Tuesday, September 30, 2008

CRUISE SHIP VISITS NANAIMO TODAY

CRUISE SHIP MERCURY IN PORT ALL DAY

If you are fortunate enough to not be working this lovely day, you might want to go downtown and welcome our visitors to Nanaimo.

The crusie ship 'Mercury' will be in port for most of the day. The weather is going to be absolutely gorgeous and the Downtown Farmer's Market will also be open from 10:00 am until 2:00pm.

I'm pretty sure the Bastion will also be open for our visitors and our new museum.

Welcome to Nanaimo! The Harbour City Growing Places!

allvoices

MORE HELP FOR FAMILIES PROMISED

CONSERVATIVES PROMISE
MORE HELP FOR FAMILIES

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced new tax breaks and savings initiatives to expand opportunities for Canadian children.

“Giving working families a break is one of the most important Conservative priorities,” said the Prime Minister. “It is why we have taken bold action to deliver real results to parents and their children.”

Harper announced three new initiatives to help Canadian families:

  • Establishing a new Children’s Arts Tax Credit, worth an estimated $150 million annually, to encourage greater participation by children in arts activities.
  • Extending the benefit of the existing Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and the new Children’s Art Tax Credit to lower-income families that pay little or no income tax, by making both credits fully refundable.
  • Expanding the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) to allow charities and not-for-profit organizations to establish RESPs for children from low-income families in partnership with parents.

The Prime Minister said that today’s announcement builds on modest, practical, credible and affordable improvements introduced by the Conservative Government since 2006, including:

  • Reducing the GST from seven to five per cent.
  • Introducing a $100 per month Universal Child Care Benefit.
  • Providing targeted tax cuts for apprentice tools, textbooks and transit passes.

“These new policies will help give a break to working Canadian families,” Harper said. “And they will make arts and fitness programs more accessible to all families, including families where financial costs impose real barriers.”


allvoices

Monday, September 29, 2008

NO MORE TOLLS ON THE COQUIHALLA


PENTICTON – Tolls on the Coquihalla Highway will be removed immediately, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today during his annual address to the Union of B.C. Municipalities.

“The Coquihalla Highway opened British Columbia’s Interior like never before, generating economic opportunities and fostering the tremendous growth of communities,” said Premier Campbell. “Former Premier Bill Bennett had a vision for a highway that would see our province reach its full economic potential. It has succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations and has become the foundation for a transportation network that has opened up Canada’s Pacific Gateway to North America and the rest of the world. Today’s announcement marks the next milestone in that legacy.”

The highway officially opened on May 16, 1986, at the dawn of Expo 86. The first phase, from Hope to Merritt, opened on that day. Phase 2, from Merritt to Kamloops, was completed on Sept. 4, 1987 and the final phase, the Coquihalla Connector from Merritt to Kelowna, was completed Oct. 1, 1990. The highway significantly enhanced access to Interior communities resulting in population and economic growth.

The total capital cost of the three phases was $848 million. Current annual revenue collected by the tolls is approximately $57 million. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure anticipates that revenues collected from the tolls since its opening will have effectively offset those total capital costs by next month.

“Removing the tolls will mean literally hundreds of dollars annually in the pockets of British Columbians who regularly use the highway,” said Premier Campbell. “It will also mean thousands of dollars in annual saving for truckers who account for 20 per cent of highway traffic along the corridor but pay more than half of the total toll revenue.”

Approximately 3.4 million trips are completed across the Coquihalla Highway each year in British Columbia. In 2007, 2.7 million passenger vehicles and 700,000 commercial trucks crossed the corridor.

“In 2003, our government passed a policy clearly stating that any infrastructure financed by toll revenue must see the tolls removed upon recovery of construction costs,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Kevin Falcon. “This milestone marks an important time in our province’s history as we continue to open up our transportation networks with projects such as the $3-billion Gateway Project, the Kicking Horse Canyon, the Cariboo Connector four-laning, the William R. Bennett Bridge and port and airport expansions.”


allvoices

Friday, September 26, 2008

THINGS TO DO IN NANAIMO THIS WEEKEND

THIS IS WHAT BLUE SKIES LOOK LIKE!

In case you had forgotten, which is easy to do this past week the absence of overcast skies and rain looks something like this.

For things to do Fri. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For things to do Sat. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For things to do Sun. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

allvoices

BC TO ALLOW SIX STOREY WOOD FRAME CONSTRUCTION

The Province will increase the limit on wood-frame construction in the BC Building Code from four to six storeys in January 2009, Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman announced today.

“We are working with builders, designers, local governments and other stakeholders as part of our ongoing efforts to reduce the impact of buildings on our environment,” Coleman said. “It is one of the many steps we are taking across government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Raising the roof on wood-frame construction will open opportunities for construction of mid-rise, medium-density housing. This type of building provides an option for communities that want to take advantage of the environmental benefits of density while preserving the character of their communities.

In the near future, the Province will announce details of an innovative demonstration project with the Canadian Wood Council that will provide additional insights into six-storey wood construction in British Columbia.

The demonstration project will give builders, designers and local governments an opportunity to see how six-storey wood-frame construction can be used effectively in British Columbia.

“Opening up the use of wood in mid-rise construction presents exciting opportunities to reduce the cost and environmental impact of buildings,” said Mary Tracey, executive director of the B.C. branch of the Canadian Wood Council. “We look forward to working with the Province on a demonstration project that will showcase how wood can be used safely in buildings over four storeys.”

It will also enable the Province to evaluate building social housing using six-storey wood frame construction.

“We are delivering on our commitment to innovative, safe construction practices,” Coleman said. “The demonstration project is one way the Province will work with those involved in building – local governments and designers – to make sure they have the tools they need to successfully apply the new Building Code provisions.”

More details on the demonstration project will be available once the agreements have been finalized.

Updates will be available at www.housing.gov.bc.ca/building/wood_frame/index.htm.

Editor's Comments: What were the safety concerns surrounding limiting wood frame buidling to six storeys? What has changed? Is the wood stronger? Construction techniques better? Remember changes in condo construction was also considered to be a good idea. Seems to me, it was the same group of people who approved those changes also. Time will tell.


allvoices

Thursday, September 25, 2008

GABRIOLA CYCLE FASTEST ON EARTH

HUMAN POWERED VEHICLE
CLOCKED AT 132.5 KM/HR


Artist/inventor Gabriola resident George Georgiev's bullet shaped Diablo III broke his own world record he set seven years ago.

The record was set during the Ninth World Human Powered Speed Challenge at Battle Mountain Nevada.

Georgiev's company Varna Speedcycle has been producing unique two and three wheeled cycles on his Gabriola acreage since 1992 and has customers worldwide. His cycles are made from ultra light and ultra strong materials such as carbon fibre and Kevlar.

His enclosed high speed bikes sell worldwide and have fetched as much as $17,500 in Europe where cycling is more widely accepted than in North America. His company does make much less expensive and more practical cycles selling for a few thousand dollars.

To visit the company website use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

allvoices

LATE SAILING FOR LIONS FANS SATURDAY


BC Ferries is offering a late night sailing from Tsawwassen to Duke Point on Saturday, September 27, at 11:30 p.m. to enable BC Lions football fans from Vancouver Island to return home after the game on the same day.

This sailing is not limited to sports fans. Anyone can take advantage of the late night sailing. Reservations are encouraged to ensure a space on this sailing and can be made online at www.bcferries.com.

allvoices

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

STEPHEN HARPER ON VANCOUVER ISLAND


Prime Minister Stephen Harper today contrasted the Conservative Government’s record of accomplishments for North Vancouver Island with the inaction of the Ottawa NDP. Speaking to a crowd of supporters in Comox, the Prime Minister explained how Jack Layton and the Ottawa NDP are out of touch with the concerns of the Island’s working families.

“Remember when we cut the GST? The Ottawa NDP voted against it, not once, but twice. Tax relief for small business, the Ottawa NDP voted against it. Tax measures to support families, the Ottawa NDP voted against those too,” said Prime Minister Harper. “The Ottawa NDP simply doesn’t get it. They simply don’t understand the issues that matter to working families.”

The Prime Minister went on to highlight the Conservative Government’s record of accomplishments for the North Island.

  • An estimated $121 million investment in infrastructure upgrades for 19 Wing Comox, including a runway rehabilitation project and the construction of a new health care facility.
  • Municipal infrastructure money to ensure the water supply in the Comox Valley keeps pace with population growth.
  • Funding to expand and develop Port McNeill’s waterfront to allow the harbour to service a greater number of recreational, commercial fishing and industry vessels.
  • Six new Coast Guard vessels to protect British Columbia’s coastline.

“Our government is delivering for Vancouver Island, but there’s more to be done,” said Prime Minister Harper. “And we need a strong team of Conservative Island MPs in Ottawa to make it happen.”


allvoices

NOT HAPPY WITH CANDIDATES IN NANAIMO CIVIC ELECTION?

THINK YOU CAN DO A BETTER JOB?

If you are one of those people who say things like " I'm not voting for any of the bums, they are all the same" or " I am voting for none of the above".

Maybe it's time for you to throw you hat in the ring and become a part of the solution rather than just part of the problem. If you have the time and desire to help your community you have just about all of the qualifications needed to become the next civic leader in our community.

As long as you have lived in BC for at least six months, are a Canadian citizen and are not disqualified from voting you are eligible to run for City Council, Mayor or the School Board.

You are advised before filing your papers for Mayor or Council that you contact legislative services at 250-755-4405 and make an appointment to make sure you get all the needed information.

You can pick up a nomination package for mayor or council from City hall at 283 Franklyn Street for Nanaimo and from 7192 Lantzville Rd. School board candidates can contact the administration offices at 395 Wakesiah Ave.

The nomination period runs from Sept. 30 at 9:00am until Oct. 14 at 4:00pm and your papers must be filed in this time frame to run in the next civic election.

So .... what are you waiting for? Democracy never works at it's full potential unless the public takes the time to be informed and get involved.

In case you don't know how much the salaries are for Mayor or Council; the Mayor receives $76,911 and councilors receive $25.539. They also enjoy 100% medical and dental coverage. The Mayor position would require full time commitment (although Frank Ney was an exception) while councillor's are still a part time commitment.

For information about candidates running in current civic election and a list of all candidates meetings, use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

allvoices

JOHN RUTTAN TO RUN FOR MAYOR




Community leader and businessman, John Ruttan, has officially announced his intention to run for Mayor of Nanaimo in the November 15, 2008 municipal election.
"I am very keen to be the next Mayor of Nanaimo and I am asking for the support of Nanaimo citizens in my decision to run," said Ruttan.
"I have long felt that Nanaimo is in need of a fresh new approach to leadership on city council," he said. "A city with the complex issues and challenges that Nanaimo faces must have strong leadership from a Mayor and council that are decision oriented and community focused."
Ruttan has owned and managed several successful businesses in Nanaimo for more than 45 years and has met the challenge of effecting the necessary business changes required in difficult economic times.
"I believe taxpayers should be confident that their city will be managed in a way that respects the need to control spending in order to control taxation," Ruttan said. "Successful businesses are managed by leaders who are able to react quickly and appropriately to change. Successful cities are run the same way. Nanaimo deserves leaders who have the ability to react in ways that are fundamentally respectful of all citizens, all taxpayers."
Ruttan was recently named '2008 Citizen of the Year' at the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Sterling Awards, for his dedication and life long commitment to our community. "I am deeply honoured by this prestigious award," he said.
Currently Vice President and Past President of Tourism Nanaimo, Ruttan is also a long serving member of the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society, a Director on the Nanaimo Museum Board, Past Chair of Nanaimo Port Authority, former Federal Government Appointee to the Nanaimo Harbour Commission, Chair of the "Support YCD Committee" (a group supporting the Nanaimo Airport runway improvements), Chair of the Community Policing Advisory Board, and a former member of several service clubs such as Rotary and Jaycees, and the Nanaimo Flying Club.
"Both my volunteer and business commitment to the Nanaimo community have been a longstanding focus in my life."
"My intension is to provide a fresh new approach to leadership within City Council by creating a consensus in both business and community," concluded Ruttan.

allvoices

WOMEN'S ONLY CANDIDATES MEETING

FEMALE CANDIDATES SHUN MALE OPINION

The Canadian Federation of University Women's Nanaimo Chapter is hosting a women only all candidates meeting on Oct. 29.

The meeting is open to women only who are running for either city council or school trustee in the upcoming civic election.

For some reason it is felt this will provide a better forum for the women candidates to present themselves to the public and seek support.

It is not clear if the male voting public will be welcome at this women only meeting.

Editor's Comment: Does this mean these women don't feel they can hold their own with male candidates? What kind of hoopla do you think would come from the women candidates if someone were to propose a 'men only' meeting?

For a complete list of All Candidates Meetings in the Nov. 15/08 municipal elections use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

allvoices

CHEESE MAY BE CONTAMINATED

Canadian Food Inspection Agency / Agence canadienne d¿inspection des aliments

Health Hazard Alert: Cheeses Manufactured by Fromagerie la Voie Lactée Inc. May be Contaminated by Pathogenic Bacteria

OTTAWA, September 23, 2008 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume the cheeses manufactured by Fromagerie La Voie lactée Inc. described below because these products may be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria because of an inadequate pasteurization.

All lots of the following products sold up to and including September 19, 2008 are affected by the recall.

Product

Size

Distribution
L’Apprenti Sorcier

150 g

Quebec, Ontario
Le Funambule

150 g

Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia
Le Grand Manitou

320 g
1.2 kg

Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia
L’Ange-gardien

180 g

Quebec
Le P’tit Dernier

110 g

Quebec
Le Petit Portage

1.2 kg

Quebec

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

Food affected by this recall may not look or smell spoiled. However, there may be a health risk associated with the consumption of these products. The symptoms associated with the bacteria may be similar to gastroenteritis, but complications may occur. People with weakened immune systems and pregnant women are considered particularly at risk.

The manufacturer, Fromagerie La Voie lactée Inc., L’Assomption, Quebec, is voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday).

For information on receiving recalls by e-mail, or for other food safety facts, visit our web site at www.inspection.gc.ca


allvoices

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

STATUE ORDERED REMOVED

PIRATE STATUE JUST NOTICED

It is reported in the local daily that the city bylaw officer 'just noticed' the pirate statue in front of Pirate Chips restaurant downtown.

This sign has been in front of this business for over a year and is just around the corner from City Hall; making it kinda peculiar it would now be the subject of a removal order.

They say it is supposed to represent former flamboyant mayor Frank Ney, but personally I don't see the resemblance. Nor do I see the problem with leaving the statue where it is, he is clearly not going anywhere and is not blocking the use of the sidewalk.

Lighten up Mr. Bylaw Officer, it adds a little character to our downtown streets.

allvoices

CANADIAN FEDERAL ELECTION

WHAT THE LEADERS ARE SAYING

While this blog is never going to provide the in depth understanding of the different parties and their platforms you will need to make an informed decision come election day; it is my intent to provide a snapshot of what the leaders are promising during this campaign.

Yesterday Stephan Harper said his government would get tougher on young offenders who commit violent crimes by increasing the minimum sentencing for violent crimes and publishing the names of young offenders once convicted. I doubt if many Canadians would be opposed to this change as it would seem the young offenders law as it stands is being used as a shield for many criminals. For example, it is reported that gang members will recruit young persons to commit various crimes such as holding and selling drugs, because in the event they are caught, the sentencing is presently quite liberal. An example was given of several young offenders involved in the beating death of a young man; the offenders were sentenced to three years for their involvement in his death.

It is reported that in Quebec his changes would not be popular as they feel rehabilitation is more important. The logic used is that increased jail time will result in a young person becoming a hardened criminal. I wonder how someone capable of killing someone else could become any 'harder'?

Stephane Dion was introducing his parities platform which promises a $40 billion carbon tax which he claims would result in reducing taxes to ordinary citizens. At least I think that is what he is saying, there were several reasons why the plan may not unfold exactly as they outline, for example should the economy slow down it would alter their forecasts completely. I am not certain how many people believe a government will actually increase taxes by $40 billion and give it all back to the public in the form of lower taxes in other areas.

allvoices

DIY MOVING COMPANY? "So they loaded up the truck and moved to ..."

SOOOO .... WHAT'S WRONG
WITH THIS PICTURE??

Officers were stunned Wednesday, September 17th when they came across an overloaded truck towing an overloaded trailer down the down the Trans Canada Highway near Roberts Rd in Ladysmith. The driver, moving some household items from Victoria to Chilliwack thought he would save himself a few dollars and make the move himself. One problem – the truck and trailer were overloaded and the load was not properly secured.

“This is the perfect time to remind every one that if you’re going to load up a trailer or truck you have to make sure that your load is not to heavy for the vehicle and that every is secure,” says Cst Dave Babineau of the RCMP Traffic Services.

The Motor vehicle Act Regulations is very clear when dealing with this subject.

Section 35.04 of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations says - Vehicles must be equipped and cargo must be contained, immobilized or secured in accordance with the applicable requirements of this Division and the Standard and so that it cannot
(a) leak, spill, blow off, fall from, fall through or otherwise be dislodged from the vehicle, or
(b) shift on or within the vehicle in a manner that affects the stability or manoeuvrability of the vehicle.

This driver definitely didn’t read or ask a police officer about the rules and look what happened. He informed the officer who was writing the ticket that he had in fact lost an antique rocker some where along the way. “How scary is that? Would you want to be driving behind this truck? I know I wouldn’t,” says Babineau. “If you’re not sure what the rules are call your local police office and ask before you head out on the road. The rules are there for everyone’s safety.”

The driver was issued a violation ticket for the insecure load and the vehicle was removed from the road.


allvoices

Melamine - Certain products from China

The Government of Canada is actively protecting the safety of Canada’s food supply. The investigation into melamine contamination has been expanded to include other potentially affected products in addition to infant formula. Specifically, products made from milk or milk-derived ingredients that could contain contaminated product are being examined. Milk-derived ingredients include whole milk powder, non-fat milk powder, whey powder, lactose powder, and casein.

Health Canada has also notified all licence holders and licence applicants for natural health products (NHPs) containing significant amounts of milk proteins, such as NHPs that are nutritional supplements or protein bars, of the situation involving melamine contamination and asked for information as to the sources of the ingredients they use. As an additional precautionary measure, Health Canada will be testing selected samples of various NHPs containing significant amounts of milk proteins, to determine whether melamine contamination is present.

September 22, 2008

On September 12, 2008, the Government of Canada issued a consumer advisory about infant formula originating from China to inform Canadians about the risk of adulteration with melamine. The advisory confirmed that no infant formula approved in Canada uses milk ingredients sourced from China and that no formulas produced in China are approved for sale in Canada.

Since that time the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) coordinated a national retail survey of approximately 300 stores in Canada and found no evidence of infant formulas produced in China. It is cautioning Canadians against purchasing infant formulas manufactured in China from Internet sites or from other sources. No illnesses, consistent with those reported in China or associated with melamine, have been reported in Canada.

The Government of Canada is actively protecting the safety of Canada’s food supply. The investigation into melamine contamination has been expanded to include other potentially affected products in addition to infant formula. Specifically, products made from milk or milk-derived ingredients that could contain contaminated product are being examined. Milk-derived ingredients include whole milk powder, non-fat milk powder, whey powder, lactose powder, and casein.

As part of its activities, an expanded Border Lookout has been put in place to monitor products that contain milk or milk-derived ingredients or finished food products that could contain these ingredients from Chinese sources. In addition, random sampling and testing of milk-based products in Canada is being undertaken. If potentially implicated products are found through the Border Lookouts, inspections or other investigations, they will be sampled and tested for melamine. Samples have already been taken and are being tested, including food products from companies currently under investigation in China.

CFIA officials have also advised manufacturers and food processors that contamination with melamine may extend beyond milk-derived ingredients in infant formulas and may include any food product manufactured using milk or milk-derived ingredients sourced in/from China. The industry in Canada is reviewing product lines to determine which may contain milk or milk-derived ingredients sourced in/from China and will advise CFIA of any potentially contaminated foods.

Although no products have been found in Canada at this time, the CFIA is taking additional precautionary measures, including product recalls, to ensure that any foods that could potentially contain melamine are removed from the marketplace. For example, on September 21st, the CFIA and Regent Long Marketing and Distribution Ltd issued a consumer advisory advising people not to consume the Nissin Cha Cha Dessert. This product was made using Yili Pure Milk, in which melamine has been detected. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

The Government is also working with other countries to take action if products containing melamine are found. If product is found to be contaminated, whether through testing or other investigations, the product will be pulled and the usual recall process will take place. For recall information related to a specific product, consumers should consult the CFIA’s web site at www.inspection.gc.ca. Some retailers in Canada may have already removed product from their shelves as a precaution.

Health Canada has also notified all licence holders and licence applicants for natural health products (NHPs) containing significant amounts of milk proteins, such as NHPs that are nutritional supplements or protein bars, of the situation involving melamine contamination and asked for information as to the sources of the ingredients they use. As an additional precautionary measure, Health Canada will be testing selected samples of various NHPs containing significant amounts of milk proteins, to determine whether melamine contamination is present.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) continues to collaborate with the World Health Organization and other international medical and public health partners to share information regularly on this issue. The PHAC continues to monitor disease trends in case they indicate exposure to melamine.

These actions are being taken as a precautionary measure only. The Government of Canada is continuing its ongoing vigilant monitoring of food and regulated health products.

Editor's Comment: When it comes to food products regardless of pricing, I think it just makes sense to buy only products we know have been inspected and come up to our standards. This infant formula disaster has resulted in over 50,000 children in China being affected by the deliberate adding of a chemical to milk to make it appear to have a higher protein content.


allvoices

BC PUBLIC SERVICE RAISES

The salaries of every deputy and assistant deputy minister in the BC Public Service have now been reviewed and decisions have been made on the actual salary levels assigned to each individual executive member under the new compensation framework introduced in August.

As a result of this review, effective Aug. 1 the average actual pay for deputy ministers is $217,758, representing an average increase of just over seven per cent. The average salary under the new framework for assistant deputy ministers is $157,608, representing an average increase of 21 per cent. The deputy minister to the Premier has opted not to accept any increase in salary at this time.

The increases provided also reflect that the value of the salary holdback has been increased from five per cent to 10 per cent of each executive’s annual pay. The holdback of each executive’s salary is dependent on their performance on a series of specific measures linked to building the corporate human resources of the BC Public Service. In real terms, that means on average up to almost $22,000 of deputy minister salaries and $16,000 in assistant deputy minister salaries are at risk if performance measures are not met. B.C. is the only jurisdiction to have such a system in place to ensure ongoing performance.

Prior to the 2008 adjustment, assistant deputy minister salaries ranked tenth in Canada among other provinces and the federal government, and deputy minister salaries ranked sixth. Under the new framework, the maximum achievable salaries for both levels of executives in B.C. rank third in Canada, providing greater flexibility to be competitive in a tight labour market.

With the decisions on actual salary levels, the actual average salaries for B.C. deputy ministers and assistant deputy ministers are estimated to now rank fifth amongst the other Canadian jurisdictions. From now on, the deputy minister compensation framework will be set at 83 per cent of federal salaries and will be subject to the same regular review cycle to ensure ongoing competitiveness.

Forecasts show that within 10 years over 65 per cent of assistant deputy ministers and 51 per cent of deputy ministers will be eligible to retire. In a tight labour market, compensation levels are one key factor in ensuring the BC Public Service is able to recruit and retain suitably qualified senior professionals.


allvoices

Monday, September 22, 2008

B.C. FERRIES FUEL SURCHARGE TO STAY

FALLING FUEL PRICES
NOT REFLECTED IN FERRY FARES


It is reported in the local daily that the fuel surcharge on BC Ferries will remain in effect until at least 2009 despite lower fuel costs.

A BC Ferries spokesman said the fuel surcharge did not kick in until the first of August and has not offset increased fuel prices the corporation has been facing.

Editor's Comment: Does anyone know how much it costs per passenger for fuel on the new Super C Ferries? Are they as fuel efficient as the older vessels?

allvoices

SAPPHIRE SEAS PRINCESS VISITS NANAIMO

EARLY MORNING HAZE SHROUDS CRUISE SHIP

Looking almost like a ghost ship, the Sapphire Seas Princess sits at anchor just off Gallows Point on Sunday morning. The 30 foot cabin cruiser being dwarfed by the ocean going town.

Visitors to Nanaimo got a good welcome not only from the locals but the weather co-operated as well making their visit to Nanaimo a good memory we hope.

The next cruise ship to visit will be tomorrow, followed by another visit this coming Sunday.

allvoices

Friday, September 19, 2008

DOWNTOWN NANAIMO ART GALLERY PRESENTS

NANAIMO ART GALLERY PRESENTS

In 2007, ten painters, whose level of excellence has been acknowledged nationally and internationally, came to Charlevoix as part of Baie-Saint-Paul Cultural Capital of Canada and Reves d’automne events. Each artist created a work that was representative of his or her province and loaned it for an exhibition that is travelling across Canada in 2008.

This exhibit can be seen at the downtown Art Gallery located at 150 Commerical St. to view map us this Nanaimo Info LINK.

allvoices

THINGS TO DO IN NANAIMO THIS WEEKEND

WELCOME CRUISE SHIP
VISITORS TO NANAIMO


You can always go downtown and welcome the tourists who will be visiting this coming Sunday when the large cruise ship comes to town. The Downtown Farmer's Market will be open for the day so you can check it out as well.

On Saturday there is the Health and Wellness Fair at Country Club Centre and a guided nature walk at Morrell Nature Sanctuary. Just remember it is late September in Nanaimo, so no matter what the weatherman says, an umbrella is always a good idea.

Enjoy the weekend!

For things to do Fri. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For things to do Sat. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For things to do Sun. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

allvoices

FERRY NOISE TO BE REDUCED WHILE DOCKING

COASTAL RENAISSANCE
TO GET ADDITIONAL SILENCER

BC Ferries’ Coastal Renaissance, which operates on the Departure Bay – Horseshoe Bay route, will be removed from service from Monday, September 22 through Thursday, September 25 to allow for the installation of an additional engine silencer.

During this time, the Queen of Cowichan will sail in place of the Coastal Renaissance. There will be no change to the schedule on the Departure Bay – Horseshoe Bay route over the four days. The Coastal Renaissance will return to service on Friday, September 26.

BC Ferries is installing the additional engine silencer to further mitigate noise and vibration while docking. A similar device was installed on the Coastal Celebration as a trial last month, which had greatly reduced the sound emanating from the engines. The Coastal Inspiration will also be fitted with an additional engine silencer at a later date.

allvoices

Thursday, September 18, 2008

BOWEN ROAD FARMERS MARKET

"FARMERS" MARKET ENJOYS GREAT SUCCESS

The Bowen Road Farmer's Market has outgrown it's space at the co-op building on Labieux Rd. and is now located at the VIEX grounds behind Beban Pool.

This Farmer's Market is based on providing 80% food vendors and only 20% artisan products. So unlike some markets using the name 'farmer's' which actually offer very little food products, this market actually has some real farmers present.

The market is open on Wednesday afternoon from 4:00 - 7:00pm and enjoys a good following of the faithful who line up 30 minutes in advance to get the best selection of their favourite foods.

There is lots of local produce, baked goods and seafood available which draws a good crowd. You can also find a selection of organic meats and vegetables if you are so inclined.

This is a good 'stop' to put on your calendar if you appreciate farm fresh produce and oven fresh baking.

It should be noted that the picture above was taken around 6:30 pm and is not representative of the crowds earlier in the day.

allvoices

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

WHERE'S THIS NEW HOTEL??

LACK OF HOTEL SPACE
HAMPERING CONFERENCES


It should go without saying that if you can't accommodate visitors you can't attract them to a conference facility no matter how fantastic it is.

The lack of downtown hotel space is reported to be causing problems with the Vancouver Island Conference Center being unable to book conventions with more than 500 delegates.

It would appear that once again Millenium is not able to deliver what they have promised as their part of the bargain with the City of Nanaimo.

Does anyone know how much money Millenium has actually taken OUT of the City of Nanaimo compared to what they have actually provided?

allvoices

NOTHIN' BUT BLUE SKIES FOR NANAIMO

According to the Weather Network Nanaimo is going to enjoy sunny skies for at least another week.

That should be great news for the tourists arriving in Nanaimo on Sept. 21 aboard the Cruise Ships.

allvoices

SHADY MILE FARM MARKET TO CLOSE

SHADY MILE MARKET
ON JINGLEPOT ROAD NANAIMO TO CLOSE


Saying that the market just never did make any money the markets operator said the business will close either today or tomorrow depending on inventory.

The market complete with petting zoo, hay rides and pumpkin festival has been operating for seven years and employed five people.

The livestock has already been found new homes which included alpacas, ducks, rabbits, sheep and miniature mules.

allvoices

ICBC HELPS USED CAR BUYERS


ICBC has launched a free online service to allow customers to look up a vehicle’s status, helping them to make informed buying decisions when purchasing used vehicles. All vehicles in North America are assigned a status to describe the general state of the vehicle and whether it qualifies to be on the road.

The vehicle status search launched today on icbc.com and works by entering the vehicle model year and vehicle identification number (VIN) – a series of letters and numbers assigned by the vehicle manufacturer. In most cases, a VIN is 17 characters long and can be found on a vehicle’s dashboard identification plate, on the doorpost and on the engine firewall.

After entering the VIN and vehicle model year online, customers are provided with the current status of the vehicle, which will be one of the following four designations:

  • Salvage: This status is given to a vehicle that has been written off as a result of a crash, but has the potential to be repaired or reconstructed. The vehicle must be repaired and inspected before it can be licensed or reinsured.
  • Rebuilt: This status is assigned to “salvage” vehicles after they have been repaired and have passed inspection. It is also used for homemade and specialty vehicles to indicate that they have been inspected and are structurally sound.
  • Altered: This status is given to a vehicle that has been significantly modified after its manufacture. The status is added when the vehicle has passed inspection.
  • Normal: If a vehicle does not have a status of rebuilt, salvage or altered, it is considered to have a normal status. "Normal" is simply a term used for the purposes of vehicle registration. A normal status does not mean the vehicle has never been damaged or is in good mechanical condition.

The status search provides the current status listed in the B.C. vehicle registry. Changes to a vehicle’s status are reported by insurance companies, tow operators, and automobile recyclers to the Registrar of Motor Vehicle, which in BC is ICBC. ICBC provides vehicle licensing and vehicle registration services, including maintaining the vehicle registry, on behalf of the provincial government.

A vehicle’s status is only one part of its overall history and may change overtime. The status of a vehicle does not fully describe its mechanical condition or damage history. Additional tips for customers buying a used car are available on icbc.com. Customers can also get detailed information on a vehicle’s registration, crash and lien history through the existing Vehicle Claims History report and CarProof Verified BC report. For more information about these reports, which are available online for a fee, please visit icbc.com.

“We encourage anyone thinking of buying a used vehicle to use the tools ICBC makes available to help them – a little research can go a long way,” said Mark Francis, manager of Provincial Vehicle Registration and Licensing. “There are a number of precautions people can take to protect themselves in making an informed buying decision, giving them the trust and confidence that their purchase is a good one.”

The online vehicle status search was one of the commitments made by ICBC following the investigation into its Burnaby-based research and training facility.


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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NANAIMO CRUISE SHIP SCHEDULE FALL 2008

2008 Nanaimo Cruise Ship Schedule

Large Cruise Vessels

(Vessels will anchor and tender in)

Sapphire Seas Princess

Sept. 21 Sun. 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Mercury

Sept. 23 Tues. 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Mercury

Sept. 28 Sun. 7:00 AM– 5:00 PM

Mercury

Sept 30 Tues. 7:00 AM– 5:00 PM

Mercury

Oct. 5 Sun. 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Mercury

Oct. 7 Tues. 7:00 AM– 5:00 PM

Mercury

Oct. 12 Sun. 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Small Cruise Vessels

(Vessels will berth at the Visiting Vessel Pier)

Spirit of Endeavor

Sept. 24, Wed. 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Spirit of Endeavor

Oct. 1, Wed. 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Spirit of Endeavor

Oct. 8, Wed. 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Spirit of Endeavor

Oct. 15, Wed. 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM

For the 2009 Cruise Ship Schedule use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


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HERITAGE TREE PROTECTED DURING CONSTRUCTION

GARRY OAK PROTECTED

A perfect specimen of a native Garry Oak tree located on the cliff overlooking Cavan Street is being protected during construction of a 66 unit three storey building.

The new building which will be an assisted living complex for seniors is aptly named Oak Tree Manor giving the developers further reason to protect the heritage tree which could be as old as 150 years.

A fence around the tree protects it from the day to day hazards on a construction site, but the biggest challenge was the blasting required to make way for the foundation of the building.

Apparently the tree has survived the blasting which was very controlled to avoid damaging not only the tree but neighbouring buildings.

This was a fortunate tree in that trees on construction sites are usually just bulldozed rather than taking the extra effort to work around them.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT

B.C. STRENGTHENS FISCAL POSITION
AMID STEADY GROWTH

The updated fiscal plan shows an improvement that will allow government the flexibility to address priority items, Finance Minister Colin Hansen announced with the release of the First Quarterly Report for 2008/09.

British Columbia’s economy is forecast to grow 1.7 per cent this year and 2.3 per cent in 2009, which shows that our economy remains resilient in the face of difficult external conditions,” said Hansen. “Looking ahead, the key to a strong economy is an environment which is attractive to investment and ready to weather the challenges.”

For 2008/09, revenues are forecast to be $1.2 billion higher than budget due to improved corporate income tax returns, natural gas royalties and bonus bid revenues from the sale of drilling rights. The 2008/09 surplus is expected to be $1.0 billion, $970 million higher than previously forecast.

Overall debt from government operations is forecast to decline to $6.3 billion, which is a level not seen since 1991/92. British Columbia has the second-lowest debt to GDP among provinces.

“These numbers demonstrate the improvement B.C. has seen to its fiscal foundation since 2001,” said Hansen. “They prove our focus on lower taxes and balanced budgets has provided real benefits to British Columbians.

“Increased surpluses provide choices for British Columbia – choices that might include additional tax cuts, spending on social programs and debt reduction. As we put together Budget 2009, we’ll be asking British Columbians for their ideas and input on what they want to see.”

As part of the consultation process for Budget 2009, an all-party committee of the Legislative Assembly will seek public input at meetings to be held throughout the province beginning Sept. 15. For more details on the pre-budget consultations, please visit http://www.leg.bc.ca/budgetconsultations/.

The First Quarterly Report 2008/09 is available online at www.fin.gov.bc.ca/qrt-rpt/qr08/Q1_08.pdf.



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Sunday, September 14, 2008

OIL COMPANIES GOUGING AGAIN!

CONSUMERS GET HOSED
AT THE PUMPS AGAIN


Nanaimo motorists along with other Canadians were the victims once more of oil company executives driven by pure greed! There is no other logical explanation!

Listening to the various industry spin doctors on television explaining the nearly 15 cent price hike on Friday made you wonder if they even faintly believed what they were saying.

Consider the facts. The price of oil did not go up on Friday, hurricane or no hurricane. The gasoline that was sitting in the tanks at the gas stations certainly was not effected by any imagined shortage as a result of the hurricane. Pure greed is the only logical explanation for the recent price gouge inflicted on all consumers. Remember the cost of trucking your groceries is also effected, not to mention ferry fares and everything else related to fuel prices.

Since there is an election campaign underway, all leaders of course tried to make political brownie points with Canadian voters. Even Stephen Harper hints that his party has a plan to deal with gas prices. Funny, it seems to me that there has NEVER been ANY political party with the power or desire to break up the monopoly big oil companies have in North America.

Speaking of monopolies, how can the gas companies explain how they ALL increase their prices by the same amount within minutes of each other, if they have not already fixed the prices in the backrooms!

Is it time for the general public to stand up and demand action from ALL levels of government (who all benefit from gas taxes) or will it take a grass roots movement to force oil companies to become more responsible members of society?

I forgot, this is Canada, and we will probably just grumble over the weekend, as usual and do nothing but complain. After all that is the Canadian way.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

FIESTA LANES MAKES WAY FOR CONDO'S

ANOTHER DOWNTOWN LANDMARK
BITES THE DUST

The old Fiesta Lanes bowling building becomes just a heap of rubble as the space is cleared to make way for another new condominium project in downtown Nanaimo.

A piece of heavy equipment makes short work of the structure as a lone workman hoses down the scrap material to keep the dust down.

Apparently the familiar "F" from the Fiesta Lanes sign will be incorporated into the new building as a reminder of what once stood on the site.

Indeed, downtown Nanaimo is changing all the time with more and more condo units springing up all the time.


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THINGS TO DO IN NANAIMO THIS WEEKEND

THE WEATHER CONTINUES TO SMILE ON
NANAIMO . . . . . . . ENJOY IT!

You can check out the downtown Farmers Market today, beside the Bastion. Catch a cannon firing at noon, visit the Bastion and then take a stroll along the ever changing waterfront.

Of course the acres and acres of Nanaimo Parks are lovely to explore this time of year and the miles of beaches always yield their rewards. So be sure to include the great outdoors in your weekend plans.

Scouts Canada will be holding registration for their programs in Beban Park Social Centre on Saturday from 1:30 - 4:00pm. You can visit their website using this Nanaimo Info LINK or call Mike Bringle at 250-668-0983 for more information.

For things to do on Fri. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For things to do on Sat. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For things to do on Sun. use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

NANAIMO MAN TO RECEIVE MEDAL

Office of the Secretary to the Governor General / Bureau du Secrétaire du Gouverneur général

Governor General to Present 47 Decorations for Bravery

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, will present one Star of Courage and 46 Medals of Bravery at a ceremony at Rideau Hall, on Friday, September 19, 2008, at 10:30 a.m.

The Decorations for Bravery were created in 1972. The Cross of Valour (C.V.), the civilian equivalent of the military's Victoria Cross, recognizes acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril; the Star of Courage (S.C.) recognizes acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril; and the Medal of Bravery (M.B.) recognizes acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances.

Kevan Thomas Shaw, M.B.
Nanaimo, British Columbia
Medal of Bravery

On November 2, 2006, Kevan Shaw assisted RCMP officers in the apprehension of a disturbed individual, in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Observing the man acting erratically, Mr. Shaw immediately called the police. Two RCMP officers arrived and quickly became involved in a violent physical confrontation with the man. With complete disregard for his own safety, Mr. Shaw joined in the struggle and, noticing that the out-of-control man was clutching an undetected knife, he grabbed his hand. Mr. Shaw then helped the officers subdue the man until back-up arrived.


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LATE NANAIMO SAILING FOR LIONS FANS

BC Ferries is offering a late night sailing from Tsawwassen to Duke Point on Saturday, September 13, at 11:30 p.m. to enable BC Lions football fans from Vancouver Island to return home after the game on the same day.

This sailing is not limited to sports fans. Anyone can take advantage of the late night sailing. Reservations are encouraged to ensure a space on this sailing and can be made online at www.bcferries.com.

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