Monday, March 31, 2014

First Crop Of New 'Hummers' In Nanaimo

'Mum' feeds this year's first baby hummer

The eagle-eye of local photo artist Sheryl Falls captured this scene of wonder in a local marsh yesterday as mum hummer tends this year's first baby.

The hummers around our place have been busy for weeks collecting nesting material, but I haven't been able to spot any of their tiny nests which are usually well hidden from view.


Nanaimo Hosts 'Ultimate Frisbee' Tournament

UDDERBOWL draws hundreds to Nanaimo
April 5 & 6, 2014

March 30, 2014, Nanaimo (ISN) - The Nanaimo Ultimate Assocation is hosting their annual frisbee tournament next weekend, on April 5th and 6th. Ultimate Frisbee is a fast-paced sport, similar to soccer, using a frisbee and end-zones, instead of a ball and goals.

Sportsmanship and good competitive spirit is a primary focus of the game, which is self-refereed, allowing players on the field to co-operatively enforce the rules together.

The high level of endurance, agility and team dynamics draws both cross-over athletes from other activities, as well as individuals who are drawn to more alternative sports.

Next weekend's tournament, known as "Udderbowl," has attracted hundreds of players each year, for over 17 years. Players converge on Nanaimo from the entire Pacific Northwest region, competing for both the overall championship title, as well as for a 'spirit of the game' trophy. Ultimate players range in age from teens to 60+, and this tournament, along with all of Nanaimo's league play, is co-ed.

Udderbowl will be held all day Saturday and Sunday April 5th & 6th at the McGirr Sports Fields, behind Dover Bay School, off Hammond Bay Road. For more information about the tournament or the Nanaimo Ultimate

Association's year-round ultimate frisbee league, stop by Udderbowl next weekend, visit our website or email us at


Jump in the lake makes Splash for Tillicum

Sun hats and umbrellas guarded against sunstroke
First brave souls take the plunge into the refreshing waters
 Councillors McKay and Pattje demonstrate different 'styles'

Cold Water Challenge raises funds for
Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Centre

As can be expected in Nanaimo the weather was in full co-operation on Sunday on the shores of the lower lake at Colliery Dam Park. Under blue skies and moderate temperatures several brave souls slipped into the refreshing waters to aid Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Centre.

The crowd in attendance were treated to hot dogs, pizza, donuts and other munchies as they socialized waiting for the big event.

A variety of styles were demonstrated from graceful dives to cannon balls. Regardless of entry style all participants were united in their opinion that 'the water was freezing' and no one expressed any desire to dive in a second time.

The gathering was also a bit of a celebration for those, who this time last year were fighting to maintain the dams which create the lakes, which gives the park it's life and character.

It was a good example of community spirit and how regular citizens can rally around a good cause without the aid of government and sometimes in spite of government.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Port Theatre Nanaimo - April 2014

Coming to the Port Theatre Nanaimo April 2014
For event details and ticket purchase visit Port Theatre website HERE.


Last Lions FREE Skate of Season


Nanaimo Threatre Group April 2014 Presentation

God of Carnage
Written by
Yasmina Reza
Translated by
Christopher Hampton
Publisher Dramatists Play Services, Inc.

This show contains language some audience
members may find offensive.

Evenings: 8pm (Wednesday to Saturdays):
April 16-19, 23-26
April 30-May 3

Matinees: 2pm   (Sunday):
April 20 & 27 

Directed by: Peggy Harris Produced by: Gerri Hemphill

The premise of this Tony and Olivier Award-winning play is simple.  The parents of two boys who have been involved in a playground scrap, meet to discuss logically and amiably how to deal with their sons.  However, the facade of politeness quickly fades away and this wickedly funny comedy of ill manners soon turns into a knock 'em down, drag 'em out battle in which the god of carnage reigns supreme.  It's chaotic, it's fun an it's full of beautifully written insights into our oft-hidden natures.

Order Tickets Today


Nanaimo Ranks Well For Business - KPMG Study

Competetive Alternatives

The Nanaimo region joined 100 other jurisdictions around the world in KPMG’s 2014 Competitive Alternatives study released today. The study released every two years focuses on 26 key cost components to measure the overall cost of doing business in a community.

Compared to a US average (index=100) Nanaimo scored 94.5 indicating a lower cost of doing business and placing it in the top three jurisdictions in the Pacific US/Canada for cost of doing business. Less than one point separated first and third place in a very competitive showing.

“The Nanaimo region has many attributes that make us a great place to do business,” said Sasha Angus, CEO of NEDC. “Reports like the KPMG Competitive Alternatives publication allow us to showcase these strengths to an international audience and help make the case for investment in our community.

Building on the recent technology sector impact study, the Competitive Alternatives report highlights the region’s strength in knowledge-based industries. Nanaimo scored an average of 85.5 for digital services and development, beating Vancouver’s score of 87.2.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Nanaimo and Vancouver Island Gas Prices

As of March 28, 2014 10:30 am as per Gas Buddy


Another Perfect Day In Paradise

Another bit of west coast wonder as seen by 
Sheryl Falls

Note: to Eastern Canadians, our snow knows it's place, on the mountains where skiers can enjoy it, and we don't have to shovel it!


Center Stage Out Of 25 Vic. Rd. June 30, 2014

The following message appears on the Centre Stage Facebook page:

“C.V.I. Centre for the Arts – Nanaimo will not accept a 3-year Licence of Use and fixed funding of $11,350 for managing Nanaimo Centre Stage at 25 Victoria Road, Nanaimo”

C.V.I. Centre for the Arts – Nanaimo is prepared to manage the building and the theatre within, until June 30, 2014, to honour the bookings already confirmed.

Good News For Nanaimo Taxpayers

With this recent announcement by Nanaimo Centre Stage that they will no longer manage the building at 25 Victoria Road, perhaps now city hall will do the only sensible thing and get Nanaimo Taxpayers out of this Money Pit!

It is only a few months ago this council opted to blow 200,000 tax dollars replacing loose stucco on one end wall of this albatross of an 'asset' the taxpayers should never have been saddled with in the first place. Any councilor who supported that waste should be remembered come this fall when we head to the polls.

It makes no difference what the end use of this building was; it is simply not worth anything like the $800,000 or so we have thrown into it. In fact staff and council should be held accountable somehow for ever throwing this kind of money into that old building. The building has an assessed value of less than $300,000 on the last tax assessment.


BC Ferries Fares Increasing April 1, 2014

Effective April 1, 2014 Ferry Fares Increase

Horseshoe Bay - Departure Bay and Tsawwassen to Duke Point - adult Fare increases from $15.50 to $16.25 and passenger vehicle up to 20 feet goes from $51.25 to $53.25.

Nanaimo harbour to Gabriola - adult fare increases from $10.30 - $10.80 and passenger vehicle up to 20 feet goes from $24.50 to $25.45.


City Council Needs More WTE Information

Council Doesn't Have Enough Information
Chamber of Commerce Survey

The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce recently sponsored a survey to get public opinion about the proposed energy from waste plant proposed for Duke Point.

There is a clear desire to have more information about this facility before City Council makes a decision according to 91.2% of the respondents. Nearly 73% of the respondents felt they were not adequately informed of the details surrounding this project.

When asked who is responsible for this information sharing 72% said they city of Nanaimo, 52% said Metro Vancouver, 52% said the proponents, 62% said an independent 3rd party and 48% felt an organization such as the Chamber or VIU.

City Council is going to review a previously tabled motion which would call for city Council to notify Metro Vancouver that the city is not interested in an energy from waste facility at Duke Point.

Comment:There is some question as to whether the tabled motion can be brought back at this time, given one of the conditions of the motion has not been fulfilled.

Since the city of Nanaimo has nothing to loose by waiting for more information, it would seem sensible they will wait until more information is forthcoming, which is now expected by mid May.


Law Day in Nanaimo April 5, 2014

April 5, 10:00 am - 2:30 pm

This annual community event, designed to promote awareness about access to justice, will be held at the Nanaimo Courthouse, 35 Front St. on April 5 from 10:00 am - 2:30 pm.

This year’s theme is Family Violence: Emotional, Physical and Financial. This year’s mock trial is the case of “The Three Little Pigs” with volunteers from the audience who will form the jury panel. 

Other demonstrations and activities include a Police K-9 Dog Unit demonstration, Impairment and Breathalyzer demonstration and an RCMP seminar on street drugs. 

A number of community resource groups will be in attendance with information tables and an expert panel focusing on the topic of the new Family Law Act with an emphasis on violence.

It is an event geared to all ages with refreshments, draw prizes and cake!


Goh Ballet Master Class Series In Nanaimo

The Goh Ballet is pleased to launch its first ever Canadian Master Class Series with Prima Ballerina Chan Hon Goh. This inaugural tour will take place April 2014 across nine major Canadian Cities bringing a unique and exquisite experience to aspiring dancers throughout the country.

The Nanaimo master class will be held on Sunday, April 13 at Kirkwood Academy. The participation fee is $25, which includes class and discussions with former prima ballerina of the National Ballet of Canada, Chan Hon Goh.

For more info please visit

Class size is limited and pre-registration is recommended.

The Canadian Master Class Series is sponsored by De Beers Diamond Jewellers Canada. Two students will receive National Scholarship Awards, each worth $2,500, sponsored by the German Auto Import Network – Vancouver Island


Thursday, March 27, 2014

RCMP Looking For Nanaimo Girl

Elissa Elizabeth Fawdry, 12 years old


Nanaimo RCMP hope the public can help them find Elissa Elizabeth Fawdry, 12, last seen Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. near her grandmother’s residence on Centre Street.

Fawdry is a Grade 7 student currently enrolled in Nanaimo school district.

All attempts to find her through family, friends, school and social media have proven negative, police said, and her disappearance is considered out of character.

Fawdry is experiencing some medical issues and is considered at-risk.

She was last seen wearing a red and black sweater, black jeans and white and black shoes. Fawdry is of First Nations descent, 5' 9" tall and weighs 120 pounds.

Anyone who has seen Fawdry is asked to contact Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at


Nanaimo 2013 Surplus $3.9 Million Not $3.2

Can you find the REAL 2013 Tax Surplus?

If you think that by reading the headlines in the newspaper or the highlights on a council agenda will tell you how much you have really been over-taxed, you would be wrong.

Misleading Headline?

The headline on the front page of the local Daily and a few lines in the agenda from Monday March 24th Nanaimo city council meeting, would lead the average person to think the city had collected $3.2 million in surplus taxes last year.


When I read the agenda for that council meeting the wording of a staff report tweaked my curiosity, it read in part:

"unallocated surplus is used to fund accruals or reserves for liability claims, uncollected taxes, bad debts and retirement benefits as needed AND $3.2 million remains for FURTHER reserve allocation".

I sent an email to Mr. Clemens, the Director of Finance for a clarification as it seemed the 'real' surplus for 2013 was greater than $3.2 million. Mr. Clemens reply confirmed by suspicion with the statement that the surplus was in fact 'approximately $3.9 million'.

Why Do Taxpayers and City Council Allow This Robbery??

Granted, robbery may be too harsh a word, or perhaps it is not harsh enough to describe what happens with city staff and city council's endorsement.

Last year in the city of Nanaimo with the blessing of this city council and city staff, the Nanaimo taxpayer paid nearly $4,000,000.00 in EXCESS TAXES to the city of Nanaimo, which is not being returned!

Being OVER TAXED by nearly $4,000,000.00 which equates to a tax increase of nearly 4.5% is bad enough but then it seems city hall can play the old shell game and claim that $3.9 million is really only $3.2 million.

Change of Council is long past due!

This is the sixth year of John Ruttans occupation of the 'big chair' on city council. It is at least the 6th year for many other council members and they seem to think that over taxing the Nanaimo taxpayer is just business as usual.

Worse still, is the fact that council seems complicit in this little shell game which accompanies the 'tax and spend' mentality that is prevalent with this city council



Nanaimo Pug Lovers Video

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

If you're a Pug lover your gonna luv this wee video


Nanaimo Whisky Festival / Wee Tipple Party

Tickets: 250-758-3000 or 250-716-3230


Nanaimo West Coast Salish Kitchen Party

Salish Chef "Iron Chief" Bob
Painted Turtle Guesthouse 
March 30 - 6:30 - 8:00 pm 

Salish Chef “Iron Chief” Bob partners with his culinary cohorts for a soiree of West Coast culture & hospitality.  Signature dishes Salmon on Cedar & Baked Bannock are accompanied by rich, sultry samplings of savoury creations showcasing Vancouver Island flavours.  You will get your fill from four menus featuring the best of what’s in season: ‘fresh from the sea’ oysters, mussels, prawns, fish; and ‘fresh from the garden’ seasonings, vegetables and fruit.



Black History Month Nanaimo Gala

Black History Month Gala 2014
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Doors: 3:30 pm Dinner: 5:00 pm


Bridge Building Challenge Country Club Mall

Bridge Building Challenge Counrtry Club Mall
Country Club Mall Nanaimo
Sunday Mar. 30 - 11:30 am

Bridge Building Challenge - The popsicle sticks kits are available now at the Info/Lottery Booth for $2 each.

The  judging for these Bridge Building Challenge will take place on Sunday, March 30th at 11:30am at Country Club Centre. Categories includes both children and adult.  


Friday Evening Market In Downtown Nanaimo


The Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association (DNBIA) is excited to announce that there is a brand new Farmer’s Market coming to downtown Nanaimo this spring. Beginning May 2nd, Diana Krall Plaza will be home to the Downtown Nanaimo Friday Evening Market and will run until the last Friday in September.

The DNBIA has chosen Dale Letourneau, owner of Chameleon Marketing and Events as the contractor who will establish an evening Farmer’s Market in Diana Krall Plaza. Letourneau has successfully managed the Duncan Farmer’s Market for four years, a market which was recently nominated for Market of the Year through the BC Association of Farmer’s Markets. When asked about her vision she responded "Diana Krall Plaza has been poised to be a destination location for residents and tourists alike, and we are so happy to be part of making that happen with our Market debut on May 2nd."

The Downtown Evening Market will run for a period of 22 weeks ending on September 26th and will focus on those who "Make It, Bake It, Grow It, Raise It or Catch It". There will be live entertainment each week with public seating available. "People don’t need to go home when the market closes" said Letourneau, "they will already be here and parking is free on Friday evenings after five, so why not stay and take advantage of all that downtown Nanaimo has to offer?"

The Evening Market came as a result of a DNBIA Events Committee initiative that will see the Farmer’s Market receive seed funding for a period of three years in order to firmly establish a successful evening market in the downtown core. The Evening Market will run from 4pm to 8pm providing optimal opportunity for existing vendors from the established Friday day market in Pioneer Plaza to extend their market hours by bringing their wares to Diana Krall Plaza when the day market closes at 2pm. The timing of the market means workers and visitors alike can listen to great music, while sampling and enjoying locally made food and picking up fresh eggs and double smoked bacon for their Saturday morning breakfast.

Dale Letourneau is currently developing a vendor list for Diana Krall Plaza which can easily accommodate over 100 vendors. The product and work of all vendors must go through an adjudication process in order to ensure that the high standards of the market will be met. The first market evening, May 2nd, will be free for vendors. Expressions of interest can be directed to


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Startup Nanaimo Official Launch - Success

Chris Brown ( Farmer Brown ) Wins $1,000 Grand Prize

Winning Pitch at Startup Nanaimo Official Launch

Startup Nanaimo hosted it's official launch at the Nanaimo Museum on Tuesday evening and got off to a great start giving six local entrepreneurs the chance to 'pitch' their project to their peers.

The grand prize winner of a $1,000 branding package was Chris Brown, partner in Farmer Brown which is a locally owned and operated Growers Co-op. You can find Chris at most farmer's markets around Nanaimo this summer and he is the director of the Bowen Road Farmer's Market.

FARMER BROWN is in the process of establishing a 'to your door' service which will see Nanaimo residents having fresh locally grown produce delivered to their door weekly. For more information you can contact FARMER BROWN at or 250-667-0560.

For more information about Startup Nanaimo, visit their website.


Nanaimo RCMP Looking For Bike Owner

Know who owns this bike?

Nanaimo Port Authority employees rescued the above bike after seeing two people dumping it into the harbour. The bike is described as being in good shape and is an older model.

If you have information about ownership of this bike call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.


Symphony of Roses Day - April 2, 2014

15th Annual Symphony of Roses Day
Wednesday April 2, 2014
Surprise a Friend and Send them a Dozen Roses

Send a Symphony of Roses to a Friend, a Loved One, a Business Associate, your neighbour, your doctor, your banker, a favourite teacher, your great staff, a client, someone who has done something special for you!

A Symphony of Roses, a dozen beautiful, boxed roses, will be delivered to your Special Someone on Wednesday, April 2  from 8:30 a.m. on. (local area is from Qualicum Beach to Ladysmith & Gabriola only) If you would prefer to pick-up these roses and deliver yourself: Pick-up is Wednesday, April 2nd, from 9:00 am on at Turley's Florist, 60 Terminal Avenue. Cost: Box of 12 Roses: $30.00(including taxes etc.)or Box of 24 Roses $55.00 payable to the Vancouver Island Symphony all proceeds go directly to the Vancouver Island Symphony.

All orders MUST be placed through Turley's Florist by Friday, March 28th at 4pm. 250-754-6344


Zamboni Conversion Saves Nanaimo Tax Dollars

City of Nanaimo puts electric Zamboni conversion into operation

Reducing costs of operation and GHG emissions

On Thursday March 13th the newly converted electric Zamboni was put through the paces at Cliff McNabb arena. All in attendance were pleased as it performed flawlessly.

On August 12th, 2013 staff provided a recommendation to Council and received approval to convert an existing Zamboni to electric power. The conversion project cost approximately $32,000 and will save $30,000 to $40,000 (beyond the cost of conversion) over the Zamboni’s remaining 10 year lifecycle.  An additional benefit of converting the Zamboni to electric is improved air quality inside the arena and extending the vehicle's lifespan.

Fleet manager Mr. Bruce Labelle noted: "We are very pleased with the outcome of this project.  The conversion went as planned and the Zamboni is now performing well."


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Is Something Fishy At Nanaimo City Hall?

Does Something At City Hall
Smell At Little 'Off'?

At the March 24, 2014 Nanaimo city council meeting two observations could be made that raise a few questions. I don't know how serious these practices could be if allowed to continue, but have the feeling they could have the ability to skew public perception.

Colliery Dams Report

City council received a brief progress report on the work of the Colliery Dam technical committee, which really just amounted to saying they may have something to say by the end of April, maybe.

That was not the curious thing, what was curious was the fact that an opponent of the dams, Mr. Charles Thurkill was listed as a delegation 'on' the agenda that was printed and released last Thursday. Curious? The public is not usually aware of what is on the agenda until Thursday evening at 5:00 pm, yet Mr. Thurkill obviously had been advised by someone at city hall what was upcoming.

Just curious???

Councilor Brennan's notice of motion

There was absolutely nothing on the agenda that indicated Councilor Brennan was going to bring a notice of motion, to remove a previously tabled motion regards the energy from waste plant at Duke Point.

The curious part of this whole little charade, was the fact that many opponents of the plant were in the audience with well done posters and placards expressing their opposition to the plant.

I take no issue with people demonstrating their opposition to the plant, I do however take issue with the skewed public perception that this can create. If you just beamed down from Mars, and walked into the meeting, it would look like 'lots' of Nanaimo residents oppose this plant.

The fact is, it was only those in opposition that were aware of the fact that Councillor Brennan was putting forward her notice of motion.

Not sure this type of politicking should have any place in our city hall, it has the appearance of being underhanded, and down right sneaky.


Things on the net that make ya' smile

 Don't leave the seat up ???
 Be sure to wash your hands
Some Creative Plumbing Ideas?


Center Stage Funding Approved For 3 Years

Headline is true but also misleading

While the above headline is accurate, if you include the sub-head it would lead 'headline cruisers' to think the city has decided to not continue giving tax dollars to the elite group using our $800,000 theatre for their pleasure.

While council did wisesly reject a totally open-ended motion, championed by Councillor Brennan, they did in fact approve funding the group for another three years, they were not rejected completely at all.

Wide open and confusing motion led to much debate

In an impassioned plea to enter into a very open-ended and ambiguous motion, Councillor Diane Brennan actually had to work from her written notes to properly convey how heart broken she was at the possibility that Centre Stage might not get a ten year agreement to operate the old building at 25 Victoria Road.

The option which took the most debate was option # 1 on the agenda which was moved by Councillor Brennan read as follows:

"allocate additional funds and direct Staff to negotiate a three-year licence of use agreement (including an option to renew for two additional years), with Centre of the Arts Nanaimo to manage 25 Victoria Road"

I don't know if this poorly worded motion was the sole product of Councillor Brennan or whether city staff had a hand in it. Either way, if you want an example of why you should be very leery of how your tax dollars are being stewarded by some councilors, this is it.

There was no dollar figure attached to the 'additional funds', there was no direction as to the terms of a three-year licence and clearly most of council at one point were very unclear as to what they were actually voting on. Only when city staff member Mr. Chris Jackson pointed out, the motion would in fact grant CAN a ten year license did the lights go on for some councilors.

If this is an example of the precision with which our agreements at city hall are crafted, all I can say is; civic election day can't get here too soon.

Showing how confused councilors were was demonstrated in a comment from Councillor Greves when he quipped that the request was for $29,000, simple, and he would vote in favour of the ask. It seemed to completely have escaped him, that the ask was for another $29,000 this year, and $43,000 in 2015 and $41,000 in 2016. That in addtion to whatever the terms might be for the ten year contract. Councillor Greves commented that he felt after 80+ hours of budget deliberation that councillor fatique had likely set in.

Centre Stage still funded for three years

After a lengthy debate of the ten year, wide open motion promoted by Councillor Brennan which was finally defeated, council agreed to  Councilor Pattje's motion to renew the license to operate 25 Victoria Rd. for an additional three years. at the current level of funding.

I was in the meeting and am still seeking written clarification as to what the actual terms of that agreement will look like.

So, at the end of the day, this council was still able to give more tax dollars to the group of hobbyists/lobbyists operating the building at 25 Victoria Rd.


Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Centre Fundraiser

Cold Water Challenge to aid Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Centre

Local community activist and all-round good guy Terry Lee Wagar (of CDPPS fame) wanted to help the Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre raise some much needed funds. Out of his productive grey matter came the perfectly sensible idea of wondering how many people would pay to see him jump into the lake at the lower dam in Colliery Dams Park. His goal was to raise $200 in pledges which he figured was a small price to pay to watch some guy who can't swim jump into the icy cold waters of Colliery Park lake.

Like lots of good ideas this one seems to be catching on and the list of committed brave souls is approaching 20 at least, with Terry even challenging yours truly, but my doctor told me never to jump into freezing cold water in March, or maybe that was just the chicken in me talking.

In any case what started out as one good guys, good idea it seems to be blossoming and there is no telling what this little event might grow into by the end of the month.

If you are a hardy soul and willing to raise some money for a great cause, sign up as many sponsors as you can and this Sunday 'go jump in the lake'.

The brave souls so far committed to the cause include:

Terry Lee Wagar
Chris Harris
Bill McKay (yes, the Councillor)
Gord Fuller ( yes Councilor wannabe)
Soren Korhonen
Trish Kuziek
Jeff Solomon (of course)
Fred Pattje (yes, another Councillor)
David Woodward VIU
Some Waffling Tillicum staff
Carol Tisdale
Ron Grychuk
Elizabeth Grychuk

If you don't think jumping in the lake is something you want to do, you can always show your support by sponsoring your favourite person, and further show your support by coming out on Sunday and watch some brave souls ..... 'Go Jump In The Lake'.

You can learn more by visiting the Tillicum Lelum Chidcare Centre Campaign facebook page


Monday, March 24, 2014

Joyce Gloria Howard Charged In Stabbing

RCMP have charged Joyce Gloria Howard, 19, with one count of aggravated assault following an early morning stabbing incident on Craig Street in Nanaimo.

She will be held in custody until she appears in court on March 25, the other three people detained have since been released.

The unnamed stabbing victim remains in hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.


Flight MH370 Found In Indian Ocean

It is now being reported that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has now told the families of the passengers on the missing airliner that the plane went down in the Indian Ocean.

The plane has been the focus of attention ever since disappearing on March 8 with 239 souls on board.


Things on the net that make ya' Smile

Do you want fries with that?

What is said to be a 10,000 calorie cheeseburger within a burger is the creation of an English restaurant and sells for about $40.

Looks like Mrs. Ritchies might have some competition for their famous K2 Mountain burger offered at $44.99 or yours free if you can eat the whole thing and all the fries in one hour. There is a warning however, that the challenge is not for whimps as the Mountain burger contains two pounds of prime ground beef, two piles of ham, double the slices of cheese, double the bacon strips and twin fried eggs to name just some of the ingredients in this burger, not for the faint of stomach!


Nanaimo Man Stabbed March 23

Stabbing sends Nanaimo man to hospital

Police were called to a residence at 260 Craig Street Sunday morning following a 7:00 am stabbing which sent an unidentified Nanaimo man to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

It is believed the man will survive the incident which is under investigation which has resulted in four young people aged 13 to 19 being held in custody.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

25 Victoria Rd. - Oligarchy vs Democracy

government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

A form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.

to mislead by a false appearance or statement; delude: They deceived the enemy by disguising the destroyer as a freighter.

Are we living in a democracy
or is that just a deception crafted by the oligarchy?

If you asked most folk living in Nanaimo if we are living in a democracy the answer is likely to be 'yes'. If a democracy is a government by the people, and 73% of them don't vote, is it really a democracy?

Is it really a democracy when a city council offers some good sounding ear-pleasers at election time, and then goes stone-deaf during their term in office?

Do our city councilors truly represent the community or the special interest group that helped them get elected?

The 'arts' community - one member of the oligarchy

There is a well organized group in Nanaimo who would like to call themselves members of the arts and culture community. Whether they truly are artists or just ardent hobbyists is for someone with better judgement than I to determine, but my opinion is that they fall into the later category. Judging by the fact they are unable to support their projects in spite of having a rent and tax free building at their disposal speaks loudly to their credibility.

So, how does this little group manage to cajole one city council a few years ago into throwing at least $600,000 tax dollars into a building of questionable value? They since have had the city taxpayer throw another $100,000 or so at their building and this spring convinced the new council and city manager to waste another $200,000 replacing loose stucco on one end wall.

They now have their hand out for another $120,000 claiming that they are now so successful they need to hire another person. I presume if they get any more successful they will be asking for a million before long.

After this ask, it only makes sense for a future council to throw another $600,000 at the other building envelope issues, either that or just let the building fall into worse shape as water continues to penetrate the outer envelope.

Why, you may ask would nine intelligent people and a highly paid professional staff think it is a good idea to keep throwing good tax dollars into that derelict old building?? The answer is quite simple as one of the oligarchy members seem to have convinced council they can deliver votes come election day, and given that less than 10% of the eligible vote can get you on the city hall gravy train, that promise packs a lot of weight.

What a waste of money!!

Can you imagine how much of an impact $200,000 could have in our community, if we put that kind of money up for grabs to some professional promoters in our town and asked them to just go nuts this year and see what kind of an event they can fund with $200,000 to leverage?

The yield to the community could be many multiples and could give birth to a spectacular event that draws crowds to our little city during the summer festival season.

Instead this city council is choosing to squander $200,000 on a run down building, and another $120,000 in operating subsidies so some little group of hobbyists has a place to play.

That, dear reader is a perfect example of how we have been deceived by the oligarchy into thinking we are in a functioning democracy.

Let them know you choose a democracy

If you want to see this waste of YOUR tax dollars end so some little group of hobbyists can play act, send your city councillor an email, better yet give them a phone call. After all, those are the exact tactics this little band uses to take money out of your pocket so they can play their little games.

This is an election year, councilors do listen during this year, let them hear your voice, and see if they will listen, or continue to be led around by the privileged members of Nanaimo's oligarchy.

It is possible there is far more theatrical performances taking place in the city council chamber, than ever occurs at 25 Victoria Road. It could be argued that is the difference between professionals and rank amateurs.


Nanaimo Downtown Hotel Deal Questions

How Many Residential Units Included In This Plan?

The following screen grab from a front page story in the local Daily raises a most interesting question about just what kind of a hotel deal our city fathers have singed onto.

In the beginning of the downtown revitalization saga previous councils and city managers undertook to build a convention centre complete with five star hotel for the low, low price of only $52 million which was approved by a narrow margin in a very divisive referendum. Those city managers were unable to deliver and in the end the taxpayer wound up paying at least $75 million for a convention centre, without a hotel. This was in spite of the fact that our city managers paid $3 million to a company to see the project was completed as per the original agreement. Of course they did not , and we did not recover our $3million either, and now neither of the senior managers work for the city. Both taking early retirement complete with 'parting gifts' most of us can only imagine.

Fast forward to the current council under the guidance of Mayor Ruttan who figured the only way to attract a hotel to the site, which would skyrocket our ailing convention business was to offer a ten year tax exemption to any company willing to build a hotel downtown. At first this offer applied only to the property adjacent the convention centre, but later was applied city-wide.

We have been told by the hotel developers they will bring 70,000 tourists to Nanaimo as they are connected with a very successful travel company in Asia. If accurate this will mean on average of nearly 200 tourists each and every day of the year.

When the deal was finally agreed to by the city which includes using parking spaces at the VICC as the hotel is building none of their own, and having first refusal to operate the VICC when the contract with the current operator expires, they also have in their agreement the right to stratify the entire hotel. What impact that will have on availability of extra rooms to help bolster our conference business is debatable.

The following taken from the front page of the Daily News on March 21 raises the question of just what the developer has planned for this hotel. Note the sentence marked with the arrow.

How Does This Hotel Help Our Convention Business?

In the beginning, the pretext for offering a ten year tax exemption to get someone to build a hotel adjacent the conference centre, was to allow us to attract bigger and better conventions to Nanaimo. That was the purpose of offering to give up some $10,000,000 in tax revenue.

How does this hotel fill that purpose if they will be bringing 70,000 tourists per year to their hotel. Just how many rooms will be available to help our lagging conference business? How many of these units are going to be sold off as 'residential' units?

The new hotel downtown (presuming it gets built) will no doubt be a big step forward for downtown, however, whether it meets the intended purpose of increasing our convention capacity seems doubtful. Which raises the question of whether we needed to give away ten million tax dollars?


Lower Loonie - Good or Bad For Canadians?

VANCOUVER, B.C.—The negative impact of a weaker loonie will likely outweigh any benefits, says Philip Cross, former chief economic analyst for Statistics Canada, in a new analysis published today by the Fraser Institute.

This week the Canadian dollar dropped below 90 cents US. Good news, say some economists, for the Canadian economy. Not so, says Cross, who writes a regular commentary for the Fraser Institute on pressing macroeconomic issues.

“It’s a myth that devaluation of the Canadian dollar broadly stimulates the economy and leads to prosperity. In fact, a weaker loonie triggers higher domestic prices, which hit consumers in the wallet, and higher importing and financing costs, which hurt businesses and government,” said Cross, in his analysis Economic Consequences of the Lower Canadian Dollar.

For example, certain commodities—gasoline, for example—are priced in U.S. dollars. So when the loonie drops, people pay more at the pumps.

The cost of doing business will also increase. Canadian businesses import 55 per cent of their machinery and equipment. When faced with higher prices, businesses will buy less machinery and equipment, and consequently limit production, which may limit employment opportunities and hurt worker wages.

Canadian governments, meanwhile, will pay more when managing debt denominated in U.S. dollars, particularly provincial governments and their utilities (i.e. natural gas, electricity), which issue the most bonds denominated in non-Canadian currency.

However, there are benefits—albeit overstated, in some cases.

Exporters benefit from a lower exchange rate. Why? Because Canadian exporters exchange goods for U.S. dollars, so when the loonie is relatively low, those U.S. dollars, when repatriated, buy more Canadian dollars.

“But even for exporters, the benefits of a lower exchange rate are likely to be limited, because market demand is the primary driver of exports—not the relative strength or weakness of the loonie,” Cross said.

Moreover, exporters may rely too heavily on a depreciating dollar, which can lead to investments that only make sense with a weaker loonie.

Canadian natural resource industries should benefit most from a lower Canadian dollar. Oil and gas firms, for example, export much more than they import, so a weaker loonie will boost their bottom line.

For individual Canadians, anyone invested abroad will pocket more Canadian dollars when those investments are brought back home.

“But this is a dubious benefit to the Canadian economy because it rewards people for not investing in Canada, and consequently, lowers the value of all assets in the country,” Cross said.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Nanaimo's Springtime is Humming Along......

Local photo artist Sheryl Falls captured a sure sign of spring the other day as this little lady was gathering down from a bulrush to help build her nest.


Mayor Ruttan Concerned About MMBC

City Already Signed MMBC Deal
Mayor Now 'Not Comfortable'

In the local Daily Mayor John Ruttan is quoted as saying he is 'not comfortable' with the program going forward and would like someone from MMBC to come here and speak to our city council and the RDN.

It seems the Mayor is forgetting that he and the balance of council have already approved the city signing on with MMBC at the urging of Mr. Franssen who was in charge of this program as manager of sanitation and recycling.

As I recall Mr. Franssen told city council MMBC would pay us $900,000/yr. for the rights to the products collected by BFI which would result in a saving for Nanaimo taxpayers. He failed to mention that as a result of BFI no longer owning the recycled material they collect, the city had to agree to pay BFI an additional $300,000/yr. to continue collecting the material as MMBC does not have it's own trucks.

I was in the meeting where Mr. Franssen was described by other staff as being the 'go-to' guy in the province when it came to this program. Other municipalities were calling Mr. Franssen for advice on the program.

The city of Nanaimo has already committed with MMBC for this year, a fact which our Mayor seems to be forgetting. This type of scenario is not unique with this city council who seem easily directed by city staff, whether they have sufficient information or not.


Nanaimo Property Crime Map

Map shows property crime across the city of Nanaimo. The locations of the crime are not the exact location.

To view the map and see what is happening in your neighbourhood visit the city of Nanaimo Crime Map HERE.

Crime Map
 Map showing property crime incidents in Nanaimo


Nanaimo Festival of Banners - 2014

 Participate in this years Banner Festival....

Have you ever experienced the thrill of seeing your own artwork on display? It's unforgettable! Join us and participate in Festival of Banners 2014. Download and print our Festival Entry Form. Create an imaginative, original design based on our 2014 theme Evolve, and submit  your completed and coloured entry form to Guest Services at Nanaimo North Town Centre. You will pay the $10 fee at the banner site when you are scheduled to paint.

Our project coordinator will contact you to schedule a time to paint in March, April at Nanaimo North Town Centre. Banners are installed on lamp standards in mid-May!


Lions FREE Skate - March 23


Lucky Lucy the Emu - Safely Home

Lucy the emu has been returned home

After several days of wandering the southend of Nanaimo, Lucy (who really is a boy) the wayward emu has been captured by her owner and returned to his home.

It's fortunate that no harm came to anyone during Lucy's little adventure as I'm sure a kick from the 150 pound bird could be serious and Lucy would not have done well if she encountered a moving car.

Whether Lucy just has a sense of adventure, or was struck by spring fever and went looking for a lady friend is open to speculation.

All's well that ends well and Lucy was able to put Nanaimo on the national news map as this is just the type of story everyone loves.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Nanaimo City Council Meeting March 24, 2014

City Council Meeting
Monday March 24, 2014
7:00 PM Shaw Auditorium
Vancouver Island Conference Centre

  • Developement Variance 3500 Hillside
  • Rezoning Application 867 Bruce Avenue
  • Rezoning Application 3240 Fieldstone Ave.
  • Triggers for Development Bylaws
  • Unresolved Building Deficiencies
  • Financial Plan Amendment Bylaw
  • Surplus Allocation 
  • Colliery Dams Update
  • Social Development Grant Program
  • Property Maintenance Bylaw
  • Unauthorized Suites in Single Family Dwellings
  • Hammond Bay Road Sidewalk and Bike Lane Tender
  • Coal Mine Investigation Study
  • Nanaimo Centre Stage - 25 Victoria Road
  • Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability

      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 Council Meeting Agenda here - - -  Agenda .

       Some Council Decisions You Might Want To Think About

      The city just agreed to pay an outside firm nearly $25,000 to review the city website's content and set up a navigation structure. Our IT head gets paid about $150,000 a year and IT staff are paid at least $37.00/hr. and yet they can't properly set up the city website?

      The city paid a consulting firm $75,000 for the purpose of reviewing and developing governance-related policy, structures and processes. (In other words to tell the city manager and mayor how to do their jobs). A recommendation that came out of this report was the hiring of Alison Habkirk (an associate of Jerry Berry) at a cost of $8500, again to tell city management and council how to do their jobs.
      Council decided to spend $120,000 to install a public toilet at Diana Krall Plaza.

      Council decided to spend at least $200,000 on the old theatre on Victoria Rd. when a $20,000 solution would have done, until it is decided what is to be done with the building long term. Two engineers have raised questions about the seismic standard of the building, but staff seem content to ignore the concern.  

      By deciding to bring downtown parking enforcement 'in-house' which was supposed to save tax dollars, we are now going to lose $140,000 in the first year.

      We are paying over $60,000/yr. for downtown parking attendants (meter maids).

      We gave a $300,000 tax exemption to the bar operating in the old train station. This exemption was originally thought to apply to the area of the train station used as a train station and not the area operating as a pub.   

      Council decided to spend $170,000 on an electric Zamboni, when a propane fueled one costs $80,000 and does the same job.

      Council decided to spend thousands of dollars to implement a policy of banning the sale of bottled water at civic facilities.

      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??

      Two years ago they decided to spend $16,000,000.00 on a new staff office, an amount equal to YOUR tax increase for 5 years! 


      Rcik Mercer - Quebec Separation

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


      Thursday, March 20, 2014

      Cable Ferry Berths Contracts Awarded


      VICTORIA – BC Ferries announced today two contracts totalling $15.2 million have been awarded for the construction of the Buckley Bay and Denman West cable ferry berths. These contracts include an award to Vancouver Pile Driving Ltd. for the supply of two concrete floating pontoons, and another award to Ruskin Construction Ltd. of Victoria, for the construction of the two berths, expansion of the Denman West holding compound and all associated upland development.

      “We followed a fair and competitive tendering process for the terminal work to ensure we would receive high quality construction at a competitive price,” said Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Engineering. “We are pleased that the successful bidders for these projects are located here in B.C.”

      After twelve months of detailed design development, tenders were issued for construction of two floating pontoons and for the construction of the two terminal facilities. The tender for the supply of the two concrete pontoons was issued in late November 2013 and closed late January 2014. The marine structures and upland construction tender was issued at the beginning of December 2013 and closed mid-February 2014.

      Pontoon construction will begin shortly and is expected to be complete in the summer of 2014. Terminal construction is scheduled to be completed in fall of 2014. The cable ferry is expected to commence service on the route in the summer of 2015. These construction projects will not impact the operation of the current ferry service between Buckley Bay and Denman Island.

      “The cable ferry system will provide substantial cost savings of over $80 million over the 40-year life of the project compared to the current service, and these significant cost savings of $2 million per year will help reduce pressure on future fare increases across the coastal ferry system,” said Wilson.


      Jobs In Nanaimo

      Nanaimo Job Listings

      273 Nanaimo Jobs Listed on WorkBC website