Thursday, February 28, 2013

COW Meeting Monday March 4, 2013

  Committee of the Whole Meeting
Monday March 4, 2013
Shaw Auditorium, 4:30 PM
80 Commercial Street, Nanaimo

Upcoming Agenda Items of Note
PROPERTY TAX POLICY: Mr. Brian Clemens, Director of Finance will provide a presentation  regards Property Tax Policy in the city.
Draft Communication Plan: Mr. Philip Cooper, Communications Manager will introduce the draft corporate communication plan outlining goals, objectives etc.

2013 Temporary Outdoor Public Art Selections: council will be asked to approve the 2013 public art selections.

To download a copy of the agenda for the next COW meeting click HERE.


Western Snowdrops vs Eastern Snow Drops

Southern Ontario Idea of Snow Drops

My sister who foolishly still lives in southern Ontario sent me this picture she took the other day of the snow drops in her front yard.

I sent her the following picture of the Snowdrops in our front yard. Yes, this is February, and yes it is still winter. However, our idea of winter is having to endure those days when the mercury dips below 10 degrees celsius in the daytime.


Nanaimo Loses Musical Ride?

Can't Seat 1,000 People?

It is almost too ironic for words, that the day after the hardworking folk at Nanaimo Tourism unveil our new Tourism Strategy plan, we hear we lost an opportunity to host the famed RCMP Musical Ride.

In a letter to the local daily, Nanaimo Equestrian President Lesley Coultish reveals that due to the inability to provide seating for 1,000 to the event in August the event had to be cancelled.

The city was able to provide seating for 600, but the VIEX was apparently unwilling or unable to provide the other 400 seats.

Only in Nanaimo you say??


Nanaimo Seaplane Dock State Of The Art

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

Dual Aircraft Lift Unique To Nanaimo
New Dock Fuels Four Planes At Once


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tourism Nanaimo Rolls Out Strategic Plan

The Tourism Leadership Committee of Tourism Nanaimo introduced their Strategic Plan today; the culmination of months of research and collaboration by industry stakeholders and the community. The Strategic Plan was facilitated by Chemistry Consulting.

The Strategic Plan’s purpose is to guide tourism development through a set of specific initiatives designed to enhance existing tourism businesses, foster coordination and engagement among stakeholders, and position the tourism sector for growth.

The Plan includes a vision, five main goals and an analysis of strengths and weaknesses. There is also acknowledgement of the need for alignment with other regional planning strategies such as Sport Tourism, BC Marine Highways, Successful Cities, the Regional Parks & Trails Plan and the recent City of Nanaimo Corporate Strategic Plan.

At the heart of the Plan are six Strategic Priorities & Actions including product development, industry partnerships, marketing & public relations and community pride.

“This plan is the next step in moving the tourism industry in our region forward,” says Dan Brady, Chair of the TLC. “We are ready to put this strategy into action.”

While key tasks and actions are outlined in the plan, details on implementation will be determined by the Tourism Leadership Committee over the next few weeks. A Marketing Plan to complement the Strategy is also currently in development.

Sasha Angus, CEO of NEDC, says, “We’re very proud of the work done by the Tourism Leadership Committee, to bring a strong and realistic plan forward to the community.”

Tourism Nanaimo is a division of the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation whose mission is to build a prosperous community through economic opportunity.


Quote Worth Repeating

The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later: in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting.

Charles Bukowski


Parkway Accident Results In Violation Tickets

Several violation tickets under the Motor Vehicle Act have been issued to the 24 year old driver who caused an accident on the Nanaimo Parkway Friday morning February 22nd that sent two drivers to hospital and closed the highway for several hours.

The 24 year Nanaimo man was driving a 2008 Ford Ranger, and was charged with Drive Without Due Care which carries a fine of $368 dollars. He also provided a sample of his breath at the scene and recorded .055mgs. As a result, the New Driver was issued with a 24 hour prohibition under the Motor Vehicle Act and charged with Driving contrary to the restrictions of his license. That carries a fine of $109 dollars.

The 66 year old male driver of the Chevrolet Silverado sustained only minor injuries and was released from hospital later that day. The 20 year old male driver of the Volkswagon Jetta received significant injuries and remains in hospital recovering from his injuries.


Nanaimo Boat Basin Controveries

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

Video Takes A Look At What Might Be Lost
 By Privatizing The Harbour


BC Startups Lack Resources To Grow

 VANCOUVER, B.C., Feb. 25, 2013/ Troy Media/ – The recent B.C. budget was more modest and realistic than any government budget I recall seeing, especially since it precedes an election. The good news is that the budget anticipates a modest surplus, thus contributing to the long term monetary health of the province. The not-so-good news is that it foresees a growth rate for this year in B.C. of only 1.6 per cent – below the 2012 rate and below the national rate.

Why should a province as rich and attractive as B.C. expect such lacklustre growth and, more important, is there anything we can do to improve this picture?

One reason is our heavy reliance on resources. Some people call this the Dutch disease. If so, we have a particularly bad case. Not only does B.C. feel every squiggle in lumber sales and copper prices. We also rely very heavily on only one customer, the United States, and are out there literally beating the drums to insure that we do not develop the infrastructure that would allow us to reach other markets and expand our customer base.

To read entire article click HERE


Turn Down Heat Success

926 people will have a warm sweater to wear thanks to the recent downtown Nanaimo 'Turn Down the Heat' event.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mark Carney Explains Canada's Finances

As we all know the Canadian economy has not been performing as well as had been anticipated by the tea leaf readers in the higher halls of finance had predicted. Simply put, while our economy is not in the tank it is not doing all we had hoped for.

In language only a central banker would consider clear, Mr. Carney explained our current situation thusly:

"In the very near term, more of the elements of the downside risk have materialized than the upside risks, we've dampened our forecast of exports because we're seeing a competitiveness challenge - a productivity issue. Even with that, the export performance has been lower on average than we have expected."

Well I'm glad Mr. Carney cleared that up. He never did say if anything substantial has happened in the world of high finance since the big boys in the big banks proved they could in fact hold the entire world to ransom, and there is nothing even governments can do about it.


Things On The Net That Make Ya' Smile

Let's See That Design Again!


Nanaimo Harbour Meeting Mar.4, 2013

Save Nanaimo Harbour
Town Hall Meeting

Monday, March 4 - 7:00 pm
Nanaimo Conference Centre
Mt. Benson Ballroom, Salon C

Come out and hear the latest on the fight to save Nanaimo's inner harbour and keep it as a working harbour with all it's flavour and character.

Do you want our current harbour with all it's charm and appeal, or a parking lot for a sea of sterile white fiberglass toys?


Colliery Dam - Provincial Government Funding?

During the last public meeting held at John Barsby School Doug Routley MLA said his government would  assist with funding for the Colliery Park dams, since it was a demand by the provincial government that has made the upgrade necessary.

Ron Cantelon, the MLA said in the press that the provincial government does assist with such projects but in this case the city of Nanaimo had not applied for any assistance.

Providing this is not just a case of electioneering on both MLA's part, it would appear the Nanaimo taxpayer may not be on the hook for the entire amount.


Nanaimo Electronic Town Hall Meeting

Council Will Take Your Questions March 25, 2013

Although the exact format and details are still in the developing stages, the date for the first electronic town hall with Nanaimo City Council is planned for March 25, 2013.

This will give the Nanaimo electorate the chance to ask questions and tell Nanaimo City Council what you think of the current city budget and the proposed tax increases for the next five years.

This meeting is a regular City Council meeting and while the council will be dealing with a regular agenda, they will be making about one hour available to answer questions from the public.

There are several ways you may participate in the inaugural electronic town hall meeting:
  • In person by attending at Shaw Auditorium in the conference centre
  • Via Twitter or Facebook or email, live during the meeting
  • Via email in advance
  • Via telephone during the meeting
This type of meeting is almost a 'first anywhere' so being able to take guidance from another municipality was not an option, however, the most capable staff at city hall are more than up to the challenge and like in many areas, Nanaimo is once again on the cutting edge!

Note: Email Subscribers May Have To Visit Nanaimo Blog to View Video.

Sexually Explicit Material From School
Upsets Parents

The only question this story raises is why was it necessary for parents to know what kind of material an 'outside presenter' was making available in the school before school administrators. Don't school officials have to know what type of education and materials are being presented in the classrooms?

The 'cartoon porn' is hardly necessary to educate kids about sexually transmitted disease.


Western Edge Theatre Birthday Bash


Nanaimo’s Western Edge Theatre is a fresh-faced 10-year old, and the company plans to celebrate with a birthday party and fundraiser on March 7th.

Founded in 2003 by Frank Moher, an internationally-produced playwright and instructor in the Department of Creative Writing and Journalism at Vancouver Island University, Western Edge aimed to provide paid opportunities to Nanaimo-area theatre artists, and more opportunities for central Vancouver Island audiences to enjoy their work. Its first presentation, "Sharing Shakespeare," featuring Gabriola's Antony Holland, was staged in a studio at the Harbour Dance Centre. That was followed by the company’s first New Waves Festival of new plays, held at a local blues bar.

Since then Western Edge has presented over 35 productions, including numerous world, North American, and Canadian premieres, and employed over 175 Nanaimo-area artists and technicians. The company has emphasized contemporary plays that often push the envelope in terms of both content and style.

In January, Eliza Gardiner succeeded Moher as artistic producer, and immediately scored a hit with her sold-out production of Michel Tremblay’s “Hosanna” at Nanaimo Centre Stage. Like many 10-year olds, the company has a lot to celebrate.

Which it will do when it takes over the second floor of Fibber Magees Irish Restaurant and Pub, located in Nanaimo’s historic and beautifully restored E&N train station. The evening’s festivities will include Antony Holland and Antonio Gradanti, who starred in “Tuesdays with Morrie,” one of the company’s biggest hits, in a send-up of same written by Moher; Drew Staniland reviving a song from “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” which he headlined at Western Edge in 2009; a preview of the upcoming Western Edge production of “Savage in Limbo”; and new artistic producer Gardiner rocking out on guitar.

And oh yes: cake.

The March 7th Birthday Celebration gets underway at 7 pm at Fibber Magees (321 Selby St.). Tickets cost $20.00, of which a portion is tax-deductible. Free appies will also be served, and dinner and beverages are purchasable from Fibber Magees. Ages 19+ only. Tickets are available online at, by phone at 250-668-0991 or 1-888-320-3343, and at the door as available.

Proceeds go towards the company's second decade, including its production of "Savage in Limbo," opening March 22nd at Nanaimo Centre Stage.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Korpan v Parkin Lawsuit Settled

Public statement regarding lawsuit settlement Korpan v Parkin

Tony Parkin has now fully retracted and apologized for his defamatory actions thereby concluding my lawsuit against him. (Attached is his letter of apology.) 

Now that the third of three of the core group behind the spreading of the slanderous, malicious lies against me, my family, the Office of Mayor, and the administration of the City of Nanaimo has, at long last, retracted the lies and apologized, this matter is ended. 

The harm caused by such malicious lies has had ramifications far wider and consequential than anyone can imagine, especially sadly for innocent bystanders. 

I wish to emphasize my gratitude to my mother, my family, friends, and colleagues who stood by me, I am eternally appreciative of your kindnesses and loyalty. 

Finally, contrary to the rumours, all costs involved in executing the civil lawsuits against the defamations were paid by me personally. No tax payer money has been used.

Gary Korpan

Follows is a copy of the letter from Mr. Parkin. Click Image To Enlarge


Things On The Net That Make Ya' Smile

A 2-Stove Trunk .... Not Something You See Everyday!


BC Election Voters List

Click Image For More Information


Mayor John Ruttan Doesn't Like Questions?

 Mayor Ruttan Thinks 'City Watchers' Ask
'Horrendous Number of Questions'

An article in the Daily News dated Feb. 19, 2013 quotes Mayor Ruttan as saying:
" I don't know that the public really understands how much money we are already spending on these city watchers with their horrendous number of questions".

The quote was in response to the news a new ratepayers association was being formed in Nanaimo to keep an eye on city hall.

Less Secrecy Would Mean Fewer Questions

Given Mayor Ruttan's councils reputation for conducting more and more city business in secrecy, the Mayor seems to miss the part he is playing in the need to ask more and more questions. The lack of willingness to release in-camera minutes after the need for secrecy has passed leads to a horrendous number of questions being raised, simply by the apparent desire to hide from public scrutiny.

Abusing the in-camera process and having a reluctance to release information after the need for secrecy has passed does absolutely nothing to engender trust in this city council or city hall management.

Colliery Dam Most Recent Example 

The meeting which arguably never should have been in-camera that resulted in the decision to remove the Colliery Park Dams is a most current example of this in-camera secrecy resulting in a deep suspicion of how this council conducts city business, and what kind of information staff supplied which led to this decision.

Two 'horrendous' questions that have never been answered was where did the cost of $30 million come from to replace the dams? Where did the 40% chance of failure in 50 years come from?

Mayor Ruttan and Mr. Kenning may find the horrendous number of questions inconvenient, but if they were not so eager to avoid public scrutiny the questions would not be necessary.


Mt Washington Snow Report

Wind Blown Fresh Powder

Monday Feb 25, 2013 at 05:46 AM

Snow Information
Overnight: 24 cm
Snowbase 403 cm
24 Hrs: 24 cm
48 Hrs: 25 cm
Snow Conditions: Powder Alert - Wind Blown


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Canadian Crime Rates Falling Or Under Reported?

OTTAWA, ON, Feb. 24, 2013/ Troy Media/ – Canadians can be excused for being confused about the amount of crime in their society. Last year produced horrific scenes of people being murdered and their bodies dismembered, several executions in public places in Toronto, and the media reporting that shootings and stabbings in different cities are on the increase.

These headlines contradicted all of the articles that ‘crime is falling’ published after the release of Statistics Canada’s recent annual Juristat survey of crime. What is a person to think?

Some of the answers are to be found in the Macdonald-Laurier Institute’s just-released review of the Juristat reports. Many people think that measuring crime is a straightforward exercise, but it is not.

The first question is simply, How do you count crime? Besides its survey of police-reported crime, Statistics Canada also conducts a survey of whether Canadians were a victim of crime. These results for 2009 show a huge discrepancy with the amount of crime reported to police. In 2009, 7.4 million Canadians reported they were the victim of at least one of the eight specific crimes covered by the survey, compared with the police count of only two million total crimes.

This discrepancy mostly reflects that people say they report only 31 per cent of crimes to the police. The public is increasingly reluctant to report crime to the police, partly out of fear of retribution from criminals and partly out of frustration with falling rates of crime being solved by the police. For example, over the past four decades, the solve rate for murders has fallen from 95 per cent to 75 per cent, and is less than 50 per cent for gang-related killings. This growing reluctance to report crime to police leads to erroneous headlines that ‘crime is down’. The real headline should read “Canadians’ reporting of crime hits an all-time low”.

There are other basic questions about how to count crime. Is a crime spree one crime or several? Statistics Canada selects only the most severe crime, but police services across the country increasingly are adopting the ‘all violations’ method of counting. It is also important to note that Statistics Canada excludes the 113,100 drug crimes committed in 2011 from its overall crime count, which reduces the crime total appreciably.

There is also the question of whether to measure crime in absolute terms, or as a rate relative to the population. Crime rates could fall just because the population is growing faster than crime itself, which could still be rising in absolute terms. The latter is what the public experiences and perceives as the true volume of crime.

The next question is: What is the severity of crime? Statistics Canada has concocted a subjective Crime Severity Index that weights crime by the sentence handed down by the judge. The main problem with this measure is that more lenient sentences by judges could falsely lead to a drop in this measure of severity. This is not a hypothetical scenario: Parliament itself is increasingly legislating mandatory minimum sentences for some crimes. Additionally, if the sentence handed down is reduced by awarding credit for pre-trial custody, then the reported severity of the sentence may be reduced as well.

Finally, society must ask who commits the crime? It is well known in the justice system that a small number of repeat offenders commit much of the crime in this country, yet Statistics Canada fails to present statistics on this phenomenon. Collecting data on how many crimes were committed by persons with extensive criminal records or who were on bail or parole, or who were already subject to deportation for past crimes, would be a powerful accountability measurement for the justice system and could inform policy reforms to reduce crime.

Recent Juristat reports increasingly ignore the long-term trend in crime, and focus more on the change from the previous year. The long-term trends are discouraging and alarming. For example, the rate of violent crime in Canada has soared from 221 to 1,231 per 100,000 people over the past 40 years. It is this upward trend that is most relevant to Canadians, not whether crime is up or down a few percentage points from the previous year.

Understanding crime is itself a tool to enhance public safety. That is why Statistics Canada, in association with the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs and other interested bodies, should review and improve its collection and reporting of crime statistics.

Scott Newark is a former Crown prosecutor and executive officer of the Canadian Police Association. He is the author of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute’s recent study Police-reported Crime Statistics in Canada: Still More Questions than Answers.


A Memorable Quote

"The best arugment against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." 

Winston Churchill


Nanaimo Crimestoppers Needs Your Help

Crimestoppers will pay cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the following crimes.

Recent Unsolved Crimes Feb. 10 - 20

2013-3503 Sometime overnight on Sunday February 10th Pet Smart located at 6950 Island Highway was broken into. Thieves drilled through the front lock and from there an office was entered and an undisclosed amount of cash taken.

2013-3619 On Tuesday February 12th a trampoline located in the backyard of a home in the 1700 block of Latimer Rd was set on fire. The home owner chased managed to chase off 3-4 youth responsible for starting the fire. The only description obtained was that one of the four was a female who was tall and had blonde hair.

2013-3676 On Tuesday February 12th a break and enter was reported at Island Terminal located at 900 Phoenix Way in Cedar. Suspects cut their way through a chain link fence on the south side of the property then made off with tools, flashlights and welding wire. Staff reported quads have been seen in the area late at night and may be associated to this incident.

2013-3760 On Wednesday February 13th a teacher at Wellington high school reported the driver’s window to his convertible BMW had been smashed with an unknown object. The vehicle was parked in the rear lot of the school and the incident most likely occurred between 3 PM and 4:30 PM.

2013-3997 On Saturday February 16th a bicycle that was locked outside London Drugs at Port Place Mall was stolen. The bike is a black and blue “Rocky Mountain” racing bike with a racing seat.

2013-4073 On Sunday February 17th at approximately 12:50 PM a home owner at 478 Hewgate came face to face with a male attempting to take items from his shed. When confronted the thief dropped the tools and took off running towards Bruce Ave . The suspect is a white male , 5 ft10, dirty blonde hair and 20-25 years of age. He was wearing black jeans, brown sweater, blue jacket and gloves

2013-4084 Sometime between Friday February 15th and Sunday February 17th a 12 foot Lund aluminum boat with a 9.9 horse power Mercury outboard motor was stolen from moorage slip # 12 at 10 Wharf St. The boat was secured to the wharf by a heavy duty cable and the motor was bolted to the boat.

2013-4126 Sometime between Friday February 15th and Monday February 18th a 1996 Honda Z50 motor bike was stolen from the backyard of 843 Douglas Ave. A blue BMX bike was found in the yard after the motor bike was stolen.

2013-4232 On Tuesday February 19th the front door to apartments at 3193 Barons Rd were pried open allowing for access to the laundry room where two washing machines were then forced open.

2013-4290 On Tuesday February 19th between 6:25 and 9:20 PM a home in the 700 block of St George St was broken into. Taken was a silver Acer laptop and gray HP Pavilion laptop.


Nanaimo Taxpayers Need A Union!


SPCA Gets $14,000 Boost

Left to Right Ryan Saunders, Leon Davis and Ann Marie Ebdrup. 
Pooches are Kobe and Kitty (on floor) and Bijou with Ann Marie.
Steve Marshall Ford Donates $14,000 To Nanaimo SPCA

During the month of January Steve Marshal Ford Lincoln donated $250 from the sale of each vehicle to the Nanaimo SPCA to help the local cause. As a result they were able to present the local branch with a cheque for $14,000. Well done!

Pictured above are Ryan Saunders (Steve Marshall Ford Lincoln Sales Leader), Leon Davis (Manager BC SPCA Nanaimo Branch) and Ann Marie Ebdrup (Dealer Principal Steve Marshall Ford Lincoln).

The cute and cuddly canines in the picture include Kobe (Ryan's dog that the SPCA found after being hit by a car), Kitty (Leon's pitbull mix) and Bijou (Leoon's poodle).


Nanaimo's Latest Study Finally Arrives!

City Hall Finally Receives the Mother of All Studies!

What has long been suspected has finally happened at city hall, city staff with the approval of city council have received the study to explain and implement all other studies the Nanaimo taxpayer has funded this past decade.

Note: To be perfectly clear this is a bit of sarcasm/satire, the city is not really in receipt of the above study, although I suspect they would like to be.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Things On The Net That Make Ya' Smile

The street level mail box is for mail, the next one up is for bills and the top one for taxes. Gotta' get me one of those!


FREE Skate Sunday February 24,2013

Click Image To Enlarge


BC Economic Snapshot February 23, 2013

VANCOUVER, BC, Feb. 23, 2013/ Troy Media/ – Subdued economic conditions continued to generate low inflationary pressure in January. Consumer price levels in B.C. have drifted lower since April, contributing to 12-month growth in the consumer price index (CPI) of 0.3 per cent, down from 0.4 per cent in December.

Food inflation has eased, while lower year-over-year prices related to shelter and energy components of the CPI, particularly natural gas, have also contributed to exceptionally low headline inflation rates unseen since late 2009.

Average full-year inflation is forecast to reach 1.2 per cent this year, reflecting rising prices as the year progresses. While the switch back to the PST is expected to causing a one-time drop of about 0.3 per cent in the CPI, the tax impact will be offset by global-economy led gain in food and energy prices.

Retail sales volume in B.C. fell sharply in December in a sign that consumers were less than enthused to open their wallets this holiday season. Adjusted for normal seasonal factors, retail sales dipped 0.9 per cent from November to $5.07 billion. This was the sharpest monthly decline since June, but still compared favourably to the national performance which plunged 2.1 per cent over the same time frame.

December sales weakness was evident across most sectors, although retailers of general merchandise, recreational products, and electronics and appliance were particularly hard hit. Housing-related activity also pulled back sharply after a November bounce.

On the whole, consumers battened down the hatches through 2012 with a general easing of activity through the year. Annual retail sales growth fell to 2.2 per cent, down from 3.1 per cent in 2011 marking the weakest provincial gain since the 2009 contraction, and about half of the average annual gain of 4 per cent since 2000. This was led by weaker housing associated spending. Sales activity was higher in the Vancouver CMA, which recorded a 3.7 per cent gain reflecting a relatively stronger economy and population growth.

Once higher product prices are factored in, real retail sales growth grew by about 1.4 per cent. Population growth of about 1 per cent means individual households generally held a tight rein on spending as economic uncertainty and slow housing market weighed.

We forecast retail sales growth to perk up to 4.2 per cent this year. While employment and population growth will remain below average, growth in personal income and shift back to a PST should provide a modest boost to the retail economy.

B.C.’s tourism sector took a hit in December as international tourist entries to the province fell to a five-month low of 340,060 persons (seasonally adjusted), down 3 per cent from November, but still up 2.4 per cent from same-month 2011.

The monthly decline was led by a sharp drop in American tourists, which tumbled 6 per cent to 224,310 visitors which may have reflected some pull-back in light of political uncertainty. The U.S. decline was partly offset by a 2.9 per cent gain in overseas visits.

Despite December’s pull-back, the province still managed to eke out a small annual gain of just over 1 per cent in 2012. U.S. visits edged up 0.9 per cent, while overseas visits gained 1.9 per cent. Latter gains were dampened by fewer European visitors, which is not surprising given economic turmoil in that part of the world.

In contrast, the number of visitors from Asia rose 3 per cent on another surge in Chinese tourism (18 per cent) and a rebound in Japanese visits. Visits by Australian and New Zealand tourists increased by 6 per cent.

Nonetheless, with only 4.22 million overnight visitors from international markets, 2012 marked another challenging year for the provincial tourism sector. The annual tally was broadly in line with post-recession levels, but remained more than 10 per cent below the average observed from 2003 through 2007, largely due to fewer U.S tourists.

December’s weak performance and hand-off to 2013 suggests little in the way of momentum for B.C.’s tourism economy this year and the economy is generally unsupportive of a substantial rebound going forward.

While the re-emergence of Vancouver as a port of call for Disney cruises in 2013 and announcement of TED Talks for 2014 are positive, the U.S. labour market, high Canadian dollar, and global economic uncertainty will remain persistent headwinds. On the positive side, tourism, like other exports, is expected to pivot more towards Asian markets, particularly China, which should remain a source of robust demand.
| Central 1 Credit Union


Friday, February 22, 2013

Downtown Nanaimo's Secrets of Success

 Island Daily Deals

You feel the energy the moment you enter the office of Island Daily Deals located on the upper floor of 29 Commercial Street.

Maybe it’s the red walls, the hip décor or maybe it’s the enthusiastic greeting by owners’ Fraser Paterson and Nadine Shemilt. We sat down with them in early January to ask them about their Secrets of Success.

DNBIA: How long have you been in business?
FRASER & NADINE: Two years on January 24th.

DNBIA: How many employees do you have?
FRASER & NADINE: We currently have six full-time employees and we plan to expand to fifteen by year end.

DNBIA: What motivated you to start this business?
FRASER & NADINE: We’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and we knew that we really wanted to do something around the growth of social media. With business backgrounds, we felt that traditional print media was not as effective as it once was. We saw what was happening with Groupon in Vancouver and we immediately saw the potential. We felt we had to start the business! We made the decision, and launched a month later.

At the time, Nadine was a very successful Realtor and I was working as at a high tech firm in Vancouver. I had an educational background; I went to VIU where I studied business finance. We opened Island Daily Deals at the kitchen table in our home and within a year, Nadine left the real estate field to work together full-time.

DNBIA: Who were your first customers?
FRASER & NADINE: We launched on January 24, 2011 with two popular downtown businesses; the Modern Café and Maffeo Salon. Both businesses have worked with us since after seeing the power of our marketing. It has been an incredible learning curve as we created everything ourselves and right from the very beginning we never have had less than three deals per week on our site. We have since grown to record numbers with over 20,000 Facebook fans and more than 50,000 visitors in a month!


Things On The Net That Make Ya' Smile

Creative Use of Lego!


Nanaimo RD Building Permit Data

Click Image To Enlarge


Thursday, February 21, 2013

COW Meeting Mon. Feb. 25, 2013

  Committee of the Whole Meeting
Monday February 25, 2013
Shaw Auditorium, 4:30 PM
80 Commercial Street, Nanaimo

Upcoming Agenda Items of Note

DEBT POLICY: Mr. Brian Clemens, Director of Finance will provide a presentation regards the city's debt policy.

PAINTING CONTRACT RFP APPROVAL: Staff will be asking council to approve issuing an RFP for a painting contract expected to exceed $250,000.00.

IN-CAMERA: Council meeting will be closed to the public so council may proceed in-camera with certain agenda items.

To download a copy of the agenda for the next COW meeting click HERE.


Interactive 320 - gigapixel Picture Of London

Click Image To View
Incredible Interactive 320 - gigapixel Picture

Nanaimo has a good representation on Google Earth but this amazing interactive panoramic view of the city of London is spectacular! It is made up of 48,000 individual frames taken from the 29th floor of the BT Tower over a three day period in 2012.

If the image were printed as a photograph it would be almost as large as Buckingham Palace. The team who produced this image used four cameras and it took over three months to produce.

Now you can literally see all of London in a day. Amazing! You can do a full 360, zoom in and out and see a huge amount of detail.

Maybe someone in Nanaimo could do the same from the top of our highest landmark?


Nanaimo Bulletin Doesn't Understand Taxes Either!

 Little Wonder Bulletin Readers 
Don't Know What Is Going On In Nanaimo

Under the heading 'Council adopts 2013 - 2017 financial plan' a staff writer for the Nanaimo Bulletin makes the following comment:

"Council adopted the 2013-2017 financial plan Monday, which includes the city's $175-million 2013 budget.
Almost $90 million of that will come from Nanaimo property owners."

It is little wonder Nanaimo taxpayers have no idea what's going on with their taxes when this is the kind of 'reporting' the local shopper presents as fact.


The total financial plan for 2013 - 2017 is over $851,000,000.00 in total which is what council has adopted. The $175,000,000.00 is for the year 2013 only.

In addition to $90,000,000.00 coming from property taxes (as stated in the Bulletin) there is $35,000,000.00 coming from fees and charges (also paid by taxpayers, the water in your tap and garbage pick up are paid from fees, so is your sewer), there is another $20,000,000.00 which comes from borrowing, which of course has to be paid back.

Those three items total up to $145,000,000.00 all of which will come from Nanaimo property owners. In addition there is 'other income' which I presume does not come from the good tax-fairy living in the woods.


Nanaimo Shipyard Hopes To Avoid Bankruptcy

Note:Email subscribers may need to visit Nanaimo Info Blog to view video.

Federal Work Has Not Materialized Yet
Can Shipyard Restructure and Hang In?


Vancouver Island Employment Stats By Occupation

Click Image To Enlarge
Employment Statistics By Occupational Description

The above data was released by BC Stats and is sourced from Stats Canada showing the changing face of employment on Vancouver Island & Coast comparing 2008 with 2012.

Most occupations have seen a decline since 2008 with a few exceptions, Health occupations, Social Science Government & Religion, Art culture & Sport, Occupations unique to primary industry were the four categories to show gains.

The category to take the biggest single hit were the Trades which are still employing 12,700 fewer people in 2012 compared with 2008. It is reasonable to assume that many of these numbers have simply moved elsewhere to find employment as several other provinces still have a high demand for skilled trades people.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Nanaimo Asset Management Plan Funding

Asset Management Assessment Explained

The other night when city council adopted the $851,000,000.00 financial plan the question was raised as to how a 1% assessment for asset management which totals $871,594.00 in year one can multiply to the point it produces nearly $14,000,000.00 in the fifth year.

Some members of council questioned it, thinking that 5 X $871,594 does not equal $13,967,255. Finance Director Mr. Brian Clemens was good enough to explain it by providing the following table which shows the accumulated effect of the 1% assessment. 

He further explained "The current asset management plan does not require any tax increases after 2017, so thereafter we will collect $4,819,220  each year for asset management.  We will be regularly re-evaluating the asset management plan and the funding requirements on a regular basis, so I expect that there will be changes in the future."

1%  2013
1% 2014

1% 2015

1% 2016

1% 2017




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Port Theatre Sunday Feb. 24, 2013

Sunday, February 24 - 7:00 pm


Things On The Net That Make Ya' Smile

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?


Public Sector Wages A Major Issue

Click Image To View Full Article

 “Pick a joke about governments going bankrupt and California is the punch-line, but Ontario, on every measure we’ve looked at, is worse than California,”

 “The key is that this isn’t just an Ontario problem — it’s not even a Canada problem,”

77.3% Of Nanaimo Taxes Pay City Wages & Benefits

The cost of wages and benefits as a proportion of taxes in Nanaimo seems quite high when you consider that $77.30 out of every $100.00 collected in taxes pays for wages and benefits of people employed by the city. Police and fire services are included in that number and while both of these services are critical to a safe, orderly society it could be time to take a closer look at just how much these services are costing and if they are justifiable given the current economic climate which does seem to be showing some signs of unraveling.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Public Sector Workers Enjoy 14% Premium

BC Public Sector Workers Paid More
Than Private Sector
VANCOUVER, BC—Public-sector workers (federal, provincial, and local) in British Columbia earned wages 13.6 per cent higher, on average, than their private-sector counterparts in 2011, finds a new report from the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian think-tank.

“As the B.C. government struggles with deficits and finding ways to constrain spending, public-sector compensation is one area that should be closely scrutinized,” said Jason Clemens, Fraser Institute executive vice-president and co-author of Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation in British Columbia.

“The fact is government workers in B.C. enjoy a wage premium over their private-sector counterparts.”

Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation in British Columbia examines wage and non-wage benefits for government employees (federal, provincial, and local) and private-sector workers in B.C. It calculated the wage premium for public-sector workers using Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey from April 2011, after adjusting for personal characteristics such as gender, age, marital status, education, tenure, size of establishment, type of job, and industry. When unionization is included in the analysis, the public-sector “wage premium” (i.e., the degree to which public-sector wages exceed private-sector wages) declines to 11.2 per cent from 13.6 per cent.

Aside from higher wages, the study also found strong indications that public-sector workers enjoy more generous non-wage benefits than the private sector, including:
  • Pensions: 89.8 per cent of B.C.’s public-sector workers were covered by a registered pension plan in 2011 compared to 19.4 per cent of private-sector workers. Of those covered by a registered pension plan, 95.6 per cent in the public sector enjoyed defined-benefit pensions (i.e., guaranteeing a certain level of benefits in retirement) compared to 49.3 per cent of private-sector workers.
  • Early retirement: B.C. government employees retired 2.8 years earlier, on average, than private-sector workers between 2007 and 2011.
  • Job security: In 2011, 0.6 per cent of public-sector workers lost their jobs—less than one seventh the job-loss rate in the private sector (4.3 per cent).
“Public-sector wages and benefits are largely driven by political factors and the monopolistic nature of government, while in the private sector they are guided by market forces, competition, and profit constraints,” said Amela Karabegović, Fraser Institute senior economist and study co-author.

“Overall, the public-sector workers in British Columbia enjoy higher wages—and likely higher non-wage benefits—than comparable workers in the private sector.”


Nanaimo Theatre Group Presentation

The 39 Steps
Adapted by
Patrick Barlow
From the novel by
John Buchan

From the movie of Alfred Hitchcock Licensed by ITV Global Entertainment Ltd. Original concept by Simon Corbie & Nobby Dimon Produced by special arrangement, Samuel French Inc.

Evenings (Wednesday to Saturdays):
February 20th to March 9th ~ 8 pm

Matinees (Sunday):
February 24th & March 3rd ~ 2 pm

Directed by:

Sheila Coultish & Peggy Harris

Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps. A fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the theatre! But wait! This two-time Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning treat is more than just a witty, clever, zany comedy packed with non-stop laughs, an on-stage plane crash, handcuffs and missing fingers, it is also an old-fashioned love story.