Free catalytic converter

etching coming July 13

Marking or engraving catalytic converters is a proven technique in reducing the risk of theft.

Crime Stoppers, RCMP, ICBC and Auto-Check Automotive, are offering free marking or engraving on catalytic converters on Saturday July 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event is designed to raise awareness about catalytic converter thefts in Nanaimo. In 2022 show there were 119 reported thefts of catalytic converters in the city. Across British Columbia, thee were 6,143, up 89 per cent from 2017, with the cost to replace them topping $8 million.

Auto-Check Automotive, 605 Bowen Road will have certified technicians to engrave catalytic converters at no charge. If you have any questions contact me at 250-734-5445. MORE

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


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


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

WEB QUOTE – When we were young we used to sneak out of the house to go to parties. Now that we’re old we sneak out of parties to go home.

June 29, 2024

Taxpayers have

had enough and

are fighting back

Ladysmith voters’ rejection of an Alternative Approval Process for a new city hall demonstrated that taxpayers are tired of the ever-increasing load they are forced to bear. Frankly what the result showed is that they’ve had enough.

Two AAPs were launched in Nanaimo earlier for a public works operations centre, and they failed due to technical problems in the process. However it was not a cut-and-dried process, there was enough vocal opposition and citizen action that there was a distinct possibility, even likelihood, that the the borrowing bylaw would have been quashed.

That tax fatigue was obviously the driving force behind the Ladysmith rejection, nearly one third of eligible voters registered their opposition. It would not be wrong to suggest that residents are tired of all levels of spending, particularly on projects and causes they are not sold on. There are enough such issues in Nanaimo at present that it’s not surprising the taxpayers are fighting back. They just recently got their tax bills, emphasizing the cost of government.

As for the process, I have never bought into the concept of claiming the right to spend money unless voters sign an objection, even though only 10 per cent are required to block an AAP. What makes it popular with politicians is that the process is so onerous that gathering opposing votes is almost insurmountable.

Drop back a couple of years when some promoters had grandiose plans for a new sports complex in town. It went to referendum and some 80 per cent voted against it. That was an accurate indication of taxpayers’ objection to the proposed spending.

City hall is studying other options to get borrowing authority for the operations centre, but the idea of another AAP is still alive. They should think very carefully about another back-door process. They need to lay the cards on the table, and if they still want to go ahead, put it on the back burner for now and hold a referendum at the next civic election. The project has been on the wish list for a number of decades, and may be needed, but it’s not so urgent that it can’t wait for until the next election.

Provincial politicians in the October election might be well advised that taxpayers may have had enough of handout promises, with their own money.

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

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

WESTJET MECHANICS ARE ON STRIKE, taking the airline by surprise amid arbitration. The mechanics walked out despite Labour Minister Seamus O'Regan imposing binding arbitration to resolve the outstanding issues. WestJet says travellers can expect severe disruption to their flight plans if the abrupt strike is not called off immediately. MORE


THE KNIVES ARE OUT FOR TRUDEAU – The drive has begun to remove Justin Trudeau from office, and It’s coming from within the Liberal party. Noted names are popping up as a possible replacement, including former B.C. Premier Christy Clark. She said it's time for the prime minister to step down and she’s hearing from Liberals across the country is they want their party back. As for who a new leader could be, former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney is a name gaining traction. Clark told the Toronto Star she wouldn’t rule it out. MORE

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

June 28, 2024

School board byelection

set for September 14

NANANAIMO VOTERS will go to the polls Sept. 14 in a byelection to replace school Trustee Charlene McKay who resigned last month. School district secretary-treasurer Mark Walsh has been named chief electoral officer for the vote. Notices will be posted soon to outline timelines and the start of the nomination period. MORE

IT’S CANADA DAY long weekend, one of the busiest travel periods on B.C. Ferries. That means thousands of people and vehicles hitting the high seas. Reservations through Departure Bay and Duke Point were beginning to fill up yesterday with many already sold out for midday sailings today. Trips from the Lower Mainland into Nanaimo sold out for weeks. If you don’t have a reservation be prepared to for long waits. MORE

WESTJET IS FLYING again after the federal government intervened one day before workers were set to walk off the job. Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan ordered the Canada Industrial Relations Board to impose final binding arbitration to resolve outstanding terms of the collective agreement. The union workers had planned to strike as early as this morning but following O’Regan’s statement the union said it would comply with the order. WestJet said it had confirmation O’Regan directed the CIRB to help it and the AMFA reach a collective agreement. MORE

WANT A PIECE OF HISTORY? The world's largest hockey stick in Duncan will soon be chopped into pieces to be sold as memorabilia. A local sports memorabilia company will chop it up and sell it to collectors. The 62-metre wooden stick, crafted from laminated Douglas fir, was constructed for the 1986 Vancouver Expo and later affixed over the entrance to the Cowichan Community Centre arena. Age, weather and at least one tenacious woodpecker have all taken their toll on the landmark over the years, prompting the municipality to declare the stick has reached the end of its lifespan. MORE

WEB QUOTE – Keep in mind that politics does not always translate into good governance.

June 27, 2024

Westwood Lake Park

work changes access 

Starting this week, the third gate access into the park at the end of Westwood Road will be accessible to boat launch traffic only. All other vehicle traffic must go through the new parking lot on Westwood Road. The gravel parking lot close to second beach is also accessible through the new parking lot. Flaggers will be on-site this week and through the Canada Day long weekend to help parks users get used to the change. MORE

THE EARLY FERRY from Horseshoe Bay this morning was delayed after a fatal crash on Highway 1 prevented BC Ferries staff from arriving at the terminal. Footage from the scene showed two vehicles with crumpled front ends, suggesting a high-speed head-on collision. Two people died in the crash. Seven ambulances were seen at the crash site Wednesday night. MORE

DOWNTOWN WAS ABUZZ on Wednesday as more than 300 NDSS graduating students got their diplomas in commencement ceremonies at the Conference Centre and Port Theatre. Families and friends jammed the streets and parking lots for the afternoon ceremony. MORE


TAXPAYERS ARE NOT IN A SPENDING MOOD ­– Ladysmith’s attempt to build a new city hall met with resounding opposition. An Alternative Approval vote resulted in 28.8 per cent of eligible voters opposed to borrowing $13.5 million for the project. Only 10 per cent are required to defeat an AAP. Now the town has to weigh alternate options if it wants to proceed. MORE


THE MARIE DAVIDSON BMX PARK on Labieux Road remains closed for the season as crews enlarge and improve the facility for the fast-growing sport. The Nanaimo BMX Association asked for a new start hill, leading to a more in-depth review resulting in an entirely new track. Parks Operations Manager Charlotte Davis said upgraded the track will cater to a wide range of skill sets from inexperienced riders all the way up to professionals. MORE


MORE THAN 100,000 military and RCMP veterans will get payouts from the Veterans Affairs department after it reached a settlement worth up to $817 million. The suit was launched after the Office of the Veterans Ombud found the government had improperly calculated the disability benefits and pensions of its clients starting in 2003. Another 215,000 eligible people have since died, their surviving family members must file a claim to qualify. The eligible claimants could be surviving spouses, common-law spouses, children, parents, siblings, nieces or nephews, or the veteran’s estate. Average claims are worth about $2,500. However, 40 people are eligible for payments over $35,000. MORE


WEB QUOTE – The notion that you can simply “identify as” whatever you wish, and that everybody must accept and play along is possibly the silliest idea in modern society.

June 26, 2024

CITY COUNCIL HAS a number of options to consider in going ahead with a new operations centre. Two additional funding options proposed by staff give councillors more flexibility. Councillors looked at financing options at the committee stage and will weigh the options at a coming council meeting. Staff still support an Alternate Approval Process even though two previous attempts fell apart. MORE

ANOTHER CHALLENGE FOR HORGANFormer premier John Horgan has been diagnosed with cancer for a third time. He now serves as Canadian ambassador to Germany. Horgan said he had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer following a routine medical appointment in Berlin and is receiving immunotherapy treatment.The latest diagnosis is separate from the throat cancer he survived during his time as premier. "It is the third instance of cancer I have had, but I remain confident that I will again live long and prosper," Horgan said. MORE

THE NEXT PROVINCIAL ELECTION is mere months away and the landscape continues to change. The B.C. Conservatives have narrowed the gap with the NDP to just seven points as BC United continues slipping, now in fourth place behind the BC Greens. Research Co. president, Mario Canseco said 40 per cent of decided voters would cast a ballot for the NDP, with 33 per cent saying they would vote for the Conservatives. Only 11 per cent of decided voters would vote for the BCU. The Greens took over third at 15 per cent. Premier David Eby topped preference as the best premier, with 28 per cent. Rustad came in second with 14, Falcon got 13 and Furstenau 11 per cent. MORE

WEB QUOTE – I finally figured out why they call me a grownup. I groan every time I get up.

June 25, 2024

SNUNEYMUXW BUYS CASINO – Snuneymuxw has bought Casino Nanaimo, subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals. In the deal announced Monday, Great Canadian Entertainment will provide transition services for up to two years to Petroglyph Development Group, a wholly-owned corporation of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

MORE MARMOTS ­ – Mount Washington will see a population boom ­–  60 marmots will be added in various colonies over the next few weeks by the Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Foundation. Six were introduced to their new home on Monday. That will bring the population to about 360. Volunteers carry the marmots in cages to a nest box where the one-year-olds get their first taste of freedom. Most settle in within a day and sample natural vegetation and exploring the area around their burrow. Field Co-ordinator Kevin Gourlay said it’s the culmination of a year’s worth of effort. MORE

SEVEN YEARS IN PRISON – Sean Patterson who pleaded guilty to manslaughter after slitting a man’s throat in the Port Place Mall parking lot last year has been sentenced to seven years in prison. Patterson fatally stabbed Serguei Chliakhov in January, 2023. Patterson’s sentence was handed down in the B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo on June 5 and Justice Douglas W. Thompson’s reasons were published online. The judge read a summarized version of an agreed statement of facts that detail how the crime unfolded that night. MORE 


MORE PUFFERS THAN TIPPLERS – Cannabis has edged out alcohol as the most common impairing substance detected in after-crash blood testing. A six-year study analyzed of more than 10,000 Canadian drivers involved in motor vehicle collisions. UBC researchers analyzed blood samples from drivers in eight provinces including B.C. between 2018 and 2023. They found 54 per cent of these injured drivers tested positive for at least one impairing substance, and among that group 16.6 per cent had cannabis in their blood while 16 per cent had alcohol. MORE

WEB QUOTE – Very timely, the climate will balance itself. After all, it worked for federal budgets.

June 24, 2024

CALLUM TANNER STEWART, 29, of Nanaimo, is in custody facing various charges, including child luring, sexual assault and failing to comply with a release order following an investigation by RCMP in Alberta. Airdrie RCMP launched the child luring investigation on June 12, after a report of a youth being sexually assaulted. Policediscovered the youth had been lured on social media prior to the alleged assault. Stewart is also before the courts in B.C. for possession and distribution of child pornography. MORE

IT’S YOUR MONEY. Just in time for an election, a majority of B.C. families who get the B.C. Family Benefit will get more money this year. Premier David Eby announced Monday they will get an average of $445 extra as the province adds a one-year bonus to payments to help with rising expenses. About 70 per cent of families qualify for the benefit in 2024.They do not have to apply as payments are delivered by direct deposit or cheque and come as a combined payment with the federal Canada Child Benefit. MORE

OUT OF THE POOL – It's time to clean out the pools and that means shutting them down, starting with Beban. The rec centre, including the weight room, are closed until July 21. The good news is that there is an option, the Aquatic Centre is available, or you can take a dip in  Westwood Lake, which is staffed with seasonal lifeguards. MORE


NO SURPRISE – Sheila Malcolmson has been nominated BC NDP candidate in Nanaimo-Gabriola Island. She will seek her third term in the Legislature. Prior to her provincial term Sheila was the member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Ladysmith and Chair of the Islands Trust Council. Her latest assignment has been as Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. She took swipes at BCU leader Kevin Falcon and Conservative leader John Rustad saying they would roll back NDP progress. 


MASS GRAVE CLAIMS at a residential school in Kamloops have circulated for  years. There was much that was dark about residential schools, but no graves have been confirmed. The “dark chapter in Canadian history” goes back even before Prime Minister Stephen Harper launched the multi-billion-dollar Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement that established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission all the way back in 2007. National Post editorial columnist Terry Glavin has an in-depth look at the state of affairs. MORE


FIRST NATIONS DEMAND APOLOGY – First Nations want a public apology from William Shatner and Ryan Reynolds, following an F-word-filled video calling for an end to open net pen salmon farming. The Coalition for First Nations for Finfish Stewardship say the video attacked the dignity of their Nations and their members. The call-to-profanity video recently posted on YouTube is part of a new campaign from Pacific Wild. MORE


WEB QUOTE – Don’t ever forget how much harder they fought to protect us from Ivermectin than they do now for Fentanyl.

June 23, 2024

IT'S PARTY TIME DOWNTOWN – The Downtown Nanaimo Business Association Downtown is putting on the Ritz with it’s second Picnic in the Plaza this afternoon until 9 p.m. Diana Krall Plaza will be buzzing with live music, food trucks, and 31 artisan vendors. You’ll find artisan vendors, food trucks with a variety of cuisines and beverages for this free family-friendly event. CHECK IT OUT.

TESTING MAY MOVE OFF ISLAND. Patients could see longer wait times for test results if LifeLabs moves its microbiology lab to Surrey from Victoria. The union representing LifeLabs workers says the company has given written notice of plans to move most of the microbiology-patient testing to Surrey. Samples from testing locations in Nanaimo are transported to Victoria throughout the day. LifeLabs has said it will lay off workers from the Victoria Reference Laboratory and the Kamloops Reference Laboratory. Thirteen workers would be affected in Victoria and temporary positions will not be refilled. MORE

FOR WHATEVER IT’S WORTH our school district will miss its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. The province wants emissions reduced by 40 per cent of 2007 levels by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050. Secretary-Treasurer Mark Walsh said they have made headway in carbon neutrality, but will miss the district-imposed target due to a number of factors. MORE


HAREWOOD HOUSING City council has given the green light for rezoning for two properties at 330 and 338 Ninth Street in Harewood to allow for 34 townhouses. Jeremy Holm, city planning and development director, said conceptual plans call for the 34 units to be configured across seven buildings. He said  the city plan supports development of ground-oriented townhouses up to three storeys in height. The application was made by Lovick Scott Architects on behalf of a numbered B.C. company and Glen Neufeld. MORE

THERE’S A NEW LABEL – A new word is creeping into our lexicon and that is shrinkflation, when the producer provides less product for the same price. Alistair MacGregor, the MP for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, introduced a private member’s bill to establish a national framework to improve food price transparency. Remember when we used to buy bacon by the pound, but it has shrinkflated to 375 grams, but the price is still the same? Don’t hold your breath, private member’s bills have about as much chance of success as an ice cube in the bright sun. MORE


WEB QUOTE – Fighting over race is like fighting over Smarties. They’re all made of the same thing and thinking they’re not makes you look really stupid.


June 22, 2024

GOOD MORNING, it’s Saturday, June 22 and summer’s here. How do you like it so far?

A FAST RESPONSE FROM NANAIMO FIRE RESCUE likely saved a small business after an arson. The fire was reported about 5:30 a.m. on Friday at Living Forest Oceanside Campground & RV Park on Maki Road. Owner Rob Littlejohn said a customer spotted the fire and called 911. Fire and the police responded quickly and got it out. On-site surveillance near the entrance showed a man burning some kind of improvised device. MORE

BATS IN THE BELFRY – Amusement and entertainment are where you find them. For North Oyster residents that’s watching bats streaming from the attic of the century-old North Oyster schoolhouse. They are the largest colony of brown bats on Mid-Vancouver Island. The winged rodents are nothing new, Ian Fisher remembers hearing them upstairs when he attended the school as a young child. All these years later, now a grandfather, Ian works with volunteers to ensure the 100-year-old colony can keep its safe roost for many years to come. MORE


ANOTHER REMINDER – It’s just about a week until the deadline for paying your property taxes. They are due by July 2, and if you miss that date you’ll have to pay a two per cent penalty. You can make payment online, at your financial institution or at the Service and Resource Centre, 411 Dunsmuir Street. Access your account and a digital version of your property tax notice at Don't leave your homeowner grant application to the last minute, do it now by registering online  directly with the Province of BC at or by phone 1-888-355-2700. That should be your first priority.

CANADA DAY IS A BIG DEAL in Nanaimo with of load of attractions and events at Maffeo Sutton Park on July 1. There will be live entertainment, the likes of Moonshine Molly’s, The Kiltlifters and The Pickups. There’s lots on tap for kids with photo booth, face painting by Leaders in Training, bouncy castles, interactive booths, food vendors, a multi-cultural community stage and so much more! Best of all, it’s all free.  MORE


WEB QUOTE – Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre is on the side of the richest people in Canada and did not support dental care and pharmacare, says multi-millionaire Justin Trudeau.

RESPECT IS BUILT over a lifetime, but it takes only an instant to destroy it. Canadian-born actor William Shatner has unleashed a vile, bleep-laden assault on open-pen fish farming in British Columbia. Shatner and others who appeared in the video should be embarrassed by their lack of class, including former Canuck goalie Kirk McLean. The video was reportedly produced by Vancouver actor Ryan Reynolds . We should be able to expect a higher level of decency from them. First Nations involved in open-net salmon farming have called on Shatner and Reynolds to apologize for the profanity-laced video. Check it out HERE

June 21, 2024

Dale Lindsay

Alternative approval process

gets stamp of approval

THE ALTERNATIVE APPROVAL PROCESS has been endorsed by a consultant hired by the city with the recommendation that they continue to use this process. Two AAPs failed to approve borrowing $48.5 million for the first phase of a new public works yard. Chief Administrative Officer Dale Lindsay said staff need to make sure that there is a better understanding where mistakes were made so they have the confidence of council and the community to conduct any future AAPs. MORE


THAT’S REALLY COOL ­­– With the arrival of hot and dry weather, MLA Sheila Malcolmson reminds that older adults and people with chronic health conditions are most at risk during extreme heat, especially if they live alone. Vulnerable people and some households earning less than $105,000 a year can apply for a free portable air conditioning unit HERE. Many people can also apply for rebates to buy and install a unit in their home HERE. Knowing the steps you can take now is a great way to prepare HERE.


FORMER NANAIMO BUCCANEER hockey player Kenneth Leslie Boychuk, 20, of Edmonton, has been acquitted on a sexual assault charge. Justice Douglas Thompson handed down the verdict in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo on Thursday. The judge had problems accepting the accuracy of the complainant’s allegations during a police investigation. The girl was 17 at the time and the defendant was 18 at the time. MORE

WE'RE UNDER WAY. Premier David Eby kicked off the re-election campaign on Thursday, 120 days before the October election and floating a theme it will use to stay in power – “What’s at stake.” Then he turned to politics-as-usual smearing the Conservatives as extremists and claiming B.C. United would cut back services. MORE


WEB QUOTE – We need to remind ourselves that the real definition of bigotry is intolerance toward those who hold different opinions than oneself.

Sheila Malcolmson

June 20, 2024

Call issued for cancer clinic construction manager

It’s coming folks, Island Health and BC Cancer have issued a request for proposals for a construction manager for the new BC Cancer centre at NRGH. Health Minister Adrian Dix said once the construction manager is hired, pre-construction activities will begin. Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson called it fantastic news. "We are getting closer to construction, and closer to patients getting care right in our community." Applications close July 15. It's expected the construction manager will be chosen by August. Construction is expected to begin next summer. FULL STORY


SOME DECORUM, PLEASE – Rowdy behaviour just doesn’t cut it at City facilities and its staffed public outdoor spaces. Councill unanimously passed three readings of the Respectful Spaces Bylaw on Monday. Public Safety Director David LaBerge said the bylaw was crafted since there was no clear process for staff to address incidents like verbal abuse, threatening behaviour, or discrimination. “It ensures that persons will only be deprived of access to public facilities as a result of serious or re-occurring behaviours,” he said. 


TRUNK SALE ON SATURDAY – The first car-trunk sale of the season goes Saturday at Country Club Centre parking lot, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. You’re sure to snag a bunch of bargoons from the 150 or so vendors. The sales promote reuse and recycling of garage-sale-type items. It’s used stuff only, the only new items allowed are items made from recycled materials. Mayor Leonard Krog these are great opportunities to declutter at the same time, all while keeping waste out of the landfill.” There another sale in August at a different location. To register as a seller or to find out more about recycling in Nanaimo, go HERE.


ADD YOUR TWO BITS WORTH - The City is looking for a volunteer at-large position on the Design Advisory Panel. The panel considers development permits in relation to guidelines, principles and conformance with the Official Community Plan and reports findings and opinions to Council. You can apply HERE online or pick one up from Legislative Services in City Hall until 3:30 p.m. July 5.


FIRST IT WAS ELECTED MEMBERS crossing the floor to the B.C. Conservatives from the BC United/Liberals. Now a candidate has switched allegiance. Former District of Sechelt councillor Chris Moore was the BCU candidate for the October provincial election in the Powell River-Sunshine Coast. He has decided instead to run as a candidate for John Rustad’s Conservatives. BCU MLAs Elenore Sturko and Lorne Doerkson recently crossed the floor and will seek re-election as Conservatives. MLA Bruce Banman was the first to change colours. MORE

FISH FARMS HAVE A LIMITED life now that the federal government put a sunset date to shut down B.C.’s aquaculture industry, allowingfive years to transition away from open-net pen farms. Fisheries Minister Diane Lebouthillier and Energy Minister Jonathan Wilkinson revealed the new timeline on Wednesday, saying licence extensions to 2029 will allow for a responsible, realistic, and achievable transition. MORE

WEB QUOTE – Remember how we used to laugh at the old commercial “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up?” Well it’s not so funny any more.

FINANCIAL ADVICE FROM BEN – There could be a change in how the city invests taxpayers’ money. Coun. Ben Geselbracht had posted a notice of motion for Wednesday's Finance Committee meeting asking for a report on changing investment policy based on social responsibility and fossil fuel reduction.

That looks like Ben is attempting to direct the city’s highly-qualified financial managers who are there for their expertise. They get us the best return possible, and that's what it's all about rather than globalist theory.

Ben has tried on other issues to push the World Economic Forum agenda from his council seat. He needs to re-evaluate the role of councillors. It certainly does not qualify him to drive the fire trucks or direct investment poliicy.

Engaging in this type of social engineering is his private prerogative but not his role representing the citizens of Nanaimo. COMMENT HERE

June 19, 2024

PARKWAY TRAFFIC WAS REROUTED after a two-vehicle crash at about 6 a.m. today near the Harewood Mines Road overpass. A large commercial semi-trailer truck and a car collided on the bypass near Fifth Street. The car landed in the northbound lanes necessitating the detour. An air ambulance arrived at the crash around 7 a.m. and crews were using the Jaws of Life to extricate one person.

Salvation Army gets okay
for Nicol Street building

THE SALVATION ARMY HAS ITS long-awaited development approval for a new building. It passed city council Monday. The new building at 19 Nicol St. will replace the original Salvation Army Red Shield Centre which was built in the early 1890s. It was torn down this January after Salvation Army staff determined the it was unsafe for operations following a heavy snowstorm in December, 2022.


THE NEWCASTLE HOMELESS FACILITY could soon be replaced by a multi-building complex. It’s moving through the permitting and rezoning stage. Newcastle community residents had some concerns, specifically a possible social service resource centre, fearing non-residents accessing the area. The multi-building complex will see supportive and affordable units. A five-storey, 50-unit supportive housing complex is set for south of the property. A second building will have a five-storey, 34-unit affordable housing building at Mount Benson Street. Newcastle community residents raised concerns, specifically a possible social service resource centre, fearing non-residents accessing the area. Both would be run by BC Housing. MORE


OUR PROVINCE HAS one of the largest gender pay gaps in Canada with women earning 83 cents for every dollar men earned. The first pay transparency report comes a year after the Pay Transparency Act passed. The median hourly wage for full-time work was $35 for men and $29.74 for women in 2023, $11,000 a year. The total is skewered a bit by pointing out that the pay gap disproportionately impacts women who are Indigenous, racialized, a newcomer, disabled or LGBTQ2S+. It’s a different story in P.E.I where the gap was zero in 2022, and women made $1.04 for every dollar men earned in 2023. MORE


MY PERSPECTIVE ­– The old melting pot, or one-size-fits-all, don’t wash any more. The province has announced a new francophone health centre will open in Vancouver this fall. More than 80,000 B.C. residents listed French as their mother tongue in 2021, more than half of them in the Lower Mainland. It’s not about health but identity politics. MORE


ABOUT 6,500 WESTJET PASSENGERS are impacted as the airline has cancelled numerous flights across Canada as maintenance engineers prepare to go on strike. Forty flights were to be cancelled as the airline gets ready for a strike by Thursday. The airline said the cancellation would affect around 6,500 passengers. MORE

THERE ARE WARNINGS GALORE but some people are still being duped for Taylor Swift concert tickets. Oak Bay police say victims e-transferred funds in two cases, only to later learn it was a scam. In the second call, a victim’s friend was supposedly advertising the tickets on Facebook, so they e-transferred $2,000. The seller then asked for another $400. In both cases, the frauds were linked to hacked or cloned Facebook pages. Hacks like this come from people reposting puzzles, quizzes and cute quotes on Facebook, thus providing their information to scammers. Often when they are reminded they become offended and indignant. MORE

WEB QUOTE – You know, that thing inside your head that keeps you from saying things you probably shouldn’t? Well mine’s broken.

June 18, 2024

MOST SAMARITAN HOUSE supportive housing residents are expected to move back in today after they were displaced by fire on Sunday. Fifty-seven people had to move out temporarily, but the clean-up is going well. Restoration workers were inside Samaritan Place Monday using dehumidifiers while repairing and cleaning up the water and smoke damage. MORE

THE ITALIAN FOUNTAIN is bubbling again after being shut in behind a fence for three years. Water has been flowing for about a week at the landmark in front of Port Place. The shutdown gave staff the time and space to get the fountain with the leaping salmon in ship shape during the major overhaul. MORE

YOUR MONEY – Nanaimo will get a share of more than $1.2 million to streamline housing approvals. The grants come through the Local Government Development Approvals Program, to help local governments implement and develop policies to speed up the delivery of homes. MORE

ELECTRIFYING TRANSIT The federal government has allocated more than $700,000 to help electrify Gabriola's community bus service. Infrastructure Canada is providing rural transit fund money to buy two new electric vehicles. The buses are similar to HandyDart buseswith seating for 20 passengers. MORE

PROPERTY RIGHTS - Property owners are taking the provincial government to court over Short-Term Rental Accommodations Act (STRAA). A judicial review will determine whether the province was fair and lawful in passing the regulations. Many Airbnb owners want compensation and an injunction to block the limits of STRAA. They claim the new short-term rental rules are illegal because they take rights away from property owners. MORE

HUNTING FINES RISE if you’re a law-breaking hunter. Going into effect Monday, people caught illegally hunting or fishing will face much stiffer penalties under B.C.'s Wildlife Act. It’s the first increase in more than 20 years. The highest penalties apply to offences such as big game hunting during a closed season, unlawful possession of big game, and unlawful possession of a threatened or endangered species. MORE

BETTER NOT GET USED TO IT. We’re set to get a couple of days of scorching weather, but it won’t last. Daytime temperatures could reach the high 20s on Thursday and Friday on the east side of the Island. Then cooler weather will move back in by the weekend. MORE

WEB QUOTE – Most problems in the world are created by highly-educated people and not by the village idiot.

June 17, 2024

Fire caused by cigarette displaces about fifty
from Samaritan Place

A fire ignited by a cigarette left more than 50 people at Samaritan Place without a home early Sunday. It was not immediately known how many people were in the building at the time in the supportive housing complex, which has more than 50 self-contained units geared to the homeless population. Assistant Fire Chief Troy Libbus, said crews were called around 6 a.m. to find heavy smoke billowing from the third floor of the four-storey building. He added a man came from one of the units on the third floor and he reported that it was due to smoking. The cigarette went on his mattress, which caught fire, Libbus said. MORE

THE ARCHITECTS OF THE safe-supply system for dispensing drugs to users have moved on to new ventures. The Parliamentary health committee was told by Dr. Julian Somers, an expert in addictions, last week that they now head their own drug companies which stand to benefit from the continuation of the safe-supply program. Check this out. MORE

YOUR MONEY ­– Students at Mountainview Elementary School will get $195,000 for an accessible playground for children of all abilities. The Ministry of Education and Child Care stated in a news release the playground "promotes physical activity for kids, teaches social skills, such as sharing, and helps them develop life skills, such as conflict resolution."

JUST A MINUTE - Who can give any credibility to federal NDP leaders Jagmeet Singh as long as he’s in bed with Prime Minister Trudeau? Sort of reminds one of a bad marriage – constant bickering, but staying together in a bad relationship for convenience sake. Often divorce is the best move forward.

MORE MEDIA WOES – stocks of Corus Entertainment were down to 18 cents this morning, from a 2014 high of $25 after it lost several major channels to Rogers Communications Inc. It continues to struggle in the current broadcasting environment, leading to a change in the top job. Troy Reeb and John Gossling have been appointed as co-chief executives, effective immediately and CEO Doug Murphy was retiring. It will lose the rights to key brands like HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Magnolia Network and OWN to Shaw/Rogers at the end of the year. MORE

QUOTABLE – If you’re a giver, remember to learn your limits. Takers don’t have any.

June 16, 2024

Island Health issues

safe drug-use advice

Island Health is providing advice on how to use drugs safely. The helpful hints came with two drug poisoning/overdose advisories on Vancouver Island. The warnings apply to Campbell River and Cowichan. Island Health recommends that people get their drugs checked, carry Naloxone and know how to use it, or visit an overdose prevention site. If using alone, Island Health says use one substance at a time, and let someone know to check on you, or download the Lifeguard App or call the National OD Response Service at 1-888-688-6677. MORE

THE ICONIC HAWAII MARS WATER BOMBER is flying into history at the BC Aviation Museum in Saanich this summer. The second world war retired military long-range transport plane and has been at the forefront of wildfire fighting and management across North America for decades. The sister ship Philippine Mars will be put on permanent display in Arizona lster on.[2]Coulson Group CEO Wayne Coulson expects the Hawaii retirement to happen in August. Trials are running regularly around Port Alberni, with other Island communities on a tentative schedule for over-flights. The hope to get the Snowbirds involved in the retirement flight. MORE

THE PHARMA CONNECTION. Brian Peckford says in 2020 in the U.S., 72 Senators out of 100 and 302 of 435 House of Representatives cashed campaign cheques from Pharma companies. How can we expect independent laws regarding Big Pharma? Brian’s source is “The New Abnormal,” by Aaron Kheriaty MD and journalist Rebecca Strong’s “Putting big pharma back on trial in the Covid-19 Era.”


FROM SMALL SEEDLINGS mighty oaks will grow. Vancouver Island Pro Wrestling participants and promoters put their guts on the line over 11 years, often before meagre crowds. They achieved mighty oak status after their presentation Friday night in front of 2,000 fans at Frank Crane Arena. It’s great to see such a comeback after the long history of the pro game in Nanaimo with the likes of Gene Kiniski, Eric Frolich and countless others. Congratulations, perseverance pay soff.


CRAIG ALLEN SIMS, 41, OF NANAIMO has been found guilty of attempted child luring. Justice Catherine Wedge judged him guilty of communicating via computer to lure a child under 18 between 2007 and 2009. He was acquitted of two charges of sexual interference and one of sexual assault. Crown counsel is seeking a prison sentence. MORE

From left, Sue Devenish, Doug Slowski, President Greg Devenish, Jo-Anne Tremblay, Jodi Williams.

Photo contributed

KUDOS TO LANTZVILLE ROTARY CLUB, my old club, whose members pitched in to volunteer at the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation to pack bags of gratitude for the hospital night shift workers for their appreciation day. Thank you.


AND THE HOSPITAL FOUNDATION has launched a fund raising drive to help long-term care patients at three facilities get back on the road. The Dufferin Place bus for seniors’ day trips broke down a couple of years ago and needs replacement. The Foundation wil; assist two other projects at Eagle Park care facility in Qualicum Beach, and at Trillium Lodge in Parksville. MORE


BEFORE I WRAP IT UP, today’s rain will be replaced Monday by mostly sunny weather. Keep in mind every drop of rain we get helps alleviate the projected drought this summer.


QUOTABLE – Before getting upset, ask yourself if this will even matter in six months from now. If not, then let it go. 


June 15, 2024

I SIT AT MY COMPUTER MOST DAYS combing sources for news of interest to our loyal readers. It’s not difficult to get into the spirit as I gaze out of the window to an ever-changing snow-topped mountain skyline. It keeps alive my past career as a journalist and arguably keeps me from going bonkers. News does not have a set agenda, sometimes it rains and other days it's drought. Today's offering is a biggie, so enjoy.

IT’S REALLY HAPPENING The former A&B Sound complex downtown is targeted to open by next spring. You wouldn't notice it from the outside, but the inside is a beehive of activity. The owners have a call out for proposals for tenants in the relabelled Soundworks property. They are looking to fill the building with local businesses, a market, restaurant and other attractions. Some firm applications have already come forward. The call for tenants runs to June 30 and a review expected by July 31. Tenants could move in this fall to a begin customizing their space. MORE

IF YOU FANCY YOURSELF as having an artistic touch, the City’s Street Banner Design Program is looking for amateur and professional artists and designers to submit their proposals. The banners will be on display next spring creating a vibrant visual presence downtown, including the Arts District, along Bowen Road, Third Street and other major routes. The call is open to all levels of experience. MORE

NANAIMO NEWS NOW has a great story of making the best of a challenging situation. Kim Pirie of Nanaimo had not ridden a bike since the last century, now he’s donating tens of thousands toward cancer research through his second Tour de Cure, a key BC Cancer Foundation fundraising initiative. Kim’s team raised more than $17,000 for in the 200 km cycling event last year from Cloverdale to Hope. He hopes to generate three times the amount this year and has pledged $50,000 for Nanaimo’s coming new cancer centre – ten grand a year for five years. Read the whole story HERE

JOHN COOPER’S WEEKLY real estate report shows new listings dropped to 53 this week from 62 last week. The market was active with 28 sales during the week. John says well-priced homes are often attracting multiple offers. Good news for buyers is that prices are not rising. He prognosticates prices will remain stable and inventory levels will rise slightly between now and August. If you want to connect with John, e-mail him at orphone him at 250-619-9207.

SOME MEDIA OUTLETS jump quickly on anything that marks a first. Reports claimed that a Campbell River company made the first-ever commercial flight in an electric aircraft recently. Harbour Air might have something to say about that as they made the first-ever flight in an electric-powered plane some time ago. It may be splitting hairs, but the Campelll River flight had a paying passenger. Ian Lamont, Sealand Flight's chief instructor, says it's $80 an hour in fossil fuel to less than $2 an hour in electricity. The plane has a range of 50 minutes per battery charge. Here’s an idea – how about attaching windmills outside the plane to generate electricity while it flies on electric power? The concept of perpetual motion to the max. MORE

THE NURSING SHORTAGE on the south Island is a real pain for some maternity patients at Victoria General Hospital’s delivery ward. It is creating longer waits for epidurals which can take up hours of a nurse’s time, says Cait Jarvis of the B.C. Nurses Union. When an anesthetist administers an epidural, a nurse has to be one-on-one to monitor the patient. VGH has the only labour and delivery unit on southern Vancouver Island. MORE

STILL ON LABOUR SHORTAGES, the lack of sheriffs available at Vancouver courthouses is leading to trial delays. Five courtrooms were closed at the Vancouver Provincial Courthouse on Thursday and three in Port Coquitlam. The Trial Lawyers Association wants urgent action from the B.C. government to address the shortage of sheriffs. MORE

SOME STORIES ARE JUST TOO GOOD not to tell. “Hanging out” in a public shopping mall had a new meaning after man claimed in court that his "package" accidentally slipped out of his shorts in a Surrey mall. That did not impress Judge Jennifer Lopes who found Thomas Charles Cooper guilty of indecent exposure. The judge described the evidence of the accused as rehearsed, fanciful and unreliable. And there was mall video evidence of the case. Here’s the rest of the story, as they say. MORE

KEEPING UP WITH THE NEWS let's me indulge my favourite hobby - politics. The new kid on the block, the B.C. Conservatives, have a long and challenging road ahead in getting voters' attention. They have unveiled an ambitious platform for the October election. It’s the first time I recall a campaign platform laid out front and centre in this way. From My Perspective it’s refreshingly different from the rest of the bafflegab were are usually fed during elections. It will give voters a choice – they can choose between this or that. Have you noticed the smear campaigns arleady flooding our airwaves? It's going to get worse.  HERE

QUOTABLE – You don’t stop laughing when you grow old. You grow old when you stop laughing.

THANKS FOR READING and have a great weekend

June 14, 2024

City trying to find solutions to
Alternate Approval Process

THE ALTERNATIVE APPROVAL PROCESS has been a royal pain in the neck for Nanaimo City Council, and they’re looking for ways to fix what’s broken. The city will address the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention to address the AAP process and ask the province to update its requirements. The city will also ask the province directly to address some of the issues that arose around two failed AAPs. Resident were able to collect up to 100 ballot forms per day during the the process. Councillors want that restricted to 10 forms per person. They also want to eliminate mail-out ballots nor allow electronic options citing financial and privacy concerns. Stay tuned. MORE

THE ROTARY CLUB OF NANAIMO has a huge garage sale on Saturday. Drop by Cavalotti Lodge on East Wellington Road from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. In case you have items to donate for the sale, call Jim Turley for details – cell/text 250-755-6903. Or drop them off at Cavalotti Lodge on Friday from noon to 5 p.m. Rotary events and fund raisers support Youth activities in Nanaimo.

ANOTHER REMINDER Property Tax payments are due by July 2. If you miss the deadline you’ll have a two-per-cent penalty added to your bill. It’s easy parting with your money, you can pay online, at your financial institution or at the Service and Resource Centre, 411 Dunsmuir Street. Access your account and a digital version of your property tax notice at and don't forget to claim your homeowner grant from the Province at or by phone 1-888-355-2700.

NINE FIREARMS AND DRUG CHARGES have been laid against 36-year-old Cody Edward Ranger of Nanaimo after police and Canada Borders Services seized firearms and drugs at a south Nanaimo home. CBSA said charges were laid on May 15. The investigation was launched after finding three silencers at Vancouver International Airport's cargo operations in the summer and fall of 2022. MORE

QUOTABLE – When the government says you don’t need a gun, that’s when you need a gun. – Graham Greene, actor.

June 13, 2024

New residents moving into Newcastle Place

A NEW POPULATION HAS BEGUN moving into Newcastle Place, the temporary housing facility at 250 Terminal Ave. Violet Hayes, Island Crisis Care Society executive director, said people who had been staying at local shelters have begun moving to the controversial site. Reaching full capacity of 50 units will take about a month. She said people are moving in gradually from shelters. They have been stabilized and are ready for that next step, she added. MORE

THE DRIVER OF A CAR involved in a four-vehicle collision on East Wellington Road is in custody on suspicion of impaired driving. Emergency services responded to the crash at the East Wellington and Bowen Road intersection on Wednesday afternoon. The driver was taken to hospital for minor injuries, while his passenger suffered more significant injuries. R/Cst. Gary O’Brien said the suspect driver fled on foot but was apprehended after witnesses assisted police to locate the man. MORE

COMMERCIAL STREET MARKET downtown returns this afternoon for another season. The program includes retail sales, food and entertainment. It's open form 5-9 p.m. See you there. The weekly market runs until August.


RIDE HAILING AND FOOD DELIVERY DRIVERS in B.C. have a new  minimum-wage and basic protection for app-based platforms such as Uber, DoorDash and SkipTheDishes. The new regulations that will take effect on Sept. 3 are a first in Canada. The new rules set the minimum wage for the time a worker is engaged in a job at $20.88 per hour, 20 per cent higher than B.C.'s general minimum wage. The minimum wage does not apply to time spent waiting between assignments. All tips will go the drivers, they will get a 35- to 45-cent minimum per-kilometre vehicle allowance as well as coverage through B.C.'s workers' compensation agency. MORE

VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY has yielded to extortion by the student-led Palestine solidarity encampment and the Students for Palestine Committee. The university agreed to release investment information following a meeting with the protesters. MORE


IT MAY HAVE BEEN a bitter pill to swallow, but Lantzville council will comply with new provincial zoning policies. Owners of all residential-zoned parcels with access to municipal water and sewer services that are of a certain size are allowed to construct up to four small dwellings, allowing townhouses or row-houses. It didn’t sit well with some councillors in opposition. Coun. Jonathan Lerner said the legislation ties council’s hands. Coun. Joan Jones echoed that, reiterating that the standards are being implemented in every municipality and no municipality has the option to say no. MORE


USUALLY WE HAVE TO stay alert for bears and cougars, now you have to keep an eye out for deer while going for a hike. A dog was killed and a woman injured by a deer in West Kelowna Monday night. The B.C. Conservation Officer Service says the woman was walking her two Chihuahuas around 5:30 p.m. when it happened. A doe fatally trampled one of the dogs, and injured its owner. MORE

DO YOU HAVE SOMEONE you’d like to lock up in a cage for a while? Here’s your opportunity in the SPCA’s annual fund raiser which let’s you cage up your loved ones for the cause. The Lock-in for Love event raises money for the SPCA’s critical programs. It's already under way and continues until June 22. Get more details on how you can incarcerate someone you know HERE

IT’S A NUMBERS GAME. Mark Twain is reported to have opined that statistics are for liars. Numbers can say virtually anything you want them to. For instance, a new Angus Reid poll claims one third of British Columbians are seriously considering leaving the province for more affordable housing. Half of 18- to 34-year-olds are seriously thinking of leaving. Researchers found that 53 per cent say the province needs to focus more on addressing housing needs. Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver residents are least likely to want to move. MORE


A HOUSE ON HOWARD AVENUE was seriously damaged in a fire Monday afternoon. Thankfully there were no injuries. MORE

A dream come true,

a floating pub for sale

A pub floating on the water, complete with a private ferry and a four-bedroom home can be yours if you’ve got access to $4.8 million to become the new owners of The Dinghy Dock. The pub opened in 1989 as a marina and bait shop where mariners and thirsty fishermen could grab a bite and a beverage. As time went on, the Dinghy Dock expanded. Now it includes a full-service restaurant and several patios with a waterfront view from every seat in the house. The home is 2,655 square feet and was built in 1986. If this grabs your fancy, call Realtor Gordon Wang. Or view HERE


THE TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD is investigating Saturday’s plane crash in Coal Harbour. A small float plane collided with a boat when trying to take off. Two people on board the boat were seriously injured. Two others on the boat and were uninjured. No serious injuries were reported for the four plane passengers or the pilot. MORE

WHEN IT COMES TO racing sailboats there’s nothing like an entourage sailing alongside like a cheering section. That’s the sight for racers off the coast of Bowen Island on Saturday. Global News reported seven or eight orcas, including a calf, paid a lengthy visit to the race, playfully swimming beside some of the sailboats, coming within a few short metres from the boats and following them for about eight kilometres for about two hours. MORE

WE’VE BEEN SPOTLIGHTING ways the government is spending our money leading to the provincial election in October. Now federal finance minister Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is outlining how government is going to get even more money from Canadians. The Liberal government plans to take the first legislative step Monday to increase the inclusion rate on capital gains. Freeland it as a way to improve tax "fairness" for Canadians. The government proposes to make two-thirds of capital gains taxable. What's fair about that? MORE

A SERIOUS NOTE­ – Don’t forget to register for your homeowner grant so you don’t get all twisted up on tax deadline day.

June 9, 2024

Harbour Air float plane and

boat collide in Vancouver

Two people were taken to hospital after a float plane and a pleasure boat collided in Vancouver Harbour Saturday afternoon. Video shows several boats surrounding a sinking aircraft in Burrard Inlet. Harbour Air said the seaplane was operating a scenic tour with five passengers, and it came into contact with a boat during takeoff. Harbour Air reported all of the passengers and the pilot were uninjured. BC Emergency Health Services said paramedics provided emergency care to two people, who were taken to hospital with minor injuries. See the video. MORE


WHAT AM I OFFERED? It’s open season on promises for the October provincial election, but it’s hard to keep track. They’re stacking up, there have already been many, but those just this weekend include Premier David Eby’s promise of a new fleet of 12 air ambulances, delivery not until next year. BCU leader Kevin Falcon has deep pockets when it comes to promises. His most recent was topping up the cost of daycare for those who don’t qualify for the province’s $10 plan. Then going into the weekend, Falcon promised free shingles vaccines for those older than 50. The cost per dose ranges at around $160. I didn’t see any price tags for those promises. MORE


CONSERVATION OFFICERS REFUSE to set up traps to catch a marauding cougar which has been plundering sheep farms in Nanoose Bay. Brant Protasiewich said the officer told him the cougar was displaying natural behaviour and would move on. Brant has been watching his flock by night, firearm at the ready. Saturday was the sixth day since the cougar started attacking his and his neighbour Peter Jjenga’s sheep herds, and had by then killed three and injured three more. “We need a trap being laid there for this cougar to be trapped, relocated and treated the way it’s supposed to be treated,” said Njenga. MORE


MEANWHILE, MORE FROM THE ANIMAL KINGOM as a modern-day Yogi Bear in Whistler helped himself to lunch from a golf cart. The victims of the blatant theft managed to get the miscreant’s action on video. Yogi dined well and the golfers moved on to the next hole. HERE


YESTERDAY’S MINUTE about our narrowing streets brought responses from a number of readers. You can now add Rutherford Road. They have made it so narrow after adding a bike lane, boulevard and railing to the existing sidewalk that they have had to add rubber pylons to the centre of the road on the corner to keep vehicles in their lane. I wonder about buses, garbage truck and other larger vehicles. No wonder the province came up with a safe-distance metre stick to squeeze everyone in.

June 8, 2024

12 new air ambulance planes promised

British Columbia will get a fleet of air ambulances by next year. Premier David Eby said the 12 new Beechcraft King Air ambulances will be able to land on gravel runways and access more rural and remote communities. The planes will have a uniform layout, making them easier for paramedics to use, and will offer expanded capabilities for specialized care. The planes caan carry advanced neonatal incubators and other life-support machines. Leanne Heppellof B.C. Emergency Health Services, said the new aircraft are the closest equivalent to flying an intensive care unit. MORE

CONGRATS TO ARLENE ROLSTON for being awarded the prestigious 2024 Fellows Award by the B.C. Chamber of Commerce. This accolade is a testament to Arlene's dedication, hard work, and outstanding contributions. She is the corporate secretary of the Nanaimo Port Authority. But the good news did not stop there at the B.C. Chamber annual general meeting. Nanaimo has been chosen as host of the 2025 AGM next May with delegates from across the province.

FORMER APOLLO 8 ASTRONAUT Retired Maj. Gen. William Anders was killed Friday when the plane he was piloting alone crashed into the water near the San Juan Islands, just off Vancouver Island. He was 90. Anders is best know for taking the iconic “Earthrise” photo showing the planet as a shadowed blue marble from space in 1968, He said the photo was his most significant contribution to the space program, given the ecological philosophical impact it had. MORE

GROWING DEMAND HAS the Cowichan Valley Basket Society looking for new, larger facilities. Manager Henry Wikkerink says the present building's tiny basement is the warehouse, and the demand for its services has grown at an alarming rate, up 100 per cent in the past 18 months. It hands out 600 food hampers per month, feeding about 1,300 people. It also serves 200 hot meals per day, all from a small space that has been its home for more than 20 years. MORE

ONE LAST SPIN marked the end of a legendary television career for Pat Sajak as he spun the Wheel of Fortune for the final time on Friday’s show. He has retired after a 41-year run as the host the classic game show. He said it’s been an incredible privilege to be invited into millions of homes night after night, year after year, decade after decade. MORE

QUOTABLE – When one door closes, open it. That’s what they are for.

OUR CITY COUNCIL IS A NARROW-MINDED LOT.  All you need to do is look at their idea of streets to see the evidence of how narrow-minded they are. They’re turning our roads into obstacle courses. If you need convincing, look at Front Street, Metral Drive, and now Terminal Avenue.

June 7, 2024

THERE’S A GLIMMER OF HOPE on the toxic drug front, but four more drug users died in Nanaimo in April. That’s way down from the 38 in the first three months of the year, with a record 15 in February. Still close to home, 69 toxic-drug related deaths occurred in the wider central Vancouver Island region in the first four months. BC Coroners Service preliminary figures for the province show deaths were also down with 182, an improvement at 24 per cent less than one year ago. Fentanyl was found in 82 per cent of those who’ve died from toxic drugs province-wide in the first four months of 2024. MORE

THE FALLOUT CONTINUES from B.C. Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s call for legalization and regulation of drugs. Dr. Henry testified at a federal parliamentary standing committee on health on May 30. Her position faced swift political response, including from Premier David Eby who appeared to agree with new B.C. Conservative MLA Elenore Sturko who said her new party is absolutely against the legalization of drugs in British Columbia. “We are not headed in that direction, we are not going to do that. I’ve been very clear about that,” Eby said. MORE


IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN what impact the quarter-per-cent interest rate cut by the Bank of Canada will have on the local real estate market. It’s been a pent-up market with cautious sales volumes in the hope of things to come on the interest front. Real Estate Board CEO Jason Yochim said low sales volumes combined with an impressive 1,804 new listings in May brings active listings to levels not seen since spring 2020. There were 4,242 active listings across the board area in May, comparable to May 2020. MORE


FOOT OFF THE GAS PEDAL - Gas prices continue to slide despite the summer rush inching closer. Prices in Nanaimo ranged from a low of $1.609 to $1.659 yesterday. Gas analyst Dan McTeague says prices could remain near this level through the summer. Prices are about 14 cents lower this year compared to last, despite a 3.5-cent increase from the carbon tax. It appears refineries in British Columbia, Washington state and California are not facing disruptions, leading to greater production. McTeague predicts gas prices will slowly rise in June but likely won’t surge to the numbers of last summer. MORE

THIS MARKS ONE YEAR since the Alberni Highway was closed near Cameron Lake as a result of a wildfire at Cameron Lake Bluffs. The province closed Highway 4 due to safety concerns above the major artery connecting the west coast to the mid-island. Traffic is flowing now but concerns remain for the future of the road.The only connection to the rest of Vancouver Island was through a four-hour detour to Lake Cowichan. Alberni Valley residents say now is the time for the province to build a viable alternative route that could be used on an emergency basis. MORE


CHALK ONE UP FOR THE LADY - The B.C. Supreme Court has dismissed the Royal Bank of Canada's attempt to force a widow to pay her late husband's $51,000 credit card bill.RBC sued Carol Smith for the outstanding balance, plus interest, on a Visa credit card account that belonged to her husband Alfred Smith, who died in June 2019. The bank argued that the 74-year-old widow had been approved as a co-applicant when her husband applied for the card in 2001, but the bank could not provide an application by Mrs. Smith for the card. She told the court she used her card believing she was an "authorized user" of her husband's account, and that he was solely responsible for all balances. The judge agreed. MORE


BALLS ON THE TABLE. A Vancouver restaurant has had its liquor licence suspended for three days after an inspector caught patrons playing pool. The Liquor Branch handed down the penalty Monday into an Enforcement Action issued in last October. Vancouver’s Johnnie Fox’s Irish Pub has a food primary licence not allowing "patron participation entertainment" – activities like darts or pool. It was the pub’s second infraction, so therefore, no “break.” MORE

QUOTABLE – Just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean you’re right.

June 6, 2024

D-DAY COMMEMORATION – Royal Canadian Legion Branch 256 on East Wellington Road is marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Canadians and Allied forces invaded Normandy on D-Day June 6 to liberate France and Western Europe from Nazi occupation. Military historian Gavin Cooper and D-Day veteran Tony Pearson will be among the speakers. The program will include the Pacific Gael Pipe Band, colour party and flyover. Canadian sailors, soldiers and airmen played a critical role in the Allied invasion of Normandy, also called Operation Overlord. MORE.

SEAN CARL JOHN PATTERSON who stabbed a man to death in downtown Nanaimo last year has been sentenced to seven years in jail, minus time served. Patterson pleaded guilty in December to manslaughter after the death of Serguei Chiliakhov at the Port Place Shopping Centre parking lot. Patterson has been in custody since Feb. 2023 and with time served, will service five more years. MORE


SHE MAY BE 75 YEARS OLD, but Deborah Wytinck has no plan to give up farming. A big event on the weekend was the shearing chore of her four ewes, with family and friends coming to see the shearing. Deborah wanted to be a farmer since she was nine. In the late 1970s, she and her late husband Don moved to Nanaimo and began raising their livestock. At one point they had 100 north country cheviot breeding ewes. The sheep are bred for lambs which then are either sold to larger operations or used for meat. She doesn’t know what the long term holds, but she’s going to keep the farm going. MORE

THE NANAIMO CRICKET CLUB has come back to life, rejuvenated with the re-installed pitch at Beban Park fields. It’s a dream come true for the reborn club which will now be able to host their league games in the Harbour City. The club folded in 2012, but it has grown substantially since re-forming in 2018 and playing their games in Victoria. Nothing like home sweet home. MORE

QUOTABLE – Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

June 5, 2024

THE CITY’S ANNUAL CAR TRUNK SALE back by popular demand, on Saturday, June 22. There’s repeat performance on Aug. 24. The first one runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Country Club Centre parking lot. Buyers, sellers and curiosity seekerscan join up to 150 vendors selling used items from the trunk of their cars. It’s all about reusing and giving unwanted household items a longer lease on life and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill. You can check it outHERE. To register, emailpublic.worksinfo@nanaimo.cawith the subject line: 2024 Trunk Sale Registration.

BC SUPREME COURT Justice Douglas Thompson is scheduled to deliver A verdict later this month in the trial of a junior hockey player on a charge of sexually assaulting a teenage girl. Testimony in The BC Supreme Court trial concluded Tuesday at the Nanaimo courthouse. Kenneth Boychuk, now 19 years old, is on trial for sexually assaulting a teenage girl in January 2023.MORE

THE BANK OF CANADA cut its interest rate by 25 basis points this morning, a move not seen since the beginning of the pandemic. That puts the rate at 4.75 per cent. It had been sitting at five per cent since July of last year. The bank began raising its key interest rate in March of 2022. The central bank now sees enough evidence that underlying inflation is easing at a sustainable level. MORE

SEEING STANLEY CUP GAMES at the rink carries a pretty price tag in Edmonton. Tickets went on sale today for the three possible games in the city. Game 3 ducats are showing up on resale sites for about $1,300. In the end zones be prepared to pony up $2,000 to $3,000, with prices rising to more than $4,000 for the prime spots between the blue lines.

QUOTABLE – You know you’re old when realize that your kids are senior citizens.

June 4, 2024

June 4, 2024

CHECK THE FERRY SCHEDULE first if you're planning to leave our Big Rock any time today. Environment Canada warns that a major weather pattern change could bring strong winds across Georgia Strait. The strong winds already resulted in some ferry cancellations on the Campbell River to Quadra Island, Hornby Island to Denman Island and Texada Island to Powell River routes. Sunshine is on the way by tomorrow.

MORTGAGE RENWAL WOES – Following the Bank of Canada’s historic rate hike cycle, the cost of borrowing money has put a significant strain on households from coast to coast to coast. Over the next year-and-a-half, 44 per cent of all mortgages will be up for renewal in Canada. CTV News reached out to about 60 mortgage brokers across Canada with a list of questions. Their answers provide professional guidance for individuals and families searching for clarity and sound advice. MORE

THE BANK OF CANADA MAY CUT the interest rate Wednesday, but then again, don’t count on it. The Central Bank has kept its policy rate on hold at 5.0 per cent since July, 2023. Higher interest rates discourage spending and slow growth, which takes away some inflationary fuel out of the economy. MORE

Every now and then the moon aligns with the stars to throw our planet out of whack making you question the sanity of everyone everywhere.


DESPITE A HOUSING CRISIS, our regional district has decided it’s a good time to update regulations affecting people living in recreation vehicles. If the updates go into force a lot of people living in RVs in the central Island will have no more than six months at a time before they have to move. What then, pull up stakes and spend a fortune on moving to another RV park for another six months? These are not pop-up tents, they are motor homes with full facilities, connected to services in commercial settings. They are part of the housing picture.


ALSO THIS WEEK WE LEARNED that three B.C. communities that had been promised the moon after massive flooding in November 2021 got nothing but the finger from Ottawa. Abbotsford, Merritt and Princeton spent a lot of money on studies and reports to satisfy Ottawa bureaucrats only to be told their 500-page application back up wasn’t sufficient.


That comes after Prime Minister Trudeau visited the area during the disaster he hugged one mayor and promised “we’ve got your back.” Justin did not tell him what that really meant. As one of the mayors wondered aloud, if it had been along the St. Lawrence, in Ontario and/or Quebec, would it have been a different story?” These communities are getting it in the back alright.


Now some people are floating a proposal to flood Sumas Prairie permanently to return it to a lake that existed 100 years ago. The proponents say it’s no big deal, only $1 billion to buy the farmland and flood the area which is one of our largest food-producing areas.


HERE’S AN INVESTMENT idea for someone wanting to make a few quick bucks. Sell something every vehicle should have – metre sticks – to help drivers determine their distances. New regulations went into effect this week to keep vehicles at least one metre from pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchairs, etc. The concept makes good sense, but how can a driver determine what distance 39 inches is while zipping along at 30 km/h? Thankfully the regulation includes “at least” in determining how far, so to be safe, keep your distance. Now if we can just get cyclists to observe the rules of the road.


EVERYTHING ELSE CONSIDERED, the October provincial election is sure to be a lively affair as the political ground undergoes massive shifts. More B.C. United/Liberals are abandoning ship and going to the Conservatives hoping to gain enough strength in a few months to even imagine toppling the NDP government.


What was wishful thinking in some quarters not too long ago is getting the attention of Premier David Eby who is refocusing his political darts at John Rustad’s Conservatives instead of the fading United. BCU has more money and more organization than the Conservatives, but if the current trend continues who knows what can happen? When a building crumbles, a firm foundation doesn’t do much good other than a rebuilding from the ground up.


AND WHILE WE’RE THINKING ELECTION, now would be a good time to start keeping track of all the promises we’re going to get from the government and those would hope to form government. We should sort them into specific categories that would determine their value, how many are good for the province and how many are political frills. While we’re at it, we could also tick off whether promises are serious . . . or just vote bait that will never see the light of day.


Everyone will promise, cross their hearts, that they will solve the drug crisis and the homeless problem and crime that goes with it. What we need to hear is what, when, where, how and how much along with a firm timeline.


Our medical system remains in shambles, with lots of room for new ideas and promises. With those we also need specifics. How many of them will be realistic and how many of them will be pie in the sky? It’s easy to promise a new hospital here or an emergency room there with no timeline. And who will promise to rehire the heath care workers still fired because they would not take vaccines? That comes in the shadow of U.S. Congressional hearings which put great question on the way the whole COVID scheme was handled, including masks, vaccines and the major shutdown.


Will any party do something to restore private property rights which have been decimated by the present government? Your home is not your home any more.


Those are good starting points, it will be tough to find others to classify as top priorities. Beware of the frills that look good, cost a lot of money, but don’t really amount to much.


June 3, 2024

First the rain must fall, but there’s a change in the wind. More rain is in the forecast for today and Tuesday before changing to sunshine and warmth later in the week. Environment Canada's forecasts sunshine starting Wednesday. The high is expected to reach 15 on Wednesday followed by up to 22 degrees Thursday and Friday before climbing to 24 on Saturday.

A discarded lithium battery is believed the cause of a fire on a Gabriola garbage truck last week. The Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department made quick work of the fire on Thursday, but the incident interrupted service for the day and left many with full bins. Ben Routledge, manager of solid waste for the RDN, cautioned that batteries should never go into household garbage regardless of how small they are. MORE

Cycling week makes for a timely reminder that a new law protecting cyclists and pedestrians in British Columbia takes effect today, setting minimum distances that drivers must keep from vulnerable road users. Vehicles must keep at least one metre away from pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, electric scooter and wheelchair users when driving on roadways with speed limits of 50 km/h or less. For roads with higher speeds, the minimum distance is 1.5 metres when passing. MORE

June 2, 2024

You can do it . . . Go By Bike Week launched at Maffeo Sutton Park today. Then throughout the week, stations will be set up at locations around the city, hosted by sponsors with refreshments, cycling swag and offering minor repairs. Celebration stations will be at the following locations:

Monday, June 3, 7:30-9:30 a.m. at Metral Drive at Mostar Road;

- June 4, 4-6 p.m. at Lower Colliery Dam;

- June 5, 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the E&N Trail across from Brooks Landing;

- June 6, 4-6 p.m. at the Stevie Smith Bike Park;

- June 7, 4-6 p.m. at Front Street at Museum Way;

- June 8, 3-5 p.m. at Westwood Lake Park.

To cash in on some of the booty, visit To learn more about Go By Bike Week in Nanaimo and view a map of celebration station locations, visit

The various agencies dealing with the toxic drug crisis need to get their act together. That’s the message from panelists during the Nanaimo Community Action Team discussion last Tuesday. Jovonne Johnson, director with non-profit Risebridge, said has been thrown to the table as to what can be done. “For 10 years we’ve had health and housing plans and conferences, meetings and all always pointing to collaborative efforts. The thing is bringing the right people to the table,” said Johsnon. In the eight years since the toxic drug crisis was declared a health emergency, the Island Health region has recorded 2,400 drug-poisoning deaths. Other panelists Allison Ainsley from the South End Community Association, Wanda LeBlanc from Moms Stop the Harm, Sharon Karsten from Walk With Me, as well as several other organizations. MOR

People planning to cross the border could find themselves waiting in long lines at the border — delays that could also deal a blow to the economy. It all depends on what happens with a potential strike by workers at the Canada Border Services Agency, which could start as soon as Thursday. More than 9,000 Canada Border Services Agency workers, including border guards, have a strike mandate. The union will be a position to strike June 6. The Treasury Board says 90 per cent of front-line border officers are designated as essential, which means they can’t stop working during a strike. MORE

What’s the hurry? More than 2,830 violation tickets were issued by BC Highway Patrol to drivers over the May long weekend during a province-wide enforcement initiative that caught people speeding, driving impaired or without a license. Officers issued thousands of tickets, including to speeders, street racers and prohibited drivers. The Highway Patrol said there was no shortage of excessive speeders, drivers were charged, received fines ranging from $368 to $483 and also had their vehicles impounded for seven days. In one instance, the driver of a Ferrari was going 143 km/h in a posted 80 km/h zone. Another incident saw two street racers stopped after travelling more than double the speed limit — 131 km/h in a 60 km/h zone. MORE

QUOTABLE – Police have confirmed that the man who fell from the roof of a night club was not a bouncer.

June 1, 2024

Charlene McKay

School trustee Charlene McKay has had enough. She resigned from the school board on Friday, citing an unprofessional work environment. The two-term member and former chairman had been elected in 2018 and again in 2022. She said the majority of the board struggles with understanding their role within school board governance and their responsibilities as an employer. She said she experienced passive-aggressive innuendo in meetings as well as harassment, amateurish e-mail communications toward her, and a work environment fraught with outbursts. She said the experiences have affected her health and led to an earlier leave of absence. MORE

Three Nanaimo dancers will take centre stage at the Canadian Highland Dance championships following their medal-winning finishes at provincial trials in Port Coquitlam last week. Annalise Lam walked away with top honours in the 18-21 age group while Allison McBride was tops in the 10-12 division. Keltie Willis was first runner-up among 16-18-year-olds. They train with Brigadoon instructor Diena Henry. The Dance Academy will stage a show on June 9 at at the Port Theatre featuring the academy’s dancers, Pacific Gael Pipes and Drums and other acts. You can get tickets by calling the Port box office at 250-754-8550 or visiting

Happy retirement to school superintendent Scott Saywell after 30 years as a teacher and administrator. He gained social media fame over the years, making school snow closure announcements while singing and playing guitar and posting videos to the school district’s YouTube page. School board chairman Greg Keller said Saywell spent his career dedicated to improving life chances for the district’s most vulnerable students. MORE

The former Nanaimo Bakery on Bowen Road reopens today as Nanay Mo’s Filipino Cuisine. The name is not a play on words for Nanaimo, but translates from Filipino to “a mother’s cooking.” Maribel Bay and her husband Irineo are the owner of Nanay Mo’s. The menu for the new takeout restaurant comes from her family’s favourite recipes from the Philippines. The Bays moved to Canada 15 years ago and have three sons: Liam, 10, Brandon, 17, and Niko, 30, with special needs requiring significant support from his family. Niko is still in the Philippines, so the Nanaimo couple have been trying to bring their son to Canada for 12 long years to make their family complete. MORE

May 31, 2024

Our illustrious leader and defender of goodness and righteousness has ridden up on his great white steed – oops, his palomino – and devised a new way to root out racists among us. Thanks to David Eby, victims of racism will now be able to report it to a government phone line in more than 240 languages. But a la George Orwell, he also wants anyone witnessing racism to rat out the perceived offenders. The helpline will collect data to create a province-wide demographic survey about systemic racism, another way of categorizing people, each into his/her pigeon hole. That in itself is racist. Too often those claiming victimhood are in fact the true racists.

A new multi-family housing project in the Newcastle neighbourhood will add 47 residential units. City Council has approved the development permit for Holly Avenue, off Rosehill Street. It will has mainly of one-bedroom apartments, nine two-bedroom apartments, three studio and three-bedroom units, as well as six adaptable units. There will be 67 under ground parking spaces and 31 long-term bicycle storage spaces. MORE

Nanaimo has a low-wage problem, and it’s getting worse. The new $17.40 hourly minimum wage falls short of the living wage for the Nanaimo region of $22.87, claims the left-wing Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The Nanaimo region is behind the provincial curve for lower-paying jobs, with about 23 per cent locally earning less than $20 per hour. Across the province it’s about 18 per cent in most cities. MORE

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is not backing off her drive to legalize and regulate drugs to mitigate the harm of the toxic drug crisis. She addressed the federal government’s Standing Committee on Health on Thursday at its 10th meeting. She told the committee that prohibition and the unregulated and toxic supply of drugs is one of the leading causes of the high number of overdose deaths in B.C. and the country. She said the unregulated and toxic supply is the central cause of the high number of overdose deaths in B.C. and the country. Henry said the proximal cause of this crisis is the increased potency and unpredictable drugs on the street. MORE

We may be in for more solar light displays in the next little while, maybe even this weekend. A major solar active region on the sun continues to put out large expulsions of plasma and magnetic energy, and these impressive solar flares are getting set to face our planet again as northern lights. That same sunspot is reappearing and it has the potential to produce some pretty strong flares in the coming days and months. MORE

QUOTABLE – The extensive work done on Metral Drive has some residents wanting to rename it the Metral Obstactle Course.

Premier David Eby