Police try to find

owner of bicycle

The Nanaimo RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in locating the owner of a relatively new road bike. The bike was located in downtown Nanaimo in the early evening on Wednesday March 27.


Officers were conducting routine patrols when they noticed the unlocked bike leaning against a wall.

Given the kind of bike it was and where it was found, the officers believed it had most likely been stolen so it was seized for safe-keeping purposes.

The bike is a red and white Devinci Tosco RC. A serial number was obtained. At the time it was located, it had not been reported stolen. If anyone has information on the lawful owner of the bike, please call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.

Power elite protecting

their turf


The government reaction the Freedom Truckers in Canada and the Jan. 6 demonstration in the U.S. show how hell-bent they are on making an example of them. The message they want to send across both our nations is this: “never stand up to the government!”



You've got to love David Taxman Eby’s reasoning. Replying to a letter from Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre asking to halt an April 1 carbon tax increase, Eby argued that by taking less money from us he would have less money to give back to us in rebates. Poilievre asked Eby to join seven other premiers in opposing the increase, saying the 23-per-cent rise amounts to an extra 18 cents on a litre of fuel. The premiers of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador have asked the federal government to drop the increase. Eby rejected the plea and threw in an insult labelling the idea as coming from a baloney factory. Poilievre shot back saying people in our province don't have money to even buy baloney. Is that what we really need in our political discourse? MORE

'Anti-vaccine loonies' were not all that crazy


During the COVID pandemic vaccine debate we were inundated with conspiracy theories from a so-called "bunch of loonies" about DNA sequencers in the injections. Just a Minute, it turns out that they were not as crazy as they were made out to be. Health Canada has confirmed the presence of a Simian Virus 40 DNA sequence in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which the manufacturer had not previously disclosed. Some scientists are now saying it has the potential to cause cancer, and others saying it poses little to no threat. Oh, that makes me feel so much more at ease.     



welfare is

alive and well


Why should we subsidize private businesses? Canada’s independent cinema owners are crying crocodile tears saying their industry is in crisis and they need more public funding to stay afloat, about $50,000 a year for three years. They say COVID drastically cut into their audiences which have not come back. That’s business. Canadians’ viewing habits are also changing, thanks to the internet. Changing times lead some to fail and it should not be up to the public purse to keep them going. That’s the way the ball bounces, or the way it should bounce. Shades of former NDP leader David Lewis who introduced us to the term "corporate welfare."                       

$10-day-care gobbled up by high-income families


Something is bass ackwards with the federal government’s ten bucks-a-day daycare program. It’s supposedly designed to help needy parents, but Maple Ridge member of Parliament Marc Dalton says when you dig you find that 77 per cent of high-income parents access child care while only 41 per cent of low-income families do. That is the statistic right now. How equitable is that? Should we not want to provide service where the people who need it the most can access it?     

Put this 'scandal'

in focus


Scandal, conspiracy and deception, the vitriol is deafening in reaction to Kate Middleton’s photography acumen after releasing a family photo that had received the Photoshop treatment. What’s the big deal? Photos have been adjusted forever, from the days of black and white, photographers have adjusted photos lighter or darker, focussing and highlighting chosen spots. The princess did not add any family members or remove any from the photo, she simply made a few tweaks. Big deal. With today's technology a lot more threatening issues face us. If this is the biggest issue in the world today, we’re in deeper trouble than we could ever imagine. Give the lady a break. We’re overrun with too many holier-than-thou critics these days. 

Eby can't call the shots on antisemitism fall out


When you get caught with your fingers in the cookie jar, blame someone else. Premier David Eby appears to be trying to divert attention from his party over antisemitism and blaming public servants rather than the NDP caucus. He did not mention the antisemitism in the NDP caucus cited by Selina Robinson when she quit the party. Eby met with Jewish leaders last week and said he believes people from the community have experienced anti-semitism from public servants. The Jewish leaders said they want to see more concrete actions to address rising anti-semitism. That still leaves unanswered the question about the cancer in Eby's caucus. Robinson’s claims of antisemitism within the NDP need to be explored fully and dealt with publicly. The favourite tactic of governments when in trouble is to call an inquiry, but Eby the last person who should be conducting it.

Read Robinson's letter HERE





Premier David Eby showed his true colors in handling the Selina Robinson case. He has a long history as an ideologue, not my cup of tea, but I could live with it. That has all gone out of the window with his handling of the Robinson issue – it leaves a particularly sour taste. When she offered to take a mediator role between Jewish and Arab communities she got the deaf ear from Eby. Apparently there are no two sides in the debate. Her follow up claim of anti-semitism in the NDP caucus rings loud and clear in light of the recent developments. He owes her more than he's given her to date. Where is the principle of diversity they keep talking about, where is the equity and where is the inclusion? Apparently only when it suits a particular agenda.


I have received a copy of Robinson's letter to caucus explaining a long history of her feeling of anti-semitism in the NDP caucus. Read it HERE





We could be forgiven for getting dizzy over shaking our heads in disbelief. The Chief Operating Officer of one of the companies involved in the ArriveCan investigation turns out to be a federal government employee with the Department of National Defence. Conflict interest and insider trading come to mind. CBC News reported the company has received more than $200 million in government contracts since 2015 — though the government database suggests it has won contracts as far back as 2004. The government announced that it had suspended its contracts with Dalian last week. The suspension of all contracts with Dalian is like closing the barn door after the cattle have escaped. Or have they? 


program cuts a last resort


VIU is cutting programs due to budget constraints. As disturbing as it is to lose some programs, this is a responsible move by the university. What may be a priority for one may not be a priority for another. The music program and Elder College are two of the ones in line for cuts and there may well be others. Money is not a flowing river any more, it’s a matter of priorities. The university board and management are doing what they deem best with the resources they have, and we have to accept that’s what it is, there are only so many tax dollars. 

Covid handout turns into nightmare


I predicted from Day One, when Ottawa rolled out the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, it was a disaster waiting to happen. For many Canadians it was like winning the lottery – free money. Now they have to repay what they took when they were not eligible. The Canada Revenue Agency said previously that the program was launched in a hurry because money needed to get to Canadians. Sad stories are emerging of people scrambling to return the money and CRA bungling appears rampant in dealing with those cases from people who can’t afford to pay the refunds. 


LONG WEEKENDS usually spell hours spent in your car, and this weekend is no exception at B.C. Ferries and Canada border crossings. Ferries has warned passengers without reservations they could face multiple-sailing waits. Delays of more than two hours were reported at the Peace Arch and Pacific Highway border crossings on Friday. Ferries estimated 434,000 passengers will board between March 28 and April 2, suggesting reservations and travelling as foot passengers or during less busy times to avoid sailing waits. MORE

FERRY WORKERS SMILING– Unionized BC Ferries workers just scored a retroactive wage increase ranging from 7.75 to 20.75 per cent through an arbitration panel after negotiations came to a standstill last fall. It’s retroactive to Oct. 1 through next March. Ferries president Nicolas Jimenez called it one of the largest increases in the company’s history. Some workers, including licensed mariners, will get special increases above the 7.75 per cent. MORE

CHEAP FLIGHTS GETTING SCARCEFlair Airlines is the only ultra-low air carrier left in the Canada now that Lynx Air has shut down. Experts caution travellers to weigh cheap fares against the reputational and financial uncertainty dogging Flair. They say Flair faces headwinds in making the ultra-low-cost fare model work in Canada. MORE

GET PROFESSIONAL HELP– Canada Revenue Service keeps adding to the challenges of filing income tax to the point of frustration. This year is a whole load of twists and turns. Now principal residences, small businesses and home-based businesses are all facing new rules. The best idea is to gather all your documents and receipts and head to a tax expert. The filing deadline is April 30. Here’s an expert on what you need to do and what you’re facing. MORE

WHO ASKED HIM? – Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is sticking his nose into the debate over B.C.’s fish farms. The federal government is considering extending the licences of salmon farms for two to six years to give the industry more time to transition. MORE

QUOTABLEIf electricity comes from electrons, where does morality come from?

Owner of Kelowna business fatally shot in dispute, family says

Dealing with dementia difficult for everyone concerned

B.C. superstar Dallas Smith debuts at Opry

17-year-old dead after stabbing in Prince George: RCMP

Man accused in Penticton drug trafficking case flees B.C. ahead of trial

B.C.’s Tyler O’Neill breaks MLB opening day homer record

Supreme Court upholds Yukon First Nation’s lawmaking authority

Kelowna’s Japan sister city, Kasugai, donates to wildfire relief efforts

Dallas Stars clinch playoff spot with 3-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Spotted Lantern Fly could eat into Okanagan fruit and wine industries


HAPPY EASTER NANAIMO – as we head into the Easter long weekend, things are rather quiet on the news front, but here's what we've been able to gather.

GAS PRICES SPIKED an average of 10 cents a litre in Nanaimo on Thursday, just under the $2 a litre mark. That level is expected to be surpassed on April 1 when the carbon dioxide tax increase will add a little more than three cents a litre for gasoline. For diesel owners it will be close to four cents a litre.

BACK IN THE SADDLE – Organizer extraordinaire Diana Johnstone it back, doing what she loves best. She has been named president of the 2025 games event once known as the B.C. Seniors Games. It’s the 55-Plus Games now, and will be held here in September, 2025. Joining Diana in the leadership of the games organization will be Mary Smith who has been named vice president. Both are volunteer roles. MORE


THE SEARCH been called off for a woman missing since mid-February. Sara Sherry, 45, was last seen Feb. 15 driving onto the logging roads off Northwest Bay. She was reported missing two days later. Her vehicle was found  a week later, however no trace of her was found. Numerous air and ground searches have not been successful and no further searches are planned, said Oceanside RCMP. MORE

WEST SHORE RCMP have arrested a Nanaimo man for exposing himself in public two times earlier this week. The 36-year-old man faces several charges related to three separate investigations, including three counts of an indecent act, one count of indecent exposure to a minor and one count of failure to comply with a release order. MORE

THE MARS MARTIN water bomber is heading into formal retirement, on its way to the BC Aviation Museum which has acquired the massive water bomber from Coulson Aviation to show if off at the museum based at Victoria’s airport. Pilot Peter Killin and co-pilot Rick Matthews have the honour to fly the plane on its final mission. The Mars water bomber served B.C. and beyond for 50 years, and saved lives and forests across North America. MORE

COVID-19 IS STILL WITH US, but fading. The number of patients hit its lowest level of 2024. The latest data update from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control shows there were 133 test-positive patients in provincial hospitals as of Thursday. Not everyone who is hospitalized with COVID-19 in B.C. is there because of the disease. The totals the BCCDC reports include patients who have serious cases of COVID requiring hospitalization and those who are hospitalized for other reasons and test positive after admission. MORE


THE WILD WEST DOWNTOWN has led the owner of the Haven Thrift Shop to throw in the towel. Madeline Crane says fear of downtown area social unrest has driven customers away. Madeline has operated the store for six years but has worked there for about 16 years. She says the neighbourhood has deteriorated sharply, causing a substantial drop in business. A lot of people don’t want to come downtown anymore, not feeling safe, she says. MORE

DOUBLE BARRELLED - You shoulda filled up yesterday. Prices at the pump soared this morning at many stations, going up as much as 10 cents a litre, to $1.979. Keep in mind, that's just days before the carbon tax increase comes into effect on April 1, adding about four cents more per litre.

JAMES CAREY TUROK, 32, has been ruled not criminally responsible for the stabbing death of 79-year-old Eric Kutzner at the Buzz Coffee house in 2022. The decision by BC Supreme Court Associate Justice Heather Holmes means Turok will be held indefinitely at the BC Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam. Justice Holmes said during her ruling that Turok is unable to fully appreciate the nature of his offence and moral wrongfulness. “. . . His psychosis caused him to believe that Mr. Kutzner was not human,” Justice Holmes told a packed courtroom gallery. MORE

ACCUSED VIOLENT OFFENDERS continue to get a pass even when prosecutors have sought to keep behind bars. BC Prosecution Service figures show Crown prosecutors sought detention for accused offenders in about a quarter of all cases, and in nearly a third of cases involving violence. But judges granted bail in 59 per cent of cases overall, and in 57 per cent of the cases involving violence.

DRAGON BOATS GOING SOUTH – The Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival is hauling anchor and moving south. Financial challenges forced the festival to be taken over by the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club, to Victoria on July 13-14. Race director Erik Ages said costs have become too much for them to bear, and hosting it at their own facilities is their best option to keep the festival alive. They will stage the event in Victoria at least for this year. MORE

CANADA TOPS 40 MILLION – We now have a population of 40,769,890 after our birth rate was higher than at any time since the 1950s. Statistics Canada reports a 3.2-per-cent birth rate growth in 2023, the highest since 1957, when it grew 3.3 per cent. About 98 per cent of the growth was due to international migration. The population rose by 1,271,872 in 2023, with 471,771 immigrants and 804,901 temporary residents. A significant percentage are international students while one in 10 are asylum seekers. MORE

GET YOUR CHECK BOOK OUTYou might want to cross check this. Bidding is under way for the world’s largest hockey stick outside the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan. The stick is 205 feet long and weighs more than 61,000 pounds, built for Expo 86 in Vancouver. Its title as the world’s largest is being butt-ended by Lockport, Illinois, which plans to build a 250-foot stick at its new arena. The CVRD opened its expression of interest program offering the 38-year-old stick “as is.” The price tag could be high sticking because it includes removing it from the community centre. 

QUOTABLE – Some things are best left unsaid, but I usually remember that right after I’ve said it.

Everyone's an expert at telling government what to do. There’s been a lot of reaction to possiblle shutdown of the music program at VIU, and the Elder College program is also on the chopping block. It comes down to priorities, and that’s the big question, what's more important? The university has announced 2024 Fulbright scholar Dr. Sara Vogel’s four-month residency will focus on "democratizing, decolonizing and Indigenizing" sexual education. Perhaps slipping in a little romantic music could perk up her sessions, and seniors would jump for joy at the very thought. So what's your priority, music, seniors or sex?


GAS UP – Make sure you fill up your gas tank on or before March 31 because you’ll pay a lot more the next day when the carbon dioxide tax increase kicks in April 1. Just a friendly reminder.

TALK ABOUT A HEALTHY DONATION – Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary forked over a cheque for $800,000 to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. It’s the largest annual donation ever by the auxiliary. A large part of that –$315,000 – is earmarked for an ophthalmology microscope which will allow ophthalmologists to more accurately position replacement lenses while performing cataract surgeries.

THERE’S NO EXCUSE any more. Get that exercise you need by walking around Cottle Lake – 200 meters of aluminum boardwalk now tops the trail on the south side of the lake in the Linley Valley. There are several sections of boardwalk railings and a slip-resistant coating near the southern boundary off Rock City Road. Wood chips and gravel will be added in the weeks ahead to fill in gaps and improve drainage. MORE

TAKE A HIKE – A multi-use pathway at Beban Park along Labieux Road, and a sidewalk in the area of Departure Bay Eco-School just got a funding boost from the provincial government. The $680,000 comes from $24 million the province is devoting to 80 projects around the province. MORE

THE BUS IS BACK – The Tofino Bus is back on the road for the summer tourist season beginning on Friday. It will make regular weekly runs from Victoria to Tofino/Ucluelet, stopping in Nanaimo, Parksville, and Port Alberni. They leave Victoria about 9 a.m. and reach Tofino in late afternoon. A 56-passenger coach will ply the route. MORE

THE MODERN TECH WORLD can present almost-insurmountable challenges for seniors. It’s everywhere with banking, telephones, government contacts, you name it. You must be computer literate, at least with the basics. Those confusing tasks can be overwhelming, but that’s where Labieux Seniors Centre comes in to help getting into the modern world. It’s a new name for a long-standing organization, affiliated with the B.C. Old Age Pensioners Organization. There are all the regular activities like shuffleboard, exercise classes, card games, luncheons and potlucks helping seniors feel like part of a community. MORE

QUOTABLE – Remember when you could lie in one position for hours and now you have to rotate like a rotisserie chicken every few minutes or your hip hurts.

Man released despite concerning and violent actions, say Kelowna police

Retired Canadian military chief finds peace on Vancouver Island

Massive collection of comic books donated to Vancouver Island University

Glacial pace for new hospital frustrates Tofino-Ucluelet region

Cruise ships set to return to Nanaimo this year after a 5-year absence

Beached orca on Vancouver Island was pregnant, DFO necropsy says

B.C. residents, environmental society sue FortisBC for ‘greenwashing’

B.C. man awarded ‘highest honour for civilian heroism in North America’

THE MOJ: Coin-flip loss to the Kings nothing to lose sleep over, Canucks fans

Vancouver Island, Ron James is not nearly done with you yet


THE TRIAL IS UNDER WAY for the man charged with second-degree murder in the grizzly death of 79-year-old Eric Kutzner on Feb. 12, 2022. James Carey Turok, 32, pleaded not guilty in BC Supreme Court in Nanaimo on Monday. Kutzner was stabbed 12 times while working at Buzz Coffee House on Rutherford Road. The trial has revealed highly disturbing evidence. NanaimoNewsNOW has the details. MORE

NANAIMO IS CELEBRATING 150 years since incorporation as the sixth municipality in British Columbia on Dec, 24, 1874. Numerous activities and initiatives will dot the calendar for the rest of the year. The first is the release of the corporate logo and street banners. The city’s birthday provides a chance to highlight successes while recognizing its citizens over the past century and a half. The logo and banner were designed by local artist Amy Pye, inspired by the convergence of land and sea, and the unique blend of urban and rural life that makes our landscape truly exceptional. MORE

THE NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN will remain Canadian-owned as owner Black Press Ltd. emerges from creditor protection following the restructuring and sale of the company. The company publishes 150 daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and websites across Canada and the U.S. and employs approximately 1,200 people. Canadian institutional investors Canso Investment Counsel Ltd. and Deans Knight Capital Management Ltd. as well as Carpenter Media Group are identified as the new owners. MORE

SCAM WARNING – The British Columbia government is warning about a scam involving its PayBC website. An almost-identical fake website is collecting personal and credit card information. PayBC gives residents a secure place to pay their bills to the provincial government, but the website addresses are slightly are different. People need to be vigilant and to make sure they are in the proper pay.gov.bc.ca website link. (See R.Const Gary O’Brien’s Police Beat article.)

POLICE AROUND THE PROVINCE will use an enhanced less-lethal Taser weapon now that the government has approved a new model. The Taser 7 can discharge a second shot without reloading and has a short-distance shooting range option. It was approved by the director of police services after getting advice from a panel that includes police, the Independent Investigations Office and the British Columbia Schizophrenia Society. MORE

LOBLAWS HAS BEEN FINED $7,000 after a Real Canadian Superstore in Surrey sold wine to a 16-year-old last fall. Two inspectors from the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch

visited the store for a routine inspection. They hired and brought with them a "minor agent," who was 16 years old at the time. The minor agent picked up a bottle of wine and took it to a specific till. The cashier scanned the wine and at no time did the cashier ask the minor agent for identification. MORE

ANOTHER ONE HITS an underpass. A van driver hit a pedestrian bridge on Stanley Park Drive on Monday, causing damage to the vehicle. The truck was coming into the park from Georgia Street when it struck the overpass. There was no apparent damage to the bridge and traffic was getting through. MORE

QUOTABLE – Elon Musk cut 90 per cent of Twitter’s employees and it’s running just fine. Shouldn’t we try that with government next?

Kelowna vino virtuoso vying to be world’s Top Young Sommelier

Feds look to move election; tax group calls out MP pensions

B.C. police officer found not guilty of assault in 2021 arrest

Kelowna woman breaks down barriers to adventure racing in B.C. 

DFO trying to return young whale to pod after beached mother died

Canada evacuates 18 from Haiti, expects more airlifts to follow

UTV goes through ice on Cariboo lake, claiming child’s life

Island firefighters host high school students for three-day firefighter camp 

First Nations group condemns BC United statement on Haida title agreement


CHILD CARE FUNDING – The Boys and Girls Club will renovate its Great Futures Early Learning Centre near Bayview Elementary School with a $1.5 million provincial grant. The money from the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund clears the way for renovations, easing some pressure for parents and caregivers finding childcare. Executive Director Karen Love said it will allow them to add 40 new childcare spaces with an additional 14 spaces for ages three to five, 14 school-aged spots along with 12 infant/toddler spaces.


THE NEWS BULLETIN is one of the finalists for 2023 Ma Murray Award as B.C.’s best community newspaper in the over 31,000 circulation bracket. The B.C. and Yukon Community News Media Association announced the finalists last week with winners to be honored next month.

THE CITY IS LOOKING at becoming the long-term host of the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities convention. The AVICC represents local governments working together on behalf of Island communities and working with the Union of B.C. Municipalities. Councillors looked at the idea in a finance committee meeting. AVICC requested Nanaimo to host the 2025 convention and commit to holding it every other year after that.


PARKSVILLE IS GEARING UP for the annual Brant Wildlife Festival April 5-8. The festival has grown over it’s 33 years to foster a deep appreciation for the biological diversity and of Vancouver Island. Stars of the show are always the Brant geese that flock to local beaches after the non-stop trip from Mexico to nesting grounds in Alaska, the Canadian Arctic and beyond. MORE


THE PRE-ELECTION GRAVY TRAIN made another stop, dropping off $24 million to improve their walking and cycling infrastructure in the province. The Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants program is part of a cost-sharing agreement that provides up to $500,000 for infrastructure projects, and up to $50,000 to develop the active network plans. The money will support 80 projects. MORE

COMOX WILL BE THE BASE for a new military drone base. The Department of National Defence expects to have a contract in place by the end of this year. The $53-million facility will house three combat-ready MQ-9B drones and 25 personnel at RCAF base Comox, as part of the government's $2.49-billion military drone program announced late last year. Defence Construction Canada has tendered an advanced procurement notice to design and construct a 5,700-square-metre B.C. drone facility with an additional 11,000 square metres of outdoor apron and parking. MORE

QUOTABLEA new word - pretendarian - for people who pretend to be whatever is convenient at the time.

Okanagan teen grapples for gold at Pan-American jiu-jitsu competition

More Canadians dive into streaming, pushing traditional TV aside

Medical doctors say naturopathic doctors no solution to primary care crisis

Surprise welcome from Anne Murray opens Junos Halifax bash

Taseko strikes deal to claim full ownership of second largest copper mine

Homan beats Switzerland to win gold at world curling playdowns

Record turnout at the 2024 Comox Valley Half Marathon 

Spike belt snags Porsche driver going 162km/h down B.C. highway 

RED TAPE DOUBLETALK– The province was going to cut red tape to speed up the housing approval process, but now they want municipalities to implement housing density legislation. For instance, Nanaimo’s share of funding, $620,000, will mostly go toward retaining consultants to help staff to create reports and develop plans to cope with creating increased housing capacity. How does that speed up the process?     2024-03-24


MENTORING YOUTH – Big Brothers and Sisters is taking a serious approach to stop teens from joining gangs and using guns. The local non-profit will launch its Mindful Mentoring program on Wednesday at Dover Bay Secondary School. The 12-week program will connect youths with experienced mentors in a group setting, with a focus on self-care and mental well-being. MORE

CLIMATE IS LAUGHING AT US – Recent weather has been matching temperatures from a century ago. Bella Coola tied its all-time record of 18.3 degrees on Friday, matching the 1915 high. Bella Bella set a new record of 16.1 on Friday topping the 1978 high of 15 C. And those communities that didn't break records are colder than they were a century ago. How's that for climate change?

QUOTABLE – When you have more years behind you than ahead of you, you think differently.

Penticton entrepreneur hailed as an angel on earth

Man dies at Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops

Sooke Fine Arts Show seeks diverse artwork for 2024 exhibition

Island farmers celebrate 10-year labour of love at Keating Farm

Canada wishes Kate swift recovery in wake of cancer diagnosis for princess

High heat? Law should say get out of the kitchen: B.C. labour advocates

Dozens dead or injured after gunmen open fire in Moscow concert hall

Red Sea attacks could make Port of Vancouver even busier after record year

BC Ferries to rollout new discount program in April

Mulroney family touched by tributes to Brian as they greet well-wishers

Premier visits Lake Cowichan to celebrate funding for new weir


FERRY TRAFFIC REROUTED – Mechanical problems on the final sailing from Duke Point to Tswwassen Friday night saw traffic redirected to Departure Bay Terminal. The Departure Bay sailing to Vancouver was delayed to accommodate the traffic from Duke Point.

THIS SHOULD NOT HAPPEN – A man who suffered a stroke while driving through the George Massey Tunnel during rush hour was told by B.C. Ambulance Service dispatchers to drive himself to hospital. After he got through the tunnel a passerby stopped to help and also called 911, but it was more than two hours later when family members came and took him to hospital. Read at the details HERE.

THE CARBON TAX is not the only thing going up on April 1. Average fares across B.C. Ferries will rise by 3.2 per cent as set by the BC Ferries commissioner. The company was able to avoid a 9.2-per-cent fare increase due to $500 million from the provincial government. And hold the phone, it is not known how the carbon tax hike will affect the fuel surcharge on ferries.

GOT NOTHING TO DO on Sunday night? Sit back and watch a solar eclipse which should darken the sky just before 10 p.m. This one will not be up to par at the moon passes through the outer part of the Earth’s shadow. GET MORE


IT’S ALL ABOUT TAXES – A federal study of legal cannabis legislation recommends a review of excise taxes charged to pot producers. 54 recommendations from the five-member panel urged Finance Canada to consider a new model that would increase excise taxes on products with high quantities of tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabis’s psychoactive component, and lower fees on those with smaller amounts. It positioned the change as a way to move consumers away from high-THC products. MORE

QUOTABLE – They said Noah was crazy, but then the rain came and all the fact checkers drowned.

Sooke Fine Arts Show seeks diverse artwork for 2024 exhibition

Island farmers celebrate 10-year labour of love at Keating Farm 

Canada wishes Kate ‘swift recovery’ in wake of cancer diagnosis for princess

High heat? Law should say get out of the kitchen: B.C. labour advocates

Dozens dead or injured after gunmen open fire in Moscow concert hall

Red Sea attacks could make Port of Vancouver even busier after record year

BC Ferries to rollout new discount program in April

Mulroney family touched by tributes to Brian as they greet well-wishers

Premier visits Lake Cowichan to celebrate funding for new weir 

Two retired Islanders joined forces to feed homeless

Vancouver Island’s Rifflandia tickets go on sale to the public March 29


GOOD MORNING, AND THE NEWS IS GOOD – Another 62 units of affordable houses for Nanaimo are part of nearly 870 on the way for renters on Vancouver Island. Woodgrove Seniors Housing will add the 62 units, the same as were completed last August on Seafield Crescent. Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon said the new homes are the latest step to deliver the urgently-needed housing for a wide range of people, from seniors on fixed incomes to growing families. Seven other new projects on Vancouver Island make up the whole package with 867 affordable rental homes for individuals, families, seniors, people living with disabilities and Indigenous people on Vancouver Island.

A WOMAN WAS struck and fatally injured by a vehicle at Woodgrove Centre Thursday afternoon. Nanaimo RCMP said the 80-year-old victim was struck by a pick up operated by a 21-year-old driver who remained at the scene and is co-operating with investigators. Alcohol and drugs have been ruled out as contributing factors. Police are asking for anyone with eye witness evidence and motorists with dashcam video, to please contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.  

THE VANCOUVER ISLAND SHORT FILM FESTIVAL begins today and you can enjoy it at the theatre or in your own home. It runs today and Sunday at the Malaspina Theatre at VIU and streamed online.  Twenty films, 15 minutes or shorter, are featured on the playbill from all over the world. MORE


REMEMBER COVID? The pesky flu strain is still around but on the decline in B.C. hospitals this week. The latest data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control reported 148 test-positive patients in hospitals across the province yesterday, down 15  from the 163 reported in hospital at this time last week. MORE

IT DOESN’T APPEAR TO MATTER how vigilant we are, scammers are ahead of the curve. The latest way of getting people’s money is a text from someone you know saying they broke their phone and have a new number then ask for money to help pay for the new phone or repairs. North Vancouver RCMP say victims have lost a total of $8,768 in three cases with the victims getting a text message from someone claiming to be their daughter needing money to pay for a new phone or to pay off a bill, and gave an email account for money to be sent to. MORE

AN 87-YEAR-OLD Saanich senior recently spent nine days in the hallway at Victoria General Hospital getting treated for delirium and other complications from infections. Eric Roberts eventually got a room for half a day, but over crowding shoved him back in the hallway. Victoria General Hospital is running at 104-per-cent capacity this year, and part of the problem is that patients there no longer need hospital care, but didn't have adequate supports elsewhere. That includes seniors needing home supports or waiting for a spot at a long-term care home. MORE

SLOW TO LEARN – Drivers in our province are still not getting the message to “slow down, and move over”. RCMP and Highway Patrol issued more than 2,100 tickets and warnings with educational material during traffic stops across the province and Island earlier this year. The Island saw 175 tickets and warnings issued. Cpl. Melissa Jongema said it was an education-focused campaign rather than a punitive one to build relationships with the communities and hand out brochures. MORE

WELLNESS EXPO happens on Saturday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. at the Beban Park Social Centre. Health, nutrition, fitness, fashions and more. There will be more than 70 exhibits along with a dozen wellness talks and presentations. Free admission. For more information, MORE 

RCAF CENTENNIAL – The Centennial of Royal Canadian Air Force is 100 years old. It was formed on April 1, 1924 and they are celebrating in fine style. A black-tie gala will be held at the British Columbia Aviation Museum in North Saanich on April 6. If you haven’t already got tickets you’re out of luck, they’re sold out. A CF-104 Starfighter will be the backdrop, with the Naden Band and the 443 Squadron’s pipes and drums troupe performing.

QUOTABLE – People don’t want to hear your opinion, they want to hear their opinion coming from your mouth.


Zadorov scores 2, lifts Canucks to 4-1 win over struggling Canadiens

Carbon tax talk heating up in B.C. as April 1 hike nears

House of Commons rejects Conservative non-confidence motion over carbon tax

Industrial carbon price cuts three times the emissions of consumer levy

B.C. First Nation shares concerns over oil spills with UN 

Archaeological assessment for Okanagan church camp destroyed in wildfire

Olympic snowboarder recovering after knee to the face in B.C. back country

B.C. unveils $39M flood strategy as 200,000 properties remain at high risk

Prosecutors decline to pursue charges against Vancouver police officer

Second-degree murder charge laid in killing of woman near UBC

We just got the bad news of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and family’s Christmas vacation in Jamaica. It cost the rest of us Canadians $234,000, with a large chunk of that being the cost of RCMP security which included hotels. Thankfully the family's accommodation was free, they stayed with friends. All things considered, why should any prime minister’s expenses be paid by us while he/she’s on personal time? This breakdown gives us some idea of the costs of all of Trudeau's pseudo business junkets around the world.


CALL TO SERVICE – The City invites applications to fill a vacancy on the Advisory Committee on Accessibility and Inclusiveness. The purpose of the committee is to promote social and political equity within existing and proposed City plans, policies, bylaws and infrastructure and make recommendations to council that will ensure that the City is inclusive and accommodating to citizens of all ages, abilities and walks of life. The term for this volunteer committee will end October, 2026. If you’re interested, go to the city’s website for the application. MORE

CONCERN OVER EARLY FIRES – The BC Wildfire Service is imposing fire bans next week in northeast and central B.C., in preparation for an early start to wildfire season ahead. The Category 2 and 3 open fire bans cover the Prince George and Cariboo fire centres, and both start at noon on next Thursday. The Wildfire Service considers drought conditions, current and forecast weather, firefighting resources and the buildup index when deciding to implement fire bans. MORE

ELECTRIC VEHICLE OWNERS are getting another 500 public charging stations to go with more than 5,000 already available. The government is coughing up $30 million to expand what it calls the “electric highway.” The program will fill geographic gaps in the existing charging network, aiming to ensure every community in B.C. has access to a fast-charging station. They will be placed in highly accessible locations, such as community centres, libraries and highway rest stops. MORE

THEY JUST WANT a little gas money but Angel Flight of British Columbia has been turned down by the province. Angel Flight is operated by volunteer pilots who donate their planes and time to transport cancer patients to care in Victoria and Vancouver. The pilots rely on donations to cover fuel costs. They asked Premier David Eby for support but were turned down. The province has announced a $10-million grant to Toronto-based Hope Air to help cover cancer travel and accommodations. Angel pilot Jeffrey Morris said half a per cent of that a year would be great to cover fuel costs. MORE

QUOTABLE – Screw drivers and drills are now allowed on Boeing flights to allow passengers to help with maintenance.


CRUISE SHIPS ARE BACK ­– Two cruise ships are scheduled to dock in Nanaimo this summer after years of inactivity. The Port Authority announced The MV Seabourn Odyssey will visit here May 9, and the Oceania Regatta will arrive on Aug. 26. Andrea Thomas, manager of cruise development for the Port, said four cruises are already booked in 2025 and at least two in 2026. She added Nanaimo has a unique product in shore excursion options given our geographical location, our proximity to the central Island and even out to Port Alberni. These visits are the first in Nanaimo since before the COVID-19 pandemic, with the industry still struggling to recover. MORE

PEACE AND QUIET – It should be a peaceful Easter long weekend for people living near Beaufort Park’s pickleball courts. City Council voted Monday to close the courts on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. Coun. Ben Geselbracht raised the issue to allow nearby residents of the park a temporary reprieve from noise created by the sport. MORE

WAIT AND SEE – City Council will wait for provincial regulations before determining its short-term rental regulations. But Council voted to double fines from to $500 from $250a day for short-term rental owners who don’t operate within the bylaws. City community planner Kasia Biegun, said 62 complaints have been made since spring 2022, when local regulations were adopted. A vast majority were for operating without a business license. The Province increased fines to $3,000, from $1,000. Those fines don’t apply to the city which operates under Local Government Bylaw Notice Enforcement Act. MORE


DEVELOPMENT OF THE Howard Johnson Hotel site is going back to public hearing. City Council rescinded third reading of zoning and land use bylaws for the site on Monday. The move comes after Snuneymuxw objected to land use and development on that historic site. Snuneymuxw previously objected to the engagement process with the City. The provincial government has facilitated discussions since, involving Snuneymuxw, the land owner and, at times, the City. MORE


THE TOXIC DRUG CRISIS programs in the province failed to measure up in an audit by the Auditor General's office, finding numerous deficiencies, concluding that the ministries did not ensure effective province-wide implementation. Since the province declared a public health emergency in 2016, more than 14,000 people have died due to the toxic drug supply. The office audited the implementation of overdose prevention and supervised consumption services. Implementation of the first phase of prescribed safer supply was also audited. AUDIT HIGHLIGHTS and the FULL REPORT


A JUNIOR HOCKEY PLAYER with a record of misconduct has been suspended for 31 games after he choked and seriously injured a player. Eithan Grishin of the Richmond Sockeyes was found guilty by the Pacific Junior Hockey League of choking North Van Wolf Pack goalie Evan Paul in the Jan. 25 incident. Grishin was previously suspended for 13 games in 2023 for physical harassment of an official and three games for slashing last year. MORE


A FORMER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL teacher convicted of possessing child pornography has been banned for life from teaching. Graham Christopher Bowering entered into a consent resolution with B.C.'s Commissioner for Teacher Regulation. He was teaching in North Vancouver at the time. MORE

QUOTABLE – Some of us are lucky that mirrors don’t laugh

It's a question

of priorities

We’ve got seven months until the next provincial election, and the train is chugging down the tracks with gravy flowing every which way. The wish lists are getting longer. Some of those handouts are badly needed, but what should the criteria and the priorities be? Health care, education, housing and homelessness top any lists. Blatant vote buying handouts raise eyebrows, you see them in the news daily. Premier David Eby doesn’t have any money, it’s our money that he’s handing out. Don’t forget farmers, vineyards and countless interest groups. Should we be subsidizing new cars for wealthy people, replacing windows, roofs and heating units for those who own homes? When do priorities override wish lists?


POLICE HAVE BEEN called in to investigate after a Nanaimo minor hockey player was taken to hospital after he was severely slashed during a game in Courtenay on Friday. A Comox Valley player reportedly swung his stick like an axe, striking a Nanaimo boy multiple times in the Under-15 game. The 14-year-old player was struck on his shoulder blade and the back of his collarbone, and sent to hospital with a concussion. Comox Valley RCMP confirmed it’s investigating, it did not provide any details. MORE


THE DRIVER OF A VEHICLE that flipped onto its roof on Old Victoria Road was taken to hospital Monday afternoon. The single occupant of the vehicle was pinned in the car. Nanaimo Fire Rescue Capt. Jason Battie said she was concious and one door was removed to get her out. MORE


THIEVES GOT CAUGHT in the act but still got away with gift cards and lottery tickets designated for prizes at a minor hockey tournament. Ice Centre staff noticed activity in a warm room above NIC-2, where prizing was locked during the year-end tournament. They found multiple people inside, raiding baskets for gift cards and various lottery scratch tickets. They took off on foot when they were interrupted by city staff. MORE


FOOD PRICES STILL WENT UP but not by as as annual inflation edged down in February. Statistics Canada reported the over all inflation was 2.8 per cent year-over-year in February,down from 2.9 per cent in January. Grocery prices were one of the biggest contributors to the step down, rising 2.4 per cent in February, down from 3.4 per cent in the previous month. Prices for fresh fruit, processed meat and fish declined year-over-year, while other components including bakery and dairy products saw prices grow but at a slower pace than January.MORE


THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT is focussing on keeping people safe during wildfire events with added emergency supports. High temperatures and little precipitation were a common theme for much of last year, followed by warm weather in January, setting the stage for another potentially costly wildfire season. Emergency Management Minister Bowinn Ma said they want to make it easier for those evacuated during weather-related emergencies to get support. An expanded team of emergency support specialists is ready to be deployed to communities who need that extra support, she said. MORE

WHY DO WE STILL HAVE vaccine mandates? B.C. is the only province still requiring health care workers to be vaccinated to work in their field. We have a health care worker shortage while we have hundreds of them off the job due to the vaccination requirement. Watch this informative presentation about the rising shortage of health care workers HERE.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO if you found a thousand bucks in cash? Read the Police Beat column with R/Const Gary O'Brien to get the full story.

ONE HAND GIVETH – First the good news, Fortis will not raise the price of natural gas on April 1. The B.C. Utility Commission has approved the rate freeze at $2.23 per gigajoule. Now the bad news, Premier David Eby has his hand out with a B.C. carbon tax on natural gas and propane increase on April 1. FortisBC has nearly 1.1 million customers in our province.

THE 70TH ANNUAL Nanaimo Women’s amateur golf championship hits the links June 8-9. There’s room for 128 entries, with an early-bird deadline of April 15. Check out the details in the advertisement on the left side of this page or go HERE to enter online

STOLEN EQUIPMENT REPLACED – The Nanaimo Raider Hansen office has stepped in to replace Milwaukee tools that were stolen recently from Nanaimo Search and Rescue. Raider Hansen is the largest independent industrial service supplier of safety and construction equipment. These tools are vital in maintaining NSAR’s equipment, but also ensure they’re able to get to the places they need to go.

QUOTABLE – Life is like an elevator, sometimes you have to stop on the way up to let some people off.


THE SKY IS NOT FALLING, even though temperatures broke records all over the province, some 124 years old. Ten records fell on Friday, 38 on Saturday and another 38 on Sunday. That just means it was this hot more than a century ago with no carbon taxes or carbon spewing motor vehicles. One climatologist has suggested we just had the warmest winter in 77 years, again meaning it was that warm 77 years ago. As climate graphs show, temperatures have been rising and falling for millions of years.


IF YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED to be a fireman, here’s your chance. Nanaimo Fire Rescue is looking for a few good men and women with the annual recruitment drive this month.  Check out the job postings which is on the City website until March 28.


LOCAL POLITICIANS have their hands deeper into your pockets. The Regional District budget for 2024 carries an 11.4-per cent tax increase in this year. It’s better than the 13.5-per-cent increase  suggested during budget deliberations. What that means for Nanaimo residents is a $61 jump for an average home. Lantzville residents will pay an extra $83.


TACKLING FRAUD – Online and phone scams have hurt a lot of people and now someone is doing something about it.  Nanaimo RCMP will have a presentation on frauds and scams at the Brechin United Church on Wednesday evening. It’s open to the public at the church. No advance registration is needed, it starts at 7 p.m.


ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST – Coast FM 91.7 Radio is no more, replaced by ICON Radio in a major rebranding. Gone are the local voices, replaced by what Vista Radio calls icons of music to the Island and Sunshine Coast. Names like Brother Jake, Gentleman Jim Jackson, Barb Montgomery and Gerry O Day will now fill the airwaves from studios in Vancouver.


911 OUTAGE. A technical issue caused delays for anyone calling 911 on Saturday morning, but the problem was resolved hours later. The delays were the result of a server issue at around 6 a.m. and service was back to normal by 11:30 a.m. E-Comm handles more than two million 911 calls in B.C. annually, which is more than 99 per cent of the province's emergency call volume. It also handles dispatch services for police and fire departments in B.C. MORE


QUOTABLE – I love plant-based burgers. Meat-processing-plant based.



Canadians, parents shouldn’t worry about TikTok security review: minister

International students face growing mental distress in Canada, advocates warn

Trudeau says no to Quebec’s request to have full power over immigration

Trudeau says Canada watching TikTok debate in U.S.

Questions about deficit central to discussion over looming federal budget

Canada’s household debt ratio relatively steady, net worth improves

Supply management of meat, eggs, dairy remains a Canadian sacred cow

Canadians skeptical of online harms bill making the internet safer

Canada supports intervention in Haiti as the best course



HEY NANAIMO, we’re courting heat records, enjoying 18.8 degrees on Saturday. But it gets better – Environment Canada forecasts 19 degrees today, well above the record 15.7 set in 1983. In all, 10 areas set new daily highs for March 15, with Squamish the hottest at 19.5 C. The former record was 17.0 C, set in 1988. More records could fall this weekend temperatures five to 10 degrees above normal over the weekend, before we return to rain by mid week. MORE


TWO PEOPLE WERE TAKEN TO HOSPITAL after a  two-vehicle crash near Cathedral Grove briefly halted traffic on Saturday afternoon. Two vehicles apparently collided head on at about 3:45 p.m. and ended up in the eastbound lane and on the side of the road. RCMP and two ambulances were called to the scene along with fire trucks from Port Alberni. Traffic started moving at 4:35 p.m. in a single-lane alternating pattern. MORE


SNUNEYMUXW AND B.C. HOUSING have presented a development application for a six storey supportive housing building on Nicol Street to the design advisory panel. The development is a partnership which will provide care and housing for the neighborhood’s most at-risk residents, prioritizing Snuneymuxw members. The main entrance will be along a lane parallel to Nicol, and a “sacred garden” and parking at 364 Haliburton St. MORE


EMBARK STUDENT CORPORATION is targeting hunger for Vancouver Island University students with a gift of $400,000. That comes as the rising cost of living forces a growing number of students to choose between their educational goals and basic living essentials. Embark is an education savings and planning company. The grant is part of  $2.7 million allocated to seven universities across Canada. The money will pay for student-driven research, food security initiatives aimed at meeting immediate needs, cross-campus co-ordination to find sustainable solutions to student hunger, and increased access to emergency funding. MORE


THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY of Canada's withdrawal from Afghanistan was marked Saturday at Legion Branch 256. Front and centre was retired Capt. Trevor Green was paralyzed and suffered a massive brain injury in an ambush in Kandahar in 2006. The father of two has lived the last 18 years as a powerful advocate and living reminder of the many killed, wounded and still suffering from PTSD, as he does. 40,000 Canadians served in that war, 158 died and more than 70 committed suicide since returning home. MORE


FBI HAS A NEW OWNER. Travellers along the Island Highway are familiar with the historic Fanny Bay Inn – it has a new owner. Chef Diana Johnstone is taking over from Roxanne O’Brien, who owned the business for the last eight years. The inn opened in 1938 when Highway 19A was the only road to the North Island, making it a popular spot for travellers. Johnstone, who is a red seal chef, owns a restaurant in Squamish but jumped on the opportunity to take over the property lovingly known to many as the FBI. MORE

QUOTABLEWhy do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you naked anyway.


DOWNTOWN TRAFFIC could be a nightmare for a while as a section of Commercial Street, between Terminal Avenue and Museum Way is shut down to allow city crews to do concrete work as the preamble of the Design Commercial concept. Work will begin Tuesday, continuing through April 4, So plan your route in advance before travelling there. MORE

PAPER TRAIL – computers were supposed to reduce the use of paper, but almost 10 million pages were printed in Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district last year. But they’re trying to cut back. There were more than 3.5 million printed pages, 6.3 million photocopies, 135,000 scans and 430 faxes. Of those, more than 9.4 million were black-and-white and more than 450,000 were colour. The district estimated this amounted to more than 800 trees cut down and 86,700 kilograms of carbon dioxide produced. Karl Yu has the details. MORE

YELLOW POINT AND NORTH OYSTER are being overrun by elk, frustrating farmers as the animals gorge on the area’s hay fields. About 30 Roosevelt elk arrived in mid February and at first they came and went, but Now they’re sticking around for the sumptuous banquet the farms offer. Cautious at first, the elk are getting braver and now move closer to humans each day. MORE

THE REAL ESTATE MARKET appears to be perking up a bit with18 homes sold in the last seven days, says Realtor John Cooper. A healthy supply of new single-family homes has been hitting the Nanaimo market – 52 new homes, for two weeks in a row. For some perspective, in September sales hit up to 36 homes a week, and in January it dropped as low as five home sales in a week. You can contact John HERE

HOLD THE PHONE – Telus has stepped back from a plan to eliminate land lines in a remote rural community near northwest Kamloops. Telus had sent notices it was disconnecting landline service to approximately 63 residents after March 8 to allow for 5G wireless service. Just before the deadline, Telus backed won. The transition could have seen bills skyrocketing from approximately $26 a month to $170. A sign of things to come? Goodbye to land lines? MORE

NEW BUS STOP BC Transit has added an extra stop on Route 70 NCX Nanaimo – Cowichan Express in both directions. Buses will stop at Oyster Sto’Lo Road on the Trans-Canada Highway. Service levels and scheduled trip times on Route 70 NCX will remain the same.

INDIGENOUS IDENTITY – Provincial Court Judge David Patterson warns that what he calls a “tsunami” of Indigenous identity fraud cases is coming to Canadian courts. That’s driven by the “desire” of non-Indigenous people to access what they deem to be benefits of identifying as Indigenous. He said in a recent ruling that judges must be “alive to the issue” and require proof that ensures an offender is entitled to be sentenced as an Indigenous person. MORE

BUT DOES SHE BARK? – I know it's not local, but a Toronto pet DNA testing company is in the doghouse after identifying a human investigative reporter as 40 per cent Alaskan Malamute, 35 per cent Shar-Pei and 25 per cent Labrador. She sent in a swab of her own saliva for the test. MORE

QUOTABLE – I don’t get into arguments with stupid people, I just say. “you're right.”


Canadians, parents shouldn’t worry about TikTok security review: minister

International students face growing mental distress in Canada, advocates warn

Trudeau says ‘no’ to Quebec’s request to have full power over immigration

McDonald’s system outages have been reported worldwide

Trudeau says Canada watching TikTok debate in U.S.

Questions about deficit central to discussion over looming federal budget

Canada’s household debt ratio relatively steady, net worth improves

Supply management of meat, eggs, dairy remains a Canadian sacred cow

Canadians skeptical of online harms bill making the internet safer

Canada supports intervention in Haiti as the best course

Canada concerned as final rule for ‘Product of USA’ meat labels announced

Advocate set to probe Canada’s treatment of sexual assault victims


HEY NANAIMO, we’re in for sunshine over the next few days, so enjoy it to the hilt. Temperatures could reach near 20 degrees in parts of the island. Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan says we could see temperature records from Saturday to Tuesday. MORE

PROM SEASON IS APPROACHING but that does not have to cost an arm and a leg for graduates wanting to stand out in the crowd. That’s where Prom Closet Nanaimo comes in to help find suitable formal attire. Co-ordinator Joan Hiemstra says they have a lot of gowns and suits in stock right now, thanks to donations coming in year-round. The only requirement is the student must be graduating high school this year. Prom Closet Nanaimo relies mostly on clothes donations but there’s nothing like cash to help the cause. MORE

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Girl Guides are in serious need of adult volunteers to help run their programs. The organization helps prepare girls for life through mentoring and confidence-building programs. Demand to join their programs is so high, some groups have a waitlist to join. That means more adults to help out. MORE

THERE'S GOOD NEWS FROM BC FERRIES this morning. They're making it easier and more affordable to travel by increasing its Saver fares and reducing some cancellation fees to give passengers more flexibility. Beginning April 1, new savings are coming for customers and families who carpool and book in advance, or who take alternative modes of transportation. Also, a new Foot Passenger Saver Fare of $15 is being introduced for select sailings, when booked and paid for in advance.

VIU RESEARCHERS are studying whether toxic chemicals from tires are being washed into urban streams and waterways. Tires release a chemical that is acutely toxic to salmon at extremely low levels. It can flow into storm drains and urban streams when it rains. Researchers at Vancouver Island University and the BC Conservation Foundation, are studying the issue. A network of 31 local groups, citizen scientists and First Nations are sampling 53 waterways at 99 locations between Victoria and Campbell River. MORE

THE GOVERNMENT IS GOING AFTER social media companies to recover health-related expenditures from wrong-doers, both individuals and corporations. Premier David Eby said the government has previously warned social media giants, tobacco, drug companies and other corporations that they would be held accountable for the harm they are causing to people, including kids. MORE

ROOT OF THE PROBLEM – Lack of sufficient home support services is to blame for a ballooning long-term care wait-lists. Outgoing seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie says while some home and community care services have increased over the past five years, the rate of services relative to the population has fallen. Mackenzie says subsidies for senior who rent have fallen dramatically short of what they need to continue living in their own homes and meet their basic needs. MORE

QUOTABLE – The reason facts don’t change most people’s opinions is because most people don’t use facts to form their opinions, they use their opinions for form their version of facts.


Canada launched TikTok national security review last fall

Questions about deficit central to discussion over looming federal budget

Canada’s household debt ratio relatively steady, net worth improves

Supply management of meat, eggs, dairy remains a Canadian sacred cow

Canadians skeptical of online harms bill making the internet safer

Canada supports intervention in Haiti as the best course

Canada concerned as final rule for ‘Product of USA’ meat labels announced

Advocate set to probe Canada’s treatment of sexual assault victims

Purple to orange: Former Calgary mayor vying for Alberta NDP leadership

Families who rescued loved ones from Gaza feel ‘scammed’ by Canada

Canada says it will join effort to get aid to Gaza through sea corridor

Canada’s UN ambassador to attend emergency meeting on gang crisis in Haiti


SUNSHINE IS ON THE WAY, with possible record-breaking temperatures as high as 14 or 15 degrees on the Central Island over the next week. Environment Canada prognosticates that the Fraser Valley will reach up to 21 degrees and spike to 17 closer to the water on Saturday, which could tie a record set in 1983. Locally, we can look forward to the 15-degree range. Enjoy.

THE PRICE AT THE PUMP has been bobbing up and down like a yo-yo, but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Gas expert Dan McTeague says prices have shot up eight or nine cents in the past week in the Lower Mainland, but that is small compared with what’s to come in late spring and early summer. The new normal this summer, or at least late spring, could begin at a $2.20 or $2.30 a litre range. The prevailing rate in Nanaimo this morning was $1.819. The B.C. average is $1.809 while the cross-Canada average is $1.534. Looks like we're getting hosed. MORE


ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE is being used in money swindling frauds, such as the grandparent scam. Nanaimo RCMP report a flood of phone calls to local residents, including the use of AI to match the voice of a family supposedly needing a large sum of money quickly. The amounts demanded are usually in the $3,000 to $8,000 range. The grandparent scam involves fraudsters calling older residents for money, some posing as family members in need. Nanaimo RCMP R/Cst Gary O’Brien said most of the reports sought information. “Our switchboard was lit up with call after call from the public asking if their loved one had been arrested and was in jail.” Saanich Police conducted a free workshop in Victoria Wednesday to educate seniors on how to protect themselves.

ORCHARD OWNERS will get $70 million to replant and strengthen orchards and vineyards after two years of weather-related disasters. The commitment comes after the cold snap in January that wiped out almost the entire 2024 wine vintage, and slashed harvest forecasts by 90 per cent. Premier David Eby said the January chill that sent temperatures in Kelowna plunging to -27 C destroyed up to 99 per cent of the province's harvest, a devastating blow that followed a previous crippling deep freeze in 2022 and wildfire smoke damage in 2021.


QUOTABLE Why is it acceptable for people to be complete idiots but not acceptable for me to point that out?



Kelowna weightlifter goes toe-to-toe with world’s best in Thailand

Watchdogs urge BC Ferries to skip LNG in its plans to expand fleet

Harbour Air hopes to offer flights in and out of Ucluelet

Parksville makes list of Top 10 Canadian cities for retiring

Half of British Columbians finding it hard to make ends meet, poll finds

World’s Largest Sculptured Acoustic Anvil finds new home in B.C.

Qualicum Beach’s Kasten earns gold at BC Masters Weightlifting Championships


Victor Mema ordered to

repay $14,148.97 to city

Former Nanaimo Chief Financial Officer Victor Mema has been ordered to repay the City $14,148.97 in unauthorized personal expenses that he incurred when employed here after he left the Sunshine Coast. His certified public accountant (CPA) designation was lifted by The Chartered Public Accountants of Alberta which originally issued it. The organization outlined the orders handed down by its discipline tribunal on March 4 which found Mema “guilty of unprofessional conduct” for violating Alberta’s Chartered Professional Accountants Act and the “regulations, by-laws, and Rules of Professional Conduct” for its members. Along with loss of the professional designation, Mema was fined $30,000 and ordered to pay a portion of complaint review and investigation costs which have to be paid in 12 months. MORE

FOR THE SECOND YEAR in a row Lantzville has approved a budget with no tax rate increase. The 2024 budget totals $3.1 million. Though that’s $91,500 higher than in 2023, the increase comes primarily tax revenue from new homes built in the community.

GET READY TO PAY for on-street parking near Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. The City is introducing pay parking and web-based, mobile HotSpot Parking in response to the growing challenges faced by residents and visitors to the hospital and businesses and surrounding areas. You can pay by scanning the HotSpot QR code signage with your cellphone or by downloading the HotSpot Parking app. The payment process honours all major credit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay and Visa Debit. Rates will be consistent with downtown rates at $1.25 per hour, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. It’s free weekends and evenings. HERE

EASIER ACCESS – it’s more convenient for travellers to get Nanaimo information after the Tourism Nanaimo moved its location. They are now in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre opposite the Courtyard by Marriott hotel. Manager Morgane Riddell said a big factor in making the move is engaging with more out-of-town visitors. “We’re getting to know our neighbours, we’re talking to Hullo ferries, we’re talking to all of the hotels, we’re making sure that they know we’re here and that we’re really focusing on promoting Nanaimo, promoting all of these great shops and restaurants that we have.”

The 2024 CITY CULTURE AWARD winners have been announced. The awards celebrate and honour local excellence and achievement. Three citizens have been named for this year’s awards.
Excellence in Culture Award Paul Roland Gogo;
Honour in Culture Award Sukhi Sangha;
Emerging Cultural Leader Annalise Lam.
They will be honoured at a free community event at the Port Theatre on Apr. 3. See the full details on the winners HERE

SMACK INTO AN OVERPASS with a truck and you could become a guest in the crowbar hotel. The province proposes jail time and six-figure fines when commercial vehicles smash into provincial infrastructure. The Ministry of Transportation want to bring in changes to the Commercial Transport Act that would enable the courts to impose fines reaching $100,000, as well as imprisonment up to 18 months upon conviction for violations. Drivers are not the only ones that could face hefty fines or jail – companies could also be liable. MORE

QUOTABLE – Opponents say razor wire is inhumane. Not if you don’t try to climb over it.


Brandon Isaak and Blue Moon Marquee will duke it out at Juno Awards


Kelowna Rockets’ mascot goes viral after quad crash on ice


Nazareth and Phonix headline Penticton Peach Festival’s opening night


Night no longer providing reprieve to those battling B.C. wildfires


Whistleblower video raises concerns about fish welfare at B.C. caviar farm 


B.C. man charged in connection to Ontario sex assaults on kids in the ’90s


THE MOJ: Canucks approaching life without Demko in good humour


Bitter Harvest: Tech helping B.C. grain farmers confront weather woes


Supply management of meat, eggs, dairy remains a Canadian sacred cow


Canadians skeptical of online harms bill making the internet safer



Photo courtesy Janine Sedola

THE HERRING SPAWN is upon us and fishing boats make final preparations for the harvest. Seine boats were to wrap up their work on Monday, making way for gillnetters to bring in tonnes of herring. Ships are waiting for the weather to turn locally, as smaller spawns have been spotted near Campbell River. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans expects quite a bit of activity here in the next few days. The forecasts call for around 80,000 short tonnes of fish this year. For a real sight, get down to the waterfront and observe nature at its finest. MORE

FINALLY SPRING is on the way. A high-pressure system will bring bring balmy weather to the mid-Island. That means a blue sky little wind and very warm temperatures, says Environment Canada meteorologist Derek Lee. We could see the thermometer hit 16 degrees (61 Fahenheit) by this weekend, about six or seven degrees above normal. Who can argue about that? MORE

NANAIMO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT corporation has hired Colin Stansfield as its first CEO. The body was founded in January 2022, with the City, Snuneymuxw, Port Authority, Airport Commission, Chamber of Commerce and Vancouver Island University as stakeholders. He comes here after serving as executive director of the Sunshine Coast Region Economic Development Organization since 2019. His role here will be to shape the strategic direction of the corporation, lead initiatives that promote sustainable economic development, and attract investment. MORE

WEATHER CONDITIONS resulted in cancelled ferry sailings on the two main routes. The 8:45 p.m. departing Departure Bay and the 10:10 p..m from Horseshoe Bay were cancelled. As well, the sailing between Duke Point and Tsawwassen Monday were docked after Environment Canada issued asevere weatherforecast for high winds and unfavourable sea state in the Strait of Georgia. The 8:15 p.m. sailing from Tsawwassen and the 10:45 p.m. return trip leaving Duke Point were affected.

GET READY TO RUMBLE – Scientists believe magma will bubble up under the Pacific Ocean floor off Vancouver Island anywhere from weeks to a few years from now. They have detected up to 200 small earthquakes per hour in the area. The expected rupture about five km deep and 260 km off the coast of Tofino, will be too distant and small to be cause for concern on shore, but offers a unique opportunity to learn more about how the Earth’s crust is formed. Lava could break through anywhere, offering the first chance for the phenomenon to be captured by the network’s suite of underwater instruments. MORE

SAFE DRUG DIVERSION. The question of safe drug supply diversion has cropped up in numerous quarters, but Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says there’s no evidence of widespread diversion of safe-supply opioids. But Alberta Premier Danielle Smith cites recent drug seizures in her province, saying she was concerned that diverted safe supply drugs from B.C. may end up being trafficked to Alberta. Farnworth says the RCMP’s commanding officer in B.C. told him the seizure in Prince George and the idea of widespread diversion is simply not true. Some but not all of the drugs seized in Prince George and in Campbell River were from the safe supply program, Farnworth said. MORE

QUOTABLEWhy do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in
binoculars to look at things on the ground


Safe supply drug diversion in B.C. ‘simply not true’: Farnworth

Woman survives avalanche that buried her head-down near Vancouver

Canada, U.S. agree to study water pollution concerns in Kootenay watershed

$180M in insurance claims follow Western Canada’s January cold snap

Canuck Demko named one of the NHL three stars of the week

Kelowna man killed in Alberta avalanche

B.C.’s unemployment drops, but opposition fears loss of private-sector jobs

Okanagan mobilizing as aggressive mussels threaten to muscle into B.C.

B.C. locations splashed all over new ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ TV show

‘It’s an Island story’: Anne of Green Gables The Musical comes to Victoria


Provincial champions, Dover Bay Dolphins. (Photo from Langley Events Centre)

I DID SOMETHING different this weekend, I attended the B.C. Boys Basketball Championships at Langley Events Centre where the Dover Bay Dolphins won the provincial 3A title with a 75-61 win over Abbotsford’s Mennonite Education Institute Eagles. Dover Bay’s Frank Linder was the most valuable player in the that division. OK, I really went to see my grandson play on the Maple Ridge team in the boys 1A division.

THE SCHOOL BOARD will look at expanding child care services at some schools. The business committee recommends continuation of before- and after-school childcare pilot programs at Pleasant Valley and École Hammond Bay elementary schools and more. It all dependent on money from the province. MORE


A CANCER TREATMENT for lymphoma and leukemia is now available in B.C. T-cell Therapy treats cancers by collecting white blood cells and genetically engineering them to recognize and kill cancer cells. Dr. Kim Chi, the chief medical officer for BC Cancer, says patients who needed the treatment would previously have to be sent outside the province. Health Minister Adrian Dix said $14.3 million in this year’s budget allows up to 20 adults and five children to get treatment starting this month. MORE

THE SEARCH CONTINUES for Sara Sherry of Errington, hoping to find clues about what has happened to her. Friends are searching the wooded area of Nanoose Bay more than three weeks after she vanished Feb. 15.  Dozens of people returned to the area to search for her for a third weekend, combing roads and trails off Northwest Bay Logging Road. The truck driven by the 45-year-old has been found in a ditch in the snowline. MORE


GOVERNMENT BUNGLING – Canadians trying to rescue family members from Gaza feel they have been ripped off by our government. Canadian Press has an excellent report on what they’ve been going through despite in some instances paying thousands of dollars. MORE


SOUR GRAPES – Many B.C. wineries may have to start from scratch following the devastation of crops with weather extremes they have gone through. Record-breaking heat, wildfires and smoke contaminated grapes. A destructive cold snap in 2022 and another deep freeze this January is estimated to have inflicted up to 99 per cent crop loss, wiping out this year’s vintage. Wine Growers BC estimates a harvest of only one to three per cent of normal levels, meaning an almost complete writeoff of the 2024 vintage and revenue losses of up to $346 million for vineyards and wineries. MORE


IT’S HOW YOU SPIN IT – Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says the federal government will “cap” the annual alcohol excise tax increase on beer, spirits and wine at two per cent for two more years. The tax had been set to rise on April 1 by 4.7 per cent. She announced the increase is being held at two-per-cent. In English that still translates into a tax, but only a smaller one. She also announced some tax relief for local craft breweries. Oh well, can not having to pay an additional tax be interpretted as a saving? MORE

QUOTABLE – Blowing out someone else’s candle won’t make yours shine brighter.



Okanagan mobilizing as aggressive mussels threaten to muscle into B.C.

B.C. locations splashed all over new ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ TV show 

B.C. professor using eye-tracking tech to study ‘mommy brain’

Princess of Wales apologizes after release and withdrawal of doctored photo

‘Oppenheimer’ wins best picture at Academy Awards, Emma Stone best actress

At 83, filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki earns Oscar for ‘The Boy and the Heron’

Police investigating after body found on rural Prince George roadside

Big changes are coming to how Canadians bank, but adoption likely to be slow

Former B.C. Lions head coach Dave Ritchie dead at age 85

B.C. couple plead not guilty to neglect charges four years after child’s death


GOOD MORNING. Daylight saving time starts tonight, so move your clocks forward one hour. And while you're at it, change the batteries in your fire alarm.

NANAIMO LOAVES AND FISHES Community Food Bank needs a $7 million cash infusion from the federal government to build an expanded food recovery and storage hub. The food bank already has local, regional and provincial support. Executive Director Peter Sinclair said significantly more money is needed. They are looking for another $7 million to complete the project. He said it’s ready to roll, they’ve just put the project out to tender. He hopes a building permit can be obtained by year’s end, it’s difficult to picture the project advancing to construction without the federal government on board. MORE

THE EIGHTY-YEAR-OLD Alberta man who hit by a vehicle when he was helping another motorists, has died. Pat Hare had just arrived to begin a winter vacation on the island and was driving down the Island Highway at 3 a.m. on March 2, and stopped to help a driver who had hit a power pole near Qualicum Beach. He got out to help her as another vehicle smashed into her car, hitting both him and the woman. He died six days later in hospital in Victoria. Family has since been told Hare pushed the woman out of the way of the incoming car. The driver of the other vehicle is under investigation for impaired driving. MORE


ALL THAT SNOW was not enough to bring the snowpack back to average across the province. The latest snow survey showed an increase  on Vancouver Island at 46 per cent of normal. The average snowpack level as of March 1 is 66 per cent of normal, tied for the second lowest provincial March 1 snowpack that we’ve seen. The historic low was in 1977 when we had 53 per cent of normal. A lot of the additional snow which fell last month helped build up snow lost during unseasonably warm weather earlier in the year. MORE


AN INVESTIGATION launched in Nanaimo has turned up contraband cigarettes, precious metals and cash in seizures through the Lower Mainland.  The cigarettes were seized in two separate busts, netting 133,000 cartons with a total estimated retail value of $24 million, according to police. The Federal Serious and Organized Crime unit in Nanaimo began an investigation in 2021 and subsequent investigations were conducted through the Maple Ridge, Mission, Cobble Hill, Langley and Abbotsford teams as well as in Edmonton. MORE


BILLY IS BACK – Bill Bestwick is returning to a hockey role as president, general manager, and head coach of the Nanaimo Buccaneers, starting next season. He’s got a big job on his hands, the Bucs are coming off a forgettable season in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, so there is work to do. MORE

SELINA ROBINSON LETTER – I have received a copy of Robinson's letter to caucus explaining a long history of her feeling of anti-semitism in the NDP caucus. Read it HERE


QUOTABLE – If the grocery store has a section for health food, what’s the rest of the store?

GET READY ­– Clocks spring forward Saturday night into Sunday morning as daylight saving time returns. Not everyone is a fan of the change, some citing increases in car and work accidents. Some studies also show more incidents of heart attacks and strokes.


NOT AGAIN ­ – The Gold and Silver Guy store has been broken into for the second time in about a week. The latest happened late afternoon on March 3, when a man with a sledge hammer smashed through the front window and shattered two glass display cases. He grabbed some collector coins before leaving. The coins were valued at about $100 but the damage to the display cases and window was about $2,000. The previous weekend, Feb. 25, the store lost old pocket and wrist watches, valued at up to $4,000 when a male suspect on a bicycle smashed the store’s other front window. Jeff Ross owns 12 stores on the Island which in 25 years have been broken into 25 times with losses adding up to more than $200,000. MORE


THREE-YEARS IN JAIL – Kyle Robert Alex, 37, has been sentenced to three years in jail after pleading guilty to four charges. That included a home invasion in 2019, where he assaulted a man and threatened him with a knife. The other charges occurred in 2021, including a firearms charge. MORE


BC FERRIES CANCELLED a number of sailings between Campbell River and Quadra Island due to forecast severe weather on West Vancouver Island  with heavy rain and strong winds forecast for today and Saturday. There is expected to be between 100 and 150 mm of rain for those regions and southwest winds of 70 km/h gusting to 90 or 100.

EBUS PLAN HIT THE CURB  – BC Transit’s plan to buy 20 electric buses from an American manufacturer has been short circuited by a U.S. court. Transit had ordered 10 buses from U.S.-based Proterra in May 2022, in a deal worth $20 million. The plan went off track last summer when Proterra filed for bankruptcy protection and the company's transit assets were bought by California-based Phoenix Motorcars. Transit has since been in negotiations with Phoenix about fulfilling the order but the court ruled Phoenix has no contractual obligation to supply the buses. Transit says it will continue its 2040 electrification goal despite a setback. MORE

ANYONE SEEKING A CAREER in the marine industry should head on down to the fifth Port Connect Marine Career Fair staged by the Port of Nanaimo next week. It’s at the Port Theatre on March 13, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m and will showcase more than 20 leading companies and organizations in the marine sector. The career fair is a pivotal gathering for job seekers, students, and professionals looking to navigate their career paths in the marine industry. She career fair connects leading marine organizations and potential employees, tailored for individuals at all career stages, from those starting to seasoned professionals seeking new opportunities. MORE

QUOTABLE – We should no longer accept things we cannot change, we need to change those things we cannot accept.


RCMP ARE LOOKING for information about Savannah-Rayne Curtis, 22, who was last spotted at a ferry terminal in Nanaimo. Family members are concerned for her well-being, police said.  She is 5-foot-4, 117 pounds, with green eyes, red hair and wears a red wig on occasion. She was last seen wearing a black and grey tuque, long purple winter coat, pink sweatpants and blue shoes. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP’s non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, citing file No. 2024-7099.

WHAT WAS THAT SIREN? Nanaimo Fire Rescue reported a resident got out safely from a house fire Wednesday in the 400 block of Eighth Street, near Bruce Ave. No reported injuries, but considerable flames and smoke resulted from an evening house fire. Capt. Orphee Bernard said the back side of the house was fully involved, there were flames coming out of the doors and windows and the roof. MORE

DIG OUT THE SHOVELS – City council has approved a development permit to proceed with a downtown housing project that was approved in 2019 but never acted on. The permit is for a 31 micro-unit complex at 337 Robson St. Apartments would vary from around 322 to 366 square feet, with a rooftop terrace and garden area. All that remains is a building permit before construction begins. MORE

SELINA ROBINSON has quit the NDP to sit as an independent, citing anti-semitism in the party caucus. Robinson, who is Jewish, said she can no longer remain in the party because it is not properly addressing anti-semitism in the province or among her former colleagues. She resigned her cabinet post last month after saying modern Israel was founded on a crappy piece of land, which riled Islamic groups. Last month Eby said her remarks were incompatible with her remaining in cabinet. MORE

THE BANK OF CANADA – held its rate at five per cent on Wednesday, citing continued concerns about the inflation outlook. The rate has been at five per cent since last July. Governor Tiff Macklem said it’s too early to consider lowering the policy interest rate. The bank continues to expect inflation will be close to three per cent through the middle of the year before easing in the second half. Inflation was 2.9 per cent in January, above the bank’s two-per-cent target. Core inflation remains in the 3 – 3.5-per-cent range. MORE

NO MORE FREE RIDES? – The Sooke School District is looking at school bus fees to offset rising transportation costs. The district allocates $3.94 million into transportation funding each year. The only fee is a $25 safety fee. Without increasing fees, the school district says it may be taking away resources from the classroom. MORE

COMOX VALLEY POLICE advise homeowners to install doorbell cameras and security lighting around their properties after the homes of three Asian business owners were broken into in recent weeks. At least three such break-ins have occurred since Feb. 24. Cash and valuables were stolen and police are urging the public to secure their properties, especially while away on vacation. MORE

THE PORT MOODY POLICE DEPARTMENT will soon have a new digital public safety system to improve the emergency response to mental health and addiction crises. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said police have seen first-hand the impacts and challenges when responding to mental-health or substance-use crisis-related calls. MORE

QUOTABLE – People my age are climbing mountains and zip lining and here I am feeling good about myself because I got my leg through my underwear without losing my balance.



NANAIMO SEARCH AND RESCUE headquarters at the corner of Fourth Street and Chesterlea Avenue and two cargo trailers were broken into on Tuesday morning. A security camera show a suspect carrying cases through a gate of the facility’s parking lot. Two yellow Pelican cases containing a range items like Apple iPad, Spotx satellite communications unit, a Stihl 18-inch chainsaw, Zoll automatic external defibrillator, Milwaukee Sawzall, 20-piece ratchet set, Milwaukee batteries and other items were taken. MORE

SUMMER JOBS ­– It would be difficult to find greater summer jobs than those open at the Port of Nanaimo now. The full-time summer jobs offer fresh air and sunshine working as season dock crew with four opening available. There are six spots for general seasonal maintenance workers, full-time, seasonal from May to September. Apply by email to cread@npa.ca  by April 2 at 4 p.m,


MAYBE THIS WILL HELP – Spring has been slow in arriving but Parks and Recreation spring and summer recreation programs are just around the corner. The new spring and summer 2024 activity guide was released last weeek, with program registration starting at 6 a.m., today for more than for over 2,500 programs and activities. MORE


ISLAND HEALTH HAS ISSUED a drug overdose advisory for North Vancouver Island and at the same time giving advice for safer drug use. The health authority said overdoses are increasing in the area and friends, family and community members using opioids and stimulants face increased risk from injection and inhalation.The advisory notes that users should carry naloxone, use one substance at a time, know their tolerance, start low and go slow, stagger use with a friend, or, if using alone, let someone know and ask them to check on you. How much “safer” can you get? MORE

QUOTABLE – One way to determine if you're old is to fall down in front of a lot of people. If they laugh, you’re still young. If they panic and start running to help you, you’re old.

HOMELESS SQUATTERS are believe to be responsible for a fire Monday morning at the entrance to a downtown business on Bastion Street. Fire Rescue responded to the fire resulting from people believed to have been camping at the building’s entrance. Fire Rescue assistant chief Stu Kenning suggested a candle or drug paraphernalia started the wall on fire and it burned up the wall causing minor damage. MORE


KIEN TRUNG PHAM of Nanaimo has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted on 14 charges resulting from a May 19 drug seizure at Vancouver International Airport and his Nanaimo apartment. BC Supreme Court justice Robin Baird ruled the 44-year-old was in charge and control of local and international level trafficking of hard drugs. The judge said nearly 7.5 kilograms of New Zealand-bound methamphetamine intercepted by Canadian Border Services Agency officers at YVR was found in containers disguised as fitness supplements under a fictitious nutrition company. The YVR haul was worth up to $750,000 on the streets, while the drugs at his apartment were valued at around $35,000. Four firearms and ammunition were found by police in Pham’s second floor unit. MORE


A COLLISION BETWEEN a transit bus and a pickup truck resulted in traffic delays on the Nanaimo Parkway and Cedar Road Monday afternoon. The incident forced a closure of Cedar Rd. at the highway. Traffic in both directions along Hwy 1 was limited to a single lane past the incident, with backups in both directions. MORE


THE SOUND OF MUSIC may fade at Vancouver Island University, the victim of proposed budget cuts. The university said as a public secondary institution it must balance its budget, and decisions to cancel programs are not made lightly, but enrollment and the costs of the music program have identified it as an opportunity for cuts. The new Diploma of Jazz Studies and the Bachelor of Music studies will not go ahead if the decision is made. The proposed cuts must still go to several votes. MORE

IT MAY GET A LITTLE MURKY – The city’s Engineering and Public Works department will flush water mains starting on Mar. 10 in selected areas. While this program is under way, water users may see short periods of low pressure and water may be discoloured. Water discolouration during the flushing program is temporary and is not a health hazard. For more information about the water main flushing program, Check HERE


THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Business Expo returns on March 28 at the Conference Centre.  It’s free to attend and provides businesses a prime opportunity to exhibit products, foster connections, and experience networking opportunities.  A new addition this year is the Demo Stage where exhibitors can showcase their innovations. The show runs from noon to 5 p.m. For booth and Demo Stage bookings, visit NanaimoChamber.bc.ca or 250-756-1191 ext 1. 

SAVING LIVES ON THE WATER – The Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 27- Nanaimo is accepting applications for search and rescue crew through March. They’ll train you in marine search and rescue skills, navigation, boat handling, radio communication, first aid and much more. Volunteers form part of a supportive, professional and dedicated team who respond to marine emergencies and promote boating safety. If you can commitment to regular training and on-call shifts get more information and an application form at rcmsar27.ca) or email: recruit27@rcmsar27.ca


ISLAND LIVER PATIENTS no longer need to go across the pond for treatment, it’s now available across the Malahat. An advanced therapy targets tumors with a high dose of focused radiation while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. Transarterial Radioembolization, or TARE, uses tiny beads containing radioactive material to slow down the growth of liver tumours and help alleviate symptoms. A radioactive agent is infused and delivers high-dose radiation inside the liver tumor while minimizing exposure to the rest of the liver. Patients can usually go home the same day after treatment.


VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY defunded the Elder College program recently to meet budget restraints. Well, that’s not sitting well with the seniors who used to attend those sessions. They have formed a non-profit organization determined to continue its mission of lifelong learning. A non-certified exam-free curriculum focused on life skills and subjects of interest is tailored to its clients. Volunteer instructors will offer the first of a half dozen courses starting this week at the Parksville Community Centre on Mills Street. MORE


ENDANGERED WHALES OR ENDANGERED PEOPLE –The Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce fears the potential economic impact of proposed fishing closures to protect endangered southern resident killer whales. Chamber president Chris Tucker wrote to the Fisheries Minister about the possibility of expanding protected zones for the 75 remaining southern resident killer whales. “The prospect of closing the recreational fishery poses an imminent threat to our community, endangering numerous livelihoods dependent on this industry,” Tucker said. MORE


IF YOU’VE GOT AN IPHONE you could cash in on a multimillion-dollar settlement with Apple over software updates that allegedly slowed down older phones. A British Columbia judge has approved a countrywide multimillion-dollar settlement. Class members who make claims on the $14.4-million settlement can expect to get between $17.50 and $150 each, depending on how many people submit a claim for the settlement money. Lawyer K.S. Garcha says Apple settled a similar case in the United States involving so-called throttling of iPhone 6 and 7 models, and American class members ended up with US$92 payouts.

QUOTABLE – Be nice to people who don’t like you, it irritates the them more than you could imagine.



A SECTION OF THE PARKWAY was shut down at shortly before noon after a fire in a truck. Fire Rescue responded to the Nanaimo Parkway’s northbound slow lane north of the Northfield Road intersection shortly before noon. The pickup was fully engulfed by the time crews arrived, causing the northbound lanes to be shut down for about a half-hour. Parkway was reduced to single lane at about 12:30 p.m. as a tow truck worked to remove the vehicle.

HATS OFF TO THE VIU Mariners men’s basketball team for winning the PacWest championship. Now they’re heading to the nationals. On the way, they beat the Camosun Chargers 71-64 in the gold-medal game Saturday.

STILL MISSING ­ Sherry Corrigal has been missing for six months and friends and family hold out hope of finding the 22 year-old. RCMP have a full-time team to search for her. Friends and family held a vigil in Maffeo Sutton Park Sunday. Sherry was always in close contact with loved ones but hasn’t been seen or heard from since Sept. 11. She has had no social media activity or banking transactions since. Sherry was going through personal issues at the time of her disappearance. An ex-boyfriend says he dropped her off at Franklyn and Selby Streets in Nanaimo’s downtown. MORE

MEASLES ON THE RISE ­– B.C. has its first case of measles on the weekend, the first since 2019. The ministry warned British Columbians to confirm their immunization records, especially before going on spring break trips. Measles cases are on the rise across the world with a 79-per-cent increase in cases in 2023. The Public Health Agency of Canada said last month there has seen a "notable recent increase" in cases in Europe. MORE

THE WOUNDED WARRIORS relay run finished in Victoria on Sunday after eight days on the road from Port Hardy. Eight runners from different occupations completed an 800-kilometre in relays. The event supporting veterans and first responders stopped in Nanaimo on Friday before continuing south to Victoria. While here they stopped at Lantzville Legion before moving on to Nanaimo Legion Branch 10 on Friday. Hats off to all the volunteers who ran the eight days. MORE

EAGLES POISONED – Prince Rupert has launched an investigation into the death of 19 eagles at the local landfill after a "deleterious substance" was dumped. The city says officials are working to identify the substance, which was dumped at the landfill's liquid waste site. An environmental consultant has been hired to assist with identifying the substance and developing a long-term action plan, the city says. MORE

ELECTORAL DISTRICTS – Many electoral districts in British Columbia have changed and will be in effect for the next provincial election October 19. Enter your address at elections.bc.ca/mydistrict, and you can find the name and boundaries of the new district. Elections BC is also mailing a brochure to every residential address in B.C. by March with a map of the new electoral districts.

QUOTABLE – Life is like a coin, you can spend it any way your wish, but you can spend it only once.


SAFER SUPPLY NOT SO SAFE ­– Drugs diverted from the province’s safer supply prescription program were among more than 3,500 pills seized in Campbell River. Dilaudid tablets were found with more than two kilograms of fentanyl, one kilogram of cocaine and one kilogram of methamphetamine in a home Feb. 21. The diversion of opioids prescribed as safer supply was a key focus of the province's recent review of the program. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said there was no indication that any of the drug-use deaths in the province had come from the safer supply program. Diversion does happen, but its extent and impact are unknown, Dr. Henry said. MORE

SNOW HAS BEEN hanging around like an unwelcome relative but it may finally hit the road some time on Monday. A snowfall warning was issued for eastern Vancouver Island on Saturday, expected to taper off by Monday. Campbell River may get up to five centimetres of snow becoming mixed with rain at sea level. The higher elevations are likely to see even greater snowfall. Drivers are cautioned that conditions could rapidly change –drive slowly and turn on the lights. MORE

THE WOUNDED WARRIORS relay run wrap in Victoria on Sunday after eight days on the road from Port Hardy. Eight runners from different occupations completed an 800-kilometre in relays.The event supporting veterans and first responders stopped in Nanaimo on Friday before continuing south to Victoria. While here they stopped at Lantzville Legion before moving on to Nanaimo Legion Branch 10 on Friday. The run is an eight-day, 800-kilometre journey down Island to raise money for the national mental health services supporting veterans, first responders and their families. After leaving Port Hardy the run stopped in Woss, Sayward, Campbell River and Comox along the way, landing in Qualicum Beach on Feb. 29.  Hats off to all the volunteers who ran the eight days. MORE


PETTERSSON CASHES IN – Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson was all smiles Saturday morning after signing an eight-year contract extension worth US$92.6 million, an average of US$11.6 million per year. Pettersson said everything is trending in the right direction with the team and the more he saw, he just wanted to stay. There’s MORE HERE.


DEAD EAGLES  Prince Rupert has launched an investigation into the death of 19 eagles at the local landfill after a "deleterious substance" was dumped by a third party. The city says officials are still working to identify the substance, which was dumped at the landfill's liquid waste site. An environmental consultant has been hired to assist with identifying the substance and developing a long-term action plan, the city says. MORE

LIFE THREATENING INJURIES – One person sustained life-threatening injuries in a series of crashes near Qualicum Beach Saturday morning. In all, three people were taken to hospital. Oceanside RCMP responded to the crash on Highway 19A near 3 a.m. In the first crash a woman drove off the road and struck a pole. Another driver saw the crash and pulled over to help her. A third car struck the woman’s car and hit the two individuals. All three were taken to hospital. Police say the man who had pulled over to help suffered life-threatening injuries. The driver of the third vehicle is under investigation for impaired driving. MORE


NURSING INCENTIVES – It’s not easy to attract more nurses so Health Minister Adrian Dix is offering bonuses to recruit new nurses to the province. Nurses can get $30,000 for working a minimum of two years in northern parts of the province, or $20,000 for serving other rural and remote areas. Even in big cities, nurses applying for "difficult to fill" or "high need" could receive bonuses as high as $15,000. Nurses singing up for two years to the GoHealth BC travel nurse program qualify for $15,000. THERE’S MORE


TWO PEOPLE FROM QUEBEC have been arrested in a scam that targeted seniors in Saanich and possibly other Island communities in late February. A 26-year-old Montreal man and a 24-year-old woman from Quebec City, were arrested at the Vancouver International Airport on Feb. 29. The grandparent scam cost victims out more than $27,000. MORE

ELECTORAL DISTRICTS – Many electoral districts in British Columbia have changed and will be in effect for the next provincial election October 19. Enter your address at elections.bc.ca/mydistrict, and you can find the name and boundaries of the new district. Elections BC is also mailing a brochure to every residential address in B.C. by March with a map of the new electoral districts. As well, there will also be new technology at voting places to make voting faster and easier. Six additional districts have been created in high-growth areas of the province. There will be 93 electoral districts, up from 87. Voters can make sure their voter registration is up to date, and learning about the modernized voting procedures at voting place. Visit Elections BC

QUOTABLE – Erasers are not made for those who make mistakes, erasers are made for those who correct mistakes.

FEBRUARY ABOUT AVERAGE – Temperatures were about average and we had a normal amount of the wet stuff in February, about typical for this time of year. The temperature dipped below zero a few times, like from Feb. 13-17 when it was below zero each night. We had an average temperature of about 4.5 degrees, the normal would have been 4.3 degrees. 

INJUNCTION APPEAL DENIED ­ The provincial government will not be able to prohibit public drug use in areas like playgrounds and schools while its legislation is before the courts. CTV News reported the B.C. Court of Appeal denied the province’s appeal of a temporary injunction against Bill 34, which is set to expire at the end of this month. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said the government remains committed to defending the legislation in court. Police expressed frustration when the injunction was allowed, effectively preventing law enforcement from fining or jailing anyone who consumed drugs in parks, beaches, sports fields, and other areas where children may be nearby. MORE


PARK FOR CASSIDY – The Regional District has bought a lot at 3483 Hallberg Rd. for $420,000 to turn it into a community park for Cassidy. The community has about 1,000 people. The RDN will clear the existing buildings on the nearly half acre property to develop the park. The operations and maintenance will be managed by RDN parks staff through a community park budget. MORE


WESTERN FOREST PRODUCTS has the first continuous-dry lumber kiln on the West Coast in Ladysmith. That increases capacity for continuous drying of lumber, while reducing energy consumption by about one-third. The mill already had three existing kilns on site for drying lumber. MORE


CREDIT CARD SCAMS ­– Burnaby RCMP warn of a bank-card scam where the suspects show up at the victims’ homes. The victims got a phone a call from someone saying they were from a bank and that their cards had been compromised. They said they would send bank staff to pick up the cards and investigate. Two seniors gave their cards to the suspect and were scammed out of $3,000 and $5,000 each. In the third case, the suspect fled after the victim wanted to confirm with the bank. MORE


THE NORTH ISLAND Wildlife Recovery Centre’s population is growing with the third rare white raven brought in during the last three years. The injured bird was brought to the centre in Errington in February after being found in the Qualicum Beach area. It showed signs of a recent animal attack, likely by an eagle. The two earlier birds are doing well and are permanent residents of the centre. MORE


MEALS OF WHEELS need more volunteer drivers. It is rewarding and takes very little commitment. The pool of spare drivers is not adequate. These back up drivers are crucial to the operation. If you can spare time from 3-5 p.m., this is for you, and you get paid for the mileage. Your insurance company can verify your coverages to include volunteer services. Lots of elderly and ailing folks really look forward to these meals. Go here for more INFORMATION.

THE THING ABOUT AGING is you lose more and more friends. The final bell rang yesterday for Paul Butcher Vachon, 86, one of the greatest performers in professional wrestling over many decades. He was the brother of Maurice Mad Dog Vachon, both of whom I worked in the ring with many times as a referee. Although known as vicious and brutal in the ring, the two were the greatest gentle friends anyone could wish to have. Paul ran as a federal NDP candidate in a 1995 byelection. His sister Vivian and step daughter Luna Vachon also wrestled. Rest in Peace, Butcher.                                    Photo by Greg Oliver, Slam Wrestling

QUOTABLE – I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.

FORMER PRIME MINISTER BRIAN MULRONEY has died at the age of 84. He served as prime minister from 1984 to 1993. Born in Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Mulroney built a political career marked by the at-times fractious coalition of Western conservatives, Red Tories and Quebec nationalists that made up the old centrist Progressive Conservative Party, and a legacy of securing the original NAFTA trade deal with the U.S. and Mexico as well as passing the goods and service tax into law. Former Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Brian Peckford remembers Mulroney very fondly, crediting him with keeping the province in Confederation. See his tribute HERE.


RCMP HAVE IMPOUNDED a vehicle suspected to have been involved in the fatal hit-and-run crash in Cedar on the weekend. Police are trying to determine who was behind the wheel at the time of the crash. That follows a fatal hit and run on Cedar Road which killed a 90-year-old woman who died at the scene. MORE


THE DEATH TOLL in January for toxic drugs is down 10 per cent from last December and 14 per cent lower than a year ago in January. Nanaimo, Vancouver and Surrey still had the highest number of unregulated drug deaths in 2024. Nanaimo had 13 deaths in January the same as January 2023, second to the 15 people who died in February 2023, the most ever in a month. The Coroner’s Service report claimed there is no indication that prescribed safer supply is contributing to drug deaths. More than three-quarters of the deaths were males and more than 70 per cent between 30 and 59 years old. The highest death rates were in Island Health and Northern authorities.  MORE

PARK FOR CASSIDY – The Regional District bought a nearly-half-acre lot at 3483 Hallberg Rd. for $420,000 to turn it into a community park for Cassidy. The community has about 1,000 people. The RDN will clear the existing buildings on the property to prepare for the park’s development. The park’s operations and maintenance will be managed by RDN parks staff through the development of a community park budget. MORE


VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY Mariners have high expectations at they head to the PACWEST basketball championship in Kelowna this weekend. The Women’s and Men’s teams took first place in their conference after each compiling 20-4 records during the season. The men have a bye into the semi-final round on later today. Winning the semi-final sends the VIU women to the finals and to the CCAA Basketball Championship at Lakeland College in Vermillion, Alberta, from March 13. MORE


QUOTABLE – You’re not grown up until you know how to communicate, apologize, be truthful and accept accountability without blaming someone else.