B.C. returns Howard Johnson site to Snuneymuxw First Nation

The province contributed nearly $26 million to buy the former Howard Johnson Hotel site at 1 Terminal Ave. and return it to Snuneymuxw First Nation. It includes 2.67 hectares, part of the historic Sxwayxum village site, also known as Millstone River Village. The land is being returned under the Sarlequun Snuneymuxw Treaty of 1854.

The former hotel will be demolished in the near future as part of a site revitalization. MORE

July 15, 2024

Unitarian Centre open after revitalization

THE FORMAL HANDOFF of the Unitarian Shelter to Nanaimo Family Life is now complete after major improvements to the building on Townsite Road. The shelter has capacity for 25 people every night, plus additional beds on short-notice, short-term situation. Fund raising for structural and equipment upgrades brought in just under $300,000 under former director Paul Manly’s guidance. New director Erika Gagnon pointed to an air exchange unit, so important for the health and safety of guests and staff. A shower has also been installed. MORE

VIU PROTESTERS REMAIN. The deadline came and went and Pro-Palestinian protesters on the VIU campus refused to take down an encampment. VIU issued a trespass notice over the camp, warning of legal action if they did not leave by 8 a.m. Monday. MORE


NOT SO FAST – Lantzville won’t jump the gun on limiting natural gas as a primary heat source in new-home construction. Council vote 3-2 not to begin collecting baseline data in January and then require zero-carbon systems starting next June even before the province's mandatory change in 2030. MORE

WEB QUOTE– At some point we need to quit asking who needs to pay more taxes but ask where all the money is going.

July 15, 2024

We need to change

the way we do politics

After Saturday’s assassination attempt on Donald Trump it becomes even more urgent that we take a second look at the way we do politics.

Hopefully that happens immediately now that we have just under 100 days left in the general election campaign in our province.

I my Perspective on Thursday I raised the danger of spreading hate in politics. It’s not only in places like the U.S., we have it right here, across Canada and in our province.

You can feel the hatred against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, even from some from within his own party.

The U.S. Democrat Party immediately pulled campaign ads off the air and is vowing to tone down the rhetoric. No more Hitler or fascist labelling, we hope.

We have incendiary campaign commercials here. An NDP ad airing last week focuses on Conservative leader John Rustad and United leader Kevin Falcon attacking them personally, tying them together like Dr. Evil and Frankenstein, questioning their integrity rather than talking about policy.

The former BC Liberals for years campaigned against the leader of the NDP rather than the issues. All parties are guilty.

The most recent poll shows the NDP and Conservatives in a dead heat to win the October election at 37 per cent each.

Recent election ads attack the individual. David Eby and John Rustad are not bad people, it’s their policies that should be the debate. Both of them have only the best of intentions for our province, with different interpretations of how to get there. Attaching labels like far-right or far-left extremist are the problem.

All parties and many speakers are guilty. They need to look at what they are putting out to the public, some of which borders on hate speech. Somewhere down the line they have been convinced that these types of attacks work. They need to quit accusing and start debating.

What happened in Pennsylvania is a wake up call for everyone, B.C., Canada and the U.S. Are we listening? All it takes is a single deranged person swallowing the hate message and striking out.

A classic example close to home has a University of British Columbia professor posting on social media wishing the assassination attempt on Trump had been successful. Dr. Karen Pinder posted saying, “Damn, so close. Too bad” screenshots of Pinder’s account show. Then, in response to a reply wishing the shooter had better aim, Pinder said, “What a glorious day it could have been.”

That’s all it takes.

July 14, 2024

Pipers Lagoon fire

'just plain stupid'

Mayor Leonard Krog has a message for those responsible for Friday night’s fire at Pipers Lagoon Park. “They should be ashamed of themselves,” he told GlobalTV. He added that anyone, no matter how young, setting off fireworks at one of our public parks which is not easily accessible by firefighters is just plainly stupid. Four fire trucks and a wildland fire truck responded to the blaze which charred a lot of the vegetation in the park. The fire was believed to have been started by youths setting off fireworks. MORE

DRAGON BOATS BEACHED – It was a rescue mission Saturday to save the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Regatta but Mother Nature played havoc with plans. High wind and rough water forced the shutdown. The long-running festival had been transferred to Victoria for financial reasons but local people put things together at the last minute to hold some races on Saturday. Eight races were run before the decision to shut down was made and competition ended before 3 p.m.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH – Pro-Palestinian protesters have until Monday to leave the VIU Nanaimo campus or they will face an injunction. VIU has issued a trespass notice telling them to vacate their encampment on the campus by 8 a.m. Monday. If protesters are not gone by then the university will seek an injunction against the camp and sue for damages from protesters if the camp isn’t dismantled by the deadline. MORE

WEB QUOTE – A smart person will change his/her view if new information contradicts their belief. An indoctrinated person lacks that ability. He/she are conditioned to dismiss facts.

July 13, 2024

Midtown water system goes online

The new Midtown water system  will begin with flushing the new system next on Monday and Tuesday. The new water supply main will supply water for two-thirds of Nanaimo. It’s part of broader drinking water infrastructure upgrades, including replacing the existing prestressed concrete pressure pipe underneath Bowen Road. This is the same type of pipe that recently failed in Calgary. The new pipeline eliminates the last of the prestressed concrete pressure pipe in Nanaimo.

PIPERS LAGOON FIRE ­ – Youths setting off fireworks are believed responsible for a fire at Pipers Lagoon Park Friday night. Emergency calls were received just before 11 p.m. after a large group of youth were seen lighting fireworks on the beach. Winds from the ocean whipped up flames, causing the fire to spread quickly. Witnesses told NanaimoNewsNOW that about 30 people fled quickly when the flames erupted. MORE

 A RIDE ON HMCS NANAIMO – A couple of days ago we looked at how the crew of our navy ship are recognized, even if we never get to see them close up. If you’ve wondered what it’s like to serve on our namesake Canadian Navy vessel, a new YouTube video has a very informative front-row look at 72 hours aboard the ship going from Nanaimo as far north as Alaska for training with the U.S. Coast Guard. The video has had more than half a million views so far. It’s in two parts, each about an hour-long. You can’t buy that kind of exposure. Check it out HERE.


THE PRE-ELECTION cash register is ringing up cash for community gaming grants for non-profits on Vancouver Island and the coast. Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson said the Riptides Swim Team is one of many that will keep people active and connected. This funding for the sports sector is part of $140 million provided annually through Community Gaming Grants to not-for-profit organizations throughout British Columbia helping approximately 5,000 organizations to deliver programs and services in their communities. The full list of recipients for this round of sports sector funding is available HERE


PERSPECTIVE – The name-calling and labelling have begun. Political parties don’t seem to  recognize that for every “far-right extremist” they accuse, they are a mirror of “far-left extremists.” Denigrating anyone serves no purpose other than to divide people. A lot of the problems facing our province are neither left wing or right wing, they are political problems and a lack of will or ability to solve them. Our messed up health care system is not a left or right problem. Closed emergency rooms in rural areas have nothing to do with ideology but with the inability of those in charge to solve the problem. MORE


 WEB QUOTE – Don’t ever let anyone tell you that fairy tales are not real. I drink a potion made from magic beans every morning at it brings me back to life.


July 12, 2024

Ferry sailings back on

Two ferry sailings have been re-instated after being cancelled earlier today. The

11:25 am departing Horseshoe Bay
1:40 pm departing Departure Bay are back on schedule. A mechanical problem initially led to cancellation of four sailings between Horseshoe and Departure bays. All other sailings on the route are expected to sail as scheduled. As of 9 a.m., the Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay route is sold out for the three upcoming sailings, with the next available sailing being at 6:20 p.m. Leaving Departure Bay, the next available sailing is 4 p.m. MORE


LEARNING NEVER STOPS – Mid Island Elder College is ready for fall registration offering learners over 50. The program has rebuilt after VIU cut off support last year. It offers 60 courses for the fall semester from September to November, with topics ranging from astronomy to mysticism. Registration starts July 15. MORE


WHEN YOU SEE A FIRE you jump into action. That was the response of a pair of workers when they spotted a brush fire on south Haliburton Street Thursday. Andrew Brydle saw white smoke and so he and Wyatt Purvis jumped into action with a garden hose and fire extinguisher. That was enough for a Nanaimo Fire Rescue crew to do the rest.  MORE


SANDCASTLES ON THE BEACH – Parksville’s world-renowned Sand Sculpting Competition and  Exhibition launches today with participants creating 29 sand masterpieces. They have 24 hours to complete their work using a share of more than 300 yards screened sand. Awards will be presented Sunday to the top five finishers in each category. Just over 108,000 people viewed the sand sculptures last year. Viewing begins Monday and runs through Aug. 18 by donation from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily. MORE

WEB QUOTE – Today if Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz ran into men with no brains, no heart and no courage, she wouldn’t be in Oz, she’d be in Ottawa.

New housing projects spring up across Nanaimo

Another multi-family housing development is slated for the north end. City council approved a rezoning application on Monday from Tony Harris Developments Inc. for 5360 Bergen-Op-Zoom Dr. to allow medium-density residential. The project has two five-storey buildings with 168 units between the Old Island Highway and Bergen-Op-Zoom Drive MORE.

TOWN HOME PROJECT – Councillors also granted a development permit for a 34-unit town home development at 4670 Hammond Bay Rd. Fifteen buildings range from 2,000 to 2,400 square feet, all three bedrooms plus a flex room. Access is off Ney Drive. MORE

SIMPLY SHOCKING ­Imagine relaxing and getting your nails touched up and a car smashes right into the building? Nanaimo Fire Rescue, B.C. Ambulance and RCMP responded after an electric car made an unscheduled entry at a Nanaimo nail salon Thursday mid-afternoon. There were no injuries at the Bowen Road location. The vehicle apparently jumped the curb as it pulled into a parking stall and crashed through the front entrance glass door and window. MORE

COSTCO MEMBERSHIP FEES are going up Sept. 1. When you renew or get a new membership it will cost you more in both Canada and the U.S. Canadians with individual, business or business add-on memberships will see their fees go up by $5 to $65. Executive memberships will be $10 more, to $130. MORE

WEB QUOTEIf at first you don’t succeed do it the way your wife told you.

July 11, 2024

Dragon boat races

back this weekend

The dragon boat festival has caught a second wind and will be back at Maffeo Sutton Park this Saturday. The event was moved to Victoria for financial reasons but V.I. Paddling and the Downtown Nanaimo Business Association worked together to salvage a one-day Nanaimo Dragon Boat Regatta this weekend. Twenty-member vessels will compete in 200-metre races.

Saluting the crew

of the HMCS Nanaimo

Ron Hopper of the Friends of HMCS Nanaimo reports that local supporters have created an award recognizing the ship’s crew member of the month. VAdm Nigel Brodeur suggested the award to remember his late wife who was the ship sponsor and supported Navy personnel until her death last fall. A plaque features a photo of her and the parameters of the award.  It will hang in a place of honour on the ship. Hopper presented the plaque to LCdr Michael Vanderveer.

EARTHQUAKE OFF ISLAND – A 6.4 magnitude earthquake was reported by the U.S. Gealogical Survey at 7:08 a.m., 210 km west south west of Tofino. No damage reports have been received so far.

JUST A MINUTE – The next civic election can’t come soon enough. The Woke Warriors are running amok at city council. Coun. Ben Geselbracht is intent on bringing his ideological investment philosophy to the city’s $200-million portfolio. Councillors Brown, Manly, Hemmens and Eastmure backed his social investing philosophy at Monday’s council meeting. This is actually not new, the city already tried this in 2021, investing $2 million at the time and bailing out in 2023, after losing $33,000. MORE


A MATTER OF TIMING – A pilot program that created a departure and arrival window for cargo ships anchored off the Gulf Islands and eastern Vancouver Island is now permanent. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority said the arrival and departure window for ships anchoring off seaside communities, along the coast, is now the permanent standard for ship operators dealing with the Port of Vancouver.


GOING AFTER IMPAIRED DRIVERS – One in ten Vancouver Island drivers leading up to Canada Day weekend were impaired. Twenty four drivers were pulled off the road for impairment by alcohol, and two for impairment by drugs by BC Highway Patrol. Out of 256 roadside breath tests, 24 people were impairment by alcohol, and two for impairment by drugs. Insp. Chad Badry with the BCHP said it’s scary when that many drivers are impaired but fortunate that they were pulled off the road before they hurt themselves or other people. MORE


THE RECENT HOT WEATHER has raised the wildfire risk with lightning  in the forecast. There were 21 new starts in the last 24 hours, the BC Wildfire Service reported Wednesday, with 115 active fires. The northeast corner of the province remains the most active, but the fire danger rating is rapidly increasing across the south as well. A cold front forecast to sweep across parts of the province could bring strong winds, thunderstorms and possible dry lightning. Dozens of fires in the province are classified as out of control. MORE


WILFFIRE EVACUATION ALERT – The Fort Nelson First Nation has issued a wildfire evacuation order for the reserve. Residents and visitors were told they had to leave by boat immediately. The BC Wildfire Service said the five-hectare blaze is believed to have been caused by lightning. MORE


STUDENT SUMMER JOBS – It’s going to be a tough job for students seeking summer employment. The June labour force survey by Statistics Canada shows the unemployment rate for youth 15-24 rose nearly a full percentage point to 13.5 per cent. That is affecting students during what should be the busy summer job season. The unemployment rate among students is at its highest level since 1998. MORE

WEB QUOTE – They always call it a conspiracy, but they never call it a lie.

July 10, 2024

Let's just create

another committee

Bureaucracy is a stumbling block in dealing with governments. City council approved a lease for a south-end property to B.C. Housing but not before they added a few more hurdles. Coun. Tyler Brown added a good neighbour agreement and creation of a community advisory committee. Only Mayor Leonard Krog opposed the change, noting that he personally signed the MOU and intends to keep up his end of the agreement and put a level of trust in B.C. Housing. He waxed Biblical bringing up the parable of the Good Samaritan. We have passed by the injured soul on the side of the road far too often and have made excuses for not wanting social housing nearby or not wanting to help people who have made bad decisions or are somehow unworthy. MORE

CHICKEN AND EGG SITUATION – which comes first, a new Operations Centre or a whole raft of other capital projects? City council has put a decision on hold on how to proceed with the $90-million project. The governance and priorities committee had recommended a one-shot borrowing decision to build the project, possibly saving as much as $10 million over a multi-phase option. Whatever the decision, we’ll go through another alternate approval process, possibly later this year. Also on the wish list are a new RCMP detachment, a south end community centre, and the waterfront walkway. MORE


AN UNWANTED DISTICTION. Nanaimo has three collision intersections on the top four list on Vancouver Island. ICBC data shows the Old Island Highway at Rutherford Road and Mostar Road had 73 collisions taking over from Aulds Road and Hammond Bay Road. The Parkway at the Jingle Pot Road had twice as many crashes – 68 – compared to 2023. Check out the full list HERE


CAMPFIRES AND OPEN FIRES are banned across the province as of noon Friday. The ban is brought about by weather conditions increasing the risk of new wildfire starts. BC Wildfire Service labels the fire danger rating in the majority of the province as high, with pockets of extreme and moderate fire danger. In addition to open fires, fireworks, sky lanterns, burn barrels and tiki torches are also verboten. Outdoor stoves are allowed. MORE


EMERGENCY SITUATION. – Multiple emergency room closures in the Interior this past weekend were unavoidable due to an above-average number of health-care workers calling in sick. Health Minister Adrian Dix said the province has a number of measures in place to prevent them including incentives to fill shifts and locum programs – but those systems aren’t nimble enough to respond to a surge in last-minute sick calls. Dix said there have been an average of 20,000 workers out sick, a number he said is high enough that it presents problems. He noted that absences averaged about 9,000 per week pre-pandemic. MORE

WEB QUOTE – Never, never ever apologize for doing your best.


Barron invites nominations for
King Charles Coronation medals

Our MP Lisa Marie Barron is looking for nominations for the King Charles III Coronation Medal. As MP, she gets to select up to 20 recipients from our region with the Governor General. She would like nominations from the public for outstanding Nanaimo–Ladysmith community members who have made a difference for consideration for this medal. See the full announcement and nomination forms HERE.

July 9, 2024

NEW HEAT RECORDS –  Heat records continued to fizzle under Monday’s bright sunshine, setting new standards across the province. Nanaimo set a new record on Sunday, reaching 33.3 C, surpassing the 2010 mark of 32.2 C by more than a full degree. Two dozen records were broken across B.C. Monday after more than 20 were broken on Sunday. Environment Canada reported the oldest record for July 8 was in Lytton, where it got as hot as 42.4 C. beating the 1952, when the mercury rose to 39.4 C.

THE FREE AIR CONDITIONER program at BC Hydro has been speeded up as the province battles a heat wave. The application process has been simplified and more installers have been added. There is now also a do-it-yourself option to speed things up and get the unit into homes faster. Even then it could take until mid-August to have one operating in your home. MORE


B.C. HAS SPENT $16 million sending cancer patients to the U.S. for radiation therapy over the past year. Around 600 people with breast cancer or prostate cancer got treatment at private facilities in Bellingham, since last May. B.C. Cancer data shows 801 patients completed radiation therapy in Bellingham. The wait for radiation therapy is improving, with B.C. Cancer reporting that 80 per cent of cancer patients are receiving radiation within the four-week clinical benchmark but we’re still one of the worst performing provinces for meeting a 28-day benchmark, well below the national average of 94 per cent. MORE


HEY, IT’S NOT LOCAL, but a great example. The Guru Nanak Food Bank in Surrey did it up big time on Sunday, collecting 384.5 tonnes of donations. Neeraj Walia, head of operations, said pasta, rice, flour, soup, was donated by the community, none of it  with outside funding. "Not a single penny is from the government. It's by the people, for the people," added Walia. MORE

WEB QUOTE – People who are concerned about an increase in artificial intelligence should be more concerned about the decrease in real intelligence.

July 8, 2024

Port strike notice

ruled illegal by Labour Relations Board

CARGO AND PASSENGER operations at B.C.’s ports will continue after the Canada Industrial Relations Board found a looming strike by a union representing ship and dock foremen contravenes the Canada Labour Code. The BCMEA said in a news release on Saturday that it had asked the CIRB to divert the upcoming strike against DP World Canada. The decision found the union failed to bargain in good faith when it issued a strike notice based on a vote conducted among employees of only one member employer of the BCMEA. MORE

A NEW HEAT RECORD –  Nanaimo set a new high temperature record for July 7, reaching 33.3 C, surpassing the 2010 mark of 32.2 C by more than a full degree. Other Island communities also set new standards – Qualicum Beach, Port Alberni and the Malahat. The mercury at the Port Alberni airport reached 34.8°C, beating the old record of 33.3 degrees in 2010. Environment Canada says the heat will lessen Tuesday night but there’s nothing but sun in the seven day forecast. MORE


A MAGNITUDE 5.2 EARTHQUAKE was registered about 200 km west of Tofino this morning. The U.S. Geological Survey reported the quake just after 7 a.m.


CONGRATULATIONS TO Ann Marie Clark of Steve Marshall Ford who is the first woman to chair the New Car Dealers Association of B.C. She moved up the ranks and was previously vice-chairman and treasurer, and it's an association she believes in. MORE


B.C. FERRIES HAS SHUFFLED THE DECK for Gabriola summer sailings with two late-afternoon and evening sailings on Fridays. Until Aug. 30, there is a 5:40 p.m. sailing from Nanaimo and a 6:15 p.m. leaving Descanso Bay. The two sailings replace the 7:05 a.m. from Descanso Bay and the 7:35 a.m. from Nanaimo Harbour. For more information on routes and ferry service, go to www.bcferries.com.


FIGHTING BACK – Merritt Mayor Michael Goetz is threatening to withhold health-care payments to the province over lack of reliable service. Nicola Valley Hospital emergency room was shut down for 48 hours over the weekend until 8 a.m. Tuesday. The hospital had more than a dozen temporary closures of its emergency room last year, most of them attributed to physician or other staffing shortages. MORE

WEB QUOTE – I got a call from a telemarketer and he said he couldn’t understand me. I said, press 1 for English.


July 7, 2024

Record temperatures on the way for British Columbia

A heat wave expected to push temperatures into the low 40s in the coming days brought heat warnings this morning. Environment Canada warns that the worst is expected to start Sunday and last into next week. Health Minister Adrian Dix says vulnerable people such as seniors experiencing a heat-related emergency are encouraged to call 911. MORE

JUST A MINUTE – I often have to bite my tongue while commenting on issues. Here’s an example. Fraser Health is offering free drug safety testing for people attending a music festival in the Lower Mainland. It’s free and confidential. How much easier can it get? How much of that will then be sold inside the festival with a "certificate of authenticity?" How long before our government starts handing out free drugs? Oh, they already do.

SHIP AND DOCK FOREMEN have issued 72-hour strike notice against DP World Canada, which includes the Port of Nanaimo. It will begin on Monday at 4:30 p.m. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said last month that 99 per cent of the nearly 600 longshore foremen who voted opposed a final offer from the employers association. MORE

THE PROVINCE IS CHARGING UP the Island’s electric grid with $3 billion in the next decade for new power lines, electrical stations and infrastructure. That includes upping the capacity of power lines in several high-growth areas like Nanaimo and across the South Island. A new substation is slated in Langford and the end-of-life underground cables in Greater Victoria's core communities will be replaced. Officials said the new substation will be able to power up to 70,000 new homes and will be the second largest in the Capital Region.  MORE


WHEN YOU’RE PACKING a mighty load of illicit tobacco don’t go a-drinking with driving on your mind, even if very slowly. The BC Highway Patrol found $400,000 worth of contraband tobacco in the Duncan area after they pulled over a pickup for suspected impaired driving along the Trans-Canada Highway. The truck was towing a cargo trailer and was well under the speed limit, but was having difficulty staying in its lane. After police pulled over the truck, they spotted 46 cases of unstamped and untaxed cigarettes worth $400,000 retail and $250,000 in tax revenue. MORE


NANAIMO’S CHALLENGING treed mountain bike trails got a serious workout as 500 mountain bikers put it to the test as part of a week-long mountain biking adventure. The B.C. Bike Race, now in it’s 18th year, is a gruelling seven-day challenge up and down Vancouver Island. Close to 500 riders from 36 countries staged at Barsby, finishing at Westwood Lake. Bikes came from many countries, including Spain, France, and Germany. MORE

WEB QUOTE – Everyone is entitled to an opinion but not his/her own facts.

July 6, 2024

WE JUST CAME THROUGH a long weekend, and here we go again with a fantastic few days with nothing sunshine. We may soon forget what a real work week feels like.

LOOKING FOR A SWINGER – Police would like to hear from witnesses to an altercation between two drivers, where one assaulted the other. It happened on May 27 at the parking lot of the 7-Eleven store at the corner of Fifth Street and Bruce Avenue. Both men got out of their vehicles, and one hit the other man in the back with a baseball bat and smashed the man’s windshield .MORE

THE EARTH MOVED AGAIN at about 8:30 today in the ocean some 240 km west of Tofino. It registered 5.0 in magnitude. There was no tsunami information with the announcement.

VICTORIA CITY COUNCIL REJECTED a proposal Thursday to compensate victims of street disorder. Coun. Stephen Hammond said taxpayers are frustrated by growing property taxes and costs associated with street disorder and crime. Providing compensation could mitigate that, Hammond proposed. He said the city had previously done something similar, reimbursing businesses whose windows were broken. After the meeting was moved behind closed doors for legal advice, council came bac and rejected the motion 5-4 without discussion.

NO PRAYER IN PARKSVILLE ­– The City of Parksville has agreed not to include an inaugural prayer during its inaugural meetings after municipal elections. The BC Humanist Association threatened a legal challenge against the city, in a letter in April saying it was in “breach of the duty of religious neutrality” because Parksville includes an “explicitly Christian” prayer at its inaugural meetings each time a new council was voted in. As an aside, I wonder if the traditional Snuneymuxw blessing at new Nanaimo councils will also be challenged. MORE

THREE MINISTERS WON’T RUN – Three veteran cabinet ministers will say goodbye to the Legislature when their terms end before the October provincial election. Harry Bains, Bruce Ralston and Rob Flemingannounced they will not seek re-election. All three have served five terms in the legislature, first being elected in 2005. MORE

WEB QUOTE – Now that I’m older I am very fortunate that I have someone call and check on me every day. He’s from India and very concerned about my computer security.

July 4, 2024

RCMP make drugs and weapons arrests

A Nanaimo man has been charged with 15 weapons- and drug-related offenses. Roger Ian Der, 44, has been charged with Possession of a firearm contrary to his probation order, careless storage of a firearm, five counts of trafficking and fail to comply with his probation order.In another case, proactive patrols busted drug dealers in action downtown resulting in three suspects being charged and one held in custody. See full stories HERE.

UNITARIAN SHELTER RENOVATIONS are complete after three months and close to $300,000 spent. The shelter will celebrate its re-opening and the transfer to the Nanaimo Family Life Association at an Open House Saturday, July 13. The fundraising campaign began in December to bring the shelter into compliance with building and fire codes. It now has new flooring, insulation between floors, an air exchange unit as well as the addition of the washroom with a shower and space for health care teams. MORE

AVOID HE HEAT – High temperatures around 30 degrees for at least a week must be taken seriously. Medical Health Officer. Dr. Murray Fyfe warns these conditions could lead to poor health outcomes. “That’s when people start to develop signs of heat-related illness, it comes on quicker for people who are more vulnerable, but it can affect everybody. High-risk populations such as the elderly, the very young and those with chronic and certain mental health conditions should minimize their exposure. So enjoy but be careful. MORE


RONALD JOSEPH CAMPBELL, 42, has been charged with first-degree murder in the May, 2021 death of Yasin Khan in the parking lot of a Wendy's restaurant at Rock City Centre. The investigation involved other agencies, including Nanaimo serious crime section, forensic services, and the B.C. Prosecution Service, as well as information from the public. MORE


STUDENTS WILL LEARN about evidence-gathering, analysis and hypothesis to reconstruct a crime in a new course approved by the school board. It will examine basic principles and knowledge that guides forensic laboratory processes, such as DNA testing, toxicology and material analysis. Students will also learn about forensic science and its role after a crime. The legal system, evidence, rudimentary techniques at crime scenes and evidence preservation will be among topics in the four-credit course. It is hoped the class may lead to careers in law enforcement. MORE


UPDATE - a 5.7 magnitude quake was registered at 8:15 a.m. today 232 km west south west Tofino. Earilier, Earthquakes Canada reported two minor quakes off Vancouver Island yesterday, but they barely moved the needle. The first at 12:59 p.m. had a 3.9-magnitude and another, at 4.1-magnitude, at 1:12 p.m. It says the first earthquake wasn't felt. The United States Geological Survey reported five low-magnitude quakes in quick succession, the biggest at 4.7. MORE


LADYSMITH CRASH INJURES FOUR ­–Ladysmith RCMP seek witnesses after a two-vehicle collision on Tuesday injured four people, including some seriously hurt. Both drivers and their passengers were taken to hospital with minor to serious injuries. MORE

JUST A MINUTEU.S. wildlife officials plan to kill almost a half-million barred owls in order to save the spotted owl from extinction. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service strategy is meant to prop up declining spotted owl populations in Oregon, Washington State and California. About 450,000 barred owls would be shot over three decades after the birds from the eastern U.S. encroached into the West Coast territory of two owls.

QUOTABLE - Civil liberties must never outweigh personal responsibility.

July 3, 2024

GET READY TO TURN ON the air conditioner, the temperatures are going to sizzle with some areas expected to break records by week's end. Environment Canada forecasts the Central Island will be hot, climbing to 30°C by Saturday in Nanaimo, Duncan and further up-Island. Port Alberni will feel the heat, climbing to 31°C the next day.

A DRUG POISONING AND OVERDOSE advisory has been issued forNanaimo. Island Health Authority issued the advisory after seeing increased poisonings from unregulated drugs. Call 911 and stay with the person, give naloxone if available and give one breath every five seconds. For more information, visit Island Health's harm-reduction services page at http://ow.ly/FgyS50PLkLF to find information on supervised consumption sites, drug-checking services andmore.

Andrew Weaver

IF THERE’S ONE CONSTANT ABOUT politics in our province it is that it is constantly changing. The resurgence of the B.C. Conservatives has even former BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver buying in. He posted on social media that he believes the Conservatives will win the October election, saying the provincial Green Party is finished, and the NDP are bleeding support due to Premier David Eby being an “ideological know-it-all elitist who surrounds himself with sycophants." He said the only hope for BCUnited is an immediate leadership change or zero seats. “I recognize that some may not like the message, but it’s what I am seeing and hearing happening all around me. And this with people who have been long time NDP supporters, he posted.” MORE

A CONFIDENT JOHN RUSTAD brought his Conservative message to Ladysmith on Tuesday, discussing the former Ladysmith Community Marina's water lot transfer to the Stz'uminus First Nation's Coast Salish Development Corporation on Jan. 1. While cautioning that legal obstacles could stand in the way, Rustad said a Conservative government would take a different approach to economic reconciliation. Rustad is a former aboriginal relations minister and said when it comes to reconciliation both in Ladysmith and province-wide, a Conservative government would try to work at a "people-to-people" level.


GOLF IS ALL ABOUT etiquette and courtesy. That was not the case in Burnaby on the weekend when police had to break up a royal rumble on the golf course involving numerous golfers – apparently prompted by some serious breaches in etiquette. Police found numerous golfers who had been involved in the altercation, said Cpl. Laura Hirst. One group claimed that they had almost been hit with a ball from the other group, and it happened more than once. A woman was pushed in the confrontation, suffering minor injuries. MORE

WEB QUOTE – It takes a big man to admit defeat – I am not a big man.

July 2, 2024

SO MUCH FOR THE FIRST HALF of the year, July heralds the beginning of the second half of 2024. And it promises to be eventful, particularly with a provincial election on the calendar. So the politicians will be chewing our ears off with some fact but a lot more hot air. Fasten your seat belts.

DON'T FORGET TO PAY – I hate to flog a dead horse, but the property tax deadline is today before the end of business hours at city hall. If you miss the deadline it will cost you a pile more than the already-high tab you're facing.


ALL ABOARD. Riding the choo choo used to have a certain cache to it. Those pining for nostalgia, head on down to Port Alberni where the trains are running again. The Western Vancouver Island Industrial Heritage Society has an agreement with the city to run the train three days a week. Tickets are eight bucks for adults and six bucks for seniors, kids and youth. The #11 Diesel Locomotive will run every weekend and the #102 Logging Crew Speeder will run on Mondays. Departure time is 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. throughout the summer on both trains. MORE


ALMOST TWO DOZEN HOMES were hit by by flash flooding in the Interior after heavy rain closed the Trans-Canada Highway near Kamloops. The regional district said no injuries or damage to critical infrastructure had been reported, but officials are working with residents of at least 20 homes that were affected by floodwaters. Savona-area residents reported sewage smells around their homes following the flooding. MORE


WESTJET AND ITS MECHANICS have reached a tentative agreement that ended a days-long strike but travel woes are not back to normal for all passengers. The airline was moving toward business as usual but warned there would be further disruptions over the coming weeks as operations returned to normal. Some of the destinations on the impacted flights include Los Cabos, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary. WestJet cancelled 78 scheduled flights across the country Monday, and an additional three on Tuesday. MORE

WHERE DO POLITICIANS park their brains after being elected? Manitoba NDP MP Niki Ashton has paid back part of the thousands of dollars she spent on a Christmastime trip for her and her family out of public funds.The trip cost more than $17,000 for a Christmas Day trip to Quebec City and Montreal. Her husband and two children flew from her northern Manitoba riding to Ottawa on Dec. 21, 2022. Then the family flew to Quebec City on Christmas Day “to meet with stakeholders about business of the House.” She’s paid back $2,900 so far but when is she going to pay for the balance? MORE

WEB QUOTE – I tried to follow the science but it simply was not there. Then I followed the money and that’s where I found the science.

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July 1, 2024

July 1

AFTER ALL THE CELEBRATIONS, you can end the day with bathtub races in Departure Bay this afternoon. A bunch of racers are set to practise at around 4 p.m. The time of the races is governed by the tide. About 20 racers are expected for an exhibition bathtubs race starting and finishing at Departure Bay Beach. Commodore Greg Peacock says it a chance to warm up and test everything for the big race. MORE

NEARLY ONE HUNDRED people took part in the annual walk for Lisa Marie Young on Sunday. Young who has not been seen since disappearing in 2002. Supporters marched from the RCMP detachment to Maffeo Sutton Park. Despite the 22 years, community advocacy efforts are stronger than ever. Lisa Marie was 21-years-old when she vanished on June 30, 2002 after friends reported she accepted a ride with a man. RCMP Cpl. Markus Muntener said it is vitally important that people with knowledge about what happened to Young come forward. MORE

A TWO-VEHICLE COLLISION on the Alberni Highway sent one person to hospital via air ambulance Sunday morning. Emergency Health Services were called to the scene at 10:43 a.m. The Port Alberni Fire Department said it was a two-vehicle collision, west of Cathedral Grove. Along with the air ambulance, three ambulances with primary care and advanced care paramedics were on scene. An advanced care paramedic response unit also responded. MORE

WESTJET IS BACK IN THE AIR. The airline and striking union have agreed to binding arbitration. The union has withdrawn strike action and their members will return to work as scheduled to restore the network. WestJet had cancelled more than 800 flights over the weekend. The airline said it’s working to restore operations in a safe and timely manner, adding that returning to business-as-usual flying will take time and further disruptions over the coming weeks. MORE

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? Lytton is marking the third anniversary of being destroyed in a wildfire. Two people died and 90 per cent of buildings were totally destroyed. Despite the drawn out process of rebuilding, Mayor Denise O’Connor sees progress in the village, things starting to be rebuilt, creating a positive feeling.” MORE

WEB QUOTE – They say it’s never too late to start exercising . . . so I’ll wait until later.

June 30, 2024

Man and dog threatened

by man with bra on his head

A 44-year-old Nanaimo man was walking his large dog in the wooded area behind the Northfield Rotary Lookout Park, at 2450 Northfield Road, on July 11 when he was confronted by a male wielding two knives.


The assailant swung the knives at the dog walker, attempting to stab him.The dog lunged at the assailant and bit him on the right leg. The dog's owner, who is trained in martial arts, was able to incapacitate the assailant and take the knives.


The suspect is a Caucasian male with shoulder-length brown hair, between 30 and 40 years old. He was wearing dark clothes and had a bra on his head. After the incident, he left the area with a red suitcase and a red mobility walker.

Despite extensive foot patrols in the area by Police Dog Services and officers, they did not find the suspect.


The investigation is continuing, and police are requesting that anyone with information about the suspect call the Nanaimo RCMP at (250)754-2345.


Posted by Const. Sherri Wade

DENSITY IS THE OBJECTIVE for housing, and that includes future construction at the Foothills in Upper Lantzville. Lone Tree Properties plans 28 homes, including 20 two- and three-bedroom townhouses. Eight larger semi-detached homes are also planned to be built as part of phase two of the master-planned community. Move-in readiness is expected in July 2026. MORE


TRAVEL PLANS WERE IN SHAMBLES for thousands this weekend as WestJet  cancelled more than 200 flights after aircraft mechanics hit the picket lines on Friday. Kelowna saw 10 departures and nine arrivals cancelled, and Victoria 11 and nine. Nanaimo Airport showed at least one cancellation Saturday. The airline said it was cancelling more than 150 flights across its network as a result of the strike, with more than 20,000 passengers expected to be affected during the busy Canada Day long weekend. MORE


JIM PATTISON GROUP has bought U.S. grocery chain Save Mart which operates about 200 grocery stores across California and Nevada and includes Lucky, Lucky California, FoodMaxx, and Maxx Value Food. Vancouver-based Pattison Group controls auto dealerships, Save-On-Foods, Great Wolf Lodge, Ripley Entertainment, Genpak and Canfor. MORE

SOUTH END SUPPORTIVE HOUSING is on the way. The provincial government announced the 60-bed facility at 1030 Old Victoria Rd.. It will be built in partnership with BC Housing, and the City. The Nanaimo Navigation Centre will be geared to homeless people with 24/7 supports and services. Housing minister Ravi Kahlon said people who have been chronically homeless often face complex challenges and need additional support to get back on their feet and start to rebuild their lives. MORE

DON’T BE SURPRISED if you see solar panels sprouting on residential roof tops in Nanaimo, thanks to a B.C. Hydro incentive program. Rebates up to $10,000 will be available for solar panels and battery storage systems on homes. The rebate program will make it easier for people and businesses to generate their own electricity and deliver clean energy back to the electricity grid, said BC Hydro CEO Chris O’Riley. Customers will be able to lower their energy bills and generate their own renewable electricity and store it to use later when and how they want. MORE

WEB QUOTE – If I win the lottery no one around me will be poor, I mean that. I will move to a wealthy neighborhood.