Sunday, May 31, 2015

It Takes Nerves Of Steel To Do This.....

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

This is how they load a car onto a ferry in Brazil. They likely have different safety standards than we use with BC Ferries. I would have to guess sometimes it goes sideways, which is why the crowd cheers.

Meanwhile in Greece this is what some folk think is just another ferry trip/docking! Makes BC Ferries look very. very tame.


Some Colourful Visitors This Week

The top pic shows the six Evening Grosbeak that stopped in and stayed for three days, on their way to higher ground I think. They certainly standout from many of the drab coloured birds in the area.

The bottom pick shows a male Goldfinch waiting his turn as pappa feeds another of this year's new sparrows. They bring them to the feeder, where they still have to feed them, and then leave them on their own to figure it out. The Goldfinch is the male half of a pair I think have taken to nesting in the area as both have been seen at the feeder regularly for over two weeks now.

It is quite interesting how many different birds can be drawn to a feeder right in the middle of the city. They also beat watching anything the 10 million channel network has to offer these days!


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Nanaimo - The Harbour City or Hub City

And this is why it's called the Harbour City or Hub City

I grabbed these shots a few weeks ago while checking out the downtown waterfront and Nanaimo's latest property development site (Wellcox Rail-yard). The assembly wharf is no longer crammed with finished lumber headed for far away as it once was and the Wellcox Yard is no longer a buzzing hive of activity, yet there is still much trade and commerce moving through our port.

Freight transported in and out of Nanaimo is also moved at Duke Point, which is where Seaspan is making preparation to move most of it's rubber tired freight once their new facility is complete. When that happens much of the amount of traffic they move through downtown will be reduced. They will however continue some of their operations through the Wellcox site.

The Wellcox yard is also home to ICF and Southern Rail which will continue to use this site as long as there is rail freight moving on the Island. There is no rail link to Duke Point which means Wellcox will remain the entrance for rail through Nanaimo.


This Years First Brood of Sparrows

Birds on a Wire ......

One of this years newest members of the local sparrow flock sits on the clothesline as momma brings him breakfast from the feeder. At this time of year the parents bring their young to the feeder on our porch, feed them several times from it and then leave them to figure it out. Some pick it up faster than others but it doesn't usually take too long to get the hang of it.

So far this year we have seen this behaviour in several different birds, the sparrows of course, two Brewer's Blackbirds and a purple finch all have brought their young to the feeder, where they take the final step in 'kicking the out of the nest'.


Nanaimo Festival and Fun Events 2015 Season

Celebrity Infinity Cruise Ship
Friday June 5
7:00 am - 5:00 pm

Van Isle 360
June 6 - 20

Multicultural Festival
June 13

Canada Day
July 1
Event Website

Silver Shadow Cruise Ship
Wednesday July 15
12:00 noon - 11:00 pm

Infringe Dance Festival
Jly 9 - 12

Dragon Boat Festival
Jly 10 - 12

Concerts in the Park
July & August

Silly Boat Regatta
July 19

Bathtub Race & Marine Festival
Jly 23 - 26

Bathtub Days Street Fair
Jly 26 - 27

Nanaimo Fringe Festival
Aug 13 - 15

Vancouver Island Exhibition
Aug. 21 - 23

Summertime Blues
Aug. 28 - 30
Event Website

Celebrity Solstice Cruise Ship
Monday, September 21
7:00 am - 5:00 pm

Culture Days
Sept. 25 - 27


Friday, May 29, 2015

Colliery Dam - Temporary Stay Granted


Colliery Dams Update
City granted temporary stay

The City of Nanaimo has been advised that a temporary stay of the Comptroller’s Order of April 29th concerning the Lower and Middle Colliery Dams will be granted. The temporary stay (approximately two to four weeks in duration) will allow time for the Environmental Appeal Board (EAB) to consider if they are prepared to grant a full stay for the Comptroller of Water Rights’ Order.  If the EAB agrees to a stay, the Comptroller’s Order will be held in abeyance until the EAB hears the City’s appeal of the Order, a process that typically takes several months to complete.

Having obtained the temporary stay, Council will not receive a report regarding the Colliery Dams at its upcoming meeting June 1st.

"Having received a temporary stay, staff will not be providing a report to Council at its upcoming meeting June 1st." - Toby Seward Acting General Manager, Community Development & Protective Services City of Nanaimo


Nanaimo Yacht Club Open House May 30/15


Nanaimo Trash Talk Newsletter Out This Week

Click HERE to download the PDF version of the Newsletter

The City's biannual Garbage, Recycling and Green Bin Newsletter, Trash Talk being delivered to your door this week.

The main item covered in the newsletter is the issue of the waste sent to landfill needlessly. It is estimated that 1,000 tonnes of waste is sent to landfill each year by Nanaimo residents that could actually have been recycled or composted.

Other topics covered include: items that you may not be aware are recycleable, your options for yard waste disposal, new beverage container recycling cans coming to downtown areas and parks, free little libraries, and information on the reminder tags that are sometimes left on your garbage can by your refuse collector.

* The Trash Talk newsletter will be delivered to all homes in Nanaimo

* We would love to hear how you think we are doing, if you have any questions or items you would like us to cover in the next issue please get in touch.

"The Trash Talk newsletter aims to help residents stay informed of the latest news in the world of waste in the harbour city. I hope residents find it interesting and useful and that they perhaps learn something they didn't know about recycling and composting. There are little changes we can all make in our homes on a daily basis that will add up to a big change in Nanaimo. My goal here is to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill. " - Charlotte Davis Manager of Sanitation and Recycling City of Nanaimo 


Nanaimo Watering Restrictions - 2015


Watering Restrictions Start June 1

Nanaimo residents and businesses are reminded that watering restrictions will be in place starting June 1.  Conservation Level 1 is implemented annually to ensure balanced water use throughout the system.  Level 1 (Even/Odd day watering) runs from June 1 to September 30.

* Even numbered addresses can water on the EVEN days of the month (e.g. June 2, 4, 6). Odd numbered addresses can water on the ODD days of the month (e.g. June 1, 3, 5)

* No outdoor watering is permitted between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM.

* Parking lot or driveway washing with tap water is not permitted during the period of restrictions. Car washing is permitted on regular watering days, as long as it is not between 10 AM and 4:00 PM.

"This year, there is a lot of attention on water due to the zero snowpack and lack of precipitation for the last several weeks. The City has been watching water levels carefully and at this time, we feel that Conservation Level 1 will be all that is required. Level 1 is a normal annual occurrence and helps keep a conservation mindset. Nanaimo residents can be proud of the fact that they have practised decades of water conservation which ensures that during periods of drought the water system is resilient enough to avoid more drastic measures." - Bill Sims Manager, Water Resources Engineering & Public Works


Include Newcastle Island In Weekend Plans

Newcastle Island Welcomes Visitors

This weekend weather looks ideal for a trip to Newcastle Island, just a short ferry ride across the Nanaimo harbour.

You can check out the Newcastle Island Ferry schedule by using this Nanaimo Info LINK.

For information about different events planned and camping reservations you can contact the Park Office at 250-754-7893. You can also visit the Island's website using this LINK.

A day trip to Newcastle Island is always an outing that never disappoints. For a very reasonable price you can enjoy a boat ride to and from the island giving you the chance to view Nanaimo from the harbour and enjoy some fresh sea air.

You can bring along a picnic, or take advantage of the great food served at the concession. Spend a relaxing day just enjoying the sun and water, or hike around the island to discover it's many treasures.

The weather will be fantastic, so why not take a mini-vacation to lovely Newcastle Island, nestled right in Nanaimo Harbour.


City of Nanaimo Wages and Benefits Reports - Not Clear

Reports are not very clear

It's that time of year again when different reports come from city hall explaining where your tax dollars went. A vast number of them went to pay for wages and benefits to people working for the Nanaimo taxpayer through City Hall.

The SOFI report claims the total to be $48,950,708 while the Annual Financial Statements peg the number including benefits at $58,876,116. That is a difference of nearly $10,000,000 in the reported total cost to the Nanaimo taxpayer of the payroll at city hall. Neither of these accounting's include the total paid for wages and benefits paid to the RCMP officers employed through the Nanaimo detachment. I would make an educated guess that this number would add at least another $15,000,000 to the total reported above.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Nanaimo City Hall $75,000 + Earners 2014

Follows is the list of City of Nanaimo employees earning in excess of $75,000/yr. This report does not include benefits. It also does not include the cost of RCMP either.

Click on the following images to enlarge them for easier viewing.



Invasive Plant Drop Zone - May 31 Bowen Park


Things on the Net that make ya' smile


Nanaimo Weather Outlook May 29 - Jun. 2


Nanaimo Farmers' Markets This Weekend

 Nanaimo & Area Farmers' Markets

Bastion Waterfront Farmers' Market
Open Friday ( May 15 - Oct. 2015)

Salutations Nanaimo Folk, Vancouver Islanders and visiting guests. Welcome to the Bastion Street Farmers Market 2015 Season! Starting May 15th, the market will be open every Friday from 2:00pm until 6:00pm. This market is located on Pioneer Plaza near the Historic Bastion on Nanaimo's Waterfront. This is the market's 18th year. Please join us this and every Friday until October.

The Bastion Street Market features local farmers and food producers so you can purchase your seasonal agricultural fruits and vegetables, bakery goods, meat, cheese, eggs, preserves, beer and wine, honey, coffee, tea, spices and more over the season.

90 Front Street, Nanaimo. On Pioneer Waterfront Plaza For more information visit them on Facebook at .

Bowen Road Farmers' Market
Open Wednesday (May 13 - Oct. 2015)

The Bowen Road Farmers' Market is in its 8th year! Opening day for 2015 is Wed May 13th. The BRFM was started by a group of people concerned about our quickly changing world, the loss of rurality, food production, food sustainability and the connection to the earth. Our market is fun and vibrant. 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 people who grow and produce the food you eat. See you soon!

Open from May 16 to Oct. 2015, Wed 4:00pm to 6:30pm. Located at 2300 Bowen Road Behind Beban Park,in the VIEX fairground. For more information visit their website HERE.

Lantzville Farmers' Market
Open Sunday (May 17 - Oct. 25 2015)

Located in the parking lot of St. Philips Church, 7113 Lantzville Road this new market will be open from 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm on Sundays from May 17 through to October.

The new market promises to be a meeting place for friends and neighbours giving access to healthy, local food.
For information visit their website or contact

Cedar Farmers' Market
Open Sunday (May 10 - Oct. 2015)

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 10 to October 2015 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  or call 250-668-5783


Nanaimo RCMP Call For Public Help

Campground Theft

Wetwood Campground at 389 Westwood Road was the victim of a robbery on Monday.

The suspect described as a white male in his late twenties was wearing blue jeans and a green or grey hoodie. He wore a full face shield with stickers saying 'Rockstar' and 'Fox'.

A camera recorded the person enter the office at 5:45 am, pry open the cash register and remove several hundred dollars. He then left on a yellow 2015 Suzuki dirt bike reported stolen from fourth Street.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP  250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Short Story From Pipers Lagoon - Nanaimo

Canada Geese family photo credit Sher Falls

A very good friend of mine tells of an interesting encounter with some of nature right here in Nanaimo last night.

While at Piper's Lagoon my photographer friend was pursuing her passion for stalking shadows and stealing light. A blue Heron provided just the subject she was looking for as it stood perfectly still doing what Herons do best - fishing. What caught the photo artists eye was the one loose feather hanging from the Heron, and being as patient as the Heron she prepared to stalk her prey and capture the feather as it fell from the Heron. That is how she sees things and what she will wait patiently to capture.

As the tide turned and the flood began so did the stream of fish the Heron had been waiting for which he proceeded to catch with great skill. As the sun was beginning to set, the feather still firmly in place my photo friend decided to pack it up for the night, when along came five Canada Geese cruising the Lagoon. Knowing that either the Heron or the geese would likely be soon to take flight she decided to wait a bit longer, even though the light was now quickly fading. Sure enough, the geese did take flight rather than continuing to swim past the Heron, who was quite content to continue fishing.

By then the light had all but faded and as she made her way back to the car she spotted something on the surface of the Lagoon headed her way. At first she couldn't make it out but as it drew closer she could she it was one of this year's goslings all by itself. It seemed headed straight for her, so she waited to see what would happen. There was no sign of the gosling's parents anywhere and so that maternal instinct kicked in and she decided to see if she could reunite babe and parents.

She was able to pick up the gosling and cradle it beneath her shirt as she put her camera gear into her car and then proceeded to find the little ones mom and dad who surely could not be that far off. After about thirty minutes of tramping the shore of the Lagoon she sat at the waters edge wondering what to do. Leaving the little one on it's own would surely be a death sentence, yet taking it home was not an option either. Someone witnessing this whole little saga suggested taking it to a vet on Bowen Road. Again not an option either.

After another ten minutes or so, the photo artist spotted a pair of Geese with one gosling in tow cruising the Lagoon headed in her direction. Knowing something of wildlife behaviour she knew if she was holding the gosling trying to take it back to mom and dad, they might get quite agitated with her, and geese can get nasty when upset. So she decided to put the gosling on the ground hoping the geese would spot the young one and be reunited. Sure enough as the gosling waddled across the beach headed towards the water, the parents heard it's little voice and immediately headed to meet their lost charge.

My photo friend breathed a sigh of relief as she watched the happy reunion unfold in the dim light. Her joy was short lived however, as she witnessed the bald eagle swoop down and snatch the gosling the parents had abandoned when they headed for the happy reunion with their lost offspring. True story.


Nepal Candlelight Vigil Raises $5600

Nearly 200 people showed up at Maffeo Sutton Park on Sunday May 24th for the Candlelight Vigil for Nepal. They raised $5600 through selling Nepal T- shirt and monetary donations. T-shirts are still for sale for $20, they can be purchased through Dr San Mahara from Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group and Daybreak Rotary Club.  Please email if you would like one and send your size, S, M, L or XL (cash only please).

A huge thank you to all volunteers and supporters. Any donation is accepted and will issue a Tax receipt.


Sailing Open House Nanaimo Yacht Club May 30


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bowen Road Farmers; Market Wed. May 27/15

Bowen Road Farmers' Market Open Wednesday (May 13 - Oct. 2015)

The Bowen Road Farmers' Market is in its 8th year! Opening day for 2015 is Wed May 13th. The BRFM was started by a group of people concerned about our quickly changing world, the loss of rurality, food production, food sustainability and the connection to the earth. Our market is fun and vibrant. 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 people who grow and produce the food you eat. See you soon!

Open from May 16 to Oct. 2015, Wed 4:00pm to 6:30pm. Located at 2300 Bowen Road Behind Beban Park,in the VIEX fairground. For more information visit their website HERE.


Nanaimo City Council Meeting June 1/15

City Council
Mon., June 1/15
RDN Boardroom
7:00 PM

  • Council presented with Award for Engineering Excellence
  • Supt. Mark Fisher, RCMP Quarterly Report
  • DVP 4063 Old Slop Place
  • DVP 2232 Dockside Way
  • Remove Linley Valley Drive from OCP
  • Liquor Licence Application 241 Skinner Street (Club 241)
  • Liquor Licence Application Newcastle Island Pavilion
  • Municipal Highway Naming (Cherry Blossom Lane) Bylaw
  • Safety Upgrade Order 1348 Jesters Way
  • Unresolved building deficiencies 567 Bradley Street, 420 Pine Street, 619 Pine Street
  • Officers Appointment and Delegation Amendment Bylaw
  • Appoint Deputy Financial and Corporate Offiers
  • 2014 Statement of Financial Information
  • Procurement of water, sewer and storm parts
  • Chase River Pipe Bridge Crossing
  • Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability 2015 work plan
  • Property maintenance bylaw: 4173 Corunna Ave., 4064 Gulfview Dr., 4105 Ross Rd., 2517 Blackcomb Place, 2301 Rosstown Road
  • Misc. Bylaws with no accompanying report

 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 .

If you can't attend council meetings in person (preferred) you can watch regular council meetings on Shaw cable channel #4. You can also watch the meetings live on the city website using this link. 

The regular city council meetings are the only ones broadcast live on either Shaw Cable or streaming video from the city website. The Committee of the Whole meetings, while not broadcast live are recorded and can be viewed on the city website HERE.

As this is a new council with 5 new members it is important to note that the following decisions were not made by this council. I will leave it posted for a time as a reminder of the type of spending that council is capable of when the electorate isn't paying attention. 
If this new council makes questionable spending decisions as we go forward (and I am sure they will) It would be my intent to document them here and replace the following list with a 'new' list. Hopefully, it will be a very short list.


In spite of promises to demonstrate fiscal responsibility, the first thing this council has done is approve a 6% increase in wages for CUPE employees over the next 3 years. This is well above the settlements the province is signing with other unions.


On Feb. 2/15  a resolution of Council was passed with a 7:1 vote which was giving staff instructions with regards the Colliery Dams. This motion was ignored by City staff and this Council has shown no desire to see their wishes were carried out by City staff. As a precedent this is likely as disturbing as any fiscal decisions made by council. It goes to the heart of our whole democratic system.

Some Previous 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?


Things on the net that make ya' smile

The above screengrab comes from today's Nanaimo Daily and is an article about Alzheimer's research. I didn't read the whole article to find out the connection between 'bran' and Alzheimer's nor exactly how they scan for it.


E&N Trail Open House June 3/15


City looking for input on E&N Trail Alignment 
from Downtown to Seventh Street
Open House at Nanaimo E&N Train Station planned for June 3rd

The City of Nanaimo is undertaking an alignment and costing study for the E&N Trail from the downtown Train Station to Seventh Street; a distance of approximately 2 km.  This section of the E&N corridor is one of the most challenging areas for trail development, with a narrow right-of-way, cross-grades, frequent road crossings and buildings immediately adjacent to the tracks.  This study will examine alignment options for the trail that both satisfy corridor constraints while creating an attractive trail corridor for both users and the surrounding community.

The City is seeking the input of residents. To date the project team has been exploring the technical and financial aspects of both on and off-rail alignment options; they are now seeking public feedback on options to better understand identified priorities. 

An open house event at the E&N Train Station on the back patio (or second floor if weather is inclement) will be held Wednesday, June 3rd between 4 and 7 pm.  Display boards of the proposed trail alignment options will be presented, along with the opportunity to provide on-line or interactive feedback.  Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

Strategic Link: The development of the E&N Trail is supported by the Transportation and Mobility section of the City's Strategic Plan to reduce car dependency and increase active transportation.

"We are looking forward to hearing from the public at our upcoming open house on June 3rd.  To assist us in gaining as wide a range of feedback as possible, we encourage all interested residents to attend and provide their ideas, suggestions or comments." - Gordon Foy Manager of Transportation City of Nanaimo


'Conference' Centre Hotel - Not About Conferences?

Is this just a bad deal for Nanaimo taxpayers?

The whole premise behind offering up a ten year tax exemption to a hotel developer was to encourage the market to build a hotel that would bolster our ailing conference business. That was the rational that the previous council under Mayor Ruttan used to sell the tax give-away. Originally it was restricted to this one piece of property until that council learned they were meddling too much in the marketplace, and had to extend the offer city-wide to anyone building a new hotel/motel or renovating an existing one. Good business sense? If not paying taxes for ten years is your business model, it is not a very sound model. However, if it is a free gift offered by a desperate city administration, no business would refuse the offer.

The city also has a parking agreement with the developer giving them use of up to 255 non-designated parking spaces in the underground garage at the VICC.

The deal with the SSSManhao company not only includes the ten year tax exemption, but it pretty much gives away the control of the conference centre in the deal based on the 'Conference Centre Operations - Right of First Negotiation' agreement the city gave to SSS Manhao, which runs with the land. In other words even if the city were able to sell the Conference Centre, this agreement must be assumed by any future purchaser.

A staff report claims that an important component of this hotel is enabling higher capacity conferences to be scheduled in the VICC. However, that seems to be contradicted by the stated business plan as explained by the hotel developer, which was to see 70,000+ tourists come to the hotel through their Asian tour company. How many rooms would be left for the purpose increasing conferences is questionable if 200 Asian tourists are visiting the hotel on a daily average. Of course this business would be a boon to downtown and the casino perhaps, but would do nothing for the conference centre.

The Right of First Negotiation contains some ambiguous and troublesome language which would seem to pretty much turn over the upside of this taxpayer funded facility to the developer while Nanaimo taxpayers assume all the downside.

The argument that this will increase our convention business is supported by the claim the hotel operator will be required to make a 'block' of rooms available for conventions with as much as one years notice. How would that be enforced if there was a conflict between a tour the tour operator was bringing to the hotel and a conference the VICC wanted to host? How it would be enforced is even more a problem if the same company is operating both the tour business and the conference business.

The agreement states:

Assignment by the City

16. The city agrees not to sell, transfer or otherwise convey or offer to sell, transfer or otherwise convey the Conference Centre unless the City first assigns this Right of First Negotiation to the purchaser and in that case:
(c) the purchaser must enter into an assumption agreement with Manhao agreeing to assume all of the City's obligations under this Agreement.

Negotiation by City Staff

19. For certainty, this Right of First Negotiation does not entitle Manhao to enter into negotiations with Council of the City, and instead, Manhao agrees that negotiations on behalf of the City may be conducted by the City Manager or any other senior City staff person or persons.

With this agreement in place are the City's hands tied?

Both during and since the recent election there has been talk about taking a look at the VICC which is costing Nanaimo taxpayers several million dollars for a facility that is under utilized and is chasing what is arguably a waning business. This agreement with SSSManhao would seem to pretty much tie the hands of the City with regards to any re-purposing efforts they may wish to undertake. For example, how would this agreement mesh with the notion that VIU might establish a downtown campus on this site?


All disputes arising out of or in connection to this agreement will be resolved by arbitration in accordance with the Commercial Arbitration Act of British Columbia. It does not require a law degree to see how an argument could be made by SSSManao if the city should decide it is in our best interests to re-purpose the conference centre to which they have the Right of First Negotiation and claim to 255 parking spaces. That is just for a start.

Good deal?? You be the judge.


Monday, May 25, 2015

4 Car Nanaimo Crash Caused By Squirrel?

It has been reported by the RCMP that a driver slamming on his brakes on the busy Island Highway caused a four vehicle accident last Friday morning.

The driver hit the brakes to allow a squirrel (rat with a cute coat) to scamper across two lanes of traffic where speeds are in the 110 kmh range. The poor choice of action resulted in being rear-ended by a commercial food truck and two other pick up trucks. One of the vehicles sustained enough damage to require towing.

Fortunately no one involved in the accident required medical attention. The fate of the squirrel was not reported but it is presumed he made good his pursuit of an acorn likely rolling across the road.


Community Performing Arts Centre - Regroup

Port Theatre Society Project Hits Major 'Bump'

Port Theatre Society GM Bruce Halliday and the President of the society gave council a brief update on the status of their fundraising efforts to make the performing arts centre a reality.

In what came as a big surprise and major disappointment the Society  has suffered a setback when a major sponsor fell through. The Society has withdrawn an application for Heritage Canada funding (?) which will allow them to reapply at a future date. They are hopeful that a consortium of local business people will be able to help put the funding together.

The project got the approval from previous city council to provide $4.6 million in funding for the project dependent upon the Society securing $8 million in funding from other sources. The city also signed a line of credit for $2 million for the society to use, but it was reported none of those funds have been used at this point.


Requested Time Extension Not Granted - Not Denied

Future of Conference Centre Hotel Undecided

A request from SSSManhao for a one year extension of the Option to Purchase agreement for the property at 100 Gordon Street was neither granted nor denied, but rather referred until June 15 at which time Council will receive a staff report.

The decision to defer was made as a result of a motion by Councillor Brennan who prefaced her motion to defer by her statement that she felt council was going to defeat a motion to grant the one year extension. This motion came after council had heard a delegation from The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation speaking in support of the extension application.

Council also had the opportunity to ask one of the principals in the company through a lawyer who also translated, questions from Council. Several reasons were given for the missed deadlines and timelines this company originally said they would meet. Lack of communication was something else also recognized by both the lawyer and members of City Council.

In February of this year, Mayor McKay is quoted in the Daily as saying he had requested, through NEDC head, Sasha Angus for the SSSManhao principals to get in touch as to the status of this project. That communication seems to have come at the eleventh hour with the clock ticking on the current agreement.

Two items of note contained in the lawyers letter to the city was the statment that the interior layout of the hotel will remain the same and only the exterior will change. It also stated that there will be no casino in the hotel.

If May 30 comes and goes without SSSManhao having a foundation in place on the site of the hotel, the city would then be in a position to exercise the option to buyback the property for the price SSSManhao orginally paid for it. That option can be exercised up until Nov. of this year.


What is Pickleball ???

So What is Pickleball you may ask ...............

Email Subscribers may have to view Nanaimo Info Blog to see this video


Pickleball Courts at Beban Park - June 1/15

Beban Park to see pickleball courts on trial basis

The tennis courts in Beban Park will soon have a slightly different look to them. A one year pilot project starting June 1 will see one of the six tennis courts in Beban Park converted into two pickleball courts.

The request came to the Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission last fall from the Nanaimo Pickleball Association after which they approved the pilot project. There is another outdoor pickleball court in Departure Bay Centennial Park as well as drop-in gym times for pickleball in Oliver Woods Community Centre.

In 2016, the Beban Park tennis courts will be resurfaced during which the success of the pilot project will be assessed and the pickleball courts could become permanent. Over the course of this one year period, court users are encouraged to provide feedback about the conversion. Comments can be submitted to 250-756-5200 or

One of the six tennis courts in Beban Park is being converted to two pickleball courts for a one-year pilot project. This pilot project is being tested for one year starting June 1.

Depending on its success and feedback from the public the conversion could become permanent.

Court users are encouraged to provide feedback about the conversion by calling 250-756-5200 or emailing

"We engage with the public on a daily basis to see how Nanaimo's parks and recreation facilities could be improved. Pickleball is a new and emerging sport in Nanaimo and the local club was looking for more venues across Nanaimo. Come down to Beban Park, try this fun sport yourself and let us know what you think!" - Kirsty MacDonald Parks & Open Space Planner City of Nanaimo 


Departure Bay Beachfront Upgrades Underway


Improvements planned for Departure Bay beachfront

The City of Nanaimo is planning upgrades to the existing Departure Bay beachfront to improve accessibility and ensure safe and pleasant use of this recreational area.  The overall project will include several improvements to enhance the area including flatting the grade along the seawall walkway; installing new pedestrian access ramps; installing new street lights and walkway lights; improvements to parking facilities; and replacement of an old storm drain on Loat Street.

Due to the cultural and heritage significance of the area, the City is working with the Snuneymuxw First Nation and an archaeological consultant to complete research and onsite investigation work for the project.  The City has also met several times with representatives from the Departure Bay Neighbourhood Association to implement some design features that support objectives identified in the Departure Bay Neighbourhood Plan.

Project information signage is now being installed at the beachfront.  A project information page has also been created on the City of Nanaimo's website.

Archaeological investigation along with detailed engineering design work is currently underway.

Construction of the project is scheduled for fall 2015.

"A few years ago, representatives from the Departure Bay Neighbourhood Association presented ideas to the City for improving the beachfront. One of the priority improvements identified was flattening the grade along the seawall walkway.  City Council has approved this project for 2015 and work is expected to begin this fall. Once the project is complete the Departure Bay beachfront will be an even better place to visit and enjoy." - Bill McKay Mayor City of Nanaimo