Nanaimo is in the crosshairs of Alberta’s energy industry. Our city council’s virtue posturing move to ban natural gas hookups for new buildings is getting attention. Alberta’s pro-oil and gas “war room” launched a campaign to flood Nanaimo city council with letters to reverse its decision. The Canadian Energy Centre is a publicly-funded provincial corporation created by former Alberta premier Jason Kenney to protect and promote the fossil fuel industry. MORE
Sad news for HMCS Nanaimo whose Ship’s Sponsor Anne Brodeur died over the weekend. From before the Ship’s commissioning, she epitomized the HMCS Nanaimo motto of “Faith and Labor”. As Ship’s Sponsor, she took great pleasure in connecting with the HMCS Nanaimo, her officers and crew. She kept track of their activities and deployments and, for many years, sent hand-written letters to members of the crew to mark significant events in their naval careers. MORE
Quotable – You can’t leave those who created the problem, in charge of the solution.
The silver lining in this year’s drought is that doomsday predictions of ocean levels may not rise as fast and high as climate alarmists have been bemaoning. That should bring a great sigh of relief for global warming prophet Al Gore who built his $11-million house on a flood plane.
Speaking about the weather, get ready for lots of wind and rain in the mid-Island area over the next few day. A wind advisory has been upgraded to a wind warning. Environment Canada warns of strong winds for north, west, and east Vancouver Island on Sunday and Monday nights. In our area, winds could reach 60-80 km/h possibly causing power outages. Have your flashlights and candles at the ready.
Chelsie Trinkwon had a dream come true on Saturday as she achieved home ownership. She and and her sons Jaxon and Sawyer got the help they needed from Habitat for Humanity to move into their home in Extension. It allowed her to move from what she termed a rough neighborhood to safe and healthy housing for her children. MORE
QUOTABLE – My level of sarcasm has come to such a point that even I don’t know whether I’m kidding
An investigation is under way into a fire that destroyed a shed behind the German Cultural Centre on Caledonia Avenue Friday morning. Assistant Fire Chief Stuart Kenning said tires and other equipment were stored in the building, making the fire tough to control. MORE
Premier David Eby is not convinced the federal government is putting all its cards on the table with information that could help the province protect residents with connections to India. He says there has not been good information sharing. People in B.C. have been feeling pressure from India, he says, and he believes Ottawa has information that could help respond to foreign interference. MORE
The Crime Stoppers annual document shredding event is on until 3 p.m. (Saturday) at Save On Foods, Woodgrove Centre. For a suggested donation of $20 a box you can get rid of a lot of personal information. This year, all funds are being donated to the Nanaimo United Way.
QUOTABLE – Funny thing about getting older – your eyesight starts getting weaker but your ability to see through people gets much better.
Environment Canada has issued a wind alert to go with the earlier forecast of heavy rain on Vancouver Island this weekend. The weather service says the "significant fall storm" front will arrive Sunday night, bringing rain and winds gusting up to 90 km/h over northern and western Vancouver Island. Eastern Vancouver Island will see 30 millimetres of rain and Greater Victoria and the southern Gulf Islands will see between 10 and 20 millimetres. Strong winds may result in falling tree branches and local power outages. MORE
The City will begin an alternative approval process for the $48.5 million first phase of the Nanaimo Operations Centre project begining Sept. 27, ending Nov. 3. Nanaimo Operations Centre Phase One Borrowing Bylaw 2023 No. 7362, which received three readings from Council on June 19, will see the City borrow a maximum $48,500,000 repayable over a period of no more than 20 years. To learn more about the AAP visit the City website at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/aap MORE
It's happening too often leaving downtowners concerned by a spate of recent fires. All the fires were extinguished before causing serious damage, raising concern about social disorder in the city. Kevan Shaw of the Victoria Crescent Association said this is the third fire in half a block of Victoria Crescent. The fire was in the Sound Heritage music store. There was also a small fire lit by the Co-op gas bar before 5 a.m. MORE
The Korean parents of a Nanaimo teenager who was struck in a crosswalk and later died have been awarded $327,635 based on the Korean practice of hyodo, in which a child is expected to provide financial and domestic support to the parents. Jaeheon Shim, 17, was struck on Hammond Bay Road in March 2019. Brandon Murdoch, pleaded guilty in 2020 to driving without due care and attention. MORE
Fund raisers have been launched after a young couple were seriously injured in a motorcycle crash in Maple Ridge last week. Sarah Mingo, 18, and her boyfriend Max Mnguni of Nanaimo was critically injured when their motorcycle and an SUV collided in Maple Ridge on Sept. 8. Emergency Health Services, including advanced life support, attended the scene, transporting Sarah by air ambulance in critical condition to Royal Columbian Hospital, while Max also has critical injuries. Sarah is still unconscious. She was ejected off the motorcycle and flew about 60 feet. A number of fund raisers have been started to help family in Nanaimo with the expense of travelling to the mainland. MORE
The Internet Child Exploitation unit of the Edmonton Police Service arrested a 16-year-old suspect on Aug. 17 on suspicion of sexually assaulting a girl between six and 10 years of age. There could be a link to the central Island. Investigators found video on the youth’s cell phone showing a bedroom involved in the incident which could be in Edmonton, or possibly in Nanaimo or Ladysmith. MORE
Our health care system is seriously sick but a Vancouver Island foundation believes is has the antidote. David Saunders, president of the Saunders Family Foundation, sees part of the problem in retaining, recruiting and attracting doctors and nurses is the ballooning cost and supply of housing. Saunders says if affordable housing could be provided, more health-care workers would be attracted where that housing exists. He hopes municipalities will adapt some of the ideas into their official community plans. Other solutions include more affordable child-care spaces, purpose-built clinic spaces and help with the cost associated with filling those clinics. Now it is up to governments of all levels and communities to implement some of those solutions, Saunders says. MORE
India’s suspension of visa services has thrown travel plans into chaos for local travellers to India. The Sikh celebration of Bandi Chhorh Divas is in October, and the Hindu festival of Diwali follows in November. Wedding season generally lasts between November and February. Speaking outside a Surrey visa office, Manbir Singh said it is impacting everyone, especially people who want to travel for health reasons, people who want to go back to India for better service. MORE
Quotable – A Canadian was asked at the U.S. border whether he was bringing in a gun. When he said no, the American guard handed him one and said “you’re going to need this”.
Heavy rain is in the forecast for the mid-Island region by early next week as the first major storm makes its presence felt. We’re expected to have some taste of what’s to come over the next few days, followed by considerable rainfall beginning Monday through to Wednesday. Between 20 and 50 millimetres of rain is expected over a 72 hour period, with windy conditions accompanying the rain. MORE
India is not issuing visas as a rift widens between Canada and India. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Parliament on Monday that there were credible allegations of Indian involvement in the assassination of Sikh independence activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was gunned down in June outside the temple he led. MORE
Fall is in the air. The first day of fall 2023 comes Saturday in the northern hemisphere. The day is also known as the autumnal equinox, when day and night are approximately equal in length over the entire world. For most people it will pass by without notice as it happens in the middle of the night at 2:50 a.m. However, if you live in the southern hemisphere September 23 is the first day of spring – their first day of fall is March 20.
Four wildfire fighters died in a vehicle crash early Tuesday morning on the Trans Canada Highway near Walhachin. The four were BC Wildfire Service sub-contractors travelling home after assisting with fire suppression efforts near Vanderhoof. The crash involved a semi-tractor trailer and a pickup truck. The semi caught on fire, but the driver escaped. MORE
Canada Post has been collecting information from the outsides of envelopes and packages to help build marketing lists, and it says it’s not about to quit. The office of the privacy commissioner says that is breaking the law. Information collected for the marketing program includes data about where individuals live and what type of online shopping they do, based on who sends them packages. This is a violation of section 5 of the Privacy Act, he says.
We’ve got a way to go. Climate alarmists constantly point to world temperatures being the hottest ever. For the record, the hottest temperature ever recorded was 135 degrees in Death Valley, California in 1913. That was when there were six million fewer people and cars had just been invented; fossil fuels were virtually unheard of.
Who is to blame? Inflation was supposed to be easing, but it’s back up to four per cent. Fuel prices are the reason and that comes from rising carbon taxes and almost hopelessly rigorous Clean Fuel Standards, both of which are determined by government.
QUOTABLE – A lot of people demanding free stuff are not wearing work boots.
The city’s traffic department is giving pedestrians a head start at lighted intersections. The pedestrian walk light will go green before the vehicles are allowed to go. That gives pedestrians a three- to five-second head start on vehicles. The changeover has been happening in the last 12 months, focused along the Bowen Road. It’s something that may happen across the city. MORE
Key tags come through. NRGH has been granted $35,000 by the TB Vets Charitable Foundation to help buy new respiratory equipment. A Hamilton-C1 ventilator lets physicians and nurses aid patients with respiratory support without having to move equipment across departments or leave care areas. Funding for the grant came from the foundation’s key tag program. MORE
How’s that for a surprise? Diana Krall made a surprise appearance at the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival honoring her long-time mentor Bryan Stovell. And she performed one of her hits, “How Deep is the Ocean.” That was the highlight of the weekend festival in the downtown core during the festival. The concert featured the Connor Stewart Sextet, Decadence and the Nanaimo Musicians’ Association Big Band. The Wellington Jazz Band provided pre-show music. MORE
The province is streamlining its part of the home construction permitting process. Minister in charge Nathan Cullen says the aim is to create a “one-stop shop” with expert navigators to guide homebuilders through provincial permitting and help streamline the process. That’s a good step, now the municipal red tape process has to be brought into the twenty first century. While much of the permitting is the purview of municipal governments, the province governs ground contamination, archeology and development near wetlands and rivers. MORE
Quotable – The problem with retirement is you never get a day off.
A new downtown transit exchange has the green light after funding was announced on Monday. Infrastructure Canada announced the $15-million project, which will be next to the old Jean Burns building site. The exchange will include washrooms, bus parking, access upgrades and a rest facility and parking on Cavan Street. Mayor Leonard Krog saaid location on Terminal Avenue is critical to building an effective transit system and revitalizing the area.Ottawa and the province will contribute $6 million each while the RDN pays $3 million with the city providing the land. Construction is expected to begin next year. MORE
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry defends drug decriminalization admitting is not perfect and needs adjustments over time. She told the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention Monday the solution is not to go back to arresting people. Provincial representatives and municipal leaders, representatives from the ministries of health, addictions, and public safety defended their support for decriminalization of hard drugs. The exemption from federal drug laws has come under increasing criticism. “We don’t have a drug problem, we have a pain problem,” Henry said. MORE
Winter’s coming on, but there’s good news, the price of something is going down. Natural gas users can expect to see their bills go down in October. FortisBC has been given approval by the B.C. Utilities Commission to drop rates to result in a saving of about $7 a month. MORE
Speaking of seasonal change, we’ll soon be mounting winter tires on our vehicles, with special attention to the Malahat. Vehicles are required to use winter tires on most B.C. highways by Oct. 1. Four types of tires qualify – studded winter, winter-rated, all-weather and all-season. Tires can be identified by a symbol of a three-peaked mountain with a snowflake inside of it. All-season tires will have M+S on the sidewall. The requirement is enforced by police, and those not in compliance may be fined or turned away. MORE
The dream of owning a home is a tough climb for Vancouverites. They need an annual income of close to $250,000 to qualify. Online mortgage broker Ratehub.capublishes a monthly report calculating the amount using average home prices, mortgage rates and stress-test rates. The increase comes as a result of high interest rates. The list compares major markets across Canada and Vancouver has the highest average home price at $1.2 million. MORE
Secondary rental suites will be legal across the province with a new provincial pilot program to create secondary rental suites. The province is offering forgivable loans up to $40,000 to create rental suites to alleviate the housing shortage. Rents for the new suites will have to be below market rate. It's expected to roll out after legislation is passed in the fall Legislature session. MORE
Ladysmith is doing away with is low-flush toilet rebate program and replacing it with something much larger – rain barrels. A council committee has recommended a rain barrel rebate program starting in the new year. The program offers up to $75 for a new rain barrel at least 189 litres, manufactured from a BPA-free polyethylene material. MORE
Quotable – Science that can’t be questioned isn’t science, it’s propaganda
Adam Walker expelled by NDP
Parksville-Qualicum MLA Adam Walker has been kicked out of the New Democrat caucus in the Legislature. Premier David Eby said the dismissal came as the result of an internal investigation sparked by an unspecified human resources complaint. The announcement said a thorough investigation found misconduct by Walker. Eby said it was not a criminal matter. Walker was elected to the provincial legislature in 2020, defeating Liberal Michelle Stilwell. Walker was a former Qualicum Beach councillor who had a dispute with council before resigning and being elected to the Legislature. MORE
The annual Terry Fox Run took off at Bowen Park Sunday morning. The run took place between 10 a.m. and noon, involving multiple length options to Buttertubs Marsh and back. The Terry Fox Foundation reports that the Nanaimo run reached its $8,000 fundraising goal. MORE
A suspicious apartment fire forced 20 people from their home Saturday morning. Nanaimo Fire Rescue responded to the 600-block of Prideaux Street. Fire Chief Tim Doyle said there was extensive damage to the back of the building. Residents got out safely and firefighters gained control of the blaze, but the building suffered damage. MORE
Protests and demonstrations are hardly news anymore, but for the record, the Nanaimo Climate March took place at Maffeo Sutton Park on Friday. Some speakers pointed to the province’s historic wildfire season, which has led to air quality concerns and displaced many people. Rally organizer Derek Menard said the event was part of a series of marches across the world. MORE
Some of the city’s infrastructure needs can’t keep up with the rate of growth. Public Works Director Bill Sims pointed to a staff report stating 15 sewer Development Cost Charge projects have been completed since 2018, five kilometres of upgraded infrastructure for $14.3 million. But rapid growth, which Sims described it as explosive, and the rate of funding isn’t keeping pace with the need to build more projects more quickly. DCCs are collected from developers to offset the costs of building infrastructure to service new developments. MORE
It's time to step up to the plate and become a Big Brother. Big Boys, Big Girls Central Vancouver Islanddoesn’t have enough adult men to mentor young people in Nanaimo. Many volunteers have not returned since the pandemic. Executive Director Jennifer Kemp says its been a challenge finding male volunteers. The organization provides stable, reliable mentors for children outside of their families and finding men to be mentors was a challenge even before the pandemic. MORE
About 1,100 motorcycles rumbled down the highway between Little Qualicum Falls and Port Alberni Saturday in the 39th annual Port Alberni Toy Run. The run collects toys for kids, as along with donations for local organizations, like children’s groups and health services. It has raised about $2 million for charity since it began, and matched nearly as much in toys. MORE
We had a little rock ‘n rolling off Vancouver Island last night as a 5.5 magnitude earth quake made waves. No damage was reported after the main shocker and a 4.2 aftershock offshore, 230 km west of Port McNeil.
QUOTABLE – History has shown that the people on the side of censorship are usually wrong.
Paper, paper everywhere. Mark this date: The Central Vancouver Island Crime Stoppers annual document shredding event is Saturday, Sept. 23, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Save On Foods, Woodgrove. Best Shredding will be there to confidentially shred your documents for a suggested donation of twenty bucks. Crime Stoppers Co-ordinator R/Cst Gary O’Brien said all money generated will go to the United Way. It’s a go, rain or shine. If you have any questions about what can and cannot be shredded or the event itself, contact Gary at 250-755-4469.
City council has issued a demolition order for a fire-damage house on Bowen Road. The owner has 30 days to clean up the property or city staff will do it and charge the cost against the property. Until now the property’s out-of-town owner has failed to undertake appropriate measures to properly secure the structure, council was told.
How do you handle an invasion of noisy Americans? Well you eat them. North Cowichan has approved an application to harvest ravenous American Bullfrogs for food. Recreational fisherman Michael Indge was approved to use Chemainus Lake Park after hours to harvest the large frogs. The Wildlife Act lists them as an invasive species known to kill and eat local reptiles and animals. MORE
Paper drinking straws were supposed to save the world, now we’re not so sure. A Belgian study has found paper straws contain poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as forever chemicals. Earlier this year the toxins were found in orcas off the B.C. coast. PFAS are commonly used as a water repellent. Who knows what will happen next? Vancouver has banned all plastic straws, resulting in many businesses switching to paper ones. The provincial and federal governments are set to ban plastic straws this December. MORE
QUOTABLE – Overheard at a mental hospital –“We’re all here because we’re not all there.”
Hullo Ferries is graduating to a full schedule in October, with four daily sailings from Nanaimo and Vancouver. A special events schedule is also being worked into the schedule with late sailings from Vancouver on special nights. The ferry leaves Nanaimo at 7 and 11 .m. and 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Vancouver departures are 9 a.m. and 1p.m., 5:30 and 9:30 p.m. On special event nights the sailing will leave Vancouver at 10:30 p.m. after Canucks games and 11:30 for concerts.
Firefighters were called back to a small house fire in the Brechin Hill neighbourhood after an earlier fire the day before. They first responded to the home on Wednesday at 3:20 p.m. and returned several hours later just before 3 a.m. Smoke was coming from the roof on Thursday.
Quotable – “He was a few French Fries short of a Happy Meal.”
You may blink a couple of times when you head to the Lowe’s store in North Town Centre. It is getting a rebranding and will become Rona-Plus in the next few weeks, part of a nationwide switch over. Stores will remain open during the conversion, and Lowe’s guarantees will be honoured and gift cards will be accepted. Rona operates or services approximately 425 stores under different banners.
Illicit drugs will not be allowed within 15 metres of family-oriented playgrounds as of Monday. That includes playground play structures, spray pools, wading pools and skate parks. Under the ban, law enforcement can enforce the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in the vicinity of what the provincial government described as child-focused spaces. The province’s drug decriminalization pilot project allows people to carry up to 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA. MORE
Alcohol is a suspected contributor in a car crash involving a teenage driver with three passengers at about 4 a.m. on Sept. 5. Police, firefighters and paramedics responded to the intersection of Biggs and Jingle Pot Roads to a vehicle crash. A breath sample indicated the driver had consumed alcohol, contrary to conditions of his licence.The driver was handed a $109 ticket and three demerit points for driving contrary to restriction. He may also have his licence banned for 30 to 90 days, pending a review, according to RCMP. MORE
City council selected from within the ranks in naming a new Chief Administrative Officer. Dale Lindsay, who has a long career with the city, will take over the role on Oct. 2. His extensive background includes 29 years of management and leadership experience in working with local government. Most recently he had been Director of Community Development before rising to General Manager of Development Services and Deputy Chief Administrative Officer. MORE
There may have been more smoke than fire after Nanaimo firefighters responded to an alarm at a house on Juniper Street on Wednesday. The report came in at about 3:20 p.m. and firefighters quickly doused the flames believed to have been ignited by a bathroom fan and spread to the roof and shingles of the house.
That’s the reward you get for trying to help. It was not like sparring in the Legislature when Parksville-Qualicum MLA Adam Walker got into a tussle with a deer. Adam came upon a buck whose antlers were tangled in tree branches. He stepped up to the rescue and freed the beast which only to have it turn on him and causing skin punctures and scratches with its antlers. MORE
Coun. Ian Thorpe has drawn a line in the sand for action on public drug use. Thorpe told city council on Monday that he’s willing to wait until the fall sitting of the Legislature for legislation to deal with open drug use but if he sees no concerted action he is ready to introduce a public drug use policy for the City. Nanaimo News Now reported Council discussed the possibility of bylaws that could reduce the use of illicit drugs in public. The move comes nearly eight months after B.C.decriminalized illicit drugs possession of less than 2.5 grams.
Quotable - Don't be someone people know of, be someone people know.
In view of our health care staffing problems, how many of those who were fired for refusing to take vaccines during COVID have been allowed to return to work? Are they still banned because they won’t take the injections? Just asking.
City council unanimously boosted rent supplements Monday, including $150,000 for the Rent Supplement Program (RSP) operated by a non-profit agency. Social planner Christy Wood said the funds will add to the estimated 1,200 Nanaimo households receiving primarily ongoing rental supplements through several service providers. Such payments are usually between $300 and $500, varying on the funder, the household and the need. Wood said that’s why it’s really hard to capture how many rent supplement payments are happening in the city. MORE
Congratulations to Allyson Prescesky who has been kicked upstairs as the new Associate Vice-President, Community Impact and Corporate Communications at Coastal Community. She had served as senior manager, community and communications since January, 2018.
Speaking of housing, Federal Opposition and Conservative party leader Pierre Poilievre stumped on Vancouver Island Tuesday, talking about how to get more homes built faster. He started the day in Ladysmith and then coffee on Commercial Street before heading to a rally in Black Creek. In Nanaimo, he said it’s permitting delays, development charges, taxes, lawyers, consultants and all that. It’s not land, labour or lumber. He said tens of thousands of workers are ready to go, thousands of companies ready to build, but they’re sitting around waiting to get approvals, Poilievre said. MORE
Air passengers from Nanaimo have another option – daily service between Nanaimo and Vancouver and to Kelowna and back. Pacific Coastal Airlines began daily direct service on Tuesday with a 19-passenger Beachcraft 1900. The half-hour flight between Nanaimo Airport and Vancouver International Airport’s South Terminal departs at 7:55 a.m., while the return flight takes off from Vancouver at 2:55 p.m. The flight to Kelowna leaves at 3:50 p.m. for the 55-minute flight with a return 5:20 p.m. MORE
Gary Korpan pulled no punches when addressing Premier David Eby about a violent assault in Vancouver’s Chinatown over the weekend. Korpan lauded the premier for his strong response but said most British Columbians will not take him seriously unless the incompetent staff who let chronic offenders off time and time again are fired. LETTERS
The annual Shine fundraiser for mental health is back on Saturday at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre with an evening loaded with local talent. One in five Canadians experience mental illness at some point in their lives, while nearly every Canadian will be impacted by a family member, friend or colleague. SHINE has been connecting artists and charitable organizations since 2010 to the benefit of various charitable organizations, as well as the community at large. It starts at 6 p.m.
Abbotsford South MLA Bruce Banman has quit BC United and joined the Conservative Party of British Columbia, reports Richard Zussman of Global TV. The Conservatives are now an official party in the BC Legislature. Banman is the second BCU MLA to quit under Kevin Falcon's leadership. The party now has leader John Rustad and Banman.
Quotable – I’ve gone from where my brain goes “you probably shouldn’t say that” to “what the heck, let’s see what happens.”
The completion of the École Hammond Bay expansion has cleared the way to eliminate four portable classrooms and has added almost 300 student seats. Education Minister Rachna Singh said a record influx of people to Nanaimo is why it is so important to build, expand and upgrade schools. She said the ministry is planning more projects with the school district which will result in more spaces to keep up with growing enrolment. Nearly $15-million was spent to add two storeys, 12 new classrooms and 295 student seats. MORE
Rent increases will be capped at 3.5 per cent, effective Jan. 1, 2024. The new cap is below the inflation rate of 5.6-per-cent, up from the two-per-cent allowed in 2023. Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon said the province tried to balance between supporting the needs of renters and landlords. MORE
Brian Peckford has a full dish of topics from the national Conservative Party convention over the weekend, and he's not impressed. See his full FOUR REPORTS.
John Feldsted has a two-part series on how political parties and the governments they form operate. In recent years, political parties have evolved into stand-alone corporations that can operate independently from the people they claim to represent. HERE
Quotable – One of the biggest reasons people don't move forward is that they keep looking back.
Fairway Market delivered a truckload of donated food to the Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation’s Food 4 Schools program on Friday. That will provide every school in the district with breakfast and lunches and snacks for hungry students this year. The Food 4 Schools program continues to expand, and was busily stocking its shelves on the eve of the fall semester. The groceries and $5,000 in grocery gift cards from Casino Nanaimo are a big boost for the program which has grown rapidly from its pre-pandemic days when it supplied 8-12 schools. MORE
Nanaimo musicians will be in the spotlight at this year’s the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival this weekend, Sept. 15-17. More than 125 musicians will celebrate with performances at six downtown venues, including the Port Theatre, the Old City Quarter, the, the Vault Café, Modern Café, the Nanaimo Bar and the Courtyard by Marriott. The festival launches with a noon performance by the Shineolas on Wesley Street as the Old City Quarter’s Sounds of Summer outdoor concert series closes and the jazz festival begins. MORE
Is Nanaimo overrun with rats? A letter to the editor in the News Bulletin says they are big monsters, and the writer blames residents who leave their garbage cans unsecured. S.I. Petersen writes that the rats are more than 30 centimetres nose to tail so it’s unlikely domestic cats will take them on. CHECK THIS OUT.
Rose McCulley’s famous apple pies have earned her one of the highest honours in Canada. She was presented with the Sovereign Medal for Volunteers by Mayor Leonard Krog on Saturday. Rose has been baking and selling apple pies for local charities for more than three decades. She raised more than $170,000 over 35 years to combat violence against women and children. When she moved to Nanaimo, the first charity to benefit was the Nanaimo Family Life Association. FULL STORY
A realtor’s job is to fully inform buyers about all the circumstances of a purchase. A Lower Mainland real estate agent has been ordered to pay more than $30,000 for failing to notify his clients about an impending special levy before they purchased a condo in White Rock. The sale was subject to the review of strata documents by the buyers. Those documents were provided to the agent but he didn't share them with the buyers until later, after they had completed their purchase and moved into the condo. MORE
On the world front, Prime Minister Trudeau is stuck in India with his entourage after his plane developed technical issues severe enough that it could not take off. I'm sure Canadians are split on whether his extended stay in Indian is a good thing.
September 11 has always been an important date for old ad guy Pat Murphy who is tearing another page off the calendar today. He's made 84 trips around the sun.
QUOTABLE – You learn a lot about people when they don’t get what they want from you.
A great Sunday morning, Summer is almost gone, so enjoy it to the hilt. Here’s a look at what's happening in our world today. If you forget how to find us, just Google Nanaimonet.
Nanaimo's housing needs will come under the microscope at an open house on Tuesday (Sept 12) at Beban Park Social Centre. It’s an opportunity to provide feedback on a series of recommended changes aimed at more attainable housing options in the City. If you need to take the easy way out, you can participate in an online survey at www.getinvolvednanaimo.ca/housing-initiatives
Three highland dancers from Nanaimo basked in the spotlight at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo last month, performing for thousands. Gabrielle Colonna, Miranda and Annalise Lam of Brigadoon Dance Academy were selected for the month-long tattoo in front of Edinburgh Castle with 26 shows over three weeks. The first night of the tattoo attracted approximately 9,000 spectators and one night included Princess Anne and Prince Edward. MORE
Yogi Bear has been rumaging around Nanaimo again, looking for any available snacks. Residents reported a wandering black bear at Victoria Road, near Pine Street, on Friday evening. A photo shows the bear on a tree branch looking over a fence into a resident’s backyard. He was spotted again on Saturday morning near Bayview Elementary School. Witnesses said he was not hostile and appeared to be scared. MORE
Snuneymuxw Daycare will get more than $280,000 in federal funding to upgrade its heating and ventilation system. Infrastructure Canada is investing the money to retrofit the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning at the daycare, which provides child care and social services to Snuneymuxw. The new HVAC unit is expected to reduce energy consumption by about 24 per cent per year. MORE
205 Squadron Collishaw Air Cadets are raising money for their programs with a monthly breakfast at 808 Thunderbird Wing RCAFA, 719 Nanaimo Lakes Road, at the military camp. For twelve bucks you get a full breakfast, or other options for $7. The next one is Sept. 17. If you can’t make that one, they are on the third Sunday each month.
QUOTABLE – If you are always planning for the future, you will not be present when it arrives.
We’re getting the short end of the stick on health care. City Council unanimously supports Mayor’s Leaders Table recommendations to push for a patient tower and a cardiac catheterization lab at NRGH. Donna Hais, representing NRGH medical staff, told council on Monday there are a number of challenges and crises around health-care in B.C., but emphasized the inequity and disparity of care that Island residents north of the Malahat face. NRGH serves more than 50 per cent of Vancouver Island residents – about 450,000 people – in the fifth-fastest-growing census metropolitan area in Canada. There are 345 beds at NRGH to handle more than 400 patients every day. MORE
Don’t go to Victoria at night unless you really have to. Overnight work on Malahat-Tunnel Hill site may cause delays. The work begins Monday with single-lane-alternating traffic from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. Expect delays of as much as 20 minutes through the site during the overnight work. Short stoppages may occur during the daytime. For up-to-date information about road conditions, visit: http://www.drivebc.ca/
B.C. legalized the possession of small amounts of certain drugs in January, allowing opioids, crack, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA for personal use. More than six months into the initiative, advocates are worried it’s failing so far. British Columbia is in the throes of a toxic drug crisis, which as of July, had claimed at least 12,739 lives. Unregulated drug toxicity is the leading cause of death in the province for people between 10 and 59, accounting for more deaths than homicides, suicides, accidents, and natural diseases combined. MORE
It’s back, COVID-positive patients in B.C. hospitals has more than tripled in the last month, reports the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. As of Thursday, there were 241 test-positive patients in hospitals around the province, up from a two-year low of 76 at the start of August. Thursday's total is the highest since May when 268 people were in hospital with COVID-19. MORE
Former MLA Michelle Stilwell has been inducted in the Canadian Foundation for the Physically Disabled Hall of Fame. She is joined by former teammate Chantal Benoit and former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Michelle says this recognition is a testament to the power of perseverance and teamwork. “I'm grateful for the support along this incredible journey I’ve been on and excited to continue advocating for persons with disabilities while living life to the fullest. Thank you to everyone who's been a part of this story,” she said. #DisabilityHallOfFame #Grateful #inclusionmatters @cfpdp
QUOTABLE – Your beliefs won't make you a better person... your behavior will.
We were promised late ferry sailings by Hulo, and now they’re delivering. The foot ferry service will run a late sailing from Vancouver after the Beyoncé concert at B.C. Place on Monday, Sept. 11, and Hullo will depart Vancouver at 11:30 p.m. to shuttle concert-goers back to Nanaimo. Hulo is taking reservations and reports a brisk business right from the start. MORE
It may be a bit noisy in the Departure Bay neighborhood today as BC Ferries does some work on the Coastal Renaissance at the terminal until Saturday morning. Equipment being used on the job will increase the normal sound levels around the terminal 24 hours a day during this time. BC Ferries will work closely with the contractor to minimize noise levels as much as possible for neighbours. There will be no further impact to operations as a result of this work.
A teacher shortage across the province is not affecting Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation said the shortage is significant in the province. However, Nanaimo-Ladysmith district doesn’t foresee insufficient numbers of teachers, said Dale Burgos of the school district. He added the district did an excellent job of filling vacancies due to its proactive hiring policies. At this time, the school district does not anticipate a shortage of teaching staff for this school year. MORE
An RCMP officer has been found not guilty of assault, assault with a weapon and obstructing justice in connection with a high-risk take-down of an admitted drug trafficker in Prince George in 2016. Judge Peter McDermick ruled Cst. Joshua Grafton was justified in using his Police Service Dog to yank the suspect from the driver side seat and to the ground. Cst. Grafton was previously investigated by the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) for an arrest three years later while on duty with the Nanaimo detachment. MORE
Racing pigeons always return home, right? Well, not always. A racer named Bert, from Nanaimo, recently showed up near Williams Lake, about 750 km off course. The BCSPCA Williams Lake Branch got Bert from a citizen and discovered his vital statistics from his leg band. Bert is back home and comfortable in his cage in Nanaimo now. MORE
It’s back, COVID-positive patients in B.C. hospitals have more than tripled in the last month, reports the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. As of Thursday, there were 241 test-positive patients in hospitals around the province, up from a two-year low of 76 at the start of August. Thursday's total is the highest since May when 268 people were in hospital with COVID-19. MORE
QUOTABLE – The best teachers are those who tell you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.
The city has lost another good one. Lisa Bhopalsingh, the city's director of community development, has been named Chief Administration Officer of the City of Powell River. Lisa was with the city for five years and Mayor Leonard Krog described her as a team leader and example of service to the public. She led long term planning for the city and was a strong voice for reconciliation.
The Alternative Approval Process is under way to facilitate a new housing development on Howard Avenue. Nanaimo voters have 33 days to oppose to the removal of the park dedication by filling out an elector response form at City Hall, or on the City website. Completed forms must be dropped off or mailed to City Hall by 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 10, 2023. For more information on the Alternative Approval Process, visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/aap.
The City is progressing with plans for phase I of the Nanaimo Operation Centre project, and they want you to know all the details. An open house has been set for Sept. 13 at Beban Park Social Centre, 2300 Bowen Road from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The project will see the eventual replacement of aging facilities and consolidation of public works and parks operations into one location. Full story and video.
A cyclist was taken to hospital after a collision with a van Tuesday mid-morning on Bruce Avenue. A witness told police the cyclist was riding north in the middle of the road toward the intersection of Eighth Street. The driver of a van turned from Bruce Avenue and collided with the cyclist. R/Const Gary O’Brien said the accident would not have happened had the cyclist stopped at the intersection. MORE
That quick phone call you make while driving could turn out to be very costly. With the return to school it is now more important than ever to not be distracted by your phone while driving. Penalties for distracted and careless driving are $368, on top of demerits points and even , and insurance premium. And its not just phones, it includes personal grooming, eating and drinking, reading, insecure pets, or even other passengers distracting the driver. MORE
A Port Alberni man has been charged with second degree murder after a man died following a serious assault last month. Jonathan Womacks, 44, was initially charged with aggravated assault, but on Sept. 1 the charge was upgraded when the victim died. Port Alberni RCMP say the attack happened Aug. 7. MORE
When they say don’t water the lawn they mean it. Vancouver has issued more than $160,000 in fines for violations of water restrictions this year, with almost half coming in the last month. Bylaw officers wrote 496 tickets between May 1 and Aug. 27 and 732 warnings as well. Since the switch to Stage 2 restrictions, 152 tickets have been issued at $500 each. Tickets issued before Stage 2 restrictions was $250 each. MORE
The B.C. government is refusing to pay for its own mistake in denying a young woman government support for post-secondary education worth tens of thousands of dollars. Provincial Ombudsman Jay Chalke said he was deeply disappointed, adding the former foster child may not be the only one harmed. MORE
QUOTABLE – Too many of us are not living our dreams because we’re too busy living our fears
A man is in custody after a purse-snatching in downtown Nanaimo this morning. Another man tried to intervene and had to be taken to hospital with a serious stab wound after the incident in the Victoria Crescent area around 9:30 a.m. The suspect fled with the purse which was found on the on the roof of Port Place. The suspect was taken into custody without incident. MORE
Good news to start Wednesday. The Bank of Canada held its key interest rate steady at five per cent today as the economy begins to falter. However, the bank is keeping the door open to more rate hikes, and is ready to raise rates further if needed. MORE
The man found guilty of setting fire to the Tim Horton’s on Northfield Road last summer has been sentenced to nearly two years in jail and three years probation. He received credit for time already served. Kym Robert Arkell, 38, pleaded guilty to the early morning fire on Aug. 2, 2022.
A lockdown at a Chase River home on Tuesday turned out to be a false alarm. Police believed a man had locked himself in the home and might have had firearms. It turned out he was not there and lockdowns were lifted. There is no public threat but police are still looking for the man.
The cause is unknown after a moored sailboat sank at Stone’s Marina over the weekend. The Port of Nanaimo and the Canadian Coast Guard were called out after the boat sank on Sunday. Port Authority Harbour Master Capt. Satinder Singh said the marina will work with the owner to remove the boat. The cause has not been determined and is under investigation. MORE
The Nanaimo real estate market has cooled down over the past 12 months. John Cooper’s monthly update reports 83 single family homes sold at an average price of $814,367. That’s down 10 per cent over the past 12 months. There were 23 per cent fewer single family sales and the average days on the market almost doubled to 37 days. Island wide, the average selling price dropped seven per cent to $785,566 year over year. Single-family unit sales volume was down 17 per cent.FULL REPORT HERE.
Victoria police got a first-hand example of the volatility of electric vehicle batteries on Tuesday. An e-bike caught fire inside the Victoria Police headquarters on Caledonia Avenue. VicPD media relations officer Terri Healy said no one was injured but there were significant flames. E-bikes are powered by lithium-ion batteries, and Health Canada says safety risks include overheating, fires and explosions.MORE
Vancouver Island had 21 wildfires burning out of control Tuesday, with the largest more than 23 square kilometres. More than half of the out-of-control blazes are in Strathcona Provincial Park but are not a threat to people or property due to their remote locations. Province-wide, there are 430 fires actively burning and more than 2,080 have been reported this season.MORE
Air Canada has some explaining to do after two passengers were kicked off a flight for refusing to sit in vomit in their seats. When they complained to the flight attendant the pilot eventually came to the area and told them they would not only be removed from the plane but their names would go on a no-fly list. The airline says it’s investigating the incident, adding the proper procedure was not followed by the crew. MORE
QUOTABLE – Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
It’s back to school today and that means road safety is on the radar. Police will be alert, enforcing school zone speed limits. To make sure, keep it under 30 km/h in school zones because anyone caught going too fast shouldn't expect to get off with a warning. The message is clear – SLOW DOWN.
Facebook is bigger than any Canadian government bill. The war with Facebook is heating up, but so far Nanaimo had not been hit when I checked last night. Some B.C. municipal links were removed from community Facebook groups on the weekend. Princeton mayor Spencer Coyne said meetings, public hearings, bylaws, notices about water shut offs or road closures, anything the city would post back to its main website has been removed. This has resulted from Prime Minister Trudeau’s Bill C-18 News Protection Act. MORE
Long weekend weather conditions caused several blazes in the province's central fire zone. More than 430 fires continue to burn. More than 2,070 fires have been reported so far this summer, affecting more than 22,200 square kilometres.
Saanich Peninsula Hospital will continue to close its emergency department from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. nightly as the hospital struggles with a doctor shortage. Patients are being redirected to Royal Jubilee or Victoria General hospitals The closures started in July and were set to end this week, but Island Health announced an extension with no ending date. MORE
Declan Forcier of Cowichan has always been a little man in a big man’s world, but that hasn’t deterred him from reaching great heights. He came home from the World Dwarf Games in Germany with seven medals. He had always competed in the big kids’ world in baseball and hockey, so the Dwarf Games were an opportunity to see eye to eye with other competitors. He got seven medals, four were gold for track. He also competed with B.C.’s volleyball, soccer and basketball teams, earning a silver and two bronze medals to round out his medal count. He’s a world champ, all right.
We're hearing a lot of noise about artificial inteligence these days, but could it be dangerous. Check out Just a Minute on this page.
QUOTABLE – It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
Today we recognize all the people who work in Canada. Just think of what things would be like without all the people we rely on. Have a great Labour Day.
Even aircraft can get into fender benders or clipped wings. Jazz Air Canada Express Q400 bound for Nanaimo made contact with an Air Canada Rouge Airbus on the Vancouver tarmac Sunday afternoon. There were no injuries and the flights were delayed. The Nanaimo flight was scheduled to leave at 1:45 p.m., but it was delayed more than three hours. MORE
The Alberni Highway is open, and so is the Port Alberni Labour Day Salmon Festival. If you hurry you can still get there and hope to catch the big one that wins the derby. About 1,500 anglers were on the water at some time during the weekend. MORE
Just a Minute – don't forget to check out my minitorial at the top left of this page.
QUOTABLE - Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.
So far, so good. The Daily Buzz is on a B.C. Ferries’ alert list for cancellations and performance issues. Aside from a staffing matter on one ship out of Victoria, which was later resolved, things were humming along without a hitch after delivering a majority of Labour Day traffic. The ferry service expects to transport roughly 200,000 vehicles and 520,000 passengers get to their destinations between Aug. 31 and Sept. 5. MORE
Ready or not, babies have their own schedule to come into the world. A Nanaimo Yellow Cab driver had no choice when a baby decided to make an appearance while the mother was on her way to the hospital in his cab.
He helped to deliver a newborn baby in the back of his cab Thursday. He had to stop in mid-trip and take matters into his own hands while waiting for first responders to arrived to finish the delivery. MORE
The nursing shortage in the province is having a direct impact on health services. Victoria's Royal Jubilee Hospital is shutting down one of its 10 operating rooms Sept. 5 to Oct. 27 resulting in cancelation of hundreds of surgeries. Island Health estimates that about 160 surgeries will be postponed. MORE
August was a warm one, but not the warmest on record for Nanaimo. Environment Canada says it will probably rank in the top five. And it was one of the driest, but not drier than normal. There were some temperature records. It reached 34.4 degrees on Aug. 13, matching the high in 2002. The next day we shattered the record with 36.4, eclipsing the 2010 temperature of 34.1. It hit 35.7 on Aug. 15, passing the 33.1 from 2010. The story of long-term drought continues.
QUOTABLE – Hard to believe I once had a phone attached to a wall, and when it rang, I picked it up without knowing who was calling
Hats off to Dave Lawrence of That 50s Barbershop. Dave and his team of hair stylists are busy today getting students ready for school in the 9th annual Fresh Start. They give free hair cuts and backpacks of school supplies. They expected about 200 people throughout the day. Dave says he’s overwhelmed by the size and popularity of the event. He said there were more donations this year and more barbers are participating this year. MORE
Schools are ready to open their doors and some of them are bursting at the seams – there are more students than there are seats. High schools are getting hit the hardest. SD68 Secretary Treasurer Mark Walsh says international enrollment has been capped and the situation is at a crisis point. Two portables have been added NDSS to go with the portables already there. It’s built for 1,400 students but enrolment is going to be upwards of 1,700, he says. MORE
Looking to score some drugs or a cell phone? Try you local jail where you might find just what you’re looking for. Prison officials seized a large stash of contraband, including steroids and cellphones, smuggled into Kent maximum security institution. Assistant warden Kim MacPherson says the seizure also included weapons, alcohol, needles, SD card readers, and other unauthorized items. The “institutional value” of the seizure is more than $287,000. MORE
A man is in hospital in Port Alberni after what is described as a targeted shooting. He was taken to hospital and is expected to survive. A suspect is still at large, but police said they are looking for an older-model black Dodge pickup truck seen leaving the area.
One man has died after his SUV crashed into a garbage truck in Parksvile yesterday. An RCMP spokesman told NanaimoNewsNOW a vehicle traveling north on the highway through the city collided head on with a southbound garbage truck.
It’s not difficult to find people with too much time on their hands and that appears to be the case at ICBC which is offering prizes to get people to not wash their cars. People can submit photos of their dirty cars to win prizes, including tickets to a B.C. Lions game. The provincial government is a co-sponsor, all in the name of conserving water during the drought. And there’s a $50 gas card. I wonder if that will be honored in Nanaimo after the city legislated against fossil fuel. All the details and rules are available online.
What happens when you give $7,500 each to 50 homeless people? A researcher gave 50 homeless folks that wad of cash each to do with as they wished. Instead spending it on alcohol, drugs or cigarettes, they spent it on rent, clothing and food, says UBC researcher Jiaying Zhao. CHECK IT OUT
QUOTABLE – Notice in an eye clinic. “If you don’t see what you’re looking for you’ve come to the right place.
As we head into the Labour Day long weekend the turmoil continues at B.C. Ferries. CEO Nicolas Jimenez said the corporation is doing the best it can, telling a news conference Thursday that they will be advertising travel tips, more traffic control and parking attendants. It’s also preparing for increased website traffic, and keeping call centre staff on standby in case of problems. If you don’t have a reservation, it will be a very challenging experience, he cautioned. Find alternate ways to get on board – take transit, carpool, get dropped off and walk on.
Then after the long weekend, the fall schedule kicks in with 60 fewer scheduled sailings and the Queen of Alberni filling in for the Coastal Renaissance which is in for major repairs. At least 800 reservations will have to be rebooked. That will take until at least Thanksgiving. Nanaimo travellers have an alternate option now. Hullo passenger ferry has doubled the number of sailings over the weekend to four round trips daily, and added one more daily sailing for all of September.
Look out Port Alberni and the West Coast, here we come. Highway 4 reopened yesterday afternoon to full two-lane traffic in time for the long weekend. A wildfire at Cameron Bluffs sent rock and other debris onto the road in early June, leading to a full closure for two weeks. Two hundred and fifty trees and 1,000 tonnes of rock debris were removed over the summer. MORE
More family-oriented housing is on the way after City Council approved two rezoning applications. The two projects are on Metral Drive and Labieux Road. The Metral project will have 91 residential units in a pair of three- to four-storey buildings with on-site parking. The second development will be at 2453 Labieux Rd which will see three-storey family-friendly townhouses with ground-level garages. MORE
You can’t stress enough to keep your doors locked as a Nanaimo woman learned when she found drunk man passed out on her living room couch. Police responded to a townhouse complex in the south end after the woman found a 22-year-old man in her home. Police said he was grossly-intoxicated and appeared to be unconscious. R/Const. Gary O’Brien said the man was taken to the Nanaimo detachment cells to sober up. The woman had forgotten to lock her doors, there were no signs of forced entry and nothing was missing. The woman did not press charges. MORE
Nicholas Morrison-Dault, 23, remains in custody, facing aggravated assault charges after two people were stabbed late Monday night in Parksville. Oceanside RCMP Sgt. Shane Worth said the suspect and the victims are members of the homeless community. MORE
On the national scene, The Canada Revenue Agency has fired 120 employees who claimed the Canada Emergency Response Benefit during the COVID-19 pandemic. CRA first reported in June it had dismissed 20 employees for inappropriately receiving the funds, and that it was investigating 600 additional cases. On Friday, CRA said it has wrapped up a case-by-case review and that 120 employees are no longer with the CRA which has 60,000 employees across the country. MORE
Get set to say goodbye to HSBC Bank Canada. The federal Competition Bureau has approved a takeover of HSBC by the Royal Bank. The approval will be used in the Finance Minister's decision-making process on whether to give the final greenlight for the deal. MORE
QUOTABLE – When I was young I just wanted to be older. What was I thinking?