Thursday, May 31, 2012

More Free Wi-Fi On BC Ferries To Nanaimo

 Expanded Free Wi-Fi On BC Ferries
Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay 
Horseshoe Bay – Langdale 
BC Ferries is expanding its free wireless Internet service on the ships servicing the Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay – Langdale routes, as well as at these three terminals. The service will enable our customers to email and to browse the Internet.

Free wireless Internet is now available in passenger areas throughout the ships. In addition, Wi-Fi is also accessible to customers at the Horseshoe Bay, Departure Bay and Langdale terminals. “Customers on these routes have requested Internet access and we are pleased to offer our passengers free Wi-Fi when they travel with us,” said Corrine Storey, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Customer Services. “Now the crossing can be more productive for business travellers and for others just wanting to access the Internet.”

Wi-Fi service is also available on ships servicing the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay route and at those two major terminals.


More Funding For BC Nurse Practitioners

B.C. funds 190 more nurse practitioner positions

The government is funding 190 nurse practitioner (NP) positions over the next three years to provide better access to health care for British Columbian families.

The $22.2-million Nurse Practitioners for BC (NP4BC) initiative will begin this fall. NP4BC will provide opportunities for existing nurse practitioners, as well as new graduate nurse practitioners, to be fully integrated in the health-care system. The majority will be working in primary health-care settings, which can include public health offices, medical clinics, residential care or other community settings.

The 190 positions will support existing qualified nurse practitioners who have not been able to secure a nurse practitioner position, as well as ensuring that opportunities are there for newly-qualified nurse practitioners graduating in the future. Currently, 225 nurse practitioners are registered with the College of Registered Nurses of B.C. About 72 are presently not practising within their chosen profession, with the expectation of another 30 graduates this year.

B.C. has the ability to train up to 45 nurse practitioners a year, 15 at each of the University of British Columbia, the University of Northern British Columbia and the University of Victoria.

The health system is faced with increasing demands and costs driven by an aging, growing population and a higher prevalence of chronic diseases. This requires the Province to look for new and innovative approaches to service delivery, including nurse practitioners.

Nurse practitioners were introduced to B.C. in 2005 to assist in improving access to primary health-care services. In fall 2011, the Province passed legislation allowing nurse practitioners to work fully within their existing scope of practice.  

For more information about Nurse Practitioners visit their website by clicking following image:


New B.C. Motorcycle Laws Start June 1

New regulations for helmets
  • All motorcycle riders and their passengers are now required
    to wear a helmet that meets safety industry standards
  • A motorcycle safety helmet must meet DOT,
    Snell M2005, Snell M2010 or ECE safety standards
  • Helmets that do not meet these new standards, such as skull caps, will be illegal
New regulations for passenger seating
  • New requirements for passengers mean that all
    passengers must be able to place their feet on the foot
    pegs or floorboards
  • Children unable to reach foot pegs are not permitted to
    ride as passengers

For more detailed information click HERE.

All motorcyclists and passengers in B.C. must wear a motorcycle helmet that displays the proper industry safety certification label. Helmets must comply with standards outlined by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), Snell Memorial Foundation 2005 or 2010, or United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE). Riders found violating the new helmet laws will receive a $138 fine. New seating laws have also been put into place to protect both passengers and riders.

The Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles is working with police and motorcyclists to ensure the new helmet and seating regulations will be applied fairly and fines will be issued to riders putting their safety at risk. Police also have educational material to distribute to riders to inform them about the new laws.


Motocross Nationals In Nanaimo June 3

For Directions & Ticket Information Click Image To Visit 
Nanaimo Motocross Association Website


Support Nanaimo Cast Your Vote

Nanaimo A Finalist In
 The Most Beautiful and Best City in BC Contest

Winona Adams nominated Nanaimo in the Global BC TV and Save-On Foods contest to select the most beautiful and best city in BC. We already have the best street in Canada, so no reason we can expand our bragging rights by being recognized at the Best in BC.

When we win the contest the Global News morning team made up of Steve Darling, Mark Madryga and Wesla Wong will come to our city and tell all their viewers what we already know!

To Cast Your Ballot

Simply click on the following image, fill out the form and be sure you have selected Nanaimo before casting your vote. By voting you could also win a $500 prize for yourself. Cast your ballot and tell all your friends, family and co-workers..............


Canadian Gas Prices

They've Been Turning Up The Heat For Months
We Just Haven't Been Paying Attention

Despite the fact that crude oil prices have been around the $95/barrel price for months the oil companies have been slowly turning up the heat with a variety of reasons (excuses) for the pending increases. They are doing what any good corporation should be doing, and that is maximizing earnings for their shareholders, employees and well paid executives. They have no responsibility to extract one penny less than they can from the motoring public.

The Canadian motoring public seems to apply the same response to rising gas prices as they do with the continuing increase in taxation on all fronts, and that is to give an apathetic shrug, bitch a little and then go soundly back to sleep after repeating the predictable refrain "it just doesn't matter what we do --- THEY --- will just do as THEY please", once again demonstrating a complete ignorance of the main principle of democracy, and that is to participate.

'Nuff said.............. back to sleep now!


Nanaimo Downtown Farmers' Market June 1

 Nanaimo & Area Farmers' Markets

Nanaimo Downtown Farmers' Market
Open Friday ( May 11 - Oct. 5, 2012)

We are proud to say that we believe our market is one of the prettiest on the island. We have a large base of drop in vendors which keep our market ever changing. We enjoy watching the eagles fly overhead, the boats coming and going and the planes taking off every Friday. Our vendors always have a smile for our visitors. Open from First Friday in May to Friday before Thanksgiving.

Also open for all cruise ship dates Fri 10:00am to 2:00pm.

90 Front Street, Nanaimo. On Pioneer Waterfront Plaza  For more information visit their website at or call 250-754-1998.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Jehovah's Witness Convention In Nanaimo

3200 Jehovah's Witnesses
 Attend Annual Convention

This weekend, June 1 - 3 will see an estimated 3200 Jehovah's Witnesses assembled to celebrate their faith at Frank Crane Arena, making it the largest single convention in our city.

This years theme is Safeguard your Heart and a copy of the convention program can be downloaded HERE.

Meetings start each morning at 9:20 am with the Friday afternoon session beginning at 1:50 pm and Saturdays afternoon starts at 1:35 pm and Sunday afternoon starts at 1:25 pm.

Members in attendance come from as far away as Port Hardy and Powell River to attend the annual district convention.


More Open Local Government?

 Latest Change Good Policy
Or Attempt to Limit Public Input?

At the last city council meeting a simple item under the Mayors report seems to have pretty much gone unnoticed. Under the heading of procedural changes to council agendas there is one change that should raise alarm bells with the defenders of democracy.

I doubt if the local fourth estate will give the change any attention as they pretty much fall into line and agree with whatever city hall tells them is good.  Much like the $16 million shiny new staff office meeting with their approval. They also think it is good that city hall sends them $10,000 a month or so in ad revenue.

Delegations (for items not on the agenda)  
Will Only Be Heard At An FPCOW Meeting

In April of this year city hall management came up with 17 changes to the way city council will be conducting the business of the city. One of those recommendations includes not allowing delegations at regular city council meetings if the delegation wishes to speak on a matter not on the agenda. They can only get their hearing before council at a FPCOW meeting which is not the same as a regular council meeting for several reasons.

Firstly, FPCOW meetings start at 4:30 PM which means any person who is working 'regular' hours would have to take time away from work in order to appear, secondly these meetings are not televised and often poorly covered by the local reporters who often report on the meetings I presume, based on information provided by city staff.

This would appear to be another example of the arrogance and contempt for the public once again being demonstrated by this city council with the support of city staff. Again, it also would appear that the defenders of democracy are sound asleep.

Meaningful Public Input Discouraged

Under the current rules if you are one of the few citizens who feel it is your civic duty to participate in the process and not leave the burden of running the city to overworked councilors and sometimes less than perfect staff you have very little time to prepare and participate.

You can only be allowed a delegation to council based on an agenda you will see by close of business on Thursday for the following Monday council meeting. Considering that many of these agendas are hundreds of pages long, you have to be really dedicated to give up your entire weekend to actually try and digest what is being decided.

Considering this is the same time constraints placed on council might explain why there is so little meaningful discussion amongst councilors at regular council meetings.


Nanaimo Gas Prices Jump 10 cents/litre

What with falling oil prices, and a market monopoly, 
what else could we do?


Things On The Net That Make Ya' Smile

Taking Austerity A Bit Too Far???


Nanaimo Wins Crime Stoppers Provincial Awards

Image of Cst O'Brien and CrimeStoppers Logo - Nanaimo wins 4 Provincial Crime Stoppers Awards

The Nanaimo and Ladysmith Crime Stoppers program was recently recognized with four Provincial awards for their efforts in supporting Crime Stoppers. The awards are as follows:

  • 2011 Print award- The Nanaimo Bulletin for Crimes of the Week
  • 2011 Radio award- Island Radio (The Wolf and the Wave) for Unsolved Crimes and public service announcements
  • 2011 Televison award- Shaw TV for 'Crime Stoppers Re-enactments'
  • 2011 Police Co-ordinator of the Year- Constable Gary O’Brien
We are extremely pleased to have our local program recognized and Cst. O’Brien’s hard work and efforts acknowledged. Crime Stoppers is one of the most proven and effective crime fighting tools we have. Without the support of our media partners, we would not have achieved this success, said Superintendent Norm McPhail, Officer in Charge of the Nanaimo RCMP.

Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization that receives no government funding and relies solely on donations and fund-raising initiatives to finance the individual programs throughout British Columbia. The Nanaimo and Ladysmith program receives over 300 tips each year. Since their inception in 1990, they have taken almost $9 million dollars of illegal drugs off local streets and recovered over $1 million dollars of stolen goods.

To learn more about Crime Stoppers, go to External 


Nanaimo Harbour $9 Million Makeover

Note: Email Subscribers may have to visit Nanaimo Info Blog to view video.

Private Firm Signs 30 Year Management Agreement
Plans $9 Million Renovation To Inner Harbour


Family Day Adds Cost Pressure To Many Businesses

Family Day To Cost 
Average Small Business $1135.00

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) reminds the BC Government that it still has work to do to mitigate Family Day-related costs for independent business owners.

“Today’s announcement about which date Family Day will fall on gives small and medium-sized business owners in BC some certainty and allows them to plan ahead,” says Shachi Kurl, British Columbia Director of Provincial Affairs. “However, they are no further ahead in terms of the cost pressure they will face as a result of an added statutory holiday in this province.”

CFIB estimates Family Day will cost an average small business in BC paying an average wage to employees an extra $1135 for labour and other expenses.

This is in addition to an estimated $3,051 small business owners must pay to transition to PST next year, as well as three minimum wage increases in the last 18 months, and the extra $1,250 all business owners are paying in corporate taxes as a result of government’s failure to eliminate the Small Business Corporate Tax Rate on April 1, 2012, as promised.

“Independent businesses acknowledge that Family Day has the potential to increase employee morale, and that for some limited sectors, such as hospitality and tourism, there are opportunities for growth,” says Kurl. “However, the majority of our members are telling us they need mitigation to help them with the financial burden this holiday places squarely on their shoulders.”

In response, CFIB has approached the provincial government with a number of creative, cost-effective measures to do this, including a proposed BC Training Bonus program aimed at enhancing skills training and employee retention during times of labour shortages. The bonus would be paid directly to employees, not employers.

“As Family Day legislation is debated and enacted, CFIB is calling on all legislators to recognize these issues and take action.”

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is a non-profit, non-partisan business association that seeks to give independent business a greater voice in determining the laws that govern business and the country.  With 109,000 members across Canada, including 10,000 in British Columbia, it is the largest organization exclusively representing the interests of small and medium-sized independent businesses to all levels of government.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Strategic Planning Community Forum June 6


How Well Is VIHA Dealing With Dementia?

"Nanaimo in line for more dementia beds"

That is the headline in a local Daily story regards VIHA's request for proposals Monday to find operators to create between 40 and 100 beds.

The article goes on to say how dementia patients are currently being placed in facilities not suitable for them meaning they don't get the care they need. There was an example of this last October when seniors were being housed in an NRGH ward meant only for children.

According to the article there are currently 54 patients who need spaces this week including 16 at NRGH. The request for proposals closes June 5 with the beds expected to  come online in 2015.

Doing the Math

Currently this week there are 54 patients who need dementia care in the system who do not have appropriate care available, VIHA intends to create between 40 and 100 new beds by 2015. Presuming this is expected to be a growing burden on the system as the population continues to age it is questionable if the problem will be solved at this rate. It would appear that if they only bring another 40 beds online, they will be falling 14 short of the need that exists this week.


Bowen Road Farmers/ Market May 30

Bowen Road Farmers' Market Open Wednesday (May 16 - Oct. 2012)

The Bowen Road Farmers’ Market is brand new! It was started by a group of people concerned about our ever quickly changing world, the loss of rural areas, food production, food sustainability and the connection to the earth. Our market is fun and vibrant market. Weekly we feature musicians and of course a wide variety of friendly vendors and excellent products produced by organic growers who transport their food within a 50 mile radius. Come to the Bowen Road Farmers’ Market and meet the person who grows and produces the food you eat. See you soon!

Open from May 16 to October 31, 2012, Wed 4:00pm to 6:30pm. Located at 2300 Bowen Road Behind Beban Park,in the VIEX fairground. For more information call 250-390-5199 or visit their website HERE.


Nanaimo Boat & Marine Show 2012


Monday, May 28, 2012

Assualt In Maffeo Sutton Park May 21

Three Suspects Arrested In Assault and Robbery

The local Daily is reporting three suspects aged 12, 16 and 18 were arrested following an assault and robbery last May 21 at 12:30am in Maffeo Sutton Park.

An ordained minister (wore nothing identifying he was clergy) was set upon by three youths who punched him in the face and kicked him when he was on the ground. He made his way to the basketball courts where some teens were having a late night game. Their intervention ended the assault.

Police were on the scene after being called and made the arrests within 30 minutes based on help they got from witnesses.

There is no explanation why the incident was not released to the public sooner.


BC Family Day Holiday - 2nd Monday in February

 Premier Announces Date for Family Day

VANCOUVER – Premier Christy Clark, along with Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government were joined by local families at the Vancouver Aquarium today to announce that B.C.’s Family Day will take place on the second Monday in February each year, beginning in 2013.

“Creating a Family Day in B.C. was an important priority for me. Today, my government is following through on that commitment and I am proud and delighted to let families across B.C. know that our very first Family Day will be on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013,” said Premier Christy Clark. “Having our own unique day in B.C. creates distinctive opportunities for families and local businesses. British Columbians will be able to enjoy all kinds of local attractions with fewer lineups and less out-of-town traffic.”

The decision to select the second Monday in February comes after government followed through on a commitment to consult with the public and private sectors, as well as hear from citizens directly.

“We heard a lot of thoughtful points of view from British Columbians about which day they’d prefer. The response we had from the public was outstanding – it’s great to see people know we want to hear from them, and that we’re listening,” said MacDiarmid.

Record numbers of British Columbians participated in online discussions by sharing their thoughts and registering their preference. The web poll component of the Family Day website gathered a total of 31,146 selections, along with 3,069 comments, with the choice of the second Monday registering a total of 18,202 selections, 9,436 selections for the third Monday, and 3,508 selections of no preference.

“The B.C. ski industry would like to thank the provincial government for how it has managed the Family Day consultation. We are very pleased with the outcome and we are confident that this decision will drive significant benefits for the tourism industry, the provincial economy and the people of British Columbia,” said David Lynn, president and CEO, Canada’s West Ski Areas Association.


$5 Million Scholarships To Assist International Education

International Education Strategy 
a roadmap for B.C.’s future

NANAIMO – B.C. has a new International Education Strategy that supports the two-way flow of students, giving local students new opportunities to study abroad, and welcoming those arriving from overseas.

As part of the strategy, Advanced Education Minister Naomi Yamamoto announced $5 million for scholarships and research internships to assist students embarking on an international education experience.

International education is one of the key sectors in ‘Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan’. The Jobs Plan recognizes the significant social, cultural and economic benefits that flow to the province from the global exchange of students, educators and ideas.

The International Education Strategy lays out steps to meet B.C.’s goal of increasing international education in B.C. and, in doing so, celebrates the experiences of international and local students.


Festival Of Performing Arts

Performing Arts BC, is a not-for-profit charity which acts as the umbrella organization for 34 regional performing arts festivals throughout the province. Over 32,000 young musicians, dancers and dramatic artists, ranging in age from 5 to 28, participate each year in one of these regional festivals. The festival setting gives them an opportunity to gain invaluable educational and performing experience. The Provincial Festival is the eagerly anticipated pinnacle of BC's festival circuit. 

Hosted by a different regional festival each year, only the most promising young performers from each regional festival are recommended to the Provincial Festival where they compete and participate in adjudicated sessions, master classes, coaching, workshops and technique classes with some of North America's finest adjudicators.

Tuesday, May 29th, 7:30 PM, Performing Arts BC (PABC) Highlights Concert at the Evangelistic Tabernacle Family Church, 1300 Princess Royal Ave, This Concert highlights those students who have won their disciplines as of Tuesday evening. Festival seating

Wednesday, May 30th,7:30 PM, Performing Arts BC National Finals Concert at Brechin United Church, 1998 Estevan Rd. This concert is a competition of the winners of the National Classes in Brass/Woodwinds, Chambre Music, Piano, Strings and Voice. Festival seating

Wednesday May 30th, 7:30 PM Performing Arts BC Dance Semi Finals Concert at The Port Theatre
These are the Semi finalists  selected Wednesday afternoon. (from competitions at Beban)
Reserved seating

Thursday Night May 31st, 7:30 PM, Performing Arts BC Music and Dance Winners Performance at the Port Theatre
These performers are the Provincial Winners in Brass/Woodwinds,Chambre Music, Classical Voice, Dance, Guitar, Musical Theatre, Piano, Speech Arts, Strings, and Vocal Variety.
Reserved seating

Tickets: $15.00 for each event/
$40.50 for Festival package: includes 1 ticket to May 29 & 31 plus your choice of show on 


Nanaimo Bike To Work Week

Click Image To Register


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Claim Home Owner Grant Online In Nanaimo

Be Sure To Claim Your Home Owner Grant

Even if you are not paying your taxes at this time, be very sure to collect your home owner grant which reduces your municipal taxes provided you qualify for the grant. To see the Home Owner Grant Qualifications click HERE.

To claim your home owner grant online, make sure you have your tax notice form and click the following image to go directly to the City of Nanaimo website to claim your grant.


Take A Couple of Minutes

In The Time It Takes To Drink Your Coffee
You Can Keep Current on Local News and Events

If you want to know what is going on in your community, but don't have time to wade through pages and pages and pages of stuff you don't need, but find you want more information than the 'ten-second talking heads' give you......then Nanaimo Info Blog is right for you!

You can enjoy your Saturday morning relaxing coffee and catch up on most of the weeks events that really matter. You will also find some light hearted 'fluff' just to make you smile.

You will also find no other media in Nanaimo covers the events at city hall quite like Nanaimo Info Blog. If you would like to see more transparency and accountability at city hall, do your part by staying informed and making the elected and non-elected rascals accountable for how they keep spending YOUR tax dollars.

There is little doubt that unless YOU tell councilors and city staff you have no more for them to spend, they will just keep on spending and spending and spending until YOUR purse is empty!


Canary In The Coal Mine?

"Local residents are hotly debating a variety of issues, including spiraling town spending, a proposed $10 million water system and town governance."

The above statement comes from an article published by Integrity BC reporting on the situation in Lillooet where 336 residents requested that the provincial government conduct an inquiry into town affairs. One of the controversial issues is the decision by the city to proceed with a $10 million water system capable of serving 30,000 people in this community of 2300 while residents remain in the dark about its sustainability and long-term operating costs.

While the population has declined by 16% between 2000 - 2009 the per capita spending jumped by 83% during the same period. It is said town residents are hotly debating a variety of issues, including spiraling town spending, a proposed $10 million water system and town governance.

In a shocking move in January of this year town Mayor and one councillor resigned from office after only one month. At best the relationship between citizens and officials could be called dysfunctional.

The author observes that with more and more small BC communities facing uncertainty over their future, Lillooet could very well be the proverbial canary in the coal mine. 

Comment: It seems that Nanaimo is not the only place where officials are determined to keep on spending regardless if it can be afforded or is the best possible option. For example Nanaimo is being forced to spend $72 million to filter water which we also claim is as safe as filtered bottled water. A decision foisted on the Nanaimo taxpayer by a couple of high level bureaucrats at VIHA and city hall and accepted by a wishy-washy group of councillors. The difference between Lillooet and Nanaimo? In Lillooet it seems the citizens actually get involved with what their municipal government is doing.


BC Economic Snapshot May 26, 2012

VANCOUVER, BC, May 26, 2012/ Troy Media/ – Following two months of gains, retail sales activity in B.C. eased in March, dipping 0.2 per cent from February to a seasonally-adjusted $5.14 billion.

In contrast to the previous month, when B.C. gains outpaced a national decline in sales, the opposite was true in March, as Canadian retail activity rose 0.4 per cent.

Despite the monthly decline, the trend remained modestly positive and retail sales in the first quarter were still up 6.7 per cent from the same period in 2011. Year-to-date sales gains were led by a 7.5 per cent increase in Metro Vancouver, which outpaced a 6 per cent rise in the rest of the province.

At the sector level, the most substantial year-to-date gains were recorded by clothing retailers (22 per cent) and motor vehicle and parts dealers (15 per cent), while growth in housing-related retail activity was more tempered with electronic and appliance sales down 0.5 per cent and home furnishings up a modest 3 per cent – a reflection of weak housing market conditions. Gasoline sales were also up only modestly from the first quarter of 2011.

Year-over-year growth in retail sales is expected to decline over the course of 2012, but remain moderate at 3.4 per cent, compared to 3 per cent in 2011. We expect retail sales growth through 2013 to be modest relative to the past decade, as factors that generally drive consumer spending such as employment, income and population growth will remain tempered.


Nanaimo Watering Restrictions Start June 1, 2012

Water Restrictions In Effect
June 1 - September 30, 2012

As summer approaches we are reminded that watering regulations take effect in Nanaimo June 1, 2012.. These restrictions are intended to ensure that all residents receive an adequate supply of water throughout the summer months and that sufficient reserves are available should they be required for emergency fire fighting purposes.

PLEASE NOTE: Parking lot or driveway washing is not permitted and washing of automobiles will only be permitted on regular watering days within the allowable hours.


Even numbered homes, apartments, strata units, mobile homes etc. can water on even numbered days of the month ( June 2, 4, 6 etc.)

Odd numbered homes, apartments, strata units, mobile homes etc. can water on odd numbered days of the month ( June 1, 3, 5 etc.).

No Watering Between 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Effective June 1 - September 30, 2012


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sunday Farmers' Markets Cedar & Lantzville

 Lantzville Farmers' Market
Open Sunday (May 27 - Oct. 2012)
Located in the parking lot of St. Philips Church, 7113 Lantzville Road this new market will be open from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm on Sundays from May 27th through to October.
The new market promises to be a meeting place for friends and neighbours giving access to healthy, local food.
For information contact

Cedar Farmers' Market
Open Sunday (May 13 - Oct. 28, 2012)

Take a Sunday drive out into the country, park in the fields of the Crow and Gate Neighbourhood Pub, feel grassy field below your feet and talk with the farmer that grows your food.

Open from May 13 to October 28, 2012 Sun 10:00am to 2:00pm.  Field of the Crow and Gate Pub, 2313 Yellowpoint Road, Nanaimo, B.C.

For more information visit their website at or call 250-668-5783


Friday, May 25, 2012

Nanaimo City Council Meeting May 28, 2012

Nanaimo City Council Meeting
Monday, May 28, 2012
7:00 PM Shaw Auditorium
Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Democracy Is Too Important To Leave To The Politicians
Do Your Civic Duty By Getting Informed and Getting Involved

If you say: " I'm too busy just trying to keep it together to get involved, consider that perhaps, if you were more involved you might not be having so much trouble keeping it together "!

You can view this week's Council Meeting Agenda here - - -  Agenda .

Council decided to add another $700,000 to the $844,000,000 financial plan to pay for a communications person (spin doctor), do you think that is a good use of YOUR tax dollar??

Last Year They Decided to Spend $16,000,000.00 On A New Staff Office. An Amount Equal To YOUR Tax Increase for 5 Years!

At the same time they are building new offices for staff, they are ignoring a $12,000,000 a year funding shortfal for water, sewer and roads, which was identified in a staff report in Nov. 2010!

Attending in person 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.


Volunteers Needed For Nanaimo Toy Run

Nanaimo Toy Run Volunteers Needed
For Fun Annual Event

The 2012 Nanaimo Toy Run is on June 30, 2012, and is an event for the whole family as well as the riders. This years event promises to be even better than the First Annual Nanaimo Toy Run last year. 

They have quite a few more local bands scheduled to play at the event, there will be a beer garden, and there will be a “Show N Shine” at this years event as well. For 2012, the society is expecting more than double the number of riders taking part in the event compared to last year. 

The Nanaimo Toy Run Society members have told us that they are in need of volunteers for all positions and jobs at this years event. Anyone interested in volunteering for the event are asked to submit their information in the Volunteer Application Form at the Nanaimo Toy Run website.


ICBC's Cyclist & Drivers Safety Tips

Bike To Work Week
May 28 - June 3

As the warmer weather approaches, it traditionally signals the start of cycling season around the province. May 28 to June 3 also marks the annual Bike to Work Week in British Columbia. This means there will be even more cyclists on our roads and everyone needs to use extra caution to safely get to where they’re going.

On average, 1,400 cyclists are injured and nine cyclists are killed in crashes on B.C. roads every year. Many of these tragedies are preventable – we can all do our part to help make our roads safer.

To view ICBC's top safety tips for Vancouver Island cyclists and drivers click HERE.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Roger McKinnon Thanks Supporters


Who Needs A Spin Doctor?

'Nuff Said.....


More Spin Doctor Controversy

Note: Email Subscribers might have to visit Nanaimo Info Blog to view this video.

Is Position Really Necessary?

Why in the world are highly paid city staff and duly elected councilors not able to simply, clearly and truthfully say why and what they are doing with tax dollars? It shouldn't be that complicated.

Considering that most contentious decisions which deserve public scrutiny are always done in secret behind closed doors using the much used 'in-camera' process, you have to wonder just what a spin doctor needs to spin?

Council has the option many times of conducting business in public rather than in secret, if they simply choose to do so. They also have the option of discussing matters in-camera and then once coming to a decision 'rise and reporting' their meeting. When was the last time they did that?

There was much ado about transparency when this bunch was wanting your vote last November, but the number of in secret decisions has certainly not gone down since getting elected.


Bike Racks Installed Downtown

 Bike Parking Downtown Nanaimo

Recently, the Planning Design and Development Committee of the DNBIA completed a project whereby twenty new bike racks were installed in various locations in the downtown core. The inverted U design of these bike racks are space efficient; allow for secure parking of two bikes at a time and help prevent damage to private property which is sometimes used as impromptu lock ups. While there are a few bike racks still to be installed the new racks can be found at the following locations:
Bike Rack Locations
35 Front Street 94 Front Street
4 Church Street 17 Church Street
99 Chapel Street 115 Chapel Street
2 Commercial Street 51Commercial Street
60 Commercial Street (x2) 70 Commercial Street
256 Wallace Street 291 Wallace Street
499 Wallace Street 426 Fitzwilliam Street
427 Fitzwilliam Street 432 Fitzwilliam Street
321 Wesley Street 360 Wesley Street

Bike Rack Map 1 Click Here
Bike Rack Map 2 Click Here


City of Nanaimo Hosts Open House

Harewood Neighbourhood Plan Open House

On Saturday, 2012-MAY-26, the City of Nanaimo will be hosting a Harewood Neighbourhood Plan Open House at the University Village Shopping Centre – 540 Fifth Street, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. The purpose of the Open House is to increase awareness of the neighbourhood plan process in the community, provide opportunities for greater communication and notifications through the process, and to provide information for those who may be interested in participating on the Neighbourhood Plan Committee.

The Neighbourhood Plan is intended to focus on the specific needs and desires of the neighbourhood while maintaining the objectives and policies of the City’s Official Community Plan (planNanaimo).

Residents, property owners, and business owners of the Harewood area are invited to drop by the Open House to meet the planning staff, and learn more about the plan process and objectives and how to become involved.

For more information on the Open House, contact either Chris Sholberg or Deborah Jensen, Community Planners, at 250-755-4483, or by email to or

Check out the Neighbourhood Plan process on the Harewood Neighbourhood Plan webpage at


Farmers' Market Downtown Nanaimo May 25, 2012

 Nanaimo & Area Farmers' Markets

Nanaimo Downtown Farmers' Market
Open Friday ( May 11 - Oct. 5, 2012)

We are proud to say that we believe our market is one of the prettiest on the island. We have a large base of drop in vendors which keep our market ever changing. We enjoy watching the eagles fly overhead, the boats coming and going and the planes taking off every Friday. Our vendors always have a smile for our visitors. Open from First Friday in May to Friday before Thanksgiving.

Also open for all cruise ship dates Fri 10:00am to 2:00pm.

90 Front Street, Nanaimo. On Pioneer Waterfront Plaza  For more information visit their website at or call 250-754-1998.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

First Annual Connect VI Conference

YPN Hosts Connect VI

Headline Sessions
Trevor Linden
 Sean Aiken 
Lorna Johnston

Connect VI will bring together the best and brightest Young Professionals from across Vancouver Island to connect, engage and unite. If you are a community, political or business leader under 40, this Conference is for you.

The first annual Connect VI Conference is proudly presented by the Young Professionals of Nanaimo (YPN). Designed for young business leaders wanting to explore the challenges and opportunities our generation will experience. Connect VI will provide delegates with an insightful line up of guest speakers to educate and expand the skills of our under 40s. Our generation’s time to lead is approaching. This two-day Conference is designed for future business or community leaders and entrepreneurs who want to advance their career or grow their business by proactively pursuing their own professional and personal development.
Join the next generation of business, community, and political leaders at Connect VI.

June 8 & 9, 2012
Vancouver Island Conference Centre, Nanaimo
Cost: $179
More Information:
Follow Us on Twitter: #ConnectVI
Like Us on Facebook:

The Hot Seat with Trevor Linden!
Shake hands with Canadian Hockey Legend Trevor Linden. 3 lucky attendees will have the opportunity of a lifetime; the chance to be in a "Hot Seat" on stage with Trevor Linden!
Sean Aiken, The One Week Job Project

Sean Aiken is the creator of The One Week Job Project – an inspiring journey across North America in which he worked 52 jobs in 52 weeks to find his passion. He’s been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME, Globe & Mail, on CNN, 20/20, The Rachael Ray Show, Good Morning America, MTV, CBC, CTV, and countless other media outlets around the world.

Lorna Johnston

Lorna owns The Change Institute, based in Calgary, AB. Working as an international Consultant, Transactional Analysis (TA) Trainer, Supervisor, Leadership Coach and Individual/Family therapist; Lorna currently has a consulting, coaching, training and supervision practice in both Europe and Canada. Her work is underpinned by the internationally acclaimed model of Transactional Analysis (TA) and she is among a handful in the world, examined and certified in both psychotherapeutic and organizational applications of TA.

The Young Professionals of Nanaimo is a not-for-profit organization working toward creating a vibrant and connected network of Nanaimo’s top Young Professionals, entrepreneurs and employees.


Nanaimo Tax Notices In The Mail

Property Tax Notices Are in the Mail

Property Taxes for residential property owners in Nanaimo will increase on average by 2.7%. For the average homeowner this represents an $81.00 increase from last year. Property taxes are collected by the City on behalf of six groups in addition to the city body including: School District 68, Vancouver Island Regional Library, Regional District of Nanaimo, Nanaimo Regional Hospital, BC Assessment, Municipal Finance Authority. Sixty (60%) of the total tax revenue collected is retained by City.

Property taxes will represent $86.24 million of the City’s 2012 annual budget. Property taxes are used to fund a range of services provided by the City. These services such as; police and fire services, roads, storm drains, rinks, pools, cemeteries and a long list of others cost the average Nanaimo home owner approximately $5/day.

Homeowners may be interested to find out how much their taxes may be for 2012 with the property tax estimator available online at Tax notices will be mailed to homeowners in late May; the deadline for payment is Tuesday, July 3. Homeowners are reminded to complete homeowner grant applications regardless of their ability to pay taxes. There are a number of resources at to help people through the process of applying for homeowner grants and making payments including a monthly instalment option through the MyCity application. For more information please call 250 755 4415 or visit City Hall.


Tourism Nanaimo Has New Team Member

Kara Walsh Joins Tourism Nanaimo Team!

Kara Walsh has joined the Tourism Nanaimo team as Visitor Centre Co-ordinator, effective May 22, 2012. In this role Ms. Walsh will lead the Visitor Centre Teams currently operating out of the Port of Nanaimo Centre and the temporary kiosk located at 2450 Northfield Road.

Tourism Nanaimo under the NEDC umbrella, operates the Visitor Centre in partnership with Tourism British Columbia.

“Kara brings with her a wealth of tourism knowledge and expertise which will benefit the entire community,” says AJ Hustins NEDC Board Chair. “We are excited to have her join our team.”

Ms. Walsh studied Tourism at Vancouver Island University and has spent the last four years working with Tourism Vancouver Island within the Trade & Media portfolio.

The Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation is charged with marketing Nanaimo as the place to visit, invest and do business.


Bowen Road Farmers' Market May 23

Bowen Road Farmers' Market Open Wednesday (May 16 - Oct. 2012)

The Bowen Road Farmers’ Market is brand new! It was started by a group of people concerned about our ever quickly changing world, the loss of rural areas, food production, food sustainability and the connection to the earth. Our market is fun and vibrant market. Weekly we feature musicians and of course a wide variety of friendly vendors and excellent products produced by organic growers who transport their food within a 50 mile radius. Come to the Bowen Road Farmers’ Market and meet the person who grows and produces the food you eat. See you soon!

Open from May 16 to October 31, 2012, Wed 4:00pm to 6:30pm. Located at 2300 Bowen Road Behind Beban Park,in the VIEX fairground. For more information call 250-390-5199 or visit their website HERE.


Mayor Thinks Answering Questions 'Ludicrous'

 Answering Questions 'Wastes Time' 
According to Mayor Ruttan

The local Daily reports Mayor Ruttan as saying if council and staff (I presume) didn't have to answer questions from the public they wouldn't need a communications manager at city hall.

"So much time is wasted answering questions, it's ludicrous," Ruttan said. "If we didn't get the phone calls from the public and media and self-interest groups, then we probably would not need this position."

This single quote supports my long held fear that the new 'communications manager' will become the official spokesman for city hall and we will never hear directly from council or the staff actually responsible making the decisions we are interested in.

Remember this council voted to spend another $700,000 over the next five years so council and staff would no longer have to tell you why they are doing what they are doing. There are communications directors and their are spin doctors, time will tell who staff and council are comfortable with.

From personal observation, few councilors are ever able to talk about contentious issues, as most issues are neatly hidden away behind the over-used veil of secrecy provided by the 'in-camera process'.

Logic Fails?

Mayor Ruttan seems of the opinion that one person is going to answer all those questions that are taking up so much time that council and staff are now having to deal with. How is that possible? 


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Multi-Cultural Festival Wants You

Be Part Of This Exciting Fun Day
In The Old City Quarter

The Multicultural Festival is coming to the Old City Quarter June 23, 2012 from 10:30 am - 3:30 pm featuring educational and interactive booths hosted by Nanaimo's Ethnic, Cultural and International Community.

An International Food Fair, children's play and activity centre, roving street performers and non-stop live stage music, dance and demonstrations will round out this event-packed day.

If you would like to be a part of this exciting street festival the organizers are looking for volunteers, multicultural exhibitors, ethnic entertainers and organizations that would like to do ethnic foods.

To Book an information or food booth, perform or become a vendor please contact Kim Smythe 250-740-0771 or via email to or


Things On The Net That Make Ya' Smile .... or Cringe

Why Would Anyone Think This Is A Good Idea??


The Nanaimo Lifestyle

A Nanaimo 'Lifestyle' Postcard

In what other city can you enjoy this kind of view while enjoying complete solitude right in the centre of the city?

I snapped this picture at noon on Saturday while downtown watching the May Queen firing of the cannon in Pioneer Plaza. This content couple had Pioneer Plaza all to themselves and were simply drinking in the natural beauty we so often take for granted. I felt it impolite to intrude by asking 'pesky' reporter-type questions, so their identity will remain a secret.

The Nanaimo 'Lifestyle'............Ya' Gotta Luv It!


HMCS Nanaimo Open House

HMCS Nanaimo Visitors Pier May 19th

The HMCS Nanaimo made her traditional visit to Nanaimo over the May long weekend and held an open house on Saturday afternoon.

The Nanaimo was accompanied by three other Orca class vessels which are used primarily as training tenders.


Local Government Awareness Week

UBCM President Heath Slee, Minister Ida Chong
May 20 - 26, 2012 Proclaimed 
Local Government Awareness Week

Local Government Awareness Week has been proclaimed for May 20-26, 2012, announced Minister of Community Sport and Cultural Development Ida Chong and Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) president Heath Slee. 

Local elected officials make key decisions on municipal councils and regional district boards. Local Government Awareness Week aims to generate awareness and further educate the public regarding the important roles and responsibilities of local governments throughout the province.  

The timing coincides with National Public Works Week. This year’s theme, “Creating a Lasting Impression” calls attention to the importance of public works in community life. The week is about acknowledging the efforts of the many people who provide and maintain civil infrastructure and services.  

“Our lives are directly impacted by the elected municipal, regional and school board representatives who make vital decisions for British Columbians. This week provides an opportunity for B.C. citizens to learn more about how local governance works, and how they can participate in creating sustainable, family-friendly communities.”  noted Minister Chong.
“Local governments build and sustain the systems that make our communities possible. They also deliver programs that enhance the quality of life for all and support those who are in need. This week acknowledges the efforts of local governments to build communities that British Columbians can take pride in.”  added UBCM president Slee.

Under the Community Charter – the most empowering local government statute in Canada – B.C. communities have broad corporate, service and regulatory powers, enabling them to address local issues with a high degree of autonomy.