Monday, October 31, 2011

Methinks Councilor Holdom

 Doth Protest Too Much

In one of the more interesting events at city council meeting, Councilor Holdom requested that Councilor Bestwick withdraw a statement reported in the press, which councilor Holdom took exception to.

Bestwick was reported as saying the way council had dealt with the Bowen Road low barrier project was at the best dishonest and the worst deceitful. Councillor Kipp said when he had heard of the comment he called Bestwick and was satisfied with the explanation.

Kipp said that both councilor Holdom and Pattje might have come to the same conclusion had they simply spoken with Bestwick. At one point in the exchange there was a veiled threat made by Holdom insinuating he might escalate the matter if Bestwick didn't withdraw the comment.
Councillor Bestwick publicly apologized if members of council had been offended by his comment.

It is noted he never withdrew the comment, but merely apologized if he caused any offense.


City Council Hears Uplands Concerns

Uplands Low Barrier Project Addressed

There were no surprises when city council voted down Councilor Bestwick's motion to put the contentious Uplands Dr. low barrier project on hold until further study could be completed.

Anyone following this issue would know that the balance of council are determined to proceed with this low barrier project in this location in spite of neighbours concerns.

A number of delegations were heard supporting and opposing this project, none of which added anything new to the dialogue. Those in favour simply believe the concerns expressed by the neighbours are unfounded.

Those opposed have little confidence in the administration of the project from the start to the point we are now at. One thing all can agree upon is the fact that communication on this issue has been a complete failure on all levels from the get go. Part of that failure lying squarely with the vast majority of the community who paid little attention to what the city and province were up to until just recently.

A definite threat was put forward by a spokesman for the CCN group who claim to have some 2,000 supporters. It was suggested the group could change the political fortunes of many sitting on council, should they remove their support from councillors who are in favour of the Uplands site. Considering the fact that most sitting on council have about 15% of the eligible vote, the movement of even a few hundred votes could see some brand new faces on council.

This could very well be the one issue that defines the civic election of 2011.


Bill Bestwick - Supportive Housing

Councillor Bestwick Asks
Council To Reconsider Uplands Site

Follows is a transcript of Councillor Bestwick's address to city council, Oct. 31, 2011,  on the topic of the low barrier housing project on Uplands Drive.

Firstly, I wish to express my gratitude to all members of our community who have participated in the provision of Social Services within the City of Nanaimo by way of email, phone and other methods. 

Secondly, I wish to correct those members of the community who have the notion that I am opposed to Supportive Housing in the City of Nanaimo.  That notion is simply not true or accurate and has been misrepresented through the media, including the social media.

Let me clarify my position.  And this position has been consistent and not ‘flip – flopping’ or ‘pandering for votes’ or ‘popularity’ as has been suggested by some.

I am 100% in favor of supportive housing and have proven this with my votes to support the 18 unit Tillicum Tse Lelum project on 10th Street with the provision to house elders and youth at risk in a medium to high barrier environment.

I am 100% in favor of supportive housing on Wesley Street for 35 – 40 low barrier clients who will have in the immediate vicinity convenient access and disposal to absolutely necessary services, including but not limited to needle exchange program, a methadone clinic, walk in medical services, the Salvation Army kitchen and meal program, the 7/10 Club and outreach services located nearby.


Things On The Net That Make Ya' Smile

Hey ..... That's a REAL Bathtub....

Recent flooding in Thailand has led to some inventive watercraft being used by locals to get around. Perhaps we should send this fellow an invite to our World Famous International Bathtub Race next year.

I have an idea ....... why don't we add an addition to our motorized version of the Great Race, with a race that is for 'Real Bathtubs Only', they would have to be real tubs, and have people power only. They certainly wouldn't challenge the brutal course regular racers take on, but perhaps a few heats in Swy-a-lana Lagoon??? I'm not kidding.


Nanaimo Fireworks Ban

 $200 Fine And Seizure Of Fireworks

Nanaimo RCMP wishes to advise the public that regardless of age, it is illegal to possess, sell or discharge fireworks within the City of Nanaimo.

Bylaw 7049 which deals with fireworks in the City of Nanaimo and in effect since September 2007, has assisted police, bylaw officers and City of Nanaimo Fire and Rescue crews with maintaining order and reducing calls for service. Those calls primarily consisted of individuals who accidentally injured themselves or others while setting off fireworks and small fires starting from fireworks going astray and igniting nearby bushes or trees.

“The public needs to understand that if you are found to be in possession of fireworks, you can be fined $200 and have the fireworks seized. Also, Halloween is traditionally a very busy time for our members. With lots of kids and parents alike walking our City streets, we will be doing our part to ensure the evening remains fun and accidents and foolishness are kept to a minimum by having extra officers and patrols on all night,” said Constable Gary O’Brien, media spokesperson for the Nanaimo RCMP.

Permits can be obtained to lawfully set off fireworks but can only be issued by the City of Nanaimo Fire Chief.

Before applications are considered, the applicant must show proof they possess $2 million dollars in liability insurance and have a fireworks supervisor’s certificate. For all of the necessary requirements, please go to and view the bylaw in its entirety.


Return - It to Win - It Contest Winner

Nanaimo's Julie McQuillan Wins Grand Prize

British Columbians were busy this summer returning their empty beverage containers to participating Return-It Depots to make sure they were recycled responsibly and kept out of landfills. In addition to receiving their deposit refunds and feeling good about recycling many customers entered to win one of three eco-friendly rides. Encorp Pacific's four month 'Return-It to Win-It' contest ran from May 1 – September 5, 2011 and in that time, over 227,000 ballots were collected.

The Grand Prize winner was drawn from ballots collected at The Nanaimo Bottle Depot, who collected almost 4,600 ballots. "I'm very proud of my staff for all of the hard work they contributed to this contest. It really paid off," said Paul Shorting, Owner and General Manager of the Nanaimo Bottle Depot, who was on hand to officially hand the keys to the winner for her new Smart Car, along with staff from Encorp Pacific.

"It was another very successful year for our province wide contest to promote recycling and to promote the Return-It Depots in British Columbia," said Neil Hastie, President and CEO of Encorp Pacific. "We are very pleased that Julie was able to travel from Nanaimo to accept this Grand Prize."

Second  prize of two Vespa Scooters went to Peter Burton of Chemainus while third prize of two Norco Mountain Bikes (with helmets) was won by Samantha Soltau of Ashcroft.


Quarterway Bridge Project Reaches Milestone

The Quarterway Bridge and Road Widening project will reach a major milestone on October 31, 2011.  Traffic will be redirected onto the new north section of the Bridge, giving users a good idea of what the final project will look like.  

The road work west of Pryde Avenue is generally complete with the landscaping works underway. A new traffic signal is under construction at Buttertubs Drive, and work continues on the new Bowen West playing field.

“I would like to thank everyone for their patience during this most challenging project. I appreciate the cooperation from the local businesses, and with traffic moved over to the new road, disruption should be reduced”, says Mayor John Ruttan.  “The project team worked hard and I congratulate them for a job well done.”

A Reminder to Slow Down

Please drive safely and obey all traffic signage and flagging personnel.  Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can expect some uneven surfaces until the final paving surface is installed next year.  All businesses are accessible and open for business.


Jeremy Banks Presents The Apartment Series

The First Of Three In "The Apartment Series"
The Tablesaw Show

Canadian Fringe performer and Pacific Coast Stage Producer Jeremy Banks presents original work The Tablesaw Show at an innovative and intimate venue Nov 16 - Nov 25as the first of three shows in The Apartment Series. For the early-birds, there will also be a preview show November 10.

The Apartment Series is a series of shows set and staged in an apartment, with the hosts literally inviting you into their home, taking your jacket, making your drink, and sharing a rather personal theatre-story, allowing for not only the most intimate theatre performance in the history of Nanaimo, but also encouraging casual living room-style talkback after this cozy theatre and storytelling crossover.

Inspired by a growing trend of alternative theatre in Victoria and Vancouver, The Apartment Series draws from both emerging concepts of “theatre for small audiences” in which theatre companies perform for extremely intimate and limited audiences in order to generate a more personal performance, and site-specific theatre in which the venue itself plays a crucial role in reinforcing the setting, the atmosphere, and the meaning of the theatrical piece.

The first of the series is The Tablesaw Show, a show about one man's brief and impactful relationship with a tablesaw, a show that takes place in the same room that it happened. Returning to the scene of the incident that left him touched both literally and emotionally, the performer guides the audience through the traumatic event and the hours following that altered his life's course in subtle and profound ways. 

The Apartment SeriesThe Tablesaw Show, opens November 16 and runs until Nov 25, Wednesdays through Fridays at 8pm. Due to the intimate nature of the performance venue, the location will be kept secret. Only 20 seats are available per performance and tickets are by donation (recommended $18), at the door. Refreshments are available before and after the show.
To book your seats, get more information and to find out where the location is, RSVP to or search facebook for "The Apartment Series"


VISFF Submissions Call

Local Film Festival Celebrates 7th Year!

The Vancouver Island Short Film Festival (VISFF) is now accepting submissions for the 2012 show. The VISFF, which will celebrate its seventh anniversary in 2012, is an annual event that brings filmmakers and filmgoers together and continues to be the only short film festival on Vancouver Island that focuses on local talent. This year is promised to be the best yet! With lots of great additions to the festival line-up and room for new sponsorship opportunity. We’ve added a theme for festival patrons “Old Hollywood”

The Malaspina Theatre on the Nanaimo Campus of Vancouver Island University will play host to the festival on April 13th and 14th at 7PM. Building on the success of previous years, the 2012 show will be comprised of 12 -20 juried films.

The festival is open to all genres of films that are 12 minutes in length or less, including credits. In past years, the VISFF only accepted films of 10 minutes or less, but this year, the organizers have decided to extend the time limit. “In previous years, judges couldn’t select some great films that ran over the ten minute limit,” said Meg Fulton, VISFF Submissions Coordinator. “We still love a film that can tell a story in just a few minutes, but we hope this extension will aid the filmmakers in their creative process.”


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Council Meeting Not Televised??

Monday October 31 City Council Meeting
May Not Be Televised

I have not been able to confirm with Shaw cable a report that they will not be televising city council meetings until after the next civic election, Nov. 19.

Whether that is accurate or not, I can not say, but if you wish to witness the council meeting and possible debate regards low barrier housing you may want to attend in person.

I am not aware of broadcast or publication bans this far in advance of the election, so whether it is actually a CRTC rule or someone at Shaw has their wires crossed I can't say.


BC Minimum Wage Hike This Tuesday

Minimum Wage Increases $0.75 / hr. Nov. 1

VICTORIA B.C.’s minimum wage will increase to $9.50 on Tuesday, Nov. 1, Minister of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government Margaret MacDiarmid confirmed today.

At the same time, the minimum wage rate for liquor servers will increase to $8.75.

This is the second increase to the minimum wage this year, and follows on Premier Christy Clark’s commitment in March 2011 to increase minimum wage in three stages to $10.25 by May 1, 2012, providing more support for B.C. workers and families in every region of the province.

Non-hourly rates paid to camp leaders, live-in home support workers and resident caretakers will be adjusted at the same time in proportion to the increase in minimum wage.

Piece rates for hand-harvested crops listed in the employment standards regulation will remain unchanged pending the outcome of a review currently being undertaken by the Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government. The review is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Bottom Line

How much more money does that put in the minimum wage earners pocket (before taxes) and presuming there is no loss of hours ?

Based on working a total of 40 hours per week the following calculation applies for the increase in gross earnings:

Nov. 1, 2011 - -$0 .75 x 40 hrs. = $30.00/wk = $129.00/mo. = $1548.00/yr.


Trick or Treat In Downtown Nanaimo

 Lil' Pirate ..... not so sure about the Big Chicken
 Big Chicken Worked Hard Making Friends
 Retrievers Had An Advantage In The Dunkin' for Weiners Contest
 A Great Sunny Day For A Fun, Family Friendly Day Downtown
 A Happy Buckaroo Out Collectin' His Loot
 A Not So Happy Fellow .... 'didn't eat enough veggies'
 Not Sure What These Pooches Thought Of Their Costumes
 Another Pooch Putting Up Wth His Owner
Kids ' N Dogs ..... You Can't Go Wrong

The Downtown Business Association threw a Halloween Party for the kids, both young and old on Saturday afternoon at Diana Krall Plaza. The fun, family event included live music, a Pet Parade and the first ever Weiner Dunkin' contest.

Participating downtown merchants displayed orange and black balloons in front of their stores, letting costumed trick or treaters know, they were open for treats. It was a good chance for downtown merchants to introduce themselves to young families as they went trick or treating under really safe conditions.

It was a really fun event and the downtown merchants deserve a resounding 'well done' with yet another street filling, fun family event that filled the downtown streets under clear blue skies.


Nanaimo 2011 Election All Candidates Meeting

All Candidates Forum
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Vancouver Island Conference Centre
Salons A & B
Doors Open 6:00 PM
Forum Begins 6:30 PM

Sponsored by
Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce
Vancouver Island Real Estate Board


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Polls Shows Core Review Wanted

81% Want Core Review
At City Hall

Of 439 people taking this websites poll, 81% have said they want city council to hire an outside consultant to do a core review at city hall.

This suggestion has become a standing joke around the city council table, as Councillor Kipp seems one of the few to take the matter seriously.

The majority of the current council seem content to ask city staff to conduct their own core review.

Perhaps the new council will take a more serious approach to what is in fact a very serious matter.

Ask the candidates how they stand on this important issue before you cast your ballot in the upcoming election. A properly done Core Review is simply a good practice in any large corporation, and the City of Nanaimo is certainly a large corporation.


Nanaimo Arts Council November Show

A Gesture of Pears
by: Carla Stein

The Feature Show at the Nanaimo Arts Council for November is called “A Gesture of Pears”. It is an acrylic series by Nanaimo painter Carla Stein.

Partly social commentary, partly emotional expose, and full of tongue-in-cheek humour, Carla Stein’s new acrylic series, “A Gesture of Pears”, explores body language, the unspoken component of human communication. Each painting uses pears as stand-ins for human subjects and looks at postures which suggest emotions such as love, pride, envy, and suspicion. The pieces, all on stretched canvas, are hallmarked by intense color and bold brushwork. Some pieces also incorporate palette knife work and sgraffito (scratching into the paint.)
“I chose to use various varieties of pears in order to keep the focus on movement and gesture rather than on personality. Pears have versatile shapes and contours. I think that’s one of the reasons many artists have chosen to paint them. They can also be very sexy, without being sexual. I have an affinity for surrealism and fantasy, so it was fun to create compositions with fruit that moved away from traditional still life.”

 Carla was born in Chicago, Illinois and immigrated to Ontario in 1975. She has lived in four different Canadian provinces and currently resides with her family in Nanaimo, B.C. Her art career includes a Diploma in Fine Art from Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. She works in a number of mediums including watercolor, oil, acrylic and pastel.

The show will be hanging at the Nanaimo Arts Council Gallery in Nanaimo North Town Centre Mall, near Sears, from November 1st until the end of the month. Opening reception is Thursday November 10th from 7pm to 9pm. Everyone is welcome.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Uplands Low Barrier Housing On Agenda

Bestwick Asks Council To Reconsider
Uplands Drive Low Barrier Location

In what could prove to be a contentious issue, or a non-starter without a seconder, Councillor Bill Bestwick will be asking council to reconsider the Uplands project.

At the FPCOW meeting at city hall on Oct. 24, Bestwick gave council a notice of motion he would be bringing at council this Monday evening. The notice of motion read:

"That Council direct Staff to place the Uplands Site for low barrier housing on hold and submit a review of other site options to Council and the Provincial Government for consideration".

This is the first real ISSUE during an otherwise yawn inspiring civic election campaign with very few issues to clearly set any candidate apart from another.


Nanaimo City Council Meeting Oct. 31, 2011

Nanaimo City Council Meeting
Monday, Oct. 31, 2011 - 7:00 PM
Shaw Auditorium
Vancouver Island Convention Centre
Democracy Works When The Public Stays Involved
It Is Too Important To Leave To Politicians
If you can attend in person that is the best way to see your business being taken care of, second best is watching on Shaw Cable from the comfort of your easy chair, it is also available live online using this link, and last but not least is reading what the local press says went on.


Linley Valley West Concerns

Linley Valley West

At the Monday FPCOW meeting at city hall a group of citizens concerned about the fate of the Linley Valley made a presentation to city council.

The city issued a press release which said in part:

"To designate the lands as a nature park and protect them fully from development would likely require that the lands be acquired from the existing owners at market value.  The assessed value of the total 310 acres is currently $6.6M."

It seems the cupboard is bare at city hall, what with new $16 million staff offices and all. But I have to wonder which project would have the greater benefit for the greater good of the community. Protect 310 acres of wilderness, or provide 160 highly paid staffers with shiny new digs??

I know what city council and city staff have already said, so the question is addressed to the rest of Nanaimo residents.


Weather Outlook --- It's Fall In Nanaimo

The forecast for the next week is pretty much typical for Nanaimo at this time of year. It's raining enough to get the grass growing, but too wet to cut it. I should have bought a goat!

Driving gets a little trickier as the darker days, and wetter pavement means we have to slow down and pay closer attention.

The weather for the next little while will also be starting to test the resolve of those participating in the occupation of Diana Krall Plaza.

Let's all hope the little trick or treaters catch a break so they can gather their booty without spoiling their costumes, then in a perfect world, let it pour to keep the 'nogoodnicks' from creating their little forms of mischief.


Occupy Nanaimo Movement

 $12,000,000 Building Contract --- No Tender!
$4,000,000 To Upgrade Existing Office Or Tear It Down
Should They Protest The
Corporation Of The City Of Nanaimo?

Is This Corporation Similar To Others . . .

One of the common themes resonating through the Occupy movement is the inequality between the haves and the have nots in our society and how that gap is growing all the time.

While most protestors take aim at big banks, and big retail corporations it could be they are overlooking an iconic symbol of all they are protesting right under their noses. Their very own Corporation of the City of Nanaimo, responsible for spending over $150 million every year, with over 60% of all taxes collected going to pay city hall management and staff.

No Property Tax Increases For 4 - 5 Years
or a Shiny New Staff Office 
Which Did They Choose?

You might think that given the current economic climate which is highlighted by the double digit unemployment rate in Nanaimo, that city council and city staff would get serious about not increasing taxes anymore than they have to. Given the choice of not increasing property taxes for the next 4 - 5 years or building a shiny new office to house 160 staff at city hall, you might have thought they would choose to not keep taking money out of taxpayers pockets for awhile.

You would be wrong. They also will not release the reports that led to this decision, which was made in secret, behind closed doors last March, and even though there is no legitimate reason for keeping this information secret they will still not say how council voted on this issue. Are they afraid to stand behind their decision, before the next election??

For The Good Of All
Or For The Benefit of The Few?

No doubt, city hall senior managers must feel hard done by, having to make do with the office they bought in 1999, complete with outdoor deck overlooking the harbour. Who wouldn't want a shiny new $16 million office to hang out in, complete with new furniture and equipment.

This is an amount equal to the budgeted tax increase of 21% over the next 5 years, in other words if staff had decided to 'tough it out' they could have given all Nanaimo taxpayers a tax increase holiday for five years! Did they?

Builder Did Not Have To Submit Tender
Awarded $12+ Million Contract

The builder who was able to get a contract worth more than $12 million without having to compete with other builders certainly benefited from this generous decision made by city hall senior managers. There has never been a sound reason forthcoming from city hall managers as to why they felt this was a demonstration of due diligence in the spending of such a substantial number of YOUR tax dollars.

Yes, maybe the 'Occupy Nanaimo' movement, needs to move the occupation from Diana Krall Plaza over to the seat of local political power at City Hall and at the City Hall Annex. That is where the biggest corporation in Nanaimo is located, and that is the single corporation that directly affects the day to day lives of local residents more than any other level of government.


Nanaimo Civic Election 2011 Candidates

 Click Image To Enlarge
Nanaimo Candidates Answer 20 Questions

All of the candidates in the upcoming civic election, including Mayor and Councillor candidates were sent a list of 20 questions I felt would give some insight into how they would deal with some Nanaimo issues.

To date 10 of the candidates for the upcoming Nanaimo civic election have submitted their answers which can be seen elsewhere on this website.

To view the candidates answers to some of the issues facing Nanaimo you will have to click on the 'Candidates Answers' button at the top of the home page. Incidentally each of the other buttons lead to other pages on this website, if you haven't checked them out.

Nanaimo Civic Election Candidates Who Have Answered So Far

Follows is the list of Nanaimo Civic Election candidates answers to my questionnaire, in the order the answers were received:

  • Arlene Blundell
  • Fred Pattje
  • Bill Bestwick
  • Dan DiDio
  • Brunie Brunie
  • Rod Lomas
  • Bill McKay
  • Brain Fillmore
  • Diana Johnstone
  • Gord Fuller
I consider the response from candidates fantastic, given they are all probably as busy as one armed paper hangers, inundated with requests for info from the media, scheduling all candidates meetings, campaigning, ordering signs, erecting signs, knocking on doors, all the while in many cases holding down their 'real' jobs.

Take the time to read the candidates responses as I feel it will give you some insight into what candidates think about important Nanaimo issues, both past, present and future.

Hats Off to Nanaimo Civic Election Candidates One and All

They are doing Their Part ----- Now Do Yours
Get Informed -- Get Involved
Democracy Is Too Important To Leave To 
Elected & Non-Elected Officials


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Port Theatre Nanaimo Oct. 28 & 29

"Funniest Comedian in Vancouver"
Friday October 28th 7:00 PM
Real Life Story Telling
Saturday October 29th, 8:00 PM


West Linley Valley Nanaimo

City Responds To Citizens Requests

Nanaimo City Council has been approached by citizens who would like to see the undeveloped lands in west Linley Valley designated as a nature park and protected from development.

These lands are approximately 310 acres in size excluding the lands currently under development as a residential subdivision adjacent to Rutherford Road.  Some are designated for imminent development while others are identified in the Official Community Plan as “Urban Reserve” and are earmarked for future urban development.

To designate the lands as a nature park and protect them fully from development would likely require that the lands be acquired from the existing owners at market value.  The assessed value of the total 310 acres is currently $6.6M.

The City has dedicated considerable amounts of money over the past several years for acquisition of parks.  Examples of recent City park purchases include 146 acres in the Linley Valley at Cottle Lake, the expansion of Neck Point Park by 3.2 acres, 20 acres at Joan Point (Dodds Narrows), 30 acres along the Millstone River and various parcels to expand and improve Westwood Lake Park.  These purchases were guided by the 2005 Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan which establishes the City priorities for park acquisition.

While acquisition of additional park in the west Linley Valley through fair market value purchases would have many positive values, such purchases are not on the City’s priority list, especially given the high cost, Council’s limited park acquisition budget and the other priorities as expressed in the Master Plan.

While not slated for purchase, the City will work with the property owners as the properties are developed to maximize protection of environmental features and to acquire public accesses and trailways.

Citizen's Concerns For The Area

 Would Like To See West Linley Valley Protected

Note: eMail Subscribers may have to visit NanaimoBlog to view this video.


British Columbia Gains Seats

6 More Seats For BC In Ottawa

Under the Fair Representation Act the House of Commons in Ottawa will increase the number of seats from 308 to 338 seats which means better representation for the province of British Columbia.

The changes will see the number of seats in BC increase from the current 36 to 42 under the new system. This represents an increase from 11.8 per cent of the Commons seats to 12.54 per cent under the new distribution. Our neighbours to the east in Alberta would also see their number of seats increase by a total of six.


Occupy Nanaimo Update

Click To Enlarge
Occupy Until January 31, 2012??

When I looked at the Occupy Nanaimo website yesterday it indicated there were no further events planned as I reported in an article about the occupy group yesterday.

When I checked their site today, it is interesting to note that they now indicate the occupation will be from Saturday, October 15 at 11:00 am - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 5:00 PM.

I have not been able to contact organizer Matthew Orrick to confirm I am understanding the groups intentions, but if the end of January, 2012 is their 'exit date' it will be interesting to see if the group and neighbours, and the city can all get along until then.

Some I am sure think the group is becoming a nuisance and should just move along, but people who intend to end corporate greed and shift all of society to their point of view will likely be a great nuisance before their end is achieved.


Drug Charges Laid

The local Daily has a story reporting that charges have been laid against three men after a bust last June 19 which saw large amounts of drugs, cash and firearms being seized.

Charges have been laid against Gregory Matthew Allen, 34, and Joseph Donald Davidson, 40 of Nanaimo. Police are looking for a third unnamed man in the case.

Note: the wheels of justice seem to grind slower all the time, given this bust occured on June 19 and is just now seeing charges laid. This is not a policing issue but yet another sign of our overburdened court system.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gary Korpan - Homelessness Position

Homelessness Position

Canadians, all Canadians, deserve safe, secure shelter. It is essential for quality living and fulfilling a productive life.

Some of our fellow citizens have become homeless for many reasons, including drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness, and poverty. Intense public initiatives have led to diverse efforts to solve, or reduce homelessness.

Much effort by our citizens, community partners, and the current and past City Councils, on behalf of all Nanaimo, has been made to partner with government, non-profits, and private parties to improve services and resources to combat homelessness.

As a four-year member of the Premier's Task Force on Homelessness, I support using the medically appropriate methods and public health initiatives the BC government determines effective in fighting homelessness.

I am grateful for, and support, the years of research, countless volunteer hours, and multiple participants who worked to produce Nanaimo's Homelessness Strategy and Plan.

While homelessness may only be visible in some locations, it damages our whole community. We have a responsibility to work co-operatively to fix it as a community.

Once the Uplands site contract tender, set by BC, is awarded in early November, and all project details are available, I support ongoing full disclosure for the proposed facilities, services, and resources at open public meetings, so everyone can hear the same thing at the same time, ask pertinent questions, and judge for themselves if adequate safety and security is provided. Not just for the housed homeless, but for their prospective neighbours as well. Nothing will change until there is trust and there can be no trust without full disclosure, or if questions go unanswered, or lies are circulated without challenge.

Failure to act on homelessness while we have the assistance offered by senior government will only make a bad situation worse. I am confident most Nanaimoites want to work together to resolve this now.

Gary Korpan


Low Barrier Housing Debate

Click Image To Enlarge

The Concerned Citizens of Nanaimo will be debating the Low Barrier Housing project with city planner John Horn and Councilor Merv Unger live on Shaw Ch. 4 at 4:00 PM Oct. 27th.
The debate will be broadcast live, and likely rebroadcast at later dates. To hear both sides of this divisive issue, tune in if you can.


Occupy Nanaimo Ending?

The above pictures were snapped last Saturday at Diana Krall Plaza which was one week to the day since the occupation began. At the time I wondered how long the occupiers would be welcome to express themselves in the public square before opposition started to their occupation.

Well, it has barely taken much more than a week, and the local Daily News is now calling on the occupiers to dismantle their camp at Diana Krall Plaza and they are doing it on behalf of all residents of the city. (Only mildly presumptuous)

The occupation was acceptable while it was a novelty, but the idea that it might actually be trying to facilitate some changes in society, which likely requires some 'messyness' is not really all that palatable. As Canadians we don't much care for 'in your face' tactics that might disturb our carefully controlled and ordered society. Challenging the status quo via letters to the editor, petitions and the like are acceptable (ineffective but acceptable) by the mainstream media and movers and shakers as they don't actually challenge or change anything.

According to the 'Occupy Nanaimo' facebook page there are no further events scheduled or expected. However, since this is a grassroots movement with no clear objectives, agendas, leaders or spokesmen or identifiable 'end game', only time will tell how this exercise in democracy plays itself out here in Nanaimo.

In the beginning I believe some occupiers said they would occupy until things change. However, there has never been a clear example of what they mean by such a change, one example was to stop shopping at Wal Mart, move all your money from banks to the credit union, support local business, all of which are suggestions that those sympathetic to the 'cause' are likely already doing.

Will this end in the confrontations taking place elsewhere, requiring police in riot gear breaking up these camps? I hope not, as we in Canada are not known for such behaviour.


Rotary Book Sale Helps Local Literacy

Used Book Sale Continues Until Oct. 30,2011
Nanaimo North Town Centre


TOP MEN comes to Nanaimo

Once You Go Black Light You Never Go Back

Nanaimo's prestigous techno band, Top Men, will put on a full-scale, dance-able theatrical experience and light show, November 4th at Centre Stage.

"The People of the Grid are enslaved by the tyrannical Master Control Program, and the revolution needs every able bodied program to join in the fight, do you have the stones to do the job? Join us as Top Men present the latest chapter in the ever unfolding epic that is their lives. Witness a new world never seen by anybody other than Jeff Bridges. Enter the Digital Frontier that will reshape the Human Condition and help us save it from oppression."

Basically, it's the movie 'Tron' except right in front of you, live on stage with. Live musicians, neon lights and black lights paint the evening. 

The performance will be at Centre Stage, 25 Victoria Rd., November 4, 8:00 PM, advance tickets are $8.00, at the door $10.00 and are on sale at Lucid & Fascinating Rythm. 

For more information email or call 250-667-2933. 


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cops and Firefighters For Cancer?

I realize that it is most likely just me, but I have always had a problem with the phrase "Cops FOR Cancer". I would think that the proper application of the Queen's English would be "Cops Against Cancer".

A press release from the city announcing that local firefighters will be wearing pink for the month of October in a campaign 'Firefighters For Cancer" prompts me to voice my concern that we may be misusing a most important communications tool.


Nanaimo Get Out And Vote

Campaign To Get Out To Vote

Note: email subscribers may have to visit Nanaimo Blog to view this video.


Reduce Your Speed On Wet Roads

Slow Down On Wet Fall and Winter BC Roads

Recently ICBC and the police launched a public awareness campaign to remind drivers to be prepared and adjust their speed when driving on wet roads this fall and winter.

"We can all help save lives and prevent injuries by slowing down when the weather in B.C. makes driving more challenging," said Shirley Bond, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. "Whether it's your daily commute or holiday travel, the reality is you need to be prepared for a variety of weather and road conditions in B.C."

 Speed Limits Are For Dry Roads

"Many drivers don't realize that when they drive too fast for the road conditions their risk of crashing increases significantly," said Fiona Temple, ICBC's road safety director. "The reality is that the posted speed limit is only for ideal or dry road conditions. You can help make our roads safer by slowing down – you'll see more of the road and be better equipped to respond to the unexpected."

"There is nothing an officer dreads more than contacting a family to tell them about the death of a loved one as a result of a crash," said Superintendent Mike Diack, RCMP E-Division Traffic Services and Vice-Chair of the Traffic Safety Committee, B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police.
"You can count on police throughout B.C. stepping up enforcement over the next few weeks to remind drivers to slow down."

Here are more tips from ICBC for fall and winter driving:
  • When driving on wet roads increase your following distance to four seconds.
  • Slow down. Remember the faster you drive, the longer it takes to stop on wet roads.
  • Make sure your windshield wipers are in good working order and you have sufficient windshield wiper fluid.
  • Check that your tires are inflated at the correct pressure and appropriately rated for the weather conditions.


Water Treatment Plant Update

GE Awarded $7.9 Million Contract
Nanaimo's new water treatment plant is one step closer to reality with the council decision to award a $7.9 million contract to GE Water for the supply of a membrane filtration package for the South Fork Water Treatment Plant.

There were two other competing bids from Pall Canada Ltd. and Siemens Industry Ltd., Pall bid $10.5 million and Siemens bid $10.8 million. Hopefully Nanaimo will not be in for an unpleasant surprise down the road, as buying a system which costs 30% less than two major companies should raise a few alarm bells. Just why is it that much cheaper?? Is there a reason?

According to the staff recommendation the first phase of this contract will include the Engineering Services and Demonstration Testing at a cost of $516,139. The second phase which includes the actual order to build and supply (but not install) the equipment is said to cost $7.1 million. This presumes their product successfully passes the testing phase.

It was also noted that there were some changes to the RFP which will be negotiated and agreed to before formal execution of the overall agreement.

The longest operating plant in North America using this technology is the plant that opened in Kamloops in 2005 for just under $49 million, so once again, Nanaimo is on the cutting edge of new technology.


Tyler Cardiff Intervenes In Suicide Attempt

Bystanders Were Doing Nothing
Note: email subscribers may have to visit Nanaimo Blog to view this video.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Things On The Net That Make Ya' Smile

Every Home Should Have One
Gives New Meaning to the 'Throne Room'


Leonard Krog Roundtable VIU Oct. 27

YIU New Young Democrats
Host Round-table Discussion

This coming Thursday, Oct. 27 from 8:00 - 11:00 pm the VIU New Young Democrats will be hosting a FREE round-table discussion with local MLA Leonard Krog.

The group intends to discuss social housing and other important community issues at this public event. So regardless of your political leaning all are invited to attend what should be an evening of lively discussion with our local MLA.

The event will be held in VIU building 356 in room 317, Oct. 27th - 8:00 - 11:00 pm. For more information contact Ryan Butler by email or call 250-327-2903.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rod Lomas Nanaimo civic Election 2011

Rod Lomas For City Councillor

My High School Motto that I try to live by is: “No reward without effort”.
You must be the change you want to see in the world.
Mahatma Gandhi
Indian political and spiritual leader (1869 - 1948)
The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Albert Einstein
US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.
Jack Layton, Letter to Canada, 08-20-2011
I’ll work with anyone.  Jack Layton (on the campaign)

I was born and raised in Victoria; now, married to my queen and father of two real princesses; I golf, drum, strum and garden.  Employed the past 20 years with Nav Canada as an Air Traffic Specialist; currently at the Nanaimo Airport; a complex often demanding profession; where lives and property depend on effective decision making, concise communication and appropriate actions.  I worked many years as a licensed Tradesman Diesel Mechanic; I served a short time in the Canadian Navy on active sea duty.  I earned a Business Certificate from LCC Lethbridge, Alberta; I have completed Communication; Negotiation; Mediation and Conflict Resolution program courses from the Justice Institute of BC.  I attended the State-of-the-Island Economic Summit in Nanaimo October 22, 2008.  I served on SD68 PAC 2005-10 as Chair/Co-Chair and Treasurer & South-end Facilities renewal committee member. I am currently working to complete my BA Psychology at Athabasca University. And, I am much more.

Note: To read Rod's answers to the 20 questions I submitted to all candidates click on the pager titled 'Candidate Answers' at the top of this page. 


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Nanaimo Drivers Slammed Again!

Is There NOTHING Nanaimo Drivers Can Do??
It would appear that the big gasoline retailers have done some serious market research in Nanaimo and have determined they can pretty much empty our pockets every time we need gas and we won't even complain about it.

The difference between world crude oil prices is one example of just getting ripped off by big oil, but the idea that Nanaimo drivers are being so badly gouged is inexcusable.


FPCOW Meeting At City Hall

 Monday October 24, 2011 4:30 p.m.
City Hall Board Room
455 Wallace Street, Nanaimo, B.C.

Some of these Finance Policy Committee Meetings of the Whole are much more informative and insightful than the regular council meetings. They give the opportunity to see how councilors make some of there decisions. They are usually poorly attended and often not well reported.

Remember it is city council on the advice of city staff that make decisions all the time on how to spend YOUR tax dollars, and unless you pay attention they pretty much just do as they please. $16 million for a new office without going to public tender, is just one example of what happens when you (the taxpayer) isn't paying attention.