there was an identifiable group which voted fairly well in unison during the last term. This was the chance voters could judge what they represented, and the response was resounding, they rewarded Councillors Ben Geselbracht, Erin Hemmens and Tyler Brown with a solid mandate. They will be joined by Paul Manly who topped the polls and newcomer Hilary Eastmure.

An old election promise from ages gone by was "nickel beers and wider sidewalks." Prepare for more wider sidewalks.

Coun. Sheryl Armstrong and Coun. Ian Thorpe both finished in the top four. Janice Perrino will be the third new face on the next council. To Coun. Don Bonner and Coun. Zeni Maartman, who didn’t make the cut, thank you for your service.

Disagreement is a healthy element of democracy. Just because two people have differing opinions does not mean that either one of them is wrong. An election is the process where we can choose the view that the majority prefers. In this case, the voters were quite comfortable with the philosophy of the past council, at least those voters who bothered to show up.

ELECTION SIDE NOTES - I made a litte side wager with Leonard Krog about the percentage of the votes he would capture. As it turned out, he's also a great prognosticator, getting two thirds of the vote. My prediction was out to lunch and that means I'll be buying lunch. Does McDonald's take reservations?

GENDER BALANCE - For the first time in history, we have gender balance among councillors, four females and four males. The election of Sheryl Armstrong, Erin Hemmens, Janice Perrino and Hilarty Eastmure is a milestone.

ELECTIONS DON'T JUST HAPPEN by themselves, there is a behind-the-scenes army that goes mostly unnoticed. When you look at handling all the details for about 76,000 eligible voters, a dozen voting locations, staffing all of them with hired and volunteer workers, making sure the process goes smoothly and then reporting the final results, that's a herculean achievement. There are all the known tasks but it boils down to one word – details. Thanks to Chief Electoral Officer and City Clerk Sheila Gurrie and her helpers for making sure everything went smooth as silk.

MAJOR UPHEAVAL – Preliminary figures showed that Ken Sim will be the new mayor of Vancouver and his ABC Vancouver party won a commanding majority of council, with all seven council candidates from the centre-right party topping the polls. All ABC candidates for school board and park board were also poised for victory.

WHOLESALE CHANGE – Not one single incumbent was re-elected Saturday in Langford, including Mayor Stewart Young. Scott Goodmanson got 53 per cent of the vote to defeat Young.

Three new faces on next city council

Mayor Leonard Krog re-elected

Preliminary results for Mayor and Council.
Leonard Krog – 12,390
Tasha Brown – 4,207
Agnes Provost – 792
Brunie Brunie – 723

Preliminary results for the eight seats on Council:

  • Paul Manly –10,366
  • Sheryl Armstrong –10,260
  • Ben Geselbracht – 8,383
  • Ian Thorpe ­– 8,040
  • Erin Hemmens – 7,497
  • Janice Perrino – 7,131
  • Tyler Brown – 6,805
  • Hilary Eastmure – 5,650

    Incumbents not re-elected
  • Don Bonner – 5,524
  • Zeni Maartman – 4,759

Full preliminary results for all candidates HERE.

Nanaimo Regional District results

The official results will be declared on Wednesday, Oct. 19 when the count is finalized. 

Voter turnout was 24.4 per cent of registered voters compared to 40.8 per cent in the 2018 election.

At the advance polls and on General Election Day, a combined total of 18,664 ballots were cast at 12 polling stations.

Swain remains as mayor in Lantzville

Mayor Mark Swain

Mayor Mark Swain was re-elected in a landslide in Lantzville with 1,345 votes to Stan Pottie's 184.

Jonathan Lerner was the top voter getter for council with 1,104 votes Ian Savage polled 1,066, Joan Jones got 1,064  and Rachelle Mundell rounded out the new council with 880 votes. MORE 

Nanaimo Ladysmith School District election result

POLICE BLOTTER - Thefts highlighted in police reports

Oct. 16, 2022

Thieves made off with two laptops, gas cards, golf clubs and some petty cash when the door to a business was left unlocked. Seaview Glass on Kenworth Road was entered Oct. 6. No alarms, no security cameras, no witnesses. It's safe to say, this was a hard lesson to learn and will not be repeated again. Nanaimo file # 2022-25210 Break and Enter.

The Nanaimo RCMP is investigating the recent theft of two E-bikes October 12 from an underground parkade at 566 Stewart Ave. The bikes were chained and secured when stolen. The owner was only able to provide a picture and description for one of the two bikes that were stolen. MORE WITH PHOTO

Vote – it's in your own best interest

Where to vote and what identification you need

These are the voting places on General Election Day, Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Beban Park Social Centre, 2300 Bowen Road
  • Chase River Elementary School, 1503 Cranberry Avenue
  • City of Nanaimo Service and Resource Centre, 411 Dunsmuir Street
  • Dover Bay Secondary School, 6135 McGirr Road
  • Georgia Avenue Elementary School, 625 Georgia Avenue
  • Nanaimo District Secondary School, 355 Wakesiah Avenue
  • Protection Island Fire Hall (poll open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), 26 Pirates Lane
  • Randerson Ridge Elementary School, 6021 Nelson Road
  • Salvation Army Church, 505 8th Street
  • Uplands Park Elementary School, 3821 Stronach Drive
  • Wellington Secondary School, 3135 Mexicana Road
  • Woodlands Secondary School, 1270 Strathmore Street

To register at time of voting a person must provide at least two pieces of identification, with at least one which includes the person’s signature. ID should prove residency within the City of Nanaimo.

Acceptable documentation of identification includes the following items (among other items): 

  • BC Drivers Licence
  • BC Identification Card
  • BC Care Card or BC Gold Care Card
  • BC Services Card with or without a photo
  • Vehicle insurance papers
  • Social Insurance Number Card
  • Citizenship Card
  • Property tax notice
  • Credit card or debit card
  • Utility bill

Find more information on the election, how to register and who is running for Council at www.nanaimo.ca/elections.

Police remove school board candidate from meeting

Saturday, Oct. 15

A school board candidate was removed from an all-candidate event on Gabriola Island after refusing to adhere to meeting rules. Tanner Scott began causing a disturbance when a question was asked about sexual orientation and gender identity inclusivity. He showed graphic images and refused to leave after he was repeatedly asked to do so. One candidate said instead of answering the question, he got into everybody’s face, showing off photos which reportedly were photos of gender reassignment surgery. He started ranting that this is what SOGI is. MORE

While Lower Mainland drivers have been getting a reprieve from high gas prices, Nanaimo drivers are getting hosed. The latest prices at the pump this morning ranged from $2.069 to $2.399. When are we going to get a break? Check the prices HERE

A Friday mid-afternoon fire at a house in the north end caused significant damage. Multiple engines responded to Broughton Place in the Rutherford Rd./Uplands Dr. area. The rear exteriorof the home and a shed were fully engulfed Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews arrived. Two brothers living in the rental property were home at the time got out safely. MORE 

Two pieces of luggage were stolen from the driveway of a home on Wellesley Avenue at 5 a.m. Oct. 3. The owner told police he had been loading his vehicle for a trip and had left the bags unattended in his driveway for a short time. When he returned the bags were gone. One was located another was not found. It contained his clothing, a laptop and a toiletry bag. If you have information, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. MORE

The drought conditions are a serious threat to spawning salmon this year. Many streams on Vancouver Island that are too dry and too warm at a critical time when salmon are ready to spawn. Fry could emerge too late in the season for optimal food availability, which limits their growth before entering the ocean. Researchers say they are concerned that these unprecedented weather events of extreme drought are becoming normal. MORE

Too much of one thing could lead to too much of another. The current drought could lead to flooding once the rain comes. Jared Barabash is an arborist with Urban Tree Care. He says some trees could come down if there’s lots rains in the coming weeks to unduly loosened the soil. MORE

Is your company prepared to thrive in the post-pandemic business landscape? The new reality for employers includes new business models, changing workplace structures, global supply chain challenges, as well as employee and public demands to address climate change, equity, diversity, inclusion, justice and mental health issues. The 2022 Small Business Week Summit, features experts with cutting-edge research and insights on the most important issues facing employers today and receive practical next steps on how small- and medium-sized companies can navigate today’s challenging business environment. MORE

RCMP are looking for the owner of a 10-foot Pelican kayak found abandoned in the Millstone River Oct. 13. A witness told police that an adult man fell out of the kayak into the river and then swimming to shore and walking away. Based on the information, the officer seized the kayak for safe-keeping. MORE WITH PHOTO

Government keeps bending the rules on tavel ban case

Oct. 14 2022

Guess What? The Federal Government has interfered again in the Federal Court. Involves a challenge of the federal travel ban by me and others. The lawsuits started in January and all agreed on an expedited basis. Well, the Crown keeps adding additional expert witnesses and extra attorneys. The applicants kept their bargain and stayed with what they had agreed. FULL COMMENT

Face of council could change with a few new members

Friday, Oct. 14

Tomorrow is voting day. It will be really interesting to see the results when they come in some time after 8 p.m. Seven incumbents are in the running for the eight city council seats, with one open after the retirement of Jim Turley. There could be one new face, or a whole bunch of them.

There are some pretty impressive candidates to fill that one spot, or replace some of the incumbents. Bringing three new members onto council could change the philosophical flavour of our city government. Tyler Brown, Don Bonner, Ben Geselbracht, Erin Hemmens, and Zeni Maartman have been singing from the same hymn book a lot of the time. If one or two of them were to be replaced it could put a whole new face on things, depending of course on who wins those spots. And, more members of their political persuasion could be elected, strengthening their control.

Doughnut economics, bicycle paths, climate fear and non-functional street redesign have many people in a tizzy, but will it make a difference? The message is simple, if there’s something you don’t like, make sure you go to the polls and express that view, for or against.

There is a good selection of candidates, some with past experience, who could bring a lot to the table. It remains to be seen whether they have got their message out to the voters. There’s nothing like the infusion of new blood in any organization, city council included.

The Mysterious Incognito (Freedom Convoy, Anti-Mandate, etc.?) Group, who have been campaigning loosely, trying to remain in the shadows, are not likely to have a noticeable impact.

The only thing that’s sure at this point is Mayor Leonard Krog can reserve his parking spot at city hall for another four years.

The polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at various locations. Check the list of polling stations and qualifications below.

All candidates were invited but only seven participated in a public discussion Thursday evening. It was evident that most share similar views and values. The event was organized by council candidate David Wang and talked about taxes, crime, homelessness, COVID vaccines and other topics. MORE

Lantzville council has given the green light for the Foothills residential development. It’s been a rocky ride but council has approved a new 10- year phased development agreement, which will see multi-family housing added to more condensed land use plan. Lone Tree Properties Ltd. director and CEO Allard Ockeloen said the boost to 814 total residential units will see 350 of them be multi-family under the new agreement. MORE

Care aides, lab assistants and cleaning staff have reached a new contract agreement with health employers in B.C. The Facilities Bargaining Association, which represents about 60,000 people delivering health services throughout the province, has ratified a new contract. The new three-year contract will see wages increase by 3.24 per cent in the first year, 5.5 per cent in the second and two per cent in the third. MORE

Tossing back a few cold ones while riding the waves on a B.C. Ferry is not the best of ideas. Police were called to a report of a possible impaired driver on board a ferry unloading at the Departure Bay Ferry terminal. Police were told the driver had been seen consuming a number of beers during the ride to Nanaimo. They intercepted the vehicle on Stewart Avenue. MORE

Mira Lauence is back behind a microphone on a new morning show on Ocean 98.5 in Victoria. She says she’s looking forward to making Victorians laugh as they start their day! Mira is remembered in these parts from her days covering Nanaimo sports on TV.

Rotary used book sale kicks off today at North Town


The Rotary Club of Nanaimo Used Book Sale at Nanaimo North Town Centre is one of the most popular events in town. Discover more than 100,000 used titles throughout the entire Centre. Opening tonight, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.then 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Non-fiction and fiction titles: $3 each
Children’s books and cookbooks: $3 per inch
Pocket books: $2.50 each
All proceeds go directly to local literacy initiatives. The Rotary Club of Nanaimo accepts both credit card and cash.

4,300 voted in advance polls over two days

Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022

Approximately 4,300 people cast ballots in the two advance polls on Wednesday and a week ago. Wednesday was busy with about 3,000 voters while 1,300 cast ballots last week. That’s just about the same as four years ago. Chief Elections officer Sheila Gurrie said election workers at the Beban advance polling station were busy all day yesterday.

More people are dying on Nanaimo streets. A B.C. Coroners Service report states eight homeless people died accidentally in Nanaimo last year, compared to three in 2020 and five in 2019. Fourteen people on the street died between 2012 and 2018 in deaths deemed accidental. “We know that many are facing significant health concerns, including physical disabilities, mental health challenges and substance-use issues,” said chief coroner Lisa Lapointe. MORE

There is a free ride to the polls for the municipal election on Saturday, thanks to BC Transit. Free transit helps make it easier for voters to get to the polls and cast their ballots. Nanaimo Regional Transit’s free rides do not include service on the 70 Nanaimo-Cowichan Express (includes handyDART). 

Keep your eyes open. The biggest single-day drop in fuel prices in Canadian history could be on the way. The price of fuel hit an all time high in the Victoria region Sept. 29, topping out at $2.399 cents a litre. That would be about a 15-per-cent drop. Gas prices have been on the rise due to refineries on the west coast being shut down for maintenance. Now, those refineries are back up and running. Nanaimo's price at the pump ranged from $2.199 to $2.259, so check around. Prices tumbled dramatically in Vancouver overnight, falling 35 cents at some stations from $2.279 per litre to $1.929. By Friday, they could fall even further to 189.9 cents per litre, according to gas-price prediction site Gas Wizard.

Rotary Club of Nanaimo book sale is back! Shop thousands of books and support organizations in our community. Sale hours are the same as Nanaimo North Town Centre hours. Arrive early for the best selection. 

Do we have a contest? Which group is the most discriminated against? Alberta’s new premier Danielle Smith labelled the unvaccinated as the most discriminated-against group she has witnessed in her lifetime. Out came the Me Too advocates. Our own John Horgan took issue, saying the comment was a good example of what he won't miss when he steps down as premier in the coming weeks. Horgan said there are more pressing issues than protecting the rights of the unvaccinated. MORE


Police blotter - Latest files from the Nanaimo RCMP

The Nanaimo RCMP is asking for help in finding 23-year-old Kiana Gilroy-Diduck, who has not had any contact with her family since Oct. 1. Gilroy-Diduck was scheduled to move out of her apartment at the end of September, however, to date none of her belongings have been removed. For these reasons, her family is concerned for her safety and well-being. MORE WITH PHOTO.

Thieves made off with computer electronics and jewelry in a break-in Oct. 5 at a home in the 1800 block of Latimer Road. Thieves entered through a lower floor bathroom window between 9 and 11:30 a.m. A laptop, Chromebook and a Bluetooth speaker were taken along with, four gold rings, gold earrings, a Nixon black watch, and a silver NHL watch engraved with the names of Lloyd and Matt Gilmour. MORE 

The Nanaimo RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in locating 48-year-old Charmaine Mitchell, who has not been seen or heard from by her family since July, 2021. Mitchell has had her struggles over the years and as a result she has drifted away from her immediate family. Family members recently contacted the Nanaimo RCMP to assist them in locating her. MORE with photo

The Emergencies Act inquiry nothing short of a farce

The Emergencies Act inquiry is not a court case — and it is flawed. I am getting reaction that many people think the Emergencies Act inquiry is a court action. It is not. The Terms of Reference are set by the Government which is being investigated – the Commissioner was appointed by that same government.  Its called a conflict of interest but how many media are saying that? FULL COMMENT


Media are the propaganda arm of the federal government

A government steeped in ideology and having no concept of the workings of commercial enterprise is unable to assess which business entities do not need support. Bill C-18 is a cynical effort to buy the support of powerful media influencers of public opinion. Our media have transitioned from an independent, balanced source of facts into activism. Rather than reporting news, the media is shaping the news with a political bent. FULL COLUMN    

Thanks for the endorsement, but no thanks

Wednesday, Oct. 12

It’s starting to get interesting as we near Saturday’s election. Endorsement lists are flying around like a prairie blizzard as so-called citizen groups circulate flyers and social media blitzes endorsing some candidates. 

I’ve heard from three candidates who have no connection to those groups, but were endorsed by them. Coun. Sheryl Armstrong, Coun. Ian Thorpe and mayoral candidate Tasha Brown all say “no thanks” to the endorsement, they don't want to be associated with those groups.

It could be one group under different flags, the similarities are striking. The only named contact I’ve been able to find is David Wang, a city council candidate. He organized the public meeting Thursday at Beban Park, from 6-9 p.m.

The flyers and social media posts all point to a conspiracy theory to take over the world. The doughnut economy is at the heart of a lot of questions as it applies to Nanaimo.

Councillors Don Bonner, Tyler Brown, Ben Geselbracht, Erin Hemmens and Zeni Maartman got it passed on Nov. 16, 2020 on a 5-4 vote. 

Lack of information can be more dangerous than misinformation and disinformation so I invited them to spell it out in plain-and-simple every-day language. They responded to the invitation. In fact, Coun. Geselbracht provided what could be a virtual encyclopedia on world finance and social policy.

As a troglodyte, I prefer the old-school economics based on two columns of numbers, one for income and one for outcome and they have to balance on the bottom line.

Now you can figure it out before you go to the advance poll today or election day on Saturday and decide whether it’s a conspiracy to take over the world, or whether this is your cup of tea. FULL RESPONSE.


A 25-year-old pedestrian was taken to hospital after being struck by a vehicle in a marked crosswalk on Sunday evening.It happened on Highway 19A at a crosswalk which leads to the Terminal Park Mall. The victim suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries. While only preliminary, police believe that based on witness evidence and dash cam video, the victim and her friend were legally walking through a marked crosswalk when she was struck by a northbound vehicle. The vehicle was driven by a woman in her late 20s who remained at the scene and co-operated with investigators. MORE

The Autism Expo is back Oct. 16 after two years, supporting families on the Autism spectrum. It takes place at the Beban Park social centrem 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The Autism Society Central Vancouver Island, and organizers and service providers are excited about returning. Admission is free with games and activities, food and an opportunity for people to connect with service providers. MORE

More vaccine, and more confusion. The "regular flu" vaccine has arrived and pharmacists say the demand is high. Getting an appointment could prove a bit confusing for some. It’s an online booking tool and it’s all done through the health authority. You’re urged to wait for an invite to book through the Get Vaccinated system — the same system that alerts you to book your COVID-19 vaccinations. Now, that’s asking for trouble. MORE

Harm reduction program is not reducing the harm

The downtown Nanaimo crime, drug and mental health issue continues with no light at the end of the tunnel. Residents and businesses are frustrated about being beset by drug users, squatters and the mentally ill. 

Government instituted a policy based on the 2001 Four Pillars approach which was to focus on prevention, treatment, enforcement and harm reduction. The first three pillars are no longer in the picture, they have been discarded and it has not resulted in any solutions. In fact, it’s getting worse rather than better.The fourth pilllar of harm reduction and eliminating the stigma of drug abuse has only resulted in what is now “safer drugs” and greater accessbility directly from the government.

Decriminalizing possession of hard drugs resulted in the free handout of drugs to anyone who wants them, including in vending machines. The policy of handing out free drugs is what’s known as safe supply to avoid tainted street supply. There’s nothing safe about handing out free drugs, it’s just a political marketing tool.

Each monthly report shows the death rate from illicit drugs throughout the province continues to soar. If governments are sincere they will have to go back to square one and enforce the first three pillars. In baseball you can't skip first base, second base and third base and hope for a home run.

"Vancouver Is Dying” is an independent documentary examining the harm reduction approach to out-of-control drug use. It’s about an hour long as it examines most aspects of the problem in Vancouver. Everyone should watch it, regardless of personal political position on the drug, crime and health pandemic we are in. There is no vaccine for this pandemic. The impact is the same here in Nanaimo, it’s not going to go away by itself. WATCH HERE.

I invite your comment at Dailybuzz@shaw.ca

COMMENTS posted on Facebook

Gordon Mansfield
This morning on the way to work, on Uplands near Hammond Bay Road, two “rats” had garbage and were lighting a fence on fire. You just have to wonder what it will take for the city to clean up 

Jaime Macdonald
Harm production. More and more people are dying of overdoses and we wonder why.. It is literally killing people. I watched Vancouver is dying and it is spot on. I feel like this is common sense though, when you have the drug addicts telling you that harm reduction is just getting people more high And killing more people then maybe time to change course. 

Amie Alexis Allan ­
Aggressive reminder that harm reduction only arose because harm solution couldn't be funded 15 years ago.

Shaunna L. Morgan
In my opinion, the root of the problem is mental health disorder as to why so many people fall prey to Addiction. Until additional free facilities for long term care to address this concern are developed, crime and harm will continue. We have shelters for the homeless, but many of our homeless refuse to be placed within four walls. Instead, they continue on their path of destruction.

Tanya Osolin
Our current method of “harm reduction “ is only creating more of a need.  We are ignoring the issues that got them where they are, AND allowing them to terrorize the citizens of their cities. This helps no one, and merely creates more people needing MH.

Charlotte Bridden
There are things this city could do for the homeless issues. They could start by utilizing vacant city owned property and the move on to addressing all these air B&B homes. There are motels and hotels for holidays. If a few hundred of thes… 

Robert Wager
I do not have an answer but it is very clear the present model to deal with these issues is NOT working. 

Frankie Zohner
I wouldn’t say “enforcement” is “no longer in the picture.” We see the cops and security guards (and whatever the other company calls themselves), everyday moving the homeless along so they stay out of sight and leave people alone. 

If security guards following people into business just to harass them (and ignore the employees) isn’t enforcement, I don’t know what is. 

Maybe we should fund treatment centres, mental health resources, and (real) affordable housing. Then our streets wouldn’t be filled with “drug users, squatters and the mentally ill” cause then they’d be able to get the help they need and no long be homeless, drug using, and mentally ill. 

Also, if the city didn’t destroy their encampments and fence off parks, they wouldn’t have to be on the streets, they could have somewhere else to be, but they don’t.

Allison Forsyth
CBC photo

Shuffling at the top of Hockey Canada is not enough to make a difference at the scandal-ridden national sports body, says Nanaimo native and former Canadian Olympic skier Allison Forsyth. The leaders who make day-to-day decisions also need to leave, she said. CEO Scott Smith continue to work for Hockey Canada. A two-time Olympian, she says she was sexually abused by Alpine Canada coach Bertrand Charest in 1997 and 1998. Charest was sentenced to 12 years in prison for various sex crimes against young skiers under his tutelage in the 1990s. MORE
BREAKING - Smith and the entire board of Hockey Canada resigned this morning.

Approximately 329 customers in Campbell River, were still in the dark after losing power overnight due to a toppled tree and downed power lines. BC Hydro says crews have been assigned to the outage but there is no indication when power will be restored.

Crews are battling two suspected human-caused wildfires south of Port Alberni near Cox Lake near a logging road. One of the fires is four hectares and out of control while the smaller blaze is .3 ha and under control. Julia Caranci, of the Coastal Fire Centre, said seven firefighters and two water tenders from the BC Wildfire Service battled the blazes overnight along with crews from the Port Alberni, Cherry Creek and Sprout Lake fire departments. MORE

Meanwhile, A wildfire in the Cowichan Valley had not grown as it continues to burn. The fire near Riverbottom Road remains at 4.1 hectares. One water tender and 13 firefighters from the BC Wildfire Service are battling the blaze. MORE

Why is that? News media portray left wing either as good or in a neutral light but right wing as evil. They are both the very foundation to our right to freedom of thought and expression. 

Fire damages storage building in Old City Quarter

A fire heavily damaged a building that was being used as a storage facility in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter Sunday night. Nanaimo Fire Rescue got the call shortly to the building in the 300-block of Selby Street shortly after 5 p.m. Capt. Chad Porter says crews were met with heavy smoke when they arrived at the commercial building. MORE

There’s a hole in that donut - concept needs explanation

The time has come for donut economics proponents to come clean with what they are peddling. This has been one of the conspiracy theory issues in our municipal election campaign, and nobody really knows anything specific about it, especially how it will affect dollars and sense for city taxpayers. 

A number of church parking lots were plastered with anonymous flyers on Sunday raising such theories, which will maintain a life of their own until they are debunked. (Wondering if they flyers were, in fact, illegal in that they appeared to represent an unregistered elector group and did not have authorization identification, but that’s up to Elections B.C.)

The topics included a misleading claim on Nanaimo taxes, and supposed 5G cellphone technology privacy conspiracies. Then came the tie-in between so-called voodoo economics and the World Economic Forum and total socialist world control. The flyer also endorsed five candidates for city council, and a candidate for mayor who has disavowed any connection to any group. They also propped up one school board candidate.

Lack of information is just as dangerous as misinformation and disinformation. It would be nice to have that economic philosophy spelled it out in plain-and-simple every-day English that everyone can understand. 

Councillors Bonner, Brown, Geselbracht, Hemmens and Maartman got it passed on Nov. 16, 2020 on a 5-4 vote. They should be prepared to explain it, before the election. I’ll wait for a response and publish it in enough time for voters to reach a clear conclusion before the election.

We’re in for a cool awakening. A cold front is headed here by this afternoon with northwest winds 50 kmh, gusting up to 70. Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Victoria and eastern Vancouver Island. Winds may toss loose objects and cause drought-weakened tree branches to break, which could result in power outages. The storm is expected to leave tonight as quickly as it arrives. Little to no precipitation is expected during this time. MORE

Sheila MalcolmsonMinister of Mental Health and Addictions and Signy Madden, of the United Way will address the 'Caring Communities' session at the State of the Island' Economic Summit Oct 26-27 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. They will examine innovative solutions to address the ongoing mental health and substance use challenges facing Vancouver Island communities. MORE

An out-of-control wildfire burning in the Cowichan Valley continues to grow in size as windy weather is expected to hit the region today. The blaze near Riverbottom Road, has increased from 2.5 hectares (6.1 acres) to 4.1 hectares (10.1 acres) as of Sunday evening. Julia Caranci, fire information officer with the Coastal Fire Centre, said 16 firefighters, two water tenders, and a helicopter to continue to battle the wildfire that was sparked sometime Saturday. MORE

Okay, who’s got the biggest gourd? For the second year in a row, a Richmond man has grown the province's heaviest pumpkin. The competition took place in Langley on Saturday. Dave Chan checked in at 1,767 pounds, 265 pounds heavier than the runner-up. It wasn’t record setting, about 1,000 pounds short of The Guinness World Record set in Italy in 2021. In addition to the heaviest pumpkin, contestants also competed for the prettiest pumpkin  which went to a 737-pounder grown by North Vancouver's Jeff Pelletier. MORE

Enjoy the gobbler and all the trimmings as you realize you are the one who is getting stuffed.

There is no expiry date on left over Thanksgiving turkey

Ah, Thanksgiving dinner and all the trimmings . . . and the inevitable leftovers. There’s only so many things you can slip to Fido under the table when you think nobody is watching.

This came to mind after studying so-called expiry dates on foods in grocery stores. The first surprise was that there are two different alerts ­– best-before and use-before, and there’s a big difference. Apparently stores south of the border are looking at eliminating best-before labelling. And when the U.S. sneezes we get a cold.

Best-before is really meaningless, a designation for stores to conveniently clear their shelves of older products. There is no magic time when the product goes past it’s magic date and goes poof. As long as it hasn’t got blue mould around the edges, and it passes the sniff test, you should be good to go.

The use-before label, I ‘m told, is put on products that actually go bad with age – meat, dairy and similar products. However, there’s nothing like a well-aged steak, colour doen't matter. As for that left over turkey, it appears there is no expiry date. Enjoy.

If a pet is in your future, The SPCA has returned to their regular hours for public access and adoption viewing. Potential pet adopters no longer have to do virtual meet-and-greets with an animal they want to adopt. Katie Heagle at the Nanaimo branch says cat adoption rooms along with dog rooms and a small animal room are open during their regular hours of Tuesday-Sunday from noon until 4 p.m. MORE

North Island health facilities continue to suffer service cutbacks. Port Hardy Hospital will continue overnight emergency department closures. The out-patient lab at North Island Hospital in Campbell River did not accept walk-ins on Saturday. The change is intended "to ensure reliable, consistent acute and out-patient laboratory service," Island Health said, adding that in-patient lab work, emergency sample collections and sample drop-off will continue during normal hours at the Campbell River facility. MORE

Richard Goldney of Qualicum Bay saw a problem and put his money where his mouth is. He knew there were solutions for salmon-bearing Nash Creek, but they had never been funded. After hearing neighbours’ nightmare stories of flooding due to the river mouth clogging up, he decided to do something about it. He wasn’t deterred by reports that it couldn’t be done, he just did it. Goldney said he spent more than 30 years in the commercial fishery, so thought why not just do it. MORE

Our subsidized mainstream media are not trustworthy

Over the past three decades, media giants who control our media have forsaken journalism for activism. There is no longer any effort to present factual, balanced news articles that allow readers or viewers the opportunity to decide on the merits of a particular issue. Instead, readers and viewers are told what the facts of an issue mean. Our media has become a pool of public influencers without accountability. FULL COMMENTARY

POLICE BLOTTER – Latest files from the Nanaimo RCMP

MISSING WOMAN  Nanaimo RCMP seek public help to find 25-year-old Jessica Maley-Ross, last seen in Vancouver on Sept. 6. Her friends are concerned for her safety and well-being.Jessica is 5ft. 1, 120 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes. MORE WITH PHOTO.

IT WON'T BE SMOOTH SAILING when RCMP catch up to the person who stole a boat sometime between September 26 and 28, from the Westwood Tennis Club, 2367 Arbot Road. It’s a 15-foot flat-bottom with an aluminum hull and black strip, a 115-hp Suzuki outboard motor with a jet drive, and an8-horsepower Mercury motor. MORE WITH PHOTO.

SERIOUS CAR CRASH - One person was airlifted to hospital in Victoria after a two-vehicle crash on the Trans-Canada Highway in Ladysmith Friday morning. Anther patient, transported by ground ambulance, was in serious condition, according to BC EHS. Southbound traffic was shut down as police, fire and paramedics responded, including a BC Emergency Health Services air ambulance that landed near the scene of the crash. MORE HERE

Police union no different than any other support group

The Vancouver Police Union's endorsement of a mayoral candidate is attracting some heat. The union threw its support behind Ken Sim, citing in part his pledge to hire 100 more police officers. The union’s president Ralph Kaisers said electing Sim and an ABC majority will ensure that police and other front-line responders will have the resources they need to protect and serve Vancouverites.

It's not unexpected that other candidates and their parties to raise their eyebrows, nobody wants possible votes diverted to another team. As surprising as the endorsement is, this is not unique by any means. Many other unions support specific municipal candidates. One of the biggest is the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) which represents the majority of municipal employees right across the country and it plays a big role in municipal elections. It's not the police department, but the organization representing them.There’s no legitimate reason why a police union should be any different because of whom they represent. MORE

No matter what we see around us, there are still some good people in our society. A Nanaimo woman lost her wallet and doubted she’d see it again, along with a thousand bucks inside. It turns out a motorist saw the wallet by a road barrier, retrieved it and turned it over to RCMP. Happy ending. MORE

Though the clutter is still there, our public byways are infested with election signs. Some candidates have commited to stay clear of the signs. One of them is Gary Korpan who has a garage-full of signs from past elections, but they will stay in the garage.

The Canadian Cancer Society will get just over $1 million for pediatric cancer research, thanks to this year's 25th annual Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock which made its final push through Victoria Friday. The 1,200-kilometre journey started in Port Alice on Sept. 24 concluded at the B.C. legislature, where the posed with a cheque representing the year's fundraising total. The goal had been $600,000, and in the end, the Cancer Society will get $1,068,000. MORE

We’re in a serious drought on Vancouver Island. What happened to the projected catastrophic sea level rise that going to sink us all?

Being on 'the list' can be a good thing - for all concerned

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.

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.

Candidates respond to VIU questions on climate agenda

Vancouver Island University's Climate Engagement and Dialogue Working Group for the President’s Taskforce on Climate Action and Sustainability posed two questions to each candidate running in Nanaimo’s 2022 municipal election. The responses are shared in the order they were submitted. Not all candidates responded. SEE THE ANSWERS.

Finding a better way to connect candidates with voters

Oct. 7, 2022

All-candidate meetings do not really serve the purpose any more, too many people and not enough time to really get a message out to voters. With a city as large as ours we need to re-examine how we get candidates’ messages out to voters. Even with that, attracting a couple of hundred people is a miniscule section of the electorate.

Social media sites are scattered thinly. Many candidates feel a Facebook page will expose them to “millions and millions” while the truth is the page is generally seen only by “friends” on the site.

We may have to look at a new form of communication in another way. All-candidate shows with two or three minutes for each candidate, serve very little purpose. One format to look at would see all candidates make speeches (five minutes?) and followed by a meet-and-greet format, like the Chamber of Commerce used this year.

With a large number of candidates, it could be split into more than one session, possibly over a couple of nights. It’s one of many ideas, and we have four years to come up with something. As it was, the message of many candidates did not get out.

The same format could be used for provincial and federal election campaigns. Just a thought.

People going over their candidate lists trying to find whom to vote for are facing a daunting task. The good news is you don’t have to find eight true and good citizens to vote for. You can vote for as few as one or UP TO eight for city council and up to nine for school board.

And speaking of debates, council candidate Dave Wang has now rescheduled his open debate to next Thursday October 13 from 6 pm - 9 pm at Beban Park.

A crash on the Island Highway involving four vehicles sent three people to hospital and closed the highway in both directions for hours on Thursday afternoon. It happened on the highway between Northfield and Dorman roads. The highway was closed in both directions until the wrecks could be cleared as highway traffic in both directions was diverted to Dorman and Northfield roads, causing backups as drivers navigated through the side streets. MORE

Wire thefts are still a problem. RCMP is investigating several thefts of wire in central Nanaimo. The most recent theft occurred Tuesday and involved 75 metres of wire being ripped out of light standard junction boxes along Bowen Road. The theft knocked out street lights for 4 to 6 hours and cost upwards of $4,000 to repair and to replace the wiring. This year alone, thieves have stolen almost 4 kilometres of wiring costing the city upwards of $30,000 to replace. MORE

Bad news for workers in the paper industry after Paper Excellence announced an indefinite shutdown of its Catalyst Crofton facility will leave about 150 workers off the job. Pulp operations will continue as usual, the company said. The company blames paper markets in China, saying they’ve significantly weakened as the cost of chemicals, energy and wood fibre used at Crofton escalates. MORE

“Hit me again . . . because it feels so good when you stop.” Don’t be surprised if you see a transaction fee on your credit card purchases, starting today. Businesses can now add transaction fees to your bill. Credit card companies are taking in between $5 billion and $7 billion a year from processing fees. Telus will now charge for paying with credit. Some small retail shops are hesitant to do the same, fearing customers will simply avoid their stores. MORE

B.C. legislators have a built-in system for adjusting their salaries, but it seems every time there’s a little twitch someone starts grandstanding – “Oh, that’s way too much, give us less.” B.C. Liberals have called for a one-year freeze of MLAs salaries. The “me too” crowd is showing their own righteousness, including New Democrats and Greens. Salaries are tied to the consumer price index, meaning a raise of about $10,000 in April. The annual MLA salary is $115,045.93, while Premier John Horgan gets $218,587 and cabinet ministers and Opposition leader Kevin Falcon make $172,568. And then after that year? Let’s play catch up and hope nobody notices. MORE

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

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.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

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


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 dailybuzz@shaw.ca 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" ?????