Thursday, July 31, 2008



The offer to purchase Harmac Pulp Mill was approved in court today it is reported in the local media.

The purchase price is said to be $30 million which was a joint offer by the employees and three unnamed investors.

As Arnie Bercov said, it is great to see what can be accomplished and that there is lots of work ahead to see the continued success of the mill.

This is an unexpected turn of events as probably most people thought the deal was not going to come together.

Again ..... GREAT NEWS for NANAIMO and the employees of Harmac.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008



For information of things to do in Nanaimo this Friday use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For information of things to do in Nanaimo this Saturday use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For information of things to do in Nanaimo this Sunday use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Umbrella or Sunscreen? To check the weather forecast for the weekend use this Nanaimo Info LINK.




Starting with this B.C. Day long weekend, BC Ferries will provide even more sailings on its two busiest routes for the duration of the summer. With the full summer schedule in effect, BC Ferries will provide more than 500 sailings each day across 25 routes covering the entire coast of British Columbia.

In addition to the hundreds of extra sailings that have been provided since the end of June, customers can now travel on sailings from both Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay daily at 8 pm as well as at 10 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.These additional sailings will be available from now through the end of August.

For customers utilizing the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay route, four extra sailings are now available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through Labour Day providing up to 11 daily departures on this route.

The morning of Saturday, August 2, is expected to be a popular time for travel from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, so BC Ferries has added 6 am sailings on that Saturday in order to allow customers to get a jump start on their day. To facilitate these 6 am sailings, there will be no 9 pm sailings from Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay on August 2 only. The last sailing will depart both terminals at 10 pm that evening.

The Tsawwassen – Duke Point route is also expected to see an increase in ridership on Saturday, August 2, as athletes and spectators travel to the Cowichan 2008 North American Indigenous Games, which will be held in the Cowichan Valley from August 3 - 10.

The weekend of August 15 will also be a popular travel time. Many families vacation during the first two weeks or last two weeks of August. The mid-month weekend has historically been one of the busiest of the year.

Finally, 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.

For full schedule details, package information and reservations, visit

For Nanaimo Ferry Schedule information you can use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008



One day we are basking in sunny warm weather and the next day we're hauling out the long sleeves and umbrellas.

According to the 14 day forecast on the Weather Network this cool trend will continue until next Monday when temperatures should return to more seasonable highs.

On the bright side, we won't have to spend a lot of money on suntan oil for the next few days.




Nanaimo residents got their first look at the new $7 million museum housed in the Port of Nanaimo Center which also houses the Nanaimo Convention Center.

The museum is a work in progress and not expected fully complete for another 18 months with coal mining exhibits and First Nations exhibits to be in place soon.

The facility is much larger than the old one located in Pipers Park and will allow the museum to not only tell a more complete history of Nanaimo but also can now expand to tell a more complete picture.

For information you can call the Nanaimo Museum at




Nanaimo businesses could benefit from broader base governement bid website.

British Columbia businesses now have easier access to even more procurement opportunities via BC Bid, Labour and Citizens’ Services Minister Iain Black announced today.

“We’re making Alberta government bid notices available directly on the BC Bid website,” said Black. “This instant and direct access to opportunities beyond the British Columbia border will help our suppliers expand their market and grow their businesses.”

When browsing for opportunities on the BC Bid website, suppliers can now see details of procurement opportunities available on the Alberta Purchasing Connection website, maintained by the Province of Alberta. With the addition of Alberta purchasing opportunities, the number of notices available on BC Bid will increase by over 30 per cent.

“BC Bid has become a powerful tool to alert British Columbia’s entrepreneurs to the demand for their products and services,” said Small Business and Revenue Minister Kevin Krueger. “I’m pleased they will now have even better information from outside our province.”

Since 1996, BC Bid has been the central site for tenders and bids for the provincial government and the broader public sector. In the 12 years since it went online, more than 40,000 opportunities have been posted

The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at




The local Nanaimo Bulletin paper reported that fourteen people found out why squeezing into a nine person elevator is not a good idea on Saturday.

As a result of the overloading the elevators brakes came on stopping the car between floors for three hours.

Firefighters had to be called to rescue the people and were hampered by the fact they could not locate the building manager quickly.

No one is reported hurt in the incident in a high rise building on Chapel Street, but I am sure they got to know each other real well by the time their ordeal was over.


Nanaimo To Vancouver Airport Via Bus


Point-to-Point connections for airport travellers

Due To Low Ridership
This Service Is Cancelled

To Check Alternates use the link at the bottom of this article.

BC Ferries and Pacific Coach are pleased to announce the launch of a regularly scheduled bus service connecting Nanaimo to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) via BC Ferries’ Duke Point – Tsawwassen route.

Pacific Coach will provide passenger bus service on four sailings per day from both Duke Point and Tsawwassen terminals Thursday through Monday. The introductory rate for this new service is $39 each way, including ferry fare.

“BC Ferries and Pacific Coach are teaming up to provide convenient, direct passenger transportation between Nanaimo and YVR,” said Dan Wong, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Corporate Development.

“Currently, Nanaimo area residents either fly to YVR or take their own vehicle to the international airport,” said Darian Tooley, Pacific Coach’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “We are proud to offer an affordable, environmentally-friendly alternative on a comfortable coach.”

Pick-up and drop-off locations in Nanaimo are at the Woodgrove Centre, Country Club Centre and Prideaux bus exchanges. On the Metro Vancouver side, passengers can join the Pacific Coach buses at YVR and travel directly to BC Ferries’ Tsawwassen terminal.

For full schedule details and bookings, call 1-800-661-1725 or visit


Monday, July 28, 2008


Site of New Millenium Hotel
Adjacent the New Convention Center on Jly 27

In spite of assurances from Nanaimo City Hall that the new hotel will be built and within the time frame originally called for, this picture does not look all that promising.

There is absolutely nothing going on at this construction site which was to have seen footings poured by May 31.

When the Convention Center opened I also took a picture of this site, and back then there was some equipment inside the fence, but now there is nothing except a few thousand dollars of materials.

If the building of this hotel is linked to the building and selling of the condo's on the old foundry and arena site, there is a real possibility the project will not fly as real estate is definitely slowing down everywhere.

Previous inquiries to councillor Jeet Manhas have gone unanswered as to the progress of this construction.

The Deputy Manager of the City, Al Kenning assured me the civic arena lands will not be transfered to Millenium unless the hotel proceeds.

The more time that goes by the less likely that appears to be.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Nanaimo Bathtub Race Winner 2008

Nathan Barlow Raises the Victory Salute

The unofficial winner of the 42nd annual GREAT International Bathtub Race was Nathan Barlow in tub #240!

There were no time records set this year, as the ocean beyond the protection of Departure Bay was choppier than what had been expected.

The weather was slightly overcast, but no rain which made for pretty near ideal conditions for the throngs of Marine Festival goers who lined Departure Bay Beach to watch the exciting finish to this years Nanaimo Bathtub Race.

As usual the Kiwanis 'Salmon on a Bun' was a sure hit with anyone with an appetite!


Friday, July 25, 2008



A Partial list of the highlights this weekend include:

Tim Hortons Marine Festival Entertainment Stage at Maffeo Sutton Park in the Lions Pavillion; There will be entertainment for the whole family starting from 12:00noon until 10:00pm.

10:30 AM the Sail Past on Wheels Fun Parade in downtown Nanaimo. Be sure to come early to get a good spot!

12:00 Noon the New Nanaimo District Museum will open its doors to the public, with free admission until 4:00pm.

12:00 Noon until 10:00pm More Entertainment at the Tim Hortons Marine Festival Entertainment Stage at the Lions Pavillion.

1:00pm The ever popular Bathtub Pet Parade in front of the Lion's Pavillion in Maffeo Sutton Park.

10:00pm FIREWORKS at Nanaimo Harbour by swy-a-lana Lagoon. The Quality Foods "Fesitval of Lights & Music" promises to be Vancouver Island's biggest ever fireworks show!

The "GREAT RACE" Day! 11:00 am sharp, the firing of the 5th Field Battery Howitzer will launch the 42nd annual "GREAT" International World Championship Bathtub Race. The tubs will leave the harbour adjacent to Swy-a-lana Lagoon.

FINISH LINE: The tubs will finish the race at the Departure Bay Finish Line at the Kinsmen Park!

There will be the Kiwanis Salmon BBQ at the beach along with Food Fare and Amusements for the entire family. Be sure to save a spot for one of these delicious BBQ Salmon on a bun ..... there are fantastic!

The weatherman promises a fantastic weekend so don't even think about going anywhere else this weekend!

A great big THANK YOU to all the tireless efforts of those who work so hard to make this a successful 'FUN TIME' for all of Nanaimo to enjoy!


Thursday, July 24, 2008






Rising fuel costs are being given as the reason for the surcharge which will come into effect on August 1 of this year.

No one can argue with the impact rising fuel costs have on our budgets but I still wonder how fuel efficient these new ferries are when it comes to the cost to move a person or vehicle across the water.

Perhaps one of the 'real' news media could follow up on this question and see what BC Ferries management has to say on the matter.


Working Seniors Get A Break

Human Resources and Social Development Canada / Ressources humaines et Développement social Canada

The Government of Canada is helping low-income seniors in British Columbia

LANGLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA, July 23, 2008-The Government of Canada is following through on its commitment to strengthen Canada's public pension system and ensure that low-income seniors keep more of their hard-earned money without a reduction in benefits.

Today, Mr. Mark Warawa, Member of Parliament for Langley, on behalf of the Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Secretary of State (Seniors), met with local seniors and service providers, and announced changes to the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) that will provide an additional $8.1 million in GIS payments to over 13,800 working seniors in British Columbia.

"Our government is committed to supporting seniors living on fixed incomes, and giving low-income seniors who choose to work the financial flexibility they desire in retirement," said Mr. Warawa.

"Today's seniors are living longer and more active lives than ever before, and their participation in the labour market is growing," said Minister LeBreton. "This positive measure will put money back into the pockets of thousands of low-income seniors who work."

"I commend the Government of Canada for implementing this measure that will greatly benefit thousands of low-income seniors across Canada," said Ms. Susan Eng, Vice President of Advocacy, Canada's Association for the Fifty-Plus (CARP). "Whether by choice or necessity, seniors are participating in the labour force in greater numbers than ever. This measure is a major step forward and CARP encourages this government to continue to be proactive in providing seniors with increased security and flexibility in retirement."

On July 1, 2008, changes came into effect increasing the GIS earnings exemption to $3,500 from $500. A single pensioner, for example, earning $3,500 or more, will be able to keep up to an additional $1,500 in annual GIS benefits.

The GIS is a monthly benefit provided to low-income seniors who receive the Old Age Security benefit, which is provided to all Canadians aged 65 and over who meet the residence requirements.

Budget 2008 and other recent federal initiatives are also addressing the needs of Canada's seniors through the introduction of a series of important measures that include:

  • providing $13 million over three years to help seniors and others recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse and to provide information on what support is available;
  • funding projects in hundreds of communities across Canada under the New Horizons for Seniors Program, helping seniors to bring their leadership, energy and skills to benefit our communities;
  • enabling 1.6 million low-income seniors to benefit from increased monthly benefits available under the GIS and to make a one-time application for GIS. As long as they file income tax returns every year, these seniors will never have to re-apply;
  • establishing the National Seniors Council to advise the Government on issues of importance to older Canadians;
  • providing more than $1 billion in tax relief each year to Canadian seniors through pensions income splitting and enhancements in the age and pension income credits; and
  • enabling seniors to build their retirement savings in Registered Pension Plans and Registered Retirement Savings Plans for an extra two years until age 71.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008


New $7.4 Million Nanaimo District Museum
Opens to the Public This Saturday Jly 26

The new Nanaimo and District Museum will be opening it's doors to the public this Saturday with free admission from 12:00 noon to 4:00pm.

The 8,000 square foot facility is located in the New Port of Nanaimo Convention Center in downtown Nanaimo.

Be sure to include a visit to the great new facility this coming Saturday. It would be a good choice of someplace to take any out of town visitors you may have.

It will also be an excellent way for Nanaimo residents to become better acquainted with the history of our fair city.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Nanaimo Bathtub Race and Marine Festival

Nanaimo Bathtub Race Week

Put on your favourite tubbing shirt and plan to attend any of the many fun events planned this week.

All week there are all sorts of events planned capping off with the GREAT International Bathtub Race on Sunday at 11:00 AM from Syw-a-lana Park.

For complete schedule of this weeks events use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Nanaimo Weather Outlook is SUNNY


According to the Weather Network fourteen day outlook, Nanaimo can look forward to lots of sunshine and slightly below average temperatures.

The yellow line indicates the forecast temperatures, while the white line shows the average temperatures.

As you can see from the chart there is only one day with rain drops and no days where the mercury will climb above normal.

This is great news for those who have to work outside, and should be warm enough to keep th sunbathers smiling!

Be sure to get out and enjoy the acres of parks and miles of beaches Nanaimo has to offer.


Nanaimo's Western Edge Theatre has announced general auditions for its 2008-09 season. The company, which employs both Equity and non-Equity actors, will hold auditions on Saturday, August 2nd from 1 to 5 pm and Tuesday, August 5th from 6 to 10 pm at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo. Interested performers should contact the company at or 250-668-0991 for an appointment and location details.

Actors are asked to present a contemporary monologue; actor-singers are asked to present both a monologue and a song. Live accompaniment will not be provided, but a tape/CD player will be available for those who wish to bring their own music. Auditions are not necessary for actors who have worked with Western Edge in the last two years.

The new small-scale performance space in Nanaimo has made it possible for Western Edge Theatre to resume producing a full season of four plays plus special events. "We're delighted to be back," says Artistic Producer Frank Moher, "employing central Vancouver Island artists and giving local audiences more opportunities to enjoy their work." The company will announce its 2008-09 slate of plays in August.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Things To Do in Nanaimo This Weekend

The Silly Boat Races

This Sunday the weekend highlight would have to be the Silly Boat Regatta in support of the Child Development Centre. The 24th annual event has a fundraising goal of $80,000 this year.

The building of the silly boats starts at 8:00am and the actual race starts at 1:00pm. There is lots to see and do at this fun and worthwhile family event. To visit the events website use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For a list of events on Friday July 18 use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For a list of events on Saturday July 19 use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For a list of events on Sunday July 20 use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Employee Takeover of Harmac Mill Unlikely


It is reported in the local daily that a BC Supreme Court judge has ordered the immediate shutdown of Harmac Pulp Mill.

It is said the employees offer to buy the idle mill was considered insufficient. The judge did however grant the employee group one more week to come up with a better offer.

Apparently there are four other groups interested in the mill and it's property for a variety of uses ranging from bioenergy production to using the mills equipment in other industries.

You can never say never and it ain't over until the fat lady sings, but it is not looking good for the employee group and it looks like Nanaimo will loose a significant payroll and base for taxes.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

For Nanaimo Cat Lovers

  • "There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast."
  • "Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this."
  • "Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow."
  • "In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats."
  • "As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat."
  • "One cat just leads to another." - Ernest Hemingway
  • "Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you later."
  • "Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, but I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia."
  • "People who hate cats, will come back as mice in their next life."
  • "Cats aren't clean, they're covered with cat spit."




It is reported in the local press that a boy turned a bat into a health officIal at Coliery Dam on Friday.

Tests have shown the animal positive for having the deadly virus rabies.

The problem is identifying the boy who is not known to even be from Nanaimo.

It is being reported that possibly the boys name is Cody who found the bat with a group of children on a swimming raft.

While the boy is not in immediate peril it is important he be tended to by a physician as untreated rabies is fatal once the virus reaches the brain.

However, only 15% of people wind up being infected but the risk is not one that should be ignored.

Anyone with information about who this boy is should call the communicable disease office at 250-740-2615.

As bats are a primary source of rabies infection people are reminded not to touch live or dead bats.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Nanaimo Goes 3D on Google Earth

Screen shot of Nanaimo City Hall
on the website

Google’s Cities in 3D Program

comes to Nanaimo

NANAIMO - Already hailed by some media agencies as “The Capital of Google Earth,” the City of Nanaimo offers enhanced information to residents, visitors and disaster response agencies through its use of 3d modeling, and is pleased to join the Google Cities in 3D program.

Participating in the Google™ Cities in 3D program, the City of Nanaimo was able to provide Google with 3D buildings and an enhanced elevation model. This means that everyone from potential tourists to disaster response agencies will have a better experience finding their way around Nanaimo in Google Earth™, the powerful free mapping program from Google.

Although Nanaimo makes much of its information available for download by Google Earth users at the website, previously people needed to know about this website to take advantage of this. Leveraging the Google Cities in 3D Program to load data directly into Google Earth allows the City of Nanaimo to communicate this information to anyone in the world even if they never visit the web site.

Nanaimo Mayor Gary Korpan solidly supports the City’s participation with Google. “Our citizens can take pride in the efforts put forth by our staff in providing such a rich experience when visiting Nanaimo through Google Earth. This in turn enhances our economic development, and our efforts to attract tourists and business to our city,” he said.

The City of Nanaimo has been providing information for use in Google Earth since 2005. This unique 3D viewing platform empowers local residents and businesses to explore the City’s data in ways that previously required expensive professional software, and in many ways makes it easier to understand than traditional 2D maps. In addition, it makes the City more accessible to businesses considering relocation, and to tourists planning trips to Vancouver Island. Adding 3D buildings and an improved elevation model will only enhance these benefits. Providing this information to Google also allows improved response in the case of a natural disaster such as an earthquake. Even if the City’s web server is not available, people will likely be able to access Google’s services.

“We are pleased to see Nanaimo has decided to contribute 3D data as part of the Cities in 3D Partner Program,” said JL Needham, Manager of Public Sector Content Partnerships, at Google. “The Cities in 3D Program represents a continuation of our efforts to engage with content providers, including government agencies, and provide them with tools for making the information they produce more accessible to Internet users.”

Google and Google Earth are registered trademarks of Google Inc.

Editors Comments: I am as much a tech lover as most, but after visiting the website, I am not all that sure how useful this site really is. The first impression you get on one page, is that Nanaimo is all highrise buildings as far as the eye can see. It has lots of fancy overlays etc. but I really don't know who would ever really make much practical use of them. I am sure that the tech department at City Hall is having fun with it though.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How Fuel Efficient are the New Ferries??

Are These Ferries Gas Guzzlers??

Much has been said lately about the rising cost of gas and the role it plays in all areas of life.

BC Ferries has applied for a large fuel surcharge to cover rising fuel costs, which of course is not very popular with regular ferry users.

I have never seen any figures suggesting that our new Super Class ferries are fuel savers, which if they were I would suspect would be well promoted.

Since I am merely a lowly blog publisher. perhaps someone in the real news business might ask some pointed questions of ferry management as to the fuel burned per passenger on the new ferry compared to the older ferries.


Body found in Phone Booth on Haliburton St.

Foul Play Not Suspected

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating the discovery of a body located inside a phone booth in the 700 block of Haliburton St. A caller told police he saw a female who appeared to be sleeping inside the phone booth. Upon closer examination she appeared to be in distress so he called for police to attend. BC Ambulance attended along with police and determined the female had been dead for some time.

The female has not been positively identified but from papers located on her person she is believed to be in her late twenties and may reside in Port Alberni or Nanaimo. Investigating officers said the female showed recent drug usage and foul play is not suspected at this time.

BC Coroners office has been advised and police are asking anyone with information on this incident to call their office at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Nanaimo Weather Outlook is Fantastic

The fourteen day forecast from the Weather Network only predicts some precipitation on one day. Of course you can't bet the kid's college fund on forecasts, but it certainly looks promising after the 'not so great' spring we had in the Nanaimo area.

The white line is the average temperatures for this month, while the yellow line indicates the forecast temperatures.

So, get out the sunscreen, beach towels, umbrella and cooler and head to your favourite beach!


Things are Hot and Dry So Use Common Sense

Slash fire Near Ladysmith Finally Out

It would appear that 'not too smart' campers are likely responsible for the fire near Ladysmith that kept crews busy over the weekend.

Lawn chairs, beer cans and the evidence of two campfires were seen near where the fire started. The fire was spotted about 10:30 am Saturday and was not under control until nearly midnight.

Abbotsford air tankers dumped fire retardant while helicopters dumped water on the blaze which covered about one and a half hectares and produced flames as high as 35 feet.

This is a fire which was completely preventable and people in the Nanaimo and Central Vancouver Island area are urged to use common sense and extreme caution during this hot dry spell.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Things To Do in Nanaimo This Weekend

Nanaimo's Fresh Air
and Great Outdoors is Calling

With the high price of gas, why not plan a Nanaimo vacation this year, or at least this weekend. The list of inviting parks is nearly endless but some of the more popular are Pipers Lagoon, Westwood Lake, Long Lake, Divers Lake, Colliery Dam, Swy-a-lana lagoon and of course there is the always inviting seawall along the harbour and Newcastle Channel.

You can always take a mini sea cruise across the harbour to Newcastle Island aboard one of the 'Pickle Boats' docked at Syw-a-lana lagoon park. You can pack a picnic lunch and make a day of exploring the island with it's limestone mining relics and reminders of the coal mining days. You can also enjoy a first class bowl of clam chowder at restaurant in the pavillion. It is one of the best chowders around!

If you have never explored Gabriola Island you might consider taking your car and making another day trip to the island which is almost in Nanaimo but not quite.

If you are in good shape you might consider making the hike to the top of Mt. Benson for a one of a kind view of our lovely city. Take your time and be prepared for a real hike. Good shoes, walking stick. lots of water, energy bars etc.

On Friday there is always the downtown Farmer's Market beside the Bastion, from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Time it right and you can witness the cannon firing at noon as well. Then take a tour of the Bastion if you haven't been for awhile. Then stroll downtown and see the new convention center and the many changes in the downtown core.

For more details on what to do on Friday use this Nanaimo Info LINK.
For more details on what to do on Saturday use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Balmoral Hotel Homeless Drop-in Centre Not Likely

Residents Wishes May Get Respected

The Canadian Mental Health Association had announced plans to incorporate a homeless drop-in center in the Balmoral Hotel.

The Hotel is planned to be renovated and provide housing for people with drug or mental problems which make it difficult for them to be housed elsewhere.

Area residents were not opposed to the housing component of the plan, however they were strongly against the drop-in center and the type of problems they inherently bring with them.

The drop-in center is presently housed in the Salvation Army New Hope Center but conflicts with the Armies policies are resulting in looking elsewhere to set up the drop-in center.

Any suggestions?


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Nanaimo Art Gallery Presents

July 10 - 31

Opening Thursday July 10th 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Artist in attendance

Using the camera and the computer as tools, the artist creates images that evoke a sense of place or event as well as expressing content and emotion.

These are original prints (not reproductions), and are produced using archival inks and materials. Some are presented as low number editions and others as monoprints.

Nanaimo Art Gallery (downtown location) 150 Commercial Street Nanaimo (250)754-1750


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Harmac Given Another Ten Days

Nanaimo Harmac Pulp
Mill Bids Rejected

The short version of the latest developments surrounding Harmac Pulp Mill are that the receiver and creditors believe the idle mill is worth more if it is liquidated.

To date they are not recommending acceptance of any of the offers made to buy the mill and keep it running.

The group representing Harmac workers seem hopeful that in the next ten days they can convince the receivers they have viable alternative to dismantling the mill. If they are successful with their bid, they believe the mill could be up and running as early as September.

Only time will tell the outcome of this ongoing saga.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Nanaimo House Sales Cooling Off Average Price Up 11% Over Last Year

Nanaimo Construction Is Still Steady
Housing Sales are Slowing Down

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board is reporting in the local daily that housing sales for this June were off by 33% compared to June of last year.

The average house sale price was still up by 11% over last year rising from an average of $335,246 to an average of $372,100. The actual median price is $362,000.

Island wide sales volumes are down 30% but the Island is still attractive to a gret many buyers. However, some sellers have over estimated the market value of their home and they are simply not selling.


Friday, July 04, 2008

More Gas Pains in Nanaimo

$1.50 Price Barrier Shatters in Nanaimo

For those of us old enough to remember buying gasoline at $.35 per gallon, that works out now to $6.90 per gallon.

There are several ways to beat the gas prices but waiting for your politician to do something is not one of them. Every time the pump price goes up the provincial and federal government receives another windfall of your tax dollars without looking like the bad guy.

So you can take up roller skating or don't drive so much, or junk your gas guzzler and lay out $20,000 or more on something which will cost less at the pumps. but still costs you in the capital cost department. Or you could perhaps join in some of the consumer movements to help fight gas prices.

Or you could simply buy shares in any one of the successful oil companies if you can afford it. Then at least you might get some of your bucks back in the way of dividends.

In any case unless either the consumers or the government does something there will be no end to how far the speculators and traders are going to push the price at the pumps and that is driven by pure greed and has nothing to do with supply and demand.

Happy motoring this summer! Why not go to Nanaimo this year, it's the best place on earth as we all know, so why go anywhere else?

And to the rest of the world ... come to Nanaimo this summer and see why we call it the best place on earth!


What To Do In Nanaimo This Weekend

What To Do in Nanaimo

Now that the weather is finally being friendly get out and enjoy the things we usually take from granted. The downtown seawall, Swy-a-lana Lagoon, Pipers Lagoon Park, Bowen Park, Collier Dam, Westwood Lake or the miles and miles of malls!

To check out events for Saturday use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

To check out events for Sunday use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Visit the Nanaimo Downtown Farmers Market

Nanaimo Downtown
Farmer's Market is Open Today

If you are looking for food, produce, arts and crafts and something unusual be sure to stop by the Downtown anaimo Farmer's Market.

The market is open from 10:00am - 2:00pm every Friday during the summer months and is always worth a look see.

Located right beside the Bastion if you time it right you can witness the cannon firing each day at noon.

Take a stroll along the seawall while you are downtown, grab some fish and chips at Trollers and make a good afternoon of it.


Visitor to Nanaimo Harbour

Seen in Nanaimo Harbour on Canada Day

Well summer has finally arrived in Nanaimo, and the harbour downtown is once again filling up with marine visitors.

This 'boat' was spotted at the visitors wharf while downtown enjoying the Canada Day celebrations.

To give an idea of the size, the boat on this side of the same wharf is in the 40 foot range.

And to think I complain about filling up my fuel tank!


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Canada Day in Maffeo Sutton Park Nanaimo

Everybody loves a parade, led by the RCMP and the bagpipes flags from the many countries which make up Canada paraded past Swy-a-lana lagoon and stopped at the Lions Pavilion.
It was a lovely day in the weather department and just a good family time at Maffeo Sutton Park on Canada Day. There was face painting and games for the kids. Although considering how lovely the weather was I had to wonder where the crowds were, compared to last year attendance seemed to be off.
A popular spot for any Swy-a-lana Lagoon gathering is the food vendors, which when this was taken were still not too busy being only 11:30 or so and the parade activities were still underway. Time to grab a great 'dog' and some cotton candy and kettle corn!


Make Better Energy Choices in Nanaimo


The B.C. government has created a new website and information campaign to help British Columbians make better energy choices and explain how the province of B.C. plans to handle climate change issues, Environment Minister Barry Penner announced today.

The new LiveSmartBC website provides up-to-date information to help British Columbians save on energy costs and explain the new revenue-neutral carbon tax that takes effect July 1. “Climate change is real and it’s threatening our forests, our watersheds and our way of life,” said Penner.

“People need to better understand what’s happening to our climate and know what government incentives are available to them to help them do their part. British Columbians need to realize that the time to act is now and that doing nothing is just not an option.”

The new LiveSmartBC website is a comprehensive source of information on the science of global warming, the actions government is taking to fight climate change and ways that individuals, companies and organizations can do their part in the battle against climate change.

“B.C.’s Climate Action Plan outlines strategies that will take our province approximately 73 per cent of the way to meeting our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020,” said Penner. “It also sets out the process we will follow to identify strategies to get us the remaining 27 per cent of the way there.”

The government’s LiveSmart initiative is supported by an informational campaign. It began last weekend with newspaper ads, and starting today it will include advertising on radio and television.
The information campaign will highlight the challenge of global warming and the actions individual citizens can take to save on fuel, on energy, and on taxes in their daily activities. In particular, it will focus on transportation, fuel-efficient vehicles and home-energy savings, including the promotion of incentive programs available to consumers who want to make smart choices to save money.

The LiveSmartBC website can be found at


Tuesday, July 01, 2008



Premier Gordon Campbell released the following statement today in recognition of Canada Day:

“I am proud to join British Columbians and Canadians across the country in celebrating the 141st anniversary of confederation.

“Here in British Columbia we have even more to celebrate this year with activities and projects across the province commemorating BC150 - 150 years of achievement, cultural diversity and community strength since the founding of the Crown Colony of British Columbia in 1858.

“Each year on Canada Day I am reminded again of how fortunate we are to live in British Columbia, a place of natural riches and beauty, a place that attracts people from around the world to live, work and raise their families.

“Canada Day is our national celebration. It’s also a time to reflect on what makes our country strong. The contributions of our immigrants combined with the achievements of our First Nations and our unique Aboriginal heritage have helped create one of the most multicultural societies anywhere on earth. That’s truly something to celebrate.

“We also remember on Canada Day the men and women who have both defined and defended our freedoms – from those who fought on the battlefields of Vimy Ridge, Normandy, Holland and Korea to the troops courageously serving today in places like Afghanistan.

“Since 1867 Canada has grown and prospered beyond anything the founders of confederation could have imagined. I encourage all British Columbians to think today not only about how far we have come as a country, but also about what kind of country and what kind of world we want our legacy to be.

“I wish all British Columbians a happy and safe Canada Day.”


Booster Sear Changes Take Effect Today Are Nanaimo Drivers Ready?



B.C. children will be better protected in the event of a motor vehicle crash as a result of changes to child passenger safety regulations that make booster seats mandatory. The regulations come into effect tomorrow, July 1, 2008.

All children over nine kg (40 lbs) need to be in booster seats until they are 1.45 metres (4’9”) tall or age nine. A booster seat will properly position a seat belt over a child’s shoulders and across the chest so that the risk of serious injury and death is greatly reduced in the event of a crash.

Booster seats reduce the risk of fatality by 71 per cent and the risk of serious injury by 67 per cent. In B.C., an average of 860 children aged five through nine are seriously injured every year in motor vehicle collisions.

The booster seat law expands on existing regulations that already protect infants and children. Children over one year old and between nine and 18 kg (20-40 lbs) are required to be seated in a child car seat, and infants must be seated in rear-facing infant seats that are not placed in front of an active frontal air bag until the baby is at least one year of age and nine kg (20 lbs).

Additional changes to MVA regulations also remove a number of exemptions. All drivers, not just the child’s parents or guardians, will now have to use child restraints for their young occupants, as will drivers of rental vehicles, out-of-province vehicles and passenger vans. Failure to comply with these new regulations will result in a $109 fine.

B.C. joins Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and numerous U.S. states which have similar booster seat laws.

For more information use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Nanaimo Drivers -- Listen Up!


ICBC, the Province and police are sending a message to impaired drivers this summer - it's time to bury all excuses for drinking and driving.

This morning, ICBC and police launched a month-long public awareness and enforcement campaign at a graveside service at Hatley Memorial Gardens. Nicolas Jimenez, ICBC's road safety director, along with the police and Colwood's mayor, Jody Twa, buried signs with common excuses for drinking and driving in a grave (e.g. "I can handle my liquor."; "It's only a short drive home."; "I don't want to pay for a taxi."; "I'm OK to drive.").

"More than 100 British Columbians die every year as a direct result of drinking and driving," said John van Dongen, minister of public safety and solicitor general. "The tragedy behind that number is the terrible cost to B.C. families and the fact that those deaths are preventable."

Although the Drinking Driving CounterAttack campaign is one of the many initiatives that has helped reduce B.C.'s alcohol-related crash fatalities by some 50 per cent over the past 30 years, the consequences remain severe. On average, 3,170 people are injured and 116 are killed in 4,980 alcohol-related crashes each year (average annual figures from 2002-2006 police data). Annually, this costs ICBC and drivers more than $140 million in claims costs.

"Everyone benefits when we all drive safely," said Jimenez. "First and foremost, we minimize the tragic toll car crashes have on people's lives. But we're also reminding drivers that the insurance rates you pay reflect how you drive. Higher risk drivers will simply pay more," added Jimenez. With the introduction of the Driver Risk Premium, if you're convicted of drinking and driving, you'll pay more for your insurance.

ICBC's campaign features radio, television, and restaurant and bar advertising reminding drivers about the increased police presence and the need to stop making excuses for drinking and driving. ICBC is also working with employers to help spread the message to their staff.

Police throughout the province will ramp up roadchecks throughout the summer.

"The police, ICBC and the provincial government have been working hard to combat drinking and driving over the years. While we've helped to reduce the number of fatalities, impaired driving is still the number one criminal cause of death in Canada," commented deputy chief Mike Chadwick of the Saanich police, also president of the B.C. Association Chiefs of Police.

"The RCMP's goal is to have the safest roads in the world by 2010," added staff sergeant Andrew Isles of the RCMP and Capital Regional District Integrated Road Safety Unit. "Working with partners like ICBC to combine enforcement with education is a vital step in achieving this goal."

For more information on the impaired driving campaign, visit


Nanaimo House Fire Claims 8 yr. old Girl

A house fire this morning in the six hundred block of Georgia Ave claimed the life of an eight year old girl.

Nanaimo Fire and Rescue responded to the call at 0855 am and arrived on scene within minutes to find one side of the duplex fully engulfed in flames . Neighbors told investigators the mother Andrea Sam and her four children lived in the residence. Andrea Sam was asleep and awoke to find the residence fully engulfed. She was able to remove three of her children but due to the heat and flames could not get to her daughter who was sleeping in a separate room. Marsha Sam, age 8 died as a result of the fire.

Nanaimo RCMP along with Fire investigators and the BC Coroners Office were on scene most of the morning attempting to determine the cause of fire. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800 -222-TIPS


Nanaimo Driver Tangles With Train

Train One --- Car Zero
For the second time in less than two weeks a female has escaped with relatively minor injuries after colliding her car with a Southern Railways train.

Police and Nanaimo Fire along with BC Ambulance attended to a report a vehicle versus train accident at the railway crossing located at Townsite Rd near Terminal Ave. A 38 year old female was waiting to cross the intersection when she decided at the last second to cross and was struck broad side by the liner. Her and her vehicle were then dragged approximately 100 meters north along the rail way tracks .The vehicle came to a rest behind the Port Of Call motel.

The female was removed from the vehicle by BC Ambulance paramedics and treated for minor whiplash. She was then escorted to hospital for observation. Her vehicle a 2001 Saturn suffered extensive damage and was towed from the scene. Charges are pending against the driver of the vehicle.


Taxes are Up and Down the Same Day --- Only in BC


Starting tomorrow, British Columbians will pay less income tax thanks to tax cuts made possible by the revenue-neutral carbon tax, announced Finance Minister Colin Hansen.

By law, government must show how every dollar generated by the carbon tax will be returned to British Columbians through lower taxes. Over the next three years, the government will reduce personal and corporate income taxes by more than $1.8 billion, the same amount estimated to be raised through the revenue-neutral carbon tax.

“We are the first jurisdiction in North America to implement a revenue-neutral carbon tax, and by 2009 the planned income tax reductions will give the majority of British Columbians the lowest personal income taxes in Canada,” said Hansen. “The introduction of the carbon tax has a number of benefits for B.C. residents that include both more money in their pockets and a greener future.”

The revenue-neutral carbon tax allows British Columbia to reduce taxes for individuals, families and businesses. Added to the government’s tax reductions since 2001, the changes in Balanced Budget 2008 will give British Columbians, by 2009, the lowest personal taxes in Canada on incomes up to $111,000.

Effective July 1, 2008, personal and corporate income tax changes include:

· Personal income taxes are reduced by 2 per cent for 2008. However, most people will notice a four per cent reduction in provincial tax on their paycheques as the rate cut is applicable to the entire year, but being condensed into six months;

· General corporate income tax rates fall to 11 per cent from 12 per cent; and,

· Small business tax rates drop to 3.5 per cent from 4.5 per cent.

In addition to the income tax cuts, the new Low Income Climate Action Tax Credit will provide lower-income individuals and families with an annual payment of $100 per adult and $30 per child in 2008 or $100 for the first child in a single parent family. In 2009, the tax credit will rise to $105 per adult and $31.50 per child and will be reviewed annually to ensure it continues to help low-income British Columbians offset the cost of the carbon tax. The tax credit will be paid quarterly along with the federal GST payment.

“These are significant savings that will ensure the vast majority of British Columbians come out further ahead after the carbon tax is implemented,” added Hansen. “However, lower income taxes are not the only means we have to offset the carbon tax. The carbon tax was designed to spark lifestyle changes that will reduce carbon emissions and build a cleaner future. Already, we see this happening, and the hope is that people will continue to take personal actions that will reduce their impact on the environment and save money at the same time.”

Further information on the tax cuts made possible by the revenue-neutral carbon tax is available at

Editor's Comment: That's their story and they are sticking to it! Mmmmmm tax cuts on the same day fuel tax goes up! Sounds good to me. I can even remember hearing that the income tax was only a temporary tax to pay for the last war. The goose looses a few more feathers with the minimum of hissing!