Fire caused by cigarette dislodges about fifty
from Samaritan Place


A fire ignited by a cigarette left more than 50 people at Samaritan Place without a home early Sunday. It was not immediately known how many people were in the building at the time in the supportive housing complex, which has more than 50 self-contained units geared to the homeless population. Assistant Fire Chief Troy Libbus, said crews were called around 6 a.m. to find heavy smoke billowing from the third floor of the four-storey building. He added a man came from one of the units on the third floor and he reported that it was due to smoking. The cigarette went on his mattress, which caught fire, Libbus said. MORE


THE ARCHITECTS OF THE government's safe-supply system for dispensing drugs to users have moved on. The Parliamentary health committee was told by Dr. Julian Somers, an expert in addictions, last week that they now head their own drug companies which benefit from the continuation of the safe-supply program. Check this out. MORE

 

YOUR MONEY ­– Students at Mountainview Elementary School will get $195,000 for an accessible playground for children of all abilities. The Ministry of Education and Child Care stated in a news release the playground "promotes physical activity for kids, teaches social skills, such as sharing, and helps them develop life skills, such as conflict resolution."


JUST A MINUTE - Who can give any credibility to federal NDP leaders Jagmeet Singh as long as he’s in bed with Prime Minister Trudeau? Sort of reminds one of a bad marriage – constant bickering, but staying together in a bad relationship for convenience sake. Often divorce is the best move forward.


QUOTABLE – If you’re a giver, remember to learn your limits. Takers don’t have any.

June 16, 2024

Island Health issues

safe drug-use advice


Island Health is providing advice on how to use drugs safely. The helpful hints came with two drug poisoning/overdose advisories on Vancouver Island. The warnings apply to Campbell River and Cowichan. Island Health recommends that people get their drugs checked, carry Naloxone and know how to use it, or visit an overdose prevention site. If using alone, Island Health says use one substance at a time, and let someone know to check on you, or download the Lifeguard App or call the National OD Response Service at 1-888-688-6677. MORE


THE ICONIC HAWAII MARS WATER BOMBER is flying into history at the BC Aviation Museum in Saanich this summer. The second world war retired military long-range transport plane and has been at the forefront of wildfire fighting and management across North America for decades. The sister ship Philippine Mars will be put on permanent display in Arizona lster on.[2]Coulson Group CEO Wayne Coulson expects the Hawaii retirement to happen in August. Trials are running regularly around Port Alberni, with other Island communities on a tentative schedule for over-flights. The hope to get the Snowbirds involved in the retirement flight. MORE


THE PHARMA CONNECTION. Brian Peckford says in 2020 in the U.S., 72 Senators out of 100 and 302 of 435 House of Representatives cashed campaign cheques from Pharma companies. How can we expect independent laws regarding Big Pharma? Brian’s source is “The New Abnormal,” by Aaron Kheriaty MD and journalist Rebecca Strong’s “Putting big pharma back on trial in the Covid-19 Era.”

 

FROM SMALL SEEDLINGS mighty oaks will grow. Vancouver Island Pro Wrestling participants and promoters put their guts on the line over 11 years, often before meagre crowds. They achieved mighty oak status after their presentation Friday night in front of 2,000 fans at Frank Crane Arena. It’s great to see such a comeback after the long history of the pro game in Nanaimo with the likes of Gene Kiniski, Eric Frolich and countless others. Congratulations, perseverance pay soff.

 

CRAIG ALLEN SIMS, 41, OF NANAIMO has been found guilty of attempted child luring. Justice Catherine Wedge judged him guilty of communicating via computer to lure a child under 18 between 2007 and 2009. He was acquitted of two charges of sexual interference and one of sexual assault. Crown counsel is seeking a prison sentence. MORE

From left, Sue Devenish, Doug Slowski, President Greg Devenish, Jo-Anne Tremblay, Jodi Williams.


Photo contributed

KUDOS TO LANTZVILLE ROTARY CLUB, my old club, whose members pitched in to volunteer at the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation to pack bags of gratitude for the hospital night shift workers for their appreciation day. Thank you.

 

AND THE HOSPITAL FOUNDATION has launched a fund raising drive to help long-term care patients at three facilities get back on the road. The Dufferin Place bus for seniors’ day trips broke down a couple of years ago and needs replacement. The Foundation wil; assist two other projects at Eagle Park care facility in Qualicum Beach, and at Trillium Lodge in Parksville. MORE

 

BEFORE I WRAP IT UP, today’s rain will be replaced Monday by mostly sunny weather. Keep in mind every drop of rain we get helps alleviate the projected drought this summer.

 

QUOTABLE – Before getting upset, ask yourself if this will even matter in six months from now. If not, then let it go. 

 

June 15, 2024

I SIT AT MY COMPUTER MOST DAYS combing sources for news of interest to our loyal readers. It’s not difficult to get into the spirit as I gaze out of the window to an ever-changing snow-topped mountain skyline. It keeps alive my past career as a journalist and arguably keeps me from going bonkers. News does not have a set agenda, sometimes it rains and other days it's drought. Today's offering is a biggie, so enjoy.


IT’S REALLY HAPPENING The former A&B Sound complex downtown is targeted to open by next spring. You wouldn't notice it from the outside, but the inside is a beehive of activity. The owners have a call out for proposals for tenants in the relabelled Soundworks property. They are looking to fill the building with local businesses, a market, restaurant and other attractions. Some firm applications have already come forward. The call for tenants runs to June 30 and a review expected by July 31. Tenants could move in this fall to a begin customizing their space. MORE


IF YOU FANCY YOURSELF as having an artistic touch, the City’s Street Banner Design Program is looking for amateur and professional artists and designers to submit their proposals. The banners will be on display next spring creating a vibrant visual presence downtown, including the Arts District, along Bowen Road, Third Street and other major routes. The call is open to all levels of experience. MORE


NANAIMO NEWS NOW has a great story of making the best of a challenging situation. Kim Pirie of Nanaimo had not ridden a bike since the last century, now he’s donating tens of thousands toward cancer research through his second Tour de Cure, a key BC Cancer Foundation fundraising initiative. Kim’s team raised more than $17,000 for in the 200 km cycling event last year from Cloverdale to Hope. He hopes to generate three times the amount this year and has pledged $50,000 for Nanaimo’s coming new cancer centre – ten grand a year for five years. Read the whole story HERE


JOHN COOPER’S WEEKLY real estate report shows new listings dropped to 53 this week from 62 last week. The market was active with 28 sales during the week. John says well-priced homes are often attracting multiple offers. Good news for buyers is that prices are not rising. He prognosticates prices will remain stable and inventory levels will rise slightly between now and August. If you want to connect with John, e-mail him at john@johncooper.ca orphone him at 250-619-9207.


SOME MEDIA OUTLETS jump quickly on anything that marks a first. Reports claimed that a Campbell River company made the first-ever commercial flight in an electric aircraft recently. Harbour Air might have something to say about that as they made the first-ever flight in an electric-powered plane some time ago. It may be splitting hairs, but the Campelll River flight had a paying passenger. Ian Lamont, Sealand Flight's chief instructor, says it's $80 an hour in fossil fuel to less than $2 an hour in electricity. The plane has a range of 50 minutes per battery charge. Here’s an idea – how about attaching windmills outside the plane to generate electricity while it flies on electric power? The concept of perpetual motion to the max. MORE


THE NURSING SHORTAGE on the south Island is a real pain for some maternity patients at Victoria General Hospital’s delivery ward. It is creating longer waits for epidurals which can take up hours of a nurse’s time, says Cait Jarvis of the B.C. Nurses Union. When an anesthetist administers an epidural, a nurse has to be one-on-one to monitor the patient. VGH has the only labour and delivery unit on southern Vancouver Island. MORE


STILL ON LABOUR SHORTAGES, the lack of sheriffs available at Vancouver courthouses is leading to trial delays. Five courtrooms were closed at the Vancouver Provincial Courthouse on Thursday and three in Port Coquitlam. The Trial Lawyers Association wants urgent action from the B.C. government to address the shortage of sheriffs. MORE


SOME STORIES ARE JUST TOO GOOD not to tell. “Hanging out” in a public shopping mall had a new meaning after man claimed in court that his "package" accidentally slipped out of his shorts in a Surrey mall. That did not impress Judge Jennifer Lopes who found Thomas Charles Cooper guilty of indecent exposure. The judge described the evidence of the accused as rehearsed, fanciful and unreliable. And there was mall video evidence of the case. Here’s the rest of the story, as they say. MORE


KEEPING UP WITH THE NEWS let's me indulge my favourite hobby - politics. The new kid on the block, the B.C. Conservatives, have a long and challenging road ahead in getting voters' attention. They have unveiled an ambitious platform for the October election. It’s the first time I recall a campaign platform laid out front and centre in this way. From My Perspective it’s refreshingly different from the rest of the bafflegab were are usually fed during elections. It will give voters a choice – they can choose between this or that. Have you noticed the smear campaigns arleady flooding our airwaves? It's going to get worse.  HERE


QUOTABLE – You don’t stop laughing when you grow old. You grow old when you stop laughing.


THANKS FOR READING and have a great weekend

June 14, 2024

City trying to find solutions to
fix
Alternate Approval Process

THE ALTERNATIVE APPROVAL PROCESS has been a royal pain in the neck for Nanaimo City Council, and they’re looking for ways to fix what’s broken. The city will address the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention to address the AAP process and ask the province to update its requirements. The city will also ask the province directly to address some of the issues that arose around two failed AAPs. Resident were able to collect up to 100 ballot forms per day during the the process. Councillors want that restricted to 10 forms per person. They also want to eliminate mail-out ballots nor allow electronic options citing financial and privacy concerns. Stay tuned. MORE


THE ROTARY CLUB OF NANAIMO has a huge garage sale on Saturday. Drop by Cavalotti Lodge on East Wellington Road from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. In case you have items to donate for the sale, call Jim Turley for details – cell/text 250-755-6903. Or drop them off at Cavalotti Lodge on Friday from noon to 5 p.m. Rotary events and fund raisers support Youth activities in Nanaimo.


ANOTHER REMINDER Property Tax payments are due by July 2. If you miss the deadline you’ll have a two-per-cent penalty added to your bill. It’s easy parting with your money, you can pay online, at your financial institution or at the Service and Resource Centre, 411 Dunsmuir Street. Access your account and a digital version of your property tax notice at mycity.nanaimo.ca and don't forget to claim your homeowner grant from the Province at www.gov.bc.ca/homeownergrant or by phone 1-888-355-2700.


NINE FIREARMS AND DRUG CHARGES have been laid against 36-year-old Cody Edward Ranger of Nanaimo after police and Canada Borders Services seized firearms and drugs at a south Nanaimo home. CBSA said charges were laid on May 15. The investigation was launched after finding three silencers at Vancouver International Airport's cargo operations in the summer and fall of 2022. MORE


QUOTABLE – When the government says you don’t need a gun, that’s when you need a gun. – Graham Greene, actor.

June 13, 2024

New residents moving into Newcastle Place

A NEW POPULATION HAS BEGUN moving into Newcastle Place, the temporary housing facility at 250 Terminal Ave. Violet Hayes, Island Crisis Care Society executive director, said people who had been staying at local shelters have begun moving to the controversial site. Reaching full capacity of 50 units will take about a month. She said people are moving in gradually from shelters. They have been stabilized and are ready for that next step, she added. MORE


THE DRIVER OF A CAR involved in a four-vehicle collision on East Wellington Road is in custody on suspicion of impaired driving. Emergency services responded to the crash at the East Wellington and Bowen Road intersection on Wednesday afternoon. The driver was taken to hospital for minor injuries, while his passenger suffered more significant injuries. R/Cst. Gary O’Brien said the suspect driver fled on foot but was apprehended after witnesses assisted police to locate the man. MORE


COMMERCIAL STREET MARKET downtown returns this afternoon for another season. The program includes retail sales, food and entertainment. It's open form 5-9 p.m. See you there. The weekly market runs until August.

 

RIDE HAILING AND FOOD DELIVERY DRIVERS in B.C. have a new  minimum-wage and basic protection for app-based platforms such as Uber, DoorDash and SkipTheDishes. The new regulations that will take effect on Sept. 3 are a first in Canada. The new rules set the minimum wage for the time a worker is engaged in a job at $20.88 per hour, 20 per cent higher than B.C.'s general minimum wage. The minimum wage does not apply to time spent waiting between assignments. All tips will go the drivers, they will get a 35- to 45-cent minimum per-kilometre vehicle allowance as well as coverage through B.C.'s workers' compensation agency. MORE

VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY has yielded to extortion by the student-led Palestine solidarity encampment and the Students for Palestine Committee. The university agreed to release investment information following a meeting with the protesters. MORE

 

IT MAY HAVE BEEN a bitter pill to swallow, but Lantzville council will comply with new provincial zoning policies. Owners of all residential-zoned parcels with access to municipal water and sewer services that are of a certain size are allowed to construct up to four small dwellings, allowing townhouses or row-houses. It didn’t sit well with some councillors in opposition. Coun. Jonathan Lerner said the legislation ties council’s hands. Coun. Joan Jones echoed that, reiterating that the standards are being implemented in every municipality and no municipality has the option to say no. MORE

 

USUALLY WE HAVE TO stay alert for bears and cougars, now you have to keep an eye out for deer while going for a hike. A dog was killed and a woman injured by a deer in West Kelowna Monday night. The B.C. Conservation Officer Service says the woman was walking her two Chihuahuas around 5:30 p.m. when it happened. A doe fatally trampled one of the dogs, and injured its owner. MORE


DO YOU HAVE SOMEONE you’d like to lock up in a cage for a while? Here’s your opportunity in the SPCA’s annual fund raiser which let’s you cage up your loved ones for the cause. The Lock-in for Love event raises money for the SPCA’s critical programs. It's already under way and continues until June 22. Get more details on how you can incarcerate someone you know HERE


IT’S A NUMBERS GAME. Mark Twain is reported to have opined that statistics are for liars. Numbers can say virtually anything you want them to. For instance, a new Angus Reid poll claims one third of British Columbians are seriously considering leaving the province for more affordable housing. Half of 18- to 34-year-olds are seriously thinking of leaving. Researchers found that 53 per cent say the province needs to focus more on addressing housing needs. Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver residents are least likely to want to move. MORE

 

A HOUSE ON HOWARD AVENUE was seriously damaged in a fire Monday afternoon. Thankfully there were no injuries. MORE

A dream come true,

a floating pub for sale

A pub floating on the water, complete with a private ferry and a four-bedroom home can be yours if you’ve got access to $4.8 million to become the new owners of The Dinghy Dock. The pub opened in 1989 as a marina and bait shop where mariners and thirsty fishermen could grab a bite and a beverage. As time went on, the Dinghy Dock expanded. Now it includes a full-service restaurant and several patios with a waterfront view from every seat in the house. The home is 2,655 square feet and was built in 1986. If this grabs your fancy, call Realtor Gordon Wang. Or view HERE

 

THE TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD is investigating Saturday’s plane crash in Coal Harbour. A small float plane collided with a boat when trying to take off. Two people on board the boat were seriously injured. Two others on the boat and were uninjured. No serious injuries were reported for the four plane passengers or the pilot. MORE


WHEN IT COMES TO racing sailboats there’s nothing like an entourage sailing alongside like a cheering section. That’s the sight for racers off the coast of Bowen Island on Saturday. Global News reported seven or eight orcas, including a calf, paid a lengthy visit to the race, playfully swimming beside some of the sailboats, coming within a few short metres from the boats and following them for about eight kilometres for about two hours. MORE


WE’VE BEEN SPOTLIGHTING ways the government is spending our money leading to the provincial election in October. Now federal finance minister Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is outlining how government is going to get even more money from Canadians. The Liberal government plans to take the first legislative step Monday to increase the inclusion rate on capital gains. Freeland it as a way to improve tax "fairness" for Canadians. The government proposes to make two-thirds of capital gains taxable. What's fair about that? MORE


A SERIOUS NOTE­ – Don’t forget to register for your homeowner grant so you don’t get all twisted up on tax deadline day.

June 9, 2024

Harbour Air float plane and boat collide in Vancouver

Two people were taken to hospital after a float plane and a pleasure boat collided in Vancouver Harbour Saturday afternoon. Video shows several boats surrounding a sinking aircraft in Burrard Inlet. Harbour Air said the seaplane was operating a scenic tour with five passengers, and it came into contact with a boat during takeoff. Harbour Air reported all of the passengers and the pilot were uninjured. BC Emergency Health Services said paramedics provided emergency care to two people, who were taken to hospital with minor injuries. See the video. MORE

 

WHAT AM I OFFERED? It’s open season on promises for the October provincial election, but it’s hard to keep track. They’re stacking up, there have already been many, but those just this weekend include Premier David Eby’s promise of a new fleet of 12 air ambulances, delivery not until next year. BCU leader Kevin Falcon has deep pockets when it comes to promises. His most recent was topping up the cost of daycare for those who don’t qualify for the province’s $10 plan. Then going into the weekend, Falcon promised free shingles vaccines for those older than 50. The cost per dose ranges at around $160. I didn’t see any price tags for those promises. MORE

 

CONSERVATION OFFICERS REFUSE to set up traps to catch a marauding cougar which has been plundering sheep farms in Nanoose Bay. Brant Protasiewich said the officer told him the cougar was displaying natural behaviour and would move on. Brant has been watching his flock by night, firearm at the ready. Saturday was the sixth day since the cougar started attacking his and his neighbour Peter Jjenga’s sheep herds, and had by then killed three and injured three more. “We need a trap being laid there for this cougar to be trapped, relocated and treated the way it’s supposed to be treated,” said Njenga. MORE

 

MEANWHILE, MORE FROM THE ANIMAL KINGOM as a modern-day Yogi Bear in Whistler helped himself to lunch from a golf cart. The victims of the blatant theft managed to get the miscreant’s action on video. Yogi dined well and the golfers moved on to the next hole. HERE

 

YESTERDAY’S MINUTE about our narrowing streets brought responses from a number of readers. You can now add Rutherford Road. They have made it so narrow after adding a bike lane, boulevard and railing to the existing sidewalk that they have had to add rubber pylons to the centre of the road on the corner to keep vehicles in their lane. I wonder about buses, garbage truck and other larger vehicles. No wonder the province came up with a safe-distance metre stick to squeeze everyone in.

June 8, 2024

12 new air ambulance planes promised

British Columbia will get a fleet of air ambulances by next year. Premier David Eby said the 12 new Beechcraft King Air ambulances will be able to land on gravel runways and access more rural and remote communities. The planes will have a uniform layout, making them easier for paramedics to use, and will offer expanded capabilities for specialized care. The planes caan carry advanced neonatal incubators and other life-support machines. Leanne Heppellof B.C. Emergency Health Services, said the new aircraft are the closest equivalent to flying an intensive care unit. MORE


CONGRATS TO ARLENE ROLSTON for being awarded the prestigious 2024 Fellows Award by the B.C. Chamber of Commerce. This accolade is a testament to Arlene's dedication, hard work, and outstanding contributions. She is the corporate secretary of the Nanaimo Port Authority. But the good news did not stop there at the B.C. Chamber annual general meeting. Nanaimo has been chosen as host of the 2025 AGM next May with delegates from across the province.


FORMER APOLLO 8 ASTRONAUT Retired Maj. Gen. William Anders was killed Friday when the plane he was piloting alone crashed into the water near the San Juan Islands, just off Vancouver Island. He was 90. Anders is best know for taking the iconic “Earthrise” photo showing the planet as a shadowed blue marble from space in 1968, He said the photo was his most significant contribution to the space program, given the ecological philosophical impact it had. MORE


GROWING DEMAND HAS the Cowichan Valley Basket Society looking for new, larger facilities. Manager Henry Wikkerink says the present building's tiny basement is the warehouse, and the demand for its services has grown at an alarming rate, up 100 per cent in the past 18 months. It hands out 600 food hampers per month, feeding about 1,300 people. It also serves 200 hot meals per day, all from a small space that has been its home for more than 20 years. MORE


ONE LAST SPIN marked the end of a legendary television career for Pat Sajak as he spun the Wheel of Fortune for the final time on Friday’s show. He has retired after a 41-year run as the host the classic game show. He said it’s been an incredible privilege to be invited into millions of homes night after night, year after year, decade after decade. MORE


QUOTABLE – When one door closes, open it. That’s what they are for.


OUR CITY COUNCIL IS A NARROW-MINDED LOT.  All you need to do is look at their idea of streets to see the evidence of how narrow-minded they are. They’re turning our roads into obstacle courses. If you need convincing, look at Front Street, Metral Drive, and now Terminal Avenue.

June 7, 2024

THERE’S A GLIMMER OF HOPE on the toxic drug front, but four more drug users died in Nanaimo in April. That’s way down from the 38 in the first three months of the year, with a record 15 in February. Still close to home, 69 toxic-drug related deaths occurred in the wider central Vancouver Island region in the first four months. BC Coroners Service preliminary figures for the province show deaths were also down with 182, an improvement at 24 per cent less than one year ago. Fentanyl was found in 82 per cent of those who’ve died from toxic drugs province-wide in the first four months of 2024. MORE


THE FALLOUT CONTINUES from B.C. Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s call for legalization and regulation of drugs. Dr. Henry testified at a federal parliamentary standing committee on health on May 30. Her position faced swift political response, including from Premier David Eby who appeared to agree with new B.C. Conservative MLA Elenore Sturko who said her new party is absolutely against the legalization of drugs in British Columbia. “We are not headed in that direction, we are not going to do that. I’ve been very clear about that,” Eby said. MORE

 

IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN what impact the quarter-per-cent interest rate cut by the Bank of Canada will have on the local real estate market. It’s been a pent-up market with cautious sales volumes in the hope of things to come on the interest front. Real Estate Board CEO Jason Yochim said low sales volumes combined with an impressive 1,804 new listings in May brings active listings to levels not seen since spring 2020. There were 4,242 active listings across the board area in May, comparable to May 2020. MORE

 

FOOT OFF THE GAS PEDAL - Gas prices continue to slide despite the summer rush inching closer. Prices in Nanaimo ranged from a low of $1.609 to $1.659 yesterday. Gas analyst Dan McTeague says prices could remain near this level through the summer. Prices are about 14 cents lower this year compared to last, despite a 3.5-cent increase from the carbon tax. It appears refineries in British Columbia, Washington state and California are not facing disruptions, leading to greater production. McTeague predicts gas prices will slowly rise in June but likely won’t surge to the numbers of last summer. MORE


THIS MARKS ONE YEAR since the Alberni Highway was closed near Cameron Lake as a result of a wildfire at Cameron Lake Bluffs. The province closed Highway 4 due to safety concerns above the major artery connecting the west coast to the mid-island. Traffic is flowing now but concerns remain for the future of the road.The only connection to the rest of Vancouver Island was through a four-hour detour to Lake Cowichan. Alberni Valley residents say now is the time for the province to build a viable alternative route that could be used on an emergency basis. MORE

 

CHALK ONE UP FOR THE LADY - The B.C. Supreme Court has dismissed the Royal Bank of Canada's attempt to force a widow to pay her late husband's $51,000 credit card bill.RBC sued Carol Smith for the outstanding balance, plus interest, on a Visa credit card account that belonged to her husband Alfred Smith, who died in June 2019. The bank argued that the 74-year-old widow had been approved as a co-applicant when her husband applied for the card in 2001, but the bank could not provide an application by Mrs. Smith for the card. She told the court she used her card believing she was an "authorized user" of her husband's account, and that he was solely responsible for all balances. The judge agreed. MORE

 

BALLS ON THE TABLE. A Vancouver restaurant has had its liquor licence suspended for three days after an inspector caught patrons playing pool. The Liquor Branch handed down the penalty Monday into an Enforcement Action issued in last October. Vancouver’s Johnnie Fox’s Irish Pub has a food primary licence not allowing "patron participation entertainment" – activities like darts or pool. It was the pub’s second infraction, so therefore, no “break.” MORE


QUOTABLE – Just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean you’re right.

June 6, 2024

D-DAY COMMEMORATION – Royal Canadian Legion Branch 256 on East Wellington Road is marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Canadians and Allied forces invaded Normandy on D-Day June 6 to liberate France and Western Europe from Nazi occupation. Military historian Gavin Cooper and D-Day veteran Tony Pearson will be among the speakers. The program will include the Pacific Gael Pipe Band, colour party and flyover. Canadian sailors, soldiers and airmen played a critical role in the Allied invasion of Normandy, also called Operation Overlord. MORE.


SEAN CARL JOHN PATTERSON who stabbed a man to death in downtown Nanaimo last year has been sentenced to seven years in jail, minus time served. Patterson pleaded guilty in December to manslaughter after the death of Serguei Chiliakhov at the Port Place Shopping Centre parking lot. Patterson has been in custody since Feb. 2023 and with time served, will service five more years. MORE

 

SHE MAY BE 75 YEARS OLD, but Deborah Wytinck has no plan to give up farming. A big event on the weekend was the shearing chore of her four ewes, with family and friends coming to see the shearing. Deborah wanted to be a farmer since she was nine. In the late 1970s, she and her late husband Don moved to Nanaimo and began raising their livestock. At one point they had 100 north country cheviot breeding ewes. The sheep are bred for lambs which then are either sold to larger operations or used for meat. She doesn’t know what the long term holds, but she’s going to keep the farm going. MORE


THE NANAIMO CRICKET CLUB has come back to life, rejuvenated with the re-installed pitch at Beban Park fields. It’s a dream come true for the reborn club which will now be able to host their league games in the Harbour City. The club folded in 2012, but it has grown substantially since re-forming in 2018 and playing their games in Victoria. Nothing like home sweet home. MORE


QUOTABLE – Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

June 5, 2024

THE CITY’S ANNUAL CAR TRUNK SALE back by popular demand, on Saturday, June 22. There’s repeat performance on Aug. 24. The first one runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Country Club Centre parking lot. Buyers, sellers and curiosity seekerscan join up to 150 vendors selling used items from the trunk of their cars. It’s all about reusing and giving unwanted household items a longer lease on life and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill. You can check it outHERE. To register, emailpublic.worksinfo@nanaimo.cawith the subject line: 2024 Trunk Sale Registration.


BC SUPREME COURT Justice Douglas Thompson is scheduled to deliver A verdict later this month in the trial of a junior hockey player on a charge of sexually assaulting a teenage girl. Testimony in The BC Supreme Court trial concluded Tuesday at the Nanaimo courthouse. Kenneth Boychuk, now 19 years old, is on trial for sexually assaulting a teenage girl in January 2023.MORE


THE BANK OF CANADA cut its interest rate by 25 basis points this morning, a move not seen since the beginning of the pandemic. That puts the rate at 4.75 per cent. It had been sitting at five per cent since July of last year. The bank began raising its key interest rate in March of 2022. The central bank now sees enough evidence that underlying inflation is easing at a sustainable level. MORE


SEEING STANLEY CUP GAMES at the rink carries a pretty price tag in Edmonton. Tickets went on sale today for the three possible games in the city. Game 3 ducats are showing up on resale sites for about $1,300. In the end zones be prepared to pony up $2,000 to $3,000, with prices rising to more than $4,000 for the prime spots between the blue lines.


QUOTABLE – You know you’re old when realize that your kids are senior citizens.

June 4, 2024

CHECK THE FERRY SCHEDULE first if you're planning to leave our Big Rock any time today. Environment Canada warns that a major weather pattern change could bring strong winds across Georgia Strait. The strong winds already resulted in some ferry cancellations on the Campbell River to Quadra Island, Hornby Island to Denman Island and Texada Island to Powell River routes. Sunshine is on the way by tomorrow.


MORTGAGE RENWAL WOES – Following the Bank of Canada’s historic rate hike cycle, the cost of borrowing money has put a significant strain on households from coast to coast to coast. Over the next year-and-a-half, 44 per cent of all mortgages will be up for renewal in Canada. CTV News reached out to about 60 mortgage brokers across Canada with a list of questions. Their answers provide professional guidance for individuals and families searching for clarity and sound advice. MORE


THE BANK OF CANADA MAY CUT the interest rate Wednesday, but then again, don’t count on it. The Central Bank has kept its policy rate on hold at 5.0 per cent since July, 2023. Higher interest rates discourage spending and slow growth, which takes away some inflationary fuel out of the economy. MORE

June 4, 2024

Every now and then the moon aligns with the stars to throw our planet out of whack making you question the sanity of everyone everywhere.

 

DESPITE A HOUSING CRISIS, our regional district has decided it’s a good time to update regulations affecting people living in recreation vehicles. If the updates go into force a lot of people living in RVs in the central Island will have no more than six months at a time before they have to move. What then, pull up stakes and spend a fortune on moving to another RV park for another six months? These are not pop-up tents, they are motor homes with full facilities, connected to services in commercial settings. They are part of the housing picture.

 

ALSO THIS WEEK WE LEARNED that three B.C. communities that had been promised the moon after massive flooding in November 2021 got nothing but the finger from Ottawa. Abbotsford, Merritt and Princeton spent a lot of money on studies and reports to satisfy Ottawa bureaucrats only to be told their 500-page application back up wasn’t sufficient.

 

That comes after Prime Minister Trudeau visited the area during the disaster he hugged one mayor and promised “we’ve got your back.” Justin did not tell him what that really meant. As one of the mayors wondered aloud, if it had been along the St. Lawrence, in Ontario and/or Quebec, would it have been a different story?” These communities are getting it in the back alright.

 

Now some people are floating a proposal to flood Sumas Prairie permanently to return it to a lake that existed 100 years ago. The proponents say it’s no big deal, only $1 billion to buy the farmland and flood the area which is one of our largest food-producing areas.

 

HERE’S AN INVESTMENT idea for someone wanting to make a few quick bucks. Sell something every vehicle should have – metre sticks – to help drivers determine their distances. New regulations went into effect this week to keep vehicles at least one metre from pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchairs, etc. The concept makes good sense, but how can a driver determine what distance 39 inches is while zipping along at 30 km/h? Thankfully the regulation includes “at least” in determining how far, so to be safe, keep your distance. Now if we can just get cyclists to observe the rules of the road.

 

EVERYTHING ELSE CONSIDERED, the October provincial election is sure to be a lively affair as the political ground undergoes massive shifts. More B.C. United/Liberals are abandoning ship and going to the Conservatives hoping to gain enough strength in a few months to even imagine toppling the NDP government.

 

What was wishful thinking in some quarters not too long ago is getting the attention of Premier David Eby who is refocusing his political darts at John Rustad’s Conservatives instead of the fading United. BCU has more money and more organization than the Conservatives, but if the current trend continues who knows what can happen? When a building crumbles, a firm foundation doesn’t do much good other than a rebuilding from the ground up.

 

AND WHILE WE’RE THINKING ELECTION, now would be a good time to start keeping track of all the promises we’re going to get from the government and those would hope to form government. We should sort them into specific categories that would determine their value, how many are good for the province and how many are political frills. While we’re at it, we could also tick off whether promises are serious . . . or just vote bait that will never see the light of day.

 

Everyone will promise, cross their hearts, that they will solve the drug crisis and the homeless problem and crime that goes with it. What we need to hear is what, when, where, how and how much along with a firm timeline.

 

Our medical system remains in shambles, with lots of room for new ideas and promises. With those we also need specifics. How many of them will be realistic and how many of them will be pie in the sky? It’s easy to promise a new hospital here or an emergency room there with no timeline. And who will promise to rehire the heath care workers still fired because they would not take vaccines? That comes in the shadow of U.S. Congressional hearings which put great question on the way the whole COVID scheme was handled, including masks, vaccines and the major shutdown.

 

Will any party do something to restore private property rights which have been decimated by the present government? Your home is not your home any more.

 

Those are good starting points, it will be tough to find others to classify as top priorities. Beware of the frills that look good, cost a lot of money, but don’t really amount to much.


COMMENT HERE

June 3, 2024

First the rain must fall, but there’s a change in the wind. More rain is in the forecast for today and Tuesday before changing to sunshine and warmth later in the week. Environment Canada's forecasts sunshine starting Wednesday. The high is expected to reach 15 on Wednesday followed by up to 22 degrees Thursday and Friday before climbing to 24 on Saturday.


A discarded lithium battery is believed the cause of a fire on a Gabriola garbage truck last week. The Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department made quick work of the fire on Thursday, but the incident interrupted service for the day and left many with full bins. Ben Routledge, manager of solid waste for the RDN, cautioned that batteries should never go into household garbage regardless of how small they are. MORE


Cycling week makes for a timely reminder that a new law protecting cyclists and pedestrians in British Columbia takes effect today, setting minimum distances that drivers must keep from vulnerable road users. Vehicles must keep at least one metre away from pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, electric scooter and wheelchair users when driving on roadways with speed limits of 50 km/h or less. For roads with higher speeds, the minimum distance is 1.5 metres when passing. MORE

June 2, 2024

You can do it . . . Go By Bike Week launched at Maffeo Sutton Park today. Then throughout the week, stations will be set up at locations around the city, hosted by sponsors with refreshments, cycling swag and offering minor repairs. Celebration stations will be at the following locations:

Monday, June 3, 7:30-9:30 a.m. at Metral Drive at Mostar Road;

- June 4, 4-6 p.m. at Lower Colliery Dam;

- June 5, 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the E&N Trail across from Brooks Landing;

- June 6, 4-6 p.m. at the Stevie Smith Bike Park;

- June 7, 4-6 p.m. at Front Street at Museum Way;

- June 8, 3-5 p.m. at Westwood Lake Park.

To cash in on some of the booty, visit www.gobybikebc.ca. To learn more about Go By Bike Week in Nanaimo and view a map of celebration station locations, visit http://gobybikebc.ca/nanaimo.


The various agencies dealing with the toxic drug crisis need to get their act together. That’s the message from panelists during the Nanaimo Community Action Team discussion last Tuesday. Jovonne Johnson, director with non-profit Risebridge, said has been thrown to the table as to what can be done. “For 10 years we’ve had health and housing plans and conferences, meetings and all always pointing to collaborative efforts. The thing is bringing the right people to the table,” said Johsnon. In the eight years since the toxic drug crisis was declared a health emergency, the Island Health region has recorded 2,400 drug-poisoning deaths. Other panelists Allison Ainsley from the South End Community Association, Wanda LeBlanc from Moms Stop the Harm, Sharon Karsten from Walk With Me, as well as several other organizations. MOR


People planning to cross the border could find themselves waiting in long lines at the border — delays that could also deal a blow to the economy. It all depends on what happens with a potential strike by workers at the Canada Border Services Agency, which could start as soon as Thursday. More than 9,000 Canada Border Services Agency workers, including border guards, have a strike mandate. The union will be a position to strike June 6. The Treasury Board says 90 per cent of front-line border officers are designated as essential, which means they can’t stop working during a strike. MORE


What’s the hurry? More than 2,830 violation tickets were issued by BC Highway Patrol to drivers over the May long weekend during a province-wide enforcement initiative that caught people speeding, driving impaired or without a license. Officers issued thousands of tickets, including to speeders, street racers and prohibited drivers. The Highway Patrol said there was no shortage of excessive speeders, drivers were charged, received fines ranging from $368 to $483 and also had their vehicles impounded for seven days. In one instance, the driver of a Ferrari was going 143 km/h in a posted 80 km/h zone. Another incident saw two street racers stopped after travelling more than double the speed limit — 131 km/h in a 60 km/h zone. MORE


QUOTABLE – Police have confirmed that the man who fell from the roof of a night club was not a bouncer.

June 1, 2024

Charlene McKay

School trustee Charlene McKay has had enough. She resigned from the school board on Friday, citing an unprofessional work environment. The two-term member and former chairman had been elected in 2018 and again in 2022. She said the majority of the board struggles with understanding their role within school board governance and their responsibilities as an employer. She said she experienced passive-aggressive innuendo in meetings as well as harassment, amateurish e-mail communications toward her, and a work environment fraught with outbursts. She said the experiences have affected her health and led to an earlier leave of absence. MORE


Three Nanaimo dancers will take centre stage at the Canadian Highland Dance championships following their medal-winning finishes at provincial trials in Port Coquitlam last week. Annalise Lam walked away with top honours in the 18-21 age group while Allison McBride was tops in the 10-12 division. Keltie Willis was first runner-up among 16-18-year-olds. They train with Brigadoon instructor Diena Henry. The Dance Academy will stage a show on June 9 at at the Port Theatre featuring the academy’s dancers, Pacific Gael Pipes and Drums and other acts. You can get tickets by calling the Port box office at 250-754-8550 or visiting www.porttheatre.com.


Happy retirement to school superintendent Scott Saywell after 30 years as a teacher and administrator. He gained social media fame over the years, making school snow closure announcements while singing and playing guitar and posting videos to the school district’s YouTube page. School board chairman Greg Keller said Saywell spent his career dedicated to improving life chances for the district’s most vulnerable students. MORE


The former Nanaimo Bakery on Bowen Road reopens today as Nanay Mo’s Filipino Cuisine. The name is not a play on words for Nanaimo, but translates from Filipino to “a mother’s cooking.” Maribel Bay and her husband Irineo are the owner of Nanay Mo’s. The menu for the new takeout restaurant comes from her family’s favourite recipes from the Philippines. The Bays moved to Canada 15 years ago and have three sons: Liam, 10, Brandon, 17, and Niko, 30, with special needs requiring significant support from his family. Niko is still in the Philippines, so the Nanaimo couple have been trying to bring their son to Canada for 12 long years to make their family complete. MORE

May 31, 2024

Our illustrious leader and defender of goodness and righteousness has ridden up on his great white steed – oops, his palomino – and devised a new way to root out racists among us. Thanks to David Eby, victims of racism will now be able to report it to a government phone line in more than 240 languages. But a la George Orwell, he also wants anyone witnessing racism to rat out the perceived offenders. The helpline will collect data to create a province-wide demographic survey about systemic racism, another way of categorizing people, each into his/her pigeon hole. That in itself is racist. Too often those claiming victimhood are in fact the true racists.


A new multi-family housing project in the Newcastle neighbourhood will add 47 residential units. City Council has approved the development permit for Holly Avenue, off Rosehill Street. It will has mainly of one-bedroom apartments, nine two-bedroom apartments, three studio and three-bedroom units, as well as six adaptable units. There will be 67 under ground parking spaces and 31 long-term bicycle storage spaces. MORE


Nanaimo has a low-wage problem, and it’s getting worse. The new $17.40 hourly minimum wage falls short of the living wage for the Nanaimo region of $22.87, claims the left-wing Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The Nanaimo region is behind the provincial curve for lower-paying jobs, with about 23 per cent locally earning less than $20 per hour. Across the province it’s about 18 per cent in most cities. MORE


Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is not backing off her drive to legalize and regulate drugs to mitigate the harm of the toxic drug crisis. She addressed the federal government’s Standing Committee on Health on Thursday at its 10th meeting. She told the committee that prohibition and the unregulated and toxic supply of drugs is one of the leading causes of the high number of overdose deaths in B.C. and the country. She said the unregulated and toxic supply is the central cause of the high number of overdose deaths in B.C. and the country. Henry said the proximal cause of this crisis is the increased potency and unpredictable drugs on the street. MORE


We may be in for more solar light displays in the next little while, maybe even this weekend. A major solar active region on the sun continues to put out large expulsions of plasma and magnetic energy, and these impressive solar flares are getting set to face our planet again as northern lights. That same sunspot is reappearing and it has the potential to produce some pretty strong flares in the coming days and months. MORE


QUOTABLE – The extensive work done on Metral Drive has some residents wanting to rename it the Metral Obstactle Course.

Premier David Eby

JUNE 15


Snow warnings issued

for interior mountain passes

Snow is not a usual topic in June but Environment Canada warns motorists of possible snow at mountain passes. A weather system will bring a cool air mass to the B.C. Interior on Saturday and Sunday, which may combine with some heavy precipitation to form snow at mountain passes. Up to five centimetres may fall on parts of the Coquihalla Highway, the Okanagan Connector,  and the Kootenay and Rogers passes. MORE


Rivers in northeastern B.C. expected to rise rapidly amid heavy rainfall


B.C. study argues for global basic income, despite opposition


Tornado warning issued for northern central Alberta


B.C. Hockey League shifts

Prince George to Coast


Victoria files court petition to stop

short-term rental operator


MLA Mike de Jong testifies about

in-person worship ban in court


$100K wildfire fine on hold

after B.C. man's successful appeal


Kelowna 'vexatious litigant' faces sentencing for assault, contempt


Caribou protection sparks creation of B.C.’s biggest new park in a decade


WestJet Encore pilots ratify deal, averting possibility of strike

June 11


Oral insulin developed
by researchers at UBC

UBC researchershave developed a needle-free method for people manage diabetes. More than 11 million people in Canada have diabetes or prediabetes, with many controlling their blood sugar with diabetes injections. Dr. Shyh-Dar Li's team at UBC has developed oral drops that can be placed under the tongue. He explains the drops of insulin contain a cell-penetrating peptide, which helps the dose reach the bloodstream. Without that peptide, the insulin can remain stuck in the lining of the mouth, researchers explained. He called the discovery of that peptide a game changer. MORE


Rare B.C. white grizzly, cubs die after being hit by cars


One dead after small plane crashes at remote Yukon airport


Ambassadors saving turtles

at Buttertubs Marsh


Panthers 2 wins from Stanley Cup, top Oilers 4-1 for 2-0 lead in title series


Indigenous Victoria artist gains support

for Indigenous-inspired B.C. logo


Premier Eby slams Ottawa's

immigration offer to Quebec


B.C. scientists headed to the bottom of the ocean floor as it reforms


Wildfire that evacuated Fort Nelson

now listed as under control


Canadian border strike deadline pushed back as talks continue

June 10


Searchers scan aerial video for clues

about missing B.C. climbers

 

Universities warn of foreign influence registry’s ‘chilling effect’

 

Edmonton Oilers look to regroup

after loss in Stanley Cup opener

 

Cameron Dukes throws 3 TDs as

Argos beat B.C. Lions 35-27

 

From Hawaii to B.C., wildfires underscore resiliency challenges for telecoms

 

Police say 2 Vancouver drug policy advocates charged with trafficking

 

Man with brain injury can advance complaint against BC Ferries

 

Feds sue B.C. firm, truck driver

in fatal crash that burned bridge


June 9


Drunk driving suspect
charged with biting cop

Policing can be a dangerous job. Just ask one Langford RCMP member who was bitten on the arm during the arrest of a 24-year-old woman on suspicion of driving drunk. Mounties responded after being advised that a woman was observed consuming a large quantity of liquor before getting in a car and driving away. "When officers advised the suspect that she was being investigated for impaired driving, she became belligerent and ran away," RCMP stated. "A brief foot chase and physical struggle occurred, in which the woman bit the officer’s arm. She was arrested for impaired driving, assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest." MORE


Bobrovsky makes 32 saves, Panthers blank Oilers 3-0 in Game 1 of Stanley Cup final

 

Federal court rejects bid to review not renewing licences of B.C. fish farms

 

Police say two Vancouver drug policy advocates charged with trafficking

 

Man with brain injury can advance complaint against BC Ferries

 

Feds sue B.C. firm, truck driver in fatal crash that burned bridge

 

Keeping your kids safe on social media: what parents should know

 

Canadian border strike pushed back at least until June 12: union

 

THE MOJ: Nine burning questions as the CFL season set to kick off

 

B.C.'s unemployment rate rises to 5.6 per cent in May

 

Oil CEOs tell House of Commons committee they support carbon pricing


June 7, 2024


Falcon pledges to one-up
NDP on $10 day care

BC United Party is dangling cash in front of British Columbians to entice them to vote for the party. Leader Kevin Falcon offered a child care election promise Thursday, saying his party will offer cash to subsidize parents unable to access the NDP government’s current $10-a-day child care spaces.“I want all the parents out there struggling with unaffordable day care to understand this: we are going to fix this problem immediately,” he said. MORE


Doctor shortages spurring

bonuses at Mainland hospitals

Emergency departments at some Lower Mainland hospitals are offering bonuses to lure doctors to pick up shifts, with the hardest-to-fill shifts worth up to $4,125. Langley Memorial, Abbotsford Regional, and Peace Arch hospitals are also facing significant gaps in their summer schedule, with too few doctors signed up to work. MORE


COVID-19 numbers surged
in BCDC May case update

COVID19 numbers were up in May as cases surged 67 per cent to 162 test-positive patients in B.C. hospitals, up from just 97. Data released by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control on Thursday shows the latest hospitalization total is the highest since March 14, when there were 163 people hospitalized with the disease. Wastewater data has shown increasing concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 in recent weeks, but the BCCDC says that severity indicators have stabilized, following an increase in early May. MORE


Unplugged: Life as a teen without

social media isn't easy

 

‘Significant challenges’ suspend search for missing mountaineers near Squamish

 

Canada’s doctors urged to screen all adolescent patients for eating disorders

 

Saskatchewan rampage review finds

‘areas for growth’ in response

 

$1.5B federal co-op housing program expected to add thousands of homes

 

B.C. D-Day vet presented France’s

highest honour for help in liberation

 

One man, 180 ER visits in one year:

B.C. adds science adviser to combat crisis

 

B.C. teachers’ union denies Holocaust education group status for funding

 

Call to Action aimed to spark prevention, awareness in B.C. wildfire areas

June 5


Woman with machete

charged with stealing taxi

A woman has been charged with multiple crimes after a taxicab was stolen and taken on a multi-city ride across Greater Victoria with a suspect brandishing a machete. Samantha Ann Ethel McDonald was charged with robbery, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, and assaulting a peace officer causing bodily harm, after three police departments tracked down the stolen taxi. It began at about 11:30 p.m. Friday, when a taxi driver in downtown Victoria reported his car was stolen by a woman wielding a machete. MORE


Mayne seeks federal Conservative Party nomination for Coutenay-Alberni


Improving weather may give searchers window to find missing B.C. climbers


B.C. D-Day vet dies on the eve of his return to Normandy


ICBC must pay customers hit by privacy breach $15K each, B.C. judge rules


Better matches goal of new B.C. organ donor program


B.C. Tiananmen Square vigil

keeps flame burning


Support flows in for truck-driving brothers killed in Shuswap collision


B.C. school district investigates exam asking pupils if Israel should exist


Vancouver home sales drop nearly 20 per cent in May as inventories climb


Black Press Media parent company acquires Oregon’s largest newspaper group


June 3

Sturko brings Conserative

ranks to four members

And then there were four. The BC Conservative ranks keep growing. Surrey South MLA Elenore Sturko says she’s joining the provincial Conservatives to “rebuild the coalition that’s needed to defeat the NDP.” Last week, Lorne Doerkson, the former BC United caucus chair, witched to the Conservatives. That comes after the Conservatives rejected a proposal from BC United to create a non-competition agreement. More may be yet to come.


Natural gas buses pulled
from service in Victoria

Several compressed natural gas buses in Victoria have been removed from service after a recall by Transport Canada. BC Transit says replacement parts are expected to arrive this week and buses will return to service after the part is fixed. Transit users may face delays and trip cancellations in the meantime. The recall was related to fuel system defects which could result in natural gas leaks, causing fire or explosion. MORE


Jonas Brothers to headline Grey Cup halftime show in Vancouver


$530M federal fund aimed at helping communities adapt to climate change


Man arrested after car smashes several vehicles, just misses B.C. pedestrians


RCMP shoot and kill man in Mackenzie, B.C. during response to fraud call


Avalanche conditions hampering search

for 3 missing climbers near Squamish


25 passengers report illness while on board Vancouver-Houston flight


A CBSA strike could soon snarl border traffic. Here’s what you need to know


‘Rotten rock’: Climate change altering

the face of Canadian mountaineering


New website, survey aimed at creating Filipino cultural centre in B.C.


Park bench dedicated to slain

RCMP officer Rick O’Brien

June 2

Search near Squamish

for three missing climbers

A search is under way for three mountain climbers who were reported overdue near Squamish. They left for Atwell Peak in Garibaldi Park on Friday and have not been heard from since. Squamish Search and Rescue and the RCMP are trying to locate them, but have been hampered by inclement weather. Extreme avalanche conditions are also challenging. MORE


Canada sending three ships
to RIMPAC operations

Canada will send three Royal Canadian Na vy vessels to support the Indo–Pacific Strategy in the coming days. Defence Minister Bill Blair said the HMCS Vancouver will leave Esquimalt for Hawaii to take part in RIMPAC, the largest joint and combined maritime exercise in the world. HMCS Max Bernays, MV Asterix and a shore-based contingent of about 300 Canadian Armed Forces members will also be at RIMPAC. After RIMPAC 2024 concludes, Vancouver will continue west for Operation Horizon, a forward-presence mission in theIndo–Pacificregion. MORE


Airline passengers get sick
after cruise ends in Vancouver

A United Airlines plane has been taken from service after passengers on a flight from Vancouver to Houston, Texas became ill. Some passengers had all been on the same cruise and did not feel well,” the airline said. The Houston Fire Department said 75 passengers were on a cruise together in Vancouver, and 25 reported feeling nauseous on the flight. MORE


Electric scooter ignites

fire in apartment building

Two people were taken to hospital after a fire at an apartment complex in Chilliwack Friday night. Seventeen firefighters were sent to the scene. When they arrived they found the first floor filled with smoke, and helped residents evacuate. The department said the blaze was started by a charging electric scooter. The building’s sprinklers helped control the spread. Firefighters reminded anyone charging electronic devices to follow manufacturer instructions, charge away from flammable materials and avoid overcharging. MORE


Justice Minister urges tougher
bail principles by courts

The Federal Justice Minister Arif Virani wants justices of the peace and provincial court judges to ensure bail principles as police report high rates of people on bail reoffending. “The fact that we’re seeing people who are let out on bail and then subsequently returning because they are, in fact, reoffending, means that we need to ensure that those principles are being properly applied by justice of the peace and by provincial court judges,” the minister said. MORE


June 1

Premier says Pickton's death was 'good riddance'

The death of infamous serial killer Robert Pickton was “good riddance,” in Premier David Eby’s eyes. Pickton died after an assault in prison about two weeks ago. Eby said his first thoughts were with the families of Pickton’s victims.  MORE

 

Another former United MLA

joins B.C. Conservatives

First-term B.C. United MLA Lorne Doerkson, has crossed the floor to join the BC Conservatives. The MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin called it the hardest decision of his life – one motivated by the inability of BC United and the BC Conservatives to strike a deal to work together in advance of the coming October election, as well as pressure from his constituents, keen to see a Conservative in their riding. MORE


Canadians' suport for LGBT shows major decline

Pride month in June comes at a time when support for LGBTQ2 rights in Canada are dropping. Ipsos polled adults in 26 countries on a variety of metrics measuring support for the queer community. Canada was among the few countries where support for rights and visibility appeared to register precipitous drops, Ipsos vice-president of public affairs Sanyam Sethi said. “What really stood out to me was how starkly Canadians are changing their opinions,” she said. MORE

 

14 arrested after pro-Palestine protesters block rail line

Police are recommending charges after 14 people were arrested at a protest by pro-Palestinian demonstrators who were blocking rail lines in East Vancouver. Cst. Tania Visintin said protesters blocked the CNR lines and refused multiple requests to move and some became hostile. More than three hours after police were called, protesters were arrested for mischief and obstruction. MORE