July 31

, 2023

July 31, 2023

British Columbia's long-running port dispute may finally be over. The longshore workers union and the employers association announced a new tentative agreement this morning. Details of the late-night deal haven't been released, but both sides say in a joint statement issued Sunday night that they are recommending their members to ratify it. The union and employers say the new tentative deal was reached with the assistance of the Canada Industrial Relations Board. MORE


The news focus is on Osoyoos where mass evacuations are under way due to an out-of-control wildfire. The Eagle Bluff wildfire crossed the U.S.-Canada border Saturday and had grown to 885 hectares on the Canadian side Sunday morning. On the U.S. side, it has burned more than 4,000 hectares. The orders impact more than 732 properties. Residents and visitors have been told to leave immediately because the fire poses a threat to life and safety. In addition, 2,094 properties have been placed on evacuation alert. MORE


Hey, you can head back to Beban Pool – the pool and weight room re-opened this morning after a maintenance shutdown. Check out the new sauna. Workers put in updated waterproofing on all the surfaces, added enhanced lighting and new tile. And everything has been spiffed up with a total cleaning. To see the schedule, check the website.

QUOTABLE – Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.

Squeezing the genie

back into the bottle

Media have announced that the mother and her boyfriend have been charged in the abduction of two young children. What’s head scratching is that the media outlets claim they are not identifying the two people charged in order to protect the privacy of the children. That's a noble concept, but for 11 days after an Amber Alert, they splashed the names and photos of the kids all over the universe along with the identity of their accused abductors. Retroactive amnesia.

Heavy walk-on traffic expected at Duke Point

Foot passenger travel between Tsawwassen and Duke Point is expected to be very busy next Friday and Sunday on some sailings as a result of a large group reservations:
August 4: 3:15 p.m. departing Duke Point
August 6: 12:45 pm departing Tsawwassen

B.C. Ferries recommends arriving at the terminal as early as possible and being prepared for possible sailing waits if you intend to travel as a foot passenger on these sailings. For the most up-to-date sailing and departure information, follow Twitter @BCFerries, or visit bcferries.com for further information.

July 30, 2023

We’re off to another great week of summer weather with nothing but sunshine and temperatures in the mid-twenties for this week. With that in mind, it's kind of last-minute notice, but today is Love Your City day at Maffeo Sutton Park 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. It’s the Oceanside Church’s 24th annual celebration. Pastor Andrew Arnold said the city is “a huge blessing, each person in our church lives in the city, loves this city, wants to see the city do well and flourish, and wants to love our neighbours as best as possible.” And it’s all free. MORE


A student-oriented pub-eatery could be on the way for Harewood after city council okayed a parking variance. The cantina still has get licensing for the mix-use development at 300 Howard Avenue. The 96-seat pub is envisioned to have primarily walk-in patronage from nearby residents and a minimal need for parking stalls. MORE


The two children in an Amber Alert have been located safely. Surrey RCMP said Saturday that around 7:20 p.m. that the children were located safe and are in the process of being reunited with their family. The release from Surrey RCMP didn’t mention their mom Verity Bolton, her father Robert Bolton or her boyfriend Abraxas Glazov. MORE


The Canada Industrial Relations Board has stepped in to review and potentially end the British Columbia port labour dispute after the second rejection of a tentative labour deal sparked mounting calls for back-to-work legislation. Federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan said the board is tasked to either impose a new collective agreement or impose final binding arbitration if a negotiated resolution is no longer possible. MORE


QUOTABLE – There is no such thing as a grouchy old person. The truth is that once you get old, you stop being polite and start being honest.

Parking at capacity at Duke Point

Pay parking at Duke Point and Tsawwassen Terminals has reached capacity.

For an alternative parking option, Tsawwassen Ferry Park & Go provides shuttle service to the terminal. To access this service, turn right at Salish Sea Drive, and then left onto Hawk Lane.Tsawwassen Ferry Park & Go will be located on the righthand side.

If travelling as a foot passenger, please consider taxi service, public transit, the BC Ferries Connector Bus, or being dropped off at the terminal.

For the most up-to-date sailing and departure information, follow us on Twitter @BCFerries or visit Current Conditions.

July 29, 2023

Longshoremen have rejected a mediated contract offer, possibly extending job action at some of Canada’s busiest ports. Union president Rob Ashton said members have voted no to the contract. The dispute between the union and the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association shut down the province’s port facilities for 13 days earlier this month. A statement from the BCMEA revealed details about the rejected four-year package. It included a wage increase of 19.2 per cent, a signing bonus of $1.48 per hour, approximately $3,000 per full-time worker, and an 18.5 per cent increase to a Modernization and Mechanization retirement lump sum payment. This would increase their retirement payout in 2026 to $96,250, over and above employees’ pension. It added the 19.2 per cent wage increase would have potentially increased the median union longshore compensation to $162,000 annually, not including benefits and pension. MORE

Another day, another headache at B.C. Ferries. On the day that the Coastal Celebration returned, its sister ship, the Coastal Renaissance experienced mechanical difficulty, leading to cancellations. A number of sailings were cancelled Friday afternoon and into the evening. The problem is with the main ship’s gear pump box, which is different than what resulted in the Coastal Celebration being pulled from service for more than one week.

There’s less than a week left to cash in on early bird registration for the 17th annual State of the Island Economic Summit. The two-day event is Oct. 25-26 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. The Summit is two days of learning, information sharing and networking. It has become the major event for business leaders, decision makers, community and island stakeholders to connect. Anyone is welcome to register and participate in the broad range of sessions which revolve around VIEA’s core principles of collaboration to add vitality to the Vancouver Island economy. The early bird discount endS July 31. REGISTER HERE


Talk about dry wines. The drought on Vancouver Island is having a remarkably positive effect on vineyards. If this heat and dry weather continues, this could be a banner year for the Cowichan Valley. Cowichan vineyards are preparing to welcome wine lovers from far and wide, for the Cowichan Valley Wine Festival that runs throughout August.

The federal government is struggling to get rid of millions of rapid tests for COVID-19. As the virus spread across Canada in 2021, the government bought rapid antigen tests, distributing most of them to the provinces so people could swab themselves for the virus at home. Rapid tests were considered both important and valuable in early 2022, as regular test capacity was reserved only for certain cases in most provinces. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Canada has spent roughly $5 billion on rapid tests. By July 25, the store of tests was still sitting at over 90 million. MORE


QUOTABLE – Equity is another term for lower standards.

Celebration at the reservation 

Snuneymuxw Days – it’s going on right now. A couple of thousand participants may be involved in sports, cultural events and family fun at Nanaimo No. 1 Reserve. The introduction of Snuneymuxw Days has war canoe races, a three-on-three basketball, a vendor market, food trucks and much more. It started today and continues until Sunday with many local people and other south coast First Nations taking part in the sporting events alone. SFN Councillor Kate Good says at least 10 Lower Mainland-based canoe teams are are in Snuneymuxw territory for the weekend. It is open to anybody and everybody. 

See full schedule of events.

Dash cam video sought in fatal collision

The investigation into the motor vehicle collision that claimed the life of a 24-year-old Nanaimo man is continuing. Police have now established a time-line for the route taken by the suspect driver prior to the fatal collision with the victim’s vehicle. The suspect, had recently been released from hospital.

If you have dash cam video or any information on the incident that has not been previously reported to police, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. FULL REPORT

July 28, 2023

The Regional District is experiencing growing pains on two fronts. And that could mean half a million dollars for a revamp of the board room where weighty decisions are made. It’s all part of population growth and Indigenous representation, leading to more seats at the table. Qualicum First Nation Chief Michael Recalma, an alternate area director, has a seat as a non-voting member through a protocol agreement, and the report noted that there is possibility of seats for other First Nations chiefs in the future. MORE

Here ya go, a first-ever vegan festival will be staged at Maffeo Sutton Park on Saturday with more than 50 vendors showcasing vegan food, merchandise, education, health and wellness. As a taste teaser, check out these vegan foods – ice cream, poutine, burritos and tempeh, as well as a new pea-protein product. There will be food trucks along with the ready-to-eat food, and VegFest vendors will have samples, so bring a cooler. It’s free and it opens at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. You certainly can’t beef about that. MORE

Cool clear water – Schnitzer Steel Canada is not contaminating the Cassidy aquifer, says a report by the Cowichan Valley Regional District. The scrap metal recycling business, just south of Nanaimo Airport, operates in the Cowichan Valley Regional District. The staff report replied to questions from a public information meeting in May. Ground water testing at the site is regularly provided to Island Health and the Ministry of Environment. Island Health has assured the water is being monitored and is not negatively impacting the drinking water quality of the Cassidy aquifer. MORE


If you want it, steal it. The Retail Council of Canada says shoplifting is on the rise in British Columbia, up about 300 per cent since the beginning of the pandemic. Tony Hunt, general manager for loss prevention for London Drugs says in Vancouver alone they are going to spend $1-million more on shoplifting than a couple years ago. Retailers have lost billions of dollars due to the increase of theft and retail workers' safety is at risk, he adds. Police have long warned about violent attacks involving sprays as criminals become more violent and are carrying weapons more frequently, knives and guns in daylight crime. MORE


QUOTABLE – I'm not saying I'm old and worn out, but I make sure I'm nowhere near the curb on recycling day.

July 27, 2023

Nanaimo RCMP had a busy day Monday dealing with two unrelated firearm calls within two hours, on Cavan Street. Police responded to a large fight and were told that one of the combatants had been seen with a handgun. An airsoft pistol was found but police could not establish ownership of the replica firearm. The second incident at around 10:30 a.m. officers were told that a handgun had been seen in a vehicle occupied by several people.  29-year old Ron Arndt was arrested in possession of a flare gun that was modified to fire 22-calibre bullets. FULL REPORT

Cleanup is under way after a ship spilled fuel into Nanaimo Harbour on Wednesday. The Western Canada Marine Recovery Corporation began cleanup after a Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship leaked fuel at the Nanaimo Assembly Wharf. WCMRC deployed three boats from its Nanaimo base to contain the fuel while the crew of the Maipo River controlled the source of the fuel leaking from the vessel. The 21,000-tonne bulk carrier was built in 2009. MORE

The city is sort of in the housing business and it wants federal government to pitch in $15 million. The city is seeking money from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s housing accelerator fund. City council has approved a finance committee recommendation to submit the grant application. Municipalities must have a current housing needs report, which council received last month. The city must also submit housing supply targets and a minimum of seven housing-related initiatives in the works. MORE

Two people were taken to hospital with critical injuries in a head-on crash in Ladysmith on Wednesday afternoon. Two air ambulances were dispatched to the scene and one victim was taken to hospital by helicopter. The crash happened near the intersection of First Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway. A vehicle going south on the highway crossed the median into oncoming traffic. MORE


Small businesses can get up to $2,000 for repairs and up to $1,000 for prevention measures, such as cameras and gates under a new provincial government program. Broken glass and cleaning graffiti will be covered by the program. Economic Ddevelopment Minister Brenda Bailey announced the program will begin this fall and is open to small business. It will cover vandalism costs. MORE


The Coastal Celebration is will be back in business on Friday. The ferry has been in dry dock since July 24 to repair a blade seal. The shipyard, supported by marine engineers from  BC Ferries and the propulsion supplier, will work through the night to finish the job. The vessel is expected to be re-floated tonight with sea trials enroute to Swartz Bay. Before you travel, always confirm conditions at bcferries.com.


Meanwhile, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Rob Fleming says improvements to technology and a complete overhaul of the system can’t come soon enough at BC Ferries. “Yesterday we potentially turned away loads of customers. People were relying on inaccurate information and making travelling decisions based on that. That can’t happen,” Fleming said Wednesday. “I know the CEO and the team there are working on ensuring that it doesn’t happen again for the remainder of the summer. This is a difficult period.” MORE


QUOTABLE – Albert Einstein warned in 1949 that the time would come when the very rich so controlled the means of communication that it would be almost impossible for ordinary people to make informed decision; and so democracy would be broken. We live in the time Einstein warned about.

Former Nanaimo city councillor Terry Beech

appointed Minister of Citizens' Services 

Hon. Terry Beech

Former Nanaimo City Councillor Terry Beech has been sworn in as Minister of Citizens' Services in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet shuffle this morning. Terry was was elected to the NanaimoCity Council in 1999 at the age of 18, becoming British Columbia's youngest-ever elected official. He has served as Parliamentary Secretary to a number of Liberal cabinet ministers including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Fianance Chrystia Freeland since 2021. See Terry's full background on WIKIPEDIA.

What is citizens’ services, and what should

be expected from the new minister?

New walk-on ferry features late Vancouver sailing

Hullo walk-on ferries has released its first schedule and it will be a real winner for locals who attend night time events in Vancouver. There is a 10:30 p.m. nightly sailing from Vancouver to Nanaimo. The reservation site is open for sailings between Aug. 14 and Sept. 30. Additional daily crossings will be added as the company gets its sea legs. You can check the website and bookmark the Schedule Page.

July 26, 2023

Highway 4 at Cameron Lake Bluffs is expected to reopen to single-lane-alternating traffic later this morning. Crews worked through the night to repair one of the cranes that holds netting that shields the road from rocks falling from the bluff. The highway is closed while crane repairs are under way to ensure the safety of travellers.

While crane repairs are under way, crews continue rock-scaling work on the bluff.

Repairs to the crane are expected to be complete by 11:30 a.m. The highway will remain open this afternoon. Starting tomorrow, there will be a resumption of two planned daily closure periods from 9-11:30 a.m. and from 1:30-5 p.m. for rock-scaling work. For up-to-date information about road conditions, visit: https://www.drivebc


The Nanaimo-Cowichan Express bus has proven to be a hit with commuters with 32,485 riders in its first year. The inter-city run was launched in March, 2022 providing transit service between Duncan and Nanaimo. By February the route had hit its targeted benchmark of six rides per hour. A transit analysis by the Cowichan Valley Regional District said public feedback was obtained through a survey in the spring indicating that infrequent riders form the majority of ridership, utilizing the service primarily for leisure, shopping and errands. MORE


Eighty-two per cent of accidental drownings in Island Health region last year were males. A new report from the BC Coroners Service shows that 18 people drowned, three more than the 10-year average. Drownings are more likely to occur on weekends and the risk more than doubles in July and August. Alcohol and substance use are found to be contributing factors in 38 per cent of drowning deaths in B.C. In Canada, 65 per cent of boating incidents resulting in a death involve alcohol. FULL REPORT


The Nanaimo Buccaneers are moving to a new level, to Junior A from Junior B. BC Hockey has promoted all three of its junior B leagues to junior A. The reclassification will create a new junior-A system in time for the 2023-24 season. The change was announced on Tuesday after the British Columbia Hockey League, including the Nanaimo Clippers, broke away from Hockey Canada. The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, the Pacific Junior Hockey League, and the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League will all move up one level. MORE


The city is about to shed some light on crime at Caledonia Park and its sports field. The training facility for the VI Raiders football club has been the victim of several incidents of theft and vandalism, including suspicious fires, in recent years. All the buildings on the site have been broken into at least once in the past year. The proposal calls for six light poles, three on each side of the field. The poles and lighting hardware were salvaged from Harewood Centennial Park when they had to be removed to start the artificial turf field project. MORE

Dustin Krook

UPDATE - Missing man located safe and sound.

Earlier story – Nanaimo RCMP seek assistance to find 38-year-old Dustin Krook who hasn’t been seen since Friday. An RCMP notice stated that based on his recent behaviour and comments, there is concern for his safety and well-being. Krook lives in north Nanaimo, does not drive and has limited access to money. He has been known to frequent the trails that lead to the ocean in that area. He is 5-feet-9 with a slim build and short blond hair. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2023-24876.

Pay without work has become just too easy

We live in a strange world. We have untold numbers of able and capable unemployed people while at the same time we have a labor shortage, not being able to fill the vacant jobs.


It doesn’t take a genius to figure this one out. If you’ve been out shopping recently, especially at fast food outlets, they are all loaded with recent arrivals from other countries. Yes immigrants, and they’re working their buns off making a living. Look around and you’ll see cashiers, clerks, counter personnel putting in the proverbial nine-to-five with a smile.


Those newcomers to Canada will become great contributors to our country but sadly it will be their taxes which will prop up those who are sitting on their butts. 

Occasionally we run into the 'wow factor' on the internet, videos with unbelievable clarity, creating a 3D effect without special glasses. CHECK THIS OUT.

July 25, 2023

Highway 4 is closed again, due to strong winds. The transportation ministry in a midday update the road is fully closed at Cameron Bluffs, between Koen Road and MacMillan Provincial Park. Delays are expected for drivers, and the ministry says another update is planned for 4:30 p.m. as crews assess the road. It will be posted online here.

Three residents and their pet escaped unharmed from a house fire this morning in the city’s north end. Nanaimo Fire Rescue responded to a house fire in the 3800 block of Sundown Drive at about 12:45 a.m. with flames shooting out of the three-storey house. The steep terrain the house is on forced Fire crews to tackle the blaze from the rear by putting a second fire truck on Gibraltar Rock, a steep road that accesses several houses on Sundown Drive. FULL STORY.

Scott Rees was up to the challenge. The 39-year-old legally blind man swam across Georgia Strait between Sechelt and Nanaimo on Sunday to raise money for Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind. By Tuesday morning, he’d raised more than $130,000, well beyond his $10,000 goal. Scott says his six-year-old guide dog Kaleb has dramatically improving his quality of life. FULL STORY.

It’s getting worser and worser. Ferry travellers from Vancouver to Victoria without a reservation faced nine-sailing waits Tuesday morning. Every sailing leaving Tsawwassen for Swartz Bay through 6 p.m. was listed as "full" on the BC Ferries website by 9 a.m., with approximately two-thirds of the deck space on the 7 p.m. accounted for as well. There were delays for travellers heading in the opposite direction as well, though not as extreme, with the 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. sailings full hours in advance. MORE

Vancouver Island University has been operating in the red for the past few years with consecutive multi-million-dollar deficits it says were brought on by COVID-19. The 2023-24 budget anticipates $12.6 million of red ink. The previous year had a $11.6-million deficit. VIU posted a $3-million deficit in its 2019-20 fiscal year and a $9-million deficit in 2020-21. MORE

Island Health is in a recruiting mode. A new online posting states if you’ve been dreaming of a place where community spirit thrives and nature is at your doorstep, we’ve got just the place. North Vancouver Island is actively seeking registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nurse practitioners, health care aides and many more health-care professionals to join their community. With relocation assistance available, they’re making it easier than ever for you to make the move and embark on a new adventure. MORE

The RCMP Youth Camp in Nanaimo from July 3-7 was a huge success. Grades 10 to 12 youths from all over the Central Island were exposed to a mini version of the RCMP Training Academy experience. From waking to the sound of bag pipes, followed by a 6 a.m. run, their days were action packed, at times intense and filled with a variety of police-based activities. They also learned about police support resources such as the Operations Communications Centre, the Emergency Response Team , the Vancouver Island Tactical Response Team, Air Services, Police Dog Services and West Coast Marine. Full story and photos HERE

B.C. Ferries workers want more money and warn that sailings could be disrupted if wages in their contract are not reopened. Union president Erin McNeely said closing the wage gap with competing companies could increase service stability. They are in the middle of a five-year contract that includes a pair of two-per-cent increases and the option to reopen wage talks next April. Both parties, however, have agreed to open them early, starting next month, McNeely said. MORE

A man arrested in Nanaimo on suspicion of intoxication claims he was seriously injured in RCMP custody, leading to an Independent Investigations Office investigation. The IIO B.C. investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death. An IIO B.C. report states about 2 a.m. on July 14, officers responded to a suspected intoxicated man on Wharf Street. He was arrested and put in the RCMP detachment cells. When he was released the following morning, he requested medical attention and was taken to hospital. Five days later the man reported to the RCMP that he had sustained a serious injury and the RCMP notified the IIO B.C. MORE

A Nanaimo fishing charter skipper jumped to the rescue when a kayaker capsized near Entrance Island. Preston Hayden was chartering on Saturday with four clients and two children on board when a distress call came in. A sailboat quickly responded but was not able to effect a rescue so Preston headed over. An elderly woman, wearing a life jacket, was hanging off the end of the sailboat but crew were not able to lift her aboard. Preston jumped overboard and pulled her up to the sailboat. MORE with photo.


QUOTABLE – It’s not a conversation when one person does all the talking.

Ferries sailings full for Monday night

Vehicle space has reached capacity for Monday's remaining B.C. Ferries sailings from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, with very limited availability remaining on the Tsawwassen to Duke Point and Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay. Customers without a reservation may want to consider travelling as a foot passenger this evening or delaying travel until tomorrow when traffic levels are expected to return to normal.

July 24, 2023

Thieves made off with a 75-inch television from Walmart but couldn’t fit it in their car so they put it on the roof and drove off. The driver reached up with his left hand, and the passenger with her right hand. The vehicle plate and clothing worn by the suspects was noted by an officer and they were soon arrested. FULL STORY. The theft was captured on video – SEE IT HERE

Finally some rain and there's more on the way. By this morning, Nanaimo reported 15 mm and rain expected for the rest of today as ell as Tuesday. Today's temperature will be a relief from the blazing heat of the past few weeks with 17 degrees forecast doay and 21-23 for the rest of the week.

There are outlandish tales about bathtub racing, but it will take a whopper to top what Tara McDonald described as a pant-wetting experience Sunday when she came within a few feet of a surfacing humpback whale. “I knew he was going to come up right in front of me and he came up like maybe 50 feet from me and then I just screamed and just kept driving and prayed he didn’t put his tale in the air,” McDonald said at the finish line. She finished the race, an impressive accomplishment as a first-time tubber following the harrowing experience. SEE VIDEO

It’s going to be tough slugging for downtown traffic for the next little while as work gets under way on underground and surfaceupgrades to Terminal Ave. between Commercial St. and Esplanade. It will be single-lane traffic in both directions. Storm sewers and watermains are the main job but new sidewalks, bike lanes, lighting and park layouts are included. The job is expected to be done by Spring. MORE

QUOTABLE – Overheard at a seniors centre. “Come here often? If so, can you tell me where I am?”

Skipper wins bathtub race in record-breaking time

Brandon Skipper didn’t waste any time guiding his tub 555 to victory in the super modified class at the World Championship Bathtub race today, and he did it in record time. He was clocked at 1:00.45 beating the record of 1:07:3 set in 2016 by Justin Lofstrom. Skipper won after a close battle with Trevor Short who finished a few minutes behind in second. MORE

July 23, 2023

This week’s episode of The Amazing Race Canada Tuesday night will feature familiar locales from the B.C. Ferry through Nanaimo and landmarks like the Malahat Skywalk and Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria. Last week’s episodesaw contestants race through Vancouver, Whistler and Pemberton. For more Island flavor, Tyler and Kayleenfrom the Comox Valley are still in the running to win the $250,000 grand prize. MORE

An ATV crash on Mount Washington late Saturday claimed one life and another person suffered minor injuries. Comox Valley RCMP were called to a trail near Nordic Drive and Strathcona Parkway, where two people were pinned under the ATV about 700 metres from the trailhead. RCMP said the female driver, in her early 30s, was dead when police arrived. The male passenger freed himself and was treated for minor injuries.MORE

The starting gun will be fired at 11 a.m. sharp today launching this year’s Great International World Championship Bathtub Race.  The race starts and ends at Maffeo Sutton Park. Most of the race happens out in the Strait of Georgia, zooming out of the harbour, past Entrance Island, a straight away to Winchelsea Island and back to the harbour finish line. People on beaches, bluffs, boats and balconies watch the tubs scream by. There are checkpoints where you can catch views of the speeding tubs and their escort boats along the 58-km race involving about 100 boats. Suggested look outs include:

Gallows Point, Protection Island

Orlebar Point, Gabriola

Sebastion Beach, Lantzville

Neck Point Park, Nanaimo

Piper's Lagoon Park, Nanaimo

Catch an over all look at the events HERE.

Bikers celebrate big anniversary on Lower Mainland

It used to be one of Nanaimo’s biggest annual events, the Angel Acres weekend when bikers by the hundreds descended on the city. Now police in the Lower Mainland are keeping a watchful eye on Hells Angels as they roared into Maple Ridge and Langley to celebrate their 40th-anniversary at the White Rock Chapter with law enforcement tents and officers set up across the street. B.C.’s leading anti-gang police force, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, which monitors biker activities, has a slew of warnings about why the public needs to give the gang a wide berth. MORE

Ferries woes keep stacking up for Victoria routes

New CEO Nicolas Jimenez was hired to fix the chaos that is BC Ferries. It’s a big mountain, getting higher each day. The latest is the Coastal Celebration out for repairs leaving the Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route short one vessel. That’s eight cancelled sailings each day, until it's fixed. Seven-thousand travellers had reservations over the coming week and they are being shuffled to different times. The online system won't allow new reservations. BC Ferries continues to struggle with major staff shortages and routine cancellations on other routes, including Departure Bay and Duke Point. MORE

Island teenager gets chance to learn soccer in Spain

A South Island teen is getting to live out his dream, getting one step closer to a professional soccer career after being accepted into a training program in Spain. 14-year-old Joseph Seward has played soccer since he was three years old and has always been determined to go professional. The Tsartlip First Nation youth has been accepted into a 10-month training program withReal Madrid Football Clubin Spain. He joins the academy team in September and will live there for the school year. MORE

Fire destroys three mobile homes in Cassidy 

A fire in the Timberland Mobile Home Park in Cassidy destroyed three homes and damaged a fourth Friday afternoon, displacing five families. Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ron Gueulette said one man was taken to the hospital to be treated and was released the same night. The only other injuries were due to smoke inhalation. He called for mutual aid for more firefighters and equipment, including water tenders to start ferrying water to the site, as volunteer firefighters on the scene struggled to keep the intense blaze from spreading beyond the three structures. North Cedar and Extension, Lantzville, Nanaimo and Ladysmith fire services answered the call. MORE

QUOTABLE – “Eight bells and all is well in Davey Jones’ locker.” – Infamous Nanaimo Pirate Frank Ney.

Ferries' pay parking lot is full on Saturday

The pay parking lot at Departure Bay terminal is full. If you’re travelling as a foot passenger, consider taxi service, public transit, or get dropped off at the terminal. For up-to-date sailing and departure information, follow Twitter @BCFerries or visit Current Conditions.

July 22, 2023

Public projects going over budget is nothing new, so the rising cost of the $50 million midtown water supply project needing another $4.6 million should not come as a surprise. It’s all the standard problems with long-range planning like a longer bridge over the Millstone River with new information on river levels, fluctuations with the U.S. dollar, oil pricing and supply chain issues. DETAILS

Police are looking for leads after a small bush fire in Cedar. Reports are that a man on a motor bike fired a Roman candle on Walsh Road around noon on Thursday. The North Cedar Fire Department quickly shut down the fire. The suspect is in his late teens or early 20s riding a red and white dirt bike. "There may be a possibility of CCTV camera footage from a nearby warehouse,” said R/Const Gary O’Brien. Police are asking anyone with further information to contact them at 754-2345. File No. 2023-24779.

The Independent Investigations Office is trying to determine how a Parksville man was injured and whether police played a role. He was arrested for causing a disturbance, and kept in the cells at the Oceanside detachment and released the next morning when cops called Emergency Health Services to bring him to hospital. It was discovered he had a serious injury. MORE

QUOTABLE – “We can’t wait to welcome our first guests aboard in just a few short weeks,” – CEO Alastair Caddick, CEO of Vancouver Island Ferry Company.

Rock-scaling crews have made good progress on the Cameron Lake Bluffs as work continues toward the planned full reopening of that section of Highway 4. With three days of rock removal complete, crews are removing one of the four cranes on the highway. Rock-scaling works continues on the east bluff where the second and third cranes are supporting the mesh barrier. The highway continues to be closed for two periods daily, from 9-11:30 a.m., and again from 1:30-5 p.m. There will be no closures overnight or on weekends, including on the B.C. Day long weekend. For up-to-date information about road conditions, visit: http://www.drivebc.ca

Stop the world, I want to get off

We are in the vortex of a violent cyclone and we keep adding fuel to the vicious pressure it puts on our every day lives. When the cost of living goes up, people need to earn more money. When wages go up, the cost of living goes up. It’s a virtual perpetual motion machine. FULL COMMENTARY

Ferries are sold out for rest of Friday

Vehicle capacity reached at noon on Friday on Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay sailings for the remainder of day.

B.C. Ferries has issued a notice that if you don't have a vehicle reservation you're not going anywhere. There are spots for walk-on passengers so if you want to travel this route make a foot passenger reservation ahead of time and arrive at the terminal between 45 to 60 minutes ahead of sailings.

Victim in suspected impaired driving dies of injuries

Reid Davidson, the 24-year old driver of a car struck by a suspected impaired driver Wednesday, night has died of the injuries he sustained in the collision.

The driver of the second vehicle, remains in hospital receiving medical treatment for his injuries.

The investigation continues and investigators are asking for motorists with dash-cam video of the collision or pre-driving video to contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345. 

July 21, 2023

This is a special weekend if you’ve got unwanted items cluttering up your life. On Saturday and Sunday you can deposit them at the curb in front of your home for anyone to pick up. Reuse Rendezvous takes place throughout the city, and people can put unwanted toys, sporting goods, furniture, books, bikes and other items to the curb so that others can take and reuse them. Just put a “free” sign on the items. For scavengers, remember to respect private property, be careful when parking, observe speed limits and traffic signs, slow down and watch for children. MORE

Police suspect impaired driving after two vehicles collided after an erratic driving incident Wednesday on the Nanaimo Parkway. Officers were trying to find and stop the suspect vehicle before it collided with a car driven by a 23-year man who was seriously injured and taken to Nanaimo hospital by BCEHS. Witnesses told police the suspect fled on foot shortly after the collision but Police Dog Services tracked him a short distance away. He was treated for his injuries and turned over to BCEHS. The 59-year-old Nanaimo suspect was also taken to the hospital. MORE DETAILS

Cedar Farmers Market is an economic treasure for our area. A new study shows more than 2,500 people attend each Sunday between Mother’s Day and Halloween – nearly 60,000 a year. That translates into and economic boost of nearly $3.7 million for Nanaimo’s economy. MORE

The Cowichan Valley Wine Festival is making an impression drawing tourists to the region. Festival manager Jill Nessel explains the first part of the celebrations is a Sunset Soiree at Brentwood College School in Mill Bay on July 27. You get a chance to rub shoulders with more than a dozen wine makers from the Cowichan Valley. That is followed by Wine Passport Tasting Tours throughout August letting you visit each of the wineries on your own schedule and do a little tasting while you’re at it. Tickets are available at Cowichanwineries.com.

It's bone dry out there. Vancouver Island has reached level 5 drought months earlier than usual. Dave Campbell of the River Forecast Centre said the Island typically reaches a level 5 drought later in the year. The reason we’re so prone to reaching a level 5 drought is the lack of a snowpack, most rivers and streams rely on rainfall, which has been lacking this year. MORE

Summer travel continues to be a nightmare on B.C. Ferries. Travellers between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay were gambling, with all except two sailings being sold out for the day. One sailing left Tsawwassen for Swartz Bay at 1 a.m. this morning. On all of the sailings there was room for walk-on passengers.

QUOTABLE – “Kudos to all the organizers and volunteers who make events happen around Nanaimo. All the hard work they do just to make us happy.”

– Frank Stevens, Nanaimo

July 20, 2023

It’s hilarious when you can laugh at yourself. Nanaimo got sucked in to issue a fake civic day proclamation, but we were not alone. Nanaimo, Victoria and Surrey named civic days after a request by the imaginary United States of Kailasa. Mayor Leonard Krog has a sense of humour and said it was embarrassing and makes you feel foolish, “but as I’ve said it’s not the end of the world.” Newark, New Jersey, accepted a “sister city” partnership with Kailasa in March. Those civic proclamations have always been silly and maybe now city council may treat them for what they are. MORE

Here it is, the big event for the year, the Bathtub Race weekend. The tubs race on Sunday highlighting the marine festival. The weekend starts with a concert at Maffeo Sutton Park on Saturday, headlined by rock band Trooper. It all starts on Saturday morning with the Sailpast on Wheels parade on Commercial, Church and Front streets, starting at 10:30 a.m. The race on Sunday starts off at Maffeo Sutton Park at 11 a.m. Winners could cross the finish line anytime after noon. This year’s field will again be a competitive mix of super-modified, modified and stock tubs, and tubbers have been getting tuned up and ready. MORE

Mark Monday, Aug. 14 on your calendar for the first scheduled sailing of the Hullo walk-on ferry to downtown Vancouver. The new ferries will launch from the Port of Nanaimo cruise ship dock to the Vancouver Convention Centre. “We can’t wait to welcome our first guests aboard in just a few short weeks,” said CEO Alastair Caddick, CEO of Vancouver Island Ferry Company. MORE


Talk all you want about safer drugs and safe injection sites, an alarming number of Nanaimo residents are losing their lives due to illicit toxic drugs. The shocker is that early half of those deaths occurred in private residences. The B.C. Coroners Service reports 66 people have died in our city in the first six months of 2023, due to an increasingly toxic drug supply. That’s well above the pace to nearly double last year’s total when 78 died. Nanaimo accounted for about five per cent of all toxic drug deaths in the province so far this year, despite only having less than two per cent of the population. MORE


Craig Edward Truckle, who was arrested after a shooting at a homeless camp, will not be charged. He was arrested following and incident in March that injured business owner Clint Smith and others who attempted to get back stolen items from a squatter camp near the Millstone River. B.C. Prosecution Service said evidence does not provide a full or entirely clear picture of what happened during the initial altercation. MORE


No more pedal to the metal zooming long Extension Road between Cranberry Avenue and Cinnabar Drive. The city’s governance and priorities committee has given the green light for traffic calming measures after years of complaints and dozens of accidents. Public Works Manager Bill Sims said speeding in the corridor through Extension and the Cinnabar Valley has been a long-time problem. One speeder registered 130 km/h on a Friday night. MORE


Labour unrest on our waterfronts is becoming an on-again-off again debacle. The union representing dockworkers had called off its strike and then then Wednesday it issued another 72-hour strike notice only to rescind it just hours later. Federal Labour Minister Seamus O'Regan’s office told CTV News that the government expects there will soon be a vote to ratify the tentative agreement and cement a deal. The minister's office said the government is ready to act if and when it becomes necessary. MORE

QUOTABLE – Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.


Justin Denomme located safe and sound

UPDATE - The Nanaimo RCMP report that the following missing person has been located.

Earlier story The Nanaimo RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in locating 22-year-old Justin Denomme who has not been seen or heard from since Wednesday July 12, 2023. Denomme is dealing with some significant personal issues and as a result, there is concern for his safety and well-being.

July 19, 2023

That didn’t last long. Port workers walked off the job Tuesday afternoon when their union rejected a mediator’s tentative agreement to end strike action last week. Rob Ashton, the president of the International Longshore Workers Union Canada, said the caucus does not believe the deal can protect jobs now or into the future. He said the four-year agreement is far too long given the uncertainties in the industry and the economy over all. The BC Maritime Employers Association says ILWU Canada rejected the deal without sending it to a full membership vote. The strike froze billions of dollars worth of cargo from moving in and out of harbours. MORE


If Zellers was your shopping cup of tea, here's good news. The company is opening what it calls a pop-up at Woodgrove Centre by Aug. 11. The new stores will be a bite-sized taste of Zellers and an opportunity for shoppers to demonstrate where they would like to see the next store open. Pop-ups in B.C. are also planned for Hudson’s Bay stores in Victoria, Langley, Pentiction, and Prince George. MORE


Mandatory vaccines for healthcare workers remain in effect despite the declaration that the pandemic is over. B.C. is one of the few provinces to require publicly-employed healthcare professionals to be vaccinated against the virus, though it dropped the requirement for other public employees. There had been confusion of an order that collection and disclosure by the Colleges of vaccination status information of registrants is no longer needed. Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said, “To be clear, vaccine mandates remain in highest-risk settings where the most vulnerable live and are cared for. This includes facilities in health-care.” MORE


QUOTABLE – Who says Liberals have no standards? Some say they’ve even got double standards.

July 18, 2023

British Columbia’s drug decriminalization policies are not working out as planned in the face of the ongoing overdose crisis, says Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord. He says that while he agrees with the underlying principles of decriminalization, an early evaluation shows that the policy has not led to the desired outcome. Dubord says there were 791 overdose deaths in the province between January and May, almost the same as the 772 deaths in the same period last year. MORE


Will it be the RCMP or municipal cops? Surrey residents will find out Wednesday who will police their city when Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announces his decision. In April, the province recommended that Surrey continue its transition to a municipal police force instead of keeping the RCMP. Mayor Brenda Locke and councillors who campaigned to halt the transition and retaining the RCMP, did not accept the province's recommendation. MORE


QUOTABLE – The biggest problem with an apostrophe is most people don’t know where to put it.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Good morning, we’re off to another great week, so don’t let a few clouds and showers dampen your spirits. Go and enjoy the Nanaimo Concert Band’s free concert in the park tonight. It’s at the Lions Pavilion in Maffeo-Sutton Park at 6:30 p.m. Did I mention it’s free?

The ferry mayhem continues. BC Ferries cancelled two sailings between Vancouver and Victoria this morning and warned additional sailings are at risk due to a problem with the propulsion system on the Coastal Celebration. Anyone trying to get a ticket for a departure out of Metro Vancouver was facing a multiple-sailing waits. Out of Tsawassen, the 4 p.m. sailing – which is sold out – might not go ahead. Also at risk is the 8 pm. sailing. MORE

The Parksville Sandcastle winners have been announced. See the winners and excellent photos of the beautiful creations.  MORE


It was a taste of things to come as the Tour de Rock bike team climbed Mount Washington on Sunday. It was a real sweat builder in the heat for the riders, but they all rode to the very top. Troy Mann of Nanaimo said this was the worst they will see. “There’s nothing like it on the tour, so if we can get through this we can get through anything.” The Cops for Cancer tour this fall marks the 26th anniversary. Since 1998, it has raised $28 million for kids with cancer. MORE

Another day, another protest. Opponents of a proposed transit bus exchange along Terminal Avenue held another protest on Sunday. The city has not made a decision for a transit exchange along Terminal Avenue but residents are concerned that it will lead to more social disorder. They are also concerned that the bus terminal will replace parking. MORE


Will it ever end? Highway 4 remains closed between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. every weekday until approximately mid-August to complete rock scaling and other safety work. The highway will be open to single-lane traffic during weekdays for a two-hour window, between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Westbound traffic will move from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and eastbound traffic will be moved from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. MORE


It's really tough out there. More than half of British Columbians are within $200 of not being able to make ends meet each month. MNP Canada's latest  Consumer Debt Index  reinforces the impact of inflation and rising interest rates. Linda Paul of MNP Canada said households are facing a range of financial pressures, leaving minimal wiggle room within their budgets. The percentage of people who reported being within $200 of not being able to pay their bills has jumped to 52, up eight points from last quarter. MNP says this increase comes as the average British Columbian is paying $206 more per month than last year on essentials. MORE


QUOTABLE – “We’ve got enough crime downtown the way it is” – Businessman Kevan Shaw about a possible new transit exchange downtown. 

Harewoodians are getting new neighbours. City Council has approved a 168-unit multi-family development with 22 three-storey townhouses and a two-storey amenity building at 380 and 385 Watfield Rd. between Third and Fourth streets. Development Director Jeremy Holm said the project will have 147 three-bedroom units and 21 four-bedroom units. Three-bedroom units will be between 1,360 - 1,450 square feet and four-bedrooms will have about 1,580 - 1,710 square feet. MORE

Forest fires are running wild in the province, resulting in dozens of evacuation orders and alerts. Residents in 40 communities have been forced to flee and in 35 communities they have been told to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. An Australian Incident Management Team was scheduled to arrive in Canada Saturday. On Friday, Minister of Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair announced federal assistance on the way, and the military is being mobilized. MORE

QUOTABLE – Advice for older people. Don’t eat healthy foods, you need all the preservatives you can get.

July 15, 2023

Is this the end of it? The Victor Mema, Nanaimo’s chief financial officer from 2016-18, has lost his wrongful dismissal claim in B.C. Supreme Court. Mema claimed wrongful dismissal, breach of contract, breach of good faith, and intentional infliction of mental suffering. Justice Ian Caldwell ruled that Mema’s claim was filed outside a limitation period. The judge dismissed Mema’s claims in their entirety.


Meanwhile, outstanding legal issues between former CAO Tracy Samra and the city continue.


Getting their act together. Members of Nanaimo’s tourism sector have teamed up and agreed on a strategy for attracting tourists and events to the city. Tourism Nanaimo, the Nanaimo Hospitality Association and the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, signed a memorandum of understanding for landing events and conferences. The memorandum spells out how the stakeholders focus on bringing conferences and conventions to Nanaimo, said VICC general manager Chuck Loewen.


The new Hullo walk-on ferries for service between downtown Nanaimo and Vancouver are now at their home port in Nanaimo. They arrived in Nanaimo Harbour yesterday and made their first docking at the Nanaimo Cruise Ship Terminal. CEO Alastair Caddick said a public event for the new service will come soon. The company’s website will soon have information on sailing schedules with an August starting target.

The Silly Boat Regatta hits the waves at Maffeo Sutton Park this weekend. The race on Sunday has 32 teams that spend the morning building their crafts until race deadline time. CHECK OUT THE DETAILS


The federal government is stepping into British Columbia’s fight against hundreds of wildfires. Emergencies Minister Bill Blair has approved federal assistance to aid firefighters and emergency management personnel. The assistance will come from across federal departments and the Canadian Armed Forces. MORE


Hollywood is not so far from Vancouver Island when a strike impacts film and TV production. SAG-AFTRA, representing 160,000 actors in the U.S., has gone on strike joining already-striking Writers Guild of America members, who walked off the job in May. The strike could shut down many Canadian productions as well. Kathleen Gilbert of The Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission said the industry brings in anywhere from $60 million to $120 million in direct spending per year. Barbara Coultish Talent & Model Management, represents about 200 actors. Actors and production crews aren’t the only ones affected by the strike, local businesses are also feeling the pinch of reduced work.


QUOTABLE – The best government governs the least, the worst government interferes the most.

July 14, 2023

Richard Harding has been named interim chief administrative officer while the city works to recruit a successor to retired CAO Jake Rudolph. Harding is the general manager of parks, recreation and culture. Rudolph replaced Tracy Samra in 2018. He came with an impressive resume, having been CAO of Pitt Meadows for 13 years and senior positions with Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators.


A rental home fire in the Country Club area has displaced a number of people. It happened in mid-afternoon on Sunday. When Fire Rescue crews arrived one resident was already outside, but there was heavy fire coming from both the front and rear of the upper storey of the house. Both the upstairs and downstairs sustained very significant fire damage. MORE


Whatever floats your boat. The 39th annual Silly Boat Regatta hits the waves at Maffeo Sutton Park this weekend. Over those years participants have created comedic forms of whatever floats to race on the waterfront for a good cause. The race on Sunday has 32 teams that spend the morning building their crafts until race deadline time. The Nanaimo Child Development Centre benefits from funds raised, to provide services to nearly 2,000 children and their families. CHECK OUT THE DETAILS


More than 100,000 people are expected to attend this year’s Parksville Beach Festival. The Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition begins Friday with competitors competing to create 22 sculptures. Society president Cheryl Dill said this year’s theme should lead to some outstanding pieces of art. Wonders of the World is theme, a first for Parksville.” MORE


Congratulations to Nanaimo’s Paul Wu who has been awarded a $100,000 scholarship to attend Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario for the next four years. The Schulich Leadership Scholarship is awarded to entrepreneurial-minded high school graduates enrolling in post-secondary science, technology, engineering or math programs. Paul spent much of his childhood in Quebec before moving to Nanaimo when he was 12 years old. MORE

Longshoremen are back at work after a tentative deal to end the stoppage that has halted cargo movements. The B.C. Maritime Employers Association confirmed the work would begin Thursday afternoon after thetentative agreement was reached in the B.C. port strike. About 7,400 workers have been on strike since July 1, halting shipments in and out of about 30 ports in B.C., including Canada’s largest, the Port of Vancouver.

QUOTABLE – The universe is made up of protons, neurons, electrons . . . and morons.

July 13, 2023


A tentative deal has been reached in the longshore strike. The B.C. Maritime Employers Association says it’s a four-year agreement with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada, which represents 7,400 workers in the job action that began July 1. MORE

I was gone for a couple of days to regenerate, but your Daily Buzz is humming again. Check out what's new in your world.

Labour Minister Seamus O'Regan has invoked the Canada Labour Code to end the B.C. longshore strike. O'Regan has given a federal mediator 24 hours to come up with a settlement. Then the BC Maritime Employers Association and the union for striking dock workers have been told the mediator will draft a recommended settlement. The minister will then share the proposal with both sides and give them 24 hours to review and accepy the recommended the terms for ratification. MORE


An RCMP member was suffered non-life-threatening injuries when he was hit by a speeding motorcycle during an attempted traffic stop. A north-bound motorcycle sped through traffic stop, illegally passing several vehicles. The cycle was again spotted about 20 minutes later, again passing vehicles illegally. Traffic was halted and a uniformed officer raised his hand in an attempt to get the motorcycle to stop. The biker didn’t stop, but accelerated, hitting the officer before speeding off. MORE


What an incredible accomplishment was the way Brigadoon Dance Academy instructor Diena Henry described world champion Highland dancer Annalise Lam coming out the best in Canada. Annalise moved up an age division but still won the championship last week in Halifax. Seven Brigadoon dancers made the trip, with four competing in the Canadian championship. Annalise and Miranda Lam and Gabrielle Colonna will dance in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland in August. MORE WITH ALL THE DANCERS.


Ladysmith has dispatched three firefighters to the B.C. Interior to assist in firefighting efforts there. Matthew Rickett, Chad Arsenault and Keenan Pringle set off to Burns Lake on Mondayto aid wildfire-suppression. A 350-hectare fire is raging and people have been evacuated from dozens of houses. The three will be there for two weeks when a second Ladysmith crew takes their place. MORE


When the garbage piles up shred it to cut down its volume. The Regional District hopes that will extend the life of its Cedar Road landfill by a decade. Directors have approved a six-month rental of a waste shredder, as well as an additional excavator for a total of $650,000. The RDN expects to save more than $890,000 with the additional space created by shredding, expanding the life of the landfill up to 10 years. MORE


The Canada Infrastructure Bank has rejected an application from an entrepreneur to fund light rail on the South Island. ThinkEco has made pitches to municipalities in the West Shore saying it would build light rail for the region at no cost to local governments. However, the infrastructure bank denied ThinkEco’s bid. MORE


It's getting tougher all the time to get into housing. The Bank of Canada raised interest rates again on Wednesday, hitting the economy with higher borrowing costs. The bank raised the key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point, bringing it to five per cent, the highest since 2001. The economy continues to run hotter than expected. MORE

July 12, 2023

The community meals program feeding homeless residents has been extended and the city will pick up the tab. City staff will try to make the program permanent. Gordon Fuller, president of the Nanaimo 7-10 Club and Bern Muller of the Salvation Army New Hope Centre made the appeal to city council on Monday. The program is operated as a partnership, with the Salvation Army preparing meals and the 7-10 Club distributing hot breakfasts and bagged lunches MORE


Mid-Island Search and Rescue groups are getting approximately $63,000 each from the provincial government. MLA Doug Routley says Nanaimo, Cowichan, and Ladysmith offer several trails, creeks, and forested areas that people use for recreation and pleasure. The funding support rescue equipment, training, protective equipment for volunteers and administration costs, such as insurance.


The show will go on. The five of the barns at Beban Park site are not safe for public use but the Vancouver Island Exhibition is going ahead Aug. 25-27. Livestock will be located elsewhere at the park. Michelle Solloway, of the VIEX said the City  requested the engineering report on the structures after 70 years. The VIEX seeks an agricultural centre at a cost of $6 million, and Solloway said plans to raise money are being developed. MORE


Traffic disruptiion will continue as more work get done above Hwy. 4. Rock scaling is needed on the Cameron Lake Bluffs before engineers can sign off on the highway fully re-opening. Starting Monday, crews will work and the highway will be will be closed Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with an hour-long westbound release of traffic at 11:30 a.m. followed by an eastbound clearing between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. No closures are scheduled for overnights, weekends or holidays. The closures are projected to last until mid-August, according to the ministry. MORE


I have Rodney Dangerfield Syndrome

I  don't get no respect. My wife and I recently downsized and moved to a new address. You’d never think that something as minor as a change of address would turn into such a Herculean task. Where do I start? READ ON

July 9, 2023

I have Rodney Dangerfield Syndrome

A feeling of satisfaction. The Coast Guard has issued its first fine against the owner of a derelict and abandoned vessel under a federal law that took effect four years ago. The agency levied a $15,000 fine against the owner of a boat that was grounded and abandoned near Victoria. Abandoned vessels were one of the issues I pushed when I was a city councillor and later as a director of the the Nanaimo Port Authority. Sheila Malcolmson took up the cause when she was our member of Parliament. Even though the feds did an end run around her private member’s bill, the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act became law in July 2019. I’m sure Sheila also feels really good right now. She has a right to, she worked hard on that. MORE


The cops were busy tracking down drinking drivers Friday night, but this time with a twist. Drivers who were clean as a whistle were handed Tim Horton’s gift certificates by ICBC road safety co-ordinators as part of the annual CounterAttack campaign. However, there were still drivers who needed additional testing while one was chased by RCMP after attempting to zip around the stop. And it was more than alcohol, cops also kept their eyes open for drug use. MORE


And here’s a feel-good story for great weekend reading on NanaimoNewsNOW about Andrew Harris returning to Nanaimo where he launched his football career. It’s definitely worth reading. Andrew is finishing out his professional career with the Toronto Argonauts this season after which he will take over the direction of our Vancouver Island Raiders here in Nanaimo. CHECK IT OUT


More than 7,000 lightening strikes in the province Friday sparked 50 new wildfires. The BC Wildfire Service there were 67 new starts and 50 of them were caused by lightning.


QUOTABLE – Advice for seniors I once got from the late Doug Rispin. “Never walk past a bathroom without stopping in.”

July 8, 2023

Construction crews will move in Monday to begin installing traffic lights at Fifth Street and Bruce Avenue to do away with four-way stop signs. The work is expected to be completed by fall. As well as the signal lights, LED street lighting, concrete curbs, new pavement, new sidewalks and crosswalks, and dedicated cycling lanes will be part of the project. During construction, traffic will be reduced to one-lane alternating, so allow a little extra travel time when navigating through the site or detour around it. MORE

The strike by port workers is now in its eighth day with no end in sight as talks appear to be stalled. The port workers walked off the job at all B.C. ports on July 1 bringing imports and exports to a halt. Nanaimo Port Authority president Ian Marr says local anchorages are full with backups from Vancouver. MORE

A 35-year-old man has been remanded in police custody after being charged with one count of Arson and Mischief for fires set along the Parkway Trail on July 4. Kevin Mark Macey-Gerard was arrested at the time of the fires and held in police custody. Macey-Gerard was formally charged at a bail hearing Thursday. An unrelated charge of Break and Enter was also laid stemming from an incident in south Nanaimo on June 15. His next court appearance is set for July 11 in Nanaimo Provincial Court.

QUOTABLE – Hate labelling is the most recent flavor-of-the day, a deliberately all-encompassing term to silence any views we don’t like. Just because you don’t buy into a special interest does not make it hate.

July 7, 2023

One of the biggest sports weekends of the year is here. The Dragon Boat Festival is marking its 20th anniversary on Saturday and Sunday at Maffeo Sutton Park involving more than 1,000 paddlers, in teams of 20. In all, 42 boats are participating. Races being at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday until and 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 to 5. Starts are every 10 minutes throughout both days. CHECK IT OUT.


With another warm and sunny weekend in store, the only spoil sport we have to worry about is BC Ferries. Two sailings between Vancouver and Victoria were cancelled on Thursday due to mechanical difficulty on the Spirit of British Columbia. Ferries was making repairs to the fire suppression system and warned that there might be delays to other sailings because the ship was docked in Berth 5 in Tsawwassen. Who knows what the weekend will bring, especially with the Dragon Boat Festival? MORE


Weekend camping plans may be snuffed out as more campfire bans are on the way, with a heat wave in many areas not expected to ease for days and a moderate-to-extreme wildfire risk. The expanded bans came after five temperature records were set Wednesday from northeastern B.C. to Vancouver Island, and Environment Canada warned of possible lightning storms across much of the interior. The wildfire service reported more than 100 active fires in B.C., most of them concentrated in the northeast. So before you load up the van, check the latest information. MORE


You were not just seeing things. A CF-104 Starfighter jet spent a night and day in Nanaimo Thursday as it was being transported by truck from Comox to the B.C. Aviation Museum in North Saanich. The plane was produced in 1962, one of 200 like it in the world, built for a low-level nuclear strike role in the Cold War. It relocated to the Comox Military Museum in 1991, where it remained on display until being donated to the BC Aviation Museum. The 21-foot wingspan made the oversized load challenging to move so it was transported at night, leaving Comox Wednesday with a one day and overnight layover in Nanaimo. It’s expected to arrive in North Saanich early Friday morning. MORE


Piloted convoys guiding traffic on the Highway 4 detour have been discontinued. The convoys were put in place on June 11 to support commercial vehicles travelling along the route to and from Port Alberni while Highway 4 was closed due to wildfire. Highway 4 is operating at single-lane-alternating traffic and is expected to reopen to full-lane travel in the coming weeks. Checkpoints remain along the detour route to provide information to travellers. Commercial travellers with concerns or those looking for information can contact the Nanaimo district office at 250-751-3246.


Scammers never sleep, always on the lookout for new way to cash in. When Revenue Canada issued that latest food price support rebate they struck immediately. One text message stated: “INTERAC e-Transfer received. Canada Revenue Agency has sent you an INTERAC e-transfer,” asking people to click on a link. In phishing, scammers pretend to be legitimate institutions through text or email in an attempt to gain access to personal information. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre told CHEK News  that so far there have been 15 reported cases of the grocery rebate text message. Vulnerable members of the public or those not up to snuff on the internet could easily fall for such scams. CHEK IT OUT.

CTV News reports that thousands of pap smear samples from B.C. women have been sent to an American company for cancer screening amid a pandemic backlog.The Provincial Health Services Authority entered an agreement with Quest Diagnostics one year ago, even though that company has a history of data breaches and lawsuits from women whose cancer was undetected. MORE


QUOTABLE – This just ain’t right. Telus is a phone company but try to find an easily useable phone number for customers on its website. I thought communication was their thing.

July 6, 2023

The latest on longshore strike. Employers at strikebound ports are seeking binding arbitration in the six-day-old dispute. The BC Maritime Employers Association said Wednesday that billions of dollars worth of cargo remain in limbo, disrupting critical supply chains and damaging relationships with international trading partners. They said if the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada agreed to binding arbitration, “port operations could resume quickly, critical goods could begin to flow again and there would be immediate stability and restoration to Canada’s supply chain operations.” MORE


The impact of the strike is already being felt in Nanaimo. An in-bound auto carrier with 600 vehicles destined for the Port of Nanaimo was rerouted to Portland, Oregon where the cars were unloaded before the ship headed back to Japan. In Port Alberni, some cargo from pulp and paper manufacturer Paper Excellence remains in a warehouse behind the picket line. MORE


It's so hot and dry out there that the city and regional district have imposed stricter watering restrictions. The City announced Stage 3 watering restrictions on Wednesday. The RDN went even further after the B.C. government declared provincial drought Level 4 for east Vancouver Island. Under Stage 4, lawn sprinkling is prohibited, along with washing vehicles, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots and building surfaces and filling pools, hot tubs and garden ponds. MORE


The B.C. government has expanded the online registry to connect patients with available doctors and nurse practitioners. Health Minister Adrian Dix says the Health Connect Registry aims to make it easier for patients to get a family doctor or nurse practitioner by signing up for a primary-care provider. Dix says the number of people without a family doctor in B.C. has declined to about 895,000 from 980,000 in 2021, but the number is still too high. MORE

Now that the federal government has essentially banned links to Canadian news on social media like Facebook and Google Search, rest assured, your Daily Buzz will continue to provide you with all the latest news and information, and it’s free. It will be interesting to see what happens to Facebook pages like nanaimonet.com, on which I post links to local news outlets.


QUOTABLE – In most negotiations, like labour, sports heroes, and disputes of any kind, the common plea is for a “fair” settlement, but they never explain fair; it simply represents their side of the issue.

July 5, 2023

RCMP are trying to connect with two witnesses after fires were intentionally set along the Nanaimo Parkway. Officers spoke with at least two adults who pointed out the suspect; one of them actually chased after the suspect and tried to extinguish the fire. “Investigators are urgently attempting to locate these witnesses as they may have evidence that is key in supporting charges against the suspect”, said R/Constable Gary O’Brien.

Here's the deal. The longshore workers strike is now in it's fifth day with no end in sight. One media outlet reports that the workers are seeking a 17-per-cent wage increase over two years, plus an $8,000 signing bonus. Meanwhile the negative economic impact continues to rise. Business organizations and officials in Alberta and Saskatchewan have called on Ottawa to step in and end the strike, but federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan says he wants the union and employers to go back to the negotiating table. DETAILS

More than three dozen youths are experiencing part of what it takes to be a member of the RCMP. That included bites from a police dog at the RCMP youth summer camp this week. The cadets also got other lessons, including how to handcuff a suspect. This annual summer camp runs until Friday. MORE


Let the fun begin, it’s the 20th anniversary of Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival this weekend raising money for cancer research. The festival, beginning on Saturday, attracts hundreds of athletes and thousands of spectators, vendors, food trucks and a dance festival to Maffeo Sutton Park. Fairway Gorge Paddling Club uses the event help raise money for the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation and B.C. Cancer Foundation. The club says racers and supporters can also donate directly to the fight against cancer on the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival’s website.


Police are looking for a man who wandered into a medical office staff room on June 26 and stole several cell phones and a purse. Police were told that a man was confronted but he still managed to leave with several phones and a purse from the clinic on Bowen Road. Stolen was an I-phone 5 and a I-phone 6SE. The stolen purse was black and contained personal ID and a pink/cream colored wallet. The suspect is Caucasian, 5 ft. 9, disheveled, with short balding hair and baggy ill-fitting clothes. See CRIME WATCH


Luciano Mariani pleaded guilty in Nanaimo court on Tuesday to the first-degree murder of his former girlfriend in Bowser. The guilty plea came in front of a packed courthouse as his trial was set to begin. Friends were there in support of 41-year-old Caroline Bernard. Mariani admitted he came to Vancouver Island from Alberta before murdering her in her bed. MORE

And before we go, check your bank account to see if you got your latest installment from the Bank of Trudeau, to help you buy groceries . . . or anything else. You didn't have to apply for it, the cheque just magically appeared. MORE


QUOTABLE – A large part of our problems today is that we are more loyal to a party than to good government.

July 4, 2023

A suspect was taken into custody after Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews fought several fires that may have been human caused. The first fire was spotted in bushes along the Parkway near noon today. Another fire was spotted near the visitor centre on the Parkway. Witnesses told Fire Rescue that a man was seen leaving the area and was believed responsible for lighting the fires. A suspect matching the description was located a short time later and taken into custody. MORE


Two people were rescued after their boat flipped this morning on Diver Lake. A 911 call came in around 10:30 a.m. after two people in a small sail boat got knocked around by wind. Nanaimo Fire Rescue attended the scene and Launched an inflatable rescue boat to retrieve the two sailors, who were both wearing life jackets. MORE


A sign of things to come? Air Canada delayed or cancelled nearly 2,000 flights over the Canada Day long weekend and one expert predicts more troubles ahead for passengers. Nearly half of all trips by Air Canada, including Air Canada Rouge and Jazz Aviation, were disrupted. WestJet, Air Transat and Flair Airlines experienced lower flight disruption levels. Air Canada pointed out that the air travel sector is now in the throes of its summer peak, with 140,000-plus customers boarding the airline’s planes daily. MORE

Time to pay the piper – you’ve got until the end of office hours today to pay your 2023 property taxes or face a penalty. Residential and commercial property owners can pay at the Service and Resource Centre on Dunsmuir Street or online through the bank or set up a monthly withdrawal plan with the City. Penalties will be applied to outstanding bills beginning Wednesday when a two-per-cent penalty kicks in. Another eight per cent is added if you still haven’t paid by the end of August.


Talks between longshoremen and maritime employers came to a halt Monday as the strike enters its fourth day today. Representatives for both sides negotiated over the long weekend before the employers issued a statement Monday saying it didn't think more bargaining is going to produce a deal. The union accused the association of changing its position on a key issue at the last minute. The walkout is expected to have far-reaching implications for Canada's economy.


QUOTABLE – Success depends on how high you bounce after you hit bottom.

July 3, 2023

Voters are sticking with Eby and NDP

despite unsatisfactory performance rating

One quarter of British Columbians are happy with Premier David Eby’s NDP government in handling major issues. But despite criticisms and a decade-low performance rating, the NDP is facing little backlash in terms of voter intention. 

For someone who loves statistics, the latest data from the Angus Reid Institute is manna from heaven. It shows the government facing heavy criticism on a number of fronts. Staffing crises in health care remain and the NDP continues to search for answers to increase the province’s housing stock to increase affordability. 


This poll was conducted prior to the provincial byelections in Langford-Juan de Fuca and Vancouver-Mount Pleasant which the NDP won easily in party strongholds, contrary to the province-wide polling numbers. B.C. Conservatives surprisingly came in second in Langford while B.C. United finished fourth.


The NDP rates poorest on housing affordability with a negative 85 per cent. And the government continues to add to that cost with its property transfer tax for home buyers. On the cost of living, 79 per cent say the government is doing either a poor or a very poor job while only 13 per cent rate it as good. It’s a similar response on health care, with 77 per cent rating it poor or very poor. 


While these individual measures are dramatic, perhaps even more so is the NDP’s over all Government Performance Index, the lowest in a decade at 27.

Asked how they would vote if an election were held, half of B.C. residents – 47 per cent – would support the NDP, while 29 per cent back B.C. United. The B.C. Greens sit at 14 per cent while “other party” rates at 10 per cent, possibly indicating a resurgence of the B.C. Conservatives.

B.C. United leader Kevin Falcon sits at a 48-per-cent unfavourable rating with only 20-per-cent favourable. That party obviously has a lot of work to do before the next provincial election in 2024.