Monday, June 30, 2008

Enjoy the Summer Weather in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Long term Forecast

As this longterm graph from the Weather Network shows we can expect the temperatures to dip back down to below normal by Thursday.

In the meantime while not actually setting a new record the weekend weather in Nanaimo is nothing short of spectacular! As a bonus the high ridge causing this hot sunny spell came into place for the long weekend which makes it doubly welcome.

It seemed that in spite of or perhaps because of there was not as much traffic along the waterfront as you might expect. Don't tell me we headed for the air conditioned malls on such a lovely weekend? Or perhaps everyone was out camping and enjoying the first really nice long weekend of the summer.



More Gas Pains for Nanaimo

Canada Day Sees New
'Carbon' Tax on Gasoline

Starting tomorrow BC residents can start repaying their $100 rebate at the rate of 2.4 cents per litre.

The gas pumps have become a convenient method of dipping into our pockets by all levels of government and this new tax is just another example. Will the new tax actually do anything to reduce fuel use and will it actually be used for the intended purpose or just disappear into general revenue?

Well, that's my rant for today but starting tomorrow we will all be contributing just a little more to the provincial government.

Does anyone know where the alka seltzer is these days?


Friday, June 27, 2008

Nanaimo Old City Quarter

Multicultural Festival This Saturday
This Saturday June 28 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm downtowns' Wesley Street will be transformed into an international gathering place.

This free event sponsored by the Old City Quarter Association and the Downtown Nanaimo Partnership gives you the opportunity to learn a little more about the cultures in your own back yard.

Bringing together hundreds of residents and visitors this annual event is one of the most popular events downtown. You will find ethnic foods, live entertainment, cultural exhibits, contests and prizes, and a childrens area with arts, crafts and face painting.

Wesley Street runs off of Fitzwilliam Street and is also home to St. Andrews United Church which is an old Nanaimo landmark.


Nanaimo Art Gallery Photo Exhibition

Nanaimo Photo Competition and Exhibition

The Harbour City Photo Club announced today that Vancouver Island's most prestigious photographic competition and exhibition, Photo Salon, opens at 7:00 PM June 20th at the Nanaimo Art Gallery located at the new “VIU” (Vancouver Island University) and runs until July 14. “Photo Salon’s raison d'ĂȘtre is to showcase the best photographers on the Island”, said John Burrage, the Harbour City Photography Club’s Vice-President. “Photo Salon provides both keen and professional photographers with an opportunity to exhibit their finest images in an international setting", Burrage concluded.

Photo Salon exhibits the works of the winners and finalists of the juried competition. There are two categories - theme and open. This year’s theme is Green, which photographers have interpreted and does not necessarily refer to the colour. In the Open category anything goes. The exhibition promises to astound, mesmerize and move audiences.

Photo Salon exhibition runs from June 20 – July 14th at the Nanaimo Art Gallery, Vancouver Island University Campus (formerly Malaspina University College). For more information please visit,,


Nanaimo Downtown Farmers Market Open

Farmers Market Open Fridays
Also open July 1 Canada Day
The Nanaimo Downtown Farmers' Market is ten years young and has over 50 vendors and many different drop ins giving them an ever changing facade.

The market is open every Friday during season from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm and is also open the same hours this coming July 1 Canada Day. They are located in the scenic downtown location overlooking the harbour beside the Bastion.

Their motto is We Bake We Make It We Grow It.


Nanaimo Departure Bay Ferry Update


Starting June 28, the Coastal Naturalists are back onboard BC Ferries to deliver entertaining and educational programs about the spectacular natural scenery and environment of the south coast of British Columbia.

Seven qualified and enthusiastic young naturalists will host the programs this season, sharing insights and interesting stories about local wildlife, the marine environment, historical events, and places to explore including Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.

“Passengers onboard BC Ferries can’t help but feel inspired by the beautiful surroundings of the Gulf Islands and the Coastal Naturalists help enrich that experience by highlighting the unique animals and plants that live there,” said Geoff Dickson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Food and Retail Operations.
Approximately 130,000 people participated in Coastal Naturalist programs last summer, onboard more than 1,300 summer sailings. “Customer comments demonstrated overwhelming support for the program and a desire to see it continue in future years,” said Dickson.

The program will run on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay and Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay routes from June 28 to September 1. Visit for a detailed schedule of the Coastal Naturalists Presentations.

The Coastal Naturalist program is presented by BC Ferries in partnership with Parks Canada, which provides training and resource material to the naturalists. Parks Canada manages seven national parks in British Columbia, including Gulf Islands National Park Reserve near Victoria and Pacific Rim National Reserve on the west coast of Vancouver Island. For more information on Canada’s national parks visit

For full information on Nanaimo BC Ferries Scheduling and Fares use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Nanaimo RCMP use Taser

Taser Ends Standoff with Suicidal Male
Nanaimo RCMP deployed a Taser June 21 successfully ending a standoff with a suicidal male armed with a knife.

The incident began shortly after 7:00 am on Saturday June 21, near the 7-11 on Terminal Avenue. An RCMP member sitting in his police vehicle, saw a male carrying a knife and dripping blood from an apparent wound to his wrist. The officer called for back up and was told by the unidentified male he wanted to die. The male, bleeding profusely from his wrist, continued to slash at and worsen his injury. Additional officers arrived and they attempted to establish dialogue with the male.

The incident carried across the street to a second level landing at the Port of Call Motel. The male then without warning escalated his actions and placed the knife to his throat and began to turn away from the officers. Fearing he was about to slash at his throat, one of the officers deployed the Taser from approximately 8 feet, instantly incapacitating him, allowing the officers to safely move in and take the knife from him. He did not sustain any injuries from the deployment of the Taser or when he fell to the ground. He was then treated by waiting paramedics for his life threatening self inflicted injury and transported to hospital.

The 44 year old male and resident of Nanaimo for the past year was arrested under the Mental Health Act and remains in hospital. No additional charges were laid. Constable O’Brien, Media Relations Officer for the Nanaimo RCMP spoke with him today he admitted the Taser and actions of the police officers probably saved his life.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

BC Ferries Summer Schedule


BC Ferries’ peak season and summer schedule begins today, Wednesday, June 25, with more sailings on all major routes and some of the minor routes. In addition to extra sailings, BC Ferries is offering some travel tips to make summer holiday planning even easier this year.

On the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay route, four vessels are in operation, providing up to 32 sailings per day. Monday through Thursday schedules start with 6:00 a.m. departures and end with the last sailing at 9:00 p.m. On Fridays and Sundays, the last departures from both Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay are at 10:00 p.m.

Three vessels, including the new Coastal Renaissance, will provide up to 22 trips between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay daily. Two ships will make up to 22 sailings per day on the Horseshoe Bay – Langdale route from now through until Labour Day.

In order to make long weekend travel planning easier, BC Ferries has added a new feature to its website --- a calendar of historically busy travel times on the major routes. Customers can review this information to help make their travel plans.

If a specific sailing is desired, particularly on a weekend, BC Ferries recommends making a reservation for the Metro Vancouver – Vancouver Island and Horseshoe Bay – Langdale routes. Reservation allotments can become fully subscribed at peak times on long weekends, so BC Ferries recommends booking these dates well in advance.

BC Ferries’ SailPass and CirclePac travel packages are a great way to sail and save money. SailPass is a single price ticket that lets the customer choose from up to 20 routes between the Mainland and Vancouver Island, the Northern and Southern Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast for travel over a four or seven day period. CirclePac is a special four-route package which includes a 15 per cent discount on regular, one-way fares from Horseshoe Bay to the Sunshine Coast, Powell River to Vancouver Island and return travel to Metro Vancouver.
Travellers on the Departure Bay – Horseshoe Bay and Duke Point – Tsawwassen routes are reminded that they will now have the opportunity to sail on BC Ferries’ newest ships, Coastal Renaissance and Coastal Inspiration. Sailing times for the new Coastal class ships are posted on BC Ferries’ website.

Finally, BC Ferries reminds customers to please park their cars within 24-inches of the vehicle in front of them when loading on vessel cardecks. This helps to maximize the number of vehicles the ferry carries and thereby reduces overloads at peak times. For full schedule details, package information and reservations, visit

For complete Nanaimo Schedule BC Ferries Information use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Late Night Sailings for Lions Fans Offered

The Canadian Football League kicks off tomorrow, and this year BC Ferries is once again offering late night sailings on four game nights so that BC Lions fans can cheer on their home team and return to Vancouver Island that evening.

The select sailings are scheduled as follows:

• Friday, July 4, departing Tsawwassen for Swartz Bay at 11:30 pm
• Saturday, September 13, departing Tsawwassen for Duke Point at 11:30 pm
• Saturday, September 27, departing Tsawwassen for Duke Point at 11:30 pm
• Friday, October 10, departing Tsawwassen for Swartz Bay at 11:30 pm

“This is the third season we’ve offered late night sailings to support Vancouver Island football fans,” said Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “BC Ferries is proud to partner with the BC Lions and we’ve dubbed these extra sailings The Lions Express.”

BC Lions fans will also hear a familiar sound at home games this year. Whenever the BC Lions score a touchdown or field goal, BC Ferries’ ship’s whistle will sound throughout BC Place.
These special sailings coincide with BC Lions games, but are not limited to football fans. Reservations are encouraged to ensure a space on the late night sailings and can be made at


BC Climate Action Dividend


British Columbians have started to receive their $100 Climate Action Dividend.

As announced in Budget 2008, the Climate Action Dividend is a one-time payment for each person – including children – resident in British Columbia on Dec. 31, 2007.

Along with new personal and business tax cuts that begin July 1, the Climate Action Dividend will help British Columbians choose their own paths to a lower-carbon lifestyle.

The vast majority of Climate Action Dividend cheques are expected to arrive in British Columbians’ mailboxes by Monday, June 30.

The initial distribution includes approximately 3.1 million dividend cheques, covering 3.9 million British Columbians. This is based on individuals who filed a 2006 or 2007 income tax return by April 30 and their dependants. Dividend cheques will continue to be distributed on a monthly basis as tax returns and applications filed after April 30 are processed.

With a distribution of this size, it will take several days for the cheques to reach every mailbox. This may mean not every house on a given street, nor every individual in a given household, will receive their cheques on the same day.

The Province is working with the Canada Revenue Agency and Canada Post to ensure the process runs smoothly. For individuals who have not received a cheque by July 8, please call the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-866-426-1526.

Filing a 2006 or 2007 income tax return is the fastest and most straightforward way to receive the Climate Action Dividend. In addition to receiving the dividend, filing an income tax return can determine eligibility for other federal and provincial tax benefits, including the new B.C. Low Income Climate Action Tax Credit.

To learn more about the Climate Action Dividend, the income tax cuts that start July 1, or climate-smart choices for spending your dividend, visit

Editor's Note: with the new 2.5 cent a litre 'tax grab' how long it takes for you to give the money back will depend on how much fuel you buy!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Nanaimo Things To Do Directory

The Things To Do in Nanaimo directory has a listing of over 160 different contacts covering a wide range of interests and activities.

You will be able to find contacts for everything from Air Cadets to Windsurfing. To visit the Nanaimo Things To Do directory use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

If you or your organization is not listed and would like to be, or if you can't find what you are looking for simply drop us a line and we will remedy the situation.

Email to


Canada Wide Warrant for Parole Violation

He May Be Living in Nanaimo
If Seen Do Not Approach

Perry Dixon Johnny age 32 is wanted on a Canada wide parole violation for failing to return to his half way house in Vernon BC.

Johnny was paroled in 2007 after serving a portion of a four year sentence for robbery with a firearm. He has 37 criminal convictions, is addicted to crack cocaine and is considered to be violent and highly unpredictable. He is described as being a First Nations male,5 ft 11 ,160 pounds with short brown hair. He may be living in Nanaimo with a female whose identity and whereabouts is unknown.

The public is asked not to approach Johnny and if they have any information on his location to contact their local police agency at 250-753-2345 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nanaimo Art Gallery Auction

Nanaimo Art Gallery’s

2008 Designers’ Island Art Auction.

The Nanaimo Art Gallery is poised to host an art auction fundraiser that will take a unique, new angle. Called the “2008 Designers’ Island Art Auction”, original art from Vancouver Island has been judged and selected by a team of interior designers from various companies.Those interested can view the pieces up for auction at

Derek Rickwood, chairman of the event, wants to bring quality Island art together with serious buyers, to connect artists to the building community, and to involve interior designers. Rickwood said, “The Designers’ Island Art Auction will be a prestigious, elegant event that will provide a wonderful, fun experience for art enthusiasts to acquire Vancouver Island artwork for their homes and offices.”

There are 45 Vancouver Island artists who are contributing 58 artworks for the live and silent auction. Some of the featured artists in the auction are: Nixie Barton, Grant Leier, Michaela Davidson, Paul Grignon, Devon Featherstone, Robin Field, Gerda Hofman, Suzanne Jensen, Peter Kiidumae, Rohana Laing, Gretchen Markle, Linda Neville, Sheila Norgate, Fred Peters, Joanne Thomson and Melinda Wilde. The Nanaimo Art Gallery is pleased that Ian Thompson has offered to be the event auctioneer.

“We are thrilled by, and grateful for, the high level of support that we are receiving from the business community,” Rickwood exclaimed. Visual Impact Communications designed and printed all of the event’s print materials. Cable Bay Golf & Resort & Spa is the event's Platinum sponsor. Minnoz Restaurant and Lounge at Coast Bastion is providing tapas and wine. Flowers are being donated by Turley’s Florists, rentals are being sponsored by Triple T Party Rentals, new signs are being sponsored by SignAge and photographic services will be provided by Concept Photography. Promotional coverage has been provided by Nanaimo Daily News. Mon Petit Choux’s, a popular Commercal Street Cafe has also help sponsor the event. Those interior design companies that have been involved are Co-operative Design, Unique Interiors, JBD Design Group, Interior Design Group, Blair Girtel Interior Design Inc., E. J. Interior Design, Kylie M. Interior and Deidre Love Interior Designers.

The Designers’ Island Art Auction is taking place Wednesday evening, June 25th, Nanaimo Art Gallery, 150 Commercial Street, Downtown Nanaimo. The public can view the art that will be offered at the auction now until June 25th.

The dress code is black-tie (optional). Tickets are $50.00 per person and available for purchase at 150 Commercial Street. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Nanaimo Art Gallery. With limited seating, tickets are not expected to last long. Those prospective buyers who are not able to attend the auction may arrange for absentee bidding through the Nanaimo Art Gallery, 754-1750. For information, contact: Derek Rickwood, BFA at 753-4271 or at


Climate Change Discussion in Nanaimo

Join panelists Richard Beamish (Senior Scientist with Fisheries and Oceans), Richard Hebda (Curator of Botany and Earth History at Royal BC Museum) and Andrew Weaver (Professor of Earth & Ocean Sciences at UVic) for an engaging evening of discussion about climate change.

Audience members will have the opportunity to hear discussions and ask questions concerning what may be the most important issue of our time. Anyone concerned about climate change will not want to miss this event.

Tickets $5, available from the Port Theatre (, 250-754-8550. Proudly presented by the Pacific Biological Station in honour of its centennial. Reception to follow.


Port of Nanaimo Centre Retail Space Sale


Public notice is hereby given pursuant to Section 26 of the Community Charter that the City of Nanaimo intends to dispose of the fee simple interest in three air space parcels described as follows:

Air Space Parcel A, Section 1, Nanaimo District and of the Bed of the Public Harbour of Nanaimo, Air Space Plan VIP85148, having a civic address of 60 Commercial Street

Air Space Parcel B, Section 1, Nanaimo District and of the Bed of the Public Harbour of Nanaimo, Air Space Plan VIP85148, having a civic address of 70 Commercial Street

Air Space Parcel C, Section 1, Nanaimo District and of the Bed of the Public Harbour of Nanaimo, Air Space Plan VIP85148, having a civic address of 55 Museum Way

to First Capital (VICC) Corporation (Inc. No. BC0826882), Trans Canada Centre, Unit #158- 1440-52nd Street, NE, Calgary, Alberta, T2A 4T8 for the sum of $3,780,000
Further information may be obtained by contacting:
Cindy Nesselbeck, Manager Property Services Division City of Nanaimo Telephone: 250-755-4426


Nanaimo Multi Cultural Festival

Festival on Wesley Street

Saturday June 28

Many international dance and music performances all day.

Celebrating Nanaimo as Cultural Capital of Canada, this year's annual event will be the biggest yet! All of Wesley St. will be closed to traffic.

There will be 2 performance stages, food stands and a lot fun for the whole family!


Monday, June 23, 2008

Bear Shot in Nanaimo

Conservation Officer
Kills Bear as Last Resort

After chasing a young black bear around the bush five times in an attempt to tree and then sedate the bear; conservation officer Steve Ackles was forced to shot and kill the wayward bruin.

The bear caused the excitement in the Spencer and Latimer Road area on Sunday morning in an area that is heavily populated. The conservation officer says the bear was attracted by garbage which he encouraged people to not leave out.

Unless he had been able to tree the bear, drugging it on the ground was not an option as is takes about fifteen minutes for the drug to take effect and a semi-drugged bear could have darted into traffic which would be an unacceptable risk.

Bear sightings can be reported by calling 1-877-952-7277.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Morrell Guided Walks


Learn more about the native plants and animal species that inhabit Vancouver Island; join us for a guided walk in the Morrell Nature Sanctuary.

William Morrell donated these lands in 1973 for public use and conservation. Last logged in the 1920's, the Sanctuary is an example of a preserved 2nd growth forest.

This 111 hectare (278 acres) Sanctuary has 11 km of trails, and second growth coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem, and an abundance of bird life. The forest is lush with cedars, sword ferns, vanilla plants and huckleberries.

Walk the trails of Morrell Nature Sanctuary with volunteer experienced leaders who are knowledgeable of the area and the history.

Every Saturday at 10 A.M. beginning June 7th. to September 27th. Bring a friend a neighbour or the family and learn a little bit more of what Morrell Sanctuary is all about.

Meet in the parking lot at: 787 Nanaimo Lakes Road
Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 3C2
Phone: (250) 753-5811
See you there


RCMP Recruits to be paid $500/week

RCMP Cadets Now Paid
$500 per Week While in Training

The Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Safety announced at Depot today that the RCMP will provide cadets a $500/week recruitment allowance during the 24-week training period effective June 16, 2008.

“Our goal is to make the choice of a career as a Mountie all the more attractive for the legions of smart, fit, dedicated young Canadian men and women who dream of becoming RCMP officers,” said Prime Minister Harper, who was joined at the announcement by Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Stockwell Day. “This will help cadets meet financial obligations that they cannot ignore during training.”

The RCMP expects to recruit more than 8,000 new officers over the next five years, equivalent to nearly half of total current force strength. Meeting the target is a challenge because the selection and training process is so rigorous and because there is intense competition for talented young people in Canada’s high-employment economy.

Providing cadets with a modest training allowance will remove one of the recognized impediments to recruiting. The RCMP has reduced the application processing times from an average of nearly 300 days to 83 days. They have also made greater efforts to accommodate officer deployment preferences, and to inform cadets of their likely postings before the end of the application process.

“As a result of these changes, the force now expects to meet its target of a one thousand officer net increase by 2013,” said Prime Minister Harper. “That means more police patrolling our streets and communities, more protection for Canadians and their families, and better national security for major international events like the Winter Olympics and the G8 Summit in 2010.”

To see some questions and answers about joining the RCMP use this Nanaimo Info LINK. Click on Q&A's in the top section of the page.

You can meet our Recruiters at the upcoming events:

  • June 27th: Youth Service Canada Career Fair - Burnaby SFU Campus
  • June 28th: BC Highland Games in Coquitlam
  • July 1st:
    Richmond Salmon Festival at Steveston Park
    Surrey's Canada Day celebration - Cloverdale Millennium Amphitheatre (176th & 64th ave)
  • August 3-10: North American Indigenous Games - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island
  • August 8 - 10th: Abbotsford Air Show


Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer is Actually Coming

Summer Arrives One Day Early!
Get out the bar-b-cue and beer!

In Canada and the rest of the northern hemisphere, the first day of the summer season is the day of the year when the Sun is farthest north (on June 21st or 22nd). This day is known as the summer solstice.

I have searched several websites to determine the exact time it occurs for the Pacific time zone, and the best information I could find was that summer offcially arrives on June 20 at 16:59 or 4:59pm today.

So if that time is accurate, you might want to get out the suntan oil and head for the beach after supper!

So why is it summer really? Read on....

The declination of the Sun on the summer solstice is known as the tropic of cancer (23° 27'). In the southern hemisphere, winter and summer solstices are exchanged so that the summer solstice is the day on which the Sun is farthest south.

A common misconception is that the earth is further from the sun in winter than in summer. Actually, the Earth is closest to the sun in December which is winter in the Northern hemisphere.

As the Earth travels around the Sun in its orbit, the north-south position of the Sun changes over the course of the year due to the changing orientation of the Earth's tilted rotation axes. The dates of maximum tilt of the Earth's equator correspond to the summer solstice and winter solstice, and the dates of zero tilt to the vernal equinox and autumnal equinox.

The reason for these changes has to do with the Earth's yearly trip around the sun. For part of the year the Earth's North Pole points away from the sun and part of the time toward it. This is what causes our seasons. When the North Pole points toward the sun, the sun's rays hit the northern half of the world more directly. That means it is warmer and we have summer.

The day of the summer solstice is the longest day of the year. The length of time elapsed between sunrise and sunset on this day is a maximum for the year.

The forecast graphic was copied from the Weather Network site which you can visit by using this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Photo Salon Exhibit at Art Gallery

Photo Salon

The Harbour City Photo Club announced today that Vancouver Island's most prestigious photographic competition and exhibition, Photo Salon, opens at 7:00 PM June 20th at the Nanaimo Art Gallery located at the new “VIU” (Vancouver Island University) and runs until July 14. “Photo Salon’s raison d'ĂȘtre is to showcase the best photographers on the Island”, said John Burrage, the Harbour City Photography Club’s Vice-President. “Photo Salon provides both keen and professional photographers with an opportunity to exhibit their finest images in an international setting", Burrage concluded.

Photo Salon exhibits the works of the winners and finalists of the juried competition. There are two categories - theme and open. This year’s theme is Green, which photographers have interpreted and does not necessarily refer to the colour. In the Open category anything goes. The exhibition promises to astound, mesmerize and move audiences.

Photo Salon exhibition runs from June 20 – July 14th at the Nanaimo Art Gallery, Vancouver Island University Campus (formerly Malaspina University College). For more information please visit,,



The WorkBC Employer’s Tool Kit and two online tools will engage B.C. employers, providing them with a suite of materials on how and where they can find, attract and retain the workers they need, Economic Development Minister Colin Hansen announced today at the Looking Forward: Workforce of the Future Forum.

“The labour and skills shortage in this province is possibly the greatest current threat to B.C.’s booming economy,” said Hansen. “By giving employers the tools and the information they need to bolster, strengthen and improve their workforce, we are working to address these challenges and ensure continued economic growth in the province.”
Partially funded by the Ministry of Small Business and Revenue and developed in consultation with both Venture Kamloops and the Small Business Roundtable.

The Employer’s Tool Kit is divided into four booklets:

  • How to Attract, Retain and Engage Employees;
  • Under the Labour Radar – Aboriginal People, Women, Youth and People with Disabilities;
  • It’s About Ability – The Mature Worker; and
  • Diversity at Work – Recruiting and Retaining Immigrants.

“We continue to work in partnership with the small business community to find solutions to the challenges around labour shortages,” said Small Business and Revenue Minister Rick Thorpe. “We must always remember a few years ago people were chasing jobs, now jobs are chasing for employees. This tool kit is just one more tool for businesses to have at their disposal.”

The Building Small Business Resource Guide and HR Quiz are also available to help employers build and improve their employee recruitment, retention and leadership practices. The resource guide provides a searchable database of courses, training opportunities and other resources. The HR quiz is a diagnostic tool that helps identify where small business owners might need assistance and, by referencing specific pages and sections of the tool kit, gives employers immediate access to resources, solutions and tips.

“The tool kit provides businesses with timely information on attracting new employees and retaining their current workforce,” Linda Larson, vice-chair of the Small Business Roundtable. “The Province continues to support initiatives to help business in B.C. overcome the challenges of success.”

For more information on WorkBC, to view or download the Employer’s Tool Kit, and to use the HR Quiz or Resource Guide, visit


More Bad Forestry News

Nanaimo Forestry Takes Another Blow

With the loss of nearly 750 good paying jobs with the closure of Harmac Mill and Madill Equipment, Nanaimo got some more bad news from Western Forest Products.

WFP has announced a province wide layoff of some 2000 workers for the next two months, citing declining demand for their products.

The WFP mill at Duke Point will layoff 100 employees for the summer but will retain about 50 workers to keep the planer running.

The WFP mill downtown has not announced layoffs yet, but some are expected although not expected to be as severe as Duke Point.

That means that in very recent history, Nanaimo has lost 850 family supporting jobs related to the forestry industry. I am sure that Alberta will be calling some of these people's name pretty soon as there are very few prospects in Nanaimo to replace these incomes.

To put this in a different light, consider that most of these jobs probably pay about 2 1/2 times as much as a retail job at $10/hr. That would equate to the loss of 2,125 jobs in the retail sector in the past few months.


Malaspina University-College, soon to be Vancouver Island University, has been approved to offer a master’s degree in educational leadership, Advanced Education Minister Murray Coell announced today.

The Ministry of Education predicts there will be more than 1,000 administrative vacancies over the next five years in school districts around the province. School districts require their principals and vice-principals to have master’s degrees, so this new degree will help to meet market needs and address vacancies created by administrators retiring.

“New degrees give students more choice and prepare them for opportunities in both today’s and tomorrow’s economy,” said Coell, who approves all new degrees in B.C. “Malaspina’s commitment to providing students with relevant training for the marketplace will help ensure British Columbia’s competitiveness.”

The master of education in educational leadership program is supported by the British Columbia Principals and Vice-Principals Association and the Teacher’s Qualification Service. The program is already full for its first students in September 2008 and has a wait list for the next intake. The degree will be offered part-time over two years, including summer sessions, and requires a final major project.

“The master’s degree in educational leadership is a natural extension of Malaspina’s undergraduate degrees in education,” said Malaspina’s dean of education, Harry Janzen. “This program will enable teachers on mid and northern Vancouver Island to pursue graduate studies while continuing to work full-time. The program addresses the need of local school districts for well-qualified formal and informal school leaders.”

The educational leadership program is Malaspina’s second master’s degree program. In January 2007, a master of business administration program was also approved.

“Having another master’s program for educators will be a significant help to school districts facing human resource challenges,” said Education Minister Shirley Bond. “Adding capacity on Vancouver Island means more opportunities for educators to upgrade their qualifications without having to leave their communities.”

Nanaimo is fast becoming a centre of economic, social, and educational advancement,” said Ron Cantelon, MLA for Nanaimo-Parksville. “It is only natural that our new university would have a strong demand for innovative graduate programs, and Malaspina is fulfilling that need.”

Since 2001, the Ministry of Advanced Education has approved more than 160 new undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The new degrees are helping B.C. improve its competitiveness and productivity through education and skills training.


Last Chance to be an Astronaut

Canadian Space Agency / Agence spatiale canadienne

National Astronaut Recruitment
Campaign Closes in One Week

Longueuil, Quebec, June 19, 2008 – The Canadian Space Agency reminds Canadians that the National Astronaut Recruitment Campaign closes on June 26, 2008, with only one week remaining for candidates to apply to be considered for the Canadian Astronaut Corps.

By May 2009, two candidates taken from this process will be selected and begin their training to represent Canada in future space exploration missions, including long-duration spaceflights on the International Space Station. Among their tasks, astronauts will help assemble and maintain the Station and conduct scientific and industrial research enhancing the quality of life on Earth.

"The National Astronaut Recruitment Campaign is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Steve MacLean, CSA Chief Astronaut. "Anyone who is interested and who meets the minimum qualifications is strongly encouraged to apply. The CSA will conduct a thorough review to select the best candidates, and we hope to have the broadest possible pool of applicants."

Since the Campaign launched on May 22, approximately 4 000 applications have been submitted, with the following regional breakdown*:

  • Quebec - 23%
  • Ontario - 40%
  • Manitoba - 3%
  • Saskatchewan - 2%
  • Alberta - 11%
  • British Columbia - 8%
  • Maritimes - 6%
  • Northwest Territories - 0.15%
  • Yukon - 0.17%
  • Nunavut - 0.05%
  • Outside Canada - 7%

*NOTE: Percentages rounded to unit, when representative.

In addition, approximately 20 % of all applicants to date are women.

More information about the Campaign, including minimum qualifications, a recruitment timeline and the online application, is available at


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Do You Know This Person?

RCMP Need Public's Help

It is reported in the News Bulletin that local RCMP are asking the public's help to track down this woman who broke into their bait car.

She did not steal the vehicle but did however remove property from the car on May 28 at 12:38 am in the 300 block of ninth street.

She is described as Caucasian, 30 to 35 years of age with brown hair pulled back with a hair clip. She was attempting to take a wallet from the car when the camera caught her image.

Police were otherwise occupied which is why she was not arrested at the time. Anyone with information is asked to call the RCMP at 754-2345 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More Gas Pains!

BC Ferries Applies for 20% Fuel Surcharge

The local daily reports BC Ferries have applied for a fuel surcharge of up to 20% to take effect by this August.

If granted this would mean the cost for car and driver between the mainland and the Island would rise to $60 during the peak season.

Of course any increase in BC Ferries fares affect anyone living on the Island, as trucking companies have to pass along their increased operating costs also. In the end, it only comes out of one pocket, and that is the final consumer.

Does anyone really understand what is fueling the ever rising cost of fuel other than pure greed?


AMBER Alert Program

BC's AMBER Alert program is a tool used by the RCMP and Municipal Police Services in certain child abduction situations. When an AMBER Alert is issued, radio and TV audiences will hear a special announcement. The police now have thousands of eyes watching for the victim, suspect, or suspect’s vehicle. It is hoped that this early warning system will not only coerce a kidnapper into releasing the child for fear of being arrested but also deter the person from committing the crime in the first place. Stranger abductions are rare in British Columbia.

AMBER Alert is a province-wide, innovative partnership among the province’s law enforcement, BC Association of Broadcasters and external partner agencies to gain public support in the location of abducted children. New partnerships are constantly considered. AMBER Alert provides the public with immediate and up-to-date information about a child’s abduction via widespread media broadcasts and solicits the public’s help for the safe and prompt return of the child.

When Is an AMBER Alert Activated?

AMBER Alert is intended only for the most serious, time-critical child abduction cases. It is not intended for cases involving parental abductions, except in life-threatening situations. AMBER Alert can be used in any abduction that meets the criteria regardless of what relation the abductor has with the victim.

AMBER Alert is only activated by authorized users within law enforcement agencies. ALL of following conditions must be met before activating an AMBER Alert:

  • The victim is under the age of 18
  • Police have reasonable grounds to believe that the victim has been abducted
  • Police have reasonable grounds to believe the victim is in imminent danger
  • Police have obtained enough descriptive information about the victim, abductor and the vehicle involved
  • Police believe that the alert can be issued in a time frame that will provide a reasonable expectation that the child can be returned or the abductor apprehended

How Does It Work?

The AMBER Alert is in place to quickly notify the public of the details of the abduction during the early stages of the investigation so that police can maximize the opportunity for the successful and safe recovery of the child.

The RCMP follow an established protocol to activate the alert, using a specially designed web application that notifies police communication centers, the media, and more than 600 other participating partners simultaneously in British Columbia.

AMBER Alert uses highway message boards, radio, television and cable to immediately broadcast descriptions of abduction victims, their abductors, and suspect vehicles.

Radio and television stations immediately interrupt their programming to disseminate information. This is done as a public service without commercial endorsement.

The duration of an alert will depend on the circumstances surrounding the abduction and will vary from one incident to the next.

How Can the Community Assist?

The early stage of the investigation into an abducted child is critical. Every minute counts. The cooperation of the media and the public is crucial to the police. The determination of police investigators alone is not enough to guarantee the safe recovery of a child. Help from the community is essential. Information obtained quickly through an AMBER Alert can assist in the safe and swift return of abducted children.

AMBER Alert sends a strong message that crimes against children are intolerable, and in some cases has acted as a deterrent to potential abductors.
AMBER Alert empowers the community to work cooperatively with law enforcement and the media to increase the safety of our communities. The main objective is always the safe return of the child.

This is what you can do to help:

  • If you see or hear an AMBER Alert displayed on electronic highway signs, radio, television and cable TV stations, watch for the child, suspect, and/or vehicle described in the Alert.
  • Immediately report any sightings to the police by calling 9-1-1 and provide the location, and a description of the victim, suspect, and/or any vehicle involved.

AMBER Alert Background
In 1996, the brutal kidnapping and murder of 9 year old Amber Hagerman, caused her community of Arlington Texas to come together and create the AMBER (America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response) program with the intent of preventing such incidents from occurring in the future and to increase the safety of children in the community.

AMBER Alert first came to British Columbia on National Missing Children’s Day, May 25th 2004, and has proven itself as a successful program and law enforcement tool over the years.


Healthy Menu on BC Ferries

BC Ferries just made it easier for travellers to make healthy food choices onboard its vessels with the announcement today that the company has joined the Health Check™ BC Dining Program. The two organizations unveiled six new Health Check menu items that meet the program’s nutrient standards based on Canada’s Food Guide.

“We are delighted to bring BC Ferries on as our latest addition to the Health Check™ BC Dining Program,” says Bobbe Wood, President and CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon.

Based on the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada’s successful Health Check™ grocery store program, the Health Check™ BC Dining Program works with restaurants to create menu items that are not only nutritious, but delicious as well.

“Being able to provide these healthy and tasty options on our vessels is very exciting,” says Geoff Dickson, Vice President of Food, Retail and Catering for BC Ferries. “We’re happy to offer our customers more healthy dining options and also support the work of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.”

BC Ferries’ new Health Check menu items include:

• Smart Start breakfast sandwich
• Granola with yogurt and fruit
• Poached egg & ham with toast & fruit
• Wild BC salmon with rice & vegetables
• Grilled chicken salad and
• Spinach salad with shrimp

All items will initially be available on vessels servicing the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen – Duke Point and Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay routes.

At a time where nearly 25 per cent of Canadian household food dollars are spent on dining out, the Health Check ™ BC Dining Program is designed to help British Columbians make healthy choices when they eat out. All participating menu items are evaluated by the Foundation's dietitians and must meet specific nutrient standards based on Canada's Food Guide.

In addition, the restaurant provides an explanatory message and nutrition information for each menu item.

About the Health Check™ BC Dining Program:

The Health Check™ BC Dining Program, funded by the provincial government, is a pilot food information program designed to improve the health of British Columbians by providing healthier menu options in BC restaurants. Health Check ( is a program of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada ( – a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living and advocacy.

For BC Ferries Nanaimo Schedule Information use this Nanaimo Info LINK


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Newest BC Ferry Started

New ship to enter service in spring 2009

BC Ferries’ major ship construction program marked another major milestone today with the official keel-laying of the new 150 metre Northern Expedition at FSG Shipyards in Flensburg, Germany.

The new Northern Expedition, which will replace the 42-year old Queen of Prince Rupert, will accommodate 130 vehicles and 600 passengers. Among its many features, the vessel will offer 55 modern staterooms for passengers and an expanded range of food services and other amenities that will appeal to local residents and tourists alike.

“This is an important day in the construction of this northern cruise-ferry,” said Captain Trafford Taylor, BC Ferries’ EVP of New Vessel Construction. “We expect another excellent ship to be delivered to BC Ferries, which will serve our north coast customers for decades to come.”

Northern Expedition, along with the MV Northern Adventure, which joined BC Ferries’ fleet last year, will bring a whole new level of service to customers travelling on BC Ferries’ northern routes. The new ships are outfitted with the most modern of passenger amenities and will make visiting the spectacular north coast region of British Columbia an even greater experience than ever before. Northern Expedition will sail from Germany to British Columbia early in 2009 and will begin operating between Port Hardy and Prince Rupert on the Inside Passage route in time for the 2009 tourist season.


Police Officers Assaulted

Stop Yields Small Amount of Drugs

A routine vehicle stop in Nanaimo Saturday morning lead to the arrest of 46 year old Nanaimo male for drug possession and assaulting two police officers .

At 2:22 am on June 13 Nanaimo police pulled over a vehicle near the intersection of Albert St and Milton. When the members approached the vehicle one of six cell phones in the vehicle was ringing .

As one of the attending officers leaned into the vehicle to examine the phone, the lone male in the vehicle grabbed the officer by the wrist and attempted to pull him inside the car. A second officer intervened and he was kicked by the male.

Other police officers arrived and the male was taken into custody and arrested for assaulting the police officers. After the male was arrested his clothing was searched and a small quantity of crack cocaine was located.

The male was tranported to the Nanaimo RCMP Detachment and later that evening ,he was releaased from custody on two charges of Assaulting a Police Officer and for Possession of crack cocaine. He is expected to make his first appearance in on Nanaimo Provincial court in August 12.


Accident Victim Dies

The 42 year old female, critically injured after being struck by a vehicle on June 13 at 12:45 pm on Norwell Rd has died in local hospital.

Diane Mauger, age 42 and a resident of Nanaimo, died Sunday evening at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. BC Coroners office are now involved in the accident investigation and no decision has been made at this time whether charges will be laid.

Mauger was hit by a flatdeck truck after attempting to cross through the intersection at Norwell Rd .The truck was turning left onto Norwell from Departure Rd. Investigators have ruled out speed and weather as contributing factors in the accident and are asking for any witnesses to the incident to please contact Nanaimo RCMP at 754-2345.


Smile When You Pay That Fine!


The Province is returning more than $61 million in traffic fine revenue to local governments, helping municipalities to enhance their policing and community-based public safety programs, Community Services Minister Ida Chong announced.

“Since we expanded this program in 2004 to give local governments 100 per cent of traffic fine revenue, we’ve seen how these funds have been used in a variety of innovative and effective ways to help make our communities safer, better places to live,” said Chong. “Over $210 million in additional funding has now gone to British Columbia municipalities to hire more officers and invest in local projects, ranging from youth outreach and drug awareness programs to traffic safety.”

The traffic fine revenue sharing program assists municipalities that directly pay police enforcement costs. The grants come from ticket fines and court-imposed fines on violation tickets, and the amount of money a municipality receives is based on its contribution to total municipal policing costs.

Residents are more secure in their homes and on the streets of their towns, thanks to the expansion of this program, which has seen municipalities hire 560 new police officers since 2003,” said John van Dongen, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “We’re pleased to continue to provide local governments with the resources necessary to improve policing, prevent crime and build safer neighbourhoods and communities.

Prior to its expansion in 2004, qualifying municipalities received $10 million per year. Since its expansion in 2004, B.C.’s Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing program has provided an additional $210 million to local governments to improve public safety and policing – for a total of over $250 million.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Harmac Future Still Undecided

No Decision Yet on Harmac Sale

The local press reports that any decision as to the future of Harmac mill will not be known until July 7.

The receiver reports that there are several bids being considered but it will take more time to consider all of the details before coming to a conclusion.

Local employees of the now idle mill had submitted an offer to buy the mill and are reported as saying they will take the time to fine tune their business plan.

So the uncertainty which has surrounded the mill for many months now will continue until July 7.

Western Forest Products has been ordered to continue its commitment to supply wood fibre to Harmac mill until the next hearing on July 7.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Coastal Inspiration Starts Service

Coastal Inspirational Sails from Duke Point

BC Ferries’ newest vessel, Coastal Inspiration, will officially commence service on

Monday, June 16 as the regularly scheduled 3:15 pm sailing from Duke Point to Tsawwassen.

that day, the vessel will also sail from Tsawwassen at 5:45 pm and 10:45 pm and from Duke Point at 8:15 pm.

From Tuesday, June 17 onward, Coastal Inspiration is scheduled to sail at the following times:

Leave Duke Point:

  • 5:15 am (except June 22)
  • 10:15 am
  • 3:15 pm
  • 8:15 pm

Leave Tsawwassen:

  • 7:45 am (except June 22)
  • 12:45 pm
  • 5:45 pm
  • 10:45 pm
Coastal Inspiration is the second of three new Coastal Class vessels. Coastal Renaissance commenced service on the Departure Bay – Horseshoe Bay route in March, and Coastal Celebration, the third vessel, is currently sailing up the west coast of North America making its way to B.C.


Pedestrian Hit at Intersection

Accident at Norwell Dr.
and Departure Bay Road

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating a pedestrian motor vehicle accident that occurred today at the intersection of Departure Bay Rd and Norwell Drive.

At approximately 12:45 pm, a 42 year old female was crossing through the intersection when she was struck by a flat deck truck proceeding north bound on Norwell Dr.

Witnesses told investigators the victim appeared to hesitate then proceeded through the intersection. Investigators closed off the scene while interviewing witnesses and to wait for the arrival of a Traffic analyst to reconstruct the accident scene.

The victim was transported by BC Ambulance to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital with severe injuries and is listed as being in critical care. Nanaimo RCMP are asking anyone who witnessed this incident to contact them at 250-754-2345.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Are Gas Prices Being Manipulated?

Picture Taken July 2007

Anyone with a vehicle knows that the price for a litre of gas jumped to $1.45 this week which means the price has risen approximately 33% from when this picture was taken last year.

When you consider that the competition bureau in Quebec found gas companies were guilty of price fixing, of 11 companies charged 3 have plead guilty; it makes you wonder if Quebec is really all that unique. Look around Nanaimo, you will be hard pressed to find 1/10th of a cent per litre difference anywhere. Competition?

Does anyone know how big a role the market speculators and traders play in the final price you pay at the pumps? If gasoline is anything like electricity, when the traders get involved nothing but greed drives the prices with no thought of the cost to the general public. Remember those brown outs in California a few years ago? They disappeared with no increased supply when the traders were exposed.

When was the last time you saw anyone break down the pump price as to how much goes to the fuel company and how much goes in taxes? Are governments using gasoline as a method of collecting yet more taxes in 'stealth' mode?

If everyone tomorrow started to drive motorcycles do you really think the price of gasoline would go down?? Why wouldn't it just go up more to offset falling revenues?

So the next time you 'suck it up' at the pumps ask yourself if the price you are paying is an honest, market driven fair price, or are we all being gouged by big companies and big governments?

If you check todays gas price comparisions on the right hand column of this page you will see that once again Nanaimo seems to be subject to the typical price treatment we have come to expect. We are leading the parade again at $1.45 compared to Duncan at $1.39 and Quesnel at $1.31 and Vanvcouver at $1.33.

If there is genuine competition, for example being able to cross the border into the States, prices always seem to be held down. But in areas where there is no competition, like Nanaimo, the prices are all the same. You have to be very simple to not believe there is in fact price fixing going on here even if it is difficult to prove.


Enjoy Free Fishing This Weekend!

Encouraging British Columbians to enjoy a healthy activity in the great outdoors is behind a plan that allows anglers to cast a line in the province’s lakes and streams without the need to purchase a fishing licence, Environment Minister Barry Penner announced today.

B.C.’s annual Family Fishing Weekend, June 13-15, is an opportunity for families to enjoy the sport of fishing in the province’s lakes and non-tidal streams with a three-day licence, compliments of the B.C. government.

“Family Fishing Weekend celebrates an incredible sport, fish, their habitat and the great outdoor beauty of the province,” said Penner. “The B.C. government wants to increase the number of freshwater anglers, and Family Fishing Weekend is a great way to introduce newcomers to the sport.”

B.C. offers some of the finest fishing opportunities in the world, and Family Fishing Weekend, now in its ninth year, has introduced many people to sport angling. The B.C. government supports the Family Fishing Society of BC with $25,000 each year to hold events, with additional funding provided by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. The Family Fishing Society, in turn, provides funding, materials and guidance to the community co-ordinators who put on events every year. Sport anglers contribute nearly $1.2 billion annually to the province’s economy.

Throughout British Columbia, many communities will be holding events where people can learn the rules of fishing and see what’s being done to preserve, enhance and create fish habitat. Prizes will be offered at all events.

“The purpose of the Family Fishing Society is to encourage all British Columbians, particularly kids and families, to take up recreational angling as a pastime and to enjoy B.C.’s world-class sport fishing opportunities,” said Owen Bird, executive director of the Family Fishing Society of BC. “The annual contribution from the Province has assisted in the creation of more and more Family Fishing Weekend events during its existence. The feedback is that year after year, these community events are eagerly anticipated throughout the province.”

Those interested in trying their luck fishing in tidal waters are reminded that there is no charge for a saltwater sport fishing licence for those under 16, and one-day licences are available for resident adults at a cost of only $5.51.

For more details and a list of communities where events are being held, visit online.

Visit the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC online at for more information about fishing opportunities in B.C.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dial 10 Digits In Nanaimo

Start Changing Your Dialing Habits Soon

Effective June 23 if you do not dial all 10 digits when making a local call you will hear a recording reminding you of the change and your call will go through.

After Sept. 12 your local call will NOT go through if you have not dialed all 10 digits.

These changes are coming about as it is necessary to add one more area code in BC to accommodate the need for more phone numbers.

Here are some helpful hints to make the transition easier:

  1. Start making the necessary changes right away.
  2. Reprogram various communications systems and equipment, including:
    • Speed dial lists
    • Modems and Internet connections
    • Telephones, including call options and functions (e.g. call forwarding)
    • Computers and fax machines
    • Databases
    • Auto-dial systems
    • Cellular phones and other wireless devices
  3. Contact your alarm company to ensure that your security systems are set up for 10-digit dialing.