The City has approved funding for warming shelters


Two daytime warming centres have received funding from the city operate during cold winter weather. The funding enables the  Risebridge Society at 520 Prideaux Street, to be open seven days a week. And a warming centre operated by the 7-10 Club centre will open Monday to Friday at St. Paul’s United Church at 100 Chapel Street. The centres will remain in operation December to March. Warm meals and outreach services are available. The funding came from the Union of BC Municipalities Strengthening Communities’ Services Program. MORE

Nanaimo has set a record with more drug-related deaths in 2022 than in any previous year. The Island and Northern health authorities are trending toward record losses of life for the year, causing at least 1,827 deaths in the province in the first 10 months of the year. Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said the increased toxicity and variability of the illicit drug supply has created an environment where everyone who uses substances is at risk. MORE

The Hospital Foundation’s annual Light the Trees fundraiser is bigger and better this year. Foundation CEO Barney Ellis-Perry told NanaimoNewsNOW it’s moving beyond the main entrance and hospital tower. There will be lights around the emergency ward and ambulatory care area, and they’re popping a tree on top of the hospital. “It’s about sending a message of hope for our patients and workers in the hospital,” he said. MORE

Backup communication service is available through the Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department after Telus landline and cell service went down during Tuesday’s storm. The department can make calls to RCMP and ambulance for anyone who needs them, or contact the fire hall via Facebook Messenger. Gabriola residents have been without service since Telus landline and cell service went down. They should still dial 911 in case service has been restored. If they can’t connect, they’re urged to head to the nearest doctor’s office, police station or fire department if safe to do so. MORE

Don’t be surprised if your mail box is empty. Canada Post suspended deliveries in more than a dozen cities across the Lower Mainland Wednesday. A red service alert was issued just before noon Wednesday, halting delivery in in 12 Metro Vancouver municipalities, and three cities in the Fraser Valley. “Delivery will resume once conditions improve and it’s safe to do so,” Canada Post Helps posted on Twitter Wednesday morning. MORE

Trudeau's hypocrisy knows no bounds

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau got on his high horse again, saying everyone in China should be allowed to protest. He said Canada will continue to ensure that China knows we stand for human rights and with people who are expressing themselves. Oh the hypocrisy, supporting protests against COVID crackdowns in China while trampling on human rights in Canada by invoking the emergency measures act and tossing people in jail for protesting the mandates.

Cancelled ferries, dangerous roads and emergency shelter


That was quite a day with the first snow storm of fall. It resulted in multiple vehicle accidents, cancelled ferries and airline flights. As much as 25 cm of snow fell in parts of Nanaimo. An emergency shelter was opened by volunteers downtown. Schools and VIU are also closed today. There were massive power outages, including parts of Nanaimo. The outlook for today is for some rain and melting, but beware of Friday, more of the same.

Do you really need to go out? If it’s not an absolute necessity, stay home. Nanaimo Fire Rescue have responded to numerous vehicle incidents in under four hours on Tuesday, while Nanaimo RCMP Reserve Cst. Gary O’Brien said people need to stay home. “If you’re not comfortable driving in these conditions, don’t drive, it’s as simple as that..”

The city’s emergency weather shelter is not yet open, so volunteers from Risebridge have opened an emergency daytime shelter at their Prideaux and Albert Street location. “We’re opening up a warming centre because clearly there’s a desperate need for it in Nanaimo,” said Tori Davies, a volunteer at Risebridge. Jovan Johnson, executive director of Risebridge, added it’s infuriating especially for outreach workers, support workers who are tirelessly working to support these individuals. MORE

BC Ferries cancelled sailings along major routes between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland on Tuesday due to weather. Sailings between Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay as well as the Duke Point route were from 3:20 p.m. until end of day Tuesday. The Gabriola Island ferry was also cancelled, some due to lack of crew. Please check with BC Ferries for updated schedules if you plan to travel.

A Nanaimo man was shot and killed by police in Washington State after he reportedly crashed a stolen semi truck earlier this month. The Thurston County Coroner confirmed to the News Bulletin that Neil Alexander Costin, 32, of Nanaimo, died after he was shot by police on Nov. 18. Social media posts from Trooper Robert Reyer, Washington State Patrol public information officer, said Costin hijacked a semi truck and rolled it, and then refused to exit the cab of the truck. MORE

Global News wants taxpayer to subsidize staff salaries

The parent company that runs Global News is lobbying Parliament for direct cash grants to subsidize employees’ pay. The Commons finance committee has released a petition by Corus Entertainment Inc. seeking 25-per-cent  payroll rebates. “Unlike other Canadian news and broadcast content, Canadian broadcast news is not entitled to ongoing, direct financial support from the federal government, managers wrote in a submission to the finance committee. “Corus urges the federal government to redress this inequity.”

Time to stop pandering to the 'offended'

It takes no analytical ability, education, knowledge, reasoning ability or talent to be offended or to feel offended. Feeling offended or taking offence is emotional and subjective. There is nothing wrong with feeling or taking offence. What is inexplicable is the growing propensity of politicians and public officials to shield people from feeling or taking offence. Whatever for? FULL COMMENTARY

Click on ad to enlarge – see full WINTERFEST details HERE

Stop whining Canadians. What did you expect?

What did you expect from a deliberately-flawed Federal Government Emergency Inquiry? We just don’t get it! The Canadian Citizens Coalition complain (and many others) about the now-ended public part of the Federal Government Emergency Inquiry. It was flawed from the day the Act was passed. And that it was introduced in the House of Commons by the Conservatives. FULL COMMENTARY.

Road crews ahead of the curve on expected snowfall

Bring it on, Nanaimo and area road snow clearing crews are ready in case the weatherman is right and delivers dump of snow. Environment Canada calls for snow beginning today and continuing through Wednesday. Chris Cowley, of Mainroad Contracting, says they are getting out ahead of the storm. The biggest concern is black ice and freezing conditions, so they’ve been dealing with that over the last couple of days and through last night, with brine trucks and patrolling with sand. MORE

We’re taking a stab at a FOR SALE section with the Daily Buzz. We’ve scrouged up a few items. The price is right, classified ads are free, so email yours to Check it out HERE.

Not what they expected. Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district's student population went up by 268 students, less than what had been projected. Elementary enrolment is 64 lower than projected while in Grades 8-12, 56 more students are enrolled than anticipated. The 96 FTE  drop means a change in $664,808 in base provincial funding. MORE

The union representing BC Ferries workers is taking the company to task over facial hair. The BC Ferry & Marine Workers' Union, says three Sikh employees are looking for religious exemptions from the policy that men must be clean-shaven. All employees are expected to have clean-shaven faces in case they need to wear masks while fighting fires on the vessel. The company says it is a WorkSafe BC requirement. MORE

Not what he bargained for. An off-duty Mountie caught a thief who was in the process of siphoning gas from a vehicle at the Boys and Girls Club. The incident occurred at approximately 6:30 AM on Saturday, in the parking lot of the club, at 1400 Cranberry Ave. As he drove by, the officer spotted an individual crouched low behind a vehicle. Next to the suspect, a hose could be seen extending from a gas tank of one of their vehicles. MORE

Stop banning guns and deal with criminals instead

The federal government has no jurisdiction over firearms, which are personal property. Section 92 (13) of the constitution gives provinces exclusive jurisdiction over law respecting Property and Civil Rights in the Province. The federal government has jurisdiction over the criminal act and crime, but the Firearms Act is not part of the Criminal Code. The Firearms Act and writing gun laws into the Criminal Code is open to provincial challenge, particularly since it has no effect on homicide rates. FULL COMMENT

Cutting trees without a permit proves costly for developer

A Nanaimo developer has been fined $50,000 for cutting down 100 trees on private property without a permit. The city recently reached a consent agreement with Top Down Investments, the company that owns the land, and levied a penalty of $500 per tree, which is the minimum fine under the city’s bylaw. Jeremy Holm, director of development approvals, said the trees would have been permitted to be removed had an application been made. MORE

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Vancouver Island advising that there is potential for snow starting Tuesday afternoon and continuing Wednesday morning. Arctic air will cover Vancouver Island by this morning. This cold air will remain in place until Tuesday when a low pressure system travelling down the B.C. coast will spread snow to Vancouver Island beginning in the afternoon. Vancouver Island could see the greatest snowfall, around 15 centimetres (six inches).

A long-awaited boathouse at Long Lake is inching closer to reality. The City’s design advisory panel has recommended that the Loudon Park Activity Centre advance to the next stage of development. The project has been on the planning board since 2006 and could go to the value engineering stage prior to tendering. There is $3.8 million in the draft budget in 2023 for Loudon Park renewal and improvement. 

B.C. is going to license more internationally-trained doctors and get them into clinics where they’re so desperately needed. Premier David Eby said the pandemic has exposed challenges and added further strains in the health-care system, with too many residents struggling to find a family doctor. The province is expanding the number of seats available in the Practice Ready Assessment program to 96 from 32 by March 2024, tripling the number of internationally-trained family doctors who can become licensed in B.C. each year. MORE 

Dozens of flights in and out of Vancouver International Airport have been cancelled over the snowfall that's expected on the South Coast today. WestJet confirmed it has "proactively cancelled" a number of flights due to concerns about the early winter weather. Most of Air Canada's cancelled flights to and from parts of British Columbia, but some affected cities such as Toronto, Denver and Seattle.

Winterfest launches the city centre Christmas season

 Winterfest is under way in downtown Nanaimo and the Old City Quarter. Santa Claus flew into town on a Harbour Air charter flight Saturday morning. He opted for the air flight because reindeer might give off too much methane, harming the environment. On his arrival, he was joined by children and parents and converged on the Vancouver Island Conference Centre and the Gingerbread Village. There are countless activities from now until Christmas in the downtown and Old City Quarter. Businesses along Commercial Street and in the Old City Quarter are bursting at the seams with Christmas activities, from a gingerbread village and choirs to late-night shopping, and free photos with the big guy himself. Take a look at WHAT'S UP. 

Seismic upgrades are complete and Cilaire Elementary School is now safer from earthquakes. The school was closed for a year while work was completed. School trustees and dignitaries were on hand for an re-opening ceremony. School Board chairman Greg Keller said the upgrades went beyond seismic work like painting, HVAC, inclusive washrooms, upgraded Wi-Fi, an elevator, and replacement of water lines. MORE 

No mask mandates. British Columbia is not bringing back mask mandates in the face of spiking RSV cases that are packing hospital emergency rooms with sick children. A shortage of children’s medication is also worrying parents. Canada is now in a flu epidemic, and there is increased concern about how new variants of COVID-19 could impact the population. Health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry said the “heavy hand” of a mandate is not needed now to send the message that masks are an important tool that can be used in every respiratory season. MORE

The province is reversing course on a controversial plan to phase out funding for children with autism by 2025.  Premier David Eby said every child in B.C. should have the supports they need to thrive. At present, families with children under age six who have a autism are eligible for $22,000 each year in funding, with $6,000 available for older kids with the same needs. The province announced last year it would move to a new service model, to the consernation of parents. MORE

Hot meals are back at Stone Soup, the charity that prepares warm meals to those who need them. The Wisteria Community Association has a kitchen again to provide warm meals each night to those in need. The association had provided meals for more than four years, but was forced to close for bylaw infractions. Now they’re nearing the completion of a new kitchen that is up to code and will soon be ready to serve hot food to those who need it most. MORE

If a career in the marine industry appeals to you, the Port of Nanaimo’s fourth annual Port Connect Dec. 1 is just what you’re looking for. This annual job fair is a collaboration with Nanaimo WorkBC Centre, and the Western Canada Marine Response Centre. Port Authority President and CEO Ian Marr says Port Connect is an opportunity to meet candidates interested in marine-based industries for continual resource development and recruitment.  It’s a hands-on opportunity to interact with key players in the marine sector in the Central Vancouver Island Region. MORE

Get set to dig out your woolies and snow shovel next week

Nov. 26, 2022

It’s beginning to look a lot like . . . snow for our area next week. With December looming, it looks like the bit of sunshine we’ve had lately will change for the last week of the month. An Arctic air push will take us into at least the first five days of December. We’ll pull in a lot of cold air from a Siberian polar vortex, thanks to a ridge setting up over Alaska. That cold air will blanket most of the country, and for Vancouver Island and B.C. a drop to well-below seasonal temperatures. MORE 

B.C. Ferries is planning to order more new hybrid diesel-electric vessels, and the jobs could come to the province. North Vancouver’s Seaspan is examining the requirements to pre-qualify to build four of the Island-class vessels. The prospect of major shipbuilding contracts can mean tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts. Large construction projects translate into many jobs and paycheques for union workers as well as revenue with companies hired to help with a job. MORE

What was that all about? Traffic to Parksville from the Island Highway south of town was blocked for a number of hours Thursday and into Friday after a truck carrying hydrogen peroxide rolled  near the offramp. Sgt. Shane Worth of the Oceanside RCMP said the truck rolled over while trying to return to the Inland Island Hwy and head north. MORE 

A man police initially thought was the victim of an early morning stabbing, has since been arrested for his role in the altercation and is in custody. The incident occurred at approximately 4:15 am on Thursday, in the vicinity of the Dollarama, at the intersection of Fifth St and Bruce Ave. MORE

MLA Sheila Malcolmson and former councillor Loyd Sherry. Photo courtesy of Darcy Olsen.

Mr. Jingle Bells Loyd Sherry is at his familiar post again this Christmas season, keeping up the tradition of tending the Salvation Army kettles which he did for ages and ages with his late wife Beverley. Loyd got help from MLA Sheila Malcolmson at Nanaimo North Town Centre kettle station on Friday.

BC Ferries has carried 12.9 million passengers and 5.4 million vehicles year to date, an increase of 28 per cent and 15 per cent, compared to the same period last year. The second quarter report shows increased vehicle and passenger traffic, revenue and net earnings in the last two quarters compared to the same periods last year. For the six-months ending September 30, 5.4 million vehicles were carried, up four per cent from the same period in fiscal 2020 (pre-COVID).  In the three months ending September 30, 7.5 million passengers and 3 million vehicles used the ferry system.

Ottawa is extending employment insurance sickness benefits to 26 weeks, up from 15 weeks. Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough workers will be eligible for the more-generous benefits starting on Dec. 18. The maximum length of unpaid medical leave available to federally regulated private-sector workers is also being extended to 27 weeks from 17. MORE

Trudeau 'serene' about invoking Emergencies Act

So, according to Trudeau, he had no option but to invoke the Emergencies Act, which is pure rubbish. He admitted he had not even read the police plan to end the protest, and casually dismissed it. Worse, the government edited the report to ensure no one else could read it. Bureaucracies defend the status quo for long past the time when the quo has lost its status. FULL COMMENTARY.

Surplus already has government on spending spree

Government officials are proud as peacocks after the province had an operating surplus of $5.7 billion in the last quarter. Finance Minister Selina Robinson says much of the added surplus comes from higher personal and corporate income taxes. Just a minute, over-taxation is hardly something to pat yourself on the back for. That money is already burning a hole in their pocket as $2 billion has been earmarked for cost-of-living measures. Spending that on health-care might garner public support.

Tide of respiratory illnesses could cancel surgeries

Nov. 25, 2022

 British Columbia hospitals have plans in place to cancel surgeries to make room for patients with respiratory illnesses. Health Minister Adrian Dix says the province has yet to reach the point of scrapping operations. Parents and the Opposition have decried lengthy waits at emergency rooms across B.C. for children suffering serious respiratory symptoms. MORE

Nurses made their point Thursday, they want more nurses and better supports in British Columbia’s crumbling health-care system. Nearly 200 of them marched from a nearby church to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital emphasizing their frustration. NRGH nurse Kelley Charters, a BC Nurses’ Union council member, has been a nurse for 20 years and “I’ve never seen a crisis like this, the one we are facing now is unprecedented.” MORE

The Nanaimo RCMP are investigating a suspected impaired driving incident in which the driver of a vehicle was found passed out in the driver’s seat, with her infant strapped in to its baby seat. The vehicle was in park but the engine was still running. A dog was also inside the vehicle. The vehicle was located Nov. 17, in the parking lot of the North Town Centre Mall.

Milner Christmas Magic returns in December, expanded into the new Rhododendron Species Garden, all lit up in colour. The annual event by Vancouver Island University’s Milner Gardens and Woodland features a dazzling experience walking through thousands of twinkling lights strung along the garden paths, and includes festive window displays in the historic Milner House and Gardener’s Cottage. Milner Christmas Magic runs from Dec 2 to 4, Dec. 9 to 11 and Dec. 16 to 21 from 5 to 8 pm, until 8:30 pm. Admission is by a suggested donation of $5 for adults, $2 for children and $12 for a household. 

Two historic voyageur canoes were destroyed in a fire early Thursday morning. Smoke was reported coming from the south end of Long Lake, near Loudon Park and Trail at the end of Victoria Avenue. The recently-restored canoes were in an enclosure that was also destroyed. The canoes were a key part of their community programming. MORE

Do you know where Blaze Lupton is? RCMP is asking for help in finding the 31-year old who has not been seen by his family since the end of October. His family is concerned for his safety and well-being. He is believed to be in the Nanaimo area. MORE WITH PHOTO

Trudeau and his gang are unfit to hold office

The litany of excuses, embarrassing nonsense and outright lies we have suffered during the inquiry into the Emergencies Act makes it clear that the deranged denizens of the Trudeau cabinet and PMO are unfit for office. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland implies that the Emergencies Act was their only tool to end the protest, completely ignoring her duty to negotiate with convoy organizers. Had she done so, there would have been no blockade of the Ambassador Bridge. FULL COMMENTARY

Man taken to hospital after stabbing in Harewood

A man was stabbed and suffered serious but non life-threatening injuries and was taken to hospital following a confrontation this morning at a strip mall at Bruce Avenue and Fifth Street. Police are looking for several people of interest as part of the investigation. There is no threat to the public. Anyone who may have information or video footage of the incident is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP’s non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. DEVELOPING STORY

Ladysmith Festival of Lights flares up tonight

Nov. 24, 2022

Ladysmith lights up tonight to begin the annual Festival of Lights with fun and entertainment for the whole family. The action gets under way at 3 p.m. with a Christmas craft and artisan fair at Aggie Hall, followed by street entertainment and food concessions. Entertainment on two stages will go from 4-6:15 p.m. Santa Claus will turn on the lights at 6:30 p.m. and the Light Up parade begins at 6:45 p.m. MORE

The fun begins Saturday as Winterfest launches downtown, with Downtown Nanaimo and the Old City Quarter combining to kick it off with the Santa Fly-in, Gingerbread Village, Indigenous storytellers, choirs, free photos with Santa, late night shopping, and more. The entire downtown is coming together to attract families to a total downtown shopping, dining, and relaxation experience. Streets and stores will be decorated for the season as part of this free event providing a place where families can create fun memories while supporting local businesses.Check it out HERE.

It should come as no surprise, city council is starting budget discussion with a projected 6.2-per-cent tax increase along with higher user fees. That information was available to voters before the civic election. Council operates on a five-year fiscal plan, with projections for each of those years. A 6.2-per-cent hike would increase the city’s share of taxes on a typical $718,000 home by $152, to $2,608. User fees would go up by $31. That’s not counting schools, the hospital, and the regional district. Council is aiming to pass the first three readings of a draft 2023-27 financial plan before Christmas. There will be a number of open meetings and an E-townhall. MORE

When I told our readers last week about falling prices at the pump it appears that’s not the end of it. Gas Buddy’s Patrick de Haan says this could be the start of things to come. Prices could drop 15 to 25 cents a litre by the end of the year. He cautions that markets can change, but it’s looking pretty good right now.

The province is investing $230 million to improve rural and remote police staffing levels over the next three years. The money will be distributed with the goal of filling long-standing vacancies in rural police detachments and in specialized RCMP units. Those specialized units include the Major Crimes Section, BC Highway Patrol and Sexual Exploitation of Children unit. MORE 

Snuneymuxw has received $395,000 in heritage infrastructure program money to upgrade its long house in Cedar. The First Peoples’ Cultural Council announced the grant last week. Acting Chief Bill Yoachim said there was a need for improvements, and preserving the long house in an era of truth and reconciliation is “timely and appropriate. MORE

Three people are missing and presumed dead after a float plane crashed Wednesday near Port Hardy. A witness reported the plane crashed in Strachan Bay shortly after takeoff around 1 p.m. A Coast Guard helicopter was the first to arrive on scene and spotted debris and an oil slick, followed by Transport Canada’s surveillance aircraft that assisted with infrared sensors. MORE

Here's a unique adventure. Hats off to Nanaimo's Greg Willmon, president of Lady Rose Marine Services in Port Alberni. The company is providing free or by donation sailings on the Frances Barkley ferry in Port Alberni in December. The sailings will be every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday as the boat travels up the Alberni Inlet to Bamfield and back. The donations will go to two local charities: The Ty Watson House Port Alberni and the Salvation Army.

A new study suggests heart muscle inflammation related to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines is higher than expected among young men who got a second dose of Moderna compared with Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine. Lead author Dr. Naveed Janjua, of the BC Centre for Disease Control, said the findings on second doses for both vaccines show men between the 18 and 29 are most at risk of myocarditis if they got the Moderna vaccine. 10.2 million doses of both vaccines were given to those aged 12 and over between December 2020 and March 2022. MORE

You can talk about city's financial planning process

Nov. 23, 2022

If you’ve got something to say about the city’s finances, you can do so in an upcoming eTown Hall meeting Monday, Dec. 5. It will will kick off the Dec. 5 Regular Council meeting at 7 p.m. and will run for one hour. Residents are encouraged to review the 2023-2027 Draft Financial Plan on the City website at To participate you can submit questions through the City website at, on Twitter using the hashtag #NanaimoTH, and on the eTown Hall event page at You can also call the City at 250-754-4251, 8:30 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday until Dec. 5, to ask your question in person during the meeting. MORE

Who knows when it will snow, but we do know city crews are ready for whatever and whenever it comes. Last Christmas we had about a foot of snow, with more in the days following, making for complicated snow removal efforts. The City has spent $645,000 on snow removal already this year. David Thompson, City manager of roads, told city council they’ll likely have more work to do before year’s end. MORE

If it’s in the Farmers’ Almanac you can bank on it. Both Environment Canada and the Almanac predict a colder-than-normal winter for most of British Columbia. We’re expected to be under an ocean and atmospheric La Niña phenomenon like it was in 2021. That is expected to push-in colder air from the pole. The Farmers’ Almanac predicts December will have some sunny days, but it’s also calling for a colder-than-normal month with frigid conditions and snow around Christmastime. MORE

Missing Person.  RCMP need help in finding Robyn Houle, 29, who has been missing since Nov. 1. She may  be camping out at parks across Nanaimo. Police were told by her family that given her lifestyle and her known associates, they are concerned for her safety and well-being. MORE WITH PHOTO.


The right hand giveth and the left hand taketh

I suppose we should all be ecstatic that our new Premier says he’s tackling the housing crisis. On the surface there’s a lot of bureaucratic bafflegab, but he’s doing nothing about one of the major obstacles to home ownership. It’s the government’s own Property Transfer Tax. Buying an $800,000 home requires a 20-per-cent – $160,000 – down payment. Then you have another $9,000 up front for the transfer tax, putting many people out of range of ever getting their own home.

Adjusted meal times won't affect downtown program

The Salvation Army in Nanaimo is cutting back its meal program by one hour a day, but it’s not related to financial concern. Sheldon Feener, the Salvation Army’s area commander for Social Mission believes there’s not going to be any reduction in service. People are still going to come and they will feed just as many people. It will give staff more time to cook those meals, to clean up the area a little bit more, said Feener. Based on figures to date, they are looking at serving almost 90,000 meals for 2022. MORE

RCMP have an arrest warrant out of Audrey Juliana Christopherson, 39, on assault charges, mischief and uttering threats stemming from an incident in early May. The charges stem from a fight with another woman, punching her several times. She failed to show up for a court appearance last week. She is 5’9 tall, 170 pounds with blonde hair and green eyes. MORE WITH PHOTO

The B.C. government is introducing the Housing Supply Act to increase the supply of housing by pushing municipalities to establish housing targets. If passed, the law will require local governments to create housing needs reports every five years and the minister will review the reports to determine if a housing target needs to be set in a municipality. California and the United Kingdom currently have similar housing target frameworks. Richard Zussman has the details.

In case you were wondering, Former Surrey mayor Doug McCallum has been found not guilty of public mischief. MORE

And this is the 59th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Tx on Nov. 22, 1963.

The Public Order Emergency Inquiry is a flawed process

Emergency inquiry play, all those bureaucrats obfuscate, confuse, giving the leaders the ammunition they need/ So Canadians, you get the picture, it’s a big charade. The Government is investigating itself. Setting the terms of reference, appointing the Commissioner who appoints everyone else and determines the witnesses. Pretty cozy, right? FULL COMMENTARY

It's show-and-tell time for the climate change charade

The climate change charade has to end. The link here to a CBC report is a clear picture of the sheer stupidity of climate catastrophe fear mongering. The headline is: “What if your country disappeared? Nation mulls digital existence as sea waters rise.” Tuvalu is one of nine tiny atolls and coral reef islands scattered over 420 miles of the Pacific Ocean. Tuvalu is a “nation” with a population of about 12,000. FULL COMMENTARY

Some tenants allowed to return to their homes after fire

Nov. 21, 2022

Some tenants have been given the green light to return to their Millstone Avenue apartments after fire destroyed part of the complex Saturday. Those living in the seven units on the other side of the building’s firewall can return home. But it’s more waiting for those who live on the side of the building where the fire broke out. Everyone evacuated the building, and firefighters put out the fire. At least five units were damaged by the smoke, fire, and water. MORE

A new public safety plan for the province will focus on repeat offenders and mental health. Premier David Eby said the safety plan has two key tracks. One is on enforcement, recognizing zero tolerance for violence in communities, making sure that people are protected. The second focusses on intervention, helping people break the cycle of life in and out of jail. The province will deploy response teams of police, prosecutors and probation officers who will focus on repeat offenders. The plan will also add 12 mental health response teams in communities across the province, some of which will be Indigenous-led. Eby is expected to announce his government's plans to take on the housing affordability crisis today. MORE

Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s next meeting Thursday from 7-9 p.m. at the Beban Park social centre will examine the double asteroid redirection test. Jennie King, a NASA-JPL solar system ambassador, will discuss the historic first attempt to divert an asteroid’s path through space by ramming it with a spacecraft travelling thousands of kilometres an hour. Non-members are welcome to attend one free meeting and are then encouraged to join the society. For more information, visit

A Fraser Valley pastor violated COVID-19 restrictions by hosting a service in 2020, but the judge stopped short of handing down a conviction or a penalty. Judge Andrea Ormiston ruled earlier this month, and the decision was posted online this week. John Koopman, pastor at the church in Chilliwack was handed a $2,300 fine on Dec. 6, 2020. At that time, a provincial health order prohibited organizing, hosting, or attending in-person events and gatherings which included "worship or other religious service." A final decision on the case will be not be rendered until after Koopman’s constitutional challenge of the health order. MORE

Weighing whether government had the right to invoke act

Let’s cut to the chase and examine the invocation of the emergencies act as exactly what it was – an exercise in public censorship, ignoring government obligations under our charter freedoms and rights. Invocation of the Emergencies Act was used to stifle criticism, brand people acting lawfully as criminals, and invoke sanctions, such as arrests without bail and the freezing of bank accounts, without respect for the fundamental principles of justice. FULL COMMENT

Diesel prices a major cause of sky-high inflation

The drop in gasoline prices has been welcome relief for motorists, but that’s not the case when it comes to diesel fuel which is still sitting with sky-high prices, up to $2.40 a litre in some areas. Diesel is the main fuel for transportation and for farming, driving inflation. When will government step in an regulate fuel prices? They're never shy to regulatre everything else.

Apartment complex fire displaces seven residents

Nov. 20, 2022

Seven people were displaced when a fire caused significant damage to an apartment block on Millstone Avenue Saturday morning. Suites on the first and second floors were left uninhabitable. Capt. Chad Porter, of Nanaimo Fire Rescue, said the cause has not been determined and one person was treated on scene for smoke inhalation, but nobody was taken to hospital. MORE

Get out of jail free. People who have COVID-19 are no longer required to self-isolate. The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website stated it is still important for people with symptoms to stay home as much as possible to reduce any potential spread of illness until symptoms improve, and you are able to participate in your usual activities. MORE

Pharmacy shelves across Vancouver Island have been bare when it comes to children’s pain medications, but the federal government has announced relief is on the way with more than one million bottles of foreign-made children’s medicine, which will start hitting the shelves this week. MORE

She’s  back, Elizabeth May has been elected leader of the Green Party of Canada, after three years away from the job. She ran with Jonathan Pedneault, and the two plan to share the top spot, but it will take a change of the party’s constitution for co-leadership to be official. May won on the sixth ballot with 4,666 votes, the party announced Saturday night, with fewer than 50 people in attendance. MORE

Almost unheard of, gas price drops to $1.659 in Nanaimo

Nov. 19, 2022

It’s not a mirage, Nanaimo gas prices dropped on Friday to as low as $1.659 at one station and $169.9 a most others. Some were still hanging in at $1.799. We’re even doing better than Vancouver for a change where prices dropped to the lowest levels in months. Drivers were paying $1.759 per litre Friday, still among the highest in Canada and North America. In Toronto it was $1.579 Friday and in Edmonton $1.359 per litre. Another three cent drop is forecast for the Lower Mainland today. Check Gas Buddy to find the bargains in Nanaimo – MORE

Here comes Santa Claus. No sooner had Premier David Eby been sworn in than he handed out the goodies. He announced a $100 cost-of-living credit on hydro bills, which will be deposited to bills this fall. Small and medium businesses like restaurants and tourism operators, will get a one-time credit averaging $500. Then he established a BC Affordability Credit for low- and middle-income residents, providing up to $164 for adults and $41 for children. Eligible people and families will get the new credit through the Canada Revenue Agency, the same way the enhanced Climate Action Tax Credit was in October. A person earning up to $36,901 will get the maximum, phasing out at $79,376. Eby said the credit should show up in your bank account in January. MORE

Vancouver Island University will open its Career Studio on Monday, 11 am to 1 pm in Building 255, Room 204 at the Nanaimo campus (campus map). The latest BC Labour Market Outlook forecasts more than one million job openings in the province over the next 10 years. Almost 80 per cent are expected to require post-secondary education and training. To respond to this need, VIU has launched a new service this fall to enhance employer connections with students, build more networking opportunities and better prepare students for the transition from the classroom to the workplace. MORE

Surrey is rewarding employees for staying healthy. An attendance support program rewards employees who do not the use of any sick time within a calendar year. They will get a $50 gift card and a letter of recognition. It’s not a new program, it was put on hold during the pandemic. Staff in the lowest 20 per cent of sick time for their peer group will get a $25 incentive. Could this plan could help BC Ferries with its ongoing staffing challenges? MORE

Snuneymuxw has received $395,000 from the First Peoples’ Cultural Council to expand their Longhouse. It has an extensive and rich history, along with significant cultural importance as a traditional space for ceremony. The money will be used to add a room to the facility on the #1 reserve. MORE

Make sure you check our What’s Up page that has a wide-ranging list of happenings in our community.

New Premier Eby vows to clean up Downtown Eastside

Premier David Eby

David Eby will be sworn in today as premier, and he brings a heavy agenda with him. He said the government will take charge of restoring Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside from a neighbourhood of desperation into one that’s healthy and safe. The low-income area is plagued by crime, addiction, homelessness and mental health trouble. The people who live in tents and on the sidewalks are not safe, and the broader community, they don’t have the feeling of safety, he said in an interview. “We need to address that,” he added. NOTE: Don't overlook Nanaimo while you're at it. MORE

It’s the Christmas season, and Downtown Nanaimo and the Old City Quarter’s are holding a Winterfest. They’ve got a Santa Fly-in, Gingerbread Village, Indigenous storytellers, choirs, free photos with Santa, late night shopping, and much more. Downtown streets and stores will be decorated for the season as part of this free event providing a place where families can create fun memories while supporting local businesses. Choirs and special events will be held in the Old City Quarter. There are story telling and puppet shows at the Museum and Library, and a whole lot more with heritage downtown shopping, dining and arts district. FULL DETAILS

Nicole Richard of Nanaimo feels like she’s up the creek without a paddle. She is stuck in life-threatening limbo while she is off work dealing with cancer. Her health insurance won't process her claim without documentation from a family doctor. But, like many people in the province, she doesn’t have a doctor. The problem was compounded by the fact that news of her diagnosis was delayed for months. She went to her family doctor initially, but he died last summer just as her search for answers began. Now she feels she has nowhere to turn. MORE

No foul play is suspected after a body was found in Long Lake Thursday morning. A person on a walk at about 10:45 a.m. spotted what appeared to be a body about 40 meters from the swimming area at the south end of the lake. Police responded and Nanaimo Fire and Rescue responded with their high-speed rescue vessel and recovered the body. The BC Coroner Service is investigating but do not believe there is anything suspicious about the death. The Coroners Service will continue the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, and quote file #2022-40475.

Nanaimo RCMP have released video of two suspects using a pickup truck to smash into a liquor store to steal the ATM on Nov. 11 at the Liquor Plus on Eighth Street. The video shows the pickup truck backing into the store three times before the door gave way. The suspects grabbed the ATM, put it in the truck and drove away. The vehicle is a mid-2000s burgundy-coloured F-350 with significant damage to the rear quarter panel. The right tail light was damaged during the break-in. The ATM was found the next day, emptied of its contents. MORE WITH VIDEO.

The number of test-positive COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals rose this week for the first time in about a month. There were 328 people in hospital with the virus as of Thursday, up from 290 last week. The hospital population includes both those with serious cases of COVID-19 and those who are hospitalized for other reasons and test positive incidentally. MORE

Making ends meet gets tougher on Vancouver Island

Nov. 17, 2022

The ends don’t meet. The 2022 Living Wage report claims two parents on Vancouver Island, north of Victoria, need to earn $24.26 an hour to afford housing, food, child care and other expenses for a family of four. It’s even higher in Victoria at $24.29. The minimum wage is $15.65. In Metro Vancouver each need to make $24.08 an hour, up 17 per cent from 2021. The Centre for Policy Alternatives defines the living wage as what a household with two working adults and two children needs to make ends meet. That includes food, housing, child care and some education costs, but does not factor in savings for retirement, buying a home, debt repayment or emergency expenses. The most expensive are the things people can’t afford to cut corners on – food and housing. MORE

On that note, if you’re set on a real Christmas tree, there’s a sharp price increases in store for you. Wild weather over the past few years, combined with rising inflation, is leading to sharp price increases. It takes about 10 years to grow a tree, and the extreme heat in 2021 scorched many maturing branches – and that was before the floods came. Farmers are also having to deal with the rising cost of fertilizer, fuel, farm equipment and insurance. MORE 

Have you got what it takes? The RCMP’s Information Session Career presentation offers the chance to hear first-hand from recruiters about career opportunity in the force. Get details of the recruiting process including the requirements and expectations for applying and how to prepare for each stage. It’s tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 18, at 4:00 p.m. at the Nanaimo Detachment. Check it out by calling 1-877-726-7472 or email

Greg Sakaki

News Bulletin Editor Greg Sakaki is top notch, he earned first-place honors in the Canadian Community Newspaper Awards which resumed after two years hiatus. The Bulletin won in no less than seven categories as News Media Canada announced the 2020 and 2021 winners. Greg won first place in the Best Multimedia Feature category in 2020 for his coverage off a Black Lives Matter event at Maffeo Sutton Park. Read all the rest of the awards HERE

Respiratory illnesses are on the rise in B.C., with the majority of cases being young people. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updated respiratory illness figures on Wednesday, detailing who’s getting sick and impacts to the healthcare system. Dr. Henry said youth are falling ill to acute respiratory infections, with the influenza A strain in particular impacting people 19-years-old and younger the hardest. MORE

A new label, but what about the content? BC Liberal party members have voted to change the name of their party to BC United, leader Kevin Falcon has announced. The name change will go into effect after the next provincial convention of the party, he said.

No mask mandates planned despite respiratory viruses

Nov. 16, 2022

B.C. health officials are not looking at reintroducing mask mandates at this time, says a statement from the ministry. While there are three notable respiratory viruses circulating in the province, the Ministry of Health continues to stress the importance of staying home while sick. It recommends mask-wearing only for situations in which it is essential to be in close contact with others while symptomatic. MORE

Now here comes the bill. Our new city council is busy preparing the 2023-2027 Draft Financial Plan. You’re not left out, you have a number of opportunities to review, ask questions and provide input leading up to an eTown Hall on Dec. 5. Council will begin reviewing draft budgets and project plans during four special Finance and Audit Committee meetings on Nov. 23, 24, 30 and Dec. 1. All meetings are open to the public at the Shaw Auditorium. The eTown Hall will start at 7 pm during the Council Meeting for one hour and you can participate in that as well.

If you’re headed to Victoria on Thursday, be prepared for delays as geotechnical work is under way in the Goldstream Park area. The delays will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday morning. Single-lane alternating traffic will be in place with delays up to 20 minutes. For up-to-date road closure information, drivers are encouraged to follow @DriveBC on Twitter or check:

The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive kicks off at 3:30 this afternoon at Woodgrove Centre. will be joined by the big guy in red to launch this year’s campaign, which collects new, unwrapped toys for families in need. It starts a month-long effort to collect as many toys and gifts for kids of all ages who might not see gifts under the tree this Chrismas season. Everything will be sorted and distributed by volunteers in mid-December. A list of age-appropriate gift ideas is available on the toy drive’s website. You can drop off gifts at tons of  locations across Nanaimo, including Save-on-Foods stores, Country Club Centre, Nanaimo Museum and Woodgrove Centre. MORE

Hats off to the Garrett Paquette Foundation for it’s tenth annual Seafood Extravaganza last weekend that helped raise almost $130,000 for 10 local community groups. Nanaimo Community Hospice was one of the recipients, getting more than $10,000. “This makes a huge difference for us, as many people may know we are only about 25 per cent funded, so the rest of it is for us to get donations … this is huge for our operation, increasing our services,” Executive Director Paige Karczynski told NanaimoNewsNOW. MORE

Travellers on BC Ferries can now buy alcoholic drinks from the Coastal Café. Before you begin celebrating, that’s only for those riding between Victoria and Vancouver. Sales on sailings between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen began on Nov. 9. Passengers can buy up to two drinks, with a meal, from the Coastal Café. The menu has beer, cider and wine. MORE

If Surrey’s new mayor and council thought the policing issue would just fade away after the municipal election, they may have to think again. City council voted Monday to halt the transition to its municipal force and stay with the RCMP. Not so fast, says Chief Const. Norm Lipinski. Mayor Brenda Locke doesn’t have the authority to direct the police department to do any particular thing, he said. The SPS reports to the Surrey Police Board, which reports to the provincial government. Stay tuned. MORE

Did your neighbor contribute to a political party? You can find out in the Elections BC quarterly report. It shows the BC NDP picked up almost $1 million in donations from July to September. Their total was nearly triple the BC. Liberals’ and about five times as much at the BC. Green Party. Click on the party name to see who donated and how much.
BC NDP                      $988,265
BC Liberals                 $355,853
BC Green Party           $184,899
BC Conservative            $16,585

A salute to the Nanaimo Clippers from John Cowan. A long-time Clippers fan with season tickets for many years died recently. Three clippers came to the house and gave the widow a card signed by all of the team. John says it all points to the new ownership with new attitude.

Time to take off the rose-colored glasses on climate change

As the COP27 climate change conference limps along, not a single country has met its greenhouse gas reduction targets. Not everyone has succumbed to the 30-year fear-mongering campaigns of the UN, IPCC and WEF. Frightened people behave instinctively rather than rationally. They flee the peril, real or imagined, rather than considering how they might best cope to maintain safety. FULL COMMENTARY


03.11.2022 18:12

Gloria J. Saunders

Well done Merv & Marg
Nanaimo is still a good place, but the powers that be have let it run to ruin. This is sad to see.

01.11.2022 16:04

Ron Hopper

i agree it is the volunteers in Nanaimo that make it such a wonderful place to live. I've lived all over B. C. and came back to Nanaimo to raise my kids and join the family business. Never any regret