Woman injured while crossing Nicol Street

24-02-28 – A pedestrian has been airlifted to a hospital in Victoria after being involved in a collision with a motor vehicle. The incident occurred at approximately 11:15 p.m. on Tuesday in the 200 block of Nicol Street.

Police, Fire and BCEHS responded. The victim, a Nanaimo woman in her 50s, was treated at the scene by BCEHS then transported to the Nanaimo hospital with life-threatening injuries. She was later airlifted to a hospital in Victoria.


Police spoke with the driver of the vehicle, a man in his 40s. The driver remained at the scene. Drugs and alcohol have been ruled out as contributing factors on part of the driver. Based on evidence obtained, police have been able to determine that the vehicle was proceeding south on Nicol Street. When the collision occurred, the vehicle was passing in front of the MGM Restaurant. The victim was crossing over the four-lane roadway, in an area where there was no designated crosswalk. Investigators noted that it was raining at the time and the victim was wearing dark non-reflective clothing.


The roadway was closed for about three hours while investigators including a Collision Analyst examined the scene and collected forensic evidence. The vehicle involved was seized for investigative purposes and later released.


Investigators are asking for any dashcam video from motorists who were in the area at the time of the collision or anyone who has eye witness evidence. If you have information on this incident, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

SIGN OF THE TIMES ­ – The adult court docket for Nanaimo on any given day makes up to 36 pages! Take a look at what courts are dealing with, the whole gamut including rape, sexual assault, threats, common assault, weapons charges, possession of child pornography, thefts and drug charges galore – all in one single day. Take a look HERE.


THE SENSELESS DEATH of a Nanaimo woman of an infection at age 23 raised health-care debate in the B.C. legislature Monday. B.C. Conservative Party MLA Bruce Banman brought up the case of a Nanaimo Unitarian Shelter worker who died this past fall after months of misdiagnosed health problems. “Sophia, like close to a million other British Columbians, did not have a family doctor and struggled to get a diagnosis for her rapidly declining health,” Banman said, adding her death was preventable.

     Nanaimo Unitarian Shelter Executive Director Paul Manly has posted an extensive backgrounder into this sad story. It's definitely must-read material. HERE

HOSPITAL TAX INCREASE.  If you’re unhappy with the city’s budgeted tax increase of about 7.5 per cent, don’t look now. The Nanaimo Regional Hospital District’s new patient tower and cardiac catheterization lab are part of the $48-million budget, meaning a 28.2-per-cent increase in the tax requisition. Remember, the city makes up only one share of your tax bill. The big ones include the Regional District, the School District, the Hospital District and some smaller requisitions. Each have their own budgets and set their tax rates apart from the city. Seven per cent is beginning to sound a lot better.

MORE SNUNEYMUXW LAND – The City has transferred and additional 81 hectares of land to the Snuneymuxw First Nation. The city previously transferred 212 hectares in the Mount Benson area. The move was approved at Monday’s council meeting.

MOVING ON UP ­– Vancouver Island University’s Nanaimo campus will get a 10-storey student housing facility after the city approved a development permit on Monday. The $88 million complex will have 266 student beds as well as support services, amenity spaces and food options. The approval included a big height variance to about 108 feet in height. The project is funded almost entirely by the province. MORE

THERE’S NO END in sight to the scourge of homelessness. The number of people living on Vancouver streets could spike to 4,700 people by 2030 projects a new study by the Carnegie Housing Project. Between 2,400 and 3,000 people in Vancouver are homeless now. Kevin Conrod is a Downtown Eastside Resident who has not had stable housing in 10 years. He currently sleeps at shelters and says he’s been on a waiting list for social housing for about four years and some people have been on it for 10 years. MORE


TAX SCAM SEASON – Now that tax season is in full swing get ready for a rise in scams. The scams are generally related to your tax refund or if you have a balance owing. There's a tons of schemes out there. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre warns of text messages claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency. Fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated in their approach and messages even include the victim’s full name and social insurance number asking a payment be sent to a phone number. Don't risk being defrauded, if you're not sure, don't do it. MORE

QUOTABLE – Don’t get mad at lazy people, they haven’t done anything.

Governments on the take in unaffordable housing

Federal and provincial politicians do a lot of talking about affordable housing, yet they are responsible for a lot of the rising costs. The B.C. budget added another tax, the flipping tax which is in reality an inflation tax. It will be 20 per cent for income earned from properties sold within the first year, declining to 10 per cent if sold after 18 months, and zero after two years. These taxes are added on to the selling price. Take a $750,000 house and the buyer has to add $12,000 in the government's property transfer tax grab. That raises the price to $762,000. Real estate fees are up to $30,000. That makes is $792,000 just to break even but in the government's eyes you made 30 grand. Then the flipping tax, depending on how long you've owned the home, is $5,000 or so, just to break even. In round numbers that all adds up to $800,000 or more for that $750,000 home – you haven’t made a flipping dime but the government lines its pockets and blames you for making housing unaffordable. If you're going to make a profit you have to add quite a bit more to the price.  24-02-27


SNOW IN FORECAST – Depending where you live in our fair city, be prepared to get a dump of snow.

ARSONIST SENTENCED – The man who set fire to the diaper aisle at Walmart in Nanaimo one year ago will spend six years in prison. In a second Nanaimo incident he tossed a flammable object into a car, causing a fire and explosion at Pure Gold Automotive. Edwin Singh, 42, was sentenced for seven counts of arson in Nanaimo, Victoria and Saanich within six months.  MORE

A CYCLING BANDIT made off with $3,000 in watches from The Gold and Silver Guy after smashing a window. Manager Jeremy Daniels said his business has been targeted 24 times in the past 25 years.  He says the thief took at least 20 pocket watches and several wristwatches. He says he has no insurance as it becomes more prohibitive with each theft. “Every time we get hit it drops the odds we can get insured anywhere,” he added. The theif wore a mask and gloves and escaped on a bike. MORE


MINIMUM WAGE WORKERS in B.C. will get a 65-cent-an-hour raise June 1, raising the minimum wage to $17.40 as part of the province’s commitment to increase the wage based on inflation. That amounts to 3.9 per cent, which the government says is the average rate of inflation in 2023. There are different minimum wages for resident caretakers, live-in home-support workers and camp leaders which will also increase by 3.9 per cent on June 1. MORE


THE COLDEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR totals are now in. Walkers raised $121,855 from 424 walkers, 59 teams and 56 volunteers in Nanaimo on Saturday. That was 81 per cent of the target. Local Rotary Club teams raised almost $13,000. The Oceanside walk surpassed it's goal, hitting 113 per cent, with $114,525 from 292 walkers on 39 teams with 65 volunteers. St. Stephens Stompers, with 60 members, topped the Oceanside walk at $29,000. See the full list HERE


CHAMBER ANNUAL MEETING – Jobs Economic Development and Innovation Minister Brenda Bailey will be the keynote speaker at the Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting on April 26. Voting for new directors is open from 10 to 11:30 a.m. with networking. The keynote address is at 11:30 a.m. with AGM business from 1 to 1:30 p.m.


WOUNDED WARRIOR RUNNERS are on their way. The run, now 11 years old, started in Port Hardy on Sunday morning and continues down the Island. They will stop at Branch 256 Legion in Nanaimo on Friday, between 4:30 and 5 pm. They are stopping in various communities before arriving in Victoria next Sunday. It’s 800 kilometres in eight consecutive days, with seven participants this year. Funds raised go to Wounded Warriors Canada, a nationally-recognized mental health service provider dedicated to serving ill and injured Trauma Exposed Professionals (TExPs) and their families. MORE

QUOTABLE – People often mistake me for an adult because of my age.

THE PUBLIC WORKS OPERATIONS CENTRE has been controversial from day one, resulting in two failed Alternate Approval Process attempts to get funding. Now some of those organizing the opposition point to the gold-plated goodies of the project, including the "gender neutral" washrooms that form part of the cost. What, no bidets? It would be enlightening to get a cost breakdown for taxpayers. Wokism is on a rampage and we're expected to pay for it. Before proceeding further, city council needs to ReImagine Nanaimo and bring the costs down to an acceptable level for a garage with office space.



THE COLDEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR walkers raised $121,855 from 424 walkers, 59 teams and 56 volunteers in Nanaimo on Saturday. That was 81 per cent of the target. Local Rotary Club teams raised almost $13,000. The website lists Evelyn Boegh raising $6,585 through her Rotary Club. Barbara Waine brought in $4,420 from the St. Andrews Presbyterian Church team. The Oceanside walk surpassed it's goal, hitting 113 per cent, with $114,525 from 292 walkers on 39 teams with 65 volunteers. Of special note, the St. Stephens Stompers, with 60 members, topped the Oceanside walk at $29,000. See the full list HERE

INCOME TAX TIME can be a real challenge, no matter what your income. Volunteer Nanaimo is gearing up to assist people on low and fixed incomes, newcomers to Canada, and young workers in filing their taxes. The income tax clinic runs Fridays and Saturdays in March and April. Volunteer Nanaimo executive director Rita Innamorati says many government programs are based on income, so if the income is not reported, and taxes aren’t filed such programs are suspended until that income tax comes in. MORE

WANTED FOR VIOLENT CRIMES – RCMP are searching for a man accused of several violent crimes. Arrest warrants are out for 38-year-old Curtis Jesse Houle on three charges for assault with a weapon based on a November incident in Nanaimo where a woman was bear sprayed. Houle is 6’3″, 185 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. The picture is recent. Houle has an extensive criminal background, including numerous convictions for crimes of violence, drug trafficking and driving infractions. MORE


MAN IN CUSTODY­ – RCMP apprehended a man under the Mental Health Act after a four-hour standoff with police in Cedar on Sunday. Police were called to the rural home for a man experiencing a mental health crisis with access to firearms. Two family members were able to leave the home, and police contained the home and escorted nearby residents from their homes. A crisis negotiator convinced him to leave the house and he was apprehended and taken to hospital for a psychiatric assessment. Seven long guns and ammunition were seized. MORE

POWER OUTAGES left close to 10,000 customers in the dark on south Vancouver Island Sunday afternoon. B.C. Hydro’soutage list showed 22 outages in North Saanich, Central Saanich, Colwood, Langford, Metchosin and Sooke. Also included in this list are smaller outages in Duncan, Chemainus and Ganges. Many of the outages were in the Sooke and Metchosin areas, where a tree down across wires is to blame, affecting more than 1,400 customers. MORE

LYNX AIR CUSTOMERS appear to be out of luck now that the low-cost carrier has shut down under creditor protection. The airline also said there will be no refunds for those who hold tickets. WestJet is offering a 25-per-cent discount for Lynx ticket holders and has capped all Canadian fares at $500 for those ticket holders.

QUOTABLE – I've travelled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

A COMMENT from a reader about the case in Vancouver where a blind man’s white cane was brazenly stolen. How did we get to such a sad, awful state where a legally-blind homeless person lives by going to shelters at night and wandering the streets by day? He arrived in Canada from Iran two months ago. How does a situation like that slip through the support services that are supposed to be there? How does a handicapped person get entry into Canada to live on the streets? But then, is it all that shocking when we have a lot of homeless people barely existing in our society? Something's not quite kosher.

Feb 24, 2024


THE SEARCH CONTINUES FOR 45-year-old Sara Sherry of Errington who hasn’t been seen since in more than a week. Oceanside RCMP and Arrowsmith Search and Rescue continue after a pickup truck believed to have last been driven by Sherry was found in a ditch on Friday, around 15 metres off a logging road near Hwy. 19 and NW Bay Logging Rd. That area is a popular spot for back country enthusiasts and search crews searched the area day and night. MORE

HOMEOWNERS IN THE Regional District of Nanaimo can now participate in the expansion of the government’s secondary suites incentive program. The three-year pilot program begins in mid April and offers 3,000 homeowners forgivable loans of up to $40,000 to create a new secondary suite or an accessory dwelling. They must be rented below market rates for at least five years. The program was initially announced in fall 2023 for municipalities. MORE


HULLO FERRIES are running on schedule inspite of one of its two ships being at a Victoria shipyard for routine maintenance. Hullo is getting ahead of an increased schedule starting on March 1, including late-night sailings for Canucks games, concerts and other events. Also starting next month, passengers will be able to bring up to three large bags onboard for an additional fee. MORE

LYNX AIR CUSTOMERS appear to be out of luck now that the low-cost carrier has shut down under creditor protection. The airline also said there will be no refunds for those who hold tickets. WestJet is offering a 25-per-cent discount for Lynx ticket holders and has capped all Canadian fares at $500 for those ticket holders.


QUOTABLE – The prescription that the doctor said I would have to take for the rest of my life has me concerned ­– it’s marked “no refills.”

THERE IS A TRUISM that you can’t spend you way into prosperity, yet that appears to be what the provincial government is trying to do with Thursday’s budget. The record spending spree comes with a deficit of close to $6 billion this year, rising to $8 billion next year. The interest alone on that level of borrowing adds greatly to the cost of government, an expenditure that contributes nothing, just circling down the drain. Municipalities have to balance their budgets. If they want to spend more than the income they have on hand they must have the courage to raise taxes accordingly – true accountability. It may be a radical idea, but it would bring a lot more fiscal responsiblity if higher levels of government were held to that standard.   Feb. 22, 2024


PAIN AT THE PUMP – Now would be a good time to top up the tank, gas prices are soaring again across the province. The latest average price in Nanaimo was $1.799 per litre at last report, but indications are it won’t stay there. Analyst Dan McTeague believes the price will rise even further to a level not seen since early October. Refineries are going through seasonal maintenance which cause shutdowns for two or three weeks as they switch to summer fuel blends. This could have direct impact on fuel supply across the Pacific Northwest. MORE


AWAKENING HISTORY – Nanaimo could see a revival of engrained heritage of Japanese settlers in our early development. The Central Vancouver Island Japanese Canadian Cultural Society is seeking city council endorsement for a cultural space and a heritage site in the city. Brian Sugiyama of the Japanese History Society has asked the city to support for its application to the Japanese Canadian Legacies Society for grants for a cultural and performing arts space in Beban Park Social Centre and a heritage site on waterfront.


SUNSHINE COAST FERRY USERS are getting the cold shoulder from B.C. ferries over future ferry services. BC Ferries postponed meetings and said public consultation sessions would be moved online following an outburst in which a resident said a lot of the problems are based on reservations and threatened to “take a gun” to BC Ferries if they increased the number of reservation spots above 50 per cent. More than 40 people attended the meeting in Gibsons in September, after cancellation of 32 sailings over two months. MORE


LADYSMITH RCMP are investigating a shooting at an unoccupied vehicle parked at a home on the Stz’uminus First Nation on Feb. 18. Police are looking for witnesses and surveillance video. Sgt. Tim Desaulniers, acting officer in charge of the Ladysmith RCMP, said officers can only provide limited information in order to protect the investigation. If you have information, including dash-cam or surveillance video,  contact the Ladysmith RCMP at 250-245-2215

HALL OF FAME ­– Four more people have entered the Nanaimo Sports Hall of Fame after being inducted Friday. That brings to 45 the number in the hall at the Nanaimo Museum. Two athletes and two builders were added to the list. Swimmer Lauren van Oosten and golfer Sandy Harper are the athletes who were honoured. Builders Bob Gold and Leo Beier were recognized posthumously.

QUOTABLE – Something you’re not allowed to ask questions about is something you should ask more questions about.



IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BUDGET – The 2024 B.C. budget includes new spending measures designed to ease high costs of living, while significantly boosting the province’s deficit. Here are the highlights from the Vancouver Sun. They look at the deficit, spending, cost of living, housing, health and the cover-all climate. More budget coverage HERE.


MORE MONEY FOR SEWAGE – The City needs to pump more cash into the Seventh Street sewage pump station upgrade. Staff reported to the finance committee that the budget had climbed considerably. Public Works Manager Bill Sims said the original plan was to upgrade the system before 2031, but it’s happening sooner than expected partly due to growth and the rainstorm in November, 2021, that overwhelmed the system. The additional funding will come from the sewer development cost charges reserve fund and the sewer asset management reserve fund. It now goes to a full city council meeting for approval.


SAILINGS CANCELLED  – BC Ferries has cancelled multiple sailings between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay until Sunday due to a mechanical issue with one of its vessels' rudders. The Queen of New Westminster vessel is out of service until the problem can be fixed. All other sailings on the route are expected to proceed as scheduled. Anyone with a reserved booking on a cancelled sailing will be contacted and notified if they can be accommodated on an alternate sailing or if their booking must be cancelled. Travellers with cancelled reservations may consider travelling as foot passengers, or the Tsawwassen-Duke Point or Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay routes.

SCIENCE SUNDAY – Country Club Centre is the hub of Science Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., featuring more than 30 non-profit organizations and science-based groups from across Vancouver Island. Elaine Parker of the Nanaimo Science told NanaimoNewsNOW it’s about a celebration of science. She said kids have an innate curiosity, they may be excited about dinosaurs or have a little rock collection or interested in stars, chemistry. What they try to do is showcase all the amazing organizations and opportunities to engage with science in our community. MORE


QUOTABLE – I get most of my exercise these days from shaking my head in disbelief


NANAIMO OVERDOSE DEATHS are up by more than 400 per cent from 2019 to 2023 with 112 deaths compared to 27, says to the BC Coroners Service. And we had 2,136 overdoses in 2023, behind only Vancouver, Kelowna and Surrey, reports BC Emergency Health Services. The Nanaimo Area Public Safety Association is calling for the end of drug decriminalization in B.C. They say Nanaimo’s overdose deaths accounted for four per cent of the total in the province while we make up only two per cent of the total population. Mayor Leonard Krog doesn’t blame them. “They’re tired, they’re fed up. And it is extremely frustrating – because the solutions lie at the provincial and to some extent the federal level.”

A MAN  IN A WHEELCHAIR suffered facial burns in a fire at a newly-completed apartment building in North Nanaimo Tuesday night. Fire Rescue responded to an alarm in the 6010 Hammond Bay Rd. shortly before 9 p.m. Assistant fire chief Troy Libbus said the man suffered burns on his face due to an oxygen mask he was wearing and he was taken to NRGH. MORE


NANAIMO OVERLOOKED – ­ B.C. Ferries has added 22 extra sailing for Dec. 6-8 for the Taylor Swift Eras Tour in Vancouver. The catch is if you live in the mid-Island you’ll have to get to Swartz Bay because that’s where the extra sailings are. BC Place has a capacity of 54,500, meaning the sold-out shows would bring upwards of 150,000 fans to the downtown core over three days. On average, Eras Tour fans are spending $1,700 Cdn on tickets, merchandise, alcohol, food, parking and hotels. A show in Seattle generated activity equivalent to a 2.3 magnitude earthquake. MORE


CLINIC WAIT TIMES  ­– Health Minister Adrian Dix recently said 708 more doctors are practising family medicine this year than last. But it appears 471 were swtiching to family practice from other specialties. Only 237 new doctors entered family medicine. British Columbia walk-in clinics have the longest wait times in Canada, rising to 93 minutes last year, from 79 minutes in 2022. Across Canada, patients waited an average of 68 minutes to see a doctor last year, almost double from the 37 minutes in the previous year. MORE

TODAY IS BUDGET DAY in B.C. and we should be prepared for the provincial government to increase spending and pile up more debt with no cuts in vital services.

QUOTABLE – Homeless camps in Canada are now being labelled “Trudeau Towns.” It does have ring to it.


INFORMATION SESSION – Proposed permanent supportive housing at 250 Terminal Ave will be present to the public with an open house on March 11.  BC Housing will have presentation boards for the planned permanent supportive housing. Members of the project team will answer questions from 6-8 p.m. at the Beban Park Social Centre room C. The plan calls for a five-storey building with 50 studio homes for single adults homeless or at risk of homelessness in Nanaimo. As well, BC Housing intends to build a neighbouring five-storey building with 44 affordable homes for low income families, seniors and people with disabilities. MORE


RCMP CLEARED – The Independent Investigations Office has cleared Nanaimo RCMP of fault for injuries a man suffered while in custody late last year. The IIO investigated after a man was injured at the cells at the RCMP detachment in December.


FRENCH IMMERSION –L’Association des francophones de Nanaimo is staging the Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre D’Érable this weekend, celebrating French-Canadian culture. That will include foods with the flavour of Quebec, music, a French-Canadian-inspired market and everything representing French Canadian culture. It’s at Beban Park from Friday to Sunday.


LEGION STRENGTH. The Royal Canadian is making a comeback after years of declining membership. They are seeing an influx of new members – more than 43,000 joined in 2023, now totalling 256,524 from coast to coast to coast and abroad. Legiona membership does not require of military service and is open to everyone. We have three branches in the Nanaimo area, so check out what they’ve got to offer.


THERE WILL BE NO offshore oil and gas development on the West Coast now that all permits have been relinquished. The office of Energy and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says the relinquishment came from Chevron Canada, which has given up its 23 offshore permits along the coast as of Feb. 9. That’s the last of the 227 offshore oil and gas permits for British Columbia's coastal waters. It fulfils a condition in the government's commitment to an Indigenous-led conservation initiative that received a pledge of $800 million in support from Ottawa two years ago. MORE


MATSQUI FIRST NATION will get $59 million in a settlement with the federal government over allowing a right-of-way through its reserve more than 110 years ago. The federal government took the land in 1908 for the Vancouver Power Company right-of-way. Construction of the corridor effectively severed access to some reserve lands on the Sahhacum Indian Reserve 1 and Matsqui Main Indian Reserve 2. MORE

QUOTABLE – My doctor said he wanted to talk about my weight. I told him it was 35 minutes, but the chairs were comfy.




THE SO-CALLED Safer Drug concept is not making a dent in the number of deaths. It's actually getting worse. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has renamed safe drugs to a “prescribed alternative.” That's just more bafflegab to give it a warm all over feeling, avoiding a real solution. There’s nothing safe about drug consumption – whether it's supplied by the government or the street market. No drugs are safe but our leaders continue to provide them to addicts. Chasing out the homeless or maintaining the encampment sites is not the solution. Handing out prescribed drugs is just stoking the fire. It's obvious to everyone except the "experts" that treatment is the only option and the sooner they wake up to the reality, the sooner they’ll make a dent in the drug pandemic. Not acting simply spells surrender.


This makes sense

We've got a provincial election coming up in fall and the promises are starting to flow in. Finally someone has come up with viable ideas to help with housing affordability. B.C. United is touting a lease-to-rent plan that would take the first three years of rental payments and apply the full amount to the downpayment. Another thing that makes sense is the promise to dismiss the property transfer tax for first-time buyers up to $1 million. That could cut purchase prices by as much as $18,000. Exempting the provincial sales tax on new residential home construction is another solid plan. Now we wait and see what the others come up with. See the details HERE. 24-02-18


A reader points out what's

wrong with United housing policy

MAN ABOUT DOWNTOWN Kevan Shaw says people don’t feel safe in Nanaimo, seniors are afraid to walk out in the evening. Ambulances are racing to overdoses with regularity, along with robberies and serious assaults. It’s been getting worse in Nanaimo and elsewhere since drug decriminalization went into effect on Jan. 31 last year, says Shaw. To put perspective on the impact of the homeless problem, Abbotsford had 4,700 calls to fire and police linked to encampments in 2023. That's an average of almost 13 calls daily. Chasing out the homeless or maintaining the sites doesn’t solve the problem. No matter how often you chase them away, those people still don’t have a home, and that’s the missing piece.


are still


The entire town of Lytton was destroyed by a wildfire in 2021, but that's past history . . . or is it? Well, it should be history, but all this time later most of the residents are still waiting for help to re-establish their town. More than two and a half years later red tape is holding them hostage. There's been the debris removal, the cleanup, the  contaminated soil remediation, and then the backfilling and the archeology and insurance claims through it all. How much longer will they have to wait to get what they are entitled to?    24-02-17



DOWNTOWN CHALLENGE – Navigating around the downtown core could be a little hectic over the next few weeks. Concrete work began last week and will continue through mid-March, creating challenges on and off Terminal Avenue between Commercial and Esplanade. That work caps off recent underground upgrades. MORE


EXTORTION IS BIG BUSINESS, going way up in British Columbia – 386 per cent ­– in the past eight years, way above the cross-Canada rate of by 218 per cent, five time higher than it was a decade ago. Extortions were up 228 per cent in Greater Vancouver and 284 per cent in Alberta. Ontario was up by 263 per cent. Maple Ridge MP Marc Daulton said towns and suburbs, which used to be safe and peaceful, are now being terrorized by foreign gangs that threaten neighbours with violence and arson. He laid the blame on the federal government.


A QUESTION OF RELIABILITY – Airfares in Canada fell more than 14 per cent in January from the same month in 2023. If you think that’s open skies, a lot of passengers have been left high an dry both at departure and return locations, leaving many of us wondering if we even want to bother. Fares fell 24 per cent between December and January after holiday demand. That’s still 10 per cent above 2019 levels, reflecting aviation’s higher costs and lower capacity following the pandemic. The decrease reflects a drop in demand due to the financial pressures consumers continue to feel from inflation and higher interest rates. MORE


THE BC UNITED PARTY has unveiled it's housing policy leading up to the campaign for the October provincial election. It doesn't impress one of our followers who says it doesn’t add up. Read his comment HERE

QUOTABLE – If Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head are no longer male and female, does that mean there will be no more tater tots?


GOOD MORNING – Being a holiday, and news kind of scarce, I wasn’t going to post today after I got notification that I had been awarded $2.5 million by a special United Nations fund for guys like me. However, after review, the notification came from someone in Nigeria who had traced my ancestry, so here’s today’s version of The Daily Buzz.


BODY RECOVERED – RCMP and B.C. Coroners Service are investigating after a body was found Sunday in the area of an encampment where two people were shot in separate incidents last year. Firefighters were called to the scene in the ravine along the Millstone River to help recover the body. RCMP, Fire Rescue, B.C. Ambulance and the Coroners Service responded to the scene.

THE CITY IS HIRING – The help wanted sign is up at Nanaimo City Hall. There’s an opening for a full-time victim services worker. Or if you’re looking for a summer job and enjoy games, sports and outdoor fun with kids, apply to be a recreation leader. They're looking for enthusiastic and creative leaders ages 15 and up. Deadline to apply is Friday, March 8. Check out the city’s web page at www.nanaimo.ca

SNUNEYMUXW HULIT LELUM has a new Mental Health Counsellor. Dean Laviolette comes here from Kikino Metis settlement in Alberta. He lives in Nanaimo where he has a private practice in counselling. He has a passion for working with Indigenous people, and specializes in substance abuse, suicidal ideation, anger management, gambling addiction, depression and anxiety, and other mental health areas. He is available for appointments Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. To book an appointment, call 250-740-2337. Walk-ins are also welcome, upon availability.

THE BC UNITED PARTY has unveiled it's housing policy leading up to the campaign for the October provincial election. It doesn't impress Don Bonner who says it makes no sense. Read his comment HERE

QUOTABLE – Thanks for teaching me the meaning of the word plethora – it means a lot.


WHEN THE NANAIMO UNITARIAN SHELTER made an urgent request for assistance the Nanaimo Foundation stepped up with $15,000 for the capital repair and renovation project. They are ready to start the renovations and thank the community for the generosity to the Unitarian Shelter.


OH HOW SWEET IT IS – The brutal winter in the Okanagan created almost total wipeout of the grape crops, but such is not the case for Vancouver Island wineries. Winter provided few casualties for farmers here. The growing season has gone largely uninterrupted for wine and grape producers. Zac Brown, president of Wine Islands Growers Association says only a handful of members reported damage due to frost. Volumes are up and quality’s good so we’re pretty positive, he says.  MORE


THE WAR ON SCOTCH BROOM in our roadsides is getting an early start this year due to the lack of moisture. The annual removal is being accelerated by about month to early April. Some varieties are allergenic. Joanne Sales, executive director of non-profit organization Broombusters Invasive Plant Society said it high in oil content and a lot of naturally dry branches and is highly flammable. Scotch Broom in urbanized settings is of concern to many people. she adds. MORE


IT KEEPS HAPPENING – Police in Port Moody say three separate seniors were targeted on the same day by a well-known grandparent scam, getting swindled out of thousands of dollars. In two of the three cases on Thursday fraudsters successfully obtained money from the victims, totalling $12,000. In each case, a scammer calls an elderly person claiming to be a grandchild in need of cash due to a legal matter relating to incidents such as a car crash or bail. MORE


I’M NOT ON IT ­ –  The list Canada’s richest folks is out, with publishing magnate David Thomson and family coming in first at an estimated net worth of USD 54.8 billion. Jim Pattinson had to settle for second with USD 11 billion, with David Cheriton rounding out the top three with an estimated net worth of USD 9.2 billion. MORE

NEXT STOP WINNIPEG – A WestJet flight from Vancouver to Toronto made an unscheduled stop in Winnipeg Friday after a passenger tried to open a cabin door in flight. WestJet contacted RCMP and EMS to meet the aircraft upon arrival in Winnipeg and the passenger was taken into custody. Just so you know, it is not possible to open secured pressurized aircraft doors at high altitudes. MORE


THANKS, BUT NO THANKS ­– All it not peaches and cream between federal and provincial New Democrats. Two provincial parties from Canada’s largest oil- and gas-producing provinces are fuming over a federal NDP private member’s bill that seeks to ban advertising of fossil fuels. Alberta and Saskatchewan NDP energy critics said they are more interested in advancing ideas that can actually help people. It is not helpful to pick fights that just polarize people and get in the way of the real solutions, they said. MORE


QUOTABLE – Before we put too much effort into artificial intelligence, why don’t we do something about natural stupidity which is in abundant supply?

ENJOY FAMILY DAY ­ – Welcome to the Christy Clark Day long weekend. It's another day of getting paid without working for it. Or getting paid time and a half extra if you have to work on Monday. Enjoy.


IT HAD TO HAPPEN – A group collecting signatures for the Alternative Approval Process is now being questioned about creating a database of all the names collected by them. And, according to their social media site they are continuing to gather signatures, stating they are being kept in order to build a database with everyone’s information. Those are legal documents, and harvesting data leaves a lot of questions, something the city may want to include in its review of what went wrong. Stay tuned. 


MEDICAL EMGERGENCY – The 8:25 a.m. ferry sailing from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay was interrupted when the ship had to return to port due to a medical emergency of one of the passengers. The schedule resumed about two hours late. The company added 26 sailings between Swartz Bay in Victoria and Tsawwassen in the Lower Mainland. However there were still significant delays on the Vancouver Island side early Friday afternoon, with a five-sailing wait. The situation was better going the opposite way, with fewer delays reported between Tsawwassen and Duke Point in Nanaimo.


VANCOUVER ISLAND has 179 more family doctors this year than last year. Health Minister Adrian Dix says 708 more doctors are practising family medicine in the province. The largest gain – 211 – are practising in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. Island Health saw the next-largest net gain. Other health authorities grew by 138 in Interior Health and 132 in Fraser Health, while Northern Health saw a net increase of 35 family doctors. MORE


ONE OF THE LAST two-sport legends in Canadian history died this week at age 89. Gerry James played for both the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Toronto Maple Leafs at the same time. He played the regular football season and then joined the Leafs, for the balance of the season. James played 149 NHL games and is the only player to play for both the Grey Cup and the Stanley Cup in the same season. In all, he played in four Grey Cups. He spent much of his retirement in Nanaimo and the mid-Island area. Another CFL legend from my era, Ken Ploen, died on the same day at age 88.

IF YOU ARE A NUMBERS GEEK, when it comes to real estate, John Cooper sends me the most detailed information and interpretation each week. You can see it HERE


QUOTABLE – I wear the pants in the family. My wife tells me which ones to put on.


WHEN WE GET TO MY AGE, some of us yearn for the old days when life was much simpler, we used to speak the King’s English. We used to have rain or sunshine, not an atmospheric river and a heat dome. We used to also have only men and women, and the two were not interchangeable. We had never heard about personal pronouns, it was simply he and she. There was no chairperson, chairman applied to either male for female. We seldom had homeless people then, now they are unhoused. Remember self-esteem? Now we worry about stigmatization and hurt feelings. What happened to personal accountability and responsibility?   24-02-16

FINDING OUT – How did that happen? The city wants to find out how errors forced cancellation of two alternative approval processes. Chief Administrative Officer Dale Lindsay said the errors were unfortunate and attention is on determining out how they occurred. Cancellation of the AAPs means the City now can’t borrow up to $48.5 million to build a new public works facility. Lindsay said he had some initial thoughts on contributing factors to the errors. He said the impact of recent provincial changes to the process is one of many things they will look at. MORE


NEW GIG FOR LISA MARIE – Our member of Parliament Lisa Marie Barron is the new party caucus vice-chairman. She will oversee caucuses in addition to her MP work and as critic for fisheries and oceans.

THE COLDEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR returns Feb. 24  with a family-friendly walk supporting of local charities serving people experiencing hurt, hunger, and homelessness. You can team up, raise money, walk, and take a moment to look closer. There are virtually countless ways you can get involved from registering to walk, fund raising, volunteering and even direct donation. Check it out HERE.


CELL PHONES NEEDED. Many people have perfectly good cell phones they no longer use. A perfect place to put them to use is Nanaimo Women Helping Women which needs them to help to connect women with supports and services. They are provided to clients, primarily homeless women or those fleeing partner violence. Founder Kerri Isham said some have to take the bus and  without a cell phone, trying to navigate what resources are available to them. The organization provides a charger and a SIM card so they start using it shortly after they get it. MORE


NATUROPATHS WANT the right to prescribe safer supply drugs. Dozens are enrolled in online training with an addiction support program. B.C. Naturopathic Doctors claimed more than 250 of its members are signed up for the provincial opioid addiction treatment support program. President Vanessa Lindsay said as primary care professionals, they are ready and available, and have an excellent safety record when it comes to prescribing. B.C.'s prescribed safer supply policy was introduced in 2021, five years after the province declared a public-health emergency over drug-related deaths. Since then, deaths due to drug toxicity have continued to escalate. MORE


COVID-19 IS STILL WITH US, but it’s on the decline. Hospital cases were essentially unchanged this week, and key indicators of respiratory disease transmission in the province continue to show mostly stable or declining trends. Other COVID-19 data is also stable or declining in the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's latest weekly update. There were 391 newly confirmed infections during the most recent epidemiological week, from Feb. 4 to 10, down from 441 the week before.


SCHOOL DAY EXTENSTION – Surrey high school students will have a new schedule next fall in an extended day program. That consists of  five class periods a day, rather than four. Students will be in class mostly from periods one through four, or two through five, starting their day later or ending it earlier, helping to increase school capacity by about 10 to 15 per cent. MORE


A CONTROVERSY over a possible safe drug consumption site in Richmond has come to a quick end after Vancouver Coastal Health announced it had no plans for a stand-alone safe consumption site in the city. The health authority said Richmond didn’t have a significant concentration of people at-risk. MORE


HIGHER RATE SHOCK – Canadian Electric vehicle owners could see their insurance rates suffer a  jolt. A report by credit rating agency Morningstar DBRS suggests insurers in the U.K., Europe and parts of the U.S., where EV uptake is higher than in Canada, are starting to experience the impacts the EV transition is having on claims costs. MORE

QUOTABLE – Not everyone who disagrees is a right-wing extremist. Even some left-wing extremists are contrarians.


THAT SMOKE OVER the city this morning was not a wildfire but a burn on a rural property. Smoke wafted across the north and central areas this morning stemming from a work site near off the end of Bell Road in the north Jingle Pot Road area, just west of city limits. MORE


THE SKY IS NOT FALLING but a good spring rainfall would help. Our low snow pack does not make a serious summer fire season a sure thing. It’s been warmer than normal this winter with less rain, but the Coastal Fire Centre says what’s important is the amount of rain we get in June, which generally determines the severity of the fire season. Information officer Kimberly Kelly said it was a common misconception linking snow pack to severity of fire season. MORE


THE CITY IS ACCEPTING applications for two grants for watershed restoration and other environmental and sustainability projects. The Community Watershed Restoration grant provides up to $20,000 to community organizations, environmental non-profits, and individual residents for watershed restoration projects. The Community Environmental Sustainability Project grant was created to support small and creative environmental projects not already covered by existing City of Nanaimo grants offers $20,000 in grants beginning in 2023. . Application forms are available on the Grants page on the City’s website. The deadline for submitting applications is Apr. 2.

NANAIMO’S STREET UTILITY COVERS, we used to call them manhole covers, will have a new look. The city has combined with The Good House of Design with artwork by Joel Good to create the covers which will be used for the next decade or more. They will be used for new installations and when old covers need to be replaced. The City anticipates that 20-40 will be installed on Nanaimo’s streets each year at a cost of a couple of hundred bucks each. The design honours the land and Snuneymuxw culture. MORE

THE REST OF today’s Daily Buzz could fall into the Believe It Or Not category, so read on any way.

A NEW LANGUAGEDr. Bonnie Henry relabeled the “safer drug” supply to “Prescribed Alternatives.” Hoping to make it more palatable. The Federal government seems to like they idea, they have now retagged their quarterly carbon offset payments to the “Canada Carbon Rebate.” Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan says the government should use the same words most people do when they talk about the policy, words like carbon and rebate, he said. “And if we can speak that language, that’s important so people understand what’s going on here.” Oh really? That makes me feel so much better now.

I WOULD NOT WANT to be the man in charge of the Victoria Police Department right now. A case involving more than $30 million in drugs cash and weapons has imploded because of police misconduct. Charges against three men accused in an “organized fentanyl trafficking ring,” have all been quietly stayed after finding out a VicPD officer involved in the investigation was himself, under a criminal investigation. MORE

VICTORIA AIRPORT screeners are still waiting an explanation about why they were unexpectedly fired. Allied Universal Security, is subcontracted by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, or CATSA, to operate the airport’s screening department. The Victoria Airport Authority remains mum on the firings. MORE

NOT A VINTAGE YEAR. The British Columbia's wine industry is anticipating catastrophic crop losses due to January's intense cold snap. A report from Wine Growers British Columbia and consultant Cascadia Partners says preliminary estimates call for crops to produce only one-to-three per cent of typical yields for wine grapes, mostly coming from Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island. The loss in grape and wine production is expected to trigger revenue losses of up to $346 million for vineyards and wineries. It’s a similar story for other fruit producers in the Okanagan who warn of a shortage of cherries and other fruits. MORE

WHO IS NEXT? Naturopaths want approval to prescribe safer supply drugs, with dozens enrolling in online training with an addiction support program. B.C. Naturopathic Doctors said more than 250 of its members are signed up for the B.C. Centre for Substance Use's provincial opioid addiction treatment support program. Vanessa Lindsay, BCND's president, said as primary care professionals, they are ready, available, and have an excellent safety record when it comes to prescribing. MORE

A WOMAN WHO WAS OFFERED a rent reduction for her business if she posed naked in for the landlord has gone to the Human Rights Commission. The café owner from the Lower Mainland claims when she went to renew her lease last fall, she got a shocking offer from her 80-year-old landlord. She told CTV News that he offered to reduce her rent if she got naked in front of him twice a month. The REST OF THE STORY.

QUOTABLE – Rhyme for the day
Oh the bulls**t you’ll hear
as elections draw near

And with that, have a great day in Paradise.

National housing advocate Marie-Josée Houle says tearing down homeless encampments is a violation of human rights. She says while encampments may not be safe, they exist because of a systemic failure to provide housing. It is an issue of life and death for a lot of people and we need to make sure people living in encampments have access to the basic necessities they need to survive. Premier David Eby doesn’t see it that way, arguing encampments are not acceptable, decent, reasonable places for people to live, with the violence, fires, and brutality that can arise. Argue all you want about semantics, talk is cheap, the question is what are you going to do about it? Drugs are the problem, not the solution – treatment and housing are.


Windsor Plywood Foundation contributes

$2 million to Nanaimo Regional Hospital

IF YOU’RE GOING TO make a donation, you might as well make it a whopper. The Windsor Plywood Foundation has donated two million bucks to Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation. The gift is a shot in the arm as work continues on a new high-acuity unit at the hospital. Windsor Plywood founders Randle and Frances Jones have a history of donating to the hospital, making their first contribution in 1990 and have made yearly donations since 2009. The donation is particularly meaningful to the Windsor family as it helps honour her father who recently died, said Cathy Brown, Windsor Plywood Foundation executive director. MORE

CHARGING FOR THE CHARGE. The free ride is coming to an end for electric vehicle owners who have been topping up their electrical charge at city-owned electric vehicle stations. City staff report use of the stations is rising. The charging stations were installed in 2021 as part of a federal and provincial grant program. They have an expected 12-year life span, after which they will be replaced at about $15,000 per unit. City staff propose a fee-for-service at 2.5 cents per minute or about $3 for the first two hours of charging, about what EV drivers would pay to charge their vehicles at home. MORE

NDP HOUSING MEASURES are not stacking up well for municipalities. Municipal leaders are in Vancouver to discuss housing in their communities, and several came out swinging against provincial policies in the opening session Tuesday.They are frustrated they haven’t been given enough resources to provide services for a flood of new residents. The mayors point out that blanket approval for four- or six-plexes on single-family lots requires massive planning and investments in infrastructure – from transit to schools to the electrical grid to sewer capacity – many of which fall on their shoulders. MORE

ON THAT NOTE, There was a nearly 30-per-cent increase in home sales in B.C. last month compared with January 2023. Prices were also up. The BC Real Estate Association says there was a nearly 30 per cent increase in home sales last month compared with January 2023, while prices were also up. There were 3,979 sales last month, for an average price of $957,909, a more than 10-per-cent jump from the year before. Association chief economist Brendon Ogmundson says the sales numbers show a “clear uptrend” to kick off 2024 with a dollar value of $3.8 billion in sales for the month. MORE

WANTED BY THE COPS ­– The Nanaimo RCMP Community Policing Program is looking for new volunteers for their Crime Watch and Speed Watch programs. If you are interested in joining the team of volunteers and want more information, they will hold an information session at 6:30 pm on February 21 at 580 Fitzwilliam St. There you can meet the team, ask questions and find out more about RCMP programs.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO SNIFF to find when something stinks. The aroma appears to be coming from Victoria Airport where 27 security screens have been pushed out the door. TheInternational Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workersconfirmed the firing of 27 members. Transport Canada told CHEK News that safety and Security of Canadians is always Transport Canada’s top priority. MORE

QUOTABLE – If American voters had re-elected Donald Trump in the last election, his term would be almost over by now.

A serious question

of accountability

Have we ever had a greater accountability crisis from those who govern us? Recent local and national events cry for someone to be accountable for what happened. In Nanaimo we have now had two Alternative Approvals that have gone wrong at a great cost. Nationally, we had the revelations on Monday that there was no accountability in ArriveCAN – or ArriveSCAM – during the pandemic when government money flowed out like a tidal wave to the point the federal auditor general was unable to identify the waste. Some people got rich when the money was handed out. On top of that, every-day citizens were virtually robbed by the system when they needed to travel during the pandemic. It’s sufficient to say that we are owed some answers.  24-02-12



TOMORROW IS Valentine's day, so don't forget to hustle up some chocolates, a bouquet of flowers or fine dining at one of our local eateries. So don't say you haven't been warned.

FORMER NANAIMO SPORTSCASTER Joey Kenward is recovering from cancer and he provides an update of what he has been and still will go through. HERE

NO ALTERNATIVE – The alternative approval process for funding the Nanaimo Operations Centre is down the drain. City Council voted unanimously on Monday to cancel a second AAP to borrow up to $48.5 million for a new public works yard after forms to register objection were not made available in the proper time. Chief Administrative Officer Dale Lindsay said once the error was noticed very few options remained. Citizens have been very active in gathering signatures opposing the borrowing bylaw. Lindsay said staff are not abandoning the project, they will return to Council with options.

CAMPBELL RIVER RCMP are looking for two teenage girls who have been reported missing. Police say they very concerned for their well being. 15-year-old Dommie Malcolmson was last seen on Monday. She is 5’7″ with a medium build, long blonde hair and blue eyes. 16-year-old Cora Potoski has also been missing since Monday. She is 5’2″, slender, long red hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call RCMP at 250-286-6221 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

ALL STRESSED OUT ­– Two-thirds of Canadians are feeling anxiety and stress. And they have little faith in politicians to fix big problems in the economy. The annual CanTrust Index published by Proof Strategies shows that fear of economic pain, such as a recession or unemployment, appears to be driving higher levels of anxiety than COVID-19 ever did. Women in particular reported higher levels of economic anxiety and lower levels of confidence in the health care system and in Canada’s democracy than did their male counterparts. Almost three in four women said the economy had increased their anxiety compared with fewer than three in five men who took part in the poll. MORE

SENIORS HOUSING ­– Construction crews have begun work on a 145-unit seniors housing project at the former Malaspina Gardens care home site on Machleary Street.  Molnar Group got a building permit late last year to go ahead with the $37 million project which calls for a congregate housing development with common amenity areas, including a large dining hall as part of three buildings. Two levels of underground parking are included. MORE

SHOOT-UP SITE NOT WELCOME – This will strike a chord locally. Richmond city council will reconsider a safe consumption site near Richmond Hospital tonight. An online petition against the site started Feb. 4 exceeded 17,000 signatures by this morning. Council voted 8-1 last week to ask staff to gauge the potential benefits and challenges of implementing a drug consumption site in the city. The review is meant to consider the impact to public safety, health-care costs and community perceptions. Gady Tse, who started the petition, said such a facility will inevitably attract more drug addicts to the city. MORE


A BUNCH OF GARBAGEThe Campbell River Association of Tour Operators has completed a five-month coastal shoreline cleanup. This is their second sweep and they covered about 700 km of shoreline gathering about 80-85 tons of debris. They focused on the northern Discovery Islands over the last five months and there was no shortage of debris to clean. They removed about 15 tons of steel off the beach. And there was lots of plastic, barrels and other debris. The group is one of eight that shared $10.5 million in provincial funding last fall to complete five months of coastal shoreline cleanups on the south coast. MORE


MURDER CHARGE LAID – A first-degree murder charge has been laid after a hit-and-run crash killed a cyclist on the Comox Valley Parkway last week. Steven Squires, 45, was arrested on Feb. 10 and charged with first-degree murder and failing to stop after an accident causing death. He remains in custody. MORE

QUOTABLE – $200 of groceries used to go in the trunk, now you can put them in a couple of bags on the passenger seat.

OUR ILLEGALS ­– The U.S. has a serious border problem, but how about Canada? A report in the Globe and Mail says federal authorities have active arrest warrants for 300 foreign criminals deemed a danger to the public and facing deportation, including violent sex offenders and people convicted of violent crimes. As of last month there were 37,326 active immigration arrest warrants, of which 33,032 are to remove people from Canada


DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME is coming, but it doesn’t kick in until Sunday, March 10, just so you know. That’s when we’ll notice longer daylight hours. Daylight saving time is the eight-month period between March and November when the majority of the country adjusts their clocks. British Columbians have voted to ends the annual time changes but we have to wait until the western U.S. states get approval from Congress.

LANTZVILLE COUNCIL has voted 4-1 to move forward on zoning and official community plan changes for a 306-bed long-term care facility.Public information sessions are planned by Island Health before a public hearing is slated. Despite province-wide complaints of municipal delays in housing developments, Coun. Joan Jones tried to delay the initial readings to late April. MORE

THE PUBLIC WILL get input when the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District determines cell phone use in schools. The province is bringing in restrictions next school year but calling on school districts for guidance. Nanaimo has no district-wide policy now and schools and teachers do their own thing, School Board chairman Greg Keller said. The board will look at options and a draft policy for public consultation. The province will work with school districts to develop the policy, guaranteeing some level of local autonomy. Keller said enforcement of any restrictions is a whole other issue which is going to be a challenge. MORE

AN INVESTMENT GONE BAD – It’s not surprising that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls massive layoffs and sale of radio stations at Bell Media a “garbage decision”. After all, he invested hundreds of millions of tax dollars in special funds to bail oout newspapers and radio and television owners across the country. Since taking the cash, some of those recipients are now cutting back or even bailing out. It’s a changing world and advertisers are no longer reliant on established media. We can only hope Trudeau doesn’t pour more good money after bad and give them more on their way out the door.


THE BODY OF 48-year-old Nancy Gagne has been recovered from the Millstone River in Bowen Park. From tattoos on the body, she was identified as Gagne who went missing on Feb. 1. Police, Fire and Nanaimo Search and Rescue responded with NSAR taking the lead on the recovery. BC Coroners Service attended and will continue with their investigation.


IT'S GOING TO COST MORE to mail a letter to Granny, starting May 6. Canada Post plans to raise the cost of stamps by seven cents, to 99 cents, for stamps purchased in a booklet, coil or pane. Individually stamps will go up to $1.15 from $1.07 for a domestic letter. U.S., international letter-post and domestic registered mail, will also rise subject to regulatory approvals, effective on May 6. Rates went up by five cents in 2019 and two cents in 2020. MORE


A DOCUMENTARY FILM about Dr. Bonnie Henry’s handling of the COVID pandemic attracted a couple dozen protesters but went ahead without disruption at the Victoria Film Festival. Victoria Police said the protesters were opposed to the measures that were put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They were those opposed to any measures. The Film Festival said the protest was kept under control by police, and the screening was uninterrupted. MORE


THE NEW PAYMENT MODEL is proving popular with B.C. doctors, resulting in increased access to family physicians. Health Minister Adrian Dix said 4,000 family doctors have registered in its first year, significantly increasing access for British Columbians. As of December 2023, the province estimates there were 5,000 family physicians in total working in primary care. MORE


THAT BUBBLY POP is going to cost you more after April Fool’s Day. A federal tax increase on alcohol will raise the cost of alcoholic beverages. The alcohol excise tax is set to go up by 4.7 per cent, which Okanagan Conservative MP Tracy Gray says will cost Canadians about $100 million extra in 2024-25. She said the tax hike comes at a time when beverage producers and those in the hospitality industry are already grappling with rising costs of everything including raw materials, packaging, energy, rent, and transportation. MORE


WILDFIRES MADE HEADLINES last summer, and some of those fires in northeastern B.C. continue to smoulder and smoke, but it’s expected says the BC Wildfire Service says. The Prince George Fire Centre is aware that some holdover fires are smouldering in some areas and producing visible smoke. A holdover fire is one that remains dormant and undetected for a considerable time after it starts, which is common in lightning-caused fires. Heat can simmer underground for days, weeks, or even months. As the weather dries out and temperatures rise, these fires can flare up.

QUOTABLE – Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect.


HEY WHAT’S THAT over-sized cruiseship anchored off Nanaimo? It’s a luxury hotel to house workers for a Squamish Woodfibre LNG construction project in Howe Sound, beginning spring. It will remain in our port until April. The MS Isabelle has 652 cabins and is about 550 feet long, 92 feet wide with a draught of 20 feet. MORE

SNUNEYMUXW IS GETTING more housing on its reserve as construction begins on a new eight-unit building on Warpath Road. The new development will be for families and individuals with low and moderate incomes, a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom units. The project is a partnership between Snuneymuxw, the Province and the Federal Government through CMHC and will be operated by Snuneymuxw First Nation.

BE PREPARED to turn your taps on a lot this spring and summer as we endure drought unless we get more rain or snow. The B.C. River Forecast Centre reports the Island is at 30 per cent of its regular snowpack for this time of year, down from 75 per cent last year, the lowest in the province. Across the province, the snowpack is at 61 per cent on average, compared to 79 per cent last year. MORE

EMPLOYEES AT 21 B.C. radio stations don’t have to fear closures or layoffs, says Bryan Edwards, president of Vista, the company buying the stations from Bell Media. He said the stations have about 80 employees and some are short-staffed. The 20-year-old company, based in Courtenay, already operates radio stations in communities adjacent to the ones its buying. Bell announced widespread layoffs and the sale of 45 of its 103 regional radio stations across the country, as well as ending multiple television newscasts and making other programming cuts.

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Lisa Marie Barron’s attempt to create a citizen’s assembly to develop of new electoral system has hit a brick wall. Parliament rejected her private member’s motion 218-102. It was an uphill battle from the start as Canadians and British Columbians have rejected such a plan a number of times, including in a province-wide referendum.


FORMER CABINET MINISTER Selina Robinson received a death threat after making controversial comments about Palestine. Premier David Eby posted on X that police are investigating the threat and that she is safe. She had called Palestine a “crappy piece of land with nothing on it” in a discussion hosted by B’nai Brith. She apologized twice for the comments before resigning from cabinet but remaining an MLA. Since stepping down, her office has been vandalized. MORE

QUOTABLE – Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

PULLING THE PLUG – Before you’ve even had a chance to buy an electric vehicle, along come the automakers and change gears. General Motors, Honda and BMW are turning to hydrogen-powered cars. Honda plans to implement the new hydrogen system in its CR-V model this year. So where will you gas up?   24-02-08



GARY NEGRIN IS CLOSING up shop. A Nanaimo landmark could soon disappear as Superette Foods has been put up for sale. Gary is 72 years old and has owned the store since 1977. Now he's ready to retire. He has worked at the store since he was a 13 years old. He started out in 1977 as a four-year project and just kept going. So what happens to the neighbourhood corner store is uncertain. It’s got a $1.6-million price tag for anyone interested in taking over a going concern. MORE


HULLO FERRIES is expanding its schedule with more daily trips between Nanaimo and  Vancouver. The spring schedule kicks off on March 3 with six round trips from Thursday to Monday and three on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Another addition is the ability to carry luggage, and additional trips on special event nights in Vancouver. Check out the new schedule HERE.


NICOTINE POUCHES are no longer for sale in convenience stores in B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the new regulations which prevent the sale of nicotine pouches to children and youth across the province. The rules restrict all buccal nicotine pouch products to behind the counter at pharmacies. No prescription is required, but purchasers will need to speak to a pharmacist to get it. MORE


NANAIMO’S AARON PRITCHETT has received a $25,000 grant from a new $3.3 million fund designed to help B.C.-based musicians to develop their careers and grow the local music industry. MLAs Sheila Malcolmson and Doug Routley said the new funding will support Nanaimo’s musical community - both our local musicians and events. More than 200 musicians and music companies will benefit from this funding.


GO TO A NANAIMO NIGHT OWLS baseball game and you might come home with Taylor Swift. Go to a Night Owls game at a three-game home series and be entered into a draw for tickets to a Swifty concert in Vancouver in December. Nanaimo’s West Coast League baseball team is home to the Kelowna Falcons for a three-game series July 8-10 at Serauxmen Stadium. When you go you’ll get a draw entry to post at the game, so the more games you attend the more chances to win. The draw will take place in the eighth inning of the July 10 game. Check it out HERE.


UNFATHOMABLE – Premier David Eby is ticked off that child sex offender Randall Hopley will not face new restrictions after going on the run for 10 days in November. Eby says he can’t fathom the federal parole board ruling and it isn’t acceptable that Hopley, who abducted a three-year-old boy in 2011, has been released again with the same conditions. He said will contact federal authorities about the system that allowed Hopley to be repeatedly released into the community to put kids at risk. It’s not acceptable and he wants this addressed. MORE


QUOTABLE – Social media is all the proof you need that ignorance is bliss.

NANAIMO LAWYER Christopher Churchill has been appointed a provincial court judge, beginning his duties on March 21. He will adjudicate cases in Nanaimo, covering the Vancouver Island region. Three other judges appointed are Colleen Elden, Karen Leung and Sheryl Wagner. MORE

GET USED TO IT – We have a provincial election this fall, so we’re going to be inundated with commitments left, right and centre . . .  and Green. The BC Green Party proposes capping rent prices between tenancies in a bid to improve affordability. And that’s a sekf-defeating trap politicians often fall into, and it doesn't work. Any restriction on return on investment to landlords naturally results in fewer rental units being built. Ergo, fewer being built creating more housing shortage and higher rents. MORE

WILL THAT SOLVE THE PROBLEM? In product marketing, packaging and labeling can be the difference between success and failure. I wonder of that’s what Dr. Bonnie Henry had in mind when she relabeled “safer drugs” with a new moniker. She now refers to “prescribed alternatives.” Street talk indicates many people who get the prescribed drugs are turning around and selling them to get money to get the more-potent street variety.

KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED for our own Lauren Spencer-Smith – she’s nominated for three Juno Awards, including artist of the year, album of the year and pop album of the year. The Junos will be held in Halifax on March 24 and be hosted by Victoria’s Nelly Furtado. Lauren is facing tough competition in Charlotte Cardin, Daniel Caesar, Shania Twain and Tate McRae in the artist of the year category. MORE

QUOTABLE – The reason money laundering is illegal is because it cuts out the middle man, the government wants its share through taxation.

YOU CAN’T WIN – In appeasing Palestinians' hurt feelings the provincial government in turn insulted Jews with the departure of Selina Robinson from the cabinet. It sure brings home that you can’t ride both sides of the fence because you'll get splinters. Who’s going to resign to fix this screw up? 24-02-06


THE ALTERNATIVE APPROVAL PROCESS for the Nanaimo Operations Centre has turned into a major headache for council and staff for the second time. They are seeking legal advice and options after a mix-up in response forms. Legislation requires Elector Response Forms to be made available on the day of the first Notice. The forms were made available on first day of the AAP, eight days after that date. The current Alternative Approval Process will continue until Council provides further direction. There will be a Special Council meeting to be held as soon as practicable to discuss this matter further.


RCMP ARE INVESTIGATING after a 22-year-old man was stabbed on Sunday near Port Place Mall. He is in hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Police were able to review some grainy closed circuit footage of the victim walking through the parking lot, with a group of people walking nearby. The quality of the video was poor and it did not provide much in the way of detail. The investigation is in the very early stages and police will canvass the downtown core for more footage and looking for any potential witnesses. If anyone has information on this incident, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.  MORE


YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED more bicycles on our streets and roads in the last few days. This is GoByBike week which wraps up with the Lights Up Night Ride on Friday, from 4-6 p.m., starting from the Beban Park. The 7-9-kilometre loop takes riders from the park along the E&N Trail, through nearby neighbourhoods and back to Beban for refreshments. To register or learn  about celebration station times and locations or register for Winter GoByBike Week, visit the City of Nanaimo website.

QUOTABLE – My doctor says now that I'm over 80 it would be safe to start smoking again.



Nanaimo is the place to be, and that trend will continue over the next few decades. We’re already one of the fastest growing areas and there’s no slowdown in sight. The latest BC Stats report forecasts 157,395 people living here by 2046, more than 50 per cent higher than 2022 figures. B.C will see similar increases and could see the province grow to 7.9 million by 2046 from today’s 5.5 million. MORE

We appear to be going through a really dry period for news. As I go through all the regular sources to fill up The Daily Buzz there seems to be a lot of what we call puff pieces – pet stories, bickering, etc. With that in mind, it’s time to stir the pot and get things perking.

The recent tempest over remarks by cabinet minister Selina Robinson about Israel are a classic example of hurt feelings topping the agenda. The comment that got Robinson into hot water was really a statement of fact, but it ruffled feathers. See my perspective below.

When the truth gets sacrificed

It’s sad when the truth can get you in trouble, lest you hurt someone’s feelings. Ask Post Secondary Education Minister Selina Robinson who stepped into it when she stated fact that pre-1948 Palestine was “a crappy piece of land.” She got raked over the coals, left and right, and had to apologize for hurting feelings.

In a B’nai Brith panel discussion, Robinson commented on young people’s lack of knowledge of the Holocaust, saying 18 to 34-year-olds have no idea about the Holocaust. They don’t understand that Israel was offered to the Jews. It had nothing on it, there were several hundred thousand people, it didn’t produce an economy, it couldn’t grow things, it didn’t have anything on it. That is a statement of fact, some may not like it, but fact should not fall victim to tender feelings.

Mosques and Islamic associations now want Robinson fired. NDP MLA or candidates for the next election are not welcome in their sacred spaces until Premier David Eby takes action against Robinson. And that, my friends, is extortion.


Beware the Boogeyman injecting fear and hate

I have a love-hate relationship with politics, loving it while despising a lot of aspects of what is really a game played to select how and by whom we are governed. We’re told that we must accept that black is white and white is black.

American politics has operated this way for decades, vilify your opponents through fear based on misrepresentation. In other words, lie like a mattress. The Americans go to the polls in November and it’s getting messy to the point of involving their judiciary in influencing votrers. That behaviour is beginning to rub off on our politics north of the border.

Our federal election is not for another 20 months or so, but it’s becoming clear that we’re in for an American-style campaigning in both this year’s provincial and next year’s federal elections. Prime Minister Trudeau and Mini-Me NDP leader Jagmeet Singh are trumpeting how we are in mortal danger if Donald Trump returns to the White House next January.

They are auditioning the mantra that Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is a mini-Trump. It’s the fear smear, first fear of Trump and then equating Poilievre to Trump and by extension, comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler. They accuse Conservative MPs of using “MAGA tactics” likening them to Trump’s Make-America-Great-Again mantra.

It’s difficult to comprehend how that slogan could be turned into a negative ­– who would not want to Make America Great Again? Or Canada?Canadians are frustrated at the price of goods, falling behind through inflation, housing shortages, failing health care, rising crime and more. These are great election talking points that the Conservatives are plugging into.

Political strategists believe they can take a message about making the country great again and twist them into something to be perceived as negative. It could be a misjudgment of the pulse of the electorate.

The fear campaign sounds like a recognition that voters may turn in that direction. That’s what it’s all about, what voters perceive as best for their interests. Making our country great again certainly sounds appealing, voters might just buy into that and reject the boogeyman.


Vancouver Island Exhibition

moves to become a fall fair

THE VANCOUVER ISLAND EXHIBITION is moving to a different date on the calendar. The VIEX announced that this year’s fair will be a true fall fair, Sept. 20-22. The new date will avoid a conflict with other events, largely a clash with the Comox Valley Exhibition, which has resulted in fewer entries in livestock and 4-H divisions. The agricultural component is vital to the VIEX. The board will now work with other community organizations that use Beban Park that weekend. For more information about the VIEX, visit www.viex.ca.

MORE TO COME – the clear blue sky with the crispy temperatures are likely a taste of things to come in the next few days. The forecast calls for cooler temperatures until at least Monday with some scattered sunshine.

JUST A MINUTE – Officials dealing with the drug crisis in our province are singing from the same songbook, more drugs handed out, including opioids. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and outgoing Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe want to push more “safe” drugs, insisting it will keep users away from street drugs. However, illicit drug deaths are still rising since declaring a drug emergency and decriminalizing some drugs. On her way out the door, Lapointe gives the provincial government a shot for its handling of the crisis, noting it hasn’t adopted any recommendations from coroner’s death review panels. One thought that comes to my mind is that’s like pouring more gasoline on a fire. Safe or not, drugs are still drugs. How about a full-out war on drugs with real treatment for the victims?

QUOTABLE – Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research – Carl Jung.



Expansion of safe drug program

pushed to include more opioids

Provincial Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry backs the prescribed safe drug supply and wants to expand the kinds of prescribed alternatives, including heroin and fentanyl. She released a 96-page review of the prescribed safe supply program on Thursday. She says the province should expand opioid medication options, with priority in supplying prescription heroin and fentanyl, including smokeable versions. Echoing outgoing chief coroner Lisa Lapointe, the report urges a multi-pillar approach, highlighting preventive and holistic solutions to mitigate further deaths and suffering. This includes adequate housing solutions, better access to health care in rural communities, alternative prescribing methods and even investing in recreational activities for youth. MORE


DIVE RIGHT IN – Here’s a job you can get immersed in, the City is recruiting lifeguards for Beban Pool and Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. If you know of anyone who would like to get involved, get them to apply at Lifeguard jobs.


WITH THE CRAPPY WEATHER we’re enduring a little light-heartedness is in order. All over North America, normally-sane people are relying on rodents – groundhogs or woodchucks and marmots – to predict the long-term weather. In these here parts, Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Foundation’s Van Isle Violet saw her shadow and offers us another six weeks of winter. And for those who follow this type of stuff, there’s Good Old Manitoba Merv for the stubble jumpers. My favorite-named rodent is Balzac Billy, in Alberta. So, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood.


GOING DOWN HILL – The recent weather has been giving most of us that warm-all-over feeling, but it spells disaster for ski resorts. Mount Washington and the three North Shore in Vancouver have been closed daily due to warm weather. They welcome the news from groundhogs this morning as they mostly see good news in for improving weather conditions. For the latest conditions, visit mountwashington.ca

Quotable – One upon a time, in the 1950s, a family could own a home, buy a car and send the kids to university, all on one income.

Drug decriminalization won't save

lives, it's all about reducing stigma

Drug decriminalization won’t save a single life – it’s about shame reduction and making addicts more comfortable seeking help, says Mental Health and Addictions Minister Jennifer Whiteside. The three-year decriminalization exemption came amid an overdose crisis that has claimed almost 14,000 lives in B.C. since 2016 and the numbers keep climbing. Illicit drugs deaths hit a record 2,511 in B.C. last year. Decriminalization has brought criticism from municipal and opposition politicians, who say it has allowed open drug use in public places. MORE

UPDATE COMING – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is set to release her review of B.C.'s prescribed safer supply drug program this afternoon. The review comes on the heels of a record-breaking 2,511 deaths caused by suspected illicit drug poisoning in the province last year. MORE

PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE – B.C. Ferries is doing its best to keep its rag-tag fleet in operation for the peak summer travel period. The company held a fleet maintenance overview on Wednesday to update the status of its vessels along with plans to manage peak season volume this year. In all, 20 ships are scheduled for refit this year when major work such as engineer repair is performed. To that end, they’re trying to squeeze in as much of the work as possible ahead of the summer season. The Coastal Renaissance was taken out of service due to a rotor system failure last year. Now all three coastal-class vessels will have the systems replaced in time to serve the major routes during the peak season. The Coastal Renaissance is due back in service in March. MORE

FACEBOOK IN SPOTLIGHT – Social media companies, including Facebook, were called on the carpet Wednesday at U.S. Senate hearings on child vulnerability. The hearings were very timely related to a local case where a man was found guilty of child luring via Facebook. Craig Allen Sims, 40, was convicted of child luring between the end of 2007 and late 2009 when the complainant was between 12 and 13 years old. She decided to go to the police years later, with transcripts of private Facebook conversations, initiated by Sims, when she was as young as 12 years old. MORE

NANAIMO VIDEO STAR – We have a Youtube star in our midst. A local man, Billy Ray Smith, has a series of video postings demonstrating his expertise with a chain saw and a whole lot more. It’s got thousands of viewers. Check it HERE.

BIG CITY PROBLEMS – It’s not the status any community wants but Port Alberni has a big-city problem – the third-worst drug fatality rate in the province. A joint community plan is calling for a local detox facility that won’t charge user fees to ensure quick access to drug users when they need it. Tseshaht First Nation, Port Alberni Community action team, front-line workers, and families who’ve lost loved ones is trying to see transportation to treatment and housing and support to transition people out of addiction. MORE

OH THE PAIN – Extracting details from the federal government about its dental care program is somewhat like pulling teeth. Dental care providers are still in the dark about how it will work, how much the government will pay for services or how providers can sign up. The government has been accepting applications for some different groups being phased in – more than 400,000 seniors over 72 have enrolled so far. Dr. Heather Carr, president of the Canadian Dental Association, says they are running out of time, they need to get these details wrapped up very soon. MORE

QUOTABLE – You are what you do, not what you say you'll do – Carl Jung.