700 'trauma bears'

provided for RCMP

It’s amazing how something so small can have such a significant impact.

Crime Stoppers recently funded the purchase of more than 700 trauma bears for our detachment.

The bears will be distributed to front line police vehicles at our detachment, and used to assist officers in calming youth who may have witnessed or experienced trauma and to assist in the interview process.

The purchase was made possible by Central Vancouver Island Crime Stoppers who saw the value after a civilian employee of the Nanaimo detachment pitched the idea.

The majority of the bears are earmarked for the Nanaimo detachment while the remaining will be distributed by Crime Stoppers volunteers, to the10 RCMP detachments located throughout central Vancouver Island.

Having worked the front line for many years, I have seen first-hand the impact these bears can have. They are a tried and proven calming mechanism for young children who may be traumatized or simply overwhelmed when speaking with a police officer.

The Central Vancouver Island Crime Stoppers serves central Vancouver Island and disseminates tips to the following RCMP detachments: Ladysmith, Oceanside, Port Alberni, Tofino, Ucluelet, Lake Cowichan, North Cowichan, Shawnigan Lake, Salt Spring Island and Gabriola Island.

To submit a tip to Crime Stoppers call 1-800-222-8477 or submit online to https://cvicrimestoppers.com.

One in hospital after serious crash between cyclist and pickup truck

SERIOUS ACCIDENT – RCMP are looking into witness reports that a 43-year-old cyclist drove into traffic on Nicol Street Tuesday afternoon, colliding with a pickup truck. The man is in hospital with serious injuries. Emergency crews attended the scene near the Days Inn. R/Cst. Gary O’Brien said  multiple witnesses, including the driver of the pickup, confirmed how the incident unfolded. The man on an e-bike drove from the parking lot into traffic and was struck by the pickup. No helmet was found.

IT’S WARM OUT THERE – It’s questionable what records really mean, but dozens more temperature records were broken in B.C. on Tuesday. Environment and Climate Change Canada listed 23 B.C. communities that broke or tied their daily maximum temperature records for Jan. 30. The highest record-breaking temperature was Abbotsford, which saw the mercury rise to 18.4 C, degrees warmer than the previous record of 13.4 C set in 1995. MORE

IT'S SO WARM that Mount Washington closed main operations for the today. Chairlifts are not operating and alpine and Nordic activities are closed. The retail stores are open until 1 pm, and Eagle View Bistro will remain open regular hours.

THERE’S A WHOLE BUNCH of parking cones on the upper level of the Bastion Street Parkade and you better not go there. Structural work is being done on the lower levels, reducing the structure's capacity. So don’t park there or you could wind up in one of the lower levels the hard way. Plenty of parking is available on lower levels and other downtown areas. Evenings (after 5 pm) and weekends are free. In case you didn’t know, the City has a parking map ONLINE

MASK DISCRIMINATION ­ – The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal will hear a human rights complaint from a customer who did not wear a mask and was denied entry to the Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island store during COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Lawrence Forbes tried to enter the store in 2020 claiming a medical exemption but he was denied entry. He later filed a human rights complaint against the non-profit. MORE

RDN INCLUDED – The Regional District of Nanaimo has been added to a provincial government’s Secondary Suites Incentive Program which aims at secondary suites in homes and funds initiatives to encourage people to develop the areas for the long-term housing market. The program is scheduled to launch in April. Regional districts were not included in the initial plan. MORE

OH WELL – I just noticed the cheapest ticket for the Super Bowl, listed by a ticket site, is in the nosebleed section for $9,034. I wasn’t going any way.

OH JOY, OH DELIGHT – McRibs are back at Mickey Dee’s today after a 10-year absence. McDonald’s got thousands of inquiries on social media asking it to bring back the McRib last this year. The barbecue sauce covered, boneless pork sandwich is available for a limited time so ya better amble on down there. MORE

QUOTABLE – Never worry about who will be offended when you speak the truth, worry about who will be misled, deceived, or destroyed when you don’t.

The blockade by farmers across Belgium, France and Italy is disrupting trade at major ports and other economic lifelines. That should be easy to solve – just send over Justin Trudeau. He has experience in shutting down protests, legal or not.


Newcastle residents feel blindsided

by new homeless housing scheme

The city and province will expedite supportive housing projects in Nanaimo through BC Housing. They signed a memorandum of understanding committing to address homelessness in the city. The province announced 100 new temporary housing spaces at a pair of new facilities. The province will keep the 50 temporary spaces at the Newcastle encampment on Terminal Avenue, and that has area residents steaming. Karen Kuwica, president of the Newcastle Community Association, said she was blindsided by the announcement. The province, she said, has promised for years to replace the transitional housing at the site with more permanent housing for people who have begun to stabilize their lives. “That hasn’t happened,” she said. “The community is again being asked to extend itself and to accommodate people who need to adjust to living in a more stable environment, and that has brought a considerable amount of distress, chaos, suffering and safety issues.” MORE

CANCELLED SAILINGS – It seems like the B.C. Ferries fleet is falling apart. Again on Tuesday there was a cancelled sailing due to mechanical difficulties. Ferries will address the refit process and the strategy in a press conference Wednesday. Vice President of Engineering Stephen Jones and Strategy and Planning Vice President Brian Anderson will provide the update.

AND SO IT CONTINUES – Weather experts warn of more heavy rainfall and possible flooding on Vancouver Island today. Today’s storm will bring heavy rain and combined with mountain snow melt due to above-freezing temperatures, there is a risk for flooding, water pooling on roads, landslides and falling tree branches or power outages. Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for West, North, Inland and East Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast, Metro Vancouver – North Shore including West Vancouver and North Vancouver, and Howe Sound. MORE

OWNERS of 2003 and 2004 Corolla and Corolla Matrix models as well as 2004 and 2005 RAV4s have been given an urgent “Do not drive” warning. It’s a repeat of a decade-old campaign to remind customers their vehicles may have a defective Takata airbag which are a risk of exploding. So if you’ve got one of those, contact your dealer ASAP. MORE

Quotable – Never trust a fat vegan


ACTION ON HOMELESSNESS – The city and province have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop Homeless Encampment Action Response Team (HEART) and the Homeless Encampment Action Response Temporary Housing (HEARTH) programs. Provincial housing minister Ravi Kahlon said the program commits to creating more housing for the homeless with 100 spaces immediately. It will start with the HEARTH program at Newcastle Place, at 250 Terminal Ave. Fifty people will move to the permanent supportive housing site opening at 285 Prideaux Ave. MORE

RAIN RAIN GO AWAY – The worst is yet to come as the region is beset by an extended rainfall event. Environment Canada warns t there will be periods of lighter rain between the storms, but it is the cumulative effects of the storms that is likely to be impactful. The heaviest rainfall in a series of storms drenching B.C.'s South Coast was expected to begin Sunday night. The heavy rain – combined with warm temperatures – has resulted in a flood watch for Vancouver Island  and parts of the Lower Mainland. Other potential hazards include water pooling on roads, falling trees and branches and landslides. MORE


SALUTE – Leanna Maltesen has been named the 2023 BC Care Provider of the Year at the tenth annual BC Care Awards. The activities co-ordinator at Woodgrove Manor began her career at Woodgrove Manor in 2003 as a registered care aide, working alongside her mother who was an activities co-ordinator at the time. A few years after her mother left the role, Maletesen took over the same job in 2020. MORE



Electoral reform on the table

before next federal election

ELECTORAL REFORMNanaimo-Ladysmith NDP MP Lisa Marie Baron has been holding local events to discuss electoral reform. The Liberals and NDP have been in talks to bring in electoral reform legislation before the next federal election. Leading these negotiations are Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, and NDP MP Daniel Blaikie. Blaikie told CTV News there has been a fair amount of work done, toward drafting amendments to the Canada Elections Act. There are a series of electoral reform proposals. They agreed to explore:

  • Allowing an expanded three-day voting period during general elections;
  • Allowing voters to cast ballots at any polling place within their riding; and
  • Improving the mail-in ballot process with both accessibility and maintaining integrity in mind. MORE


RAIN AND FLOOD ADVISORIES remain in effect for many parts of British Columbia's South Coast. A series of atmospheric rivers is rolling over the area through Wednesday, bringing temperatures five to 10 degrees above normal. A special weather statement for Vancouver Island warns of heavy rain, bringing the potential for localized flooding and landslides in vulnerable areas. An atmospheric river is described as about 1,000 kilometres long and 300 to 400 kilometres wide. Vancouver storm chaser Ryan Voutilainen says this is actually a series of atmospheric rivers


RATES ARE CHANGING – You may soon have to pay more if you own an electric vehicle. BC Hydro has applied to change the pricing structure at its public EV chargers. Instead of billing customers based on time, the Hydro is switching to energy-based rates at its public EV chargers. This means drivers will pay for the actual energy used rather than the time they spent plugged in. To expand and cover the costs for infrastructure over the next decade, Hydro is proposing energy-based rates of 28.28 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for slower Level 2 chargers and 34.34 cents per kWh for fast chargers. The rates are awaiting approval after an expedited review by the BC Utilities Commission. MORE


MAKE SURE YOU KNOW whom you are dealing with. A number of airline ticket buyers have been caught by online redirects to fraudulent sites. A Vancouver man lost more than $2,000 when he thought he was dealing with Flight Centre after searching for them on Google. They promise to send the ticket later but nothing comes and they disappear when you persist. The man went to the police, but was told there wasn’t much they could do. Flight Centre has been working with its legal department and Google to help remove fraudulent listings as they come across them but as soon as they’re removed, new ones pop up. Again, make sure you have the right site when giving credit card information. MORE

Quotable – It might be time to take warning labels off everything and let stupidity work itself out.


Nanaimo Military Camp land

returned to Snuneymuxw reserve

THE FORMER NANAIMO MILITARY CAMP will become reserve land. Snuneynmuxw Chief Michael Wyse and Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Gary Anandasangaree, signed the Interim Land Reconciliation Agreement that will allocate 80 hectares as a reserve for the Snuneymuxw First Nation. FULL ANNOUNCEMENT

ENVIRONMENT CANADA has issued special weather statements for Vancouver Island. A series of storms is set to sweep the Island and parts of the Mainland coast starting today until Monday, or possibly into the mid-week. That will result in warmer temperatures and heavy rainfall bringing a risk of flooding. The warmer temperatures, five to 10°C above normal, could melt mountain snow. There’s a danger of water pooling on roads, as well as landslides and falling tree branches or power outages. The B.C. River Forecast Centre issued a flood watch for Vancouver Island on Thursday. MORE

THE GRUESOME TESTIMONY continues in the trial of Paris Jayanne Laroche, 28, for first-degree murder and interfering with the body of 32-year-old Sidney Joseph Mantee. A number of witnesses have testified that Laroche admitted killing Mantee in Nanaimo and disposing of his body in 2020. DETAILS

ADDICTION TREATMENT With the scourge of the drug epidemic that is wreaking havoc in our province, any possible solution is a welcome one. My son, who is an assistant professorof anesthesiology at West Virginia University, drew my attention to a CBS 60 Minutes report about breakthrough neurological advances at WVU by Dr. Ali Rezai, a neuroscience pioneer who has developed treatments for Parkinson's, Alzheimer’s and dementia, which led to the connection between brain function and drug addiction. Dr. Rezai has spent 25 years exploring this frontier of medicine and his surgical techniques and therapies are in use around the world. That includes revolutionary treatments for a brain disease suffered by 24 million Americans – drug addiction. HERE.

Quotable – You know you’re getting old when you barely do anything all day but still need a nap to continue doing barely anything.


It's going to be wet out there

A RIVER OF RAIN ­ – The South Coast is in for another deluge starting Saturday and all the way to next Wednesday. Environment Canada forecasts as much as 300 mm of rain on West Vancouver Island and in the Coast Mountains. The Howe Sound area could get as much as 250 mm and150 mm for our Island with varied amounts in the Gulf Islands, Fraser Valley and into the Interior. Nowadays everything seems to require a label, so atmospheric river it is. The rain and mountain snow melt could lead to flooding and saturated soil combined with strong winds may result in tree damage and power outages. The Province is monitoring conditions closely, working with communities on preparedness activities, and prepared to deploy as many as four million sandbags and other flood-related emergency-response strategies if needed. DETAILS

RCMP HAVE IDENTIFIED a body found off Neck Point as Ryan Pratt who disappeared from his sail boat late last year. R/Cst. Gary O’Brien said the body was badly decomposed from nearly two months in the water but police relied on several tattoos on the body, along with other evidence to identify the 35-year-old who was reported missing on Dec. 2. He had been living on his sail boat and hadn’t been seen since that day. MORE

YOU MAY SEE some flickering lights on Mount Benson on Saturday night. Don’t worry, Nanaimo Search and Rescue is doing a night training exercise. The flickering lights are the new members-in-training setting up their shelters and doing night hiking.


ON THE BUS – A Ladysmith stop will be added on the Nanaimo-Cowichan Express bus route. Stz’uminus First Nation and Indigenous Services Canada asked for passengers access at Oyster Bay Village in Ladysmith. It got the green light from RDN’s Transit Committee.  MORE


DAMNING TESTIMONY – The trial continues for Paris Jayanne Laroche, 28. A friend testified that Laroche confessed to killing Sidney Joseph Mantee in Nanaimo and disposing of his body in 2020. 

KUDOS TO NANIMO AIRPORT for earning Airport Council International’s carbon accreditation Level 2 certification for its greenhouse gas reduction targets with verification. The program has five levels of accreditation, with the fifth level recognizing a net zero balance.

LADYSMITH IS PLANNING to build a new city hall with institutional space and housing on town-owned land downtown. They have started an alternative-approval process to approve the long-term borrowing. Nanaimo’s experience with the AAP process has not gone unnoticed. The town’s share of the joint project will be $13.5 million. City hall is at capacity, offices are too small to conduct meetings, and the town has to store files off-site. MORE


NO MORE PAPER –  Crofton’s Paper Excellence Canada is shutting down its paper operations indefinitely at the Catalyst mill. It was already on hold until February but now the date is extended indefinitely. It affects about 75 workers. Pulp operations, with about 400 union and salaried staff, will continue production. The company says it is focusing on making the remaining pulp operations cost competitive and aligned with overall business strategies and direction. Products typically made at Crofton will be supplied from other mills in the company. MORE


QUOTABLE – Propaganda is so powerful that it can humanize demons and demonize humans.


You can't be all things

to all of the people

WE CAN'T SURVIVE without labels and slogans, we’ve lived with them for years. When they wear out we create new ones, the flavour of the day. Think back a little when one of our biggest concerns was “self esteem.” There have been so many it’s difficult to recall.

The latest, however, may be the be-all and end-all of mind benders. It could relate to AI – artificial intelligence ­– but it’s not. DEI is intriguing, packaging everything, a contradictory mix of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, fence sitting at its finest.

Diversity – make sure we recognize every one’s differences and celebrate them. We’ve all got to have our individual attributes, stand out from the crowd, be different. That’s a cover-all for age, race, religion, gender, politics, you can add your own to the list. Get special treatment. Celebrate not being like everyone else. Flaunt it.

Equity ­– this one covers basically all of the above and how we should be the direct opposite. Shuck your individuality, meld in with the crowd, don’t be different. We each have to be the same, we can’t even think about anyone’s differences, put on the blinders and merrily skip along the woke bunny trail.

Inclusion – Here we go, when two forces contradict each other, throw them all in the blender of all thigs diverse and equitable, and you come up with virtue peddling at its finest, a homogenized kettle of goop. It does wonders for your self esteem.


Safe drug program is not reducing death rate across the province

Decriminalizing drug possession is not reducing the number of drug deaths in the province. The numbers continue to get worse with 2,511 deaths in 2023. Numbers are one way to measure success for failure. It’s hard to accept the ever-rising figures and see those in charge throwing up their hands defending their approach. Deflecting blame and defendingdecriminalization obviously is not doing the job ­– why are users still turning to illicit drugs instead of the “safe" product? Nearly seven people a day died of drugs last year. In November, 220 people died, in December it was 219. The 2,511 deaths were a five-per-cent increase from 2022, when 2,383 people died. Chief coroner Lisa LaPointe criticized at what she termed the politicization of decriminalizing drug possession and easing access to prescribed opioids. LaPointe retires from her post next month. MORE


Nanaimo had the seventh highest rate of drug deaths per 100,000 population in the province with 89.8, not a stellar number following Greater Campbell River, Terrace, Alberni/Clayoquot, Hope, and Vancouver Centre North. Central Vancouver Island  had 210 deaths last year in Oceanside, Port Alberni, Tofino and Ucluelet. Nanaimo’s 116 deaths made up about four per cent of all unregulated drug deaths province-wide last year. The death toll keeps rising sharply, with 78 in 2022 and 53 the year before. MORE


When you have a labour shortage, do something about it, train your own. Island Heath is meeting the challenge head-on to get more pharmacist technicians on Vancouver Island. It is partnering with VIU and Selkirk College to train new students in a 15-month program. They train in-person in lab classes at VIU and online through Selkirk College on the Mainland. The training features 10 weeks of practicum in a hospital and community setting allowing students hands-on experience. The average starting salary for a pharmacy technician is $50,000, with opportunities at hospitals, long-term care homes and community settings. Applications are open for the next sing up, with classes starting in August.


The rising number of medical calls has local fire and rescue services seeking payment for providing that care in conjunction with the BC EHS system. Nanaimo and Parksville, for example, handled record call volumes in 2023 with an increasingly large percentage linked to medical aid, predominantly overdose or other drug scenrios. Nanaimo Fire Rescue attended nearly 12,000 calls last year, an increase of nearly 23 per cent over the year before. Of those, nearly two-thirds were medical aid, anything from shortness of breath to overdoses and drugs. This is going to be a topic at the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities conference in April. MORE


What better way to occupy your after-Christmas time working off the extra pounds than trudging through the bushes and brushes looking for birds? This winter’s Nanaimo Christmas bird count brought out 88 volunteers who spread out from north Nanaimo to Cedar and Gabriola identifying 117 species. There were more volunteers than last year, and naturally, the number of birds came up at 24,662, compared to 21,595 in 2022.


The impact of COVID-19 is far from over, the fallout continues to drag on for many business sectors. Many in the B.C. restaurant industry are on the ropes, getting hit from every which way. Amid lingering debt from government COVID loans, inflationary food prices, wage costs, labour shortages and government regulations, more than half of B.C. restaurants are not profitable. All those factors raise menu prices, driving down business even further. Bankruptcies are up 48 per cent in the last 10 months and nearly one in five could close in the next 18 months. The industry employs more than 185,000 workers and generates $18 billion sales in Canada. MORE

Quotable – Society’s biggest problem right now is that too many people want $20 an hour with a $3 work ethic.



THE CONCEPT of the Daily Buzz is to focus on issues of local interest. But there’s no prescribed amount of news that happens on a regular basis. Some days it’s slim pickens, so I meander out of town a little, keeping in mind there a lots going on that impacts all of us. Here’s today’s menu layout.

GRIZZLY TESTIMONY is coming out in court in the death of 32-year-old Sidney Joseph Manatee in Nanaimo in 2021. Paris Laroche, 28, is on trial in Vancouver charged with first-degree murder and indecently handling the remains. Laroche’s former employer testified Tuesday that Laroche had told her the details of the murder and leaving parts of his body throughout the city. READ HERE.

WE DID IT AGAIN – Our greater community has a reputation for stepping up when it comes to a need. The Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation’s Winter Giving Campaign set a target of $1 million but 1,800 donors cashing in a record $1.8 million. CEO Barney Ellis-Perry said it allows them to fund equipment that the government can’t and take some strain off health-care workers. It helps to pay some of the new High Acuity Unit at NRGH, the new x-ray suites at the Oceanside Health Centre, long-term-care facilities on the Central Island and the long list of urgently needed medical equipment throughout the region. MORE DETAIL.

HEY PUDGY - You may have a little post-Christmas bulge remaining on your hips, but don’t rush out for diabetes med Ozempic, which is being used as a magic bullet for weight loss. The Better Business Bureau cautions about online scams with fake medication pharmaceutical companies on the internet. Some are trying to make a quick buck off the get-skinny-quick bandwagon. Some consumers are trying to buy it online without prescriptions, says Simon Lis, president of the BBB in Mainland B.C. and Yukon. Get it only with a legitimate doctor’s prescription from a trusted pharmacy. MORE

JUST A MINUTE – There’s a lot of buzz on social media about to the Alternative Approval Process to borrow money for the city’s public works facility. The best was the suggestion from one poster questioning city hall priorities. Instead of squandering money on the Front Street and Metral Drive dress up, it could have been used to a greater value. Amen.

A SILVER LINING ­– Domestic students will not have to make up the difference on any cuts to international enrolment, says B.C. Education Minister Selina Robinson. Ottawa announced a 35-per cent cut in international students over the next two years. At UBC, a B.C.-resident commerce student will pay just over $8,000 in tuition per year, while an international student pays $61,000. Overall, domestic student tuition brings in about $400 million per year, while fees from the far fewer international students collect about $657 million. MORE

STEADY AS SHE GOES.– Canadians facing a mortgage renewal or planning to buy real estate, you’ll have to wait a little longer for interest rates to level off. The Bank of Canada held the key interest rate at five per cent this morning coming at no surprise. Weaker economic growth along with slowing inflation has allowed the central bank to hold its policy rate steady and monitor how the economy is responding to higher rates.

QUOTABLE – When I asked you to spell “orange” and you asked, the fruit or the colour, you kinda caught me off guard.


What were those sirens? Nanaimo Fire Rescue attended two early morning callouts. The first was the rescue of a man on a 40-foot sinking vessel at Stone’s Marina. He had been trying to repair a leak and got suck trying to escape through the front window. A second call saw multiple engines respond to Shoreline Drive just before 1:30 a.m. on Monday after a kitchen fire in a two-storey single family home. A woman and her two children were assessed on scene and taken to NRGH for smoke inhalation. MORE

The Nanaimo Family Life Association is taking over the operations of the Nanaimo Unitarian Emergency Shelter. First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo members unanimously supported the change at their meeting on Sunday. Family Life Executive Director Deborah Hollins will take over as manager, replacing Paul Manly when the change takes place July 1. Hollins said the Unitarians did an incredible job and changeover includes staying connected. MORE

An interesting observation on social media over the weekend. How is it that the city can ban tobacco smoking on civic properties but at the same time the province can’t regulated drug use near playgrounds and other public facilities? Good question.

Vancouver Island University has redesigned its Jazz diploma program to prepare graduates for careers in different music genres. “From the moment you walk in the door, we treat you as a musician. Brent Jarvis, Chair of VIU’s Music department says the diploma program provides students with a musical grounding that prepares them to thrive in their careers. It teaches students to compose, arrange and produce music in a variety of styles and to promote and market themselves using audio recording and other digital tools. The deadline is March 31. MORE

Quotable – The ones telling you to give up everything are usually the ones not giving up anything.


WEF should scare the

living crap out of us 

The World Economic Forum sounds so important and powerful. It’s a place where the ultra rich, better-than-thou elitists gather regularly to impact our lives and our future. And impactful they are even though none were ever elected to this august body. Their only qualification is their power through their personal wealth.

They gather to lecture the rest of the world about the dangers of climate change and how we all have to reduce our carbon dioxide production, to the extent of simply breathing. They boast about how they are creating a new world order, a Nirvana, heaven on earth. It’s not about getting rid of fossil fuels and controlling the amount of carbon dioxide, which will be impossible to achieve, it’s about control of every aspect of our lives, with them on the throne.

Our own prime minister and deputy prime minister are real fans of this world agenda.

The devotees go to this exclusive shindig in private and charter jets that spew more CO2 per second than any human might in a lifetime.

They lecture how we should all get rid of our fossil fueled transportation, yet when they arrive in Davos, Switzerland for their wine and dine they all take Bentleys, Rolls Royces and Lamborghinis, their limos while there. Not a Tesla in sight.

Most of us have known the WEF exists, but it’s a distant elitist group than doesn’t affect us directly, or so we are lulled into believing. They’ve convinced a huge portion of the world about climate change and how we must adapt and make changes, even in the light of their extravagances. Yes, we’re impacted.

Recently farmers have become a target, arguing that methane in cow flatulence is a threat to the climate, not to mention the pollution from fossil fuel tractors. All over Europe farms and agriculture are being targeted.

They are already playing that game in Canada with the carbon tax scam foisted on famers. It never improves the climate, it only threatens survival.

One new target got little mention after the most recent Forum, and that was the biggest single food crop in the world. Rice feeds more people than any other staple, and now some in the WEF are preaching its elimination. The way they explain it, rice is grown in flooded fields, using up a lot of water which we should conserve. That’s a no-no. But the rice harvesting process takes only the yield, the actual rice, leaving the plants and stems to decompose in the water. And guess what, that produces methane which escapes from the water into the atmosphere.

Controlling the world food supply naturally means there won’t be enough to go around. However, the brains in the WEF preach that planet earth cannot sustain our population, therefore we’ll have to reduce the number of inconvenient people in the world. Not them of course, just us peasants. To the political left it's a redistribution of wealth, but it's only distributed to the rich, not equally to all of us.

At the latest forum, Scammer in Chief Al Gore left everyone with their tongues hanging out. He intoned there’s money to be made from this New World Order, lots of it, and he invited them all to get on board.

From every breath we take, to livestock, frain fields and rice paddies, we’re doomed. Just how many tons of cow farts and rice farts are exuded by Gore in a single trip as jets around the world sipping champagne and dining on caviar while pretending to save the world?


Cold weather shelters did their job

Cold weather warming shelters met the need during the snow and cold weather. Social Planning Director Christy Wood said some challenges cropped up in providing services in substance and mental health issues. One of the biggest challenges is the short-term provincial money available only during severe weather, making it difficult to prepare for these events. Wood said permanent funding is really needed to plan for  the services. While the severe weather has ended, the three City-funded warming centres will remain open until March 31.


B.C. Green Party deputy leader Angela Davidson is a convicted criminal. Davidson, who also goes by the name of Rainbow Eyez, was convicted of seven counts of criminal contempt for her participation in the Fairy Creek logging blockades in 2021 and 2022. She was among more than 1,000 people arrested for blocking forestry activity in the Caycuse/Fairy Creek area. She was released on conditions not to return to the zone but she returned six more times, resulting in the seven counts of criminal contempt. No sentencing date has been set. MORE


There you go, it’s okay now for off-duty cops to puff wacky tabaccy. The RCMP has eased its policy, saying simply they must be fit for duty when reporting for work. The new policy replaces a 2018 one that required front-line officers and many other employees in safety-sensitive positions to refrain from recreational cannabis use for four weeks before duty. MORE


Vancouver Island Regional Library is looking for 15-per-cent more for its 2024 budget. The budget was presented to the regional district seeking a $38-million allocation calling for a 22-per-cent wage and benefits hike to $19.4 million.


There’s no surprise here. ICBC got nearly 1,500 claims a day since the first snowfall of the year. More than a third of claims recorded from Jan. 11 through 18 came after the first burst of winter, but high claim volumes continued through the storm. On average, crashes caused by drivers going too fast for road conditions spike in January. Police data from 2018 to 2022 shows a 60-per-cent rise in claims in the Lower Mainland and a 91-per-cent jump province-wide.


The British Columbia Hockey League just got a whole lot bigger with five teams from the Alberta Hockey League joining for the 2024-25 season. The league broke away from BC Hockey and Hockey Canada last year. The Blackfalds Bulldogs, Brooks Bandits, Okotoks Oilers, Sherwood Park Crusaders and Spruce Grove Saints are at the top of the standings in the AHL. The BCHL has 17 teams in Interior and Coastal divisions, including the Nanaimo Clippers. The league began operating outside Hockey Canada's system on June 1, 2023. MORE


A friend just returned from a two-week winter holiday in Mexico and insists he never turned on his cell phone even once to check his email. Wow, that’s willpower.


Quotable – Some of us were born to be truth tellers in a world addicted to comfortable lies.


Weather slowly getting back to normal 

We're still mopping up from the snow and cold, but we’re likely over the hump. Armel Castellan Environment Canada says chances of a repeat are relatively low. We are going back to regular warmer conditions for the foreseeable future, at least two weeks. It looks like February, generally, has a very clear warm signal as well, he says. The slow return to normal weather is actually a good thing as it prevents overwhelming thousands of catch basins. Temperatures are going up to five or six degrees, so the warmup is well on its way, Castellan said. MORE

A downtown parking lot is making way for a new residential development after city council approved the sale of two lot on Franklyn Street to Camargue Properties Inc. for $1.6 million, closel to the assessed value. Camargue proposes to build a four or five-storey building with 56 units, 20 one bedrooms, 28 two-bedrooms, and eight micro units. MORE

Two men stuck on a snowy rural logging road after their vehicle overturned can thank modern technology for their quick rescue. A crash detection feature on their Apple cell phone precisely showed where they were after their mishap in rural Nanoose.Arrowsmith Search and Rescue president Nick Rivers said it’s the first time they have responded to a cell phone-sent SOS message via satellite from an area with no cell service.He said Apple co-ordinates were within three meters of the scene. Oceanside RCMP dispatched a heat-detecting drone which traced the location provided by Apple. Rivers called the Crash Detection feature in iPhone 14 or later models as amazing.MORE

QuotableThe tooth is the only part of the human body that cannot heal itself.


Avalanche warning

for Island regions

A high avalanche danger rating has been issued for Vancouver Island for Friday. The forecast Thursday afternoon calls for an avalanche danger rating of high, which is considered very dangerous. The rating is for the alpine and the tree line. Avalanche Canada says heavy loading from new snow, wind, and rain will create very dangerous avalanche conditions. MORE

Public Works crews are out today helping to clear catch basins and keeping that melt water flowing away. Where its safe, if you know where a catch basin or storm drain sits near your home or business, clearing the snow off can help reduce the chance of flooding. To report flooding, please call Public Works 24-hour hotline at 250-758-5222. The city’s Flood Control page is very detailed. Check it out for all parks and rec and other services.

The Alternative Approval Process is under way for the city to borrow up to $48.5 million for Phase 1 of the Nanaimo Operation Centre. Voters have a 34-day period to vote against the borrowing bylaw and can do so by filling out a response form which is available at City Hall and can be printed from the City website. This site has ALL DETAILS of the project. www.nanaimo.ca/goto/NOC. This is the second AAP after it was determined the initial process had not provided sufficient information. The Daily Buzz has all the information that is supplied by the city HERE.

You wanted to be asked. Former Premier John Horgan ran into a big backlash when the provincial government and the Royal BC Museum announced plans to close the museum's third floor to "decolonize the facility". The outrage grew when the cost grew to be "nearly 800 million dollars." Horgan paused the plan and promised an opportunity for feedback. The opportunity to have your say on the museum's reimagining has arrived. The Museum has created a survey and invites public input until Nov. 30.Click herefor the survey.


A spectacular car crash Rutherford and Hammond Bay Roads looked worse than it really was. The driver suffered minor injuries after smashing into a traffic light. Nanaimo Fire Rescue Capt. Orphee Bernard said the 27-year-old driver may have hit an icy patch coming down Rutherford and skidded through the intersection, over the bank and into wires for a hydro pole and took out a traffic light, leaving the car suspended on hydro lines. MORE


Canada could welcome a big influx of Ukrainians on emergency visas before the end-of-March deadline for those fleeing the Russian invasion. The federal government has issued 936,293 temporary emergency visas since March 2022 for Ukrainians who want to work or study in Canada while they wait out the war. More than 200,000 are already in Canada with 90,000 more emergency visa holders are thinking of coming before the deadline. When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022,  Canada took the extraordinary approach of opening its doors to an unlimited number of Ukrainians and their families with the emergency visa program. MORE

Quotable – Gold is the only metal that doesn't rust, even if it's buried in the ground for thousands of years.

Snowfall and freezing rain warning

for Malahat and Eastern Island

24-01-18 – Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for the Malahat Highway from this afternoon through Friday morning. There is a risk of freezing rain over the Malahat and eastern Vancouver Island this evening as snow changes to rain.

The Province's maintenance contractors will be out in full force applying brine and abrasives and clearing snow as it accumulates. However, freezing rain is one of the most difficult weather conditions to effectively manage, and bridges and roads may be closed to traffic in the interest of public safety.

Check road conditions on DriveBC before setting out, carry an emergency kit that includes a blanket and warm clothes, and allow extra time to get to your destination.

Drivers can help maintenance crews by providing space for them on highways and moving over safely when they see a vehicle with an amber light approaching. This will allow crews to improve road conditions and reduce hazards for drivers.

For up-to-date information about road conditions, travelers should continue to monitor the forecast and visit: https://www.drivebc.ca/

Next batch of snow has begun falling in northend Nanaimo


Here’s the latest update from the city. Anywhere from 10-20 cm of snow is expected today and it may turn into freezing rain before turning into rain by mid-day Friday. City crews continue to work around the clock to clear and salt roads based on priority. Expect winter driving conditions to continue. Parks crews continue to clear bus stops, multi-use trails, bridges and sidewalks around City buildings.

Tonight's open house on the Nanaimo Operations Centre has been postponed to Monday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m.

Crews are attempting garbage/recycling collection where it is safe and accessible. If your collection was missed, you will be able to put out extra on your next scheduled day. Check the City website for more information: https://ow.ly/jEwG50QshBA

If you need to be on the roads, please ensure your vehicle is winter-ready and drive according to the conditions:

  • Give plows and other vehicles lots of room
  • Please have patience for other drivers
  • Clear the outside of your vehicle of snow and ice, and
  • Pay extra attention for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Please do your best to clear the sidewalk in front of your home/business so everyone can safely get where they're going.
  • If you know someone who may need assistance, please check on them.

POSTPONED – Tonight's Special meeting featuring a Council workshop and information session on the Nanaimo Operations Centre project has been postponed. The meeting will now take place on Monday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre's Shaw Auditorium. https://ow.ly/sOwm50QsgJN

OPEN - Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools are open today (Jan 18,) and buses will run. If winter bus routes are required, the Transportation Department will alert the families of affected schools. Roads are good with a few icy patches. Take care walking on roads and sidewalks as there may be some icy sections.

OPEN - All VIU campuses and locations are open today, January 18. Use caution when navigating campuses and wear appropriate footwear for slippery conditions. https://bit.ly/4b2w0Mx Parking lots are a bit slippery right now!

OPEN - Recreation facilities at Oliver Woods Community Centre, Nanaimo Aquatic Centre, Beban Pool, Beban Social Centre, Nanaimo Ice Centre, Frank Crane Arena, Cliff McNabb Arena, Bowen Complex are open as usual

  • All drop-in sessions available
  • All morning registered programs are happening (with the exception of those canceled in advance yesterday)

Updates for Thursday's afternoon and evening programs and facilities will be posted later today here and on the City of Nanaimo Facebook page.

City crews have cleared Priority 1 routes and are working on Priority 2 routes. In addition, they are prepping the roads overnight for tonight. It is expected to freeze tonight, which will mean icy conditions for the Friday morning commute, especially on hills. Winter driving conditions are going to continue until at least the weekend.

We have not received updates from local businesses and government offices regarding their status today.

Keep checking here throughout the day as we update openings and closings due to the storm. You can contribute information at editor@nanaimonet.com

Wednesday’s snow storm also caused two Ferries sailings between Nanaimo and Vancouver because staff couldn’t get to the terminal amid the snowfall. That resulted in two Queen of Alberni cancellations, including the 8:15 p.m. from Tsawwassen and the 10:45 p.m. fromDuke Point.

Quotable – There’s a fine line between a numerator and a denominator. Only a fraction of people will find this funny.

The Chamber Commerce is launching it’s eighth annual Nanaimo Business Resource Handbook and Relocation Guide. Also known as the Membership Directory, advertising in the publication is restricted to members. Cathy Dyck is producing the handbook. You can contact Cathy at memberservices@nanaimochamber.bc.ca,for more details or to reserve advertising space.

Dump of snow creates virtual

shutdown in Nanaimo and area


The best advice for today, if in doubt consider it closed. The snow has shut down schools, universities and transportation facilities across southern British Columbia today. And stay off the roads if possible, and if you don't have winter tires, stay home.

Between 10 cm and 20 cm – 4 to 8 inches – of snow is expected Wednesday on most of Vancouver Island, Malahat Highway-Goldstream and Mill Bay, Vancouver, Howe Sound, Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Southern Gulf Islands, Sea-to-Sky Squamish to Whistler,.

Nanaimo Transit is not operating today, all schools in the district are closed and Vancouver Island University has shut down its Nanaimo campus.

Thousands of homes and businesses in British Columbia were without electricity Wednesday.

Warmer temperatures and extensive rain are forecast later in the week and over the weekend.


• Oliver Woods Community Centre, Nanaimo Aquatic Centre, Beban Pool, Beban Social Centre, Nanaimo Ice Centre, Frank Crane Arena, Cliff McNabb Arena, Bowen Complex are open

• Drop-in for swimming and the weight room at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre is available

• Drop-in for skating, pottery and Oliver Woods sports are canceled for the remainder of the day

• Facilities are open for rentals

• All afternoon registered programs are canceled

For program options availabe this season, please see our Winter 2024 Activity Guide. https://ow.ly/ggpi50QrVGk

• The Risebridge cold weather warming centre is open today.

• Nanaimo Airport had a number of cancelled flights, including both select arrivals and departures to and from Calgary and Vancouver through Air Canada and WestJet.

Vancouver Internationa Airport remained at 80 per cent capacity with many cancellations.

• Pacific Coastal flights were still scheduled to operate.


• Nanaimo Regional Transit. The RDN intends to run buses along Hwy. 19A, with a second route from downtown to Southgate and from VIU to downtown when conditions improve.

• Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools

• Qualicum schools

• Nanaimo Christian School

• Vancouver Island University Nanaimo campus

• The University’s Parksville, Milner Gardens are all closed for the day.

• Curbside garbage collection is cancelled for for today.

• Canada Post has issued a red alert for Vancouver Island and Vancouver due to snow and freezing rain in the forecast for the rest of Wednesday.

Any business on public facility impacted by the snow, please let us know and we'll let Nanaimo know. If you have photos of the snow conditions, you can submit them and we'll post them here. Mail to editor@nanaimonet.com

* * * * * *

When ya gotta go, and you can’t go up the stairs, B.C. Ferries has brought portable toilets on the vehicle deck of the Queen of Cowichan. The elevators on the ship are out of service limiting access between vehicle and passenger decks to stairs only. Washrooms, the Coastal Café and passenger seating are on passenger decks.

The heavy snow has left 10,000 customers on southern Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands without power. BC Hydro says the snow caused a power outage affecting 787 customers in East Sooke this morning. Power was also knocked out to more than 1,750 customers in the Sooke area due to a tree falling down across wires. And 538 were without power between Sooke and Jordan River. MORE

A section of Victoria Road is blocked off after a resident reported sinkhole forming. City General Manager of Public Works Bill Sims said access between Rainer and Needham Streets is restricted to local residents. A geotechnical expert recommended limiting traffic flow in response to small depressions on the paved shoulder of the road and City boulevard right of way. MORE

Quotable – Everyone who got the first smallpox vaccine in 1798 has died. Coincidence?



Black Press files for

creditor protection

It’s a sad day when any media organization falters – newspaper and radio are no longer the standard bearer. Black Press has filed for creditor protection while principal owner David Black tries to sell the media chain. Locally, it owns the News Bulletin, one of 150 daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and websites. It owns 67 community newspapers in B.C., including 23 on Vancouver Island. Black Press expects to lose more than a million dollars a week in some of the weeks ahead, stated the filing. The company intends to continue to operate its 80-plus local news publications – online and in print. It has about 1,200 employees between its Canadian and U.S. divisions. It also has publications in Washington State, Hawaii and Alaska. MORE 


The Ministry of Transportation and its contractors are preparing for snow and possible freezing rain across Vancouver Island, Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, beginning Tuesday evening into Wednesday. Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement warning heavy snow and freezing rain could pose a hazard to travel and outdoor activities. Maintenance contractors will be out in full force, applying brine and abrasives, and clearing snow as it accumulates. The Highway 1 Malahat Chain Up Protocol will be implemented at 2 p.m. on Tuesday and will remain overnight as needed. For up-to-date information about road conditions visit DRIVE BC


Record-breaking low temperatures on the weekend saw record demand on energy providers. Nanaimo Airport reported record low temperatures on Friday and Saturday. Ted Olynyk of BC Hydro told NanaimoNewsNOW the utility set a new record of 11,300 megawatts on Friday night, comfortably eclipsing a December 2022 mark of 10,977 megawatts. He said it speaks well for the system which was able to meet the demand. MORE


The province is beefing up its Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth wants to hire more cops to investigate homicides and missing persons cases on Vancouver Island. He said local governments have identified that often when there’s a major crime, it can pose considerable impacts on them, not only in terms of the human resources required, but also in the costs. Homicide and missing persons investigations can be complex and lengthy, racking up costs for small, local police detachments. Preliminary consultations with affected communities and police departments have begun, Farnworth said. MORE

Dutch company Damen Shipyards Group has been awarded a contract to build four new hybrid electric Island Class vessels for BC Ferries, two of them for the Gabriola Island run. Damen, which built BC Ferries’ previous six Island Class ferries, is based in the Netherlands and will build the vessels in Romania. It’s a fixed-price contract that provides substantial guarantees related to delivery dates, performance criteria, cost certainty and quality construction. The new vessels will enter service by 2027.  MORE


There’s no limit to which scammers will sink. The Better Business Bureau is warning about a new gift card scam that’s very well-crafted. It begins with an email that appears to be from a friend or family member with a casual and friendly message. “Hi, how are things going with you? Are you busy? I need a quick favor.” When the victim replies asking for details, the scammer writes back stating that they’re trying to buy a gift card, but having trouble with the online purchase while travelling. It asks to buy one from any local store “I’ll pay you back as soon as I am back.” Then the buyer is asked to share the pin number on the card, and voila, your money is gone. MORE

Quotable – Sitting still goes against everything I stand for.


It’s going to get messy with snow and rain mix

Snow and freezing rain are replacing frigid temperatures on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. Environment Canada says a low pressure system is headed toward the South Coast, including East Vancouver Island bringing a messy mix of rain, freezing rain and snow. Snow is expected to beging on Tuesday evening, and then switch to freezing rain or ice pellets overnight and into Wednesday morning. The heavy snow and freezing rain during this time could pose a hazard to travel and outdoor activities, states the alert reads. DETAILS


The height of the cold snap brought frozen pipes, burst sprinkler systems and no hot water resulting in the Nanaimo warming centre shutting down with 25 people evacuated. Some Cresent View Drive apartments were evacuated Sunday after the emergency alarms went off because of a burst pipe. At the former Nanaimo bakery building on Bowen Road, they’re trying to dry out the City-funded warming centre following a burst sprinkler pipe. Senior Community Safety Officer Barry Hornby said it couldn’t happen on a worse night for people living rough in the community. About 25 people were moved to Samaritan Place, also run by the Island Crisis Care Society. And there was water damage at the Annex Law Courts building. DETAILS

UPDATE  smooth sailing –  Sailings of the Coastal Celebration have resumed after mechanical problems this morning. The Coastal Celebration came back into service in late July after undergoing repairs. DETAILS


You can afford it. The Bank of Canada says Canadian mortgage holders remain confident they can keep up with higher payments when their loans renew. Roughly two-thirds of consumers said they were reducing spending or planning to do so because of their expectations for interest rates and inflation. The central bank said financially vulnerable households typically hold less than two weeks’ worth of expenses in liquid assets, frequently run out of money before the end of the month and are not able to immediately pay for an unexpected expense of $500. DETAILS


It’s hardly something you’d think of in this weather, but B.C. Parks has opened its 2024 campsite reservation system. You can now book a campsite four months ahead of desired arrival. Spots throughout the province, including on Vancouver Island, are on BC Parks’ website. May long weekend reservations open on Wednesday, Jan. 17. In 2023, more than 366,000 camping reservations were made – a nearly 15-per-cent increase from the year before. DETAILS


The nomination deadline for the 2024 Culture Awards is coming up. The awards recognize outstanding organizations, groups and individuals in arts and culture. This is the community's opportunity to recognize people and groups they believe have contributed significantly to making Nanaimo a culturally-vibrant city. There are three categories: Excellence in Culture, Honour in Culture, and Emerging Cultural Leader. Get your nominations in before the January 28 deadline. More info HERE

Quotable – Always remember, rumors are spread by fools and accepted by idiots


Winter continues

to hold a tight grip

It’s forecast to warm a little bit with rain expected as early as Thursday, but the possibility of snow in Victoria and Vancouver remains in the forecast for Tuesday. It’s the same story on the Prairies as arctic air generates wind chill temperatures of between – 40 and – 50 C in some parts of B.C. Alberta has issued an electric grid alert, urging Albertans to conserve energy during the peak demand period of 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and not plug in car block heaters and electric cars. DETAILS


Exposure is one of the greatest dangers when temperatures drop, but that didn’t deter one ferry rider. RCMP arrested a man for doing just that on a Tsawwassen-to-Swartz Bay sailing on Thursday. The suspect was arrested for an indecent act and was later released with a future court date. He was taken to a shelter by RCMP due to the extreme cold weather.


Almost as many Canadians have been lost to drug overdoses in the last seven years as were killed throughout the Second World War. Yet governments, health care professionals and addiction experts continue to quarrel over virtually every aspect of the opioid crisis – its causes, possible remedies and even whether addicts should be regarded as passive victims or accountable moral agents. And amidst this dithering and experimentation, the horrific death toll mounts. Veteran researcher Susan Martinuk takes a close look at life in Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside and compares it to the decidedly different approach taken by Alberta. MORE

Quotable – All this climate change hot air is certainly not heating my home.


It's never been

this cold before

Global warming or not, cold weather records were set across B.C. on Friday. Environment Canada reports 16 communities with record-low temperature, including Nanaimo with a new record at -10.4, eclipsing the old low of -10.3 C, set in 1998. The coldest spot in the province was Puntzi Mountain at -48.4 C, smashing the previous mark of -40.6 C, set in 1969. The Malahat dropped under its 2007 mark of -8.4 by a full five degrees at -13.4. Victoria shivered at -10.7, beating the 1963 mark of -9.4. Qualicum Beach tied its all-time low at -9.4, set in 2017.

No injuries were reported in a house fire on Sarum Rise Way about noon on Friday. Nanaimo Fire Rescue assistant chief of operations David Dales said crews responded to the fire around 12:30 p.m. and saw extensive smoke from half a block away and flames were visible at the rear of the house, into the walls and the attic. The fire started outside and is estimated to have been burning for about an hour and a half before it extended into the house, and set off the fire alarms, alerting the occupants. The occupants were able to get out with no injuries. DETAILS

A former bookkeeper got a one-year conditional sentence followed by two years probation for embezzling almost $50,000 from her employer. Riki Aspin, 44, pleaded guilty to fraud over $5,000 during her employment at Coastal Installations Limited. Aspin admitted to paying herself additional wages without authorization between October and December 2019. She has been ordered to make restitution.

The Ministry of Forests will aerial spray this spring to eradicate spongy moths and the risk they pose to forests, farms, orchards and trees on Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island. Invasive spongy moths, formerly known as gypsy moths, pose a risk to B.C.'s ecosystems and economy. In recent years, they have defoliated sections of forests and residential areas in Ontario. Untreated spongy moths risk spreading to other areas of B.C. and are a threat to urban forests and farms. DETAILS

Quotable – Arguing with me is pointless. I realized I was wrong 10 minutes ago. Now I’m just trying to piss you off.


Fastcat Ferries are

on the selling block

The infamous Fastcat Ferries are for sale again. A Facebook Marketplace listing identifies Robert Arthurs International, of North Vancouver, as the agent for the three boats with a price tag of $15 million each – about $20 million Cdn. That's less than 10 per cent of their original cost. They were built by the B.C. NDP government for $463 million USD in 1994 to cut sailing times on the Vancouver-Nanaimo ferry route by 30 minutes, while kick starting the province's shipbuilding industry. They cost double what they were budgeted for and ended up not cutting crossing times, had mechanical issues, and created dangerous waves and additional pollution.  When the B.C. Liberals formed government they sold them in 2003 to Washington Marine Group for $20 million. They were eventually bought by a United Arab Emirates company, before they were given to the Egyptian government, where they have seemingly sat vacant for years. The sales pitch touts the ships as potential conversions into luxurious private yachts. DETAILS

The weather has been setting records in the past few days. The Ministry of Emergency Management said that all of the province's extreme-weather shelters are open, including some with extended hours. More than 5,500 shelter spaces, including permanent, temporary and extreme-weather shelters, are open. Forecasters are warning the arctic air, combined with strong outflow winds gusting up to 60 km/h, has generated wind chill values of -20. Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay is under a special weather statement for snowfall. Check the updates on road conditions, transportation, public schools, post-secondary schools and power outages.

Snuneymuxw First Nation has regained ownership of 212 hectares of land on Mount Benson East. It is a first step in implementing the Snuneymuxw and British Columbia Land Transfer Agreement established in 2020. The parcel is part of 3,094 hectares slated to be transferred back to the nation, respecting the Saarlequun Snuneymuxw Treaty of 1854. SFN has 1,700 members and the smallest land reserve per capita in the province. Chief Mike Wyse said they will continue to work with the minister to enable the remaining transfer. DETAILS


Nanaimo is will get one of five new Indigenous justice centres offering culturally safe, Indigenous-led legal support. The others are in Vancouver, Victoria, Surrey and Kelowna. The province is investing $44 million over three years in the five new centres with five more on the way next year. Premier David Eby said British Columbia must do things differently to break the cycle where Indigenous people comprise five per cent of the population but about 30 per cent of those incarcerated. DETAILS


The trial of a woman for the murder of her former boyfriend has been moved to Vancouver to begin later this month. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robin Baird ordered the jury trial of Paris Jayanne Laroche to be moved due to lack of a female-specific detention facility on Vancouver Island for her to occupy during off-hours of the trial. MORE

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake shook southern Alaska and northern B.C. Thursday night. Initial reports put the shake about 50 miles from Sitka and 270 miles from Prince Rupert. There were no reports of damage or tsunami threat.

Quotable – For those of you who don’t want Alexa or Siri listening in on your conversation, they are making a male version – it doesn’t listen to anything.


Ferries labour talks

hit turbulent sailing

It’s not smooth sailing for B.C. Ferries labour relations. A video conference between union leaders and the corporation turned nasty with four-letter expletives. For months they tried to negotiate a wage hike they both agreed was needed to end an exodus of staff. The union representing nearly 5,000 full- and part-time workers, recently filed legal action against the company, including a $2.1-million claim to the Labour Relations Board accusing the company of negotiating with workers behind the union’s back and of defaming the union through communications with employees. DETAILS

Biting cold temperatures are in the forecast and the city is responding with extended hours at two warming centres. The temperature could drop down to -10 by tonight with snow. Starting today, Risebridge at 520 Prideaux St. will be open from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m., in addition to their regular 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., and can assist up to 30 women at a time. The Island Crisis Care Society at 2025 Bowen Rd. will open from 7 p.m. until midnight, in addition to the regular daily hours of 12 noon until 7 p.m. and can assist up to 60 people at a time. MORE

That's not cool. Environment Canada warns that parts of Vancouver Island are in for wind chill temperatures reaching a low of -30°C in some areas. Fanny Bay to the Malahat is under special weather statements. Snow will start this afternoon and likely end later tonight. Frostbite and hypothermia can occur within minutes if adequate precautions are not taken when outdoors. Winds gusting to 60 km/h will generate wind chill values of minus 20 beginning on tonight.DETAILS

Two crashes on the Island is still being dealt with this morning, after traffic closed the Malahat for two hours. Large areas of Ucluelet still do not have power. On the Malahat, the driver of a vehicle was trapped inside and the highway was shut down to allow the crews to work. It was re-opened early this morning but is still expected to be congested due to traffic build up. In Ucluelet, more than 2,338 customers are without power after a driver crashed into a hydro pole around 10 p.m. Power is not expected to be restored until 2 p.m. DETAILS

The man who stabbed a woman to death in Harewood in 2022 has been deemed not criminally responsible. Simon James Baker, 23, pleaded guilty in December to second-degree murder of Denise Allick, 40, of Victoria June 20, 2022, on Eighth Street. Baker, diagnosed with schizophrenia, was suffering from delusions. DETAILS

An Alternative Approval Process (AAP) to borrow up to $48.5 million for construction of Phase 1 of the Nanaimo Operation Centre begins on Thursday, Jan. 18. Eligible voters in Nanaimo will have a 34-day period to oppose the borrowing bylaw and may do so by filling out a response form which will be available to pick up at City Hall or can be printed off from the City website beginning on Jan. 18, 2024. This is the second AAP since the first one was ruled improper. Many citizens have complained about a lack of information. We have it all HERE.

The respiratory illness season is near hitting its peak leading to renewed calls for vaccinations. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told a Wednesday briefing only half of British Columbians 80 and over have had the latest version of the COVID-19 vaccine, while just a quarter of adults have had their booster. There were 219 people in hospital with COVID, including 26 in critical care. Dr. Henry said data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control shows that most British Columbians have either had COVID-19 or the vaccine, or both. DETAILS

Quotable – Sorry it took me so long to respond. I am understaffed at the moment.


rapid tests



If you've got any of these around the house, toss them out. Interior Health has issued a directive banning the use of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests because they are not reliable for diagnosis, informing staff they can no longer be used. The memo also says healthcare workers no longer require RAT testing to direct the return to work process.


It's Wednesday,

welcome to winter

Winter weather warnings are in place for nearly every province and territory as storm systems bring deep, heavy snow and bone-chilling temperatures coast to coast. In our neck of the woods, snow is no longer a threat as only two inches is expected over the next few days. It will be cloudy with light rain this morning with winds WNW at 15 to 30 km/h. There is an 80-per-cent chance of rain. What is of note is bitter cold temperatures heading into the weekend, dipping to minus 10 overnight Friday with the day’s high around minus six. Conditions will be similar into Saturday and Sunday. MORE

The bitter cold winter temperatures make this the perfect time to look at what some people endure, and be glad it's not you. The streets are no place to sleep when it’s below zero with biting winds. The Nanaimo Unitarian Shelter has provided beds and hot meals for 15 years for people in Nanaimo who have no home to go to. The shelter is one that deserves a look and a donation. They are in their fund raising campaign and you can help them reach their goal with a donation through their webpage HERE. You'll get that warm feeling when you do.

Island railway enthusiasts are a persistent bunch. Dave Hayden and Alex Stuart represent the new Island Rail Corporation which is trying to drum up support from the Nanaimo Regional District to bring back the choo choo with a price tag up to a $1.5 billion. They have a petition under way to the House of Commons so they seek RDN support to back up their bid. While they’re at it they seek the return all Island corridor lands to Indigenous communities. They view the Island Corridor Foundation’s bid of $430 million from the province to repair the rail line as a waste of money, they want a total rebuild. MORE


Air Canada has grounded non-stop seasonal service between Nanaimo and Toronto this summer, blaming fleet availability. It’s not a permanent situation, it hopes to resume the service in the future. Air Canada began the service in 2018 for three months during the height of the summer. One weekly round trip last summer carried nearly 3,200 passengers in and out of Nanaimo, said Nanaimo Airport president and CEO Dave Devana. As many as five weekly round-trips were made at one time between the two cities. MORE


Doing it yourself cancer screening is on the way as the province replaces pap tests with self-screening mail-in kits. Premier David Eby said a localized pilot project that started in 2021 has shown that at-home screening for the human papillomavirus, or HPV, is more effective at finding pre-cancerous lesions and provides patients with fewer barriers. Cervical cancer, preventable through immunization and screening programs, is the fourth most common cancer in women globally and is among the fastest increasing cancers for females in Canada. MORE

Quotable – We live in a world where truth has to be explained again and again while a lie is blindly accepted.



Local weather not-so-hot

topic on today's agenda 

Strong wind and high tide warnings by Environment Canada remain in effect for Vancouver Island. More than 16,000 hydro customers were without power on the Island and the southern Gulf Islands this morning. Winds forced the cancellation of multiple BC Ferries sailings between the island and the Lower Mainland Tuesday morning. Environment Canada is also warning of potential flooding along the Strait of Juan de Fuca as strong winds pair with higher-than-average tides along coastal regions. The trend toward colder temperatures is forecast to continue until at least Friday. MORE


The empty A&B Sound property could be ready for new tenants before the end of this year. Jake Steiner, director of Steiner Properties, outlined plans for the property in a discussion with NanaimoNewsNow. He expects the primary contractor will be finished this summer and that tenants will begin occupying the project by late this year. A Nanaimo version of a Granville Island-style market with an internal breezeway corridor will house several retail outlets which will range of 800 to 900 square feet each, he said. FULL STORY.


Interior Health has issued a memo banning the use of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests (RAT) because they are not reliable for diagnosis, informing staff they can no longer be used. The memo also says healthcare workers no longer require RAT testing to direct the return to work process. Hospital staff are instructed to discard RAT test kits and instead collect nasopharyngeal swabs for respiratory viral testing in the laboratory. See the memo HERE.

A 4.7 magnitude earthquake shook of Port Hardy Monday evening. The epicentre was 186 kilometres west of Port Hardy at 5:41 p.m. and no tsunami was expected from the tremble. This region of Vancouver Island is prone to earthquakes, with hundreds taking place since 2000. MORE

Quotable – Electric vehicles should be allowed to recharge only with wind and solar power. Otherwise it’s just pretend.


Get out the long johns, it's going to be cold

Dig out the long underwear. Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement predicting winter weather conditions along the coast from today through Tuesday. Eastern Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver could see small amounts of wet snow followed by heavy rain. The snow is expected to begin falling this morning with two to four centimetres along the eastern coast of the Island, and five to six centimetres inland. There’s a possibility of strong winds in the western and southern parts of the island overnight Monday and into Tuesday. MORE


Travelling by Hullo Ferries just got more convenient with RDN Transit offering service to the downtown ferry terminal. Route 25 from Woodgrove Centre to downtown Nanaimo will go to the Nanaimo Port Authority dock at 100 Port Drive. The changes will match up with the Hullo Ferry three times a day, seven days a week. Route 25 no longer serves Vancouver Island University and buses go along Northfield Road, offering a new service. In addition, five extra daily trips will connect to B.C. Ferries’ Departure Bay terminal. Overall, the number of daily trips on the route will remain the same.


Nanoose Bay residents are facing a massive 17.5 per cent property tax increases and the want an explanation. A home appraised at $1,302,858, will go up to $1,162 from $990 in 2023.The RDN provides close to 110 services to residents in the region that include water, waste water, solid waste, transit parks and recreation and more. RDN chair Vanessa Craig said that the increases are based on the service levels being provided by the regional district to the area. MORE


ElderCollege is not going away after Vancouver Island University dropped the program over costs. It has rebranded as a non-profit and will offer courses for mature students on the central Island. Society Chairman Ross Peterson said a number of things are in the works, including a possible launch in April or May. They have found classrooms in both Nanaimo and Parksville, as well as an administrative office in Parksville. The spring class lineup may include emergency preparedness, history and arts courses. Tuition has not been determined, but Peterson expects it will be affordable. MORE


Professional wrestling is an outlet for fans just as it is for wrestlers. Cheering or yelling at the performers on TV does not come close to matching being ringside, alive and in person. Wrestling was revived on Vancouver Island a decade ago as Vancouver Island Pro Wrestling and has kept growing.  That leads to Wrestlefest in June, adding more big-time touches, like the bigger venue at Frank Crane Arena. They have hired a production crew with video screens and professional lighting to give it a real large event feel. Many details will be revealed in the coming months, including a former WWE superstar on the card. You can learn more, including ticketing information here for shows going on before Wrestlefest. The next Nanaimo show is Jan. 20 at the Centennial Building. FULL STORY.

Quotable – They told me I couldn’t do it, so I did it.


Enjoy the sunshine today, it won't last. We're expecting a high of five degrees but lots of sunshine today. By tomorrow skiers might find some relief with lots of moisture and four degrees. That could bring snow in the higher levels.

Becoming cloudy this evening. 60 percent chance of rain or wet snow overnight. Low plus 1.

The Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards are set for Feb. 23 at the Coast Bastion. Nominations close today, so you’ll have to hustle to beat the deadline. They’re looking for nominations in a range of categories, so go to their website and check it out. Or call Marilyn Sullivan at 250.716.6110.


Procrastinators have a last-second opportunity to get their Christmas trees shedded. Holiday trees may also be welcome. Check out the various non-profits that are chipping in, and take your pick. Here’s the LIST.

Quotable – Don’t worry about those who talk behind your back, they are behind you for a reason.


Arbitration decision

a major blow to

vaccine mandates

A recent arbitration decision provides a major challenge to the province’s vaccine mandate regime, says former Attorney General Suzanne Anton. Arbitrator Nicholas Glass, in the Purolator Canada case, puts the ongoing mandates on shaky legal ground, says Anton in an analysis in Business in Vancouver Magazine. The decision awarded compensation to employees who were kept too long from their positions due to vaccination status. Up to 1,000 B.C. health-care workers are still off the job. As of March 2022, vaccines protected from neither infection nor transmission. If Glass' finding is recognized by others, the entire foundation of B.C.’s ongoing vaccine mandates has crumbled, writes Anton. MORE

Thirty six Nanaimo people are on the Repeat Violent Offending Intervention Initiative – ReVOII – list which co-ordinates prosecutors and public safety officers to identify and provide the appropriate response to repeat violent offenders. Nanaimo is one of 12 communities in the program. It has been operating in Nanaimo since May last May with Nanaimo RCMP designating five officers, four constables and a corporal, all focused on these offenders. It puts individuals under additional monitoring at a community level while dedicated prosecutors provide services and advice, which could mean additional charges and/or connecting the individual with appropriate community services. MORE


There’s nothing like close to home. Domestic beer is the drink of choice for British Columbians. A B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch market review for the second quarter of 2023-24, showed domestic beer topped every type of alcohol product. More than $220 million of domestic beer was sold, including commercial, microbrew and regional beers. B.C. wines came in second, at to $154 million, outpacing all other categories combined. MORE

Quotable – It’s never too late to start exercising, that’s why I’m waiting until later.


Below normal snowpack

Cause for major concern

The snowpack is below what we need at this time of year in the Goldstream River, which may persist through 2024. Environment Canada meteorologist Brian Proctor says cold weather is in the forecast next week along with possible snowfall in some areas, but experts predict generally milder and drier conditions than usual will persist this winter, a concern after last summer's devastating wildfires. “The best advice I'm receiving from our team is that if we don't receive significant snow this winter that we're gong to be into a really awful fire season again, as well as additional drought next year,” Premier David Eby said in a in a year end interview with CTV News. MORE

The B.C government will begin spraying for Invasive moths in some Nanaimo neighborhoods to eradicate the species. Aerial spraying will take place in spring across B.C. The spraying of the insecticide, called Foray 48b, includes Hammond Bay Road near Neck Point. Other communities include Qualicum Beach, Salt Spring Island, Cowichan Bay, North Saanich, Esquimalt, Gorge-Tillicum, Belmont, Tsawwassen, Langley, Kamloops, West Kelowna and Cranbrook. MORE

Ryett Spencer Oud, made his appearance in the world at 3:44 p.m. Jan. 1 as the first baby of the year in Nanaimo. Sabre Lupton and her husband Morgan Oud new arrival weighed 11 pounds after only 36 minutes of labour. Sabre lauded the care she and her family got at NRGH. MORE

CVOD-19 is still with us nearly four years after B.C. confirmed its first case. The province begins 2024 with 219 people in hospital with the virus. That’s a jump from the Dec. 21 report when there were 153 positive tests across the province. The Centre For Disease Control says this 43-per-cent increase in the hospitalized population is being monitored. This year's total is the lowest start to the year. In 2022, there were 324 patients in hospital and in 2021, the total was 372. MORE

QuotableWe all need reminders. If you don't believe in miracles perhaps you've forgotten that you are one.


COVID-19 outbreak at

Nanaimo General Hospital

Island Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. The outbreak was declared on Jan. 2. It is not known how many cases have been linked to the outbreak. NRGH also had an outbreak Dec. 12. Two other outbreaks have been declared at Island Health facilities, though neither are related to COVID-19. MORE


The Chamber of Commerce January luncheon is slated for Jun. 11, sponsored by Leadership Vancouver Island, a community-focused leadership development program that provides professional training, coaching support, and hands-on learning. Graduates of the program lead themselves and others, develop meaningful connections, and understand the processes involved in collaborating with others to effect long-term, positive change. Thursday, Jan. 11 at the Nanaimo Golf Club, 11 a.m.


The late Craig Evans has been awarded the Medal of Good Citizenship for his community work with recycling, food gardens and inclusion. His advocacy for the environment and organic food sustainability has impacted Nanaimo for more than 30 years. He launched the Nanaimo Foodshare Society in 1987. MORE


IslandLinkBus is launching service between Victoria and the northern tip of the Island beginning May 16. The link will connect to Port Hardy, Port Alice, Port McNeil, Woss and Sayward, connect to Campbell River. The company began services to Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino early last year. MORE

Quotable – I fear that I may become that old guy that everybody is afraid to take out in public.


New cold weather shelter

opens on Bowen Road

Island Crisis Care Society’s daytime warming centre at 2025 Bowen Rd. is now open seven days a week from 12 noon through 7 p.m. until March 31.  It supplements similar non-profit Risebridge on Prideau Street. A third location is expected to open soon at the old #2 Fire Hall at Victoria Crescent and Cavan Street. MORE


A temporary injunction on a new law to restrict public drug use is not sitting well with police, saying it takes away police enforcement tools. Vancouver Deputy Chief Fiona Wilson, president of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police, says officers are disappointed with the B.C. Supreme Court decision to block the provincial law. The law was passed in November, allowing fines and imprisonment for refusal to comply with police orders not to consume drugs in places including parks, beaches, sports fields and near business entrances and bus stops. MORE

Quotable – Not trusting the government doesn’t make you a conspiracy theorist, it makes you a history buff.


Here's what's going to cost you more this year

Grab your wallet, it's going to cost you more in 2024 from food to where you live and almost everything in between. It starts with FortisBC’s 6.74-per-cent increase, about $11.26 more per month. BC Hydro has applied for a 2.3-per-cent hike to come into effect on April 1, adding about $2 per month to the average power bill. And the carbon dioxide tax rises to $80 per tonne from $65, meaning 17 cents per litre for gasoline, 21 cents for diesel and 15 cents per cubic metre of natural gas. Even filling your mouth will add between 2.5 and 4.5 per cent in 2024. Check out the whole LIST.

The stork appears to have run into flight difficulties in deliverying the Central Island's first baby of the year. By noon today there was no sighting of the bird or a baby at NRGH.

More than 6,100 people in nearly 2,600 households got food hampers over the Christmas holidays from the Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. Executive Director Peter Sinclair that was a 30-per-cent increase from last year. MORE


South end residents got a real wakeup call early Saturday morning after what appeared to have been an explosion in the 100-block of Rainer Street just before 2 a.m. RCMP found a group of people having a bonfire near a home. RCMP say no one was injured. RCMP said there was no criminality involved. MORE

Quotable – The two most profitable businesses are war and illness.


Warm welcome greets

arrival of new year

 Happy New Year to all of the regular followers of the Daily Buzz. It's a pleasure to keep you informed about what's happening in our community and our province.

The year we just bade farewell to left us with a number of high temperature records. Saturday was the fourth day in a row at least one century-old temperature record fell. On Friday, Victoria Harbour reached the highest in 119 years. On Thursday, Prince George, Quesnel and Vernon all broke records that had stood for more than 100 years, while on Wednesday, Victoria surpassed a record from 1922.The warmest record-setting temperature on Saturday was in West Vancouver, where it hit 14.5 C. The warm weather continues to cast a cloud over ski resorts. Some estimate that business is down 50 per cent from last year.

In the real world, Paul Manly is a movie producer. He recently helped produce a story of abundance in our community – the Loaves and Fishes food recovery warehouse. It is an amazing operation. It's a zero-waste facility that ensures good food doesn't get wasted and is available for people in need, what isn't fit for humans goes to animals, the rest is composted and the packaging is recycled. Donating cash to Loaves and Fishes helps keep this operation running. See the video HERE.

Quotable – Never let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do. Everyone told Beethoven he would never be a musician because he was deaf. But did he listen?

Pemberton declares state of emergency due to flooding

24-01-31 – Pemberton has declared a state of emergency  amid rising flood threat from a series of winter storms. The village also issued evacuation orders for six properties on Airport Road along with an evacuation alert for all low-lying properties adjacent to the Arn Canal, Vine Road and the Highway 99 Mobile Home Park.

People living in the affected properties are being told to pre-pack essentials and to be prepared to leave on a moment’s notice. MORE

Wait for FOI requests in B.C. the worst

its been in 13 years: commissioner

Prince George RCMP appeal for information in fatal 2009 stabbing

First-place Canucks extend

GM Allvin for multiple years

Alberta uncorks wine flex

that leaves B.C. vintners feeling sour

Hockey not immune to criminal code,

Dix says in wake of on-ice violence

Canada’s baby bust slows

to an all-time low fertility rate

B.C.’s population could reach

almost 8 million by 2046: StatsBC

Province spends $21 million

for radioactive isotopes

24-01-30 – The British Columbia government is spending $32 million in advancement of nuclear medicine, to operate imaging equipment for cancer diagnosis and to expand research.

The announcement comes just two years after a worldwide shortage of isotopes used in medical imaging machines that detect and monitor cancers.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says construction is under way in Vancouver for a $21-million cyclotron and radiopharmacy laboratory to increase the production of radioactive isotopes, used in equipment that conducts PET and CT scans. MORE

Blood Donation Event

Feb. 1 & 2

Beban Park Social Centre
Book Now: http://tinyurl.com/2uktw2yu
Please help fill open appointments in your neighborhood. Invite others to join you, for groups of 3 or more, email bookagroupbc@blood.ca. For individual appointments or to check your eligibility download the GiveBlood App, call 1-888-2-DONATE or visit blood.ca 

Lunar New Year Gala

February 3,

an evening of remarkable dance and music, and a delicious Asian style buffet at Beban Park Social Centre
5 pm performance /6:30pm Dinner

Advance tickets are available online at: https://www.porttheatre.com/tickets/

Education Minister's recall

fails to get enough signatures

24-01-30 – A recall campaign to recall education minister Rachna Singh has failed. Filed by Gurdeep Jassal, the petition fell well short of collecting more than 40 per cent of eligible voters –11,811 signatures. They collected 3,264 signatures by the deadline. MORE

Organ donations hit

record number in B.C.

24-01-29 – Hundreds of British Columbians got organ donations last year due to a record number of donors. The B.C. Transplant Society and Provincial Health Services Authority show that 563 organ transplants were performed in the province due to 160 deceased organ donors and their families and 77 living donors. As a result, the two organizations said more than 6,100 British Columbians will be alive in 2024 because of organ donation. MORE

Individual found safe following

river search in Courtenay


B.C. pushing for exemptions

to Ottawa’s cap on foreign students


Saanich backyard food growers

battle carbon footprint with recipe contest 


Hells Angel charged in plot

to assassinate Iranian dissidents


New Zealand mountain guide

becomes 4th fatality in B.C. helicopter crash


Woman victim of two separate hit-and-runs

in same crosswalk: RCMP


Spotlight turns to Ukraine, carbon price as Parliament returns in Ottawa


She sought justice for sexual assault.

B.C.’s judge shortage became her battle.


Avalanche kills snowmobiler in northeastern B.C.


Eby offers support to end

hospital patient dumping 

24-01-26 – Premier David Eby says reports of patients in distress being left at bus stops are deeply disturbing. He said he supports any measures to prevent incidents like these from happening in the future.

“Our expectation is that the health authorities will continue their work looking into these, and addressing the issue to make sure that if there is an additional role the province needs to play in terms of supports for people who are being discharged, that we’re closing that loop and meeting the needs of people as best as possible,” Eby said. MORE

Province funding more beds
for drug treatment services

24-01-26 – An additional 83 treatment and recovery beds are promised across the province this summer, adding to 97 that have already become publicly-funded in the past year. Premier David Eby said the vision is that no person should have to wait for detox or treatment when they’re ready to make a change that there’s someone there with a hand out offering help.

Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe voiced concern Wednesday that the province lacks a plan and hasn’t kept the data needed to assess what's working. B.C. is battling a severe drug crisis that claimed more lives than ever last year. MORE

Govt to appeal decision

on public drug use ban

24-01-25 – The province is appealing the B.C. Supreme Court’s decision to block the introduction of a ban on most public drug use.

B.C.’s Attorney General Niki Sharma issued a statement Wednesday night regarding the appeal.

“After reviewing the court’s decision … we are determined to keep doing everything we can to fight the toxic drug crisis and treat addiction as a health matter rather than a criminal one while recognizing that drugs should not be used in a range of public places frequented by children and families. It is our view that the Act addresses this,” Sharma said.

Tearful manager pleads for training in wake of fatal B.C. rooming house fire


Sawmill closure ‘dire’ for Fraser Lake

and its Indigenous communities: chiefs


Two B.C. men charged in $35M fraud

ordered extradited to U.S.


Canadian doctors say a little risk

can be good for kids


B.C man breaks into senior’s home, demands she make him a sandwich


83 new recovery beds to open in B.C.;

97 private beds now publicly funded


Anti-SOGI 123 group’s Cariboo book ban call fails to gain traction


Langley man accused of $2.4 million

fraud from his employer


Alberta hockey league cancels multiple games after 5 teams defect to BCHL


B.C.’s critical mineral strategy not competitive enough, industry group says


Former Team Canada players

told to report to police in Ont.

24-01-25 – Five members of Canada’s 2018 World Juniorhockey team have been told to surrender to police to face charges in an alleged group sexual assault in London, Ont. The Toronto Globe and Mail reported they have been given a set period to report to London police headquarters. Several players who were members on the 2018 team have taken leaves of absence from their clubs recently. Those players are Michael McLeod and Cal Foote of the New Jersey Devils, Carter Hart of the Philadelphia Flyers, Dillon Dube of the Calgary Flames and former Ottawa Senator Alex Formenton, who now plays in Switzerland.

Edmonton City Hall shooting suspect

was a security guard, released manifestos

Experts urge vigilance in wake of ‘supermassive leak’ of digital data

Robots aided by AI, take over repetitive tasks at B.C. hospital lab

B.C. Mountie who had sex with

vulnerable woman fired

At least 50 villagers shot dead in latest violence in Nigerian state of Plateau

Ukrainian-born model wins Miss Japan, sparks identity controversy

3 men, 4 hours, 1 big catch:

reeling in a 109-pound halibut

Woman gets eight years
for trafficking fentanyl

24-01-25 – A Mission woman has been sentenced to eight years in prison for drug trafficking after she was caught with a brick of fentanyl worth millions of dollars. Carrie Dinh, 35, was convicted of one count of unlawfully possessing a controlled substance for the purposes of trafficking last April. Her sentence was handed down by Supreme Court Justice Gordon C. Weatherill in Victoria on Jan. 10, and published online Tuesday. Crown prosecutors said it had a potential street value between $5 and $9 million. And the number of potential doses it contained ranged between 200,000 and 600,000. MORE

Man convicted of murder for arson attack at Japanese anime studio that killed 36

Union warns of new 72-hour Vancouver

bus strike if deal isn't reached next week

Sri Lanka passes bill allowing government to remove online posts and legally pursue internet users

U.S. court says Alabama can carry out first nitrogen gas execution

Emergencies Act

was not justified,

Federal Court rules

24-01-23 – The federal government was not justified to use of the Emergencies Act to shut down the so-called Freedom Convoy protests in Ottawa two years ago, the Federal Court has ruled. The Canadian Constitution Foundation and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association brought the case to the Federal Court.

The protests gridlocked downtown Ottawa for three weeks in early 2022 in opposition to COVID-19 vaccine mandates. “I have concluded that the decision to issue the Proclamation does not bear the hallmarks of reasonableness – justification, transparency and intelligibility – and was not justified in relation to the relevant factual and legal constraints that were required to be taken into consideration,” stated Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley.

Mosley added that “there can be only one reasonable interpretation” of the Emergencies Act and CSIS Act, and that he believes “the legal constraints on the discretion of the GIC to declare a public order emergency were not satisfied.”


Royal Jubilee Hospital accused of dumping patients

24-01-22 – A Victoria woman claims security staff at Royal Jubilee Hospital is dumping patients at a bus stop outside her apartment. Julianna Nielsen has lived near the hospital for about three years and says she’s seen several instances of hospital security dropping people off at the bus stop. Sometimes, the people are screaming or pleading for help, she says, adding she’s seen similar incidents at least two times a week. The most recent incident happened Sunday night when she recorded four security officers carrying a woman, who was screaming for help, to the bus stop. “She was crying and begging for help,” recalled Nielsen. About an hour later, the woman waspicked up by paramedics. Similar accusations were levelled at Vancouver General Hospital of patients regularly discharged onto a street bench. MORE

Three killed in heli-skiing crash near Terrace

Three people were killed in a helicopter crash north of Terrace Monday afternoon. Northern Escape Heli-Skiing confirmed four others are in hospital in critical condition. BC Emergency Health Services sent several primary care, advanced care and critical care paramedics to the scene, including three air ambulances and five ground ambulances. Paramedics treated four patients at the scene, and they were taken to Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace in critical condition. MORE

Vancouver transit service
behind picket lines today

24-01-22 – There is no transit bus and SeaBus service in Vancouver today due to the job action. Weekend negotiations between transit supervisors and the Coast Mountain Bus Company failed to make a deal. The regional transit authority says the SkyTrain, West Coast Express and HandyDART service are not expected to be impacted. CUPE said its members will withdraw all services from Coast Mountain Bus Company for 48 hours. MORE

Ride-hailing companies

hike prices in strike

24-01-22 – It never takes long for some people to take advantage. People stranded by Metro Vancouver’s transit strike are seeing skyrocketing prices from ride-hailing apps. The price of taxis is regulated and high demand results in longer waits, ride-share companies like Uber jack up prices when demand is at its highest. Anyone trying to book a ride through the Uber app Monday morning received a message saying: "Fares are lot higher due to increased demand." MORE

Federal government

cuts back student visas

24-01-22 – The federal government has slashed new international students visas by more than one-third this year as it tries to slow a rapid increase in temporary residents that has put immense pressure on Canada’s housing system. Immigration Minister Marc Miller said the cap on new student visas will be implemented for this year and next. The number of new visas this year will be capped at 364,000, a 35-per-cent decrease from the nearly 560,000 issued last year. The number for 2025 will be set after an assessment of the situation later this year, he said. Ontario, which has accounted for a larger share of growth in international students, will see its allotment of new visas cut in half. MORE

Chicken price hike plan

meets strong opposition

24-01-22 – The BC Chicken Marketing Board wants to hike the farm-level price of chicken in the province and that is not sitting well with some groups. Several food industry associations are sounding the alarm about the marketing board's proposal, which is awaiting approval by the B.C. Farm Industry Review Board. Restaurants as well as the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors and the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, wrote to the review board in December urging it not to accept the proposal. MORE

Vancouver hospital accused

of dumping patients on street

24-01-21 – Vancouver General Hospital staff and security regularly discharge patients onto a street bench, says a resident of the area. He claims hospital staff rush them to a bench, leaving them to fend for themselves, sometimes in not much more than a hospital gown. Remi Caudron said he’s seen dozens of patients dropped off on the bench. He said he’s tried to contact the city, the police and social services regarding the issues they respond they “take note.” Vancouver Coastal Health told Global TV in some instances where a patient is disruptive, they may be escorted off the premises. MORE

All eyes on interest rate
coming out Wednesday
24-01-21 – The Bank of Canada is expected to hold its key interest rate steady at five per cent on Wednesday, unchanged for the last three announcements. But as the economy slows forecasters anticipate a steady decline in inflation, economists are watching for signs that the BOC is ready to pivot. “What I’m looking for is what I would call the next step,” said Dominique Lapointe, a global macro strategist at Manulife. “By the next step, I mean acknowledging that the rate hikes are done.” DETAILS

Man killed in shootout at Abbotsford shopping centre
24-01-21 –  A man was killed in a shootout at Seven Oaks Shopping Centre in Abbotsford on Saturday. When police arrived just after 5p.m., they found the victim with life-threatening gunshot wounds. He died from his injuries. Video from the scene showed two SUVs riddled with bullet holes. Police believe the shooting was targeted. MORE

Quaker Oats recall spurs

Canada-wide class-action lawsuit

Report says B.C. trawlers dumping

tens of thousands of Chinook salmon

North Vancouver apartment fire burns all night, cause unknown

Outdoor deaths in B.C.
reach a record number

24-01-18 – The BC Coroners Service is investigating 36 outdoor deaths so far this year, two more than the same time last year.

These deaths are still under investigation and the causes of death are yet to be determined, reads a knowledge update from the coroners service, including data from Jan. 1 to 16.

Excluded are deaths classified as suicide, homicide, or vehicle-related deaths like motor vehicle, ATV, cycling. An outdoor death includes deaths in public spaces outdoors, transport areas, parks, trails, campgrounds, wooded or grassy areas. MORE

Hydro system expansion

$36 billion over 10 years

24-01-18 – B.C. Hydro has announced a 10-year, $36billionexpansion of the electrical system which Premier David Eby says will openeconomicopportunitiesand ensure amplepowerto supply the growing population. Ebysaysit will focus on increasing electrification and operations that reduce emissions across the province. Expandingthe electrical system gives the province acleanenergy advantage that is being sought worldwide, Eby added. DETAILS

More than 100 wildfires

still active in province

24-01-16 – More than 100 wildfires are still listed as burning in B.C. Forrest Tower of the BC Wildfire Service said that while it's not uncommon for some fires to burn through the winter, that number usually hovers around a couple dozen, not the 106 that were listed as active on New Year's Day. The 2023 fire season burned more than 28,000 square kilometres of B.C., breaking records and forcing thousands to escape. Hundreds of homes were destroyed in the Okanagan and Shuswap regions. MORE

Helicopter on semi truck

strikes another underpass

Another underpass strike was reported in the Lower Mainland on Monday, this time involving a semi that was transporting a wrapped helicopter. It happened on Highway 1 in Coquitlam, near Brunette Avenue. Both police and the ministry's Commercial Vehicle and Enforcement Branch are investigating, officials said. It follows days after another semi truck scraped the top of the Massey Tunnel on Jan. 10. MORE

Independent business can’t

repay emergency loans

24-01-15 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says about 23 per cent of small businesses in B.C. are unable to repay the Canada Emergency Business Account, or CEBA, loan. All CEBA borrowers have been given until Jan. 18 to repay the interest-free loan, or it will be converted to a three-year loan from the federal government at five per cent interest, with monthly payments starting immediately. DETAILS

Brian Peckford and Maxime Bernier pursuing charter rights challenge to Supreme Court


Travel restrictions headed

to Supreme Court of Canada

Brian Peckford, Maxime Bernier, and other applicants seek to appeal their vaccine mandate challenge to the Supreme Court of Canada. These Applicants argue that vaccine mandates are an issue of national importance and that Canadians deserve to receive court rulings regarding any emergency orders that violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In November 2021, the Government of Canada required all travelers of federally-regulated transportation services (air, rail, and marine) to provide proof of Covid vaccination. These restrictions on the Charter freedom of mobility prevented approximately 5.2 million unvaccinated Canadians from traveling by air and rail. DETAILS

North Shore Rescue

scoops up two lost skiers

Two hypothermic skiers were rescued from a creek in Whistler Thursday night. North Shore Rescue with Talon Helicopters rescued the skiers who got lost while touring, went too far down the mountain and got stuck in Fitzsimmons Creek With the wind chill, temperatures at the time hovered around -50 C. The rescue was made precarious due to Peak—to-Peak cables and zip lines in this area which are impossible to see at night. DETAILS


CMA seeks action on
overflowing emergency rooms

The Canadian Medical Association wants provinces and territories to rebuild the health-care system to provide more access for patients amid overflowing emergency rooms across the country. Patients and health-care professionals are suffering under the current state of affairs, and changes need to be made to overhaul the entire system, the organization saidin a statement on Thursday. CMA President Kathleen Ross wrote that despite the tireless efforts of physicians, nurses and other health providers, testimonies from around the country illustrate that patients in some jurisdictions are waiting as long as 20 hours or longer to get care. DETAILS

Coast Guard rescues four
from sinking boat Wednesday

Four people were rescued from the waters off northern Vancouver Island after their boat began taking on water and they were forced to abandon ship Wednesday evening. B.C. Emergency Health Services dispatched three ambulances to Port Hardy where paramedics treated all four victims and transported them to hospital. The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria said rescuers were alerted to a vessel in distress approximately seven nautical milesfrom Port Hardy at 6:19 p.m. DETAILS

Victoria General Hospital

lab fire results in evacuations


Staff were evacuated from a lab in Victoria General Hospital room Wednesday after an appliance burned up. View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst says the department got a call for alarms ringing at the hospital around 11 a.m.

He teld CHEK News that while en route, firefighters learned of a fire in a lab on the third floor, so they brought in resources from fire departments in Colwood, Esquimalt and Langford. No one was injured and no opertaions were disrupted. DETAILS

Tories question Trudeau's

Christmas vacation details


Federal Conservatives are asking the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner to probe Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s vacation in Jamaica and how his staff handled the detail that hestayed for free. Conservative MP and ethics critic Michael Barrett says the vacation is “not the equivalent of staying at a friend’s home” calling it instead a gift with commercial value. Trudeau reportedly vacationed at a luxury estate where villas rent for thousands of dollars a night. DETAILS

Pilot found dead after
missing helicopter crashed


A helicopter that was missing in the Interior since Friday crashed in Glacier National Park. The pilot, the sole occupant, died in the crash. Crews had been searching for the helicopter after it was reported missing. Police are working with the Transportation Safety Board and the BC Coroners Service to determine the cause of the crash. MORE

Search under way
for missing helicopter


Rescue crews are searching for a helicopter missing in Glacier National Park, east of Revelstoke. The province’s Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre was alerted to the sound of an emergency locator transmitter about 10 nautical miles, or 18 kilometres, east of Revelstoke. The chopper was on its way from Calgary to Sicamous Friday. MORE


Cruise ship converted to
host construction workers


A converted cruise ship could provide housing for more than 600 workers at a natural gas construction project north of Vancouver has arrived after a 40-day journey from Estonia where it had housed Ukrainian refugees.But there’s a snag, the district council has yet to consider the application for a temporary-use permit to allow the plan to proceed. Squamish Mayor Armand Hurford said staff are reviewing the application from Woodfibre LNG with a public process and council decision to follow. MORE


Coquitlam police investigate

third shooting in three days


RCMP are investigating a  third shooting in Coquitlam on Saturday, leaving a man with with life-threatening injuries.RCMP were called to the area of Glen Drive and Westwood Street around 4:15 p.m. Responding officers located one man suffering from life-threatening injuries who has since been transported to the hospital. Two suspects were seen running away from the shooting scene. RCMP were already investigating two other shootings in the city since Thursday afternoon. MORE


Snowfall warnings

issued for mid-Island


Environment Canada is warning of up to 50 millimetres of snow between Qualicum Beach and Fanny Bay, starting today. The Ministry of Transportation has issued travel advisories for two major highways in the province forecasting up to 20 centimetres of snow. Motorists on Hwy 99 between Squamish and Whistler, as well as Highway 3 between Grand Forks and Creston, should be prepared for low visibility and possible delays. MORE

Lululemon founder decries

"diversity and inclusion thing"


Chip Wilson is not buying into the company’s “whole diversity and inclusion thing”. In an interview in Forbes Magazine, Wilson said the people the company is using in its ads are unhealthy, sickly and not inspirational. Wilson, who started Lululemon in 1998 has relinquished his board seat but remains a shareholder.

Canada will welcome 1,000

refugees from Gaza Strip


Canada will allow up to 1,000 refugees from Gaza to seek refuge with their Canadian extended family members from the violence in the Gaza Strip. The National Council of Canadian Muslims is calling on the federal government to remove a cap on the number of Palestinians who can immigrate. The program offers visas to a maximum of 1,000 Palestinians, which would allow them to come to Canada for three years if their families are willing to financially support them. MORE

CPP rates and benefits
going up in New Year


Middle income working stiffs will pay more to the Canada Pension Plan in the New Year, but benefits are supposed to increase as well. Now the CPP includes a new, second-earnings ceiling. For those who make more than a given amount, additional payroll deductions now apply. That means a maximum $188 in additional payroll deductions. Overall, people earning over $73,200 will be contributing an extra $300 in 2024, compared to their previous contribution last year.MORE

7.6 earthquake in Japan

brings Tsunami warnings


A series of earthquakes, as high as 7.6 magnitude, rocked Japan today and brought tsunami alerts and evacuations. A series of earthquakes started a fire and trapped people under rubble on the west coast of its main island. The Japan Meterological Agency reported more than a dozen quakes off the coast of Ishikawa shortly after 4 p.m.. The agency issued a major tsunami warning for Ishikawa and lower-level tsunami warnings or advisories for the rest of the western coast of the island of Honshu, as well as the northernmost of its main islands, Hokkaido. MORE

Politicians react to court

ruling on open drug use


Local politicians are weighing in on the British Columbia Supreme Court’s decision to block new provincial laws against the public consumption of illegal substances.

Friday’s ruling was in favour of the Harm Reduction Nurses Association to impose a temporary injunction until March 31.

Skiing resorts hit hard

by warm, wet weather


The weather continues to cast a cloud over ski resort operators. Much of the southern portion of the province has been hit with mild weather. Some resorts estimate that business is down 50 per cent from last year and believe the losses during the Christmas season can't be recovered, regardless of the weather. MORE

2023 was near curtains

for province’s film industry


The B.C. film industry is struggling to regain a lot of lost business in 2023. A record $4.9 billion in production spending in 2022 was a strong rebound from the pandemic. It’s different now with the fallout from the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes hits home. Shawn Williamson, the president of Brightlight Pictures, says the strikes shut things down, 95 per cent of what is typically shot in Vancouver was on hold. The provincial government gave $15.9 million to the struggling industry in April. MORE