March 19, 20, 2023
A 39-year-old man is in hospital with serious non-life threatening injuries following a weekend shooting at approximately 8 p.m. on Saturday in the vicinity of the Coast Bastion Hotel. The incident was reported by Community Safety Officers on patrol when they were flagged down by the victim who was bleeding heavily from a facial injury. He told the officers that he had been shot. Attending BCEHS provided emergency care and transported the victim to the Nanaimo hospital. MORE DETAILS
Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews quickly doused an apartment fire in downtown Nanaimo Sunday night. The fire was on the ground floor of Sea Crest apartments at Front and Chapel Streets. Assistant Fire Chief Stu Kenning said the fire was on the outside of the building. When crews got there they made quick work of it by spraying water on it. MORE
Gabriola Island students are staying put, they will not be shuffled to Cedar Secondary School in September. The school board has taken that option out of consideration due to opposition from affected families for the move. Secretary Treasurer, Mark Walsh said the consultations showed the community did not support the transfer. The move was in response to overcrowding at NDSS. MORE
The Junior All-Native basketball tournament kicked off Sunday at Frank Crane Arena with an elaborate ceremony. It’s the largest event of its kind in the province with 91 teams. Games are set for boys and girls divisions at two age levels. Boys U17 assistant coach Isaac Thomas told NanaimoNewsNOW the tournament experience is generational for the community. He said there’s been strong Snuneymuxw representation at the youth Junior level for the past 12 to 15 years. MORE
The RCMP need help to identify two women who are suspected of stealing a number of beauty products from Sally Beauty, 6894 Island Highway North in January. Police spoke with an employee who said the two women selected a number of items which included a blow dryer and hair products, then left without paying for the merchandise. Closed circuit pictures were obtained and to date, but the suspects have not been identified. MORE WITH PHOTO.
So how is that no-fault insurance working out for you? It should be relabelled “your-fault” insurance. We’re hearing numerous complaints about ICBC deflecting blame so they don’t have to pay full claims. They arbitrarily decide fault. Two recent instances show how it works. A vehicle stopped at a stop sign was hit by another vehicle, and the victim was blamed. In another, a vehicle smashed into a condo building and ICBC refuses to pay the full damage claim. Thank you, David Eby.
March 18, 2023
The Nanaimo Parkway will be closed over night March 26-30 between the Jingle Pot and Third Street intersection and the College Drive to Fifth Street intersection to install a water pipeline crossing. The closures will be in effect from 7 pm to 7 am. for four days as work continues on the Midtown Water Supply Project. Various detours will be in place. Nanaimo residents on the Voyent Alert system, will get an informational alert to remind of the overnight closure. MORE
Nanaimo RCMP continue to investigate the shooting on Sunday that sent a Nanaimo man to hospital with serious injuries. No arrests have been made in the incident near Barsby Avenue and Mill Street. Investigators have been reviewing numerous videos provided by businesses, witnesses, and dash cam evidence. Numerous witness statements have also been taken and the team of investigators have also consulted with neighbouring police and other agencies.
All you have to do is shop for groceries to feel the impact of inflation. It’s no different for the city, and budgetary reserves have helped bail out the City. The budget committee has approved extra spending on four items for about $1.6 million. Full city council has to give the final stamp of approval. Bill Sims, general manager of engineering and public works, said staff are conscious of the increases. A lot of these prices were put in less than a year ago and we felt confident at that, we had some contingency built in and we’re still coming in over budget, it’s quite discouraging, it’s very difficult to pin down, Sims said. MORE
Learn about Alzheimer symptoms. When people think about dementia, they usually think about its impact on memory, ability to communicate or unusual behaviour. You can get useful information on how sensory changes affect the ability to interact with the surrounding environment and perform routine tasks. It’s on Wednesday, March 29, at 2 p.m. To register for the webinar, CLICK HERE.
Regional District of Nanaimo residents will have to cough up a 8.9-per-cent tax increase this year. Directors had originally looked at an 11.3-per-cent hike but settled on the lower amount when they passed the 2023-27 financial plan. The typical tax requisition will be $629, a $53 increase from last year. In the Lantzville it will be $617, a $24 increase. MORE
March 17, 2023
Island rail service may be on its deathbed, but there’s hope on the horizon. A partnership with governments and First Nations is being floated to establish a $1-billion modern freight rail service between ports in Port Alberni and Nanaimo, with barges carrying cargo to the Lower Mainland. Dave Hayden, president of Island Rail Corp. said the goal is to provide seamless rail transport from Port Alberni, with its deep sea port, to Nanaimo and then by barge over to the Lower Mainland, to North American rail networks. Hayden previously worked in senior management with Canadian Pacific Railway. MORE
Supporters from across the province joined local demonstrators Wednesday demanding action on crime from the provincial and federal governments. It was a response to the shooting at a homeless encampment on Sunday. Surrey South MLA Elenore Sturko, the B.C. Liberal Party critic for mental health, addictions and recovery and also a former RCMP officer, said the catch-and-release of chronic offenders isn’t working. Coun. Sheryl Armstrong, another former RCMP officer, said it's not a policing problem, but rather focussing on addiction treatment with follow-up. MORE
Tens of thousands of items, including food, were destroyed in the arson fire at Walmart on Feb. 22. The small fire in a box of diapers was extinguished by employees by the time firefighters arrived, but damage from fire extinguisher chemicals and smoke contamination forced the store to close for five days. Items required to be destroyed included baby essentials like infant formula, baby food and diapering items. The fire remains under criminal investigation. MORE
So much for that. The Bank of England is cutting funding for climate change initiatives championed by Mark Carney, the Bank’s governor from 2013 to 2020. Carney led several sustainability efforts including climate change insurance risks, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) scores and more. According to Bloomberg, inflation and current fiscal challenges means that those projects will no longer get the same priority as the Bank of England dedicates more resources to traditional economic concerns. Net Zero Watch welcomed the shift, saying that it’s long overdue. Its obsession with climate change by Carney and government ministers has for years distracted it from its main responsibilities.
March 16, 2023
Nanaimo Regional General Hospital is installing early warning radar motion sensors in its washrooms after pilot projects at two mental health and substance-use sites in Courtenay. Island Health credits the Courtenay trials with likely saving at least one life after a health-care worker was alerted by the sensor system to an unresponsive washroom occupant. Island Health has 12 more on order. MORE
BC Ferries is conducting a hiring blitz looking for more than 500 people to work for the company. The recruiting launched in late February, with new workers being sought to fill casual positions for the shoulder and peak seasons. Today is the second day of a job fair at the Victoria Greek Community Centre on Elk Lake Drive from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. They’re looking for customer service and terminal attendants, sales and service representatives, and ticket agents for the Swartz Bay terminal and head office in Victoria. The company continues to face staffing shortages which often results in sailing cancellations.
Joel Good and Margot Holmes have been named winners of the 2023 Culture Awards which the city has staged annually since 1998. The awards honour extraordinary achievement and raise awareness and pride for the calibre of arts and culture activity in Nanaimo, as well as the dynamic impact of the sector on our community’s economic, social and cultural well-being. Mayor Leonard Krog said their talent, imagination, long hours of dedicated effort and leadership contribute to the beauty and richness of our arts and culture community and benefit all of us. The awards will be presented at a public celebration at the Port Theatre on April 25. MORE
A security guard was stabbed at a construction site near Ladysmith on Wednesday. He was taken to hospital in Nanaimo for treatment. Reports stated there was a dispute with a homeless man over an illegal fire. MORE
Federal Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre popped in to rally of local supporters yesterday and zeroed in on a major issues – bail reform and the drug toxicity crisis. He told NanaimoNewsNOW a Conservative government would look to immediately reform the criminal justice system by dealing with repeat, violent offenders. The packed-house crowd cheered when Poilievre spoke about defunding the CBC, and prohibiting any of his MPs from participating in anything to do with the World Economic Forum. MORE
Comox Valley RCMP are trying to identify a man who reportedly attacked another man while skiing on Mt. Washington last week sending the victim to hospital. Police say the victim was able to take a photo of the attacker. Mounties are now looking got the man in the picture, between 20-25 years old, approximately 5'8" tall, having light-coloured skin, and shoulder-length, dirty blond hair.MORE
It must be true, CNN says so. Vancouver Island has been named one of the most beautiful places in the world by the network. Our Pacific Paradise was the only Canadian destination to make the list, and stood shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Rotorua in New Zealand, Petra in Jordan, Positano in Italy and Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China. CNN seemed most interested in our natural appeals, highlighting our wildlife and eco-tourism. With more than 2,000 miles of coastline, almost 10,000 lakes and acres of soaring mountains, Vancouver Island is like Canada in miniature, wrote CNN.
March 15, 2023
It's the end of the line for VIA Rail, or is it? The federal government is returning part of the Island Corridor land back to Snaw-Naw-As First Nation after a Court of Appeal decision stemming from the First Nation’s lawsuit. “In support of the shared ongoing commitments to reconciliation, our governments have decided that reversion of the land is the first step in the process of developing a shared vision for the future of the corridor with First Nations,” Transport Canada and B.C. said in a joint statement. Meanwhile, the provincial government has committed $18 million in funding for “future corridor planning involving affected First Nations and regional districts.” MORE
The man who was shot while trying to get back items stolen from his business remains in hospital. Clint Smith’s family says his prognosis is good, but his recovery will be lengthy. While the shooter hasn’t been identified or arrested, the community is stepping up to help. Smith was one of six people who went to the encampment near the Millstone River, just below Terminal Avenue, to retrieve auto mechanic equipment. Smith runs Ernie’s Blackpoint Repair, a few blocks away. MORE
A reader asks for an update on the proposed fast ferries. “Or has it been another dream, seems that the principles indicated they had a vessel under construction, it should be finished by now,” says Jim Craigdallie
March 14, 2023
Mayor Leonard Krog wants action from senior governments on the public safety crisis resulting from their failed policies. He adds it is beyond the City's capacity to control or repair. "On behalf of City Council and the community, I call upon the federal and provincial governments to recognize their responsibility to our residents and to step up and take meaningful action now. Our City is not able to fix the underlying issues that have led to the problems we are facing and the kind of situation that unfolded here on Sunday. "When government is no longer able to protect people and their property, we are in a dangerous place." he said. FULL REPORT
Mayor Leonard Krog
A Nanaimo business owner trying to retrieve stolen property was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds Sunday afternoon. A confrontation was reported near a homeless camp near the former Nanaimo White Spot. The 49-year-old victim was part of a group who entered the camp to retrieve tools stolen from his shop and spotted at the encampment. Reserve Cst. Gary O’Brien said a firearm was seized at the camp and several people were taken into custody on outstanding warrants unrelated to the shooting. MORE
Some Nanaimo residents are calling on the provincial and federal governments on to take of public safety after a businessman was shot in the stomach on Sunday after trying to retrieve equipment stolen from his shop a few days prior. Collen Middleton of the Nanaimo Area Public Safety Association said the province has to step in, this has gone on far too long. Enough was enough so long ago. Civil society cannot sustain this burden, it’s just not possible. MORE
BC Ferries has launched a new mobile app which provides easy access to an array of information quickly while also allowing travellers to view, make or change their bookings. The app is available for a free download on both the Apple and Google app stores.
Equal justice for all? Attorney General Niki Sharma says the province is treading carefully to ensure the over-incarceration of racialized groups is not made worse by proposed changes to the bail system. She says the province needs to be very watchful to ensure bail reform doesn’t step on the toes of other initiatives, like the BC First Nations Justice Strategy that aims to reduce the number of Indigenous people involved in the criminal justice system. Some are more equal than others? That sounds more like social engineering than equality MORE
Nanaimo RCMP have an IPad which was found and turned over to police for safekeeping in December. The IPad was found in the Northfield area. The screen is locked with a 6 digit PIN which prevented police from searching its contents, and when located, the device was dry and in relatively good condition. If you have information on who may own it, please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. File #2022-43010
March 11, 2023
March 10, 2023
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is not about to give up on her vaccine campaign. A new booster program focuses on the elderly and vulnerable. Dr. Henry stated the next round of boosters will target people at the highest risk of severe illness – people at least 80-years-old and Indigenous people at least 70-years-old and seniors in long-term care settings. MORE
One-stop service begins next week for all walk-in service for mental health and substance use patients in Nanaimo. Single-session mental health and substance-use assessments, counselling and referrals will available at only the Brooks Landing site, at 203-2000 Island Highway. Service will be offered week days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and “will create consistent walk-in hours for … services and improve over-all access to the continuum of services to help more people access the care they need,” says Island Health. MORE
March 9, 2023
Money, money, money. We told you last month about someone finding a stash of cash on a sidewalk in the Labieux Road area. The finder turned it over to the cops. If it belongs to you, the Nanaimo RCMP have it waiting for you. Anyone with information can call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, citing file No. 2023-6466.
The Sealand Market building on Stewart Avenue will get a fadcelift. City council has approved a development permit for exterior alteration to the two-storey buildings. The buildings will be reclad in cementitious panels, corrugated metal, aluminum panels and cedar and faux wood-plank siding. New front canopies and patios will be constructed on the front and rear along with new canopies. MORE
First in Canada. The post office has gone electric with its delivery vehicles. Nanaimo is the first Canada to swap out its entire fleet. Doug Ettinger of Canada Post said Nanaimo was chosen partly for our climate. “When you charge them, they can take you between 150-190 kilometres on a full charge, and we’re thinking about winter, how’s winter going to affect the batteries? But all the routes here are 50 kilometres or less, so we know that we’re probably good, we can charge them overnight, it takes about eight hours to charge them.” MORE
The addition of inhalation facilities has created a sharp increase in the number of users. Inhalation users make up more than 80 per cent of the approximately 700 weekly clients at the Canadian Mental Health Association’s facility on Albert at Dunsmuir Street. MORE
A Federal Court judge has approved a $2.8-billion settlement agreement between the Canadian government and 325 First Nations whose members went to residential day schools. Justice Ann Marie McDonald said in her ruling issued Thursday that the settlement is intended to help take steps to reverse the losses of language, culture and heritage through an Indigenous-led not-for-profit body. MORE
March 9, 2023
March 8, 2023
It’s cherry blossom time in Victoria and that only means our city will be in the pink any day now. The capital’s parks, streets and boulevards begin to be flooded by rows of colourful cherry blossoms in pink and white flowering petals. There are nearly 5,000 of them for onlookers to enjoy. MORE
It takes time to change the time. The annual spring time change to daylight saving time happens Saturday night/Sunday when you set clocks ahead one hour. British Columbians support scrapping seasonal time changes, but the U.S. federal government has to rubber stamp such a move. The governors of Washington, Oregon and California agreed to permanent daylight time on the West Coast. The premier of Yukon was also on board. Just remember, this weekend, one hour forward. MORE
A $600,000 grant from Environment and Climate Change Canada will ensure the Island Trust Conservancy’s species-at-risk program can continue over the next three years. The species-at-risk program launched in 2021 with a three-year grant of $643,000 from the Canada Nature Fund’s species-at-risk stream. MORE
Craig Evans who founded the Growing Opportunities non-profit farming co-operative died on Monday. Craig played a critical role in the development of the farm project, with an all-volunteer crew of beginner farmers on a plot of land at Providence Farm. In 2012, Growing Opportunities set up operations at Wyndlow Farms in Yellow Point. There are two active farming locations, Five Acres Farm and Cline Agri-Health Centre. A private memorial will be held for close friends and family. If you would like to be informed about any plans for future public celebrations of Craig’s life, please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nanaimo RCMP are looking for help to find a stolen motorcycle. The red Suzuki GSXR street bike was taken sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning from a carport in the 100 block of Kerr St. The bike had no plates as it was off the road for the winter, and was parked in the back of the carport behind two vehicles. The door to the carport door was held closed by two zap straps that were found cut and lying on the ground. MORE, WITH PHOTO
It’s embarrassing when your own rules tie you up in knots. The city of Vancouver is held up by its own red tape on construction of a massive detox and social housing project approved by city council more than four years ago. The rules have changed in that four years, so now it requires a fresh start. This comes as the BC Coroners Service reports rising illicit drug overdose deaths in January. The potentially-game-changing facility will be built on city-owned land in partnership with BC Housing and Vancouver Coastal Health for a mixed-use development which was touted as the largest of its kind in B.C. when it was approved by council on Feb. 21, 2019. MORE
No cause for panic, that great big orange yellow object in the sky over Nanaimo this morning is not a foreign spy balloon. In case you've forgotten what it looks like, it's what we used to call the sun that gave us that warm-all-over feeling. Enjoy it while it's here.
City council has had it up to the gills with the mental health and addiction problems. Council voted Monday to send a strongly-worded letter to the federal and provincial governments about the local impacts of the mental health and addiction crisis. Based on Coun. Paul Manly’s motion, the city asks the federal and provincial governments to reform policies around mental health and addictions and provide funding to deal with issues from social disorder being felt in Nanaimo. Manly said current policies on mental health and addiction, and the lack of proper funding to address these issues, are impacting communities and municipal governments at an unacceptable level. MORE
On that note, Nanaimo recorded 12 drug fatalities in January, one more than Victoria. The BC Coroners Service reports that Central Vancouver Island, from the Malahat to north of Qualicum Beach, recorded 18 deaths compared to 11 in the south and 10 in the north. “We are nearing the seventh anniversary of the declaration of the public-health emergency into substance-related harms, and the drug-poisoning crisis continues to cost lives and communities at an unprecedented rate,” said chief coroner Lisa Lapointe. MORE
Seeing the cranes towering over new construction it’s obvious we’re in a building boom. The City issued building permits for $410 million in construction, the second-highest year on record. Deputy CAO/general manager of development services Dale Lindsay reported on active projects approved last year and those still in the permitting phase. The number of single-family houses has levelled off with the trend now leaning to multi-family. MORE
The government wants to snoop into your pay stubs. Employers will soon have to post wage or salary information in job postings. The province hopes it will help close the gender pay gap, advocates and labour unions say more action is needed. The pay transparency legislation will take effect on Nov. 1. The far-reaching legislation will prohibit employers from asking job seekers for pay history and from punishing employees who disclose information about what they are paid. By November, 2026, all workplaces that employ 50 or more people will be required to post public reports about the gender pay gap at their companies or organizations. MORE
Now there’s a drug for that. WeightWatchers shares soared on the stock market Tuesday after the company acquired Sequence, a telehealth operator, whose specialists prescribe medications under brand names including Ozempic, Wegovy and Trulicity. Shares of WW International Inc. jumped nearly 29 per cent at the opening bell. WeightWatchers offers meal plans with the goal of losing excess weight. With the acquisition of Sequence, the company is tapping into a red-hot market for prescription drugs that addresses obesity, and broadening what it offers to customers. MORE
March 7, 2023
Northfield/Bowen Road residents don’t feel safe, much like some other areas of the city. Fourth-year Vancouver Island University criminology student Kyle Hubner conducted an online survey of 156 people with a direct stake in the area and it showed safety is a significant concern. Twenty-two per cent reported being repeat victims of crime while 26 per cent work and live in the area. MORE
The B.C. College of Nurses and Midwives has suspended a Nanaimo nurse for 10 days for practising outside her scope. The College published a summary of a consent agreement with registered nurse Alix Polywkan last month. He "administer(ed) a dermal filler and a neuromodulator without a client-specific order, without a physician being present, and without adequate additional education in a structured course, workshop or program." MORE
A man suffering mental health issues made a number of 911 calls reporting multiple people dead at a south Nanaimo school shooting. He has been sentenced to 84 days time served. Douglas Aaron Edward Collier, 35, was also assessed one-year probation after he pleaded guilty to public mischief. A psychologist who wrote a forensic evaluation believes Collier has sufficient symptoms to warrant PTSD and panic disorder diagnoses, and that he’s in remission for alcohol-use disorder. MORE
How do you hide a five-ton truck? RCMP continue to search for a truck that was stolen nearly a month ago. The Ace Courier truck was stolen between Feb. 11-13. It’s a white five-ton delivery truck with Ace decals on the upper corners of the rear panel. Video surveillance was in place, but the truck was not in camera range. There are no suspects or witnesses, so if you know anything about the theft or where the truck might be, call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2023-5089.
A dying Nanaimo woman who was evicted from her home will move into a care home, thanks to community support. Sharon Kowalchuk and her partner were given a verbal two-week warning to vacate her rented suite and the landlord cut off the heat and power to the suite. Since then, a GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $35,000 to help her secure housing. CHEK HAS MORE.
There has been an alarming spike in drug overdose deaths on central Vancouver Island, says a Nanaimo doctor. Dr. David Forrest, an infectious disease specialist at NRGH said there has been a spate of deaths, well above the norm, and that’s only what is related to the hospital. He says seven people have died in the ICU from drug toxicity over the past four weeks. Sarah Edmonson, who used to run the Nanaimo Area Network of Drug Users (NANDU), says overdoses and overdose-related deaths have increased after the city shut them down as a nuisance property. MORE
Amtrak is back on the rails with daily choo choo service between Vancouver and Portland, Ore. Travel along the route was suspended during the pandemic in 2020 when the Canada-U.S. border was closed to non-essential travel. Service to Seattle resumed last September. The route stops at 13 stations throughout western Washington and Oregon, including Seattle. It leaves Vancouver at 6:35 a.m. and arrives in Portland at 2:55 p.m. The return trip leaves at 3:05 p.m. arriving in Vancouver at around 11:00 p.m. MORE
March 6, 2023
A load of bull. John Barsby Bulldogs football players and supporters are selling organic ferilizer this week in the student parking lot off Bruce Avenue. You can pick up 40-pound bags of cattle manure at $5 each. All proceeds go toward uniforms and protective equipment. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday yhou can pick it up from 3-5 p.m., Friday from 2:30-5 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. while supplies last. MORE
The Wounded Warriors Run raised more than $134,000 for PTSD support when it crossed the finish line in Victoria. First responders and armed forces members ran the length of the Island in eight days to raise money for Wounded Warriors Canada. The national charity collects funds to support veterans and frontline workers suffering from PTSD. This year’s run wasn’t a walk in the park as runners battled gruelling conditions in snow storms across the Island. MORE
Vancouver Island University Mariners are the best in B.C. after winning the Pacific Western Athletic Association championship over the weekend. They beat the Capilano Blues 67-61 inn the final Saturday, in Victoria. They dumped Camosun Chargers 67-44 in the semi-final. Just down the road, Nanaimo Christian School Trail Blazers were host to the single-A competition in B.C. at provincials championship. They wound up with a pair of wins and two losses. Naomi Vivian was the top scorer in three out of the four games.
Hundreds and hundreds of us in Lantzville and North Nanaimo are about to move – to Courtenay and Alberni. We appear to have been asleep at the switch. MORE
Feb. 22, 2023 Nanaimo, British Columbia
March 5, 2023
Nanaimo, Lantzville and the Regional District will share $26 million from the province’s $1 billion growing communities infrastructure fund. Nanaimo will get more than $16 million, the RDN close to $8 million and Lantzville about $2 million The money is to be spent on infrastructure, roads, transit, water and electrical systems, community centres, parks and social services. BUZZ HERE
Single family real estate sales are down about thirty 30 per cent but prices are up eight per cent over the past year. The average price in March was $871,115. And it’s taking longer to sell listings, up to 27 days. John Cooper’s monthly report for March shows condo unit sales are down 38 per cent but they’re selling quicker. The average row/townhouse sold for $568,651 with sales down 38 per cent. Lot sales volume is down by 61 per cent but lot prices have decreased by per cent. Average lot sale price: $631,621. The same as Nanaimo, price increase for single family homes is eight per cent in both Parksville/Qualicum and the Cowichan Valley. FULL REPORT HERE.
A 63-year-old woman won’t spend any time behind bars for a break-in and theft from a Nanaimo church. Penny Raines, who has a long criminal record, has more convictions after the overnight break-in at Oceanside International Church on Jingle Pot and Holland Roads in August, 2021. She and an accomplice took thousands of dollars in valuables. A provincial court judge accepted a jointly-submitted sentence recommendation of a nine-month non-custodial sentence followed by one year probation. Raines previously pleaded guilty to break and enter, as well as flight from police in relation to a separate incident six weeks later. BUZZ
Despite some awful examples, Vancouver Islanders are a caring lot. A dying woman evicted from her Nanaimo home says she had a good sleep thanks to an outpouring of generosity from CHEK News viewers. She and her partner had nowhere to go, their power and heat had been turned off, but they were able to move into a motel and they’ll be able to stay, thanks to many people who have donated to a GoFundMe that so far has amounted to more than $24,000. Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon says this particular landlord could face fines that can be levied up to $5,000 a day to landlords who break rules. BUZZ HERE.
The Royal Roads University site could soon be transferred to the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations as Treaty negotiations continue. The university leases 60 hectares from the Department of National Defence. Jackie Albany, with Songhees First Nation, said this land is very important to the Nation’s people. “That’s our identity, that’s our history, that’s our heritage.” Treaty negotiations have been ongoing for 28 years, but recent progress is giving the Nations hope that they are closer to the government making a land declaration. BUZZ HERE
What ever happened to Bill Holdom? The former Nanaimo school trustee and city councillor is living the good life in retirement in Qualicum Beach. He’s in Nanaimo part time. I reconnected with Bill over a two-hour breakfast chat last week. Bill served on the school board for eight years and then another 24 years on Nanaimo city council. We spent six years on city council together. He retired after unsuccessfully running for Mayor in 2014.
No parking at Departure Bay. Ferry travellers going to the Mainland better have a ride or take a taxi to the terminal. B.C. Ferries issued a notice this morning that pay parking facilities at Departure Bay terminal have reached capacity. For traffic updates or more information, please follow @BCFerries on Twitter or visit our website at bcferries.com.
Don’t look now, but we can start dreaming about warm summer nights again – the Commercial Street Night Market is coming back on Thursday nights beginning June 22. Aurora Zuraw, marketing co-ordinator for the Chamber of Commerce, said they’re coming off a very strong 2022 market return after the Pandemic. BUZZ HERE
The future looks dimmer every day for the Vancouver Island railway after five First Nation members resigned from the board. They pointed to the rejection of their motion expressing concerns about reviving rail on the 290 kilometres of tracks. The foundation wants to bring back passenger and freight services at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. The federal government has until March 14 to decide whether it will fund infrastructure on a corridor segment that runs through Snaw-Naw-As, near Nanoose. The First Nation has argued the land was expropriated for an intended use that is no longer being used after most services were shut down in 2011. BUZZ HERE.
The Wounded Warrior Run passed through town Friday on its way down Vancouver Island, more than 600 kilometres from Port Hardy to Victoria. Participants raise money and support for veterans, first responders and their families dealing with mental health issues. They dropped in at Lantzville branch 257 of the Royal Canadian Legion, then on to Branch 10 and finally to Branch 256. Check here for MORE. Find out how to donate to Wounded Warriors Canada on their website.
The Nanaimo Parkway was covered in garbage when a dump truck rolled, sending the driver to hospital. The southbound lanes of the parkway between Northfield Road and East Wellington Road were closed while the mess was cleaned up. RCMP said the crash was caused when the truck driver went into medical distress. Magnum Disposal Services said the driver has been with the company for approximately 25 years. He remained in hospital late Friday afternoon but was expected to make a full recovery. BUZZ HERE
A second B.C. company says Heath Canada has given it the green light to posses, produce, sell and distribute cocaine, among other substances, to “bring a safer supply of drugs to the global market.” But that does not clear the way for retail sales to the public. Sales are only allowed to another licensed dealer, pharmacist, practitioner, or hospital employee provided they have the necessary Health Canada Licence. Sunshine Earth Labs of Victoria said it was granted amendments to include MDMA, cocaine/coca leaf, opium, morphine and diacetylmorphine, into their dealers licence. BUZZ HERE
The province’s new pay model for family physicians which took effect last month appears to be catching on. To date, 2024 family doctors have enrolled in the new Longitudinal Family Practice pay scheme, which is intended to address issues the province is having recruiting and retaining physicians. That’s about 45 per cent of longitudinal family doctors, and includes 149 doctors who are returning to family practice after working elsewhere in the health-care system. Many family doctors who had been planning to leave or retire are reconsidering that decision, says Doctors of BC president Dr. Josh Greggain, which means thousands of patients who would then be without a family doctor will continue to have one. BUZZ HERE
Ouch! Ukrainian refugees taking driver’s test in B.C. will soon able to write those tests in their own language. Until now they have had to take the tests in Russian. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth told the legislature on Thursday he will ensure that ICBC is able to provide the tests in Ukrainian, adding he completely agrees that asking them to write in Russian is completely unacceptable. BUZZ HERE.
March 4, 2023
March 3, 2023
This is disgusting. “Get the f— off my property,” was the response from a landlord before grabbing CHEK News’ camera and yelling more expletives. Sharon Kowalchuk is dying and in palliative care, but she and her husband are being evicted with two weeks to get out of their south Nanaimo apartment. Kowalchuk said the landlord just came up and told her she had to move in two weeks. No paperwork, nothing. She says the verbal eviction notice made it clear, the end-of-life care and numerous ambulances are too disruptive. The landlord since shut off all heat and power to the couple’s tiny suite. BUZZ
Hey, you want to be a Mountie? If you’re a student in Grade 11 or 12 in the mid-Island, thinking of a career in law enforcement or as an emergency responder, the RCMP Youth camp is just the ticket. Cpl. Jana Rose, of the Nanaimo RCMP Youth Unit is responsible for organizing the five-day event. Running, self-defence, law, forensics, marching, team building and many other activities make up this action packed week. BUZZ HERE
Stupidity on the water. RCMP report numerous incidents of boaters trying to out-race BC Ferries vessels in an around Nanaimo Harbour and the Duke Point terminal. Cst. Dave Kokesch of the RCMP West Coast Marine unit told NanaimoNewsNOW a recent incident involving a powerboat approaching a large ferry head-on as it travelled between the Island and Lower Mainland. Boaters, like drivers on the road, must abide by rules and laws. Fines in the act range between $200 and $500. BUZZ HERE.
Not so fast. A Langley cannabis company’s announcement that it has received federal permission to produce and sell up to 250 grams of cocaine caused a political furor on Thursday. But the company won’t be selling it to the public. Adastra Holdings got an amendment to its Controlled Drug and Substance Dealer’s Licence it to “interact with” up to 250 grams of cocaine, and to import coca leaves to manufacture and synthesize cocaine. Although the licence was issued by Health Canada, the press release references the recent decriminalization in B.C. of small amounts of hard drugs for personal use. The decriminalization does not legalize the sale or production of cocaine, heroin, or fentanyl. BUZZ
While we’re on that topic, Surrey does not have any retail cannabis dealers but the Board of Trade wants that to change. "Our message to the City of Surrey, to all levels of government, is, 'You need to reduce the red tape for cannabis businesses,'" said Anita Huberman, president of the Surrey Board of Trade. "Now is the time to allow cannabis businesses in Surrey." BUZZ HERE.
Millions of rapid COVID-19 antigen tests are about to expire and may wind up in the garbage because Ottawa is not distributing any more to the provinces. Experts say the once-essential tool has lost its importance in the pandemic. There are 90 million rapid tests in the federal inventory. Ottawa bought more than 811 million rapid tests since the beginning of the pandemic with a price tag of about $5 billion. BUZZ HERE
Halalt want to stop E&N rail. The Halalt First Nation, near Crofton, opposes plans for restoring the old E&N railway. The tracks run through the reserve and Chief James Thomas says the tracks have severed and restricted access to the reserve, caused social and economic losses and diminished land that could be used for housing. Erika Richards, a lawyer for the Nation, says the land was also taken unlawfully. BUZZ HERE.
March 2, 2023
Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance in locating 29-year-old Cheyenne Davidson. A member of Davidson’s family requested a check well-being as they had been unable to connect with her for several months. Cheyenne is believed to be of no fixed address. As a result of the information provided to police, there is concern for her safety and well-being. BUZZ HERE.
A man charged with manslaughter in the death of 29-year-old Fred Parsons will remain in jail after a provincial court judge rejected his bail application. Mark Jayden Harrison, 19, is one of two men charged with manslaughter. He was charged following a random attack in which a small group of youth approached another group at Maffeo Sutton Park in the evening in late September.
A woman was taken to hospital with serious injuries after a collision with a vehicle late Tuesday. It happened at the intersection of Mostar Road/Rutherford Road and Highway 19a. The an adult woman was treated at the scene by BC Paramedics then transported to the Nanaimo hospital for emergency treatment. The adult female driver of the vehicle remained at the scene and co-operated with investigators. Investigators believe the victim was attempting to walk through the intersection from Mostar Road towards Rutherford Road when struck. BUZZ HERE
RCMP have not been able to identify a primary suspect into an arson fire at Walmart last week. The fire was reported at approximately 1:45 p.m. on February 22, in the diaper section in the store. It was quickly doused by an employee, however; the resulting smoke damage forced people to be evacuated and the store was closed n on this incident, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. BUZZ HERE
The Sidney-Anacortes ferry that connects Vancouver Island and the U.S. will remain out of service until 2030. Washington State Ferries ceased the service in 2020 during the pandemic and said then that it would not restart operations for at least another year. The Town of Sidney said Tuesday that it had been informed the service would not resume until 2030. Meanwhile,
The Clipper ferry has resumed service between Victoria and Seattle following an annual winter maintenance period.
A $1.1 million bequest from The Northpine Foundation to Vancouver Island University will allow students to learn alongside people in provincial correctional centres. The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program can now expand to other BC communities. It will also support formerly incarcerated persons pursuing post-secondary studies and enable the development of employment training at the Nanaimo Correctional Centre. The program offers post-secondary criminology courses to classes composed of both incarcerated students and university students. It is taught in the correctional centre and offers students a powerful academic and experiential learning opportunity on what it means to be involved in the justice system in a way that fosters mutual understanding, compassion and shared experiences. BUZZ HERE.
No charges will be laid in B.C.’s money laundering probes after special prosecutor Chris Considine agreed with an earlier decision by the prosecution service that charge assessment standards had not been met. Considine was appointed last March to conduct an independent charge assessment of the multi-year investigation, which concluded in 2021 and proposed eight charges against Paul King Jin of Richmond. The statement says the proposed charges against Jin included laundering currency and bank drafts, possession of property obtained by the commission of an indictable offence and failure to register a money services business. BUZZ HERE
March 1, 2023
A British Columbia cannabis company has the green light from Health Canada to produce and sell cocaine from its stores. Langley-based Adastra Holdings Ltd. operates companies including Sitka Weedworks and Clarity Cannabis. The company’s website says it got approval on Feb. 17, after already having received its Controlled Drug and Substances Dealer’s License last August. Adastra can legally sell up to 250 grams of cocaine to the public. ADASTRA WEBSITE
Bowen Road traffic will be disrupted for most of this month as the city works on the Midtown Gateway Project and the Midtown Water Supply Project, installing underground infrastructure across the road into Beban Park. It will restrict access and delay traffic. Starting today, for the rest of the month, the southern access to Beban Park will be closed all day and night to all traffic, cyclists and pedestrians. All other park access points are open and accessible. Transit users are asked to use bus stops on Labieux Road. Check HERE for full details. Check out the latest at BC TRANSIT.
The cost of dressing up for prom can be a major hurdle for some grads and their parents. That’s where Prom Closet Nanaimo steps in with grad dresses and suits free for anyone who needs help. It’s for high school grads all over Vancouver Island, says co-ordinator Joan Hiemstra. All the formal wear has been donated. Last year, despite the pandemic,they handed out about 50 outfits,while they are already on track for more this year, with more than 500 options already in stock. BUZZ HERE
Nanaimo’s Wee Tipple whiskey festival is back with its grand tasting event Saturday, at the Grand Hotel. It’s a fun fund raiser for the Crimson Coast Dance Society. Whiskey company representatives will be at dozens of tables for guests to sample close to 100 brands, from blends to single-malt scotches. There will be live music, a silent auction, cigar sales, hors d’oeuvres and some entertainment surprises from Crimson Coast. There's a whole lot more, check it out. BUZZ HERE.
The B.C. government is budgeting for increased spending over three years with an additional $6.4 billion for healthcare, $4.2 billion more for housing, $1.3 billion to tackle affordability. The budget projects a $4.2 billion deficit after ending 2022 with a projected $3.6-billion surplus. Despite all the spending, there are no new significant taxes but significant tax credits. The BC Family Benefit will be increased by 10 per cent on July 1 The renter’s rebate is now an income-based tax credit. The carbon tax will rise, based on existing legislation. BUZZ HERE
Not everybody is jumping for joy over the provincial budget. Despite cutting cheques adding up to a multi-billion-dollardeficit, Seniors, business groups, teachers and public transit advocates are speaking out about feeling overlooked. The Health Employees’ Union pointed out seniors are left in the cold. The union's secretary-business manager MeenaBrisard said they are disappointed that there's no funding for long-term care. MORE COMMENTS
The provincial budget promises billions in new spending on health, housing and cost-of-living supports, as well as a return to deficits. Read what people are saying about the plan. BUZZ HERE
Where else but in Saskatchewan would hundreds of local folks jam into the arena in Maple Creek to watch cowboys face off against their Cree neighbours in a charity hockey game – the "Battle of the Little Big Puck?" The game is an annual tradition, having started in 1979.
In the third period, players trade their hockey gear for traditional wear. The Cree players wear feather headdresses, animal hide and face paint while the cowboys play in chaps, cowboy hats, plaid shirts and even spurs. The referees are RCMP officers in red serge. Naturally their mayor is Metis, ensuring neutrality.
Nekaneet Chief Alvin Francis says outsiders may raise an eyebrow at the teams calling themselves "Cowboys" and "Indians," but he believes people who learn about the community come to realize it's about mutual respect, unity and friendship. BUZZ HERE
It may be my jaded cynicism, but we’re all being played like a cheap fiddle. The White House announced early Monday that President Joe Biden had gone on a secret trip to Ukraine. Well, not so secret, they called Vladimir Putin to let him know so that he would not have bombs bursting in air.
And lo and behold, there was no military action but a great photo op as Biden strode into public, on cue, air raid sirens immediately wailed to enhance the drama.There was no air raid, and U.S. media who were along for the ride immediately waxed eloquent about Biden braving a war zone. Ho hum.
Phone and internet scams and frauds have caught our attention but now comes word where many of them originate. A U.S. report says many are coming from inside prison walls where inmates use cell phones to spread their misery to the outside world. Some states have scrambled cell phone signals but activists have launched court challenges that the prisoners’ rights are being violated.
And technology now goes even further where prisoners establish inter-prison networks to communicate with inmates in other prisons.
Driftwood sculpture to raise money for Vancouver Island wildlife centre
Police seek help identifying Nanaimo shoplifting suspects
Researchers: Inbreeding a big problem for endangered orcas
Police identify man in Victoria restaurant assault
Donors pledge $7.5 billion for Turkiye, Syria after quake
Pakistani police arrest scores more Imran Khan supporters
EU's top diplomat hails deal on artillery shells for Ukraine
Russian President Putin sticks to protocol during Chinese leader Xi's visit
Putin welcomes China's Xi to Kremlin amid Ukraine war
U.S. aid worker kidnapped in Niger released after 6 years
Former Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou will visit China
Fear, grief follow deadly quake on Ecuador's southwest coast
Former Australian soldier to be charged with Afghan's murder
Great big hugs to a very special lady who lost her battle yesterday. We worked together for a number of years at Island Publishers. Fly away, precious Angel.
Port Authority gets funding
for Duke Point expansion
The Nanaimo Port Authority has received $600,000 from the National Trade Corridors Fund to study the expansion of container handling at Duke Point. The grant includes development of land near the port and improvements to transporting cargo by between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said exporters rely on a strong supply chain and investments such as this one will facilitate the movement of goods at the port, help the economy of the Pacific region grow, and create good jobs for Canadians. MORE
Our provincial government wants to know about seniors and what they think. The province has put out a call for interviewers to go into long-term care facilities to listen to the stories of seniors.
Government spends tons of money on paid pollsters. Why is it that when it comes to seniors they want volunteers? What happened to the philosophy of everyone being fairly compensated for their labour?
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