Police seek to identify
suspect in store theft

The Nanaimo RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect in the photo. It is alleged that at approximately 8 p.m. on Tuesday December 5 he stole a child’s bicycle as well as some other items, from Walmart in North Nanaimo.

Police attended and reviewed in store CCTV footage. In the video, the suspect is seen leaving the store through a side entrance carrying a box that contained the bike. He then left the area driving a black Dodge Ram pickup.

The suspect appears to be a Caucasian man, mid-thirties, 5 ft. 10 inches, medium build with a beard. If anyone has information on the identity of this person, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.


Winterfest under way

in Downtown Nanaimo

Neither wind nor rain or snow can detour Santa from his destination, and this weekend was no exception. He left his reindeer in their warm barn and relied on Harbour Air to make it to his downtown Nanaimo workshop at 234 Commercial Street. He will be in his big chair on Sunday and again Dec. 9-10, and 16-17 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day. It’s all part of the third Winterfest with late-night shopping, Christmas markets in Downtown Nanaimo. Some downtown businesses will also be open until 8 p.m. Thursday nights until Christmas.

Former Nanaimo lawyer Marc Andre Scheirer, who was convicted of sexual assault in 2020, has been disbarred. The assault occurred when he was practising in Abbotsford in 2018. A hearing panel concluded that disbarment was the only appropriate sanction for his utterly reprehensible conduct. He was given a suspended sentence and two years of probation on the criminal charge. TRIBUNAL RULING.


There will be no shuffling of the chairs at the District 68 school board table, all positions were acclaimed. Greg Keller remains chairman while Naomi Bailey is back in the Number two spot. Leanne Lee stays on as head of the business committee with vice-chairman Mark Robinson.


A Cowichan Valley Regional District committee has given its blessing to a rezoning application from a metal recycler near the Nanaimo Airport, pending further environmental assessment and planning. The CVRD’s electoral area services committee debated a list of staff recommendations related to OCP amendment and rezoning applications from Radius Recycling, formerly known as Schnitzer Steel. MORE

Quotable – Three years ago I was worried about getting toilet paper. Now I’m worried about paying for toilet paper.

Ferry sailings resume

Reissued at: 2:41pm

The weather has improved and the Coastal Celebration and Coastal Inspiration will resume service with their 3:15 pm sailings.

For up-to-date sailing and departure information, check Current Conditions, visit bcferries.com or follow @BCFerries on X.


Drinking, driving campaign

nets nine suspensions

Some people never learn. Nine local drivers were handed 90-day driving suspensions after being stopped in the annual Light Up the Province, a month-long enforcement campaign. RCMP R/Cst. Gary O’Brien said officers stopped more than 300 cars and 10 drivers had been drinking before driving. Road checks will be strategically set up on weekends through the end of the year with the focus on impaired drivers. MORE


RCMP seek public help in locating Brett Bystrom, who has more than a dozen warrants for his arrest. The warrants are from Nanaimo, Comox Valley, North Cowichan and Port Alberni and Ucluelet. MORE


Nanaimo residents living near public transit could soon have a lot more neighbours. New provincial housing legislation requires 31 municipalities to zone for transit-oriented development. The act creates minimum allowable densities and restricts local government authority over parking requirements. Transit-oriented areas are defined as within 400 metres of a public transit exchange, with greater density prescribed within 200 metres of a bus exchange. Nanaimo’s city plan already identifies seven urban centres that support higher-density development and includes all the city’s existing bus exchanges. MORE

Quotable – Democracy means respecting opposing views and not demonizing those with a better idea.


Snow in the forecast

for Saturday morning

We could get an early taste of a white Christmas Saturday morning. Environment Canada has issue a weather notice saying if you don’t get snow, expect a windstorm. Up to 2 centimetres of snow is possible, then further inland up to 10 cm. Port Alberni is forecast to get up to 5 cm of snow. And a reminder, if you haven't got your winter tires on yet, now might be a good time to get that done.


A major commercial and residential development at the former Howard Johnson Hotel remains in limbo. It is held up as negotiations continue between the property owners, the province and Snuneymuxw. Plans call for a hotel, more than 750 residential units and retail space.  


NanaimoNewsNOW has launched its interactive look at some of Nanaimo and the central Island’s best decorated homes and businesses. Click here to view the map, which is compatible with all computers and devices, choose a neighbourhood and head out one evening for a dose of holiday cheer. Please respect privacy by not trespassing and enjoy their decorations from the street or sidewalk.


This Christmas video was released by General Motors and it has caught on in a big was on social media. Hopefully when you view it you will realize why, and how beautifully it deals with a very sensitive issue at this time of the year for many citizens. VIEW VIDEO

Quotable – As I watched the dog chasing its tail I thought dogs are easily amused. Then I realized I was watching the dog chasing its tail.


City approves second

Alternative Approval

The City is going ahead with a second Alternative Approval Process to borrow up to $48.5 million for the first phase of the Nanaimo Operations Centre (Public Works yard) project. The revised AAP will begin Jan. 18, 2024, and conclude on Feb. 20. During this period, eligible electors have the opportunity to submit their responses regarding the borrowing bylaw. Official forms will be available to pick up from City Hall and for printing from the City website beginning on Jan. 18. For more information see the City website at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/aap and for more information on the project visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/NOC. See the full city news release HERE

Loaves and Fishes got an early $121,000 Christmas gift from the B.C. Government. It is one of the food banks in the mid-island which provide healthy food to those in need. It's part of $15 million announced in August for distribution by Food Banks B.C. to local organizations around the province. The Ladysmith Resource Centre Association got $12,500, and Gabriola Island’s People for a Healthy Community got $7,500.

Youth artists can make their mark by creating an artistic design to celebrate and share information about the City’s Youth Lounge. If your entry is chosen you’ll get five hundred bucks. The call for youth artists is open to youth between the ages of 13 and 20, who live on Vancouver Island, and have a connection to Nanaimo and/or understanding of this place. The Youth Lounge is a free program for youth age 11-18, in partnership with the BGC Central Vancouver Island. Review the complete guidelines on the City’s website. See here for MORE

Cold and rainy weather has arrived and now is a good time to prepare for winter and storm conditions. The city has released a list of things you should check off to make sure you’re in good shape for any weather conditions. It looks at flooding, parks use and snow on the streets. In case of extreme storm weather that may warrant an emergency response or major closures, alerts will be sent out on the City's emergency alert system. Learn about Voyent Alert! and sign-up for emergency notifications atwww.nanaimo.ca/goto/alerts

INFilm will continue to get a $50,000 grant from The Regional District for movie and TV production on the central and north Island. Lauren Melanson, East Wellington-Pleasant Valley director, sought to end a $50,000 annual contribution saying rural areas don’t see the benefit. Nanaimo Hospitality Association executive director Dan Brady and Brandon Lepine of INFilm made the case in favour of the grant. Mayor Leonard Krog argued rural voters are getting enormous benefit, the region is getting incredible benefit. MORE

If you are waiting to hit the slopes, I have good news. Mount Washington opens on Friday with more groomed terrain this year. The season kicks off with the Whiskey Jack Chair open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with access to several mid-mountain trails like Coaster, Terrain Park and Lower Linton’s Loop. The natural snow base is 38 centimetres, with more in the forecast. MORE

Quotable – Being taught not to talk about politics and religion has led to a lack of understanding of politics and religion.


We're a generous lot helping those in need

Nanaimo placed sixth in the most-generous communities on the GoFundMe Canada’s Top 20 list. The top seven are from B.C. – Victoria, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Prince George, Kelowna, Nanaimo and New Westminster in that order. GoFundMe measured the number of donations per capita made through the throughout the year. It recorded two million donations for people, causes, and organizations compared to almost 1.86 million donations over the same period in 2022 – representing a 7.3 per cent increase. MORE

With that uplifting news,  Loaves and Fishes expects to deliver 3,500 hampers this Christmas season, on top of the regular hampers distributed weekly. That’s where you might be able to give a hand. Kate Fisher, volunteer manager, says in order to sort that food and get it out they need the additional hands. More than 600 volunteers have helped out at the food bank this year, including 200 on a weekly basis. Call them if you can give a helping hand. MORE

The Nanaimo Art Gallery is looking for a new home and will get help from city staff to evaluate possible sites. The gallery wants to build a new facility. Initial estimated to cost about $20 million. MORE


Tenants have begun moving in to the 53-unit affordable housing apartment building in the 6000 block of Hammond Bay Road close to Dover Bay Secondary School. Operated by the Ballenas Housing Society, it has one- and two-bedroom suites. Half the units will be geared to income and close to a dozen will rent as low as $375-$500 per month. Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson was on hand for the opening of the project built in partnership with federal, provincial and local governments. MORE


It’s tough to fathom with the recent rains that the dry November has forecasters worried. Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan said there was 121.6 mm of precipitation, below the typical 197.2 mm making it the 29th driest November since 1892. By January, with an El Nino, we will likely be dealing with a warmer-than-seasonal winter and into spring as well. If it’s consolation, we started December wet as an atmospheric river began dropping heavy rain on parts of Vancouver Island since Monday. MORE


In another big step in his hockey development, Nanaimo’s Matt Wood has been selected to Canada’s World Junior Championship team tryout camp. The 18-year-old is one of 16 players vying for a forward position on this year’s team, which only has one returning player from last year’s gold medal-winning squad. He leads the University of Connecticut Huskies as a sophomore with seven goals and 12 points in 17 games. The 15th pick by the Nashville Predators at the 2023 NHL Draft this past summer was on Canada’s bronze medal team in April in the Under 18 championship in Switzerland. MORE

Quotable – May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.


Inflation hits city budget
before it is even passed

The city invited taxpayers to an e-town hall to chat about the budget with a 6.6-per-cent property tax hike. At the last minute they threw in additional items, raising it to eight per cent. That does not include expected large expenses, such as the RCMP contract, Nanaimo Prosperity Corporation, snow and ice control, (hope for global warming), the breakfast meal program and downtown event grants. Councillors also gave the blessing to seven more staff to maintain city services for a 0.92-per-cent tax increase. Other additions include a fire clerk to support Fire Rescue and the firefighter training facility. A full-time transit planning specialist was also added to manage transit stop amenities. MORE DETAILS

City Council voted Monday to hold another alternative approval process for elector approval to borrow $48.5 million for the first phase of upgrades to the public works yard on Labieux Road. A clerical error invalidated the first AAP last month. MORE


Vancouver Island University is phasing out its high school program due to money problems. As a result, the board for the high school has decided to close the school as of July 31. MORE

A couple of shifts could use your help this week in the Salvation Army kettle campaign. Both are outside Nesvog Meats in Terminal Park.
Dec. 9, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dec.13, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Call BrendaLea Dudley at 250-740-1004 or on her cell at 250-716-6595 and she’ll set you up.

This is one of the most dangerous months to be on the road. Last December there were nearly 1,000 crashes a day. Here’s an explanation from Worksafe BC on the risks and what you can do to help keep safe. Check out the statistics for Central Island communities by going to ICBC Reported Crashes/Tableau Public, choosing the region, and then on the new page using filters on the right side to choose the month.  MORE

Quotable ­– The friends we meet along the way help us appreciate the journey


City budget discussion going online tonight

It’s time to speak up or shut up. Tonight’s e-town hall will help explain the city budget process, online at 7 p.m. To make things even more interesting, city council increased the budget on Friday, going to an eight-per-cent tax increase from the earlier 6.6 per cent. The public participation will give a good idea of public interest. You can submit questions through a form on the City’s website, via the event page on Facebook or on Twitter. Or you can phone in until 4 p.m. to 250-754-4251 and in person or online and at the Conference Centre.

Environment Canada rain and wind warnings remain in effect for today with high tides for parts of Vancouver Island. An atmospheric river was forecast to hit Vancouver Island this morning, bringing very heavy rainfall with an increased risk of landslides and flooding. It will likely ease off by tomorrow morning. Flash floods and water pooling on roads are possible. BC Hydro also issue the alert for possible power outages.MORE

The Securing Small Business Rebate Program to help prevent and repair damage from vandalism is proving popular with more than 600 businesses applying so far. The $10.5-million program allows businesses to apply for as much as $2,000 for repairs from vandalism. It adds up to $1,000 for prevention measures, such as the installation of security cameras and shatter-proof glass. The program is administered through the B.C. Chamber of Commerce. MORE

Quotable – Does anyone know when the employee Christmas party is for self checkout at Walmart?


John Barsby Bulldogs fall

one point short in title game

John Barsby Bulldogs were so close but yet so far, Vernon Panthers beat the Dawgs 23-22 in the AA BC high school provincial finals Saturday at BC Place. The young men did their community proud with a great season. Congrats to all the players and coaches.

The Malahat could see some snow Monday and Tuesday as the weather pattern intensifies. Environment Canada says we had an unusually dry fall on the south coast but that will change over the next two days. You’re urged to monitor river forecast centre updates online as there is a danger of flooding and landslides. It’s also a good idea to stay out of the back country as big shifts in precipitation and temperatures can have a significant impact on safety in the alpine areas. MORE

Homicide investigators are trying to determine a motive for the slaying of a 46-year-old man and his 13-year-old son in their Richmond home. Initial evidence suggests they were targeted. MORE


Doctor shortages continue to plague hospital emergency departments in B.C. South Okanagan General Hospital ER has had a rash of closures over the last six days, all of them due to "limited physician availability," reports Interior Health. It is closed today until 6 p.m. MORE


Quotable ­– When meeting people for the first time, I introduce my wife’s career as a lecturer. It sounds so impressive.


Nasty winter weather

on the way this weekend

Ready or not, it’s time to get serious about winter. Environment Canada has issued a special weather warning of extremely high tides this weekend. Low atmospheric pressure and seasonally high tides will produce elevated water levels from mid- to late-morning on Saturday and Sunday. Coastal areas of southern Vancouver Island are at risk of minor flooding. Gale warnings are also in effect off western Vancouver Island until Monday. MORE

Commercial Street is the focal point as Winterfest returns to downtown Nanaimo this weekend with night shopping, Christmas markets and more. This is the third iteration of the promotion since the pandemic. MORE


Vancouver Island University students have more access to scholarships, awards and bursaries following the university’s annual Giving Tuesday campaign. The campaign raisded more than $350,000 for scholarships, bursaries, awards and special initiatives with all proceeds supporting students. A record-breaking number of new donors were first-time contributors. One hundred per cent goes to the donor’s cause of choice. MORE DETAILS.

To learn more about Giving Tuesday, visit the VIU Foundation’s Giving Tuesday homepage.


It’s easy to get into the Christmas spirit after you take in the Milner Christmas Magic annual festive light display. It begins this weekend and runs until Sunday night from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. It continues the following weekends, Dec. 8 and Dec. 15. Admission is by a suggested donation of eight bucks for adults, $4 for children and $20 for a household, or give what you can. There’s even more cause for celebration this year, it’s the 20th anniversary of the light show. You can even do some Christmas shopping at the Gingerbread Gift Shop and visitors can enjoy hot food and beverages in front of Milner House. FULL STORY


Have you done your Christmas shift yet? No experience needed. The Salvation Army kettle drive has two shifts that need help – Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can choose Thrifty Foods in Longwood on Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call BrendaLea Dudley at 250-740-1004 or on her cell at 250-716-6595 and she’ll set you up.

Quotable – Have you ever heard a rumour about yourself and actually wanted to hear more?


Nanaimo toxic drug

deaths continue to rise

Despite so-called safer drugs, more than 2,000 British Columbians died from toxic street drugs for third consecutive year. At least 2,039 died in the first 10 months of 2023. Greater Nanaimo takes a big share with 96 deaths between January and October this year, breaking the record for all previous years. Seven people died in Nanaimo in October alone. That puts Nanaimo at third highest in the province for fatalities per 100,000 people. Unregulated drug toxicity is the leading cause of death in British Columbia for people aged 10 to 59, more deaths than homicides, suicides, accidents and natural diseases combined. MORE


All your back-breaking efforts to maintain a beautiful lawn are turning upside down, thanks to the European Chafer beetle. The beetle lays eggs in the ground and then animals – raccoons and birds dig up the grass to feed on the grubs. This year's fall season has proven to be challenging to city parks staff as they work on the damage in various areas across the City. You can find out how to control the chafer beetle by doing a Google search or visiting your local garden centre. MORE

You’re going to have to strap yourself in when riding community buses on some routes. Some Nanaimo Transit vehicles are being fitted with seatbelts. They will be installed on light-duty buses that serve Parksville, Eaglecrest, Qualicum Beach and select Ferry Shuttle buses from Woodgrove Centre to Departure Bay ferry terminal. The province mandates that people wear seatbelts if they are provided in a vehicle, and people 16 years and older will be responsible for ensuring seatbelts are properly fastened. For those under 16, it will be the responsibility of the bus driver to ensure the passengers use seatbelts. MORE. For schedules and maps, go HERE.


The woes continue for B.C. Ferries. Repairs to the Coastal Renaissance are taking longer than expected, causing additional stress on service over the Christmas holidays. The vessel was servicing the Nanaimo-Tsawwassen route when its sailings were suspended due to a drive motor failure. The Coastal Celebration will sail on the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route and will be one of four major vessels with the capacity to transport 55,000 passengers and 10,500 vehicles on the busiest days.


Get ready, an atmospheric river is on its way. Environment Canada forecasts a series of storms with heavy precipitation for the British Columbia coast, from the Fraser Valley to Vancouver Island. The storm is expect to peak Monday into Tuesday. There is uncertainty in the storm track and total amounts of snow followed by rain on snow also remain uncertain. While this wet and stormy weather is seasonally typical, the Province is prepared to take actions to keep people and communities safe in the event of flooding. The River Forecast Centre closely monitors forecasts and will issue advisories and warnings as required. WINTER STORM TIPS

Quotable – If you feel pain you’re alive. If you feel other people’s pain you’re human.


City set for second

alternative approval

Opponents of the city’s alternative approval for a new public works centre may get a second kick at the cat due to an administrative error the first time around. The timing of the advance notice did not meet the Province's legislative requirements. Staff now recommends a second AAP in January. Council will consider options at the Dec. 4 Council Meeting. Following that, the City will outline next steps in the proposed project. MORE

The Holiday/Christmas Season brings out the best and unfortunately, the worst in people. Every year criminals await the opportunity to steal your hard-earned money, rob you of recently purchased gifts and squash those memories that would have been created. Don’t let this happen to you! To assist with keeping you safe this Holiday Season, the Nanaimo RCMP presents 12 tips to a safe holiday season. SEE THE LIST

Hundreds of British Columbians appear to have lost faith in the plan to help British Columbians with breast and prostate cancers to get radiation treatment in Bellingham. It would pay the expenses for 50 patients per week because wait times in B.C. Since the program began, 1,310 patients were referred for radiation in Bellingham, but only 533 were actually eligible and agreeable to going to the United States for their radiation. Only 310 have started it, an average of just under 12 patients per week. FULL STORY

The public and the media attending Vancouver City Council meetings are now screened with metal-detector and bag searches. The stepped up security comes in part from an increase in harassment, threats and violence directed at elected officials. Chief Safety Officer Magnus Enfeldt citied the evolving security environment and similar measures that are in place in other cities like Calgary and Toronto. MORE

Quote – If you’re too big to do the small things then you are too small to do the big things


The fog is expected

to lift by noon today

Environment Canada has extended its fog warning with near-zero visibility expected. The warning covers East Vancouver Island, Metro Vancouver, Greater Victoria, the Sunshine Coast, and the Southern Gulf Islands. People are being encouraged to monitor conditions by checking online. MORE

The annual Steve Marshall Ford Give and Go gift donation kicks off the Christmas season Friday evening at the dealership at 3851 Shenton Rd. The donated gifts of food, clothes and toys go to Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank and the Salvation Army. Warm clothing, such as jackets, socks, mittens and tuques and non-perishable food items are really welcome. And cash is always welcome.


Heads up, not everyone is in the spirit of giving at this time of year, many are in the spirit of scamming. Better Business Bureau President Rosalind Scott cautions to make sure that any online transactions are legitimate, safe and secure website. She adds that scams never stop, 24/7 365. BBB always recommends shopping locally with real people in a real store and supporting local businesses. MORE


Barsby Bulldogs are off to their version of the Grey Cup, they will play for the provincial championship Subway Bowl this weekend. Coach Rob Stevenson noted the core of the team has been playing together since peewee and now the Grade 12 players are in their last week of high school football.


Local professional wrestling fans hit their own high spot by donating more than a quarter ton of food to Vancouver Island Pro Wrestling’s Headlocks for Hunger event. Fans brought donations resulting in 562.8 pounds of food for the Nanaimo Food Bank.

A Nanaimo high school teacher has lost his job after remaining in contact with a former female student, exchanging sexually-charged messages. He was assessed a five-year ban from teaching in the province. A consent resolution agreement with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation was published online and signed by Curtis Vizza. MORE

Allison Ducluzeau of Saanich got the dreaded message nobody wants to hear – she had stage-four abdominal cancer. A BC Cancer Agency, surgeon informed her that surgery was not an option and chemotherapy would not be effective. “Go home and get your affairs in order. Talk to your family about your wishes,” says Allison. She took that to be a reference to Medical Assistance in Dying. She took her health into her own hands and found a doctor in Baltimore. She spent $200,000 for the surgery, where all visible tumours were removed before administering chemotherapy. That was almost a year ago and now she is battling with the BC Cancer Agency for financial assistance. FULL STORY

Hundreds of British Columbians appear to have lost faith in the plan to help British Columbians with breast and prostate cancers to get radiation treatment in Bellingham. It would pay the expenses for 50 patients per week because wait times in B.C. Since the program began, 1,310 patients were referred for radiation in Bellingham, but only 533 were actually eligible and agreeable to going to the United States for their radiation. Only 310 have started it, an average of just under 12 patients per week. FULL STORY


The BC SPCA has seized 44 animals from a home on an island off the coast of Vancouver Island. An SPCA news release stated the main floor was covered in  a carpet of feces and there were incredible amounts of garbage in many of the rooms. Senior Protection Officer Eileen Drever said the animals were found everywhere, including inside the walls. Thirty nine small-breed dogs and five cats were rescued. They were taken to Nanaimo and will be cared for at BC SPCA centres across Vancouver Island. MORE


Mid-Island residents are on alert after a wolf-dog crossbreed killed a small dog near a campground in Coombs on Saturday. The animal has been roaming in the Coombs area, but has evaded capture for weeks. It is unclear where the animal came from or how it ended up in the area. Following Saturday’s attack, some trails in the area were closed, and residents have been warned to keep a close eye on pets and children. MORE

Natural Gas will soon flow to Kitimat in Canada’s first pipeline to the West Coast in over 70 years. The Coastal GasLink pipeline is now complete, stretching across northern B.C. Coastal GasLink’s team is in the field getting ready to deliver gas to the LNG Canada processing and export facility in Kitimat. It was originally estimated to cost $6.2 billion, but hit $14.5 billion in the most recent price tag released by TC Energy this year. MORE


The public and the media are now screened with metal-detecting wands and bags searches before entering Vancouver City Council chambers. The stepped up security comes in part from an increase in harassment, threats and violence directed at elected officials. Chief Safety Officer Magnus Enfeldt citied the evolving security environment and similar measures that are in place in other cities like Calgary and Toronto. MORE


Quotable – How did doctors come to the conclusion that exercise prolongs life, when a rabbit is always jumping but lives only two years. A turtle doesn’t exercise at all but lives more than 200 years. So, rest, chill, eat, drink, and enjoy life!

Horgan appointed as new
Ambassador to Germany

John Horgan

Former Premier John Horgan has been appointed as Canada’s next Ambassador to Germany by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Horgan will provide strategic advice to the Prime Minister in his new role. The Canadian Embassy is in Berlin with consulates in Munich and Düsseldorf as well as an Honorary Consul in Stuttgart. Germany has an embassy in Ottawa with consulates in Vancouver, Toronto and Montréal. Almost 10 per cent of Canadians claim partial German ancestry, and about 400,000 Canadians travel to Germany each year. A similar number of Germans travel to Canada annually. MORE

Amber Alert helps police
find child safe and sound
A two-month-old child who was the subject of an Amber Alert Saturday afternoon has been found safe. Criteria for an Amber Alert and the imminent concerns for the well-being of a two-month-old child, an Amber Alert was issued at around 12:25 p.m. Tips from the public helped police to locate the suspect and child in Chilliwack. Police said they arrested the 28-year-old suspect without incident, and he remains in custody. MORE

Sauces and soups
recalled over poisoning
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is recalling several Kopi Thyme brand sauces and soup bases due to the potential growth of bacteria that causes botulism. There have been no reported illnesses on Vancouver Island. The recall applies to products sold online, as well as in British Columbia, including curry noodle soup base, curry paste, stir fry sauce and turmeric stew paste. The food inspection agency says these products may causes botulism, a serious illness. MORE

Salmonella outbreak hits
nine on Vancouver Island
Seven Vancouver Islanders have become ill due to the salmonella outbreak linked to Malichita and Rudy brand cantaloupes. The latest report from Health Canada shows the number of people who have fallen ill in Canada had doubled to 129 from 63 at the end of November. Ninety one cases are in Quebec, with 17 in Ontario and two cases each in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. MORE

Coastal Renaissance
on the shelf until March
It will be at least spring before the Coastal Renaissance returns to servicee, seven months after being pulled for repairs. There have been numerous dates when the ship was to return to service, but never materialized. It had been expected to return to service in mid-December, but in late November, additional issues were found. Now, it is expected to return to service in early March, almost seven months after it initially was pulled due to the mechanical issue.


Landslide hits highway
near Strathcona Park
Traffic was restricted on the Island Highway a landslide near Strathcona Provincial Park on Thursday. The Transportations Ministry said the road is down to single-lane alternating traffic near Buttle Lake and Upper Campbell Lake. The slide is between Western Mine Road and Cedar Creek Road, approximately 37 km west of Campbell River. MORE

Christmas lights back
on in Port Alberni
It will be a bright Christmas after all in Port Alberni. The Ministry of Transportation has approved the installation of a limited light display on Johnston Road. For the first time in many years the city’s light display on Johnston Road did not include lights and Christmas-themed characters that usually stretched from one side of the highway to the other. The public voiced displeasure on social media and numerous calls to government officials. MORE

Kitsilano Secondary bans

Christmas tree in school

Students at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Secondary won’t have a Christmas tree in their school this year. The tree was denied by the school’s administration because it wasn’t inclusive enough. Students suggested inviting students of different cultural backgrounds to decorate the tree, but that didn’t fly either. Lucas Aloni, who is Jewish and celebrating Hanukkah, insisted he wouldn’t be offended by a tree at school, adding it represents probably 90 per cent of the students. However, there is a display in the school’s library showcasing other traditions like Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. MORE

Craft brewers facing
rising cost challenges

With dozens of craft breweries at risk of closure, The owners of two craft breweries in the Lower Mainland are sounding alarm bells about the rising costs facing businesses like theirs. Ben Coli of Dageraad Brewing, told Global News that while many industries are facing tough financial times, there’s an additional hurdle for beer-makers. “A big difference is thatcraft beeris a very space-intensive business and it’s also a very capital-intensive business,” he said. MORE

Ottawa clamping down
on foreign students

The federal government is nearly doubling the amount of money international students need to prove they have in order to get a study permit.ImmigrationMinister Marc Miller is also threatening that if provinces and post-secondary institutions fail to act, he will look at “significantly limiting visas” before next fall. He also said that the 20-hours a week work limit oninternational students will be extended until April 30. He said he is prepared to take measures, including significantly limiting visas, to ensure that designated learning institutions provide adequate and sufficient student supports. MORE

Dec. 7, 2023

Mainland police investigating
South Asian extortion threats

Abbotsford and Surrey police have issued warnings following reports of individuals being targeted with extortion letters targeting theSouth Asians in the Fraser Valley. Global News has one of those letters, which claims to be from an “Indian gang.” “We want your share from your business like protection money. We are asking only two million.” The extortion letter also refers to shootings targeting two houses because their owners had allegedly refused to comply with demands for cash. It warns if they want to do business in Abbotsford they need to pay up, adding that if they go to police, “no more letter only bullet. MORE

B.C. Conservatives making
waves on the political pond

John Rustad

All of a sudden, B.C. Conservative Leader John Rustad finds himself in the driver’s seat. His two-member caucus has stirred debate and changed dialogue at the legislature, and the party appears to be gaining momentum with voters as the scheduled fall election approaches. Recent polls suggest the Conservatives, who got less than two per cent of the vote in the 2020 election and did not win a seat, would finish second if an election were held now. Premier David Eby and BC United Leader Kevin Falcon are paying attention. MORE

Dec. 6, 2023

Alberni Highway closure set

for Thursday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Highway 4 at the Cameron Lake Bluffs section will be temporarily closed on Thursday to allow crews to remove debris that fell within the catchment barricades this week.

The highway will be closed from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. to give crews time to collect and remove rock that fell on Tuesday.

The highway will reopen to traffic when the work is complete. No further closures are planned.

For up-to-date information about all road conditions, drivers are encouraged to visit: https://www.drivebc.ca/

Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe

retiring with unfinished task

Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe is calling it quits. She is leaving her post after 13 years with unfinished business, disappointed the province has been unable to reduce the impact of drugs on thousands of people. She says the coroner’s service has changed forever by the public health emergency that continues to take lives, including more than 2,000 people so far this year. She says recommendations like providing safe drugs without prescription are needed but she was unable to influence the essential change necessary to do so. Her term ends with her retirement on Feb. 18. MORE

Reservations filling up fast

for Christmas ferry sailings

Ferry reservations are filling up fast for the Christmas season, so make your plans early to ensure you’ll get where you want to go. Some openings remain, however availability is running out. This morning reservations between Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay are still available for most Christmas sailings. Christmas is expected to see 911,000 passengers and 428,000 vehicles on board over the week-long stretch around Christmas. MORE

And Hullo Ferries has added 18 sailings for Christmas.

Interest rate remains

unchanged at five per cent

The Bank of Canada kept its key interest rate unchanged at five per cent this morning. “Higher interest rates are clearly restraining spending: consumption growth in the last two quarters was close to zero, and business investment has been volatile but essentially flat over the past year,” the central bank said in a news release detailing its final decision of the year. Demand is no longer outpacing supply in the economy, the central bank added. MORE

Dec 5, 2023

Red tape dims Port Alberni

Highway Christmas lightup

The Grinch is alive and mean as ever, stealing Christmas from Port Alberni. The City has strung lights beside and over the highway through the city for years. That won’t be the case this year as the Ministry of Transport decided a permit was necessary because it is a provincial highway. That has some residents crying foul. The city had planned to light up the route but didn’t follow through when the ministry brought up the licensing rule. MORE

B.C. doubles number of

foreign-educated nurses


British Columbia registered 578 foreign-educated nurses this year, double last year’s total. The province is working on a $1-billion, multi-year plan to attract more health-care workers. The College of Nurses and Midwives has registered 6,258 new nurses this year, including registered nurses and nurse practitioners. It says 666 international medical graduates were registered with the B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons this year. The report did not mention health workers who were fired for refusing to be vaccinated and are still not back in the system. MORE

CBC cutting 600 jobs but
has no plan to cut bonuses


The CBC is cutting 600 jobs and not filling 200 vacancies over the next year as they reduce their English and French programming budgets. Despite the layoff, the CBC has not said anything about bonuses to senior executives. Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation earlier this year reveal the public broadcaster has awarded $99 million in bonuses between 2015 and 2022. Last year, it gave out $16 million in bonuses didn’t rule out more bonuses this year. CBC President Catherine Tait said the latest round of layoffs and programming cuts could mean changes in what viewers see on television. MORE

Island Health pushes shots before the Christmas season


It’s immunization time for flu and COVID-19 to get protection heading into the Christmas season. Island Health has walk-ins for children and their families to get vaccines. Check the schedulehere. Everyone six months and older can get a vaccine shot, and a COVID-19 vaccine if the last dose was at least six months ago.Appointments can be made by calling 1-833-838-2323.It takes about two weeks for the vaccines to provide maximum protection. For more information on immunizations, visitwww.islandhealth.ca/immunizations.

Duncan saying goodbye to the

world’s largest hockey stick


Hey, you want to buy a large used hockey stick?The Cowichan Valley is giving up its claim of having the world’s largest stick. There were challenges on two fronts: natural decay, and an American city claiming an even larger stick. It would have cost between $1 million and $3 million to replace the stick with a larger one. The majority of respondents said it’s not important to maintain the world record as it does not provide significant importance to the region. It will come down in 2024 and the CRVD is looking for proposals from community organizations or individuals to take the stick and make use of it. MORE

Doctor banned from hospitals

for refusal to take vaccines


Dr. Theresa Szezepaniak who was fired after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, has lost her appeal to get her hospital privileges back. The Hospital Appeal Board found that her refusal of the shot in 2021 amounted to neglect of her obligations as a hospitalist at Royal Inland Hospital, and the decision to take action on her privileges was appropriate. That’s a strange attitude at a time that we have a severe doctor shortage.

Apartment complex approved

to replace planned highrises


How do you make two 20-storey highrises disappear? If they are still on the drawing board, that’s easy. The developer of 6340 McRobb Ave. has the green light to build a pair of six-storey residential units instead. City council approved a covenant amendment to change the development. It was rezoned as high-density residential in 2004 for two 15-storey buildings, and then rezoned again in 2009 to increase the allowable height to 20 storeys. Now the developer is downsizing to 266 units from the earlier planned 308 units. Area residents voiced opposition to the change. FULL STORY.

Dec 2, 2023

Dec 1, 2023

A letter to the Prime Minister


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister’s Office

House of Commons,

Ottawa, Ontario


Dear Prime Minister,

I accompanied my wife on her weekly grocery shopping adventure this morning. Needless to say, I almost choked at how prices have escalated.


I am aware that you have brought the major grocery chains to account for the high prices, but that misses the point. That is like blaming them for what you created. Inflation throughout our economy comes in large part from the excessive spending and borrowing by your government. Canada pays $46.5 billion interest on the ever-climbing federal debt. That doesn't produce anything and only benefits financial institutions.


You likely have no personal idea about grocery shopping since you have “people” doing that for you and submitting the bill as part of the cost of operating the prime minister’s residence.


Might I be so brave as to suggest something you’ve never done and give your “people” the day off and personally go shopping at a grocery store. Go to any supermarket in Ottawa, or you could go to Hull.



Taxpayer Merv


It's Attorney General's job

to oversee the judiciary 

AG Niki Sharma


It's refreshing to see Attorney General Niki Sharma doing the job to which she was elected when she sounded off on a judge’s sentencing decision in a case. After the Law Society chided her for her comments, Sharma doubled down and repeated her concern over a range of sentencing decisions. The society expressed concern about how elected officials, including Premier David Eby, have been discussing criminal justice issues. The Law Society said it risks undermining public confidence in the criminal justice system. That alone demonstrates how far out of touch the judiciary is, not recognizing that public confidence in the system is already very low. They need to remember too they are appointed but governments are elected to oversee the system. MORE

The Salvation Army kettle campaign has a lot of volunteer slots available. Call Kettle Co-ordinator
BrendaLea Dudley
cell 250-716-6595

to get your spot on the calendar.

Rowledge left a lasting legacy

We lost another good one when Bob Rowledge died on Monday at 95 years of age. Bob began his career at the City in 1953 and retired as the Director of Finance in 1988. A city announcement said he was dedicated, hard-working and valued former employee.

Bob was very active in the community, and was a member of many clubs and societies including the Nanaimo Lions Club. In 1988, Bob was recognized for his extensive community contribution and was named Freeman of the City. Building on that recognition, in 1992 he was named Citizen of the Year by the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, and in 2000 he was one of seven citizens awarded the Queen's Jubilee Medal for his many years volunteering.

The City statement, on behalf of Mayor and Council, said Bob made a lasting impression and had a positive impact on those who knew him; his kindness was contagious, his passion for our community was never-ending, and Nanaimo is a better place for having known him.

Dec.1, 2023

Nov 28, 2023

A failing grade

on health care

Ho hum, another weekend closure of a hospital emergency department in B.C. Nicola Valley Hospital in Merritt shut down due to limited physician availability.

Let’s look at that again, with the operative word being emergency. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.”

This past weekend, Nicola Valley residents requiring immediate action were directed to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. All other services at the hospital continued as normal at Nicola Valley Hospital.

A preliminary diagnosis of health care shows that it is in dire straits, and that is not good enough in a province like ours. In government everything is about money, even more than politics. But it is the politics that directs spending. Too much is spent on frivolous things to gain political favour with special interests.

It’s a question of priorities. What is more important than life and death emergencies? You don’t have to be an expert to suggest that cost should not be the determining factor on whether emergency medical services are provided.

The provincial health department needs to look at importing emergency personnel when necessary. Bring staff in from larger centres for short-term duty, regardless of the cost. You can’t put dollar figures on a life saved in an emergency, it is worth whatever it might cost.

Heading into an election in eleven months, the B.C. government is failing on the health care portfolio. They have a lot of work to do, and the sooner the better.

Police in Germany had an easy solution when an eco warrior glued his hand to the pavement. When they found it difficult to remove his hand they dug out the pavement his hand was stuck to and released him, allowing him to sort out the problem.