Monday, November 30, 2009

Majority Of Nanaimo Voters Did NOT Vote For This City Council

Most On Nanaimo Council Were Elected
By Less Than 15% Of Eligible Voters

That Means 85% of Voters
said: "No Thanks" To Any of Them!

Is democracy really working?? The pathetic turnout at the polls clearly shows a growing sense of distrust and disgust for what politicians have to say.

Assigning blame for the current state of affairs is easy as we all must share the blame for a democracy which is clearly broken or at least badly bent.

Politicians and parties have learned over the years they can buy our votes with our money and we seem to have been happy to vote for them provided our pet project was going to be funded. Politicians are only interested in securing power long enough to grab that gold plated pension and most voters are only interested in what is in it for them.

The incidents of broken promises (no wage and price controls, Federal Liberals circa R. Stanfield vs Trudeau) which go completely ignored by the population who turn around and vote them in again, have taught politicians that the public will not hold them accountable regardless of what they do.

Of course every now and then the ruling hordes really upset the voters who turf them out (fast ferries, bingo gate) only to see them replaced by the bunch which says BC is in great shape, and then once elected tell us the sky is really falling and we must have the HST. This may or may not upset voters enough come next election to give the NDP another kick at the can so to speak.

Nanaimo Municipal Election 2008

This election proved that Mr. Korpan had been in office long enough to really tick off the majority of voters (who bothered to turn out) capturing only 15.9% of the ballots cast and only capturing 5.1% of all eligible voters. In this case nearly 95% of local voters said 'no thanks'.

The current mayor, while he fared better than Mr. Korpan was not elected by a landslide either capturing 46.2% of votes cast and only capturing 14.9% of all eligible voters. To Mr. Ruttan 85% of the voters also said 'no thanks'.

I know of one long time voter who during this election cast his ballot for the candidate least likely to succeed as a protest vote showing his disgust with all the candidates.

Mr. Korpans poor showing might be attributed to the fact he is seen as responsible for the $100 million convention centre however, the fact that Unger, Holdom and McNabb were re-elected brings that theory into doubt.

So, what has really happened to the whole process where we the people, hold our elected officials accountable and make sure they are really looking out for OUR interests and not special groups with their own narrow agendas?

The sad fact of the matter is, there is precious little you can do if you are dissatisfied with what your current council is doing if you don't take the time to participate. To do that you must turn off the idiot box long enough to try and learn what is really going on in your community. This of course is where the local press has to improve it's game and publish more than prepared press releases.

The sheer contempt that council has for the taxpayers of Nanaimo is clearly demonstrated by their $500,000.00 parting gift they gave Mr. Berry and the gold plated contracts they have signed on our behalf.

The online petition ( to have senior government look into this matter has resulted in nearly 750 signatures of people who are at least involved enough to express their discontent with this expression of arrogance and pure greed.

Whether they will become involved enough to actually show up at the council meetings where the financial plan for the next five years is being discussed remains to be seen.

Sadly I fear that 66% of the taxpayers think there is little purpose in participating as politicians of all stripes seem bent on doing whatever pleases them and the masters they serve.


Another Way To Look At Election Results

The following numbers are based on the total number of eligible voters being 60,578 for the last municipal election. The % of votes is based on the actual number of votes each candidate received as a % of total eligible voters. The balance shows the % of eligible voters who said 'no thanks'.

Mayor J. Ruttan received 14.9% while 85.1% said 'no thanks'.

Councillor B. Bestwick received 17.7% while 82.3% said 'no thanks'.

Councillor J, Kipp received 14.7% while 85.3% said 'no thanks'.

Councillor D. Johnstone received 12.1% while 87.9% said 'no thanks'.

Councillor B. Holdom received 12.0% while 88% said 'no thanks'.

Councillor Sherry received 11.6% while 88.4% said 'no thanks'.

Councillor McNabb received 10.7% while 89.3% said 'no thanks'.

Councillor Unger received 10.3% while 89.7% said 'no thanks'.

Councillor Pattje received 10.1% while 89.9% said 'no thanks'.


Good Advice For Municipal Politicians

The following item appears on the Canadian Taxpayer Federation's website and contains some excellent advice for local city council who say they are struggling to keep taxes down.

Beggar's Checklist

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation provided provincial and federal governments with a new tool to help them rebuff requests from municipal politicians for new taxing powers and more funding.

The new report - "The Beggars Checklist: A To Do List For Municipalities" - documents dozens of initiatives that municipalities could be pursuing right now that would reduce costs and raise revenues legitimately.

The CTF recommends provincial and federal politicians pull out the checklist and make sure municipal politicians have pursued each initiative before begging for new taxing power or cash.

Instead of trying to find new ways to pick the pockets of taxpayers to fund their spending sprees, municipalities must look at best practices from other municipalities to fund the services the community values.

Before municipal governments get any money from other levels of government, those governments must ask:

"Has your municipality..."

1) Brought staff salaries in-line with the private sector?
2) Contracted out services wherever possible?
3) Utilized public private partnerships for capital projects?
4) Sold surplus land and assets?
5) Converted services to user fees?
6) Sought volunteers for the delivery of city services?
7) Refocused activities on core services?
8) Raised revenues for services through sponsorship activities?
9) Partnered with other governments for service delivery?
10) Utilized new technology to reduce costs?

Taxpayers are tapped out and cannot be expected to fund politically motivated spending wish lists any longer.

When municipal politicians get together they should be sharing best practices and looking for innovation ideas, not plotting out strategies to get new taxing powers.


Seedless Watermelon Recalled

Salmonella Contamination Threat

OTTAWA, November 27, 2009 - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume Melon Up! brand Large Seedless Watermelons described below because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The following product is affected by this alert:

Brand: Melon Up!
Large Seedless Watermelons, PLU# 4032
Product of Mexico
UPC: 0 33383 40240 6

This product has been distributed in British Columbia.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with these bacteria may cause salmonellosis, a food borne illness. In young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems, salmonellosis may cause serious and sometimes deadly infections. In otherwise healthy people, salmonellosis may cause short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Come And Sit A Spell

Click To Enlarge
Millstone Roars Over Falls In Bowen Park

The rain swollen Millstone roars over the falls in Bowen Park while a lonely park bench beckons passersby to "come and sit a spell".

This picture was taken yesterday by local camera buff Sheryl Falls, more of her work can be seen at


Things To Do In Nanaimo Nov. 27-29

Nanaimo Events and Activities

The Nanaimo Things To Do Directory has over 160 different contacts for every interest from Air Cadets to Windsurfing and everything in between. To visit this directory click the banner above or Nanaimo Info LINK.

Fri. calendar of events use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Sat. calendar of events use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Sun. calendar of events use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Clippers Hockey use this Nanaimo Info LINK

Port Theatre events calendar use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Movies Guide use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Western Edge Theatre use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Theatre Group use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Art Gallery use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Arts Council info use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Minor Baseball info use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Youth Soccer Club info use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Pirates Baseball info use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Weekend weather forecast use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Downtown Farmer's Market opens Friday,
more info.

Weekend Garage Sales use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Neighbourhood Farmers Market Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Timbermen Sr. A. Lacrosse Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Timbermen Sr. B Lacrosse Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Timbermen Jr. A Lacrosse Nanaimo Info LINK.

Rocket Richard Exhibit use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Former Mayor Offers Suggestion

Mr. Korpan Suggests Councillors
Should Be Personally Liable

The following letter appears this morning in the Daily over the signature of Gary Korpan. It offers food for thought although raises more questions.

Letter to editor:

"A substantial part of city council's proposed tax increase would be averted if the council majority required the renegade bullies who caused the 'Let's pay the best city manager in B.C. NOT to work' fiasco to personally reimburse Nanaimo taxpayers for the wasted $500,000.00"

Gary Korpan


  • Would previous councils also be required to reimburse taxpayers for wasteful spending?
  • The $500,000 is described as a 'substantial' part of the tax increase, it is also just about the same amount we have been paying for the Port Theatre, for how long now?
  • It could be argued that the VICC is costing taxpayers at least $1,000,000.00 annually just to keep the doors open. Add to that the cost of building it in the first place, and you are talking about REALLY substantial tax dollars.
  • What was the cost to remove the civic arena and the foundry which likely was only done to pave the way for Millennium's condo deal.
  • How could a 'minority' of renegade bullies force a $250,000/year senior staffer to roll over and give it all up? After all in another few years, these councilors will be gone and a new batch will be taught by Mr. Berry.
  • Under previous councils it is now revealed they were paying a deputy city manager a couple hundred thousand to do a job that does not need doing.
Mr. Korpans letter raises more questions that need a serious answer to. It is refreshing however, for politicians to suggest they should actually be held accountable and accept personal responsibility for actions taken while in office.

Where is Mr. Cantelon and Manhas these days? They were the cheerleaders for the $100,000,000.00 (built without tenders) convention centre we will be paying for, for years and years. Maybe they should pony up and reimburse taxpayers also.


How Many Bogus Positions At City Hall?

Deputy City Manager Being Paid
$289,000.00 To Do Nothing!

After the recent decision to pay Mr. Berry a half million dollars to go find another job this good council decided to promote the Deputy City Manager to the position of City Manager.

It seems that once they did, they found his position was not needed in the first place and have given his tasks to other staff members. The above chart could cause thinking people (your city council) to wonder why that position existed in the first place?

It has to make you wonder how many other overpaid, unnecessary jobs your tax dollars are supporting at city hall.

Have you ever noticed at Financial Planning Time, looking for fat to trim from city staff never seems to be on the table?

Wonder why that is??


Fight City Hall

Could Nanaimo Learn From Dawson Creek?

The following appeared in the Canadian Taxpayer's Assoc. weblog and shows what can happen when ordinary citizens get together and tell City Hall 'enough is enough!'.

It could be that the majority of Nanaimo taxpayers are just too fat and happy to care if city council continues to raise taxes and come up with more creative ways to spend money.

Now is the time to get informed and see exactly how City Council with the help of city staff intend to keep increasing your taxes over the next five years!

The approach at city hall which I have observed and seems supported by all of council is to decide on how to spend money and then figure out how much more taxes they need to collect.

I suggest a refreshing approach could be to limit their spending to the existing level of taxation and not increase taxes at all.

Alas, that seems to be something this current council could never get it's mind around.

Do you think Nanaimo voters could ever get this council to say NO to anymore tax increases? Why not??

Fight City Hall -- and Win

A referendum in Dawson Creek shot down a $10 million municipal borrowing proposal, showing that it is possible to fight City Hall -- and win.

The City of Dawson Creek wanted the money to pay for improvements to paving, storm sewers and other infrastructure. Sounds reasonable -- until we ask -- what happened to the rest of the money the City collected in taxes?

Data put together by the Dawson Creek Ratepayers Association showed that homeowners and businesses in Dawson Creek pay twice the property taxes, pay municipal employees twice the benefits, and already have three times the per capita debt as similarly sized cities.

In fact, city expenditures per resident are higher than Vancouver's. Of the 157 municipalities in British Columbia, Dawson Creek sits in 11th spot for expenditures per resident, at $2,083 in 2006 (the last year for which data is available). Fort St. John, a neighbouring city, spends only $1,216 per person.

Citizens of the town said, enough it enough and forced the city to have a referendum on borrowing for yet more spending.

Sure, grandiose arenas and community centres and handouts to environmental groups are nice (or not), but should property taxpayers be on the hook to fund them?

Voters said NO to more borrowing. This is a victory for Dawson Creek property taxpayers.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2009 Taxes Still Unpaid By Harmac

$2,800,000.00 Owing In Taxes

It is reported in the Bulletin that Nanaimo's second largest taxpayer has still not paid their taxes for 2009.

Their original tax bill was $3,600,000.00 but was reduced by $800,000 as a result of reducing the industrial tax rate.

The company has incurred a penalty of 5% on Jly. 2 and a further 5% on Aug. 2 bringing their total debt to over $3,000,000.00.

Mill spokesman say they are in the process of having the assessment on the property reduced through BC Assessment Authority which is why they have not paid their tax bill.

The mill could simply stop paying their taxes, and after three years the city could begin legal action to take over the property.

Note: Since this represents a sizeable sum could it mean the residential taxes are going to have to increase to offset this amount should Harmac be unable to pay their tax bill ?


ICBC Winter Driving Tips

It Never Snows In Nanaimo!

Well, OK maybe it did snow a little bit last year as this picture reminds. On the off chance that old man winter pays another snowy visit this year the following is winter driving advice from the good people at ICBC.

Few places experience as varied winter conditions as B.C. Heavy rain, sleet, fog and snow are just some of the challenging conditions you could encounter while driving across the province.

In 2008, the number of crashes on B.C.'s roads jumped from 23,000 in November to 32,000 in December as record-breaking snowfall hit much of the province. ICBC is therefore reminding all motorists to drive smart and remember that others are sharing the same roads this winter.

ICBC's top driving tips this winter are:


  • Get ready: Prepare your vehicle for winter. Invest in good wipers, top up fluids to avoid freezing, and frequently check your tire pressure — tires deflate in cold weather. If you are going on a long drive, pack a safety kit in your vehicle, including a first aid kit, shovel, blanket, water, energy bars, candle and matches.
  • Get rolling: Make sure your tires are suitable for the road conditions you're driving in. In the Lower Mainland, badly worn or bald tires will not provide enough traction for some of the heavy rainfall. In parts of B.C. that experience substantial snowfall — such as the North or Southern Interior — install a full set of official winter tires (look for snow tires with a pictograph of a snowflake inside a peaked mountain). It's always a good idea to get your tires looked at by an expert, but to quickly check their condition, put a toonie between the tread on your tire. If the tread doesn't reach the gold centre of the toonie, it's time to think about getting new tires.


  • Make a plan: Because road conditions can vary so much across B.C., it's always a smart idea to let a family member or friend know the route you'll be driving so they can know where you are in the event of a delay or if your vehicle is stranded. Delays are much more common during the winter months, so always give yourself extra time in case of bad weather. Check for road and weather conditions before setting out.
  • Look out: As the rain, snow, sleet and fog set in across B.C., visibility on our roads gets much-reduced — especially given the darker morning and evening commutes. To ensure a safe drive this winter use extra caution around intersections in particular, where 40 percent of all police-attended crashes occur in our province.


  • Don't rush: The number one driving tip at this time of year is to slow down and keep your distance. Reduce your speed, especially on wet roads, in bad weather conditions or near intersections. Consider driving below the posted speed limit and leave enough space between your car and the one in front of you — at least three seconds following distance. Slowing down also allows you to see more of the road ahead and what is happening at intersections.
  • Think ahead: Bad weather brings new elements on to our roads, such as highway maintenance vehicles and equipment including plows, salt and sand trucks. Think ahead and use caution when approaching these vehicles and never pass on the right.

If you are unfortunately involved in a crash this winter, remember that ICBC is dedicated to providing a hassle-free claims experience. Claims can be reported to ICBC's Dial-A-Claim centre 24 hours a day, 365 days per year:

Lower Mainland: 604-520-8222
Elsewhere in B.C.: 1-800-910-4222
Outside B.C.: 1-800-910-4222


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Collective Seeks To Raise Poultry

Raising Poultry On Small City Lots

The Nanaimo Poultry Collective spokesman Mr. J. Schroeder made a presentation to city council to amend a city bylaw which would result in being able to rear poultry on small city lots.

His well prepared and presented demonstration cites the OCP as reporting a concern for local residents is a reliable source of good food. Making the point that eggs you have raised on your own yard meets all that criteria simply makes sense in a community that imports nearly 90% of it's food.

All of council with the exception of Councilor Sherry were in favour of a motion which would have city staff review the bylaw with an eye to allowing a small number of poultry on city lots less than one third of an acre in size.

Councilor Sherry opposed the motion saying he was very familiar with the problems which have been created in the past when residents were allowed to raise their own poultry.


Nanaimo Senior Challenges City Staff

Senior Suggests Wage Cut
If Staff Earns In Excess of $75,000

Councillor Sherry read a submission on behalf of a senior resident of Nanaimo on the matter of the City Financial Plan and the increasing taxes facing taxpayers.

The senior proposes that any city staff member earning in excess of $150,000 per year should take a 15% reduction in wages, any staff member earning $100,000 should roll back their wage by 10% and those earning $75,000 should see a 5% pay cut.

Whether this suggestion is actually ever seriously considered during the financial planning process is doubtful, after all, who takes a pay cut when they are in the public service?

It is however a valid proposal as the reality of today's economy means a great many people are in fact taking some serious pay cuts and the economy is not nearly as rosy as it was when all those fat salaries were put in place.

I suppose it is difficult for people earning in excess of $75,000 or $100,000 or even $200,000 to understand why anyone gets excited about a $100 a year tax increase. They don't seem to even comprehend that to some people that extra $100 is the difference in how warm you keep your house this year or whether your kid gets the dental care they need.

It was a sensible suggestion from a senior member of our community, it will be interesting to see if any on council try to press the matter, as you can be certain no one on staff would think it a good idea.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Go To A Nanaimo City Council Meeting

Tell YOUR Council What You Think
About The Five Year Financial Plan

Attend The Council Meeting Tonight!

The 2010 - 2014 Financial Plan is currently under review and your input is invited by the council and City of Nanaimo.

Members of the public are encouraged to provide input into the Five Year Financial Plan. The opportunity to speak regarding budget issues is also available at all Regular and Committee of the Whole Council Meetings.

You can view the Financial Plan on the City's website at or copies can be picked up at he City Hall Finance Department.

Any questions you have regarding the plan should be addressed to 250-755-4414 for assistance.

Meetings you can attend are scheduled as follows:
  • Nov. 23 - 7:00 pm Shaw Auditorium (in your new convention centre)
  • Nov. 30 - 4:30 pm City Hall Board Room
  • Dec. 7 - 4:30 pm City Hall Board Room
  • Dec. 14 - 7:00 pm Shaw Auditorium
  • Jan. 11 - 7:00 pm Shaw Auditorium
It is a great idea for taxpayers to provide their input and let officials know exactly what you think about their financial management of your funds. If you are so inclined try and attend a live council meeting in your new convention centre. If you can't attend in person, the meeting is broadcast live on Shaw Channel 4 and is also now available online at the City of Nanaimo website. You can find archived meetings which you can watch on your computer. So there is no excuse for not finding out what is going on at these meetings.

Remember if you rely on the newspaper or even this website for information it is never as good as finding out for yourself and coming to your own conclusions.

Some Food For Thought

These are just a few quick thoughts to get your juices flowing about some financial issues facing Nanaimo and how this Council seems to be reacting.

In the past few weeks the council has spent $480,000 to pay Mr. Berry to stay home, agreed to pay another $758,000 for more RCMP, $434,000 for more firemen and are talking about spending $300,000 to find someone to build a hotel no one wants to build and now another $250,000 to decide what to do with the assembly wharf.

That is about $2,000,000,00 and they say they are trying desparately to not increase taxes!

City Staff Costs Each Man Woman and Child $588.00 per year.

That is just a rough and I do mean rough calculation which was based on a city payroll of $50,000,000.00 and a population of 85,000 which works out to $588.00 per year just to pay for city staff wages and salaries. If you are two people in one household you are paying about $100 per month for wages.

You still have to pay for your water, garbage removal etc. etc. That does not include the cost of machinery etc. etc. it is just the raw cost of staff.

Do you think you are getting your monies worth?


Millstone . . . . After the Rain

Local photo artist, Sheryl Falls captured the beauty and might of the Millstone the other day after rains swelled the river as it cuts through Bowen Park. More of her work can be seen at


Saturday, November 21, 2009

H1N1 Flu Clinics Nanaimo

Updated Nov. 21/09

All flu clinics listed are at Mt. Benson Elementary School located at 4355 Jinglepot Road Nanaimo.

To confirm this schedule or check for cancellations use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

As of Nov. 21/09 all British Columbians are eligible to receive the H1N1flu vaccine.

Nov. 23/09.... 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Nov.25/09........9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Nov. 28/09 ....10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Dec. 4/09 ........9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Dec. 7/09 ........9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Dec. 9/09 ......12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Dec. 11/09 ......9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Dec. 14/09 ....12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Dec. 16/09 ....12:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Friday, November 20, 2009

Things To Do In Nanaimo Nov. 20 - 22

Nanaimo Events and Activities

The Nanaimo Things To Do Directory has over 160 different contacts for every interest from Air Cadets to Windsurfing and everything in between. To visit this directory click the banner above or Nanaimo Info LINK.


Fri. calendar of events use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Sat. calendar of events use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Sun. calendar of events use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Clippers Hockey use this Nanaimo Info LINK

Port Theatre events calendar use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Movies Guide use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Western Edge Theatre use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Theatre Group use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Art Gallery use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Arts Council info use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Minor Baseball info use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Youth Soccer Club info use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Pirates Baseball info use Nanaimo Info LINK.

Weekend weather forecast use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Downtown Farmer's Market opens Friday,
more info.

Weekend Garage Sales use this Nanaimo Info LINK.

Neighbourhood Farmers Market Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Timbermen Sr. A. Lacrosse Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Timbermen Sr. B Lacrosse Nanaimo Info LINK.

Nanaimo Timbermen Jr. A Lacrosse Nanaimo Info LINK.

Rocket Richard Exhibit use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Nanaimo Business


Steve Duckett

"Quality Work at a fair price"


You will get the same A+ certified service without the big store prices! Most software issues can be fixed for $60 or less. Hardware issues can be repaired also, without a markup on the hardware!!!

Located in Nanaimo offering "Quality Work at a fair price"

Note: This is a new Nanaimo business and as such is being presented here without charge in the hope can help promote new business in our community. If you are the owner of a new business, less than one year old send your information to and your business will be listed on this blog.


Nanaimo House Prices and Sales Information

Nanaimo House Sales
Up 134% Over Oct. 08

Nanaimo unit house sales increased by 134% when compared with October 08 with 143 units sold compared with 61 last year.

Unit sales however were off sharply when compared with August's sales of 150 units.

House prices in the Nanaimo market have declined by 4% compared with last year but have risen marginally when compared with the previous month.

Based on average MLS sales summaries for Nanaimo and other Canadian cities for October 2009.

National Average
Oct 09
- $341,079
Oct 08 - $282,583

Victoria BC
Oct 09 - $481,500
Oct 08 - $469,243

Vancouver BC
Oct 09 - $638,948
Oct 08 - $556,682

Oct 09 - $399,679
Oct 08 - $388,565

Oct 09- $246,300
Oct08 - $233,622

Oct 09 - $423,507
Oct 08 - $353,018

Oct 09 - $320,561
Oct 08 - $280,870

Oct 09- $358,974
Oct 08- $373,031

Units Sold

Oct 09 - 143
Oct 08 - 61

Remember that these prices provide a broad market trend only and do not necessarily reflect the true market value of real estate. For a proper evaluation of your property you need to consult one of the many professional realtors in Nanaimo.


Federal Debt Passes Half Trillion Dollar Mark

$15,000 Owed By Every Man, Woman and Child

OTTAWA: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) held a press conference on Parliament Hill today to raise the alarm that the federal debt will climb past a half trillion dollars - $500,000,000,000.00 on Sunday, November 22nd, at 10:56:53 p.m. The size and speed of growth of the federal debt may be seen at

CTF Federal Director, Kevin Gaudet said, “Canadians need a deficit action plan now. The mountainous debt problem amounts to fiscal child abuse as both current and future generations will have to pay it off”.

After 11 years of surpluses, federal politicians have taken Canada back into deficit, projecting to add no less than $170-billion more to the debt by 2014-15.

At the press conference the CTF revealed a novelty cheque from future taxpayers to the current government in the amount of $500 billion, as future taxpayers will be paying off the over-spending by the government of today. This amounts to $14,880.39 for each man, woman, and child in Canada.

The federal government is currently borrowing $1,772.58 per second due to its $55.9 billion projected deficit.

Comment: Add to that the provincial debt and your local taxes and you really have to wonder just how affluent we really are in this country. Are we enjoying a high standard of living only because we are spending future generations money without asking them?


NRGH Renal Care Unit Starts


NANAIMO – Representatives from the Province, Vancouver Island Health (VIHA), the Nanaimo Regional Hospital District (NRHD) and the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation today celebrated the kick off of construction at the $9.4-million Nanaimo Regional General Hospital renal centre.

“The populations of the mid and north Island are growing by leaps and bounds,” said Parksville-Qualicum MLA Ron Cantelon, on behalf of Health Services Minister Kevin Falcon. “This new renal centre will make a huge difference in the lives of kidney patients and their families, who won’t have to travel to Victoria for care, saving them money, travel and undue stress.”

The full-service renal dialysis centre will be located in the shelled-in space on the first floor of NRGH’s new perinatal wing. The cost is being split 60/40 between the Province and the NRHD, with generous support from the foundation.

“The renal centre at the hospital will provide services to kidney patients who require access to hospital haemodialysis and will mean that these patients and their families will no longer have to travel to Victoria,” said Jac Kreut, VIHA board chair.

The 1,100-square-metre (12,000-square-foot) dialysis centre will serve advanced kidney disease patients who require either inpatient or outpatient care. It will be equipped with 18 dialysis stations and appropriate workspace for technicians, a reception and waiting area, and a home dialysis clinic, with natural light and other features that will allow for a functional treatment area in a pleasant and bright environment.

“This growing and aging population that we serve will continually benefit from the expansion of services here in Nanaimo, and we are always happy to partner in significant projects such as the new renal unit,” said Joe Stanhope, NRHD chair.

“We recognize the great need for dialysis clients to access in-hospital care north of the Malahat,” said Maeve O’Byrne, president of the foundation. “We are proud to support the new renal dialysis unit by committing to raise $540,000 toward the purchase of 12 haemodialysis machines, two central solution delivery systems, and two portable reverse osmosis units.”

The renal centre will be completed and ready for patients in September 2010. Along with the new 2,285-square-metre (24,600-square-foot) emergency department currently under construction – more than double the size of the old one, it is part of a $46.3-million investment into patient care at NRGH.

Over the next three years, British Columbia’s health-care system will benefit from investments such as new medical equipment and modernized health facilities as part of a $2.9-billion health-sector capital plan.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

BC Ferries Cancels Sailings

High Winds Cancel All Sailings
For The Rest Of Today

High winds have forced BC Ferries to cancel all sailings between Vancouver Island and the mainland. The cancellations started at 3:00 pm today and have been extended to include the rest of today.

Environment Canada issued wind warnings for the east coast of Vancouver Island at 3:40 pm Wed. Nov. 18 with winds forecast to reach up to 90 km/h.


Millstone River Roars Through Bowen Park

This picture taken barely six weeks ago shows a tranquil gently flowing stream through Bowen Park as it passes under a small footbridge.

This, taken today shows the same bridge with the river nearly flowing over top of it as it bulges at the seams, swollen by recent fall rains which have caused serious flooding in some areas.

A reminder to parents to warn their children to stay well back from the edge of these raging rivers as their power and might could result in a tragic end for anyone caught in it's current.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Emergency Shellfish Closure Vancouver Island

Bivalve Shellfish Closed
East and West Coast Vancouver Island

Fisheries and Oceans Canada have issued an emergency closure of bivalve shellfish on the east and west coast of Vanvouver Island.

Excessive rainfall is occurring on the southern coast of BC. The Pacific Interdepartmental Shellfish Committee has agreed that precautionary closures in many shellfish harvest areas are warranted in these extraordinary circumstances, when the risk of contaminated shellstock is significantly increased.

Harvest of bivalve shellfish is now prohibited until further notice from Pacific Fishery Management Areas 14, 17, 18, 23 and 24.

In areas that are beyond the influence of waste water treatment plants closures will remain in place for a minimum of 7 days and may re-open without water and shellstock samples once flood waters return to normal.
You can find detailed information about this closure using this
Nanaimo Info LINK.


British Columbia 6.8 Earthquake

No Tsunami Warning Issued
For Pacific Coast

An earthquake of 6.8 occurred at about 7:30 am this morning about 260 kilometres southwest of Prince Rupert.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has said that no destructive widespread tsunami threat exists after this quake.

It is far too early to know what kind of damage, if any, this may have caused to any communities close to the quakes centre.

Do YOU know where your earthquake preparedness kit is? I don't either!


Pacifica Welcomes Residents Downtown Nanaimo

Pacifica Condo On Front Street
Now Being Occupied

In what has been described as the 'longest renovation project in Canadian history' the luxury condo building on Front Street is finally being occupied.

The condo sits on the site of the old Malaspina hotel which was at one time going to be the site of a $12 million convention centre.

It is reported that there are still 35 units left for sale in this upscale building which is an 18 storey highrise with 169 units and 26 waterfront townhouses.


Will Your Income Increase 24.5% In 4 Years?

Property Taxes WILL
Increase by 24.5% In Nanaimo

If you take the time to read some of those impressive financial reports prepared by your City staff you will see that right now property taxes are to increase 24.5% over the next four years! Source: pg. 29 City of Nanaimo 2009 -2013 Financial Plan.

Will your income keep pace?

Remember those ever increasing property taxes are the direct result of the past years of management by those elected to council and those highly paid city managers who are charged with taking care of your tax dollars.

Also gleaned from the pages of those financial reports is another interesting fact I found astounding; 63% of your property taxes go to pay wages and salaries!
Source: pg. 106 2009 Financial Report.

As a part of the staff assessment that new city manager Mr. A. Kenning is to undertake it would be interesting to know how many city employees are earning in excess of $100,000.00 annually including salaries, wages, benefits etc.

Increasing Taxes By Reducing Services

The latest announcement which falls into this category is the fact that curbside garbage pick up will be reduced to every other week rather than weekly. Your fees will not be reduced by 50%, in fact they are expected to increase.

In addition to the above 24.5% direct property tax increase you can expect user fees for things like water etc. to increase over this period also. It would not be unreasonable to suggest that the total cost via taxes and fees to Nanaimo residents will increase by at least 30% over the next four years.

Throwing Money At Downtown Hotel
Without a Business Plan.

Recently council wisely decided not to pay $100,000.00 to hire someone to try and persuade someone to build a hotel in downtown Nanaimo. The Mayor, some on council and city staff thought it was still a good idea even though there is NO business plan in place to support the notion a hotel will equal more conventions.

It would be good if someone taking care of tax dollars would hammer out a real business plan to determine just how much farther into the hole we are prepared to go before we consider alternatives for the VICC.

Last year at about this time I was hopeful our newly elected council would make some serious changes to how the city is run, to date I am disappointed. Their most defining decision to date was to pay half a million dollars to someone who wanted to retire early and then can't talk about it. If this is an example of how they will be handling the affairs of the city, God help us.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Kitchen Waste Recycle Program In Nanaimo

Kitchen Waste Collection Starts In 2010

After a successful test program the city has decided to make the collection of kitchen waste available to all of Nanaimo. You will have to pay a one time fee of $28 - $30.

It is hoped the new system combined with existing recycle programs will divert up to 75% of waste from the landfill.

Residents will now be able to sort their waste into three groups; kitchen waste including "dirty" paper such as pizza boxes and food wrappers, regular recycling and finally waste.

It is being reported that we can also expect curbside pickup to be reduced to every two weeks from the every week schedule and also can expect another increase in fees.

To view the online version of the City's fall edition of "The Waste Line" you can use this LINK, the print version was also delivered to your door the other day.

Comment: Being a rather naive and simple fellow I would have thought that reduced service might equal reduced fees! Like, maybe half of what I am currently paying. A cynic might see this as just another way of increasing taxes, but because you can call it 'fees' you don't have to say you are increasing taxes!
Now, where are those rose colored glasses??